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    by Published on December 20th, 2015 08:00 PM  Number of Views: 5631 
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    Fallout 4's appearance at E3 (or rather the evidence of its appearance leading up to E3) was probably the most pleasant surprise of 2015. It was a late announcement, only months before the release of the game. Last year nobody was even anticipating Fallout 4, since nobody knew when it was going to release. Fallout 3 received critical acclaim, and every game from Bethesda Game Studios except for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind was consensus game of the year. In fact, every single one of their games including Morrowind are our pick for game of the year. Does Fallout 4 continue this streak of excellence? Read our review to find out.



    Fallout 4 is a multiplatform action role-playing game, although being made by Bethesda Game Studios you can expect lots of catering to the PC version. This is most evident with mod support. Mods have already been available for a long time on Nexusmods, and Steam Workshop support is promised for 2016. Note that as of December 7, 2015, mod support is partially broken and a workaround is needed to get modded files to work (Nexus Mod Manager is the easiest one, and be sure to not use Fallout 4's launcher and use Fallout 4 Configuration Tool instead).

    The reason our review is later than usual is because Fallout 4 is an absolutely massive scale game, and we really seek to know the game inside and out before delivering a review. That, and because we don't receive the game early to review. But hey, this way you can be sure you're getting an unbiased review.

    Fallout 4 includes a launcher which you must go through to launch the game. In it you can configure graphics options (you can't configure most of them in-game), mod files, and other settings. Note that there is no built-in method for changing FOV or disabling mouse acceleration. You must edit two INI files manually (follow this guide to do so) or use Fallout 4 Configuration Tool (which is a GUI application that edits the INIs for you). Configuration Tool is recommended since it's easy to use and has other options like disabling the intrusive compass.

    What is incredible is that the game lets you choose any HUD color and any Pip-Boy color you want, by providing RGB sliders for each. A small feature that goes a really long way. You can also adjust HUD opacity as with their previous games.


    Fallout 4 is a third-person and first-person game, allowing the player to choose at a whim. It is the same type of game as Fallout 3. If you look at it as an improved version of Fallout 3, using some ideas from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, then you have the right idea. It's not much like the first two Fallout games, which are isometric turn-based RPGs with far more role-playing, and far more challenging and tactical gameplay that's obviously more limited than the open world Fallout 4.

    Nor does it have the writing excellence of Fallout: New Vegas. Bethesda games are about gameplay freedom; allowing the player to role-play as whatever type of person they want, whether it's an action hero, a greedy raider, a drug addicted gangster, anything that comes to mind. The game is about giving ...
    by Published on December 19th, 2015 08:00 PM  Number of Views: 5508 
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    2015 was just full of surprises, most of them pleasant. Last year, we weren't expecting 2015 to be a spectacular year for gaming, but much to our surprise it turned out to be one of the best ever. No, it didn't have as many noteworthy games as 2007 or 1998, but remember: quality over quantity. Even with just two of this year's releases, which we'll mention later, it would have been an excellent year.

    So let's continue with the ceremony. Some of you may notice the absence of the Mod of the Year - Overhaul award this year. This is because we didn't find new any overhaul mods for any game that really blew us away. In addition, there is no "Biggest Letdown" award this year, since truth be told, we weren't really let down by any game. This doesn't mean we liked every game this year, it just means every game either met or exceeded our expectations, even if those expectations were initially extremely low.

    Without further ado, the awards start on the next page!



    Mod of the Year - Total Conversion


    A total conversion mod can be described as a user made campaign, complete with its own story and levels and more. Sometimes, such mods actually belong to different genres than the base game. However, this year's winner is The Temple of Elemental Evil Unlocked, built for Neverwinter Nights 2 which is a PC exclusive tactical fantasy RPG.

    The Temple of Elemental Evil Unlocked is a strange thing—it is a remake of another mod for Neverwinter Nights 2, that original mod being called The Temple of Elemental Evil Revisited. Both are video game adaptations of The Temple of Elemental Evil which is a 1985 pen and paper RPG module built on the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons ...
    by Published on December 8th, 2015 08:11 AM
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    2. Technology
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    Old-school gamers know a thing or two about getting extra points, whether it was Ms. Pacman getting to the fruit in the middle or someone activating a “Sugar Crush” on Candy Crush Saga with 15 moves still left.

    Savvy gamers know about all the ways to get bonus points for the things they buy and the games they play, too. Reward programs are great for giving ...
    by Published on November 8th, 2015 04:00 PM  Number of Views: 4006 
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    We have previously talked about our idea for the greatest game, but in this article we have decided to change gears and talk about something that most people don't think about. We will discuss the least flawed games ever made; not necessarily the best games, just the games that do what they're meant to do with the least amount of flaws and with great polish, which is mostly how our gaming review scoring system works anyway as this is the fairest way to score a game.

    This is an unsorted list, so there is no countdown and no particular order. Don't worry about spoilers, there are none to be found within this article.



    On this page we'll list games that almost made the list, but didn't due to several small flaws. This just goes to show how good all of these games are, as simple, easily forgiven flaws excluded these games from the main list. Note that the flaws we point out aren't graphics related or anything else that shallow and unimportant.

    • Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of
    ...
    by Published on November 7th, 2015 11:00 AM  Number of Views: 4575 
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    The AKG K7xx is a Massdrop exclusive limited edition headphone based on the AKG K702 65th Anniversary Edition. It is a very popular headphone right now, known particularly for its value, boasting a modest price of $199. It is an open-back, over-ear/circumaural dynamic transducer headphone.

    Massdrop is a fairly recent, popular store that does group buys. This is how they get lower than average prices. The K7xx demonstrates this with its $199 price tag; the K702 65th Anniversary which it is based on used to cost substantially more, and the K712 Pro which is also based on the K702 65th Anniversary usually goes for nearly $400. To read more about these AKG models and more, see this thread.

    Although the K7xx is limited edition, thousands have been sold so it's not quite the rarest headphone in the world. It is in very high demand at Massdrop.

    In this review we will evaluate its build quality, music performance, and gaming performance.



    The K7xx's box has an abundance of ...
    by Published on November 1st, 2015 02:00 PM  Number of Views: 4817 
    1. Categories:
    2. Processors
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    The Intel Core i7 6700k is Intel's latest high end unlocked processor. It features four cores with up to eight threads thanks to Intel's Hyperthreading technology. It uses a very small 14nm fabrication process, comes at 4.0 GHz out of the box (4.2 GHz with turbo mode), features a 95W TDP, and is said to be the best overclocker since Sandy Bridge (i7 2600k namely).

    In this review, we will look at the performance of the i7 6700k in synthetic benchmarks, games, and compare them to the i7 2600. Both were compared with turbo mode enabled, driving both to 4.2 GHz, to measure clock for clock performance. We will also look at how well the i7 6700k overclocks on the ASUS Maximus VIII Hero Z170 motherboard, with 16GB (2 x 8GB) G.SKILL Ripjaws V DDR4 3000 MHz RAM. So, without further ado, let us begin!



    The following hardware configurations were used for all tests.

    Sandy Bridge build:

    • Lian-Li PC-7HX case (2x Silverstone AP141 front intake fans,
    ...
    by Published on October 10th, 2015 09:00 PM  Number of Views: 9091 
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    Last October we presented our list of the greatest horror games of all time. The top two games on that list are those belonging to Frictional Games, one of the best developing studios there is. Now, one year later we review their latest game: SOMA. It is their first multiplatform title (we're reviewing the PC version), and it is a first person horror game as we're accustomed to seeing from this studio. However, there are substantial differences in the writing and story of every game by Frictional Games. Penumbra is a Lovecraft inspired existential tale, Amnesia is a simple psychological horror story, while SOMA is a different kind of philosophical, existential, and psychological experience.

    This review contains spoilers for Penumbra, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and SOMA itself. If you've never played any of these games then just skip to the Gameplay page and read on from there. Or, if you've played Penumbra and Amnesia but not SOMA, then you may read every page except for the Closer Look page. Otherwise, go on to the next page to continue with our review.



    Spoilers for Penumbra and Amnesia begin here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Merriam Webster Dictionary
    Soma

    noun

    plural so-ma-ta | \ˈsō-mə-tə\ or somas

    Definition of SOMA

    1 : the body of an organism

    2 : all of an organism except the germ cells

    3 : CELL BODY

    See also: somatic
    Unsurprisingly the title of the game gives some hint about what it's going to be about. It is a horror experience like no other.

    The most well known game from Frictional Games is Amnesia: The Dark Descent, a first person PC exclusive horror game known mostly for its terrifying survival horror, capturing two spots on our list of the ten scariest moments in video game history. Amnesia scared us primarily through its gameplay; dark, chilling atmosphere with limited light sources, and powerful enemies which you cannot battle by traditional means. It forever changed the face of video game history, with just about every horror game since then being heavily inspired by it, including Outlast, Alien: Isolation, and most others. Amnesia is more original than these other horror games however, due to its more original atmosphere and better detailed levels, and because it doesn't rely on cheap jump scares.

    But Amnesia was more than just frightening atmosphere. ...
    by Published on September 14th, 2015 09:00 PM  Number of Views: 10973 
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    While story might not be the first thing that people consider when thinking of video games, they can be a much more involving storytelling medium than film and even novels. Contrary to what some might think, video games don't have many inherent limitations on storytelling. They're commonly associated with mindless violence, but we have seen time and again that they can be much more than that.

    Video games have the benefit of being interactive, a benefit not shared by books and movies. Some games use this to take storytelling to a different, higher level. These are the most amazing video games there are. In this article we will examine and discuss the ten best stories in video game history. We talk a lot about the storytelling potential in games, but very few live up to that potential. This list is dedicated to those few.

    Be forewarned that this article contains spoilers for every game listed. Do not read about any game you have not played.



    These are games that were once on our list, but have since been replaced by another. Make no mistake, they are remarkable in their own right and arguably worthy of being in the top 10.

    "I was weak. That's why I needed you... Needed someone to punish me for my sins... But that's all over now. I know the truth. Now it's time to end this." - James Sunderland



    Game Title: Silent Hill 2

    Release Date: 2001

    Platforms: PC, PlayStation 2, XBOX, Playstation 3 (HD re-release), XBOX 360 (HD re-release)

    Genre: Psychological Horror / Survival Horror

    Plot Involves Saving the World?: No.

    Silent Hill 2 is legendary for its storytelling. This is yet another game we've written about in considerable detail before, both in the aforementioned best antagonist article and our best horror game article. It took the psychological horror genre to a new level.

    You play as James Sunderland, a recent widower. At the start of the game James receives a letter, apparently written by his deceased wife Mary, telling him to meet her in their "special place" in the mysterious, abandoned town of Silent Hill. Right at the start of the game, when he is reading the letter, it's made obvious that he's a tormented character and that the player is going to experience his hell, his misery. But you won't be able to guess just how deep this journey goes.

    The town of Silent Hill is cut off from the rest of the world. For most people, once you enter there is no escape. The roads leading out of the town are destroyed, leading down into an endless cliff. The town is overrun by monsters, which are each symbolic representations of an inner struggle of James. This includes the apparent antagonist Pyramid Head, which we wrote about here. The quote at the top of this page summarizes Pyramid Head; he is an invention of Sunderland's mind, existing to punish James for his sins, to judge him, to encourage him to face the horror of what he had done. But what did James do? This leads to another twist.

    James' wife, Mary, did not die of sickness as he said throughout the game. She was in fact dying of sickness, but it was James who ended her life. He ended her life by suffocating her. Dying in her hospital bed, Mary only brought pain and suffering into James' life. James had suffered enough, and chose to end his attachment to a dying woman. In her final days Mary often lashed out at James, inflicting her pain onto him. All of this pushed James over the edge, and his journey through Silent Hill is perhaps a way for him to face what he has done.

    The story is a psychological study of guilt and self-deception, told in a powerful and poetic way.

    As with other great stories, the plot which is what happens, might not seem very impressive on paper. But the story, which is why those things happen, ...

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