Darren Comments

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  • American Truck Simulator review

  • Darren 03/02/2016

    @bad09 - No I haven't as I never even considered that as an option. It is possible that the issue is a side-effect of me previously having used the Xbox 360 controller. Thanks for the suggestion... I will check it out later. :) Reply +2
  • Darren 03/02/2016

    I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Euro Truck Simulator 2 when I picked it up cheap in a Steam sale. It is a very relaxing game to play and I love just driving from A to B delivering goods while chilling out to a custom soundtrack. It goes without saying that I immediately picked up American Truck Simulator yesterday.

    Initial impressions are that it is another good game but it is perhaps disappointing, though not unsurprisingly similar to ETS2 to the extent that the presentation, complete with blurry, ugly fonts, and the slightly dated DirectX 9 engine are exactly the same. Sure, the scenery is different, being set in sunny California, and there are weighing stations but this is really a reskin IMO. Still at 15, it is really priced as an expansion anyway but I would liked to have seen some improvements to the actual engine considering how old ETS2 is. DirectX 11 support would have been nice for starters.

    Also, since upgrading to Windows 10 Pro last July, I've found that my Xbox One controller no longer works properly with this game as my truck will move forward on its own without having to press the right trigger!!! In fact, the only way to get the truck to stop completely is to press and hold down LT (???) so something clearly is not right there. My recommendation if you are wanting to play this game with a controller is to either avoid Windows 10 altogether or use the better supported Xbox 360 controller, which in all likelihood works fine with this game still. The Xbox One controller, alarmingly, seems to have a lot of issues with Windows 10 though most of these are with Unity Engine games.
    Reply +2
  • Ark: Survival Evolved patch looks to improve frame-rate on Xbox One

  • Darren 01/02/2016

    The game runs abysmally on my PC (i7-4770K, 16 GB, GTX 980 Ti) in spite of numerous patches (which are pretty much daily) and the fact that, even maxed out, it does not look that great graphically IMO. Certainly not when you consider the hardware it is running on.

    It is in Early Access though so hopefully the framerate will be fixed for final release and, maybe... maybe, the additional of DX12 support (which is constantly delayed) will improve things further?
    Reply +3
  • Dragon's Dogma on PC is a HD remaster in all but name

  • Darren 26/01/2016

    I really enjoyed this game on PS3 despite its poor framerate so I jumped at the chance to buy the PC version, especially as it was cheap anyway. So far, I have not been disappointed. Graphically the game does look understandably dated and despite the longer draw distance, there is still noticeable pop in, but I can live with those as the game is a lot of fun even when played solo as I do.

    My biggest gripe with the game though is the audio mix which is way too quiet compared with every other game. I have to crank the volume right up to hear it which means everything else is then too loud! I do have a 2.1 stereo speaker/sub-woofer setup but because there is no audio option in the game to switch to Stereo output it may be because the game is outputting only surround sound. Anyone else having this issue?
    Reply +1
  • Best-selling Steam games of 2015 list has a few surprises

  • Darren 05/01/2016

    @Blackmarsh63 - Agreed.

    Often I find that it is only when Sony and Microsoft have sales and publishers discount their games heavily then the prices are reasonable. Other than cheaper indie games, I do not buy digital games on my PS4 or Xbox One but I am almost entirely digital now on PC.

    That is due to two reasons, one, games are much harder to find on disc on PC these days (and some discs simply have a launcher to download the game anyway making them completely pointless) or are released weeks/months after the digital version and, two, I can go to CDKeys or GreenManGaming and pick up games for 20-25% less than what they sell for on Steam, Origin or Uplay.

    And Steam Sales are a great place to pick up cheap games as well, something that neither the PS4 nor XBO have (though cheaper boxed games can be bought from the likes of Amazon, etc.).
    Reply +3
  • Xbox One wireless controller adaptor now supports Windows 7, 8.1

  • Darren 11/12/2015

    @DwarfyP - Yes, of course, I know as that is how I was originally using the controller before the Wi-Fi adaptor was released! The issues I described exist though whether you use the controller wired or wireless. Reply -1
  • Darren 11/12/2015

    @NewDuke - I have an Xbox One console as well so my PC controller is using the latest firmware from the last dashboard update.

    With compatible games the controller works flawlessly but there are a growing number of titles that don't work well, mostly from independent developers who use Unity. I have personally come across more issues with using the Xbox One controller with Windows in the last year than I have in the six years I have been using the Xbox 360 controller.

    That surprised me completely because I expected it to work exactly the same, given how similar they are, and especially with Windows 10 being promoted by Microsoft the gamer's operating system. That is why I posted what I did as I regret upgrading from my Xbox 360 pad now. If you do buy an Xbox One controller then keep hold of the 360 pad as well.
    Reply 0
  • Darren 11/12/2015

    Although the Xbox One controller is without a doubt a much nicer pad than the Xbox 360 controller, especially the D-pad, I would recommend sticking with the latter for Windows gaming if you want the most hassle-free and compatible PC gaming experience.

    Since upgrading to Windows 10, I have come across a really annoying issue with the Xbox One controller, which mostly affects Unity Engine games. The issue is that the controller acts as if the left analogue stick is being pushed resulting in characters moving to the left or the camera spinning constantly. It renders affected games unplayable (Beyond Eyes is unplayable for example). Some developers have addressed the issues with updates (e.g. Ori and the Blind Forest) and other games such as Grandia II (which does not use Unity) have workarounds built in to bypass the issues. I also picked up Jade Empire free on Origin a couple of days ago only to discover that too does not work with the Xbox One controller as the camera just spins around endlessly! I suspect that this game works fine with the 360 pad though.

    I reported the issue to Microsoft back in July but other people have been reporting it since the Windows 10 Technical Preview yet it remains unfixed (hardly surprising really given Microsoft's poor track record of fixing obvious bugs...it was three months before I could finally see all of my programs in the Start > All Apps menu!!!). Many of these affected games are old and will likely never be patched so Microsoft need to implement some kind of Xbox 360 controller emulation in my opinion to ensure that the Xbox One controller works properly in the majority of games.
    Reply +9
  • Fallout 4 patch 1.02 boosts PS4 performance

  • Darren 09/12/2015

    @RYDEEN - Sorry but I disagree with you there.

    Gamebryo/Creation has become synonymous with bugs/glitches and performance issues but for me they certainly do not make the game any more fun than more polished ones such as the other two big RPGs this year I mentioned. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    I would be quite happy to have the same quality of graphics in Fallout 4 if it meant having a locked 60 FPS on consoles. The fact that it looks as dated as it does yet fails to hold 30 FPS consistently is, in my view, due to the age of the engine the game is running on. With a better engine that is optimised for the current hardware, I have no doubt that even the PS4 and Xbox One could have ran Fallout 4 with much better visuals and a 30 FPS framerate. You only have to look at The Witcher 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition for proof of that; Fallout 4 is not doing anything those games aren't and, in fact, the constant and very jarring loading when exiting/entering buildings is something The Witcher 3 manages to avoid almost entirely (the only loading screens occur during fast travel and when moving between different map areas).
    Reply +4
  • Darren 09/12/2015

    I should be surprised that Fallout 4 on the PS4 is not better or at a locked 30 FPS because, let's be honest here, graphically the game looks dated and is nowhere near as visually attractive as, say, The Witcher 3 or Dragon Age Inquisition on the same platform. I suspect that the archaic Creation (Gamebryo) engine is the real issue here because even on my relatively high-end PC with a GTX 980 Ti graphics card and 16 GB of memory it can exhibit strange performance issues and laggy controller response, usually when very little is actually occurring onscreen.

    High time Bethesda ditched their ancient engines for something more modern IMO.

    Compared with The Witcher 3 and Dragon Age Inquisition, the character models look 10 years out of date, the cutscenes are stiff and dull (plus feature frequent clipping issues!) and overall world geometry has low polygon counts and generally flat-looking textures. If it wasn't for the improved lighting, you could almost mistake Fallout 4 for being Fallout 3!!!
    Reply +14
  • Just Cause 3 beats Rainbow Six: Siege in UK chart

  • Darren 07/12/2015

    I have been playing Xenoblade Chronicles X and Just Cause 3 over the weekend. I am mostly enjoying both for different reasons, the former for its depth and the latter for its mindless action, but I am not as blown over by the former as I was expecting. Don't get me wrong, XCX is a good game but technical issues let it down somewhat.

    Being a newcomer to the series, the lack of proper tutorials left me a bit confused. It is almost as if the developers expect the game to be played only by the fans, which seems something of an oversight in my case. Also, the user interface is a bit of mess IMO with small text and a cluttered look even on my 40" TV. The gamepad screen could have been used so much better here rather than being a glorified map. I would have preferred a mini-map on the TV screen and the inventory, menus, etc, moved over to the gamepad screen. At least as an option.

    Graphically, the game can look fairly nice at times out in the wilderness (seeing those huge creatures strolling about is frequently jaw-dropping) but it is very grating to see lots of NPCs, cars and other objects suddenly appear in the city, often after I'd walked right past them!!! It does take me out of the experience unfortunately and saps the atmosphere the game otherwise builds up so well.

    The combat is fairly fun though now I'm picking it up but the difficulty and ease at which I die (i.e. a lot!), sending me back to a specific checkpoint (the manual save seems to only save checkpoints not the place you actually are), can be a bit infuriating at times. Exploring and learning what will and what won't attack me is part of the fun though. Definitely feels different to other RPGs I've played though, which is no bad thing. The story and characters seem to be downplayed though, almost making the game feel like an MMORPG. I mostly like it but kind of wish it had come out on PC or even PS4/Xbox One as it does seem a bit too ambitious for the Wii U at times. Sorry! :redface:
    Reply -1
  • Just Cause 3 developer promises PC bug fixes, asks fans for patience

  • Darren 03/12/2015

    @pb - Depending on your PC, you can claw back some 15-20 fps as well by disabling GI as it is by far the most performance sapping feature IMO. You may find that the game maintains 60 fps better with it turned off.

    In my experience, I do not think this game is anywhere near as polished or well optimised as Mad Max on PC but then I understand that it was not coded by the same team that made Mad Max or Just Cause 2.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 03/12/2015

    @LittleBigDave - It is more likely that Avalanche are prioritising fixing the console versions first over the PC version. It is strange though that they made no mention of it. Reply +1
  • Darren 03/12/2015

    I read this game went Gold in October which begs the question of what Avalanche have been doing since then if not working on fixing bugs and issues. The PC version seems to be the least problematic of all three versions in my experience and it is the console versions that need patches to fix the appalling loading times and framerate issues/stuttering. I have played it on the PS4 and in the first hour I encountered some very tedious loading times, especially after dying, and some horrendous slowdown that made it feel like I was underwater or something! Also the grass draw distance is something like 3 feet in this game! :lol:

    Impressive as the physics and effects are in this game, it seems to me that Avalanche have overreached a bit on the consoles and that they should have scaled them down accordingly to achieve a locked 30 fps without screen tearing. Lower resolution alpha transparencies and particle effects would help. Sure, it would look less impressive but at least the game would have been more playable with a more stable framerate. The game is good if a bit rough around the edges and it is hard not to be a bit disappointed that this is yet another buggy release seemingly rushed out to cash in on the lucrative Christmas market.

    Issues I have experienced in the PC version so far include a grappling hook that just stopped working after completing a mission (necessitating a game exit and reload to fix it) and once instance where I landed on the roof of a building and fell right through it, unable to get out!!! I have also seen god-awful and distracting flickering which is caused by the Global Illumination setting (turning it off gets rid of it) and random framerate dips below 60 fps at 1920x1200 maxed out settings on my i7-4770K/16 GB/GTX 980 Ti/Windows 10 Pro setup, which happened while driving along a relatively empty section of road!!!

    The image quality in this game is also poor IMO, especially in comparison to Mad Max. There are very noticeable jaggies and pop in issues plus during one early mission I was able to make the shadow cast by a plant just 5 feet away from Rico appear and disappear (Shadows is set to Very High by the way). At least the game has been 100% stable and the loading times are bearable on PC if somewhat immersion breaking at times. For example, I failed one Helicopter Challenge I did by jumping out instead of firing but the game still had to reload the entire section again, taking 10-15 seconds. Why could it not just, you know, immediately restart since all the assets were still in memory!?!
    Reply +5
  • Just Cause 3 review

  • Darren 01/12/2015

    Only had about an hour on the game (PC version) this morning but it is running great on my setup at a locked 60 fps (at 1920x1200) and while visually it looks only 'alright' rather than stunning, the oversaturated colours, those magnificent explosions and the silly physics make up for it IMO. Yes, the game is shallow and you can see most of what the game has to offer within the first few hours but it is funny and ludicrously entertaining. Only cost me 20 as well which is a fair price for this type of game.

    That said, this game really isn't that much different from Just Cause 2 and as a franchise has not really shown the kind of improvement that, say, the so-so Saints Row to the super-addictive Saints Row IV had shown. Avalanche seem content to just keep remaking the same game, only with better physics and graphics.
    Reply +5
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X downloadable data packs cut load times

  • Darren 30/11/2015

    So is there no way to install these data packs from the disc itself then? The data packs have to be downloaded? :confused:

    If so then that is something of an oversight and would have made the whole thing more user-friendly if a message popped up on loading the disc for the first time asking if you want to install data to speed up loading times. That's how it worked for the 360 and PS3 last generation.
    Reply +5
  • PS4 shoots through 30m sales mark

  • Darren 25/11/2015

    That really is an impressive achievement considering that the PS4 has, in my honest opinion, being poorly supported with exclusives, particularly in the run up to Christmas (both this and last year). I feel that Sony are relying too much on PS3 remasters (another one, Beyond Two Souls, is released this week!) and not investing enough in current gen exclusives. Still, with sales figures like that then Sony are not going to be in any hurry to change! Reply -5
  • Brilliant Fallout 4 mod shows you exactly what your character will say during dialogue

  • Darren 18/11/2015

    @WilhelmvonOrmstein - I think the idea is to keep the conversation choices brief (basically More Info, Sarcasm, Yes and No) so that you can keep the conversations flowly more naturally rather than spend a few minutes reading each dialogue option then responding.

    When the character was not voiced then it wasn't a big problem but now that they are it means that conversations would otherwise be followed by periods of unnatural silence as the player ponders their response.

    I actually prefer the dialogue choices now and the ease at which you can save the game means it is very easy to restore if you happen to make the wrong choice.
    Reply 0
  • Why I'm tired of Fallout 4 encumbrance

  • Darren 17/11/2015

    I am enjoying Fallout 4 immensely but the encumbrance thing really does get wearing at times, even though I am putting points into Strength, Endurance and carrying perks.

    In my opinion, all junk should have zero weight and should automatically be deposited in the Weapon/Armour/Powersuit station system, which already has a unified system such that you can access all your stuff from anywhere in the game. It might not be realistic but then this is a game that allows me to carry ridiculous amounts of guns, apparel, food and ammo anyway since it has no regards for the actual size of items only their weight! ;)

    Why make this essential element of the game so tedious by making the player go and back and forth to deposit junk manually, accompanied by needless loading times? The Witcher 3 assigns zero weight to junk, though this was patched it, and the game is all the better for it in my view.

    On the PC, I have been using TGM (God Mode) in the command console, not to cheat my way through the game but to bypass the encumbrance limitation (I turn it off during combat). This has made it so much easier to collect all the loot I need for flagged items without tooing and froing. :D
    Reply -1
  • What it's like to play Star Wars Battlefront solo

  • Darren 13/11/2015

    @riceNpea - I crossed this game off my want list when I found out it was multiplayer owner for the same reason. I did try the beta but it really isn't my thing; a shame really because the game certainly looks and sounds the part. Reply +6
  • Fallout 4 review

  • Darren 09/11/2015

    Sounds like a great game but evidently it is high time Bethesda ditched that creaky old engine for something more suited to 2015 onward. Reply +12
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider review

  • Darren 09/11/2015

    Sounds like a competent but underwhelming sequel from that review.

    Hmmmmm... I wasn't going to buy it for Xbox One anyway but had decided to wait for the PC version next year due to the sheer number of other games out at the back end of 2015. By then I will know whether the game is worth buying or not. I really enjoyed the 2013 game even if the transformation from innocent naive girl to killer woman was a little too fast and unbelievable for me personally. Also the final "boss" battle and ending were disappointing and rushed respectively.
    Reply +1
  • WWE 2K16 review

  • Darren 06/11/2015

    I am enjoying this game on PS4.

    Last year's game was OK but felt too clunky and rough to be deemed truly enjoyable. This year's game is noticeably improved and feels much more solid to play (hate those submission prompts though...too much like QTEs) but wrestlers still have those bizarre sliding animations and stiff unnatural movement from time to time that breaks the illusion of participating in a real event. Also, the character editor still feels a bit too basic for my liking, making it harder to create exactly what I want, and suffers from too much loading as you move from one section to another.

    The game looks and sounds great though, plus gets an extra mark from me for including Billy Idol's Rebel Yell in the soundtrack! :D
    Reply +1
  • Uncharted 4's multiplayer will be 60fps

  • Darren 28/10/2015

    Not interested in Uncharted multiplayer myself but even if I was then I would not have a problem with 900p and 60 fps. A fast and solid framerate is essential for online shooters and I'm sure there would be more complaints if it was a locked 30 fps at 1080p from the hardcore gamers. The reality is that most people are not going to notice or even know the game is 900p anyway. Heck, I'll admit that I only know which games are 900p because I read Digital Foundry not because I can tell! :lol:

    I am playing Halo 5 Guardians at the moment on Xbox One which uses a dynamic resolution to maintain 60 fps. I must say that works extremely well and the pace of the game means that I am not noticing the change in resolution or the fact that it isn't 1080p. More console games should use this method IMO, particularly those that benefit most from running at 60 fps.
    Reply +3
  • The Witcher 3 patch 1.10 gives PS4 the boost it's been waiting for

  • Darren 14/10/2015

    Nice that the PS4 version's sluggish 20 fps moments are now fixed but I have to wonder why it took CDRP so long to fix it in the first place. Most people will have finished the game on one of the poorer performing earlier builds of the game. Reply +7
  • Star Wars Battlefront beta extended until Tuesday

  • Darren 13/10/2015

    @lone_wolf_uk - Same here. Looks graphically excellent and sounds authentic such that it feels like a Star Wars game should but I found the gameplay to be dull. Sorry.

    Not that I like online multiplayer anyway but this being a Star Wars game I thought this might be the game to change my mind.

    Shame it isn't being released with a narrative driven campaign mode; I would almost certainly have bought it had that been the case. I enjoyed the two Force Unleashed games.
    Reply +1
  • Uncharted: Remastered, revisited, reassessed

  • Darren 09/10/2015

    I am currently about half way through the first game on PS4 and mostly really enjoying it; certainly on a technical level as Bluepoint have done an amazing job on it.

    I say mostly because I had a crash, error CE-34878, in chapter 11 and subsequently lost about 90 minutes progress because the save corrupted. Thankfully I was able to restore the cloud backup from yesterday but it leaves a sour taste all the same.

    Revisiting Drake's Fortune made me realise how abundant and absurd the combat is in this game. It is fun and entertaining but at times it can feel a bit tiresome killing waves and waves of enemies (sometimes dying several times in a row and having to repeat sequences...) and a kill count of 409 at the 48% completion mark is just frankly ridiculous really. Not that I object to it on a moral basis, just that it highlights just how unrealistic it is when viewed statistically. It's an enjoyable Indiana Jones-style action romp but the balance of combat to puzzles, exploration and platforming is way off here.
    Reply +2
  • Performance Analysis: Star Wars: Battlefront beta on Xbox One

  • Darren 09/10/2015

    @UkHardcore23 - Quote: "Has the Forza games not taught you anything? They are 1080p but are a complete jaggy mess due to the lack of AA."

    Forza Motorsport does use AA (I believe it's a custom AMD method called EQAA) but it is not very effective on all edges based on what Digital Foundry wrote in their article.

    If the game looks a "jaggy mess" on your TV then I would suggest checking your Sharpness setting which can overemphasise edges if set too high (personally I have leave mine set to 0 which is effectively off).
    Reply +5
  • Darren 09/10/2015

    While it is surprising to see 720p games on the Xbox One in 2015, the reality for most people is that without direct comparison with the higher resolution PS4 and PC versions that they are not going to really notice or even know that the game looks inferior to the other formats. Most people will no doubt just accept that is how it is supposed to look and get on with enjoying and playing the game. Reply +9
  • Face-Off: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves on PS4

  • Darren 07/10/2015

    Interesting read as usual.

    My copy of the game was sent out today so with any luck I may be playing this tomorrow night. I am very much looking forward to it.
    Reply +2
  • Metal Gear Solid 5 just got one of the craziest microtransactions yet

  • Darren 06/10/2015

    Konami can just f*** right off with this!

    At first I thought it was a joke but charging for something that should be an option in the first place (via an online/offline toggle) is just despicable and downright greedy IMO.

    #FucKonami indeed. :evil:

    I have played the game for 72 hours but have yet to reach the mission that activates the Forward Operating Base, although I am only a couple of missions away I believe (I am on mission 20 from memory). I have actually stopped playing the game to avoid it and was hoping that an option to toggle off the online mode would be made available at some point.

    I guess I will not be playing the game any further then if microtransactions are Konami's response to this.
    Reply +1
  • Face-Off: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5

  • Darren 05/10/2015

    Reads like the game is an early alpha build rather than final release. I would have been annoyed if I bought this at a budget price but the fact that it sells as a full priced game makes me oh-so glad that I never bought it. Could and should have been much better. Reply +4
  • Face-Off: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune on PS4

  • Darren 02/10/2015

    While Drake's Fortune is considered by many to be the most dated and weakest instalment of the PS3 Uncharted trilogy it is still the game I am most looking forward to revisiting when I get the PS4 collection next week. I always loved the original but the screen tearing really was a near constantly distracting eye sore for me so the fact that the issue is now fixed makes the game worth buying just for that. Plus with Uncharted 4 coming to PS4 next year, it will be nice to be able to play all of the games on one platform. Reply +8
  • Watch: Ian try not to cry while playing Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5

  • Darren 02/10/2015

    The game just looks visually awful (it's barely moved on since the PS2/Xbox versions IMO) and, worst still, completely boring to play. Reply 0
  • Nearly two years after release, Gran Turismo 6 is getting its course creator

  • Darren 30/09/2015

    I was disappointed with Gran Turismo 5 so never bothered with its later sequel.

    I admit to having a preference for Turn 10's Forza Motorsport franchise, mainly because it is much more user-friendly with an auto-upgrade system such that you do not really need to know anything about cars to enjoy it but you can still learn something from it too. Gran Turismo has always been the Pro Evo Soccer of racing games with its lack of polish (technical issues such as screen tearing and sub-60 fps framerates, the scrappy menus, the inconsistent car models, the terrible A.I., etc, etc) in comparison to Forza Motorsport's better presented and accessible FIFA with its no-expense spared flashiness and gloss.

    For that reason, I can understand why some people prefer one to the other but, for me, Gran Turismo was becoming dated. Also, the wait between the sequels only adds to the disappointment, particularly between 5 and 6 when it turned out the sequel was STILL using recycled assets from the PS3 games!!!
    Reply +8
  • Face-Off: FIFA 16

  • Darren 30/09/2015

    As others have pointed out, the Xbox One version has much better anti-aliasing overall than the PS4 version which shows more jaggy edges on the stadium and advertising boards (in fact, it looks like the backgrounds have no AA at all at times). I also saw jagged edges under the arms of a player taking a goal kick on the PS4 that isn't as obvious on the Xbox One version.

    Not a big deal per se as this aliasing would not generally be obvious in real-gameplay (the video I was watching was half-speed allowing for more time to examine and spot issues like that) but I am still surprised that Digital Foundry made no mention of that in the article. Evidently, the Xbox One version is using a different and superior form of AA to the PS4 version so it would be interesting to know what both are using.
    Reply +1
  • PS4's big new update goes live tomorrow

  • Darren 29/09/2015

    I have been using the beta of this new firmware for the last couple of weeks. There aren't too many obvious changes but, for me, the best additions are the PNG screenshot format and the extra cloud storage space (up from 1 to 10 GB) especially.

    Finally, I am able to backup ALL of my save games to the cloud not just selective ones because of a lack of space (necessitating me to do a manual backup as well to a USB memory stick).

    The lack of sub-folders for the PS4 is an ongoing disappointment though as the current menu system only allows for 15 games/apps to be shown or all of them. Neither are particularly convenient when I have lots of games installed, especially as non-disc games invariably take longer to find when it's ones that I have not played in a while.
    Reply +5
  • Rare reflects on its lost Conker game, Gettin' Medieval

  • Darren 29/09/2015

    Why must all games have online modes?

    Conker was a fun, beautiful-looking (for its time) and extremely amusing N64 single player game with a tacked on split-screen multiplayer mode and when it came to the first Xbox Rare added an online mode, no doubt to promote Microsoft's then-new Xbox Live service. I never played it though as I only bought the game for the single player, which I really enjoyed.

    I am glad that this multiplayer-only Conker game was never released because I would not have been interested in playing it as that was not what appealed to me about the original N64 game. End of.
    Reply -7
  • Digital Foundry: Hands-on with Uncharted: the Nathan Drake Collection

  • Darren 27/09/2015

    P.S. Are the remastered versions' videos 720p or 1080p? I think they were 720p on PS3 and with the PS4 remaster running at 1080p then one would hope that the FMVs are too. If so then that really is an incredible achievement to fit three BDs worth of videos onto a disc at 1080p not 720p and reduce the compression artifacts! Wow, how did they manage that? Reply +15
  • Darren 27/09/2015

    Sounds like a really impressive remastered package which this classic PS3 trilogy most certainly deserves. This is how all remasters should be done in my opinion. Glad it turned out great after the disappointment of the Gears of War remaster on Xbox One with its 30 fps campaign and screen tearing plus omitted sequels.

    Looking forward to revisiting the first Uncharted the most due to the screen tearing originally putting me off finishing the game on PS3 but the sequels are both superb as well. I cannot think of any other franchise that is more deserving of this treatment. That motion blur is not only included but as an option is very thoughtful as not everyone likes it and some will argue it is unnecessary in a game running at 60 fps. Well done Bluepoint.
    Reply +16
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 review

  • Darren 22/09/2015

    @number1024 - Agreed.

    The PC demo plays great, it is only the graphics - the flat lighting, the appalling 2D crowd and poor textures - that let it down in comparison to the more refined PS4 version. However, on Steam it sells for 39.99 and I would absolutely not recommend paying that for it.

    In the past I have always bought this game for 18 (or less!) online and at that price the sub-par PC graphics can probably be overlooked, though I see no reason why Konami could not have released a port of the PS4 version. After all, the Fox engine, which this game also uses, is running fantastically on PC in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Ground Zeroes and can even be pushed to higher than console settings.
    Reply 0
  • Digital Foundry vs Forza Motorsport 6

  • Darren 17/09/2015

    I got the game yesterday and played it for around five hours or so.

    It is excellent and definitely the game that Forza Motorsport 5 should have been. The game looks gorgeous, runs at a consistent 60 fps framerate (except for pre and post-race cinematics and replays I believe, which run at 30 fps) and handles like a dream (even when streamed to a PC on Windows 10!). The wet races, while visually a bit underwhelming (water coming off cars in front has no visible affect on your own car in cockpit view for example and puddles remain the same every lap), are still noticeably different to drive in; the full Nurburgring in the rain driven in a supercar is an extremely tense affair in my experience! Night races are OK; there's some nice lighting but overall it looks a bit flat. Still nice to see them all the same if only to add some variety to the game.

    There is also an increase in the number of cars too from 16 in the previous game to 24. In fact, that is not mentioned here at all but that represents a 50%*** increase while still retaining the solid 60 fps framerate. In fact, all 23 races that I have done in both the career and free play modes have featured 24 cars, including the night and wet races. That is pretty impressive IMO as the framerate never faltered except for once when a DLC for the game, which I started downloading before playing the game, completed and a notification popped up onscreen.

    It will be interesting to see where Turn 10 take this series next. The obvious direction would be to add a full dynamic lighting and weather system to the game but maybe that will not be possible at a locked 60 fps until the next generation of hardware? They can at least add snow and ice to the next game though, something that is noticeably missing from this one except for snowy mountains in the backgrounds in the Bernese Alps circuit.


    *** = Damn my poor maths. 24 from 16 cars is obviously a 50% increase on the original number. Duh! And, yes, I did go to school...but it was a long, long time ago in my defence. :P
    Reply +13
  • All about that base: Metal Gear Solid 5's FOBs are glorious

  • Darren 11/09/2015

    @Baihu1983 - I have then I have to press the A button something like 7 or 8 times just to get past the server notes to the main menu. I almost always get disconnected though after playing a while, sometimes an hour, more often after 10-15 minutes.

    Not that I expected anything different from Konami's servers...this was a game that has server maintenance on the day that it was released!!!
    Reply -1
  • Darren 11/09/2015

    @bratsampson - Exactly. I would prefer an option to turn the FOB off completely personally as I have no interest whatsoever in the online multiplayer aspects of any game.

    If there is a campaign mission where the Mother Base is invaded by the A.I. then that is fine as it is part of the story but I really do not want to have to worry about other players stealing my hard-earned resources and staff when I have little control over it.

    Really should be a separate optional mode IMO.
    Reply +10
  • Face-Off: Mad Max

  • Darren 09/09/2015

    I am surprised to see no mention of the close draw in of clutter/debris as you are speeding in a car on the consoles (PS4 version played) which can be massively reduced to the point of no longer being noticeable on PC by increasing the Landscape Debris setting to Max. Resolution and framerate aside, that is the biggest difference I have noticed between the PS4 and PC versions and it was particularly noticeable in the preview videos.

    Playing this at 2880x1800 (@ 1920x1200) maxed out on my PC and it holds 60 fps at all times, never dipping once. That said, I had to relocate my Steam folder onto my SSD (while leaving the games installed on my Western Digital Black hard drive) in order to completely fix the auto-save stuttering that was annoying me initially. This is also fixed the very minor stuttering I was experiencing in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain too.

    Incredibly addictive game though and visually it looks stunning considering the setting (kudos to Avalanche for making a dull desert environment so interesting and colourful). 40 hours in and at about 35% complete I am still itching to load it up and play it. And, you know what, I think I will do exactly that! :D
    Reply +7
  • Forza Motorsport 6 takes us back to the series' heyday

  • Darren 08/09/2015

    The demo is absolutely stunning and instantly sold the game to me, not that I am in any doubt that this will be a great game. I have been playing the series since its impressive Xbox debut after all and have seen it evolve into a (IMO) superior racing simulation to its Gran Turismo rival on PlayStation. Forza Motorsport 5 was a very good game, only marred by being rushed out for launch with a lack of tracks and those despicable microtransactions that at release resulted in a game that felt less rewarding to play simply because, well, it did not reward you as much!

    And while Project Cars and Assetto Corsa are really great simulations and I have enjoyed both on my PC, I personally felt both lacked personality and a focused and compulsive campaign mode, something that Forza Motorsport does extremely well in my view. It is a very user-friendly game catering for both amateurs (me) and experts alike even to the extent of making the actual upgrade (which I know nothing about!) and customisation features of the game (the latter a stand feature over its rivals) as easy-peasy as possible. Forza is also a very accessible game with the rewind feature (technically cheating but in the solo mode no-one else should really care; it isn't hurting them after all). It also looks visually more beautiful and life-like with each new version.

    Very much looking forward to playing this.
    Reply +18
  • Performance Analysis: Mad Max

  • Darren 05/09/2015

    This is an unexpected gem of a game that I am really, really enjoying. More so than I expected to be honest as it has that compulsive open-world gameplay that constanty rewards you with something new to keep you playing, while managing to feel a bit different with its surprisingly gorgeous desert setting and entertaining vehicle combat (which gets even better once you start getting weapons). It also does a great job of capturing the feel of the Mad Max films too. Its weakest element is the melee combat but even that is brutal and mostly satisfying (countering seems a bit unresponsive at times though).

    The PC version is absolutely phenomenal in terms of optimisation and performance, allowing me to run it at 60 fps for 99% of the time at 4K (3840x2400) on my PC (i7-4770K, 16 GB, GTX 980 Ti, Windows 10 Pro) at Max-imum settings ( ;) ). It only dips for a split-second when auto-saving (something many PC games seem affected by in my experience) and when exploring indoor locations with the flashlight on for some reason but even then it only dips to 52-55 fps momentarily.

    Although this is by no means a graphical showcase, the visuals are nevertheless impressive in terms of detail, particle effects (fire, smoke and dust looks fantastic), environmental destruction and animation. And this game has the best-looking skyboxes I've seen in a game to date making the Capture mode almost as addictive as the game itself!

    This game has me really excited for Just Cause 3 which runs on this same engine.
    Reply +3
  • Batman: Arkham Knight PC patch released, pulled

  • Darren 04/09/2015

    The game now runs much, much better with only a little stuttering every now and then (almost unnoticeable). I can get 50-60 FPS on High Settings at 2560x1600 @ 1920x1200 (DSR) and all the GameWorks features enabled. I have a GTX 980 Ti, i7-4770K, 16 GB, Windows 10 Pro PC. VRAM usage is around 4.3-4.6 GB.

    Anti-aliasing is still extremely poor, thanks to it only having FXAA, but maybe they'll patch in SMAA, MSAA and TXAA later. The last two Batman Arkham games had those and ran on DX11 so I fail to see why they cannot be included here.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 03/09/2015

    Seriously if I had not gotten this game free with my GTX 980 Ti card then I'd be extremely angry right now at having to wait over two months for this game to be fixed. Fortunately, I have the game on PS4 so I am less bothered by it but really the game should never have been released in that state in the first place.

    We PC gamers get annoyed when games are delayed months after the console versions but at the end of the day we get more annoyed when they are pushed out in this state. GTA V was a great game at launch and benefitted tremendously from being delayed even though it was frustrating.

    I would rather have a game late than broken. Publishers (Ubisoft, Warner Bros., EA, etc) take note!
    Reply +5
  • Face-Off: Dishonored: The Definitive Edition

  • Darren 03/09/2015

    A game game, definitely, but a disappointing and lazy no-frills port otherwise with no effort made to achieve 60 fps. That it runs at 30 fps and still has tearing is deeply underwhelming. Same as the lacklustre Gears of War "remaster" on Xbox One...

    Yes, it is sensibly priced and cheap and, no, no-one is forcing me to buy it but calling it the Definitive Edition just outright cheeky IMO as that version already exists on PC and came out years ago.
    Reply +1