Monthly Archives: April 2013

  • Next Xbox

    Rumors and stories have been flying around cyberspace about the new Microsoft Xbox. These rumors vary from the actual system pictures to its very name itself. This is understandable because as the E3 approaches and the Holidays loom we can’t help but wonder what this next generation of gaming consoles will have in store.

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    We know at this point that Microsoft will be releasing the Xbox 720 for this coming holiday season and we also know that Microsoft’s main competitor Sony will be releasing the PS4 in at least one territory at the same time. We can expect the traditional console war to be in full effect. There will be a special “launch Event” for the new Xbox on May 21st that will answer the questions that have been poised thus far.  There was hope that some information would have been released at this year’s GDC but Microsoft remained tight lipped. Microsoft has flopped back and forth with their expected release times and has decided on a “launch Event” to avoid presenting their product during the circus week of E3.

    Rumors suggest that the new Xbox will have a similar architecture as to the PS4. It has however been stated that the Xbox will have a significantly less powerful graphics processor than the PS4 which supports the idea that the New Xbox will be less about games this time around and more about everything else. Knowing this, it is also interesting that the new Xbox will also have the next generation of the Kinect. Microsoft has also patented some type of 3d projection technology they have named 'Fortaleza.' Fortaleza, by description seems to be a technology that will project aspects of gameplay into the environment around the player for a more immersive experience.  As far as the standard input device goes, the 360 controllers are now a classic and we can expect that Microsoft won’t try to fix what isn’t broken and keep the design the same.

    The last rumor that needs to be addressed is this ridiculous idea of an “always on” Xbox. It has been suggested that Microsoft will make the new Xbox inoperable without an internet connection. Why? The answer is GREED. It has been suggested that Microsoft intends to use this “always on” scheme to attempt to kill the used games industry. As gamers if we purchase a title we should be able to sell or trade it at our leisure.  This type of brazen consumer manipulation will not fly as the internet has been set ablaze with the outrage that this rumor has sparked. As a long time Xbox gamer myself I have to say that I am personally disappointed that a rumor like this has even surfaced. I will also state that if this rumor turns to fact at any point in the near future that I will be moving my tent to the Sony camp. As just 1 of many I can predict that if Microsoft is not extremely careful in how this area is handled they have the potential to deliver a stillborn console.

    Written by David Ausberry

  • PS4 Release Date Revealed By…Asda?

    PS4 Release 2013

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    Although we did get a little bit of information about the PlayStation 4 and Sony’s intentions with it earlier in February, the release date for 'holiday 2013' was not set in stone, and what regions this covered was widely speculated.

    We haven't had any more official news on the PS4 since its release now, and instead gamers have had to poke around looking for any bit of evidence they can find to help them understand when, and more importantly where, the PlayStation 4 will be landing first.

    Following on from this, a surprising discovery has led to a possible release date for the PlayStation for in the United Kingdom, and whilst this doesn't say anything about other region dates, there's no doubt that all regions will share the glory of the PlayStation 4 at times that are relatively close together.

    It turns out that Asda, a chain store owned by Walmart in the UK, has started to take in PlayStation 4 pre-orders, saying it’s the 'only supermarket currently offering a pre-order service for the system.' Those that want to pre-order the PS4 will need to put down a £20 deposit to reserve a console, and Asda have said that the PlayStation 4 is 'set to hit UK stores at the end of this year,' although in the terms and conditions, it has also said that this date is subject to change.

    The extract has said, "The current expected date of release made by Sony is Christmas 2013. Asda make no guarantees that this is correct or will not change and Asda shall not be held responsible if Sony change or delay the release date of the Sony PlayStation 4 in the UK and or limit stock."

    This will come down to console production issues, and this at the moment will be the only thing to set Sony back from releasing the console, in Europe, UK, US and Japan this year.

  • Preview- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

    New Assassin's Creed

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    Ubisoft has decided to dive into a time period and setting that has been popular and romanticized since the founding of our country itself. Caribbean waters and tales of piracy await us in the new adventure, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Creative editor Jean Guesdon explained that during research for the previous Assassin's Creed the Ubisoft teams came across The Golden Age of Piracy and immediately knew that this would be the next destination and setting for the next assassin.

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    Assassin's Creed IV is said to have more of an open-world exploration appeal and is focused on the sea faring existence that was the norm in the 18th century Caribbean. As the title "Black Flag" suggests players will find themselves battling and assassinating aboard ships and coastal towns. Ubisoft will see that the game is littered with ships, towns, and islands that will all have an individual value and promote a healthy desire to explore the entirety of the game. This sounds like a boon in itself but consider that Ubisoft has also decided to add a realm that has never before been seen in the franchise, players will be able to go underwater.

    As Edward Kenway you will control and command your ship which will act as a home base for your character. You will be required to find crew upgrade and maintain your vessel as well as plan attack strategies for sea born combat. It has been explained that the type of combat will be appropriate for the time frame. During The Golden Age of Piracy, sinking enemy ships was not a priority because often enemy vessels would be taking as part of the plunder. We can expect lots of boarding actions between ships of varying sizes and crew types; and Edward Kenway will be front and center in the action wielding dual cutlasses and half a dozen pistols.

    Edward has been described as father to Haytham Kenway and grandfather to Connor of Assassin’s Creed III. In diving into Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag players will be taking on the persona of a brutal pirate assassin with dark secrets and personal agendas. At this point we can only hope that Ubisoft is able to refine the award winning aspects of the previous Assassin's Creed games to deliver an new and epic adventure.

    Written by David Ausberry

  • The Idea of an always Online Xbox 720 Rankles

    Always Online Xbox 720

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    Microsoft has yet to deny the rumors that it intends to include an always online requirement that would force gamers to maintain an internet connection to play and use the console. This idea is preposterous and has started a firestorm that has a large portion of Microsoft Xbox fans starting to take a second look at the Sony camp. For this rumor to have even left the Microsoft halls is disturbing in itself.

    If Microsoft has indeed lost all better sense and actually intends to implement this "always online" requirement we can expect to have our lives and consoles invaded by digital rights management protocols that will check to see if there is anything installed on our console that Microsoft does not like. DRM worries are actually a more complicated issue with the "Always Online" concept. For a much simpler problem with this idea we just need to consider those who would like to play but are in a location where internet is not available or the internet is not affordable. There are also the facts that service outages would cripple their customers, Diablo 3 is less popular as it could be because of a similar idea, Sony wants nothing to do with such an concept, and the outcry has all been negative.

    Microsoft is not considering the wider ramifications of this ridiculous online only idea. They seem to be focused on curtailing revenue losses that stem from used game sales and they may have an overblown idea of how much actual Xbox pirating is really happening. With these misguided ideas as reasons behind wanting an always online console we have to wonder what part of the company did this idea actually come from?  Microsoft would be wise to dispel this rumor as soon as possible or they may inadvertently be setting themselves up for failure by delivering a condemned console into a market that has become feed up and moved on.

    Written by David Ausberry

  • Injustice: Gods Among Us looks to bring the beat down

    Injustice

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    April 16th will see the release of NetherRealm Studios' Injustice: Gods Among Us. The group that brought us 2008’s Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe will once again use their talents to see a super hero combat experience realized on our consoles.  NetherRealm Studios new fighting game will see the DC universe's heroes and villains pitted against one another in a one on one fighting game with the hopes of delivering believable and authentic comic book fighting action.

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    The characters in Injustice: Gods Among Us will fight be based on their comic book histories and abilities. For example Superman will be considered a power character as he will rely on his super strength while a character like Batman will be more gadgets oriented. It has been reported that the actual combat arenas will be large and contain loads of interactive and destructible environmental elements. An example was given in which Batman is portrayed slamming the head of his opponent into the hood of a nearby car. An alternative to the same example has Wonder Woman actually picking up and slamming the same car onto her opponent. Superman will have a super move uppercut that will launch opponents into orbit before being smashed back down to the planet surface while Batman will somehow manage to utilize the bat mobile weapon cache during certain engagements. This type of combat action suggests that we will see bouts that will traverse between multiple areas.  We can expect to see characters being smashed through and across cityscapes, from the streets to the rooftops and, as rumored, within the bat cave itself.

     

    Injustice: Gods Among Us looks to be a fighting game that will attempt to expand and enhance the combat experience that was introduced in 2008's Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. By taking the Mortal Kombat cast out of the game we lose the over the top, limb severing, decapitation happy, blood bath. This is acceptable because we will now see a much more evolved story and characters with true depth. NetherRealm Studios has stated that Injustice: Gods Among Us will boast at least as many characters as its 2008 predecessor which means that we should expect around 28 characters to battle it out with.  So far Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Solomon Grundy, Harley Quinn and The Flash have been confirmed as playable. Also there is a hint in the launch trailer that suggest that we may even be treated to a Lex Luthor character. Injustice: Gods Among Us will be available on April 16th for Xbox 360, PS3, WIIU, and the iPhone.

    Source- gamespot

    Written by David Ausberry

  • Bethesda Making 'More Noise This Year,' New Releases in Sight

    Lots of Bethesda Games in the Pipeline

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    Although Dishonored was out last year, Bethesda lacked the top selling brute force that usually is found being leaked out of their studios, and have promised to make 'more noise' this year to make a bigger impact on the gaming industry, not just as a developer, but as a publisher as well.

    President of Bethesda, Peter Hines, has given a little information in an interview with OXM on what will be coming this year, and although he hasn't mentioned any titles other than what has already been announced, there’s a lot of reasons to get excited about his statement.

    "I think you'll hear us making considerably more noise this year than we did last year, as a publisher. Obviously the Elder Scrolls Online is out and we've got the Dishonored DLC, but we will be announcing new stuff and making some noise, and I think when we get the chance to show you guys what we're up to, that you'll sit up and take notice."

    "I think we're continuing to do the stuff that we get excited about, and people will get really excited about when they hear what we're up to, which is continuing to push the boundaries, reinvent - find really smart, passionate teams who know what they're doing and have an idea that they really want to do and do well.”

    Peter has also said he’d talk a bit more to OXM about upcoming games when he next comes down to London, but for now the only part we can play is speculation.

    The games that could be released this year and next by Bethesda could range from anything now that they have moved to being a game publisher as well as a studio, but Fallout 4 has been heavily rumored to release and it would make sense to fit that in this year or next, so fans certainly have that to look forward to.

    Doom 4 has also been whispered about, but it looks as if the game won’t be around for a while yet, so it'd be a surprise to see that this year, and even still surprising next year as well.

    On top of these two titles, there are plenty of games that have been mentioned that are currently being developed by different developers whilst being published by Bethesda, including the survival horror title, Zwei, and many others could be announced later in the year.

    Written by David Ausberry

  • Xbox 360 Special Edition Camouflage Wireless Controller

    Custom Xbox 360 Controller

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    The latest iteration of the official Xbox controller has taken a step towards the aggressive with a sleek camouflage design that will definitely make you harder to see when you are playing Xbox in the woods. This Wal-Mart exclusive camouflage design will be an obvious hit amongst the Call of Duty and Battlefield crowd.  Outside of the new look this is the same controller that hit shelves a few years ago. This more professional form of the classic Xbox controller has a few upgrades that differ from the controller included with the Xbox.

    The first thing that a serious gamer will notice about this series of controllers is that besides the camouflage, they are available in a range of colors and special editions. All of the controllers in this series are wireless and come with one rechargeable battery pack and a charger cable that can be used to charge and power it if the battery is drained. The next thing that the true hardcore will notice is that there is a slight weight difference and sturdy feel to the plastics and buttons of the overall controller itself. The final coupe de grace that this controller gives to the stock version is in the actual D-pad itself. The new wireless controllers have a modifiable D-pad that can raise or lower the black bezel that surrounds the chrome + of the D-pad. This becomes invaluable when changing in between games that require a more precise manipulation of the D-pad versus a game that requires more “sweeping” motions on the D-pad.

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    These controllers are great but only a serious gamer will notice the upgrades of it predecessor. The standard controller these days runs about $25 while the new upgrade can usually be found for around $36 for the standard colors and $59.99 for special editions like the Wal-Mart Camo.  There is only one issue that comes to mind when using this controller. Due to the more sophisticated composition of the D-pad the controller has a dramatically shortened lifespan depending on what games are played. For example this is an Ideal controller for the touchy twitchiness of Street Fighter however; the lifespan for constant fighting gameplay is approximately six months.  Below is a picture of my personal controller after 6 months of Street Fighter X Tekken.

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    Written by David Ausberry

  • God of War: Ascension Update Expands Multiplayer Arena

    God of War Update

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    God of War: Ascension's multiplayer popularity has prompted Sony to bulk up the multiplayer experience with update version 1.04. The new update for God of War: Ascension will introduce a new level cap for all allegiances amongst other add-ons and fixes. For those characters who have reached the current level 30 precipice and for those characters that will be approaching it soon, Sony has added and additional 10 levels to be achieved that have been dubbed the "elite levels." Within advancement into the Elite levels of play, characters will be introduced to a new item, two new relics, and an ultimate magic for every allegiance. Sony claims that progress into this new unexplored Elite level realm will not be easy and will test any advanced God of War: Ascension player's fortitude.

    The 1.04 update for God of War: Ascension will also add a new main menu category that will allow you to access your battle stats and accomplishments. This menu option gives players the opportunity to show off their goods outside of the actual game play by listing statistics such as death/kill ratios and win percentages. This could be an important feature when it comes to sizing up the competition amongst fellow challengers.

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    God of War: Ascension’s new update will also address some technical issues that have been brought to Sony's attention. The Audio in God of War: Ascension is amazing and an important part of the games setting and mood. Many players have been experiencing an Audio drop issue that Sony claims was a critically important fix to be included with the update. Since the audio is such an important part of the God of War: Ascension experience, Sony wasted no time in addressing this issue so that players may enjoy the epic as intended.

    There have also been some complaints about the multiplayer match making in God of War: Ascension. These complaints have ranged from unfair matchups to prolonged waiting for matches to become available. Sony has stated that they are aware of these issues and they have increased the work force tasked with streamlining and resolving these issues. The work in this area is supposedly on going and we should see marked improvements daily.

    The final issues that the God of War: Ascension 1.04 update will address involves the unlock requirements for certain armor pieces, weapon stats, and magic and the shard issues that prevent characters from obtaining the Spear of Destiny and Barbarian Hammer. There will be adjustments made to the unlock requirements for certain armor pieces, weapon stats, and magic that will even out the gameplay and the Shard drop rate for some of the rare items as well.

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    There is no firm release date for the God of War: Ascension 1.04 update however it is safe to assume that it will be with us soon due to the amount of talk coming from Sony. Sony also states that they are actively addressing other issues as well and invites players to continue using their forums to report other problems that need attention.

    Written by David Ausberry

  • Battlefield 4 is making noise in the horizon

    Battlefield 4

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    EA DICE announced back in March that Battlefield 4 was going to visiting our livings rooms this fall. We were also treated to a 17 minute game play trailer that was very impressive. Some of the most exciting news revealed about Battlefield 4 was in the new features added to both the multiplayer and single player campaign modes. This news combined with the announcement of the switch to the new Frostbite 3 game engine sets the bar very high indeed.

     

    The Frostbite 3 game engine was simply described as the upgrade from Frostbite 2. The focus points in the upgrade where creating a believable first person experience. We can expect the new Frostbite 3 game engine to enhance some of the most essential aspect of game play. With this enhancement we will see better in game animations, more environmental destruction, and a more cunning AI.  Frostbite 3 will also include Destruction 4 to handle huge scale destructible environments for multiplayer.

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    The single player aspect of the new Battlefield 4 is more of a refinement of it predecessor. The major changes will not be seen in the actual mechanics of the game but more so in how the story is told. Players will have more opportunity to add their own play styles into the game. By stepping away from the linear tracked based story mode the single player mode will offer a more interactive story feel by letting players grow with the characters and story.  For the multiplayer mode we can look forward to 64 player matches, realistic weather and climate, day and night cycles, and atmospheric influences. Unfortunately DICE only was willing to reveal these multiplayer changes, however, just these hints are enticing. With Battlefield 4 making noise in the distance, we can be sure that we will continue to be excited by future announcements.

    Source- fpswin

  • CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 2 UPRISING DLC Map Pack Revealed!

    Uprising DLC Map Pack

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    April 16th will be the day the new map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Uprising will be available for download on Xbox Live. COD's multiplayer popularity has proven itself over and over again and as FPS enthusiast we all wait in anticipation of new map pack releases. This new map pack will expand the playability of our online multiplayer sessions by 4. The map pack will contain 4 new multiplayer maps and also include a Zombies game called Mob of the Dead. The 4 multiplayer maps are called Magma, Encore, Vertigo, and Studio.

     

    The Magma multiplayer map appears to be set in a Japanese styled village that is in the middle of being destroyed by a volcanic eruption. The Nearby volcano in this map spews magma throughout the map which creates a host of environmental hazards meant to keep players on their toes. The map has been designed to support short and long range battles. Besides presenting an unprecedented visual experience, the Magma map promotes the use of diverse weapon and equipment load outs to compensate for the fast paced changes in battle ranges. Considering the switching between combat ranges, other players, and a hazardous environment, Magma is sure to be an intense and fast paced experience.

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    The Encore map takes place in and around an outdoor stage amphitheater in London. Players will find themselves fighting through the stands and seats as they attempt to knock each other off of the center stage. The center stage position of this map essentially produces a deadly "King of the Hill" type of battle experience. Players on this map will find themselves constantly jostling for position on the center stage. Holding the center stage location for as long as possible against the constant onslaught from rival players will be the key to victory.

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    Activision and Treyarch has decided to revisit the Vertigo level in which players must use laser-guided RPG’s to dispatch waves of helicopters in Modern Warfare 3. In Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Uprising the Vertigo multiplayer map will have players battling it out on the roof top of a skyscraper in India. The exciting features of this map include the ability to change paths by smashing and jumping through windows and the potential danger of falling to ones death by spending too much time creeping at the maps perimeters.

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    The fourth map is called Studio and is intended as a fun change of pace. In Studio the players will engage in combat while running through a Hollywood back lot full of movie props and scenery. The players will find themselves taking cover behind dinosaur tails, chucking grenades from pirate ships, running between the legs of invading alien ships, and shooting it out in a western saloon. The Studio map will boast 2 fortress like strong points in the form of the Saloon and a medieval castle where players will have to storm and defend the strong points to gain the upper hand.

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    Finally the zombie excursion called Mob of the Dead will take players to Alcatraz in San Francisco for a dose of survival horror action with a cast that includes Michael Madsen, Joe Pantoliano, Chazz Palminteri, and Ray Liotta. The setting for this side adventure is prohibition San Francisco and will undoubtedly be full of wise cracks and gangster jargon based on the all-star cast. April is looking to be an exciting month for the fans of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Uprising and we happily anticipate the new DLC Map pack on the 16th.

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