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Two of the biggest games coming this year are from Ubisoft, with Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed: Unity not far from release. Steam is now listing pre-purchase deals on these two games.
If you purchase Far Cry 4 on Steam before it launches in November, you'll receive Hurk's Redemption Missions which feature 60 minutes of gameplay, as well as an additional three missions, and an exclusive weapon. When it comes to Assassin's Creed: Unity, which is due to stealth down onto your PC in October, pre-order bonuses include the Chemical Revolution Mission, Royal Arsenal Pack, Athos Duel Shir, Black Musketeer Breeches and Pappenheimer Rapier
When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is released later in the year, there will be three different versions, with three different prices. Starting at $59.99 for the standard version, to $79.99 for the limited version which will include some extra content, all the way up to $119.99 for the Atlas Pro Edition, which will include the game's season pass add-on content.
Normally we receive some ridiculous things in these expensive bundles, but Activision is providing digital incentives this time around. The $79.99, gamers will receive the Atlas Limited Edition, which includes the game itself, a SteelBook metal case, a physical manual for the game, and a bunch of digital goods: the game's soundtrack, two weapons, an upgrade for the military exoskeleton for the single-player mode and more. Also included is the Atlas Gorge multiplayer map, which is a re-made map from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, where it was known as Pipeline.
The massively expensive $119.99 version of the game includes all of the above content, but it also throws in the Advanced Warfare season pass, which includes four downloadable content packs for 2015. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launches on November 4 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PC.
EA has just announced a new subscription service exclusive to the Xbox One, known as Access. EA's new Access service will offer a bunch of EA games for a single, flat rate. Access launches in beta form today, but will soon be rolled out to all Xbox One users.
The Access beta will include four games for the moment, with FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2 and Battlefield 4, with more games on their way. EA Access membership also includes 10% discount on all of EA's digital content, even full games sold through the Xbox Games Store. Access members will also receive early access to trials of games, including Madden NFL 15, NHL 15, FIFA 15, NBA Live 15, and Dragon Age: Inquisition, up to five days before these games hit retail.
EA will be offering Access for $4.99 per month, or $29.99 yearly. Game retailers like GameStop will also be offering Access memberships, something that will be made available across the US, Europe and Canada.
Valve has released a statement regarding its DOTA2 championship tournament, The International, where the company saw over 20 million people tuning into the $10 million tournament.
Last year's The International had around one million peak concurrent viewers, but this year Valve said that it had "well over 2 million" peak concurrent viewers. This year's The International tournament was also streamed through Twitch in multiple languages, with channels that were tailored to newcomers who wanted to watch the tournament "spoiler free" and at their own pace.
The International may have had huge viewership this year, but it still fell behind the numbers that the recent League of Legends season finals pulled. Riot Games, the developer behind League of Legends, has said that its game pulled in 32 million viewers last year, with 8.5 million peak concurrent viewers. Comparing these numbers against established, mainstream sports such as the Super Bowl, which drew 111 million TV viewers and around 2.3 million streaming it online.
A study from a British university has claimed some gamers who play for extended periods of time begin to hear sound effects in their heads, including "maddening" screams.
Nottingham Trent University explored something referred to as game transfer phenomena, when players find that gaming influences either their perceptions or behaviors out in the real-world. Of the 1,244 players who were surveyed, one in ten experienced auditory hallucinations after they'd put down the controller, including the whistling of bullets, the pew pew of lasers, beeping or the sound of vehicles.
In one of the more extreme cases, a gamer heard the word 'death' whispered over and over again for days, and another heard the words 'go, go, go' whenever he was near crowds. "These experiences can sometimes result in illogical thoughts and behaviors," a psych researcher from Nottingham Trent, Angelica Ortiz, said. "It's important to help gamers understand their experiences since re-experiencing sounds and voices may provoke distress, especially when associated with dangerous situations in the game."
I can finally say I've seen everything, even with all of the crazy stuff that comes out of Japan. Someone has got Doom running on an ATM - yes the same Automatic Teller Machine that dispenses you cash.
Contrlling it was an entire new game, something that looks quite hard to do. Doom on an ATM required an Australian guy, using an OEM PC and display, with an i-Pac controller for mapping the side buttons. Even the PIN was used for controlling the game, something that would be incredibly hard to get used to. We've all see the PC master race, but what about an ATM master race?
Something that was expected for Comic-Con this year was a tease of the next Mass Effect game from BioWare. What was shown off at E3 2014 wasn't much, but now we have actual information about some of the things we'll find in the game itself.
For Mass Effect fans, you'll be happy to know that the Mako is making a return. This means we should see some added planetary surface exploration, something that hasn't made a return since the first Mass Effect game. You can see the new Mako in the picture above, with the panel at Comic-Con receiving a short video seeing it drive around, but that isn't available to anyone to watch online unfortunately.
What we do know, is that the new Mass Effect will not be called Mass Effect 4. The new Mass Effect is something totally new, pushing Shepard out of the way. We also get to take a look at some N7 armor that looks like it is placed on human male character in the game, but there will be a gender choice in the new Mass Effect, something that has been quite important to the franchise itself.
We've now just had our first look at the new Unreal Tournament, with a bunch of detail talked about for the upcoming first-person shooter. There's a few videos you can get your hands-on, with the game's Art Director, Chris Perna, giving us a bunch of information.
All-in-all, there's 47 minutes worth of video from Epic Games' streamed reveal of brand new concept art on the next-gen Unreal Tournament. Perna discusses this in the video above, where he says they're going for a "Chris Nolan Batman Begins look" instead of a "Tim Burton Batman look". Perna wants "something more polished" with "more realism, without going over the top" and repeating what Epic "did with Gears of War and UT3" where those games were "dark and grungy".
Senior Designer Jim Brown jumps in, saying: "You start with a map that's just kind of the basic shell, and we just focus on the gameplay. Independent of us doing that, a lot of times, Chris and the art guys will make these little vignettes that are - what would you call them?" Perna continues: "There are many different environments in UT. There's going to be different colors and different environments, but what this does is give you, maybe, a quality bar. 'Hey, all those different things need to have a lighting quality and a mood about them that feels like this.'"
While on a research trip to Nepal, two Ubisoft developers experienced a legitimate ritual sacrifice of a goat. The two developers jetsetted off to Nepal for some research, as Nepal is the inspiration for Kyrat, the fictitious Himalayan setting of Far Cry 4.
Far Cry 4's Game Narrative Director, Mark Thompson and the Associate Producer on the game, Phil Fournier, made the trip with Vice's Krishna Andavolu. Once they arrived in Kathmandu, the group heard a rumor that there was going to be an animal sacrifice, so they found their way into the event. The sacrifice was made possible thanks to a man providing the goat on behalf of his family to Kali, who is the Hindu goddess of change and destruction.
The video, above, is the first of a three-part series that goes into the source material and inspiration behind the fourth outing in the Far Cry world. At Comic-Con, the Creative Director behind Far Cry 4, Alex Hutchinson, told the audience that another Vice documentary titled "The Vice Guide to Liberia" offered another inspiration, this one for the game's villain, Pagan Min.
Thanks to San Diego Comic-Con currently underway, we've just received the first look of the upcoming Ridley Scott-produced digital series, Halo: Nightfall. Microsoft, 343 Industries and Scott Free Productions have been working together, unleashing this trailer to the world just hours ago.
Halo: Nightfall is a live-action digital series with its story taking place between the events of Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians. At the center of it, is Agent Locke, who is a character that is new to the Halo universe. Locke leads a team of soldiers from the Office of Naval Intelligence as they are investigating terrorist activity on a distant planet known as Sedra.
The trailer doesn't inspire much, but we might just be seeing a bare tease of Nightfall, but let's hope things get better from here.