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Experience the harsh cold in Near Death, now out on Linux

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Near Death is an interesting attempt at a survival game that doesn't class itself as one. After your plane crash-lands in Antarctica, you find yourself stranded and alone at an abandoned research facility in the midst of a deadly blizzard.

Note: Key provided by developer.

I love the mystery of the intro, as you hear you're going down, but instead of an intro video it's a voice-over as it shows you statistics like the temperature and wind chill. It was a very cool way to do it, to get you thinking right away.

It actually reminds me of The Long Dark quite a bit, similar sort of icy setting and the need to stay warm. This, however, is a finished game and not Early Access like TLD is.

The developers claim it doesn't fall into any definable genre, but I disagree. It firmly feels like a mix between an adventure game and a survival game. Survival due to battling the elements and adventure since it seems to have a story behind it and you have objectives.

I really like how the game is relying on audio cues to know when to warm up, instead of some UI thermostat for your character she starts making chilly noises. This is the type of game that actually makes me feel cold playing it, I actually had the shivers a few times when my character did as the atmosphere is very well crafted.

The ambient music is pretty incredible to listen to too, very impressed. Gives the game a fantastic immersive feel to it, without the audio getting in the way of the overall experience. Perfectly compliments the gameplay.

Performance wise, on my 980ti I haven't had a problem. Seems to be a mostly solid 60FPS with no option to turn VSYNC off, I say mostly as it has drops to 56FPS at times. That's one thing the game is lacking, it has no real graphical options.

It works fine with dual monitors too, starts on the correct monitor and doesn't give me some funky resolution. That's always fantastic to see working correctly.

Will give it some more detailed thoughts in future when I have been able to put more time into it. Liking it so far!

You can find Near Death on Steam. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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12 comments
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tuubi Aug 2, 2016
Quoting: liamdaweSeems to be a mostly solid 60FPS with no option to turn VSYNC off, I say mostly as it has drops to 56FPS at times.
Sounds more like a limiter than v-sync. Otherwise you'd drop down to 30 as soon as it goes below 60.
Liam Dawe Aug 2, 2016
Quoting: tuubi
Quoting: liamdaweSeems to be a mostly solid 60FPS with no option to turn VSYNC off, I say mostly as it has drops to 56FPS at times.
Sounds more like a limiter than v-sync. Otherwise you'd drop down to 30 as soon as it goes below 60.
Who knows, without any options I sure don't :P
Beamboom Aug 2, 2016
Wow this looks really interesting. I've always had a fascination for the atmosphere that comes with wind and cold, but don't like the meaninglessness of pure survival games. So this game here, with a story and even a female protagonist, well this one goes straight onto my wishlist.
Tak Aug 2, 2016
Quoting: tuubiOtherwise you'd drop down to 30 as soon as it goes below 60.
Not how vsync works.
Beamboom Aug 2, 2016
... But are there really any story to speak of? Neither the game description nor the videos on Steam, or any of the user "reviews" implies so?


Last edited by Beamboom on 2 August 2016 at 8:16 pm UTC
Liam Dawe Aug 2, 2016
Quoting: GuestIndeed with vsync it should drop directly to 30 FPS.
No, it won't. I've run VSYNC in many games, it means it cannot go higher than your refresh rate.

Quoting: Tak
Quoting: tuubiOtherwise you'd drop down to 30 as soon as it goes below 60.
Not how vsync works.
I would listen to Tak (he works for Unity ;))
tuubi Aug 2, 2016
Quoting: Tak
Quoting: tuubiOtherwise you'd drop down to 30 as soon as it goes below 60.
Not how vsync works.
Yes it's exactly how traditional v-sync works. If a v-synced app misses a v-blank, it needs to wait for the next one. So in practice whenever a game cannot manage to draw a finished frame in time for each refresh at 60Hz (or whatever your monitor refresh rate happens to be) it can only display at half that rate, causing very noticeable judder.

Of course this is why there's stuff like Nvidia's Adaptive v-sync, which simply disables syncing whenever the FPS goes below the screen refresh rate, but what I described is certainly how most of my V-synced games still work. Easy to check with an FPS counter. BTW, seems like Adaptive v-sync can be enabled globally in Nvidia's Windows control panel, but not in Linux. And they've had a feature request pending for years.

Feel free to enlighten me if I'm wrong, or if I'm simply working on outdated information.


EDIT:
Quoting: liamdaweI would listen to Tak (he works for Unity ;))
Then I'd be happy to be enlightened by him. :)


Last edited by tuubi on 2 August 2016 at 8:45 pm UTC
Beamboom Aug 3, 2016
Regarding vsync, if it can't push the next frame within the frame rate of the screen it will hold that frame instead of drawing half a new frame, but it does not mean it will drop to thirty frames for that entire second unless it has to keep holding every second frame.

So in theory you are all right, technically between the two 60th frames it's down to 30 but in practise the rate can and will still fluctuate during a span of one second.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3 August 2016 at 12:33 pm UTC
tuubi Aug 3, 2016
Quoting: BeamboomSo in theory you are all right, technically between the two 60th frames it's down to 30 but in practise the rate can and will still fluctuate during a span of one second.
True. This in no way contradicts what I said, or at least I don't think it does, so I don't know where "in theory" and "technically" come from.

Oh, I guess if you measure FPS using an average--which is entirely logical--instead of the traditional, dumb way, you will get FPS numbers between 60 and 30 at the boundary.
Beamboom Aug 3, 2016
Quoting: tuubiOh, I guess if you measure FPS using an average--which is entirely logical--instead of the traditional, dumb way, you will get FPS numbers between 60 and 30 at the boundary.

No averages are calculated - it's the total number of frames during a second that tells the number of frames during a second (obviously). So a FPS counter tells you the number of frames sent to the monitor during the last second. Not the last 1/30th of a second added up to a full second, but the actual number delivered last second.

If a game with vsync enabled delivers say 50 frames during a second (and it can), it is fifty frames during that second, ergo 50fps. You're just been given 50 full pictures and not partially written frames due to sync issues.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3 August 2016 at 2:31 pm UTC
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