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Third-Person Shooter

Star Wars Battlefront photo
Star Wars Battlefront

Han Solo, Emperor, and Leia heroes datamined through Star Wars Battlefront beta

You'll find them quite operational
Oct 08
// Chris Carter
Thanks to a dedicated dataminer, we now know that Star Wars: Battlefront will sport three additional heroes -- Princess Leia, Han Solo, and the Emperor. Files have been located similar to the other announced heroes so fa...
Battlecry photo

Bethesda: 'We have concerns about the Battlecry game'

The publisher is still 'evaluating'
Oct 08
// Vikki Blake
Bethesda has "concerns" about upcoming free-to-play game Battlecry. The good news? Developer BattleCry Studios is busy with "multiple projects." The bad news? Bethesda isn't convinced it hits its quality threshold... yet...

I'm not too impressed by the Star Wars Battlefront beta

Oct 06 // Chris Carter
Today, I had the chance to play the beta on PS4, and I came away with some mixed thoughts. Right now in the beta there are three modes available: Drop Zone, which supports 16 players, Walker Assault, which supports 40, and Survival (a two-player gametype that can be played offline or online). The former is a gametype that sees two teams of eight battling it out for pods, which randomly drop from the sky and inhabit the battlefield one at a time. It's up to each side to locate the pod, capture it, and maintain ownership until a timer runs out. Once it's done, power-ups will pop out, and it's onto the next one. I actually liked the objective-based feel of Drop Zone quite a bit, and the timers feel spot-on to add some form of tactical depth to each match without feeling like a slog. Walker Assault might be 40 players, but it will allow 10 in a lobby to initiate a match. It's here that I witnessed a fairly keen matchmaking system, which drew in players gradually and located games that were mostly full first before dropping me into an empty lobby. This asymmetrical mode sees rebels defending Uplink objectives to call in Y-Bombers from imperials. It has more of a classic Star Wars feel to it, most notably due to the inclusion of AT-ATs, AT-STs, and Tie Fighters (which are essentially killstreak power-ups now, picked up on the battlefield) into the proceedings. Although we only started with 10, it gradually escalated to a crazy 20-on-20 match, and that glorious Battlefront entropy was in full force. As for the gameplay, again, there are no microtransactions, and you'll have to unlock everything through credits. There is some rank-gating involved, but not nearly as bad as other online shooters (at least, so far), and the credit system allows you to buy, for the most part, the exact equipment you want -- from rifles, to thermal detonators. The game uses a card system for equipment (which isn't nearly as kooky as Titanfall's Burn Cards) that lets you customize which slot each piece of gear falls into (L1/LB or R1/RB, with an additional slot for Triangle/Y). I really dig the option to default to first- or third-person at any point as well. I don't miss classes or squads. [embed]314178:60645:0[/embed] The game feels...a bit cheap at times in terms of its gunplay. It looks beautiful (it can go 4K on PC) and runs smoothly, especially when you're gazing up at the sky and watching ship battles take place before your eyes, but there's a certain clunky feel to combat. Weapons really lack impact or "oomph" all around, and I experienced a bit of lag at times. You can chalk part of that up to being a beta, but the game is right around the corner after all. Survival mode lists four potential locations on the menu (Hoth, Sullust, Endor, and Tatooine), but only the latter is playable the moment. AI battles are also shown, but aren't active in the beta as well. It's horde mode, in essence, with a gradual ramping up in difficulty with each wave. It's here that I was able to experience most of the perks (which are unlocked from the start), such as a vertical jetpack boost, grenade launcher, and a temporary boost for your primary, all of which have cooldowns involved. To be blunt, without a second player, this mode gets old quick. After just three waves I wasn't really feeling it, as there isn't a whole lot of deviation from the horde formula, and the fact that you're a grunt rather than a hero character really puts a damper on things. I don't expect to get much play out of this outside of the occasional session with a friend or my wife by way of local co-op. For diehards, though, you'll probably enjoy tackling the various challenges like "no death" runs. So there's the Star Wars: Battlefront beta so far. It's not bad by any means, but I'm not sure it's worth the full asking price. When the actual game launches next month we'll have a better idea of all of the different modes involved, but again, solo players will probably want to wait for a price cut straight out of the gate.
Star Wars Battlefront photo
But I'm not disappointed either
There seems to be a healthy amount of skepticism surrounding the upcoming release of Star Wars Battlefront, and I don't blame people. After all, EA is involved -- always lurking in the shadows, ready to strike at consumers. T...

Just Cause 3 photo
Just Cause 3

Check out Just Cause 3's 400 square mile map

Will you explore it all?
Oct 02
// Vikki Blake
The latest Just Cause 3 developer diary reveals the game's immense, 400 square mile map. The video details the game's expansive territory of the Mediterranean island of Medici and offers sneeky peeks across the lan...

Gears of War photo
Gears of War

Gears of War is twice as efficient this weekend

How about another 32x weekend?
Sep 25
// Brett Makedonski
Everyone on the grind to level 100 in Gnashers Gears of War Ultimate Edition will want to take note of this weekend. The Coalition is really trying to push the Hill-type games, and there's some extra incentive to spend y...
The Last of Us photo
The Last of Us

Naughty Dog clarifies The Last of Us 2 rumours

'I guess Nolan North was kind of right'
Sep 23
// Vikki Blake
Naughty Dog has clarified rumours regarding a sequel to 2013's highly acclaimed The Last of Us. Talking to Official PlayStation Magazine (via GamesRadar), Neil Druckmann explained that while a sequel may have been discus...
The Last of Us sale photo
The Last of Us sale

The Last of Us sale starts tomorrow, Clicker statue up for pre-order

Outbreak Day 2015
Sep 22
// Darren Nakamura
Canonically, Outbreak Day -- the day when the Cordyceps fungus got out of control and dramatically altered the world in The Last of Us -- occurred on September 26, 2013. We're coming up on the second anniversary of that fatef...
Rise of the Tomb Raider photo
Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider trailer shows off hot grappling hook action

Also: tomb exploding
Sep 21
// Darren Nakamura
Lara Croft probably has some sort of death wish. Mountain climbing can be good exercise and recreation, but I don't think anybody in her right mind would swing from a grappling hook, launch 30 feet, then catch on a vertical r...

New Resident Evil is a fast-crawling, alright third-person shooter

Sep 17 // Steven Hansen
Until I actually played it, I was feeling Gears of War hints. There's the close, over-the-shoulder view (arguably equally established by Resident Evil 4, but the former gets the mental nod in the context of a third-person competitive shooter), the general griminess of the place, and the claustrophobic tightness of the map, and the "Brained," a rock climbing pick ax looking thing good for one-hit melee kills. And then I played the thing and there is none off that lumbering; it felt more like Counter-Strike speed. [embed]310837:60379:0[/embed] The regular walking speed is quick, sprint is quicker. Even the crawl is fast, which is incredibly strange looking. There's a cover system, too, which is a bit like Gears' run. If you're aiming at a structure that supports cover, it will be outlined blue. Pressing X will automatically send your character running for cover and then snap in. Zombies are kind of just milling about (I think they just kind of spawn from goopy puddles in the floor) and you do get points for killing them. They can kill you, too, but are non-threatening enough that you can run past them. I did get killed by one, though, while I was already hurt and trying to crawl-retreat from bullets. It clocked me in the face. So they add something to the matches. The one life, no respawn mode I played is "one of the main modes," which emphasizes the focus on small, quick games. We were playing 3-on-3 and the game will go up to 5-on-5 with more modes to be announced later. Umbrella Corps is a bit more fast and floaty than I expected, but that did give it a somewhat novel feel. I've always preferred smaller player count shooter multiplayer, too. The whole thing feels...fine. A bit faceless with the tactical, bug-eyed non-persons, but not completely bog standard boring, either.
TGS hands-on photo
Coming to PC, PS4 early 2016
Next year is the 20th anniversary of Resident Evil (Biohazard here in glorious Nippon) and the only Resident Evil game dated for 2016 at the moment is the newly announced Biohazard: Umbrella Corps. It is an online, competitiv...

Folks are awfully jumpy about The Last of Us 2

Sep 17 // Kyle MacGregor
[embed]311178:60409:0[/embed] This isn't the first time this has happened, either. A few months back, Nolan North, speaking at Tampa, Florida's MetroCon, said "I know they’re doing a Last of Us 2," causing a similar stir. However, neither Sony nor Naughty Dog has officially confirmed the existence of a The Last of Us sequel, but judging on how some corners of the Internet have reacted to these potential gaffes, you might have thought the companies distributed a teaser trailer or something of the sort. It makes sense that Sony would want to do a follow-up. The Last of Us was highly acclaimed and presumably made a lot of money; plus, publishers these days don't often go around creating new intellectual properties without aspirations of a potential blockbuster franchise in their eyes. It will probably happen. Someday. Eventually. There are literally billions of reasons for it to. But it isn't confirmed just yet. Not officially. So maybe hold your horses before shouting "THE LAST OF US 2 CONFIRMED" on Twitter or an Internet comment section somewhere. Good lord.
The Last of Us 2 photo
It isn't official until it's official
The much rumored "The Last of Us 2" hasn't reached "Half-Life 3" levels of ridiculousness, where every whisper surrounding the property results in scores of people saying a sequel is confirmed, but... No, actually, we're alre...

Uncharted 4 photo
Uncharted 4

Uncharted 4 launching worldwide on March 18

Bring it on
Sep 15
// Laura Kate Dale
A few days ago in the run up to Tokyo Game Show, we got news that Uncharted 4 would be launching in Japan on March 18. Today, during Sony's TGS conference, we got confirmation that March 18 is the worldwide release date for t...
500GB photo

Uncharted PS4 bundle coming October 9

Why is the 1TB PS4 not sold in the US?
Sep 04
// Steven Hansen
With Uncharted 4 pushed into 2016, the Nathan Drake Collection needs to prop up as pulp adventure tent poles. Sony would have you think these beams are appropriate substitutes, going so far as to bundle a (500GB, since Sony d...
Gears of War photo
Gears of War

Play all Gears of War: Ultimate Edition modes on all maps

New update removes restrictions
Sep 02
// Vikki Blake
All game modes in Gears of War: Ultimate Edition will be available across all maps as of today. The latest update removes restrictions from the playlists that stopped certain modes being played on certain maps.  Dev...

I can't keep up with all these Splatoon updates!

Aug 17 // Patrick Hancock
[embed]305716:60031:0[/embed] Patch 2.0 Heavy Splatling This is definitely one of my new go-to weapons. I still don't feel completely comfortable while using it, but I can already see its potential. The Heavy Splatling needs to spin up before firing, but does not need to be fully spun up to begin firing. The longer the player spins up, the more shots will come out before stopping.  I've been using the Splatling as a more defensive weapon, similar to a Charger-type weapon. It's natural to want to go on the offensive with it since it seems to beastly, but it's just not as effective at in-your-face killing compared to most other weapons. However, using it to hold a location? That's when it shines like a rainbow after a storm!  The Splash Wall is a great pairing for the Splatling, since it's great to use as cover while charging up. It definitely helps to have some Sub Saver abilities on hand though, since the Splash Wall takes a ton of ink to deploy. Slosher I thought the Slosher would be a new favorite of mine, considering I prefer to play up close and personal, but I just haven't jived well with it. It takes two sloshes to kill, so springing up and surprising someone isn't as effective as I'd like. Due to its solid range and accuracy, those who are effective with the Slosher are the ones who hang out at the edge of its range and are constantly moving around in squid form. I'm also not a fan of the pairing of the Slosher with Burst Bombs. I feel as if they serve the same purpose. I can't think of very many situations in which throwing a Burst Bomb would be better than just sloshing it up. Maybe one of you pro Slosher users can enlighten me... New Music [embed]305716:60005:0[/embed] First of all, let me just say how much I love the fact that the in-game music has in-game bands. It's the dedication to things like this that make Splatoon so consistently awesome. The new battle tune is great. I love the chiptune-y vibe from it. I'm also really glad to have more than one single music track for battles. The music that plays during the last 15-30 seconds of the original track was starting to make me go crazy... New Urchin Underpass So, I wasn't completely sure why Urchin Underpass needed a makeover, but after playing its new incarnation, I'm happy to never ever go back. The new map is so much more open than the original. The tree near the spawn apparently caused issue for players, so they moved them to the very center of the map. This is actually a brilliant decision, since these trees perfectly obfuscate part of the center of the map so snipers can't just sit on the elevated sides and wreak havoc.  I didn't mind the map before, but now Urchin Underpass is easily one of my favorites. I feel as if there are a lot of options at any given moment, which is really when Splatoon shines the most. Splatfest Victory Conditions So they changed how Splatfest victories are calculated, and increased the victory part of the equation to count four times. We've since had a Splatfest, which was Marshmallows VS Hot dogs in North America. Marshmallows had a huge popularity lead (64/36), and Hot Dogs had a slight victory lead (48/52). The result was a close one at 256 to 244. So, is this the solution? Personally, I think it's a good idea. I don't mind that popularity factors in to the equation.  Victories are definitely important, and now are weighted way more heavily as a result. Although the change didn't give team Hot dogs the victory, it did make it very close, which is impressive considering the population gap.  Rainmaker Mode This isn't part of the 2.0 patch, but did hit the game very recently. It's a new mode that works a lot like capture the flag. There's a weapon, called the Rainmaker, in the center of the map, and your goal is to bring it to your opponent's base. The Rainmaker acts like an Inkzooka, but can be charged for a much bigger tornado blast. It's a great addition to Ranked mode, but people clearly need some time to understand it. The weapon is enclosed within a shield when it is dropped, and the shield must be popped to pick it up. My advice to all you squidkids out there: pay attention to your surroundings before you pop the shield! I average around 15 kills in this mode, simply because people are staring with tunnel vision at the Rainmaker, ignoring everything else. Teamwork is essential, since movement speed is lowered while holding the weapon. Moving with a squad to protect the Rainmaker feels great, similar to how protecting the payload cart feels in Team Fortress 2.  Okay, I think I'm caught up now with the major Splatoon updates. Unless they just announced one while I was typing this....did they?
Splatoon updates photo
So much new content
It seems like every time I boot up Splatoon, Callie and Marie are telling me about something new added to the game. Weapon variations are added all the time, and just recently, a big 2.0 patch hit. New gear, new types of weap...

Splatoon update photo
Splatoon update

Squid Girl outfit coming to Splatoon this week in Japan

You gotta be squiddin' me
Aug 05
// Ben Davis
[Update: We've spotted all the Squid Girl gear in the U.S. build of the August update. Thanks, Nintendo! Please do Ranma 1/2 next.] Ever since Splatoon's characters were first announced, I've been seeing comparisons between t...
Quantum Break photo
Quantum Break

Quantum Break now has an April 5, 2016 release date

Time moves slow
Aug 04
// Brett Makedonski
Microsoft kicked off its gamescom press conference by bending time and slowly shoving bullets into bad guys. That's Quantum Break -- part third-person cover action game and part television show. We still don't have a goo...

Gears of War HD is fine, but why wasn't active reload its legacy?

Aug 03 // Steven Hansen
[embed]297093:59771:0[/embed] Fergusson calls Ultimate Edition "the first at its best." The team didn't want to update the gameplay to reflect every change brought about by the second and third sequel. It's a "balance between modernization and breaking Gears 1." You still can't move while downed, for instance, but you can spot enemies. Still, the ten-year-old game could use some cleaning up. Fergusson has talked about the slapdash putting together of the original. He noted that, "When you look at Gilligan's Island today, it's a terrible show that should never be watched." That it isn't really funny, "but Mary Ann was hot." This comparison doesn't make a ton of sense because Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is a tech overhaul. It's a shot for shot, line for line remake, like that Psycho with Vince Vaughn. An HD, visually remastered Gilligan's Island would still be Gilligan's Island. I played some Gears Ultimate last week in San Francisco. For shock value, they had Xbox 360s set up to play one round of multiplayer in the original. It is gritty and monotone. Characters feel appropriately like tanks and I struggle to discern between human and alien bug ground monster. This problem didn't go away completely when we switched over to Xbox One, but we can chalk that up to me being not particularly great. I think my team only lost one round, though the win piles were not me carrying folks. Here's a more important question: why is the gruff marine third-person cover shooter the thing that feels most copied from Gears and not active reload? Active reload is still so fucking good. It engages the player when they'd otherwise be waiting for an animation to finish, it has practical advantages, more button presses (in repeatable timing instances) makes for more rhythmic and fluid play. Why didn't everyone do this? The rest of it is still fun, too. The insult of walking patiently up behind a sniper and casually chainsawing them dead. The hulking movement and exploding heads. That one level with a killer train in between halves. And there are new additions like TDM, differing "competitive" and "social" matchmaking, 4K displays if you buy it on PC, additional content if you never played the original PC release. Playing Gears Ultimate will net you the previous Gears games when Xbox One sorts out its backwards compatibility, too, and you of course get early access to Gears 4 down the line.
Hands-on preview photo
Hands-on with the rebuilt Gears of War
Gears of War was not alone in ushering in an era of grimdark, of repetitive third-person cover-based shooting, but it ground our faces deepest into the dirt and grit. At one point an officer yells at prison-broke Marcus Fenix...

Gears of War photo
Gears of War

Devs 'aren't trying to fix gameplay' with Gears of War remaster

But things are being smoothed out
Jul 29
// Brett Makedonski
Even though it'll release almost nine years after the original, Gears of War players won't feel a lot of difference between 2006's game and the remaster. Sure, they'll notice a ton of differences, but they won't feel&nb...
New Splatoon weapons photo
New Splatoon weapons

Splatoon gets new minigun and bucket weapons

The game that keeps on giving
Jul 25
// Patrick Hancock
A new Japanese commercial for Splatoon highlights some brand new weapons coming to the game, including a minigun like the Heavy's in Team Fortress 2. In addition to that, there's a literal bucket that just sloshes paint...
Gears of War photo
Gears of War

PC players will have to wait a bit for Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

No exact date given
Jul 22
// Brett Makedonski
It was only a month ago that The Coalition boss Rod Fergusson took the floor at the PC Gaming show at E3 to announce that Gears of War: Ultimate Edition would release on Windows 10. That's still true, but it wo...
Splatfest photo
Popularity contest burns Team Cat
Perhaps the greatest injustice of the year happened over the July 4 weekend. Nintendo's shooter Splatoon ran its first splatfest event, pitting cats versus dogs. The sides shot it out while less patriotic Americans were shoot...

Red Ash photo
Introducing sci-fi shooter Red Ash
Keiji Inafune and Comcept have wrapped development on Mighty No. 9 and are now returning to Kickstarter to fund their next project, Red Ash, a spiritual successor to Mega Man Legends. Announced today at Anime Expo in Los Ange...

Uncharted 4 photo
Uncharted 4

Uncharted 4 extended trailer: Drake is a Terminator

Kill me? No thanks!
Jul 01
// Steven Hansen
Hey, remember when I crouched in a bush beside skating teens and told you about the extended Uncharted 4: A Thief's End demonstration I saw at E3? (I wrote about it, too.) Now you can watch that extended gameplay and see jus...
Splatoon photo

Splatoon's new mode is like king of the hill with a twist

Mobile gaming
Jun 30
// Brett Makedonski
One of the primary criticisms of Splatoon upon release was its lack of variation in online game modes. Nintendo's been slowly working to fix that, as it has a set of free updates scheduled through August. Another of tho...
Uncharted at E3 photo
Uncharted at E3

Video impressions: Uncharted 4's extended E3 demo

Sneaky sneak
Jun 22
// Steven Hansen
I got to see another large chunk of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End from after the trailer cut off at E3. I wrote about that a bit here. I've also written a bit about why I think Uncharted 4 has the potential to be much better than Uncharted 3's poor showing. Anyways, if you want to see the video we shot in conjunction where I crouch in some bushes as teens do skate tricks nearby, here's that.
Gears 4's Kait photo
Gears 4's Kait

The woman in Gears 4 is Kait and it's not called Gears 4

Holiday 2016
Jun 17
// Steven Hansen
I had an appointment with Microsoft about Gears today, but it ended up being mostly about Gears of War Ultimate, the remake of the original game. I did get one piece of news about Gears 4: the woman's name is Kait. We already...

Marcus Fenix's default Gears of War face is a permanent scowl

Jun 17 // Steven Hansen
Before Gears became the big bad brolf of Microsoft franchises, it was a bit more scrappy. Fergusson was excited to be able to go back and completely change Gears' cinematics. "Back then we were under such time constraints we called them Frankenscenes," he said. Motion capture was re-used and stitched together. The dialogue in cinematics remains intact, but there are all sorts of new camera angles, zooms. Fergusson and company went back to assess, "what were we trying to convey, what did we successfully or not successfully convey," in terms of tone. The five chapters left out of Gears' 2006 360 release (they later made it into the 2007 PC release) are also being included in Ultimate. The "casual" difficulty has become the new normal and a truer "casual" setting has been added. There's still local split-screen on and offline (take notes, Halo 5) with a pillar box look to give both players a view closer to 16:9. And, as folks might be seeing in the online beta, there are dedicated servers, a spectator mode, LAN support, 19 maps, Team Death Match, King of the Hill, community designed Gnashers 2v2, and 1080p, 60fps online play. Unless you're playing on PC and want to crank it up to 4K or whatever.
Gears Ultimate photo
And more on Gears of War Ultimate
Microsoft announced a 60fps, 1080p remake of the first Gears, Gears of War Ultimate, a couple days back. I sat down with Rod Fergusson for a meeting about the remake, which has completely replaced every single art asset, adde...

E3: First hands-on Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's The Division

Jun 15 // Steven Hansen
[embed]294064:59046:0[/embed] We sure as fuck weren't as team work oriented as Ubisoft's carefully directed demo, which will basically be the case if you aren't playing regularly with a couple pals. Quoting the developer, it's a "standard shooter" in terms of controls. Each character had a few different abilities, which later can be customized (there's a turret, remote sticky bomb, a homing mine that follows you until it finds an enemy to go after) and my character was outfitted with a shotgun that somewhat unsatisfyingly took chunks of my opponents' health bar out. Like, that's not what shotguns should be doing. But The Division is heavy on its crazy tech UI theme, and the co-op focus means it could end up something like Destiny -- kind of a boring loot fest, but fun with friends. It's cool that you're at risk of losing your high level loot if you're killed in this instance and that might make even strangers try and team up (loot is evenly split, too). There are crazy dudes with flamethrowers to worry about and "Rikers," a gang of murderous inmates escaped from Rikers Island prison, which kind of doesn't make sense given how many prisoners in the United States are non-violent offenders and probably would return to their families if released rather than into a group of murderous thugs, but, hey, gritty apocalypse. Of course there are also other players to worry about. At any moment they can go rogue and start fights between fire teams (in our demo, we all tried to kill each other), but you can also all work together and wait for an extraction out of the instance. The goal seems to be making it so your first impulse isn't to kill anyone you come across, because that just makes things harder and puts your gains at risk. The Division isn't quite for me. I don't need endless progressions, bars, and numbers to play a game. But folks who got well into Destiny might find a nice little squad-based multiplayer shooter here. But I also still have no clue how the open-world element works, as this demo might as well as have been any old multiplayer map.
The Division photo
Divisioning a division in Division
Tom Clancy may be dead, but The Division isn't. It's been two years since Ubisoft announced its apocalyptic "online, open-world action RPG," but I finally got hands-on at a Ubisoft event this E3. We were set up in a boiling h...

Division release photo
Division release

Tom Clancy's The Division release date is March 8, 2016

That was cold, Ryan
Jun 15
// Darren Nakamura
Ubisoft showed off some more of The Division at its press conference today. In the gameplay preview, a team of three makes a shaky alliance with a random group of two. They all take down some bad guys, steal their loot, and ...
Gears of War 4 photo
Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 announced, features new characters

Looks pretty spooky and stormy
Jun 15
// Jed Whitaker
Gears of War 4 has been announced by The Coalition at Microsoft's E3 press conference, and it looks spooky as hell. No familiar faces were in the trailer, as it looks like the game focuses on all new characters. Fans of the series will be happy to know that the Gnasher shotgun, Stub pistol, and Lancer are still here. Coming exclusively to Xbox One, the release date is still unannounced.

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