PC Gamer

At this point in what passes for my career I m barely sure of what passes for NSFW, but I m fairly certain some of this stuff qualifies. With that half-hearted warning out of the way, allow me to direct you to this thread currently tearing up r/askreddit, in which the question is posed: What is the worst thing you've ever done in The Sims series? The answer, it transpires, are some very bad things indeed.

As expected, much of it involves impromptu swimming pool drownings and entirely inappropriate and in many countries illegal woohoo-ing, but it s the creative stuff that amazes/terrifies most. I m not sure anything can top the story of the Painter Goblin reposted by BillGoats, but there are three of my favourites below. Let us know your secret Sims shame in the comments afterwards.

In Makin' Magic I had a brilliant dog called AJ who was loved by the whole family. He never had an off day and brought sheer joy to his owners. Decided to train my wizardry and get the spell that allowed you to turn pets into humans, so AJ could be even more a part of the family. He turned out to be the biggest fucking assbag as a person and was abusive to his family, so we had to take care of him. I built a monolithic tomb, and trapped him inside. The family stood out front playing music to him as he slowly starved. They bought a new dog and played with it happily outside his eternal resting place to torture his trapped soul. Eventually a dragon burnt down the house and killed them all. What a game. - funmenjorities

I built an orphanage with seven kids run by one little old lady. She loved those kids and treated them well, and they loved her in turn. Then one day, one of the kids decided to play with their rockets, which set some flowers and then the house on fire. She tried to save them, but succumbed to the flames. One or two of the kids managed to survive, but they never were as happy as before. - bookthief8

I wanted to make a church with a full, complete graveyard. So I built a small, simple structure moved in a family of 8, get them all inside, remove the door, fill with fire. Yay, 8 new tombstones! Repeat like 9 times, and you've got a full graveyard of tombstones. Then I built the church and moved in a priest to live there and tend to the grounds. Unfortunately for the priest the grounds had been tainted by the dark rituals of the past and several dozen ghosts would materialize every night. Tormented by the crowds of specters, he himself died three days later due to never being able to sleep. BrianWantsTruth

PC Gamer

The latest Rainbow Six Siege "Behind the Wall" video demonstrates how players will take on the role of an "operator" as they set off to save people's lives and blow up their houses. Each operator is a unique character with a specific set of abilities, which the studio says will force players to focus on effective teamplay if they want to win.

"We're following the original storyline," Creative Director Xavier Marquis says in the video. "In the books, Rainbow Six is a team built from the best special forces, it's a mix and match of different nations. That's exactly what we're doing, but we're raising the bar even higher."

Following that fiction is how Ubisoft differentiates Rainbow Six Siege operators from conventional character classes found in most team-based online shooters. Instead of opting to play as a generic sniper or medic or demoman, which other players on your side can also select, you choose a particular character—an operator—thereby making him or her unavailable to others. Ideally, team members will choose operators who match their particular talent or play style; on the other hand, if you move too slowly you may end up saddled with someone you hate and/or suck with. Which, to be perfectly clear, isn't necessarily a bad thing: I've had some really great times playing some really lousy TF2.

Alongside the "Behind the Wall" video, Ubi also released a noisier but less informative gameplay trailer, which you can catch here. Better yet, have a look at Evan's new hands-on video, recorded during his recent trip to Ubisoft Montreal, in which he discusses the state of the game so far and offers up some of his own opinions about the operator system.

PC Gamer

Update: The stream is over, head over to our Twitch channel to watch the VOD.

Original: Not A Hero is a 2D, side-scrolling shooter from the makers of OlliOlli, though it's self-described as "2 D" to be more accurate. I'm not entirely sure what that means but I'm looking forward to finding out, and you can find out with me in our livestream today. This'll be my first look at Not A Hero, which won't be released until May 7th. 

We'll be livestreaming Not a Hero from our Twitch channel today from 3-5pm PDT, come watch!

PC Gamer

Triad Wars, the successor (but not sequel) to Sleeping Dogs, is in closed beta, and United Front Games has kindly given us 10,000 beta keys to give away. Herah! Get a key, and you'll be running and driving around Hong Kong building a criminal empire—and punching. Lots of that, we expect.

To give as many readers as we can a fair chance at getting a key (and not just the people who happen upon this post first), we've set up a raffle. Fill out the form below, and on Wednesday at 2 pm PDT, 10,000 entrants will be randomly selected and emailed codes with instructions on how to redeem them. Good luck! 

PC Gamer

Revealed to the world last week, Halo Online is a PC-exclusive, which is good, but also a Russia-exclusive, which is somewhat less so, at least for those of us who aren't Russian. But even if you can't play it, you can at least see what's in store thanks to a YouTuber by the name of Noble, who's posted 17 minutes of gameplay on YouTube.

There's no actual combat in the video because it was created with a loader rather than from an online session, but Noble manages to show off various weapons and vehicles across several maps. One thing he can't access is the main menu, so there's no way to see how the microtransactions will work, but he expressed concerns that the game will be "pay-to-win," as some high-priced weapons are apparently extremely powerful. He also said that weapons are "rented" rather than purchased outright, and are thus taken away after a certain period of time.

There's not a whole lot to see here, since it's essentially the equivalent of running around on an empty server shooting at trees and walls, but if you're interested in how Microsoft plans to finally bring some "new" Halo to the PC, it's definitely worth a few minutes of your time. Halo Online is expected to enter closed beta (in Russia) this spring.

PC Gamer

The selection of really expensive Star Citizen spaceships grew by one over the weekend with the addition of the Aegis Vanguard, a $250 heavy-hitter now being offered in a "limited concept sale." What that means is that the design meets the game's requirements, but it's not actually ready to fly just yet: Size, crew, and impressive array of forward-facing weaponry have all been nailed down, but other details have yet to be announced and all specs are subject to change for the purposes of balancing.

"The Vanguard trades the maneuverability of the Hornet, Lightning and Gladius for extended range, armor and durability. With more hardpoints and increased space for onboard computer systems, the design can boast improved radar and a credible electronic warfare suite," the ship's description states. "In combat, the Vanguard s roles are extensive: long range jump scout, extended duration patrol/reconnaissance ship, fighter-bomber (when equipped with torpedoes), tactical command and control ship, bomber interceptor and, in the proper hands, even a fighter-killer. The Vanguard s extensive range can allow for missions lasting days or even weeks. Internally, the ship is fitted with sleeping berths and reclamation facilities to support such missions."

The Vanguard is being offered in the Star Citizen pledge store until April 6, and includes lifetime insurance on the hull and two decorative items for hangars, plus an in-game miniature ship model. It will be available as a conventional ship purchase in the future but at an even higher price, and without the insurance or extra goodies.

Cloud Imperium said that it's selling the Vanguard now "to help fund Star Citizen's development," which sounds both perfectly reasonable and entirely unnecessary (and a little bit crazy): Star Citizen crowdfunding recently surpassed $77 million, and shows no sign of slowing.

PC Gamer
PC Gamer

*deep breath*

Okay. Right. Here goes. SteelSeries has announced a—oh I dunno, let's say 'startling'—move into the world of fashion in the loose-fitting form of the Pro Gaming Suit, a cotton/polyester jumpsuit that takes the stress out of deciding what to wear when you have to wear something.

This stylish, monochromatic onesie is comfortable enough to wear for consecutive hours, or even days, of hardcore gaming, and is also suitable for just hanging out with chums or, according to the accompanying literature, at "many other social events." Presumably if public shame is your kink. "The SteelSeries Pro Gaming Suit is 100 percent awesome," SteelSeries continues, seemingly with tongue at least partly in cheek. "Worry no more about matching t-shirts and jeans, jumpers and sweatpants or vests and shorts! Let the Pro Gaming Suit take the hassle out of your daily grind."

The Pro Gaming Suit is available in sizes S to XXL, with specific dimensions, including both length and width (with a handy diagram to help you distinguish the two) on the PGS website. It's currently listed as "coming soon" and pricing hasn't been announced, but dedicated 'sockers can sign up to be notified when it becomes available. (And you better believe I already have.)

*Obligatory cautionary note: April 1 is in two days. Is there a connection? I honestly can't tell; I'll let you judge the significance of that indecision for yourself.

PC Gamer

We re an insatiable lot, us PC gamers. Nvidia gives us the fastest GPU that s ever been produced and what s my response? 'What happens if I strap two together?'

So into my test rig go a pair of GeForce GTX Titan X cards, and during our time together they ably demonstrate exactly why Nvidia s magnum opus is a better graphics card than AMD s slightly quicker Radeon R9 295X2. I got a bit of flack for suggesting that, despite the Radeon offering higher average frame rates, the GTX Titan X offered a much better gaming experience overall. It was all to do with the fact that a quick single GPU is going to deliver far less gaming stress than a multi-GPU array.

As much as multi-GPU computing has improved in the last few years, not just in the scaling of performance but in the overall reliability, you'll still hit times when your pair of cards or GPUs is cut in half by an uncooperative driver—something that very, very rarely happens with a single GPU.

An esteemed colleague made the point that essentially the default state of multi-GPU is to be broken and in need of a fix. When a new game, new bit of software, or a new piece of hardware is released we ll often need someone somewhere to code in a fix to get things working again. Sometimes that happens via a day one patch, sometimes it can be a couple of weeks after the fact and sometimes it doesn t happen at all. Company of Heroes 2, I m looking at you.

Why bother?

If that s why a single GTX Titan X is better than a twin-GPU R9 295X2, why am I even bothering to SLI two of Nvidia s latest cards? It s all about the chase for 4K gaming at the highest settings, isn t it?

But in that pursuit, admittedly with early drivers, the problems of flaky multi-GPUs came to the fore. With a pair of GTX Titan X cards powering my PC I was getting ludicrous gaming performance, but I was also getting a bit of a migraine. Something weird was happening with them when I wasn t running at the 4K native resolution of my panel, but frustratingly not every time:

Not pleasant, right? Imagine those green swatches strobing up and down the screen at irregular intervals all the way through my testing runs, bizarrely avoiding the specific light-sources in-game.

4K performance

But all that was happening at the sort of resolutions you d be mad to run your twin Titan X cards at. Running them at 4K, especially on a 28-inch G-Sync screen, was an absolute, non-headachey joy. I m a benchmarking nerd and I almost wept seeing the Heaven test move so lithe across my screen at 3840 x 2160. 49FPS is still not the 60FPS target we re all hoping for, but it s still pretty darned glorious.

Interestingly, with a pair of GTX Titan X cards the roles are practically reversed with the R9 295X2. Testing against a pair of the twin-GPU Radeons—to make a quad-CrossFireX setup—had the Nvidia cards coming out on top in a surprising number of my benchmarks.

Heaven 4.0 and GRID 2 see the AMD cards still keeping their lead, but in Bioshock, BF4, and Metro Last Light the two Nvidia GPUs outshone the four AMD chips. Oh, and even with a pair of Titan X cards running at full pelt they still drew less power from the wall than a single R9 295X2.

DirectX 11 4K synthetic performance — Heaven 4.0         Minimum FPS Average FPS
Nvidia GTX Titan X 15 27
2x Nvidia GTX Titan X SLI 22 49
2x AMD R9 295X2 CrossFireX 8 52
DirectX 11 4K gaming performance — BioShock Infinite Minimum FPS Average FPS
Nvidia GTX Titan X 16 56
2x Nvidia GTX Titan X SLI 15 94
2x AMD R9 295X2 CrossFireX 13 9
Battlefield 4                                                                               Minimum FPS Average FPS
Nvidia GTX Titan X 31 48
2x Nvidia GTX Titan X SLI 48 78
2x AMD R9 295X2 CrossFireX 41 68
GRID 2                                                                                        Minimum FPS Average FPS
Nvidia GTX Titan X 63 82
2x Nvidia GTX Titan X SLI 88 115
2x AMD R9 295X2 CrossFireX 110 143
Metro Last Light                                                                       Minimum FPS Average FPS
Nvidia GTX Titan X 14 20
2x Nvidia GTX Titan X SLI 16 34
2x AMD R9 295X2 CrossFireX 6 26

So yes, in twin SLI you can get the sort of performance that would have you happily gaming at top settings and at 4K. But what of three, or even four Titan X cards? Well, there again we run into more multi-GPU problems. Scaling has improved drastically with two GPUs, to the point where in some places you can almost get linear performance scaling, doubling speeds by adding a second card. But adding another wont get you anywhere near tripling the performance of a single card. Still less for a fourth card—which is why having a pair of R9 295X2 cards can t topple the Titan X in dual-SLI.

When you re getting only a tiny percentage of the performance value of your graphics card that s a bitter pill to swallow. Especially if that pill costs $1,000. But if you ve got the cash, and the 4K monitor, this $2,000 worth of graphics cards will get you outstanding gaming performance. And a quick word on the price—that s still a whole lot cheaper than the almost identical Quadro M6000 Nvidia has just released, which is somewhere around $5,000.

The Quadro is the pro-level version of the Titan X, with the same GPU, the same core count and the same 12GB of memory. All it s got for that extra cash is some pro licensing and double precision processing enabled. Suddenly the Titan X is looking pretty good value, right? Er, kinda...

PC Gamer

Slightly Mad Studios has announced that as a thank-you for everyone's patience—as if you had a choice—it will add free cars to Project Cars every month, beginning with the Lykan Hypersport.

It's a ridiculous name for a ridiculous car: Wikipedia says the Hypersport can hit 60 MPH in less than 2.8 seconds, has a reported top speed of 239 MPH, and has diamonds in its headlights. Accordingly, it sells for $3.4 million plus freight and taxes (I'm guessing), or roughly the equivalent of 148 nicely-equipped Chevy Malibus. It also appears, apparently rather briefly, in the upcoming film Furious 7. Feel the cross-promotion!

"We are immensely pleased to have this awesome machine in the game and to give fans the chance to get behind the wheel of a truly amazing vehicle," Creative Director Andy Tudor said. "The Lykan Hypersport represents the first of a series of free cars we ll be giving away every month as a thank you to our fans for being so patient for the launch of the game. We ll have more info on the full schedule of further content for Project Cars soon but we hope that this is a great sneak peek of just one way in which Project Cars is going to expand in the future."

How long Slightly Mad will maintain the monthly freebies is anybody's guess at this point, but free is free, and it's certainly a nice gesture. First, however, Project Cars actually has to come out, which is what Tudor meant when he referred to patience: The game has been delayed three times already, and is now expected to hit the track in mid-May.

...

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