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Is Your Windows 8 Tablet Fast Enough For PC Gaming?

Racing Games: Need For Speed World and Burnout Paradise

Burnout Paradise

Burnout Paradise is another of my favorites. It's a shame that developer Criterion Games got redirected to the Need For Speed franchise. While Most Wanted was great in its own regard, and indeed the spiritual successor to Burnout Paradise, it lost a good measure of Criterion's cheeky attitude in the process.

Regardless, Burnout Paradise still looks fantastic, and it's a wonderful example of a console port done right. The game runs well on entry-level hardware; we were able to set it at the tablet's native 1280x800 resolution, albeit with minimum detail settings.

In my opinion, an analog control stick is essential for racing games, and the SteelSeries Free works like a charm. Unfortunately, GestureWorks' Gameplay profile for Burnout Paradise didn't work for us, though the developers got it working on their end.

I'm happy to say that Burnout Paradise is very much playable on Dell's Venue 8 Pro.

Need For Speed World

Free-to-play MMOs aren't limited to RPGs; EA entered the fray with Need for Speed World. You can spend virtual winnings from street races to buy cars, upgrade your ride, and customize paint jobs and liveries. The game oftentimes feels like pay-to-win. Still, you can get a lot of enjoyment out of the title without putting any cash into it, so long as you don't mind the grind.

The worst thing I can say about this game involves its terribly limited gamepad options. The list of supported hardware is very short. Its a complete mystery as to why Need for Speed World doesn't recognize generic Windows gamepads, but we weren't able to get it working with the SteelSeries Free. And I couldn't get the game to launch with GestureWorks' Gameplay controller enabled. So, I took it for a spin with the Bluetooth mouse and keyboard combination instead.

We set the game to the tablet's native 1280x800 resolution with the level of detail set to Low (one notch above minimum).

The game runs smoothly on a tablet. I noticed a few dropped frames at launch, but performance was consistent after that. Of course, latency issues are more of a worry during multiplayer races, but that problem is just as prevalent on the desktop.

  • batman2142
    Same article with SP3 would be a worthy read since it gives a chance to see how their HD4400 vs HD5000 on the variants match up, and if possible a projection on what the newer chipset that wont be making into the current SP3 but might make into the refresh by holiday season?
    Reply
  • AMD Radeon
    Great Review :)

    Finally i see one noticeable advantage of Windows Tablet over Android
    Reply
  • blackmagnum
    Burn your hands on the tablet while gaming, why don't you?
    Reply
  • iPeekYou
    "...turning it into a portable PC gaming console..."

    Does not compute
    Reply
  • K-beam
    Awesome article, Don, I have had the same thoughts recently. I think we would have appreciated some more info especially on:
    - Battery (maybe most important when you speak of portablility) - how long does it last with this model. I was eyeing the Asus Transformer Book T100TA, which they say has a quite respectable battery (but is also more expensive)
    - Does a PS3 controller (free, if you have a PS3) work with it?
    I would ideally have liked to see a mention of the Prince of Persia / Max Payne (1+2) / (Older) Tomb Raider / Splinter cell (1-4) and similar older third-person adventure games. In my opinion those work marvellously with a PS3 gamepad. Ah, I forgot - I wonder whether the touch would work directly with games from the Monkey Island series. Ah, another great genre for playing on a tablet, that was totally missed here - turn-based strategy games like the Heroes of Might and Magic series and Civilization (4). And also the grand-daddy of "modern" open-world FPSs - FarCry 1 :)
    The biggest risk with those games is still compatibility with touch/Win 8.
    An expanded re-visit maybe when the new generation of chips come out from either from Intel or AMD?
    Reply
  • CaptainTom
    I mean isn't the controller choice obvious: PS4. It connects via bluetooth and has a touchpad so you can control the menus with a mouse.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    If you bought a Surface Pro 3 it probably wasn't to play games, but nice to know it is one of the best performers out there in the tablet range
    Reply
  • ScrewySqrl
    What I want to know is why has no one pushed an AMD APU into one of these windows tablets for gaming?
    Reply
  • K-beam
    I am also thinking SteamOS as dual boot...
    Reply
  • K-beam
    What's up with these multiple posts!!! Sorry for the splamming, it seems every time the page gets refreshed, the post is re-submitted!
    Reply