alexatkin Comments

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  • Latest Assassin's Creed Unity patch boosts performance

  • alexatkin 23/12/2014

    "here are reports that Ubisoft is creating new problems as it tinkers with the Assassin's Creed Unity codebase"

    Yet you fail to mention any of them? The 40GB update is not one of these, its a glitch specifically with the Xbox One update service.

    Also, since when has ANY sane person had an expectation of a solid 30fps in an open-world game?

    It was always obvious this game would struggle next to Black Flag because its doing a ton of things that game was not. There is an argument that when a frame rate drop does not happen in the same place twice, its somewhat acceptable to leave it alone, as long as the game doesn't REALLY chug.

    Its clear Unity was far from the state it should have been in at launch, these new tweaks to the assets make it clear they could and SHOULD have optimised more before launch. However in its current state, apart from the LOD streaming issues, its perfectly acceptable now.

    Anyone who expects every current-gen title to be a solid frame rate is being unrealistic. This doesn't happen on PC, it didn't happen on last-gen and not going to happen on current either.

    Open world games its pretty much impossible to achieve unless you scale back the game significantly from what is possible. Black Flag wasn't close to pushing the consoles as it was a last-gen game, that is why it ran so well. If a developer doesn't push the technology they will just be accused of not being innovative enough and being lazy. Certainly for Ubisoft they are damned if they do, damned if they don't.
    Reply -3
  • Capcom warns of Marvel vs. Capcom Origins delisting on PSN and XBL

  • alexatkin 19/12/2014

    @zzkj Ironically, piracy is the ONLY way to preserve retro gaming. Its already allowed me to recover some Amiga games I owned that the disks had become corrupted.

    Sadly the much tighter security and fragile hardware in Xbox and PS3/4 makes that harder and harder.

    Even if people can rip the games, you will eventually need a good emulator to run them and its not looking promising. Also, how do you get the game patches to fix day one bugs or enable DLC? How to crack the DRM so you can even use the DLC?

    The industry loves this of course as they just re-sell us older games on new consoles.

    The trouble is, thanks to licensing a lot of games cannot be re-sold either because no publisher owns the rights any more or parts of the game (music, engine, etc) would need to be re-licensed at too high a cost to be viable.

    Its indeed a sad sign for future retro gaming. Many XBLA/PSN only games specifically will likely become completely unavailable within my life time.
    Reply +4
  • New Steam controller design leaked

  • alexatkin 17/12/2014

    @Malek86 Except on PC people will continue to use Xbox controllers so Steam will have to continue supporting it, as most games do.

    On SteamOS its completely irrelevant as all controller drivers are community written so avoid xinput entirely.

    Bottom line, there is no need for a Steam controller.

    You can't replicate the fidelity of a mouse with a touchpad. The reason a mouse is so precise is specifically BECAUSE you dedicate your entire hand and a fairly large amount of desk space to it.
    Reply -1
  • Uncharted 4 gameplay revealed in 15-minute video

  • alexatkin 06/12/2014

    @TFM_Excalibur You seem to be forgetting this is supposed to be a 60fps game. You can't have the same degree of post-processing effects as a 30fps game.

    If it is indeed running at 60fps then I think it looks pretty good. Also the tree/foliable animation seemed more realistic than usual to me which can be more important than graphics alone for making a place feel alive.

    I have played cartoon-styled games which felt more real than some of the games trying for photo realism, purely because the physics/animations worked so well.
    Reply +14
  • Performance Analysis: The Crew

  • alexatkin 04/12/2014

    @Grief51 The map is HUGE, of course it doesn't look as good as much much smaller games.

    Also, neither of those are cross-gen games. DriveClub is PS4 only and Forza Horizon 2 on 360 is a completely separate game, not a port of the Xbox One game, so it doesn't have the limitations of cross-gen ports.

    It makes more sense to compare The Crew to TDU/TDU2 and it blows those games away for world detail.
    Reply +2
  • PS4 gets TV from Sky app

  • alexatkin 04/12/2014

    @Uncompetative Watching the crappy quality SkyGo streams on a 42" Plasma isn't going to be very pleasant though.

    Both the picture and sound quality is terrible compared to the normal SD sattelite feeds, never mind the HD ones.
    Reply 0
  • Nintendo and Philips sort out their Wii U patent dispute

  • alexatkin 02/12/2014

    @SavageEvil It could easily be a bug in the OS. Sony/Microsoft do the same but they just don't specify what is fixed instead claiming "improved system stability".

    I wish Nintendo would figure out how to write a decent OS though, the WiiU is so darn slow. It shouldn't take so long to get from the friends list to Miiverse.

    Also one of my friends says they haveny been online for 19 days but then in Miiverse it shows a message from them 2 days ago, so darn buggy.
    Reply +1
  • Grand Theft Auto 5: deconstructing the remaster

  • alexatkin 29/11/2014

    @Alex_Star That was the only thing I liked about GTA SA. My big hope for every new GTA game is more buildings to go in.

    That was probably my biggest let down on Watch Dogs. The trailer focused on people actually in the shops, but in reality there were relatively few building interiors, although more than in GTA V.

    For all its flaws, AC Unity feels so alive due to so many NPCs and building interiors. Even if a lot of them make no sense as there are no stairs to the upper floors.
    Reply +4
  • Gaming peripheral that drains blood suspended on Kickstarter

  • alexatkin 24/11/2014

    This doesn't sound safe or practical.

    Surely raising your blood pressure by gaming while donating blood is a bad idea? Its a shock to your system to start with, adding adrenaline to the mix is insane.

    Also, making it take much much longer to donate blood by tying it into your gaming performance again sounds like a bad idea, at the very least impractical.
    Reply +16
  • Face-Off: Grand Theft Auto 5 on PS4 and Xbox One

  • alexatkin 23/11/2014

    @Xterno50 I think they meant especially in races but not exclusively. It happens at many busy junctions when you get up to high speed. Its still way better than it was on PS3 though. Reply 0
  • Will Xbox One succeed in China?

  • alexatkin 23/11/2014

    @Arvind1324 The online paywall does not apply to free-to-play games on PS4 though. Reply +3
  • GTA 5's next-gen grass compared

  • alexatkin 19/11/2014

    I had my first rain storm in GTA V PS4 last night and boy does the game look pretty when that happens.

    There were large pools/bogs of water in the grassland that looked incredibly realistic. Unfortunately I was so busy gaping at them that by the time I decided to get some screenshots the sun had come out and they started to evaporate.
    Reply +3
  • This Grand Theft Auto 5 next-gen Easter egg sure is a trip

  • alexatkin 19/11/2014

    @Timmy_Toldrum Except many of us bought GTA V on PS3/360 and paid full price again for GTA V on PS4/One. The profit from those sales are what allowed them to add all this new content to the next-gen release.

    So "technically" it IS DLC, as we paid a heck of a lot for this new content. The only people getting an excellent deal out of this are the people who DIDN'T buy the game before.

    Yes it was our choice and I doubt I will regret it, but it still kinda sucks we weren't given a discount.
    Reply 0
  • Dev who threatened Gabe Newell has returned to Code Avarice

  • alexatkin 15/11/2014

    @Red_Seeds_Profile I disagree. This is a business and any business acting like a childish schoolboy should be treated with the respect of one.

    If I were Steam I would refuse to do business with them also. The fact they allowed him to them come back just shows they didn't learn their lesson.

    A responsible business would refuse to let him come back based on the damage he has done to their reputation.
    Reply +21
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Call of Duty: Ghosts block PS4 Share Play

  • alexatkin 06/11/2014

    @xXJippedXx Its not free though is it, its you donating an hour of your consoles game time to a friend.

    Now perhaps they are afraid people will use this to demo the game and get a bad experience with it being capped at 30fps and more laggy, but still I don't think they should block it on those grounds.

    A warning that the experience is inferior to playing natively would suffice, assuming Share Play doesn't already do that (I haven't had a chance to try it yet).
    Reply +1
  • Smaller, cheaper, cooler Xbox One processor in development

  • alexatkin 31/10/2014

    @Rederiet Your PS4 must be faulty then, because mine is the quietest console I have owned in years.

    Even flat out its less annoying than Dreamcast or WiiU because their tiny fans whine. Its a billion times quieter than my PS3 or Xbox 360 even when running Driveclub.
    Reply +3
  • What's new in PlayStation 4's firmware update 2.0?

  • alexatkin 27/10/2014

    I was really hoping they would add 1080p Twitch streaming in this update but if Share Play is still 720p it seems unlikely. At least I can hope they improved the compression and/or bitrate.

    My broadband is capable of at least 15Mbit upload so it sucks Sony capping at around 3Mbit when even 5Mbit would be a huge reduction in macroblocking, particularly important for Share Play.
    Reply 0
  • Xbox One screenshot feature won't be out until 2015

  • alexatkin 23/10/2014

    Well at least that's ONE feature PS4 can boast over Xbox One for a bit longer.

    Not that I found it very useful as every time I try it the screenshot is several seconds AFTER I pressed the button, missing the shot I wanted.

    Getting a bit annoyed how far behind PS4 is falling on functionality lately, even firmware 2.0 isn't going to bring parity to Xbox One as they drag their heels on DLNA support. Still, game sharing should at least be useful.
    Reply +6
  • Microsoft to end free Xbox Music streaming

  • alexatkin 23/10/2014

    Must have been well advertised as I never even knew the free version existed to begin with, I thought it was subscription only. Reply +1
  • Ubisoft defends Assassin's Creed: Unity graphics lock for parity on PS4, Xbox One

  • alexatkin 07/10/2014

    @grassyknoll CPU cycles DO impact resolution, but I believe that is specifically an issue with DirectX.

    Which is precisely why DirectX 12 is supposed to increase performance on PC and Xbox One as it reduces/removes this bottleneck.

    However, as PS4 doesn't use DirectX it doesn't have this bottleneck to begin with.
    Reply 0
  • The Crew release date set for December

  • alexatkin 06/10/2014

    @Murton So how exactly do you know how lacking DriveClub is in content when its not even out yet? Reply +4
  • Face-Off: Forza Horizon 2

  • alexatkin 05/10/2014

    @iainmarchant1 The reason the console jump wasn't as big this time is the power envelope.

    The last couple of generations the amount of power the consoles have used has drastically increased.

    With PS3/360 it topped out, they both had cooling issues and fan noise issues due to trying to handle that much heat dissipation in such small boxes.

    XBone/PS4 are working within that same power envelope because otherwise they would have to drastically increase the size of their consoles and the fan noise.

    Nobody wants a noisy fan heater in the living room so compromises had to be made. To build a PC that is as powerful as the PS4 and runs as quietly is REALLY hard and expensive. To build one in the same physical size is near impossible, Sony went to a LOT of trouble to build this thing. They also got lucky that GDDR5 prices came down in time for launch.

    As for XBone, they lost out by not gambling on GDDR5 memory being cheap enough by launch to avoid embedded memory. The embedded memory meant they had to use a less powerful GPU. But still, it was the best they could do for the price/performance/size.
    Reply +4
  • Project Cars shooting for 1080p 60fps on both Xbox One and PS4

  • alexatkin 29/09/2014

    @Emperor_Rosko Of course they can't make it look as good as the games NOT at 60fps, that's the whole point. You have to sacrifice graphics to hit a higher frame rate.

    A simulation should always trade graphics for the simulation. Just as an arcade game trades the simulation for graphics.
    Reply +1
  • alexatkin 29/09/2014

    @SavageEvil Not sure why people are down voting you on this. The reason I got bored with Forza is due to how lifeless and dull the game is.

    Some people keep arguing "who is looking at the scenery when racing", well, your peripheral vision ALWAYS is. While you might not clearly see the lack of life in the world, your brain WILL, and it makes the whole game feel less real.

    These are things the 60fps brigade do not seem to understand. The graphics DO make a difference to the immersion, just as much as the frame rate. A more realistic looking game at 30fps CAN feel better to play than a 60fps sterile one.

    Just dropping to 720p isn't always enough to make that difference. Not to mention that 1080p allows you see further into the distance, which can also be relevant.

    Its all a balancing act, nothing is as clear cut as some people like to make it out to be and I too would much prefer a game world that looks alive, with a reactive crowd cheering me on, than a game world that feels dead.
    Reply 0
  • The Crew Xbox One and PlayStation 4 beta release date

  • alexatkin 28/09/2014

    @the_rydster Agreed. But all reports so far suggest this game has actually pulled it off.

    By having different cities rather than concentrating on mapping just one area, it adds the diversity in environment that was so badly missing in the TDU games.

    Its never going to look as good as Forza Horizon 2, but then it doesn't have to, its a different game entirely.
    Reply 0
  • Exploring the handcrafted delight of Lumino City

  • alexatkin 28/09/2014

    Its refreshing to see a developer thinking outside the box. I will be keeping my eye on this one. Reply 0
  • Transparent Red and Blue Nintendo 2DS designs revealed

  • alexatkin 24/09/2014

    Actually I find the 3D hugely beneficial for certain games like Starfox, Mario Kart, Mario 3D, because it improves your ability to judge where you are in the 3D world.

    Its problematic on the current 3DS though as Starfox and Mario Kart you lose the 3D sweet spot too easily. This should be VASTLY improved on the New 3DS though so I plan to upgrade ASAP.

    On the other hand if there are enough people like me willing to upgrade, you might be able to get the normal 3DS XL much cheaper shortly after the new version launches.
    Reply 0
  • Yes, Triad Wars is free to play, but is it pay to win?

  • alexatkin 24/09/2014

    I'm disappointed no F2P game has been able to sustain itself simply by in-game advertising alone yet.

    It started with Crackdown having REAL adverts and I really thought some large open world F2P game would have been able to do something similar for funding by now, without being overly intrusive.

    Heck, even if it was a little intrusive I think they could make up for it with an awesome game. Nothing puts you off quicker than the game deliberately restricting your progress so that you pay to proceed rather than actually having fun.

    I'm going to keep an eye on this one, maybe they will actually pull it off, who knows.
    Reply 0
  • The show ends for Rock Band Network

  • alexatkin 19/09/2014

    @infoxicated Amen.

    Rock Band 3 is one of my favourite games. I only stopped playing it as the friends I played with no longer had time and then they stopped releasing new tracks.

    I would buy Rock Band 4 in a heartbeat on PS4. I miss how atmospheric and different the songs sound with the separate channel processing and crowd who react to your performance.
    Reply +2
  • alexatkin 19/09/2014

    To be fair it clearly says the network is NOT closing as such, they are just not accepting new submissions any more. That is a lot better than just closing down entirely. Reply +2
  • Digital Foundry: Hands-on with the Forza Horizon 2 demo

  • alexatkin 18/09/2014

    @Pasco Wow whats with the negs as you are totally correct?

    Motion blur in games sucks. Its trying to simulate what happens with cameras but I don't WANT them to simulate cameras, its meant to simulate real life which doesn't HAVE blur.

    Like you said, I should be able to look anywhere on the screen and it not be blurry beyond what the TV inherently is doing. When driving in an open world you want to be able to see the scenery to judge where you actually are.
    Reply -5
  • alexatkin 18/09/2014

    @Spindelhalla :sigh: When will people realise that yes when you are driving at 100mph you aren't looking AT the foliage, but it WILL be perceived in your peripheral vision and as such increase the illusion of speed.

    When you are sat staring at the screen the only thing your brain has to work on to determine motion is things moving on the screen. The more things on the screen moving, the better the illusion.
    Reply +2
  • Microsoft unveils wired Xbox One controller for Windows PC

  • alexatkin 17/09/2014

    @FogHeart I doubt they will ever implement trigger rumble on PC, just like they never added force feedback on the 360 wheel when used on PC.

    They want to keep some functionality Xbox One exclusive.

    I used to use the Xbox 360 controller on PC, these days I generally prefer dualshock 4 which is a surprise as I hated every previous iteration of dualshock.

    From what I have read the order of preference is:
    DS4 > Xbox 360 > Xbox One, unless you specifically need the d-pad which sucked on 360.
    Reply -3
  • Harmonix signs publishing deal to make more mobile games

  • alexatkin 15/09/2014

    Am I the only person who wants a Rock Band 4, on console? Reply +9
  • Watch Dogs: Bad Blood shows off its new tricks

  • alexatkin 15/09/2014

    @mkreku Exactly. That is the same problem I used to have with GTA, not enough to do outside the main missions.

    I don't necessarily just mean side quests, I mean completely different things, basically stuff GTA V rectified.

    Heck, even being able to fly a helicopter would improve Watch Dogs. The fact there were some areas with invisible barriers stopping you exploring seemed so lame.

    I still love the game, but there is a LOT of room for improvement. I most definitely will be getting the DLC though.
    Reply +5
  • Microsoft buys Mojang and Minecraft for $2.5bn

  • alexatkin 15/09/2014

    If Skype is anything to go by this vow of support is meaningless.

    The Linux Skype still works, but it doesn't support the latest features and has zero hardware acceleration so hammers your CPU. The Android version has the same problem.
    Reply +3
  • Sucker Punch explains inFamous DLC frame-rate boosts

  • alexatkin 08/09/2014

    @INSERT-COIN I'm fairly sure that on PC shaders are only generated by the CPU because the game has to run on various different types of GPU, there is no one shader fits all. Even on the same PC you might switch GPUs so it has to re-compile them, although I agree checking for that and caching them until it detects a change is more logical.

    On console however the shaders can be (and I believe are) pre-compiled in most games, as every console is identical. Its one of the many ways that a console game can be much more optimised than on PC due to fixed hardware.
    Reply +3
  • Digital Foundry vs Dead Rising 3 on PC

  • alexatkin 07/09/2014

    @Darren Its not up to NVIDIA to make a game work with their drivers, a well written game should work from the start.

    I have never EVER had to update my NVIDIA driver just to get a game to run, its why I favor NVIDIA as the brief time I had an ATI card I ALWAYS had to wait for a driver update if I got a new game.

    Driver updates generally are about optimising performance so the game runs better, not fixing shoddy code by the game developer.
    Reply +2
  • Video: The Crew recreates real-life American landmarks

  • alexatkin 06/09/2014

    @MTM2 Nahhh. Project Cars is too hardcore for people like me who prefer arcade racers. So its The Crew and DriveClub for me.

    If a few more games come out I want on Xbox One I will then pick up Forza Horizon 2 as I don't want a watered down Xbox 360 version.
    Reply 0
  • Samsung unveils GearVR

  • alexatkin 03/09/2014

    I wasn't planning to get the Note 4 after owning the Note 3, as you don't need more than 1080p on a screen this size.

    YouTube constantly gets stuck at 720p as it is and while I CAN see the difference when it actually works at 1080p, its not as big a deal as 480p to 720p was. When using the phone normally you really can't make out the pixels so another resolution bump seems a waste of GPU power.

    However, I have used my Note 3 with Google Cardboard and that DOES need more resolution. So this development could be what makes me upgrade as I was already considering a more permanent headset than cardboard even for the Note 3 as the VR experience is so compelling.

    This would definitely help tide me over until retail Oculus Rift comes out.
    Reply +2
  • Saints Row 4 gets standalone expansion Gat out of Hell

  • alexatkin 30/08/2014

    Finally a remastered on next-gen game I actually DON'T already own.

    Trouble is, they will probably end up putting it on a Steam sale before then.
    Reply -2
  • 1TB Xbox One with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare exclusive to GAME in UK

  • alexatkin 18/08/2014

    @Sapporodan The PS4 is unlikely to get much smaller and the Xbox One is large purely to avoid the risk of repeating the Xbox 360 scenario, not out of necessity. A smaller one would most likely be LESS reliable.

    With these consoles being based on PC hardware they ALREADY have benefited from the same things that allowed the slim consoles. Its one of the advantages of them being heavily based on mature technology whereas the previous generation consoles were not.
    Reply +2
  • Library of Congress discovers unreleased Duke Nukem game

  • alexatkin 07/08/2014

    @dsmx Also, DVD-R are useless for long-term archiving - the dye deteriorates making it unreadable. Reply +12
  • LittleBigPlanet 3 gets a release date and pre-order bonuses

  • alexatkin 30/07/2014

    I'm hugely disappointed this is coming to PS3 as I had hoped this version would allow vastly more complicated/large levels due to the increase in RAM and CPU power. Its unlikely this is going to happen as I doubt they would allow levels created on PS4 to be incompatible with the PS3 version.

    So its probably just going to be a prettier version with a few exclusive levels that might use PS4 only functionality. If that is the case I will wait for LBP4.
    Reply +4
  • Destiny on Xbox 360 - Bungie's last-gen swan song?

  • alexatkin 27/07/2014

    "the Xbox One version of Destiny is effectively identical to its PlayStation 4 counterpart - with compelling evidence that the studio has already levelled the playing field with regard to the pixel-count differential"

    What a very diplomatic way of describing the fact they are not tapping all the power of the PS4 in this game in order to maintain platform parity.

    I bought the PS4 over Xbone BECAUSE its more powerful. I will be pretty annoyed if this sets a precedent, developers shouldn't hold back one platform because another one is weaker.

    I guess Sony won't mind though, it just means their own studios will produce far better looking games than cross-platform titles - pretty much what happened on PS3.
    Reply -2
  • Arya Stark actress in talks to star in The Last of Us movie

  • alexatkin 26/07/2014

    Do we really need a The Last of Us film in the first place? Reply +3
  • PlayStation 4 gets 3D Blu-Ray support next week

  • alexatkin 24/07/2014

    @RawShark PS3 has never been my go-to video device except for Netflix, as its media support is shocking.

    I tried both PS3 and X-Box 360 extensively and in the end gave up and bought a WDTV Live which plays everything without messing about getting a PC to transcode everything, as that only worked about 80% of the time.
    Reply +1
  • What if every PC game could run on your tablet?

  • alexatkin 19/07/2014

    @berelain You can on the T100 too. I really hope they do a higher model with a 1080p screen and more storage, its the biggest flaws with it. Reply 0
  • alexatkin 19/07/2014

    @Esppiral SSF struggles on the T100 but I suspect it would be fine on the Surface Pro.

    However you can run Steam in-home streaming to the T100 for flawless 60fps 768p games streamed from your desktop PC.
    Reply -2
  • Microsoft is shuttering Xbox Entertainment Studios, original programming

  • alexatkin 18/07/2014

    @frunk In most of the US it is the cable companies that are the ONLY source of fast broadband.

    This is why they are trying to kill net neutrality, because they KNOW cable TV is dying and their income is going to drop down the toilet if they allow Netflix to continue to deliver a good experience at the current price.
    Reply +2