Chief is back and bursting with extras

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

We all knew it was coming, but it didn’t make the announcement any less exciting when it finally came at this years Microsoft E3 conference. John 117 and his entire story will be packaged into one amazing collection coming on the 11th November 2014.

The collection includes Halo 1, remastered Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 4 all running at 1080p at 60FPS (for all you resolution snobs out there).

Halo 2 Coagulation

Halo 2 Anniversary Edition

To celebrate the tenth anniversary, Halo 2 will be getting the full remastered treatment Halo 1 received. You’ll be able to instantly switch into ‘Classic’ mode at the press of a button and most importantly of all, multiplayer will allow you to play on all 25 of the original maps on the original engine as well as 6 ‘re-imagined’ maps. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll get to play the Halo 5:Guardians beta first.

As a Halo addict who was disappointed with Halo 4, this collection is music to my ears… We’ll be bringing you hands on impressions at this years Eurogamer.

Halo 2 Coagulation

Microsoft increase prices for digital downloads

Microsoft has upped the price of its first party digital games for Xbox One. Digital download versions of Forza 5, Ryse: Son of Rome and Dead Rising 3 have all seen their prices increased from the £44.99 they cost at launch to £49.99.

“Pricing for select digital content in some markets has changed since launch. Digital content pricing is subject to change and we may occasionally offer various deals or promotions. Ultimately pricing and promotions will vary by region.”

Microsoft

This move seems to fly in the face of a new digital world seeing as you can pick the same games up on the high street for less than £45. You would think that 100% of profit from digital downloads would go directly to Microsoft, so why wouldn’t they bring back the price of digital downloads to make more profit then they would from a retail sale?

20131211-124406 pm.jpg

VGX2013 | Full list of winners

The new look Video Game Awards, VGX 2013 took place on the 07th December. Here’s a full list of the this years winners…
VGX 2013

VGX2013 | Full list of winners

Best Fighting Game Winner:
Injustice: Gods Among Us
Best Xbox 360 Game Winner:
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Best Voice Actor Winner:
Troy Baker as “Joel” – The Last of Us
Best Voice Actor Actress Winner:
Ashley Johnson as “Ellie” – The Last of Us
Best Driving Game Winner:
Forza Motorsport 5
Best RPG Winner:
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Best Action/Adventure Game Winner:
Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag
Best Sports Game Winner:
NBA 2K14
Best Mobile Game Winner:
Plants vs. Zombies 2
Game of the Year Winner:
Grand Theft Auto 5
Best Independent Game Winner:
Gone Home
Best Shooter Winner:
Bioshock Infinite
Best Character Winner:
The Lutece Twins
Studio of the Year Winner:
Naughty Dog
Soundtrack of the Year Winner:
Grand Theft Auto 5
Best DLC Winner:
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Best PlayStation 3 Game Winner:
The Last of Us
Best Nintendo Wii U Game Winner:
Super Mario 3D World
Best PC Game Winner:
Gone Home
Best Handheld Game Winner:
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds
Best Causal Game Winner:
Animal Crossing: New Leaf
Best Song in a Game Winner:
“Will the Circle be Unbroken” performed by Courtnee Draper and Troy Baker
Most Anticipated Game Winner:
Titanfall

VGX 2013 | TOMB RAIDER: DEFINITIVE EDITION ANNOUNCED

Crystal Dynamics have announced that Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, is coming to the Xbox One & PlayStation 4 on 28th January 2014.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is the character defining action-adventure where a young and inexperienced Lara Croft transforms into a hardened survivor. This fully re-built version for PlayStation®4 system and Xbox One features an obsessively detailed Lara and a fully realized lifelike world.

Lara Croft presented in unprecedented high definition detail:
–       An all new Lara model created to take advantage of the power of next-gen consoles
–       TRESS FX technology that delivers realistic hair simulation and motion with every strand being physically active
–       Shader and lighting reworked to showcase the raw physicality of Lara’s journey through sweat, mud, and blood materials and effects

A physical world put in motion thanks to brand new hardware architecture:
–       The world has been dynamically brought to life using complex physical world simulation on trees, foliage, cloth, weather, lighting and effects
–       All texture resolutions have been created at 4x resolution for maximum resolution and detail
–       In-game characters, enemies and destructability have been enhanced for added depth and realism
–       Subsurface scattering technology implemented to capture the most physically accurate lighting simulation and deliver a great sense of believability
–       Native 1080p gameplay gives outstanding visual fidelity and showcases the beauty of Yamatai in all its high definition glory

Tomb Raider Xbox One PS4

The Definitive Edition of the award-winning action-adventure includes all of the original downloadable content, plus digital versions of the Dark Horse comic, Brady Games mini-art book and the Final Hours developer videos. Customers who pre-order will receive special art book packaging featuring never-before-seen concept art.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition’ is so named as it’s exactly what we’ve custom built for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 system consoles.  The new hardware let us finally express the original vision in all of its glory. This was a continued labor of love. We pulled the game apart and rebuilt it with painstaking detail to add enhanced visual storytelling but without changing the award winning tale. The end result is a cinematic living world. We can’t wait for fans and newcomers alike to experience this rebuilt epic adventure.”

Crystal Dynamics Executive Producer, Scot Amos.

PlayStation 4 vs Xbox One: Making the choice

Content Editor Dom prepares for the arrival of the PlayStation 4, he takes a look into the benefits and potential pitfalls of buying both new platforms.

When it comes to gaming, few periods of time are as exciting and buzz-filled as the months before the release of brand new hardware. The gloom of current generation graphics, interfaces and hardware units begins to lift as the air fills with lip-smacking anticipation.

And so, as those months whittle away to weeks and days, which one do you plump for? Do you shoot for Sony’s revitalised PlayStation 4 or do you place your fealty in the recently DRM-less Xbox One? Or, in some odd gesture of financial stability/stupidity, do you buy both?

I know of quite a few people who are choosing to pick up both Microsoft and Sony’s new consoles in November, and (if the ‘placeholder’ dates on retailers are anything to go by) and these consoles arrive in mid-November, that will be £780 in the space of a fortnight. And that’s not even counting the £40/£50 a game will cost at launch for each system.

playstation 4
Choosing which new system to go for can be a huge decision

There are, of course, some of us who are simply more financially well-endowed (whether it be by birth or damn hard work), but my concern is less about what having two brand new consoles will cost, and more with the ramifications of having two competing platforms.

Over the last seven years I’ve been lucky enough to own all three of the major platforms, and while my Wii continues to depreciate in a dusty corner, I’ve flitted between my PS3 and Xbox 360 at random intervals. Having both consoles has given my access to some of amazing console-exclusives (the Halo games and the Uncharted series to name but a few) but owning both platforms has also brought a few devils to the table.

My personal gaming tastes can be rather fickle, so I could sometimes completely ignore one system for months at a time. During the PSN hacking debacle in 2011, I lost faith in Sony’s ability to support a reliable online service and fired up my Xbox 360 again. I didn’t turn it back on for six months. Likewise, when I decided to take advantage of the mind-blowing bounties of PS Plus, I barely touched my Xbox 360 for weeks.

playstation 4
Ah, the trust Xbox 360.

My point, in rather a roundabout way, is that having access to both platforms does give you the freedom to enjoy the console-exclusives of each system, but you risk leaving a £350/£430 bit of kit to fuse into the wall while you enjoy the other. Yes, it’s frustrating to not have access to certain IPs when you decide on one platform (when the next Halo arrives next year, I will be seven shades of gutted when I can’t play it at home), but that system will get all the focus and attention that warrants such an expenditure.

And despite being someone who has genuine affection for my time with the Xbox 360, I know that feeling excited for a new bit of kit (and I mean really excited, the kind of excited you get when you’re a kid and a new console is a literal portal into the future) is a rare and precious thing. So, as I trade much of my current hardware and games in for a PS4 in November (or whichever month it arrives) I will happy in the knowledge that my investment will be pumped for its worth in the years to come. The PS4 will be my portal into the unknown, the DualShock 4 my means by which to craft it. I’ve pledged my allegiance to the PlayStation 4. Sony, be a darling and nab Halo for me, too. There’s a good boy.

@furianreseigh

Dom is a freelance games journalist and Content Editor for infiniterobots.co.uk. He is legion.

The End Of Used Games: Hallelujah

Used games are a hot topic at the moment and Microsoft is feeling the raft of seemingly every internet user in the world. Rumour’s are rife about the Xbox One and it’s all seeing, all hearing eye becoming the worst thing to happen to the world since Hitler.

If your screaming blue murder that you won’t be able to trade in games and buy a cheap used game any more, sit back, relax and listen to the wonderful musings of TotalBiscuit’s take on the future of used games.

GTA V special and collector’s editions revealed

Rockstar Games has revealed the two booty-filled editions that will accompany the standard edition of GTA V in September.

Revealed via an announcement on the Rockstar Games Newswire, GTA V will be available in a Special Edition and glitzy Collector’s Edition – both of which are available for pre-order from today.

The content-heavy editions will include the following (as revealed on the Rockstar website):

“The Grand Theft Auto V Special Edition includes:

  • Full retail copy of Grand Theft Auto V
  • Collectible SteelBook with Exclusive Artwork – This special SteelBook features double-sided, never-before-seen artwork of Michael, Trevor and Franklin. Custom color and metallic treatments bring out the detail of the artwork created exclusively for this SteelBook.
  • Blueprint Map – This exclusive, additional 21.5” x 26.75” map displays a blueprint view of Los Santos and Blaine County. Cryptic markings indicate locations for fast cash and other points of interest for the up-and-coming entrepreneur.
  • Special Ability Boost – Michael, Franklin and Trevor each have a unique special ability. With this boost, the special ability bar will generate 25% faster.
  • Stunt Plane Trials – Single player Stunt Plane Trials let you take on additional aerial challenges spread throughout Los Santos and Blaine County.
  • Bonus Outfits, Tattoos and More – Michael, Franklin and Trevor get bonus outfits in their wardrobes, character specific tattoos at tattoo parlors, and special deals from shopkeepers across Los Santos and Blaine County.
  • Additional Weapons – When visiting Ammunation stores in single player, merchants will have special weapons in their inventory available for free: the Pistol .50, Bullpup Shotgun and melee Hammer.”
gta v
Behold, the Collector’s Edition cometh!

The Collector’s Edition, however, will feature the following (again, as presented on the Rockstar Newswire):

“The Grand Theft Auto V Collector’s Edition includes all the contents of Grand Theft Auto V Special Edition as described above plus:

Grand Theft Auto V Security Deposit Bag with Logo Key – Inspired by the heists in Grand Theft Auto V, this custom 10.75” x 8.5” money bag features a pop-up style lock and laser cut logo key to secure important items. The reverse side features a pressed Rockstar Games logo on the security mount with a framed ID window.

Grand Theft Auto V New Era 9FIFTY™ Snapback Cap – This exclusive New Era 9FIFTY™ cap features an embroidered Los Santos logo on the front, a stitched, black Rockstar Games logo on the wearer’s left side, a Grand Theft Auto ‘V’ logo applique on the opposite side, and snapback closure for an adjustable fit.

Custom Characters for Grand Theft Auto Online – Get classic Grand Theft Auto characters to use within the Grand Theft Auto Online Character Creation System.

Unique Vehicles and Garage Property – Players will instantly receive a garage to store custom vehicles. In single player, the garage will be stocked with the 1930’s style Hotknife hotrod and the CarbonRS sports bike. In Grand Theft Auto Online, players will get the high-end Khamelion electric car.”

The Collector’s Edition will also come in a nifty black box that’s “foil embossed” with a “matte, scuff-resistant film lamination”. Who says Rockstar don’t know how to party, ah?

gta v 4
Blimp. Blimp. BLIIIIIIMP!!!

And, for those that pre-order GTA V (including the Special, Collector’s and standard retail editions), you’ll get access to the Atomic Blimp vehicle as well. Rockstar also confirmed that any pre-orders made prior to this announcement will also receive access to the blimp vehicle.

Grand Theft Auto V will release worldwide on September 17. You can pre-order your copy of GTA V via the Rockstar website, but expect retailers to have their own links (no doubt with additional exclusive content) up in due time. Looking for more GTA goodness? Check out our recent Late to the Party | GTA IV.

Xbox One | All the facts and figures

We bring you a round-up of all the facts and figures from Microsoft’s reveal of their eight-generation console, the Xbox One.

At Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Washingon, Don Mattrick, the president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, revealed its third console, the Xbox One. He described it as “the ultimate, all in one home entertainment system” and revealed it will launch worldwide “later this year”.

Brand new features and architecture

Microsoft confirmed the console will not require a constant internet connection to function, but will require a mandatory download of all content direct to the hard drive. Any further uses of the disc on other registered consoles will require a small fee to activate.

 

xbox one
The new console, Kinect sensor and controller, as showcased at the reveal today.

 

Xbox One will also not be backwards-compatible with Xbox or Xbox 360 titles, with Microsoft citing fundamental differences with the architecture of the new hardware.

Kinect has been improved to match the speed of the new hardware, with voice commands and gestures allowing for “live switching” between games, music, live TV and more. Alongside the almost instantaneous switching showcased at the event, users will also be able to quick-snap games and video content with Skype, Internet Explorer and other apps (much like Microsoft have been doing since the launch of the Windows 7 OS).

[quote] The new specifications, which you can check out below, include a Blu-ray drive, a 500GB HDD, 8GB system memory, USB 3.0 and an 8 Core CPU. [/quote]

Alongside a Kinect sensor which recognises your voice and brings you straight to a personalised dashboard, the hardware under the hood is also a significant step forward from the Xbox 360. The new specifications, which you can check out below, include a Blu-ray drive, a 500GB HDD, 8GB system memory, USB 3.0 and an 8 Core CPU.

xbox one

xbox one

Xbox Live reborn

Marc Witten, Microsoft’s corporate president of Xbox Live, commented that the Xbox Live service will be “more powerful, more personal and more intelligent”. When the Xbox 360 launched in 2006, Xbox Live was powered by a total of 3,000 servers. And while that number has steadily increased to around 15,000, Xbox One will be supported by 300,000 servers at launch.

The new and improved service will offer enhanced cloud functionality, an innovative matchmaking system and an improved achievements system that tracks your progress with more than just milestone-style medals. The ability to capture and share gameplay content will also be available, as well as an increased friend limit of 1,000.

xbox one
Don Mattrick, the president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, pictured with the new hardware.

New titles and exclusives

Microsoft also confirmed that the Xbox One will host 15 exclusive IPs over the first 12 months of its release, with eight of them being brand new titles. One of these exclusive titles was revealed to be the newest addition to Turn 10 Studios’ racing simulator franchise, Forza Motorsport 5.

[quote] EA’s new next-gen sports titles will use their new in-house engine, EA Sports Ignite. [/quote]

A new title, Quantum Break, from Alan Wake and original Max Payne developer Remedy was also showcased with a trailer, while EA showed off footage from four of their key sports titles: FIFA 14, Madden NFL, NBA Live 14 and a new UFC instalment. These new titles were showcased using EA’s new in-house engine, EA Sports Ignite.

Exclusive TV content and a new Call of Duty

Nancy Tellem, president of entertainment and digital media at Microsoft, and 343 Industries general manager Bonnie Ross introduced a video message from filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who confirmed he’s executive producing a new live-action series based within the ever-expanding Halo universe.

xbox one
A brief glimpse of the new Call of Duty, including the AI dog companion.

Microsoft also announced an exclusive content partnership with the NFL, which promises live updates in-game, including live fantasy football features.

The live event was brought to a close with an exclusive look at the new Activision and Infinity Ward-developed Call of Duty: Ghosts. As well confirming a continuation of the timed-exclusive partnership for its Call of Duty DLC, they also showcased a trailer, a behind the scenes video and a graphical comparison between 2011’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and the new game engine used for Call of Duty: Ghosts.

While an exact date and price structure has yet to be announced, some retailers have estimated the Xbox One will retail around £400 on release. For more Xbox One-related news, features and discussion, keep it infinite.

Check out the trailer and preview footage of Call of Duty: Ghosts from the Xbox One Live Reveal, courtesy of the team at Outside Xbox.

Google I/O 2013 | Google unveils new gaming service

Google has just wrapped up its annual developer conference Google I/O, where it announced to the direction it’s heading for the forthcoming year, including the launch of the new Google Game Services.

The event saw some big announcements, such as the launch of a new Nexus handset and the Samsung’s Galaxy S4, as well as a big refresh for Google Maps and Google Earth. Buried among the plethora of announcements during the four hour – yes, four hour! – conference were some interesting developments in regards to Google’s plans for the world of gaming.

google io 2013
Achievements, among other features, are coming to Google.

Google announced the launch of its Google Game Services. But what exactly is it? Well, think of iOS’s Game Center, and you’re not far off the mark. Google Game Services sees the launch of achievements, cloud saves, real-time matchmaking and leaderboards; sound like Game Center? That’s because it pretty much is. But there is, however, one key difference to Apple’s Game Center suite: Google Game Services will be cross-platform. This means that Google Game Services can be implemented across Android, iOS and multiple web-based platforms.

How will this work in practice?

Google have announced that Google Game Services will be linked to your Google Plus account; in a similar way in which mobile games ask you to sign into various gaming services, such as Game Center, EA’s Origin, or even Facebook. To take advantage of the service, you’ll need to sign into your Google Plus account, which will access your friends and power its leaderboards via your friends and their game-related activity. Perhaps, by becoming the underpinnings of Google Game Services, Google Plus will properly take off; conversely, by tying its Game Services to Plus, Google risks gaining as much traction with Google Game Services as it has with Google Plus.

[quote] Google aims to make the service available to as many Android users as possible. [/quote]

However, the matchmaking feature will not be cross-platform at launch, and will only be initially available to Android users. And, speaking of Android users, Google aims to make the service available to as many Android users as possible. This includes those running Froyo (Android 2.2), right up until its current iteration, Jellybean (4.2). This is crucial for Google, as its Android mobile OS has been plagued by fragmentation, where hardware manufacturers such as Samsung or HTC offer skinned and modified versions of Android’s OS, making developing for the platform difficult at best.

A wider audience

By opening Google Game Services to users using devices as old as Froyo, which launched in May 2010, Google will overcome the problem of having users using different iterations of their OS.A recent report revealed only 1.8 per cent of Android users are still using an older version of Android than Froyo, so Google Game Services will aim to reach as wide an audience as possible. Greg Hartrell recently spoke to Polygon regarding Google Game Services and commented: “at Google, we want to make our services available to as many folks as possible.”

google io 2013
Can Google learn from past mistakes when it comes to offering a successful gaming service?

The Google Game Services SDK is already available to developers, and we’ve already seen its implementation to popular mobile games such as Super Stickman Golf 2 or a few of Gameloft’s popular titles, such as Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour or Dungeon Hunter 4.

Out with the old, in with the new

Further to its announcement of Google Game Services, Google announced that it was to close the games section on Google Plus on June 30th. The ill-fated service allowed you to play games such as Angry Birds or Zynga’s CityVille in your browser, and allowed you to share high scores with your Google Plus friends. Google has also advised users of the soon-to-be-closed service to contact developers to see if any in-game credits can be migrated to the game’s new home.

google io 2013
Google showcasing the multi-handset-controlled neon racing app.

Aside from Google Game Services, Google also demonstrated a cool Chrome Experiment at I/O. A scalextric-like game was demoed on-stage, where any mobile device running the Chrome browser could be linked together to create a top-down racetrack. Your device needs to be put in-line with the other devices, as your screen will only display a portion of the neon track. The controls seem simple, where touching the screen accelerates, and letting go brakes; attempting to go around corners too fast will cause cars to fly off the track. It’s available to try now on your mobile device: just visit g.co/racer on Chrome to try it with your friends.

Chis Foote

New concept footage for Gran Turismo 6 released

Concept footage for Gran Turismo 6 has emerged online, less than a week after its official announcement.

gran turismo 6Uploaded by AllGamesBeta, the three-minute video showcases footage of several cars, tracks and the usual eye-popping attention to detail we’ve come to expect from the Gran Turismo series.

Gran Turismo 6 will feature 33 different locations from around the world, 1,200 cars and a new course creator mode.

Gran Turismo 6 will be released on the PS3 this Christmas, while a PS4 version is rumoured to be under consideration by series-creator Kazunori Yamauchi.