Jan 28, 2013
On the cusp of an open multiplayer beta for Crytek's maximally lustrous Crysis 3, Nvidia released an early version of its GeForce 313.95 drivers today. The GPU giant claims the drivers boost SLI performance for Crysis 3 by up to 35 percent in addition to other "sizeable SLI and single-GPU performance gains" in games such as Assassin's Creed III and Far Cry 3.
Nvidia says users should expect a 27 percent gain in graphics performance while playing Assassin's Creed III, 19 percent in Civilization V, and 14 percent for both Call of Duty: Black Ops II and DiRT 3. Just Cause 2 improves by 11 percent, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, F1 2012, and Far Cry 3 all improve by 10 percent.
Demonstrating its mastery over orderly green bars, Nvidia also supplied benchmark charts for these games using four of its most recent cards: the GTX 650, 660 Ti, 680, and 690. With the 313.95 drivers, the company declares GTX 690 users can max out all settings in Crysis 3 and still achieve 60 FPS.
Grab the new drivers and check out the charts at Nvidia's website. Also try out the GeForce Experience—which we've talked about at length—to automatically optimize and configure your games based on your PC's hardware.
UK-based Publisher and developer Codemasters have given up making shooters, choosing instead to focus on racing games. The company have launched a new publishing label - Codemasters Racing - that will be responsible for putting out Codemasters' upcoming games. They include the inconsistently capitalised but consistently good DiRT rally series, and the similarly speedy official F1 games.
Codemasters' comms chief Rich Eddy clarified the change to MCV. "In racing, we are number two in Europe and that’s not good enough. Racing is our DNA, it is our heritage, it is our specialisation and it is our absolute focus going forward." No clues as to where that leaves Dizzy in this shakeup.
DiRT Showdown will be the first gAmE (that's how you do it, right?) to be released under the new imprint. The change is surely a good move for the publisher. They're pack leaders in the racing oeuvre, but recent forays out of it haven't met with much success. A focus of assets and resources on the games they're best at makes sense.
The trailer above loudly announces that Dirt Showdown will be released on May 25. A demo will be released on Steam in a couple of weeks on May 1 if you fancy trying out Showdown's lively, arcade slant on the relatively serious rallying of the core Dirt games. That'll let us crash a selection of cars across a "solo and multiplayer event."
Showdown features rough and tumble races set amid boisterous carnival locations. Expect ramps, choke points, stunts and plenty of collisions. Previous trailers have shown crashes on the 8 ball arena, crashes in the midst of crowded night time contests and crashes during frantic midday bouts. If that's not enough crashing, there's a destruction derby mode solely devoted to dishing out points for big hits.
If you're to get hold of Showdown early, the "Hoonigan Edition" should be available to pre-order from Game and Gamestation, though the PC version doesn't seem to be there at the moment. The Hoonigan version comes with some extra car liveries, and online XP bonus and some extra in-game cash to spend on your cars. Check out the Dirt Showdown site for more.
Codemasters stopped by earlier with a preview build of Dirt: Showdown. It's living up to its billing as a more accessible, rough and tumble take on the carefully simulated physics of Dirt 3. You won't find any serious Rallying here, it's all about going wheel to wheel with your competitors, ploughing them into barriers and boosting past them to steal the win with brute force.
We'll have some more detailed impressions for you in a bit. Meanwhile, here's three new videos of three of the different modes available in Dirt 3, including your racing, demolition derby and more of the 8 ball circuit shown in the last Dirt: Showdown trailer. Click 'Read and Comment' for more VRRRRRM-SMASH.
Jan 27, 2012
Dirt Showdown bears the Dirt name associated with Colin McRae and, once upon a time, serious rally racing, but is really more of an arcade spin-off. This new trailer shows off an "8 Ball" course. It's like those Hot Wheels toys where you'd launch cars down convoluted tracks towards a central crash site, where they'd collide and fly off to hit your dog in the eye. This time, you're inside those cars, and some of them are spouting fire.
Showdown's focus is on Destruction Derbies and "full contact" racing, with lots of ramps and choke points, and will apparently make use of "gaming's most advanced damage engine." Move aside, Frostbite 2! It's due out in May and was announced with an announcement trailer a few weeks ago which looked a little bit like this.
When it comes to sim gamers, nothing is too expensive or too out of the ordinary. They will pay any price to have an experience that is as close to the real thing as possible. Meet the VRX iMotion. Nvidia was showing this bad boy off at their booth at CES this year, so I just had to give it a whirl.
VRX told me that for around $32,000 you get the chair, actuators, screens and a badass PC. As Billy Mays would say, "It comes with everything you see here!" They will ship it to your house fully assembled in what I'm assuming is a giant wooden crate that will require a crowbar to open.
If you throw in another $1500, VRX will provide you with three 42" 3D monitors and 3DVision 2 glasses courtesy of their partners at Nvidia. How nice of them. Did I mention it also comes with surround sound speakers? Of course it does.
The iMotion currently supports games like iRacing, F1 2011, DiRT 3 and even Battlefield 2. I did about 20 laps on iRacing and it was rather intense. So, if you're rich and curious, you can start a private conversation with VRX by emailing them via their website.
For that kind of money, hopefully you can have half as much fun as this guy!
Oct 21, 2011
Whoa. When did PC gaming become so damn... award-winning?
PC has cleaned up at the Golden Joystick awards with a wealth of exclusives. And the non PC exclusive games that took an award? We get to play most of those too, only more anti aliased, and in a better resolution.
The best bit? Gamers voted for these. Real-life gamers with strong opinons. A record-breaking 2.06 million of them in fact. Well done PC gaming community - you rose to the challenge and pwned.
Click through for the full results. Don't agree with some of the winners? It's time for a furious debate. See you in the comments.
PC dominated the Best Strategy category: Starcraft 2 took the number one spot, followed by Civilisation V and Shogun 2: Total War. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood was awarded Best Action game and Fallout: New Vegas took Best RPG.
World of Warcraft took Best Subscription MMO, beating Rift and Eve Online. One of PC Gamer's faves - Minecraft - was awarded Best Downloadable Game. We'll have Notch's acceptance speech on the site as soon as possible.
League of Legends scooped Best Free-To-Play Game - considering the numbers and constant updates, it's hard to disagree.
Portal 2 took Ultimate Game of the Year at the prestigious ceremony. Seeing as we have the ultimate version of Portal 2, we'll take that as ANOTHER win for PC gaming.
Skyrim took the One To Watch award. We've been keeping a close eye on that one. And yes, it is indeed one to watch.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Angry Birds Rio
Fallout New Vegas
The Witcher 2: Assassin's Of Kings
Dragon Age II
Best subscription MMO
World of Warcraft
Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition
Gran Turismo 5
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit
Pro Evolution Soccer 2011
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
Total War: Shogun 2
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock
Rock Band 3
Child of Eden
League of Legends
World Of Tanks
Call of Duty: Black Ops
One to Watch
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Guild Wars 2
Innovation of the Year
Sonic The Hedgehog
Ultimate Game of the Year
Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Oct 20, 2011
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - email@example.com (Jim Rossignol)
Where can racing games go? How can they push boundaries and the same time provide us with the speed and competition we crave? The genre is already offering some clues about what it might be able to do, aside from improving graphics, realism, or going online, or doing anything else purely technical. The future of racing games is going to depend on designers doing interesting things, and fortunately for us some studios are doing just that.
Let’s take a look… (more…)
Sep 6, 2011
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - firstname.lastname@example.org (Alec Meer)
News that an eyebrow-raising 3 million Steam activation codes for natty racing title DIRT 3 had been leaked online broke earlier today, and now has an official oh-dear air to it as a result of confirmation from AMD that, yes, the codes were intended for vouchers that shipped with their Radeon graphics cards and yes, a database file containing them was purloined by bad eggs. I’m sure no-one at AMD or DIRT 3 publisher Codemasters is terribly calm right now, but at least it doesn’t appear to be the case that either of their sites or servers were directly hacked. (more…)
Publishers Codemasters and graphics card manufacturer AMD have been running a promotion lately whereby purchasers of a card got a free copy of excellent racer Dirt 3. That offer has now been, uh, slightly expanded.
It seems Codemasters had the reserved download codes for the promo - estimated at around 3 million copies of the game - sitting on one of its webservers in plain sight, and over the past couple of days that list has been accessed and passed around, giving anyone who has seen it a free copy of Dirt 3.
While this might seem like an online looter's Christmas come early, there's a catch: the codes are Steam codes, meaning that should Codemasters (or Valve) decide to take action, all they'd need to do would be to go down the list and block the codes for the game. And that's a best-case scenario for "thieves", one that doesn't involve banning.
UPDATE - While it was initially believed that up to 3 million codes had been leaked, I've since taken a look at the master list that was lifted, and what I saw contained "only" 250,000 copies of the game. Now, I may have only seen one list, or an incomplete list, but I'm updating this here for the record anyway!
UPDATE 2 - Codemasters says it's trying to "block" hacker's access to the game.
UPDATE 3 - Reader Antipika let us know that, indeed, the list I saw was but one. He's seen 8 of them, containing a total of 1.7 million keys.
Update 4 — This comes from Codemasters, just this hot second: "You may have heard this weekend, activation keys for free Dirt 3 game vouchers shipping with a few AMD products were compromised. The keys were hosted on a third-party fulfillment agency website, AMD4u.com, and were not on AMD's website. Neither AMD nor Codemasters servers were involved.
We're working closely with everyone to address the situation. AMD will honor all valid game vouchers, but just a heads up, the current situation may result in a short delay before the vouchers can be redeemed."
[thanks for everyone who tipped us about this!]