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الأربعاء، 1 يوليو 2020

last Of Us Game Play


 The review embargo for The Last Of Us Part 2 was lifted on Friday the 12th, one week before the game’s June 19th release on PlayStation 4. According to Metacritic, Naughty Dog’s latest is a critical darling, nabbing a 96/100 and earning numerous gushing accolades from reviewers calling it not only the best game of the generation, but perhaps even the best game ever made. Now I’m not trying to rain on anyone’s parade in this post, but there are a couple of things I think readers should be aware of beyond all the gushing and praise as they decide whether or not to pick this game up next week. (For a review-roundup that goes into more depth on the game’s many positive reviews, my colleague Paul Tassi has you covered). Most Popular In: Games Dr. Disrespect Finally Breaks His Silence On Twitch Ban, Raises More Questions Than Answers Why Was Dr Disrespect Banned On Twitch? Everything Known So Far We Might Never Find Out Why Twitch Banned Dr. Disrespect First off, the review embargo itself is quite strict. While most video game embargoes contain some kind of restrictions on what you can talk about or use in video footage, this one forbids any discussion of the second half of the game and limits video footage to just three scenes. The final 12 hours or so are completely off-limits, so the things that reviewers liked or disliked about that portion of the game can only be discussed vaguely. I understand wanting to keep spoilers out of reviews as much as possible, but this strikes me as more than a little over-the-top. PROMOTED Japan BRANDVOICE | Paid Program Japan’s Lily MedTech Is Creating A Powerful New Tool To Fight Breast Cancer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries BRANDVOICE | Paid Program Oil & Gas Outlook – Embracing Change From Now To 2040 Grads of Life BRANDVOICE | Paid Program The Future Is History – Race & Labor In America Whether or not this leaves something important out is impossible to say since I haven’t played the game. Here at Forbes, we did not receive a review code for The Last Of Us Part 2 (nor were we told why) so I’m unable to offer up any analysis or impressions. I would not have been able to talk about the second half of the game anyways, thanks to the embargo (which not only prevents discussion of the game’s ending, but also its beginning). So we’re left with a very big, roughly 12-hour question mark, with some reviewers saying that whether or not you like the game may come down to what happens during the section they’re not able to talk about. Others note that the game’s best bits are in this embargoed stretch. Second, and arguably more importantly, some reviewers (even those who ultimately liked the game) found the violence extreme to the point of questioning whether they could even finish playing. Since this game is somewhere between 25 and 30 hours long, you can see how that could be a problem. And it’s not just the violence. Some critics are calling the story needlessly bleak, its characters completely changed from the first game, and its story riddled with plot holes. Let’s take a look at some of the more critical reviews, if only to get more information than “Best Game Ever 10/10!” Note also, many of the reviews I’ll be quoting don’t include review scores—in other words, some of the most critical reviews out there don’t impact the final Metacritic score at all, for better or worse. Relentlessly Bleak The Last Of Us 2 reviews The Last Of Us 2 is relentlessly bleak. CREDIT: NAUGHTY DOG I’ve always felt a little uncomfortable with the idea of a sequel. The Last Of Us had a damn near perfect ending, one of the best (and most ambiguous and unsettling) I’ve ever encountered. If nothing else, a sequel means that ending is no longer actually an ending. The story picks up years later, and according to every thing I’ve read and watched, the characters have changed. Ellie, in particular, has become someone else entirely. In SkillUp’s excellent review of The Last Of Us Part 2, the YouTuber compares Ellie and her story in The Last Of Us 2 to Daenerys Targaryen in the final season of Game of Thrones. That’s a deeply unflattering comparison and he means for it to be. Watch the whole video below, but some big takeaways for me are: Character choices and plot holes were so bad throughout that at times he would laugh out loud. The game is 25 hours long and one section feels like a 10-hour side-quest. He says he would not have finished it had he not been reviewing. There are improvements to graphics, combat and exploration but enemy AI is still very bad. The story is relentlessly bleak, there are no likable characters and no comic relief and everything you liked about the characters in the first game is gone. There are very few interesting scripted/cinematic scenes and the game is far too long and boring. On the plus side, it has the best difficulty settings fine-tuning ever and looks gorgeous. And so on and so forth—here’s the video review, which I highly recommend you watch: Some reviewers seem to have actively disliked the game but are still glad they played it, like Andrew Webster at The Verge: “The Last of Us Part II isn’t fun,” Webster writes. “Over the game’s 20-hour runtime, I often found myself wanting to quit because the violence became unbearable. I didn’t want to bash that lunging dog with a hammer or slice at that defenseless woman with a knife. I certainly didn’t want to watch a religious zealot’s head explode into a grisly cloud because of my well-placed shotgun blast. There are scenes so upsetting that they didn’t just make me uncomfortable; they made me question why I was playing this game at all.” The very next paragraph, Webster admits that “I’m glad I pushed through — because those dark, disturbing moments are what make The Last of Us Part II so powerful. It’s not just a game about violence. It’s one that grapples with the impact of that violence and shows players the consequences.” While Webster found the examination of violence and its consequences powerful, other reviewers disagreed. Polygon’s Maddy Myers has a very interesting discussion of the game’s violence and worldview. She compares the game to what she sees in the real world, as people band together and work to help one another during a time of crisis and pandemic. In The Last Of Us 2, however, people are always at their very worst. “The Last of Us Part 2 depicts individual people who are instead ruthless, capable, yet self-absorbed, and whose perception of violence is limited to how it affects them and their chosen family members,” Myers writes. “They are almost unbelievably unable to see the bigger picture. Part 2 ends up feeling needlessly bleak, at a time when a nihilistic worldview has perhaps never been less attractive. Its characters are surviving, but they’re not learning, and they’re certainly not making anything better. “Maybe the most surprising thing that The Last of Us Part 2 offered me was the surety that, while the game was made with great skill and craft, we are actually much, much better than Naughty Dog thinks we are.” The game, Myers writes, bashes players over the head with its message that violence is wrong. “I don’t have any problem empathizing with the people who I’m asked to kill in video games. The Last of Us Part 2 must think I’ll struggle with it, though, since it doles out all sorts of reasons why I should feel regret about the murder spree its characters have embarked upon. But the game’s larger problem is that the characters themselves don’t ever seem able to catch up with me. “What’s worse is that the characterization of Ellie makes it seem like she should also understand this part of the journey. I kept expecting her to grow and turn away from a life of constant violence, but she never picks up on the obvious didactic nature of the game she’s in, even as the designers beat you over the head with a very simple lesson about the value of human life.” I find that very interesting when you juxtapose it with SkillUp’s Daenerys comparison. The Last Of Us Part 2 The Last Of Us Part 2 CREDIT: NAUGHTY DOG Even game director Neil Druckmann says the game isn’t meant to be fun, saying in an interview that "For us, with The Last of Us specifically (Uncharted is a little different in our creative approaches), we don’t use the word 'fun.’ We say 'engaging,' and it might seem like a minor distinction, but it’s an important one for us." While I can see how a grimdark game like this might not be particularly “fun” in the same way as Marvel’s Spider-Man, relentlessly bleak doesn’t sound particularly engaging either. The first game had likable characters who often had touching or humorous interactions despite the dire straits they found themselves in. Ellie represented hope and had a fun, fiery personality that played really well against Joel’s gruffness. But that’s all over now, Baby Blue. This is a game about vengeance and murder, the darkness of humanity and the ways it breaks us. Time’s Eliana Dockterman found the violence numbing in the end, writing that “if Naughty Dog’s intent was to shock, leaning so heavily on the violence has the opposite effect: 30 hours into the game, it’s easy to grow numb to acts of cruelty. That awe-inducing scenery and careful character-building is lost in macabre action. And while the violence of the first game served a compelling moral tale, the over-the-top bloodshed of Part II is all in service of a rather clichéd and tiresome lesson about the endless cycle of revenge. The banter that elevated the first game above mere dystopian fantasy is gone too, as Ellie often navigates this ultra-violent world on her own. It makes for a lonely, depressing experience at a moment when many of us are already feeling lonely and depressed.” Kotaku’s Riley MacLeod wasn’t just numbed by the violence, he became angry after a while, wondering to himself “if the developers thought I was stupid, if they thought the existence of violence had just never occurred to me before.” He talks about the profound experience he and a friend had playing the first game—the fun, the occasional humor, the great characters and how they play off one another, and the way it all ultimately spun together into emotionally stunning crescendo. “The Last of Us 2 didn’t give me any moments like that,” MacLeod writes. “In the above-quoted video, Druckmann says the core of the game is about “these really intimate, intense relationships.” I bring this up not to quote the game’s marketing, but to try to understand what the people who made it thought they were doing. The story I experienced was about relationships only insofar as characters did things to each other. I didn’t learn anything about what it means to be human, or what we’re capable of when we’re hurt, or what can happen when we want to hurt others. The way Joel hurt Ellie in The Last of Us felt relatable to me; even if the fate of humanity has never hung in the balance, I know how it feels to make a desperate, selfish choice to hang on to something you love. The Last of Us 2’s amount of cruelty and violence ultimately overwhelmed any chance of that relatability here. “I didn’t find it prurient—the game doesn’t relish in its gory deaths or emotional suffering. It just takes every opportunity to show them, over and over, and decides that counts as saying something about them. It showed me so much ugliness, and in such detail, that I felt numb as terrible things befell more characters I cared about. Sometimes I did these terrible things myself, through gameplay. Sometimes I just watched things play out in front of me with no say in the matter, a lack of agency that was so skillfully used in the first game. Neither circumstance felt more affecting than the other; both just felt like more. The game’s diversity, which I appreciated at the beginning, just felt like an equal opportunity for different kinds of people to suffer as the game went on. Eventually, my numbness turned to an anger I’ve never felt about a video game. Late one night, I paused the game and asked myself aloud if the developers thought I was stupid, if they thought the existence of violence had just never occurred to me before.” MacLeod concludes: “It’s a visually beautiful game that feels distinct to play, and the story it tells and how it tells it, at the most basic level, certainly pushes the edges of what games have done before. None of those accomplishments elevated or redeemed it for me. Like the nature consuming Seattle, or the outbreak consuming humanity, its ugliness overshadowed everything else.” Ouch. Much has been made of the game’s diversity, with Naughty Dog including people not traditionally seen or included in video games. To have MacLeod say that it “just felt like an equal opportunity for different kinds of people to suffer” is quite the damning statement. Then again, Druckmann himself has noted that even people within the studio questioned the game’s level of violence. The Last Of Us Part 2 The Last Of Us Part 2 CREDIT: NAUGHTY DOG One more before we hit the road. This one is from Vice’s Rob Zacny, who argues that the game falls short of becoming a real tragedy because it only ever pretends at meaning. “Anger and grief are understandable motivations at the start of a revenge quest,” he writes, “but The Last of Us 2 never follows-through on the work of exploring what sustains them past reason and scruple. That’s why it falls short of its ambitions of being a work of tragedy, despite roundly excellent performances by the cast. The characters’ motivations are easy enough to understand, but they’re also increasingly less compelling as the game drags on and the losses mount. It’s little wonder that some of the game’s best moments come during a major subplot that gives us respite from the vendettas—and characters—that drive most of the game’s action. The things that serve as the catalyst for a story aren’t always interesting reasons for its continuation, but that doesn’t stop The Last of Us 2 from revisiting the same traumas every time it needs to justify the next bloodbath, and hoping that the screams and gurgles of the dying will give it meaning. “The Last of Us Part II feels complacent, yet also preoccupied with its predecessor. Every facet of the original game has been expanded and enlarged in the sequel, but not actually improved. It is as if its only inspiration is the original game, and the well of pop culture it was drawing from. There is practically nothing here we haven’t seen and done repeatedly throughout previous Naughty Dog games. It sets out to surpass its predecessor, but the only meaningful contrast between them is in its even more oppressive bleakness and violence. It digs two graves, fills them with blood, and then just fucking wallows in them.” I suppose I’m conflicted after reading all of these and watching SkillUp’s video review. I’m always excited to play the next big game, but this really sounds like an unpleasant slog. In the Kotaku review, MacLeod talks about how characters make terrible, irredeemable choices over and over throughout the game, and this honestly stresses me out to think about. I really did love the first game and I hope the sequel doesn’t diminish my experience with the original, as sequels can sometimes. So it’s a mixture of excitement and dread, I suppose, as the game approaches. It’s not really what I’d pick to play at the start of summer during a global pandemic amidst nationwide police reform / Black Lives Matter protests and during an already stressful election year where a great deal hangs in the balance. There’s enough pain and suffering and misery to go around these days. I’m not sure experiencing grueling suffering in a video game sounds like all that much fun in normal times, but it’s going to be even harder to stomach now. Update June 15th I should add that while this article is very much focused on the doom and gloom reviews (of a very gloomy-sounding game about the doom of humanity), I’m still looking forward to revisiting the story and characters of The Last Of Us, one of my very favorite games from the PS3 era. Hopefully I disagree with the takes I’ve linked to in this article and love every bloody minute of it. This post was not intended to turn people away from playing this game—those people who want to play it and are excited about it will play it regardless, after all, and the balance of positive-to-negative reviews is clearly tilted heavily toward the game being a masterpiece. The reason I focused on the more critical reviews is because I think they’re more helpful in a lot of ways. There’s only so much we can glean from a bunch of 10/10 reviews praising the game as one of the best ever made. Sure, that’s nice to read when you’re a fan and you’re hyped to play something new, but it’s not helpful to people who want to read criticism. Put another way, sometimes it’s smart to read the minority opinion simply because you’ll get something you won’t find elsewhere. In some cases, the minority opinion is the lone voice that likes something everybody else is panning. For instance, when The Orville came out, most critics hated it and I didn’t understand why, so I wrote the lonely positive review. But a lot of viewers agreed with me and thought the critics were wrong (inasmuch as opinions can be wrong). In this instance, the majority of critics are raving about The Last Of Us II, and that’s definitely great news for fans and for Naughty Dog and I’m sure they’ll sell millions of copies. I don’t think pointing to why a handful of critics were disturbed by the game, or found its message lacking or its story full of holes or its characters too changed from the original, will somehow outweigh the dozens of critics who are giving this game perfect scores. But it may be helpful to some readers, or at least I hope so. Since I’m unable to play the game yet and write out my own impressions, this felt like the best way to proceed. For my part, I’ll be playing this game as soon as humanly possible—whether I agree with the majority of the critics or not remains to be seen. I hope I do! I hope it’s as amazing as everyone says it is. The Last Of Us Part 2 comes to PS4 this coming Friday. Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website. Erik Kain Erik Kain I write about video games, TV and movies. Print Site Feedback Tips Corrections Reprints & Permissions Terms Privacy © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. AdChoices Play Video BREAKING|5,576 views|Jun 30, 2020,02:30pm EDT Biden Won’t Hold Any Campaign Rallies Because Of The Coronavirus Pandemic Lisette Voytko Lisette VoytkoForbes Staff Business I cover breaking news. Updated Jun 30, 2020, 03:16pm EDT TOPLINE Joe Biden will not hold rallies for the remainder of his presidential campaign, he said during a speech Tuesday in Wilmington, Delaware, in order to reduce risks of spreading the coronavirus—an announcement that comes about two hours after President Trump reportedly canceled his upcoming Alabama rally for the same reason. APTOPIX Election 2020 Joe Biden Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been seen in public multiple times wearing a mask, will not ... [+] AP PHOTO/MATT SLOCUM KEY FACTS "I'm going to follow the doc's orders, not just for me but for the country," Biden said, adding, “I won’t be holding rallies.” Biden’s announcement follows an earlier report from CNN that President Trump ditched plans for an Alabama rally later this week amid concerns over the ballooning number of coronavirus cases there. Alabama reported over 1,700 Covid-19 cases Monday, a 380% increase from Sunday and its highest one-day total to date, according to the New York Times. Trump, however, is set to move forward with a planned fireworks display over Mount Rushmore on July 4, with South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem telling Fox News on Monday night that no social distancing efforts will be made at the event. PROMOTED Civic Nation BRANDVOICE | Paid Program Growing Voters: An Opportunity For The Nation, For All Of Us UNICEF USA BRANDVOICE | Paid Program COVID-19 Threatens The World's Children In More Ways Than One Also on Monday: Jacksonville, Florida, announced a mask mandate for residents after Trump relocated the marquee events of the Republican National Convention to the city because officials in North Carolina would not promise to exempt the convention, which was scheduled to be held in Charlotte, from social distancing and mask requirements. CRUCIAL QUOTE "Wear a mask. It's not just about you,” Biden said during his Tuesday speech. “It's about your family. It's about your neighbors. It's about your colleagues. It's about keeping other people safe.” KEY BACKGROUND Analysis of the presidential race shows that Trump’s approval ratings and poll standings are faltering amid his response to the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic. Biden, however, has largely refrained from making public appearances in light of public health recommendations to stay home. Trump attempted a return to public rallies in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 20, an event that was sparsely attended after the Trump campaign boasted that nearly a million tickets were requested. “The more that Donald Trump is out the worse he does. I think it is wonderful that he goes out,” Biden said Saturday, adding, “I’m being a bit facetious, because it's dangerous what he's doing with these rallies." FURTHER READING Trump campaign scraps rally ahead of Sessions-Tuberville primary amid pandemic (CNN) Nearly 20 Swing State Polls Were Released Today–Biden Leads In All Of Them (Forbes) Joe Biden rises with a less-is-more campaign (Washington Post) South Dakota Governor Says There ‘Won’t Be Social Distancing’ At Trump’s Mount Rushmore Fireworks Event (Forbes) Full coverage and live updates on the Coronavirus Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip. Lisette Voytko Lisette Voytko I'm a New York-based journalist covering breaking news at Forbes. I hold a master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Previous bylines:… Read More Print Site Feedback Tips Corrections Reprints & Permissions Terms Privacy © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. AdChoices Play Unmute Current Time 0:00 / Duration 1:14 Share Fullscreen Jun 8, 2020,01:25pm EDT The Best Gaming Monitors For 2020 Forbes Personal Shopper Jon MartindaleContributor Forbes Personal ShopperContributor Group Shopping I've been a freelance tech journalist for 15 years, covering everything from PC hardware, to hacking scandals, Bitcoin, and privacy law. All products and services featured are independently selected by Forbes Shopping contributors and editors. When you make a purchase through links on this page, we may earn a commission. The best gaming monitors can do more than just give you access to higher resolutions. Better refresh rates unlock smoother play and lower input lag, frame syncing technologies like Freesync and G-Sync can kill stuttering and screen tearing for good, and better physical designs can lead to better cable management or alternative mounting options. Picture of Samsung CRG9 curved gaming monitor The Samsung CRG9 is an ultrawide monitor that curves around into your peripherals. SAMSUNG NEWSROOM A great gaming monitor isn't going to make you a better gamer, but it can let you bring all of your gaming skill to bear. There's no doubt that an upgrade to one of the best gaming monitors can make the whole gaming experience feel that much better. Below are five of the best gaming monitors you can buy in 2020. Best Overall Gaming Monitor LG Ultragear 27GL850 LG Ultragear 27GL850B B&H PHOTO LG UltraGear 27GL850B $500 BUY FROM B&H PHOTO Resolution: 2,560 x 1,440 Refresh rate: 144Hz Response time: 1ms The best gaming display doesn't have the best of everything. It can't, without its cost ballooning outside of anything reasonable. Instead, for this fantastic Ultragear 27-inch monitor, LG combines the most important of features in a display that's both attractive and affordable. While graphics cards catch up with the ability to render 4K games at high frame rates, the sweet spot for detailed, high speed gaming is 1440p resolution. This screen hits that while offering a 144Hz refresh rate and an amazingly quick 1ms response time. That's doubly impressive, because this screen is based on an IPS panel, giving you the best of both worlds in speed and color clarity. It doesn't matter which graphics card camp you belong to either, as it supports both Nvidia G-Sync and AMD Freesync, guaranteeing a stutter and screen-tearing free, experience. Its viewing angles are great too, and with an excellent input lag of just over four milliseconds, this display makes for a fantastic gaming display where speed matters, whether you're playing alone, or in a hot seat or split screen game with friends. Its only real weakness is relatively low contrast ratio, which is something anyone used to OLED gaming will notice, especially in darkened rooms. But if you don't tend to play in the pitch black, it shouldn't be a huge problem. Best Ultrawide Gaming Monitor Samsung CRG9 Samsung CRG9 AMAZON Samsung 49-Inch CRG9 Curved Gaming Monitor $1236 BUY FROM AMAZON Resolution: 5,120 x 1,440 Refresh rate: 120Hz Response time: 4ms There are ultrawides, and then there are ultrawides. The Samsung CRG9 falls into that latter camp by emulating twin 27-inch, 1440p monitors in a single curved panel. The wraparound isn't just for immersive purposes. When you've got this much screen to work with, having it curve around into your peripherals actually means you don't need to turn your head as much! But don't let a little neck rotation put you off what is one of the most stunning gaming displays ever seen. Packed within that 49-inch display are over seven million pixels (5,120 x 1,440 resolution) for extreme detail and expansive views, whether you're playing an overarching strategy game, or a close-to-the-action shooter or RPG. It also ticks the high-speed gaming boxes with its refresh rate of 120Hz (if you have a graphics card that can handle the higher frame rates) and with a brightness that can reach 1000 nits, this monitor is a fantastic HDR solution for games and movies. It's also compatible with both G-Sync and Freesync, so whether you're an AMD or Nvidia fan, you'll get a gaming experience that is stutter and tearing-free. Most reviews suggest some color tweaking out of the box is necessary to make the most of this display, but how you do that and by how much will depend on your personal preferences. A little time at setup can go a long way though, taking a great display and turning it into something truly special. Best Budget Gaming Monitor ViewSonic XG2402 ViewSonic XG2402 AMAZON ViewSonic XG2402 24-inch 144hz Gaming Monitor $240 BUY FROM AMAZON Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Refresh rate: 144Hz Response time: 1ms While budget technology always means making some sacrifices, that doesn't mean you end up with a bad experience. Indeed, the ViewSonic XG2402 is a perfect example of that rule. It offers a fantastic 1080p gaming experience, with a 144Hz refresh rate and has full support for AMD's Freesync technology too. It has a low response time and low input lag, making this a great display for competitive gaming on a budget. While some displays will slow you down by a few milliseconds, that's not the case with this screen, and it's far cheaper than most, too. Surprising for this price point too, is the capable stand, which allows for minute and larger adjustments to height and position, meaning that you'll never find this screen causing you posture problems. It also comes with a solid selection of HDMI, USB, and DisplayPort connections and its menu is intuitive and easily navigable, letting you make personalized adjustments to the picture, and even save them for specific game or genre profiles, making this display a great pairing for whatever it is you're playing. Best 4K Gaming Monitor Acer Predator X27 Acer Predator X27 AMAZON Acer Predator X27 $1299 $1800 SAVE $501 (28%) BUY FROM B&H PHOTO VIDEO Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 Refresh rate: 144Hz Response time: 4ms While 4K gaming is hard on your system, if you have the GPU for it, there's nothing quite like it. You need a great 4K monitor to take advantage of it, though, as there's little point pairing a monster graphics card with a budget display. If you want the pinnacle of 4K gaming in 2020, the Acer Predator X27 is right up there with the best gaming monitors. Alongside its native 4K resolution, this monitor supports refresh rates all the way up to 120Hz as standard, and 144Hz when overclocked, meaning that if you're playing anything outside the latest AAA games, you'll be able to enjoy buttery smooth gameplay at higher frame rates. That's great for competitive play too, making sure that you don't miss out on the lowest input lag just because you're playing on a 4K panel. It also enjoys full support for G-Sync and Freesync, so you need not worry about stuttering or screen tearing, and with a peak brightnes of 600 nits, it's a pretty solid HDR monitor too. It can't quite hit the brightness of the best HDR displays, and its 4ms response time does see it fall behind the fastest of gaming monitors, but when you consider the overall package, there's nothing quite like the Acer Predator X27 for a premium gaming experience. Especially now that it's seen such a heavy drop in price. When it originally debuted it was almost twice what it is now, making it an absolute steal in 2020. It still feels premium, though, and alongside its gorgeous panel it also enjoys a highly versatile and super sturdy stand that helps it standout among its contemporaries. Best Gaming Monitor for Esports MSI Optix MAG251RX Alienware AW2518HF AMAZON Alienware 25-inch 240Hz Gaming Monitor - AW2518Hf $461 BUY FROM AMAZON Resolution: 1,920 x 1,080 Refresh rate: 240Hz Response time: 1ms When it comes to competitive gaming and Esports, it's all about speed. You need a high refresh rate, low response time, and low input lag. If that's what you want to give yourself the best competitive edge over your fellow players, then there's nothing quite like the Alienware AW2518Hf. While this monitor is 1080p, that's with good reason. It means you'll have no trouble hitting its impressive 240Hz refresh rate, letting you take full advantage of high frame rates to get ahead of the game. Combined with a 1ms response time and an input lag that in some tests is under 3ms, there is almost nothing out there that's faster. At 25-inches wide, too, it's a perfect fit for 1080p. It's not recommended to go much higher at that resolution, but this combination of size and detail gives you plenty of screen real estate within your games and without. This display doesn't have a great contrast ratio, and the way it handles blacks is sub-par, but this isn't a screen that's targeting immersive, expansive gaming experiences. It's built for speed and it has that in droves. It doesn't fall flat on its face outside of competitive games, though. It still enjoys a brightness of up to 400nits, and its Freesync compatibility means you'll never see your screen stutter, even if frame rates do drop lower in more detailed games. MORE FROM FORBES 6 Of The Best Gaming Headsets By Christian de Looper Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website or some of my other

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