Sunday, December 4

Mass Effect Andromeda game play video lives up to the hype

Mass Effect Andromeda Wallpaper

The long awaited game play trailer for the fourth Mass Effect game is here. 


Andomeda's game play looks to be a fluid gaming experience with a whole new dynamic set of game play mechanics and different biotic and firepower options.

The game still however looks to be a classic Mass Effect game, albeit on that's running on methamphetamine when compared to the original.

Here's the video footage:



We thought the Nomad looked pretty handy!

Bioware stated:

"The reveal also shows off a number of features with which you’ll want to become familiar as Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Pathfinder. You’ll encounter entirely new alien races such as the Kett, and will grow to rely on companions like Vetra and Drack, seen in the video. 

Leading your squad through beautiful-yet-deadly worlds, you’ll progress your Pathfinder with a deeply customizable character system, crafting, and a host of new weapons, powers, and gear. And of course, you’ll develop lasting relationships with your companions forged from a long and perilous journey through space."

Monday, November 7

How good is the ME: Andromeda trailer?

mass effect andromeda

Mass Effect Andromeda's trailer has dropped and it's an epic trip. 


You are the Pathfinder.

Watch it and let's chat eh?



Holy cow!

That was one pretty good looking trailer. The aliens, the sense of dread.

Interesting that I said aliens because I think at one point I think I heard one of the characters say they were the aliens.

Which makes sense as the trailer suggests that humans have traveled for hundreds of years aboard a space craft to start a new life in a new part of the galaxy, being I think Andromeda.

There looks to be some awesome battles against giant worms and some pretty interesting looking 'bad guys'.

I'll definitely be pre-ordering the game from Amazon.

Sunday, September 25

Gears of War 4 Achievements List

Gears of War 4 Achievements List

Gears of War 4 Achievements List

Here's the official list of gamer achievements for GOW4.

A couple achievements are secret until the game is released. As usual, if you read this list you risk learning about the game. 

Some of the achievements are classic Gears such as active reload and pack rat which is nice to see. 

What's very amusing is the 'I'm Drumpf' tag given to what used to be (IIRC), the 'seriously' achievement. That's a political statement made by Rod Fergusson and the game's developers about Donald Trump. Makes me wonder how that got by Microsoft's squad of a million lawyers.


GENERAL GAME PLAY

  • Zen and the Art of Reloading - Perform 25 perfect active reloads [5G]
  • Drop the Beat…down - Get 3 Dropshot headshots [5G]
  • Now That's a Knife! - Kill 10 enemies with combat knife after yanking or kicking [5G]
  • Triple Play - Kill 3 enemies with a single Buzzkill shot [5G]
  • Whoomp, There It Is! - Knife execute an enemy that was yanked over cover by another player [5G]
  • I Live. I Die. I Live Again! - Rescue someone from inside a Snatcher [5G]
  • Pounsus Interruptus - Kill a Pouncer mid-pounce with Shotgun or Chainsaw [5G]
  • Stop Hitting Yourself - Kill a Guardian with a Guardian weapon [5G]


CAMPAIGN

  • 16 Story Progression Achievements [80G]
  • Ready for More - Complete all campaign Acts (any difficulty) [10G]
  • Learned the Hard Way - Complete all campaign Acts on Hardcore or Insane Difficulty [20G]
  • The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors - Complete all campaign Acts on Insane Difficulty [30G]
  • Come And Knock on My Door - Complete one Act in Co-op Campaign (any difficulty) [5G]
  • Brothers Till The End - Complete all Campaign Acts in Co-op (any difficulty) [20G]
  • The Sound Of Silence - Complete the Campaign without dropping your inheritance [25G]
  • Collector - Recover 5 Campaign collectibles [5G]
  • Pack Rat - Recover 10 Campaign collectibles [10G]
  • Completist - Recover all Campaign collectibles [15G]
  • Remember the Fallen - Recover all COG Tags during the Campaign [15G]
  • But You Can't Pick Your Family - Find 5 weapons in snot bubbles [5G]
  • Look out! Uh… Never Mind - Kill 25 enemies by dropping pods on them [5G]
  • --Spoiler Protected-- Kills [5G]
  • Gone With The Windflare - Kill 15 enemies using the environment during a windflare [5G]


VERSUS
  • Big Ol Hero -Get the "Big Ol Hero" Ribbon ten times [5G]
  • Bounty Hunter - Complete 20 Bounties [10G]
  • Chest Candy - Earn one of each launch Ribbon [10G]
  • Custom Made - Win a match using a non-Starter Character and non-default Weapon Skin [5G]
  • Ranked and Filed - Achieve a rank in all launch Core and Competitive game modes [5G]
  • Rollin' With the Homies - Earn the maximum Consecutive Match Bonus in Versus [5G]
  • Say Hello to My Little Friend - Get the final winning kill in Arms Race [5G]
  • How's it Going to Work? Teamwork! - Win a Casual Co-op Versus match [5G]
  • Teamwork Makes the Dream Work! - Win a Normal Co-op Versus match [5G]
  • Talent Gets Kills, Teamwork Wins Games! - Win a Hardcore Co-op Versus match [5G]
  • To Go Fast, Go Alone. To Go Far, Go Together - Win an Insane Co-op Versus match [5G]


HORDE
  • At First I Was Afraid, I Was Petrified - Survive the first 10 consecutive waves of Horde in a squad (any difficulty, any map) [10G]
  • Bilford Bogin! - Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde in a squad (any difficulty, any map) [25G]
  • I've Killed Things, Seen Places - Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde in a squad on every Launch Series map (any difficulty) [50G]
  • I Have Approximate Knowledge of Many Things - Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Scout on Insane in a squad (any map) [20G]
  • Job's Done - Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Engineer on Insane in a squad (any map) [20G]
  • Oh What a Day! What a Lovely Day! - Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Soldier on Insane in a squad [20G]
  • I Choose Violence - Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Heavy on Insane in a squad (any map) [20G]
  • Give a Name. Any Name. - Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Sniper on Insane in a squad (any map) [20G]
  • I Have a Very Particular Set of Skills - Upgrade a Skill card to maximum level [5G]
  • Skills That Make Me a Nightmare - Upgrade 5 Launch Series Skill cards to maximum level [10G]
  • Classy Move - Reach level 10 in one Horde Class [5G]
  • Stay Classy - Reach level 10 in every Launch Horde Class [10G]
  • Gold Digger - Spend 100000 Power in the Fabricator (across all sessions) [10G]
  • Sugar Daddy - Deposit 1,000,000 power in the Fabricator lifetime [10G]
  • Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. - Upgrade Fabricator to maximum level (in one session) [5G]
  • Call a Dr. If Lasting More than 4 Teammates - Resurrect 4 teammates using the Fabricator in a single session (any difficulty) [5G]


PROGRESSION AND CARDS
  • Level 10 - Reach level 10 [10G]
  • Level 50 - Reach level 50 [25G]
  • It's a Start - Earn 1000 Credits lifetime [5G]
  • Moving on up! - Earn 10000 Credits lifetime [10G]
  • I'm Drumpf - Earn 100000 Credits lifetime [20G]
  • Craftsman - Craft a card [5G]
  • Master Craftsman - Craft a Legendary card [10G]
  • Thank You, Sir. May I Have Another? - Re-up once [10G]
  • Please Sir, Can I Have Some More? - Re-up ten times [100G]
  • Seriously 4.0 - Complete Insane Campaign, ribbons, rank placements, Horde maps, re-ups, classes and five skills [200G]

Monday, September 19

Gears of War 4 campaign review

Gears of War 4 Campaign Review

Gears of War 4 Campaign Review


The saddest part of GOW4 is that it's heart and soul in the form of Dom
Is missing.

That's about the harshest thing we can say about this fourth Gears of War campaign.

Set some 20 odd years after Gears 3, this all new campaign features JD Fenix, a young buck with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

In once sense it's the weight because he's intent on saving Sera from another damn generation of the Locust Horde, the other weight is living up to the fact he is the only son of the Legendary Marcus Fenix.

The guy who saved the people of Sera by killing the Locust Queen. It's a tough gig for anyone to follow.

But follow with bombast does JD Fenix. A worthy pretender to the throne as one of the COG's best, well he would be if COG was still worthy of its name.

As far as the game play of this campaign goes, it cannot be beaten. While Gears of War: Judgement was arguably the beast gears game in the sense of playing the game, Gear of War 4 is the ultimate realisation of the franchise.

And that's saying a lot as the Closing game of the trilogy was the perfect finale to the series.

Which makes this game quite hard to review because in any ordinary other sense, Gears 4 is dumb as nuts but that's the Gears franchise for you.

Plot wise, you've seen this before. It's about killing copious amounts of bad guys through out some darn in genius set pieces.

Some of them feel almost impossible on the campaign's insanity mode - but that's the appeal of Gears 4, it's a tough and unrelenting game.

That said, it retains that dark humour and boyish crudity that pervade even the first classic Gears game.

Every review of this game should probably take a moment to review the campaign's graphics both in game and via the cut scenes. 

There has never been a better looking Gears of War game.

This is of course no surprise as it's the franchise's debut on then Xbox One and indeed Windows 10 operating system.

It's clear to this game reviewer that a lot of resource has gone into make sure that the blood and guts on offer, as with any Gears game, is as viceral as a video game can be.

Gears has never been shy about gruesome deaths during the campaign mode and GOW4's graphics simply make you feel like you really did draw the blood of that Locust freak.

Verdict: A MUST have for any seasoned Gears fan, and those new to the entry will get a kick out of it and be back for more.


Sunday, September 4

GOW4 - Horde Mode 3.0 looks darn amazing


GOW4 - Horde Mode 3.0 looks darn amazing


With the forthing coming Gears 4 looking pretty handy, the Coalition has dropped on us a first look at Horde Mode 3.0 which looks abosolutely fantastic.

Check the video:



There's a lot to see in the video. This game looks absolutely amazing. We love how Gears has put a lot more color into the palette - it's a long way from the grim and dark days of the original game.

Horde Mode looks to have some handy instruments and traps to help sort out your foes - they look clearly suited to genuine co-operative play between players.

What are you waiting for? Order Gears of War 4 today.


Saturday, September 3

Sweet Mass Effect cosplay from Salt Lake Comic Con

Some pretty handy Mass Effect cosplay from Salt Lake Comic Con

Commander Sheppard Mass Effect Cosplay

That's a sweet ground crew - double the Sheppard ! That rifle the Commander on the left has looks pretty bad ass too. 

Tuesday, August 30

Gears 4 Versus mode improvements since the Beta Test

gears 4 versus

The Gears 4 Development Team has done a blog about Gears of War 4's Multiplayer mode and how it has been improved by the games designers since the beta.

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In Gears of War 4, we will be introducing two separate balance setups in a single Gears of War title for the first time – Core and Competitive. Core settings are the bread and butter of the game, aimed at providing the balanced but varied experience you know and love whether you play solo or with friends.

The Competitive category has different settings that have been balanced to take into account the high levels of coordination and skill that come with competitive play, toning down damage and reducing certain factors like Aim Assist to highlight the best from the rest.

Modes will fall under Core or Competitive in Matchmaking, but not both. As it stands today, Escalation and Execution are the two modes in Competitive due to their emphasis on team based play at the highest level. In private, players can choose which tuning set they want to play with any mode.

Octus: Thanks for joining us to talk about the gameplay based improvements made since Beta Ryan! Let’s start off with this pretty substantial change for Versus Multiplayer - how did the team come to the decision to have the two separate tuning setups?

Ryan Cleven: It really started with our Escalation reveal at the Gears eSports Season 2 Finals. Prior to the match, we held a real-time feedback session with the 10 participating pro players to ask what they felt they needed for Gears of War 4 to shine in a professional environment. 

We tuned weapons with them late into the night, and it provided us a lot of insight into what we need to do to really deliver on a high-end team-based competitive experience. We took what worked from the playtest and refined it further back at the Coalition. We brought a second set of 10 pros up to the studio to try it out, and the response was great. 

However, we found that what the serious competitive players wanted and what the core Gears players wanted were too different to try to make a single tuning set.

Rather than trying to please everyone and end up pleasing no one, we decided that we would split the tuning into two sets, Core and Competitive. We want Gears fans to be able to play the game that we all know and love while simultaneously ensuring we provide a Competitive experience that can stand up to coordinated team based play at the highest level. 

This way, we hope Gears fans will be happy in being able to choose the experience they want to play, and really hone their abilities in an environment that takes more than just individual skill to excel in. Players can move between the tuning sets and their skills will still transfer between the two. The less lethal Competitive Settings mean landing consistent shots, making smart decisions and coordinating as a team become more important, but the fundamentals of the game are still the same. 

 This approach also provides a clear step of progression for players looking to take their skills to the next level.

As always, maintaining a balanced experience that still rewards skilled players absolutely remains a fundamental pillar of our design for the Gears Versus experience.

Read the full post here.

How the GOW4 animations were designed by the Coalition


The Gears Coalition team has done a sweet blog on how the animations for Gears of War 4 work, check it out.

Octus: Hi Jason! So for people who don’t know, what’s the role of your team and how much of the game does that encompass?

Jason: Hey there! The Animation team covers a whole bunch - from all of the gameplay animations for the main characters, to the weapon animations and executions, all of the creatures, the interactions in single player; chainsawing goopy door snot or juvies bursting through doors to scare you. It’s a pretty broad range of stuff to cover!

Octus: How has animation fundamentally changed from Gears of War 3 to Gears of War 4?

Jason: Epic had a really solid foundation for animations from the previous Gears, and we used that as a starting point for our own animations. From an animation perspective, I really see us as having actually built two games. We deconstructed Gears of War 3 at the start of the project which taught us a ton about the what, why and how of making a Gears game – it was really important we understood why everything feels the way it does.

With that knowledge under our belt, we built Gears 4 by taking some of those animations further and keeping some things the same. We had the opportunity to try a few new things early on like adjusting the cover slide – we tried a simple pose change, but in the end that small change looked worse than sticking with the old tried and true cover slide. We discovered a lot of the reasons why Epic did all of the things they did and why it makes for such a great core gaming experience.

The benefit of going through that process is that learned where it was safe to move things further, like we did with the core locomotion, and where we were starting to stray from that core feeling. If you play the game, I feel like we’ve maintained the Gears feeling but brought a little something fresh to it as well.




Sunday, August 14

Where art thou oh M'Chief?

The Master Cheif is scratched into your Xbox One S

Hidden inside your Xbox One S is an etching. An etching one of the best Xbox One character's - the Master Cheif:

Master Cheif inside Xbox One S

The Halo hero is etched into the console itself, but you can't find him on the outside. Instead you'll have to carefully take apart the console and find him on the bracket which protects the optical disc drive.

We don't suggest you actually try this and take our word for it!

If you're on the fence about buying the Xbox One S, will this etching make the difference for you? It shouldn't but we know how crazy some of you are for John 117!

Sunday, July 31

Tuesday, July 26

Guess who's coming to dinner on August 23rd? The Xbox One S Halo Collection Bundle

Major Nelson has just released the details on when you can get your hands on these new Xbox One S Bundles. Here's the official words from the brand Ambassador. Madden anyone?

Play over 100 console exclusives on the highly anticipated, newly designed Xbox One S, featuring 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, 4K video streaming, and High Dynamic Range for games and video. With all the biggest blockbusters this year, plus Xbox 360 backward compatibility titles, and the most advanced multiplayer network, Xbox One S is the ultimate games and entertainment system – starting at $299.

Today, we’re announcing the first set of 500GB and 1TB Xbox One S bundles, the Xbox One S Madden NFL 17 Bundle and the Xbox One S Halo Collection Bundle. Both bundles arrive in stores on August 23 and are available for pre-order starting today.
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Xbox One S Madden NFL 17 Bundle

In partnership with EA SPORTS, we’re offering the Xbox One S Madden NFL 17 Bundle for fans in the U.S. and Canada. Packed with everything a football fan needs to get ready for the season, the Xbox One S Madden NFL 17 Bundle comes loaded with a 1TB hard drive to play all the biggest blockbusters in Xbox history, a full-game download of Madden NFL 17, seven Madden Ultimate Team Pro Packs and one month of EA Access for $349 USD / $449 CAD. 

And now for a limited time, when you purchase the Xbox One S Madden NFL 17 Bundle, you’ll get a promotional code for 20 percent off your next order at NFLShop.com (bundles purchased at GameStop will include a physical copy of Madden NFL 17).

Pre-order Xbox One S Madden NFL 17 Bundle from Amazon. Do it now!
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Xbox One S Halo Collection Bundle

In addition to the Xbox One S Madden NFL 17 Bundle, we’re also offering the Xbox One S Halo Collection Bundle, the ideal way to dive into the world of Xbox One and the iconic Halo universe. The Xbox One S Halo Collection Bundle comes with a 500GB or 1TB Xbox One S, matching Xbox Wireless Controller and five games between Halo 5: Guardians and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It’s perfect for those looking to relive the Master Chief’s epic journey or battle on the biggest maps in franchise history in Warzone multiplayer.

Both the 500GB and 1TB hard drive options for the Xbox One Halo Collection Bundle will be available at participating retailers, including Microsoft Stores, in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand for $299 USD and $349 USD, respectively. Note that, in the U.S., the 1TB hard drive option will only be available in very limited quantities at select Microsoft Stores and microsoftstore.com. We’ll have more to share about 500GB and 1TB Xbox One S bundles in additional markets next month.

Pre-order Xbox One S Halo Collection Bundle from Amazon. Do it now!

We’re continuing to offer our fans the best choices to enjoy the games they want to play, with the people they want to play with and on the devices they want. Whether fans suit up as a Spartan or an NFL quarterback, we look forward to offering them the ultimate gaming and entertainment experiences on Xbox.

Monday, July 25

Halo 6 game campaign review


So is Halo 6's campaign any good?

Halo 6 is out and our review says this is a CRACKER of a Halo game. Capitalizing on the strong development by 343 Industries that saw chapters 4 and 5 breathe strong new life in to the Halo franchise, Halo 6 is a collusion of a game, and a new high point for Cortana and Master Chief.

Let's quickly re-cap the events at the end of Halo 5. The Master-chief had been hunted down by Spartan Locke as he went awol from a mission when he received a message from the presumed Cortana. This chase resulted in the grand reveal of Cortana's plan for the universe - to take it over by control and use of the Guardians she had summons and also by way of the trick she managed to pull of in convincing all known Artificial Intelligence to support her mission - and the key point of the mission appeared to be wiping out sentient life.

We love how Cortana has gone being John's constant A.I. companion with whom he arguably fell in love with, through to a rampant A.I. and arguably to an A.I. just as crazy as the original Guilty Spark.

So, a pretty big cliff hanger ending to Halo 5. How does it play into Halo 6?

Long term Halo fans have been rewarded with a further milestone in the Halo saga. Cortana's mission to annihilate every living thing gives the campaign many moments to shine. Driven along by some sharp missions and set pieces, Halo 6's story is pretty good. Players do not need to know what happened in Halo 5 and 4 but having some knowledge will be handy as at times the game moves fast and certain crucial bits of dialogue are mentioned by squad partners. The first time Halo player will enjoy the game but may struggle to come to grips with everything that's happening in front of them.

She's got the look

This is the second Halo game to be released on the Xbox One. The developers have learned a trick or two about optimization since Halo 5 and have delivered a beautiful looking game that renders extremely well. The continued iterations of Forerunner technology that began in earnest with Halo 4 have produced some fantastic buildings and artifacts to admire and places in which to battle it out with Forerunner enemies. Those enemies have had some sweet design changes too. Knights have had a further upgrade and also appear to have in increased smartness around them – that goes for most of the adversaries you will face in the campaign.

Legendary Mode is still as brutal as ever

Ah yes, the classic mode in which Halo goes from being just a great game to one on the greatest games there ever was. Everyone remembers the deadly sharp shooting Jackals from Halo 2 that became the bain of every campaign player’s life. Well, just like Halo 5, these guys are back with a vengeance. Let’s just say they are a better shot that Stormtroopers! Legendary mode makes Halo simply a different game from Normal or Heroic.

There’s no opportunity to run and gun and it’s incredibly unforgiving if you dare peak out from behind a rock too long! Set pieces often need to be learned and planned out before a methodical approach that has a strong chance of success can be commenced. That was a long winded way of saying you will die a lot in this campaign mode.

Rise of the Tomb Raider to have Co-op play for Endurance mode


Microsoft made this announcement about Rise of the Tomb Raider

You may have seen we’ve announced new content is coming for Rise of the Tomb Raider. We’re celebrating 20 years of the iconic Lara Croft, and as part of this we’re excited to bring new gameplay to our Xbox One and PC fans.

First, we’re adding “Blood Ties,” a completely new story chapter in which you’ll explore Croft Manor to reclaim Lara’s legacy. Then, you must defend the Manor against a zombie invasion in “Lara’s Nightmare.” We’ve also added the new “Extreme Survivor” difficulty setting, a 20 Year Celebration outfit and weapon, the ability to play as classic Lara models in the Expedition modes, and more.

One of the biggest new additions is all-new Co-op play for Endurance mode. We released Endurance mode for Rise of the Tomb Raider in December 2015. Since then, we’ve been thrilled to watch as you have hunted, foraged, and raided your way through over 600,000 game days of survival. You’ve embraced the open nature of our Siberian Wilderness and the challenge of a constantly changing forest landscape.

We’re happy to announce that on October 11th you will no longer have to survive on your own! Co-op Endurance offers all the challenges of the current mode, and lets you team up with a friend to raid tombs in an unforgiving environment. Lara and Nadia will have to hunt in order to stave off hunger, find wood to light camp fires so they can stay warm, and survive deadly traps in crypts to find the artifacts before Trinity. You can choose to stick together and share resources, or split up to cover ground more quickly. Just don’t get too far away or you won’t be able to help out your friend in time if they run into trouble, which they most certainly will.

What’s even better is that Co-op is a free upgrade to everyone who has purchased Endurance as a standalone DLC, or received it as part of the Season pass. In fact, if you already own the Season Pass, you’ll receive all of the new 20 Year Celebration content on Xbox One and PC for free.

We’re looking forward to sharing more details on the Co-op Endurance mode, as well as all of the new content coming to Rise of the Tomb Raider on October 11th as part of our 20 Year Celebration

These plush Krogans are all the rage on Tuchanka


THE CUDDLIEST KROGAN

A soft, bloodthirsty super-soldier to protect you from the Reapers under your bed. Sure, there's the yearning for destruction and battle in his little eyes, but you can't deny that he's the most huggable thing this side of the galaxy.

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • First in our series of official Mass Effect Collector's Plushes.
  • The perfect size for hugs! Grunt measures approximately 9 inches tall, and 7 inches wide.
  • Comes with a special collector's card.
  • Pre-orders expected to ship early July, 2016. Official launch date subject to change.

Sunday, July 24