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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.

Neoseeker's Holiday Guide 2009
Looking for that perfect piece of hardware or software for a friend or family? Trying to find a game that delivers a great experience that they might not have already? We're bringing some great pieces that we've covered over the course of this year for your shopping list.

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

Fanatec Speedster 3 (Xbox) Review
VeGiTAX2 takes on the Fanatec Speedster 3 in a head to head battle. Check it out and see how the current top wheel for the Xbox handles.

Console Games News

No place for hobbits in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's launch trailer, Nemesis System lives

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

Thousands of different looking orcs and all of them ugly as sin

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Today's the day, Middle-earth fans. The untold story fit between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings that Tolkien never wrote and probably would make him roll in his grave if h knew about is now available. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor launches today on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One and early buzz is that this game is good. So let Tolkien spin and start enslaving some orcs today, or at least check out this story-based launch trail to see what you're missing out on.

While the story for Shadow of Mordor certainly looks compelling in and of itself, what seems most exciting about the game is its Nemesis System. A way to create an assortment of dynamic AI characters with strengths and weaknesses that change the way how not just every level is played, but how each person will play through that level.

Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment released the following prepared statement highlighting the Nemesis System:

"Monolith’s goal with the Nemesis System is to push the action genre forward with a unique gameplay mechanic that allows the player to experience Middle-earth in a way that is deeply personal. The team and technology powering the Nemesis System helped us develop an emotional investment between each player and their enemies, which creates a truly memorable gaming experience unlike anything that’s been done before."

I think this may be my favorite Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor trailer yet. I'm surprised they saved it until the end. It covers a broad swathe of the story, teasing what must be a dozen central characters who look just outstanding to meet -- whether with a handshake or a blade. Even Gollum appears briefly, which was a surprise to me. Oh, what grand adventures we'll have with the undead, vengeance seeking Talion.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is now available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the game delayed into November.

 
 

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's Season Pass trailer details the $25 pack of odds and ends

0 comments Rory Young - 11:04pm (PST) Like (1) Share

I was really hoping for some joke DLC where you fight the Fellowship

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As far as Season Pass content goes, there isn't a single AAA game these days that doesn't put one together. Usually, however, there's at least one single piece of content that really drives players to invest. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor's Season Pass was revealed over a month ago, but today they wanted to send out a reminder with a new trailer. Here's our reminder that despite the $25 price tag, there still doesn't seem to be that one, big selling point for the DLC.

There's still a lot of random DLC in Shadow of Mordor's Season Pass. Players get a grab bag of story, gameplay, customization and content for their purchase. Here's a rundown of what's currently announced, as part of the Season Pass still has yet to be revealed:

  • Story Missions:
    • Guardians of the Flaming Eye Warband Mission: "Face Sauron's elite Defenders before the Black Gate and earn the Rising Flame rune"
    • Lord of the Hunt Story Mission: "Players will gain new skills and earn unique epic runes as they hunt and tame legendary monsters of Mordor"
    • The Bright Lord Story Mission: "Play as Celebrimbor, the great Elven king of the Second Age, and face Sauron and the might of his forces"
  • Early Access to the Trials of War Challenge Modes:
    • Test of Speed Challenge Mode: "You can demonstrate your efficiency in battle and earn high scores for Talion's speed in defeating your foes"
    • Test of Wisdom Challenge Mode: "You can prove your strategic abilities, through earning points for skill, speed and efficiency"
    • Endless Challenge Mode: "This mode will continually spawn new legions of enemies. The runes you will earn will provide powerful upgrades"
  • Future Content:
    • Runes...
    • Skins...
    • Additional Content

If I get this straight, the Season Pass costs $25 for three story missions, early access to content that will otherwise unlock for everyone, and then random skins and runes? I'm not a gambling man, so I'm not so sure I'd put down almost half the price of the full game without the promise of some really special, meaningful content coming up. Then again, some people just enjoy supporting the products they love no matter the content. This one might be for them

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor launches tomorrow, or in most people's case today, on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, with Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 releases pushed into November.

 
 

Character creation in Dragon Age: Inquisition trailer teases each race, from beards to horns

7 comments Rory Young - 9:07pm (PST) Like Share

How could they not show the dwarven beard options? How!?

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Dwarf, qunari, human or elf, each player will make their very own Inquisitor protagonist at the start of Dragon Age: Inquisition. It was a major feature in Dragon Age: Origins and one of the major limitations, and complaints, from Dragon Age 2. BioWare is bringing character creation back in a big way with Inquisition and while we've seen a variety of Inquisitors showcased in various trailers up to now, today is the first time the process has been shown. 

A three minute trailer from Dragon Age: Inquisiton goes through a variety of character creation options. All races races are at least briefly shown, though not all gender options are represented. A majority of the time, and the major customization options shown, is invested in humans. Still, female qunari horns, dwarven tattoos and elven... err, chin size customizations are all briefly shown. 

It appears that customization is broken into what must be dozens and dozens of categories and subcategories, each with its own slider. Some details, like ear shape and positioning, include sliders on a 2D plane. Most sliders appear to be simple smaller-to-larger scales though. These types of sliders will work very well with console and PC. I wonder what sort of more in-depth customization could be offered if all players were using a mouse and keyboard.

After watching the trailer, it's no stretch to say that while the character customization process itself looks rather tedious, the resulting product seems excellent. Each player should be able to create their own, unique, rather realistic looking Inquisitor. Certain things like hair, beards and scar textures seem a bit MMO-quality to me, but skin textures, ears, horns, eyes and tattoos all look very good. BioWare done good.

Dragon Age: Inquistion will be coming to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 starting November 18. What kind of Inquisitor will you be?

 
 

Co-op beat 'em up Viking Squad announced for PlayStation 4, appease the Jarl with plunder

1 comments Rory Young - 6:09pm (PST) Like Share

Who needs knights when you can have vikings instead?

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All anyone has to say to me these days to get me excited are the words "co-op" and "beat 'em up." Introducing Viking Squad, announced just today by Slick Entertainment who've previously made Scrap Metal for the 360, and it just about makes my wildest dreams come true. Featuring a cartoonish aesthetic, but very serious viking themes such as following one's Jarl's orders and plundering, Viking Squad will be coming to PlayStation 4 in 2015.

Obviously Slick Entertainment could list a hundred different beat 'em ups as influences for Viking Squad, but the immediate one that comes to mind has to be Castle Crashers. A western-made, cartoonish fighter with a ton of personality and great art? Hell, it wouldn't surprise me if the Jarl himself turned out to be Castle Crashers' Necromancer. 

Another potential influence that comes to mind is the recently released Dragon's Crown, due to Viking Squad's inclusion of levelling and gear systems. Of course, this could be much less robust than Dragon's Crown ever pulled off. Maybe Slick's going with a simple weapon and pet-type customization system like Castle Crashers was successful with.

An interesting thing that Viking Squad is doing that I haven't seen often in beat 'em ups for a time is a layered combat system. Castle Crashers and Dragon's Crown feature free movement, forcing players to judge on their own when they're on a 2D plane equal to their enemies -- so their attacks can go through. With clearly identifiable 2D planes, Viking Squad will encourage a skill-based combat system where players have no depth perception to blame for their mistakes. Own up!

Story-wise, Viking Squad might want to put out another trailer to help build up some drama. The focus seems to be on a group of vikings who are obeying the commands of their Jarl, their leader. Thus, they set out on mission after mission plundering a variety of different lands, each time bringing back more treasure for their Jarl. Each time, the Jarl seems a little closer to going full last boss.

Pick up Viking Squad exclusively for PlayStation 4 starting in 2015.



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Resource scarcity and improvising to survive in The Evil Within's 'Every Last Bullet' trailer

1 comments Rory Young - 12:06pm (PST) Like Share

Save that last bullet...

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In case anyone wasn't sure about it, The Evil Within is a survival horror game. That doesn't mean it's just a spooky scary, werewolf bar mitzvah with bleeding walls and Satan, though let's not discount those things appearing. It also means other, game-y type things. Today's "Every Last Bullet" trailer helps refamiliarize players with some of those things. Don't worry, they're all designed to encourage soiling one's pants.

First, of course, is resource scarcity. I'm not talking about StarCraft II maps with no Vespene Gas, jerk. I'm talking about limited options to kill monsters. Luckily, players always have at least one unlimited resource -- legs. Well, I suppose no one should be surprised if even these are taken away at some point in the game. Beyond that,  don't expect bullets, traps, guns, and, erm, matches? ... to be available in large quantity. 

Instead of standard weaponry, why not try and use the traps originally designed to murder you in gruesome ways to take care of of bad guys? Of course, odds are in order to discover these traps you'll have to activate them first. Luckily, extra lives are not one of these scarce resources. Players can just reset and use their newfound trap knowledge to their advantage. Or, like in my case, you can try to use a trap to your advantage, but then stumble into it once more by accident. Third time's a charm!

Finally, stuffed into the end of the trailer, is a short clip showing how players can upgrade their character. It's kind of a Resident Evil-type upgrade system for weapons,  ammo, abilities, what must be inventory capacity, and also something called "Agony Bolts." Curious. It's hard not to laugh at the "shopkeeper" in The Evil Within being a horror nurse giving the player electro-shock therapy. Also, I'm now totally creeped out.

The Evil Within will be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 14 in North America and Europe. Dream about it, won't you?

 
 

OlliOlli 2 announced for PS4 and PS Vita, updated visuals and multiplayer -- welcome to Olliwood

1 comments Rory Young - 6:40pm (PST) Like Share

Missed opportunity to write it as Olli^2

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After the surprising success of 2D skating game OlliOlli, it only makes sense that roll7 would quickly begin work on a sequel to the simple title. And when I say simple, I say it with force. OlliOlli takes a really fun concept, skating down hills with only the press of a single button (for the most part) and turned it into a hugely challenging and endlessly fun experience. With OlliOlli 2 roll7 would be insane to change the core experience, so instead they're building on it.

As should be clear from the announcement trailer, OlliOlli 2 will be adding a ton of awesome content as well as a bunch of quality of life features. First, it's getting a huge visual update -- something PlayStation 4 players will appreciate. On top of that there's now a multiplayer mode, a more robust trick move-set, ramps as opposed to simple downhill sliding, and so much more. Well, it's not hard to add a lot of content when the core experience was originally so simple. That's not a bad thing! It's actually kind of amazing.

5 new worlds, 50 new amateur and pro levels, 250 new challenges, ramps, split level routes, the addition of manuals, reverts, revert manuals and grind switching, plus new game mode Combo Rush are all being added. Still, at its heart OlliOlliwill be that same, simple game that's easy for any player to pick up and play for even just a few minutes. Expect it to be even more challenging than the original.

OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood will be taking players through a variety of movie-themed levels on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita starting in 2015. 



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Destiny 1.0.2 patch incoming next week, Bungie fixing Engrams and early patch notes are hilarious

0 comments Lydia Sung - 4:47pm (PST) Like Share

The Cryptarch knows how to take a hint

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The good people of Bungie know how to get things done quick. A day after dropping some Destiny dev notes for the player base, they're giving an early look at next week's 1.0.2 patch. First on the list of changes? The Cryptarch and his ridiculous Engrams.

So for those who remain unawares, the Cryptarch has a pretty terrible random exchange system when it comes to decoding Engrams. Most people end up with trash, effectively providing Destiny players with their biggest source of rage. So next week, this will be addressed, when Rare Engrams will finally be guaranteed Rare results or higher, Legendary Engrams will always produce Legendary or higher, and so on.

Additionally, Activities will be updated so tougher missions will give better rewards. Daily and Weekly Heroics, along with Vanguard: Tiger Playlist content will actually include Rare and Legendary Engrams on top of existing rewards. Rejoice.

Item changes include Ascendant materials being bumped up to Legendary status. Legendary Engram items that are in your inventory when the patch rolls out will be demoted to Rare quality, so Bungie recommended players decode them ASAP. That said, the devs also note, "Even if you don't, we all know they were blues already."

Thanks, Bungie. Really.

Cryptarch Changes
Cayde-6 took the Cryptarch aside and showed him a sack of doorknobs. He decoded that mystery pretty quickly.
  • Legendary Engrams will always produce Legendary or better quality items, including Materials or Exotics
  • Rare Engrams will always produce Rare or better quality items
  • Rare engrams will have an increased chance to produce Legendary quality items
Activity Changes
  • Daily Heroics, Weekly Heroics, and Vanguard: Tiger Playlist activities will include Rare and Legendary Engrams in addition to their existing rewards
Item Changes
  • Ascendant materials have been promoted to Legendary to closer associate them with the gear they are used to upgrade
  • Legendary Engram items that exist in your inventory will be demoted to Rare quality when the patch goes live, so decode them while you can. But let’s be honest--even if you don’t, we all know they were blues already...
 
 

Destiny: The Iron Banner event takes to the Crucible on October 7, Bungie also releasing soundtrack

0 comments Lydia Sung - 3:21pm (PST) Like Share

More good things on the way...

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Today, Bungie revealed the next Destiny event will take Guardians into the Crucible, to complete in The Iron Banner for the favor of the Lords of Iron. Better put on your best gear and prepare to fight for glory. Well, glory and special rewards, that is.

The Iron Banner Crucible event won't actually start until October 7, at which point it'll run the standard two weeks before ending October 14. Right now, The Queen's Wrath event is still going on, letting players take on special missions to win the Awoken Queen's Favor and exchange it for very purple-looking loot. Her emissary is still hanging out at the back of the Tower right now, and you've got until October 4 to pick up some unique gear and accessories from her.

For fans of game soundtracks, Bungie will be releasing the Destiny OST very soon! The music of Destiny is credited to Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatory, C. Paul Johnson and Paul McCartney.

If you're curious about those big changes rolling out, the loot caves should already be "fixed." Other updates, like the major weapons balancing and the Cryptarch overhaul are still in the works for next week's patch.

 
 

'Co-op and Customization' trailer for Assassin's Creed Unity explores the new progression system

3 comments Rory Young - 2:21pm (PST) Like Share

Are dozens of hot pink assassins historically acurate to the French Revolution?

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In this, the second Experience trailer for Assassin's Creed Unity, players finally get a look at the core systems that give Unity its unique design. "Co-op and Customization" is the title of the video and the first things said in it are that these are the most requested features from the Assassin's Creed community. You heard it here first, nerds, this is all your fault! When you're grinding missions to power level your stealth assassin, you can only blame yourself.

Yes, Assassin's Creed Unity will feature an in-depth progression system. Players will be able to create their very own assassin, gain experience and train them in a variety of ways so as to customize their own experience. According to the video there are four "core" paths that players can follow via customization. These are: stealth, melee, agility and health. Stealth rewards sneakiness and provides boosts to eagle vision; melee let players to more damage in melee range as well as providing stronger counters; agility focuses on parkour bonuses and aerial assassinations; health, as one would assume, is all about keeping players alive.

Don't stress too much about picking one area of focus or another, because the video states that players should be able branch into many different trees as they progress. This way players can play how they like without being shoehorned into something. Of course, there are other ways for players to accent their experience. Armor and weaponry is all customizable as well, with each piece providing bonuses (and sometimes weaknesses). The example given in the trailer is a hood that makes the assassin more stealthy... which is ridiculous, but statistics are fun even if they don't make sense, right?

Whether a cooperative, highly customizes Assassin's Creed really is what fans want from the franchise is yet to be seen. Assassin's Creed Unity will be launching on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One starting November 11.

 
 

Far Cry 4's 'Pagan Min: King of Kryat' trailer serves terror for dinner, all hail

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

That's not how the fork is supposed to be used, sir

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What Pagan Min wants, Pagan Min gets, as evidenced in Far Cry 4's latest (and surprisingly short) trailer. Titled "Pagan Min: King of Kryat," the trailer reintroduces us to the nefarious dictator as well as the protagonist. A third, older gentleman who should be familiar from Far Cry 4's announcement trailer, is referred to as Little Bird and seems very unhappy to be involved in all of this business.

In the trailer we see a mix of footage taken from what must be a very early cinematic scene, as well as gameplay footage featuring some of Far Cry 4's more prominent new combat features. That is, we see elephant riding, vehicular combat from inside a truck, leaping from a flying vehicle and then throwing grenades over our shoulder. Did I mention hovercrafts? There are hovercrafts. Also, a tiger eats a dude.

The cinematic footage is also worth taking an interest in. I say it's relatively early in the game, as it seems to be a direct follow-up to the game's launch trailer which has been confirmed as the very first thing players will see in Far Cry 4. We're still learning just who Pagan Min is at this point in the game, which means we get to see more casual violence from the mad king of Kryat. Just wait until you find out how he came to power...

Far Cry 4 is planned for release on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox On, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 starting November 18. There's all sorts of preorder and DLC crap too, if that's what you're into.

 
 
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