Tag Archives: open world

Outcast – Second Contact gets its debut trailer

Outcast – Second Contact is a complete remake of a classic and has been given the 3D open world treatment, bringing the game bang up to date to be played on modern machines. The video gives a quick overview into the wild landscapes of the planet Adelpha, a bewitching world as beautiful as it is dangerous, and the cradle of an advanced alien civilization. You take the role of Cuttter Slade, ex-Navy SEAL, in an open, lush and living world where all choices have consequences on the balance of the world.

The story:
In the near future, humanity has discovered it is not alone in the universe, or rather universes. Alas, the first contact with intelligent beings turns disastrous when a probe sent by the US government is destroyed by the natives of a world called Adelpha. The incident creates an energy cataclysm which threatens to destroy the Earth. You are Cutter Slade, a former elite soldier sent on a mission to Adelpha to prevent this catastrophe.

Outcast – Second Contact will be available this Autumn on Xbox One and PC.

Ubisoft release Ghost Recon Wildlands TV Spot ‘Ruthless’

Ubisoft have released their TV Spot for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, entitled “Ruthless”. This action-packed piece has been directed by the legendary John McTiernan (Die Hard, Predator) depicts the Ghosts’ first mission in Bolivia, where they will try to take down the Santa Blanca cartel.

This TV Spot is not the first work by John McTiernan for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, having also directed the unique Red Dot live trailer, released earlier this year and which revealed an interesting relationship between a red dot, a cat and… Cartel members. While Red Dot shows the merciless efficiency of the Ghosts, Ruthless shows the cruelty of the Cartel.

You can watch Red Dot below:

Players will be able to take on the Cartel themselves from today as the Open Beta for Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands is now live until February 27th. This Open Beta introduces players to two provinces from amongst the 21 available in the game: Itacua, a flourishing and mountainous region, where the grip of the cartel is looser, allows players to perfect their sniping skill and become acquainted to the Wildlands. Montuyoc, set in the snowy Altiplano and the second province available in this Open Beta, is much more challenging as it hosts Santa Blanca elite training centres.

Rebel Galaxy review

Rebel Galaxy has a lot of personality. There’s character behind its art style; an aesthetic that’s visually pleasing, impressive, vibrant, and not at all based on reality. And indeed it’s this character that’s present throughout this open-world space exploration title that makes it so engaging and unique, allowing it to stand toe to toe with the likes of Elite Dangerous because it offers something different within the same space.

Rebel Galaxy is an arcade version of the open-world space genre. You start with a basic ship and set out doing practically whatever you want: mining, pirating, mercenary work, trading, whatever takes your fancy. But in addition to this open-world universe you can explore and exploit, is a story that sees you hunt down a lost relative before being hunted down yourself for the artefact you harbour. Switching between the story and the many choices of side-professions on offer gives you an experience that’s never dull or static, with plenty to do and intriguing things to discover.

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It’s a terrific mix of linear storytelling and open-world choices that allows you to play at your own pace. Certain mechanics are kept back until you progress further in the story, so eventually you have to progress within it, but you can typically do a story mission or two and then return to your altruistic or nefarious space business.

Whatever you decide to do you’ll be doing it within a brightly coloured and vibrant version of space. Nebulas are bountiful, and stars and planets glow a myriad of different colours; there’s hardly any black to be seen and it’s a wondrous visual treat. Meanwhile, as you hail fellow pilots or converse with aliens and humans alike in bars on space stations, you’ll witness exaggerated and unique individuals with a similar aesthetic to Star Craft that’s sure to impress and occasionally put a smile on your face as you accept jobs from them, make trades, or threaten to steal their entire cargo.

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Whether you’re planning on peaceful trading or aggressive pirating you’ll inevitable have to fight off the odd reprobate, and combat is a delightful dance in the stars. Rebel Galaxy’s combat is naval based, with heavy broadside weapons and lighter point-defence turrets elsewhere. You’ll constantly need to manoeuvre to line up shots and dodge incoming fire and it’s a thrilling and entertaining experience. Larger ships move more slowly and pack a heavy punch forcing you to line up your broadside shots as accurately as possible to do as much damage as you can or even to target specific systems. Meanwhile shields will need tearing down, a perfect job for your smaller turrets, when you’re not using them with a lock-on reticule to shoot down the smaller crafts wiping through the wild black. And finally, a salvo of missiles can turn the tide of most battles, unless smart use of the limited deflector shield nullifies their damage. It’s spectacularly involved and action packed yet supremely easy to perform.

Dodging incoming fire and manoeuvring to line up shots is only half the challenge, however, often you’re surrounded by enemies and are better off fleeing or trying to separate the smaller ships from the large ones so you can pick them off more easily. Furthermore asteroid belts are numerous and popular battlegrounds, challenging you to dodge crashing into them as you fight. Using them as cover is particularly effective, and forcing enemies to engage you within these cluttered fields can often result in them bumping into a few. Wonderfully these asteroids can be destroyed as well, making the battlefield dynamic and interesting.

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Space, however, is a big place, and your warp drive and sub-light engines, even when upgraded to ridiculous speeds, still must contend with large expanses of space to fly through. It’s how it’s supposed to be up there amongst the stars, but the travel time can put the brakes on the pacing a little too hard. Rebel Galaxy is otherwise exceptionally fun and varied. Missions may appear similar to each other on the surface but once you go about completing them they often take a few twists and turns. Moreover, even a simple combat engagement can play out in a myriad of different ways. Add to this a brilliant Southern rock soundtrack and your space cowboy, Firefly fantasies can be realised with Rebel Galaxy.

Thanks to Xbox and Double Damage Games Inc. for their support

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Just Cause 3 review

The spectacle of awesome destruction isn’t enough. Utterly destroying a military outpost, tearing down communication arrays, hacking anti-air installations, planting explosives on electrical relays and flammable tanks doesn’t provide enough enjoyment to see you through the entirety of Just Cause 3. It’s quite the revelation. The previous Just Cause titles seemed to thrive on the chaos of highly destructible locations and immense, ludicrous action sequences. Just Cause 3 improves on these aspects significantly, providing even more destructibility across a massive map and implementing enhancements to your abilities and arsenal that are ideal for causing even more havoc. It’s depressing to discover this just isn’t enough.

Instead Just Cause 3 feels less impressive than its predecessors, with an overwhelming scale, a more obvious narrative dissonance, and frustrating restrictions that pull you out of the experience. However, although the overall package isn’t great, there are moments of brilliance that do a lot to distract from the flaws, and although it may be fleeting for some, there’s still a lot of fun to be had within this island paradise.

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You once again play as Rico Rodriguez, returning to his home country, the fictional Republic of Medici, during the height of Sebastiano Di Ravello’s military dictatorship. Having left the CIA, Rico is now driven by more personal motives where he means to rid his homeland of the dictator by helping the rebels liberate each district one at a time. However, his method of ridding the island paradise of Ravello’s military control remains the same: lots of explosives.

The shift to a more personal story hits a fair few bumps as you work your way through it. The dissonance of trying to save your homeland from dictatorship by destroying large sections of its infrastructure doesn’t make sense, and largely your quest for independence for Medici makes you seem more like the bad guy than Ravello, something the narrative fails to question. It also flitters between amusing and serious, making the story largely forgettable and unquestionably silly. On the odd occasion it achieves a good balance, similar in tone to Capcom’s Dead Rising titles, but then it shifts too much one way or the other and compromises your investment. It also suffers from bad pacing, forcing you to liberate more districts before unlocking certain missions. It tries to force you to explore Medici and embrace the chaos-fuelled destruction of liberating towns and destroying military compounds, rather than allowing you to discover the fun for yourself.

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However, blowing things up in Just Cause 3 is terrific. A good variety of weapons and vehicles makes your quest for destruction creative and fun, allowing you to string together gunplay, vehicle piloting, ordinance planting and grappling hook tethering in all manner of ways to tear down structures. It’s wonderfully free-flowing. Your improved grappling hook now allows you to tether things together and pull them into each other, inviting numerous ways to destroy and otherwise have fun with the destructible world and the soldiers and citizens unlucky enough to get in your way. Meanwhile, an unlimited amount of explosive charges allows you to blow things up remotely and other abilities can be unlocked to increase the amount of charges you can set at a time as well as rig vehicles to explode. Gunplay feels like a last resort and when you do start shooting enemies or firing off rockets it feels just as satisfying as the rest of the destructive experience. Also the explosions and huge fireballs looks absolutely stunning.

However, many of the more inventive options for destruction are locked away, only to be accessed by completing challenges specific to the abilities you want to unlock. These appear on the world map and challenge you in a variety of disciplines – from driving through checkpoints within a time limit to shooting targets and achieving a specific score. Up to five gears are earnt from each challenge depending on the criteria, which can then be spent on unlocking new abilities. However, bafflingly one such ability that’s locked away in the ability to precision aim. Moreover, the challenges are true tests of your mastery of the mechanics and prove difficult and frustrating, even more so due to the horrendous load times each time you fail.

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Whether dying during ordinary play or failing a challenge, a frustratingly long load time await before you can get back into the action. It completely pulls you out of the experience and frequently leaves you waiting several minutes before you finally get a chance to try again. It’s a flaw that completely compromises the fun you can otherwise have.

Medici is huge, comprised of three islands, one of which is truly massive. Working your way across them is tediously longwinded, despite the improved parachute controls and the addition of the wing suit. You can now string together your grappling hook, parachute and the new wing suit to effortlessly glide around the environment and reach any structure, natural or otherwise, on the map, and the improved verticality of the level design makes the process of reaching mountain settlements and military bases interesting. However, it’s a fairly slow method of transport. Calling in vehicles, especially aircraft, offers a faster way to travel, but in order to call these in you need to have unlocked the vehicles and have the flares available to call in support. It feeds back into the unlock system, forcing you to complete challenges to increase the amount of flares you hold and search out vehicles and complete side-objectives to increase the arsenal available. It gets frustrating and distracts from the fun.

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Just Cause 3 doesn’t marry the highly destructible open-world, its narrative and its side-objectives in the most compelling or harmonious way. The result feels too restrictive. When things do come together and you’re creating chaos through explosions and high octane action sequences, its tremendous fun, which is then consequently ruined by the abysmal load times. It’s possible a few patches could improve this aspect, and there’s certainly a lot of fun to be had regardless, but the overall package leaves you wanting more freedom and more silliness from a series that’s yet to nail its tone.

Thanks to Xbox and Square Enix for their support

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR-cg0kI1MQ

Just Cause 3 mission trailer

Just Cause 3Coinciding with this year’s New York Comic Con, Square Enix have released the new gameplay trailer On a Mission. The trailer highlights how JUST CAUSE 3’s sandbox gameplay flows into missions, as Rico makes use of his vast arsenal of weapons and abilities to defeat General Di Ravello’ forces.

In this mission, Rico must protect the town of Costa Del Porto from the General’s tanks before breaking his friend Mario out of prison and escorting him to safety. Di Ravello believes the odds are stacked in his favour, but with Rico the General may have bitten off more than he can chew.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB8nQJItnq0

Homefront : The Revolution playable at EGX2015


homefront-the-revolution-key-artEGX, the UK’s largest games event, and Deep Silver, the world renowned developer-publisher, are excited to announce that open-world shooter Homefront: The Revolution will be playable at EGX this 24th – 27thSeptember.

Homefront: The Revolution throws players into an alternate near future dystopia, where a humanitarian crisis has brought the USA to its knees under the brutal military control of a globally dominant Korean corporation. Surveillance drones, armoured patrols and police violence have become every-day life in Philadelphia, the once proud birthplace of American independence. However, in the ruined outskirts of the city, resistance is getting stronger…

After watching a scene-setting video, visitors to EGX will be able to play 20 minutes of Homefront: The Revolution, attempting to wrestle back control from the occupying Korean force and increase the power of their fledgling resistance.

In addition to the playable demo, the team from Deep Silver Dambuster Studios will be presenting an in-depth Developer Session at 3pm on Friday 25thSeptember. More details will be released nearer to EGX.

Mad Max gets Xbox One release date

Open world post-apocalyptic survival game; Mad Max, has received a release date from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. September 4th will see Mad Max here in the UK for Xbox One and PC. There is no Xbox 360 release.

Mad Max Pre-Order The Ripper

In addition to announcing the release date there was also a pre-order bonus announced. All those who pre-order Mad Max will receive an additional car body called ‘The Ripper,’ which packs a powerful V8 engine, upgraded exhaust with custom off-road tires, a ramming grill and a tuned suspension so it can take on a variety of Wasteland surfaces.

Mad Max delivers open world gameplay in a post-apocalyptic setting where cars are the key to survival. Developed by Avalanche Studios, gamers become Mad Max, a lone warrior who must fight to stay alive in The Wasteland, using vicious on-ground and vehicular combat against savage bandits. Following the theft of his iconic Interceptor, Max must align himself with a gifted, but peculiar, mechanic named Chumbucket and others to build the ultimate war vehicle as he works to escape from the dangerous Wasteland. For more information visit MadMaxGame.com.

Box Art was also announced at the same time;

Mad Max Box Art

Dying Light: Intro Movie

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Techland has today unveiled their opening cinematic for their upcoming open-world action survival game; Dying Light. Last week they released the Story Trailer (embedded at the bottom of this story), but now we have a look into the events that set up the story line. Dying Light is based in the City of Harran, a remote ill fated city caught up in the middle of a mysterious outbreak and political tug-of-war between Harran’s Ministry of Defense and the Global Relief Effort. See more in this opening cinematic:

More about Dying Light: – Dying Light is an action survival game presented in first-person perspective. The game is set in a vast and dangerous open world. During the day, you roam an urban environment devastated by a mysterious epidemic, scavenging for supplies and crafting weapons to help you defeat the hordes of mindless, flesh-hungry enemies the plague has created. At night, the hunter becomes the prey as the infected grow in strength and aggression – but even more lethal are the nocturnal, inhuman predators that leave their hives to feed. You will need to make use of all your skills and any available means to survive till dawn.

Dying Light is coming to Xbox One in 2015 on January 27th in the Americas, January 28th in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and January 30th in Europe. Keep looking to ThisisXbox for more news and coverage in the build up to release.

Is Rust coming to Xbox One?

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Another open world survival title that could be coming to Xbox One is Rust. Rust is a survival game created by Facepunch Studios. Inspired by games like DayZ, Minecraft and Stalker the aim of the game is to survive by gathering resources.

The basics (Taken from the official website):

  • Hitting a tree with a rock will give you wood, hitting a rock with a rock will give you rock and ore. You can then craft a hatchet from the wood and rock, allowing you to gather faster. You can go out and hunt a variety of wildlife such as boars, chickens, rabbits, bears, wolves and deer. Once you have killed an animal you can butcher it to gather its meat and skin. You can craft a fire using wood and cook the meat inside the fire. Then you can eat.
  • Rust is a multiplayer game, so there will be other players trying to survive in the same way that you are. Unfortunately for you they can find you, kill you and take your stuff. Fortunately for you – you can kill them and take their stuff. Or maybe you can make friends and help each other survive. Rust’s world is harsh – so you might need to make friends to survive.
  • The environment is not kind. Bears and wolves will chase and kill you. Falling from a height will kill you. Being exposed to radiation for an extended period will kill you. Starving will kill you. Being cold will kill you.

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Sounds intriguing, right? Well just before the weekend began and we all rushed home from the office to play the Titanfall BETA, Garry Newman posted on the Facepunch Studios Blog that they now have devkits for the Xbox One… and PS4.

We recently got some devkits. I want to explain where we are with consoles.. because there’s been a lot of speculation on the forums and on twitter. So with Rust, we are planning to port it to consoles. We haven’t started that process yet. We’re not planning anything until we’ve tried to get it running on one of the consoles and know what problems we’re going to face. It’s important to emphasise here that we’re porting TO consoles. We’re not making a dumbed down console version and then porting it back to the PC. So might happen, might not. Depends on a bunch of stuff. Either way neither the PS4 or XBone have any kind of early access program as far as I know, so it will be a while away.

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He went on to promise fans that the PC version was still the studios main focus and any port to consoles that might follow wouldn’t receive any exclusivity etc. That’s fine by me, always happy to receive more titles, especially survival based online titles on the Xbox One.  We’ll keep you up to date as more news comes in over the coming months.

Dragons Dogma: Dark Arisen Review

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Rising from the ashes is a re-release of an already quite accomplished RPG title from Capcom. This new edition not only includes the original full game but new additions you would expect from any DLC, and some you may not; new enemies, locations, quests, character customisation, weapons, armour and more. The Xbox 360 version comes with 2 disks, 1 for the original Dragons Dogma with the Dark Arisen expansion added (including some smaller tweaks and bug/glitch fixes) whilst the second disk contains a HD texture pack and Japanese voice over files.

ThisisXbox have already reviewed the main game, and you can read what Neil Bason thought here.

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So firstly, let’s talk about the freebies. For those of you who own the original Dragons Dogma and purchase Dark Arisen, you will receive 100,000 Rift Crystals, unlimited Ferrystones (lucky buggers!) and an armour pack consisting of 6 new costumes. That should help you out on Bitterblack Isle, the location for all the action in Dark Arisen.

Bitterblack Isle is situated outside of Gransys and can only be accessed by talking with a mysterious stranger on the Cassardis Pier during night time. If you don’t like the dark, then this additional content isn’t for you. Dark Arisen is set in a massive underground realm, so be prepared to use your lantern continuously and manage your oil supplies accordingly, this is no walk in the park.

With over 25 new enemies and a pretty impressive, if not butt-ugly, new final boss added, the content is genuinely quite difficult to progress through. I remember reading reviews of the original game and loving the idea of food rotting (in your back pack) if not eaten in time, serious preparation needed for even the shortest of journeys due to fear of ambush etc. The game was described as a semi-hardcore fantasy RPG set in an open-world, a difficult open world at that. Well this hasn’t changed in Dark Arisen.

A warning to you… Don’t try to be the hero and attempt Dark Arisen if you are below level 40, it just won’t work out. My advice is to finish the main game and ensure your main and 1 other Pawn is at least twice your current level. Only then are you likely to stand a chance.

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Do you remember the mysterious stranger I told you about? Well her name is Orla and she has a tale to tell about the evil that has awoken on Bitterblack Isle and of course the only one capable of stopping this evil is the Arisen. Bet you didn’t see that coming, hey? Agree to lend a hand and she will whisk you away to a pier and open area outside of the underground entrance on the Isle. Orla stands guard outside the entrance alongside a Notice Board with some quests attached. Ensure you have interacted with both before proceeding.

Once you have entered the subterranean bowels of the island you are smashed in the face with the realisation you are now far removed from the holds of Godly men you once knew in Gran Soren. Watch out for Elder Ogres, the Necrophaegus Beast (who is attracted to death!) and Death himself. Yes that’s right the Grim Reaper is traversing the sepulchral gloom of the island and will keep you on edge and continuously looking over your shoulder. He can appear at any given moment and is a complete pain in the ass and a lot harder to fight than the Dragon in the earlier game. Oh and just because you are busy dealing with a patrol of goblins in one room, don’t think the Reaper will wait for you to finish – he strikes whether you are in combat or not.

But you aren’t alone and occasionally will encounter allies on the island. They are few and far between however and don’t go a long way towards helping you understand what exactly has happened here. Everyone maintains an evil streak just bubbling below the surface, including Orla whose ability to remove curses from items is questionable. Unfortunately the writing in Dark Arisen is no better than that of the main game. There are funnier moments involving a small number of interesting and morally ambiguous NPC’s, but generally you’ll still find yourself beset by the same overuse of ‘ill’ and ‘aught’ and annoyingly poorly scripted Olde Englishe.

Throughout your adventures on Bitterblack Isle there’s a definite sense that you’re running some kind of gauntlet, a test of skill, courage and – occasionally – endurance. The enemies come at you thick and fast and, while the first few areas are filled with the usual blade-fodder you’d find while wandering Gransys’ backroads, later on you’ll find yourself repeatedly thrust into a world of hurt. You can, thankfully, find a few broken Riftstones to repair – and you’ll need them.

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You have to hand it to Capcom as they have really surpassed themselves with this additional content. It has a sense of focus, purpose and is centered well. It doesn’t just aim to deliver another run-of-the-mill DLC pack with quests, loot and enemies, it delivers instead a test to new and experienced players alike, somewhere those who stand victorious at the end of the main game can go and face a genuinely tough challenge. When you combine all the content and tweaks together then Dark Arisen should be on every Dragons Dogma fans shopping list. Congratulations Capcom – have 9/10 on me.

Let us know what you think in the comments box below or tweeting us @thisisxbox.

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