Etc.


— 10:38 AM on June 10, 2014

Morning, all. I'm back today after a week of vacation with the family. This past little while was the first time in maybe years that I was able to forget about work and just kick back for nearly a whole week at once. Was quite nice, although I don't think the word "restful" could apply to the combination of caring for four kids and wearing yourself out with swimming and diving in the ocean.

I have to admit, as the guy who usually runs the show around here, one of the most gratifying things about the past week was watching the guys cover all of the news coming out of Computex so well without much help from me. Kudos to Geoff, Cyril, and the gang for making that happen. I friggin' love it when I'm practically expendable. Means I've maybe done a decent job of managing things, which was always more of a challenge for me than other parts of my job.

Amazingly, I'm using a new and very much improved content editor for the site that went into beta last week, as well. Bruno and Cyril have been working on that, and I think it's going to help streamline our workflow substantially. Heck, it's already clearly better than what we had before, and we're just getting started.

There is one casualty of my decision to take some time off: I haven't even opened the box containing my Devil's Canyon Core i7-4790K processor yet. When we originally planned the vacation, I was going to work on the 4790K review ahead of the June 2 product intro and then leave for a week. When Intel's schedule slipped, everything got thrown off kilter. In years past, I would have canceled my vacation in order to work on the review. This time, though, I just couldn't bring myself to do that. I'll do what I can to get this review out soon, but it's inevitably going to be behind most of the web.

I have been watching the news out of E3 with interest, of course. I've really enjoyed seeing some of the new creative directions folks are taking with their games now that the consoles have a reasonably up-to-date baseline for GPU capability. The photorealistic shooters look more photorealistic and shooter-y than ever, and games like Sunset Overdrive take things to a whole different place. Also, the few seconds of hyper-realistic early footage from DICE and Star Wars Battlefront was enough to make my inner eight-year-old squeal with glee.

I should also mention that, after finishing my 4K monitor review, I went back and did something quite satisfying. I picked up a game that I'd only played half-way through, the Tomb Raider reboot, and polished off the main quest. Man, I know it's been said, but that is one truly impressive game in every respect. Visually, playing at 4K on a Radeon R9 295 X2 is a showcase of what's possible. Few newer games do it any better. Gameplay-wise, Tomb Raider is full of variety, and the deeper you go into the game, the more fun it is to play. Since Lara's abilities grow as you level up, some aspects of the game, including the combat, are a little gimpy at the start. I don't think you've experienced this game unless you've played past the halfway point in the main quest. Doing so is very rewarding.

I'm not sure what genre you'd call this mix of third-person action, open world exploration, main-quest storyline, combat, climbing, physics puzzles, and everything else. I suppose the closest analogs are the Assassin's Creed and Batman Arkham games, but I have to say, I prefer Tomb Raider over even the much-heralded Arkham City. Heresy, perhaps, but there you have it. I've seen Tomb Raider on sale for $7.49 repeatedly during various sales. It's worth taking that deal whenever you can get it.

   
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