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Alec Meer

1 day ago

Raytraced Quake II makes me want to buy a ludicrously expensive new graphics card

"Daddy, why are you cross?" "Because, my little one, someone's just added some lovely-looking raytraced lighting to seminal 90s first-person shooter Quake II, but I am unable to experience it myself because I don't own an RTX-series graphics card. Now repeat what I just said back to me flawlessly, or you're sleeping in the shed again tonight."

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2 days ago

Sea Of Thieves jettisons half its cargo – a reason to return?

Remember Sea of Thieves, Rare's piratical, sandbox sorta-MMO? I do, what with reviewing it and all, but only as if a dream. Emotive, fragmentary scenes of waves and sunset and accordions. A blissful boredom. Actual detail of the things I did, found or fought? Not a bit of it. Maybe there were some skeletons once? I think often of going back, part in curiosity about…

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4 days ago

In sync at last: Nvidia’s new driver that enables G-Sync on your Freesync is out now

There's a twist in the tale of the today's latest Nvidia driver, as it finally adds support for FreeSync monitors. For years now, there's been a GeForce tax if you wanted a screen with Nvidia's brand of adaptive sync - that is, the one that can adjust its refresh rate, and therefore in-game frame rate, with wild abandon, and more importantly without that icky screen-tearing…

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Half of all games on Steam came out since 2017

An explosion in PC games is A Thing That Has Happened And Was Always Going To Happen, due to more accessible development tools and the removal of physical barriers to distribution. There's been much discussion about the e'er-rising tide of new Steam releases, but recently we got to put an actual number on it. The current total of games - i.e. complete, individual games, DLC…

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5 days ago

Feature: Selfies, emojis and refugees

Bury Me, My Love review

"A game about Syrian refugees" has certain connotations, at least if you are not yourself a Syrian refugee. I expected sustained suffering, a maudlin and desperate tone, confusing cultural differences and a great deal of poetic misery. Which, well, probably says a few uncomfortable things about me, doesn't it? Because Bury Me, My Love, which plays out as a quasi-real-time text message conversation documenting one…

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Feature: Pre-prepared to die

Have you played… Knight Lore?

A few days ago, I gave up on outwardly promising surrealist RPG Nashbored an embarrassingly short way in, due to a wildly misjudged trap-dodging section (one part of which reset me back to the start of the banal puzzle if I failed to skip past any one of its five rows of patrolling doomblades - you know the sort). I mean, sure, whoever designed that…

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1 week ago

This random city generator is the best thing you’ll randomly-generate today

"hellll yes infinite procedurally-generated city" is the title of the Trello card left in the RPS organisation-o-tron 3000 concerning Wave Function Collapse, and yep, that neatly sums up what I want to say about this. An endless city, one of a kind, created just for you whenever you load the application. Close the application, and that city's gone forever. Maaaaan.

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New Elder Scrolls Online expansion brings back the dragons (and also cats)

The Elder Scrolls Online is both an attempt to further the Elder Scrolls formula into something more dynamic and living, and a game that often seems dependent on nostalgia for its continued existence. 2017's Morrowind expansion took us back to Elder Scrolls' finest hour, last year's Summerset was our first return to a land not seen since Arena, the original Scrolls game, and next, here…

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2 weeks ago

Tropico 6 delayed again because it’s “not outstanding – yet”

Bad news if, like me, your response to dry January was going to be supping pre-mixed Aldi pina coladas at your desk while your monitor beamed sun-kissed beaches into your daylight-starved eyeballs. Caribbean management'n'despotism sim Tropico 6 has just suffered its second delay, missing the January release date it was eyeing, after failing to appear in 2018. Expect it in March now. The reason? It…

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Feature: You are not alone

Ashen’s unreliable friends are my favourite NPCs in a long while

I went into Ashen with certain expectations. Not of quality, but of mood. It sets out its Dark Soulsbut stall right away, with talk of disasters and darkness and god-level menaces, and so I shifted my brain into the familiar gears of isolation and doomy solitude. These, experience has taught, are lonely adventures in hostile places – only the broken corpses will ever witness my…

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In the grim darkness of 2019, you can add green footprints to Warhammer 40K games for £1.50

While flailing helplessly through the ocean of Steam new releases today, I grabbed for a familiar shoreline to catch my breath. It was DLC for so-so Games Workshoppy action-RPG Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr, which I had temporarily mistaken for the rather good turn-based strategy thinger Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus. Before I steeled myself for another dive into those infinite waters, I clicked through, mildly curious…

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Feature: Shadow of the Breach

Overland has been left in the dust by Into The Breach

The last time I played sunset-hued, post-apocalyptic survival-strategy affair Overland in earnest, back in the pre-apocalypse of 2016, I liked it a lot. In the mid-apocalypse of 2019, I only like it a little. Something's changed - and it's not Overland. It's not me either, though I'll admit to a certain amount of frenzied shrieking about the passage the time once I realised how long…

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Slay The Spire dooms us all by adding official mod support

Oh, great. The very last thing I needed was another reason to play Slay The Spire every day for the rest of my life, forever and ever and ever and ever. On the other hand, perhaps I can finally fulfil my dream of replacing The Time Eater with a GIF of Jareth the Goblin King, which I've just decided I've wanted since the day I…

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Windows 10 is now the world’s biggest OS, even though you hate it

Windows 10, which you hate, is now the world's most widely-adopted operating system, according to a new report, even though you hate it. Despite the fact that you hate it, it has now dethroned Windows 7, which you don't hate, as king of OSes. Not by a massive margin, admittedly - which is almost certainly because you hate it so much- but the graph's only…

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3 weeks ago

4 weeks ago

Feature: The immortal card game

Have You Played… Windows Solitaire?

On a bus recently, amidst the sea of glum, blue-lit faces of dispossessed commuters and shoppers searching for hope in their black mirrors, I glimpsed a familiar sight. A flat green backdrop, overlaid with stacks of white rectangles. It's as recognisable to me as any member of my family: Solitaire. For those of us of a certain age, it was our gateway drug to PC…

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