Horizon Zero Dawn is the best-selling first-party franchise on PS4

Sony have revealed that Horizon Zero Dawn is their most successful new first-party franchise launch on PS4. Selling over 7.6 million copies in its first year – and being one hell of a game – makes Aloy the Queen of PS4, what do you say to that Uncharted?

In a world where new games are a dime a dozen, with a lot of fresh IP falling foul of harsh (and often fair) criticism, it’s awesome to hear that Guerrilla Games have pulled off such a feat – even moreso in that the studio was previously renown for their work on the Killzone series.

“We are incredibly grateful that Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds have been received so positively by so many gamers and it is a testament to the fantastic work of the entire team at Guerrilla. The combination of beautiful story-telling and great characters, with excellent gameplay mechanics, has resonated well with fans and led to this exceptional sales milestone,” said Shawn Layden, Chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios.

Since launch, the game has received a sizeable piece of DLC in The Frozen Wilds, which can be purchased as part of a ‘Complete Edition’ of Horizon Zero Dawn.

 

VR bullet hell debuts on PSVR

While it’s true that PSVR has many arena based shooters, not a single one has dubbed themselves as first-person bullet hell… until now.

Blasters of the Universe places you in world created from 90s inspired VHS cover art, lavished in neon-bathed graphics. Dodging bullets and blasting enemies is al part of the game that boasts the following features:

  • Intense first-person bullet-hell gameplay that requires you to duck, dodge and maneuver through tons of enemies and hundreds of bullets
  • Customize your weapon with 130,000 possible load-out combinations
  • Battle for glory on the online leaderboards
  • Campaign mode with item and level-unlock system
  • Constantly updating Challenge modes with unique gameplay that ensures there is something new to play every day

Which Xbox One games support Dolby Atmos?

As you may be aware, the Xbox One supports 3D spatial sound via Dolby Atmos and Windows Sonic, with Atmos requiring an additional payment for the joys of Dolby to be unlocked to your stereo headphones. But which Xbox One games support Dolby Atmos?

One could easily trawl through every game’s listing to find the answer – but that is far too much effort – especially when the awesome guys and gals over at Windows Central have compiled a list that they will continue to update as more games add in Dolby Atmos compatibility.

Currently the list reports that the following games support Dolby Atmos on Xbox One:

  • Assassin’s Creed Origins
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • For Honor
  • Gears of War 4
  • Insects: An Xbox One X Enhanced Experience
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Super Lucky’s Tale

and once released, Sea of Thieves and Crackdown 3 will also support the software.

Keep an eye on this Windows Central page for future updates to the list.

Crisis on the Planet of the Apes swings onto PSVR

Set between Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Crisis on the Planet of the Apes – that’s a lot of Planet of the Apes – will launch on April 3 and on PSVR.

Developed by FoxNext VR Studio, the first-person action adventure VR game has you in the furry skin of an ape – Specimen 139 – seeking to return the tribe after escaping from a remote facility. Ben Miller, Director of VR Production and Design, explained to PlayStation blog that “You’ll need to break out of a military camp by climbing, jumping, and wielding lethal weaponry, all while using your wits and simian strength” – sounds like the recipe for some potential nauseous inducing VR gameplay.

Let’s hope they nail that motion control, which is described as rather than holding a button, you need to learn to walk like an ape – cue the Jungle Book theme – by swinging your arms, sounds like there is some inspiration from Sprint Vector in here…

It also sounds like this will need some space when it comes to playing, not only do you need to swing your arms around, but when in combat, pieces of the environment can be grabbed and used as cover.

It all sounds mighty ambitious and I can’t wait to plunge into VR as Specimen 139 come April 3.

Games with loot boxes getting a tag from ESRB

The subject of loot boxes has become quite the bone of contention among gamers – from those strongly opposed to them to those that just want some clarity on their impact on the games they love. Today, the ESRB have announced that they will be assigning an “in-game purchases’ label to physical copies of games where loot boxes are prevalent.

To help parents negotiate the loot box mine field and help curb their child’s spending, a new ParentalTools.org website has been launched. The website runs through how to set up parental controls and set up controls for spending.

“The video game industry is evolving and innovating continually, as is the ESRB rating system. ESRB’s goal is to ensure that parents have the most up-to-date and comprehensive tools at their disposal to help them decide which games are appropriate for their children,” said ESRB president Patricia Vance. “With the new In-Game Purchases interactive element coming to physical games, parents will know when a game contains offers for players to purchase additional content. Moreover, we will be expanding our efforts to educate parents about the controls currently at their disposal to manage in-game spending before their kids press ‘Start’.”

While it’s great to see that the subject of loot boxes may finally get the attention it deserves, slapping some extra print on a game cover isn’t going to cut it in my book – I mean come on – how many of us have seen a ‘parent’ in a game store buying little jimmy, who is quite clearly of young age, a copy of GTA?

If the parents are ignoring age ratings, why will they pay any heed to a loot box label? Is the problem the games companies looking to score an extra dollar or two, or the kids that are addicted to collecting loot box goodies?

Answers in a loot box.

Life Is Strange: Before The Storm bonus episode ‘Farewell’ coming March 5th

Deck Nine, developer of Life Is Strange: Before the Storm have announced that the bonus episode ‘Farewell’ will be released on March 5th. Farewell reintroduces the first games protagonist Max to Arcadia Bay and tells the story of hers and Chloe’s relationship before Max had to leave.

Set before the events of Before The Storm, Farewell sees Ashly Burch resume the voice role of Chloe Price for the first time since the original Life Is Strange, as Rhianna DeVries voiced the character in Before the Storm’s three main episodes. Hannah Telle, who played Max in the original series, also returns.

A collectors edition of the game is also available to pre-order and includes a vinyl of the game soundtrack and exclusive figurines of Chloe and Rachel. More details can be found on the Square Enix Store.

Also please check out my reviews of the first three episodes of Life Is Strange: Before the Storm. Episode 1: Awake, Episode 2: Brave New World and Episode 3: Hell Is Empty.

 

Super Lucky’s Tale and Rise of the Tomb Raider coming to Game Pass

The March additions to the Xbox One Game Pass have been revealed. We knew that Rise of the Tomb Raider was in there, and that Sea Of Thieves was also joining on March 20th as the first Xbox One exclusive game to launch on release day straight to the service. Super Lucky’s Tale is also coming on March 1st, making that £7.99 a month looking extremely good value for money!

Also arriving on March 1st are Oxenfree, Resident Evil Revelations 2, The Final Station, Sonic CD and Euro Fishing.

Rise of the Tomb Raider – Featuring epic, high-octane action moments set in the most beautifully hostile environments on earth, Rise of the Tomb Raider delivers a cinematic survival action adventure where you will join Lara Croft on her first tomb raiding expedition. Explore Awe-Inspiring Deadly Tombs – Huge ancient spaces littered with deadly traps, solve dramatic environmental puzzles, and decipher ancient texts to reveal crypts as you take on a world filled with secrets to discover. Woman vs. Wild – Conquer a world fiercely protecting its secrets, endure perilous conditions and unstable landscapes, face dangerous wildlife that act as guardians to ancient tombs, and explore huge interactive environments. Guerrilla Combat – Use the environment to your advantage, scale trees and dive underwater to avoid or takedown enemies, configure Lara’s gear, weapons, and ammo to suit your play style, craft explosives on the fly to sow chaos, and wield Lara’s signature combat bows and climbing axe.

Super Lucky’s Tale – A delightful, playground platformer for all ages that follows Lucky, the ever-optimistic, energetic, and lovable hero, on his quest to find his inner strength and help his sister rescue the Book of Ages from Jinx. Jinx is the scheming and mysterious villain trying to reshape the world, but for what reason? Along the way, encounter a hilarious supporting cast of friends and adversaries. Lucky must confront the nefarious Kitty Litter, Jinx’s mischievous kids – self-taught villains who might not be getting Jinx’s plans quite right. Lucky meets friends and allies along the way too. He meets misplaced Yetis, Kookie Spookies, a village of farming worms, and other colorful friends inhabiting the Book of Ages. Test your skills with puzzles and nerve-wracking obstacle courses. Explore hidden secrets of new worlds with Lucky’s signature burrow move. Dive into unpredictable foxholes, or try devilish side scrolling challenge levels to unlock additional rewards. Check out Greg’s review of Super Lucky’s Tale!

Oxenfree – A supernatural thriller about a group of friends who unwittingly open a ghostly rift. Play as Alex, a bright, rebellious teenager who brings her new stepbrother Jonas to an overnight party on an old military island. The night takes a terrifying turn when you unwittingly open a ghostly gate spawned from the island’s cryptic past. How you deal with these events, your peers, and the ominous creatures you’ve unleashed is up to you. YOU determine every aspect of Alex’s story while exploring Edwards Island, uncovering the base’s dark past, and changing the course of your friends’ lives. You can read our Oxenfree review here!

A full list of all games in Game Pass can be found here.

 

Xbox releases for Feb 26 – Mar 4

There are plenty of new Xbox releases this week for you to feast your eyes on this week, the list is below, which titles will you be picking up?

Immortal Redneck

Put on the mummified boots of a redneck tourist who wakes up in ancient Egypt after a supernatural accident. A mix of old-school FPS action and rogue-lite elements, fight through dangerous pyramids, destroy a variety of monsters, and figure out what happened to this Immortal Redneck.

Gravel

Xbox One X Enhanced – Race across a variety of environments from all over the world in three racing challenges including cross country, stadium events, and unique courses set in the wild. Take your racing skills online against other players and compete for the title of Gravel World Champion!

de Blob 2

The Inkies have returned with a new scheme to rid the world of color and it’s up to you to stop them! Play across 12 levels on a new color-packed adventure where custom paints, patterns, and music bring the world to life as Blob fights to restore peace to his colorful home.

Riffstar Raiders

Shoot and loot your way across nine four-player co-op missions with your friends, taking out members of the WarSwarm, a hive-mind of alien AI that has waged war on humans in this sci-fi shoot ’em up. Pick up perks, loot your enemies, and upgrade your ship to support your comrades in battle to become the ultimate damage dealer and save the galaxy.

Deep Rock Galactic

Xbox Game Preview / Xbox Play Anywhere / Xbox One X Enhanced – Space Dwarves! Have your attention? Great! Deep Rock Galactic is a new co-op FPS that features destructible environments in procedurally-generated caves and (naturally) an endless horde of alien monsters that guard valuable minerals for you and your team of Dwarves to collect.

Darkest Dungeon

With a mix of gothic horror and challenging turn-based RPG mechanics, Darkest Dungeon challenges you to successfully manage a group of flawed heroes through twisted forests, crypts, and dungeons. Battle not only the monsters you’ll face, but the physical and mental toll each successive adventure into the dark takes on your fledgling group of knights, mages, and thieves.

Bridge Constructor Portal

Return to the Aperture Science Enrichment Center for a slew of new challenging puzzles, this time as a bridge constructor. As a new Aperture Science employee under the tutelage of GLaDOS, it’ll be up to you to build bridges, slides, ramps and a variety of other constructions across 60 test chambers, utilizing the series’ signature tools like portals, propulsion gel, faith plates and more all in the name of science.

Switch or Die Trying

As the character I, who has lost all his friends (the 25 other letters of the alphabet), embark across 75 ultra-challenging levels in this deceptively cute and difficult platformer, featuring a unique switch-mechanic that you must master if you hope for I to ever see his friends again.

The Story Goes On

Combining elements of permadeath, random world generation, and hack ‘n’ slash across an overarching story, The Story Goes On drops you into the storybook of a crazed author. Utilize 50+ items to survive battles against dozens of enemies across randomly generated worlds and dungeons.

Shoppe Keep

Manage your own fantasy retail shop! Start from scratch with a limited inventory, effectively price your goods, and arrange your displays to attract the most customers to grow your business. Employ staff, find the right price for your wares, and keep the shop looking great. And always be on the lookout for ways to expand.

Mulaka

Inspired by the real-world locations of northern Mexico, Mulaka is a new 3D action-adventure game based on the culture of the Tarahumara. Pulling from the region’s rich mythology, embark on an epic journey of a Sukurúame (shaman) as you draw upon the power of gods to fight against the corruption of your land.

Pit People

Graduating from Xbox Game Preview – Take command of a full cast of tragic heroes across an apocalyptic wonderland. Combining elements of fast-paced gameplay, turn-based strategy, and co-op adventure. Find loot, customize your crew, and fight in tournaments to survive this hostile world that is home to electrobots, vampires, and cupcake people.

Turok

Console Launch Exclusive – The classic returns! Restored and enhanced with a new visual engine for Xbox One, return as the time-traveling warrior Turok who has found himself lost in a savage land of conflict. Find the eight pieces of the shattered Chronoscepter scattered across this world to put an end to the Campaigner’s evil crusade… and fight a ton of dinosaurs, naturally.

Turok 2

Console Launch Exclusive – Once again, it’s up to Turok to restore peace to this ancient world. Having awoken an ancient evil, Turok must stop the evil Primagen from merging Earth with the nether world. Fight prehistoric raptors, evil flesh eaters, and do battle with the mother of all beasts — you must defeat them all to save this land once and for all!

ONRUSH gets a July 5th release date for PS4 and XBOX One

ONRUSH is the latest action racing game from UK based racing experts Codemasters and is coming to both PS4 and Xbox One on July 5th 2018. There will also be an open-beta in May, so gamers can check it out before release. ONRUSH is developed by Evolution Studios, the creators of Driveclub, who were purchased by Codemasters, and is the game that F1 Creative Director Lee Mather hinted at in our interview back in 2017.

ONRUSH is definitely not your standard racing game, think Rocket League mixed with Forza Horizon and you’re probably not far off! There is some awesome fun to be had here with a group of friends!

ONRUSH will feature eight different vehicle classes called – Blade, Outlaw, Vortex, Charger, Interceptor, Dynamo, Titan and Enforcer. Each class has its own unique style, handling and abilities which will be key to RUSHing your team to victory, especially in online competition; where tactics are key.

Some abilities are more tailored for the offensive minded – those of you who have a bit of rage built up and want to inflict devastating takedowns on your rivals. For the more pacifist players, support abilities are also hugely important in clinching victory.

For more details, and to learn more about the beta timings, follow ONRUSH on the usual social media outlets – Facebook, Twitter and the official Codemasters blog.

 

NBA Live 18 enters the Xbox EA Access Vault

NBA Live 18 is the latest game to be made available for free in the EA Access vault on Xbox One.

NBA Live 18 is the latest Basketball game from EA. It includes an “Ultimate Team” mode that allows players to draft different players to create a custom roster, similar to the FIFA and Madden series’. It is the first basketball video game to feature a full WNBA roster.

It also features a single-player career mode called “The One,” again similar to “The Journey” story mode in the latest FIFA games. In this mode, the created player has the chance of taking their skills across leagues and even join the NBA Draft and Combine whilst Basketball experts analyse your performance and give their opinion on the direction the player is going to progress through the mode. The game mode allows players to experience basketball life on and off the court with more clothes and a Game Face app for iOS and Android devices, allowing players to scan their face and insert it into the game.

Our very own Dave Moran reviewed this for TiX and gave it a highly respectable 7.5. You can read his review RIGHT HERE!