Xbox 360

May 6, 2013

MMORPG Update: Destiny Awaits

“From the creators of Halo and the publishers of Call of Duty comes Destiny… the next evolution of entertainment” http://www.destinythegame.com

Destiny Screen Shot

Although there has been no date for launch officially released for Destiny, it has had a lot of coverage in recent months and there seem to be a lot of questions surrounding the release that remain unanswered, at least for the time being. Bungie, the developers behind the game in association with Activision, have been careful to avoid labelling the game as an MMO instead describing it as an always-online FPS that will incorporate MMO elements referring to it as a ‘shared-world shooter’ because it doesn’t follow all the traditional elements of an MMO game, e.g., you won’t be able to see and interact with all players on your server, instead you would be matched up with other players by the game which will be driven by a brand new game engine which builds upon Bungie’s ‘hopper’ technology that has been used within the Halo games. It is expected that Destiny will be a cross-platform game being released for the XBox360 and PS3, perhaps even the next generation consoles, particularly the PS4. Bungie have definitely stated that Destiny will definitely have a presence on these new generation consoles however they have not yet stated whether this will be in time for launch. Also, as a PC gamer I was interested in Destiny being released for the PC market and there seemed to be some insinuation that gamers just don’t play FPS on PCs anymore… not entirely sure who came up with that one because it’s definitely not what I see, but in all honesty I can’t see this game being released without a PC version, it is a major game and has been under development for years and given the investment I don’t think it will be left off.

The game is set in the future on a post-apocalyptic earth, the survivors of the apocalypse, saved by a being known as the traveler, now call upon a yet unknown power that seems to be connected to the traveler to defend Earth’s last remaining city. As a Guardian of the City you are tasked with destroying the hostile alien races that have taken hold before humanity is completely wiped out. You will be able to choose one of three distinct races as a Guardian: Human, Awoken, or Exo, as well as one of three classes: Hunter, Warlock, or Titan. Each race and class has it’s own unique abilities and it is the combination of a Guardian race and class that determines the kind of Guardian you will be. For more information on what the game will look like and the creative vision of Bungie take a look at the video clip below or for more information visit the official website at: www.destinythegame.com.

April 18, 2013

Dishonored: The Knife of Dunwall – Now Available

Dishonored DLC image

Take on the role of Daud, the legendary assassin who killed the Empress. This second add-on pack for the award-winning first person action game from Arkane Studios gives you a new perspective on Daud, and access to his weapons, gadgets, allies and supernatural abilities.http://bethsoft.com/en-gb/games/knife_of_dunwall

March 17, 2013

New game arrivals in the next 3 months

Bioshock Infinite

The third installment in the Bioshock series is a first person shooter set in 1912. Players assume the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt on a rescue mission to save a young woman named Elizabeth. During their escape, Booker and Elizabeth form a powerful bond – together they fight their way through a storyline packed with twists and turns.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release: 26th March 2013

Defiance

Defiance is a science-fiction MMO shooter from Trion Worlds. Players are enlisted as Ark Hunters to travel to the San Francisco Bay Area in search of advanced alien technology after a massive world-wide event led to the the fall of plant and animal species and the rise to new species. Futhermore, several alien species came to Earth which led to war, further devastating the planet.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release: 2nd April 2013

Star Trek

This is a third-person action-adventure game, developed by Digital Extremes and co-published by Namco Bandai Games and Paramount Pictures. Players can assume either the role of Captain Kirk or Spock, the two characters are intended to show different gameplay techniques, with Kirk being the more typical shooter while Spock has stealth techniques – but each are armed with weapons to reflect their gameplay style.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release: 26th April 2013

Grid 2

A racing video game developed by Codemasters, Grid 2 is the sequel to Race Driver: Grid. It includes real world locations such as Abu Dhabi, Paris and US states to name a few and lets you choose cars spanning four decades. Check out the trailer below, there are some seriously sexy rides going on.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release: 31st May 2013

January 5, 2013

Escaping Titan: When science and gaming collide

Escaping Titan sounds like just another space-based RPG, but it’s not only the game that interests me, it’s the science behind the game.

Broken Crown Logo

Escaping Titan is a post-apocalyptic single-player RPG, developed by Broken Crown Games, where our solar system has a new governmental order with Saturn’s moon Titan at the center of it. You are an individual looking to escape the corruption of the new capital city, you must acquire a ship, recruit a crew, haggle for supplies, and determine your destination, all in your attempt to escape Titan. Broken Crown Games aim to describe the game saying that “a simple, but not perfect, way to describe it would be to mix the sci-fi RPG elements of Mass Effect with the plausibility and educational value of Oregon Trail”. But the fascinating aspect of this game is the thinking behind the storyline, Broken Crown Games, have recently launched a forum, ‘Science Behind the Sci-Fi‘, which will serve as a platform from where the studio can bounce ideas between gamers and actual scientists, covering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics topics. This forum is comprised of a panel of four scientists in fields related to the science-fiction used within Escaping Titan:

Paleobotany: Jamie Boyer, Ph.D.
Neuroscience: Robert Hampson, Ph.D.
Astrobiology: Jacob Haqq-Mirsra, Ph.D.
Astromony and Astrophysics: Amitai Bin-Nun, Ph.D.

In order to draw attention to the scientific content from the panelists the development team will be using previews of the game on the panelist blogs to illustrate how the science has been using to create the story within Escaping Titan. They will be able to focus on all those questions that science fiction throws up in relation to existence as we know it, e.g., How will we breathe on a planet with no atmosphere? What will we eat and will it be nutritionally sufficient? What shelter will we need? What effect will the environment have on the human body? Introductions and biographies of the panelists are all up on the forum now, as well as the first post from Jamie Boyer, ‘What’s for dinner?‘.

Additionally we shouldn’t just think of this interaction between gaming and science as an isolated incident, if we look back to 2011 gamers actually solved the structure of a retrovirus enzyme whose configuration had stumped scientists for more than a decade, the results were then published in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology – the positive associations work both ways.

Broken Crown Games also has two additional games in pre-production: Surviving Mars and Colonizing Keplar, with Escaping Titan having a planned release date of
quarter four 2014 for PC, Mac, Linux, OUYA, (and possibly Xbox 360).

I think this is something I’ll follow and I’m looking forward to hearing what the panelists have to say. For more information on Escaping Titan and the Science Behind the Sci-Fi forum visit the Broken Crown Games Official Site: http://brokencrowngames.com.

December 16, 2012

Coming next year: Games to look forward to

Upcoming games image for 2013

Christmas is coming and if you’re anything like me some of that time that I get off work is going to be spent totally submerged in gaming – I’m already looking forward to it. What I’m also looking forward to are the titles that are coming up in 2013, these are the ones that we’ve seen at events like E3 and Gamescom this year. I’m particularly interested in seeing The Elder Scrolls Online when it comes out next year, The Elder Scrolls goes from single-player to MMO, I have a feeling it’s going to be good.

Dead Space 3

Developed by Visceral Games this title is the highly anticipated sequel to Dead Space 2, a survival horror third-person shooter, Dead Space 3 sees Isaac Clarke pitted against the Necromorphs in a struggle to end the scourge forever. You will also be able to fight in co-op mode now or run solo, which is even easier with the drop in drop out functionality, so you can team up with a partner at any checkpoint in the game.

– Release date: 8th February 2013
http://www.deadspace.com/

Aliens: Colonial Marines

They’re back! Developed by Gearbox Software this first-person shooter is cross-platform and is set after the events of the film Aliens 3. The game employs drop-in/drop-out co-op for up to 4 players online or 2 players locally. If the recent prequel in the Aliens series has peaked your interest this will be one not to miss next year.

– Release date: February 2013
http://www.sega.co.uk/alienscolonialmarines

Crysis 3

In this, the third installment of the Crysis series, take on the aliens in New York City’s Nanodrome where you become the hunter. Crysis 3 will be utilising the CryEngine 3 game engine giving you stunning graphics and an amazing gameplay experience.

– Release date: February 2013
http://www.crysis.com/us/crysis-3

Carmageddon: Reincarnation

Carmageddon is back, this time more gory than ever! This game was covered a lot over the course of this year and if there’s a more exciting vehicle combat game waiting in the wings I’d like to know about it. This game is the fourth in the series following Carmageddon, Carmageddon II: Carpocalypse Now and Carmageddon: TDR 2000.

– Release date: Febrary 2013
http://www.carmageddon.com/reincarnation

Company of Heroes 2

If real-time strategy games are your thing, why not try this WW2 sequel coming next year. You are in command of the Soviet Red Army, your goal to free Russia from the Nazi threat of 1941 on the Eastern Front. The game runs on the Essence 3.0 game engine, which the publisher THQ claims will bring “new technological advancements” to the game.

– Release date: April/May 2013
http://www.companyofheroes.com/

Remember Me

Capcom’s cyberpunk release for 2013. Interesting concept here, the game uses ‘memory remixing’ which is entering and rearranging a target’s memories to manipulate them. By doing this you can then change the target’s memory of the outcome of any event. You play Nilin whose memories have been erased and the aim is to retrieve those memories and find out why.

– Release date: May 2013
http://www.capcom-europe.com/

The Elder Scrolls Online

One of my favourites for next year, The Elder Scrolls is going MMORPG! The game will be set on the fictional continent of Tamriel a millennium before the events of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, and it will have a storyline that is not connected to any of the previous games. After a lengthy development period it will be great to see what this game brings to the MMO market.

– Release date: 2013
http://elderscrollsonline.com/en/

October 31, 2012

Risen 2: Dark Waters Giveaway Winners!

Thanks to everyone who entered our Risen 2: Dark Waters giveaway. The winners are:

– Darklurkr23 (The ARRRRRRRRRRRRREA 51)
– loozer (Dark Wings)
– unreal713 (The Flames of Atlantis)
– angiem32 (Lady of the Water)
– Greig spencer (The Jolly Podger)
– belinda3 (Bella)
– suewilly (The Ghoul­ish Galleon)
– Wadestark (The Wraith)
– Moby (The Crusty Lady)
– gingerjess13 (The Ginger Parrot)

We will be contacting each of the winners this week to get the game sent out. We hope you are having a great Halloween and please do look out for our next giveaway, coming soon!

Thanks once again to our friends at Koch Media for providing the prizes for the giveaway and also allowing us to interview Björn Pankratz, Project Direc­tor at Piranha Bytes.

October 10, 2012

Risen 2: Dark Waters Giveaway

To coincide with our interview with Björn Pankratz, Project Director at Piranha Bytes, our friends at Koch Media have given us 5 Xbox and PS3 promo copies of Risen 2: Dark Waters to giveaway!

Now you’ve earned command of your very own pirate ship, the question is, what are you going to call her? All you have to do is tell us what you would call your pirate ship in the comments section below. Winners will be announced on Wednesday 31st October. Won a prize from us before? No problem! You can play and win as many times as you like! To qualify for the contest do the following:

1. Register for an account (if you’ve already done so go to step 2)

2. Like us on Facebook (if you’ve already done so go to step 3)

3. Tell us your pirate ship name and your preferred platform, Xbox or PS3

That’s it! You’ve qualified!

Good luck and game on!

September 7, 2012

CD Projekt Red’s new ‘triple-A RPG’ game is Cyberpunk

Since being introduced to The Witcher (thanks thsoundman) I’ve definitely followed the progress of CD Projekt Red with interest. After the international success of this game, which is based on the books by Andrzej Sapkowski, the CD Projekt group changed it’s focus to game development – enter CD Projekt Red. It’s great to see that the development side of CD Projekt is growing and going from strength to strength, this year they became the official Polish distributor of games published by Codemasters, an award winning game developer and publisher with over 25 years of industry experience bringing titles such as DiRT, GRID, Cricket and Operation Flashpoint. The group has also formed several partnerships with companies such as Blizzard, Astragon, Sega, NCSoft West and Wizards of the Coast; important steps in the company’s development.

The latest game in development will be a ‘triple-A RPG’ based on the Cyberpunk pen-and-paper game by Mike Pondsmith, it’s development team will be made up from developers from The Witcher series alongside new staff brought in to support the project. There is not much known about this game, which was announced during the CD Projekt group’s summer conference, but it looks like it’s going to follow the same ‘mature’ RPG theme as The Witcher, which means violence, nudity and images and content of a sexual nature will all be in there (done really well I might add), and we can expect that it will follow the rules of a usual RPG game with customisable characters, classes, weapons etc. The game will be non-linear but story-driven, where magic, fantasy and lore is replaced by cybernetics, weapons and implants. Details from an online job posting show that CD Projekt Red are looking for a multiplayer programmer to work in their core development team confirming that future games will be featuring multiplayer modes. Although The Witcher is an amazing game players are limited to playing just Geralt of Rivia. This isn’t really a problem, but many RPG fans want to be able to choose their own character and in CyberPunk they will get that choice.

The cyberpunk scene has been done time and time again, but somehow I feel that CD Projekt Red are the right team to be taking this on and will be able to do it justice; judging by the reactions online to the news of this upcoming game it looks like I’m not the only one and there is genuine interest in what comes from the project team next. It also looks like they will be opening the door for a lot of new players with the news that The Witcher 2 Enhanced Edition, already available for PC and Xbox 360, will soon also be coming to Mac later this year. Pure speculation at this point but perhaps they will aim to deliver future games to Mac also on release.

Honestly, there are not enough hours in the day for me to play The Witcher and The Witcher 2, two of the best games I’ve played this year for sure. If you haven’t played either of these it’s well worth picking up a copy, you won’t be disappointed.

May 30, 2012

Price and Date of Battlefield 3 Premium Service Leaked

Reportedly a PSN EU update has revealed a price and date for the Battlefield 3 Premium service.  According to that the Battlefield 3 Premium will cost gamers £39.99/€49.99/AU$79.95  anually and will be available for all on June 4, 2012

 

Eurogamer spotted this but has since been removed.  A formal reveal is expected at an E3 press conference next Monday.

 

Similar to Call of Duty Elite, paying customers of the Premium Battlefield 3 service will have access to DLC early and for no further cost.  Call of Duty Elite has 10 million registered users and two million of those are paying customers.

 

According to IGN “An alleged English fact sheet for Battlefield 3 Premium, also leaked out of Europe (via German site gamersunity.de), claims Battlefield 3 Premium subscribers will also have access to a unique in-game knife, a variety of exclusive soldier and weapon camos and other perks, like “queue priority into servers” and exclusive double XP weekends.”

 

– Source Eurogamer and IGN

 

October 13, 2011

Forza Motorsports 4 – First Impressions

Forza Motorsports is an Xbox exclusive title and that may push some people away, but personally, I believe that console is where driving sims belong. I have been a HUGE Forza Motorsports fan for many years and went and bought an xbox 360 and a copy of the freshly released Forza Motorsports 4 (rel date 10-11-2011). I will be explaining a first impressions view of the game and some of it’s recent updates.

The first thing out of the box that jumps out is the discs are almost identical to the previous release of FM3. I had to check the box again to make sure that I hadn’t bought the wrong title. Worry not weary travelers it is indeed FM4. Upon loading the game for the first time the opening video displays its most noticeable new feature, Autovista. In the Autovista room you can exploded view the vehicle and look at the interior and exterior similar to that of a 3d tour and spurts of information shine out to tell you information regarding the car that you are exploring. You can even start the engine and hear that lovely roar from inside the cockpit while watching the dash cluster come to life in the car of your dreams in an almost surreal realism.

Autovista is not without it’s faults however. The most notable fault is that there are only a limited selection of cars to autovista. You cannot just generate a vehicle from your garage and explore it as far as I have seen thus far and that is kind of a bummer but it is a step in the right direction. This shows the capability of a graphics system almost ten years of age.

We have in the past seen the drifting community of FM explode in popularity as Forza is the premier in simulation when it comes to slinging your fantasy around a corner sideways at obscene speeds. This community has asked for a lot of improvement in the drifting department and low and behold Turn 10 has brought it to us. We now have not only some of the most wanted drifting machines implemented such as, s13 Nissan 240sx hatchback, but also crews. You can create or join a group of folks and have a club/crew/clan and have a shared garage full of vehicles that are shared among the group for videos or events. This is what I have always had in mind when thinking of clan warfare on the battle of choice and Turn 10 brought it to the forefront of gaming.

Now the fanboy-dom is over. There is never good without bad and here are a few things that I have found and been annoyed with. First off, some of the pre-order freebies were never sent out or were not available to have. Places like Best Buy who had issues with the release left many customers without their precious pre-order freebie of a BMW 1 M series. Now, this may not seem a big deal, but people generally pick up pre-order packages purely for the freebie offered by that place of business and this looks bad on everyones part.

 


Not only that, but there has been this insanely huge issue with Disc 2 not installing or being messed up or not appearing as a disc at all to the console. This problem, I am facing as well, has had some people by the throat as half of the games content is on this disc and requires the installation of the second disc to even access.The graphics don’t seem to have been pushed any further. They are outstanding, shining above and beyond GT5 in every way as far as I can tell, but I was hoping for a bit more polished look at distance. The tracks have the same effect, they seem a bit flat and two dimensional. I understand that there is only so much data a system that is this old can push and I think Turn 10 has pushed this console to the limits and should push to expand to other avenues such as PC and PS3 where their beauty and intricate detail can fully flourish.All in all, the game thus far is amazing, I have found a single bug that may be patched soon as I don’t see this as intended. Once you race a single car to lvl 4 almost every item purchased for that brand is absolutely free. I am driver level 6 with 2 Nissans completely maxed out with all parts purchased. 2 seasons and I have 2 maxed out cars, this is not how Turn 10 intends for this game to played, not in the past, and not now I am sure of it.

I will be doing a full review in a week as I progress through the game I will note any keynote differences and bring them to light with my opinion along for the ride. Check back often as it may come up sooner than anticipated, if I am able to peel myself away from the controller long enough.

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