PC gaming http://www.maximumpc.com/taxonomy/term/443/ en Civilization: Beyond Earth Hands-On http://www.maximumpc.com/civilization_beyond_earth_hands-on_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3>We play through the first 100 turns of Firaxis' next Civ game</h3> <p>We're still a couple months away from the retail release of Civilization: Beyond Earth (C:BE), but publisher 2K Games couldn't hold back the horde any longer. We've been eager to try it out because it's Civ, but also because it feels like a spiritual sequel to Alpha Centauri, which itself dealt with a nagging question from earlier entries in the series: What happens when you win the game by launching an interstellar ship into space? Where do those people go? At first glance, C:BE looks like a sci-fi Civilization V with an exotic color palette, but a number of new layers unfolded during our time with it.</p> <p>Most Civ games begin with selecting your starting conditions (unless you like to live on the edge and randomize all your choices). Your options include the usual things like world size, continent shape, and faction leader characteristics. In the build that we played, we could choose from three randomly generated planets. We could also let the game randomly choose one of those three for us, or we could tell C:BE to roll the dice and generate three new worlds. If that's not your cup of tea, we could also go to the "Advanced Worlds" menu and choose from about ten worlds with scripted conditions. 82 Eridani e, for example, has no oceans and little water. Or we could choose Archipelago, which was basically the opposite. Eta Vulpeculae b, meanwhile, has one large continent and an abundance of resources and wildlife.</p> <p><img src="/files/u160416/screenshot_terrain_lush02.jpg" width="600" height="354" style="text-align: center;" /></p> <p>Six of the worlds that are accessible from this menu come from the Exoplanets Map Pack, which you get by pre-ordering the game before October 24th. Each of these planets will randomize its geography each time you play, leading to an additional layer of replayability. We were not able to dig up a menu that allowed us to fine-tune specific map or gameplay attributes (such as disabling neutral factions or hostile wildlife), but this was not a final build.</p> <p>Then you can also choose to begin the game with a soldier or worker unit, instead of an explorer. Or you could have a clinic installed in your first city automatically. This building improves the city health stat, which indicates population growth and the happiness of your citizens. You will also choose what ship type you want to use to arrive on the planet. This determines bonuses like starting with 100 energy (the currency of C:BE); the initial visibility of coast lines, alien nests, certain resources; and the size of the fog of war around your first city.</p> <p><img src="/files/u160416/screen_combat_satellitebombard.jpg" width="600" height="341" style="text-align: center;" /></p> <p>Then you choose your colonist type. For example, the Refugee type adds +2 food to every city, which promotes growth. Engineers give you +2 production in every city, which decreases the time it takes to construct buildings. Scientists, unsurprisingly, give you +2 science in every city, which increases the speed at which you research new technology. Lastly, you designate your sponsor, which determines who your faction leader is. There are no historical leaders this time, like George Washington or Ghandi. This new gang consists of fictional characters set in a speculative future. We had eight sponsors to choose from. Going with the African Union grants us +10% food in growing cities when their Health rating is 1 or greater. With the Pan-Asian Cooperative, you get a 10% production bonus for Wonders, and 25% faster workers.</p> <p>So after agonizing over all of those branching decisions, you can finally drop into the game. If you're familiar with the last couple Civ games, the interface should be pretty familiar. Your resources appear in the upper right-hand corner, with positive and negative numbers indicating gains or losses per turn. Hovering the cursor over each one gives you a detailed breakdown of where the resources are coming from, and how they're being consumed. Your lower right-hand corner is for notifications and to run through your list of available actions The lower left-hand shows you your selected unit (if any) and its abilities.</p> <p style="text-align: right;"><a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/civilization_beyond_earth_hands-on_2014?page=0,1" target="_blank"><strong>Page 2: Exploration, affinities, and virtues</strong></a></p> <hr /> <p>But while the UI should be familiar, this is definitely an exotic planet, with unfamiliar formations like canyons and craters, clouds of poisonous gas, alien critters used for resources, and other alien critters that are actively hostile. It's definitely dangerous terrain for a fledgling civilization. But you'll find resource pods dotted throughout the landscape, which usually contain caches of energy or satellites. Satellites are launched into orbit and extract energy from the planet's surface, though it's not clear how. They stay up for a limited time, though, so you'll need to keep finding them, or produce them on your own. You'll also encounter stations, which behave similarly to city-states in Civ V.</p> <p>And your explorer (scout) unit can excavate native ruins and giant animal bones to grant more bonuses, like free technology. He can only carry one of these excavation kits at once, though, and he needs to return to a city to get more. It also takes five turns to excavate something. This slower pace maintains the unit's viability for a longer stretch than in previous games, and compels you to make more agonizing decisions. Competing factions also don't like it when you excavate something that's closer to their territory than to yours. So you have to balance your desire for discovery against your long-term political risks.</p> <p><img src="/files/u160416/screen_fielding_diplomacy.jpg" title="text-align: center;" width="600" height="341" /></p> <p>Meanwhile, you'll be conducting research on new buildings and units. Instead of going left to right and hitting up pretty much everything along the way, you begin from a central point on the research map and must choose between different branches, each of which contains "leaves" or individual research choices. Each branch has a theme, usually divided into cultural, military, and scientific categories. You can try focusing on one theme, or it might be better to balance as many as you can. Since we were limited to 100 turns, we weren't able to see which turned out to be the better strategy. The things you encounter on the map, the things you build, and the tech you research will frequently trigger binary choices. At one point, the game made us choose between two stations to conduct business with. One station specialized in converting military equipment for civilian use, while another could increase our science score. Both choices have effects on your relationship with the planet's flora and fauna, and you have three affinities to balance: Harmony, Supremacy, and Purity.</p> <p>Each choice grants you a mix of experience points in each affinity, and enough points in one will move you up a level and grant you a bonus. Hovering your mouse over each affinity (located in the upper left-hand corner) tells you what different levels will do. Level 1 of Harmony, for example, reduces the aggression level of the native creatures. Eventually you'll actually gain health from the poison clouds (called "miasma"), and the highest level of your primary affinity grants a critical element for one of the five available victory conditions. At the same time, you'll eventually be at odds with the factions that have different affinities than yours. You can attempt to smooth over relations by establishing lucrative trading routes, engaging in joint military actions, and good old-fashioned bribery. Or you can attempt to wipe them off the map, if you're not into the whole diplomacy thing.</p> <p><img src="/files/u160416/screen_ui_virtues.jpg" width="600" height="341" style="text-align: center;" /></p> <p>And let's not forget about the Virtue system. These operate like Civ V's social policies, but this time there are four of them with nine tiers, so there's more focus and depth to your choices here. On top of that is a grid of synergies, designed to encourage the exploration of multiple virtues. Activating the first tier of each virtue, for example, gives you a bonus activation of your choosing.</p> <p>Eventually, the 2K staff gently ushered us out the door, and we were reluctant to leave. Beyond Earth has a more layers of faction evolution and political intrigue than we're used to seeing in Civ, and we were eager to see the choices that the game would present us with next. We also wanted to build more stuff, of course, and establish more trade routes, explore more of the map, investigate the critters, and maybe start a war or two. Thankfully, we only have about eight more weeks until the game launches into orbit.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/civilization_beyond_earth_hands-on_2014#comments alpha centauri beyond earth civiliation pc game PC gaming pre-review Sci-fi Sid Meier strategy Games Gaming News Features Web Exclusive Thu, 28 Aug 2014 18:43:23 +0000 Tom McNamara 28439 at http://www.maximumpc.com Minecraft Beginner's Guide http://www.maximumpc.com/minecraft_beginners_guide_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u160391/minecraft.jpg" alt="Minecraft" title="Minecraft" width="250" height="150" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>How to get into Minecraft</h3> <p>Minecraft is a veritable juggernaut in the PC gaming world, with a bustling mod community, dedicated Let's Play streamers, and hundreds of variations on play to keep things fresh. Nearly everywhere you go, even in department stores, you see the gaping mouths of Creepers, blank stares of Steve heads, and even diamond pickaxe styluses.</p> <p>It's a phenomenon that's only picking up steam, so what better time than now to get your hands dirty in the wide world of Minecraft? Whether you've been digging up informational videos here and there and have a basic understanding of the world or you've never even survived your first night, we're here to help you out. Grab a shovel, your best avatar skin, and let's get started.</p> <p><strong> 1. Getting Minecraft </strong></p> <p>The first step, of course, is procuring a copy of the game. You can purchase a copy at the official website (<a title="minecraft.net" href="https://minecraft.net/" target="_blank">minecraft.net</a>) for $26.95 or you can pick up a game card at the store for the same amount. You can also purchase gift codes from the website as well, just in case you happen to need a mining buddy. Registering for an account is free, and if you'd simply like to test the waters, there is a <a title="minecraft demo" href="https://minecraft.net/demo" target="_blank">Minecraft demo</a> available for trial purposes.</p> <p><strong> 2. Getting Acquainted</strong> </p> <p>Once you've gotten everything installed and customized to your liking, it's time to get started. Choose the single player button to create your very first world. It will be a completely randomized spawn, so you will be working with the luck of the draw. Choose Create New World and you'll be prompted to name your new stomping grounds. If you can't come up with any inventive names, don't worry. You can always alter it later. After creating a world, you’ll need to choose a game mode.</p> <p><strong>Game Modes </strong></p> <p><strong>Survival:</strong> Minecraft players usually flock to this game mode, usually viewed as the "standard" version. Monsters will attack you at night, and you must create shelter, find sustenance, and craft items to stay alive. You will likely die, but if you do, you simply respawn. You can choose between difficulties within Survival Mode as well.</p> <p><strong>Creative:</strong> If you're enamored with the ornate and elaborate creations you see time and time again in the Minecraft community, then Creative mode is for you. Think of it as a safe "sandbox" with unlimited resources, building materials, and no survival elements to get in the way of your genius.</p> <p><strong>Hardcore:</strong> If you're reading this guide, chances are you won't want to choose this challenging game mode. It's aimed at experienced miners and those looking to sharpen their "pro skills." If you die, everything will be lost. Think carefully before choosing this mode, as it may be more than you bargained for.</p> <p>After you've chosen a game type, click Create New World and your very first Minecraft kingdom will be generated.</p> <p><strong> 3. The Basics </strong></p> <p>Depending on what was randomly generated for your world, you'll now find yourself smack dab in the middle of verdant greenery, a beachside scene, a desert, or even snow-capped mountains. This terrain is now yours to begin cultivating as you see fit. It's the start of a brand new day, and a cycle that you will want to become acquainted with. Each day cycle lasts ten minutes, so it's prudent to remember to complete important tasks during the day, since monsters roam the countryside at night.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154082/minecraft_ui.png" alt="minecraft UI" title="minecraft UI" width="620" height="342" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>The basic Minecraft UI</strong></p> <p>Let's take a look at the user interface quickly before advancing. The bottom of the screen with the boxes is a quick look at your inventory. You start off with nothing, but once you pick something up, your inventory boxes start to fill up quickly. Above the boxes are hearts to the left and what look like delicious pieces of meat. The hearts represent your HP, and the meat on the right is your hunger meter. Periodically you must eat in order to keep yourself full, or you will start to lose hearts. When your hearts reach zero, you'll die. When your hunger is low, you may not sprint, either.</p> <p>Additional bars you may see when playing include the armor bar, which will appear above your health meter. This displays the integrity of the armor you have equipped. You may note a bar that looks akin to the progress bar in any standard RPG. That's your experience level, displaying your progress toward the next level. You earn experience by collecting glowing green orbs that are dropped when you kill something.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://static.gamesradar.com/images/mb/GamesRadar/us/Games/M/Minecraft/Everything%20else/Beginners%20guide/Minecraft%204%20-%20inventory%20and%20wood%20block--article_image.jpg" alt="minecraft inventory" title="minecraft inventory" width="542" height="516" /></p> <p>You can open your full inventory screen by pressing E. When your toolbar is full, you can go here to see what else you have in your possession. The toolbar can be seen in the grid have as well, and for quick access you can click and drag from here. To the left of your character are slots for armor that you will want to equip later on in the game.</p> <p>The crafting area (2 x 2 squares) is for quick crafting. You can slot raw materials here to create specific items. Organizing your items from the inventory is simple. Use the left mouse button to pick up and rearrange the entire number of items. Drag it over to another slot to move. Double-click to collect items into one stack. Alternatively, you can use the right mouse button to pick up half of a group of items, place one from the group into an empty slot, and hold and drag to place the items across multiple slots.</p> <p>By now you should have a clearer picture of the user interface and how specific parts of the game work. It's time to use the daylight to our advantage!</p> <p><strong> 4. Survive the Night! </strong></p> <p>The night is dark and full of terrors. Melisandre had something there. She must have been referring to Minecraft, because the baddies all come out at nightfall. You could technically just dig a hole and cover yourself with it, but our method will end up being much more convenient and helpful. We have 10 minutes to gather resources and create some sort of makeshift shelter, so let's make the most of it.</p> <p>Start by looking around for trees. Trees can be "punched" using your fist and will break down into wood blocks. Just hold down the mouse button and punch away until a block of wood topples down. Keep doing this and repeat with several other trees for a quick score of wood. Keeping 5-10 blocks of wood will be more than enough for our crafting purposes. Once you've collected wood, you can chop with that same piece of wood. While punching trees, keep a lookout for sheep as well. You'll need them for wool, so any you find wandering the landscape will need to die a swift death.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/MmB9b5njVbA" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Once you've topped up your wood supply, it's time to start crafting. Crafting is integral to survival, so it's best to get started learning it. Go into your inventory screen and choose the entire stack of wood blocks you gathered earlier. Drag it to the crafting area in your inventory. You'll see a new image appear in the box beside those four. These are wooden planks, and they're important building blocks for other equipment you'll need in the future. Right now we need to build a crafting table to make more advanced objects. Take four wooden planks and arrange them in the corresponding blocks here in the crafting area. Ta-da! You now have a crafting table.</p> <p>Go ahead and set the crafting table in your toolbar, then close the inventory and select it. The crafting table will appear and you'll see a 3x3 square in which you can place materials. Take two planks and place them on top of the other. This will create wooden sticks. Once you have a series of planks and sticks, arrange three planks in the top three squares of the crafting table. Place two sticks stacked vertically beneath the middle planks.</p> <p>Congratulations! You've just created your very first tool. You can use the wooden pickaxe to accomplish a number of things like digging, chopping, and killing creatures. Once equipped with a pickaxe, you can chop down more trees for more supplies. It's always a good idea to carry more than you need, especially when you don't know what you might be facing up against.</p> <p>Once you've got your tools and some extra supplies squared away, it'll be time to start looking for a suitable location to stay for the night. While searching for a good place to camp, keep in mind that you shouldn't wander too far from landmarks you recognize or far from your original spawn point. While exploring, it can be prudent to keep an eye on your surroundings, leaving a breadcrumb trail of blocks if you need to.</p> <p>We're going to scout out a place to build your own happy little home. Look out for a nice hill or cliff you can carve into. We're going for function over aesthetic value, after all. On your way to finding some prime real estate, be on the lookout for items like coal (black specks on rock), sand, sheep, and more trees for wood. Collect as much as you can, as these items will prove quite beneficial in the long run.</p> <p>When you've settled on a suitable location, start digging with your pickaxe. Leave a space for a door and enough room inside to set up your crafting table. Opening your crafting table up after setting it up in the new pad, you'll want to make some torches. Torches are extremely important. The light will keep monsters at bay and shine into the darker areas you find yourself in, like the mines you will eventually create. Place torches all around your room, and revel in the brightness of the sanctuary you've created. Neat!</p> <p>Now you need a door to keep the nasties out. Use six wooden planks and fill up the first two columns of your crafting table, vertically. You should have a suitable area for your door in your small home, so right click on the floor in the doorway area and place the door. Make sure it's closed, and voila! You're ready to have a fun-filled night at home in your very first Minecraft house. You shouldn't venture out into the dark if you've been slow about gathering your items. If you have some daylight to kill, it's safe to putter about in your home to see what you can accomplish as far as upgrades and augments.</p> <p>For now, this is the basic setup and enough to get you through the night alone. See, that wasn't so hard, was it?</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/minecraft_beginners_guide_2014#comments beginner's guide how to minecraft Mojang noob pc PC gaming pc version Features Wed, 13 Aug 2014 21:07:00 +0000 Brittany Vincent 26269 at http://www.maximumpc.com Graphics Analysis: Dark Souls 2 http://www.maximumpc.com/graphics_analysis_dark_souls_2_2014 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u154280/gpu_analysis.png" alt="Dark Souls 2" title="Dark Souls 2" width="300" height="187" style="float: right;" /></p> <h3>We compare the game’s low, medium, and high settings with comparison pictures and video</h3> <p>Welcome to Maximum PC's new "graphical analysis" feature where we do a deep dive analysis on a video game's graphics options comparing its low, medium, and high settings along with any other graphical bells and whistles it may offer. In this on-going feature we will provide picture and video comparisons to the PC's biggest games. We know you’re probably either equipped with a bad-ass rig or on the cusp on upgrading so we wanted to give you a visual glimpse of what your system/future system might be able to handle playing certain titles.&nbsp;</p> <p>For our inaugural story, we decided to go with the recently-released Dark Souls 2.&nbsp;</p> <p>It's no secret that the original Dark Souls on the PC was a terrible port. The game easily made our <a title="10 Worst PC Ports" href="http://www.maximumpc.com/worst_pc_ports_2014" target="_blank">10 Worst PC Ports list</a> in large part due to its lack of graphical options. It's default resolution was 720p (yuck!). Furthermore, you had to pretty much hack the game to get it working in 1080p. Namco and FromSoftware said they were going to change that with the PC version of Dark Soul 2, so we wanted to take it for a visual test drive to see for ourselves.</p> <div> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/FF1aNh2o2Oo" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Dark Souls 2: Graphics Analysis Video Comparing low, medium, and high settings.</strong></p> </div> <p><strong>Testing Methodology:</strong></p> <p>We wanted our tests to be easily replicated, so we ran the game in 1080p, using Dark Souls 2's preset graphics options, which include "Low," "Medium," and "High." These are the only presets the game offers, there is no "Ultra" preset in Dark Souls 2. We should mention that the point of this test is to analyze image quality and visual fidelity. This is not a frame rate performance test.</p> <p>We captured our screenshots and video with a modest gaming rig, which sports an Intel Core i7 4770K CPU, 8GB of 1600MHz G.Skill RAM, and a GTX 680 video card.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The settings we used for each test are shown in the screenshots below:&nbsp;</strong></p> <div style="text-align: center;"><a class="thickbox" title="Low Preset" href="/files/u154280/low_preset_0.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/low_preset.jpg" alt="Low_Preset" title="Low_Preset" width="600" height="338" /></a></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Low Preset</strong></p> <div style="text-align: center;"><strong><a class="thickbox" title="Medium Preset" href="/files/u154280/medium_preset_0.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/medium_preset.jpg" alt="Medium_Preset" title="Medium_Preset" width="600" height="338" /></a></strong></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Medium Preset</strong></p> <div style="text-align: center;"><strong><a class="thickbox" title="High Preset" href="/files/u154280/high_preset_0.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/high_preset.jpg" alt="High_Preset" title="High_Preset" width="600" /></a></strong></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>High Preset</strong></p> <p>On a related note, the game's minimum and recommended specs are listed <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/236430/" target="_blank">here</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Video Scene Analysis:</strong></p> <p><em><span style="text-align: center;">Note: You can click on the images below to see an animated GIF comparing the scene running across Low, Medium, and High settings.</span></em></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a title="Scene_1_Low_Medium_High" href="http://i.picasion.com/pic77/61e9e1857f7ba96b8eb4cc94d61a2b98.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/scene_split.png" alt="Scene_1_Low_Medium_High" title="Scene_1_Low_Medium_High" width="600" /></a></strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Ocean Scene</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Our first scene has the game rendering an ocean, located near the game's hub city, Majula. When the scene is rendering on Low settings, it barely renders the ocean's waves. After we cranked it up to Medium, the waves became much more pronounced, finally, on High you can see the waves start to foam up a little more. We also noticed that the cloth on our character's trousers were less jaggy at Medium and High settings. Overall, there is a big difference between Low to Medium, but the disparity is less between Medium to High.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: left;"><span style="font-style: italic; text-align: center;">Note: You can click on the images below to see an animated GIF comparing the scene running across Low, Medium, and High settings.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Scene_2_Low_Medium_High" href="http://i.picasion.com/pic77/281853d9c5dd121e358871fead4fcacd.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/split_scene.png" alt="Scene_2_Low_Medium_High" title="Scene_2_Low_Medium_High" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Indoor dark dreary dungeon scene</strong></p> <p>In the second scene in our video, we captured footage from a dark dreary dungeon. This time, it was hard for us to delineate a difference between any of the game's presets. Our character’s particle effects looked the same in Low, Medium, and High. We did see a difference in the dungeon’s walls, however, which featured more detail at Medium and High settings. If you look at the arch way, you can see more textures on the rocks when the game is running in Medium and High.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-style: italic; text-align: center;">Note: You can click on the images below to see an animated GIF comparing the scene running across Low, Medium, and High settings.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Scene_3_Low_Medium_High" href="http://i.picasion.com/pic77/bfc8db505bf944c9cde410da641bdf28.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/image_for_three.png" alt="Scene_3_Low_Medium_High" title="Scene_3_Low_Medium_High" width="600" /></a></p> <p><strong>Outdoor castle courtyard scene</strong></p> <p>The last scene from our video shows our character in a castle courtyard. As we went from Low to High, it was again difficult for us to tell the difference between the three presets. Our character did look more detailed when we cranked up the setting from Low to High, but other than some minor shadows underneath the grass, we couldn’t see many major visual upgrades in the environment. The castle's gray walls had a few more textures and shadows when going from Low to High settings, but these are very minor enhancements. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Extra Scenes not in the Video:</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Low_Medium_High_Gif" href="http://i.picasion.com/pic77/66b80cc4eba36e8ca820b03fa5582fa5.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/low_med_high_gif_image.jpg" alt="Low_Medium_High_Gif" title="Low_Medium_High_Gif" width="600" height="338" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Castle vegetation scene</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">In this scene we see a castle wall covered in green vegetation. We see a consistent increase in detail going from Low to High. As we went up in graphical fidelity, the moss on the castle’s exterior becomes greener, crisper, and filled with more shadows.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a title="Low_Medium_High_Gif_2" href="http://i.picasion.com/pic77/9ef03962361e63c594124940d81115ce.gif" target="_blank"><img src="/files/u154280/trifecta_gif_image_lines.jpg" alt="Low_Medium_High_Gif2" title="Low_Medium_High_Gif2" width="600" height="338" /></a></p> <p style="text-align: left;"><strong>Boulder scene</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Another area that we took a peek at featured a few boulders outside. As you can see it was difficult for us to tell the difference between the game’s presets. We found that the rocks became more detailed going from Low to High, but there wasn't a huge difference within the rest of the environment.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion:</strong></p> <p>In doing our graphics test we saw the biggest difference in image quality when we had our character in highly-lit areas, or surrounded by water. When we were in dark or low-lit areas, the differences were quite negligible. For the most part, there doesn't seem to be a huge difference between Medium and High settings. The Medium preset in some cases looked almost identical to the High preset, with but a few minor missing textures and shadows. Ultimately, if you're playing Dark Souls 2, you probably won't see a huge disparity in image quality going from Medium to High, and this game isn't one that is likely to impress your console-loving friends with the game's highest settings.&nbsp;</p> <p>Did you like this feature? If so, which game would you like us to do a deep dive graphical analysis on next?</p> <p><span style="font-style: normal;">Follow Chris on&nbsp;</span><a style="font-style: normal;" href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/117154316323139826718" target="_blank">Google</a><span style="font-style: normal;">+&nbsp;or&nbsp;</span><a style="font-style: normal;" href="https://twitter.com/chriszele" target="_blank">Twitter</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/graphics_analysis_dark_souls_2_2014#comments comparison pictures Dark Souls 2 graphical analysis high low medium PC gaming settings video Gaming Features Wed, 21 May 2014 18:35:25 +0000 Chris Zele 27798 at http://www.maximumpc.com “PC Games Have Surpassed Console Games,” Says DFC Intelligence Owner http://www.maximumpc.com/%E2%80%9Cpc_games_have_surpassed_console_games%E2%80%9D_says_dfc_intelligence_owner_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u166440/dfc_intelligence.jpg" alt="DFC Intelligence" title="DFC Intelligence" width="200" height="161" style="float: right;" />The MOBA genre dominates PC gaming</h3> <p>On a global scale,&nbsp;<strong>the PC gaming market appears has surpassed the console gaming market</strong> when it comes to revenue. This is according to DFC Intelligence owner David Cole who spoke to <a title="PCR DFC article" href="http://www.pcr-online.biz/news/read/pc-games-have-surpassed-console-games-globally/033849" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">PCR</span></a> about the market research company’s findings.</p> <p>A reason for this shift is that, Cole explained, “Among core gamers there is a heavy overlap with most console gamers also playing on a PC. The big difference is that consoles are now the luxury item and PCs are the necessity. Just a few years ago the reverse was true. This means PCs have the broader audience.”</p> <p>DFC predicted, back in January, that the PC market would&nbsp;<a title="DFC article" href="http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-01-28-pc-gaming-market-to-exceed-USD25-billion-this-year-dfc" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">exceed $25 billion</span></a> for 2014 and, according to their prediction back in 2011, that its revenue would <a title="DFC article" href="http://www.pcper.com/news/Editorial/PC-Gaming-Surpass-Console-Gaming-Revenue-2015" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">surpass console gaming</span></a>. One of the reasons why PC gaming revenue has passed that of console gaming has to do with the popularity and success of the MOBA genre.</p> <p>According to Cole, “The MOBA games League of Legends and Dota 2 dominate everything else by an order of magnitude in terms of more usage than other products. In the first part of 2014 we saw some signs that may change with the introduction of new titles and increased play of games outside the MOBA category.”</p> <p>While the MOBA genre has risen to dominance, Cole also attributed the MMO, strategy, and first-person shooter genres for PC gaming’s growth as well. In addition, the European market has been a big factor for PC trends when it comes to free-to-play games.&nbsp;</p> <p>Will PC gaming continue to outgrow console gaming in terms of revenue? Or will the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 push console gaming ahead?</p> <p><em>Follow Sean on&nbsp;<a title="SeanDKnight Google+" href="https://plus.google.com/+SeanKnightD?rel=author" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Google+</span></a>, <a title="SeanDKnight's Twitter" href="https://twitter.com/SeanDKnight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Twitter</span></a>, and <a title="SeanDKnight Facebook" href="https://www.facebook.com/seandknight" target="_blank"><span style="color: #ff0000;">Facebook</span></a></em></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/%E2%80%9Cpc_games_have_surpassed_console_games%E2%80%9D_says_dfc_intelligence_owner_2014#comments console gaming David Cole DFC DFC Intelligence PC gaming Gaming News Sat, 26 Apr 2014 03:38:24 +0000 Sean D Knight 27698 at http://www.maximumpc.com PC Gaming is in Rude Health, Concludes PC Gamer PAX East Panel http://www.maximumpc.com/pc_gaming_rude_health_concludes_pc_gamer_pax_east_panel <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u46168/paxeast2014panel-2-610x343.jpg" alt="PAX East PC Gamer Panel " title="PAX East PC Gamer Panel " width="228" height="128" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Panel discussion delves into the future of PC gaming</h3> <p>Our sister publication <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/04/11/watch-the-pc-gamer-pax-east-panel/" target="_blank">PC Gamer</a> on Friday convened a <strong>star-studded, four-man panel at the ongoing Boston PAX East conference to discuss the future of PC gaming</strong> (see video below). The starry quartet, comprising Nvidia director of technical marketing Tom Petersen, Oculus VR founder Palmer Luckey, PlanetSide 2 creative director Matt Higby and Star Citizen creator Chris Roberts, touched on a wide range of issues, including the prospects of streaming games and Microsoft’s role in the future of PC gaming.</p> <p>The first thing to come up for discussion was the rise of cloud-based streaming games and its implications for traditional gaming. Nvidia’s Tom Petersen was of the view that the general direction of PC gaming’s evolution is towards it becoming a “much more cloud-oriented experience,” with both public and personal cloud game streaming gaining in popularity in the future.</p> <p>The panel moderator, Evan Lahti (US editor-in-chief of PC Gamer), evoked widespread laughter from those in attendance when he jokingly asked Petersen if he was suggesting that people “won’t have to buy a graphics card in the future.” Meanwhile, Luckey and Roberts were equally unconvinced. Identifying latency associated with remotely rendered games as a major deal breaker, Roberts, an avowed 4K aficionado, said he as a PC gamer wants the best experience possible and that is something he doesn’t see cloud gaming delivering anytime soon.</p> <p>The panel then proceeded to discuss some of the obstacles to delivering better gaming experiences on the PC. According to Higby, overcoming hardware fragmentation remains one of the biggest challenges from a developer’s standpoint. However, he also credited this variety — a byproduct of the immense control PC owners wield over their hardware — for making the PC a truly special gaming platform. </p> <p>The PlanetSide 2 dev then broached the topic of piracy, noting that it continues to decline as digital distribution becomes more widespread. Others on the panel concurred, attributing the decline to the fact that it is now becoming more convenient to buy a game than to pirate it. Of course, the lesser the piracy, as Higby put it, “the more you can run a company off of the games you’re making.” Speaking of the <a href="http://www.newzoo.com/infographics/global-games-market-report-infographics/" target="_blank">economics of PC gaming</a>, Petersen pointed out that it is currently estimated to be a $24 billion a year industry.</p> <p>As soon as Lahiti asked the panel if they thought PC gaming would continue to be essentially Windows gaming, Luckey quipped, “Yeah, don’t you remember Games for Windows Live?” This prompted a discussion on Microsoft’s contribution to PC gaming.&nbsp; While Petersen and Rogers lauded Redmond for some of things it is doing with DX12, the general consensus was that it needs to do a lot more to prevent gamers from abandoning Windows for Linux.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/53Iy5Dv-5dw?feature=player_detailpage" width="620" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>Image Credit: PC Gamer </em></p> <p>Follow Pulkit on <a href="https://plus.google.com/107395408525066230351?rel=author" target="_blank">Google+</a></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/pc_gaming_rude_health_concludes_pc_gamer_pax_east_panel#comments dx12 linux nvidia oculus rift Palmer Luckey PC gaming pcgamer personal cloud gaming star citizen steamos streaming games News Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:30:41 +0000 Pulkit Chandna 27622 at http://www.maximumpc.com The Most Graphically Demanding PC Games http://www.maximumpc.com/10_most_graphically_demanding_pc_games <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u154082/bf4.jpg" alt="bf4" title="bf4" width="250" height="141" style="float: right;" /></h3> <h3>Update: A new graphically-demanding game is crowned. See which one it is!</h3> <p>At Maximum PC we love pushing our PCs to their limits by testing high-end games at maximum settings. To reach these limits, you'll need to fire up the most über-demanding games.&nbsp;What are the <strong>most&nbsp;graphically-demanding games</strong> you ask? We’ve thrown together a list of the gnarliest PC games that will give your precious gaming rig a kick-ass workout.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Testing Methodology:</strong></p> <p>We tested each game at maximum settings on a 1920x1080 display. Our modest mid-range test rig consisted of an i7-2700K CPU overclocked to 4.5GHz, a GTX 680 video card overclocked to 1140MHz, and 8GB of G.Skill DDR3 RAM. We first started out disabling motion blur, which is a frame rate crutch, and cranked up all of the other settings as high as they would go. Another setting that was crucial to disable was V-Sync, so that our frame rate was not capped with our 60Hz refresh rate. We played each game for 15 minutes, and recorded its average frame rate using FRAPS. Each frame rate listed below is that of our playthrough and may not be exactly repeatable because the frame rate averages were captured with real-world dynamic testing, which may vary from playthrough to playthrough, even on a rig with the exact same hardware. Still, our tests should provide an accurate measure of relative performance between titles. The rankings are listed from least taxing to most based on average frame rate count.</p> <p><strong>Call of Duty Ghosts: #11</strong></p> <p>Game Engine: IW Engine</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/cod_ghosts.jpg" alt="COD: Ghosts" title="COD: Ghosts" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p>The latest installment of Call of Duty isn’t too taxing to run as we experienced an average frame rate of <strong>67.9 FPS. </strong><strong>In our gameplay session we</strong>&nbsp;floated through space and ran around inside a few burning buildings during the game’s first mission. COD games aren’t very challenging to run because they still use the same game engine as COD 4, which came out over 6 years ago. To put it into perspective, the old engine is easy enough for last gen consoles to run at 60 FPS. Maybe the next installment in the series will finally change the game's outdated game engine so it can rival the graphical capabilities of other modern military shooters.</p> <p><strong>Crysis: #10</strong></p> <p>Game Engine: CryEngine 2</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/crysis_one.jpg" alt="Crysis" title="Crysis" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p>When Crytek made Crysis they wanted to make a “future proof” game and we can say that six years later, they have successfully done so by garnering the 10th spot on this list as we only garnered an average frame rate of <strong>58.2 FPS</strong>. What’s to blame for the relatively low frame rate for such an old game? Particle effects are hot and heavy in Crysis and they caused our frame rate to dip while testing, throw in some extreme physics (not to be confused with PhysX), and some realistic water effects, and you get a six-year old game that’s even hard to run even on an overclocked GTX 680.</p> <p><strong>Hitman Absolution: #9</strong></p> <p>Game Engine: Glacier 2</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/hitman_absolution.png" alt="Hitman Absolution" title="Hitman Absolution" width="600" height="339" /></p> <p>We tested Hitman Absolution by sleuthing around the first level killing foes covertly snapping necks with our bare hands. We then got into a firefight with few of the security guards and killed several dozen more enemies before finishing our benchmark run. The end result was a frame rate that was <strong>53.8 FPS</strong> and made Hitman our number nine game overall. Hitman is quite CPU heavy, so our relatively low frame rate could have been due to getting bottlenecked by our 2700K CPU not being able to muster physics calculations fast enough to keep up with our overclocked GTX 680 GPU.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: bold;">GTA IV: #8</span></p> <p>Game Engine: Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE)</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/gta_iv.jpg" alt="GTA IV" title="GTA IV" width="600" height="337" /></p> <p>Yes, we’re upset as anybody for the lack of a PC version of GTA V, but even the fourth game in the series (released in 2008) made our mid-range machine struggle. We only saw an average frame rate of <strong>53.21 FPS</strong>, while driving around crazily through Liberty City, where we would eventually end up picking fights with random pedestrians. It’s hard to believe that this game came out almost five years ago! GTA IV, however, doesn’t look very impressive by today’s gaming standards and we blame the game’s demanding hardware performance on poor PC optimization. The engine behind the game's demanding performance uses an amalgamation of three different engines, including Rockstar's RAGE engine, Euphoria engine, and Bullet Physics Library. Hitman Absolution, by comparison, looks much better than GTA IV and has almost the same frame rate.&nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-style: italic;">Click the next page for the top five most graphically demanding PC games!</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Far Cry 3: #7</strong></p> <p>Game Engine: Dunia Engine 2</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/far_cry_3_0.png" alt="Far Cry 3" title="Far Cry 3" width="600" /></p> <p>We started our playthrough in Far Cry 3 running through a tropical forest and then proceeded by stealing an abandoned dirt-splattered car. Once we were done joyriding around the island we went for a swim in the ocean and went to visit a neighboring island. We then got into an epic battle with some of the locals blowing up explosive barrels and stabbing our foes straight through the chest with our machete. Far Cry 3 lands at number seven on our list with its <strong>41 FPS</strong> and this score is likely due to its large amount of particle effects when explosive barrels are, well, exploded, and also due to the fact that there’s tons of vegetation to be rendered as you walk around the various islands.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: bold;">The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings: #6</span></p> <p>Game Engine: REDengine with Havok Physics</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/the_witcher_2.jpg" alt="The Witcher 2" title="The Witcher 2" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p>The Witcher 2 gave us a heavy helping of medieval combat throwing us into a bloody gladiator arena where we faced hordes of enemies. We found one setting enabled which caused our frame rate to be cut down to a meager <strong>32.62 FPS</strong>, which was the game’s Übersampling option. What’s Übersampling? It’s Super Sampling Anti Aliasing meaning that The Witcher 2 made our rig render the game at 4K, and then downsize that image to fit our 1920x1080 display. When we turned off Übersampling the game ran at a buttery smooth 60+ FPS.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: bold;">Crysis 3: #5</span></p> <p>Game Engine: CryEngine 3</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/crysis_3.png" alt="Crysis 3" title="Crysis 3" width="600" height="340" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Like other Crysis games, Crysis 3 does much of the same as its predecessors giving users a heavy dose of particle effects, high-resolution textures, and tons of crazy physics. We ran around the game’s first level, which had us going through a rainstorm, while quietly assassinating our foes with a silenced pistol and tactical bow. Exploding barrels of gasoline killed our frame rate in Crysis 3 just like in Far Cry 3 making it dip to an abysmal 13 FPS. In the end we were only able to get <strong>28.08 FPS</strong> out of the title, putting it at number five on our graphically-intensive list.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>ARMA 3: #4 (Added: 2-10-14)</strong></p> <p>Game Engine: Real Virtuality 4</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/arma_3_screen_shot.png" alt="ARMA 3" title="ARMA 3" width="600" /></p> <p>In testing ARMA 3, we first disabled motion blur and cranked up depth of field as high as it would go. We then maxed out shadows, objects, and overall visibility. Finally, we put FSAA (Full Screen Anti-Aliasing) to 8X, and Anisotropic filtering to Ultra.</p> <p>We started up ARMA 3’s first mission Drawdown 2035 for our test run. Yes, we understand our frame rate would have been lower if we had jumped into a multiplayer match, but we didn’t want connection issues to impact our frame rate score. Our playthrough consisted of a helicopter ride to a dusty-brown military base. From there, we grabbed a Humvee and drove down a grass covered gorge to find one of our fallen comrades. We then got into a firefight with some of the local militia and ended up with an average frame rate of <strong>25.77 FPS</strong>, putting ARMA 3 at number four between Crysis 3 and Tomb Raider.</p> <p><strong>Tomb Raider (2013): #3</strong></p> <p>Game Engine: Modified Crystal Engine</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/tomb_raider.jpg" alt="Tomb Raider" title="Tomb Raider" width="600" height="338" /></p> <p>Crystal Dynamics brought everyone a Tomb Raider game that rebooted the franchise, and gave gamers stunning hair effects with AMD’s TressFX setting. We tested Tomb Raider thinking that TressFX would be the reason behind its super low frame rate, as we barely were able to scrape together <strong>24.8 FPS</strong>. We looked at the game’s settings to find that it uses Super Sampling just like The Witcher 2 which made our GPU work extra hard to render the game at 4K to have it then downscaled to 1920x1080.</p> <p>Our benchmark run consisted of killing many rabid wolves with our bow and arrow, while running through a dark, dense green forest. We tested the game with 2xSSAA and found our frame rate was increased to 45 FPS. The lesson learned from our testing is that SSAA is very demanding and by disabling it, yes, you’ll get some jagged edges, but you can receive a massive performance boost by either disabling it or scaling it back just a bit.</p> <p><strong>Metro Last Light: #2</strong></p> <p>Game Engine: 4A Engine</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/metro_last_light.png" alt="Metro Last Light" title="Metro Last Light" width="600" /></p> <p>When the first Metro game came out it was a difficult title for PCs to play and made frame rates drop hard and fast. The second title, Metro Last Light, isn’t very different, as it takes the second spot on our Most Demanding PC Game list.&nbsp;</p> <p>The game’s extreme PhysX effects and vast amount of tessellation are the culprits behind our low frame rate, which was an unplayable <strong>22.3 FPS</strong>. With PhysX turned up, we saw tons of particle and water effects, which made everything sluggish, as we ran through the Russian swampland of the first level in Metro Last Light. We maxed out AA to 4XAA on top of that, which amplified how many times PhysX was rendered and ultimately this led to the demise of our rig’s precious frame rate.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Battlefield 4: #1 (Updated: 2/12/14)</strong></p> <p>Game Engine: Frostbite 3</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/battlefield_4_cap.png" alt="BF4" title="BF4" width="605" height="325" /></p> <p>When we first tested Battlefield 4, we set the Resolution Scale to 100% incorrectly thinking that was the highest setting. However, as one of our readers, doomsaint, pointed out, the scale actually goes up to 200%. We have retested Battlefield 4 with this new 200% scaling to find that its average FPS dropped to a mere <strong>17.27</strong>. This difference moves DICE’s game from 10th place all the way to first!</p> <p>In testing, we played through the game’s first mission and saw our cover blown up by grenades, bullets, and mortars, causing our frame rate to dip to as low as 12 FPS. The highest it would go was 24 FPS. Ouch!</p> <p><strong>Benchmark Chart:</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u154280/graphically_demanding_games_graph.png" alt="Benchmark Chart" title="Benchmark Chart" width="593" height="411" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Here's a bar chart measuring average frame rate for each title.</strong></p> <div><strong>Conclusion:</strong>&nbsp;</div> <div>We’ve seen some interesting results with our tests and came away surprised by how graphically intensive an old game like Crysis still is. Tomb Raider also surprised us with how taxing it was too. It's worth noting that PC gaming willl likely get a large graphical leap with the recent release of the next-gen consoles. The next few months look promising with a plethora of graphically demanding titles coming out which include Watch Dogs and Titanfall. It will be interesting to see what titles populate this list in the years to come.</div> http://www.maximumpc.com/10_most_graphically_demanding_pc_games#comments Crysis crysis 3 Demanding PC Games graphically intensive gta iv last light Metro 2033 PC gaming Gaming Features Mon, 10 Feb 2014 20:46:53 +0000 Chris Zele and Jimmy Thang 26793 at http://www.maximumpc.com XFX's First Gaming Enclosure "Type 1 Bravo" http://www.maximumpc.com/xfxs_first_gaming_enclosure_type_1_bravo_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u160391/xfx.jpg" width="250" height="266" style="float: right;" />Type 1 Bravo case looks to be a formidable options for PC gamers</h3> <p>XFX has introduced its stab at a PC gaming enclosure, naming it the Type 1 Bravo, and it's more than just a pretty face. The mid-tower type enclosure has room for eight 2.5" or 3.5 drives, as well as three 5.25" optical drives and four dual-slot graphics cards. It'll also pack a five-year warranty from XFX and retail for $129.99. </p> <p>The case comes pre-installed with 140 mm fans as exhaust, as well as a 200 mm fan mounted as standard kit. A side-panel window allows you to see eight expansion slots for the dual-slot graphics cards, and top exhaust can support up to a single 200 mm fan or one between 90&nbsp; and 140 mm. </p> <p>You've got two USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports in the front of the case as well as HD audio jacks, and the chassis measures 518 x 232 x 222 x 562 mm, weighing 10.5 kg. It looks to be a solid case for anyone looking to build a gaming PC, so if you're in the market to get one this might be a good option for future tinkerers with so many games on the horizon.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/xfxs_first_gaming_enclosure_type_1_bravo_2014#comments case chassis news PC gaming xfx News Mon, 10 Feb 2014 02:49:33 +0000 Brittany Vincent 27224 at http://www.maximumpc.com Go Galactic with Starbound's Mass Effect Edition Mod http://www.maximumpc.com/go_galactic_starbounds_mass_effect_edition_mod_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u160391/featimsb.jpg" width="250" height="79" style="float: right;" />"I'm Commander Shepard, and this is my favorite mod on the Citadel."</h3> <p><strong>Starbound</strong> is massively popular these days, inspiring mods aplenty. Like with many procedurally-generated or sandbox-inspired games lately, it's now rocking a <em>Mass Effect</em> makeover by way of a clever new mod. If you've ever wanted tiny Shepard as a <em>Starbound</em> avatar, things just don't get any better than this.</p> <p>The <em>Mass Effect Edition</em> mod (via <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/02/02/mod-of-the-week-mass-effect-edition-for-starbound/">PC Gamer</a>) for<em> Starbound</em> is available now, though you'll have to check it out in early access beta mode for the present. Create your very own <em>Mass Effect </em>character, and hop aboard the Normandy SR-1 to explore the cockpit, CIC, engine room, and more. The navigation has been altered to reflect the familiar galaxy map as well.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/files/u160391/masseffectsb1.jpg" width="590" height="332" /></p> <p>There's a whole shipload of surprises waiting for <em>Mass Effect</em> fans in this mod, including the "Omni-Blade" and even some familiar biotic powers to help lift up your enemies right up into the air. Like the <em>Minecraft</em> mod before it, it's clear a lot of love has gone into creating an authentic <em>Mass Effect </em>experience. If you're a fan of either game, you'll enjoy this clever mixture as well -- right down to the music included.</p> <p>If you're willing to take the plunge, head over to the <a href="http://community.playstarbound.com/index.php?resources/starbound-mass-effect-edition.1062/">developer's website</a> to get started by downloading the mod. Let us know what you think!</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/go_galactic_starbounds_mass_effect_edition_mod_2014#comments mass effect mods news PC gaming starbound News Mon, 03 Feb 2014 01:08:07 +0000 Brittany Vincent 27179 at http://www.maximumpc.com Latest DayZ Patch In Its Weird Glory Goes Live January 20th http://www.maximumpc.com/latest_dayz_patch_its_weird_glory_goes_live_january_20th_2014 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u160391/dayz.jpg" width="250" height="125" style="float: right;" />Experimental <em>DayZ</em> build balances stomach capacity</h3> <p>This may well be the weirdest information you've ever seen in a video game's patch notes. Dean Hall, via <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/01/17/dayz-patch-notes-are-weird/">PC Gamer,</a> has posted up the <a href="http://forums.dayzgame.com/index.php?/topic/165709-pending-changelog-experimental-branch-031114343/#entry1677908" target="_blank">pending changelog</a> of a build of <strong><em>DayZ</em></strong> he and his team have been working on over the last few weeks. Included are some pretty bizarre alterations that would sound mighty weird to anyone who hasn't actually played the game. </p> <p>The build goes live tomorrow, January 20th, and includes some zany-sounding updates like the following:</p> <p>- Added stuffed notifier (instead of sickness when full up) <br />- Saline transfusion doesn't refill full blood<br />- Balanced stomach capacity</p> <p>Of course, all of those updates are pretty delectable for those who dare to enter the austere world of <em>DayZ</em>. Additional updates such as allowing character names to be edited in the main menu, berry picking, and the harbor town of Svetloyarsk make this patch something to look forward to, as bizarre as it sounds. Let us know if it delivers in the comments below.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/latest_dayz_patch_its_weird_glory_goes_live_january_20th_2014#comments dayz news PC gaming Steam Valve News Mon, 20 Jan 2014 01:26:30 +0000 Brittany Vincent 27093 at http://www.maximumpc.com Dark Souls 2 Bursts Onto PC With Brand New Trailer http://www.maximumpc.com/dark_souls_2_bursts_pc_brand_new_trailer_2013 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u160391/ds2.jpg" width="250" height="130" style="float: right;" />Hell looks a whole lot prettier this time around</h3> <p><em><strong><a href="http://www.maximumpc.com/tags/dark_souls" target="_self">Dark Souls</a></strong></em> is universally known as one of the most frustrating PC games out there, with grueling dungeons, frustrating enemies, and plenty of gory encounters. For that, it's loved by a hefty slice of the gaming community, especially PC players.</p> <p>The PC port of <em>Dark Souls </em>was a bit messy, but developers are doing their best to avoid a similar situation for its sequel, <em>Dark Souls II, </em>noting that the successor to Capcom's original game was "developed for PC from the beginning."&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, there's a trailer to accompany these claims, spotlighting some of the baddies, environments, and fearsome setpieces you'll be seeing when <em>Dark Souls II</em> finally creeps onto your gaming PC some time after its official console release on March 14th. There's not too much to savor in the trailer, but it's definitely enough to whet your whistle if you enjoyed the first game.&nbsp;</p> <p>Check out the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzfYrlGsP10" target="_blank">trailer </a>and let us know what you think!</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/dark_souls_2_bursts_pc_brand_new_trailer_2013#comments capcom dark souls Gaming news PC gaming News Thu, 16 Jan 2014 00:41:07 +0000 Brittany Vincent 27074 at http://www.maximumpc.com Oculus VR Publishing Arm Headed By Ex-EA Executive http://www.maximumpc.com/oculus_vr_publishing_arm_headed_ex-ea_executive_2013 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u160391/oculus.png" width="250" height="141" style="float: right;" />Publishing arm has been quietly working with developers&nbsp;</h3> <p><strong>Oculus VR</strong> broke the news yesterday on its official blog that it will be opening a publishing arm managed by David DeMartini. You may recall DeMartini from his prior stint as EA's former senior vice president, and now he's leading the Oculus team in partnering with developers to give the fledgling peripheral a headstart when it finally hits the market.&nbsp;</p> <p>In an interview with <a href="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/207511/New_Oculus_VR_publishing_arm_led_by_former_EA_exec.php" target="_blank">Gamasutra</a>, DeMartini went into further detail about his new role within the company: "What I'm doing at Oculus, it's not particularly different from what I did for seven years at EA as part of the EA Partners program. I'm figuring out how to partner effectively with big developers, small developers, all the way down to the individual who just wants to make something great for the Rift."</p> <p>The virtual reality headset is poised to arrive in retail stores next year, so hopefully if it does become available for all customers, DeMartini's hard work will become readily apparent in the form of a glut of new games to enjoy on our shiny new hardware.</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/oculus_vr_publishing_arm_headed_ex-ea_executive_2013#comments EA news oculus rift oculus vr PC gaming News Sun, 05 Jan 2014 01:14:04 +0000 Brittany Vincent 27000 at http://www.maximumpc.com Valve's Family Sharing Plan's Latest Changes Surface http://www.maximumpc.com/valves_family_sharing_plans_latest_changes_surface_2013 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u160391/steamfamily.jpg" width="250" height="139" style="float: right;" />The Family Sharing Plan is looking enticing</h3> <p><strong>Valve's</strong> Family Sharing Plan has yet to be released to the public, but before it can be shown off properly, it's undergoing a facelift first. On Friday, <a href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/2084121/valve-s-family-sharing-plan-increases-security.html" target="_blank">PCWorld</a> reports, Valve announced a new authorization limit of ten users on ten different machines. This is an interesting twist on the old policy, especially considering the new freedom it affords multiple users.&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, the process will require two-step authentication, but once a computer is authorized Steam Family Sharing will allow users to share their collection of games between multiple unique accounts, and these new rules make it even easier to share with friends, family, roommates, and more -- once one of you purchases a game, you can all play it on different computers.&nbsp;</p> <p>These alterations have definitely made the Family Sharing Plan a pleasing choice for Steam users. Are you going to be taking advantage of its perks?</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/valves_family_sharing_plans_latest_changes_surface_2013#comments cloud gaming news PC gaming Steam Valve News Sat, 04 Jan 2014 23:33:54 +0000 Brittany Vincent 26999 at http://www.maximumpc.com Fa'el: Beyond the Gate Allows PC Gamers to Explore "2.75D" World http://www.maximumpc.com/fael_beyond_gate_allows_pc_gamers_explore_275d_world_2013 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u160391/faelbtg.jpeg" width="250" height="121" style="float: right;" />Independent platformer looks awesomely retro&nbsp;</h3> <p>We don't normally take much time to gush about too many games here at Maximum PC, but there's one that just may enhance that sense of holiday cheer that's brewing inside you -- especially for fans of the retro 16-bit aesthetic. It's called <em><strong>Fa'el: Beyond the Gate</strong>, </em>and it's am ambitious PC release from independent developer Miguel Angel Perez Martinez. It also happens to be one of the coolest things you'll probably see today.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Fa'el: Beyond the Gate</em>&nbsp;(via <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/12/20/fael-beyond-the-gate-discovers-2-75-dimension-has-game-boy-companion-app/" target="_blank">PC Gamer</a>) is an action/adventure platformer set inside a 2.75D world -- not 2D or 3D, but 2.75D. Sound confusing? Check out the trailer, which showcases a masterful blend of the 16-bit sprites from yesteryear and plentiful planes on which to explore with them. The world turns as you turn, twisting around with each new doorway and passage discovered. It's difficult to describe without showing what we mean, so give the video a watch.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/UTMORUj49eM" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe>&nbsp;</p> <p>Interesting enough as an aside, the game is being developed alongside a companion app for the Game Boy! It won't be required, but anyone looking to pick up a rom to be used with an emulator will be treated to codes that can be used to unlock special content.&nbsp;</p> <p>It's mindbendingly gorgeous, and while it's not out just yet, you can check out its <a href="http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=204042232" target="_blank">Steam concept page</a> and <a href="http://www.fa-el.com/" target="_blank">official site</a> for some more details until it hits Steam Greenlight. Anyone interested in trying it out at some point?</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/fael_beyond_gate_allows_pc_gamers_explore_275d_world_2013#comments news PC gaming Steam steam greenlight video games News Sat, 21 Dec 2013 18:36:44 +0000 Brittany Vincent 26933 at http://www.maximumpc.com Wasteland 2 Available via Steam Early Access http://www.maximumpc.com/wasteland_2_available_steam_early_access_2013 <!--paging_filter--><p><img src="/files/u160391/2401374-wasteland2.jpg" width="250" height="130" style="float: right;" /></p> <h3>Go back to the irradiated world of Wasteland</h3> <p>Looking for something distinctly more <em>Fallout </em>than zombie-slaying for your PC game repertoire? You might want to take on <em><strong>Wasteland 2</strong>, </em>the delectable-looking squel to <em>Wasteland</em>, whose beta was just made available for Kickstarter backers as of yesterday. As far as the rest of us go, there's always <a href="http://store.steampowered.com/app/240760" target="_blank">Steam Early Access</a>, which the game has gone live on as well. </p> <p>You'll have to put down $59.99 of course, and that's definitely a little steep for Early Access. However, as <a href="http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/12/14/wasteland-2-irradiates-steam-early-access/">PC Gamer</a> explains, you're effectively paying for the first Kickstarter tier to access the beta. You'll also be given a few "bonuses" over the course of the game's launch, so that sweetens the deal as well. </p> <p>Let us know what you think if you take the plunge!</p> http://www.maximumpc.com/wasteland_2_available_steam_early_access_2013#comments kickstarter news PC gaming steam early access wasteland News Sun, 15 Dec 2013 06:28:03 +0000 Brittany Vincent 26891 at http://www.maximumpc.com Telltale Games Announces Tales from the Borderlands http://www.maximumpc.com/telltale_games_announces_tales_borderlands_2013 <!--paging_filter--><h3><img src="/files/u160391/borderlands1.jpg" width="250" height="104" style="float: right;" />Claptrap and his posse return in Telltale's new project</h3> <p>Can't get enough <em>Borderlands</em> or Telltale Games? You're in luck! An announcement from Spike TV's VGX awards reveals <em>Tales from the Borderlands</em>, Telltale Games' latest game taking place in the <em>Borderlands</em> universe. </p> <p>Unfortunately, aside from an announcement trailer which you can watch below, few details have been released about the game itself. It is, however, coming to the PC -- though whether or not it's poised to stay there is another question entirely. Those looking for another reason to jump into the world beyond the late <em>Tiny Tina</em> DLC would do well to check this adventure game out upon its release. </p> <p>For now, check out the trailer below and let us know what you think.</p> <p><iframe src="//www.youtube.com/embed/2NC594S4Weo" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> http://www.maximumpc.com/telltale_games_announces_tales_borderlands_2013#comments Borderlands news PC gaming spike tv Telltale Games News Mon, 09 Dec 2013 04:17:41 +0000 Brittany Vincent 26840 at http://www.maximumpc.com