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The best games of 2019 so far, ranked

25 Aug 19
smokedog77
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It hasn’t been a great year for blockbuster games, but dig around and there are some absolute belters, including Apex Legends, Outer Wilds and Tetris 9

 

Original source = wired

Apex Legends
Any casual observer, skimming through lists of blockbuster releases, might conclude that 2019 hasn’t been a great year for games. At a certain level, they’d be right: the dearth of real must-have titles is most likely down to the fact that we are reaching the end of every console’s life-cycle.

Fear not, however – if you venture deeper into 2019’s murky depths, you can find a panoply of shining gems. (The trick is not being afraid to go indie). Speaking of which, we have a handy guide to the best indie games if you’re interested, and try our guide the new games in 2019 for what’s coming soon. But, without further ado, here’s our list of the best games of 2019 so far.

1. Resident Evil 2

 

This is the best kind of remake. Rather than lightly remaster 1998’s version with new textures and effects, Capcom has re-made the game entirely for today’s hardware. The result is a terrifying delight that looks incredible and plays better than ever thanks to a switch to the over-the-shoulder viewpoint first seen in Resident Evil 4. For anyone who loved the original but didn’t enjoy its awkward fixed camera angles, it’s a great chance to revisit a genuine classic.

 

2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

 

From Software, of Bloodborne and Dark Souls fame, give us yet another ridiculously punishing action-adventure, but this time set in an ancient samurai mythos. There’s also less role-playing and levelling up: this is stealthier, story-driven quest. A grappling hook lets you zip around and sneak up on your kills. Single-player only, you won’t be able to summon buddies to help you in a game some reviewers have said is the hardest From Software release of all time. Depending on your relationship to the Souls series, this news may excite or terrify you.

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One and PC

3. Devil May Cry 5

 

Much like Mortal Kombat, Devil May Cry is an old series, and this latest version is the best entry. The series focuses on Dante, (named after the Italian poet), who must avenge his murdered mother by killing legions of demons. The game is combat heavy: players must string chains of attacks into special moves and eliminate hundreds of enemies. Reviewers are pretty much unanimous: “the question of which Devil May Cry game is the best has gotten much easier with Devil May Cry 5”, says Mitchell Saltzman over at IGN.

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC

4. Outer Wilds

 

An action-adventure game set in a magical-looking solar system, with an emphasis on exploration. You play as a member of a four-eyed race of purple aliens, on a mission to find out where they come from, and whether life existed in the solar system before them. Plot twist: every 22 minutes, the sun implodes and you start again. The game is currently generating massive acclaim as well as much discussion around its deep, moving story and extraordinary vistas. A lot of this is down to the game’s central conceit: much like Majora’s Mask, the sun ends all life, which adds both an interesting gameplay trope and a moving theme to proceedings.

Platforms: Xbox One and PC

5. Mortal Kombat 11

 

More heart-ripping, acid-dissolving, scorpion-biting fun from one of the most beloved and controversial series in gaming. As Wesley Yin-Poole explains over at Eurogamer, this is the superior Mortal Kombat offering: “a kind of Mortal Kombat greatest hits package and certainly NetherRealm’s best-playing fighting game ever.” The gameplay caters to old hands while providing entertainment for the large, amateur section of the game’s audience who just want to button bash and pull off their friends’ heads. Playing online, as with any fighter, is still a harrowing experience. You will get destroyed.

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One and PC

6. Tetris 99

 

It’s Tetris, but battle royale: it sounds impossible, but it’s incredible fun. The clue is in the title: you and 98 other players play a fast-paced game of Tetris until one player is left standing. You get upgrades to attack other players. Mayhem ensues. Extremely addictive and extremely popular, this has been a coup for Nintendo as a Switch exclusive. It’s free-to-play, but you need a Switch Online subscription to play. Unless you really like NES games, Tetris 99 is the best reason to get one.

Platforms: Switch

7. Hypnospace Outlaw

 

A gorgeously animated detective game, which draws on the aesthetic of the late 90s and early 2000s internet pages (think Myspace and Geocities). You surf this exciting looking web, trying to stop illegal activities such as copyright infringement. If you were around during this era of the internet, the game will bring you back to a time before Facebook and the iPhone changed the web. The puzzles themselves are also fiendishly constructed and rewarding.

Platforms: PC

8. Metro Exodus

 

 

The Metro series, based on a series of books by Dmitry Glukhovsky, are broadly set in post-apocalyptic Russia. These survival horror games are known for their claustrophobic atmosphere, stunning graphics, and mix of stealth and FPS shooting action against desperate humans and irradiated monsters. Metro Exodus, the fourth entry in the series, takes place in more sandbox-like open-world levels, as opposed to the linear offerings of the older games. Be warned, it’s scary!

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One and PC

9. Void Bastards

 

Void Bastards is an indie FPS with some of the most stunning comic-book inspired graphics we’ve ever seen. If you are at all into cel-shading art styles, Void Bastards is a must play. Luckily, the gameplay is also excellent: a thoughtful shooter inspired by Bioshock and System Shock 2. Why the name? Well you’re a convict sent into space to repair the ‘Void Ark’ and it’s full of alien bastards. As Samuel Roberts at PC Gamer explains, “While there is a stealth element to Void Bastards, it’s mostly about shooting weird, British aliens in tight corridors and rooms.“

Platforms: PC, Xbox One

10. Wargroove

 

This turn-based tactics game is a must-buy for all Advance Wars fans. Imagine Nintendo’s classic reinvented with a fantasy theme, and you’ll be pretty close to what Wargroove offers. Choose between four factions, take turns to build up your armies and guide them across a top-down map into battle against the opposition. Solid multiplayer and an in-depth level editor will keep you coming back for more.

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Switch

11. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

 

Fire Emblem is one of those series, now at sixteen main games and three spin-offs, that’s absolutely massive and seminal in Japan but reaches more of a niche market in the West. (Players may know its characters best from the introduction of Marth and Roy to Super Smash Bros Melee). The games are famous for their permanent death feature – if your character dies, that’s it. The latest release is a tactical roleplayer, where you move your characters across grid-based environments but also level them up like a more traditional role-playing game – it’s a Nintendo exclusive, and a high point in the series long history.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

12. Blood and Truth

 

Playstation VR hasn’t had many great games – Blood and Truth is one of the better ones, and it was in fact the first ever virtual reality game to top the UK charts. It’s an expanded version of the “London Heist” level from VR Worlds – you’re an army veteran pushed into a murky London criminal underworld. Expect lots of shooting, explosions and bad cockney accents.

Platforms: Playstation VR

13. Pikuniku

 

 

A loveable 2D puzzle platformer where you play a small being called Pikuniku, trying to save his cartoon town from corporate interference. Animated in a children’s book style, the visuals in Pikuniku are beautiful and charming; the title character reminds you of a child’s drawing of themselves, where they draw only legs and head, forgetting their body. You use these long legs to solve puzzles and kick objects, including many of the game’s characters.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC

14. My Friend Pedro

 

An absolutely chaotic shoot ’em up where your goal is to create as much cinematic mayhem as possible. Careen off walls and bullet-time spin through the air to mow down your prey. You’re also best friends with a talking banana. The shooting action is addictively frenetic. There are tons of different ways to finish your enemies: throw a frying pan in the air and use it to spray bullets at unlucky foes; swing through the air from a bungee rope and chuck dead enemy’s body parts at their allies.

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch

15. Apex Legends

 

A challenger to Fornite’s dominance approaches. Apex Legends hit one million, ten million and 50m players faster than Epic’s cultural phenomenon. It offers the now-standard battle royale formula – players skydive onto an island and try to kill each other. Innovations, like a character class system akin to Overwatch, keep Legends from feeling stale. And just like Fortnite, it’s free-to-play, so you’ve got nothing to lose.

Platforms: PS4, Xbox One and PC

16. Sunless Skies

 

The result of a successful Kickstarter campaign, Sunless Skies is a top-down steampunk space adventure set in a universe where the British “Victorian Empire” has gone interplanetary. It’s as much a literary experience as a gaming one, filled as it is with bizarre, intriguing vignettes. The gameplay leans heavily on the survival and rogue-lite genres, forcing you to make hard decisions to survive as you battle space pirates and monsters. It’ll leave you with memorable tales of surviving by your wits and absorb you for forty hours or more.

Platforms: PC

17. Observation

 

In Observation, you control a space station AI trying to recover after the crew disappears. It’s a neat reversal of the trapped in space trope and the limitations of controlling an AI, as opposed to a mobile protagonist, creates an interesting dynamic for this story-driven adventure. Echoes of 2001: A Space Odyssey are writ large throughout and it’s short enough to be completed in a day.

Platforms: PS4 and PC

18. Super Mario Maker 2

The original Super Mario Maker was a brilliant idea sadly marooned on the colossal failure that was the Wii U. But it’s back and it’s on the Switch, where many a Wii U game has found a second life. As the name suggests, it’s all about building your own Mario levels based on assets from numerous previous games, and playing those made by others. It includes local and online competitive modes, a co-op level making mode for two players, and a Story Mode with 100 levels to complete.

Platforms: Nintendo Switch

The Big O

Every Console In One Box

28 Jul 19
smokedog77
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Every Console In One Box – The Origin Big O

A first look from Unbox therapy

 

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Intel

Intel admits it won’t catch up with AMD’s 7nm chips until 2021

18 Jul 19
smokedog77
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By  of Tech Radar

 

Intel has explained how it struggled to bring 10-nanometer processors to market, while also admitting that we won’t see its 7nm chips until 2021.

The revelations come from Intel CEO Bob Swan, who said at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado, that Intel’s goal to have a 2.7x transistor density improvement in its 10nm chips compared to current 14nm chips was too ambitious.

“At a time when it gets harder and harder, we set a more aggressive goal. From that it just took us longer,” Swan said.

Because of this, Intel has been slow to move on from 14nm. This has led many people to suggest that – for Intel at least – Moore’s Law is dead.

Moore is less

Moore’s Law, which is named after Intel co-founder and former CEO Gordon Moore, states that transistor density in computer chips doubles every two years. It’s been a driving principle behind Intel’s processor strategy, and many people credit it with the fast pace of technological advancements we’ve seen in the past.

Because of Intel’s delays with 10nm, it has fallen behind this schedule. However, with 10nm out this year and 7nm out by 2021, Intel is hoping it can catch up with Moore’s Law.

Swan admits that the 2.7x scaling for 10nm was both too ambitious and too complicated. He also explains how Intel made an error when it “prioritised performance at a time when predictability was really important”.

However, as Swan notes, “The short story is we learned from it, we’ll get our 10nm node out this year. Our 7nm node will be out in two years and it will be a 2.0X scaling so back to the historical Moore’s Law curve.”

 

So it looks like we’ll finally see 10nm chips from Intel this year, while 7nm will have to wait until 2021. That’s a long time considering both AMD and Qualcomm have 7nm chips out right now. But will Intel be happy with ceding any performance advantage 7nm brings to its two biggest competitors for that long?