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Rocket League to release in February on Xbox One

Winner of the The Game Awards’ Indie Game of the Year trophy, Rocket League is now slated to come to the Xbox One in February — roughly six months after it officially released on PS4 and PC.

The developers at Psyonix announced the news Thursday at The Game Awards and revealed a few small add-ons for the Xbox One version including some Halo and Gears of War themed vehicles.

Rocket League is one of the fastest growing games on PS4 with gameplay unlike any other game currently out. The third-person “racing” game isn’t actually a racing game despite the sole use of cars, trucks, and other more exotic vehicles. Players are faced against each other in either 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, or “Chaos” 4v4 matches with rocket propulsion outfitting the hunks of metal flying at each other at 100 mph with one objective — score. Players are needed to push a giant soccer ball into a goal to score. In this sense, it functions much more like an sports game rather than a racing game.

Xbox One gamers have been missing out on this game’s frenetic action and competitive excitement for far too long and the reveal should certainly be exciting for those gamers, but there is one catch that makes the Xbox version stand out among the PS4 and PC iterations.

There will be no cross-platform play available. PS4 and PC players have been (and will continue to be) able to play with each other, but because of restrictions from Microsoft cross-platform play is not currently permitted on Xbox One.

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Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes… Probably

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Look at how much fun they’re having! It’s all lies! No one maintains this much of a relaxed demeanor with a timer quickly cycling to zero. Today we’re going to take a fresh look at the newly released bomb defusal game, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.

So, what exactly is Keep Talking? Well thematically there’s not much going on. You’re in what looks like a military bomb-testing facility with a suitcase-sized explosive device wired with all manner of devilish puzzles to solve. It’s intended to be a multiplayer experience with the bomb technician viewing the device and giving information to assistants who have access to a manual. I’m sure it could be played single player but what are we, psychopaths?

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So, like any normal person, I teamed up with two buddies on stream and decided to save the world over and over and over again.

The puzzles are intuitive in their design giving you the classic “which wire should I cut”, symbols and ciphers, enticing buttons, and freaking Morse Code! Yes, if you’re a sailor or were born in the 1800’s, please contact me, we need help with that part.

Don’t even get me started on the alarms that blare, the gas ventilation, and the lights that turn off at every opportunity. Granted, it’s only for higher difficulties, but the challenge is graciously accepted. I couldn’t help but feel that the room was trying to kill me, and in some cases perhaps my own team was trying to kill me. It was funny, to me at least, when you hear a string of numbers and out of nowhere the deafening cry of an alarm clock shocks you into a state of disarray. It was like calling the ISS inside a herd of elephants, something I would totally do over and over again.

The fantastic heart-pounding action track from the blast end of the timer was even more invigorating as it gave you a solid minute to relinquish fear through your steadily evacuating sweat glands.

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Modules on top of your modules

It’s all in good fun though. On several occasions we had never dealt with a particular module and decided to wing it. We found, through trial and error, that the instructions are articulated in a way that makes them fair but punishing to those who don’t pay close attention. It can get confusing at times, but perfect play with practice and the ideal adage “Keep talking” both ring true for anyone who plays this several times.

After awhile the initiated quickly develop a shorthand and the vocabulary becomes secondary. At least that was our experience. We love puzzles and couldn’t help but fall victim to KTaNE‘s enticing throes. Perhaps the biggest draw is getting multiple people together and developing a multi-tiered operation. We traded information at everything less than lightning speed all to one source who had to process and execute each order with impunity or else, you know, we all die. It was the people who made the bomb interesting, who added the element of imperfection to a very by-the-numbers experience.

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For being a mechanically technical game KTaNE utilizes abstraction and the necessity of interpersonality to do what party games do best: create an atmosphere of raw enjoyment. Time is the enemy, the bomb is the obstacle, and together the engagement of friends or family steps KTaNE above other couch co-ops. One screw up might lead to death, but everyone is responsible. The resets are easy and the time it takes to disarm a bomb is nearly microscopic, so if you fail then there’s no hard feelings. You just move to the next challenge and keep on trucking.

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The immersion grows

Denying this game any modesty, I can say without a doubt that I’m seriously excited for the next step in Steel Crate Games’ IP. And given that I have yet to master all the puzzles and permutations, I can’t even imagine how many hours I’m going to kill(pun intended) inside that cold and dark concrete-padded room, but at least I know I won’t be alone.


Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes is developed and produced by Steel Crate Games and can be purchased on Steam for $14.99, additional platforms pending.

 

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Witness ‘The Witness’ on the first month of 2016

Used as a majoring selling point for Sony when the PS4 was about to debut in store shelves yet remained silent since it’s delay from its original 2015 launch schedule, gamers had been wondering “what happened to The Witness?” That question has just been answered.

Coming straight from Jonathan Blow, the designer of Braid, The Witness will finally be playable on January 26, 2016.

The Witness is a first-person adventure game where you explore an island and solve puzzles. According to Blow’s blog post, he claims that the game can be beaten from 8 to 12 hours but completionists or people who want more can get up to 80 or 100 hours of gameplay. PS4 owners will be the first to play this long anticipated game with an eventual release on Windows and iOS.

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Resident Evil themed third-person shooter to release on PS4 and PC

Capcom’s continued flood of Resident Evil branded games is bringing another title to the market — this time a third-person shooter with faster and more intense action.

Umbrella Corps takes players into the battles and history of the Umbrella Corporation with many of the environments being derived from the Resident Evil universe. The game will be solely multiplayer with team-based battles.

The initial playable demo will give fans and critics the opportunity to play a 3v3 One Life match at the Tokyo Game Show September 17-20.

The game will offer a variety of close-quarter combat game modes all designed for fast-paced gameplay.

“…players can compete online in a variety of unique close quarter battle modes. Each adrenaline-fueled match will be short and brutal and is designed for quick and engaging play.” – Capcom Press release

The title will be a console exclusive on PS4 along with its release on PC.

Umbrella Corps will release in North America and Europe early 2016 and will retail at $29.99.

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Digital gaming is on the rise; up 11% in August

Digital gaming is the future — or perhaps digital gaming is the present. As the disc-based, physical model of video games continues to shrink with the new digital-heavy approach of the Xbox One and PS4 it’s no surprise to see each month the market continue to expand.

SuperData‘s recent analysis shows nearly a billion dollars (exactly $979 million) were spent on digital games in the month of August — an 11% increase from where it was just one year ago.

PC gamers have been a steady source of revenue for digital gaming for many years even before the Xbox One and PS4 consoles with online stores like Steam and Origin.

PC gamers and console gamers accounted for $250 million of the $979 million and with many major titles like Fallout 4, Halo 5, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and more on the way, it’s a fairly safe bet to make this number is only going to go up.

SuperData suggests that this could be the biggest holiday-season yet for the digital gaming industry.

The latest Apple TV also comes into play a bit, and despite the excitement some may have for the additional gaming features in the console the limitations of the platform is far too great for it to take any sizeable chunk of the market.

SuperData explains that “…mobile gamers are just that: they prefer to play on their smartphone or tablet and are ultimately much less likely to switch to a large screen in their living room.”

The expectations for the Apple TV as a gaming console should be set very low. There is a slim-to-none threat of the platform threatening even Nintendo’s WiiU console let alone the major Xbox One, PS4, or PC gaming platforms.

Overall, gaming as a whole is in a fantastic place as a medium with the launch of YouTube Gaming helping popularity stay on it’s skyrocketing pace along with twitch.tv merging the video and interactive media together.

 

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Play Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows on September 17

Yacht Club Games has finally declared when Shovel Knight’s DLC will be released. Every version of Shovel Knight, which includes the 3DS, Wii U, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, and PC, is receiving a free update that will add a new campaign for the game called Plague of Shadows on September 17, 2015.

Read information about the game that Yacht Club Games has on their blog below.

Description

sk_PlagueOfShadows_02Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows is a free expansion for Shovel Knight, a sweeping classic action adventure game that won over 70 Game of the Year Awards in 2014. You play as Plague Knight, the villainous master of alchemy, in a quest all his own. Using his maniacal scientific mind, Plague Knight is seeking to concoct Serum Supernus, the Ultimate Potion. However, to retrieve these ingredients, he must extract them from his
former allies… the villainous knights of the Order of No Quarter! World class platforming, music, storytelling, and art all return in Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows; an explosive quest with a new play style, new story, new bosses, and more!

Features

An adventure featuring a New Star: Plague Knight!plagueKnight010

  • See your favorite game from a new point of view! Play as the explosive trickster Plague Knight with new story and gameplay!
  • Join Plague Knight on his quest to overthrow the Order of No Quarter! Become the ultimate alchemist… and maybe find some romance, too…

New Gameplay

  • Explode onto the scene as Plague Knight! Use explosives, bomb jumps, and alchemy to blast your way through the game in a whole new way!
  • Crafting Comes to Shovel Knight with the Alchemy System! Collect loot and use alchemy to craft equipment and power-ups
  • Collect new recipes and reagents to become the master of disaster!

Remixed Game Content

  • New objectives and enemies!
  • Brand new areas and new paths through classic levels!
  • New bosses!
  • Is your science up to snuff? Take on Plague Knight specific challenges with new Feats!
  • Prove your mettle in Challenge Mode. Take on speed run challenges, boss rematches, and other rule-benders… and expect some tricky puzzles too!

monaPotionarium480Yacht Club Games has also mentioned that you will need to complete the original game before you will be able to play the new campaign and Challenge Modes. However, if you have lost a save file or have repurchased the game on another platform, the developers are willing to offer a special code that unlocks the new content.

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Latest Mad Max trailer shows off in-game universe

Developed by Avalanche Studios and Warner Bros Interactive, Mad Max is reasonably expected to have a high level of turmoil going by the movie’s standards, and the latest trailer shows off exactly that in its launch trailer.

The game is being run on the same engine as Shadow or Mordor and Batman Arkham Knight so the gameplay is very similar, but the added energetic style with an overabundance of explosions and hand-to-hand combat give Mad Max a very definable and differentiating feel relative to those games.

While the universe is the same as that of the movie, this story takes players through a different narrative. Though Mad Max still “does what he does best” in the game in both combat and car customization — one of the more iconic aspects of the franchise.

The vehicle is a players best friend in this post-apocalyptic open-world desert so Avalanche Studios has been certain to include plenty of options and ways to tinker your car to make it your own.

Mad Max is available now on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3, and PC.

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Spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, Yooka-Laylee confirmed for PC and console release

Sporting an eccentric art-style with a popping color scheme, Yooka-Laylee has impressed gamers enough to entail a full release on PC and all major new-generation consoles.

The adventure/platformer game has reached £1.2 million ($1.8 million) in less than 24 hours since it appeared on kickstarter. The developers at Playtonic Games are now just tacking on features and working to make Yooka-Laylee the most polished game it could be.

Yooka (bottom) and Laylee (top) are the newest stars of this "Rare-vival"
Yooka (bottom) and Laylee (top) are the newest stars of this “Rare-vival”

Made from the creative directors and developers behind Banjo Kazooie and Donkey Kong Country, the style of the game is immediately familiar to players of the classic games and one look at the gameplay the mechanics of that remains as well. Even the two-character duo approach is done in the same fashion as it was in the past though this time a chameleon and a “wise-cracking” bat take on the protagonist roles.

“We always sought for the game to be a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie just because platformers haven’t really been around in recent years,” said Steve Mayles, character artist and animator at Playtonic.

The entire team at the studio has so much familiarity with each other — a stark contract from the typical AAA studios. The whole team can be certainly motivated now by both the extreme showing of love from fans and the nearly two million dollar budget. And there’s still 44 days remaining for more funds to be generated to support the developers.

Yooka-Laylee is expected to release in late 2016 on PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U however an exact release date hasn’t been announced yet.

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The best to come from the GTA V PC Editor

Rockstar’s PC release of Grand Theft Auto V had much more than just improved visuals and technical capabilities. The major new film-capture feature, Editor, has already gotten extensive use by fans with some high quality clips already being put together. Here’s some of the best to be made within these first few weeks.

 

Super Clown

A violent rampage, physics defying stunts, an eerie mood, and a creepy clown — what else could you need to make an awesome short clip in GTA V?

Trevor Philips in Jackass

On the other side of the coin some light-hearted chaos centered around the insane mind of Trevor Philips. All of the bone-breaking jumps are very believable for Trevor’s meth-fueled world.

The Epic Meth Lab Shootout

This is one of most well-made clips that takes a cinematic approach to a mission that is actually already in the game. The “Quentin Tarantino style” approach to the destruction of the O’Neil brothers’ operation looks fantastic with some nice special effects and kick-ass music.

Franklin – Time

With a dark-stormy backdrop and a narrative to fit it, Franklin – Time is able to actually convey a fairly deep story in just a four minute video. The director, Jack Hunt, does an extremely good construction of tracking shots with great lighting effects throughout the clip.

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Worldwide game revenues expected to reach $91.5 billion by the end of 2015

With the new generation consoles just starting to hit their stride, new VR technology being revealed and released, and markets around the world flourishing, the games marketing research team at Newzoo is anticipating massive revenue gains by the end of 2015.

America alone has leveled out at a steady $22~ billion but the industry is expecting to see massive gains in China, the Asian Pacific, and Latin America. China will now surpassed that of the American market with a $22.3 billion value after a 23% increase over the last year according to Newzoo’s most recent report. The exploding eSports scene and mobile platforms have been contributing significantly to this recent surge.

Tablets and smartphones especially have undergone significant growth with tablet games up 27% and phone games up 21%. Between the two platforms they take on a third of all industry value with $30 billion.

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PC gaming is still the dominant platform for video games today.

 

Despite all this success handheld consoles are still on the decline with a 17% projected loss. The fall of the Nintendo DS and the PSP are clearly evident, and it seems that it won’t be changing anytime soon especially with the new, greater convenience of smartphone games.

Though the overall success of the industry is fantastic as it currently stands, gamers and investors can expect even greater gains in 2016 and 2017. Virtual reality headsets are just beginning to expand and with Valve and Sony readying their new tech for the end of this year a new sub-industry will bring even more revenue in for the companies that get involved early.