LA Noire

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Finally had enough bandwidth leftover at the end of the month to download LA Noire for the PC. Two hours later I’m reminded what a technical marvel this game is and I makes me sad that Rock star never saw fit to port Red Dead Redemption to the PC. I think I’m going to play through the game again, now that I have all the DLC cases I missed during my play through on the  PS3.

Steam on Linux

Steam on Linux

Check out the article on Phoronix

It seems the wait of the Linux gamer is coming to an end, Valve is working on releasing Steam for Linux. The promise of most Valve games being ported and an ever increasing indie games space support of Linux, via the Humble Bundle, is the time right for the promise of Linux gaming. I hope Valve’s move will get id and Epic to restate their commitment to Linux, but releasing ports of RAGE and the next UT game.

Tribes Ascend

Just started playing Tribes Ascend yesterday and I have to say that I’m really impressed. The over polish of this game is really redefining what I expect out of a free to play shooter.

Hi-rez Studios really captured the essence of Tribes 2. The joy that one gets from skiing across the map at ludicrous speeds is still as good as ever. I know that I’m going to buy some gold to unlock the extra classes. My debate is do I want to spend the minimum, $10 or buy in at the more attractive $30 or $50 price points where you get a bunch of extra xp bonuses.

Anyway if you want to play, you can find me in game as NodtheThird.

See you online.

www.tribesascend.com/

What I think of Rage

Thanks to the hard work of id software and AMD’s driver engineers, I’m finally playing Rage. Not that this makes up for botch launch on the PC. Releasing your game in an unplayable state regardless of who is at fault is inexcusable. I fear it has cost id a lot of the goodwill they enjoy from PC gamers.
It’s a shame that the game drew so much negative buzz, cause the core shooting and driving mechanics are quite fun. I’ve not seen such conniving enemy AI behavior in a game in long time, it is simply a joy to watch and hear the AI react to the mayhem you’re inflicting on them.
The game is also at times breathtakingly beautiful. Sure you can find low res texture up close, but I keep getting awed by the graphics as I enter one unique area after an other.
That’s it for now I’ll post more thought once I’ve finished the game.

Rage

Well at midnight it became clear why the reviews were embargoed, Rage is getting mixed reviews. The fact that both EGM and IGN who gave the game high marks got to publish their review a couple of hours earlier, shows again how skued the relationship between publisher and press is.

It’s also troubling that the Rage forum have erupted will tales of poor performance on the PC version. I hope this all comes down to driver issues. As I know John Carmack was getting nvidia and AMD to add new features. One would have hoped that these features had been added months ago and not in a last minute patch.
My copy is in the mail so I will know all soon.

Update:
Seems that the special Rage drivers AMD Released are borked. Good thing I just did a clean install with them. Well I guess I’ll give the 11.9 drivers a go if an updated hotfix driver isn’t out by the time I get home.

Battlefield 3 Open Beta

Battlefield 3 Metro

I’ve put 6 hours into the Battlefield 3 open beta in the last two days and overall I’m quite impressed. The game looks pretty and it is fun to play. Thankfully my, now somewhat dated, PC can play the game respectably. I get around 40FPS outside and 60FPS inside on automatic, which picks high settings for everything except motion blur which goes to medium. I also think AA is off.

Though, on the design side of things, I think DICE have made some choices I’m not quite sure about. My main gripe surrounds the browser based battlelog system for launching of the game. While, I understand why you would want to go with a web base solution as it integrates well with the stats systems which is central to a shooter like Battlefield. Having to hit Alt-Enter to go back to full screen between every round gets old fast. Also not being able to manage your party voice communications from within the game is also a pain. What really irks me about this is that the Origin client has a built in web browser, but battlelog is not supported within it. When I first heard about the web based server browser, I fully expected it to be integrated into Origin. The fact that it is not is disappointing. Hopefully in the future, DICE and EA will get around to moving battlelog into the Origin client.

The other thing I’m not sure about, is the complete lack of squad management in game and the lack of a in game voip system. This is a game about teamwork, even in pub games, but they seem to have thrown up roadblock to doing doing. I had hoped that DICE would have continued the dual channel voice com system found in Battlefield 2, where squad leaders could talk to their squad and the commander. A similar system where squad leader could talk to other squad leaders and lone wolfs to co-ordinate strategy, but not flood the main com channel with all the squad chatter. Then again right now there seems to be no voice communication going on at all at the moment.

I’ll post some more thoughts about Battlefield 3 later.
If you want to play with me my battle log profile is here.