Monday, November 2, 2015

The Xbox One Windows 10 Experience Releases November 12

The Xbox One will be facing a lot of changes begins this month. With the launch of Halo 5: Guardians last Monday, Microsoft announced its launch for the Windows 10-powered new Xbox One Experience (NXOE) on Thursday, November 12. The new Windows 10 update will bring a flavored look and underpinnings to the Xbox One, along with backwards compatibility for certain Xbox 360 games.

The new preview has been available for testers for a while, but they found Microsoft's digital personal assistant, Cortana, hiding in the settings menu. It's not certain that the feature will be part of the launch in November.

Larry "Major Nelson" Hyrb, Xbox Live Director of Programming, said in early October that Cortana wouldn't be part of the update. Otherwise, the official version will be available for preview testers later in 2015 before the official launch for regular users in 2016.

The Xbox has had voice-powered features for a while with the Kinect. Adding Cortana will offer helpful cross-platform integration features, like viewing reminders on an Xbox One that were made on a Windows 10 PC, Cortana for Android, or a Windows 10 smartphone. Cortana is also said to work with game-related functions like sharing video clips and forming parties.

Microsoft wants to become a unified, multi-device platform, so by adding the Xbox One into the Windows 10 family, they are closer to reaching their goal. The limit of how unified the Xbox One will be in Windows 10 is still in the air. For example, Halo 5 that just launched is exclusively made for Xbox One, meaning no support for the game exists on Windows 10 desktops.

All-in-all, more integration between Windows 10 devices and the Xbox One will be making its way to us in these upcoming months. There's also going to be a DVR for the Xbox One's TV tuner peripheral. So if you have an Xbox One, Keep checking for that update in about 2 weeks!

Content originally published here
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Friday, October 23, 2015

Microsoft Debuts New Elite Wireless Controller For Xbox One And PC

Microsoft recently debuted the new Elite Wireless Controller for Xbox One and PC and, according to multiple reports, it's one of the most comfortable controllers ever. In terms of other controllers from Microsoft, the Elite Controller is miles ahead. In fact, if you had to pick something about this controller to complain about the only thing you would be able to come up with is the rather hefty price. That's because the Elite Wireless Controller will run you $150 in the US, £120 in the UK and $200 in Australia.

In reality, you probably don't need to spend that much money on a controller. I mean that price is over double of what a normal one costs. However, if you have that kind of money to spend then the Elite is a luxury that delivers in pretty much every way possible.

The first thing you will notice about the Elite Controller is its weight. It is noticeably heavier than the original Xbox One controller and feels more substantial and luxurious as well. Every single button on the controller offers tactile feedback and are exceptionally smooth. A matte rubberized coating embodies the almost all of the controller with grips receiving some extra texture. Essentially this controller makes it feel as if you are holding a high-end piece of equipment. This is made even more evident with the molded carrying case that you won't want to leave just lying around.

The main selling point here is the incredible amount of customization options you have with this controller. Three sets of magnetic, stainless steel analog sticks are included and can be easily swapped in and out along with two sets of concave-topped sticks (one normal height and one twice that height) and one set of domed sticks that you can mix and match to your desired preference. In addition to that, the analog ball joints are also very solid and have a nice spring to them.

There are also two D-pads included with the controller, a traditional one and a circular one that makes it a bit easier to hit diagonal directions. Like the analog sticks, both D-pads are able to be easily swapped in and out thanks to their magnetic fittings. You can even mess with the triggers too. There is a level underneath each trigger that can activate hair-trigger mode, preventing you from having to actually pull the trigger all the way for it to function.

Remapping buttons is probably one of the coolest features. The Elite Controller comes with four detachable paddles that can be programmed through a free Xbox app specifically designed for the controller. This allows you to bind commands to the back of the controller, which could make some things that much easier to accomplish. However, these back paddles will take some getting used to and it's going to feel really weird at first.

The free app for the controller allows you to program the back paddles as well as allowing you to tinker with any of the 14 digital inputs from the controller. You can store up to two different control streams that can be accessed through a switch below the Xbox Guide button. Microsoft also noted that developer-created alternate control schemes for specific games will be offered through the app in the future.

$150 is pretty expensive, which is why it is a very good thing that this controller works with Windows 10 PCs, as does the app. The controller is ready to use on your PC out of the box and will include a USB cable for connectivity. You can even use it with your PC wirelessly if you want, though you will need the Xbox Wireless Adapter for that, and that'll cost you an additional $25, £25, or AU$30.

If you're hyper competitive and you really think that this controller will give that extra edge you need online, or you simply have the money to spend, then the Elite Wireless Controller from Microsoft may be precisely what you're looking for.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

EA Announces Open Beta For Star Wars Battlefront

In April at Star Wars Celebration, Star Wars Battlefront was announced. The frequently asked question that followed was if there would be a Beta. I am happy to announce that there is.

The Star Wars Battlefront Beta will be coming at the beginning of October and will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Origin for PC. The Beta is a technical test and will feature Walker Assault on Hoth, which is a 40-player multiplayer battle between the Rebels and the Empire. Walker Assault is also giving you the option of playing as two major characters in the Star Wars universe, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker.

The beta will also feature a Survival Mission on Tatooine, in which you and a Rebel friend fight back waves of Imperial forces. This mode is reminiscent of other popular game modes, like Gears of War's Horde mode or Halo's Firefight, where you and a friend battle wave after wave of AI-controlled enemies.

On top of these two modes, there will be a new mode available for this Beta, called Drop Zone. There isn't a whole lot of information about Drop Zone yet but what we do know is that it will function similarly to Battlefield's Conquest mode. Two teams will fight for control and "capture vital pods and secure the battlefront" according to EA. Keep your eyes pealed on more details about this mode.

Another part of the Star Wars Battlefront Beta is the Star Wars Battlefront Companion experience and will be available during the Beta at The Star Wars Battlefront Companion experience features the card game Base Command, which lets you earn in-game Credits for Star Wars Battlefront which unlock Star Cards, weapons, and more.

The Base Command allows the Rebels and Imperials alike to check game stats and progression, customize load-outs and appearances, connect with friends, and be notified when they're playing Star Wars Battlefront. You will also be able to gather intel on their stats and progression to compare how you match up. The Star Wars Battlefront Companion will be available on November 17, after Star Wars Battlefront is released. It will be available on the web and in the Apple App Store and Google Play.

If you're a Star Wars fan and a gamer then this is definitely the beta you are looking for. The beta releases on October 8th and ends on the 12th. PC players will be able to begin the download early on October 7th due to a larger download size. The beta is available for all players everywhere, just like the Good Lord intended.

Content originally published here

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Top 5 Most Ridiculous Video Game Characters

Every so often a video game character comes along that is so outrageous, so over-the-top, and so ridiculous that you can absolutely never forget them. Even though some of the best characters are subtle, well-realized persons, those that take the extreme factor to the next level are a hell of a lot of fun. But this isn't always a bad thing. Some games have tread so carefully that their characters are boring and not fun to play. While there are many crazy characters to pick from here are 5 of the best.

Bayonetta - Bayonetta is a super-sexualized witch that was designed by Mari Shimazaki. Shimazaki was told by developers to make a modern, female witch with four wearable guns. Forget the thought of a witch in a black dress, pointy hat and green skin ready to boil children into stew. Bayonetta wears her as both clothing and as a sentient extension of her fighting abilities because everything has to be to the max with her. Backflipping through the air, shooting guns attached to her high-heels at the armies of Heaven would probably be enough, but Bayonetta 2 (yes, the made a sequel) sees the title character wearing freaking chainsaws on her feet and using them to skate through reality and the afterlife.

Sephiroth - The main villain from Final Fantasy VII is both the inspiration of thousands of online usernames (one of my personal friends included) and probably the most well-known villain from the entire Final Fantasy series. Sephiroth fell from grace as a former super-soldier who was held in high regard by his peers and wields a seven-foot katana. His flowing, silver hair is a testament to his cold heart, which is escalated by the fact that he thrusts that massive sword through the chest of one of the main characters. Sephiroth brought new meaning to evil in a very super-villain way. All he wanted was the Black Materia, which would grant him a spell that could shatter planets and, well, kill every single person.

Trubbish - There are a lot of weird Pokemon out there, but Trubbish takes the top spot. This Pokemon is made entirely out of garbage......he's literally a trash Pokemon created when a chemical reaction occurred between an abandoned trash bag and industrial waste. That is the official origin of this.....thing in the Pokedex. Seriously, guys, I can't make this up, I'm not that good. Why in the world would you want to keep a poisonous pile of trash around?

Duke Nukem - There are literally only two things Duke Nukem is capable of doing: kicking ass and chewing gum.....and he's usually always out of gum. Duke Nukem is the video game personification of every single action hero from the 80s rolled into one macho, ass-kicking, over-the-top killing machine that is always around to save the world or spend time with the ladies. His ability to carry more weapons than humanly possible, more ammo than a 747 and more cigars than the nation of Cuba makes him the man's man of over-the-top video game characters.

Trevor - Grand Theft Auto has always been known for wild and crazy characters but the most recent sequel in the series, Grand Theft Auto V, broke the crazy mold with Trevor, one of the three main playable characters. Trevor not only looks the part of a deranged, psychopathic murderer but also plays the part with brilliance. Trevor is unsettling, cold-blooded, and only capable of two emotions: anger and amusement. His trailer park tendencies come to light with the company he keeps, the drugs he sells and the ridiculous jeep he drives. Sure he may suffer from a little PTSD but there's no mistaking the fact that a guy who chops up a person and tries to stuff them down the toilet is anything but insane. The fact that Trevor takes pure, unadulterated joy in the destruction, mayhem, and murder he causes only amplifies the whole situation.

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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.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Grand Theft Auto V Comes to PC and It's Stunning

Photo Credit: IGN
Grand Theft Auto is coming to PC players as of April 14, 2015. GTA Online for PC, which will support up to 30 players, will launch alongside GTA V for PC and will include GTA Online Heists. Online Heists for consoles will be launching in the coming weeks ahead of the PC launch.

GTA V for PC pushes Los Santos and Blaine County to even greater levels of detail, running at 1080p and 60fps with up to 4K resolution and support for up to triple monitor configurations. GTAV for PC also includes the new Rockstar Editor, which gives players a full suite of editing tools to create and publish gameplay clips direct to both Social Club and YouTube.

Photo Credit: IGN
As far as gameplay goes, GTA V on PC  is exactly the same game. The only difference is that the PC version comes with everything console players had to wait for, like online heists and first-person mode. Being that this is on PC, the online component has added support for 30 players, giving your online world a truly populated feel.

But the real selling point here is, obviously, the graphics though. That's the real reason most people will be excited for this game. The ability to run the game at 4K is truly an impressive feat and the option to have the game running in a three-monitor setup (which gives you an immersive view with awesome peripheral vision) is just amazing. The ultimate GTA game is now the ultimate experience on PC.

Photo Credit: IGN
Minimum specifications:
OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit, Windows 8 64 Bit, Windows 7 64 Bit Service Pack 1, Windows Vista 64 Bit Service Pack 2* (*NVIDIA video card recommended if running Vista OS)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (4 CPUs) / AMD Phenom 9850 Quad-Core Processor (4 CPUs) @ 2.5GHz
Memory: 4GB
Video Card: NVIDIA 9800 GT 1GB / AMD HD 4870 1GB (DX 10, 10.1, 11)
Sound Card: 100% DirectX 10 compatible
HDD Space: 65GB
DVD Drive

Recommended specifications:
OS: Windows 8.1 64 Bit, Windows 8 64 Bit, Windows 7 64 Bit Service Pack 1
Processor: Intel Core i5 3470 @ 3.2GHZ (4 CPUs) / AMD X8 FX-8350 @ 4GHZ (8 CPUs)
Memory: 8GB
Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 660 2GB / AMD HD7870 2GB
Sound Card: 100% DirectX 10 compatible
HDD Space: 65GB
DVD Drive

Photos Credit of IGN

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Guitar Hero Returns in a Big Way with Guitar Hero Live!

Photo Credit: Activision; Roger Reuver

I don't know about you, but Guitar Hero had to have been one of my favorite games as an early teen. To hear after 5 years, that it is returning with a new experience and a true innovation, brings back all the fun I initially had with the game. Jamie Jackson, creative director at Guitar Hero Live developer FreeStyleGames, who previously worked on Sing Party and the DJ Hero series, seems to think that they have done something new and exciting with the game and have created a whole new experience based on some recent interviews.

Guitar Hero Live has you play as an up-and-coming guitarist in a fictitious band. Instead of playing along with computer-generated characters on screen, you will see a first-person view of their band mates and audiences portrayed by human actors.The virtual crowd will still boo or cheer if you're hitting the right notes and your band will also offer either praise or ridicule based on your performance.

Photo Credit: Giant Bomb
Despite featuring music from such artists as the Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran and Green Day, Guitar Hero Live will have actors portraying phony band members resembling real musicians. I believe having the real musicians from the actual bands in the video game could help promote the new game more because it could draw the attention of people that would want to play as their favorite bands and it would just be super neat. Realistically though, that would be impossible for many reasons... but a guy can dream, right?

FreeStyleGames' also changed the top of the guitar's neck by adding another row of buttons.Gone are the days of the five multicolored buttons that fans are used to. The new guitar has 6 buttons layered in a 2-by-3 grid. This is to allow gamers to pull off chords easier and adds a new level of complexity to the game. On the screen the color-coded circles are gone too, replaced with guitar picks that are either solid or transparent depending on which set of buttons you need to hit.

Photo Credit: Activision
What makes this announcement even more interesting is the fact that Harmonix recently announced Rock Band 4. I don't think it's a coincidence that a new Guitar Hero was announced right around the corner from a new Rock Band announcement. Nevertheless, the concept of the new Guitar Hero is definitely interesting. The new guitar layout mixed with the live concert venues could be exactly what the game needs to attract both new and old fans back to something that has been nothing more than a memory for half a decade. Check out the sweet reveal trailer for the game below!

Content originally published here

Friday, April 3, 2015

Full Roster for Mortal Kombat X Includes 29 Characters

Photo Courtesy of BreathCast
Mortal Kombat is, arguably, one of the most well-known game franchises in the entire world. The original Mortal Kombat started as an arcade game from the Chicago studio of Midway Games back in 1992 and brought plenty of controversy with it thanks to its realistic looking fighters, harsh combat and, of course, the extremely graphic fatalities. Parents across the country were horrified and kids and gamers were on cloud 9.

It's been 23 years since the first game came out and now, under the leadership of NetherRealm Studios, the franchise is adding its newest title, Mortal Kombat X. Mortal Kombat X (or Mortal Kombat 10) is technically the 20th game to be released with under the Mortal Kombat brand but gets its name from being the 10th game in the standard Mortal Kombat series.

The game has been hyped up a lot lately, mainly due to the fact that there was a lot of speculation as to which characters would be appearing as playable fighters in the game. Over the years Mortal Kombat has expanded its list of characters to include over 70 kombatants, so narrowing that list down to the handful that would appear in the latest game couldn't have been easy and, naturally, every hopes that their favorite character would make the list. It's like peewee football tryouts, you're just hoping you make the team. 

Well with the game set to be released in less than 2 weeks NetherRealm has finally confirmed a total of 29 characters that will be rounding out the full roster. This roster is highly unique as it adds some of the most well-known and loved characters from the series with characters that are unique to this specific game. In addition to that, this game adds characters that exist in the Mortal Kombat universe but haven't actually been in any games yet.

Photo Courtesy of IGN
Oh, and remember the cool DLC characters that came with the previous Mortal Kombat game from 2011? The ones that included Kratos from God of War and Freddy Kreuger from A Nightmare on Elm Street? Well NetherRealm has done the same thing with this game. NetherRealm has announced 5 DLC characters that will make their way to the game. The first is fan favorite Goro, who will initially be released as a pre-order bonus but will be available as paid DLC in the future. Then there's the Kombat Pack which adds fan favorite characters Tanya and Tremor and unique characters Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th film series and the Predator alien from the Predator mythos. 

This brings the final fighter tally to a whopping 29 playable characters! To top it all off, each character has three unique fighting styles to choose from, meaning if you're a perfectionist and you want to master it all you will have an astounding 87 different fighting styles to master. I'll give you a moment to process that.......good? This is definitely the biggest Mortal Kombat game to be released and from the looks of it hardcore Mortal Kombat fans won't be disappointed. 

Here's a full list of all 29 characters:

  • Tanya
  • Predator
  • Tremor
  • Sonya Blade
  • Liu Kang
  • Jason Voorees
  • Jacqueline Briggs (daughter of Jackson Briggs)
  • Takashi Takeda (son of Kenshi)
  • Kung Jin (son of Kung Lao)
  • Cassie Cage (daughter of Sonya Blade and Johnny Cage)
  • Goro
  • Mileena
  • Ermac
  • Scorpion
  • Sub-Zero
  • D'Vorah
  • Kotal Kahn
  • Ferra/Torr
  • Raiden
  • Kano
  • Reptile
  • Kenshi
  • Kung Lao
  • Quan Chi
  • Jackson "Jax" Briggs
  • Kitana
  • Erron Black
  • Shinnok
  • Johnny Cage

As you can see the most beloved characters, like Scorpion, Raiden, Sub-Zero and Johnny Cage are still on the list. What's interesting is the inclusion of the children of characters, like Cassie Cage. These characters play into the storyline of the game as Raiden has come to these characters to carry on saving Earth Realm, much in the same way he did their parents. There are still some rumored characters that people are hoping for, including Sindel, Kabal, Baraka, Nightwolf, Stryker, Cyrax, Smoke, Rain, Fujin and Bo Rai Cho. Some of these characters, like Bo Rai Cho, were spotted in trailers advertising the storyline of the game so while some of these characters may actually be in the game their roles may be restricted to NPCs.

This game is definitely high on the list for many gamers, whether they be hardcore Mortal Kombat fans that have played all the games since the original or casual gamers that like the style and prefer to dabble and have fun with friends. However you associate with the game, Mortal Kombat X is sure to be the best in the series. Mortal Kombat X is rated M for Mature and will be released on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC on April 14 and the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on June 2. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Virtual Reality: The Future of Technology or a Passing Fad?

Conquering the world of virtual reality has been a huge dream since the late 60's. Being able to escape reality and place yourself in a different world has become such a huge thing for man kind that there are even TV shows and movies about it. Which is odd, because we watch TV and movies to escape reality, and we have to watch shows about escaping reality.

So for about the past two years we have been hearing about these huge breakthroughs in VR technology, especially after Facebook bought Oculus. Around that point is when things started getting real (no pun intended). Now Samsung and Google have their own versions of the VR technology and are coming out with their own gaming headsets. Everyone has it set in their minds that this is going to be the next big thing in the gaming world. And with all of the hype building up over the past 50 years or so, they could be very right.

The gaming world is also closely related to the world of anime as well. Some people might not see that, but gamers know what I'm talking about. Realistically, the anime "Sword Art Online" is, arguably, one of the best things that could have happened to the companies who are making these headsets. It is one of the biggest anime series to come out since Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon and it is all about being trapped in a virtual world created with a virtual reality headset. So it is a fact that the market for these devices just doubled.

There could be a down side though. Remember when 3D TVs were the biggest deal in the world? Yeah, me either. That's because no one cared, even after all the hype. No one wants to look like an idiot with 3D glasses on while they watch TV, and no one wants to spend 5 bazillion dollars on a 3D TV that doesn't require glasses, especially when it will probably get boring after about 48 hours and you'll just want to watch regular TV like a regular person anyway. Will virtual reality headsets be the same? Will it become more hassle than it's worth to the average gamer? Will the novelty wear off?

There is probably about a 50/50 chance in my mind. It could be the biggest deal in the world if executed correctly. And that means the systems, the headsets, the games, everything. There is just too much hassle and risk involved to make something sub-par. There really isn't that much to say about it. If the fun doesn't outweigh the annoyance, virtual reality gaming will disappear along with the dream of it.

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