Darren Comments

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  • Nintendo refuses to say whether Switch has a touchscreen

  • Darren 21/10/2016

    Personally, I hope the Nintendo Switch does NOT have a touchscreen. I hated using it on my PS Vita as the screen then gets all smeared with greasy fingerprints not to mention you end up blocking parts of the screen as you play. I've never found it particularly comfortable which is why I no longer play games at all on my smartphone or iPad. Reply -2
  • Inside PlayStation 4 Pro: How Sony made the first 4K games console

  • Darren 21/10/2016

    Quote: "First, we doubled the GPU size by essentially placing it next to a mirrored version of itself, sort of like the wings of a butterfly. That gives us an extremely clean way to support the existing 700 titles," Cerny explains, detailing how the Pro switches into its 'base' compatibility mode. "We just turn off half the GPU and run it at something quite close to the original GPU."

    That is such a waste of the extra power in my view. PC games scale with hardware such that a more powerful CPU and/or GPU gives better framerates and allows for higher graphical settings.

    By locking down the performance of games on the PS4 Pro to that of the PS4, it means that we are still going to get the exact same experience despite them running on much more powerful hardware. Take Assassin's Unity for example, a game on PS4 that runs at 900p with a very unstable 30 fps. On the PS4 Pro that game should be running better due to the higher CPU speed and could even manage 1080p too.

    Why not let the console utilise the power to give its users a "free" performance boost for all of the existing games?
    Reply +4
  • Darren 21/10/2016

    I would much rather see the PS4 Pro's extra power devoted to delivering better framerates and higher quality visuals rather than being pushed to render "fake" 4K at the same inconsistent 30 or 60 fps framerates as 1080p on PS4. It's like trying to run before you've learnt to walk properly IMO. Reply +2
  • Nintendo to unveil NX this afternoon

  • Darren 20/10/2016

    @cowell - With the release of the PS4 Pro in a few weeks and the Xbox One Scorpio next year I think the NX will be SIGNIFICANTLY underpowered myself. Not that prevents a console from having good games but with the utter failure of the Wii U this console absolutely needs some kind of gimmick akin to the Wiimote to make it appealing to the masses.

    I think this could be the console that makes or breaks Nintendo...
    Reply +1
  • Watch Dogs 2 delayed two weeks on PC

  • Darren 18/10/2016

    Quote: ""The extra time will be used for additional polish and will help ensure the game runs smoothly across a broad range of PC hardware," Ubisoft stated in a blog post."

    Bet it doesn't... ;)
    Reply +14
  • Gears 4 debuts ahead of PlayStation VR game flood

  • Darren 17/10/2016

    I bought Dragon Quest Builders and was shocked that the entire game is less than 1 GB in size when installed!

    While I realise game install size doesn't correlate to pricing, I am glad that I bought it from Amazon for a more reasonable 31. Everywhere else seems to be selling the game for 38+ which IMO is a bit too high for what is basically a Minecraft clone. I can't help but wonder if the game would have sold better at a sub-30 price point though, say, 24.99 RRP.
    Reply +4
  • Mafia 3 review

  • Darren 12/10/2016

    I've been enjoying this game (on PC) but it really is a glitch, unpolished and unoptimised mess in my experience. A.I. acts odd, lighting can often look very strange (the main character takes on a silverfish appearance when wet for example), there's frequent clipping errors, textures flicker and the skybox can go from looking beautiful to hideous in the blink of an eye. Yet despite all that the gameplay, story complete with great voice-acting and superb soundtrack help overcome the technical issues. This game clearly needed a bit longer in the oven and I don't think the developers will ever be able to fix all the issues and bugs this game has (no doubt DLC will become a priority sooner rather than later).

    Disappointing, I guess, but perhaps I was expecting too much? Not every game can be as polished as GTA V.
    Reply +15
  • Face-Off: Gears of War 4

  • Darren 11/10/2016

    The amount of options to tinker with just blew me away as does the quality of the PC version in general. The developers should be commended for not only delivering a great game but one that is superbly designed to make the most of the host hardware. Even the built-in benchmark is as comprehensive as you could hope for and, unlike others, actually does represent what you can expect for the game.

    Gears of War 4 is astonishing, it really is. :)
    Reply +8
  • Gears of War 4 review

  • Darren 11/10/2016

    Bought this for my PC and Xbox One digitally last week although I've only played a couple of hours of the campaign so far on PC. Looks and runs great on my settup at 2560x1440 Ultra settings with Dyanmic Resolution scaling up to 4K.

    I haven't really played a new Gears since Gears of War 3 but this one, while familiar, looks like it is going to be very entertaining. Can't wait to get home later and play some more.
    Reply +1
  • Mafia 3 is locked at 30fps on PC, much to Steam users' chagrin

  • Darren 07/10/2016

    You know I accept that 60 fps is better, heck I prefer it for all my PC games obviously (it's why I bought a GTX 1080 for my 2560x1440 display), but 30 fps is fine as long as the framerate is locked at a solid 30 fps. Unfortunately, very few PC games feel "right" at 30 fps compared with the console version running at the same speed but Forza Horizon 3 is one of the few that does get it right (even if the input latency is a teensy-weensy bit higher than on Xbox One).

    Sure, you can unlock Forza Horizon 3's framerate but on my system with an i7-4770K, 16 GB of memory and Windows 10 Pro v1607 I am unable to maintain a solid 60 fps at 2560x1440 even if I lower settings. With Framerate Smoothing on the game has a bizarre slowing down/speeding up effect and with it turned off the game stuttering badly every few seconds. Neither are ideal so I settled for a locked 30 fps at 4K with maxed out 8xMSAA settings, which runs perfectly fine, thanks to excellent motion-blur, great controls and a superb sense of speed.

    Mafia III on the other hand is one of those PC games that just does feel good to play at 30 fps. On my system, the game stutters from time to time and the controls feel heavy and unresponsive. Camera motion also looks bad, not helped by the overall blurry image quality the game has. It's not completely unplayable but I suspect that 30 fps on consoles feels and looks better than it does on my PC.

    Disappointing but not altogether unexpected given that 9 out of 10 PC games these days launches with issues. It's like developers don't test these games on enough hardware setups and instead rely on paying customers to do the beta testing for them. When you've just bought a new game and are eager to play it then the last thing you want to hear is that the devs are working on optimisations to improve the game, fixes that are likely days or even weeks away.
    Reply 0
  • Face-Off: Forza Horizon 3

  • Darren 30/09/2016

    Quote: "...it's interesting to note that Forza Horizon 3 is one of the very, very few PC titles that actually frame-paces 30fps correctly - each update persisting for the required 33ms. The downside is that controls seem slightly muggier than the Xbox One version operating at the same frame-rate."

    I absolutely agree that Forza Horizon 3 is one of the few games that feels perfectly fine running at 30 fp on PC. I think Transformers: Fall of Cybertron was another. Too many PC games seem to feel horribly laggy when locked to 30 fps yet aren't on PS4 or Xbox One. In fact, I prefer 30 fps on PC to the inconsistent 35-60 fps I get otherwise. It allows me to run the game at 4K with 8xMSAA and everything maxed out on my i7-4770K, 16 GB, GTX 1080, Windows 10 Pro system whereas the game fails to hold 60 fps at 2560x1440 (the native resolution of my display) even with MSAA turned off and just FXAA enabled. Running the game on this kind of hardware and having to turn off MSAA, which the Xbox One version has, just does not sit right with me so 30 fps it is until the developers optimise/patch the game further.

    My PC is far more powerful than either my PS4 or Xbox One so you'd expect input latency to be better overall and certainly the same at worst. And why is it that so many developers fail to get framepacing right on PC, forcing us to have to resort to MSI Afterburner or NVIDIA Inspector to fix it?
    Reply +9
  • Forza Horizon 3 review

  • Darren 27/09/2016

    Like the big kid I am (I'm 49!) I waited until midnight for the game to unlock on my PC to play it for 15-30 minutes but it ended up being more like 90! This game is fantastic and is brilliant to see Microsoft (finally) committed to releasing its games on PC alongside the Xbox One versions. That I can switch between the two and continue my progress depending on whether I'm in front on my TV or 25" monitor is also a superb feature and almost (almost) makes up for the steep 49.99 asking price on the Windows Store.

    The game defaulted to 5K Ultra dynamic settings on my system but I dropped the resolution down to 4K, left the framerate at 30 fps and turned off the dynamic optimisations, in favour of maxing out the settings including using 8xMSAA. The game runs very good, maintaining a solid 30 fps except for some rare but very noticeable half second freezes (which I thought was the game about to crash but it wasn't). The game is installed to a 7,200rpm hard drive rather than an SSD so I assume these are streaming 'hiccups'. Nevertheless, the feel of the game is identical to that of the Xbox One demo I played last week, which is rare with PC games as while I find 30 fps on consoles to be perfectly fine (if not exactly ideal), usually I find them annoyingly laggy on PC. Not so with this game which seems to play identically to Xbox One except for the aforementioned stutters. I have an i7-4770K @ 4.0 GHz, 16 GB of memory and an EVGA GTX 1080 FTW graphics card running on Windows 10 Pro v1607 and using the latest v372.90 drivers for my card.

    I did try the game at 2560x1440, the native resolution of my Dell display, and a 60 fps framerate but the game just felt too inconsistent in terms of controller response and movement so I switched back to 30 fps. I did also encounter some weird issues with parts of roadside fences disappearing and reappearing as I raced by plus distant hills and mountains seem to have some kind of flickering going on that oddly seems to pulsate with the music (I don't think it's intentional).

    Even with those issues, I am thoroughly enjoying this game. It's built in a way that keeps you entertained and it is always rewarding or praising you. It's a game that is a delight to play IMO and I can see this replacing PGR 4 as my favourite arcade racing game to date.
    Reply +11
  • 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 +65
  • 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 +39
  • 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