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Star Wars Jedi: Survivor review: star tours
6:00 pm | April 26, 2023

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

Cal Kestis, Jedi Knight, just can’t catch a break. Whether it’s his constant persecution at the hands of the Empire, the exhaustive gauntlet of tricky climbs and jumps he must face, or the yawning gulfs of emotional distance he seems compelled to place between himself and his friends, poor Cal rarely seems to be having a good day. 

However, given that this is the dark second act of a potential trilogy, bleakness is very much in vogue, and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is stronger for it. Available on Xbox X|S, PS5, and PC, Respawn Entertainment’s latest title delivers on the Jedi Knight fantasy, couching its mostly engaging story with a commitment to immersion that leaps from the game’s environments at every turn. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is an ambitious and impressive beast, held back by a slow second act and overreliance on Uncharted-esque traversal sections. 

Across the 20-hour main campaign, Cal’s adventure takes us from the planet-sized metropolis of Coruscant, to the frontier world of Koboh, and to a handful of places in-between.  Following on from the events of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Cal spends the course of the adventure balancing his need to escape the long arm of the empire with his desire to save others from its pernicious boot. 

Survival instincts

Cal and a foe cross blades

(Image credit: EA)

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a game of stark contrasts. At its best, it’s a thrilling sci-fi romp, oozing with enough Star Wars goodness to keep even the most dedicated fans happy. At its worst, though, it’s a bland pseudo-open-world monolith, reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla in its aimlessness. Much to its credit, Respawn’s latest offers far more examples of the former than the latter, even though it fails to produce an entirely perfect bouquet.

For example: early on in the game, you run into a very old force user who, finding Cal suitably unimpressive, challenges him to a duel. I won’t spoil anything, suffice it to say that the scene is a glorious and iconoclastic mix of Star Wars elements old and new, answering pressing questions but raising new ones. Also contained within one of the game’s earlier chapters was a traversal section sufficiently counterintuitive that I spent an hour bashing my head against a wall before I realized that the weathered surface I was attempting to cross could, in fact, be used for wall-running. In hindsight, it blows my mind that these two experiences came courtesy of the same game. 

Protagonist Cal Kestis is part Jedi, part Olympic climber, and all goatee

This is not to say that all (or even most) of Jedi: Survivor’s traversal sections are banal. At best, the platforming sections add new and interesting mechanics to the mix, forcing you to think laterally. One mountain path, in particular, required me to manage wind currents to help with my jumps, leading to lots of satisfying “aha” moments. 

The presence of these more compelling traversal sections is for the best, since getting from A to B accounts for a surprising chunk of the game. Cal is consistently confronted with dizzying gauntlets of platforming puzzles and wall running with a speed and consistency that would make even Nathan Drake lose his lunch. Cal Kestis is part Jedi, part Olympic climber, and all goatee.  

 Across the stars 

A mysterious bacta tank

(Image credit: EA)

Strangely enough, there are few things more Star Wars than the contrasts that underpin Jedi: Survivor. After all, it’s a franchise that gave us both The Empire Strikes Back and Attack of the Clones: hits and misses are almost as Star Wars as The Force itself. 

In this regard, Jedi: Survivor’s story is indelibly Star Wars. A thrilling opening section gives way to a meandering second act which, in turn, becomes dramatically upended through an unexpected and impressive plot twist.

Jedi: Survivor's cast simply isn’t given enough time in the spotlight

The game sets up a cast of memorable and likable characters, often arming them with charm and sparkling dialogue. However, it often feels like these figures are wasted in the context of the game’s pacing. Jedi: Survivor's cast simply isn’t given enough time in the spotlight. The avuncular Greez and the brooding yet soulful Merrin are treats and I was disappointed that I didn’t get to spend more time with them. I’d have much preferred to spend more time learning about Merrin’s soul-searching journey across the galaxy or Greez’s family history than traipse through yet another treacherous swamp.

An elegant weapon

Cal visits a library

(Image credit: EA)

That said when Jedi: Survivor shines, it is truly resplendent. I poured over the game’s lightsaber customization menus for a full half hour before I was satisfied with my choice of weapon, and that was just the tip of the personalization iceberg. The five lightsaber stances available in combat offer meaningfully different and uniquely satisfying means by which you might dispatch your enemies. In conjunction with the game’s skill trees, you are given a wide range of tools by which you might confront the game’s tightly paced and deeply satisfying souls-like combat.

By telling a Star Wars story with this personal element, Jedi: Survivor has done something special

In contrast to the likes of Elden Ring, however, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor boasts a range of difficulty levels, providing a range of different experiences. You can have anything from a light, story-centric journey to a full-on Dark Souls slogfest. This sort of mutability runs through the title, allowing you to curate a Jedi adventure that’s truly your own. Despite its flaws, I finished my time with Jedi: Survivor feeling like I’d charted my own path through the game’s trials and tribulations.

By telling a Star Wars story with this personal element, Jedi: Survivor has done something special. Despite its occasional blunders, the title is a treat for Star Wars fans, even if it left me wanting more cutscenes and fewer overwrought traversal sections.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X review – The cheap console headset to consider
12:00 pm | April 10, 2023

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

When it comes to cheap gaming headsets for console, it’s hard to do much better than the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X. Despite its naming convention and Xbox Series X branding, this multi-platform model can also work on PS5 and Nintendo Switch as the microphone comes through the 3.5mm jack. 

There’s no doubt in my mind that the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X deserves to be considered one of the best Xbox Series X headsets, but it also makes a strong case for the PS5 and Nintendo Switch as well. With its strong audio drivers, lightweight feel, and decent sounding microphone at a very competitive price point. 

This is the budget gaming headset to consider if you primarily play console over the standard SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 which is aimed at PC gamers with a dedicated 3.5mm jack for the microphone to use. 

Price and Availability

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X is widely available in the US, UK and Australia from online storefronts such as Amazon and local big-box retailers for $57.82 / £59.99 / AU$139 respectively. It’s often available a little cheaper than this as discounts are quite common. While the cheapest in the Nova lineup, it’s around $10 / £10 / AU$20 more than the Arctis 1 from mid-2019.  

Design and Features

Nova 1X strap and cushions

(Image credit: Future)

In terms of the design of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X, there’s nothing that separates it from the standard Nova 1 model barring the black color scheme and the green branding on the ski band strap. There’s no included 3.5mm jack splitter here either as everything goes through the headphone jack either on your Xbox Wireless Controller or DualSense Wireless Controller

That means that you’re getting the same 40mm neodymium drivers as found in some of the best gaming headsets made by SteelSeries, and the retractable microphone as is featured in every Nova model. Donned in black, it’s an attractive unit and includes plush earcups and a head strap that’s easily adjustable. It comes in at 236g/0.52lbs and makes for a headset that can be worn for hours on end without getting uncomfortable. 


Nova 1X headset with a DualSense controller nearby

(Image credit: Future)

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X works incredibly well when plugged into a console. For full transparency, I mostly used this gaming headset with my PS5 and Nintendo Switch, and my gaming laptop, and found the experience on both systems to be above average for the price point. 

When I was playing through some of the best PS5 games and the best Nintendo Switch games respectively. A particular standout was Hotline Miami which I played across both systems to monitor how the 40mm drivers feel through both machines. The pulsing soundtrack came through incredibly well, with the melee weapons and firearms handling with satisfying crunch. 

Those games which take advantage of the PS5’s 3D Audio sung particularly highly through the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Through the headset, I was able to hear Cal Kestis’ lightsaber as it pierced through the bodies of man and beast alike through the storming rain. Background ambience was also picked up, and while not quite as impressive as my SteelSeries Arctis 7P+, the overall experience is definitely comparable quality wise. 

The microphone on the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X sounds great when being run through a controller. It was especially good when paired up with my PS5, and had a strong clarity which cut through the noise of hectic gameplay. Considering it’s all coming through a 3.5mm jack, it’s impressive, and I liked being able to kick back in a gaming chair or lay in bed knowing the headset was always close to the controller. While I made a case that the more general Nova 1 model should have been USB, this console specific variant running into a gamepad with full functionality excels here. 

Regardless of which platform I used the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X on, listening to music was enjoyable. This was most apparent when binging the back catalog of Scar Symmetry’s technical melodic death metal, and with tamer tracks from cloud rappers like Whiterosemoxie’s Flavors and Yung Fazo’s Wish You Well just to name a few. It’s no rival for some of the best headphones on the market, but there’s little I can fault given the budget nature of the product. 

The microphone extended on the Nova 1X

(Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X?

Buy it if…  

You want a good and affordable headset

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X comes in at under the $60 / £60 / $140 price range making it one of the cheaper quality models from an established brand. 

You play on a console

Whether you’re an Xbox Series X, PS5, or Nintendo Switch gamer, all bases have been covered by this wired budget performer.  

Don't buy it if... 

You mostly play on PC 

You’re probably going to be better served by a dedicated USB gaming headset such as the SteelSeries Arctis 3.

Seagate FireCuda 530 review – Still a trailblazer
1:46 pm | March 15, 2023

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The Seagate FireCuda 530 launched back in 2020, around the same time as the PS5, making it a frontrunner to slot into Sony’s system. While it’s no longer the absolute fastest of its class, the performance here is still high-end, showing that top-end Gen 4.0 never really slows down. 

There isn’t much room for innovation when you push up to the 7,000 MB/s read and write mark. The Seagate FireCuda 530 came storming out of the gate with these figures as the benchmark to beat. Few have all these years later, making it easily one of the best SSDs for PS5. Even better, its once monstrous price has come down significantly. 

Price and availability

 The Seagate FireCuda 530 is widely available in the US, the UK, and Australia in all capacities with a heatsink. Prices start from $69 / £55 / AU$119 for the 500GB version and scale up to $129 / £103.99 / AU$217 (1TB), $239.99 / £189 / $AU414.78 (2TB), and $529 / £449.99 / AU$984.75 (4TB). That’s a fair bit cheaper than the original launch price but still a touch more expensive than other Gen 4.0 models with similar performance.  

Design and Features

Aleksha McLoughlin

(Image credit: Future)

My Seagate FireCuda 530 review unit is the 1TB model which comes with the PS5 SSD heatsink. Its thick aluminum all-over wrap firmly encases the silicon and controller nicely while allowing maximum heat dissipation. It’s important, too, because the PS5’s native M.2 port has no form of passive cooling on its own. While a little bulky and weighty, that added heft is ideal for staying in place during installation with adequate room once the cover is re-installed. It’s one of the smartest-designed heatsinks I’ve seen on an NVMe SSD to date. 

As expected from a high-performance Gen 4.0 model, the Seagate FireCuda 530 utilizes the exceptional Phison E-18 controller, and that’s how it can push up to 7,000 MB/s read and write. It was impressive in 2020, and even three years later is still as solid as ever. There’s also 176-layer Micron TLC flash memory which few newer drives, such as the Kingston Fury Renegade, also used over two years later. We’re very much talking about the cap of what’s possible with this current generation of NVMe models, so to hit it out of the park so early on is commendable. 

As is par the course with NVMe SSDs, there’s a five-year warranty here, and the write endurance is slightly better than you see from the competition. It scales from 640TBW (500GB), 1,275TBW (1TB), 2,550TBW (2TB), and 5,100TBW (4TB). That’s substantially higher than the likes of the WD Black SN850 and the PNY CS3140, too. We don’t generally see figures this good, and it adds to the longevity of a drive that will be able to keep up for a long time of hard-wearing use. 


Seagate FireCuda 530

(Image credit: Future)

Gaming on the PS5 with the Seagate FireCuda 530 is as quick and painless as you would expect, given what’s on the silicon here. In my testing, it achieved a read score from Sony’s official benchmark tool of 6,539 MB/s, making it one of the fastest I’ve ever used. 

File transfer times were some of the most impressive I’ve seen in all my time testing SSDs, with particular highlights being with some of the biggest PS5 games. Horizon: Forbidden West, with its 99.35 GB file size, jumped from the internal storage to the NVMe SSD in just 1 minute and 19 seconds (or 79 seconds). Equally impressive is Death Stranding: Director’s Cut (69.35 GB), which transferred in only 54 seconds. That’s well over 1 GB/sec being more-than-enough to copy your entire game library over in just a few minutes. 

It’s a similar story with smaller file sizes where the speed of the Seagate Firecuda 530 really shines. This is evident with both Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (47.29 GB) and Dead Space (31.07 GB), which transferred over in 39 seconds and 27 seconds, respectively. Loading into games was just as brief, with Dead Space hailing leading the charge going from the main menu to gameplay in less than 3 seconds. It’s even faster than the already nearly non-existent times from the internal storage. Death Stranding: Director’s Cut was almost as quick, with less than 6 seconds between the menu to the open world. 

Should I buy the Seagate FireCuda 530?

Seagate FireCuda 530 next to a potted plant

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if... 

You want an SSD for PS5 that will last

The Seagate FireCuda 530 features best-in-class write endurance for its price and performance, meaning it’s a drive that will keep up for a long time. 

You want lightning-fast performance

Inside of the PS5, the Seagate FireCuda achieves 6,539 MB/s, making it one of the fastest NVMe drives I’ve ever had my hands on in all my years of testing SSDs. 

Don't buy it if... 

You’re thinking of going for lower capacity 

You can really only get the most out of the Seagate Firecuda 530 with 1TB and up, so if you’re gunning for a 500GB SSD, you can get a cheaper one that does the same job.