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Gaming

EGX 2021, Excel and London

I took my first proper trip away this long weekend with my girlfriend, we headed down to London to experience EGX2021 and everything it had to offer, bought superpasses and went in with our eyes wide open. I’ve only ever been to EGX once before, back in 2016 at Earls court, it was pretty magical so I was hoping with the increased space at Excel, it would blow me away. Afraid to say, tl;dr of this is, it didn’t.

What was on?

Well, not much. In terms of unreleased games there was a wealth of indie titles and sorts like that. However the big boys such as Xbox, Playstation, Nintendo, Ubisoft, EA… etc, the list goes on never bothered turning up. As a result the only games really they had to show off was Crytek, which was just a remaster of Crysis, and the aforementioned indie titles that don’t exactly capture me.

The Highlights

The top hitters for me, were;

  • Pinball machines
  • Old rare games such as the first mario, sonic, etc
  • Guitar Hero is always a win
  • Competitions looked cool, presenters were excellent
  • Lan center was cool, but limited to 45 minutes, couldn’t really bash out a game of Portal like that.
  • Career section was excellent, full of unis and companies looking to hire and give advice. 10/10 for this.

You might notice a trend with these, they aren’t exactly you’d come back next year for. As a result I doubt I’ll be back, I feel like I experienced it all in the first day, I kept coming back to see if things were different day to day, but it just got busier. If anyone did want to go, I’d say get a Thursday ticket, blast it all and then maybe get a Sunday ticket to tick off anything you haven’t seen.

Oddness

One thing I noticed, was that there was an absolutely massive Minecraft bit. Which seemed teeming with kids and teens, like it was packed. Thing is they were all playing on what looked like ex-high school machines, I’m talking that it was playing in frames per minute, not per second, it looked pretty awful to play. Also, I have 2 extremely beefy computers at home, why would I come to an event such as this to play Minecraft on a Dell desktop from 2007? The PC Lan center had well equipped machines, was very pleased with that.

Conclusion

My biggest takeaway is how little was really here, there was massive wide open areas and it felt like the EGX team had hoped they’d have more there. Most of the games on display were already out. Felt like it would have been super good if you were a team of 4 or 6 going to play a massive lan game or try out some of the old classics. But for me I feel like I got through most of everything before the afternoon of the first day. And we turned up late.

I’d advise if anyone wanted to go to EGX, try just one day, go super early and get the experience. I really enjoyed the first day, but the days after that felt like I was just there for the sake of being there. Also there wasn’t much in terms of Switch games to play which was quite surprising.

Would I recommend it? Maybe not, I had a lot more fun going around London and sightseeing.

By the way, yes there was a massive fall guys station, but it had such massive queues, again to play a game I could just play in my house, like, yes it was cool but it’s not why I go to these kinds of things. Which is totally fair enough, everyone has their own things they like to do at these events!

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Gaming

Hyper Scape – FPS Battle Royale, by Ubisoft

Here it is. Ubisoft has made their entry into the already crowded Battle Royale market featuring a battle pass and everything in-between. Let’s just jump into this.

For those of you that aren’t aware. Battle Royale as a concept is very simple, bunch of people spawn in on a map, the map gets smaller, good loot is relatively hard to find and you all kill each other to see who’s last man standing. Typically played in teams or solos. It’s not a massively hard concept to implement, it’s been done before and it’s been beaten 40 times over by every other AAA Company / Indie company releasing their take on it. Ubisoft isn’t any different and are coming into this very late, so obviously there needs to be some big innovation to take away from the giants like Call of Duty Warzone and Fortnite.

Gameplay

Starting off, gameplay is solid, you run, jump and generally fly about. They’ve integrated Twitch pretty well and it’s clear they’re going after the streamer market with this one. Every game has the chance to have voting where you (as a viewer) can vote on which modifier to implement such as;

  • Infinite Ammo
  • Less Gravity
  • Etc..

Honestly, what I can I say about the gameplay. It’s a first person shooter in 2020, it plays like a first person shooter in 2020. You aim at things, press button and they generally die. It’s not a slow based game and you often find yourself jumping over rooftops or getting killed from above. It is absolute chaos and that seems to be the theme they’re going with. You won’t find any slow and methodical gameplay here like in Players Unknown Battlegrounds, no this is all out explosions and abilities.

Being able to pick up power-ups is pretty cool, healing your team mates and providing yourself armour is two life lines that I would find very annoying if I’m playing against, but amazing if I’m playing as. I actually used this in the recent SwitchedBit video to defend my self against an enemy and then kill them. You can watch that here:

Feedback

This is a technical test, so the best time to talk about everything technical with the game. The frame rate is massive, like I’m talking Trump levels of bigly. Sitting at around 300FPS on Ultra, it plays fantastically and I never had any hitching or hit reg issues. It performs solid. Finding a game was rather easy aswell, quite quick, although I would like if the intro area was sped up a little bit, felt like waiting about too much. Hiting with the sniper is near impossible. Models are so small and it’s a large map so people are rather far away. If you are good with the sniper, you might do well but I’d prefer it if body shots could be a one hit kill. The pod system that spawns you into the map is really cool, basically everyone spawns from one point and you get to fly where ever you want. Nice change from the usual Bus / Plane idea.

Is there still room?

Honestly, I don’t know. So many games want your time these days. I feel like the only reason Battle Royale games fall off these days isn’t because the game is bad, either community or a decision was made which didn’t sit right with the fans. Take the following:

  • Fortnite: Is seen as the meme game for kids
  • PUBG: Seen as the old dog, no one plays this anymore according to the internet yet it’s still one of the top 10 games.
  • Warzone: The new one on the scene, has everyone gunning for it right now, everyones trying to get famous on Warzone.

Now we’re on Hyper Scape, which not to hate on it. The name isn’t exactly great. I find myself so often saying Hyper Space or Hyper Skype it conflicts so much with what I really want to say.

Conclusion

Honestly, I can’t see this really going anywhere… Hype around the game seems to have died pretty quickly Twitch at the time of writing this as 30k viewers when Warzone has around 47k. To me, a brand new game in tech test with a drops enabled twitch stream should be pulling far more. Personally, I’m tired of the genre and I can’t see enough in this game to differentiate between the other games. As always I recommend watching the video to get my full thoughts on the game as I’ll be speaking on what I’m actually seeing. If I had to pick a BR game to play however, it would be this. I just wished it released sooner because I’m just tired of the genre.

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Gaming

Gaming Dev Support Needs Change!

This is both a video topic I covered on stream and something I’ll dive into in this article. If you’d prefer to listen, you can find the video over on YouTube.

Call of Duty Warzone Rant

Gaming companies, at least the majority have had a really poor job in providing support to it’s customers. From Blizzard restricting what support staff can and can’t do to companies paying the lowest dollar for a call center that has no real power other than to listen to you complain. Now a days more often than not they’ll not come with a telephone number or an email. Effectively they provide no support for the Games as a Service products they have been so desperate to release to expand the life cycle of a game and hold back content that should have been in there … in the first place. Developers rely solely on updates which usually come every few months. But if you have an actual problem? You’re out of luck. Heck some of them will even direct you to the support services of companies like PlayStation or Xbox which have nothing to do with it. Say, you have a problem with Call of Duty, they actually tell you to contact PlayStation like they somehow have any ability to deploy bug fixes and fix server issues.

I think, enough is enough. As someone that’s been supporting a B2B SaaS Product, the thought of us closing down our ticket desk, support phone number and telling our customers, go follow our twitter would get me laughed out the industry. Game companies are obviously different because you’re dealing with a different customer base. It’s a bunch of gamers. Some kids, some kids pretending to be adults. But that is your customers. If you are happy to take their hard earned $60 sometimes more once monthly subscriptions and in-game transactions are out the way, you can listen to their feedback. It’s unforgivable that these companies treat their customers like muck on a pair of shoes. If you don’t want to get into the industry of hearing complaints and things going wrong, get out of the IT Industry and especially the software development industry.

Before I get any further, I do want to state there is some fantastic companies out there that provide great support. I’m all for modernizing support and doing it through social media, but you need to provide that at an adequate level. The Pandemic has shown who truly doesn’t have a grip on their staff. With warnings everywhere that support levels might be higher than usual and they might not have the staff…. how? It’s a support role, it can be done in the bath tub or on the M25 commute at the side of the hard shoulder. I’m not going to pretend like I know their process and I know how it works. But what I know is it doesn’t work right now. Activision provide you a few options. 1. Ask the Activision forum, great a bunch of people having the same issue as me all arguing about it, that’ll go well. 2. Is check support articles and number 3 is ask an “Activision Ambassador” Whatever the hell those people are, they aren’t open on a Sunday apparently…. a global 24/7 Gaming empire shuts on a Sunday. Okay.

I think there’s a few things that companies should be REQUIRED to provide if they’re trying to provide a service to business or normal customers. It isn’t up to the law to do this, it’s us as consumers that should take the boot off our heads and realize that if we stop buying their products, they’ll need to tell their shareholders they messed up and will be required to give in to the demands of their customers in order to make money. It’s capatalism and we have as much power as they do, as long as we work together. Companies should have to:

  • Provide a toll-free phone number that people can phone and reach a REAL person which can take details of the complaint with a reference number at the end so you can see about updates.
  • Provide an email address so you can email evidence and help staff diagnose issues.
  • Provide a business address which can be visited. For some reason if I get a faulty washing machine or other appliance. I pack it back up in my car, bring it back to the shop and explain why I want a refund. Games are excluded from that process, to the point where most times the public isn’t allowed in these offices or they can’t deal with these requests…. why? Again, they treat their customers like they have 0 rights to actually get things resolved.

If these gaming companies are going to cut out the middlemen like Game stores and keep all the profit for themselves, create their own launchers and take over your computer with intrusive anti-cheat software, then the least they can do is listen to your complains. Process your refund and answer why they ship poor products and refuse to take feedback on board. The law should be involved, but let’s be honest, who’s really going to take an upset gamer seriously. Most of the internet always laughs whenever gamers have issues. There’s always something more serious going on, however peoples hobbies are important to them, especially slimy companies getting away with abusing consumer rights. Australia usually always has a case going regarding x Company doing something bad, here’s a fun one!

https://www.pcgamer.com/australian-court-reaffirms-that-valve-misled-gamers-23-million-fine-upheld/

Conclusion

In my experience, whenever you need help, want a refund or just want to get your game fixed game companies make the process as hard as possible because I believe they hate the customers that they service. They know that 13 year old Timmy is going to phone up wanting free v-bux, they know the service will be wasted on pointless queries that isn’t their fault. My issue comes with the fact that it’s only gaming companies that seem to get let away with not helping their customer base. Self-service is what it is all about these days but how does self service actually get issues resolved? I’ve written about issues such as the Call of Duty Out of Memory error that still isn’t fixed. I should be due a refund because that game still doesn’t work yet I had to fix it using my own experience and time. I don’t have an option to get that resolved. Needless to say that they usually deny refund requests after 2 hours. How is 2 hours an accurate representation of anything. Just because I managed to wash my clothes for 2 hours before my machine broke doesn’t mean that I’m now not due a refund. I still have rights and I still usually can get a replacement, the issue fixed or a refund. Gaming Companies have been ripping profit out of the industry and back towards their investors for years now. I opt that we demand changes to how they treat customers and show everyone a bit of respect. It’s the least they can do when they jack up the prices, demand monthly payments and hide everything behind in-game transactions.

I expect some of you won’t agree. If you don’t comment below and I’ll address any concerns. This isn’t directed at indie studios by the way. They usually give a damn when people buy their products and actively talk to the community in a fantastic way.

Categories
Gaming

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare Remastered Campaign Playthrough Veteran

This is the massively successful game Call of Duty 4, but remastered in full 1080p 60fps glory for ya’ll to watch! I’ve played through the iconic campaign on Veteran!

Let’s get started!

Mission 1 – F.N.G
Mission 2 – Crew Expendable
Mission 3 – The Coup
Mission 4 – Blackout
Mission 5 – Charlie Don’t Surf
Mission 6 – The Bog
Mission 7 – Hunted

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Gaming

How to Fix Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered Out of Memory Error

Not to be confused with my last blog post on Modern Warfare 2 remastered, this one requires some slight tweeks to get it working. Sadly after the years this game has been released on PC, this issue still isn’t fixed. But I have a fix for you!

  • Extract the above players2 zip to your Call of Duty Modern Warfare remastered install directory, in my case this would be F:\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered
  • Launch the game

Issue here seems to be that this game will not create the configuration files in the install directory… why? Lord knows, but it throws this error because it assumes there isn’t enough space to write to the disk. Which of course is incorrect.

Shoddy incorrect error messages and bugs that have existed since years ago, shame on Infinity Ward.

The big difference between Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 is that Modern Warfare 2 required the step with getting the Blizzard Account ID. Since this game was released on Steam, that isn’t required.

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Gaming

How to Fix low FPS in Chrome / Second Monitor when gaming G-SYNC

UPDATE

Thank you to user /u/ralcar for informing me that this is getting fixed! It’s in the next preview of Windows 10 2004 20H1! So yay guys seems I’m late to the party but we’ve got a fix on the way!

https://www.notebookcheck.net/Windows-10-2004-20H1-finally-gets-multi-monitor-refresh-rates-right.454143.0.html

Disclaimer

Just from the get go this is an issue that seems to affect G-Sync monitors. I am not able to test with freesync but I’ve had this problem affecting me for years and never known it was to do with this till I actually got off my ass and figured it out. If this this widely known! Sorry! Hopefully I’ve helped someone!

Backstory

I have a G-Sync monitor. Whenever something drops to low FPS whether it’s a level loading or the game just gets choppy, performance in other applications are hampered even if they shouldn’t be. World of Warcraft is one of those. It’s always running and when I tab out I have it drop down to 30FPS. This causes applications weirdly on my second monitor to match this frame rate. To test this issue I dropped it down to 8FPS and it got even worse. The biggest issue of all, is that whenever I hearthstone the game loads and drops down to 1FPS causing everything to become unusable on the second display.

The Fix!

Now the simple fix would be to just turn off G-Sync. That’ll stop whatever this issue is. We’re going to look into why this is happening, but a quick workaround is just to open something graphically intensive on your other monitor. In my case, I wanted to record the problem happening, but opening OBS fixes it. Interested to learning why this is happening and if anyone out there has any deeper insight into why, would love for you to share in the comments below. I’ll update the post as we learn more.

Things Tried

I did my research! I tried thing such as editing Nvidia Inspector settings for multi monitor optimizations along with a barrage of Nvidia Control Panel settings of GPU Scaling etc. Nothing seemed to work except turning off G-Sync or having another application open in this case OBS to stop it happening.

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Gaming

Call of Duty Modern Warfare (2019) Campaign Realistic Playthrough

In this post we’ll be playing every mission on Realistic and showing you to complete it. Packed full of Drones, Sniping and stealth, it’s a hard campaign but well worth the reward with how pretty the game overall looks. I’ve never played a Call of Duty which looked this good and sounded this good. Seriously rivals Battlefield.

Mission 1 – Fog of War
Mission 2 – Piccadilly
Mission 3 – Embedded
Mission 4 – Proxy War
Mission 5 – Clean House
Mission 6 – Hunting Party
Mission 7 – The Embassy
Mission 8 – The Highway Of Death
Mission 9 – Hometown
Mission 10 – The Wolf’s Den
Mission 11 – Captive
Mission 12 – Old Comrades
Mission 13 – Going Dark
Mission 14 – Into The furnace

And with that ends our Modern Warfare 2019 series. Hope you’ve enjoyed, happy to take any questions below!

Honestly, I enjoyed the campaign much more than I thought I would. Story was pretty solid, missions were very fun, just wish the AI actually posed a challenge rather than being impossible to combat sometimes.

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Gaming

FIX: Out Of Memory Error. You are Probably Low on Hard Disk Space. (12) Modern Warfare 2 Remastered

Quick fix on this error. To be clear I tried the following solutions:

  • Safe Mode with Networking
  • Creating a players2 folder in the install directory
  • Launching just the exe
  • Reinstalling the game
  • Reinstalling Battle.net

None of these worked. However this solution worked for me. First download the zip file below

  • Extract this to your Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Remastered install directory, for me this is here. C:\Program Files (x86)\Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered
  • You should now have a players2 folder in that directory along with a Data folder and a main folder
  • Go inside the Players2 folder and rename the folder in there to your Blizzard Account ID. You can find this by going here: https://account.blizzard.com
  • Open Dev Tools (Right click Inspect Element)
  • Go to Application
  • Inside the application window go to Local Storage
  • Click the https://account.blizzard.com
  • And follow the screenshot to find your account ID.

Once you have your account ID, rename the folder called 125568351 to whatever your blizzard accountID is. You should see it in the bottom left of my screenshot. This is inside the players2 folder and your game should now launch. If the game asks do you want to launch in safe mode? Click no. If the game asks if you want it to auto detect video settings, also press no. Sometimes if you press yes it’ll still fail to launch!

There seems to be an issue with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Remastered creating this folder. Hence why it complains about disk space as I presume that’s just the default error it gives when it cannot create a folder or a file.

Many thanks to the reddit user /u/itsyuka for finding this fix! All credit goes to them. https://www.reddit.com/r/CallOfDuty/comments/gb0ig8/mw2_anyone_else_greeted_by_this/fp36eib/?context=3

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Gaming

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Remastered PC Campaign Playthrough

At long last the remaster for this iconic 2009 video game has released on PC, which is the platform to really stretch the legs of the new Modern Warfare engine. I decided to play through some missions and show off some of the new details and extra things that have been added in since the 2009 launch.

S.S.D.D – Mission 1
TeamPlayer – Mission 2
Cliffhanger – Mission 3
No Russian – Mission 4
Takedown – Mission 5
Wolverines! – Mission 6
The Hornet’s Nest – Mission 7
Exodus – Mission 8
The Gulag – Mission 9
Of Their Own Accord – Mission 10
Contingency – Mission 11
Second Sun – Mission 12
Whiskey Hotel – Mission 13
Loose Ends – Mission 14
The Enemy of my Enemy – Mission 15
Just Like Old Times – Mission 16
Endgame – Mission 17

Categories
Gaming

Call of Duty World at War Veteran Campaign Missions Playthrough

I’ve created a playlist of my Call of Duty World at War Veteran playthrough. One of the best campaigns in my opinion in Call of Duty history. It doesn’t get much better than some WW2 action and it doesn’t even feature a D-Day. Something which the new Call of Duties totally fail to capture.

See all videos here:

Semper Fi – Mission 1
Little Resistance – Mission 2
Hard Landing – Mission 3
Vendetta – Mission 4
Their Land, Their Blood – Mission 5
Burn Em Out – Mission 6
Relentless – Mission 7
Blood and Iron – Mission 8
Ring of Steel – Mission 9
Black Cats – Mission 10
Mission 11 Blowtorch & Corkscrew

Mission 12 – Soon

Mission 13 – Heart of the Reich
Mission 14 – Downfall

Check this space as more will be coming soon…