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Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny rubs salt in the overpriced expansion wound with Red Bull XP


Haha
Jun 24
// Chris Carter
As we all know, Activision is taking fans for a ride for the new Destiny expansion, and Bungie is getting really defensive about it. This is after the last expansion...well...sucked. Today they have announced that they a...
Prototype photo
Prototype

Prototype and Prototype 2 might be heading to PS4


Screaming and crying, the Prototype way
Jun 23
// Joe Parlock
Back in 2009, a brutal war was raging in gaming. No, not Xbox vs PlayStation, or Call of Duty vs Halo. It was worse. So much worse. A war centred around mediocre open-world superhero games. On the left, we had Sucker Pun...
Transformers: Devastation photo
Transformers: Devastation

We saw Transformers at E3, and it looks rad


[feat. Polygon's Nick Robinson]
Jun 22
// Mike Cosimano
I'm going to cover Transformers: Devastation until either the game is cancelled or I have a physical copy in my grubby dork hands. I hope you have all come to terms with this, as I have not. More Than Meets the Eye is on...
Activision remakes photo
Activision remakes

Activision 'thinks a lot' about remastering Call of Duty games


Maybe it's just a matter of time
Jun 22
// Brett Makedonski
The video game landscape in 2015 is rife with remake after remake, and it's just something that we've sort of learned to live with. So, why is a publisher with a reputation for chasing cash not pumping out upgraded remakes of...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

New Black Ops III video goes deep into co-op


Killing with friends is so much better
Jun 19
// Robert Summa
In order to continue the hype-train coverage that is so much of the norm for today's AAA mega franchises (and probably lesser games too), this hot-off-the-presses marketing video for Call of Duty Black Ops III will take you on a 13-minute tour of the "cooperative campaign with the Cyber Core tutorial." Sit back, relax, and let the sounds of war bathe you in a warming glow.
Tony Hawk 5 photo
Tony Hawk 5

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 releasing on September 29


On PS4 and Xbox One
Jun 16
// Darren Nakamura
Amidst all of the press conferences and announcements and previews, Tony Hawk decided now would be a good time to tweet out some information about the upcoming Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5. It looks like the return to form for th...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

I sucked at Call of Duty: Black Ops III's multiplayer


But I still had fun!
Jun 16
// Zack Furniss
It's easy to be cynical about a new Call of Duty release. Between the series' annualization and aggressive marketing, the urge to fire with phasers set to snark is strong. But every year I end up thoroughly enjoying an a...

Platinum Games secretly 'won' E3 this year

Jun 16 // Chris Carter
This level of success is rarely seen from underdog developers like this, but somehow, Platinum has managed to woo some of the biggest players in the entire industry. If I had to venture a guess, it would be primarily because of the fact that it creates great games, but it must be said, it's an incredibly versatile developer in general. While it's true that Platinum mostly sticks to the action genre, projects like Vanquish have advanced shooting mechanics deeply embedded within its gameplay systems, and Infinite Space is a fairly complex RPG. You can see the passion from studio heads a mile away. Remember when Platinum's Hideki Kamiya said that he wanted Nintendo to go to the studio, hold guns to their heads, and say "make a new Star Fox"? Kamiya is known for his Twitter theatrics, but you can't say that he's not passionate about the industry, and that sort of thing is noticed -- in this case, by Nintendo directly. The entire studio was built by visionaries like him, such as Atsushi Inaba, who worked on Resident Evil and Devil May Cry, and former member (and legend) Shinji Mikami. Platinum is having a great E3, and that's not even including the fact that it is also signed on for an agreement with Microsoft for Scalebound, as well as any number of other projects it's wheeling and dealing on at the moment. Platinum has come a long way since its departure from Capcom's Clover Studio division, and I'm happy for its success -- it makes freaking fantastic games.
Platinum Games photo
It earned it
I don't really like the phrase "winning E3." We all win every year, right? With more competition from all corners of the industry, developers and publishers alike thrive, creating new ideas and concepts for us to enjoy. Unles...

Transformers photo
Later this year on everything but Wii U
After Best Buy and a leak spilled the beans, we now have official confirmation from Activision -- Platinum Games will develop Transformers: Devastation, an upcoming action project based on the Transformers universe. It ...

Black Ops III photo
Black Ops III

Call of Duty: Black Ops III multiplayer looks chaotic


Same goes for four-player co-op
Jun 15
// Jordan Devore
Treyarch showed competitive multiplayer for Call of Duty: Black Ops III as well as the game's four-person co-op campaign at Sony's E3 2015 press conference. The former had wallrunning and sliding all over the place while the...
Transformers: Devasation photo
Transformers: Devasation

Transformers: Devastation confirmed as a Platinum Games title


Best Buy spills the beans again
Jun 14
// Nic Rowen
Well, that was fast. Not a full day after it was leaked, Platinum Games has been confirmed as the developer behind the gorgeously cel-shaded Transformers: Devastation thanks to a premature Best Buy listing. As well as confirm...
Transformers: Devasation photo
Transformers: Devasation

Cel-shaded Transformers: Devastation is nailing the look


One must fall for these screens
Jun 13
// Nic Rowen
A new Transformers game from Activision, Transformers: Devastation, has been leaked in the lead up to E3, and damn if it doesn't look like an 80's cartoon come to life. Someone better call Cosimano, I think he'll be excited. ...
Black Ops 3 photo
Black Ops 3

Call of Duty still entrenched in its last-gen ways


Black Ops 3 confirmed for old consoles
Jun 09
// Brett Makedonski
No matter what Activision says, warfare hasn't advanced all that far. That's evident by the fact that Black Ops 3 will release on legacy consoles, making it the eleventh Call of Duty title on PS3 and Xbox 360. Activ...
Overwatch photo
Overwatch

Overwatch might appear in Heroes of the Storm, but only after its launch


I'd be up for it
Jun 09
// Chris Carter
Overwatch, the newest IP from Blizzard, looks like their biggest gamble yet. It's not banking on an established franchise like Hearthstone did with Warcraft, and the cast is composed of completely original character...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny leak hints at Taken King release date, new subclass abilities


Get ready, Guardian
Jun 09
// Vikki Blake
Destiny's next content drop, The Taken King, will release on September 15 and open up a third subclass and ability for each of the Guardian classes according to a report from Kotaku. Kotaku is asserting this following a tip o...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny charity t-shirts raise over $1M for Nepal earthquake relief


Way to go, Guardians
Jun 05
// Vikki Blake
Remember when we told you that Destiny players had raised $400K for the Nepal Earthquake Relief effort? Well, it gets better.  It gets a lot better. Sales of the $30 t-shirt -- of which $15 went to the cause -- have now ...
Skylanders photo
Skylanders

Activision confirms Skylanders SuperChargers, coming this year


Vehicles-to-life
Jun 03
// Chris Carter
Skylanders pioneered the recent toys-to-life market, and from there, moved on to giant figures, then to swappable toys, and eventually, to "traps." Now Activision is taking the series to vehicles with SuperChargers. Evidentl...

Review: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Supremacy

Jun 02 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Supremacy DLC (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Sledgehammer Games (Current-gen) / High Moon Studios (Last-gen) / Raven Software (Zombies)Publisher: ActivisionReleased: June 2, 2015 (Xbox) / TBA (PC, PS3, PS4)MSRP: $14.99 ($50 Season Pass for four packs) First up is Skyrise, a map that takes place in futuristic Greece. Well, you wouldn't notice the setting unless you really looked, as the only clue is the Acropolis landmark on one side of the map. As it stands, it's basically a straight remake of Modern Warfare 2's Highrise. It's a classic arena in its own right -- but as I've said in the past, I'm not a fan of injecting remakes in a $15 DLC pack. Having said that, Highrise really holds up. It's a classic tiered map with plenty of high, middle, and underground paths, with a giant playground in the middle, and hidden side paths. It's a nice addition to the rotation, and enough time has passed between the release of Modern Warfare 2 to not piss me off. Parliament is set on the River Thames in London, and is yet another tanker map. It's almost like Activision needs to fulfill an imaginary quota of tankers in every Call of Duty, so this is where you can get your fix if you're a fan of steel traps. It's a lot like Skyrise in that most of the cool stuff is happening in the background, but there's some decent opportunities to jump around the map and over hazards like the river itself. It's not quite on par with Skyrise's layout, but I have no real qualms when it comes up, since it takes advantage of the increased Exo mobility quite well. Kremlin, obviously set in Russia, is extremely colorful, and sets itself apart from the rest of the pack immediately. I love that it feels like a legitimate map from an older game like World at War, as there's tons of detail inside and out, and nearly none of the layout is wasted. It's one of the best objective-based maps currently, as there are multiple chokepoints built into it, including one really rad area that involves a long road and a mounted machine-gun perch. Whenever it comes up in a playlist, my eyes light up and I mash the vote button. It seems like there always needs to be one bad apple in these DLCs, and Compound fulfills that niche. Taking place in a staging ground in Colorado, Compound is a boring, small map that serves no real purpose in Advanced Warfare, which is a much more mobile game than past iterations. From what I've played, opposing teams tend to spawn on top of one another, leading to a bunch of messy firefights. They tried to go for a more tiered design here, but it mostly fails because everything is so low to the ground. Thankfully, the Exo Grapple playlist returns for Supremacy, and I recommend playing it to get more mileage out of Compound. In case you were wondering, there's no DLC weapon this time around -- which I'm more than fine with. [embed]293187:58782:0[/embed] Like clockwork, a number of issues I have with Supremacy have been alleviated with the third part of the Exo Zombies tale, Carrier. I really love how Sledgehammer and Raven Software are moving the story along with the same cast of characters, and its narrative style is pretty much exactly where it needs to be. It's not as cryptic as Treyarch's method, it's not too on-the-nose, and it's far more interesting than Infinity Ward's alien-oriented Extinction lore. It helps that Bruce Campbell is now along for the ride, and he fits the tone of the game perfectly. Maybe he'd be better suited as a full-on Ash cameo down the line with a wackier take on the zombies mode in general, but he does a great job of acclimating to the already talented cast here. Carrier itself looks aesthetically similar to the first Exo Zombies mission, but the intricacies will soon start to pop out the more you play. One of my favorite bits involves a makeshift Pachinko machine on a random wall that takes spare grenades, rewarding you with cash. There's also a lot of cool skirmishes with humanoid opponents this time, which elevates the mode and gives it a certain degree of depth that exceeds your normal "horde" expectations. Objectives like defusing bombs while fighting off ravenous zombies do a great job of keeping you on your toes. Call of Duty: Advance Warfare's DLC drops have become incrementally more impressive as Sledgehammer is willing to take more risks. While I didn't think it'd be able to bring anything new to the table for its first Call of Duty outing, the studio has proven me wrong, surpassing Infinity Ward in my mind. While the jury is out on the fourth DLC for Advanced Warfare, Sledgehammer has already done enough to make me look forward to its next project. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Call of Duty DLC review photo
Third time is a charm
Another year, another round of Call of Duty DLC -- four rounds, yet again, in the case of Advanced Warfare. We've already had the Havoc and Ascendance packs drop so far as part of the Season Pass, and while they weren't bad offerings, nothing about them really vied for a purchase. With Supremacy, there may be a case for the pass, at the very least at a discount down the line.

Guitar Hero Live photo
Guitar Hero Live

Maybe you'll actually recognize a few of this week's Guitar Hero Live songs


For a change
Jun 02
// Brett Makedonski
After the initial reveal of Guitar Hero Live, Activision's been slowly unveiling ten songs a week to keep us interested. The only problem is that the vast majority of songs (and artists) are completely unknown to the majority...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Call of Duty's newest DLC has some kickass weaponry


And a shark
Jun 01
// Brett Makedonski
Activision's going through that awkward time of year where it's gearing up to make a big splash at E3 with it's new Call of Duty game, but it's not quite done promoting its old Call of Duty game. That's how we get trail...
Guitar Hero Live photo
Guitar Hero Live

I don't recognize most of the new songs revealed for Guitar Hero Live


But that's probably my fault
May 26
// Darren Nakamura
The tracklist so far for Guitar Hero Live has been a bit puzzling for some. Personally, I can suspend disbelief long enough to pretend to play a Skrillex song on guitar. I mean, I'm pretending to play guitar using an electron...

Review: Destiny: House of Wolves

May 22 // Chris Carter
Destiny: House of Wolves (PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: BungiePublisher: Activision Released: May 19, 2015MSRP: $19.99 (Season Pass $34.99) As I previously discussed, House of Wolves has been a mixed bag so far. Let's start with the good. Bungie has listened to fans when it comes to smaller quality of life changes. There have been incremental improvements overall like the ability to toggle the volume of the sound and music (thank goodness), fixes like the patch for the heavy ammo bug, and communication has been better since the debacle that came up before the launch of the last DLC. The loot system in House of Wolves is arguably the best part. It allows players, by way of items called Etheric Light, to upgrade their guns and armor all the way up to the new maximum statline. This includes all of your favorite vanilla Destiny guns like the Fatebringer, and any kind of Legendary armor, including that raid set you kept from Vault of Glass. It's no glamour system (Etheric Light is hard to get, thus implementing a grind of a sort), but it's far better than the previous loot mechanics, which forced you to re-level Exotics after having a chance to upgrade them once a week.Right now, I'm sitting on three max level 34s three days after launch, which, depending on your point of view, is either a good or bad thing -- and would be nigh impossible to do with vanilla Destiny or The Dark Below in week one. The problem with this new expansion isn't mechanics, it's content, and this "House" is practically vacant. [embed]292545:58616:0[/embed] The story might technically have a few more missions tacked onto it compared to the last add-on, but they're just as short and painfully recreated from previous assets. There's lots of bravado with the narrative, and the tie-in with the Queen is pretty cool, but half the missions are direct retreads disguised as DLC. One mission is literally just a Patrol quest. Like, the same exact Patrols on Venus you've done a million times, you just need to kill some Vandals for a few minutes. Another is almost a direct slap in the face -- as it's the exact same level as the first mission, just in reverse. As for the Strike, you can't just put a new hat on the Archon Priest and charge money for it. Another problem is that all of the old content is more than stale at this point. Most Destiny players have been playing the same old Nightfalls, using the same "cheese spots" for months on end. Where is the variation? Maybe as part of the newest House of Wolves patch we could get remixed bosses for existing Nightfalls to spice things up a bit? I'm not even asking for completely redone levels, just new boss tactics that offer something different instead of bullet sponges. Is it so much to ask that maybe Sepiks Prime glows blue or red instead of purple, and has a new power? The rewards have been remixed, but the actual encounters remain the same. I'm not going to run the same Nightfall for a chance at an Etheric Light. The worst part is that I'm already drained when it comes to the Prison of Elders, the "endgame" activity that Bungie dressed up and provided in lieu of a raid. I'm sorry guys, this just doesn't fly. Crota's End had it's fair share of hate, and some of it for good reason, but I remember very clearly how awesome it felt to drop into the unknown of that abyss on day one. Running through that totem relay with five other friends, racing into the light with Thralls at my heels, figuring out how to beat the bridge encounter -- all of it gave me a sense of wonder, just like the Vault of Glass raid did before it. Prison of Elders has none of that magic. It's soulless. As of today, I've completed the Prison eleven times in total across all three of my characters. It felt the exact same every time. The setup is as follows: you'll start off in an airlock, walk into a room (it's the same four rooms, literally the exact same ones over and over), and either kill enemies, or dismantle mines for three waves -- then move onto the next room. The red room will always feature the Kabal, the green room will always feature the Hive, and the two same-looking outdoor purple environments will host the Fallen and Vex. Sure, you may have to blow up a mine or stand in a circle to destroy it every two to three rounds or so, but ultimately, it's the same room with the same enemies over and over. All of the bosses so far are even reskins, adding insult to injury. At this point, it's clear that the name of the game is to clone assets and charge money for it. There's content, but it feels like a series of checkboxes rather than something meaty. Take the final boss of the static level 35 Prison of Elders challenge, the highest-level encounter available in the game right now. He's a reskin of the boss from the story (he is the exact same boss from the story), but now he kills you in approximately one hit because of Solar burn. The arena is a reskin of the same Fallen room that you've probably seen 10 times over at this point in the first week. There's around 50 adds in the room all shooting at you at once. Does this sound familiar? That's because it's pretty much every other boss fight in the game. There are a few nuances like mines (reskinned from the Prison challenges), and a poison debuff that needs to be passed around the party (or cheesed with a Warlock res), but it ultimately ends up being nothing more than "shoot the bullet sponge with the Gjallarhorn because that's the gun that works in every circumstance." I've completed the level 35 Prison twice (one with the above method and another normally),  and simply put, the two previous raids had far more depth to them. I've seen hundreds of variations when it comes to strategies for the Gorgon room, the Crota encounter, and the Templar. For 99% of the Prison of Elders, your best tactic is "stand in a corner and shoot." It's like the Nightfalls you've played 50 times over, but in most cases, even easier, and with less interesting locales and enemies. Trials of Osiris isn't much better. Because it's PVP-oriented though and thus inherently less predictable, it's not nearly as tiring as playing the same four rooms ad nauseam. It requires a premade group of three, at which point you'll battle through a gauntlet with no resurrection capabilities (outside of the Warlock) once the entire team is dead. Each "match" is won by the team who wins five rounds first. If you win a specific amount of matches (five is the minimum for anything good, so far I've earned up to six wins) without losing three matches, you can earn gear. If you do lose thrice, you'll have to re-enter the tourney and start all over. It's cool in theory, but the rewards are fairly shallow and the event only runs from Friday until the reset Tuesday morning each week. The loot table is basically a direct counterpart to Prison -- one gun per week, one armor piece per week, some cosmetic items, and a random mystery box. There's no real charm to it, you just grind out wins, and you get the gear that the NPC shows you in the Reef. Again, it's only available to play at certain times, which just feels like an incredibly odd choice. After all, why limit one of your only real pieces of new content to just a few days at a time? Surely Prison of Elders isn't supposed to last us until the weekend. It's also important to note that Trials is only running on one map per week. After the fifth round in the same arena, it started to get boring. It's a very cool idea that heralds in the first real competitive PVP mode to Destiny, but it needs work. I used to play Destiny every week with my large group of friends, who would often hang out in PS4 party chat as we ran through the two six-person raids, cycling people in and out. Not only has Bungie made the once massive scope of the game smaller with the two new three-person maximum events, but they've also lost the interest of many of my once-fervent comrades. Heck, to add insult to injury, Xur came today and only had old items for sale outside of helmet engrams -- I bought 20 of those and didn't get anything new. Destiny feels just as smooth as ever as a shooter, but at this point you should wait until after "Year One," as they are calling it now, to see if Bungie is going to come up with something new. I really hope the rumored "2.0" version of the game has completely new areas and enemies. But at this rate, we may even get a Destiny 2 announcement at E3, which will all but confirm the "beta test" status of the original game. Bungie took a rooster, slicked its hair back, and dressed it up as a human. House of Wolves is the Chicken Boo of video game DLC. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Destiny DLC review photo
Den of puppies
I am convinced that somewhere, all of the new assets for the Destiny: House of Wolves expansion were lost, forcing Bungie to restart the entire process all over again. Why else would almost the entire $20 premium DLC be a reskin?

Destiny DLC review photo
Destiny DLC review

Review in Progress: Destiny: House of Wolves


Den of puppies
May 19
// Chris Carter
Destiny was one of the weirdest releases in recent memory. It was so unbelievably ambitious, but when it dropped, it was basically a fraction of what Activision advertised. As time went on many tweaks were made to the ga...
Guitar Hero Live photo
Guitar Hero Live

Guitar Hero Live adds 10 more songs I don't know


Hot acts like Marilyn Manson
May 19
// Steven Hansen
I have willfully ignored Guitar Hero Live until now. I will go back to that after I finish informing you of the 10 songs newly confirmed for the game (?), none of which I recognize by name, but a few of which I have assuredly...
Guitar Hero Live photo
Guitar Hero Live

Guitar Hero Live adds tracks from Alt-J, Judas Priest, and more


Ctrl-Q
May 12
// Mike Cosimano
The first 24 tracks in the Guitar Hero Live soundtrack have been announced, and we must face a dark truth: the latest entry in Activision's venerable rockstar simulation franchise sure does have a lot of tracks without h...
Tony Hawk 5 photo
Tony Hawk 5

Here are the first official screens for Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5


PS4 and Xbox One later this year
May 07
// Chris Carter
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5 is officially happening, and will be arriving on the PS4 and Xbox One later this year. Activision has sent over some new screens for us to look at, and confirmed details like online play, with dr...
Tony Hawk photo
Tony Hawk

Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 is official and it sounds terrible


So when is Skate coming back?
May 05
// Robert Summa
After years in hibernation, the next full iteration in the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series is finally upon us and unfortunately it's not sounding (or looking) good. After months of rumors and hints, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 will fi...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny details new Trials of Osiris PVP mode, pre-mades only, no matchmaking


Strictly 3v3
Apr 29
// Chris Carter
Destiny is eschewing the typical raid format this time around with House of Wolves. A lot of people are excited that raids aren't the main focus of endgame this time around, but personally, I just see it as a way for them to ...
CoD photo
CoD

Dtoid Q&A: Treyarch and Call of Duty: Black Ops III


The developers speak out
Apr 26
// Robert Summa
As part of my recent visit with Treyarch covering the upcoming release of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, I had the opportunity to sit down with three of the key figures behind this year's entry into the Call of Duty franchise. ...
CoD photo
CoD

Hands on with Call of Duty: Black Ops III multiplayer


Complexity and simplicity collide
Apr 26
// Robert Summa
During my recent visit with Treyarch, I was lucky enough to get my hands on the multiplayer for Call of Duty: Black Ops III. After sitting through a presentation that seemed dizzying at times with the amount of changes and la...

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