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  • Horizon Forbidden West’s PC Launch Pushed it into US Charts for Best-Selling Games of the Week. 1 week ago

    The latter part of March saw a bustling release schedule for video games, with noteworthy titles such as Dragon’s Dogma 2, Rise of the Ronin, Princess Peach: Showtime!, and Alone in the Dark debuting. Amidst these exciting releases, Sony also introduced the PC version of Horizon Forbidden West, which promptly garnered attention and drew a vast number of players on Steam right after its launch.
    The release of Horizon Forbidden West on PC not only captivated a large audience but also led to a noticeable upsurge in sales. Circana analyst Mat Piscatella revealed through a Twitter statement that within merely three days on the market, ending the week of March 23, Horizon Forbidden West secured a position among the top ten best-selling games across the United States. This leap in sales was particularly remarkable considering that just the week before its PC debut, the game did not feature in the top 100 rankings, highlighting the impact of its launch on PC.
    Such an impressive performance of Horizon Forbidden West on the PC platform seemed anticipated, especially considering the success of its prequel. Data obtained from a leak in December, originating from an Insomniac hack, exposed that Horizon Zero Dawn had achieved sales surpassing 3.3 million units on Steam. Given this precedent, the significant sales boost and warm reception of Horizon Forbidden West on PC could have been expected, yet it nonetheless underscores the title's allure and enduring appeal within the gaming community.

    Amanda Griffith
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  • World of Warcraft Does Not Use Generative AI – Franchise Director 1 week ago

    In a conversation with IGN at the Game Developers Conference, John Hight, the franchise director of Warcraft, shed light on Blizzard's approach to integrating technology within World of Warcraft's development process. He highlighted that while the studio employs machine learning for mechanical tasks, such as adjusting armor fits across a diverse range of character models, the essence of artistic creation within the game remains firmly in the hands of human artists.
    The process of adapting armor designs for the game's myriad character forms – considering their unique shapes, horns, and tails – was previously a tedious task for artists. Blizzard decided to leverage machine learning to automate this process, successfully reducing the workload and allowing artists to focus on refining designs. This innovation not only accelerated the creation of new armor but also enhanced the artistic team's satisfaction by eliminating the monotony of repetitive tasks.
    However, Hight acknowledged the concerns among artists regarding the potential implications of AI technology on their careers. There exists a fear that the adoption of generative AI could potentially render their roles obsolete. Reinforcing his commitment to the artistic process, Hight, who was raised by an aeronautical engineer and a fine artist, expressed a deep appreciation for human creativity and imagination. He reassured that Blizzard is cautious in its approach to AI, ensuring that it supports rather than replaces the human element of game development. Currently, World of Warcraft does not utilize generative AI in its content creation, focusing instead on how technology can assist in streamlining development while preserving the integrity and contributions of its artists.
    As World of Warcraft wraps up its Dragonflight expansion, anticipation builds for its upcoming major expansion, The War Within. Additionally, the game recently introduced Plunderstorm, a new 60-player battle royale mode, offering players a unique way to earn rewards for both regular and classic servers, further enriching the dynamic world that so many have come to love – a world that remains, at its core, a product of human imagination and creativity.

    Amanda Griffith
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  • Becoming a Racing Legend in Forza Horizon 4: Tips and Tricks 1 week ago

    Forza Horizon 4 stands as a pinnacle in the world of racing games, offering players an exhilarating combination of high-speed racing, stunning visuals, and dynamic seasons, all set in a gloriously rendered representation of Great Britain. But how does one transition from a novice driver meandering through the scenic countryside to a celebrated racing legend dominating the leaderboards? This journey requires more than just raw speed; it demands strategy, finesse, and an intimate understanding of the game's mechanics.

    Understand the Dynamic Seasons

    Unique to Forza Horizon 4 is the dynamic season system, which cycles through spring, summer, autumn, and winter, dramatically altering the driving conditions and the landscape. Each season not only transforms the world visually but also impacts how your vehicle handles on the road. Here's how to master each season:

    • Spring: Roads can be wet, affecting grip. Choose cars with good handling and acceleration.
    • Summer: Ideal for speed. High-performance vehicles shine here, but watch out for sudden rain showers that can slice roads.
    • Autumn: Leaves and rain make roads slippery. Opt for vehicles with good all-wheel drive to maintain control.
    • Winter: Snow and ice cover the roads, drastically reducing grip. Winter tires are a must, and cars with 4WD or AWD are considered for better traction.

    Car Selection is Key

    With a garage that can quickly become filled with hundreds of cars, choosing the right vehicle for the right event is paramount to your success in Forza Horizon 4. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

    • Event Type: Road races favor high-speed cars with good acceleration, while off-road events require rugged cars with better handling and durability.
    • Car Class: Cars are categorized into classes from D (the slowest) to X (the fastest). Races often have class requirements; make sure your car meets the event’s criteria without being overpowered to avoid unnecessary difficulties.
    • Drive Type: The choice between FWD, RWD, and AWD can make a significant difference in how a car handles under various conditions. Generally, AWD is more forgiving and suitable for less experienced drivers.

    Mastering the Art of Tuning

    Forza Horizon 4

    Tuning your car in Forza Horizon 4 can provide the edge you need to outperform the competition. While the game offers auto-tuning options, learning to fine-tune your vehicle allows for a higher degree of control and personalization. Pay attention to:

    • Tire Pressure: Adjusting tire pressure affects grip and handling. Lower pressure increases grip but can reduce speed, while higher pressure can increase speed at the cost of handling.
    • Gearing: Proper gearing can significantly impact acceleration and top speed. Shorten gears for quicker acceleration, which is useful in circuit races, or lengthen them for higher top speeds, which is ideal for sprint races.
    • Suspension: Adjusting the suspension can improve cornering and stability. Stiffer suspensions are better for flat tracks, while softer suspensions can benefit off-road and uneven surfaces.

    The Importance of Skill Points and Perks

    In Forza Horizon 4, every car you drive earns skill points, which can be spent on car-specific perks that offer various benefits, from bonus credits to improved performance. Here’s how to maximize their potential:

    • Focus on your favorite cars: Rather than spreading your points thin, concentrate on unlocking perks for cars you frequently use or those used in your preferred event types.
    • Wheel spin bonuses: Perks that grant extra wheel spins are incredibly valuable as they can reward high amounts of credits, rare cars, or cosmetic items.
    • Event-specific perks: Some perks provide bonuses in specific events like drift or off-road races. Target these if you specialize in or enjoy those event types.

    Driving Techniques and Strategies

    Forza Horizon 4

    Raw speed isn’t everything in Forza Horizon 4. Mastering various driving techniques and strategies can make a significant difference in your race performance:

    • Cornering: Learn the "slow in, fast out" technique. Brake before entering a corner, then accelerate out. This provides better control and speed upon exit.
    • Drifting: While not always the fastest method through a corner, drifting can be beneficial in specific events and is crucial for earning points in drift challenges.
    • Slipstreaming: Also known as drafting, stay behind an opponent to reduce air resistance and gain speed, then overtake them when you’re close enough or have gained enough speed advantage.

    Multiplayer and Online Racing

    Competing against other players online introduces new challenges and opportunities. To excel in online races, consider the following:

    • Race Clean: Avoid contact with other players. Not only is it considered poor etiquette, but collisions can also slow you down or even cost you the race.
    • Adaptability: Human opponents are unpredictable. Be ready to adapt strategy on the fly, whether changing your driving style or choosing different paths.
    • Community Events: Participating in community events can offer unique challenges and rewards. These events are also a great way to measure your skill against a broader pool of players.

    Utilizing Forza Horizon 4's Social Features

    Forza Horizon 4

    Forza Horizon 4 is as much a social platform as it is a racing game. Engaging with its social features can enhance your experience:

    • Join a Club: Clubs connect you with like-minded players, offering a sense of community and mutual support in improving your racing skills.
    • Blueprint Events: Creating or participating in custom events through Blueprint allows you to experience the game in new ways, challenging yourself and others with unique event parameters.
    • Photo Mode: Sometimes, taking a moment to appreciate the beauty of the game through photo mode can provide a refreshing break from high-speed racing, offering a different kind of satisfaction.

    Continuous Learning and Improvement

    Finally, the path to becoming a racing legend in Forza Horizon 4 is one of continuous learning and improvement. Stay curious, be open to experimenting with different strategies, and don’t be afraid of failure. Each race, whether won or lost, is a chance to refine skills and grow as a driver. Remember, in the vast, dynamic world of Forza Horizon 4, every corner, every straight, and every season brings a new chance to excel.

    In conclusion, while speed is the essence of racing, conquering Forza Horizon 4 requires a blend of strategic thought, technical skill, and an ever-evolving understanding of the game’s mechanics and nuances. By following these tips and dedicating yourself to honing your craft, you can journey from a fledgling racer to a celebrated icon of the Forza Horizon 4 community. Start your engines, and let the legend be born.

    Jack Edwards
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  • Square Enix Rolls Out Significant Updates for Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth’s Performance Mode 3 weeks ago

    The realm of gaming is constantly evolving with developers striving to perfect the user experience by introducing refinements and,, enhancements to their creations. Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth is no exception to this pursuit of excellence. Being a title that garnered attention and praise upon release, its Performance Mode, designed to offer smoother gameplay, had not met the benchmark in visual fidelity. In an exciting turn of events, Square Enix has initiated a substantial improvement to this aspect of the game, placating fans who sought better graphical quality alongside high frame rates.

    The latest update signifies Square Enix's dedication to responding to player feedback, addressing issues, and enhancing the gaming experience. The patch, which was initially released in the Japanese language, has revealed, through translations, new Quality of Life adjustments that span across the entirety of the game’s spectrum. For starters, texts within the game that previously suffered from typographical errors and omissions have been meticulously revised, ensuring a clearer narrative journey for players.

    In the realm of gameplay, some technical quirks have been smoothed out. Character control on the map, particularly during specific scenarios, is refined, amplifying the flow and response during exploration. Battle dynamics have also received careful attention, with certain abilities of the character Red XIII seeing improvements in their execution, leading to less interruption and more strategic combat. Enemy behavior during conflicts, along with quest progression blockers, have been addressed, reducing the chance of gameplay disruptions.

    The promised frame rate and stability enhancements speak directly to the heart of the gameplay experience, promising a smoother and more consistent performance, which is particularly emphasized in the updated Performance Mode. Players are now presented with "Sharp" and "Soft" graphical settings, offering a tailored visual experience according to personal preferences. Beyond performance, user interface elements like camera settings have been made more intuitive during specific gameplay moments, such as flying on a sky Chocobo or engaging in targeted mini-games.

    The culmination of these updates reflects Square Enix's commitment to continually improving their games post-release, ensuring the longevity and vitality of beloved franchises like Final Fantasy. By listening to feedback and implementing much-needed improvements, the developers not only enrich the current gaming session but also reinforce the trust and loyalty of their fan base. With updates like the enhanced Performance Mode for Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth, it is clear that the gaming community's voice is not only heard but respected, signaling a positive direction for future updates and player-developer interactions.

    Amanda Griffith
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Game Reviews

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BeamNG.drive BeamNG.drive

BeamNG.drive is a soft-body physics vehicle simulator featuring unique realistic damage modeling. The game features impressive graphics and accurate damage modeling that creates an immersive and realistic experience for the player.

BeamNG.drive is a vehicle simulation game developed and published by BeamNG. It was released on May 29, 2015, for Microsoft Windows. The game is set in an open-world environment and features realistic vehicle physics and destruction.

Gameplay 

BeamNG.drive features realistic soft-body physics that creates an immersive and believable driving experience. The damage modeling is accurate and realistic, making for a very satisfying gameplay experience. There are a wide variety of vehicles to choose from, each with its own unique physics. 

The game features a damage system that realistically simulates the effects of crashes. There are also a large number of levels to play, each with different challenges. The game also features a built-in modding system that allows players to create and share their own content. 

BeamNG.drive is a vehicle simulation game that allows players to experience realistic car physics. The game features a variety of vehicles, including cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles. Players can drive around in the open world, or participate in races and other challenges.

Graphics 

BeamNG.drive features impressive graphics that create a realistic and believable world. The damage modeling is particularly impressive, with accurate and realistic visuals. The game also features a wide variety of vehicles and levels, each with its own unique visuals.

BeamNG.drive features high-quality graphics that realistically portray the vehicles and environments. The graphics are further enhanced by the game's soft-body physics engine, which simulates realistic vehicle behavior and damage.

Controls 

BeamNG.drive features simple and easy-to-use controls. The game is accessible to a wide range of players. The controls are responsive and easy to use, making for a smooth and enjoyable experience.

BeamNG.drive features simple and easy-to-use controls that are well-suited for the game's vehicle simulation gameplay. Players can easily control their vehicles and perform a variety of stunts and maneuvers.

Replayability 

BeamNG.drive is highly replayable due to its large number of vehicles and levels. There is also a built-in modding system that allows players to create and share their own content. The game is also highly replayable due to its realistic damage modeling and believable graphics.

BeamNG.drive is a highly replayable game. The game's open-world environment and variety of vehicles and challenges give players a lot of content to explore. The game's damage system also adds to the replayability, as players can experiment with different ways to crash their vehicles.

Conclusion 

BeamNG.drive is a vehicle simulation game that features a realistic physics engine and a damage system that realistically simulates the damage to vehicles. The game is highly replayable and features a custom editor that allows players to create custom vehicles and tracks.

BeamNG.drive is a great vehicle simulation game that features realistically simulated car physics and impressive graphics. The game is easy to control, and its open-world environment and variety of vehicles and challenges make it highly replayable.

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