For starters, the plot is adapted from a Chinese 16th century novel called Journey to the West. The work was done by Alex Garland – the bloke who wrote The Beach. That’s a better starting point and a better writer than almost every videogame that’s ever existed.
The story doesn’t take place in dynastic China – instead, it’s set 150 years in the future. Most of earth’s population was wiped out in a war with angry robots, and the few survivors scratch a living in well-defended communities, fuelled by paranoia and survival instincts. The remaining robots roam the broken, overgrown remains of an increasingly unfamiliar world.
Many of those passionate fans grew up, got computers, and joined forums. Many don’t watch and enjoy anymore. Instead, they watch, judge and complain.
They forget that wrestlers are passionate, too. Most thrive on performing and work through constant pain and nagging injuries. The number of wrestlers who have suffered with additions to painkillers, prescription drugs and other substances illustrates the sacrifices that many take to prolong their careers.
Finn, the largest man, carried two with ease; Cobb, squat and broad, insisted on a pair and lagged at the back, one box tottering on top of the other. Eli and Salter made jokes as they sauntered in the middle; tall Eli wedged a smaller box beneath his arm, while Salter swayed side-to-side thanks to the heavy box against his chest.
The sun had almost set and the camp’s huge tents, restless horses and bustling army all cast long shadows. The four friends walked along the main path through the camp, between campfires circled with men who ate and told stories and around wide, long tents that housed weapons stores and other supplies. Eventually they reached the tall fence that divided their world.
I’ve just opened a £1,200 laptop from one of the world’s biggest computer companies. It’s obvious that this machine is designed to beat the MacBook Pro at its own game: it’s dripping in aluminium, there’s a glossy black bezel around the screen, and a beefy specification. That’s great. MacBook Pros are stunning, but I’m all for competition. If other big players in the laptop market can build systems as fast, sturdy and good-looking as Apple’s beasts, with native Windows, then they’re welcome to a hefty chunk of my hard-earned. I’ve tested dozens of MacBook rivals. All cost more than £1,000, and many are near the £1,699 price of the Apple machine – and some cost even more. Some get near Apple in one or two categories: raw performance, perhaps, or build quality. Maybe a Retina-beating screen, if you’re lucky. Only one recent machine matched the MacBook in almost every department. Too many…
Wrestling fans know that this industry takes two steps forward and, usually, three steps back.
For every Yes Movement there’s no movement from CM Punk – it’s a very comfy couch – for every bit of Shield dominance there’s a Dolph Ziggler squash, and for every actual women’s match on NXT there’s this bollocks from Monday Night Raw.
Those are the big leagues, though, where Vince, Trips and Steph will make inevitable millions from hordes of eager fans who pour money into the machine no matter what they do.
Fuck the big leagues. This. Is. Progress.
The Gran Turismo series ushered me from Road Rash and V-Rally towards serious racing games, and I’ve always loved the franchise: its graphics, gameplay and depth have always been first-rate, I snorted up the gimmicky engine smell from GT2’s disc, and I marvelled at the leap from PS1 to PS2 when I spent hundreds of hours playing GT4.
I’m enjoying Gran Turismo 6. It has a stupendous 1,200 cars across hundreds of marques, and I love searching out odd motors for new events – a method in the spirit of the game, unlike the dozen cars GT6 recommends you use for each successive class of races.
I love the cars on the track, too. I savour the kick and acceleration of a turbo, the rumble when I take a corner on the limit, the satisfying feel of nailing a section by balancing throttle, oversteer and everything else. I love feeling cars pitch forward when breaking downhill or leaning left or right thanks to neck-snapping G-force.
PC hardware often isn’t glamourous, but it’s never been so important to know about the silicon that powers the latest PCs and consoles. Valve’s CES press conference revealed a horde of Steam Machines: PCs designed for the living room, built by third parties, coming with Valve’s SteamOS and controller as standard. The machines range in price from $499 to more than $6,000. UK pricing and availability will be announced in due course. Steam Machines make sense. By using Linux for SteamOS, Valve has more software control than it has with Windows – important when Microsoft is moving away from the PC and towards the touchscreen – and Valve also has a tight grip on the games allowed on the OS. Valve’s controller gives the firm more control and, crucially, an easier route to the sofa: it’s more familiar to console gamers, and more comfortable than the keyboard and mouse. Like all great…