June 25, 2013

Just remember it was a Kiwi who made Destiny

This is a sweet, no nonsense put together by Claude and the boys from DBO about Destiny which is a nice reminder that it was a Kiwi who made* Destiny...

*May or may not have assistance from Bungie LLC staff.

June 23, 2013

Saves the world a few times, never promoted...

This chap saved millions of people from the Reapers and never got to Kirk status:

And this one has saved humanity a couple of times yet:

Gaming with your mom (mum) from Jimmy Falloon

Gaming with your mom (mum) from Jimmy Falloon

June 20, 2013

Which games are going on which new gaming console?

Which games are going on which new gaming console? 

There’s been a lot of games announced for the various new consoles. The PlayStation 4 versus Xbox One war is heating up. Some consoles will have exclusives (Halo on Xbox) and some will share (Destiny) so what are the differences? Who will win the war? Gamers will – Ed. 

June 19, 2013

What is the Devil Walker in Destiny?

devil walker

What is the Devil Walker in Destiny?

The Devil Walker is a heavy artillery vehicle used by the Fallen. You can basically describe it as a tank. They are heavily armoured so the best way to take them down is as a collective unit with other Guardians.

A Devil Walker facing a Guardian attack

Devil Walkers are dropped into battle by Fallen carriers in a fashion similar to how Pelicans dropped off Warthogs in Halo games. The Devil Walker does a kind of somersault flip as it is released from the carrier, landing on its legs.

Here's a concept art picture of the Devil Walker:

Well done Microsoft - DRM U-turn will please fans.

Everyone can now continue to sharegreat games like Mass Effect
In a massive u-turn, Microsoft have removed all lot of the digital rights management plans they had for the Xbox one. This is due to the MASSIVE vitriol that has been thrown at them since various things about the Box at the recent E3 event. Xbox fans were pretty clear with their disdain on the key policy on second hand games sharing. 

I applaud Microsoft for realsing they had made a mistake with their approach (in that it had begun to alienate their buyer base) and made changes to reflect the desires of their buyers. After all, they are in the game industry to make a profit!

Here's the full explanation by By Don Mattrick, President, Interactive Entertainment Business:

Last week at E3, the excitement, creativity and future of our industry was on display for a global audience.

For us, the future comes in the form of Xbox One, a system designed to be the best place to play games this year and for many years to come. As is our heritage with Xbox, we designed a system that could take full advantage of advances in technology in order to deliver a breakthrough in game play and entertainment. We imagined a new set of benefits such as easier roaming, family sharing, and new ways to try and buy games. We believe in the benefits of a connected, digital future. 

Since unveiling our plans for Xbox One, my team and I have heard directly from many of you, read your comments and listened to your feedback. I would like to take the opportunity today to thank you for your assistance in helping us to reshape the future of Xbox One. 

You told us how much you loved the flexibility you have today with games delivered on disc. The ability to lend, share, and resell these games at your discretion is of incredible importance to you. Also important to you is the freedom to play offline, for any length of time, anywhere in the world.

So, today I am announcing the following changes to Xbox One and how you can play, share, lend, and resell your games exactly as you do today on Xbox 360. Here is what that means:

  • An internet connection will not be required to play offline Xbox One games – After a one-time system set-up with a new Xbox One, you can play any disc based game without ever connecting online again. There is no 24 hour connection requirement and you can take your Xbox One anywhere you want and play your games, just like on Xbox 360.
  • Trade-in, lend, resell, gift, and rent disc based games just like you do today – There will be no limitations to using and sharing games, it will work just as it does today on Xbox 360.
In addition to buying a disc from a retailer, you can also download games from Xbox Live on day of release. If you choose to download your games, you will be able to play them offline just like you do today. Xbox One games will be playable on any Xbox One console -- there will be no regional restrictions. 
These changes will impact some of the scenarios we previously announced for Xbox One. The sharing of games will work as it does today, you will simply share the disc. Downloaded titles cannot be shared or resold. Also, similar to today, playing disc based games will require that the disc be in the tray. 
We appreciate your passion, support and willingness to challenge the assumptions of digital licensing and connectivity. While we believe that the majority of people will play games online and access the cloud for both games and entertainment, we will give consumers the choice of both physical and digital content. We have listened and we have heard loud and clear from your feedback that you want the best of both worlds.
Thank you again for your candid feedback. Our team remains committed to listening, taking feedback and delivering a great product for you later this year.

June 17, 2013

Harold Ryan talks Destiny and what he thought of Halo 4

Here's an interview with Harold Ryan who is one of the Grizzily Ancients that lurk in the darkest corners of the Bungie office. He chatted with Nowgamer about Destiny and revealed what he thought of Halo 4. 


In regards to the presentation, it must be really hard trying to translate something so big into such a small space of time so that people actually get it. Do you think that the world has understood just how massive it is?

I don’t think so. There’s a lot to the game. Even with what we showed in the demo, we got to the end and we had seven people all playing in the same encounter. You’ve got player investment in there, you’ve got public matchmaking in there, co-operative gameplay events. What kind of story were those guys going on, what activities were they choosing as a team? That’s just one narrow slice of the experience. 

We showed a couple of the more combatant races in the montage at the end, and you can fight the race of The Fallen, the main enemy. To really get it, you need to play it. So lots of people have been ‘Okay, we’ll play!’ and we’ve had to say ‘Well, we’re still pre-alpha code.’ We did get seven players to work with the dedicated server onstage, which was unnerving. But there’s a lot to Destiny, I think it’s going to take a while for people to really understand the full scope of it. 

Do you think it’s going to be difficult for people who have played more console games to get used to this kind of MMO PC game style? 

We’re definitely very sensitive to the average, let’s call them, Halo player, COD player, even players of Oblivion and games like that. We know they’re not very patient and they want an action game, and the first thing Destiny is is an action game. And so everything on top of it is a rich and deep plus, but if you want a great action game experience, you can pick up Destiny and play through a great action game. You’re going to be presented with so many opportunities to progress your character, to care about how you look and how you customise yourself, and who you play with and how you play with them, but ultimately it’s a game we’re very focused on designing for people who just love to play the current generation of online shooters.

June 15, 2013

References from prior Bungie games found in Destiny

destiny banner

Update: Here's the Easter Eggs that are found in Destiny.

My Chemicalbromance has put together an amusing yet very drawn out video which shows how Bungie have taken inspiration from several of their previous other games and added them into Destiny as references. They are not really easter eggs as such but keen fans might recognise a few things. I do think however that just because one game has Warlocks in it, the fact another also has them does not makes it a direct message.

The fact no Halo has yet been hinted at is interesting but very understandable - See you star side indeed...

June 13, 2013

How Achievements will work on Xbox One

Xbox's guru of gaming, Major Nelson has shared how  achievements will work on the new Xbox One console which may basically be described as "same same but different".

  • Your Gamerscore from your Xbox 360 carries over to the Xbox One
  • Achievements can unlock items like "digital artwork, new maps, unlockable characters, and temporary stat boosts"
  • Achievements are not limited to games. Music or video apps, for instance, can give them and offer such rewards as early access to content or subscription extensions. However, only games can add to your Gamerscore
  • Will be surfaced more on the Xbox One dashboard and the achievement gallery will look better
  • Developers can show you how far you've progressed in a game's achievement even before you start up the game
  • The dashboard will show you which achievements your friends have recently unlocked
  • You can see video clips of the moment the achievement was earned
  • Challenges offer a reward for an opportunity completed by a set amount of (real-life) time, and like achievements give you an icon
  • Do not add to your Gamerscore
  • Can span multiple titles, unlike Achievements
  • Challenges can engage a community. Ex. A headshot weekend where everyone has to get so many headshots over a three-day period. Everyone will get the reward if completed.
  • Like achievements they can be added after a title is released
  • You will be able to see future challenges for a game

This is apparently the controller layout for Destiny

This is apparently the controller layout for Destiny as found at E3 by the DBO crew. What's the dance option eh? Something seems sus..

June 10, 2013

8 Destiny screenshots released by Bungie

fallen wallpaper destiny

Here's a sweet series of game shots released by Bungie along with the gameplay reveal of Destiny. These shots show the game is beautifully designed and has a great colour tone. The above image of the Fallen with the eight glowing red eyes looks particularly fearsome and is probably a great choice to use as a wallpaper.

Lots of rusted cars in this world....

How game sharing works in the Play Station 4 - it's an incredible concept!

This is what the Play Station 4 looks like. A whole bunch of UGLY

Call me an Xbox fan boy all you want, the PS4 is ugly.  Very ugly. 

Kinect, Xbox One, Privacy and how gamers can manage it

There's a lot of souls out there concerned about privacy issues and the new Xbox one. Given the Prism crisis currently playing out across the media in the States, it's no wonder. After all, what's to stop the CIA from accessing your Kinect camera to check if you're home before they come to arrest you for downloading MP3s? Not much.... Here's some points on Privacy that Microsoft has revealed

  • You are in control of what Kinect can see and hear: By design, you will determine how responsive and personalized your Xbox One is to you and your family during setup. The system will navigate you through key privacy options, like automatic or manual sign in, privacy settings, and clear notifications about how data is used. When Xbox One is on and you’re simply having a conversation in your living room, your conversation is not being recorded or uploaded. 
  • You are in control of when Kinect sensing is On, Off or Paused: If you don’t want the Kinect sensor on while playing games or enjoying your entertainment, you can pause Kinect. To turn off your Xbox One, just say “Xbox Off.” When the system is off, it’s only listening for the single voice command -- “Xbox On,” and you can even turn that feature off too. Some apps and games may require Kinect functionality to operate, so you’ll need to turn it back on for these experiences.
  • You are in control of your personal data: You can play games or enjoy applications that use data, such as videos, photos, facial expressions, heart rate and more, but this data will not leave your Xbox One without your explicit permission. Here are a few examples of potential future scenarios:
  • A fitness game could measure heart rate data to provide you with improved feedback on your workout, allow you to track your progress, or even measure calories burned.
  • A card game could allow you to bluff your virtual opponent using your facial expressions.
  • You can use other inputs to control your games, TV and entertainment experiences: While it’s faster to find what you’re looking for using your voice and gesture commands with Kinect, you can use a controller, your remote controls or your smart devices instead. And you can use all of these devices when Kinect is paused.
  • What day will Xbox One be released? What will I get for my soul?

    Microsoft will release the Xbox One on November 21. 2013.

    That's a lot of sleeps till Xmas! Gamers will receive:
    • Xbox One system (500GB hard drive)
    • Blu-ray drive
    • In-unit wireless
    • Kinect peripheral 
    • Free 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial
    • Xbox One Wireless Controller
    Players that reserve the Xbox One for purchase on launch day will receive a commemorative bundle with some digital incentives and special black packaging. 
    • Exclusive “Day One” achievement for bragging rights
    • Ryse: Son of Rome: Special multiplayer map, weapon, and stat boosts
    • Forza Motorsport 5: Four cars tuned for high performance
    • Dead Rising 3: Exclusive Frank West and Chuck Greene Tribute Packs with enhanced attributes

    How much does Xbox One cost? Your soul is the simple answer

    I see a large expense in my future
    Microsoft has announced that the Xbox One will be available November 2013 and it will cost US $499.99. The Xbox 360 launched for $399.99 back in 2005 so either it has some expensive parts of Microsoft wants to really cream the cash when it launches. Probably both.

    There will be a single SKU and it will cost €499 and £429 in other territories and will launch all over the world on the same day.

    Microsoft announces gamers to get free games every month till they have your soul

    master cheif halo 5 helmet
    This game will not be free but Halo 3 will be!
    Yusuf Mehdi has announced at E3 that Xbox Live Gold members will be receiving two free games per month starting in July, running until the launch of the Xbox One. The first two games available for free download are Assassin's Creed II and Halo 3.

    Given I managed to snag a free copy of Fable III last night I'm pretty sure this is a strategy by Microsoft to get people to try new games they may have not played before to prep them for when the lastest versions of their franchises launch on Xbox One.

    Xbox Gold fans will be pleased with their rewards / gift, remain loyal to Xbox and probably buy an Xbox One at some stage.That's some pretty shrewed marketing by the team there.

    June 6, 2013

    Microsoft announces how game sharing will happen on Xbox One AND it's not as bad as everyone first thought

    When gamers heard that Xbox One's games were going to be tied like DLC to a gamer's account they all chocked on their Mountain Dew and wrote nasty things on the internet about evil corporations taking their rights away.

    Microsoft has finally officially commented on how sharing games and selling second hand games will work and what they've outlined seems pretty reasonable at face value:

    With our modern architecture, Xbox One games will load more quickly, will be always accessible from the cloud, and there is no physical limit to the size or scope of the content provided. 

    Here are our platform policies and capabilities for game licensing – all of which will be made available when Xbox One launches later this year:

    • Buy the way you want—disc or digital—on the same day: You’ll be able to buy disc-based games at traditional retailers or online through Xbox Live, on day of release. Discs will continue to be a great way to install your games quickly.
    • Access your entire games library from any Xbox One—no discs required: After signing in and installing, you can play any of your games from any Xbox One because a digital copy of your game is stored on your console and in the cloud.  So, for example, while you are logged in at your friend’s house, you can play your games.
    • Share access to your games with everyone inside your home: Your friends and family, your guests and acquaintances get unlimited access to all of your games.  Anyone can play your games on your console--regardless of whether you are logged in or their relationship to you.
    • Give your family access to your entire games library anytime, anywhere: Xbox One will enable new forms of access for families. Up to ten members of your family can log in and play from your shared games library on any Xbox One. Just like today, a family member can play your copy of Forza Motorsport at a friend’s house. Only now, they will see not just Forza, but all of your shared games.  You can always play your games, and any one of your family members can be playing from your shared library at a given time.
    • Trade-in and resell your disc-based games: Today, some gamers choose to sell their old disc-based games back for cash and credit. We designed Xbox One so game publishers can enable you to trade in your games at participating retailers.  Microsoft does not charge a platform fee to retailers, publishers, or consumers for enabling transfer of these games. 
    • Give your games to friends: Xbox One is designed so game publishers can enable you to give your disc-based games to your friends. There are no fees charged as part of these transfers. There are two requirements: you can only give them to people who have been on your friends list for at least 30 days and each game can only be given once.

    In our role as a game publisher, Microsoft Studios will enable you to give your games to friends or trade in your Xbox One games at participating retailers. Third party publishers may opt in or out of supporting game resale and may set up business terms or transfer fees with retailers.  Microsoft does not receive any compensation as part of this. In addition, third party publishers can enable you to give games to friends. Loaning or renting games won’t be available at launch, but we are exploring the possibilities with our partners.
    As we move into this new generation of games and entertainment, from time to time, Microsoft may change its policies, terms, products and services to reflect modifications and improvements to our services, feedback from customers and our business partners or changes in our business priorities and business models or for other reasons.  We may also cease to offer certain services or products for similar reasons.
    In the months ahead, we will continue to listen to your feedback as we meet with our partners in the ecosystem to bring additional detail about our policies.
    We are excited about this new generation of games and entertainment and look forward to sharing more news with our fans. 

    June 4, 2013

    Spartan Assault will tell Commander Palmer's origins

    Halo Spartan Assault will feature Halo 4's Commander Palmer and will be set between the events of the third and fourth games in the sci-fi-series.

    Here's the official word from 343 on the Palmer's role in the game.

    How is Palmer’s role different in Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo: Initiation?

    Brian Reed: This is the story of how Palmer became a Spartan. Its early days in the Spartan IV program in this story and they’re looking for the first recruits into the program. But to get recruited into the program, you’ve got to have done something pretty spectacular. This is the story of what Palmer did, what happens on her first mission as a Spartan, and how the events of that mission set in motion her eventual placement as Infinity Spartan Commander.

    What are some of your favorite things about writing for this character?

    Brian Reed: Palmer’s a lot of fun to write because she’s half-way to a force of nature. She has a lot of “shoot first, ask questions later” in her bones, and so far in her life that has proven to be the best operating procedure. Of course the day will come that her style backfires and she realizes she needs to learn about something the rest of us call “subtlety.” Luckily for us, she’s got a Brute to fight in this comic, so that day’s not here yet.

    Can you talk about some of the story connections to Halo 4 fans can expect in Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo: Initiation?

    Brian Reed: Palmer’s in both stories, as is Spartan Davis, another of the recruits we meet in INITIATION. Over the course of the comic we see their first meeting, and their partnership develop. Since the two of them are what stands between UNSC forces and certain doom in Spartan Assault, it’s interesting to see how they got to know one another.

    What kind of questions will Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo: Initiation answer about Palmer?

    Brian Reed: The two big questions we aimed to answer were “How did Palmer become a Spartan?” and “What did she do that was so impressive the Spartans made her their Commander?” The answer to both of these questions involves a lot of heavy weapons fire, explosions, humor, and adventure across a dangerous and exciting galaxy. You know… Halo stuff.

    June 3, 2013

    Is this the sexiest ever Joker cosplay?

    I'm too sexy for these pants.
    Is this the sexiest ever Joker cosplay?  At least, she has the best abs of any Joker!

    You've got to wonder what Jack Nicholson would say about this cosplay version of the Joker. Being a grumpy old bastard he might say that the jacket's not done up properly, the hair's wrong and that her hot pants are just too damn short. Or he may say "Hey Girl"...

    Spartan Assault domain names exist, more Halo on the way?

    Last week saw the news that there was Halo: Bootcamp game reviewed by censors in Korea, now Fusible has found that Microsoft has obtained domain name registrations for various titles which we'll collective call Halo: Spartan Assault

    So what's going on? Is this tied to Halo 5 which punters are punting on 343 Industries announcing at the E3 Expo in a couple of weeks? Is this a new game? Is this related to the Halo: Bootcamp game that the Koreans are pretty sure exists?

    Time will tell.

    Here's the domain names secured:

    • SpartanAssault.net
    • HaloSpartanAssault.com
    • Halo-SpartanAssault.com
    • Halo-SpartanAssault.net
    • HaloSpartanAssault.net