Posts Tagged ‘gaming’

NOTES TO SELF:

Mass Effect: Andromeda is fun, exploitative, interesting, and has an immense amount of subtle Easter Eggs nodding to the original ME Trilogy. It even gives you a Space Hamster again – albeit and Andromeda one this time.

What it is not, though, is stable. The NVIDIA graphics have been all over the place, drivers changing constantly for all the gazzilions of games NVIDIA has to give specific support to. It doesn’t seem to restricted to just PC editions either… but I suppose at least  with a PC you have a little more ammunition to work around it than you do with a console.

Because they’re so constantly changing, the rendering has to be modified and tweaked along with, as does my ASUS Stryx overclocking software. Balancing is impossible, because it seems to change with every NVIDIA driver update.

To keep track, I’m just going to leave my notes here, so I can find them again… Hopefully.

 

  ~ Tested with GeForce v. 382.05

 

 

KEY POINTS OF SPECS 1:
  • Medium Lighting
  • Ultra Shadows
  • Medium Post Process
  • High Depthh-of-Field
  • High Shader (Maxed)
  • Ultra Textures
  • Temporal AA
  • HBAO Full
  • Ultra Effects
  • Ultra Terrain

=> Very good colour & graphics; Minor Slowdown in cutscene

 

 

KEY POINTS OF SPECS 2:
  • Low Lighting
  • Ultra Shadows
  • Ultra Post Process
  • High Depth-of-Field
  • High Shader (Maxed)
  • Ultra Textures
  • Temporal AA
  • HBAO Full

=> Good colour & graphics; Some slowdown

 

Mass Effect Andromeda 05.05.2017 - 23.20.24.06

~ Grahics Rendering Specs 2 ~  

 

KEY POINTS OF SPECS 3:
  • Medium Lighting
  • Ultra Shadows
  • Ultra Post Process
  • High Depth-of-Field
  • High Shader (Maxed)
  • Ultra Textures
  • Temporal AA
  • HBAO Full

=> Very good colour & graphics; Slowdown in cutscenes

 

 

KEY POINTS OF SPECS 4:
  • High Lighting
  • Ultra Shadows
  • Medium Post Process
  • High Depth-of-Field
  • High Shader (Maxed)
  • Ultra Textures
  • Temporal AA
  • HBAO Full

=> Good colour & graphics; Slowdown

KEY POINTS OF SPECS 5:
  • Low Lighting
  • Ultra Shadows
  • High Post Process
  • High Depth-of-Field
  • High Shader (Maxed)
  • Ultra Textures
  • Temporal AA
  • HBAO Full

=> Great colour & graphics; Acceptable Cutscenes

 

 

~ 4K Gaming ~

PC SPECS:

~ PC ~ i7-4790K ~ 16GB RAM ~ GTX 1060 6GB OC ~ High/Ultra Specs ~ 4K graphics resolution~ Recorded at 3840 x 2160 ~ 4K Playback ~

 And these are the other Rendering Spec Options:

~ Other Options Tested ~

… Come Back, Mako – All Is Forgiven!

 

Project Overlord

 

Hammerhead(3)

 

Oh, Bioware – there are no words…

I had forgotten just how awful this was. Not the thing in and of itself – but that damned M44-Hammerhead. The flying Mako. Making the Mako look like it’s the best thing ever.  The controls are not terrible… Oh, no. That would be far too generous to call it that.

The hovercraft-tank hybrid thing is an absolute nightmare to control – I would have the Mako any day. This thing appears in two Mass Effect 2 DLCs – Firewalker and Overlord. Whoever designed it should never admit Hammerheadit for fear of being hit by thrown Xbox controllers – as people rage-chuck them about the world from attempting to play this game.

It was actually slightly (about 0.1%) easier to use with an Xbox 360 controller. Having built myself my shiny self-build rig, I got the PC edition of the Mass Effect Trilogy. Then – oh, so stupidly – spent even more money (although not that much, at least) on adding the Overlord DLC. I like the second half of it – and I like saving the character of David. But in the beginning it’s the biggest nightmare of all time in gameplay.

It’s one thing to make it hard. It’s entirely another to make it notoriously frustrating and impossible simply because the control-handing is impossible.

Now I’m trying to play it with Keyboard & Mouse and it’s turning out to be excessively difficult to manage simply because the handling is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever tried to handle in a game.

 

Hammerhead_Vulcan.png

 

* NOTE TO SELF: *

  • The key command for “Exit Hammerhead” is not necessarily (F) – it is, in fact, programmed to use whatever was key binding was programmed in Mass Effect to return to the Normandy from the Mako, after exploring a planet.
  • The “Exit Hammerhead” command is the *same*  as the “Leave World” key command in Mass Effect [1]  > 

 

Bindings=( Name="Vehicle_Quit", Command="LeaveWorld" )

 

Exiting_Hammerhead_Code

 

My game is downloaded from EA Origins: The Bindings and other configurations are found in the Coalesced file.

The File is found in:

E:\Games\Mass Effect 2\BioGame\Config\PC\Cooked

~ (on Steam this file-path would be different) ~ 

 

* NOTE TO SELF [2]: *

When “Mining” for resources (the yellow circles, see pic), an important point is to hold down Ctrl whilst “Mining [Right Mouse] (mine is set to RM).

This is mainly for obtaining the Data Hound Achievement in it, as an extra mini-mission. Being able to “Mine” effectively is fairly important – and there’s also a couple of rather tight spots you can mine general mineral  resources from, too.

This stops the Hammerhead from flying off in whatever direction it pleases…

 

 Hammerhead_Mining.png

 

This could have gone a lot better… it’s almost like it’s trying (a little too hard…) to emulate its own themes Trying something new that goes horribly wrong; Pushing tech too far and failing miserably; Thinking it’s a good idea (in theory)… till you actually do it and it fails spectacularly; Emitting outrage from everyone when they’ve found out what you’ve done…

It’s quite a shame that the first half is right out of Satan’s Gaming Handbook – the rest of it is quite entertaining and very interesting… and dark. And creepy. And slightly terrifying at times. It’s not so hard to imagine such things actually happening. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities… unless, of course, it’s happened already… Nothing new under the sun and all that… Scary.

Just like their Hammerhead. Only that’s much, much scarier…

 

 

The Elder Scrolls Online is now out, and after a break away from Tamriel, it made me interested in returning to Skyrim once again to remember what all the Elder Scrolls fuss was all about.

 

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was the game for me back on 11 November 2011… That date of 11.11.11. was one of the most exciting ones in my gaming life (later to be joined by learning that Mass Effect 3 was to be released around the time of my birthday a year later). I preordered it well in advance (paying full price despite no preorder extras, and even added the enormous guide book, all whilst jumping up and down with glee), waited on tenterhooks, and then – to my joy – actually received it a day early through the post. I then proceeded to downloaded all the DLCs as they came out — Dawnguard, Hearthfire, Dragonborn — and spent a very long time single-mindedly playing the game to death with a dedication that my employers could only dream of getting from me!

Two characters and an astounding grand total of well over 500 hours of gameplay later (I shit you not, I checked — 350+ hours for first and 150+ for second… and that doesn’t include the times I’ve had to reload after accidentally killing my horse/dog/follower. I knew I had no life!), I’m still playing it and enjoying it. I have recently picked it up once again, after a few months of respite — having playing the pants off a whole load of other games to take a break from it (specifically replying the entire Mass Effect Trilogy once again). After all this time, and playing a whole load of other games, I am still exceptionally impressed with TESV: Skyrim. I have the Xbox 360 version and it’s easily the most impressive game I have for my console. It is beautiful, vast, impressive, never-ending, sprawling — and there is never less than at least 20 quests waiting in my list (not including the miscellanies ones!). One thing the land of Skyrim is not, is boring — there is always something to do, and the one possible negativity is that there is too much to do!

 

 

Back In The Saddle… Literally!

Once I started to get the hang of the rather complicated controller mapping and menus again, I was quite away again enjoying the Nordic sandbox Bethesta created. I was fighting in the Dawnguard with my vampire follower, riding my horse, and trying to build one of my new houses as part of the Hearthfire DLC, whilst planning on getting myself a new little family to play with and greet me when I came home from those long days of wandering Skyrim and slaying dragons with my horse, dog, and chosen follower.

Everything else was exactly how I remembered it. The detail, colour, use of light indoors and outdoors, the change in weather… it is all still beautiful and outstanding — even now, having played it so much, it still does not cease to amaze me, and I still love just sitting and watching it. The music is also something that still holds me captive: Each bard’s song is simple and medieval, relevant for the premise of the game. Each music piece played in-game is beautiful enough that I can sit and listen to it as it plays, and I still love the grand theme tune, Dovahkiin.

The NPCs are also just as odd as I recalled, and they are still as irritating and random as I remembered them to be (having beaten the ass off an Elder Dragon that had come to invade Falkreath, the guards had the gall to walk past with a snide remark of, “Guard might get nervous, a woman approaches with her weapon drawn…” — I mean come on… seriously? I just killed a damned dragon that was about to eat your head, it would be questionable if I didn’t have it drawn!), and the dragons are just as inconvenient when they come swooping in without warning, particularly when after you’ve eaten their soul no one bothers to clean up the bones left behind… However, all this is also part of its charm. When everything looks this gorgeous, detailed and vivid, it really doesn’t matter about the idiosyncrasies of the simple NPCs that lived their simple lives in their simple towns. The game is still so fantastically impressive and all and any such things can easily be entirely forgiven, simply seen just as part of the world created. It’s just the ways of the Nordic life of Skyrim. I guess all the way up here in the northern cold region of Tamriel, they’re just not that smart…

 

 

Life as Dovahkiin

Skyrim Travel Poster

The life of a Dragonborn is as easy or hard as you want it to be. You can do as little or as much as you want, and you can be anything you want to be. It’s pretty awesome to have such a free reign on your in-game life and I thoroughly enjoy making what I want of it. What you can most definitely count on, though, is that there is always plenty to do and enough ways to go about doing it. It reminds me so completely of the days I used to get all my dolls and play make-believe with them all over my bedroom, garden, lounge, or wherever else I wanted to go, where only my imagination was the limit. In Skyrim, I get to do it on a big TV with gorgeous graphics and an entire country to do it in, which is very cool and very fun.

Playing this game just never gets old. One of the biggest reasons for this is that it just never stays the same. Even just having to reload an area can bring a completely different scenario with it. These random events were something I had somehow forgotten all about, and I was taken by surprise a few times by it at the start. Somehow, it had completely slipped my mind that most encounters and the like were not scripted or set in stone, but instead ran by some kind of algorithms in the system. Reloading a save would make certain people or creatures vanish, and others seemingly attack from nowhere — something I had to get used to all over again, which once again upped my esteem for this game. You cannot have the same game twice with Skyrim — or even the same re-load. The exception is the the few scripted encounters where you’ll find certain people, creatures, or items in certain places when following certain quests. But even then, when following the same quests, you do not get the same experience twice.

This is what makes Skyrim so repayable, even nearly two years after first buying it. The wonder it creates is still there, even though I’ve played it to death. The sandbox element of it means it can just never gets repetitive. My Skyrim guide looks more like a well-worn textbook for a Master’s Degree than a simple game guide, with its notes stuffed inside, post-its scattered over pages and bookmarking important areas (this is because I have no patience for looking things up via the index!). I still know and remember where everywhere and everything is, know how to navigate the towns, cities, and Reaches, I love my horse, love my dog, look after my family and housecarls, … So I’ve already probably played it far too much! Of course, this is testament to the great game that Bethesta has made. It never gets old, and the familiarity makes it feel more and more like home, that I live there, that I get to make up whatever stories I want. It’s Minecraft, but without the blocks. There is a skeleton story of a kind in the “main mission”, but it’s thin and you really can even make of that what you will. That is my favourite thing about it — it’s my own game and no one at Bethesta has even tried to tell me how to play. I’m not restricted by anything, and that is what makes this game has to be my ultimate favourite (so far, at least.. There’s a whole new generation to go now!).

 

 

The Game of a Generation

If you have never played Skyrim… Well, I have sympathy for you to have missed this gem! It’s an inspired game that is a never-ending sandbox with never-ending quests, random creatures and meetings, and has stats on everything, including Bunnies Slaughtered (…just who is that evil?!… poor bunnies…) — and where you can have played over 350 hours of it and still be nowhere near completing it.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has to be the most amazing game created for the last generation. It’s vision was inspired, the quality is incredible, and it is a world that is truly immense. It is quite literally the never-ending story that just keeps on going. Just like I will keep going. Because it is simply just too awesome a game to stop playing!

 

One Just Does Not Stop Playing Skyrim