After decades of being the lesser-liked child of gaming, the RTS genre has recently exploded in popularity with the emergence of games like StarCraft 2 and League of Legends, both of which redefined e-sports as we know it. Luckily for those of us that have been fans of RTS games since the early days of Command & Conquer -- the DOS one -- the genre is still experiencing an influx of innovation and creativity, as Pixel Foundry boasts for their upcoming game, BlackSpace. Alongside Fray, the cyberpunk/dystopian game we posted about earlier today, this year's shaping up to look awesome for the indie market.
Cyberpunk and dystopian settings have long been a favorite of mine, ever simulating a Tron-like (the original, not the other one), high-stakes, all-out cyber warfare between factions which have been cybernetically altered or otherwise digitized. With the existing contenders in this market aging, like the Source mod Dystopia, independent game developers Brain Candy have jumped into the, err, fray with their upcoming "simultaneous turn-based strategy" game, Fray. Damn puns.
The sci-fi title has an intriguing backstory to any lover of computers: It's the year 2098 and, as we should hope, human interaction has been entirely limited to the Internet - or whatever it becomes in the future. Fulfilling the cyberpunk requirements of being a world dominated by malevolent companies, the world of Fray is dominated by three mega-corporations, in true 1984 fashion, with each fighting over the remaining supplies on earth. This is where the "virtual reality modules" come into play: There are multiple variations of 'modules' in the world of Fray, each serving as an escape to the definitely-going-to-happen reality of megacorporation combat -- the module we care about, though, is the combat one.
Coming to the market from Taiwan is a new budget-minded tower from the company Lancool. The PC-K56N is part of Lancool's Dragonlord series and is a full ATX tower supporting some competent features for a case of this class.
Having gone through dozens of headsets over the past years -- each iteration an exploratory phase on what makes headsets so hit-or-miss -- I can honestly say that I've never seen a headset with what is effectively a "rumble pack" built-in.
Mgame USA has released new information on its new free-to-play MMOG, Rise of the Dragonian (or RODE). A recent press release scheduled their second beta test for this weekend, February 11th and 12th, from 8am to 8pm PST. This will be the final beta test before the game's official release. To encourage gamers to try out their game, Mgame has put large giveaway opportunities on the table.
Antec has proven to be a trusted company when it comes to quality gaming cases for years running now. With the recent arrival of their newest case, dubbed the "One," Antec is venturing into the budget arena with this new case (Have more money? Check NZXT's larger Switch 810). The One looks very familiar to the popular Three Hundred Two case, just a bit smaller and more affordable.
Coming in just under the $60 dollar mark, this case should be a good fit for anyone looking to build a custom PC on a tight budget. If that's new territory to you, check out our how-to guide for building gaming PCs.
For those having trouble cramming massive heatsinks into small boards - particularly MicroATX boards - G.Skill (and a few others) have a solution: "Low Profile RAM," which stands at only 1.26 inches high, is designed to slide unnoticeably under aftermarket CPU heatsinks that are too big and would otherwise collide with RAM.
We've recommended NZXT on occasion in our budget PC guides, but there's something different about this one: It's large, has room for up to 6 fans (almost all of which are 140mm), and is $170 MSRP. The NZXT Switch 810 follows a new trend in gaming case design (like the Thermaltake Snow) that brings a slick, white/black combination as an alternative to an otherwise dark selection of cases.
NZXT's Switch 810 feels like it's straight out of a Clone Trooper's bedroom -- it's clean-cut and very straightforward. You get what you see (there is a black variation, though). Here's the spec break-down:
If there's anyone that can come up with a product that's part eccentric, part excessive, it's Japan. Of course, if there's anyone to buy that product, it's Americans. Hey, we're all good at something.
Bit Trade One recently contacted us about their new USB paddle horizontal controller, a device that's been in production for some time in Japan but is just now moving to US markets. The somewhat-modular device is meant more as a general purpose control interface than a gaming controller, it does, however, target some old and retro games directly. In a world that aims on delivering very specific, niche-targeted products, it's exciting to see "MacGyver" style, geeky tools gaining popularity. If you haven't already installed some of our aesthetic PC improvements, you may want to consider giving this half-toy, half-productivity booster a look.
CES exploded with way more gaming hardware than we expected, which is good news, because a few of the classiest chassis-makers have put out word that they're working on several new lines of gaming towers and cases. A great companion guide to the below gaming PC cases is our 2012 Hardware Release Timeline, so go view that if you haven't already. Check out the photos and specs of some of our favorite, new gaming cases (so far) below.
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