Review: BenQ Zowie Xl2546 240Hz Gaming Monitor

Long gone are the days where 60 FPS was the sweet spot for PC gamers. We want more frames, higher refresh rates and smoother gameplay. So much so, that nowadays 120Hz, or even 144Hz seems a bit lacking. Luckily, for all you gamers with a competitive side, today we’re taking a look at the BenQ Zowie XL2546 gaming monitor, that comes with an incredible 240Hz display.

Tech Specs and Features

Screen Size 24.5 inches
Resolution 1920 x 1080 Full HD
Display TN Panel
Response time 1 ms
Ports DisplayPort, HDMI, USB 3.0, mini USB, DVI, 3.5mm port

The BenQ Zowie XL2546 is one of the highest-end 1080p gaming monitors you can buy, and it looks the part as well. The display is well-built, sturdy and comes in a mostly black matte finish. with a red Zowie logo on the back side of the screen. Although, we would’ve loved to see the monitor opt for a bezel-less design (I mean, who likes bezels in 2018?). Another added feature is two panels, that screw into the sides of the monitor, shielding you from any distractions. Kinda like horse-blinds, which a common user may find a little silly, but can be effective when you want all your focus to be on the game. Apart from that, you can adjust the height, pivot and tilt for the screen, making it extremely easy to adjust the display according to your preferences.

The display on the XL2546 is a TN Panel, so you will probably have to tweak the settings to make sure the colors look good. But on the other hand, the refresh rate is a staggering 240Hz and it has a response time of 1ms, so the trade-off on the color reproduction is not exactly a bad deal. Let’s face it, anyone gamer who’s serious about gaining an edge over their competition will care more about the framerate experience rather than the colors, and the gameplay experience on this display is buttery smooth. Even when you’re just browsing or working, the cursor flows so smoothly across the screen, it’s a joy to watch.

There are a plethora of connectivity options provided, with one DisplayPort, two HDMI ports and one DVI port on the back for display. The screen also has a mini USB port on the back, which is mainly for the S-Switch, which sits comfortable in a dedicated space on the base of the stand.  On the side, you can find two USB 3.0 ports and two 3.5mm ports, along with a handy bar that can be stretched out and used to place your headphones.

Talking about the S-Switch, the handy remote control device can let you switch between display settings without needing to access the monitors OSD again and again. It has a three buttons for switching between the presets, a scroll wheel, a back button and an input selector as well.

Interestingly, the Zowie XL2546 has neither FreeSync nor G-Sync, but BenQ’s own DyAc technology, where DyAc is short for Dynamic Action. And it works just as well, resulting in much smoother movement and gameplay, reducing tearing and flickers to make sure your plays are as top-notch as can be.  Another helpful feature for the discerning gamers is Black eQualizer, that helps with visibility in the darker areas. It’s much better than just straight up increasing the brightness as that might end up washing out the colors.

But the best, and possibly the most important feature is the native 240Hz refresh rate, the quality of which cannot be overstated. In the end, it’s a matter of how much of difference you can actually make out once you cross 144Hz, but for those who can, it’s hard to go back to anything lower, once you get used to the Xl2546.

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The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan Developer Diary #1

The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan – Dev Diary #1: Designing the Ghost Ship

Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe have released the first development diary for their upcoming cinematic horror game ‘The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan’. This dev-diary focuses on the creation of one of the most important aspects of the game, the Ghost Ship itself.

In the first Dev-diary, the Supermassive Games team talk about everything from the authentic audio of the door latches, the way sound reverberates inside the ship to the concept and influences behind the creation of the ship. Every detail was designed in order to give players the most terrifying and atmospheric experience possible.

The Dark Pictures Anthology is a series of stand-alone, cinematic horror games, designed to deliver a new and terrifying experience at regular intervals. Each game is unconnected and will feature a brand-new story, setting and a new cast of characters. In Man of Medan, four young Americans set sail on a diving trip, to find a rumored WWII wreck. As the day unfolds, and a storm rolls in, their trip soon changes into something much more sinister.

The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan will launch in 2019 in both boxed and digital editions for PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and PC with EFIG voiceovers.

 

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PlayStation Plus Games For December 2018 Announced

First up, we have Soma. Dive into this sci-fi horror title from Fictional Games, the creators of Amnesia: The Dark Descent. It is an unsettling story about identity, consciousness, and what it means to be human. Delve through locked terminals and secret documents to uncover the truth beneath the ocean waves.

Next, we have Onrush, the all-action, gravity-defying, racing game. Drive on the very limits of control in an effort to win victory for your team. This game is action-packed and full of unlockable customization options.

This month’s PlayStation Plus lineup also includes:

• Steredenn, PS3

• Steinsgate, PS3

• Iconoclasts, PS Vita (Cross Buy with PS4)

• Papers, Please, PS Vita

All games will be available from December 4, 2018 to January 1, 2019.

For Warframe players looking for a healthy set of extra resources, Digital Extremes’ dev team has you covered! The Warframe: PlayStation Plus Booster Pack III has a little bit of everything to jump start your game. This includes 100 Platinum, 100,000 Credits, Quanta (a Corpus laser rifle), Quanta Obsidian Skin, 7-Day Affinity Booster, and a 7-Day Credit Booster. PS Plus members can get the pack for free from now until January 15, 2019.

 

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Dragon Ball FighterZ Reveals Free Updates

Free Updates Bring Festive Features to Dragon Ball FighterZ

Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe is pleased to announce a selection of new content, as part of 3 free updates for Dragon Ball FighterZ on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

The first is a FighterZ Tournament, which is a new online tournament mode featuring several new match rules culminating in a final 8-player bracket. The winners and runners-up in each tournament will receive special rewards and Z Trophies, which players can then display in their all-new Z Trophy Room.

The Z Trophy Room is the second new feature, where rooms are unique to each player. Players will gain Z Trophies that can be showcased in their Z Trophy Rooms, as well as with their Lobby Avatars and more. Players can then visit the Z Trophy Rooms of others or invite their friends to show off their own collections.

These first two updates are live from today!

The third update, arriving on 5th December, 2018, will feature a variety of new festive themed avatars and colour variations. Characters including Vegeta, Trunks, Tien and Android 18 will have Santa Claus themed avatars, with Krillin and Buu dressed as a reindeer and snowman respectively. A new Christmas colour set, featuring red, green and gold, will also be available for all characters.

Dragon Ball FighterZ is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

 

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The Tale of Bethesda’s Fallout With Its Player Base

Bethesda has been in the news a lot lately and for all the wrong reasons so let’s take a look at how it all started and why.

The Fallout Begins

The Fallout 76 debacle started with the announcement of the game itself which left a lot of people unsatisfied. Imagine keeping tabs on a live stream for 24 hours in hopes of getting a new Fallout game with an emphasis on the story and the world. Instead what players got was an announcement for a multiplayer Fallout title which isn’t bad since a lot of people actually wanted a multiplayer Fallout game. What really irked people was that they were still using the Creation Engine(Skyrim, Fallout 4) which is a modified version of the Gamebyro engine(Oblivion, Fallout 3). The same bugs that are in Skyrim can be found in Fallout 4, the ones in Fallout 4 can be found in Fallout 76.

Then came the Open beta which was a mess. This came with a neat bug where launching the game would delete the game from your system. Imagine downloading 50GB or so on a slow internet connection with a data cap and then the game just deletes itself which means you have to redownload it. And then came the bug where you couldn’t uninstall the beta unless you owned the game. This is all pre-launch though, and things somehow got worse after launch.

Fallout 76 released to mixed reviews with really bad performance on both PCs and consoles. Powerful PCs could still power through it but the base consoles were not even able to hit a stable 30fps, so Bethesda released a patch to fix all the performance issues along with other major bugs. This patch was 51GB in size, larger than the game itself and people were yet again, pretty upset with this. Improvements were promised in this patch which did arrive but only barely as a lot of the issues were still not fixed even with that gigantic patch.

The Radiation Gets Worse

We’re not done with the grievances yet. The PC version has no text chat, something that almost every multiplayer game has had since the time we’ve had multiplayer games. Bethesda did say they were considering adding it but its exclusion is unexpected, especially since it means that mute and deaf players will have to use emotes to communicate or alt-tab out to Discord. The game doesn’t even have Push-To-Talk, another basic feature which they’re finally adding to the game in an upcoming update along with a FOV slider.

Bethesda is not new to PC gaming so the fact that after all these years, after all the complaints they still go out and skimp out on some of the most basic features of a game baffles me. And after all these years, the framerate was still tied to the game physics which was thankfully finally patched. The anti-cheat is a joke as it only checks to see if cheat-engine is running and has no client-side file validation which means a lot of hacking and mods so your experience could be a very frustrating one.

Then comes the lawsuit. Bethesda refused to give out refunds after their customer support initially said it was being processed. The reason for this as stated in their refund policy is:

 “If you want to download digital content within the 30-day cancellation period, you must agree to waive your cancellation rights.”

Well, because of this they got hit by a potential class-action lawsuit for releasing a heavily glitched game that is unplayable. That was not all though. Fallout 76 has a 200$ special edition. While the game is a mess, the Power Armor edition has some cool items that come with it. One of which was advertised to be a Canvas Duffel bag. When customers actually received the Special Edition, the Canvas bag was replaced by a Nylon one instead. The reason for this is as follows:

“Hello,

We are sorry that you aren’t happy with the bag. The bag shown in the media was a prototype and was too expensive to make.

We aren’t planning on doing anything about it.

Bethesda Gear Store Support – North America”

After this, they quickly changed the description of the item on their webpage and to compensate for it are offering players 500 Atoms which are an in-game microtransaction currency worth $5.

Not to mention, they have literally copy and pasted the same code from Skyrim and Fallout 4 into this game and use the exact same content check system as Fallout 4. If everything before this didn’t help you realize something, I’ll type it out. Fallout 76 is a very pathetic and lazy attempt at a cash grab that is absolutely unworthy of being a Fallout title.

In this day and age where AAA titles and even those that aren’t AAA are crafting wondrous open worlds with gorgeous landscapes and fantastic stories to tell with the help of the current hardware, this game feels utterly outdated. If you’re playing Fallout 76 and enjoying it, that’s alright so don’t take this to heart. However, I really do feel something needs to change.

Too Buggy, Didn’t Read

So let’s recap everything about Fallout 76. A very messy Beta, a bad launch, the absence of basic features, it is riddled with bugs and glitches, no proper anti-cheat, false advertisement and no refunds. And those are just some of the main issues. A quick google search will not only lead you to various sources for these issues but also even more problems that currently plague the game. They really have hit out of the park with this one and people can finally see what a mess Bethesda Game Studios really is.

Their games have been riddled with bugs for years and have relied on community mods to fix them, they’ve tried to make mods a paid service, something that has been free since forever, they’ve barely listened to their player-base who want story based next-gen RPGs. The last good Fallout game was not even made by Bethesda and if this continues, they’re probably going to ruin the franchise even more alongside their reputation.

I’m not too confident about The Elder Scrolls VI or Starfield with their recent work and I doubt anybody really is. They’ve burnt a lot of their longtime fans, and their recent showings haven’t helped them get any new ones either. Bethesda Game Studios really needs to pull it together because it just doesn’t work anymore.

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Obsidian Will Reveal Their Next RPG at The Game Awards

Obsidian has started advertising for the announcement and reveal of their upcoming RPG at The Game Awards.


It all started after Obsidian put out the above Tweet . After going to the site as reported by PCGamer, it initally had a pop-up that read “Stay tuned for a special message from Auntie Cleo’s, live December 6th at the Game Awards!”

Courtesy: PCGamer

After hitting the skip button, it brought forth an ‘ad’ of what appear to be in-game items with a similar theme as the Auntie Cleo’s message and had scratchy music play along with the words “Better than nature” being repeated.

Courtesy: PCGamer

When we decided to check out the website, we got a different ‘ad’. This time it was from Spacer’s Choice but the message was same. However, it had a completely different look to in terms of colour and branding. Hitting the skip button showed us an ‘ad’ for a Space Pistol with a small jingle that matches the tagline of the ad.

It seems like these are all ads for shops that will be found in the game. Spacer’s Choice is probably one of the weapon’s manufacturer in the game and Aunt Cleo is probably a merchant shop of some sort that sells healing items, food items and such.

We’re certain its not a new Fallout game however Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarski, the original creator of the Fallout series and the key designers of the original Fallout titles are part of the dev team of Private Division, a team working closely with Obsidian on this new RPG as seen from Obsidian’s Twitter bio and also from previous reports. It’s safe to say though that we are very excited for this announcement and cannot wait for what Obsidian reveal.

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Darksiders III Launch Trailer

The Wait is Finally OVER… But The Apocalypse is Just Getting Started!

After more than six years, THQ Nordic and Gunfire Games today announced the release of Darksiders III! Hack-n-slash action-adventure fans around the world can now experience the highly anticipated story of the third horsemen of the apocalypse – Fury! Darksiders III is now available for PC, PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system and the Xbox One family of devices, including the Xbox One X for $59.99.

“The launch of Darksiders III marks the triumphant return of a classic action-adventure franchise – it has been a true labor of love for the teams at THQ Nordic and Gunfire Games,” said Reinhard Pollice, Darksiders Executive Producer and Business and Product Development Director, THQ Nordic. “Like much of the team, I started out as a fan of Darksiders, playing on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 when it was first introduced in 2010. Launching Darksiders III and both of its prequels on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One X today – in 2018 – means we are not only FINALLY satisfying an exceedingly patient and loyal fanbase but also introducing a whole new generation of gamers to the fantastical Darksiders universe!”

“Our team has spent over a decade bringing the story of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to life, and we still feel like we’re just getting started,” said David Adams, Darksiders Co-Creator and President, Gunfire Games. “Darksiders III has been so much fun to make, and we sincerely hope our fans love it as much as we are”.

 

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Just Cause 4 ‘One Man Did All This?’ Trailer

Square Enix Releases Just Cause 4 ‘One Man Did All This?’ Trailer

With just one week before the launch of Just Cause 4, Square Enix is proud to present a new look at Rico Rodriguez through the eyes of the dominant rival faction known as The Black Hand.

Exclusive gameplay combined with live-action and set to an intense soundtrack from world renowned DJ/producer, Slushii, Just Cause 4’s “One Man Did All This?” trailer delivers a humorous look at the destructive power rogue agent Rico Rodriguez can deliver this December 4. See Rico from the perspective of the enemy militia – The Black Hand – as faction leader Gabriela Morales listens to firsthand accounts of Rico in action from those who survived. From reigning down destruction onto an enemy base to tethering shipping containers with explosive barrels, see what makes the exciting Just Cause series unlike any other.

Set in the fictional South American world of Solis, Just Cause 4 takes the series’ incredible destruction and unique physics to a whole new level with the introduction of tornadoes and other Extreme Weather events. Just Cause 4 has four distinct biomes: Rainforest, Grasslands, Alpine & Desert. With each biome offering its own individual, fully simulated weather event, players will have a truly unique experience as they traverse this deep, diverse world.

Just Cause 4 is a landmark entry in the series, and will release on December 4, 2018 on Xbox One, PC and the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system.

 

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Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Launches March 2019 In North America And Europe

Koei Tecmo America Unveils the Long-Awaited Release Date for Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World

Today, Koei Tecmo America revealed the highly-anticipated release date for Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World, alongside a variety of exciting gameplay features. The latest entry in the Atelier series is slated for physical and digital release on March 26, 2019 for the PlayStation 4 Computer Entertainment System, Nintendo Switch, and digital-only on Windows PC via Steam.

In Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World players assume the role of young noblewoman, Nelke von Lestamm; tasked with building up the quaint village of Westwald into a prosperous city. For her to develop buildings and extend the size of Westwald, she will need to earn money from the businesses she runs or sell synthesized items for cash.

Exploring the areas outside of Westwald with alchemists allows Nelke to collect raw materials perfect for synthesis. Though she is inexperienced in the art of alchemy, she’ll have to entrust one of the many alchemists in town to synthesize the resources into sellable goods. Each alchemist has their own specialties which allow them to offer improved item creation – players will have to carefully decide what would be the most effective alchemist for which items.

A Weekly Report is prepared at the end of each week which shows the current town population, the amount of income made, number of properties, and the number of synthesized items. Using this report, players can decide how they will spend their time in Westwald, perhaps they will tackle quests and town development during the weekday and develop relationships with residents on the weekend. As Nelke spends time with people in Westwald she’ll deepen her bonds with them leading to not only exciting events between characters but new town facilities and alchemist skills which aid in both synthesis and battle!

Fans of the Atelier series will be able to get their hands on a delightful Collector’s Edition of Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World, exclusively available through NIS America’s online store. This must-have version of the game contains a hardcover art book, the game’s official soundtrack, a deluxe cloth poster, and an acrylic standee featuring the main character Nelke, all packaged into a beautiful collector’s box featuring artwork of the famous alchemists which appear in the game.

More information for Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of the New World is set to be revealed in the coming weeks, but in the meantime be sure to check out our official website koeitecmoamerica.com/nelke.

 

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December 2018 Games With Gold Revealed

Welcome to another Games with Gold reveal for Xbox One and Xbox 360! In December on Xbox One, solve mysterious puzzles in an alien landscape in Q.U.B.E. 2, then experience the rich culture of the Iñupiat people in the atmospheric Never Alone. On Xbox 360 and Xbox One via Backward Compatibility, mold your character into a legend in Dragon Age II, and experience chaotic fun in Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction.

All games will be available exclusively for Xbox Live Gold members for a limited time as part of Games with Gold. With Xbox Live Gold, you get the most advanced multiplayer service, free games, and exclusive member discounts on games in the Microsoft Store — get Xbox Live Gold today to get in on the action!

• Q.U.B.E. 2 ($24.99 ERP): Available December 1 to 31 on Xbox One

• Never Alone ($14.99 ERP): Available December 16 to January 15 on Xbox One

• Dragon Age II ($9.99 ERP): Available December 1 to 15 on Xbox One and Xbox 360

• Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction ($9.99 ERP): Available December 16 to 31 on Xbox One and Xbox 360

Q.U.B.E. 2

In this mysterious puzzler, you awaken in the ruins of an ancient alien landscape with no memory of how or why you got there. Navigate through mind-bending puzzles and use your manipulation-gloves to change the structure of the world to find your way back home. As you explore, you’ll face thought-provoking questions of your true purpose, with a devastating truth that will shake your world.

Never Alone

Delve into the rich lore and culture of the Iñupiat people in this unique adventure game. Nominated for multiple awards and built in partnership with the Alaska Native community, play as a young Iñupiat girl and an arctic fox to find the source of the eternal blizzard which threatens everything. Encounter traditional native characters, share their wisdom and stories, and experience a game like no other.

Dragon Age II

Experience an epic adventure in an ever-changing world in Dragon Age II. Taking place over the course of a decade, mold your character, Hawke, from a destitute refugee to the revered champion of Kirkwall. Gather the deadliest of allies, amass fame and fortune, and seal your place in history. The legend of your rise to power begins now.

Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction

Anything goes in this classic action title. Your mission is to topple a sinister military regime by any means necessary. If it drives or flies: hijack it. If it shoots or explodes: use it as a weapon. In this playground of destruction, there are no limits and no mercy.

 

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