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Thursday, Dec 25



Xbox Live and PSN both down for Christmas, reportedly hit by DDoS attack

34 comments Lydia Sung - 10:38pm (PST) Like Share

Update Services going up, coming back down repeatedly

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Having trouble gaining access to either Xbox Live or PSN this Christmas? You're not alone, as both services have been down since late Christmas Eve, reportedly due to a malicious DDoS attack that really isn't meant to do much except annoy all the console owners over the holidays.

According to Business Insider, a group known as "Lizard Squad" claimed responsibility on Wednesday for starting the denial of service attacks. Several tweets were made claiming the attacks would cease in exchange for retweets, though the group apparently has yet to follow through on such claims.

It almost goes without saying that they are also quite enjoying the attention. Well, at least someone is having fun. Merry Christmas (alternatively, Merry December 25), everyone!

 
 

Vlambeer gifting Nuclear Throne early adopters a second copy to share

0 comments Rory Young - 4:29pm (PST) Like Share

The flame bear is a generous deity

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At the end of the most recent and ever-present Nuclear Throne livestream by Vlambeer a special announcement was made in celebration of a full year of development. Starting on January first, Vlambeer will begin gifting a free copy of Nuclear Throne to all of those who have purchased Early Access to the game. Yes, that includes anyone who goes out of their way to buy the game between now and January 1.

Vlambeer wanted to reward their awesome community, a community that helped turn Nuclear Throne from small project meant to be finished in early 2014 into game they're still planning on working on well into 2015. Vlambeer wants more players, more feedback, and a larger community that's continues to be as awesome as it already is. Their solution was to allow their already awesome community to decide who else should be a part of the magic.

To compound to value of the gift, it was reiterated that Vlambeer has no plans to drop the price or discount Nuclear Throne until the game at least reaches full launch. The gift to current owners is a middle-of-the-road solution that likely holds far greater value to the small development team.

Nuclear Throne owners rejoice, and non-Nuclear Throne owners maybe consider picking up the game over the next week. There's no discount, but it's kind of like buying two copies of the game. Cheers to Vlambeer for doing such a cool thing, and happy holidays to all Nuclear Throne fans.

Categories: PC Games
 
 

Tuesday, Dec 23



January's Games With Gold add Dark Dreams Don't Die to Xbox One, The Witcher II to Xbox 360

3 comments Rory Young - 11:43am (PST) Like Share

If you're not down with the SWERY then you ain't no friend of mine

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Another three games are being added to the Games With Gold library in January -- two on Xbox 360 and one on Xbox One. The big game of the month will indeed be The Witcher II: Assassins of Kings, just in time for those who have yet to play it to jump in in preparation for The Witcher III's launch later in May. Beyond The Witcher 2, big game hunters may be a bit disappointed in January. Still, Xbox One players may discover a diamond in the rough.

Xbox One

  • Dark Dreams Don't Die (D4)

Xbox 360

  • MX vs. ATV Alive
  • The Witcher II: Assassins of Kings

Note that MX vs. ATV Alive will be available from January 1 through January 15, then The Witcher II from January 16 through January 31.

The diamond is of course Dark Dreams Don't Die, though it's better known by the shorthand D4. This is of course the latest creation of Hidetaka Suehiro, also known as SWERY. Some folk may recall his previous large release in the west, Deadly Premonition, which is the definition of a gaming cult classic. D4 follows in Deadly Premonition's footsteps, though it's likely a better overall game in addition to the general craziness as expected from a SWERY title. Pick it up and play it, because you won't regret it.

As for MX vs. ATV Alive, well, I'm sure there's an audience out there who will be very excited for it. The rest of us will just have to smile and nod and go back to our 100+ hour run of The Witcher II.

On there way out at the end of December will be Worms: Battlegrounds on Xbox One and SSX on Xbox 360, so pick them up while you've still got the chance.

 
 

Outfitting a Total War: Attila general's household with weaponry and a wife in 'Army Management' spotlight

1 comments Rory Young - 11:02am (PST) Like Share

Attila decides who marries who! No one else!

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Total War: Attila is doing some very interesting things with army management. Well, it's interesting if you love the sort of strategy that Total War games deliver, otherwise the menus and +/- statistics might be a bit mind numbing. The perfect way to test that out is to watch The Creative Assembly's latest spotlight trailer which delves into some of the many features they're adding for army management in Total War: Attila. Spoiler: arranged marriages.

The bulk of the trailer details some of the ways players will be able to customize their army generals. This includes the addition of two new features in general customization: households and wives. Households feature three customizable options, each providing the general with boons which help in very specific ways. Apparel, items and companions are each options of different types of boons which alter personality and combat in different ways. Wives provide an extra trait to a general, though these may be positive or negative. The player will need to play proper matchmaker to ensure their general is fighting fit. Err, okay, it's a bit weird to think about that out of context.

With the new feature additions a new UI has been developed for generals which also include Status Effects, which collate all of the general's boons and flaws. There's also the general's skill tree right there as well. Basically, everything a general needs is right in front of the player for them to make important decisions with.

Generally speaking I'm both a fan of adding depth and complexity to strategy games, but never in the form of lists of numbers adding and subtracting from statistics. If it can't be animated or conveyed in a dynamic or attention grabbing way, then I have trouble believing it's necessary in a strategy game. It's just complexity for the sake of complexity and feels rather self-serving versus creating consumable content for players to enjoy in. I doubt any other Total War players would say there just wasn't enough depth to the statistics in the game, so I find this direction a bit odd for The Creative Assembly.

Total War: Attila is scheduled for release February 17, 2015 and is exclusive to Windows-based PCs. 

Categories: PC Games
 
 

Friday, Dec 19



Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 'Exo Zombies' teaser brings on the explosions and new playable cast

11 comments Lydia Sung - 12:15pm (PST) Like Share

Sucks to be them, that's for sure

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Exo Zombies will be storming its way to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in 2015, starring a new zombie-driven story with a new cast of celebs. A new teaser from Activision and Sledgehammer teases the upcoming Zombies campaign, and you can bet there are a lot of explosions. Explosions everywhere.

The new cast includes John Malkovich, Bill Paxton, Rose McGowan, and Jon Bernthal as the four Atlas employees who find themselves stuck in a pretty terrible situation involving ravenous, murderous zombies. Not just any zombies either, but a newer and more dangerous breed from the minds at Sledgehammer. Presumably, that is.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is currently available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. The first chapter of Exo Zombies will be included with the Havoc DLC, which Season Pass holders will automatically get once it's released.

 
 

See Red and Blue fight it out in new Halo 5 Guardians multiplayer beta teaser trailer

3 comments Lydia Sung - 12:31am (PST) Like Share

Coming December 29 to an Xbox One near you

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'Tis the season to rejoice, as the Halo 5 Guardian multiplayer beta approaches. Yes, we're just ten days away from the beta's public debut, a fact that Microsoft saw fit to remind us of with the new teaser trailer. Prepare for some intense Red-on-Blue action, where everyone gets to die at least once. 

It hardly goes without saying that Halo 5 looks absolutely gorgeous, as the first Halo developed on Xbox One -- unless you count the remastered re-releases included in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Guardians also marks the second chapter in 343 Industries' new trilogy, which explores more of the expanded universe by delving into the Promethean civilization and the massive can of worms associated with it.

Either way, the Halo 5 Guardians multiplayer beta will be running from December 29 to January 18, featuring three weeks' worth of 4v4 action with new abilities, weapons, and maps.

 
 

Thursday, Dec 18



Far Cry 4 DLC 'Escape from Durgesh Prison' drops more single-player and co-op content in January

1 comments Lydia Sung - 7:12pm (PST) Like Share

Oh, and you're going to be pretty defenseless

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January 13 marks the arrival of some new Far Cry 4 content, when players will be facing down the dangers of Kyrat in Escape from Durgesh Prison. Oh, and you'll be running around without any weapons, because prison guards tend to confiscate that sort of thing.

In the DLC, Ajay and Hurk wind up captured, tortured, and relieved of their stuff. As the Escape from Durgesh Prison title implies, the two do end up escaping at some point, but that's really easier said than done. Throughout the campaign, players will need to search for weapons and overcome all the challenges you'd imagine facing in Yuma's prison. Along the way, you'll earn new skills that should come in handy with trying to reach the extraction point. Don't die now.

Escape from Durgesh Prison will support both co-op and single-player, and Ubisoft describes it as "difficult." Come January 13, the DLC will be released for $9.99, though Season Pass holders will have it automatically unlocked.

 
 

Minecraft: Story Mode is Telltale's next episodic series, mixing 'new characters with familiar themes'

15 comments Rory Young - 2:45pm (PST) Like Share

They don't outright call it an adventure game, but what else would it be?

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Minecraft wouldn't have been at the top of my list for properties Telltale Games would want to turn into an episodic series, but nevertheless that is exactly what has happened. Today Mojang and Telltale Games announced Minecraft: Story Mode, a narrative-driven episodic series based on... well, Minecraft.

Everyone is hopefully as confused as me at that idea, considering Minecraft has only a minimal amount of story. Telltale Games seems to have a plan in mind, however. They've reached out to the increasingly large Minecraft community, or at least specific members of said community, to make Minecraft: Story Mode "as Minecrafty as possible." Telltale notes that it won't be creating an "official" story for Steve, nor explaining the world of Minecraft in detail. It's... rather unclear what Telltale's plans are.

The best hint is perhaps this small portion of the official statement provided by Telltale Games in its announcement:

"Telltale's game series will mix new characters with familiar themes, in an entirely original Minecraft experience, inspired by the Minecraft community and the game that continues to inspire a generation."

Minecraft: Story Mode is a stand-alone release from adventure game creators Telltale Games. It'll be released episodically, just like the rest of Telltale's games, starting in 2015. It'll be coming to PlayStation consoles, Xbox consoles, PC, Mac, iOS and Android-based devices. While it's never outright called an adventure game, it is called a narrative-driven experience based on player choice. I'm pretty sure that means adventure game.

 
 

Evolve info drop reveals Wraith monster, offline accessibility, January 17's Xbox One open beta

2 comments Rory Young - 2:32pm (PST) Like Share

Tank, mage and rogue archetypes for monsters; what is this, an RPG?

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Those unfamiliar with Evolve by now must have been living beneath a Turtle Rock. Or maybe they're just not into shooters. Either way, there's plenty of new information available today as Turtle Rock Studios is getting prepared for their big upcoming open beta. Hell, they're getting ready for release, because Evolve will be launching on February 10 after all. Today they've put together a post detailing their upcoming Xbox One open beta, the offline accessibility of Evolve, and the final playable monster -- the Wraith.

Yes, Evolve's third playable monster has been unveiled. It's odd to think of it this way, but Evolve will now feature a tank, mage and rogue as its monsters. The Wraith will fit that third archetype, the rogue assassin. Here's Turtle Rock's summary of what players can expect from the Wraith:

"The third playable Monster character is a small, terrifying, stealthy assassin that is quick in her movements and has two exceptionally long blades to deal damage up close. Despite having the least amount of health and armor among Evolve’s Monsters, Wraith’s quick, warping movements allow her to dart around during battle to avoid taking damage."

Her abilities match the name, including a cloaking dash, a decoy ability which launches a distracting clone, an abduction ability which carries a hunter away from the fight, and finally an assassination finale in the supernova. After watching the gameplay video below, however, it seems to be a similar case of: if you let the monster get to level 3 without doing much damage, you're going to have a bad time.

As for offline accessibility in Evolve, well, it's as simple as everything is available offline. According to Turtle Rock Studios for players without an online connection, there are AI constructs in place to run all potential player-controlled characters. That means the entire game is playable solo, so long as everyone's comfortable playing against the computer.

Finally, for Xbox One gamers, Turtle Rock confirmed that Evolve's final open beta will be starting on January 17. It's an Xbox One exclusive beta, just like the previous one, and will be designed to test out the Evacuation campaign. That's a mode that changes game-type, location and strategy based off of the previous match's results coming together into a five-match campaign.  Oh, and perhaps the best news of all, all hunter and monster unlocks in the beta will carry over once the final version of the game is released -- as long as it's being played on Xbox One.

Evolve launches on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One starting February 10, 2015.

 
 

Capcom gets an Unreal Engine 4 assist for Street Fighter V

3 comments Leo Chan - 1:48pm (PST) Like Share

Epic throws its support behind Capcom's latest brawler

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Capcom will license Epic's Unreal Engine 4 as the development framework for its newly announced Street Fighter V, marking the first time the publisher turns to any version of the Unreal Engine for the series instead of using a custom, inhouse solution as was the case for Street Fighter IV.

It may be disappointing to learn that Street Fighter V will not prove to be a showcase for Capcom's own next-gen "Panta Rhei" engine, but the game joins Tekken 7 and Guilty Gear Xrd in the ring of fighting games that have adopted Epic's Unreal Engine for development purposes. Capcom has certainly make progress with it: producer Yoshinori Ono recently confirmed to Famitsu magazine that production on the PS4 and PC exclusive title is now about twenty percent complete.

Categories: Console Games PC Games
 
 
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