When you look at where we’ve come from, the modern LCD panel is a wondrous achievement. Not too long ago we had CRT monitors that literally took up half your desktop real estate but thankfully now we have larger, clearer and higher fidelity screens that take up hardly any room at all.
Saturday, 23 April 2016
When a friend described Convoy to me as “Mad Max meets FTL” it was, obviously, a must play. Somehow, the 2015 release, after a successful Kickstarter campaign, had passed me by unnoticed. Generally, despite the recommendation, I wouldn’t hold a game to another game (or film’s) standards, but Convoy’s Steam page does cite these two greats as influences and I got over-excited. I wish I’d played it with no expectations.
I didn’t want Shardlight to end. I played it over three nights and I missed it profusely when it was over. Why? I wanted more of just being there, which is an odd thing to say about most post-apocalyptic settings. Twenty years after Blast Day, people are lean and ravaged by Green Lung. As well as accepting dangerous work for tickets in the vaccine lottery, however, they make pottery, restore cars and genuinely band together as a community of friends.
It wasn’t until I was the guy reluctantly in a dress, ready to break a barstool over another guy who had made a racist slur about a third guy, that I truly had a sense of all the narrative threads converging in The Slaughter: Act One. It’s a Jack the Ripper story, but one told in a way that is completely unexpected. I came to care immensely about everyone and their imperfect contexts. The humiliation I felt as my character vomited, publicly, was real.
The future’s so bright I gotta wear these… shades?
I have waited 25 long years for this day to arrive. From the first clumsy attempt at Virtual Reality (VR) I experienced when playing the terrible Dactyl Nightmare back in 1991, I’ve known that VR had the potential to revolutionise the way we game, educate, interact and imagine. Sure, I may have needed to vomit immediately afterwards thanks to the chug-tastic framerates and huge delay between head movement and screen update, but it was a tiny, tentative taste of what was to come. Little did I realise that it would take so long for the world’s first consumer VR headset that didn’t suck to arrive. But arrive it has, in the form of the Oculus Rift Consumer Version 1 (CV1). We finally have VR that is affordable and that works… though it’s not without issues.
So close, and yet so far
Buying a pre-built gaming PC from a mass-manufacturer like Acer brings a few key benefits with it. For starters, you won’t need to shed any blood inside the case when you’re trying to bung your graphics card under the drive cages. Secondly, if anything goes wrong you can rest assured that your machine will be collected, repaired and returned in a minimal amount of time. Finally, it’s pretty safe to say that all of the components within have been stress-tested with each other, avoiding the rare bugs that sometimes crop up between components. On the flipside, you’re going to have to pay a rather higher price tag than doing it yourself, and you also won’t learn anything about building or troubleshooting your PC. With Acer’s new Predator series hitting Aussie shores, I was keen to see just how this fabled maker of laptops and office machines would manage the distinct requirements of a gaming box. Not too well it would appear.
The king of all gaming displays
The era of the premium of gaming display has finally come of age. We’ve always had a small niche of PC screens targeted at gamers, but nothing like the huge range available today. Leading the charge for screens aimed squarely at gamer’s retinas is Asus, and the new PG348Q looks set to topple all pretenders.