In this week’s episode of The Game Informer Show, we discuss a handful of the games we’ve been playing recently, including: Watch Dogs: Legion, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, and Ghostrunner. Then, we close the show with another fantastic round of community emails. It may sound simple, but it’s one great show! So please join Kim Wallace, Marcus Stewart, Blake Hester, Alex Stadnik, Alex Van Aken, and myself for another wild and ever-entertaining episode!
Thanks for listening! Please make sure to leave feedback below, share the episode if you enjoyed it, and follow me @benjaminreeves to let me know what you think. You can watch the video above, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Play, listen on SoundCloud, stream it on Spotify, or download the MP3 at the bottom of the page. Also, be sure to send your questions to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show.
Our thanks to The Rapture Twins for The Game Informer Show’sintro song. You can hear more of their music at their website.
To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below.
Watch Dogs: Legion: 00:02:00
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope: 00:18:33
What’s scarier than monsters, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night? We’ve all seen bots in games by now. I don’t mean players setting up systems to run to farm crafting materials in predictable routes or to play cards in a set order; I’m talking about bots designed by developers. Now, you might be saying to yourself, “What’s wrong with bots?” Bots can fill lobbies to make sure games can launch, they can make matchmaking take a lot less time, and hey, it’s always fun shooting down an automated opponent and getting a free kill in a field with dozens of human opponents running around. But there’s a lot more to these innocuous A.I. additions, and they have implications for all kinds of multiplayer experiences. With the trends we’re seeing in data acquisition, user privacy, and monetization models, bots are headed for dangerous implementation.
The Ghost In The Machine
On the surface, pairing up players with bots seems like a good thing. No one wants to wait more than a few seconds to find a match, whether it’s in an online shooter lobby or a mobile card battler. Beating up on bots might not seem like an issue, even if it’s changing your rating, ranking, or other parameters over time. Depending on the game, you may not even be aware your opponent is a bot. Maybe a bot is your sole opponent, or perhaps the game can field many bots, but the takeaway is that the developer can tweak the challenge (or lack thereof) directly by bot prescience. While adjusting the difficulty in this fashion may seem harmless, it becomes a sketchy proposition as we dive in.
Consider a game that has tiers, unlocks, and monetization based around winning. Would you be more likely to make a purchase if you were defeated by a new titan unit added to a battle game? What if you lost to it three times in a row, and then an in-game ad for a titan pack plays on your screen with a cute little jingle? What if that ad inspires you to purchase the hot new unit? What if the games knows you bought the unit, so it matches you up against bots (which it knows you can beat) to give you several easy victories?
In that scenario, your mind would undoubtedly link these wins with your recent purchase. And that purchase would be tied to happy feelings, big victories, and good associations. When it’s “working,” all this stuff potentially happens without the user even knowing, and that could be a massive issue. It is not really a competitive game when the matchmaking tool is only moving you from one session to the next by prioritizing 1) keeping you playing, and 2) putting you into situations and scenarios where you’re more likely to make a purchase. While this doesn’t apply to every game or situation, the impact that these dial-turning options can have on your play experience is alarming.
I Feel Good! So Good!
In addition to the terrifying scenario where you’re playing against non-entities in a constant string of value propositions where the goal is to squirt dopamine into your brain and link purchases to feeling good, recent times have given us other bot concerns. It’s fairly commonplace for a game to pair you against nothing but bots for your first few matches; this has become ridiculously common in battle royales, especially mobile battle royales. They do not tell you this. Instead, the intent is to make you feel like you’re a god of the game on your first match. Whether you actually learn how to play or are good at the game are irrelevant factors.
Sure, you can make the case that the first few matches should be against bots so that the player doesn’t get killed in three seconds and delete the game forever. Engagement. Yeah, that makes sense. But they don’t tell you that you’re fighting bots, and people take screenshots of their epic wins and post them on Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok, Tinder… Okay, maybe not Tinder. This is a great way for these games to drive faux-organic interest; everyone posting an epic win against automated foes (who are designed to be beaten) becomes an unwitting product ambassador. It would be a lot better if the games told you that you were going to be playing against bots, but then where would the big win sensation come from? And of course, after the bot games are over and you’re settled in, that’s when the real tinkering can be done.
Looking at how the system works, we need to examine how a game sets you up with X bots, Y players, and Z skill level of enemies. More specifically, how does it find the closest matching environment where you will still get that dopamine rush and the thrill of victorious moments but not letting you crush every game and get bored? In some respects, the science behind these algorithms is a precarious and horrifying tightrope. It’s trying to balance your games to keep you playing, keep you interested, and ultimately get you to make a purchase, whether that be cosmetic or functional. Utilizing this data to create a match may not play the song for you, but it assembles all the notes for the tune to happen. It’s a concept we used to be able to just call “fun factor,” but now it’s actual science based on billions upon billions of data points. Is it really playing a game if everything has already “played out” in a hypothetical algorithm the moment you press play? That’s a question we’ll have to answer as bots continue to become a bigger factor in multiplayer experiences – whether we know they’re there or not.
For more of my thoughts on the future of gaming, click here.
With a pandemic spreading rapidly across the world with no end in sight, many singles have turned to online dating in order to make a connection while sitting at home. As dating no longer consists of having a few drinks together to see if there is chemistry involved due to the risk of spreading the virus, online dating has soared. In fact, it is the number one way to meet someone in 2020 as most people still aren’t leaving their homes and are social distancing from others when they do leave their homes.
Why Online Dating?
Online dating was growing in popularity before Covid-19 hit the world. Online dating is a great way to see your potential matches in your area, or in some cases, all over the world. It gives you the opportunity to meet people that you wouldn’t have met otherwise. When it comes to multi-dating, this also gives you the chance to really hone in on what you want to find in the right person. There are a lot of fish in the sea and with online dating, you get to sift through schools of them in order to find the ones that stand out for you.
How To Succeed With Online Dating
When creating your profile for online dating, whether you want to meet someone online for a fun night or if you are looking to create a lasting connection, you want to be very careful when making your profile. Things to consider when making your online dating profile include your profile picture. If you are online for a fun night of flirting, then you’ll want to choose a picture accordingly. If you are looking for a potential partner in life, then you’ll want to find the right profile picture that shows your face while also showing some of your personality. It is important to choose the right profile picture as it is the first (and sometimes only) picture that your potential matches will see!
After choosing your profile picture, then you’ll want to be sure that you have written an interesting profile. Not only do you want your profile to be interesting, but you’ll want to really grab your potential mate’s attention as well. The best profiles that you can write when looking for a potential partner are the ones that are vulnerable and express who you really are without sounding needy or coming across as boasting about your life. This can be tricky but when staying true to yourself, you can find whatever it is that you are looking for online.
What Makes A Great Date?
Online dating can be confusing and hard. But it can also be very fun and enlightening. You can find many potential matches or someone to keep you company for a night of pleasure – pending on what you are looking for. The options are endless but what makes a great online date is honing in on what you are actually looking for in a date.
1. Choosing The Right App
One of the ways to ensure that you have a great online date is choosing the right website for whatever it is that you are looking for. If you want to have a fun night meeting new older women, then there are dating sites specifically for this. In fact, the experts over at Sugarmoms.dating recommend meeting different people from different cities around the U.S. This is a good way to meet and chat with singles from diverse backgrounds. But choosing the right website or dating app is important for having the type of date that you are looking for.
2. Making Decisions
Another way to ensure that you have a great online date is to make the right decisions about who you like and who you don’t like. This is important because if you put the time and energy into a larger pool of possible dates, then you could end up overextending yourself or burning yourself out. The key is to choose a few potential matches for a night of chatting or a potential online date and to spend quality time flirting or getting to know them. When chatting with them, imagine what you would want to do with them on a first date. If you can’t imagine having a good time with them, then they are likely not the right person for you.
3. Be Yourself
The best way to ensure that you have a great online date is to simply be yourself. Everyone is unique and the only way to find the right partner and the right match is to be you. If you aren’t a match and you are being fully yourself, then it isn’t meant to be. You can get back on the dating site and find more potential mates until one clicks for you.
4. Set Up A Space
When having a great online date, you’ll want to be sure that you have made time and space for the date. Since you are having the date online and likely having your date through Zoom or another video messaging app or through the dating website that you met on, you’ll want to be sure that you are aware of your background and lighting. Other things to consider are having dinner together that each of you bring to your ‘side’ of the date. You can also consider having drinks together or snacks during your online date in order to make it feel as though you are actually meeting in person. This also helps each side to feel more comfortable during the date.
As you can see, there are several things to consider when setting up an online dating profile. Once you pick out your online date, make sure that you are on time and ready to be yourself. Don’t forget to have fun, have a few drinks and fully embrace getting to know each other online! If the date doesn’t pan out, then have some fun anyways, be polite and then get back online and find yourself another one.
Hearthstone’s Madness at the Darkmoon Faire is fast approaching on November 17, and Blizzard is building on the expansion hype on Twitch with gifts of mega bundles, card packs, and channel subs beginning November 12 and running daily until launch day.
November 12 begins with deck theorycrafting streams where you can watch some of the best players in the world discuss how the new expansion might affect the meta in Hearthstone and what kinds of decks we can expect to see. Brian Kibler, Allistraza, Thijs, Firebat, Kripp, Pathra, and 18 others will all be giving their expert opinions on the new cards, and their channels will have Twitch Drops enabled.
Watching any of these theorycrafting streams for two hours between 9AM PT and 12PM PT will award you a Madness at the Darkmoon Faire card pack, and another can be earned by watching two more hours between 12PM PT and 6PMPT. In addition, Blizzard will be awarding a total of 2,000 gifted subs throughout the day, so be sure to watch your favorite creator!
On November 13, you have a chance to win one of the 100 mega bundles donated by Blizzard via Reddit. This is a separate giveaway that they will be hosting, and more information will soon be posted on r/Hearthstone.
More mega bundles will be up for grabs on November 14 and 15 by again watching any of the above creators as they duke it out with the most popular new decks. Lastly, Blizzard will gift another 2,000 subs for watching on November 16.
As always, the pre-release events are a great way to learn everything about the upcoming expansion and to hear from the pros about what might make a big splash, and what might be a total dud. In particular, it will be great to see how the pros react to the reimagining of the old gods.
When the Whispers of the Old Gods expansion launched in 2016, the meta was instantly dominated by the incredible power of N’Zoth, Yogg-Saron, and Y’Shaarj. Now the old gods have been reimagined with their original concepts in mind, but their power level looks far more reasonable.
As a result, they may be fun and janky to play, but they may also be less impactful than their 2016 counterparts on the current meta. In any case, be sure to have your Twitch and Battle.net accounts linked up for a shot at these prizes during the expansion pre-launch event!
Doom Eternal’s “The Ancient Gods” DLC brings three new missions to the game, which means many new collectibles to be found. Across these three missions, there are 13 physical Codex pages and three Support Runes to be discovered. This guide will detail the locations of the former.
The Codex is a series of background information on the Doom lore, made available to you through the collection of hidden Codex pages throughout the campaign. The base campaign has 55 to be found, while the first of two DLC packs to be released brings the total up to 68. There are four pages to be found on each of the first two missions, “UAC Atlantica Facility” and “The Blood Swamps”, and five to be collected on the third and final mission, “The Holt”. These can be collected on any difficulty.
UAC Atlantica Facility
Work your way through the level until you reach the area with the door that requires the red keycard inside, in roughly the spot pictured in the map below.
To the right of the red access door is a staircase leading down. Follow these stairs downward to find the first Codex page in plain sight in front of the door.
A bit further into the level, you will come to the very top of the first structure. Use your map to work your way into the curved platform area pictured here.
Before interacting with the switch to begin the platforming section to the next structure, turn to the left to see a staircase upward. Head up these stairs to find the level’s second Codex entry to your right.
Immediately after the platforming section following the last collectible, you will have to clear out a room of enemies, including a very dangerous Arch-Vile. Following this fight, you will have to swing over to another area, landing on some catwalks.
Walk to the end of the lowest catwalk near the door, where you should see a walkway extending out and to the right of the building. Jump up onto this walkway and follow it around the corner to find the Codex page.
A bit further into the level, you will find yourself back inside following some more combat. A picture of the location is provided for good measure, though this location is very hard to miss.
Immediately upon entering the building, you will see a large upward staircase on the left wall. Instead of climbing up it, stick to the right wall and head under it, around to the far side of the room. Tucked into the back left corner will be the final Codex page of this level.
The Blood Swamps
Very shortly into the level, you should reach the area of the map pictured below. In this section, you will have to fight a few waves of enemies, so do so, then swing your way through the large rotating firebars over the swamp water to your left.
Climb up the few platforms ahead of you and do a double-jump and dash to reach the far platform to your right, to the other side of the door below. From here, drop down and pick up the diving suit. Submerge into the water directly in front of you and turn around immediately. Underwater in a small alcove will be the first Codex page of the level.
This second Codex page is a bit more involved and won’t appear for another little while. There is one point in the mission, pictured below, where you will have the option to take either a left or a right path. In the end, you will end up taking both, though do note that this guide assumes you are taking the left path first, as that will ensure that the Codex pages are collected in chronological order.
After a long while, you will eventually come to the area pictured below. This staircase is where you go to proceed through the level and it is leading up to a door that will only open once all the enemies in the area are dealt with. Once it opens, instead of going up it, turn around 180 degrees and submerge into the water in front of you, by the far wall.
Advance through the tunnel into a secret area, where you will encounter an empowered demon. Deal with this enemy and then continue forward. At the far end of the area in plain sight, you will find the second Codex page of the level, across a large gap.
Proceed through the level and pay close attention to your map as you do so. You will come to a section of the level that is pretty heavy on the parkour, and after dealing with the enemies at the end of the parkour section, you should find yourself in the spot pictured below.
Stand atop the circular platform overlooking the swamp. You should see a climbable wall in the distance, which you can reach with a double-jump and dash. Do so to reach it and climb to the top. Make a 180 once you are on top and you should see the Codex page on a platform ahead of you. With two jumps and two dashes, you can reach this collectible.
Once again, continue your playthrough of the level for a short while, until you reach the area seen below on the map. Clear out the enemies here to make your life just a tad bit easier, then turn around and face the point of entry to this area.
The Codex page is located directly above the entrance here. To the left will be a ledge you can jump up to reach, so do so and then jump up to nab the final Codex page of the second level.
A decent ways into the level, you will reach this area, which requires you to knock over a tree on a higher ledge to create a bridge to proceed. You can knock over the tree to get ready, but do not leave yet.
Approach the ledge overlooking the map and look straight down. Hidden away on a platform below will be an immediately visible Codex page. Drop down to grab it and then use the climbable wall behind you to get back up.
Further into the level, you will come to an area with numerous small floating islands, as clearly visible on the map. You are going to want to make your way to the third floating island on the right side of the main path to grab the hard-to-miss Codex page.
Continue on your merry way, until you take a gravity lift up to the upper floor of the building, to the area pictured in the map below. Once up here, look to the right and you should see a large door at the end of the bridge, up a ramp.
Head through it to find the third Codex page waiting for you on the left side of the room, in plain sight.
A bit later, after swinging across a chasm and punching through a destructible wall, you should find yourself at the place on the map as seen below. Regularly check your map so you know when you are coming up on it.
Once you land in the room (as seen in the first pictured below), immediately make a 180 and shoot the red target above the chasm a few times. This will unlock the door on the opposite end of the chasm.
Use jumps and dashes to reach the platform to the left of the chasm where you started, then jump over to the opposite side of the chasm from where you shot the target. The previously-locked door will now open, revealing the Codex page.
The final Codex page is right where you shot the target from. Swing back across the chasm and back into the large room. Head to the back right corner to find the final Codex page of the DLC tucked away.
With all 13 of the DLC Codex pages collected, you should unlock your well-earned “Required Reading” achievement or trophy and should be much better understanding of Doom Eternal’s lore.
MORE: The Doom Eternal Horde Mode Mod Is Out Now
Xbox Series X
Gavin Burtt is a news, guide and list writer for TheGamer based up north in Ontario, Canada. Gavin has worked as a walkthrough editor and overseer for the TrueGaming network and has been an avid Xbox achievement hunter for years, accumulating over 700,000 gamerscore to this date. When he’s not writing or gaming, he’s focusing on his physics studies for Queen’s University.
The GeForce RTX 3070 is a fantastic GPU, delivering face-melting performance on a par with that of the former $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti flagship for a stunning $700 less, as we covered in our comprehensive RTX 3070 Founders Edition review. Nvidia’s Founders Edition is a fine option if you plan to simply stick your graphics card into your system and get to playing. But if you want to push your hardware’s performance to the brink of what’s possible, consider EVGA’s GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra.
Like the fantastic EVGA RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra, this 3070 incarnation costs a steep premium—$610, versus the Nvidia FE’s $500—but you’re paying for every overclocking-friendly feature you could ask for. While Nvidia shrank the RTX 3070 Founders Edition design, which affected noise levels, EVGA stuck to a beefy 3-slot build for the FTW3 Ultra, using heavy metal to tame the Ampere GPU inside. EVGA supplemented the massive cooler with all sorts of tools that make it easier to top the 3DMark leaderboards, like dual BIOSes, several integrated temperature sensors to monitor various parts of the card, a dedicated fan control header, and more.
Does it make sense to spend over $600 on a loaded RTX 3070 when you can upgrade to the much more powerful RTX 3080 for just $100 more? And does AMD’s looming $579 Radeon RX 6800 change the equation? Let’s examine the EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra.
EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra specs, features, and design
Here’s a recap of the GeForce RTX 3070’s key technical specifications, compared against its direct predecessor, the $500 RTX 2070, as well as the $1,200 RTX 2080 Ti with which it trades blows in gaming performance.
EVGA changes only two key underlying technical specs with the RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra, with the rest of its rejiggering dedicated to the cooler design and extra features. Most people will notice the increased clock speeds first. While the RTX 3070 reference specification hits a 1,725MHz boost clock, EVGA cranked the FTW3 Ultra up to 1,815MHz, a 90Hz increase. That gives it an out-of-the-box boost in gaming frame rates. It’s a small bump, but as you’ll see in our benchmarks section, it’s enough to move past the RTX 2080 Ti pretty much across the board—something that Nvidia’s Founders Edition couldn’t quite manage.
If you’re buying this card, though, you’re probably not planning to stick to stock speeds. Just as important to the FTW3 Ultra’s mission is its increased power requirements. Stock RTX 3070 cards draw 250 watts over a single 8-pin power connector, coming from a recommended 550W power supply. In its quest for overclocking glory, the FTW3 Ultra bumps that up to a pair of 8-pin power connectors and recommends hooking the card up to a sturdier 650W power supply. (There’s no need to fiddle with ugly 12-pin adapters like you do with Nvidia’s Founders Edition, however.)
The dual-BIOS switch is to the left of the dual 8-pin power connectors.
EVGA puts the power to good use. This custom card ships from the factory with a higher 275W power limit enabled. Overclockers can crank the power limit up another 11 percent (to 305W) in GPU software like’s EVGA’s stellar Precision X1. Modern Nvidia GPUs get faster when you feed them more power, and like EVGA’s other FTW3 options, the 11-percent power limit increase is probably higher than what you’ll see in most rival custom RTX 30-series GPUs.
EVGA stuck with a gargantuan triple-slot cooler in its quest for overclocking supremacy. The FTW3 Ultra measures 11.8 inches long and 5.4 inches wide, and a chunky three slots thick.
The EVGA FTW3 Ultra is much larger than Nvidia’s RTX 3070 Founders Edition.
The design largely (but not exactly) mirrors the custom cooler included with the step-up RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra, which we covered in depth in our review of that card. In brief, the RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra includes a massive heat sink infused with multiple copper heat pipes. EVGA says it redesigned the heat sink to allow air to move more freely throughout, then matched that with cut-outs in the custom PCB and aluminum backplate to let air flow through the card (perhaps in a nod to the Founders Edition’s unique flow-through design).
It’s topped by three large second-generation “HDB” fans in its wavy shroud. They won’t kick on until the GPU becomes stressed, creating a silent desktop experience. Each fan is independently controlled to better react to the temperature needs of the hardware directly underneath it.
That fine-grained temperature control is a key selling point for EVGA’s graphics card. Most GPUs only report singular measurements for GPU and maybe VRM temperatures. The RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra packs not one, not two, but nine additional iCX3 sensors embedded throughout the card, letting you see temperature readings for different parts of your GPU, memory, and voltage regulation systems. EVGA introduced iCX technology in the GeForce GTX 1080 Superclocked 2 following a (mostly overblown) cooling controversy. It remains a killer exclusive feature for graphics card nerds. If you’re overclocking the FTW3 Ultra to its limits in a bid to top competitive leaderboards, the iCX sensors are an invaluable resource. It’s less useful (but still cool) if you aren’t into hardcore tinkering.
Bottom line, though? EVGA’s substantial custom cooling solution rocks when bolted onto the RTX 3070. Nvidia’s Founders Edition card maintained a chilly 72 degrees Celsius under load, but EVGA’s card never topped an absolutely frigid 62 degrees even under extended duress.
The EVGA FTW3 Ultra also includes a metal backplate.
There are more welcome extras for overclockers as well, including a dual-BIOS switch on the edge of the card. We test with the stock BIOS, but the secondary “OC” BIOS increases fan speeds to reduce temperatures and give Nvidia’s GPU Boost feature more thermal headroom to potentially hit higher clocks. That’s handy as-is for people who prefer one setting or the other, but a dual-BIOS switch is precious for overclocking. If you push things too far with an overclock and lock up your system, being able to flip a switch to a secondary BIOS to get back in and start troubleshooting is a godsend.
EVGA also equipped the FTW3 Ultra with a PWM fan header on the end of the card. You can plug one of your case’s PWM fans into it and have the fan be intelligently controlled directly by the graphics card’s temperature, rather than by your motherboard. Rival graphics cards like Asus ROG Strix have offered this before, and it’s most useful if you use your card to control a front case fan pointed directly at the GPU. Next to the fan header, you’ll find an ARGB header that you can plug into your motherboard to tie it together with your graphics card’s chosen lighting.
Both features can be controlled via EVGA’s clean, easy-to-use Precision X1 software, which also provides access to iCX monitoring, an on-screen display that shows vitals during gaming, and overclocking controls—including an easy-peasy OC Scanner tool for modest one-click overclocking tied to your specific GPU’s particular capabilities.
The 3080 FTW3 Ultra’s light strip (top) blends more thoughtfully into the card’s design than the 3070 FTW3 Ultra’s strip (bottom) when the lighting is disabled.
Like its 3080 sibling, the EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra features a large, enthralling RGB light strip along it edge. The color of the RGB strip when you have the RGB off looks different—worse—on the RTX 3070 version, though. On the RTX 3080 FTW3 Ultra, the strip looks metallic, with EVGA and GeForce logos emblazoned on it in white letters. The 3070 version flips that, using dark letters against a milky-white translucent strip. I’m not a fan. The 3080 FTW3 Ultra looks beautiful with the RGB lights on or off, but that white chunk sticks out like a sore thumb on the otherwise dark 3070 FTW3. It’s gorgeous when illuminated, though.
Speaking of aesthetics, it’s worth noting that our 3070 FTW3 Ultra still includes the…controversial…red trim on both ends of the card, which definitely looks out of place on this design. EVGA tells me that all production models that hit the streets will have black trim instead. Hallelujah.
Adios, red trim, hello port report
That plays into another reason to consider this card: EVGA is known for being very responsive to customer feedback. The company gets high marks around the web for its stellar customer service and EVGA Step-Up Program, and it won the hearts of enthusiasts in recent weeks when it instituted a queue-based system for orders on its RTX 3080 and 3090 offerings, in the face of ongoing overwhelming demand for Nvidia’s new GPUs.
As an RTX 30-series GPU, the FTW3 Ultra also supports AV1 decoding, HDMI 2.1, Nvidia Reflex, RTX IO, Nvidia Broadcast, Shadowplay, and more. Check out our RTX 3080 Founders Edition review for a fuller list of GeForce features.
But enough design talk. Let’s get to the benchmarks.
Next page: Our test system, gaming benchmarks begin
EVGA GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra
$610.00See iton Newegg
EVGA’s GeForce RTX 3070 FTW3 Ultra sports a phenomenal custom cooler, a factory overclock, and abundant overclocking-friendly features. It’s an excellent high-end RTX 3070 option, but the price is steep and the card is massive.
Excellent 4K and 1440p gaming
Phenomenal custom cooler: Frigid and silent
Loaded with overclocking-friendly features
Fan and RGB headers, striking RGB lights
Precision X1 software is superb
Ray tracing at 1440p and (sometimes) 4K
8GB of memory doesn’t feel future-proof for 4K gaming
Steep premium for luxurious features; might be worth upgrading to 3080 instead
Oculus Quest virtual workspace app Immersed now lets you bring in your real keyboard!
Immersed is an app that lets you and your team bring your monitors into a shared virtual workspace. Uniquely, it even gives you up to 5 extra virtual monitors- something once considered impossible to do performantly with the Windows OS. It’s priced at $15/month/person for a team of up to 4, or $30/month/person for larger teams.
There’s also a free version for solo use, though it’s limited to 1 additional virtual monitor.
Quest headsets have built-in controller-free hand tracking. Immersed has you hold down specific keys with your right index finger so it can place the virtual keyboard at the same relative position. Doing so entails awkwardly peeking through the headset’s nose gap- developers can’t show passthrough mode yet.
It’s a manual calibration, and you’ll need to recalibrate if you change your Guardian safety boundaries or move the keyboard’s position. It also uses a preset keyboard model, so the non-alphanumeric keys won’t precisely line up unless your keyboard matches the model.
Those minor disclaimers aside, the result feels like the best typing experience in a publicly available VR app. Since you see both the keyboard and your hands you no longer need to touch type. Trying it out in a Quest 2 with the Elite Strap, I could see myself working in Immersed for hours. The virtual monitors feature finally delivers the infinite workspace promised by science fiction.
In a demonstration posted to reddit, Immersed founder Renji Bijoy demonstrated typing at 164 words per minute using this new feature – roughly 4x the average typing speed. Bijoy says that’s about on par with his typing speed outside VR, to be clear.
Companies like Facebook and HTC pitch virtual reality in the long term as a replacement for physical offices. Enabling full-speed text entry is necessary to meet this goal. Finding a VR-native way to type is an area of active exploration, but for the near future bringing the keyboards people already know how to use is likely going to be more practical.
Facebook plans to ship experimental system-level support for a specific Logitech keyboard later this year, using computer vision. That means it shouldn’t need manual calibration and can match the precise key layout- but that keyboard is priced at $60. Right now, today, you can use Immersed with the keyboard you already own.
Carbon Studio is working on an all-new VR game based on the Warhammer franchise – Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall.
Tempestfall’s setting is one of the newer eras of the Warhammer series, trading in 40K’s metal crunch for a more supernatural angle. In the game, players will take on the role of a magic-wielding warrior, a Lord-Arcanum, and battle the ghostly Nighthaunt in the realm of Shyish as part of a taskforce known as the Stormcast Eternals. Expect first-person combat with spooky demonic foes, driven by a gesture-based weapons system players of Carbon’s older games may be familiar with.
Age Of Sigmar Comes To VR
A VR-exclusive developer, Carbon is best known for its spell-casting fantasy series, The Wizards. In its two mainline games, including this year’s The Wizards: Dark Times, players summons mystical shields and toss fireballs or ice arrows by making specific gestures with VR motion controllers. Clearly, Carbon and Games Workshop saw this as a suitable fit for Tempestfall.
“Casting spells with specific hand movements felt natural, and we’re happy to say it will return in Tempestfall, albeit in a slightly different form,” Carbon’s Piotr Gala told UploadVR. “This time we’re going to wield some very powerful weapons, blessed by Sigmar himself.”
One of those weapons is the Tempest Blade, a mighty sword that’s made all the more deadly by the gesture system. Gala explains that players can thrust the sword forward whilst pressing the trigger to charge forth, tearing through multiple enemies. Or you could send out an electric arc shockwave with a horizontal slash.
Tempestfall will also build on other elements introduced in Dark Times. For example, the game offers a full, single-player campaign split across two “large and distinct” regions. You’ll find traversal challenges, including using superhuman strength to remove giant metal gates. Along the way, you’ll also discover artifacts and relics that you can use to upgrade weapons and abilities.
Carbon is aiming to release the game on Oculus Quest and PC VR platforms in 2021. Of course, Tempestfall isn’t the only Warhammer VR game on the way right now; next month sees the launch of Warhammer 40,000: Battle Sister on Quest. It’s a first-person shooter set in the series’ most recognizable universe.
“I think it’s fantastic that both Warhammer Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 are finally coming to VR,” Gala said of the two. “These universes are incredibly rich in lore, diverse factions, awesome characters, and the tiniest of details making it all more believable. It’s peak power fantasy, and we get to bring it to VR, which is very exciting!”
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EA will be fined €500,000 a week by the Netherlands Gaming Authority should it continue selling loot boxes via FIFA’s Ultimate Team.
The argument over whether loot boxes in video games should be classed as gambling or not rages on around the world right now. Some countries have already banned the mechanic or made the decision to reclassify it as a form of gambling. However, in other countries, the powers-that-be and the developers they are up against are struggling to find an appropriate definition and subsequent action.
In the UK, for example. Efforts to have loot boxes reclassified ramped up this year after a student blew his life savings on packs playing FIFA’s Ultimate Team. Packs cost in-game currency, which can be bought with real-life cash. It is then a lottery as to the skill level of the players that can be found in those cards.
All three major console platforms now require games to disclose loot box odds to consumers. However, in the Netherlands, further steps have been taken, at least when it comes to FIFA. A ruling was made this week that the Netherlands Gaming Authority will be able to fine EA €500,000 a week, every week until the developer removes loot boxes from FIFA’s Ultimate team.
EA will be fined €250,000 and its Swiss subsidiary will be fined the same, totaling €500,000 per week. EA has three weeks to act before those fines begin. Should it choose to continue selling packs in FIFA’s Ultimate Team in the Netherlands after that point, the fines will begin and be in place for the following ten weeks. That could result in a fine as high as €5 million ($5.8 million) by the time this is all said and done.
EA continues to argue that since FIFA’s packs can only be bought in-game and have no monetary value outside of them, that the mechanic should not be considered gambling. That’s why the publisher plans to appeal the decision. “We are appealing this decision and we seek to avoid a situation impacting the ability of Dutch players to fully experience and enjoy FIFA Ultimate Team,” EA’s Benelux Country Manager, Dirk Scholing told Video Games Chronicle.
Resident Evil 3 could make its way to Nintendo Switch, but not in the way fans might have expected, as it could be the latest in a string of cloud streaming games added to the system.
Capcom’s remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 have been big hits for the company, leading to speculation that they will be ported to the Switch at some point. The two games are technically impressive, to the point that many believe the Switch would struggle to run them. However, these games run on the RE Engine, and Capcom has revealed that the upcoming Switch-exclusive Monster Hunter Rise also uses the RE Engine. As such, it’s possible that the Switch could run the Resident Evil remakes, but their visuals wouldn’t be as impressive as they are on PC or other consoles.
Related: Capcom Doesn’t Seem Surprised By Resident Evil 3’s Sales
Nintendo’s recent Mini Direct revealed that Control: Ultimate Edition is now available on Nintendo Switch as a cloud streaming game. This means that one of the most technically demanding games of the current generation can run on the Switch, so long as you have a fast Internet connection. According to Gaming Bolt, users on Resetera datamined Control: Ultimate Edition – Cloud Version’s website, and discovered an image of Resident Evil 3: Cloud Version, suggesting that it is also coming to the Switch in the future.
This wouldn’t be the first time that a modern Resident Evil game is brought to the Switch as a streaming game. It’s currently possible to play Resident Evil 7 as a cloud streaming game on Switch, but only in Japan.
Nintendo has announced that Hitman 3 is also coming to Switch as a cloud streaming game in 2021. It seems that streaming games could be Nintendo’s strategy for the upcoming console generation. The third-party games designed for the PS5 and Xbox Series X will likely be too strenuous for the Switch to handle, but going the streaming route could allow Nintendo to bypass any hardware restrictions. This would limit the Switch’s ability to play these games as handheld titles, but simply having access to big games like Resident Evil 3 is still a major boon for the system.
Next: Resident Evil 3 Remake Sales Pale In Comparison To Predecessor