The Crew adds Practice Mode to the Summit

The monthly Summit is an event all to familiar to those regular players of The Crew and the expansion update that came in the form of Wild Run. Well until recently you havent been able to test you luck and practice for the Summit until the time of the event but this has all changed now. Following the February patch players can now use the Practice Mode to try Monster Truck, Drag and Drift challenges outside of the Summit or Qualifiers.

However like the Event and Qualifiers, Practice mode still ranks you depending on skill but this also means you can get rewarded on your performance bagging rewards in the form of XP, bucks and even car parts.

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This wasn’t the only change to come this month and below are some of the other changes you can find.

Handling update

Improved aerodynamics, better steering reactivity, improved counter steering, improved grip behavior, increased differences between Driving Help/Sport/Hardcore driving modes for:

  • Chevrolet Corvette C3 FULL STOCK/PERF
  • Alfa Romeo 4C FULL STOCK/PERF
  • Hummer H1 FULL STOCK/STREET/PERF/DIRT/RAID
  • Spyker C8 Aileron FULL STOCK/PERF
  • Chevrolet Corvette C2 FULL STOCK/PERF
  • Abarth 500 FULL STOCK/STREET/PERF
  • Nissan Fairlady Z 432 (PS30) FULL STOCK/PERF/DIRT
  • 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham FULL STOCK/STREET/PERF

Bug fixes and improvements

  • Friends Leaderboards: Improvements have been made to the friends leaderboards to show their current world ranking.
  • Drift trial: Scoring areas have been added. If a player leave these areas he will no longer get points.
  • Monster Arena challenges: The scoring have been slightly tuned to be more accurate.
  • Summit: Qualifier rewards have been rebalanced.
  • Improve vehicle’s picture: Improved quality for vehicles’ icons in the headquarters.

When I logged on the other day I was surprised just how many people still play the game and how the community spirit thrives with players willing to join events, team up and generally cruise around together. So let us know if you still play The Crew, what you think of the Summit Events and the new practice mode. Oh and if you’re ever on and see me, feel free to drop me an invite.

Cloud gaming – get excited for it

Anyone who picked up my piece on Xbox exclusives may remember that I am taking my gaming to another level of addiction this year, really stepping up to fill every hour I can with the stack of brilliant games now out on the Xbox one, not to mention the ones upcoming this year. Hows it going you ask? pretty well actually, I have nearly all the hero armour on Black Ops 3, and I am well on way through my ‘first person’ run through on GTA V. So, with that in mind, I am peeling off the haemorrhoids pillow and trying not to knock over the pee bucket as I sidle over to my computer to spout of some stuff on cloud gaming and why I think its going to be AWESOME!

Cloud gaming is something that really interests me and it’s something Phil Spencer from Xbox has had a lot to say about in the past and again recently. With the crackdown marketing now building up pace its being used by xbox as a good jumping off point for the cloud discussion. Back in 2014 Phil did an inner circle podcast interview (if you haven’t seen any of these check them out, some great interviews and very insightful into the industry) in which he said (on cloud gaming);

“Maybe we should think about how to talk about it with consumers”

Its a statement that speaks a lot for the understanding at the time (October 2014) since the cloud has been thrown around a lot in the IT world its seeping into common knowledge but in what capacity? most of the people I have spoken to about it just see it as an extension of storage, or a means of accessing content and data away from your home storage. Since then Xbox have certainly worked on improving the way they communicate it to the audience, there is plenty of information up on how the cloud is integrated into the core of Xbox and how it works. There is a lot of chatter, pretty much in any game forum or after a cursory glance on-line, around a larger connectivity sphere and genre’s changing with technology advancements. The way we play for example, with a move towards larger player counts and the interactions that they bring, all of this means more power. hmmm, seems like cloud gaming has the ability to help these developments.

Some aspects of cloud gaming are already built into our consoles and being utilised. Game-sharing on digital titles, holding licenses and profiles in the cloud to be accessed anywhere without the need for a hardware memory device being carried are just two of the ways its currently being utilised but it’s the potential of what’s to come that’s really exciting. Before I get into that though I’m going to just go through how it’s proposed to work. Not in a very technical way though and that’s not because you wouldn’t understand, more because I’m just not tech savvy enough to really get into it.

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So, what we have is hardware, servers, running software that can create virtual machines (VM’s) which can scale up and down with demand. This is all through Microsoft Azure (Google it to know more). How this will help is by allowing much more processing and running power to be utilised by your console. The numbers being thrown around that I have heard and read are 20 times the power currently available to you on your Xbox one. The way it can be used is up to the developers, but for an example I’ll use the following. Perhaps on your next big game the AI is all run by the VM rather than your Xbox, freeing up processing power on your console to focus on other in game aspects, like your inputs or the rendering. This is just one example of course, another is currently being displayed with Crackdown 3, the physics system and graphics rendering are all done on the VM’s (for the on-line multiplayer) which allows for the massive destructible environment that can be played, previously this scale of destruction wasn’t possible because of console limitations. It’s all very exciting to me as my mind likes to run with the potentials of what we could see in the future. This allows for bigger projects that need more run power, bigger maps, more AI, better rendering, There really a whole world of new potential for the developers to get into.

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I’m amped to see where this will go and what can be done. Imagine a GTA spread across the whole of America, a map which literally takes hours to cross and has thousands of npc’s live at any time. it will feel denser and more realistic. GTA not your thing? how about a multiplayer shooter with hundreds of players in one lobby, playing on a map size that would make battlefield feel inadequate or a racer with hundreds of player cars screaming across track in a massive world event race. I’m just spit-baling here but there is a huge amount of potential for this new aspect of gaming. Developers have said for a long time that many games are cut down form the original vision, or just have to compromise because of the power available to them, well this is the start of something special, a gaming world not limited buy the power of the hardware in front of you, but linked to a huge network of processing power that will lead to some pretty fantastic developments.

Back in the holiday period of 2014 Phil spencer (he really has been the champion of cloud gaming for Xbox) said that about 35-40% of the games out that holiday where using the cloud technology in some capacity. Now the developers have had a couple of years to work with the tech the first games to really make use of it are starting to come out. As it becomes more of the standard and the devs really get the hang of pushing the limits on it things are only going to get bigger and better.

*Squeal*

For the time being I’m going back to my console of solitude to get the kind of achievement I will only see in a digital realm, but I will be sitting with baited breath to see the potentials of cloud gaming coming into fruition.

Happy gaming, till the next time.

New Rhino Hunt: Adversary mode comes to GTA Online

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This weekend you can jump straight into the action and gain double GTA Online money and RP whilst playing the Rhino Hunt mode, this mode is all about Sticky Bomb wielding hunters in small vehicles like dune buggies taking on one or two Rhino tanks. Rhino drivers will have to use the firepower and armor capacity of their tank to destroy oncoming threats and survive the massive amount of Sticky Bombs that will be thrown at them, the new Adversary mode can also be played in three different locations.

To celebrate the event there are more discounts and other services running throughout the week;

  • Warstock Cache & Carry – 25% off
  • Merryweather Services – 25% off
  • All Automatic Rifle ammo – 50% off
  • Select Weapon Attachments – 50% off
  • All Tactical Gear from Heists – 50% off (includes Utility Vests, Rebreathers, Night Vision Goggles and Earpieces)you can also score some double RP for quick rank up in both the recently released Till Death Do Us Part Adversary Mode as well as in all Freemode Events all week.

The Rhino Hunt: Adversary mode and all special discounts and services run until March 3rd 2016.

Adventure documentary game KURSK coming to Xbox One

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On the 12th of August 2000, the Russian submarine, K-141 KURSK sank to the bottom of the Barents Sea. Sadly, all 118 crew members perished in the disaster, the cause of which, to this day, remains a mystery. Polish developer, Jujubee have attempted to piece together the last hours of the KURSK in a newly announced adventure documentary game.

Jujubee, containing former members of CD Projekt RED and Traveller’s Tales, have gathered facts from the tragedy and will present them in what they are calling the first proper documentary game in history. If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Gamescom 2016 between the 17th and 21st of August in Cologne, you’ll be able to play KURSK, even as the developer finalises the game in the last quarter of the year, ready for release.

The developers have also been sensitive to the concerns of the Russian people after it was announced with the following statement:

We would like to clarify a few things about our upcoming game “KURSK”, because we see that there are some concerns. We are fully aware that this tragedy was a very painful topic for the Russian society and we can assure you that the game will be made with all the respect. There are many movies and books about current, very often painful events and we feel that games are now also a form of art and that the time has come for our industry to talk about serious and real topics. “KURSK” will be a game for the mature audience that can appreciate a deep storyline and our main goal is to do it right, without offending anyone. We hope that the final game will put all concerns to rest and that players will realise how much bravery it takes to live and work on a submarine.

KURSK is currently scheduled for a late 2016 launch.

Xbox One to expose The Church in the Darkness

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Paranoid Productions have an interesting take on gaming. Join a cult, they said. It’ll be fun. They have revealed a new title, coming to Xbox One in 2017, that envelops you in the 1970’s world of Rebecca and Isaac Walker. Persecuted for their beliefs, they lead their people into the jungles of South America.

In the isolation of Freedom Town, they can escape the injustices of the US and follow the true path of of the righteous. An outsider is in their midst, however.

From The Suffering’s Richard Rouse III and inspired by real life events, The Church in the Darkness is an action-infiltration title that dips into the radical movements of the 1970s. You are a former law-enforcement officer, resolved to get into Freedom Town and check on your nephew.

The game will offer a unique playthrough on every attempt, with different character personalities and a shifting narrative triggered by investigation, observation and action. With the cult leader dialogue written specifically for Ellen McLain (GLaDOS in Portal) and John Patrick Lowrie (Sniper in Team Fortress 2), who are married in real life, The Church in the Darkness should offer an intriguing and challenging spectacle from the outset.

Here’s your official announcement trailer.

Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6 coming to Xbox One

resident evil 4 5 and 6 small

Today, Capcom announced that they will be releasing the fourth, fifth and sixth Resident Evil games on the next gen consoles.

Excitingly, the three games will also feature all DLC ever made for them.

Releasing one at a time for £15.99 each they will start with Resident Evil 6 which will land on March 29th. Resident Evil 5 will launch in the Summer, with Resident Evil 4 later this autumn.

Quite why they’re releasing them in reverse order is anyone’s guess.

The Solus Project enters Preview

solusproject

Teotl Studios have been working on and, indeed, showing off, their upcoming sci-fi styled suvival adventure, The Solus Project for a few months now and to be fair, it does look excellent.

With the human race on the brink of destruction, The Solus Project will strand you on a distant unknown planet with the aim to survive the harsh, volatile environments while trying to figure out how to save mankind.

The game, by the team behind Unmechanical Extended, has a first episode hitting the Xbox One Game Preview programme today, with further episodes scheduled to release at later dates. These will open new regions, completing the puzzle with the final, full release this spring.

Jakub Mikyska, GRIP digital’s CEO;

The Solus Project is not only one of the very few narrative-driven survival games, but also one of the first games of its kind being released via Xbox One Game Preview in the same launch window as its Steam counterpart. All the upcoming updates leading to spring 2016 full version release will launch on Xbox One and Steam simultaneously, ensuring content parity for players on both platforms.

Ultimately, you’ll find out in the game, are you really alone?

Xbox One to receive the Call of Cthulhu

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After switching developer from Frogwares to Cyanide Studio back in late January this year, the first two teaser screenshots have crept in for Focus Home Interactive’s Lovecraft-inspired Call of Cthulhu.

The title is an investigation style horror with stealth and RPG elements, based on H.P. Lovecraft’s horror universe, and is adapted from Chaosium’s pen and paper RPG of the same name. The game will also feature psychological horror mechanics as you investigate the death of an acclaimed artist and her family on a backwater island. You’ll uncover a more disturbing truth as The Great Dreamer, Cthulhu, prepares its awakening.

You’ll have to content yourselves with the teaser images above and below for now though, as Call of Cthulhu is not due to hit Xbox One until 2017. Of course, we’ll bring you all the news on this as it comes in.

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The Necropolis is opening on Xbox One later this year

necropolis

At PAX East last year, Harebrained Schemes showcased a fast-pased, 3D, skills-based PC roguelike called Necropolis. Bandai Namco Entertainment America were so impressed that they decided to bring it to Xbox One as well.

Necropolis will combine third-person action with roguelike dungeon delving. This ends up as being an addictive and totally hardcore experience.

Eric Hartness, Marketing Vice President at Bandai Namco Entertainment America;

Simply put, we were impressed and excited when we discovered Necropolis at PAX East. Blending a skill-based 3D action game with roguelike means it’s never the same experience twice. Necropolis’ off-kilter humour and unique visuals add perfectly to the mix, making it the perfect companion game for Dark Souls fans and a great addition to our game portfolio.

The desire to deliver consistent quality has meant that the developers have shifted their initial PC release date from the 17th of March, to a combined console and PC release later on this summer.

Necropolis will see you battle as a nameless adventurer, attempting to escape a living, magical dungeon that reconstructs itself each time you play. There really is only one way out. Down. Along the way you’ll craft, equip, explore and fight to stay breathing as you delve deeper and face the ever-greater threats in the twisting halls and endless chasms.

Look out for a release date announcement for Necropolis in the near future.

Meta-Novel to accompany Tom Clancy’s The Division

Every survivalist knows that you should always have a field guide with you and Tom Clancy’s The Division is no different. At the same time the game launches on March 8th so will New York Collapse, a meta-novel based on a lone survivor April Kelleher, and her investigation into the cause of the collapse.

Written before the fall of New York, the book contains handwritten notes and helpful tips on how to survive and will allow you to dig deeper into The Division’s story. Using the book’s clues and removable artifacts retrace the steps of April and see if you can uncover some of the games key secrets along the way.

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Written by Alex Irvine, New York Collapse is available to pre-order through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chronicle Books. For more information on the New York Collapse then check out the website here or you can check out the trailer below