Fan Wants to Remake Tomb Raider 2 in Unreal Engine 4

Unreal Engine 4 is incredibly versatile and arguably quite easy to work with, which is why more and more fans are starting off their own gaming projects based on its tools. We’ve seen our fair share of Unreal Engine 4 remakes lately, and while some of them are definitely more impressive than others, the one that you’re looking at right now is definitely noteworthy. What we have here is an unofficial remake of Tomb Raider 2 in Unreal Engine 4 – a project created by a guy who goes by the name of Nicobass. Even though it’s unclear right now whether the remake will actually be released in its final form anytime soon, it’s definitely impressive that Nicobass has made it this far.

Below you will find a series of screenshots of this remake as well as a short gameplay video that shows off some of the project’s main features. What I found particularly impressive was the fact that Nicobass has managed to implement such perfect animations, but the textures and lighting effects definitely deserve a mention as well. It’s not uncommon for these kinds of projects to be shut down early because of cease and desist letters issued by the original developers, but I’m still hoping that Nicobass will somehow manage to pull this project off before that happens.

Inno3D GTX 980Ti iChill Black Graphics Card Review

Introduction


Closed-loop liquid coolers have become extremely popular in the CPU market due to the cleaner build, and greater space around the CPU socket compared to traditional air cooling hardware. This means you can install an all in one liquid cooler without having to make concessions in terms of memory compatibility or worry too much about your motherboard’s PCI-E arrangement. As you might expect, all in one liquid coolers have progressively moved into the GPU sector to offer improved overclocking headroom and a lower noise output. There are some interesting parallels between CPU and GPU all in one liquid cooling though which needs to be addressed.

Firstly, many air coolers like the Noctua NH-D15 can outperform Asetek units, while being much quieter. It’s a similar picture with graphics cards because proficient air cooling setups including the Gigabyte Windforce X3 and Sapphire Tri-X provide a superb noise to performance ratio. Liquid cooled graphics cards have a price premium and involve a more complicated installation process. It’s important to remember that Maxwell is a very mature and efficient architecture which allows vendors to enable a 0dB idle fan mode. Despite my own qualms about closed-loop liquid cooling, it’s fantastic to see products which cater to a different target market. There’s clearly a demand for pre-assembled liquid cooled graphics cards, and their appeal is bound to grow in the next few years.

Today, we’re taking a look at the Inno3D GTX 980Ti iChill Black which utilizes a very powerful hybrid cooling solution. The GPU incorporates a traditional fan which only switches on during heavy load, in addition to a 120mm fan/radiator combination. The Arctic Cooling radiator fan is constantly on but has a very low RPM curve to maintain silent running. This impeccable hardware allows for an impressive core clock of 1203MHz and default boost reaching 1304MHz. The memory has also been increased to 7280MHz. As you can see from the chart below, this isn’t the greatest configuration we’ve encountered from the factory, but it’s exceedingly fast and should be a top performer. It will be fascinating to contrast this graphics card with the marvellous Inno3D GTX 980Ti X3 Ultra DHS which opts for a hefty air cooling design.

Specifications:

Packing and Accessories

The Inno3D GTX 980 Ti iChill Black comes in a huge box to properly house the closed loop cooler’s tubing and protect against leaks during shipping. Honestly, the picture doesn’t provide an accurate depiction of the packaging’s size. I have to commend Inno3D because they have taken the precautionary steps to reduce the possibility of damage occurring and utilized strong foam inserts as cushioning materials. The box itself features an attractive render of the GPU, and outlines its specification.

On the rear portion, there’s a brief synopsis of NVIDIA’s Maxwell architecture. I’m a bit surprised to see the back doesn’t contain any information about the liquid cooling solution and the acoustical benefits compared to NVIDIA’s reference cooler.

In terms of accessories, the graphics card is bundled with mounting screws, 6-pin PCI-E to molex adapter, case badge, DVI-D to VGA adapter and installation guide. There’s also a driver’s disk which you should disregard, a copy of 3DMark, and other documentation. This is a great selection of items and provides everything you need to get started! The mouse mat is surprisingly high-quality and relatively thick.

3DM Claim to Have Cracked Denuvo

Video games are a tricky thing, with prices ranging from your quick sale buy to a full-blown new release (going upwards of £40 or even £50 now), you end up spending a lot of money to get the latest in entertainment. One way to get games cheap is to use a “cracked” version of them, this is when a game is altered so that people can play it without being caught by the DRM (digital right management), a system to make it so that only those who have purchased it (usually by linking the purchase to an account on a service) can play the game. Recently 3DM stated they would halt cracking in order to view how localization affects video game sales. That may not be the whole story as more news has been revealed.

This latest announcement relates to the news that some groups were finding Denuvo a little too hard to crack. Some of the latest games, including Tomb Raider, Just Cause 3 and FIFA 16 use Denuvo, but 3DM have now come forward and stated that they are on the “verge of cracking the latest Denuvo”. The announcement was made by Bird Sister the leader of 3DM via TorrentFreak and was explained that the statement was made to prove that the rumours they had  “abandoned cracking due to technical problems” was nothing more than just rumours.

Some use cracked software to test out a game before playing it, some use it to wait until they can buy the game, some just don’t like paying £40+ when they don’t even know if the game is worth the money. Will you admit to using cracked software? Do you like buying it once you are certain it is worth the investment?

Tomb Raider 2013 Heading to Linux and SteamOS?

Are you a fan of gaming on SteamOS or Linux? Although admittedly the two operating systems aren’t mutually exclusive anyway. Well, it looks like the 2013 release of Tomb Raider may be heading to the platform in the not too distant future, as the game was recently discovered in the SteamDB. We’ve heard of a lot of games being leaked via SteamDB, so there’s certainly some credibility to the rumour.

It’s a great game and one that I’m sure a lot of gamers on Linux would be eager to enjoy. There’s still a lot of work to be done to make SteamOS and/or Linux a more establish gaming platform, but it’s nice to see bigger titles, albeit a few years old, heading that way at a steady pace. With the new Tomb Raider game having just launched on PC, it’s a shame the new one isn’t already available to the open source part of the gaming community, but perhaps if the 2013 release does well, we could see Rise of the Tomb Raider ported over as well.

Not a lot is known about the port to Linux at this time, only that it has cropped up on the SteamDB, so for all we know, it may never see the light of day. We don’t know who’s doing the port either, so it could either be an in-house project or something that has been leased out to another studio, but hopefully we’ll find out soon enough. With SteamOS seemingly falling into obscurity this last few months, it may be too little too late to start moving more games to the platform, but Linux is still growing in popularity, slowly but surely.

Do you play games on SteamOS or on Linux? Are you looking forward to hopefully being able to play Tomb Raider (2013) on these platforms? Let us know in the comments section below.

Nvidia Release Rise of the Tomb Raider Performance Guide

Having trouble getting the performance or the best graphics out of the latest Tomb Raider game? If you’re running an Nvidia graphics card, you’ll be happy to hear that Nvidia has released a GPU performance guide, to help you get the most performance out of the game. Of course, most of this will be common knowledge to a lot of PC gamers, but not everyone out there is the graphics settings guru you or I may be.

Crystal Dynamics have done a great job on the graphics engine, and there’s little doubt that it’s the best looking Tomb Raider game to date.

Crystal Dynamics’ Foundation Engine returns for the sequel with upgrades galore. Physically Based Rendering gives materials a natural look under all conditions, HDR and adaptive tone mapping create stunningly bright zone transitions and highlights, deferred lighting with localized Global Illumination increases the realism of lighting, volumetric lighting adds God Rays and other shafts of light, dynamic color grading gives artists control over the appearance of individual areas, reactive water enables dynamic water ripples game-wide, physically correct forward lighting enables translucencies to be accurately lit, particle lighting enables particles to be dynamically lit by light from their surroundings, and Subsurface Scattering and Backscattering increases the quality of lighting on characters’ skin.

The visual effects in this game are pretty breathtaking, so long as you’ve got the settings right.

The guide is pretty extensive so telling you all of it here would be pretty futile, to say the least. Nvidia has worked hard to bring you performance graphs for each settings, as well as side by side image comparisons to demonstrate what each effect is, how it looks and what kind of performance impact you can expect on some of their most popular cards.

This is really handy for those of you who aren’t sure what is what in the graphics settings and while there have been updated drivers released, the performance will likely improve a bit more with tweaked drivers over the coming weeks.

Are you enjoying Rise of the Tomb Raider? Let us know in the comments section below.

Check out the full Nvidia guide right here.

Conquer the World And The Past In Latest Humble Bundle

We try to keep you informed with the latest humble bundles, so let me make a solid argument for why you should invest a whopping $8.99 (around £6.08) into the latest Square Enix Humble Bundle.

First off let’s start with the $1 tier. Featuring four games, such as the Last Remnant and Episode 1 of Life is Strange,  you’ve already some good titles with action and emotion pumping through your keys while the next two (or rather) five titles in this price bracket will only inspire you more. Murdered: Soul Suspect sees you face the supernatural and your own death as you play a ghostly detective who is trying to solve their own murder from the afterlife. Oh did I forget to mention that you also get Tomb Raider 1, 2 and 3? If I have to explain these games, you should probably grab this bundle just for those alone.

At the average price bracket, you will only pay $5.45 (at the time of writing) to get a further 8 games featuring not one but three different Tomb Raider games, including Anniversary, Legend and Underworld. Climbing through the past a little too slow for you? Why not try just cause collection featuring both just cause one and two? Helicopters and explosions fill your screen as you hijack cars and planes alike with a grapple, and a voucher for 20% off Just Cause 3 means you can get that series for a small fraction of its price.

Front Mission Evolved sees you pilot giant robotic tanks while Gyromancer and Yosumin give your mind a challenge in matching shape games with Final Fantasy XIV A realm reborn rounding off this bracket with an online role-playing adventure for friends and enemies alike.

Last but not least is the higher price tier, costing a whole $8.99, for this you receive Lara Croft & the Temple Of Osiris, a top-down adventure fighting game with puzzles and traps for up to four players. Following up this is the latest Tomb Raider game, in all its glory as the Game of the Year version., with 21 DLC’s rounding off the latest adventure in the Tomb Raiders Past. If you feel up for a little more direct solution to problems, Hitman: Absolution is the last game and the Elite edition comes with a variety of weapons and disguises to enhance your contracts.

Check out the bundle here which is in support of GamesAid and Make a Wish, both charities designed to help young people, either disabled, disadvantaged or those with life-threatening conditions.

Another Fantastic Humble Bundle – Just in Time for Christmas

At this time of year, we often see sales appear, from GOG’s store opening sales and deals to the infamous Steam Winter Sale. Amongst these sales, we must remember to keep your eyes peeled for other great deals, the ones that may not be holiday deals, but don’t mean they can’t brighten up those dark mornings. One of the regular deals, Humble Bundle, is back with yet another great selection.

The Humble Square Enix Bundle features a range of games going from $1 to $13. At $1 you get Life is Strange episode 1 and the last Remnant. As if altering time in order to twist a story as you wish it to unfold and saving the world from creatures unknown but all-powerful isn’t enough, why not solve murders in Murdered: Soul Suspect. Still not interested? How about Tomb Raider 1, 2 and 3!

Still not interested? Why not get Just Cause 1 and 2, 30 days of Final Fantasy XIV and Front Mission Evolved among the “pay more than the average” price bracket. With games like Tomb Raider GOTY edition and Hitman Absolution Elite Edition in the $13 bracket with even more games unlocking on Tuesday.

Check the bundle out here

Rise of the Tomb Raider Only Sold 63,000 Copies on Launch

Microsoft’s timed exclusivity deal with Rise of the Tomb Raider was shrouded in controversy and caused a great deal of anger from fans. Historically, Tomb Raider is perceived as a Sony property, despite being a multi-platform release and releasing on competing systems like the SEGA Saturn. Many critics didn’t understand why an agreement was reached given the high development costs of the Tomb Raider reboot and sales required to break even. Clearly, Microsoft must have offered a huge amount of funds up front to help with the game’s development.

Despite having the financial support of Microsoft, Rise of the Tomb Raider is performing quite poorly and only sold 63,000 units on launch. In comparison to this, the previous game shipped 183,000 units in the same period. The Xbox One’s limited user-base was undoubtedly going to result in lower sales but this is well below Microsoft and Square Enix’s expectations. This begs the question, why are the sales so poor?

The answer is very simple, and revolves around Fallout 4’s hugely successful release. Microsoft underestimated the enthusiasm for Fallout 4 and stupidly launched Rise of the Tomb Raider on the same date. As a result, Fallout 4 received all the major headlines and trended on social media. This is a crying shame, and I cannot comprehend why the game’s release date wasn’t changed. Fallout 4 is probably the most anticipated game since the Witcher 3, and it’s incredibly foolish to try to compete.

Who knows what the future holds for the Tomb Raider franchise, but the sales figures are awful at this time. The numbers will improve as people move on from Fallout 4, and it launches on other platforms. However, the exclusivity deal look to have categorically failed in shifting a large number of units.

Are These the Best Video Game Remakes Ever?

Classic games are great, but just like so many movies that have been remade, although often not the better for it, gaming is no stranger to remakes of older titles either. Every now and then, we’ll get a remake that is actually better than the original and while I must admit that a large part of this may be that the older versions were great, but haven’t stood the test of time due to graphics or their original systems being hard to get hold of, and plenty of other issues beyond that.

Sure, we get a lot of “HD remakes” but for the sake of it, they’re the exact same game in new clothes. What I’m looking for are retellings of the same game that were made from scratch, rather than given a fresh coat of textures. Here is what I think are some of the greatest remakes ever made.

Tomb Raider: Anniversary


The original Tomb Raider was a smash hit when it launched in 1996. It helped propel Lara and the PlayStation 1 to epic heights, but these days, the wobbly mess of jaggy polygons is far from enjoyable to play through. Skip forward to recent years, however, and you’ll find Tomb Raider: Anniversary. The general theme, exploration, and story are all pretty close to the original, with a few bells and whistles added to suit a modern system and audience. This is a fantastic way to get back to basics and see where the story began.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma


OK, time for some remak-ception here, as Sigma was a remake of Ninja Gaiden for Xbox, which was a remake of original Ninja Gaiden for the NES! Widely regarded as one of the hardest games ever, the most recent retelling is no walk in the park either, but with 60fps gameplay and some stunning 3D environments, Ninja Gaiden has never played or looks so good. This was and still is a testament to what the developers at Team Ninja are capable of.

Counter Strike: Source


For something that started life as a fan-made project, Counter Strike has continued to reinvent its self over the years. Source certainly stands out for many gamers, as it launched alongside the much-loved Half Life 2 and it was from this point onwards that CS became a staple of many people’s PC gaming diet and continues to be now that we have CS:GO. Who knows, perhaps in another few years we’ll have Half Life 3 and a brand new refresh of this frantic and fast-paced FPS.

Super Mario 64 DS


Mario is no stranger to remakes, the plucky little plumber can’t go a year without something being spun out by Nintendo, be that a new game or a port of an older one. The one that stands out for me, however, is the DS release of the Nintendo 64 classic Super Mario 64. New playable characters, even more of those tricky to find stars to collect and even a new multiplay component breathed new life into this game, but at the same time left everything we still love about the original in place.

Final Fantasy


The original Final Fantasy was obviously a popular game, noticeably so since it spawned so many other games in the series since and there are many more on their way. When the game came to mobile devices (iOS and Android) it would have been fine with a simple emulated port, but the developers went above and beyond this time around. Fully redesigned graphics and a new soundtrack added a lot to this game, but with new areas to explore on top of everything you could find in the original, there’s no doubt that this version is definitive. If you can get it on the PSP, it’s even better, as you’ll also find some slick CGI cutscenes added for good measure.

https://youtu.be/a93PDfkdFX4

Resident Evil


The PlayStation 1 classic will forever be one of my all-time favorite games, but it was the Gamecube that really took this game to the next level. The graphics were boosted substantially, the atmosphere was greatly improved, new cutscenes help set the pace and to make it even more enjoyable, new modes, endings, and even new areas were added. When I want to replay the original story, I go straight to the Gamecube, as it is home to one of the best puzzle/horror games ever made.

Rise of The Tomb Raider to Incorporate 300 Microtransactions on Launch

The modern gaming industry is awash with pre-order DLC incentives, retailer exclusives and microtransactions. Sadly, this is commonplace and triple-A publishers appear to making an effort to make these anti-consumer practices become the norm. Rise of the Tomb Raider’s development has been shrouded in publicity due to a timed-exclusivity deal with Microsoft. Now, the game’s Creative Director, Noah Hughes has confirmed there will be a host of microtransactions on launch:

“Expedition Cards offer hundreds of ways to customize your Rise of the Tomb Raider experience. You can also set up challenges for your friends to see if they can beat your scores with the same card setup,”

“We’ll have about 300 cards available at launch, and more will be added in the weeks that follow.”

Expedition cards can be procured through gameplay or purchased with real money. The purpose of these modifiers is to gain an advantage. For example, the Bullet Resistance card repels gunfire and makes the game much easier. Essentially, the cards are used for cheating but you now have to pay for that privilege. It seems publishers are attempting to eke money out of customers who haven’t got the time to invest in long story-driven titles. Although, paying more to play less is baffling.

Thank you PC Gamer for providing us with this information. 

Crystal Dynamics Cuts Rise of the Tomb Raider Multiplayer to Focus on Campaign

Nowadays, it seems that most games have to have a multiplayer component to it. While the Tomb Raider reboot released in 2013 included a multiplayer element, the sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider apparently will not. Developer Crystal Dynamics had been mum on what the multiplayer would look like and it appears that is because there will be no multiplayer section. According to the Offical Xbox Magazine, the decision was made to refocus resources from the multiplayer section and devote them to the singleplayer campaign to make it that much better.

In some ways, the move mirrors the one EA and DICE chose to do with Star Wars Battlefront where they cut out the single player campaign to focus on the multiplayer section. While EA’s decision was controversial, the Tomb Raider one probably won’t be. That’s because Star War Battlefront has long had a single player campaign that was relatively well-loved and played. On the other hand, Tomb Raider has historically had no multiplayer section and the one that came with Tomb Raider 2013 wasn’t that well received.

Overall, if Crystal Dynamics is able to provide a compelling single-player campaign, it’s unlikely most gamers will have complaints. The game is set to launch on the Xbox One and 360 later this year in November. Being a timed exclusive, the game won’t arrive on the PC and PS4 till mid to late 2016.

Thank you Forbes for providing us with this information

Rise of the Tomb Raider Officially Coming to PC and PS4 in 2016

Square Enix has confirmed the release schedule for Rise of the Tomb Raider which will arrive on PC and PlayStation 4 in 2016. Microsoft’s exclusivity deal came under a great deal of criticism given the history of Crystal Dynamics and now Core Design, who are perceived as a PlayStation-centric studio. The agreement’s terms were baffling and both parties tried to obscure specific details about the game being either a timed or platform-based exclusive. After much speculation, we finally know the release date on each system.

The Xbox One version is predicted to launch in November, whilst the PC edition will arrive on Steam in early 2016. Hopefully, this delay is designed to give enough time to properly optimize the PC release. I suspect so because the Tomb Raider reboot performed brilliantly on PC through the wizardry of Nixxes Software. PlayStation owners will have to wait until late 2016, almost a year after the original release. This is pretty insulting as the Tomb Raider franchise owes a lot of its longevity to the PlayStation brand. Exclusives are anti-consumer, and fuel the vitriolic fanboyism plaguing the modern gaming community. Microsoft haven’t done themselves any favors in trying to reverse the negative press from their original DRM plans. Obviously, exclusives are essential to persuade people to purchase a particular console, but I would rather they didn’t exist.

I’m not convinced that Tomb Raider is a system seller, and Microsoft probably should have worked on reintroducing an old IP. Nevertheless, at least the game is coming to other systems, but PlayStation fans are going to struggle given the amount of spoilers which gamers will be posting a few days after launch.

Thank you IGN for providing us with this information.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Not Coming to PC & PS4 for a Year!

Rise of the Tomb Raider is the latest addition to the archaeological adventure series and looks set to remain an Xbox One exclusive for some time. Microsoft’s message has been extremely vague which caused speculation about the exclusivity period and doubts if it would even end up on PlayStation 4 or PC. The developer, Crystal Dynamics caused a stir and left consumers bemused after announcing the unexpected partnership with Microsoft. Tomb Raider 2013’s reboot was estimated to have set a staggering budget of nearly $100 million. Given the amount of sales required to produce a profit, it seems bizarre to limit the potential number of sold units. While the franchise is often perceived as a Sony property, it is historically a multiplatform release. The original games, developed by Core Design consisted of the PlayStation 1, Sega Saturn and PC versions. Although, it’s difficult to argue that the series gained notoriety on the PlayStation 1.

YouTube channel, The Know claim to have reliable, insider sources suggesting that the PS4 version will arrive eventually but in Q4 2016. To appease the disgruntled PS4 owners, the price point will be reduced to $40 but I doubt this will have any effect if the release date is correct. Given the age of the Xbox One edition by Q4 2016, it will probably be cheaper than the PlayStation 4 launch price.

No details have been divulged about the PC release which could be delayed to coincide with the Xbox One’s timed exclusivity deal. However, Microsoft is pushing for a more unified ethos and trying to combine mobile, PC and Xbox into one ecosystem. If Microsoft wants to take PC Gaming seriously, then the PC should be given parity. Whatever the case, Rise of the Tomb Raider looks sublime and I naively hope exclusives become an outdated and unfashionable concept in the new few years.

Please note the source video below can get obnoxiously loud so headphone users might want to proceed with caution.

Let us know if you would buy an Xbox One just to play Rise of the Tomb Raider on release.

Thank you WCCFTech for providing us with this information.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Director Says to Expect ‘Stunning’ Graphics on Xbox One

Developers constantly try to push Microsoft’s Xbox One to its limits to deliver the best graphics in their titles. However, most games share a core platform in the engine that makes them have more or less the same performance. But Brian Horton, Game Director for Rise of the Tomb Raider, says that they can now push the Xbox One even further to deliver ‘stunning’ graphics.

Horton said that their insights from Tomb Raider Definitive Edition allowed them to get everything out of Microsoft’s console. Don’t think it was as easy at optimizing the old stuff though. Horton pointed out that they had to redo everything from scratch, meaning that everything we saw in the old Tomb Raider titles has been completely rewritten.

They apparently haven’t hit any problems with the Xbox One’s nightmarish eSRAM either. Horton told that they were working closely with the Microsoft team and were able to understand the console’s system. There have been a lot of problems in the past for most developers working on Xbox One titles and all of them said that the console’s eSRAM was the main issue.

The biggest news however comes when Horton announced that the title is targeting 1080p and 30fps. While a lot of developers announced them same thing but failed to deliver in the end, Microsoft’s latest Xbox One SKD and the success of titles which followed thereafter tends to bring some hope for full HD on the console.

Thank you GamingBolt for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of PushSquare

iBuyPower Noctis Intel Z97 Review

Introduction


Once again, it is review time at eTeknix HQ and iBuyPower gives us the chance to test their Noctis Intel Z97. The case is a brand new iBuyPower version of the equally new NZXT Noctus 450. Inside we have an Intel i7 4790K, an EVGA Superclocked GTX 980, 16GB of DDR3 1600, and a 240GB SSD. Cooling the 4790K is a 120mm AIO CPU liquid cooler with two fans in a push-pull configuration. The 4790K has a Turbo frequency up to 4.4GHz, and with the EVGA Superclocked GTX 980 running up to 1505MHz core and 3505MHz memory makes this system well suited for some great gaming performance.

The system was put together using the iBuyPower Z97 system configurator, and parts were chosen to make a system that would make a very capable gaming system while not going overboard and trying to stay budget conscious. I was trying to stay under the $2,000 and what I ended up with was a system that comes out to an affordable $1,530, so lets give it a go and see how it does. I will also look for ways I could improve on the build while still staying within that $2,000 budget that I was aiming for.

Specifications

  • Name: iBuyPower Noctis Intel Z97
  • Case: NZXT Noctis 450 iBuyPower Version – Blue
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97-D3H (Socket 1150) DDR3 ATX Motherboard
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 4790K Quad Core Haswell Processor
  • Processor Cooler: 120mm CPU Water Cooler
  • System Memory: 16GB 1600MHz DDR3 Memory (2 x 8GB sticks)
  • Main Boot Drive: 240GB Kingston V300 SSD
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): None
  • Graphics card: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Superclocked
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake SMART SP-650 650W 80PLUS Bronze
  • Optical DriveNone
  • Wireless: Not included
  • Monitor: Not included
  • Peripherals: Not included
  • OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit
  • Warranty: Three Year Standard Warranty
  • Price: $1549 as configured Delivered

The shipping box is immense and will likely need two people to move it unless you are capable of carrying large precarious objects safely.

Inside is the box for the iBuyPower NZXT Noctis 450, well padded with heavy foam that will be great for keeping the systems intact.

Inside the Notcis case box, the original case packaging is used, with closed cell foam keeping it very secure and stable.

The unboxed system is striking with the matte black finish and the blue mesh accents.  The matte finish can pick up fingerprints and dust so keep some cleaner and a microfiber cloth handy if you are picky about that kind of thing. There is a piece of printed paper on the side of the case illustrating how to remove the Instapak foam that keeps the internals of the system secure while shipping.

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

Square Enix’s Mysterious Title Gets a Full Reveal Tomorrow

Square Enix is about to reveal its latest title tomorrow. You probably have heard of it by now, it was roaming around the internet as “Star”, hinting that the company might be revealing its next Star Ocean title. However, fans will be disappointed to know that the “STAR” title has now been revealed to be “START”.

So what could the company be revealing tomorrow? Well, the possibilities are endless. But to narrow it down, we reported that Square Enix will reveal a JRPG by the end of this year.

Yosuke Matsuda, Square Enix’s CEO, did not reveal much about what its intentions are with the upcoming JRPG title, but he sees a lot of potential in it. Also, Matsuda hinted that the company will be preparing “all kinds of things” for E3, so the possibility of a fresh new title or a sequel are the same at this point.

If it is going to be a JRPG, judging from the website’s wallpaper, it would indicate that it has a high chance of being set in a sci-fi and (or) futuristic era, maybe even something close to space exploration?

All in all, the company even has a lot of titles to choose from if it wants to create a sequel. We don’t even have to speak about Final Fantasy and its great success, or even Dragon Quest Heroes.

Tomb Raider and Just Cause might be out of the picture here since the new Tomb Raider has already been announced and there is not even a whiff about a new Just Cause sequel, rendering its western titles highly improbable of having a link to this title’s release.

We now just have to wait it out and see what the company has to bring. Given the approach taken by Square Enix to reveal this mysterious title, we might even be looking at the next big hit. Stay tuned for more details.

Image courtesy of Square Enix

Tomb Raider Scores Global Franchise Record with Over 8.5 Million Copies Sold

While we all knew that Crystal Dynamic’s Tomb Raider was a big success back in 2013, we did not know how big up until now. It seems that Tomb Raider has been classified as the IP’s biggest success and even surpassed other series’ sales with over 8.5 million copies sold.

“Crystal Dynamics, a Square Enix studio, today announced that the award-winning TOMB RAIDER® (2013) has sold more than 8.5 million copies worldwide, more than any other game in the legendary Tomb Raider franchise’s history. Originally released in March 2013, the game also set franchise sales records for its first day and month.”

The title still sells for a fair £14.99 price on Steam or other sources, but the sales record essentially means that Microsoft has potentially secured a next big hit with their Xbox One exclusivity agreement for the upcoming Rise of the Tomb Raider title.

Thank you PixelGamerUK for providing us with this information

Square Enix Plans on Revealing New JRPG Later on This Year

Since mobile gaming has picked up in the recent years, all major development in Japan has shifted from consoles and handheld to smartphones and tablets. Even Square Enix has attempted to get into the smartphone gaming market, but with little success.

This is why the company is how shifting its interest back to console gaming. After their successful titles such as Final Fantasy Type 0 HD, Final Fantasy XV, Dragon Quest Heroes, and Kingdom Hearts 3, it appears Square Enix has more in the works and is looking to build something new for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 which will be announced later this year.

“At the moment, we have major titles such as Dragon Quest Heroes and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD. In 2015, I believe we will offer a vast number of high-end games in both the domestic market and overseas. Now that we’ve already announced Final Fantasy XV, we will also reveal information on [another] JRPG. I believe we have a bit of a surprise in store for this year.” Yosuke Matsuda, Square Enix CEO, stated. “I can’t say much for now, but it’s a JRPG for consoles,” he added. “Also, our western studios have the latest Tomb Raider title with Rise of the Tomb Raider, Just Cause 3, and many other titles that I believe we can have high expectations of. For now, we’re preparing all kinds of things for E3.”

From what Matsuda said so far, we know that the title is definitely going to be a Japanese RPG for modern consoles. However, more details are scarce at the moment.

Thank you Gamingbolt for providing us with this information

Humble Square Enix Bundle 2 Full of Great Games

The Humble bundles and sales are just as good at dragging the money out of our wallets as the Steam sales are, and the latest Humble Bundle looks like a great offer too.

The Humble Square Enix Bundle 2 will give you the popular games Hitman: Absolution, Hitman GO and Supreme Commander 2 for what you want to pay, and that’s already a great deal.

For those who pay more than the average donation, currently $6.77, will also get a copy of Thie, Murdered: Soul Suspect and Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut – with the possibility of more games being added later.

The third tier is a $15 donation as it mostly is. This tier will give you all the above games as well as Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs.

This could be a cheap way to get some really great adventure games to tie over the last cold winter days before spring finally arrives.

Thanks to Humble Bundle for providing us with this information

First High Resolutions Screenshots of Rise of the Tomb Raider

The upcoming timed Xbox exclusive, Rise of the Tomb Raider has finally gotten its first direct feed high-resolution screenshots! So we can finally get a little taste of what this game is going to look like in action!

The game is certainly shaping up nicely and Lara is looking better than ever; even if I do still have fond memories of the angular PlayStation 1 days. Of course, if they make the PC version as stunning as the last Tomb Raider game, then it’ll certainly be worth the wait for a PC release.

Check out the gallery below and let us know what you think about the upcoming game.

Tomb Raider 10 Confirmed for PC and PS4

When Microsoft announced at Gamescon in Cologne this year that the new Tomb Raider game would be an Xbox One exclusive, it sparked a lot of rage amongst players and headlines in the media. But Microsoft said limited exclusivity, and that made people believe that it would also come to PC and PS4.

We’ve already seen Amazon list the Xbox360, PS3 and PC version, but that might just be based on their own speculations. Now the developers behind the game, Crystal Dynamics, have made it clear that “Tomb Raider revive” will be landing on both the PC and PlayStation platforms.

There has been no official word on why the limited Xbox One exclusivity, but Microsoft must have given them a real good deal for it and I wouldn’t be surprised to see special edition boxes for this game. Crystal Dynamics has promised their goal is to create the perfect game for players to work on all platforms.

The Xbox One version is planned for the Christmas holiday sales 2015 and the PC and PS4 version is expected March to May 2016.

Thank you to MyDrivers for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Crystal Dynamics

6400×1080: Testing Mixed-Resolution AMD Eyefinity

Introduction


Around a month ago we announced to you that AMD was releasing version 3.0 of its Eyefinity software package. One of the key new additions to AMD’s Eyefinity 3.0 software is the ability to support mixed resolution monitors in an Eyefinity configuration through a variety of methods. This exciting addition means you can mix and match a variety of displays so there’s no reason to scrap any mis-matched monitors if you want to do multi-screen gaming.

Mixed resolution support will be implemented in three different ways: fill mode, expand mode and fit mode. The first of those, fill mode, utilises the full resolution of all displays but as a result of that the resolutions created are not quadrilateral (i.e. are not rectangular). The next mode, expand mode, creates a rectangular resolution based on the vertical pixel count of the highest resolution display and the combined horizontal width of all displays. The resulting area that the smaller displays cannot show is designated as “unavailable area” because the displays lack the resolution to project it.

The final method is fit mode by which the vertical pixel counts are kept constant across all three displays so it will use the maximum common vertical height. In the example below you can see that you’d end up with three 1080p height screens but the middle one becomes 2560 x 1080. This differs to previous Eyefinity where it would simply set the middle display to 1920 x 1080, now you can use the extra width by sacrificing the height which is preferable to sacrificing both.

To test out this new AMD Eyefinity technology AMD have sent us over the required monitors to run a 6400 x 1080 configuration. The first is the central 2560 x 1080 resolution display, for this AMD sent us the AOC Q2963PM 29 inch panel. Despite being a 29 inch panel, the vertical height is the same as a 23 inch 1920 x 1080 panel because remember panel height is measured diagonally, the extra width doesn’t make this display any taller. To go either side of the AOC Q2963PM AMD also sent us two NEC MultiSync E231W displays. Together these three panels form a 6400 x 1080 resolution with a uniform vertical height that makes it look like a natural combination. For testing this high-resolution set up we are testing it with XFX’s R9 290X Double Dissipation 4GB graphics card on our usual high-end graphics card test system. We were tempted to use CrossFire 290Xs but decided to opt for one card to keep the results as realistic and accessible as possible.

Amazon UK Indicates Rise of the Tomb Raider Will Be Available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Amazon UK recently posted an online pre-order screen for the Rise of the Tomb Raider video game, revealing the game could be released for the older Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 game consoles.

The news hasn’t been confirmed by Square Enix yet, so it’s possible the Amazon UK listing is simply wrong.  The Xbox 360 and PS3 editions are listed for £54.99, while the PC version lists for  £39.99, and the Xbox One/PS4 versions are £49.85.

Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix are teaming up for the latest Tomb Raider game, which is designed for the PC, Xbox One and PS4 – but will be an added addition for gamers that still haven’t upgraded to a next-gen console.  It’s no surprise game studios want to focus on the newest console platforms, however, smaller game studios have researched releasing newer titles for older platforms.

Rise of the Tomb Raider was publicly unveiled during E3 2014, and is a sequel and reboot to Tomb Raider.  The title is scheduled for released by the end of 2015.

Here is what the company said while promoting the game:

“Featuring epic, high-octane action moments, Rise of the Tomb Raider will take gamers to multiple locations around the world filled with exploration spaces that are some of the most beautifully hostile places on earth.  In addition, after hearing the cry from fans loud and clear, the game will put the tombs back into ‘Tomb Raider’ all in the franchise’s gritty Survival-Action style.”

Thank you to Amazon UK for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Crystal Dynamics

TressFX 2.0 To Simulate Hair, Fur And Grass Physics At A Less Performance Cost

If you played the latest Tomb Raider, then you probably know about TressFX. If not, then you should know that it is the technology used to simulate Lara Croft’s realistic-like hair inside the game.

TressFX is AMD’s realistic hair rendering technology used to render and simulate numerous individual strands of hair. Now AMD has revealed the next version of TressFX, having better performance and easier integration into games. In addition to hair simulation, TressFX is now in development to simulate other things like grass and fur.

“TressFX is AMD’s realistic hair rendering technology which renders and simulates the physics of thousands of individual strands of hair. It was first used in Crystal Dynamic’s Tomb Raider, released earlier this year. Now AMD is introducing TressFX 2.0, a newer version of TressFX with better performance and easier integration into games. Additionally research is now being done to use TressFX for other things besides hair, like grass and fur. In this talk we will cover how TressFX rendering and physics works, the improvements made in TressFX 2.0, and the research which will be used in future products.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAWJAe8k8sQ[/youtube]

Tress FX 2.0 is said to have better integration into games and less performance drops, where we should expect the same effects generated in the first version of TressFX, but at a lower performance cost.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information

iOS Gets The Original Tomb Raider port, Courtesy of Square Enix

The recent Tomb Raider reboot has been such as success that Square Enix has now released the original Tomb Raider game for iOS. The port, officially titled Tomb Raider I, is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and has been tweaked to better suit touch controls. It also comes with full Logitech PowerShell and MOGA Ace Power MFI game controller support.

After originally being introduced on MS-DOS, PlayStation and Sega Saturn in 1996, Lara Croft went on to star in a number of games leading all the way up to the latest Crystal Dynamics origin story. The original Tomb Raider game has also seen a couple of re-releases and ports since the mid-nineties debut, in 2003 the first mobile port of the game released for the Nokia N-Gage, followed by a North American PSN release in 2009 (2010 in Europe).

The game was both a critical and commercial success as well as being an extremely influential title in the game development world, having since paved the way for many of the major action adventure titles we still play today.

Anyone looking for a quick “back in time” gaming session and old style fun can download Tomb Raider I on the App Store for just $0.99 / £0.69.

Thank you Tech Sport for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Tech Sport

New Trailer Released For Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition At Spike VGX

Crystal Dynamics, a Square Enix studio today announced that Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on January 28th, 2014. One of gamings most famous action-adventure series sees a young and inexperienced Lara Croft transforms into a hardened survivor in one of the best re-boots we’ve seen in years. Those not content with a lazy console port will be happy to hear that this fully re-built version for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One features stunning graphics that should really benefit from the AMD hardware of the new consoles.

  • An all new Lara model created to take advantage of the power of next-gen consoles
  • TRESS FX technology that delivers realistic hair simulation and motion with every strand being physically active
  • Shader and lighting reworked to showcase the raw physicality of Lara’s journey through sweat, mud, and blood materials and effects

A physical world put in motion thanks to brand new hardware architecture:

  • The world has been dynamically brought to life using complex physical world simulation on trees, foliage, cloth, weather, lighting and effects
  • All texture resolutions have been created at 4x resolution for maximum resolution and detail
  • In-game characters, enemies and destructability have been enhanced for added depth and realism
  • Subsurface scattering technology implemented to capture the most physically accurate lighting simulation and deliver a great sense of believability
  • Native 1080p gameplay gives outstanding visual fidelity and showcases the beauty of Yamatai in all its high definition glory

The Definitive Edition of the award-winning action-adventure includes all of the original downloadable content, plus digital versions of the Dark Horse comic, Brady Games mini-art book and the Final Hours developer videos. Customers who pre-order will receive special art book packaging featuring never-before-seen concept art.

“’Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition’ is so named as it’s exactly what we’ve custom built for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles,” said Crystal Dynamics Executive Producer, Scot Amos. “The new hardware let us finally express the original vision in all of its glory. This was a continued labor of love. We pulled the game apart and rebuilt it with painstaking detail to add enhanced visual storytelling but without changing the award winning tale. The end result is a cinematic living world. We can’t wait for fans and newcomers alike to experience this rebuilt epic adventure.”

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition will be available on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 from January 28th, 2014, priced at $RRP59.99. If you missed out on the original release (our review), then this could be a great time to join the series and check out one of the best action adventure games 2013 has to offer.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/7SSNTEbcW0s[/youtube]

Thank you Tomb Raider for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tomb Raider.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition For PlayStation 4 Spotted On Amazon

The latest Tomb Raider reboot is one of the finest entries in the series, easily the best one since the times of the PlayStation 1 in my opinion. Fortunately for those that have yet to get into the new game, it looks like there will be another great opportunity to try it out, this time on the Sony PlayStation 4.

While the game hasn’t been revealed officially for the PlayStation 4, a listing on Amazon Italy pegs the game for a January 24th release date. The game looks set to contain all the official DLC and if you order it via Amazon it will also come with an exclusive art book.

Square Enix are keeping tight lipped about the new edition, but this wouldn’t be the first time that Amazon leaked a game release early. If you haven’t experienced Tomb Raider yet, next January could be the perfect time.

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information.