Tags Posts tagged with "PC"

PC

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Havoc, first DLC pack for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is coming to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC on 26th February.  Packed to the brim with content, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Havoc includes four new, epic multiplayer maps, access to the versatile AE4 directed energy assault rifle, the AE4 Widowmaker custom variant, plus an exciting all-new cooperative mode called Exo Zombies.

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Havoc’s four new, exotic and diverse multiplayer maps are set around the globe and are tailor-made for players to unleash their exoskeleton’s abilities:

  • Core: Deploy to the Gobi desert where the ravaged ruins of a nuclear fusion plant set the stage for a high-octane warzone. Take down enemies through the wreckage in long-range combat or get up-close and personal in the tunnels surrounding the central turbine. Activate decontamination drones using the map-based scorestreak to help clean out the competition.
  • Urban: Prepare yourself for brutal, high-speed combat in Dallas Ward 3, a future mega structure, funneling players into a close-quarters free-for-all. This modular compound’s verticality unleashes the exoskeleton’s capabilities. Stay focused during the timed event as blast doors alter the map’s flow and sightlines.
  • Sideshow: In the shadow of Devil’s Tower, Wyoming, this abandoned inn’s open layout amplifies its creep factor. Blast your way through the clown inn with close-quarters battles or use long-range site-lines from the mining facilities and natural terrain. Use the map-based scorestreak to activate the lights, music, and magic of the clown marquee and rain down a barrage of rainbow smoke-trailed cannonballs.
  • Drift: An idyllic ski resort high in the Rocky Mountains is transformed into a festive high-altitude playground, perfect for an all-out firefight. Make your way to the highly contested over watch in the glass observation deck or take a ride on the carousel to deliver 360 degrees of carnage. Players can use the map-altering timed event to their advantage as an avalanche of snow and debris disorients players, intensifying the battle.

Havoc includes a new cooperative experience, Exo Zombies.  Featuring a story told through the eyes of four employees of the Atlas corporation and played by a celebrity cast consisting of John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire, RED, Burn After Reading), Bill Paxton (Aliens, Titanic, Edge of Tomorrow), Rose McGowan (Planet Terror, Scream), and Jon Bernthal (Fury, The Wolf of Wall Street), Exo Zombies ushers in a new breed of zombies and a truly unique experience, all included first in the Havoc DLC Pack.

The actors provide their voice over and likeness in a dark and cinematic adventure new to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. These four performers help enlist players into a world where a DNA bioweapon unexpectedly spawns a bloodthirsty, ravenous mutant horde infecting a secret Atlas research facility and sending personnel running for their lives. Following a failed evacuation, four survivors, un-trained and underprepared, must face the most vicious mutations ever unleashed.

 

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Today EA has confirmed the PC requirements for Battlefield Hardline PC in a post on Origin. In the Origin post EA noted that those using machines with 4GB of RAM or less may experience issues with the Battlefield Hardline open beta, as gameplay performance for lower-end PCs is still being optimised. EA suggested closing all other applications while playing the game.

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Minimum:

  • OS: WINDOWS VISTA SP2 64-BIT (with KB971512 Update)
  • PROCESSOR: Athlon II / Phenom II 2.8 GHz, Intel Core i3 / i5 2.4GHz
  • MEMORY: 4GB RAM
  • GRAPHICS CARD: ATI Radeon HD 5770 (1GB), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB)
  • HARD-DRIVE: 60GB
  • DIRECTX 11

Now on to the recommended specifications.

Recommended:

  • OS: WINDOWS 8 64-BIT (with KB971512 Update)
  • CPU: INTEL QUAD-CORE CPU, AMD SIX-CORE CPU
  • MEMORY: 8GB RAM
  • GRAPHICS CARD: AMD Radeon R9 290, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
  • GRAPHICS MEMORY: 3GB
  • HARD DRIVE: 60GB
  • DIRECTX 11

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Grim Fandango Remastered has just been released and now we are giving you the chance to win it.

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Something’s rotten in the land of the dead, and you’re being played for a sucker. Meet Manny Calavera, travel agent at the Department of Death. He sells luxury packages to souls on their four-year journey to eternal rest. But there’s trouble in paradise. Help Manny untangle himself from a conspiracy that threatens his very salvation.

One of the most acclaimed adventure games of all time is now back, and it’s better than ever! Grim Fandango’s epic story of the life (or death) of Manny Calavera, travel agent to the dead, has been remastered to look, sound, and control even better than when it won GameSpot’s Game of the Year award upon it’s original launch back in 1998!

How to enter to win

We have 3 Steam Codes for Grim Fandango Remastered to give away:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Usual contest rules apply, and the winner will be selected at random. This contest is open to everyone!

The contest ends at 12.00AM on Monday February 9th, and Grim Fandago Remastered is available now.

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Today, Ubisoft announced Heroes of Might & Magic III – HD Edition, one of the most renowned games in the Might & Magic series, is now available on Windows PC and for the first time on tablet (iOS and Android).

The fifteen year-old title comes back with a full HD lift thanks to the refined work done on graphics. Players will relive the iconic Heroes III adventure as they strive through seven campaign scenarios and 48 skirmish maps.

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The game also includes a local multiplayer mode, a map editor and a Steam lobby (only for PC players), in which players can share their experiences with other fans of the franchise.

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Pix the Cat, the addictive arcade game from studio Pastagames (Rayman Jungle Run), will be available today for download on PC! Our crazy little blue cat celebrates this event with an ultimate overview of the game.

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Watch its offbeat retro setting reminiscent of its famous “highscore” predecessors Snake and Pac-Man, electric aesthetic and tense, twitchy gameplay in Pix the Cat’s PC launch trailer. Do you want to find out more?

Then watch our live streaming on Twitch tonight when we’ll present the game in detail. Pix the Cat’s developers will also be with us to answer your questions and tell you all about their game. Don’t miss the live streaming tonight at 7.15pm CET / 1:15pm EST / 10:15am PST!!

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Pix the Cat features many different game modes including single and multiplayer modes, some changing the theme and aesthetic. Including Arcade, Nostalgia, Laboratory, and Arena modes, you’ll play as Pix who plays a Pix – heading deeper and deeper into levels upon levels in a Snake-meets-Pac-Man digital world.

Enjoy a kinetic and stylized world within games where, in the arcade mode, your task is liberate ducklings and trail them to the safe-zones without hitting the walls, getting stuck, or running into your feathered friends, gaining the highest score possible and comparing them on the leaderboards.

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Completing “achievements” opens up new game modes and unlocks fantastic artwork, hilarious announcer voices and your favorite tunes from the game’s soundtrack! Among other surprising surprises…  Finally, Arena mode pits you against 3 friends in local multiplayer! With two players facing off on the same keyboard, connect additional controllers and blow your enemies to smithereens in epic battles of cats, ducks and eggs.

Daedalic Entertainment’s upcoming adventure, Silence, will also be released on PlayStation 4, the developer and publisher confirms the release on the console.

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Only a short while ago, Daedalic announced their first multi-platform-release with Silence and confirmed the game’s release on Xbox One.

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“We now also have Sony’s approval and we’re looking forward to make Silence available to PlayStation 4-players”, says Steffen Boos, Daedalic Entertainment’s studio manager. “This makes Silence a fully fledged multi-platform project; for the first time, we can release a game for the high end current-gen consoles which is an important cornerstone for the company. We strongly believe that narrative-driven games like ours will be well received among console players.”
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In Silence players accompany Noah who struggles to find his little sister Renie in the turmoil of war. Against all odds, he manages to follow her, only to find himself alone in Silence, the world he once traveled as Sadwick the clown. There seems to be no way back and Renie is lost in a war-ravaged Silence.
Together with his sister he joins a group of rebels, led by a determined girl named Kyra. They’re the last bastion of resistance against the terrible seekers mysterious creatures washing over Silence in ever growing numbers, while more and more of the people just seem to vanish. It is on Noah and the player to find a way back home from this dangerous place.

In new, completely 3D-clad visuals, Silence offers plenty of new content for players. On their quest for a way home players indulge in a touching, visually impressive adventure, with many secrets concerning Noah, his sister Renie and the world of Silence waiting to be discovered.

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Silence is scheduled for release in late 2015 for PC, Mac, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

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Ubisoft has announced Grow Home, a quirky, experiential climbing game being developed by Reflections, a Ubisoft studio based in Newcastle, UK.  Grow Home will be available for download via Steam for Windows PC on 4th February.

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In Grow Home, players are free to explore the strange, open world full of floating islands, majestic caves and waterfalls, all set in a beautiful and minimalist artistic style. Players take on the role of BUD (Botanical Utility Droid), an excitable, child-like robot sent on a mission to search the galaxy for a new species of plant that can oxygenate his home world. By growing and directing the giant Star Plant into a towering organic sculpture, players reshape the planet and create a magnificent landscape that lets them climb to new heights. The game’s unique climbing controls and abilities challenge players to continually reach for higher ground, but one wrong move and it’s a long way down!

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“Whether it’s BUD’s charming, procedurally generated animation, the awesome structure of the Star Plant players create or the beautiful landscapes, there is a peaceful, innocent vibe about Grow Home that makes the game utterly unique,” says Pete Young, producer, Reflections, a Ubisoft studio.

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Started as an experiment within the Reflections studio by a small team of eight talented developers, Grow Home offers the opportunity to discover a singular open-world based on two main pillars: Climbing and Exploration.

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Climbing: The world of Grow Home is built for vertical exploration and the unique climbing mechanic brings unprecedented freedom.  Players control BUD’s hands independently to grab onto any surface, scaling the giant Star Plant as it grows and expands.

Exploration: There are no set paths in Grow Home.  Players are free to explore the many micro islands and hidden caves in this fun and beautiful open world.  Every island encountered is scattered with hidden crystals to power the players’ journey and expand their abilities.

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Bethesda Softworks, today announced that its long awaited, multiplayer roleplaying game, The Elder Scrolls OnlineTamriel Unlimited, will release worldwide on 9th June, for the PlayStation 4  and Xbox One.

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For the first time in history, players will explore the legendary world of Tamriel with their friends on console. In the latest and biggest Elder Scrolls game ever made, players will be able to adventure alone, quest with friends, or join an army of hundreds in epic player vs. player battles as they explore and discover the secrets of a persistent Tamriel.

We are also pleased to announce that The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited players will no longer be required to pay a monthly game subscription for extended play. Players will make a one-time purchase of the game and can then enjoy hundreds of hours of content without the requirement of a monthly game subscription fee when The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited becomes available on console in June and beginning 17th March for PC/Mac players.

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited includes all the great gameplay from the original PC/Mac game, plus all the updates and content additions, including the exciting new Justice and Champion systems.  All existing PC/Mac game accounts, open or closed, will be updated to the Tamriel Unlimited edition in March and former players will be invited back to the game at that time to experience all that is new in the world.

New players will make a one-time purchase of the game and play, without restrictions, for as long as they like without game subscription fees. Tamriel Unlimited will be supported with special, optional downloadable content available for purchase and an in-game Crown Store for convenience and customization items. Regular updates and new gameplay will be offered to all players to enjoy free of additional charges.

In addition, Bethesda will offer ESO Plus to players who wish to pay a single monthly charge for  a premium membership service, providing exclusive in-game bonuses, a monthly allotment of crowns to use in the store and access to all DLC game packs while a member. PC/Mac players with active subscriptions on 17th March will be automatically enrolled into ESO Plus and begin enjoying its membership privileges.

“Our fans are our biggest inspiration, and we’ve listened to their feedback on the entertainment experience they want,” said Matt Firor, Game Director of The Elder Scrolls Online. “We know that Elder Scrolls fans want choice when it comes to how they play and how they pay, and that is what they will get. We have made numerous changes to the game over the past year, and are confident this is a game that Elder Scrolls fans will love to play.

Players can explore Tamriel with friends, battle creatures, craft, fish, steal, or siege. The choice is theirs. The game offers hundreds of hours of gameplay with unlimited adventures with one single game purchase. We can’t wait for everyone, whether they’ve played before or will be experiencing it for the first time, to begin adventuring in The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.”

Back in 2002 I was overjoyed to have the chance to replay one of my favourite games with new shiny bells and whistles. I’d already played the original from 1996 and it had earned its place as one of my favourite games. And a further 13 years have passed and I’m excited to be playing it again, although this time with the added bells and whistles in HD.

It’s generally considered among fans that the original Resi remake for the GameCube is Resi at its best and I firmly agree that Resi has never been better, although 2 and 4 come close at times. Despite the pre-rendered backgrounds and voice acting so bad it’s funny, in its day it was one of the best looking and atmospheric games around. It’s an art that’s largely lost in modern games which so often favour action over consideration and jump scares over tension.

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Almost everything has been left alone from the GameCube remake. The puzzles and areas are exactly as I remember them, and I remember them well. There is a joy to revisiting a place you haven’t been to in over a decade and having an almost photographic memory of every corner and object. For those who haven’t visited the Spencer Estate before it is likely the place will be quite overwhelming. Rooms and corridors are anything but uniform and it will take some time before you have an adequate working knowledge of the mansion and its secrets.

The Puzzles are classically over the top and often totally inexplicable. Examining an emblem that was hidden in a particularly vicious dog’s collar reveals it to be an imitation of a key that you place inside a socket after removing the real key to stop the suit of armour on tracks from crushing/stabbing you to death in a stone hallway. The Spencer’s really believed in strong security. Having so many object results in a sort of constant trading of items back and forth. The dog whistle I used to attract that particular dog is now useless and I can discard it, saving a valuable inventory slot for the new key it allows me to collect.

In fact a large part of solving puzzles, and progressing generally, relies on solid inventory management. Luckily there are ‘magic boxes’ to help you which allow you to store a colossal amount of items that can then be accessed from any other magic box. Even so it’s all to easy when exploring to find a few pieces of a puzzle you’re not even aware of yet and some healing herbs and end up totally full and unable to carry any more items. Making more trips than you need to is not a good idea in this house.

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Also returning from the original and the remake are fixed cameras. And with them come two control schemes; the original ‘tank controls’ (with a button to ‘accelerate’ and buttons to turn like Heavy Rain) and the new scheme that uses the left analogue stick like conventional modern third person titles.

The new scheme is far better for giving enemies the slip ensuring it’s your error that gets you into trouble and not awkward controls. Although they don’t make you untouchable and back in the day I was just as good at dodging the undead with the tank controls as I am now with the new scheme. But the updated controls make it far easier to get playing considering we’re all used to similar schemes – I can imagine many players will never have even used tank controls.

The only time I felt they let me down were on a few transitions when the camera changed and my character was spinning backwards and forwards cutting the camera repeatedly. Almost all transitions worked with absolutely no problems, but when it went wrong it was somehow even worse than it used to be with the old scheme. Out of hundreds of transitions only two or three don’t work but when it happens it’s bad. Throw in the need to dodge an enemy in such an area and it’s all over.

Other than the very rare problems I actually found myself enjoying the fixed cameras. They’re restrictive and claustrophobic. Time and time again I just wanted to rotate the camera to check around the corner. Hearing the shuffling of a zombie that you can’t see creates a tense game of hide and seek that gets the heart going. So much of Resi’s atmosphere comes from the camera angles and I’m glad to have them back. They may have originated from technical limitations but in this arena they excel.

The fixed shooting style also returns and makes for a slow and calculated combat style. Forget about Leon Kennedy’s ability to kick zombies to death or suplex their heads into the ground. You will stop, aim and fire. If you want, or need, to kill something it will have to be thoughtful. If you wait until you need to react it’s unlikely you will have enough time – unless you use some of the rarer ammo. It may be out of place compared with many modern games but again it adds to Resi’s unique atmosphere.

One of the biggest challenges visually comes from working with Resi’s pre-rendered backgrounds. Without a fully realised 3D environment improving elements is difficult, especially when modern lighting models are concerned as they rely on the environment being 3D. But the remaster looks incredibly good throughout. Certain environments are improved more than others, the main hall stands out as an example of one of the best, but nothing looks like it’s from 2002, or even close. To get everything in a 16:9 aspect the top and bottom was cut from the original 4:3 which is a pretty crude technique but at no point did I notice anything missing. Capcom really have done an amazing job getting a 13 year old game to look modern(ish) on a PS4.

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Limited saves, elaborate puzzles, punishing difficulties, cheesy voice acting and door animations all make their glorious return and I couldn’t be happier. The visual overhaul is nothing short of amazing. Areas have been cleaned up and overhauled so they look refreshed and the Dolby 5.1 further rejuvenates Resi into the current gen. The ‘96 original was one of my favourite games until the 2002 remake came out and know there’s the 2015 remaster. That brilliant little GameCube disk remained one of (if not) my favourite game for over a decade. Now that it’s back I’m glad to say this opportunity wasn’t wasted.

It’s great to have a proper survival game back at its best. The only problems are a few iffy camera transitions, some aging that can’t be hidden (i.e. the voice acting) and the knowledge that this is the best Resident Evil in a long time, and it’s only this good because it hasn’t changed. The Resident Evil franchise is so far off track that I can’t ever see it returning to this kind of legendary game. So while I love playing this Resi remaster it’s hard not to play it knowing this is the ultimate version of the long dead glory days of the Resident Evil franchise. I’m so glad I am able to enjoy Resident Evil once again, but it’s extremely unlikely there’ll be another one as good as this. It’s not a negative mark against this game but it is sad to know this is highly likely to be the last time I will play, and love, this truly amazing, genre defining game.

Fundamentally Warhammer Quest is a classic turn based strategy game. You take your band of heroes into a dungeon to kill it’s inhabitants and steal their stuff. Visiting one of Warhammer Quest’s villages will reveal at least one quest for your team to take part in when you return to the world map. To move things along the story is told through a series of text boxes. They’re well written but it can make quests feel a little dry when the big conclusion is a box of text you get to read.

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Dungeons are randomly generated but they’re nothing special. There are clear blocks that form simple shapes that fit together nicely. No matter what the quest is or what’s happening in the ‘story’ the gameplay never deviates from its path. Walk through the dungeon to reveal the area and kill everything in sight. There’s absolutely no variation in objectives other than the distinctly missable text boxes.

Unfortunately this is where the fact that Warhammer Quest was originally from iOS starts to become a problem. Sure when you play a mobile game you want 10-15 minutes of uncomplicated fun. A complex story would probably just ruin the pace. But it doesn’t translate to the ‘big screen’. On a mobile you would expect to play for only a short time and keep returning for a similar burst of game time. You expect to be able to sit and play a full PC game for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Warhammer Quest makes it very difficult to stay interested for that length of time given that not a lot changes.

Finding loot is one of the only ways I felt the need to return to Warhammer Quest. Whichever of the four characters you choose to play with will have loads of options for equipment and loot drops are frequent enough that it’s never long before you find yourself reequipping a character. But the loot isn’t particularly imaginative. More often the not it’s a simple case of replacing items for superior ones rather than any complicated compromises or choices.

The combat is another casualty of Warhammer Quest’s mobile origins. There is nothing more to do than move near an enemy and click on them to attack it. If you have a character capable of ranged attack they obviously will have more choice but it still basically comes down to tapping a creature and seeing if you killed it or not. The only sense of strategy involved is making sure everyone in the team gets an attack which is really a case of making sure you move characters with common sense rather than any strategy.

Yet again this gameplay would work if I were tapping away on a mobile screen but on my PC with a mouse and keyboard it’s just too simple. Click to move, reveal map, click to move, attack enemy. That’s really it. There are a few abilities and spells to concern yourself with but that’s basically just one more click. There’s no cover or defence to concern yourself with. There’s no overwatch or strategic positioning to think about. You move and hit the enemy and hopefully it dies first. The miss rate is unbelievable and more often than not you’ll spend your time swinging and missing; until you finally hit something and kill it.

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Warhammer Quest’s worst sin however has to be the visuals. They haven’t been altered from the mobile version at all. And it shows. At best there is a slight blurring around everything that makes it look like you’ve zoomed in on a low resolution video. At best you have huge patches of unused black space around the edges. Top down strategy games usually don’t focus on high fidelity but Warhammer Quest literally hasn’t been improved from the mobile version to the PC.

One of the most glaring occurrences of this is when you visit a town and a pop-up book opens showing a rough 3D map of the place. It’s a nice way to represent it without rendering an entire town pointlessly but viewing on the PC just makes it look stretched. Which is exactly what it is. It’s pixelated, blurry and just horrible to look at.

But just when you think it can’t get any worse there’s just one more thing that Warhammer Quest has brought with it from the mobile platform – premium currency. I’m not actually so offended by premium currency as a concept these days and some of my favourite games have been free-to-play with currency. But to pay for a game as badly ported as this and then find a premium currency system is just an insult.

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Unfortunately there’s nothing complicated to Warhammer Quest. You play for 20 minutes and probably get bored and turn it off. Which really is to the games credit considering it’s a mobile game. But to port a game successfully from iOS to PC there needs to be at least some changes. Increasing the resolution on videos rather than just stretching them is one. The same goes for the environments too, stretching low resolution assets is never a good move.

Visuals aside there just isn’t enough complexity in Warhammer Quest to compete with other turn based strategy titles on the PC. That same complexity that would be undesirable in a mobile game is so important to a PC game. Space Hulk offers more strategy in a Warhammer setting and if you’re just looking for turn based strategy there are loads of better games on Steam for this price; and almost all of them don’t have premium currency. If you want Warhammer Quest get it for iOS where it belongs, as a PC game it’s just not worth playing.

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Here are the PC requirement that to needs to play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt that launches on 19th May, 2015.

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Minimum System Requirements

Intel CPU Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz

AMD CPU Phenom II X4 940

Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 660

AMD GPU Radeon HD 7870

RAM 6GB

OS 64-bit Windows 7 or 64-bit Windows 8 (8.1)

DirectX 11

HDD Space 40 GB

Recommended System Requirements

Intel CPU Core i7 3770 3,4 GHz

AMD CPU AMD FX-8350 4 GHz

Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 770

AMD GPU Radeon R9 290

RAM 8GB

OS 64-bit Windows 7 or 64-bit Windows 8 (8.1)

DirectX 11

HDD Space 40 GB

 

There’s something oh so addictive about any game like Elite. It’s difficult to explain why but for some reason I just can’t stay away. Just one more trip, just one more delivery, just one more bounty. At the peek of this addiction you will hardly care that you’ve now been doing the same thing for countless hours. Every time I had to request landing permission with a few satisfying button presses on my keyboard I felt totally immersed. The spectacular mundanity of it all is invitingly engrossing. Just going about you’re daily space life delivering space cargo is cool, and Elite is cool enough to understate things and just let it be cool.

There isn’t an attempt to push you along your way or suggest that you complete certain objectives to gain xp. It doesn’t suggest what modules to equip on your ship or even which ship to use. There’s plenty of room for error in Elite: Dangerous which allows for a true sandbox experience. Luckily there’s plenty of support available online in forums or on YouTube to help you on your travels which is more than enough to get started.

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To say that Elite is a grind is an unbelievable understatement. You start off in a Sidewinder which doesn’t really have enough cargo space to do any decent trading and certainly doesn’t have enough potential firepower to realistically fend off anything other than Sidewinders. But slowly but surely you make 100 credits a run. Then a few hundred. Then you break 1,000. You make a few 10s of thousands and you can treat yourself to a new ship and start again trading larger amounts. Somehow despite the unbelievable amount of grinding required and the occasional feeling of despair that can cause I still kept going back and steadily worked my way through the ranks as a trader.

At times Elite can feel exactly like what it so often is. An unending and slightly dull grind to the finish, which is really a self set goal anyway. I know it’s a sandbox and most of the fun is usually from self motivation but there are times were a little bit of direction, or a few token objectives, wouldn’t have done any harm. At times you can feel like a direction-less delivery boy sent to hell to perpetual deliver goods, at any time able to stop – but never stopping. The fear is that eventually I’ll realise I’ve been trading for 10 or 20 hours and only got a slightly better ship than the one I started in. And that I’ll spend hours more in that ship trying to get the next ship. Problem is I always want the next ship.

Then you flick around the responsive sci-fi UI that appears when you’re docked and check stock prices before loading up your ship. Closing it down you bring up the galaxy map and plot a course to your destination system. Your ship rotates and elevates up to the launch pad and after a satisfying voice confirmation you’re free to smoothly leave the station, taking care to avoid other ships. Once back into the deep black you carefully line your ship up before engaging the oh so satisfying countdown that is the hyperdrive. Upon exiting hyperdrive you urgently pull away from that system’s star and find the station you want to dock with. Once you approach you request landing permission and make your way to your allocated docking bay, ensuring not to violate any infractions like loitering in busy areas. Your ship is swallowed into the depths of the station and your trip is complete.

It’s a simple trip from A to B back to A again but there’s always something to do. Or at least something to stare at. The knowledge that there is just so much out there to see gives a sensation of scale and isolation that I’ve never felt before. There are dangers even during these basic trading runs. Assuming you don’t get pulled out of faster than light travel to be raided by a pirate, maybe you get caught in the gravity of a star. On one occasion I got too close to a white dwarf and my systems overheated forcibly disengaging my hyperdrive. Suddenly I was sat there staring at a seemingly infinite space travelling at speeds relatively so slow I might as well be stationary. I had to divert all my power to my systems and engage my frame shift drive as quickly as possible to escape the star; although it looked so amazing I was happy to just sit and stare. There’s a vast and intimidating emptiness to Elite: Dangerous that makes the galaxy really feel like a galaxy. It’s a shame you can’t get out at stations and walk around but I guess we’ll just have to wait for another certain space sim for that kind of depth.

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Aside from the scale and uncanny good looks the ships themselves are another reason to keep you coming back. The light, agile fighters and multirole craft feel responsive and elegant. The larger ships and haulers feel heavy and wide, and clearly don’t perform so well in combat. Each ship has clearly had care and attention paid to it which allows the flight mechanics and combat to feel natural. It took me very little time to start flying accurately and the map in the HUD is a joy to use – not an easy thing to get right in 3 dimensions. Arming and firing weapons along with diverting power is another one of those fantastic manual tasks that Elite makes fun. Diverting all power to engines before accelerating and out turning your enemy then shifting power to your weapons before attacking is endlessly entertaining.

Unfortunately the combat can often become a series of head-on attacks, as is so often the case in space simulators. It’s a shame not to have the feeling of proper dogfights even though they’re perhaps not all that realistic for a space sim. But still the combat in Elite feels right especially given the power balancing ‘mini-game’ which lets you really feel like a captain; and every self-respecting sci-fi fan wants that. You can even give voice commands to your ship using a microphone with the right equipment and software.

And there’s good money to be earned in combat completing bounties or hunting down pirates is a good way to make cash. If you’ve got the skill, and the ship to pull it off, it can be much more lucrative than trading. It’s likely you’ll want to do some trading first to get a comfortable cash flow but hunting down pirates is fun. Or even becoming one.

The many modules that you can equip to customize any of your ships allow you to switch easily from trader to mercenary to pirate. Traders might want to go all out for cargo space while mercs will want a warrant scanner to identify targets. Pirates will likely want a cargo scanner to identify valuable ships and an interception module to drag ships out of faster than light travel so they can attack. Obviously it’s not a good idea to take the space equivalent of an articulated truck up against the space equivalent of an F-16 so ship choice plays a big part in deciding your role too.

ContestedSpace

Elite: Dangerous is nothing short of spectacular. It’s grand in design and beautiful in execution. Sitting in your cockpit going about the daily grind is uniquely, and superbly entertaining. Exiting hyperspace in the orbit of an enormous, intimidating star looks incredible. Elite: Dangerous doesn’t look to change all that much but instead it makes sure it gets the important things right. The galaxy feels just barren enough to get a sense of scale with enough awesome space stations, stars and other players that it never feels completely empty.

At times the grind can seem endless, and even a little pointless, but Elite: Dangerous cleverly makes things interesting by making what should be boring anything but. With ongoing updates Elite: Dangerous will be amazing. There’s already a good amount of content and a decent community but more ships would be desirable, especially for the mid game. There’s nothing but huge jumps between ships rather than a gradual progression up and there’s rarely much of a choice to be made. It can be a pretty linear path. It’ll definitely be interesting to see what happens in future updates but even as it is Elite: Dangerous is a great space sim with tons of content and an amazing galaxy to explore. But it’s lack of help for new players and intimidating grind will turn plenty of people away from this game.

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