My recent trip to America was a bunch of fun. I learnt a lot about 'MURICA, but what my trip taught me more than anything is that the selfie is here to stay. The number of people wielding selfie sticks was too damn high! It’s a weird cultural phenomenon that’s snuck its way into gaming over the years too. Blizzard for example added an actual selfie camera and hipster filters to their long running MMORPG World of Warcraft earlier this year. Thought it was useless? Think again, it could win you a trip to Blizzcon!
The Division is quickly turning into Ubisoft's second mythical unicorn. Despite the fact that we keep hearing about it, it's been a long time since anyone outside the Private Alpha has actually seen the game running. Now that the game got pushed back to 2016, it could end up staying that way for a long time - unless Ubisoft follow through on their supposed beta plans.
I know, I know - which release dates are ever set in stone at this stage. Last year Ubisoft announced the expected delay of their MMO shooter, The Division, to an audience of scarcely surprised faces. The game had hardly been shown off since its first reveal, and a late 2015 launch seemed the more logical bet. A bet that you would've lost if you took it.
Console gaming is great - you can sit on the couch, hold a controller and play on a gorgeous big screen TV. However, not all games and genres make it to all platforms. While Neverwinter is there for MMO fans who want to play on Xbox One, many people have been holding out for The Elder Scroll Online to land on PS4 and Xbox One. Just be prepared to delete some games to make room for the massive client.
Sleeping Dogs was a fantastic experience. With a compelling protagonist, a unique world to play in and plenty of Kung Fu fun, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Triad Wars is meant to continue that wonderful experience in a new form, but I'm not convinced.
From the faithfully recreated, bustling streets of Hong Kong to the visceral hand-to-hand combat, Sleeping Dogs was a sleeper hit when it launched, and quickly cemented itself as a cult classic. It’s one of those polarising experiences though, that either had you loving or hating it, with a pretty standard sandbox formula giving way to a new setting and gameplay mechanics. Instead of a proper sequel, we’re getting Triad Wars – an online vertical slice of Sleeping Dogs that’s probably going to divide far fewer people.
World of Warcraft is a testament of time. Every time it looks like subscriber numbers are irreparably dwindling, Blizzard manages to suck dedicated fans right back in. Last year that came in the form of Warlords of Draenor, which served as a rather fantastic expansion for the ever popular MMO. This year, it's a new feature that will allow you to play World of Warcraft for free. Sort of.
Bungie thinks that they're doing what their players want, but that couldn't be further from the truth after Destiny's last patch. The update removed the option to solo one of the games hardest recurring challenges, with tough players now having to partner up with random folk to take on Weekly Heroics. The good news is that there's a workaround for now. The bad news is that it probably won't be around for long.
All games go through a range of testing. However, with games growing exponentially, in-house teams simply can't get through everything and test all the features during the Alpha and Beta stages. As a result, the premium testing experience is offered to players who can't wait to get their hands on the game. It looks like Ubisoft's next multiplayer-dependent game will use this model, too.
I stopped playing Destiny a long time ago, but I’ve kept my eye on what Bungie has been doing with their ever growing MMO shooter over the past few months. It’s becoming apparent that really high level players are hitting the wall, forcing them to seek out ridiculous challenges and strikes just to stay entertained. That’s included some really entertaining solo Strike runs, which technically shouldn’t be possible within the game’s rules. And now Bungie is making it completely impossible.
World of Tanks is a, surprisingly, really popular, well designed free to play multiplayer title. It blossomed on PC, shortly after which it made it’s free debut on the Xbox 360. Anyone with an Xbox Live Gold account could get in on the tank rolling fun, and soon you’ll be able to do the exact same on the Xbox One.
Late into last year a massive leak spilled all the beans about Destiny’s projected potential, and how Bungie were planning to add even more content beyond the upcoming House of Wolves Expansion. The most interesting leak was that of Comet: Plague of Darkness, which was billed as a massive content add-on – almost as big as Destiny itself. And now Activision has gone ahead and confirmed it all.
World of Warcraft is a testament to good game design. An MMO that has players addicted, and one that has managed to stand tall over all competitors throughout its decade long existence. Blizzard has so carefully designed every element of the game to make it act like digital cocaine. So what's the next big feature I hear you asking? Well, selfies of course.
When I think about online shooters, my mind never wanders beyond a lobby with a maximum of 16 or so players. That's because I don;t really play shooters MMOs, but I do know that Planetside 2 is one of the more popular ones. So popular in fact, that the community decided to break a world record this weekend - which tested how big an online fight can really get.
When heart of Thorns appeared on the internet last week, Guild Wars 2 developers ArenaNet simply told fans to wait until PAX for an official announcement. That panel has come and gone, and Heart of Thorns has been properly revealed as the first expansion to one of the best MMOs around. And it's bringing with it some genre defining changes.