It's official: Nokia is now offering a line of Android-powered smartphones. During the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Nokia announced a trio of devices as part of the Nokia X family, each of which run a customized version of the open source operating system.
For its fifth installment, Tropico is moving into the fourth dimension. Time is the most distinctive new part of Tropico 5, as now it moves through four different eras, from colonial to modern. By integrating its different time periods into multiple aspects of gameplay, Tropico 5 may be a far more dynamic experience than the conventional city-building offering. If developers Haemimont Games can pull it off, that's potentially exciting news both for the Tropico series and the city-builder genre.
I found two aspects of the era system extremely attractive. First, it's visually compelling. The different eras are represented by different architecture for the various buildings. So, as producer/designer Bisser Dyankov showed me around his modern era city, I could see the multi-colored “Cold War” era apartments and compare them colonial mansions or modern skyscrapers. The graphical engine has been revamped, so the buildings also look better than they did in previous Tropicos, but even if they didn't, the idea of different styles appeals. Just seeing where I'd have expanded over the course of a playthrough indicates that Tropico is recording an architectural history of my playthrough, which appeals greatly to the history nerd inside me.
At the 2014 edition of Samsung Unpacked, the company revealed its newest flagship phone, the Galaxy S5, as well as the previously announced line of Gear smartwatches. While the presentation focused heavily on innovation and progress, there's very little reinventing of the wheel in its latest crop of devices, though there are some perks that are likely to please Galaxy fans. The star of the show was the new Galaxy S5, an update to last year's S4, and Samsung promises something innovative, but does it deliver? Short answer: not really.
The alternate history slant of The Order: 1886 speaks to me. After all, few things are more interesting than taking the historical record and bending and twisting it to make something new, yet subtly recognizable. Ready at Dawn’s upcoming PlayStation 4-exclusive title strives to do just that, marrying its so-called “Neo-Victorian,” alternate-history story and aesthetic with more standard conventions of the third-person shooter genre.
But here’s the thing. Until just recently, no one’s actually seen the game. Sure, I saw a behind-closed-doors tech demo when I was at Gamescom last year, and we have the really pretty reveal trailer, too, but no one outside of Sony and Ready at Dawn has been privy to what The Order: 1886 is all about. Until now.
In neither Demon's nor Dark Souls did you have more than the barest idea of who you were, or why you had awakened in a desecrated realm of demons and the undead. You could piece it together from bare scraps of lore - indeed, there exist huge and fascinating discussions in the Dark Souls community about who exactly you are - but at the beginning of the game, you had no idea. You're just dumped in the Nexus, or into a cell in the Undead Asylum, without any idea how you got there.
Defending your garden against endless waves of zombies in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare's Garden Ops multiplayer mode is a thrill. Unlike the Team Vanquish mode where you try to wipe out the pesky plants or zany zombies, this four-player co-op mode is all about working together to keep your precious garden alive versus the hungry undead.
Vizio is looking to compete with the bigger, more reputable companies in the TV market with its new high-end Ultra HD televisions. While the company still plans on selling its popular high-definition TVs, its new Reference Series shows that Vizio is just as determined to succeed in the premium 4K market. During CES, we got a chance to look at the company's entire line of new products, but none were able to attract as much well-deserved attention as its 65- and 120-inch Reference Series models.
Announced yesterday, the Reference Series includes a pair of 4K televisions that come with a 5.1 sound bar and a 10-inch wireless subwoofer. The panels and the technology behind the display, which were made with the help of Dolby, deliver stunningly vivid and accurate colors with its 10-bit color gamut, 800 nit brightness, and HDR capabilities.
The Oculus Rift is making a big evolutionary leap at this year's CES. Today, the company introduced the latest prototype of the upcoming virtual reality headset, which makes significant improvements to latency and blurring, as well as the addition of new positional tracking. The new tracking capabilities are made possible due to a notable addition to the Rift — an external camera.
Digital Storm has announced Bolt II, a dual-booting Steam Machine featuring both SteamOS and Windows. The small form factor PC was teased late in 2013, and features a 240mm liquid cooling system and perforated vents, which is apparently "double the cooling power of its closest competitor."
Bolt II prices start at $1,899 and it will be available at the end of January. Digital Storm’s Rajeev Kuruppu said, “We are not looking to compete with console pricing.”
Valve's own Steam Machine prototype is valued at $1,300.
With the upgradable machine, Digital Storm is "taking aim at the high end of the market, targeting consumers that demand the best possible gaming experience and who are looking for a PC capable of playing any title on their new 4K display.”
After recently playing Tomb Raider on a high-end PC last year, I was impressed by how good it looked. Lara's hair with TressFX blowing through the wind was a sight to behold, and there were more than a few occasions where I had to stop and just look around at what the dangerous yet mythical island of Yamatai had in store. I thought adventuring through the treacherous cliffs and ruins was gorgeous, but I didn't realize how much better it could look until I got my hands on the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition on PlayStation 4.
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