Darren Comments

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  • Doom paid DLC dated, and Free Update 2 and double XP this weekend

  • Darren 28/07/2016

    Single player DLC please... Not interesting at all in the uninspired online multiplayer. Reply +2
  • Spec Analysis: Nvidia's next-gen Titan X

  • Darren 22/07/2016

    So possibly 50% extra performance at most over the GTX 1080 for twice the price? What a bargain, eh? :lol:

    Seriously, NVIDIA's pricing model at the moment just reeks of sheer greed to me with the Founder's Edition Pascal cards for example costing £60/$100 more than previous reference cards for no obvious reason other than they know they can charge that and people will buy them. It does not help either that AMD offer no direct competition that would help stabilise the pricing.

    I would never buy a Titan X anyway (unless I won the lottery) as they typically offer poor value for money for gaming IMO. The Ti models, which are usually cut down Titans with half the VRAM, are far better value for money (but still very expensive!). Given NVIDIA's current pricing and the RRP of this Titan X I would not be surprised to see a GTX 1080 Ti coming out at between £700 and £800 here in the UK. A stupid amount of money for something that will be superseded by something faster within 12-18 months.
    Reply +16
  • MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Gaming Z review: Living the 4K dream?

  • Darren 18/07/2016

    Even before the Brexit price ramp (or it is really due to the scarcity of the non-reference cards and retailers hiking the prices up?), I raised an eyebrow at NVIDIA's decision to add £60 to the price of the Founder's Edition/reference card for no other reason, in my opinion, than sheer greed. They knew that people would buy the cards regardless.

    The unfortunate side effect of that so-called "Early Adopter's Tax" is that even the partner's own non-reference cards are selling for more than the already stupidly expensive Founder's Edition cards. Here in the UK it is not difficult to find a reference card, even at £619 (which is still too expensive in my book) and still in small quantities, but the non-reference cards are like rocking poo at the moment, particularly those from MSI, ASUS and especially EVGA (I've had an EVGA GTX 1080 FTW on pre-order from Amazon for well over a month for example at £599 and it is still showing with no despatch date... this card is now retailing on Amazon and other sites for £670-£720!!!).

    Bearing in mind that this card launched almost two months ago, I cannot help but be disappointed in NVIDIA for launching a great card in limited quantities and at silly high prices. Yes, it is the most powerful single GPU card out right now but high-end graphics cards from NVIDIA just seem to be going up £50 each year for no other reason than NVIDIA know they can get away with it. Lord know how much the GTX 1080 Ti is going to sell for but I would not be surprised if it was £700+ (with a Brexit price ramp on top of the RRP)!

    As for the GTX 1080, my own feeling is that it is a great card for gaming at 2560x1440, which is what I use now with a GTX 980 Ti, but not so great for 4K if you want all the eye candy. The main reason for that is, in my view, the 256-bit memory bus. I suspect that the aforementioned GTX 1080 Ti and Titan Pascal will address that by using a 384-bit memory bus allowing for more bandwidth at 4K when using anti-aliasing and alpha transparency effects.
    Reply +3
  • Red Dead Redemption launched via Xbox One back compatibility with most DLC free

  • Darren 08/07/2016

    Red Dead Redemption is one of my favourite Xbox 360 games and I cannot wait for Rockstar to officially announce the sequel, which surely MUST happen? The story/dialogue and excellent gameplay kept me playing right to the very end. Loved every second of it. It's a real shame that it never came out on the PC though but I can't complain at just £6 for another chance to play it on my Xbox One. I already owned the Nightmare expansion anyway. Reply 0
  • How to fix the shooter campaign? Dig in

  • Darren 08/07/2016

    The campaign in an FPS makes or breaks a game for me as I have absolutely no interest in competitive multiplayer at all.

    It's the equivalent of having the choice of reading a book (the plot-driven campaign) or having a kick around playing football in the park (the online multiplayer). Sure, the latter is more sociable but I prefer to chill out, enjoy a good story and play the games at my own pace. Mutliplayer is just far too repetitive to class as entertainment in my eyes. I really do not see the appeal of running around the same small bunch of overfamiliar maps killing the same respawning players over and over and over again. But that's just me, I guess. :confused:

    I find the single player mode in recent Call of Duty and Battlefield games to be extremely dull, usually because there is no real character development, the gameplay is completely one note (kill all enemies, pass a checkpoint, repeat until end game) and the writing and storylines are weak.

    That said, single player games without a decent story can still be fun if the setting and combat is fun. This year's DOOM is the best single player FPS I've played since Wolfenstein: The New Order. This is solely because of the fast pace of the game, the variety of enemies, the unique (compared with military games) setting and, of course, the O.T.T. weapons!

    Games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution are perhaps where the genre is the most exciting, offering stuff beyond just shooting and linear corridors full of pop up enemies. Stealth, loot, upgrades, puzzles and exploration; these things are what I would like to see more of in future FPSs as they offer the kind of variety desperately missing from military shooters.
    Reply +9
  • PlayStation 4 filing points to DualShock 4 PC adapter

  • Darren 06/07/2016

    I used the DualShock 4 controller temporarily with my PC while the developers fixed the Xbox One controller bugs in Ori and the Blind Forest. I used a third-party app to get it working, forgot what it was called, and the controller worked absolutely fine.

    Still prefer the Xbox One Elite controller though.
    Reply +3
  • Three years on, how does Bioshock Infinite hold up?

  • Darren 03/07/2016

    First hour was great as I explored Columbia for the first time. Combat was initially fun but became increasing repetitive culminating in an extremely tedious and unrewarding end battle. Story was very good with a brilliant, IMO, twist. Elizabeth, I felt, was wasted, being little more than a means of telling the story and providing the player with health packs and ammo; she never comes across as a real person.

    Overall, it's an above average game but one that ultimately disappointed me, mainly because of the over-reliance on combat against waves of enemies. I just got bored of it. It was just not as inventive or as fun the third time round. For me, the first BioShock is still by far the best game in the franchise even if that last end boss battle was beyond awful.

    My ratings for the games:

    BioShock: 9/10
    BioShock 2: 5/10 (Too similar to the first game and defending Little Sisters against enemy waves was dull)
    BioShock Infinite: 7/10
    Reply 0
  • Face-Off: Resident Evil 5 Remastered

  • Darren 02/07/2016

    So they improved the shadows over the PC version and wound up with a sub-60 FPS experience? Aren't shadows a CPU intensive feature? Why not lower the quality for a more stable 60 ps framerate?

    I'm amazed that this game isn't already running at a locked 60 FPS given that it isn't even using MSAA. It wasn't the most demanding game even on release. My guess is that the consoles' weak Jaguar CPUs are the main reason for the wavering framerates which makes the decision to use higher quality shadows an odd one.
    Reply +7
  • Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness review

  • Darren 01/07/2016

    I was really looking forward to playing this, having never played a Star Ocean game before. I have a strong affinity for Japanese RPGs and their cute anime-style artwork which makes them stand out from western developed games.

    However, as soon as I read the early reviews I decided to cancel my pre-order. I don't feel the game is worth its current asking price but if I do decide to buy it at some point then it will be when it is heavily discounted. There are simply too many other good JRPGs out there that are more deserving of my time and money... Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE for example on Wii U, which I am really enjoying at the moment.
    Reply 0
  • AMD Radeon RX 480 review

  • Darren 29/06/2016

    Well done AMD for releasing a good all-round 1080p60 graphics card at a great price.

    All they need to do now is target the high-end market with reasonably priced cards because at the moment NVIDIA seem to be driving up the prices of their new Pascal cards by $100/£60 by calling reference cards Founder's Editions for no other reason than sheer greed IMO. The fact that they have no competition does not help.

    While I typically favour NVIDIA cards due to, in my experience, better drivers, game support and features, I am somewhat alarmed at how each new generation of high-end cards from them is now £50 more than the previous ones. Lord only knows how much they intend to sell the inevitable GTX 1080 Ti for but I would not be surprised to see it priced nearer to the Titan X than the GTX 980 Ti, simply because they know people will buy it regardless.

    C'mon AMD, release something that will make NVIDIA nervous and revise their ridiculous pricing...
    Reply +15
  • Microsoft shifts one million of those £129 Xbox One Elite controllers

  • Darren 29/06/2016

    I'm not sure it is really worth £129 personally but having been using one for PC gaming for the last three months or so it is clear that this is a very well built and excellent controller, easily the best I have used to date. I especially like the weight and configurable paddles (I use two of these to replace clicking down on the analogue sticks).

    My only issue is not with the controller but with the drivers or more specifically the issues the Xbox One controller seems to have with many Unity engine games. Many of them exhibit ghost movement to the left in gameplay or the options, which is particularly frustrating because these do not happen with the Xbox 360 controller. I am not sure whether the issue lies with the drivers or the Unity engine but it is annoying all the same.
    Reply -2
  • What the hell is a teraflop anyway?

  • Darren 26/06/2016

    Seems to me that Microsoft have latched on to thinking that they can sell more of their consoles by copying what made the previous best-selling system a huge success. Hence, we had an underpowered Xbox One released with Kinect hoping to replicate the success of the Wii (and conveniently forgetting that console's lower £199 price point versus £425!) and now Project Scorpio which is promising to be more powerful than PS4 because that is apparently the main reason for its success. IMO, it's isn't, it was the lower price-point and primary focus on games over home entertainment (I still cringe when I think of the Xbox One's unveiling).

    Maybe, Project Scorpio will be a huge success and finally give Microsoft what they so desperately crave: a market leading games console? I hope it does because it keeps things interesting and competition is a very healthy thing. They do need to keep the price reasonable though and they need to put sole emphasis on games over anything else. They also need plenty of exclusives which brings me onto...

    ... the PC which they are supporting with cross-platform games going forward. That is a very good thing from my point of view as I own a high-end gaming PC and have been bitterly disappointed in Microsoft's lack of commitment to games on that platform ever since Xbox came out. I can understand it to a certain extent but they could just as easily have released exclusives for the PC too. They do after all provide its most popular operating system, Windows. By supporting the PC going forward though with Xbox One games too then I really have little reason to be excited about or even buy Project Scorpio. Granted, most console gamers likely only own one gaming platform, it still makes me wonder how this will impact sales going forward. Both Sony and Nintendo, of course, will continue to have their own exclusives meaning that I still have a reason to buy those (even if in reality I would be delighted if their games also came out on PC!).
    Reply +3
  • What's gone wrong with Mighty No. 9?

  • Darren 24/06/2016

    Shocking performance really for a game that is essentially a 2D side-scrolling platformer. Why did they not use a 2D engine in the first place (like Ubisoft's UbiArt Framework engine as used in Rayman, Child of Light and Valiant Hearts) instead of Unreal Engine? I am really not seeing much in the way of depth in this game to justify the use of a 3D engine... :confused: Reply +3
  • PS4 Neo: release date, specs, price and everything we know

  • Darren 24/06/2016

    Microsoft damaged the Xbox One's chance of selling well by releasing an overpriced and underspecced console because they were stubborn enough to believe that Kinect had a future (look what happened to that?). They also sent out confusing messages by promoting the Xbox One as a home entertainment hub rather than focusing on the games first and foremost. I believe that if the Xbox One had launched without Kinect at a lower price point than the PS4, bearing in mind it is less powerful, then PS4 sales could well be trailing behind Xbox One. I don't think the average consumer who buys consoles really cares about which system is the more powerful, only which one offers them the best value and the games they want to play.

    It is for that reason that I do not believe that Project Scorpio being more powerful than the PS4 Neo will really help Microsoft shift more Xboxes than Sony do PS4s. I suspect that is what they are hoping for; that more powerful hardware equals better sales than the competiton. For one thing, Project Scorpio is being released much later and while undoubtedly cost more comparatively than PS4 Neo.

    For me though, Project Scorpio does not interest me at all, mainly because I have a reasonably high-end Windows 10 gaming PC and most (if not all?) of the Xbox's exclusive games will be coming to PC as well. That means that I really do not need to own an Xbox at all which means more time for the PS4 (or Neo) and NX, which will both have games not available on PC. I am glad that Microsoft are supporting the PC going forward but it will surely impact future console sales for those us who are multi-platform gamers?
    Reply 0
  • Zelda: Breath of the Wild pushes Wii U hardware to the limit

  • Darren 22/06/2016

    A really impressive looking game and one that I desperately want to play above everything else from this year's E3 but it really does sound like it's a game that would really benefit running on the the more powerful NX hardware. Reply +8
  • Are 4K visuals really the best use for Project Scorpio and PlayStation Neo?

  • Darren 18/06/2016

    "Running before you've learn to walk" is a phrase that pops into my head every time I see Sony or Microsoft mention 4K gaming.

    Both have consoles that struggle to run games consistently at locked framerates at 1080p (the Xbox One more so than the PS4) so instead of targetting 4K why not use the improved hardware to deliver a better experience at 1080p and by that I mean improved image quality and framerates? After all, the majority of people will likely have 1080p TVs for many years to come and 4K is a long way off becoming mainstream IMO. You need to spend a lot of money on a high-end PC to get a good 4K gaming experience without having to compromise the graphics settings (which negates the benefit of the higher resolution in the first place) so it is unreasonable to expect a £300-£400 console to be able to as well.
    Reply +5
  • Microsoft's mixed messages at E3 aren't pretty for Xbox One owners

  • Darren 16/06/2016

    If future Xbox One games are all going to be cross-platform and available on PC then there really would be no need for me to keep my Xbox One console any more. That is a good thing for me (more space around the TV, particularly as I am a multiplatform gamer who owns a high-end PC, all three current gen consoles and a PS3 still!) but bad news for Microsoft as it means Project Scorpio holds little interest for me either. Reply +1
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the most ambitious Nintendo game in years

  • Darren 15/06/2016

    Looks fantastic. It's the game I have most been looking forward to playing. Shame it isn't out while March 2017 though. Still, the best things come to those who wait, blah blah blah! Reply +1
  • Resident Evil 7's demo isn't part of the full game

  • Darren 15/06/2016

    @GameChampionz - Well, that is not exactly a bad thing is it considering PT (aka Silent Hill) got cancelled? Also, this will be the seventh Resident Evil game, not counting all the various spin-offs, so now is definitely the time to give the gameplay and setting a complete revamp. After seeing the demo, I am now looking forward to this game a hell of a lot more than I was. Reply 0
  • The new Zelda is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

  • Darren 15/06/2016

    @DakeyrasUK - It is possible that the NX supports the Wii U controller though...

    I think the game was showcased on the Wii U myself. It looked like it was running at 720p and 30 fps, not that is a problem if the game plays well and has some decent anti-aliasing. I would expect NX games to be targetting 1080p and possibly 60 fps.
    Reply +1
  • Darren 15/06/2016

    This new Zelda game looks really nice even on the Wii U; can't wait to play it. I wonder how much better the NX version looks and plays? After all, when Twilight Princess came out on both GameCube and Wii they were pretty much identical graphically except for the latter version being mirrored and supporting widescreen.

    In all likelihood I will buy the NX but if Zelda Breath of the Wild is the only major release at launch then I would probably just buy it on Wii U and wait for more must-have NX games to come out before committing to it.
    Reply +1
  • Spec Analysis: Xbox Project Scorpio

  • Darren 14/06/2016

    Sounds like the Scorpio will be a much better and more capable gaming console than the Xbox One...

    ... for 1080p gaming!

    Shame if it is still stuck with a crappy CPU though, which is almost certainly going to limit the potential of the GPU just as it would in a PC.

    I do think that this push for 4K is premature. Sure, there are 4K TVs available but they are designed primarily for 4K viewing of Ultra HD Blu-rays and other 4K digital and transmitted content. Even on PC, the requirements to get a decent framerate with good image quality at 4K is high and demands you spend a lot of money otherwise you end up having to lower many settings, which kind of negates the advantage of the higher pixel count in the first place IMO.

    While I am happy for Sony and Microsoft to release more powerful hardware, I think the focus going forward should absolutely be to aim for 1080p at 60 fps rather than pushing for 4K at 30 fps or whatever. 4K can still be used for video content. Ironically, we are going to get more powerful hardware but only because it is required to drive 4K!

    I wonder how Sony will react to this news? The PS4 had a clear advantage over the Xbox One, allowing it to gain a significant lead in sales (I bought all of my multiformat games on PS4 rather than Xbox One for example). If the tables are turned then we could see games running and looking better on Xbox than PS4. I'm not sure Sony are going to like that somehow.
    Reply +10
  • Performance Analysis: Mirror's Edge Catalyst

  • Darren 09/06/2016

    @Squintastic - Check out this screenshot from my playthrough (this is maxed out Hyper settings by the way on a 6 GB graphics card!):


    Looks hideous, doesn't it?

    I found that if I uncheck the GPU memory limit option that the character model looks better (but still somewhat 'iffy'). However, VRAM usage shoots up from 4.5 GB to 6 GB as a result.

    The stuttering I mentioned occurs when only 4.5 GB of my graphics card's 6 GB of VRAM is being used so lack of memory is not the issue.
    Reply 0
  • Darren 09/06/2016

    I am playing this game (thanks to EA Access) on my GTX 980 Ti equipped Windows 10 Pro PC with 16 GB of RAM using Hyper settings and 2560x1440. The game runs at 60 fps but, unfortunately, suffers from some very distracting stuttering that causes the game to freeze for a split second while running around. At first I thought the issue was related to the auto-save but it seems it isn't. In fact, TotalBiscuit has tweeted that he and many others are affected by the same issue which is extremely disappointing but hopefully it will be fixed shortly. I believe the developers have acknowledged the issue.

    As for the game itself, well it's really not that great IMO. The missions so far have been fairly dull, the story is not exactly interesting, the characters are completely forgettable (even Faith seems personality-free) and the combat is absolutely awful (I really wish they'd removed this completely). Also, I don't think the game looks very good graphically; it's a bit too sterile, clean and lifeless for me. It needs some dirt and grime not to mention some decent textures! Back in 2008, Mirror's Edge was a breath of fresh air but this sequel/prequel just feels a bit tired and dated.

    Finally, it's disappointing that the game is resorting to using pre-rendered cutscenes as they do stand out jarringly from the in-game rendered stuff on PC. Why aren't the cutscenes in realtime, particularly when they only run at 30 fps?
    Reply +2
  • E3 2016 schedule guide - all the conference times, stream links and predictions

  • Darren 06/06/2016

    Of the three, I am perhaps more intrigued to see what Nintendo will be showing at E3, simply because after the relative failure of the Wii U they have the most to prove. I think their next console will make or break them... Reply 0
  • Darren 06/06/2016

    Hmmm, regarding Sony... I am half-expecting them to showcase VR on the new improved PS4 hardware rather than on the current system. I really hope that is not the case for people who own a PS4 now and are interested in VR but I certainly will not be surprised if that is what happens because, let's face it, more powerful hardware means a better VR experience, however you try to spin it. Reply 0
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt patch 1.2 adds enemy level-scaling and a lot more

  • Darren 31/05/2016

    I was puzzled as to how large this patch was on P34 because despite have 84 GB free on the 2 TB hard drive it refused to install. I ended up having to delete some 10 GB of apps and games to make space for what turned out to be a "mere" a 2.6 GB patch! What the hell! :o

    Love the overhaul and design of the menus, the game feels much slicker and polished. I'm currently enjoying this game all over again. Definitely THE best RPG to date in my opinion with a terrifically detailed and believable world to explore and superbly entertaining quests with great wreating and voice work. Hell even the side quests are every bit as enjoyable as the main story ones and there's hundreds of hours of gaming here. Awesome.
    Reply 0
  • The madness of Gran Turismo Sport

  • Darren 25/05/2016

    Quote: "The visuals lack polish, and are given to some noticeable stutters when the current cap of 20 cars are all jostling on track, and the sound, while an improvement upon what's gone before, still falls flat when compared to its peers."

    I noticed some screen tearing near the top of the screen during the gameplay videos too... not exactly "in yer face" so to speak and a big improvement on the tear-rific PS3 games but disappointing to see all the same (as are all the other issues mentioned) on a machine supposedly more powerful than the Xbox One, which runs Forza Motorsport 5 and 6 at a native 1080p with near-flawless 60 fps even in 24 cars races or wet weather, all with slick presentation and visuals. Oh and great sound!

    Gran Turismo on PlayStation has always been a bit of a diamond in the rough but 5 was a crushing disappointment (poor menus, hideously long loading times, ugly mix of PS2 and PS3 car models, pathetic A.I., screen tearing/slowdown, etc, etc) so much so that I skipped 6 completely. I will likely buy Sport though, depending on the reviews, but it really sounds like Polyphony Digital need to be paying more attention to the competition as their game is no longer the pinnacle of racing simulations in a world of Assetto Corsa, DiRT Rally, Project CARS and, of course, Forza Motorsport.
    Reply +35
  • Face-Off: Doom

  • Darren 21/05/2016

    Great article as a always.

    I have been playing the game on PS4 and PC and while the latter definitely has the edge running at 2560x1440 on maxed out Ultra/Nightmare settings on a GTX 980 Ti, the loading times are horrendous. The PS4 version takes around a minute from clicking on the game icon to actually playing it. On my PC it is more like 2-3 minutes; a minute to load to the main menu and another two to start playing a saved game.

    Yes, I have the game installed on a hard drive rather than an SSD but it is a 2 TB 7,200rpm Western Digital Black performance drive with read speeds of 180 to 210 MB/sec. My PS4 has a 2 TB 5,400rpm laptop drive yet still loads faster! I suspect Digital Foundry only test their PC games on SSDs but the Steam forum has similar complaints from people with long loading times. Not sure why this is happening as my system is an i7-4770K with 16 GB of RAM running Windows 10 Pro v1511. Thankfully, subsequent loading times for new levels and reloading after dying are much quicker but, ouch, that initial load is painful...

    It is really the only flaw in an otherwise impressive looking, super addictive and entertaining single player game (sorry but the multiplayer is just hugely disappointing, generic and bland in comparison).

    P.S. There is a bug in the PC version which can cause the game to exit to the desktop without an error message or event log entry. I have had it happen twice in the 13 hours I've been playing it, usually after dying and attempting to reload the last checkpoint.
    Reply +7
  • Uncharted 4's wonderful accessibility options

  • Darren 20/05/2016

    The ability to hold down a button instead of tapping it in Uncharted 4 is a wonderful little touch IMO and makes for a more enjoyable experience. I've never really understood why developers think mad button bashing is fun in any modern game. It does not make it challenging, just plain annoying IMO. Reply +5
  • Performance Analysis: Homefront: The Revolution

  • Darren 19/05/2016

    @Esppiral - It's true that the PS4 and Xbox One are weaker than a mid to high-end gaming PC but that does not mean that they are not capable of producing fantastic games in the hands of capable developers. Heck, the criminally ignored Wii U has some brilliant games despite being no more capable than the last generation PS3 and Xbox 360.

    Uncharted 4 has already been mentioned but games like Forza Motorsports 6, Doom, inFamous Second Son and Ratchet & Clank are just a few of my favourite games this generation off the top of my head and all of them run great and look glorious visually.
    Reply +15
  • Darren 19/05/2016

    Sounds a bit of a mess on consoles such that I have ask if it was really ready for release? Certainly does not sound like it.

    If a game cannot hold 25-30 fps at all times then the developers should lower the resolution and/or the graphics settings. What is the point in playing a great looking game if it lurches along at a stuttering sub-25 fps for a large chunk of playtime. That just is not fun no matter how good the actual game is (not this game sounds particularly good from the reviews I've been reading).
    Reply +5
  • Finally, the Batman: Return to Arkham collection is official

  • Darren 18/05/2016

    Seems odd to omit Arkham Oranges from the collection. If nothing else it would add to the value in a game costing £40 and give PS4 and Xbox One owners the chance to play all the Batman games on the newest console hardware. Based on the trailer though the games look identical to how they looked on PC so the move to Unreal Engine 4 seems to add very little (I am sure Digital Foundry will correct me on that score), which might explain why there is no mention of a PC version. Reply 0
  • The new Doom campaign turns around Steam user reviews

  • Darren 18/05/2016

    I have been really enjoying this game's single player mode and have absolutely no intention of ever revisiting the multiplayer after trying out the mediocre beta. It is perhaps ironic that the planned DLC for this game sadly will not include any single player levels as, for me, that is where the game positively shines not its generic online mode. Reply 0
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 review

  • Darren 17/05/2016

    Will definitely be picking one of these up at the end of the month. Looks like a great card offering a more guaranteed 60 fps at my preferred maxed out settings at 2560x1440.

    Anyone interested in buying my GTX 980 Ti? ;)
    Reply 0
  • Uncharted 4 UK sales up 66% on Uncharted 3

  • Darren 16/05/2016

    Uncharted 4 is, for me, one of the most polished and entertaining games I've ever had the pleasure of playing and stands above just about everything else released this generation IMO.

    I am playing the game in bite-sized chunks of 1 or 2 chapters per day (typically 90-120 minutes) on Hard difficulty so as not to finish the game too quickly. So far I am just over half way through it after 12 hours of playtime (which does not include multiplayer). Absolutely love it. It deserves to do well.
    Reply +12
  • Mario 64's hidden RNG decoded

  • Darren 16/05/2016

    @JamesSwiftDay - It would have benefitted this article significantly IMO if the article actually mentioned that RNG stood for Random Number Generator instead of assuming that everyone would know! Reply +38
  • Combat fatigues: How Uncharted is a walking simulator in action game's clothing

  • Darren 13/05/2016

    @Agarwel_Idiriz - 10-16 hours of non-stop shooting would be just dull though IMO; it's the reason I don't play Call of Duty any more! ;) Reply +5
  • Darren 13/05/2016

    @ChockysChild - I don't think it is meant to be taken seriously. After all, if Uncharted is a walking simulator than so is every other game that mixes story-telling with interactive combat and exploration: Quantum Break, Call of Duty, Gears of War, Tomb Raider, those are all games where you walk slowly or drive quickly from A to B shooting things between non-interactive cutscenes that tell a story.

    The only difference between those and Uncharted is that the writing and characters are nowhere near as good or memorable.
    Reply +10
  • Darren 13/05/2016

    I have played many of these so called "walking simulators" such as Gone Home, Dear Ester, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, Amnesia, Outlast, etc, and enjoyed them all but I have never once considered the Uncharted games to be part of that genre. They are far too interactive to be called that IMO.

    The banter that goes on between Nathan and his side-kick while exploring (a.k.a "walking" around) is usually what makes this game stand out from other games which typically have you roaming around in silence, even with a partner, and reading notes and/or listening to audio tapes which tell the plot. It helps make the journey much more entertaining and natural. Quantum Break for example is a perfect example of how not to tell a game's story IMO as much of it requires you to stand and read tons of text, which is just not fun at all or particularly interesting.

    As a lover of narrative driven games, I am finding the pacing to be absolutely perfect in Uncharted 4 so far and after four games I feel the characters come across as real people as opposed to the personality-free avatars that populate most games not by Naughty Dog or Rockstar. The blend of story-telling, combat, exploration and puzzles is just perfect. I am taking my time playing the game though, intentionally, and have reached Chapter 10 after some 8 hours of playtime. I am playing the game on Hard and taking my time to explore for Treasures, which initally seem pointless (you don't even get any info on them unlike Tomb Raider for example) but these unlock bonuses, and, this is the big thing for me, taking the time to play stealthily as opposed to going in all guns blazing. The combat is definitely much improved in this game but I like that I can now choose whether to avoid enemies, take them out silently or shoot them all. It adds variety and extra challenge, helped significantly by the improved A.I. (there are a few occasions though where Sam is in clear sight of enemies but they don't see him but generally this is much less jarring than, say, The Last of Us).

    A fantastic game that I am finding hard to find any major fault with.
    Reply +21
  • Watch: So, is Doom any good? Find out live, at 1pm

  • Darren 13/05/2016

    @Zippity-zap - More like "running" simulator!!! The game is simply too fast to ever be described as "walking"! ;) Reply +3
  • Darren 13/05/2016

    I played about 40 minutes of this game on PC when it unlocked at midnight this morning and first impressions are that it is very, very good (although the initial loading time of almost 3 minutes is a bit of a disappointment).

    The speed to the game initially shocked me so much that I thought it was too fast for me but I soon adjusted. The pace, the audio and visuals, the secrets and the abundance of enemies, all make this feel much more faithful to the classic original than, say, Doom 3 was. Add in upgrades, power ups and a brilliant jump/climbing mechanic and this feels like what Doom would have been had it been made in 2016 and not 1994.

    Although it is too early for me to say for sure, I think this game could well be the best first-person shooter since the superb Wolfenstein: The New Order. Cannot wait to get home and play some more of it.
    Reply +3
  • Lionhead: The inside story

  • Darren 12/05/2016

    Loved Bullfrog's early stuff on the Atari ST and Amiga and absolutely loved games like Dungeon Keeper 2 on PC. However, while Lionhead's The Movies and Black & White were fantastic fun on PC, I was really never a big fan of Fable on Xbox. I felt the original game undelivered on its promises and was a shallow, short RPG. The sequel was better but other than its very British humour, the game still felt a bit slight and undercooked. I am sad to see them go though and how the developers go on to better things. Reply 0
  • Nvidia unveils GTX 1080 and GTX 1070: a new level in GPU power

  • Darren 07/05/2016

    I own an EVGA GTX 980 Ti SC (which runs at a core clock of 1,441 MHz, some 44% faster than its rated base clock speed), and while I am very happy with it, since upgrading from a 1920x1200 to a 2560x1440 60 Hz display I have found it harder to achieve that ideal 60 FPS on my preferred maximum settings in many recent games (The Division, Rise of the Tomb Raider, The Witcher 3, Quantum Break, etc, etc) so I am very interested to see what the GTX 1080 might offer me in terms of an upgrade.

    My only concern, having owned the GTX 980, is how long it will be before the inevitable GTX 1080 Ti is released at the same price but with better specs? Of course, I can play the waiting game because something better always does come along, just that I don't usually expect them within three months as seems to happen with the Ti variants!

    Also, as Digital Foundry mentioned here, DirectX 12 performance on NVIDIA's cards has so far proved to be extremely disappointing, given all the hype and the fact that AMD's card seem to fare much better in most current games (up to 50% better in Hitman for example).
    Reply +2
  • Has Remedy fixed Quantum Break on PC?

  • Darren 06/05/2016

    I am wondering if the crashes Digital Foundry are experienced are specific to their card or whether it affects all GTX 970s? I am surprised that they have not tested the game with a GTX 980, 980 Ti or even a Titan X to confirm it isn't.

    I have not experienced a single crash in the 10 or so hours I've been playing the game on maxed out settings @ 2560x1440 on my own GTX 980 Ti. I have mostly played the game with the v364.72 WHQL driver but the v364.86 Hotfix and current v365.10 WHQL drivers seem to also be stable. Obviously, I cannot disable Upscaling at 1440p without the game stuttering badly, likely due to it exceeded the card's 6 GB of VRAM, but with it enabled the game plays absolutely fine. In fact, I had no issues playing it pre-v1.7 patch either; sure, performance might not have been optimal but it felt as smooth at worst as the Xbox One version I initially played but most of the time smoother (due to it running above 30 FPS). Possibly I have just been very lucky with the game but I have played far worse ports than this (Batman: Arkham Knights for example with its dreadful hitching at launch when in the batmobile).
    Reply +6
  • Devolver Digital massively discounts games this weekend on Steam

  • Darren 06/05/2016

    @DozyKipper - I found the game hugely relaxing personally except for a few puzzles. The majority of the time, you can take as long as you like with each puzzle and that's what I find so appealing about it. It feels open-world-ish too. allowing for some exploration and choice in which puzzles you do. Get stuck and just do another one instead. Absolutely love the game. It's a gem IMO. I have only used a guide for one of the puzzles so far. Reply +3
  • Darren 05/05/2016

    The Talos Principle is a beautiful, relaxing and atmospheric puzzler with a gorgeous soundtrack and intriguing plot. I cannot recommend it enough. I'd buy it if I didn't already own it. Great at full price, it's a steal at 75% off IMO. Reply +12
  • You can play the whole of Uncharted 4 with cel-shading

  • Darren 04/05/2016

    These look fun to mess around with in the short-term and I can see myself dabbling with the cel-shaded one after completely the game. Not so sure about the others though for actual gameplay... the 8-bit one for example looks far too blocky as to render the graphics almost indistinguishable. Doubt anyone would be able to play with that enabled unless they wanted an extreme challenge! :lol: Reply +3
  • Shadow of the Beast remake will include the original Amiga game

  • Darren 04/05/2016

    I loved my Amiga but while the original Shadow of the Beast was a stunning technical showcase at the time, setting the benchmark for graphics and sound, the actual gameplay itself was shallow and dull IMO. It always seemed like the graphics came first then the gameplay last and while not a terrible game (personally I think it is average at best), I do feel its "classic" reputation is undeserved. Beast 2 was much better.

    The new game certainly looks like an improvement and I am definitely interested provided it plays well.
    Reply +22
  • You can't buy Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered separately

  • Darren 03/05/2016

    I hope this decision backfires on Activision because it is clearly only intended as a way of coercing people into buying a more expensive package. They are likely worried that people might buy the remastered older game over the newer one.

    Stupid really. Why limit any game to just a minority of gamers who might, say, buy the new game in November and the remastered version sometime later? Activision clearly haven't thought this through very well. By all means make it available only as part of a more expensive package at launch if you must but it does not make any sense at all to not sell it separately some months later. Why limit your profits?
    Reply +5