Darren Comments

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  • Digital Foundry: Hands-on with COD Infinite Warfare on PS4 Pro

  • Darren 25/09/2016

    I still think Sony should be focusing on 1080p60 games with better overall performance and image quality than this fake 4K (FakeK?) thing on PS4 Pro. The PS4 struggles to run many of its games at stable framerates so the extra power really should be used there IMO. But as usual Sony want to run before they've learn to walk... ;) Reply +58
  • FIFA 17 review

  • Darren 23/09/2016

    So on the one hand we have PES 2017 which plays great but suffers from a lack of licenses, slapdash presentation and odd menus and on the other we have a polished looking game with all the licences and players you'd expect, the atmosphere and the looks but that doesn't play quite as well as the competition? Seems neither offers the best all-round package this year.

    I know gameplay is the most important aspect of any sports game but I find it difficult to commit myself to PES for long periods due to its lack of licensing and its scrappy, sometimes ugly presentation (more so on PC where Konami continue to churn out inferior hybrid versions of the last and current gen versions).

    This year's The Journey in FIFA 17 is exactly what I've been waiting for in a game like this as someone who likes to play games solo and isn't interested in competitive multiplayer. In fact, I started playing the full game briefly on PC this morning, thanks to EA Access, and I am really looking forward to checking out this new mode more tonight. From the demo and opening to the full game, it does a great job of showing off the new engine IMO such that I suspect that this is the reason why EA changed from IGNITE in the first place. The Journey at least is adding something fresh to the genre and EA should be commended for that even if the gameplay itself is as refined as it could/should be.
    Reply +2
  • Firewatch Xbox One suffers last minute delay in Europe

  • Darren 22/09/2016

    I noticed Firewatch was updated for the first time in ages on my PC last night. Not had the chance to play it yet but is that the free-roam mode being added? Reply 0
  • BioShock Collection PC patch takes aim at mouse, graphical issues

  • Darren 20/09/2016

    I've been (re)playing BioShock Remastered on my PC at 4K and really enjoying revisiting this excellent game, my personal favourite in the trilogy so far. The only issue I've been experiencing (since I'm playing it with an Xbox One Elite controller) are crashes to the desktop, which usually occur after 2-3 hours of playing and almost always while saving the game (in fact, I'm sure it has ONLY crashed while saving).

    I actually lost 2.5 hours of progress in Fortune's Bounty due to these crashes, which results in a corrupted and, thus, lost save file. Fortunately, I had been saving to a new slot when entering each new level/area but I now save to alternate slots and save every 5 minutes so I never lose much progress. The original game has always been 100% stable, I even replayed a few hours of it before the remaster came out, so it is rather surprising that the new version is so crash-prone.

    I that shoehorning DX11 support into the positively ancient Unreal Engine 2.x this game runs on might account for some of the instability but it's still annoying all the same.

    Much as I am enjoying replaying the game, I feel that the remaster itself is disappointing overall, mostly because it looks and feels exactly how it was back in 2007. The improvements, such as they are (mostly textures, although some are still depressingly low-res, and higher resolution videos), are not really that noticeable IMO unless you compare the games side-by-side. And that is not something you do while playing it. Still it was free so it's hard to feel cheated by it or anything.

    P.S. Oh and when the game crashes it stupidly resets the options meaning that I have to change them back every time I reload the game since 9 times out of 10 I have not been exiting the game by choice!!! Of course, you can set the config read to read-only to prevent this but it means the golden reels you find cannot be saved since they are part of this file!
    Reply +1
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will not support PlayStation 4 Pro features

  • Darren 20/09/2016

    @avluis - If an old PS4 game with a dodgy "up to" 30 fps framerate still runs exactly the same on the PS4 Pro then it isn't going to do much for the machine's reputation of being more powerful is it once word gets around?

    This is why I was puzzled that Sony are promoting a fake 4K machine (fake because they've admitted the machine will mostly upscale games to 4K rather than render them natively) over one that is simply more capable of running games better at 1080p than the existing PS4.

    I think that is insane personally and it is undoubtedly driven by their need to sell their 4K TVs over common sense. Yes, have a machine that can upscale 4K by all means but the focus, IMO, should be on the performance and IQ improvements offered at 1080p with 4K upscaling being a bonus. The PS4 Pro is really not a all-round 4K machine anyway not only because it lacks the grunt to render everything natively at 4K but because it lacks an Ultra Blu ray drive.
    Reply +8
  • Darren 19/09/2016

    @Auntie_Social - That makes no sense. Even the Xbox One S offers a small performance boost in some CPU- limited games due to having a faster clock speed.

    Why would Sony prevent the PS4 Pro from running existing 1080p and lower games at more stable framerates? If they do then they are stupid because that's one less reason for existing PS4 owners to upgrade.

    The PC has games that can run as well as the hardware they are on (i.e. better performance/visuals with faster CPUs and GPUs) yet the PS4 Pro is a fixed platform and the majority of the games are designed to hit 30 or 60 FPS. If a game is coded properly then it should still look the same but have higher minimum framerates and better overall performance as a result. I mean how could it possibly make sense to run an old PS4 game like, say, Thief, which has performance dips below 30 fps and not have it run better on the PS4 Pro?
    Reply +5
  • Darren 19/09/2016

    The PS4 Pro's faster GPU and CPU should at least ensure a more stable 1080p 30 FPS experience, right?

    I am not bothered about 4K gaming at all, on consoles or my PC for that matter, but I am hoping for better performance at 1080p on the PS4 Pro by virtue of its better technical specs. In theory every game with inconsistent 30 and 60 FPS performance should immediately benefit even if it is only a few frames per second.
    Reply +5
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider: the first PS4 Pro vs PC graphics comparison

  • Darren 14/09/2016

    @SuperShinobi - The focus on 4K and HDR, something that can not be demoed for the majority without seeing it on a compatible TV for yourself, is a huge mistake IMO. They should have focused on offering higher fidelity visuals and framerates at 1080p in my view, something that can be more easily demonstrated. This would then get around that lack of Ultra BD as standard since the machine would no longer be focused on 4K first and foremost.

    As always though, console manufacturers seem to want what is trending on PCs, preferring to metaphorically run before they can walk. In other words, we have a more powerful machine in the PS4 Pro that is better for 1080p gaming but instead Sony want to focus on 4K when most current gen games struggle to run at 1080p and 30 FPS!!! Of course, they have 4K TVs to sell so I suspect this is one reason; the other is they want to jump the gun on Microsoft and be the first to sell a 4K gaming console even if the machine is really far from being 4K capable natively for most games. Upscaling, no matter how you do it, is still upscaling and inferior to native rendering due to having less detail.
    Reply +10
  • Darren 14/09/2016

    @berelain - Will Microsoft allow for Xbox Scorpio games to come on Ultra Blu-ray discs? There's plenty more space on those compared with 50 GB on a standard BD.

    The more I read about the PS4 Pro the more disappointed I am. It's clear that not only is the machine not really capable of delivering a solid 1080p60 gaming experience but it can't even muster 4K30 either without sacrificing image quality. Add to that the lack of an Ultra Blu-ray drive and the fact that Sony (laughably) see the PS4 Pro as a competitor to the PC rather than Xbox One and it's just baffling really who exactly it is they're aiming the new machine at.

    4K purists are hardly going to be impressed by a machine that cannot offer native 4K games as standard nor at the lack of a 4K BD drive (which offers vastly superior IQ over streamed media) and anyone with a decent gaming PC not going to blown away either.

    I guess this is why Microsoft's Scorpio is nowhere near release but even at this stage it is likely to be a far more impressive machine both for 4K gaming *and* 4K movie viewing.
    Reply +38
  • Valve finally takes on Steam user review score manipulation

  • Darren 13/09/2016

    @stoopidgreg - That's what I'd like to know.

    I buy very few of my games direct from Steam as they are usually the most expensive option outside of their sales. I buy all my new games from CDKeys or GreenManGaming. I only buy sub-20 games on cheap when they're heavily discounted and/or unavailable elsewhere.
    Reply +1
  • PS4's big new update (the one with folders) goes live

  • Darren 13/09/2016

    Been testing the beta for the last few weeks without any issues.

    The only real noticeable improvement for me was the addition of the folders but I am still unable to order them so that they appear at the far left of Games/Apps bar. You can at least sort out the ordering inside the folders but I would like to see some kind of pinning option added so I can prioritise my folders over anything else.
    Reply +1
  • The Forza Horizon 3 demo is out now on Xbox One

  • Darren 13/09/2016

    Downloading the demo to my Xbox One now.

    I'm not surprised that there is no PC demo or that the PC version won't launch until after the Xbox One version, though if Quantum Break was anything to go by we would not have gotten the PC codes on day one anyway but something like a week and a bit later.
    Reply +2
  • Forza Horizon 3: still the only racing game for everyone

  • Darren 12/09/2016

    Really looking forward to playing this on my PC. The previous Xbox games were fantastic but I'm most excited about playing this game at 60 FPS, something not possible on Xbox 360 or Xbox One with the stunning graphical fidelity on show. Reply +4
  • The Last Guardian delayed again

  • Darren 12/09/2016

    Delayed to add PS$ Pro enhancements as well? Reply -4
  • How to upgrade PC copies of BioShock, BioShock 2 on Steam

  • Darren 12/09/2016

    Humble Bundle are selling all three BioShock games for a heavily discounted price (BioShock 2.49, BioShock 2 3.49 and BiosHock Infinite 4.99) if you want to pick them up cheap ahead of the remastered versions being released later on this week.

    I already have BioShock 2 (entered my GFWL key on Steam last year) and BioShock Infinite (which is not getting a remaster on PC, I believe) but only had BioShock on disc. Rather than waste my time contacting 2K Support for the key I just went and bought the game from Humble Bundle to add to my Steam library.

    CDKeys.com have the complete trilogy for 9.99: http://www.cdkeys.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=bioshock if you don't own any of the games on Steam. That is probably the cheapest way to get the remasters (plus original games).
    Reply 0
  • The Crew is free to download on PC mid-September

  • Darren 08/09/2016

    The Crew is excellent? That's news to me as someone who bought the game on PC when it came out and quickly got bored of it. Seemed to be to be a competent but completely mediocre racing game. As a freebie though it is definitely worth checking out even if you only get a few hours entertainment out of it. Reply 0
  • Redout is the next-gen WipEout you've been waiting for

  • Darren 08/09/2016

    The game is very good but the loading times are sometimes a bit long and the overall presentation and menus are a bit bland, certainly nothing like as striking or memorable as Wipeout. The music is also relatively low-key and not as pounding and memorable as I was expecting it to be.

    I also wish the game had some kind of adjustable difficulty as it is very punishing at the start with very obvious rubberbanding A.I. that meant I could find myself leading a perfect race then exploding because I hit the sides of the track literally on the last stretch and coming in 4th or 5th. The game also lacks decent tutorials and does not do a very good job of telling you how to upgrade as I missed this feature altogether for the first four or five races and did not realise I could actually upgrade the ship!!!
    Reply +2
  • Microsoft's bullish response to Sony's PS4 Pro and slim

  • Darren 08/09/2016

    I think that Microsoft make a valid point about the lack of an Ultra BD drive in the PS4. It is a strange omission given the PS basically drove DVD sales and the PS3 did the same for BD. It looks as if Sony are not interested in Ultra BD at all, which again is odd when they also sell 4K TVs!

    I mean if Microsoft can sell an Xbox One for 249 with one included then why couldn't Sony also include one in the PS4 Pro even if it meant pushing the price up by 10-20? It's adds much more value to the machine and gives people another reason to upgrade from a PS4.
    Reply +1
  • Digital Foundry: Three hours with PlayStation 4 Pro

  • Darren 08/09/2016

    @Gamerfiend - The Xbox One Scorpio, is on paper at least, a more capable 4K system all-round than the PS4 Pro too for gaming and movies/TV viewing on disc. The CPU is unknown but could be potentially more powerful considering the machine is nowhere near release. It may be why Microsoft are in no rush to release or officially announce it.

    Sony do seem to be in a hurry to push 4K but then they do have TVs to sell so that might be a big factor for them (even though you obviously do not have to buy a Sony TV to view $K content).
    Reply +4
  • Darren 08/09/2016

    Also, the lack of 4K disc support is disappointing. I understand why it isn't there (to keep costs down) and Sony could always release a 4K BD add-on later for the rear USB port but it does mean the new machine is not quite the whole-4K package IMO. If anything would persuade me to upgrade to a 4K TV then it's the inclusion of a 4K BD player in a system costing 350 or less.

    P.S. Just pre-ordered a PS4 Pro on Amazon this morning with the option to cancel if it turns out that the machine is not a worthwhile upgrade for 1080p TV owners.

    P.P.S. Has the DualShock 4 controller changed in any way? For example, does it have a larger capacity battery that lasts longer than the underwhelming 3-5 hours of the current PS4 version? I can get 20+ hours out of an Xbox One controller so the DualShock 4's battery life comes across as a massive letdown second only to the Wii U's controller but that at least has a second screen to explain its short battery life. What does the DualShock 4 have... a pulsating controller light???

    P.P.P.S. Does the new machine support both 2.4 and 5 GHz bands for Wi-Fi? I was a bit disappointed that the PS4 only supported 2.4 GHz.
    Reply -2
  • Darren 08/09/2016

    Does the rear USB port mean that Sony might actually support the installation of games on external hard drives on the PS4 Pro?

    I really hope so because while swapping out the internal drive for a larger capacity one is relatively easy, the largest one that can be installed is currently 2 TB. However, adding a 2 TB or larger external drive on top of the existing 1 TB one is clearly the better option, particularly as this method works extremely well and almost transparently on the existing Xbox One.

    I really hope Sony change their policy as regards game installations on external media. The current PS4 only has front USB ports so even if it supported external drives for games you'd have to have a lead hanging out the front anyway which while not a major inconvenience does look a bit untidy IMO. On the Xbox One the external drive and lead can be hidden away behind the console.
    Reply +3
  • Darren 08/09/2016

    I want a PS4 Pro but only to run games at 1080p on a conventional 1080p TV with better framerates, i.e. a perfect 30 fps with better image quality and AA or, ideally, same settings as the PS4 but at 60 fps.

    I am really not interested in 4K, any more than I am on my PC where I game at 2560x1440 with a GTX 1080 simply because that is the sweet spot in terms of maxed out image quality and high framerates (60 FPS). I am not interested in HDR either; I've seen the effect simulated in games and while it does add realism I'm not sure that it is worth upgrading to a new 4K TV to have. I also have a collection of over 3,000 Blu-rays so I am in no rush to upgrade to 4K any time soon.

    Besides my current Sony TV is 40" (and less than a year old) and 1080p BDs and games look fantastic already. Unless I got a 50"+ TV then I doubt I would notice the difference between 1080p and 4K at the distance I view my current TV. However, I certainly notice bad framerates and I'm betting that this push for 4K gaming on PS4 Pro will result in games that still run at 20-30 fps rather than with stable 30 or 60 FPS. That Rise of the Tomb Raider can only run at 40-60 fps at 1080p on the Pro is disappointing but we always knew that the CPU was the bottleneck in the new machine.
    Reply +30
  • Ark fans burned by Scorched Earth, the Early Access game's "completely finished" expansion

  • Darren 05/09/2016

    I'm curious as to how the Scorched Earth performs because the main game still runs abysmally despite receiving daily updates. In contrast, I bought We Happy Few yesterday, a game that runs on the same engine (Unreal Engine 4) and it looks far better graphically plus runs great for an alpha despite being a little unstable if you don't start a new game after major updates. I just don't understand why ARK still runs so poorly even on my new GTX 1080 FTW graphics card (sure, you can lower the settings but even on Epic the game only looks OK to good rather than stunning considering the 25-30 FPS framerate).

    The developers really do have some cheek selling an expansion before the main game is finished. Hopefully this will backfire on them if only to discourage other greedy publishers and developers from doing the same thing.
    Reply +3
  • Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour remaster announced

  • Darren 05/09/2016

    I saw the trailer for this game yesterday and my heart skipped a beat. I then saw the Gearbox logo and the warning siren went off...

    Seriously though, after Duke Nukem Forever and the abysmal Alien: Colonial Marines I am steering clear of anything attached to Gearbox, especially Duke Nukem. Besides, I already have the Megaton Edition on PC and various mods so its hard to imagine how this "remastered" version can possibly add much that we haven't seen already unless it's a 3D complete revamp, which this certainly isn't.

    Will be keeping my on this though but I certainly will not be pre-ordering it and if I do buy it then it will be a Steam Sale as 14.99 for 8 new levels is a bit hard to justify at that price.
    Reply +1
  • Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom review

  • Darren 05/09/2016

    Kind of hard to imagine any game being more shallow and boring than No Man's Sky to be honest! If there is anything positive to be had from that overhyped and underdeveloped piece of tat it's that it makes other games that are light on gameplay mechanics and variety seem a whole lot more enjoyable. That probably includes this one! ;) Reply -9
  • Early Access dino hit Ark gets "completely finished" expansion

  • Darren 01/09/2016

    The game still runs like absolute garbage on my 16 GB i7-4770K GTX 1080 Windows 10 setup despite being updated just about every day. Yet even on Epic settings the game really does not look that great despite the high-end hardware it is running on and anything lower and it obviously looks worst while barely running much better. Optimised this ain't.

    With that said, I am extremely surprised to find out that an expansion has been released for this game and wonder what definition of "finished" the developers are using!
    Reply +8
  • The Turing Test review

  • Darren 01/09/2016

    I am really enjoying this game... played right through to Room C26 which I presume is puzzle 26 out of 70? Seemed like I did a lot of them anyway.

    Wasn't even aware of this game either until I saw this review so thanks for that, EG. The dialogue is well-written and intriguing; it is that which makes me want to solve the puzzles and find out more. If you love The Talos Principle (absolutely my favourite puzzle game to date) and/or Portal then you will love this. Highly recommended IMO.

    Only minor gripe, and it really is petty to be honest, is how the game only depicts you having a physical body in cutscenes so in-game you are just a floating camera that casts no shadow. Probably something only I would notice! It obviously does not affect the gameplay in any way whatsoever but it really is the only "negative" thing I spotted besides a few low-res textures on signs at the start. :D

    Fantastic game, looks great with a shiny, clinical Sci-Fi aesthetic with excellent audio and is sensibly priced too.
    Reply +2
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt review

  • Darren 31/08/2016

    Have to agree with the review; this game is simply the best RPG I have ever had the joy to play, a true for benchmark for the genre IMO.

    Great as The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim was (my previous favourite), its story-telling was poor with stiff dull dialogue scenes and forgettable characters, something that The Witcher 3 gets right from the off. Side-quests are as interesting as the main ones, in fact, while I was playing I never felt that anything was filler. When you consider how much content the base game has alone then it is astounding, especially as there are tons of well-directed cutscenes and well-acted dialogue.

    The game also feels like a real place not one designed for a video game (something that even Fallout 4 suffers from). An absolutely stunning achievement in terms of gameplay and very well supported by the developers. Of course, the fact that it looks and sounds gorgeous too is the icing on the cake. Now if only every RPG was this good!
    Reply +1
  • Watch: Why I'm not sticking with No Man's Sky

  • Darren 26/08/2016

    @Philip45 - There is more fun, surprises and freedom in ten minutes of the wonderful Deus Ex: Mankind Divided than the entire 25 hours of No Man's Sky so far.

    Sure, it's not really fair to compare them as they're different genres but both more crucially both games cost the same. At 15-20 No Man's Sky would have been a short-lived curiosity that you could get your 10-20 hours entertainment out of. At 40 though the game comes across as far too shallow and repetitious to justify its price point IMO. I would have been far more forgiving of this game's many, many flaws had it sold for 20 or less on Steam.

    There really is nothing special about it; all the mechanics are underdeveloped or undercooked and the procedural generation system Hello Games are using is far too restrictive to produce anything truly wonderous or surprising once you've been playing for a few hours.

    Definitely this year's biggest disappointment for me by far. I really want to like it but every time I load it up I just feel like I'm wasting my time playing it. The galling thing is that if the game had been hand-crafted to a larger degree with procedurally generated landscapes and coupled with an interesting narrative and perhaps even online functionality then it might have been ten times more interesting. It's just not fun at all exploring a randomly generated world, especially when they have so many glitches (floating objects and buildings) that immediately take me right out of the experience.
    Reply +4
  • Darren 25/08/2016

    Completely agree.

    After 25 hours of increasingly repetitive exploration and resource gathering, I suddenly came to the realisation that No Man's Sky is a tech demo in search of meaningful gameplay. The problem for me is that the urge to explore dwindles once you've been to 20 different planets and seen the same things being recycled in new colours. There's no sense of being alone in a vast universe either as everywhere you go there are sentinels, aliens and crates/buildings. Once the initial buzz wears off then it all starts to feel pointless to play; more so when you find out how the game ends. It feels like what it is; a clinical, mathematically generated universe with no substance or atmosphere to it.

    A deeply flawed game in my opinion, one that will hopefully be better fleshed out, more varied and, most importantly, more enjoyable to play in its inevitable sequel. A better inventory system is a must too; the one this game has is awful.
    Reply +14
  • Face-Off: F1 2016

  • Darren 26/08/2016

    It's good that Codemasters are targetting 60 FPS as standard for their racing games on the consoles but what puzzles me is why they don't cut back on some of the detail to achieve a locked 60 FPS? We know it is possible because Turn 10's Forza Motorsport series on Xbox One manages to achieve a locked 60 FPS pretty much at all times during gameplay and still manages to look good as well. Reply +5
  • Performance Analysis: Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

  • Darren 25/08/2016

    P.S. The game uses up to 7.2 GB of VRAM on my PC and that is without MSAA which increases video memory usage even more! Reply +8
  • Darren 25/08/2016

    I am playing this excellent game at 2560x1440 on an EVGA GTX 1080 FTW graphics card and if I completely max it out with Custom Ultra settings (16xAF instead of the default 8xAF) and leave MSAA disabled (it's unnecessary IMO since the temporal anti-aliasing is so good) then I get around 40-45 fps on average.

    Unfortunately, the game feels somewhat laggy at this framerate with a wireless Xbox One Elite controller but by just lowering the Volumetric Lighting from Ultra to On, with no real noticeable difference in image quality, I have been able to achieve a pretty much solid 60 fps for 99.9999% of the time with only rare, brief drops to a lowest of 55 fps from time to time before it quickly recovers back to 60 fps. Feels absolutely fantastic to play.

    Setting MSAA even to 2x on these same settings results in the framerate dropping down to 50 fps on average and 4x brings it down further to 40-45 fps. However, the game does not look noticeably better IMO so the inclusion of this settings seems rather redundant and would have been better replaced with FXAA and SMAA options for more choice of anti-aliasing methods.

    Loading times are horrendous though on my PC with the game taking around 2-3 minutes to continue a save game and about the same when travelling between the hub areas. Restarting after dying takes around 10-15 seconds with subsequent travelling between hub areas also being much quicker (at least halved). The game is installed on a 2 TB SATAIII Western Digital Black hard drive though. I've found that just moving DOOM on to my 1 TB Samsung 850 EVO SSD improved the loading times in that game from 2-3 minutes to 45 seconds (10 seconds to load a map instead of 1 minute!) so I plan on moving Deus Ex: Mankind Divided onto this drive as well over the weekend to see if it improves loading times.

    Other than one really annoying bug, where the tutorial text prompts remain on-screen afterwards and stays stuck in the middle of the screen until I find a way to make it go away (usually by engaging in an interactive conversation with an NPC) then this game is running well and playing great. Played it for about 8 hours so far. Definitely more than makes up for the shallowness and overall tediousness of the disappointing No Man's Sky!
    Reply +8
  • A new PC mod fixes one of No Man's Sky's most frustrating traits

  • Darren 23/08/2016

    @Eraser - Yes. It's appalling IMO and by far the worst of any flight game I've played in years in terms of how the scenery draws in (with a distracting dithering dissolve effect) with trees and building magically shifting as the game fills in the detail. I've even had scenery draw in in front of me as I've been landing the ship.

    Gives the impression that entire game universe is something generated like Star Trek: The Next Generation's holodeck IMO! Which it kind of is really but it totally breaks any sense of immersion or believability for me. Unfortunately.
    Reply +3
  • Here's what No Man's Sky's PC patches have fixed

  • Darren 23/08/2016

    Well it took Hello Games THREE patches before I could FINALLY consistently load the game every time instead of taking the usual two to five attempts. And, of course, the horrid stuttering is now mostly fixed as is 4xSSAA, which now appears to be working properly.

    Draw distance is still absolute cack though as is the ugly fade in/dithering effect which sees trees and buildings magically moving about as the scenery is created while flying at speed. Also, I see far too many floating buildings, crates and trees, which are clearly not positioned correctly, to ever believe that any of the planets I go to are real places.

    Unless the developers are planning on overhauling the game then this game still has far too many flaws and is way too shallow to be anything other than a mildly distracting tech demo in search of meaningful gameplay that isn't 80% repetitive resource collecting and fiddling around with the god-awful inventory system, which is clearly "inspired" by Destiny's and annoyingly requires holding down buttons to do almost anything. Nice art style and music, terrible textures though.

    Having watched AngryJoe's review in which he reveals the game's insulting ending... seriously check it out before wasting huge amounts of time into this game; it hardly spoils anything as the game has virtually no story to speak of anyway) You learn an alien language but learn so few words that even after 25 hours of playing I still don't know what the (static!) aliens are fully saying.

    2016 first major disappointment for me. Reminds me so much of Fable in many ways; a game that promised so much and yet ultimately delivered so little unless visiting thousands of similar looking planets with different colour palettes is your passion in life. There's very little atmosphere or discovering someplace for the first time as everywhere you go has buildings, aliens and crates already making it feel more like you're the LAST one there! Could and should have been so much better if Hello Games had actually finished the game first!
    Reply +12
  • Here's exactly when Deus Ex: Mankind Divided launches

  • Darren 23/08/2016

    Why Square-Enix don't just allow Steam to unlock PC games at midnight in each territory is beyond me. If the consoles can have a game at midnight then why the PC too? It must be annoying if you have the day off work but have to wait until 5 or usually 6pm before you can even play it. Reply +2
  • Nvidia unveils cut-down GeForce GTX 1060 3GB

  • Darren 18/08/2016

    Should be called the GTX 1055 or something IMO but then NVIDIA seem to be suffering from "writer's block" at the moment because they called their new successor to the Titan X... the Titan X! :lol: Reply +8
  • PES 2017 demo detailed

  • Darren 18/08/2016

    Quote: "There's no demo for PC."

    Because it is again another lazy spruced up last gen port that is missing features found in the Xbox One and PS4 versions. Stopped buying this franchise a few years ago because of this. If Konami want my money then they damn well better start putting the same effort into the PC game as the console versions!
    Reply +3
  • No Man's Sky modders start by shutting up your exosuit

  • Darren 17/08/2016

    A fix for the ugly dithering scenery fade in would be nice or at least some option to push the draw distance out so I don't notice it as much. Honestly, I've often landed the ship and had mountains and flora materialise in like something out of a Star Trek The Next Generation holodeck episode just feet away!!! Talk about immersion breaking.

    This is on PC by the way. This game has by far the most distracting draw in that I've seen in any game to date. Hell, I'd take the N64's mid-distance fog over what is on show here!
    Reply +5
  • Watch: We play No Man's Sky on PC locked to 4K 60fps

  • Darren 15/08/2016

    The game was juddering and stuttering on my GTX 980 Ti until I went into the game's graphics settings and changed the G-Sync = Enabled setting to Disabled. I do not have a G-Sync display. Why it was enabled by default is something only Hello Games know but it fixed the performance significantly.

    I fitted my new EVGA GTX 1080 FTW over the weekend but, unfortunately, the game returned to being a stutter-fest until I downloaded the experimental beta patch. Apart from an odd save game bug, where I was respawned UNDER the planet until I reloaded the previous checkpoint, the game is now running 99.9999% smoothly at 60 fps and 2560x1440/maxed out settings with SSAAx4 (although I'm not convinced that is working properly, nor is the FOV which remains claustrophobically zoomed in even on its max 100 setting).

    I am mostly enjoying the game despite its repetitiveness; most of the dozen planets I've visited and the locations on them have all being obvious reskins with different colour palettes and some truly bizarre bugs that hint that procedural generation algorithm isn't working as it should: floating trees, buildings and shrines which you can see underneath such that they look like paper cut-outs - this more than anything destroys any sense of being in a real place and diminishes the atmosphere significantly for me when I come across them.

    Gameplay, such as it is, feels a little lightweight and samey plus technically the game's graphics are a mixed bag with god-awful dithering on scenery that is being drawn in while flying around (seriously, it is UGLY and distracting, the worst I've seen in any flight game to date) and some terrible textures that all look oddly flat like something from a 2006 game. Ambient lighting is poor too with some flora looking like its floating above the ground due to a lack of shadows. And the less said about the 2D grass and leaves on trees that rotates with the camera the better... :eek:

    Of course, graphics are not really what this game is about, it's about creating a sense of scale and wonder IMO and it does to a certain extent but the artificial way the universe is created on the fly means it lacks surprises so far. The most exciting moment for me thus far is discovering a crashed ship but even that was diminished when I realised I had to collect resources all over again to repair it! Some of the interface choices are also annoying: why can't I swap items from my exosuit and spaceship and vice versa? Why must I have a free inventory slot to speak with a trader? Why can I not upload all my discoveries at once instead of one at a tedious time?

    Still, it must have something going for it because when I'm not playing it I find myself thinking about it and wanting to load it and play it. A flawed gem really, a game that promises much for its inevitable and better sequel.
    Reply +5
  • Here's exactly when No Man's Sky unlocks on PC

  • Darren 12/08/2016

    Really looking forward to playing this on my PC across the weekend.

    The release is well-timed too because I've just had my EVGA GTX 1080 FTW graphics card delivered just moments ago from Amazon. The 6pm release will give me time to install the card and test it before the game unlocks! :D
    Reply +3
  • Nvidia Titan X Pascal review

  • Darren 10/08/2016

    If I won a few thousand or more on the lottery then I would definitely buy one of these cards.

    However, as it stands the 1,100 UK price puts it well out of my reach because there's no way I would ever pay that much for something that is going to be superseded by something better likely in less than a year. The pricing on the original Titan X at 850 looks like a bargain now in comparison to the new inflated price tags that all the Pascal high-end lineup seem to carry.

    I'm not sure what NVIDIA are thinking to be honest; maybe they don't care because they know people will buy them regardless and they don't have any real competition in the single GPU market. As for the name: Titan X... couldn't NVIDIA have come up with something more original to differentiate it from the previous Titan X? Titan XX for example?
    Reply +3
  • Our No Man's Sky review will be late, and here's why

  • Darren 08/08/2016

    I am very much looking forward to this game not only for its sheer ambition but also because it appeals to me as a fan of sci-fi in general.

    It certainly looks intriguing but I wonder how much depth there really is to the gameplay and will it compel me to keep playing it to explore the vast universe or will it become samey after visiting only a few worlds? That's something I hope the reviews will clarify because I want to buy this on PC and that version is not out while Friday anyway. I should know by then whether it is worth buying.
    Reply +5
  • Face-Off: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 1/2

  • Darren 03/08/2016

    I had to check the date on this article when I read that the writer thought no patch had been released for the PC versions... I got them both games last Friday, 1.2 GB and 2 GB each, which fixed the audio, the graphics settings and, most importantly, the map pings for the Xbox One controller. There are still some bugs but the game is now plays absolutely fine.

    The only gripe I have is Activision asking 32 each for decade old ports that have had little to no remastering done to them. I bought both together on Steam for 40 which is much better value but the package is still 10-15 too much IMO when you compare this with, say, the superb Ratchet and Clank at 25 or the stunning Uncharted Trilogy, a benchmark for what remastered games should be like, for just 30. Activision are just greedy bastards in my honest opinion.
    Reply 0
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance: the last great licensed video game?

  • Darren 31/07/2016

    The wireless Xbox controller (half the buttons did not work or were mapped to different ones to those shown onscreen), menu and audio crackling issues have been fixed in both versions of Marvel Ultimate Alliance on PC on Friday night via 1.2 GB+ patches. I only bought the double-pack the night before so I was delighted that the developers fixed them so quickly, although it does beg the question of why it was released in that state in the first place. Also, asking 32 each for two decade old games on Steam that have had little to no remastering work done is obscenely greedy IMO and Activision should be deeply ashamed of themselves. Even 40 for both games is overpriced; they should be 15 each or 25 for both.

    Still, these are great games and personal favourites of mine hence why I bought them. I wish someone would also remaster the two Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance games I played on Xbox; I really loved and would dearly like to revisit them.
    Reply +2
  • 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 +3
  • 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 +17
  • 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 +10