Posts Tagged ‘feature’

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed turned the mascot racer into serious competition

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New Testaments is a monthly retrospective in which Amr Al-Aaser presents an overlooked modern game and champions its best ideas.

Sonic the Hedgehog might be fast, but he’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of top tier arcade racers. So it might catch you by surprise to find out that Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed manages to not only build on the legacy of games like Outrun 2, Split Second and Blur, but takes the mascot racer, a genre that often aggravates players with its random elements, and turns it into a serious competitive racer. All while being an absurdly fun celebration of all things SEGA. Read the rest of this entry »

Confessions of a teenage asset ripper

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I never played Secret of Mana 2 on the Super Nintendo, but I could recognize its trees in a blink. I saw them in countless other games, their lush branches decorating the corners of fantasy worlds filled with magic, dragons, and bugs. Oh, so many bugs. I’ve never played the first Star Ocean, the Suikoden series, Terranigma, or Chrono Trigger. But I know them. They are games I’ve always appreciated in a disjointed state, their plants and furniture dissected and laid out on sprite sheets like tiny organs on an autopsy table.

I saw all this because, when I was a teenager, I illegally ripped art assets from commercial games. Read the rest of this entry »

Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi) review: The coolest motherboard around for Ryzen+ (literally)

Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero

The Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero (Wi-Fi) – try saying that three times fast – is quite possibly the ultimate ATX motherboard for cooling and USB junkies – if you’re batting for team Ryzen+, that is. If you thought having eight USB ports on the Asus ROG Strix X470F-Gaming and MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC was generous, the Crosshair VII Hero adds four more to the pile, coming in for a positively monstrous total of 12. If all that wasn’t enough, you also get a whopping nine fan headers for the coolest of cooled systems.

Nine fan headers I can just about get behind, but I can’t even begin to imagine the kind of situation where you’d need to have 12 USB ports. Still, while you can’t accuse Asus of being stingy when it comes to peripheral support, it does mean you’re giving up space for multiple display outputs (unless you count the single USB Type-C port), making it ill-suited to AMD’s other two new Ryzen chips, the Ryzen 3 2200G and Ryzen 5 2400G with integrated Vega graphics. As a companion for AMD’s Ryzen 7 2700 / 2700X or Ryzen 5 2600 / 2600X CPUs, on the other hand, the Crosshair makes a mighty fine match. Let’s see if it’s worth buying over the MSI X470 Gaming M7 AC.

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Podcast: What are the best shooters?

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Wait, didn’t we already answer this question? Never mind, the RPS podcast, the Electronic Wireless Show, is not content with our list of the top 50 first-person shooters. Well, they’re mostly fine with it (lists are stupid) but they still want to hash out this ageless question the old-fashioned way. By interrogating each other over the internet. Read the rest of this entry »

Battlefield V interview: dodging the lootbox question, and why battle royale “would really fit the universe”

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I came away from my Battlefield V first look surprisingly ready for another tour of the Western front – prosthetic-armed Cockneys and all – but with a number of nagging questions. Firstly, how exactly is EA DICE approaching monetisation right now, in the wake of the uproar over Star Wars: Battlefront 2’s rubbish launch-day microtransactions? I was treated to an hour-long presentation on the game’s service elements, but the in-game purchases this service will facilitate were conspicuously absent from discussion – it felt a bit like the part in the bombing run before the sky lights up with flak. And secondly, does the developer have any plans for a battle royale mode, given Call of Duty’s recent jump upon that bandwagon? Because if any existing shooter is built for Fortnitey/Plunkbatty shenanigans, it is surely Battlefield, with its giant maps and headcounts.

Burdened by such thoughts, I sought out senior producer Lars Gustavsson and tried to get a clear answer out of him. The results, which include a discussion of what I suspect will prove a controversial squad focus, are below. Read the rest of this entry »

Acer’s Predator Helios 500 laptop is so huge it needs two people to lift it

Acer Predator Helios 500

All right, that title might be a slight exaggeration, but in an age of lovely slim gaming laptops like the new Razer Blade, Acer’s freshly-announced Predator Helios 500 is still very much in the ‘absolute unit’ category of these sort-of-but-not-really portable gaming machines – so much so that Acer’s top man Jason Chen (pictured above, right) needed a little help showing it off onstage yesterday at his company’s global press conference.

Weighing in at 4kg and measuring 428x298x38.7mm, this 17.3in laptop is positively monstrous compared to this year’s svelte Razer Blade, but take one look at its specs and you’ll understand why. With models going all the way up to a six-core Intel Core i9+ 8950HK (the + signifying the presence of Intel’s incredi-fast Optane Memory), a 4K IPS Nvidia G-Sync display and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card, this is a laptop that means serious business. Let’s take a look. Read the rest of this entry »

Acer introduce new family of Nitro gaming monitors that (hopefully) won’t break the bank

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Just when you thought you’d had your fill of BRAND talk this week with the Asus Arez / ROG kerfuffle, Acer have jumped in on the action as well with the introduction of their new Nitro family of gaming monitors.

A more entry-level series than their flagship Predator range, these new monitors may not have all the bells and whistles of Acer’s Nvidia G-Sync HDR-enabled Predator X27, for example, but they still offer super slim bezels, high refresh rates up to 144Hz, AMD FreeSync support and resolutions that go all the way up to 4K – and judging from my hands on time earlier today, they could be just the ticket for those after a decent mid-range screen.

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Hands on with Acer’s new Predator Cestus 510 mouse and Aethon 500 keyboard

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When you think of Acer’s Predator range, laptops and monitors are probably the first things that come to mind. This year, however, Acer are going all in on PC gaming peripherals, as they’ve just unveiled a brand-new mouse and keyboard at their New York press conference – the highly-flexible Predator Cestus 510 and the blue mechanical switch-themed Aethon 500. And I’ve been plastering my grubby mitts all over them.  Read the rest of this entry »

Battlefield V is about making friends, building forts and daily chores

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World War 2 has broken out once again as EA DICE heads back to the 1940s with Battlefield V, a theoretically safe sequel with some curious, and possibly divisive, ideas at its core.

After the thematic reset that was Battlefield 1 I wasn’t expecting much from this year’s instalment of the long-running shooter series – class tweaks, new period accessories and still-higher fidelity explosions, all of it fed through the same mix of giant, vehicle-strewn maps and objective modes. There’s certainly a lot here that’s familiar, but EA DICE has made some dramatic changes to Battlefield’s squad system that shunt an already team-oriented game even further away from lone wolf play. That’s in addition to the ability to rebuild trashed structures, fortifying maps that hitherto existed only to be ripped apart, and, less attractively, a tsunami of live service and earning mechanisms gathered under the banner of the “Tides of War”. As I discovered during a two-hour presentation today in London, it’s a riskier, more stimulating prospect than the “return to roots” messaging suggests. Read the rest of this entry »

Why it feels great to hit things in Vermintide 2

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the difficult journeys they’ve taken to make their games. This time, Warhammer: Vermintide 2 [official site].

In designing Vermintide II’s melee combat, Mats Andersson ran through the same preset level 50 times a day for two years. This hodgepodge of the game’s most distinctive areas, enemies and swarms makes no sense and it looks terrible, but playing it about 100,000 times was what it took to ensure face-to-face brawling would be rich in heft and detail.

Andersson knew how fast he could clear that level, how much damage he should take, how many kills he should be getting; yardsticks by which he could measure each run, and it’s how clicking to swing your hammer feels like it’s caving a skull in, and why your sword feels like it can split a rat’s stringy carcass in two. “It’s very much home to me,” he says. Read the rest of this entry »

Imperator: Rome has a world ripe for conquest

Imperator

When Paradox unveiled the map for its latest grand strategy romp, Imperator: Rome, I don’t mind admitting that I made an involuntary noise that normally only comes out of me when I’m biting into something delicious and unhealthy. It is excellent map porn. Zoomed out, it’s clean and no-nonsense, but when you narrow your focus, it explodes with colour and detail, particularly on the coast, where golden beaches hit seas gorgeous enough that you’ll want to lap them up. Europa Universalis looks drab in comparison.

It makes an excellent first impression, but it doesn’t have many opportunities to make a second one. While Imperator is due out in 2019, the build I got to see is still so early on that, were I to get a glimpse of any other corner of the map, I’d only see barren wastelands waiting for the touch of an artist.

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A Frostpunk diary of certain doom, finale: democracy is death

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Concluding my brutish and short first play of survival-management curio Frostpunk. When last you left us, we had survived disaster by the skin of our teeth, and even welcomed a giant robot into the fold. Now, as the nights draw in and the fires dim, can my proud people survive the rest of this calamitous winter?
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Wot I Think: The Forest

I’ve loved The Forest when I’ve played it in the past. I first took a look in 2014, finding it limited but a lot of fun. I then went back in 2015 to discover it was hugely improved and far more involved. I even videoed half an hour of my inept ambling. I have been back since then, but not written any more, but it’s probably close to two years since I really dug into it. Now it’s out in a final version, I’m surprised how little has changed in the last three years, but also pleased to find the same mix of survivor and terror. Not quite so pleased to discover so many of the classic bugs are still there. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: State of Decay 2

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I’m driving home from a busy night of killing and the roads are empty, save for some legless grumblers. I sigh and look at my map, try to count the exclamation marks, when a voice comes on my radio. It’s probably the fifth voice I’ve heard tonight, and I half expect another plea for bullets from some faceless chump three doors down. But this time it’s one of my own, a member of my enclave. She’s just calling to tell me: Workshop level 3 complete.

“That’s one more item off the To Do list!” she says enthusiastically.

She’s right. State of Decay 2 feels like a massive To Do list. Read the rest of this entry »

The new Razer Blade (2018) is primed and ready for on-the-go Final Fantasy XV

Razer Blade 2018

Gaming laptops are a funny business, aren’t they? Nine times out of ten they’re nowhere near as powerful as an equivalent desktop PC, yet they usually cost just as much, if not more, than the bulky black rectangles they’re so desperately trying to replace. There’s also a matter of looks. Most gaming laptops are very much from the shouty GAMING LAPTOP school of design with their edgy angles and flashing LEDs, not to mention the fact that most of them would likely break your back as soon as you tried to remove it from your desk.

Razer’s gaming laptops, on the other hand, have always tended to hark back to the nice slim portable laptops many of us, myself included, use for work – and their new, rather lovely 15.6in Razer Blade that I went to see a couple of weeks ago, complete with its 144Hz refresh rate and one of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q chips, could well be one of their best yet. Let’s take a look.

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Best graphics card 2018: Top GPUs for 1080p, 1440p and 4K

Best graphics card 2018

There has never been a better time to pick up one of today’s best graphics cards. It’s taken a while, but graphics card prices are finally coming back down to normal, bringing the likes of Nvidia and AMD’s latest and greatest finally within reach again.

To help you choose the best graphics card for your needs and budget, we’re here to help. This article is all about identifying the single best GPU you can get for playing games at 1080p, 1440p and 4K at a price that suits you. Read on for our in-depth buying advice on what and how to buy your next graphics card for 2018.

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Video: 10 State of Decay 2 tips to stay alive

With these tips, you too could be using a giant zombie as a climbing frame.

If the zombies don’t get you in State of Decay 2, then the boastful barista will. Sure, he brews a mean cup of joe, but his self-confidence is beginning to grate and the community’s morale is sinking. This might be the first survival game to be derailed by a braggart with coffee breath. As such it can feel like the world is conspiring against you, so what better time to watch a video of tips and tricks to help even the odds. Not to boast myself (RPS has a high morale community), but it’ll make your life easier.

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WD Black 3D NVMe SSD review: Bringing the fight to the Samsung 970 Evo (sort of)

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When Western Digital announced their brand-new Black 3D NVMe SSD at the beginning of April, it looked like it might finally bring some much needed competition to the all-powerful Samsung 960 Evo and potentially cause a late-game upset in our Best SSD for gaming rankings.

With superior claimed sequential write speeds, equal sequential read speeds, a more generous endurance rating on the 250GB model and so-close-you-can-feel-them-breathing-down-your-neck pricing, the WD Black NVMe SSD (2018) looked like a mighty fine prospect for anyone contemplating an upgrade to their SSD setup. And in some respects, it very much is a mighty fine prospect. Then Samsung went and gazumped them with the release of their 970 Evo and, well, completely tipped it down on WD’s parade.

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The 50 best FPS on PC

The best shooters endure. While the state of the art moves on in other genres and leaves old designs in the dust, it’s as fun to fire a well-made shotgun from an early 90s FPS as from one released today. For that reason, this list runs the gamut from genre classics to those released in the last year. There’s bound to be something for you inside.

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Steam Charts: Flipping Great Edition

A live feed of the RPS offices

A pleasingly fresh collection of games dominating the top ten Steam moneymakers this week, along with the shock absence of Counter-Strike: GO! No shocks at the #1 spot, but a couple of surprising appearances in the top 5. Read the rest of this entry »