Tag: multiplayer

Gaming Firsts with an Oscar, Olympic Series and Free Xbox Multiplayer.

First Oscar Win for Game Developers

Late last year Respawn Entertainment released Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, a virtual reality first person shooter. To honour the theme of this game, the producers included a gallery mode directed by Anthony Giacchino featuring short films about the veterans of World War II. Included is Colette, the story of her family’s assistance to the French Resistance and her brother’s capture. This 25-minute short rose to fame after winning Best Short Film at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in 2020, and became the first film produced by a video game studio to win an Oscar at the 93rd Academy Awards.

While not directly referenced by the award ceremony, Mr. Giacchino specifically thanked executive producer Peter Hirschmann the director of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond and everyone at Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment, especially Vince Zampella, the Head of Respawn Entertainment, Dusty Welch, Chief Operating Officer also at Respawn Entertainment, and Laura Miele, Chief Studios Officer at Electronic Arts Worldwide Studios. The film was made in conjunction with Oculus and the team at Respawn Entertainment, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts.

Gaming Olympics coming in 2020… sort of.

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) have announced the first Olympic Virtual Series to take place before the Tokyo 2020 Games, running from the 13th May to Jun 23. The series currently includes five different games, of which the physical games will be monitored by apps such as Zwift, an app for bike training, and an open format for rowing. For non-physical competitions, these will be run by their own platforms for the Series and include; Gran Turismo by Polyphony Digital, a car racing game available on PlayStation Consoles; Virtual Regatta, run by Virtual Regatta SAS, an app available on Android and iOS; and eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020, Konami Digital Entertainment’s highly customisable baseball simulator currently available on PS4 and Switch – and only in Japanese. The IOC’s announcement also made it clear that these events will be open to the public and in ways that will “maximise (sic) online mass participation and prioritise (sic) inclusivity and participation”.

Free to Play games on Xbox now Free to Play.

Microsoft announced on the 21st of April that from that day, all Free to Play games will now no longer require an Xbox Live Gold Subscription for access to online play. This includes Looking for Group options and party chats for those games. The exceptions to this are trials, pre-order demos, or early access for paid games. These will still require membership to Xbox Live Gold to access online multiplayer content. If you currently are subscribed to Xbox Live specifically for this purpose, Microsoft is offering a one-time option to immediately cancel and receive credit based on the remaining time.

Now for some game releases.

On April 30th, the exclusive horror roguelike shooter Returnal is coming to PS5 and New Pokemon Snap will be releasing to the Switch.

Then, for the May the 4th be with you, The Colonists, a cute and relaxing building game is coming to PS4, Xbox One and Switch, and Dark Nights with Poe and Munro, the episodic Full Motion Video, choose your own adventure game, is coming to PS4 and Xbox One.

 

Review: War Of The Vikings

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Platform: PC
Developer: Fatshark
Website: www.warofthevikings.com
Australian classification: Unrated

The Viking swings his axe and you backpedal furiously, swapping your bow for your sword in time to parry his next swing. The blow after that bites into your arm, but you’ve delayed the warrior long enough for one of your Saxon brethren to arrive. He stabs your enemy in the back and the Viking falls to his knees. You raise your sword for the finishing blow.

Unfortunately it takes three tries to get your aim right because your sword keeps bouncing off the rocks beside the fallen Viking, and in the meantime an arrow from someone you never see – possibly another Saxon who hasn’t realised you’re on the same side – takes you down.

Then you respawn in the middle of a group of enemies who decapitate you instantly. Then you respawn again, in time for the server to collapse and boot you back to the menu.

You have been playing War Of The Vikings.

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Review – Blur (360/PS3/PC)

BLUR (PG)

Developer: Bizzarre Creations

Publisher: Activision

Out Now for XBOX360, PS3 & PC.

Reviewed by Razor.
If you’ve ever played a racing game and wished you could suddenly unleash a powerful energy bolt to destroy the car ahead of you, or even if you’ve driven through the C.B.D. during peak hour and wished you could unleash an energy bolt to destroy the car ahead of you, then you will definitely enjoy BLUR.

The main event is “powered-up” racing. You and your opponents race as usual, but at select points around the course you will find different powerups that give you access to various offensive and defensive abilities that you can unleash at will. Sound familiar? Yep, it’s pretty much just like Mario Kart, except instead of Mario and friends racing around tracks like mushroom circuit, it’s Renaults, Dodges, Fords and Volkswagens racing in real-life inspired locations like Hollywood and London.

Now, did I say that this was a bad thing? Hello no! Finally we have a racing game that fills the void between Project Gotham Racing and Mario Kart. I’ve never been a huge racing game fan (though I do like games like Burnout where the emphasis is on fun rather than realism) but some of my most beloved gaming memories have been of dominating my friends at Mario Kart. BLUR gives me the tools to dominate them further.

The real fun is in multiplayer mode. You can play online or LAN against up to 19 opponents, or you can play offline with up to four players on a split screen. However, I found the 20 player races to be more chaotic than I could handle, and I much prefered the smaller races of 10 players.

Powered up racing is the default, but there is also a racing only mode, for people who like to race without the destruction; and an arena deathmatch mode for people who like destruction without the racing. Personally I found the powered up racing to be the most enjoyable of the three modes.

Single player mode is great too. It plays out like a career where you are competing against other computer controlled characters. Each stage sees you completing a certain amount of challenges set by a champion driver who you have to eventually beat to progess. Winning the races is only one aspect of it; you also have to win fans by performing crazy stunts and pulling of mini-challenges within the race. Like most other racing games you have to perform well to unlock all of the courses and cars available.

The selection of cars is surprisingly varied. It’s rare to see such a damage-intensive game with a license to use real car models.
Car brands featured include Dodge, Lotus, Ford, Vokswagen and Toyota; and even more surprisingly: all car models feature realistic damage. So yes, you will see Renaults and Nissans hurtling airborne sideways down the course, leaving shattered glass and twisted metal in their wake. There are also a range of four wheel drive and off road vehicles that fit this style of game perfectly.

Powerups that you can use are slightly more balanced carbon-copies of their Mario Kart equivalent. There’s the bolt which is three unguided shots; Shunt is a homing blast that targets the car ahead (think red shell); Mines are like an exploding banana peel; Shock places energy vortexes on the track ahead of the leading player to slow them down; Barge blasts cars in your immediate vicinity away from you; Nitro is your standard temporary speed boost; shield offers you protection from other powerups and there is also a Repair powerup that you will need A LOT.

Something to be aware of is that the game is pretty hard. Like most driving games, there is definitely a steep learning curve and you may find yourself coming nineteenth or twentieth for the first hour or so. The fact that your opponents are all trying to blow you up doesn’t make it any easier.
So, once again I found myself swallowing my pride and switching the difficulty to Easy while I got used to the car handling.

As expected there are heaps of achievements and trophies to aim for, although BLUR rewards you for non-gaming achievements like posting your results to Twitter and Facebook.

Overall, BLUR is an intense and action packed racer that shines in multiplayer mode. A word of warning: you may want to reaffirm your friendships at regular intervals while playing this game, because you will be trading insults regularly.

We reviewed the XBOX360 version; Blur is also available for the PS3 and PC.