PC


Reviews
Intel® Core™ i7-5960X Processor Extreme Edition
Speeds Worthy of Darth Helmet

By Seán O'Sullivan - November 22nd, 2014

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For a number of years now, it seems that Intel’s focus has been on creating energy-efficient processors that let our portable electronics do more for longer. As wonderful as it is that that the Haswell processor can keep a hipster’s MacBook Air running unplugged for a dozen hours while pecking out a screenplay in a coffee shop, there’s a segment of the market that have been waiting for the next show of sheer muscle.

Well, that day has definitely arrived with the Haswell-E (or the the Intel® Core™ i7-5960X processor Extreme Edition, if you want to be formal) – Intel’s first eight-core desktop processor, aimed squarely at the kind of enthusiasts who refer to their PCs as “rigs” and are happy to tinker and overclock to squeeze every last drop out of their tech.

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Reviews
Gauntlet

By Jorge Figueiredo - November 21st, 2014

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For those of us that used to dump quarters into arcade machines at the mall or the corner store, there are some games that will always stand the test of time. These sorts of games are priceless, and they followed us home from the arcade and hung out with us in our living rooms and family rooms on the early consoles. One of these timeless classics is Gauntlet (1985), which could, within the space of an hour (or less), reinforce and/or erode even the strongest of friendships – and yet, we would go back for more every chance we got. With the “reboot” of Gauntlet, Arrowhead Game Studios seems to be trying to be many things to many people by modifying the original formula – but does this new version retain the same amount of fun as the original?

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Run DLC
Watch_Dogs
Bad Blood

By Jorge Figueiredo - November 12th, 2014

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For many, downloadable content is the bee’s knees. Whether adding weapons, expanding environments, fleshing out a new story, or introducing new characters, DLC is a great way to squeeze a little more value out of a franchise – for both developers and players. Over the last few years, Ubisoft has been releasing some great DLC to accompany their flagship titles. These additional adventures extend the life of the core games in very entertaining ways. DLC like Freedom Cry (Assassin’s Creed IV) and The Tyranny of King Washington (Assassin’s Creed III) are each very compelling and entertaining (I highly recommend both of them) – and Bad Blood, the most recent story DLC for Watch_Dogs, is right up there.

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Reviews
Dreamfall Chapters
Book One

By Dana Russo - October 31st, 2014

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Serious spoiler warning: If you haven’t played The Longest Journey or Dreamfall, stop reading this review right now and go play them. Then come back. Thank you. Besides, you’re not going to want to play Dreamfall Chapters anyway if you haven’t played the first two. It would be like jumping into A Storm of Swords before reading A Game of Thrones.

Fifteen years ago we were introduced to an intelligent young woman named April Ryan in what would become a cult classic point-and-click adventure game. Adventure games seem to have fallen through the cracks in recent years, but thanks to easier accessibility to fans, indie developers have been making great strides in the genre. Enter Red Thread Games’ Dreamfall Chapters, the episodic game that takes fans back to Stark and Arcadia once again. I was pretty impatient (and a little angry) that it took eight years to revisit the moment that left us all hanging: What happened to April? And whatever happened to those dreammachines that were unleashed on the public? Is Zoe going to pull through her coma?

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Gamercamp
Apsis

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 31st, 2014

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One of my all-time favourite games is Thatgamecompany’s Flower for the Playstation 3. In fact, I have a soft spot for games that have a meditative quality to them (I’m looking at you, Journey). At Gamercamp 2014, on the second floor of the pop-up arcade, indie developer A Stranger Gravity was showing off a new drug for me called Apsis, which I’m sure I will end up playing for hours on end when it hits the market next year. There is still a ways to go in terms of the final product – but what I saw was enchanting, and I’m looking forward to the final product.

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Reviews
Endless Legend
Video Review

By Rituro - October 25th, 2014

The first time I tackled an “Endless” game from Amplitude Studios was 2012’s Endless Space. I was generally positive about the game and its DLC, though I sharply criticized the combat – a core component of any 4X game – as being woefully insufficient. Rock-paper-scissors in space? Uh, no, thanks – no matter how shiny the guns and ships are. I want my games to be deep, tactical and replayable with as few “oh-please-no-don’t-make-me-play-this-part” moments as possible. Two years later, Amplitude is back with Endless Legend – a game set in the same universe as Endless Space1 except instead of a galaxy-conquering space epic, you’re fighting over the planet Auriga. How does the lure of Dust and the glory of conquest translate from a galactic to a planetary scale? I break it all down in my latest video review.

1 -This series-building detail caused me to geek out no small amount.

Reviews
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor
Hobbit-Forming

By Jorge Figueiredo - October 19th, 2014

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Fans of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien understand what immersion is all about. Tolkien breathed such life into his works that they almost read like history texts – only far more exciting. Similarly, Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies, all based on Tolkien’s books, have been meticulously constructed; infused with Tolkien’s culture, they convey that Middle Earth is a big place. There is so much going on in the main story and behind the scenes that it is not difficult to imagine hundreds of stories, all happening in the background. So it is with Monolith Productions’ Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor – a game inspired by the works of Tolkien and created with the flair of Jackson’s films – following the story of two men, bound by adversity, in the middle of a multi-faceted power struggle, seeking revenge and enlightenment.

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