Archive for the ‘graphics’ tag
Posted on 21st May 2010 at 12:03 by Joe Martin with 8 comments
Nearly all the games I own are story-focused titles with a strong singleplayer campaign, because that’s very much the type of game that I prefer. There are a few exceptions though and Carnivores is probably the oddest one because it’s a genre I otherwise have almost no interest in; it’s a hunting game.
It’s a fictional one admittedly – you’re hunting dinosaurs using modern weaponry – but it’s still a hunting game. You have to do stuff like gauge the wind, aim only for vital organs and cover your scent. Plus, you only get one weapon and about six shots.
Or, you would if you played Carnivores in the way it was supposed to be played, which I never did.
Posted on 16th Feb 2010 at 10:54 by Joe Martin with 39 comments
I never really got on with the original Far Cry, which came out when I was at university and which another one of my friends, who lived next door, fell in love with. His PC was better than mine at that point and the fact that he could max every setting and I couldn’t probably had a lot to do with it though.
“This game is amazing, check out the graphics!” He’d say.
The problem was, I’ve never been someone who is incredibly interesting in graphics. As I’ve said loads of times before, I play games for other reasons. I want a good story or gameplay that challenges and engages me. I want to be transported, to be somewhere – someone – else. I want to invest myself in something that is worthy of my attention and to be able to take something away from it, even if it’s just a new joke or a funny story. I don’t just want to look at pretty pictures.
Pretty pictures can be a big part of it, obviously. If a game has photorealistic textures and so on then that all helps with the illusion, but for me a game can’t rely on just the pictures if it doesn’t have a good tale to tell, whereas if the tale is good enough then it doesn’t matter how bad it looks. Unfortunately, all Far Cry had was pretty pictures. The story was absolute dross.
Posted on 15th Feb 2010 at 10:56 by Richard Swinburne with 3 comments
So I'm sitting here reading last month's (March 2010) PC Pro magazine, and I'm flicking through the Asus Tech-in-Style supplement and I noticed the latest Asus EeeTop PC ET2010PNT. It's an all-in-one with 20in display and Atom D510 inside. Underneath, it also lists 'Nvidia GeForce G310 ION2 graphics' as well!
Posted on 25th Apr 2009 at 12:35 by Joe Martin with 54 comments
This is a blog post I’ve been thinking of writing for a long time, but I’ve chosen not to get around to it until now because it hasn’t really been very relevant.
There’s not been that many good PC games coming out lately that have required an in-depth look at graphics. Well, not from me anyway. A good thing about being part of Dennis Publishing is that delegation is nearly always an option.
The crux of this blog post rests on one question; how useful is the graphics coverage we give in PC game reviews at the moment?
If you don’t know what I’m talking about then, well I guess that gives me an answer right there. You see, before I joined bit-tech
the site had a policy of doing very in-depth graphic analysis for each and every PC game review that came along and console games were mainly ignored. Tim, Richard and co. would even graphically analyse new patches
for games and game reviews
would focus heavily on graphics.
As far as I’m aware that started to change when my predecessor Ryan joined bit-tech
. Console games started to get a bit more attention and the graphics coverage of specific games became less quantitative and more comparative – like in this Darkstar One review
Posted on 9th Apr 2009 at 14:19 by Mark Mackay with 42 comments
I should probably start by saying that I’ve owned a few consoles in my time. My first was an Atari 2600, followed by a Sega Master System with built-in Alex Kidd. I’ve owned a Saturn, a Gamegear, a Dreamcast, an N64, a Gamecube, a Gameboy, a Gameboy Advance, several PlayStations and a PlayStation 2.
So what changed? The short answer is, I got a PC, but since I have about 400 words to write so may as well elaborate a little. When I was 18, I finally saved enough cash up to get ripped off by a local PC builder that barely had a clue what he was doing and charged people for the privilege of slapping together PCs.
Posted on 26th Mar 2009 at 12:14 by Mark Mackay with 48 comments
During October of last year, in an interview with CVG, Valve’s vice president of marketing, Doug Lombardi stated that he believes PC gaming graphics are close to being as good as they’ll get.
Lombardi told CVG
that he believes that ‘graphics have started to top-out. We've got really great-looking games but what we want are more intelligent, more visceral games and the multi-core processors are going to be the way that we get there on PC.’
Some of you might feel that this is nonsense; others might feel that it’s true but you wish it wasn’t because you want to be dazzled by graphical feats of unimaginable excellence. Personally, not only do I believe that Lombardi’s statement holds a good deal of truth but I also actually hope that he’s right.
Posted on 23rd Feb 2009 at 11:16 by Joe Martin with 1 comments
Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about what exactly makes graphics in a game good and why it is that some of my favourite indie games look better than the latest games despite having lower polygon counts.
What exactly is the difference between good graphics and great presentation?
To put it simply and dryly, good graphics are the type of unneeded visual flair that cause jaws to drop and eyes to dry. It’s hard to specifically define because it’s both indistinct and ever-changing thanks to the nature of the business, but good graphics generally means high polygon counts, lots of explosions and loads of light sources. Everything should be dynamic and smooth.
Good presentation however is totally different. It’s a singularity of vision that works itself through an entire game, emanating from core to keyboard. It’s how the graphics are used and the way that elements of the story are told through visual cues.
For me, the difference between graphics and presentation can be illustrated through one simple comparison.
Posted on 17th Feb 2009 at 18:42 by Richard Swinburne with 1 comments
I'm going to forgo the continually depressing reiteration of "economic downturn" or whatever you want to call it. But since quite a few large companies are posting massive demand drops and insolvency is the latest craze these days, there's no doubt we're seeing an unfortunate trend of re-branding take an ever present role in "new" product lines.
Of the companies that we spend the majority of our time covering, Intel, Nvidia and AMD are getting in on the act.
Despite the billions of dollars of investment Intel is ploughing into its 32nm facilities, the chip giant still feels the need to rename its ICH7 southbridge (first released in 2005) to something different for the next release of its popular Atom product: Pineview. Inside the "new" southbridge, there's still the same set of features but, on the outside, there's a fresh coat of paint as it'll now be known as Tigerpoint.
Posted on 31st Jan 2009 at 00:27 by Tim Smalley with 9 comments
At several points during the Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 4850 X2 review
we published a week or so ago, we complained quite vocally about the amount of noise the card produced when it was sitting idle. Although not quite as loudly as the card itself.
It was so loud that we unanimously decided that the card wouldn't go anywhere near one of our own home PCs - I'm probably the most tolerant to noise in the bit-tech
office and it was even far too loud for me.
Following the review, Sapphire admitted that it was "aware that [the 4850 X2] had some issues with noise on the first pass of these boards.
" At least we weren't alone.
Posted on 27th Jan 2009 at 14:56 by Tim Smalley with 3 comments
It's fair to say that the current economic crisis has hit the technology industry - we've seen big layoffs at many of the biggest tech companies, with AMD, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Sony and Western Digital all announcing significant workforce cuts. However, some companies argue that it's not just the recession that is killing their revenues - they're citing the rise in popularity of netbooks as a major catalyst as well.
Frankly though, the industry appears to be looking for a scapegoat and the success of low cost, ultra portable devices like netbooks seems fitting from the industry's perspective, but that doesn't make it right.
For example, Microsoft blames the rise of netbooks on its lower profit margins because it has to sell Windows at a lower price in order to compete with Linux-equipped netbooks. While that is fair enough, it is not a reason to hate netbooks - instead, Microsoft should think of it as another sale, because the netbook was and never has been sold as a replacement to traditionally more powerful machines.