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What We're Playing This Weekend: Technomancer Vault-Tec Workshop Edition

by: Randy - - 0 Comments

Former PlayStation VP Adam Boyes joins Iron Galaxy, technical consultants and developers of Wrecketeer and Divekick. The Nintendo NX is reportedly a standalone portable with the ability to plug into an HDTV. And the first Xbox One S bundles arrive in one month in Madden NFL 17 and five-game Halo collection flavors.

What are you playing this weekend?

Charles Husemann, Editor-in-Chief, @chusemann
My niece and her best friend are in town for the Columbus Comic Con and the Ohio State Fair on Saturday. And I have a 60-mile training ride for Pelotonia on Sunday. So my gaming time this weekend is going to be limited to showing off some cool experiences in VR and maybe a few rounds of MechWarrior Online.

Randy Kalista, Staff Writer, @randykalista
Oh good, John Yan tells me "don't be creepy" with the Fallout 4: Vault-Tec Workshop experiments on my dwellers, but I can tell he's struggling internally with himself on that point. I crawled all over Quincy Quarries to find the entrance to Vault 88 to start the Vault-Tec Workshop content. The entrance is obscured. Especially if you rely on the VANS perk to guide your path. Super looking forward to building nice, clean, pre-war spaces, even though vaults can be some of the most architecturally boring places. I'm seeing what I can do to spice things up, though. Also, after years of Dishonored and I having a staring contest with each other, I finally blinked. I always thought it looked a little too copy-pasted for its own good. It looked a little too Half-Life, a little too Thief, a little too BioShock for its own good. But it's clicking with me now. I especially love the heart. I like the Bob-Ross-wearing-a-steampunk-monocle views, but that heartbroken heart is what's going to carry me through the whole narrative. If I never stumble across another audio log in a game, I'll be happy—but point-and-click narration from a dismembered bodily organ is neat.

Aidan Kelly, Staff Writer, akelly@gamingnexus.com
This weekend I won't be playing The Technomancer. Nor will I play it the weekend after--and probably never again. In fact as soon as I write up the review, I'm going to uninstall it. Instead I'll be squadding up with BSOT on Battlefield 4. The BF4 community is still considerably active and servers are easy to find. I've recently taken a liking to hardcore servers for added immersion. Nothing beats having no idea what's happening and friends laughing as they shoot you in the back. Other than BF4, I'll be playing Final Fantasy VII. I was going to wait until the remake to replay the game, but with Final Fantasy XV dropping soon I had to get my fix. In between Cloud twiddling a huge sword over his head, I hope to get a few rounds of Hearts of Iron IV in with a squaddie from BSOT. Last week 8.2 million soldiers died during our one and only pitched battle.

Rob Larkin, Staff Writer, @Rob_GN
Really into the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt right now, so most of my time will be there. But also have gotten into the Mushroom Wars 2 closed beta and will be putting significant effort into that. I was pleasantly surprised by the recent re-release of the original on PC and I'm interested to see how things have evolved. I've also picked up Furi, the PS Plus free game of this past month, because a lot of people in my Destiny clan are talking about it. I've only scratched the surface of the first boss but I like what I've seen there.

John Yan, Senior Hardware Editor, @TheJohnYan
This weekend I'll be messing around with some Pool Nation VR and probably some Hover Junkers. With the release of the Vault-Tec Workshop, I'm also going to put my dwellers through some experiments in Fallout 4. Nothing too extreme. Yet.

There's a PC mod to put you in first-person mode in The Witcher 3

by: Randy - - 0 Comments

If you want to immerse me in a role-playing game, make it from a first-person perspective. Third-person is great and all if you like armor sets and watching your sword swing around. But first-person is what really puts your boots on the ground.

That's what modder skacikpl is doing with a Witcher 3 first-person mod. The mod is a work in progress and it may very well never leave alpha. But it's a wonderful idea for one of the most beautifully crafted video games ever made. It's gotta take some nice pics.

Candyland took a look at the first-person mode. They're excited to see what comes of it. But they also note some difficulties with movement. The Witcher 3 has been criticized for its on-foot movement since day one. The horse, Roach, has always had issues, too. But this video makes apparent how different the two control schemes—between third- and first-person—really operate.

Namely, in first-person, there's no 360-degree view, meaning you have to physically turn The Witcher's body to look in different directions, rather than just turning his head. Also, when using WASD controls on a keyboard, pushing S doesn't walk backwards, it turns you around a full 180 degrees. There's a major fish-eye-lens effect, too.

When going back and forth between third- and first-person perspective, it's fun watching The Witcher's head disappear before the camera pulls in and settles on his neck hole. 

You can get the mod here, in The Witcher 3's forums.

GN Editor-in-Chief Chuck Husemann has declared The Witcher 3 his #1 game of all time (and trust me, his list goes back decades). We gave The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt our highest score. And check out Chuck's reviews on the expansion packs, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine.

Steam is having a weekend VR sale

by: John - - 0 Comments

If you picked up an HTC Vive or an Oculus Rift and need some games for your library, this weekend is a good time to do it. Steam is having a good ole sale of a ton of VR titles. There are some good ones to pick up such as Hover Junkers, Space Pirate Trainer, and Pool Nation VR.

For those that already have some of the titles in the proposed bundle, Steam will automatically remove those games and give you a brand new price. Of course, you can purchase games individually, but if you're looking to grab a massive amount of titles to play with, the bundle's not a bad choice.

Update 2 for DOOM guarantees a double XP weekend as well as some major updates

by: Sean Cahill - - 0 Comments

DOOM continues to attract players with its addictive multiplayer and robust campaign, and the second free update scheduled for this weekend promises more content and an incentive to jump into multiplayer if you haven't already.

That's right, it's Double XP Weekend for the hellish FPS game. Players can join multiplayer starting at Noon ET on Friday, July 29 and enjoy the boost in experience until Noon ET on Monday, August 1.

Beyond the extra experience, more content is being added in the form of some updated and new game modes. Instead of telling you about them here, enjoy the trailer below and get a true feel of what is being added to the game.

Happy shooting!

Say hello to the Voodoo Queen herself in Mafia III

by: Sean Cahill - - 0 Comments

We're fast approaching the launch date for 2K Games revisiting of the crime underworld in Mafia III. Today we introduce you to the Voodoo Queen of the criminal underworld, Cassandra.

Cassandra appears to be the leader of the Haitian Mob faction inside the game, and she has a major score to settle, though while the trailer teases that she had some type of incident with the mafia, we don't know the full details just yet.

Check out the trailer below and be sure to check out the Mafia III website to get more information as we plow ahead towards October 6, 2016 with our Tommy Guns a blazing.

The soundtrack was my first clue that Abzu would be "Journey but underwater"

by: Randy - - 0 Comments

From the very first trailer, I was suspicious of Abzu's visuals and soundtrack. It seemed like it was trying to look and sound too much like Journey. Journey is a brilliant, singular experience; one that I don't think requires copycatting.

But now I'm seeing that Matt Nava, art director behind Journey, and Austin Wintory, Journey's composer, are calling a lot of shots on Abzu—which is doing everything it can to draw comparisons to Journey. The tweet-length pitch on the game seems to be simply "Journey but underwater."

Mystery solved, I guess.

That "Journey but underwater" description is, to me, a discouraging comparison. Much of Journey's magic comes from the implacable feeling that the world feels like an underwater desert. In Journey, light flows like water, birds fly like fish swim, and dragons prey on them all like Great White Sharks in the sky. But Abzu, as magical as it's likewise trying to be, kind of removes that magical abstraction and turns Abzu into the obvious: underwater things are underwater. Pretty, to be sure, in that flatly polygonal artstyle that's been growing in popularity the past few years.

Hopefully the game tells its own unique story. I sound negative, but don't get me wrong. I'm genuinely curious about Abzu's intentions and, ultimately, the story it wants to tell. Because I'm not handing out any bonus points for being overly blunt about your inspirations. "Journey but underwater" isn't the worst starting point, but it isn't the best either. Lacks imagination, just from an elevator-pitch standpoint. Journey will live a long and prosperous life on my list of best games ever. Maybe Abzu also has a seat waiting at that table.

Also, when I see the word the word "Abzu," my brain wants to fill in the blank and call it "Abzu-lutely." I feel like I should get a bottle of Absolut vodka.

Abzu is on PC and PlayStation 4 next week, August 2.

Retro-Bit Generations looks to challenge NES Classic and other retro consoles

by: Sean Colleli - - 0 Comments

We've seen a proliferation of retro clone consoles over the last few years. It was a cottage industry for a while, with third party companies making hardware clones, some of them even licensed like the AtGames Sega and Atari clones of dubious quality. More recently we've seen consoles that use software emulation to play classic games, from Hyperkin's oft-delayed and rather suspect Retron 5, to Nintendo's official NES Classic Edition.

Retro-Bit has been quiet since the release of their Super Retro Trio a couple years back, which used hardware emulation to play a variety of old cartridges, but only output in composite/s-video. Now they're jumping into the software side of things with the Retro-Bit Generations. This new console is planned for a fall release at $59.99, the same price as the NES Classic.

The kicker is that while the NES Classic is a one-and-done deal, with 30 baked in games and no ability to add more digitally or otherwise, the Retro-Bit Generations console has an SD card slot, so more games can be added later. Retro-Bit also worked with renowned publishers like Data-East, Capcom, Jaleco and IREM to include 100 games on the console out of the box. The Retro-Bit Generations comes loaded with classics like Ghosts'N Goblins, Gun.Smoke, Kid Niki Radical Ninja, Kung-Fu, Captain Commando, Kickle Cubicle, Rival Turf, Super R-Type, The Super Bases Loaded Series, Knights of the Round, Brawl Brothers, and Ring King.

The console itself is quite small and looks suitably 90s, with a red-and-black design that recalls the Super Retro Trio. It comes with two Sega Genesis 6-button style controllers that connect via USB, which means that the console can hypothetically use any controller with a USB connector. Best of all, the Retro-Bit Generations outputs in 720p HD.

I bought a Super Retro Trio about a year ago and it's a quality product, so I'm excited to play Retro-Bit's next generation of retro console. I'll miss the multiple cartridge ports--I have a rather extensive collection of old carts--but the ability to add more games is a fair tradeoff. Stay tuned for more info on the Retro-Bit Generations.

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We Happy Few arrives on Steam Early Access

by: Russell - - 0 Comments

I'm sure everyone at one point in time has wondered what the world would be like if everyone was happy.  Well this might be one possibility.  Welcome to We Happy Few, a game set in the dystopian 1960s English city of Wellington Wells where "a group of slightly terrible people are trying to escape a lifetime of cheerful denial".  To escape the city you'll have to blend in with the citizens and take your "Joy", a pill that apparently makes everything and everyone seem cheerful.  You'll also have to try to abide by their not-so-normal rules.

Players who purchase the game at this point can travel around Wellington Wells and check out some key mechanics such as social conformity and suspicion, crafting, combat, and survival.  As the game continues through Early Access, the city will expand and improve and full storylines will be added once the final release is ready for launch.


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Titanfall 2, all about the servers

by: Rob - - 0 Comments

A key component to an online multiplayer experience is how the game is hosted. Some publishers go all out and provide dedicated servers, server hosting or rental, and the like. Others choose to host the matches on the local machines running them with varying degrees of success. Anyone who played Iron Banner on Destiny last week, for example, will surely have experienced poor connections due to this local hosting, players skipping around the map, hits failing to register, and disconnecting players entirely. Titanfall 2, is taking the more secure route, by not only providing dedicated servers, but balancing that load between Microsoft's Azure, Google, and Amazon's cloud services, as well as dedicated boxes. 

And coming soon will be the big test of all these toys, when the Multiplayer Technical Test goes live. Still no word on a date for that but Respawn are suggesting you sign up for the newsletter to keep up with the latest. With a late October release date and time needed not just to run the technical test but sift through the data and make the necessary adjustments, I would think it will come some time in August or early September, but that's pure speculation.

If you have more questions about Titanfall 2 servers or how the game will be hosted, Jon "Slothy" Shiring, Lead Engineer from the video below, will be taking over the Titanfall Twitter today at 2:30pm PST (5:30 EST). Use the hashtag #TF2ServerQA for server Q's or any other during topics. I never had a problem with Titanfall 1's server connections, but there were huge issues with matchmaking and matchmaking times, so there abouts went my query...

Titanfall 2 launches October 28th on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. 

The four pillars of No Man's Sky: Survive

by: Randy - - 0 Comments

Extreme heat. Extreme cold. Toxic air. Radiation levels. Survival is the final pillar of the four pillars that make up No Man's Sky gameplay. Hostile environments are your first adversary. Since air, land, and sea surrounds you, it's an even more immediate concern than, perhaps, deadly lifeforms. On the surface, underwater, flying through the sky—no part of the natural world wants you to live, let alone thrive, in No Man's Sky. The neutral universe is a cruel mistress.

Survival is no joke. It may very well be what keeps you moving through the universe. It may even be a better motivator than the stated goal of reaching the center of the galaxy, the center of that 14-quintillion-planet Tootsie Pop. Whelp, this planet wants me dead; better keep moving.

There will be the occassional Garden of Eden planet, but those are much rarer than previous videos might lead you to believe. The average planet is going to be unfriendly, maybe even ugly, and mostly unconcerned whether you live or die. You will be the only thing in the universe responsible for your survival. Can't wait.

Along with Survival, you can watch the other three pillars of No Man's SkyExplore, Fight, and Trade—to get a fuller picture of what makes up this most enigmatic title.

No Man's Sky launches on PlayStation 4 on August 9, and PC August 12.