Shacknews - Shack Staff

Weapons are a massive part of Dying Light, and whether you’re running around wielding an electric Brick Hammer, or stabbing your foes with fire wielding knives, you’re always going to be on the lookout for the next big thing.

Well, that next big thing comes in the form of the EXPcalibur, a simplistically hidden sword which bears a striking resemblance to the fabled Sword in the Stone.

To find this sword you’ll need to head just southeast of the Tower, to the coastline.

Upon reaching the coastline keep an eye out for a rock jutting from the depths of the water.

Once you locate this rock you’ll need to swim out to it and climb up. Once atop the rock simply cross to the other side to locate a zombie corpse with the sword sticking out of it.

Now it’s time for the waiting game.

The sword takes about 3 minutes to pick up. Yes, you heard that correctly, 3 solid minutes of sitting there and holding the X button (or whatever your use button is for your console). Once you picked it up it’s time to see what this baby has in it.

Don’t be disappointed when you look at the stats.

The sword deals a womping 326 damage at its base stats, the sad part to the story though, is it only has 7 durability, meaning it’s not going to last very long in a fight. Because of this reason, I highly recommend holding onto the sword, filling all 3 of its upgrade slots, and then putting it to good use later in the game when you really need it.


Not really into reading? No worries, we’ve got you covered. Check out our video guide below.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Shacknews spent much of its time at this year's International Consumer Electronics Show looking into the ongoing virtual reality trend and how it is set to advance further this year. Our video crew took a moment to speak to Oculus' Brendan Iribe about the Crescent Bay prototype.

While the topic of Oculus Rift and gaming remains a fascinating idea, our own John Gaudiosi discusses the possibilities that VR poses beyond the realm of gaming. Iribe explains the potential Oculus Rift applications for entertainment. He also goes on to describe how the Rift and its 3D engine could also apply to the medical and educational fields.

Catch the full interview below.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

2K Games and Turtle Rock Studios’ Evolve is being released in just a few short weeks. If you consider yourself a big fan of the game based on what you’ve read, seen, and experienced, then you might want to show your love for Evolve by purchasing merchandise based on the game. Funko is one of my favorite toy creators, and today, they’ve announced they’re adding Evolve to their famous Pop! figures line.

As you can see, the Pop! figures line includes Markov, Val, Hank, Maggie and Goliath, the last of which stands at 6 inches. But that’s not all as those who prefer their figures to have a more realistic look can check out the Legacy line, which features all of the previously listed Hunters and Monster from Evolve, but their design is a little less cartoonish.

The Evolve Pop! figure line will retail for $9.99 each and be made available in March, while the Legacy figures will run you $19.99 each and become available in April.

If I had to choose only one from either set, I’d have to go with the Goliath Pop! figure. I mean, c’mon - look at that face!

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Last week, Microsoft kept up with the ongoing gaming trend of virtual reality and announced its own intention to enter the VR headset market with Windows Holographic and Microsoft HoloLens. The implication is that, like competitor Oculus, Microsoft will attempt to use HoloLens to further cement the Xbox One as a gaming machine that can double as an entertainment center. Of course, like Sony's Project Morpheus, the potential for gaming applications is strong.

In fact, Microsoft has some established franchises under its umbrella that can already take advantage of its HoloLens peripheral. Today, Shacknews examines some of the games that are primed to take advantage of Microsoft's jump into virtual reality.

Minecraft

If virtual reality gaming is the future, it's only appropriate that Microsoft apply it to arguably this generation's biggest gaming license. In September, Microsoft picked up the Minecraft license for a cool $2.5 billion, though some wondered whether the company could make the purchase pay dividends. With the Minecraft license under their umbrella, Microsoft could potentially bolster the Xbox One and Windows versions of Minecraft with an option to play via first-person virtual reality.

Scavenging and building settlements would be fascinating to pull off with a VR headset, but the true meat would be in beholding the results of a player's hard work. It's one thing to see someone's handy work through a YouTube video, but it's another thing to virtually step into the world and see it with your own eyes. Better yet, picture riding something like the Beetlejuice roller coaster (created last year by YouTube user nuropsych1) in full virtual reality. The gaming youth are ready to seize this opportunity and they'll be the ones to fully embrace the possibilities of virtual reality and Minecraft.

Madden NFL

This is an uncommon instance of a third-party license possibly lining up with Microsoft's plans. The Madden NFL franchise is listed here mainly because of Microsoft's cozy relationship with the National Football League, as evidenced by all sidelines filled with Microsoft Surface tablets (not iPads, as game announcers would have you believe). With many Madden NFL promotions centering around Microsoft's deal with the league, it makes sense that Microsoft would have some exclusive ideas lined up for EA's football series.

While the first inclination would be to connect HoloLens to actual gameplay, the more intriguing ideas come from making VR a supporting feature. Allow players to run through their playbook by stepping into the shoes of a quarterback or gets a birds-eye view of the action from the coach's bench. Better yet, imagine the possibilities for a spectator mode, with players able to watch their friends' Madden sessions unfold from the perspective of the sidelines, the booth, the blimp, or even one of the players on the field. It'd be a wild new way to watch the recent rivalries of our own the man with the briefcase and Chatty posters Thornfist and Juno.

Forza Motorsport

Microsoft is feeling especially ambitious with the upcoming Forza Motorsport 6, forging a deal with the Ford Motor Company to bring out the latest in the Ford GT line of vehicles. Among the goals for the partnership is to make this version of Forza Vista the best year for gearheads. However, the addition of Microsoft HoloLens support would make this feature undoubtedly the best iteration yet and a true reason to upgrade from Forza Motorsport 5. Users would be able to literally step into every vehicle first-hand, reaching out and revving the engine for themselves. All that would be missing would be the new car smell.

Of course, there's nothing quite like driving and the no-brainer application would be VR cockpit views for every race. Games like Project CARS are eventually planning to integrate VR and it would definitely be wise for Microsoft to follow suit with its prized racing franchise.

Halo

This should go without saying. Halo has become synonymous with the Xbox brand, so it would only be appropriate that Microsoft give the franchise some sort of HoloLens support. Halo multiplayer is about more than shooting, so while there would be a true novelty in stepping into virtual Spartan armor, there are other elements of the Halo experience that VR worth capturing. The idea of taking the turret on a moving Warthog or flying a Banshee would be worth trying out.

VR support would also feed further into the eSports aesthetic that 343 Industries appears to be aiming for. Anyone that played the Halo 5: Guardians beta saw several venues that fit the space arena theme, along with ideas like custom intros and Spartan banter that made the game feel more like a competitive eSports title than anything that came before it. So why not add first-person virtual reality to the proceedings and give Halo more of a "laser tag" kind of sensation?

Meanwhile, single-player fans would get their first chance to become Master Chief, getting the epic highs of gunning down Covenant forces and an amplified uneasiness from an oncoming Flood attack.

Fantasia: Music Evolved

It's unlikely that Microsoft, Harmonix, or Disney Interactive will want to hear anything about Fantasia: Music Evolved for a long time, especially given how Microsoft essentially hung the game out to dry months before its scheduled release. Marketing failures aside, however, it's easy to forget that Fantasia was a very good game and one that made great use of the Xbox One Kinect peripheral. That's enough of a reason to consider keeping this series alive, but the Microsoft HoloLens offers a compelling new one.

The very premise of Fantasia, manipulating music and using it to create luscious and colorful worlds, is the kind of experience that's tailor-made for virtual reality. Wearing a HoloLens and combining it with Fantasia's gameplay is an idea that makes me outright giddy, especially when done with a rocking soundtrack and Fantasia's creative remixes. This is where the technical aspects of HoloLens can be put to the test. If the headset can truly track movement and prove responsive, Fantasia would be exactly the kind of game that would sell people on the virtual reality concept. Step into a world, wave your arms to the music, and shape your surroundings to your beat.

If this concept requires reviving the Kinect to further track movement, similar to how the PlayStation Camera will work with Project Morpheus, HoloLens would also double as a way for Microsoft to revive the ill-fated sensor peripheral. HoloLens, Kinect, and Fantasia could be a potential match made in heaven, one worthy of bearing the Disney name.


Are there any other Xbox or Windows PC franchises that were overlooked? Let us know in the comments by joining the conversation in Chatty.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

It's hard not to get excited for Bossa's upcoming bread simulator known as I Am Bread. After all, the Shacknews staff isn't made of stone. Everyone here likes fresh buttery toast as much as the next person, even if some prepare that toast in different varieties. (Straberry jam. Yes... strawberry jam.)

Bossa is looking to have different varieties of its own I Am Bread, announcing that the game will also be coming to iOS. The iOS version is set to include everything featured in the PC iteration, though the developer has noted that it is primarily focused on getting the PC version out first. Those that have already picked up the PC incarnation of I Am Bread can expect a new update this Friday, adding a new garage area and a new game mode called Cheese Hunt.

Look for I Am Bread to pop out of Steam Early Access this spring. The iOS version is expected to come out of the oven shortly thereafter.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Now that Earth is completely bankrupt and laid to waste, it's time to take to the battlefield. Your weapon of choice? Money! Offworld Trading Company is looking to take RTS games in a slightly different direction, with publisher Stardock setting an Early Access date for Mohawk Games' debut effort. The game will be made available on February 12.

First unveiled in May, Offworld Trading Company marks a return for Civilization IV designer Soren Johnson. The idea is to colonize the big red planet of Mars and gather as many resources as possible. In order to compete against others, players must use the power of economics to gather resources, set market trends, and drive their competitors out of business before usurping their resources for themselves.

The Early Access build for Offworld Trading Company will feature head-to-head multiplayer, as well as a single-player campaign. The folks at Mohawk will be offering weekly looks into their progress via their Twitch channel every Thursday at 12PM PST. Offworld Trading Company will be available for $35.99 (10 percent off its normal price) during its stint on Steam Early Access and is available for pre-order directly through the game's website. For more, check out the Soren Johnson-narrated trailer below.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Now that Earth is completely bankrupt and laid to waste, it's time to take to the battlefield. Your weapon of choice? Money! Offworld Trading Company is looking to take RTS games in a slightly different direction, with publisher Stardock setting an Early Access date for Mohawk Games' debut effort. The game will be made available on February 12.

First unveiled in May, Offworld Trading Company marks a return for Civilization IV designer Soren Johnson. The idea is to colonize the big red planet of Mars and gather as many resources as possible. In order to compete against others, players must use the power of economics to gather resources, set market trends, and drive their competitors out of business before usurping their resources for themselves.

The Early Access build for Offworld Trading Company will feature head-to-head multiplayer, as well as a single-player campaign. The folks at Mohawk will be offering weekly looks into their progress via their Twitch channel every Thursday at 12PM PST. Offworld Trading Company will be available for $35.99 (10 percent off its normal price) during its stint on Steam Early Access and is available for pre-order directly through the game's website. For more, check out the Soren Johnson-narrated trailer below.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Microsoft has outlined the Games with Gold lineup for the month of February. As has been the case for several months, the free offerings will include one Xbox One game and staggered Xbox 360 games.

Xbox One owners will receive #IDARB from developer Other Ocean. Some may be wondering, "What exactly is an #IDARB?" As described by the game's website, #IDARB is "a chaotic 8-player eSport jumping jetpack future arena ball game that is as inspired by Bomberman and Smash Bros. as it is by cans of soda, paint-by-number books, and driving five miles faster than the speed limit." The game features minimalist pixel graphics, built out from a simple red box. The Games with Gold promotion will also double as the game's debut and will be available for the full month of February. Those that would still like an idea as to what exactly this game is can check out the trailer below.

Meanwhile, Xbox 360 owners can pick up the acclaimed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. This is the heartwarming tale of a pair of brothers looking to save their ailing father by wandering across a whimsical fantasy world. They're also set to receive Sniper Elite V2, the second game that sees ultra-badass American sniper Karl Fairburne continue his fight against the Axis powers. Brothers will be available from February 1-15, while the shoot-tastic Sniper Elite V2 will go from February 15-28.

As is always the case, you'll have to be an Xbox Live Gold member to pick these games up.

Shacknews - Steven Wong

The Heroes of Might and Magic series is often fondly remembered by fans. Its third part in particular, released in 1999, stands out as the best in the series, with a combination of turn-based strategy and role-playing that has arguably remained unmatched. So, it's no surprise that such a gem would make a comeback for modern computer systems in Heroes of Might & Magic 3 HD Edition. Comprised of several campaign scenarios, players can experience the war to reclaim Erathia from multiple points of view.

An Old Game Entering a New Age

This remastered edition features updated graphics and widescreen support, along with both online and local hot-seat multiplayer. Apart from some graphical treatments, like a hex grid to show how far units can move, the gameplay has largely remained untouched. The developers took care not to mess with a winning formula. However, it should be noted that the HD edition only has the original "The Restoration of Erathia" content, and does not include the Armageddon's Blade or The Shadow of Death expansions, which is pretty disappointing. If you're going to remaster a fifteen year old game, might as well go all the way with it.

Despite the updated, high detailed graphics, the game still feels like it came straight out of 1999, with a landscape that's littered with treasure and enemies. Its age shows the most during the CGI cut sequences, where characters' hair look like thick strands of spaghetti, or waves drawn into a block of clay. That's fine - great, in fact - since being true to the original game is all part of the charm. Players have the option to switch between HD and blurry SD graphics to appreciate the excellent work the developer, DotEmu, has done to bring the game into the modern era.

Overwhelming Power

Gameplay involves hiring heroes and exploring a land that's usually comprised of both an over and underworld, to gather together treasure and forces. Heroes gain experience in a variety of ways (usually through combat) to unlock new abilities, but the secret to success is in having an army powerful enough to eliminate your enemies and take their strongholds. To this end, resource posts need to be claimed or stolen to upgrade strongholds. Resources are gathered once a turn, and only one upgrade per stronghold is allowed per turn. Then it's a matter of waiting for a new week to begin, when fresh units are available for purchase.

Balancing between the strategic and economic portions of the game can be very tricky. When you get right down to it, HOMM is essentially a numbers game. You can fight with an overwhelming number of small units, or charge in with a handful of very powerful (but expensive) ones. Oftentimes, it's a mix of both. There's a nice variety of fantasy units, that include Angels, Demons, Dragons, and creatures raised by Necromancers. Heroes face-off against enemies and take turns moving units or casting spells. The endless balancing act shows here too, since mana for spells doesn't regenerate unless you have a special item or skill. The combat segments are what the Heroes of Might & Magic series is best known for, because it can be so unpredictable. You may think that you have the upper hand, but then your opponent will cast a powerful spell to hamper or decimate your army.

However, one of the game's drawbacks is that you need to act swiftly. There's not a lot of room for your heroes to wander around aimlessly. It could be that while you're out attacking every creature on the map to steal their treasure, whittling down your forces in doing so, your enemies are marshaling an unstoppable army. Unless you control multiple strongholds, the game will reach a critical point where it will be almost impossible to win the scenario. That means players should have a fairly clear idea of where to go and what upgrades to obtain. Doing that could require one or two restarts, especially when you're using a faction that you're not entirely familiar with. Things can be further complicated when you have more than one hero roaming the land, which requires you to divide your units among them. Especially when the enemy has three or four heroes of its own, grabbing up all the resources and threatening your strongholds.

Being that this is a turn-based game, each scenario can take a long while to complete, even when the animations are sped up. Even after you've beaten all the campaigns, there are still 50 one-shot skirmish scenarios to play, in addition to the custom map editor and multiplayer features. So, there's a great deal for both new and old fans of the series to enjoy, even though the lack of add-on content is still disappointing.

Conclusion

Heroes of Might and Magic 3 HD Edition delivers on its promise, almost to a fault, by remastering the 1999 classic with updated graphics. Everything from the map layouts to the creature animations stays true to the original (quirks and all), and for this game, you can't ask for much more than that.


Impressions are based on a PC download code provided by the publisher. Heroes of Might & Magic 3 HD Edition will be available on PC (Steam), iOS, and Andriod on January 29th, for $14.99. The game is rated T.

Shacknews - Shack Staff

Get ready to rock!  Beats by Dre headphones have become a HUGE cultural icon and for good reason.  Their bass is booming, the mids and lows are clear and crisp, and they look great.  Add wireless bluetooth syncing capability on top of that and you’ve got yourself some seriously sweet equipment.  We love tunes, and you probably do too, so we’re giving away a pair of these epic headphones to a lucky Shacknews reader.  So what are you waiting for?  Don’t you want to rock out….? 

ENTER.SHARE.WIN. 

Only one step to win: Submit your email address and click ENTER NOW (Make sure it’s valid as this is where we’ll contact the winner). 

Increase Your Odds with More Entries! After entering your email address above, share on Twitter for additional entries. The more your friends and followers enter, the more entries you receive. Good Luck! 

For more details on this bass bouncing Giveaway, click here.

...

Search news
Archive
2015
Jan  
Archives By Year
2015   2014   2013   2012   2011  
2010   2009   2008   2007   2006  
2005   2004   2003   2002