Yeah, quite the headline. But also a cheeky one, so be sure to drop in your favourite Apollo-era moon landing conspiracy theories in the comments. Back in 2013, NVIDIA first used its Maxwell GPU technology to recreate the Apollo 11 moon landing and demonstrate how it couldn't have been staged. And now with the power of the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 it's brought the demo back.
You can watch the full presentation at the 23:00 minute mark here. Which goes into to detail about the ray-tracing process whilst using an actual Apollo 11 image as a reference point. It's pretty fascinating, even for those that might be of the 'it was all fake man' persuasion.
At AusGamers we recently received out RTX 2080 Ti, which we'll be posting our review of soon, but one thing we've noticed is the complete lack of actual ray-tracing demos to try out. Based on the delayed rollout of the Windows 10 update that enables the technology, we're hoping that NVIDIA release a few demos. And that Battlefield V launches with the tech enabled.
On October 26 you might have to make a decision, if you're a PC stalwart who lives console-less. Because one of the most anticipated games of this generation (and probably next, too) drops for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (with 4K HDR enhanced features for Pro, S and One X) in Red Dead Redemption 2.
And ahead of that day next week, Rockstar has released what is likely their last bit of teasing material with a classic 'launch trailer'. It's just one-minute long but is still more than enough to get the juices flowing. Watch it embedded below and then tell us: will you go to the console Dark Side for this gem-in-waiting?
America, 1899. The end of the Wild West era has begun. After a robbery goes badly wrong in the western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang must rob, steal and fight their way across the rugged heartland of America in order to survive. As deepening internal divisions threaten to tear the gang apart, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang who raised him.
Red Dead Redemption 2, an epic tale of life in America at the dawn of the modern age, arrives for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 26th.
Ahead of firing up Koei Tecmo's latest hack-and-slash offering, it was worth taking a moment to go over my history with the Dynasty Warriors series and all of its many off-shoots. And a moment is all it took because Warriors Orochi 4 is the first Omega Force-developed game that I've played. Not for lack of interest or any real reason other than, "hmm, guess I haven't played one of these before".
Turns our they're a lot of fun.
Warriors Orochi 4 is fun, pure and simple. A blast even. Something that I’ve actively looked forward to playing over several other games featuring large open-worlds filled with deep character customisation, branching storylines, fancy weather effects, online events and activities, and go-anywhere and do-anything design. Perhaps it’s simple respite ahead of the release of Rockstar’s impending Western Epic 2, but this is the sort of game that lives up to – in the best possible way – the term mindless fun. Which is an apt description, because it was well over two-hours into playing Warriors Orichi 4 before I noticed each character you control has a health bar. Magic and charge bars sure, that stuff fuels the insane combos and on-screen mayhem, but playing Warriors Orochi 4 is an exercise in never taking any sort of noticeable damage. Or dying.
The two-on-two basketball game from Saber Interactive inspired by the classic NBA Jam series is back, but now under the umbrella of the NBA 2K franchise. NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 is available now for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch for $49.95.
Here's the launch trailer which does a pretty good job of inserting the cartoon-like visuals over real NBA footage - both new, and old.
NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 features tons of ways to play on your own, with friends or against the world. Playgrounds Championship mode introduces a worldwide ranked league with multiple competitive solo and co-op ladders, while the new single-player Season mode recreates the experience of leading a team through the regular season and playoffs. There are also four-player online matches, co-op matches against AI, enhanced matchmaking with dedicated servers, three-point contests, off-the-wall power-ups, custom matches and more!
Putting the sport’s biggest legends front and centre, NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 steps up the energy and attitude with new players, playgrounds and more, starting with cover athletes Julius “Dr. J” Erving, Kevin Garnett, Karl-Anthony Towns and Jayson Tatum.
This time around players can also expect to play in stadiums/playgrounds from around the world - including Washington, D.C., St. Louis, Seoul and Australia. Also player specific signature moves are in-game, including Michael Jordan's famous free-throw line dunk and LeBron James’ self alley-oop. With 2K publishing this also means a licensed soundtrack along the lines of the wonderful stuff found in the NBA 2K series.
But not quite in the range of NVIDIA's flagship GTX card the 1080 Ti. Marketed as the more affordable entry into the world of ray-tracing, those features for both the RTX 2070 and the RTX 2080 haven yet to receive the proper titles to see the effect and difference in visual quality versus performance. But with NVIDIA RTX 2070s in the hands of reviewers (stay tuned for our own thoughts), performance numbers look good.
Especially when you factor in power consumption that sits well below the RTX 2080 and is more in line with the GTX 1070 Ti. Temperatures are also quite cool depending on the model. The Founders Edition is priced at $599 USD versus the RTX 2080's $799 USD.
In terms of raw performance, the GeForce RTX 2070 is nothing out of the ordinary given the price point. After what we saw with the RTX 2080, we predicted that the 2070 would be around 10% faster than the GTX 1080 at best, and it turns out that was right as we saw a 7% improvement in our 20 game sample.
The key take-away it seems is that the RTX 2070 is more suited to 1440p gaming as opposed to the RTX 2080 focus on delivering fast 4K performance. With titles like Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus delivering a 22% improvement at 1440p over the GTX 1080.
If there was a single resolution where the new GeForce RTX 2070 stands out it would be 2560x1440, where it ensures at least 60FPS in all of the games we tested. We're looking at a 30% or higher average improvement over the GeForce GTX 1070, with performance finding itself more between the GTX 1080 and higher-end GTX 1080 Ti.
One interesting thing to note with the new RTX 2070 is that without an NVLink connector the card doesn't support SLI so performance is limited to the single GPU. Again 1440p performance seems to be where the RTX 2070 shines but in testing titles like Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Far Cry 5 running at 4K performance is still respectable with frame-rates on average sitting in the 40-50 range.
The RTX 2070 was expected to be around 75% of the 2080. But Founders-to-Founders and reference-to-reference, the RTX 2070 is bringing around 83% of the RTX 2080’s 1440p performance (and 82% of 4K performance). So the performance gap is comparable to previous generations, where the GTX 1070 brought 81% of the performance of the GTX 1080, and the GTX 970 brought 87% of the GTX 980. Except here the RTX 2080 is only managing GTX 1080 Ti level performance for traditional gaming.
Again this review is clear to highlight that the new features of the RTX line which include real-time ray tracing and AI rendering have yet to be implemented across a wide range of games. Traditional performance is good, but the real test so to speak will come when these new features are put to use to see if increased performance matches the increased fidelity.
Okay, so maybe that headline is overly harsh - and if you're a fan of the original Space Hulk board game and looking for a faithful recreation of that in videogame form then you probably should give this a go. It's fun, and captures the strategic feel of controlling a small group of units in the tight confined hallways of a giant spaceship.
But unfortunately there's not much more to it than that.
Built to recreate the movement and flow of a board game, where movement is restricted, the play area is consequently smaller and more focused on the correct use of tactics. In the realm of videogames, the use of the word tactics can mean any number of things, but when it comes to the matter of genre and style it’s hard not to picture something along the lines of XCOM or the broader RPG-style progression of Final Fantasy Tactics. From developer Cyanide Studio and publisher Focus Home Interactive you’ll find no such comparison to be found with Space Hulk: Tactics. In fact, the smaller overall scope and the aim to recreate the look and feel and strategy of the classic Space Hulk board game is both a plus and a minus.
After going hands-on with Fallout 76 in West Virginia we had the chance to sit down with Bethesda's Pete Hines to talk about the game and the series. Ahead of our conversation we had more than enough notes, questions, and thoughts jotted down - turns out we didn't look at them once as what followed was a natural and lengthy conversation covering a lot of ground.
Including some of the game's more radical shifts, like the absence of human NPCs.
“I mean let's be honest, characters in Fallout games are important,” Pete explains. “There have been many iconic, memorable, quirky, and interesting characters. To remove that element is risky, it’s very different, and it is certainly one of the things that folks react to. But the ability to then experience these worlds with other people in ways you simply could never do before, and the fun of that, I think, is a worthwhile trade off.”
AusGamers was recently given early access to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 by way of a traditional review event. What we walked away with, was a sense the series has finally made a triumphant return, and once again it's happened at the hands of Treyarch.
Our man on the ground, Toby Berger, spent countless hours across the games numerous modes and fell in love with all of them, all but forgetting there used to be a campaign in there somewhere too, but that with this much option it really just doesn't matter.
The omission of a traditional single-player campaign was surprising when it was initially announced earlier this year, but in its place is something that I found to be of much more value: Blackout. Call of Duty’s take on the Battle Royale genre is different enough to make it not feel like a direct rip of PUBG or Fortnite, and instead manages to find a balance between the hardcore, militarised focus of the former with the arcade-like nature of the latter.
So yeah, while a 100-person Hunger Games-styled deathmatch may not be the most unique of premises after the genre took off in 2017, Treyarch has managed to expertly blend in the best elements of classic Call of Duty gameplay with a game mode that feels fresh and fun each time you jump in. Further to this, the sprawling map — which includes a handful of notable areas from previous Black Ops games and World at War — is excellently designed, with Nuketown Island and Asylum particularly fantastic renditions of classic areas from Treyarch’s previous games in the series. I am curious, though, as to how the mode will change overtime, and am a bit worried that it may become stale if the map doesn’t change or there aren’t extra maps added post-launch.
In a new tweet, the ex-head of id Software and all-round industry icon, John Carmack, has announced that his on-going legal dispute with Zenimax is now over. Which, if you've been across it involves the sale of id to Zenimax and John's departure to work for Oculus on VR.
Where he was accused of stealing VR code and taking to Oculus, and he counter-sued noting that Zenimax still owed him $22.5 million from the id Software sale. Although the tweet doesn't go into any detail, it implies that Zenimax have paid John what he was owed and that both parties have dropped all legal claims.
My personal legal disputes are over -- Zenimax has fully satisfied their obligations to me from the purchase of Id Software, and we have released all claims against each other. (The appeal for Oculus still goes forward)
Clickety clickety clack, the return of one our favourite mechanical keyboards from Cooler Master - this time with added wrist rest and dedicated media controls. An overall great package that keeps the simple, elegant, and function over form design we love - that's perfect for both gaming and everyday use.
Last year when we reviewed the Masterkeys Pro L from Cooler Master we noted that in terms of design and look that it was “quite subtle, with the focus placed almost entirely on functionality over form”. A sentiment that carries over to what is essentially a new version of premium MasterKeys keyboard from Cooler Master – the MK750. The same floating key design returns here, with the addition of dedicated media controls that sit at a lover level than the keys as to not encourage the accidental pausing of the beats.
Life is Strange 2 has begun its five-episode season with the release of the first episode 'The Road'. And sure, it deals with supernatural elements and strange goings on that will be fleshed out as the series progresses, but it also deals with the issues of today. Or any-day for that matter, with a brilliant character driven story that also deals with racism, immigration, and the current political climate.
Although it deals with supernatural elements in a realistic setting, like with the original, Life is Strange 2’s new characters and story deal heavily in themes of identity, racism, and belonging. It’s a product very much of its time, set in the U.S. prior to the 2016 election. The fear of immigrants and discrimination is not limited to America, but by focusing on this issue, Life is Strange 2 is without a doubt a political game. A cinematic story of two brothers on the run after a disastrous event involving a police officer killing an unarmed person – an immigrant. A tale and journey where guilt is assumed when encountering certain strangers, and the danger of not being discovered carries the additional weight of being detained without trial.