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Rainbow Six: Siege photo
Rainbow Six: Siege

Here's how Rainbow Six: Siege's microtransactions work

It's par for the course
Dec 01
// Chris Carter
Since Ubisoft is Ubisoft, there's been some confusion as to how the microtransaction system works in Rainbow Six: Siege. Having experienced the retail version, I'll explain. Basically, everything that comes with a gameplay ad...
The Cossacks are coming photo
The Cossacks are coming

Europa Universalis IV on sale in time for Cossacks expansion

Cheap EUIV ahead of 6th expansion
Dec 01
// Steven Hansen
As we famously reported a couple months back: The Cossacks are coming, the Cossacks are coming! Well, those cock and ball sack hybrids have hit Steam as Europa Universalis IV's sixth major expansion. It will run you $20 -- n...
King's Quest Chapter Two photo
King's Quest Chapter Two

Second King's Quest chapter out December 15

Rubble Without a Cause
Dec 01
// Darren Nakamura
It's been a long time coming since the first episode of King's Quest, which turned out better than many expected. Five months is a long time between episodes, especially when competitors like Telltale are generally maintain a...
Just Cause 3 photo
Just Cause 3

Are you having trouble running Just Cause 3?

You're not alone :(
Dec 01
// Vikki Blake
According to reports on reddit, some players are experiencing significant issues with newly launched Just Cause 3. As reported by VG247, some framerate and performance issues can be resolved on PC by way of a graphi...

metroidvania photo

Heart Forth, Alicia is really coming along

Get outta my dreams
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
The latest Kickstarter update for Heart Forth, Alicia is a lot to get through. There's been a delay -- from Q1 2016 to the second half of the year -- but rather than just give a basic explanation for the change of plans, the ...
Platinum Games photo
Platinum Games

Platinum is doing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles next

Mutants in Manhattan
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
Australia's classification board has a listing for a multiplatform game called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan and, hot damn, it's developed by Platinum Games. Question is, will its scope fall more in line ...

Review: Just Cause 3

Nov 30 // Patrick Hancock
Just Cause 3 (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 4, Xbox One)Developer: Avalanche StudiosPublisher: Square EnixMSRP: $59.99Release Date: December 1, 2015 Reviewed on: Intel i7-4770k 3.50 GHz, 8GB of RAM, Geforce GTX 970, Windows 10.  Just Cause 3 once again follows the exploits of Rico Rodriguez on a quest to liberate a region from a corrupt dictator, settlement by settlement. This time Rico has access to Medici, a nation under the control of Sebastiano Di Ravello. Medici is about the same size of Just Cause 2's Panau, which is to say it is huge. One big reason why Medici is a sought-after nation is due to its resource of Bavarium, a super-resource that allows for all sorts of militaristic applications. While I'm sure most players are not coming for the plot, the writers do a great job to keep the player entertained with the cast of characters involved. Rico has a handful of allies that aid him and the rebels throughout the campaign, and each character is great. Sure, they're essentially B-movie caricatures, but they're lovable caricatures. Despite the urgency and political turmoil constantly woven into each action Rico undertakes, his allies always seemed to put a big grin on my face. A lot of this comes down to two three things: the writing, voice acting, and animations. Again, the overarching narrative isn't going to blow any minds, but the moment-to-moment dialogue between the few important characters is consistently wonderful. Best of all, each voice actor delivers lines in a casual and believable way, something that is helped by realistic accompanying animations. No, there's no Bolo Santosi, but not every game is perfect. [embed]322878:61303:0[/embed] The bulk of the experience involves blowing the shit out of anything and everything. In order to take down Di Ravello, Rico must go from location to location, destroying everything owned by the evil dictator. It just so happens that about 95 percent of those items are highly explosive! When entering an area, whether it be a military base or a settlement, a list of destructible objects appear on the left side of the screen and it is the player's job to take them out. As less and less objects remain, they become more and more visible on the game's map, preventing the player from searching forever for that one last thing. The most useful tools at Rico's disposal are his grappling hooks. Not only is it possible to grapple onto a surface and travel straight to it, but Rico can use it to attach two separate items and pull them together. In Just Cause 3, it is possible to have up to six grappling hooks at a time. Six! This means twelve items can be linked to each other in a number of ways, and they can all converge on each other at once. Anyone who has played the previous game knows just how ridiculous that sounds. Okay, so there's explosives and grappling, but those aren't even the best mechanics, all things told. Movement in Just Cause 3 is easily the most fluid and beautiful system I've ever used. Seriously, I have never enjoyed moving around an open world as much as I have in Just Cause 3. There are three systems that mesh together: the grappling hook, the parachute, and, most importantly, the newly-acquired wing suit.  There's a lot of verticality to Medici, which makes flying around with the wing suit an absolute thrill. Plus, with the grappling hook available, it's possible to glide almost indefinitely at high speeds. I rarely used a vehicle to get around at all, since it was often slower and way less entertaining. The exception is when traveling over a large amount of water, since there is nothing to grapple onto and pull Rico along. Other than the campaign missions and settlements to liberate, Medici has random events, challenges, and collectibles. The random events might be to help tow someone's car to a gas station, or to prevent a group of friendly rebels from suffering the fate of a firing squad. There aren't too many varieties, but the distractions are quick and the rewards can easily be worth it. Some of the challenges are the standard "maneuvering a vehicle through rings," but others perfectly show off the game's mechanics and carefree attitude. Perhaps my favorite is a very Burnout-esque challenge that has players drive a car with a bomb strapped to it to a desired location only to jump out at the last moment to create chaos. The twist here is that, like Keanu Reeves in Speed, if the car goes below a certain speed, the bomb will explode. It's not as strict as the movie, but if a player goes too slow for too long, the challenge is failed. Others, like the wing suit courses, are also great and help hone specific skills. Players are awarded up to five "gears," depending on performance. Think of them like star ratings. Acquiring gears in certain challenge categories go towards unlocking new upgrades in those areas. For example, performing well in the Speed challenges gives Rico more upgrades for his explosives. Many of the upgrades make things simply better or more useful, like adding explosive charges, but some are more play-style driven. Players can turn these upgrades on and off at will once they are unlocked. For those looking to get more gears in challenges, keep this in mind; it is way easier to get a high score at the end of the game than it is at the beginning due to upgrades. Since this is an open world game in 2015, there's a smattering of collectibles strewn throughout Medici. I'm not one to care about them, but for those who do, Just Cause 3 has your back. If anything collectible is nearby, a small radar blip appears on the bottom of the screen that increases in signal strength as the item draws near. In addition, liberating a province (usually made of three to seven settlements) pinpoints the locations of these hidden items on the map. The biggest thing to realize while playing Just Cause 3 is it is mostly up to the player to keep things interesting. Liberating settlement after settlement does get stale, especially because they're essentially identical to one other, just with different layouts. Always using the same weapons to destroy the same objects gets old quickly. If players aren't inspired to get creative with their destruction, it's easy to get bored. The game gives the players all the tools needed to keep things fresh, but provides no tangible incentive to do so, therefore any such incentive must be intrinsically motivated. My recommendation is to keep doing challenges. By completing challenges and unlocking new upgrades, players will naturally want to play around with those upgrades. Well, what better way to test them out then when liberating a settlement? It would have been appreciated if various weapons had their own challenges, which would push players into switching it up more often. The story missions spice things up with some different objectives, but even those tend to repeat and feel "samey" after a while. Occasionally story missions will be locked, forcing the player to liberate more provinces or specific settlements before progressing. There's usually a canonical reason given for this, but it can easily lead to the player feeling burnt out. Liberating two or three provinces means going through about 15 settlements in a row. That's....a lot, especially considering how similar each one is to any other. Again, I'll offer some advice. Liberate settlements as you travel around. See a settlement? Blow the shit out of it and free those people! This will leave random settlements already completed, which means when you are forced to do so, it's much less tedious. Another way to help break the monotony is to call in Rebel Drops. These allow Rico to ask for some presents like vehicles, weapons, and explosives, to be dropped right in front of him. They are limited, but the system is much easier to understand and operate than the previous game's black market. If the feeling of staleness is creeping up, call in a rebel drop containing any assortment of items, and find the best way to use them in tandem! Visually, Just Cause 3 looks great, especially in motion on PC. The visuals are highly customizable with the standard graphical options expected on the platform. I ran everything at "Very High" and got a constant 60 frames-per-second... once I turned the motion blur off. I experimented with many different settings, and the lack of motion blur easily yielded the best performance. I did have some rare instances of artifacting, but was never able to actually reproduce them intentionally. I also ran in to a terrible glitch where Rico was performing the "dammit I got hit" animation every three-seconds, preventing me from doing, well, anything. A quick restart fixed the issue and I never saw it again, fortunately enough. Then, there's the issue with signing in to the Square Enix servers. The first thing the game does upon booting it up is to log in to the servers. The game is not always-online, but wants to connect to show players leaderboards for a variety of categories. These are things like longest time in a wing suit or most consecutive headshots. If a player loses connection, it pauses the game immediately and tries to reconnect. If it can't, the player can elect to go into offline mode. Great! Offline mode sounds wonderful. Except it tries to reconnect all the damn time. After a short while of being in offline mode, whenever the player checks the map, pauses the game, or initiates a challenge, the game will try to reconnect to the servers. The result is a constant view of the connection screen - either disconnecting or attempting to reconnect. This makes the game nigh unplayable with a spotty Internet connection. If that worries you, a solution on PC is to play the game through Steam's "offline mode." I can only hope there's an easier solution down the road. The enjoyment players get from Just Cause 3 will come from exactly how they approach the game. Those looking to fly around and blow up just about everything in sight will be elated with one of the most fluid movement systems in any game and the gorgeous explosion visuals that really pack a punch. As bizarre as it sounds though, blowing everything sky high can start to feel tedious after a while without proper motivation.  I'm sure you'll be seeing a ton of animated GIFs of Just Cause 3 for a while to come, due to all of the wacky things that can happen within the game. It truly is an insane, explosion-filled romp through a beautiful nation chock-full of cheeky humor. It provides some of the best open-world tools ever. This is definitely a case of "it is what you make of it," and for those with intrinsic motivation to make it the best will be greeted with just that. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Just Cause 3 Review! photo
The best Spider-Man game yet
While driving down the New Jersey parkway for Thanksgiving, I began to notice a lot of water and radio towers perched high above the trees. "Wow, I could easily blow them up or tether them to the ground and bring them down," ...

Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Star Wars Battlefront's Jakku DLC looks like a good start

Casualties aplenty
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
The first wave of free Star Wars Battlefront DLC debuts tomorrow for players who pre-ordered the game, while everyone else can get it a week later on December 8. As we've heard a few times now, the Battle of Jakku is made up ...
Naruto photo

The 'last' Naruto game just got a demo in Japan

Also, a new trailer
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
It's hard to believe that Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 isn't out yet -- I could have sworn it was set to come out months ago. It's actually going to arrive in February worldwide following a delay, and for no...
Mighty No. 9 photo
Mighty No. 9

New Mighty No. 9 trailer showcases additional modes

Oh that Beck he's so wacky
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
Mighty No. 9 is going for that "kooky weird Saturday morning cartoon" vibe with this new trailer, meant to showcase some of the game's new modes, and that ever-popular brand™ building Minecraft pre-order bonus ski...
Hearthstone photo

This Hearthstone combo kills both players instantly

Compliments of Tavern Brawl
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
Hearthstone's Auchenai Soulpriest is up to his old tricks again. As most Priest players know, this card swaps healing powers for damage, setting up some devastating combos if used on the enemy. But in the case of this week's ...
South Park photo
South Park

Obsidian's team had full access to the South Park archives for The Stick of Truth

Did You Know Gaming
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
South Park: The Stick of Truth was a pretty ambitious project -- so much so that I didn't think it would ever actually come out. But when it did, it blew my expectations away, and Obsidian had another hit on its hands. ...
Rainbow Six Siege photo
Rainbow Six Siege

Where is our review for Rainbow Six: Siege?

Working on it
Nov 30
// Chris Carter
After a beta snafu, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege is set to launch tomorrow on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One platforms. So where is our review? Well, we declined Ubisoft's review event as per our policy, so we'll be getting...
Metal Gear Solid photo
Metal Gear Solid

Not everyone is giving peace a chance in Metal Gear Solid V's race to disarmament

Oh, Xboners
Nov 30
// Vikki Blake
Konami is keeping us updated following its call to disarm all nuclear weapons on Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. As at November 29, Xbox 360 is leading the charge with just 35 nukes remaining, with big brother Xbox One ...
Rainbow Six Siege photo
Rainbow Six Siege

Like killing off your own team members in Rainbow Six Siege? Ubisoft has plans for you

'It will not be tolerated'
Nov 30
// Vikki Blake
Ubisoft will not tolerate players who kill off their own teammates in Rainbow Six Siege. Replying to a fan tweet that asked if there were plans to "to do anything about trolls that kill people on their [own] team," the develo...
Warhammer 40K photo
Warhammer 40K

Oh hey, a Warhammer 40K game that looks okay

Tentative excitement for Eternal Crusade
Nov 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Games Workshop isn't the most discerning of license holders. Ever since the demise of THQ, the company has allowed just about anyone to make a video game based on Warhammer 40,000. The situation has reached the point where D...
Handball 16 photo
Handball 16

Handball 16 is a real game you can play

But you probably don't want to
Nov 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Every Sunday, Sony posts a lineup of new releases coming to PlayStation systems that week. It's something I check religiously, hoping to discover a gem hidden amongst the big blockbusters. No gems this week, but Bigben Intera...
Rocket League x Portal photo
Rocket League x Portal

Portal crossover coming to Rocket League

The cake is a li-- er, topper
Nov 29
// Kyle MacGregor
Portal-themed content is coming to Rocket League next month, Psyonix has announced. Starting December 1, the following items will be awarded to players at random after matches: Cake (Topper)  Conversion Gel (Rocket Trai...

The wastelander's guide to building settlements in Fallout 4

Nov 28 // Nic Rowen
Creating your character to be a wasteland real estate mogul  Before you lay down the foundations of your personal empire, you need to get yourself right first. If you want to be serious about your settlements, you'll need a few perks to make it work, including a hefty investment in charisma. This could be tricky if you've already been playing for 50 hours with an anti-social radioactive super soldier and just now want to start rebuilding the Commonwealth, but not un-doable (remember, you can get a charisma-boosting bobblehead at the insane asylum and invest perk points into S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats if you really need to get that number up, among other less savory methods that I'll discuss later). You can also just roll up a new character specifically made to dive into the building and crafting aspect of the game. You'll need six Charisma to get two levels of the Local Leader perk and at least level two of the Cap Collector perk. These will let you make supply lines (ESSENTIAL) and awesome stores in your settlements. You'll probably also want to go deep on Intelligence -- the Gun Nut and Science! perks are practically necessary if you want to build the best versions of generators and defense turrets and Scrapper is a little too good to ignore (it will let you turn all those junky laser pistols and pipe rifles you normally throw in the dumpster into useful copper, gears, and circuitry). I know, it sucks that the way crafting in Fallout 4 works basically pigeonholes you into a certain build. There is still plenty of room for creativity even after those stat demands though and the joy of raising a civilization out of the ashes of history does take the sting out a bit. The basics you probably already know If you want your settlement to grow, you'll need a few things: water, food, beds, and a radio beacon. Each settler you bring in needs one unit of food and water per day and they get whiny if they don't have a nice downy pillow to rest their head on at night, so you'll want to get those things sorted first. Plant a few crops (easily done by raiding other farms for their crops and it quickly becomes self-perpetuating when you can just harvest your own fields for planting supplies), install two or three water pumps, and flop down a few beds. No need to go crazy, it takes a settlement time to grow and you can always add more as needed (and later crafting options can make old ones obsolete so no need to waste scrap on something you won't need). A radio beacon draws a steady flow of new settlers to your homestead. You'll need a power source to run it so build a generator (which will come in handy for other things, anyway). Remember, you can turn a radio beacon off when you think you have enough settlers in one place. In some of the smaller areas like the Red Rocket station near the beginning of the game, you may want to put a cap on the number of people you take in. You'll probably want to defend your patch once you have it all set up. Turrets are the go-to option for this (and why you need Science! and Gun Nut so badly so you have access to the upgraded versions). Each turret, trap, or manned guard tower adds a few points to the defense rating of a settlement. Try to keep that number the same or slightly higher than the sum of both the food and water points to discourage attacks. When an attack does occur, you will be notified on your Pip-Boy and can help your settlers defend their home. Raids on your property can be unpredictable. In my time responding to would-be home invaders, I've seen everything from realistic flanking attacks from Super Mutants pouring over the hills, to packs of feral Ghouls somehow spawning deep inside the walls of a fortified base. Your best bet is to spread out your defenses to cover likely avenues of attack while also covering populated areas where your settlers are likely to take a stand. Building things! You could just work with what each settlement already has, but what is the fun in that? Leave your personal mark on the wasteland with a proud series of ramshackle apartments, abodes, and disturbingly militaristic forts. The tools for building things in Fallout 4 are honestly pretty terrible. Objects float about in weird ways, mechanics are never explained unless you go digging through the help topics in the menu (and even then it's hit or miss), and the way walls and attachments snap (or fail to snap) together will give you no end of grief. But don't let that stop you! With a little patience and a few pointers, you can make some reasonably cool-looking digs for your wastelanders. If someone could make this monstrosity of wires and pressure pads work, you can probably get a few fences to stand up straight. First thing first, lay down a foundation and a floor. Uneven terrain tends to mess with the building tools so you'll want to keep things as level as possible to make things easier on yourself. Try to build up! Many of the settlement areas have limited usable ground space. Small areas strewn with debris and hills do not make for nice buildings, but you can avoid that problem by building vertically. Don't be afraid to slap down ladders and staircases and build on top of what is already there. Not only is it space efficient, but a rad tower fort on top of the local Red Rocket station looks much cooler than a bunch of square boxes crammed together on the parking lot. Set up supply lines from a central hub to make life easier. Trying to cart around tin cans and microscopes between settlements and keeping track of which place has what is a suckers game. With the Local Leader perk you can assign a settler to run supplies between locations and everyone can share from the same pool of salvage (but not hard items like guns or armor). Make a supply chain by assigning one runner from settlement A to take goods to settlement B, and one from B to take goods to C, and so on. That way you can just toss all your junk in any workbench in the line and use all of it anywhere. Provisioners seem to be immortal like Companions, so don't worry about them dying on the road the first time they run afoul of some Mole Rats. Fences can really help with invasions by funneling attackers into kill zones as well as give your settlement a homey, lived-in look (murder and comfort together at last!). Sadly, when you start putting rings around all your settlements they also become material hogs, gobbling up steel and wood like nobody's business. I recommend you pick up an issue of Picket Fences from Beantown Brewery so you can make, well, picket fences. They don't consume steel when crafting them and they look more charming than rusty chain link (granted, they look slightly less so when splattered with Super Mutant blood). Light up the night How you provide power to your settlements is poorly explained in-game but essential for making a great homestead, so be prepared to mess with it. Basically, you have two kinds of powered devices at your disposal. Active devices like laser turrets and water purifiers that require units of power to run (meaning your generator has to be able to match their power draw to keep everything working), and passive devices like lights and traps that can run off the ambient grid. Active devices need a line running directly into them, while passive devices need either a nearby connected pylon or wall socket to work. Power pylons can be used to run line from a generator to far-away devices or a conduit. The maximum length of a wire is fixed, but can be cut short by obstacles, hanging on the ground, and so on. I recommend you build your generators in elevated positions to get the most out of your copper. Pylons give off a radius of electrical power that can be used to run lights, traps, and other things. Plugging a conduit into the wall of a building supposedly provides power to the entire shack, but my experience with them has been mixed. Mostly, they seem to work just like pylons (but are slightly cheaper to make and more compact to string up between nearby buildings). Making complex grids for my settlements has been hands down the single most frustrating and rewarding part of building things in Fallout 4. It's a very fussy system (I can't tell you how many times I broke everything trying to slightly adjust one little wall tile or light bulb) but once you get used to it, you can really make your settlements pop. Capitalism Ho! Shops are wonderful. While having to invest into two ranks of Local Leader and Cap Collector to make the biggest shops (which really is the only way to go) is a drag, what you get out of having a few shops spread among your networked settlements can be well worth it. There are six kinds of shops you can make for your settlements with four tiers of value. Each type of shop will boost your settlement's happiness and pull in caps, but a few stand out as handier to have in your personal base of operations than others. Weapon shops can be a reliable source of ammo without having to make a trip to Diamond City, trade goods shops can help cut down on the time it takes to scavenge for parts, clinics can help you cheaply cure addiction and radiation poisoning at your convenience, and bars are great for ingredients for cheap healing items. Armor and clothing shops are fun too and you'll probably want one of each in your network at some point just for variety, but they're not as overtly useful. You can build the first two tiers of shop with just the second level of the Local Leader perk. They're fine and will do the trick if you want to be a skinflint about it. But if you invest all the way to the third tier of shop by getting two levels of Cap Collector, your market stalls will start to carry surprisingly great gear. What's better is once you have tier-three stores, you'll occasionally run into special vendors in the wasteland that you can invite to work at your locations who will turn them into unique fourth-tier stores that carry special gear. Shops will generate an income you can draw from on their own -- just check your workbench from time to time and you'll notice you have a handful of caps you can pull out. But don't get the wrong idea: shops accrue money slowly, so you won't be diving into a vault of caps like Scrooge McDuck anytime soon. The value of having a nice network of shops is the convenience of being able to talk to a merchant on demand rather than wander around looking for a traveling trader or making a special trip. It lets you make more money off of explorations (you can trade found gear for caps more easily) and enables you to restock and refuel faster to get you back out in the wastes. Advanced DIY tips There are plenty of mechanics involved in the settlement system that the game doesn't go out of its way to tell you. I'll try and shed some light on them here. Did you know the maximum population of your settlements is tied to your Charisma stat? Ten people by default plus one extra per point of Charisma. For most people, this either means a 16 settler max, or up to 20 if you went whole-hog on Charisma. I'm told wearing Charisma-boosting gear can let you break that cap but I haven't noticed it in my game. Spread out your beds. For the longest time my settlers in Sanctuary were complaining about “the bed situation” despite having plenty of cots to rest on. At first I assumed it was a bug (this is a Fallout game), but I stumbled on some other people online having the same problem. Apparently, putting too many beds in one area causes makes your tired and poor wastelanders cranky (maybe they'd like it back in the wilds with the Deathclaws where I found them). I haven't found exact numbers, and testing for it is difficult, but it seems like four beds to one room or hut is the sweet spot. Water purifiers are a godsend and you should put them in any settlement that isn't landlocked. A single industrial water purifier will produce 40 units of water, far more than you'll ever need for a settlement on its own. Plus, extra water goes into your workbench as an aid item. You can pull out a bunch for cheap healing, or sell them all to a trader who wanders into your settlement for a stack of caps. Equip gear on your settlers for protection and convenience. Instead of scrapping or selling every spare gun you pick up, try placing it in a settler's inventory and have them equip it (use the triangle or Y button on the console controllers) and a single piece of ammunition for it (it will last them forever, thanks to Lex for the tip!). I know this might be really obvious, but I keep hearing from people who missed it! Not only will they be able to help next time a Super Mutant wanders into the neighborhood, but you can coordinate their outfits to help you keep track of what jobs people are doing. Or just give them a creepy uniform look if you want to make your own apocalypse cult. Each settler assigned to work on crops can sustain enough plants to generate six points of food. This means you only really need three or four full time farmers, which frees up the rest of your population for things like guard duty at watch towers, scavenging for supplies, or manning the tills at your shops. Speaking of guard posts, while they initially seem like a terrible deal (only a measly two defense for a manned post), if you set up multiple posts and assign a person to one of them, he or she will walk between up to three of them like a patrol and provide the defense benefit of each. So one person on guard duty watching three posts can actually provide a decent six defense; better than a level-one turret. Folks assigned to scavenging benches generate a small amount of junk for the workbench on their own. What they gather is fairly inconsequential, but something is better than nothing if you don't have them assigned to anything else. Interestingly enough, they tend to walk around with their weapons drawn, seemingly looking for a fight. Not sure why they do that, but I like to put the best of my spare weapons on them so they can be ready to draw down on any intruders. Build a bell! In the miscellaneous resources menu you can find a bell that will summon settlers to your location. This will save you loads of time when trying to assign jobs or equip folks since they can hide like ninjas when left to their own devices. I didn't find this until embarrassingly late in my game and it would have saved me a lot of time. In a nice little touch, settlers will congregate at a bar after hours if you build one. When the workday is over, everyone just wants a nice slice of grilled brahmin and a drink, I suppose. So maybe spend a little extra time laying out chairs and making your bar area look nice. Hey, you can always cheat I've really enjoyed building up my settlements, tinkering with the crafting tools, and spending entirely too much time equipping all of my little serfs with laser pistols and shotguns, but I'd be lying if I said it hasn't also been a chore. It just takes too long to collect all the knick-knacks and scrap you need to make things. I don't want to have to root around in some raider-infested warehouse looking for power coils and broken light bulbs for hours just to wire up some patio lights in my fifth fully-loaded farm house. Or maybe, like I mentioned earlier, you built your character to tame the wastes with hands made of concrete and a bulletproof hide. You didn't give any thought towards a useless dump stat like Charisma when you started the game. Now you're stuck looking at the unappealing idea of tossing multiple perk points into your stats just to start building decent settlements. So might I recommend cheating? If you're on PC, this is easy. Open up the console command line and go to town. If you are like me and playing on the PS4 (or Xbox One for that matter), you'll have to get a little more creative. There are two super easy exploits you can pull in the console version of Fallout 4 that will make building your settlements much easier. The first is the vendor scam, where you can clean out a vendor's entire stock (including all their junk and tasty shipments of fiber optics and oil) with some tricky re-selling. First, see what ammo a vendor is selling. The near-useless .38 is always a safe bet. Transfer most of that ammo type to a companion or drop it on the ground or you'll lose your own stash of it in the process, but keep 15 or 20 bullets in your inventory just to make the trick work. Next, click on the entire stack of that ammo from the vendor like you were going to buy it all. Hop over to your side of the trade window and sell back a single round of that ammo type from your tray, then sell the rest. If it worked right (it can be hinky and isn't always 100%) you should still have a phantom round left to sell. Mash on that until the vendor owes you a hundred caps or so, then flip back to their tray and “buy” the stack of ammo from them again. Weirdly, it will still count as you selling it and they'll owe you caps. The effect compounds and you can hit this multiple times until they owe you some ridiculous amount like 10k and then clean out their inventory for free. Now I'm delighted every time I bump into Trashcan Carla because I know it's another shipment of fine asbestos coming my way. This may be one of those things that's easier to watch than explain, so check out this video for a demonstration. [embed]323060:61293:0[/embed] When it comes to boosting your special stats, Dogmeat can help you with that. Head back to Sanctuary with him and check out your old house. In Shaun's room you should find a “You're S.P.E.C.I.A.L!” book on the ground that will immediately let you boost a stat of your choice. Once the book is in your inventory, find a nice level place (one of the cleared houses works fine) and get Dogmeat ready. Drop the book on the ground, call Dogmeat to pick it up, and JUST as he goes to snag it, pick it up yourself. The timing can be tricky since Dogmeat will grab stuff from different ranges (and generally act like a fool), but when done correctly, you should have a copy in your inventory while Dogmeat drops one at your feet. Drop them again and pick them up and one will let you boost another stat. You can do this again and again to raise your S.P.E.C.I.A.L points as much as you like. I'd recommend a light touch (completely overpowered characters quickly become boring), but this is a great option if you decide to get into crafting with an already developed character who doesn't have much in the way of Charisma or Intelligence. Exploits like this are going to be something players will have to come to or avoid on their own. Personally, I don't recommend cheating like this right off the bat. It can ruin the experience. But if you're 30 or 40 hours deep into the game and pulling your hair out because you built your character wrong at the start or just can't find enough oil to keep your turrets up and running, it's nice to have a safety net like this available. 
Settlement guide photo
A beacon in the wasteland
Okay, so you've been playing Fallout 4 since launch and you've wandered the wastes, scoured the ruins of Boston, and swam in the glowing sea. You've had a lot of adventures. Now you're thinking about settling down, and checki...

Final Fantasy VI photo
Final Fantasy VI

Final Fantasy VI rated for PC

Probably the ugly mobile port
Nov 28
// Kyle MacGregor
Final Fantasy VI is on its way to PC, a new PEGI rating suggests. While Square Enix has not made any official announcements regarding the matter, the publisher has re-released a number of classic Final Fantasy games on the pl...
World of Warcraft photo
World of Warcraft

Here's a quick look at World of Warcraft's new Demon Hunter class

For the Legion expansion
Nov 28
// Chris Carter
The World of Warcraft: Legion expansion isn't set to debut until mid-2016 (!), but Blizzard has provided alpha access to some individuals far ahead of its release. As of this week I had a chance to try out the Demon Hunter cl...
StarCraft II  photo
StarCraft II

StarCraft II co-op goes free-to-play, but only directly with friends

The Starter Edition has been updated
Nov 28
// Chris Carter
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void is out, and with it, a few new modes, such as the full co-op portion and Archon Mode -- which allows two players to control one base. But if you aren't willing to take the plunge yet, the Star...
PES 2016 photo
PES 2016

PES 2016 is getting a free-to-play edition soon with seven teams

Starting December 8
Nov 28
// Chris Carter
For all five of you who play PES 2016 (just kidding, it's a wildly successful franchise) will be delighted to hear that your friends can join in on the action soon for free. Starting December 8, there will be a free "ent...
GTA V photo

This GTA V machinima channels The Force, lightsabers

'Darth Trevor and Michael Kenobi'
Nov 27
// Chris Carter
I can't believe that Grand Theft Auto V machinima is still a thing, over two years later, but that's what a robust PC release and editing tools with do. It helps that most of the videos I've seen are actually good, like...
Azure Striker Gunvolt photo
Azure Striker Gunvolt

Azure Striker Gunvolt PC gets 50% off sale, new 'Christmas Mode'

Nov 27
// Chris Carter
From now until December 1, Azure Striker Gunvolt is 50% off on Steam, which is a sale you may want to partake in, as the PC version is being updated to incorporate a new "Christmas Mode." In essence, nearly the entire game ha...
Rainbox Six Siege beta photo
Rainbox Six Siege beta

The Rainbow Six Siege beta is back online, following a delay

Full game is out next week
Nov 27
// Chris Carter
In an odd twist of events, the Rainbow Six Siege beta was delayed last-minute, just six days before the game was set to launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Apparently sessions were not starting properly, and that it would b...

PC Port Report: Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Nov 27 // Joe Parlock
Rig: AMD FX-8320 3.50GHz Eight-Core processor, 12GB of RAM, AMD HD 7970, Windows 10 64-Bit. Framerate measured with Raptr. Game played at the “High” graphics preset. First things first, as a technical product Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is definitely one of the best of the series on PC. The graphics options are incredibly descriptive, so those who may not quite understand which ambient occlusion or anti-aliasing settings would be best for them aren’t left in the dark. I particularly like the little bar in the top-right corner that shows just how much of your video memory is being used, letting you tweak the game to be as high quality as your card will allow. The game supports 4K resolutions for people with absolutely monster rigs and big enough screens to run them on, as well as widescreen resolutions (up to 2560x1080) and borderless windowed mode for easy swapping between applications. However, there are also some important options missing, such as the ability to change the FOV. This is a third person game though, so it probably isn’t as big of a problem for the majority of people as it would be in a first person ganme. Some people do still suffer from motion sickness when playing third person games though, so the option to change it could have been beneficial. Also worth noting is that Syndicate features full and complete key remapping, adjustable mouse acceleration, and full controller support for Xbox 360, Xbox One and PS4 controllers. Disappointingly, the menus suggest there is a way to remap controller inputs, but this doesn't actually appear to be possible. After spending so long playing Assassin’s Creed on PC, trying to play it with an Xbox 360 controller felt unnatural to me. The ability to tweak which button does what thing would’ve been nice. As I mentioned, Assassin’s Creed has never been known for its stellar PC ports. Assassin’s Creed III and Unity in particular suffered from poor optimisation, and I struggled to hit even a steady 30FPS on them with the rig described above. I’m not a framerate perfectionist who demands 60+ FPS in all things (even though I also understand people wanting to get what they’ve paid for out of their expensive hardware), but even then being able to get solidly 40+ FPS in Syndicate on the high preset felt like a breath of fresh air. Even in the most expansive or detailed areas I noticed very little drop in my framerate and considering how big the game is, that is a massive achievement. [embed]322674:61263:0[/embed] The only times there was a notable drop was on initially loading into the game (which is somewhat expected), and unfortunately during the carriage portions. Syndicate reintroduces drivable vehicles to the series, but whenever I picked up the pace or caused some carnage, the game would drop to around 20-25 FPS. This may be due to moving quicker through the world than it could load, but it was a bit of a disappointment none the less. Overall, I would have to say I’ve had a better time with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate’s port than with Unity or AC3, and it’s even arguably running better than the better games in the series like Rogue or Black Flag. When I played the demo at EGX, I came away feeling incredibly disappointed. At the time, it was just as buggy as Unity, without building on any of the mechanics introduced. It felt like one big rehash, and it left me worried for the future of the series. Now that I’ve been let loose on the final version, I can safely say that I was totally wrong. Syndicate is right up there as being one of my favourites in the entire series. It has its problems, but I can confidently place it alongside Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed 2 as being one of the series high points. Victorian London is recreated beautifully. The detailed streets, the steam trains barging down the tracks, the Thames chock-full of boats…the entire game feels like you’ve stepped into a Charles Dickens novel. One that involves lots of stabbing and the threat of naked hologram aliens, but a Charles Dickens novel none the less. Weirdly, I’d argue Syndicate borrows and improves on a lot from Watch_Dogs too with just how many moving parts the city has. Carriages, trains and boats make London feels a lot more dynamic than previous cities in the series, and at times can allow for some really cool getaways. A big problem I had with combat in Unity was how effective ranged weapons were against you. Almost every enemy carried a gun, and there was no way to counter against them, meaning armed enemies at range had a massive, massive advantage and frequently proved fatal. This problem was elegantly solved in Syndicate, where now you can simply dodge shots at any time. You don’t even need a human shield anymore. To balance it, melee combat is a lot trickier now. Gone are the days of simply countering everything and killing everyone all in one combo. Now you have to be smart, do damage when you can, and often running away to get an advantage later on is the better solution. It really helps encourage stealthier play, while also not being an instant death sentence should you decide to be a bit noisy. Speaking of stealth, Syndicate takes a lot of emphases away from the series’ cornerstone of “social stealth”. Instead, you now have a stealth button that will cause Jacob and Evie to crouch down and pull their hoods up. A lot of the creeping is based more around hiding behind walls and staying out of sight, rather than hiding in plain view as has always been the core of the series up to now.  Blending into crowds just doesn’t feel all that important anymore, and at times I actually found it almost impossible to do. For example, bumping into other people can cause crowds to break up just enough to leave you exposed, but when you want to close the gap on an enemy using the crowd as cover you’ll be bumping into people a whole lot more. I’m still not sure whether this change is good or not, as when you’re placed into environments designed for it the new stealth system feels involving and effective, but it does make the game feel a bit less Assassin’s Creed to me as well. The changes to player movement in Syndicate can be a bit of a mixed bag. I love the new line launcher that lets you quickly scale buildings, across entire streets, and opens up lots of new tactical possibilities in dealing with enemies. Being able to jump in, cause some damage, and then zip away again really made me rethink how to handle enemy encounters, as now the strategies I’d learned from the earlier games simply wasn’t the best way of dealing with things. On the other hand, the parkour system does frequently suffer from weird pathfinding issues.Syndicate adopts Unity’s system of having one button to move up and another to move down, but moving down often resulted in me getting caught up on bits of scenery and winding up heading in a totally different direction than what I was intending. While it’s certainly nowhere near the broken state of Unity, Syndicate does still suffer from some bugs. Aside from the pathfinding issue I’ve already mentioned, I’ve notice plenty of people teleporting around in crowded areas, random deaths when pinned against stationary trains, and enemies running around in tiny circles. It’s by no means a bug-free game, but they’re minor hitches in a massive game, so I personally could look past them. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate does have problems, but that doesn’t stop it from being the most enjoyable, interesting and different entry since Black Flag. The setting is great, and the changes to combat, movement and stealth mean you can’t play it the same way as every other game in the series. It’s a bit buggy, and there are some minor performance issues, but please don’t let that stop you from picking up Syndicate. For both ardent fans and those who are a bit tired of the formula, chances are Syndicate is what you were hoping for. [This PC Port Report is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Assassin's Creed Syndicat photo
Let's 'ave a butcher's at the PC version
Assassin’s Creed has had a rough time on PC. Not only did the very first game control poorly, but later both the third game and the infamous Unity both had a glut of technical issues, bugs, and suffered with very p...

Dragon's Dogma Dark Arise photo
Dragon's Dogma Dark Arise

Capcom shares some tips for Dragon's Dogma Dark Arisen for PC

Coming in January
Nov 27
// Chris Carter
Dragon's Dogma was an unconventional RPG that in many ways, was stuck in the past, but I really dug what it was trying to do. Every so often I'll jump back into it, and it was even more enticing once the Dark Arisen content ...
PS4 streaming photo
PS4 streaming

Official PC and Mac streaming is coming to the PS4

Sorry, third-party programs
Nov 27
// Joe Parlock
Have you ever gazed longingly at the Xbox One's ability to stream games to a PC? Have you ever wished your PS4 could do the same thing, wished to be taken into the sweet embrace of inFamous: Second Son or Metal Gear Solid V s...
CronusMAX Plus photo
CronusMAX Plus

The CronusMAX Plus V3 allows interchangeable PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U controllers

I put it to the test
Nov 26
// Chris Carter
For weeks now, readers have been asking about the CronusMAX Plus. With its grand claims of using "almost any controller on any console," a lot of people wanted to know if it worked, especially given the pricey $50 price tag for what essentially amounted to a fancy dongle. After some initial issues, it ended up taking me by surprise at how well it worked.

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