Gaming

XBox One’s startling step back towards sanity

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XBox One’s startling step back towards sanity

Months after its initial announcement, Microsoft has finally stepped back from the brink.

In the aftermath of a lukewarm (at best) E3 reception, Microsoft’s President of Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick announced the reversal of the embattled XBox One’s most onerous DRM features. No longer will consumers require a regular Internet connection to authenticate and access their purchased offline games. Also reversed was the former policy on used titles – games on physical discs will once again be free to trade, play, and sell or purchase used, just as they currently are on the XBox 360.

In other words:

We’re sorry!

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[E3-2013] Hands On Mario Kart 8 – Impressions

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[E3-2013] Hands On Mario Kart 8 – Impressions

E3 2013 is sadly behind us, and my feet have finally returned to working order. One of the highlights of any E3 is checking out what the 3 bigs have to offer. (Well, that and Nintendo always has the most cushy of carpets.) Before even getting near the booth you could feel the energy and fun coming off a screen containing Mario Kart 8

I’m more than familiar with the series, as it’s occupied almost every party I’ve held. While you could certainly play the game solo, it’s all about multiplayer. Luckily for me, Anthony was close by and was willing to get his ass handed to him.

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[E3 Impressions] Thief

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[E3 Impressions] Thief

The latest take on the classic Thief franchise concentrates the core of the original series’ vision into a next-gen reboot that looks undeniably worthy – though perhaps a little divorced from its predecessors in aesthetic if not in gameplay.

Fans of stealth games have many reasons to be grateful to Garret, the cynical, sardonic protagonist of his titles. Garret’s mixture of dry wit, pride in his larcenous trade, and grudging heroism endeared him to many, and the new Thieft’s lack of some of the overt fantastical elements previously seen in the older titles caused some concern in some circles. To be honest, that concern should probably remain, since it’s undeniably reminiscent of the Dishonored – not only in its largely non-fantastical, Victorian steampunk world but even in its climate of political unrest and plague. But since Dishonored was directly influenced by and a spiritual successor to Thief, perhaps this is just coming full-circle.

Time will tell how much Thief takes from its predecessors and how much it takes from Dishonored, though – if I have any concerns about Thief it’s that losing the fascinating Discworld-style dynamics of the City’s fantastical politics will strip the game of much that made it interesting. But the gameplay looks faithful as ever.

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[E3 Impressions] Murdered: Soul Suspect

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[E3 Impressions] Murdered: Soul Suspect

A detailed glimpse at upcoming current-gen title Murdered: Soul Suspect has left me dying to know more about this fascinating new IP co-developed by Square Enix Japan and Airtight Games.

Detective Ronan O’Connor’s latest murder case poses unique challenges. After all, he’s the victim. After a plummet from a high window onto hard asphalt and seven bullet wounds for good measure, Ronan finds himself in the shadowy limbo of Dusk, a spectral world overlapping the living one, inhabited by ghosts and the echoes of memories and events. And like any ghost with unfulfilled goals, Ronan can only move on by settling his affairs — in his case, finding the mysterious killer who put him into the grave by investigating Salem’s netherworld and influencing the actions and thoughts of the living who can no longer hear him.

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[E3 2013] Elder Scrolls Online Coming to Next-Gen Consoles

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[E3 2013] Elder Scrolls Online Coming to Next-Gen Consoles

In a move that we can confidently say no one saw coming, The Elder Scrolls Online, a MMO-RPG set in Bethesda Softworks venerable fan-favorite Elder Scrolls universe, has been confirmed for PlayStation 4 and Xbox ONE.

 

It has also been confirmed that while PC and Mac users will be on the same server set, the PS4 and Xbox ONE servers will be separated from the PC/Mac servers as well as each other. Given the degree to which the console debate has escalated, this is probably good news on several levels. Additionally, Bethesda has announced that the PlayStation 4 will boast the first beta access for The Elder Scrolls Online.

 

As The Elder Scrolls Online is Bethesda’s main point of focus at this year’s E3, Bethesda has released a slew of new media for TES: Online. The following features the voice-over talents of Michael Gambon (Harry Potter, Gosford Park, The King’s Speech), as well as some juicy snippets of game-play. The first-person viewpoint is something of a rarity in MMOs, but the Action-RPG system present in The Elder Scrolls Online seems to favor it. Franchise alumni will also recognize many of the iconic Tamrielic foes such as the draegloth and hagraven, as well as brief shots of locales like Morrowind and Elsweyr.

 

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The Elder Scrolls Online will launch Spring of 2014 on PC/Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox ONE.

[E3 2013] DICE’s Battlefield 4 Promises Incredible Environmental Destruction, 64 Player Count

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[E3 2013] DICE’s Battlefield 4 Promises Incredible Environmental Destruction, 64 Player Count

Ask any FPS-gamer which next-generation shooter they’re most looking forward to, and the response will almost certainly include Digital Illusions CE military juggernaut Battlefield 4. DICE has been making incredibly-polished multi-player titles for longer than most of us have been able to pick up a controller.

 

At this week’s E3, DICE has revealed a deluge of new footage from the title, and it’s looking every bit as bad-ass as we hoped.

 

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[E3 2013] Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall

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[E3 2013] Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall

Until this week, the veteran industry crew at Respawn Entertainment have kept the lid on their first project Titanfall.  The first-person infantry/mech shooter had really only been mentioned by name, slated for the cover of this month’s Game Informer, but now it’s out there in the wild, and goodness is it beautiful.

 

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[E3 2013] Square Enix Releases Battle Trailer for Final Fantasy XV

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[E3 2013] Square Enix Releases Battle Trailer for Final Fantasy XV

It’s no secret that the Final Fantasy name hasn’t been well-received in recent years. With polarizing titles such as Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2, as well as the critical failure of Final Fantasy XIV‘s initial release, it would be easy to dismiss the franchise at this point. The lack of a stateside release of Final Fantasy Type-0 and rumors regarding the cancelation of the highly anticipated Final Fantasy Versus XIII haven’t really helped matters much either.

However, with the reveal that Versus XIII is now officially Final Fantasy XV, the Final Fantasy fan in me can’t help but get excited. In fact, after the stellar story trailer unveiled at Sony’s E3 Press Conference, the only thing that could possibly make things better would be a better look at the gameplay.

Square Enix has thankfully delivered.

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[E3 2013] Konami Releases New Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Trailer

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[E3 2013] Konami Releases New Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Trailer

Metal Gear Solid V‘s unveiling at the Game Developers Conference in March introduced gamers to the FOX Engine, Kojima Productions’ mind-blowing new gameplay engine. If there was something that got people talking more than the FOX Engine itself, it was the controversial decision to replace David Hayter as Naked Snake/Big Boss and speculation about who would replace the legendary Metal Gear icon.

Now, with the recent revelation that Keifer Sutherland will be taking over the role, it’s time to shift focus back to what’s important: the game itself. And there’s no better way to do that than with a new trailer.

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