Tag Archives: Microsoft

Dreadnought Is Team Fortress 2 With Giant Spaceships

Dreadnought Is Team Fortress 2 With Giant Spaceships

With Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft having a gargantuan presence at Gamescom 2015 and grabbing a lot of the consideration, it is easy to overlook that the PC can maintain its personal. One such recreation that bears testomony to that is Dreadnought. It is a house fight flight simulator by Yager, the developer recognized for Spec Ops: The Line.

The sport places you within the function of a captain of a wide range of ships, starting from nimble corvettes all the way in which as much as the titular dreadnought, which is gradual however deathly within the fingers of a succesful participant. We spent a while with Dreadnought’s deathmatch mode demo at Gamescom 2015, and got here again impressed.

One of many largest ache factors in house video games is permitting for vertical motion, and letting the participant ascend and descend at will. The very first thing that hit us when enjoying Dreadnought was how straightforward it’s to manage the ships. Along with this, every class of ship is straightforward to get the cling of. We began our session piloting a fast-moving corvette. The ship is provided with a “warp-drive” that lets us teleport throughout quick distances of the map.

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Being the quickest ship within the recreation, we discovered ourselves often getting up shut and private in opposition to our slower opponents, partaking in hit and run techniques with ease.

Later although, we checked out the dreadnought class ship. It moved at a snail’s tempo throughout the map, however we devastated each different ship with well-timed nuclear strikes and heavy flak turrets. The corvette and the dreadnought are the 2 extremes of ships you fly on this recreation, and each had been a deal with to pilot, because of responsive controls and a person interface that does a strong job of educating you tips on how to play.

And attention-grabbing side of Dreadnought is that the pacing is far more deliberate than most deathmatches, and it provides a preventing likelihood even to those that do not have the quickest reflexes within the galaxy.

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Because of the slower tempo of fight, you will be pressured to suppose extra strategically. It’s a must to know the place you wish to go on the map, and the way you are going to strategy totally different situations, earlier than getting there.

The Gamescom demo had just one playable map, and Dreadnought continues to be in alpha, however we nonetheless had loads of enjoyable enjoying the sport. There was a Group Fortress 2 kind of high quality to the proceedings, with every class having distinctive properties however all of them being enjoyable.

Though there was so much to see at Gamescom, this recreation was so partaking, we discovered ourselves getting again to the beginning of the road to play it a second time.

Nevertheless there are nonetheless some unanswered questions. The sport is slated to be multiplayer first, however there may be an episodic single-player marketing campaign as effectively, with the narrative helmed by Dan Abnett of the Guardians of the Galaxy fame. This was introduced in 2014, however we have heard or seen little or no since.

This apart although, Dreadnought’s multiplayer mode was evenly balanced and had us clamouring for extra. In spite of everything, Group Fortress 2 in house is rarely a nasty factor.

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Fable Legends Shows You Don’t Have to Kill to be a Hero

Fable Legends Shows You Don't Have to Kill to be a Hero

In most video video games, help heroes – those that maintain the others alive to do the precise preventing – are often aspect characters which might be often ignored. Staff Fortress 2 is likely one of the few video games the place the help characters are a deal with to play.

NDTV Devices chanced upon Fable Legends on the Xbox One at Gamescom 2015, at Microsoft’s showcase and suppose this motion pushed tackle the RPG collection may stand out on this regard as nicely.

Fable Legends options 4 heroes versus one villain. The heroes should face waves of enemies and traps set by the villain. All the principle characters are playable by means of on-line multiplayer, however you too can play alone with AI companions.

In our preview session we had been thrown into the function of Celeste, one of many help courses in Fable Legends, together with two different human gamers and a 3rd particular person taking part in the function of the villain.

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Our mission happened in a forest, the place we discovered ourselves pitted towards hordes of wooden nymphs and tree monsters with nasty shut vary assaults. We ended up hanging again whereas the opposite heroes dealt harm up shut. However that did not imply we remained idle.

Celeste can knock down enemies from afar due to some fascinating magical tips. A faucet of the best set off leads to a long-range assault that will get extra highly effective the longer you maintain down the set off, giving one other dimension to a personality class that is often recognized for dealing weak to nearly no harm.

One other offensive transfer knocks down opponents, and is helpful if you end up cornered by a slew of monsters (like we did every now and then). On the similar time, Celeste does produce other hallmarks of a help character we used quite a bit too.

The obvious one is therapeutic your allies. In contrast to casting a spell on them or just firing a gun at them as was the case with Staff Fortress 2, in Fable Legends, you drop therapeutic orbs that the opposite heroes have to the touch to regain well being. It is a barely troublesome manner of approaching the issue of therapeutic, because it means these in want of well being should trek again to wherever it drops. Nevertheless, given the size of most maps, it should not be an issue.

However essentially the most fascinating spell in Celeste’s arsenal is the veil. With a click on of a button you may summon a wall. Any hero that walks by means of it’s rendered invisible for a brief period. In our playthrough we realised that Fable Legends modifications what might have been a gimmicky characteristic, into one thing that truly flip the tide in tight encounters.

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It allowed allies to rain deathblows on foes in fast succession, making us really really feel that we performed an element within the proceedings slightly than simply “help”.

This apart, the sport controls nicely. Each transfer from dodging enemy assaults with the faucet of a bumper to determining the place to go subsequent are intuitively considered and carried out. You may be laborious pressed to search out an issue with navigating or controlling a personality in Fable Legends.

And it seems to be good too. Powered by Unreal Engine four, Fable Legends is a deal with for the eyes. Whereas Fable Legends won’t be a “correct” Fable recreation replete with a protracted single-player marketing campaign, it maintains the collection’ affinity for whimsy and humour, with merchandise descriptions peppered in dry wit, and character dialogue that elicits a chuckle.

For sure, we’re eager to take a look at Fable Legends when it is out, and extra in order a help class hero. Developer Lionhead maintains that the sport can be free, gamers should buy the characters they like for everlasting entry. Those that don’t, can nonetheless play the sport, however as totally different characters, ready until those they like come again into rotation (with out having to unlock all the abilities you have got discovered another time). It is an fascinating soak up a collection with the capability to shock. With the final entry being the forgettable Kinect-only Fable: The Journey, we’re hoping Fable Legends is a shock of the nice selection.

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Cuphead Is Possibly The Most Beautiful Game You Will Never Finish

Cuphead Is Possibly The Most Beautiful Game You Will Never Finish

Regardless of its old-school Walt Disney cartoon-inspired appears to be like, Cuphead is something however lovely. The characters look charming, sporting expressions and animations that remind us of less complicated, care-free time, an period when TV was about Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny. The precise expertise is a far cry from these days although.

At Gamescom 2015 We performed the sport at Microsoft’s press convention and got here again with our egos battered to submission. And we weren’t alone. Everybody who performed the sport earlier than us had hassle clearing a single degree. None of them might. Neither did we. Very like titles akin to Tremendous Meat Boy and I Wanna Be the Man, Cuphead is hard as nails, and that is nice.

With gameplay within the mould of classics like Contra, you will end up working and gunning from one boss or one other once you’re taking part in the sport.

Normally, you’d want that you could possibly progress by simply working as an alternative as a result of there’s a lot to absorb from the sport. The degrees are imaginative; one in every of them takes place in a bar like space, the place you sq. off in opposition to a duo of frogs in boxing shorts. They merge to kind a slot machine that spouts projectiles inflicting harm.

Sounds weird? This is not the one one. There is a boss that is a carrot with creepy third eye, and a chook whose head flies via a home and hurls eggs (presumably its personal) at you. There is not any scarcity of subversive parts that appear to exist for the heck of it. That’s in fact, till you knew the premise.

You don the position of the titular Cuphead, who actually has a cup for a head. Quite than having you run after a damsel in misery just like the Mario video games do, right here, you must repay a debt to the satan. In doing so you will end up up in opposition to the aforementioned bosses, with the ultimate recreation having round 30 of them. As you’ll be able to inform, the sliver we encountered had been subsequent to unimaginable to defeat.

Cuphead’s appears to be like masks arduous as nails gameplay. We might go so far as saying that the appears to be like preserve you taking part in regardless of the robust gameplay. Throw in some slick animations starting from lovable facial expressions of Cuphead, to the easy act of firing on an enemy (by pointing your hand as a gun in fact) make this maybe probably the most lovely trying recreation you will play. Whereas we’re positive there are strategies to defeat every boss with pitch excellent timing and reflexes or a couple of crafty stratagems or just a mixture of trial and error and luck, it is protected to say that many people will not go far in it. With the sport anticipated on Xbox One and Home windows in 2016, we can’t have to attend lengthy to seek out out simply how little will probably be accomplished of this nice trying title.

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Lumia 1020

Lumia 1020

For the entire new Lumia telephones we have now noticeable this 12 months, one handset that’s been left and not using a successor is the Lumia 1020. there’s a likelihood that the lately-noticed “Nokia RM-1052” could be a competencies alternative, but except Microsoft officially announce it (or a further telephone altogether), you’ll have got to make do with the reasonably aged Lumia 1020 for now.

That doesn’t imply the Lumia 1020 is obsolete, although, as it could now be upgraded to home windows mobilephone 8.1 and it nonetheless has one of the crucial fine cameras round. Even higher, it now handiest costs around £385 SIM-free, £20-a-month on contract and not using a upfront price for the handset, or £a hundred and seventy on O2’s Pay & Go provider, making it higher price than ever.
With its an tremendous 41-megapixel digicam sensor, it uses some critically intelligent methods to produce the first-rate cell photos we’ve got ever visible. We saw the first variation of Nokia’s huge sensor on the PureView 808, but our enthusiasm used to be tempered via the handset’s soon-to-be-defunct Symbian working procedure. The Lumia 1020 has no such issues, as it runs Microsoft’s increasingly-standard home windows cellphone 8.

The PureView digital camera sensor is more than only a giant assortment of pixels. it can be bodily greater than the sensors in most smartphones and even some compact cameras. At 1/1.5in, it’s twice the size as the sensors in phones such because the HTC One, Apple iPhone 5S and Nokia Lumia 925, and 1.5 instances larger than the sensor in our high-quality purchase-profitable Canon Ixus 255 HS compact digital camera.

On the whole, the higher the sensor, the extra subject there is to capture gentle and so the less photograph noise and higher low-light efficiency. The Lumia 1020’s sensor can also be a bottom-illuminated (BSI) mannequin, the place gentle strikes the sensor from the rear, averting any circuitry getting between the light and the sensor’s photoreceptors.

This isn’t the one trick up the 1020’s sleeve, although; Nokia has also determined to make use of the sensor’s huge number of pixels to aid beef up photograph exceptional additional. while you take a image with the Nokia pro Cam app, the phone saves two versions; the entire 7,712×4,352 pixel photo and a smaller three,072×1,728 (5-megapixel) snap.

There are two motives to have the smaller picture. the first is that it can be small; round 1.6MB compared to the 9MB or so for the entire-fat version, making it so much easier to add straight to a social network. The second is right down to whatever Nokia calls oversampling. This examines each and every pixel within the better image, then works out which it must maintain and which must be discarded to make the smaller picture the first-rate feasible satisfactory.

Microsoft Surface: First look

Microsoft Surface: First look

Microsoft seems to have gotten the design and form factor right with its new Surface tablet computer. But the user interface, not so much. That’s an odd conclusion to make about a device from a software company that usually lets others do the manufacturing.

Still, that’s how I felt after feeling the heft of the device, examining it from all sides and making a few swipes at the screen. The Surface has a touch keyboard cover that feels great and, to me, is a big step forward for tablets. The tablet’s software interface, however, seems non-intuitive and sluggish.

Microsoft is clearly straddling the uncomfortable divide between the old world of mice and keyboards, where it dominates, and a future ruled by touch screens, where Apple and Android devices prevail.

Although the Surface won’t go on sale until this fall, I had the chance to spend a few minutes with some devices in a group demonstration after Microsoft unveiled them in Los Angeles on Monday.

The removable cover comes across as a takeoff of Apple Inc.’s Smart Cover. Both snap into place perfectly with magnets. But instead of sporting foldable sections, Microsoft’s cover is rigidly flat and has a full keyboard imprinted on it. Microsoft’s cover seems central to the Surface experience, although it’s not clear if it’ll be sold separately. Apple sells Smart Cover separately starting at $39.

The cover is thin – about a tenth of an inch, or 3 millimeters. When covering the screen, its spine covers one edge and its outer fabric makes the whole package feel like a soft book. Where it attaches to the tablet, it’s completely floppy, so it can be whipped around to close over the screen or folded back like a magazine.

The keyboard is imprinted on the inside of the cover, facing the screen. So when you open it, you can lay the cover on a table and use it to type. The letters are separated by little ridges, allowing you to feel around somewhat as you type. I have found that typing doesn’t feel right on the iPad’s glass.

The keyboard is covered with synthetic material that feels like a tennis racket handle or a high school running track, but not as grippy.

The keys themselves don’t depress as you type. Rather, there are seven layers of metal and other material inside that sense pressure and speed. When the cover is folded open entirely, covering the back, the keys stop being sensitive to touch.

Demonstrators from Microsoft told us they could type upwards of 50 words per minute, but I didn’t have access to the device long enough to test my ability to input “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.”

There was another keyboard accessory with depressible keys that was 5.5 millimeters thick, or nearly twice the regular cover. It felt more comfortable for typing but didn’t seem revolutionary. You can also type on the screen, the way you can on an iPad.

Running the length of the Surface is a thin, 0.7-millimeter metal flap called the kickstand. This is what transforms the device from a tablet that you can grip to a computer you can type at while sitting at a desk or table.

Microsoft made much of the fact that the sides of this thin device are cut at 22 degree angles. It’s no big deal until you realize that the kickstand positions the tablet to lean back at 22 degrees, making the bottom edge flush with a flat surface.

The front-facing camera looks up at you, while the back camera is angled so that it points straight forward when the kickstand is extended. The back camera angle also should make it easier to shoot video or take pictures while looking down at the screen held at an angle.

As I said earlier, the tablet’s software is what disappoints.

I detected a lag when swiping, which just seems wrong on a touch screen. After all, you can see exactly where your finger is touching. If the image doesn’t come along in real time, that’s noticeable. Apple’s iPad and iPhone may still have Microsoft’s Surface beat in this regard.

Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system and its Windows RT counterpart for low-power chips are supposed to bridge the gap between touch devices and personal computers.

But the company has made a perplexing design choice by hiding crucial navigation items off the screen. Finding them requires swiping in from the sides. I would need a tutorial on what actions lead to what results. Let’s just say it is not readily apparent.

Those who have tested the software on personal computers have reported not being able to find the “Start” menu. The Surface seems to address this by putting a permanent Windows icon in the middle of the device below the screen. The icon causes a vibration when touched, which helps because it’s not a physical button.

Who would use this device?

At the announcement on Monday, CEO Steve Ballmer pounded home the message that this tablet will be as good as a PC for creating documents in a way that the iPad never was. It’s true that the iPad has such shortcomings as an inability to run multiple programs side by side, the way you can on a regular computer. Surface can run at least two at a time.

So, users would seem to be professionals who want a tablet they can use for work and play.

I find that proposition appealing, especially after lugging my heavy laptop to the press conference and having to keep a watchful eye on the dwindling battery life. (Speaking of which, Microsoft still hasn’t said anything about the Surface’s expected battery life.)

Microsoft said the low-power version using Nvidia chips will cost about the same as other tablets, while a version that runs Windows 8 Pro will cost about the same as other ultrabooks with Intel processors. The Pro version will have a stylus that allows users to make handwritten notes on documents such as PDF files. It also has an Intel processor and the option for more memory.

Surface splits the difference between a standard tablet and super-light laptops such as Apple’s MacBook Air or ultrabooks that run Windows. But typing on the Surface’s keyboard cover seems to require just that, a surface. I’m not sure how I would manage the cover keyboard and a kickstand on my lap.

Microsoft’s ultimate challenge seems to be making sure that all the programs on my current laptop – including its range of Office software – can run smoothly on Surface. It’s not clear yet whether it can deliver on that vision.

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