2K have released details about WWE 2K18’s Universe Mode.
In a blog post on the official WWE 2K18 site, Universe Mode’s designer, Cristo Kyriazis, talks about what’s new for this year, including new rivalry types, Intensity, Power Rankings, updated calendars and several other additions and improvements.
WWE 2K18 will be released in a mere week’s time, and this year two new additions to the game will provide new experiences for your custom player, with MyPLAYER adding character classes of sorts and ROAD TO GLORY offering an experience that allows your wrestler to continue to grow and develop while fighting against other players online.
If the trailer intrigues you then 2K have outlined these changes thoroughly in a post on their official WWE 2K18 web site.
2K have revealed the first feature set details for WWE 2K18, the forthcoming installment in the flagship WWE franchise. Mark Little, Executive Producer at Visual Concepts, has provided a comprehensive overview of several key focus areas for WWE 2K18 in a blog post now live on wwe.2k.com.
Key highlights include:
Creation Suite: The Creation Suite gets even deeper, including a new Create-a-Match feature and improvements to Create-a-Superstar, Create-an-Arena and Create-a-Video;
MyPLAYER: A new MyPLAYER experience introduces fighting styles and a brand new upgrade and progression system;
MyCAREER: A brand new MyCAREER experience incorporates a new story and a free-roaming backstage area that enable MyPLAYER characters to interact with other WWE Superstars and help direct the narrative;
Road to Glory Mode Debut: An all-new mode lets players compete against others, using their MyPLAYER characters, in a quest to qualify for WWE pay-per-view events;
New Graphics Engine: New visuals deliver spectacular new lighting, more realistic skin and new camera effects;
New Commentary Team: Introducing the trio of Michael Cole, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves;
Core Gameplay Additions and Improvements: A host of additional improvements will make WWE 2K18 the most comprehensive and realistic WWE game to date.
Additionally, starting on Thursday July 13th, on www.2k.com is the new 2KDev Spotlight Series, which will provide additional information and a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making a WWE 2K game.
Developed collaboratively by Yuke’s and Visual Concepts, a 2K studio, WWE 2K18 is scheduled for worldwide release on October 17, 2017.
Hangar 13 makers of Mafia 3, have announced their plans to extend the story of Lincoln in New Bordeaux with the addition of 3 new DLC expansions this year. Titled ‘Faster Baby’, ‘Stones Unturned’ and ‘Sign of the Times’, each expansion will add new gameplay mechanics, activities, environments and rewards to the game while delivering tight, focused, and compelling narratives.
Faster Baby – Due out at the end of March brings fast cars, dramatic chases, and epic stunt driving to the game. Lincoln joins forces with Roxy Laveau, a sister-in-arms out to take down a corrupt Sheriff terrorizing Civil Rights activists on the outskirts of New Bordeaux.
Stones Unturned – Due out May, puts you in a story where Lincoln must join forces with CIA agent John Donovan to settle a blood feud that began in the war-torn jungles of Vietnam.
Sign of the Times – Due out July, see’s a string of ritualistic killings in New Bordeaux. At Father James’ request, Lincoln agrees to hunt down the cult responsible, a quest that will take him from the dark heart of the old bayou to the drug-ridden counterculture of the inner city.
All three DLC Expansions will be free to all holders of the Mafia 3 Season Pass and will be available to buy seperately for non Season Pass holders. As always these dates are forecasts by the development team and are subject to change.
More information will be available over the coming weeks about Faster Baby, so stay tuned and as we hear anything we’ll let you know.
Remember that alien invasion in 2012 and the creation of the XCOM organisation to fight back under your command? Well, as it turns out, you lost. However, this feels thematically spot on. Based on your average playthrough of XCOM Enemy Unknown, with the countless soldiers you lost and retires required to win, losing the war overall makes sense and sets up this sequel rather nicely.
Now with XCOM 2, the enemy is no longer unknown and 20 years have passed since Earth was conquered. Humanity now lives alongside the aliens, seemingly benefiting from their advanced technology, but of course the aliens have their own agenda. XCOM has been reduced to a small resistance force, but once they rescue you and place you back in command, as well as secure a power core, they have the means to fight back. This time around your resources are even more limited and engagements take up a guerrilla war style; flying all over the world in a modified alien ship to search out support and aid pockets of resistance, whilst gathering the evidence needed to prove to the rest of the world that the aliens are not as benevolent as they seem.
It feel pleasantly familiar. Your home base – the modified alien ship – acts very much like it did in the previous instalment, allowing you to research new technology, upgrade and promote your troops, and build new rooms to accommodate and fulfil the advancements you need to step up your fight against the aliens. Moreover, thanks to the passing 20 years, there’s now more history involved. It’s a more personal story this time around. In fact there’s a great deal more storytelling. There’s been logical improvements to base-technologies that are easier to accept. Meanwhile, the reason for your capture by the aliens makes the fight more emotional, enhanced further by any knowledge you have from the previous title.
Your engagements with the aliens are much different as well. You’re fighting a more tactical war this time. Rather than taking the alien menace straight on, you’re attacking strategically important targets and locations, striking from the shadows. This manifests itself in a new stealth mechanic. The majority of you missions start you concealed from the enemy, strongly encouraging you to sneak up on your targets, scope out the area as much as possible, and place your troops in the best position to attack. This is further driven home by just how effective the alien forces are.
Enemy AI is excellent. They’ll look for opportunities to flank you, they call in or wait for reinforcements so to face you with superior numbers, and their weaponry can decimate your troops in a shot or two. It’s staggeringly difficult at first, however, once you figure out all the mechanics and how to best use each class of soldier you have, things get a little easier.
Using the terrain to protect yourself and draw the enemy to you is a big part of the strategy, with elevation playing an even bigger part than in Enemy Unknown. Setting a Sharpshooter up on overwatch a fair distance from the battlefield whist your Grenadier flushes enemies out of cover can be a recipe for success. Meanwhile, Staying hidden but allowing your Ranger to get in close and slit some throats whilst your Specialist is flying a drone around to scope the area and complete the primary objective, is another sound strategy. However, XCOM 2 uses procedural map and objective generation to provide a different mission each time you leave the dropship, meaning no campaign playthrough is the same, extending XCOM 2’s longevity a great deal and putting the ownness on you to devise the best strategies. The terrain, your available units and their upgrades, your mission object, how long you can stay concealed, and the countless choices you make each turn can all add up to very different encounters with your enemy; figuring out how to deal with the hand your draw is part of the fun.
And it is fun, hugely so. Much like its predecessor it’s tactically compelling and rewarding to figure out the puzzle that is the battlefield. This is also the case for upgrading your soldiers. Each class has two upgrade paths that benefit different styles of play, and developing enough soldiers with a diverse set of skills to help in different missions is a criticle and involved consideration. It involves you sending rookies out to gain experience, giving you the risk/reward consideration for mission success verses soldier experience. And of course, XCOM 2 is hugely challenging and your will lose countless troops, but often this is an inevitable cost to complete the objective, making the story even more personal and gripping and gives the risk/reward even more weight.
Fortunately, you can opt to retreat if an objective is too risky or difficult to complete, saving your precious squad. You can also save anywhere and reload to your heart’s content, but with no checkpoints in-mission you better remember to do so. Unfortunately, however, loading times when reloading a save are a little on the long side, which isn’t much of a surprise when you see how beautiful XCOM 2 looks.
A varied colour palette and densely packed environments makes each mission a visual treat. Meanwhile, cinematic camera angles during the action phase of a turn builds the tension whilst superb sound effects from the weapons makes a critical shot all the more exciting and rewarding, if it hits. Of course actually hitting a target is sometimes unfair, with occasions where point blank shots on enemies miss and unobstructed lines of fire have an entirely arbitrary percentage to hit. Incidentally the aliens will also sometimes shoot straight through walls and nail impossible shots on your soldiers. Further bugs also hamper the experience slightly, with characters sometimes freezing in place and not executing commands for 10-15 seconds, and cutscenes occasionally hit frame rate problems.
Fortunately, the fun outweighs the occasional frustration; no matter how often you fail a mission there’s always plenty of alternative actions you can take to try and find success, and exploring them is joyous. Despite its steep difficulty this is a turn-based strategy masterpiece with a wonderfully engaging story to compliment it, although it is a shame that the DLC from the PC version isn’t bundled with it as standard and is instead available separately.
2K are back with another version of their visually impressive basketball sim, NBA 2K17, and whilst it doesn’t have any huge additions or new features, the few tweaks here and there help to further embed them as the dominant basketball game.
It’s no surprise at all that 2K17 looks and feels terrifically authentic. Much like it’s last few instalments, ball control is tight and intuitive, shooting and lay-ups are about timing and skill – with a little luck thrown in for good measure – and defending feels superbly balanced against attackers. The courts look real, the character animations are equally life-like, and the character models, well they’re mostly excellent but there’s a few odd-balls out there, including your created character if you use the smart phone app to scan your face.
Indeed, the presentation is still highly impressive. Stats appear throughout play but without being intrusive, and the commentators do a splendid job analysing the court and flow of play. Meanwhile, a talk show while your match is loading is a nice distraction, although the host’s facial animation is a bit hit-and-miss and some peculiar pauses in speech can pull you out of the experience a bit.
The comprehensive tutorial, 2KU, does a great job in teaching you the mechanics and systems at work, and before long you’ll be ready for the flagship mode, MyCareer. Here you create your own character and take him from his high school novice roots to becoming potentially one of the NBA’s best. The new college segment allows for some more personality to be injected into your character, providing a better origin for his career before he’s drafted into the NBA. Meanwhile, shorter load times than in previous titles is a very welcome enhancement, but there’s still a fair bit of waiting around between games.
The storytelling experience of MyCareer is still a bit corny but undeniably clever and immersive. From your house, which acts as a HUD, you have multiple options available, such as playing on your own personal court, deciding your schedule for the day, and conversing with friends, coaches, and your mum. This is of course alongside the mandatory games and training sessions, but you also have the option to attend sponsor events, go out with fellow players, and hit the practice court in order to earn stat boosts. It’s a comprehensive and well-throughout mode that immerses you in your character’s career splendidly.
Taking your created player online is the same as in previous instalments, with MyPark allowing you to play 3-on-3 games with other players. Meanwhile, 2K’s counterpart to FIFA Ultimate Team, MyTeam, is still an excellent fantasy basketball system, allowing you to build your own dream team of players, complete scenarios in order to earn VC, and challenge other players online. Furthermore, separate challenges within MyTeam, such as a mode in which you can draft a team of legends and try and win as many consecutive games as possible to earn rewards, is an excellent addition.
However, whilst the primary modes have been merely tweaked, MyGM and MyLeague have a couple of important new additions. This year both modes are more customisable and vast thanks to the ability to expand your league to 36 teams. These now include EuroLeague teams, classic teams, and even teams that you’ve made yourself, opening up a terrific options to really customise your season. Furthermore, you can choose to start during the offseason, allowing you to trade players before the season gets underway. You can also choose to only paly the Play-Offs, skipping the grind and enjoying the most exciting period of the season.
Indeed, NBA 2K17 makes smart, minor adjustments to the winning formula of MyCareer and MyPark, maintaining the former’s immersive story and the latter’s compelling collection mechanics, and it enhances MyGM and MyLeague to breathe new life into the modes. And whilst overall there isn’t much new, the NBA 2K series doesn’t need any big changes yet, as its pretty excellent as it is.
XCOM 2, the sequel to the Game of the Year award-winning strategy title has landed today on the Xbox One. Announced by 2K and Firaxis Games, XCOM 2 allows you to take control of the Avenger, an alien supply craft converted into XCOM’s mobile headquarters. From here guide your strike force and build support as you fight to reclaim the Earth from the alien threat. Check out the official Console Launch Trailer below.
Earth has changed. Twenty years have passed since world leaders offered an unconditional surrender to alien forces. XCOM, the planet’s last line of defense, was left decimated and scattered. Now, in XCOM 2, the aliens rule Earth, building shining cities that promise a brilliant future for humanity on the surface, while concealing a sinister agenda and eliminating all who dissent from their new order.
Only those who live at the edges of the world have a margin of freedom. Here, a force gathers once again to stand up for humanity. Always on the run, and facing impossible odds, the remnant XCOM forces must find a way to ignite a global resistance, and eliminate the alien threat once and for all.
Now I’m not calling myself a genius for predicting this, but then again everyone at TiX Towers are bowing down to me and calling me such, so maybe I am a genius. If you also want to be in the know about all things Xbox then be sure to regularly listen to the podcast, hosted by me, the genius.
Part MOBA, part FPS, Part RPG; Battleborn certainly throws a lot of mechanics into its frantic action, drenched in humour and cartoon style. It’s a mixture that doesn’t quite come together in the end but the striking aesthetic and those few moments of solid cohesion are thoroughly impressive enough to make up for the shortcomings.
If you’re at all familiar with the Borderlands series, then you’ll feel very much at home with Battleborn’s aesthetic and humour. The cartoon visuals are bright, over the top and splendidly detailed; meanwhile, the meme heavy humour is thick with laugh out loud moments and superbly delivered lines from its voice cast. It’s an impressive presentation, and despite the strong similarities to Borderlands, it manages to eke out an identity for itself thanks to a wide range of unique characters.
25 characters are available for you and up to four allies to choose, allowing you to form a team of superbly different individuals in your quest to save the last remaining star from being extinguished by a mysterious evil over eight missions. Each character feels entirely different to use, possessing their own strengths, weaknesses, weapon sets and abilities, allowing you to find a character that best suits your playstyle. Moreover, the character’s unique personalities provide further incentive to experiment and try them all, giving you such chooses as a towering tank of a human with a minigun, to a samurai vampire, peculiar sorcerer, Viking warrior, and a whole lot more at differing levels of strangeness. It’s a tremendously entertaining and diverse cast that’s a pleasure to see in action, using their abilities and weapons to devastate their foes in visually intense ways.
However, all this action and the abundance of abilities certainly makes for a busy battlefield, with particle effects, colourful animations and projectiles, as well as damage numbers all filling the screen. At a bottle neck, such action can completely obscure your targets and allies, making it difficult and frustrating to deal damage effectively. This is especially evident in Battleborn’s competitive multiplayer modes.
Three competitive modes are on offer, all pitting two teams of five against each other in objective-based combat and area control. This is where Battleborn’s MOBA DNA comes out to play, with purchasable and upgradeable turrets strewn across the map, minions spawning and joining you in battle, more powerful beasts posed for recruiting for the team who gets to them first, and an emphasis on controlling the lanes of the maps to ensure your fragile minions can get to the objectives. It’s an interesting melding of FPS and MOBA that unfortunately doesn’t often work. The aforementioned visual overkill when two teams go at it compromises tactics, making targeting tricky for dealing damage or even healing team mates. Furthermore, the first-person view-point makes assessing the battlefield and its lanes difficult at a glance. It is, however, highly immersive, and if you manage to gel with your team it’s terrifically satisfying to score a victory. However, with 25 characters to choose from, finding a team that compliments each other is tricky. The characters fall in to MMO archetypes of tank, DPS, and healer, and balancing your team with at least one of each requires some pre-thought and communication that random players outside of your circle of friends will struggle to comprehend.
In fact, balance is an issues across the board. Not only is balancing your team an important factor, but some characters feel horrendously over powered. There’s often a trick to counter a powerful character, however, with so many character options available, and with each playing so differently, finding that counter is a chore. Moreover, each characters levels up in-match and can be enhanced with new abilities and modifications along two paths, with additional odd modifiers appearing as you gain more experience, providing a great set of options for customising, as well as resetting at the end of each match so not to permanently tie you down, but also adding an extra level of complexity in devising a counter.
The experience you earn works towards unlocking lore about each character, as well as new skins and taunts. Meanwhile, missions can also provide crates of loot – or you can purchase them as micro transactions – which offer items that buff your characters. These can then be activated in-game by spending the currency of shards, making for further customisation and variety. Indeed it’s an impressive wealth of options, but ones that make the balancing issues even more evident.
Indeed it’s the cooperative story missions that will keep you coming back, with their Titanfall-esque structuring allowing you to complete them in any order, and only offering shallow snippets of the story. The humour of NPC and your allies, along with copious amounts of characters to unlock and enhance through lore and skins, encourages replay brilliantly, as do the multiple difficult settings for those looking for more of a challenge. These missions alone can keep you entertained for 6-8 hours. Find a savvy team of players to join you in the competitive modes and you’ll find enjoyment their too, although the community appears to still be struggling with the finer tactics and strategies.
Battleborn is a crazy and humorous FPS with great RPG and tower defence elements, and some interesting but not quite cohesive MOBA elements. It taps into what made the Borderlands games great and provides focused, cooperative multiplayer scenarios based on this same quality. The competitive side of things doesn’t quite gel with the rest of the experience, but give the community a little more time to suss it out, and Gearbox a little more time to balance the characters, and that too could entrain you for hours on end.
In celebration of the renowned basketball legend and Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Byrant, 2K today announced that the 18-time NBA All-Star will feature on the cover of their NBA 2K17 Legend Edition. This special edition of the NBA video game will highlight Bryant’s career and will include with it special memorabilia for his fans so that his legacy can live on after his last NBA game appearance tonight.
“It’s a great honor to partner with 2K on the NBA 2K17 Legend Edition,” said Kobe Bryant, whose retirement tonight marks a storied 20-year career. “As I walk off the NBA court for the final time, it’s exciting to know my fans can continue to celebrate my lifelong career as a Los Angeles Laker.”
Gamers that pre-order the NBA 2K17 Legend Edition will receive special Kobe memorabilia and in-game digital content, including:
Limited-edition Kobe poster;
Two Kobe Panini playing cards;
Black Mamba game controller skin.
30,000 Virtual Currency;
MyTEAM Bundle + (includes 3 packs with guaranteed Kobe limited use card);
Nike Kobe 11 retirement shoes;
Kobe #8 Mitchell and Ness jersey;
The NBA 2K17 Legend Edition will be available in both digital and physical formats on the Xbox One and the physical edition will be exclusive to GAME in the UK.
The NBA 2K17 standard edition will be available in digital and physical formats on the Xbox One and Xbox 360; and Windows PC platforms in September 2016.