HacksForFree: PROTOTYPE 2 CD KEY (KEY GENERATOR) + CRACK
Mass Effect 3 Origin KeyGen read the full info here. Prototype 2 RAGE Resident Evil 6 Saints Row: The Third Sine Mora Sniper 2 Sonic Generations Terraria The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim & More! A REVIEW ON WATER ELECTROLYSIS Emmanuel Zoulias1, Elli Varkaraki1, Nicolaos Lymberopoulos1, Christodoulos N. Christodoulou2 and George N. Karagiorgis2 1 Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES), Pikermi, Greece 2 Frederick Research Center (FRC), Nicosia, Cyprus Abstract.
Buy Prototype 2 (Steam KEY) RU+CIS and download
Brand new and % working online. Players play one of 9 mercenary classes working for one of two corporations (RED or BLU) duking it out tooth-and-nails over a variety of targets which range from briefcases, to giant bombs in mine carts. EU STEAM CD KEY: Requires an EUROPEAN IP address or you must activate it with a VPN (Virtual Private Network) in order to play Prototype 2. Might have languages restrictions or language packs.
Prototype 2 product activation analysis at MainKeys
Prototype 2 RADNET Access Pack on Steam visit your url. Euro Truck Simulator 2 PC Game is an interesting vehicle simulation video game which is developed and published by SCS Software for Microsoft Windows, Linux and OS X. This video game was originally released as open development on 19 th of October 2020. However, a slight issue: in transit, the truck hit a pothole and jostled all the ship.
STARWHAL Steam CD Key - Instant Digi
Amazon.com: Prototype 2 [Online Game Code]: Video Games. The story of Borderlands 2 focuses on a world overrun with killer robots, wild beasts and. Prototype 2 Serial CD Key Generator Crack Download.
Euro Truck Simulator 2 V-184.108.40.206 & Base Game
Buy Prototype 2 Steam CD Key. Steam Keygen (Key Generator) 2020 Free Download - Zine Hacks https://vt-clinic.ru/download/?file=1505. Activate CD Key on your Steam client to download the game and play in multiplayer.
3D Printed Antennas Improve RFID Tag Technology
Unzip the archive using 7zip or other similar product and launch the game. Buy Prototype 2 RADNET Access Pack Steam CD Key. Crack is a very fast and powerful software for GameMaker.
Prototype 2 License Activation Key generator
Download Serial Bidai Song Download Lil Wayne Like Father Like Download Honda Mtx 125 Manuals Zee Telugu Mangatayaru Serial. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process. Steam Key Generator V 2.0 1, Steam Key Generator V 2.0 2, Steam Key Generator V 2.0 3, Steam Key Generator V 2.0 4, Ste.
Activation key steam Engine Prototype 1 Design
Buy Prototype 2 + Radnet DLC Pack Steam Key EUROPE. Prototype 2 product code - CJS CD Keys - Cheapest Steam https://vt-clinic.ru/download/?file=1525. Product activation steam prototype 2.
AC4400 CP Base Package
Don't forget to visit our site! Fallout 3: Every Permanent Companion, Ranked. Keygen is a simple-to-use program that will generate you a code to play on.
SteamUnlock.info - 100% Free Steam Games, Keys, Giveaways
Release date: 27/07/2020. I am a railway engineer and i have just patented a new steam engine. Dive into a freezing underwater adventure on an alien planet.
Gamesplanet: Game keys for Steam, Origin, Uplay, GOG and more
After the activation process is complete the game will be listed in the "My Games" tab. The game was released on September 18.09.2020 in the United States, 21.09.2020 internationally. Watch Dogs CD key generator is free of charge.
Borderlands 2 Crack – Multiplayer
Learn all you need to know at Marvel's Avengers Game 2020 (PS4, Xbox, Steam, Stadia) Wiki Guide! Steam This product is currently unavailable. Posted on March 10, 2020 by a7min.
Watch Dogs 2 License Activation Key generator
How to Download Prototype 2. Simply download the Steam client for free, from [HOST] After creating a free steam account, you can create a free account and log into steam and activate your prototype 2 steam key on the steam client. Steam Support - Prototype 2 RADNET Access Pack. Play as a combat-ready Claptrap prototype for the first-time!
Testout Activation Code Free
Free video game keys, download codes, and betas. You can use the Prototype 2 Serial or product key if the crack is not working or you can directly use the serial key. PROTOTYPE 2 CRACK SKI OFFICIAL INSTALL NOTES 1. Unpack the release 2. Copy everything from the SKIDROW folder into the game installation 3. Start game DOWNLOAD HERE: 3 comments: Post a Comment.
|1||SCDKey – Best Global Digital Game CD Keys, Game Keys||61%|
|2||Prototype 2 Keygen FREE Download Crack Serial Key||74%|
|3||How to activate Dragon Age 2 Serial Number with EA||59%|
|4||Bought a Steam Wallet card, code can't redeem, where to||9%|
|5||Free steam key Game Bundles||59%|
|6||Prototype 2 Steam Gift||47%|
|7||90% Off Steam Coupons, Promo Codes, & Discount Code||21%|
|8||Buy Prototype 2 Steam PC - CD Key - Instant Delivery||62%|
A critical analysis of the franchise and BL3's reception
I've been browsing this and other subreddits linked to the franchise for the last year since news and leaks started approaching BL3's release, mostly because I really like the series of games and it's concept and still consider it the best looter shooter in the industry because of it's lack of (heavy) monetization practises, quality&quantity content and good support after launch that combined surpasses it's competition tenfold. This is in no way trying to throw shade at all and just a means for you guys to understand how much I like this series and, because of that, how difficult it is to me to judge it as harshly as I'm about to do right now, but I feel like it the current state of the sub with it's complains and comparisons with BL3 and previous games aren't exactly accurate and sometimes going as far as omiting previously faulty design and writing mistakes in some cases, which leads to a certain bias in quite a few posts and arguments brought up here.
I will be looking at each game separately from what I think is the worst to finally what I think is the best game in the entire franchise, so we get more and more positive the longer this goes up. Of course, this is my opinion on the matter, so while I'm not gonna be putting "in my opinion...my thoughts on this are...I believe..." on every sentence, I feel it's pretty safe to asume this is mostly subjective and not an objective fact. This is going to be very long read, you guys can just go ahead and skip to Borderlands 3 or the conclusions if you don't like reading about how I point out things I didn't particularly liked about previous games, it's fine by me. Calling me out on things I have wrong/you think I got wrong/you disagree with, that's also perfectly fine to me.
So without further ado, let's get to it:
The almighty godfather, the originator, the light in the dark tunnel that inspired our further obsession down the loot hunt for a lot of us. A fairly decent, albeit incomplete and rushed prototype of something that could have been much more and which potential doesn't really quite reach the highs of what newer, more polished games have done and the reason why this is lowest on my personal list.
Gameplay has it's high and lows. On one hand I will argue that the guns have weight and look better than the ones in BL2, but unfortunately, it doesn't have the same amount of variety and sometimes it really feels like the manufacturers are just a different name with slighty different stats, they don't really stand out from one another with the exception of Maliwan, and that's mostly because of how broken and useful they are with it's elemental damage. The UI is clean, fast, and with some of the QoL improvements brought in the Enhanced edition, easier to navigate. I don't really miss the weapon mastery system, it felt like a grind and not something enjoyable if you didn't feel like using a specific weapon. Quests are for the most part awful and basically "go there kill X/find Y/collect Z" tier garbage that you see in your average online game without any of the flavor of the sequels, but I can admit they don't slow you down as future entries with long amounts of dialog, which to be honest, is basically their only strength.
The enemies and bosses are simple put, terrible or lacking in variety. There are some memorable encounters here and there that many of us still remember to this day, but I simply doubt it's for the quality of it and more for the unique kind of presentation that today is a staple of the franchise. Encounters like Mad Mel or Rakk Hive are clear examples of really, really bad or non-existent mechanics and poorly thought out bullet sponges that aren't really engaging or weren't really given the time to be more than that. The environments are also pretty dull and same-y, like, you see one, you have seen 80% pretty much most of what you will encounter for the rest of the game: arid wastelands, hills and abandoned buildings filled with bandits all around for the whole game. I’ve seen some people mention this gives the game a “Mad Max” feeling that they severely miss, but I think they did a great job in BL3 with keeping the aesthetics and identity of Pandora the same it was while giving that environmental variety to the other planets instead.
Story, characters and writing is overall pretty bland and not really well developed outside of Tannis echo log journey across the whole game. Unfortunately, while other fan favorites and recognizable faces that have become a staple of this franchise are introduced here, they aren't given enough time to really look that deep into them. The plot is a carrot on a stick with a series of Macguffins that aren't expanded upon until, again, the next games and the villain is laughlably undeveloped and barely in the story, to the point where the final encounter is something along the lines of "who is this chick...oh right, the hot echo gir-...oh welp, she dead" with probably the worst final boss in the entire series and leaves you hanging on the true identity of Angel and how is Hyperion involved in all of this, which is a result of a troubled/rushed development.
The playable cast and action skills were, in comparison to newer games, frankly underwhelming. Roland has 180º turret that if anyone looks at it funny it dies (it sucks) that at higher levels you mostly use for health and ammo regen, Brick has a Berserker rage melee override, which is fun at first but doesn't really scale all that well and has a lot of trouble with tougher and bigger enemies (so you're left with rocket/grenade/explosive builds), Lilith’s Phasewalk goes from completely worthless to a SANIC cheat mode, but you still basically play the same way from lvl 1 to lvl 69 (pick the strongest elemental smg and break everything) without changing the way your character plays in a very impactful manner (besides feeling like activating your cheat codes) and finally we have Mordecai, who is a pretty cool dude with a bird fetish that has both an effective sniper build and pistol/revolver one and is probably the best designed character in the game because of this, but has been surpassed by FL4K and his skill tree with "Rakk Attack", so he's (mostly) kinda obsolete in that regard.
The DLC is, quite frankly, low quality overall. Mad Moxxi Underdome has a (well deserved) reputation as arguarbly the worst DLC in the franchise for good reasons (poor content, high difficulty, lack of meaningful rewards, no story...), Ned Island is filled with incredible annoying zombies that slow you down and can drain your second wind meter and uninteresting, bland quests like "pick brains/collect eggs" which is par of the course for the absolute terrible quests this game has in general in a DLC that is already short (2-3 hours at most) and Robolution is mostly reused assets that you can clearly tell when they ran out of budget, because they have you fight the previous bosses (twice), even if the premise of meeting Mr Blake and the Hyperion Corporation seemed interesting at first. General Knoxx is the shinning light in this fiasco, but has some serious issues, like the level design consisting of mostly straight highways with no fast travel (which is also a major issue of all DLCs) and his boss fight being, just like almost every boss fight in this game, a really underwhelming reskin of previous armored Atlas soldiers you already faced. Overall though, the humor, the armory and the Cramerax challenge at the end make up for it, making it the first solid DLC in the franchise.
---Borderlands: The Presequel---
The black sheep of the franchise. The one game that made it's fanbase and content creators run away in fear because it had nothing to do, the one game Borderlands families tell their children bedtimes stories about so they go to sleep early, the game that could've been, but was not given a fair chance and support. Yet...is better or at least on par with the first game, in other words, is a pretty decent game. So what happened, what went wrong?
The gameplay is a mixed bag. Level design and environments are probably the worst part about this game, huge lands of really nothing to do and boring, grindy sidequests (remember the "collect 50 white guns"? I do) similar to how badly done they were in the first game and with the flaw of the modern games of huge, long winded moments where your character stands around with nothing to do. The UI is the same as BL2, likewise with the Badass system. This alongside the plenty amount of bugs, reused assets (with somehow even less guns than the previous game) and problem farming the guns at release made it one of the main flaws of the game as a whole. It felt like a big BL2 DLC and apparently that is what they had in mind at first, but a core of the audience couldn’t probably shake the fact that it seemed like cashgrab because of the popularity of the previous game.
Enemy variety in comparison to BL2/BL3 is very lacking, there is simple too many bandits and lost legion soldiers and too little robotic or eridian enemies, anything that will shake things up. However, it makes up a bit for it with it's stronger boss encounters in comparison to previous titles. They not only have a good entrance, but each of them have some kind of mechanic in their battles to shake things up and make them memorable and exciting, particularly “The Sentinel”, which if you ask me is still the best final boss in the series, to the point where I really didn't mind it was also the raid boss in a Pyro-Pete kind of fashion.
The only exception to this rule is the flying ship. It's unique for sure, but damn was that boss fight bad. Another good gameplay change it did great was the removal of slag (thank goodness) and it’s replacement “Cryo”, a much more fun, albeit fairly overpowered new elemental effect that freezes enemies and increases the damage you deal to them as well, making it the most effective one in the game. Also, the scaling of the enemies and weapons is more in line and not as overboard as BL2, with a fairly more enjoyable and well balanced UVHM than it's predecessor, even if the experience rate could (and should) have been way higher. This, alongside the new added verticality that the Ozkits provided, made it the best gameplay in the series...before BL3 came out and stole the spot by a landslide.
Story, characters, writing are overall an improvement compared to BL1 and we, the players, for the most part are more interested in the story because it can share some details about Jack and what made him lose his sanity, as well as reintroducing old beloved characters. The way it's presented as a flashback and the fact it's being told from Athena's point of view probably makes her the most attractive character to start with alongside Claptrap, considering the other two choices are canonically dead and evil/villains. It had some huge headscratchers for sure (how did Jack get the eye and when? Why did Athena just stand there when Lilith attacked Jack? Why didn't Lilith simply kill Jack instead of injuring him?...) and there are some chunks in the story that could've been presented better or gone by faster, but overall, it tried and setup a cool future conflict (albeit still a cliffhanger), which is more than I can say for the first game. Zarpedon is also a better main antagonist than Steele, she is more present than her across the entire game and we see her in a couple of side quests that give her more characterization, but overall she really isn't quite there yet with the likes of Jack or other Borderlands villains and feels like DLC character rather than a main game one.
The playable cast were a mixed bag. Some argue that these are still the best designed Vault Hunters (I respectfully disagree) in the franchise and others say that they rely too much on stacking mechanics, be it kill skills, elemental effects, etc. Claptrap is too unreliable, you sometimes won't get what you want and it can ruin the entire encounter and others it's still not strong enough, Aurelia's build variety is limited and a lot of her skill points are simply useless and wasted if you play solo (like Clappy) or simply don't like snipers, so she isn't for everyone. Nisha is a powerhouse, but she still can go down fairly quickly so it feels like a much more balanced Salvador in that regard, Athena is...okay, her maelstrom is pretty strong, but her action skill takes a lot to get used to and sometimes won't even work or deal substantial damage at all, Wilhelm is not nearly as bad as Axton or Roland thanks to the fact his turrets follow him around and increase his survivability as well as dealing more damage so he is more flexible and his middle tree is really impressive and I wish this "the more you go down a tree, the more your character changes" is something they will do for other characters and finally Jack/Timothy, who is not only strong, but you can build him however you want and still be incredible succesful at what you do regardless, so yeah, this I agree is a top tier designed character.
DLC wise, “The Holodome” is a complete disaster that rivals and may even be worse than Moxxi's DLC from BL1, with the only shinning beacon of hope being Gaige, Axton and Athena talking with each other. How could anyone expect that after such dumpster fire they would come out with arguarbly the best DLC in the entire franchise? But it happened. And that's what Claptastic Voyage was. Amazing environments, good villain, good weapons, good music, engaging quests, an extremely hard, but inmensively satisfying to beat final boss that is still to this day one of the best bosses in the franchise, even rivaling the best bosses in BL3, and a questline that answers what happened with Claptrap's product line, as well as directly linking with the beginning of the second game. Words alone can hardly tell how good this DLC is and is a shame that this game doesn't have a "start a VH at lvl 30" like BL2 because of this, which by the way I also miss in BL1 as well.
The magnum opus, the one game that catapulted Gearbox into fame and glory, a game that would make it so Gearbox could throw fists with other gaming giants and enter "Big Boy" clubs, an outstanding success where everyone no life-d this game for hours and showed their close to (or higher) thousands of hours as a badge of pride instead of shame like other unfortunate franchises out there. A very good, albeit not the perfect game people claim it as, let's look at it more closely.
The gameplay is an overall big improvement, although it hits some really big lows later on. Just from the first level you can see that they put more effort into the scenery and environments. There is still a fairly amount of road and arid wastes, caves, etc. but the variety is way better than 1 or TPS. Quests are also much more improved this time around and offer different, unique and amusing quests that don't fairly follow any kind of conventional rules, some are just joking around, others take a more serious tone, others are a parody of certain real life events...is kinda wild. The UI is, again, an improvement over BL1, still remaining fast, clean and simple, showing all skill trees at once and your character on the side. This game also introduces a new system called Badass Ranks, which is cool on paper, but the objectives that need to get to rank up are usually pretty annoying and not very fun for the most part, aside from the usual that you will get just by playing conventionally. The only downgrade I can think of is, well the guns. The sound design and the weight of the weapons really wasn't as tight as it's predecessor or his future succesor, to the point that it sometimes felt like they were barely better than peashooters, but this really wasn't the biggest issue of the game, since everything else was for the most part enjoyable enough that you could otherwise ignore or not be bothered by it too much.
Enemy variety in comparison to BL1 was an improvement in every way, it gave us not only the enemies from the first game with new additions, but also a new and fairly satisfying to beat enemy faction: Hyperion and it's loaders, which made corrosive weapons way more useful than in previous games. The bosses remained with their memorable entrance screen and some (albeit not all of them) used also fun mechanics that usually had something to do with the arena they were in, rather than their movesets themselves being interesting, so while lacking, they were still an improvement and it felt like they actually tried this time around. Except the Bunker. Gearbox, you really can't design a fun flying boss, my good men. Also, the Warrior, while better than the Destroyer from the first game, still falls short of what a final boss hyped as a “planet destroyecleanser” should be like, it’s a big disappointment.
So, this all seems pretty good, what’s the problem? You know it, the forbidden word: SLAG. And UVHM. And the terrible scaling past lvl50. And the godawful droprates. So, basically, the core gameplay after a certain point is awful.
I think everyone by now has heard time and time again how restrictive slag was and being forced to use it or have a weapon/gun that used it and swapping to another wasn't fun, how UVHM inflated enemy and armored pools so high that it made the previous weapon type mandatory and made it so you had to discard your weapons every other level because of how much damage a lvl51 did compared to a lvl50 and so on, and how little some trees or skills weren't really balanced well for this mode, which limited build variety, destroying some of them entirely. TVHM was were, gameplay wise, BL2 peaked. UVHM and the raise of the level cap from 50 to 72-80 destroyed and gutted the balance of the game, and made it a DPUH farmfest until the lvl cap were you could actually begin to farm in peace for your gear, even if you still had to worry about normal mobs two shotting you with a heavily defensive build, to the point where the best plan was to abuse health gate and shield regeneration and put almost everything in increasing damage, because your millions of health didn't really actually matter all that much.
A counterpoint some people will probably think is "well, you don't have to use DPUH!" but, if you didn't want to use slag, your choices were very limited, so it was the best choice for leveling, not only because it was a sure proof farm that anyone could get eventually by farming tokens in Torgue DLC or Savage Lee, but because it outshined everything or almost every other weapon you could find and you could get it fairly early too. Even if you used slag, the fact that it outshined everything else felt like you were just handicapping yourself if you didn't. BL2 was a game with millions of guns, were you were inclined to use just combinations of 1 (a tiny bit more if you include sandhawk, pimpernel, norfleet but yeah, you get the point) in the end game. That's not something small, that's some really, REALLY bad game design/balance and even to people who love the game I tell you this: you sadly can't defend this. Is a fixed state of the game past lvl 50 that sadly you can't simply go back or stop after a certain point and even if you can technically bypass it by certain skills or grenades, the fact that you have to micromanage around a gameplay mechanic that constantly dampers your ability to clear content is a bad state of affairs. Is sad that the more well thought out designed variety this had at release was destroyed by people who simply wanted more content without thinking about the consequences of what said farm and content would bring, but it is what it is.
Story, characters, writing...okay, this is gonna be a bit controversial, but I feel like I need to lead to it a bit. I don't doubt that anyone considers these to be stronger than it's predecessor and I would agree that is a stronger told story than BL1, TPS and BL3 for the most part, only second to Tales. They reintroduced previous playable characters and tried to spice them up a little bit, giving them roles into the story to play in the conflict with the main villain of the game and making it so that the previous game unsatisfying and abrupt ending made a bit more sense. And then comes Jack. Handsome Jack is probably one of my favorites videogame characters, not only because of this game, but because of what they build up on him with TPS, Tales and even the sidequest and DLC of BL3 about him and I will say that he just carries the game, BL2 wouldn't have been remembered half as fondly if another man other than Dameon Clarke voiced this man. Now...I don't think the writing in this game is great. I would argue that is not even good for that matter. If you read Jack's script, and most of the script as a whole, the whole thing is full of inconsistencies, flaws, plot holes or just downright dumb decisions that don't really make a lot of sense and you really, really have to suspense you disbelief.
Jack has the dialog that you would expect a 12 year old kid who thinks it's being funny or a young adult who read “Knowyourmeme” (although this feelslike the entire game as a whole sometimes, not just Jack) would write "hehe, buttstalion...piss for brains huh...dumb kiddo hehe..." that again, is being carried hard by Dameon Clarke's wonderful performance (that was also heavily ad-libbed by Anthony Burch admission), and the whole point of this is taunting you and playing with you so that you open up the shields on Sanctuary and he blows it up but...that's fucking dumb. They even make fun of this in Tales, where AI Jack is just like "yeah, shouldn't have brought my own competition to Pandora or have paid them instead to help me". Like, no shit. Any smart person doesn't throw a bunch of potential resources against you so that they kill your best man (Wilhelm) for a potential chance to wipe the Raiders. After that, the plot only progresses because of Angel trying to help you beat up Jack because he's bad and evil and kills people...and helps other glory seekers that have made their livings murdering other people, are cannibals or straight up psychos...see what I mean? It would make more sense if they were righteous like, let's say Maya, or are forced to be in that planet because reasons like Gaige, but when half the cast is like that, it raises an eyebrow or two. BL3 had critical points where the story needs our character to disappear from it, but the whole premise of the BL2 plot, right from the start, doesn't even make any sense because Jack acts like a total dumbass "Wow, I'm gonna create my own competition by putting adds all over the place only to kill them and the ones who actually survive will kill my best pal and right hand man only to have a chance to destroy the Crimson Raiders instead of just hiring them to defend my Eridium mines, sounds like a plan!". I know I reiterated this twice, but it's just SO DUMB it's insane.
There is also a couple of gameplay moments that disrupt the flow of the game like Sawtooth Cauldron when you can't just call brick so that it flies you up to the next area because...reasons? Or the fact Jack somehow just appears out of thin air, blows roland trained pectorals with a pistol (also kills him too, kinda sucks) and only Lilith runs up to him. Nobody shoots him, nobody goes after him, nobody moves. Canonically there are supposed to be 6 people in that room and none of them do anything for the next 20 seconds. This isn't Jack being too fast that it shocks them, this is Jack having plot armor. These are a couple of instances, but I think people get the point that, for a game that is hailed as having great characters, writing and story by the community, the last two fronts seem...quite lacking, average at best. BL2 has charming characters, staple characters, recognizable characters, but they are not really deep, meaningful, complex or well written outside of a couple of exceptions or, simply put, take a whole DLC to make them work (Tina Tiny had some potential, but is only fully realized with AoDK, for instance), merely following their archetype for the most part. Not saying that’s a flaw, just something that maybe shouldn’t be praised when is not entirely accurate.
In regards to the characters cast, I will say straight away that one of the main flaws of this game is that, while they're overall an improved cast, it feels like a lot of them aren't "complete" or nearly as fun or balanced until they get their first capstone. Zer0 is really frail (I’m not saying weak) all the way through the game even at the highest levels and a mosquito bite can make him go into second wind when he is outside his AS, so he’s not a beginner friendly class because it requires mastery and precision to make it work against pretty much everything. Maya had (still has) a lot of problems at release that were really apparent. Her red tree is infinitely superior to the other two (which are used mostly for support) since you have Acid Cloud and Ruin there, and her AS at lower levels is lacking. CC on an enemy when there are other 3-4 guys running around you and gunning you down and you might not even kill that one in time if it’s a badass? Yeah, that’s rough, she’s really rough until later on, when she becomes one of the best in the game. Krieg has some of the issues Zer0 suffers too, but not to the same degree. You can still break havoc if you pace yourself carefully and learn when to activate his AS, but you’re going to be downed too much otherwise. That’s it, until you get Release the Beast at lvl 31. That’s when you start feeling it and become a murder killing machine. Now…Krieg is not really well designed or should I say, he would have been a much better design choice for BL3, and that’s mostly because, if you want to play his other two trees (Hellborn/Bloodexplosion) you don’t really use your AS at all, so it’s a shame that a character's best build doesn’t use what makes him special in the first place. Axton is…Axton. He only really shines at higher levels when utility is more important than raw damage and you can get slag, turret length, explosions,etc. but overall, he’s mediocre. Salvador is broken, awful to play at low levels when you have no synergy in your two weapons and awful to play at high levels because you might as well headbutt the floor while playing with your feet if you still want some kind of satisfaction while clearing everything in the game. Now, Gaige is tricky, because she had the potential to be, easily, the best character in the game (by far) but…her middle tree doesn’t really scale well besides her capstone and Deathtrap scaling isn’t very good at higher than NVHM levels, which is a shame, because she’s probably the best designed character in the game. Impactful AS from lvl 5, high-risk, high reward playstyle with Anarchy on lvl6 and she once again changes styles completely in lvl 11 since…you can actually try to ricochet or use low accuracy guns with multiple pellets to play while shooting at walls or the floor…or you can just forget about that and focus on your pet entirely or build around a shock build. A shame about her faults that condition her into an Anarchy build. I would say that truly one of the best QoL things that happened in this game was the lvl 30 character creation that came with the Lilith DLC, it lessened the blow of those characters that really needed that first capstone and made replaying the game much more enjoyable, it really was a horrible experience with half of them before that (at least to me).
Now then, the DLC was overall, decent to great. Captain Scarlett, too many land, too little content, had it's fair share of annoying moments running hastily from one place of the map to other, then going back and forth, the biggest issue being with Herbert and it's long quest chain, to the point you are happy when he's finally gone. Still, Scarlett herself was a fairly entertaining villain, and the loot at the end of your journey made it somewhat worth it. Torgue is considered by many as an amazing dlc, mostly because of the humor, the new currency (mostly for the Harold, duh) and Bar farming that helped level up fast and while I agree with most points, I will also argue that the environments left a lot to be desired and felt like cut content from even BL1, the enemies were recycled and low effort, and the boss fights were mediocre to downright garbage (Badassasaurus, I'm looking at you). So in regards to the humor and characters, is top tier. In regards to the gameplay and combat…not so much.
Hammerlock Big Hunt was pretty bad at worst, mediocre at best. I still don't know what exactly went wrong in development, it has it's fair share of good ideas and some moments here and there where it clicks, but whoever was in charge of the gameplay, levels, bosses and enemies...wow, was it terrible. Nakayama was a fairly decent addition that was given more importance in later installments and his fight is one of the highlights of the game, but otherwise, I personally beat it once and never touched this DLC again, it’s just not worth it. Lilith DLC was fairly enjoyable as well, seeing Tales characters again, Hector was a decent antagonist, and setting up the next Borderlands game was exciting and it had decent amount of content (2 OP levels, 80 lvl cap, one more raid boss) with the best farming spot on the game (Uranus). However for some reason I can't shake the fact that it lacked something. Like, on paper it's a good dlc, but it just feels like it didn't hit any marks, like it's just...there. I don't agree with the poor reception that it got on sites like Steam (negatives) since it's, in the end, more Borderlands and the price seems fair, but I will just rank it alongside Scarlett, higher than Hammerlock and below Torgue.
Here it comes, the one you have been waiting for, Assault on Dragon Keep. It's amazing. It really, really does everything right and sets the standard for what a DLC should be in the industry and I would argue that it's better than other expansions for older and newer games. For 10 dollars. Not playing it as a Borderlands fan is a huge disservice, the only other DLC that I could see being on par is Claptastic Voyage, they're both around the same, even if I would still give Tina the edge, but yeah, those two are "la crème de la crème" of the whole series thus far. They actually put a whole DLC around a character who was very underutilized in the main story and used mostly for comedic purposes and not only does the setting work in it's own crazy unique way only Borderlands game manage to do, but it fits the character without feeling like they forced her in for fan service like what happened in the Torgue DLC. This is how you do a character centric add-on content.
I've purposefully excluded some things from this list, like graphene computers, but I've certainly missed others, so feel free to add. An entry on this list is not an endorsement.
CPUsDesktop CPUs have been pretty sameish since Itanium died, with the cool stuff like Denver not panning out, but we're seeing some disruption from AMD and Arm.
SMT4 (4 threads per core) goes mainstreamYou're all presumably familiar with ‘8 core, 16 thread’ CPUs. SMT4 extends this to ‘8 core, 32 thread’. As cores get larger—and they will get larger—they have more spare throughput, so higher levels of SMT become more relevant. As thread counts increase, low-end CPUs might need higher SMT levels to reduce context switching overheads. There are unreliable rumours of AMD adding SMT4 to their server line a few generations out.
Higher core countsCore counts have finally started rising again. Mobile has gone highly multicore, AMD has pushed it, and the 3990X has shattered the Overton window. Once programmers acclimatize, this growth will become self-fueling.
GPU-CPU convergencePeople have been calling for CPUs and GPUs to merge almost since the GPU's inception. They might have been wrong about the timescale, but the general trend held true: GPUs have evolved into general-purpose SIMD processors, and CPUs have become manycores with fast SIMD. There are important advantages in specialization, but an eventual true hybrid is not yet out of the question.
Apple cores for laptop and desktopApple's phone and tablet CPUs are absurdly fast, going almost neck-to-neck with vastly higher clocked desktop chips at a fraction of the power and clocks. Rumours (and common sense) foretell Apple bringing these Arm cores to the rest of their lineup, shaking up the industry forever.
Other Arm chips get popularOther Arm chips may not hit Apple's performance figures, but they are starting to compete in higher core count workloads, and on a fast pace of improvement. The small size of Arm's cores is great for making cheap manycore chips that still perform well, with the Graviton2, ThunderX3, and Ampere Altra, and the Snapdragon 8cx as an early entry to the laptop market.
ArchitectureCPU architecture moves very hesitantly, but every now and again we see innovation.
RISC-VRISC-V is an ‘open standard’ for a CPU instruction set and architecture that has gathered steam fairly quickly. It's unlikely to trade blows with x86 any time soon, but is making inroads in the embedded and coprocessor markets, and generally represents state-of-the-art among conservative ISA designs.
Arm SVESIMD, being able to operate on small arrays of data in parallel, is a major part of modern CPU's performance, and Arm's SVE is the first you're likely to use that isn't awful. Better SIMD means better compilers and happier programmers.
Hardware capabilitiesHardware capabilities is a security model that protects memory on a fine-grained basis using unforgeable tokens stored in the program directly. It offers vastly better memory protection than traditional memory models, and has been explored with the CHERI project on both Arm and RISC-V. However, it requires program-level changes to function.
Tachyum ProdigyTachyum announced their new CPUs at Hot Chips 2018, and seem on track to actually produce a product. They are taking another long-needed stab at a mostly-in-order VLIW-ish CPU, aiming for passable IPC at fast clocks and peak throughput that rivals GPUs. Preliminary performance claims look good, but so far it's just marketing.
Mill ComputingThe Mill is an even more revolutionary design, with many large innovations from the core execution pipeline to multiprocessing to memory protection. I have issues with their performance claims, but more relevant than that they're just evidently never going to ship.
PackagingPackaging, aka. how silicon is bundled together to make processors, is a hotbed of innovation right now.
3D stacked chipsDRAM and NAND flash are already 3D stacked, and this tech is coming to CPUs. Stacking logic allows for vastly denser packing of components, which is particularly important for memory access and other long-distance wiring. Intel's Foveros is a cool upcoming technology in this space. Pervasive stacking requires fundamental architectural redesigns, since it produces proportionally more heat over the same area, while making heat harder to remove.
Wireless 3D integrationMost silicon-silicon stacks communicate with physical metal connections. An alternative is ‘inductive coupling’, the same process used in wireless charging. This has some advantages and some disadvantages, with the main advantage being price. Refer to ‘Thru-Chip Interface’, and this Arm blog post
Silicon interposersChiplets, like used on recent AMD processors, communicate fairly slowly, at high power cost. Using silicon interposers, which can contain much denser wiring, opens up more opportunities for expansion, such as into lower power environments, bandwidth heavy workloads like GPUs, and faster memory access. Intel is pushing this with EMIB.
MCM GPUsThese are ‘Multi-Chip Module’ GPUs, aka. GPU chiplets. Intel is bounding into this space with some of their upcoming Xe GPUs, particularly ‘Ponte Vecchio’. NVIDIA has published research on this too.
x86 big.LITTLEIntel will soon bundle large, powerful and small, efficient cores on the same chip, a practice long used in smartphone CPUs to save power. Their first chip to do this is Lakefield.
Silicon PhotonicsOptical communication has inherent advantages for bandwidth and signal integrity. Intel (have I mentioned them a lot recently?) have made major advances in this space.
Waferscale IntegrationSilicon is generally size-limited to the ‘reticle’, the maximal area that can be exposed by the lithography machine when printing a silicon chip. Waferscale integration adds patterns between these reticle-sized areas so that the whole silicon wafer can work together as a single chip. This is an old idea, but it's always been hard.
AI hardwareMachine learning has made AI a big deal, and neural networks are amiable to very particular hardware innovations. There is so much in this space that I selected only the most innovative approaches.
CerebrasFollowing from the previous topic, Cerebras have made a waferscale machine learning accelerator, with 18 GB of SRAM and other insane specifications. Their chip is model parallel, which means a neural net is spread physically out over the chip, more like an FPGA than a CPU. Cerebras have shipped to select partners.
Groq Tensor Streaming ProcessorGroq is a lesser-known AI hardware startup with an incredibly innovative approach and impressive performance numbers. See The Linley Group's report for details. Groq's chips are available for cloud use for select partners.
Mythic.AIAI is largely a matrix multiplication problem; Mythic approaches this by using analogue operations directly on NAND storage, which makes for good poweperformance with much higher memory density than SRAM or even DRAM products. Mythic.AI has not yet shipped.
VathysVathys tackles the memory problem by using 3D stacked memory with wireless integration, custom memory cells, and custom asynchronous logic. Watch their 2017 talk for details.
Alibaba HanGuangWe know almost nothing about Alibaba's chip, but it is included here because of its unusually high performance claims. If it's legit, it's doing something clever... but keep the emphasis on ‘if’.
MemoryWith DRAM scaling dying, there is a lot of activity in new memory technologies, above an already innovative baseline.
Zoned Namespace SSDsCurrent storage standards do not map cleanly to SSD hardware. ZNS is an upcoming standard that exposes storage as sequentially-writable blocks of memory. This allows SSDs to reduce overprovisioning and include less DRAM and cheaper controllers, while offering greater performance and endurance. Using these SSDs does require software support from the file systems and databases running on them.
Waferscale SSDsKioxia is developing a waferscale SSD it hopes will be as low as a fifth the price per bit by removing processing and packaging steps. This would put a large 50TB wafer at only $1500.
3D XPoint DIMMs (‘DC Persistent Memory’)People are rightly unenthusiastic about current Optane SSDs, but consumer support for Optane DIMMs, which offer near-DRAM performance at potentially a much better price per bit, with support for non-volatile regions, should change that. Next-generation Optane has twice the layers, so twice the capacity. Intel is still subsidising Optane with Xeon sales for now. Micron will also enter the 3D XPoint market soon, though their plans around DIMMs are unclear.
DDR5Next-generation memory has a few great features, but the headline features are double the capacity and much higher speeds; SK Hynix claiming they're working on as high as DDR5-8400. DDR5 will also have support for on-die ECC.
NVRAMAn addendum to the DDR5 standard, NVRAM adds support for non-volatile memory for technology with near-DRAM characteristics. This does not include Optane, which is not quite fast enough without a DRAM caching layer. NVRAM also includes support for much higher capacities than stock DDR5. I won't cover all the NVRAM contenders, just the most interesting two.
Persistent DIMM filesystems and databasesNew software is needed to most effectively use Optane DIMMs and NVRAM, since they offer byte-sized accesses and vastly lower latency than even the fastest SSDs. Filesystems can also support DAX, which allows files to be mapped directly into process memory, using the underlying persistence of the storage, with no overhead.
Nantero NRAMNRAM is carbon nanotube memory, using them as physical switches that can be toggled with electrical fields, all roughly as fast as DRAM but without the scalability issues of capacitors, and in a manner that is fully non-volatile. They have given very aggressive performance targets, such as aiming to fully replace DRAM, and perhaps later even expand into embedded caches.
Spin technologiesProduced (currently in small quantities) by Everspin, these various spin-based memories are based on polarized magnetic fields. They are applicable to both NVRAM applications and embedded caches.
CXL, Gen-ZThese are next-gen standards for interconnects, both local to memory and accelerators (CXL), and at a larger rack-scale (Gen-Z), offering support for coherent accesses.
In-memory computeSince NAND flash and DRAM accesses are much slower than local memory accesses from cache, people have long wished to be able to do computation in memory directly. A recent attempt is by UPMEM, that offers DIMMs with integrated processors with very high aggregate throughput. Mythic.AI also attempts to do neural network calculations inside flash memory. Personally, I expect UPMEM will be fighting an uphill battle, but Mythic.AI's approach seems like an applicable niche if sufficiently performant.
GraphicsGraphics is always pushing the forefront of technology; this is the largest section.
Xe GraphicsIntel is entering the discrete GPU market soon. If nothing else, this should help the market's competitiveness. They are going to use MCM GPUs, at least in the high end, with Ponte Vecchio connecting either 16 or 32 chiplets in a single GPU (with 6 GPUs to a board!). Initial performance numbers from their lowest-end cards seem unimpressive, but that could be an early-hardware issue.
Next-gen consolesThe Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X have been announced, with very impressive performance numbers for both their GPUs and CPU, with fast SSDs to boot. Game graphics take a leap when consoles do, so the downstream effects should be significant.
Other next-gen GPUsThere isn't much to say about next-generation GPUs except that the rumours are dealing with big numbers, like 50% performance uplifts.
Hardware decompressionConsoles have hardware decompression to maximize asset streaming bandwidth in games. Specialized hardware didn't make much sense for desktop processors when storage speed was low (just do it in software), and on-SSD compression (which used to be a thing) has issues, but dedicated decompression accelerators now make sense for many desktop markets, and would certainly help games.
Sampler Feedback StreamingThis technique allows for fast, efficient, and live streaming of texture detail from the SSD to the GPU as texture data is needed. I've written about this in detail.
Mesh shadingThe Geometry Pipeline is dead, long live the Geometry Pipeline!
Mesh shading replaces the standard geometry pipeline with a largely software based implementation, allowing for mesh(let) compression, better culling, and better LOD implementations, and presumably a whole lot more once people get used to it. I believe this is the same thing as the PS5's Geometry Engine.