Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is out this week, and the review embargo is up. But we're not quite ready to drop the verdict of Gearbox and 2K Australia's latest just yet. Our review will be along later this week, but in the interim, here's a little look at the game's opening scenes.
Definitely check out Carl's interview with the devs too.
This week's Game Buzz sees us chat about Microsoft's acquisition of Mojang and Minecraft, and what the future might hold for both the studio and its wildly popular IP under new management. Now that Jon's had a chance to get cracking in Destiny, we also have a natter about Carl's review and the ongoing mix of feelings that Destiny manages to provoke.
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.
Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition | Steam | £1.04 (RRP: £6.99)
Come get some.
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!
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...
While lacking the expansion DLC content provided by the individual Game of the Year editions, this is still tremendous value for money as Borderlands 2 alone is generally the same price as this collection. Gearbox's cel-shaded FPS series is more of an RPG take on the genre, which has been adored by millions since launch. Newbies should note that these games are much more enjoyably when played online if you don't want to face a lonely grind. Get involved!
Thanks to Buzzdurband at HotUkDeals.
This is even cheaper than Tesco's recent deal and also includes the Xbox One version of the game. To be honest I never thought we'd see the new-gen version of the game below £40 this year, but it seems like a few sites are resorting to hacking their profit margins to cash in on the hype. Head over to our Destiny hub, where you can see gameplay videos and impressions so far.
Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII at HotUkDeals.
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.
We continue our in-game coverage of Destiny by following on from the recent Game Night, testing out more of the Crucible. Carl & Matt try their luck in two rounds of Clash, before going head-to-head in a Rumble match.
Stay tuned to the site for more of our on-going Destiny vidcasts, with the next episode focusing on the multiplayer modes of the Crucible.
Destiny reminds me of the original Assassin's Creed.
Wait, come back. Let me explain.
I remember when the original Assassin's Creed came out, and the hype train was a full speed for that particular title. I remember it being the game on everyone's lips, not least in part because one of the core aspects of the way that game handled felt so liberating and exciting. Running and climbing was fluid and intuitive and wildly freeing. I remember local multiplayer nights being replaced by us crowding round a single Xbox, swapping the controller back and forth every so often just as we had years before when the GTA series was in its infancy. This central mechanism, this seamless parkour and vertical freedom from which everything else seemed to derive, was incredibly exciting.
That might all seem a little daft now, but at the time it was extraordinarily exciting, coupled with open-ended assassination missions that gave you the run of the city and empowered you to make your own decisions. The core of the game was fresh and fun and brimmed with promise and potential.
That's the thing, though, it took Assassin's Creed II to take the franchise to the next level and really deliver on that potential, realising the promise hinted at in that first game. For all of its seemingly breathless originality and ambition at the time, the original Assassin's Creed was also repetitive, clunky, and fell far short of the grandiose ambitions underpinning its structure. Altair was a blank cipher, whose American voice sounded out of place amongst the heavily accented tones of every other character, and although the game around him had some nice ideas, it was mired in content that still had some way to go, its quality diminished by missions of an increasingly formulaic and repetitive nature, and a devolution into endless combat encounters the further along you got.
At the time of release, Electronic Gaming Monthly described it as "an incomplete template based on multiple other games" -- there were some unique flavours in the mix, but it took a sequel for Assassin's Creed to really find its feet and its complete identity.
That quote above could just as easily be applied to Destiny. In fact, it's even more pertinent here.Click here to read more...
Busy collecting Grimoire cards and Emblems in Destiny this week? Well, allow us to help you out. Through promotional trading cards for the game, affiliate websites, and the emergence of limited edition codes, 26 codes have been uncovered that can be used multiple times and redeemed on Bungie.net for rewards.
All you have to do is register on the site (sign up the Dealspwn Destiny clan while you're at it), link up you PSN/Xbox LIVE accounts to ensure maximum benefit, and then enter in the codes by clicking "Redeem Code" in the drop-down menu from your account name.
You can see your Grimoire cards immediately on Bungie.net once you've unlocked them, but you'll need to take a trip to the Tower and visit the Postmaster to nab your Emblems and Shaders. Don't expect to be able to to use the latter until level 20.Hit the jump for the free list of Destiny codes >>
Hello there Traveller! Welcome to Day Two of our ongoing series of critical vidcasts regarding Destiny. Yesterday, Carl and I shared our initial thoughts on the retail version of the game, delighting in the game's exquisite gunplay and lamenting the empty feeling of the game worlds. Today, it's all about customisation. We talk about character creation and classes before moving onto equipment, upgrading gear and the economies present in the game, and also assessing Destiny's approach to dispensing loot.
Bungie basically laughed in the face of conventional review-making earlier this week, surfing into town on a swagalicious wave of money and hype. So, given that conventional reviews are sort of out of the window for this action-RPG-FPS-MMO hybrid, we thought we'd bring you a running commentary of our impressions and critical thoughts over the next few days by way of a daily vidcast.
Today we take a look at the basic gunplay, the exemplary sound design, the oddly empty worlds, and the awesomeness of the Tower and ask why the hell does a new-gen game have loading times that are longer than GTA Online's.
Also, does Carl have PS4 buyer's remorse having bought a new console for this game? Or are all of his generational dreams coming true?
Let us know how you're getting on in the box below.
Destiny is upon us, and we'll be bringing you a number of impressions pieces from various perspectives over the next week or so as we get to grips with the Most Expensive Game Ever Made.
But, along with the Starter Guide we published earlier in the week, here's another helpful little article to help you get the most out of the vast PvE experiences to be had across the Solar System, and some tips regarding levelling, loot, and combat.
Save your Glimmer
Glimmer is the main form of currency in Destiny, and you'll earn enough in the first hour or two to buy some more powerful weapons back at the Tower. Don't do it. Although the game doesn't shower you in loot, completing the Story missions will see you gifted weapons and armour, and you'll gradually uncover a host of loadout options out in the open world and on Patrol. Comb areas thoroughly for chests, and be sure to mop up any dropped items after a firefight. You'll want to save your Glimmer for rarer things.Click here to read more...
The servers are already live, and people are already playing, but if you're yet to pre-order, or fancy getting a better deal for the game on PS4, you can grab Destiny for just £35 over at Tesco.
You'll need to create a new Tesco account and then use the eCoupon code TDX-HQ9T to get the game at this price. Also worth noting that you'll get exclusive content with the PS4 version that you'll have to wait a year for on other platforms. It will not, however, include the Vanguard Armoury DLC as that's exclusive to GAME here in the UK.
A tip of the cap to Barrons at HotUkDeals.
It's so very close now. Bungie have announced that "Destiny servers will admit Guardians as soon as it is September 9th somewhere in the world. When you play is between you and your retailer."
With the year's most anticipated game only hours away, we've assembled a little starter guide for interested parties who've yet to get stuck into the game or maybe just want a little clarification on what the hell is going on.
Here's a little all-in-one article to give you the fast-fire lowdown on everything you need to get started in Destiny when the servers go live later.
The Darkness forced humanity back to Earth whereupon The Traveller sacrificed itself in a last stand designed to salvage the pockets of humanity that remained. The Traveller now lies dormant, its aura protecting the last human City.
But before it succumbed to The Darkness, The Traveller delivered one last boon to humanity in the form of the A.I. Ghosts -- sent forth to seek out worthy warriors to become Guardians of the City and defend Earth against attack.
You (and indeed I) are one of those Guardians.
Metro Redux is a fantastic new way to experience Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light on new-gen consoles, but if you've yet to take the plunge, your wallet will thank you. Amazon and Tesco will sell you a copy of Last Light at a £5 saving, which is a great price for this grim and unrelenting experience.
The Xbox 360 version is also available for £7.00 from Tesco. Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
Remasters and reduxes are all the rage right now. It's an easy way to make a quick buck, after all, and recycle some of the best experiences of last-gen, keeping the cash coming in and hopefully picking up one or two newcomers along the way. There'll always be questions as to the deserving nature of these revamped games, particularly when it comes to titles barely a generation old, but there's something to be said for 4A Games' Metro double header getting the current-gen treatment.
Metro 2033 once used to be the benchmark for graphics card tests, and the original version still holds up pretty well on PC, but the Redux version really is a step up, with 4A porting 2033 over into Last Light's engine. The visual tweaks and upgrades are all as you'd expect: textures have been overhauled and remodelled, there's a deeper colour palette, and noticeably improved lighting -- all of which makes for a game that's somehow even more atmospheric than when it came around the first time. Better yet, 4A have redone a number of the cutscenes in 2033 to keep players in first-person mode, minimising immersion-breaking occurrences.
PC gamers might not necessarily find these upgrades particularly worthwhile, but on PS4, the games really do feel new-gen, particularly Last Light which is now far closer to its PC sibling and has some absolutely dazzling lighting effects to behold. The visual detail across both games is now realised fantastically on consoles, and the improved clothing physics, improved facial constructions and character animations in 2033, really make for a seamless experience. The console versions still can't quite boast the particle effects of the PC equivalent, but it's a marked step up.Click here to read more...
EA have slashed prices on Titanfall and its DLC over on Origin for a day, meaning you can pick up the base game for just £13.49. The individual map packs have also been discounted, and EA have shaved a third off of the price of the Season Pass. Additionally, ifd you've not gotten into the game yet, you can pick up the Titanfall Digital Deluxe Edition, which contains the base game and the Season Pass, for just £23.99.
It's a cracking game, we're still playing it, and the latest map pack, Frontier's Edge, is an absolute winner. Thanks to shahidali47 @ HUKD!
That September 9th release date is getting ever closer, so maybe it's time to knuckle down that pre-order before you're stuck with a more expensive option after launch. Amazon are currently a fiver cheaper than anywhere else for the PS4 version, but for some reason they're sticking with a £45 price for the Xbox One version.
Thanks to ViperKeith at HotUkDeals.