Normally, Valentine's Day provides folks with two options: 1) Gorge yourself on chocolate and somebody else's face, or 2) weep bitterly as everyone else gorges themselves on chocolate and other people's faces. This year, however, you'll have a third avenue for holiday merriment: saving all life as we know it from total annihilation. Or at least, foiling a nefarious Reaper plot or two, via Mass Effect 3's long-awaited demo. According to BioWare, the tantalizing teaser will give players a peek at “the all-out galactic war against an ancient alien race known as the Reapers from multiple fronts, including the mind-blowing opening attack on Earth that kicks off the single-player campaign.” Co-op's in the mix as well, so this is looking like quite the heavyweight as far as demos go. Massive, one might even say. Effectively so. And then, in a just world, they'd hurl themselves out the airlock shortly after.
There's a hilariously fitting story about dystopian futures and the consequences of corporate expansion somewhere in Syndicate's evolution from brainy blast-from-the-past to, well, lots of blasting, but it's quite a lengthy (not to mention depressing) tale. Unfortunately, however, we've now got an epilogue, and it's not exactly all cybernetic bunnies and artificially generated rainbows. While console players are getting a co-op demo of Syndicate's FPS reboot later this month, EA's officially gone on record saying that "There are no current plans for a PC demo." But at least we're not coming away completely empty handed. GOG.com – being the wondrous conglomerate of time-manipulating wizards that is it – is removing the original Syndicate from cryostasis and stocking its virtual shelves. Sounds like a win in our book.
The majority of you are PC gamers born and bred, so Hard Reset is a game that absolutely needs to be blowing your radar to tiny little pieces and then laser-blasting those pieces to a fine powder for good measure. It's an old-school “What the hell's cover? Oh well, it'd probably just stop me from killing everything that moves” shooter to its very core, but done up in gorgeous cyberpunk style. On top of that, it heralds from a developer comprised primarily of folks who previously worked on Painkiller and The Witcher. Oh, and the studio's CEO won't stop saying wonderful things like “There are many games published on PCs that are just ports from consoles, and we all know that today the power of a current-gen console is similar to a four- to five-year-old PC... All those modern shooters are about terrorists – after playing all those Call Of Duty games, I sometimes feel like I will open my fridge and a terrorist will pop-out to shoot me. Boring!” So yes, here's the Steam link. Now make with the downloading.
You've watched, you've waited, and – in likelihood – you've read some pretty damn grisly reviews. Even so, this is Duke Nukem Forever we're talking about. You ache to play this game – even if it is the interactive equivalent of a trainwreck that also enjoys, er, flinging human fecal matter. So, dilemma: How do you sate your primal gamer urge without spending a single cent and later shedding bitter tears of regret? Obvious answer: a demo! Previously, however, Duke's bite-sized taster was only available to First Access Club members. Now, though, anyone can have a go at it. Even children, assuming they can crack the labyrinthine code of an age gate. Good job on that one, Internet. Anyway, make with the downloading here.
After a recent multiplayer trailer proudly proclaimed that Crysis 2's pre-launch demo would only be causing Xbox 360s to wheeze and strain under the weight of their own impotence, PC gamers got worried. “Why,” they wondered aloud, “has Crytek forsaken us? Are we no longer worthy?” Fear not, however, because a recent tweet straight from the horse's mouth cleared up the whole mess.
“At this time, Crytek & EA are glad to confirm that we'll be releasing a pre-launch Crysis 2 multiplayer demo on PC! Stay tuned for details,” Crytek said.
So there you have it. Try before your PC cries and all that. The game's out on March 25, so expect more news soonishly.
Itching to get your hands on Epic and People Can Fly's upcoming mix of sweet shooting and spicy language? Well, buy a cream or something, because you'll be sitting on the sidelines until the game's February 22 release date.
Xbox 360 and PS3 players' forecasts, meanwhile, see a full-to-bursting storm system on a January 25 collision course with their consoles. So, why are they getting a demo a month early while you have to make a blind purchase almost a month later? Epic's Mark Rein wouldn't say. He did, however, tell Blue's News that there are no plans for a PC demo at this time.
Still though, seems like a rather unfortunate move on Epic's part. We're hardly businessmen, but putting a tangible piece of your new, unproven IP into as many gamers' hands as possible as quickly as possible seems like a no-brainer. Also – while we definitely don't endorse it – too many PC gamers tend to have a “No demo? Ok then, piracy!” policy. Bulletstorm may have gained a reputation for being goofy and somewhat mindless, but that doesn't mean its pre-release build-up should follow suit.
Splinter Cell’s pretty-spry-for-an-old-guy hero Sam Fisher may be a master of tip-toeing about, but when his massive multimedia franchise takes even the slightest step, everyone notices. So when Ubisoft announced that an Xbox 360 Splinter Cell Conviction demo’s quickly closing on its March 18 release date, PC gamers immediately began asking about their slice of the pie. And, for better or for worse, Ubisoft answered.
“Sorry guys, tomorrow’s demo is for X360 only. There are no plans for a PC demo,” tweeted community developer Li Kuo.
On one hand, it’s just a demo. On the other hand, this happened. Whether it’s simply a case of bad timing or a purposeful disregard for PC gamers, Ubisoft’s certainly going to town on that hornets’ nest. We’re thinking it’s only a matter of time before they get stung.
Nvidia has been talking up their new Optimus system as of late. An Optimus enabled notebook will be able to seamlessly switch between a low power integrated GPU to a higher power dedicated GPU. The power savings are said to be significant, nearly doubling rated battery life. Optimus can do this by completely powering off the GPU when using the on-board. To prove this, Nvidia went ahead a pulled the GPU from a running computer causing no interruption.
The real trick of Optimus is that the switch will happen automatically whenever the GPU is needed. For example, if you use the GPU acceleration in Flash 10.1 and open a Youtube video, the GPU would turn on to render the video. Close the Window, and the GPU powers down. This demo is meant to stress that when an Optimus system turns off the GPU, it is totally electrically off.
We’re excited about the possible energy savings this system could bring. Switchable graphics in notebooks have long been available, but poorly implemented. If Optimus is really as seamless as Nvidia makes it look, count us in.
Love Diablo, but not sure if you can wait much longer for Diablo III? Well then, why not spend a night spelunking cavernous areas with Torchlight? The game’s practically Diablo’s twin sister, and it knows what you like. Don’t worry. We won’t let Diablo III know. This will be our little secret. We promise.
Still on the fence? Yeesh. Talk about brand loyalty. Here – at least try this demo of Torchlight. It’s on us. Now take a peek at those high-res, barely legal graphics. And if you’re still not sold, what other demonically themed hack ‘n’ slash comes with a free dog (or cat!) that lugs your loot back to town while you keep on questing?
Yeah. That’s right. You equip that breastplate with +3 to mana and +10 electrical resistance. Just like that.
It’s Tuesday! Woohoo! Oh, you’re wondering why we’re donning our party hats on this most mundane of days? Simple – the Left 4 Dead 2 demo’s available to Steam pre-orderers today! We’re just gonna queue up our download and… well, that’s odd. We’re sure the demo’s around here somewhere. Just, uh, hold on a sec. No, no – that’s Killing Floor. Hey, Valve, what’s the deal?
“The Left 4 Dead 2 Xbox 360 Demo is now available for those who pre-ordered and obtained early access to the demo," read a release from the company tonight. "The PC Demo is currently targeted for release on Wednesday, October 28."
Well, what are we going to do with all these party supplies now? Quick! Theme change! Now we’re celebrating, er, uh, Boss Tweed’s arrest on October 27, 1871. There’s something everyone can drink to.