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Carl Phillips

Free to be Wild at last – Why WildStar’s shift to F2P is the best thing for everyone

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Carbine Studios, F2P, free-to-play games, MMORPGs, NCsoft, PC games, WildStar

Well, it’s now official – WildStar will be going Free-To-Play later this year. It was only a few weeks ago that we were were speculating on such a thing, but it appears that Carbine have been listening and are ready to start making their move. Best of all, the information we have been given so far has fallen in line with expectations and avoided the dreaded “pay to win” tag.

So, in case you haven’t seen the news, here’s what is happening. This Autumn, WildStar will be going Free-to-play with all current content – which includes all 50 levels, dungeons, adventures, raids, and PvP – available to everyone who downloads the game. Meanwhile, those who subscribe as a 'Signature' player will be given bonus XP and reputation gains, additional character slots, more costume slots, and extra bank tabs. This is on top of a microtransaction store that will deal in NCoins, allowing players to buy customisation pieces and consumable convenience items similar to subscriber perks.

Admittedly there’s still plenty of work to be done before then, and it’s a shame we will have to wait until autumn for this switch to happen, but I’m just glad more people will be able to experience WildStar for themselves. It is, after all, a fun and colourful theme park MMO.

Free to be Wild at last – Why WildStar’s shift to F2P is the best thing for everyone

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Game of Thrones Episode 4: Sons of Winter Review | Finally making a stand

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Adventure Games, Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series, Game reviews, PC games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Telltale Games, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

Game of Thrones Episode 4: Sons of Winter Review | Finally making a stand

We’re now at the end of what is effectively the second act of Telltale’s Game of Thrones series, with only two episodes of its 6-part run left to come. As such, you can get up to speed by reading our reviews for Episode 1: Iron From Ice, Episode Two: The Lost Lords and Episode 3: The Sword In The Darkness. As always with our episodic reviews, our score will be published once the season is finished, reflecting the game as a whole.

Throughout the previous three episodes, it’s been clear that Telltale have done a fine job of making their version of Westeros feel authentic, but there has been one particular issue. While players have been able to make some key decisions, they have been subtle shifts towards the larger goal or, perhaps more to the point, ensuring the survival of House Forrester. There’s been a lot of “one step forward, two steps back” in that regard, but that finally changes in Sons of Winter. The Forrester’s finally fight back, climbing the ladder of chaos in a bid to take back what was lost, all of which makes this latest episode the most action packed one so far.

Game of Thrones Episode 4: Sons of Winter Review | Finally making a stand

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NOT A HERO Review | Cutthroat Politics

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Action Games, Devolver Digital, Game reviews, Not A Hero, PC games, Roll7

NOT A HERO Review | Cutthroat Politics

In a way, I wish all election campaigns were this interesting, but I suppose the murder is somewhat of a downside. Kinda.

The plot of NOT A HERO is as ridiculous as they come. You take control of a group of characters working for BunnyLord – a time traveller from the future – helping their bid to become the Mayor of England at the next election. The best way to do this is to “killing bad guys in the face” as the voters love that sort of thing (apparently) and so begins a political campaign filled with carnage, mayhem, and exotic milkshake flavours.

Using a roster of nine characters, each with their own unique abilities and exaggerated personalities, players must navigate crime-filled tower blocks and complete objectives. What separates it from other 2D shooters is the cover mechanic, which allows characters to avoid enemy fire before popping back out to unleash some bullet-based justice. The end result is as hilarious as it is challenging. And infuriating.

NOT A HERO Review | Cutthroat Politics

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This Attack on Titan Tribute Game is awesome, free, and the closest we'll get to a well-made tie-in

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Attack on Titan, Attack on Titan Tribute Game, Click To Play, Free, Unity Engine

This Attack on Titan Tribute Game is awesome, free, and the closest we'll get to a well-made tie-in

While we like to find the best deals on the latest games, because saving money is awesome, we also like to let you know when you can play something fantastic without spending a single penny. While this usually means Free-To-Play games like PlanetSide 2 (which is great, by the way) sometimes we come across complete experiences - artistic curios, or fun arcade-like titles - that are worthy of your attention.

Today, we look at one such freebie - the Attack on Titan Tribute Game.

As much as we at Dealspwn are happy that Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains is finally hitting the Nintendo eShop later this month, a lot of the gameplay appears to be QTE-heavy. While the official tie-in might scratch the itch of fans that must wait until 2016 for season 2 of the show, I for one have been after something more substantial. After all, who doesn’t want to play a game where you get to fling yourself around at high-speed like something from Spider-man 2, slaying gigantic Titans as they try to grind you into pieces?

Well, there is something that does exactly that, and it’s the Attack on Titan Tribute Game. Best of all, it’s free and you can play it in your browser.

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Nexus or bust: Why WildStar should tear down its subscription barrier

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Carbine Studios, MMORPGs, NCsoft, Subscriptions, WildStar

Nexus or bust: Why WildStar should tear down its subscription barrier

These days, going down the subscription route is a dangerous road to take when you’re a theme park style MMO. After all, it’s all about getting good mileage from your monthly investment. This means regular content updates, ensuring there is entertaining and challenging encounters, and avoiding a repetitive grind. This is on top of providing balanced class abilities and PvP matches, ensuring competitive play is fair and fun, and hosting it all in an interesting and engaging world. During its first few months, WildStar managed just that, which is why I gave it 9/10 in our review last year.

Its combat was fast paced and required skill, its lore rather deep (if you went with the Scientist path), and its world filled with colour & character. However, I ended my assessment on an important point – “Providing the same level of quality & regularity continues with its content updates, there will be more than enough reason to stay on Nexus.”The sad truth is that after its first content drop finally went live it became clear that something was up. Content updates were pushed back to focus on fixes and balance issues, and when the much-touted World Story instance did arrive much later than expected it felt incredibly shallow in comparison to what we were expecting.

By December it was clear that large numbers of players had given up, but that didn’t stop Carbine from issuing those fixes and slowly delivering new content for the faithful that stuck with it. Today has finally seen the long awaited Invasion: Nexus patch, adding an arkship-load of content and a huge number of changes (too many to list here, so head over to the official website for details.) However, the monthly subscription fee had ultimately been found wanting, and a year on from its launch it’s clear a change is needed for WildStar. With last month’s reports of retailers sending back their unsold copies of WildStar (and a number of digital retailers no longer selling keys) the winds of change appear to be in the air, so we’re going to look at some of the routes WildStar could take.

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Beyond The Screen: Microsoft’s HoloLens is the game changer for video games

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
AR, Augmented Reality, Gaming articles, HoloLens, Microsoft, Unity, VR

Beyond The Screen: Microsoft’s HoloLens is the game changer for video games

VR headsets, or more specifically the Oculus Rift, have really kickstarted (pun intended) the imaginations of developers. All of a sudden, the VR dream that was laughed off as too geeky and incredibly 80’s is now seen as a real next step for immersion in not just games, but exploring virtual spaces. You only have to look at the reactions from our former editorial overlord Matt, and my fellow writers Jonathan and Brendan to see how impressive an experience it can be.

The thing is, while I think it is absolutely a step in the right direction I have always considered Augmented Reality to be the future, and it’s why Microsoft’s HoloLens has had me intrigued since its announcement. This is because, as gamers, we have been trapped behind those screens for so long, our TV’s and monitors being windows to virtual worlds that we can only peer through. VR headsets have changed that, but while it is absolutely impressive to have your view changed, in my mind it is like poking your head through a hole in the ceiling – you can look, but without a larger hole (or, more specifically, specialist equipment) you can’t do anything but look around.

With AR though, you’re bringing the virtual world to yours in a way you deem appropriate, and that’s why the HoloLens could change everything.

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Grand Theft Auto V PC Review | The big score

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Action Games, Games reviews, Grand Theft Auto Online, Grand Theft Auto V, PC games, Rockstar Games, Take-Two Interactive

Grand Theft Auto V PC Review | The big score

It’s a good job I hadn’t finalised my review until now. Had I drawn a line under my experience last week my opinions would have been very, very different. You see, it has only been in the last 72 hours that the PC port of Grand Theft Auto V has shown me its strengths. It’s beautiful, beautiful strengths. Up until that point the experience in San Andreas has definitely been a good looking, but had been marred by frame rate drops that killed the enjoyment both in the single player campaign and in GTA Online.

Thankfully, those issues have been sorted, and I can now comfortably say that the PC version really is the definitive version of GTA V.

As someone who last played the game on their Xbox 360, the jump in performance has been significant even without touching the 4K visuals that Rockstar have added. Then again, I didn’t really have to state that – there are videos out there that highlight this is the case, but seeing it in action for myself really hammers home how much work has gone into this version of the game. Of course, the big question is if the PC version is worth getting if you’ve previously played the game, and I aim to answer that by the end of this review.

Grand Theft Auto V PC Review | The big score

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Classic FM Hall of Fame 2015 Video Game Music round-up – Who made it in?

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Classic FM, Game soundtracks, Grant Kirkhope, Gustavo Santaolalla, Hall of Fame 2015, Jeremy Soule, Koji Kondo, Martin O’ Donnell, music, Nobuo Uematsu, Russell Brower, Yoko Shimomura

Classic FM Hall of Fame 2015 Video Game Music round-up – Who made it in?

The biggest public survey for classic music in the world is over again for another year. Yet again The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams rules supreme at No.1, but music from video game soundtracks had its best representation yet in the 2015 countdown. A total of twelve pieces from games made it into the top 300 list, with several new entries and (arguably) better tracks being used to represent each franchise.

There were casualties, though. Austin Wintory’s score for Journey fell out of the chart this year, much to my own dismay. While I hope it makes a return next year, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the 4-day playlist was perhaps one of the best ones in recent memory. Before we get to our round-up, a quick honourable mention to Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, as Elliot Goldenthal’s score made a surprise appearance at #259. While the film didn’t set the world of fire like Squeenix hoped it would, there’s no denying that tracks like ‘Adagio and Transformation’ aren’t worthy of recognition.

Anyway, on with our countdown, with titles, composers, and links to the official listings over on Classic FM.

Halo 3 - Finish the Fight - #244

Martin O’ Donnell / Michael Salvatori

As ways to kick off a list go, this is probably the best one to do it with. The closing number of the Halo 3 soundtrack perfectly captures the grandeur of the series, as well as the memories of gamers everywhere to, as the title states, finish the fight (until the next one came out, obviously.) O’ Donnell’s themes are some of the most recognisable the games industry has produced, and his place on the countdown is more than justified.

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Game of Thrones Episode 3: The Sword In The Darkness Review | "The Best Episode Yet"

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Adventure Games, Game of Thrones: A Telltale Games Series, PC games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Telltale Games, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

Game of Thrones Episode 3: The Sword In The Darkness Review | "The Best Episode Yet"

I have to hand it to Telltale – releasing Episode 3 with absolutely no build-up via the usual channels was a very welcome surprise, but then again having to wait extended periods between releases is probably the reason why. I just hope that, with the TV show returning soon, it doesn’t become an excuse to drag out the wait (something Tales from the Borderlands’ players have had to suffer with.) Anyway, before we dive into our review for The Sword In The Darkness, here’s some links to our reviews of Episode 1: Iron From Ice, and Episode Two: The Lost Lords. As always with our episodic reviews, our score will be published once the season is finished, reflecting the game as a whole.

Despite some moments of progression, I felt that Episodes 1 and 2 were more about the setup of the story than anything, building up the world of Westeros before things inevitably come crashing down. While Episode 3 still continues that trend to a degree, there is definitely a sense of moving forward this time around. Choices appear to be more diverse, and actions from previous episodes are finally coming back to haunt the player. Perhaps most importantly, while the other episodes have done a great job in replicating the feel of the show, Episode 3 is the closest Telltale have come to nailing it perfectly, all of which makes The Sword In The Darkness the best instalment so far.

Game of Thrones Episode 3: The Sword In The Darkness Review | "The Best Episode Yet"

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Get Pokemon Black / White for £12.99 each, or both for £22.00!

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
3DS Games, DS games, Games deals, Pokemon Black and White

Get Pokemon Black / White for £12.99 each, or both for £22.00!

Pokemon Black on Nintendo DS is currently £12.99 from Argos

Pokemon White on Nintendo DS is currently £12.99 from Argos

Those of you with a DS or 3DS looking to catch 'em all might be interested in this deal. The individual listings for Pokemon Black and White aren't the cheapest we've seen, but thanks to a special offer over at Argos you can get both titles for £22. Just click the 'Special Offer' button at the top of the listing, select the 2nd DS game you want, and then head to the checkout. Thanks to RW91 @ HUKD!

Keep checking in for more #gamedealalerts on Dealspwn.com and follow us over on Twitter and Facebook for by-the-minute updates.

Up to 75% off on all things Skullgirls on PC

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Autumn Games, Fighting Games, Games deals, PC games, Skullgirls

Up to 75% off on all things Skullgirls on PC

Get up to 75% off Skullgirls and its add-ons on PC in Green Man Gaming's latest sale

The fine folks over at Green Man Gaming have kicked off yet another sale, this time for the PC version of Skullgirls. With up to 75% off, the base game is currently priced at £2.99, but you can also get the Skullgirls bundle - which includes an additional character and alternate looks for the entire roster - for £3.74. If you already own the game, you can always just select the DLC which is currently priced at £1.99 each, so savings all round, really. Thanks to Gooner for the tip!

Keep checking in for more #gamedealalerts on Dealspwn.com and follow us over on Twitter and Facebook for by-the-minute updates.

Get your Zen on with the latest Bundle Stars indie bundle

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Bundle Stars, Indie Games, PC game bundles, PC games

Get your Zen on with the latest Bundle Stars indie bundle

The Zen Bundle for PC is currently £1.99 from Bundle Stars

No, there isn't anything pinball related before you ask, but you can get 10 indie titles for £2 in the latest bundle from Bundle Stars. A mixture of thought-provoking curios and platform-based titles, highlights include Mountain, The Graveyard, and Over The Void. Upon purchase you'll get Steam codes for all of them. Thanks to FantasyDeals @ HUKD!

Keep checking in for more #gamedealalerts on Dealspwn.com and follow us over on Twitter and Facebook for by-the-minute updates.

Get the complete Borderlands 2 experience on PC for just £10

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Borderlands 2: GOTY Edition, FPS games, Games deals, Gearbox Software, PC games

Get the complete Borderlands 2 experience on PC for just £10

Borderlands 2 Complete Bundle on PC (Steam) is currently £10 from GameAgent

If you've managed to hold out on the many deals we've highlighted for Borderlands 2, or are in the market to get hold of everything for the game in one go, this deal from GameAgent is a bargain. When you add up the price of all the add-ons included this bundle, it beats out the reductions in the 2K Steam sale by over £3.50. Considering how much content is included here, those of you looking for an over-the-top FPS loot-fest will more than get your money's worth here.

Keep checking in for more #gamedealalerts on Dealspwn.com and follow us over on Twitter and Facebook for by-the-minute updates.

 

Thanks to Gooner.

Get South Park: The Stick of Truth on PC for just £5.99

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Games deals, PC games, RPGs, South Park: The Stick of Truth

Get South Park: The Stick of Truth on PC for just £5.99

South Park: The Stick of Truth on PC is currently £5.99 from CDKeys

Once again CDKeys has slashed the price for the South Park RPG with their daily deal, dropping it to the lowest we've seen for the PC version. As always, you can claim an extra 5% off the price by liking them on the product page. As Brendan points out in our review, Obsidian Entertainment have managed to create an enjoyable and authentic South Park experience thanks to the involvement of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. With a combat system that is surprisingly deeper than it appears, it would seem that The Stick Of Truth has ended up being worth the wait - despite the hilarious censorship issues.

Keep checking in for more #gamedealalerts on Dealspwn.com and follow us over on Twitter and Facebook for by-the-minute updates.

Wish you could get in on these tasty PC deals? Find out how to build a gaming PC on a budget!

Get Destiny on Xbox One for just £18.99

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Bungie, Destiny, FPS games, Games deals

Get Destiny on Xbox One for just £18.99

Destiny on Xbox One is currently £18.99 from Base

Considering how the critical response for Destiny was a mixed bag, it's impressive how the price for it has stayed as high as it has. With that in mind, Base's current deal for a brand new copy on Xbox One is one of the cheapest deals we've seen, and beats the next best price by around £4. The debate still rages as to whether Destiny is worth the money, although we at Dealspwn still consider the season pass to be overpriced, but there's no denying that when played with friends the base game is actually a fun and enjoyable shooter. Thanks to preperationiskey @ HUKD!

Keep checking in for more #gamedealalerts on Dealspwn.com and follow us over on Twitter and Facebook for by-the-minute updates, and bookmark our games deals stream for further savings!

Get Banished on PC for just £4.49

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Banished, Games deals, Shining Rock Software, Simulation games

Get Banished on PC for just £4.49

Banished on PC is currently £4.49 from the Humble Store

Similar to the Steam listing we highlighted last month, Banished is once again below the £5 thanks to the Humble Store. Considering the usual price is £15 this deal provides a sizable saving, and best of all you will get a DRM-free version of the game alongside a Steam key. Taking the city-building sim back to its roots, Banished is not only incredibly charming but has the capacity to be thoroughly punishing, as you guide you group of exiles to tame the land around and form a thriving community. Thanks to Webhead @ HUKD!

Keep checking in for more #gamedealalerts on Dealspwn.com and follow us over on Twitter and Facebook for by-the-minute updates, and bookmark our games deals stream for further savings!

Get Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition: Limited Edition on Xbox One for £13.99

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Games deals, Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, United Front Games, Xbox One Games

Get Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition: Limited Edition on Xbox One for £13.99

Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition: Limited Edition on Xbox One is currently £13.99 from Base

After giving the same offer to PS4 owners at the start of the month, Base have now decided to provide the same deal for Sleeping Dogs to Xbox One owners. If you've yet to play United Front Games' fantastic open world action title, you should probably rectify that with this offer. Oh, and this version of the game also comes with an artbook. Which is nice. Thanks to uwantsum @ HUKD!

Keep checking in for more #gamedealalerts on Dealspwn.com and follow us over on Twitter and Facebook for by-the-minute updates, and bookmark our games deals stream for further savings!

Awesomenauts Assemble! for PS4 is now just £4

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Awesomenauts Assemble!, Games deals, PS4 games

Awesomenauts Assemble! for PS4 is now just £4

Awesomenauts Assemble! for PS4 is currently £4 on the Playstation Store

Today's wave of savings on the Playstation Store sees the PS4 version of Awesomenauts fall to a pretty attractive price point. Not only that, but Playstation + subscribers can save a few extra pennies thanks to the additional 10% reduction. If you're looking for a platform-based MOBA, or something you can play in local co-op against others online, this might do the trick. Thanks to BuzzDuraband @ HUKD!

Keep checking in for more #gamedealalerts on Dealspwn.com and follow us over on Twitter and Facebook for by-the-minute updates, and bookmark our games deals stream for further savings!

Get Metro Redux on PS4 / Xbox One for just £14.99

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Games deals, Metro Redux, PS4 games, Xbox One Games

Get Metro Redux on PS4 / Xbox One for just £14.99

Metro Redux on PS4 is currently £14.99 from Amazon

Metro Redux on Xbox One is currently £14.99 from Amazon

Here's yet another chance to get the Metro Redux bundle for £15, with the offer this time coming from Amazon. With both games getting a graphical overhaul, those who have yet to play through Metro 2033 and its sequel Last Light will find an amazingly tense and highly atmospheric FPS experience. As our 9/10 review explains, it's more than worth a look its current asking price. Thanks to Jesse148 @ HUKD!

Keep checking in for more #gamedealalerts on Dealspwn.com and follow us over on Twitter and Facebook for by-the-minute updates, and bookmark our games deals stream for further savings!

Get the PixelJunk Collection on PC for just £2.55

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Games deals, PC games, Pixeljunk Eden, Pixeljunk Monsters, PixelJunk Shooter

Get the PixelJunk Collection on PC for just £2.55

The PixelJunk Collection on PC is currently £2.55 from Gamersgate

The latest daily deal from Gamersgate brings the PixelJunk Collection down the the lowest price we've seen in quite some time. Included in the bundle are PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate, PixelJunk Shooter, and Pixel Junk Eden, all of which will be redeemable and played on Steam.

Keep checking in for more #gamedealalerts on Dealspwn.com and follow us over on Twitter and Facebook for by-the-minute updates, and bookmark our games deals stream for further savings!