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Telltale Games have released Episode 1 of Tales of the Borderlands, and here is our spoiler free review.

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This is how Telltale describes the game:

Like all good tales, there’s more than one side to a story. Especially one about a Vault key, the Hyperion Corporation, bandits, loot, gangsters, Vault Hunters, secret Atlas tech, explosions, getaways, extortion, betrayal, and mayhem.

Set after the events seen in Borderlands 2, Tales from the Borderlands is about Rhys, a Hyperion company man looking to become the next Handsome Jack, and it’s also about Fiona, a Pandoran con artist out to score the biggest of all swindles.

Lured into danger by a Vault key and all it promises, the unlikely duo are thrown together with a common goal and a huge amount of mistrust. Who is telling the truth, and why is it important?

That’s up to you to decide.

You are Rhys…and you are also Fiona, because like every tale worth telling, there are two…oh, you read that part already? Well, it’s important to remember that there *are* two sides to every story, and you my friend, you will tell this tale, or…tales, through the choices that you make. Your every decision as both Rhys and Fiona will affect the people and world around you: this is a game where YOU are the final author in a brand new Borderlands story set on the unforgiving world of Pandora.

Now I’m both a fan of Telltales other games, in particular The Walking Dead, and also of the Borderlands series from 2K Games and Gearbox, so when I heard about Tales of the Borderlands I couldn’t wait to play it.

Like the description says, you play two different characters – the first one is Rhys, voiced by Troy Baker (I’m not sure when he gets the time to do anything other than record voices for games, but he is very good at it and so its always a pleasure to listen to). As this is a spoiler free review I wont go into too many details about the plot, other than to say that Rhys was due a big promotion at Hyperion and he gets screwed out of it by his arch-nemesis, so he decides to screw him back.

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The second character is Fiona, voiced by Laura Bailey. Fiona is a grifter and part way through the episode you switch to playing her. Fiona and Rhys’s story is interwoven and it’s fun to watch them play off each other, but again, I don’t want to give too much away.

The gameplay style is what you would expect from Telltale – you have a number of options to choose from in different situations, and your selections will result in the story changing around you. There are also sections where you have to dodge attacks, and even target enemies (which is a whole heap of fun).

The first thing I noticed when the game started was just how much it felt like a Borderlands game. Now that might sound obvious, but I wasn’t sure if this would be a Telltale game with a Borderlands theme, or a Borderlands game with a Telltale interface. It’s actually the best of both worlds, with a typically insane and funny Borderlands story with all the gameplay you would expect from Telltale. I found the gameplay very smooth and the selections easy to choose, even easier than previous Telltale games.

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The graphics are typical Borderlands and I loved the humour. The voices are done really well, and along with Troy and Laura, Nolan North also makes an appearance, as does Dameon Clarke (spoiler – sort of!).

The first episode took about 2 and quarter hours to complete, and I am really looking forward to episode 2 in a few weeks time.

The cost of this episode is just $4.99 USD or equivalent or as part of a Season Pass package for all five episodes for just $24.99 USD or equivalent or less.

If you are a fan of either Telltale’s games or Borderlands, then this is a must for you. Now I just have to wait patiently for episode 2.

If you want to watch the first 30 minutes of episode 1, you can do so here.

With the release of Rocksmith 2014 for PS4 and Xbox One, we are giving one lucky winner the chance to win a copy of the game on Xbox One.

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Rocksmith 2014 Edition comes with more than 50 tracks; there are currently more than 300 additional songs available for purchase, with new add-on content every week. For players making the jump to the latest consoles, DLC tracks can be imported across systems, from Xbox 360 to Xbox One and PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4 without having to repurchase content or pay additional licensing costs.

On PlayStation 4, Rocksmith 2014 Edition will support Remote Play through PlayStation Vita handheld entertainment system where players can view songs at a locked mastery level without any scoring or input required; this mode is perfect for players looking to review a song in its entirety without feedback, study specific sections of songs or practice in another room when it’s more convenient.

How to enter to win

We have one copy of Rocksmith 2014 to give away on Xbox One which includes the game and the guitar cable (you have to provide your own guitar)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The contest is now over and Rocksmith 2014 is available now.

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With Destiny’s first expansion pack out this week, we have a Q&A with Eric Osborne (Urk), Community Manager at Bungie….

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· What is The Dark Below in a nutshell?

“The Dark Below is Destiny’s first expansion, offering players more content for every activity type in the wake of hundreds of post launch updates. It offers players new Legendary and Exotic weapons and armor, new story missions and quests, new levels to achieve, new Crucible maps, a new Strike, and a new Raid, set deep within the Hellmouth on the Moon.”

· What was the main inspiration behind this?

“We wanted to provide players with more of everything. We also wanted to react directly to what we saw players doing daily in Destiny.”

· What’s should people be most excited about?

“We know that new weapons and armor are going to go over really well with players. Their appetite for finding the latest and greatest Destiny gear is insatiable. We’re really excited about Eris, a new quest giver we’ve added to the Tower, who serves as the nucleus for all the Hive-themed adventures.”

· What new weapons and gear can we expect?

“All of the Legendary Weapons and Armor you can already find on Vendors will receive upgrades, alongside existing Exotics. We’re also introducing new Exotics, new Legendaries, and new Raid gear across the board. Eris has new bounties, new vanity items, and some fun new quests to go on, as well.”

· How soon after completing the game did the team start working on The Dark Below?

“We’re always trying to stay one step ahead, but work on The Dark Below didn’t officially wrap up until well after launch. We wanted to take the feedback and player behavior we were seeing and incorporate as much of it as possible into our first expansion.”

· What has most surprised/ excited you the most about people’s reaction to the game so far?

“How much they are playing, and how often. We have historical estimates we used to predict how players would take to Destiny that was based on a decade of supporting one of the more engaging action games out there. Players blew those estimates out of the water.”

· What’s next?

“Lots of fun! We’ll obviously be watching and listening the reaction to The Dark Below. Our sustain team is busy building out and testing a bevy of upcoming patches. Beyond that, we have some more content in the works, too, but it’s far too early to dig into the far flung future just yet.”

Are you going to play Destiny The Dark Below? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Capcom announced Resident Evil Revelations 2 back at TGS in September and now we can share 10 minutes of gameplay with you.

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Evolving the episodic chapter set-up of the original Resident Evil Revelations, Resident Evil Revelations 2 will initially release as a weekly series of episodic downloads. Each of the four episodes features hours of terrifying gameplay ending with dramatic cliff-hangers that leave players fully engrossed and anticipating the next twist in the gripping horror story. A digital download option of the Complete Season will also be available to ensure fans can get each episode as it rolls out, and a retail disc version will arrive following the final episode. Both the disc version and Complete Season will include additional game content, which will be detailed in the coming weeks and months. With the variety of options available, Resident Evil fans will have more choices available to them than ever before.

The beginning of the Resident Evil Revelations 2 tale sees fan favourite Claire Redfield make a dramatic return to the horrors that haunted her in the past. Survivor of the Raccoon City incident depicted in previous Resident Evil games, Claire now works for the anti-bioterrorism organisation Terra Save. Moira Burton, new recruit and daughter of Resident Evil legend Barry Burton, is attending her welcome party for Terra Save when unknown armed forces storm the office. Claire and Moira are knocked unconscious and awaken later to find themselves in a dark and abandoned detention facility. Working together, they must find out who took them and to what sinister end. With the terrifying Afflicted enemies waiting around every dark corner, players will need to use their ammo and weapon supply wisely, in classic survival horror style. Will Claire and Moira make it out alive and discover what’s led to them being taken to this remote island? Who else will they come across? A story of twists and turns will have players guessing the next step at every turn.

And here is the gameplay footage:

Are you going to play Resident Evil Revelations 2? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Today it was announced that GAME UK will be doing an epic black Friday deal for all, only at the midnight opening that you will get a Xbox One with Assassins Creed V Black Flag and Assassins Creed Unity.

Game Xbox One Black Friday 2

But it will also include Forza 5 game of the year version of the game and Lego Marvel Superheroes and also £5 of Xbox live credit for you to use all for £299.99

 

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With the release of Rocksmith 2014 for PS4 and Xbox One, we are giving one lucky winner the chance to win a copy of the game on PS4.

RS_2014_PS3_pack_cable_bundle_UK.indd

Rocksmith 2014 Edition comes with more than 50 tracks; there are currently more than 300 additional songs available for purchase, with new add-on content every week. For players making the jump to the latest consoles, DLC tracks can be imported across systems, from Xbox 360 to Xbox One and PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4 without having to repurchase content or pay additional licensing costs.

On PlayStation 4, Rocksmith 2014 Edition will support Remote Play through PlayStation Vita handheld entertainment system where players can view songs at a locked mastery level without any scoring or input required; this mode is perfect for players looking to review a song in its entirety without feedback, study specific sections of songs or practice in another room when it’s more convenient.

How to enter to win

We have one copy of Rocksmith 2014 to give away which includes the game and the guitar cable (you have to provide your own guitar)!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Usual contest rules apply, and the winner will be selected at random. This contest is open to the UK only – sorry!
The contest ends at 12.00AM on Monday December 1st, and Rocksmith 2014 is available now.

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EA recently invited us to play some of the single player campaign for Battlefield Hardline.

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Back at E3 2014, EA announced Battlefield Hardline. This time, instead of being a military shooter, it was all about cops and robbers. They then proceeded to show off some multiplayer content, and offer people the chance to play multiplayer. But at the time they were being very quiet about the single player campaign, until now.

Developed by Visceral Games (of Dead Space 3 fame) Battlefield Hardline sees you playing Nick Mendoza, a cop on the streets on Miami trying to stop the spread of a drug called Hotshot. Your partner is Detective Khai (who looks like and is voiced by Kelly Hu) and together you both go in search of Hotshot. This is basically the tutorial level of the game.

One new cool piece of tech is the police scanner, which enables you to highlight and identify criminals, track them, listen to their conversations from afar and to also examine evidence. Not bad for a smartphone app! Searching for and examining evidence is a crucial part of the game and you cannot continue through a level unless you have found the relevant evidence.

Unlike previous Battlefield games, you don’t have to go all out shooting everyone if you don’t want to. In fact, you are rewarded for what is referred to in the game as Non-Lethal takedowns. This includes knocking out the bad guys and even using your Taser on them. You also have the ability to flash your badge and shout freeze, which results in most criminals dropping their guns and putting their hands up. But don’t be fooled, because you need to keep your gun trained on them until you have cuffed them, otherwise they will go for their guns and start shooting. The way to do handle these situations is to keep sweeping your gun between the criminals in front of you. You see a red bar indicating a threat and when you sweep your gun in that direction the threat disappears. Then you just take them down and cuff them.

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Once I finished the first level we quickly jumped to the 9th level which takes place sometime after the events of the 1st level – EA have asked me not to spoil the story by revealing what happened, so let’s just say that Nick and Khai are no longer cops. This level sees us trying to gain access to a building in order to break into a vault. This building is heavily, and I do mean heavily guarded and this is where another of Hardlines new features comes into play – the ability to use multiple different ways to achieve your goal. In this case, to enter the building. You could go in the front all guns blazing, or you could sneak around the back, or why not do what I did and go across the street to the parking garage and zip line your way in? There are multiple different choices and it’s entirely up to you which one to take. The outcome may be the same but it gives you a choice.

Once inside my team had to fight their way through to the vault, and as usual it doesn’t go according to the plan. Here’s where the ability to choose different types of weapons, including trip mines comes in very handy. You get a few moments to place some traps before the next wave comes in and you have to fight to survive.

Without giving to much away the level ends with you having to escape the police – and there is a very funny moment when you crash through a window into a room full of cops and you quickly flash your badge and shout freeze (you may not be a cop anymore but you kept your badge) – and the expressions on the faces of the cops is priceless. It’s one of those blink and you miss it moments but it’s the sort of scene you would see in a buddy cop movie.

I really enjoyed my time with Battlefield Hardline and I can’t wait to play some more.

In the video below, we have around 5 minutes of gameplay from levels 1 and 9 – and don’t worry, we won’t spoil any of the story by telling you what happens between those levels, or really why we are doing what we are doing in level 9:

Battlefield Hardline will be released in March 2015.

What do you think of Battlefield Hardline? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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As part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, you also get access to the Halo 5 Guardians Multiplayer beta, and I talked to 343 Industries about it.

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The multiplayer beta is available for a 3 week period, starting December 29th.

I was lucky enough to play the multiplayer beta for a few hours, and I have to say I loved every minute of it. We got to play three maps – Truth, Empire and a brand new map mode called Breakout.

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I spoke with Tim Longo, the Creative Director and Josh Holmes, the Studio Head for Halo 5 Guardians (both from 343 Industries) about the Halo 5 Guardians multiplayer beta, and there is even some brand new gameplay in there too, so over to Tim and Josh:

Are you buying Halo: The Master Chief Collection and will you join the Halo 5 Guardians multiplayer beta? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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There are moments in each Halo game that stand out, and they’re different for each of us. A moment so vivid, so memorable, that while often the perception flatters the memory, it is the impact of the memory that remains.

The Silent Cartographer, 343 Guilty Spark, The Arbiter and Delta Halo. The anti-climax of Halo 2. Other memories like Tsavo Highway, The Ark, Cortana, the triumphant crescendo of Halo 3, Forerunner and Midnight. Blood Gultch, Hang-em-high, Lockout, Ascension and Zanzibar. Construct, High Ground, Cold Storage, Exile, Forge Island, Landfall and Monolith. Spartan Ops.

Each of these memories invokes a feeling, or a smile. A moment where life changed, or where you changed. Where you were someplace else. Someplace simpler and more fantastical than anything since. It is these memories; these moments of greatness where you were the hero, the last hope for humanity, that Microsoft hopes will drag you into the world of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

To list all of the content included in the package would be bordering on madness, because HMCC offers unbelievable value, greater than any compendium, trilogy or re-master has done in the history of videogames.

The custom designed menu, while offering welcome eye-candy, is quick to expose itself as the conduit to this content, laying out clearly each game or game mode and the all-important extras.

Four games, over 100 multiplayer maps, behind-the-scenes documentaries, easter eggs, Halo: Nightfall  and Halo 5: Guardians beta access. Microsoft could have sold Nightfalll as a TV download, and it could have created DLC packs for some of the maps, much like the original games. It could have not included the easter eggs, nor created all-new cut-scenes for Halo 2. It could have put so much less effort into HMCC, but it chose to aim for the sky. Microsoft and 343 Industries chose to curate and create the most comprehensive package ever assembled for a home console. And that’s before you’ve even pressed a single button.

The first time I pressed the right trigger on the original Xbox controller (yes, the really massive one), the feeling of power, and the excitement was incredible. The game that was to make console LAN parties a thing was yet to come out, and upstairs at my local game store, I was playing against three guys in my first real experience of multiplayer. It was the most amazing thing. Ever. I laid down £519 on an Xbox, four games, a media remote and a second controller. Sure, I played the other three games, but Halo; there was something about it. The other games were Project Gotham Racing, Dead or Alive and Knockout Kings. Not exactly the worst launch line-up, right? Still, Halo was constantly in my Xbox, and eventually, it would change my life, allowing me to write these words today is a testament to its effect.

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It’s every bit as brilliant as you’d care to remember. It’s a little rusty now, but 13 years will do that to you, and the level of immersion offered by games today, including motion capture, dynamic audio and lighting – things were different then. Halo: Combat Evolved stood out from the crowd, and almost everyone marvelled at the amazing quality of its grass textures. In fact, that was one of the first things I checked out. That’s one of the memories I mentioned. Everyone has them, and they might be for different things – but they grab you, none-the-less.

At the press of a button, flicking between the original engine graphics to the remastered version shows just how much has changed, and how impressive the remake is. Try playing ‘The Library’ in the original engine, and you realise just how dark it was, pushing the limits of particle physics, and in effect, game design. Running both engines side-by-side is also a mammoth achievement, one that should be applauded, showcasing Sabre’s technical prowess, and ultimate love for the franchise.

Back then, Halo 2 was a little bit of a let-down. At the time, it felt like a big deal. The hype machine was in full swing, and Microsoft sold over $500m of Halo 2 in a few days. Nobody had done that before. Halo was a hit franchise, and on its own merits. It was one of the first online shooters on Xbox Live, topping the online play charts for years. It was, bar the slightly disappointing ending, the best single player and multiplayer experience most Xbox gamers had seen, and led the way as an example of a great product that consumers embraced – it set the standard for ‘what’s in the box’.

It’s also the game that receives the most love in this collection, receiving the full remaster treatment, and playing your way through the game, much as I did in the mid-2000s is as refreshing today as it was back then. For new players, there’s this incredible world to step into, and for fans, there was this place you wished you’d never left. Your nights were spent saying ‘swords on lockout? Yeah? Great!” Granted, there were more maps and more modes, but the feeling of grabbing the energy sword from a downed foe and running to the next opponent to begin a kill-streak was not to be sniffed at.

Halo 2 isn’t the best halo game, but it is a great remaster, again showcasing the love and attention shown by 343 to make this something memorable. Something to help you remember, and something for a new generation to experience for the first time; to create memories.

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Both Halo 3 and Halo 4 receive the full 1080p, 60fps treatment, and they’re both to be applauded for different reasons. Halo 3s release on Xbox 360 was a watershed moment. It was Bungie’s last Halo game in the series, and their exit from under Redmond’s wing would follow soon after Halo: Reach. What the third story in the series did, was finish the fight. Kind of.

I’m not going to go into the story of Halo 3 and Halo 4, because you can, and you should experience them both for yourselves. 343s take on Halo, Halo 4 is incredible on Xbox One. The upgrade from Xbox 360 is marked improvement, and while no cosmetic assets have been remade, the 1080p resolution really shows off how amazing the studios artists are. Each of the levels is brought to wonderfully clear and beautiful life.

In Multiplayer, there really is too much to go into. There’s over 100 maps –and while some are a little weak, Bungie’s strengths were easy to see, and its ability to create a competitive multiplayer experience across a number of maps is replicated in a number of ways in HMCC.

HALO: CE has all of the maps from the Xbox and the PC version (created by Gearbox, no less), while HALO 2’s online elements remain intact on their original engines for authenticity. However, 343 has created the Anniversary element of Halo 2, creating a new engine with new assets designed to bring back the much loved maps from the original, but expose them in a modern light, showcasing their undeniable quality to a whole new audience.

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Much the same can be said of Halo 3 and 4s experience, adding more maps as you journey through the playable elements of the collection, planting a solid flag into the ground of Xbox Live and shouting that it wants its place back at the top. While we all dream of living over again, HMCC has the chance to do that, reminding old fans of the impeccable multiplayer, and giving new fans something different to the stylised trappings of Advanced Warfare, TitanFall and Battlefield.

Halo: Nightfall begins the new content, releasing each week for five weeks after launch, it’s a mini-series that fills the gap between Halo: Forward unto dawn and Halo 5. We haven’t watched it, nor has anyone, and we’ll reserve judgment until it arrives. Spike Lee is making it, thought, so don’t expect it to be rubbish. Expect gritty and awesome. That’s what we’re hoping for, anyway. A cross between Starship Troopers and Mass Effect would be brilliant, but we’ll see what happens.

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The final piece of the jigsaw is Halo 5: Guardians beta access, which runs from 29th December to 17th January. It’s going to be incredible, we hope.

All that’s left is for us to give Halo: The Master Chief Collection a score, and it’s something we’ve been battling with for a couple of days. Quite simply, HMCC is the most complete package ever delivered of one franchise, and the sheer amount of content is unprecedented, but these aren’t new games. Bu then these Xbox One versions aren’t of just any game, but arguably of the most important franchise in the short history of Xbox.

There is no filler in HMCC, because the games are proven to be great games – to be games that spanned two generations and drove a community that numbered into the tens of millions. You could play each of the campaigns back to front numerous times and still not see everything.

Microsoft and 343 have succeeded in bringing back to life on a new platform, a franchise that is so rooted in the lives of so many gamers, but enabled a whole new audience to relieve our past, our memories, and wear our smiles, but experience them all for the first time. As I write, the reprise to Halo 2 builds to its conclusion, and it feels like victory all over again.

13 years ago, Halo: Combat evolved changed everything. It made shooters work on console, and it spawned not just a series of videogames, but allowed a whole genre to explode into life. The success of HMCC is in its ability to bring not just the games to life, but your memories of it. To retell the stories you grew up playing, and to make you remember what you were doing in when you first played. I believe Halo: The Master Chef Collection has the ability to forge new memories once more, not just for fans, but for those who haven’t experienced the rising swell of Marty O’Donnell’s score. To those that haven’t lost themselves in Joseph Staten’s stories.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection breathes new life into an old friend, and it is most welcome, because a collection of four games from over a decade of development could just end up being the game of the year.

HALO The Master Chief Collection will be available very soon and we have some HALO 4 multiplayer gameplay to share with you.

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All footage was captured on the Xbox One running at 1080p at a special preview event run by Microsoft.

Vertigo Flood

Abandon SWAT

Haven SWAT

Haven Capture the Flag

Are you going to play HALO The Master Chief Collection? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

HALO The Master Chief Collection will be available very soon and we have some HALO 2 Anniversary Edition multiplayer gameplay to share with you.

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All footage was captured on the Xbox One running at 1080p at a special preview event run by Microsoft.

Lockdown – Slayer

Sanctuary – Slayer – Shrine

Zanzibar – Oddball – Stonetown

Are you going to play HALO The Master Chief Collection? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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