• Assassin’s Creed Unity: 4 Players Co-op


    More news keeps arriving for the ‘next-gen’ installment for the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Unity. It seems that Ubisoft has big plans for it.

    According to The Escapist, Assassin’s Creed Unity will be boasting a 4 player co-operative mode which will be story based. This is the first time something like this has been done for this franchise. Ubisoft is rumored to be showing off Unity and all its new features at this year’s E3. According to IGN, this bit of info was first tweeted by Shinobi682 and then later verified by The Escapist.

    As of now it seems IGN has reached out to Ubisoft for comments, but I guess Ubisoft will not be commenting on anything till they are done with their official reveal. All we know about Unity now is that it will be taking place in France during the French revolution. Early development images have been leaked and Ubisoft has confirmed that the game will be coming out for PC, PS4, and Xbox One this fall.

  • Titanfall: New Titans, Monster DLC, Future Plans


    Abbie Heppe, Respawn's community manager, has been kind enough to share some information about what we should expect to see in upcoming DLC, and about the franchise’s future.

    In speaking with IGN, she confirmed that they will be adding some of the different and unique flora and fauna shown in the art book to give a more unique feel to the game, "We are going to have maps added, and we’re trying to give players as much of a varied look at things as we can so that is definitely a possibility."

    As the name suggests, we might see “monsters” being introduced into Titanfall but we will not be seeing any new titans.  Heppe confirmed that Ogre, Atlas and Stryder will remain the only options, and she also added that at one point it was almost as if we would have had only one titan in the game.  

    "That’s a real big question, in order to [add a Titan] it takes so much balancing to make all the Titan abilities work with each other, and then against pilots. It’s a huge undertaking. Originally we just had the Atlas titans and then the team refused to add in the rest of the Titans until we were all sure that that one fitted perfectly with everything else in the game, so... I’m not announcing any new Titans right now!"

    Although the game has been received with high praise across the board, many still feel like the studio’s attempt at combining narrative to the multiplayer was not up to par. Hepp agreed to the criticism and added,

    "We’re always looking towards iterating and what’s next and what we can learn. So would we do everything exactly the same way? I don’t think any game developer ever would tell you yes. I think we’re always looking at going bigger and better so we’ll see what happens in the future.

    "I’m really, really happy with what the team has done though. As a start and exploring what narrative elements we can bring into multiplayer… being one of the first companies that’s doing it the way we did it, I’m pretty happy about that. It’s one of my favorite ways to play the game."

    As for their future plans, she said they want to ensure a smooth launch across all territories and after which they will focus on the free updates (add other features including Private Matches) and then the DLC. As for whether the franchise will remain an Xbox One exclusive, this is what she had to say,  "Vince, our CEO, has come out and said that while we’re exclusive for this game, it doesn't limit us regarding console exclusivity for any of the future things we do."

  • The Last Guardian Has Not Been Cancelled


    All of us who were fans of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus totally went bonkers when we say the reveal of The Last Guardian. It felt like we were going to get another epic adventure that would stay with us forever. But it has been many a year since it’s reveal and still no news about it.

    Now again we find a small glimpse of hope that maybe we still have a chance of experiencing this adventure. Although, this doesn’t tell us anything about when the game will finally be released. Still I got to be honest, any news is good news to me. This game has been in “development” for 8 years now, I am just glad it isn’t dead.

    Talking to IGN, PlayStation boss Scott Rohde said that he knew he was giving a “frustrating answer” to the question – what is the deal with The Last Guardian. HE continued on to say that they just wanted to make the game, any game, great.  When asked more specifically what whether this game was now going to become a PS4 title now, he did not mention any specific platforms. All he said was that the project is "absolutely in the mix at Worldwide Studios."

    He continued on to say,"[I] actually like talking about The Last Guardian. I love that people are still interested in it. That’s an honor to us. That’s not just me spinning… It’s really cool that people are still interested in it, and we’re trying to make the best thing we can out of The Last Guardian."

  • Activision On Call Of Duty 2014: Next-Gen Is The Focus


    So there seems to be more promising news about the next CoD game. Recently Eric Hirshberg, Activision Publishing CEO, told IGN that the next iteration in the franchise will have a next-gen focus; meaning that this game is being developed first for the next-gen consoles.

    Although not much else was revealed, it is still good to know that this game is being tailor made for the Xbox One and PS4 than the PS3/Xbox 360. He also mentioned that the addition of Sledgehammer Games (the developers of this next-gen CoD), will allow each team a 3 year development cycle to create each successive CoD game.

    "On the two-year cycle, with the level of content we were putting in the games, it became a real horse race each and every time to get everything done that we wanted to get done. With next-gen hardware, we’ve got more capabilities than ever before to play with and we want to make sure our developers have the time to innovate, iterate, to bring the best creative vision and the most possible polish to each and every game."

    As before Hirshberger showed great faith on Sledgehammer and said we we'll definitely see something different. He said, "We give each of our studios a lot of independence," and as such provided Sledgehammer with one objective "You know what makes this thing great; now go do it your way."

    A new studio mixed in with next-gen consoles might just be what this franchise requires to get some fresh new direction. The games are still selling by the bunch so they can’t do much with their magic formula. But I guess if we expected anything new and different from CoD, this is the best shot we got. They have the resources, and now they have the tech too.

  • Patch to Improve Xbox One Graphical Performance


    It seems that Microsoft is planning on an upcoming patch that will improve the the Xbox One's graphical performance. From the what Hot Hardware gaming insider Pete Doss has mentioned, it seems that Microsoft will be reducing the GPU requirements for the Kinect in order reach the desired effect.

    Currently the Xbox One is programmed to reserve 10 percent of its total GPU power for the Kinect, out of which 8 percent alone is required for video processing. According to speculation, the upcoming patch will be freeing up that 8 percent so that it can be used for actual gameplay, and leave the 2 to be used for Kinect’s voice input processing.

    This patch could be an effect of the scrutiny that Xbox One is receiving recently. For example, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition has been reported to perform at 60FPS on the PS4 while the Xbox One version plays at varying FPS throughout. This patch will not be able to bring the Xbox One on par with the PS4 version but will at least let the game be played on a steady 30FPS on the Xbox One.

    IGN reached out to Microsoft regarding this issue and this was what the spokesman had to say. “At Xbox, we are always thinking of what’s next for our platform and looking for new ways to innovate. We believe Kinect is an integral part of the Xbox One platform and its use of voice and gesture lead to unrivaled ease of use, premium experiences and interactivity for consumers. Beyond that, we have no further comment.”

    This does not deny nor confirm the rumored patch. More waiting is required it seems.

  • The Witcher 3 Almost Maxing Out PS4 And Xbox One’s Capability

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    Gone are the days when it took years for the developers to reach the max potential of a console. Only near the end of the lifecycles could you see them taking full advantage of what the consoles had to offer. Hell, it is believed that they have yet to reach the max potential of the PlayStation 2!

    Of course both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have been based on pretty straight forward PC architecture that the devs are already used to. The consoles were meant to be accessible from the start, and this is the product of making it so. Speaking to IGN Marin Iwinski, CEO of CD Projekt RED, said that his team is close to using the full potential of both the Xbox One and PS4 for their majorly anticipated upcoming game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

    "There is a lot of power in these machines, and I don't want to say we're using them to their capacity, but we're fairly close to doing so."

    Adding to the potential of these machines he said that if the team had decided to put the same effort on the PS3 and Xbox 360, they would have to give up on “nearly half of our vision”. This on top of what he said previously about Witcher 3 would have been “impossible” on “old” consoles is a testament to the power of the next-gen machines.

    Talking about the game he said that it will be massive in both length and size. In total there will be 36 possible endings and more that over 100 hours of gameplay for the most diligent of quest takers. This really sounds like a RPG worth the next generation. Can’t wait to find out more about this masterpiece in the making and see what the next gen is really capable of since this game will be pushing it close to its max potential.

  • Ubisoft on Watch Dogs: "Just Wasn't Ready"

    Everyone was disappointed by Watch Dogs’ delay. There was no way that this could’ve been avoided. There was a crazy hype behind such an innovative and beautiful looking game. But Ubisoft had its reasons.Watch-Dogs-Ubisoft-2013

    As expected it wasn’t’ a easy decision for Ubisoft and in a recent interview with IGN, Ubisoft North America president Laurent Detoc, he said the decision was ultimately "very intense." He continued to say,

    "I think one of the fascinating things about this industry is that you can go from genius to idiot in an extremely short time frame. These are some of those moments, where you’re riding sky high on Watch Dogs or Rayman, and then suddenly you have to break it to the outside world, and sometimes even convince the inside people. Not everybody agrees. You have to say, ‘this is in the best interest of the product, to do this,’ because at the end of the day we’re going to be able to do this extra fine tuning."

    He also add that the game "just wasn't ready" and that initially they believed that the game would be go for its November launch as of Gamescom (which was in August). He said that if released then the game might have been called "best-rated game on next-gen," saying Ubisoft is "breaking ground" on certain gameplay assets. However this was still not good enough. He mentioned Grand Theft Auto V as a bar that they wanted to overcome.

    Hey I am okay with waiting, but now they just increased the expectation level by that much more. I am sure we will be wowed by the game, but preconceived expectations are tough to match.

  • Forza 5 to be playable only with day-one download

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    The subject of connecting games to the internet seems to be the hot button this year, as shown by the public outcry at the now-diseased “always connected” Xbox One policy, not to mention the fiasco that is the SimCity game by EA. So when news such as making Forza 5 virtually unplayable (or lacking features) without a log in and content download, makes the round, how will gamers react, I wonder?

    In an interview with IGN, Dan Greenawalt, the studio head at Forza creator Turn 10 Studios, stated that “when you first boot up the game we’re going to ask you to log in, and when you log in you’re going to get a whole bunch of content: tracks and cars. That is required content to play the game.” Greenewalt also said that this connection requirement ties in with their latest flagship AI system, dubbed the ‘Drivatars’. Since the new AI system mimics the traits of real-world players, it is to be expected that new data must be streamed constantly in order for the AI to be more accurate.

    “You do have to connect the game in order to get the latest Drivatars, because we need as many people training them as possible. And so rather than having just a launch-day set that was created by us, every day that people race is going to make the Drivatar set that much more accurate, that much more diverse, that much more interesting.”

    Past the initial requirement for an internet connection to download some essential stuff for the game, it does seem like users can opt not to update the data for the AI system, so this news is certainly not as bad as, again, SimCity.

  • The Return of the Family Sharing Feature in Xbox One

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    In a recent interview with IGN, Chief Product Officer Marc Whitten has stated that the Family Sharing Feature might be brought back to the console if the public demands it. This popular idea, which would allow up to ten family members to share in a pool of video games, was scrapped when Microsoft did an about-face with its always-connected policy. This all-or-nothing approach the company has taken with its flagship gaming console has set fire to a lot of fans who were eager for this radical new feature.

    So it seems that there is still a possibility of its return after the console’s release after all. In a response to a fan petition to bring back Microsoft’s previous DRM policies, Whitten has this to say:

    “If it’s something that people are really excited about and want, we’re going to make sure that we find the right way to bring it back.”

    It seems that Microsoft is re-evaluating and rethinking their approach on how to sell the features to consumers, too. Whitten said, “we had to make room, just from a pure engineering perspective, to be able to get that [U-turn] work done. So taking Family Sharing out of the launch window was not about ‘we’re going to take our toys and go home’ or something like that. It was just sort of the logistics of ‘how do we get this very, very clear request that people really want, that choice, and how do we make sure we can do an excellent job of that, get to launch, and then be able to build a bunch of great features?’”

    The CPO was even willing to admit that the new polarizing features from Xbox One was not communicated as well as they could have been, stating:

    “We’ve got to just talk more, get people understanding what our system is. The thing that’s really gratifying is that people are excited about the types of features that are possible, and it’s sort of shame on us that we haven’t done as good of a job as we can to make people feel like that’s where we’re headed.”

    What do you think, folks? Are you one of the multitudes of fans that were excited about the new connected features of the Xbox One, but got disappointed when the feature was scrapped from launch?

  • PS4 Bundle Initially Included PS4 Eye and Cost $500


    Regardless of how one sees the Xbox One or PS4 one thing is for sure, the $100 difference in price points between the two consoles does make the PS4 much more appealing. Going into E3 everyone expected the two consoles to be worth the same. In the end we came to see that the PS4 was priced at $399 while the Xbox One was priced at $499.

    The Xbox One comes bundled with the improved Kinect sensor which explains the $100 markup over the PS4. But it seems that Sony initially planned on packaging the PS4 Eye along with PS4 which would have made the whole bundle cost $500. However Sony decided against it and the Eye will now be sold separately at a decent price of $60.

    In an interview with IGN, SCEA president Jack Tretton explained why they decided against bundling the PS4 Eye with the console. Jack said that he believes Sony has “more experience in motion gaming than anybody" because they started with the EyeToy way back in the PS2 era. And as for the reason for why they are not packaging the Eye with the PS4 he said,

    "...for the development community and for the consumer it should be a choice. If you’re a developer who is excited about the camera and really think you can integrate that into making a great game, please do it. We’d love to have you on board. And if you’re a consumer who is interested in buying the camera, we’d love to sell it to you for 60 bucks.

    But to force every consumer to have it on day one, when some of them may be on a limited budget and don’t necessarily have the interest in it, or to mandate that the development community has to support it...that ends up coming up a little bit short in terms of things people can get excited about."

    Well I agree totally. The $400 price tag does make a big difference, especially to people who are not interested in motion gaming one bit. For them they can use the $100 excess to get a 1 year subscription to PlayStation Plus, and buy a game or so. But to Xbox’s defense the Kinect is a pretty cool piece of hardware and is an integral part of the system. With features like voice and facial recognition built into it, it might not be long before other nifty features are revealed that will make the $100 price difference feel seem non-existent.

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