It's always great when a game's Achievements exploit the mechanic or feature that the title does best. That's what Life is Strange's set does -- at least for the first episode. Almost everything in episode one can be unlocked...
Unlock new "adventurers" from iconic Final Fantasy character designer Yoshitaka Amano and a new scenario from Yasumi Matsuno, designer of Final Fantasy XII. Also, Terra Battle received the highly anticipated online co-op mode update that allows players to work together to clear stages and adds summons to the battlefield.
"If I'm not looking through a viewfinder, I'm looking through a window. Always looking."
Max Caulfield, the introspective protagonist of Life is Strange, spends her life searching, observing. Actually, it might be more akin to wandering. She's 18, a newly minted "adult." Everyone keeps telling her how much life has in store for her, but she's more intent on the short-term -- just surviving one awkward social interaction after another.
It's a situation that's easy to empathize with. Everyone's felt the uncertain pangs of adolescence, even the most sure-footed of people. Life is Strange gives the player a chance to walk in those shoes with Max -- to try to avoid the gaze of every set of judgmental eyes, and to skirt confrontational conversation lest things just get even worse. It can be weird and cringe-worthy at times, but, hey, doesn't that nicely sum up those formative years?
Call of Duty map packs are definitely a mixed bag. Fifteen dollars is pricey by any standards, and the prospect of one or two remade maps and a grand total of four arenas isn't anything to get excited about.
Advanced Warfare's new Havoc DLC has just arrived this week on Xbox platforms, and it's par for the course in terms of what you'd expect. As usual though, zombies save the day.
I got the opportunity to play a decent chunk of Revelations 2 last year, and I was pretty impressed with how the mystery was being brought back to the series. Dabbling into episodic gaming, this installment is set to be released through four episodes; one will release every week from February 24th to March 18th. It's a pretty experimental, and unique take on Resident Evil, and that might be just what the franchise needs.
But just before its debut next month, the folks at Capcom invited me out to get another crack at their experiment. And during my session, I got reacquainted with an old buddy from the series' past, and even got to take the new and improved Raid Mode for a test run.
Before Destiny was released, it was hyped into oblivion. Hundreds of thousands of fans bought into it, and by extension, purchased the Season Pass consisting of the first two expansions -- the second of which, House of Wolves, is set for a March release date.
Activision and Bungie already have their money, whether fans are disappointed or not. But they don't have their cash for September's rumored "Comet" expansion or anything else after that.
This is their time to put up or shut up regarding a lot of the things promised these past few years.
Playing the original Resident Evil was an experience. The mansion, the campiness, the mystery of it all -- before walkthroughs were easily accessible from all corners of the internet, getting lost was practically a given, and it was a blast.
Secrets were traded between us gamers, telling of hidden rooms and items, and most of them was accurate. The Spencer Mansion was a veritable treasure, and that couldn't have been more true for the subsequent GameCube remake, and now, the recent HD edition.
There’s something about a series that doesn’t feel the need to make a ton of social commentary, or really feel grounded in reality. The Saints Row series is like if the worlds of The Naked Gun and Grand Theft Auto merged, and the result is a unique blend of zany comedy, copious cursing, and ultraviolence. Saints Row: The Third is one of my favorite games of all time.
The series hit its peak there, with an almost perfect balance of the real, the absurd, and the fantastical. Saints Row IV was still a blast, but I felt it lacked the magic of its predecessor. So it’s understandable that I was therefore jaded by the time Saints Row: Gat out of Hell came down the pipe to review. But wherever you are and wherever you go, there’s always gonna be some light.
With that said, plenty of it shines through in this standalone expansion.
Pornhub, which I am told by other people familiar with the webpage is a site for viewing adult, pornographic films, has released its statistical year in review. It's not as detailed on the videogame console side of things like last year's data, which we covered here deeply, but the infographics are still interesting, particularly as porn terminology is hilarious in the abstract.
Teen, lesbian, and milf all retained top search billing, for example, but "step mom" pole vaulted into the top 5 worldwide search terms (number 2 in the US) and "step sister" into the top 15 worldwide (the biggest ranking change, going up 53 spots in 2014), top 10 in the US.
Back to the videogame side, there's been a shift. The 2013 numbers attributed 55% of console porn viewing to PS3 users (compared to 39% on Xbox). 2014's numbers have Xbox at 45.7%, PlayStation at 40%. The Wii (8.2%), Vita (5%) and 3DS (1.1%) finish things off.
That marks a 69.9% increase in the Wii's market share, which is funny 'cause that's a sex number. Because these numbers are a percentage of a shared whole, it doesn't mean fewer PlayStation users are using their consoles for porn (plus, this is just data from one porn streaming service, of which I am told by people familiar with them there are many), but it is likely that a lot more Xbox users are using the service, which would account for their turgid, swollen numbers.
[Update:Far Cry 4 has been reinstated on the Xbox One games store, restoring permissions for severalusers. For those who are still experiencing difficulties, Ubisoft officially recommends a hard reboot of the Xbox One console, as relayed by community manager Ubi_Jax. We've reached out to Ubisoft for comment.]
Far Cry 4 has been removed from the Xbox One games store, leaving some players unable to access the game despite having already purchased and downloaded the title. Ubisoft is actively investigating the issue, but suggests contacting Xbox Support in the meantime.
The problem was first reported nine hours ago on reddit by user AegeusRex, who was stymied by their inability to launch a digital copy of Far Cry 4 Gold Edition. Several other users lodged a similar complaint, and the malaise spread to Ubisoft's support forum soon after.
Ubisoft believes the problem stems from Far Cry 4 being unavailable for purchase through the Xbox One's digital store. The game appears in searches, but clicking on the standard version results in a 'Page Not Found' error. Curiously, the Gold Edition seems to be available for purchase.
We'll keep an eye on this story, but for now, it seems like your best bet is to wait for Microsoft to restore the game. Maybe buy a physical version next time?
I have roughly seven days of playtime logged into Destiny. I have a level 31 Warlock, Titan, and Hunter who are all one piece away from level 32 -- the current cap. I've completed the new Crota's End raid roughly 20 times, 10 of which I ran the sword for our group. You could say that I've played a lot of Destiny.
Even still, I find myself disliking most of the design decisions Bungie has made, and my opinion of the company has really gone downhill in general. The game is not only a Skinner box style loot-treadmill, but it also has a bunch of mind-boggling issues, made worse by the lack of communication by Bungie. It is a textbook example of an overhyped AAA game that failed to meet said hype.
With any luck, the developer will learn from its mistakes, and the game will be worth picking up in 2015. But before that time, I've had a great time experiencing the phenomenon, warts and all.
Alright, heists in Grand Theft Auto Online look terrific. It's been a long wait, and we're not done waiting just yet -- Rockstar says the free update for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One will arrive in early 2015 -- but at least we've got something to look at, finally. Eases the tension.
Speaking to IGN, GTA Online producer Imran Sarwar admits designing four-player heists"turned out to be a lot more difficult than we originally thought [and] took several passes from scratch." One challenge, he says, "is that unlike a heist in Story Mode, every player needs to feel central to the action at all times, and that's much more challenging than it appears."
The final design sounds cool. The leading player will have to put money down to set up a heist and won't receive a payout until the finale is finished, but they have control over the crew, their outfits, and their cuts. "Switching between the roles of crew member and heist leader will give players a totally different experience," says Sarwar. "Some missions have all players working as one unit, some require players to take on specific tasks like hacking or crowd control, while others require players to split into smaller teams to complete separate high value objectives."
Each heist, of which there are "five unique strands involving over 20 total missions," will culminate in a set-piece mission. "I don't want to spoil a whole heist," says Sarwar, "but a favorite would be the finale of an epic prison break where players come from different points on the map to join together at just the right time. It requires a pilot, a demolitions expert, and some undercover work to pull it off, and it takes real teamwork, the ability to think fast and a lot of communication to put all the pieces in place to extract the target flawlessly."
Having basically played the new Destiny expansion The Dark Below nonstop since launch, I've experienced everything it has to offer. That in itself is an issue, because although I have played more than the average person, to exhaust the content this early isn't a good sign.
While Destiny feels just as great as ever, perhaps even more-so due to the design of a few mechanics herein, I can't help but feel underwhelmed just like I did back in September.
Destiny was released earlier this year, and like many hyped games, it failed to deliver on its promises. The good news? It was still a well crafted shooter, and practically everything involving the actual gameplay was excellent. In fact, I find it hard to go back to other shooters now -- that's how good Destiny feels.
Unfortunately, the folks over at Bungie made a number of design choices that prevent players from consistently having fun. There was also backpedaling over the past few months -- some of which led to changes to the raid -- that brought even more glitches alongside of the update.
So far in my testing, The Dark Below plays out similarly. The core of the game is still intact, but there's a lot of weird choices that prevent it from reaching its potential.
Capcom has just sent word over that Resident Evil remake will be available on January 20, 2015, for $19.99. It'll hit the PS3, PS4, PC, Xbox 360, and the Xbox One "all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft" (bwahaha they still have to do this with their PR).
For those of you who don't remember, this is a digital-only release, and will sport 1080p for current-gen consoles and 720p for past-generation systems. You'll also be able to flip between the 4:3 ratio or 16:9 widescreen options.
Ubisoft recently notified the press that it wasn't going to send out early copies of The Crew. Instead, critics would have to experience everything at launch and beyond, meaning there would be no reviews for the game at release. That's a bummer for anyone who pre-ordered and has no idea of what to expect.
But fear not, as Brittany Vincent and I have obtained copies of The Crew, and while she's hard at work giving you the full rundown in the future, I'm here to give a few quick thoughts for all of you who haven't picked up your pre-orders yet.
Geometry Wars games have always been, in a sense, one-dimensional. They present the player with the seemingly simple task of "shoot everything in sight," and that's the sole objective apart from staying alive. The onslaught of flying colors and booming music molds the experience, but the core remains uncomplicated. For many, that's enough to be held in the highest regard when discussing twin-stick shooters.
In 2008, the heralded Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 vastly and competently iterated upon its predecessor. It added a handful of new modes, each one legitimately fun and addictive in its own right. But more importantly, it fueled sincere and passionate competition across online leaderboards -- a social dynamic that few games since have been able to recapture. In many ways, it was the perfect game.
All hyperbole aside, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions makes Retro Evolved 2's efforts look puny by comparison. It adds depth in so many more ways than just literally, but never strays from the formula that makes Geometry Wars incredibly lovable. It's certainly the most ambitious and fully realized title in the series to date, and it's difficult to imagine a different take that would improve it. In many ways, it is the perfect game.