Those fine folks at Intel have a bonus game offer available now for those gearing up with the i7-8700K CPU or a Gaming PC featuring this awesome hardware.
In this latest INTEL MASTER KEY promotion, they’ve really outdone themselves with two killer games available + a little something for World of Tanks players 😛
First up – Assassin’s Creed: Origins
Set in mysterious Ancient Egypt, Assassin’s Creed Origins is a new beginning. Experience a new way to fight while exploring the Great Pyramids and hidden tombs across the country of Ancient Egypt, and encounter many memorable storylines along your journey. And discover the origin story of the Assassin’s Brotherhood.
Next in – Total War: Warhammer 2
Strategy gaming perfected. A breath-taking campaign of exploration, expansion, and conquest across a fantasy world. Turn-based civilization management and real-time epic strategy battles with thousands of troops and monsters at your command.
This promotion is register to redeem, so once you’ve got your awesome new hardware simple visit the retailer’s redemption page and log your receipt to get your MASTER KEY!
We’ve been playing a fair few games lately (as always :P) and recently we’ve been diving into as many free to play PC games as we can, this blog will be a sticky one that we constantly update with new games as we play them but for now we’ll start things off with a few unique and rather good games for your PC that will cost you nothing but the data to download them 🙂 (the titles for each are download links, videos are short gameplay tests captured by GGPC NZ)
Atlus Reactor – A rather refreshing and unique take on turn-based tactical combat. Engage in 4v4 team battles with a short moment between each round to lock in your players actions after which all eight players will execute their command lists. Each character has a range of moves available to them that will initiate at different times in the action que depending on the type of move selected, this makes playing Altus Reactor a game of predicting what your opponents might do which just keeps getting better the more familiar you become with the growing roster of freelancers available (numbering 25 as I write this). Once you reach level 10 there is also a “Seasons” XP event in which players can complete challenges and receive some extra bonus loot to customise their characters.
Paragon – Is a multiplayer online battle arena game that feels a bit like SMITE, but with some beautiful graphics 🙂 There are a range of heroes to choose from and a new ones joins the mix every three weeks so it’s going to be great to see just how diverse the range will become. Like most MOBA games the action starts out pretty slow and this escalates as the players level up and unlock more and more abilities leading to some great end game battles, there is also a card powerup system with which you can tweak each character to your play style a bit. It’s hard to say where to start with this one, having played so much League of Legends and DOTA 2 this game just seems to make sense right away.
Path of Exile – You are an Exile, struggling to survive as you fight to earn power that will allow you to exact your revenge against those who wronged you. Created by NZ game studio Grinding Gear Games, Path of Exile is an isometric online action RPG is set in the dark fantasy world of Wraeclast. It offers excellent co-op gaming with extremely deep character customisation, the best skill tree we’ve seen in a long long time and even a hardcore mode in which staying alive actually matters 😛 The game is completely free and will never be “pay to win”, the community is excellent and graphics are top notch. All in all this is our most recommended game right now, crazy good times to be had playing on your own but in a group with some friends the game really shines.
Mechwarrior Online – A slower paced, tactical online shooter set in the BattleTech Universe. Victory requires a mastery of tactical positioning, teamwork, and firing discipline to prevent overheating and the dreaded shutdown (overload only works so much!). Each battle will reward you with credits depending on performance and these can be spent on new weapons, equipment and mech chassis to full your hangers. For new players there is a rotation of free to play pre-configured mechs to take into battle and these will give you a good taste of how each weight class performs so you can spend your credits wisely. Once you’ve brought a BattleMech of your very own there is a faction warfare system and if you spend a little time in each jumping from faction to faction you can quickly amass a bunch of personal hangers to store more and more of your own mechs in, this becomes more important with multiple variants of the same frame offering different hardpoints to mount weaponry on and new skills to unlock as you progress. It’s not an easy fight and don’t expect to just run in and win, this is a thinking persons shooter for sure.
War Thunder – This one gives us action packed battles both on the ground and in the skies (also boats are in BETA!), it’s crazy how good this game is with beautiful graphics and a massive line-up of tanks and planes for us to use in the PVP battles + recently the games creators added a new PVE game mode named Assault which is a blast to play. A perfect game to play with friends this one has options from Simulation to Arcade, it’s similar in many ways to World of Tanks and World of Warships but ultimately War Thunder wins the day with it’s seamless combination of modes and unmatched intensity of aerial dogfights. A truly great game that deserves a download 🙂
Warframe – A team based hack’n’slash shooter with some pretty action packed moments, heaps of gear and hours of fun 🙂 The “War Within” update recently went live live for this one so it’s a great time to jump into the fray and hack some enemies to pieces. You play as a Tenno, an ancient warrior, a weapon master… You wield the mighty Warframes and command their awesome powers – the Grineer Empire grows stronger as a cryptic adversary surfaces. Underpowered, unprepared and forced out of your comfort, you must find it in yourself to improvise, not just to save yourself but the fate of all Tenno. The Queens’ Fortress awaits, where both Warframe and Operator will be pushed past their limits as they slowly unravel mysteries about the Tenno’s past and their true capabilities.
EVE Online– The new free to play mode in EVE will allow you gain a lot of skills with no money down 🙂 Leveling up an EVE Online character has always been a little different from most MMORPG, every player in the game controls a clone which they train in new skills over time (even when you’re not logged in) as opposed to the far more common “kill this and fetch that for XP”. As your clone learns more and more you will be able to fly more ships and kit these out with new modules and equipment. When you die you respawn into another clone but depending on when you last did a clone imprint that new clone may or may not have the skills you previously acquired and it’s this investment in time that makes up one of many factors that gives each life in EVE a real feeling of value – there are of course the in game monetary losses involved with death in EVE, losing your favourite ship certainly hurts! The new alpha clone state will allow you to get some pretty potent ships like the Caracal below, armed with many heavy missile launchers you’ll be a fine addition to fleets around the univese 🙂
Cloud Pirates – Arcade airship based combat awaits you in this science-fiction fantasy battleground game 🙂 Remarkably tactical but also good fun early on for a casual run-and-gun play style, as you progress though you’ll gain access a bunch of unique upgrades for your airships, captain and crew which leads to much more challenging matches and modes as you progress. There are numerous visual customization options to tinker which as you go and plenty of airships to choose from each with their own unique handling and firing arcs – snipers, tanks, dps, tackle – there really are a lot!
ARGO – A hardcore tactical first-person shooter, jump straight into combat in this official standalone FREE total conversion of Arma 3. This one has us fighting for supremacy in a familiar but new setting – the Mediterranean island of Malden, complete with dense urban areas and wide open plains ideal for snipers you’ll find each location has been built to provide an optimal experience for each game mode 😛 What really makes this one stand out for us here at GGPC so far is the new Combat Patrol CO-OP mode in which you can team up with some friends and fight against AI opponents with both randomized objectives and procedural generation of enemy forces making each session of Combat Patrol unique. Combine this with three competitive game modes and a pretty good looking Scenario Editor with which you can create your own missions with and you’ve got ARGO, it’s a pretty darn impressive free to play war gaming experience 🙂
Dreadnought– This is a medium paced arcade action game which puts you in command of a massive sci-fi battleship, similar in many ways to Fractured Space and Cloud Pirates below but with some really beautiful landscapes to wage war on this is one can be a stunner with settings cranked to high. Customisation for your starship is first class from guns and turrets to coatings and decals and there are a range of configs for each ship class so you’re sure to find one that fits your playstyle perfectly. Massively enjoyable in a group or alone, we’ve been playing this one since early BETA days and it just keeps getting better!
Blade and Soul – A rather excellent MMO set in a world of martial arts masters and mythology 🙂 A tale of revenge at its core that will have you exploring a beautiful, cinematic world inspired by the distinct visual style of acclaimed artist Hyung Tae Kim. This one’s got detailed character customization tools, offers some brilliant PVP matches and has an excellent action based combat system. The storyline is very good, especially the introduction to the game world and no matter which class you choose the cross server PVE multiplayer instances are quick to find match ups.
Planetside 2– It’s a very different experience from most first person shooters because instead of the usual 24v24 firefights – battles in Planetside 2 can typically involve a few hundred players. This war takes place over several continents each of which has a defined landscape, there are 3 factions to choose from each with there own infantry weapons, ground vehicles and aircraft. The scale of the game can be quite daunting at first but for new players if you go Engineer class and get a Sunderer vehicle you’ll rapidly begin leveling up while being a great addition to the war effort, doing this will allow you to quickly amass enough experience points to buy new weapons, vehicle mods or abilities. The game world is large, but getting around is easy thanks to an instant action button on the map screen that will take you into hot spots, you can also hover over locations to see just how many players from each faction are fighting in that specific sector which is excellent. Community wise (NZ players) we highly recommend jumping into this one on a Sunday afternoon, it’s pretty crazy!
Fractured Space– Another MOBA at its core but very different from Paragon above, this one has us controlling a large battleship in space based 5v5 combat pushing our way towards a large enemy base that your team can only reach by pushing a spacelane all the way up. Each multiplayer match provides some pretty intense team battles and also some smaller skirmishes with ships able to quickly warp to other locations on the map. The starships themselves look beautiful, there are three factions/manufacturers in the game right now each with their own unique art style for each class of ship available – each class backs some pretty awesome weapons and abilities that you can further tweak to suit your play style as you progress in the game. Fractured space is in early access now and we’ll be excitedly watching this one as it evolves, right now though it’s in pretty excellent shape and certainly a blast to play!
DOTA 2–Originating as a fan-made Warcraft 3 modification, Dota was an instant underground hit. After coming to Valve, the original community developers have bridged the gap to a more inclusive audience, so that the rest of the world can experience the same core gameplay, but with a level of polish and depth that’s unmatched.Much like League of Legends,Dota is a competitive game of action and strategy. Players can choose from a roster of over a hundred unique heroes, forming two teams of five players. Radiant heroes then battle their Dire counterparts to control on a beautiful fantasy landscape, battling one another with cunning, stealth, and outright warfare.
League of Legends – A popular take on the multiplayer online battle arena game type that first came about as a mod for Warcraft 3 named DOTA back in 2003… or was it 2002, anyways it was a while ago 🙂 League of Legends released to the public in 2009 and it has since become one of the most played games in the world today with some very cool new heroes to play as and more joining the ranks constantly. It’s quite a wonderful game to play if you’re a gamer that’s short on time with matches lasting from twenty minutes to one hour depending on how well each team performs. The game is both newbie friendly and deep enough to keep a long term player interested, the roster of heroes to play as changes often and there is even a rune loadout enabling you to tweak you heroes slightly using various power-ups you can purchase using currency accrued as you play matches.
Killer Instinct – This one has been made available via the Windows Store so you’ll need a Windows 10 Gaming PC to try it out. It’s the same Killer Instinct we remember playing in movie theatres wayyy back in the 90’s but with some wonderful new graphics to enjoy 🙂 The free version of this one gives players a single character with which you can access all game modes, including online multiplayer!
Paladins – A team-based shooter set in a vibrant fantasy world and features a diverse cast of Champions ranging from sharpshooting humans to mech-riding goblins, mystical elves, jetpack-clad dragons, and bomb golems. Each Champion brings a unique set of abilities to the battlefield and new Champions are regularly added to Paladins, keeping the game exciting. With strategy elements and character customisation through a unique collectable card system, players can amplify and augment a character’s core set of abilities to play exactly how they want to play.
We’ll continue adding to this list as we test more and more Gaming PC, we’ve got our eyes on Battlerite but if you know a great new free game you think we should test out please drop a comment in via our GGPC YouTube channel – we are on the hunt now for a nice driving game!
The latest GTX 1070Ti is available in New Zealand now, and this version from Gigabyte is looking GOOD!
An enthusiast-class graphics card that combines the power of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti GPU with the renowned Gigabyte WINDFORCE 3X cooling, RGB illumination, and top-notch reliability. Paired with 8GB of 256-bit GDDR5 memory, the card is ideal for gaming fanatics looking for serious graphics power to tackle today’s most challenging, graphics-intensive games and VR without breaking a sweat.
WINDFORCE 3X, a triple-fan cooling system from Gigabyte incorporates two composite copper heat-pipes which directly touch to the GPU core. It further utilises a large metal base plate and thermal pads across critical heat-generating components for a total cooling solution. Together with the special fin architecture and the unique blade fans, this graphics card has delivered exceptional cooling performance while maintaining low noise, furthermore, the semi-passive cooling fans allow gamers to enjoy light gaming in complete silence.
Aesthetics-wise, the angular shroud design with orange accents is distinctively Gigabyte and sparks a gaming vibe, this cooler version was first released back in 2016, and it has been featured on higher tier cards like the GTX 1080 with great results, at GGPC this is one of our favourite coolers and thusly featured in many of our custom PC builds.
The metal backplate offers rigidity and protection to the structure while adding a sleek, clean look to the GTX 1070 Ti Graphics Card. This GPU is further styled up with the RGB illuminated logo powered by RGB Fusion giving us the freedom to choose the right theme for each of our gaming rigs via the AORUS Graphics Engine utility software, and then change on a whim🙂
The GTX 1070 Ti Gaming is beefed up with 6+2 power phases to provide better stability with a more efficient power distribution. The use of the highest-grade chokes and capacitors reinforces the already legendary reliability of Gigabytes graphics cards and with the newly updated AORUS Graphics Engine, users can adjust and monitor clock speeds, voltage, fan performance, and more through the intuitive interface to get the best from their gaming hardware – it’s even got an instant performance boost with the one-click overclock function!
We’ve already got our lucky hands on some for testing 😛 Keep your eyes on the GGPC PC Gaming Blog for the latest!
TEAM UP AND FIGHT ON! Those fine folks at Nvidia have a killer DESTINY 2 GAME BONUS for those grabbing a new GTX 1080, GTX 1080 Ti Graphics Card or Gaming PC and Gaming Laptop featuring this awesome hardware 🙂
Humanity’s last safe city has fallen to an overwhelming invasion force, led by Ghaul, the imposing commander of the brutal Red Legion. He has stripped the city’s Guardians of their power, and forced the survivors to flee. You will venture to mysterious, unexplored worlds of our solar system to discover an arsenal of weapons and devastating new combat abilities. To defeat the Red Legion and confront Ghaul, you must reunite humanity’s scattered heroes, stand together, and fight back to reclaim our home.
This awesome bonus is valid on purchases made between the17th of October 2017 and 5th of January 2017 so get in quick! This is a register to redeem promotion so once you’ve geared up with your new hardware simple visit the website below and follow the steps along.
This is a register to redeem promotion, please use the handy links below depending on which flavour your grabbing 🙂
Hardware monitoring in Destiny 2 is a little different with most being disallowed/disabled – those fine folks at Logitech G have a great workaround for this though using the Logitech Gaming Software and their ARX companion APP 🙂
This mouse is pretty special too, it’s brand new and just made it’s first appearance in New Zealand a couple of weeks ago – the ROG STRIX PUGIO! This one’s also an ambidextrous gaming mouse but it has got some sweet configurable magnetic side buttons that let decide on your own side button layout, with exclusive push-fit switch sockets offer variable click resistance. The PUGIO also features some truly stunning aesthetics to match its performance – including angular ASUS Aura RGB light channels that can be controlled with Aura Sync!
This mouse is really quite wonderful, so much so we’ll leave this here with a massive picture of the mouse to drool over below 🙂 GAME ON!
For a limited time, gear up with a new HTC Vive VR and receive a sweet Fallout 4 VR Game BONUS!
Fallout 4 VR is set to release soon on December 3rd in New Zealand, we’ll be jumping in as soon as it does to check things out in this epic virtual reality adventure!
This legendary post-apocalyptic adventure from Bethesda Game Studios and winner of more than 200 ‘Best Of’ awards, including the DICE and BAFTA Game of the Year, finally comes in its entirety to VR. Fallout 4 VR includes the complete core game with all-new combat, crafting, and building systems fully reimagined for virtual reality. The freedom of exploring the wasteland comes alive like never before.
The bonus game offer is valid with all VIVE purchases from 3rd of October onwards until codes run out (expected to last until at least the game launches in Dec)
It’s register to redeem promotion, so once you’ve geared up use the link below to get your Steam Game Activation code.
It’s important to note that Fallout 4 is an R18 game, so if you’re under 18 years old you won’t be able to get this one (double age checks on both Vive and Steam) – there is a second package with Google Tilt Brush + Everest VR + Richie’s Plank Experience + 1 month free VIVEPort available for those underage 🙂
An epic open-world awaits us! Brought to life by the award-winning Nemesis System, we must go behind enemy lines to forge our army, conquer fortresses and dominate Mordor from within as we prepare to confront the full power of the Dark Lord Sauron and his Ringwraiths in this epic new story of Middle-earth. Forge a new Ring of Power, conquer fortresses in massive battles and dominate Mordor with your personal orc army in Middle-earth: Shadow of War!
The fate of Mordor rests upon the choices you’ll make. So weigh them with your life, because Nothing Will be Forgotten.
This awesome bonus is valid on purchases made between the 26th of September 2017 and 12th of December 2017 so get in quick! This is a register to redeem promotion so once you’ve geared up with your new hardware simple visit the website below and follow the steps along.
Recently we managed to get our hands on a very new gaming laptop from Gigabyte, an ultra slim and light AERO 14 with a GTX 1050 Ti inside! This was perfect as we really wanted to check out the GTX 1050Ti Laptop performance a game called Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, but before we jump into gameplay FPS tests let’s take a quick look at the laptops full specs and design.
The Aero 14 is ultra thin and light, weighing in at around 2KG while being less than 2cm thick – it’s packing a popular intel i7-7700HQ quad core CPU with a 4GB GTX 1050Ti and 16GB of DDR4 ram. The display is a beautiful anti-glare 2560×1440 IPS, edged entirely in black with just a dash of orange and carbon fibre on the back of the laptop.
Inputs and Outputs…
3x USB 3.0
1x Mini DisplayPort 1x HDMI 2.0 (4K savvy)
1x ThunderBolt 3!
1x 3.5mm Audio Combo (headphone and mic)
In addition to these, it also has a built in webcam and microphone which is good, a Kensington lock point and a nice white LED backlit keyboard for late night gaming. That ThunderBolt 3 port is great to see too, you can use these to attach an external graphics card boosting the power of your gaming laptop into that of top tier of desktop gaming systems!
Performance is general use is excellent, with the NVMe M.2 SSD inside booting into Windows 10 took around 4 seconds, with battery life under extreme load (playing Path of Exile while live streaming via OBS with FaceRig running) which gave us just over an hour (1 hour 1 min 17 seconds) – as a side note here, gaming performance is excellent on battery with the Aero 14, we recorded everything including the 20% battery tipping point when a laptop will automatically switch from the Nvidia graphics to intel integrated – let us know if you want to see this and we’ll cut out the boring bits then upload for you to check out on YouTube 🙂
Must be time to jump into some PUBG! (literally)
The game begins with an airdrop onto the island where 100 players proceed to battle it out until the last man standing is declared the winner. We specifically captured the 60-second gameplay video below to include the parachute landing, item grabbing and a player kill, while in a level with the heavy rain weather effect active.
This is because we’ve heard from players having issues on low/mid range systems, specifically when the player first lands, the specific issue being that the buildings and items have not entirely loaded in! This would almost certainly lead to disaster as these opening moments are a rush for weapons to defend yourself with.
As you can see in the video below, the Aero 14 GTX 1050 Ti Gaming Laptop has no such issues and we are able to gear up even in this densely contested area 🙂
We then continued straight on from the gameplay above, dodging crazy people with crowbars and getting into firefights – we even managed to get flash-banged yet survived!
For all tests we ran with the fans set to auto, you can use the included Gigabyte Smart Manager software package to tweak this but auto works perfectly, ramping up and down the fan speeds when needed.
Overall we’ve loved spending time with this laptop, the design is so nice and physical build is of the highest quality, the intel/nvidia hardware combination is superb and that Pantone certified display, along with the Dolby speakers is both suprising and beautiful. Best of all though, now that we’ve had a really good go with the new GTX 1050 Ti Gaming Laptop we can happily give it our GGPC Recommends Award – The Gigabyte Aero 14 GTX 1050 Ti is GOOD!
Hello from GGPC NZ! This is our first in a new hardware testing while streaming series
The method is a pretty simple one, we’re going to be checking out a range of gaming gear in live streams to see what it’s like – videos are unedited, straight up live tests.
A quick note on why you’d want to have nice direction mic like this one from GGPC Warlock – “not only is the sound quality great but with a little time spent tweaking the position you happily chat away while gaming without having the sounds from your keyboard blasting over the broadcast :)”
For our first test, NZ Twitch Streamer SCRAXER has kindly helped out by taking a Blue Snowball iCE microphone and used this in a quick match of Player Unknown Battlegrounds. From here the microphone will do the rounds visiting three different gamers in total, no instruction is given to any of the gamers involved and as each has a go with the Snowball iCE we’ll begin linking to each players experience within our PC Gaming Blog here at GGPC New Zealand.
Via Scraxer: Setup for the Snowball iCE was pretty straight forward, plug and play with a single USB connection. The microphone does need to be quite close to you to pickup voice communication clearly and I highly recommend getting a scissor stand & pop filter if you’re using this mic while streaming games. Once you’ve got the microphone into a good position you can speak quite softly and still be heard clearly, it’s one-directional audio input means if you look away and talk it often won’t pick this up. I was seriously surprised by the recording quality of the Snowball iCE, considering it’s a pretty low price option among the range – looking forward to testing more!
Via ATTACK ON GEEK“In order to provide quality content as a podcaster, web-show host or even a video-game streamer, the quality of sound is especially important. Gone are the days of fiddling about with built in PC microphones, which provide only the bare minimum when it comes to quality. Now there are various high-end sound recorders and microphones, along with a plethora of sound mixing software, which are able to provide the best possible audio quality. However, despite the range available, only a few are actually simple and easy enough to use.”
From here the Snowball iCE made its way to Gabbu 🙂 She’s already started streaming with the mic and you can check out more live streams coming up this weekend – we’ll update with all the latest good stuff as her testing continues!
Via Gabbu: I played around with some configurations and found when the mic was behind the keyboard, typing sounds were too harsh, so having it in front was best. ideally, a floating boom would be the best option just from a space perspective.
Gabbu has kindly saved a replay of her gaming session while playing and chatting away with the Snowball iCE on her desk, click the image below and check it out!
The G613 is a next generation wireless keyboard perfect for living room gamers who are looking for the satisfying click of mechanical switches and the freedom of wireless 🙂 Logitech have used their new LIGHTSPEEDwireless technology as well and this delivers a mind-blowing 1 ms report rate for super-fast and responsive gaming, this is the same professional-grade wireless solution that’s built into the exceptional G703 and G903 wireless gaming mice.
They’ve made it savvy for the lounge by fitting a solid wrist rest onto the front, it’s also a little bit longer than the G413 with the additional G-Keys lined up on the left for gamers.
Being a living room savvy device Logitech have also taken care of a few additional features to make this keyboard even better – along the top you’ll find a host of quick media control buttons, these will allow you to quickly adjust volume, fast-forward, rewind and all that good stuff, what’s even cooler though is that Logitech have included Bluetooth connectivity as well as wireless, and with a quick-change button up beside the media controls you can hot swap between devices with ease! Included with the keyboard is also a nice smartphone stand as well, similar to the one included with the G910 Orion Spectrum but this time in black.
Romer-G mechanical switches deliver precise mechanical performance with that signature ultra fast actuation we love, for those newbies coming to this new switch from something like a cherry blue, what makes the Romer-G switches so good is that your key-presses register at just 1.5 mm depth, around 25% faster than normal mechanical switches providing great response times in game – once you’re used to it 😛 Unlike many of the Logitech G mechanical keyboards we’ve been seeing recently, the G613 has got six dedicated macro G-keys so installing the Logitech Gaming Software is still a must even without the RGB options – it is a little odd to have keyboard without LED lighting now, but on the other hand we do understand, sacrifices must be made for battery life – there is a button that will light up though, the battery life warning indicator turns on when you’re down to 10% apparently 🙂
Logitech boasts that we’ll get 18 months of battery life on the two AA-batteries included with the kit – we’ll update our GGPC PC Gaming Blog with the latest as we test this new gaming keyboard out!