Console Games Articles
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.
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.
An exclusive in-depth look at DICE's much anticipated first-person parkour action game.
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
This is it, Nintendo karting fans. Following earlier rumors Nintendo of Europe have announced the best Wii U bundle yet, the Mario Kart 8 Premium Pack. Set for release in May alongside the game, the Premium Pack comes bundled with a Deluxe Edition of the Wii U console and a disk copy of the kart-racing game itself. Of course, this isn't the only trick Nintendo has up their sleeves.
At the moment, Mario Kart 8 has been announced with three bundle versions -- the Premium Pack and two character-themed packs. The Premium Pack will be sold for £249.99 and will include a copy of the game, the Wii U Deluxe Set, and a seven-day free trial for an upcoming karaoke title on the Wii U; the other two packs, based on brothers Mario and Luigi, will be sold for £299.99 each. These bundles come with an inclusive Premium Pack, as well as a red or green Wii Wheel, GamePad skin, Wiimote Plus, and hat, all based on a different character
Alongside these goodies, Nintendo also announced a Wii Remote based on plumbers' dinosaur pal, Yoshi. This green and orange controller will be hitting the market on the day of the game's release, just like the Princess Peach pink Wiimote unveiled last week. No price has been released for these, but it can be assumed that they will cost the same as other Wiimote Plus devices, at £46.99 each.
For any fans that needed an extra Mushroom to give them the boost towards the console and game, this is it. Players can pick up any of the limited edition bundles, Mario Kart 8 itself, or the character-based controllers starting May 30 in Europe. A North American release for the Premium Pack has not been announced at the time of writing.
Titanfall is getting new places of murder next month by way of the Expedition DLC, and if today's War Games showcase is any indication, the new maps are going to be pretty awesome. With the IMC basically recovering on a remote planet, "War Games" is actually a training simulation that recreates a virtual replica of Angel City, Rise, Airbase Sierra. In addition to some new screenshots, Respawn's Jason McCord provided a nice behind-the-scenes look, showing us just how the devs came up with the War Games map.
With War Games, the Respawn crew had the idea to create a "parkour playground," which should be apparent in how varied the new environment is. The IMC, for instance, start off in a cleaner, airbase-inspired area; Militia forces begin in the virtual recreation of nighttime Angel City. Plenty of wallrun paths are scattered around, creating paths to different areas.
If you wind up in War Games for a Hardpoint match, the themed zones should fit perfectly. In Last Titan Standing, the outskirts of the map will provide a more open battlefield, uncluttered by urban obstacles -- less so, anyway.
More screenshots can be found below, while a more detailed rundown is located on the official site. Respawn will also be showing off the other maps prior to Expedition's release in May. Whenever the map pack comes out, it'll be priced at $9.99 or fall under the $25 Season Pass.
For anyone who doesn't really want to pay for new maps, Respawn did also promise free content in the coming months.
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Sony is indeed sticking it to the man... with all these great free games!
Sony's PlayStation Plus program shows no signs of slowing down as the line-up of titles included in the month of May has now been unveiled. As per usual, expect an indie surprise for the PlayStation 4, three solid releases for the PlayStation 3, and a couple of the best (remaining) titles PS Vita releases just to put icing on the cake. Again, gamers who own any single platform will likely be content with their prizes, but for owners of all three? Bliss.
The diversity is what really makes me excited about this months content. Every single game has an audience that, while not likely the majority of gamers, is passionate about their game. Sony's doing themselves all sorts of favors by connecting into these energetic communities. Just check out these games and see for yourself:
- Stick it to the Man! - On an ordinary day, hard hat tester Ray has a bizarre accident and wakes up with a giant pink spaghetti arm sticking out of his brain, giving him extraordinary mind-reading powers. Ray can suddenly change the world with stickers, transforming his paper universe by tearing it, folding it and using the crazy stickers he finds (along with his awesome new powers) to solve mind-boggling puzzles! Sadly, Ray doesn’t have much time to get to grips with his new-fangled psychic abilities. Instead, he’s on the run from ‘The Man’ for a crime he didn’t commit. Can you help Ray out of this sticky situation?
- Pro Evolution Soccer 2014
- Skullgirls Encore
- Surge Deluxe
It should be noted that Europe's PlayStation Plus line-up is a bit different than North America's -- like usual. Unfortunately Europe tends to get some of the bigger North American PS+ games a bit later that their western friends, on top of getting fewer games in the PS3 area to boot. Hopefully that's made up a bit by occasionally getting even more badass titles like Muramasa Rebirth, which is a huge get that NA hasn't seen yet.
- PlayStation 4: Stick it to the Man!
- PlayStation 3: Puppeteer, Payday 2
- PS Vita: Muramasa Rebirth, Everybody's Golf
That's it for May on PlayStation Plus! Hopefully each and every one of Sony's faithful have at least one game becoming available that strikes their fancy. If not, well, a boat-load of more games is just a month away. Odds are there are still plenty from the months prior to keep playing anyway.
If you thought these bosses were terrifying on console...
Dark Souls II fear little beyond how long they've had to wait for their game to ported to the PC. As a kindness, perhaps the last kindness players will receive before they finish the game, Steam has decided to make Dark Souls II available just a bit early. While the full, official launch of Dark Souls II remains Friday, April 25, digital purchasers on Steam will discover the game has unlocked starting at 3:00 PM PDT/6:00 PM EDT.
Perhaps to accent to early release announcement, Namco Bandai Europe has released a final PC trailer showcasing gameplay from the visually updated port. It's filled with shining knights and honorable heroes, err, just kidding. It's filled with terrible monstrosities and undead warriors with dulled, ragged blades. They all do shine quite a bit though, thanks to the reflection and shadowing tech that's part of the game's visual updates.
As is often the case these days, the PC version of the game really does seem to be the version to own. It's unfortunate that publishers and developers believe they have to delay these versions of the game so that their console sales meet expectations out of fear of piracy or some other nonsense. I mean, dang, this game looks so much better on PC compared to consoles. Why wouldn't a publisher want to launch their best product first?
Dark Souls II will be available on PC starting tomorrow, April 25, but pre-orderers on Steam can download the game and play it when it unlocks eight hours early. Yes, Steam players can start playing the game at 3:00 PM PDT/6:00 PM EDT. It unlocks at the same time in Europe too for those across the Atlantic.
Villains fighting for sugar, spice, and everything nice
Hard to imagine what Activision could come up with after Skylander SWAP Force, right? Well, clear your shelves for Skylanders Trap Team, a new installment in the Skylanders toy-game series coming later this year, in October. The whole draw behind Trap Team -- and its name -- is being able to "trap" enemies inside special crystals, then use them as playable Skylanders. Heck, the new trailer even teases Kaos being playable.
Using the new Traptanium Portal, Portal masters can Trap their enemies in the living room and send them back into the digital world to fight on the good side. The new portal device also gives off sound effects for each respective Skylander toy, making that a first in the franchise, and a new "tag team" system makes switching between villains and heroes a lot easier. Note that the aforementioned "special crystals" are actually items you need to buy, being released for Trap Team alongside the new Wallop, Snap Shot, Chopper, and Food Fight toys.
Skylanders Trap Team is currently expected to arrive October 5, 2014, for just about every major platform; Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, Wii U, Wii, and 3DS versions are confirmed.
Now check out the new announcement trailer. Just be warned: it's beyond corny.
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Watch Dogs will feature a pretty robust multiplayer, and the three modes are the subject of today's developer walkthrough. It's actually a good eight minutes of straight gameplay, so if you've been curious about any of the multiplayer content in Watch Dogs, I recommend taking a look.
Narrated by Watch Dogs' animation direction Colin Graham, the walkthrough introduces three distinct modes found in multiplayer: Online Hacking Contracts, ctOS Mobile Companion App, and Competitive Decryption Combat.
The first is, for lack of a better description, something like a combination of Dark Souls and Assassin's Creed multiplayer. Here, a player can invade another's world after accepting a contract on the target. Then, it becomes similar to the cat-and-mouse setup we're familiar with in Assassin's Creed, where two players must locate one another while remaining as anonymous as possible.
The ctOS Mobile Companion App continues with Ubisoft's dedication to mobile intergration in their games. Here, players face off with one controlling a chopper through the Watch Dogs app, as they race through the city trying to screw one another over.
Competitive Decryption Combat, by contrast, is the group multiplayer option, where you'll be competing for an objective. See all three showcased in the video below.
Oh, and that other voice you here? That would be Carsten Myhill, from the Assassin's Creed team.
Multiplayer walkthrough - YouTube
With every written word, I am struggling not to make an Arnold Schwartzeneggar-tier pun regarding today's Batman: Arkham Origins DLC release. "Cold, Cold Heart" is now available on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, reintroducing the Mr. Freeze character that had a role in Arkham City, only now it's an earlier time that Batman meets him? It's all very complicated. Still, for $9.99 or as part of the Season Pass players get more Batman: Arkham Origins action and that's pretty rad.
Perhaps the most striking aspect of the trailer is that it appears Batman has dressed for the occasion. Yes, Batman seems to have a set of armor designed to prevent himself from being frozen entirely by Mr. Freeze. If I was a millionaire super-vigilante that had been frozen solid before, I would also buy a mechanical suit that kept me from being frozen. Heck, I'd wear that thing all the time during winter just to keep my toesies warm.
Overall, the DLC seems pretty solid, what with the standard of quality that goes into the Batman games. Still, I can't help but think my investments into Batman games via DLC will be devalued by the excessive amount of content put out post-release. I'd rather just wait for the Game of the Year Edition to come out with all of the DLC in one package. Better yet I'd rather they just not release DLC at all, because by the time all the DLC has been released and a GOTY Edition is on sale I don't even want to play the game anymore.
Batman: Arkham Origins is now available on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and players can now pick up the Cold, Cold Heart DLC. It's probably worth picking up if you dig Batman games.
Lords of the Fallen 'Challenge' trailer is just that, shows how strategy comes into play against boss
Lords of the Fallen isn't meant to be a walk in the park for gamers used to bumming their way through games. The newest trailer, simply titled "Challenge," drives that point home. Meet the Champion Lord. Not a very creative name, but it gets the point across.
The Champion Lord is apparently encountered in an arena setting, as seen in the video. He's large and well-armed, with little patience for Harkyn. Heck, Champ tries to kill the guy as soon as he steps into the arena. The first attempt seems more to show what he can do, while subsequent attempts showcase the different classes and fighting styles Harkyn can adapt to.
Whether you like magic, agility, or being an immovable wall, Lords of the Fallen will accommodate. Every fight can be approached differently, but you'll always need to play smart. Keep an eye out for the RPG later this year, on PC and current-gen consoles Xbox One and PS4.
Challenge trailer - YouTube
As authentic as driving with a controller instead of a wheel gets
GRID 2 developers Codemasters feel like the experience they were trying to create has been left incomplete. To correct that, they've announced a follow-up title to GRID 2 which they claim is rebuilt based almost entirely on fan feedback. Introducing GRID Autosport, an evolution of GRID 2 for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 that reworks car handling and adds over 100 routes for players to drive through.
Codemasters wanted to make it very clear how impactful player feedback is in creation of GRID Autosport. Here's a portion of their extensive blog post detailing the updates and changes coming in the racing game:
"While we were patching GRID 2 and releasing new content we were also busy gathering feedback. We listened to everyone who had an opinion on not just GRID 2 but our older games as well. This feedback was digested and ultimately it played a huge part in the early development of GRID Autosport."
The heart of what I believe Codemasters' message is, is that they want racing game fans to know GRID Autosport is a racing game first. Will the game actually be too much different than GRID 2? I really doubt it, though hardcore fans will certainly notice the changes in handling. The difference will be in how marketing presents the game. GRID 2's marketing put a heavy focus on the single-player campaign, the scenery, and as a result the fine-tuned racing aspect of the game was lot in the noise. All Codemasters has to do is sell their game to the right people. Ignoring and dismissing that audience was perhaps GRID 2's greatest mistake.
That's why players can expect to hear that GRID Autosport will feature cockpit mode in most marketing going forward. It's a simple, straightforward way of Codemasters to say, "We're listening, we're giving our fans what they want." It's a pretty meaningless feature with even Codemasters saying that an extremely small percentage of players use it, but it could make all the difference as a symbol for the game's direction.
GRID Autosport will be released June 27 on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Don't you doubt Codemasters is working on something for next-gen consoles too, but it won't be coming out in time for June, that's for sure.
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*sniff* It was only last July when we learned Namco Bandai commited to localizing Tales of Xillia 2 for North American and European release sometime this year. The publisher today confirms that "sometime this year" will be August 19th and 22nd for North America and Europe, respectively.
Just to make the wait for August all the more unbearable, Namco Bandai also pulls the wraps off the Collector's Edition for Xillia 2's English release. Priced at $129.99 USD, this limited edition bundle features a figure of main character Ludger Kresnik, an artbook, soundtrack sampler CD, a compact mirror fashioned to look like a classy pocket watch, and of course costume DLC that allows your characters to dress up as classic Tales series characters (Yuri Lowell, Emil Castagnier, and Asbel Lhant).
Unlike some other limited edition bundles these days, it also happens to come with the game. It's worth noting that the UK release of the Collector's Edition will only be available through Amazon. The North American CE comes with a mini plush keychain of Kresnik's cat Rollo (Lulu in the original Japanese release), while the European version instead includes an unfreakingbelievable metalcase immortalizing Rollo.
If the Collector's Edition proves out of reach for you, or the prospect of introducing a figure of a male video game character into your harem of saucy female anime figures is heresy defined, Namco Bandai is also releasing a leaner "Day One Edition" package which includes the game, soundtrack sampler CD and a metalcase with alternate artwork featuring the main cast of characters. It appears the D1 Edition is limited to Europe given absence of any mention in the North American press release but really... you'll end up passing on Rollo.
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- Nintendo of Europe announces Mario Kart 8 Premium Pack, includes new Yoshi Wii Remote 
- PlayStation Plus May brings Stick it to the Man! to PS4, Puppeteer and PES14 to PS3 
- PS Vita store has most PSP and PlayStation classics available [Update: Now unavailable] 
- Respawn offers closer look at Titanfall: Expedition DLC map War Games, plus new screenshots 
- Ace Attorney 3DS release revealed, takes place in Japan's Meiji era in the late 1800s 
- Dark Souls II to unlock early on Steam, 'The Curse Spreads' in PC launch gameplay trailer 
- Skylanders Trap Team announced for Fall 2014, lets Portal Masters trap and control forces of Kaos 
- Mario Golf: World Tour DLC and Season Pass brings 108 new holes, play Rosalina, Toadette, more 
- Super Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct Live Blog: Bring on that release date! 
- Super Smash Bros. Wii U/3DS knows who that Pokemon is, it's Charizard and Greninja 
- Super Smash Bros. focused Nintendo Direct airs April 8, dare we hope for a release date? 
- April Fool's: Google Maps now tracking Pokemon, creates challenge to find true Pokemon Master 
- Yoshi stands triumphant at last for Super Smash Bros 3DS & Wii U 
- Xbox One 'Reputation' update coming, red 'Avoid Me' reputation leads to penalties