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GTA V Michael

Rockstar compensate GTA V players

A lot of ink, web space and airtime has been spent telling the world about the woefully and completely mis-managed launch of GTA V Online. Many players, and I know I was one such ‘player’, found characters would just disappear, in-game cash would vanish and more worryingly progress was either siffled or worse eliminated. However, many players, like myself, are now in for some compensation. Don’t worry we are not talking InjuryLawyers4TheirBankBalance.com, no we are talking about in-game cash compensation, as Rockstar Games, the developer, announced that it will pay two “stimulus package” installments worth $250,000 into all affected gamers in-game bank accounts. This means that for all the technical glitches and the loss of perks, Rockstar will drop a cool ‘half mil’ on our in-game economy. However, as with all such ‘freebies’, there are certain stipulations. To qualify for the compensation, firstly, you should have been playing GTA online for a minimum of one hour anytime during the month of October 2013. Secondly, you need to install upcoming 1.044(a) update patch for Grand Theft Auto 5 which is winging its way to your console soon – so you can experience GTA in glitch-free glory! Therefore, If you have been affected by GTA online glitches and match the criteria of having played an hour in October and will download the upcoming patch you will receive a cool half million to spend on your GTA online game play. I know I am looking forward for the cash as I have gone some catching up to do!

GTA V Helicopter

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Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs delayed till Spring 2014

Released on the Ubisoft blog on October 15th, news has spread throughout the gaming community that the expected revolutionary game, Watch Dogs, release date has been delayed until the Spring season of 2014. Joining Dark Souls II for the spotlight of next year, many fans of Ubisoft have raised concerns about the delay, wondering if there are other reasons.

Ubisoft predicted this concern however, and added the following statement on their blog, “We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune each detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience.”

So, they’re concerned about quality. This is something great to hear, especially for PC gamers around the world who have dealt with the annoyances of companies such as Paradox Interactive and Creative Assembly releasing games that should have probably had a couple more months in beta testing phase, before release. One of the more recent examples of this popular gripe from gamers is Rome II: Total War, where many fans expressed dissatisfaction due to the “unfinished” feeling they encountered during their first week of conquering barbaric Gauls and mighty Carthaginians. Couple gameplay faults with graphical glitches and you have an unfortunate recipe for boycotts and buyer hesitance for future game releases.

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I happen to be one of those gamers, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the decision. Dealing with crippling gameplay issues when you were so excited to play a game can really disillusion you from the experience, even when the problems eventually get fixed. I remember the horror show of Empire: Total War and Civilization V when both games were just released, and let me tell you… I did not play those games again for over a year, until I figured I’d give them another shot only to end up absolutely loving them now that they weren’t broken beyond recognition.

It’s unfortunately a common problem with strict deadlines, pleasing a publisher, and trying to fulfill your promises. If you say you’re going to release a game on October 1st, and it turns out you can’t do that, well, you either have to delay or deal with the backlash as you upload a patch every week to fix and add content. It’s tricky, do you want the criticism from delaying or the criticism from necessary patching? Personally, I prefer the delay. I’m totally looking forward to Watch Dogs and I’d definitely want my first experience to leave me wanting more instead of trying to erase the memory from my head.

Another theory swirling around is that Ubisoft wants to split two, potentially, huge success stories. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is set to be released at the end of the month on the 29th and the Creed series has been known to be widely successful. When you consider this angle, on top of the fact that there have already been many excellent releases this Autumn, (GTA V, anyone?), you may understand the financial incentive behind delaying the release of Watch Dogs to ensure that there is sufficient hype and big sales in the first week of release.

All hypothetical aside, the facts are simple. Watch Dogs has been delayed and any fan that was looking forward to playing it this year will have to wait until next year. In the meantime, a game of solitaire is sure to pass the time. My current record of 7 wins in solitaire compared to my 80 losses certainly leaves me wishing for that hacker persona Ubisoft has come to make us desire.

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First look: Battlefield 4 (Xbox One)

UGP had a play of the eagerly anticipated Battlefield 4 at Eurogamer Expo, and as expected it looks blooming brilliant. Needless to say the queue was monumental, but once we got our hands on a controller, it was very much worth the wait.

I played “Obliteration” mode in a large multi-player session. The objective was simple, retrieve a bomb and blow the opposition up. The game looks incredible – from blades of grass to the barrel of your gun, the detail is epic. I had a fairly poor game (2 kills 4 deaths), probably due to the fact that amidst the frenetic battle, I was peering around at the environment with my jaw tickling the floor.

What struck me in the limited time we were given was the audio. I can pay Battlefield 4 no bigger compliment than to say I genuinely felt like I was in a warzone. Given the visual pyrotechnics, it is actually quite frightening when you see and hear a bloody great tank heading your way. It really is spine tingling stuff.  Battlefield 4 multi-player is also extremely tricky, but I love the fact that you really have to fight for supremacy, much as you would in a real world battle.

I enjoyed my sneak peek so much that I genuinely considered stealing the console and game, and making a break for the border. The weeks leading up to Battlefield 4’s release promise to go as slowly as the queue in which we waited. I’m looking forward to this game more than Christmas, and I love Christmas.

 

Battlefield 4 will be available to pre-order from the UGP store soon!

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Call of Duty: Ghosts Multiplayer Reveal

 The hotly anticipated multiplayer reveal for Call Of Duty: Ghosts took place last night, and with it comes a tidal wave of drool from fans of the franchise. The danger was always to over-promise and under-deliver, but when the claims are backed up with hard video evidence, they become indisputable, and pretty bloody exciting. It is hard to know where to begin with so many new features; we’ll start with the some of the new Game Modes.

‘Cranked’ is the game that will get a lot of tongues wagging. Team Deathmatch on steroids would seem an apt description, as you will now play against the clock after recording your first kill. If you dispatch an enemy within the time limit, the clock resets. If not, you go boom! It’s simple, intense and bad news for ‘campers’. We like it!

One particularly exciting feature across all game modes is the in game field orders. Players will pick up a briefcase containing field orders, such as ‘kill three enemies whilst prone’. If you die before completing the task, you will drop the briefcase and another player will have the chance to unlock an in game care package by carrying out the order. This will add a whole new tactical dimension within ‘cranked’ and other modes, giving you the choice whether to be tactical in your strategy, or continue racking up kills as normal.

 ‘Search and Rescue’ inherits traits from the traditional ‘kill confirmed’ and ‘search and destroy’ game modes, that we all know and love. Players will be able to experience one of the most notable new features in COD: Ghosts; the accompaniment of your attack dog. As in ‘kill confirmed’ the impetus is on collecting tags. In ‘search and rescue’, collecting downed enemy tags eliminates them from the round while collecting friendly tags restores your teammates to the game.

The way we build our loadouts has undergone radical changes. Gone are the days of classes, and we welcome the dawn of a new era; create a soldier. In place of classes are 10 unique soldiers, all of which are assigned to your very own ‘squad’.  Once you have built your squad, you can pit it against enemy squads in multiple ways. You can use your squad online in squad v squad matches. Even if you are offline, your squad will continue to do battle with other online players, earning you points towards unlocks. With over 20,000 variations available to you when creating a soldier, you’ll be left forever fiddling and tweaking, trying to create your ultimate instrument of warfare. And, lest we forget, just for you girl gamers there is another first; female soldiers.  Ghosts will use a similar system to the Pic 10 that was so well received in Black Ops II. There are over 30 more weapons than in previous titles, bringing the total count up to near 70. Unlocking weapons is no longer level based, and is now available at XP cost. An especially eye-catching addition is the Marksman Rifle, which will be welcomed by those who like to kill with finesse. The dual-render scope will allow players to hone in on their targets whilst retaining their peripheral vision around the scope.

Kill-streaks have been given a revamp, with over 20 new deadly additions. ‘Juggernaut Maniac’ sounds ridiculously deadly, as does the ability to rain death from a helicopter using a mini-gun. The return of support, assault and specialist strike packages is welcomed, and will give greater variants to players’ kill streaks armory.

Ghosts will change the way we use our surroundings when playing the game. Player triggered events will have a significant impact on how we use the environment to our advantage. The destructible environment can be used to create cover and vantage points. Kill-streaks can decimate the landscape, changing the face of the map for the rest of the game. A hidden care package somewhere on the map will add an extra incentive, but it remains to be seen whether that will be a nuisance having players simply learning the locations and solely focusing on attaining the care package. Your soldiers’ interaction with the environment is vastly improved with the introduction of contextual leaning, mantling and knee sliding. Players will be able to take effective cover and lean around obstacles to spot the enemy, without leaving yourself exposed to enemy fire. The new ‘mantling’ technique will allow your soldier to hurdle obstacles in a far more fluid motion, enabling you to keep moving quickly around the map. Soldiers will use knee sliding for snap changes of direction and surprising enemies by suddenly rounding corners.

For those of you who enjoy fighting within a clan, Ghosts will offer plenty of new ways to enjoy the game. The introduction of Clan versus Clan playlists allows players to exclusively battle other clans online, and gamers with both current and next gen consoles can be in the same clan. Without doubt the most eagerly anticipated aspect of clan gaming is Clan Wars. Every two weeks, a new war will start, in which clans will battle to take control of territories. Once a clan has gained control of a territory, they will then defend this against all the other clans, making it nigh on impossible for one clan to dominate.

The new audio experience promises to give greater realism to gamers. The addition of ‘locational battle chatter’ means players can be alerted to an enemy position allowing them time to plot their next move. This will surely lead to a more immersive gaming experience in all the game modes, actually using teammates to help you overcome an enemy.

Call Of Duty: Ghosts will offer a never before seen level of features outside of the game itself. You can now take the game with you wherever you go, using the new Call Of Duty: Ghosts app. With the app, you can access your stats at anytime, and even when playing the game, you can choose your load-out for the next map. Clans can communicate with each other outside of the game using the clan chat device on mobiles or tablets, meaning Call of Duty needn’t be far from your mind.

There is good news for those of you who won’t be purchasing the next gen consoles upon release. All achievements unlocked on the current gen consoles can be carried over to the next gen game, as and when you buy it. All the DLC (down-loadable content) will be attached to your account not your console, meaning if you do upgrade to the next gen console, all of your content will be there waiting for you.

Overall, Call Of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer looks incredibly promising for fans of the franchise, and if Ghosts can deliver on its considerable claims, then it may well head into the new era of gaming retaining its status as the benchmark for first person shooters. All will be revealed soon. We can hardly wait.

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GTA5 already hacked and available for download

Round of applause for DRM, 4 days before launch and Grand Theft Auto V is readily available to download for free, complete…if you have a modded Xbox or PS3.1071563_10151847026721208_152330978_o

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Grand Theft Auto 5 PC petition

Grand Theft Auto 5 is out tomorrow for the Xbox360 and PS3 but alas, PC gamers are left out in the wilderness. Amazon, are advertising that it’ll be released for PC sometime this Autumn but no matter how hard we try or who we talk to, we can not confirm this. The inevitable online petition has being doing the rounds and an incredible 350,000 signatures have now been penned.

Has the landmark prompted the publisher to realise that they’d accidentally forgotten to announce our version? No, of course not. GTA5′s release campaign is likely comprised of a tightly controlled and meticulously planned set of stages, and – as always – making a PC announcement falls somewhere behind the console releases.

Maybe they’re scared that if they did announce a PC release, the other systems would be a barren sales wasteland. We’re just too powerful, that’s our problem. Probably not, but a late announcement isn’t against type. GTA4′s PC port was first announced four months after its console release.

Of course, Rockstar could instead be persuaded by the that aims to stop PC owners ever getting a copy of GTA5. The notably less popular petition, created “so PC Gamers learn their lesson and stop stealing games,” has now reached slightly over 10,000 signatures.

 

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