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Game of the year 2019: TechRadar’s favorite Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC titles – TechRadar

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It’s been an interesting year for gaming, as the current generation of consoles slowly creep towards the end of their lifecycles. The PS5 and Xbox Series X are officially on the way, landing in late 2020, meaning we’re in a kind of limbo between developers releasing games for this generation and announcing plans for next-generation games – some might even crossover.

Despite being in this weird limbo, we’ve played some fantastic games this year. We’ve revisited Raccoon City, cursed FromSoftware once again, tried to catch em’ all and bothered villagers as a troublesome goose. But which games have truly stood out in 2019?

It’s been a hard task, but the TechRadar team has put their heads together and thrashed out which games were our favorites this year. These aren’t necessarily the games we think have had the most cultural or technological impact, nor are they ranked, they’re simply the team’s favorite games from this year. Let’s be honest, you may not agree with all our picks  – as we all have different tastes and opinions – but it’s hard to put together a list that will please everyone.

So, without further ado, these are TechRadar’s games of the year 2019.

Best Virtual Reality Game

(Image credit: SIE London Studio)

Blood & Truth

Blood & Truth is one of our favorite VR games ever, never mind this year. Sony London Studio truly knocked it out of the park with this Guy Ritchie style FPS that shows that VR shooters can be wondefully immersive – and downright fun.

Its storyline is super cheesy but, mechanically, Blood & Truth is a marvel, allowing you to interact with objects and weapons as you would in real life (well as much as is possible in VR) and smoothly move from cover to cover through levels. 

Honorable mentions: Trover Saves the Universe and Wolfenstein: Cyber Pilot.

Read more: Blood and Truth: how Sony’s London Studio is taking VR to the next level.

Best Mobile Game

(Image credit: Pokémon Company)

Pokémon Masters

Pokémon Masters was somewhat of a surprise success. We always knew it wouldn’t hold a light to Niantic’s Pokémon Go, but the free-to-play mobile game has definitely held its own in 2019. 

Allowing players to battle their way through the Pokémon Masters League, Pokémon Masters emphasizes teamwork and puts the focus on trainer battles. It’s been a great year for Pokemon.

Honorable mentions: What the Golf? and Sayonara Wild Hearts.

Best Action Game

(Image credit: FromSoftware/Activision)

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

FromSoftware isn’t known for making easy breezy games and Sekiro is no different. But that’s exactly why we love it. Sekiro is what happens if DDR was an action game set in a gothic ancient Japan. It’s breathtaking.

However, if you can’t quite get a hang of the rhythm, then things are pretty tough going. FromSoftware’s most recent offering is more punishing than we’ve seen before, but rare moments of success are extremely rewarding – you just need the patience for it. 

Honorable mentions: Resident Evil 2 Remake and Devil May Cry 5.

Check out our full Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review.

Best Action/Adventure Game

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

2019 has been a fantastic year for remasters and Link’s Awakening is one of the best. Nintendo took the original 1993 and redesigned it for the Switch, giving it a new toy-like art style that simply adds to the charm.

Link’s Awakening brings classic Zelda to a younger generation, while improving upon issues that original fans may have had. It’s a wonderful trip down memory lane for fans while also being easily accessible for newbies. We love it.

Honorable mentions: Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.

Check out our full The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening review.

Best RPG

(Image credit: Obsidian Entertainment)

The Outer Worlds

When Obsidian Entertainment announced it was releasing a new RPG, there was little doubt that the Fallout: New Vegas developer would let us down. And it didn’t.

Although it’s not totally perfect, The Outer Worlds is as close to a new Fallout game as we’re going to get right now. Blending interesting characters, peculiar creatures, choices galore and a heap of satire, The Outer Worlds sees Obsidian securing its crown as the king of RPGs.

Honorable mentions: Disco Elysium and Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Read more: How The Outer Worlds escaped the shadow of Fallout, according to its creators.

Best Online Multiplayer Game

(Image credit: Respawn Entertainment)

Apex Legends

Apex Legends took us all by surprise when it kicked down the battle royale door back in February, introducing some fantastic quality-of-life features like sliding and pinging that have since been lifted by its competitors. 

While Apex Legends may not have quite taken the crown from Fortnite, its certainly taken 2019 by storm and we’re hoping Respawn Entertainment has some tricks up its sleeves to keep players interested in 2020.

Honorable mentions: Destiny 2: Shadowkeep and Tetris 99.

Check out our full Apex Legends review.

Best Racing/Sports Game

(Image credit: Beenox/Activision)

Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled

Now, we know that not everyone will agree with this choice. CTR isn’t the most technical racing game but it’s a lot of fun and we love this remaster just as much as the original – if not more. 

Following in the footsteps of the N.Sane Trilogy, Nitro-Fueled sees Crash and co getting a modern makeover. This remaster rolls together content from Crash team Racing, Crash Tag Team Racing and Crash Nitro Kart into one madcap game that you can play solo or online.

Honorable mentions: FIFA 20 and Need for Speed: Heat.

Read more: Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is a ridiculously fun ride down memory lane.

Best Fighting Game

(Image credit: NetherRealm Studios)

Mortal Kombat 11

It’s not been a great year for fighting games, so this wasn’t a particularly difficult choice. Mortal Kombat 11 sees the brutal series returning better (and bloodier) than ever before, while introducing some fresh new features, like Fatal Blows) that move the series forward. 

The campaign is solid but really, MK11 does what we expect: let us beat the living heck out of eachother.

Honorable mentions: None (it’s been a poor year for fighting games).

Best Narrative Game

(Image credit: ZA/UM)

Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium has been the dark horse of 2019 for a lot of people, releasing at the tail end to critical acclaim. And it deserves every ounce of that recognition.

Disco Elysium is like if someone made an RPG about Hunter S. Thompson as a grizzled detective. It’s bizarre and wonderful. The best part of Disco Elysium? The writing and story. The conversation trees are unlike anything else we’ve seen this year and show that a game doesn’t need to be big budget to tug at our emotions.

Honorable mentions: Control and Outer Wilds.

Best Indie Game

(Image credit: House House)

Untitled Goose Game

It’s a lovely day and you’re a horrible, horrible goose. That’s right, Untitled Goose Game sees you wreaking havoc on some (probably lovely) unsuspecting villagers in House House’s indie meme machine.

But the memes aren’t the only reason we love Untitled Goose Game. It’s the exact type of (almost) wholesome content we love to see in an indie game, artistically beautiful and the synchronization between the music and slapstick humor is sheer brilliance. HONK. 

Honorable mentions: Outer Wilds and Disco Elysium.

Game of the Year

(Image credit: Capcom)

Resident Evil 2 Remake

It’s the biggie and it was a tough call. But Resident Evil 2 Remake is officially TechRadar’s Game of the Year.

Resident Evil 2 shows how a remake should be done, elevating the original game into a masterful modern horror experience. The attention to detail is astounding, encouraging players to properly explore RCPD and soak in the experience. Plus, exploring is a welcome break from trying to solve Resident Evil 2’s head-scratching puzzles. 

Best of all, you don’t just have to play it once, you can replay again and again. And we sure will.

Honorable mentions: Control and Death Stranding.

Check out our full Resident Evil 2 Remake review.

Most Excited About

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077

Once again Cyberpunk 2077 is the game we’re most excited about. It won the same category last year but, now that we know more about it (like that Keanu Reeves will be in it), we’re more hyped than ever.

CD Projekt Red’s massive dystopian RPG will finally hit shelves on April 16, 2020 and we cannot wait to get our hands on what’s sure to be one of the best games of 2020 – well, if the Witcher 3 is anything to go by.

Honorable mentions: The Last of Us Part 2 and Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

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New photos reveal more details about Google’s Pixel 9 Pro Fold

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Google’s secret new line of Pixel 9 phones isn’t that big of a secret anymore. Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) released new photos of the phones including the Pixel 9 Pro Fold from almost every conceivable angle.

Android Authority found the photos in the NCC archives and uploaded galleries of each of the four phones including the Pixel 9, 9 Pro, 9 Pro XL and 9 Pro Fold. They reveal some interesting details about the new Pixel phones.

The charging rates will be a little faster than the last generation of Pixel phones: Taiwanese authorities measured 24.12W for the base model, 25.20W for the Pro and 32.67W for the 9 Pro XL. The Pixel 9 Pro Fold, however, was the slowest of all of them at 20.25W. These numbers don’t often match up perfectly with the advertised ratings, so expect Google to be promoting higher numbers at its event.

Speaking of chargers, it looks like Google needed a bigger charger to power its new phones. Photos included in the NCC leak show each phone will come with a wall charger that’s around 45W depending on which model you purchase. The charger’s plug moved from the middle to the top of the brick.

The Google Pixel 9 Pro Fold can fully unfold.
NCC/Android Authority

The latest photo dump also shows the 9 Pro Fold unfolded for the first time. Google has moved the selfie camera to the inside screen for a wider field of view. The 9 Pro Fold also has a slimmer top and bottom, a reduced fold crease on the display and a full 180 degree unfolding angle to make a screen that’s just over 250mm or just under 10 inches.

These photos are the latest in a very long list of leaks of Google Pixel 9 photos. The last Pixel 9 leak came down yesterday showing two prototype models of the base and XL models. Google might look into buying a new combination lock for the high school locker where they apparently keep all their unreleased gear.

 

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Apple Wallet now supports Canada’s Presto card, with Express Transit

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Apple Wallet now supports the Presto transit card used in Ontario, Canada. The card can be used for travel in Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa.

The digital version of the card includes the Express Transit Pass feature, meaning that you can tap in and out without having to authenticate …

 

Ontario’s Presto card

The Presto contactless smart card system was first trialled back in 2007, and started the full rollout in 2009. The card can be used across 11 different transit systems in the areas covered.

Apple Wallet support was first promised many years ago, but things went quiet until a “coming soon” announcement back in May of this year.

Although the contactless terminals allow the use of credit and debit cards for regular fares, a Presto card is needed for monthly passes and discounted travel.

Apple Wallet support now available

The company made the announcement today.

Tap to ride with PRESTO on iPhone and Apple Watch.

Traveling around town just got easy with your PRESTO in Apple Wallet. With Express Mode, you don’t need to wake or unlock your iPhone or Apple Watch or open any apps to use PRESTO in Apple Wallet. Just hold your device near the reader to pay and go.

Ride, even when your iPhone needs a charge

If your iPhone needs a charge, PRESTO Card in Apple Wallet will still work. Power Reserve provides up to five hours of support, so you can still ride.

Reload on the go. 

With your PRESTO card on your iPhone and Apple Watch, you can easily load funds, right from Apple Wallet or PRESTO App. No need to visit a customer service outlet.

Extra security. Built right in 

PRESTO in Apple Wallet can take full advantage of the privacy and security features built into iPhone and Apple Watch. Your PRESTO card is stored on the device, which means Apple does not see when you use it—helping keep your data private and secure.

If you lose your iPhone or Apple Watch, you can use the Find My app to lock and help locate the device and suspend your PRESTO card or remotely erase the device and its cards.

Mobile Syrup reports that you can choose between adding your existing card to your Wallet, or creating a new one.

There are two ways to add a Presto card to Apple Wallet. You can either buy a new card or move your old one over using the Presto app.

That being said, for simplicity’s sake, unless you have a discounted Presto agreement like a student or senior plan, I think most riders will be happy just making a new card in Apple Wallet and loading funds from that app.

As with any digital card or pass, you can use either your iPhone or Apple Watch, but because each generates a unique virtual card number, you need to use the same device at both ends of your journey.

Express Transit feature

To minimize delays, Presto offers Express Transit support. This means that you don’t need to authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone, and you don’t need to double-tap the side button on your Apple Watch. Simply hold your device close to the pad and you’re good (a number of clues are used to detect fraudulent use).

Express Transit also has the advantage that it continues to work in Low Power mode, so you’ll still be able to complete your journey even if your phone or Watch is almost dead.

Image: Presto

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The OnePlus Pad 2 Wants to Be the iPad Air of Android Tablets

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The original OnePlus Pad was a decent all-around Android tablet, but it was not amazing in any one area. Now, OnePlus is back with a new tablet device that packs more power, has a better screen, more speakers, and a higher starting price. OnePlus offers an Android tablet alternative that costs less than the latest iPad Airs, though it seems like it’s hewing very close to the rendition from 2023. 

The OnePlus Pad 2 is a one-size-fits-all 12.1-inch 3K tablet. At $550 for 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, it’s $70 more than the first OnePlus Pad, though it starts with more memory and twice as much internal storage as the first go around’s paltry 128 GB. It’s bigger than the 11.6 LCD on last year’s Pad, though now it’s beefed its resolution to 3K (3000 x 2120) with a stated 600 nits typical and 900 nits peak brightness. It has a variable refresh rate between 30 and 144 Hz, though it’s still an LCD screen, the same as the 2023 OnePlus Pad.

Just like last year’s version, the new Pad supports Dolby Atmos, but it boasts a six-stereo speaker configuration on either side of the device. It may not be as specifically sound-tailored as the Lenovo Tab Plus, but what’s promised is a solid middle ground. 

Last year’s tablet used MediaTek Dimensity 9000 CPU, which was good enough for most applications but not exactly top of its class. The Pad 2 is now powered with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 mobile chip. Gizmodo has already experienced some of the chip’s capabilities in Samsung’s latest foldables, and already it’s very promising. We haven’t yet had the chance to compare a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 tablet to Apple’s latest iPad Air with M2, though on the whole, M2 usually performs better than Qualcomm’s mobile chips in bare benchmark tests. How much that matters depends on what programs you expect to use on your tablet. 

Image: OnePlus

Every device maker thinks they need AI to compete, and OnePlus isn’t an outlier here. There are promised “AI Toolbox” features like AI text-to-speech and recording summaries. The AI Eraser 2.0 will also work like Google’s Magic Eraser to remove unwanted photo elements. 

There’s a new $99 OnePlus Stylo 2 and a $150 Oneplus Smart Keyboard to accompany the new tablet. Despite the size and price difference, there will be many similarities between last year’s and the 2024 model. The Pad 2 has the same 9,510 mAh battery as last year’s, plus the 67W “SUPERVOOC” fast charging. It promises 43 days of standby time, though in our experience, the first Pad’s lifespan and promised “one-month standby life” was far more modest in practice, lasting most of the day before needing a recharge. 

With a bigger screen, the upcoming Pad 2 is slightly heavier than last year’s rendition. It weighs about 1.3 pounds, so it’s exactly between the 11- and 13-inch iPad Airs or slightly more than the base 11-inch Galaxy Tab S9 (and far less than the humongous Tab S9 Ultra). It will be relatively thin at 6.49 mm, but it’s not beating the iPad Air’s 6.1 mm or the iPad Pro 13-inch’s holy grail 5.1 mm.

The first OnePlus Pad didn’t exactly break new ground in any one category, though it did show Android tablets had legs. We’ve seen attempts from Goole and its Pixel Tablet, though that, too, wasn’t the pioneer of Android tablets. A better chip and more speakers do seem promising, though, in its effort to be everything to everyone, we’ll need to see if it manages to stand out in any area.

The OnePlus Pad 2 is now available for preorder. It should be available on the OnePlus website starting July 30 and on Amazon starting August.

 

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