Darren Comments

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  • LawBreakers review

  • Darren 12/08/2017

    There are now so many online-only shooters that getting the player count for them to avoid tedious waiting around in lobbies or low numbers in matches must be a real problem. And aren't they all really just the same thing with different rules and visuals anyway? The first-person shooter must surely be the most over saturated genre ever by now...

    Anyway, this is why I don't buy multiplayer only games, not that I'm interested in competitive gaming anyway when it's stripped of an interesting narrative and geared toward mind-numbing (for me) repetition. At least if a game has a single player then you still have something to play when the player counts drops or the server goes down/bugs out. I didn't buy Titanfall for that reason but I did buy its sequel on PC, which I really enjoyed, even though I've never played it online. I hated Star Wars Battlefront too, though it does look gorgeous, but I am very interested wait to see how the sequel's single player turns out. If it's decent then I may even buy it but, again, not to play online.
    Reply 0
  • One year on, is No Man's Sky the game it should have been?

  • Darren 09/08/2017

    @davidknowles - They deserved it though as they blatantly lied about what the game was, even going as far as to claim it had multiplayer for example. It made me cringe to watch the YouTube video interviews prior to the game's release. If ever a developer a developer deserved the flack they got then it was Hello Games IMO! Reply 0
  • Darren 09/08/2017

    In answer the question asked in the article header, for me it's a big NO!

    Although improved from its terrible launch build, the game's randomly generated worlds still look and feel too samey and clinical to be interesting to explore beyond the first few hours. The entire universe feels oddly lifeless not helped by the lack of intelligent alien races or the measly variation in buildings and outposts and so on. There's no cities, there's very few aliens walking around; the entire universe feels exactly like what it is: a random generated world with bizarre physics and objects that often don't sit flat with surfaces. Also, the user interface, despite improvements, is still bloody awful and a chore to navigate and inventory management is still a mess.

    What was a 3/10 game at launch is now, possibly, a 4 or 4.5 but the game will always be a massive disappointment for me because, as they say first impressions last and my first 20 hours of the game - the majority of my playtime - was before the developers made any changes so that is the game I will always remember. The changes they made since have done little to change my overall impression of the game mainly because I cannot summon up the interest to play it for any extensive length of time. Who'd have thought that a game that offers you the universe to explore could be so damn boring!!!

    It is still a below average game in my eyes. If it had been a 10 Early Access game then I wouldn't have minded so much as I got my money's worth. As a full-priced release though... well, I don't think I need to say any more really.
    Reply +5
  • Ni No Kuni 2 has a season pass

  • Darren 08/08/2017

    Well, the Season Pass means the game has DLC which means additional content on top of the game itself so that is good.

    However, I've yet to buy a Season Pass that hasn't been heavily discounted in a Steam Sale some months after a game's release in order to acquire its DLC at a bargain price. Now this may not be an option on the PS4 but I will just buy the content I want as it is released.

    Sure, you save a bit of money with the Season Pass but since you are often paying money upfront to the publisher often months before the content is released it doesn't immediately strike me as being "good value" (in fact, it's poor value literally since you are paying for something that isn't even out!). Personally, I would rather buy the content individually at a higher price than pay for something that isn't even guaranteed to be released. I may even just wait until all the content is released and then buy the Season Pass but I don't think that is what the publishers want... ;)
    Reply 0
  • Hellblade deletes your save file if you die too many times

  • Darren 08/08/2017

    I bought the PC version last night and was able to play about 30 minutes of it this morning. After a slow but atmospheric start, I reached this very fight and knew straight away that the battle was unwinnable when the creatures starting spawning and I was unable to even hit them (they were basically ghosts/smoke!). At that point the game then warns you that dying means permadeath, something I was not aware of when I started the game.

    While I understand why some people might like it due to the added challenge it offers, I feel that in a game that offers multiple difficulty levels (it defaults to Auto) that the Easy option should allow unlimited deaths and a restart from the last checkpoint and only the Normal and higher difficulties should use permadeath/delete the save file.

    Of course, Easy difficulty may be so easy that it is near impossible to die, I haven't tried it yet, but even in a game that is reputedly 6-8 hours long, I would be very annoyed to get near the end only to die and lose all of my progress. It's a silly mechanic if there's no gain from the progress you have made like, say, in the Dark Souls franchise and Bloodborne, which at least let you keep equipment and skills gained up to the point with the option to recover what you've lost. If you just die and the save is deleted so you basically lose EVERYTHING then have to restart from the beginning then that is likely to put many people off even bothering to replay it. I know it would for me.
    Reply +1
  • Nintendo Switch system update fixes battery charge issue

  • Darren 01/08/2017

    I took my Switch off charge last week to take to work and turned it off (powered it down) before putting it in my bag. It was at 100%. When I turned it on at lunchtime the charge was 58%!!! I knew the battery life of the Switch was poor (to say the least) but that was just ridiculous... nice to know that it was just a bug.

    That said, my Switch has always been a bit weird when it comes to battery charge as despite turning it off when charged at 100% to take out when it is turned back on the battery is always less than 100%. Once it was at 89% after being powered off for just four hours! This is in contrast to my iPad Pro which when charged to 100% will stay at that for days even in stand-by mode (and months if turned off).

    Not sure what battery the Switch uses but it seems strange that its battery drains while off unless that too is a bug? Even my PS Vita doesn't do that; when I recently turned it on after being off for most of the year the battery was still at 100%.
    Reply +1
  • Tacoma review

  • Darren 01/08/2017

    I must admit that I tend to prefer these style of games these days, primarily because they are free from combat and are heavily focused on story-telling, something I really enjoy.

    Of course, I could read a book but there's something compelling about being placed in a digitally created world and having the freedom to explore and learn about it, while taking in the scenery and sounds, perhaps solving the odd puzzle. It's relaxing. And it's always refreshing to play something that doesn't rely on some form of violence for gameplay.
    Reply +6
  • Ark: Survival Evolved's full release delayed

  • Darren 31/07/2017

    I uninstalled this game when I realised that it had grown to 67 GB and, more worryingly, that it had had (literally) hundreds of patches, usually one per day, for over a year yet NOT one single one improved the abysmal performance I was experiencing on my GTX 1080 then GTX 1080 Ti!!!

    It's not like the game looks that great anyway, even maxed out, and lowering the settings to get performance to stay above 30 fps at 1440p seems insulting IMO on a high-end system.

    I seem to remember the developers promising DX12 support over a year ago as well and that failed to appear. So when is that supposed to be coming? Ahead of DX13? ;)
    Reply +1
  • MS Paint has had a bit of an upgrade

  • Darren 28/07/2017

    I've been using the free paint.net for years personally. I can't remember the last time I actually used MS Paint. Reply +1
  • PlayStation Plus price hike announced for Europe

  • Darren 28/07/2017

    Although the price rise works out at less than 1 per month (83p), the fact that it represents a 25% increase overall for no apparent reason comes across as Sony either exploiting its user base because it thinks it can or trying to get people to resubscribe early before 31/8/2017 so they can save 10. Either way, it does come across as a bit greedy, especially when the monthly games on offer are generally inferior to those on Xbox One and are only rented for as long as you keep paying the subscription (on Xbox Live, I believe the games you get as part of the subscription are yours to keep even if you cancel the subscription but correct me if I'm wrong).

    I originally paid the subscription to take advantage of the "free" games each month as I do not play games online at all. I think it might be time for me to consider cancelling as the price hike makes the service poorer value for money. It wouldn't be so bad if the price increase, say, included access to music/video streaming or even PlayStation Now (which is another service which Sony is ripping people off with IMO).
    Reply +4
  • PS4 opens beta registration for next system update

  • Darren 20/07/2017

    I signed up for it yesterday. I'd like to see an option to pin games and folders but other than a revamp of the interface (which is looking a bit tired in these days of post-XMB menus) there really isn't much else I'd like to see added or changed on PS4.

    My PS4 Pro does have an issue with stuttering audio and video in games installed to my external 4 TB Seagate drive though (the same one Digital Foundry tested a while back), although it varies from game to game. Final Fantasy XII works flawlessly for example but the Mafia III demo, though improved from firmware v4.50, does still have some video and audio "hiccups" from time to time. Persona 5 was especially bad such that I had to relocate it to the 2 TB internal drive (where, surprise surprise, it works perfectly).

    I'm not the only one with this issue either as I've seen threads on other forums from people experiencing the same issue. Oddly, this issue has never happened on Xbox One, which continues to play games seamlessly whether on the internal or external drive. I know there is nothing wrong with the drive because moving the game from the external to internal drive fixes the issues.
    Reply 0
  • Here's how Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen Remastered looks

  • Darren 20/07/2017

    It's a great game on the PC but it does understandably look dated. At least it runs better than it ever did when I played it on my PS3.... /shudders

    I would expect the PS4 and Xbox One versions to be pretty much a straight port of the PC version and given the age of the game and the engine it is running on it should also be running at 60 fps.
    Reply +1
  • Can PS4 Pro really deliver Destiny 2 at 4K?

  • Darren 20/07/2017

    Having seen the PC version running at 60 fps, I know which version I would rather play, as improved image quality is nice and all that but I only crank up the resolution in PC games (using DSR) when the framerate is at least 60 fps or higher.

    It's disappointing to see PS4 Pro and Xbox One X games targeting 4K (fake or otherwise) in a first person shooter running at 30 fps. I guess the blame falls entirely on their underpowered CPUs but this push for 4K (and I know I keep saying this...) does seem like running before learning to walk. 60 fps at 1080p really should be the priority for any console FPS even if it means sacrificing resolution and graphics settings to achieve it.
    Reply +1
  • Nintendo's new online service looks like it could be every bit as bad as you feared

  • Darren 19/07/2017

    How many years has Xbox Live been around now? And Nintendo STILL do not know how to create a user-friendly and reliable gaming network structure...? Sheesh! :confused: Reply +5
  • PlayStation Now's PS4 game performance analysed

  • Darren 14/07/2017

    I would use a streaming service to try out a game before buying it but I would never play a game fully that way because macro-blocking and other compression artifacts tend to annoy me (as they do with Sky+HD movies), nevermind the additional input latency. I'm also only on an up to 24 Mbps (actually around 14-15 Mbps) broadband connection so bandwidth is an issue, especially if other devices are downloading in the background.

    12.99 a month is very steep though; I feel Sony might get more subscribers if they lower the price to 4.99-6.99. Even EA's own Access service, where you can download full games, is only 4.99 albeit there is a lot less choice than PlayStation Now and they are not streamed.

    That said, if I wanted to play older games then I would prefer to play the original game via emulation like on the Xbox One rather than streaming it anyway.
    Reply +1
  • Gran Turismo Sport gets a new (and final) release date

  • Darren 13/07/2017

    In the meantime, Turn 10 are about to release their third Forza Motorsport game for Xbox One when Polyphony Digital have yet to release their first Gran Turismo for PS4. I know they say that the best things come to those who wait but, well, it's ridiculous how long PlayStation owners have to wait between releases... Reply +8
  • Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy smashes UK chart top spot for second week

  • Darren 10/07/2017

    The remastered Crash Bandicoot trilogy is great fun (although the fact that it doesn't run at 60 fps is a bit disappointing) but I am genuinely surprised that it is selling so well. Maybe the platformer isn't quite dead after all and we will get more in future?

    It's certainly one of my favourite genres (I really enjoyed recent Yooka-Laylee too) and I would love to see the original Spyro games from the PSone also get a remaster too. IMO, those games were even better than Crash, offering proper 3D exploration. Pandemonium and its sequel would be terrific to have too, although those are certainly more obscure games.
    Reply 0
  • Four months on, BioWare still patching Mass Effect: Andromeda facial animations

  • Darren 10/07/2017

    I have been really enjoying this game on PC in spite of all its rough edges at launch.

    Yes, it should never have been released in the state it was - shame on you, EA! - and overall the characters and story are nowhere near as interesting as the original game (and trilogy) but this is far from being a bad game IMO.

    It's just a bit rushed and it lacking in overall polish but each patch continues to improve it even if it is too late as, sadly, the damage has already been done. I only hope that EA and other big publishers can learn from this; it is better to delay a game, even it is six months or more, than push it out unfinished and ruin the reputation of both the developer and the franchise itself.
    Reply +3
  • PlatinumGames is still working on a Nier: Automata PC patch

  • Darren 08/07/2017

    I think Platinum Games make great games but, boy, is their post-release support for them dire or what, especially on PC?

    I just don't understand why this great game has been basically ignored by them; instead left for a third-party to create a mod for it that fixes most (although not all) of its issues. If that was my game I would be deeply embarrassed that it needed a third-party mod to work properly! The game has an extremely aggressive LOD which basically means there is lots of noticeable and ugly pop in and when using Ambient Occlusion with the Anti-Aliasing setting it actually compounds the issue.

    What irks is that the publisher still went ahead and released paid-for DLC for the game when they really should have been focusing on addressing the game's issues first. I noticed this article mentions that they've only successfully fixed "some" of the issues and not all of them which isn't great news considering the game has been out four months... :confused:

    Personally, I will not buy future Platinum Games until I know that they are working properly. If not then I will wait, four months if I have to, before picking it... and likely at a cheaper price too. It's somewhat ironic that the two best PC Platinum games are Bayonetta and Vanquish but that is because neither was (I believe) ported across by them!!! Maybe Platinum should just stick to designing games and let someone else do the coding... ;)
    Reply +3
  • Halo 5 will have 4K support on Xbox One X

  • Darren 06/07/2017

    Bet Hao 5 not 100% native 4K though on Xbox One X but a dynamic resolution that scales from 1080p to 4K depending on workload. This is a game that runs at 60 fps after all and I don't think even the Xbox One X can run this at a locked 4K and 60 fps without some kind of dynamic scaling due to its weak Jaguar CPU. Guess we'll see... Reply -8
  • The Tomorrow Children shuts down in November

  • Darren 06/07/2017

    The Tomorrow Children had a really nice and unusual visual style but the actual game itself was dull beyond belief with repetitive tasks and far too much waiting around. And to think I actually paid for it too as I bought it for 15 not realising that it was actually a free-to-play game. Needless to say I've learnt my lesson and am more careful when buying games now on the PS Store. Reply +1
  • Micro Machines World Series review

  • Darren 30/06/2017

    I bought this for PC thinking it would have at least a single player mode to equal, say, Toybox Turbo. How wrong I was! This is a nice looking, decently playing (if overly weapon-focused) racing game that is primarily multiplayer and even then the modes on offer made me have to double check it wasn't in Early Access. Extremely disappointing really. :( Reply +1
  • Crash Bandicoot on PS4: retro gameplay meets state-of-the-art visuals

  • Darren 29/06/2017

    I've just played the first eight levels of the first Crash Bandicoot on my PS4 Pro. The game certainly looks very nice; funnily enough, it looks how I remember it but that's testament to how well Vicarious Visions have updated the games' visuals. The games play and feel mostly how I remember them but analogue controls definitely seem a bit "off" to me compared with using the D-pad. Also, for some reason I'm finding it difficult to find the right spot to hit boxes suspended in the air on the stages where you go into the screen; seems to be due to a lack of shadows cast by the game or possibly a collision detection bug since Crash can clearly be seen clipping through them when he jumps. Hmmmm....

    Biggest disappointment for me though is the framerate. Yeah, the originals were 30 fps so the remasters are faithful in that regard but 60 fps would definitely have made the game feel smoother and more responsive in my view. That it isn't running at 60 fps on the PS4 Pro is absolutely criminal if you ask me, especially after the trailer showed the game running at 60 fps! So why is the final game only running at 30 fps?

    I hope someone will remaster the Spyro games next as, those for me, where my favorite platform games on the original PlayStation plus they were fully 3D.
    Reply +1
  • Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy heading to Xbox One, according to Hungarian retailer

  • Darren 29/06/2017

    Let's hope this is true. These are old games, remastered, so it doesn't really make much sense to restrict them to just one platform now. The more platforms you release a game on, the more copies you sell and the larger the audience you can reach. It's not like Crash Bandicoot is a system seller these days anyway. Reply +7
  • TumbleSeed is toning down its difficulty after only 0.2 per cent of players could finish it

  • Darren 27/06/2017

    I've never really understood why developers set out to make intentionally challenging games rather than add a selection of difficulty levels to cater for everyone. If it's online then just restrict people to specific difficulties. The worst thing in the world is to spend money on a game, really enjoy playing it initially but find that it's so hard that you end up giving up on it part way through. The best games for me are those that allow me to adjust the difficulty as required during play so, for example, I can lower it temporarily for a tough boss I keep dying at and then raise it again afterwards. Yeah, technically it's cheating but if the alternative is never seeing the rest of the game then so be it. :D Reply +4
  • Nintendo confirms SNES mini, including never-released Starfox 2

  • Darren 26/06/2017

    Disappointing that they've not included the two Donkey Kong Country sequels, Killer Instinct, Castle of Illusion or Super Turrican, a few SNES classics just off the top of my head. Was expecting a lot more games to be included given their small size (by today's standards) and the relative cheapness of SD card storage these days. Reply -3
  • Spider-Man reaches new heights on PS4 Pro

  • Darren 26/06/2017

    The game does look great and Insomniac are a very talented developer so expectations are high with this one. However, it is a bit disappointing that it is targeting 30 fps rather than 60 fps. Yeah, I know Insomniac will no doubt deliver a smooth 30 fps with motion blur like Ratchet & Clank but even so Spider-Man with its faster pace and combat really would benefit from a higher framerate in my view.

    All this talk of 4K this and 4K that just feels like developers trying to run before they've learnt to walk. This generation should be targeting 1080p in my opinion and 60 fps for games such as this. It's not like the consoles are capable of rendering native 4K anyway; the vast majority of so-called 4K games use upscaling techniques from lower resolutions such as 1440p or 1600p, Even the Xbox One X will be doing this apart from the odd exclusive game such as Forza Motorsport 7 and less demanding indie titles.

    I own a high end PC with a GTX 1080 Ti and I play the majority of my games at 2560x1440 because they feel better to play at 60 fps (and higher, thanks to G-SYNC) and that is more important to me than 4K. Of course, if a game has the headroom then I will play it at 4K and 60+ fps, if not I drop the resolution to 1440p. It's a pity than console gamers don't get that choice too.
    Reply -3
  • Sega releases classic games on mobile, for free, but at what cost?

  • Darren 22/06/2017

    Oh dear. Tut, SEGA!

    Good job I don't play games on mobile devices, mainly because the idea of playing these games with on-screen controls makes for an extremely fiddly and unpleasant experience even if the game itself is well-optimised. I'd rather play these on proper handhelds like the Switch or PS Vita, thank you, but not if they run like crap!
    Reply 0
  • We went back to Super Mario Odyssey's demo and discovered even more

  • Darren 21/06/2017

    I think the game looks very good except for the New Dork City section which looks as jarring as the city level in Sonic Adventure did. It doesn't make sense for Mario, a cartoon character, to exist in a world of normal humans and I really don't understand why Nintendo didn't just go for making the city more in the style of a Mario game but still having people and cars going about their business. Yeah, I know we have movies such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit that mixed cartoons and live action successfully but it doesn't really work for Mario from what I've seen. New Dork City actually looks bland artistically compared with the other more imaginative and typically Mario-esque worlds. But maybe that's point? Reply 0
  • Nintendo Switch's new system update, as explained by Nintendo's helpful Switch mascot

  • Darren 20/06/2017

    Quote: "For a big numbered update we would have perhaps expected a little more - there's still no sign of cloud saving, for example."

    This is Nintendo though... they make may some of the best games in the world but in terms but when it comes to anything online they are about a decade behind everyone else! ;)
    Reply 0
  • Arms held back from chart top spot

  • Darren 19/06/2017

    I was surprised at how much I have enjoyed playing ARMS, even though most of the time it has been with conventional controls, but the game is definitely lacking on the single player front, something of a surprise for a first-party Nintendo game. There is no story mode and the characters, although well-designed and artistically interesting, are basically blank slates as far as personality and background history goes, plus there are only ten of them so variety is lacking too.

    Not a bad game by any means but I can see why it has only been getting 7s and 8s out of 10 instead of the usual 9s and 10s you expect from in-house developed Nintendo games.
    Reply +2
  • Xbox One X is $500 - so how much will next-gen consoles cost?

  • Darren 18/06/2017

    The thing is though that by the time the Xbox One X launches the PS4 Pro will likely be discounted to 299, making the price difference greater. Also, a year on I would expect a refresh console from a rival to be more powerful than the PS4 Pro just by virtue of being more up to date and newer. I'd be disappointed if it wasn't.

    I feel that Microsoft will struggle to sell this machine to anyone other than the hardcore fed up of being told the PS4 is the better and more powerful console. The average consumer is going to see two machines on the shelves that play the same games and many will opt for the cheaper Xbox One S (which also has an ultra HD Blu-ray player and HDR support). This is presumably why the PS4 Pro only accounts for 20% of total PS4 sales rather than replacing the base model even though it's the same price that the original PS4 launched at?

    Microsoft are releasing their new machine not at the same 429 price but 30 more! The Xbox One was heavily criticised for its pricing at launch and while this machine may be more powerful it's definitely going to be of limited appeal due to that price tag IMO. Of course, even if I don't buy one myself - I have a high-end PC that can play most of its games so I have no need to - then I do want it to sell if only so the PS4 Pro is better supported. At the moment, enhancements to Pro games are a bit of mess with some publishers going all out to support it with 4K and enhanced 1080p modes and others doing very little or restricting things like 4K downsampling to those with 4K TVs (which makes no sense since the games would run exactly the same downscaled to a 1080p TV, only with better image quality).

    Good luck to Microsoft but I feel this console may have come too late to make any real impact on Xbox One sales. Time will tell, I guess.
    Reply +4
  • Forza Motorsport 7: Xbox One X's true 4K showcase delivers

  • Darren 17/06/2017

    @Yautja_Warrior - Forza Horizon 4 will likely be 4K 30 FPS or 1080p 60 FPS (or with checkerboarding/upscaling to 4K) on Xbox One X. You will likely need to play it on PC to have native 4K and 60 FPS, which is already possible with Horizon 3 as that is how I play the game on my GTX 1080 Ti. Reply -1
  • Xbox One X looks stunning - but we need to see more

  • Darren 14/06/2017

    As a PC and multi-platform console gamer, the Xbox X lacks the exclusive games (that aren't available on PC) to justify buying it, especially at the eye-watering price of 449. I really like the look of it and would really like one, being a gadget freak, but I fear it will just end up being used as a passthrough for my Sky+HD box and not for games, just like my current Xbox One.

    I would rather play Forza Motorsport 7 on my PC at 4K and/or 60+ FPS on my G-SYNC monitor than on a console as mine is far more powerful than even the Xbox One X. It sounds like a contradiction but I applaud Microsoft for releasing Xbox games on PC after all these years of ignoring the platform (except for Windows) but at the same time I wish Xbox One had more exclusives to make buying the X a worthwhile proposition for me. I do want one after all, I just don't think I need one, is all. :confused:

    Knowing me I'll probably cave in and buy an Xbox One X anyway. All my colleagues at work reckon so anyway! :P
    Reply +3
  • Sony defends decision to block PS4 cross-play with Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

  • Darren 14/06/2017

    @_LarZen_ - That's exactly what I was thinking when I read the headline... :lol: Reply 0
  • The big interview: Xbox boss Phil Spencer

  • Darren 13/06/2017

    Although I don't have a 4K TV or an Ultra HD Blu-ray player, if I did then I would rather buy a standalone player rather than a games console, simply because they use far less power. It's why I have a Sony BD player for example even though I have a PS4 Pro, Xbox One and PC with BD drives. I never watch BDs or streamed content from my consoles when I have a device that uses a lot less power and loads/starts up quicker too.

    As such, if I bought a 4K TV and wanted to watch 4K content on it then I would likely buy a standalone Sony UltraHD BD player rather than an Xbox One X. As far as 4K gaming in concerned, I already have capable hardware in the form of my PC which has a GTX 1080 Ti graphics card and it is far more powerful than the Xbox One X (it has a better CPU for sure!). The Xbox One X, which intriguing hardware, is basically a hard sell for me.

    At 450, the Xbox One X is just too expensive IMO and by the time it is released Sony will undoubtedly discount the PS4 Pro (and base PS4) to make it look even expensive. The original Xbox One at 429 was criticised for its pricing and gave Sony the sales advantage with the 80 cheaper PS4. I can see exactly the same thing happening with Xbox One X with less informed customers opting for PS4 Pro over it because it is advertised as doing the same thing, i.e. 4K gaming, but at a much cheaper price.

    I wish Microsoft all the best with Xbox One X but this late into the Xbox One's life cycle it comes a bit too late IMO. I suspect it may struggle to sell in the numbers needed to guarantee support from every publisher (even the PS4 Pro doesn't have this). Still, it should make for some interesting Digital Foundry articles if nothing else (I'm actually looking forward to seeing what the console can offer over and above what is possible on PS4 Pro even if I never buy one).
    Reply -8
  • Xbox One X promises a strong and stable line-up

  • Darren 12/06/2017

    I think the Xbox One X (the name needs more X's I think! ;) ) is too pricey at 450 in my opinion, especially when you consider that the original Xbox One was launched at 429 and did not sell very well compared with the cheaper PS4. When it launches I expect Sony will cut the price of the PS4 and PS4 Pro further to make the Xbox One X look even more expensive. It's pretty much a given really. Microsoft's advertising is going to have to be absolutely amazing if they want this machine to sell enough to justify developers supporting it, especially this late into the Xbox One's life. I personally think they should have aimed for a 399 price point as even that will be too expensive for most.

    I cannot help but feel that Microsoft are releasing the Xbox One X only so they can claim to have the most powerful console on the market and haven't really thought about who it is that is going to buy it. The PS4 Pro only accounts for 20% of PS4 sales, so I've read, and that is a console that costs 150 less than the Xbox One X. Somehow I cannot see it flying off the shelves no matter how good its specs are or how well supoorted it might be.

    I'm not even sure if I will buy one either but that's not because I don't think the hardware is impressive (it absolutely is but at a cost), no, it's more because I hardly use my Xbox One these days since Microsoft started releasing its games on PC as well. It's definitely good to see them treating the PC as a viable gaming platform after a decade of ignoring it but it's also a bad thing if people like me have no reason to actually buy it in the first place.
    Reply +6
  • WipEout series claims first ever UK chart top spot with Omega Collection

  • Darren 12/06/2017

    Well deserved in my opinion as it is a stunning game packed with content as well as top-notch remaster/port/conversion, whatever you want to call it.

    The original games were good on PS3 and PS Vita but suffered from various technical issues (slowdown, screen tearing, long loading times, etc) but there's a sense that they were perhaps a bit of head of their time and that the PS4 (and PS4 Pro) hardware are finally able to do these great games justice.

    A perfect collection IMO.
    Reply +7
  • Xbox is close to being a brilliant games platform, but it needs games to get it there

  • Darren 08/06/2017

    With the news that PS4 Pro sales only account for 20% of overall PS4 sales, I can't help but wonder how successful the Scorpio will be, bearing in mind that it is (a) stated by Microsoft to "not be cheap" (the PS4 Pro is IMO well priced for what you get as was the original PS4 at launch); (b) the fact that the Xbox One is lagging behind in sales anyway compared with the PS4; and (c) how late will be launching into the Xbox One's lifespan.

    Then there is the matter of exclusive games... or rather lack of them, which is why my Xbox One these days is somewhat ironically used the most out of all my consoles but only because it is setup as a passthrough for Sky+HD! Otherwise I rarely play any games on it these days, mostly because it seems like the majority of Xbox One games are also available on PC as well. While it is nice to have the option to play on a 40" HDTV with surround sound, something my PC doesn't have access to, given the choice between gaming at 900p and 30 fps or 1440p/4K downsampled at 60+ fps, especially now I own a 27" high refresh rate G-SYNC monitor, it isn't a difficult one to make!

    Supporting the PC for games after all these years of ignoring it was a surprising move by Microsoft but it, unfortunately, makes the console less appealing to own for people like myself who own multiple platforms. While the Scorpio hardware sounds awesome and a massive leap over Xbox One if there aren't any exclusive games worth buying it for then why should I bother buying it? I'm already seriously considering selling my Xbox One.

    Given the choice though, I would rather Microsoft continue to release Xbox One games on PC as well if only because it removes the need to own one more console for someone who typically buys them all anyway. For everyone else though, the Xbox One is a fine console if a bit lacking in exclusives and variety compared with the PS4 and its Japanese RPGs and other stuff like Tearaway, Horizon Zero Dawn, LittleBigPlanet 3, Gravity Rush 2, WipEout, etc.
    Reply +23
  • WipEout at 4K 60fps is PS4 Pro at its best

  • Darren 07/06/2017

    I got my copy of the game yesterday and played about two hours of the game.

    It's a beautiful package altogether with the game excelling technically (a locked 60 fps and 4K downsampling on my 1080p HDTV and PS4 Pro) with zero screen tearing and fast loading times. I feel I should also mention the packaging too, which compromises of a standard plastic amaray case with a lovely cardboard slip that mirrors the look of the original PlayStation CD case! It's awesome and better still the slipcase fits the very nice looking steelbook case (at first I thought ShopTo.net had sent me two copies of the game but the steelbook is just an empty case).

    Terrific game. I love the way you can quickly switch between the three different games (2048, HD and Fury) without having to reload the game like you do with most other remastered collections of two or more games. The collection would have been perfect if it had also included remastered versions of the first three games as well but maybe Sony have plans to release that at a later date? I hope so as it would be nice to be able to play all the games on PS4 with remastered visuals.
    Reply +4
  • PS4 is three times more popular than Xbox One in Europe, Sony claims

  • Darren 06/06/2017

    I'm not really that surprised really.

    I own all three current consoles (Xbox One, PS4 Pro and Switch) and of the two older platforms I have by far the fewest games on Xbox One, simply because it has the least exclusives (the only games I've been buying on that platform). Everything else I can either get on PS4 Pro, where the game usually runs or looks better (higher framerate/resolution) or I can get for the PC. This is made worst by the far that almost all new Xbox One games are now available on PC so I play Gears of War 4, Quantum Break and Forza Horizon 3 on that platform rather than console even though the games are also installed to my Xbox One. It is both fantastic that Microsoft are supporting the PC so well like this after so many years of neglecting it but at the same time it means I have even fewer reasons to really own an Xbox One, even Scorpio when it comes later this year.

    If anyone asks me to recommend a console then I always say the PS4 because it is more powerful and can run games better but also because it has, IMO, a better range of exclusives, including Japanese RPGs like Persona 5, WipEout, Tales of series, Horizon Zero Dawn (quite possibly the best game this generation) and so on. Also because it has sold so well then every multiformat game gets released on it. It's very easy to recommend on that basis.

    Microsoft still have that uncool image IMO not helped by the disastrous unveiling of the Xbox One where it was depicted as a media system first and a games console second. At launch it was too expensive due to Kinect (look how well that turned out?) and that gave the PS4 the advantage it needed to leap ahead in sales. I doubt the Scorpio will change things either as it is going to be too expensive for most people. The Pro is the same price as the PS4 at launch (I believe) and that was well priced even then IMO for what you got because Sony prioritised the games and everything else second and dropped the silly waggle factor which even at that time was not popular.
    Reply +9
  • WipEout Omega Collection review

  • Darren 05/06/2017

    I've been having a blast playing the superb Formula Fusion on PC, I believe made by some of the developers of the original Wipeout games, but I cannot wait to play the real deal on my PS4 Pro. The PS3 and PS Vita games were great but had issues such as long loading times and/or screen tearing so I'm hoping this remaster is the definitive version. Reply +9
  • How does Tekken 7 scale across PS4, Xbox One and PC?

  • Darren 04/06/2017

    720p and even 864p for the base consoles is pretty poor IMO and I suspect the real issue is that Unreal Engine 4 isn't perhaps as suited for platforms with low-spec CPUs as, say, Unreal Engine 3 is. Injustice 3 looks far better than Tekken 7 in my opinion yet it still manages to run at a locked 60 fps at 1080p on base PS4 while pushing higher fidelity visuals.

    I wasn't aware of the low resolutions used in the game but luckily I picked the game up for PC, mostly because I haven't played a Tekken game on anything other than PlayStation before, where it is capable of running at 4K on my system. Looks good, though certainly not amazing IMO, and plays well though.
    Reply +3
  • Friday the 13th review

  • Darren 01/06/2017

    Meh. The fact that this is multiplayer only at launch put me off buying it but from what I've seen of it on YouTube the game looks pretty terrible and very buggy anyway. And those facial expressions? Dear lord, Mass Effect: Andromeda, all is forgiven!

    A wasted opportunity, me thinks. They could have made a really strong single player game and ditched online multiplayer altogether, something like the awesome Alien Isolation, where the focus is on exploring, surviving and stealth mechanics not dull online gameplay. If they had then I might have bought it.
    Reply -7
  • Mass Effect Andromeda fans excited by new hint at quarian DLC

  • Darren 26/05/2017

    I really don't get all the hate for Mass Effect: Andromeda.

    Well I do, it's seems to stem from the reaction to the game's janky animations and oddly animated faces at launch rather than because the game itself is bad. I've been really enjoying it so far on PC (about 30+ hours) and while it doesn't measure up to the original trilogy in terms of quests or characters, certainly not the second (which is my favourite), it's still very entertaining with good combat and some really impressive environments to explore.

    EA just released it before it was finished properly so if sales were poor then they only have themselves to blame IMO. I think another 6 to 9 months of polishing and perfecting and this game could have been really special instead of merely good.
    Reply +3
  • There's FIFA 18 - and there's EA Sports FIFA on the Nintendo Switch

  • Darren 26/05/2017

    I hope the Switch doesn't suffer from the same lacklustre FIFA ports that the PS Vita had; basically EA just kept re-releasing the original FIFA Football game from its launch with updated teams and players and little else. I guess that was better than not having any game at all, especially as the PS Vita didn't sell very well.

    Hopefully the Switch will sell well enough for EA to actually put effort into its portable version of FIFA this time round.
    Reply +3
  • Injustice 2 didn't need a story mode, but it delivered a blockbuster anyway

  • Darren 24/05/2017

    Headlines like this: "Injustice 2 doesn't need a story mode but it delivered one" is why some developers choose to focus on online/multiplayer over single player content (Capcom, I'm looking at you and Street Fighter V at launch!). Please don't encourage them! I would not have bought Injustice 2 if it didn't have the Story Mode!

    I enjoy fighting games but I don't play them online (or even in local multiplayer for that matter) so my decision whether to buy them or not lies solely on whether they have enough single player content to justify buying them. Thankfully, Mortal Kombat and Injustice make an effort in this area and are packed with solo content that I've really enjoyed.
    Reply +6
  • Shadow Warrior 2 is fine on consoles but lacks key features

  • Darren 23/05/2017

    It's a great game and one that I really enjoyed playing on my PC. I actually thought it was a better game personally than the remastered original and it certainly looked and ran superbly.

    However, I wouldn't say this game was high-profile really compared with, say, Prey, Mass Effect: Andromeda or Fallout 4. It's pricing reflects that too, being 10 cheaper than most other new releases on PC from the bigger publishers. I think that is why there is no PS4 Pro support. It's simply a lower budget game that the developers likely didn't have time to add PS4 Pro support to.

    Speaking of which; while I like my PS4 Pro, I am disappointed in the lack of support the console is getting and I sense that Sony should be doing more to ensure that all games, for example, support 4K whether you have a 4K TV or not (for bonus downsampling). They should also include options to run at 4K or 1080p with improved framerates or graphics settings. At the moment it seems like there's no consistency in this area with some games offering multiple options (Final Fantasy XV, Horizon Zero Dawn, Rise of the Tomb Raider, etc) and some games forgoing the downsampling option on 1080p TVs altogether which makes absolutely no sense at all. This is one area where I think Microsoft will do better with Scorpio so I really hope Sony are paying attention. ;)
    Reply +1
  • Injustice 2 on PS4 Pro is the best way to play

  • Darren 22/05/2017

    Just when you think that Unreal Engine 3 is getting tired and dated a game comes along using it to prove otherwise... The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (original PC release before it was updated to UE4), Outlast 2 and now this game, which is hard to imagine looking any better on the newer engine. Really impressive stuff, especially the facial closeups and cutscenes. Looking forward to this coming to PC where hopefully it will run at 60 FPS throughout. Reply +5
  • Extra Nintendo Switch dock costs 80

  • Darren 22/05/2017

    80 for the dock is an absolute rip-off in my view. It has no internal components as such; it's just a piece of plastic with a passthrough for HDMI and a couple of USB ports. But then I am not surprised at the pricing at all as most of the other Switch peripherals and accessories are overpriced too.

    It's no wonder Nintendo are always profitable... ;)
    Reply +5