Shacknews - Cassidee Moser

Sony’s foray into the world of Virtual Reality is almost here! The cheapest of the main virtual reality headsets, the PlayStation VR will be available starting October 13 for $400. Those looking to pick one up will need to be wary of a few setup requirements, including 60 sq. feet of space and the PS4 camera, among other things.

During E3, it was announced that the PSVR would support more than 50 games by the end of the year, with many launching alongside the peripheral itself. As a handy guide, here’s the complete list of games set to release with the PSVR.

Note: This list includes all PSVR games and not exclusive side missions in already-released games. Games with an asterisk (*) are all included as part of the pack-in demo disc shipping with the headset. 

Featured Games


Batman Arkham VR

A specal side experience built exclusively for PSVR, Batman Arkham VR gives you the chance to step into the Batsuit and solve a mystery using Batman’s superior detective skills.

EVE: Valkyrie*

The space combat game that has shown off the tech of the other major VR headsets, EVE Valkyrie will also be available at launch. 

Job SimulatorOne of the quirkier VR titles to launch this year, Job Simulator is essentially a sandbox game in which players take up seemingly mundane jobs like being a store clerk or working in an office. It things get a bit unhinged and hilarity ensues.

Keep Talking and Nobody ExplodesA tense cooperative game, Keep Talking and Noboy Explodes puts you and your friends in the stressful position of disarming a bomb before it explodes. The person wearing the VR helmet will have to cut wires and rearrange various aspects of the bomb, while their friends read to them from a manual across the room.

Rez InfiniteThe follow-up to the 2001 original, Rez Infinite brings bizarre, trippy gameplay to the PlayStation VR with brilliant visuals and music. It’s a sensory experience capitalizing on the unique aspects of VR.

Super HypercubeA first-person puzzle game with visuals inspired by designs from the ‘70s and ‘80s, Super Hypercube is a flashy throwback making use of VR’s uniquely immersive capabilities.

ThumperA “rhythm violence” game, Thumper features a completely unique soundtrack made specifically to coincide with its rhythm-based gameplay.

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

The VR exclusive follow-up to the surprise horror hit Until Dawn, Rush of Blood drops you inside a creepy on-rails arcade shooter filled with all manner of scares.

Volume: Coda An expansion for the original stealth action game Volume, Coda brings 30 brand new levels, new voice actors, and an all-new VR setting exclusive to Sony’s hardware.

Everything Else Releasing on Day One


100ft Robot Golf

Battlezone*

DriveClub VR*

Eagle Flight

Harmonix Music VR

Headmaster*

Hustle Kings VR

Kismet

PlayStation VR Worlds*

RIGS: Mechanized Combat League*

Robinson: The Journey

Super Stardust Ultra VR

Tethered

Tumble VR*

The Playroom VR

Wayward Sky*

Windlands

Will you be buying a PSVR at launch? What games are you looking forward to? Tell us in the Chatty!

Shacknews - Shack Staff

Shacknews was floored by the news that Grim Fandango was coming to PC, Mac and Linux too in 2014. We were doubly excited by Day of the Tentacle being remastered! We love PC gaming here and nothing gets our nostalgia motors going like talking about our favorite point and click adventure games. Please take a look at our Top 10 Point and Click Adventure Games.

For more great videos, be sure to subscribe to Shacknews on YouTube.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Amazon and Twitch announced Twitch Prime, a branch of Amazon Prime benefits targeted at game developers, players, streamers, and viewers.

Benefits range from free digital games and DLC to discounts on new released and game pre-orders. Prime subscribers also receive a free monthly Twitch channel subscription as part of a premium Twitch experience.

Hearthstone players who don't subscribe to Amazon Prime may want to consider a purchase. "Starting today and until November 6, the newest hero in Hearthstone from Blizzard Entertainment, Tyrande Whisperwind, and an accompanying custom card back, will be available only for Twitch Prime members to claim and keep," per a press release.

All of these gaming-related perks join Prime's lineup of incentives such as free two-day shipping, access to Prime Video, Music, and Photos, and more.

"Twitch Prime is one of those unique cases where we have an opportunity to build a product that is equally great for all of our customers—streamers, viewers, and game developers," said Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch. "Offering subscriptions free through Prime saves money for viewers, while supporting streamers to build their community. Free games and in-game content are always a hit with gamers, but they also let developers reach millions of new potential players. When Amazon acquired Twitch, the first thing the community asked was, ‘when will Twitch be bundled in with Amazon Prime?’ Twitch Prime answers that question in a way that speaks to our community."

Catch up on other Twitch-related news by watching the Twitchcon keynote.

Shacknews - Shack Staff

Greg Burke is back to tell us about Zoo Keeper on this week's episode of Shack's Arcade Corner. Please take a look.

For more great videos, be sure to subscribe to Shacknews on YouTube.

If you have a suggestion for a future episode of Shack's Arcade Corner, please let us know in the comments section or tweet @shacknews & @GregBurke85 with #ArcadeCorner.

Shacknews - Josh Hawkins

Over the past couple of years, I have had an interesting relationship with Bungie’s co-op shoot and loot, Destiny. There have been a lot of ups and downs along the way, and I’ve seen the game change in pretty incredible ways. While Destiny: Rise of Iron is a fairly solid experience overall, a few design decisions in the expansion left me wondering just what Bungie was thinking when they put it all together.

Rise of the New Iron Lords

Way back when, before our time, there were no Guardians, just Iron Lords. They weren’t very smart, thought they could control an ancient and powerful technology, and they made a lot of mistakes that ultimately ended with them all dying, save for one. Now that technology is back, rediscovered by a group of Fallen, and it’s a pretty bad bit of business overall. That’s the basic gist of the story, as Iron Banner leader, Lord Saladin–last of the Iron Lords–tells his tale and leads Guardians everywhere in a fight against the all-powerful SIVA. It’s an interesting premise overall that feels a bit wasted as the narrative is outrageously short.

However, it is also a story that fits pretty well into the Destiny narrative, and while the campaign is a bit on the short side (only two hours taking your time), it’s a pretty good indicatior of the expansion as a whole. There’s a new social area, that only contains a few of your staple vendors, which means you’ll still be making constant runs back to The Tower. The new raid is unique, and offers up some really cool mechanics–much like King’s Fall did a year ago–but it feels lacking overall. There's only so much a new raid can accomplish at this point.

(For disclosure I should note, though, that I haven’t quite finished it yet. The grind for Light Levels is intensive, so even with all my hours logged my crew can't quite make it to the end.)

Splicing Things Together

The biggest disappointment of the expansion comes in the form of the new social arena, the Archon’s Forge. Billed as a mix between the Prison of Elders and the Court of Oryx, Bungie made some unfortunate design decisions when putting the forge together. They’ve since fixed one of those, making it easier to get SIVA Offerings (which you need to activate the forge), but the instanced event still suffers from a lack of connected players. This is one event that feels like it would have been better used as its own instance in the game (like the Prison of Elders), but instead the Court of Oryx approach leaves a lot of players to tackle their Offerings on their own, which defeats the entire purpose of the encounter. This makes it tougher to take on the more difficult events in the Forge, which has been a huge turn-off for a lot of players so far.

Another big issue with the expansion is the scale of the threat portrayed throughout the four or so missions that make up the campaign. In the story SIVA is made out to be an apocalyptic force, but in the end it’s taken out easier than Oryx and his Taken army. It almost feels like the campaign was spliced together quickly, with portions and plot holes abounding every way you turn. It’s not a terrible addition to the Destiny storyline, and while we weren’t expecting an eight hour campaign like last year’s The Taken King expansion, I did expect a little bit more given that it's the only expansion this year and Destiny 2 may not be coming until late 2017.

Destiny: Rise of Iron is a solid expansion to Bungie’s shoot and loot universe. While the campaign itself did feel a bit short, and the plot felt like it was paced too quickly, the new enemies, restructuring of old strikes, and the new raid all make up for the expansion’s short comings. The new social arena, Archon’s Forge, could still use a little work, but when you have other players around it is just as fun as the Court of Oryx was to blast through Offering after Offering, taking down the Fallen’s strongest commanders. While it might not be as big as last year’s The Taken King, Destiny: Rise of Iron still offers a good deal of new content for players to dive into and enjoy.

Shacknews - Shack Staff

Join us here and watch all the latest news coming out of the TwitchCon Keynote!

Shackers can feel free to chat about the Keynote in our less insane Shacknews Twitch Channel chat.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Nintendo's NES Classic Edition console includes three display modes and multiple save-game states for the games baked into its miniature-sized Control Deck. GameSpot got hold of a Classic Edition from Nintendo and took its settings for a spin.

Fans of old-school games hoping for an authentic visual experience are in luck: the Classic Edition's CRT mode captures your fusty tube-based TV, complete with scan lines. By default, you'll play in 4:3 aspect ratio.

Rounding out display modes, Pixel Perfect mode crunches pixels down to squares to provide "the most accurate representation of the games as they were originally designed," according to Nintendo.

Save states a la emulation replace battery-backed saves and password systems, though games like Punch-Out!! retain those password save systems if you enjoy tediously punching in letters and numbers. Each of the 30 games included in the console receive four save states, so you can freeze the action and pick up right where you left off later.

You save and load states—and access the game select screen—using buttons on the front of the console rather than on your controller. This makes sense, given that the NES pad is modeled after the original peripheral and contains no extra inputs, but will likely prove aggravating, especially if you sit far back from your console.

Instruction manuals take the form of digital booklets accessed via a QR code. After scanning your code with a phone or tablet, you can view manuals on that device.

The NES Classic Edition ships out to stores on November 11.

Image courtesy of GameSpot.

 

Shacknews - David Craddock

Whether you plan to play Gears of War 4 on Xbox One or PC, Microsoft and The Coalition have a few maintenance-related boxes you need to tick if you want to dive right in when the game launches on October 11.

PC owners have the most hoops to jump through. You can now pre-order Gears of War 4 through the Microsoft Store and pre-load the game, but The Coalition wrote a forum post explaining that you'll need to download the Windows 10 Anniversary Update for the game to work. The update has been available since August 2, so you probably already have it. To double check, click Start à Settings à Update & security à Check for updates.

Additionally, make sure to grab the latest Windows update, KB3194496, released just yesterday, September 29. Versions previous to this recent update sporadically caused downloads to restart.

Xbox One owners who have their sights set on a disc-based edition of Gears of War 4 will have to wait just a bit longer than everyone else to get fragging. A day-one update must be download before playing.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Mafia 3 comes out next week, swapping the New York gangster movie aesthetic for civil right rights tensions in the deep south in the turbulent 1960s. It's an uncommon subject matter, and one that could easily misstep, especially for a AAA game that's forming one of 2K's major sales pillars for the year.

This week, the Chattycast talks about games tackling difficult subject matter. Should it happen more often? Have games developed the narrative tools to deliver a story with the right touch? What unique aspects to handling difficult subjects can games bring to the table? Why don't more major publishers attempt to tackle these issues head-on?

Be sure to visit AudibleTrial.com/Chattycast for your 30-day trial with a free audiobook download of your choice.

RSS | iTunes | Download this episode

Shacknews - John Keefer

I've been a fan of Civilization games for some time, not only as a turn-based strategy nut, but also as a history buff. I played through Civ 4 too much, but strayed away from Civ 5 because I wasn't a fan of the combat changes. I did play it, but nowhere near the depth I played its predecessor. So given the chance to try Civilization 6, I was hesitant, if only because I know how passionate fans are about the series and the depth that underlies the pretty trappings on the screen, and I wasn't sure if I could bring a nuanced preview worthy of what was being produced.

That said, after playing for about 20 hours and in essence starting from scratch, I'm really enjoying it … at least as much as one can relearning systems while systematically pissing off leaders or going to war against civs that out-tech me or have extra powerful friends.

Prince is the only difficulty level in the preview, so right there I'm at a bit of a disadvantage. I was randomly assigned Greece, with its leader of Pericles. Only 10 leaders were available in the preview build, but eventually 20 will be in the game. I played with the adviser turned on to give me tips and hints, and I usually took the advice. One thing I did find appealing was the move to two distinct development trees, one for tech and one for culture, which gives you a chance for more research. And if you meet certain prerequisites – which are laid out in each advancement – you can cut research time in half for several important abilities.

Early game is pretty basic, with exploration and expansion being key. I tried to find as many tribal villages as I could to get some extra units or tech advancements quickly. Also, with each city I built, I garrisoned a slinger (or more advanced archer after research) to protect them from advancing and sometimes extra aggressive Barbarians.

As a side note, the game really looks great. Unexplored areas have a distinct feel of cartography from the 1600s-1700s. You can also set the game to represent 24-hour days (not in game time obviously, but real life), so as the day begins everything is bright and colorful, and as late afternoon approaches, the colors get warmer. By evening, some units have campfires while waiting for their turns.

The initial setup of the map is actually quite beneficial in the early going as I find I am in the middle of three city-states, which can provide extra benefits to me if I treat them well, send plenty of envoys and just play nice. Luckily, I get to them before any other leaders, and it isn't long before I am Suzerain of all three and have them defending me and providing me extra production, gold or culture each turn.

I eventually expand to about six cities, monitoring population, housing, and culture. Civ 6 also introduces the concept of districts for cities, which expand the cities beyond the previous one hex of Civ 5. Wonders and districts take up their own hexes, and once a district is built, it unlocks other structures that can be built within that district, giving each city its own distinct urban feel. Other hexes can be improved with farms, mines, camps, stables, etc. with certain hexes offering bonus goods that can be used in trade, such as sheep, rice, sugar, tea, milk and more.

One thing I like to do is build a lot of Wonders, which in turn create a lot of culture and tourism. That approach, which cost me in some aspects with other buildings or units that could have taken shorter time, rewarded me with a substantial lead toward a cultural victory against other civs. I was able to unlock several writers, artists and musicians, and some great scientists as well, providing much needs Great Works and discoveries that pushed me to a greater lead.

One thing that is a bit frustrating is that it is hard to figure out where I can place the great works. For example, one of great writer's works can be shown at an amphitheater, but they produce two, so you need an amphitheater in two cities to commission both. A great artist produces three works, and an art gallery in a city can handle all three. I have yet to find a place to put the great works of my musician Mozart. And my culture was thriving so much that I had recruited so many writers that I had no place to put their works. Hopefully more play time will let me figure it out.

It took awhile before I finally met a new civilization or two, but the leaders were nicely detailed and voiced. Foreign leaders speak in their native language, and have their own agendas that you must uncover to fully be able to deal with them and their moods. That is something I am still trying to figure out. For instance, almost immediately after I met Julius Caesar, he asked me to join him in a war against Germany. I agreed, and was immediately denounced by several civs as a warmonger, even some of which I had not met yet. What was even more hilarious was that Caesar himself denounced me even though he asked me to join him. A glitch I'm sure, but funny nonetheless.

One thing I totally botched in the game was trying to found my own religion. My culture needed it, but I found that despite building holy districts, shrines, and other holy structures, my cities kept adopting other religions. Again something I'll need to bone up on going forward.

An aspect of the game that was fun to mess around with was the various government types. Each type allows you certain policies that you can enact via cards. There are four types of policy slots where cards can be used: Diplomatic, Military, Economic and a Wild Card that can be from any of the other three. Some types of government will have more military or more economic slots for example to add policies, while others could have more wild card or diplomatic slots. The policies themselves can offer bonuses to military units, extra gold from trade routes, bonus culture form city states … there are literally hundreds of combinations available as different policy cards are unlocked through technological and cultural advancement. More advanced governments will offer more policy slots in different combinations. The whole system is like a mini-game in itself to mix and match policies to give you the best outcome for the type of civ you want to play.

As you can see, I'm no expert at Civ 6, but coming in as a player who loves the series and is rediscovering it, the game is familiar and fun with a bunch of different layers and changes that make it distinctly better than Civ 5, and even more of a throwback to some of the earlier Civ games. I'm looking forward to getting a final build to fully experiment with everything the game has to offer.

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