Friday, April 17, 2015

Grand Theft Auto V Comes to PC and It's Stunning

Photo Credit: IGN
Grand Theft Auto is coming to PC players as of April 14, 2015. GTA Online for PC, which will support up to 30 players, will launch alongside GTA V for PC and will include GTA Online Heists. Online Heists for consoles will be launching in the coming weeks ahead of the PC launch.

GTA V for PC pushes Los Santos and Blaine County to even greater levels of detail, running at 1080p and 60fps with up to 4K resolution and support for up to triple monitor configurations. GTAV for PC also includes the new Rockstar Editor, which gives players a full suite of editing tools to create and publish gameplay clips direct to both Social Club and YouTube.

Photo Credit: IGN
As far as gameplay goes, GTA V on PC  is exactly the same game. The only difference is that the PC version comes with everything console players had to wait for, like online heists and first-person mode. Being that this is on PC, the online component has added support for 30 players, giving your online world a truly populated feel.

But the real selling point here is, obviously, the graphics though. That's the real reason most people will be excited for this game. The ability to run the game at 4K is truly an impressive feat and the option to have the game running in a three-monitor setup (which gives you an immersive view with awesome peripheral vision) is just amazing. The ultimate GTA game is now the ultimate experience on PC.

Photo Credit: IGN
Minimum specifications:
OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit, Windows 8 64 Bit, Windows 7 64 Bit Service Pack 1, Windows Vista 64 Bit Service Pack 2* (*NVIDIA video card recommended if running Vista OS)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs) / AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Processor (4 CPUs) @ 2.5GHz
Memory: 4GB
Video Card: NVIDIA 9800 GT 1GB / AMD HD 4870 1GB (DX 10, 10.1, 11)
Sound Card: 100% DirectX 10 compatible
HDD Space: 65GB
DVD Drive

Recommended specifications:
OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit, Windows 8 64 Bit, Windows 7 64 Bit Service Pack 1
Processor: Intel Core i5 3470 @ 3.2GHZ (4 CPUs) / AMD X8 FX-8350 @ 4GHZ (8 CPUs)
Memory: 8GB
Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 660 2GB / AMD HD7870 2GB
Sound Card: 100% DirectX 10 compatible
HDD Space: 65GB
DVD Drive

Photos Credit of IGN

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Guitar Hero Returns in a Big Way with Guitar Hero Live!

Photo Credit: Activision; Roger Reuver

I don't know about you, but Guitar Hero had to have been one of my favorite games as an early teen. To hear after 5 years, that it is returning with a new experience and a true innovation, brings back all the fun I initially had with the game. Jamie Jackson, creative director at Guitar Hero Live developer FreeStyleGames, who previously worked on Sing Party and the DJ Hero series, seems to think that they have done something new and exciting with the game and have created a whole new experience based on some recent interviews.

Guitar Hero Live has you play as an up-and-coming guitarist in a fictitious band. Instead of playing along with computer-generated characters on screen, you will see a first-person view of their band mates and audiences portrayed by human actors.The virtual crowd will still boo or cheer if you're hitting the right notes and your band will also offer either praise or ridicule based on your performance.

Photo Credit: Giant Bomb
Despite featuring music from such artists as the Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran and Green Day, Guitar Hero Live will have actors portraying phony band members resembling real musicians. I believe having the real musicians from the actual bands in the video game could help promote the new game more because it could draw the attention of people that would want to play as their favorite bands and it would just be super neat. Realistically though, that would be impossible for many reasons... but a guy can dream, right?

FreeStyleGames' also changed the top of the guitar's neck by adding another row of buttons.Gone are the days of the five multicolored buttons that fans are used to. The new guitar has 6 buttons layered in a 2-by-3 grid. This is to allow gamers to pull off chords easier and adds a new level of complexity to the game. On the screen the color-coded circles are gone too, replaced with guitar picks that are either solid or transparent depending on which set of buttons you need to hit.

Photo Credit: Activision
What makes this announcement even more interesting is the fact that Harmonix recently announced Rock Band 4. I don't think it's a coincidence that a new Guitar Hero was announced right around the corner from a new Rock Band announcement. Nevertheless, the concept of the new Guitar Hero is definitely interesting. The new guitar layout mixed with the live concert venues could be exactly what the game needs to attract both new and old fans back to something that has been nothing more than a memory for half a decade. Check out the sweet reveal trailer for the game below!

Content originally published here

Friday, April 3, 2015

Full Roster for Mortal Kombat X Includes 29 Characters

Photo Courtesy of BreathCast
Mortal Kombat is, arguably, one of the most well-known game franchises in the entire world. The original Mortal Kombat started as an arcade game from the Chicago studio of Midway Games back in 1992 and brought plenty of controversy with it thanks to its realistic looking fighters, harsh combat and, of course, the extremely graphic fatalities. Parents across the country were horrified and kids and gamers were on cloud 9.

It's been 23 years since the first game came out and now, under the leadership of NetherRealm Studios, the franchise is adding its newest title, Mortal Kombat X. Mortal Kombat X (or Mortal Kombat 10) is technically the 20th game to be released with under the Mortal Kombat brand but gets its name from being the 10th game in the standard Mortal Kombat series.

The game has been hyped up a lot lately, mainly due to the fact that there was a lot of speculation as to which characters would be appearing as playable fighters in the game. Over the years Mortal Kombat has expanded its list of characters to include over 70 kombatants, so narrowing that list down to the handful that would appear in the latest game couldn't have been easy and, naturally, every hopes that their favorite character would make the list. It's like peewee football tryouts, you're just hoping you make the team. 

Well with the game set to be released in less than 2 weeks NetherRealm has finally confirmed a total of 29 characters that will be rounding out the full roster. This roster is highly unique as it adds some of the most well-known and loved characters from the series with characters that are unique to this specific game. In addition to that, this game adds characters that exist in the Mortal Kombat universe but haven't actually been in any games yet.

Photo Courtesy of IGN
Oh, and remember the cool DLC characters that came with the previous Mortal Kombat game from 2011? The ones that included Kratos from God of War and Freddy Kreuger from A Nightmare on Elm Street? Well NetherRealm has done the same thing with this game. NetherRealm has announced 5 DLC characters that will make their way to the game. The first is fan favorite Goro, who will initially be released as a pre-order bonus but will be available as paid DLC in the future. Then there's the Kombat Pack which adds fan favorite characters Tanya and Tremor and unique characters Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th film series and the Predator alien from the Predator mythos. 

This brings the final fighter tally to a whopping 29 playable characters! To top it all off, each character has three unique fighting styles to choose from, meaning if you're a perfectionist and you want to master it all you will have an astounding 87 different fighting styles to master. I'll give you a moment to process that.......good? This is definitely the biggest Mortal Kombat game to be released and from the looks of it hardcore Mortal Kombat fans won't be disappointed. 

Here's a full list of all 29 characters:

  • Tanya
  • Predator
  • Tremor
  • Sonya Blade
  • Liu Kang
  • Jason Voorees
  • Jacqueline Briggs (daughter of Jackson Briggs)
  • Takashi Takeda (son of Kenshi)
  • Kung Jin (son of Kung Lao)
  • Cassie Cage (daughter of Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage)
  • Goro
  • Mileena
  • Ermac
  • Scorpion
  • Sub-Zero
  • D'Vorah
  • Kotal Kahn
  • Ferra/Torr
  • Raiden
  • Kano
  • Reptile
  • Kenshi
  • Kung Lao
  • Quan Chi
  • Jackson "Jax" Briggs
  • Kitana
  • Erron Black
  • Shinnok
  • Johnny Cage

As you can see the most beloved characters, like Scorpion, Raiden, Sub-Zero and Johnny Cage are still on the list. What's interesting is the inclusion of the children of characters, like Cassie Cage. These characters play into the storyline of the game as Raiden has come to these characters to carry on saving Earth Realm, much in the same way he did their parents. There are still some rumored characters that people are hoping for, including Sindel, Kabal, Baraka, Nightwolf, Stryker, Cyrax, Smoke, Rain, Fujin and Bo Rai Cho. Some of these characters, like Bo Rai Cho, were spotted in trailers advertising the storyline of the game so while some of these characters may actually be in the game their roles may be restricted to NPCs.

This game is definitely high on the list for many gamers, whether they be hardcore Mortal Kombat fans that have played all the games since the original or casual gamers that like the style and prefer to dabble and have fun with friends. However you associate with the game, Mortal Kombat X is sure to be the best in the series. Mortal Kombat X is rated M for Mature and will be released on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on April 14 and the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on June 2. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Virtual Reality: The Future of Technology or a Passing Fad?

Conquering the world of virtual reality has been a huge dream since the late 60's. Being able to escape reality and place yourself in a different world has become such a huge thing for man kind that there are even TV shows and movies about it. Which is odd, because we watch TV and movies to escape reality, and we have to watch shows about escaping reality.

So for about the past two years we have been hearing about these huge breakthroughs in VR technology, especially after Facebook bought Oculus. Around that point is when things started getting real (no pun intended). Now Samsung and Google have their own versions of the VR technology and are coming out with their own gaming headsets. Everyone has it set in their minds that this is going to be the next big thing in the gaming world. And with all of the hype building up over the past 50 years or so, they could be very right.

The gaming world is also closely related to the world of anime as well. Some people might not see that, but gamers know what I'm talking about. Realistically, the anime "Sword Art Online" is, arguably, one of the best things that could have happened to the companies who are making these headsets. It is one of the biggest anime series to come out since Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon and it is all about being trapped in a virtual world created with a virtual reality headset. So it is a fact that the market for these devices just doubled.

There could be a down side though. Remember when 3D TVs were the biggest deal in the world? Yeah, me either. That's because no one cared, even after all the hype. No one wants to look like an idiot with 3D glasses on while they watch TV, and no one wants to spend 5 bazillion dollars on a 3D TV that doesn't require glasses, especially when it will probably get boring after about 48 hours and you'll just want to watch regular TV like a regular person anyway. Will virtual reality headsets be the same? Will it become more hassle than it's worth to the average gamer? Will the novelty wear off?

There is probably about a 50/50 chance in my mind. It could be the biggest deal in the world if executed correctly. And that means the systems, the headsets, the games, everything. There is just too much hassle and risk involved to make something sub-par. There really isn't that much to say about it. If the fun doesn't outweigh the annoyance, virtual reality gaming will disappear along with the dream of it.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

The MSI GT80 Titan Is The Thinnest Gaming Laptop And The First To Have A Mechanical Keyboard

Since the beginning of time (or the beginning of gaming computers) people have had to deal with keyboards that were less than satisfactory if they chose to go with a gaming laptop. You shouldn't have to choose between functionality and portability, but you have to choose anyway.

MSI has decided that it is time to change that. The GT80 Titan is the world's first gaming laptop that has a mechanical keyboard. It has a SteelSeries gaming keyboard with Cherry Brown MX switches, so this is going to be the perfect machine for the serious gamer who is also looking for portability without losing any functionality at all.

Lots of people prefer Blue switches, but Brown switches are still really great and are preferred over red switches in most cases because they feel more linear. The GT80 Titan will also have an enhanced SteelSeries Engine with CloudSync so that you can get the most out of it. This will give users the ability to make their own custom profiles and lighting configurations and save them to the cloud in order to sync them from another laptop. Very similar to Razer's Synapse software.

Although the keyboard may be the most exciting part of all of this, it would be a shame to ignore everything else that makes the GT80 Titan special. At the time that it launches, it is going to be the world's thinnest gaming laptop, as well as the first to have a mechanical keyboard. So far, the company is keeping all of the other specs under wraps, but we have to assume that if it already has that much going for it then it is sure to kick major butt in every other aspect as well. It will more than likely be an absolute monster.

It is unlikely that the GT80 will be out by the holiday season, and the company is even keeping everything about the price and availability a secret at this point. But we will probably hear lots about it at CES 2015

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Is Virtual Reality The Next Step In Gaming Technology?

As many of us gamers are well aware of, graphics are getting exceedingly better as our game systems progress. Remember when we saw Crash Bandicoot for the first time and though "Holy crap! This looks awesome!". Then we saw "Mercenaries" or some other PS2 game and thought the same thing. Then came the PS3's graphics. We saw "Resistance: Fall of Man" and thought "Sweet mother of yes, this is incredible!". "The Last Of Us" came out towards the end of the PS3's life cycle and everyone drooled at how incredible it looked. Around this time, we started seeing a few new "devices" that might take their place next to our game consoles. Tech such as the Oculus Rift VR headset. That takes us now to the PS4 and we all can see that the graphics are getting scarily close to photorealism, and I'm pretty stoked on that.

Graphics will continue to get better and more fluid as time goes and technology advances, but with that advancement in gaming tech, a question arises: Are we going to see VR headsets coming to our current gen consoles?

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Will PlayStation 4 Bring VR To Consoles

We've seen a few different immersive techniques performed by our boys at Sony Entertainment. Remember the EyeToy? Not many people took a hold of it, but the few that did started to play with their first versions of augmented reality games. Now the new PS Eye for the PS4 is able to give you the same thing while incorporating the use of the new Dualshock 4 controller. Everything from the touchpad, to the vibrating motors in the controller are used in conjunction of the Eye to make the augmented reality a bit more believable. That being said, they're now also developing something a bit different with their own VR headset, codenamed Project Morpheus. There isn't too much detail on the project as of yet, but it will be used for "social screen" gaming. Essentially, it will work with companion apps so that whatever the person wearing the headset sees, so too will the people running the app see. Should the person be playing in a haunted house scenario, the everyone will be able to see what's inside.

The Oculus Rift

If you've not heard about the Oculus Rift as of yet, you may be living under a rock. They're still very much in development, but definitely towards the later stages. Instead of being used mainly for console gaming, this company is going for more mobile gaming (possibly due to the company being bought by social network Facebook). They're still sending out DK's to specific developers but also have DK's ready for just about any publisher or developer who wants to take it for a spin. They've made heavy improvements to their older model. They're now making an Oculus Home and Oculus Cinema to go along with the new device. Oculus Home will be a place to download and start new VR content, much like the PS3 Xross Media Bar. Oculus Cinema is basically a movie theater for your face where you can watch whichever 2D or 3D movies you have stored.

SEE ALSO: Samsung Is Working On Wi-Fi That Is Faster Than You Even Thought Possible

Is It Practical?

The thought of having VR gaming is nothing short of titillating. The idea of being able to place a headset on your noggin, and physically turning your head to look around in the game world would be a truly incredible, almost scary, experience. The only problem is that with today's technology, we are still a bit behind in what we could actually accomplish. To say that we are ready for VR technology for our gaming consoles might be a stretch. Technologically wise, we're not there...yet. In our gaming hearts and minds, we've been ready since we've seen them shown on cartoons and movies that showcase them. It still might be a while till we see games through a headset instead of a TV Screen though.

Needless to say, I think we will be seeing photo-realistic graphics before we see VR headset technology. There is just a lot more to take into consideration when dealing with VR technology, especially since they cater to the physical motion of the user. We're a lot closer to "movie-quality" graphics than we are VR gaming. It's sad but true.

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Destiny Is A Living Game That Expands Over Time

Destiny is one of the most ambitious games in recent memory. The game itself is a first-person shooter (FPS) and also a massive multiplayer online (MMO) game with role-playing game (RPG) elements. Acronyms aside the game is one of the first of its kind to come to consoles. MMOs have traditionally been a PC only venture but developer Bungie is looking to expand that market to more gamers across the globe.

When you first boot up Destiny and jump into playing, the game feels familiar. It plays like almost every other FPS you've ever come across in the past. You have a tutorial (this time in the form of Peter Dinklage's "Ghost" leading you through) that familiarizes you with all the basic mechanics of your character. You learn to run, jump,. crouch, shoot, etc... and you are entirely on your own. It isn't until you complete the first mission that you see the MMO elements come into play. At the central hub of the game, known as The Tower, players can interact with other gamers in a living game world, allowing you to join up and go on missions together or jump into the PvP (MMO slang for multiplayer) matchmaking system.

Should you decide to play the game solo you will probably think that Destiny is just like every other FPS on the market. However, Executive Producer of the game Patrick O'Kelley believes that the game doesn't truly open up until the player reaches their character's level cap of 20. Once this occurs, O'Kelley says players will begin to experience the endgame missions and objectives that really transform Destiny and set it apart.

"I think what players will find is that the game unfolds and transforms over time," O'Kelley reported to Xbox Wire in a recent interview. "In the first hour, it might feel like a familiar shooter. Then, players will start to see other players in the world. They will undertake cooperative and competitive activities without really worrying about it. Or they might keep on a solo journey but partake in public events. Eventually, they'll go to the Tower and learn some of the mechanics to improve their character. They'll make decisions about character customization and ability customization."

O'Kelley bills the game as an evolving experience and a game that requires you to invest a fair amount of time into to really sink in. In addition to that, O'Kelley also promises that gamers who take the time to really explore the game and build their characters will be rewarded with a sense of community and progression.

"Twenty hours in, I think that players will find that they've evolved to playing a whole different kind of game than the shooter that started them off," O'Kelley adds. "They'll find that they're immersed in a different world, and are deep into the history of their characters. They'll have built a community of other players. And without realizing it, they'll have learned some sophisticated mechanics that enable them to gear up and dive into a six-player cooperative raid, in pursuit of high-level exotic weapons and armor."

Destiny is definitely an ambitious game and one that is a staple for the newest generation of gaming consoles. A genre that was restricted to PC gamers has now been opened up and let loose on the console gaming community so it is natural to see some people have some reservations. However, should Bungie keep up with the game and keep the content coming in fresh and exciting then we may just be seeing the future of console gaming with Destiny.

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