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Saw II: Flesh & Blood Review

There have been very few horror games that you just simply wouldn’t want to play. On the other side of things. There have been very few games based on movies that you would want to play… unless if you are a hardcore fan. So what would the final result be if a game was made that could be classified as both? Time to find out!

If you enjoyed the previous Saw title then you might as well stop reading now. Saw II merely tweaks what was on display in the first. For fans of the Saw movie franchise the main motive for buying this title will be the story which takes place between the second & third films.

The game helps clarify the movies better but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to share the same kind of horror aspect. Traps can be avoided with quick-time events; although the game fails at helping you feel any form of sympathy for the featured characters. They’re just not that well “fleshed out”. The puzzles in the game are also largely the same as with the previous game. The only noticeable change is that “circuit puzzles” no longer require you to match wires of the same colour. Instead now you have to match wires of the opposite colour.

The game is filled with “quick-time events” all the way through. It helps keep you on your toes but might get a bit stale the more you encounter them. Fortunately if you get sick of the typical combat you can try killing enemies using all kinds of rather gruesome devices placed all through the game at just the right locations. This is the kind of title you may want to play through twice, as the game has multiple endings, although the game will start to judge you from the very first moment you start playing.

Sound is one area of the game where the developers should have probably looked for a second opinion. Some of the atmosphere and effects just don’t seem to pack as much of a punch as they should. You’ll still get a jolt from the first shotgun trap that catches you unaware. The problem comes when you start to anticipate the traps, it’ll just all start to look & sound the same. To expect different reactions from the same traps might be unreasonable, but for the developers to use slightly different sound effects isn’t. At the very least they could have had two different sound recordings for each trap. This will probably only bother you if use something other than your TV’s speakers though.

Most of the gore in the game feels a bit artificial & just doesn’t have quite as much of a horrifying effect as you’d hope for. There are some bits that may leave you feeling like you wish you could look the other way, but this could perhaps rather be because of the way they’re implemented, rather than what you’re seeing on screen.

Locations all have that “horror movie feel” although they may not be the best looking, they’ve managed to stay true to the Saw films.

Bright colours & visual effects are reserved almost exclusively for areas of interest or locations & items the player should investigate. This helps to ensure the game always keeps you on edge & makes you feel like you are in a hostile environment.

Conclusion:
Saw II Flesh and Blood is filled with numerous thrills & puzzles that are sure to make that “lazy Saturday” just blissfully pass by. The game has does need improvement, but since most of it is either quick time or puzzle based you don’t need to be an experienced gamer to enjoy it.  As is the case with most games like this you may need some outside knowledge from the films to fully enjoy this game.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 5/10
Sound: 6/10
Graphics: 6/10

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

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FIFA 14 Demo Released

The playable demo of FIFA 14 is available to download worldwide for the Xbox 360 on Xbox LIVE for Gold members, for the PlayStation 3 from the PlayStation Store, and for PC via Origin. The demo will become available for Xbox LIVE Silver members on the 17th of September 2013.

Fans will be able to play in the Camp Nou as FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund, Boca Juniors, or the New York Red Bulls. Furthermore, players will also be able to test themselves as one of the unique FIFA Ultimate Teams with the chance to earn additional players customize their demo squad.

For more details on FIFA 14, click here.
For more details on FIFA 14 Ultimate Team and Legends, click here.

FIFA 14 is scheduled to release on the 27th of September locally. Are you excited for FIFA 14? Let us know in the comments!

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TGS 2014: Two new Destiny trailers emerge

Thanks to the Tokyo Game Show, two new trailers have been released for Bungie’s upcoming MMO, Destiny. There’s nothing new in these trailers but they’re rather pretty and are sure to make you all giddy inside while waiting for the release date.

Since Destiny is a PlayStation Exclusive title in Japan, quite a fuss was made about it during Sony’s pre-TGS briefing.

Check them out below:

https://youtu.be/gnHWlXiivm0

Destiny is set for release on September 9 (one week away dammit!) for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

Source: VG247

Brady Ruiters

Known as Brady Ruiters by day and GuitarDemon by night (Well, on the PSN mostly…) Professional, creative and frank, a self-proclaimed gaming journalist moulded by a passion and fascination for gaming and music, and in turn, taking a crack at shaping the rest of the world with the very same obsession. That, however, remains a trying task.

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Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition Review

Since its launch on the PC back in 2012, Diablo III has appeared on both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. Now the new-gen machines are getting their chance with Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition, a package of the original Diablo III game with its Reaper of Souls expansion. I can safely say the package is a gorgeous dungeon crawler which plays really well on the console platforms.

Diablo III kicks off with a falling star hurtling towards and subsequently colliding with Tristram Cathedral. The star falls down quite a few levels which results in the dead being reanimated and a host of other beasts awakening. Fortunately for the town, a hero (you) is not far away and gets caught up in the events surrounding the falling star. The story is typical in that evil cannot be allowed to triumph and everything must be done to stop it. However, a great feature of the game is that is teeming with lore from the entire Diablo series; a bonus for newcomers who are experiencing Diablo for the very first time. This can be experienced by discovering journal entries and letters littered throughout the environment. Although the story can be a little underwhelming, it does provide a decent reason to slay the legions of beasts and demons that dare stand in your way.

And slay demons, you shall; Diablo III is filled with enemies just waiting to be cut down. The gameplay is the biggest draw as it is just plain addictive and thoroughly enjoyable. Players will first need to select a character, each with their own specialty. From the get-go, players will notice that gameplay is incredibly smooth and controlling your character with the left stick is a breeze.

Enemies come in all shapes and sizes and some will be significantly stronger than others. However, defeating stronger enemies results in stronger weapon and gear drops, which results in being able to defeat even stronger enemies. It’s an entertaining cycle and will leave you itching to see what new loot has dropped after dispatching a horde of enemies. From looking fairly naked the start of the game, a short two hours will see your character looking pretty bitching in some armour and wielding a new weapon.

So what’s new in the Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition? Well, quite a bit actually. Aside from including the Reaper of Souls expansion, a new playable character in the form of the mighty Crusader is available and takes the selection of characters up from five to six. Adventure Mode, which unlocks after completing the game, opens all the waypoints across the map. This allows players to take on Bounties and open up Nephalem Rifts. It should also be noted that Adventure Mode is an endless mode with none of the Campaign missions but Events are still present. Another bonus is the ability to transfer character progress from the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Diablo III, a welcome feature for players who don’t want to start with a Level 1 character.

What better way to tackle the hordes than with a friend? Diablo III features a drop-in/drop-out co-op system that adjusts the difficulty accordingly on the fly. However, what I really love about Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition is that it doesn’t only restrict you to online co-op but let’s you hit the campaign with three other friends while just sitting on the couch. A mailbox system also introduces a social feature of sending mail with loot items to your friends.

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition looks rather gorgeous on new-gen systems and runs quite smoothly without any graphical hiccups in highly populated areas, something that the last-gen consoles suffered from. The game is also on par in the audio department, displaying some decent voice acting even though some conversations are repeated in between combat. Unfortunately the game’s soundtrack also seemed somewhat absent except for during the fantastic cut scenes.

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition Review

Conclusion:
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition is an awesome game with so much in one package. The story isn’t captivating but the lore from the universe littered throughout the game is a nice way to catch up newcomers and also provides a good reason to vanquish all forms of evil. Gameplay is excellent and provides for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Six different playable characters add a great deal of replayability, even more so when you consider how entertaining it is to play the game with friends.

The amount of content is really worth every penny when considering that it includes the Reaper of Souls expansion and the rather fantastic and endless Adventure Mode. Visually, the game shines and doesn’t really experience any graphical hiccups during heavily populated areas. The audio isn’t too shabby either and features decent voice acting throughout; the near absence of the game’s soundtrack is a little odd, however. Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition is an amazing experience that is sure to please all dungeon crawler fans and would be a worthy addition to almost any gamer’s collection.

The Breakdown:
Story: 8/10
Gameplay: 9.7/10
Multiplayer: 9/10
Lasting appeal: 9.3/10
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 9/10

Brady Ruiters

Known as Brady Ruiters by day and GuitarDemon by night (Well, on the PSN mostly…) Professional, creative and frank, a self-proclaimed gaming journalist moulded by a passion and fascination for gaming and music, and in turn, taking a crack at shaping the rest of the world with the very same obsession. That, however, remains a trying task.

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The Fifa 15 demo will be live soon

Fifa 15’s demo is already live on Xbox One and is expected to hop on to other platforms later today. No word yet on what the demo contains but players will get a chance to see EA’s new Ignite engine and all the new features that it has to offer in action with this snippet of game. FIFA 15 is slated to hit PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on the 26th of September.

Sam Fourie

Ever so slightly unhinged, this one spends most of his time playing or writing about video games. Also dabbles heavily in tabletop, comics and the occasional bout of music creation.

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Destiny Review

For quite a while, Destiny has been the topic of conversation whenever someone has mentioned next-gen. Yes, Bungie’s MMO Shooter was shaping up to be quite the game. Destiny has finally been released, but does it live up to its hype? Unfortunately this isn’t the case. Destiny is a decently crafted game that happens to fall short in a few areas.

Story wise, the game kicks off quite nicely. A little robotic companion called a Ghost finds the body of a Guardian (you) on Earth and revives them from the deepest sleep, more commonly known as death. The Ghost informs you that you are a Guardian and that you are one of the defenders of the last safe city on Earth. Guardians are able to wield something known as “The Light” thanks to the Traveller, a great mystical being that brought about the Golden Age. Unfortunately with the Traveller came the Darkness (no, not Jackie Estacado) a force which is pretty much the exact opposite of the Traveller. The Guardian is tasked with investigating and destroying any alien threats before they wipe out what is left of humanity.

The story starts on Earth but also takes the player to the planets Venus and Mars. There’s also a trip to the moon close to the start of the game. Unfortunately Destiny’s story just isn’t compelling enough to keep the player hooked. Characters that you do encounter are bland at best. Aside from the Awoken, who the player encounters during the game, characters are not really memorable.

In many aspects, Destiny reminds me of the Borderlands series. Gameplay is fairly similar in that it plays like your average First-Person Shooter but with RPG elements. At the start of the game, players will select a class to play as; they are: the Titan, Hunter and Warlock. The classes are quite similar with subtle differences, such as their melee attacks and Super Moves. Super Moves are essentially “end-all” manoeuvres. It becomes available once its metre has charged, which is done gradually over time. Of course the metre can be charged much faster by taking down enemies in battle. These Super Moves are best kept for boss battles and moments where you might be overwhelmed as they do quite a significant amount of damage if executed with precision.

Gameplay is rather fluid and combat can be quite enjoyable. The four different alien races that players will encounter throughout the game have their own tactics and will corner you if you aren’t careful. The Vex, for example, will use their ability to teleport right up to the player in order to catch them off guard. It’s an interesting thing to keep an eye out for when visiting a new area. It’s also a chance to mess around with a few different approaches to see exactly what the best course of action would be. I’ll admit that I had more fun when facing a new enemy, gripping my controller for the next challenge unmovable by all of my attacks. This keeps combat quite engaging. Boss fights will most likely provide the biggest challenge during the story. These mostly huge enemies have weak points that players will need to exploit in order to survive.

Being an MMO, players are likely to see other Guardians running around in the very same world. Joining forces is always an option and can also make the game a whole lot more entertaining. Going solo all the way through to the end of the game is an option but it’s definitely a lot more fun when you take out a powerful foe and then dance with a friend afterwards. Yes, there’s dancing and you’ll probably see a lot of it. Each player has four gestures which include dancing and sitting down. Do you just want to admire Destiny’s environment? Take a load off and admire away.

Unfortunately, missions during the story almost follow the same course. The player starts off in a remote area and will need to make their way from point A to point B. Along the way, they will encounter several enemies, but mostly just some lower ranking cannon fodder. There might be one or two tougher enemies in the mix but never one that will knock you on your ass. Once in the final area, a “Respawning Restricted” message will flash across the screen to inform the player that they would need to begin the final encounter from scratch if they or their entire team happens to fall in battle. The player would then deploy their Ghost so that it can hack a system or perform some other computing task. During this item, the player is usually attacked by a good few waves of enemies that range from your average grunts to your more hard hitting and larger enemies. This happens in almost every story mission. I kept wondering why I would never start off a mission right in the thick of a firefight. It just feels a little lazy.

As mentioned before, Destiny features RPG elements. While some of these work quite well, the upgrade tree just isn’t as robust as it could be. The RPG element which bothers me the most, I think, is the class system. Destiny’s classes; the Titan, Hunter and Warlock just seem very similar. The differences are subtle. For example; the Warlock class can use Sniper Rifles just as well as a Hunter class can. The upgrade trees only really differ where Super Moves and melee attacks are concerned, or how a Hunter may do a double jump and a Warlock has the ability to Glide. It won’t affect your enjoyment of the game too much but it’s something that could’ve been crafted a little better.

The loot system, which has been improved with a recent patch, fairs a little better than the class system. From the start of the game up until about level 10, players will encounter mostly Uncommon loot. As the game progresses, the quality of loot tends to improve significantly with weapons and apparel having their own upgrade trees and special stat boosts. It’s a nice touch that allows for some light customisation on how your weapon behaves. The loot side of the game sees a decent improvement after level 20 as the chance for Rare, Legendary and Exotic loot increases. A feature that was reported to not be included at launch is the ability to trade weapons and gear with friends. Honestly, this is a staple in MMO’s and should definitely be added to the game as soon as humanly possible.

Aside from the ability to co-op almost anything with a few friends, Destiny also has some competitive multiplayer on offer in the form of the Crucible. This mode offers some of the usual match types with its own versions of Capture and Hold, Team Deathmatch and Free-For-All. However, I noticed that Destiny offers no customisation options in terms of setting up matches. Players are unable to set up a private match for just their friends, a common feature of multiplayer which unfortunately seems to be absent in Destiny.

Strikes are one of the more enjoyable multiplayer modes. These are essentially missions with a strong boss waiting at the end. Strikes are made for Fireteams of up to 3 players but can be done solo if you’re up for decent challenge. Additionally, completing a Strike can yield some pretty good loot. The only problem with Weekly and Heroic Strikes (the more challenging ones), however, is that there isn’t any matchmaking implemented. So if you’re looking to do a strike but don’t have any high level friends, you might find yourself looking elsewhere for a group to play with.

Destiny is a pretty good looking game and never ceases to deliver a feeling of wonder when visiting a new area. From the Cosmodrome on Earth to the outposts of Mars, the environment is designed brilliantly featuring remains of civilisations and wide open spaces just waiting to be explored.

Destiny features a soundtrack that gives a feeling of greatness at the best times and picks up in tempo during tense firefights. Appropriate sound effects ranging from explosions to reloading guns really add to the experience. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the voice acting in the title. Bill Nighy’s performance as The Speaker seems pretty average and Peter Dinklage as Ghost is somewhat disappointing. I understand that his role is that of an AI, which would be an entity devoid of emotion but as an AI that understands sarcasm and uses it frequently, I was expecting a little more.

Conclusion:
Destiny is a decent game. The story is fairly short and just feels lacklustre after a decent start. Gameplay is definitely enjoyable and features entertaining combat throughout. It’s also a nice touch that different enemies are encountered during the game with each enemy type having their own tactics.

The Crucible provides a decent distraction from the story, despite lacking some core features. Strikes possibly offer some of the most enjoyment with the game. Graphically, Destiny looks great with different environments and vistas. Audio wise, the game features a decent soundtrack and sound effects but seems to decline where voice acting is concerned.

While it does have its flaws, Destiny is by no means a bad game. It still delivers gameplay that is sure to please especially when played with friends. I actually had the most fun with the game when I was creating my own cinematic experiences with fellow Guardians. Unfortunately it just feels that Destiny tries to be too many things and only seems to succeed partially.

The Breakdown:
Story: 7.2/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Multiplayer: 7.5/10
Lasting appeal: 8/10
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 7.8/10

Brady Ruiters

Known as Brady Ruiters by day and GuitarDemon by night (Well, on the PSN mostly…) Professional, creative and frank, a self-proclaimed gaming journalist moulded by a passion and fascination for gaming and music, and in turn, taking a crack at shaping the rest of the world with the very same obsession. That, however, remains a trying task.

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FIFA 15 Review

Ask almost anyone what the biggest sport on the planet is and they’ll probably say football. The same would probably apply when asking a gamer what the biggest sports game is; their answer is most likely going to be FIFA. The series has gained quite a following over the years with almost every instalment being an improvement over the last. FIFA 15 has been released recently and seems to take a few good steps forward while also taking a few steps back.

FIFA 15 plays rather similarly to last year’s instalment of the popular football game. Fans of the series need not be worried about any major changes as gameplay remains largely the same. However, there are some tweaks to the game which improve the experience with FIFA 15. Goalkeeping has been improved with keepers now being more fluid in their actions; they will now twist their bodies in an attempt to match the flight pattern of the ball. This is exactly what a real keeper would do and definitely adds to the realism of the game.

Unlike FIFA 14, this year’s instalment has a lot less glitches present in the game. There were times where players would experience instances where a keeper would dive to the opposite side of where the ball was going. For example, a player would shoot left while the keeper would dive all the way right. Thankfully this has been fixed with FIFA 15 and goalkeepers are a little challenging to beat at times. However, I did notice that they seem to panic a little when a player from the opposing team gets really close to their position in front of the net; I took this as my opportunity to score nearly every time. Getting through the defensive back line can be quite challenging but it certainly is exhilarating when you manage to do so right before scoring. It’s actually equally exciting even when not scoring. As a newcomer to the most recent FIFA titles, I enjoyed this quite a bit and could feel my hands tensing up when they were wrapped around my controller.

As mentioned before, breaking through the opponent’s defence can be a challenging affair; this is mostly due to the willingness of your opponent’s AI block the ball at any cost. However, the same cannot be said for the AI players on your team. Most times, I found that the AI players on my team failed to anticipate my passing of the ball to them and because of this, would lose possession of the ball. Being in possession of the ball, however, is a significantly more enjoyable than attempting to steal it away from your opponent. It’s as if the opposing team’s players have a shield around them. Players are going to have to try a lot harder when trying to steal the ball as opposition AI have learned to shift their weight to dodge an incoming sliding tackle. Manage to land a tackle, however, and you may just see one of your players earning themselves a yellow card. That applies to accidental collisions too.

Visually, FIFA 15 doesn’t really fail to impress but it does have a few issues. The addition of wear and tear to players’ uniforms is a small but noticeable feature which contributes to the overall experience. The animations of players dribbling look more fluid and definitely more realistic. With regards to realism, FIFA 15 features instances where the game would cut away from the action for a moment to show a highlight from a match. These range from a recently scored goal to a tackle that may have resulted in a free kick. It’s a nice touch that makes you feel as if you’re watching an actual football match. However, these can take some time and cannot be skipped. While I do like the cutaway feature, I feel that it should be optional; or at the very least, skippable.

Audio wise, FIFA 15 does some good and some bad. The roar of a crowd during a match is enough to make the player feel quite immersed when playing and is something that has improved over the years. The commentary, however, seems to have taken a strange twist. Martin Tyler and Alan Smith have done a decent job at recording commentary but some of it seems a little inconsistent in that each commentator has their own aspect that they would like to focus on. One tends to comment on the FIFA World Cup while the other focuses on how the ball entered the net. The two never seem to stay on one topic and this can be rather jarring for the player.

Conclusion:
FIFA 15 features some decent upgrades but also takes a few unnecessary steps back. While it isn’t a terrible instalment, it does seem to favour a more comprehensive list of new features than it does its attempt to deliver a well-rounded football simulation experience. However, it’s a little hard to deny that FIFA 15 is most likely the best football game on the market.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 8.3/10
Multiplayer: 8.5/10
Lasting appeal: 9/10
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 8/10

Brady Ruiters

Known as Brady Ruiters by day and GuitarDemon by night (Well, on the PSN mostly…) Professional, creative and frank, a self-proclaimed gaming journalist moulded by a passion and fascination for gaming and music, and in turn, taking a crack at shaping the rest of the world with the very same obsession. That, however, remains a trying task.

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Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments Review

Sherlock Holmes, the pompous detective has returned to solve some crimes in the only way he knows how, with style. Frogwares, and Focus Home Entertainment have delivered a masterpiece in crime investigation that will keep you intrigued for hours.

For the first time in the series the Sherlock Homes franchise has jumped into the PS4 and Xbox One, let me just say that the game is beautiful, from its detailed sub-surface scattering on human faces, to its details in ever little object. It shines and runs smoothly with very short load screens, and zero bumps.

Sherlock Holmes is alive and as accurate as ever, as he mumbles to himself and strings sentences together without a breath of fresh air, there is no doubt that this is a Sherlock Holmes title, but only due to the protagonist. As a fan of the series past there are a couple of things that have been improved. The overall pace of the game is much faster, the characters have much more to say, and the puzzles are less, but harder. The usual Baker Street apartment is shinier than before with a wider selection of clothing options, and the control options are the same, that is to say it’s a good thing that you do not need to learn anything new.

The game does not hold your hand whilst plaything through the case files, you will need to pay attention to the suspect’s interrogations, the environment, and what Holmes is saying at all times. You can easily miss out on a name drop and think it is of no importance, but it will turn out to be vital to your investigation. You will need to switch visions that allow you to see objects of importance, Sherlock Vision shows objects and areas that stand out from the usual, and there is a vison that interprets how Sherlock would visualize the objects and events either how they could appear, or how they used to. You also have the ability to pause time and look over your suspect in detail, the camera rolls over them and you need to pick out objects and details that stand out, ultimately detailing the character, both past and present. Whatever you discover will go down in their character profile and will be important during either interrogation or for general knowledge.

The nice thing about the interrogation system is that it is not difficult to perform, you just need to make sure you pay attention and at times it actually takes a little common knowledge to get through. What Crimes and Punishments do differently is they do not suffer from the tedium of other crime investigation titles, you will never find yourself bored from preforming the same task, or question the same character. Every case is unique and every character has a deep past worth exploring, and when you have finally put everything it is rewarding. The game keeps it fresh throughout, and I never felt that I was undertaking something that I did before.

The world is detailed and fine, remerging through a pile of objects to pick up a tobacco pouch, spin it around and listen to Sherlock identify something you never ever thought of is something only this game could offer. His insight and mind is all over the place but focused at the same time, it is what makes this great compared to other investigation games. The case file is your heart of investigations, everything from you past conversation to your character profiles are in it, and whenever you feel like you have hit a wall, going into it will point you to the right direction.

Conclusion
Everything in Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is polished and detailed like none before, the characters and cases are imaginative, and every second of the game feels like you are reliving the life of Sherlock Holmes. It would be a shame if future crime titles don’t use this as inspiration.

The Breakdown
Story: 9/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Lasting Appeal: 7/10
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 9/10

Marco Cocomello

From age 12 Marco has spent every waking moment playing games, or thinking about playing games. Marco also suffers with gaming FOMO, and so now he is a gaming journalist as an excuse to play everything. He writes for a number of local and international publications.

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Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin announced

Prepare to die again, From Software have announced a new Dark Souls II compilation package dubbed “Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin”. The game will be released on, wait for it, PS4, Xbox One, PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 come 7 April 2015. So if you feel that you did not play enough Dark Souls II due to fact that it was on the last gen, then Praise the Sun.

Developed by renowned Japanese video game development studio FROMSOFTWARE, DARK SOULS II: Scholar of the First Sin is a compilation of 2014’s critically acclaimed title, DARK SOULS II along with its three DLC chapters; CROWN OF THE SUNKEN KING, CROWN OF THE OLD IRON KING, and CROWN OF THE IVORY KING along with an array of all-new content. DARK SOULS II: Scholar of the First Sin will takeadvantage of the power of the PlayStation 4 system, Xbox One, and DirectX11 PCs with enhanced graphics in addition to brand new game content including an expanded story featuring additional in-game events and NPC character along with new deadlier enemies and gameplay improvements.

Marco Cocomello

From age 12 Marco has spent every waking moment playing games, or thinking about playing games. Marco also suffers with gaming FOMO, and so now he is a gaming journalist as an excuse to play everything. He writes for a number of local and international publications.

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E3 2015: Microsoft goes big and hits home

Microsoft has not pulled any punches with their conference at E3 2015; big announcements came fast and furious.

The show kicked off with Bonnie Ross from 343 Industries hopping up on stage to show off a trailer for Halo 5: Guardians, just before live gameplay was shown with narration by the Arbiter or contributing voice actor Keith David. The game will have 24 players and AI controlled adversaries, and the biggest maps ever implemented in a Halo game.

Warzone, one of the multiplayer maps shown is playable at E3 2015. Halo 5: Guardians will be released exclusively for Xbox One on October 27.

After the Halo 5 portion of the show, a video for an Xbox One exclusive from Keiji Inafune was shown. It seems to have a sci-fi setting which takes place on a desert planet. The game is called Recore and is set to be released in Autumn 2016.

Next up was Xbox Head Phil Spencer, who said that the firm will be showing “the greatest line-up of games” for the Xbox One. Following this, Spencer possibly dropped the biggest news ever: backwards compatibility for Xbox 360 games on Xbox One. What a move by Microsoft!

Digital titles will appear in the dashboard between today and tomorrow and retail discs will work too. One of the first titles to be shown was Mass Effect.

Shortly after the backwards compatibility bomb was dropped, a video of the new Xbox One Wireless Elite Controller was shown.

Todd Howard from Bethesda was up next to speak about Fallout 4 and how development was geared towards “player freedom”. A clip from the game was also shown with Howard’s character “Phil” returning home to find his devoted family robot waiting for him. In addition, the German Shepherd from the reveal trailer was also shown.

Fallout 4 is expected to be “bigger than Skyrim,” which means there will be a vast area for players to traverse and explore, and plenty of enemies to fight. It is the “most ambitious world we have ever created,” he said. Additionally, the game will support mods on Xbox One that were created on PC. And last but not least, Fallout 3 will be included with Fallout on Xbox One.

Peter Moore from EA Sports stepped up to talk about EA Access and also announced that Titanfall will be arrive on the service either today or tomorrow. Dragon Age: Inquisition will also be coming to EA Access this winter.

Moore also announced Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, which was accompanied by an exclusive trailer.

Next to be shown was Forza 6, with 24-player online capabilities being announced. Forza Motorsport 6 is expected to be released on September 15.

The world-premiere for Dark Souls 3 was also shown.

Ubisoft then showed the world-premiere E3 2015 video for The Division and online multiplayer title. Xbox One players will be the first to play The Division beta in December.

Rainbox Six Siege, which is set to be released October 16, will come with Rainbow Six: Vegas and Vegas 2 for free. Vegas 2 will also be available on Xbox One via backwards compatibility.

An Early Access program is also in the pipeline and will allow Xbox One players to play a game before they decide to buy it through the Early Access program. Xbox Game Preview program will allow users to try titles such as DayZ, Elite: Dangerous and The Long Dark.

The latest Rise of the Tomb Raider video was then shown, which included both cutscenes and gameplay footage. It is expected to be released on November 10 first on Xbox One during the exclusivity period. Unfortunately we don’t know exactly how long the timed exclusivity is set to last.

The Rare Collection was also announced as Rare Replay and is slated for an August 4 release. The best part is that the classic Nintendo 64 Conker’s Bad Fur Day will be included!

Also revealed by Rare is their new and “most ambitious game it has ever created” by the name of Sea of Thieves. It was described as a shared world pirate game.

Xbox is working closely with Valve to make Windows 10 “the best platform for VR”, said Kudo Tsunoda when he hopped up on stage.

Gears of War Ultimate Edition will be the very first Gears of War title to land on Xbox One. It is a fully rebuilt version of the original game and will feature new content. It will be released on August 25.

The new Gears of War game is simply titled Gears of War 4 and should be released during Christmas of 2016.

Unfortunately some of the bigger names such as Crackdown, Scalebound and Quantum Break were not show so expect to possibly see them at Gamescom 2015.

Brady Ruiters

Known as Brady Ruiters by day and GuitarDemon by night (Well, on the PSN mostly…) Professional, creative and frank, a self-proclaimed gaming journalist moulded by a passion and fascination for gaming and music, and in turn, taking a crack at shaping the rest of the world with the very same obsession. That, however, remains a trying task.