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Resident Evil 4 for iPhone review
1:13 am | January 1, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Mobile phones news | Tags: | Comments: Off

Resident Evil 4 has a special place in gaming history. Released back in 2005 for the GameCube and later for the PlayStation 2, it was a paragon of the third-person survival horror genre with its incredibly tense action sequences, amazing level design, terrifying enemies, and memorable characters and writing. It carved a niche for itself and it was for many — including myself — their favorite installment in the series. Having played that version on a PS2 all those years ago, I was genuinely stoked to see it getting a proper remaster earlier this year along the lines of Resident Evil...

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising review – swords and sorcery
6:21 pm | December 22, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets Gaming | Tags: | Comments: Off
Review information

Platform reviewed: PC
Available on: PS5, PS4, PC
Release date: December 14, 2023 

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is one of the most accessible, beginner-friendly fighting games ever made. It goes to great lengths to ensure new players can get in on the ground floor comfortably, be that through its detailed tutorials or the fact it offers a free-to-play version with a rotational selection of characters that swap out on a weekly basis.

To its credit, beginner-friendly doesn’t mean the game or its mechanics suffer in any way. There’s still an exceptionally high skill ceiling on offer in Rising; some characters are tougher to get to grips with than others, not to mention a heap of mechanics and complex combo strings available to learn that’ll gradually help you improve your game.

And if you’re not the online type, Rising still offers a very healthy amount of solo-friendly and more casual modes. There’s an offline arcade mode, a lengthy beat-em-up style story mode as well as the Fall Guys-esque Grand Bruise Legends (a competitive platformer with a more cutesy art style) if you’re looking for something more laid back than those intense online matches. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just dipping your toe into the genre for the first time, then, Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is a hell of a game to jump into. 

A grand old cast

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising Katalina VS Siegfried

(Image credit: Cygames)

A fighting game’s most vital component is its roster of characters, and Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising doesn’t disappoint here. At launch, there’s a total of 28 fighters (24 from the original Granblue Fantasy Versus alongside four newcomers), with six more being added as post-launch DLC throughout 2024.

There’s an eclectic mix on offer here. If you’re just starting out, Gran and Djeeta are very accessible beginner characters. Both have easy-to-use projectiles and straightforward special moves that’ll help you get familiar with the general flow of the game. Beyond them, everyone on the roster typically has one or two characteristics and a game plan that makes them unique.

Metera, for example, excels at long-range with extremely strong projectiles. Seox is kind of the polar opposite; a master of rushing you down with fast-flowing close-range attacks. There are some more specialist characters, too, like Ladiva with her powerful grapples and Nier’s ability to summon and control a puppet - effectively forcing you to contend with two targets simultaneously.

While some characters are certainly harder to grasp than others, the mantra of ‘play whoever you think looks cool’ remains true here. That’s because several mechanics are universal; every fighter has access to spot dodges and a forward evasion, as well as three-button auto combos that can then lead into special moves for big damage.

One huge boon Rising brings to the table is that special moves do not require more technical inputs to pull off. Those inputs like ‘quarter-circle-forward’ or the iconic ‘dragon punch’ motion are present - and you’ll get an extra 10% damage for the trouble - but you’re also able to activate your specials via a simple press of R1 (RB on an Xbox controller) and a single direction. This is fantastic for helping you input special moves more reliably and, in many cases, much faster. 

Spoiled for choice

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising's Grand Bruise mode

(Image credit: Cygames)

One of the best things about Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is a substantial number of modes to suit players of all kinds. You of course have the standard ranked and unranked online suites and player lobbies, and your typical eight-round arcade mode for solo players.

My experience with Rising’s online play has been sublime. The game has implemented rollback netcode, which provides more stable play and significantly less input lag than traditional delay-based code. I’ve frequently been playing with a friend in the US and, with an ethernet connection, I haven’t encountered a single instance of lag or dropped frames despite the distance between them and myself in the UK. Experiences here will vary, of course, and I highly recommend playing with a wired internet connection, but, by and large, the online experience has been relatively seamless.

Best bit

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising Katalina performs an Ultimate attack against Gran

(Image credit: Cygames)

Nothing beats putting in the time to learn your favorite character, to then head online and successfully land that lengthy combo you’ve been practicing for a massive damage payout.

Heading offline, there’s also an excellent story mode that presents a sprawling narrative involving the whole cast. Cutscenes are largely driven by (voiced) dialogue boxes, and it would’ve been nice to have a bit more variety there. But these are broken up nicely by beat-em-up style quests that’ll see you charging from left to right, using your character and unlockable skills to dispatch swathes of baddies. Overall, story mode is worth playing to learn more about the wider world of Granblue Fantasy and to familiarize yourself with the cast of playable characters. It may even be where you decide on your main.

Another highlight is the online Grand Bruise Legends mode. This is a hyper-casual Fall Guys-style side attraction with a progression track all of its own. In this mode, 30 players will engage in a set of three minigames which can be obstacle courses, team-based collectathons, or more intense survival challenges. 

The ability to smack opponents or hit them with a range of special weapons adds a bit of intensity, too, making for a mode that’s far less of a throwaway than it might initially seem. The current selection of maps is rather limited, though, so I'm looking forward to further updates throughout 2024.

A feast for the skies

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising protagonist Gran talks to Lyria and Vyrn

(Image credit: Cygames)

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is a visual spectacle. Developer Arc System Works has a knack for translating anime-style visuals into a 2.5D space, and Rising represents its most successful attempt at this to date, even more so than the utterly stunning Guilty Gear Strive.

Characters all look amazing and animate with such impressive fluidity, it’s easy to forget that they’re fully 3D models and not hand-drawn sprites. There’s just so much personality on display here, furthered by the fact that every single character has unique match introductions with one another.

Equally, the game’s stages look excellent with a striking amount of background detail, all while still being unobtrusive in the face of all the flying sparks and particle effects created by your bouts. And while no, Rising doesn’t reach the jaw-dropping visual fidelity of, say, Alan Wake 2 or Resident Evil 4, its strong sense of style and flawless presentation still make it one of the most visually impressive titles of 2023.


Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising accessibility options

(Image credit: Future)

Despite being an easy game to get into and play, Rising doesn’t have the most robust accessibility suite. It doesn’t have the in-depth settings on offer in Street Fighter 6, nor more basic features like colorblind options. Some notable settings are here, though, such as the ability to adjust HUD position and setting your opponent to their default color should you need the extra readability. 

At the end of it all, I really only have a couple of gripes with Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising. Often, the initial server connection on startup can take a while. Sometimes upwards of a minute, which is clearly something that’s sorely in need of a fix. The game’s interactive online lobbies could also use some work; both frame rate and resolution absolutely tank here, which quickly had me preferring to queue up for online matches from the main menu instead.

Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising is the full package, whether you prefer to play fighting games online or off. Connection quality is excellent thanks to its implementation of rollback netcode, and progression feels constantly rewarding thanks to unlockable goodies as you level up your favorite characters. Offline, the game’s arcade and story modes provide a more casual-friendly, laid-back space if you’re looking to take a break from online play, or aren’t quite ready to jump in. If you’re unsure, give the free version a go. It’s risk-free and you may just find your new favorite fighting game. 

Want to play more games like Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising? Be sure to check out our guide to the best fighting games for some of the most rewarding experiences you can have in gaming. 

iPhone 15 Pro review – the almost flagship
5:39 pm | September 13, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

iPhone 15 Pro: Two-minute preview

iPhone 15 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Apple's latest crop of iPhones bear familiar titles, but for the first time, its newest Pro and Pro Max devices are separated by more than just display size. 

By lacking the 5x optical zoom telephoto camera of its larger sibling (3x optical zoom remains), the iPhone 15 Pro may be better described as Apple's semi-flagship iPhone of 2023 – but that doesn't mean this premium powerhouse is wanting for other flagship specs.

Indeed, the gap between the iPhone 15 Pro and the standard iPhone 15 remains significant. Every model in this year's iPhone lineup has benefited from a design refresh that splits the difference between the curvy iPhone 11 and last year's iPhone 14 Pro, but the iPhone 15 Pro gets a titanium frame that's lighter and more durable than the stainless steel you'll find on other iPhone 15 models (and every iPhone that's come before).

USB-C ports feature across the board, too, and Apple's newest Pro models also boast an Apple Watch Ultra-style Action button in place of the traditional mute switch (a simple but surprisingly useful substitution). This new toggle can trigger various actions through a series of short and long presses, offering a fast way to access your favorite apps and tools without swiping through home screens and menus.

Other upgrades to the iPhone 15 Pro include an exciting A17 Pro chipset, USB-C, a thinner screen bezel, and the new Action button, which should ensure that Apple's latest 6.1-inch wonder dethrones its predecessor on our list of the best phones money can buy. We'll need to spend more time with the device before coming to a full verdict, though.

Hands-on iPhone 15 Pro review: Price and availability

The iPhone 15 Pro was officially unveiled alongside the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, and iPhone 15 Pro Max at Apple’s September 2023 Event on Tuesday, September 12. Pre-orders commence Friday, September 15, with shipping dates set to follow a week later, on September 22. 

The iPhone 15 Pro is available in four storage variants – 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB. No other iPhone 15 has this much storage variety. Even the Pro Max dropped the 128GB option, which made that model about $100 more expensive to start. 

In the US, the iPhone 15 Pro starts at $999 (for the 128BG version), $1,099 for the 256GB option, $1,299 for the 512GB build and $1,499 for the top 1TB capacity model.

After a painful price hike last year, UK pricing has dropped back down slightly, mirroring the US prices numerically, with the four storage variants costing £999, £1,099, £1,299 and £1,499 respectively. Australian pricing is, unfortunatley a little higher this year, at AU$1,849, AU$2,049, AU$2,399 and AU$2,749.

For context, the 256GB model of the iPhone 14 Pro retailed for $1,099 / £1,209 / AU$1,899 at launch, while the base 128GB version retailed for $999 / £1,099 / AU$1,749.

Hands-on iPhone 15 Pro review: Specs

Check out the iPhone 15 Pro's full specs below:

Hands-on iPhone 15 Pro review: Design

Aesthetically speaking, the iPhone 14 Pro was a near-replica of the iPhone 13 Pro, but Apple has opted to reinvent the iPhone design language once again with the iPhone 15 Pro – for reasons in and out of its control.

Chief among the visual changes is the burnishing away of all those edges on the new frame. The iPhone 15 Pro (and all others in the iPhone 15 lineup) still has flat sides which wrap around the phone, but the sharp edges are all gone. More importantly, the Pro line features a new titanium frame that makes the iPhone 15 Pro stronger and lighter than its stainless steel predecessor (Apple’s latest flagship weighs 187g, whereas the iPhone 14 Pro clocks in at 206g). 

In my brief time with the new phone, I can confirm that it feels lighter and, dare I say, kinder in the hand. For those who have complained to me about the iPhone 14 Pro edges, you're in for a treat.

iPhone 15 Pro

iPhone 15 Pro Action button (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Another big change is on the all-important Super Retina XDR OLED screen. The 2556 x 1179 resolution is unchanged from the iPhone 14 Pro, but Apple has managed to shrink the black bezel around the screen. In my view, it appears at least half as thick and is now becoming virtually unnoticeable. Apple’s dream of a bezel-less iPhone is slowly becoming real. 

Both the Dynamic Island and brushed glass rear panel return from last year’s device, and the latter is once again protected by Apple’s Ceramic Shield, a transparent material containing ceramic crystals for extra protection.

Beyond these primarily visual, arguably superficial design upgrades, Apple has also introduced a handful of updates that dramatically alter the functionality of the iPhone 15 Pro versus its predecessor. 

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iPhone 15 Pro Max action button control

Action Modes on the iPhone 15 Pro Max, which are the same as those on the iPhone 15 Pro. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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iPhone 15 Pro Max action button control

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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iPhone 15 Pro Max action button control

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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iPhone 15 Pro Max action button control

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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iPhone 15 Pro Max action button control

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
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iPhone 15 Pro Max action button control

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The first is an Apple Watch Ultra-style Action button, which arrives in place of the traditional, physical mute switch on the iPhone 15 Pro (and iPhone 15 Pro Max). This customizable button lets you trigger up to nine different actions. First of all, even though it's replacing the venerable silence/ring switch, the Action button looks perfectly at home on the iPhone 15 Pro.

I got a chance to try out the button and was immediately smitten. It takes a quick press to see which mode it's in – yes, even to see if you're in silent or ring mode – and a long press to change modes to activate, say, the camera, and then another long press to take the photo, or maybe to activate, for instance, the flash. You can even assign custom Shortcuts to the Action button.

iPhone 15 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The second is a USB-C port, which replaces Apple’s proprietary Lightning port on every model in the iPhone 15 lineup. USB-C is the latest universal standard for the wired connection of smart devices. If you buy a smart device in 2023 – be it one of the best Android phones, best laptops, or best smart speakers – it’ll likely feature a pill-shaped port to support USB-C charging and data transfer and Apple has opted to adorn its latest crop of iPhones with these ports following a recent EU regulation.

As for how this transition from Lightning to USB-C affects the functionality of the iPhone 15 Pro, it doesn't impact charge speed but does enable USB 3, 10GBps data transfer speeds. Imagine connecting the iPhone 15 Pro directly to your MacBook Pro, taking ProRes photos, and having them appear almost instantly on your Mac.

Hands-on iPhone 15 Pro review: Display

iPhone 15 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

The iPhone 15 Pro retains its predecessor’s excellent 6.1-inch Super XDR OLED screen, with Apple’s ProMotion technology – which varies the refresh rate between 10Hz and 120Hz, depending on the content displayed – returning, too.

As mentioned, the Dynamic Island digital cutout also returns – though this notch is now a feature of every model in the lineup – and the iPhone 15 Pro’s bezels are largely non-existent.

It is still a gorgeous and responsive screen (also bright, reaching a max 2,000 nits). The tinier bezel instantly makes it a more immersive display and I would say it only suffers when placed next to the larger and equally pretty iPhone 15 Pro Max's 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display.

Put simply, this is the sort of display you’d expect to find strapped to one of the best phones on the market, and Apple hasn’t messed with a winning formula here and actually improved it just a tiny bit.

Hands-on iPhone 15 Pro review: Cameras

iPhone 15 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

On the subject of cameras, the iPhone 15 Pro doesn’t stray too far from its predecessor’s (admittedly excellent) triple-sensor setup. The phone boasts the following three lenses: a 48MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP 3x telephoto.

By reserving the 5x optical zoom telephoto camera for the iPhone 15 Pro Max, Apple has, for the first time, created a considerable technological gap between its latest Pro and Pro Max iPhones – but that doesn’t mean the iPhone 15 Pro isn’t one of the best camera phones around.

On the front, the iPhone 15 Pro boasts the same 12MP TrueDepth camera as the iPhone 14 Pro.

I didn't get much time to try out this camera array, but I expect performance that is at least in line with what I found with iPhone 14 Pro. However, there are some interesting new image processing tricks – including the new, default 24MP shooting mode that uses a combination of the best fused 12MP and the full 48MP of the main camera to add what appears to be impressive detail and image truth (true environment, fabric, and skin tones). In addition, the iPhone 15 Pro will now recognize image depth on any photo and let you convert it to Portrait Mode. You can even quickly switch the point of focus from one subject to another. Not sure why anyone would shoot directly in Portrait Mode anymore.

I have to wonder, though, how the lack of the more powerful 5x optical zoom I saw (and tried) on the iPhone 15 Pro Max will impact the iPhone 15 Pro's appeal. It's just a shame that Apple couldn't have spread that much-needed tech just a little down the line.

Hands-on iPhone 15 Pro review: Performance and software

iPhone 15 Pro

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Under the hood, the iPhone 15 Pro is powered by the latest version of Apple’s silicon – the A17 Pro – which makes it one of the fastest phones (if not the fastest phone) money can buy right now.

The A17 Pro is more than a simple upgrade (and upgraded clock speed) of the A16 Bionic (still powerful and now resident on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus). Inside the A17 Pro is a new CPU, new GPU, and a new 2x-faster Neural Engine. 

We don't have benchmarks yet, but I expect them to be surprising, especially when it comes to graphics scores. Apple demonstrated how the chip is capable of running console-quality games on the iPhone 15 Pro's 6.1-inch display at a smooth 30FPS. Titles like Resident Evil: Village and the remastered Resident Evil 4 are apparently ported directly over to the iOS platform to run on A17 Pro-equipped iPhones.

I didn't have much time to play with the phone but everything I did see indicates that the iPhone 15 Pro will be a performance winner.

The iPhone 15 Pro also ships with iOS 17 installed as standard.

Hands-on iPhone 15 Pro review: Battery life

Apple hasn’t publicly revealed the iPhone 15 Pro’s battery capacity, but the company has quoted 23 hours of video playback for the device, which puts it in line with the iPhone 14 Pro

Obviously, the iPhone 15 Pro still supports MagSafe wireless and Qi charging. Its fast charging is unchanged from the previous model, which is to say that it's slower than what you can get with a comparable Android flagship.

As I mentioned earlier, USB-C doesn't bring any charge speed improvements.

Hands-on iPhone 15 Pro review: Early verdict

The iPhone 15 Pro now sits in the unenviable position of being just one step behind its big brother, the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Sure, that phone always had the bigger display but that was usually the extent of the differences. The lack of a refreshed and more powerful zoom lens will mean something to some users.

The good news is that this phone does have Apple's newest and, I assume, most powerful-ever silicon in the A17 Pro chip. For those who don't like their phones big and hefty-ish but want the freshness of ultra-hard titanium with smoother curves, USB-C, flagship-class performance, and that really useful Action button, the iPhone 15 Pro will be a welcome and desirable update from the iPhone 14 Pro.

First tested August 2023

Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate review: a luxurious keyboard that asks way too much of you.
11:08 pm | August 27, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

ASUS ROG Strix Flare II: Two-minute review

In my experience, the best gaming keyboards tend to come in two flavors: a simple, modest keeb or a complicated, feature-packed device. The Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate absolutely fits in the latter.

There's nothing subtle about this keyboard. It's a device that demands your attention, serving as the centerpiece of a PC setup second only to the rig or maybe the monitor. You can't ignore it even if you wanted to. It's a big boy too, measuring 435mm x 165mm x 38mm (about 17 x 6.5 x . 1.5 inches). It takes up a lot of space and unapologetic about it.

One aspect of its heft because it is a full-sized keyboard, so it was always going to take up a lot of room. The other half is what's there apart from the keys. On the left you have media control buttons for consuming content. On the top right, you have a fully animated LED graphic; hence the word "Animate" in its name. Of course, the Flare II sports RGB lighting ready to bathe your room with a rainbow array.

Clearly this keyboard is talking the talk. All eyes on the Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate. But the question can it walk the walk? Can this gaming keyboard perform at a high level? As a matter of fact, it can. Under the hood of my review unit, the Flare II came with ROG NX Red switches, delivering lighting fast performance performance and a smooth, linear feel. The lightest touch of your finger sends out an input. 

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ASUS ROG Strix Flare II Animate keys

(Image credit: Future)
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ASUS ROG Strix Flare II Animate closeup of keys

(Image credit: Future)

Typing on the Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate was a nice experience overall. It is a full-sized keyboard, which is my preferred layout. It offers the perfect amount of room for my hands. 

As I said earlier, my review unit came with ROG NX Red switches. These have an actuation of 2mm and a total travel distance of 4mm. A light tap is all you need for the keyboard to register an input. You don't have to mash buttons, and as a masher myself, I enjoy not having to do that. I expect and appreciate consistency with my keyboards. The NX Reds deliver great consistency. Plus, the Strix Flare II has anti-ghosting software ensuring the appropriate presses are sent and no phantom presses occur.

To give you some concrete examples, I won several games of Valorant, which I chalk up to this keeb. The response time is down to a millisecond, allowing me to juke my opponents before they knew what hit them. Thanks to their speed, I managed to break my bad habit of mashing buttons whenever I play Final Fantasy XIV. I was able to put my complete trust in these keys knowing my action or skill would come as intended.

I do have to say, had I been given the choice, I would actually go for the ROG NX Brown switches. Those are also an option. I prefer Brown-capped mechanical switches since those tend to be tactile – easier on my hands and, speaking as someone who does a lot of writing, can be a life saver. Neither the Reds or Brown offer that clicky feedback that many people like. If you're in that group, I recommend the ROG NX Blues.

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ASUS ROG Strix Flare II Animate lights

(Image credit: Future)
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ASUS ROG Strix Flare II Animate animation icon

(Image credit: Future)

Performance is where the Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate really shines because it's the only aspect of this device that's straightforward. 

I found the keyboard to very cumbersome to use. Each of its features seem like a good or interesting idea on paper. However, in practice, it becomes a total mess. Features either dampen your overall user experience or just aren't fully fleshed out.

One problem with the Strix Flare II is the top portion. The media controls are great –you have a dial for the volume, a switch to skipping or going back to certain songs, and a Pause/Play button on the side. 

My issue are with the two other buttons present: a Win Lock button to disable your Windows key and a brightness button. The Win Lock can save you from accidentally bringing up the Start menu when you meant to hit the spacebar while the brightness button is for lowering and increasing the brightness level of your RGB lights. These are good to have, yes. I just wish they were implemented better. They add unnecessary bulk in my opinion, and I would've preferred if they were secondary actions of certain Function keys. 

Another issue here are the LED lights. You can change the animation using the Armory Crate desktop app. Choices include the ROG eye logo, a lightbulb, and some hearts. This is cool for like 15 minutes, but the novelty wears off when you realize they do much else other than add bulk. I might've changed my tune if you could add your own animations, but you can't.

Asus  ROG Strix Flare II Animate media controls

(Image credit: Future)

But what really gets me is the two-meter-long woven cable. It ends in a pair of USB-A plugs: one to power the keyboard, the other to enable USB passthrough for peripherals. The passthrough port, located at the top of the Asus Strix Flare II, is a good idea as it allows the keyboard to make up some of the space it takes up – assuming you have all the drivers. I connected my ROG Chakram X mouse after installing the latest patch, and it was great. It even works with my PlayStation 5 controller. Awesome.

But you're stuck with a six-and-a-half foot long nylon rope on your desk. You can't use Bluetooth because it doesn't support it. Nor does it support 2.5GHz wireless. And you can't remove it either because the cable is embedded into the back of the keen. You're stuck with this monster. It adds so much to desk clutter.

Yeah, you can rearrange your setup so that the Flare II's cable is not in the way, but do you really want to move furniture or would you rather play video games?

Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate: Specs

Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate: price and availability

  • How much does it cost? Available on Amazon for $174.99 / £199.99
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US and UK

First time buyers will probably be put off by that price tag. At nearly $200, it's pretty expensive. It's actually one of the more expensive options out there. I do want to mention the $179 option for the Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate sporting the ROG NX Red linear switches. You can also buy the model with ROG NX Brown tactile switches on Amazon for $220. Asus claims there's a RX Blue switch option for people who want a more clicky feel, but at the time of this writing, we can't find it online.

Would I buy this keyboard? If it was deeply discounted, sure. I just think there are better options out there like the Razer Huntsman v2 Analog. It's a full-sized keyboard too, but a lot less bulky. For something smaller, I recommend the Cherry MX 8.2 TKL keyboard. I like that one way more.

SHOULD I BUY THE Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate?

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate: Also consider

How I tested the Asus ROG Strix Flare II Animate

  • Tested the keyboard over a week and a half
  • Did my work on the Flare II
  • Played games during down time

My testing period lasted over a week and a half, almost two. I spent it mostly doing work, including this very review, and my own personal writing. Throughout all the hours I spent typing away, I didn't suffer any hand fatigue or anything. But as I said stated earlier, I would go for the Brown switches. I stay proactive by trying to mitigate or eliminate any potential risks to my health as much as I can.

Gaming is where the Strix Flare II really shines. As mentioned earlier, I played Valorant, Final Fantasy XIV, plus the Resident Evil 4 remake. All wonderful experiences. I didn't experience any issues or annoying moments while gaming that wasn't a result of the enormous woven cable. Performance is top notch here.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed August 2023

System Shock review: a SHODAN showdown
7:12 pm | May 30, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off
Review information

Time played: 15 hours
Platform reviewed: PC
Available on: PC 

System Shock feels like a homecoming. You can draw a clear line of inspiration from the 1994 first-person adventure game to immersive sims like 2000’s Deus Ex, 2007’s Bioshock, and 2017’s Prey. But it all started here, a battle of wills between a hacker and a rogue AI.

That’s the history lesson. Remake developers Nightdive Studios have made an entire career out of treating gaming history with reverence, and System Shock is no different. It’s a celebration of everything that made the original so great, blending in some of the parts from 1999’s System Shock 2. However, a few systems feel long in the tooth and might hinder the enjoyment of people coming to the game for the first time. 

The biggest improvement in this remake is System Shock’s aesthetic. First, you’re in an apartment littered with trash-tier future tech, cyberpunk detritus that betrays the dystopian universe of System Shock. This grim future continues on Citadel Station, a space station full of a thousand twinkling lights, of neon flaring through dark corridors filled with the grumble and moan of cyborgs. 

Look at you, hacker

System Shock remake

(Image credit: Prime Matter)

System Shock is working on a budget and occasionally you’ll see this with some low-quality textures, supposedly by design to capture the original’s vibe. Many players might see this as cut corners, but the style and presentation throughout the game is always consistent. Wherever you are on Citadel Station, you’ll feel the same way: the future is here, and it’s awful. While later areas look much fancier, there’s still a layer of grime on everything. 

The story sticks close to the original. Decades of jokes and references have made it nearly impossible to hide the reveal of evil AI SHODAN, but such was the impact of System Shock and evil AI movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey that just hearing the name SHODAN makes you realize what’s up. 

Sadly, characters in System Shock aren’t so genre savvy. The game kicks off by having your character - known as the Hacker - remove SHODAN’s ethical restrictions. Six months later, you get to reap what you’ve sown, rattling around Citadel Station to try and stop SHODAN’s reign of terror.

The game doesn’t do a lot differently. This isn’t a remake like Final Fantasy 7 or Resident Evil 2 where the original game is a jumping-off point for adventures in the same world.

System Shock remake

(Image credit: Prime Matter)

This is a retelling of the same yarn, and not only were several areas of Citadel Station easily recognizable, but several enemies were located in the same spot. Walking up to the first locked door, I entered the now-legendary 451 code (once the door code of original System Shock developers Looking Glass Studios and now an immersive sim staple) and the door slowly opened. 

This is very much a retread of that first game, albeit fleshed out in a lot of places. While the original game was more menu than game, with the huge UI taking up most of the screen while you observe the action astronaut style through a little window - here Nightdive has offered up something that, in play, feels a lot more like the 1999 sequel System Shock 2

Luckily, the story being largely the same shape means you’re spending most of your time going toe to toe with SHODAN, and this buoys the entire game because boy, SHODAN is a hell of a villain. Original voice actor Terri Brosius returns and is often terrifying, with every line delivered with phenomenal contempt. This venom, the fact SHODAN does not like you, makes it feel personal and drives you through the campaign out of sheer bloody-mindedness. 


System Shock remake

(Image credit: Prime Matter)

It’s a long time before you can deliver any real harm or discomfort toward SHODAN but until then you’ll be waging war on the robots, mutants, and security systems of Citadel Station. Combat is a little clunky throughout, however. 

The early wrench provides terrifying fights as you try to dance around your enemies, but there’s a wide assortment of weaponry in the game and all of it feels slightly clumsy while the game rations ammo out so that every missed shot is felt as if you had turned the gun on yourself instead. Compared to more recent shooters, the flow of combat feels off somehow, and while immersive sim fans will likely enjoy it, those coming here hoping for the white-hot adrenaline rush of proper firefights will be left wanting.

...the world design, writing, and sense of style still impress.

The slightly unwieldy nature of the guns and movement helps to sell the survival-horror atmosphere, something System Shock flirts with but never fully adopts. At least that is until you get a game over screen and you’re treated to a short video of you being turned into a cyborg or bolted to another robot to help act out SHODAN’s evil plans. 

Still, death is actually one of the biggest irritations with System Shock. Checkpointing is inconsistent and at one point during my playthrough, I lost an hour of progress because I hadn’t been saving manually and was sent back to the last big story beat.

This error is mostly my fault because I am a big idiot, but it still grated in a world where most games throw autosaves and checkpoints at you to ensure you’re not having to retread areas several times. Even System Shock’s substantial charm diminishes when you have to replay an area after a hulking mech blows your arms off for the third time in a row. 

For digital tourists hoping to spelunk the depths of video game classics after experiencing the many many spiritual successors inspired by the original game, System Shock might feel old hat. However, despite the slightly aged systems - no longer offering the wow factor of the 1994 release - the world design, writing, and sense of style still impress. This is a worthy update and the best way to revisit one of gaming’s very best doomed space stations. 

Sony Inzone M3 review
1:05 am | April 18, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

Sony Inzone M3: Two-minute review

Sony’s PlayStation brand has been making a huge push recently into the competitive gaming space through its Inzone line of headsets and 27-inch monitors. This includes the Sony Inzone M3, the 1080p sibling to the higher priced 4K resolution capable M9. 

All of the standard gaming monitor standards within its tier group are there including HDR abilities, 1 ms pixel response time and 1000:1 contrast ratio. There’s also a respectable amount of ports for various display inputs in addition to various USB connections. 

When it comes to gaming performance, PS5 owners won’t currently have a need for a 250Hz mode as most games max out at 144Hz which itself requires a game to support VVR (Variable Refresh Rate). Considering many console gamers in the competitive scene play fighting games like Street Fighter V and Dragon Ball Z Fighters or sports games like FIFA and NBA2K, having such a high refresh rate seems more empty bragging than something absolutely required of the best gaming monitor for PC gaming. 

For general PS5 usage, playing first-party games like God of War: Ragnarok or The Last of Us: Part I look made for the Inzone M3. Meanwhile, though performance is on par with other gaming monitors on PC, overall image quality isn’t the best and HDR doesn’t help much either. For streamers, there’s also an Auto KVM Switch for usage of one keyboard and mouse for two devices.

The Inzone M3 stands out due to PlayStation 5-focused features such as Auto HDR Tone Mapping alongside Auto Genre Picture mode. That doesn’t even take into consideration the remarkable design that stands reasonably well next to the white and black PS5 colorway. 

Owners of Sony’s current-gen console who are aspiring competitive gamers or in the esports scene while making sure they stay color-coordinated may have much to appreciate about the M3. More traditional PC gamers will definitely have better options elsewhere. 

The Sony Inzone M3 shines the brightest design-wise. As mentioned previously, the black and white angular stand that holds the display up looks cool, alongside a PS5 and various accessories. Because of the stand’s design, it’s not all that intrusive and viewing adjustment is easy. 

Some may have an issue with the fact that the display can’t tilt vertically but considering the PS5 focus, I can’t fault it too much. One thing's for sure, though, the Sony Inzone M3 is one of the best monitors for PS5 you can buy if you want to really create a complete setup. 

A Sony Inzone M3 gaming monitor on a table next to a PS5 and a mini PC

(Image credit: Future)

Though the PS5 obviously requires an HDMI cable, there’s an extra one available for other consoles like an Xbox Series S or Nintendo Switch and DisplayPort. Beyond that is a USB-C, USB-B for upstreaming, three USB-A and 3.5 mm headphone jack. M3 users will most definitely need some headphones as the internal speakers suffer from a flat, hollow sound. Too bad there wasn’t a way for Sony to implement Spatial Audio, which is a huge PS5 feature. 

Between the slew of accessibility options in games like The Last of Us Part 1 and the upcoming Project Leonardo, Sony has put heavy emphasis on accessibility. The same goes for the M3 as it’s easy to put together and connect things to their respective port. Weighing around 15 lbs altogether, the M3 is light before putting the neck, base and display together. 

Be mindful that connecting the base to the neck does require a screwdriver which may be an issue. Most importantly, there aren’t any weight shifts once everything is connected. Once used, the power button and menu joystick are easily accessible on the back panel for adjustments. Pivoting the display for eye-level comfort works well too. Inzone M3 usage feels as simple as the minimalist design.

PS5 games were the clear focus of the Sony Inzone M3. Playing games like Resident Evil 4 remake or the slew of high-class first-party games like Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us Part I on the gaming monitor is a joy. Image quality is good but not good enough to justify the high price tag even though features like Auto HDR Tone Mapping do a great job of optimizing HDR for M3. Supporting VRR improves the visual quality of games that support it like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection

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 Then there’s Auto Genre Picture mode that changes colors alongside motion settings when switching from game to video content. Again, this does enhance PS5 experience when playing more competitive games like Fortnite and Call of Duty: Warzone. As an added measure, there is a crosshair toggle which makes aiming in first-person-shooters a better experience. When it comes to motion performance, the M3 does well with screen smoothness and low input lag. Gaming on this gaming monitor feels fantastic on a PS5 or PC and will make the most use out of the 240Hz refresh rate despite some problems there. 

Those issues come down to below-average image quality when using a PC. General computing usage on a 1080p gaming monitor this expensive shouldn’t be this problematic. Color settings have to be changed to even read certain text while browsing websites or checking emails. Even working with Adobe Suite led to ineffective color correction. Playing games like Forza Horizon 5 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare lacked the vividness and contrast of cheaper 1080p monitors. On a positive note, the M3 is G-Sync compatible though the lack of official FreeSync support is strange considering the PS5 is made up of AMD components. There’s also an Inzone app to fine-tune the experience through settings customization. When it comes to pure PC gaming, there are simply better options out there. 

The onscreen menu for the Sony Inzone M3

(Image credit: Future)

Sony Inzone M3: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost?   $499 / £699 (about AU$725) 
  • When is it available?  It is available now.  
  • Where can you get it?  Available in the US and UK 

Buying the Sony Inzone M3 is more of a diehard investment into the PlayStation brand. Aesthetically, it does match Sony’s current minimalistic design philosophy. During the review, the monitor sat well next to a PS5 and PSVR2. The M3 is geared more toward console gamers. 

With that said PC Gamers who also own a PS5 have better options out there as the $499.99 price point is a bit much. For that amount of money, users can look into the Acer Nitro, AOC C27G2Z, and ASUS TUF Gaming VG279QM. Those options may lack PS5-leaning features or USB ports, but they’re great 27-inch HD displays that can reach 250Hz between $200 to $300.  

  • Value: 2.5 / 5

Sony Inzone M3: Specs

Should you buy the Sony Inzone M3?

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

You want an affordable 1080p 240Hz monitor
PC gaming enthusiasts should know there are better options for a 27-inch 1080p monitor because $499 is a tad bit too high.

You require better image and audio quality for PC 
Image quality isn’t the best on the M3 when using PC and HDR doesn’t make things much better. Then there are the sub-par internal speakers as well.

You are looking to make the most out of your PS5 visuals 
PS5 owners more concerned with higher resolution should consider Sony’s M9 or other 4K gaming monitors available. 

Sony Inzone M3: Also consider

If my Sony Inzone M3 review has you considering other options, here are two more 27-inch monitors to consider. 

How I tested the Sony Inzone M3

  • I spent a week testing the Sony Inzone M3
  • PC games played include Cyberpunk 2077, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Forza Horizon 5.
  • PS5 games included Ghost of Tsushima, God of War Ragnorock and Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection.
  • Creative apps used were Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Pro

Over a week of testing on PS5, many games were tested including Ghost of Tsushima, God of War Ragnorock, and Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection among others. When it comes to PC games, I played Cyberpunk 2077, Forza Horizon 5 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, extensively.  

I also tried more PC-focused apps including Google Chrome and Adobe Photoshop which I used to edit the photos used in this review. General computing on this gaming monitor wasn’t the most pleasant experience due to image quality but gaming was much better. 

I’ve tested dozens of gaming monitors over the years and I've seen both the best gaming monitors and the worst, so I know what a good monitor should offer for the price you're paying. 

Read more about how we test

First reviewed April 2023

Epos H3Pro Hybrid headset review
12:50 pm | April 6, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

There’s very little that the Epos H3Pro Hybrid gets wrong. It delivers on its relatively high price bracket with a suite of high-end features that you typically won’t find with cheaper gaming headsets. It nails the fundamentals, offering superb audio quality, backed up by 7.1 surround sound support, strong active noise canceling and an acoustic seal to blot out unwanted background noise.

If you prize immersion from the best wireless gaming headsets, and indeed the best PS5 headsets, the H3Pro Hybrid is a frontrunner in this regard. It’s supportive of long gaming sessions, too, thanks to cushioned cups and adjustable headband resting snugly on heads of various sizes. Battery life is a standout here as well, offering up to 38-40 hours depending on connection type and features enabled.

Add in a detachable mic that offers crisp vocal output and you’ve got a headset that justifies its asking price. The H3Pro is so good that its only real drawback is that it’s slightly lacking in overall build quality, which is apparent when stacked up against more affordable headsets like the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro or the SteelSeries Arctis 9. Even still, the H3Pro Hybrid won’t easily break under normal circumstances, and is serviceable in this area.

Epos H3Pro Hybrid: price and availability

The Epos H3Pro Hybrid will run you $279 / £239 / AU$399 at retail price, and is available from Epos’ official store page. Separate versions for PS5 and Xbox Series X|S compatibility are available to buy, and both also work with Nintendo Switch via Bluetooth connectivity as well as PC and mobile.

Epos H3Pro Hybrid: design and features

Epos H3Pro Hybrid

(Image credit: Future)
  • Slightly above average build quality
  • Extremely comfy
  • Robust, yet simple button layout

Out of the box, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Epos H3Pro Hybrid isn’t much to write home about. Build quality isn’t quite up to par with competing headsets, and its lightweight nature lends an initial feeling of cheapness. That weightlessness ends up working in the headset’s favor, though, as it rests gently on your head and never irritates. That’s also helped by the cushioned cups and adjustable headband, providing a supreme level of comfort that’s hard to beat.

The box also contains a USB dongle for wireless connectivity, a USB cable, USB-A extension cable and a 3.5mm jack for wired play. It’s a no-nonsense package offering a variety of methods of connectivity that should suit both wireless and wired preferences.

On-headset features aren’t particularly busy, which is great for those looking for a plug-and-play headset. You have the power button, a circular volume slider, ANC (active noise canceling) toggle and ports for wired connectivity. Most interesting is the Bluetooth connectivity button, which doubles as a smart button. By pressing instead of holding, you can switch between multiple EQs. Downloading the Epos Gaming Suite app will also let you switch the smart button’s behavior to a surround sound toggle.

Lastly, the detachable mic can be removed and reconnected magnetically, and an included cover plate will hide the port, keeping the headset looking presentable when you want to go micless. The mic itself is durable and adjustable, making it versatile and doesn’t obscure your view when not in use.

Epos H3Pro Hybrid: audio quality

Epos H3Pro Hybrid

(Image credit: Future)
  • Exceptional sound quality
  • 7.1 surround sound support
  • Top-shelf ANC

Sound quality is certainly the chief reason to buy the Epos H3Pro Hybrid. Not only is the overall auditory experience fantastic, the amount of options the headset grants is seriously impressive.

Typically, my first port of call with any headset is to get a feel for its soundscape. I put the headset through its paces with a few tracks before jumping into a game. I’m happy to say that the H3Pro Hybrid excels for general music listening. The rich, multi-layered electronic sound of mobile game Punishing: Gray Raven sounds divine here, with the headset able to pick up on even the subtlest notes. Similarly, the sweeping overworld melodies of Genshin Impact feel vibrant and alive; the headset’s spatial audio lending an embracing layer of immersion.

The H3Pro Hybrid’s ability to pick up on even the faintest notes works wonders in-game, too. It’s a fantastic headset for absorbing yourself in the hustle and bustle of Cyberpunk 2077’s Night City; its busy streets and back alleys benefiting greatly from 7.1 surround sound. Over to Resident Evil 4’s remake, I’ve never felt more placed into the action than here with the H3Pro Hybrid. The dread-filled ambience of the castle and subtly menacing village sections really come alive here.

Of course, a solid gaming headset is practically a requirement in more competitive environments. And once again, the H3Pro Hybrid is an excellent pick here. The headset’s bespoke BrainAdapt technology hones in on quieter, distant sound effects like footsteps and gunfire. It’s excellent for games like PUBG: Battlegrounds and Warzone 2 where situational awareness is paramount to success.

During use, you may want to enable ANC , too. This helps to almost completely eliminate ambient background noise, allowing you to focus on gaming or listening to music. The feature is excellent on the H3Pro Hybrid, and well worth using if you’re looking to maximize your immersion.

EPOS H3Pro Hybrid: Performance

Epos H3Pro Hybrid

(Image credit: Future)
  • Strong battery life in all modes
  • Near-instant connectivity
  • ANC battery life could be slightly better

The EPOS H3Pro Hybrid puts on yet another strong front in regards to battery life. Via Bluetooth connection with no extras enabled, you’ll get roughly 35-40 hours on a full charge. If you’re using the dongle instead, that drops slightly to around 30-35 hours.

If you want to enable active noise canceling while using the headset, you’ll incur a pretty steep hit to overall battery life, but you’ll still get around 20-25 hours via Bluetooth and approximately 18 hours with the dongle. Overall, battery life is very impressive, but I do wish the headset could squeeze a little more with ANC enabled.

Via both dongle and Bluetooth, I was impressed by the headset’s ability to pair and connect quickly in both scenarios. Headsets like the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max and the RIG 800 Pro can take a good few moments to recognize the pairing. But the process was close to instantaneous on the H3Pro Hybrid.

I found that you’re able to walk a good distance away from your connection without audio cutting out, too. A good barometer for me is to walk to my kitchen and make a coffee with the headset on, as it’s a few rooms apart from my home office. Thankfully, the H3 Pro Hybrid maintained connection throughout this process, without cutting out even slightly. I’d say that makes the headset an excellent choice if, say, you’re doing other things at home like chores or preparing food.

Should I buy the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid?

Epos H3Pro Hybrid

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You’re after a seriously powerful gaming headset
The H3Pro Hybrid sounds fantastic, has a good quality mic and a strong wireless connection.

You want an immersive multiplayer experience
With a crystal clear mic and strong directional audio performance, the H3Pro Hybrid works wonders in online multiplayer environments.

You like ANC
The headset’s active noise canceling is some of the best in the business, cutting out unwelcome background noise almost completely.

Don't buy it if...

You’re on a tight budget
The H3 Pro Hybrid is an expensive bit of kit. You’ll certainly get your money’s worth, but you may wish to look for a cheaper option if money is an object.

Resident Evil 4 remake review: head and shoulders above the rest
10:00 am | March 17, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off
Review Information

Time played: 11 hours (completed)
Difficulty: Standard
Platform: PS5  

I remember the original Resident Evil 4 as an action-packed, mutant-fuelled, guns-blazing, epic quest to infiltrate a Spanish cult and rescue the President’s daughter. It’s only now I look back on it that I realize it may not have been as slick and cool as I had once thought.

This is where the remake swoops in like special agent Ada Wong on a zipline to save the day. Coming in to patch the narrative holes, fix the questionable voice acting, and give the battles and monsters a much-needed face-lift. It turns out that 18 years on, Resident Evil 4 needed a remake more than I thought.

Resident Evil 4 price and release date

  • What is it? A remake of 2005’s Resident Evil 4 
  • Release date: March 24, 2023 
  • Price: $59.99 / £49.99 / AUS$79
  • What can I play it on? PC, PlayStation, Xbox 

Guns blazing

Leon parrying Dr. Salvador's chainsaw attack

(Image credit: Capcom)

It’s been a long time since I felt like an actual threat in a Resident Evil game and not just like some poor bystander whose luck had run out. While I immensely enjoyed Resident Evil 7 Biohazard in all its horrors, being hunted at every turn was welcomely terrifying but draining. So when I got to jump into the depths of the Los Illuminados cult armed to the teeth and with all the combat knowledge to go with it, I couldn’t have been happier. 

The quick action combos, multiple weapons, and melee choices in Resident Evil 4 give you immense freedom in combat. You can’t become complacent, either; as you progress on your mission, the cultists develop different skills that demand new tactics. 

The villagers are chaotically vicious but relatively low-skilled in their pursuit, while the monks opt for a more methodical approach using shields, armor, and crossbows to back you into a corner. Finally, the miners take the best bits of both, opting for chaotic rage and utilizing shields and projectiles. 

One of the more dangerous sequences was my siege on the castle. While shielding Ashley, I was tasked with navigating the crowds of mutated monks armed with bludgeoning weapons, shields, and, scarily enough, catapults that launched flaming boulders. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to parry those. Luckily, I enjoyed every encounter I had with the cult members; I liked the variations and found the fights a good way to show off new weapons and skills.

Leon looking at El Gigante

(Image credit: Capcom)

Many of the bigger fights also stood out to me. Despite the difficulty of monsters like the xenomorph-esque Verdugo and the blind but vicious Garrador, the experience was memorable in all the right ways. The Verdugo’s design immediately captivated me; it’s horrific, and I wouldn’t want to face up against it in real life, but getting to fight this monstrous beast was thrilling. The deformed alien-like creature was smart, swift, and powerful; every move you made had to be pinpoint accurate otherwise, you’d end up impaled on its scorpion-like tail.

The Resident Evil 4 remake has a strict code of conduct, and as long as you see it through and play by the rules, it won’t stab you in the back

Then there was the Garrador. Trapped in a small chamber, there’s nowhere to hide. Every time you fire a shot or accidentally knock a hanging chain, Garrador will pinpoint your location and charge full pace at you like a blade-covered bull. This was a fight of strategy as much as firepower; there’s nothing quite like feeling strong and smart while beating up your enemies.

Even the stealth was thrilling and smooth. I never once found myself caught out on an invisible ledge that prevented me from dishing out an assassination or circling my target desperately trying to find the stealth kill prompt. Every time I died in combat, it was always my fault. There was never a glitchy NPC that attacked me during one of my finishing kills or a crazily overpowered boss that I had to cheat my way through. While it may be hard at first, Resident Evil 4 has a strict code of conduct, and as long as you see it through and play by the rules, it won’t stab you in the back. 

A style and substance two for one deal

Saddler looking at Leon

(Image credit: Capcom)

Apart from the epic fights, I felt as if this remake excelled at cleaning up the narrative of the original. This time around, I felt like the cult leader Saddler and his right-hand man Lord Salazar were frightening and intimidating. It was nice not to put a face to the ultimate bad guy straightaway; it made meeting Saddler in the flesh for the first time far more memorable. 

I also warmed to Ashley more this time around. I’m not a fan of escort missions, but this felt less like protecting a helpless kitten and more like having a useful and intelligent partner that could be helpful in sticky situations. 

Gone are the shrill screams every time she jumps from a tall-ish ledge; instead, she shows guts in the face of danger. One of my favorite moments with Ashley had to be her stint as a crane operator as she used a wrecking ball to break through a concrete wall. While at the time, I was busy fighting hordes of violent miners, it was nice not to worry about our escape route as she had this covered.

One for the wish list

cult members praying at an alter

(Image credit: Capcom)

Among the ridiculous explosions, evil corporations, and slightly confusing lore Resident Evil's job has always been to make the player feel connected to the story. While Village did a great job at creating a sympathetic character with realistic connections to its wider narrative, the Resident Evil 4 remake is the most invested I've ever been in this series.

I'm happy to say that Resident Evil 4 joins Capcom’s ever-growing list of brilliant remakes. More than simply improved graphics, the team has smoothed down the original’s rough edges, making its story, combat, and boss fights land better than they ever did before. If this is what is possible in a remake, then I can't wait to see what Capcom does next. 

Dead Space review – redefining a survival horror classic
8:37 pm | February 3, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off
Review information

Time played: 15 hours
Platform: PS5 

It’s been 15 years since we first walked the metal corridors of the USG Ishimura, a mining ship once built to crack planets into pieces, now overwhelmed by hellish creatures. If you return to the original Dead Space, you’ll find it’s held up less well than its sequels. Its controls are clunky, its color palette muddy, and its combat fiddly. In an era of remakes and remasters, Dead Space is one of the few that justifies it. A classic of the genre, that is ripe to find a new audience.

Once again, you step into the heavy boots of engineer Isaac Clarke and search the decks of the derelict Ishimura, looking for answers and the missing crew, your girlfriend among them.

EA Motive has faithfully rebuilt Isaac Clarke’s survival horror adventure for a new audience, giving it far more than a graphical facelift. This isn’t a remaster, after all, but a remake. The developer has redesigned sections of the game and made use of all the technology modern consoles can bring to bear – the haptics and adaptive triggers of the PS5’s DualSense controller, in particular – and it breathes new life into this old adventure.

Depending on how much exploration you do aboard the USG Ishimura, you can expect the experience of Dead Space to last anywhere from 12 to 25 hours. That’s about the right length, given the intensity of the action. If you’re a returning fan, you may not be scared by the Necromorphs in their various forms. For me, it was like greeting old friends, and it rekindled my love for the series.  

Necromorphs in the Dead Space remake

(Image credit: EA )

Dead Space price and release date

  •  What is it? A ground-up remake of the original Dead Space  
  •  Release date: Out now 
  •  Price: $69.99 / £69.99 / AU$109.95  
  •  What can I play it on? PS5, Xbox Series X | S, PC 

New Arrivals   

While the story of Dead Space remains broadly the same in the remake, a significant change is that Clarke is now a fully-voiced protagonist, instead of his previous mute self. Gunner Wright, returning from Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3, does a masterful job of bringing urgency to the situation. He only speaks when in conversation with his crew or other people he meets aboard the ship, so you don’t have to worry about him making jokes or talking to himself. 

EA Motive hasn’t been beholden to the original game’s design, making transformative changes for the better. Some of the first game’s more frustrating moments have been retooled, to become more enjoyable, while still challenging. This is helped by the new zero-gravity flight controls, retrofitted from Dead Space 2. Boss fights, like your battle with the Leviathan, a gaping maw armed with grabbing tentacles, are still tough, but your new freedom of movement gives you finer control to dodge attacks. It’s not that the fight is easier, but you have more responsibility for your failures. If the Leviathan grabs you, it feels like your fault for not getting out of the way, not a failure of the fiddly controls like in the original game.

New mechanics spice up the established formula, such as circuit breakers and security gate doors, which give you a way to modify encounters. Circuit breakers let you kill the lights in an area to power up a lift or doors a set of doors you need to get to your objective, heightening the tension by forcing you to fight blind, in other moments, you can turn off the life support, keeping the lights on but meaning you’re running on limited time. 

It’s a small inclusion, but it means that you’re often thrown into desperate struggles instead of just gingerly walking down a hallway or doing some light puzzle-solving. The security ratings are locked behind levels of clearance from level 1 and up, which grant you access to everything from secret doors hiding goodies to extra side missions, chests, and schematics. They’re a great incentive for backtracking or replaying the story again in New Game+.

Isaac flies around in zero gravity

(Image credit: EA)

Obliteration Imminent  

In the Dead Space remake, your old guns have new weight, thanks to the smart use of the DualSense controller and a redesigned dismemberment system. Each weapon feels radically different through the PS5’s gamepad, and seeing the impact of your shots, blasting off Necromorph limbs lands much more effectively than in the original. 

It also helps that the Dead Space remake runs incredibly well on PS5, too. You’ve got your choice between the performance mode that runs the game in 1440p, that’s enabled by default, and the ray tracing mode, which makes Dead Space run at 30fps but features jaw-dropping visuals in 4K. I spent the majority of my time with the game with ray tracing enabled to check out the gorgeous lighting and real-time reflections, but later favored performance mode for the fully-fledged 60fps when the combat encounters wrapped up near the finish line in those last few chapters. 

Dead Space works as a self-contained story for first-time players, but there’s so much more lore added for those returning fans like myself that strengthens its connection to the sequels. 

The future is looking bright for the Dead Space series, and, hopefully, the success of this remake will mean that Dead Space 2 could receive the same treatment, or even possibly a Dead Space 4 later down the line. All I know is that 2023 is shaping up to be an amazing year for the genre, especially with Silent Hill 2 and Resident Evil 4 set to receive similar treatment in the months to follow.