EA’s E3 2018 press conference has started delivering reveals and, to no one’s surprise, FIFA 19 is coming out later this year on September 28th. However, what was a surprise was the reveal that the next instalment will include the UEFA Champions League for the first time.
FIFA 19 will embed the UEFA Champions League in Career mode, Story mode and Ultimate Team, allow you to experience the thrill of chasing that cup anyway you fancy.
Beyond this, FIFA 19 will feature the usual refinements we’d expect from the annual sports title, but this year EA have made a point of mentioning that they have taken feedback from the community and FIFA pros to create a better, more fluid, responsive and intuitive experience. We’ll find out how this translate to play in September. Check out the trailer below:
It’s not often that I’ll play a first-person shooter other than Halo. It’s even less often that it’s a re-imagining of a title that was first released on the Xbox 360. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition from People Can Fly is one such game.
Bulletstorm isn’t usually the type of title I’d pick up. Not because I don’t like first person shooters, more the fact that I’m not a massive fan of being led around by the nose. I’m much more of an exploration kind of shooter fan than scripted paths and direction. That being said, I went into Bulletstorm with an open mind, especially as I’d not played the initial Xbox 360 release from 2011. I was pleasantly surprised.
Taking place in the 26th Century, Bulletstorm sees you take the role of Grayson Hunt. Grayson is the leader of Dead Echo, a covert hit squad under the direct command of Star General Sarrano of the Confederation of Planets. Sarrano, unsurprisingly, uses Dead Echo to clean up some of his dirty work, and, learning this, Grayson and his team desert. They become Space Pirates and ten years on, encounter Sarrano’s cruiser, the Ulysses, ramming it over the planet Stygia. Your story is taken up from there on in.
Initially, you have a few tasks to perform to save the life of team member Ishi Sato. Ishi was critically wounded during the crash and has been repaired by the damaged ship’s medical systems using cybernetic and robotic components. The AI on this repair is rather aggressive, however, turning Ishi into something of a loose cannon. During the initial search for power, you find an Instinct Leash.
This device is an interactive energy whip and tactical points-scoring system. The more kills that Grayson performs, in the most creative manner, the more points that you will earn. More points equals more ammunition and weapon upgrades as you progress through the game.
The weapons that Grayson has access to range in type and effectiveness. The weapon select allows you to choose between the primary automatic rifle and two secondary weapons. Choosing wisely could mean the difference between progressing on to the next chapter, or dying a horrible death at the hands of the local hybrid-mutant population of nuclear-winter crazies. You have good selection of combat weapons to choose from. From a magnum-type pistol to an explosive tipped flail chain launcher, there should be fun for everyone in the loadouts.
The loadouts are accessed through the Instinct Leash communicating your kill-score to drop-kits. You can choose to upgrade the weapons in your arsenal and purchase more ammo, but in truth, you’ll probably max out your ammo as there are so many crazies around, you’ll be buried in spent casings.
Importantly, the weapons are fun to use. There’s nothing worse than finding out that the firepower at your disposal is drab and lifeless, or worse still, ineffective. The standard automatic rifle does feel slightly underpowered though, and you can find yourself emptying clip after clip into certain enemy types before you try something else. The Instinct Leash allows you to get creative too. You can use it to whip enemies from behind cover towards you or into hazards like giant spikes, electrical wires or hungry plants. This can rack up your points and can be a source of amusement as you whip them towards you and give them a hefty boot away while trying to take their head off with a well-placed bullet.
There are a number of local mutant types that will come at you without hesitation as well. There’s no sneaking around trying to avoid conflict in this one, its full-on, in your face violence here. Once these are out of the way, by whatever means you have at your disposal, hell, even kick them off a platform, they will drop something useful, like a small amount of ammo. You can even use the Instinct Leash to pick that up if you’re desperate.
As you make your way to specific locations throughout the ravaged city, using a pre-defined path, you will eventually come up against a heavier boss battle before progressing to the next Act or Chapter. These will sometimes involve a little more of the story being revealed or occasionally, will suggest something other than a professional relationship blooming between Grayson and Ishi. Odd.
Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition has had a graphics update by all accounts, although not having played the original, I wouldn’t be in a position to comment on the differences. It also provides the Overkill Campaign mode, granting immediate access to all of the available weapons as well as six new Echo maps. There is also a great Duke Nukem’s Bulletstorm Tour DLC available with voice clips from Jon St.John himself.
The voice-acting in Bulletstorm is OK. It won’t win the game any awards and some of the dialogue is pretty cheesy, but it helps to keep the game, and more importantly the story, clipping along at a fair old pace, and there’s plenty to keep you entertained throughout. There are several hours of gameplay in the story alone and with multiplayer, Overkill and the Duke Nukem optional DLC, there’s enough to keep you seriously entertained for a long time to come. With all of that in mind, is there anything I don’t really like about Bulletstorm Full Clip Edition?
Well, I can’t help but feel that it’s all a bit samey. The mutants either come at you in some sort of suicidal frenzy or they hide and try to pick you off, making a swift Leashing inevitable. There’s little variation in the attacks or the way you end up defeating the hordes of nutters trying to end your existence. There’s no health indicator either. Take too much damage, and to be fair Grayson can take a lot, and the edges of your HUD turn red until you hide for a bit of time. This can be irritating of you’re in the middle of an important boss fight.
On the whole, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition lives up to the hype of the original release. The graphics are futuristically gory in a good way and most things are pretty well animated. The story keeps you engaged throughout and the voice-acting, while not Oscar-worthy, is good enough to get you through the cheesy dialogue. Save for repetitive waves of attacks and being led around a specific route to your goal, the game is well worth picking up to add to your collection.
Thanks to People Can Fly and Xbox for supporting TiX
With the rapidly incoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie about to hit the box office, EA’s Star Wars Battlefront have released a whole new experience for the game.
Set in a galaxy, far, far, away, Battlefront has released the fourth and final expansion pack for all Season Pass owners. Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: Scarif will introduce players to all-new epic battles and content inspired by the latest movie in the franchise.
You will be able to touch down from space onto the planet of Scarif and fight across beaches and jungle as the defiant Jyn Erso. You could also choose to defend against incoming forces as the cruel but brilliant Advanced Weapons Research director, Orson Krennic. These new playable heroes will also come with their respective signature weapons to wield.
Also introduced is Infiltration. This new game mode is multi-staged and again is inspired by Rogue One. Battle across Scarif and try out the new weapons and Star Cards and power-ups.
Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: Scarif includes:
Landing Pad 13
Jyn Erso’s A180 Blaster Pistol
Orson Krennic’s DT-29 Heavy Blaster
New Star Cards and power-ups:
Tie Striker Power up
New Game Mode:
Now, I know what you’re thinking, yes, there’s a trailer and yes, here it is.
Battlefront Rogue One: Scarif DLC is available now for all Season Pass owners, and should be available separately in around two weeks.
EA Games and PopCap have scored a bit of a winner with their first-person take on Plants Vs Zombies. Garden Warfare 2 is a fun-filled, chlorophyll-driven romp and they’ve enhanced the game with the free Zombopolis updates. It would seem that wasn’t the end of the title expansions for the game.
EA have revealed that the next free expansion for the title is called Trials of Gnomus. This massive content update will unleash tons of new content, all-new game modes and unique weekly events with new loot to earn. It will offer players a mysterious gnome merchant who has a stock of rare goods and best of all, an enigmatic gnome underworld to explore, as well as much more.
Trials of Gnomus will introduce the Mystery Portal. This magical gateway has been built by the gnomes of the garden to test the skills of both the plants and zombies. Players will be able to travel through this gateway to play three all-new limited-time game modes. Here you can earn the Rainbow Stars that will unlock the Rainbow Chests and the Gnome Underworld. Engage in the Trials of Eternity in this all-new area. This is a series of challenging gnome trials that will test your speed, shooting accuracy, puzzle-solving ability and memory skills.
By discovering and completing the Trials of Eternity, players can unlock a slew of new rewards from legendary customisation items, to original Garden Warfare favourites. Eventually, you’ll be able to redeem in-game rewards that will change your PvZ Garden Warfare 2 universe, forever.
The three limited-time game modes in this huge update are:
Cats vs Dinos – Face off in Jurassic battles where felines take on the dinosaurs. This fast, competitive game mode is played out in the extra-large Gnomiverse multiplayer map.
Boss Hunt – Team up with friends and take on the ultimate PvZ challenge. Battle epic bosses and earn yourself some loot.
Super Mix Mode – This is a new crazier mix of Crazy Settings. It features different combinations of characters squaring off against each other.
You might think that, so far, this is more than enough for one update, right? Well EA and PopCap are not done there. Trials of Gnomus will introduce Rux the Deal Breaker. This dark and mysterious gnome has appeared in Zomburbia trading very rare and precious goods for coins. Rux’s rare merchandise will contain new items every week as well as weekly events that will breathe more life, or undeath, into the PvZGW2 franchise.
Along with all of this, there are new limited-time card packs where players can access goods from Infinity Time. It will also add a host of new achievements to gain. It also tweaks the balancing of the game and adds some further game improvements.
You can find further details on the weekly events, and when Rux’s itms refresh in the game event calendar on the PvZ website, here.
Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 – Trials of Gnomus expansion is available now.
Why not spare two minutes and get a taster of the action in the expansion trailer.
When I first watched The Empire Strikes Back, I have to admit, I thought it was the dullest film of the original trilogy. A filler if you will. Not a great deal happened other than the rogueish Han Solo was snatched and frozen from the Cloud City on Bespin and Luke discovered something about the Dark Side. It was dull, but the Bespin scenes were the best parts of the film.
It’s a good thing then, that EA have decided that the next DLC for Star Wars Battlefront will be visiting the Gas Mining plant of Cloud City on Bespin. The city is vast and there are many levels in the floating metropolis.
The Bespin DLC will introduce the City’s administrator, Lando Calrissian and Bounty Hunter, Dengar as playable characters in the game, as well as five multiplayer maps set in different areas of the city. Shoot Storm Troopers in the halls of the Administrator’s Palace or the dark, steamy Carbon-Freezing Chambers among others.
If you’d prefer to take to the skies, you will be able to jump into the odd twin cockpit Cloud Car. If firepower is more your thing, two new weapons will be introduced in this DLC. The X8 Night Sniper is a blaster pistol with decent damage, cooling power and range. It boasts an enhanced scope and heat vision. The EE4 has a short, stubby barrel to allow it to fire more effectively at a closer range, with a high rate of fire.
You can choose to take advantage of these in the new Sabotage game mode, along with Scout binoculars, Shock Grenades and a localised Disruption Wave available as Star Cards.
The Bespin DLC will available from the 21st of June with the Season Pass and roughly two weeks later as a standalone purchase.
Here’s some Galaxy far, far away action to be going on with.
When I reviewed Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, it was my first experience of the first person side of PopCap’s classic take on the defence title. It’s great fun and EA and PopCap have released a new free update for the game.
Titled Trouble in Zombopolis Part One, this huge new content adds a giant new map, two crazy characters and over 1,200 new character customisation items. This really is a huge update, weighing in at a hefty 5.3GB. This will add Breakfast Brainz and Toxic Citron, pictured above.
Dive into Zombopolis, the biggest zombie map ever created. Here, Dr. Zomboss and the zombies are plotting to build a Mega Zombot that may put the fate of plant-kind in grave danger.
In addition to the new massive map, new characters and new items, Trouble in Zombopolis will also offer gameplay balancing.
Zombopolis will open up to players as the most massive zombie city ever. This new Herbal Assault map gives the player sewers, streets, buildings and more to battle it out in. Take control of the toaster helmeted Breakfast Brainz who can fire waffles from his fists to ward off the invading plants. Alternatively, handle Toxic Citron, sporting some new abilities over regular Citron.
Part of the balancing improvements include increasing Sunflower’s damage output and reducing Electro Brainz damage. The developer have improved the Boat Blast Mini-Game in the docks in the Backyard Battleground. Compete with friends in a new leaderboard for this part of the game.
There is also a whole ream of bug fixes for characters, quests and general in-game goodness. These can be found on the official PvZGW2 blog here.
So, fire up Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 and expect to be introduced to Trouble in Zombopolis part one and all the content and fixes that it contains.
When you think about multiplayer shooters, pitting an army of animated and deadly plants against the equally as animated and deadly undead probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind. PopCap and EA Games hit paydirt with the 2014 release of Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare. It was quirky fun with a fetid tongue rammed firmly into a rotting cheek. Will Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 build on that smoking mound of success?
If I was making this a short review, the answer to the above would be yes but before you make up your mind on whether or not to buy it, at least read to the bottom of the review.
The game begins with the fact that the Zombies have returned and have a firm, if decaying, foot planted in vegetative territory. The new title builds on the rather tight-budgeted first release by adding six new playable characters, three for each faction. While it may have replaced the original tutorials with short side-missions in order for you to get to know your way around these new characters, the game itself bears all the hallmarks of the surprise hit of the original.
So, while you’ll probably blast your way through these missions in short order, the opportunity to get to know the new characters a little better shouldn’t be ignored. You’ll start off as the plants, and the new characters are all available straight away. Citron, with his shield, EMP bomb and beam weapon is rapidly turning into a firm favourite of mine. Kernel Corn has a rapid fire rate and missiles, counterbalanced by slow movement, and Rose; well, Rose is a bit of an enigma to me. Initially she’s relatively weak compared to the others, but I’m sure that with time and practise, Rose would be a significant foe.
If you turn to the zombie side, and you can, then the new characters are Captain Deadbeard, a frankly disappointing pirate; Imp, whose special abilities include a Titanfall-style mech that drops from the sky to deliver devastating attacks, and Super Brainz. Brainz is a hulking melee powerhouse, with poor ranged weapons.
Other than the side missions you can sign up for, you can also simply sit and camp in your home base and either watch some action unfold in the no-man’s land in front of you, or join in and rack up some handy experience points to level characters up. Around your home base there are many interesting and rewarding things to do. Take the Vending Machine for example. Downed foes often drop loot, and if you collect that loot and save up enough of it and you can hit the Vending Machine for packs of special ability cards. These cards give you rewards ranging from plantable defences to character customisations and special character skins to play with. The side missions will also reward you with coinage to redeem.
There’s a great range of potable defences and help points to grab from the machine too. It’s a great resource to tap. From pea-shooters to healing sunflowers, all tastes are catered for as the game gives a little nod to its tower-defence style roots.
If stats are your thing, you can disappear into the back of your home base and find all the stats that you’d ever wish to see. In the Plants base, Crazy Dave has initiated a robot to take you through the missions while Dr Zomboss offers equally challenging side missions for your new characters to attempt.
There are other aspects to the game though. The multiplayer options are where Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 comes into its own. Indeed, it’s where the title starts to shy away from it’s fun, well-drawn, well-animated roots and starts to turn into a competitive, blood-thirsty, all-action romp. The type of action you’d expect from the likes of CoD or Battlefield. EA and Popcap have taken the best from the original title and applied a thick smearing of extra characters and new maps, all of which are a credit to the game. Graphically, the game is every bit as good as, if not even more refined than the original. Take that refinement away, however and what have you got?
You’ll be disappointed to learn that despite the relatively high price tag, Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is an online only title. Logging into the EA Servers at the launch of the game sometimes takes its sweet time and if you’re looking to play the game offline in solo mode, it simply isn’t going to happen. This in itself isn’t a deal-breaker, but it is limiting the enjoyment for anyone who hasn’t taken advantage of hooking their Xbox hardware up to the wonders of the internet. Having said that the multiplayer modes offered make me point and laugh at those foolish enough not to introduce their Xbox to the internet.
Six multiplayer offerings are presented to you, in all of their madcap and crazy goodness. From the newly added Turf Takeover to a cosy beginner’s mode for noobs, there’s something to keep you entertained, even if the other modes are mainly the usual one option fits all deathmatch, capture the flag or team deathmatch formats.
Throughout all of the game, the graphics are well presented, with movement befitting the character you’ve chosen, even down to the way you expire. The aiming and shot accuracy are usually pretty good, with things like scenery providing that little bit of extra cover to duck behind if the going gets a little too heavy. Add to this the ability to spit out a little taunt or two via the D-Pad and you got yourself a solid multiplayer romp that gives you the opportunity to develop some skills to take forward into what is traditionally considered to be the more serious multiplayer shooters. This doesn’t necessarily mean that Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is for the beginner or the younger market though.
It’s not long until Unravel hits the Xbox One. It’s looking a really interesting physics-based platform puzzler, with an endearing central character to focus on. But how did Coldwood Interactive come up with the main protagonist, Yarny?
The lastest trailer from Coldwood and publisher, EA Games, focuses on Yarny, how he was created and what he symbolises in the upcoming Unravel.
This is story about one man and his string creature.
Unravel is still heading for a 9th of February release.
Ah, Conor McGregor. Certifiable ( I’ll let you tell him) but massively respected in the UFC Octagon. The current UFC Featherweight Champion obviously features heavily in the upcoming follow-up to the hugely successful UFC. Imaginatively titled UFC 2.
EA Sports are ramping up the smack-talk by releasing a new official gameplay trailer for UFC 2. This sequel will feature an all new Knockout Physics System.
It invites all budding fighters to step into the Octagon and experience the thrill of finishing the fight.
Coming to Xbox One in the Spring this year, UFC 2 hopes to bring the walk along with the talk. Maybe you’ll get to land one on Conor himself.