|Posted by Admin on July 4, 2014 at 4:05 AM|
Upon entering World of Tanks, two things immediately brushed past my mind that had the potential to change the way I experience free-to-play games, especially when they appear to marketed as a Triple-A title. While some games manage to nail the free-to-play ethics first time round, and know exactly what they’re doing in the case of micro-transactions, there are others that come to mind which vaguely remind me some are in it just for the money, and the passion for creating games is a second priority.
While those such as the Android phenomenon Angry Birds and PC exclusive Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, have clear intentions on the type of experience they hope to give to the player, and more specifically doing so on that specific platform, there’s always two or three games every year that are scraped out from the back of the kitchen that’s soaked in a candy topping sweetness of dollar sauce, that has you pinching at your purse every other hour in order to taste the maximum amount of content from what the game is hiding under its attractive sugary coating.
Then before you know it…your account balance is pretty much empty and you’re sitting in a crowded forum discussing the frustration you just felt, while at the same time looking forward to a sequel that you’ll inevitably purchase regardless of the included micro-transactions. Games are good, we buy them no matter what, and we put up with these methods of practice because it’s now an established norm.
Take Konami’s most recently released two hour tech-demo for example attainable by retail pricing, but that’s another story for another day. However, with game practices aside and trying to remain open-minded while naturally remaining skeptical I was interested to see just how World of Tanks handled its free-to-play strategy, and just how much this would either limit my playtime with it, or have me enjoy the experience without whispering to my wallet.
Right from the on-set of the customization menu which is tightly woven into the main menu, you’re welcomed by what appears to be a progression system, filtered across three different factions as indicated by their world flags. While this is a small detail and means nothing to the game, the whole theme of tanks and war goes hand in hand with this as all online shooters do. In this menu you are able to purchase tanks, use gold coins and what one would presume to be real-life transactions.
One interesting thing I did come across while browsing this menu was the different classes and names for the tanks, which I assumed would required me to have actual knowledge about these vehicles in order to keep me invested potentially for the long term. While it’s easy to see some sort of authenticity in this aspect of the game, the child inside me that just wanted to jump in a tank and blow stuff up was also excited by what the game had to offer at this point.
The game’s main menu itself is easy to navigate and links seamlessly with the other tabs, consisting of stats, store, and daily news. Although I did appreciate the welcoming nature of the game’s menu and the convenience of having my garage as the primary tab, there’s no denying that aside from its friendly nature, World of Tanks looks like one fat mobile game that’s been tightly wedged onto a big screen. This aspect of appearing mobile has nothing to do with its graphical details or the amount of pixels that’s been drawn to the screen.
No, it’s more to do with the message the game sends you, in that it’s being almost ironic in trying to deliver a free-to-play experience while at the same time attempting to look Triple-A. These two aspects, or for lack of a better word “categories”, don’t blend in well together. It’s not like the game is filled with ads or requires you to sign in to one of fifty accounts that you’ll forget about in the next hour or so.
It’s the bloated amount of coins, star count, and purchase elements that are present in almost every aspect of the screen, with the latter hoarding the top right corner. The left side serves as a reminder of your current trial days remaining, and that you should purchase an Xbox Live Gold subscription to claim a “Premium Tank”.
While I have no real agenda with these elements on something of a mobile platform, because that platform purely knows its purpose in continuously pinching your wallet. These aspects of a console game should have remained fairly discreet when attempting to mold the idea of a free-to-play game that’s also of Triple-A standards.
Going in-depth with the main tab, by the name of Garage this is where you store your tanks. All sorted vertically by classes of light, medium, heavy, and so on. The element of choice here is great considering you can assign more than one slot into each of these classes. This may aid in prolonging the life of the game seeing how it’s an online multiplayer game only, and let’s face it, a game based purely on tank warfare with no actual reasoning for doing so can only last so long. The good thing here however is that there’s no other game doing it, or one that comes to mind that’s actually as popular as World of Tanks.
World of Tanks serves its gameplay to you that’s best described as thrown into the abyss. After selecting my vehicle from the reasonable choices available and being informed to roll out I had no say in what match-type I would be playing. After taking part in three matches of capturing and holding the enemy base, I was introduced to the second of three game modes which the game had to offer. This was something I found to be frustrating and unwelcoming to players who may have not fully looked into the game before getting involved in, but hey least it’s free.
The other two modes available consist of defending your base from the opposing team, and taking control of a neutral base which you fight over against the opposing team. While the matches don’t outstay their welcome and in my case ended fairly quickly due to the nature of its gameplay, the reward system for taking part that follows shortly after, presents itself as nothing but a kick-in-the-teeth for the enjoyability that you had while playing for free.
Greeted in celebration by “Battle Awards” this giant show-stopper informs you on the amount of points you’ve racked up during the battle, while at the same time telling you how much more you would have earned had you been playing on a premium account, and with a Silver premium account. To topple this approach of introducing account types and game purchases, it doesn’t do a good job in explaining how exactly to do so and what real rewards you reap from it, other than being granted additional XP and gold which you can use to purchase Premium tanks and gain a leg up on your status for bragging rights.
In my first two hours in of playtime it was fairly easy to see just how far the game will take you in terms of enjoyability and grinding for better rankings and tanks. The implementation of micro-transactions in the game feels ultimately useless. World of Tanks is an enjoyable game, and anybody who fantasized as a kid about blowing stuff with miniature models and tank toy replicas can finally have some degree of excitement, by experiencing it through the big screen.
That being said however, it’s easy to see that those not generally interested in tanks, although being interested in other online shooters may not take to World of Tanks, regardless of it being a free-to-play game. It’s safe to say that one may have to have a real interest in fantasy tank warfare, or general curiosity before picking it up. One thing I do consider however is the longevity of the game as a whole and how long the player base will last, asw ell as the approach that Wargaming.net the studio behind the game, will fair in keeping it fresh and relevant via the use of new game modes.
On a visual scale World of Tanks is fairly acceptable in what many would consider attractive. There’s no eye-strain, no screen tearing, and there’s no performance issues present at this point. While the game is no eye-pleaser and doesn’t attempt to triumph over any other games, it’s not ugly. I feel it’s safe to say that at this point in the Xbox 360s eight year life span games are looking as good as they’ll ever get and the limits with this system have been reached.
There’s nothing to write home about regarding the amount of details or objects present on the game’s maps, but the scale is acceptable and works well with the amount of distance that can be covered with tank warfare. The flat textures and jagged trees prove noticeable from far as is the low pixel count. But as I stated previously, as long as the game isn’t ugly and doesn’t brake the player’s sense of immersion or enjoyability, then judging the game’s visual aspects at this point in the console’s life span is pointless.
Although World of Tanks is a game that appears to be skeptical on the surface it proves to be an enjoyable experience once you give the chance. I stand by my word when say I question the longevity of the game , but it’s certainly worth the experience regardless. The micro-transactions here fall flat in their purpose as the gameplay stomps the need to actually considerate it. World of Tanks isn’t authentic in gameplay nor does it try to be. It blends arcade gameplay with a touch of realism that’s just about enough to keep the player entertained and playing strategic enough to make the most of what it has to offer.
Micro-transactions prove useless due to the nature of the game.
Worrying longevity of the game due to game mode variety and interest from the player.
|Posted by Admin on June 26, 2014 at 12:30 AM|
The inFamous: Second Son – First Light DLC will launch on August 26 in North America and August 27 in Europe, developer Sucker Punch announced on Twitter today. You can find new concept art below.
|Posted by Admin on June 26, 2014 at 12:30 AM|
A video game based on The Legend of Korra TV show is in the works, Activision has revealed.
The console release – for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC – is being handled by PlatinumGames. This version is a third-person combat game and features a story written by Korra scribe Tim Hendrick.
The Korra game will take place between the series’ second and third seasons. You’ll be using the character’s fire, earth, air, and water elements in combat to fight familiar enemies such as Mecha Tanks and Chi Blockers, in addition to other Benders in the 3-on-3 Pro-Bending arena.
A separate Korra game is in the works for 3DS, developed by Webfoot Technologies. On Nintendo’s portable, The Legend of Korra is a turn-based strategy title that puts the “focus on tactically maneuvering Korra and her allies on the battlefield.”
The Legend of Korra video game launches this year.
|Posted by Admin on June 25, 2014 at 4:30 AM|
Deep Silver is preparing a new version of Saints Row IV. The publisher intends to ship “Saints Row IV: National Treasure Edition” – a package containing the original game and all DLC – on July 8. Pricing is set at $29.99.
|Posted by Admin on June 25, 2014 at 3:55 AM|
Respawn Entertainment published a new post on the Titanfall website covering the game’s fourth update. A release date hasn’t been determined yet, but the patch will be going live on all platforms “soon”.
You can find a full overview of the update after the break.
Featured Game Mode – We’re introducing Featured Game Modes into our playlist rotation. These are game modes that will be available for a limited time only. New Featured Game Modes will be introduced periodically to replace any outgoing Featured Game Mode. Our first Featured Game Mode is Marked For Death, and Wingman Last Titan Standing will follow shortly after.
Marked For Death – A player on each team will be marked for death! Kill the enemy mark while protecting your teammate.
Titan Burn Cards – 14 new burn cards that add amped Titan weapons and enhanced Titan abilities. You won’t lose your selected Titan Burn Card if you die as a Pilot, only when you die as a Titan. There is an orange highlight around Titans that have Burn Cards equipped on the Titan Counter HUD and Titans with active Burn Cards have an indicator near their health bars.
Titan Insignias – Want to show off your accomplishments? You can now select from a host of emblems to customize your Titan. Insignias are unlocked by completing challenges but if you’ve already completed the requirements, that emblem will be ready to use when the update installs. Two emblems come courtesy of Penny Arcade (thanks, PA!) and another recognizes users who completed the “Gooser” challenge the hard way.
Matchmaking – We’ve made improvements to matchmaking & team balancing. Now, teams are rearranged just before the level loads, to further balance the teams’ skill and player counts. You’ll notice that you’re greyed out in the lobby until teams are set. You’ll also notice “Connecting…” as players join a match.
Titan OS Voices – Players now have 3 Titan V.O. options to choose from including the classic “Betty” as well as Jeeves and Lisa.
More Titan OS VO – New helpful warnings and observations from your Titan.
Challenge Tracker – You can now select which challenges you want to work towards and find them easily. You can review your tracked challenges during a match by bringing up the in-game menu.
Lobby Music – The ability turn lobby music on or off.
Updated Menu Art – Menus get a new coat of digital paint with additional art. The Main Menu background movie has been updated as well.
Audio – Killing a Pilot now plays a special sound effect to the killer and unique sounds are played when killing a Pilot or Titan via Titanfall.
Auto-Titans – Your Auto-Titan will now use all Titan abilities. If you’ve equipped electric smoke, it will deploy electric smoke when it gets rodeo’ed. If you’ve equipped the particle wall, it will deploy a particle wall when it is under fire.
Rodeo – You now see the name of the Titan you rodeo.
Burn Cards – You’ll notice a Triple Burn Card selector on bottom right of the HUD after you die. It’s a reminder to use your cards and a convenient way to select them.
Burn Card overflow protection – To protect players who have a full Burn Card deck from losing the opportunity to earn valuable rare Burn Cards, you may now exceed your maximum deck size. However, you must discard down to a legal deck size before you arm new Burn Cards. To make this less obtrusive, the maximum base deck size has been increased from 26 to 46.
Burn Card Deck Limit tied to Gen level – Maximum deck size is increased by 6 cards per gen on top of the base 46 with a maximum of 100 for Gen 10.
Drift Guard – New “Movement Drift Guard” gamepad setting in options.
Unlocks – You’ll still be able to unlock the Stryder and Ogre chassis by playing Campaign, but you can also unlock them in normal MP modes. The Stryder will unlock at level 15 and the Ogre at level 30.
Win/Loss Streak – Your win/loss streak for the last 10 matches is now displayed in the lobby over the image of the next map.
NEW FEATURES (X1)
Achievements – If you bought the Expedition DLC for Titanfall you have a new set of achievements to unlock by playing the DLC maps.
BUG FIXES (All Platforms)
Fix for no music playing when you join a match late.
Fix for Sonar Burn Cards not showing during kill replay.
Fix case for when “Titan Locking”/”Pilot Locking” indicator goes away.
Fix not being able to rodeo a Titan doing a synced melee kill.
Corporate: Restored Victory/Defeat music at end of match in Corporate on Campaign.
Fix for getting stuck in Titan deploying nuclear core and nuclear core not doing full damage when right next to Titan.
Fix cases where disembarking player directly from a Titan into the dropship leaves that player behind.
Fixed players not ejecting from where the Titan is if they dash while auto-ejecting.
Fix for Flyer ragdolls disappearing.
Fixed cases where punching would make a Titan fly. You might remember this one from being featured on Kotaku.
Fixed the Smart Pistol being unable to lock-on when the frame rate is low. (Thanks for reporting this one, forums!)
Fixed the Smart Pistol not being able to hit crawling Spectres.
Fixed occasional issue where Titan rodeo kills were not counted towards the Brain Surgeon challenge.
Fixed a case where player jump jet effects would spawn endlessly.
Fixed a crash when attempting to necksnap a Pilot who is rodeo’ing a Titan.
Fixed a crash involving Sonar.
Fixed being popped into Spectre tubes on Corporate after jumping off from a rodeo.
Fixed water not fogging properly.
Fixed cloaked players being too visible in heavy fog.
Fixed satchels skipping doomed state when set off with smoke.
Fixed hitching and fast forward motion when game has been running for a long time.
Fixed tearing happening more often than necessary when running close to 60 fps.
BUG FIXES (PC)
Fixed crashes related to fullscreen mode.
Game window supports minimize.
Game minimizes when switched out.
Added very cheap low-quality water technique for min-spec PCs.
BUG FIXES (Xbox One)
Fix for issue where going into XBox menus causes 2 music tracks to overlap.
BALANCING (All Platforms)
In this update we’ve made a few changes to Pilot weapons and Big Punch to ensure proper balance. Some weapons, like the Hemlok, were barely being used while other weapons were slightly overpowered. We’ve done another round of balancing based on feedback we’ve received from inside and outside of the studio. We’ll continue to listen to our community in regards to weapon/game balance and thanks for sharing all of your feedback with us. Here are the changes we’ve made this time around:
Satchels: Satchel damage has been reduced against Pilots only. They will still kill a Pilot caught close to the center of the explosion, but the fall-off is more severe now, allowing Pilots that are far from the satchel to survive more often than they currently do.
Shotgun: The shotgun now does a little bit less damage at midrange. It was proving to be able to win fights that it should lose when at this range. We also fixed a bug where the cursor would turn red, indicating it will hit an enemy when the enemy was actually outside of the range of the shotgun’s max distance.
R101: This weapon was designed to be an all-purpose weapon, and it does that quite well, too well, even. We’ve slightly adjusted it to make it a bit more uncomfortable to handle and hit targets at long distances. It will kick a bit more when fired but the effects are subtle enough to only be felt at long range. We’ve also reduced its mag size from 30 to 24. The extended ammo upgrade brings it from 24 to 30 (it used to go from 30 to 40).
R97: While it already had a higher rate of fire than the CAR, the R97 was pretty much inferior in all other ways. We’ve upped the RoF even higher to make it handle up-close fights better than it did. It also has the fastest time into ADS (aiming down the sights) now. The biggest change, though, is that it now does a lot more damage than it did when rodeo’ing, making it a better choice for Pilots who enjoy taking on a Titan. It is now the second best weapon to use when rodeo’ing Titans (behind only the LMG).
Hemlok: The Hemlok was one of the least popular guns in the game. Its role was intended to be the long-range assault rifle, but it wasn’t doing that quite well enough. We’ve made it so that it is never more than 4 bullets to drop an enemy Pilot (it used to be 5 at long range). The Hemlok will also kick less when fired. The drift when ADSing has also been reduced to allow easier use against long-range targets. The silencer MOD used to take 6 hits to kill an enemy Pilot at long-range, now it is 5.
AMPed Hemlok: The AMPed Hemlok already killed close-range Pilots in 3 bullets, now it will also kill long-range Pilots with 3 bullets.
G2: The G2 now kills Pilots with 3 shots, always. It used to take 4 at range. The G2 has slightly less kick now as well. When the silencer is attached, the G2 will always kill an enemy Pilot with 4 shots whereas it used to be 5 at range. The clip size has been increased when the match trigger attachment is used to give you 12, rather than 8, rounds per magazine.
AMPed G2: The Amped G2 will always kill an enemy Pilot with 2 shots now. It used to take 3 at a distance.
Titan Plasma Railgun: The FOV, while ADSing, has been pulled back some to allow players to keep more of their surroundings in focus. This makes it easier to maintain your “charge” while tracking enemy targets.
Big Punch: We’ve taken a look at complaints about the Big Punch kit, and decided to adjust it. Big Punch was especially problematic when an Ogre was dealing the punch. It did enough damage to destroy the shields of a Stryder and still do a chunk of damage to the Stryder’s permanent health. Spamming Big Punch as an Ogre also let it travel around at speeds higher than intended. As such, we’ve decided to weaken Big Punch’s effects significantly when taken as an Ogre. The Atlas and Stryder didn’t need as large of a change, so we’ve only made small adjustments to Big Punch’s effect when applied to the Atlas and Stryder chassis.