Ground Zero is your new place to frag

By on November 19, 2011

The first Razer-sponsored gaming cafe in the country.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

This past Thursday, we were invited to visit a new gaming cafe sprouted up in our united Arab soil. While that alone may not be worth writing for, what with the dime-a-dozen of gaming cafes stashed away in all corners of the country, this one is a bit different: it has Razer.

Ground Zero, a neat little place slotted in a quite corner of the popular JBR Walk, is one of the first gaming cafe to have partnered up with Razer, who will not only receive fragging arsenals and uber-cool posters to green up the place, but will also be host to a major local community investment planned by the popular hardware manufacturer.

Let us give you a quick run-down of the place.

Before the mayhem.

The Gig:
Dipped in black, with hues of green and blue floating in space, the Ground Zero gaming cafe looks almost surreal, and also ridiculously calming for a gaming cafe, if you know (or have been a part of) what I mean.

The best part of the cafe, for me at least, is it’s focus. When you enter the place, all you will first take in is the rows and rows of PCs covering the middle and the sides and corners of the area. There are 50 of them in total, with a portion of them reserved for the VIP Room.

If you don’t find a seat, or are tried of getting your softer side whooped in Counter Strike or Call of Duty, you can choose to lounge in the two-screen console area. The lounge is sponsored by Sony, so it’s all Playstation in there.

The Sony PS3 lounge.

The Hardware:
Teaming up with Razer has its benefits, of course, so we expected to see some kick ass hardware. We weren’t disappointed. The regular area have been fitted with Razer Copperhead for mouse, Razer Goliathus mouse pad, Razer Carcharias headset and Razer Lycosa for keyboard (non-mirror version). The VIP gets a slightly different setup: Razer Deathadder for the mouse and Razer BlackWidow for the keyboard; the mouse pad and headset remains the same.

As for the PCs, they are standard all across with an Intel Core i3-2100 processor, 4GB of RAM, 1TB of HDD, and a AMD HD6850.

It's all things Razer in there.

The Games:
The cafe uses SmartLaunch, a popular content and billing management solution from Denmark, to power its user-interface. While i really cannot comment on its efficiency and quality over the other alternatives, the UI at least is sleek, smooth and easy to use.

In terms of games, the cafe covers the prerequisites: Counter Strike 1.6, Starcraft 2, Modern Warfare 3, DOTA, Left 4 Dead 2 and World of Warcraft. It also carries single player games like Deus Ex, and smaller Steam games like Alien Swarm, too.

For the Playstation area, you can pick from either FIFA 12, PES 2012, Modern Warfare 3, or from a selection of Move titles.

Other than the games, you can also choose to surf the net or while away time watching movies.

They call it the Montreal Poutine. I call it Awesome.

The Food:
It’s hardly the make or break when choosing a gaming cafe, but it doesn’t hurt to keep the senses in check with some good quality stuff between the fragging sessions. The menu is customized by Big Daddy’s, with the Big Daddy himself flying down to teach the chef the nitty-gritties of being, you know, a big daddy.

While we didn’t have enough time to try the crowd favorites like the Ground Zero Hotdog or the Big Daddy’s Burger, we did arouse our taste buds with Montreal Poutine, a large bowl of house fries with melted cheese and homemade gravy. It tasted as good as it sounds. Possibly even better.

We got the whole menu for you, by the way, so have a look:

Big Daddy's touch.

The Price:
For the regular area, you will be charged AED 10 per hour, with an hour free if you subscribe for 5 hours; and three hours free if you sign up for 10 hours. For the VIP area, it’s AED 15 per hour, with similar hourly deals as the regular area.

For the Playstation lounge, the rates are AED 20 per hour per console (and not per controller).

If you would like to score a free hour, just ‘like’ their Facebook page or refer a friend to the cafe. Alternatively, you can take part in our competition where we are giving away an hour free to 10 participants.


Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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