AMD has released another performance driver (yes, again) for its Catalyst 11.11 package. And once again, improved performance in Elder Scrolls: Skyrim takes center stage. New in Catalyst 11.11c is better CrossFireX performance scaling for AMD Radeon HD 5000/6000 series cards in Skyrim, 2-7 percent better performance in single GPU configurations, and a resolved corruption issue when enabling MSAA on Radeon HD 6970 cards.
We can't stop playing Skyrim. Well, except for when it forces us to stop -- for instance, with a show-stopping crash or, er, a physics-defying dragon. Bethesda's already patched its massively single-player RPG opus once (to mixed results), but it's not sheathing its bug-smashing mallet any time soon. That said -- much as we appreciate patch notes like “Fixed occasional issue where a guest would arrive to the player’s wedding dead” -- small tweaks to Bethesda's enormous game are hardly the only things we have to look forward to.
Game characters talk too much. Unless, of course, they're J'zargo.
I like shirts. I enjoy owning them, wearing them -- pretty much everything you can do with shirts, really. Which is mostly just those two things. So I recently visited a custom T-shirt website, because why not? And then -- because I'm oddly proud of my exceedingly embarrassing geekiness -- I searched for Skyrim apparel. What I discovered made me laugh like a hyena that'd recently eaten a live clown. Then it made me deeply, deeply depressed. Mere days after the game had launched, there were shirts emblazoned with phrases like “You tried mercenary work? It might suit you” and “My cousin's out fighting dragons, and what do I get? Guard duty.”
If you've played Skyrim for more than two seconds, those phrases probably haunt your nightmares -- perhaps uttered by deeply unsettling images of your disapproving father as a giant praying mantis. Why? Because Skyrim's all-too-talkative denizens bellow them every time you're within bellowing range. Dovahkiin shouts? The Voice? Those are nothing compared to these all-powerful, sanity shattering sentences. And that's a rather large problem.
Fancy yourself an adventurous gamer? We're not talking about would-be Zak McKrackens or former knights of Daventry (King's Quest fans will get the latter reference), but those gamers who aren't afraid to install beta drivers and potentially buggy code, all in the pursuit of better framerates and improved performance all around. If that sounds like you, and you own an Nvidia graphics card, you should check this out.
Gamers who could potentially benefit the most from AMD's new Catalyst 11.11a performance driver may never read this. Why? Well, if you've been sucked into Skyrim, then you've undoubtedly found plenty to occupy your time, such as picking pockets, slaying dragons, and leveling up, all of which takes priority over reading the news, going to work, and hygiene (it's okay to make an exception with that last one).
Nothing speaks to the power and flexibility of the PC platform quite like game modding. Dedicated groups of hardcore fans toil for months on end to bring us a massive offering of tweaks, rebalances, texture packs, content packs, and total conversions that improve, expand, and transform the games we love.
Ok, so 90% of mods are still about furries, 3d porn, and sticking Mario's head on Darth Vader's body. But when not about lust or rampant copyright infringement, mods offer some of the most unique and interesting content in gaming. Hit the jump for some of our favorite mods from recent gaming history.
If you haven't been blowing off work and family the last few times to log some serious time playing with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, well, your priorities are way out whack mister (or madam, as the case may be). Those that do have their priorities straight went and picked up the highly anticipated title, pushing Skyrim game sales to more than 3.4 million in its first two days, and that's just at retail.
Skyrim's been out for less than a day, but fans have already gone through the .ini files looking for useful tweaks and fixes to the most common crashes and UI annoyances. We've compiled a selection of tweaks below from the Skyrim tweak thread on Reddit, the Skyrim forums and Tweak Guides.
These fixes will let you disable mouse smoothing, customize your field of view, disable Vsync, and correct a problem that causes crashes to desktop from the main menu screen just after you start the game. There are also a few .ini tweaks that make Skyrim look better.
Pardon us if we keep talking games, but we’re just as caught up in Skyrim fever as the rest of the world. While we’re talking Tamriel, is your PC primed and ready for fighting dragons in the Nordic mountains? Yesterday, Nvidia released a new Geforce 285.79 beta driver that included, amongst other things, improved SLI and 3D Vision support for – you guessed it – Skyrim (which now garners an “Excellent” 3D Vision rating by Nvidia, by the way).
We've jokingly told people that – come 11/11/11 – Skyrim is going to devour the remainder of our mortal years. We're afraid, though, that we may have meant it without, you know, meaning to. See, in addition to the harrowing prospect of “unlimited dragons,” Bethesda's latest biggie-sized slice of role-playing nirvana is coming packed with a never-ending supply of procedurally generated quests.