Tag Archives: koch media

Conan Exiles review

Conan Exiles has quite the offering. A survival game set in the barbaric world of Conan the Barbarian, allowing you the freedom to create your own adventure – build your own homestead or even city – while enduring the odd encounter with other online players who are also forging their own piece of barbaric paradise.

Played from either a first or third person perspective, Conan Exiles is predominantly a survival game with a heavy dose of building. Sound familiar? If you played Ark Survival Evolved it sure will. Conan Exiles takes a heavy cue from the dinosaur romp but also sprinkles in a heavy dose of what Minecraft does best – a world where you can create amazing builds from its rich resources, while offering many adventures for any intrepid explorers that are curious enough to scratch away at its surface.

Left on a cross to die, it is the man himself – Conan – who sets you free and sets you on an adventure to free yourself from a mysterious amulet that adorns your wrist. The next hour is then spent fumbling around, exploring menus and working out what can be picked up and used to make basic tools and weapons.

Your first call is to clothe yourself, unless you enjoy the way your genitals sway in the wind. Day-to-day life also needs tending to, which sees you gather resources, chop wood and hunt. Once collected, you must then turn these raw materials into useable building materials – this is where the Minecraft influence really shows and I’ve seen some incredible builds from vast communities of players working together.

Like many good crafting games, hours fly past as you carve out a small area but there is a huge world out there begging to be explored and like so many crafting games, you may be held back by your own creativity or desire to find an adventure.

There is also a further hindrance; you can’t just go marching off into the wilds. There are many beasts and enemies out there and if you haven’t spent time progressing through the various crafting levels to create bigger and better weapons and armour, you won’t get very far and death can be a real pain in the ass.

Similar to Dark Souls, when you die you lose everything you are carrying and death is made even more painful if you are far from home. Respawning back at your bedroll, you enter once more naked and alone. All your worldly possessions are back at your corpse. Here is where the grind can really annoy. Hours of hard work can be lost in an instant if you have been foolish while adventuring, stumbling into powerful enemies or falling from a great height. Worse is when you trek back to your body to collect your treasures only to find that it has randomly vanished!

The biggest hurdle I have with the survival genre is the steep and brutal learning curve; Conan Exiles opts for an easier path. You need to pay far less consideration to the fact that fruit you collect may be poisonous – death may always be a threat, but some survival games kill you for making the simplest mistake.

Despite the stripped back survival mechanics, life in Conan Exiles can still be pretty rough. Like many other titles in the survival genre, there is little hand holding save a ‘journey’ plotting key points in your life that you can strive for. These teach essential life skills but it’s unfortunate that the stages of crafting you learn aren’t better shown in the menus, which are an utter mess. Hard to navigate and work out what you are actually crafting, it’s clear that console gamers have been completely forgotten about with this terrible UX.

Another part of the game I wrestled with was being able to efficiently build a base. Pieces snapped on to other pieces well enough, but always on the wrong side of where I was aiming and because the menu isn’t clear what pieces I was building, I made some pretty peculiar looking builds. Another issue is that materials aren’t always in your immediate vicinity. Unlike Minecraft, you have to venture miles to retrieve precious ores, during which time your humble dwelling decays against the elements.

I also found the combat to be a huge disappointment, weapon swings, blocks and dodge rolls often missed, were ineffectual or just looked plain silly. The whole combat system lacks any kind of finesse, which other titles like The Witcher or Dark Souls have in abundance.

Questing is in the game; it just lacks a defined path unlike other quest-laden games on the market. Conan Exiles does nail the world it creates and the adventuring is on the right side of survival mechanics that feel fair. Moving up the ladder to stronger equipment and more luxurious dwellings is a great achievement – feeling like you have grafted and adventured long and hard to achieve greatness rather than just because you got to a certain point in the game.

I loved what Conan Exiles sets out to achieve and I will admit to becoming rather hooked to building a small village in my image. I also appreciate that there are so many fantasy adventures that have trod similar ground to Conan Exiles, so it’s great to see a game that brings a new dynamic to the playing field; it just didn’t click for me.

As fun as it is to build up a character, to get to the good stuff is a mighty grind and if you don’t have an interest in craft and survival mechanics, then the adventure that is eventually there for the exploring may be out of reach. Conan Exiles is a slow burner that needs a huge investment of time, but is equally hugely rewarding if you can be bothered…

Thanks to Koch Media for supporting TiX

DAKAR 18 announced for Xbox One and PS4 in 2018

Bigmoon Entertainment and Deep Silver/Koch Media have announced a global distribution and co-publishing agreement for DAKAR 18. The cross-country rally racing game is aiming to be one of the biggest open worlds ever made in a racing game, coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC in 2018. Based on the world famous annual rally – organised by Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) in South America – DAKAR 18 is a realistic simulation of the biggest cross-country rally in the world, featuring a variety of vehicles, including motorcycles, cars, trucks, quads and SxS. Players will compete in fierce online multiplayer battles as well as playing offline to harness and grow racing skills.

“We are proud to be partnering with A.S.O and Koch Media in order to bring a truly realistic DAKAR racing experience to players worldwide,” said Paulo J. Games, Game Director of Bigmoon Entertainment. “As the official developer of the project, we are sure that DAKAR 18 will be the finest representation of real life DAKAR in a video game.”

DAKAR rally is known as the biggest cross-country rally, so BIGMOON is creating one of the biggest open worlds ever made in a racing simulation. DAKAR 18 is focused on the realism, promising stunning visuals faithfully represent every vehicle and driver of the DAKAR 2018 rally. The game includes the major official Dakar manufacture teams, vehicles and pilots, the 5 racing class categories (Cars, Bikes, Trucks, Quads and SxS), and much more. In addition, the game will feature a single player, online and offline multiplayer experience.

Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Koch Media states ”We are delighted to work with Bigmoon Entertainment’ on this promising title and look forward to bringing all our expertise to the project: Beyond that we look forward together to establishing the Dakar franchise in the racing community.”

”Dakar will not be a 2 weeks adventure anymore, the fans will have the opportunity to live it all year long by playing at this new game,” said Marc Coma, Sporting Director of Dakar.

Agents of Mayhem review

Set in the Saints Universe, Agents of Mayhem is the newest IP from Volition and it takes far more from the Saints of Row series than just the universe but also manages to craft its own identity – it’s no mere clone – but I do feel it borrows more heavily from Crackdown, which is no bad thing.

Comedy, action and super powers, what more could you want from an open world game?  The ability to fly would certainly be top of my list, but rather than give the agents the OTT powers of the Saints, Agents of Mayhem is more routed to the style Crackdown – there is even a central ‘agency’ and team of agents.

Agents of Mayhem’s band of miscreants are far from good, instead, they are the lesser of two evils – it’s the ultimate tale of bad vs. evil – and together as part of three man teams, their bad habits and terrible jokes are the world’s best chance at stopping LEGION.

Set in Seoul, South Korea, the city looks great and while it isn’t large in size, there is a lot of verticality to it. From exploring skyscrapers and building sites to beating the many underground LEGION lairs. There is plenty to explore, but unfortunately it all looks the same. Underground lairs follow very similar layouts and the city is soulless and lacks any district identity. Instead, the game has its sights firmly set on giving you an experience that changes purely based on the agents you use.

This does mean that Agents of Mayhem can become very monotonous should you jump in with the same three agents. Missions follow similar routes and objectives, it’s only the boss battles that provide any deviation from the rinse and repeat formula. It is fun though and like the many characters in the game, it doesn’t take itself too seriously, which helps Agents of mayhem stand out from some of the other open world games that pride themselves on giving you a huge playground to explore.

Tagging three agents in and out is the main strength of the game. Essentially giving you three lives, the squad mechanic also allows you to bring in a diverse team of skills should you wish. Each character has a unique style, weapon loadout and various abilities to choose from. You can even embark on a story-driven mission for each of them. As each character levels up new skills become available and your only consideration is which skill to choose. This makes the progression of characters very ‘lite’ when compared to other character driven games – there is no complex XP tree to explore or branching choices to choose from, which I feel is a real missed opportunity.

Another missed opportunity is the use of gadgets, or rather, the lack of using them. As you play, resources can be collected from fallen enemies and can be used to craft gadgets, which can be slotted to the LB button. Each gadget may only be used up to the number you have crafted and to slot a new gadget you must go into the inventory screen, not really ideal when you’re in the heat of battle. I instead relied on my team’s abilities, missing out on the many zany gadgets you can craft. This doesn’t mean resources are completely useless. Once discovered, LEGION tech can be crafted and slotted onto each agent’s abilities essentially providing an additional buff to their attacks.

With a great cartoon cel-shaded edge, the action of Agents of Mayhem is slick. Levels are full of explosions and there are plenty of characters to recruit and choose from. While the game does sway a little too close to racial stereotypes and lewd humour, I really enjoyed playing as part of my own Thunderbirds come Ben 10 cartoon show. It’s just a shame that Agents of Mayhem doesn’t have any real online functionality beyond cooperatively completing contract targets – taking a squad of three agents into Seoul with your friends would have been an absolute blast.

Thanks to Koch Media and Deep Silver for supporting TiX

F1 2017 New Trailer featuring F1 driver Max Verstappen

Codemasters and Koch Media have released a new trailer for F1 2017. The trailer showcases Max Verstappen playing F1 2017 in the stunning ‘Hall of Fame’ at Red Bull Racing Headquarters in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom, ahead of the 2017 F1 Rolex British Grand Prix at the iconic Silverstone circuit.

In a first for the Codemasters F1 videogame series, in addition to all of the twenty official 2017 circuits being present in the new game, F1 2017 will also include four shortened circuit variations, including ‘Silverstone Short’, on which Max Verstappen drove the 2017 Red Bull Racing RB13 and also the classic 2010 Red Bull Racing RB6 during his time with the new game recently.

Max said of his experience playing the new F1 2017 game: “I really like the game and it is a lot more fun to drive with the new cars. The graphics are a lot better, they’ve made the cars more realistic, and that’s always good. I like the detail on the classic cars involved and it’s always nice to drive those old legendary cars. I think it’s a great game, it’s definitely a lot of fun to play.”

In the trailer Verstappen also comments on how the two cars feel to him compared to his real life experiences: “The 2017 RB13 feels really good in the game, with the extra grip, from the new 2017 car designs as well as from the wider tyres, resulting in faster cornering speeds which require more precision. In comparison, the classic RB6 is lighter, with a slower top speed, and later braking, and of course the biggest stand out being the sound of the engine.”

In the trailer Verstappen approaches the Silverstone Short circuit in trademark fashion, and sets a new fastest lap! The four shortened circuit variations are available in all game modes, and can be raced with either the 2017 or the classic cars.

F1 2017 will release onto Xbox One on August 25th 2017.

New trailer hits for Micro Machines World Series

Micro Machines

Codemasters and Koch Media have today released the next gameplay trailer for the evergreen and anticipated Micro Machines Word Series. Racing has always been at the heart of Micro Machines and Codemasters are the arguable kings of the racing genre.

Micro Machines World Series sees the action focus firmly on the cars and racing, with hundreds of customisations available. You can race in style and make sure you stand out on the starting line.

Chief game designer, Gavin Cooper:

For the first time in a Micro Machines game, every car has its own entirely distinct personality, and arsenal! Each gives players a different way to play and enjoy the game, meaning fans of the series will have plenty to sink their teeth into. Players will quickly gain an affinity with a particular vehicle and find it suits their style of play. You can master one vehicle by collecting all the 25+ customisations, but then have a whole host of variety choosing and mastering all the other vehicles in the game.

So, each car will have a slightly different feel, sound and even handling in Micro Machines World Series. Choose from 12 very individual vehicles, from the twitchy but agile rear wheel drive drift-prone hotrod of El Incendio to the scarily good all-rounder of Hank N. Stein’s monster truck. That’s not all the game will offer though.

Micro Machines World Series will boast a mix of classic and all-new tracks and arenas. New locations, like the workshop will sit snugly alongside the classics, like the games room and classroom.

Players will also get the opportunity to pick up Hasbro-branded NERF blasters and NERF power-ups. These can be deployed in and around Hasbro-branded locations which include a Ouija Board and a Hungry Hungry Hippos battle.

All of this is commented on by the voice talents of Prince Vultan himself. Yes, Brian Blessed shouts majestically at you from the comfort of your armchair as you battle to win each race. What more could you ask for?

Micro Machines World Series is scheduled ot hit the Xbox One on the 23rd of June.

MMO APB Reloaded coming free to Gold members

APB Reloaded

Calling all cars, calling all cars! Ravenscourt and Reloaded Games have today issued an APB for, well. APB Reloaded.

This customisation driven open-world MMO has been released as a free to play (for Gold Members) and free to download title on Xbox One.

APB Reloaded puts you in the near-future urban cityscape of San Paro where you pick one of two factions. Choose “Enforcer” to uphold the city’s martial law or, you can choose to be a “Criminal” to cause maximum mayhem across this city.

In addition to the challenging and immersive gameplay, APB Reloaded features one of the best and most extensive character, symbol and vehicle customisation systems available in any modern MMO.

The game will be driven by Player Versus Player experiences, where up to 100 customised players can participate in real time arenas of 50 v 50. San Paro will certainly be a busy place and there are so many opportunities for mayhem across the city.

Players can also create user generated designs and customisations then hawk those designs to other gamers using the in-game auction house system.

APB Reloaded has been out on PC since 2011. Since then, 5.8 million players have spent 40 million hours creating more than 10 million characters in the PC version, which gives you an idea of the popularity of the title. Players will have the opportunity to earn items in game for free and have the option to purchase additional in-game gear, clothing, vehicles and more. These are intended for your character to specialise in particular play styles.

To celebrate the release of APB Reloaded on Xbox One, Reloaded Games have created the APB Xbox One Founders Pack. These premium items will be given to all new players for free, as long as they log in, in the first 30 days.

APB Xbox One Founders Pack includes:

  • The Fireworks Flare Launcher – a long range support weapon.
  • Mikro JC14 ‘New Cross’ vehicle for the Criminals faction.
  • ‘Bobcat’ Vaqero PRC40 vehicle for the Enforcers faction.

APB Reloaded

Additionally, players who play more than 10 hours during the first 30 days will receive the added bonus of an exclusive Xbox One XB1 Weapon Skins and the exclusive title of ‘XB1 Founder’.

APB Reloaded

APB Reloaded will also give players team-based missions with an ever-increasing arsenal of weapons and modifications to fulfill them. Add in to this, dozens of vehicles and regular in-game events with timed exclusive missions and unique rewards, will APB Reloaded be the title that rivals Rainbow Siege 6 for team-based mayhem and fun?

As mentioned above, APB Reloaded is free to download and play on Xbox One for Xbox Live Gold members from today.

Be careful out there, though. The title reportedly sports a £115 ‘micro’ transaction.

Do DiRT Rally with friends

DiRT

Codemasters are slowly revealing the main features for their incoming, slightly filthy racer, DiRT Rally. You will be able to take on the world’s best rally racers in motorised racing combat as the developer have unveiled the multiplayer features for the title in a new trailer.

The game will feature one-shot online events which give the player the chance to claim bragging rights over the best of the best and gain some in-game currency. There will be Weekly Events to take part in also. These will allow you to complete all available stages in a rally location. The Monthly Events are something else entirely. These are a marathon-like endurance challenge of epic proportions and will test your skills over 24 tough stages. Only the brave (or daft) need apply.

Perhaps you’d prefer to take advantage of DiRT Rally’s league system to compete with friends and rivals? Well, that’s also catered for. On dirtgame.com, players can create their own leagues or join one of the thousands already created by the dedicated DiRT community. There will never be a lack of challenge in DiRT Rally as you can join as many leagues as you’d like.

Maybe you’d just like to have a blast around an FIA World Rallycross track with up to seven other players? You could take to the track in officially licensed events and experience the dirt, the gravel, the speed and the thrill of bumper-to-bumper racing in the world’s fastest off-road machines.

You can pre-order DiRT Rally here which will include the Fully Loaded Rally and Fully Loaded Mini packs, crammed with exclusive livery, cars and mechanic perks.

DiRT Rally will be released on Xbox One on the 5th of April.

DiRT Rally crack out the community trailer

dirt_rally

What’s better than watching developer gameplay videos of your favourite games? How about watching gameplay videos of your favourite games, brought together by the developers, from the community?

This is exactly what Codemasters and Koch Media have done to showcase DiRT Rally ahead of its console release.They’ve been amazed at the skill and talent of the players that have been putting the title through it’s paces on Steam Early Access. In fact, Codemasters were inundated with footage and have skimmed the cream of this off to present the trailer below for your delectation.

Chief Games Designer, Paul Coleman;

We were absolutely blown away by both the volume of footage we recieved and the amazing rallying skills our players have. It’s really humbling to see so many dedicated people taking the time to send us your videos. DiRT fans, we salute you, and we can’t wait to welcome console players to our awesome community soon.

Pre-orders for DiRT Rally Legend Edition are open now and it will include the feature length documentary, Colin McRae: Rally Legend. Also included in the Legend Edition is the Fully Loaded MINI Pack with a MINI Cooper S and the UK edition will also have the Fully Loaded Ford Pack. This has the iconic Ford Escort Mk II.

The Legend Edition will be available exclusively at GAME in the UK, while Amazon will have a limited edition Steelbook with Driver’s Guide available.

Pre-order DiRT Rally digitally and you’ll get the MINI Pack and the Fully Loaded Rallycross Pack, which includes the previously mentioned MINI Cooper S as well as the Mini Classic Rallycross.

DiRT Rally is scheduled for release on the 5th of April.

Now Sing launched today

now_sing_game

The NOW music compilation series have been the saviour of the last minute mix-tape for years, decades even. In fact, the first NOW album came out on the 28th of November 1983. I bet you didn’t know that.

Not one to miss out on the video game scene, Koch Media have today released NOW, That’s What I Call Sing, developed by Voxler Games. Everyone loves a good sing-song and I’m normally first in the queue to request on Karaoke night.

NOW Sing will include 30 chart hits with 17 UK number 1’s squirreled away in there too. The game features 7 game modes for up to 8 players. Artists included in the game include, Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars, Avicii, Sia, Calvin Harris and Rita Ora.

Have a look at the trailer below and let us know if you’ll be grabbing this for your next in-lounge karaoke session.

NOW, That’s What I Call Sing is out NOW.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajAOTjjEYRg

Koch Media reveal NOW Sing

now_2

KOCH Media are a huge player when it comes to distribution. They’ve got a finger in almost all media pies. Their latest offering for Xbox One has been revealed and is Voxler Games’ NOW That’s What I Call Sing.

Based on the seminal NOW series of chart music, NOW Sing will offer your vocal chords 30 chart hits, including 17 number 1’s from some of the world’s biggest artists.

You can sing solo or with up to 7 other friends to get the party started.

The game offers seven game modes too;

  • Classic – sing solo or play against friends.
  • By Heart – Like Classic, but some of the lyrics will disappear during the round.
  • Duet – Sing a real duet with your friends.
  • Expert – Test your memory which has no on-screen lyrics or visual cues.
  • Pass The Mic – Lets you play with a partner, sharing one mic.
  • First to 20,000 – First to 20,000 points, wins.
  • Elimination – Starts you off with a full energy bar which depletes with every bum note. Lose your energy and you’re out. The last player in, wins.

 

The game will require a USB mic to play and currently, it’s unclear whether this will be bundled with the game or sold separately when released on the 23rd of October.

The full track listing reads like a who’s who of X-Factor guest singers.

  • Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
  • Meghan Trainor – All About That Bass
  • Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea – Problem
  • Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj – Bang Bang
  • Sam Smith – Stay With Me
  • Avicii – Wake Me Up
  • Calvin Harris – Summer
  • Kiesza – Hideaway
  • Rita Ora – I Will Never Let You Down
  • Demi Lovato – Let It Go
  • Sia – Chandelier
  • Charli XCX – Boom Clap
  • Olly Murs ft. Demi Lovato – Up
  • Coldplay – A Sky Full Of Stars
  • George Ezra – Budapest
  • Fun ft. Janelle Monae – We Are Young
  • Calvin Harris ft. Ellie Goulding – Outside
  • Avicii – The Nights
  • LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
  • Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne – Real Love
  • Maroon 5 – Moves Like Jagger
  • Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
  • James Blunt – You’re Beautiful
  • John Legend – All Of Me
  • Sigma ft. Paloma Faith – Changing
  • Jess Glynne – Hold My Hand
  • Bastille – Pompeii
  • Lorde – Royals
  • Ella Henderson – Ghosts
  • Lady Gaga – Applause

Quite a list there.

Will anyone, other than our very own Dave, be grabbing this homage to the NOW brand?