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Matt Gardner

Game Buzz | Episode 72 - We Forgot About Dre

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Bungie, Call Of Duty: Ghosts, DLC, Game Buzz, Martin O'Donnell, Podcast, PWNCAST, Snoop Dogg, Titanfall

Game Buzz | Episode 72 - We Forgot About Dre

This week on Game Buzz... We have a gander at Titanfall's DLC plans and ask what the game needs to keep it fresh, we chat about Marty O'Donnell's departure from Bungie, we touch upon the announcement of Civilization: Beyond Earth, and we take a look at Call of Duty's plans for Snoop Dogg DLC.

Still can't believe that last one isn't a really late April Fool.

Game Buzz | Episode 72 - We Forgot About Dre. Recorded 17th April, 2014.

Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.

Want more? Check out the rest of our PWNCAST posts onsite, hit us up on iTunes, or subscribe to the PWNCAST Feed here.

Game Buzz | Episode 72 - We Forgot About Dre Game Buzz | Episode 72 - We Forgot About DreGame Buzz | Episode 72 - We Forgot About DreGame Buzz | Episode 72 - We Forgot About DreGame Buzz | Episode 72 - We Forgot About Dre

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Four - Crafting Is Bliss

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, MMOs, PC games, RPGs, The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax Online

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Four - Crafting Is Bliss

It's often been the case that I've found myself lacking the patience for the seemingly needless convolutions at work in MMOs. Crafting in particular has always been something of a bugbear of mine, with systems often cluttered beyond belief, often only half-explained, and ultimately incredibly offputting.

The Elder Scrolls Online is nothing like that. In fact, it's something of a joy.

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Four - Crafting Is Bliss

As it stands right now, there are six different professions available in The Elder Scrolls Online. Each have their own unique benefits, and what's impressive to see in a number of them has been how they tie into mechanics used previously in the series. As a player, you can start pretty much straight off of the bat once you emerge out into Tamriel -- it's just a matter of finding and obtaining resources and then getting to work. Here's a rundown of the sort of professions you can invest your time in currently:

  • Alchemist: Becoming an Alchemist is all about potion creation. It's a great role to engage in if you're looking to become something of a support character as potions are particularly useful in battle, buffing stats and restoring health, magicka, and stamina.
  • Blacksmith: This one is fairly straightforward. Becoming a smith involves crafting metal weapons -- swords, maces, axes, daggers, hammers etc. -- as well as heavy armour. It's a perfect profession for the Imperial Dragonknight I'm building up to be an utterly beastly tank.
  • Clothier: You won't be strutting the catwalks of Milan as a clothier, but you will be able to craft and improve light and medium armour.
  • Enchanter: Enchanting is all about enhancing items with special powers, for both aesthetic and functional purposes.
  • Provisioner: Much like the alchemist, this is another profession that involves making consumables, in this case food and drink. But before you can do this, you'll need to uncover the various recipes tucked away around the world.
  • Woodworker: Finally, becoming a woodworker gives you the opportunity to craft and improve, yep, you guessed it, wooden items such as staffs and bows.

There are still MMO staples involved here, of course. Running around and gathering resources from nodes is pretty repetitive and time consuming, but the respawn rate is fairly decent and if you're keeping your eyes open, you'll naturally spot plenty of maple, iron, jute and more on your travels. The limited inventory slots come into play when you're juggling lots of different ingredients for the alchemical and provisioning side of things, but you can stash crafting materials in your bank's vaults, so that takes the load off a little.  The real fun begins when you get back to a spot of civilisation and can work upon turning your raw materials into useful items.

Click here to read more...

COMMENT: Snap Marty Up Quick, 343i - O'Donnell *IS* Halo

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
343 Industries, Bungie, Destiny, Game soundtracks, Halo, Halo 4, Halo 5, Martin O'Donnell

COMMENT: Snap Marty Up Quick, 343i - O'Donnell *IS* Halo

As I write this, I'm listening to Martin O'Donnell's Rock Anthem For Saving The World. I have the Halo albums shuffled up in a Spotify playlist. Greatest Journey from Halo 3 is up next, and I'm steeling myself for epic Warthog flashbacks from that game's majestic final run. Under Cover of Night aurally describes the midnight before a dawn of fire -- the calm before the storm. The Overture from ODST takes me back to slinking around the Covenant-strewn streets of New Mombasa before Never Forget almost makes me shed a tear. Not for the plot of intergalactic war and the loss and despair that comes with it, but rather for nostalgic good times that have yet to be bettered.

So much of my enjoyment of the Halo series comes as a direct result of Martin O'Donnell's (and Michael Salvatori's) work. The Halo suite itself is an iconic theme that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It's a succession of strings that just says, Oh we got this!

In spite of his long service to the Halo franchise, it's the versatility shown in the games that don't feature Master Chief that gave me hope for O'Donnell's work on Destiny.

This week, though, presumably with much of the work on that game complete, Bungie terminated the contract of their in-house composer. Depending on whose account you read, it's either a straightforward affair, or possibly something a little fishy.

Click here to read more...

Bag 12 Months of Xbox LIVE Gold for under £25 at CDKeys

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Games With Gold, Xbox 360, Xbox Live, Xbox LIVE Gold Membership, Xbox One

Bag 12 Months of Xbox LIVE Gold for under £25 at CDKeys

12 Month Xbox LIVE Gold Subscription | CDKeys | £24.90 (£23.65 with FB code)

CDKeys are currently selling 12 months of Xbox LIVE Gold Membership for £24.90, but if you go over to their Facebook page and give them a "Like" you can get that price dropped even further down to £23.65, saving you a tenner on the standard price for such goodness.

Click here to nab that 5% off CDKeys Facebook voucher code.

Have Senran Kagura Burst onto your 3DS for just £17.99 at GAME

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
3DS Games, Fighting Games, Senran Kagura

Have Senran Kagura Burst onto your 3DS for just £17.99 at GAME

Senran Kagura Burst | GAME | £17.99 | Review

I've got nothing to do really but pull a double facepalm and shake my head at Senran Kagura Burst, especially when it comes packing the tagline "Two good reasons to turn on your 3DS" directly below a pair of pendulous cartoon breasts. But apparently the combat is super awesome as Jon states in his review:

Though its ecchi overtones and puerile obsession with jiggling oversized breasts will rightfully deter many players, Senran Kagura Burst is still a capable brawler that's perfectly adapted for a handheld platform. There's a huge amount of content and responsive action to enjoy, so long as you're comfortable with the source material and tone.

Oh and it's now the cheapest it's been in a while at GAME.

Thanks to tbrossi46 at HotUkDeals.

 

Unpacking Nosgoth's Asymmetrical PvP | Dealspwn Playthrough

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Dealspwn Playthrough, F2P, Games previews, Legacy of Kain, Nosgoth, PC games, Psyonix, Square Enix, Videos

Unpacking Nosgoth's Asymmetrical PvP | Dealspwn Playthrough

If you read my Nosgoth preview earlier in the week, you'll know that things are coming along very nicely indeed with Square's F2P PvP arena shooter. In fact, I'll let Past Matt tell you exactly what I thought:

I had a blast with Nosgoth but I want to see more. We were only playing 4-v-4 team deathmatch. I want more modes, inventive game types. I'd love to see bigger maps and more combatants. Beacham mentioned the War For Nosgoth mode, which is basically the ranked tournament mode for the game that'll become available at regular time intervals, but I'm still curious as to how Psyonix and Square are planning on keeping players hooked for the long haul. I had fun, sure, but I'll need more if I'm going to invest time, let alone money, in the long term. Hopefully, we'll be able to bring you an update on that soon as we jump into the game's beta.

As for that last line, well, we're in! And to give you a better idea of how matches unfold in Nosgoth, here's a little Dealspwn Playthrough video showcasing my first match in the beta, and delivering some more information on the three basic classes for each faction and how battles unfold in the war between Humans and Vampires.

0RBITALIS Early Access Impressions | Star-Bound Satellites

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
0RBITALIS, Indie Games, PC games, Puzzle games, Videos

0RBITALIS Early Access Impressions | Star-Bound Satellites

0RBITALIS is game all about flinging a satellite into the orbit(s) of various gravitationally significant bodies and trying to keep it within the boundaries of the onscreen star system for a distinct handful of seconds. It's a simple-but-tricky little game, and it requires a fair amount of thought. You can't simply bumble in and hope for the best beyond the first few levels.

The game was originally conceived by Alan Zucconi for Ludum Dare 28 last year, and the theme of the game jam was "You Only Get One".

In the case of 0RBITALIS, that "one" refers to the satellite itself. You only have one shot at plotting the course and measuring out the power of projection, and then it's up to physics to decide what happens to your little space module. You move the cursor to alter your trajectory, and then launch your craft with a single click.

Click here to read more...

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Three - Eight Things I Love and Loathe About The Elder Scrolls Online

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, MMOs, PC games, RPGs, The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax Online

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Three - Eight Things I Love and Loathe About The Elder Scrolls Online

Things are getting a little more interesting of late in The Elder Scrolls Online, especially now that I've reached Cyrodiil. There'll be a big, fat article PvP and the heartland of Tamriel later this week, but for now here are eight reason why The Elder Scrolls Online is filling me with ambivalence...

I LOVE... Skill Progression

The organic process of getting better by doing something repeatedly has long been a staple of the Elder Scrolls games in the past. But it's not how MMOs have traditionally worked. Thankfully, TESO said bollocks to tradition and stuck to its guns, proving all the better for it. Thanks to the implementation of Skyshards, there's not so much pressure put on levelling, instead giving more weight to exploration. Besides, actually improving your skills works outside of general levelling anyway, meaning that whatever you're doing out in the wide world, you're probably getting better at something.

Reached level 23 and want to turn your Dragonknight into a staff-wielding bringer of rain? Well you can.

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part Three - Eight Things I Love and Loathe About The Elder Scrolls Online

I HATE... Level Grinding

The gap between levels becomes interminable pretty quickly. I get that MMO developers want to keep you playing for as long as possible, and that TESO isn't all about the rush to the endgame content, but this is ridiculous. Combat counts for virtually nothing when it comes to rising through the ranks, nor does exploration or crafting or anything, really. It's not long at all before progression slows to a crawl, and that's even when you're doing every quest that you find and battling every creature you come across. Making you work for it is one thing, but too often TESO turns into a bit of an interminable slog.

Click here to read more...

Warlock II: The Exiled Review | Setting An Hexample

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Ino-Co, Paradox Interactive, PC games, Strategy games, Turn-based strategy games, Warlock 2: The Exiled

Warlock II: The Exiled Review | Setting An Hexample

When we look back at sequels that took a long, hard look at their predecessors and simply made everything better, that list of success might well include Warlock II: The Exiled. Ino-Co Plus have crafted a game that improves on Masters of the Arcane in almost every way possible, delivering a hex-based slice of deep, turn-based strategy that comes out firing on all cylinders.

Though the game's sandbox mode bears much resemblance to the original Warlock, and there are tweaks aplenty to the core gameplay that we'll get to in due course, the big addition to Warlock II, comes in the form of a new mode.

"The Exiled" refers to you, the player, along with a host of other mages who've all been cast out of the realm of Ardania by a super evil grand wizard calling himself The United One. Not only has The United One kicked out anyone who could pose a threat to him, but he's gone and shattered the realms surrounding Ardania, meaning that the worlds have splintered into shards, connected only by ethereal portals. As a super awesome mage yourself, it's up to you to consolidate your power, raise an army or two, navigate those pesky portals, and take back Ardania.

Click here to read more...

Nosgoth Interview: Bill Beacham on the importance of lore, asymmetrical multiplayer, and making free-to-play work

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
F2P, Games previews, Interviews, Legacy of Kain, Nosgoth, PC games, Psyonix, Square Enix, Videos

Nosgoth Interview: Bill Beacham on the importance of lore, asymmetrical multiplayer, and making free-to-play work

Psyonix and Square Enix's free-to-play, asymmetrical PvP shooter Nosgoth is in closed beta right now, and we had a chance to check out some of the new classes and muck about in the game last week.

You can check out my Nosgoth preview here, and here are a few thought I had following my hands-on:

I had a blast with Nosgoth but I want to see more. We were only playing 4-v-4 team deathmatch. I want more modes, inventive game types. I'd love to see bigger maps and more combatants. Beacham mentioned the War For Nosgoth mode, which is basically the ranked tournament mode for the game that'll become available at regular time intervals, but I'm still curious as to how Psyonix and Square are planning on keeping players hooked for the long haul. I had fun, sure, but I'll need more if I'm going to invest time, let alone money, in the long term. Hopefully, we'll be able to bring you an update on that soon as we jump into the game's beta for an extended stint.

Afterwards, I sat down for a chat with Square Enix game director Bill Beacham to talk about Nosgoth, how important its been to the dev team to leverage the extensive lore that the universe and the Kain IP have to offer, the challenges faced in creating a game that has two tyeams with very different playstyles, and how Square Enix are looking to make a F2P game that is all about growing the community first and monetising second.

80% off Witcher 1 & 2 as GOG launch Battle of the Games

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
CD Projekt, GOG.com, Heroes of Might and Magic, PC games, RPGs, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition, The Witcher: Enhanced Edition

80% off Witcher 1 & 2 as GOG launch Battle of the Games

We love you CD Projekt. We really do. And it's not just about the Witcher series, which is utterly fantastic, but also that DRM-free slice of digital distribution awesomeness called GOG.com.

When both come together in a money-saving initiative of wondrous brilliance, it's hard not to swoon.

GOG have launched a new discount series, kicking off with a bunch of my personal favourite games, including Heroes of Might and Magic 2 and 3, and both Witcher titles. Seriously, The Witcher 2: Enhanced Edition for just over £2? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!

You can nab them here for up to 80% off, and while you're there, be sure to vote on what you'd like to see discounted in tomorrow's deal.

Nosgoth Preview | Kain's Legacy Hangs In The Balance

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
F2P, Games previews, Legacy of Kain, Nosgoth, PC games, Psyonix, Square Enix

Nosgoth Preview | Kain's Legacy Hangs In The Balance

Nosgoth is a free-to-play, third-person, asymmetrical PVP arena shooter set in the Legacy of Kain universe.

Frankly just typing that sentence feels weird; wrong, almost. But for all of the scepticism I had about Nosgoth, it plays pretty damn well and is underpinned by an absolute truckload of lore. Psyonix and Square Enix have their eyes on an untapped niche in the free-to-play, competitive market. They're gunning for the e-sports scene and are determined to make a splash, not by copying the successes of those games such as League of Legends or Warface that have gone before, but by trying something rather different.

Nosgoth is certainly that. Pitting Humans against Vampires, the game sets teams of four players against one another, before changing things up at halftime and swapping teams over to the other faction. We've seen that most recently in games of Capture the Flag in Titanfall, forcing players to attack and defend both sides of the map, but here the implementation is designed to showcase the two very different playstyles of the warring factions.

Nosgoth Preview | Kain's Legacy Hangs In The Balance

In order to be good at Nosgoth, you need to be adept with both Humans and Vampires.

Click here to read more...

Game Buzz | Episode 71 - Rumble in the Crumble

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Game Buzz, H1Z1, Nintendo, Podcast, PS4 games, PWNCAST, Sony Online Entertainment, Super Smash Bros. 3DS, Super Smash Bros. Wii U, The Last Of Us, Wii U games

Game Buzz | Episode 71 - Rumble in the Crumble

This week on Game Buzz... We take a look at SOE's zombie survival game H1Z1, we chat about the recent Nintendo Direct and the upcoming Smash Bros. games for 3DS and Wii U, we have a bit of a natter about Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel and The Last of Us coming to PS4, and we get a bit flustered over custard.

I can't explain, it makes more sense when you hear it.

Game Buzz | Episode 71 - Rumble in the Crumble. Recorded 11th April, 2014.

Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.

Want more? Check out the rest of our PWNCAST posts onsite, hit us up on iTunes, or subscribe to the PWNCAST Feed here.

Game Buzz | Episode 71 - Rumble in the Crumble Game Buzz | Episode 71 - Rumble in the CrumbleGame Buzz | Episode 71 - Rumble in the CrumbleGame Buzz | Episode 71 - Rumble in the CrumbleGame Buzz | Episode 71 - Rumble in the Crumble