Darren Comments

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  • Telltale's The Walking Dead PS4, Xbox One release date delayed in Europe

  • Darren 21/10/2014

    @arty - Good question. Even the PC version has this issue so in all likelihood the answer to that will be: Yes! Reply 0
  • The pre-patch Evil Within we hope you'll never play

  • Darren 21/10/2014

    This sort of thing does make me wonder what will happen in ten years time when the servers are turned off and we want to revisit a classic single player console game from 2013/2014. Are we going to have to essentially play broken games because we can no longer download any of these patches, including these Day One versions? :confused: Reply +26
  • Two discs "wasn't practical" for Halo: Master Chief Collection

  • Darren 21/10/2014

    Well I am not interested in playing Halo ME online only the campaigns so I don't even really need the 20 GB content update from the sounds of it but I'll likely leave it downloading overnight anyway just for completeness.

    Still doesn't change the fact that the game should have shipped on two discs though. If the Xbox One doesn't support that feature then there's no reason Microsoft could not have added it in via one of the monthly firmware update ahead of the game's release. This is the Xbox's flagship franchise after all and as such making everyone who buys the game on disc have to download getting on to a third of the game to get the full version just screams of cost-cutting to me.
    Reply +3
  • Valve pulls game from Steam following dev's tweet threatening Gabe Newell

  • Darren 21/10/2014

    I will never understand why people get so worked up that they resort to being immature and sweary.

    I mean I have often being annoyed with the ineptitude of clients at work and video game suppliers and game developers but I always complain in a reasonable manner, expressing my annoyance/anger but without resorting to name calling, death threats or swearing.

    I think this whole affairs says more about the developer than it does Valve IMO.
    Reply +15
  • UK gov changing law to get tough on internet trolling

  • Darren 20/10/2014

    @the_dudefather - You don't go to prison for speaking the TRUTH! ;) Reply -1
  • "Majority" of DriveClub owners can now connect online

  • Darren 20/10/2014

    All the issues would not be so bad if the game itself was superb but it is just a very, very ordinary arcade racing game with few redeeming qualities other than some nice-looking visuals. It is also missing notable features which I take for granted in a 2014 racing game, namely replays, weather and decent A.I.!

    Even when I can get online, I just cannot help but be disappointed by this game. It just feels incredibly dated IMO. :(
    Reply -2
  • Face-Off: The Evil Within

  • Darren 17/10/2014

    @DAN.E.B - The Order 1886 says hi! ;)

    You can guarantee that if The Evil Within and The Order 1886 sell well that we will see more letterboxed games in future, especially if helps developers to push out better-looking games on the more limited console hardware.
    Reply 0
  • Darren 17/10/2014

    It does read like the id Tech 5 engine is an ill-fit for this game, especially the use of transcoding for the mega-textures which relies on a decent CPU and that is clearly a weak area on the new consoles because of their AMD Jaguar cores. On the PC, NVIDIA graphics card owners get the benefit of CUDA-accelerated GPU transcoding, or for everyone else generally more powerful CPUs for the transcoding.

    As for id Tech 5, well I can't honestly say that I've been that impressed with even on PC. The megatexture technology - non-repeating textures - sounds like a great idea in theory but when they often look like they're circa 2004 then I would rather have traditional texturing, thank you very much. The Frostbite engine or even Unreal Engine 3 (just check out how good The Vanishing of Ethan Carter looks on PC) might have been a better choice for this game really on the consoles.
    Reply +32
  • Night at the Museum director tapped to helm Minecraft movie

  • Darren 17/10/2014

    They're making a movie out of the Minecraft license?!? REALLY??? :eek:

    Whatever next? Train Simulator 2015: The Movie? SimCity: The Movie? The Sims Movie? Quick someone give me the number of the patent office before someone steals my ideas! :lol:
    Reply 0
  • Apple unveils iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 3, iMac Retina 5K, new Mac Mini

  • Darren 17/10/2014

    @JamesSwiftDay - EG do review iPad/iPhone games though so it's not like this article is completely irrelevant! ;) Reply 0
  • Darren 17/10/2014

    Looks like the Apple Store is being updated right now so hopefully when it comes back the new iPad pre-orders will be live! Soooooooo excited! :D Reply 0
  • Darren 17/10/2014

    @sloth09 - The Retina mini 3 apparently still has 1 GB of RAM but then it is also using last year's A7 processor as well.

    I suspect the Air 2 will also still have 1 GB of RAM too but Apple do not usually mention RAM in the iPad's specs, for whatever reason.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 17/10/2014

    I'm planning on pre-ordering a 128 GB iPad Air 2 as a replacement for my much used and much loved iPad 4, which was not only my first tablet but is probably the best piece of hardware I've ever bought as I used it every day for at least 2-3 hours per day.

    It is good to see Apple dropping the prices a bit even if the iPad is still expensive compared with other tablets out there (IMO, the build quality and reliability make that extra cost worthwhile though). I was expecting to pay 650 for the 128 GB Air 2 as the 128 GB Retina mini 2 last year cost me 550 but that is the price the Air 2 is selling at. :)

    Apple really should drop the 16 GB models though and start with 32 GB as the base model for the same price. It also makes more sense to have 32/64/128 GB models than 16/64/128 GB ones! :confused:

    When does the online pre-order go live here in the UK? All I can find out is that it will be available to pre-order today (17th October 2014) but, right now, the iPad Air 2 shows as unavailable.
    Reply +5
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection has 20GB day one patch to unlock multiplayer

  • Darren 17/10/2014

    Just why are patches so mega-huge on Xbox One? Forza Motorsport 5: 6 GB, Dead Rising 3: 16 GB, Wolfenstein: The New Order: 5.5 GB are just a few off the top of my head and now this 20 GB patch.

    What is especially aggravating on Xbox One is the way these patches usually have to be downloaded BEFORE you can even install the game. On the PS4, you can at least play the games quickly, usually after a few minutes, while the patch downloads in the background. At least, 343 have taken this into account for this game but even so most publishers don't.
    Reply +11
  • Project Cars delayed until March 2015 to avoid competition, raise quality

  • Darren 17/10/2014

    It's what Evolution/Sony should have done with Driveclub in my view... ;) Reply +8
  • PlayStation 4 system update adds USB background music

  • Darren 17/10/2014

    Will the PS4 only be able to play music from a USB stick or will that include hard drives as well? Obviously, the larger capacity hard drives allow for the storage of far more music than USB sticks. Reply +2
  • The Evil Within review

  • Darren 17/10/2014

    @cyacomini - I think it's more that the reviewer has not mentioned the issues or isn't bothered by them.

    How else do you explain why not ONE single review mentioned the stuttering cutscenes in Alien: Isolation, a game that was mainly reviewed on PS4 (including by EG), a platform badly affected by this issue.
    Reply +11
  • Is it possible to run The Evil Within on PC at a locked 1080p60?

  • Darren 16/10/2014

    @MesonW - id Tech games don't support SLI/CFX; it's something to do with the engine's use of transcoding - used to process the megatextures - which only works properly on a single GPU. That's why RAGE and Wolfenstein: The New Order don't properly support multi-GPU setups. Reply +4
  • Darren 16/10/2014

    If this game was jaw-droppingly good-looking visually then I could understand why it would struggle to run at 1080p and 60 FPS but, while the game does look good, it certainly isn't anywhere close to the graphical fidelity of, say, Ryse: Son of Rome or Battlefield 4 in terms of detail, and both of those can handle 1080p60 on decent hardware.

    Sounds to me like the game is very poorly optimised and that is why the developers opted for a more cinematic presentation to try to mask the performance issues. It may also be that id Tech 5 was not the best choice of engine for this game...

    Incidentally, this is id Tech running on DirectX 11 according to MSI Afterburner's on-screen display and not the usual OpenGL. Could that be the real reason for the poor performance when other id Tech games, using OpenGL, have managed 1080p and 60 FPS with ease?
    Reply +7
  • Performance Analysis: The Evil Within

  • Darren 16/10/2014

    @George-Roper - Even 4K (3840x2160) only requires 2.9 GB from the benchmarks I've read so Bethesda clearly got their facts wrong about the VRAM requirements for the PC version of this game. No surprise there then! :) Reply +2
  • Darren 15/10/2014

    So now we know the REAL reason for the cinematic letterboxed presentation...at least on the consoles! And it is shocking that the Xbox One version is not running at the same resolution as the PS4 version considering a big chunk of the screen is taken up by black borders. I suspect that is more down to a lack of experience by the Japanese developers with a western engine than an issue with the hardware though.

    Glad I went for the PC version which at the time of writing will soon have a third-party app called Flawless Widescreen which will allow the game to be played fullscreen with the correct FOV, i.e. not zoomed in.
    Reply +6
  • Microsoft rolls out Xbox One October system update

  • Darren 16/10/2014

    @A_FAN - How about 75+ like me? ;)

    Granted, disc games automatically jump to the front upon inserting into the drive slot but downloaded games are becoming a bit of a chore to find.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 16/10/2014

    @A_FAN - You can only see them in the order you played them unfortunately. Reply +7
  • Darren 16/10/2014

    I noticed my Xbox One had updated this morning as it has a new Friends section between Home and Store. That is a definite improvement but personally I would like another for the Games and Apps section too rather than having to load an app to access all the content that I cannot have in the Pins section due to the restriction on the number you can have there. I didn't get the chance to check out the DLNA streaming but I am pleased that Microsoft have added it at long last. The console just needs proper custom soundtrack and themes/backgrounds support and it will have everything I need. :)

    The way everything loads as apps is a continuing annoyance though and makes the interface feel a bit clunky in comparison to the PS4's. However, Sony are definitely dragging their heels adding features back to the PS4 so that console's interface is far from being perfect even if it does feel fast and responsive compared with the Xbox One.
    Reply -15
  • Assassin's Creed: Rogue is more than the cash-grab it could have been

  • Darren 16/10/2014

    Honestly, this game sounds more appealing to me than Unity! :lol:

    Might skip Unity on PS4 and just buy Rogue when it released on PC next year. :)
    Reply +3
  • Shadow of Mordor patch adds versatile Photo Mode

  • Darren 16/10/2014

    I was playing around with the Photo Mode in the PS4 version last night and it is almost exactly the same, in terms of features, as the ones in The Last of Us and inFamous: Second Son/First Light. You get some really nice shots with it, especially if you press down L3 while you're in combat and in the middle of beheading an urk!!! :D Reply +1
  • DriveClub dev "had confidence" servers would work

  • Darren 16/10/2014

    @chubster2010 - Polygon will rescore a game if it has problems post-launch. They did this with last year's NBA 2K14 for example.

    I wish more sites would do this to be honest because these reviews are usually done before the game's official release when the servers are not under stress so this may not be typical of the actual experience we have to put up with. That was definitively the case with Driveclub unfortunately.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 16/10/2014

    @dogmanstaruk - And quite right too IMO. Reply 0
  • Darren 16/10/2014

    There was a 155 MB patch released late last night/early this morning for this game but when I tried I could not download it. Kept repeatedly getting one of those CE number errors. I deleted it, turned my PS4 off, activated my PS4 as my Primary console (again!) and it still refuses to download for some reason despite Minecraft and Middle-earth: SoM patches downloading fine last night.

    Is this yet another server error because I have never not been able to download a patch until today? :confused:
    Reply 0
  • Darren 13/10/2014

    @tidy-spidey - Because I do not want to view the replay from the angle I played the game at, that's why! I might want to watch another driver, say if there was a big crash, or admire the game from different, more cinematic camera angle that shows off the game's gorgeous looking environments.

    But even if I didn't mind using the Share button's Video option, it is hardly the easiest or most efficient way to view a race replay, is it? ;)
    Reply +4
  • Darren 13/10/2014

    @kaisersoser - +1

    Very good post.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 13/10/2014

    @alabtrosMyster - I don't think Driveclub was trying to be like Forza though so the lack of tuning options is not so bad; it is an arcade racer after all not a simulation.

    However, one thing that is does puzzle me is that you cannot easily change the Factory colour of your car during the Tour mode; you have to go back out of that mode and into the main menu to access the Garage then navigate through the various options there to create up to four custom colours by selecting None under the design option. If you want any more colours then you have to go back to the Garage and edit the existing ones. Take about user-unfriendly! :lol:

    Would it really have been that difficult for Evolution to have offered a choice of Factory colours when selecting the car in the Tour mode?

    Apparently so...
    Reply +1
  • Darren 13/10/2014

    @dogmanstaruk - Really? I knew that the weather was being patched in but had not read anything about them adding in a photo mode and replays as well. If that's true then the game was most definitely and conclusively released unfinished and rushed out in the run up to Chrtistmas.

    It's not that I don't believe you but do you have a link from Evolution that confirms what you've written please? Thanks.
    Reply 0
  • Darren 13/10/2014

    @Drygore - Well the graphics are the game's strongest feature in my view; the pre-race fly-by shows off the detailed environments and draw distance beautifully plus the cars look really nice in the superfluous but short sequence where you are seen climbing into your vehicle.

    However, I do have a slight issue with seeing some of the tracks clearly in the distance, to the point where I'm having to constantly look at the map to see where upcoming corners are. This is not a problem I have with Forza Horizon 2 and I think that is due to not having a racing line. There are red and yellow flags to indicate corners but they are not always clearly visible when racing at high speed and certainly not at night.

    Purists will no doubt argue that the coloured flags are a more realistic indicator of corners and speed, and they encourage real skill since you have to really learn the tracks. They have a point but I would still have liked the option to have had a racing line too, at least until I had learnt the tracks.
    Reply -2
  • Darren 13/10/2014

    @muzzakus - The 30 FPS is absolutely fine and the game has a wonderful sense of speed, just like Forza Horizon 2. Also controller response is tight and precise, no problems there either.

    The framerate is the least of this game's problems in my view.
    Reply +25
  • F1 2014 review

  • Darren 15/10/2014

    @alistairtaylor - F1 '97 on PS1, in spite of its bugs, and F1 World Grand Prix on N64 were two of my favourite F1 racing games. Reply +5
  • Darren 15/10/2014

    I've got to agree with others that Codemasters have been going steadily downhill since they became a racing game only studio. They seem to be relying too much on churning out annual sequels with little to not real improvements (plus a ton of bugs!) and their other attempts at "spin-offs" such as F1 Race Stars and DiRT Showdown were bloody awful IMO.

    It wasn't that long ago that I used to look forward to a Codemasters game on PC as they were one of the first developers to fully support DirectX 11 with DiRT but now their games just all feel very samey and iterative. :(
    Reply +10
  • Darren 15/10/2014

    Hmmm, kind of lost interest in these games around F1 2011/2012 due to the lack of any real improvement to the racing model except for updated drivers and tracks. That said, this latest game sounds like a definite step backwards but maybe that's because the real effort has gone into the PS4 and Xbox One version which is due out later? Reply +4
  • Shovel Knight heads to 3DS and Wii U in Europe next month

  • Darren 15/10/2014

    About time...I held off buying the game for PC because I feel this would be a perfect title to play on the Wii U's controller screen. Glad I decided to wait. Reply 0
  • Killer Instinct Season 2 details emerge

  • Darren 14/10/2014

    @RAWRferal - Sorry...what? :lol: Reply 0
  • Standalone Glacier White PS4 goes on sale in the UK this Friday

  • Darren 14/10/2014

    I think Sony have missed an opportunity there to add a larger 1 TB hard drive and still sell the PS4 for 350, i.e. better value. Sure, you can upgrade the PS4 to a larger drive but that will be at extra cost. Reply +3
  • The Evil Within PC debug console commands unlock god mode, infinite ammo, more

  • Darren 14/10/2014

    @Simatron3000 - A 4 GB NVIDIA GTX 980 on an i7-4770K, 16 GB, Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit system. :) Reply +1
  • Darren 14/10/2014

    And this is the reason why I bought the PC version this morning (23 from GameSeek) as I wanted the option of playing fullscreen and without a 30 FPS cap. :D Reply +4
  • Saints Row: The Cooler was a motion-controlled brawler spin-off

  • Darren 14/10/2014

    Probably for the best then... ;) Reply +2
  • Face-Off: Alien: Isolation

  • Darren 13/10/2014

    First of all, I can confidently say that Alien: Isolation is one, if not the most unnerving and tense games I've ever played - I'm literally terrified playing this game and want to run into a locker and just stay there - and that to me means this is easily the best use of the Alien license to date. The game isn't perfect, the understandable lack of a manual save option can make replaying sections over and over an exercise in patience at times and the Alien A.I. sometimes gets stuck on things which breaks the spell a little, but the game does a far better job of conveying the movie atmosphere than any other game to date. Aliens: Colonial Marines, this ain't...thank goodness! Thank you for that, Creative Assembly.

    With that said, I'm very annoyed that this single player only game, whose main mode is the Story campaign, has uber-jerky cutscenes on the PS4. It is inexcusable IMO to release a game in that state regardless of what the reasons are for it happening (apparently it is caused by the game downloading the data for the next level while it is playing the cutscene). It's incredibly distracting and it was the first think I noticed shortly after starting a new game. It really doesn't make for a great first impression, does it? :confused:

    What's worse is that not ONE single review mentioned this issue despite most being based on the PS4 version. Why was this issue not reported by the media? Did reviewers have a different build of the game? Were they asked by SEGA to keep quiet about that issue on the promised of it being fixed for launch? What?

    Although, Digital Foundry say the PC version is also affected, I've found that on my system the game plays cutscenes smoothly for 99% of the time. Certainly I have not noticed any stuttering apart from the start of the opening cutscene for 5 seconds or so. That might be because I have the game installed to a separate SATAIII hard drive away from my main Steam library (since it allows you to do that now) and it isn't on my C: drive either (which is actually an SSD). The PC version is definitely the one to go for IMO and it seems to run well even on moderate hardware according to the many benchmarks I've seen. It is disappointing that the PS4 version doesn't run at 1080p and 60 FPS though as Metro Redux managed that and arguably had a lot more going on at times in terms of enemies and so on.

    Finally, why doesn't Ripley cast a shadow? It does break the illusion of being there somewhat when you look down and see what appears to be a pair of floating legs because she has no shadow at all. What a missed opportunity there to have players literally jumping at the sight of their own shadow. Remember The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay? That was also a first person stealth game that came out on the first Xbox in 2004 (a decade ago!) and had superb shadows, including one rendered by Riddick himself. Here in 2014, we have a first person game with a character that doesn't react naturally to the game's lighting at all. She may as well be a ghost! ;)
    Reply 0
  • Face-Off: Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

  • Darren 13/10/2014

    Does anyone, a moderator perhaps, know how to contact Digital Foundry or Richard Leadbetter directly please?

    I wanted to ask them a question about the PS4's Display Area Setting, in particular the reason why only two PS4 games so far (Driveclub and MLB 14: The Show) run with a black border around them if you don't adjust that setting to the edges of your TV screen (a 1080p TV, I might add, that is already at fullscreen 1:1 pixel mapping with NO overscan).

    Thanks.
    Reply 0
  • Darren 13/10/2014

    @Retro_ - I expect GTA V will look and run great on PS4 and Xbox One myself. The PS4 trailer certainly looks as good as I'd hoped it would; better even.

    I'm hoping for a locked 30 FPS at 1080p on PS4 but I've have read that the game may be 60 FPS but that seems unlikely for an open world sandbox-style game such as this one.
    Reply +8
  • Darren 13/10/2014

    I was disappointed with the PS4 version over the weekend as not only is there a chuggy inconsistent framerate but there is also noticeable screen tearing too. At night and in the rain, the game feels more like a slideshow than this article suggests (definitely feels lower to me than 25 FPS). As if that wasn't bad enough, all of the cutscenes I've seen so far suffer from distracting amounts of stuttering too, something this article makes no mention of (unless I missed it). It's not as bad as Alien: Isolation's cutscene jerking issue but it nevertheless gives the game a rough look, not helped by the fact that there are mission-breaking bugs too.

    It's a good game still but this port just doesn't feel very well optimised for the PS4 at all and feels more like a quick cash-in by Square-Enix before GTA V comes out on PS4 and Xbox One next month. And the game should have been the same 19.99 RRP on PS4 and Xbox One as PC as well. Asking 35+ for this is a bit cheeky/greedy in my opinion.
    Reply +44
  • Alien: Isolation enters UK chart in second place

  • Darren 13/10/2014

    @Guy.J. - It's easy to edit a video to show when a game's A.I. does work but I can say, hand on heart, that this game's A.I. is either bad, broken or downright aggressive depending on your tolerance level. ;)

    I have not played a single race yet where a car behind has not crashed into me several times in an effort to overtake me on or near to the racing line. I could forgive it if it only happened infrequently but it happens far too often and quickly becomes really annoying, especially if you're trying for a Clean Lap.
    Reply 0
  • Darren 13/10/2014

    Sleeping Dogs: Definitely Not Definitive Edition enters at 13?

    Unlucky, but having played the game on PS4 over the weekend, it probably deserves to be as it is a good game but one that has been lazily ported over with some frustrating bugs. The game frequently struggles to run at 30 FPS; at night and in the rain it feels like a slideshow complete with screen tearing (yuck!), and even the cutscenes stutter and jerk, though not as badly as Alien: Isolation admittedly.

    I would advise anyone interested in this game on PS4 or Xbox One wait and buy it when it is cheap. This is a quick cash-in that has not been optimised very well for the new consoles in my experience. And the Definitive Edition is still the PC version by the way, which not only looks and runs much better on respectable hardware but can be bought much cheaper as well. ;)
    Reply +4