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Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age Spring Trailer

Square Enix has today posted a new cinematic trailer of their summer release, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. The release date for the exclusively PlayStation 4 title is drawing near, with fans able to get their hands on the latest instalment on July 11 this year.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age transports players to the grand world of Ivalice, a place where magic surrounds all and airships fill the sky. As war engulfs the Dalmasca’s kingdom, ruin and uncertainty consume the lands. The only surviving heir to the Dalmascan throne, Princess Ashe, commits herself the resistant forces determined to liberate her country. With Vaan, an orphan of the war, by her side the unlikely allies and their companions embark on the mission to free their homeland.

 

 

Originally launched in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 system and known for introducing many landmark features to the FINAL FANTASY series, FINAL FANTASY XII takes place in the grand world of Ivalice, where the small kingdom of Dalmasca is caught between warring empires Archadia and Rozarria. The lone heir to the Dalmascan throne, Princess Ashe, has devoted herself to forming a resistance to liberate her homeland while Vaan, a young thief, dreams of flying free in the skies. The story begins when these two fated individuals meet, changing the destiny of the world’s greatest nation.

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Final Fantasy XII The Zodiac Age – 2017 Spring Trailer

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Microsoft’s E3 Conference: A Quick Roundup of Events

xbox-one-consoleMicrosoft is one of the videogame sector’s biggest players. It is a giant among minnows. Its videogame division has revenues of £5.5Bn and it is a massive player in both the console and PC gaming environments. Because of Microsoft’s role as console maker, games maker and all-out technology superpower, their E3 conferences are usually a big fan favourite. This year was no different.

First, we need to highlight something. It’s something really, really big. Microsoft at last year’s E3 talked about the Xbox One as an ‘all round entertainment platform’. Yesterday’s announcement was a little less grandiose as the focus of the entire event was on gaming. This is surprising as ‘entertainment’ was no-where to be seen? No Steven Spielberg made TV shows or music or social media apps, just boring old video games? What happened?

Microsoft in the past year has been ‘listening to fans’ and these ‘listening exercises’ resulted in some wholesale changes – not least of all, the boot given to the Kinect sensor. The changes were predicated on fan’s requirements that Microsoft, in a way, goes back to basics. This is what Microsoft’s E3 endeavours were all about.

They started off by ‘dropping’ the One. Not one mention of the Xbox One. It was all ‘Xbox’ and nothing else. The games demoed included Halo 5, Forza Horizon 2 along with Fable Legends. In the ‘active’ camps they announced Dance Central as a somewhat ‘Kinect’ ready title. However, they continued with a nice little exclusive surrounding a new game called Scalebound – a dragon fighting epic.

In usual Microsoft fashion, ‘exclusive’ DLC packs are going to be made available for Call of Duty: Advance Warfare before PS4 and additionally for Tom Clancy’s The Divison which will have special DLC features. Another ‘gem’ from the past was the announcement that Microsoft and Real-Time Worlds are working on a re-boot, of sorts, of the cult classic Crackdown.

These titles showcase a changing attitude from Microsoft, led by Phil Spencer, as they move away from the entertainment-only focus which was a disaster first-time round for the Xbox (One). The core branding is a nod to the disaster of the Xbox One and Kinect launch. They are offering fans a Mea Culpa – an apology – of sorts by offering some great next-gen content. This is the key here, as last year developers were working on multi platforms (i.e. PS3/PS4 and Xbox 360 and Xbox One). This time round they are just working on next-gen – this can be seen in the quality. So thank goodness Microsoft has seen the error in its ways and have found new traction and new motivation to move forwards.

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Activision’s E3 Expo Lineup

With just over 24 hours till the official opening of this year’s E3 Expo, Activision have revealed what they’ll be wetting our appetites with at the show. Activision will be showcasing what they’re dubbing as “a new era” for the Call of Duty franchise with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the latest in the innovative Skylanders series and the hugely anticipated Destiny will be playable on the show floor, as will Skylander Trap Team.

“This year’s E3 has been years in the making for us,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, Inc. “Each game we are showcasing is the result of our commitment to quality and innovation: our first 3-year development and our first new lead developer on the  Call of Duty franchise in a decade with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Our biggest innovation since we invented the Toys-to-Life category with  Skylanders Trap Team. And the result of over four years of passion, partnership and investment to bring Bungie’s vision for Destiny to life. I think this is the best slate in Activision’s history and I can’t wait for gamers to get a closer look.”

 


Call of Duty Advanced Warfare 1Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

While Sledgehammer Games had a hand in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, they’re now running the show with the development of their first Call of Duty title in the new tri-annual Call of Duty cycle. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare promises to deliver gamers a truly exceptional experience with an immersive and compelling narrative, stunning visuals and all new gameplay which will redefine how Call of Duty is played. With the power of a mechanical exoskeleton, players become an advanced future soldier empowered by an arsenal of never before seen weaponry, new abilities and gameplay mechanics to match. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the first Call of Duty is the first in the franchise to be developed with the now current-gen Xbox One and PS4 consoles as the primary development focus. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare retains its early November slot, this year releasing on the 4th on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and Windows PC.

 

Destiny_31Destiny

From the creators of the infamous Halo, Bungie brings us Destiny. An epic action-packed adventure title set in a mysterious universe that resembles our own. Destiny is trailblazing a whole new way to play first person shooters with a story-driven universe filled with single player, cooperative, competitive, public, and social activities, all seamlessly connected in a vast, persistent universe, creating the world’s first “Shared World Shooter”. Players take the role of Guardians of the last city on Earth, wielding incredible powers and exploring the extremities of our solar system. From September 9th, Destiny will be available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. 

 

 

Skylanders-Trap-Team_Snap-ShotSkylanders Trap Team

After the roaring success of Skylanders, see  our review here, Toys for Bob are hard at work creating Skylanders Trap Team. In the next chapter of the Skylanders journey, kinds will be able to take characters out of the digital world and bring them into the real world. In  Skylanders Trap Team, Portal Masters seek out and defeat the most wanted villains in all of Skylands, taking them out the game by capturing them in Traps. Players can then send the villains back into the game where they become playable characters, fighting for good. Skylanders Trap Team will include the Traptanium Portal, a ring of magical energy that enables kids to not only bring their Skylanders to life, but also capture villains using Traps.  Skylanders Trap Team introduces new heroes known as Trap Masters and will be available on October 5th in North America for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, Nintendo’s Wii and Wii U. A completely unique version will be available on the Nintendo 3DS hand-held system.

 

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E3 Expo LIVE on UGP

E3 Expo LIVE right here on UGP!

 

E3 Expo 2014 was a fantastic event with some really awesome unveils and news coming out of L.A.

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Watch-Dogs-Wallpaper-HD

Watchdogs Season Pass details revealed

Today, Ubisoft revealed details of the Season Pass for the open-world, action-adventure game, Watch Dogs. The Watch Dogs Season Pass will give you access to a unique single-player story featuring T-Bone, a brilliant but eccentric hacker; a new Digital Trip game mode, Conspiracy, plus new missions, weapons, outfits and more. Over 25% saving versus buying each piece separately. The Watch Dogs Season Pass will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.

Key features are:

  • All-New Single-Player Story – Take on the role of T-Bone, a brilliant but eccentric hacker who lives by his own rules.
  • Conspiracy! – A new Digital Trip Game Mode that lets players hunt down cyborgs in this mind bending alternate game universe.
  • More single player missions, weapons, and outfits.
  • Save more than 25% over the individual downloadable pack prices.
  • Season Pass holders get one-week early access to all included Watch Dogs add-on content.

 

In Watch Dogs players will assume the role Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker whose criminal past led to a violent family tragedy.  Now on the hunt for those who hurt his family, players will be able to monitor and hack their enemies by manipulating everything connected to the city’s Central Operating System (ctOS). ctOS controls almost every piece of the city’s technology and holds key information on all of the city’s residents. Players will access omnipresent security cameras, download personal information to locate targets, control traffic lights and public transportation to stop enemies, and more. Watch Dogs lets the player use Chicago as their ultimate weapon and exact their own style of revenge. Watch Dogs will be available worldwide on May 27, 2014 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

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Age of Wonders III Launches

This week sees the release of Age of Wonders III, the turn-based strategy game developed by the Dutch Triumph Studios. This game has been on the market in various guises since its inception as World of Wonders way back in 1999, and although the graphics have been overhauled, the concept and gameplay have remained faithful to the winning formula that has gained it a huge following in the gaming community.

Age_of_Wonders_3_Beholder_largeAge of Wonders III takes strategy gaming to new levels with its 4X (explore, expand, exploit and exterminate) principles where you strive to make your empire the dominant one. Each player constructs their society from one of six available species, choosing from humans, draconians, high elves, dwarves, orcs, and goblins, and adapting the unique abilities of their race to suit needs and intentions. Furthermore, there are six different classes a leader can be. The Sorcerer style of leader emphasizes the use of magic for enchantments and summoning powerful beings. The Theocrat constructs an organized religion based society breeding zealots, followers, and religious warriors. The Rogue-style leader favors less direct approaches to situations, employing stealth, thievery and political manipulation as well as using dark magic in both diplomacy and warfare. The Archdruid is a warlock-esque figure who channels the power of nature to their advantage by being very self-sufficient and being able to call upon wild creatures of the forest. The Dreadnaught heads a steampunk styled society, using large industry, machinery and armoury-units like cannons and tanks. Last but not least there are the Warlord-class who specialise in direct conflict and combat tactics.

The game is played via a series of hexagon tiles seen in the isometric and are used to expand an empire out into the world beyond. Because the game is essentially turn-based, it takes on aspects of RPG and becomes an intense strategy-fest where crushing your opponent becomes an exercise in guile. Out and out battles – whether conducted in the open field or as a city siege – take the form of combat within a separate hexagon grid-based 3D battlefield where units are designated both movement and space. Each side can lead up to six units into battle, and work to make best use of them in order to defeat their opponent in an intense battle of wits.

The latest version comes with a number of enhancements, including upgraded gameplay on the battlefield and intensive online multi-player modes that are sure to keep the ardent warrior in you entertained with many hours of excitement and potential extermination of your foes (real or imagined).

Age of Wonders III has been over three years in the making and represents a leap forward in the High Fantasy gaming world. While its launch was finally announced in October 2013, it has been in development since 2010, so there has been ample opportunity to dig out any bugs that may have snuck in there as well as polishing the gameplay. Initially only available for PC, Triumph is preparing to launch the game on Mac OS X later on in the year.

If you’ve not played Age of Wonders before, then you could do much worse than to go out and get yourself a copy, and if you’re an old hand at the genre but don’t have it, why aren’t you up the shops already!?

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