About time too. Just when our excitement for Watch Dogs reached critical mass, having previewed a production build, interviewed the developers and even tested out the companion app, Ubisoft delayed their anticipated hacking sandbox at the eleventh hour. Then went dark.
The waiting began. The conjecture and concerns deepened. But now we can start to ramp back into hype mode, because Watch Dogs has been officially dated by way of a new trailer! So long as you don't want to buy it on Wii U, that is.Click here to read more...
Developer: Kojima Productions
Ground Zeroes is a curious little thing. Neither full game nor free demo, Kojima's attempt to bridge the events of Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and the upcoming Phantom Pain acts as both a FOX Engine showcase, a playable tutorial for Snake's massively overhauled gameplay and a shameless story teaser that sets up one heck of a cliffhanger. With concerns about its length, value and Jack Bauer making headlines, I approached my first hands-on session with a degree of trepidation.
Over more than five hours of contact time, however, I gradually came to realise that Ground Zeroes is more than the sum of its parts. Crucially it's a sandbox; a freeform playground designed to ease players into the new Metal Gear Solid experience by letting us experiment with the retooled mechanics on our own terms.
The scene is set in a lengthy intro cinematic that sees Snake rappelling into Omega Base, a Guantanamo Bay-inspired Black Site in which Paz (remember her?) may have been incarcerated. His mission is to extract her alive by any means necessary, even as we're introduced to the horrifically disfigured new villain Skull Face, who sets a sinister plan into motion involving the nefarious XOF forces. It's an excuse to get Snake back into his skintight stealth suit, but scant seconds after assuming control, you'll realise that Metal Gear has changed in several fundamental ways.Click here to read more...
Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes releases later this month, giving players a taste of the FOX Engine's capabilities, a storyline teaser and insight into Snake's new abilities. However, many gamers are desperately concerned about its value, following a report that the campaign can be completed in less than two hours.
Now that I've spent several hours with Ground Zeroes' 95% preview build, I'm finally in a position to confirm or deny these allegations firsthand.
Or, more accurately, tell you that they're absolutely correct... and completely misleading.Click here to read more...
I've said a couple of times this year already that you could be forgiven for forgetting that we'd even had not one, but two next-gen consoles release at the end of 2013, such is the dearth of activity that we've seen in the early part of 2014. That's changed a little in recent weeks as the Titanfall hype train has begun to gather steam and bundles have started appearing for Respawn's shooter on Xbox One and Sucker Punch's latest inFamous title on the PS4.
But for me at least, there's still a sense that although I've bought the ticket and am standing, waiting for the arrival of this heralded new generation, not much has changed as yet, and that aside from some shinier graphics here and there, the new box is pretty much the same as the old box -- at least in terms of what's on offer.
Dead Rising 3 stood out for its scale, allowing for zombie-mashing on a previously unimagined level. It's an enormously important thing -- an expansive feature only made possible thanks to increased power, that fundamentally ties into the central core of the gameplay. It's brilliant, though somewhat marred by the inescapable torrent of insulting tripe that's forming the game's DLC menu -- the less said about that, the better.
We should note too the shining, shimmering splendour of Killzone: Shadow Fall. It's still the only next-gen title to really drop my jaw in terms of visuals, and it did a fine job of selling the power of the PS4. Sadly, though, that's about the only thing it did a fine job of, trading the potential and promise of its first level for something wholly generic, unimaginative, and laborious.Click here to read more...
In a recent, wide-ranging interview, Respawn Entertainment's Vince Zampella addressed the recent leaks -- "at some point you just have to throw up your arms and say, ‘alright, you got us’" -- as well as lifting the lid on the DLC plans for Titanfall, and confirming that the game will offer a Season pass discount for the game's DLC to those who want to invest early.
Zampella also addressed the multiplayer focus for the game and explained why there's no singleplayer component to Titanfall.Click here to read more...
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare may be the friendliest and most delightful shooter around, but you'd be surprised at the amount of depth that lurks just beneath the cheerful surface. War is hell, even when it's utterly adorable.
So to maximise your vanquish potential, keep your chlorophyll safely within your stalks and ensure you a tasty brain banquet, here are ten essential tips to bear in mind while playing online. Some are tricky, some are common sense, but all will keep you alive when the goop and concrete starts flying!
Chomper is easily the most unique class in Garden Warfare, and my personal favourite (especially the Fire variant!). His stealthy burrowing skill and instant-vanquish melee attacks are perfectly suited for sneaky offensive actions... but when you're playing 'Gardens & Graveyards,' you'll discover that he's also one of the best defenders the Plants have to offer.
The Spikeweed ability lets you lock down three approaches to your capture points, tying up attackers for your ranged team-mates to painlessly dispatch. Chompers can burrow under objectives, instantly scoffing any zombies who breach the perimeter, or flank around to quickly neutralise any pesky Scientists setting up healing stations. In a pinch, Goop attacks can slow down All-Stars and Engineers racing for the control zone. Remember that any zombie vanquished by a chomp attack cannot be revived, forcing them to slog all the way back from the nearest spawn point.
Finally, never underestimate the psychological impact of a Chomper defensive team. Once the foe knows you're there, they'll have to advance slowly and methodically, wasting valuable time as they desperately try to work out where you're hiding. The horror. The horror!Click here to read more...
WB Games Montreal did a reasonable if underwhelming job with Batman: Arkham Origins, but we all knew that original masterminds Rocksteady Studios had to be working on a tasty new project for next-gen systems.
An exciting prospect... which has been blown wide open thanks to an indiscreet product listing from GAME, followed by a Game Informer cover story. Batman: Arkham Knight is set to release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One later this year, providing the "explosive finale" to the Arkham series alongside the opportunity to finally get behind the wheel of the Batmobile.
UPDATE: Enjoy the announcement trailer!Click here to read more...
Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare has no right to be any good. It's everything we're supposed to hate: the corruption of a beloved franchise into yet another multiplayer shooter. Peashooters, zombie workmen and Sunflowers trade charming tower defence for ironsights and circle-strafing, more casualties of the war on wallets that never changes.
So I'm genuinely delighted to report that, despite all odds, Garden Warfare is a rather lovely little thing! PopCap may lack experience with the gritty genre, but their unsullied innocence allowed them to inject fun, happiness, colour and real personality into what's often a crushingly drab shooting gallery. Sunflowers and zombies merrily flounce and flail around some vibrant maps, working together to push the simple objectives or 'vanquish' as many foes as possible. It's easily the most stress-free and family friendly shooter out there, eschewing K/D ratios, sprinting, gore and microtransactions to create a safe and relaxing environment for newcomers to enjoy.
Don't mistake a cheerful and casual approach for a lack of depth, however. Behind the smiles lies an impeccably unbalanced set of classes and abilities that can cater for any play style. Often you'll find me sniping flowers from rooftops as a mobile zombie foot soldier, whereas much of my time is spent ruthlessly stalking my undead prey from beneath the Earth, hunting my quarry as they vainly flee in abject terror, only to meet their grisly demise as I smash through the tarmac and devour them whole with razor-sharp fangs.
I am Chomper! I am Death! And I am having an absolute blast with Garden Warfare, even if I might not be able to recommend it quite as highly as I'd like.Click here to read more...
Having forced us to sit through several nervy months of delays, Watch Dogs is set to reveal its release date very soon by way of a new trailer.
We won't have long to wait... but if you're desperate for new info, you might be interested in an intriguing little slip on the PSN Store.Click here to read more...
Stand by for Titanfall intel.
Respawn's anticipated shooter launches next week on Xbox One and PC, and we already know that it's fantastic fun courtesy of the superbly successful beta, but the specifics still elude us. Thankfully a megaton leak has granted us a detailed look at all of the game's 15 maps (admittedly including the tutorial training area), by way of high-quality images presumably lifted from the official strategy guide or art book. We've corralled them all below, thanks to Reddit user FallenFusion [via NeoGAF].
By the looks of things, the fifteen stages contain a pleasing mix of verticality to exploit as agile pilots and open spaces to stomp around in Titans. If you want to eyeball the best Rodeo ambush locations, perhaps you ought to start mugging up now.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed) | Xbox One
Developers: Ubisoft Montpellier
After being utterly smitten with the next-gen re-release of Tomb Raider last month, I was keen to see how last year’s rather tasty Rayman Legends fared on the next-gen machines too. Well, there’s good news and bad news.
There’s a strong argument that that Rayman Legends looks exactly the same on the new consoles as it does on the older ones and there’s no truly relevant new material. But on the other hand, shop around and you can currently buy it for only £7 more than the last-gen version, meaning you don’t have to spend much to finally play a decent platformer on your PS4 or Xbox One.
You’re probably wondering what else you’re getting with the new version? The most-welcome addition is the removal of loading screens, creating a seamless experience between levels. You can probably expect cramp a bit sooner too. Each platform has unique unlockable characters influenced by Ubisoft’s other franchises. The PS4 gets Assassin Ray while the Xbone has Splinter Ray, Ray Vaas, Globox Vaas and some exclusive challenge stages. PS4 gamers can use the DualShock 4’s trackpad to take screenshots or scratch the Lucky Ticket scratchcards and they can play the game on their Vita’s via remote access. If you’re trying to save hard-drive space, the install size from a disc for the PS4 version is 9GB compared to the Xbox One’s 4.3GB.Click here to read more...
Developer: Double Helix Games
Strider is the best game that Double Helix have ever made.
The bar was admittedly scraping along the ground, since their mediocre past form includes the likes of Battleship, Front Mission Evolved and that shocking Green Lantern tie-in. But be in no doubt: their suitably challenging and respectful remake of Capcom's classic slice & dice platformer is very good indeed, and worthy to bear the name. As soon as master assassin Hiryu goofily cartwheels over a crowd of robotic rifleman, flips off a wall and carves his first foe into tiny pieces, its pedigree is unmistakeable.
When Strider is content to be a faithful reboot, it's really rather brilliant. Having arrived in the sprawling city of Kazakh to murder its evil 'Grandmaster' and bring peace to the world with ultraviolence, Hiryu is as spry and blisteringly fast as we remember, barrelling through the corridors in a blur of precisely-aimed steel and perfectly-timed wall jumps. Packing a climbing sickle that can scale any surface, robotic combat enhancements and even a teleporter, he's a force to be reckoned with, but the Grandmaster's robot army and mercenary henchmen will give him a retro-tough run for his money.Click here to read more...
Rayman Legends is one of the best games of the last console generation... and is now a highlight of the new one. Its masterful, innovative, beautiful platforming is an absolute joy to experience (not to mention the barmy Kung Foot minigame!), so if you're in the market for the PS4 or Xbox One version, a quick browse over to Amazon will save you £2 versus GAME. It appears to be on back order, though, so delivery will take between 11-14 days. Thanks to mhardy @ HUKD!
We're less than a month from Titanfall's long-awaited launch, having tasted its uniquely accessible blend of mobility, parkour and massive mechs in the thoroughly successful beta. I can report that it feels absolutely fantastic to play on Xbox One since the slick gameplay is brilliantly suited to a console controller, so this nifty voucher code deal is well worth your attention. Be aware that the TD-RN6K voucher code doesn't require you to create a new account, which is doubly convenient.
Thanks to kevinc6784 @ HUKD!
We're back with another little video taking a closer look at some of the shadowy mechanics in Thief. In this video we attempt to go through one of the side missions that sees us sneaking into a pawnbroker's home to retrieve a rather odd item.
Our client is an inventor of sorts, fixated upon finishing an automaton that he's been working on for years. Only problem is that someone stole the mechanoid's voicebox and flogged it for a quick buck. Now Garrett has to get it back.
Our verdict on the game is now live, and here's what we said in our Thief review:
It's the fourth-best game to bear the Thief name, but it doesn't trample on Garrett's legacy as some might have predicted. The story is utter balls and the game as a whole isn't as cohesive as it could be, but when Thief remembers its name and has you working out the best way of breaking into a place and picking it clean, it does a damn fine job.
We've popped the video review after the jump along with today's Dealspwn Playthrough, and as always if you have any questions or comments do pop them in the box below, and let us know if there's anything else you'd like to see from the game ahead of it's UK launch on Friday.Click here to read more...
Platform: Xbox One (£7.99)
Developer: Capcom Vancouver
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
You've got to feel sorry for Hunter Thibodeux. Before being pummelled and burned to a crisp by Nick Ramos in the first Dead Rising 3 boss battle, the hapless motorcycle gang leader spent his last hour on Earth undertaking fetch quests, smashing up emergency telephone booths, then doing another few fetch quests for a fistful of extra PP. Beneath his posturing and facepaint, he's basically a golden retriever with a mohawk, wagging his tail as he does everything his masters tell him.
It's such a waste, because this was Capcom Vancouver's golden opportunity to finally give us a decent slice of DLC. The groundwork's laid perfectly: you play as a boss character who's well-placed to enjoy the zombie carnage. He's out for a rip-roaring revenge story. You get to ride the outrageous offspring of a Harley Davidson and the Sea Drill from Tomorrow Never Dies. What could go wrong?
Pretty much everything, as it turns out. If you needed further proof that season passes are an idiotic waste of money, here's Chaos Rising with a textbook example of rushed, rehashed content that was pushed out to order with the minimum possible effort.Click here to read more...
Wow, well that was quick. After ShopTo slashed their prices yesterday, Gameseek has gone even further with an extra £4 saving!
Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes is set to act as a prologue for Metal Gear Solid V proper, introducing players to new gameplay tweaks (such as regenerating health), the more open-world campaign structure and Kiefer Sutherland. There's some confusion regarding its length and value, mind. Thanks to InsaneNun and oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
Sneaking about The City -- creeping from shadowy corners to rain-soaked rooftops, gliding about this Victorian-esque urban warren in the periphery of the guards' vision, always just out of sight -- is a wonderful thing. I'd turned off pretty much every modern concession to the expansive approach to stealth gaming gimmickry that I could find, and wiped my HUD clean of maps and modules to aid the process of immersion. I love first-person games that don't limit themselves to shooty-shooty-bang-bang action, gifting players the chance to more fully explore virtual landscape with out the barrier of staring constantly at the protagonist's arse (it's why I fell in love with Thief: The Dark Project in the first place, sixteen years ago), and the fact that Eidos Montreal's reboot allows me to do that if wonderful.
Waypoints were the first to go, encouraging me to explore further, to use the sights and sounds of The City to aid my navigation, to read letters and documents more carefully and to more fully absorb the information the game was giving me. Turning off so many of these features led me to realise just how lazy a gamer I have become, and how much I seem to rely on map icons to tell me where the interesting things are rather than discovering them for myself.
But then I spent half an hour trying to look for the route from one area of town to another, finding rooftops inaccessible, windows and gates firmly shut, and no visible way through. Then I remembered that Thief's City is broken up into depressingly small hubs separated by incessant QTE-powered bridges, even when it comes to the PS4 and Xbox One versions. So I stood in front of a nondescript bunch of barrels and beams and hammered the Square button for half a minute.
Herein lies the uneasy relationship at the heart of Thief: a worthy game, a good game in parts, undone by restrictive design and what seems, rather too often, to be a case of running out of time.Click here to read more...
Where is Tekken X Street Fighter? That's the question many of us fight fans have been wondering recently. Nobody has even seen a screenshot of the game, and yet it has been two years since Capcom released Street Fighter X Tekken. Namco's return effort was set to give the Street Fighter characters a Tekken-style makeover, but it's been a notorious no-show for years now.
Recently, we were sent a UK release schedule from Bandai Namco (they changed their name around, remember) and thankfully the game was still on there, but the date was only down as TBC. More interestingly, the formats no longer read PS3/360, instead they've also been replaced with TBC. The optimists inside us are hoping this means that we could be seeing the game on PS4 and Xbox One -two consoles desperately in need of a decent fighting game. With a relatively small install-base for the new consoles though, we'd still expect the PS3 and 360 (and probably the Vita) to see the game too.Click here to read more...
Most media outlets haven't even been given a chance to try Alien: Isolation yet, but Sega are giving YOU the chance to play the game at the EGX Rezzed event at Birmingham NEC on the 28th-30th March.
Sega seem keen to show gamers the game first-hand with no smoke and mirrors after the utter farce that was the finished product of Aliens: Colonial Marines. So why not head on down? Tickets are available at the event's site here from as little as £9. The game will be playable on PS4, Xbox One and PC platforms. Creative Assembly's survival horror approach certainly has us interested, but we're cautious as to whether they can maintain it throughout a whole game against just one alien. That said, we've been hearing rumours of androids being used as gun-fodder in-between all the hiding in cupboards.Click here to read more...