February 14, 2016

Beta Report: Hitman on PlayStation 4

Posted on February 14, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Square Enix’s closed beta for their upcoming next generation Hitman title went live over the weekend and I got the chance to play around with the game on PlayStation 4 over the last couple of nights. Fans are calling 2016’s version of Agent 47 a return to form combined with some worries that IO Interactive’s choice of episodic content for their latest game may leave them with little content to play between optional updates.  If the closed beta is any indication than even the $15 intro pack will provide hours of shenanigans.

At its core, Hitman is an assassination simulator where players are rewarded for executing inventive kills with little room for error. Unlike other stealth titles, like say Metal Gear Solid, 47 isn’t able to down a ration to gain back his health. One bullet from an enemy is enough to send good old baldy to the ground in a pool of his own blood. The method of eliminating a target is just as important as the deposal of the evidence. If a player chooses to lace a target’s drink with rat poison be prepared to suit up as their personal waiter because often the key to a successful hit is being able to blend in with your surroundings and knowing who to impersonate.


Hitman’s closed beta featured two prologue missions set during Agent 47’s initiation into the ICA. The first training mission has 47 boarding a mock cruise-liner, creatively constructed out of planks of wood, in order to eliminate his target. The open-world nature of the game becomes readily apparent – sure Agent 47 could run headlong onto the cruiser but surely the party guests would I was out of my element within seconds. During my multiple trials at this mission I found two different ways to gain access to the boat: Pose as a member of the maintenance crew and slip in undetected through the engine bay or pretend I was a part of the security detail and walk right up through the entrance ramp.

After some trial and error I had a rough chain of individuals that I would direct 47 to knock out, pose as and blend to get to my target. This, is of course, easier said than done because it can mean either waiting for the mechanic or cook that I needed to become to enter a place on the map that wasn’t surrounded with NPCs or creating a distraction to lure them away from whatever activity they were currently doing. To make the stealth element of assassination even more prominent there are a number of NPCs marked on your HUD that can detect Agent 47 even through a disguise. Not only do potential contract killers need to plan out their disguises ahead of time but also need to be able to navigate through a sea of NPCs that is ever changing all without arousing suspicion.

Throughout my four hours with the Hitman Beta I completed maybe 10% of the feats & challenges on offer. Once you’ve successfully completed a mission once you unlock the option to replay the same mission but with a list of pre-defined ways to kill your target. One might have you cause a short in a projector – thus frying your target, another might have you modifying an ejection seat so that it appears your target died in apparent aircraft malfunction. The sheer variety of toys and methods of mayhem did provide a level of replayability I wasn’t expecting from what is essentially just the opening tutorial to an episodic game that hasn’t been released. I also had the games’ music completely disappear on me once and the entire application lock up my PlayStation 4 in another  instance – clearly this was not final code that IO Interactive invited players to try. Hopefully, they’ll get some of these kinks ironed out before Agent 47 makes his first trip to Paris in the debut of Hitman on March 11th.

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VBlank Shows off Shakedown Hawaii for Nintendo 3DS

Posted on February 14, 2016 by Jason Nason

VBlank Entertainment released a gameplay trailer for their upcoming title Shakedown Hawaii today. The game is the follow up to Retro City Rampage.

Not much is known about the game at this point, but it will also be released for the PlayStation 4, PS Vita, and Steam.

Check out the trailer below, as well as several screenshots of the game.Read More


Doom’s Single-Player Campaign Is 13 Hours Long

Posted on February 14, 2016 by Broken Joysticks


The developers of the Doom reboot have confirmed on twitter the campaign will be a hefty thirteen hours long. If you were worried about the game being a five hour romp largely focused on the multiplayer, as many shooters are these days, you can rest easy.

Personally, I much prefer quality to quantity. I don’t really think it’s much of a positive if a game is thirteen hours long if I’m gonna be bored while playing it. Having said that, I expect that playtime is an important way to measure value for a lot of people, and having a long campaign isn’t a bad thing by any stretch. I wasn’t exactly a fan of Doom 3, but a lot of the trailers indicate the game wanting to hearken back to it’s older roots, which could be interesting for sure. Look for the new game to drop on May 13 2016.


Square Enix Celebrates One Year of their Online Store with a Huge Sale!

Posted on February 14, 2016 by Jason Nason

SALE! That’s the buzz word that everyone likes to hear. And for those of us who miss the launch of a game for one reason or another, that magic word can be the difference between missing out on a game or taking the plunge late.

Better late than never!

Square Enix is celebrating one year of their online store with a huge sale. A great many of their games are on sale, with some great deals to be had. Quite a few games are 50% off, with a ton of recent and older games included.

The sale runs until February 21st.

Take a look at some of the titles included. I’ve only included the Nintendo titles, which is what my main interest is. Check the link below for the full list of titles, which also includes PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PSP, PS Vita, and PC.Read More


Crash Bandicoot Reboot Possibly Leaked by NECA Toys Director

Posted on February 14, 2016 by Broken Joysticks

Crash Bandicoot Reboot

Randy Falk, director of NECA Toys,  may have inadvertently let slip details about a revival of the Crash Bandicoot franchise. This is not too long after Sony teased a return of the old franchise on their Middle Eastern account.  Speaking to youtuber PixelDan, Falk said:

“We’ve got back in with Sony. And looking at some of their other titles…I see they’re bringing Crash Bandicoot back, so there’s some great stuff there.”

Sony has been doing very well this console cycle, with the PS4 easily occupying the spot of best-selling console of the generation.  Perhaps it’s this position that makes them feel comfortable testing out the interest for some of their old franchises. My money would be on some kind of new entry being announced at E3, maybe even earlier. As for how well it will do, it depends. There are a lot of customers for old-style platformers, as several kickstarter successes have proven. However, these kickstarters often have industry legends attached, and many of the people that originally worked on Crash have long since left the studio. The question is if the brand itself is still worth anything. I’m pretty sure we won’t have to wait too long to find out.


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