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Microsoft Consoles Articles

Warhammer 40K: Space Marine Xbox 360 Review
Relic takes a break from RTS to bring us Space Marine, and shows us what it means to be one of the God-Emperor's Finest.

Mirror's Edge Review
An exclusive in-depth look at DICE's much anticipated first-person parkour action game.

Turtle Beach Ear Force X2 Review
The headphone market is a hot one for gamers these days, the latest hardware can often offer incredible abilities but at the same time conflict with existing hardware.

XBOX Do It Yourself Guide
The Microsoft XBOX console for many new owners happens to be a reliable system that can go for quite an abusive period. For owners of launch systems and first year systems though this console has proven to be quite troublesome to be the least with the dreaded Thompson Drive. Since this is one of the most common complaints I'm going to run through cleaning proceedure and teardown to remove the old laser assembly and install a new one. Before we go into that I'm required to state the following.

Microsoft Consoles News

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor trailer introduces the lovable and disgusting Ratbag, an orc ally

0 comments Lydia Sung - 5:41pm (PST) Like Share

He seems to get along well with most people

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Not all protagonists look the part, as shown in the newest trailer for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The video introduces Ratbag, an orc and unlikely ally to Talion. He's a bit of a loser among his fellow orcs, but after being rescued by our ranger hero, Ratbag might become a great asset.

The "friendly" orc doesn't start out looking like much (he's actually a bit of a coward), but through your actions, the character could become something greater. Warchief, even, albeit one that serves Talion's interests.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will be arriving by the end of next month, on September 30 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and later for PC.

 
 

Assassin's Creed Unity needs more development time, delayed until early November

3 comments Lydia Sung - 5:30pm (PST) Like Share

No longer coming in October, oops

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Ubisoft today announced that Assassin's Creed Unity has been pushed into November, about two weeks later than its original release date in October. This current-gen Assassin's Creed will instead be arriving November 11 and November 13, for North America and Europe respectively.

It isn't much of a delay from the initial October 28 date, but that's quite a few more days we'll need to wait before seeing Arno in all his glory. Then again, who can fault the developers for wanting more time to work? Unity Senior Producer Vincent Pontbriand notes that the game is an entirely "next-gen" experience, so it requires substantially more care.

The end result is presumably an amazing game, and the first Assassin's Creed for the current generation:

“This being a fully next-gen game, it requires a lot of work, a lot of production, and a lot of learning. It’s always hard to be precise and to quantify exactly how much work is involved. So as we get close to the finish we often realize we’re near the target but we’re not quite there yet.

“And AC is a huge open-world game. We have thousands of NPCs on screen. We have more depth in the types of AI we’ve built. The graphics are spectacular. The processes are way more complex. Which makes it exponentially harder to grasp everything than it was in the previous generation.”

Pontbriand also assured that the team is incredibly "confident" in what they've created. This is a project they've spent two to three years on, after all.

“We’re very confident in the game we’re making.

"Making games is not a precise science. It’s a leap of faith. There’s a good level of subjectivity and creativity. We have a bunch of us who have spent two, three years or more on this project. It’s a huge personal investment. People have been truly dedicated to this game. For them it’s also important to make a game that they can be proud of.”

Again, Assassin's Creed Unity will be out November 11 in North America and November 13 in EMEA territories, exclusively for PC and current-gen consoles. This actually puts Unity next to Assassin's Creed Rogue, a separate installment coming in November for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

 
 

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell standalone expansion coming 2015, plus Saints Row IV for new gen

8 comments Lydia Sung - 12:01pm (PST) Like Share

Things are about to get even more ridiculous

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Saints Row is about to get a whole lot crazier with Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, a standalone expansion set for 2015 that aims to wrap up the Saints Row IV narrative. The name alone hints at its utterly ridiculous premise; this co-op adventure sends Gat and Kinzie into hell in a rescue mission to retrieve the President of the United States. From Hell. Away from a forced marriage with Satan's daughter.

Sounds like a barrel of WTF, to say the least, but this one isn't from Volition. Instead, Gat Out of Hell is developed by High Voltage Software, apparently with some guidance from Volition devs. Saints Row fans will see plenty of new and old faces, plus historical figures and a talking gun.

Honestly, just watch the trailer for yourselves.

Going by the trailer, Satan and his kid don't seem like bad people, so much as set in their ways of doing things. Maybe Gat or Kinzie (you'll be able to play as either when going solo) can convince them this is all completely insane and wrong. Or something. You never know for sure with a series like Saints Row.

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell is destined for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and "digital PC." North America gets first dibs on January 27, 2015, before the expansion goes international on January 30.

In addition to Gat Out of Hell, Deep Silver also has Saints Row IV: Re-Elected on the way and set to arrive alongside the expansion. This Xbox One and PlayStation 4 version of Saints Row IV will be joining Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell in January 2015, sharing the same release dates.



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Lords of the Fallen PAX trailer sends chills up the spine, explores a beautiful world filled with darkness

5 comments Lydia Sung - 3:04pm (PST) Like Share (1)

Harkyn proves to be humanity's last hope and defense

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Lords of the Fallen will be arriving soon and giving hardcore RPG fans everywhere an experience so challenging we'll begin wondering if we're secretly masochists. A new trailer was released for the game today, declaring its presence at PAX, and it gives us a pretty close look at how beautiful this nightmarish world actually is. Who doesn't want to die in an exotic and scenic fantasy world?

Harkyn, the protagonist of Lords of the Fallen, is sent on what can only be considered a life-threatening mission to confront the armies of an ancient god. On the bright side, at least he's not in prison anymore, because that's where Harkyn was before he was given this amazing opportunity at redemption. So whether he lives or dies, the guy's more or less off the hook for whatever his crimes were.

We're going to go with dies, though, because this game is really about as relaxing as Dark Souls. Remember, also, that anyone in the Americas can pre-order for a free upgrade to the limited edition.

Lords of the Fallen will be out for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 come October 28.

 
 

September Games with Gold Xbox 360 subs get Halo: Reach, only one new game for Xbox One

3 comments Matt Newbould - 1:01pm (PST) Like Share

Well I suppose they didn’t promise two new games each month

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Another month is almost over and that means it’s time for the September Games with Gold announcement. Microsoft is rather tenuously keeping up the promise of two games per month for Xbox Live Gold members. The current tactic appears to be to carrying one game from each months offering into the next month. That attains the goal of two games per month being offered on Xbox One while at the same time extending each game to a two month spell.

The full September Games with Gold roster:

Xbox One

  • Crimson Dragon
  • Super Time Force

Xbox 360

  • Halo: Reach
  • Monaco

This month it’s the turn of Crimson Dragon, added to the service last month, to be carried over for Games with Gold on Xbox One. Super Time Force is the new addition to the platform and if recent form continues then it will likely be around for October too. It's a disappointing reality that it may just be one new game per month on Games with Gold for Xbox One in the future. Still, it is still well worth picking up Super Time Force for any subscribers in the mood for some side-scrolling fun time manipulating fun.

Xbox 360 Gold subscribers, unlike their Xbox One counterparts, will have two new games available to download in September. As per usual the availability of these games will be split across the month. Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine will be available to download from September 1 until September 15, where it then hands off to Halo: Reach until the end of the month. It is surely no coincidence that Halo: Reach, the last Halo game developed by Bungie, happens to be included in the service just as their previous game, Destiny, is set to launch in September.

 
 

Titanfall Update 6 adding new 8v8 mode without Titans or AI, as Marked For Death becomes permanent

2 comments Lydia Sung - 9:54am (PST) Like Share

Joining a match late no longer penalizes, plus more changes

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Titanfall Update 6 details have dropped, revealing an upcoming Featured mode named "Pilot Skirmish," plus the permanent addition of "Marked For Death," due to popular demand. Community pressure wins again! A rare new Burn Card will be joining the deck soon as well, along with other much-needed changes, like tweaks to how losses are counted when joining a match late.

So the Pilot Skirmish mode will boast an 8v8 player count, but it also gets rid of AI and Titans. Yeah, you read that correctly; Respawn is adding a team deathmatch mode featuring pilots only. Now because this the number of supported players differs from any other Titanfall mode, Pilot Skirmish will not be available through Variety Pack.

Beyond the new Featured Game Mode and the availability of Marked For Death, Update 6 also adds a colorblind mode to make life easier for affected pilots, a new "ultra-rare" Burn Card "Roll the Dice," the ability to buy individual cards from Black Market Daily Deals, and the Burn Card Auto Fill option that ensures pilots will never go into a match with empty card slots again.

Another positive change coming soon is how late-game joining works. Basically, you won't be penalized for it anymore:

Joining late is no longer penalized. If you join a match that is more than half way over and your team is not winning, a loss will not be counted on your record. If the match is a win for your team, we’ll count it as one. We’ve also added a warning message noting you will receive a loss on your record by leaving a match in progress.

A number of gameplay/balance changes and bug fixes are also rolling out with Update 6. Lopsided matches should see a reduction (thank goodness for that) afterwards, while Titan damage is being tweaked to better reflect each of their unique play styles. Check out the details below:

IMPROVEMENTS AND OPTIMIZATIONS

FX Optimizations - Optimizing effects processing and moving more effects rendering work onto additional CPU cores is a good thing. So we did that.

Matchmaking - Faster searching, improved team balancing, increasing the likelihood of being in full games, and drastically lowering the chance of having lopsided (e.g. 6v3) matches.

  • The score is now shown in the center of the screen at the end of each Last Titan Standing round.
  • New HUD Icons for team Titan counts and players using Burn Cards have been added. Last Titan Standing now shows the number of Pilots left alive on each team.
  • New voiceover for Round Won and Round Lost events as well as noting whether the gap between the teams’ scores is increasing or decreasing.

GAMEPLAY CHANGES

  • Titans no longer show up on the minimap when they dash.
  • Atlas and Stryder melee damage values have been switched to mirror their original design intent. The Titan melee damage order is now: Stryder, Atlas, Ogre from least to most. This is also consistent with the hierarchy of damage for the Big Punch mod.
  • To stem the influx of Burn Cards at higher levels, the Bonus XP-to-Credits conversion rate for max level players has been adjusted.
  • As part of the pan-galactic stimulus package, credits for selling rare Burn Cards have been increased from 200 to 400.

BUG FIXES (All Platforms)

  • For the Black Market we slightly reduced the chance to get rare cards in the Standard Pack, and increased the number of rare cards in the Premium Pack from 4 to 5.
  • The Auto-Titan vortex effect should no longer orient incorrectly.
  • Fixed the shotgun, vortex fireback, and arc cannon bypassing Titan shields when used against a Pilot doing a friendly rodeo.
  • The map Export no longer contains areas where you can shoot through covered windows.
  • Grenades should now be better at predicting their movement at high frame rates.
  • Fixed a rare crash bug on Demeter in Campaign mode.

BUG FIXES (Xbox One)

  • Fixed issue where a user couldn't sign in to Titanfall if there is a second account on the system which has access to Titanfall DLC content which the first user doesn't.
  • Fixed incorrect leave game dialog behavior when in a party.
  • Connecting a SmartGlass device to the X1 while Titanfall is running should no longer cause a crash.
  • You should no longer be able to get behind walls when rodeoing a Titan that is ejecting on Relic.
  • Titan OS no longer says that you are being attacked by an Enemy Pilot when you are inside an enemy Dome Shield.

BUG FIXES (PC)

  • Fixed incorrect leave game dialog behavior when in a party.

Coming Soon in a Future Update

Although Respawn gave no solid release window for the update, we expect it will come within the next few weeks. The newest map pack, IMC Rising, is also expected soon. 

 
 

Escape Dead Island starting November 18, solve the mystery and slaughter zombies with a bat

2 comments Rory Young - 3:55pm (PST) Like Share

Escape zombie tropes, please

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What Escape Dead Island is only becomes more clear today with the release of a new trailer titled, "Unraveled." In the trailer players are introduced to the game's protagonist and his goal of reporting on the zombie infection and the events that led to it, and bringing that news to the world. A grand mystery awaits, it seems. Then again, the other half of the trailer is all about beating zombies to a pulp with a guitar. You know, zombie game stuff.

The question left unanswered is, "Why?" Considering that Escape Dead Island is being made by a developer previously unattached to the franchise, made for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. That's as the next iteration in the main series, Dead Island 2, is being pushed heavily for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Is Escape Dead Island just capitalizing on a brand and an already existing consumer base? One would hope there's more to the game than that.

Narratively, this Escape Dead Island trailer should certainly pique some interest. Combat-wise? Well, melee combat isn't exactly a new thing in zombie action games. It will be interesting to see how the brand balances out with the rather scaled-back visuals and standard action. Lydia, at least, seems rather pleased with her experiences with the game.

Escape Dead Island will be available on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC starting November 18 in North America and November 21 in Europe.

 
 

Dragon Age: Inquisition's debut multiplayer trailer teases 12 characters, plenty of treasure hunting

1 comments Rory Young - 3:00pm (PST) Like Share

Call dibs on your character now

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Man, who wouldn't want a multiplayer mode attached to their entirely single-player and narrative driven epic fantasy? I know that's what BioWare must have asked themselves when they revealed Dragon Age: Inquisition's four-player cooperative mode earlier this week. Today EA and BioWare have dropped their outlet exclusive details, luckily, and today's trailer is freely available to everyone.

Featured in the trailer, that wasn't already revealed in yesterday's news, is that the multiplayer mode will feature three classes, Warrior, Rogue and Mage, broken into 12 specific characters. While all of the characters weren't shown, quite a few were teased in passing, including: Reaver, Necromancer, Alchemist, Keeper, Elementalist, Archer, Assassin, Katari and Legionnaire. Odds are these classes won't all be freely available for players to select however. If anything like the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer, they'll each have to be unlocked independently. Don't worry, we'll each get one class at random to start with I'm sure.

Beyond the classes, very little in specific was shown of the multiplayer mode. Four-player co-op, dungeon crawling, earn loot after beating a boss and so on. Some customization was shown including weapon selection, crafting and skill trees, but without some in-depth details I'm not sure what else to say. The highlight of the trailer for me were the bosses teased towards the end. Handsome fellas, those bosses. Odds are Dragon Age: Inquisition players will become well acquainted with them.

Dragon Age: Inquisition will be released November 18 in North America and November 21 in Europe. 

 
 

Destiny’s PlayStation exclusives detailed with Hawkmoon hand cannon and Monte Carlo auto rifle

2 comments Matt Newbould - 1:23pm (PST) Like Share

At least there aren't any exclusive planets yet...

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As has become the norm with exclusivity in the gaming market, even multi-platform game releases tend to contain an element of exclusivity. Extra skins, weapons, armor and so on, right through to exclusive or timed DLC missions are all fair game. The upcoming release of Destiny from developers Bungie is no different, with a series of timed exclusive content for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. A new shiny trailer shows it all off today, following on from the full game trailer

The majority of the exclusive content takes the form of armor and weapons, because what better way to catch the eye in a loot centric game than with some marvellous looking exclusive guns and gear:

  • "The Hawkmoon is an Exotic Hand Cannon that looks resplendent with its feather etched barrel design. It also comes with the potential to cause extra damage on random shots through bonuses." 
  • "The Monte Carlo Auto Rifle is also an Exotic weapon, though this gun comes with bonuses to hip fire and melee cooldown, plus a design that includes a fierce looking attachment/bayonet on the front end."
  • "Each class of Guardian also gets a full set of Rare gear too. With the Vanir (Titan), Argus (Hunter) and Manifold (Warlock) gear sets, though the Manifold looks a little too bulky for my taste."

With Destiny providing such a multiplayer targeted gaming experience it is no wonder a few of the exclusives are related directly to that aspect of the game. The multiplayer content comes in two forms: a Strike mission called Dust Palace for those players who want to team up and take on a mission co-operatively; a competitive multiplayer map designated Exodus Blue which bears a big resemblance to Old Russia.

It is worth noting that this content is a timed exclusive, meaning Xbox users will get a chance to check it out eventually. Unfortunately that timer endsin fall 2015 when I’m sure most of the content will have become largely irrelevant. Still, it’s a nice bonus for those who do have access to it when Destiny drops September 9 on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. 



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Dragon Age: Inquisition will have 4-player co-op mode, combining dungeon crawler with free-to-play

8 comments Lydia Sung - 2:54pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Taking page out of Mass Effect 3's co-op book

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Looks like Dragon Age won't be a single-player affair anymore, as BioWare today reveals the addition of a four-player co-op mode. Dragon Age: Inquisition follows its sci-fi cousin Mass Effect in this respect, by dropping a free-to-player cooperative mode on the series' third installment. Don't worry, though, because Inquisition probably won't require grinding multiplayer influence to acquire a "perfect" campaign ending. 

So the way co-op in Dragon Age: Inquisition is set up makes it an F2P dungeon crawler, separate from the game's main campaign. This mode will feature its own set of characters, each of a specific class, and a storyline yet to be announced. Every mission should span 20 to 30 minutes, and each of the three multiplayer/co-op campaigns will auto-generate a level made up of smaller segments. Basically, the maps are designed to shift, and more of these campaigns will be released further down the road (presumably at no extra cost).

The loot system is a bit of a gamble. At the end of every quest, players can spend gold they've earned on treasure chests, and these chests will yield random rewards like new equipment, potions, recipes, and even new heroes and skins. Of course, players who would rather not spend the time earning everything they want or need can just throw real money at the game for Platinum, which BIoWare's Scylla Costa described as an "optional time saver."

Sadly, the loot can't be traded. If you end up with a bunch of stuff you can't use, those items can be broken down and made into crafting ingredients that might go toward other items.

Nine heroes will be available at launch, each with their own set of skills and abilities, and the story they're involved in will run parallel to the Inquisitor's. BioWare have yet to really detail any sort of connection between the single- and multiplayer.

See IGN's exclusive reveal video below. Dragon Age: Inquisition comes out November 18 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC.

 
 
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