Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham review

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LEGO appears to be taking over the world, it’s everywhere at the moment, including my own home, most of it belongs to my 6-year old who is obsessed by it, we also have practically every LEGO game spanning across the Xbox 360 and Xbox One. With around 100 hours of LEGO Batman 2 played it was always going to be this house that got to review the latest game in the series LEGO Batman 3 – Beyond Gotham. Another Batman game set purely in Gotham would have been pretty boring, thankfully Travellers’ Tales knew this hence the Beyond Gotham title. LEGO Batman 3 is a much more linear experience, but still boasts a whole load of content that will please comic book fans as well as those who may not have experienced the vast world of characters, such as the different coloured lanterns.

There have been some really useful improvements to the game, for example characters can now swap into a different outfit whenever they want (providing they have unlocked it) which is much better than waiting around to find a station to change outfits in. Some of the new outfits are quite cool too, Robin for example has a new illumination outfit that lights up part s of the level to reveal way to progress a level. Characters such a Cyborg start with all of his outfits unlocked straight away. If your current character is in the wrong outfit when approaching a prompt the game will automatically change to the right outfit for you, it’s only a small thing but makes life a lot easier for you.

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You can now also start at specific checkpoints during free play, most helpful when you mopping up achievements by looking for collectables. As ever there is a huge amount to collect including 160 mini kits, 250 gold bricks, 16 red bricks and 30 Adam Wests to save. All of that clearly doesn’t include over 150 characters to unlock from the DC universe, die-hard DC fans will recognise members of the Justice League as well as some less well known characters. If gives newer fans to the series the chance to check them out so that can only be a good thing. I found the inclusion of ‘celebrity’ characters an odd decision too, even more so as it turns out that Conan O’Brian is an absolute annoyance, adding nothing to the game, I’d go as far to say it detracted from it to be honest.

The game unfortunately gets off to a slow start as Batman and Robin chase Killer Croc through the sewers of Gotham, it’s all a bit smart and frankly a bit boring, but it’s not long before things become much more interesting, the dynamic duo end up in space and the Justice League characters arrive to not only save the world, but the game too. First off there are a couple of great levels, the first being a side-scrolling space shooter before making your way around the outside of the Watchtower. Batman and Robin end up being swept aside as the member is the Justice League take over the gameplay but fear not Batman fans, there is plenty of great Batman content as well as the awesome looking Batman anniversary content available as DLC.

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You’ll visit a variety of locations as you play through the game including the Batcave, the Fortress of Solitude, the Hall of Justice, and a handful of different alien worlds. It gets better though, with Brianiac’s plans to shrink various locations you’ll end up in some of the cities that have already been shrunk. These are especially fun as you are a bit like Hulk on these levels, and in turn you’ll have the ability to smash your way around with relative ease. There is a good balance between the smaller open world areas and the more linear ones, I felt slightly less overwhelmed finding things thanks to the smaller levels.

As ever the puzzles are fairly simplistic, you always have the right equipment around you to solve the puzzle, as normal I spent more time looking for the one thing that needed smashing to complete a build, for the most part you’ll have no problems though. You’ll be able to complete the story missions in about 10 hours and you’ll have great fun doing it. Other gameplay improvements in lid the ability for certain characters to be master builders, straight from the LEGO movie videogame. Graphically the game is no better or worse than any of the other LEGO games I’ve played on the Xbox One. The camera was hugely frustrating at times though. During one of the early levels, while preparing to head into space as Batman the camera would fix into a position where I couldn’t see either of the characters and had to use guesswork to get them into a place where I could see them again. It was annoying at first but then it kept happening, for an adult it’s a pain but I could see it ruining the experience for a child, here’s hoping it can be patched out.

LEGO Batman 3 is a fun game but it’s my least favourite LEGO game for a while, it’s packed full of content and fans of DC Comics will no doubt be pleased with the efforts, despite it being called LEGO Batman 3 it’s definitely more LEGO Justice League as they literally save the game from being a pretty average LEGO title.

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LIMBO – Rolling Out Now for Xbox One Year One Gamers

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One of the best Summer of Arcade titles ever for the Xbox 360 in 2010, LIMBO from PlayDead Studio’s was a highly addictive and dark puzzle game that involved the constant death of a boy in search of his potentially dead sister! As a free gift to Xbox One gamers who bought the Day One edition of the console, redeem codes for the game are rolling out right now – you might want to check your inbox!

The whole game from start to finish is set in a monochrome land with perfectly detailed backdrops to give the impression of a small lost boy venturing through a big dangerous world. Further adding to eerie sinister setting is the lack of in-game music which really works more of an advantage. As you progress from one part of the land to another, the only sound you hear is your own footsteps and the effects of your current backdrop. When it’s raining, you hear the rain pour, in the forest the wind blows, in water you splash and as you trek across girders you hear the sound of clunky metal. Whilst the lack of in-game music might seem like a bore for some, it really would spoil the feel of the ambiance as each chapter is a new shade of darkness just waiting to be explored.

There doesn’t appear to be an obvious story from the onset; you are a lost boy looking to find your sister whilst experiencing mind blowing traps, puzzles and near death experiences along the way through an intelligent horror story. The moment you are immersed within this artistic masterpiece you do soon forget about looking for your sister because of your own need for survival. You will encounter other characters briefly, but they only mean you harm. Where you are and how you got there may be questions unanswered, but best not thought of. Simply enjoy the experience, the surprises, twists, turns and frustrations of the puzzles set forth on your journey. You will encounter a gruesome death time and time again in the most genius of ways.

LIMBO is certainly a game that once played you will never forget. The fun lies in trying to find your way around a world that isn’t looking out for your best interests and the puzzles at times are difficult, but add further longevity as you clamber to and fro to clear the obstacles or make your way to your next location. Early in the game the puzzles involve actions such as flicking a switch or pulling an object, but the more you progress the more complex they become and change the environment around you – for instance, the turn of a cog will turn your whole world upside down and timing is very much of the essence!

Extracts of this article contain content from my review for xboxic.com in 2010

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Biggest Entertainment Launch of the Year

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Activision have announced that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the biggest entertainment launch of the year, beating not only all other video games, but also the biggest movies, music and books launched in 2014. This is a familiar story as has happened in the past with other previously highly anticipated editions of Call of Duty.

“Since Activision created the Call of Duty franchise in 2003, franchise revenues have exceeded $10 billion in sales worldwide, far exceeding box office receipts for such household movie franchises as Hunger Games, Transformers, Iron Man and Avengers, combined,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “Advanced Warfare is the biggest entertainment launch of 2014 in terms of revenue, surpassing all movie, music and book launches this year.”

“We poured our hearts into making Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare an epic ride and we are pleased with the performance,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO, Activision Publishing, Inc. “Sales and engagement are up through the first week compared to last year. Season Pass sales are up, as well. The game has been very positively reviewed and the response from fans has been tremendous. We believe Advanced Warfare will be the most successful game of the year and we thank our fans for making it the biggest entertainment launch of the year.”

Activision also confirmed that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the highest-selling digital launch in console history according to Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and internal Activision estimates.

Engagement for Sledgehammer Games’ newest entry to the franchise is based on statistics from the first week after launch according to internal estimates, with gamers playing more than 370 million online matches in its first week of release and levelling up over 200 million times in Advanced Warfare online multiplayer mode.

Whilst specific sales information was not provided for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, we’re sure it sold shit-loads and no doubt Activision will reveal the millions in due course.

Sunset Overdrive 24hr Taster Now Live

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It’s the one year anniversary of Xbox One today and to celebrate, Microsoft and Insomniac Games are inviting all Xbox Live Gold members who still haven’t equipped their TnTeddy’s to get an unlimited taste of Sunset Overdrive for 24 hours starting right now as at Saturday 22nd Nov.

Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One will get to play Sunset Overdrive for free from 05:01 AM GMT on Saturday 22nd Nov to 05:01 AM GMT on Sunday 23rd Nov. Players can grind across Sunset City and decimate mutants until their hearts are content in the campaign, or join with up to seven players for co-op mayhem in Chaos Squad.

ThisisXbox.com reviewed Sunset Overdrive and scored it a whopping 90%:

Sunset Overdrive is without a doubt, one of the best games currently available on the next generation platforms and it’s a game worth remembering. It’s a bat-shit insane and enjoyable game from start to finish and contains mountains of content in a variety of different forms, as well as some truly memorable characters and situations. Sunset Overdrive is without a doubt the best exclusive currently available on the Xbox One.

Celebrate One Year of Xbox One This Saturday

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This Saturday, November 22nd marks the official one year anniversary of Xbox One – and Xbox want to thank you for being a part of an amazing 12 months by celebrating with you all weekend long.

First, if you’re in one of the original 13 markets and have opted in to receive Xbox Marketing emails, you’ll receive a personalized email detailing what you’ve accomplished since the Xbox One launched last November, and To show their appreciation their are several gifts to be had:

  • A Year One Gamer Picture
  • New Xbox One backgrounds: A special Year One background as well as an exclusive Day One background for those who unlocked the Day One achievement
  • A Year One background image for use on Twitter, your desktop, etc.
  • A free rental of “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” (for a limited time)
  • A free rental of “Dragon Ball Z: Battle of the Gods” movie and a sampler pack of “Dragon Ball Z” TV episodes (for a limited time, available in the U.S. and Canada only)

And in addition, fans will be selected at random to receive a special gift from Xbox. The full list of possible gifts include:

  • Xbox One Limited Edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Bundle (U.S. only)
  • Xbox One Special Edition Sunset Overdrive Bundle (U.S. only)
  • One month membership for Xbox One-exclusive EA Access service
  • Tiger Shark cash card for Grand Theft Auto V, worth $200,000 in-game GTA Online dollars
  • Forza gift pack with Forza RallyCross hat, Lamborghini Huracán 1/24 scale replica, and Xbox One Controller (launch team edition) signed by Tanner Foust, host of Top Gear America, Global RallyCross champion and professional stunt driver (U.S. only)
  • Forza Horizon 2 Limited Edition Casio G-Shock Men’s Black Multi-Function Digital Sports Watch (U.S. only)
    Grand Theft Auto V gift pack with the Los Santos Sheriff Trucker cap, Michael, Franklin and Trevor Posters, and a Grand Theft Auto V sticker pack (U.S. only)
  • Xbox Live Gold 12-month membership digital code
  • Killer Instinct Season 1 Combo Breaker Pack, the retail version of Killer Instinct Xbox One’s first season and includes all eight season one characters: Jago, Sabrewulf, Glacius, Thunder, Sadira, Orchid, and Spinal. Also includes Fulgore DLC character.
  • Special limited edition Nissan 370Z, featuring a custom Casio livery for Forza Horizon 2
  • Air Vehicle shortcut for Battlefield 4 for immediate access to all available unlocks for helicopters and jets available in the main Battlefield 4 game
  • Arno’s French Rapier for Assassin’s Creed Unity to improve your combat skills
  • 75 Platinum in Warframe
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Costume Pack for Peggle 2
  • Epic Quest Table in Pinball FX2
  • Dance Central Spotlight (full game token)
  • Project Spark Premium – 15 days: Grants 2x gain of Spark XP, credits, and champion XP, as well as the ability to purchase new token-only content for earned in-game credits

Thanks Xbox Wire

Dive Kick Review

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I’ve always enjoyed fighting games but frankly, the genre has been in dire need of a face lift. The vast majority of the games hitting store shelves are identical to the last but with a few characters having slightly different skins but DiveKick is here to break that generic mould. It’s finally hitting the Xbox One marketplace through the ID@Xbox program after releasing on every other platform imaginable.

The concept behind DiveKick is fairly simple, the game revolves around the player using two buttons to perform two different actions and yes, you  guessed it; one button makes the player dive and the other button makes you kick. It may sound simple but this two-button fighting makes some truly epic encounters between yourself, other players and the computer. As soon as you kick the other player, they’ll instantly die and it’s just a matter of doing that five times to win a match. It comes down to whether or not you’re able to bait your opponent into making the first move and whether you’re able to quickly take advantage of their mistake.

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Most fighting games have a god awful story mode but the one in DiveKick is surprisingly entertaining. Each of the characters included in the base game have their own original story which is shown in cartoon-strip form and some are pretty damn funny. DiveKick shows you the original of how Johnny Gat entered the world of DiveKick to ‘Redacted’ a skunk bear who drank radioactive waste and is now stealing cigars.

One of the most important features of any fighting game is the fighters that are available to the player and from the very beginning, they’re all available to the player. In total, there are twelve different characters, each of which have several different outfits but these are nothing more than changing the characters jacket and trouser colour. DiveKick certainly contains some of the more ‘out there’ characters such as letting you control Saints Row’s Johnny Gat to a chap who wears boots on both his feet and his hands.

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All of the characters have their own unique traits and special abilities that can be unlocked by filling the meter in the bottom corner of the screen, this can be sped up by taking advantage of the gems available which can be changed at any time. These special abilities come in a variety of different forms from super kicking speed to summoning black holes that keep your opponent stuck in the air, it’s all a bit wacky!  If you’re someone who is easily offended, you may want to pass on DiveKick as it has a very distinct sense of humour. Every character you run into in DiveKick acts and sounds exactly how you imagine.

DiveKick offers players the generic game modes that fighting games offer; an incredibly short story mode for each  character which contains a range of fairly entertaining cut scenes as well as a versus mode which can be played either locally or online. Unlike others, DiveKick doesn’t include any form of challenge or skirmish mode for people who prefer playing offline, which is fairly disappointing, especially as someone who isn’t fond of constantly being crushed online because of the games poor matchmaking. It’d be nice to at least be matched against a similar skill level instead of gods at this two-button fighter.

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Without a doubt, DiveKick is a damn good looking game from start to finish, its cartoony art style is easy on the eye and it’s worth checking out for this reason alone. Everything from the colourful and unique character models to the weird and wonderful worlds that you’ll battle people from around the world on, they all look fantastic and each come with a backing track that fits.

DiveKick is a fantastic addition to the fighting genre just because of how different it is; something so simple leads to endless amounts of entertainment, as long as you’re willing to play multiplayer as there is very little single player content and the online component suffers from poor matchmaking. It’s still colourful and crisp art style works incredibly well with the entertaining commentary and well worth checking out just for this.

Thank you to Xbox for providing the review code to ThisIsXbox

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Titanfall Deluxe Edition Coming Soon

Respawn has today revealed the Deluxe Edition for Titanfall. Described as “delivering the complete Titanfall experience” the Titanfall Deluxe Edition includes the award-winning game featuring agile pilots and massive titans battling it out in fast-paced future warfare. In addition to the base game, players will also receive all three Titanfall DLC packs including Expedition, Frontier’s Edge and IMC Rising, adding nine maps designed to allow fans to continue the fight on the edge of the frontier.

Released in March, Titanfall has quickly become the best-selling new IP for the Xbox One. Since then Respawn have added a wealth of post-release content including the introduction of new game modes including co-op play, titan customisation, the Black Market, ranked play and more. All this great content combined in one package means there has never been a better time to feel the rush of Titanfall and the thrill of dropping your first titan on the battlefield.

Upon its release, Titanfall seized the attention of gamers around the world with its exhilarating first-person action gameplay centered on the dynamic between elite assault pilots and agile, heavily-armored, 24-foot titans. Praised by Game Informer as “a brave new vision of the future of multiplayer games”, the action in Titanfall is rapid and varied – featuring parkour-style wall running, massive double jumps and the ability to control titans. The freedom to shift back and forth between pilot and titan allows players to change tactics on the fly, attacking or escaping depending on the situation and extending the action vertically to new heights.

The Titanfall Deluxe Edition is available next week digitally for Xbox One on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace

The Xbox One Monopoly Family Fun Pack

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A new era of Monopoly for home consoles! The Monopoly Family Fun Pack is now available on the Xbox One marketplace and gathers the 3 Monopoly Games as detailed below. Everyone loves Monopoly the world over, so if you fancy owning the streets of Mayfair and Old Kent Road, give it a whirl…

MONOPOLY PLUS: Play the MONOPOLY you know and love set in a beautiful 3D world. Play online or in person with up to 6 players.

MY MONOPOLY: Personalize the classic MONOPOLY game board! Name the properties, add silly icons or pictures to make it your own.

MONOPOLY DEAL: The fun of MONOPOLY packed into a fast-dealing, card-stealing game! Play online or in person with up to 5 players.

Enjoy the classic Monopoly in new fun ways, with your friends and people all around the world!

Destiny 1.0.3 Update Is Live, Iron Banner Added

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Destiny fans will be pleased to hear that the 1.0.3 patch is now live on the Xbox One and contains a mountain of content that the community has craved for since day one.

The most notable addition? Voice chat! Yes, you read that right. The majority of public, match-made lobbies such as strikes and crucible modes will now support this feature, letting players talk to each other without having to be in a premade fireteam.

That’s not all though, the bounty slots which were teased earlier in the month have now been increased from five to ten, which means carrying exotic weapon bounties won’t be as big of a nuisance anymore.

Iron Banner has also finally made its return after its accidental release the other week. IB reputation levels from the previous event will carry over however the required level to purchase gear has been increased to five, as well as other extremely needed changes.

The enormous patch notes can be found below or on the official Destiny website.

Voice
  • Added a new social feature that enables users to access a channel for Team Chat
  • Matchmade teammates will now be able to talk to each other in Strikes and team-based Crucible matches
  • To learn more about how to toggle between chat channels, click here
Classes
  • Fixed an issue in which two players who performed a melee lunge simultaneously would teleport through each other
  • Fixed an issue in which Blink Strike damage would be caused by colliding with the Blink Strike, rather than melee impact
  • Fixed an issue in which Warlock Bonds dismantled into Titan materials
Weapons
General
    • Reduced camera shake when being hit with explosive rounds
Perks
    • Clown Cartridge: Replaced Clown Cartridge perk with other perks in shotgun upgrade trees
    • Headseeker: Fixed an issue in which the bonus Precision Damage perk did not always get applied
Activities
Missions
    • Buried City: Fixed an exploit in Mars that would clear all enemies from Clovis Bray
Strikes
    • Winter’s Run: Fixed an exploit zone in the Aksor boss encounter
    • Difficulty will scale less for 3-player Fireteams, making Strikes less deadly for them
Heroics
    • Fixed an issue in which engrams earned during Daily and Weekly Heroic activities were not displayed in the post-game carnage report
Event: Iron Banner
  • Players must now be level 20 and above to lead an Iron Banner Fireteam
  • Players below Level 20 can only accompany players above Level 20
  • Lord Saladin now has 5 reputation ranks (increased from 3)
  • New Features Added: Tempered Buff, Reforging
  • For more detailed information, click here
Cinematics
  • Fixed several issues with the synchronization of cinematic subtitles in various languages
Destinations
Combatants
    • Fixed an issue in which Vex Cyclops and Hive Shrieker health bars would not update properly
    • Reduced the number of Stealth Sword Vandals that spawn in the basement of the Terrestrial Complex on lower difficulties
Events 
    • Public Events will occur 10-15% more frequently in all public spaces
Vendors
  • Increased the number of Bounty slots in the Inventory from 5 to 10
  • Added shaders to Eva Levante’s stock in the Tower
  • Shader preview functionality added to vendor and inventory screens
  • Emblems on vendors can now be previewed in the inventory screen
  • Marks and Reputation icons and meters were adjusted to better differentiate the two
  • Fixed an issue in which Strange Coins and Motes of Light would not route to the Postmaster if your inventory was full
  • Fixed an issue in which engrams were not displaying the possible contents in the Cryptarch vendor menu
  • Fixed an issue in which players did not receive Bounty or Mission credit when assisting in the killing of a Walker or Vex Cyclops
  • Armor Stat upgrade potentials added to item compare on vendor and inventory screens
PVP
General
    • Enabled revive scoring for Skirmish and Salvage
    • Fixed an exploit with revive scoring when entering a kill volume and having a teammate revive you for easy points
    • Adjusted Join in-Progress settings for all playlists to minimize long periods of unbalanced teams due to players quitting out of matches.
    • Added new functionality to match pre-formed fireteams against each other
      • This will slowly roll out to all playlists over time, but will start with the 3v3 playlists
      • In 3v3 games, Fireteams of 2 or more players will match together more frequently
      • In 6v6 games, Fireteams of 4 or more players will match together more frequently
Medals
    • Won’t Be Beat now triggers correctly when a team wins a game after coming back from a 500-point losing deficit
    • Mark of the Unbroken no longer requires a minimum player count
    • Sum of All Tears no longer requires a minimum player count
    • Sum of All Tears should now trigger consistently
Maps
First Light
      • Implemented multiple fixes to stop players from getting into advantageous positions
Blind Watch
      • Addressed some balancing issues for the Control gametype by moving Zones, modifying routes, and adding cover objects
      • Adjusted landing and respawn points to accommodate new geometry changes
      • Added protection to prevent players from getting  on top of a pipe high above the intended playable space
Firebase Delphi
      • Added protections to prevent players from getting outside the intended playable area between Control Zone A and the crane room
Rusted Lands
      • Blocked off the monitors above Control Zone A to prevent players from hiding in them
Shores of Time
      • Added a Vex pillar to prevent players from sniping through the small gap on the ninja platform
      • Implemented multiple fixes to stop players from getting into unfairly-advantageous positions
Exodus Blue
      • Multiple fixes implemented to stop players from getting into advantageous positions, especially the giant hose reel near Control Zone A
      • Fixed an issue with visibility culling behind Control Zone A
Twilight Gap
      • Adjusted landing points to keep players from fighting too soon in Rumble matches
      • Added protections to prevent players from getting into unintended areas, for example, atop the security camera at Control Zone C
      • Added geometry to fill in small gaps that let players see out of the world
HUD
  • Improved the readability of Grenade and Melee recharge states
  • Improved the visibility of objectives in the Motion Tracker
  • Improved the visual look of Revive waypoint and Last Man Standing
  • Added skull modifier descriptions to the Navigation Mode screen
  • Fixed an issue in which the names of downed teammates did not always display on-screen
Orbit
  • Destiny version number added to the Character Login screen
  • Added dialog imagery for various events
  • Fixed an issue in which new items available from the Special Orders vendor would not show up in the message count in the Director
  • Fixed an issue in which a PlayStation Plus dialog was mistakenly shown when selecting a specific PVP activity
  • Added countdown timers for weekly/special events
  • Fixed various issues with Director animations
  • Fixed an issue in which the Player/Inventory screen would sometimes close during certain parts of the spaceflight sequence
  • Added the post-game carnage report for the previous games during Matchmaking search
Menus
General
    • Fixed an issue in which cursor speed in 4:3 and PAL was not consistent
Roster
    • Network Connection Quality Indicators now added to the Roster
    • New icons added to the scoreboard and roster to indicate voice problems due to connection issues (NAT issues)
    • Added support for direct fireteam joins from the roster on the Xbox One
Inventory
    • Updated Spinmetal, Relic Iron, and Helium Filaments icons to better represent in-game visuals
    • Fixed and updated several inventory icons
    • Fixed and updated several talent tree icons
Audio
  • Improved audio cues for sticking others and being stuck with certain Grenades
  • Fixed an issue in which an audio cue would not play when completing a Bounty
  • Fixed an issue in which “Guardian down!” referenced the wrong gender in French, Spanish, and Portuguese
Technical
  • Added the ability for the Bungie DOC to send in-game alerts and messages
  • Fixed stability issues across all platforms
  • Fixed an issue that would  cause a rare crash during space flight into activities
  • Improved patch installation process
  • Implemented PS3-specific performance optimizations
  • Fixed some issues causing beetle and lionfish Kicks to Orbit