The Ascent Review – Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy

If you've ever worked a job where your bosses are the worst people imaginable, and they ask you to fix a problem using broken tools and then blame you for the results like it's your fault, then you have a pretty good idea of what it's like to play The Ascent. That's not just a metaphor, either. It's literally the baked-in plot of the game. It's the far-off future, and in order to escape to Veles (an intergalactic project block for all the galaxy's huddled masses yearning to breathe free), you must sign away your freedom to become an indentured servant, or Indent, to one of the various corporate masters running the place. In the first area of gameplay, you're literally forced to clean Veles' toilets by fixing the sewage system. By the time the credits roll, even after hours of mowing down scumbags, watching your character become a metal monster, and running odd jobs for weirdos and strangers, it’s hard to feel like you’ve worked your way up from those starting sewers.

The small blessing is that the job involves fewer plungers, and more heavy sci-fi weaponry and cybernetic enhancements. The Ascent is a twin-stick shooter, with a slew of RPG elements thrown in for flavor. You'll find an impressive and unique assortment of pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, and rocket launchers along the way, each of which can attack enemy weaknesses for extra damage, and they all have very different practical feels in-game. Armor has a similarly expansive variety, with the added benefit of changing your character's look to an increasingly mechanical degree. It's not great that most of those armor pieces obscure your custom-made character--what's the point of creating a character whose face you immediately cover up?--but the designs are incredibly cool.

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You'll also gain special abilities along the way, ranging from a hydraulic-powered melee attack that can vaporize your enemies to deadly drone companions who can fight by your side. My personal favorite is an army of explosive spider bots who run out and autonomously seek enemies to blow up. For the most part, though, you'll be spending most of your time running and gunning through what are essentially expansive, RPG-style, isometric dungeons, where both a well-thought out combination of armor and cyborg magic is just as important as having the right gun for the job. When your mission is done, you can head back to one of the game's bustling shopping districts to spend skill points on various character stats, as well as buy upgrades, new items, and new cybernetic toys to splice into yourself.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

Pokemon Unite Review — A Micro-Aggressive MOBA

For the Pokemon brand's first foray into a new genre, Pokemon Unite gets a lot of things right. The game certainly feels like a MOBA a la League of Legends or Dota 2, just in a much easier to understand presentation for those who've never played one before. Matches are short, snappy affairs with plenty of action and strategy. Learning each of the five classes is fun and rewarding. Each skirmish within a match ups the ante, increasing tension and excitement until it boils over in the final stretch. It's just a shame that the confusing in-game economy composed of multiple currencies and a loot box-style lottery system can sometimes get in the way of the game's fun.

For those unaware, Pokemon Unite is a "multiplayer online battle arena game" or "MOBA." Two teams of up to five players choose a Pokemon, then enter an arena where they defeat wild Pokemon in the environment to gather energy and experience. Experience levels up a Pokemon, increasing its stats and powering up its moves, while energy is used to score points and win the game. This is where Pokemon Unite separates itself from traditional MOBAs. Pokemon must take their stored energy to an opposing team's goal and "dunk" it through the hoop to score points equal to how much energy the Pokemon held. The dunking sequence itself is wonderful, with the Pokemon slamming the energy down through the hoop with force and excitement that will put a smile on your face. Dunks aren't the only scoring method though, as special wild Pokemon sometimes appear that give temporary buffs or extra points, but they are rare and sometimes one-time occurrences during a match. When time runs out--10 minutes in a standard match--whoever has the most points wins.

This goal-scoring approach is different from established MOBA games--League of Legends, for example, requires that a team enter the enemy's base and destroy the Nexus--but it's a fantastic choice in action. Most of the wild Pokemon lining the arena aren't difficult to defeat, so even novice players will be able to gather energy easily. Some goals can only have so many points scored on them before they break, meaning disabled goals force you to progress further into the opponent's side of the arena to find a new one. It's a fun spin on the core objective of a MOBA match, taking something like defeating towers in LoL in order to progress and making it unique. Also, since the goals don't fight back like LoL towers do, new MOBA players won't need to worry about extra threats when trying to score.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

US States Ban Certain Alienware PC Sales Because They Use Too Much Power

Certain prebuilt Alienware gaming PCs can no longer legally be sold in half a dozen US states due to recently passed power consumption laws.

As reported first by The Register (spotted by Vice), some of Dell's Alienware Aurora R10 and Aurora R12 gaming PCs are no longer available for sale in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, or Washington. Heading over to Dell's website and looking to purchase certain configurations will display a warning message to buyers, indicating that it will not be shipped to those provinces due to power consumption regulations that have been adopted in those states. Dell notes that any orders that are slated to ship to those states will now be canceled.

[caption]Certain Alienware Aurora R12 and R10 gaming desktop configurations will have a warning message appear, noting those items cannot be shipped to states with power consumption regulations.Certain Alienware Aurora R12 and R10 gaming desktop configurations will have a warning message appear, noting those items cannot be shipped to states with power consumption regulations.[/caption]

The gaming industry is a considerable contributor to carbon emissions. As hardware becomes more powerful and displays increase their pixel counts, the amount of power these devices consume will increase. To combat this, some US states have begun to add regulations on power consumption. California was the first state to approve energy efficiency standards for PCs in 2016 under its Appliance Efficiency Regulations, with other states following suit in the following years.

"While our most powerful gaming systems are available in all 50 states, it is accurate that select configurations of the Alienware Aurora R10 and R12 aren’t shipping to certain states due to the recent California Energy Commission (CEC) Tier 2 regulations that went into effect on July 1, 2021," a Dell spokesperson told IGN in an email. "New models and configurations will meet or exceed these regulations, in line with our long-term focus to address energy and emissions."

According to a fact sheet, more regulations impacting computers will go into effect in California beginning December 9. Those new regulations could extend to "computers with high-speed networking capability, multi-screen notebooks, notebooks with cyclical behavior, and monitors with high refresh rates."

While these regulations could help minimize the carbon footprint of computer hardware, it is unclear whether they would apply to cryptomining rigs, which remain legal in California. Forecasters have said that Bitcoin mining alone could consume as much power as Italy in less than 5 years.

[ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/07/19/ps4-crypto-farm-actually-mining-fifa-cards-not-bitcoin-ign-daily-fix"][poilib element="accentDivider"]

Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.

US States Ban Certain Alienware PC Sales Because They Use Too Much Power

Certain prebuilt Alienware gaming PCs can no longer legally be sold in half a dozen US states due to recently passed power consumption laws.

As reported first by The Register (spotted by Vice), some of Dell's Alienware Aurora R10 and Aurora R12 gaming PCs are no longer available for sale in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, or Washington. Heading over to Dell's website and looking to purchase certain configurations will display a warning message to buyers, indicating that it will not be shipped to those provinces due to power consumption regulations that have been adopted in those states. Dell notes that any orders that are slated to ship to those states will now be canceled.

[caption]Certain Alienware Aurora R12 and R10 gaming desktop configurations will have a warning message appear, noting those items cannot be shipped to states with power consumption regulations.Certain Alienware Aurora R12 and R10 gaming desktop configurations will have a warning message appear, noting those items cannot be shipped to states with power consumption regulations.[/caption]

The gaming industry is a considerable contributor to carbon emissions. As hardware becomes more powerful and displays increase their pixel counts, the amount of power these devices consume will increase. To combat this, some US states have begun to add regulations on power consumption. California was the first state to approve energy efficiency standards for PCs in 2016 under its Appliance Efficiency Regulations, with other states following suit in the following years.

"While our most powerful gaming systems are available in all 50 states, it is accurate that select configurations of the Alienware Aurora R10 and R12 aren’t shipping to certain states due to the recent California Energy Commission (CEC) Tier 2 regulations that went into effect on July 1, 2021," a Dell spokesperson told IGN in an email. "New models and configurations will meet or exceed these regulations, in line with our long-term focus to address energy and emissions."

According to a fact sheet, more regulations impacting computers will go into effect in California beginning December 9. Those new regulations could extend to "computers with high-speed networking capability, multi-screen notebooks, notebooks with cyclical behavior, and monitors with high refresh rates."

While these regulations could help minimize the carbon footprint of computer hardware, it is unclear whether they would apply to cryptomining rigs, which remain legal in California. Forecasters have said that Bitcoin mining alone could consume as much power as Italy in less than 5 years.

[ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/07/19/ps4-crypto-farm-actually-mining-fifa-cards-not-bitcoin-ign-daily-fix"][poilib element="accentDivider"]

Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles Review — No Objections Here

Like a great detective novel, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles gives us clues in its opening moments that won’t pay off until its final hours. That trick is even more impressive here as the adventure games collected, The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve, were originally published two years apart and together tell one continuous 80 hour story. Clues, character arcs, cases--all are revealed slowly over the course of the two visual novels, culminating in one satisfying conclusion that ties it all together.

Adventures, from 2015, and Resolve, from 2017, take players back roughly 100 years before Phoenix Wright ever entered the courtroom. Here, players take on the role of that famous ace attorney’s ancestor, Ryunosuke Naruhodo, at the dawn of the 20th century. The story begins in Meiji Period Japan before traveling to Victorian-era England, where the bulk of the action takes place. That action, as in Phoenix Wright, involves collecting evidence from crime scenes, waiting for the right moment to use it in court and then presenting it at the right time during a cross examination to make a witness’ testimony fall apart.

As The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures begins, Japan and Great Britain have just entered into a trade agreement. The ink on the agreement is barely dry--historically speaking, that is; a character later suggests that the agreement has been in place for a decade--so when Naruhodo is caught with a pistol in his hand at the scene of a visiting British professor’s murder, the resulting trial carries with it the weight of the fragile alliance between the two empires. With the case all but decided against him, Naruhodo must prove his innocence with the help of his best friend, Kazuma Asogi, a law student set to embark the next day for a study abroad program in England. The katana-wielding Kazuma is strong-willed, confident, and believes wholeheartedly that his friend is innocent, and that belief motivates Naruhodo’s own practice of law as the game progresses, with the young defense attorney understanding well the difference that his belief in his clients’ innocence can make.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles Review — No Objections Here

Like a great detective novel, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles gives us clues in its opening moments that won’t pay off until its final hours. That trick is even more impressive here as the adventure games collected, The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve, were originally published two years apart and together tell one continuous 80 hour story. Clues, character arcs, cases--all are revealed slowly over the course of the two visual novels, culminating in one satisfying conclusion that ties it all together.

Adventures, from 2015, and Resolve, from 2017, take players back roughly 100 years before Phoenix Wright ever entered the courtroom. Here, players take on the role of that famous ace attorney’s ancestor, Ryunosuke Naruhodo, at the dawn of the 20th century. The story begins in Meiji Period Japan before traveling to Victorian-era England, where the bulk of the action takes place. That action, as in Phoenix Wright, involves collecting evidence from crime scenes, waiting for the right moment to use it in court and then presenting it at the right time during a cross examination to make a witness’ testimony fall apart.

As The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures begins, Japan and Great Britain have just entered into a trade agreement. The ink on the agreement is barely dry--historically speaking, that is; a character later suggests that the agreement has been in place for a decade--so when Naruhodo is caught with a pistol in his hand at the scene of a visiting British professor’s murder, the resulting trial carries with it the weight of the fragile alliance between the two empires. With the case all but decided against him, Naruhodo must prove his innocence with the help of his best friend, Kazuma Asogi, a law student set to embark the next day for a study abroad program in England. The katana-wielding Kazuma is strong-willed, confident, and believes wholeheartedly that his friend is innocent, and that belief motivates Naruhodo’s own practice of law as the game progresses, with the young defense attorney understanding well the difference that his belief in his clients’ innocence can make.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

The Chip Shortage Affecting Every Part Of Gaming Could Drag Into 2023

Within the last year, the chip shortage has caused strains across numerous industries including gaming. If you are hoping to easily secure a PS5, Xbox Series X/S, or RTX 30 graphics cards, it likely won't happen until 2023.

During Intel's Q2 Earnings call, CEO Pat Gelsinger expects the chip shortage to continue well into 2022, with supply issues stretching into 2023. "While I expect the shortages to bottom out in the second half, it will take another one to two years before the industry is able to completely catch up with the demand,” Gelsinger said during the call.

[ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/05/28/ps5-xbox-shortages-will-get-worse-before-they-get-better-next-gen-console-watch"]

This is not the first time we hear that the chip shortage will stick around longer than we hoped and will worsen before they get better. In May, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said he anticipates supply shortages for the RTX 30 series to last until "the second half of this year." In that same month, Sony CFO Hiroki Tokoi said during an earnings call that the company is expecting PS5s to remain in limited supply into 2022.

Due to the global semiconductor shortage, demand for gaming's high-ticket items has been notoriously difficult to acquire. Many of these items are being sold primarily online, mostly with unexpected restocks. While some retailers have sold select items in stores, supply remains extremely limited and cannot keep up with the overwhelming demand.

To help ease the shortages, in February the Biden administration signed an executive order pledging to review the supply chain issues that have caused these consoles and graphics cards to remain scarce. Beyond the chip shortages, scalpers have also posed an additional problem, with many flagship GPUs and next-gen consoles surging hundreds of dollars above their suggested retail price.

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Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.

The Chip Shortage Affecting Every Part Of Gaming Could Drag Into 2023

Within the last year, the chip shortage has caused strains across numerous industries including gaming. If you are hoping to easily secure a PS5, Xbox Series X/S, or RTX 30 graphics cards, it likely won't happen until 2023.

During Intel's Q2 Earnings call, CEO Pat Gelsinger expects the chip shortage to continue well into 2022, with supply issues stretching into 2023. "While I expect the shortages to bottom out in the second half, it will take another one to two years before the industry is able to completely catch up with the demand,” Gelsinger said during the call.

[ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/05/28/ps5-xbox-shortages-will-get-worse-before-they-get-better-next-gen-console-watch"]

This is not the first time we hear that the chip shortage will stick around longer than we hoped and will worsen before they get better. In May, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said he anticipates supply shortages for the RTX 30 series to last until "the second half of this year." In that same month, Sony CFO Hiroki Tokoi said during an earnings call that the company is expecting PS5s to remain in limited supply into 2022.

Due to the global semiconductor shortage, demand for gaming's high-ticket items has been notoriously difficult to acquire. Many of these items are being sold primarily online, mostly with unexpected restocks. While some retailers have sold select items in stores, supply remains extremely limited and cannot keep up with the overwhelming demand.

To help ease the shortages, in February the Biden administration signed an executive order pledging to review the supply chain issues that have caused these consoles and graphics cards to remain scarce. Beyond the chip shortages, scalpers have also posed an additional problem, with many flagship GPUs and next-gen consoles surging hundreds of dollars above their suggested retail price.

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Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.

Amazon Finds No Connection Between New World Beta and Bricked RTX 3090 Graphics Cards, Issues Fix Anyway

Update 07/21: Although Amazon says that the New World closed beta has not caused any hardware failures, an Amazon spokesperson told IGN that it will roll out a new patch today in response to reports of some RTX 3090 cards getting bricked:

Hundreds of thousands of people played in the New World Closed Beta yesterday, with millions of total hours played. We’ve received a few reports of players using high-performance graphics cards experiencing hardware failure when playing New World.

New World makes standard DirectX calls as provided by the Windows API. We have seen no indication of widespread issues with 3090s, either in the beta or during our many months of alpha testing.

The New World Closed Beta is safe to play. In order to further reassure players, we will implement a patch today that caps frames per second on our menu screen. We’re grateful for the support New World is receiving from players around the world, and will keep listening to their feedback throughout Beta and beyond.

The original story continues below.

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Multiple reports have emerged that the closed beta for Amazon's MMO New World is reportedly killing Nvidia RTX 3090 graphics cards.

Reports first came to the surface via the New World subreddit, where the user 'greyone78' posted that their EVGA RTX 3090 RTW3 Ultra graphics card was bricked after adjusting their graphics quality in New World. After saving the new graphical setting, the GPU seized up, according to greyone78 who previously said that they were playing Cyberpunk 2077 on the Ultra settings with the same card before it died.

Greyone78 was not the only one to see their EVGA RTX 3090 graphics card get bricked; during the alpha test earlier this year, a user by the name of Goatz went to the New World official forums reporting that their EVGA RTX 3090 was bricked when playing the alpha test. Unfortunately, Goatz's new GPU met a similar fate as their card bricked once again during the New World closed beta.

[ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/07/20/new-world-the-final-preview"]

Surfing through the New World official forums, other users shared similar horror stories that their EVGA RTX 3090 GPU have died when plying the closed beta. Some users are reporting similar issues, but it appears EVGA's RTX 3090 is the only card reportedly being bricked by the New World closed beta. Though I did notice one user with a Gigabyte RTX 3090 report that their GPU was allegedly bricked also.

IGN has reached out to Amazon Game Studios and EVGA for comment, but neither company has responded yet.

While it's never great when graphics cards get bricked when using, the issue is particularly concerning as the RTX 3090, like other GPUs in the RTX 30 series have been in high demand and short supply and are some of the most difficult high-ticket items to purchase right now due to the ongoing chip shortage.

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Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.

Amazon’s New World’s Closed Beta Is Allegedly Bricking RTX 3090 Graphics Cards

Multiple reports have emerged that the closed beta for Amazon's MMO New World is reportedly killing Nvidia RTX 3090 graphics cards.

Reports first came to the surface via the New World subreddit, where the user 'greyone78' posted that their EVGA RTX 3090 RTW3 Ultra graphics card was bricked after adjusting their graphics quality in New World. After saving the new graphical setting, the GPU seized up, according to greyone78 who previously said that they were playing Cyberpunk 2077 on the Ultra settings with the same card before it died.

Greyone78 was not the only one to see their EVGA RTX 3090 graphics card get bricked; during the alpha test earlier this year, a user by the name of Goatz went to the New World official forums reporting that their EVGA RTX 3090 was bricked when playing the alpha test. Unfortunately, Goatz's new GPU met a similar fate as their card bricked once again during the New World closed beta.

[ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2021/07/20/new-world-the-final-preview"]

Surfing through the New World official forums, other users shared similar horror stories that their EVGA RTX 3090 GPU have died when plying the closed beta. Some users are reporting similar issues, but it appears EVGA's RTX 3090 is the only card reportedly being bricked by the New World closed beta. Though I did notice one user with a Gigabyte RTX 3090 report that their GPU was allegedly bricked also.

IGN has reached out to Amazon Game Studios and EVGA for comment, but neither company has responded yet.

While it's never great when graphics cards get bricked when using, the issue is particularly concerning as the RTX 3090, like other GPUs in the RTX 30 series have been in high demand and short supply and are some of the most difficult high-ticket items to purchase right now due to the ongoing chip shortage.

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Taylor is the Associate Tech Editor at IGN. You can follow her on Twitter @TayNixster.