BenQ's latest is something that ticks all of the right boxes - QHD 1440p resolution, excellent colour depth, a high 144 Hz refresh rate, low-response time. Plus, it also ticks a few boxes of its own thanks to the inclusion of decent in-built speakers, a remote control, and HDR support that offers up great out-of-the-box setting for movies and games.
The IPS panel here is impressive, thanks to the excellent colour output (95% of DCI-P3) in addition to the overall brightness. Compared to a VA panel the increased sharpness and vibrancy of an IPS panel is something we’ve always been drawn too – even if black levels and contrast don’t quite hit the same cinematic highs as what’s possible with a VA panel. Going IPS, the result is a noticeably crisper image, something that games and general PC usage tends to benefit from. As a DisplayHDR 400 certified display the HDR output is generally good and pretty-standard when viewed in the form of an entry on a spec sheet. Where it comes alive, so to speak, is with BenQ’s own HDRi modes.
Post-processing and customisation and presets are things we’ve come to expect in modern digital technology – and in the realm of LCD-displays. Colour accuracy aside, post-processing is generally unavoidable whilst also coming a long way in recent years to properly support true cinematic presentation. Outside of the atrocity that is motion-plus and motion-smoothing of course. BenQ’s HDRi is designed to enhance HDR output depending on the source – be is a movie or a game. The result is enhanced contrast, better colour depth suited to the IPS display – and an impressive Game Mode that look noticeably better than the standard HDR setting.
Out of retirement and back patrolling the space streets, we take an updated look at Oberon Prime and Nekros Prime - with our resident Waframe expert Adrian Haas.
Our in-depth guide goes through what builds make both still viable to play today.
The Prime Vault is the means by which Prime Frames and weapons that have been 'retired' and thus made unobtainable from Void Relics, are once again reintroduced into the game for a limited time. These (along with some tasty Prime cosmetics) can be purchased directly from the Warframe website or farmed in-game. The Relics containing the freshly unvaulted parts can be found in the Void, as well as Plains of Eidolon and Orb Vallis bounties, the latter two being preferable as you can earn extra relics for completing the bonus objectives.
Unfortunately Oberon and Nekros haven't received a lot of love since their initial release in terms of updates, and as such their most useful builds rely heavily on Augment mods, and focus on the use of only one or two of their abilities. That said both Frames can still be turned into nigh-unkillable tanks with the help of Phoenix Renewal and Umbral mods for Oberon, and a high Strength Shadows Of The Dead modded Nekros.
At The Game Awards last year, one of the surprise announcements came from Wizards of the Coast and developer Tuque Games - the return of the classic console Baldur's Gate series Dark Alliance. Simply called Dark Alliance the game is set to bring back the focus on fast-paced action-RPG combat set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe.
Albeit this time with a focus on some of the property's most iconic characters, and a shift away from the traditional isometric viewpoint of the original games. We sat down with Jeff Hattem, Studio Head of Tuque Games, the Wizards of the Coast studio behind Dark Alliance and talk about Dungeons & Dragons coming back to consoles.
What was the inception of Dark Alliance, and how did the project begin? What were some of those key elements that made it feel like – “Yes, this needs to become a game”?
It’s been quite the journey! A lot of us at Tuque grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons and reading the Forgotten Realms novels from R.A. Salvatore. We initially thought about making a Dark Alliance game back when the studio first formed in 2013, but it wasn’t until 2017 when we created the prototype and pitched it to Wizards of the Coast. After we pitched the prototype, it became clear they were on board with the idea and that we all had the same goal of creating an epic co-op action RPG set in the Forgotten Realms with Drizzt and his companions.
Dark Alliance brings well-known characters from the D&D universe and is set in the iconic location of Icewind Dale – how did the team decide or land on these characters and this location?
Drizzt is one of the most iconic characters in D&D lore, and there’s a ton of rich history to pull from. Drizzt’s companions, each with their own unique combat skills, are crucial for taking down enemies. Icewind Dale is a very harsh and unforgiving place. We wanted to recapture that feeling of accomplishment that you get when working with your friends when you take down an enemy together. For all of those reasons, Icewind Dale was the perfect setting and Drizzt and his companions made for the perfect cast of characters for a four-person action co-op game.
Often it's difficult to sink the required amount of time into certain games for in-depth review coverage, but it's even harder when said game is developed by one Media Molecule outfit, but our very own Toby Berger put in the creative yards and has delivered a deep and sweeping review of the full Dreams experience.
Here's a snippet:
Whether you want to create a short video of two larrikins playing music together or conjure up an in-depth space soap opera with fully voiced dialogue options, the tools are there to create whatever your heart desires.
Much like LittleBigPlanet’s brilliant creation mode, I found myself well out of my depth during the first few hours in Dreams’ create mode (dubbed Dream Shaping). The game gives you a quick rigamoroll of the basics before setting you off to make the next big thing, though the sheer amount of tools at my disposal had me struggling to get much of a grasp on it all.
That said, your own dedicated homespace in Dreams is the perfect blank canvas to get a basic understanding of how creating works. The tutorials set out have you moving and cloning shapes, adding in objects and tinkering with lighting and sound, which really does set you up for success -- it celebrates the small victories, and you feel like you’re crafting something quite neat.
And that will come across as a harsh headline, but it recently came to light that an Aliens game in the design shadow of the heavily failed Evolve was canned. (Which isn't to say Evolve couldn't have succeeded and planted itself as a benchmark for asymmetrical multiplayer shooters, but I digress.) At any rate, after Disney's FOX buyout, it turns out a PVE MP Aliens game was in the pipeline but, really, would it have worked?
The reason for the seemingly negative reporting on this finding? Well, it comes from a bit of Twitter twitterage that sounds sourgrapes-ish, but equally lands where it needs to - big company with bigger plans comes in, decides to axe projects it has no faith in, pulls out of them.
We're all for smaller-mid-and-even-large studios tackling IPs, and we don't want any devs losing work - make no mistake - but we're at the mercy of, in an industry as rich as ours, richer controlling bodies doing what they do. The model they're proposing is still unproven and we've seen it die on distant hills already.
I'm as weary of conglomerates as the rest of you, but sometimes the bottom line in those spaces is just that. I'd take another Isolation over a cancelled PvE Aliens: Hadley's Hope any day of the week. At least I'd know what I was getting...
And the team at Mediatonic knows what they might have tapped into here. For the young 'uns, in the late 80s there was a show (we stole from the UK, likely stolen elsewhere as well) called It's a Knockout!, and this game takes that concept through to the modern age...
But that concept also still exists whether it's forced pranks like those from Jackass or Takeshi's Castle through to, well... YouTube (vomit). At any rate, their upcoming game Fall Guys embraces party games on a whole new level, while also servicing a broader online community than other party games. Here's the stinger:
The chronically unstable team of Mediatonic and Devolver Digital invite bumbling fans around the world to the launch of the official Fall Guys website! To celebrate, the first episode of Behind The Stumbles, a new video series following Fall Guys’ development, is now available, with further instalments toppling online monthly.
But that’s not all! In desperate need of free labour, Mediatonic is delighted to announce the ‘Make a Fall Guy’ contest; a monthly opportunity for members of their beloved community to flex their creativity and design their very own Fall Guys! If online design contests have taught us anything, it’s that the video games community has impeccable taste.
The best entries will be flaunted on social media, with one lucky winner each month having their original Fall Guy added to the game. FOREVER. So maybe take a beat and come up with something truly inspired.
Gamers can enter via the official Fall Guys website
.While our supplied link to the Aussie "It's a Knockout! exists within the OP, please find embedded below a video of the new game.
A while back our tech specialist (and all-round gaming specialist), Kosta Andreadis came up with a crazy, but good idea -- a limited edition Nvidia RTX '2077' graphics card as part of the announced partnership between Nvidia and CD Projekt RED for Cyberpunk 2077, and now there's a chance this *could* actually happen.
Drives designed for NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices not only come in large sizes but also sit next to each other to create massive amounts of storage potential. From 2, 4, 6, all the way up to 16TB in a single drive that when multiplied means you can effectively become your own Netflix or Steam. Or simply, you know, be able to store everything (including games) in a single location.
As per our full review of the Seagate IronWolf NAS Hard Drive range.
With the spindle speed of 7,200 RPM using CrystalDiskMark to measure the overall speeds of the Seagate IronWolf drives in our possession we were pleased to see the advertised speeds of 210MB/s be a little conservative with results closer to the 225MB/s mark. This handily beats the larger capacity BarraCuda drives from Seagate – though of course, going IronWolf carries with it a larger cost. With decent speeds for a non-SSD unit, being able to add something in the range of 20TB of extra storage to your rig or home network is, well, amazing. Not exactly a thing most people would want, but if you run a Plex media server or access a huge Steam of GOG library across a few devices there’s a reason to NAS it up.
They've been around the block, or two, but Poland-based People Can Fly is a studio that knows its strengths, and has consistently delivered excellent experience in various shootery forms over the years. Now they have a new IP they're sharing with the world in Outriders, and we've already played it.
Here's a snippet from our time with the game over in Warsaw recently:
When we land on Enoch the place is bliss; green pastures, seemingly bountiful food and everything we could need to start over again. Unironically, the landing party is driving space trucks (that’s what we’ll call them from now on), through trees and native faunae with little regard for the damage being done to our new home. We are now interplanetary squatters, and it’s already showing why we had to leave our last squat. But I digress.
While you can name your character, from here on out you’re only known as “Boss”, though you’re hardly the boss. We won’t spoil how it all plays out here suffice to say you’ll be running in a straight line here, back to there, and then back again until the ‘event’ happens. Your only option is to get back to your giant landing pod and pop yourself back into cryo-sleep so that everything can settle and when more eggheads come down and work out what went wrong, we can start to set things right, right?