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Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
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February 2016

You are browsing the archive for February 2016.

The Solus Project: Why Controls Are Important

February 29, 2016

I was looking forward to trying out The Solus Project, and with good reason. Another open world survival game, one that had already been described as similar to Ark: Survival Evolved--a game I'm still enjoying like no tomorrow--posed an exciting notion for me. Yet when I tried it, I found a surprisingly disappointing title awaiting, and the problem came down to one key thing: controls.

The premise was exciting enough; your player falls out of the sky, riding down a vessel in search of a potential new home planet for Earth's displaced masses. Shot down by an unexpected burst of energy, you crawl out of the wreckage and begin to explore the planet, looking for a means to transmit to the rest of humanity's ships and get retrieval, while also addressing the issues taking place on the planet.

The Division Beta Packed in the Crowds

February 24, 2016

Exciting news came from Ubisoft recently about the beta session for The Division; while the game itself is about another two weeks off release, the beta was extremely well-traveled, and there's a very good chance that this will be a million-seller to say the least.

The good news about the beta for The Division was the sheer crowd involved; if even five out of six players can't stand what they played and mean to stay out altogether, that's still a million copies that will get sold. Yes, The Division's beta round saw better than six million players step in to play as agents in the Dark Zone of Manhattan, roaming the largely-intact wasteland.

Ubisoft claimed, reports noted, that this was the largest beta for a franchise the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 had ever seen, which actually wasn't any too difficult given that there haven't been all that many colossal betas out there.

Other interesting facts: as it turns out, right around half of the beta players turned rogue in their time in the Dark Zone, which is an exciting notion; you'll have just about as many rogues as you will actual agents, which means plenty of bounties to hunt, so to speak, as there are bounties to make.

This is good news for The Division players as well; a large quantity of games sold likely means DLC to follow, which in turn means more reason to enjoy the game the farther on we go. Good signs all around, and the makings of some very exciting signs to come.

It'll still be a while before we see how this all turns out, but there's likely plenty of players eager to get in on the action.

Just Cause 3 DLC Revealed, and It Starts With a Jet Pack

February 23, 2016

I had a lot of fun with Just Cause 3, swooping around the island, using a combination of grapple line and parachute to sail around the island. Taking in picturesque villas and only occasionally getting shot at as I did so was quite exciting. The new DLC for Just Cause 3, meanwhile, should make this even better by ramping up the wing suit to almost irresponsible new heights.

The new DLC includes a new threat known as the Sky Fortress, which is backed up by an array of flight-capable drones. Naturally, you won't have to take on said threat in your current condition.

DICE 2016: Todd Howard Talks Announcements

February 22, 2016

It was one of the biggest shocks of E3, when Todd Howard took the stage and told everyone that, not only was Fallout 4 coming out, but it was also coming out that November. Many--myself included--were figuring that late 2015 was a possibility for release, if a bit of a long shot. 2016 was much more likely. Howard took that ball and ran with it to essentially win E3 not for a console, but for one single studio.

Finally, What's In Fallout 4's Season Pass

February 17, 2016

It's hard to believe, but Fallout 4 has been out for nearly three months now, and for most of that time, we heard very little about what would be coming our way in the upcoming DLC packs. It got to the point where people started to wonder if this was even a worthwhile purchase after all. New word has finally launched from Bethesda, and the word of the day seems to be "value." Because by every available report, dropping $30 on that season pass will be a fantastic move.

Three new add-ons will come available, starting in March, and will provide a range of options from cosmetic to new stories. First, the Automatron DLC will pit you against Fallout 3 delusional loonie the Mechanist, who has sent a host of evil robots into the Commonwealth including the familiar if seldom seen these days Robobrain.

Doom Campaign to Offer 13 Hours of Mayhem, Give or Take

February 16, 2016

While the word around Doom has been fairly light of late, we've finally got a look at the main campaign, and it's good news for anyone who wanted to spend a lot of time blasting heavily-armed nightmares and stomping the skulls of same, assuming such things have skulls. The main campaign will take 13 hours or so, give or take, and that means plenty of time with buckshot and bullets alike.

The word came from the official Doom Twitter page, noting that, while the difficulty level would play a role in things, most of the players at the office were clearing the campaign, start to finish, in around 13 hours of gameplay.

That's not bad, but nothing particularly great, either. Thankfully, there's also plenty of word about modification options and multiplayer modes, and that will certainly help matters. By like token, however, this is a pretty short experience, and that could have a negative impact on sales as gamers decide they'll be better off renting the game for a weekend's blasting fun than they will be actually shelling out the $60 or so necessary for a 13 hour experience.

Fallout 4 1.3 Patch Brings a Slew of Changes

February 10, 2016

Yesterday morning I woke to a bit of a surprise: my cable router's lights frantically blinking on my Xbox One. It was clear that something was being downloaded, and something downright massive. As it turned out, it was a new update for Fallout 4, and what was contained in said update was positively massive. An entire host of updates waited, from the cosmetic to the game-changing.

Naturally, some things were mostly aesthetic in nature. Ambient occulsion settings, weapon debris, and changes to object fading distance were all on hand.

Brace Your Wallet: Oculus Ready PC Bundles Arrive

February 9, 2016

The first word about the PCs that will run with the Oculus Rift--and come with the Oculus Rift--are now on hand, and the news is not good for the budget conscious. The "Oculus Ready PCs", as they're known, will be available starting February 16, and versions will be on hand from Asus, Alienware, and Dell. Brace your wallet, because the early word about the thyroidal monsters required to run this system is both massive and pricey.

The bundles start at $1500, and will start shipping in April. Those who buy into the bundles not only get the PC in question, as well as the Oculus Rift, but also an Xbox One controller, though there's no indication as yet that the Oculus Rift will work with the Xbox One, except via complex and downright lunatic streaming scheme in which one streams from an Xbox One to a PC and views the output from the PC. Further, the system comes with the necessary sensor and remote, and two games: Lucky's Tale and EVE: Valkyrie.

The Alienware version will be somewhat unique, in that it will run on an Intel i7-5820K processor, while its counterparts at Dell and Asus will run on an i5-6400.

Visage Bringing Horror Back With Recent Alpha Gameplay Release

February 8, 2016

Whilst sitting around and eating pretzel sticks, I spotted word of Visage, a game that was looking to take over the role of now-lost P.T. in our lives, and give us a good scary horror game. I settled in to check out the 12 minutes of alpha gameplay, and what I got was quite a shock.

The game is currently on Kickstarter--what isn't these days?--and if all goes as hoped, the game will be in our hands starting January 2017, for PC, for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with some nice VR capability thrown in. Not a bad little project to root for, even if it's a little derivative by now.

Not much is known as yet about the plot, though reports suggest that it will be a game focusing on small horrors much of the time.

Bungie Has a Strange Question to Ask

February 3, 2016

It's not the kind of question that's asked just every day, but Bungie was willing to ask it, about one of its biggest new properties: Destiny. A set of registered players got the question in the form of an email, and the email asked a question most never thought they'd hear: are you still having fun?

Bungie followed up this odd question with a complete quantification system, asking players how they would rate the most recent experience with Destiny, on a scale of one to five. One here was "Not fun" and five was "very fun". The Destiny team also brought out some more information with the Bungie Weekly Update, detailing some of the major events to follow, particularly Crimson Days, which was still upcoming.

Back to the World War II Trenches With Battalion 1944

February 2, 2016

For a while there, it was hard to turn around without stumbling onto another round of the Greatest Generation tackling Nazism in the forests of Europe or the beaches of the South Pacific. Then, the trend died away for a bit, and now we're getting another burst of it with the appearance of Battalion 1944.

Developed by comparative unknown Bulkhead Interactive--a British developer--the game is set to focus on skill above all else. The developer hopes to be on par with both the Call of Duty and the Medal of Honor series, which is a bit of a tall order, but not out of line for those willing to invest the care and skill involved in such a development.

The game will arrive on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, so most of the big systems will have it in play. The game's executive producer, Joe Brammer, specifically noted the game would be lacking in abilities with too much power, as well as unlocks that were unbalancing the game.

The Division Beta Gets Extension Thanks to Sheer Demand

February 1, 2016

Turns out that the beta for The Division was a popular affair. A really popular affair. So popular, in fact, that the closed beta has been extended until tomorrow to allow those who would have gotten in a chance so to do.

Ubisoft's community manager Natchai Stappers noted that there was " incredible amount of excitement," sufficiently so that plenty of players signed up on the waitlist for a shot at the beta. Naturally, Ubisoft couldn't let everyone in at the same time--that would have probably killed the servers--but in the end, Ubisoft realized it had to let some more in or risk losing buzz.

So with that, the beta was extended until tomorrow at six AM Eastern, so those wanting in should move, and quickly.

Early word says the combat is top-notch, and given how much of this game was about combat, that's good news.

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