Amnesia: The Dark Descent – the first person survival horror

Its time to take a break…I think. At least, that’s what I think I remember… This is one of the reasons why taking a break is important. When you do take a break, you just might like Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It’s a first person adventure game for Windows.

Amnesia is an first person shooter adventure game. The game allows for physics-based puzzles and interactions such as opening doors and fixing machinery. In-game objects are operated by toggle. To open a door, for instance, you hold down a mouse button and then push (or pull) the mouse. This gives you stealth, allowing you to peek out a barely-opened door or to open it slowly and sneak away. This also adds a degree of difficulty to the game as it is now possible to push open a “pull” door while something tries to sneak up behind you.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

Health is not the only attribute indicator displayed in the game. You also have to manage your sanity. For example, being in dark too long, witnessing unsettling events, or staring at monsters will reduce your sanity, causing hallucinations, which in turn will and draw the attention of more monsters. Light sources help restore your sanity, and if none are available, you can use a tinderbox to ignite candles. You can also light an oil-burning lantern found near the beginning of the game. Unfortunately, tinderboxes and oil are both limited; and standing in a light source also makes the player easier to spot by monsters.

If a monster spots you, you must flee. Amnesia don’t have any weapons. You have to find hiding places or barricade doors with rocks, chairs, etc. Unfortunately, monsters are able to tear down doors and to kick obstacles out of the way. They’re also fast once they’ve spotted you. Players can also choose to hide in the shadows, but again, if you hide in the shadows, you risk loosing sanity points.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a cool looking game. The graphics are really well done, and the story line is mostly interesting. The game doesn’t provide you with any weapons, so if you want to survive, you’re going to have to think on your feet.

Download Amnesia: The Dark Descent for Windows | Download Amnesia: The Dark Descent for Mac

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Capture your gaming experience with Fraps

Although I have access to all kinds of software, finding a proper one for my personal use becomes an annoying thing sometimes. That’s maybe because I tend to notice only the bad things from a software or maybe because I know that there should be a better one undiscovered yet. One of these examples, that really surprised me was Fraps. A tiny but very powerful software.

With the help of Direct X and OpenGL technology, this software can capture in realtime any video source from your desktop, can capture screenshots in BMP, PNG, JPG and TGA formats and can be used also as a benchmarking software. Fraps can save your work into any folder, without any prompting message or any preview screen. This can be done by using hotkeys which can be activated from the main interface. You won’t feel anything wrong in the game while you make these screenshots.

The same goes with the video capturing. This represents the best part of this application. The game will not slow down a moment (unless you have a really poor system), and the resulting video file has an astonishing quality. All this while I was running a game at a resolution of 1280×1024. The reason for this is because the application won’t use any compression tool for capturing the video. It will be saved in a pure AVI format without compression. You won’t get any framed clips and the sound will match the image perfectly.

Fraps 3.5 adds the much requested feature to allow AVI movie files larger than 4 gigabytes. Fraps will now write hybrid OpenDML/AVI files and allow large movies on NTFS drives. There’s still an option to split at 4 gigabytes for legacy AVI 1.0 support.

Fraps can be used also as a Benchmarking Software, by monitoring the frames of any game. The FPS counter can be displayed on the screen along with the game. The statistics can be saved on your disk for further analyzes and reviews.

Please be aware that the minimum system requirements have changed in Fraps 3.5.0. We now require a CPU with SSE2 instructions (Pentium 4 & above). Windows XP or higher is also now required. If you have an older system (Win2K or non-SSE2 CPU) you can still download the previous Fraps 3.4.7 release from the Members Area.

download Fraps 3.50

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Most wanted games for the end of 2011

The major game developers have started the release campaign for Holidays 2011, which means they will offer to the public their best products and franchises. In this way they are trying to hit the big pot in the most prolific financial quarter of 2011. Companies like EA, Activision, Bethesda, Warner Bros, are already fighting to position their AAA titles into top 20 most wanted games of this year. Based on this top and on our subjective (but sometimes true) virtual tastes, here are our choices for this year’s Holidays most wanted games:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3:

Activision comes this Fall with their first person shooter blockbuster which will come with a much darker storyline suitable for Mature audience. Scheduled for November this year this title will blow all the selling charts like its sibling titles from this popular franchise. The multiplayer will be even faster involving vehicles control and an improved achievements system. The pre-orders from the official resellers are showing the same speculative price of $59.99, with 10 bucks more than the average price for an AAA title.


Battlefield 3:

From the same genre but emphasized more on the multiplayer aspect, Battlefield 3 will make its debut in October for all major platforms. The next installment in the internationally acclaimed Battlefield series, is the result of three years of development and a new game engine, featuring state of the art technology with superior performance in character animation, visual rendering, audio/sound and physical destruction. Battlefield 3 is the only FPS in the marketplace using Frostbite 2 engine, and the only shooter capable of making the gameplay experience feel alive with all the sights, sounds, movements and action of real-world incursions. Beta for multiplayer has already been started.

Battlefield 3 captures the intense reality of modern warfare across the globe. DICE has worked closely with highly decorated ex-SAS operator and acclaimed author, Andy McNab, to ensure the authenticity and grittiness of today’s war is captured in both the single player and multiplayer campaigns.

Rage:

Rage is the next id Software’s baby, a complex shooter that takes place in an post-apocalyptic world. It’s the first time when id Software changes the environment of their legendary shooters, from claustrophobic indoors to wide open spaces. Initially this game should have been published by EA, but in the end Bethesda (known for Fallout 3) are the ones that have won this privilege. I’ve mention this because you can see from the beginning some similarities with the Fallout universe. Therefore the question comes: Are we ready for another post-apocalyptic shooter? All I can say is that the game will be released in a week for all major platforms. Grab it and see what offers.


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:

With this title Bethesda tries again to path its way to the top of most wanted games, this time in the role of the developer behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The next installment in the Elder Scrolls franchise continues the RPG experience based on an epic storyline. Skyrim reimagines and revolutionizes the open-world fantasy epic, bringing to life a complete virtual world open for you to explore any way you choose. Skyrim will feature an ensemble cast of Academy Award nominees, including Christopher Plummer (“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”, “The Insider”), Max Von Sydow (“The Exorcist,” “Minority Report”), and Joan Allen (“The Contender,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”).The game will be available worldwide on November 11, 2011 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Gears of War 3:

Epic Games and Microsoft launched Gears of War 3 at the end of September. The action packed exclusive XBOX 360 game brings back its dynamic gameplay and its legendary characters including Marcus, Baird, and Dominic. Besides the single-player campaign with a cinematic story, the multiplayer has been improved. Five-on-five multiplayer battles and four player co-op campaign enlarges the multiplayer experience. Beast Mode is the new multiplayer mode that offers the player the chance to take on the role of the locust horde and their assorted variations!


FIFA 12:

Today EA launched FIFA 12 for all the major consoles including Wii and PS2 and handheld gadgets like PSP or iPhone. With an all-new Career Mode, driven by the storylines from the real-world of the sport, with elements like player morale, on-pitch form and league position that will influence outcomes in the game, users will face more decisions and factors than ever before. With the latest installment, soccer has never been so brilliant simulated. Thanks to the new physics engine, the Player Impact Engine, fans will experience the way real-world footballers challenge each other for the ball, win possession, and test each other physically. The engine processes decisions continuously in real-time at every point of contact on a player’s body to create an infinite variety of natural and believable outcomes in every collision. Players now feel more resilient, push and pull during the fight for possession, and recover from light challenges more easily.

Batman Arkham City:

For anyone that loves comics and action games, Batman Arkham City is the best choice for this season. Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, this highly anticipated sequel introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new, all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay features to deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight. The game will be available from October 21st  in the UK for Xbox 360, PC and the PlayStation 3.

Some important figures from the comics will make their debut as playable characters: Catwoman (with her own story in single-player) and Robin (in all challenge maps in the game) ; and new villains as opponents for Batman: Mr. Freeze, Penguin, The Riddler and Two Face.

NFS The Run:

What would be a most wanted top without the latest NFS game. Developed by Black Box NFS The Run is a game that takes players on a heart-pounding cross-country race from San Francisco to New York. Launching on November 15, Need for Speed The Run lures players into an underground world of illicit, high-stakes racing. Powered by DICE’s state-of-the-art Frostbite 2 engine (same as in Battlefield 3), Need for Speed The Run takes the action racing genre to new heights with stunning visuals and car physics that hug the road even at top speeds all built around a gripping storyline. Besides the storyline driven gameplay, EA proudly presents the official licensed line of Porsche models, including the 2012 Porsche 911.

Dark Souls (prepare to die over and over again):

Nobody ever thought that Demon Souls, that actually came out of nowhere in 2009, will be a hit on PS3. Two years later Dark Souls is the spiritual successor to this unique RPG, already received by the critics as an AAA title.  Developed by the same team FROMSOFTWARE, the game will be available in October for XBOX 360 and PS3. Set in a rich, dark fantasy universe, Dark Souls features tense dungeon crawling, fearsome enemy encounters and ground-breaking online features which combine for a truly unique RPG experience. As players encounter terrifying enemies and discover new areas, the game’s foundation of challenge and reward permeates the experience to provide an unparalleled sense of achievement. The developers have assured the whole community that the increased difficulty present in the first title will break the barriers of your patience in Dark Souls. This is what stands behind the so called sense of achievement.

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Warco – the first person shooter without a gun

Believe it or not but there will be one: Warco, short for “war correspondent”. Warco is the first FPS where instead of a gun, you’re armed only with your wits and your video camera. Your job – as a war correspondent – is to record dramatic images of war in the dangerous conflicts, save them and then edit the results into a compelling frontline TV news story, in order to beam the results to global audiences on the web.

Developed as a partnership between Brisbane (Australia based Defiant Development), filmmaker Robert Connolly and journalist Tony Maniaty – the game is about navigating through a morally gray world and making decisions that have human impact. It’s about finding the story you want to tell, as each of the  environments are filled with different story elements you can film and combine in your own ways.

All footage is taken from the proof of concept playable developed in UDK – all in game, barring the final news story which would be edited together by the player from the war footage they’ve captured.

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The Best First-Person Shooters for Android

FPS games are becoming more common on Google’s Android OS. In this article I’ve gathered some of the best to get you started. Let’s take a look.

NOVA 2 builds on what made the first part so cool and expands further with a larger range of weapons & powers, smarter AI, diversified gameplay, multiplayer leaderboard and much more. The graphics looks good with beautiful detailed environment and cool sound effect, plus hard rock soundtrack. About the AI, enemies are smart enough to duck for cover and use basic infantry team techniques which might be quite a challenger for you. However, if you really want to test your skills, you can step into the Multiplayer. Just login into the Gameloft servers, and you’ll be able either create a game, join or choose quick play. You can select from 5 modes: Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Freeze Tag and InstaGib (1 shot to kill an opponent from any range) – More info here.


Modern Combat 2
is a sequel to Modern Combat – Sandstorm. The single-player campaign is made up of 12 missions and in addition to the single-player campaign, the game also includes an online multiplayer mode for up to 10 players. The game features new environments, updated graphics and more robust multiplayer over Modern Combat. Similar to NOVA 2, the enemies are now reacting to your behavior, ducking behind cover or coming at you full-on as they see fit. The multiplayer also shines and I love that you level up as you play while you unlocks new weapons and skills that you can pick and choose from each match – More info here.

Brothers in Arms 2 is another thrilling game which places you in World War 2 in FPS fashion. You can play the solo Story mode or battle with up to 5 friends in multiplayer near you or strangers online with 5 maps to choose from. Each environment and character is beautifully rendered, making the action more lifelike as you dive and duck from cover to cover and assault the enemy. Pick up realistic weapons: machine guns, bazookas, sniper rifles, flamethrowers and pilot 3 vehicles including the tank, off-road vehicle or glider, or gun down enemies from the vehicle or tank turret – More info here.

Please leave a comment if you know any other Android FPS that is worth mentioning.

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Bandicam the gameplay recorder

Bandicam is a video capture software that uses the DirectX/OpenGL graphic technologies. It provides FPS management, and video-recording of games and streaming videos.

Released two years ago on the Asian market, Bandicam has become extremely popular, therefore the producers decided to release it worldwide. The product increased its popularity among the online players because of its low CPU usage during the conversion of the streaming video. Its reliability made also online game companies such as NC soft, Nexon, Tencent, Dragonfly, Eyedentity Games, and Maiet Entertainment to use it.

Similar with Fraps, HyperCam and Camtasia, Bandicam wins a large portion of this market because of its high-quality, small recording file size, and less lag while playing. Recently, Bandisoft announced that Bandicam will be updated soon. The new version will improve DirectX 10 and 11 game recording further reduce lag, and support more languages (French, Chinese, Spanish).

download Bandicam

 

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The Gaming Report – Because Crytek is up to no good again… in yo’ Warface!

So the rumors are true, Crytek is into online first person shooters now, but what you aren’t going to like is that the game is “tailored” to suit the Asian and especially the Korean market.

Warface is developed by Crytek Seoul so we should kinda see this coming, and yet we all hoped for a more broader audience. Well maybe it will work for US and Europe as well in the end, who knows…

The game seems to be developed on CryENGINE 3, so it should look pretty good (I know for a fact they were tweaking it to create decent interiors and not just vast open areas) – and should also require a system so powerful to work on no man will be able to afford it at launch date. Maybe if you’re on the Enterprise you can drop out of Warp and redirect resources to be able to play it decently.

What’s interesting is that Warface is an online free to play FPS that will have PvE and PvP aspects, and co-op missions will play a key part in the game, not just head hunting deathmatches. Who knows, maybe this will be a more complex game than we thought, God knows we’ve been waiting for a less shallow online FPS for ages now…

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