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2014-09-25
  Capcom's giving episodic survival-horror another go with Resident Evil: Revelations 2, which also marks the return of Resident Evil 2's Claire Redfield and the debut of Moira Burton, the foul-mouthed teenage daughter of Resident Evil's weapons expert, Barry Burton. Following an attack from a mysterious assailant, Claire and Moira find themselves locked in a prison-like facility that's infested with violent rage machines known as the afflicted. The two need to work together to solve puzzles, survive, and hopefully, escape their island-prison. I recently had the chance to sit down with the game's producer, Michiteru Okabe, to discuss Capcom's direction for Resident Evil: Revelations 2, the shift to episodic distribution, and how fan feedback shaped the game into what it is today Why did Capcom decide to release Revelations 2 in an episodic format? Obviously the first game was episodic in nature, but it was released as a single package rather than in pieces. "For the original Revelations, I don't think at that point in time that people were thinking seriously about episodic distribution. It was far enough back that it wasn't something we thought of for that game. That story structure was the result of that game's format rather than a sales decision. This is a new idea for Revelations 2. Why we want to do it this way: we know that disc and retail sales are important and will continue to be important, and that's kind of our bread and butter; we know how to do that. But, we also know that we're living in a world that is becoming more and more digital and there's a lot of ways to deliver digital content. We think episodic is an interesting way to do that, especially with a game whose story is structured this way. So in addition to giving people the disc content they expect, we're also interesting delivery methods to see how this works for people." How common are episodic releases in Japan? "It hasn't really taken off in Japan just yet. Some western games that are distributed that way have made it over, not a lot, and there are almost no Japanese ones. I don't think we're the first, but we're one of the first to do it with a big franchise like this. I think Japanese users understand that it's big that this is signaling something important; the shift in the way people view and consumer digital media." Beyond providing an easy opportunity for cliffhangers, what other opportunities does the episodic format provide? Where's this island, and why were Claire and Moira brought there? "The cliffhanger aspect is one important element, but the other thing is people really enjoy communicating about popular culture; they do it all the time. One thing we want to do is try to foster communication between players who're enjoying the game, see them exchanging ideas about how they felt about this week's episode and what they think will happen next time." The enemies in Revelations 2--the afflicted--are very fast and aggressive. What are the range of enemy types that exist within that paradigm? "Within the category of the afflicted, you'll see some visual variety and some different types of enemies. This game is not just the afflicted as enemies, as the venues branch out a bit, you're going to see more types of enemies, so there's going to be more variety in the end product than it may seem on the surface right now." Does the sickness that's taken over the afflicted ever impact Claire or Moira? "Without going into too much details, I will say that we aren't dealing with an illness in the traditional sense. The afflicted are human and have been driven crazy, they will attack and they will bite Claire and Moira, but they don't carry a virus, they won't get anybody sick. It's a whole different process that's gotten them to the way they are." What about the Moira and Claire's wristbands? How do they factor into the gameplay? "Clearly, the colors of the wristbands are the product of whoever is pulling the strings. Clearly there is some effect on the gameplay or the storyline based on the color changes. They definitely indicate something, but we'd rather you play the game to find out what." Does that mean that playing the game a certain way will have an impact on the story? "I would say that there's one overarching storyline and the bracelets fit into that aspect, and you'll see them have an impact on that story, but there's not something you can do as a player that is going to cause a gigantic change in the storyline based on the wristbands themselves." Unlike her father, Moira Burton isn't fond of using guns, which puts her in charge of flashlight duties. How will players work together as Moira and Claire during co-op play? "Cooperative gameplay, cooperation between characters, and cooperation between players themselves are very important aspects of Revelations 2. Co-op in a horror game is not always an easy thing to do because you want people to be scared, you want them to experience that horror atmosphere, and it's something that we've really spent a lot of time thinking about and studying since we started doing co-op with Resident Evil 5. What's the best way to have multiple people involved in the game without them feeling robbed of that horror aspect and feeling legitimately afraid? Okabe sees Claire and Moira as the perfect odd-couple. Some people are afraid to play by themselves because they may not be as good with the horror stuff; they'd prefer someone else be with them. Some people want to play a little more aggressively and lead the dance, so to speak, so we thought the best way to do co-op would be to have it a little asymmetrical to have it appeal to two different kinds of players at once. While Claire is a little more aggressive and action oriented, Moira is a little more passive. She's not as experienced, she's probably more afraid, so we have the gameplay reflect these differences in their personalities, and because they rely on each other, that horror element is still there. Even Claire, who has more weapons and the ability to use them...she can't always just do what she wants because she has to worry about Moira and protect her. Moira can't just leave everything up to Claire either because then they're going to be overwhelmed." How did they end up together? "Moira is Barry Burton's daughter and Barry knows Claire because of the Raccoon City incident, so they're familiar with one another. They both work for an organization called Terra Save and that's likely because Moira idolizes Claire a bit. When she heard Claire was working with them, she decided to join up as well. When we join them at the beginning of the story, they're at the Terra Save organized cocktail party and they're attacked by an unknown force and spirited away to an island." Moira is very outspoken. Can you explain the direction behind her character and why she'll ultimately be a good foil for Claire? "Basically, because Moira is a brand new character, one idea that the writer of the Japanese script had was that it would be good to have her speak in a very specific way so that you knew right out of the gate a little something about her, and she'd be memorable. I think, you know, in the localization process to English, it may not come across exactly the same it does in Japanese. She might not be as foul mouthed in the Japanese, but she's definitely outspoken, brusque, and different from Claire in that sense." Who's out there? Can we expect any other classic Resident Evil characters to make an appearance? "Without getting into specifics, I can say that one of the driving philosophies behind Revelations 2 is to deliver to the fans things that we think they're interested in. You will almost certainly see some familiar faces, but I don't want to get into the specifics." What are some of the things that Resident Evil fans have been asking for? "Here's one really good example: raid mode. It went over really well in the original Revelations and a lot of people really enjoyed that and are pretty vocal about it. We just announced at TGS that there will be a raid mode component to Revelations 2, as well. We're building upon what was there and levelling it up, so to speak, and I think that's another good example of things, in addition to some character appearances, that are there specifically because we perceive fans are interested in them." Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-25
  Dragon Age fans are in for more of a challenge with Dragon Age: Inquisition than they might be accustomed to, according to BioWare producer Cameron Lee. Speaking with PlayStation Lifestyle, Lee was asked whether players will need to use tactical view, the overhead camera perspective that pauses combat and allows you to more carefully consider your next course of action. According to Lee, tactical view--which makes its return after appearing in Dragon Age: Origins but not Dragon Age II--isn't required. It simply depends on how difficult of an experience you're looking for. "It's not necessary. It really depends on individual players, I know," Lee explained. "This is quite a complex answer, but when you look at…. Say you were playing on normal difficulty, and all difficulty in Inquisition means tougher than Origins, definitely tougher than Dragon Age II. So, each different player has different thresholds of how much pressure they can handle separately." Tactical view is almost like a safety net, Lee went on to say, as it lets you slow things down if you get in over your head. "The way we look at the tactical view--it's almost like a pressure-release valve," he said. "So, if you're in real-time view and you're battling away, and there's just too much going on, you know, there's too many enemies or they're too tough or something's gone wrong--maybe, as you were fighting, a pack of wolves came along at the same time and decided to get involved in this three-way fight. That could be too much pressure for me, so I might want to go to the tactical cameras, but for you, you might be quite comfortable to keep banging away in real time." It'll be entirely up to you, then, whether to resort to tactical view; while BioWare thinks players will find combat easier with it, you'll be free to play Inquisition the way you want. Following its delay in July, Inquisition is now scheduled for release on November 18 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. In addition to a single-player campaign, it'll also offer a multiplayer mode. You can read our impressions of it here. Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-25
  Now that you're able to bring a more accurate representation of yourself into NBA 2K15's MyCareer mode by scanning your face, 2K is hoping to bring down another barrier to immersion: player voices. Whereas the players that spoke to you in 2K14's MyCareer mode only communicated through text (with the exception of LeBron James and a fictitious rival), a variety of real NBA players are recording dialogue for this year's game. The video above shows some of the work being done on this front. Five of the players whose voices you hear are seen in the trailer: cover star Kevin Durant, James Harden, Andre Iguodala, Andre Drummond, and JJ Redick. The scenarios in which you'll get to hear these guys' voices look to be very similar to last year. Basically, you'll have conversations with other players before or after games about things like your performance on the court. While not seen in the trailer for this year's game, 2K14 also presented you with choices of what to say through an RPG-style dialogue tree system. 2K says you'll have a "mentor" who "will teach you the ropes" regardless of what team you play for. The company didn't offer up a list of any other players who will be in the game beyond those seen in the trailer. We also don't yet know if there's much variety in the choice of voices for your character, which is one area where 2K14 was very lacking. Additionally, a new coach satisfaction system is being put into place that provides real-time feedback based on your on-court performance. You may even be praised or chastised by Doc Rivers, the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers, who is recording dialogue for the game. It's unclear if you'll only get to hear a coach's voice if you play for the Clippers, or if the game will cheat and put Doc on whichever team you play for. We're checking with 2K to see how that's handled. Also new for MyCareer is a new upgrade system (placing more of an emphasis on specialties) and badges (depending on how you play, you'll get a bronze, silver, or gold badge). An endorsement system is still in place, and by completing challenges, you'll either earn Virtual Currency (the dreaded in-game currency system returns in 2K15) or endorsements. 2K15 launches on October 7 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-25
Image credit: Kotaku Following Blizzard Entertainment's surprise announcement yesterday that it had canceled MMO Titan after seven years of development, sources have come forward to discuss what the game--which would have been a follow-up to World of Warcraft--was all about. According to three people speaking with Kotaku, the game was going to take place on a near-future version of Earth, after mankind successfully defended itself from an alien attack. Players could enlist in one of three factions, and locations were said to include places like the west coast of the United States, as well as Europe, South America, and Australia. As you might expect, Blizzard's plan was to create a massive virtual world to explore, with new locations added over time as expansions, according to the report. The game's high-level concept was reportedly that you would play a character who had an everyday job during the day but fought battles at night, sort of like the Clark Kent/Superman dynamic. Sources added that the game was split into two segments: the "real world"--where you would craft items and socialize--and the "shadow world," where you'd fight enemies Some of the class choices were said to include Reaper, Titan, Ranger, and Juggernaut, and each had its own special abilities and items. All of the sources Kotaku cites in its report mentioned that Titan bore many similarities to Valve's class-based shooter Team Fortress, both in terms of visuals and gameplay. One person described the game as a mashup of StarCraft II's in-game cinematics and Pixar's The Incredibles. In addition, the game would switch between first- and third-person perspectives, depending on whether you were in combat or just milling around, according to two sources. The report goes on to say that Blizzard was aiming for Titan to offer deeply rich and living worlds, where players could run their own virtual businesses and even establish relationships with non-player characters. One source added that Blizzard even hired a handful of Maxis developers who worked on The Sims franchise to make Titan's social elements come to life. It's important to note that the Titan descriptions mentioned here are representative of the game as it existed before Blizzard implemented significant design and technology changes last summer. Additionally, game development isn't such a straightforward process--plans tend to change frequently and, at times, substantially. No screenshots or gameplay videos for Titan have been released, so you'll have to rely on your imagination to put together what the game might have looked like. A Blizzard representative was not immediately available to comment on Kotaku's report. Explaining Titan's cancellation yesterday, Blizzard co-founder Mike Morhaime said: "We didn't find the fun. We didn't find the passion. We talked about how we put it through a reevaluation period, and actually, what we reevaluated is whether that's the game we really wanted to be making. The answer is no." Another Blizzard executive, Christ Metzen, added that the decision to cancel Titan was "excruciating." Cancelling the game was a costly decision, too, according to a survey of video game industry analysts.   Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-25
  In a post to its website today, Crytek laid out the reasons why the upcoming PC version of Xbox One launch title Ryse: Son of Rome is not just a simple cash-in, listing out a raft of graphics options and revealing that the PC version won't have any microtransactions. First of all, the PC version of Ryse features 4K resolution support, which Crytek says will allow for the visuals to shine with "spectacular new levels of details." PC players leveraging the 4K support can expect "jaw-dropping textures, shading, and more," Crytek says. The Settings screen for Ryse on PC Ryse for PC has an unlocked frame rate by default, but you can enable a 30fps frame rate lock to ensure stable performance. PC players also have a native upscaling option and a rendering resolution option that allows you to select what resolution you want Ryse to be rendered at. In addition, the PC version of Ryse features options for shading quality, shadows quality, particle quality, animation quality, object detail, motion blur, temporal anti-aliasing, and anisotropic filtering. This is a technique that helps improve the clarity of in-game textures. Outside of those features, the PC version or Ryse includes the four DLC expansion packs released for the Xbox One game. These add-ons brought new maps to the game's multiplayer mode and introduced the Survival mode itself. In addition, Ryse for PC will not include any microtransactions. "We have also removed the optional microtransactions that were present on the Xbox One," Crytek writes. Ryse launches for PC on October 10. Preordering the game on Steam will get you a copy of the game's 25-song soundtrack, performed by the Hungarian Studio Orchestra. Ryse for PC also includes full Steamworks support, meaning it will have Steam Achievements, trading cards, cloud saves, and leaderboards. Steam Big Picture support is also there. Lastly, Ryse for PC features support for Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers. For more on the differences in graphics between the Xbox One and PC versions of Ryse, check out the video above. You can see the minimum and recommended system requirements for the game right here. Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-25
  The upcoming free-to-play Counter-Strike game with zombies has entered a short open beta period. You can try it out for yourself right now. Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies' open beta is currently live on Steam. As an open beta, you don't have to do much to get in--if you have a Steam account, you can simply download it here. You'll want to get your download going soon, as the beta is only available until September 25 at 9 AM PDT. If you aren't able to get some time in with the game before then, the full version launches sometime in early October. As a free-to-play game, you'll be able to check it without any real commitment on your part then, too. The awkwardly titled Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies was announced early last month as a collaboration between Nexon and Valve. Built on the framework of Nexon's Counter-Strike Online game in Asia, Zombies includes standard Counter-Strike modes and new, zombie-themed modes for PvP and PvE-style action. You can get a quick glimpse of the game in action in the teaser video above, but if you haven't seen screenshots previously, be forewarned: This does not look like a particularly modern game. That said, the system requirements are relatively low--a 2.13 GHz Celeron, 512 MB RAM, and GeForce 4 TI 4200 will do--making this something you can play on dated computers. If you give Zombies a try, be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below. Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-25
  We've already told you what we think about FIFA 15 (spoiler alert: we liked it), but what about other critics? The consensus, despite some admittedly hilarious bugs, is that FIFA 15 is a shining simulation of the beautiful game. Below are excerpts from a range of reviews for FIFA 15. For more on FIFA 15's critical reception, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic. Game: FIFA 15Developer: EA CanadaPlatforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC, Wii, 3DS, PlayStation VitaRelease date: September 23 (Wii and 3DS versions coming later)Price: $60 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC; $40 for PS Vita; $30 for Wii and 3DS.GameSpot -- 8/10 "If you're looking for football that is exciting, exaggerated, and immensely entertaining, FIFA 15 is the game to get." CVG -- 9/10 "FIFA 15 isn't perfect. There are still some quirky animations in here that occasionally burst the realism bubble. Keepers are still prone to howlers, and a number of goals still come from daft rebounds off their lanky frames. Also the Finesse Shot appears to have been nerfed in such a way we barely use it now, which is a real shame. But make no mistake, FIFA 15 is the best game of football around. EA has evolved its engine rather than revolutionised it, and it's worked a treat. But, with friends or without, FIFA 15 plays a rock solid game of football and looks destined for glory again." IGN -- 8.3/10 "FIFA 15 remains one of the most impressively comprehensive sport simulations around, and on new-gen hardware it really is the beautiful game. But while some of FIFA 15's refinements are worthwhile--and a tangible improvement on FIFA 14--its flaws stand out all the more. In some ways it's a step forward, in others a step back--and with Konami's PES seemingly in resurgent form, EA Sports can't afford to take its eye off the ball." Game Informer -- 9.25/10 "The FIFA franchise has gone from a game that was huge because of the de facto effect of its numerous licenses to a title that stands tall thanks to its own abilities. FIFA 15 takes the series into a whole other level with gameplay that betters the surmounting hype that threatened to engulf it. Playing it makes me believe I can do just about anything with the ball at my feet, and this self-assurance is powerful. If you have the desire, FIFA 15 meets the challenge. It does not disappoint." GamesRadar -- 4.5/5 "Improvements largely concern presentation over play, but they're crucial in making you feel closer to the game than ever. The best football game just got better." Eurogamer -- 7/10 "EA can quite fairly claim to have again delivered the best football game ever made. But every year the developers seem to have less of an idea what that means." The Sixth Axis -- 9/10 "FIFA 15 is not quite the great leap forward that many would have hoped for but it's a bigger jump than it initially appears to be. The changes, although infuriating to begin with as they make you re-learn elements of your game, ultimately make for a more realistic game of football. There's more nuance, more fidelity in the tactical systems and there's greater movements from the players on the pitch. In a series that is synonymous with incremental improvements, FIFA 15 manages to feel like more of an evolutionary leap."   Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-25
  The games included in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy on 3DS will be functionally identical to the versions released on other platforms in the past. They will, however, look much nicer, something which Capcom is hoping to demonstrate with a series of comparison screenshots that you can check out below. According to Capcom, the Trilogy features "high-resolution re-drawn graphics." Looking at the screenshots, things do look good deal sharper--not to mention bigger, thanks to the higher resolution of the 3DS screen. That said, we have already seen these three games--Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (featured in the comparison gallery below), Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice For All, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations--with improved graphics on iOS. In addition to better graphics, Trilogy features 3D support and includes the Japanese versions of the games, should you feel compelled to switch over from the English versions. If you've never played the Ace Attorney series before, or are simply looking for an excuse to replay its first three games, this looks to be as good a way to play them as any.   Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-25
  Not to be outdone by the superhero-style powers that players had access to in Saints Row IV, Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell will give you the ability to fly. Also, a gun that shoots a locust plague. The video walkthrough above shows off some of the new abilities that Johnny Gat (whom you'll get to play as for the first time) has access to. Flying is shown off as part of a new version of the Hellblazing activity, which is largely the same as the version in Saints Row IV, except that here you'll be literally flying around the city. Later in the video, we see Gat summon imps who attack enemies and can be detonated like explosives. As for weapons, we get to see the one that caught attention at PAX Prime in August--a mobile, rocket-launcher-equipped armchair--and some others. These include a gun that shoots a locust plague and a giant hammer that summons a lightning bolt from the sky, which somehow is rendered comparatively mundane because you also have a gun that shoots locusts. Gat Out of Hell is a standalone expansion for Saints Row IV, and it shows: It's easy to pick out animations identical to those in IV, for instance. Still, if what you're looking for is more action along the lines of that game, this may be right up your alley. Alongside an Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version of Saints Row IV, Gat Out of Hell will be released on January 27 for $20 (or $50 in a bundle with IV). It'll also be available on its own for $20 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-25
  @ToniCodrea No, the WiiU version will not have the DLC. — Watch Dogs (@watchdogsgame) September 24, 2014 Sometimes the Wii U can't catch a break. After Ubisoft stated earlier this month that,"We will have more information on the Wii U version of [Watch Dogs] in the coming weeks," the company clarified its stance on DLC for Nintendo's system: It's not coming. While streaming the single-player Bad Blood DLC today through, the official Watch Dogs Twitter account responded to the question from a fan, "Wii U DLC?" with the seemingly definitive: "No, the WiiU version will not have the DLC." We've reached out to Ubisoft to clarify the statement and to find out whether that means the DLC will just not be available at launch, or whether it is not planned for the Wii U at all. After a very long delay, the Wii U version of Watch Dogs is slated for November 21. Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-25
  Final Fantasy XV has been in development for a long time. Revealed back at E3 2006, the game has gone through several big changes over the years, but the most interesting has been the change of directors. Formerly helmed by Tetsuya Nomura, he has since shifted over to directing Kingdom Hearts III. Meanwhile FF15's director has passed to Final Fantasy Type-0 director Hajime Tabata. In an interview with Tabata at Tokyo Game Show this year, Tabata talked about where FFXV currently sits in terms of completion. "It's about 55 percent complete, but the quality of the demo itself, compared to the final product, is about 80 percent." So doing the math, you might assume that that means we have another eight years of waiting for the game to get into a final state, but Tabata clarified, "When asked if it's going to take another eight years: definitely not. I'm afraid we can't say how long it's going to take from here. But, since the transition to XV, we've gotten this far in two years." Tabata also revealed that he actually took on the role of director during the shift of FFXV from PS3 to PS4 two years ago. "The game was first established as Final Fantasy Versus XIII for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms, and we transitioned to Final Fantasy XV for next-gen consoles. That transition was made about two years ago, and I was put in charge of that project. Since then, we've re-evaluated the development team, the development structure, and the process." With all the shifting, Tabata said that the reason they're putting out a demo next year is "because there are fans that have been waiting for eight years, and because it's in a playable state, we want to bring it to the fans as quickly as possible." But how long will that demo experience last? Tabata clarified his earlier statements about the demo's projected length. "If you play through the story campaign, it should be about an hour of gameplay," Tabata said. "But, that being said, there's also the world map and there are different monsters that appear, as well as dungeons. So it should allow for 3-4 hours of gameplay." While Square Enix has not clarified exactly when the demo for FF15 will be released, they have said that access will be given to people who purchase Final Fantasy Type-0 next year.       Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-25
  To say that Minecraft is a game about digging and building huts to protect you from zombie attacks is to only scratch the surface of its immense depth. Minecraft has evolved considerably since it release to PC more than five years ago. Its boundaries have been tested by its community, which has birthed stunning castles and cities, as well as music machines, calculators, and tender homages to popular television shows and film. While the game eventually made a home on consoles, the aging hardware of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 kept Minecraft's voxel world restrained by an invisible border. Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition shatters that barrier, allowing you to fully experience seemingly endless worlds in which to explore and create. The stretching horizon, combined with better performance and sharper aesthetics, do not only make this version of Minecraft the best you can find on modern consoles. The boundless delight in creation, coupled by challenging exploration, all shouldered by supreme accessibility, makes Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition one of the best games to own on PlayStation 4. Minecraft drops you into a vast, procedurally-generated world, armed with only a map and your imagination. Typically, the first order of business, after taking in your surroundings, is to find the nearest tree and give it a few good whacks with a blocky fist until it drops wood for construction. Your first tools are modest: a wooden pickaxe for tearing into hillsides for coal or rare ore, or an axe to gather more lumber. But it doesn't take long before you upgrade to stone tools, and later you'll have iron to construct more efficient tools. Crafting and equipping a sword is always wise, as dangerous monsters thrive in the darkness, roaming the lands once the square sun has fallen. You also wouldn't want to be ill-prepared to match up against a shuffling zombie or explosive creeper deep in a labyrinthine mineshaft. There is an immense feeling of satisfaction in Minecraft's construction. You start small, perhaps constructing a humble shack made of wood or dirt. As time goes on, projects become more substantial. A multi-roomed cabin in the forest starts with but a foundation and a dream. But a house in the woods is only one of many options. A walk through the jungle, with its trees scraping against the sky, could spur the creation of a tree house. Digging into the side of a mountain for precious building materials can turn into a project to create an immense underground lair. And because any project is one borne of your own vision, there is an enormous sense of pride in accomplishing a build. Check out that draw distance. The joy of Minecraft is not just derived from delving into caves or constructing homes, but also with exploration and interacting with the world around you. Combing an arid desert can reveal an ancient temple constructed of skillfully carved sandstone. Braving its darkness and bypassing its deadly trap leaves you rewarded with chests full of treasure. Finding a neighboring town filled with A.I.-controlled villagers provides an ample opportunity for trade. Or, if you're feeling villainous, you can steal their books or dig up their crops before continuing your adventure. You can till the land to create a plentiful garden of wheat, potatoes, or carrots. Slap together some sticks and string and you have a fishing pole for when you want to relax by the water's edge after a long day of spelunking through caves. Minecraft is a sandbox game filled with activities for any mood, whether that means getting your happiness from scavenging abandoned mines, or from watching the sun go down from the safety of your hand-constructed home. The environment is constructed of blocks, which comprise everything from the dirt beneath your feet to the many species of trees that dot the landscape. Animals, plants, monsters, and even the clouds above are made up of sharp angles and bright hues. It's a distinct look, one that has made its many iconic building blocks and creatures instantly recognizable. Minecraft's landscape is a patchwork of divergent biomes. It's common to see snow-capped hills sharing borders with an arid desert spotted with cacti. Dark-oak forests can be shadowed by a nearby jungle biome, bright green and full of life, home to dense, choking flora and wild ocelots. All the while, blue, polygonal rivers and seas slice into the land. It's a daunting sight, and you can't be blamed for feeling a little overwhelmed. Fortunately, the game is glad to offer some guidance. The PlayStation 4 version of Minecraft is bigger and better than it was on the previous generation. Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition is a lot more accessible than the PC version. This is thanks to an in-depth tutorial system, which makes learning about the many aspects of the game as painless as turning the pages of a book. Tooltips pop up in the game, featuring information on materials and their many uses. If you're curious about anything, from how to use a furnace to building a staircase, a press of the button is all it takes to find out more information. If you're still feeling lost, the impressively detailed tutorial map can guide you on your way. Starting with the basic mechanics, the tutorial gently eases you into the most complicated aspects of crafting, including potion-brewing and enchanting. Playing Minecraft with friends or family is also a snap. On the PC, setting up servers can be a nightmare; on the PlayStation 4, you can easily invite up to seven others join you online via the PlayStation Network. Or, if you prefer keeping your friends close, Minecraft supports four-player cooperative split-screen play. That is really a rather poor house, Steve. Minecraft is bigger and better on the PS4 than it was in its previous console iterations. The map size is enormous, and coming in at around 37 times larger than what was possible on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. But it should be noted that the size is measured by volume, including the air above and ground below. Before, the map was a large square bordered by an endless ocean, and you were met by an invisible wall if you attempted to go outside your box. Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition stretches far beyond that barrier, providing a vast expanse of new lands to discover and caves to plunder. The version also outperforms its prior iterations, offering a further view distance, as well as improved frame speed, more anti-aliasing for sharper visuals, and faster world loading. Another improvement comes with the quick save feature. Minecraft no longer pauses the game in order to save progress. Putting a bow on the package is a much-welcome updated musical score, which provides some excellent tunes for any activity, whether that means digging for treasure or building a new house. With the amount of activities available, there's no telling which ones you will say are your favorite, and the reason you have to keep coming back time after time. Hunting down elusive diamonds in twisting catacombs is thrilling, but maybe you find that crafting a boat and lazily floating down a river to unknown shores to be more gratifying. Regardless of how you derive your enjoyment, Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition has countless hours of it, whether you explore its lands alone or alongside some good friends. Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-24
N3AC3Y's level 30 Guardian Two weeks since launch, the first Destiny player has reached level 30. American Mark Edward Neace Jr., who goes by N3AC3Y on Xbox Live, achieved the feat on Monday with his male Exo Hunter character. His stats, per his player profile on Bungie.net, are in the image above. According to the Destiny Database, N3AC3Y has played Destiny for more than 107 hours in all, though that includes time spent in the game across his three characters. Impressively, his other two characters, a male Hunter and a female Exo, are both level 20 or above. About a quarter of his play time was spent in the Crucible (Destiny's competitive multiplayer mode). He also took down the Vault of Glass raid, needing 13 hours, 6 minutes, and 40 seconds to do so. Although Destiny does have a soft level cap of 20, Guardians can climb to the current maximum level of 30 by hunting down rare pieces of armor filled with light points. Check out GameSpot's in-depth guide for more on how to enjoy Destiny after level 20. For more on Destiny, check out GameSpot's review and what other critics are saying.   Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-24
  GameStop could one day extend its business to the "used" DLC category, according to recent comments from a top executive at the company. Selling secondhand digital content is already commonplace in games like DOTA 2 and World of Warcraft. But on consoles, digital content is often licensed to one profile, and then it cannot be transferred. But it may not be this way forever. Speaking with Ars Technica at this month's GameStop EXPO in California, GameStop's executive vice president, Mike Hogan, said the retailer is "absolutely" interested in looking into the possibility of selling secondhand console DLC. "It would require a partnership between retailers and publishers, but absolutely, it could go that way," Hogan said. "We're absolutely interested in pursuing that. There are lots of examples where people have taken digital content and made it transferable from one consumer to another. Think of World of Warcraft [and its third-party item sales]. There's no fundamental or technological reason why that couldn't happen [on other platforms]. If the consumer wants it, and it provides value, then we believe it will happen over time. The consumer will speak for that." Hogan went on to say that GameStop is "very bullish" on digital gaming, noting that the retailer is currently having conversations with platform-holders like Microsoft and Sony about how GameStop can work with them for a used sales model for downloaded games. Regarding digital gaming in general, Hogan said, "We do not see it as a threat to us; we see it as an opportunity." PlayStation representatives declined to comment on the possibility of one day allowing digital content to be re-sold, while an Xbox spokesperson said the company "believe[s] in digital distribution on Xbox … but have nothing to share on the potential of trading and reselling DLC at this time." It appears GameStop's interest in re-selling digital content for consoles has increased in recent years. In July 2012, GameStop CEO Paul Raines confirmed that the company was looking at some European technologies that would allow users to re-sell digital console content, but said, "Right now, we're not seeing that as a huge market." For its part, senior Xbox director Albert Penello said in September 2013 that support for trading, loaning, and reselling of digital Xbox One games will come sometime down the road. "I think we need to do that. That has to be part of the [Xbox One] experience," Penello said at the time.   Info from Gamespot.com
2014-09-24
  Indie platform-adventure Ori and the Blind Forest is now just mere months away from its scheduled Q4 release, and Microsoft has showcased a new trailer which demonstrates why there are such high hopes for this title. This ten-minute prologue video--shown for the first time at TGS 2014--exhibits the enchanting beauty of Ori's world, along with its impeccably animated characters. The video also showcases the extent of the game's visual variety too, from its sun-kissed forestry, to the deep dark blues of dusk, to the bitter autumnal decay. Ori and the Blind Forest is in development at Moon Studios, a collective of developers around the world working from their homes. Microsoft, which owns the studio, says the game is coming to PC and Xbox One this year. An Xbox 360 version will follow shortly afterwards. Info from Gamespot.com


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