First off, let me say that I don’t buy brand new PC games very often. I buy them even less often on release day, and even rarer is the occasion when I find myself actually sitting at the computer watching the clock for the official release time so the game will unlock. Having said that, for some games there really isn’t another option.
Military simulation games are nothing new, but their popularity has certainly increased with some of the recent press about US Special Operations Teams including the US Army Special Forces Delta Team and the Navy’s Elite SEALs Of the Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU); or as they are incorrectly called in the media SEAL Team 6. These groups are tasked with convert missions around the globe to execute US policy on a “personal” level. It was members of DEVGRU that put paid to Osama Bin Laden’s account. Medal of Honor Warfighter takes its story line from the exploits of these highly trained men. In fact EA actually consulted both Active Duty and Retired SEALs to finish the game. This cooperation got some of the SEALs in hot water as the Navy now claims they gave up classified information. Does Medal of Honor Warfighter have an edge to it realism that no other game has? We will be loading it up to see in our typical 30-45 minute test. Will it grab our interest, or will it end up on the shelf collecting dust?
Minecraft is set at a default of around 512 MB of RAM allocated to it, as this is the default set by Java. This is plenty for some activities in the game, but can result in poor performance on certain systems, especially during prolonged play, as the game will attempt to cache data on the hard drive of your computer once the RAM usage hits a certain percent. Entry level laptops now typically come with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM so there is no sense in not using more of it to power the game!
The Empress is dead, her daughter has been taken and a deadly and mysterious plague is slowly consuming the city. As the Empress’ protector it was your job to keep her and her daughter safe, but you stand accused of her murder. It is up to you to find the Empresse’ daughter and bring her killers to justice. The only problem is that you must become an assassin and use dark powers to accomplish your goal. If this sounds like a bad movie or book then you are not far off the mark, but while this type plot might be the makings of a flop in the box office it is great for a video game and that is what you get from Bethesda in this new and dark game from them. The question is; can Bethesda make this new game based on the Unreal Engine work or is it fated to end up like its title?
In 1998 a new company crated from former Microsoft employees launched a game that would change the way we played first person shooters forever. The game was Half Life and although it followed games like Castle Wolfenstien and Doom it brought something new to the genre, thinking and puzzle solving. Instead of just walking into a room and killing all the bad guys you had to solve puzzles and interact with the environment to make it through the game. The enemies you faced were also smarter than what was present in Doom or Wolfenstien. Half Life also introduced one of the iconic characters in gaming: Dr. Gordon Freeman and his trusty crowbar. Now a group called Black Mesa Source has brought the original Half Life to a new generation of gamers. They have taken the original game (up to the Lambda Core) and refreshed it with new graphics and a few surprises for those of us that have played before. So let’s see if this new release of the classic Half Life can recreate the magic that the Valve brought to us with our first meeting with Gordon Freeman and the anomalous materials lab at Black Mesa.
Darksiders II is listed as an action adventure roleplaying game. It is meant to follow the path of Death (yes Death) one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as he seeks to prove his brother, War, innocent of crimes that were committed in the first game (Darksiders). In the Darksiders you actually played War and were accused of bringing the end of the world and the death of humanity early. Now it is up to you as Death to find a way to free your bother from imprisonment for this crime. Darksiders II was released by THQ on August 14th 2012 for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. It is a console port third person game and in addition to being available in the more typical DVD format can also be downloaded from Steam. We are taking a look at the Steam version but will also cover what you get in the retail version as well.
Yesterday the internet had an unexpected (by some) show of nVidia’s Mobile 28nm Kepler GPU. This was done through the review of an Acer Ultrabook. Although the desktop flavor is still some time away (maybe end of April or early May) we now can start to make guesses about how kepler might compare. Of course the real performance of Kepler is anyone’s guess. We decided to continue on with our coverage of Windows 8 x64. This time we dive into the nVidia side of gaming with an nVidia GTX 470 dropped into our testing rig. We used the same games and, of course, we shot some video of how well it worked out.
We have been tinkering around with Windows 8 for a couple of weeks now and while we are still not found of the Metro UI (especially on the desktop) there are things that do make it an appealing operating system. Still there are some things (as there always are) that will cause issues. Back when Microsoft made the move from Windows 98 to Windows 2000 many games did not like the transition to needing a Hardware abstraction layer. Microsoft dropped more than a few patches in the first month to adjust and correct a lot of this. The same thing has pretty much happened since then even with the move from Windows Vista to Windows 7. So, how does the early preview of Windows 8 fare in gaming? We took seven games and tried them out on Windows 8 to see how they would work.