Tag Archives: video games

Mass Effect: Andromeda Initiative revealed

After patiently waiting for days Bioware and EA have unveiled the Mass Effect Andromeda Initiative. What started out as a trailer has now turned into an interactive site where you learn more about the backstory of Mass Effect Andromeda. 

 Your reward for completing the initiative. 
Your reward for completing the initiative. 

Upon completion, you’re rewarded with a “pathfinder grade” helmet, as pictured above. If you’ve been starving for some Mass Effect news this is a great way to delve deep into the world and earn yourself a nifty prize. Mass Effect Andromeda can’t come soon enough. 

Mass Effect Andromeda Initiative

EA and Bioware have posted on the Mass Effect website an email sign up called the “Mass Effect Andromeda Initiative”. Along with a youtube video detailing the journey from the Milky way our home to Andromeda where we must end up. 

 image courtesy: masseffect.com
image courtesy: masseffect.com

The fine print states: “The Andromeda initiative is currently seeking recruits. Registered recruits will be among the first contacted to receive critical mission information, special training opportunities, and will also be eligible for reward upon program completion. Orientation begins Nov. 7”

 image courtesy: masseffect.com
image courtesy: masseffect.com

Breaking down the text we can deduce the usual email updates, screen shots and other news linking to the mass effect website. The part that caught my eye was the “special training opportunities”. Could this be a hint of some type of demo or interactive app? Having to wait till next year to play Mass Effect Andromeda, any bit of Andromeda we can get our hands on we’ll take. 

Microsoft Releases Minecraft Xbox One S Favorites Bundle

 image source: Microsoftstore.com
image source: Microsoftstore.com

Today Microsoft announced its latest Xbox One S bundle featuring Minecraft. Despite everyone already playing Minecraft the game continually sells well every month. This Xbox One S bundle is a great way to get those still waiting to upgrade to the new console. The bundle includes a downloadable copy of not only Minecraft for Xbox One but also a downloadable copy of Minecraft beta for Windows 10. The system itself has a 500gb hard drive. Not great but at least it’s priced correctly at $299. Considering the target audience for a Minecraft console the price had to be low in order to incentivize parents to get it for their kids come holiday season. The bundle also includes 13 favorite community packs including Halo Mash up and Festive Mash up. While not the “sexiest” of bundles be sure it’ll move a decent amount of xbox one s’ come holiday season. 

Destiny: Rise of Iron available now

Today, Tuesday September 20th 2016 marks the latest and last expandable content for Destiny. We will be having a review up soon. The expansion comes with all the regular trappings. New gear, new raid and an improved storytelling campaign in the vain of The Taken King expansion. The Taken King went a long way to rectify the sins of vanilla Destiny’s story, or lack there of. Have you had a chance to check out the game? What are your first impressions? Let us know in the comments section. In the meantime we’ll see you starside. 

South Park: The Fractured But Whole Delayed to 2017

 image source: Ubisoft.com
image source: Ubisoft.com

The eagerly anticipated new south park game which was scheduled to come out sometime in December has now been delayed to Q1 2017 according to the Ubisoft blog. The reasoning behind it was for quality purposes. The usual “the team needs more time, to meet expectations of fans.” 

In the end it may not be a bad thing the game is delayed. With so many big titles (Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, Gears of War 4) coming out this holiday season competing for customers wallets the game may fair better in the early months of 2017. Best to have a well polished game and take the hit of a delay, than release a sub par title during the holidays that quickly gets forgotten. South Park fans will just have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the Fractured But Whole. 

Hands On Preview: Recore

 Image Copyright: Dinosaur Spaceship
Image Copyright: Dinosaur Spaceship

With only weeks till release Recore to many is an amalgam. Its debut last year at E3 was filled with fancy CGI that gave no hint to what the game was about. This past E3 Microsoft delivered about a 60 second sizzle reel that showed some of its mechanics but not much; combined with a $40 price tag people are concerned about the quality of the game. After hands on time with Recore at Nerd HQ the game showed signs of promise but revealed very little again.

In Recore you play as Joule Adams awoken from cryo sleep on a planet Far Eden that was to be the new home for humans. Something has gone wrong, most of the “corebots” that were supposed to be helping terraform the planet are instead hostile. From there, your journey begins. Recore at its heart is part platformer and part shooter. The demo I had hands on time with was low on the platformer side and heavy on the shooting side. 

The shooting mechanics were enjoyable with more to it than just holding down the trigger. Different types of robots need different types of ammo to effectively take down. The ammo was mapped to your a,b,x, and y buttons. This provided a nice change of pace then simply blasting everything in sight with little or no thought. The platforming pieces came into play when I needed to scale a wall. Thanks to a jet pack Joule can double jump and one of her trusty corebots can help sling her against walls and carry her higher up. In the demo there was a male voice giving Joule directions so perhaps she is not alone on the planet or it is an AI of some type. The demo did not make this part clear. Hopefully Microsoft will release more information on Recore before it is available to get a better feel for what the game actually is. The Gamescom demo  did not show much more than what had already been seen with the exception of a couple more core mechanics. These core mechanics gave a hint to the upgrade system of the corebots adding new abilities. 

Though my time was enjoyable I could see myself growing weary of all the jumping and shooting. The world needs to be rich and enticing in order for me to keep going back. Microsoft and the developer have held back talking about any more of the story and world behind Recore. Hopefully that choice was made to preserve the experience when playing the game for the first time and not because there’s not much more to talk about. 

 

 

Comic Con: Nerd HQ Recap

 Image Source: NerdHq Wiki
Image Source: NerdHq Wiki

The Nerd Machine made an appearance in San Diego alongside San Diego Comic Con in the form of Nerd HQ. The brain child of Zachary Levi features what they call “Conversations with a cause”; live panels with actors, musicians etc… Those who wished to attend could purchase a ticket to a panel for 20 dollars, of which the proceeds were donated to Operation Smile. This year Nerd HQ was held at the New Children’s Museum and unlike the panels was free of charge with registration. Nerd HQ had a variety of things to check out besides panels including video games like Gears Of War 4, Battlefield 1, Recore and much more. 

If you were in attendance at Nerd HQ you’re familiar with the event. For those that are planning to go to comic con in the future it is definitely a place worthy of your time. The lines are shorter, panels are easier to get into and it won’t cost you anything to attend the event itself (albeit not panels). I was able to get hands on time with a multiplayer match of Gears of War 4 much easier than anything possible at Comic Con. Nerd HQ also has signings from folks in the industry. The highlight for myself was getting to play 20 minutes of Recore. We’ll be sharing our thoughts on Recore in an upcoming preview to give you an idea if it’s worth your time. Also on display were the Xbox One S and the customer Gears of War 4 Xbox One S. Both consoles looked incredible and if you purchase one you’ll be pleased with it’s aesthetics. It is a huge improvement over the original Xbox One design. If you’re in town for Comic Con next year make sure you take a detour to Nerd HQ. It’s not always granted to return so the support of fans attending will ensure its future. 

“Hey Cortana” Fancy Seeing You Here

 image source: Microsoft
image source: Microsoft

Today Microsoft announced the roll out of the Xbox summer update. With it brings improved UI features, background music and much more. But the biggest addition of them all is Cortana. If you don’t use Microsoft products you may be unfamiliar with Microsoft’s digital voice assistant. With Cortana you can use casual conversational English to ask her to do things like check the weather or sports scores among many other things. Cortana has been available on Windows phone for the last two years and on Windows 10 the last year. With this update Microsoft brings Cortana to the Xbox. As a lucky member of the Xbox preview program I’ve had hands on time with this update for the past couple months. Cortana is everything you want her to be and much more useful than the antiquated voice commands the Xbox One previously utilized solely through Kinect. Everyone can now use voice commands on an Xbox One with either a headset or Kinect. Most likely the former as Microsoft has nary a mention of the Kinect in the past few years and stopped bundling it with the system years back as well. If you have an Xbox One go to settings and check for your update to experience it all for yourself. If you need a little help here’s a video from Microsoft showing off all the new features. Happy gaming.