Category Archives: News

Gaming news from around the web

One Life Left Gaming Café opening soon in Norwich

Norwich (our favourite city) is getting a gaming café on St Benedict’s Street opening in May.

At One Life Left you will be able to pay a tiny fee for a table where you can play console games, both modern and retro, while drinking some coffee and eating a panini. There will also be alcohol served in the evenings, when it will be 18+ only.

Whenever you head down there will be a range of leaderboard challenges and tournaments ongoing that you can participate in to leave your mark. Get the best time in Forza, get the highest score in Pac-Man, and so on. These competitions might last across a month, with prizes for the winners. Participation will also build up your rank by way of coloured wristbands, operating a little like the martial arts system. When you sign up at the café you can get a white wristband, but you can work your way up through the colours, finally reaching black and maybe even gold, based on your performance.

We’ll be there for major eSports events and shows like E3 that will be put up on the screens, on top of all this there will be hosted tournaments and of course the chance to just play casually with your friends. The venue will also be available for private bookings and parties.

For more information check out their Facebook page and website. We’ll of course be there for the opening to bring you our full impressions!

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Xbox Scorpio Reveal Liveblog (with Digital Foundry)

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Stationeers Preview

Yesterday, at EGX Rezzed, we go to go hands on with Stationeers and speak to the man behind it all, Dean Hall. For those who haven’t been following RocketWerkz, Dean Hall is the man behind the DayZ mod for Arma II that eventually became the DayZ game on Early Access. Unfortunately remembered for broken promises, an incredibly long development cycle, and Hall leaving the project unifinished, it’s easy to forget just how amazing DayZ is. A huge open map, realistic combat, the constant risk of losing everything not just from a stray sniper, but from hunger, cold, or thirst. We put over 500 hours into the DayZ mod and another 100 into the full game, mostly because the player interactions were unlike anything else. In the early days of the mod, people didn’t just kill on sight, people would trade, gang up, help each other, and even travel across maps to fix someone’s broken leg. Some of our favourite gaming moments came from the emergent gameplay afforded to us by Dean Hall trying something different, and it looks like he’s going to try again.

His new company RocketWerks have taken the approach of not wanting to show anything until they have something to show, and it’s worked. In a small room in the basement of Tobacco Dock, London, Hall and two other developers from the six-man development team stood near four computers running their latest game, Stationeers.

In Stationeers you are in charge of building and maintaining a Space Station. The graphics are simple and blocky, but that’s purposeful, it takes attention away from what looks realistic and focuses on what matters, the systems. In Stationeers as much as possible is properly simulated. The space station itself doesn’t move through space, it’s on a fixed plane and everything else moves around it, and as this is a very early version of the game, plenty of systems are quite there yet, but as a proof of concept it’s enthralling.

As I sat down to have a go I found I was in some kind of engineering room surrounded by pipes and what looked like large pumps or boilers. On every machine and on plenty of the pipes there were readings, describing the exact pressure inside them. There were loads of numbers that I didn’t know how to interpret alongside complex interactions of conveyer belts, machinery, and supporting structures. Hall explained that the idea behind the game is to not take the player out of game too much by giving them information directly. Instead things must be read from displays. If you can’t work out why not enough Hydrogen is being provided to your water creation, you need to find where the pressure is dropping. Perhaps a valve has been left open, perhaps it’s being re-routed somewhere else, perhaps you have an unfinished pipe leaking into space.

Currently the game is strictly creative mode, there’s no way to get new raw resources, but you can refine them using the machines. Different elements react and combine in the way you’d expect so you need to be careful about the oxygen mix in the air, or hydrogen leaks leading to catastrophic fires.

The game we were playing had four people all in one server, but I was assured they’ve got it working with up to 16 players so far and are still finalising how big they want these servers to be. As I pottered about exploring the station I regularly game across the other players doing their own thing and editing the station as they saw fit.

I opened up an airlock and went for a float outside. Seeing a long tunnel of girders I ventured inside the end and travelled up to what looked like an airlock that was holding back a great deal of fire. “You probably don’t want to go in there” a dev explained, ” that guy’s trying to build a railgun.” Another guest at the show had apparently spent most of the day before and all of that day stuck to the game, seeing how far he could push the simulation. He had built up a huge amount of energy and pressure within one compartment then used an airlock system to load some shot (in this case some loose canisters) into the ‘barrel’ and a final airlock to hold it all in while he built up the required power. I rush out of the barrel and took a vantage point a little way away. Quickly a mass of blue fire enveloped the space station, what he was doing was incredibly destructive, but impressive. The fire raged through the compartment, built up to the airlock, then when it was remotely opened, canisters fire at speed out of the barrel. A success! As I was marvelling, the shockwave hit me and sent me tumbling a little bit backwards.

It’s not all 100% scientifically accurate (yet), and many are going to be wary of any promises that Hall makes, but I’m already eager to put my money in for Early Access. It’s a fantastic project and what little there already is would be more than enough to provide hours of entertainment to anyone with a mind towards experiments. Here’s hoping the world of internet negativity doesn’t stifle this kind of creativity in games development. Yes Rocketwerkz might be taking a lot of risk, but I’m glad they are.

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Conan: Exiles Cinematic Trailer

Conan: Exiles is only five days away now and we couldn’t be more excited. Funcom have just released their cinematic trailer and if anything it just made us want to build a pyramid. This might not show off much of the game but if you want to get hyped, this will do the trick. Come back on January 31st to see our livestreams of the game and all of our coverage of the launch.

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The Nintendo Switch is coming, but is it what we want?

So the Nintendo Switch has finally been completely unveiled. It’s coming out March 3rd, which is much sooner than we anticipated, but it’s also going to cost £280, which is much more than we wanted, especially considering that’s with zero games. Only five games are confirmed for launch, a figure we’re not expecting to change over the next month, so we’ve pre-ordered the console and Zelda. That’s it. We’re going to have a brand new Nintendo Console with no multiplayer games. We can’t afford a second pair of Joy-Con controllers because they’re £75. Thankfully Zelda is only £40 on Amazon, but the RRP is £60.

There were plenty of cool little features we didn’t know about, like the IR camera that can detect gestures and distances, or the high-definition rumble that helps to make the joycons feel like different objects (apparently mostly glasses full of ice). While these are interesting and we’re definitely hoping Nintendo can do something cool and make some really different experiences, we can’t help but feel these cool features will only get used in 1,2 Switch and then never again, but are responsible for pumping the price of those controllers up.

The online offering appears to be mostly terrible. Voice chat is possible but you have to do it via an app on your phone. I’m not sure if you’ll be getting game audio through your phone too, but it makes no sense to not be able to plug a controller into your headset. What if you want to do other things with your phone, or if your phone runs out of battery? It seems like an unnecessary complication for a system that already exists in a much better form on consoles from three generations ago. Not only is this voice chat awkward but you’re paying for the privilege, with the ridiculously slight incentive of getting a free NES or SNES game each month (with added online functionality) that you don’t get to keep past the month it’s available.

Of course the greatest problem with what Nintendo have shown so far is with the software lineup. Even looking past the disappointing games we get to pick from for launch, there was nothing to surprise or excite anybody. Bomberman that looks like it did on the N64, re-releases of Mario Kart and Skyrim, a barely changed Splatoon they’ve stuck a ‘2’ on to, identikit ports for Just Dance and Skylanders. There’s nothing that screams innovation beyond the minigame collection 1,2 Switch. Even that looks like it will struggle to justify a RRP of £40, as everyone is saying – it should have come with the console.

All these signs point to a Nintendo that is increasingly out of touch not just with core gamers, but with the market as a whole. Perhaps the screenless 1,2,Switch could capture people who would usually play board games but that’s a tiny market. Casual gamers won’t be tempted away from their iPads and phones, hardcore games won’t leave their consoles and PCs. Instead this feels like a meagre offering towards Nintendo die-hards like me who’ll buy any old garbage they put out. I’m sure we’ll get a Switch, and I’m sure we’ll enjoy Zelda and perhaps a handful of others games this year, but the hype level has plummeted to subterranean levels and Nintendo’s poor decision making is entirely to blame. I’d like to say maybe next time Nintendo, but unless they do something very impressive this year, I’m not so sure there will be a next time for Nintendo home consoles.

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Mass Effect Andromeda Launch Date Confirmed

We finally know that Mass Effect Andromeda is definitely coming out March 21st, 2017.

This is surprisingly soon (at least to us) and we can’t wait to get stuck in after our self-inflicted media blackout of the game. We haven’t watched the trailers or read any impressions and we’re hoping to keep it that way until the game comes out.

Rest assured we’ll be there on Day One streaming and exploring a whole new galaxy with you all.

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We’re back on Youtube!

Just letting you all know that after our temporary banning – we are back on Youtube!

Sadly we still can’t stream to Youtube at the moment so will be streaming to our Twitch Channel but all of our videos will making an appearance on Youtube and you can catch up with the entire epic stream of our journey through No Man’s Sky before the patch. Enjoy and spread the word!

If you’ve got a few days free, try watching the whole playlist here!

 

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Medivh invites you to the new Hearthstone expansion – One Night in Karazhan

For those of you who have played through the Hearthstone adventures, you’ll know that some of them are a little tongue-in-cheek. OK so they’re cheesy as hell, but that’s why we love them, and One Night in Karazhan is no exception.

Right now you can play a free prologue (available to everyone and with four cards as a reward for beating it!) and you can buy the first of what looks to be three episodes.

We had a lot of fun with the mechanics of the prologue, where you take on the role of Medivh and have his ridiculous spellcasting abilities at your whim, to the point where we were easily doing 50-60 damage in a turn. We played it twice after we beat it just because it was so much fun! So load up Hearthstone and get to Karazhan. That’s where the party’s at!

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Being banned from Youtube by Sony (Update: We’re back)

12th August: I’m leaving this post up so you can see what happened, but thanks to a contact within Sony UK I’ve been able to get the Youtube channel back! We still can’t stream but the videos are back online!

So this post is really for the four thousand people that tuned in to watch us play No Man’s Sky over the weekend. I wanted to let you know what happened, what I think went wrong, and what I’m hoping will happen now. As a disclaimer, I don’t think this really had anything to do with Hello Games or Youtube. Youtube’s system is clearly flawed, but everything that happened on their part was automated. Sony Interactive Entertainment of America are the real bad guys here as far as I’m concerned. Or possibly their lawyers.

So on Saturday morning my copy of No Man’s Sky arrived. I didn’t get a review copy, I didn’t sign any embargoes to get it early, I just bought it from Simply Games and happened to get lucky when they sent it out on Friday and my post arrived quickly. I immediately put it in the PS4 and started using the PS4’s streaming features to stream to my Youtube channel. Up until then, my Youtube channel had plenty of content, hours of videos of me playing games as I reviewed them, and just messing around with theme park games, but it only had sixty six subscribers and on streams I rarely got more than twelve people watching. This all changed with No Man’s Sky.

Almost immediately my views starting shooting up, through the hundreds, then into the thousands. Spurred on by the awesome community that was evolving in my chat, we starting egging people on to Subscribe. In the first day we went from 66 to 1000 subscribers. There were 1500 people in the chat, there were volunteer moderators, I was streaming for something like 12 hours in a day, with very few breaks. It was awesome. PSN kept crashing and making me sign in again, so the video was split up into chunks (this is important later) but it was fine because people kept coming back and we explored the game together, hyping it up and trying things out. So many people commented saying they were persuaded to buy the game after watching me play.

On Sunday the same happened again, I woke up at 8am and started streaming. I carried on through the whole day, starting a journey to get to the centre. By the evening we had four thousand subscribers and over two thousand people watching at once. The community was real and familiar faces started showing up, there were in-jokes, it was chilled and relaxed and amazing. Then one time the stream went down (as it had something like twenty six times over the weekend) and I couldn’t start it again. I started getting a new error. People in the chat got restless and eventually started to leave. I saw that Sony had issued a copyright strike against one video, and by this time we were all so tired we decided to call it a night.

On Monday morning I woke up at 7am and my wife told me my Youtube channel had gone. I woke up to find I couldn’t sign in to Youtube at all, my channel no longer existed. Checking my e-mails I saw that Sony had submitted a series of copyright strikes in close succession, meaning my channel was automatically banned and the videos were removed. I now can’t sign in to the channel, cannot communicate with those subscribers what happened, can’t access my own videos, it’s all gone. At no point did anyone from Sony, Hello Games or Youtube contact me to say that they thought I was doing something wrong, I still haven’t had any contact from the people responsible for the strikes. All of them had an e-mail address called PiracyRIA@… which is strange as I haven’t pirated anything.

This morning I started the stream up again at https://www.stream.me/tpreview and that was a moderate success with 150 viewers as we finally reached the centre of the galaxy. As exciting as it was, I can’t help but feel that it would have been better with the thousands of people who’d seen the journey to get there. Eventually StreamMe broke down and we moved to https://www.twitch.tv/tpreview where we are still streaming now.

Sean Murray has tweeted to a couple of Youtubers that he is sorry their channels got banned and he’s working to try and get it sorted, he hasn’t said anything like that to me yet, probably because we’re little fish in the Youtube Ocean. We hope someone sees this because it seems remarkably unfair to take down a whole channel over a stream of a legitimately obtained game. We spent two days and around twenty five hours building hype for the game, discussing the patch, exploring, and trying things out. We rained down positivity on the game and built up more excitement for what is already a much-anticipated game. And Sony’s way of thanking us was to completely shut down the Youtube part of our site with no communication at all.

As it stands, we can’t access Youtube. We have e-mailed everyone we can, we’ve tweeted and called everyone we can, but we’re not sure if we’ll ever get that channel back. We have videos of the center of the universe that we’ll upload somewhere when we can, and we’re happy to get suggestions as to where, but for now we’re locked out. We really hope Sony will rectify the mistake, allow us to put the videos back up, and we can go back to an awesome stream on Youtube exploring the game all over again with the new patch. Until that happens we’ll try to do the same on Twitch, but I miss those subscribers, that community. Please let us have it back.

Update: 19:20PM GMT 8th August

So this is the Twitter conversation me and Sony have just had, verbatim.

TPReview:  Any help with restoring my Youtube channel that was taken down last night for playing a legit copy of No Man’s Sky?

Sony: Unfortunately there is nothing that we can do about this, as the game is released on 10th of August. Please try again on 10th ^SN

TPReview: Try again to do what? get access to the rest of my Youtube videos and subscribers? I can hide the videos now if you remove strikes

Sony: As stated before, we can’t help you with this. Please contact Youtube for more information ^SN

TPReview: Youtube said to get the channel back Sony needs to remove the strikes. Otherwise I can’t speak to my 4000 subscribers

TPReview: The 4000 subscribers who loved joining me watching No Man’s Sky, ones who got hyped and many of whom said it inspired them to buy

TPReview: Here’s a help page on how to retract a copyright strike

Sony: As the game is released in PSN 10th of august, you might get banned from platforms for playing this content earlier ^SN

TPReview: You should ship that out in the game boxes and maybe go after the retailer who sent it to me rather than a fan’s YT channel :(

TPReview: I had zero warning or communication before my entire channel was banned by Sony for playing a game I’ve been waiting two years for

TPReview: I lost hundreds of hours of video and 4000 subscribers, retract the strikes and I will remove the videos

Personally, I feel like Sony are in the wrong here. They could have told me to take the videos down, and I would. They could have given me one strike and done that, they could have even done it then admitted it was heavy handed, but here they are saying I shouldn’t play the game early and I could be punished more if I play it. Because who would want to play a game they’ve been waiting for?

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Lawbreakers Assassin tips Trailer and Alpha news

We have a new trailer for Lawbreakers below. We also have news that they are still searching for Alpha players so if you’re interested sign up at LawBreakers.com to register.

So far Lawbreakers is definitely reminding us a little of Shadowrun, a much underrated FPS that we wish would be brought back. We’re signed up for the alpha and will be bringing you impressions once we get in.

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