Monday, August 3, 2015

How Windows 10 Affects Gamers

Microsoft has released what gamers will have to look forward to with the new Windows 10 upgrade, as well as details on the new Xbox App.

Microsoft discusses on the post for Xbox Wire, numerous key reasons why the new Xbox App will help improve gaming for Xbox One players that have Windows 10 devices.

"Windows 10 is kind of a big deal," states Microsoft. "With countless improvements and a ton of new features, it’s putting a whole new face on the personal computing world. But of course, what we’re most excited about are gaming features – and fortunately, Windows 10 is bringing with it a renewed focus on gaming. One of the most visible elements is the new Xbox app."

Apparently the new Xbox App will stream almost any Xbox One game to any Windows 10 tablet or PC. This includes controller support and backwards compatibility, as well as giving you the ability to remotely turn on your Xbox One from your device.

As quick and easy as a click of a button, you'll be able to edit and share recorded game clips and you'll be able to access Xbox Live's social features from your Windows 10 device. This also includes being able to set-up and join Xbox Live parties, no matter if your friends are playing an Xbox or PC game, or on a Windows 10 PC device or Xbox One.

Did I also mention that multiplayer gaming that use Xbox Live in PC games is FREE? But of course that's not all. Along with the Xbox App refresh and the functionality boosts we already know about, Windows 10 is also promising better scaling for 4K monitors, native controller support, which includes the new Xbox One Elite controller, and super-fast boot times.

If you have yet to upgrade to Windows 10 make sure you prepare you PC beforehand. There are a lot of benefits in it for Xbox One gamers, further pushing Microsoft's plan of having all-in-one entertainment functionality in your home. So if you're as big of a nerd about Halo as I am, then you should be stoked!

Content originally published here

Thursday, July 16, 2015

New "Head-Turning" Duke Nukem Game Teased By Gearbox

Image Source: Mojaramask
There are 2 things Duke Nukem comes to do: kick ass and chew bubblegum.....not make mediocre games. However, that last part was the unfortunate circumstances surrounding 2011's Duke Nukem Forever, which was panned by both critics and gamers alike. But, just like Duke himself, you can't keep Gearbox Software down as the company has just announced that it has begun working on a brand new Duke game that, according to developers, has the potential to "turn heads" once it's released.

According to Gearbox CEO and President Randy Pitchford, "I did not acquire the franchise so we could all experience Duke Nukem Forever. That was the toll to pay to give Duke a chance. That said, I liked that game. I got to see it from a slightly different perspective and it was marvelous to me." Pitchford also noted that the studio has "done some concept development" but stated that fans shouldn't expect this game to come soon and that Gearbox might not even be the ones who develop it. 

"Gearbox is very busy," Pitchford added. "I think the faster way is that a correct developer can become interested and we can work with them. I think it's a challenging problem. But, I'll tell you one thing. When it does happen, there's no doubt that the whole industry will turn its head and look."

Gearbox's current projects are Battleborn, a shooter for both consoles and PC that has MOBA-like features, and a third Borderlands game. There are even rumors of a new Brothers in Arms game. Pitchford didn't name any specific studios that are in talks to develop the new Duke Nukem game if the studio decides to take that route. 

But why revive Duke Nukem yet again? Well, according to Pitchford, the Duke Nukem brand is very popular with the mainstream audience, even more so than Borderlands. However, Duke Nukem Forever really only garnered a lot of attention due to its 14-year span in development purgatory. 

This isn't the first time a new Duke game (Post-Duke Nukem Forever) has been talked about. After Forever's release in 2011, Take-Two Interactive CEO teased, "You will see future Duke coming from this company."

What are your thoughts? Are you interested in seeing another Duke Nukem game or did Duke Nukem Forever make you chew your final piece of bubblegum?

Content originally published here and here

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Fallout 4 Officially Revelaed

In the new trailer for Fallout 4, we finally see an end to all of the wondering sparked from endless rumors and speculation. We get a glimpse into the world of this highly anticipated title, and get to see what we will be getting ourselves into. And of course, we get to hear the famous tagline "War. War never changes" spoken by Ron Perlman.

There were reports that Fallout 4 would be taking place in The Commonwealth, which is the fictional universe's version Massachusetts. In the new trailer, these reports are confirmed. During the 3rd Fallout game, there is a side quest where you get to meet a scientist named Dr. Zimmer who comes from The Commonwealth. He says that he and his colleagues created androids that have escaped and are running loose. On top of the Massachusetts references, Zimmer also talks about The Institute, which seems to be a version of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, but far into the future.

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In The Commonwealth there is also the Railroad that runs right by the Institute with the intent of getting the androids back. The Synth Retention Bureau, a branch of police in the commonwealth, are in charge of capturing the androids that are running loose after escaping.

In 2008 we saw Fallout 3 taking place in a version of Washington DC that is totally screwed up from all of the war going on. It also has expansions that add Pittsburgh and Maryland. The follow up to it, Fallout: New Vegas was developed by Obsidian in 2010 and was obviously based on a future version of Nevada.

It has been confirmed that we will actually get to see gameplay from Fallout 4 at the E3 press conference on June 14th! Todd Howard will be returning to direct as well. Check out the reveal trailer below!

Content originally published here

Friday, May 29, 2015

Gaming PCs: Build, Buy or Get A Laptop?

When it comes to the world of gaming, we've seen quite the slew of advancements recently. We've recently ventured into the realm of VR (Virtual Reality), and with some grace, I might add. But at the end of the day, one of the biggest concerns that arises is graphics. No one is wanting to buy new tech, whether it be the latest console or the new VR headsets, unless they come complete with a graphics overhaul. As it stands however, every gamer knows this one reluctant truth; PC gaming will always have the best graphics. So, if graphic capability and power is what you're questing for, then you need to decide how you're going to go about your gaming PC choice.

If You Build It Games Will Come

If you're going to go the way of building your gaming PC, then you're essentially ahead of the pack. This is definitely the way to get the most out of your money. No matter the use of your gaming PC, be it playing a few rounds of League or pushing out GTA V with full 4K ultra graphics, deciding your what your gaming needs are is half the battle. If you only require something to scratch your League of Legends itch, then you're not going to be paying for much when you build. Concurrently, if you're looking to push polygons upon polygons, then your price increases pretty drastically. That being said, if you know what you're doing when you build your gaming PC, this option gives you the most free reign to pick and choose your parts as you see fit. And by buying parts separately, you can space your purchases out instead of dropping a lot of money all at once.

On The Road Again...Just Can't Wait to Game on the Road Again

Maybe you're more the traveling gamer type. Are you on your way to/from a business trip or vacation and you just have to play some Crysis? Gaming laptops will offer the best option if you are the wandering type. Many of the gaming laptops out there currently offer a good bit of power, even with the exchange for portability. The only problem is, you guessed it! Battery life. Even the top of the line gaming laptops out there will start flashing their battery lights at you only after a few hours. If you're near an outlet, then gaming on your laptop won't be that much of an issue. If you can't be without gaming wherever you go, then you're gaming laptop will be your new best friend. Just get ready to be very acquainted with that spot right next to the power outlet.

If THEY Build It...Games Will Still Come

If you want a little bit more power without having to haul around a tower that requires two people to lift, getting a pre-built gaming PC wouldn't be a bad choice for you. This comes as the best middle ground option for most gamers. Most of the pre-built gaming PC's out there will only come with the tower and require a separate monitor, keyboard, and mouse. If you don't mind doing a bit of the grunt work and picking up these extra essentials yourself, then having a gaming PC come pre-made for you may very well be the best set up for you.

The Verdict

At the end of the day, almost any gamer who tells you they don't care about graphics is a flat out liar. Of course we care about graphics! Time and example has proven over and over again that a gaming PC, especially your own personally built one, will give you the best graphics and performance for your hard earned cash. When it comes down to it, you'll have to decide your gaming needs and preferences, how mobile you'll be, how powerful you want your machine to be and exactly what you are willing to pay. When you do finally get the gaming build you want, sit back, relax, and enjoy those smooth frame rates!

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Content originally published here

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Paid Skyrim Mods: Good Idea or Terrible?

Alright gamers, lets talk about one of the BIGGEST games to hit the market in the past few years; The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

This has to be one of my favorite games, easily, and for many reasons that I won't go into. With a game this big, and with such a huge cult following, it's only natural that it came out on multiple platforms (including PC). Since it's out on PC, that can only mean one thing; mods. Lots and lots of mods.

These mods range from really awesome graphic enhancements and new regions, with included quests, to the ridiculous exploding chicken mod. The community of these modders is very tight knit, and Valve unfortunately found that out the hard way.

On April 23rd, Valve implemented an optional "pay for mod" feature on Steam and the reaction was so horrid that it was gone that following Monday. Naturally, after that incredibly severe backlash, there were some that could see the pros and cons of this paid mod feature.

The Pros

First of, lets think of the obvious here. Wouldn't a hardworking modder like to be compensated for the hard work that they do? I personally don't play Steam, but I've seen plenty a YouTube videos with countless mods showcasing some amazing features. I can only imagine the maddening hours of coding that go into some of these mods and I'm sure that these guys wouldn't mind a few bucks tossed their way for it.

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Next you have to think of incentive. If John Doe knows that he's getting paid for a particular mod, wouldn't that just give him a bit more incentive to make the mod that much more amazing? We are talking about a game that lets you go out and kill fire breathing dragons with a sword, which is already incredible. If someone is getting paid to make something more awesome than it already is, just imagine the possibilities.

Should this type of paid modding catch on, think of the gaming companies that would jump on board the modding train. If the companies saw a bit of the profit for their original games coming from these modded codes, then surely they'd be more inclined to support the modding community way more than they do now. And, as always, the option to sell your mod is just that; an OPTION.

The Cons

The modding community, again, is a very close knit family. Because of this, you are essentially putting a wedge in the community because some modders may be ecstatic at the fact that they might get paid for some of their work while others may want to tarnish the thought completely. That could easily sever ties between modders who might be friends and work in conjunction with each other.

Speaking of working together, some of these mods build off of previous coding. For example, lets say you want the exploding chickens mod, but in order for it work properly, you have to have the nuclear explosion mod equipped. The nuclear mod is $20 but you only want to pay the $10 for the exploding chickens. You see where the problem lies here now?

Then you have the issue of the big companies charging for modders to use their materials in order to mod properly. At that point, modders would have to increase the prices for their mods. Heaven forbid it become a legal rights and distributing issue.

The Verdict

There are definitely clear pros and cons to the idea of paid modding, but if a company as big as Valve had to take down this feature only days after implementing it then it might not be the best idea. If any other company decides to give this paid mods thing a try they better get ready for a long and challenging ride.

Content originally published here

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Professional League of Legend Player Hai Lam Retires Due to Injury

"Heroes get remembered, but legends never die..." This is probably what League of Legends (no pun intended) professional gamer Hai Lam is probably thinking right now as the captain of Cloud9 has just announced that he is retiring from the professional gaming circuit.

When a professional in any field retires, it is usually a time of celebration. The person is remembered for their accomplishments, their feats and is able to look back on a (hopefully) long career of doing something that they loved. However, most people retire late in life and Lam is only 22 years old. And when you hear the reasoning behind the decision your heart will go out to him.

Cloud9 is considered one of the best US eSports teams for the game League of Legends, an online muliplayer battle arena game, so it is a great shock for the gaming community, especially those fans loyal to the game, to hear that Lam is retiring. Lam explained his decision on the team's official Cloud9 blog.

In a post, Lam explains: "My wrist injury is something that I simply cannot ignore. It limits my ability to play as much as I need to and my ability to improve. I cannot keep up with the amount of Solo Queue games my teammates play and it's not fair to them. At best, my wrist injury would have only allowed me to play for another split and that wasn't even certain."

It is sad to see someone so young forced to retire from something they are so passionate about and something that they have actually made a career out of doing. Tendinitis and carpal tunnel are common by-products of professional gamers and there are even brand names for certain injuries, like Nintendo Thumb.  

Injuries take athletes out of their prime all too often and the professional gaming circuit is no exception. While it's sad to see someone like Lam retire at such a young age it is good to see him making himself and his physical health a priority.

Content originally published here

Thursday, April 23, 2015

New Details Emerge About Star Wars: Battlefront

Star Wars Celebration recently wrapped up in Anaheim with the largest convention of all things Star Wars in the world pumping out a ton of details about all the Star Wars things coming out in the coming years, including the first big trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the first big trailer for EA and Dice's upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront. Information on Battlefront has been under wraps but Star Wars Celebration has finally pulled back the curtain on a lot of the games features, mechanics, maps and more.

The first thing you should know about Battlefront is that it will be playable first on Xbox One thanks to EA Access. Microsoft Game Marketing Lead Aaron Greenberg tweeted confirmation of the news on Twitter. There still isn't any information on how early the access will be for Xbox One users or if there will be a time limit on how long they can play it, as was the case with Battlefield Hardline.

Next, a release date for the game was leaked, stating that the game may be launching on November 17. salromano, a user over at NeoGAF spotted that the source code for Battlefront's website lists November 17, 2015 release date for the game on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. The first gameplay trailer, which can be seen below, confirmed this release date at the end of the trailer.

Speaking of the The trailer is made up entirely of game engine footage and man does it look amazing! The trailer shows rebel forces (both human and alien) fighting off stormtroopers on the jungle planet of Endor with AT-STs, AT-ATs, Y-Wings, rocket launchers, explosions and magnificence. We also get looks at planets like Hoth and what could be the planet Jakku, which is free DLC that is from The Force Awakens. In addition to that, we also get glimpses of some of the playable heroes in the game, Darth Vader and Boba Fett. Heroes will be playable characters much like they were in Battlefront 2. These characters will be seen as "boss" characters in the game and will be high priority targets.

One thing that many people were looking forward to, space battles, have been confirmed as not being a part of the game. However, that doesn't mean that players won't be able to hop in their favorite starfighters and engage in ship-to-ship combat. Players will still be able to jump into the cockpit of an X-Wing, Snowspeeder, Tie Fighter and, yes, even the Millennium Falcon herself and battle out planetside, similar to how jets worked in Battlefield 4.

Developers of the game also answered concerns from gamers that EA would only release a partially completed game, with more gameplay modes, maps, weapons, etc... saved for paid DLC. Talking to Reddit, Jesper Nielsen defended the team's commitment to releasing a game that expands on the strengths of past titles in terms of core gameplay and that there will be plenty of content available at launch.

Neilsen wrote: "I cannot stress this enough; there will be more than 8 maps! Also, the amount of content in the game has absolutely zero to do with DLC. I can say that with all honesty. As for expanding on strengths of the previous games; I think most people will find that it does expand on the strengths of the previous games, when it comes to core gameplay and what the feeling of a Battlefront game is. Just my two cents. Please don't make me break what I can and cannot say, but if you think there's anything we're not including in the game to save it for DLC, I can tell you you're 100% wrong. In this project, I've never heard anyone say 'Let's not do this for launch so we can do it as DLC instead. Ever."
Nielsen also noted that there are a lot of things about the game that haven't been revealed yet and that this game isn't a Battlefield re-skin. Yes it uses the Frostbite engine but it doesn't use a lot of Battlefield code. The game won't feature classes, like most first-person shooters. Instead there will be something different that will allow players to choose their own paths instead of "cookie-cutter roles", Nielsen added.

I, for one, am extremely excited for this game. I absolutely loved the Battlefield series when they debuted on the PS2 and Xbox and it's been far too long since a sequel has been made. The fact that it ties into the new movie is absolutely awesome and if the game looks anything remotely close to the trailer (which it should) it's going to be one of the most beautiful games coming out this year.

You can pre-order the game now, which has two versions available, the original version and the deluxe edition. The deluxe edition comes with instant access to the DL-44 blaster pistol (made famous by Han Solo), ion detonator, MPL ion torpedo, ion shock (exclusive emote) and victory (exclusive emote). Don't be surprised of a special collector's edition pops up when the game gets closer to launch. Check out the reveal trailer for the game below and, just because it's amazing, the second trailer for The Force Awakens.