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If you're wondering if the remastered campaigned is worth your money, check out the video walkthrough below featuring 343 Industries’ senior game designer Max Szlagor and original Halo 3: ODST developer Joseph Staten.
The update also adds the Remnant multiplayer map to Halo 2: anniversary, which you can read more about here.
The remastered version of Halo 3: ODST was announced as an apology for significant matchmaking issues in Halo: The Master Chief Collection during its launch period. The re-release provides ODST's single-player campaign running at 1080p and 60 frames per second.
For those that do not qualify for a free code, the Halo 3: ODST is available for purchase from the Xbox Store for $5 USD.
Kazumi Mishima, who first appeared in the opening cinematic for Tekken 7, Is Heihachi Mishima's wife, Kazuya Mishima mother, and (at least one of) the game's boss characters who can transform into a demon. As you can see in the video below, some of her special attacks involve summoning a tiger.
Tekken 7 was announced last year. The game, which is powered by Epic's Unreal Engine 4, is already in Japanese arcades, but Bandai Namco has yet to announce when the game will hit other platforms in other territories.
This week's question is:
When you play video games, there are often moments when you encounter a game that sounds really interesting but just cannot play. Sometimes this can be for a variety of reasons. Perhaps you don't like the mechanics of the game, or maybe it just isn't aesthetically pleasing. Either way, what game has made you feel this? Below is what our editors had to say.
I have some real problems with the original Dark Souls. It's not that I can't do it, it's just that it frustrates me entirely too easily. I didn't get far and never finished. I find its successor, Bloodborne, far more accessible than its predecessors, and I think that's mostly because the story makes me want to learn more and therefore pushes me to get better. I feel like if I die in Bloodborne, I die because it's my fault, and I feel like those extra Blood Vial drops really make a big difference. I'm also a run-and-gun person, so shields are a thing I just never end up wanting to use. I couldn't really get used to the shields in Souls; the riposte system in Bloodborne was much more my playstyle. But Dark Souls would make me rage quit, and though I love it, I can't bring myself to finish it.Dark Souls
I wouldn't say I love them, but I fully respect any big-time MOBA like Dota 2 or League of Legends. I feel like I've grown out of my own competitive multiplayer phase, and even then it was with more immediate things like first-person shooters, but I can still appreciate how the intricate skill-based matches in these games can create such a long-lasting community.
EVE Online. I love the political stories that develop around the game, and I want so badly to play a role in one of those stories. But I just don't have the time and patience to devote to a game that requires both of those things in such great quantity. Experiencing the drama of war means enduring hours of mining and uneventful travel. The reward may be great, but the drudgery is too much for me to bear.EVE Online
Pokemon. Unfortunately, I never grew up with the games so I don’t have the same kind of attachment that most people have with them. Regardless, I really love the look and overall concept of the series, but I just cannot get into any of the games without being absolutely bored to tears. I don’t know what it is. Considering my love for demon collecting in the Shin Megami Tensei series, it’s not like I don’t like the monster collecting aspect of it. For me, I just think it’s probably the bare bones story that makes it hard for me to stay.
I adore Hudson Soft's Hagane on the Super Nintendo for its complexity, but the range of actions at your disposal is a double-edged sword that also makes the game incredibly difficult to master. Unfortunately, the level design and enemies aren't designed for casual play. In addition to standard maneuvers, you can combine buttons to tumble across the screen in numerous ways, as well as to make use of multiple weapons. However, remembering what every button combination does and how the resulting action may serve you is far easier said than done. I've never made it past the second level.Hagane: The Final Conflict
I think Minecraft is fantastic. The creativity it engenders is wonderful, and the diverse range of people who play it are a shining example of the massive appeal of video games. The game itself, the things people create in it, and the content people create about the game all make me happy. But between my own lack of enthusiasm for crafting and building in games and the visual aesthetic that doesn't exactly scream, "Come explore me!", I've just never been able to get into Minecraft.
P.T. is awfully frightening to the extent that, in some ways, it's outright unentertaining. I'm drawn to it and fascinated by it, but it's so stressful that I just can't bring myself to play it anymore. I made a huge mistake trying it the first time, alone in my home, in the middle of the night. It genuinely messed with my imagination for weeks; I actually put a knife next to my bed for a few days (incredibly lame, yes, but true nevertheless).P.T.
Is everyone on here going to answer EVE Online too? Yea, EVE Online. I mean, it's a game that produces the most incredible stories of corruption, deceit and ruthless capitalism. Amazing stories I love reading about months after they've happened. It's a one-of-a-kind game, the first true MMO universe that is malleable in ways that most online worlds could only dream of. But as much as I love it I have absolutely no desire to spend 50 plus hours a week to mine asteroids.
King of Fighters. The art-style is gorgeous and the lore is interesting but the execution required to play that game at a higher level is insane. Those frames, those frames. I can only watch the pros do it with a look of intense longing and wipe the drool off my keyboard.King of Fighters XIII
I love Final Fantasy XIV. Well, I love the idea of Final Fantasy XIV. It has Chocobos, and multiple character classes, and plenty of callbacks to my other favorite Final Fantasy games. But it's also a game that demands a significant time investment, and time is a resource I seem to have less and less of as I get older. The world of Hydaelyn is, sadly, one I'll have to admire from afar. At least until I quit working and just start playing games full time.
The LittleBigPlanet games have such lovely visuals, imaginative gameplay, and silly humor. I enjoy all these elements on paper, but I've never quite connected with them in LittleBigPlanet. I can't put my finger on why that is exactly. Maybe Media Molecule's new PlayStation 4 game will have something I'm more interested in.
ESA's senior vice president of consumer and industry affairs Rich Taylor told Polygon that the organization gave 4,000 to 5,000 E3 passes to game companies that are ESA members and are exhibiting at the show this year. Taylor didn't share the exact split, but the number of passes a company got was relative to the size of its booth, meaning that companies that pay more for bigger booths get more passes.
The game companies can then distribute these passes to these customers. Note that having a pass to all days of the show means you'll be able to wait in line and play whatever demos are on the show floor, but that this doesn't guarantee appointments behind closed doors (which is where publications like GameSpot see some of the biggest, newest games every year), or a seat at any of the big press conferences held separately by Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and Bethesda.
"The thinking was to include the prosumers and then evaluate how it went after this year's show," Taylor told Polygon, suggesting that the show might be even more open to the public in the future.
E3 2015 kicks off Sunday, June 14 with Bethesda's first-ever briefing. The show then rolls on Monday with briefings from Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Sony. Things continue Tuesday, when Nintendo and Square Enix hold their own events.
Witcher 3 Sex Glitch Is Totally Bizarre: A newly discovered Witcher 3 glitch shows off a side of Geralt we've never seen before. Check out the video here to watch the funny--and very much NSFW--glitch.
Man Says Wii Burned His House Down: Fire investigators in Colorado Springs think that a Wii console is the likely cause of a fire inside a RV home this week, local media reported.
Yes, Rise of the Tomb Raider Is Still an Xbox Timed Exclusive: After an Xbox social media channel suggested that Rise of the Tomb Raider had become a full Xbox exclusive instead of just a timed exclusive, Phil Spencer spoke out to assure fans nothing had changed.
A massive Star Citizen leak has provided a window into the PC space sim's future. New ships and lots more have been revealed. Get all the details here.
A Tinder for video games? That's basically the concept for LovelUp, a newly launched dating service focused around video games. 2,200 people have signed up for the beta so far. The service was created by Raymond Walintukan, who previously worked at Linksys/Cisco. Get all the details about LovelUp here.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a lot of sex scenes. Here's a roundup from Kotaku that includes every steamy scene found so far. Be warned, the videos featured here are extremely not safe for work.
Someone at CD Projekt Red definitely likes Doctor Who. Check out this excellent easter egg for the TV franchise's famous Weeping Angel enemies. Watch the video here.
Remember that epic train heist in Breaking Bad? Someone remade it in Grand Theft Auto V. Bravo.
Assault Android Cactus is not the name of a new hipster band. No, it's a new arcade-style twin-stick shooter from Australian developer Witch Beam. It launches later this summer for PS4, PC, Wii U, and PS Vita. Read more about it here.
The New Nintendo 3DS will soon be available in a new color, at least if you live in Japan. The new color is Pearl White, and it goes on sale in June. No word yet on whether or not it will come to the US or Europe. We can hope.
Will you be able to stream Halo to your mobile device someday? Maybe. Microsoft announced this week that it's been working with researchers from Duke University to improve game streaming--and has seen some excellent results so far.
As it turns out, Minecraft has quite a few easter eggs. Check out this video from Curse and Direwolf20 that goes over some of the best hidden easter eggs the game has to offer.
The Dictionary, yes the Dictionary, added around 1,700 new words this week. Included are words like clickbait, WTF, and NSFW. What a world we live in.
Splash Damage's online PC shooter Dirty Bomb is entering open beta on Tuesday, June 2, the developer announced this week. Watch a new video here.
A new Skylanders game is coming this year from Activision, but what will it be called and what new features/improvements will it introduce to the toys-to-life franchise? Activision isn't saying, but reports suggest the game is called Skylanders Superchargers. And, interestingly, it will reportedly include vehicles.
The Shawshank Redemption was an excellent movie. As it turns out, it could have also made a great 8-bit, point-and-click game, as this video demonstrates. Check it out.
Have an extra $650 burning a hole in your pocket? Here's something to spend it on. Bethesda has revealed a 1:1 bust of Dragonborn from Skyrim. Check it out here. Only 600 will be made, so if you're interested, send in your deposit now.
Want to upload videos of yourself playing The Witcher 3 and not get in trouble? Better stick to the guidelines. Thankfully, CD Projekt Red this week published an overview of its guidelines as it relates to streaming The Witcher 3. Check it out here.
In other Witcher 3 news, the game has been localized into 15 different languages, 7 of them include full voicecovers and the other eight have subtitles. That's incredible. Now, the Polish studio has released a lovely trailer in multiple languages. Watch it below.
Wired magazine has a great new interview with Duncan Jones, the director of the upcoming Warcraft movie from Legendary Entertainment and Blizzard. Among other interesting facts is how the movie's Orcs were inspired by The Hulk. Read the full interview here.
Another high-profile developer, The Walking Dead studio Telltale Games, has joined GOG's DRM-free movement. The studio's Game of Thrones games are now available through GOG, and more are on the way. Check out the full blog post here.
Oculus VR, owned by Facebook, reached into its wallet this week and bought computer vision company Surreal Vision. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but here's what Surreal Vision had to say about the deal. "Ultimately, these types of technologies will lead to VR and AR systems that can be used in any condition, day or night, indoors or outdoors. They will open the door to true telepresence, where people can visit anyone, anywhere."
Have a great weekend!
Original story below.
Microsoft has started sending out codes for the remastered version of Halo 3: ODST on Xbox One.
Earlier this week a release date indicating the game would be available on 29 May appeared on Xbox.com. However, the official Halo Twitter account said the date was actually "a placeholder."
It seems the Xbox.com date wasn't far off, as Xbox One owners that played Halo: The Master Chief Collection between its November 11 release date and December 19 are receiving messages on Xbox Live with a code to download the game.
According to an update on Halo Waypoint "all distributed codes will disappear from the in-console message after June 30, 2015, but will still be redeemable." After June 30, users can contact the support forum for further assistance.
The remastered version of Halo 3: ODST was announced as recompense for significant matchmaking issues in Halo: The Master Chief Collection during its launch period. The re-release provides ODST's single-player campaign running at 1080p and 60 frames per second.
Halo steward 343 Industries has confirmed the re-release "does not include the Firefight game mode and contains the campaign only."
For those that do not qualify for a free code, the Halo 3: ODST re-release will "soon be available for purchase from the Xbox Store for $4.99 USD."
343 Industries' Bonnie Ross previously said the developer is giving the game to players for free to thank them for sticking with Halo: The Master Chief Collection during its troubled launch.
"This has been a humbling experience and highlighted how we as a studio can – and need – to do better for Xbox fans around the world," Ross said. "We are so grateful to our fans who have stood by our side and we appreciate all of your patience as we worked through these issues."
An update for The Master Chief Collection is also now available and weighs in at 2.4 GB. It includes the previously announced reimagined version of Halo 2's multiplayer map Relic for all owners of The Master Chief Collection.
"First introduced in "Halo 2" as "Relic," the "Halo 2: Anniversary" multiplayer map "Remnant" is set on a large island on Installation 05 and is renowned for its expansive, asymmetrical level design, making it perfect for intense, sniper combat. Of course, this re-imagined version of the classic map sports its share of innovations."
Anyone who played the first Magicka will see a lot that’s familiar here. This is pretty much the same magical combat experience, with colorful cowled wizards slinging spells at a veritable Monster Manual lineup of goblins, orcs, ents, gun-toting demons, and more. As before, the essence of the game can be summed up with its control mechanics. While this looks like the usual rip-off of an action RPG, there are no experience points, no inventory, no need to smash open chests to get at the enchanted goodies inside, or anything else that might be the provenance of Diablo and its successors. All that’s between you and the bad guys are eight magical elements (accessed via the QWER and ASDF banks of keys or via the buttons on a gamepad, if you swing that way) that are called up and thrown together into combos to create dozens of spell effects you can cast on yourself, enemies, or the area at large.
As a result, combat is almost entirely skill-based, depending on how swift you are with a keyboard. You can dumb things down and hammer on single elements for spells. Hit Arcane, and you launch a death beam. Fire activates a mystical flamethrower, Water calls up a spout of H2O, and so forth. But that won’t get you very far due to the sheer number of monsters. You need to do a lot of experimenting to make the most of your spellcasting.
This means that combat quickly grows complex. You can use up to five elements at once. Some are good matches, while others are opposites (oddly enough, Water and Lightning don’t mix well). Add Cold to Shield, and you get a frozen barrier. Use Earth and Fire to launch flaming boulders at foes. But you’ve really got to play around with the spells (or do some online searching) to get a grip on the powerful spell effects generated by using more than two elements. And you’ve gotta dance on the keys like you’re a latter-day Mavis Beacon or you won’t be able to keep up with the enemy hordes.
As with the first game, Magicka 2 also features superpowered “magicks” that take incantations to the next level. The one big difference here is that these spells can be accessed via hotkeys rather than having to type in a challenging combination of three or more keys. This removes some of the skill from the game in that you don’t have to splay your fingers all over the keyboard to cast Haste or Thunderbolt. It also takes away some of the fun, especially for the overly dextrous. Before, you were only limited by the speed of your fingers. Now, each of these magicks is subject to a cooldown period.Calling down powerful magicks can be helpful in spots, but only if you’re extremely adroit with the eight keys that control spells.
Still, these instant-access magicks seem to make a positive change overall. Anything that eases the steep learning curve for the average player can only be a good thing, especially given the challenge of the core spell-casting system. You can still use the key combos if you want (although the cooldown period is still in effect, so there’s little point in doing things the hard way).
Speaking of a challenge, Magicka 2 is even harder than its predecessor, which is really saying something. Both the adventure campaign and the one-off Challenge scenarios against waves of monsters are brutally tough when you’re going solo. I found it unplayable after the fourth chapter, where I encountered swarms of creatures that wiped me out again and again. Casual players and those who want to go it alone desperately need an easier difficulty setting.
Aspects of the campaign are sadistically punitive. Levels have been designed as killing floors where retreat is routinely blocked off. Every battle plays out the same way. You walk over a trigger point. This kicks off a huge monster onslaught. Overwhelming enemy numbers force you to retreat. Then the game refuses to let you go any farther, even though there is no visible reason why you can’t go back down a cave tunnel or forest path that you just traversed seconds before. Seconds later, you’re dead.That Magicka sense of humor returns.
I can’t understand why the developers chose to cut off escape routes like this and make battles so cramped. It is totally unnecessary and does nothing but push the game beyond any sort of reasonable difficulty level. In addition, closing down the ability to freewheel really affects the gameplay, turning battles into mindless drudgery where you constantly run away, pausing only to lay down bombs and shields in your wake or heal up.
Thank Odin for co-op. The only way to really enjoy (and survive) Magicka 2 is by joining up to three other mages either online or locally and tackling the campaign or challenges together. This doesn’t turn levels into a cakewalk, but adding even one buddy turns unwinnable scraps against giant orcs and their pals into tough but manageable battle royales that are a blast to play. It’s easy to log in and play with two or three strangers in seconds.
Every match is a chaotic free-for-all that moves swiftly, with zero to very little slowdown even in the most insane battles with mobs of monsters. The one drawback is that everything is so nuts with explosions and death beams and gibbed mages that you can easily lose track of where you are on the screen. It’s clear that the developers intended players to experience Magicka 2 in co-op, although it’s a shame that they didn’t scale the difficulty better so solo players could get the most out of the game. Incidentally, there is no versus mode here, likely because of the team-based multiplayer focus of sister game Magicka: Wizard Wars.
Magicka 2 is even harder than its predecessor, which is really saying something.
Other changes are fairly minor. Movement is now smoother, and you can cast spells and run at the same time. You can pick a location, click to run to it, and then blast away at trailing enemies as you shuffle backwards. I found this incredibly helpful when retreating from crowds of monsters (well, at least until the game decided not to let me back up any farther). The old checkpoint save system has been automated with regular save locations that prevent a fair bit of backtracking (although there are some aggravating moments, and you are always set too far back if you get killed during boss battles). You can use unlockable artifacts to tweak gameplay, offering the ability to adjust everything from your health to enemy attacks and introducing goofy frills, like adding sitcom laughter to deaths. It’s an interesting concept, although I didn’t experiment much here. Artifacts seem to hold promise in boosting replayability, though.
Visuals and sound are in the same ballpark as the original game, although the graphics are more colorful and better detailed and the sound is a little more amped up and cartoony. As with the first game, there is a pleasant atmosphere to everything, with a bright color palette, NPCs speaking gibberish, and constant self-lampooning jokes--right up until the moment the first wizard explodes into shreds of red goo. Nothing here is funny in a laugh-out-loud way, although the combination of good cheer and bloody murder is twisted enough to raise a few smiles.Playing cooperatively is the only way to experience the murderous mayhem that is Magicka 2.
Bugs are something of a concern. The game is stable enough that I didn’t experience any crashes, but I did run into a couple of glitches playing solo. Every so often, getting killed by the exit to a level’s section during the campaign would throw me into the next section as if I’d slain the bad guys. Given the spectacular difficulty of many of these fights, I wasn’t complaining. Still, there’s obviously a bug here.
Respawning is messed up in solo play. Almost without fail, getting killed once in the midst of a mob of enemies results in getting killed twice in the midst of a mob of enemies because you always respawn within inches of where you were murdered in the first place. To make matters even worse, you can sustain damage almost from the moment you appear, and magicks (including Haste, which is spectacularly useful in these situations), are greyed out for what seems like a thousand years after you pop back into existence. Because getting taken out twice sends you back to a save point, this automatic second strike is incredibly annoying.Battles can get just a teensy bit chaotic, especially in Magicka 2 co-op, which is really the best and only way to experience the game.
A lot of the discussion above sounds pretty negative. That’s with good reason--I have to admit that at many times, solo Magicka 2 almost made me throw my mouse through my office window. But the terrific magic system, joyous carnage, and the ability to ditch single-player for the vastly more enjoyable co-op rescued the game and made it almost as compelling as the typical “after” model featured in a late-night infomercial. If you’re a social type, this is a must-play. But loners might want to give this one a pass, at least until the developers scale the difficulty better for single mages.
Nintendo's new shooter (of sorts), Splatoon, is now available on Wii U, and we've gathered up some of the first reviews to give you an idea of what to expect.
Despite looking like a third-person shooter, Splatoon's focus is less about simply eliminating the enemy team, and more about covering the level in paint. The game features a single-player component alongside online multiplayer, the latter of which is much more of a focus here than in the average Nintendo game. Being a family-friendly game, however, it lacks voice chat.
A set of Splatoon-themed Amiibo go on sale today alongside the game itself; they're likely to sell out, but Amazon will be selling them at specific times throughout the day.
"[W]hile the gameplay and progression systems in Splatoon are enjoyable and varied, the maps you play on are too similar, and I can't think of a single one that stands out. There are some elements that you'll pickup on, but these are isolated pieces that you recognize rather than recall fondly. For the most part, you swim over flat land, up a ramp, and maybe through a wire mesh, but I haven't noticed a case where a map emphasizes one particular element over another. Maybe this is a casualty of the game's painting mechanic, making every map feel like a big, neon puddle, but good level design should be able to overcome this" - Peter Brown [Full review]
"As of launch, though, Splatoon has enough going for it between the single-player and multiplayer to keep me happy. Nintendo has built two separate gameplay tracks that use the same mechanic yet feel discrete. They're both a ton of fun, and they both have some obvious areas ripe for improvement. I can't say whether Splatoon will become the next big franchise for Nintendo, with sequels every generation and spin-offs and endless fanboy buzz. But after this strong debut, it certainly deserves some attention." - Philip Kollar [Full review]
"In some ways, Splatoon's online component is disappointing, and the lack of so many features will likely push other shooter fans away. But most of those shortcomings can be forgiven in my mind because of how damn fun it is. As a shooter it's refreshing, and as a 3D platformer it's up there with some of Nintendo's greatest creations. You'll quickly forget about the fact that you're playing Turf War over and over as you squid down an alley, leap across a gap, and shoot enemies in the air as you fall. All Nintendo needs to do is keep supporting Splatoon, because the foundation is fantastic." - Chris Carter [Full review]
"Nintendo takes a chance with this odd, risky rethink of the arena shooter. Splatoon moves away from guns and grit, offering a shooter anyone of any age can enjoy. The game's single-player is an absolutely amazing puzzle platformer that deserves some expansion. Multiplayer is a bit light on content at launch, but Nintendo is already promising more this summer." - Mike Williams [Full review]
"Nintendo's take on the third-person shooter is refreshingly original, with lots of impressive tools and skillful mobility. Matches are consistently fun and tense, and the mechanics feel simple enough that almost anyone can contribute positively. Splatoon really needs the extra modes and content Nintendo says is coming once a portion of the community levels up a bit, and not having voice chat is a bummer, but what is here feels polished and kept me claiming turf for hours." - Jose Otero [Full review]
"Splatoon is clever, creative, and fun. The multiplayer is a fun twist on the team-based shooter. However, the single-player campaign is surprisingly the best thing in the game. It offers the kind of quality level design you’d expect from a Mario title, but with a healthy dose of shooter mechanics." - Mike Minotti [Full review]
"It breaks my squid-loving heart to be so down on Splatoon, because the core gameplay offered is one of the freshest and most exciting things to come out of Nintendo in years. But I can't help but feel like this game should have come out three, maybe six months later, when all of the content is finished and included on the disc. As it stands, there's simply not enough game here on day one to make Splatoon anything more than a weekend curiosity, and there's no telling whether the content coming down the pipeline will be worth sticking around for." - David Roberts [Full review]