Budget Graphics Update: AMD Radeon RX 460 VS Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050

Graphics. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. In 2016, at least. We’ve covered much of the pricier performance end of the market, cards like the new Radeon RX 480 and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070. But not all of us have made the leap from washing lettuce to assistant manager. Money, put simply, is an object.

With the launch of a new budget GPU from Nvidia, now looks like as good a time as any for a quick recap of the cheapest graphics cards that at least purport to be good for gaming and ask that crucial question – how cheap does proper 1080p gaming get?
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Wot I Think: Battlefield 1

Dice are going back to the twentieth century with Battlefield 1 [official site] and arming players with an assortment of experimental weaponry from the era. Then it’s out of the trenches and into enemy machine guns. Will Brendan survive? Let’s see.

A lot of us have grown up thinking that the Great War was a unique conflict – trapped between old ideas of warfare and new mechanisms of murder. But, if the Battlefield series is anything to go by, the killing fields of World War I aren’t all that different from any war that came afterwards. With Battlefield 1, the series has not changed very much. There are some differences, of course (and some quite good differences) but if you think muddy trenches and mustard gas are going to change anything drastic about the way you storm the next capture point, think again.

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To The Manor Reborn: Thoughts On Rise Of The Tomb Raider’s Anniversary DLC

It’s a celebration! 20 years of Tomb Raider! Lara, it’s your birthday! Time to throw on some gladrags and… Lara? Oh no. You’re moping again, aren’t you?
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Have You Played… Battlefield: Bad Company 2?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 threw out a little of the scale of the main Battlefield series, making smaller maps that didn’t contain the planes that offered some of the most fun experiences in Battlefield 2. But what it gained was better level design which more consistently delivered great, tense firefights.

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Best Dark Souls 3 Mods

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock lizard for the past several months, you’ll know the wonderfully twisted and challenging action role-player Dark Souls returned to our PC telly boxes earlier this year. With series director Hidetaka Miyazaki reinstated at the (knight) helm, the third installment isn’t necessarily the best but is probably the most realised, and like its forerunners – and console cousins Demon’s Souls and Bloodborne – it’ll swallow you whole if you don’t know how to handle it. And even when/if you do it rarely shows mercy.

Out next week, Ashes of the Ariandel marks Dark Souls 3 [official site]’s first of two proposed DLCs before the series is laid to rest, which seems like a good time to explore the mods which might, just might, make reading the words YOU DIED over and over and over again that little bit easier to stomach. If not, they should at least help you have fun doing so. Git gud or die trying.

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It’s Time For Spore 2

Trees that grow from seeds you plant? Easy. 18 quintillion planets? Whatever. If you want to talk about videogames’ most ambitious endeavors, there’s only one contender for the top spot. Spore, released in 2008, let players control a species they created from single cell organism all the way through to becoming space explorers. That included designing everything from the huts you lived in during the tribe stage, to the spaceships you used to careen around the galaxy near the game’s conclusion. Most importantly, it let you craft exactly what kind of weirdo you’d be taking to the stars, whether six-limbed, beady-eyed monstrosities or fleshky daleks or Homer Simpson, and then it populated your world with everyone else’s creations automatically, so that each planet was filled with delightful, handmade surprises.

Spore was a marvel. It’s crying out for a sequel.

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RPS Asks: Are Long Games Appealing Or Intimidating?

The Witcher 3 [official site] is the longest game I’ve played for years, or at least the longest game that I’ve actually come close to completing. There was a time when I’d be thrilled to hear about a new fifty or sixty hour epic adventure, very much subscribing to the policy “the more the better”, but now I’m more likely to flinch away from the screen when a game’s sprawl is revealed.

I’ve realised that my aversion to enormous games has been growing for a while, but the announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2 brought it into sharp focus. Do I really want yet another massive open world game? I’m not sure that I do.

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