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Valve has just given one of Counter-Strike's most famous maps a new look and feel, with Train being updated with new higher-end graphics and a bit of a tweak to the gameplay, too.
The company reworked the map from the ground up in order to "improve both the visual appearance and competitive gameplay balance of this iconic location" the company wrote on its Counter-Strike blog. Valve continued: "Our primary goals were to improve the gameplay balance of the map while simultaneously upgrading the overall visual experience. This meant making more intuitive layout changes, then re-interpreting large and small-scale environment elements to improve judgement of space and distance".
Valve have a before-and-after shot available on their Counter-Strike blog, which gives you a great look at just how much work they've done to Train. We've taken a screenshot of that above, to give you a quick look at what to expect. The company goes into great detail on the big, and subtle changes it has done to Train, so check out the full blog article here.
The creator of DayZ has officially announced his new studio, as he leaves his first job behind him at Bohemia Interactive. Dean Hall has promised to continue helping the team finish DayZ, which is preparing for a 2016 launch.
Hall spoke with Polygon, which asked if he was officially no longer with Bohemia Interactive, to which Hall replied "While my role as project lead officially winds up, my involvement continues as the creator. Bohemia are not only people I've worked with, but they're close friends. We have an ongoing relationship and I'm committed to providing whatever support and assistance that is appropriate and required for the title to continue to succeed. I'm excited by the continued progress of DayZ into a much more streamlined and traditional production development cycle".
There's not much known about Hall's new studio, but he did say "Not much to really say at the moment, the focus of the studio is to make games that we want to play. As a consumer I get quite frustrated when movies/games are announced very far in advance. I know why it's done but I don't like it and hopefully I can make games without having to resort to that. So for the moment I'm keeping quiet about what we are doing until I have something worthwhile to say".
Microsoft really made a name for itself with the Flight Simulator games, but after last year's free-to-play Microsoft Flight, all has ended for the game.... until now. Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition is coming, thanks to Dovetail Games.
You've probably never heard of Dovetail Games, but they're the developer who released Train Simulator, and are now working on the re-release of FSX. The company secured the rights to develop games using Microsoft's flight simulator technology, with the deal including the rights to re-release FSX on Steam. You might think this is ages away, but Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition is coming soon, very soon: December 18, to be precise - or, a week from now.
Dovetail explains the game: "Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition delivers an authentically accurate aerial experience for simulation enthusiasts and those with a passion for all things flight. Pilots can climb into the cockpits of over twenty aircraft, from commercial and fighter jets to single-engine private planes and helicopters. More than 80 missions will test players in a variety of ways, including search and rescue challenges, test pilot scenarios, races and more. The game features updated multiplayer functionality, Windows 8.1 support and over 24,000 airports, delivering a beautiful, connected world and vast horizon begging to be explored".
According to an image posted on Instagram by Stephen Lunsford, who starred in MTV's 'Teen Wolf', he is working with Crystal Dynamics. Crystal Dynamics being the developer of the recent Tomb Raider reboot, and the upcoming Xbox One timed exclusive Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Lunsford explained that he "will be creating a [Tomb Raider] mini-series to be released with Rise of The Tomb Raider" that will be both a prequel to the upcoming Xbox One timed exclusive, and an "eventual" live-action feature. We don't know what capacity Lunsford plays in the live-action mini-series, but this is exciting news for Tomb Raider fans.
We know that The Witcher 3 has been delayed, and while that might disappoint most gamers it could be good for the game. A couple of days ago CD Projekt Red announced it had delayed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt until May 19, 2015.
Adam Kiciński, a member of the Board of CD Projekt Red talked with Eurogamer, talked about not wanting to release The Witcher 3 early. He said that gamers "took our decision very well. [The] market is afraid of badly polished games on next-gen platforms". He added: "We want to disarm the opinion that [The Witcher 3] doesn't exist. It will be closed by the end of the year in line with the schedule". Kiciński said that the Board agreed that the company set the February 2015 release date too early, he said: "We announced the release date very early and we're paying for it now".
Kiciński continued: "There's a lot of small errors though, because the game is huge. It's the only reason behind the delay. We didn't assume it will be this big. Only after putting all the pieces together it turned out it's bigger than the two first put together. Let me remind you: it's open and not linear. We are just learning how to play it and we have to catch the little pieces. We know what to do, we just have to do it. We don't want to release the game with bugs that undermine the gameplay".
Microsoft today released Minecraft Pocket Edition for the Windows Phone, available for $6.99. The Windows Phone version also includes Creative mode, Survival mode, and Wi-Fi-based multiplayer mode. Interested gamers must be running Windows Phone 8.1 on their smartphones.
The price tag is the same for Windows Phone, Google Android, and Apple iOS. The extremely popular game is available on a large variety of different platforms: Microsoft Windows, Mac, Linux, Microsoft Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Sony PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Raspberry Pi.
Microsoft bought Mojang and Minecraft earlier this year for $2.5 billion, and has promised to continue its development in a manner that won't alienate avid Minecraft gamers.
Evolution Studios has been working around the clock to make it right with its PlayStation 4 exclusive Drive Club, with the latest patch for the game not only fixing up some of the issues with the game, but it is offering up some damn impressive dynamic weather effects.
Driveclub is now sitting at version 1.08, with the latest update coming in at 1.4GB, adding rain and snow to both the offline and online modes for the game. There are also two new tracks: Norway's Atlanterhavsvegen and Canada's Sinclair Pass as well as the improvements that the developer promised not too long ago. The patch provides:
- Adds the option to configure Throttle/Brake controls onto Up/Down on Right Stick.
- Adds the ability to access Club Cars when offline.
- Adds the ability to access Club Paint Jobs when offline.
- Adds track maps and stats to each track card in Single Event.
- Adds player statistics to various panels within Single Event and Challenges.
- Includes more minor bug fixes, performance improvements and usability tweaks.
We know that both Target and Kmart Australia have banned Grand Theft Auto V from their shelves, with a petition that has been fired back by peeved gamers that want to see the Bible banned from sale, too. Well, now Take-Two Interactive's Chairman and CEO, Karl Slatoff has stepped up to talk about it all.
Slatoff talked at the BMO Capital Markets 2014 Technology & Digital Media Conference, where he said that people who find individual pieces of content offensive should simply not purchase that product. He said: "It's one thing for someone to not want to buy a piece of content, which is completely understandable. And that's really the solution. If you don't like it and it's offensive to you, then you don't buy it".
He also talked about the petition, and that the results were an infringement on free speech, where he added: "For a person or a group of people to try to make that decision for millions of people... We have 34 million people who bought Grand Theft Auto, and if these folks had their way, none of those people would be able to buy Grand Theft Auto. And that really just flies in the face of everything that free society is based on. It's the freedom of expression, and to try to squelch that is a dangerous and slippery slope to go down".
Microsoft has a nice exclusive for the Xbox One next year, with Rise of the Tomb Raider hitting its console sometime in 2015. The company's Head of Global Product Marketing, Aaron Greenberg, announced the news on Twitter. Greenberg said: "Yes we are publishing Rise of the Tomb Raider".
The company announced its exclusivity of the sequel to Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider at E3 2014 earlier this year, and then at Gamescom 2014, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President Phil Harrison announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be a timed exclusive for the Xbox One. This means the PlayStation 4 and PC could see Rise of the Tomb Raider sometime after it hits the Xbox One, but that timed exclusive for Microsoft could be months.
The reboot of Tomb Raider from Crystal Dynamics has been a big hit for the company, with Tomb Raider selling millions upon millions of copies across the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It was then released for the PS4 and Xbox One as Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, and then we've just had the launch of Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, too.
Alien: Isolation is one of the scariest, most atmospheric games ever made... so why not make it even harder? That must be the exact train of thought that Creative Assembly, the developer of the game, is on, as they've just announced two new difficulty modes for the game. Novice, and Nightmare.
Novice will slide in before Easy, Normal and Hard modes, but it's the Nightmare mode that has people excited. Creative Assembly promises that the new Nightmare mode provides the "ultimate alien". Nightmare cranks up the scares by making your motion tracker not-so-perfect, as its signal can be kinda on the fritz half the time. Other tweaks inside of the Nightmare mode for Alien: Isolation include faster-burning fuel for your flamethrower that is also harder to find.
The Novice mode for the game provides a slower, less adaptive and not-so-clicked-on Xenomorph, which can be good for gamers who don't want to be replacing their pants every 15 minutes. The combat in Alien: Isolation is also dialled down a notch on Novice, making it easier to play through the game in general.