I like WildStar. I've made no secret of that fact for some time now, but it's hard to deny that, after a launch period that was filled with hope for a long and enjoyable lifespan, the enthusiasm has waned for many players who invested their time and money. There are many reasons for this - RNG nightmares for gear stats, PVP balance becoming a hot mess, and top level characters not having much to do unless they were working towards raid content. Population issues also hampered the fun, and then in-game Christmas was cancelled. Oh, and there were redundancies. Basically, there was good reason to be worried.
However, the troops are re-mobilising over at Carbine, and with the megaserver merge now live and (kind of) fixed the population situation, the long awaited third content drop is almost ready to roll. With a stronger focus on the narrative this time around, The Mystery of the Genesis Prime will tie up many of the stories that have been going on since launch, while setting up the next chapter for WildStar. Of course, that's on top of the additional group content that will be found throughout the new zone of the Defile, and I was invited by Carbine Studios to get hands-on with The Black Focus - an area that will deliver 5-player group content. It's all in our latest video preview, as I give my impressions on what I was shown, what I'm looking forward to, and if this content drop will do enough to entice disillusioned players to return to WildStar.
With the recent news that Dreamfall Chapter would be going episodic, and being told that the first part would be with us sooner than the original November date, many fans were eager to see how the project was coming along. There have been a few walkthroughs this year at events, but at Gamescom I was invited to check out a few select scenes from Book One: Reborn. Creative Director Ragnar Tørnquist & Lead Writer Dag Scheve guided me through the developer walkthrough, highlighting the puzzles, exploration, & decision making players will have in the game.
Obviously, there are some light spoilers involved in watching this (although nothing story ruining - I was asked to stop filming at those points!) but if you're curious as to how the game will play, or just want to see Europolis in all its glory, then this video is a must see. Stay tuned to the site later today for our exclusive interview with Ragnar & Dag!
If you read my hands-on preview of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 a few weeks ago you may be interested to take a look at my new hands-on preview video of the game. Taking place at what may turn out to be the first stage of the game, you'll see a variety of new weapons in action such as the Void Sword and the Cestus Claws. And you see Gabriel rip a knight into what can only be described as a red splash. It's messy.
With only Ryse on the horizon, this is one of our most eagerly-awaited hack n' slash titles. Kratos better come out of retirement soon if he doesn't want to lose his title.Click here to see the video.
The launch of the Xbox One is looming, and so we pause for a moment to take stock of a couple of Microsoft's launch offerings. First up? Ryse: Son of Rome. The first-person game that became a third-person game. The third-person game that became an Xbox One game. The Xbox One game that defied Kinect.
Well, sort of.
Ryse's journey has been one of constantly changing design focuses, conceptual rock jumping, and constant delays. It's finally arriving this November. But is it actually looking any good. We've been hands-on with a small portion of the game a couple of times since it was unveiled in its newest, QTE-stuffed form at E3 this year, and here are a few thoughts ahead of the game's next-gen release.Click here to read more...
You can get a fat rundown of my initial impressions of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag here, but basically it would seem that things are looking up for the series. For a franchise that has always really only ever been as good as its time-travelling setting, taking the series deep into the Golden Age of Piracy and combining the core mechanics of Assassin's Creed with a vast, open, naval sandbox reminiscent of Sid Meier's Pirates!, looks to be a masterstroke.
Following on from my conversation with lead writer Darby McDevitt at Gamescom last month, we sat down with producer Martin Schelling at a recent preview event to have an all-encompassing chat about Black Flag. If you're interested in the nature of this piratical open world, if you're wondering why and how music came to be such an integral part of the experience, if you're itching to find out what's going on with the world outside of animus in this game, hit the jump and watch the video. It's a good one.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC | PS4 (tested) | Xbox One | PS3 | Xbox 360
Developers: Ubisoft Montreal
You could have been forgiven for forgetting that Assassin's Creed III had "assassin" in the title. There was one example, maybe two if you squinted, of some actual assassinating in Connor's adventure. For the most part, it was a bloated mess, punctuated by lengthy fetch quests, instafail linear sections, and walking lengthy distances as colonial luminaries delivered historical lectures in audio that kept fading in and out of earshot. To be honest, we've rather been lamenting the series' slow abandonment of freeform assassinations, but it appears that the decline of stealthy sandbox murder-plotting might be at an end.
Black Flag is bringing them back in a big way.
Ubisoft have expanded Edward's set of clandestine tools. The blowpipe is particularly fun, sending guards to sleep or, better yet, sending them into a berserk frenzy whereupon they promptly attack their chums. But by far the most welcome change, is that Edward won't prematurely reveal himself when he performs ranged attacks or attempts to skewer a nearby guard. Gone are the days of a professional security type coming over to investigate, lured into the perfect position for a sly and stealthy assassination, only for our murderous protagonist to stand up as if to shout surprise, wrecking the "Avoid Detection" objective, and completing his grisly business almost insultingly visible to all. Now Edward can grab people from the bushes, whistling from leafy cover and snatching guards unaware without tripping the detection meter. The same goes for darts and guns and knives. Click here to read more...
The above video is not the Peggle 2 preview, but it does do a rather good job of summing the game up nicely. Yes, we got hands-on with PopCap's ridiculously addictive bouncing puzzler at Gamescom this year and we didn't want to leave.
The video after the jump is taken from Microsoft's evening event on Press Conference Day at Gamescom 2013 and features a number of terrible puns from the very start as well as exploring a few levels from one of the game's new Peggle Masters -- Luna -- whose ability renders all blue pegs ethereal and intangible for a couple of turns.
There may also be tears, opera, and a discussion of Lars Ulrich's gaming habits. You have been warned.Click here to watch our Peggle 2 hands-on preview >>