Articles tagged with xbox one

Aug
21
Posted by Mark at 15:37
One of the surprise standouts of last year's EGX for me was Forgotton Anne, an amazingly-animated adventure game.

Today, publisher Square-Enix Collective have released a Story Trailer. It's below.

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Jul
19
Posted by Mark at 13:50
So that's what the 'F' stood for.

Announced on the Bethesda Blog, all three DLC packs for last year's Doom reboot are being reduced to the low, low price of nil across all platforms.

The three packs- Unto The Evil, Hell Followed and Bloodfall- were all expansions to the multiplayer mode, which has also seen a number of tweak, notably around the previously random Unlock system now becoming more predictable, with specific level-ups and challenges now unlocking specific rewards.

Considering this, it's not known if the extra maps are free free, or if this is the start of sneaking microtransactions into the game, as we do know that the company are after someone to help them do that better.

Either way, if you've not already bought Doom and you're still unsure about it, there's a free weekend starting tomorrow for XBOne and PC players and PS4 players next weekend, before the game gets a permanent price drop.
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Jun
10
Posted by Mark at 10:57
They've done a new IP!

It's a multiplayer third-person adventure title, where up to four players investigate various exotic locations as an Egyptian witch queen has resurrected all sorts of monsters.

It's explained slightly better in this 1930s-style trailer:

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It's due 'soon' on PC, XBone and PS4, and we'll be seeing gameplay footage during E3.
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Prey
PS4
Apr 30
Posted by Ben at 17:12

Prey is a strange thing. The original Ďvertical sliceí we saw of ĎPrey 2í half a lifetime ago looked great, an awful lot of people were suddenly hyped to play the sequel to a game not a huge amount of people had played. This was seemingly a massive surprise to the publisher, so surprising they scrapped it, abandoned Prey 2 completely for years, dropped the number, and have now brought it back as a different Prey game, developed by Dishonored creators Arkane Studios

Thereís currently a demo available on PS4 and Xbox One, itís essentially the whole game, more or less, with various areas being locked unless you buy the game. Slightly confusingly the demo doesnít end when you hit the pay wall, you can continue playing and exploring the environment. Itís an interesting way of doing a demo, I reached the Ďendí of the demo fairly quickly, a locked door I was told explicitly I wasnít allowed to go past, but was allowed to, after turning the game off feeling I was done, return to the game and explore more of Preyís world.

Itís a confusing experience. Narratively thatís deliberate, youíre not meant to know whatís going on, but in every other way Prey left me unsure what to make of it. The levels are open, as youíd expect from an Arkane game, but whereas in Dishonored it felt like you were always being directed, here I was always 2nd guessing my movements. Itís not like youíre getting lost, itís not that big an area and thereís a marker on the screen, but I was skipping areas, feeling like I was missing out. I guess at least it gave me something to do once I got to that locked door.

One of the things that had stopped me exploring was Preyís difficulty. Itís not impossibly hard or anything, but thereís an awkwardness to the early sections of Prey. Youíre mainly facing off against small crab-like enemies called Mimics, they flash about, disguising themselves as items in the environment. Itís a really cool concept, weíve spent our gaming lives picking through every bin, every art-deco ashtray, and now theyíll probably kill us. The problem I was having was that they always seemed to appear on my blind side. Fair enough, thatís what Iíd do if I was them, but Iíve seen footage of other people playing and seeing the mimic dart in to an item, then taking advantage of their own trap and laying waste to them. I never managed to take advantage of them nor my environment like that, bar one time when a larger enemyís route was taking it past an exploding barrel.

Part of the problem, I think, for me at least, is that I primarily play this kind of game on a PC with a mouse and keyboard. Playing on the PS4 thereís a lag to the camera movement, something thatís apparently going to be fixed in time for release. The aiming also feels strangely digital, maybe this is me not being as good as I should be, or used to be, with a controller in a first person game, but enemies were easily darting around me. Iíd eventually nail them, particularly with the Goop gun, but I was having a hard time not taking damage. Without wanting to sound like a PC snob, I canít help but feel that the increased speed of movement with a mouse, and the larger FOV that tends to accompany playing on a PC might have a beneficial effect on my experience with Prey

In some ways the Prey demo is exactly what a First Impressions post should be, a question mark. Thereís enough good ideas in there to get me interested, thereís enough flavour of the weapons and skill trees to know thereís more to Prey than you see here, and itís clear that the world Arkane have built is detailed and filled with opportunities. Ultimately though, I canít tell you what I think of the game or if Prey is for me
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Apr
19
Posted by Ben at 13:12
I have incredibly fond memories of playing Micro Machines 2 on the Megadrive, using 4 pads thanks to the two extra ports on the game cartridge itself, and playing 8 player races thanks to the pad sharing mechanic. I'm of a generation that is watching Micro Machines World Series with impossibly high expectations

It's with some relief then that Codemasters have released a trailer for the upcoming Micro Machines World Series, and it's actually looking pretty good

Race and Elimination modes are back, as well as a 12 player battle mode and online modes, and nicely, 4 player local split screen. Micro Machines World Tour is set to release in June on PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Trailer below
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Talking It
Down
Apr 17
Posted by Ben at 14:09

Many years ago I wrote a God Mode On post called ĎGeneration Gameí, and now I regret it because I canít think beyond that title for this post. I mentioned in the last God Mode On that it was something of a 2 parter, that my conversation with the 20 year old had led me down a mind path that brought me to this topic. If the extended generations, both from the prolonged PS3 and 360 generation, and the topical mid-point refreshing of the generation weíre seeing this time around. I donít really have a problem of the 1.5 versions of the PS4 and the Xbox One, in fact I have a Playstation 4 Pro and am quite interested to see what the Scorpio can do, even if I canít see myself picking one up. I feel like 5 years ago Iíd be furious at the prospect of the console audience being split, the haves and the have-nots of gamers, the early adopters being punished with inevitably inferior versions of games. Honestly, typing this, I feel like thatís what this post should be about, but itís not, Iím not that angry

Possibly itís because I felt this generation was underpowered when it began. Rather than another lengthy generation like the last one, I was expecting a truncated one, that the consoles were too feeble to sustain themselves. So maybe thatís why, maybe I feel like itís taken until the past year for this generation to really begin, certainly Iím playing on my Playstation Pro more often that my PS4, which was very much 2nd fiddle to my PC, but then, weíve just come through one of the best 3-4 month periods in gaming I can recall, and Yakuza 0, Persona 5, Nier Automata, even games Iíve not got around to like Horizon, theyíre all games Iíd play on PS4 even if they were available on the PC. The other reason Iím not as angry I would have been, and this shouldnít be discounted despite how much of a nob it makes me sound, I have more disposable income now. Previously Iíd have been fuming on point of principle AND because Iíd feel like IíD been screwed. Iíd scraped and struggled to get myself a new console, then it gets usurped and thereís no way Iíd have been able to justify buying the replacement.

Not that Iím a rich man, nothing like, but Iíve enough money to hand that the reason I donít have a Nintendo Switch or a GTX 1080 is because I donít think itís worth it yet, for me, not that I canít possibly afford it. But this does bring me to the point. Weíve just entered a post-pre-Brexit world here in the UK. Weíve pulled the trigger and timeís slowed to a crawl, in 2 years time the bullet is going to rip through our skull and stain the walls and carpet with tragedy, and it absolutely has consequences for gaming.

The obvious ones are the developers, thereís a lot of talk of companies leaving the UK for EU Europe, I suspect a lot will stay, but itís a strong possibility that our various industries will shrink. Itís not here I want to focus though, instead itís on the micro scale, on us as individuals.

The leap from my conversation with the 20 year old and here is how many consoles I had as a kid. We werenít a rich family, 3 kids will do that to you. We were actually quite late getting a console, or a computer of any kind, getting an Amstrad CPC464 (green screen, keeping it real). Eventually we got an Atari 2600 with a bunch of (largely terrible) games, then a NES that got taken off us and given to someone else. None of these machines was new, they were all off people, I think my dad spend £100 on the Amstrad, somehow convincing himself it was going to be used for work, despite us not having a printer or a disc drive with it. The Atari was £20 off a some kid from schoolís mum to my mum, and we were delighted with it and its terrible games. Eventually I got a Megadrive 2 for christmas and my brother a Master System 2 the same year. Iím not sure what happened to the Master System, but I was forced to sell my Megadrive (and 32X) to my auntie, something Iíve never quite got over.

Iím sure hand-me-downs have never gone away, but it doesnít, currently, seem to be anything like as prevalent as it was. I know my relatives have bought their kids new DSí and new 3DSí over the years. Their own PS4s too. The one area where the hand me down does still seem to thrive is phones, probably because they cost a fortune, but I suspect itís where we might see ourselves going in the next few years.

As the economy shrinks and being outside the EU bubble starts to take hold, prices of electronics are going to jump. Hopefully game prices stay down, as much as I baulk at the cost of new console games, buying from online retail does make us one of the cheaper countries in Europe, but Iíve no idea if that will last. When the price in £ starts to equal that in $ and Ä all of a sudden those new consoles are going to seem incredibly expensive. I think weíll increasingly see people upgrading from the PS4 to the PS4 Pro, or from the Xbox One to the Scorpio, with their old console being passed on to a family member, child, or friend. I know this happens already, I just think itís going to become more common, more of a necessity. Iíve kept both my old 3DS and my old PS4, the latter is used as a Sky Go player for the front room, and occasional ďhow does this run on the standard Playstation 4Ē machine for review purposes.

Itís probably for the best this is looking like itís going to be another long generation, possibly the longest one yet, because Iím not sure Britain is going to be in a position to be buying consoles i 2 to 3 years time.
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Hue

Apr 08
Posted by Ben at 14:50

We could have reviewed Hue a while back, back on its PC release we were offered it, but we didnít have the time unfortunately. Itís nice then that going back to it, buying it with my own money, and playing it because I wanted to, has revealed Hue to be a fantastic little game.

Hue is a puzzle platformer, a 2d indie puzzle platformer if you can imagine such a thing. It tells the story of a young boy named Hue, his mum is a brilliant scientist who has discovered a colour beyond the visible spectrum, and has unfortunately lost herself within it. The story is told through letters that sheís left for Hue, and act pretty much as the beginning of chapters. The story is centred on her struggles as a scientist, her regrets, and her realisations. Itís a strange one, thanks to the superb soundtrack (itís really is a standout), the first half of the game feels morose, and I spent that period waiting for the other shoe to drop, for the tragedy to reveal itself. It never really happens, Hue is actually a charming game, relatively philosophical, but itís not as heavy as it initially appeared.

The gameplay is whatís important in Hue, and fortunately it more than stands up. As you progress through the world you systematically pick up colours. Hue can use these colours to change the world around him, meaning things hidden in a blue background will show up in another colour, obstacles or traps or one colour can be made to vanish if you match their colour. In simple terms, expect moments where you have to make a jump and while in midair switch the colour to provide you with a platform to land on. As you progress youíll encounter elements that alter the colour of objects, meaning you have to start thinking on multiple levels rather than just simple timing or block moving puzzles

And thatís Hueís strength, it keeps providing you with something new to think about. ITís very easy initially, instead forcing you to get to grips with switching colours on the move, but it doesnít dwell on a puzzle set for too long, nor does it repeat ideas all that often. The difficulty is pitched almost perfectly too. Thereís definitely a slightly turbulent feel to your progress, youíll be stuck on a taxing puzzle for a while, then race through the next few. Generally though very little of it seems unsolvable. Thereís no hint system, but, and maybe I got lucky, I never really needed it, playing about with the mechanics, trying and failing, would invariably reveal the next step.

It is a criticism I would level at Hue, up until fairly close to the end itís almost immaculately balanced, then it throws a couple of puzzles at you that involve mechanics that havenít been the focus up until then. Iím sure some people will race through the levels that had me stumped without a problem, then get stuck on the ones I tore through, everyoneís different after all, but it was a moment where I could have done with a hint within the game. Thereís a slight feeling that Hue outstays its welcome, actually maybe thatís unfair, more that the structured pacing of the game is discarded towards the end. Up until then youíve picked up a colour, then done a chunk of levels, before picking up another. It feels like the game should end 1 set of levels after picking up the final colour, but it continues well beyond that.

Not that Hue is a long game, maybe 4 hours or so, plus thereís some hidden items to find if thatís the sort of thing that motivates you. For the most part though I loved Hue, I wish the emotional connection I felt I should be having and the gameís narrative had managed to connect somewhere along the way, but aside from that Hue is a masterfully put together game, a real standout amongst itís indie-puzzle-platformer peers.
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Mar
31
Posted by Ben at 17:18
Critically acclaimed PC adventure The Inner World is out today on PS4 and Xbox One

The Inner World is priced at £11.99, and is available on PS4 and Xbox one here in Europe (as of yesterday), and today for the US.

There's a trailer below, and we should have our review up fairly soon

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Mar
29
Posted by Ben at 13:45
Mantis Burn Racing is a game I really quite enjoyed, and one that is also a pretty decent way to make use of your Playstation 4 Pro and 4K television, should you have them.

Well, should you need an excuse to dust off your game, Mantis Burn Racing now has 2 new pieces of DLC.

The first DLC to talk about is Snowbound Pack DLC. The Snowbound Pack if free, and while it only includes 1 new location, because of the way the game only uses parts of locations as tracks, you're actually looking at 4 new tracks. Plus VooFoo Studios are also throwing in seasons 2 and 3 of the Veteran career mode (another 34 events) for you to play with, should you have got to the point where you ran out of content in Mantis Burn Racing (seriously, that career mode is pretty long)

There's also some paid dlc, the Elite Class dlc, priced at £1.99, brings lightning fast hover-cars to mantis Burn racing, so 3 new vehicles, plus a 12 event Elite career, so again, not bad if you're looking to get back in to the game.

The trailer for the Snowbound Pack is posted below

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War Never
Changes
Mar 22
Posted by Ben at 17:36

This post kind of leads on to a future post, but I need to write this one first. It's also inspired by a conversation with a 20 year old, so as Mark has already pointed out, it's basically just a man reacting to the encroachment of age.

The 20 year old, for whatever reason because I've never really spoken to him about games before, decided to tell me that he was going to buy a PS2. I asked him why, he said he's always had a soft spot for the PS2 because it was his first console, back when he was 4.

Fuck all 20 year olds.

That started a thought worm tunnelling through my brain, one that resurfaced a few days later on a completely different tangent. All of a sudden I remembered the start of this generation. I know fanboyism is never going away, I know the launch of a console brings out the worst of people, but it was like people had never seen a new console before. I remember the conversations around it, I may even have started (possibly even finished) a God Mode On post about it, that the reason it felt like people's first new console generation is because it was, for many people, their first new console generation. If at 11 years old, rather than the hand me down consoles you've been putting up with/grateful for in the past, you're finally able to pick your console of choice for christmas or your birthday. If you get a 360 at launch, you're then 20 years old before the PS4 launches.

it got me thinking about my console history, and the sheer number of consoles that have come and gone over the years, particularly in the 1990s.Without checking, and sporadically including handhelds to make my point look a bit better, off the top of my head; The Master System 2 (included because it was an important release here in the UK), the Mega Drive, Snes, Neo Geo, Amiga CD 32, Atari Jaguar, Atari Lynx, Game Gear, Mega CD, 32X, CDi, PS1, N64, Saturn, Neo Geo Pocket, and of course, the Sega Dreamcast. Iím missing some, loads probably, but Iím fairly sure all of those came out during the 1990s. If you compare that to the 12 years since the Xbox 360 released; The aforementioned Xbox 360, the PS3, the Wii, the 3DS, the Vita, the WiiU, the PS4, and the Xbox One. You can throw in a couple of forgettable Android machines like the Gamestick, there was also the Gizmondo, OnLive if that counts. Itís no comparison really.

Thereís probably multiple causes for this shrinking of the market, in terms of choice at least. Costs and budgets have risen, I think thatís probably the obvious one, but I think the biggest reason is that the divergent videogame market of the 1980s began to converge in the 1990s. Home computers died out in favour of the unified Windows PC platform, those companies choosing instead to enter the console race, which is fine, both Microsoft and Sony have shown late entrants can succeed, and itís probably worth remembering the PS1, Sonyís entrant in to the console market, prior to launch wasnít initially looked at much differently from the likes of the Atari Jaguar, so many consoles had we seen fall by the wayside.

So when it struck me, and many others, how odd peopleís reaction to the launch of this generation had been, how it seemed like theyíd never experienced a good old-fashioned console war before, itís because they probably hadnít. The 20 year old I mentioned, granted he apparently mainly plays on PC, will have played on his PS2 from the age of 4, then presumably got a 360 for Christmas, aged 10 or 11 (main present of course), then nothing. Heís a kid, or was at least, he was in no position to buy a 2nd or third console, whatever console he had he would have had to stick with.

Itís a phenomenon thatís going to get worse I think. The next few years doesnít seem like it will include a new handheld from Sony, it might, theyíve done stupider stuff, but not many. In fact we might not even see a 3DS successor from Nintendo, they seem to want to keep the 3DS plodding along for as long as they can, the Vita does still get the odd game too, Iím fine with that, I like both handhelds and am not itching for a new one, but I think we will need at least one sooner rather than later. The model for both Sony and Microsoft seems to be giving their current consoles a shot in the arm. Iím not against that model, I like my PS4 Pro, it sort of feels like the console the PS4 should have been in the first place, and I can see many baulking at the thought of buying another one of the same, but it does seem to suggest weíre in for a long generation. Itís feasible that this could be the longest generation yet, and weíll have another generation that doesnít know what theyíre doing when the console war starts again

Header Image: HERE
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