How to Get PS4 Games for Half Price: A Cheapskate’s Guide to Game Sharing

Game Sharing PS4

Here’s a nifty way to share PS4 game libraries with a friend without needing to swap discs. If you’ve got a friend who you trust (I know they say trust no one, but sometimes you need to let someone in), and you’re a starving games journalist (not required), PS4 game sharing is the way to go.

Game Sharing

Game Sharing

Game sharing isn’t a secret by any means, but it’s so rarely talked about that I feel like many gamers aren’t aware of it. Other than the trust thing, the only drawback is that you and your friend have to be cool with only buying games digitally. You also need to have an online connection when playing in order for PSN to verify your games.

You probably remember activating your PS4 as your “primary PS4”. This allows profiles other than yours can play the games you have downloaded, as long as the player is on your system. This is one method of game sharing. However, you can also play your digitally owned games by logging into your profile on a separate PS4 and downloading the games you own.

Setting your PS4 as your friend’s primary PS4

Destiny Game Sharing PS4
A great game to share. Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/newgamenetwork/8486223007/

To recap: Anyone can play your digital games on your primary PS4. You can play your digital games on anyone’s PS4 as long as you’re logged into your PSN profile.

Which means you can set your PS4 as your friend’s primary PS4, and set his PS4 as your primary. You’ll be able to play your friend’s games on your system (since it’s activated as “their” primary), and if you stay logged into your PSN profile, you can play any games you own as well. Same goes for your friend on their system. Voila. Game sharing.

Let’s say your friend owns a digital copy of Call of Duty: Fill-in-the-Blank Warfare. Using this trick, you can both play that one copy of CoD:FitBW at the same time. Heck, you can even play multiplayer together, even though you’re a freeloader who doesn’t actually own the game.

This is how my friend and I work things out. When a new game comes out that we both want to share, one of us buys the digital copy and the other sends half the game’s cost via e-transfer to whoever paid the full price. Now we both have access to the game.

Here’s a step-by-step process of how to go about game sharing:

Call of Duty Game Sharing PS4
Play CoD multiplayer together with just one copy. Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/revo27/6989054848/
  1. Log into your PS4 and go to the Settings tab.

  2. Select PlayStation Network/Account Management.

  3. Select Activate as Your Primary PS4.

  4. Select Deactivate.

  5. Get your friend to follow steps 1-4 on their PS4.

  6. Log into your PSN account on your friend’s PS4 and follow the same steps, except this time select Activate.

  7. Get your friend to log into their PSN account on your PS4 and do the same.

Activate as your primary PS4

This is what it looks like.

You can find your friend’s games by logging into their account on your PS4 and checking out their library (the games they own won’t show up in your account’s library unless you already have them downloaded). Then you download the ones you want to share. Again, this only works for digitally-owned games. You still need to swap your discs, pesky physical media that they are.

There you go! You’ve taken the next step in your relationship, and you can finally learn to trust again. Or, you know, you ignore your trust issues and just save money by splitting the cost of the games you share. You do you.

Activision-Blizzard Acquires King

Activision-Blizzard and King Digital Entertainment have released a joint statement announcing that Activision-Blizzard has acquired the mobile development company.  King is most famous for Candy Crush Saga and has released numerous successful mobile titles under the free-to-play business model.  Activision-Blizzard acquired the company at $18 per share for a total of $5.9 billion.  It doesn’t appear that any major changes will take place at King following the acquisition as the statement makes clear that King will still operate independently and that Chief Executive Officer Riccardo Zacconi, Chief Creative Officer Sebastian Knutsson, and Chief Operating Officer Stephane Kurgan will retain their positions within King as prior.  Along with profiting from the emerging mobile market in general, a major motivation for the acquisition appears to be bringing Activision and Blizzard’s IP’s to mobile as the statement puts a fair deal of emphasis on franchises owned by the companies.  You can read the full joint statement here.

While Activision and Blizzard are major names among core gamers, King is far from revered with the same crowd.  Along with the general bias often held against mobile games, King stirred up controversy last year when it filed lawsuits against smaller studios using the words ‘candy’ or ‘saga’ in their titles, including a “Notice of Opposition” against Stoic for their viking-based strategy-RPG The Banner Saga.  It seems unlikely that fans of Call of Duty, Diablo, or the like would be too excited about any mobile spin-offs with King’s name on them.

What are your thoughts on Activision, Blizzard, and King joining forces?  Are there any franchises you would like to see or dread seeing worked on by King?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Destiny Gets Surprise Halloween Event

Destiny has received a surprise event known as Festival of the Lost, to celebrate Halloween. It will last from the 26th of October to November 9th and is fully accessible to any player that owns The Taken King expansion.

Players logging in today will be told to talk to a certain someone in The Tower and upon doing so, get to start the hunt for candy and masks. Wearing a mask turns your normal currency, glimmer, into festival candies, a new temporary currency that can be traded in for a mystery bag known as Gifts of the Lost. The bag contains a number of different items and consumables, including one of over a dozen masks that players can collect and upgrade.

There have also been aesthetic changes to The Tower to honour the celebration, as well as several new quests and even a new Crucible map to take part in.

The downside to all of this is that they’ve added a few fantastic emotes to the mix, but you have to drop upwards of fifteen dollars to access them. Bungie also offers an item that bypasses the need for festival candy grinding, but it is also on the pricey side.

It’s not really in the spirit of Halloween to charge people seven dollars to have a new dance, but being able to do Michael Jackson’s ultra-famous Thiller dance is quite hysterical. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t debating the purchase for myself.

The Taken King Launches Without A Raid

I generally try to avoid talking about the year long, sixty dollar beta, Destiny, but this is just too rich to avoid. According to The Taken King Director Luke Smith, the new Raid titled ‘Kings Fall’ will not be available on the day of launch.

Really Bungie…?

What’s more, Luke didn’t even comment on a potential release window for the raid, which is considered one of the most important pieces of content for Destiny’s end game. What a sad state of affairs for both Activision and Bungie.

Despite all of this, he has offered a final statement on the matter and it is as disappointing as one might expect.

“But I promise for people who are excited about the raid will know when it’s time to take time off work. We’ll give em’ a heads up”

How kind of Bungie to let us know when it comes out after hiding this fact until mere weeks before The Taken King releases. It’s not as if anyone wanted to play the Raid after Disappointment of Wolves released without a raid, instead opting for the utterly horrible “Prison of Elders”.

The Taken King was supposed to be the reinvention of Destiny. It was supposed to show everybody that Destiny can and will be a great game. While this may still happen, shipping without a vital piece of content just shows that even an entire year after launching, Bungie still can’t get their s%!t together.

Destiny Community Outraged – Bungie Responds… Sort of

Destiny

Earlier this week, the Bungie dev team came under fire because of an interview reported on Eurogamer.net wherein Bungie’s Creative Director, Luke Smith, said some things that the community perceived as arrogant and insensitive. If you haven’t read it yet, the interview can be found here. Destiny Community Outraged – Bungie Responds… Sort of.  For example, when asked about the special emotes found only in the Collector’s Edition, Mr. Smith told the interviewer that, if he fired up the game and revealed the emotes, we would “throw money at the screen”. This comment seemed to be the focus of most of the rage on reddit and other social media sites as players began to feel as though they were only dollar signs in Bungie’s eyes instead of valued consumers.

The long and short of it is that Bungie attempted to defend the price tag that was placed on Destiny’s upcoming expansion, The Taken King. At E3, it was announced that the expansion would cost $40 for a digital download. For players jumping in fresh to the game, there will be a Legendary Edition for $60 that would include both of the prior expansions, The Dark Below and House of Wolves. Lastly, the version that is the center of so much controversy is the Collector’s Edition, an $80/£80 bundle that includes both prior expansions alongside some in-game bonuses in the form of new emotes, shaders, and special items. The problem here, however, is that the veteran players who invest hours upon hours every week in their Destiny experience will undoubtedly already own both of these expansions, so it really serves no purpose to increase the price for players to purchase something all over again. Also, something most American players don’t realize is that the dollar is not a direct 1:1 ratio with the pound, so European players are actually being asked to spend closer to $125.

Well, David “DeeJ” Dague and Luke Smith both responded today via Bungie’s regular Weekly Update. However, there will probably be some mixed feelings about their response. The update essentially opens with Smith’s apology (which was necessary for damage control). If nothing else, the community would have been even angrier if there was no acknowledgment that he was wrong, even if they do not wholeheartedly accept his apology. DeeJ followed up by revealing a $20 digital download upgrade that appears to only upgrade your already purchased copy of TTK that seems to still cost $40. I’m not sure if they are changing the price from $40 to $20 and including the content, but the wording does not read that way. He also announced a set of “VIP rewards” that will go to players with a level 30 Guardian, or to those who have played both expansions. This set of rewards appears to be an emblem and a Sparrow, Destiny’s speeder, next to all three classes standing in what looks like camouflage gear.

destiny 02

Now, if I have learned anything from my time in this game, the reward is likely not new pieces of armor, but is probably a shader that will make our current gear look like the picture. Again, a weak attempt to acknowledge players who have poured countless hours into their game by appeasing them with cosmetic items.

Honestly, considering how many times Bungie has responded to community concerns with “we hear you loud and clear,” it still seems like they are only trying to buy back the support of their players while also keeping a solid profit margin. I know that I was expecting more of a resolution than what we got, especially since we still don’t have an answer on the Collector’s Edition pricing issue, and DeeJ acknowledged that “we won’t see the Collector’s Edition Upgrade” because they are “working on it”. We will wait and see.

The decision in front of Destiny players now is whether or not to even bother with The Taken King this September, especially considering the veritable treasure trove of new games coming out during the holiday window. I personally think we can expect to see a dip in Destiny’s daily login numbers over the next few months, as the sour feelings linger, followed by a small rise of players deciding to give the new content a shot.

Will you be one of the ever-faithful and give Bungie a second chance? Or will you, as one of my Fireteam members so eloquently put it, “push the eject button”?

The Best PS4 Games

PS4

Since PS4 was released in November 2013, it has completely thrown us head first into the next generation of gaming. With greater graphics and smoother gameplay, the many capabilities of PS4 have allowed us gamers to indulge in some of the most memorable titles to date. Question is, of the many games available on PS4 spanning over a indefinite amount of genres, which are the must haves, which games would you be a complete loon not to play. Well, here I will provide a top 10 of PS4 games that have made the next generation of gaming so darn fantastic, games you simply have to get your hands on.

10. Lara Croft And The Temple Of Osiris 

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

Do you have an online crew? A group of friends you just love playing every game imaginable with? Well, for you guys, this 4 player co-op adventure is no less than perfection. In this sequel to Square Enix’s Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light, Crofty travels to Egypt in which she must team up with rival raider, Carter Bell and two imprisoned God’s, Isis and Horus in order to defeat the exceptionally evil God, Set.

From traps of all shapes and sizes, to hungry crocs, to putting your trust in a team mate not to release you as you hang helplessly from a grapple, this game is enjoyable on almost every level. The Temple Of Osiris is solely orientated around team work. Scattered throughout the Egyptian setting are temples in which players must come together into order to complete puzzles and in turn be rewarded with an array of different items.  Even to progress further in the game and unlock new areas compulsory to the story, players must bash their bonces together and complete other puzzling tasks. To top it all off, the game offers well, a darn right good laugh! I mean, it’s rather amusing having your friend beg you not to drop them from a ledge and tormenting them by repeatedly doing so!

Square Enix really exploit the social aspect PS4 has to offer  in The Temple Of Osiris and in doing so, they have created one of the most enjoyable co-op games to date.

9. Child Of Light 

Child Of Light

Ubisoft’s poetic story of Aurora as she tries to reunite with her father is thoroughly indulgent to say the least. Child Of Light is set in the fictional wonderland of Lemuria, beautifully portrayed with stunning visuals. After Aurora initially wakes in the mystical land after being stolen from her home, she encounters a firefly and the pair proceed to find the Lady Of The Forest who may the only one capable of sending her home. Upon rescuing her, The Lady Of The Forest enlightens Aurora that Queen of Darkness, Umbra has Lemuria consumed with evil and that Aurora’s only hope of seeing her father again is to free Lemuria from Umbra’s clutches. Intent to be united with her father, Aurora complies and so begins one of the most alluring games available on PS4.

Child Of Light is a platforming role-playing game, featuring more turn-based combat and parties. Interchangeable party members make encounters with enemies really quite addictive as players can chooses specific members to play to their strengths and weaknesses. Also, as mentioned prior,  Child Of Light possesses captivating visuals. Ubisoft’s imaginative setting really engrosses the player, it is almost impossible not to become lost in the dark and sinister atmosphere that is portrayed so effectively. Even from a more 2D-platforming perspective the game has the power to engulf you in what is so aesthetically pleasing, I mean even the enemies look great. To top everything off, Child Of Light presents us with a protagonist that is easy to fall in love with, which we all know is a key aspect to maintaining a player’s interest. Aurora’s innocence is endearing, she is lovable and oblivious initially and it is incredibly interesting watching her character develop as the game progresses. Her sweet, child-like exterior doesn’t contain her sassy and courageous personality for much of your play-time, I assure you.

Child Of Light gives us more nostalgic players a chance to revisit what makes more simple platforming games so additive. Much like legendary platformers – Crash Bandicoot or Ubisoft’s own Rayman, Child Of Light is another game that is just impossible to leave alone. You’ll be tearing you hair out before tearing your hands off your controller, trust me.

8. Destiny 

Destiny

With beautiful cinematic story-telling, vast and vibrant planets to explore and  a dynamic selection of enemies to take on, Bungie’s wonderful first person shooter is a game that will maintain your interest for a prolonged period. The story picks up after an event known as The Collapse, in which many established colonies of humans, living on planets throughout the solar system, were mysteriously terminated. The remains of the human race congregated on earth, protected by a celestial body known as The Traveler, which levitates above the planet. The player occupies their own guardian and must battle their way through an army of alien races, in order to revive The Traveler and ultimately maintain mankind.

Destiny allows the player to choose from 3 different classes of Guardian: Titan, Hunter and Warlock, each wielding different abilities and special moves. Players may also pick a race, altering the physical appearance of their guardian: Human, Awoken or Exo. Even initially this game has the ability to reel in a players interest, as I think we all know too well how enjoyable it is tinkering with a players appearance, it is almost an art form for gamers. In addition to this, the surroundings of Destiny are magnificently enticing as although not entirely open-world, the vast lands a player may explore are beautifully presented, each well-suited to the enemy race occupying the planet. On the topic of the enemy races, Destiny throws us up against a total of 4 different alien races known as: Fallen, Hive, Vex and Cabal. Each race vary hugely in appearance and possessing different abilities and ways of tackling a player. It is worth noting also, that each race is not only hostile to the player but to each other as well and it is common to see the differing aliens warring among themselves. It’s great if you want to kick back, relax and watch the numbers of enemies dwindle away before storming in to finish them off. To top it all off, Destiny has an intriguing story. Bungie have limited the knowledge the game hands the player, encouraging them to tie up lose ends by checking out the Grimoire Cards on the allocated website (Grimoire Cards are earned naturally through story progression). This lack of insight can coax a player into looking further into Destiny, to fill in the gaps essentially. Destiny is also an exceedingly social game. The main hub (The Tower – Earth) is a place where players flock alongside other guardians, performing actions and messing around. From here, players can proceed to different planets together, head to online game modes (The Crucible) or just take a break from rescuing mankind.

You can never have too many games orientated around space and the extraterrestrial, as consciously or sub-consciously we all have an underlying interest in the unknown. Destiny is another gem in this genre of game and it does well to feed our insatiable interest in what lies beyond Earth.

7. LittleBigPlanet 3 

LittleBigPlanet 3

This Playstation exclusive is quite the treat for a players more imaginative side. LBP 3 is set in the wondrous fictional world of Bunker. Under false pretenses our protagonist, Sackboy releases 3 evil titans and then must stop them and our evil antagonist, Newton from destroying the creative and blissful place in which they live. A simple premise I agree, however this game will not constrain your imagination with any boundaries. Furthermore, featuring full voice acting unlike LPB’s previous installments (including the narrator of the tale – Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie portraying extraordinarily evil Newton), this game will hurl the player into an incredibly awesome adventure.

Much like it’s predecessors, LittleBigPlanet 3 is a platform-puzzler, featuring layers in which players can hop back and forth from as they let their imagination run wild (LBP 3 has 16 layers unlike the first two games which only provided 3). The game also has 3 new playable characters known as Toggle, Oddsock and Swoop, each harnessing different abilities key for tackling certain obstacles throughout the game.  LittleBigPlanet offers players a vast variety of  things to do. Players can either lose themselves in the intricate and well-created levels of the story, gaining item rewards and allowing those more competitive players to try and beat scores. The story also allows players to play with their friends or randomers playing the same level. It is rewarding doing so as some parts of levels require more than 1 player to access certain items. For those a LittleBig more social, there is the LittleBigPlanet community. This online orientated aspect of the game allows players to play levels created by other players. Whether you play them alone or with friends it is exciting exploring the imaginations of others. Also, if you feel up to the task, here you can make your own levels for other players to play, like, heart and review. However, despite the overwhelming amount of ventures LBP offers us, I can almost guarantee that you will spend hours in your Pod dressing up your Sack character with the enormous amount of clothing items you can either earn or purchase, but don’t feel like a moron, all LBP players do it.

LittleBigPlanet 3, a game that would initially appeal to a younger age group is so much more than a ‘child’s game’. The game offers ample opportunity to do or create well, pretty much anything you can think of. It is another game that allows players to enjoy the social side to PS4 and alongside a brilliant story, this game has everything to keep a player hooked for hours. Join the LittleBigPlanet community if you haven’t already, share your imagination on one of PS4’s most wonderful games.

6. Wolfenstein: The New Order

wolfenstein the new order

Bethesda’s Nazi-slaughtering first person shooter, Wolfenstein: The New Order is hands down one of the best first-person shooters out there for PS4. The hypothetical story of Nazi’s winning the war and dominating the world is sinister and gripping as it allows players to ponder what could have been had the war concluded differently. Playing as B.J Blazkowicz, the player must murder Nazi’s and overcome their array of robotic weapons in order to reunite with the rebels and conquer Nazi forces, ultimately retrieving their world from the German lunatics.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of  Wolfenstein: The New Order is unquestionably the weaponry. From dual-welded pistols to being armed with two hefty assault rifles, from blowing heads of with an enormous laser gun to shredding through enemies with a shrapnel shotty, the onslaught of weapons you can attain are insane, you certainly wouldn’t want to be a Nazi on the receiving end. The New Order may as well feed the player to the lions, well specifically to big robotic dogs. Yes, we aren’t only taking on an army of Nazi’s, but also giant robotic dogs that have a tendency to snap at you when you least expect it and massive mechanical men that would gladly rip you limb from limb. Bethesda have introduced a rather riveting leveling system. In order to make weapons more agile, accurate or powerful, or to gain access to new abilities players must complete a challenge in order to reach the next segment of each designated section. This is great for allowing the player to utilize all aspects of combat within the game, offering suffice opportunities to try out new and effective ways of taking on the Nazi’s. The New Order may lack online aspects but the challenging campaign is more than enough to keep you occupied for quite some time. You’ll have to at least play it twice to give both of the alternate story-lines a whirl.

Wolfenstein: The New Order is savagely sinister. The game is absolutely hands-on hectic and you will discover so quite shortly into the game as you begin dismantling Nazi after Nazi.

5. GTA 5 

GTA V

Grand Theft Auto has dominated the gaming world for generations. For years we’ve been stealing cars, running over innocent pedestrians in ridiculously over-modified vehicles, overwhelming our inventories with anything from hammers to rocket launchers and GTA 5 not only maintains those standards but exceeds them. With an exceptionally larger amount of criminal activities to partake in, Rockstar’s GTA 5 really succeeds in raising the bar for this series. The player is able to play as 3 characters who join forces to reignite the thieves within them and ultimately pull off one of the biggest bank heists imaginable.

GTA 5 is difficult to compare to any game purely on account of the sheer scale of things you can do. You can make money by doing missions or selling vehicles over a spread of 3 highly differing characters. You can slaughter tons of random people and then try to escape the police. Modify vehicles to a preposterous extent to then go smash it up doing some extravagant stunt jump. Or you can do what admittedly every GTA player has done at some point and simply play nice! Go get a haircut, drive within the speed limit, take a stroll by the sea or purchase some properties. There’s honestly a mind-blowing amount of things you can do. GTA 5 has also a very enhanced multiplayer that Rockstar’s free DLC continues to make more enjoyable. Online you can play missions, races or deathmatches with other players, you may possess several properties, having each of which brimming with millions of pounds worth of high-end vehicles or you can just go all out, guns blazing, mowing down every online player you can within your lobby. Also, recently introduced by Rockstar, GTA 5 now has heists that players may take part in with up to 3 other players in which you can organise a bank robbery and earn big cash rewards.

Whether you are caught up in the story or the madness of online, GTA 5 is a game with just oodles of entertainment. It caters for so many types of players and as mentioned prior it is a game incomparable to any other.

4. Infamous Second Son

Infamous Second Son

Much like earlier games in the series, Infamous Second son basically entails parading around a fictional Seattle with a range of super powers. The game follows, Delsin a delinquent who seems to enjoy attracting the attention of his cop brother, Reggie. During an argument stemming from Delsin’s bad behavior, a military truck carrying conduits (technical term for someone with superpowers) crashes and as Delsins pulls one of the 3 conduits out of the wreckage he absorbs his power. In confusion and fear Delsin hunts down the conduit for answers. After catching up with Hank, leader of the D.U.P (Department of Unified Protection), Augustine Brooke confronts the pair for questioning. Using her concrete power she engulfs Hank with rock and then proceeds to question Delsin who remains silent about his recently attained powers. Augustine then begins torturing Delsin’s tribe for answers, hospitalising most. Upon waking a week later, Delsin learns from his brother who was spared, that the only way to save the remaining tribe members is use Augustine’s power. In light of this, the pair set out to nab her power.

Infamous is a diamond in this generation of gaming. For starters players are presented with a protagonist that can win you over within the first cut-scene. Delsin is a brilliant main character, he’s witty, sarcastic, troublesome but so lovable and loyal all the same. Second Son is to put it simply, easy. With all superpowers and combat upgrades being so easily accessible with just putting some time into the game, the player themselves will likely feel as if they’re super hero. The upgrade system is too very simple. The player must collect shards from drones, scanning stations or from story missions and in turn may upgrade branches of their powers. There are in total 4 powers Delsin may attain and upgrade. Much like the past Infamous games, Infamous SS is also offers some diversity. You can either play the game with good or bad karma, each of which will allow you to branch off in different ways when upgrading your powers. Another really enjoyable aspect of this game is the supporting characters. Around Delsin are the conduits he saves, his strict older brother his tribe he is trying to liberate and all these characters ultimately put Delsin in a more appealing light. His interaction with these characters gives players all the more reason to shed some sympathy towards him and the other conduits.

All in all, Infamous Second Son is a light-hearted and very enjoyable game. In an indescribable way you will finish the game and want to play it again and with the two types of karma each allowing you to perform different moves, partake in certain missions or even twist the story, you will have every reason to.

3. Dying Light 

Dying Light_20150303001100

Techland’s Dying Light is zombie-killing at it’s finest. With a million of zombies to kill and limitless ways and weapons to do it with, this game is brilliant if you want to get a little bit of virtual blood on your hands. The player takes the role of Kyle Crane, who after being hired by the GRE (Global Relief Effort), must venture into Harran, a city quarantined after a viral outbreak resulting in zombies here, there and everywhere.  The purpose of his endeavor is to recover a stolen file being used to blackmail the GRE. Upon landing in Harran, bandits attack Crane and infected are alerted and begin to swarm. Thankfully, he is saved by two survivors and then taken to the Tower (survivors HQ) and proceeds to work alongside the survivors to progress in his mission. All the while he learns how to free run and ultimately survive in the hostile environment in which he must complete the job.

Dying Light grabs itself a gold star on how completely barbaric the game is. Scrounging for something to use to whack off a zombie head or two or a mod to set the infected alight. It really puts into perspective how surviving would be in such an environment, scouring every inch of every abandoned home for resources, constructing completely absurd weapons out of scavenged goods – indeed, Techland do well to illustrate a post-apocalyptic setting. Combat is brutal in Dying Light and easy to enhance as by leveling up your power stat (one of the 3 skill sections), you are able to discover new ways of slicing up zombie guts. A very predominantly useful and almost iconic aspect within the game is free-running. Leaping from building to building as you escape hordes of infected is noticeably smooth and well developed. This is significant considering how vital the aspect is whilst playing. Another addition to Dying Light that makes it such an amazing game is the dynamic day-night cycle. Although it sounds like an trivial detail, after surviving your first night in Harran, you will begin to cherish every second of daylight as when the sun sets the screams of hungry infected fill the air and they will begin actively hunting you. Believe me, after dark you don’t want to be mashing zombies on ground level, you want to be either indoors or on rooftops avoiding the many frightening surprises Dying Light’s nighttime holds.

Dying Light can become a very frantic game however, traversing through zombie mobs as you explore the open-world setting of Harran is something you will relish in. Countless side-quests give the player plenty to do even after the story reaches it’s pinnacle and regardless, you will bask in finding new ways to take down the undead.

2. Dragon Age: Inquisition 

Dragon Age™: Inquisition_20141229115710

Another wondrous role-playing game developed by Bioware. In this third installment to the Dragon Age series, players take on the open-world as the only survivor of an explosion that takes place during a conference between mages and templars. The explosion takes the life of the Chantry’s leader, The Divine and also opens the breach alongside some smaller rifts. From these rifts come demons from the Fade. The player not only survived the ordeal but also obtained a marking on their hand allowing them to close these rifts. Witnessing the closing of a rift, assistants to the deceased Divine, Cassandra and Leliana ask the player in some shape or form to close the rifts. After helping, the player and various others form the Inquisition as order of the recently passed Divine and set out to tend to the matter, hoping to ultimately close the breach and deal with the one who was at the bottom of it’s occurrence.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is easily the best role-playing game of this generation of gaming. Right from the beginning upon customising your character and altering them to what suits the player best, we can establish how many differing ways this game can pan out. With every decision the player makes, there is a subsequent effect on conversational options or the story itself. Inquisition is an open-world game. There is prodigious land for the player to explore and enjoy. It is remarkable. Dragon Age: Inquisition is also substantially praised for the amount there is to do. Throughout the mass of landscape a player may explore are endless quests, rifts they must close or strange artifacts to collect, all of which being somewhat rewarding to the player. Moving onto combat, as a role-playing game, Inquisition features interchangeable party members which you may recruit and customise. The brilliance of this game continues as dependent on your selected party, the team will talk among themselves as you journey through the game. Whether it be insightful or just humorous banter, the player will feel obliged to continue switching up their party in an attempt to induce more conversational options. Players may also craft armour and weapons for themselves and their party members.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is such an ingenious game. With next-gen capabilities allowing the endless landscape in which you can explore to be so thoroughly vibrant and beautiful and with so much to do, it isn’t a game you can dedicate a mere hour or so to. With such an emotional and compulsive story, even when you finally conclude the many hours spent playing the game, you’ll dive straight back in, make yourself another inquisitor and take the game via a different route.

1. The Last Of Us: Remastered 

The Last of Us™ Remastered_20140810193636

Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us has rightfully earned well over 200 Game Of The Year awards. This post-apocalyptic survival-horror is set briefly before and then after the occurrence of the outbreak of a mutant fungi. The game follows our male protagonist, Joel who after surviving the initial outbreak, takes shelter in a quarantine zone with his companion, Tess. As supplies are short, the pair make a deal to transport a girl, Ellie (our female protagonist) out of the city in exchange for weapons. Despite the lack of information as to why she needs transporting, the pair comply and so begins the story.

Now, I will admit I feel rather cliche allowing this game to steal the top spot, but I feel no means of regret doing so as it is quite easily one of the most memorable and emotional games to date altogether, let alone on this platform. Naughty Dog’s entire focus with The Last Of Us was to orientate the game solely around the two protagonists and their relationship and in doing so, managed to amplify the harshness of the post-apocalyptic surroundings. In correctly assigning this games center of attention, Naughty Dog have made what the player is yet to experience or even comprehend, so real. You can almost feel the pressure of scarce resources, surviving among the infected and how it would really challenge the companionship. Naughty Dog developed such a well established hierarchy for the infected. At the bottom are Runners, recently infected folk still possessing human qualities, but highly aggressive. A step up are stalkers, these infected actively hunt the player. The most troublesome of the infected are the Clickers. Their faces have been dominated by fungus and although unable to see, are immensely sensitive to sound, using echolocation to seek out the player. Sitting atop this hierarchy are Bloaters, completely devoured by the infection, they have fungal armor and take a vast amount of ammo to take down. Although much bulkier, Bloaters are uncommon and the player will not encounter these much throughout a play-through. The Last Of Us has plenty of collectibles, some of which are further insight to the apocalypse and rather interesting to read. The Last Of Us: Remastered also contains the Left Behind DLC. This is a blessing for any player who has indulged in the game and craves more. Left Behind takes it’s focus to Ellie and enlightens the player in essence of how she came to be in Joel’s company.

The Last Of Us is almost like watching a film, or living it’s happenings for yourself. With such a deep story, swamped with all means of emotion, as a player, you will become completely engrossed and intertwined in this journey. From start to finish a player will seek satisfaction from the story they most likely wont find purely due to the how real the game appears. The Last Of Us is a game that will linger within you for an endless amount of indescribable reasons and you will long to play it again and again. It is well-deserving of this top spot.

Content Stigmatisation: The Bane of Gaming

Gaming

I love content me. There is nothing better than completing a game only to find tens of hours of additional game ready to play that is not directly linked to the “main game”. Extra modes, unlockables, challenges, and characters; they all add the experience. Whilst not a sure-fire, set in stone rule, the more content a game has, the better the value. Well isn’t it a shame that content in modern games is, well, missing. Ergo, the value of gaming has dropped.

But why has game content went the way of the dodo? Simple: DLC. It seems more and more common for developers to release a game with blatantly missing content only to “fill in the gaps” later with overpriced, underwhelming DLC packages. Last years Destiny is a shining example of how a game was neutered and then spoon fed with addons at a later date. You have a game ripe with potential, the only draw back being there is nothing to do, the main story is short and actually goes out of its way to not explain the universe, and low and behold, ridiculous DLC comes along to fill in all those gaps at an extravagant price. Buy a half finished game at full price, then pay more for the right to play the other half later on.

This kind of thinking is ripe in the gaming industry of today, and with day one DLC actually having the audacity to exist (we are looking at you Capcom), especially when the content is already on the disk (still looking at you Capcom), the problem is not going away. And whilst we are staring uncomfortably at Capcom, what is with Street Fighter 4 Super Hyper Turbo Champion Extreme Edition Plus Arcade? Everything you have added to Steet Fighter over the years could, and should be added as DLC, and in some cases, a patch.

Microtransactions. Oh how I despise you. Once only found in terrible F2P mobile games, microtransactions have begun to crop up in AAA titles. Traditionally microtransactions are designed to allow you to skip tedious parts of a game, which is great in a F2P title that has freakishly long downtime. But when you had this kind of rubbish in full price games like Forza or Assassins Creed, you are literally paying the developer money to:

  1. Play their game
  2. Play any on disk day one DLC
  3.  Not play the game

And this trend will not stop, because people do it. Developers are literally asking you for money to not play their game, after you spent a small fortune buying the game in the first place.

Content in gaming nowadays is a taboo. If you want to have a meaningful, full experience you simply have to fork out additional money for features that should have been present all along. That, or wait a year or so for the Directors Cut, otherwise known as: The actual game we should have released a year ago.

Is Levelling Up/Upgrading One Of The Most Important Things In Games?

Games

A lot of games these days implement a form of levelling up or upgrade system within them. These could vary quite often too, such as Call of Duty enables you to level up in order to get new weapons, perks and the ability to prestige so you can start over your levelling up again, whereas Destiny allows your to level up your character to make them stronger and upgrade your weapons and gear too. Would people still be playing these games if levelling up/upgrading wasn’t a part of it? The desire to have the highest prestige badge on Call of Duty or the strongest weapons and highest level in Destiny really drives and pushes gamers on to keep playing, even if what they are playing is largely the same, no matter how fun it is.

Even single player games include upgrading systems too, such as The Last of Us. It has a crafting system which allows you to create molotovs, increse the amount of times you can use your shiv, health packs and bombs. There are workbenches where you can upgrade your weapons, and supplements which allow you to increase your crafting speed, maximum health, listen mode distance, healing speed and decreases weapon sway. This however, is a minor part of the game considering it’s story and something that most certainly doesn’t keep you coming back, but you certainly feel happy when you come across a crafting table to upgrade your weapons, that’s for sure.

However, some games don’t include levelling up or upgrading in them at all, look at Telltale’s games as an example. Playing through The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones and you wouldn’t even think about upgrading because the story is so strong and gripping. The most important thing in them games is the story and the choices they give you to make.

It’s certainly an important part of many games, and doesn’t play a role in others. I think it’s merely circumstantial, it depends on the type of game you’re playing that decides whether a levelling up or upgrade system is needed. It certainly plays a large role in multiplayer games though, and many would be worse off without it. I personally however, love levelling up in most games, it gives me a sense of accomplishment from playing the game.

What do you think? Are they important or not needed? Or merely circumstantial like I said? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Bungie Rolls 2.4GB Update for Destiny, Details Here

Destiny

Many consider Destiny to be a pretty flawless game, but fortunately Bungie wants to keep improving it, so they have just released a brand new update, and a pretty big one, literally: a 2.4GB patch that brings a lot of changes and improvements and we have all the details here.

But before getting to all the changes brought by this latest update, let’s sum up the most important ones: team voice chat has made its way to the game, the frequency of public events has been increased, as well as the number of bounty slots (now 10). There are a ton of other smaller tweaks and fixes, as well as brand new content, so check out the full details of the Destiny patch below:

Voice

  • Added a new social feature that enables users to access a channel for Team Chat
  • Matchmade teammates will now be able to talk to each other in Strikes and team-based Crucible matches

Classes

  • Fixed an issue in which two players who performed a melee lunge simultaneously would teleport through each other
  • Fixed an issue in which Blink Strike damage would be caused by colliding with the Blink Strike, rather than melee impact
  • Fixed an issue in which Warlock Bonds dismantled into Titan materials

Weapons

  • General
  • Reduced camera shake when being hit with explosive rounds
  • Perks:
  • Clown Cartridge: Replaced Clown Cartridge perk with other perks in shotgun upgrade trees
  • Headseeker: Fixed an issue in which the bonus Precision Damage perk did not always get applied

Activities

  • Missions
  • Buried City: Fixed an exploit in Mars that would clear all enemies from Clovis Bray
  • Strikes
  • Winter’s Run: Fixed an exploit zone in the Aksor boss encounter
  • Difficulty will scale less for 3-player Fireteams, making Strikes less deadly for them
  • Heroics
  • Fixed an issue in which engrams earned during Daily and Weekly Heroic activities were not displayed in the post-game carnage report

Event: Iron Banner

  • Players must now be level 20 and above to lead an Iron Banner Fireteam
  • Players below Level 20 can only accompany players above Level 20
  • Lord Saladin now has 5 reputation ranks (increased from 3)
  • New Features Added: Tempered Buff, Reforging
  • For more detailed information, click here

Cinematics

  • Fixed several issues with the synchronization of cinematic subtitles in various languages

Destinations

  • Combatants
  • Fixed an issue in which Vex Cyclops and Hive Shrieker health bars would not update properly
  • Reduced the number of Stealth Sword Vandals that spawn in the basement of the Terrestrial Complex on lower difficulties
  • Events
  • Public Events will occur 10-15% more frequently in all public spaces

Vendors

  • Increased the number of Bounty slots in the Inventory from 5 to 10
  • Added shaders to Eva Levante’s stock in the Tower
  • Shader preview functionality added to vendor and inventory screens
  • Emblems on vendors can now be previewed in the inventory screen
  • Marks and Reputation icons and meters were adjusted to better differentiate the two
  • Fixed an issue in which Strange Coins and Motes of Light would not route to the Postmaster if your inventory was full
  • Fixed an issue in which engrams were not displaying the possible contents in the Cryptarch vendor menu
  • Fixed an issue in which players did not receive Bounty or Mission credit when assisting in the killing of a Walker or Vex Cyclops
  • Armor Stat upgrade potentials added to item compare on vendor and inventory screens

PVP

  • General
  • Enabled revive scoring for Skirmish and Salvage
  • Fixed an exploit with revive scoring when entering a kill volume and having a teammate revive you for easy points
  • Adjusted Join in-Progress settings for all playlists to minimize long periods of unbalanced teams due to players quitting out of matches
  • Added new functionality to match pre-formed fireteams against each other
  • This will slowly roll out to all playlists over time, but will start with the 3v3 playlists
  • In 3v3 games, Fireteams of 2 or more players will match together more frequently
  • In 6v6 games, Fireteams of 4 or more players will match together more frequently

Medals

  • Won’t Be Beat now triggers correctly when a team wins a game after coming back from a 500-point losing deficit
  • Mark of the Unbroken no longer requires a minimum player count
  • Sum of All Tears no longer requires a minimum player count
  • Sum of All Tears should now trigger consistently

Maps

  • First Light
  • Implemented multiple fixes to stop players from getting into advantageous positions
  • Blind Watch
  • Addressed some balancing issues for the Control gametype by moving Zones, modifying routes, and adding cover objects
  • Adjusted landing and respawn points to accommodate new geometry changes
  • Added protection to prevent players from getting on top of a pipe high above the intended playable space
  • Firebase Delphi
  • Added protections to prevent players from getting outside the intended playable area between Control Zone A and the crane room
  • Rusted Lands
  • Blocked off the monitors above Control Zone A to prevent players from hiding in them
  • Shores of Time
  • Added a Vex pillar to prevent players from sniping through the small gap on the ninja platform
  • Implemented multiple fixes to stop players from getting into unfairly-advantageous positions
  • Exodus Blue
  • Multiple fixes implemented to stop players from getting into advantageous positions, especially the giant hose reel near Control Zone A
  • Fixed an issue with visibility culling behind Control Zone A
  • Twilight Gap
  • Adjusted landing points to keep players from fighting too soon in Rumble matches
  • Added protections to prevent players from getting into unintended areas, for example, atop the security camera at Control Zone C
  • Added geometry to fill in small gaps that let players see out of the world

HUD

  • Improved the readability of Grenade and Melee recharge states
  • Improved the visibility of objectives in the Motion Tracker
  • Improved the visual look of Revive waypoint and Last Man Standing
  • Added skull modifier descriptions to the Navigation Mode screen
  • Fixed an issue in which the names of downed teammates did not always display on-screen

Orbit

  • Destiny version number to added to the Character Login screen
  • Added dialog imagery for various events
  • Fixed an issue in which new items available from the Special Orders vendor would not show up in the message count in the Director
  • Fixed an issue in which a PlayStation Plus dialog was mistakenly shown when selecting a specific PVP activity
  • Added countdown timers for weekly/special events
  • Fixed various issues with Director animations
  • Fixed an issue in which the Player/Inventory screen would sometimes close during certain parts of the spaceflight sequence
  • Added the post-game carnage report for the previous games during Matchmaking search

Menus

  • General
  • Fixed an issue in which cursor speed in 4:3 and PAL was not consistent
  • Roster
  • Network Connection Quality Indicators now added to the Roster
  • New icons added to the scoreboard and roster to indicate voice problems due to connection issues (NAT issues)
  • Added support for direct fireteam joins from the roster on the Xbox One
  • Inventory
  • Updated Spinmetal, Relic Iron, and Helium Filaments icons to better represent in-game visuals
  • Fixed and updated several inventory icons
  • Fixed and updated several talent tree icons

Audio

  • Improved audio cues for sticking others and being stuck with certain Grenades
  • Fixed an issue in which an audio cue would not play when completing a Bounty
  • Fixed an issue in which “Guardian down!” referenced the wrong gender in French, Spanish, and Portuguese

Technical

  • Added the ability for the Bungie DOC to send in-game alerts and messages
  • Fixed stability issues across all platforms
  • Fixed an issue that would cause a rare crash during space flight into activities
  • Improved patch installation process
  • Implemented PS3-specific performance optimizations
  • Fixed some issues causing beetle and lionfish Kicks to Orbit

The Six Biggest Missed Opportunities In Destiny

Destiny

Destiny is a unique and innovative mammoth of a game, but it has unfortunately released with too many questionable design choices. The game has been severely held back from its full potential by Bungie. While not not surprising, I can’t help but feel a lot of disappointment. The game tends to shine in several areas, but all aspects of the game are marred by bad design and a lack of inspiration or thought.

Everyone is aware of the abysmal loot system in place, and everyone is aware that Peter Dinklage’s voice performance was sub-par. I’m here to bring you the six biggest missed opportunities in Destiny aside from the obvious, and how they could’ve made the game so much more than it is.

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The Lore 

When I heard that Dark Souls was the inspiration for how Bungie would tell Destiny‘s story, I was thrilled. I am too big a fan of the Souls series, and it had me even more excited for Destiny. One of my favourite parts of Dark Souls is how you have to dig to find the story. If you want to know who Gwyn is, why Quelaag resides where she does, and so on, you must dig through item descriptions and listen to dialogue to uncover details. If you were to map out a tree of lore for Dark Souls, it’d be massive and intertwined; the same cannot be said with Destiny.

Destiny tries to do the exact same thing, except that you aren’t finding items and reading them for your plot, you’re not speaking to NPCs and hearing their story, and you’re not walking through the ruins of an ancient city, scouring it for clues. In Destiny, you shoot things in the head, boot up the mobile app on your phone or PC, and read page after page of bland details. There’s no life to the world, as it’s been sucked out and placed on a tablet for your ‘viewing pleasure.’

Instead of Guns having jokes in their text, they should have history. Instead of loot chests containing grind-heavy spinmetal, they should have items that give you plot points. Instead of consumables simply explaining their purpose, they should offer insight into some of the smaller details of your character and how it functions. Instead of having about four cutscenes that slap exposition at you, there should be insightful dialogue with every NPC that you speak to – and more of them.

If you want to be Dark Souls, you have to try a lot harder than this Bungie.

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NPC Interaction

As previously mentioned, NPCs are scarce in Destiny. The worlds you explore are barren wastelands and dilapidated buildings, and the only life they offer are the enemies you slaughter. I don’t know why Bungie thought the only NPCs that the game has should be in The Tower, but that was already a mistake. NPCs that do reside in The Tower have absolutely no life to them. They have no personality, no character, and no lore. Bungie couldn’t even bother to give them actual names in some cases, as the robotic servants and other such characters are the most basic unmemorable names possible.

Why is it that NPCs do not talk to you? Why is it that they have nothing insightful to say about the items you bring them? Why did Bungie get celebrity voice cast and not utilize it to the full extent of their ability?  None of it makes sense to me, and it seems that if they wanted to make a living world, they should probably have life in it.

A huge problem that MMORPGs face is that they have dull NPCs. They generally have huge pages of dialogue to summarize the side-quest you’re about to do and why it matters. It’s unfortunate that Destiny couldn’t even contain dull dialogue, as they’d rather have approximately four speaking characters in the entirety of this ‘open world’.

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Gestures

This might seem like a nitpick compared to some of the large problems in Destiny, but I would argue that even the smallest of details matter in the long run. Gestures are a prime example of a huge misstep in basic gameplay.

Another obvious cue from Dark Souls is Destiny‘s gesture system. If you hit one of the four directional buttons on the D-Pad, your character will do an action such as sitting, dancing, or waving. This is a cute idea with comical implementation, and it even  benefits the game as you can essentially use basic communication in a game with no voice chat (why?!).

the frustrating misstep comes in with the customization of the gestures, or lack thereof. You get a total of four that are not interchangeable or customizable. Your dance changes depending on your race, but that is the extend of the creativity Bungie put in with gestures.

Why can you not learn taunts or friendly bows? Why can you not customize where your character points or the type of wave he has? Dark Souls allowed the player to do a number of actions to earn a multitude of gestures, all interchangeable at your leisure. This system helped communicate in a world of no communication,and it added flavour to the multiplayer components.

As with everything else in Destiny, they dropped the ball.

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Open World of Emptiness

It will forever baffle me that Destiny, clearly inspired by Borderlands, wanted to do away with any sort of actual collectibles and loot. Why is it that we’re given 4 sprawling planets to explore, when nothing in the world is actually worth exploring?

I had an experience with a friend when the game launched. We were casually marching to our first mission on Earth, when we noticed a cave. I immediately shouted that we should inspect the cave, for surely, there’d be some sort of reward for my keen eye and our persistence? To my dismay, all that resided within the cave was an ugly texture that somewhat resembled what a cave would look like … how exciting!

These planets are huge, and there are tons of hidden nooks and crannies for potential chests, containing randomly generated gear and items. This would actually tie in with the lore, in that you could spend time hunting out different gear and items. All of the items you’d hunt could give you benefits and insight into the lore and history of the area you’re exploring.

Instead of this, we get a total of five (wow!) golden chests to collect, half of which are hidden in missions, and a few randomly generated silver chests. This wouldn’t be so bad if the contents were more interesting, or if we had NPCs hiding in caves and other hidden areas that offered some sort of dialogue or side quest. It’s clear that Bungie would rather we go interact with a green flashy thing and get an arbitrary mission of little purpose.

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Vehicles

When Destiny was being teased, there were several images of the types of vehicles the game would offer. I don’t think I was alone when I pictured a game that would allow us to actually pilot them. Little did I know however, is that we’d only be able to actually fly or pilot two types, and they’d both be mission-specific and severely underutilized. Beyond the two attack vehicles, you are given a Sparrow, a type of transport land-speeder that allows the player to traverse the world much faster than traditional running. The Sparrow is an excellently designed vehicle, except that it lacks any actual customization beyond colour swaps.

This is not the focus of my point, however, as the main problem I see is the jump ships. We’re given several choices with the jump ship we use to travel between planets, except that you only ever see it on loading screens. There is zero purpose to the ships beyond aesthetic value, and the cost of glimmer to buy a different skin is laughable.

Why could we not have space-centric PVP where you customize and pilot a ship? Why could the Sparrow not be customized and outfitted with boosters or decals or weaponry? Why can we not fly from planet to planet? the questions go on and on, and there are no satisfactory answers to be heard.

I was so saddened to see how little purpose vehicles serve in Destiny, and it’s disappointing that we couldn’t have actual space flight or at least bare-bones customization.

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Factions

When you reach the end-game in Destiny, you’re given an option to choose a faction to fight for in the Crucible. Doing so nets you specific legendary and exotic gear, though you must rank up the faction before being able to buy anything. This sounds fine, except that it’s yet another prime example of a missed opportunity and only the most basic understanding in how a feature should be implemented.

It seems that Dark Souls is not going to stop being referenced as an inspiration for Destiny, so we’ll do with another comparison. In Dark Souls, covenants (factions) allow the player to align themselves with a specific covenant that will allow you to take part in interesting new gameplay mechanics or expand upon your experience. The Brotherhood of Blood allows you to go fight in PVP arenas where the fight is fair, The Heirs Of The Sun allow you to have a glowing orange figure as you net rewards for helping your fellow man defeat tough areas, the Bellkeepers allow you to defend the bell from intruders by being a sort of guardian. The list goes on and on for each of the Souls games, and there are a large amount of covenants to try out – all with their own specific rewards for your dedication.

In Destiny, you have three factions, none of which have any actual purpose beyond earning their gear, and even that is just as arbitrary as everything else in the game. You buy your class armour to swear yourself to the faction, and fight like normal in the PVP to rank up. There is no new mechanics added, no faction-restricted game modes, or anything to offer the player to entice them to try out a faction. It is just a title and the title is as grindy as everything else. They couldn’t even bother to make your choice a meaningful one, as you can just buy each faction’s item and rank them all up.