Gaming Enthusiast http://www.gamingenthusiast.net PC Gaming News, Reviews & Interviews Fri, 28 Aug 2015 20:23:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 Razer Announces the Razer Wildcat http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/news/razer-announces-the-razer-wildcat/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/news/razer-announces-the-razer-wildcat/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 20:21:53 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?post_type=news&p=24471

Are you ready for the Razer Wildcat eSports controller?

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Razer has been a leader in accessories for gamers, by gamers. Min-Liang Tan, the CEO of Razer, can be seen actively on the Razer social media platforms. Heading the Razer keynote from PAX Prime, Tan delivers the goods from the Razer camp with the announcement of the Razer Wildcat, the current-gen replacement for the Sabertooth and Onza in the last-gen.

backside

Some notable specs of the controller allow for button remapping, profile cycling on the fly for button profiles, along with lessened response trigger-buttons on the shoulder of the controller. The trigger stops allow for 72% reduction to shorten the response time. There is also aluminum triggers on the backside, and “high carbon steel” found standard in the thumb sticks. Instead of the Xbox One headset adapter, the panel on the bottom of the controller houses it built in.

It looks like the Razer Wildcat will launch for $149.99 in October 2015.Would you choose this over the Xbox One original or new Elite wireless controller?

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Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 4–Escape Plan Bravo PC Review http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/review/tales-from-the-borderlands-episode-4-escape-plan-bravo-pc-review/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/review/tales-from-the-borderlands-episode-4-escape-plan-bravo-pc-review/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 15:19:31 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?post_type=review&p=24445

The fourth episode of the Tales from the Borderlands series, Escape Plan Bravo, continues to bring humor and action in a well done addition to the story.

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Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Platform: PC [Reviewed], Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android, iOS
Release Date: August 18, 2015 for PC, Mac, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, August 19, 2015 for Xbox 360 and Xbox One, August 20, 2015 for Android and iOS

Tales from the Borderlands is another Telltale adventure game that, as a Borderlands fan, I was hesitant to try. Quality differs greatly from series-to-series, as Telltale adapts to each genre. As well, I didn’t want to see a series that I enjoy so much getting a mediocre addition. Thankfully, playing up to and then through Episode 4, I was pleasantly surprised at just how enjoyable the ride has been so far.

I ended up playing through almost the entirety of the first four episodes in less than 48-hours, three episodes in one day alone. Something about this series made it difficult to put down. With that said, allow me to give a brief summary of my impressions leading up to the latest episode release, Escape Plan Bravo.

Meeting Rhys, Vaughn, Fiona, Sasha, Loader Bot, and Gortys introduces an unlikely group of non-hero, allies, as they embark on their adventure. This excursion is an interesting endeavor full of humor, some serious moments, and action. Each episode felt well-paced, and the same sentiments were found in the story throughout. It was a lot of fun seeing just how well Loader Bot could hold a grudge, among other things.

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Visually, Tales from the Borderlands does an amazing job mixing together the Borderlands and the more general Telltale style. The voice acting is great, and it altogether feels like a genuine Borderlands experience. Reaching the end of Episode 3, I was excited to hop right into Episode 4, despite how late it already was in the night, just to see what would happen next.

Disclaimer: I will mention this now, if you have not finished through Episode 3, Catch a Ride, be aware that this review will be discussing plot elements from prior episodes, including up through the conclusion of Episode 3. I will avoid spoiling anything significant from Escape Plan Bravo, but it would be hard to dig into it without bringing up prior episodes in some level of detail. With that said, let’s get started.

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At the end of Episode 3, your group wasn’t doing so well. Athena had been defeated, Vaughn was nowhere to be seen after distracting Vallory, and otherwise Rhys, Fiona, Sasha, Loader Bot, and Gortys were all at the mercy of Vallory’s group that had them completely outgunned. Things were not looking good.

As Escape Plan Bravo begins, you find yourself working for Vallory at gunpoint. Your job is to collect the last piece of Gortys, the beacon, so that Vallory can control the Vault of the Traveler. Granted, a major problem makes itself immediately apparent in that you have to make your way back up to Helios in order to grab the piece. With a little help from your friendly neighborhood crazy brain buddy, you formulate a plan to get the beacon, and get to work.

The story throughout this episode felt more dramatic than prior episodes, but it still had that levity that makes the Borderlands series so enjoyable. You are forced to make some of the toughest decisions yet as you blast off into space and go about your mission on Helios. As the penultimate episode, I felt it did move a little slow at times, but at the same time, I can acknowledge the fact that the exposition was necessary for giving us what I hope is a strong conclusion in the final episode.

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Your mission will come with its share of problems, and by the end, you will see what exactly comes with many of the decisions you had made up to that point. As another well-done addition to the story so far, you may experience a range of emotions as you once again deal with Jack and the questionable methods of Hyperion, but all will lead back to excitement for seeing what exactly will happen in the final episode.

In terms of gameplay, I felt this episode was a little bit lighter than prior entries. As you play through the episode, it makes sense, but it can also be somewhat disappointing. The bulk of the action oriented gameplay finds its way into one nontraditional scene of gunplay that is positively ridiculous, but also some of the most fun you may have throughout the entirety of Tales from the Borderlands.

Besides that, there are some fun moments, but as I mentioned, this episode felt like a lot of exposition built towards giving the series a strong conclusion in the fifth and final episode. It was still very enjoyable though, and I don’t feel it is any lesser than previous entries in the series. After all, you finally get to meet Handsome Jack’s gallant steed, the diamond Butt Stallion, as more than just an odd conclusion to a Tiny Tina adventure.

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Now, I can’t say for certain if it was just my computer or if it was Escape Plan Bravo, but I did run into a few technical hiccups. Thankfully, my cursor wasn’t getting randomly stuck on the screen like in Episode 3. Instead, I ran into more visual hiccups where the game would give a slight stutter, mouth movements would be off for a few seconds, and then would even back out. It was nothing incredibly substantial, but it was also all too easy to notice.

As I mentioned, I don’t know for certain if those hiccups were a result of my own machine or not, so I won’t let that affect my review score. They also didn’t greatly affect the experience in general, as it was only a handful of times. I did feel it was worth a mention, regardless, as it could negatively affect immersion for others if it is a performance bug. In the end, I was fairly satisfied that the visual and audio quality remained relatively consistent all of the way through Escape Plan Bravo since the start of the first episode. This episode further reflected quality and care being put into the final product, as another part of this continuously well-paced adventure drew to a close.

The Bottom Line

Overall, I can say with certainty that anybody who has enjoyed Tales from the Borderlands up to this point will be entirely satisfied with what Escape Plan Bravo brings to the table. Maintaining that Borderlands charm with characters we’ve come to appreciate, the fourth episode did a great job further crafting this story that meshes will with the Borderlands universe.

With this being my first romp through Tales from the Borderlands, I can safely say that anybody who isn’t already a fan of Borderlands will find this harder to appreciate. Escape Plan Bravo went on to make many more references that you’ll only really appreciate if you’ve played through the three main games to completion. As a sequel to Borderlands 2, it makes sense, but if you went in not understanding that, a lot would be missed.

For any fan of Borderlands though, this is an easy recommendation.

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Pillars of Eternity: The White March – Part 1 Review http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/review/pillars-of-eternity-the-white-march-part-1-review/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/review/pillars-of-eternity-the-white-march-part-1-review/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 03:35:04 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?post_type=review&p=24435

Developer: Obsidian Entertainment Publisher: Paradox Interactive Platform: PC Release Date: August 25, 2015 Price: $14.99, $24.99 for Parts I & II Pillars of Eternity: The…

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Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Platform: PC
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Price: $14.99, $24.99 for Parts I & II

Pillars of Eternity: The White March – Part 1 is an expansion in the truest sense of that term. It cuts open the middle of Pillars of Eternity and carefully packs in another dozen or so hours of gameplay, along with a couple of new party characters, a slew of new items and spells. It integrates seamlessly enough, that, if it came packaged with Pillars of Eternity, you’d hardly notice that it was a separate entity at all. 

That’s both the strength and weakness of The White March – Part 1, which, as it’s name implies, is only the first part of a two-part set of expansions. We were first exposed to the expansion during E3 2015, and looked promising during the preview showing. There’s not a lot of new features on offer, but the additional content and quests are mostly of the same high-quality as the base game, providing a strong incentive to return to the world of Eora and venture north to the White March.

White March Screen 1

Fortunately, this is something you can do from just about any save file. While the new content is designed for a mid-level party, you can play it with any of your pre-existing characters. If, like me, you have a max-level party decked out in the best gear, The White March – Part 1 offers a “high-level party” option, which significantly upgrades the difficulty of the combat in order to provide a meaningful challenge. If you have a low-level party, you might need to wait until you’re a bit farther along, but the content will be waiting for you as soon as you’re ready.

The story of the game is fairly straightforward. You receive a letter asking you to venture into the White March to help out a village that’s slowly dwindling from a lack of business. The village once prospered from trade with the Dwarves of the nearby fortress of Durgan’s Battery, but it’s been abandoned for two centuries after the Dwarves mysteriously vanished. Nonetheless, the fortress likely still has the famous White Forge, which can be used to create a special kind of steel. Gain access to the forge, the villagers believe, and prosperity will flow back to them.

White March Screen 2

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of intrigue in this expansion, and the story lacks the kinds of twists and turns one might hope from writers of Obsidian’s caliber. Inside Durgan’s Battery, the mystery of what happened to the Dwarves slowly unravels, but there’s not much reason to care, and the ultimate answer is disappointingly prosaic. That’s not to say that the story isn’t well written; it is, it just happens to be rather light.

The region of The White March, which has its own world map, consists of four new areas, including the rather unimpressive and sparsely populated village of Stalwart. There’s not a lot of new NPC interactions, and social quests are few and far between.

A few mini-adventures will bring you to two of the side zones, hunting wolves, negotiating with ogres, or collecting bounties, but the real goal lies in breaking into the sealed Dwarf fortress, where you’ll have to fight your way though a sizeable dungeon. Scripted skill-based sequences have been ramped up in this expansion, and the areas are cleverly designed and full of hidden secrets that reward careful explorers. Wandering the Dwarven halls, in particular, is a pleasure. Traps, puzzles, mine-carts and all manner of dangers ensure there’s never a dull moment.

White March Screen 3

Before you get to the fortress, however, you’ll stumble upon two new prospective party members. One, Zahua, is a monk seeking the perfection of self through suffering. He provides some interesting takes on the purpose of life and the joys of drug use, but lacks a personal quest line. The other is a murderous rogue called the “Devil of Caroc”, who happens to be trapped in a mechanical body. She’s by far the more interesting of the two, largely thanks to snappy dialogue and strong voice acting. She also has a short but powerful quest line that raises the kind of moral quandary one expects from Pillars of Eternity.

The expansion raises the level cap to 14, meaning a number of new abilities and a higher tier of spells have been introduced. It also adds soulbound items, which are special weapons that bind to a single character. These weapons grow in power through use, gaining new effects and abilities as they do. It’s a nice touch, providing a real sense of attachment to the items. Unfortunately, there are only a handful of them, and they’re unlikely to seriously change how you play the game.

A few other welcome tweaks have also been made, but these are more in the nature of a patch, such as being able to set party member AI, and tracking stealth individually for each character.

White March Screen 4

Outside of the region of The White March, a new high-level quest and associated area have also been introduced. The tower of the powerful wizard Concelhaut (after whom some of the game’s spells are named) is under siege by mercenaries. You naturally wander off to find out what’s going on, and soon find yourself caught up in a little war between his apprentices and rivals. I won’t spoil the (fairly light) plot, but if there’s a true boss to The White March – Part 1, it’s here. The area provides a rewarding challenge to experienced players, and a bevy of loot.

The Bottom Line

It’s all in a few days’ work, however, and you’ll soon find yourself out of new adventures to undertake. Part 2 of The White March is obliquely hinted at the end, but Part 1 is fairly self-contained. It’s a nice diversion from the main story of the game, one that leaves  you with deeper pockets, more shiny baubles, and a couple new friends.

While it doesn’t always work with the same narrative heft as the main story,  it’s still a consistently enjoyable experience that doesn’t derogate from the quality of Pillars of Eternity. Indeed, like any good expansion, it expands it.

Click here for our official Pillars of Eternity review.

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Battle of Jakku in Star Wars Battlefront – A First Look http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/news/battle-of-jakku-in-star-wars-battlefront-a-first-look/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/news/battle-of-jakku-in-star-wars-battlefront-a-first-look/#comments Fri, 28 Aug 2015 00:20:04 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?post_type=news&p=24456

EA has revealed concept art from the Battle of Jakku, coming to Star Wars Battlefront December 1st for pre-orders, and December 8th for everyone else.

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Arriving between November 17th and November 20th worldwide, the new Star Wars Battlefront is a highly anticipated title. Today, EA revealed art from the Battle of Jakku, as it was 29 years prior to its appearance in the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Battle of Jakku is described as a pivotal moment, a battle reflecting the idea of a small brave force fighting against a much greater threat. You will get to experience the battle that leaves Jakku as the battle-scarred landscape that will be seen in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

In the artwork at the top of the article, you can see a crash landed Star Destroyer. From the belly of this metallic beast comes Imperial ground troops, evacuating only to enter battle with Rebel soldiers, all of them unfamiliar with the desert environment surrounding them.

Jakku 2

One major thing DICE Concept Artist Anton Grandert was looking to convey with this battle artwork is the scale of it, with combat happening on all sides. Another emphasis was on the size difference between the visual elements, explained by the following quote:

There’s a David and Goliath theme to this. The epic, huge super structures of the Star Destroyers contrast against the tiny but brave Rebel soldiers fighting the Imperial forces.

– DICE Concept Artist Anton Grandert

The last major thing they wanted to reflect with this battle was variation in combat seen in the Star Wars universe, both taking place on land and in the sky. Grandert went on to provide the following quote, summarizing the overall goal with the Battle of Jakku:

We wanted to portray a battle completely surrounding you, in every direction. Debris is falling from the sky, telling the story of battles above. On the surface of the planet you can see ground troops as well as X-wings, all taking part of the fight.

Along with Jakku, other iconic planets such as Hoth, Tatooine, and Endor, as well as the previously unexplored Sullust, will all make an appearance. The Battle of Jakku, which includes two full new maps, will be coming to Star Wars Battlefront on December 1st, 2015 for all who pre-order, and a week later for everybody else, completely for free.

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Diablo III gets a facelift with 2.3.0 patch http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/news/diablo-3-gets-a-facelift-with-2-3-0-patch/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/news/diablo-3-gets-a-facelift-with-2-3-0-patch/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:31:32 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?post_type=news&p=24423

The much anticipated patch 2.3.0 for Diablo III is now live. Players have been waiting what seems like an enternity for the massive patch that includes…

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The much anticipated patch 2.3.0 for Diablo III is now live. Players have been waiting what seems like an enternity for the massive patch that includes new items, zones, weapons, and an interesting cube that explains the origin of Diablo II’s Horadric Cube.

This comes in the form of Kanai’s Cube, a incrediblely powerful tool that, Blizzard says, will change the way players think about every item drop. One of the most attractive features of the cube is the ability to extract a Legendary Power from it and equip said power without the need to equip the item it is tied to. Each Legendary item can also now be reforged to randamize every roll of the item, allowing players to take a chance on discovering something new, as if it were the first time the item dropped.

Kanai’s Cube is found in Ruins of Sescheron, a brand new zone for players to fight through and explore. This zone also serves as a set piece for brand new enemies that players can face off against.

Another great feature of the patch is the ability to track progress through every Season. This will begin in Season 4 and continue onward, where players can individually track their milestones throughout the progression of any Season.

Patch 2.3.0 is huge and outlining every detail would be absurd, so head over here to read the full patch notes, or if you’re more of the visual type, check out the overview for the patch in the video below.

 

 

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CD Projekt Red says thanks http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/news/cd-projekt-red-says-thanks/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/news/cd-projekt-red-says-thanks/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 21:09:39 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?post_type=news&p=24416

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has received unprecedented amounts of praise since it’s release on May 19th, 2015. CD Projekt RED, the Polish studio responsible for The…

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has received unprecedented amounts of praise since it’s release on May 19th, 2015. CD Projekt RED, the Polish studio responsible for The Witcher  franchise, wants to say “thanks” for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt selling “…6 million copies of the game in six weeks since launch.”

It isn’t often that humility is shown in the face of success, however, a letter from the studio was sent out to expresses the team’s gratitude for all the support the game has received.

This is what Adam Badowski,Head of Studio at CD Projekt RED had to say:

For us, all your high praise, all the positive reviews, are also an obligation — we’ve made a really good game but there’s still a long road ahead of us. Everyone here in CD PROJEKT RED is really attached to their work and how you, the gamers, perceive it.

He goes on to write:

Yes, six million copies is a great achievement for a company making RPGs, but this business is not only about that. If our games are a gallery of sound, picture and text – you are the visitors of this gallery. To an artist, there’s no sweeter sight than people enjoying their work. That’s why, in the name of all the devs in the studio, I’d like to say thanks to each and every one of you.

It’s very uncommon for such a large developer to reach out to their community on a personal level. What do you think about this letter? Should other developers become for involved with their audience?

CD Projekt RED is a game development studio based out of Poland. They are the minds behind all The Witcher games and are currently developing their newest game, Cyberpunk 2077. Check out our official review of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, where Matt M. scored it a “10/10″.

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Dying Light’s Co-Op Demo Now Available! http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/dying-lights-co-op-demo-now-available/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/dying-lights-co-op-demo-now-available/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 19:29:05 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?p=24413

Techland treated us to a sweet 15 minutes of gameplay of Dying Light: The Following the other day, and it looks pretty cool. Still, there’s…

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Techland treated us to a sweet 15 minutes of gameplay of Dying Light: The Following the other day, and it looks pretty cool. Still, there’s something about gameplay footage that leaves us both impressed, but wanting more. We want to actually experience the controls and get a feel for the general pacing of a game, and that’s something that gameplay can’t give us.

Techland totally gets that, and they’ve decided to release a free demo that offers 3 hours of unique content that’ll include one quest chain, a number of side quests, challenges, and random encounters. Most of the Slums area will be accessible in the demo; it will feature the core gameplay mechanics of Dying Light, like the day and night cycles, the parkour-based Natural Movement system, creative brutality, and crafting. As an added bonus, the demo supports online co-op mode for up to four players.

We could go on and on about how awesome this demo is and how you should totally download it right this minute, but we know some folks need a little more encouragement. Here’s a creative compilation of what other players have to say about the new Dying Light demo:

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The Classic Turok Games Are Getting Digital Remasters http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/the-classic-turok-games-are-getting-digital-remasters/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/the-classic-turok-games-are-getting-digital-remasters/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 18:28:10 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?p=24410

Many games are lost to a bygone era, limited to specific (and often phased-out) consoles or simply too low-specs to be enjoyable on modern computers.…

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Many games are lost to a bygone era, limited to specific (and often phased-out) consoles or simply too low-specs to be enjoyable on modern computers. Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil would be among those games, but Night Dive Studios is coming to the rescue.

Specializing in the restoration of classic PC titles, Night Dive Studios has taken it upon themselves to remaster both Turok titles for modern PCs. Just to refresh your memory: these titles were first developed for the PC in 1997 and the Nintendo 64 in 1999. Night Dive will be enhancing the graphics and making other improvements to them.

Why the Turok titles, though? “When Turok: Dinosaur Hunter was first released it was nothing short of revolutionary. To that point, no game had ever offered the combination of graphics and an open world environment that Turok featured. We are very excited to have the opportunity to bring this great franchise back to life and to be able to share these great titles with today’s gaming audience,” explains Stephen Kick, CEO and founder of Night Dive Studios. The studio hasn’t announced a specific release date yet, but we’ll be sure to update you when they do.

The Turok: Dinosaur Hunter and Turok 2: Seeds of Evil digital remasters will be made available exclusively through Steam, the Humble Bundle store, GOG (Good Old Games), GamersGate, Greenman Gaming, and via the Night Dive Studios website.

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Pillars of Eternity – The White March: Part 1 Available Now! http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/pillars-of-eternity-the-white-march-part-1-available-now/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/pillars-of-eternity-the-white-march-part-1-available-now/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 17:37:53 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?p=24407

Pillars of Eternity – Obsidian Entertainment and Paradox Interactive’s critically-acclaimed RPG – has just gotten its first full expansion, The White March: Part I. The…

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Pillars of Eternity – Obsidian Entertainment and Paradox Interactive’s critically-acclaimed RPG – has just gotten its first full expansion, The White March: Part I.

The first of the two-parter expansion builds on the story of the original game, and brings to Eora a number of new maps, quests, and companions. New gameplay features are also being introduced in this expansion: multi-class abilities, soulbound weapons, and a higher level cap. There’s also a new party AI system for combat, and expanded content for all existing characters. Whether you’re a Pillars of Eternity veteran, or you’re new to the game, there’s plenty of dynamic new content for you to enjoy.

Pillars of Eternity – The White March: Part 1 is now available for purchase at $14.99, or you could buy The White March expansion bundle at $24.99 and instantly get access to Part 2 when it’s released. Check out the trailer if you still need a little more convincing!

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ARK: Survival Evolved’s Latest Update Gives You… Giant Armadillos? http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/ark-survival-evolveds-latest-update-gives-you-giant-armadillos/ http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/ark-survival-evolveds-latest-update-gives-you-giant-armadillos/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 16:21:59 +0000 http://www.gamingenthusiast.net/?p=24401

ARK: Survival Evolved is currently the most popular Early Access game on Steam, and they’re giving you even more reasons to keep coming back! This…

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ARK: Survival Evolved is currently the most popular Early Access game on Steam, and they’re giving you even more reasons to keep coming back! This time around, they’re tossing a couple of new things your way: a new pet, a mysterious plant, and a helpful painting tool.

ARK Doedicurus

First off, your new giant pet armadillo. Kidding! You’re getting a Doedicurus, a rolling, stone-harvesting, hard-shelled creature that’s essentially a giant armadillo. Freak it out a bit and it will retreat to its shell, but that’s not all the shell is good for; when riding the Doedicurus, you can enter “shell charge” mode and curl up into an almost-indestructible ball. Pretty handy for mowing down your enemies, or even just closing the distance between you and your target.

Next up, the new mysterious plant. They call it “Plant Species X,” and it’ll defend your base with vicious, stinging spores. Pretty badass, but we’d also really rather not be on the receiving end of that. Such a violent plant, for something so pretty.

ARK Plant Species X

Lastly, players will be getting the modern Spray Painting item, which will be useful for rapid bulk painting of Structures. Convenience!

These awesome updates are available now, all you’ve got to do is update your game. New to ARK: Survival Evolved? Download it on Steam. Now go, search the mountains (and maybe check the grasslands) for your own Doedicurus!

The post ARK: Survival Evolved’s Latest Update Gives You… Giant Armadillos? appeared first on Gaming Enthusiast.

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