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Microsoft Consoles News

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Fable Legends is free-to-play, content like Heroes unlocked with premium and in-game currencies

11 comments Rory Young - 4:25am (PST) Like Share

It's for everyone, so long as you upgrade your PC to Windows 10

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Fables Legends has gone through a transition carried out by many multiplayer-only titles these days. Fables Legends is now a free-to-play title, as in free-to-download and likely more expensive than a normal to get the full experience. Lionhead insists the change is in order to make their game accessible to a larger amount of players. They also insist that they want to ensure all gameplay content is accessible to all players. On paper it appears true, though folk will have to work for it.

Let's first take a look at what's free in the strictest sense of the word. Players will be able to download Fable Legends on both PC and Xbox One for no cost. From there, Lionhead says that all story, including quests added at launch and post, will be free for all players. That's it for completely free. Everything else is either bought with either premium or in-game currency, or strictly premium.

Content can then split into two different categories -- Hero and Villain content. No Heroes will be "free," though there will be a selection of them available on rotation so players can have something to play until they're able to pick one up for themselves. All progress unlocked on a Hero while they freely available will carry over until they're next available, or until they've been unlocked. Heroes will be purchasable with both the in-game currency and the premium currency. 

Villain content is still a big ambiguously detailed. I believe Lionhead is saying in their press release that Villains will have access to a quest's wildlife for free and by content I mean minions and traps. If a Villain wants to use content as they please, they'll have to unlock it with either in-game or premium currency. That goes for both creatures and traps.

The only wholly premium content announced so far are outfit customizations for Heroes. Think of them as League of Legends skins. Alternatively, Lionhead says that other customizations, from outfits to different face variations, can be unlocked through in-game currency as well.

Was Fable Legends intended to be a free-to-play game from the very start? It's difficult to tell at this point, though I think going forward it's safe to say that any game claiming to be a multiplayer-focused title is either free-to-play or has some eye-gouging microtransactions. Unless you're Nintendo, that is, and DLC and free-to-play is a strange new future that seems different and uncomfortable.

Fable Legends is planned for release in 2015 for Windows 10 PCs and the Xbox One -- for free. Details on how the in-game currency will be earned will be coming at a later date. Scientists expect it to be just slow enough that you'll be pushed towards buying the premium currency out of frustration. Science.


Xbox Games With Gold adds Rayman Legends for Xbox One in March, promises two games in April

2 comments Rory Young - 2:48am (PST) Like Share

360 picks up the Tomb Raider reboot and BioShock Infinite

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Games With Gold's March line-up has been delivered right on schedule, with only two days left before February 2015 is just another part of history. Speaking of history, Microsoft is already talking about the anniversary of Games with Gold and how they'll be celebrating. For the once-only event in April, check this, Microsoft will be offering double what they normally offer. That's two games for Xbox One and four games for Xbox 360. 

I'll admit, it would probably be a bit more exciting if Sony didn't offer at least six games a month (some cross-platform) standard with PlayStation Plus.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves, though. March is next on the list and Microsoft has three more games for players to add to their libraries. That's one Xbox One game and two Xbox 360 games. This may very well be the best month for the service yet in terms of brand power. We're talking three major series coming to Games With Gold. Let's get to it.

Xbox One

  • Rayman Legends

Xbox 360

  • Tomb Raider
  • BioShock Infinite

Note that Tomb Raider will be available between March 1 through 15, then BioShock Infinite will take its place from the 15 through the 31. That also means that Xbox One players only have two days left to pick up #IDARB and 360 players have the two days left to get Sniper Elite V2.

Not much else to say. The pricing for the Xbox 360 games this month are uniform with what Microsoft tends to list as the two titles' retail prices. Rayman Legends, however, is still retailing for probably twice what Microsoft usually spends on a Games With Gold title. Maybe the team really struck gold with Ubisoft on a special deal, or maybe they didn't have an indie title ready and waiting for March.

Expect more information on April's big anniversary Games With Gold event, where there will be twice as many titles available for Gold subscribers to download. In the mean time, enjoy March's offerings.

Categories: Microsoft Consoles

Aganos revealed as part of Killer Instinct's Season 2, quiet War Golem lets his rocks talk for him

0 comments Rory Young - 3:21am (PST) Like Share

Where Kan-Ra runs, Aganos will follow

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With Iron Galaxy having taken over continued development of the Xbox One's Killer Instinct, the fighting game has absolutely been able to spread its wings. Season 2 has seen the reintroduction of fan-favorite characters like raptor Riptor, T.J. Combo and Maya, but also the addition of creative new characters like Omen, Kan-Ra, and up next -- the War Golem Aganos. Aganos, as revealed in today's trailer, will join Killer Instinct starting in late February/early March.

Aganos alone is ridiculously bad-ass and wholly acceptable as a Killer Instinct roster addition just for that. Iron Galaxy though, as proven with Divekick, loves the lore. They've locked the lore down. Aganos isn't just any War Golem, he's been tasked by a mysterious master to hunt down and destroy one of Season 2's other great new characters, Kan-Ra. Unleashed after thousands of years, Kan-Ra is once again on the run from Aganos. This time, Kan-ra is caught between Aganos and a hard place.

As shown in the trailer, Aganos has a robust skill-set at his beck and call. That includes a rock throw, the ability to build a wall in the middle of a stage with which to combo off of, the tenacity to take hits without being crumpled, and of course just giant rock fists to pound enemies with. Also, a Blank roll, because why make a War Golem without adding a "Rock and Roll" pun too.

At the end of the trailer, as Killer Instinct has taken pleasure in doing all of Season 2, another character was teased. It's a Japanese ghost/zombie girl wearing a kimono with sakura-blossom designs, sporting a katana and a wakizashi. I'd be more afraid of her teeth, which the unnamed undead woman takes pleasure in showing everyone. Quite a smile she has. Lovely.

Killer Instinct is currently available on Xbox One as a free-to-play title, though only specific characters are free to play. I believe they rotate. Otherwise, you'll have to buy your favorite characters or season passes packing multiple fighters together. Aganos will be available for Ultra Edition owners on February 27, then on March 5 for Combo Breaker Edition owners.


Bethesda reveals plans for their first E3 press conference on June 14, but what's in store?

35 comments Rory Young - 1:29pm (PST) Like Share

Fallout 4 or riot

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In a surprise reveal, this morning publisher Bethesda announced their plans to host their first E3 press conference in Hollywood on June 14. It's happening, everyone. Bethesda will join the ranks of the big three publishers, Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, along with others who have also run their own outside-the-event conferences. It means that Bethesda believes they have an E3 line-up worth showcasing on its own. A line-up they're unwilling to share with anyone else. Oh, my.

Here's the thing -- right now Bethesda doesn't really have many games announced. Their two games -- yes, only two -- include the free-to-play multiplayer title BattleCry and id's much anticipated Doom 4. Bethesda could absolutely headline a pre-E3 conference just with Doom 4, but would they?

Now let's look at all of the subsidiaries that Bethesda has partnered with over the past few years that currently have no announced project. Let's get the unlikeliest out of the way first. Arkane Studios, developers of Dishonored, were reportedly working on Prey 2 before the project was canceled. It's unlikely they'd have something to show so soon, but it's a possibility. Both MachineGames (Wolfenstein: The New Order) and Tango Gameworks (The Evil Within) finished games in 2015, but would they have new projects to debut so soon? It's perhaps much more likely that they each announced DLC of some kind. Oh, and The Elder Scrolls Online from Zenimax Online studios. Yeah.

Then there's Bethesda Game Studios, the team behind Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It has been four years since Skyrim was released, a length of time larger than what most studios have to release their AAA games in this modern age. If you're a betting man, then the safe money is on Bethesda Game Studios announcing their latest project at this new E3 press conference. Is it Fallout 4? Is it The Elder Scrolls VI? The sky shall fall on June 14.

E3 2015 will run from June 16 through June 18, with Bethesda Softworks' first ever E3 press conference going live on June 14. The possibilities are thrilling. Doom 4? Fallout 4? BattleCry and The Elder Scrolls Online are all but a certainty. What other surprises are in store? This is a glorious day.

Fallout 4 or riot.


Mortal Kombat X trailer discusses what it means to be 'Next,' introduces multiplayer Faction Wars

6 comments Rory Young - 6:26am (PST) Like (1) Share

How can they group into factions when they disembowel each other every day?

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Another day, another Mortal Kombat X trailer -- or so it seems over the past week. Today is the same, but also different. There's no character introduction today, there's no breaking down of a newly revealed character's different fighting style variations. No, today's an introspective look by NetherRealm concerning what it means to be "Next." Okay, there's also the big reveal of Mortal Kombat X's faction wars. This is a marketing product, after all.

What are the Faction Wars? According to the team at NetherRealm, the Faction Wars is a multiplayer meta feature that pits different groupings of characters together in a weekly event to unlock various features. Playing as a character in any mode in the game contributes to the player's faction level. Earning faction level unlocks various surprises, like a Faction Fatality was teased. The Faction with the most points at the end of the week wins, unlocking additional content as well.

Being the "Next" big Mortal Kombat title isn't limited simply to Faction Mode though. It's about graphics, it's about story, it's about recreating that classic Mortal Kombat magic, and I'm sure it's about so much more to the NetherRealm team. They've certainly surprised a community that never through Mortal Kombat would ever return to its form glory. Even a Mortal Kombat embracing it's B-Movie caliber experience was honestly more than many likely expected a few years ago.

It's great seeing that NetherRealm didn't settle for that -- that they were as hungry for the next Mortal Kombat as we were.

Mortal Kombat X, now with Faction Wars, will be available April 14 on the PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. 


Farshark announces Warhammer: The End Times - Vermintide as a 4-player co-op FPS for 2015

0 comments Rory Young - 4:54pm (PST) Like Share

Another cooperative first-person shooter? Bring on the rat parade

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Despite the announcement of Warhammer: The End Times - Vermintide coming out a bit earlier than expected due to a Finnish magazine hitting store-shelves early, there's more to be said here. Yesterday confirmed the title of the game, that it was an FPS, and then left us hanging with a countdown website teasing a larger reveal today. That countdown has lapsed and Warhammer: The End Times - Vermintide is now official.

What really is Warhammer: The End Times - Vermintide though? Developer Fatshark, who've previously made Escape from Dead Island, War of the Roses and Lead and Gold, confirmed that it will be a 4-player cooperative FPS. Players will be able to select from one of five different classes, each with their own unique armor and abilities. These classes have yet to be revealed, but judging from their silhouettes we're looking at a Witch Hunter, a Bright Wizard for certain, and then a big maybe on a dwarf Ironbreaker or slayer, a Warrior Priest, and... is that a Chaos Zealot?

While there is mention of "unique armor" in the announcement, it does not seem like Vermintide will be a loot-based title like say Borderlands or the upcoming Hellraid. Rather, it'll be a more focused and contained campaign. How the game inevitably utilizes the cooperative elements of the game, or if it includes any sort of customization, is yet to be revealed.

Judging from the cinematic trailer accompanying Vermintide's announcement, I think it's safe to say that Fatshark has a good grasp on the tone of the game -- to say the least. Skaven are disgusting and quite scary creatures, but also rather ridiculous in a walking rat-people kind of way. To open the trailer with a Skaven picking up a normal rat and chomping into it captures all of these things in a very simple way. Hopefully Fatshark captures this in gameplay as well.

Warhammer: The End Times - Vermintide is planned for release on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in the second half of 2015. Expect to hear more details on the co-op FPS in the weeks and months ahead.

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Final Fantasy Type-0 HD 'Final Trailer' sets the stage, introduces Final Fantasy XV's 'Episode Duscae'

2 comments Rory Young - 3:29pm (PST) Like Share

A one-two punch of spikey-haired, fair-skinned, eye-liner wearing protagonists

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Just a bit more than a month remains before Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, in all of its remastered PSP game glory, is released on March 17(March 20 in Europe). Accompanying Type-0 on the disc will also be Final Fantasy XV's demo, titled "Episode Duscae," which may or may not be the reason many gamers will pick up the game. Realizing this, Square Enix has released a trailer, perhaps the "Final Trailer" for Type-0, which not so coincidentally spends half of its run-time showing off the Final Fantasy XV demo.

A disappointing choice, I believe, considering this is probably the best Final Fantasy Type-0 HD trailer that we've seen. It's too bad the hype will push a lot of folk to skip to the XV content. Straight away in the Type-0 part of the trailer we're shown a soldier and his mount dying in a not so peaceful manner. One of the game's protagonists watches from a distance, then studies the bodies after they've passed. It's either the man-boy's curiosity about death and fear, or he's got a sick interest in... well, never mind.

The trailer goes on to show gameplay, which looks excellent considering it's a PSP game having been remastered, as well as more fancy Square Enix cinematic. There's lots of intense imagery of battles, of giant lasers, dramatic conversations between protagonists, and not a single person older than 17-years old anywhere. Is it a story of romance, of battle, of revenge? Also, where are the moogles?

Moving on to the Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae teaser trailer portion of the video, we're immediately shown a couple of very interesting details. First is the giant Behemoth monster which the party has to fight. Nothing like a good ol' retro throwback to classic Final Fantasy enemies. It looks like the Behemoth is finally living up to its terrifying nature. Then of course there's "Cid," or Cidney, the party's mechanic who apparently does all of her work in short shorts, high-heeled boots, half of a jacket and a bra -- but only gets oil on her face.

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is planned for release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One starting March 17 in North America and March 20 in Europe. Final Fantasy XV's demo, Episode Duscae, will be available with Type-0's purchase.


Game of Thrones - Ep. 2: The Lost Lords heralds the coming of more ice and blood, Feb. 3 is launch day

6 comments Rory Young - 6:47pm (PST) Like Share

Step one: kill everyone; step 2: kill everyone else

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Telltale Games' take on Game of Thrones continues with the release of Episode 2: The Lost Lords starting February 3. The first episode in the six episode series was very well regarded, with Telltale shifting the direction of their adventure games to include several protagonists. No longer is the player solely focused on the consequences of their decisions for just a single character, but rather for half of a dozen now. The Lost Lords will push that even further, where each choice sends out waves to change the lives of those even far away.

Today sees the release of the launch trailer for Ep. 2: The Lost Lords, showing off some of the tension-building content found within. Everyone hopefully understands that this trailer is thick with spoilers, both for the first episode of Game of Thrones and of course the second episode where the content of the trailer is actually coming from. Don't even start the video, as someone's face alone could spoil whether they have lived or died through the events up to that point.

By now everyone should understand that everyone dies in Game of Thrones anyway, so maybe spoilers are a moot point.

Now that the folk who are avoiding spoilers should be gone, it's safe to say that yet again we're teased with appearances from stars of the Game of Thrones television show in this episode. Tyrion Lannister makes another appearance, as well as Jon Snow up on the wall. Maybe there's another or two, but the faces aren't as immediately noticible as these specific two. At least we can trust those few won't die, right?

Rejoin the story of the Forresters when Game of Thrones - Episode 2: The Lost Lords is released on February 3 for the PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3. The episode will then come to Xbox One and Xbox 360 and February 4. Finally, it'll arrive on iOS and Android devices February 5.


Five LEGO games announced for 2015, including LEGO Marvel's Avengers and LEGO Jurassic World

14 comments Rory Young - 1:37pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Building a video game empire, block by block

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Another year, another slew of LEGO video games  to be released. Warner Bros., working with TT Games and The LEGO Group, has revealed the entire line-up of LEGO titles to be launched in 2015. Overall, there are five new LEGO games to be released in 2015. Some of them are staples, like LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin, a title taking advantage of LEGO's Ninjago brand, and The LEGO Movie Videogame and LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham coming to iOS and Android devices.

Two titles are fun surprises, however. The first isn't necessarily a huge surprise, as Warner Bros. has been working with Marvel for some time now. Nevertheless, LEGO Marvel's Avengers will be released in 2015. It's notable that this isn't The Avengers or The Avengers 2 in name, but also a bit contradictory because this game is in fact licensed off of the Avengers movie property. Yes, it will be based off both the original Avengers movie and its upcoming sequel, Age of Ultron.

The other big new LEGO game to come in 2015, however, is an awesome surprise. LEGO Jurassic World will be based on the upcoming blockbuster Jurassic Park sequel. It won't just cover the new movie, however, as Warner Bros. confirmed the content of the game will go through all four Jurassic Park films. I hope it covers that one scene where the dream raptor screams, "Alan."

LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO  Marvel's Avengers will both be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, PS Vita, 3DS and PC. LEGO Ninjago will be a strictly handheld affair, coming to PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS. The the two other 2013 ports, LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham and The LEGO Movie Videogame are going to be arriving on iOS and Android devices.  Expect to hear more on all five LEGO games planned for 2015 in the months to come.


#IDARB is February's Xbox One game for Games With Gold, Brothers and Sniper Elite V2 on 360

0 comments Rory Young - 4:06pm (PST) Like Share

#IDARB give a damn whether you want this indie or not

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What does #IDARB stand for? It stands for freedom. It stands for eSports. And if you're an Xbox One Live subscriber it stands for Games With Gold. Good ol' Major Nelson has revealed February's line-up of Xbox Games With Gold, featuring a single Xbox One title and two more Xbox 360 games. To answer your question, yes, it does continue to be disappointing that the Xbox One is only getting one game a month! Still, for just one game #IDARB fills that spot particularly well.

For those unfamiliar #IDARB is a 2D multiplayer game which pits players on teams of up to four, for a four versus four maximum, to take the ball an put it in their goal. Of course, preventing your opponents from scoring a goal is also recommended. It's a mix of multiplayer platforming mayhem which makes perfect sense for a game named #IDARB.

Here's the full line-up of games to be released in February's Games With Gold:

Xbox One

  • #IDARB

Xbox 360

  • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (February 1 - 15)
  • Sniper Elite V2 (February 16 - 28)

Microsoft's goal with Games With Gold titles on the Xbox One continues to be to encourage players to go online. Considering players must already be subscribed in order to get the games in the first place this seems a bit redundant, but I suppose there's a percentage of folk who will resub just to keep playing #IDARB or Worms. Meanwhile games on the Xbox 360 continue to be whatever's at the top of the bucket; whatever game Microsoft can get at a discount, it seems.

Not an altogether exhilarating month for Games With Gold -- not too many are. Still, #IDARB looks like a great indie game with the potential to be surprisingly popular. We'll see!

PS: I'm writing this assuming everyone has already played Brothers, because that's a game everyone should have played by now.