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Xbox One

Destiny photo
Destiny

Bungie makes several interesting changes to Destiny PvP matches


Changing the Crucible
Feb 05
// Vikki Blake
Bungie’s weekly update has been rebranded This Week at Bungie… and that’s not the only change coming from the Destiny developer this week. There are two new Crucible playlists headed our way - Freelanc...
Grand Theft Auto Online photo
Grand Theft Auto Online

GTA Online is still making shedloads of money


So don't expect a new GTA game just yet
Feb 05
// Vikki Blake
If you thought the hype around Grand Theft Auto V - and specifically, the multiplayer component GTA Online - was over, think again. Addressing an earnings briefing (via Gamespot), CEO of Rockstar’s publisher Take-Two sa...
Unravel photo
Unravel

EA and Origin Access subscribers can play the first two levels of Unravel right now


Oooh Yarny, kumbayaaaa
Feb 05
// Joe Parlock
It’s not long now until puzzle-platformer Unravel is launched. On February 9, the world will be too distracted by how adorable Yarny is to notice many of the world’s ills, and we will at last have achieved global ...

Review: Fortified

Feb 04 // Jed Whitaker
Fortified (PC, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: ClapfootPublisher: ClapfootMSRP: $14.99Released: February 3, 2016 Fortified's story is quite familiar; robotic martians come to Earth and start destroying every living thing in their path, and it is up to four heroes to stop them. In this case, the heroes are made up of four different selectable characters ranging from a spaceman, a rocket scientist, a secret agent and, of course, a handsome captain of the team. For my playthrough, I chose to play as mostly the rocket scientist as she was the only female character available. Each character has special abilities that they can do for a brief time upon filling a meter, and the rocket scientist's allows her to fly around the map with endless clips of ammo and invulnerability. Her starting weapon is a grenade launcher that knocks enemies in every direct with each explosion, which is a nice way to delay the advancement of martians. Each level plays out in a varying number of waves of enemies. Before each wave, players have the ability to stage defenses along the path enemies will be following as they attempt to blow up your base, or, in this case, rocket ship. Some stages only have one rocket; others have multiple and if any of them are destroyed, the level is lost. During waves, players can freely attack with their weapons of choice which have unlimited ammo but varying reload times. After completing stages, characters gain experience points and upon leveling up gain points to unlock and upgrade weapons and defenses. Each character levels independently and has their own set of unlockables, though it appears there may be some crossover between characters. XP is only gained when completing levels for the first time on each difficulty, or by grinding the endless waves of Invasion mode, so you can't cheese the system and grind the first level to unlock everything quickly. This keeps the game from being a total cakewalk, but it certainly isn't hard. [embed]338092:62075:0[/embed] I was able to complete the 12 stages on offer without much of a challenge. I believe I had to retry three or four levels, but that was typically caused by loading into the levels without needed defenses. Specifically, early on in the game, I was given the choice between unlocking a couple of options, and I didn't choose the auto-turret that fires at flying enemies, therefore I got quickly bested in the next stage. Luckily, you can redistribute your points between levels as you see fit, and unlock the necessary equipment without any hassle. While there are two other difficulties available -- hard and the unlockable insane difficulty -- they don't feel like what I was hoping for. Hard limits you to 15 seconds between waves with a 15-second respawn timer, but otherwise felt the same as the normal difficulty. Insane only has five seconds between waves, enemies can kill you in one or two hits, and respawns are only at the start of each wave. The time between waves doesn't matter so much as you can place defenses whenever, nor does an extended respawn timer for the most part. Insane mode felt mostly unfair and cheesy. Multiplayer, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult in the sense that enemies take far more damage before keeling over. I would have preferred to see more enemies instead of having them be proverbial bullet sponges, but I guess this is intended to encourage players to work together -- if only players did that. Can't blame the developer for your teammates not communicating or working together, though. Overall the online experience was smooth, with no noticeable issues. Playing Invasion mode with a high-level character felt far too easy, as I was able to build enough defenses to sit back and let them do all the work for me. That said, it is a nice addition, but only has three different maps to play on, so unless you plan on using it to grind XP, I don't think it adds much longevity to the game. While 12 levels may seem like a low amount, it felt just right to me. The game didn't overstay its welcome and the levels were varied enough to remain interesting. Some of these levels have over 700 enemies to kill, with tons of them on the screen at the same time. Impressively, the Xbox One version didn't have any noticeable framerate issues or slowdowns, keeping a pretty nice 60-ish frames per second. While the graphics aren't all that spectacular, the art style stays true to the films of old that it is based on. As far as audio goes, get ready to hear the same song over and over, as apparently there can be only one. Somehow, I still found myself both humming it and hating it by the time the credits rolled. Overall, I enjoyed my time with Fortified, but it is hard to recommend as a single-player-only experience due to it being too easy, and with no split-screen on offer, you're going to have to make friends or play with randoms online. The entire story consists of three short cutscenes, so those wanting a deep narrative need not apply. If you're looking for a campy romp with some friends and a few thousand martians, though, Fortified is easy to recommend. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.] Fortified (PC, Xbox One)Developer: ClapfootPublisher: ClapfootMSRP: $14.99Release Date: February 3, 2016 If you're familiar with any of the campy 1950's sci-fi flicks, then Fortified's story will be quite familiar; robotic Martians come to planet earth and start destroying every living thing in their path, and it is up to four heroes to stop them. In this case, the heroes are made up of four different selectable characters ranging from a spaceman, a rocket scientist, a secret agent and, of course, a handsome captain of the team. For my playthrough, I chose to play as the rocket scientist as she was the only female character available. Each character has special abilities that they can do for a brief time upon filling a meter, and the rocket scientist's allows her to fly around the map with endless clips of ammo and invulnerability. Her starting weapon is a grenade launcher that knocks enemies in every direct with each explosion, which is a nice way to delay the advancement of Martians. Each level plays out in a varying number of waves of enemies. Before each wave, players have the ability to stage defenses along the path enemies will be following as they attempt to blow up your base, or, in this case, rocket ship. Some stages only have one rocket; others have multiple and if any of them is destroyed the level is lost. During waves, players can freely attack with their weapons of choice which have unlimited ammo but varying reload times. After completing stages, characters gain experience points and upon leveling up gain points to unlock and upgrade weapons and defenses. Each character levels independently and has their own set of unlockables though it appears there may be some crossover between characters. XP is only gained when completing levels for the first time on each difficulty, or by grinding the endless waves of Invasion mode, so you can't cheese the system and grind the first level to unlock everything quickly. This keeps the game from being a total cakewalk, but it certainly isn't hard. [embed]338092:62075:0[/embed] I was able to complete the 12 stages on offer without much of a challenge. I believe I had to retry three or four levels, but that was typically caused by loading into the levels without needed defenses. Specifically, early on in the game, I was given the choice between unlocking a couple of options, and I didn't choose the auto-turret that fires at flying enemies, therefore I got quickly bested in the next stage. Luckily you can redistribute your points between levels as you see fit, and unlocked the needed equipment without any hassle. While there are two harder difficulties available, the hard and unlockable insane modes, they don't feel like the difficulty I was looking for. Hard limits you to 15 seconds between waves with a 15 second respawn timer, but otherwise felt the same as the normal difficulty. Insane only has five seconds between waves; enemies can kill you in one or two hits, and respawns are only at the start of each wave. The time between waves doesn't matter so much as you can place defenses at any time, nor does an extended respawn timer for the most part. Insane mode felt mostly unfair and cheesy, but might be the best way to play if the difficulty doesn't scale with multiplayer; I hope that is the case. Playing Invasion mode with a high-level character felt far too easy, as I was able to build enough defenses to sit back and let them do all the work for me. That said, it is a nice addition, but only has three different maps to play on, so unless you plan on using it to grind XP I don't think it adds much longevity the game.
Review: Fortified photo
Domo arigato Mr. Martian Roboto
The 1950s were considered the golden age of campy sci-fi films, with aliens often invading Earth alongside giant animals, and, of course, robots.  Fortified tries to recreate the feeling of those films in a third-pe...

Spooky Space Survival photo
Spooky Space Survival

It's you versus the planet in The Solus Project


Early Access in two weeks
Feb 04
// Jed Whitaker
This new trailer for the sci-fi single-player survival game The Solus Project shows off a lot of new content, and confirms some details that will surely make more than just me happy. Specifically, the developers co...
Rocky Horror Far Cry Show photo
Rocky Horror Far Cry Show

Far Cry Primal does the Time Warp


Oh, fantasy free me
Feb 04
// Brett Makedonski
Far Cry Primal has a new trailer and it's really well-produced. It's a reverse look at some of the major eras of combat in human history, all culminating in a showdown with a CGI sabretooth tiger. But, it also reminded me of "Time Warp," and now I've been listening to that all morning long. It's just a jump to the left, then a step to the right...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft is overhauling its website with some new features


Haha, the current site is classic
Feb 04
// Chris Carter
I still remember buying Minecraft in 2009, and the original site really hasn't changed all that much. But Mojang (and thus, Microsoft) has really been making strides since the acquisition, finally releasing the game on W...
Metal Gear Fallout photo
Metal Gear Fallout

Oh my god this Metal Gear mod for Fallout 4 is great


Skull Face
Feb 04
// Chris Carter
The best part of Fallout games are often the mods. And with the settlement system and the texture packs involved, there have been some really great ones for Fallout 4. This one made me laugh repeatedly though, as the "Al...
Mirror's Edge photo
Mirror's Edge

Mirror's Edge Catalyst is getting a closed beta, and you can register now


Then buying won't be a leap of Faith
Feb 04
// Brett Makedonski
Before Mirror's Edge Catalyst releases on May 24, you have an opportunity to take it for a test drive and kick the wheels a little bit. Well, "test run" might be a more appropriate term considering this game is all about...
Doom trailer photo
Doom trailer

Doom is coming May 13 with a skeletal collector's edition


New demon-filled trailer and $120 deals
Feb 04
// Steven Hansen
Hello everybody, I am the harbinger of Doom, id Software's Bethesda-published reboot of the brutal first-person shooter shown off last year. Turns out Doom'll turnout worldwide on May 13. That's for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Th...

Review: Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4

Feb 04 // Laura Kate Dale
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One)Developer: Cyber Connect 2Publisher: Bandai NamcoReleased: February 9, 2016MSRP: $49.99 Much like the previous Ninja Storm games, this is a combination of 3D multiplayer fighting with a truncated re-telling of the story of Shippuden. Starting in the midst of The Great Ninja War, Ultimate Ninja Storm 4's story mode tells the same tale as the manga and anime, cutting out any side action and pruning what’s left to the bare essentials. Where did Kakashi get his Sharingan? Who is the guy in the orange mask? Will Naruto ever convince people to “believe it”? As a reminder of the story’s progression and to round off my enjoyment of Naruto, Ninja Storm 4 was a solid, satisfying experience. Featuring full English and Japanese voice tracks from the cast of the anime, the story mode tends to switch between ten-minute chunks of anime cutscene and short fight sequences as appropriate. There's an awful lot of watching compared to playing, but as someone looking to get through the story, that suited me just fine. The combat, which remains unchanged between the single-player story and multiplayer modes, favours style over substance. Characters use the same combo button presses and control in much the same way as each other. The primary difference between the cast is in visual flourish, the speed at which they move, and the type of over-the-top special attack they employ. It's designed so that once you have wrapped your head around controlling one character, you can switch and play as another with very little additional practice needed. [embed]338210:62087:0[/embed] In versus mode, you pick three characters from which to build a team. While you can switch characters mid-battle, the most interesting aspect of team selection is that pairing together characters with pre-existing narrative ties can result in the ability to perform special combination moves unique to the game. Put Sasuke and Naruto together, for example, and you'll see a pretty cool-looking lightning Chidori Rasengan combination attack. This simplification of combat mechanics is, in many ways, a welcome blessing, as the roster in Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is enormous. There are multiple variants of the main cast with unique move-sets, everyone from end-of-the-story villains to minor characters. I spent hours with the game just trying to see every character's top-end skills pulled off, and am well aware there's a whole bunch of combination attacks I still have not seen. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 is fairly simple as a fighting game, and has evolved little mechanically over past iterations. Thankfully for me, it really didn't need to do either of those things. It's an extravagant, over-the-top spectacle where you get to watch teenage ninjas blow up chunks of the planet using magic attacks, and that's pretty cool. If, like me, you fell off the Naruto bandwagon during the early parts of Ninja War, it's a great way to put a few hours in and still know how the whole narrative ended up playing out. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Naruto photo
Simple, flashy, over the top
Almost a decade ago, in my mid-teens, I was hugely into Naruto. As a socially awkward nerd who had just discovered that Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon were part of a larger media genre, I spent years avidly following the adven...

Xbox photo
Xbox

Here's what Xbox has in store for 2016


And beyond
Feb 03
// Brett Makedonski
Xbox has a new video meant to pat itself on the back for 2015 and to let us know what it has up its sleeve for 2016 and beyond. The message is clear: "We kicked ass last year and we're going to do it again." Whether or not y...
Dark Souls III photo
Dark Souls III

New Dark Souls III gameplay comin' in hot!


And rollin' all over the place
Feb 03
// Brett Makedonski
April isn't that far off on the horizon, but it might as well be an eternity when you're eagerly awaiting a new game. For many, that game is Dark Souls III, a franchise that has the pedigree to make waiting unbearable. If a ...
Rock Band 4 photo
Rock Band 4

Rock Band 4 adds 'Get Lucky,' tons of fixes with February update


And a few more songs
Feb 03
// Chris Carter
Harmonix has just dropped a rather large update on Rock Band 4, which fixes a number of issues that were plaguing the game. It's that one -- the one that wipes the leaderboards clean due to exploits -- so be prepared to start...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Bungie to Destiny players: Are we having fun yet?!


New poll floods inboxes
Feb 03
// Chris Carter
For weeks now, players have been sharing their frustrations with the direction of Destiny. If you just jumped into the game recently -- awesome! You have a ton of fun new stuff to do, including the base game, two previous exp...

Guitar Hero Live is resurrecting the infamous 'Through the Fire and the Flames'

Feb 03 // Chris Carter
As explained by Coppard, "veterans have risen to the challenge so far which everything we've thrown at them, so bringing this song back is the next natural step. We found that with this challenge, the tracks we've identified as 'difficult' are on the level. We'll be surprised to see full combos for these songs back-to-back, but we know people are going to do it." With the "Rivals" leaderboard feature enabled throughout the challenge, you're also constantly going head to head with other people through this gauntlet. The rest of the event includes Hangar 18, Strife, Ghost Walking, and Cry of Achilles. When asked how the team builds these tracks (particularly the madness of Fire and Flames), Coppard noted that they "start from the top, then work their way down." He says once they have all the notes they need for Expert level, they can then start simplifying it further. But for Guitar Hero Live they had to add in a few new elements, which Coppard says will weed out a lot of players right off the bat. "First off, if you couldn't play the intro to Fire and Flames, you were kicked out, full stop. It's like a right of passage. Now we're using open strums and the six-button layout that wasn't in the original, so it adds a whole new dimension to the song." He calls it the "final boss of all of Guitar Hero." I believe him, as the song caused a bunch of people in my play group in college to quit. The event kicks today, and will run through February 8 at 7AM PT. After the event, Fire and Flames will be added into the normal rotation of GHTV.
Guitar Hero Live photo
For a five-song expert marathon event
Activision has been steadily supporting Guitar Hero Live's TV element for months now, adding constant new content to the game. Although it has microtransactions the system is more than fair, and allows for a ton of songs to b...

Dirt Rally photo
Dirt Rally

Dirt Rally dev targeting 1080p/60fps on consoles


'We're very, very close'
Feb 03
// Vikki Blake
Dirt Rally developer Codemasters is hoping to hit 1080p and 60fps when the racer releases on consoles later this year. “We’re very, very close [to 1080p/60fps] on PS4,” chief game designer Paul Coleman told ...
The Division photo
The Division

Here's how The Division's beta's graphics stacked up on PC, PS4, and Xbox One


Pretty good, pretty good
Feb 02
// Brett Makedonski
Now that The Division's first beta is over, how do the three versions across different platforms compare? Here's a video so that you can parse the evidence first-hand. IGN put this graphics comparison video together to show ...
Rainbow Six Siege photo
Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege gets frigid for its first free map


Black Ice
Feb 02
// Brett Makedonski
As classics such as The Thing and Alien vs. Predator have taught us, people get hurt when the temperature goes down. Rainbow Six Siege is already about hurting people (killing them, in fact!), so the game's fi...

Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops III: Awakening

Feb 02 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty: Black Ops III (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One)Developer: TreyarchPublisher: ActivisionReleased: February 2, 2016 (PS4) / TBA (PC, Xbox One)MSRP: $14.99 ($50 Season Pass for four packs) When it comes to map design, Treyarch is one of the best in the business. One of its go-to staples is the three-lane approach, which allows for all sorts of interesting firefights and strategies throughout every game type. It takes it to an extreme here with Gauntlet, as it hosts three unique themes in each lane -- tropical, arctic, and industrial. Each area evokes feelings of the past Black Ops maps, Jungle, Discovery, and Kowloon respectively, which is good company to be in. Gauntlet is instantly recognizable, and really feels like three maps in one. If anything it's a bit too tunnel-oriented as folks will no doubt have issues with a lack of elevation (especially in the arctic and jungle themes), but it gets the job done and I'm glad it's in the rotation. [embed]338194:62083:0[/embed] Splash (pictured up top) is typical Treyarch at its finest. It's an absurd water park map that wouldn't feel out of place at Disney World's Caribbean Beach Resort. It's bright, it's littered with shops and rides, and even has a Main Street area. Water slides dot the landscape, as do cute mascot signs that top the previous meta Burger Town franchise -- it would feel right at home in the wackier Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare games. It's crazy that you can consistently read the detail on individual signs now as well (a few of which made me laugh, like the "no selfie stick" one), instead of haphazardly trying to read blurry scrawls. It's one of my favorite maps in years, with a wide array of open areas and indoor close-quarters combat sections. Skyjacked, quite simply, is a remake of Hijacked from Black Ops II. This map was a bit divisive in the community due to its close-quarters focus and propensity to promote camping, so most of you have already made up your mind on it. Personally it was one of my favorites, so I'm glad to see Treyarch bringing it back here, and was happy to play it again. The new theme isn't a half-measure like some past remakes, as the entire affair now takes place in a floating fortress, set to the backdrop of an ongoing city battle. It's a remake of a good map that's made even better due to jumpjet and wallrunning capabilities. There's usually one map that I outright dislike in a pack, and this time it's Rise. It's far too gated and familiar for my tastes, and is nearly indistinguishable from a few industrial levels included in the base package (namely Exodus). There are times where you'd think a cool new area is just waiting around a corner, but then the game doesn't allow you to actually go there due to invisible walls. It's almost like they spent too much time building the other three to really put the proper amount of care in here. If it comes up in the rotation I usually cringe. Der Eisendrache (The Iron Dragon) caps off the DLC, which immediately adds more of an incentive to pick up Awakening. Peppering in one zombie (or alien) map is a strategy the other Call of Duty developers (Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer) have adopted for good reason -- the sheer amount of depth in these things keep people coming back for more. I really dig the whole castle theme, which basically goes full Wolfenstein from the start. I'm sad to see the Jeff Goldblum crew seemingly isn't returning for more, but the original cast is iconic enough to last, spearheaded by Steve Blum's Dempsey. The animated intro certainly helps give the level a different feel as well, and it's crazy that Treyarch is still building upon the lore it created so many years ago in World at War. Der Eisendrache surprised me as well with its open layout, with plenty of room to move, lots of teleporters, and tons of secrets that players will be tracking down weeks after launch. As Nikolai even remarks during Der Eisendrache, "will there ever be an end to this nightmare?" Not as long as Activision keeps selling DLC, there isn't! But one man's nightmare is another man's video game, and the good news is that each Call of Duty developer has been pushing itself harder in recent years to justify the price. If you still play Black Ops III, you can't really go wrong with Awakening -- especially since the new maps are now built into normal playlists from the get-go.
Call of Duty DLC review photo
Four maps and some zombies
It's still crazy to me that I'm loading up a Call of Duty DLC pack first on PlayStation 4. After years of Microsoft-dominated timed exclusivity Sony finally has its shot at heading it up, and it has perfect timing with Black Ops III. As one of the best Call of Duty games in years, it allows Awakening plenty of room to breathe, and lets Treyarch be its unconventional self.

Dying Light photo
Dying Light

Dying Light will be removed from digital storefronts for three days


Be prepared
Feb 02
// Chris Carter
Technland has announced that come February 9, you won't be able to buy vanilla Dying Light digitally. Instead, it will be removed entirely, and replaced with the Enhanced Edition of the game on February 12. This transiti...
LEGO Force Awakens photo
LEGO Force Awakens

Season Pass, PlayStation exclusive content confirmed for LEGO Force Awakens


Already
Feb 02
// Chris Carter
Just in case you were worried that LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens wouldn't have a Season Pass, WB confirmed it this morning. If you spring for the deluxe edition of the game though, coming this June, you'll gain acces...
Review pending photo
Review pending

I shot martians to death and lived to tell about it in Fortified


Impressions of a solo playthrough
Feb 02
// Jed Whitaker
One part third-person cooperative shooter, one part campy 1950s sci-fi, Fortified releases today for PC and Xbox One. I've had the chance to play through the single-player mode and will be doing a full review once t...
Rocket League photo
Rocket League

Expect Rocket League on Xbox One later this month


It's about time!
Feb 02
// Vikki Blake
Rocket League developer Psyonix has confirmed that game will be coming to Xbox One later this month. Replying to a fan on Twitter, the developer said that the game was in the process of being certified with ID Xbox, and it ho...
NBA 2K16 photo
NBA 2K16

Tattoo studio sues Take-Two Interactive for $1,144,000


Stink over the ink
Feb 02
// Vikki Blake
A tattoo studio is suing NBA 2K16 publisher Take-Two Interactive for $1,144,000. According to Hollywood Reporter (via Eurogamer), Solid Oak Sketches filed a copyright on Monday for the tattoos of eight different NBAers -...
LEGO Star Wars photo
LEGO Star Wars

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a thing that's happening


Because of course it is
Feb 02
// Kyle MacGregor
In a move that should surprise absolutely no one, the next entry in Warner Bros. and TT Games' popular LEGO video game series is based on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. While the companies presumably would have liked to a...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

Fallout 4's next big patch is available now for PC, later this week for consoles


Quests, perks, and workshop improvements
Feb 01
// Zack Furniss
For those of you still roaming about Boston in Fallout 4, you'll be happy to know that your time in the city of lobster rolls should soon be more polished. If you're playing on PC, the automatic update is available right now....
The Division photo
The Division

Leaked schedule confirms existence of open beta for The Division, Homefront beta


Among others
Feb 01
// Chris Carter
Ubisoft extended the Division closed beta for a day, but there may be hope yet if you wanted to get in. According to this post from the Xbox Italy Facebook account, Microsoft will host an event that's open to everyone fr...
Dark Souls III photo
Dark Souls III

Japanese mall hosts amazing Dark Souls exhibit


Uhhhhhh
Feb 01
// Chris Carter
Over in Japan, where amazing things happen on a constant basis, From Software is hosting a special exhibit for Dark Souls III. It's over at 109 Men's mall in Shibuya, and you can witness it for yourself courtesy of these scre...
Superhot release date photo
Superhot release date

Superhot releasing on PC February 25, Xbox One in March


Trailer gets me superhot and bothered
Feb 01
// Darren Nakamura
Superhot has been looking supercool for a while now; those immediately sold on the initial concept have had to wait for a superlong time. The wait is set to be over supersoon; Superhot will release on Linux, Mac, and Win...

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