Gears of War 4 MP beta

I was lucky enough to get early access to the Gears of War 4 MP beta which is happening now.

I tried to get some game time in on Sunday afternoon but there was literally no-one playing. I had better luck last night, NZ time, though, as obviously more Americans were awake and joined in.

Coming from The Coalition (much of the team worked on previous GOW games), Gears of War 4 takes place 15 years after GOW3 ended and stars JD Fenix, who is the son of GOW main character Marcus Fenix. The full games is scheduled for release on October 11.

I’m not great at MP games (regular readers will have read my piece on how my fingers just can’t keep up these days) but I played a few rounds of MP Team Deathmatch on Sunday night and my lack of MP skills didn’t disappoint but a nice touch is that once all you’ve used up all your allocated spawns you can’t rejoin the game so eventually it just becomes one against those on the opposing team (if they’ve whipped your team’s butt). The beta has three maps: Foundation, Dam and Harbour,  two game modes: Team Deathmatch and Dodgeball and there will be an open beta from April 25 to May 1.

New features include active reload all the time now, not just when you need to reload, and if you get it right it gives you a nice little XP bonus and you’re also able to pull an enemy from behind their cover and shank them. I didn’t manage to do any of that: I was too busy remembering what buttons did what on the controller it’s been so long since I’ve played any GOW MP matches. The full game will match players with a similar skill level, which suits players like me, and weapons in the beta include the lancer/hammerburst, gnasher shotgun, snub pistol and combat knife (useful for stabbing things). Chainsaw duels are here, as are the executions.

Here, watch this five-minute clip of me dying a bit but actually get a kill (or two, I think) in.

Xbox and PlayStation bring the games to E3 2015

Firstly, I guess I’m sitting at two for three when it comes to pre-E3 predictions then, given that my three most anticipated games for E3 2015  were Mass Effect 4, a new Hitman game and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

OK, the Mass Effect reveal didn’t show game play footage but hey, EA has still announced it, as has SquareEnix with the latest game in the Hitman series featuring old baldy, Agent 47. All I need now if for SquareEnix to showcase the new Deus Ex game and I’ll be a happy man.

I was thinking earlier today about how I was going to cover today’s press events from Xbox and Sony: Would I write it up, game by game, announcement by announcement, giving my opinion on everything? Or would I just let the trailers speak for themselves?

I’ve decided that I’ll let the visuals speak for themselves. I’m not going to do these “Xbox/Sony Won E3” write-ups that inevitably appear after E3’s pre-show events.Frankly, they’re pointless (and I probably did them in the past).

Do you want to know who won? Gamers won, that’s who. Let’s stop this “X won E3!”bullshit. There was plenty there for Xbox gamers, plenty there for PlayStation gamers. Gamers won.

Tomorrow, I believe there is a dedicated PC gaming event so I’ll watch that as I’m sooooo close to plonking down close to $NZ600 on a new nVidia Geforce GTXC970 GPU so I want to see what I can do with it.

I got up at 4.15am to watch the Xbox press event and it had games like Rise of the Tomb Raider, Halo 5 Guardians, a compilation of 30 games from British developer Rare, backward compatibility with Xbox 360 games (I’m guessing it’s some form of emulation where you’ll have to download a digital version of the game, even if you own a disc copy), a rather impressive game from New Zealand development studio Aurora 44 (where are they based? Call me! Lets talk!) called Ashen (which had a real Shadow of the Colossus/Journey feel to it), a game from another Keewee Dean “Rocket” Hall called Ion, a rather impressive demo of Hololens and Minecraft (although, I’m sceptical about Hololens until it’s actually at retail and we can see it in real-world conditions) and a re-mastered version of the original Gears of War, as well as Gears of War 4.

It was a solid showing. I’ve got trailers for some of them below.

Gears of War 4: 

Halo 5 Guardians: 

Ashen: 

Ion: 

Sony

From what I’ve heard about Sony’s press event, it seemed to be full of fan service (I didn’t watch it. I was working) and no doubt wooed the crowd by finally showing The Last Guardian, a game that seems to have been written off as vaporware after around eight years in development.

Among the games Sony announced were: a remake Final Fantasy 7 and that Shenmue 3 was in the works, a new game (not a FPS) from Killzone developer Guerilla Games called Horizon: Zero Dawn, No Mans Sky (which looks fantastic but, if I’m being honest, I still have no idea what you do apart from fly around and discover other planets), a new Hitman game, a game that looks genuinely interesting called Firewatch, Dreams from Little Big Planet developer Media Molecule,  and, not surprisingly, an extended look at Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.

The Last Guardian: 

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: 

Dreams: 

No Man’s Sky: 

Firewatch: 

Hitman: 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you liked from Sony & Microsoft.