Category: New Releases

Hitman: First Impression- DRM Anyone? Update

UPDATE: Alright, so after playing through the Paris episode it does appear that cinematics are included along with each DLC addition. I can't say for sure they're not also sold separately since the frame is available for purchasing a cinematic. You can see for yourself in the fourth screenshot in this article.

And in the spirit of fairness, replayability has also taken another step higher by the "Contracts" mode. This is a game play option that allows players to create and post their own contracts in any of the playable missions and locations for others to play. Just enter the Contracts tab and create one for folks to check out or play one someone else has made. This screenshot explains the creation. For the original article, proceed below.contract

 

So recently I bought a new CPU and motherboard for my computer and with that came an activation code for the -Hitman, full experience-. The game went live this morning at 9am pacific time and I jumped in to see what's up with the newest iteration of Code Name 47's escapades. Here are my thoughts so far.

Upon startup I noticed that settings include quite a few options, one of which is the activation of DirectX 12. Hitman and Rise of the Tomb Raider, are two of the first games in the industry to receive the use of DX12 and I was pretty happy with the effects it's had on both. I'll say that I noticed no real visible difference in the look of either game, just that performance was far and away better.

I've been reading about people having issues with Hitman's performance. Crashing often, poor frame rates, stuck load screens etc. I can't speak to that since I have experienced none of those things personally. In fact the game loaded quite quickly for me once I had my options configured the way I wanted them and it runs on the highest settings I'm allowed at a consistent 60fps.

Now let's talk about that for a second, "...the highest settings I'm allowed". I can turn everything up as high as it will go except textures. They are stuck at medium, high is greyed out. This seems to be linked to graphics hardware. I myself have a 3GB card so I'm allowed to choose up to medium settings, cards with 2GB are limited to low. I'm not sure what it takes to run high because there's no explanation (none that I found as of yet anyway), could be 4GB could be 6GB. Hell, the aforementioned Rise of the Tomb Raider, wants more than 4GB of VRAM to run the highest texture resolutions, but it doesn't lock you out of trying it. Hopefully IO-Interactive will pay attention to people complaining about this and go ahead and unlock the settings. I won't hold my breath though. Worth noting here is the important fact that medium textures don't look too bad, but that doesn't mean I appreciate not having the choice to see for myself what the high setting would be like.47Game play itself is... well it's Hitman. Everything feels like traditional Code Name 47. Now, my last experience with a Hitman title was with Blood Money back on the PS2, and I liked it quite a bit. So after that everything added to the IP is new to me. That said, this latest installment has added some "features" I use the term lightly, like: talking with NPCs, being able to throw found objects at targets to knock them out, instinct mode and the ability to blend in to an environment to avoid suspicion. 47 has had occasions where he's had a voice before but not really (at least to my memory) in a way that could effect game play. That's not to say he has dialogue options or anything but it does seem that talking to, and listening to conversing NPCs can lead to intel on opportunities to help complete your mission. On the one hand that's pretty cool, on the other, 47 having a conversation with someone seems to be a bit out of character.

Instinct mode (hold CTRL on PC) will activate a kind of "Witcher senses" type deal and allow you to see and track targets through walls. You can turn this off in the settings if you wish. Aside from that it's still the good old -stalk your target, change your clothes, hide in plain sight- stealth assassination game we all like. And I have to admit that I do like it based on that at least. Instinct modeWhat I don't like is the play model. Hitman gives you the option to buy the Inroduction Pack for $15.00 which will give you access to basic content in the first episode. After that you can buy the Upgrade Pack for $49.99 and this will allow you to receive the rest of the game as it's released. Or you can spring for the $59.99 Full Experience and again I use the term loosely "have it all". What you actually get is the first episode just like everyone else, but you no longer have to upgrade to get the rest of the game as it's released. Essentially it's the game plus a season pass... blegh.purchase screenSo here's what you'll get when you start: The Prologue consists of three small, replayable training missions and a few cinematics. Yes, it appears they're even selling cinematics. You'll also get the Paris Episode, which I've yet to play since Steam hadn't yet installed it. That's being taken care of now as I'm writing. So for $15.00 you're probably getting an appropriate amount of content, selling cinematics (probably) as DLC though is pretty damn idiotic.

The Upgrade Pack is your season pass, and as mentioned above will allow content to be installed automatically as it's released. That's going to include six more episodes and five more locations to be released throughout 2016 starting in April. Presumably, you'll also be able to purchase episodes singly as DLC as they release.

One other thing to take into account is that you're locked into online play. Meaning if you lose your interwebs, you're booted from the game. At least there are auto saves so when you regain your connection you can probably just pick back up where you left off. There is an offline mode but it's separate and save games will not be compatible. Unfortunately for online play, down the line this could have the implication of service being stopped by Square Enix, and no longer being able to play at all.online onlySo based on my first impression would I recommend Hitman? Well, that depends. If you don't mind the DRM, the somewhat limited graphical options, or the possible pay walls then it might be worth it to you. It's still got a great feel, it's still 47 being a badass, untouchable assassin, it's pretty good as far as gameplay, it runs great (in my experience anyway) and for $15.00 you're getting content with quite a bit of replayability. On the other hand, if you're not alright with all that stuff, don't even look twice because you don't have a choice anyway. Let me say this. I wouldn't have bought this title if it hadn't accompanied a piece of hardware for my PC in the form of a redeemable code. training

System Requirements for Hitman are as follows

MINIMUM:
OS: OS 64-bit Windows 7
Processor: Intel CPU Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz / AMD CPU Phenom II X4 940
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 / Radeon HD 7870
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 50 GB available space

RECOMMENDED:
OS: OS 64-bit Windows 7 / 64-bit Windows 8 (8.1) or Windows 10
Processor: Intel CPU Core i7 3770 3,4 GHz / AMD CPU AMD FX-8350 4 GHz
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia GPU GeForce GTX 770 / AMD GPU Radeon R9 290
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 50 GB available space

 

Do You Sometimes Feel LIke You Could Take Over The World?!

If so, then GOG has the perfect game for you: Day of the Tentacle. Better still, it's Day of the Tentacle remastered, so you get a modern looking game and modern sounds alongside the original charm of the DOS version - which you can flip to at [almost] any time.

And time is of the essence, because you'll be cast into three time periods while you play - the past, the present and the far future. Use twisty time-travel logic to solve puzzles spanning all three ages and witness the hilarity as LucasArts works it's curious brand of comedy magic.

It's a magical time, because if you pre-order between now and March 22, GMT you will also get exclusive Day of the Tentacle wallpapers, courtesy of GOG.

You can pre-order here.

Overwatch Closed Beta Starts Again- Februray 9th

Well the title says it all, the Overwatch closed beta is coming back on the 9th. Balance changes have been made to characters and AI bots, there are a couple of new maps and even a new game mode.

I have to say that as guy who's not really a fan of games like this any more, this one looks fun. And if you also think it it looks fun you can click this link that will take you to a Battle.net post containing more information and a sign up link at the bottom.

 

[feature image and info sourced from Blizzard]

Divinity: Original Sin, Enhanced Edition – First impression? Still Lovely.

Just a few days ago at the time of this article's writing, Larian Studios released the enhanced version of what is in my mind one of the best turn based rpgs of it's kind: Divinity Original Sin. This new and enhanced version comes with something like 1300 changes including controller support, better graphics, better optimization, 360 degree camera control, full voice over for all characters, even split screen co-op. Of course there are many more than I want to list so I'll link the full changelog here in case you're interested in seeing everything. Even better, Larian gave us lucky folks this enhanced version for free as long we already owned the previous Original Sin title. Mac and Linux users will unfortunately have to wait a bit longer but it's coming so don't fret.

Read more

Back to the Future Day Comes to Rocket League

Way back in 1989 on December 22nd in movie theaters Back to the Future 2, was released and we got to see Marty and the Doc go forward in the future to October 21st, 2015. Today IS  October 21st, 2015 and that means It's Back to the Future day. How cool is that? From this point forward all the Back to the Future films will have taken place in the past. Boom... mind blown.

The fine folks at Psyonix have celebrated this wondrous occasion with the release of the Back to the Future, car pack for their popular title Rocket League. In the form of pure awesome this pack contains access to Doc. Brown's, DeLorean Time Machine. It'll cos you two bucks, but come on people it's the DeLorean Time Machine!

You get the DeLorean, the Outatime Boost Trail, and the DeLorean Time Machine wheels and tires. You'll be locked in to these options when you use the car, and you can only change the colors in the primary paint options, no graphics or secondary paint.

Here are some screens of the venerable Time Machine in action, as always click images to see them full size.

2015-10-21_000072015-10-21_000082015-10-21_00009title featurego fast2015-10-21_000052015-10-21_000042015-10-21_000032015-10-21_00002

 

New PlayStation Store Releases: Back to the Future!

So, Back to the Future day is nearly upon us! October 21, 2015, to be precise. If you've seen the movies (hopefully everybody has), you should remember that as the date that Marty and Doc time-travel to when they visit the future in Back to the Future Part II.

Although mankind has seen many cool technological advancements since that 1989 film was released, it's a shame we still don't have hover cars or hoverboards. Or power laces and smart jackets, for that matter. No Jaws 19, either (though that one's probably for the best).

Crazy as it may seem, there is one prediction that might just prove to be true (sort of). In the movie, a hologram billboard congratulates the Chicago Cubs on winning the 2015 World Series by sweeping Miami. Well, it just so happens that the Cubs actually made it to the playoffs this year! Not only did they make it, but they also just won their Division Series, and now advance to the National League Championship for the first time since 2003!

They may not be facing Miami in the World Series (not only because Miami didn't make it to the playoffs, but also because they are both in the same league and couldn't play each other in the World Series anyway), but should the impossible occur, and the Cubs win it all this year, it would be nothing short of legendary. (It is important to note that the Cubs haven't won the World Series since 1908.)

Anyway, presumably in honor of the fast-approaching date, (as well as the 30th anniversary of the original movie) Telltale Games has released an updated version of Back to the Future: The Game for the PlayStation 4. The 30th Anniversary Edition now allows you to play the game with the character of Biff Tannen voiced by the actual movie actor, Thomas F Wilson. Play it on October 21st, as you cheer the Cubs on (hopefully, to a decisive victory) in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.

Also out this week, a hack-and-slash Dragon Quest game, Wasteland 2, and the next entry in the World Rally Championship racing series. "I wish I could go back to the beginning of the season and put some money on the Cubbies." Proceed further to see more of this week's new releases.

Read more

Hide Your Phones! Pokémon Shuffle Mobile Is Now Available

Back in February Pokémon Shuffle was released for the 3DS and 2DS as part of Nintendo's free to play catalogue. It's a match three game in the same vein as Candy Crush, but with much less bothering other people over facebook. The game got a lot of criticism because of microtransactions and how you only have 5 hearts when you start and that they take 30 minutes to regenerate each.

Read more

The Ground Will Fall Out Beneath Your Feet, The Pillars Of Eternity Will Shatter And The Earth Will…Evo…Land…Twice?

A whole slew of news from the GOG front:

Perhaps the biggest news is that Bethesda Softworks has finally landed on their digital distribution shores, but the new Pillars of Eternity Expansion has also been released on the storefront and - my soft spot game - Evoland, finally got a sequel and it's on GOG now.

So, let's take a closer look at what happened, shall we? Read more

Got Graph Paper?

I remember a time when gaming was ridiculously difficult. There was no hand-holding or tutorials or any of that stuff. Just you, the manual, the game and your notebook - for taking notes, of course.

Well, that time has come again, because somehow GOG got the rights to the old gold box games - an AD&D standard from years gone by that is - since it was made in the 80's - sometimes ridiculously difficult. Read more