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Stealing Halo fans from Microsoft: Why Destiny is Sony's ace in the hole this winter

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, FPS games, Halo, Microsoft, PS4 games, Sony, Xbox One Games

Stealing Halo fans from Microsoft: Why Destiny is Sony's ace in the hole this winter

Destiny is not a PlayStation exclusive, but you'd be forgiven for thinking that it might be

With Jon posting his hottest upcoming PS4 titles piece yesterday, something has become abundantly clear: Sony are rather on the slim side when it comes to exclusives this autumn and winter. LittleBigPlanet 3 is a game that the PS4 is crying out for, but it's being developed outside of the walls of Media Molecule's offices. PlanetSide 2 offers the expansive-yet-accessible F2P FPS that the new-gen platform has been crying out for, but why the hell has it taken so long, and will anyone care given that the game has been free and awesome on PC for years? We've struggled collectively as a team to muster even a smidgen of enthusiasm for Driveclub after a PR omnishambles and countless delays, especially given that the racing genre is packed to the gills this year and Evolution are facing staunch competition from the likes of Forza Horizon 2 and The Crew.

And I'm going to punch the next person who crows about The Last of Us Remastered like it's the sodding Second Coming.

Wightmad suggested that the Wii U is getting better exclusives than this. Looking at Bayonetta 2 and Smash Bros, I'm inclined to agree.

Stealing Halo fans from Microsoft: Why Destiny is Sony's ace in the hole this winter

But, as we've suggested before, Sony are playing a long game indeed, and they're using the same weapons Microsoft employed with the Xbox 360 to do so: third-party partnerships. We could discuss the ethics of this until everyone involved is blue in the face, but the fact remains that both companies are investing heavily in cultivating third-party partnerships and bringing exclusive snippets of big-name games back from the haggling table. It could be as simple as running exclusive ads with your console appearing at the end, or something as brazen as securing a massive chunk of gameplay.

Microsoft have already done this with FIFA, essentially making Ultimate Team an exclusive piece of DLC. That's a big audience, football is massive, and people will jump ship for that. But Sony are doing something even more daring. They're going after Halo fans.

They're going after me.

Click here to read more...

Destiny Beta: Ten Things We Love and Hate

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Beta, Bungie, Destiny, FPS games

Destiny Beta: Ten Things We Love and Hate

As you may or may not have noticed given the prevalence of Destiny content on-site, Brendan and I have been playing a significant amount of the beta for Bungie's upcoming FPS. There's lots we absolutely love about it, not least the core gunplay at the heart of the game, but there are also one or two things we'd certainly change.

I LOVE... the exquisite gunplay

Bungie are very, very good at making first-person shooters. They should be. They've been at it for decades. But Bungie feels like a refinement of everything that they've done previously. The very feel of the game, the heft of the guns, the movement and gait of the camera, the differences in agility between the three classes, and the behaviour of the enemies in the game -- it's all absolutely spot on. There's a mechanical brilliance to Destiny that is incredibly accessible and familiar on one hand, and yet exceedingly scalable -- a system to welcome beginners and give veterans the freedom that they want.

Put simply, it feels right. It feels good to control. To fire off a few rounds. To jump through the air, sling a grenade at one group of enemies, before wheeling about and using your fists and your firearm to beat down another group. It doesn't do anything new in this regard, it just feels nigh on perfect.

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Let’s Play…Destiny Beta: Lvl 5 Story Mission – The Last Array

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Beta, Bungie, Destiny, FPS games, Gameplay footage, Let’s Play, Videos

The Floating Robot of Tyrion Lannister believes that there's an old comms array that might still be working up near the Skywatch, and that it could potentially put Earth in contact with some of the relatively close-by colonies.

Only problem is that swathes of Fallen and Hive stand in the way of getting some answers

NEW MAP! Destiny PS4 Beta Gameplay | PvP Control on "Shores of Time" - Maat Mons, Venus

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Beta, Bungie, Destiny, FPS games, Gameplay footage, Let’s Play, Videos

The "Shores of Time" Maat Mons Venus map added to the Crucible matches for the Destiny beta offers up a fresh slice of PvP action. The only mode available is still Control, where players vie for domination across three capture points, but what's interesting about Maat Mons is its size. Unlike the Moon map, Maat Mons is tightly packed, with all three control points very close together, much like Rusted Lands. All three points have two main routes in and out, creating a triangle that keeps players moving, and the flow of battle constantly changing.

It's a map that's perhaps a little unkind to Warlocks, mind, as you'll see in the first few seconds of the video above where Brendan and I help Bravo squad crush the opposition, after I throw myself to my death for science.

Definitely for science.

Let's Play...Destiny Beta: Lvl 4 Story Mission - The Warmind

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Beta, Bungie, Destiny, FPS games, Gameplay footage, Let’s Play, Videos

More all-new Destiny footage for you before the beta goes offline today. This time, we check out the Level 4 story mission, "Warmind", hunting for an old AI that used to protect Earth. But the Fallen are looking for it too, and there's a showdown in the Skywatch.

There are some new enemies in this particular mission, the pesky shielded Servitor being one of them. But thankfully we're packing some new weapons as well, including a fusion weapon that narnesses Traveller power and disintegrates enemies like a Spartan Laser crossed with a shotgun.

Mmmmm...tasty.

Let’s Play…Destiny Beta: Lvl 3 Story Mission – The Dark Within

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Beta, Bungie, Destiny, FPS games, Gameplay footage, Let’s Play, Videos

Destiny's level 3 story mission is the same one we saw in the Alpha. We've plonked both vids here in this post (hit the jump for the alpha gameplay footage) so you can marvel at the similarities and the slight differences. The biggest talking point here? Dinklage's voiceover.

Does the mechanical, vocoder-esque effect improve things? Does it still need some serious work? The "wizard from the Moon" line is gone, but is the script the issue?

To be honest, I'm not sure I care too much given the delicious gunplay, and for my money, the robotic effect more or less does the trick. I don't think this performance is going to win any awards, but it's also still not the final version yet, so there's room for improvement.

Click here to read more...

Let's Play...Destiny Beta: Lvl 2 Story Mission - Restoration

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Beta, Bungie, Destiny, FPS games, Gameplay footage, Let's Play, Videos

The Destiny beta is upon us, and we've got an enormous amount of content coming over the next few days. Whereas the Alpha presented us with a single story mission, there considerably more opportunities to get a feel for the game's narrative here in the beta.

You can check out Brendan's video of Destiny's striking opening scenes and the first playable mission here, and above we've gone and captured the level two mission, titled "Restoration", that sees my Warlock Guardian and the Dinklage Ghost rooting around Old Russia for a warp drive.

Make sure you hit subscribe, as there's going to be plenty more content to come!

Shoot and loot with friends: Destiny beta codes include two extra guest passes

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Activision, Beta, Bungie

Shoot and loot with friends: Destiny beta codes include two extra guest passes

Destiny's long-awaited beta is set to start next week on PlayStation consoles, but eager pre-order customers have discovered a nice little surprise from Bungie. Instead of a single code equating to a single beta entry, you're also able to bring a couple of mates along for the ride.

Click here to read more...

Prepare to meet your Destiny next week (in beta)

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Activision, Beta, Bungie

Bungie has confirmed that the Destiny beta begins next week on PS3 and PS4, allowing pre-order customers to get involved with the Halo-esque FPSRPG. Xbox owners will have to wait a little longer... and a year for the timed-exclusive content... but either way the mysterious shooter is ready to reveal more of its secrets.

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Activision promises "photorealistic" visuals for Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Activision, FPS, Sledgehammer Games

Activision promises "photorealistic" visuals for Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Their words, not mine. Sledgehammer Games have released a new video that doesn't pull its punches, proclaiming that Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be the most profound visual update the series has ever received. Packing "photorealistic" assets to painstaking facial and performance capture, apparently the next-gen shooter will make us say, "oh my God that's a game, that's crazy!"

Again, their words, not mine. Here's hoping that Advanced Warfare will deliver, partly because we love the futuristic premise, but also because Ghosts failed to push the franchise forward in any meaningful way. We're due an overhaul and, to their credit, Sledgehammer are making all the right noises.

We'll find out if they can also make a decent game come November 4th.

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Destiny beta finally dated for Xbox - roughly a week after PS4

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, FPS, PS3 games, PS4 games, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

Destiny beta finally dated for Xbox - roughly a week after PS4

The Destiny beta releases on July 17th for PS4 pre-order customers, but Bungie's new timed-exclusive relationship with Sony left many Xbox One owners unsure of when to expect the same treatment.

"Late July," it transpires, at least according to a new trailer on the Xbox dashboard spotted by Videogamer. Not long to wait, then! Click below to watch Matt blast through the alpha.

Sony has managed to secure exclusive Destiny content, however, which may well remain exclusive until August 2015.

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Is Destiny’s bonus PlayStation content staying exclusive until Autumn 2015?

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, Exclusive content, PS4 games, Sony

Is Destiny’s bonus PlayStation content staying exclusive until Autumn 2015?

Since Bungie stepped out onto the stage with Sony at last year's E3 we've known that the PS4 would be getting some early material for Destiny. The alpha was only playable on PS4, and Sony's console will be receiving the Destiny beta first next month too. But on top of that, it's been reported that Sony's stranglehold on certain bits and bobs of Destiny exclusivity could last a whole year.

That's a long time for Xbox One owners to have their noses smooshed up against the window.

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Destiny Alpha PvE Gameplay – The Flood and the Imp

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, FPS games, PS4 games, PvE, Videos

Destiny Alpha PvE Gameplay – The Flood and the Imp

Following on from yesterday's little look at core combat and PvP, here's a taster of Destiny's PvE content. Brendan and I will be having a crack at the Level 6 Strike today, but in the meantime here's a look at the PS4 alpha's lone story mission that sees us getting friendly with Destiny's version of 343 Guilty Spark, voiced by Peter Dinklage.

Last time we took a little look at the Titan class, this time around we've gone with a Warlock build. There's not much to choose from between the classes at this particular point in time given the low-levels and the fact that there are no real gun restrictions based on class, but rather than the Donkey Kong AOE smash that the titan can wield, the Warlock obliterates everything in front of them with a gloriously purple Nova Bomb.

And then the Flood turn up.

Sort of.

PS4 owners! How have you been finding the Destiny alpha thus far? Likes? Dislikes? We'll have an impressions podcast and preview on Monday for you.

Destiny Alpha Gameplay - A Little Look At PvP

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Dealspwn Playthrough, Destiny, FPS games, Gameplay, PS4 games, Viodeos

Destiny Alpha Gameplay - A Little Look At PvP

Sony and Activision threw the gates open to Destiny this week, announcing that everyone who applied for a place in the PS4 alpha this weekend would get one. As such, I've been playing an awful lot of Destiny over the past day or two, and it does feel pretty good.

You can tell it was made by Those Folks Wot Made Halo, mind.

To be honest, though, that's to be expected, but it's difficult not to get the impression that what we have here is a shinier, more expansive, spiritual successor to Halo. Everything from the default button layout to the floaty jumping, to the alien spines that adorn certain caves that remind me instantly of the Needler, and the diseased parasites that line rock walls that prove instantly reminiscent of Halo's Flood levels.

But we'll get onto that later when it comes to longer playthroughs and an eventual preview. For now, let's quickly jump into some competitive multiplayer and check out the basic combat...

Destiny beta is timed PlayStation exclusive, coming next month

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, PS3 games, PS4 games

Destiny has received an enormous new cinematic trailer showing off its Halo-meets-Borderlands pretensions, premise and new character that looks a lot like 343 Guilty Spark and Wheatley built an angular son. Either way, it's looking good - and PlayStation owners will be able to play it early.

Specifically, the pre-order beta arrives on 9th September on PS3 and PS4 -- with a limited pre-alpha starting Thursday and running throughout the weekend. More details soon.

Expect Mariachis & Mummies in the next Call Of Duty: Ghosts map pack

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Activision, DLC, FPS, Infinity Ward

Expect Mariachis & Mummies in the next Call Of Duty: Ghosts map pack

Activision has revealed that the next Call Of Duty: Ghosts map pack -- Invasion -- brings some Mexican flavour to the proceedings. Stash some guns in a guitar case, grow out your hair and get the details below.

Dorkly had the right of it!

Click here to read more...

Don't fear the reaper (of souls) - Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition dated for August

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Action RPG, Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, PS3 games, PS4 games, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

Don't fear the reaper (of souls) - Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition dated for August

Stay a while and listen. Diablo III's Reaper Of Souls expansion and its massive free patches turned a directionless grind into a serious dungeon crawling contender - and this new content is finally going to be available on last-and-new-generation consoles this summer in a feature-packed package.

Click here to read more...

The future of Call Of Duty revealed - Advanced Warfare intel & screenshot blowout!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Activision, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, FPS, PC games, PS4 games, Sledgehammer Games, Xbox One Games

The future of Call Of Duty revealed - Advanced Warfare intel & screenshot blowout!

Hoverbikes! Hovertanks! Mechs! Exoskeletons!

Welcome back, everyone. I hope that you're bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after enjoying the second bank holiday of the month -- did you manage to paint the shed this time? -- and ready to cram five days of work into four days at the office.

Especially since the US didn't have a holiday and kept pumping out info that we've now got to cover - starting with Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Activision revealed new story and gameplay details over the weekend, not to mention a clutch of futuristic screenshots to back up their impressive debut trailer. We've got it all after the break.

Click here to read more...

Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls only £15.95 at CDKeys (with Facebook voucher code)

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Activision, Blizzard, Expansion, PC games, RPG

Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls only £15.95 at CDKeys (with Facebook voucher code)

Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls | CDKeys | £15.95 (when you like them on Facebook)
Review | Here's their Facebook page

Diablo III was broken, but Blizzard have fixed it. Not only have the recent patches made grinding fun and rewarding, but Reaper Of Souls adds some great meaningful content (including the best act in the game and brilliant new class), alongside a new way to experience the game in Adventure Mode. Some of you have already abandoned Diablo III and frankly I can't blame you... but it's worth a second look to check out the free updates - then pay a competitive £15.95 for the expansion if you like it.

Remember to use the voucher code from liking their Facebook page! You can unlike and re-like them if necessary. Thanks to Trogador at HUKD for this burninating deal!