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Get the Skylanders: Swap Force 3DS starter pack for £19.50 at John Lewis

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
3DS Games, Activision, Nintendo, Skylanders: Swap Force Starter Pack

Get the Skylanders: Swap Force 3DS starter pack for £19.50 at John Lewis

If you or your kids are Skylanders-crazy and didn't pick up Swap Force last year, John Lewis are on hand with a potential Christmas stocking filler. The Skylanders: SWAP Force starter pack will run you £19.50 on 3DS, which is a nice cheap deal and a major saving since Go2Games and GAME are out of stock!

The Skylanders: Swap Force Starter Pack includes the 3DS game, Portal of Power peripheral, two Skylanders Swap Force Figures, a Skylander Figure, three Trading Cards, sticker sheet with secret codes and a poster. A good haul at a very good price ahead of Black Friday, but note that the Portal is not forwards-compatible with Skylanders: Trap Team. You'll want to arrange in-store collection to avoid £3.00 postage, though it would still be a saving regardless. Thanks to myarse (heh) @ HUKD!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare only £31.90 on Xbox One at The Game Collection (via Rakuten)

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Activision, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, FPS games, Games deals, Sledgehammer Games, Xbox One Games

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare only £31.90 on Xbox One at The Game Collection (via Rakuten)

We're already seeing some cheap Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare deals mere days after launch, and this one is a corker. At £31.90, The Game Collection's Rakuten marketlace listing is probably the cheapest you'll find it this side of Black Friday.

Make sure to use voucher code MSERAK10 for the extra discount! You'll need to make/have a full account, as guests can't redeem vouchers (those clever so-and-sos!). Brendan's review praises the game as a return to form and a new paradigm for multiplayer funtimes, and I agree entirely, though identifying friend from foe can be a right old pain. Many thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD for spotting this excellent deal, and Chanchi32 for posting the voucher code!

Get Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on PS4 for just £34.85 from Simply Games

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Activision, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, FPS games, Games deals, PS4 games, Sledgehammer Games

Get Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on PS4 for just £34.85 from Simply Games

Well, I wasn't expecting to see a deal this good for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare so quickly. It's the cheapest offer we've seen for the PS4 version, and will save you around £5 over the next best listing elsewhere.

As our review explains, Advanced Warfare is not only a well-polished instalment, but a highly refreshing take on the franchise. After all, there’s Exo-suit antics in the well-balanced multiplayer modes, and Kevin Spacey being Kevin Spacey in the single player campaign. Which is nice. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!

Destiny on PS4 / Xbox One falls to £29.95 over at The Game Collection

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, FPS games, Games deals, PS4 games, Xbox One Games

Destiny on PS4 / Xbox One falls to £29.95 over at The Game Collection

It might be worth holding off on this one in case the Black Friday deals deliver something better, but this is currently the best price we've seen for Destiny on current-gen consoles. This latest offer beats the next cheapest deal by between £5-10 depending on your platform of choice.

  • Click the links to buy Destiny on PS4 / Xbox One for £29.95 from The Game Collection

Despite incredibly satisfying controls and the usual visual polish Bungie have become known for, the truth is it was a case of style over substance for Destiny. A solid foundation to build upon hasn't been taken advantage of since launch, and the end-game Light gear system can make or break the experience depending on how the RNG gods favor you. It's a huge shame, because when it gets it right, Destiny is a really, really fun game, as our review explains. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII@ HUKD for the find!

Get the Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm expansion for just £9.85

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Activision, Blizzard Entertainment, PC games, StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Strategy games

Get the Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm expansion for just £9.85

Considering Blizzcon is happening this weekend, this deal for Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm is rather appropriate. It’s the first time we’ve seen the expansion pack for under a tenner, and Amazon have price matched ShopTo’s listing so there’s a choice of where to go to save £7 over the next cheapest listing.

  • Click the links for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm on PC for £9.85 from ShopTo / Amazon

With the campaign focusing on the Zerg this time, new units and  various ability paths gave the base-building strategy gtitle a unique feel. At this price it’s certainly worth giving it a go if you haven’t already, but be aware that you’ll need to base game, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty, to play this. Thanks to fr3dy77_sp33d @ HUKD for the heads-up!

UPDATED | COD: Advanced Warfare does not support Share Play on PS4, Sony outlines stance

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Activision, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, PS4 games, Share Play

UPDATED | COD: Advanced Warfare does not support Share Play on PS4, Sony outlines stance

UPDATE: Activision's official stance at the moment is "no comment", while Sony submitted the following statement:

"Share Play is a system level feature enabled by System Software Update 2.0 making it available for all PS4 titles, however the option is available to developers to disable the feature according to what they feel will best benefit the consumer experience."

-------------------

Heads up folks! Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare doesn't support PS4's shiny new Share Play functionality, we can confirm. Reddit users had reported that Activision's shooter wasn't playing nice with the new feature, and indeed, we've just confirmed it ourselves across the game's various modes.

Share Play has a "blocked scene" option that allows developers and publishers to disable spoilerrific moments in certain games by limiting access to particular scenes, and it looks as though Activision have just rolled that out across the entirety of the game. Testing the feature earlier, Carl was neither able to take control of my game directly (although I was technically able to pass him the remote on the Share Play settings screen) nor join me for local multiplayer.

Bizarrely, Advanced Warfare popped up in Carl's Recently Played list even though he didn't get to enjoy a second of the game.

We've contacted Activision for further comment on the matter, and Sony regarding the ways in which devs/pubs might opt out of Share Play. You can check out our super-helpful, utterly scientific look at PS4 Share Play right here.

Get Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on PC for just £26.99 from SimplyCDKeys

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Activision, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, FPS games, game deals, PC games, Sledgehammer Games

Get Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on PC for just £26.99 from SimplyCDKeys

While the focus is on the console version these days, those wishing to play Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on PC can take advantage of a fantastic launch deal from SimplyCDKeys. Coming in under the £30 price mark would ensure it is a notable bargain in itself, but the fact it will save you over £10 compared to the next best price makes it all the sweeter.

We’re still working on our review, but the word from elsewhere on the web suggests it’s not only a well-polished instalment, but a highly refreshing take on the franchise. After all, there’s Exo-suit antics in the well-balanced multiplayer modes, and Kevin Spacey being Kevin Spacey in the single player campaign. Which is nice. Remember – this deal requires a Steam account to play the game.

Thanks to the_ghost @ HUKD for the find!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Review Roundup

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, FPS games

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Review Roundup

Happy COD Day, everybody! Yes, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is out, the first wave of reviews are live, and it rather looks as though Sledgehammer Games have breathed some life into the series. Activision are yet to send us our copy, so we're not going to have our review for a few days, but here's the critical lowdown thus far.

Digital Spy – 4/5

“Sledgehammer Games hasn’t reinvented the first-person shooter franchise, but it does give it a shot of adrenaline, making Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare one of the fastest, freshest and most thrilling entries yet.”

Game Informer – 9/10

“Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s single-player campaign is a ridiculous summer movie romp with sobering visions of the future of weaponry. Bring popcorn, because the real fun begins with the multiplayer, where the wealth of customization options should have players coming back for game after game.”

Click for more Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare reviews >>

Destiny Gameplay | Queen's Wrath Kill Order #3 - Riksis, the Devil Archon

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, Gameplay, Queen's Wrath

There's no rest for the wicked, as Carl & Matt go for yet another kill order in the Queen's Wrath event of Destiny. Today's video sees the duo take on Riksis in a short but sweet encounter, before discussing why players would want to keep doing these missions.

Destiny Gameplay | Queen's Wrath Kill Order #2 - Zydron, The Gate Lord

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, Gameplay, Queen's Wrath

We're back with the second entry in our Destiny mini-series, as Carl and Matt tackle another kill order for the Queen's Wrath event. Today's video sees them fighting many waves of Vex before taking on the Gate Lord Zydron. They also give some critical analysis on their feels about the event so far, and then realise why you probably shouldn't do that when taking on high level enemies.

We'll be back tomorrow for another Kill Order video, so stay tuned!

Destiny Gameplay | Queen's Wrath Kill Order #1 - Sardok, Eye of Oryx

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, Gameplay, Queen's Wrath

The first big event of Destiny kicked off yesterday, with the Queen of The Reef wishing to cash in on the favour owed to her by all the Guardians. Sadly, there's no new content - only variations on existing bounties and levels - but the Kill Order missions that appear have proved to be quite the challenge. So, we sent in Carl and Matt to take on the Queen's enemies as we kick off a new mini-series that showcases their misadventures. Today's episode sees them taking on the heroic version of the Shrine of Oryx mission, before facing off against its final boss, Sardok.

We'll back tomorrow with yet another Kill Order video!

Destiny PS4 Gameplay | Discovering the Magic Loot Cave

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, Gameplay, PS4 games, Xbox One Games

We continue our coverage of Bungie persistent shooter as Carl shows off the joy that is his new Hand Cannon, before taking Matt to the what has become known as the Magic Loot Cave. See what riches they found, and how they increased their chances of more with controversial methods, in today's Destiny video.

WARNING: This video contains large amounts of swearing, creative insults, and a complete lack of professionalism... for science. In other words, it's NSFW. At all.

Destiny PS4 Gameplay | Combined Arms

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, Gameplay

In today's Destiny video, Carl and Matt investigate the new playlist of Combined Arms, touted as bringing vehicle-fuelled carnage to Bungie's title. However, as our duo found out over the course of the two games they played, that really wasn't the case. Watch the video above to see why they were so disappointed with Bungie's latest addition to the Crucible.

Resoundingly Mediocre? - The Trouble With Destiny's Review Scores, and Metacritic Bonuses, and Idiocy

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, Fallout: New Vegas, GameRankings, Metacritic, Review aggregation, Review Scores

Resoundingly Mediocre? - The Trouble With Destiny's Review Scores, and Metacritic Bonuses, and Idiocy

Do you consider 7/10 to be a bad score?

Have a real think about that one, and while you ponder that, here's a further, qualifying question to fit into our consumer-oriented editorial remit.

If you were looking forward to a game, would you be less likely to buy it if it received a 7/10 score or equivalent?

Converted mathematically into a star system, 7/10 equates to three and a half stars. Suddenly, it doesn't quite seem so bad. Hell, even 6/10 starts looking fairly attractive at that point. Put into pictures, the idea of suggesting that 7/10 might be something negative becomes an almost laughable notion. Sure, it isn't top marks, but it isn't bad. It's isn't even average. One certainly wouldn't call it mediocre.

And yet that's exactly what this industry seems hell bent on doing.

Resoundingly Mediocre? - The Trouble With Destiny's Review Scores, and Metacritic Bonuses, and Idiocy

Part of this has to do with the pervasive and ever-growing power of review aggregation sites. The shadows that Metacritic and, to a lesser extent, GameRankings cast over the industry have been well-documented. There has been much talk of corruption in the past few weeks, but in amongst the personal attacks on industry figures, the howling banshee noises from various entrenched factions of the internet, the slandered "gamers" and the harassed journalists, and everyone caught in between, let's take a look at something simple and clear and easy: bonuses should not be predicated on aggregated review scores when the entire scoring system is broken.

Click here to read more...

Game Night | Destiny - Dealspwn Vs Phogoth

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, Game Night, Gameplay

In today's episode of Game Night, the team jump into Destiny and attempt to do The Summoning Pit on Hard. Watch as Carl, Brendan, and Matt try to survive the many moon Wizards before taking on the final boss Phogoth. Highlights include the creation of another sport, Carl demanding Matt calls him a hero, and Brendan dying in the most inconvenient places.

Destiny Review | Hope for the future

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, PS3 games, PS4 games, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One Games

Destiny Review | Hope for the future
Platform: PS4 (Tested) | Xbox One | PS3 | Xbox 360

Developer: Bungie

Publisher: Activision

This review was always going to a tough one to write. On one hand, this is my first new-gen title, and the choice to make the jump for Destiny puts a lot of expectation on it. On the other hand, the difficultly of separating naturally-grown excitement from the flow of mainstream hype has complicated matters, to the point that our Editor Matt laughed as he handed me the job. Add on top of this the fray that has been other reviews coming out within days of release (and the fact I hate review scores – there, I said it) as well as a huge focus on the budget for the new franchise, and it’s been a little daunting in all honesty. Still, a week of play in Bungie’s long-awaited new IP has allowed me to see most of what the game has to offer, so to hell with the numeric opinions of others, and to hell with the budget (I couldn’t care less if it cost $500 million or a fiver to make) – it’s time for me to help you decide if it’s worth your time and money.

Let’s go over the basics for any newcomers in our ranks. At its core, Destiny is a persistent online shooter that sees players choose between three class types and races, each with their own distinct abilities and cosmetic choices. From there, players are charged with levelling up and finding the shiniest of loot by either jumping into PvE encounters or PvP fights, with more content unlocking as the player’s level increases. It’s part MMO and part co-op encounters, all tied together with FPS combat that we know and love, but it’s also not quite like anything else that’s come before it. Despite the similar mechanics, it’s not Halo, and it’s not World of Warcraft either. The nearest thing to it (and I can’t believe I’m bringing it up again) is Defiance – the game that never realised its potential. In fact, there are a quite a few issues that Destiny shares with Trion’s online shooter, but there is one difference that separates the two – Destiny is fun to play for all the right reasons, and that in my mind overshadows the problems that are there.

Click here to read more...

Destiny PS4 Gameplay | Taking on The Summoning Pits

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, FPS games, Gameplay, PS4 games, Xbox One

Having completed the story missions on the Moon, Carl & Matt decide to delve onto Destiny's second strike mission - The Summoning Pit - in our latest video dedicated to Bungie's latest. See how the duo (plus a random) get on against the hordes of the Hive, before taking on the end-of-level boss, Phogoth.

Be sure to check out the rest of our Destiny coverage, including our critical impressions vidcasts!

Destiny: The Road to Level 20 - Disposable content and deferred gratification

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

Destiny: The Road to Level 20 - Disposable content and deferred gratification

A week on from release and I'm still no closer to being able to answer what seems to be a simple question: is Destiny any good? Thankfully, I've exercised my power as editor and given the job of putting a score on the game to Carl, but I was at a gathering over the weekend and three people asked me variants of that very question, and I realised that I gave three completely different answers.

It's a game that still fills me with an enormous sense of ambivalence.

It's easy to see why Bungie warned everyone away from day one reviews. One of the most fun, and quite possibly reductive, activities of critically engaging with The Most Expensive Game Ever Made has been seeing which bits and bobs of gameplay have been borrowed from where. A healthy slab of Halo here, a dusting of Defiance there, left to marinade in a bunch of MMO conventions and practices. It's perhaps the aspects of that last one that have proven a little confusing for the console audience. Here in the land of PlayStations and Xboxes, we know little of power levelling. Endgame content is a term that is confusing and sounds suspicious.

Much has been made of Destiny's fairly bland story missions, most of which take you out of the even more bland expanses on Earth, the Moon, Venus and Mars, and funnel you into some sort of dungeon area. In my opinion, the bits of bespoke content (particularly the Strikes) have proven far more entertaining than the other solo/co-op content. It says much when the best bits of a seemingly expansive title such as this are actually the most narrow and focussed sections.

For console players who've shied away from MMOs, content gating will be a new experience -- the slow introduction to the game's systems and modes anathema to the regular slew of content shooters and action RPGs that deliver the whole package and tell you to run amok. Indeed, it's the primary excuse I've heard from people defending the practice: Destiny takes its cues from MMOs, you grind to level 20 and that's when the "real" game opens up!

My response to that thus far has been simple...

Why?

Click here to read more...

Destiny PS4 Gameplay | Salvaging the Crucible

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Activision, Bungie, Destiny, Gameplay, PS4 games, Xbox One Games

We've already had a look at many of the modes the Crucible has to offer, but yesterday Bungie unlocked the Salvage game type in Destiny. As such, we sent in Carl & Matt to investigate the 3v3 action in our latest gameplay video from the launch week.

Be sure to check out the rest of our Destiny coverage, including our daily critical impressions vidcasts!

Destiny Review Impressions - Part Three | PvP and the Crucible

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

Probably the most fully-realised aspect of Destiny, today we turn out attention to the Crucible in this ongoing series of review impressions, taking a look at game modes, maps, and balancing.

Check out Part One: Initial Impressions.

Check out Part Two: Customisation.