We all like free, don’t we? HiRez knows this, and they are delivering. Until November 15th, that is. The MOBA titles – Smite and Paladins failed to let me down, so it’ll be nice to see where Hand of the Gods takes me.
Hand of the Gods is entering Closed Beta on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms! The beta kicks off by offering special bundles for PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold members–including FREE access to the Closed Beta for those members!
Starting today, PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold members can receive the Hand of the Gods promotional bundle for free!
Exclusive Xeus Leader Skin for Zeus (Xbox) / Ah Puch (PlayStation) Labyrinth Card Back Tree of Life Player Icon 5 Core Packs
The popular eSports free-to-play game Smite is getting a full release on Xbox One next week, Hi-Rez Studios have announced. It has been in the alpha/beta stages on Xbox one since early 2015 and been extended due to popularity. The already popular PC version is watched and enjoyed by thousands on eSports and now it is time for the console version to shine.
PC players will be able to merge their Smite accounts with the Xbox One version, linking the accounts will enable you to unlock certain items on both platforms at once but not everything will get transferred over. linking your accounts will unlock the Zeus X skin for use on both your Xbox One and PC accounts. here is a useful FAQ with all the details and a tutorial of the merging process.
After a successful Preview Program trial, God battle game SMITE has gone into full-on open Beta.
How can you get your hands on the free-to-play MOBA? It’s as simple as heading over to the Marketplace and choosing it, or heading to SMITE’s website here.
Who isn’t up for a little free-to-play God smiting? Have you already played SMITE on PC? Link your Xbox and PC account to get a free Zeus skin and all progress and achievements earned in the open beta will transfer to the official release when it happens later on in the summer.
You can also buy the SMITE Founder’s Pack through the marketplace to get access to every one of the 65 gods currently in the Xbox version and all future gods. You also get 400 gems, the exclusive Ares skin and the limited Ymir skin. This pack will be discontinued when the game fully launches in the summer.
Now I love games and when Dave emailed me and asked if I wanted to go to EGX:Rezzed in London for TiX I jumped at the chance, who wouldn’t. So with book and pen in hand I trundled off on the Thursday with my press pass like it was my first day at school. Situated at the Tobacco docks in London it was a great venue for developers of all shapes and sizes to come and show us what’s coming to console and PC (windows 10) in the up and coming months.
Walking through the door I already had my shortlist of games I wanted to see, thanks to Phil and myself, and headed straight for the ID@Xbox room. The room was busy with gamers, developers and press but I still found that I had enough room to walk around and spend some quality time on the games, chatting and sharing views and opinions with like-minded people. My main focus here though was several key titles, SMITE, Soul Axiom, Super Dungeon Bro’s and Shovel Knights but that’s not to say there are several other great titles coming, including Goat Simulator (that everyone is mad about, apart from me).
SMITE – Having received the Alpha invite 24hrs before I’d already had a taste for the game and wasn’t disappointed. The game is a smooth (yet frustrating at times) combat sim where you get to level up characters and earn new skills while you fight. All at the same time of being the god you want. It’s a good game but I found it a bit repetitive especially when you pick the wrong god to fight with. I know there is a lot of demand from people to get a taste of this game so keep you eyes open and head to the SMITE site to sign up for the beta.
Soul Axiom – I got to play this at about 75% completion but it’s still in Alpha – the game looks stunning and brings an interesting twist with two abilities, the left hand gives and the right hand takes and with these skills you solve numerous task within a stunning environment. It’s definitely a title that you should have on your radar, a huge effort has been made to integrate a story without restricting the player too much within the adventure.
Shovel Knights – a top down view of pretty much a hack and slash of stick men. You have the ability to pick up an assortment of weapons and hack your way to defeating opponents. This is met with a gratifying pixellated blood splatter and you start all over again. A very simple yet very addictive concept that had people queuing up all day to play it.
Super Dungeon Bros – Now I kept this to last as seriously this game blew me away. Developed by Wired Productions, the game focuses on four heroes moving through a series of dungeons fighting monsters and avoiding traps. The whole game is based around teamwork. The closer you are to your team members, the more powerful your specials are and there is even an ability where all the players form a tower and create a cyclone of devastation. Speaking to Kevin Leavers (senior Producer) he explained that even the maps you face are all randomly generated so you never feel like you’re playing the same level over and over again. The beauty of this game is that it’s also cross-platform so you can play side by side on Xbox and Windows 10. I will look to cover this further in a more dedicated review but all I would say for now is to keep a close eye on this one.
Having left the ID room I moved to Team 17 to preview LA Cops. This is a top/side on shooter where you control two police officers during various missions. I seemed to get shot a lot on this and my gung-ho approach didn’t work as well as expected but the game is solid and plays well and out now to buy on the Xbox marketplace. Check out TiX’s review on this for more information.
One of other big titles I was keen to track down was Project CARS, it was said to be here and I eventually found it tucked in a corner of the Bafta Inside Games room on a single machine with a couple of posters above it that I would find on my sons bedroom wall. Why? I have no idea because the game is amazing. I know it has been delayed again and again but the version I played was close to 100% complete, all options and online playability were available and all tracks, career and cars where there for the taking.
Speaking to the representative he stated, just like the recent press release, “We don’t want to be someone who releases a game and is not happy with it or has to release a patch on day one. We want it to be perfect for the community having pent over 3 years on this we don’t want to face just mediocre reviews, we want people to love this”. I have to agree, I played the game and at first I thought the controls were sluggish and pulled to the left only to realise I had a flat tyre and my pit crew were telling me I needed to head in for a change. The game is amazing and if you are a petrol head like me and want a real true to life racing game then this is the one.
The other game Phil asked me to track down was Carmageddon: Reincarnation. Purely for the PC at the moment this game looks great and brings back the memories from the old days of playing Carmageddon. Now will this come to the console, the guys I talked to could not either confirm or deny but a hunch and a wink tells us to watch this space.
It was great to mingle with like-minded people and experience some of the exciting things coming to Xbox and to Windows 10 cross-platform. I also have to add that I spent some quality time with our friends from Special Effect looking and learning about what they do for kids and they truly are an amazing organisation. I know Dave is running the London Marathon for them this year and if you can, please do drop him a few pennies (or dollars) – they are a really worthwhile cause. If you want to learn more about them check out their site here.
More in-depth views and games reviews will be coming soon so stay peeled and watch this space.
If you’re participating in the Xbox Preview program and happen to be one of the lucky ones then today you might be in for a pleasant surprise. Xbox are issuing out SMITE Alpha codes to a select few inviting them to take part in early testing of the game.
SMITE is the online battleground of the gods. Players choose from a diverse cast of deities and use their unique powers to triumph over the opposition in 5v5 team matches. Smite is a new take on the MOBA genre; rather than observing from above the action, the game’s third person perspective puts players into the thick of combat.
This is the second time this week that the preview program has offered something a little extra to its users. So keep an eye on your inbox and pray to the gods that you might be one of the chosen few.
Looking forward to and enjoying some these titles? Adr1ft, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, DMC: Definitive Edition, Tekken 7, Batman: Arkham Knight, D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die, Dead Island 2, AIPD, Space Hulk: Deathwing, Smite, Submerged, Fable Legends and many many more. So are we! All these upcoming Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles have something in common…
Unreal Engine 4.
Check out the new ‘Sizzle Reel’ below from the guys and gals at Unreal ready for GDC 2015. And tune into their Keynote presentation on Twitch.tv, Wednesday March 4th at 9:30 a.m. PST
Hi-Rez Studios have opened up beta sign ups for their Xbox One version of SMITE – the free-to-play MOBA that has been hugely popular on PC. Check out the cinematic beta trailer below and sign up for the Battleground of the Gods here, although when signing up through Chrome I did have trouble selecting a God to prove my humanity!