After our “where did RTS go?” discussion with Pat Pannullo, former Tiberian Sun designer and current Grey Goo Lead Designer, we got a hands-on play session with the upcoming RTS. Grey Goo – conveniently “GG” – seeks to bring the genre back to its more “beer and pretzels” origins of the 90s and early 00s.

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The game still hosts a very real potential for a competitive scene, but it's specifically built to be an input-simplified RTS; the team wants to avoid the complexity of StarCraft – a game that uses heavy unit abilities, structure abilities, macro, micro, and meta play – and instead bring the focus back to core real-time strategy mechanics, the meta game, and epic battles. The resulting product is a game that scales to high competition just as well as it scales to casual LAN play (and Grey Goo does offer LAN), giving players a clear arc of progression if the desire to compete increases.

Published in Gaming Features

Hardware naming conventions tend to be about as sensible as salad names at a health bar. We've previously dissected the ASUS naming convention, Intel's chipset names, and AMD's chipset names. With the advent of DDR4 on Broadwell-E (X99 / LGA2011-3), it's time for manufacturers to shuffle the memory lineup around.

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We had the opportunity to speak with Kingston (HyperX) and Corsair while at PAX Prime 2014. Other memory manufacturers were unavailable, so we'll visit them in future posts. This content looks specifically at what the product names mean between Kingston's HyperX lineup and Corsair's DDR4 lineup.

Published in Hardware

Command & Conquer may not have been the definitive “first” game in the RTS genre, but it was a milestone in gameplay and mechanics that paved the way for future titles. The 90s and very early 00s saw the rise of “strategy” as a genre, with RTS championing its market dominance. In a very similar fashion to the present-day flood of MOBAs, early RTS and campaign strategy once comprised what felt like the majority of popular titles.

rts-wallAbout 25% of my RTS collection, ordered chronologically and then by series.

Command & Conquer was just a small piece of that. We saw the arrival of Age of Empires, Age of Mythology, Empire Earth, Shogun: Total War, Ground Control, and the sleeping giants that spawned a decade of games – Warcraft and StarCraft; campaign games also grew, with large thanks to Civilization, Rise of Nations, Galactic Civilizations, and Hearts of Iron; city builders like Zeus, Poseidon, Caesar, Settlers, and Pharaoh also carved out a niche in the overarching “strategy” marketplace.

Published in Gaming Features

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor—not Destiny—is my most anticipated game of September. I’m taking the road less traveled in games media by honing in on a game that, rather than offering me a horizontally-expanded refresh of its series, integrates a gameplay-enhancing system for a fresh take. Monolith Productions has prioritized the preservation of hack-and-slash combat with a Nemesis interface and engine that gives more weight to players’ battle decisions and encourages them to keep mixing up how they take control of a territory.

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I visited Monolith at their Kirkland, Washington studios and spent the afternoon previewing Shadow of Mordor's gameplay and story.

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Goldeneye and Halo: Combat Evolved introduced me to PVP first-person shooters. I eventually worked up my chops enough for my friends to target only me when playing a free-for-all mode, but one day while playing Halo, my friend called me out for “screen-cheating.”

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I never heard of such a term and, given that split-screen multiplayer still puts it out there to use the whole screen space to win, I never thought of this dubious act as one that’s frowned upon. Given that he was (and still is) my friend, I instantly quit screen-cheating and never returned to form.

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Half of GN’s team is presently in Whistler Blackcomb as a refresher off the tail-end of PAX Prime 2014 (full event coverage here), but that hasn’t stopped us from pumping out content – including this Star Citizen piece. We recently published an interview discussing the research and implementation of procedural generation within Star Citizen, the stretch goal set about “$10 million ago,” so to speak.

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Today’s content specifically explains customization within Star Citizen. We spoke with CIG CEO & Chairman Chris Roberts about character, ship, organization, and space station customization in Star Citizen, including ship tuning and painting. As a quick throw-in, we asked Roberts about adjusting or changing FOV in Star Citizen.

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Trion Worlds' sandbox MMORPG Trove, currently in alpha, has some exciting news for fans of the game – beta is coming soon).

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We were fortunate enough that GN Senior Editor Nick Pinkerton was able to meet with Andrew Krausnick, Project Lead, and Brian Clarke, Lead Artist, to find out how the alpha released has progressed to enhance the game’s cooperative, community-focused PVE experience. We’ll cover player-created content and crafting, clubs and the other worlds, and classes and items in this article.

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Our PAX Prime visit thus far has showcased some of MSI’s new X99 boards, Intel’s X99 setup, and lots of Star Citizen. Come Saturday, we had the opportunity to get hands-on with Zotac’s new Pico PI320 mini-PC announced shortly before PAX.

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The PC was fully-detailed in our previous article, so we’ll just recap the core specs and video here.

Published in Hardware

Far Cry 4 has had an interesting journey since its unveil earlier this year. Far Cry 4 features lush environments and gameplay ingenuity, but initially struggled to communicate why it takes the franchise into new themes and settings.

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Some of the Himalayan air has cleared between Ubisoft and the community, allowing folks like us to judge Far Cry for what it is as a game.

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The 2014 game I’ve been looking forward to most is actually four games that I’ve already played before…at least that’s half of the package. Halo: The Master Chief Collection has revamped the presentation of its previous four titles starring Spartan John 117 and, in the case of the nearly 10-year-old Halo 2, it celebrates its legacy as much as it can before the release of Halo 5 Guardians next year.

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I showed up to developer 343 Industries’ PAX Prime Panel and was treated to some exciting news on the upcoming collection. Below is some developer and producer insight on how the Master Chief Collection came to be, the process of re-orchestrating Halo 2’s music and re-engineering its sound, the kinds of improvements players can expect to Halo 2 Anniversary’s maps, and more.

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