Update


Well it’s been a bit of a quiet week as far as this website’s concerned and I’ve had a few distractions what with life and work etc that has meant I haven’t had the interest to really watch any movies.

On the other hand, I have been playing games and trying to get as much out of my shiny new Xbox One X as I can.  One game I’ve played at length so far is Far Cry 5 – a real showcase for the system, with high quality texture detail, fantastic lighting, bright, sunny vistas, lush forests and quality NPC animation as well as a huge world to explore.  The only real puzzling aspect is the rather bland water (games like Witcher 3 and Sea of Thieves do water so much better).  The gameplay is fairly par of the course for open world games, but is quite engaging, helped by some movie quality shoot-outs and plenty of atmosphere with the ability to approach most tasks however you see fit.  The backdrop of a religious cult taking over a southern community is both topical and intriguing, and something not that explored in other games.  I’ve also dipped in and out of older games in my possession like Gears of War 4 (which looks stunning), Mafia 3 (finally the game runs smoothly!) and Rise of the Tomb Raider (probably the best looking game I’ve played on the X so far).  In addition to these I’ve recently got hold of the five times Bafta award winning Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which is a different kind of hack and slash game, where the focus is less on combat and instead that of the fragile psyche of the lead character and her journey into a hellish underworld to free her lover’s soul (I think), and explores aspects of mental health quite unlike any game I’ve played.  It’s also gorgeous.  This former PlayStation 4 exclusive looks fantastic on Xbox One X and is another showcase for the system, especially once you start getting further into the game.

Hellblade

Hellblade on Xbox One X

I’d like to blog more about games and am thinking of doing a post on favourite games of all time, although it won’t be a top ten.  I also have much interest in game-graphics and with such boundless power these consoles have now it seems, why do we still see games like Far Cry not have mirrors in bathrooms (usually they’re broken and therefore non-reflective…really?) it’s a pet peeve but I’ve seen them done perfectly in much older games (Max Payne 2 comes to mind) without a hitch.  Mafia 3 attempts them but they are all messed up (even still after the X patch).  Do game developers really struggle with this seemingly simple thing??  By now things like mirrors, realistic weather and convincing water effects should be a given … some games pull it off great (check out the still industry leading rain effects in Watchdogs).  The snow and blizzard effects in The Division are also great, but most games never seem to cover all things to the same level, excelling in some areas but letting themselves down in others.  It’s rarely the complete package.  So are we still a little ways off fully impressive looking games that just simply nail everything as far as realistic effects creating convincing real-world representations?  It’s clearly more about development shortcomings and less about the graphical power at hand.

Below are two examples of great looking graphics,

captured directly from the Xbox One X

Quantum Break   Witcher 3

With Gaming PCs, PS4 Pro and Xbox One X now available, and hints of next-gen around the corner … when will such graphics reach a standard where nothing, and I mean nothing seems out of place and the overall impact is jaw-dropping.  We’re close I know it.  Just not quite there yet.

Craig.

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5 thoughts on “Update

  1. I’m sorely tempted to buy an Xbox One X. The 360 remains my favourite games console ever, but I went with a PS4 this gen if only because I fancied a change re: exclusives etc as I’d missed so many Sony ones last gen (and couldn’t really face another load of Halo/Forzas etc). Now some years later, yeah I’m near ready to go back to Microsoft again.

    Like you, I don’t have a 4K tv yet, which is why I’m a bit on the fence still. Do the games run better in 1080 HD and is the difference worth the outlay? I’m certain a 4K tv will be on the shopping list in a several months so having a 4K games console ready and waiting is awfully tempting in the meantime. Or maybe I’ll just wait for the tv first.

    Agh. Nightmare.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t regret it. Games generally ‘feel’ a lot smoother and look noticeably sharper. It depends how familiar u r with certain games though… it’s not night and day but performance-wise it’s the most obvious. Many games also have new graphical modes to take advantage of either visuals or performance. It’s been fun to play about with different settings. The difference will clearly be even more pronounced on a 4K tv but for now on a 1080p tv I’m happy.

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      • Well, you’ve pretty much sold me. To be honest I miss the whole xbox ecosystem; I loved how the 360 dashboard worked and the live arcade. Never really warmed to the Playstation ecosystem and many of the PS exclusives have actually left me cold (I’m either too old or dead already, can’t decide, ha ha). I really miss my xbox and the chance to revisit my old games with perhaps better graphics/performance is almost irresistible. Frankly it’d be a dead cert if I had a 4K tv really.

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      • Do u still have your old 360 games? if so u can just insert the disk in the Xbox one and it’ll download the game, sometimes with X enhancements (such as red dead redemption) at no cost.

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  2. Yep, still got all my old 360 games. Crackdown was one of my faves, I hear that’s updated. And State of Decay 2 is out next month? I loved the first one. Hmm, maybe May will be the month I bite the bullet. Keep up your gaming articles, I’ll be keen to hear more about the Xbox One and the visuals etc.

    Liked by 1 person

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