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Amazon has a great deal on one of the year's biggest PlayStation 4-exclusive games.
The Order: 1886, which was released only a month ago, is now on sale for $40, down from the standard $60 launch price. You can find the deal here.
Ready at Dawn's cinematic third-person shooter earned middling reviews overall, as you can see in the The Order: 1886 review roundup. GameSpot's review gave it a 5/10 for overlooking the best aspects of its premise in favor of boring storytelling.
Still, if you're curious, this is the cheapest we've seen the game on sale for yet.
Another great offer for PS4 owners this weekend is the current PlayStation Store flash sale, which is offering a large number of games for less than a dollar each.
Looking for more great deals? Check out GameSpot's regular Gaming Deals posts.
New gameplay footage of Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege has surfaced from the game's closed alpha.
The footage shows the same kind of multiplayer hostage rescue gameplay we've seen when Rainbow Six Siege was first revealed in E3 2014, but on a new level set on a plane. The video also showed how players can set up barriers to block doorways and create cover.
At the time of writing, a version of the video was still live on YouTube, but it's likely to be removed soon.
It seems the original video was posted to the French website Jeuxvideo.com, which has since been taken down. The video was posted to Daily Motion, but was removed from that site as well due to a copyright claim from developer and publisher Ubisoft. A gallery of images that was posted to an imgur gallery was also taken down.
Ubisoft recently announced that players can sign up for a closed alpha of the game, which may explain where the new footage came from.
You can still find a couple of the images as well as more details about the closed alpha on Reddit, but they're from an unofficial source, so take them with a grain of salt.
Siege was announced during E3 in 2014, though it's not altogether a "new" game. It is the game that rose from the ashes of Rainbow Six Patriots, which Ubisoft effectively canceled. It plays a lot like Counter-Strike, with one team trying to save hostages from the enemy team. It made a great impression at E3 with its destructible environments, allowing players to shoot and blow up walls and floors to make their own path.
Magic Leap, a company that has been working on augmented reality, has released the video above, which it says is a fair representation of the kind of technology it will eventually release.
The video is in the first-person perspective, and shows a user doing a variety of mundane things you do on your computer—watching YouTube, checking email—only by interacting with floating 3D objects that appear to be floating in the environment. Eventually, we see what a game might look like, with the user getting up from his seat, picking up a sci-fi gun, and firing at enemies that appear around the room.
If that sounds a little familiar, it's because it's essentially a lot like HoloLens, Microsoft's augmented reality headset, which even mentioned Magic Leap when it revealed the device in January.
According to GameSpot sister site CNET, Magic Leap claims that employees are already playing this game around the workplace.
However, this looks more like a concept video, with 3D effects provided by Weta Workshop (known for its work on the Lord of the Rings movies), and the gun, which seems like a real, physical object in the environment, not part of a simulation.
Magic Leap, which has raised $542 million from Google and others, was supposed to show the demo at the TED conference in Vancouver, but pulled out from the event.
Do you think augmented reality games will ever look this good? Let us know in the comments below.
Atari, the company that dominated the video game market for much of the the '70s and '80s, is now getting into fitness tech with the Atari Fit app for iOS and Android devices.
Atari fit aims to motivate users to get fit and healthy by earning points that will unlock classic Atari games like Pong, Super Breakout, and Centipede. The app is compatible with other fitness devices like Fitbit, Jawbone, and Android Wheat, and can also collect data from other fitness apps such as RunKeeper, Apple Health, and Google Fit.
Basically, the app gamifies more than 100 exercises and more than 30 workout plans. The more you get in shape, the more points you'll earn, which can then be used to unlock Atari games as well as points that can be redeemed at the pharmacy chain Walgreens.
The app is free to download, and was developed by 8BitFit, which is focused on gamifying fitness, and an award-winning production studio called Gametheory.
"With Atari Fit, players from around the globe can exercise, play and get healthy together by providing a gamified fitness experience unlike any other app currently available," said Fred Chesnais, Chief Executive Officer, Atari, Inc. "By uniting the universal need to exercise and live healthfully with the entertaining experience unique to Atari games, we've created an app that proves fitness can be fun.”
Atari, which has changed ownership multiple times since its glory days, was recently in the news for pressuring developer Jeff Minter to pull his tunnel shooter TxK because it's too similar to Atari's Tempest 2000.
Carmageddon: Reincarnation, which revives the “points for pedestrians” destruction derby-style car game series, will leave Steam Early Access and get a final release on April 23, developer Stainless Games has announced.
"You’ve been through the Early Access Pre-Alpha, you’ve been through Beta, and all along the enthusiasm, support and brilliant feedback of the Carmageddon community has been helping to get us to the holy grail… That is The Game… FINISHED OFF!" Stainless Games said.
The final game's Career Mode will span 16 chapters, each including 3-4 events, with 50 events to compete in overall. The multiplayer mode will allow up to eight players online or over LAN, and includes six event types: Classic Carmageddon, Car Crusher, Fox 'n' Hounds, Ped Chase, Death Race, and Checkpoint Stampede.
There are also nine maps, 36 race routes, and 24 vehicles to choose from, unless you were a Kickstarter backer, which will get you a special edition bonus car.
The game was funded on Kickstarter in 2012 with over $625,000, and in 2013 Stainless Games raised an additional $3.5 million from Bullfrog Productions founder Les Edgar, which the developer said would allow it to bring Carmageddon: Reincarnation to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as well as PC.
Thankfully, the game is easily moddable. New features, new buildings, and tweaked systems are available to be installed directly from the Steam Workshop page. We've pulled together ten of the best mods that feel like essential additions for any mayor's budding metropolis.
Not since Streets of Sim City have we been able to get this close and personal with our virtual citizens. This First-person Camera mod allows you to toggle a new camera mode, by pressing the Tab key, which allows you to stroll your own impeccably designed streets. Play with citizens in the park, check out your wind turbines up close, or just creepily follow one citizen as he journeys to work and back each day. You need to get to know people if you want to be the best mayor possible.
Traffic management is crucial in Cities: Skylines, and it's hampered by the less-than-perfect traffic AI. Long story short: you want to avoid having intersections that require cars to stop at all. This is why you should browse Timboh's Marvellous Interchange Emporium--a package of massive, complex interchanges and roundabouts that don't require cars in any lane to ever stop. Plus, interchanges are just amazing.
Who's bright idea was it to only allow players to place individual trees, one at a time? It's madness. That's why you need to download the Tree Brush, a tool that lets you paint trees in a large radius--similar to the way in which you paint districts. With just a click and a few swipes of the mouse, you can have beautiful, lush forests covering the whole map.
Personally I've never had to bulldoze an abandoned building because my city is so perfect that no-one would ever want to leave, but we can't all be as civically-gifted. Use this Automatic Bulldoze mod to make your abandoned buildings automatically disappear, which is a treat for especially large cities beset by crime, fire, or buildings full of corpses due to the lack of a cemetery. You know what they say: out of sight, out of mind.
New York is known as the city that never sleeps, and since Cities: Skylines doesn't ship with a day/night cycle, technically my city can never sleep so it follows that it is on par with New York. Only, with fewer murders. To keep things that way, you should allow your citizens to get some shut-eye by installing the Day Night Cycle mod. Not only does it provide some variety to the lighting effects, but you'll also get a better sense of the passage of time.
I find it incomprehensible that the game shipped without an auto save function, especially since it costs cash to undo recent mistakes--like the wind turbine I accidentally put near the park swing set. Unlike me, you can avoid civil lawsuits from grieving mothers by installing this Auto Save mod, which allows you to set how regularly the game periodically saves your city.
Personally, I think there isn't enough concrete in Cities: Skylines. So why not turn your city into a grey Bolshevik paradise with the Soviet Buildings pack and its crown jewel, Lenin Square. After all, what better way to simulate the redistribution of wealth, and the brilliance of central planning, by giving you absolute power--down to the ability to rename individual citizens.
If you're sick of bulldozing the houses of citizens who send snarky messages to you through the in-game Chirpy app, then you need this Reddit For Chirpy mod. This changes the messages that appear from a fake social media feed, to real-life topics or replies from your preferred actual subreddit. Set it to the Cities: Skylines subreddit for a deliciously meta experience.
I lied when I said there wasn't enough concrete in Cities: Skylines. What I actually meant was, there isn't enough colour. Though the game already features a couple of colour grading options accessible through the settings menu, they don't offer visuals as gorgeous as the True Colour Correction mod. The effects here are on the subtle side, but they help to enhance the game's slightly dull palette without being too distracting. Sorry Lenin, we're trying free markets for a while.
Remember how I said traffic management is crucial? Well, one oversight Cities: Skylines made was a failure to provide in-depth visualisation for how traffic is actually flowing. The game shows heat maps, but it's not enough information to troubleshoot congested areas. Download the Traffic Report Tool to see arrows that show exactly how traffic is flowing, and how heavy it is on each road.
Since the release of the first episode last month, players have been complaining about performance issues with the PlayStation 4 version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2. A recent update improves the PS4 game's frame rate, though it reportedly still suffers from some issues.
Digital Foundry examined how the patched version of Revelations 2 on PS4 compares with both the Xbox One and unpatched PS4 versions. It's a notable improvement, estimated to be anywhere from 10-15 percent better than the unpatched version.
However, while cinematics and certain segments run more smoothly on PS4 following the patch than on Xbox One, it's the Xbox One version that manages to usually stay closer to 60 frames per second. Digital Foundry's analysis found the lowest frame rate on PS4 following the patch was 31fps, compared with 27 in the unpatched PS4 version and 44 on Xbox One.
"Overall though, there's still the sense that Resident Evil Revelations 2 is one of the more poorly optimized titles based on the mature MT Framework engine," the report states. It notes that their high-end PC was unable to run the game at 60fps at a 1440p resolution, whereas older, better-looking MT Framework games like Resident Evil 5 and 6 could run at that frame rate even at 4K.
Revelations 2's final episode was released earlier this week alongside the full retail version. There's no word on whether Capcom has any further patches planned that will impact performance, but we do know that online support for Raid mode will be coming in a free update on March 31.
Strike Vector, a blazing fast aerial-combat game first released on PC last year, is coming to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 as Strike Vector EX, indie developer RageQuit has announced.
The multiplayer-only Unreal Engine 4 game plays a lot like an arena shooter, only each player is piloting a customizable, mech-inspired ship that can instantly switch between a jet and hover mode, allowing you to zip around the game's huge maps quickly and with great precision.
"RageQuit Corporation's debut Xbox One and PS4 game has been fine tuned to provide instant feedback and tight console controls for players to light each other up amidst futuristic, industrial structures," RageQuit said in a press release. "Players gear up their ships to deploy specific strategies for each mission (paired with personal, bada$$ styles) to engage in frenetic multiplayer skirmishes."
Strike Vector EX is set to release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in summer 2015. You can buy the PC version of the game on Steam for $12.
Microsoft has detailed the next Xbox One system update, which brings with it some minor, but much appreciated new features.
The April system update is being distributed to preview program members first, as usual, but it'll be coming in two parts. The first of these should now be in the hands of testers, and consists of three features, as detailed by Major Nelson.
With the update installed, achievement notifications will include more than just the name of the achievement you've unlocked. You'll be able to see the description for the achievement, sparing you the effort of having to open the achievements app in order to see exactly what it is you just accomplished. Should you want to still open the achievements app, it should now open more quickly when launched from a notification.
Party chat has been improved and will now help to identify what problem may be preventing you from chatting with other users. It will do this by informing you of networking issues or privacy settings that are getting in the way of being able to chat, as well as by identifying other problems--such as your Kinect's chat being disabled, as shown in the image above.
Finally, game hubs are being made more easily accessible from the activity feed. You'll be linked to a game's hub from posts involving that game, including achievements, video clips, and screenshots.
Details on the features coming in the second part of the April update's preview will be announced next week.
While Bloodborne does sport many similarities to the Souls games, it differentiates itself with a regain system that encourages a more aggressive play style.
"As you receive damage from enemies, your health bar depletes. If you play defensively and back off, that health is lost forever. But in Bloodborne, you can actually claw that health back by launching a well-timed counter attack."
The game will offer procedurally generated challenges in form of the Chalice Dungeon feature.
GameSpot's Kevin VanOrd faced some grisly fiends in a Chalice Dungeon which had him "yelling out in terror." He might have encountered monsters like these.
Bloodborne will also offer co-operative multiplayer and player-vs-player modes. Users will be able to search for other players or choose to host their own game for random people to join. Players become vulnerable to invasions if they've started a co-operative session.
A New Game Plus feature will be unlocked in Bloodborne after completing its campaign for the first time. Be warned however, that even the From Software team struggled with it.
“Yes, there will be a New Game Plus mode. We’re having trouble beating it, though," -- Bloodborne director Hidetaka Miyazaki.
Sony has announced a Nightmare Edition of the game available for pre-order in Europe, which comes with the following for €119.99:
For those based in Denmark, Sony is also rolling out a promotion which allows people to donate blood in exchange for a free copy of Bloodborne.
Finally, Sony has confirmed that Bloodborne will get a day one update which will optimise online play and performance.
Nevertheless, the first few hours of the pack are a bit of a chore, as you travel through Claptrap's consciousness and memories hunting down needed objects. One of your earliest tasks is to scavenge for broken pieces of a bridge so you can continue. The stereotypical obstacles cause the quest to march on at a sluggish pace, and during the moments when a lack of real progress causes Jack to sigh in frustration over the intercom, I began to understand how he felt. After all, what is less exciting than a fetch quest within what is technically one large fetch quest?Claptrap looks much nicer on the inside.
The environments in which you tackle these early bits are a bit of a drag as well. Sure, there is that warm swelling of nostalgia when you first enter Claptrap's memories of Pandora's rustic Fyrestone, complete with cameos of broken holographic characters such as Dr. Zed who offer guidance. However, it is merely a brief distraction, as if to inquire, "Hey, remember this?" before ushering you onward with your dreary item hunt. I understand that this is merely a broken memory and little else. But as the quest inched onward, I longed for those old Borderlands days when Fyrestone was like an "Old Western" town in which to stock up on supplies, chat up the locals, and grab new missions (accompanied by that lovely acoustic soundtrack), instead of being just a brief distraction.
Thankfully, the game does loosen up some as you move along. As you venture deeper into Claptrap's consciousness, the broken memories of former Pandora, the structures made of neon lights and steel, and even the black hexagonal skies are brushed away. They are replaced with bright pink-orange hues, clouds, and floating islands, not unlike anything out of BioShock Infinite. Go deeper still, and you stumble into something akin to M.C. Escher, with waterfalls flowing from floor to ceiling and staircases on the walls leading to nowhere. It's a striking visual contrast with the cold interiors that first greet you. Claptastic Voyage deserves some credit in refusing to stick to one type of aesthetic, adding an appreciated splash of whimsy to the mind of our dubstep-loving robot. The main story itself revolves around running about searching for keys or other precious objects, but at least the landscape becomes fascinating enough to serve as a nice distraction from the tedium.You can't escape Claptrap, even when you're in his head.
The electric combat that I loved so much about the gravity-defying Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel also helps to put a charge into this short digital adventure. New enemies come in the form of glowing bugs and glitches, sharp-angled foes that attack in swarms and phase in and out of existence. Worse, however, are computer viruses, able to adapt to the elemental effects of your weapons. These foreign invaders are tough, but they provide some engrossing confrontations, with flying bolts of energy turning every battle into an industrious light show. It's doubtful you'll soon grow weary of blasting these nasty baddies, and you have plenty of opportunities to fight enemies from high in the air or butt-slam them into sparkly digital bits. You must also tackle Claptrap's own immune system, manifested as insecurity bots, robotic guard dogs, turrets, and more.
You won't always find yourself against one group of enemy types at a time. Scenes become chaotic as bugs and viruses clash with Claptrap's defense troops. If you find yourself being overwhelmed, you can look to the skies for volatile bits, floating lazily while switching colors between pink and green. Shooting one while it's green sends a barrage of corrosive missiles at nearby enemies, while pink gives you a welcome health boost. You find yourself caught in many encounters where these bits make a huge difference in whether you go down for the count or continue the fight.Welcome back to Fyrestone! Well, parts of it.
Claptastic Voyage features a new peculiar weapon type, one that is about as mixed up as Claptrap himself. Glitched weapons, typically recognizable by their sheen of flowing ones and zeros, flicker wildly, randomly changing their behavior. For example, by default a glitched weapon glows with a soft blue and doesn't act out of the norm, but with a flash to green, it's suddenly imbued with a scatter shot. When yellow, it fires nonstop until you reload or switch weapons, and when red, it shaves colossal chunks of health off enemies. I must admit: glitched weapons are easily my favorite component of this pack. They add a flare of unpredictability to every battle, allowing you to change tactics at any moment. One of my favorite weapons was a glitched laser gun, which performed admirably against single enemies, but not so well against multiple targets, forcing me to turn heel or leap away before getting overpowered. But in some of those fights, with a sudden shudder the gun turns green--once a rifle, now a rapid-fire shotgun--and allows me to turn back to lay waste to the pursuing army of hapless bugs and viruses. It is just so satisfying.
But not everything about Claptastic Voyage is equally as rewarding--and here I'm referring to the pack's extra content. Finishing the main quest opens up the mutator arena, offering loot if you survive three waves of enemies. Before starting, you can choose a game mode, such as half gravity, a difficulty--the higher you go the better chance for rarer loot--and a game modifier, which includes increasing butt-slam damage or increasing reload speed and likelihood of ammo drops for the rocket launcher while also decreasing its damage. The arena fights are not all that engaging, however, and I quickly decided that the chance of rare loot wasn't worth the effort.Travel through Claptrap on streams of data.
It also doesn't help that the arena's two hosts, a racially insensitive hot dog and a bored cat with a perpetual birthday, are incessantly annoying. Now, you would perhaps believe this has the makings of comedy gold, but in reality, no--it does not. The scripts for these two could have used some brushing up, as the unlikely duo often try too hard to be edgy and funny all at once. And hearing the hot dog shout "Treat 'em like Truxicans crossin' the border!" is not only aggravating after the tenth time, but also strays too close to being actually offensive. That, mixed with lousy hot dog puns and the cat's bored phrases interspersed with "meow," meant I found myself looking forward to the end of the third wave just so I didn't have to hear them anymore. I just…I just really miss Mr. Torgue.
Not all of the extras are bad, but they also aren't particularly thrilling, either. Some of the side missions that appear following the story are, again, more fetch quests whose prizes aren’t worthy of the time spent going back and forth to complete them. There are some standouts, though, such as helping Claptrap live out his hidden fantasy as a caped superhero or getting him in touch with his, ahem, more feminine side. Claptastic Voyage also comes equipped with the Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack 2--this increases the level cap from 60 to 70, which means 10 more skill points for your chosen vault hunter.New enemies include glitches and computer viruses.
Claptastic Voyage, much like our dear Claptrap himself, is an imperfect little thing. But it's still decent thanks to Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's outstanding combat formula and some superb environments revealed as you delve further into the story. The adventure is a lengthy one, coming in at around 10 hours with the main quest and side missions complete--though that time should vary depending on your vault hunter's level. Yes, this is the end of Claptrap the mighty vault hunter, and though Claptastic Voyage could have been a better sendoff for his implausible profession, at least we know that his story will continue onward for some time to come. So long as there aren't any stairs in the way.
The pratfalling starts early as our heroine, an axe-wielding, platinum-haired, Amy Brown-meets-Assassins Creed-styled Red Riding Hood, states, "This is no fairy tale, because nothing here is fair.” She could've been warning everyone about the game's combat, but she's actually referring to the bustling city of Ulrica, which is currently falling to ruin at the hands of B.B. Wolfe, a steampunk Daniel Plainview who industrializes the tiny village and needn't associate with the unwashed masses again. Wolfe then puts the whole place under martial law enforced by an army of murderous tin soldiers designed by Red's father. After Red's father dies and her mother goes missing, Red, under the strict tutelage of her grandmother, takes it upon herself to infiltrate Woolfe's businesses and find the truth.
The pitfalls of such an approach are numerous, and Woolfe provides a harsh lesson in how to fall into all of them.
The elephant in the room must be acknowledged here, and it's named American McGee. The game feels like a story that'd be right in that designer's wheelhouse--and in fact, McGee’s game Akaneiro has already pursued the Red Riding Hood theme. (Tale of Tales’ The Path should also be acknowledged for having trod this ground as well, and with great style to boot.) Woolfe does look and act the part. The architecture and atmosphere of Ulrica are marvels of ruined, washed-out, Victorian splendor, with disorienting, flashy clockwork technology intrusively laid over it. This look is intentional, and it tells the story of this place much better than Red does. The impressive lighting effects in the town and forest only enhance it by imbuing everything with a natural magic, contrasting with the ruin instead of clashing with it. This is, in fact, the same marvel American McGee accomplished with the Alice games.
Alice and Alice: Madness Returns work not because they overwrite Lewis Carroll but because they expound upon it. The young Alice in Carroll's story is found insane in the real world, and her being surrounded by mental illness influences the changes in Wonderland. It's an organic blossoming of classic ideas into something darker, and it requires a sure hand to pull it off—one that Woolfe doesn't have. Instead, Woolfe settles for a lazy shorthand of fairy tale tropes but lacks the foresight to introduce any measure or promise of joy or catharsis worth running, jumping, or fighting for. The greed of the Big Bad Wolf is reduced to corporate greed. The sadness of a father forced to make toy soldiers into a real, unyielding military never has enough of a foundation in good times to stick. Red herself speaks in a mix of sub-Buffy the Vampire Slayer modern teenage one-liners and broken, self-loathing pseudo-poetry. It’s a mess, needlessly dour and "edgy" for its own sake, an immature approach to subversive reimagining. The exhilaration starts and stops with the art design.
Red herself speaks in a mix of sub-Buffy the Vampire Slayer modern teenage one-liners and broken, self-loathing pseudo-poetry.
When the game leaves story behind in favor of player interaction, it involves competent platforming and puzzle solving with a small measure of 3D movement and backtracking, but it’s still fairly linear. It's also wholly unremarkable, marred by a score of tiny and annoying but not game-breaking bugs. A puzzle on the second stage requires Red to perform a relatively simple shimmy along a set of pipes to jump across a gap before being drowned in a pile of sludge from above; this stranded me 20 minutes longer than it should have because the game refused to recognize and grasp the pipes on the other side. Long stretches of running from enemies are aggravating because Red snags herself on the edges of walls.
Combat is rather boring to begin with, with a light attack, heavy attack, and two magical attacks. Nothing works more effectively than just spamming heavy attack ad nauseum, especially at the frequent moments when hits don't register, which is especially frustrating in sections involving an evil Pied Piper who summons groups of rats. A ground pound attack, which is supposed to make quick work of the horde, rarely connects in the way you think it will, and the group can chip away at Red's energy far faster than she can readjust and aim for whatever's attacking her. Boss fights compound all these issues, with scripted events all suffering from occasional moments of glitchy failure.
Woolfe barely comes into its own before it's over, with the entire game taking about 2–3 hours tops. It's apparently only half of a two-part experience, but the halfway mark of the game doesn't show much promise for the second. Adult takes on childrens' stories are a hard balancing act, and the moral of this particular take is perhaps in showing just how much a storyteller has to grow up to get it right.