How Xbox One is growing up

Xbox One S Review Featured Image

There’s no doubt that it’s been a great year for Xbox One and for the gamers who get their thrills playing it.

For a start there was June’s announcement of the new, slimline Xbox One S and then there were all the great games that have been released this year.

For example there’s been the launch of those perennial favourites, FIFA 17 and Pro Evo Soccer. There have also been the stunning new version of CoD, Infinity Warfare as well as Halo 5 and Star Wars: Battlefront. Plus, for speed freaks, there’s been Forza 6.

It’s also been the year when Twitch has really taken off with some people making the claim that it’s turning gaming into the new Netflix. E-sports are also exploding like never before with the League of Legends event selling out again with millions more viewing online.

So, as you can see, getting to be a first rate Xbox One player’s more challenging and more fun than ever – and, to be a contender, you’ll have to be at the top of your game.

You should start by making sure that your console’s set up for ultimate performance. There are all sorts of tricks you can try including remapping the controls or turning your smartphone into a remote control. If you want to get the best out of online gaming (and who doesn’t?) then changing the way that you connect with the internet is also crucial.  After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than when slow connection speeds, or even lost connections, get in the way of your game play.

So maybe you should think about using a VPN to connect. There are lots of good ones to choose from and there are plenty of benefits that they’re going to bring you. For example geo-blocking’s never going to be an issue because the VPN’s going to conceal your IP address. So you won’t just be able to get access to countries that you might never have been able to before, you’ll also be able dramatically expand the number of opponents you’ll be able to take on at a stroke.

Last, but no means least, it’s time to test out the old maxim that practice makes perfect. There’s a well-known theory that it takes 10,000 hours dedicated play to reach expert level and this could be as true of gaming as it is of playing the violin.

So now’s the time to get down to Call of Duty or FIFA 17 and see if they really are the best versions yet. And, while you’re discovering this, you’ll also be moving ever closer to that magic 10,000 hours.

Second expansion for The Division releases tomorrow

The second expansion for Tom Clancy’s The Division, Survival, will be available tomorrow on Xbox One and Windows PC.

As New York is hit by a devastating snowstorm, The Division agents receive intel about some powerful anti-virals left behind in the Dark Zone, that could help stem the spread of the pandemic. But before they manage to reach their destination, the agents’ chopper is taken down by the intensifying weather.

To survive and reach their objective, players face the most extreme conditions and have to manage cold, disease, hunger and thirst. Finding warm clothes, crafting supplies, scavenging for food, water, and medicine are key for agents to make their way to the antidote. But with 23 other players struggling to survive and to find the cure, resources are scarce. Competition between agents will lead many to fall on their way to the Dark Zone. Besides this hostile environment, another deadly threat is prowling in the Dark Zone and preying on The Division: the Hunter, a swift advanced enemy who displays proudly the watches of the agents he has killed.

In survival, you can play in either PvP or PvE, While in PVP agents can fight against or cooperate with other players in every corner of New York with the chance to recieve additional rewards, in the form of a bonus multiplier to the total score.

The 1.5 update will include a new world tier for all activities, world tier five, as well as six new high-end named gear pieces, three high-end named weapons and 12 new weapon types.

It’s definitely time for me to get back into this game, who is with me?

Grab some bargains in the Xbox Black Friday sale

Black Friday appears to have become a worldwide event in recent years and for Xbox Users it’s our chance to take advantage to buy some cheaper games. There is a whole host of stuff available, so why not check the the most recent list below:

Black Friday Xbox Digital Game Deals

    

Xbox One Deals

Please note: actual discounts and availability are subject to change and may vary by region and Xbox Live Account type.
Xbox Live Gold Members save up to 10% more off of the discounted sale price. 

    

Xbox 360 Deals

NOTE: Updated to reflect current sales.

Star Trek Online update brings Fleets

Fleets

All hands, this is your Captain speaking, Star Trek Online has had a Fleets update. We are due out of spacedock and all shore leave has been cancelled. Back to your posts and let’s explore some more.

You heard me correctly, Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic Studios’ hit MMORPG based on Roddenberry’s Star Trek universe has had an update that will add several of the PC version’s gameplay options to the classic Star Trek Online on consoles for the first time.

Fleets will add the Admiralty System, Duty Officers, Research and Development and Fleet Holdings. These will offer even more diverse and immersive gameplay to your starship experience.

  • Admiralty System – Players who have already reached the rank of Admiral can send their inactive starships on missions to bring back rewards
  • Duty Officers – Captains can delegate tasks and away missions to their standard crew members for rewards, while they continue to travel through the final frontier
  • Research and Development – This system allows players to craft standard and unique items through a variety of schools, whle also providing exciting crafting tier progression bonusus
  • Fleet Holdings – Fleet members can work together to build a full-scale Starbase, Romulan Embassy, Dilithium Mine, Dyson Sphere Spire as fleet-only social areas. Building these facilities also grants access to various bonuses, high-end gear and daily missions
  • Two New Reputations – Task Force Omega and Iconian Resistance in Fleets will include a variety of new queues to play and new end-game gear to earn for your captains and starships

Star Trek Online launched in September, with over 1 million Captains signed up to guide their crew to go where no-one has gone before. Completing missions to earn credits, equipment and promotion, Fleets is an update to breathe more life into Star Trek Online and is available now for the free-to-play MMORPG, as long as you’re an Xbox Live Gold member.

Are you a budding Star Trek Online Captain? What are your experiences of Star Trek Online so far? Let us know in the comments, below.

 

No campaign co-op in Dead Rising 4

The hotly anticipated forth entry in the Dead Rising series is due to release in a mere few weeks, and fans are giddy with excitement. However, that giddiness might take a bit of hit with news that you won’t be able to play through the story of Dead Rising 4 with a friend after all.

This information comes fresh from a Twitch stream on the ExpertZone_Community channel, where members of the development team at Capcom Vancouver confirmed that the story of Dead Rising 4 will be single player only.

Instead, the co-op multiplayer will allow up to four players to experience an entirely separate mode with different characters. Here you’ll play short objectives, in the style of mini-games, rather than free roaming through the mall.

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It certainly feels like we were all misled about the co-op content on offer here, and with other series staples like the time limit, survivor escorting, eating food to regenerate health, and Frank West’s voice actor changing, this latest entry in the series is sounding less a less like its predecessors.

And what might be the final nail in the coffin for some fans is the news that a time limit based single player mode is coming as DLC. Indeed, making people pay extra for features the series is known for that are otherwise missing, isn’t the smartest move.

Second year of content planned for Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege is stacking up to breach 2017 with a second year of content. Kicking things off in February, an event for fans is being planned – the Six Invitational. The second year of content will then follow a similar plan as the first so expect new maps, operators, modes and weapon skins – no doubt there will also be a new season pass!

 

 

The final piece of year one DLC hits consoles on November 17 with Operation Red Crow, which includes a new map, two new operators and gameplay features. The operators – from Japan’s Special Assault Team – Hibana and Echo are available exclusively for season pass owners on November 17 and won’t cost a single R6 credit, other players can purchase their services with credits from November 24.

 

Bethesda gets the Zen Pinball treatment

Oh we do like a good tease and when Bethesda is at the centre of the tease then there’s plenty to get excited about.

Posted on the Zen Studios website, your favourite nuclear mascot is giving a thumbs up to a mushroom cloud themed pinball table – but notice the name – Bethesda Pinball. If this was based purely on Fallout then surely it would have been named differently. With this in mind, which other Bethesda games do think will get the Zen Pinball treatment? My money is on Dishonored and Elder Scrolls!

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Deals with Gold – Nov 15 – 21

Major Nelson has given us the lowdown on the latest deals for Xbox Live Gold subscribers, Discounts are valid now through 21 November 2016.

    

Xbox One Deals

*These offers are valid for all Xbox Live members.
Please note: prices and availability are subject to change and may vary by region. 

    

Xbox 360 Deals

Watch Dogs 2 reviews get off to a great start

The reviews are flying in… on PlayStation 4 that is. At the time of writing, metacritic has 39 PS4 reviews of the latest Ubisoft title and 0 on Xbox One – anyone care to take a stab at which is the preferred platform?

God is a Geek gave it 90 praising that “every aspect of movement and adjusting to your equipment has been improved ten-fold since the first game”. TheSixthAxis matched the score and found that there’s “a ton of side-content that’s entirely new to the franchise”.

Even the lowest score, at 75 by SpazioGames, found Watch Dogs 2’s new hacking abilities to be “two of the most joyous news in the field of hacking, that you should definitely build as quickly as possible, are the jumper and flying drone.” (please excuse the use of google translate).

Check out the launch trailer below

Agony set for hellish 2017 release

The survival horror genre has seen some massive changes over the years. Games such as Resident Evil set a course for game developers to push boundaries and see exactly what scares the living bejesus out of us gamers. As players we love to be scared, a morbid fascination into the occult or just plain simple jump scares in games has us going back for more and more. With the introduction of VR, the horror genre doesn’t seem to be dying off, in fact it looks to be ever more popular.

With all that aside MadMind Studios are grabbing the horror genre, sprinkling a little of their disturbing dust on it and setting it free to the masses. With a line up of developers that have worked on the likes of The Division, The Witcher 3 and Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, Agony is a game we will definitely have to take seriously.

Agony see’s you as a tormented soul fresh in the depths of hell with no memory of how you got there. You will have the ability to control the minds of others, giving you the necessary skills to progress through each stage. The ultimate goal is to escape hell which will mean a meeting with the all powerful Red Goddess.

I must warn you though, like I said the horror genre has seen some changes, Agony pushes the envelope a long way and some people may find some of the footage disturbing. Put it this way there’ll be no “That was too close; you were almost a Jill sandwich.” quotes in this game.

Now if that wasn’t enough Madmind also released an extended gameplay trailer, I’ll warn you again, this is no picnic either.

MadMinds depiction of hell is a quite a disturbing one don’t you think. As you can see from the intro Unreal Engine 4 is the driving force behind this game, the same engine that gave us the epic visuals in Gears of War 4 and many other titles. With that said the power of the Unreal Engine will definitely make this a game visual work of art. Just watching the trailer gave me the same sense of dread I felt the moment I launched the very first Silent Hill, and I wasn’t disappointed with that.

Agony is set to be released on PC and Xbox One some time in 2017, I for one am really looking forward to it. I’ll probably only play about 10 minutes of it before I’m scared out of my my mind but hey, I’ll give it a bash.