Since its public unveiling, Microsoft have been touting the Xbox One to be the ultimate all-in-one entertainment device…just like every console since the PS2 has also claimed. Nevertheless, this week they have confirmed which entertainment applications will be ready for you straight out of the box.
Every consumer market will have access to Xbox Fitness, Xbox Video, Xbox Music, Internet Explorer, Skype, SkyDrive andUpload (allowing users to upload gaming clips to Xbox.com). In-between the UK launch date of 22nd November and ‘Spring 2014’, we can expect the following applications to be added: 4oD, Amazon, blinkbox, Crackle, Demand 5, Eurosport, Machinima, MUZU TV, Netflix, NOW TV, TED, Twitch and Wuaki.tv. Noticeably, the BBC iPlayer, Sky Player and ITV Player which are all currently available on Xbox 360 will NOT be available during this time period. An Xbox Live Gold account will be required for these apps, and services such as Netflix also require their own fees and subscriptions.For what its worth, applications will also feature Achievements, but they will not count towards your individual Gamerscore.
Essentially, if you want a brand new entertainment device for your living room, right now you would be better off with a current console because they offer exactly the same services (minus sharing of gameplay footage) for a cheaper price.
A few days ago, Gotham City Impostors was released as a downloadable title on both Xbox Live and the Playstation Network. You could be forgiven for being unaware of its existence – after all, the invitations to the beta where hidden away in copies of Batman: Arkham City, and I suspect the majority of people forgot about it as they rushed to play through the adventures of the Dark Knight. I downloaded the trial game yesterday, and happily found that it comes with an hour allowance to play against other people online. This is a quick review of what I found the game to be like.
Gotham City Impostors is an online only multiplayer game pitting up to at least eight players against each other. Players are split into two teams; The Bats (a group of vigilantes who fight under Batman’s code – only they use guns instead) & The Jokerz (a gang of crazies who fashion themselves after the Clown Prince Of Crime himself) in a series of game modes, including a traditional Team Deathmatch and Fumigation, which works a bit like Attack/Defend from Team Fortress 2. The game take place from the first person perspective and it is your objective to kill as many of the other guys as possible.
Even from a solitary hour’s gameplay, the influence of titles like the Modern Warfare series stands out. You gain EXP from doing all sorts of stuff including kills, capturing points and winning games, and using a level up system you can unlock new weapons, gadgets and modifications. You can also create custom load-outs and have a customisable ‘calling card’ that your enemies see when you kill them – again think titles and dogtags from MW. Even the control layout is near enough a rip-off of Call Of Duty, right down to using the R3 button to melee and using the bumper buttons to activate special equipment.
What stops Gotham City Impostors from being a complete rip-off is the character the game possesses. It takes a very light hearted approach to the Batman universe – as the gangs can’t afford the money for all the expensive gadgets that Bruce Wayne uses, equipment has a delightfully ‘homemade’ feel to it. You can use a wind up grapple hook to quickly manoeuvre around the maps (which are quite well designed it must be said), and some classes can use roller-skates to launch off ramps and zoom around. Bombs are sticks of dynamite, and to heal team-mates you shout down a microphone. All the while, you exchange hilarious pleasantries with the enemy while you shoot them in the face. It’s all a very fun experience, bound together with a sense of quality and polish you would expect from a game on a disc.
I came away from the trial but a big smile on my face and I must admit I am impressed with Gotham City Impostors – I thought it would be a low effort attempt at a downloadable game when I first heard about it, but Monolith Productions have done a good job. I think it’s a bit pricey at 1200 MS Points, but at least you aren’t getting massively short-changed for the experience. I would very much recommend getting the trial for yourself to test out this crazy little bag of fun.
Welcome everyone, to the first of what I hope will become an annual event on this blog – my review of the gaming industry in the year that was 2011. On a personal note, it has been a pleasure to have consistently updated this blog throughout the year, and thank you to everyone who has supported it via constructive criticism, or even things as simple as comments and views – I hope to continue in a positive form next year. But alas, the world is bigger than myself, and that is what the focus is in this article.
It wouldn’t be a massive exaggeration to claim that this has been the biggest year for games in ages, certainly since the release of the Nintendo Wii in 2006. The overall calibre of games has been on a notable rise this year, with a handful becoming instant classics, and the industry as a whole has advanced even further to consolidate its place as a genuine rival to the other great entertainment mediums such as film. That is not to say the year has been devoid of mistakes and mess-ups; amongst the success stories, there are a quite a few cock-ups that are well worth mentioning. Continue reading Dazcooke’s Video Game Land Review Of 2011→
In the early hours of this morning, Spike TV held its annual VGA awards which celebrated all things good in gaming this year. Even over a wide range of categories, some games dominated the awards, and quite rightly so. The big one, Game Of The Year, went to Bethesda Studio’s epic Skyrim, while Valve’s Portal 2 reminded people of its quality picking up five awards. Other big hitters such as The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Uncharted 3 and Batman: Arkham City also walked away with deserved accolades, while the wonderful Bastion picked up three awards including the ever important Best Downloadable game. The full list of winners is below: Continue reading Skyrim, Portal 2 And Bastion All Big Winners At VGA Awards + New Trailers For Mass Effect 3 &Tony Hawks HD→
Good day everyone – I’m currently in a library and taking a break from my work; time for a news update on all things gaming methinks.
We start with a game that has been anticipated for quite some time now – Batman: Arkham City. As I write this article the game has become available on European shores, and if the reviews that have been flying around for it are any indication, it may well be sold out by the end of the day. It currently holds an unbelievable average score of 95 on Metacritic, four points ahead of its nearest competitors this year (in the form of Gears Of War 3, FIFA 12 and the ICO/Shadow Of The Colossus HD Collection) – all the more stunning when you realise that Arkham City is only the third game that Rocksteady Studios have ever produced. It may well be the case however that it soon gets knocked back a peg on the Metacritic scale – early reviews for Uncharted 3 have hinted at 97%, and The Legend Of Zelda: Skyward Sword has earned a ridiculous 98% in a Nintendo publication. Seems I might have to readjust my scoring system again soon to deal with such high figures of praise.
Bioware confirmed via its Twitter account today that Mass Effect 3 will be getting a demo in January 2012, showing off both elements of single and multiplayer action. It will be nice to see how the new multiplayer modes work before committing oneself to the purchase of the full game, and it has been heavily hinted at a beta as well. Considering the recent success of the Battlefield 3 open beta test, EA would be fools not to implement it
The Soul Calibur series is well known for allowing characters from other series into its fighting action – Link turned up in Soul Calibur 2, and Yoda & Darth Vader showed up to kick ass and take names in Soul Calibur 4. And now, Ubisoft have got in on the action by letting Ezio Auditore of the Assassins Creed series make his way into the upcoming Soul Calibur 5. You can watch Ezio pull off some sweet moves in this official trailer video.
A while back, I did a quick and informal review for the Sonic Generations demo that was available for a limited time on both PSN and the Xbox Live Marketplace. Well, now Sega have come back with a new and improved demo, that not only allows you to play as Classic Sonic in the Green Hill Zone again, but offers a new 3D take on the level as well as Modern Sonic rips up the course.
Early sales reports show that FIFA 12 has outsold PES 2012 by a factor of 25 to 1 on a like-for-like opening weekend. How the times have changed…
Guess what PS3 fans? You have ANOTHER HD collection coming your way! Confirming the rumours floating around, the Devil May Cry series is to indeed get the now standard HD update with trophy and achievement support. I guess this is as much to drive up anticipation for the series reboot, DmC, as it is to make profit. And while it will be nice to play DMC3 again (the only one I ever got my hands on), the more collections get confirmed the more I lose my faith that there is a sense of originality currently floating around the industry – the PS2 – (and only God knows how) isn’t even out of production yet, and yet we are getting so many remakes. That said, I would pay good money to have Vice City updated….
Finally, to all those who were perhaps a bit unsatisfied by the storyline in Gears Of War 3, here is some news that might perk you up – the first piece of campaign DLC takes place before the original Gears Of War, and you get to play as General RAAM – you know, the ugly bastard that took so long to kill on Insane mode, with Kryll shields and all. I’m easily impressed, and have to say that this sounds like an ace proposition. ‘RAAM’s Shadow’ will be available exclusively on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 1200 points on December 13th 2011.
That’s your lot for now, and if you have picked up either Arkham City or the newly released Football Manager 2012, I hope you have an enjoyable weekend. I leave you with the 1960’s Batman theme as celebration. NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA…….
Some quite interesting nuggets of news have been flying across the interweb in the last few days, with a lot of it focusing on the games you will most probably be playing this coming Winter. Where to start….
Maybe predictably, we kick off with the battle of the heavyweights – Battlefield 3 vs. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, first of all looking at COD. This week marked the Call Of Duty XP event, basically a huge convention dedicated to Activision’s upcoming title. Along with official reveals of multiplayer information like re-designed kill streaks focusing on team play, they also revealed how much the ‘Call Of Duty Elite’ service will cost – £34.99 for a years subscription. This will grant access to the 20 pieces of planned DLC (which will be coming out monthly now instead of in quarterly map packs), and random community videos. The free tier service will offer stat tracking and community features, a bit like Halo Waypoint on the Xbox 360. Now excuse my pessimism, but unless the DLC is hilariously overpriced (which would make getting it in a bundle cheaper), £35 is a bit of a kick in the balls for anyone who was planning on getting it. I mean, consider if you want to get the service for the Xbox 360; that’s £40 for the game, £35 for Elite, and a further £35 for an Xbox Live Gold subscription – £110 overall. Quite simply, that is asking too much of the average consumer.
And on EA’s side of the war, we have confirmation that Battlefield 3 will be shipping on two discs for the Xbox 360. They haven’t confirmed whether it will be a split affair with one disc for multiplayer and one for single player. While disc swapping isn’t a problem, along with the news that Rage will require 22GB of HDD space to install, one wonders whether Microsoft will be able to stretch out their standard 7GB disc for much longer before they need to consider new options…maybe on a new console. One also wonders how much data the Frostbite engine takes up on a disc.
Hideo Kojima confirmed on Twitter recently that Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker will have four player co-op running at 60fps in the MGS HD Collection due this Winter. All the more reason to get what I think will be the surprise hit (in terms of sales at least) of the Christmas period.
It hasn’t been the smoothest of launches for Dead Island. It was released with quite a lot of glitches and people buying the game off of Steam got a build of the game meant for development purposes. The known glitches have been quickly patched by developers Techland, but it hasn’t helped its arrival amongst the media. The game has had mixed reviews amongst the press, basically surmising that Left 4 Dead is a better game overall. A bit of a shame really, considering the potential of that epic trailer that got everyone excited.
Square Enix have finally announced Dragon Quest X – and the headline news here is that is will be an online RPG available exclusively on both the Wii and the Wii U. Compatible with all the standard Wii controllers, it has also been implied that there will be (and I quote from the official mumbo jumbo) a ‘usage fee’. Square Enix have already set out plans for a public beta. No Dragon Quest on a Sony console? Believe me the backlash in Japan will be pretty severe at that.
Intriguing stuff all round as per usual. As a final note, achievement/trophy lists have been revealed for both F1 2011 and Batman: Arkham City – be warned, Arkham City’s list contains story spoilers.
That’s all from me right now, feel free to read around my blog and any comments on improvements are welcome.
After a long summer lull where Zumba Fitness has enjoyed a jaw-dropping eight weeks at the top of the game charts, the games industry explodes this fall in what must be said is the most promising, and certainly one of the most competitive, winter seasons for gaming in many years. There are some absolutely top quality titles coming out, and quite simply in this article I am counting down my Top 20 most eagerly anticipated games for the next few months.
20 – Need For Speed: The Run – 15th November
Once upon a time, Need For Speed was the undisputed king of the Christmas sales list; the two Underground games and the fantastic Most Wanted dominated their respective years, but then the series took a turn for the worse with Carbon, before ProStreet (which I had completely forgotten existed) and Underground performed poorly. Criterion’s reboot last year, Hot Pursuit, was a welcome return to form, and now we have The Run, the first game in the series to include on foot segments. Hopefully it will continue Criterion’s good work. Continue reading Dazcooke’s Top 20 Most Anticipated Games For Winter 2011→