There is nothing wrong with your monitor, do not attempt to adjust the picture. This is just a case of Metalrodent breaking Halo. He didn't say whether this glitch only affected himself, or if he ruined everyone else's fun too, but we're sure it wasn't intentional. Almost sure, anyway.
Two new members have joined our team; Gabriella, our Multimedia Reporter, and Alberto, our new Video Editor. You may already have seen their work, as Alberto assisted James with his review of ReCore, doing loads of video editor-y things that only the initiated are able to understand.
Meanwhile, Gabriella revisited an old favourite. Well, a remastered version of an old favourite in Bioshock: The Collection. Watch her fearlessly stalk her way through Rapture in a Let's Play that's chock full of brilliant commentary.
If you want more audio-visual content then you're in luck, as we have some big things planned to delight both your eyes and ears.
After the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare beta schedule was released, Timmeh555 and MrkDhn10 both confirmed that they had pre-ordered. Timmeh has high(ish) hopes for the game's story, due to some ex Naughty Dog staff being on team and Mrk is looking forward to "that little known indie release" Modern Warfare Remastered, which you may have heard about.
That other shooter, Battlefield 1, was also talked about in the forums following the release of a story trailer. Sam, Mrk and Rodent agreed that it looked impressive. Whilst it's another one for Mrk's pre-order list, Sam won't be joining in on the fun; "Looks good, though like everything else releasing in October, it's taking a back seat whilst I focus on PlayStation VR." You poor, poor man. I'm sure we all feel terrible about the unenviable position you've found yourself in...
I suppose it's only fair to mention the other, other, big FPS set to release this year - Titanfall 2. It also has a brand new story trailer, which tells the story of a Militia soldier hoping to become one of the venerated Pilots.
Other pilot-y things have been going down too, the latest instalment of our Taken for a Quickie feature was Battlefront's Death Star DLC.
Not only has Liam been valiantly thwarting Darth Vader's plans to bring you the aforementioned piece, but he's also been attempting to make a name for himself in Mount and Blade: Warband.
Would you like to know how that turned out?
"I lost all my men and most of my wealth, plus a bucket load of weapons, armour and horses. Not the most profitable campaign. My troubles seemed to start when I tried to raze a village to the ground and then got immediately jumped by a local Count, who didn't take kindly to such actions."
We feel like there's an important lesson to be learned here. Something about the futility of war? Something about the merits of a non-violent approach to conflict? What do you think, Sam?
Once you've trained up your army people won't want to engage you, meaning they'll stop coming to protect villages and you can raze to your heart's content.
Or that. Either way, lesson learned.
If you'd like to bag yourself a copy of Awesomenauts Assemble! on Xbox One, we're currently running a competition. All you need to do is leave a comment on the thread, like our Facebook page and share the pinned post, or follow us over on Twitter and retweet the pinned tweet. You could even do all three to triple your chances of winning! The contest ends on Monday 3 October at 23:59:59. Winners will be drawn and announced on Tuesday.
No, thank you for entering, Ian! The more people enter, the more likely it is we're able to run giveaways like this in the future. It seems to have been very well received thus far, so massive thanks also go to Sam for running it.
Ian may, however, have stiff competition from Plasma Wing, who's attempting to bribe his way to victory.
Nice try, Plas, but we are morally upstanding members of society. If you think that bribery in the form of kind words will get you any special treatment at PTC then...
... We're listening. He does have a point. We are all sickeningly handsome/beautiful. (We're aware that this is going to look very bad if he happens to win a copy.)
It's almost time for us to go, but first, here's my personal Clip of the Week! We have a video of Rodent, Plas and Ninjadan attempting the Lab Rats mission from Payday 2. I don't think they were expecting to see this...
That's all for this week. We leave you with the hauntingly beautiful opening track from Bioshock.
It’s fair to say that the Death Star DLC has been the most anticipated of the Star Wars Battlefront add-on content released to date. That’s largely thanks to the promise of outer space combat, as well giving players the chance to fight on and around one of the most iconic figures in sci-fi history.
Bossk may have been a mere footnote in the movies, but he’s given time to shine here. Heat vision, a buffed Relby-v10 - featuring grenade-launching secondary fire - and a powerful Dioxis Grenade ability that boasts a built-in escape make him a beast on the battlefield.
And is Battle Station the mode that’ll finally let us venture into outer space?
It is. Battle Station is a three-phase mode set entirely in space… well, sort of. There’s a ground-based section sandwiched between the first and third phases, but this does take place in the Death Star, which is technically in space.
I guess I blow the Death Star up in the third phase, then?
You’ll need to get there first - don’t get cocky, kid! You have to earn the right to take on the Empire’s super weapon by winning the first two stages on the Rebel side. That entails first obliterating an Imperial Star Destroyer, before rescuing R2-D2 second.
Wait, I can’t skip ahead to the last part? I just want to do the trench run!
Sorry, the first two phases are mandatory.
If you’re just looking to pay homage to A New Hope’s final scene, we have some more bad news. Rebels simply navigate a criss-cross of trenches in an attempt to collect twelve checkpoint tokens within the time limit and win.
Oh… that’s not quite what I had in mind when they said destroy the Death Star...
The final phase doesn’t quite live up to expectations, but then recreating such an iconic cinematic moment in an online multiplayer game was always going to be a tough task.
Don’t let that put you off the rest of the DLC, as there’s plenty of fun to be had.
So you’d still recommend it?
If you already own the Season Pass and haven’t played Battlefront in a while, this is the DLC to get you back into the game. If you’re not fussed about the other expansion packs, but enjoy the base game, it’s probably worth a punt on its own.
The new race known as Tree-Romulans, recently discovered by Metalrodent
What’s that? No, I think you're mistaken, I mean being the absolute professionals we are at PTC, I think it’s highly unlikely that we simply forgot to post a Community Round-up last week. I’m sure you were just out and didn’t see it, but I can absolutely assure you that we did not forget.
Balls. Well at least Emily was apologetic about it, Crisco wanted to delete the post and ban Rodent for a week! That’s what we like to call ‘Plan B’.
Taking a break from spelling dirty words in Letter Quest, Immaturity Rules showed us exactly why he’s been waiting to for PS4 4.00 firmware update to arrive:
It turns out I’m not the only yet to play CD Projekt RED’s award laden RPG, The Witcher 3. Crippyd is pondering whether to commit to what sounds like a pretty hefty commitment if PTC Bezza’s experience is anything to go by:
“Finally finished this mother trucker. Its brilliant…My problem with it is it is soooo big and its quite slow too. It’s overwhelming at times and I could never do big sessions with it getting boring quickly… I ended up rushing the game mostly, skipping a lot of cut scenes. I wish I could play it again but it’s such an undertaking I’m not sure I’ll ever get around to it.”
Bezza was also very pleased with the recently released Bioshock Collection, and would “really recommend them especially if you’ve not played them”. That’ll be me then, and it’s probably going to stay that way for the time being as Battlefront’s Death Star DLC has been taking up a lot of my time.
The launch of the highly anticipated expansion got Itchy Rash wondering whether the three DLC’s released so far have improved the game:
“Its always just felt like a missed opportunity to me. I played the demo and was underwhelmed and then recently have been making use of the 10-hour free trial, minus the DLC, but struggling to find much to get excited about. The graphics and sound quality are great but not sure there's much under the surface.”
This fella would like a word with you:
I always enjoyed the base game, but I can understand why people feel it’s a little light on content. Saying that, if you can find the Season Pass at the right price I would highly recommend it, it makes the game feel that much more complete.
Another of DICE’s games, Battlefield 1, will be getting a few tweaks to the multiplayer after feedback from players who took part in the recent open beta. Probably the biggest of these is that kills in Conquest will now deplete the enemies ticket score, instead of just objective points.
SkinnerChinner didn’t mind the new focus on objective score, but thinks the horses need to be nerfed in the health department:
“Personally, I didn't mind the changes to the ticket system too much, liked the focus on objectives but it did make the Medic redundant - I didn't particularly get along with the semi-auto rifles (until the very last one anyway) so there wasn't much incentive to play as that class. Let’s hope they increase the ticket count to accommodate the old system otherwise I can see matches being over way too fast. And horses should probably go down after a direct hit from a tank shell...”
In the gaming bargains thread Sam noted that Gears of War 4 and Mafia 3 are available for pre-order at the reasonable price of £35. While the price may be agreeable, unfortunately Amazon have burned Johnbhoy69 one too many times for him to take advantage of the deal:
“£35 is a good deal but Amazon have lost any good faith they had with me, so many messed up pre-orders that don’t arrive until days after the release date.”
A pain I know only too well. I recently pre-ordered Mount and Blade: Warband for Xbox One, but rather than heading out on a vast medieval adventure upon release day, I instead found an empty mail box and apologetic emails from the online store I had purchased it from.
Probably not something Metalrodent would be bothered about, if his thoughts on the game are anything to go by:
“My god those graphics, it looks like the biggest bit of difficulty in the game is holding down your lunch while playing.”
Are you still playing Pokémon GO? Me neither, but James is still plugging away at it, and wrote a few thoughts on how the game is holding up now that he’s reached the very impressive milestone of 100 Pokémon.
Max is one trainer who’s Pokédex isn’t collecting dust, and posted a snap of this specimen he caught recently:
TV’s have been the topic of choice in the technology thread over the past few weeks, and Sam has finally chosen one that’ll be gracing his home in the coming months.
Although if he had listened to BAMozzy in the first place, he probably could have saved some himself some trouble:
“Finally decided on the Samsung KS8000, so the same model as BAM, after some more research. Nothing really comes close to touching its 4K/HDR gaming performance - mostly looking great with just 22ms of input lag - which sealed the deal. All of this he told me a while ago, I just had to do some more digging. I'll take your word straight away next time, BAM!”
Now, I haven’t played much World of Tanks, but even I know there’s a certain level of stigma following those who choose to play as artillery. That didn’t put off resident tank-nut Metalrodent however, who has been dabbling in the darker arts of armoured warfare, claiming “it feels so dirty yet so good”.
I think the best bit about that video was the props Rodent received from ShartZnGiggles7. Now that’s a gamertag.
Do you remember when SMITE used to dominate these round-ups? I think we’ll finish up with the main theme from the game to see if it can’t stir up some nostalgia for the free to play MOBA.
It's one of the biggest gaming shows in the UK and from Thursday 22 to Sunday 25 September the NEC in Birmingham is taken over by a host of games developers, gaming fans and cosplayers. We went and had a look around, managed to convince a few people to speak to us, and we've got a video round-up to share with you all.
RIVE is Two Tribes’ swansong, the independent developer having declared themselves incapable of producing a better game and moving to pursue other ventures as a result. Join us in taking a quick look to see if the bold step was a justified one.
Is there a story buried amongst the scrap?
Wisecracking protagonist Roughshot, along with his Spidertank, is trapped on a starship by a mysterious artificial intelligence that’s outwardly friendly, but prompts a certain unease. Dialogue between the two gradually unfurls a twee narrative whilst driving gameplay forward, yet a blossoming relationship that evokes Portal and raises a few laughs is the real focus.
What kind of course does it run?
Length wise, it should last you five or so hours the first time around. Those hours are a veritable bunch, spanning ground-based sections with 360-degree shooting, airborne shoot ‘em up sections with fixed directional fire, bouts of pacifism that’ll see you dodge your way to victory, and more.
Unlockable speedrun and permadeath modes, as well as leaderboards, add an extra level of challenge that should promise your money’s worth.
Would you recommend RIVE?
We certainly would. RIVE takes inspiration from a number of the right places, melding them into one cohesive whole and wearing that fact on its sleeve to exude a unique charm. When you also consider the exquisite gameplay, it’s hard not to lament the fact we’ll see no more from Two Tribes.
Veteran trainer James ponders how the game that became an instant phenomenon when it launched in July really feels, now the hype has died down and many trainers have hung up their baseball cap.
According to the game, I’ve travelled 225.12km in the past two-and-a-half months. That number alone is a testament to its success, and even if I stopped now there’s no denying I’ve got my fair share of enjoyment. Of course, like any game, there’s been a fair few frustrating moments too.
The experience has also started to evolve as the months have gone on. First the nearby pokémon feature stopped working, then an appraisal feature was added - for you to rate the effectiveness of your favourite creatures and, most recently, a buddy feature which rewards players with the odd candy as they wander around with a specific pokémon in tow.
Those looking for a Pokémon gaming experience like they remember from their childhood are still going to be disappointed
Each of these changes evolved (no pun intended…) the experience of playing the game, adding different levels of depth and interest to how it is played, but ultimately the game is the same now as it was when it launched - and it isn’t for everyone.
Those looking for a Pokémon gaming experience like they remember from their childhood (anything up to 20 years ago, let’s not forget) are still going to be disappointed. The game is less of a game and more of an accompaniment to walking around, its strength is that some pokémon are so rare, or require so much patience to get hold of, that the satisfaction when you finally do is tremendous.
For example, my 100th pokémon was Machoke, nothing special you might think, but around this neck of the woods, finding Machop (its un-evolved form) is something few and far between, meaning I had to rely on the patience of hatching eggs (and crossing everything each time one hatched) and using the buddy feature to grab that all-important last candy.
Since you only get three candy for each pokémon you catch (and another if you sacrifice it by transferring it to the professor) reaching 100 candy to evolve can be a long process taking weeks - or, in the case of Magikarp and Gyrodos, two-and-a-half months and counting.
It’s not just hatching where frustration lies of course, there’s also the process of swiping Poké Balls to catch ‘em all in the first place, which is far from an exact science, as some animals bolt at the first sign of a shiny sphere coming their way while others simply beg to get caught.
Fixing the nearby pokémon feature must be high on Niantic’s priority list, since it makes the process of catching more about seeking them out than waiting for them to spontaneously appear nearby, and the promise of trainer vs trainer battles in the future may lead to some interesting encounters as well.
"Limbo is relentlessly grim and dark, but there are moments of sheer beauty" - Metalrodent
“I just hope that Microsoft get their balls out soon”.
Out of context the above quote would probably sound a bit odd, but that was PTC Crisco’s reaction to this week's PS4 Pro announcement, which earned a fair bit of chatter on the forums. At least he didn’t ask them to show their Red Ring of Death.
PTC Bezza was “not sure about the point either”, but did see how the Pro’s relatively low price point could appeal to someone yet to buy a PS4, while BAMozzy was more concerned about the benefits to gaming than the lack of 4K Blu-ray support:
"I am disappointed in the lack of 4k HDR Blu-ray player but then I haven't watched a Blu-ray disc in years on a console…I buy a console to game and that always takes priority. The PS4 pro is the same price as the XB1s but over 3x as powerful. Given that 99.9999995 of the time I will be looking at games, I pre-ordered the PS4 Pro because I don't want 720p games on a 4K HDR TV."
It took the appearance of Plasma wing for someone to finally echo my thoughts on the matter:
“Correct me if I'm wrong, but the PS4 Pro is just runs games a little shinier and smoother, no other improvements? Entirely pointless for someone that doesn't have 4K capable TV? So which will be better, regular or slim? I'll pick one up in the inevitable Christmas 'sales'.”
Saying that, if the Pro is going to deliver a better PSVR performance, I could be tempted…
On the subject of virtual reality, Sam and I teamed up to bring you three game franchises we think would benefit from the addition of VR, and opened up the floor to forum members to add their own suggestions.
Metalrodent thinks Dishonored VR would be pretty “neat”, Crisco was impressed with my own idea for a VR take on Batman, while MrkDhn10 opted for Portal.
I wholeheartedly agree with the last one. The Aperture Science demo I tried just left me wanting more, and if a fully-fledged Portal VR experience ever came to fruition it would have me throwing my money at a headset.
PTC Hetty set about defending Beyond Eyes this week, a game she felt was underrated and underappreciated. Jamie Rodriguez wasn’t quite on the same wavelength:
Away from the world of gaming, Crisco and Hetty reached a milestone in parenting as their respective children headed off to secondary school for the first time.
"My eldest started Secondary yesterday as well. I was more worried than he was... he's having a whale of a time. I got up at 7.30 this morning and he was sat in the kitchen, dressed and eating breakfast O_o" - Hetty
Talk of school got people reminiscing about their own educational experiences. Sam, Rodent, MrkDhn10 and I all ended up in the same friendless situations at the start of our proper educational careers, but who needs friends when you’ve got skills like these:
That was my very first attempt flying a bi-plane in the recent Battlefield 1 beta, which also received a mixed reaction in the forums (the beta that is, not my flying skills, which I’m sure were universally thought to be rubbish).
Plas has been strangely silent on the fail front recently, so the above clip will have to do for your fail of the week. I can only assume that over the past few weeks his gaming skills have improved drastically, so here’s a stock fail I had in the back burner in case of such a drought:
Back to the beta and Jam felt things were a little too slow for a Battlefield game, and thinks Titanfall 2 may be more his bag. DE4N MUFC is going all out and ordering the Ultimate Edition, and Jonbhoy69 thought the whole thing was great and felt “very authentic”.
Crisco didn’t fare too well, saying that while he would be interested in the campaign he has “better multiplayer games to play”, although he does concede that “chopping someone from horseback does feel awesome”.
Metalrodent is taking the commendable approach of playing the game in the most historically accurate way he can:
"For the record I'll be playing it vintage style the whole way - no quasi historical full auto guns just bolt action rifles (and pistols). The Gewehr is already clearly the weapon of choice for this; total beast, two shot kill and you can cock a second shot quicker than they can react often"
It turns out Rodent’s a bit of dab hand with artillery, as the below clip shows when he was testing out the shell drop physics:
We’ll finish up with screenshots supplied by the ever reliable Rodent, who graced the thread with some Dead or Alive action shots, including this one of Marie:
To be fair, he did balance it out with the following image of a “buff guy kicking a teenage boy”. We’re all about balance at PTC.
Seeing as the Battlefield 1 beta wrapped up this week, I thought it would be rather fitting for our duke box choice to be the main theme from my first ever experience with the franchise, Battlefield 3. Enjoy!
It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a sucker for a ‘walking simulator’ – as my love for Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture and Firewatch prove. Beyond Eyes is another one of those games – but unlike the multi-award winning Rapture and the critically acclaimed Firewatch, Beyond Eyes is a game that for the most part, slipped under the radar, and also fell victim to some particularly scathing (and, in my opinion, unfair) reviews.
For those of you who haven’t played it (and I strongly suggest you do), Beyond Eyes is the story of a young girl called Rae. Blinded by an accident involving fireworks in her younger years, Rae is left with little to inspire her through her childhood – until the appearance of her beloved cat, Nani.
Nani is Rae’s companion and only friend, so when his visits become less frequent, and eventually he doesn’t return one day, Rae decides to go out and find him. As someone who had sight but now does not, everything Rae comes into contact with is unfamiliar to her. She is essentially in an entirely new world; one which you discover with her, uncovering your surroundings in a beautifully realised watercolour landscape as Rae moves around.
To my delight, I became totally absorbed in Rae’s picturesque world the more I played Beyond Eyes. I felt immensely empathetic towards Rae, who is around the same age as one of my own children. Sometimes, she will hear things and imagine them to be entirely different to how they are in reality, and in these brief moments her childlike imagination is immediately obvious – she sees a running water drain as a beautiful, statuesque water fountain; and rats scratching in a shed as her own Nani scratching at a tree. She is often frightened and cowers from loud noises, invoking an immense feeling of protection towards Rae – you want to make sure she is safe.
It's in this provocation of feelings that Beyond Eyes excels where so many other games fail. It may not be as long as many titles - there’s a few hours of gameplay, max, possibly a little more if you replay for the sake of Trophies - but the lasting impression those few hours leave upon you when you’ve played it through to completion are enough to make every second worthwhile.
I know, a game about a blind girl and her cat was always going to tug at the heartstrings, but this game does it without even using words, you’re told a story purely through a child’s senses and imagination. And it’s this innocent and naïveté that gives the game its quintessential charm and beauty.
What games do you feel are underappreciated? Perhaps there’s a game from your past that you remember fondly, but nobody else recalls? Let us know in the comments below or on the forums.
I’ll be honest, I was very sceptical of virtual reality’s potential to make an impact in today’s gaming landscape. It’s probably because the two platforms I use (Xbox One and a very basic laptop) are both incompatible with the current, and upcoming, headsets on the market. There was a small part of me that wanted VR to fail as a result.
While I was hacking away at 6ft skeletons and being dwarfed by an even more terrifying GLaDOS, I thought of a couple of games that would benefit from the implementation of virtual reality. As it’s the only VR set I’ve yet to try, my ideas are naturally focused around the Vive and its hardware, but Sam has helpfully stopped this piece becoming a total HTC love-in by coming up with a title he’d like to see make it to PlayStation VR.
XCOM is all about surveying the battlefield whilst deducing a plan of action appropriate to how the conflict is playing out - attack, defend, or more often in my case, retreat. VR would allow for a closer engagement with the battlefield, giving players a better idea of how the forthcoming conflict is likely to play out. The Vive’s use of spatial tracking could also go a long way in making players feel like a real commander, allowing them to walk around the map and quite literally hand pick units with the motion controllers.
This freedom of movement could also benefit the combat experience. Rather than relying on a lottery, as is the current XCOM set up, selecting a unit to attack with would instead see the player step into the role of that soldier and take control of things personally. With the Vive it would be possible to peek around cover, dodge incoming fire and line up shots for yourself, making the turn-based combat system that little bit more fluid.
I know it’s being done with Arkham VR, but hear me out, a solo sleuth-’em-up this ain't.
During my time with Vive, there were numerous moments when the demo handler would call out advice to me as he watched my actions play out on a PC monitor. This backseat gamer got me thinking that while VR headsets may not be the most inclusive way to game, there is scope for some sort of co-op.
The person wearing the VR headset could play as Batman and explore Gotham, while another person would step into the role of Babara ‘Oracle’ Gordon. While Batman would handle the combat side of things with motion controlled punch-ups, the other person playing as Oracle on the PC could use the character’s hacking and espionage skills to aid Bruce and his alter ego in detective work, offering up completely different yet tandem experiences.
It could also work in reverse, the PC player controlling an Arkham-like experience, whilst the one with the headset enters the matrix, so to speak.
The idea appears to have already been explored in DC’s Birds of Prey comic series, but it’d be great to see it come to fruition in this medium.
The PlayStation Move controller is literally a perfect fit for wielding the series' signature net and baton; whilst I realise that ground has already been trodden, instead of giving us an on-rails bastardisation, give us a full-fledged adventure this time around. The game would still work perfectly on the DualShock 4 as well, just like it did on the controller’s great grandson, offering that all important inclusivity PSVR titles like to tout.
Ape Escape's titular primates have character to spare, so it also makes perfect sense to bring players up close and personal with them like never before. We'd be in for a raucous treat similar to Ubisoft's Rabbids VR Ride, only housed in a fleshed out game.
Come on Sony, forget working on the rumoured Knack 2 - nobody wants that - make lightning strike twice and showcase your new tech with Ape Escape instead!
So those were three virtual reality game ideas we at PTC would like to see become genuine reality. What franchise would you like to see get the VR treatment? Let us know over in the forums or comment below.