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BioShock Collection Headed to PS4 and Xbox One: Report

BioShock Collection Headed to PS4 and Xbox One: Report

The entire BioShock franchise is already in development for backwards compatibility on the Xbox One, but you might be able to purchase the game for both current gen-consoles if reports are to be believed.

(Also see: Microsoft Changes How Xbox One Backward Compatibility Titles Are Released)

The series found life in 2007 on Windows PCs and Xbox 360, and has since then been released for PlayStation 3 among other desktop OSes and iOS devices. But on Friday, the Ministério da Justiça – Brazil's ministry of justice – rated BioShock: The Collection as "not recommended for minors under 18" for all major video game platforms, including PC, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, and Xbox 360 and Xbox One; it was first spotted by video gaming blog VG247. What this can mean is that the series has been remastered for today's consoles, and might see release in the near future.

At the same time, one needs to be wary of any rumours regarding 2K Games and BioShock. That's considering BioShock: The Collection made a brief appearance at a digital retail platform as early as last September with an expected release date of 27 November 2015, but nothing eventually came out of that.

For what it's worth, the Brazilian rating board has inadvertently revealed similar information in the past. Upcoming third-person shooter Quantum Break was imagined to be an Xbox One exclusive until this month's official announcement of a computer version, but the Ministério da Justiça had declared and published a rating for both the Xbox One and PC version towards the end of January. The rating was removed soon after, leading people to think it was a mistake but a PC version did indeed exist as is now known.

(Also see: Quantum Break for PC Shows the Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few)

This could all be nothing, but keep an eye here and we'll be sure to let you know what becomes of the matter.

Would you be interested in playing BioShock, BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite on your PlayStation 4 and Xbox One? Or are you an Xbox One owner who will be happy with the backward compatible version? Tweet to us @Gadgets360 with #BioShock or let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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Original NDTV Gadgets

Campo Santo Aware of Firewatch’s Poor PS4 Frame Rate, Working on a Fix

Home | Games | Games News Campo Santo Aware of Firewatch’s Poor PS4 Frame Rate, Working on a Fix by Rishi Alwani , 9 February 2016 Campo Santo Aware of Firewatch's Poor PS4 Frame Rate, Working on a Fix

Reviews for the heavily anticipated first-person exploration adventure game Firewatch are finally out and for most part they’ve been favourable. But there has been a bone of contention for most critics on the eve of its launch. The game’s technical performance, particularly on the PS4 isn’t everything it should be what with a choppy and inconsistent frame rate.

It’s something the developers of Campo Santo are aware of and are looking to fix at the earliest.

“FWIW [For What It’s Worth], we’re currently talking to both Sony and Unity and we’re all working hard to to optimise performance of Firewatch on PS4,” posted a developer from the studio on popular gaming forum NeoGAF. The comment explained the complexity involved in solving such a conundrum. Namely because it involves not just Sony, but engine maker Unity (as the game runs on Unity) as well.

(Also see: Firewatch Review)

“It’s tricky, because it really requires all three partners working together to improve — it’s not something we can tackle on our own, unlike a game bug — but we’ll definitely continue to patch all platforms with every content and performance fix we can over time! To summarise: we’re on it,” the post continues.

While it’s heartening to see such a prompt response for a game that not readily available for the general public, it was also met with derision. Some claim it won’t be fixed.

“It’s a Unity game. It won’t and cannot be fixed. I’m positive of that. Not a single console Unity game with launch performance issues has been fixed with a patch,” said forumgoer dark10x.

The skepticism is not without merit. Past titles powered by Unity on console such as Grow Home, Galak-Z, Gone Home, Oddworld New n’ Tasty, and Never Alone to name a few suffered from erratic performance. Some of these were equally poor on PC too. But considering that Firewatch is undoubtedly one of the highest profile releases of the year, we might just see all three parties coming together to make things right.

However this should not deter you from playing the game. In our review we felt that Firewatch’s story is well worth experiencing despite any technical niggles that might come in your way.

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Original Article

Far Cry Primal Review

Far Cry Primal Review

We never asked for Kanye West's latest spate of rants on Twitter, and we never asked Ubisoft to make Far Cry Primal. It's crazy, bombastic, and surprisingly entertaining, and not something you'd expect from a first-person open-world game set in the Mesolithic age.

With most games taking on fantastical or futuristic settings, this seemed like a poor choice. It's a backdrop where cutting-edge weaponry means spears, clubs, and bows and arrows. It sounds weird, but it comes together in a fashion that works brilliantly.

Taking place in 10,000 BCE, Far Cry Primal puts you in the role of Takkar. You're a hunter who belongs to a tribe known as the Wenja. After a series of unfortunate events, you find yourself in the land of Oros in search of your fellow tribesmen. It's up to you to rally the Wenja and stave off attacks from warring factions – the Udam and Izila.

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(Also see: Far Cry Primal Will Take You to the Stone Age)

The first thing that struck us is how good Oros looks. From its snow capped mountains to the tiny flickers as you light a fire, Far Cry Primal is easily one of the best looking games this generation. And that's coupled with an immense sense of freedom as the entire region is open for you to explore from the very outset.

Which is something you'll spend a lot of time doing. The game features the usual tropes that Ubisoft has codified, and you're going to explore the map and capture locations, crafting gear and collecting items of importance along the way. Every now and then, you'll take part in an event that takes the story forward, such as protecting your village from attacks or laying siege on an enemy fortification.

These mechanics are similar to other Ubisoft games including Assassin's Creed and previous Far Cry titles, but Primal ends up feeling fresh for a number of reasons. For one, the combat is superlative. Sure, the weapons are primitive but there's an innate sense of satisfaction in clubbing a raging cave man on the head, or shooting fire-laced arrows at bears.

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As you progress through the game, you can craft rudimentary bombs and train all manner of beasts such as jaguars and sabre-toothed tigers to fight by your side, allowing for options beyond the ordinary. You'll lure predators like wolves with bait, and hold down a button to win their loyalty. Each type of animal comes with a unique skill set, for example, canines are great explorers and gatherers, felines are good for stealthily sneaking up on foes, while ursines are a solid option for out and out attack. It adds a layer of strategy and depth to the game, giving you more choices as you plan your approach. This is an interesting system that works as it should, making up for the lack of weaponry in the game. There's enough variety and polish to keep things fresh even late into the game.

(Also see: Far Cry Primal, Street Fighter V, Firewatch, and Other Games Releasing This Month)

While the absence of guns is solved with a range of new ways to cause mayhem, one other concern remains, which is traversal. Far Cry games in modern settings included vehicles for you to use, allowing you to cover vast expanses of the map with ease. This time around, it appears that Ubisoft has increased the number of areas you can spawn at, and the locations you can fast travel to, by simply accessing your map. This somewhat alleviates our concerns, and as the game progresses, you'll be able to use a grappling hook to get to hard to reach areas and ride bigger animals as well. It's a competent set of solutions and for most part, we never did miss jeeps or helicopters.

This aside, there's a sense of mysticism about the proceedings that feels all too real. While we've seen such elements in earlier games in the series, it works better in Far Cry Primal thanks to its setting. Spirits, beasts, and shamans all have a part to play in Far Cry Primal's narrative and their understated presentation makes all the difference.

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Along the way you'll discover key members of your clan including ace hunters, beast masters, and inventors. Each of them have a part to play, not just in granting you access to new skills and abilities but help furthering the the plot. They're unique, well thought out characters that are a perfect foil to Takkar's straightforward demeanour and do wonders for keeping you interested. This is further heightened by the game's language spoken by the characters. Since it's fictional, you will be playing Far Cry Primal with subtitles.

Our grouses are few and far between. Without spoiling much, series veterans hoping for the usual twists and turns from a game bearing the Far Cry name should keep their expectations in check. The straightforward story-telling ensures that the gameplay and overarching plot don't seem as disconnected from each other as they did in Far Cry 3 or Far Cry 4.

(Also see: Far Cry 4 Review: A Superlative Sandbox)

Far Cry Primal might be the most retrograde addition to a franchise known for vast open spaces and guns galore, but it's also one of the most refined entries as well. It's not something anyone asked for, but it's welcome all the same.

Pros:

  • Quirky cast of characters
  • Beast taming
  • Great combat
  • Looks gorgeous

Cons:

  • So-so story

Rating (out of 10): 9

We played a review copy of Far Cry Primal on the PS4. The game is available on the PS4 and Xbox One for Rs. 3,499 from February 23. The Windows PC version will be available from March 1.

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Original article from NDTV Gadgets

Just Cause 3 Review

Just Cause 3 Review

The exploding barrel is a well-worn video game trope. Ever since we first saw these in Doom, these have been a handy way to clear rooms full of enemies with a single shot, as the resulting detonation eliminates them en masse. But what happens when an entire game world is filled to the brim with exploding barrels? The game ends up being Just Cause 3.

Taking place in the fictional island country of Medici, Just Cause 3’s irreverent tone, cheesy dialogue, and goofball plot are all reminiscent of older action games and movies. It’s highly derivative but enjoyable all the same. In Just Cause 3, you set the world ablaze as former special agent Rico Rodriguez, hellbent on freeing Medici from the iron grip of dictator Sebastiano Di Ravello.

With this comes the opportunity to run amok. The exploding barrel trope takes the form of transformers, satellites, and obviously, fuel tanks – almost every thing in Just Cause 3 can be destroyed in a chaotic haze of fire and smoke.

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To make it easier to spread chaos, these exploding structures are coloured in white and red, making them stand out in all the different areas of the game. Borrowing from Mediterranean regions, Medici is replete with sunny beaches, fields filled with sunflowers, and some of the nicest looking video game water we’ve seen this year. It’s perhaps one of the most gorgeous game worlds to wage a one man war against an authoritarian regime. Flora and fauna aside, the cities of Medici provide an ample challenge. The game’s many traversal mechanics come in handy for taking down Di Ravello’s statues, laying waste to his commanders, taking back police stations, or disabling monitoring installations to free its many towns.

In terms of getting from one location to another, there are a host of options available. Standard open-world transport such as cars, motor cycles, helicopters, boats, and later, planes are present and for most part, handle well enough. Our only grouse was that the cars don’t handle as well as they should, and colliding into a tree at under 60 kilometres per hour had us ricocheting off it like a bumpercar. The game’s less conventional choices, such as the grappling hook, parachute, and wing suit are a whole lot more entertaining to use. Using all three of them in conjunction had us move swiftly from one area to another with barely any fuss. They also came in handy when trying to destroy some of Just Cause 3’s bigger military bases.

While the many civilian vistas of Just Cause 3 add variety, its military bases are where most of the fun is to be had. From small outposts to gigantic sprawling command centres occupying entire islands and ports, they’re laden with all sorts of objects to destroy. From the aforementioned fuel tanks to radar antennae hidden underground, there’s a ton to uncover and blow up. Along the way, the game throws a slew of disposable soldiers, helicopters, and even battleships to even the odds. These sections of the game provide the right balance of challenge and large, booming explosions as the pay-off for a job well done.

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Through it all, the controls hold up quite well. With the action taking place in third person, they’re not the usual gun and take cover fare we’ve been subject to in games like Gears of War and Uncharted. Rather, it harks back to a simpler time with an emphasis on running and gunning. It results in more arcadey, satisfying gunplay that allows you to focus on increasing bodycount, destruction, and little else. And when there are no bullets, tethering explosive crates to structures or using the grappling hook to kick foes ensures the pandemonium never stops.

It’s obvious that Just Cause 3 is at its best when it allows absolute freedom and it does with such regularity that any single moment that serves to constrain our wanton streak of mayhem sticks out like a sore thumb. Though they’re few and far between, they arise during the game’s single-player missions. These involved getting to a destination within a stipulated time frame (or be greeted with a game over screen and forcing a retry) and escort missions to protect game’s characters from damage. It’s during these moments where the game’s cracks begin to show. That’s because at least on the PS4, Just Cause 3 is replete with loading screens.

There’s an initial loading screen when you fire up the game, one when you start a mission, another after the cutscene of the mission, and one more on dying or restart a mission. While the first loading screen as you boot up the game is long, the loading time post-death is longer. From our experience, it clocks in at around three minutes. This is after the game’s day one patch.

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And though we’re happy to report that the patch rectifies most of the game breaking bugs we touched upon in our impressions piece, it’s not anywhere close to what it should be right now. Rico does tend to get stuck in walls on occasion, and when coupled with bugs, the aggressive enemy battalions and missile launching helicopters forced us to tolerate Just Cause 3’s loading screens longer than what can be considered reasonable.

Furthermore, the game’s frame rate is erratic. It manages to hold up in moments of absolute madness, albeit just. Oddly though, it takes a very visible tumble at times when we’re simply driving across the countryside. Perhaps the biggest offender is the game’s online component. Yes, you can play Just Cause 3 online, but no, not in multiplayer. Instead you’ll compete with others in a gigantic leaderboard for a host of challenges such as using the grappling hook to travel the furthest or staying in the air with the wing suit for the longest time.

At this stage, its implementation is such that the game will try going online the moment you check out its menus even if you have started the game offline. And if you begin the game online and PSN goes down (as it did during Black Friday sales), the game will pause and try reconnecting immediately even if you’re in the middle of a cutscene.

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In our experience, the best way to play Just Cause 3 was with the Wi-Fi mode on the PS4 disabled and the Ethernet cable unplugged. We’re unsure if the PC version is subject to the same concerns but on the PS4 (and the Xbox One, which fares worse according to some reports) it’s not the best experience. One could argue that an update or two could alleviate matters but it’s not anywhere close to what it should be at launch.

In a game wherein so much rests on smooth technical performance, Just Cause 3 feels like it could have used more time in development. It’s an enjoyable romp bogged down by these issues. If you have higher than normal tolerance for long loading times, intrusive online connectivity, and erratic frame rate, you’ll find Just Cause 3 worth its day one price tag. For the rest of us, waiting until there’s clarity on these problems is advised.

Pros

  • Great looking open-world
  • Slick traversal options
  • Explosions galore

Cons

  • Average single-player campaign
  • Irregular frame rate
  • Buggy

Rating (out of 10): 7

We played a retail copy of Just Cause 3 on the PS4. The game is Rs. 1,499 on PC on disc and Rs. 899 on Steam. On PS4 and Xbox One it’s Rs. 3,499.

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Original NDTV Gadgets

God of War III Remastered Review: Great for Newcomers, but Not Worth Revisiting

God of War III Remastered Review: Great for Newcomers, but Not Worth Revisiting

God of War is an exploration of Greek myths, wrapped around a cool, action-packed video game that has been incredibly popular, with different instalments on the PS2, PS3, and now, a remastered version on the PS4.

In God of War, you control Kratos – a rage filled Spartan hellbent on getting revenge on the Gods who have wronged him – by killing off the entire pantheon. The first game was so popular that it spawned a series that includes seven games across the PS2, PS3, PlayStation Portable (PSP), feature phones, and PS Vita. Barring the mobile version that was in 2D, every game in the series sported gorgeous 3D graphics complete with gory combat.

While a new entry for the PS4 is pretty much inevitable, for now PS4 owners can check out God of War III remastered. It’s accessible to newcomers so you don’t need to have played any God of War games before this to enjoy the game or follow the story.

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Without spoiling much, you’ll be hacking and slashing your way against hordes of foes. These range from shambling corpses, to minotaurs, to the Gods themselves. Some of the enemies you will face include Poseidon, Hades, and Zeus. Along the way you’ll earn a bunch of power-ups, complete puzzles, indulge in glorious action sequences, and exact the vengeance Kratos has desired since 2005.

The game truly shines in combat. It lacks the depth of its contemporaries like Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, but it remains extremely enjoyable. Here, combat makes you to feel like a raging lunatic rather than a stylish, calculating combatant, and that is what the character Kratos is all about.

At lower difficulties you can simply button mash your way to victory in most battles. If you decide to ramp up the challenge, be prepared to think a lot harder. Moves at your disposal range from grabbing an enemy soldier’s skull and pummelling it into other opponents, to summoning spear throwing Spartans, and there’s enough variety to keep things from going stale. But it isn’t without problems.

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For one there is the prevalence of Quick Time Events (QTEs), particularly for boss battles. These sequences require you to press buttons as the prompts show up on screen, which takes you out of the gameplay mechanics that have been established so far, and instead turns an enjoyable game into a semi-interactive movie clip. These mechanics also feel a little worse on the PS4, and we found ourselves missing the more sturdy PS3 controllers.

Throw in camera angles that feel a restrictive and serve to annoy you during some of the platforming sections and you’d wish there was a little more work put into this remaster.

Although the game preserves the flaws of the original, it deserves praise for the way in which it makes use of the extra power of the PS4. Like The Last of Us, this game also shows smoother gameplay on the newer console. It was a visual treat on the PS3, and looks even better now.

Graphical enhancements and smoothness aside, the game features a photo mode, allowing you to to share screenshots with friends. Though it’s not mentioned at the back of the box, it also has Remote Play – the ability to play the game on a PS Vita as well, which works with no fuss.

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Clocking in at around 10 hours, God of War III is worth buying if you’ve never experienced the series before, but there is not much value added, and old fans have little reason to return to this title.

We played God of War III Remastered on the PS4. It’s available on the PS4 for Rs. 2,750.

Pros

  • Looks good
  • Plays well
  • Easy entry point for newcomers

Cons

  • Not much value for fans
  • QTEs feel tougher on the Dual Shock 4

Rating (out of 10): 8

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Original NDTV Gadgets