In short, how much is the performance improvement coming from DirectX 12 really worth? The graphics libraries exclusive to Windows 10 (the worst tragedy ever happened to computers since Microsoft Bob, but we will talk about that later…) promise to greatly increase the fps counter thanks to the optimized use of the GPU, and benchmarks seem to confirm the qualities of the new technology. On the other hand the “closer to the metal” approach in using the graphics co-processor isn’t just for Microsoft, while reality seems more complicated than a simple benchmark and the PC hardware around the world is full of crap. My PC, conversely, is even worse than that.
In the years gone by, when the arcades were still out there, I tried more than one “immersive” gaming experience among mega-screens, light guns and various simulations. A nice thing but nothing more. Personally I couldn’t care less about this new craze of virtual reality helmets, simulations beyond the limit of silliness and new technical solutions to avoid puking while you are in the virtua-world. Not even Half-Life could persuade me: I do not want stupid and sickening immersive simulations, I want stories. A new Loom maybe, now that the original one was released again digitally on GOG.com.
The technology industry is full of idiots which are persistently babbling about the death of PCs, about the PC as an inferior gaming platform and bullshit like this. Well, let’s put some numbers up then: Jon Peddie Research states that the computer games market is worth twice as the console one (21.5 billion dollars), Intel continues to pump up tens of billions in revenues every quarter with its x86 processors and the sales of PCs are growing again. Sure, there is the thorny issue of piracy, technology evolution doesn’t let the wallet rest and publishers are treating the PC gamers master race like shit as always, yet all things considered who talks about the death of PCs is just a brainless idiot. Really, go bet on horse racing or something.
If Epic talks about “philosophical” improvements to development for its next-generation 3D engine (Unreal Engine 4), Crytek thinks primarily to stun the industry with an impressive and multiform sequence of graphic technologies that will be part of the CryEngine 3 engine. Which isn’t so bad, after all, because a framework capable of taking advantage of the latest generation PCs is always a good news for me. A lot less good, nay terrible is the news about the shutdown of Sony Liverpool: I’ve discovered the beauty of Wipeout late, on the PSP, yet I can’t help but feel sorry for the disappearance of a historic developer like the ex-Psygnosis. So long, and thanks for all the games.
From the mist of the video gaming past a genre thought extinct returns, thanks to a title provided with “an oldschool heart but a modern execution“: the genre is the grid-based dungeon crawlers one, the game which brings it to the present is Legend of Grimrock made by Finnish developer Almost Human. LoG has been released starting from April 11 on the software house site, Steam and on GOG.com, and in this last case the release is particularly important because it matches the renewal of the gaming digital delivery “alternative” service for PC.
Here is the second part of the Videogames highlights special covering the last 7 months of 2011. In this case too, skimming of links and games collected in a so large period of time left out a good amount of nice things and other awful ones (Duke Nukem Forever, oh god…) but the final result pleases me anyway: there is so much good stuff to enjoy, gaming events to remember (Fus Roh Da! :-P) and little gems that in my opinion are worth all the attention they can get.
So here is the second part of the videogames highlights spread over a too much long time frame to be allowed to happen again on these web pages (yes, it’s a promise; mostly to myself :-P). The titles featured below should represent the highest technological peak reached by the video gaming industry thus far, and among those there are games capable of excelling, for a reason or another (graphical resolution and clearness, superior controls accuracy), on PC rather than on console. After all the top grade developers say that too: the PC is a generation ahead of Xbox 360 and PS3. Crytek, don’t be shy: let’s say two
Along with the official announcement of Trine 2 release, during the E2 2010 Atlus unveiled screenshots, a teaser trailer and some artworks of the game. All the stuff regarding the sequel to the marvellous puzzle-platformer developed by the Finnish company Frozenbyte has been collected for the latest post in the Videogames highlights series, while the topic of today’s post will be one of the aforementioned artworks which in my humble opinion is worth the evaluation by any fan of games and fantasy in search for a new wallpaper to decorate one’s own virtual desktop with.
In the days between the 14th and 17th of June Los Angeles hosted the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the most important yearly exhibition of interactive entertainment where big names and small publishers showed an almost endless cornucopia of video games coming for the next months (and years). The E3 2010 edition was marked by publishers optimism for a market that suffers the economic crisis but hopes to return soon to make the same money they were used to. Many, too many sequels were showed, while the final result suggests a noticeable revival compared to the past editions. What follows is a personal survey of the stuff appeared during and around the video gaming show, where highly appealing games and underdogs with no big names behind them alternate as usual.
I could continue to speak ill of the never too much abused downloadable contents (DLC) and video games digital delivery with my own words, but this time I will leave to Sony management official statements the task to chill the continuous, boring, stupid and annoying hype about an exclusively downloadable gaming future and other crap of this kind: 1) “I want it on the disc, that way when they buy it, they get it” - Rob Dyer, SCEA vice-president while commenting on the state of the DLC market; 2) The gloomy and failing UMD-free PSPGo “was introduced in a mature lifecycle to learn more about what the consumer wanted and we’ve definitely learnt a lot. Is that measured by success in sales? I don’t think it is” - words of Andrew House, SCEE president.