I bought Skyrim for PC in the summer of 2013. The first thing I remember doing in the game, after the opening-scene dragon attack, is trying to kill a blacksmith who was hosting me in his home, and then frantically running away from the town, across a huge plain and into snowy mountains as the sun set. Many fans of “open-world” games probably have similar experiences the first time they play. Open-world games purport to give the player total freedom; the premise is that any decision that the player makes can be supported by the game, and make sense within its world. You can play as a hero, an anti-hero, a villain or simply commit random acts of violence and kindness as you see fit, and in a perfectly-executed game any of these decisions would have ramifications on the progress of the narrative.
Myth: teenager gets accepted to college, buys a new computer, packs things up, and flies out to start a new life.
Fact: teenager gets accepted to college, buys a new computer armed with an atrocious amount of processing power, RAM, and graphics card, packs things up, and flies out to start a new life.
Today we’ll focus on the issue of the vastly overpowered PC that has become commonplace by industry standards. Let’s face it, how many of us actually looked at the tech specs on our computers before coming to Cornell? Don’t answer, it’s a rhetorical question.
Firstly, I want to show you the recommended specs for Microsoft Office 2007, which is a staple for most college students:
When you walk into a video game store, you know what you’re going to get: a lot of first person shooters, sports games and fantasy RPGs. Very little variety.
If these kinds of games appeal to you, great. If they don’t, chances are you won’t find something different for a very long time.
A recent article in CNET indicates game designers are cognizant of this problem and are working to fix this by developing more innovative games. At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, a contest on March 27, game designers worked for 36 hours to develop a game. This year, the concept was “your first time”, or an autobiographical game about how the game designers lost their virginity.
Sins of a Solar Empire is 2008’s award winning 4xRTS title from Ironclad Games, with multiple game of the year awards in an assortment of categories. I bought it late last semester and started playing it online with a few friends. We were hooked. Sins of a Solar Empire blends traditional turn-based scale and complexity with real-time strategy gameplay. The game wraps all of this in a very presentable package with excellent graphics, sound, and interface design. It’s easy to pick up and keeps everyone entertained for hours at a time. I also pre-ordered the expansion titled Entrenchment, which entered me into the beta. Entrenchment is available now only through Stardock’s Impulse distribution network. Check the video below for an in-depth review.