New DayZ renderer gets a test drive

A new renderer has been top of DayZ players’ wishlists almost since it entered Early Access in 2013. DayZ tends to chug on most hardware in any built-up area—the rendering is tied to the simulation, so more to simulate means spikier motion, regardless of graphics settings. For the first time, Lead Producer Brian Hicks has shown off what some were beginning to believe was a myth. It has a way to go before it reaches the public experimental build, but the DirectX 11 Enfusion Engine renderer is a noticeable improvement.

Rain, everyone’s favourite weather effect, is denser, bleaker and much more wet, falling in sheets instead of specks and, if you can believe it, no longer ignoring roofs. Watch until after the end of Hicks’ preview and you’ll see him picking off zombies that emerge from the deluge as grim, uncertain shapes. Recording brings the framerate down on both the DX9 renderer and the new Enfusion renderer of course, but we’re told that the drop is considerably smaller with the new tech.

Once the renderer goes live, we’ll finally be able to use those GPUs we’ve got sitting around.

Player beats Dark Souls without being hit

Once upon a time, beating Gwyn,  Dark Souls’ final boss, was itself a badge of honour. It was no small thing to have bested the unofficial Hardest Game. These days it takes a little more to impress. Some people try ‘onebro’ runs, taking on Dark Souls without leveling up. Others use Rock Band controllers because they like to feel themselves going hollow in real life too. Last year, speedrunner Otsunari beat the game without taking damage. These achievements have now been eclipsed by The_Happy_Hobbit’s spectacular 4.5-hour run in which he never gets hit.

Let’s clarify: even blocking would contravene a no-hit run. Hobbit did away with armour and opted for a range of intimidating weapons that shine when swung with two hands, dodging every single incoming hit. The exceptions are the final boss fight against Gwyn, in which he bravely parried Gywn’s gargantuan flaming sword, and occasional quits and reloads to reset enemies and boss encounters gone wrong (but no save files were altered at any point). Environmental damage, like falling and poison, was considered a-okay so long as it wasn’t part of an enemy attack. The scripted death that forms part of the Seath the Scaleless fight was also ignored.

This was all a bit easy, of course, so the run was no-magic-allowed. I am off to wallow in my own inadequacy.

Street Fighter 5 coming to Linux and SteamOS in spring

Linux users might have been feeling a little neglected after Warner Bros. abandoned the Batman: Arkham Knight port a fortnight ago. Capcom, however, is feeling a little braver, and has released a sliver of information on the promised SteamOS and Linux release of Street Fighter 5 after long silence on the matter despite the impending PC launch: ‘spring’.

The spring release will see any PC Street Fighter 5 owner gifted the new version free of charge and implement Steam controller compatibility too. Capcom are clearly determined to grow the Street Fighter community however possible—this latest announcement comes as Capcom is pushing its  introductory series on the street fighters themselves.

HItman GO coming to Steam February 23

At its best, Hitman is a puzzle game. You’re given your tools, a map populated with opportunities and AI that behaves in a dynamic but predictable way, then it pipes down and lets you figure out what to do with them. The mobile game, Hitman GO, is that same problem-solving distilled down to its fundaments, with movement restricted to set paths. It’s coming to Steam, with PS4/PS Vita cross-buy, on February 23 in the US and February 24 in the EU.

It’s been available on the Windows Store since early last year, but Square Enix is opening it up to those of us still loyal to Windows 7. And this is the Definitive Edition—all extra maps that were in-app purchases in the first version, like Blood Money’s Paris Opera, are included, and the visuals have been spruced up. ‘Quaint’ and ‘charming’ aren’t typically words I use in conjunction with Agent 47, but they’re appropriate here