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Update Both Xbox Live and PC servers are now back online
Update 3: Respawn's official Titanfall Twitter account has confirmed that PC connectivity issues have been resolved and players can now connect to matchmaking servers. Let me note here that the EA support page still lists the server issues as ongoing.
Our team has resolved the PC connectivity issues and you should now be able to connect to matchmaking servers. #Titanfall— Titanfall (@Titanfallgame) March 12, 2014
Update 2: Titanfall's PC servers, which had up to this point been running fairly smoothly, have now gone under. EA has confirmed that they are experiencing "unexpected downtime" for their Titanfall PC servers and currently have no further information at this time:
Titanfall is currently experiencing connection problems, which means you may not be able to connect to online play, or even might get dropped from an online match you're currently playing.
Rest assured that we're addressing this problem and will provide updates as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience. Please stay tuned to this article for more information.
It was meant to be the most glorious of days, Titanfall's launch on PC and Xbox One. In the days prior several extremely high-scored reviews were released and to say marketing for Respawn Entertainment's online first-person shooter was excessive is one hell of an understatement. Everyone wanted launch day to go smoothly, all the way up to the point that it didn't.
For the better part of the day Microsoft's "Xbox Live Core Services" or their login servers to be more clear, have been listed as "Limited". That means that for many Titanfall launch day purchasers, the exact number of players effected unclear, Titanfall has been inaccessible. Titanfall is of course a game that requires an online connection through Microsoft's Xbox Live servers to work. In other words, another online game's launch has gone terribly.
Responsibility is easy assign in this case, however, as Microsoft quickly assured gamers that it was their personal servers having issues and not Respawn Entertainment's. Respawn and EA have repeated this sentiment, which is to be believed considering the PC version of the game is not experiencing similar server issues. They're experiencing different server issues, and additional technical issues on top of that.
Several now deleted Tweets from the official Titanfall Twitter account have mention issues including "longer than usual load times" and that "It may take a few attempts" to get into games as they're freezing with an "Initializing" message. Other problems include technical issues for gamers running multiple GPU PCs, for which Respawn states they're currently working on a patch. In other words, PC users may run into problems, but otherwise the game should be fully playable.
Unfortunately, Xbox One gamers aren't so lucky. Instead, we've received little to no updates on the situation at Microsoft. All user complaints that they are unable to login are being pointed to a server status page that has not been updated a single time beyond his lone message:
"We've received reports that some users are having difficulties signing in to Xbox Live. Our team is working hard to get this issue fixed as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience while we work. We'll have another update for you in 30 minutes."
When the issues will be solved is unclear, though reports are saying once logged into Xbox Live access to Titanfall works quite smoothly.
Should gamers be surprised that this is happening? No, because large online titles constantly fail to provide support for launch day. From Sim City and Diablo III's abysmal starts in recent memory, all the way back to World of Warcraft and beyond, online games rarely scale their technology to the point it needs to be at for launch day traffic. Login servers just happen to be the bottleneck where a majority of the issues happen.
Should it be okay that this is happening? Absolutely not. Launch purchasers of Titanfall deserved better service than this. Even if Respawn is passing the blame onto Microsoft, they should have done the extra work to ensure their server partner could adapt to the server strain. There is no more important day to ensure players can play their game than launch day.
Oh well, I guess.
Update: As I published this story, Microsoft released an update saying their servers were now up and running and pointed gamers towards these following directions:
Follow these steps to power cycle your Xbox One Console:
- While the console is on, press and hold the console’s Xbox button for 5 seconds.
- The console will power down.
- Wait 30 seconds, and then turn your console back on by again pressing the Xbox button.
Note: If your console is in Instant-On power mode, the above steps will shut the console completely off. Instant-On mode, or the ability to turn on your console by saying “Xbox On,” won’t be enabled until you restart the console.
After much confusion over the past week, Respawn Entertainment has now confirmed and announced Titanfall's "Season Pass" of DLC. Yes, while Titanfall won't have microtransactions of any sort, the multiplayer-only game will indeed feature several "content packs". The Season Pass will include three such content packs and cost a total of $24.99. Note that Respawn specifically said "content" packs and not map packs or DLC in general.
Unfortunately Respawn did not announced the names or content of the three content packs at this time. This is likely because Respawn was forced to rush this early announcement as a result of several misleading stories published recently stating Titanfall would not feature a Season Pass. Odds are the packs will each feature multiple maps, as well as perhaps weapons, weapon mods, and the same variety of content we expect from Call of Duty. Or perhaps Respawn has grown up a bit and we might see something more substantial? We'll see.
Titanfall launches March 11 on PC and Xbox One, followed by March 25 on Xbox 360. PC gamers can purchase the Season Pass right now, or they can upgrade their Titanfall preorder from the standard edition to the "Digital Deluxe Edition" which costs $79.99. Basically, it's another $5 in savings on top of the $5 saved buying the Season Pass instead of each pack individually. Console Titanfall buyers can each pick up the Season Pass for $24.99 as their game launches on their respective platform.
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Summary: Titanfall, Titanfall, Titanfall, March 11, Titanfall
The Xbox One's March multiplayer update has gone live! With a focus on improving Party functionality as well as Friends List utility and more, the March "Titanfall Patch" has been highly anticipated by early Xbox One adopters since the console launched. To say some things just work right may be quite the understatement. Today's patch will go a long way to solve that, as well as prepping the console for the launch of both Twitch streaming and Titanfall on March 11.
For a full round-up of features from the patch, Microsoft CPO Marc Whitten wrote up a blog (or had someone else do it for him) with a handy bullet pointed list:
- Get to your friends list faster. The friends list is now front and center on the homepage of the Friends app. Click the Social tile on Home, or say “Xbox, go to Friends” to see who’s online and what they’re up to. From there you can quickly send messages and get into a party.
- Party chat on by default. When you party up, chat audio is turned on by default.
- Chat with friends playing different games. Party chat is now separated from people playing your game, so you can chat with your friends who are online or you can chat with everyone playing the game.
- “Invite friends to game” option available in your multiplayer titles. Similar to Xbox 360 titles, when you’re inside a game's menu you have a simpler and quicker way to set up your multiplayer battles. Selecting “Invite friends” lets you invite friends to your game and party.
- See a list of “Recent Players.” This is a simple list that shows you Xbox Live members you’ve recently played with, making it easier to stay in touch with people, add new friends after your multiplayer sessions, or report a player for bad behavior.
- Twitch live streaming support. The best broadcasting and spectating experience on any game console is on its way to Xbox One with the new Twitch app launching on March 11, just say “Xbox broadcast” to start sharing. Xbox One is the only next-gen console that allows you to archive your Twitch broadcasts and view live Twitch streams regardless of their original source.
- Dolby Digital sound. Optical out now supports 5.1 Dolby Digital, enabling devices such as sound bars and headsets with only optical in to be able to receive 5.1 Dolby Digital from Xbox One over optical. We’re also adding support for Dolby Digital surround sound over HDMI. Now you’ll be able to have the best sound quality no matter what speaker setup you are using.
- We will now support 50Hz output to Xbox One. You can set the live TV app to display at 50Hz for full or fill modes, fixing the frame rate issues some users in Europe have been experiencing while watching live TV on Xbox One.
There are several smaller tune-up patch notes as well that don't deserve their own bullet point. Things like the ability to adjust the volume with voice commands, view game clips in snap mode, SmartGlass nonsense, browser improvements and some other quality-of-life changes. Altogether, a good patch that should sate Xbox One owners for the interim -- unless something else is broken now.
Up until now I've completely avoided the friends list as much as possible, the thing is just unmanageable. It takes forever to load, makes no differentiation between followers and friends, and did I mention loads super slowly? I'd love to see what my friends are up to all the time, like on PlayStation 4, and perhaps now that will be easier. Ah, I could rant a bit on all of these patch notes. They're all just so insanely necessary. Thank goodness they're now available in time for Titanfall.
Turn on the ol' Xbox One and patch it up. There's no time to lose!
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"To all those wandering in the dark, may you be visited by a spark." Not exactly the most profound tagline Child of Light could have come up with, but certainly a fanciful way to introduce the concept of co-op to the RPG. Much like Mario Galaxy did in the past, Child of Light will feature asymmetrical cooperative play where the second player controls a floating, helpful spark. No motion controls though, thank Zeus.
In today's Child of Light trailer, which Ubisoft Montreal was kind enough to put together, we get a proper introduction to the spark co-op partner and how it can impact gameplay. The little spark can be directed to reveal dark places, open hidden passages, disarm traps, distract enemies, and apparently features a variety of interactions. The only missing aspect from the trailer is whether the spark can directly influence the RPG turn-based combat.
Very little is still known about what exactly the spark is, well, beyond a spark. There's now the quote I opened this article with, which gives a bit of lore to the spark. Perhaps it's more of a mythical guardian to the world's hero, sort of live Na'vi to Link? In previous Child of Light screenshots, we're also able to see that the spark has its own little face, rather like a Dragon Quest slime... though perhaps not as terrifyingly devoid of emotion.
Child of Light is Ubisoft's internal "indie" RPG, made by a small team at Ubisoft Montreal and planned to be released on April 30. Expect it to be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U as a digital relase for only $14.99.
Co-op trailer - YouTube
Murdered: Soul Suspect publisher Square Enix has provided us the speedily approaching day of protagonist Ronan O'Connor's death. Starting June 3 in North America, June 6 elsewhere in the world, Ronan will be killed by an otherworldly figure on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. Gamers will then get to unravel the mystery of Ronan's death, while dealing with ghostly and demonic obstacles, and ultimately... hmm. Resurrection? Salvation? Discover who Ronan really is? Time will tell.
Considering the type of game that Murdered: Soul Suspect is, we've probably seen and heard about as much about is as Airtight is willing to say. Giving away anything more would probably lead to a lesser experience. What's a mystery game when players already feel comfortable going into it? Though when the promise is a mix of unique puzzle mechanics as well as demon fighting action, it's good that at least some of the game has been shown initially.
Oh, but Square Enix also had another surprise for fans watching for more Murdered information. For those that preorder the game, a special digital strategy map! Let's not try and make sense of why a ghost would have a ghost map. Rather, the player, being semi-godlike, perhaps is more aware of the world than the protagonist himself. I'm over thinking this. The map will show off collectibles, quest-givers and even Easter Eggs. GG?
Get Murdered: Soul Suspect on June 3 in North America or on June 6 outside of the Americas. It'll be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at the price of $59.99 and then on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for $49.99. Don't forget the ghost map that comes with preordering. Ghost map. Think about that.
Batman: Arkham Knight lives! After rumors surrounding Rocksteady's next Batman project began to reach critical mass, the full announcement was made early today. Yes, a full-fledged sequel to the Batman: Arkham series made by the original developers themselves, as opposed to Warner Bros. Montreal's Arkham Origins prequel. Rocksteady has been working on something special, so expect Batman: Arkham Knight later this year on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
What's new in Arkham Knight? While little has has been revealed Rocksteady has confirmed that the Batmobile will be playable in Arkham Knight, finally allowing gamers to drive around Arkham in style. Who knows what sort of tricky mischief the Batmobile will allow for. Also, as depressing as it may be, but Arkham Knight's preorder DLC has also been announced. Like previous titles, preorders will unlock additional missions for a a different playable character. In Arkham Knight it will be... Harley Quinn.
Additional villains have also been confirmed, some in Arkham Knight's announcement trailer, like Two-Face, Penguin and Scarecrow. Rumors are also swirling that Hush will be playing a larger role in the game. I'm sure there's a veritable clown car of other Batman villains just waiting to jump out and surprise us too. This wouldn't be a Batman game otherwise!
Perhaps most striking, however, is what seems to be a more realistic and detailed visual design to the game. Penguin's face in particular is alarmingly realistic, as is Harley Quinn's completely different look. Previous titles have been a little bit more stylized, taking more inspiration from the comics and cartoons. In fact, I think prefer the classic style a bit more... but maybe Rocksteady figured they had to go more realistic to really show off the "next-gen" tech.
Officially, Batman: Arkham Knight is planned for release in 2014. However, on the GameStop preorder site a more specific launch date is available, though unconfirmed: October 12, 2014.
Announcement trailer - YouTube
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Who else is ready to wait a little bit longer for Titanfall?
As far as launch trailer go, I tend to prefer them when a game launches. In Titanfall's case I'll make an exception. Respawn Entertainment decided to put up Titanfall's launch trailer today, a week to go before the game's launch on March 11. If there exists a single gamer unfamiliar with Titanfall, it's a first-person multiplayer title featuring parkour action and giant robots, made from the creators of Call of Duty and its Modern Warfare series.
Yes, the launch trailer shows off both the parkour insanity featured in the game as well as plenty of giant robot action. For a two-minute trailer they really pack it full of gameplay, showing off a handful of customizable player and titan abilities. If I had to pick a moment for my favorite, it would be the pilot sliding under the titan as the titan grabs her and places her in the cockpit. I recall from the beta that it feels just as good in first person. Actually, it feels even better.
Titanfall launches March 11 on the PC and Xbox One, followed by an Xbox 360 launch on March 25 to allow for additional polish (and to give the "next gen" versions of the game some time to shine). I'm pretty sure my fellow editor Lydia won't be sleeping until she has it and the giant collector's edition Atlus statue in her hands.
Gameplay launch trailer - YouTube
Oh no, that old Dungeon Defenders addiction is coming back
March may be Microsoft's best month for Games With Gold as the company announced the Xbox 360's next two free games to come with the Gold subscription service. Civilization Revolution and Dungeon Defenders will be available for players to download, the former on the first of the month and the latter on the sixteenth. Oh, and make sure and pick up Toy Solders: Cold War before the download expires at the end of February.
Civilization Revolution is an interesting take on the world-building genre and fits perfectly with Game With Gold, I think. It's a multi-play title that never reached PC, which means there are a lot of gamers out there who maybe never gave it the time of day. Sure, it's a game from 2008, which makes it over five years old, but it's still something Xbox 360 can enjoy for its uniqueness. Microsoft says it's valued at $39.99, but I feel badly for anyone who'd pay that much for a five year old game.
Second up is Dungeon Defenders, a cooperative multiplayer tower defense game. Pick from a number of unique classes, build up towers and join into the battle yourself in third-person action combat. I love Dungeon Defenders and the dozens of hours I've spent in the game prove that. It's a great title that a lot of Xbox 360 gamers may have missed (since its main platform was PC). Microsoft says it's valued at $14.99, but again this is a game that could have been acquired for $1.00 in recent Humble Bundles.
Altogether, I think Microsoft's Games With Gold titles for March at least provide unique, fun games even if they're overvalued and very aged. If Microsoft's hands are tied on the types of games they can release via this service, which seems apparent, this is a move in the right direction. Where's the Xbox One Games With Gold though?
Let's hope this project doesn't run into any creepers... I'm not sorry
Minecraft is being made into a movie, no joke. News broker earlier today via a variety of sources including Mojang's Notch that Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to a Minecraft film. More than that, The Lego Movie's producer Roy Lee is already attached to the project and is already hard at work getting production started. Don't expect a CG film like Lego though, the WB's Minecraft will be strictly live action.
Notch, Mojang's big cheese, got word of the leaks earlier today and decided that just wasn't rightt:
Someone is trying leak the fact that we're working with Warner Brothers on a potential Minecraft Movie. I wanted to be the leak!— Markus Persson (@notch) February 27, 2014
Word on the street, which I think means marketing buzz, is that several writers and other talent have already experessed interest in participating in the project. Basically, a lot of people see a lot of profit in a Minecraft movie and want a piece of the pie. Does it mean that this film will get made? Why don't we ask the Halo and World of Warcraft movies how they're doing?
Expect more information on the Minecraft movie in the days, months, or even years ahead. These things can become a reality on a day or two or fall off the face of the Earth just as suddenly. Sometimes digging for diamonds isn't a profitable as we'd hope.
Thanks for the tip, Huntereb!
No, RedLynx, don't make me try and make the jump again
More ridiculous motorcycle mayhem is in our near future as Ubisoft announced that RedLynx's next game Trials Fusion will be launching April 16. Yes, more crazy levels, an all new tricks system, and of course multiplayer and a level creator as well, all coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360 on April 16. It may be the most enjoyable racing series available for people who hate racing games.
For those who haven't had the chance to experience it, Trials is basically this extremely mechanically simple game. There's a gas pedal, a break, and the ability to lean forward and backwards on the bike. With these limited options players are forced to traverse the most ridiculous and torturous of tracks, each growing in difficulty from "Hey, this is a cool downhill course," to, "What disturbed mind put this hell-map together?"
Trials Fusion will be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC (no PlayStation 3) on April 16. Digitally the game will be available for $19.99, but if retail fits your fancy the game will be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for $39.99. Double the price? Well, the retail box also comes with a season DLC pass which includes 6 packs of DLC. Not sure how much digital purchasers will be paying for that individually.
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- Rumor: Watch Dogs closed beta allegedly spotted on Xbox LIVE 
- Dark Souls 2 death count nears 12 million, still going strong two days after release 
- Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate HD is headed to PC, screenshots show how it will look 
- February NPD Number Crunch: Xbox One almost catches up to PS4 
- Shovel Knight digs too deep, delays March 31 release date by a few weeks 
- WildStar Press Event Wrap-Up: An MMO for MMO Lovers 
- The Walking Dead: Season 2 - Episode 3 'In Harm's Way' is coming soon, says Telltale 
- Campo Santo reveals Firewach, mystery set in Wyoming's wilderness with art from Olly Moss 
- League of Legends: Mystery figure appears in Battlecast Vel'Koz splash art 
- Nintendo wants you to have Pokemon X or Y for free next month 
- Little Mac floating like a Flutter, stinging like a Beezo in Super Smash Bros. 
- Nintendo Direct for February 13 Live-Blog: Will X Debut? 
- Rumor: Final Fantasy VII remake could be a reality 
- Nintendo DS and Wii 'Wi-Fi Connection Service' discontinuation May 20, end of online play