Posts Tagged ‘xbox one’

Microsoft E3

Microsoft may have nailed their presentation of E3, from pretty much handing console dominance to Sony 2 years ago Microsoft sure have learnt their lesson and have come out this year all guns blazing! Here’s what I’m looking forward to!

Gears of War, both the Ultimate Edition and 4. I found myself falling out of love from the Gears of War games, I felt that the first two overshadow the last 2, Gears 3 had no replay value for me and then I had no intention of buying judgement. I want to replay the good old days of classic gears of war online, 4v4, one life per round, carnage for the sniper rifle and the inevitable long winded 1v1 that ends the round. Gears made you play the game more tactically, instead of the Call of Duty run and gun, you had to be careful of where you went, a very unique multiplayer that I look forward to playing once again! Gears of War 4 will probably take the franchise back in good direction too, they wouldn’t bring it back if they felt that it would harm the series, at least that’s what I hope for.

Halo 5 and the gameplay from Locke’s fireteam Osiris. I’m very skeptical about Halo 5 taking the gameplay away from Master Chief, I know its been done successfully in the past with Reach and ODST but those games were designed to never needed Master Chief at any point (until the end of reach). Still though, the Halo games are a must purchase for anyone who has played the campaign 1 through to 4 at least, finish the fight, hunt the truth and all that malarkey!

My favorite new game was probably Sea of Theives, me and my friend discussed a lack of a pirate game about a month ago, our prayers have been answered. Little is known about this game, but it looks like it could end up being a gem! Its set to be an MMO pirate game which sounds awesome, on top of that though, there are classic Rare jokes and wonderful looking graphics, keep an eye on this one!

Backwards compatibility for Xbox One came as a bit of an under the radar addition. From the moment the Xbox one and PS4 were announced, there was a general consensus that the consoles lacked a simple backwards compatibility feature, Sony went in first with their expensive version of bringing you old games, Microsoft has outdone them offering your old games, both digital and disc for free (just check the availability list!)

I would add the Hololens into this but I cannot see that being viable for much more than Minecraft at the moment, I hope I’m wrong because the demonstration looked amazing!

My personal highlights from microsoft. I will try to get a blog a day this week. Everything is coming thick and fast though! Have a good e3 everyone!

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Previous Blog: Living in a Video Game

Top Easter Eggs in Games

Video games are sometimes made famous by having brilliant secrets hidden throughout their worlds, however secrets seem to becoming few and far between.

Firstly the two BEST complete games for Easter eggs throughout

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

I could put Halo 1, 2, 3 and 4 in separetly but as I can roll them all into one, then why not! Halo’s easter eggs range from simple to find, to near impossible, ranging from the obvious writing on the wall like Meg and Rex to symbols on shells. Even the Skulls are techinically easter eggs, and that has become a staple of Halo since the second game! Halo has come such a long way that it even puts some of the easter eggs as achievements/trophies. Yes, easter egg hunting becomes rewarding! WIN WIN!

GTA V

GTA V has so many Easter eggs it’s a little bit mental. There are countless movie references ontop of multiple unique Easter eggs. GTA V has a large amount of alien Easter eggs starting right from the beginning under some ice, in the movie studios and multiple clues pointing toward a larger easter egg yet to be uncovered. Flying saucers can even be seen in single player after getting 100% completion along with a certain creature known as Bigfoot. You will easily stumble across easter eggs in GTA, just play the game.

Now for some of my favourites:

Saints Row 2: Giant Bunny

A rather fascinating and very eastery easter egg. swim out to a hidden island and swim around for a bit and suddenly a giant bunny will appear from the water! A rather random but cool experience! The bunny that comes up can be seen throughout the game in shops and is even see-able in full giant form in saints row 3 – see the ship in the restricted zone.

GTA IV: Statue of Happiness’ Heart.

GTA IV’s version of the statue of liberty is the statue of happiness on happiness island. The entrance to the inside of the statue is marked by a sign that says “no hidden content this way”. Go in through that doorway, climb the ladder and Bob’s your uncle theres a rather large heart infront on you. Note: you can’t kill it

Gears Of War 3 Golden Chicken

In Act 1-1, when you get to the deck area with the first COG Tag, there are four large cylindrical pipes on the sides of the area (two on either side). You can approach these and hit X to shout into them. Shout into all four to make a giant, fire-breathing golden chicken appear. Really.

Defeating the Golden Chicken on 4 Player Insane will also unlock a Cluckshot on this level.

Gears of war developers really like chickens I think!

GTA Vice City

Speaks for itself!

 

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Previous Blog: Children and Mature Video Games

Virtual Reality Headsets

2015 seems to be the year of virtual reality headsets being announced and released, the talks of the future of gaming being through virtual reality headsets seems very real, however, your standard setup should never have to worry!

Virtual headsets are cool, I have used an Oculus Rift at the Gadget Show Live with a development game that was basically just an exploration game of a small village. I started on the top floor of a house and when I walked down the stairs, my stomach dropped, its that immersive.  If you haven’t played a game using a virtual reality headset of any form then you can’t judge it. The Oculus Rift is a fantastic piece of kit, and the version I used was only a development kit. The room for improvement is high, with better screens and more accurate motion trackers being high on the list of necessary improvements, but the concept works great

Its strange that something that is, in theory, so simple; a headset with a screen for each eye with motion control. its taken till 2014/2015 for it to become something that is wanted by a lot of gamers. And to back up the demand, there are alot of new virtual reality headsets in development.

For Virtual Reality to work, games need to support the software. Just like games supporting 3d, Virtual Reality will need the same support. Happily, it seems like Virtual Reality has a lot of backing, considering Oculus Rift was a Kickstarter project. There are plenty of Youtubers who use Oculus Rift developer versions and give the company helpful feedback on the games that have support. Even better, the modding community has come in with some games and created mods that allow some games to support a virtual reality headset, which is really quite cool!

I look forward to having the possibility to own one too, but currently my PC will not work to well with it, I am in need of upgrading my PC before i consider getting into the Virtual Reality scene, but when I do, I know it will be something completely fresh and feel like a new wave of gaming.

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Previous Blog: The Power of Youtube

The Power of Youtube

I originally wrote this for Blockworks, but it needs to be shared more, mainly towards Nintendo!

The games industry has come a long way. The times of playing games on your own are way in the past and now just about everyone has access to online gaming. The uprising of online gaming has catapulted gaming from a ‘nerdy’ hobby, into the realms of the entertainment world, with biggest game development budgets rivalling those of the top Hollywood film budgets. gone are the days where you had to ask a friend about their in game progress, instead having the option to view their achievements, or even hop online to join them in a coop game

As the technical side of games has changed, so has the way in which we find out about new games. 2012 Google analysis shows that 95% of gamers turn to online video for entertainment and information. Developers and publishers of all sizes now use YouTube to reach out to fans. Rockstar games rocked the world with their first trailer for GTA V on youtube days after it was officially announced. That trailer currently has almost 38 million views, the hype surrounding new content reveals tagged with a highly respected game contributed to their record setting opening three days of sales over £1 Billion.

Developers have another brilliant source of marketing through the means of top gaming youtubers. In the most subscribed channel rankings 27 of the top 200 are gaming channels and 4 of these are media. Gaming on youtube is so large that the current number one subscribed channel is a gamer named PewDiePie with a modest 34 million subscribers, beating out Eminem, Rihanna and even One Direction.

Companies like Activision recognise the potential in these channels as a valuable form of free promotion. These companies work in tandem with gamers, offering them early access to the games and press events in order for them to show off the product to their online audience, generating increased views and advertising revenue for the YouTuber, and free promotion for the publisher. The rate at which we consume this content has boosted some YouTubers to celebrity status, with youtuber Ali-A securing himself a sponsorship deal with Monster Energy Drink, along with a hosting spot on Virgin Media’s new channel ‘The Snap’.

Youtube has completely changed the way we find out about gaming. Most people will now have a quick youtube of a game to get a feel for it before purchasing now. TV viewings are dropping, and youtube is a large reason for this. The demise of youtube looks to be now here in sight as it goes from strength to strength, more companies are investing into it and so it will continue to grow.

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Previous Blog: 5 Great Things on Dying Light

 

5 Great things on Dying Light

Dying Light Hard copies have been distributed around Europe a month after the release in North America and digitally. I have played it pretty much non stop since release, here are some of my favourite and least favourite aspects.

1: Free Running is King

Dying Light developers, Techland, could probably release a free running game that would compete with Mirrors Edge with the mechanics they have in place. Free running is possibly one of the most rewarding feelings in the game, when you get a really good building to building flow, nothing is better (and when you are being chased at night nothing is more necessary).

2: Night Time is Genuinely Terrifying

If you plan on being outside during the night in Dying Light then you best be prepared to run, everything is powered up and night and those pesky volatiles don’t help when they are patrolling the streets. If you get seen and a chase begins the best thing to do is run and make sure you have your UV light available.

3: The Weapon System Makes You Think

Unlike Dead Island, Dying Light has a more permanent weapon degradation system. In Dead Island you could fix any weapon as many times as you would like, Dying Light gives you a set number of repairs, and they can be used up surprisingly quick, so be careful with the better, more expensive weapons you have. (try to get the lucky repair skill in the survival tree, it will help you massively)

4: Co-op Rules Over Playing Alone

Playing Dying Light alone is all well and good, but playing with at least one other friend makes the experience fun. Yes it is a little disappointing that all the characters are the same and you have to change to make each other distinguishable, but its more fun running around causing havoc with others.

Along with that, the mini competitions like “kill the most zombies” and “secure the safe zone” add a little added extra to the game that you won’t get playing alone.

5: Being the Zombie is Hard

I can’t get my head around how to play as the zombie yet, but I know it will get easier as time goes on and I gain more skills. Be a zombie mode it great fun, it definitely makes the game seem harder on both sides but I can’t help but feel that when there are 4 players, it is basically impossible to win (if the players are mildly competent).

Here are just 5 reasons why Dying Light is fun, it is what Dead Island should have been and it is a genuinely good free running game alone, the best question is, if you haven’t played it yet, why not?

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Previous Blog: Final Fantasy IX

 

Day One Patch

Day one patches… a relatively new development in the world of gaming, we certainly never saw any of these of the Nintendo 64, games couldn’t even be patched! The introduction of games having online capabilities and consoles having internet connection may be one of the best and worst things that has happened to the gaming industry. Here’s why.

“Back in the day” games consoles didn’t even feature any form of online capabilities, this only really became standard on the PS3 and Xbox 360, although the Original Xbox did carry some update capabilities, it wasn’t fully utilised as most users did not have the internet to support it well and it wasn’t a necessity at the time.

The introduction of consistent updates and patches really started with the Xbox 360 and the generation of consoles that came with it. Online gaming became the norm, and with more people being online for gaming, the more developers could tweak and patch their games through gamer feedback, very good! It works because all games will carry a bug here and there that can now be ironed out, whereas this was not possible in the past.

For multiplayer games I think updates are required to perfect the balance in the game. Weapons are meant to be created equal, but one weapon always seems to be more equal than the rest, balancing games makes them much more fun! No one likes the “cheap” weapons that always pop up in games. (unless you use them)

Day one updates frustrate me a little, though I realise there use, the idea that a game needs a patch day one always worries me. It screams that the developers discovered an issue between production and release, and what do the people who don’t have internet do?

The reason this blog has come to mind is due to Evolve having around a 3gb update (varies for each platform) on day one, its slightly better that this game is online only so no one can miss it anyway and some of it was added through community feedback from the beta so thats a big thumbs up. But should it be acceptable that a game is releasing with stability issues? They may be instantly fixed, but Halo Master Chief Collection is showing that updates don’t always fix issues. My trust in games has been affected badly by Halo MCC, it’s a great game when it works, but it doesn’t work often, I have played a handful of matchmade games and that is it! Day one patches are okay, as long as the patch FIXES the issue.

I just want developers to release games that work from day one and not rely on patching it up as consumers find errors. But if patching on day one is what is required, if this is the best way to have the best experience, I can deal with it, I’d just like to see it less

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Previous Blog: Broken Games

 

 

Evolve Beta Thoughts

The Evolve beta finished last week and after some thought I can happily say it was a really good surprise. The 4v1 game play idea intrigued me but before any game play I thought it would never work. boy I was happily surprised!

My initial fear during my first 4v1 online game was that the monster would be either severely overpowered or massively underpowered. I can happily say that after a bit of a feeling out game to start, games were very balanced and predictably unpredictable, depending on how your monster player… plays. I had a small issue with levelling up a monster, you have to stop and go through a sub menu system select what upgrade you want, then you can start moving. Its fine to those who will always have a set plan on what to do, but for the casual gamer this can take up a lot of time. It lead to my first victory as we trapped the monster when it was stood still upgrading. A simple fix could be an auto upgrade feature or button so you could at least move.

The tactics involved in Evolve is really great, the game is much better with friends as communication is the key to winning. splitting into 2, 2’s is the perfect way to go as you will never catch the monster if you just follow it. The variation between each class is great, it works in a 2 support and 2 attack type of way and its really fun to find the best way to play. Each has their unique weapons and abilities .

Some may say there wasn’t enough load out customisation, I didn’t see this, it was a beta and i thought a lot more was available than given at the time (and even that was enough). You can ruin a game by putting too much in, I felt like the second monster was too annoying. It was the only time that the time limit was reached on a game I played, I rarely played as the monster so I didn’t play it, it either went invisible, or teleported, it was annoying, and quite boring for most of the game, we probablyonly saw the monster 4 times the whole time!

My main point on Evolve will be, play with friends, its so much better when you play as the 4 rather than the 1. The concept of the game works really well, its balanced and enjoyable. I hope that evolve has plenty of varied maps. I think this could be a great game, I’m happy to say this as I really thought it was looking like a big budget flop!

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