AMD’s New Radeon RX 480: Graphics Greatness You Can Actually Afford?

As promised, the 2016 GPUgasm continues and not a moment too soon we come to AMD’s new pixel pumper, the Radeon RX 480, otherwise known as Polaris. With Nvidia’s new graphics chipsets delivering excellent performance but at punitive pricing, the narrative I’m unashamedly desperate to deliver involves AMD to the rescue with something very nearly as good, just for a fraction of the cost. With the new RX 480 clocking in at around £200 / $200, the money part of the package looks promising. But what about the performance? Forget the benchmarks, let’s give the new RX 480 a good old grope.

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Halo 5’s Forge Coming To PC In September, And It’s Bringing 16-Player Custom Multiplayer With It

Halo 5 itself doesn’t seem to be coming to PC, but the developers have said they’d be bringing the sci-fi shooter’s sandbox editing mode, Forge, to Windows 10. Yesterday they announced the date: September 8. This mode will bring with it map editing and minigame-making using Halo’s bits and bobs, and has already been responsible for things like D-Days and mega beer pong on the Xbox Machine. But crucially, on the PC version, you will also be able to play 16-player custom multiplayer.

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First-Person Investigator: Virginia Gets A Demo

It’s been ages since we last visited the Twin Peaks-inspired-ish first-person vignette ’em up Virginia [official site] but whoa hey hello, here’s a release date and a demo out of nowhere. The demo is about twenty minutes long, offering a taste of life as a ’90s FBI agent investigating a missing child in a small town and answering basic questions like “Okay but what is it and what do I do?” That is now answered for me and so I’m quite looking forward to its full launch on September 22nd.

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Happy Birthday! Valve Turned 20 Yesterday

Happy 20th birthday, Valve! Yesterday. Happy 20th yesterday. Sorry, I only just saw the Facebook notification. On August 24th, 1996, ex-Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington made a beautiful baby who was mighty eye-opening.

In the dreamy game of “What if…?” one curious hypothetical is: what if Valve never existed? There can’t be many companies who’ve had nearly as much impact. Steam (eventually) revolutionised digital distribution, changing the entire landscape of PC gaming. Half-Life was seminal; its mod scene was legendary. That’d be plenty, but Valve have made a load of other really good video games too.

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Magic And Myth In A Post-War World: Tyranny

I’ve seen Tyranny [official site] several times before and I even played it out at E3, but it was only after a hands-on session at Gamescom that I felt ready to write about Obsidian’s next RPG. It’s a tricky one to preview, seeing as so much of the pitch relates to a world that changes to reflect the Big Choices you make. In a game that’s so keen to gesture toward the bigger picture, it can be difficult to get a sense of how well the smaller moments work toward that end.

At Gamescom, I played a new section of the game, crafted some spells, and decided that even if I can’t know how well the bigger picture will come together, there’s enough here to understand at least some of what Obsidian are building. It’s strong stuff.

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The Reaper’s Due Has Come To Crusader Kings II

Bring out yer dead, we’ve got a lovely wheelbarrow ready and waiting. Dynastic strategy and infanticide simulator, Crusader Kings II [official site], has received its latest add-on. The Reaper’s Due brings a bunch of new events and mechanics for Europe’s worst case of the sniffles. The Black Death will ravage the land and you’ll be forced to either fight against it or hide away in your castle with your pet cat. As usual, there’s also a free patch tweaking other issues, for all the peasants unable to find £7 in their coffers.

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Inside Ubisoft’s Dedicated Driving Team

There are strange things going on with the buggy I’m driving. I’m in a field, somewhere in Ghost Recon: Wildlands’ digital Bolivia, and the vehicle is transforming while I drive it. The power, suspension, steering – everything’s changing. It’s not a bug. Next to me, the driving team at Ubisoft Reflections are fiddling with my poor ride using their vehicle editing tool, which lamentably doesn’t have a fancy name.

Reflections have been making driving games since 1995’s smashing Destruction Derby and are probably best known for the Driver series, the last of which was Driver: San Francisco, popping into existence all the way back in 2011. A dedicated driving team still exists at the studio, but now they’re using their expertise in games like Watch Dogs 2 and the latest Tom Clancy romp.

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