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.
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.
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.
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.
While walking out of the PAX Prime venue, I suddenly had a revelation about my demo with Telltale Games’ Tales from the Borderlands.
“Wait, these guys usually make dark games,” my internal voice informed me.
After talking to Chris Roberts about procedural generation, we headed over to the Square Enix & Psyonix shared booth to discuss Nosgoth. And played it. I actually played a game at PAX – shocking. Nosgoth is another in the growing line of third-person battle arenas, and unlike Skara – Nosgoth seems to have gotten the pacing right.
You play as one of two different factions in Nosgoth, humans and vampires, alternating mid-round after a time limit for balance reasons. Each team has a distinctive playstyle – the humans use a lot of ranged weapons to fight from afar and the vampires use their abilities and speed to quickly navigate terrain elements. Vampire movement is enacted in a fashion that allows them to close the distance on human prey with great efficiency.
Note: Nosgoth is still in closed beta right now.
Star Citizen’s temporary alpha V0.9 delay hasn’t put a damper on CIG CEO Chris Roberts’ mood. Then again, not much does. The Wing Commander creator made a brief appearance at Intel’s PAX Prime 2014 keynote (which we filmed) – a very marketing-heavy, Intel-focused event – but not before speaking with us. We had the chance to collect community questions, as always, and then break the content into more consumable article-video components.
Our last interview specifically looked at the team’s plans for FPS in Star Citizen. Today’s focus is on the recent ~$41m stretch goal established by CIG: expanded procedural content R&D and generation in Star Citizen. We also had the opportunity to discuss customization within Star Citizen’s universe, including character creation, ship painting, ship tuning, station customization, and more. The customization interview will go live on September 3 (subscribe to the YouTube channel or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and RSS).
Let’s get to the procedural generation content!
While at PAX Prime 2014 today, we received news from Cloud Imperium Games that Star Citizen’s much-awaited V0.9 alpha would be delayed until after the holiday weekend. Shortly after conducting two interviews with Chairman & CEO Chris Roberts (posts forthcoming), the announcement was made that Alpha V0.9 still hosted too many bugs to reliably release to the community for play. The announcement did contain information as to the content being pushed with the eventual update, though.
Star Citizen launched its Dog Fighting Module shortly after its PAX East unveil event, which we covered here.
Trion Worlds announced at PAX Prime this weekend that its westernized fantasy MMORPG ArcheAge will release on September 16. “Founders,” those who have financially backed the game to get access to the alpha and beta, can begin enjoying ArcheAge on September 12.
ArcheAge has been in closed beta since July 17 and will release an open beta from September 4-8 so that newcomers can try it out before fully committing. That said, ArcheAge is free-to-play, but it will also offer Patron subscriptions and non-recurring passes for more in-game content & bonuses.
When asked what we most enjoy in gaming, it’s always easiest to point to the mods made by the community. Mods extend a game’s life far past what its creators could have accomplished, as evidenced by our Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas mod overhaul guides.
Trials Fusion mapper “PneumaticBog484” just recently recreated Minecraft inside of Trials Fusion. For the unfamiliar, Trials is a popular cross-platform title that features a trials rider (in motocross form) progressing through increasingly deadly levels; the goal is to overcome obstacles in the fastest fashion possible. Fusion shipped with a powerful map editor -- so powerful that even the mechanics of Minecraft could be recreated within it.
We’ve all had moments playing games when we’re deeply engrossed in a mission, quest, or achievement hunt... and then something completely unexpected comes our way. Tributes to other games (Mario references in Legend of Zelda games), intentionally unfitting dialogue (or surprise voice-overs), and creepy-beyond-creepy additions are some of the ways we remember how games surprise us and succeed with something that doesn’t belong.
With that, we give you GamersNexus’ Favorite Video Games Easter Eggs. This brief list compiles some of the industry's best gaming easter eggs and their locations, including Duke Nukem, Gears of War, The Witcher, and more.
SSD benchmarks generally include two fundamental file I/O tests: Sequential and 4K random R/W. At a very top-level, sequential tests consist of large, individual files transfers (think: media files), which is more indicative of media consumption and large file rendering / compilation. 4K random tests employ thousands of files approximating 4KB in size each, generally producing results that are more indicative of what a user might experience in a Windows or application-heavy environment.
Theoretically, this would also be the test to which gamers should pay the most attention. A "pure gaming" environment (not using professional work applications) will be almost entirely exposed to small, random I/O requests generated within the host OS, games, and core applications. A particularly piratical gamer -- or just someone consuming large movie and audio files with great regularity -- would also find use in monitoring sequential I/O in benchmarks.
This article looks at a few things: What types of I/O requests do games spawn most heavily and what will make for the best gaming SSDs with this in mind? There are a few caveats here that we'll go through in a moment -- namely exactly how "noticeable" various SSDs will be in games when it comes to performance. We used tracing software to analyze input / output operations while playing five recent AAA titles and ended up with surprisingly varying results.
UPDATE: Clarified several instances of "file" vs. "I/O" usage.