Gaming

Indygo: A game that talks about depression

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Indygo is simple, quick, and easy, but it cuts deep.

It’s an immersive point ‘n’ click game designed and illustrated by Fine Arts Academy students, members of Pigmentum Game Studio, that dabbles into the topic of depression like no other.

Indygo game how to play

Straightforward gameplay

No fluff, no bluff. This game starts with a befitting trigger warning. When you first play the game, it already sets you in a miserable mood. All the graphics are half-recklessly sketched in black and white; the music is slow and sad; and the voice over is deep and dull.

Thomas' workshop, Sketched bedroom, Indygo workshop

The game cuts quickly into the plot: You play as Thomas, a famous painter struggling with depression. Thomas refuses to leave the confines of his small room while he encounters letters from his girlfriend Ana who desperately tries to help him. What you decide to do with every passing day, how you choose to respond and what you choose to do in-game, will affect how the story unfolds.

Cruel suspension of disbelief

When I first played the game, I had the gutted feeling that if I didn’t play it safe, Thomas would kill himself. Most people can easily dispense their suspension of disbelief and handle the game distant from the protagonist which can make the game boring.

Thomas' bed, Indygo, Sketched bed, Dark bedroom

The truth is Indygo has no incentive, and in that sense, the game grounds itself to the sinking reality of depression: no incentive, no sense, nor any will to do or simply be.

Easy play, tough decisions

I’ll confess: I was irrationally emotionally attached with Thomas. He was a character that needed help and I did anything I could to make sure he would cheer up. Unfortunately, halfway through the game, I became morbidly curious to see how far the game would push its realism, so I purposefully played to see if he’d kill himself. And, the result was mortifying.

ripped artworks, Indygo game, ripped paintings, Thomas' work

The game doesn’t really take long nor is it challenging. You can probably finish the game in an hour, so it encourages you to play more than once after each play-through with this prompt:

Indygo, Indygo game, different endings, game endings

Dangerously oversimplified?

There’s a sickening myth that it’s tough for any medium to hit the soft spot where people address mental health without either trivializing it or romanticizing it. Despite that, the worse route would be to scrap all effort and disregard the issue altogether.

medicine cabinet, Indygo game

Mental health isn’t just complex due to varied and undetermined causes, symptoms, and treatments; it’s been time and time again been swept under the rug, as much as it’s been stigmatized; not to mention, how certain people question its legitimacy. It’s a tough topic to address and how Indygo presents it can seem too simple, but it gets the point across well with its simplicity.

Not everything is as gloomy as it seems

Indygo shows genuine concern for both you and the character you play.

trigger warning in Indygo game

As Thomas’ story unfolds, you’ll find Ana, his girlfriend, desperately trying to help. Besides the trigger warning in the beginning of the game, you’ll also find a subsection in the Menu where they delve into what depression is and ways you or anyone can seek and be of help.

Should you play the game?

I say, try it out. When you’re not high-strung and on a self-destructive tirade, go ahead.

Indygo game Menu section

Take the trigger warning seriously and don’t forget that it’s just a game. Keep in mind that despite it being just a game, how you take it lightly shouldn’t be carried over to how you treat people with the condition in real life.

Indygo was released on October 24, 2017. It’s available on Steam for US$ 5.99.

SEE ALSO: 7 scary games to freak you out on Halloween

Gaming

God of War’s New Game Plus mode is here

It’s time for another play through, boy!

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A New Game Plus (NG+) mode for PlayStation 4’s God of War is here. This means whatever weapons, items, and armor you amassed during your first go round, you can take with you if you wish to go on another adventure with Kratos and Atreus.

The NG+ mode also lets you pick a different difficulty setting from the one you first played with. So whether you feel like taking on a tougher challenge or just breezing through the story mode, you can do so. The choice is yours.

Other new content include a new shield skin when you start a NG+ as well as new types of armor you can forge for the father and son duo. The additions also include new challenges like Realm Tears while on a time limit and a variety of new attack patterns for draugrs, witches, and other foes you’ll meet along the way.

Updates not just for God of War NG+ mode

If you’re still in the middle of your first run, don’t worry, the creators of God of War didn’t forget about us. There’s now a button that easily lets you transfer enchantments making it easier to go from one armor to another. There are also some bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements like keeping Kratos safe at all times during parry attacks and improved consistency with how enemy attacks can be parried.

If you’ve completed the game at least once, the update also lets you skip cinematic scenes whether you’re on NG+ or not.

God of War for the PS4 first came out in April 2018 and received glowing reviews from various media outlets. Many of whom even said it’s an early candidate for Game of the Year. It takes the franchise’s main character Kratos into Norse mythology years after he tore through the Greek gods.

SEE MORE: God of War: A must-play for 2018

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Computers

NVIDIA launches the new RTX 2000 series

Promises movie-like quality for games

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Throughout the years, video games have slowly edged closer to movie-like picture quality. As of late, cinematic video games — like The Last of Us — have begun their long renaissance. Now, NVIDIA has unveiled a new series of graphics cards that pushes that boundary even further.

The newly launched GeForce RTX 2000 series leaps miles apart from NVIDIA’s long-reigning GTX 1080 video card. Specifically, the series comes in three variants — the RTX 2070, RTX 2080, and RTX 2080 Ti.

Powered by the Turing architecture, the new series attempts to solve the industry’s problems. Most importantly, the RTX 2000 series highlights ray tracing, a feature missing from video cards before now.

Traditionally, video games have trouble rendering lighting. Usually, games fall into two categories: terribly drawn lighting which clashes haphazardly with stunning textures, or power-hungry graphics that tank your frames-per-second rate to single digits.

Ray tracing vastly improves how light interacts with surfaces. With the feature, the series brings professional-level graphics to a mass market. In terms of performance, the RTX 2000 cards promise six times the capabilities of the previous GTX 1080.

For starters, the RTX 2070 comes with 2304 CUDA cores and 8GB GDDR6 RAM. The midrange RTX 2080 offers 2944 CUDA cores and the same amount of RAM. Finally, the flagship RTX 2080 Ti boasts 4352 CUDA cores and 11GB GDDR6 RAM.

Already, the series promises support for upcoming games: Battlefield V, Metro Redux, Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Upon launch, the RTX 2070 retails for US$ 499. The midrange RTX 2080 sells for US$ 699. Finally, the RTX 2080 Ti sells for US$ 999. All three cards will also come with Founders Edition variants selling for US$ 599, US$ 799, and US$ 1,199, respectively. The series will officially launch on September 20.

SEE ALSO: NVIDIA Titan V breaks benchmarks and banks

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Gaming

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S is the slimmest gaming laptop available today

But doesn’t compromise performance

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Alongside the 17-inch ROG Scar II, ASUS has announced a new ROG device that they claim to be world’s slimmest gaming laptop. The ROG Zephyrus from last year was already thin by gaming laptop standards, but the new ROG Zephyrus S is 12 percent thinner with updated specs.

The ROG Zephyrus S (GX531) still has the look and feel of the original Zephyrus but it’s now only 14.95 to 15.75mm thick. Those numbers might not sound as sexy as other super-slim notebooks, but the Zephyrus S has desktop-grade gaming performance with either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q or GTX 1060 GPU inside its chassis.

Powering the Zephyrus S is a six-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor with up to 16GB of DDR4 memory and storage option of up to a 512GB NVMe SSD.

The laptop’s display is a 15.6-inch 1080p panel with a 144Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, and 100 percent sRGB coverage. It’s definitely not the sharpest laptop display, but it’s one of the fastest for smooth gameplay. The display has a thin-bezel design as well, so the footprint of the laptop is just a bit bigger than your typical 14-inch notebook.

ASUS uses their Active Aerodynamic System (same as with other Zephyrus laptops) which opens a vent at the bottom of the laptop when the lid is lifted, and the vent stretches across the entire back of the body. This improves airflow by 22 percent over a conventional design as per ASUS.

Another distinct trait of the Zephyrus S is the keyboard. It’s still on the front of the device, which helps with cooling, but it might not be everybody’s cup of tea. The keys have 1.2mm of travel, N-key rollover, and RGB lighting via Aura Sync over four zones.

As for I/O, it has two USB-C ports (Gen1 and Gen2), two USB 2.0 ports, one USB 3.0 port, HDMI 2.0 at the back, and a headphone jack.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus S (GX531) will become available starting September in the US and in October for the UK and Asia. Pricing starts at US$ 2,099 for the GTX 1060 model, while the higher-end GTX 1070 is priced at US$ 2,199.

SEE ALSO: ASUS’ new ROG Strix Scar II is world’s most compact 17-inch gaming laptop

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