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Found 510 results

  1. The newest gameplay trailer courtesy of Rocksteady Games teases villains, the Batmobile, and gorgeous visuals. The final game in the Arkham series sees Gotham descend into chaos at the hand of some of Batman's greatest foes as they carry out a plan to kill Batman once and for all. So far, the confirmed super villain roster consists of Scarecrow, Penguin, Two-Face, Harley Quinn, Riddler, and the titular Arkham Knight. Batman: Arkham Knight releases October 14 this year for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. View full article
  2. The latest Skylanders installment introduces new characters, toys, and a whole new portal for capturing the bad guys. Skylanders Trap Team expands on the previous Skylander entries by introducing powerful new enemies known as Traps. These are the most villainous baddies around, but once they are defeated and trapped using the new Traptanium Portal, they can be called upon in-game as new playable characters. Also, once trapped, these villains will lend their voices to the toy in which they have been captured. Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing said in an announcement that, “with Skylanders Trap Team, we’re no longer just letting kids bring their toys to life inside the game anymore. This time, we’re letting them pull their toys out of the game as well." Trap Team can be pre-ordered from now until its release on October 2 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. There will also be an entirely different adventure available on 3DS.
  3. The latest Skylanders installment introduces new characters, toys, and a whole new portal for capturing the bad guys. Skylanders Trap Team expands on the previous Skylander entries by introducing powerful new enemies known as Traps. These are the most villainous baddies around, but once they are defeated and trapped using the new Traptanium Portal, they can be called upon in-game as new playable characters. Also, once trapped, these villains will lend their voices to the toy in which they have been captured. Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing said in an announcement that, “with Skylanders Trap Team, we’re no longer just letting kids bring their toys to life inside the game anymore. This time, we’re letting them pull their toys out of the game as well." Trap Team can be pre-ordered from now until its release on October 2 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. There will also be an entirely different adventure available on 3DS. View full article
  4. BioWare today revealed the impending release date along with a new gameplay trailer to get fans excited to play as the mysterious Inquisitor. The new trailer shows off a bit of the overarching Inquisition story as well as some brief snippets of combat, enemies, and shows off the gorgeous environments. Be sure to check out the screenshots released last month that showcased the new creatures, environments, and characters. Dragon Age: Inquisition is slated for release on October 7 on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC via Origin.
  5. BioWare today revealed the impending release date along with a new gameplay trailer to get fans excited to play as the mysterious Inquisitor. The new trailer shows off a bit of the overarching Inquisition story as well as some brief snippets of combat, enemies, and shows off the gorgeous environments. Be sure to check out the screenshots released last month that showcased the new creatures, environments, and characters. Dragon Age: Inquisition is slated for release on October 7 on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC via Origin. View full article
  6. The martial arts master will be available both as an unlockable fighter and as a pre-order bonus in EA Sports UFC, the upcoming MMA fighting sim for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. While all UFC players will be able to unlock Bruce Lee by playing though Career Mode on the Pro setting, customers will also be able to unlock the fighter by pre-ordering at any of the following retailers: Amazon, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, GameStop, and Target. “It has always been part of our vision to have Bruce Lee, the most iconic martial artist of all time, in the first ever EA Sports UFC,” said Brian Hayes, Creative Director, EA. “The team is very excited and tremendously honored to have the privilege of bringing Bruce Lee to life in our game. We’ve been working closely with the Bruce Lee team to ensure we represent the legend with as much visual and gameplay fidelity as possible.” Shannon Lee, the daughter of Bruce Lee and the CEO of Bruce Lee, LLC, expressed her support of his digital resurrection saying, "I am so excited about this opportunity to bring my father back to video games! I’m thrilled that fans can now interact with him in a new way. The EA Sports UFC development team has been incredible to work with, and they've done a great job capturing the look and feel of my father." EA Sports UFC launches this year on June 17 and it seems like the development team is doing their best to make sure the game is representative of the best that Ultimate Fighting has to offer.
  7. The martial arts master will be available both as an unlockable fighter and as a pre-order bonus in EA Sports UFC, the upcoming MMA fighting sim for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. While all UFC players will be able to unlock Bruce Lee by playing though Career Mode on the Pro setting, customers will also be able to unlock the fighter by pre-ordering at any of the following retailers: Amazon, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, GameStop, and Target. “It has always been part of our vision to have Bruce Lee, the most iconic martial artist of all time, in the first ever EA Sports UFC,” said Brian Hayes, Creative Director, EA. “The team is very excited and tremendously honored to have the privilege of bringing Bruce Lee to life in our game. We’ve been working closely with the Bruce Lee team to ensure we represent the legend with as much visual and gameplay fidelity as possible.” Shannon Lee, the daughter of Bruce Lee and the CEO of Bruce Lee, LLC, expressed her support of his digital resurrection saying, "I am so excited about this opportunity to bring my father back to video games! I’m thrilled that fans can now interact with him in a new way. The EA Sports UFC development team has been incredible to work with, and they've done a great job capturing the look and feel of my father." EA Sports UFC launches this year on June 17 and it seems like the development team is doing their best to make sure the game is representative of the best that Ultimate Fighting has to offer. View full article
  8. The space combat shooter Strike Suit Zero is being significantly updated and ported to next-gen consoles to make use of their more powerful hardware. Strike Suit Zero is about flying around in space and blowing things up, which are both things I can get behind. After a successful Kickstarter in 2012, it released last year to a warm reception from both fans of space combat games and people who don't have nostalgia love for spiritual successors to games like Rogue Squadron and FreeSpace. There were a number of complaints and valid concerns that the community began to discuss on the Strike Suit Zero forums, and Born Ready Games has been listening. The Director's Cut attempts to fix many of the criticisms fans and reviewers had of Strike Suit Zero. This includes redone voice acting, in some places even replacing the original voices. Everything in-game has been converted into a higher resolution. Many of the ship models have been tweaked or redone to reflect their respective origins and functions. New lighting systems have been designed to highlight the increased number of polygons in the textures. Most importantly for new players, the first three missions have been restructured to serve as a more effective introduction to the strike suit. Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut will release on April 8 for Xbox One and April 9 for PS4. Both versions will be downloadable $19.99.
  9. The space combat shooter Strike Suit Zero is being significantly updated and ported to next-gen consoles to make use of their more powerful hardware. Strike Suit Zero is about flying around in space and blowing things up, which are both things I can get behind. After a successful Kickstarter in 2012, it released last year to a warm reception from both fans of space combat games and people who don't have nostalgia love for spiritual successors to games like Rogue Squadron and FreeSpace. There were a number of complaints and valid concerns that the community began to discuss on the Strike Suit Zero forums, and Born Ready Games has been listening. The Director's Cut attempts to fix many of the criticisms fans and reviewers had of Strike Suit Zero. This includes redone voice acting, in some places even replacing the original voices. Everything in-game has been converted into a higher resolution. Many of the ship models have been tweaked or redone to reflect their respective origins and functions. New lighting systems have been designed to highlight the increased number of polygons in the textures. Most importantly for new players, the first three missions have been restructured to serve as a more effective introduction to the strike suit. Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut will release on April 8 for Xbox One and April 9 for PS4. Both versions will be downloadable $19.99. View full article
  10. In the wake of building enthusiasm for the successfully kickstarted Oculus Rift, Sony chose GDC 2014 to reveal its own virtual reality headset for the PS4. Details about this new piece of technology are scarce, but what we do know is pretty interesting. The headset will function similarly to the Oculus Rift with a head-mounted display at 1080p resolution with a slightly smaller field of view at 90o instead of the Oculus' 100o. Both the Oculus Rift and Morpheus have numerous built-in accelerometers and gyroscopes to accurately track head movements and translate that into in-game camera moves. So far, the biggest difference between the two peripherals is that the Rift will use a built-in camera to track head orientation and movement, while Morpheus will be making use of the PlayStation camera. Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment, confirmed that the PlayStation camera will be a requirement for Morpheus to function properly. The trade-off for this is that Sony is planning to have Morpheus fully compatible with all PlayStation controllers, even the PS Move (remember that thing?). No price point or release date has been announced as Morpheus is still an early prototype. however, it is a functional prototype and it will be available for demoing at GDC and possibly other events throughout the year. With Oculus and Morpheus heading toward a clash in the untested waters of VR technology, this could be one of the most interesting business battles in the video game industry for quite some time. Is VR the future of video game technology or is it just another fad that will fade away like 3D?
  11. In the wake of building enthusiasm for the successfully kickstarted Oculus Rift, Sony chose GDC 2014 to reveal its own virtual reality headset for the PS4. Details about this new piece of technology are scarce, but what we do know is pretty interesting. The headset will function similarly to the Oculus Rift with a head-mounted display at 1080p resolution with a slightly smaller field of view at 90o instead of the Oculus' 100o. Both the Oculus Rift and Morpheus have numerous built-in accelerometers and gyroscopes to accurately track head movements and translate that into in-game camera moves. So far, the biggest difference between the two peripherals is that the Rift will use a built-in camera to track head orientation and movement, while Morpheus will be making use of the PlayStation camera. Shuhei Yoshida, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment, confirmed that the PlayStation camera will be a requirement for Morpheus to function properly. The trade-off for this is that Sony is planning to have Morpheus fully compatible with all PlayStation controllers, even the PS Move (remember that thing?). No price point or release date has been announced as Morpheus is still an early prototype. however, it is a functional prototype and it will be available for demoing at GDC and possibly other events throughout the year. With Oculus and Morpheus heading toward a clash in the untested waters of VR technology, this could be one of the most interesting business battles in the video game industry for quite some time. Is VR the future of video game technology or is it just another fad that will fade away like 3D? View full article
  12. Titled 'Through the Maelstrom,' patch 2.2 of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn features a giant sea serpent, new dungeons, expanded main and side quests, and more character customization. Through the Maelstrom will add content to the main questline involving the beast tribes of Eorzea and their attempts to summon their destructive Primal protectors as well as the plight of a group of refugees from across the sea. Two new sidequests will also be added focusing on a certain obnoxious detective and his partner as well as a questline that pits players against Final Fantasy staple Gilgamesh. But wait, there's more! Two entirely new dungeons are being added as well, alongside revamped, harder versions of lower level dungeons, giving experienced players a chance to go back and enjoy a fresh, more challenging take on well-traveled ground. Finally, there are several enhancements to character customization that include new hairstyles, jobs, and the ability to glamour. Glamour works by taking the appearance of one piece of armor and giving it to another, so now players can look good, regardless of what gives their character the best stats! Through the Maelstrom will release March 27 and Final Fantasy XIV will be available on PlayStation 4 on April 14. Do we have any FF XIV players out there? Are you interested in the patch? Will it be enough to bring more players into the fold?
  13. Titled 'Through the Maelstrom,' patch 2.2 of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn features a giant sea serpent, new dungeons, expanded main and side quests, and more character customization. Through the Maelstrom will add content to the main questline involving the beast tribes of Eorzea and their attempts to summon their destructive Primal protectors as well as the plight of a group of refugees from across the sea. Two new sidequests will also be added focusing on a certain obnoxious detective and his partner as well as a questline that pits players against Final Fantasy staple Gilgamesh. But wait, there's more! Two entirely new dungeons are being added as well, alongside revamped, harder versions of lower level dungeons, giving experienced players a chance to go back and enjoy a fresh, more challenging take on well-traveled ground. Finally, there are several enhancements to character customization that include new hairstyles, jobs, and the ability to glamour. Glamour works by taking the appearance of one piece of armor and giving it to another, so now players can look good, regardless of what gives their character the best stats! Through the Maelstrom will release March 27 and Final Fantasy XIV will be available on PlayStation 4 on April 14. Do we have any FF XIV players out there? Are you interested in the patch? Will it be enough to bring more players into the fold? View full article
  14. Indie developer Heart Machine's foray into a world of pixels and adventure is aiming to be more than the sum of its parts. At fist glance, Hyper Light Drifter appears to be a pixelated, stylish take on the classic Zelda formula that's been a go-to template for game designers for decades. However, Heart Machine hopes to differentiate itself by implementing some of its own concepts, like a narrative expressed through visual design and an atmosphere conveyed by a canny soundtrack. From what we've seen of the development so far, Heart Machine seems to be on the right track. The approach to combat centers on the idea that the player should feel empowered when stepping onto the battlefield. Fighting should feel like it has weight with strong visual and audio cues resonating throughout a combat scenario. While conflicts should be fast, brutal affairs, Hyper Light Drifter is also attempting to satisfy its audience on a tactical level. There are many different enemy types that behave differently on the battlefield. Some adversaries will dodge or deflect attacks, others will attack en masse, and others will command legions of weaker creatures. In one of my favorite developer statements, Heart Machine had this to say regarding their game's emphasis on visual narrative, "We chose to recognize that gamers are smart." Hyper Light Drifter eschews text blocks, heavy handed exposition, and confusing UI in favor of a sleek, less-is-more approach. The idea is that the player should be immersed in the world and not be continually called out of it to consult maps and decipher their stats screen. Quests and dialogue will be conveyed in storyboard-like sequences that use color and music to effectively convey their meaning across language barriers. The soundtrack of Hyper Light Drifter is being handled by Disasterpeace, the artist behind the soundscapes of Fez and Runner2. The sound will work together with the visuals to create a mounting aura of anxiety as players venture deeper into the ravaged world of ancient technology better left forgotten. Hyper Light Drifter has come a long way from its hugely successful Kickstarter campaign last year. We can barely wait to get out hands on Heart Machine's creation and delve into the secrets of the future-past. Hyper Light Drifter is slated to release later this year on PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, Vita, and Wii U.
  15. Indie developer Heart Machine's foray into a world of pixels and adventure is aiming to be more than the sum of its parts. At fist glance, Hyper Light Drifter appears to be a pixelated, stylish take on the classic Zelda formula that's been a go-to template for game designers for decades. However, Heart Machine hopes to differentiate itself by implementing some of its own concepts, like a narrative expressed through visual design and an atmosphere conveyed by a canny soundtrack. From what we've seen of the development so far, Heart Machine seems to be on the right track. The approach to combat centers on the idea that the player should feel empowered when stepping onto the battlefield. Fighting should feel like it has weight with strong visual and audio cues resonating throughout a combat scenario. While conflicts should be fast, brutal affairs, Hyper Light Drifter is also attempting to satisfy its audience on a tactical level. There are many different enemy types that behave differently on the battlefield. Some adversaries will dodge or deflect attacks, others will attack en masse, and others will command legions of weaker creatures. In one of my favorite developer statements, Heart Machine had this to say regarding their game's emphasis on visual narrative, "We chose to recognize that gamers are smart." Hyper Light Drifter eschews text blocks, heavy handed exposition, and confusing UI in favor of a sleek, less-is-more approach. The idea is that the player should be immersed in the world and not be continually called out of it to consult maps and decipher their stats screen. Quests and dialogue will be conveyed in storyboard-like sequences that use color and music to effectively convey their meaning across language barriers. The soundtrack of Hyper Light Drifter is being handled by Disasterpeace, the artist behind the soundscapes of Fez and Runner2. The sound will work together with the visuals to create a mounting aura of anxiety as players venture deeper into the ravaged world of ancient technology better left forgotten. Hyper Light Drifter has come a long way from its hugely successful Kickstarter campaign last year. We can barely wait to get out hands on Heart Machine's creation and delve into the secrets of the future-past. Hyper Light Drifter is slated to release later this year on PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, Vita, and Wii U. View full article
  16. Announced via the PlayStation Blog, Naughty Dog has released the opening cinematic for the first and only bit of DLC for The Last of Us featuring the core game's protagonist Ellie and her childhood friend Riley. The DLC, titled Left Behind, is written by returning The Last of Us scribe Neil Druckmann and will star voice actress Ashley Johnson once again as Ellie and newcomer Yaani King as Riley. Left Behind will feature new ways to fight off and deal with enemies, most notably the ability to manipulate opposing factions into fighting each other, like unleashing infected clickers on unsuspecting enemy soldiers. Of course, the main highlight of the DLC will be the relationship between Ellie and Riley and how that transforms Ellie into the character players see in The Last of Us. Left Behind is expected to hit the PlayStation Store on February 14.
  17. Announced via the PlayStation Blog, Naughty Dog has released the opening cinematic for the first and only bit of DLC for The Last of Us featuring the core game's protagonist Ellie and her childhood friend Riley. The DLC, titled Left Behind, is written by returning The Last of Us scribe Neil Druckmann and will star voice actress Ashley Johnson once again as Ellie and newcomer Yaani King as Riley. Left Behind will feature new ways to fight off and deal with enemies, most notably the ability to manipulate opposing factions into fighting each other, like unleashing infected clickers on unsuspecting enemy soldiers. Of course, the main highlight of the DLC will be the relationship between Ellie and Riley and how that transforms Ellie into the character players see in The Last of Us. Left Behind is expected to hit the PlayStation Store on February 14. View full article
  18. Developer Klei has a knack for creating games with distinct visual flair, like Mark of the Ninja and Don't Starve (which is free this month for PS+ members). The title they are currently working on, Invisible, Inc. (formerly known as Incognita), follows in those games' footsteps, with a striking, shadowed art style that captures the feeling of covert actions. The new trailer released today shows off Klei's first attempt at turn-based gameplay and it looks pretty solid, which is a good sign in an Alpha build. Players control a team of special agents as they infiltrate facilities and carry out mission as sneakily as possible. If this looks interesting to you, you can purchase early access to Invisible, Inc. on the Klei website. (Note: while the early access will be through Steam, you cannot purchase access to the Alpha through Steam. It must be bought on the Klei website.)
  19. Developer Klei has a knack for creating games with distinct visual flair, like Mark of the Ninja and Don't Starve (which is free this month for PS+ members). The title they are currently working on, Invisible, Inc. (formerly known as Incognita), follows in those games' footsteps, with a striking, shadowed art style that captures the feeling of covert actions. The new trailer released today shows off Klei's first attempt at turn-based gameplay and it looks pretty solid, which is a good sign in an Alpha build. Players control a team of special agents as they infiltrate facilities and carry out mission as sneakily as possible. If this looks interesting to you, you can purchase early access to Invisible, Inc. on the Klei website. (Note: while the early access will be through Steam, you cannot purchase access to the Alpha through Steam. It must be bought on the Klei website.) View full article
  20. Mojang, the developer behind Minecraft, posted to the PlayStation blog this morning that the popular PC, mobile, and Xbox 360 world building game will be coming to PlayStation 3 tomorrow. That Minecraft is coming to PS3 comes as little surprise in the wake of announcements to port the title to both Vita and PlayStation 4. Tomorrow, PlayStation gamers will be able to get their hands on the same version of the game that is currently available on other platforms. From now on, all future console editions of Minecraft will be developed together, presumably releasing at similar times. Downloadable skins and texture packs will be available on PSN shortly after the game's launch. Console exclusive content might be making an appearance in the near future as well. As always, when asked if the mythical Herobrine will appear in the latest iteration of Minecraft the answer was, "Probably not." Minecraft is an amazing game and one I personally love playing. This comes as welcome news for Sony gamers who have yet to experience the terror of the first night or the discovery of The End.
  21. Mojang, the developer behind Minecraft, posted to the PlayStation blog this morning that the popular PC, mobile, and Xbox 360 world building game will be coming to PlayStation 3 tomorrow. That Minecraft is coming to PS3 comes as little surprise in the wake of announcements to port the title to both Vita and PlayStation 4. Tomorrow, PlayStation gamers will be able to get their hands on the same version of the game that is currently available on other platforms. From now on, all future console editions of Minecraft will be developed together, presumably releasing at similar times. Downloadable skins and texture packs will be available on PSN shortly after the game's launch. Console exclusive content might be making an appearance in the near future as well. As always, when asked if the mythical Herobrine will appear in the latest iteration of Minecraft the answer was, "Probably not." Minecraft is an amazing game and one I personally love playing. This comes as welcome news for Sony gamers who have yet to experience the terror of the first night or the discovery of The End. View full article
  22. I’ve had my PlayStation 4 for almost two weeks now, just enough time to sink my teeth into a few of the launch titles and get over the initial zealous excitement of opening a box of new hardware. Even after ruminating on the new machine for a while, I have to say that I am still very much impressed. Before I even get into the actual hardware and software, I want to give a thought or two on Sony’s marketing strategy. Sony did a great job of raising public awareness of its console, obviously learning a bit from Nintendo’s missteps with the Wii U. The Greatness Awaits and Perfect Day commercials performed their jobs admirably and rank among some of my favorite video game commercials (yes, I have a list). However, neither of their biggest commercials talk about one of the biggest selling points of Sony consoles: PlayStation Plus. While the service gives subscribers access to lower prices on PSN and allows online play on the PS4, it also gives subscribers free games every month and people still seem surprised when they find that out. Nestled in amongst the cellophane-wrapped goodies of a new PlayStation 4 is a small voucher that provides codes for $10 on the PSN store, a free 30-day trial of the Music Unlimited service, and a month of free PlayStation Plus. Not only did I pick up Knack and Killzone Shadow Fall with my console, I also received the fast-paced and addictive side-scrolling shooter Resogun and the indie platformer Contrast for free. Let me reiterate that: I got two games for free and yet that seems to be a secret. Sony, you’re doing something wrong if people don’t know they can get video games for free just by purchasing your console and using a code to get a brief PlayStation Plus membership. But I digress. The physical design of the machine is pleasing, with slightly slanted front and back sides giving an air of futuristic sophistication. If these things were white instead of black, they wouldn’t look out of place as a sci-fi gadget in the next J.J. Abrams Star Trek film. The only complaint I have is that the slants can make it unnecessarily difficult to plug and unplug wires from the back of the machine if you need to shuffle it around or have a limited supply of HDMI cables. On first booting up the console, expect to put in around 30-40 minutes of set-up time. This includes syncing up PSN accounts, downloading launch updates to access the PlayStation Network, setting system preferences, and downloading/installing new games. Once all of that is finished and the console reboots, the dashboard is opened up. One of the things that most impresses me about the PS4 is the fluidity of its menus, which are arranged into two rows. The primary row functions as the main menu with the most recently used games or apps placed farther left where they can be quickly accessed. Selecting a game or app from this list instantly launches it, while hovering on it for a second reveals drop down menus with more specific options. Meanwhile, the PSN store, friend lists, notifications, and messages are located in the secondary row. Players can freely flick between the two rows at any time, ridding gamers from the headache of shuffling through an ocean of icons. My biggest complaint with the user interface isn’t ever related to the PlayStation 4, it is with the online store Sony built for it. The PSN store menus are still a huge pain to navigate and I can only image they will get worse as more games, movies, and television shows are added. Unfortunately, that complaint also applies to many of the other apps available to PS4 users (with the notable exception of Netflix). That being said, once the device has been set-up and the menus successfully navigated, the console moves incredibly fast. Netflix opens and begins streaming a show or movie within 10 seconds. As you play, the PS4 constantly records your previous 15 minutes of gameplay. Pressing the share button on the PS4 controller brings up the option to edit a video clip from that footage and upload it online to share with friends. Uploading videos takes under 20 minutes with decent internet speeds. You can immediately suspend gameplay at any time to return to the menus to send friends messages or fiddle with settings. Once installed, games launch within a matter of seconds. The controller for the PlayStation 4 is arguably one of its best features and represents a drastic step forward from the previous incarnations of the DualShock. While it retains a design very similar to previous iterations, there are a number of small improvements that add up to a truly great controller. The material which covers the front is smooth, while the back plating is slightly textured to give it a bit more traction when gripped. Both of the analog sticks have ridges surrounding the edges to give thumbs more of a hold. The L2 and R2 triggers have a bit of an outward flair making them easier to press and providing a comfortable resting position for fingers. The touchpad in the center of the controller is perhaps the biggest addition and the source of my only complaint. The only game that has required me to use the touchpad has been Killzone Shadow Fall where it is used to give orders to a tactical drone. It feels awkward to quickly switch between joysticks and buttons to reach the touchpad with a thumb. Maybe I just have small hands or it was clumsily implemented in Shadow Fall, but whatever the reason I am not overly fond of the touch pad. The controller also includes a light on the back which changes colors depending on the in-game situation, but seems to serve no real purpose except looking cool and helping gamers to find their controllers in the dark. There is also a built in speaker which yells things at you during various in-game situations. Most often it will be too loud and jarring, so you will want to turn it down with the in-game options. The Share and the Options buttons have replaced the traditional Start and Select buttons. As previously discussed, the share button allows players to share a clip from their past 15 minutes of gameplay, but it also can take screenshots or initiate a livestream. The Options button pauses the game to bring up the in-game options, crazy, right? One of the most convenient aspects of the PS4 controller is that it allows users to plug their own headphones into the audio jack built into the bottom. You can then stream all of the audio to your headphones and not have to worry about disturbing sleeping housemates or neighbors. The controller also has a fairly decent rechargeable battery life and can be set to turn off after being left untouched for a set amount of time. Maybe it is the addition of the touchpad, light and speakers, but the PS4’s controller has a more agreeable heft to it than that of previous DualShock controllers. Overall, the controller just feels good to hold and play with, excepting the times when it shouts too loud or requires quick and awkward swipes on the touchpad. What good is a console without good games to play on it? While not nearly as lackluster as the 3DS or Wii U launch line-up, the PlayStation 4 library at this time isn’t terribly compelling. Outside of Shadow Fall, Knack, and Resogun nearly every game available on PS4 can also be played on other systems. I think Sony was hoping that Killzone would be a console-selling IP, but I don’t think it is a must have. The shooting is a bit loose, certain mechanics don’t live up to their full potential, and the story is fairly standard as far as sci-fi shooters go. Knack is a simplistic, yet fun and challenging brawler for a younger type of gamer that is certainly charming, but also not a system seller. Resogun is a great arcade game on par with Geometry Wars or a supercharged Space Invaders, but it isn’t going to convince people to buy PS4s. True, you can play Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Assassin’s Creed IV on the console, but you can play those on any other piece of last-gen tech. As it stands now, the library is a bit slim and could use an infusion of life. This is likely to come slowly over the course of next year as the industry shifts to the next-gen with the release of games like Infamous: Second Son and The Order: 1886 and the various console-exclusive indie games like Helldivers and Guns of Icarus Online (and maybe Rime, my most anticipated indie game at the moment?). Unfortunately if you are looking to pick up the console at this time you are looking at a hefty amount of cross-platform sports titles and FPS games, with exceptions for kid-friendly Knack or Lego Marvel Super Heroes (which won’t release until the 29th). From the physical design to the user interface, the overall impression of the PlayStation 4 is fantastic. It is a solid piece of hardware that possesses so many advantages over its predecessor that it is kind of silly. The ability to share gameplay clips, screen shots, or livestream on the fly is a very welcome addition to functionality and in all other respects the console seems built for the convenience of gamers. The biggest strike against the console is that there aren’t any truly amazing titles, but this is less of a problem because the hardware is so much better than what was available previously. I am honestly surprised at how tangible the improvements to the console feel beyond the expected visual upgrades. My recommendation: If you are the kind of person who loves to stay up to date with the latest gaming technology, the PlayStation 4 is an impressive piece of hardware and has some fun titles worth playing, just don’t expect any life-changing experiences from the games currently available. If you aren’t thrilled by FPS games, Assassin’s Creed, or sports titles, you might want to hold off on a PlayStation 4 until that must-have game drops or a price drop hits. Extra Lifers out there, what do you think of the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One? Are they worth buying right off the bat or are prospective customers better off waiting a while?
  23. I’ve had my PlayStation 4 for almost two weeks now, just enough time to sink my teeth into a few of the launch titles and get over the initial zealous excitement of opening a box of new hardware. Even after ruminating on the new machine for a while, I have to say that I am still very much impressed. Before I even get into the actual hardware and software, I want to give a thought or two on Sony’s marketing strategy. Sony did a great job of raising public awareness of its console, obviously learning a bit from Nintendo’s missteps with the Wii U. The Greatness Awaits and Perfect Day commercials performed their jobs admirably and rank among some of my favorite video game commercials (yes, I have a list). However, neither of their biggest commercials talk about one of the biggest selling points of Sony consoles: PlayStation Plus. While the service gives subscribers access to lower prices on PSN and allows online play on the PS4, it also gives subscribers free games every month and people still seem surprised when they find that out. Nestled in amongst the cellophane-wrapped goodies of a new PlayStation 4 is a small voucher that provides codes for $10 on the PSN store, a free 30-day trial of the Music Unlimited service, and a month of free PlayStation Plus. Not only did I pick up Knack and Killzone Shadow Fall with my console, I also received the fast-paced and addictive side-scrolling shooter Resogun and the indie platformer Contrast for free. Let me reiterate that: I got two games for free and yet that seems to be a secret. Sony, you’re doing something wrong if people don’t know they can get video games for free just by purchasing your console and using a code to get a brief PlayStation Plus membership. But I digress. The physical design of the machine is pleasing, with slightly slanted front and back sides giving an air of futuristic sophistication. If these things were white instead of black, they wouldn’t look out of place as a sci-fi gadget in the next J.J. Abrams Star Trek film. The only complaint I have is that the slants can make it unnecessarily difficult to plug and unplug wires from the back of the machine if you need to shuffle it around or have a limited supply of HDMI cables. On first booting up the console, expect to put in around 30-40 minutes of set-up time. This includes syncing up PSN accounts, downloading launch updates to access the PlayStation Network, setting system preferences, and downloading/installing new games. Once all of that is finished and the console reboots, the dashboard is opened up. One of the things that most impresses me about the PS4 is the fluidity of its menus, which are arranged into two rows. The primary row functions as the main menu with the most recently used games or apps placed farther left where they can be quickly accessed. Selecting a game or app from this list instantly launches it, while hovering on it for a second reveals drop down menus with more specific options. Meanwhile, the PSN store, friend lists, notifications, and messages are located in the secondary row. Players can freely flick between the two rows at any time, ridding gamers from the headache of shuffling through an ocean of icons. My biggest complaint with the user interface isn’t ever related to the PlayStation 4, it is with the online store Sony built for it. The PSN store menus are still a huge pain to navigate and I can only image they will get worse as more games, movies, and television shows are added. Unfortunately, that complaint also applies to many of the other apps available to PS4 users (with the notable exception of Netflix). That being said, once the device has been set-up and the menus successfully navigated, the console moves incredibly fast. Netflix opens and begins streaming a show or movie within 10 seconds. As you play, the PS4 constantly records your previous 15 minutes of gameplay. Pressing the share button on the PS4 controller brings up the option to edit a video clip from that footage and upload it online to share with friends. Uploading videos takes under 20 minutes with decent internet speeds. You can immediately suspend gameplay at any time to return to the menus to send friends messages or fiddle with settings. Once installed, games launch within a matter of seconds. The controller for the PlayStation 4 is arguably one of its best features and represents a drastic step forward from the previous incarnations of the DualShock. While it retains a design very similar to previous iterations, there are a number of small improvements that add up to a truly great controller. The material which covers the front is smooth, while the back plating is slightly textured to give it a bit more traction when gripped. Both of the analog sticks have ridges surrounding the edges to give thumbs more of a hold. The L2 and R2 triggers have a bit of an outward flair making them easier to press and providing a comfortable resting position for fingers. The touchpad in the center of the controller is perhaps the biggest addition and the source of my only complaint. The only game that has required me to use the touchpad has been Killzone Shadow Fall where it is used to give orders to a tactical drone. It feels awkward to quickly switch between joysticks and buttons to reach the touchpad with a thumb. Maybe I just have small hands or it was clumsily implemented in Shadow Fall, but whatever the reason I am not overly fond of the touch pad. The controller also includes a light on the back which changes colors depending on the in-game situation, but seems to serve no real purpose except looking cool and helping gamers to find their controllers in the dark. There is also a built in speaker which yells things at you during various in-game situations. Most often it will be too loud and jarring, so you will want to turn it down with the in-game options. The Share and the Options buttons have replaced the traditional Start and Select buttons. As previously discussed, the share button allows players to share a clip from their past 15 minutes of gameplay, but it also can take screenshots or initiate a livestream. The Options button pauses the game to bring up the in-game options, crazy, right? One of the most convenient aspects of the PS4 controller is that it allows users to plug their own headphones into the audio jack built into the bottom. You can then stream all of the audio to your headphones and not have to worry about disturbing sleeping housemates or neighbors. The controller also has a fairly decent rechargeable battery life and can be set to turn off after being left untouched for a set amount of time. Maybe it is the addition of the touchpad, light and speakers, but the PS4’s controller has a more agreeable heft to it than that of previous DualShock controllers. Overall, the controller just feels good to hold and play with, excepting the times when it shouts too loud or requires quick and awkward swipes on the touchpad. What good is a console without good games to play on it? While not nearly as lackluster as the 3DS or Wii U launch line-up, the PlayStation 4 library at this time isn’t terribly compelling. Outside of Shadow Fall, Knack, and Resogun nearly every game available on PS4 can also be played on other systems. I think Sony was hoping that Killzone would be a console-selling IP, but I don’t think it is a must have. The shooting is a bit loose, certain mechanics don’t live up to their full potential, and the story is fairly standard as far as sci-fi shooters go. Knack is a simplistic, yet fun and challenging brawler for a younger type of gamer that is certainly charming, but also not a system seller. Resogun is a great arcade game on par with Geometry Wars or a supercharged Space Invaders, but it isn’t going to convince people to buy PS4s. True, you can play Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Assassin’s Creed IV on the console, but you can play those on any other piece of last-gen tech. As it stands now, the library is a bit slim and could use an infusion of life. This is likely to come slowly over the course of next year as the industry shifts to the next-gen with the release of games like Infamous: Second Son and The Order: 1886 and the various console-exclusive indie games like Helldivers and Guns of Icarus Online (and maybe Rime, my most anticipated indie game at the moment?). Unfortunately if you are looking to pick up the console at this time you are looking at a hefty amount of cross-platform sports titles and FPS games, with exceptions for kid-friendly Knack or Lego Marvel Super Heroes (which won’t release until the 29th). From the physical design to the user interface, the overall impression of the PlayStation 4 is fantastic. It is a solid piece of hardware that possesses so many advantages over its predecessor that it is kind of silly. The ability to share gameplay clips, screen shots, or livestream on the fly is a very welcome addition to functionality and in all other respects the console seems built for the convenience of gamers. The biggest strike against the console is that there aren’t any truly amazing titles, but this is less of a problem because the hardware is so much better than what was available previously. I am honestly surprised at how tangible the improvements to the console feel beyond the expected visual upgrades. My recommendation: If you are the kind of person who loves to stay up to date with the latest gaming technology, the PlayStation 4 is an impressive piece of hardware and has some fun titles worth playing, just don’t expect any life-changing experiences from the games currently available. If you aren’t thrilled by FPS games, Assassin’s Creed, or sports titles, you might want to hold off on a PlayStation 4 until that must-have game drops or a price drop hits. Extra Lifers out there, what do you think of the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One? Are they worth buying right off the bat or are prospective customers better off waiting a while? View full article
  24. Sweden-based developer Frictional Games has a history of creating the scariest games known to man. Their next project involves aliens, brains, pooping your pants in terror, and will be coming to PC and PS4. While Frictional has been teasing SOMA with live-action trailers for the last month or so, today they revealed the gameplay trailer for the project and it is suitably creepy. Refreshingly, it appears that the development team decided to leave grim Victorian era Europe in favor of a creepy sci-fi aesthetic. In the trailer we see robots, what appears to be alien technology, and lobotomies. The gameplay looks very similar to Amnesia: The Dark Descent, though the player's character seems to have more to say than the protagonist of Amnesia. The trailer ends with the phrase "I Think, therefore I am," a quote from the French philosopher Descartes. Thomas Grip, the lead creative director of SOMA posted some of his thoughts on the project while announcing that the title will be coming to PlayStation 4: The subject that SOMA will discuss is consciousness. Personally, I find it the most profound questions that it is possible to ask. “How can the feeling of subjective experience arise from a chunk of flesh?” Exploring this further takes us to questions such as “Can machines be conscious?” and “Do we have free will?” It quickly gets very disturbing, and is ideal for a futuristic horror setting. It is the kind of sci-fi that we want to make. From the start, we knew that this could not just come through background story or dialog. We want you to play through this. It must be an integral part of the gameplay, not just fluff. [...] Our goal is for SOMA to not just be another carnival ride of cheap scares. It is meant to chill you to your core, and confront you with questions about your very existence. SOMA will be releasing sometime in 2015.
  25. Sweden-based developer Frictional Games has a history of creating the scariest games known to man. Their next project involves aliens, brains, pooping your pants in terror, and will be coming to PC and PS4. While Frictional has been teasing SOMA with live-action trailers for the last month or so, today they revealed the gameplay trailer for the project and it is suitably creepy. Refreshingly, it appears that the development team decided to leave grim Victorian era Europe in favor of a creepy sci-fi aesthetic. In the trailer we see robots, what appears to be alien technology, and lobotomies. The gameplay looks very similar to Amnesia: The Dark Descent, though the player's character seems to have more to say than the protagonist of Amnesia. The trailer ends with the phrase "I Think, therefore I am," a quote from the French philosopher Descartes. Thomas Grip, the lead creative director of SOMA posted some of his thoughts on the project while announcing that the title will be coming to PlayStation 4: The subject that SOMA will discuss is consciousness. Personally, I find it the most profound questions that it is possible to ask. “How can the feeling of subjective experience arise from a chunk of flesh?” Exploring this further takes us to questions such as “Can machines be conscious?” and “Do we have free will?” It quickly gets very disturbing, and is ideal for a futuristic horror setting. It is the kind of sci-fi that we want to make. From the start, we knew that this could not just come through background story or dialog. We want you to play through this. It must be an integral part of the gameplay, not just fluff. [...] Our goal is for SOMA to not just be another carnival ride of cheap scares. It is meant to chill you to your core, and confront you with questions about your very existence. SOMA will be releasing sometime in 2015. View full article
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