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Posts Tagged ‘rAge 2012’

While I was making my way through the awesomeness that was the rAge expo this past weekend, I stopped and spent some time watching people mill through the Windows 8 stand at Telkom’s booth, noting their reactions to the new OS and how quickly they adapted to working with the new Modern UI. What I found was surprising, so much so that I went to have a chat with the Microsoft rep managing the booth, Ashley Doherty (sadly, not any relation to Shannon). Now, I’ve been using Windows 8 on my main PC for the last three months – two of those on the consumer preview, one month on the release preview and for the past week I’ve had the RTM version as my only boot option, so I’m pretty comfortable with it so far.

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ZombiU is a big deal for both Ubisoft and Nintendo. It’s a big deal for the French publisher because they have the potential to launch another successful franchise – a feat that they’ve had a good string of luck with of late. For Nintendo, it’s the poster-child for their return to the so-called “core gaming” masses. When Nintendo talks about catering to both casual and core, it’s the likes of Black Ops II, Batman: Arkham City: Armoured Edition and Assassin’s Creed III that are used to satiate the latter. ZombiU does this as well, but it has a distinct advantage: it’s a Wii U exclusive.

At rAge 2012, we got the chance to go hands-on with the game as well as interview ZombiU’s associate producer, Nicolas Robin, and senior game designer, Mounir Radi.

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Comptium’s stand this year was the only one with any overclocking going on and I’ve been bringing you news on how their efforts went throughout the weekend. Before the expo opened I chatted to Pro Overclocker Andrew Roberts (dRweEZ) to see what he thought of the products he was using. Andrew has a firm handshake and an unassuming attitude and looks right at home painting a motherboard with vaseline.

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It’s Sunday at rAge 2012 which means the competitive gaming tournaments are drawing to a close. As you’re probably aware, the NAG Gaming League is running just a single tournament this year: the culmination of this season’s League of Legends league where a single team will take the glory of being the top LOL team in the country. But why League of Legends? We chatted with one of the NGL’s admins, Marnewicke “Switch19″ Loubser to dig into the brief history of the league and his drive to make it the largest gaming community in SA.

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Lara is a wreck. Perhaps the shipwreck of the Endurance that lies battered on the rocks below her is meant to echo her current psychological state? If so, then that’s some subtle paralleling that the developers have added. If not, then I’m reading too much into the scene that opens the hands-on demo at rAge 2012.

The area that Lara is standing in is called the Coastal Bluffs, and it looks incredible. The sea swirls furiously below her, and the bits of ship debris and rubbish thrown about by the wreck creates a desolate atmosphere. Lara is clutching her side, her blood stained top getting progressively filthier as the rain and mud intensifies. Every step she takes is a struggle, with her effort conveyed through the gasps and visible flinches as I begin to guide her down a pathway and deeper into the island.

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Upcoming jungle-crawling FPS Far Cry 3 is looking absolutely fantastic, and more than a little insane with its tropical island setting playing home to all manner of colourful inhabitants and enticing hallucinogens. In the midst of all the madness that rAge 2012 has already thrown our way this weekend, I was afforded the opportunity to have a quick sit-down with the game’s cinematics director, who divulged details on the game’s story, the importance of variety in combat, and what makes this new Far Cry a different breed of shooter.

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One of this year’s highlights at rAge has to be Megarom’s stand. One title getting a lot of exposure is Ubisoft’s upcoming jungle shooty-fest Far Cry 3, which is still weeks away. That makes us sad. We’re sure that makes you sad too, so to avoid an overwhelming cluster of sads, we’ve been playing the game at rAge.  We’ve also been enjoying the delightful company of Robert Purdy, who is the animations director on the title.

There was a sizable chunk of the game open to those attending the show; a chunk that Purdy explained was only a couple of square kilometres of the entire open world. In the time spent with the game, it’s blatantly obvious that I hadn’t even scratched the surface. There was no obvious objective so this was really an open hands-on. As a result, a fair bit of exploration was done as I made protagonist Jason Brody flit from one interesting object to the next like a chronic ADD sufferer.

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Samsung’s stand this year had a theme – “timeless computing”, at least if you were looking at the main stand with squinted eyes to understand the message being conveyed. With some assorted household objects and a picture frame, the company tried to bring across its message that the PC should be a part of the household. They had a range of products from screen0 to Ultrabooks to the huge, huge Galaxy S3 (prompting way too many, “Is that a S3 in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?” jokes). Ultrabooks and Windows 8 were a popular theme, although a few of the laptops there were still showcasing Windows 7 – a bit confusing, you might agree, since the company needs to plug Microsoft’s OS for all its worth to make money from it.

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Each year a relatively small but dedicated strategy game tournament is held in the main LAN area at rAge. It’s so unofficial it doesn’t even a have a name other than “Strategy Competition”, but seeing the competitors duking it out in Command and Conquer 3 proves that there’s still plenty of demand for both the game and the relaxed format. We took some time to chat to Paul “Re4g3d” de Kock, the tournament’s organiser, about the competition as it stands now and where it could be headed.

You can’t tell just by looking, but some serious gaming is probably going on somewhere in this photo.

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Comptium’s stand is directly opposite the NAG Magazine one with the awesome arcade machines that you can win. Just in case you didn’t hear it already, you can ask the pretty NAG Minions for a few coins and try your luck at posting some high scores to win one of these fantastic machines. But back on topic, Comptium had overclocker dRweEz take the reins over the last two days and I spent some time picking up how they’d done with the Asrock Z77 OC Formula board.

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