Between last week's GTC and PAX East (this coming weekend), we find ourselves at home base just long enough to throw together a few feature pieces and the regular weekend-ly sales post. Sales for the weekend include an MSI R9 390X 8GB card for $360 (after MIR), the Corsair Graphite 780T full-tower, an Intel i7-6700K finally approaching MSRP, and G.Skill's mechanical keyboard. As for the week's feature pieces, be sure to check back Monday for our AMD Athlon X4 880K review, a write-up featuring industry luminary Warren Spectre, and more.
Atlas Reactor is a “turn-based team tactics game” developed by Trion Worlds and currently in open alpha, although that will be replaced by a closed beta on April 14th. Small teams of “freelancers” compete to kill each other in simultaneous turn-based combat, for reasons that aren’t entirely clear (and don’t matter).
The words “fast-paced” get tossed around a lot in Atlas Reactor marketing materials, and it’s an accurate description. The tutorial mission implies a Frozen Synapse-esque game of turn-based strategy and careful planning, and the solo gameplay confirms that initial impression with leisurely minute-long planning phases. Competitive gameplay is much faster, however—decisions must be made in a matter of seconds, and things quickly become hectic. “Turn-based” and “fast-paced” aren’t often said in the same sentence, but it turns out they go pretty well together. The worst part of a turn-based game is waiting for the opponent’s turn to end; Monopoly would be a lot better if everyone had to complete their turns within five seconds. Also if families didn't play it together, but that's another story.
Sadly, MSI's dual-platform motherboards and Corsair's RGB LED monitors were short-lived April Fool's jokes. Forever forgotten to time, never to be realized. Still, there's some real hardware for sale this weekend: An 80 Plus Platinum PSU, HD518 headphones, DDR3 RAM on the cheap, and an Intel CPU.
This weekend's hardware sales feature a high-end GPU – the 980 Ti Hybrid – and mid-range motherboard, with a spot of flavor from SanDisk's 480GB Ultra II. The Corsair KATAR gaming mouse rounds-out the pack of this weekend's gaming hardware sales. See below.
The Witness is the second game from Braid developer Jonathan Blow, this time acting as the head of small indie team Thekla, Inc. Development began soon after Braid’s 2008 release, and is still continuing now, if the frequent Steam updates are any indication. It is, like Braid, a puzzle game depositing the player on a mysterious island dotted with strange ruins without any explanation of who they are or what is happening.
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