Tag Archives: wb games

Mortal Kombat X goes medieval

Yesterday our friends at NetherRealm studios announced to everyone via twitter that on the 1st March all Mortal Kombat X console players will be receiving a free skin pack.

With the title “Lets get Medieval” the skin pack will contain new looks for Kung Jin, Ferra/Torr and Kotal Khan. The packs release date also happens to coincide with the launch of Mortal Kombat XL and Kombat Pack 2 which all come at a cost, so it’s perhaps a way to keep their existing players happy.

Let us know your thoughts on this and if you intend on picking up Mortal Kombat XL on release?

Batman: Arkham Knight’s first DLC trailered

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Do you remember, a few days ago, we told you about the release of the first DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight? We did, it’s here.

Well, those lovely people at Rocksteady have obliged us all with a trailer of the Batgirl.

The DLC is out for those lucky enough to own the Season Pass on the 14 of July and for the rest of us mere mortals on the 21st of July.

Take control of Batgirl for the first time in the entire franchise in a story set before the Arkham Knight events.

Here’s that trailer I mentioned, it’s worth the wait.

 

Batman: Arkham Knight’s first DLC announced

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The engine has hardly had time to cool down on the Batmobile and already, it’s DLC-time. Well, nearly.

The first DLC pack has been announced for Batman: Arkham Knight and it will feature a storyline with the delectable Batgirl in it.

Called Batgirl: A Matter of Family, this DLC will be available first, to those lucky few who have purchased the Season Pass and will feature an all-new location with multiple missions, side-quests and secrets.

It will also include a new hacking feature used to progress through the world and solve puzzles. Team up with Robin for dynamic take-downs, too.

The Season Pass, while being criticised for being on the expensive side, will also let you have an exclusive Flashpoint Batman skin, access to the first six months of DLC releases early, which will see more Super-villains invading Gotham City, legendary Batmobiles, advanced challenge maps, more character skins and new drivable race tracks.

But this is all about the new Batgirl DLC.

For Season Pass owners, this will be available on the 14th of July. If you don’t own the Season Pass, you will have to wait another week, releasing to all on the 21st of July for the princely sum of £5.79 or your local currency equivalent.

Batman: Arkham Knight review

I’ve been hankering for an 18-rated Batman game for a long time. The last Batman title I played was LEGO Batman 3, which while fantastic, was more 60’s Batman than current Batman. I’ve made my position clear on how much I’d like an 18-rated movie. Will Batman: Arkham Knight fulfil my need for a more violent and edgy game?

Firstly, the game itself, if you opted for a digital copy, is a whopping 40-odd GB. It took an absolute age to download, even on my super-speedy up-to-152MB broadband. In the end, I altered the power settings on my hardware and left it overnight. It had finished by the time I’d had a damn good sleep.

It was with trepidation that I fired the game up – the wait had nearly bumped me off! The first thing that hits you is the visuals. They pound at the eyes like so many gossamer sledgehammers. They are simply sumptuous. I could wax lyrical about the batsuit, how it glistens in the rain, how the wind rush affects the cape as you take to the air in glide mode, how detailed the features are, how the environment is as dark as the mood of the City of Gotham as years of relative peace is shattered by a single act from the game’s main protagonist, The Scarecrow. I can’t though, I’ve only got a certain number of words to play with.

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As we all know though, visuals alone don’t make a game. It has to play well. Rocksteady has made noises about how this is the final chapter in the series for the Batman Arkham series. They’d have to top the likes of the maligned Arkham Origins and improve on the quirky combat elements that weren’t to everyone’s taste.

At first the sheer scale of the game is almost overwhelming. Rocksteady appears to have created a behemoth capable of swallowing an experienced gamer whole. All is not lost though, far from it. Small steps and some slight adjustments in the way your gaming synapses fire and you should be barreling through the dank, rain-swept streets of Gotham in your $1bn Batmobile-shaped tank in no time.

The story is fairly free-flowing, although the gameplay in sections doesn’t quite feel as polished as other titles, the scumbag-infested streets are ripe for Batman’s unique style of knuckled justice. There’s nothing quite like the sound of breaking bones. I was lost at first. I’m getting used to games leading me around by the nose. The introduction leads you into a particular scenario, Batman tells Commissioner Gordon that he’ll deal with it and then, POW! You’re left pretty much to get on with it. You’re almost pushed to think to yourself, ‘What would Batman do?’ It’s a refreshing change from the tried and tested ‘Go here, do this’ storylines that pass for games now. The bar has been raised, but the game is so much more than just a story.

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Behind the cowl of the main campaign lies multiple side-quests that will challenge not only your mental powers, but your dexterity and accuracy as well. The training missions are presented as optional portions of the game throughout, especially where new Waynetech is introduced. This could serve to distract from the main campaign, but as this is a free-roaming world, you’re pretty much free to visit these, almost as you’re passing, or take them on as they’re offered. The beauty is, it’s your choice. The Bat, he’d get on with the campaign I’m certain, and saving the innocent. The Fire-fighter quest is one such example. You’re given the location of one of the brave GCFD personnel to save and the rest, well, that’s up to you.

The size and scope of the game will simply blow you away. It’s immense. If it took a walk around itself, it would come back with souvenirs. There’s a reason it’s 40-odd GB. Gotham City is presented in all of its dirty glory. The game manages to make the localised areas seem accessible yet huge at the same time, and you’re never sure what’s coming around the next corner as you speed to whatever waypoint you’ve set in the game-map as your next mission. Batman’s equipment stash is at your disposal to deal with these. Stalwarts like the Explosive Gel make a welcome return, but you get some new toys to play with, like the previously mentioned Batmobile.

This armoured monster is, at first, an absolute beast to control, especially for anyone who is used to piloting the Warthog in Halo. There is a battle mode on theBatmobile that is initiated by the left trigger. Initially I spent the time I should have been braking, transforming into battle mode. This was all part of the learning curve though and you soon get used to the controls. After visiting theGCPD detention centre, you get the option to change these controls in the settings. Quite why it’s not available until after this segment is anyone’s guess, unless it’s to give them a fair crack of the criminal’s jawbone. The battle mode gives you access to the weapons system and allows for greater maneuverability of the vehicle and I found myself using this more and more. There are other aspects to the Batmobile though, like the ability to control it remotely or to call it in to you location to provide support in the form of a winch or to provide generated electrical power.

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I don’t want to give too much of the story away, however, but I’m aware that I’ve only touched on this lightly. There are plot twists by the bucketful and the mechanics of this feature blend brilliantly well. You’ll just have to play it to see why – let’s just say that once the penny drops it makes for a stunning mechanic to Batman’s mental stability. The plain fact of the matter is, that this Batman storyline would quite easily fill several seasons of graphic novel. There’s twists, turns, surprises and deductions that I’ve made about the future plot. The future plot? Yes, I’ve not nearly got to the end yet – there’s just so much to see and do!

And there’s also so much more in the game that I’ve barely touched on, like the co-op takedowns. These are great fun, but do feel a bit like an afterthought, a gimmick in a game that really doesn’t need any more rammed into it. The graphics are absolutely amazing, there’s not quite as much variation in the combat, and there’s a slight over-reliance on the Batmobile-cum-tank sequences, but the storyline should be more than enough to sway fans and non-fans alike. I wondered if Batman: Arkham Knight would satisfy my bat-based violent desires, despite the brutality involved. The Bat famously tries not to kill his opponents, preferring to render them a threat no longer, minus a few teeth. I do draw the line at ploughing through the crowds in the Batmobile. Happily, though, it doesn’t really detract from the rest of the game and quite simply, Batman: Arkham Knight is the game you must own this year so far.

Thanks to Xbox for their support

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New Lego Jurassic World trailer shows off release date

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As you probably guessed when the game was officially announced LEGO Jurassic World will be launching the same day as it’s movie counterpart hits the big screen (and my 30th birthday), 12 June! So, there’s my Birthday present to myself sorted!

The trailer below shows off a bunch of stuff that you can do in the game including building things with those clever girls, the Velociraptors. Being a fan of the LEGO franchise and a MASSIVE Jurassic Park fan I cannot wait for all things Lego Jurassic World….especially the game.

Dying Light’s companion app launched

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With review-writing colleagues furiously writing reviews, what else, for Dying Light, Techland have released a new companion app for iOS and Android.

This free app is billed as your one-way ticket to Harran, the zombie-infested city in which you’ve managed to survive, so far.

You are a newly promoted scout commander. Organise your scouts as they embark on dangerous missions. Find new recruits and assemble a team that is best suited to each mission type then watch them come back with supplies and the whiff of victory. Send the wrong people out though and they’ll come back as the animated undead.

Components, gear and supplies that your scouts gather as booty can be transferred to your character in Dying Light when it’s released. You can do this by creating an account in the game when you’ve loaded it all up.

Dying Light is released digitally on the 28th of January and physically on the 27th of February. Good luck, scout commander.

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Arrow DLC available now

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I must admit to really enjoying the LEGO game franchise. Their quirky humour and fun but challenging gameplay seems to appeal to the child lurking somewhere in the depths of my tortured soul.

It comes as no surprise then, that I find the LEGO Batman series one of the most enjoyable from any already enjoyable set and now, it could be just that little bit more enjoyable with the release of the Arrow DLC pack.

This features yet another playboy billionaire (where do they get them from?) in the form of Green Arrow’s alter ago, Oliver Queen, who was stranded on an island with his only goal to survive. He’s not on his own though, joined by Arrow series favourites, Slade Wilson, Malcolm Merlyn and Black Canary amongst others. The good news for fans of the TV series, Green Arrow, is that Arrow himself is voiced by Stephen Amell, who also appeared in Injustice: Gods Among Us as Arrow.

The Arrow DLC is available now as a separate download or as part of the Season Pass for the title.

Check out the trailer for the DLC below.

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham This Autumn on Xbox

Warner Bros’ has today announced yet another LEGO game for consoles – LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will be available beginning of Autumn 2014 for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 as well as other platforms.

In LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, the Caped Crusader joins forces with the super heroes of the DC Comics Universe and blasts off to outer space to stop the evil Brainiac from destroying Earth. Using the power of the Lantern Rings, Brainiac shrinks worlds to add to his twisted collection of miniature cities from across the universe. Now the greatest super heroes and the most cunning villains must unite and journey to different Lantern Worlds to collect the Lantern Rings and stop Brainiac before it’s too late.

Players will unlock more than 150 unique characters from the DC Comics universe, including members of the Justice League and LEGO big figures such as Killer Croc, Solomon Grundy and many more. Fans of all ages will be able to control their favourite heroes and villains with new gadgets and abilities. Brainiac’s mind controlling abilities and the power of the Lantern rings bring unexpected twists to the classic characters’ personalities.

Check out the trailer above for a little tease of what to expect this Autumn!

LEGO: The Hobbit – A Review

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Available now for Xbox 360 and Xbox One, ‘LEGO: The Hobbit’ is the latest game from developer  Traveller’s Tales and just like ‘LEGO: Lord Of The Rings‘ is based on the films made by Peter Jackson. What makes both games stand out is that they use the voice tracks direct from the films for the characters. Unlike LEGO: LOTR however, LEGO: The Hobbit is not a complete game as it uses “An Unexpected Journey” and “The Desolation of Smaug” films. The third and final film in The Hobbit trilogy is not released until the end of this year. So can a game featuring only two films of a trilogy be worth the money right now?

I will start off by saying that enjoyment of LEGO: The Hobbit does rely on the player having watched The Hobbit films to really get the most out of the game. The way in which key scenes from the films are used to create levels for the player is again something Travelers Tales excel in for their LEGO Games. The opening section plays out just as the intro to “An Unexpected Journey” begins with the recreation of the time when Smaug the Dragon first attacks and takes over the dwarf kingdom of Erebor. It never ceases to amaze me just how much detail Travellers Tales puts into these recreations. Enhanced by using the voice tracks from the film, it is a beautiful way to set the tone and pull the player into  the story and immerse you in the world of Middle Earth.

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If you have watched the films then you will notice that some of the dialogue scenes from the films have been cut down to fit the shortened scenes in the game. But it is the levels that really bring the magic home. From the first moments in Erebor to witnessing the stress for Bilbo as 13 strange looking Dwarves happily sit down to dinner and the mayhem they bring to Bilbo’s quiet home. A nice moment is how the “Doing the Dishes” song and sequence in the film has been turned into a mini game where you have to press the right button after prompts on screen to successfully help the Dwarves wash up Bilbo’s mother’s best china. It is a good example of how much detail has been put into the game.

Once of the highlights of The Hobbit is the large cast of characters the story has, and each one has a place in the gameplay. Bilbo, Gandalf and the Thirteen Dwarves; Thorin Oakenshield, Fili, Kili, Balin, Dwalin, Oin, Gloin, Ori, Dori, Nori, Bifur, Bofur and Bombur. With so many characters you would expect there to be little difference between them, but instead they are used to break up the gameplay very nicely. Each Dwarf can partner up to perform a special attack or needed to get pass an obstacle or solve a puzzle. Simply pressing B on the controller will pair character’s up and is great fun in battle to have two dwarves spinning around with their axes and shields cutting down any Orc that gets in the way. Different dwarfs will have a unique ability; Kili will be able to use a bow and Arrow whilst his brother Fili will have the ability to dig. Dwalin has the ability to use his huge hammer to smash blocks out the way and Dori uses a chain in order to pull down structures. It is a very clever way of making use of the whole ensemble of characters and the levels are designed in such a way that switching between them all to navigate and complete a level is easy to understand and enjoyable.

LEGO: The Hobbit actually puts both films together for the game. It is one continuous playthrough to complete the story missions. Due to the films having to be cut down to be adapted for the game,  in order to keep the flow of the story clear, the game has a narrator in the form of Saruman The White. Voiced by Sir Christopher Lee himself; it really gives a great bonus to how the game tells the story, and the gravitas in his voice always keeps you focused in the world and the story as the game moves from big screen moments to the next. The same technique was not used for LEGO: Lord of The Rings, and as it feels that The Hobbit has been cut down to size more so for LEGO: The Hobbit, this decision is nothing short of genius.

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One of the staggering things about LEGO games is the huge amount of gameplay they have. As always, the main story levels have to be completed once before you can return for “Free Play”, the chance to replay the level but having the ability to pick any character you have unlocked to access areas or complete puzzles you would have been unable to complete originally. So for example, the first time you play you may come across a collectible that is locked behind a wall or obstacle that requires the talent of a character you do not have access to. Replaying in Free Mode allows you to pick the right character to make use of their ability. This means you have to at least play the game through twice to get all the collectibles and for me, the most fun part of a LEGO game is the Free Play mode.

Outside the main story levels you will also have the opportunity to complete side quests, retrieving or building items that random characters in the world of Middle Earth request. Completing these will earn you rewards. Building items is a new feature for LEGO: The Hobbit. Due to the Dwarfs being famous for building amazing things, alongside collecting LEGO Pegs, you can now also collect raw materials such as wood, stone, rope, food and precious stones. These can be traded around the world as you progress. Their most important use is during levels where for the first time, a 3D virtual LEGO Building mini game is used to build items necessary to complete the level. The mini game is very clever. You will be shown a 3D representation of of the object on the right hand side, on the left you will be shown different options in a wheel. You will be shown the correct component required and have to quickly choose it from the wheel. A bonus of 20,000 LEGO pegs is a reward for completing the build quickly. Take too long or pick the wrong component and the bonus amount is diminished. If you have ever built a LEGO Set in the real world, this mini game will have extra charm.

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LEGO: The Hobbit is the same high standard you would expect. Every location in the story is recreated beautifully in the game and both films are amazing to experience through the game. But that is also where I experience my only and biggest problem with this game. It is incomplete. The game is based on the films and as a direct result, because it has been based on and released after only two of the three films that make up Peter Jackson’s trilogy, you get to the end of “The Desolation of Smaug” and as the credits roll you are left wondering what about the third film. LEGO: LOTR was released as a complete game with all three films used to make up the game. LEGO: Star Wars was first released as the original trilogy first but then put together as the Complete Saga once the game based on the Prequel trilogy was completed. For me, as much as I loved playing this game and will continue to do so, the timing of its release is strange. There is no reason why it could not have been released at Christmas as “The Battle of the Five Armies” is released in the cinema. It would no doubt have sold in greater numbers with that film release as well as the festive season.

Currently reports are suggesting that the final film will be released as DLC around the same time the film hits cinemas on December 17th. Eight Months is a long time to wait for the “complete” version of LEGO: The Hobbit. Going by how much fun the game currently is, the wait will be worth it but it would also be fair to say you can have same experience in December if you pick up the game then, no doubt at a much reduced retail price, then to buy the game now at full retail price. It is a strange move to have released it now to tie in with the second film on home release rather then in December when the complete Trilogy is out.

There is just so much gameplay and love in this game for the source material that just as with LEGO: Lord of The Rings, LEGO: The Hobbit recreates the story, the world and the characters with detail and precision. The voice track and narration by Sir Christopher Lee as Saruman The White, both add that extra magic to a LEGO game that already had so much to begin with. As above, despite it being an amazing game with so much to do in it, being based on only two instead of three Hobbit films bothers me greatly. I would say if you can get this for a good bargain price go for it as it really is just brilliant if you know and like the films, but it will be so much cheaper when the final film is released and the final part of this game available as DLC.

The decision to once again not use Online Co-Op play was disappointing. I still do not understand why the very best LEGO games that would be so much fun with friends online lack the feature. That combined with the incomplete feel of the game due to being based on two films and not the full trilogy stops me from giving the game any higher a score, which is a shame. When the DLC is release to complete the game, I will be more then happy to complete this review accordingly.

Thank you to Xbox for providing LEGO: The Hobbit to thisisxbox.com.

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Batman: Arkham Origins – Cold, Cold Heart DLC Review

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The final (and only real Single Player story based) DLC for Batman: Arkham Origins has finally been released on Xbox Live. Cold, Cold Heart is available at £7.99 À la carte, or free as part of the Season Pass for the game.

Cold, Cold Heart is set on New Year’s Eve, just 6 days following the events of Batman: Arkham Origins which took place on Christmas Eve. It opens with us watching the Gotham City Humanitarian Award being given to Ferris Boyle, owner of Gothcorp. It is being hosted by Bruce Wayne at Wayne Manor who is being a lot more jovial than how he is portrayed in Batman: Arkham Origins considering the short time of the events of Origins ending, and a story that has Bruce Wayne a very surly, grumpy man only interested in “his work”.

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The DLC serves as the introduction of Mr Freeze to the Arkham universe. He attacks the event to kidnap Ferris Boyle using his cryogenic weapons to freeze security and guests. Once the cut scene is over its time to take over; and to begin with you will play as Bruce, fighting his way to get to the Batcave to “suit up”. Considering this is DLC released quite some time after the main game’s release, making the first ten minutes of the DLC nothing more then a tutorial for the combat and predator challenge elements felt a little pointless. No one playing this DLC would need such a basic tutorial and it felt like yet again, WB Montreal simply reusing another element that Rocksteady used in Arkham City, the opening sequence which sees you as Bruce Wayne fighting Penguin and his goons after being captured by Hugo Strange.

The DLC moves through Wayne Manor as you fight your way to get to the Batcave where you are quite clumsily told that the XE Batsuit, designed to deal with extreme frozen conditions, is not quite ready to be used just yet. So in a week since the events of Origins, Bruce and Alfred decide to build this Batsuit, which would be perfect to take on an enemy that uses Cryogenic weaponry but had no knowledge of the villain Mr Freeze before this DLC Story. Well Batman does like to be prepared, but it is just as lazy a way of introducing it into the story as much as Alfred telling you that for no reason whatsoever, the Glue grenades which worked just fine all through Batman: Arkham Origins, was suddenly unstable and all turned to dust so you wont be able to use them. Shame, they had been working a week ago.

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Gameplay wise the DLC has a lot to offer really. From the combat and predator challenges that being inside Wayne Manor and later on Gothcorp as you work to free Ferris Boyle from the clutches of Mr Freeze, to the open world nature once you get to explore the cornered off area of Gotham City, thanks to somehow Mr Freeze finding the time to send his goons to freeze the great Gotham bridge. The city allows you the freedom to explore the area as you would in the main game and it provides plenty of criminal activity to keep you busy.

Other than the main story-line mission, you also have plenty of optional side missions to complete. Some will rely on you having put on the XE suit which happens mid way, as 20 civilians have been frozen and require Batman to thaw them out using the XE suit’s thermal gloves which replace the Electrocutioner’s gloves you confiscated during Origins main story. Despite dealing with the character Anarchy in Origins story, his followers are still hell bent on continuing his work and Bats will encounter them spraying the Anarchy symbol around the city, or starting riots at arranged meeting points planning to set off the same bombs that Anarchy tried to in the main game. Both of which are optional for you as the player to complete during the main story mission and all serve to give you extra things to do, but also come across as filler to expand the gameplay.

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Using the XE suit was also fun at times. It has a great look, but like so much of Batman: Arkham Origins style of borrowing from Arkham City, the design is very similar to the Bat Armour used in the comic book story and animation ‘Dark Knight Returns’ to take on Superman in their big showdown fight. Thermal Batarangs are used to thaw controls that you will need to hack and the thermal gloves give Bats a more firey attack style much as the electricity gauntlets does. It does feel strange for Batman to be quite happy beating up thugs using fire punches, but then its no more improbable than Batman having been making this suit “just in case” he ran into a villain like Mr Freeze without knowing that Mr Freeze existed!

For me, this DLC is good but not great – much like the main game itself which scored just 60% on thisisxbox.com. Cold, Cold heart tells a good Origin story and introduction to the character of Mr Freeze, but it never really grabbed me with its gameplay which felt very “samey” to the main game which is my least favourite to have Arkham in its title. For the price of £7.99 you do get enough to do and a decent story to justify picking it up but only if you actually enjoyed Batman: Arkham Origins. If like me you had put the game down a long time ago and never felt the need to revisit it, then this DLC will give you some enjoyment as you play, but probably short-lived!

The cutscenes tell the main story well enough and its a nice way to round off the Origins of the Arkham series which this game was designed to do as Rocksteady worked on the final chapter of their own Arkham Trilogy (of which they do not include Origins or really even acknowledge its existence to be fair). For £7.99 its ok as DLC but it’s not a massive wow factor for me as an Arkham fan.

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