Doom 4 Actually Looks OK

Doom 4 was in development at id Software for years before the studio decided to scrap what they had and start over. This had a lot of Doom fans, my self included, worried. However it looks like it might actually turn out alright. While Doom 3 was a slower paced action horror game, Doom 4 goes back to its roots to be a fast and frenetic shooter. Personally I would have preferred more of the Doom 3 style of game, but I will admit that I am likely in the minority here. Still, what they put together looks like a pretty fun old school experience. As long as the level design is creative, the guns feel fun to shoot, and it provides a good challenge I think they will have a new game worthy of the Doom title.

The beginning of the demo they showed at E3 had me a little worried. The player speed was there, but they were only fighting a few enemies at a time. Compare that to the old games where they often threw you in a room with a dozen or more enemies at a time. It just looked too easy to me. However the second half of the demo picked up the pace considerably and got me interested again. It looked like it would actually be challenging on higher difficulty settings, and the presenter would have died in the demo if the health was allowed to go below 10.



My Firearms

So I have gotten into firearms over the past two years thanks to a few of my co-workers. I used to have no real interest in shooting or owning guns, but after going out to the shooting range a few times with them I got hooked. Its a pretty fun hobby, although it can be expensive.

Here are some of the guns I have been able to shoot recently:

So of course I ended up wanting to buy some guns of my own. First up was my own Mossberg 500. I was considering a Remington 870, but I just liked the feel of the Mossberg more. Plus, modern day Remington has a bit of a reputation problem. Most things I have read say to stay away from them.

Mossberg 500 Persuader

Mossberg 500 Persuader

I decided to make a few modifications to it. I tired to stay practical and avoid going overboard. I added a heat shield, side saddle, and adjustable stock. All of them from ATI:

Next up I wanted to buy a pistol but was not entirely sure what I should buy. I did a bunch of research and narrowed my choices down to an XDM 9 or a Glock 19 Gen 4. After talking to a friend of mine, he convinced me to check out the XDM in .40 S&W. So I headed out to the range, rented one for evaluation, and loved it.

The Rented XDM 40

XDM .40 S&W & High Standard Supermatic Trophy .22LR

I ended up buying the XDM 4.5″ Full Size .40SW . On the front rail I mounted a Streamlight TLR-2 HL.

I went to the range to break in the XDM and found a pretty reasonable price on a SCAR 16s. This has been on my list of firearms to buy since I tried my friend’s, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to buy one. I briefly considered getting the SCAR 17, but looked up ammo prices and decided against it.

For my most recent purchase I wanted to get a .22LR handgun. I enjoy shooting the XDM and the SCAR, but the price of ammo can add up pretty quickly. I have also been going to the range with a lot of new shooters recently, so I wanted a .22 that I could use to introduce them to shooting since the recoil on the XDM can be a bit intimidating. I ended up going with the Ruger SR22. I considered the Walther P22, but it looked like it was a bit picky about ammo, and I prefer the American controls on the Ruger.

Ruger SR22

Ruger SR22



HTPC Build

When I built my new PC back in September I also built a HTPC from my old computer parts. I mentioned that I was going to make a post about it, so I guess I should even though its pretty late. I replaced most of the parts in my PC when I upgraded, so I really only needed to buy a new case and power supply. After looking around at various HTPC cases, I ended up settling on the Fractal Designs Node 605. Its a rather large HTPC case, but because I was working with spare parts I had to fit a full ATX sized motherboard. Other then its size though, it looks really nice. I also needed to get a new CPU cooler. I had a H60 laying around but it wouldn’t fit in the case, so I took the opportunity to buy my first Noctua cooler. I ended up getting the Noctua NH-L12. It works well and is extremely quiet. The only minor issue I had was my ram I took from my old PC had clearance issues in the leftmost slot. I ended up only running 8GB, which is more then enough for this build.

Specs:

  • Processor: Intel Core i5-3570K CPU
  • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L12
  • 8GB Corsair Vengeance
  • Hard Drive: 120GB OCZ Agility 3 SSD
  • Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
  • Power Supply: Corsair CX500M
  • Case: Fractal Designs Node 605
  • Keyboard: Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad

 

So how well does it work? Perfectly! Its running Windows 7 but boots straight into Steam Big Picture Mode. I elected not to go with any graphics cards for this build, so instead I have been using Steam In-Home Streaming. This uses the power of my new PC to run the games, but streams the video over my wired gigabit network to this HTPC. There are a few games that have issues with streaming (probably SLI related, they work when I disable it), but for the most part you really cant tell the games are running remotely. I use a 3rd party wireless receiver and a Xbox 360 controller to play the games on my TV.

I have Emby Theater (Previously Media Browser Theater) installed to stream movies and TV shows from my home server. I control the videos using a basic remote.

I also ended up installing my old HDMI capture card and buying a HDMI switch/splitter. This allows me to record gameplay from my other consoles on the PC. I have to say it is pretty convenient, although I have not used it to make any interesting videos yet.

Overall, I am pretty happy with how this build turned out. Its a great use of my old PC parts.



Planetside 2 Clips #2

planetside

Same deal as last time. A collection of random video clips with zero production value. If you are unfamiliar with Planetside 2, it is a MMO first person shooter that is free to play. You can find more information about it here.



Imagine: Star Citizen

350R_01

A brand new trailer and Arena Commander 1.0 is here! Today’s release marks the most significant update to Arena Commander yet, adding both the long-awaited lobby system and more than tripling the number of flyable ships. Every variant of the Aurora, Mustang, 300 and Hornet are now flyable, as are the base models of the Cutlass and the Avenger. If you’ve been waiting to fly one of Star Citizen’s single-seaters, there’s a good chance your ship has come in today!

There was also a $20 Anniversary Starter Pack up today that included the full game and basic starter ship. Unfortunately that has already sold out if you were looking to get in at that price. There is always the $35 pack if you want to buy now and get in on the Arena Commander module and future modules as they become available.

This game is going to make me buy an Oculus Rift once it comes out. Hopefully my PC is ready.

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