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HP Reverb G2 Vs Valve Index Vs Vive Pro | Which Is King? – Max Lang-Orsini

As the years progress and more Virtual Reality headsets release, choosing your next VR headset becomes very difficult. It’s a good thing the VR experience has come a long way with its technology, but every competitor poses a new challenge.

However, for the average consumer, it can become pretty difficult to consider every specification of hardware and software to get the most out of your money.

HP Reverb G2 Vs Valve Index Vs Vive Pro

In this article, I (Maximilian Lang-Orsini) will go into depth about VR headsets and whether we have a king currently. I will only focus on the three top brands as of right now; the Valve Index, HP Reverb G2 & Vive Pro.

Valve Index

Valve Index
Valve Index

Released by Valve on June 28th 2019, this expensive kit gathered many fans on launch. It’s price is like this because of it’s incredible tracking accuracy on top of the best of the best audio quality along with the strapped controllers wrapping around the hand comfortably.

The index headset has a refresh rate of 144hz allowing for smooth gameplay with extremely precise finger tracking, you won’t notice anything off about it.

HTC Vive Pro

HTC Vive Pro
HTC Vive Pro

The HTC Vive is the war veteran of virtual reality headsets. This model was originally released in January of 2018 as HTC collaborated with Valve and is an upgraded version from the original Vive.

Even though the Vive has been out for (almost) three years, it can compare to even the index because of it’s high resolution giving it a high quality image.

HP Reverb G2

HP Reverb G2
HP Reverb G2

The HP Reverb G2 is the newest model out of the three that was released this year in November (a month ago). The Reverb G2 is set to be an upgraded version from the original Reverb, like the Vive Pro.

The headset provides an ultra high quality display, a high refresh rate and display and provides the same high quality speakers as the Valve Index. The only issue with the Reverb is that it requires a PC to operate.

Getting Nerdy

In this next segment, we will dive into the specifications of each VR headset so you can buy what’s right for you and your budget.

Image Quality

The image quality is most likely the utmost important to any casual consumer. The things you want to consider is what has the higher resolution, and what is not prone to the screen door effect.

  • The Valve index has a resolution of 1440p x 1600 pixels with an LCD screen.
  • The HP Reverb G2 has a resolution of 2160 x 2160 pixels with an LCD screen.
  • The HTC Vive Pro has a resolution of 1440p x 1600 pixels with an OCLED screen.

On top of that, the refresh rate and field of view are also very important. Ideally for smooth gameplay, you want 90hz or more, which is what all of these headsets provide.

  • The Valve Index has a refresh rate of 80 – 144hz and a field of view of 130 degrees.
  • The HP Reverb G2 has a refresh rate of 90hz and a field of view of 114 degrees.
  • The HTC Vive Pro has a refresh rate of 90hz and a field of view of 110 degrees.

Weight & IPD

The weight of every VR headset is important when buying as you do not want something breaking your neck as you slice blocks in beatsaber. All headsets are fairly light on a good note, but over long periods, you may feel strain.

  • The Valve Index weighs 550g with an adjustable IPD of 58 – 70.
  • The HP Reverb G2 weighs 550g with an adjustable IPD of 60 – 68.
  • The HTC Vive Pro weighs 770g with an adjustable IPD of 60 – 73.

The Price & Worth

That is all for the nerdy specifications, but what is most important to everyone else is the price. The price must balance out the worth but, if you are on a budget, I will recommend which one you should get.

To answer which would (arguably) be the best Virtual Reality headset at the moment, I would have to say the Valve Index and I can only say this based on statistics on paper. The higher refresh rate combined with the realistic colours make VR gaming more surreal. It’s resolution is very high and has the highest field of view compared to any other headset.

Obviously, the price is way too much for the average consumer as the Index goes for $999 (with the full kit). This, I would say is the top of the range at the moment, but for those looking for a cheaper alternative, I’d say go for the new HP Reverb G2.

The Reverb G2 provides a high refresh rate of 90hz with a slightly smaller FOV of 114 degrees, but for its price, it will take over as the go to VR headset for consumers on a budget. Going for $599, the Reverb G2 has many expectations and has hype surrounding it.

By no means is the Vive Pro to be overlooked as it still has a compatible attitude to the Reverb G2 and the Index. It’s technology is still very modern, so if you currently own one, there is no point in switching just yet as it still provides an incredible VR experience.

I hope you enjoyed this article, make sure you follow for more in the future – Maximilian Lang-Orsini

2020 | A Great Year For Technology & Gaming – Max Lang-Orsini

2020 may not have been the greatest year for many, but despite the restrictions humanity has gone through like; social distancing, working from home, isolating etc, we have managed to pull off arguably one of the most productive years for technology and gaming.

In this article, I will dive deep into the top discussions of the year, the Playstation 5, Xbox Series X, Nvidia RTX & AMD’s Radeon and what this means for gaming.

Gaming Just Got a Whole Lot Better

With the launch of all this new tech, there is no arguing that gaming just got ten times better than it was before. From Augmented Reality to Virtual Reality, to extreme realistic real time Ray Tracing, there is no surprise that there is this much hype around it all.

Nvidia’s New RTX

Nvidia’s New RTX Series
Nvidia’s RTX 30 Series

For the PC gaming specialists out there, seeing the release of the new Nvidia graphics card series has got the buzz going. The statistics for the card outweighs their previous generations by a huge margin, and what makes it even better, it’s so much cheaper!

Nvidia’s New RTX Series Performance Chart
Nvidia RTX 30 Series Comparison To Previous Series

Looking at the statistics, it’s no surprise there is this much talk about it. The best card beforehand was the 2080Ti which went for over $1,000, but for half the price, you can get DOUBLE the speed.

The RTX 3070 compares with the previous generations best for half of it’s price, let alone the 3080 & 90’s frame rate and resolution performance.

AMD’s New Radeon

AMD’s New Radeon
AMD Radeon

Following up after the Nvidia RTX, AMD’s big comeback sparked much hype at the possibility of Nvidia having competition again. The statistics of the Radeon blew the internet into oblivion when they saw the AMD could beat Nvidia.

AMD Radeon Big Navi Performance Chart
AMD’s Radeon RX 6900 XT Vs Nvidia’s RTX 3090

Looking at this graph is truly phenomenal. AMD finally can compete with Nvidia on the big stage and in some games actually beat them in performance. The only downside to AMD is they don’t have as full proof ray tracing as nvidia does, but if you just game, AMD, Team Red is the way to go.

AMD’s New Ryzen Zen 3

AMD’s New Ryzen Zen 3 5000 Series
AMD Ryzen 5000 Generation Series

On top of all of this for the PC gamers, they get more with AMD’s new 5th generation Ryzen CPUs for a reasonable price. AMD without question had no competition with Intel this launch and with the performance it delivers combined with either the RTX or Radeon, you can have a gaming rig no one would have ever thought would have existed.

AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Performance Chart
AMD’s Ryzen 5000 Generation Series vs Intel

As you can see by the graph above, the 5000 series demolishes intel on all versions.

Xbox Series

Xbox Series X
Xbox Series

Competing with Playstation, the fridge Xbox Series X closely compared to the PS5 gaming console in specifications. Personally speaking, I would say go for the console you prefer, or the console with the best video gaming exclusives.

Playstation 5

Playstation 5
PlayStation 5

The Playstation 5, arguably out of all of those above has the biggest popularity. Out of all of them, the PS5 is something I cannot escape a day without hearing how good this product is. I have to mention that the look of the PS5 is incredible, it’s just a shame you struggle to get one.

The Playstation 5 & Xbox Series X brings console gaming to another level, providing high quality gameplay that now is slowly reaching PC standards of potential quality.

PS5 & Xbox Series Specifications Side By Side
PS5 V Xbox Series X

Since I could not find any statistics out there on comparing the two consoles and comparing them to the newly constructed graphics cards, here are the specifications for those nerds out there.

The Stock Problem

Regardless of how good the year was for technology and gaming and regardless of how good performance wise the products are, the fact of the matter is that the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic has really taken a toll on the stock.

At first, people criticised Nvidia for rushing the launch of their cards until AMD, PS5 and Xbox launched theres. This is proof that the pandemic has taken a huge hit on the production of these consoles and graphics cards.

You can also argue the demand for this is something that no one has ever seen before. Scan mentioned that on the release days of the consoles or cards they saw over 5 times their standard website traffic rate.

Many are having to Pre-Order, (which is never a good sign as you never know when you will get it) as no one knows when it will properly stock, leading to many angry customers.

For those out there trying their hardest to get their hands on a new card or console, just remember to not give in to the scalpers and buy someone reselling it overpriced. Stick with it and follow trackers online so you get alerted the moment they restock. It’ll be awhile before they have stock for the demand, but staying with it is the hardest part.

Good luck on your future shopping endeavours – Max Lang-Orsini

How Did ‘Among Us’ Become So Popular? – Max Lang-Orsini

To think that a simple indie game exploded in popularity and became one of the most popular games of all time is hard, but the game Among Us managed it. I had to call this emergency meeting as I saw (according to Steamcharts,) 438,524 players in September 2020 all playing concurrently, competing with the top games like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (which is pretty sus).

What Caused Among Us To Be Popular?

Released in June 2018, the game only saw a couple of hundred to a thousand players playing at one time, which sounds like a lot, but compared to your competitors is nothing. It wasn’t until the end of August 2020 when it really began to rise in popularity. In this article, we will target the points that caused this uprising for this video game.

Streamers

Arguably, big twitch streamers began streaming the game which is the biggest argument for the popularity boom. It all makes sense, your favourite streamer played the game, you wanted to play the game, it’s basically free promotion. On top of that, streamers and content creators began playing together and many collaborations that viewers finally wanted happened (like KSI & PewDiePie).

Viewer numbers on Twitch can be misleading to determine a game’s true popularity, a good example is Valorant and its beta drops, but Among Us is different. With Among Us, you can tell that everyone watching is genuine.

COVID-19

Another big point to why so many players are playing this game right now is COVID-19, the lockdowns and isolation. You see, when people are having to isolate or be locked down, many turn to gaming as a pass time and because so many people are doing so, it doesn’t appear to be as difficult to get a group of players or friends to have a laugh.

Among Us has become a hilarious option to escape from the year that is 2020.

Easy To Learn, Easy To Play

For a third reason on the Among Us’ popularity boom has to be the gameplay. I don’t have to mention the simplistic style of the game that any age can play, but the core mechanics of the game have purpose.

As a ‘Crewmate’, you have to complete tasks, causing you to potentially split away from the group and allowing the impostor to make a move. The tasks for crewmates are very simple, and within a game or two on either side, you already understand the basics for the mechanics.

As an ‘Impostor’, your job is to kill your fellow crewmates, get away with it and outnumber them before they can complete their tasks. You are able to vent in areas around the map to help navigate quickly.

Mobile Game

Something that makes the game have a huge audience and ties to a previous point is the fact that you can play on mobile, for free! Mobile Among Us is free and can play cross platform with PC, meaning you can play with friends just about anywhere. This is a great addition for multiplayer gaming

Furthermore, it increases the reach for Among Us even more by being one of the top games on the Google Play Store and IOS App Store. So in reality, there are more than 440,000 players playing at once!

Among Us has become a titan in today’s gaming, proving no matter the basicness of your game, you can still conquer the top games like Dota and CS:GO.

Dead By Daylight | A Survivor Review

Dead By Daylight is an unforgettable gaming experience full of thrills, torment and laughter as you evade against the killer to escape. The concept of Dead By Daylight is like no other, and for so long people wanted to translate this into an actual game and well, it happened.

Dead By Daylight Survivor

Over recent decades, online gaming has advanced tremendously. Not only in its graphical quality but the creative ideas are truly coming to light, Dead By Daylight is a spectacle of this.

In Dead By Daylight, you can play as a survivor, but you can also play as the killer. In this article, however, we will focus on the survivor side but if you wish, you can read the killer version I created.

Trivia

This great game was published by Behaviour Interactive on Steam in the June of 2016. Shortly after, Dead By Daylight gained a significant following with many live streamers and content creators making content on this fantastic horror game. It was later ported to Xbox and PlayStation in 2017 following it’s instant success.

Dead By Daylight is a multiplayer game (that sadly has no voice chat) where there are 4 survivors and 1 killer. It’s a grindy like game as you progress up the levels, spending your hard earned bloodpoints (points by playing) to level up characters for better perks, items, add-ons and offerings.

Your Job As a Survivor

Dead By Daylight Generator Screenshot

Your main job in Dead By Daylight as a survivor is to complete 5 generators to power the exit gates, in which you can open once powered and escape. Sounds easy, but when there is a killer on the loose, the difficulty ceiling does get higher. The maps in the game vary in size, tho typically are big with many places to hide, one of the common places are lockers. Lockers look like an obvious hiding spot, but because it looks so obvious, who would use them?

To know where the killer is, you can listen to the ‘Terror Radius’ to determine how close they are. The terror radius is a heartbeat that progressively gets more and more intense the closer he is, this is a good sign to get out of there.

When the killer enters a chase with you, a good way to tell which way he is facing is by looking at the red light in front of him. Good killers will know this and if they know you can’t see them, they will turn around as they come round the corner, giving you less time to react.

Perks, Items, Add-Ons

To help you survive, the game has various ways you can use as aid. These perks, Items and add-ons for the items vary, so when you bring them into the trial, make sure you have a strategy.

Perks

To start with perks, I will mention the ‘meta’ perks that everyone finds to be the most strong and effective. For new players, you must level up a survivor to levels 30, 35 and 40 to unlock all of that character’s unique perks. To see which perks you can get from characters, read the ‘character info’ by pressing F1 on PC or you can read about teachable perks.

I find the combo ‘Deliverance’ and ‘Decisive Strike’ a good combination. Deliverance means you can instantly escape off your first hook if you have previously made a safe save on another teammate. To combine this, Decisive Strike allows you to get off the killers’ shoulder if he picks you up within a minute of unhooking yourself, giving you a quick get away.

Items

Every survivor has the same items, these items are; medkits, toolboxes, flashlights, maps and keys. Most are obviously by their name, but flashlights, maps and keys work differently to how you would expect.

Flashlights

Flashlights are not a tool to help you see, rather they can shine in the killers’ eyes to blind them. It takes a few seconds to have an effect, so I wouldn’t recommend doing this when you’re mid chase.

Maps

Maps are similar to how you would expect. When in use, the map reveals the aura of generators, or, if you are using a rainbow map, almost everything interactable.

Keys

Keys are used to open ‘Black Locks’. For those who do not know what this means, it’s referring to the ‘hatch’ that spawns randomly in the trial opening up a free escape.

Add-Ons

For the items above, you can apply add-ons to increase the duration, or increase the amount of charges your item has. Some can apply unique effects, such as the toolbox’s brand new part. This part allows you to complete 25% of a generator if you land the skill checks correctly.

The Survivor List

Before we dig in, it’s important you know that it does not matter much which survivor you play. Some injured survivors are louder than others, but that is only the real difference and is not significant, so here are my favourite survivors.

Laurie Strode | Determined Survivor

Laurie Strode | Determined Survivor

The first licensed survivor to be added to Dead By Daylight was Laurie Strode. Laurie Strode is the main character from the classic horror movie, Halloween with the inclusion of Michael Myers.

Her teachable perks are; Sole Survivor, Object of Obsession and Decisive Strike. Click each named perk to read more about how it functions.

Yui Kimura | Hardened StreetracerYui Kimura | Hardened Streetracer

Yui Kimura is a fairly recent survivor that was added to Dead By Daylight, however, a bit of bias may be on her side because of how great her outfits are. Yui Kimura is a Japanese motorbike racer who is The Oni’s survivor opposition.

Her teachable perks are; Lucky Break, Any Means Necessary and Breakout.

Quentin Smith | Resolute DreamwalkerQuentin Smith | Resolute Dreamwalker

Quentin Smith was the survivor version of the ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’ DLC. This determined survivor helps lead his team survive through thick and thin.
His teachable perks are; Wake Up!, Pharmacy and Vigil.

Dead By Daylight | A Killer Review

Everyone has heard of Dead By Daylight by now, it’s definitely earnt its mainstream fame, rightfully so. The concept of Dead By Daylight sounds like one of those games that will never get made, but now has its own title with its thrilling gameplay!

Dead By Daylight Killer

Dead By Daylight has two sides, the survivor side and the killer side. In this article, we will primarily focus on the killer side, but if you wish to read the survivor side instead, go ahead.

Trivia

The horror game, Dead By Daylight, was published by Behaviour Interactive as a multiplayer game on Steam in June of 2016. With its instant success and climbing followers, it was later ported to Xbox and Playstation in 2017.

This game was perfect for streamers and content creators as it was something you could stream and record with ease, but was something completely new that the gaming industry has never seen before, thus helping its follower count climb.

Your Job As a Killer

Dead By Daylight Screenshot

In Dead By Daylight as a killer, your main goal is to prevent the survivors from repairing generators and, well, kill them. Your job is to force the survivor into the ‘dying state’, pick them up, and place them on meat hooks. Sounds gruesome, but you have a tremendous amount to worry about as the killer.

As a killer, you have a ‘Terror Radius’, which to the survivors will be a heartbeat, and that heartbeat beats faster the closer the killer is. This way the survivors will know you are on your way…

Something that does make the killer easier is the fact that survivors will leave a trail (it looks like a load of red scratches) when they run. The tracks can get messy, especially when there’s a lot so in some instances can be your enemy by leading you to confusion.

Perks & Add-Ons

Now, you’re not technically on your own as you can have perks and small add-ons to help you catch those pesky survivors. These perks can range from seeing the outline of the survivors, or causing the skill checks to be harder for the survivor to land.

Some perks you can combine with others, for example, one of my favourite perks to using together is ‘Distressing’ and ‘Unnerving Presence’. ‘Distressing’ makes your terror radius huge whilst ‘Unnerving Presence’ causes skill checks to be incredibly small and appear more often.

As the killer, you are in a first person perspective whilst the survivors have a 3rd person perspective, knowing this will hopefully allow you to use it to your advantage.

Each killer has their own perk types relating to their ability kit. Ah yes, there is more than one killer, there’s around ~21 killers in the game currently.

The Killer List

One of the elements that makes Dead By Daylight so good, especially in today’s age, is because of how many characters in the game there are. Remember that each killer has their own 3 unique perks, that’s 63 perks alone not counting the default ones.

In this section, I will cutdown and name a few that I particularly love playing whilst jumping to some nerdy parts of the character.

Michael Myers | The Shape

The classic killer was the first licensed killer to be ported in Dead By Daylight. I may be a bit biased since I love the Michael Myers horror movie series (excited for Halloween Kills) but his playstyle I find stands out from many killers. Your power is stalking, quite literally how he acts in the movies. You build this power up and go through 3 tiers.Michael Myers | The Shape

Tier 1 – Your lunge is small, but you have no terror radius, meaning you can sneak up on your prey. Tier 2 – you become more standard, however, you are unable to go back to tier 1. Tier 3 allows you to have a huge lunge and instantly down any survivor from healthy, but sadly this has a timer and you will drop back down to tier 2.

Evan Macmillan | The TrapperEvan Macmillan | The Trapper

Evan Macmillan was the first killer added to Dead By Daylight and was their very own original character. His power is unique and is one of the few killers in Dead By Daylight to be able to place things around the killing game.

He is able to place bear traps around the place with the hopes that some unsuspecting survivor will step right into it. This disables the survivor from doing anything until they are able to escape themself, or have help from another survivor.

Caleb Quinn | The DeathslingerCaleb Quinn | The Deathslinger

For ages in this game I’ve always wanted a character that could shoot some sort of weapons, the deathslinger finally gave us this. The Deathslinger, as you can imagine, is a killer that was born in the backlands of the american midwest and was attracted to the idea of a harpoon like gun to reel in his prey.

This killer is a little more mechanically skill based compared to other killers as not only do you have to predict the harpoon delay as it’s launched, you’ve got to focus on the survivors movements and the potential objects that could interfere with your shot, but I must say he is a blast to play.

Pyramid Head | The ExecutionerPyramid Head | The Executioner

For those who remember the classic horror games, Silent Hill will definitely strike a bell. There was huge demand for Pyramid Head, so the developers added him earlier this year to celebrate the 4 year anniversary. His unique gameplay and power makes him arguably one of the strongest killers in the game.

He is able to strike judgement on any survivors that get in the way of his path. Leaving torment trails around the place allows him to send survivors to a judgement tank somewhere random in the trial. On top of this, he has a secondary ability known as ‘The Punishment Of The Damned’ allowing him to launch a direct and straight strike in front of him, hitting any survivors in it.

Talbot Grimes | The BlightTalbot Grimes | The Blight

The Blight is the latest and 21st killer to be added to Dead By Daylight. This original character brings fast paced unique gameplay, arguably making him one of the top strongest killers at the moment.

His power allows you to charge forward, but you can only attack after you bump into an object. Imagine playing ping pong in a killing game, how insane does that sound? Nevertheless, the developers created this monstrosity bringing another form of ‘mind games’ in chases, easily one of the most fun killers to play. Whilst he takes a bit to get used to, good survivors who know how to counter his movements can make The Blight look silly.

Freddy Krueger | The NightmareFreddy Krueger | The Nightmare

Freddy Krueger, this killer has his own home within the classic killer neighbourhood. Pulling survivors into a dream allows Freddy to play his game whilst they are asleep. 

His main power is ‘dream snares’ that causes hands to come out the ground and grab to slow down any survivor that runs into this puddle.

If you wanted, you could switch this for fake pallets, playing on survivors’ feeling of safety. On top of this, he is able to teleport to any generator that is not completed, causing the gen to spew blood and himself coming out of the ground next to it. The most fun out of this killer is seeing every survivor scarper, only to be messed about in some way.

How Are Simplistic Games Running The Industry In 2020?

Gaming has advanced significantly over the past few decades. Playing games has become a common and cultural thing, however, the video game industry this year has been dominated by the simple type of online games.

How have the games ‘Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout’ and ‘Among Us’ managed to influence and gain control over the gaming market?

2020: The Simplistic Gaming Experience

We all play video games as a way to relax, but recently the emergence of the simple games have taken over, and with a fair few reasons. In this article, we will explain how these popular games exploded in popularity, and I’m sure this is obvious, but both games require an internet connection!

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Released in February of this year, the game developers ‘Mediatonic’ published Fall Guys through Devolver Digital. Instantly, the game was a success, reminding players of how the basics of games at times can be a lot of fun. Fall guys is available on Windows and Playstation and are extremely popular for console gaming.

Building up to the release of Fall Guys, they caught a lot of their attention through social media. Their social media manager, @OliverAge24, has brought a lot of attention to their games by cracking jokes on the Fall Guys accounts making their followers laugh whilst interacting with them constantly.

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is sort of like a Mario party crossover, but instead vs in 60 players. There is a maximum of 5 rounds and only a certain number of people each round can qualify until one guy is the last one standing and wins. From winning, you earn a crown, and you can spend these crowns on cosmetics in the game, making winning worth it.

Among Us

An older game that has recently blown up was released all the way back in June of 2018. The Among Us game concept is all about you and your crewmates in space having to do day to day tasks, but, there is an impost among you. It’s your job to suss out and eliminate the imposter, or eliminate everyone if you are the imposter! It’s significantly more fun with friends, especially how it’s become ‘the norm’ to mute your mic at certain parts of the gameplay to be more immersed.

Arguably, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout could have been an influence for the rise of Among Us since people began having an interest in the basic style games. To say the characters look fairly similar, this could also be another reason for finding out about the game.

If you didn’t know, you play Among Us through mobile gaming on IOS and Android.

Looking At The Statistics

To show you how big these games have gotten, let’s look at the statistics to get a better perspective.

If we look at steampowered statistics, Fall Guys had it’s an all-time peak in August of 172,000 concurrent players at once on Steam alone. It is estimated that Fall Guys have an active player count of 15.6 million players in their first-month launch.

Among us had an extremely low player count with an average of ~25 players until the boom this year. Its concurrent player peak hit 306,000 with an estimation of over 2.7 million players.

Typically it’s gaming companies that own the bigger and higher quality games, but as a fun fact, Among Us is run by a small team of 3 and they’ve been taken by surprise with this popularity boom! They’re working many hours to keep the servers stable and generally keeping the game a happy place, bless them.

Battle Royales

Almost everyone is aware of the battle royale craze that lasted from 2017 to 2020. Whilst battle royales are still fairly popular today, I would argue that the complexity of such a genre has exhausted games that require a lot of skill, like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Call Of Duty and Fortnite.

I’m not in any way downplaying the value of these skilful games as they take years to master, but in terms of the casual market, they seem to be looking for simpler games to pass the time. These types of games that have blown up prove to have been explicitly made to have a laugh with your friends, something that has over time slowly been forgotten about.

Live Streaming Services & Video Content Creation

One of the biggest reasons for the popularity boom is high-quality live streamers broadcasting this hilarious game to the world. This is no surprise, the majority of smaller games that gain popularity is through video creation content and gaming live streams.

Fan content is one of the leading carriers to the rise of both games. Both have managed to respond to their communities in a great manner, keeping their players entertained through their social media. This is showing other games how you should handle your social media, even though it appears as ‘less business-like’.

Both of these games have done tremendously well and deserve the top spots they have, I’m excited to see what Among Us 2 brings us next year!

  • Written By: Max Lang-Orsini

How Is CS:GO Still Popular In 2020? – A Retrospective

CS:GO – A Retrospective

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO for short) was released back on the 21st August 2012 by Valve during an extremely competitive time for First Person Shooters. Since this game was released over 8 years ago, and with the previous installments being over 20 years old, what keeps people playing CS:GO?

Going Back In Time

Before we look at how CS:GO began it’s resurgence, let’s understand how it got to its original point.

With CS:S (Counter-Strike: Source) failing to transfer its total player count from the original Counter-Strike game, it meant that part of CS:GO’s purpose was bringing the players to one place. However, the launch of GO did not turn out as Valve expected.

Players that were popular esport competitors or just well known in the community criticised the game for being ‘too easy’ and lacked the skill component when compared to the previous installments. This is a good time to bring up that other shooters (like Call Of Duty) lacked the ‘skill’ element. The Counter-Strike franchise brought skill, smart thinking and intensive quick reactive moments, this is why CS stood out.

As updates rolled out and CS:GO began to age, it’s ‘lack of skill’ developed into a signature title as one of the most skillful games in the scene.

It’s Rising Active Player Count

As more and more updates rolled out and more and more game modes and fun challenges were being released, CS:GO’s popularity really began to climb.

An important factor to note is that during the winter months, CS:GO’s popularity always fell by a proportion. This could be argued that the school holidays had this effect, but another reason was the ‘CS:GO Majors’.

These ‘Majors’ were hosted 3 times a year (now 2), and in simple terms, is the ‘World Cup’ of CS:GO. These majors showcase the eSports scene in a highly advertised amount to the build up of the tournament. These majors consistently grew in popularity gaining way over 20 million hours of total watchtime which led the CS:GO player count to increase.

These eSports tournaments are different when compared with other games. There is something about CS:GO that has great energy to watch, similar to League Of Legends’ big eSports tournaments.

The First Peak

The first peak came around 2016, the same time MLG Columbus 2016 was hosted and is believed to be the reason. MLG brought many fans across from other FPS games, showing what a great attraction to what these games can be. Other popular games started taking notes on how they can incorporate skill into their games like CS:GO did, this is how GO earnt it’s staple.

The energy of CS:GO Majors was like no other, the CS:GO crowd stood out to other games. Maybe the drooling 3 map finals to find that Major eSports title for a team really pulled people in (those who watched Eleague Boston 2018 will know the true greatness of CS:GO Majors).

At this point, the game followed a consistent pattern in its active CS:GO player count. It spiked during the beginning of the year to slowly decline during the winter months. This was the case until the severe decline during 2018, when it was the era of Battle Royale games.

The Era Of Battle Royale Games

2018 saw a huge amount of players playing games within the Battle Royale genre. Games like ‘Player Unknown’s Battle Grounds (PUBG)’ and ‘Fortnite’ began experiencing ridiculous numbers of player counts and because of this, the CSGO players began searching for something new.

During this period, CS:GO entered a state of recession. It’s active player count started dipping below 400,000 players which was the lowest it have ever gone since 2014. Other games started to pop up around, like Apex Legends, also taking these average players of Counter-Strike away.

Everyone knew, however, that these Battle Royale Games would not last, and over time this would prove to be correct. It was a very long decreasing process of the genre, taking over a year to blow over the popularity boom.

During this peak however, Valve had their own trick up their sleeve. Valve announced in late 2018 a new game mode called ‘Danger Zone’, which was CS but battle royale. It was a running joke for many to have a Battle Royale in CS, but this joke became a reality. When players heard the news, they began to try out this new mode which proved itself clearly.

Valve did a tremendous job in the Danger Zone project by somehow taking the skill and intensive gameplay to a completely different genre. With this praise, players began to return to the game after they got that taste of CS:GO with this new and refreshing gamemode.

The Resurgence

The Resurgence of Counter-Strike was like no other. You can argue it also came about at a really good time. For the first time, CS:GO’s active player count did not decrease in late 2019, rather, it grew a lot.

Like I said previously, it did strike a bit of luck on the timing of everything. COVID-19 began happening and when many countries began Locking down, players began turning to Counter-Strike. CS saw it’s biggest peak with over a million concurrent players at one time and further growing to 1.3 million active players at one time.

This brings us to today, where the game sits at a stead 1 million concurrent players and the top game of Steam as of typing. CS has brought many achievements and has been industry changing.

This is how Counter-Strike’s journey led to it being a staple in the gaming community and has brought many games we know today. Players will never let this game dismiss into the darkness for one reason; it’s Counter-Strike.

Written By: Max Lang-Orsini

Top VR Games You NEED To Play

Virtual Reality Gaming

Virtual Reality has entered the gaming industry with a bang, and you can clearly see why. For those that never saw the appeal in VR, do not worry, I was once with you. You have to actually experience it yourself to understand how amazing the VR experience really is.

VR Headsets

Before we dive into the top VR games you have to play for yourself, what would be the best VR headset to have? Well, there isn’t a major difference in each branded headset, but they do change in shape and size. The popular headsets are; the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and the recently released Valve Index VR headset.

As much fun as VR is to play, it does have a negativen that being a hefty price you have to be willing to dish out.

Top VR Games

Now, let’s dive into the list of the best VR games on the market!

Beat Saber

Beat Saber Logo

Released on the 1st of May 2018, this Rhythm game was published by Beat Games that would become an extremely popular VR game. Beat Saber consists of two different lightsaber-like tools (one red, one blue) and has to hit the corresponding notes on time with the beat of a chosen song in the right direction.

With an ingame leaderboard, this game sparks competition in players to beat their record, along with beating other players’ records too. This game is available on Oculus Quest, PlayStation 4 and is available as a PC Game on Steam, Windows.

Superhot VR

Superhot VR Cover

Superhot went live in February 2016 and was continued in the works until a Virtual Reality experience was made. Once the game was published, the game and it’s franchise exploded in popularity. Superhot VR is a game where you fight enemies with different levels and difficulty, progressively getting more and more difficult. However, the twist is that when you stand still, everything moves in slow motion, this way you can dodge bullets in a cool movie fashion.

It has won many awards in 2017 and 2018 and it is no surprise when you play the game how it won a total of 9 different awards. Superhot VR is available on PlayStation 4 & Steam, Windows.

Half-Life: Alyx

Half-Life: Alyx Cover

Half-Life: Alyx is a MUST play game in the VR spectrum. This is the game that broke the internet upon launch in March this year with it’s highly realistic and intensive graphics, it was clear why Valve went quiet for so long.

People demanded Half-Life 3 for years, and well, they sort of got it. This VR exclusive game that’s only available on Windows, Steam, was another installment into the Half-Life series and took place between the first and second game. This action adventure first person shooter game is a must play VR game, and really opens your eyes on what you can do for VR.

Tetris Effect

Tetris Effect Cover

If you’ve ever thought about tetris in VR and how crazy it would be, well, it’s actually a thing. Upon reading, I never believed it existed, and from playing I can definitely add to this list of must play VR games.

Released back in November of 2018, the Japanese Studios, ‘Monstars’ and ‘Resonair’ published Tetris Effect to ‘Enhance Games’.  This game has become a huge success and is a widely positive game that you can buy on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & on Windows.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

An intense great game to be played for fun with as many people as you want. This game was released originally in October of 2015 and a year later in the same month (October 2016) got a VR port.

This game has a player who is sitting in a room with a bomb that they must defuse, however, the other players will have the manual. Each player is not allowed to look at each other’s screen or the manual themself. The players must communicate with each other to solve the puzzles and defuse the bomb before it explodes!

Rock Band VR

Rockband VR Cover

Rock Band VR is the closest thing you could get to being able to play Guitar Hero in VR. For the Guitar Hero fans, you will love this tremendously.

Rock Band VR is a musical rhythm game, similar to beat saber, in which you play as part of a band with a guitar in your hands playing notes to the music. Like Guitar Hero VR, Rock Band VR shares a similar competitive aspect in attempting to get the highest score. Rock Band VR is available on a few platforms, Xbox and Windows.

Star Wars | Vader Immortal: Episode 1

Take yourself in a galaxy far far away and get immersed into the incredible battlefield that is Star Wars! There was a huge demand for Star Wars in VR and Oculus delivered with the first installment of ‘Vader Immortal’.

In this game, you get to play as the dark sith lord himself, Darth Vader, in an incredible experience. Star Wars | Vader Immortal: Episode 1 was released in 2019 with a huge success across all platforms. You can play this game on Windows, or through the Oculus Quest platform.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard VR

The horror and jumpscares excel significantly when playing Resident Evil in VR. A game that took the gaming world by storm with it’s original series got an exclusive PlayStation VR port. Resident Evil is now playable in a way that you can actually be there yourself, so obviously, this one is a must need to play!

The VR port was released in 2017, originally just as a PlayStation VR exclusive but a year later was ported to Xbox One and Windows.

I hope you enjoy this list of the must play games in the VR experience. I hope this influences your decisions and takes you the right way, from my experience, you have to play these games.

Written By: Max Lang-Orsini

Hyper Scape – The New Free Battle Royale

Hyper Scape – Ubisoft’s Newest Creation

A New Challenger has appeared! Entering the Battle Royale game genre competing to be the best is Ubisoft’s newest addition ‘Hyper Scape’. Hyper Scape is a futuristic free to play battle royale shooter with the goal to be the last one standing out of 100 players. This game is perfect for First Person Shooter players.

Hyper Scape has relations to many games such as; Apex Legends, Call of Duty: Warzone & Fortnite, except with its own spin of abilities and combat system. It even relates to “Tom Clancy’s: Rainbow Six Siege” in terms of its movement mechanics. Speaking of R6S, Ubisoft did create that too, so perhaps R6S players may be able to transfer a good chunk of their skill to Hyper Scape.

The game will go through many ‘Seasons’, similar to how Overwatch’s competitive system works. It takes place throughout a 100% Urban arena, something that has never been created before allowing for an intensive and exciting gameplay experience.

This game will be playable on PC on Uplay.

You can play Hyper Scape on Playstation 4 & Xbox One when the game launches, sometime later this summer.

The ‘Technical Test’

Ubisoft right now (as of 06/07/2020) are running a ‘Technical Test’. Think of this test like a beta, and if you remember what Valorant did with their Twitch drop concept, this is very similar. This part is exclusive to players who receive the drop, for those who have a PC and can sign up, sorry PlayStations and Xbox players!

For a chance to play in the technical test, you will need to receive a Twitch drop on Twitch. To be able to receive the beta drop, you will need to follow 3 very simple steps:

  1. Link your Ubisoft account to your Twitch.
  2. Watch Hyper Scape live streams on Twitch.
  3. When you receive the notification that you have it, download through Uplay and you’re good to go!

Keep in mind that there is not long of the ‘Technical Test’ left as it ends July 8th at 8 am! The game will launch sometime this Summer in 2020, keep your eyes peeled on my blog and on Hyper Scape’s social media for updates on the launch!

Your progress from the Technical Test will carry over to the game’s launch, so you can play without a worry of a reset!

The Battle Pass

Like the majority of other battle royales and other games, Hyper Scape has decided to also hop on this train. You can unlock cosmetics by levelling up through the battle pass or purchase the pass to unlock the next row of cosmetics as you level up.

Once unlocked, you can equip these virtual cosmetics in the gaming virtual world.

Remember, since this is a free to play game, like Fortnite, it will have microtransactions.

Battle Royale With a Twist

Enjoy a Battle Royale with a huge gameplay twist, giving players new challenges to face as they fight to be the last one standing out of 100 people.

Win In A Different Way

One of the biggest twists is a new feature to win; capturing the crown. Towards the end of a match when few players are standing, a crown will spawn. Some call this the ‘Crown Rush’ when all the players are persuaded to fight for the crown.

Holding the crown for 45 seconds will mean that you will become victorious, holding it is the risk. This prevents players from hiding towards the end of the game and provides a more action-packed gameplay experience alongside a new motive and alternate direction you can take to be at the top.

Abilities

Bend the rules with abilities, or as in-game terms, ‘hacks’. Ironically, this is not cheating, rather this is an entirely new mechanic with exciting abilities to keep you and everyone else on their toes.

There are many abilities ranging from; ‘Teleportation’ (teleport so far in front of you) to ‘Reveal’ (ping enemies within a certain range around you).

You can read more about the abilities on Hyper Scape’s website.

Weapon Modifications

To help work alongside your abilities and defend the crown, you can find ‘Weapon Mods’ to buff your weapon in some way.

Like every other battle royale, Hyper Scape has not taken the spark to run around and scavenge weapons and resources to help prepare you to fight. As you do so, you can find extra parts and modifications to buff your weapon. You can improve the fire rate, recoil control, range etc.

I hope from this article you have learnt a lot about Hyper Scape! I wish you luck on receiving your Twitch drop for the Technical Test and I will see you around when the game launches this Summer in 2020!

Written by: Max Lang-Orsini

Sea of Thieves – Why Should You Play?

Released on the 20th of March 2018, a new-born adventure game set sail on an endless journey, 2 years later it has arguably become one of the most iconic Xbox Games right now, even arguable video games as a whole.

Sea of Thieves is included on the Xbox Game Pass, so if you wanted to try this out first before paying the full price, you can.

I, Max-Lang Orsini, will test the depths of the waters and bring you a full article breaking down why you should play Sea of Thieves.

What Makes Sea of Thieves Great

I’ll be here typing forever if I had to label every single thing, but I’ll name a few and leave the rest for you to set sail on the high seas, and make many memorable moments on the vast ocean that is the Sea of Thieves.

Treasure Variants

Treasure variants, you heard it here first. That’s right, you can not only be a classic pirate, and find yourselves many treasure chests by following treasure maps, but you can also fight the infamous skeletons that also sail the seas.

Treasure Chests, Mystical Skulls & Merchant Cargo

Defeated the captains to obtain a skull and sell this to the Order of the Souls reputation, or dig up treasure and sell to the Gold Hoarders, or even deliver cargo as part of the Merchant Alliance reputation!

Commendations

With many treasure variants, many reputation variants will also exist, providing more challenges. If you are wanting more of a challenge, look at your ‘Commendations’ which are like achievements.

Player Vs Player

Arguably one of the most influential parts of this open-world pirate game. The intensive ship combat allows for suspense as you plunder your opponent’s ship with your crew members, stealing their treasure right before selling to the correct companies.

Cannonball Types

For a better PvP experience, there are different types of cannonballs for different effects! You can get the ‘Cursed Cannonballs’, which will have a different effect on which one you’re using. Make your opponent anchor in the middle of the ocean, prevent them from shooting you, or even make them wobble around on their deck drunk! It’s a lot of fun.

Not just that, you can get ‘Chainballs’. Hitting a precise shot on the ship’s mast will destroy it, making it fall down and disabling them from moving! You can even use ‘Fire Bombs’ to put the enemy’s ship in a blaze!

Weapon Combat

Maybe you like to be up close and personal, and that’s fine too! Board the enemy’s ship and attack them with a tense sword battle before switching to a pistol for a final blow! These moments are by far the tensest. Remember by killing one player, there are fewer players to control their own ship!

Drink & Play Music Together

Perhaps you want to be friendly, and that is also fine, as long as the other crew agrees! These memorable moments are the best when you all get drunk in the tavern together and play musical instruments as the sun falls down! Don’t get too drunk, or your instrument may be out of tune…

Becoming a ‘Pirate Legend’

The most infamous name you can make for yourself on the seas is the title ‘Pirate Legend’. These are the most experienced players that have fought for their title with many wins under their belt. If you ever come across these ‘Pirate Legends’ for yourself, fear is the first thing you should feel.

Player Vs Environment

A category that is FULL of content. For a game that has been out for 2 years, it leads to endless possibilities and laughs on your journeys.

Skeleton Fleets & Ships

If you don’t fancy fighting a player ship, or perhaps you haven’t come across one, you can fight the skeletons on the seas too! These skeleton ships will appear randomly sailing the seas on their own adventure or sailing amongst a fleet, it is up to you if you want to disturb them.

Megalodon

Or perhaps you don’t want to fight any enemy ships at all, and that is fine too. You may come across the Megalodon. A big shark that can tear through your ship comes in many variants, the white Megalodon “The Shrouded Ghost” being the rarest. Some say it does not exist, but if you kill this thing, you will be among the few that has lived to tell the tale.

Kraken, Ghost Fleets, Ships & Skeleton Forts 

Is this not enough? Well no matter if it isn’t, there is still so much more. Fight the newly added Ghost ships from an undead fleet under the Flameheart name, fight the Kraken for its meat and sell it to Hunter’s Call reputation for some sweet gold, and even participate in islands dedicated to the skeletons known as the ‘Skeleton Fort’. Completing this will reward you inexpensive goods across many reputation companies!

Single Player Playability

No matter if you’re a single player because there are special stories that you can complete. Learn the stories of other ships and fleets and how their demise was met, help recover other crew members in an exciting story known as the ‘Tall Tales’. Perhaps you don’t want to do this solo and with friends in an adventurous multiplayer game, that is possible too.

You can even set sail on your own adventure, peacefully digging up treasure, but be aware of those pesky pirates that will come and steal your loot!

The Beauty of Sea of Thieves

Moving on from all of this pirate ship stuff, throughout my entire time playing this game, I’ve got to admit it’s beauty. The graphics are quite intense, so if you’re on PC you will need a good system, but it is definitely worth it. The views and scenery all blend to create this masterpiece of graphics and is by far one of the most beautiful games I’ve ever played.

This is not everything. With the recent anniversary updates and the following monthly updates that have been released, it’s very easy to say this game is a lot of fun. This isn’t everything, there’s still more to mention, such as; The Devils Roar, Different Sized Ships, Different Voyage Variants, Pets, Cosmetics (ship, weapons and pirate), Emissaries, and the special Fort of The Damned. As you can see, you will never have anything to do in this game!

I’ll let you experience the seas for yourself and I hope to see you there. You can buy Sea of Thieves on Steam, or you can buy Sea of Thieves on the Xbox Game Store. Check the Sea of Thieves website for updates and events about the game!

Written by: Max Lang-Orsini