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Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

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Bandits at ECTS

Mad Max 'em up has us Grinning

One of the hits of the show so far (at least as far as PC games go) is Bandits from Swedish developers Grin, a fast-paced vehicular action game set in the now ubiquitous post-apocalyptic future. As you might expect there's plenty of Mad Max style shenanigans in store as you drive through environments varying from deserts and sandy beaches to snowfields, but the real attraction at ECTS has been the game's multiplayer modes. With four computers networked together, each sporting three monitors courtesy of Matrox's new Parhelia graphics card, it's certainly an eye-catching prospect. Grin CEO Bo Andersson warned us that "smoke is very important to me", and that's fairly obvious when you watch the game - smoke trails arc through the sky as you fire rockets, grenades and mortars at each other, and spectacular explosions rip vehicles apart, leaving little piles of debris behind. If you can stop shooting each other long enough to appreciate the visuals, the game also sports some incredibly detailed terrain and vehicles, with all the independently animated shock absorbers and whatnot that you would expect. Having had a play on the game earlier, we're happy to say that it's just as much fun to play as it is to watch. The controls are a bit fiddly at first, but as the game has just gone gold we should have more time to practice our drive-by shooting skills in the near future. Related Feature - Bandits screenshots

Time to exercise your Grin machine