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Posts Tagged ‘First-Person Shooter’

interactive_cave_shooting_simulator

You hear that, Glorious Master Race? You don’t need to play the whole of Destiny, because the BEST part of Destiny is now on PC! It’s called Interactive Cave Shooting Simulator and it’s all yours for the low, low price of FREE. See? We told you Destiny would come to PC eventually.

You can play arguably the best part of Destiny in your web browser right this moment. Just head over here.  And if you have no idea what is going on right now, click this.

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Praise the Traveller. Bungie is listening to the barrage of online bitching and will be patching Destiny’s rubbish loot system at some point this week. Considering, at time of writing, that the Destiny servers are currently down, it’s likely that the patch may even go live today. That or it’s another DDOS attack. (UPDATE: yep, DDOS attack; Destiny and Call of Duty: Ghosts servers are offline.)

The patch notes for update 1.0.2 explain the numerous changes coming to the loot system. It all comes down to the Cryptarch and Engrams; both of which were the systems that were making the loot system feel unfair.

From now on, Legendary (purple) Engrams will always decode into Legendary or better items. This means that they could also decode into Exotic weapons or Legendary crafting materials. Rare (blue) Engrams will always decode into Rare or better items, and now have an increase chance to decode into Legendary items.

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It was fun while it lasted. Bungie has nuked Destiny’s fabled “Treasure Cave” in the fifth hotfix released for the game so far. The Treasure Cave allowed players to exploit a rapid respawn point for a group of Hive enemies in order to farm equipment drops and XP. The Treasure Cave was located on the Earth map in the game.

In the hotfix notes, Bungie playfully announced the nerfing of the exploit: “The Hive of the holy “Treasure Cave” have realized the futility of their endless assault on Skywatch and have retired to lick their wounds and plan their next attack.”

Yes, I too succumbed to the lure of the Treasure Cave. I stood outside its entrance, silently standing shoulder-to-shoulder with many other hopefuls, diligently emptying clip after clip into that cavernous maw in the hopes that the loot gods would bless me with Rare of Legendary engram drops. They did on numerous occasions, but the Cryptarch had other plans for my farming efforts. I really, REALLY hate that guy.

Source: Bungie

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Being great at a first-person shooter encompasses a number of skills – movement trajectory, situational awareness, accuracy, weapon suitability, enemy assessment. And while there are a few titles that score you appropriate in terms of speed, accuracy and style — Bulletstorm comes to mind — there’s few that focus on a detailed score-based breakdown of their shooty bits.

DESYNC, a new FPS currently in early alpha, aims to address this in its own garish, neon-coated and polygonal way. DESYNC allows the user to deploy special attack sequences (which are basically the same as fighting game moves – a sequence of movements and gunplay that results in unique attacks and effects.). The world will also dynamically react to your play style; enemies spawns will be adjusted and levels will alter themselves based on your performance, resulting in a ramp-up of intensity according to your skill.

Another interesting aspect is that enemies will not adhere to their standard attack forms and methods; individual enemies can be bestowed with certain offensive or defensive items that changes how they engage you, and dealing with these adjustments will be crucial for maintaining a high score.

The game itself employs an abstract graphic  style that calls to mind how virtual reality was presented circa the early 90s, but it has a certain harsh charm to it. Available for voting on Steam Greenlight, you can also check out the teaser trailer below.

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Reviewed in a vacuum, Destiny would be the most competent of shooter experiences. If the merit of a game was based solely on its fundamental mechanics and whether or not one has fun engaging with those mechanics, then this would be the shortest review you’d read this year; Destiny would get 100% and I’d tell you that you couldn’t possibly go wrong.

Unfortunately, publishers and marketers ensure that games can never be reviewed in a vacuum, and contemporary big budget titles are always more than a primary game mechanic. Still, it would be nice to review Destiny without the rubbish preamble that overhyped the game’s eventual release. It would be nice to play through the game without that cloying mantra from marketers and PR representatives saying, “Judge Destiny by what it will become, and not what it is now.” I don’t buy that. We’ve all bought Destiny now, and we’re reviewing what is in front of us – that’s how video game reviews work.

Yes, in the future there will be more content for Destiny, and features will be added as the game continues to evolve. If that model sounds familiar, then you’ve played MMO games before. This game should have been marketed as an MMO, and not some new industry buzz-genre known as a “shared world shooter”. But Activision didn’t want to do that (probably rightly so) because they wanted to get the console shooter fans firmly on board. MMOs are a hard sell these days, but for all intents and purposes, Destiny is an MMO. Here’s the thing though: I HATE MMOs, but I had (and I still am having) terrific amounts of fun with Bungie’s new baby.

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borderlands_the_pre_sequel

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is Coming Soon™. And by “soon” we mean 17 October. The events of The Pre-Sequel take place between the original Borderlands and Borderlands 2. Makes total sense, doesn’t it? In The Pre-Sequel, you’ll get to pick between four new characters, including Claptrap. The game takes place on Pandora’s moon, Elpis. That means there’s low gravity so you’ll be able to jump really high and fire guns while floating through the not-atmosphere.

I got to play Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel at Gamescom and found myself gravitating (moon pun!) towards the setups where Claptrap was playable. Claptrap is a chaotic force on the battlefield; his special ability allows him to run a file in his programming called VaultHunter.exe with varying results. You never know what’s going to happen when you activate his ability. On one occasion it made my guns fire entire clips at once, so you’d be able to pour an entire clip worth of damaging into an enemy in one shot. Of course that meant reloading after every shot, but the high risk, high reward nature was amusing. On another occasion his ability made him throw grenades automatically and non-stop. Add in the fact that his ability affects everyone in the party, and Claptrap becomes a most amusing character option.

If you want a good (and lengthy… and hilarious) breakdown of the game, then hit the jump and allow Sir Hammerlock and Mr. Torgue to guide you through the features of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.

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Elephants… elephants will be my weapon of choice in Ubisoft’s November first-person shooter release. Why? Because they’re basically living tanks; they can throw enemies around and stamp on people; if you’re riding them, they can lift bad guys with their trunks and hold them RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR GUN. They’re helpful that way. Also, they crave the taste of human blood, which I did not know until now but it also totally explains my innate fear of them when driving around Kruger National Park.

If you also want to come to the same realisation that I have, then Ubisoft has prepared a primer video. Once you’ve watched it, you too will say, “Yes. I too will no longer use passé weapons like flamethrowers, bowie knives and AK-47 machine guns. From here on out, I’m using my elephant for all my killing needs.”

I shall be naming my Far Cry 4 elephant Sam. Sam and I will traverse the wilds of Kyrat and lay waste to any militant scumbags who dare get in our way. Also, Sam will eat peanuts because I saw that in a Disney movie once so it must be a thing that elephants do.

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destiny_alpha_impressions_screenshot_1

Activision has revealed that they shipped $500 million worth of Destiny stock to retailers around the globe. The game, which launched this past Tuesday, 09 September, now holds the record for the industry’s biggest new franchise launch. Note that this does not represent units sold to public – we’re sure Activision will release those figures in the coming weeks.

In total, there were 11, 000 shops that opened at midnight in more than 178 countries around the world to let players pick up their pre-ordered copies. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick provided the following statement: “Based on extraordinary audience demand, retail and first party orders worldwide have exceeded $500 million for Destiny. This industry milestone marks another blockbuster success for our company and demonstrates our unique ability to create some of the most successful entertainment franchises in the world.”

Are you playing Destiny? How are you finding it? NAG Online will have a full review up in the coming weeks as we pace our way through Bungie’s latest sci-fi shooter. Maybe we’ll get to catch some of you online – be sure to wave.

destiny_traveler_earth

Why are you reading this? Why aren’t you playing Activision’s Destiny – the biggest baddest bestest shooter that ever big-bad-best-shot – right now? Have you been watching the live streams of the game that are floating around the ‘Net? I bet you have, since clearly you don’t already own it. Clearly you’re not engaged with the gaming zeitgeist and are culturally barren. We can’t review it yet, because… well, because it’s a game that requires a bit of time to critically assess, and because we’re in the same boat as you.

Also, there’s one review copy and it’s totally not going to me and I’m totally not miff about it. Activision’s Destiny isn’t an MMO but a shared-world shooter, which means that if you shoot something, someone else will cry about it. But who cares about that? We need to write something about Activistion’s Destiny. It’s launched today, didn’t you know? Unless you’re a True Gamer and got your copy early and changed the servers to Australia so you could stream about your experience and tell everyone that they should totally wait for your review, the one you’re working on in between having so much fun playing right now HOLY SHIT DID YOU SEE THAT WOWZERS.

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destiny_live_action_screencap

All aboard! Tickets please! The Destiny hype-train is pulling out of pre-order station. Next stop: release day. During the journey, please enjoy this new live-action trailer for Bungie and Activision’s next big thing.

Forced analogy aside, this is a great trailer for Destiny. Activision is no stranger to dropping live-action videos a few days before the release of titles in the Call of Duty franchise, so it’s nice to see that their formulaic marketing is being applied across the IP stable. Also they get extra points for using Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”.

Destiny is arriving on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One next week Tuesday, 09 September. I am most certainly looking forward to it. Hit the jump for the trailer.

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