Microsoft took the press and public alike through the opportunity to go hands-on last week with their fall Xbox One lineup at the X16 Media Showcase event in Toronto. They had a full complement of first- and third-party titles set for release between now and December, with a handful of already available games to try out. I was able to play a number of the games on display, read on for my impressions.
The Oculus Rift recently saw its big retail release at Best Buy, Amazon, and Microsoft Store shelves. A virtual reality headset that began as a Kickstarter campaign, the company was ultimately acquired by Facebook to the tune of 2 billion dollars, leading up to it’s impending limited-retail release. There are still many people who preordered the device back in January with an expected release back in March, who are still awaiting their headsets, with their estimated ship dates having slipped to as late as August. This puts a big question mark over the viability of VR.
The last time I wrote here, I spoke of how detached I felt playing the sequel to one of the few sports games I’ve put any time into in the last decade. EA Sports UFC 2 did many of the things its predecessor did, but removed much of the smaller personality touches that kept me invested.
The Junos celebrate their 45th year honoring the best in Canadian music this weekend, with performances from Canadian music legends Bryan Adams and Buffy Sainte-Marie, as well as rising stars Shawn Mendes, The Weeknd, and returning favourite, Lights.
I don’t play sports games very often. I played a lot of NHL 94 on the Genesis, and NFL 2K on the Dreamcast. The last sports game I had spent any real time on was 3 on 3 NHL Arcade for the Xbox 360, and that came out more than 7 years ago. These games captured the feeling of participating in their real-life counterparts, and they were exciting to compete against friends. But I hadn’t found anything like them in a good long stretch.
Games are an excellent medium to instill many emotions. You feel powerful, as you conquer hordes of enemies, or terror when that monster leaps at your throat. Triumph in clearing that last level; frustration because you can’t quite clear the next one. What Oxenfree, the downloadable, narrative-driven game from Night School Studio, filled me with, was dread.
Do you remember that show from about a decade ago, with a bunch of ordinary folks gaining superpowers, and somehow all the disparate threads become interconnected? Did you know that Heroes was revived last year, as Heroes Reborn, and was to be a revival of a show that had a strong premise, and a lack of direction leading to a faltering, mostly-ignored end. Heroes Reborn did not set the world on fire, but it did lead to a surprisingly fun tie-in game, in Gemini: Heroes Reborn.
Dontnod Entertainment’s episodic Life Is Strange was released as a complete collector’s edition in January. Given the timing of the re-release, I thought it would be a good excuse for my first article here at The GATE to be my thoughts on one of the best games of 2015.