New Destiny Retail Details

What will we explore in the new Bungie adventure?

Why Am I A Console Game?

[Short Answer] I hate you PC Folk

The Continual Problems with Battlefield 4

Why the DICE multiplayer needs another tweak...

Six Months with Microsoft Next Gen Hardware

Games Console or Entertainment System?

The Best DLC Money Can Buy

Does it have Zombies, Burials or Dragons.....?

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Growth of Twitch

When branched off from the less focused back in 2011, it was predominantly used for eSports and general broadcasts. Now, in the year 2014, every John, Dick and Harry has a stream up showing off their gameplay for their favourite titles.

For streamers, the challenge is to make their channel stand out from the hefty crowd, and with Twitch playing host to around 1 million unique broadcasters a month during 2014, getting noticed is no easy feat. Streaming is a very competitive business and it takes a lot of effort and guile to keep the audience engaged and the viewership growing.

It’s usually a fresh idea that gets an audience growing but the vast amount of broadcasters it’s hard to be noticed. A good recent example of playing outside the box was “TwitchPlaysPokemon”. The channel allowed gamers to watch a full playthrough of Pokemon Red by inputting commands into the stream chat. It took 16 long days of sporadic commands, from 120,000 users, to finally beat the Elite Four but it became a thought provoking experiment for many (even those that didn’t take part). 

The three most popular games on Twitch are, and have been for a long time, League of Legends, Starcraft II and Dota 2. These are all cornerstones of competitive PC gaming so it’s hardly surprising that the output reflect the games popularity. However, the launch of the current console generation has seen many PlayStation 4 and Xbox One exclusives taking a seat at the table. Because broadcasting can be particularly casual it’s easy to grab a few viewers or to see how a game plays before picking it up yourself – it’s more difficult to make it into the big time. Most serious Twitch channels are expressed through Twitter as well as Facebook and Reddit. The PlayStation and Xbox One crowds have added 1 million additional broadcasters to these numbers so we can only expect for the volume of channels to get even bigger. 
Personally, I don’t think streaming works as a substitution to playing games but rather an addition to make gaming even more fund.

Streams like TheJustinFlynn has over 70,000 followers and is one of the most prominent success stories to come out of the medium. In fact broadcaster Justine Flynn, an aspiring Pokemon X and Y pro has used Twitch to teach others the mechanics of the title and its deep battle systems. It’s not being used to make him a better player, but also his audience.

Another well-known channel ManVsGame, from Jayson Love, now has 140,000 Twitch followers that watch him beat particularly difficult games. His stream has seen him conquer the Dead Space series, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and, more recently, Outlast on its highest setting. It sounds like every gamers dream to play games and to make them fun but, and Jayson shows this, you need a certain amount of charisma to keep the crowds entertained – and therefore coming back for more.

The more Internet traffic shown to Twitch, the more views and channels are bound to come up. Rajakaru Games are now streaming – not excessively – as are many other publications. It’s a great concept that has made the founders a whole lot of money, and many more gamers very, very happy.

Do you stream? Do you watch Twitch? If so please let us know your thoughts below. In fact, if you have an aversion to Twitch please also let us know why.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

EA Access Announced

On 29th July EA announced a new service for Xbox One that will give subscribers access to multiple triple A games for $4.99 (or £3.99 in the UK) a month.

Titled EA Access, this service is being rolled out today in a beta format for a limited number of players (including me). The beta will initial give subscribers unlimited access to FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4 with more titles to come in the next few months.

Additionally, EA Access members will receive 10 per cent off most EA games and DLC downloaded on the console too. Sony have been quick to judge the offerings as “expensive” but it looks like a good opportunity for certain users (families or those who would rather try a few games on the cheap)

Another benefit to the service is that its members will be able to play trials of upcoming games up to five days prior to their launch. So far the list of games this will include are: Madden NFL 15, NHL 15, FIFA 15, NBA LIVE 15 and Dragon Age: Inquisition. Your progress from these trials will also carry over into the full game upon release which makes this package even more exciting for some users.

EA Access memberships will be available over Xbox Live or at retail via Amazon, GameStop and EB Games (US only). There are currently no high street stores announced for Europe but its probably that Game will be the UK’s offerer.

It’s worth noting that the games you download will only be available while your subscription lasts.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Content Announced for the Destiny Final Release

The Destiny beta for the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360 is now finished, but the Bungie Community Manager David “DeeJ” Dague has been answering some questions about what will be included when the 9th September global release comes around. 

On a recent 2old2play livestream, Deej confirmed that each planet will have one location to explore when the game launches - much like the section of Russia we saw during the last couple of weeks.

“We’re calling them destinations. You go to Mars, you go to the moon, you go to Venus, you’ve got Earth,” DeeJ explained.

“We’ve revealed everything that you’ll explore in the first version of the game,” he continued. “You’ll be [going to] Earth. Your story takes you from the wastes of the Cosmodrome, which was essentially our Cape Canaveral of the Golden Age. It’s where we launched off as a global society, where we rushed out into the solar system to colonise and use what the Traveller gave us.”

Even though there’s only one area to explore per location, the beta showed that there is a large amount of area to cover on Earth alone. As most of you are aware parts of Old Russia were blocked off by barriers or by Fallen and Hive enemies that were "immune" to combat or much higher than the level 8 cap of the beta. In the brief 2-hour period that the Moon was made available in the beta on Saturday night we were able to explore deep into the Hellmouth for almost an hour before hitting these same barriers so we're very excited about what is included within these "sandboxes".

In all, there are seven different “destinations” in Destiny for players to explore — the Earth, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and The Reef (a part of the asteroid belt), plus the Crucible multiplayer maps. DeeJ also confirmed that the areas seen in the Crucible maps for Mars and Venus during the beta will be part of the regular destinations for the single/coop section of the game as well.

It's also be found, by Reddit user DestinyDB, through data mining some more information about the missions and destinations. This is by no means everything, or at least we don't believe it is, but even so it's a lot of information and therefore missions to take part in (and remember there are also "harder" versions of most assignments too).

Warning: The below could be considered spoilers so avoid direct eye contact for safety if you're worried....

Earth Story Missions
Old Russia, Earth – The cradle of humanity – a world of ancient glory, waiting to be retaken.
A Guardian Rises (level 1)
Restoration (levels 2, 5)
The Dark Within (levels 3, 6)
The Warmind (levels 4, 7)
The Last Array (levels 5, 8)
Earth Story Challenges
The Queen’s Wrath (Kill Order; level 24)

Earth Strikes
Nightfall: The Devils’ Lair (levels 22, 26, 28)
The Devils’ Lair (levels 6, 8)

Moon Story Missions
Oceans of Storms – An ancient evil stirs beneath the shattered surface of our moon.
The Dark Beyond (levels 6, 9)
The Sword of Crota (levels 7, 10)
The World’s Grave (levels 7, 10)
Shrine of Oryx (levels 8, 11)
Chamber of Night (levels 8, 11)

Moon Strikes
Nightfall: The Summoning Pits (levels 22, 26, 28)
The Summoning Pits (level 12)

The Reef Story Missions
The Reef, Asteroid Belt – Dare to strike a bargain with the ruthless Queen.
The Awoken (level 10)
A Key Awaits (level 12)

Venus Story Missions
Ishtar Sink – The jungles of Venus conceal great treasures – and terrible power.
A Stranger’s Call (levels 10, 12)
Ishtar Collective (levels 10, 12)
The Archive (levels 11, 13)
Scourge of Winter (levels 11, 13)
Eye of a Gate Lord (levels 12, 14)

Venus Strikes
Nightfall: The Nexus (levels 22, 26, 28)
Nightfall: Winter’s Run (levels 22, 26, 28)
The Nexus (level 14)
Winter’s Run (level 14)

Mars Story Missions
Meridian Bay – In the sandswept carcass of a lost city, dark forces gather for war.
Exclusion Zone (levels 15, 17)
The Garden’s Spire (levels 16, 18)
A Rising Tide (levels 17, 19)
The Buried City (levels 17, 19)
The Black Garden (levels 18, 20)

Mars Strikes
Nightfall: Cerberus Vae III (levels 22, 26, 28)
Cerberus Vae III (level 18)
Dust Palace (level 18)

Confirmed Crucible Maps
Twilight Gap
Rusted Lands
Exodus Blue
First Light
The Anomaly
Firebase Delphi
Blind Watch
Shores of Time
The Burning Shrine