Phoenix Point – A New Take On X-COM

Published on Friday, May 19th, 2017

Phoenix Point isn’t X-COM but it’s from the designer of the original. Phoenix Point is a new strategy game, currently being crowdfunded on Fig.co. It may appear to be another X-COM clone but that’s because it’s from Julian Gollop; the designer of X-COM: UFO Defence, among others. Phoenix Point is currently in development by Snapshot Games (there’s a… Read more »

Read Review
Exclusive
Video
Written
Giveaway
Offer
Guest

Stellaris: Utopia DLC and more!

Published on Friday, April 28th, 2017

Dyson spheres, traditions and ascendancy perks. Space Utopia? Much has changed since I first reviewed Stellaris this time last year. A fair amount of DLC and several large patches have only expanded on a winning combination. Paradox have certainly given Stellaris a significant amount of content us to chew on and Utopia is simply the latest in a… Read more »

Read Review
Exclusive
Video
Written
Giveaway
Offer
Guest

Battle Brothers – Reviewed in Blood

Published on Friday, March 31st, 2017

Battle Brothers: Build and nurture your own mercenary company and then lose it all in a single mishap. Battle Brothers is a new release by Overhype Studios. A turn-based tactical RPG set in a grim medieval open world that uses procedural generation to great effect. The gameplay feels like a cross between Mount & Blade: Warband… Read more »

Read Review
Exclusive
Video
Written
Giveaway
Offer
Guest

My Little Blacksmith Shop – Early Access

Published on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Working the forge all day for people with no manners, so, like a job? It’s My Little Blacksmith Shop! I found this little gem over on itch.io some time ago, to say I have high hopes for it is an understatement. Currently being developed by Dasius of Noble Games Studio; My Little Blacksmith Shop has some serious… Read more »

Read Review
Exclusive
Video
Written
Giveaway
Offer
Guest

OMEN X by HP 4k Gaming Desktop

Published on Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Designed for gaming from the ground up, this revolutionary tower has no equal. Insane power and innovative cooling easily take on the latest AAA games, even at their highest settings. And with an easily upgradable custom case, this PC can evolve to satisfy any future performance demands. Technical details Supported Operating Systems Operating system Windows… Read more »

Read Review
Support Us
Thank you for all the support

LATEST ON HARDWARE

Written by Dave Bagnall on Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Designed for gaming from the ground up, this revolutionary tower has no equal. Insane power and innovative cooling easily take on the latest AAA games, even at their highest settings. And with an easily upgradable custom case, this PC can evolve to satisfy any future performance demands.

Technical details

Supported Operating Systems
Operating system Windows 10 Home 64
Processor
Chipset Intel Z170
Processor speed 4 GHz
Processor family 6th Generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor
Processor Intel® Core™ i7-6700K (4 GHz, up to 4.2 GHz, 8 MB cache, 4 cores)
Appearance
Product color Jet black
Storage Specifications
Special features Liquid cooling solution for processor
Drives
Hard drive description 2 TB 7200 rpm SATA
Hard drive (2nd) 256 GB PCIe® NVMe™ M.2 SSD
Optical drive Ultra Slim-tray SuperMulti DVD burner
Cloud service Dropbox
External drive bays One occupied
Internal drive bays One occupied
Three available
Exclusive
Video
Written
Giveaway
Offer
Guest
Written by Dave Bagnall on Thursday, January 26th, 2017

ROG Strix RX 480 is the next-generation graphics card, featuring the new Polaris 10 from AMD at the core based on a new 14nm FinFET fabrication node (previously 28nm) to bring you a new level of performance with less heat. You’ll be hard-pressed to find another card with such performance to run VR (virtual reality) games at this price point.

The GPU (grahics processing unit) comes factory-overclocked to 1330MHz in OC mode with headroom for further tweaking (1310MHz boost clock in gaming mode) and is paired with 8GB of GDDR5 video memory operating at 8GHz on the 256-bit memory bus. This translates to a performance boost of 15% in 3DMark Fire Strike and 19% in the latest games such as DOOM and Hitman compared to reference.

Auto-Extreme and Super Alloy Power II Technology
Just as other ROG Strix graphics cards, only the best components and manufacturing process is acceptable. Auto-Extreme technology employs a 100% automated manufacturing process which requires premium Super Alloy Power II components to be used. The graphics cards produced are consistently higher quality, run quieter, more efficient and cooler which in turn makes them overclock better, be more stable and last longer. The process is also environmentally friendly, eliminating harsh chemicals and reducing power consumption by 50% during production.

Redesigned Power Allocation
Power allocation has been redesigned compared to reference. ROG Strix RX 480 with the use of a custom VRM (voltage regulator module) and PCB (printed circuit board) draws 100% of the GPU power from the 8-pin PCIe power connector (rather than splitting the load between the connector and the PCIe slot). Such a design ensures that the PCIe slot specifications for power consumption is not breached (the card may throttle otherwise).
Exclusive ASUS Features and Technologies
The new GPU together with the DirectCU III cooling solution with triple wing-blade fans results in a graphics card that is three times quieter and 30% cooler than reference, only by having this level of thermal performance can this card incorporate 0dB technology which makes the card completely silent during casual gaming. The matte black shroud and backplate with new Aura RGB lighting which comes with six lighting effects can surely match almost any system. FanConnect technology incorporates two 4-pin GPU-controlled headers, allowing you to control dedicated case fans to cooling the area around the graphics card specifically. GPU Tweak II will provide easy one-click overclocking while a professional mode is still available for advanced users, XSplit Gamecaster is also included to stream or record gameplay.

The ROG Strix series of graphics cards are the only ones with a dedicated HDMI port for VR, rest assured you won’t be having any problems connecting up a VR set if you already have an HDMI monitor connected. There are two DisplayPort 1.4, two HDMI 2.0 and a DVI-D port. AMD FreeSync will make sure you’re getting smooth gameplay when using supported gaming monitors such as MG248Q, MG28UQ or MG24UQ.
ROG Strix RX 480 will be available worldwide from mid-August 2016

LATEST NEWS

Exclusive
Video
Written
Giveaway
Offer
Guest
Written by Dave Bagnall on Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

CORSAIR®, a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components, today announced the immediate availability of CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB DDR4 memory. VENGEANCE RGB brings vibrant RGB lighting to the DIMM slot, with high luminosity RGB LEDs integrated into every module, all controlled by CORSAIR LINK. CORSAIR VENGEANCE RGB’s wire-free integration enables software RGB lighting control without additional wires (patent pending) for a sharp, clean look and providing an instant visual upgrade to any system build.

Equipped with a precision-engineered light bar and an all-new perforated CORSAIR logo, each LED generates vibrant and rich RGB lighting. With four customizable lighting modes; static, rainbow, breathing and color shift, it’s simple to color match your system’s build or put on a dazzling light show, and with specifically designed lighting circuitry, there’s zero impact on DDR4 performance. With CORSAIR LINK, users can set up a temperature alert that automatically changes each memory module’s LED color based on system temperatures, as well as monitor and control a wide variety of CORSAIR components, from case fans, lighting, DRAM and compatible CORSAIR power supplies to Hydro Series liquid CPU coolers, providing a complete PC monitoring experience.

VENGEANCE RGB’s built-in heat spreader doesn’t just look great, it keeps each memory module cool to maintain performance and stability under high load operations. Using a custom performance PCB and carefully hand-screened ICs, VENGEANCE RGB guarantees better signalling and superior overlocking potential. VENGEANCE RGB’s XMP 2.0 support makes overclocking simple and easy for novices or seasoned PC builders, allowing users to safely switch between pre-configured tested Intel® XMP profiles and get the guaranteed performance out of their DRAM kit.

VENGEANCE RGB’s CORSAIR LINK software control is compatible with a wide range of Intel® DDR4 platforms, from dual-channel Z270 and Z170 to quad-channel X99*, with more boards adding compatibility every week and AMD Ryzen™ support planned soon. What’s more, VENGEANCE RGB is also compatible with third-party motherboard software RGB control, allowing users to synchronize DRAM and motherboard RGB lighting. Gigabyte is the first to offer VENGEANCE RGB support through its RGB Fusion App, with other motherboard partners coming soon.

Please refer to www.corsair.com/vengeancergb for a complete list of VENGEANCE RGB compatible motherboards and software.

CORSAIR’s first ever RGB DDR4 kits are available immediately in 16GB (2 x 8GB) and 32GB (4 x 8GB) 3000MHz kits, with additional capacity and frequency kits coming soon.

Availability, Warranty and Pricing

VENGEANCE RGB DDR4 is available immediately from the CORSAIR worldwide network of authorized retailers, and distributors and is backed by a lifetime limited warranty and the CORSAIR worldwide customer support network.

About CORSAIR

Founded in 1994, CORSAIR supplies high-performance products purchased primarily by PC gaming enthusiasts who build their own PCs or buy pre-assembled customized systems. The company’s award-winning products include DDR3 and DDR4 memory upgrades, computer cases, PC cooling products, gaming headsets, gaming keyboards, gaming mice, power supply units, USB flash drives, solid-state drives and system monitoring and control devices.

Copyright © 2017 CORSAIR Components, Inc. All rights reserved. CORSAIR, the sails logo, and Vengeance are registered trademarks of CORSAIR in the United States and/or other countries. All other company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks, and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated. Features, pricing, availability, and specifications are subject to change without notice.

*via CORSAIR BETA program

Exclusive
Video
Written
Giveaway
Offer
Guest
Written by Dave Bagnall on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

CORSAIR,® a world leader in enthusiast memory, high-performance gaming hardware and PC components, today announced its extensive compatibility for the groundbreaking new range of AMD Ryzen™ processors and the AM4 platform. With a completely new CPU architecture, chipset and CPU socket, AMD Ryzen demands the latest in performance PC hardware. With a wide range of compatible DDR4 memory, liquid CPU coolers and PSUs, CORSAIR has everything enthusiasts need to make AMD Ryzen CPUs run to the full extent of their abilities.

“CORSAIR is uniquely positioned for the launch of AMD Ryzen, with an outstanding range of not just high-performance DDR4 memory, but liquid CPU cooling and power supplies as well,” said Travis Kirsch Director, Product Management, Client at AMD. “CORSAIR offers everything system builders need to get the absolute best performance from AMD Ryzen and the new AM4 platform.”

AMD Ryzen CPUs require the latest DDR4 memory and CORSAIR has a growing range of AMD Ryzen qualified high-performance DDR4 memory, with more kits being certified for Ryzen processors every day. Launching with Vengeance LPX 16GB, 32GB and 64GB kits running at 2,133MHz and 2,400MHz, and Dominator Platinum 16GB running at 3,000MHz, CORSAIR has the DDR4 memory to match your choice of AMD Ryzen™ build. Check http://www.corsair.com/ryzen for a full up-to-date list.

AMD Ryzen processors dynamically adjust and optimize performance based on power and temperature conditions; lower temperatures mean higher clock speeds and better benchmarks. With the addition of a CORSAIR Hydro Series liquid CPU cooler, you’re able to cool Ryzen processors to temperatures substantially lower than when using standard air cooling, allowing for higher clock speeds, better performance and easier overclocking.

AMD Ryzen processors also bring an entirely new CPU socket, AM4, and the CORSAIR Hydro Series H60, H110i and H100i are ready right out of the box to deliver superior liquid CPU cooling to socket AM4 Ryzen CPUs. The rest of the CORSAIR Hydro Series range of coolers are also fully compatible with AMD Ryzen and AM4 via an additional mounting bracket. CORSAIR is proud to announce that, for a limited time, an AM4 bracket will be supplied, upon request, to all qualifying Hydro Series owners free of charge, including shipping to EU, USA and select other countries. Brackets start shipping on March 2nd, so check http://www.corsair.com/ryzen for full details.

What’s the use of performance without the power to supply it? CORSAIR PSUs have been trusted by PC enthusiasts for over a decade, winning hundreds of industry and reviewer awards thanks to a complete commitment to quality, reliable and performance. Now that legacy comes to AMD Ryzen, with every CORSAIR PSU fully compatible with all new AMD X370, B350 and X320 chipset motherboards. Equip the legendary 80-PLUS Titanium AX1500i, the low-noise 80-PLUS GOLD RMx series, or the dependable 80-PLUS Bronze CX series to complete your Ryzen system.

“We’re extremely excited about the new AMD Ryzen processors and the new AMD platform” said Aaron Neal, Senior Manager of DIY product Marketing at CORSAIR. “With extensive DDR4, Hydro Cooler and PSU support across our entire range, enthusiasts can be sure that CORSAIR has everything they need to build the perfect Ryzen system”.

Web Pages:

To see how CORSAIR DDR4, Hydro Series Liquid CPU Coolers and CORSAIR power supplies can help build your next PC powered by the AMD Ryzen™ Processors, please visit:

http://www.corsair.com/ryzen

Video:

For a video announcing CORSAIR Ryzen compatibility, please visit:

https://youtu.be/GYfIlTSLXjU

Hydro Series Cooler Compatibility Details

The following CORSAIR Hydro Series liquid CPU coolers are fully compatible with the new AM4 socket out-of-the box.

Hydro Series H60
Hydro Series H110i (Hydro Series H110i GT)
Hydro Series H100i
The following CORSAIR Hydro Series liquid CPU coolers require an additional AM4 bracket for AMD Ryzen compatibility. Check http://www.corsair.com/ryzen for full details

Hydro Series H50
Hydro Series H55
Hydro Series H75
Hydro Series H80i v2 (H80i GT)
Hydro Series H90,
Hydro Series H100i v2 (H100i GTX)
Hydro Series H105
Hydro Series H110i GTX
Hydro Series H115i

DDR4 Compatibility Details

The below-listed CORSAIR DDR4 kits are currently recommended for AMD Ryzen™ CPUs and accompanying chipsets. More kits are being qualified all the time, so check http://www.corsair.com/ryzen for the latest complete list:

CMD16GX4M2B3000C15 Dominator Platinum
CMK32GX4M4A2133C15 Vengeance LPX
CMK32GX4M4A2400C16 Vengeance LPX
CMK64GX4M4A2400C16 Vengeance LPX
CMK16GX4M2A2400C16 Vengeance LPX
CMK32GX4M2A2400C16 Vengeance LPX

LATEST ON GADGETS

Exclusive
Video
Written
Giveaway
Offer
Guest
Written by Dave Bagnall on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017
Exclusive
Video
Written
Giveaway
Offer
Guest
Written by Dave Bagnall on Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Antlion Audio (www.AntlionAudio.com) is proud to announce the ModMic 5 is now available on their website. The ModMic is an award winning attachable boom mic that can turn any pair of headphones into a headset for gaming, broadcasting, VoIP, and more. The patented base clasp securely adheres to any surface and the super strong neodymium magnets holds the mic in place. The 5th generation improves on the original design across the board, adding dual mic capsules, a fully modular cable system, and premium grade materials to deliver the pinnacle of custom audio.

A key innovation in the ModMic 5 is the addition of a dual capsule microphone. With the flick of a switch the ModMic 5 goes from studio quality to noise canceling. This means that a single ModMic can go from a quiet environment for recording to a noisy one, like a gaming LAN event where noise cancelling is essential. With the included compact carrying case, bringing along high quality sound has never been easier.

The most common customer request has come to life in the form of a fully modular cable system. This allows users to select the perfect cable length for their needs and quickly swap over to different devices, such as PC, consoles, or phones. Included with the modular cables is a detachable mute switch and cable wraps, which keeps the cords from the headphones and the ModMic tightly bound together.

Finally, the materials in the ModMic have been improved across the board. From kevlar reinforced cabling to a thicker steel spine and a stronger magnet, there’s never been a better ModMic than the ModMic 5.

Antlion believes all people should have the option to use the headphones they love and still enjoy the superb quality that a ModMic can bring. Find out more at www.AntlionAudio.com.

LATEST ON GAMING

Exclusive
Video
Written
Giveaway
Offer
Guest
Written by Ex0du5_2169 on Friday, May 19th, 2017

Phoenix Point isn’t X-COM but it’s from the designer of the original.

Phoenix Point is a new strategy game, currently being crowdfunded on Fig.co. It may appear to be another X-COM clone but that’s because it’s from Julian Gollop; the designer of X-COM: UFO Defence, among others. Phoenix Point is currently in development by Snapshot Games (there’s a reference there I think). It took less than a week to meet the initial funding goal and (at the time of writing) is close to the first of two stretch goals.

Boasting all the features you might expect from a modern X-COM game and more; Phoenix Point holds plenty of promise. Despite having played a large number of clones, and other games with similar concepts, I can still say that I’m excited to see what Julian has in store for us. I am hopeful that it will become a title worthy of it’s pedigree. Needless to say, this is the strategy game I have been wanting for a very long time!

Some of the enemies are almost Lovecraftian in appearance.

The sheer amount of pre-release lore is staggering.

A brief summary of the plot: Melting permafrost has revealed an unknown/unusual virus. Skip forward 35 years, humanity is all but decimated, warring factions exist; fighting eachother and the mutated results of the virus. The Phoenix Project activates, scattered cells with the aim of researching and fighting the threat.

Choosing your base location is back, as is the world view. Fans of X-COM Apocalypse will recognise the concept of factions, you can gain various perks depending on your approach. I, for one, am glad to see factions return, a feature that has been sorely lacking in other games of this type. Something new to Phoenix Point is the concept of evolving enemies. That’s right, if they pull it off, enemies will evolve and adapt over time depending on how you deal with them and forcing you, in turn, to adapt. This is before you see the size of some of them. Let us also not neglect to mention the ability to destroy terrain and set pieces. They’re really pulling out the stops!

Phoenix Point is due for release in Q4 of 2018, although, certain tiers of pledge offer early access. It has already been in development for a year before the campaign began. I have faith that Julian and Snapshot will create something truly amazing and fun to play. If you have time I urge you to read some of the lore on the website, it is incredibly well written and a pleasure to experience. What do you think? Are you as excited as I am? Is the world ready for an evolution of the genre? Let me know in the comments!

Retake the world from a horrific mutated threat!

Exclusive
Video
Written
Giveaway
Offer
Guest
Written by Ex0du5_2169 on Friday, April 28th, 2017

Dyson spheres, traditions and ascendancy perks. Space Utopia?

Much has changed since I first reviewed Stellaris this time last year. A fair amount of DLC and several large patches have only expanded on a winning combination. Paradox have certainly given Stellaris a significant amount of content us to chew on and Utopia is simply the latest in a line of content expansions. Admittedly, there is much I have yet to encounter and learn. In fact, it is unlikely that I will ever stop finding new aspects to admire.

Let us begin by giving mention to the Leviathans DLC which arrived back in October. The main premise here was the addition of, you guessed it, several rather sizable events. From impossible entities to hulking dreadnoughts, even a dimensional horror. In most cases you should be prepared for a tough fight! Let us not forgot the enclaves who will provide help, for a price. As DLC goes (and despite the name), the amount of content is a little short. But at £7.50 (around $9.70) I believe it’s worth it.

It’s like fighting a sun, a sun with wings and teeth.

From massive creatures to mega structures, it’s Utopia, for some of us.

The Utopia DLC brings quite a host of changes, not the least of which is mega structures. Ever wanted to encase an entire sun in a Dyson Sphere? Maybe build one of the ring worlds you’ve encountered among the fallen empires? Now you can and, my goodness, are they glorious.

That’s not all, of course. One of the more game changing additions is traditions, a similar system to that of civics from the Civilization games. These tradition trees are now the only way to unlock certain features that previously required research. Many traditions also provide buffs to other areas, from border pops to faster colony growth, take your pick! But be careful, they get more expensive with each new choice.

Express yourself and your empire with something truly massive!

Ascension and progress.

Another new system is that of ascendancy. These perks are granted once a tradition tree is completed, giving a choice of three directions of progression. Psionic transcendance, biological mastery and synthetic evolution. Utopia also adds advanced options for government and improved slavery systems. Let us not forget the inclusion of hive minds. Food has also, more recently, become a global resource, no longer will your population starve because your planets don’t share!

There is much more to play with and far more depth than I am able to convey. Rest assured, this is a major DLC and is certainly not lacking in content. For £15 ($19.40 approximately) they have not disappointed me. I only hope that Utopia is the beginning of a lasting 4X legacy for Stellaris.