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    by Published on August 6th, 2016 09:00 PM   
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    A game is nothing but an idea without an engine, and in today's gaming industry there are many options when it comes to engines and APIs. When cost and royalties are factored in, the choice may become difficult. But in this article we are putting that aside and focusing purely on technology, and believe it or not, for the most part it is quite clear which technologies have the most potential.

    By game technology, as you may have guessed we are largely referring to game engines, but also physics engines, graphics APIs, and audio APIs.



    The Engine


    Several engines are worthy of respect, and many are not. Far too many studios stick to their own inferior, outdated, and terrible engines just because of familiarity. Bethesda Game Studios and Bohemia Interactive are perhaps most guilty of this because their games are in need of a new engine more than most others.

    But one engine seems to have it all. One engine supports practically every platform you can name, has an array of both graphics and audio API options, is very easy to use even for newcomers, is loaded with most of the features one could ask for, and allows you to build essentially any kind of game. And it's free to install and use, and is even open source! This engine is Unreal Engine 4.

    Unreal Engine has come a long way. Unreal Engine 3 was perhaps the most used game engine for the last 9 years. Examples of UE3 games include, but are not limited to:

    • Every game by Epic Games since 2007 obviously, such as Unreal Tournament 3 and the Gears of War games.
    • Mass Effect trilogy
    • Every Batman game since and including Arkham Asylum.
    • Borderlands and Borderlands 2
    • Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad, Rising Storm, and Rising Storm 2: Vietnam
    • Killing Floor 2
    • Thief
    • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
    • XCOM: Enemy
    ...
    by Published on July 21st, 2016 01:00 AM  Number of Views: 3085 
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    DOOM, also known as DOOM 4 or DOOM 2016, is a reboot of the classic FPS franchise developed by id Software. The months leading up to the game's release were filled with some dread and negativity as it's multiplayer beta was met with largely negative responses. Bethesda also did not release review copies for the game on time, something that made people question it's quality as well as the publisher's trust in their own product.

    Despite all that, on release it managed to turn around the expectations and is now generally considered to be a great game by both critics and fans alike. We have waited for 12 years to see this game... so is there merit to this impressive 180 in public opinion?Powered by the new id Tech 6, DOOM looks and performs amazingly. Id Software has really outdone themselves this time. Whilst the previous id tech 5 did perform quite well even on low end systems (after some patches and driver updates at least) it also suffered from a fairly flat and non-dynamic lighting system and noticeable texture pop-in. However, the new tech largely fixes all of these issues. It represents a truly massive overhaul of an ambitious but ultimately flawed game engine, with some lessons taken from their other masterpieces like id tech 4. DOOM certainly is built to impress.

    The game looks outstanding. The environment is sharp, well detailed and has generally crisp texturing. Due to its megatexture ...
    by Published on July 10th, 2016 05:00 AM  Number of Views: 3364 
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    It is time for another RPG article! Role-Playing Games are endangered, and with this article and many of our others we do our best to preserve knowledge relating to them. In this article we have created a "tier list" if you will of wRPGs, sorted from least role-playing to most. Here is the catch; we are only listing story-driven RPGs with a solid amount of role-playing, an amount somewhat satisfactory to us or better. Every wRPG excluded on the list either does not provide enough role-playing to be worthy of inclusion, or we simply have not played it.

    The purpose of this article is to enlighten gamers as many of today's gamers have only experienced dumbed down RPGs with a minimal amount of role-playing, such as The Witcher franchise (something we have written about before). Mainstream role-playing games today are very limited with how much role-playing they actually provide.

    Before we go on, we should first explain what role-playing, in the context of role-playing games, actually means, since most of today's gamers don't know. Role-playing is the ability to create or assume, and tailor a role within a world or story. To do so, in some way, shape, or form the player must be able to control and define his/her character's innate physical and mental/personality attributes, as well as alignment. This does not necessitate creating a player character from scratch, nor does it mandate a clearly defined alignment system mechanic, but it does mandate the ability to change who the player character is. Through dialogue and actions, the player will further define these things about the player character while advancing through the world or story, gaining experience along the way. The goal is to allow the player to define who their player character is, and journey through a world that reacts to your unique player character and your actions in various ways.

    For more details, go on to the next page to begin scrolling through our tier list. Tier 1 represents the most role-playing, while Tier 6 represents the least. The actual order within each individual tier is unsorted; every game listed within a tier has a comparable amount of role-playing.

    It is important to note that the only thing we are taking into consideration is how much role-playing each game actually offers, not the quality of each individual game. All is explained in the next pages, for each individual game. This article does not contain many spoilers, and the few present are behind spoiler tags.



    The Elder Scrolls III - V (2002, 2006, 2011)


    With this entry, we include Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim. While Morrowind does have more role-playing than the other two, it isn't a big enough difference to justify putting them on different tiers.

    Compared to the other games on this list, The Elder Scrolls is unique. While they sacrifice none of the freedom that Fallout 2 boasted, adding even more on top of it in fact, almost none of that ...
    by Published on June 21st, 2016 12:00 AM
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    Now time for a retro review! Return to Castle Wolfenstein was a game released in 2001 to great critical and fan acclaim for both its single-player and multi-player. The game is lauded as being the very best of the extremely long running Wolfenstein series and that says a lot considering the pedigree of the franchise. It's influence was felt throughout many newer titles, from Battlefield to Call of Duty, STALKER to Metro 2033.
    Was all of this fanfare warranted though?

    RTCW was a truly amazing visual spectacle way back in 2001. Running on a heavily modified Quake 3 engine and featuring high end features such as TruForm (tessellation), the game was a technological masterpiece for its time.

    It is an example of early realistic, muscle-based facial animation technology that also managed to operate on characters dynamically according to the situation (in a manner similar to the tech later used in HL2 and TF2) as well as some really interesting and intense atmospheric effects and details thrown into the world. For example, the flame effects, especially from the flamethrower were absolutely unmatched for years ...
    by Published on May 27th, 2016 06:00 AM  Number of Views: 1884 
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    One of the biggest tragedies in the video game industry is that most truly brilliant classics are not remade. Technology has advanced so much that many classics can now be fully realized on platforms like Unreal Engine 4, but such things are very rare. Thankfully one of the most beloved PC classics (originally released on Macintosh actually) has been remade, and that classic is Myst. In this article we will evaluate this remake, realMyst: Masterpiece Edition, and see how it fares not just as a remake but as a game itself in this modern era of gaming.



    Like the original, realMyst: Masterpiece Edition is a first-person puzzle adventure game taking place in a distinct fantasy setting. It is remade on a brand new 3D engine, while the original had pre-rendered environments and point-and-click movment. So by clicking, you'd teleport forward in the original. Nobody can truly prefer this original style, but regardless realMyst: Masterpiece Edition can be played in that style. Or it can be played as it should, as a 3D first-person ...
    by Published on May 15th, 2016 06:00 AM  Number of Views: 1262 
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    The term "walking simulator" is a new development in the gaming industry. It is used as a label, a tag, and often times an insult. In this article we're going to examine the origin of this term, how it's used, and why it's misleading.

    We cover this subject in our "biggest myths" article but quite frankly this deserves its own separate article.



    The origin of the term "walking simulator" is intertwined with the game Dear Esther. This game caught attention for several ...
    by Published on April 29th, 2016 06:00 AM  Number of Views: 3008 
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    The 1990s was a decade of breakthroughs for video gaming. It is the decade in which serious, immersive games were born thanks to technological advancement. Some of the greatest games of all time were released in the 1990s, especially when it comes to role-playing games (RPGs) which were generally far more advanced and complex back then compared to now. 1998 stands out as one of the best years in gaming history, with a plethora of amazing releases.

    In this article we will look at the greatest games of the 1990s (1990-1999 specifically), giving out awards similar to our Game of the Year awards and our previous Game of the Decade article. This will be the last Game of the Decade article until the 2010s are over, so you don't want to miss this one! You may notice some awards were excluded, including an overall Game of the Decade award. Some awards were excluded because gaming was very young at this time and some genres were underdeveloped, while an overall Game of the Decade award was not chosen because it's too subjective as there are so many different games belonging to different genres.



    Best Sound Effects


    Game Title: Thief: The Dark Project
    Release Date: 1998
    Developed By: Looking Glass Studios
    Published By: Eidos Interactive
    Platforms: PC
    Genre: Stealth

    Many 1990s PC games had surprisingly advanced sound processing, beyond what most games today have. Our winner is of course one of such games, and that game is Thief: The Dark Project (1998) and of course its re-release Thief Gold (1999, we only ...
    by Published on April 8th, 2016 07:00 AM  Number of Views: 2304 
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    The horror video game genre has been revitalized in recent years and it now strongly populates Steam's indie game section. Even mainstream horror games are being released again, such as The Evil Within. We all see this, but how many of us wonder why? What caused this horror revolution? These horror games are quite a lot different than the classics like Resident Evil and Silent Hill.

    This revolution was sparked by Penumbra, a first-person PC exclusive episodic horror game released by Frictional Games in 2007 and 2008, and it is currently within our lists of top ten horror games of all time (where it's top 3) and top ten best stories of all time. It was the first game from Frictional Games, who later brought us Amnesia: The Dark Descent and SOMA (and no, they did NOT develop Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs). But Penumbra didn't directly cause this surge of new horror games, it indirectly sparked it. The game that directly resulted in the rebirth of horror video games was Amnesia: The Dark Descent, which uses the same formula as Penumbra.

    In this article we're going to review Penumbra in its entirety. That includes Penumbra: Overture (2007), Penumbra: Black Plague (2008), and Penumbra: Requiem (2008). We're going to look at what makes this game so special, why its formula is what revived the genre, and why Amnesia: The Dark Descent was the one that directly sparked this revolution instead of Penumbra. We're also going to score Penumbra relative to how we would have scored it in 2007-2008, although really the only score that is affected is Audio & Visuals since we have new ...

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