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Pavel Barter on scarifying survival horror The Evil Within 2.

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The Evil Within 2

PS4 (Bethesda)

Reality can be a bit on the nose at times. After one round on The

Evil Within 2, however, you’ll pine for the horrors of Hollywood producers and American presidents.

ooâe-soââled barfly -ebastian Castellano­s is jettisoned into a virtual reality machine, known as -T , in order to find his missing daughter. But a maniacal killer lurks within.

The Evil Within 2 is a survival horror that plucks the best bits from other stories. STEM is like

The Matrix: an unreliable unreality. Missions take place in Union, a white-picket fence town that might seem normal were it not for the bulbous-headed ghouls vomiting green soup.

Like Silent Hill, the setting is infected with Japanese lunacy. Bash crates to search for swag, just like in Resident Evil IV, and use green gel to upgrade powers in safe houses. The combat is bloody difficult and µuivering behind walls is often the only way to survive the madness.

7/10

Canon

PowerShot G1 X Mark III Smartphone cameras are improving, but nothing comes close to the Žiller µuality of a DSLR. For its latest trick, Canon has stuffed DSLR superpower­s into a compact camera. The sensor is the star of this show. G1 X Mark III can shoot an ISO range of 100 to 25,600: covering every condition. The 3x optical lens is ideal for shooting macro close-ups, focusing on objects centimetre­s away from the lens. There’s rapid auto focus (AF) – 0.09 seconds – and image stabilisat­ion. Mark III shoots full HD 60p movies in MP4. Video perks include time-lapse, cinematic focus pulls, and a onetouch panoramic mode.

Canon is touting the PowerShot’s compact size. Despite the camera’s petite frame, it finds room for a builtin electronic view finder that includes “touch and drag”

Ƃ . arŽ III has all reµuired connectivi­ty features – Wi-Fi, Dynamic NFC, etc. – and can be woken remotely from a smartphone app via Bluetooth.

The camera is out this month for €1399. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Smartphone As technology has improved, so people’s handwritin­g has diminished. A dozen coffeedrin­king monkeys with Biros could produce better writing than my illegible scrawls, for example. Samsung’s new Note8 combines tech with hand crafting, thanks to its S-Pen stylus.

Pull the pen from its slot and the phone opens a dedicated menu where you can doodle images, create animated GIFs, translate text, or just compose a shopping list. You can write notes on the display when the phone is asleep, share them with other apps, or store them on the lock screen for future use.

Following last year’s disastrous Note 7, which literally went up in smoke, Samsung had a lot to prove with 2017’s follow-up. Note 8 appears to tick all the boxes. Alongside S-Pen, there’s a massive 6.3-inch screen and a dual camera with wide angle and 2x zoom telephoto lens.

PlayersXpo

Convention Centre Dublin Back in March this year, Dublin hosted its first grand-scale gaming convention. Hurrah, we thought, we don’t need to fly to Cologne to play the new Call Of

Duty. As it happened, the event was oversold. Tear-smeared kids were denied entry and their parents screamed murder on social media. So it was no surprise that people approached last month’s games expo at Dublin’s Convention Centre with a degree of caution. Many didn’t approach it at all.

A shame, really. PlayersXpo was not organised by the same crowd behind GamerCon. Mick Finucane, the creative director spearheadi­ng the event, is an industry veteran who founded the GameStop franchise of stores, so PlayersXpo was always in good hands.

The convention floors offered a wide selection of playable games, new and old, without any µueues. There was a retro section, multiplaye­r contests, cosplay competitio­ns, and plenty of informativ­e seminars. John Romero, creator of Doom, and his developer wife Brenda took part in panels and Eimear Noone conducted an orchestra through classic gaming tunes.

A promising sign of things to come for PlayersXpo in 2018...

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