Uncompetative Comments

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

  • Uncompetative 25/09/2016


    I would prefer 1080p60 in every game on PS4 Pro but the CPU just isn't fast enough. I don't even think Sony could have put in a faster CPU without risk of incompatibility or overheating. I too would like to see next gen games invest in rich AI, teleological procedural generation, and complex physics more so than raw resolution but I would suspect we would need to see the console made out of more specialized chips so that it had a programmable FGPA for AI and an SSD for TPCG and a PhysX CPU for physics as well as an APU (CPU + GPU) for the usual.

    The fact that the PS4 has another chip inside of it just to handle background downloads is a sign that this can be done when the customer is put first. XBOX ONE would be a good deal quicker if it didn't have to multitask so much – a tiny overclock and reclaiming 11% of the GPU by freeing up the reservation for the Kinect is a start but really they should scrap Snap and let you schedule downloads to happen whilst an app is inactive and games are paused or free up background threads whilst in its menus. It might not manage 1080p as often as the PS4, but it would certainly achieve 900p minimum and avoid the embarrassment of 720p.
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  • Earn entry into Titanfall 2 multiplayer mode at US resturant

  • Uncompetative 23/09/2016

    MechDonalds Reply 0
  • Destiny: Rise of Iron launch woes force players into queue

  • Uncompetative 20/09/2016

    How dare they advertise this as multiplayer! I can't hop in my spacescraft and fly to Mars to mine some Iron deposits and then go to Venus to pick some rare Flowers with which to upgrade my Multi-tool. Bungie are LIARS! Destiny is a scam. I demand a refund!!! Reply 0
  • Looking back at Spore in a post-No Man's Sky world

  • Uncompetative 19/09/2016


    I've made an effort with my comments, but I've a sneaky suspicion that no one can see them due to some petty revenge of a moderator based on a tragic misunderstanding.
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  • Uncompetative 18/09/2016

    Imagine if...
    This seems to be the curse of No Man's Sky. Even after its release idiots speculate about what might have been if it hadn't been what its creators clearly intended and demonstrated it would hopefully be. The other day I came across some entitled prick on the Internet who said that it needed some planets to have civilsations with large populated cities you could walk around. I asked Sean Murray early on if it would have cities in the Game Informer Q&A to try to curb the community's rabid speculations about the undisclosed surprise discoveries the developers were assumed to be scattering among the stars – I expected a simple 'No' but got a very long explanation that explained that they didn't want players to abandon their journey to uncover the enigma that lay at the centre by having a reason for them to stay in one place, aiming to aesthetically evoke Tatooine rather than Coruscant.

    How easy would it have been for this "pathological liar" to say 'Yes' and then not deliver on them for some hand wavey technical reason. Even more hype could have been built around this GTA in Space if Sean Murray really was the crook so many have convinced themselves he is. Wouldn't it be easier to keep it multiplayer and then fake a meeting between two staff members early on then claim all the others that failed to happen were due to them being in disjoint instances due to extremely high server population. If Sean really was out to take your money and run why spent the first lot of profits on an external QA studio that had more staff than the whole of Hello Games? Why bother to bring out eight patches in the title's first few weeks> Why not just all go on holiday?
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  • Uncompetative 18/09/2016


    When did Sean Murray ever say that he had put the Higgs boson into it? I've followed everything about its development since its debut at the VGX awards in 2013 to the point of obsession and I'm sure that I would have remembered him claiming that it was all based on a foundation that was a fictional Theory of Everything.

    Sean Murray never lied.

    He naïvely answered questions without his own PR person lurking in the background to ensure that he repeatedly clarified that everything being discussed pertained to the current build and may not make it into the final release for technical, aesthetic, or business reasons.

    He gave demonstrations of prototypal aspects that he fully expected would make it into the final release, but due to them mistakenly taking on a PC version which included support for chips that lack SIMD instructions the huge variety of boxes that the so called Master Race sling together out of bargain bucket components couldn't be fully tested in time for its near simultaneous release.

    This was genuine overreach by this tiny studio, brought about by a rabid PC community that was clamouring for this title. They were most likely to be responsible for the death threats received for its second very necessary delay, so any criticism of it being rushed out full of bugs whilst valid has to be balanced against that fact.
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  • Uncompetative 18/09/2016


    Hello Games could have charged £120 for it if they wanted to, as it is their service that they are providing. You as a consumer don't have to buy it at this amount, or the amount it actually initially sold as.
    Reply 0
  • Star Citizen's first-person shooting changes coming along nicely

  • Uncompetative 18/09/2016

    This looks boring. Reply 0
  • Sony's Shuhei Yoshida on No Man's Sky

  • Uncompetative 16/09/2016

    Sean Murray never lied. Reply 0
  • The Witness review

  • Uncompetative 14/09/2016


    I've recently bought it for my XBOX ONE and it seems to have a lower framerate when turning than it had on my PS4.

    Since my earlier comments from eight months ago I was persuaded by all those here who had said that if I was apparently so obsessed with writing about the shortcomings of The Witness then I ought to do so having actually played it.

    I don't believe that no one should be allowed to criticise a game that they haven't played as there are so many ways to gain an impression of the gameplay (YouTube walkthroughs and Twitch come to mind as well as their extensive online communities), so long as they are clear in their critique that they haven't played it.

    I won't be buying the PC that I would need in order to "gain permission" to criticise Chris Roberts' Star Citizen and yet I won't hesitate to say what I think of it - and lately from what I saw of the FPS gameplay I was surprisingly impressed and felt that the Twitch streamers who had formed a party in order to mount an incursion on a space station were organised and immersed. So far it is the only aspect of it that I have seen that I felt held promise and I expect it will be 2020 before a polished MMO is ready for everyone to play on an average PC.

    So, with all that out of the way here is my own review of The Witness followed by a critique - based on the PS4 version with every puzzle solved except for the randomized challenge. Note: for anyone yet to play this game what follows below is very in depth and contains all possible SPOILERS:

    You are The Witness, insofar as you are the beta tester, insofar as you are one of a team of atheist VR developers seeking to create a meditative space referred to hereafter as The Island in which various techniques of Zen Buddhism are used to suppress their ego whilst drugs are administered to suppress memories of their daily life.

    The Maze Puzzles correspond to the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism as they provide a compulsive challenge to goal oriented individuals which is a deliberately meaningless ritualistic practise intended to distract those who engage with them from themselves.

    The Environmental Puzzles correspond to the Ōbaku school of Zen Buddhism which is related to Rinzai, but also to the Chinese school which promises a land of Ultimate Bliss called Sukhāvat which in time could save the enlightened reincarnated consciousnesses of all sentient beings. There are some suggestions that the team of developers intended to create their own “digital heaven” free from religious dogma and egocentricity. Ōbaku is renowned for its skilled calligraphy which resonates with the path tracing of shapes in and around the island.

    Despite reference to the Sōtō school within the room of architectural models inside the mountain, meditating without objects, anchors or content whilst seated as you allow all stimuli and thoughts to pass through your mind without being dwelt upon does not suit a virtual world such as this Island. One could argue that it is a deliberately unthreatening Island with zero wildlife - except for some stick insects out between the back of the Quarry and the sandy area that leads up to the Desert Ruin - and a very pretty one at that which puts one at your ease as you leisurely walk around it. Also, it has been remarked that the game is made more difficult through the addition of Sprint as one is less likely to notice the Enviromental Puzzles when one is running about taking the “racing line” everywhere as I have noticed that most things are hidden where it can predict you won’t look (off to the side from the direction you are heading), and on the return journey they are generally obscured by strategically placed foliage. As to your specific complaint at 25:26 this fundamental aspect of its design may well account for why I have completed 135 of these Environmental Puzzles, as the bridge moves as slow as it does so that players can complete three of these from two separate locations.

    The lack of a conventional tutorial echoes Zen teachings of Dharma Transmission. Put as simply as possible, a receptive state of mind comes through adapting one’s point of view until it coincides with that of an already enlightened mind, yet this is more profound than learning how to solve Maze Puzzles or how to stand in the appropriate place with a contrivance of the systemic elements around you in The Island, but through that release of dogmatic perception one becomes receptive to the contrasting dialectic of scattered audio logs, the exasperation with their failed pursuit of Truth, and the acceptance that no such Ultimate Truth exists - without being made to feel foolish for clinging to superstition.

    The fictional ‘behind the scenes’ audio logs reveal that these VR developers are striving to create a space which will turn intelligent people who spend significant time in it into atheists - whilst not heavy handedly making them reactionary anti-theists. The story of The Witness is simple. It is about how their lead beta tester is first to take a “deep dive” into their VR and is so drugged that he almost forgets the exit protocol. This could be considered a cautionary tale as to the perils of the compelling immersion promised by VR, or just a bit of levity tacked onto a project overburdened with self-importance.

    I personally enjoyed my time on The Island and don’t regret paying £39.99 for it. When it got impossible to proceed I sought a second opinion, then help from a multitude of very good YouTube videos. At no time did I feel that I was spoiling my own fun because I only did so at the times when it stopped being fun. I played it all the way up to The Challenge which I was unable to complete, and got a lot out of analysing what made it an excellent tutorial free puzzle game stuffed full of unexpected Easter Eggs. I kept playing in hopes it would have some deep Ultimate Truth that would explain all my initial questions as to “Who am I?”, “Where am I?”, “How did I come to be here?”, and “How do I escape?” and I did get all of those questions answered eventually, but to be honest the answers weren’t that impressive:

    Q: “Who am I?”
    A: “The lead beta tester of a VR who has forgotten who they are due to being on drugs.”

    Q: “Where am I?”
    A: “Sukhāvat in the form of a Digital Heaven for uploaded immortal consciounesses.”

    Q: “How did I come to be here?”
    A: “You jacked in”

    Q: “How do I escape?”
    A: “By drawing a snaking line around the sides of three invisible triangles on the panel on the Garden Gate in a 3-2-1 order according to one of the maps found in the boxes under the Desert Ruin should that Gate have been opened already in order to close it, however matters are much simpler if the Gate hasn’t yet been opened as all one is required to do is connect the Sun with its shining periphery to open a magic portal that leads out to the Hotel overlooking The Island that progressively acclimates you back to your real life. Your escape would have been easy had you not taken drugs to suppress your memory of the simple 3-2-1 exit protocol.”

    9 / 10

    Now my critique…

    The Witness is a masterfully crafted collection of tutorial free Maze Puzzles and hidden Easter Eggs all set in a beautiful Island full of restful ambient sounds. You are alone on this Island to focus on whatever takes your interest. There are no threats. As in life you are only a prisoner of your own curiosity and there is no meaningful reward for all your endeavours. It could be argued that it isn’t intended to be a game, but an experience to progressively brainwash you to accepting its clumsily handled atheistic subtext. In this regard the extrinsic narrative (such that it is comprised of only six audio logs amongst a total of fifty - excluding credits - when you include the one that is on the check-in desk of the Hotel), is pushed so far into the background as to be willfully obscure, almost as if it were embarrassed to communicate its central theme. This sits uneasily with the fact that true atheists would reject their notion of Godless Immortality in a Digital Heaven as they prefer to live in Reality - even if that means accepting mortality, and defining their own morality. Therefore, in this thematic aspect The Witness utterly fails as a work of art.

    In this respect it is a victim of its own pretentious creator’s unachievable aspirations. Yet, the fact that I am even discussing its potential as Art means that even this failed step is a genuinely progressive attempt to advance the medium of videogames to tackle more serious, philosophical, topics - and that attempt is welcome.

    I forgot to mention the sculptures, which may represent the potentially futile quest for truth at the heart of the game. A couple argue at the mountain top as one seeks the truth about the other. A couple of men carry a mystery box that once opened provides access to the challenges within the mountain. A chartered surveyor uses a theodolite to find a true line to some geographic point on The Island. A woman assumes a meditative pose with both palms pressed together as she herself reflects on Ultimate Truth whilst she herself is reflected in the form of a landscape of rocks seen sideways in the mirror stillness of the surrounding infinite ocean. A man with a long nose perhaps from years of lying raises his hands skyward to God for redemption, yet in a separate perspective he is seen to cast a shadow transforming supplication to that of a jester juggling the rocks strewn before him, perhaps alluding to the burden of the philosophical dialectic in the juxtaposed audio logs which makes all those who seek an Ultimate Truth in philosophy, spirituality and science in equal part fools. Some figures grouped in alcoves in the Quarry reference Darwin’s stages of the evolution of Homo Sapiens from the stain on the wall that represents the ape, alluding to the development of our own self-awareness as individual sentient beings that question the world around us rather than just sitting in trees eating bananas. There is no reason why a human should consider themselves to be special compared to other living things, and in a sense this sequence alludes to the Ghost in the Machine in which our notion of a soul is but an emergent property of brain complexity and not, as some wrongly conclude, a gift from some sort of God. The lady in the window of the keep which is formed from shadows on a rock may be the Erythraean Sibyl a prophetess from ancient Greece who in some stories learnt the Ultimate Truth at the expense of being able to explain it to anyone else, in a manner akin to a heightened state such as religious mania which is entirely tangible and concrete to those experiencing it and inexpressible to those who do not share that same sensibility, as well as diminishing in its articulacy as their sanity returns. To some extent the same is true of LSD or Mescaline trips, rendering all seekers of deep truth through hallucinogenics social drop-outs who are wasting their time with temporary delusions that they cannot communicate the value of afterward. Prometheus sits atop the burnt out tree stump as a cautionary note to the perils of knowledge of fire, he may also feature because he is a character within the weird spiritual book “The Biggest Secret: The Truth” by András Kovács-Magyar which no one need read, because it is complete postmodern posturing codswallop. It would seem that there is no lack of capacity in humanity to invent delusions and new cults to evangelise their incoherent message and religions to force their established dogma on successive generations at the cost of making a single world in the barrens of lifeless space at war with itself over who has the strongest belief in their own supernatural lies.

    There are many other scuptures, but to deconstruct them all would be too exhaustive. It makes sense that they look like much the same as those poor petrified fools who did not fear the ash eruption at Pompeii, who denied the very real truth of the existential threat from their neighboring volcano. Is the hollow mountain actually a volcano?

    Aside from all of that speculation, there is a recurrent motif of Lotus flowers both floating on the central lake and on cushions and stationery. This refers to the great ancient Greek poem of the Odyssey (as attributed to Homer) in which some sailors led by their captain Odysseus are blown off course onto the island of the Lotus eaters:

    “I was driven thence by foul winds for a space of 9 days upon the sea, but on the tenth day we reached the land of the Lotus-eaters, who live on a food that comes from a kind of flower. Here we landed to take in fresh water, and our crews got their mid-day meal on the shore near the ships. When they had eaten and drunk I sent two of my company to see what manner of men the people of the place might be, and they had a third man under them. They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eaters without thinking further of their return; nevertheless, though they wept bitterly I forced them back to the ships and made them fast under the benches. Then I told the rest to go on board at once, lest any of them should taste of the lotus and leave off wanting to get home, so they took their places and smote the grey sea with their oars.”

    The subtextual resonance should be clear that this echoes Jonathan Blow’s character (i.e. you) who is so doped up with drugs to suppress memory on The Island that they forget all thoughts of returning home and how to effect their return, albeit that this ‘exit protocol’ is exceedingly simple as 3-2-1.

    There is no evidence of a connection to the Odyssey through sculptures of Sirens appearing around The Island as some have suggested as in Homer’s poem the captain orders his crew to strap him to the mast so he can hear their enticingly beautiful song then plug their ears so that they aren’t pulled onto the rocks. His ship does not not become a wreck like that off the coast of The Witness, so any attempt to make this link is tenuous at best.

    Assorted optical illusions are dotted around The Island, but it is safe to say that these have no additional meaning other than being Easter Eggs which are fun to find. Although a largely serious experience rather than being a fun game, The Witness does have some levity and jokes at its own expense to puncture its own self-important bombast.

    These obscure layers of meaning and hidden audio logs do not foreground the theme he intended to convey, and I don’t think ludonarrative dissonance is a decent excuse for pushing the story so far into the background that you can play the whole game and be completely unaware of its theme.

    Harmony can be achieved between game and story, but only if the story is a product of a simulation and not predetermined ahead of time by a writer in which case flexible player agency cannot be fully accounted for. Adventures that write their own stories to convey a coherent underlying theme whilst a player is free to make their own choices within its open world will eventually be developed as they are technically possible. However, they remain almost a decade away and require great strides to be made in simplifying creative production as current tools just aren’t up to the job and no investment has been made in Middleware that supports exploratory live programming.

    I've got a lot of enjoyment out of critiquing The Witness and my earlier disinterest was entirely due to this misleading review taking a game that I had followed for seven years and giving me grave doubts about it.

    So, I would like to thank everyone here who chastised me or persuaded me into getting it despite being crestfallen by this review. As I have attempted to outline here, there is a lot more that could be said to be going on in it, but that could all be in the eye of the beholder.
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  • What if Uncharted 4 on PS4 Pro ran at 60fps?

  • Uncompetative 13/09/2016

    I don't mind 1080p30 in Destiny and DriveCkub and Uncharted 4. What I dislike is games that fail to deliver even that. I want VSync ON and I bought my PS4 Pro to achieve that extremely low bar. Reply 0
  • The Last Guardian delayed again

  • Uncompetative 12/09/2016

    Learning from the rushed launch of No Man's Sky. Reply 0
  • Microsoft's bullish response to Sony's PS4 Pro and slim

  • Uncompetative 09/09/2016


    I've bought a PS4 Pro and only hope to get a VSync locked mimimum of 1080p30 with no dynamic horizontal or vertical resolution. My copy of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition may hit 1080p60 consistently, but if it slips to a lower horizontal resolution at times I won't be throwing my toys out of the pram.

    Indeed, my primary concern is whether I can install a HDD larger than 2TB as my PS4 has been rapidly filling up. However, if 2TB is still the ceiling due to a lack of higher capacity 9.5 mm drives and they don't use the extra layer of the sandwich to support a slot for an optional upgrade to 4TB then I guess that I will make do with keeping singleplayer games on my old PS4 in another room in the house.
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  • Sony plays down PS4 Pro's lack of 4K Blu-ray disc support

  • Uncompetative 08/09/2016

    "Our feeling is that while physical media continues to be a big part of the games business, we see a trend on video towards streaming,"
    This is a keen observation and Sony have done everything right.
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  • Sony announces PlayStation 4 Pro for November 2016, priced £349

  • Uncompetative 08/09/2016

    4K TV is a waste of pixels at normal couch viewing distances and 4K Netflix gains resolution at the expense of colour depth and sound quality. HD is far superior to 4K unless you have money to burn on a 4K projector and how many times can you watch the same Blu ray before you get bored with it? Far better to rent movies digitally in my opinion. So, the omission of a 4K UHD Blu ray drive in this, whilst unexpected, lowers cost so that Sony can give us their machine a whole year ahead of its competition.

    Consequently, I bought a PS4 Pro last night.
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  • The state of video game TV

  • Uncompetative 05/09/2016


    I'd happily use that toothbrush after Aleks Krotoski had finished with it.

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  • Pokémon Go, mid-life crisis and me, by Ellie Gibson

  • Uncompetative 05/09/2016

    I'm 46 and I have only ever worn T-shirts for P.E. Reply 0
  • Asus ROG GX800VH review - the world's most powerful gaming laptop?

  • Uncompetative 04/09/2016

    This will burn all the hairs off your thighs.

    Including those on the BACK of your legs.
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  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered will contain all 16 multiplayer maps

  • Uncompetative 02/09/2016

    This is very good news. Activision needs to be applauded for this. Reply 0
  • Assetto Corsa console review

  • Uncompetative 01/09/2016

    No blind packs of random cheats in this genuine simulator.

    Forza Motorsport 6 is trash.
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  • Forza Horizon given Xbox backwards compatibility ahead of Games with Gold release

  • Uncompetative 31/08/2016

    Forza Horizon is such a good game. Much better than the silly offroading hypercars winning races in its sequel. I would be much happier if the ONE were just a 360 with a bigger hard drive as most of the AAA titles have been cross generational anyway. Reply 0
  • 4K PC gaming is finally viable - and it's stunning

  • Uncompetative 31/08/2016

    Why would anyone buy a Scorpio? Reply 0
  • There's a new report about those NX detachable controllers

  • Uncompetative 26/08/2016

    It will be interesting to see how close I was next month. Reply 0
  • Watch: Why I'm not sticking with No Man's Sky

  • Uncompetative 26/08/2016

    Hello Games have confused opportunity with necessity. You should never start off on a hazardous planet as it undermines its core identity as a chilled out exploration game. However, you should never start off next to the wreck of your ship as it undermines your initial journey of discovery where you figure out that to find it a mountain must be climbed so that you can scan the horizon for a plume of smoke from its burning fuselage with the aid of your powerful binoculars. You should never have your immersion broken by these intrusive UI warnings, milestones, waypoints, or contextual button prompts unless you are intentionally looking through your binoculars by holding L2 – binoculars you should be able to upgrade on their own dedicated menu tab. You should never find the same core elements on every planet as it undermines exploration and discovery – the exosuit may have to await repair elswhere if the game can guarantee that all starting planets have caves (some underwater, but they are always present) and you will always disover the Plutonium crystals that are needed to power your Spaceship's launch thrusters growing deep within these hot dark caves that need to be explored with the aid of your torch. You should never find the exact same plant rich in Zinc on zillions of worlds. Where is the diversity? Where is the risk / reward? Where is the acceptable grind where everything that I work towards is kept in the last Spacestation that I visited? Reply 0
  • Uncompetative 26/08/2016

    Where was the enigma?

    - you emerge from your life pod right slap bang next to the wreck of your ship

    Why did you not have to climb the nearest mountain to scan the horizon for smoke with binoculars?
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  • A new PC mod fixes one of No Man's Sky's most frustrating traits

  • Uncompetative 23/08/2016


    Why not go the whole hog and have a mod that automatically teleports all elements from wherever they occur on the planet with the aid of a tab in your menu which contains a large fictional Periodic Table into any empty inventory slots in your Exosuit up to their max capacity?

    It would save you walking anywhere!
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  • The PS4 Slim is real - confirmed

  • Uncompetative 23/08/2016

    @RamonNL Exactly. What product designer in their right mind would put a tiny Eject button in the way of the ejecting disc. I thought the PS4 Eject button ought to have been uppermost so that it was out of the way of the ejecting disc, but this is way worse. It has to be an elaborate fake. Reply 0
  • Uncompetative 22/08/2016


    4K UHD Blu Ray is a waste of pixels at normal couch viewing distances. What works for lovely PC monitors is totally superfluous for distances over five feet.
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  • No Man's Sky is a fine example of one type of game (but many people were expecting another)

  • Uncompetative 21/08/2016


    Very well said.

    I think there needs to be an independent review site that does not run ads or agree to press embargoes. Perhaps, people can submit their user reviews and have some kind of subeditor ensuring grammatical quality and low toxicity.

    If I didn't have the responsibilities of a carer I would have a stab at it, but alas I lack the time.
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  • Uncompetative 21/08/2016

    @JaqenHGhar80 Sean Murray published a blog post the day before release stating what you do in the game, but not what you can no longer do in the game. Stuff that was in trailers isn't there. As you say it may come. We may get it for free. We may be expected to pay for it. However, the preorder bonus Alpha Vector starship that stated it had a hyperdrive that allowed you to jump to nearby star systems was falsely advertised. You can not hop in it at the outset of the game and go wherever you please. Despite it flying in to land when you unlock it, it requires repair and refuelling and it can't jump without more parts.

    Destiny was redeemed by its excellent PvP and people apologising for these developers, saying that it will fulfill its promise in years to come just make me sick.

    When did journalists become sheep?
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  • No Man's Sky modders start by shutting up your exosuit

  • Uncompetative 17/08/2016


    The only way to be truly satisfied is to write your own game. Space simulators are about the easiest genre to tackle in terms of design and implementation. Programming games is often more fun than most puzzle games as the solution isn't just a meaningless proof that you are as clever as the person who devised that brain teaser, but a bug resolved that makes a better experience for all of your players.

    However, depending on your ambition it may take you a long time to finish anything. I have been working on just the Middleware for mine for 22 years, but this gamejam submission was made in just 10 hours by Nothke:

    You may want to turn your volume down.


    Interestingly, it has deeper avionics than No Man's Sky with its six degrees of freedom control scheme.
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  • Uncompetative 17/08/2016


    They just need to make it so that the HUD only displays when L2 is held, so that it defaults to the screenshot mode.

    It would also be more experiential if unlike me, you weren't unlucky enough to start on a very hot, radioactive planet, with a hazardous toxic atmosphere and showers of acid rain, leading to me dying every twenty paces as I struggled to collect the resources I needed to survive away from the gaze of the ever watchful and deadly Sentinels that I was unable to defend myself against or run away and hide from fast enough given my poor stamina and the lack of natural cover on the planet.

    No one should be put through the misery that I was. I have played it once on its release and I have yet to go back to it again. It just isn't fun.

    Between the hazards and preoccupations with inventory management I spent all of my time looking for those plants that are rich in Zinc to help me survive the hostile environment and after several hours of trudging around in this constantly-nearly-dying game loop I realised that I had totally ignored the scenery and not even had the time to look up and see the day turn into night and the stars come out.

    I was missing the best part of this game out of a poor design choice to frustrate progress so that players didn't see too many different kinds of planets in a short space of time and glean a notion of the underlying patterns that recur in various ways.

    If no one ever began on a hazardous planet it would be a lot better for it as I could take in the scenery at my own pace, watch a sunset, explore a cave system with my torch and only find Plutonium crystals deep within it, and not on the surface where they just look silly.
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  • No Man's Sky offers new PC patch beta

  • Uncompetative 17/08/2016


    Such is life when one refuses to follow herd mentality aka the hive mind. In the end, the truth always outs and in many instances the scales start to fall from the eyes of the hopelessly ignorant and the wilfully deluded.

    Sadly, such is the way of fanboyism, they typically conflate that of calling it true with being a hater. For example, I took a vocal stance on CDPR's shenanigans in relation to The Witcher III on PC but that was in no way a comment on the game itself. A game which, I might add, I own and have very much been enjoying playing. I was attacked by many for the stance I took but regardless of their butthurt the facts I highlighted remain the facts.

    Dimwitted fanboys subscribe to the George W Bush school of thinking, i.e. 'You're either with us or against us'. In the case of NMS and many more much hyped games before it 'With us' means universal unquestioned praise and shouting down those who highlight the truth.
    What, truth? That No Man's Sky is a frustratingly dull 2/10?
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  • You can max out your ship and equipment on the first planet in No Man's Sky

  • Uncompetative 16/08/2016

    This wouldn't have worked if DoktorFeelgood had had the bad luck to start on the planet I did. Death every twenty paces, due to extreme heat, high levels of radiation, toxic atmosphere and acid rain. Not too bad inside dark caves until you get attacked by a belligerent crab I named "Avoid". Nothing much to see here in the way of fauna other than a stupid "Ghent" so I decided to name this benighted hell-hole planet Belgium.

    Hello Games needed to make these hazardous planets optional, rewarding their environmental risk with an increasing likelihood of exotic minerals. Sentinels should only be rangers protecting their alien safari parks from poachers and their own planetary headquarters from being breached and hacked. A player should be able to reduce the difficulty curve to compensate for their lack of expertise through grinding for suit and weapon upgrades before they attempt to go to these resource rich planets. You should never start off as I did unable to get into space because you can't survive long enough to grab what you need away from the watchful gaze of the Sentinels to repair a ship you thought would be a fully functioning preorder bonus.

    I'm prepared to tolerate starting off presumably crashed on an alien planet, but it makes no sense to then unlock my Alpha Vector ship, have it fly itself in on autopilot, and then discover it isn't airworthy, or spaceworthy, let alone hyperspaceworthy – as the PSN Store page claimed it would be – and it is unfair to put players on extremely hostile planets when another 'Goldilocks Zone' one could be picked from the 2^64 available.
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  • No Man's Sky review

  • Uncompetative 16/08/2016


    Please don't buy it on false expectations and hype, then leave negative reviews everywhere because you didn't get what you expected.

    But if you like exploring, if your childhood dream was to roam the galaxy encountering strange new lifeforms and interacting with alien civilisations, if you enjoy taking a step back from constant fast-paced action and just look around and experience where you are, then definitely BUY THIS GAME!
    You have just seeded false expectations as to the depth of this game. There is no life. There are no civilisations. There is only hype, which you have bought into and echoed in BOLD.

    Life – the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death

    I've seen entities that are reported to be both young and old, male and female and variants beyond such as the classification 'orthogonal', but I haven't seen them give birth, have sex, grow up, or eat unless explicitly fed. I've yet to see predator-prey relationships as in the first 2013 VGX trailer and can only assume that the AI supporting complex ecosystems had to be cut out for reasons of performance - after all the game was targeting 1080p60 at one point and we got half that. So, until I see a video of some weird creatures fucking I won't feel like a xenozoologist.

    Civilisation – the society, culture, and way of life of a particular area and the process by which a society or place reaches an advanced stage of social development and organization.

    Immediately we have a problem with this as it fails to meet the definition of a society with its lone NPCs:

    Society – the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.

    I don't count the groups of NPC spaceships that belong to each faction as their crews are tucked away inside, their culture unobserved.

    Culture – the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.

    I've yet to see a painting or sculpture inside a remote alien base, or find them watching some drama, news, sport or amusing themselves as they take a rest from whatever barely defined job they are stuck on this frontier world doing with a videogame, or some healthy exercise – given that it is too hazardous to go out.

    GTA Online had culture (billboard and radio adverts, as well as shop signs, a TV in your apartment that had cartoons and news covering car chases from elsewhere within its MMO, food and drink including pubs where you could get drunk, hallucinogenic drugs, street racing, and lots of other cars as well as pedestrians giving you the sense you were in a thriving city – it even had the web.

    Now, whilst it would be ridiculous to suggest that No Man's Sky needs to have all that, it doesn't help it convey a sense that it has multiple vibrant alien civilisations if it has none of those aspects of culture.

    Indeed, it only seems to have the ruins of past civilisations, and I would have preferred it if it had not bothered to have all these sentient aliens that are already known to exist on your starting planet due to marketing that spoiled what ought to have been their delayed First Contact several weeks into the game as some players began to encounter them as they got closer to the more colonised centre of this initial Galaxy. That way it wouldn't be such a nonsense to battle against Sentinels for just mining a couple of Plutonium crystals so you can fuck off somewhere less hazardous and leave their zoological preserve alone, only to climb over some ridge and see a huge base has been built in the middle of this protected safari park. These trading outposts should be on planets that lack Sentinels, but are low in exotic mineral resources. Plutonium shouldn't be on the surface of any planet, but grow in hot dark caves. You shouldn't crash on some random planet, but on a random hospitable one without Sentinels or fauna, being lucky to see grass and trees so that you are thrilled to find your first flower on a subsequent planet and be immediately inspired to track down the insect that must pollinate it.

    There is no interesting process behind all you see which you can use scientific instruments to skillfully investigate. You press a button to find that it has robbed you of the discovery of the multiple constituent elements of a flower and destroyed it in extracting some Zinc whilst not allowing you to pick what single element you want to teleport out of it to some minor degree that the Sentinels wouldn't mind.

    It lacks subtlety, complexity and depth. Life does not exist within No Man's Sky as far as the dictionary definition is concerned, and it would be ridiculous to suggest it represents anything more than ruined civilisations. So, I will play it, hate it for making me stare at the ground looking for the resources I need to get off the extremely hot, radioactive planet with toxic atmosphere and acid rain that it thought it would be a good design to crash me on even though I have paid for what I assumed would be a fully functional Alpha Vector starship and hopefully begin my adventure inside of it as I exited hyperspace, and in so forcing me to fuss with overlarge icons in a poxy inventory (whose labels are superfluous as their titles can be revealed as you hover over them with the Destiny style cursor) that I miss the wonders of the scenery around me and fail in my intended plan to just stand perfectly still on the first world I find and watch the night turn into day as I treat the game as some chilled out screensaver before I am inspired to turn and watch the Suns set.

    I knew full well No Man's Sky lacked cities as I was the one who asked him the question "Will it have cities?" in this Game Informer Q&A


    You are the one lying about 'alien civilisations' and hyping it further with BOLD CAPS!

    Please don't buy it on false expectations and hype, then leave negative reviews everywhere because you didn't get what you expected.
    Thanks, but I'll do what I think is right and warn people about this game with my review over at Metacritic (PneumaticVeto) where I very charitably gave it 2/10.
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  • Uncompetative 14/08/2016


    Just please, no enforced multiplayer. This universe is a lonely place and that's the way I like it. If I ever feel it's necassary to upgrade my shields further to protect from incoming players it will be a completely different game that's taken a big step back towards uniformity.
    As I understand it No Man's Sky becomes more challengingly hazardous as you approach the centre of its initial Galaxy, so you would be upgrading your Ship anyway to cope with NPC pirates and warring factions with which you've formed an alliegance.

    Therefore, unexpected player encounters will not make a jot of difference to your gameplay as these unidentified spacecraft will likely be assumed to be yet more NPC controlled ships.

    Your only issue will come about when meeting another player on the surface of a planet and finding them to be a total jerk who is keen to grenade the landscape around you whilst you are there to admire the scenery.

    However, even there you are covered as it will let you revert to your last save point which is either going to be an Antenna Save, or the last Base you were in, or when you got out of your Starship.

    Obviously, this Save system could be improved by having a revertible Save slot for every type of identified location. Want to go back to the Spacestation, but you already exited your ship on landing (autosave 1) and uploaded your last set of discoveries at an Antenna (autosave 2), shouldering out the previous autosave you had made in space? Well, maintaining typed slots for last landing, last upload, and last docking would open up the game's mechanics to a lot more "What if?" exploratory play, as its unfun Dark Souls death penalty (unredeemed as it is in From Software's game by deep combat that rewards mastery as the flying Sentinels ought only to alert the larger walking ones like bystanders calling the police upon witnessing a crime you have committed, with the terrain in desperate need of some humanoid sized rocks to scarper around as the clankily slow moving, but deadly walking robot tries to kill you and a weak spot has to be hit by you Crouching mid Sprint to Slide underneath it and zap its belly, only to then bring a bipedal "AT-ST" that is so armored underneath that you have to Jet-pack on top of its head to avoid its gun and drill into its cybernetic brain to disable it, or cut a way in to a disused operator's chair so you can get inside the Vertical Tank and wreak havoc on all that dares to come next to punish your greed), could be entirely circumvented at the expense of rapid progress.

    So, I think that you shouldn't fret about PvP ruining the chilled out feel of the game. You do not have to race to the centre of the Galaxy to likely find some instanced drop-in / drop-out multiplayer lobby containing between six and forty other player's ships and nowhere to land.

    At what, for many, will be the end of their long journey of exploration and discovery they will enjoy seeing these other intrepid astronauts will be something of a thrill after all their lonely adventures, as by then its community will have organised itself to collaboratively penetrate its enigmatic mysteries and mark the royal road to the centre full of low-sec resource rich planets interspersed with beautiful locations teeming with life whose discovery pays handsomely.
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  • In Theory: Can Sony upgrade PlayStation Neo's specs?

  • Uncompetative 14/08/2016

    Paradoxically, I don't want the PS4K to do 4K gaming. Indeed, I'd prefer to buy a half-height PS4S with the Blu ray drive replaced by a second 2TB HDD as I'm close to filling mine up and genuinely need 4TB for the remainder of the eighth generation as I suspect Sony won't support external USB 3.0 HDDs like my 3.5TB XBOX ONE. A die shrink should lower the power requirement as well as provide the ability to run some games at 1080p60 (with dynamic horizontal resolution) and all other games at a minimum of a full 1920x1080p30.

    Microsoft are wasting their money developing a 6TB 12GB XBOX that runs some games at 4Kp30 so it is does not give rich players a framerate advantage in multiplayer.

    This is idiotic for three reasons:

    1) PvP can "ping" at thirty times a second across all Microsoft platforms and use higher rate animation on the higher end Scorpio and PC without competitively disadvantaging anyone.

    2) A sniper in Battlefield 1 will have a huge advantage running at 1080p60 compared to another sniper the other end of a long valley trying to spot them amongst the blocky pixels of the XBOX ONE's lower resolution.

    3) 4K TV is a waste of pixels at normal couch viewing distances and only makes sense when you are investing in a 4K monitor placed three feet away across your gaming PC's desktop. Howeve goof the new TV screens look in the showroom, you can't appreciate the increased pixel density at even 6' if you haven't purchased a 4K TV that has 98" diagonal display panel measurement (which is $30,000).

    Even with Microsoft selling Scorpio at a $200 loss it will sit somewhere in the $600-$700 price range.

    Sony would be wise to go in the opposite direction and release a $300 discless PS4S with a 2TB HDD that has a spare drive bay that can be upgraded to 4TB and can have your PS4's existing drive either swapped over or slotted into the open bay to get you up and running with your extensive collection as soon as possible without onerous intermediate disk transfers or glacially slow redownloading of ~2TB.

    People will then look at Destiny 2 running at 1080p60 on the $300 PS4S and at 4Kp30 on the $600 Scorpio and baulk at cost of Microsoft's console, even if some games look better at a consistent 1080p60 without the PS4S' occasional use of barely noticable dynamic horizontal resolution. Also, a lot of people may decide to put the money they save getting a cheaper Sony console towards PSVR.
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  • No Man's Sky's most aggravating omission (on PS4)

  • Uncompetative 13/08/2016

    I would like to only see the HUD whilst L2 is squeezed Reply 0
  • No Man's Sky limited edition has online play icon hidden under sticker

  • Uncompetative 12/08/2016

    Most racing games have low ratings. Nothing new. Reply 0
  • No Man's Sky has a game-breaking exploit which is letting users farm rarest items

  • Uncompetative 12/08/2016


    I hate forced grind. They used to give you cheat codes or easy modes if you did, but took them out because people who can finish games soon a) can sell them on, and b) cannot be monetized in their desire to actually finish the game. Both are incredibly consumer unfriendly and leave me annoyed with a game that wastes my time.
    What ARE you on about?

    No Man's Sky has neither b) Microtransactions, or a) all that many people who haven't preordered it digitally for the sake of convenient lack of disc swapping and to get to play it first thing last Wednesday.
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  • Performance Analysis: No Man's Sky

  • Uncompetative 11/08/2016


    The marketing machine behind NMS did little to properly clarify the facts along the way and were seemingly quite content to let the hype flow regardless of whether it was grounded in reality or not.
    I did my best to check the community's rabidly out of control dreams and aspirations when I posed the question "Will it have cities?" in the Game Informer Q&A podcast.

    Before that point people genuinely convinced themselves that it would be GTA in Space.
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  • Watch: How big is the grind in No Man's Sky?

  • Uncompetative 11/08/2016


    Really big.

    You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is.
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  • Uncompetative 11/08/2016


    You click on someone's name and in the left hand column towards the bottom click IGNORE
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  • How to avoid No Man's Sky's allegedly game-breaking glitch

  • Uncompetative 11/08/2016

    I was bummed as I expected to start off in space, my preorder bonus Alpha Vector starship was broken and required repair. Technically, Sony didn't lie in their product description when I preordered No Man's Sky but they did deliberately mislead me into thinking that my preorder bonus ship would be spaceworthy and therefore by extension airworthy by saying that it came with a hyperdrive. Reply 0
  • No Man's Sky players meet in same spot, but can't see each other

  • Uncompetative 10/08/2016


    I'm of the same thinking. I want to buy this game as the relax gameplay and ideas behind it sound great. But that aspect you pointed out, I'm having the same struggles of understanding the purpose of discovery
    My experience of the game was anything but relaxing last night. It was frustratingly dull as it forced me to REPAIR my preorder bonus Alpha Vector starship. I had been misled into thinking that I would be able to warp to another system immediately, but it had me crashed landed on a radioactive planet with a toxic atmosphere and overprotective Sentinels and a belligerent crab that I encountered when I fell into a grand canyon I was attempting to cross with the aid of my jet-pack when it ran out of gas midway across and I had to walk through a seemingly endless cave system, full of dead ends, in the hope that it would provide a surface exit - the only upside being that I was sheltered therein.

    After unavoidably dying twice due to the game having a difficulty level well above Legendary, and struggling to recollect my inventory from my awkwardly located grave site, it CRASHED.

    - the Multi-tool should take longer to overheat
    - the Mining should be tripled in effectiveness
    - the Hazard protection should be quadrupled
    - the Sprint should last nineteen times as long
    - the Jet-pack should not run out of puff at all
    - the Player should exit hyperspace and crash on a more hospitable nearby planet unless they own the preorder bonus Alpha Vector starship with players therefore having time to upgrade their Exosuit and Multi-Tool should they want to explore a hazardous environment and NOT be plunged into this adversity from the start whilst the game fails to make it in any way clear that this is not their home planet and they are an alien astronaut exploring the stars
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  • Uncompetative 10/08/2016

    One of them should try warping out of the star system and back again Reply 0
  • Watch: We play No Man's Sky all day, basically

  • Uncompetative 09/08/2016


    I think some journalists expected this to be a nice simple chilled out exploration game which is something of a contradiction in terms. You can have a game without competition, but you can't have a game without challenge. To ditch all challenge brought in by the Survival aspect would make this an ambient experience much like Proteus. Nothing wrong with that, but it is not a game. Hello Games have given all of us a game of exploration and discovery where we choose our own level of risk in the hope of commensurate rewards. You can grind a lot to make your time on hostile worlds easier, or be an entitled idiot and expect that this Universe owes you your continued existence no matter how aggressively you play it. This ain't GTA.
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  • Our No Man's Sky review will be late, and here's why

  • Uncompetative 08/08/2016


    No Man's Sky is a multiplayer game that is capable of being played offline. Every player begins spread out around the rim of the same initial Galaxy, with the suggested objective to Journey to the centre of the Galaxy... and not as the recent trailer mistakenly asserted for us to Journey to the centre of the Universe, which would be utterly meaningless, cosmologically.

    2^64 planets are many more planets than are in the Milky Way which contains only 4 trillion planets at most (based on 10 per star and 400 billion stars, but this figure could be as low as 100 billion planets if their formation is rare), so we are talking about multiple Galaxies and that implies, as with Elite (1984) that there will be some way to travel between them.

    Each player exists in an instanced multiplayer lobby to begin with and plays through a Galaxy that is generated to look the same for them as for everyone else. When a player warps into a star system already occupied by another they join that player's lobby as a guest. If this host then warps out they become host to any more latecomers.

    Players must locally cache recently observed changes as much as storage space will permit. Not only keeping a semi-persistent record of their own 'path of destruction' but of what the other players have done during their time there even if they were not around to witness it as it happened. A player can therefore enter a star system and go to moon B whilst a latecomer warps in and carves their name on planet C only to leave without being encountered or the "instance bubbles" of each having touched at any point in time and the first player can still discover the second's name carved in the ice of a glacier on planet C's psuedo-Norwegian coastline.

    Where things get complicated is when a lot of players all go to the same place, and although this is very unlikely it must be programmed for otherwise the game will crash.

    The answer is to support multiple parallel universes – a Multiverse if you will – that allows the same place to have multiple active lobbies simultaneously. Battlefield 4 does this with latecomers autojoining a spare slot in an already started match on a map that gets to be reused in multiple lobbies simultaneously.

    This may seem something nerdy and irrelevant but it will become a vital part of the design as it becomes exponentially more likely that each player encounters another as they both head to the centre of the same Galaxy. This central zone may need extra slots taking it from six to forty, and then also supporting the existence of multiple instances.

    Your best bet on meeting up with your friend is to first get to this centre and then send them a message to meet at a clockwise-rotating pole of a non-hazardous nearby planet you'd found and circle around each other doing barrel rolls this way and that to differentiate yourself from the NPC AIs, and land having ensured that you are in the same instance. This won't work that easily at the very centre as it will be too full of people to guarantee the lobby you get put into is the same one that your friend goes into. By entering and leaving a bunch of times you may get lucky and spot each other's ships, based on the SHARE photos you sent to each other.
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  • Uncompetative 08/08/2016


    I expect Polygon to pull their usual stunt and publish a PROVISIONAL REVIEW but it hardly matters when a 3/10 game is given a 9/10 at launch because they have been given wads of Microsoft cash...

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  • Uncompetative 08/08/2016


    Ugh, No Man's Sky fulfills the technical definition of an MMO even if Sean Murray is sensible to downplay it to mitigate overhyped expectations.

    After all, he just went back on saying it will not have cities and admitted that it may get them in the future. Hello Games are not finished with it yet and are currently hiring new staff.
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