Today, Sony revealed the shockingly good lineup of games that will be free for next month’s PlayStation Plus subscribers in the United States. The list is one of Sony’s strongest yet and includes a few AAA titles alongside a PlayStation 4 exclusive.
Sony has announced an upcoming demo for Quantic Dream’s Beyond: Two Souls, which will be available to download on the PlayStation Network beginning on October 1 in North America and on October 2 in Europe.
The demo will allow players to try out two of the stages from the final game. The first, called “Jodie and Aiden”, stars Jodie as her abilities are put to the test as she is put through an experiment.
The second, called “Hunted”, will take place years later and tasks players with helping Jodie escape government agents.
Beyond: Two Souls itself will launch exclusively on the PlayStation 3 shortly after the demo’s release on October 8 in North America, October 9 in Australia and October 11 in Europe.
Bethesda Softworks spoke to Official Xbox Magazine at Gamescom, stating that they are pressuring Microsoft to allow gamers to play The Elder Scrolls Online without paying for Xbox Live Gold.
Recently, Bethesda confirmed that ZeniMax Online Studios’ upcoming MMO, The Elder Scrolls Online, will require a subscription fee of $15 per month. As far as MMOs go, this isn’t a new concept – even though a slew of recent titles are adopting a successful free-to-play model – and it is an affordable one for most (imagine paying $1.00 for a coffee every two days for a month, every month, and that’s roughly the same price).
According to Peter Hines, Bethesda’s Marketing boss, the subscription model allows them to maintain a team delivering constant updates and new content:
“When we say content, we mean meaningful stuff, like new areas of the world, new factions, bigger meatier stuff. Not a couple of new weapons, or some new outfits, though we can do that too,” Hines explains.
ZeniMax Online Studios’ lead gameplay designer, Nick Konkle, even goes so far as explaining the reason for their subscription model: “What’s cool about having a subscription model for us, is that firstly we don’t have any gates on the content – Elder Scrolls is very much a game about going wherever you want to, and if you’re randomly running into artificial [obstacles] where you have to pay, it just doesn’t feel right.”
This is all well and good; however, those playing on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One will have to pay 2 monthly subscriptions, for both The Elder Scrolls Online and Xbox Live/PlayStation Plus.
“We have been in talks with Microsoft about that very thing, and seeing whether or not there’s any room to change their minds about that, for folks who are only playing The Elder Scrolls Online and don’t want to pay for an Xbox Live Gold subscription, just to pay for the Elder Scrolls Online.“
While these talks are ongoing and persistent, Hines admitted that Microsoft isn’t budging just yet, stating ”The answer right now is that’s the way it works, but it’s something that we’re aware of and we keep pushing on, to see if there’s something that can be done. We’ll let you know if there’s movement there.“
Given that Xbox Live and PS+ subscribers are already paying enough per month, it makes sense for Bethesda to try to secure a model that doesn’t require Xbox Live or PS+. Alternatively, some gamers are crying out for The Elder Scrolls Online to just have a base payment, like Guild Wars 2. We’ll keep you posted on the latest developments as they unfold.
The Elder Scrolls online releases Q2 next year for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
As far as imagination goes, there are certainly better game titles out there. But in terms of its own context, Alien Rage fits right in.
First announced by developer City Interactive a few months ago, Alien Rage is the upcoming FPS hitting the Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, and PC in September. And judging by their latest trailer, which you can view below, the game looks quite impressive so far.
The trailer itself details the background of the events prior to the game itself – the year is 2242, and humans have been mining a giant asteroid, known as Demos 875, since 2233 for a powerful energy source known as Promethium. In 2236 an alien race known as the Vorus arrived on the same asteroid with the same purpose, and events quickly spiraled out of control from there. The player is part of a team sent in after the Vorus tunneled underground with one goal – to claim the asteroid as their own, or completely wipe it, and the Vorus, out of existence.
There isn’t much gameplay to go off so far, but the trailer looks surprisingly stunning, considering it’s set as a download-only title. The particle effects from the explosions and even the flag catching fire during the trailer make for gorgeous displays of rendering, so hopefully the game will be able to deliver a somewhat similar experience. Judging by the screenshots below it seems that might be on the cards.
According to the designers, Alien Rage is primarily a ‘classic’ FPS that will include 14 levels, 10 weapons (with 2 firing modes each), various enemies to deal with, and “…powerful up-to-date graphics technology, awesome physics, [and] destructible environments.”
Judging by the rating, it seems Alien Rage is pulling out all the stops, and though there is minimal violence in the trailer, the final rating looks like it will be an 18+ game (or the equivalent in other countries), so I can’t imagine it will be suitable for minors.
Below are some features of the game and a collection of screenshots from its showing at E3, and watch out for Alien Rage on XBLA, PSN, and PC on September 24th.
- Wide variety of Alien enemy forces including Infantry, Warriors, Flying Drones, Spiders
- Huge boss fights – Over 21 enemy types including 8 beastly-sized bosses to challenge and destroy through 14 Levels
- Strong thru-the-gun experience with 10 powerful weapons each with two firing modes
- Skill shots, head shots and shooting accuracy heavily rewarded
- Player-triggered destruction of environments and cover helps to advance through levels
- Built with powerful up-to-date graphics technology, awesome physics, destructible environments
Sony has announced a massive sale for the PlayStation Store that will start as soon as tomorrow. Everyone will be eligible for up to 60% all of the featured titles you can find below, while PlayStation Plus members will be able to get up to 80% off.
You can check out the games on sale below:
- Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3 | $9.99/$5.00)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II (PS3 | $41.99/$37.79)
- Mortal Kombat (PS3 | $9.99/$5.00)
- Mortal Kombat (Vita | $9.99/$5.00)
- Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands (PS3 | $7.99/$4.00)
- Ratchet & Clank Collection (PS3 | $14.99/$7.50)
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game (PSN | $3.99/$2.00)
- Shadow of the Colossus (PS3 | $9.99/$5.00)
- The Amazing Spider-Man (PS3 | $29.99/$20.99)
- The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn’s Quest (PSP | $4.99/$2.50)
- Alice: Madness Returns (PS3 | $7.99/$4.00)
- Fast & Furious: Showdown (PS3 | $39.99/$31/99/$23/99)
- Fight Night Champion (PS3 | $29.99/$11.99/$6.00)
- Hitman Trilogy HD (PS3 | $19.99/$15.99)
- Just Cause 2 (PS3 |$9.99/$5.00)
- LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (PS3 | $14.99/$7.50)
- LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Vita | $9.99/$5.00)
- LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (PS3 | $9.99/$5.00)
- Lord of the Rings: War in the North (PS3 | $9.99/$5.00)
- Men in Black: Alien Crisis (PS3 | $29.99/$20.99)
- Prince of Persia Classics Trilogy (PS3 | $15.99/$8.00)
- Silent Hill: Book of Memories (Vita | $14.99/$7.50)
- Star Trek (PS3 | $43.99/$32.99)
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II (PS3 | $9.99/$5.00)
- The Adventures of TinTin: The Game (PS3 | $19.99/$10.00)
- The Simpsons Arcade Game (PSN | $6.99/$4.89)
- Tron Evolution (PSP | $7.99/$4.00)
- X-Men (PSN | $6.99/$4.89)
Which games will you be purchasing in the coming weeks?
One of the first games I ever played was Stronghold 2 for the PC and I remember rushing to the store the moment I found out it had released to pick up my copy of the game for around $30. Later on, an expansion came out for roughly the same price adding in a host of new features: new factions, unit types, buildings, etc.
The DLC Era
Skip ahead about eight years and we’ve come to the pinnacle of the DLC era. Just this past February Dead Space 3 launched with eleven DLC packs available right from the start. Eleven! Sure, they were cheap and priced at only $4.99, but still? You couldn’t maybe push the game back a week or two just to implement this content into the game when it should have been there in the first place?
But the one game that really made DLC packs so popular was Call of Duty. Ever since Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward and Treyarch alike have been pumping out DLC content like never before. Sure, it adds to the longevity of the game and keeps players coming back, but the cost for them is outrageous? What once was a $10 deal quickly rose to a $15 deal once they saw how many people were actually buying them…
$15 for a mere four extra maps to play on doesn’t seem like a fair deal to me. The other gaming giant, Battlefield, has jumped on the bandwagon as well over the past few years. Battlefield 3 launched with a free DLC pack on day one, essentially making it a part of the base game. Why did we have to download that then? And why did all of those players that pre ordered the game and were promised this exclusive content get nothing? I’m okay with adding in more content for those who’d like to take the risk and buy the game early, but in the end, they lost a lot of the content they were originally planned to get.
And nowadays, publishers like to sell a game of the year edition of their game that includes all of the patches and add on content that has come out in the past year.Battlefield 3 Premium Edition released for $50. When you compare that to the old Game + Expansion method, you basically get the same amount of content for roughly the same amount of money. The way we market things has only changed.
Free To Play Model
Then there’s the new free to play (F2P) model. While this rather new method varies from game to game, it has proven to be a great source of income for game developers and publishers alike. It essentially allows players to either get the game for free and pay for the content that they want and will actually utilize.
In the Lord of the Rings Online, arguably one of the most popular free to play games on the market right now, players have the opportunity to play the entire game for free (all the way up to max level), but the catch is that a lot of the leveling zones are blocked off for the player, forcing them to purchase individual areas of the game in order to unlock more quests if they don’t want to grind it all the way up to the max level.
On the opposite side of the game market there is League of Legends which is another free to play game that offers players around 100 champions to play with, 10 of which are free at any given time and vary from week to week. Players can either purchase a champion to keep permanently or they can wait until they unlock the one they want in game or can simply make due with what’s free to use that week. The only other thing you can buy in the game are skins, which only change the way your character looks like in-game.
While both of these models have their ups and downs, one of the major downsides a free to play model can have is itself. For example, if the game starts to lose popularity, less and less players begin to buy items for the game’s store, forcing developers to throw in more and more attractive items that often spiral out of their control and thrust the game into the pay to win idea of thinking.
DLC Is Here To Stay
The cost of gaming has evolved over the last decade to something completely new and different from what it once was before. But in the end, no matter how much of us hate things like DLC, it seems like it is here to stay for a long, long time. It’s been tried and true. One can only hope though that developers stray from the hated day one DLC content and instead opt to throw it into the “finished” game.
Ubisoft has announced that an HD remake of the classic action adventure game Flashback is under development and is planned to be released on PSN and XBLA later this year.
The remake is being done to celebrate the game’s 20th anniversary and the original creator of the game is behind the remake, re-rendering it in 3D using the Unreal Engine, though the game will still be played in 2D fashion.
The game follows the story of a man named Conrad, who returns to Earth to save it from an invasion of alien Morphs. You can check out the reveal trailer below to get a better sense of it all.
Activision has announced the second DLC pack for Call of Duty Black Ops II today, called Uprising. The pack is set to release on Xbox Live April 16th for 1200 Microsoft Points, or $15, and will feature four new multiplayer maps and a new Zombie story called Mob of the Dead.
Mob of the dead depicts the tale of “four prohibition-era mobsters, Billy Handsome (Liotta), Al ‘The Weasel’ Arlington (Pantoliano), Salvatore ‘Sal’ DeLuca (Palmentiri) and Michael ‘Finn’ O’Leary (Madsen) serving time in Alcatraz Prison, only to discover that being behind bars is the least of their problems. With plans to break out of Alcatraz foiled by the rise of the undead, the quartet of inmates will have to lean on their mob-derived skills with firearms, blunt instruments and improvised weaponry as they battle the zombies infesting and overrunning the island.”
The new story also introduces a new Purgatory feature that will send players into the afterlife if they fall victim to the Zombies.
“With Uprising, the team has really outdone itself again,” said Treyarch head Mark Lamia. “In addition to creating four amazing new multiplayer maps, the Studio has been hard at work on the Zombies front to surpass what we accomplished with Call of the Dead. What they’ve done this time around is nothing Zombies fans have seen before — and if you don’t believe me, just wait until you get into Purgatory.”
Peggle. If there is one thing you should take from what you are about to read, it is that you should buy this game. I love Peggle. My girlfriend loves Peggle. Don’t even question it.
Developed and published by PopCap Games, Peggle first appeared on the PC and Mac in 2007, later being ported to the Xbox 360 Arcade, PlayStation Network, Nintendo DS, iPhone, iPod, Andriod – pretty much anything with a screen. Using the formula of classic arcade games, Peggle features an easy learning curve; addictive, fun gameplay; short, well-designed levels; and a simple concept blown into a game-defining theme. This game takes all the elements of gameplay, sound, visuals, and even the overall theme to create an immensely fun experience that embodies what a true modern arcade game is.
As soon as the game starts, players will be thrust into a world of fun, excitement, and unicorns. Surprisingly, Peggle has a theme that was quite hard to pin – in the end, it all boiled down to one word: fun. Peggle is fun. As soon as the game opens the main menu and plays Edvard Grieg’s ‘Morning Mood’ to a cartoon sunrise in the background, players know that the game isn’t taking itself too seriously (not to mention the notes that the tabs on the menu play when you select them). And that’s very good: it will often play off cliché’s (such as the previously mentioned example) or use hyperbole. This motif of taking things a little less seriously, while remaining fun and accessible, is one that Peggle absolutely nails.
When players are in the game they will be listening to ambient background music, playing on a variety of 2D planes (similar to Worms and Worms 2: Armageddon), and using many useful power-ups. My absolute favourite moments in Peggle, and an example of its hyperbole, is when you beat a level - the game will go into slow-motion, fireworks will erupt, a rainbow appears on the screen, and Beethoven’s Ode To Joy will play at full blast. Every. Single. Time.
Little details such as these are strong examples of how the game embraces its sense of adventure, taking the players on a journey through the wonderful Peggle universe: the level of immersion it creates is remarkable, all while accentuating the focus on fun and, arguably, success through repetition.
The aim of the game is very simple – the player controls a ceiling-mounted ball dispenser, shoots a limited number of pinballs into an arrangement of blue, orange, purple and green ‘pegs’, to hit and eliminate all the orange pegs before they run out of balls. Blue pegs are the most common, just being generic, low-point-scoring space-fillers to shield the orange pegs; the orange are the objective; the purple are worth twice the amount of points as blue; and the green activates a temporary power-up (more on those later). Players get extra balls through different power-ups, by scoring a certain amount of points in one shot, or by landing the ball in the moving ‘bucket’ at the bottom of the screen. The gameplay is straightforward and easy to learn, creating a more fun, easygoing, and accessible game.
The Single Player aspect has 4 modes: Adventure, Quick Play, Master Duel, and Challenge. Adventure is essentially the ‘campaign’, so to speak, in that it takes players through around 55 levels, including number of tutorials, with increasing difficulty. Every 5 levels, the player ‘meets’ 1 of 10 Peggle Masters. Each Peggle Master helps the player in the form of leaving hints on the screen before levels, and by each having a different power-up (triggered by hitting the green peg). These power-ups vary greatly, often causing shifts in the overall gameplay – one causes an explosion that hits all pegs within its radius, and another causes the ball to reappear at the top of the board after it has fallen through the bottom, giving it a second chance to take out more pegs. These power-ups are all incredibly useful, and completion of Adventure mode unlocks all the Peggle Masters and their abilities for selection in Quick Play, Master Duel, and Challenge.
Quick Play is very self explanatory, giving players the opportunity to play back through any of the levels in Adventure mode in any order, and Master Duel is just a local versus game with an AI, taking turns to see who can score the most points. Challenge mode is where the most replay value is.
Challenge mode consists of 75 increasingly difficult and demanding challenges, ranging from ‘score 150,000 points on a single level’ to ‘complete this level with 1 ball’. This game mode is where Peggle truly shines, showcasing its use of all the game’s elements in one game mode – difficulty curves that grow with the player, variation in level design, free choice from all the Masters’ power-ups, and challenging level-specific goals. Challenge mode is where I’m spending most of my time trying to get the ‘Peggle Professor’ Achievement to complete all the challenges… I’m only about halfway…
As if all that weren’t enough, Peggle also has multiplayer! In the form of Duel and Peg Party Duel works the same as Master Duel, in that players take part in a one-on-one match where they take turns in shooting. Peg Party enables up to 4 players to compete simultaneously, allowing for all players to watch each other’s screens during their shots. These game modes are especially fun because it allows for players to have a glimpse at how other people player the game and compete competitively, not just on a scoreboard. Although multiplayer wasn’t necessary to the product, and players can definitely enjoy the game without it, I still recommend a couple of matches to at least see how good/bad the other Peggle players of the world are. Or to get those multiplayer achievements, you know, whatever works.
The premise of Peggle is so simple, yet it’s execution is so brilliant. The developers have created an incredibly engaging experience with a variety of levels, difficulty, game modes, and gameplay features that makes for a fun and immensely enjoyable game. Even 6 years after its release people are still downloading and playing it, myself (and my girlfriend) included. As mentioned earlier, Peggle constitutes what makes a good modern arcade game, and it does this so well. I highly recommend Peggle to anyone who hasn’t yet bought it – no target audience this time, just buy it. Seriously, you won’t regret it.
Suitability: For all ages. If you can play it, you can enjoy it
Platforms: XBLA, PSN, PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod, iPod Touch, Android, Nintendo DS, Windows Mobile, Java ME, BREW, Zeebo
Replay Value: Very High
Disclaimer: Pictures taken from watchplayread.com, vetaladotme.wordpress.com/author/akismet, and thefreegamesdb.com
I’ve been inspired by another post on the site to do some achievement guides. I’m a HUGE achievement collector with a Gamerscore of over 155,000. I know that a lot of gamers out there always love to collect achievements, but sometimes obtaining them are a little difficult. This week, I’ll be talking about the game called Shank. It was Developed by Klei Entertainment in 2010 and published by EA. Klei Entertainment made a gem of a game here along with its sequel and their other downloadable game, the sensational Mark of the Ninja. In Shank, you play as Shank who is an ex hitman seeking vengeance on his former employers because they killed his girlfriend. It’s a blood-soaked, side-scrolling, beat em up game with a unique art style.
Just That Good- Complete The Single Player Campaign On Hard Mode
This achievement is the hardest achievement in the game… Hands down! This is a test of skill and patience. Normally if you were to die on other difficulties, you would revert to a checkpoint. On hard, you go back to the beginning of the level UNLESS you are at a boss battle. Then you start right at the battle. The enemies also deal a ton more damage. It’s pretty difficult for a hard mode. Just take your time, evade and most importantly, know the situation before hand. Unless you want the ultimate challenge, play the game on normal first to familiarize yourself with the game. Every section has a good weapon to use so you should experiment to find the play style that suits you best!
And It Continues- Complete The Single Player Campaign On Normal Mode
The game MUST be played at least twice to obtain all the achievements because by beating the game on hard, the achievement for beating it on normal will NOT unlock! This is significantly easier than hard mode so you should start here if you want some practice.
The Meating- Defeat The Butcher
This boss fight is easy when you know that strategy. Luckily you’re reading this achievement guide. There will be meat on meat hooks at the start of the fight. Distance yourself from the butcher. Once you do this, shoot the meat down from the hooks. The butcher will throw his chain weapon at you when he’s close. The chain will attach to the meat giving you an opportunity to press the button displayed on-screen when you approach him. It’s time sensitive so you must be quick. Keep following this routine and you will be successful. Try to avoid his ram attacks and his jump grabs which are tough to evade.
Father Forgive Me…- Defeat The Priest
This boss fight isn’t too bad. When he rushes in to attack as well as when it looks like he is going to kick you, that is the time to dodge. Like most fights, this is a fight where you should use the same tactics over and over to beat the priest. If you want to do some EXTRA damage to the priest, get him near the fire and attack him so that he falls into it and then press the button displayed on-screen near him. The priest isn’t that difficult.
Scars From The Past- Defeat Cassandra
This is a more skill based fight and it’s pretty hard to give specific tips because there are no environmental objects to damage her with. This is a knife fight straight up. When Cassandra attacks, keep pressing the evade button each time she’s going to attack. You can send some counters her way and then unleash a barrage of attacks with you shank. She’s the first truly formidable foe in the game. Be prepared to die a few times. Once you get the hang of her attacks, then she’ll be a little easier.
The Wrong Guy- Defeat El Raton
Get ready for a CAGE MATCH! Shank against El Raton. This fight is difficult for one reason and one reason only! There’s practically no space to move around. El Raton takes up A LOT of the screen and his attacks are extremely effective. Use you guns… preferably your pistols just because they’re fast. When he’s charging, you can evade and repeat with the pistol technique or you can climb the cage and when he is charging, jump off the cage so that he will crash into the wall. Once El Raton does this then you should deal MASSIVE damage to him. Do this a few times to be victorious.
Revenge Is Sweet- Defeat Cesar
The FINAL battle is difficult if you’re not prepared. I never really realized while playing the game that all the bosses could be beaten with the same strategy. Just evade and shank. It took me a while to beat Cesar, but he’s not that hard. Maybe on the hardest difficulty he’ll provide a challenge, but on easier difficulties he should be a piece of cake. There will be bottles of alcohol around to regain health if you need it so don’t worry. There are 2 or 3 cutscenes during the fight and after each cutscene, Cesar will change fighting stances, but that doesn’t mean YOU should change your strategy. Evade and shank is key to this fight. If you need an extra second to regain health, chuck a grenade at him to buy time. Eventually it’s time to deal the final blow and enjoy the last cutscene!
Grindhouse- Perform 100 Chainsaw Kills
This is simple enough. Throughout the course of the game, kill 100 enemies with your chainsaw. It’s slow, but DEADLY!
Just Getting Started- Take Out 20 Enemies
You should get this somewhere in level 1. Just kill 20 enemies.
Make A Name For Yourself- Take Out 100 Enemies
This is another natural progression achievement. By the time you get to level 2 or 3, this achievement will be yours.
Mow ‘Em Down- Take Out 1000 Enemies
This WILL NOT be done on your first play-through unless you die a lot. Between playing on Normal and Hard AS WELL as in co-op, you will easily obtain this. It will just take a little time to achieve.
Backstory- Complete The Co-op Campaign
Shank has a prequel to the main story in the game and it comes in the form of a co-op mode. Grab a friend who is good at this kind of game and tackle the handful of levels that are in the campaign. It’s not difficult at all and can be completed in a few hours. Just make sure you and your partner communicate with each other. The only negative thing is that this game is local multiplayer only so you need a friend to come over if you want to get this achievement.
Well that’s it! This is the achievement guide for the XBLA/PSN game Shank! If you have any questions about the game, ask them in the comments section and I will be HAPPY to answer them. Also, look for my review of Shank… It’s coming soon!