Fallout 4 Gold Edition Comes With Pair of Vault Boy Socks

Best Buy has announced a Fallout 4 Gold Edition, a special version of the game exclusive to the retailer that comes with something you probably wouldn’t have guessed: a pair of socks.

The $ 85 bundle, available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 (not PC), includes the game, its DLC pass, and a pair of Vault-Tec socks patterned with an image of Vault Boy. Head to Best Buy’s website to preorder it.

Fallout 4 costs $ 60 and the DLC pass goes for $ 30, meaning the Gold Edition was already going to save you $ 5. The socks are a nice perk, especially as winter and its cold weather creeps in.

The Fallout 4 release date is set for November 10 across Xbox One, PS4, and PC. In other recent news, Bethesda has published a live-action trailer and kicked off a week-long Fallout sale on its website.

GameSpot

Halo 5 Matchmaking Designer Also Worked on StarCraft 2, World of Warcraft, Black Ops 2

The competitive skill ranking used in Halo 5: Guardians was designed by in part by the same person that created the matchmaking systems on various Blizzard and Activision games, according to a senior developer at 343 Industries.

Posting on Twitter, studio head Josh Holmes was asked if the Halo 5 team got ideas for its ranking system from Hearthstone, given the similarities between them.

“Halo 5’s [competitive skill ranking] system was designed by Josh Menke,” Holmes replied. “[He] also worked on Hearthstone.”

Menke, who is currently ladder and matchmaking designer at Activision, clarified that he was more closely involved with StarCraft 2, and left 343 before the Halo 5 beta became available.

“I like the improvements 343 has made since,” he continued. “Shameless plug: come to my GDC 2016 talk and see how different ranking systems fit into the big picture.”

The Halo 5 release date has been confirmed as October 27. Microsoft’s has said the game will require players to download a day one update. Those that purchase the digital version of Halo 5 from the Xbox Store and pre-load it can install the day one update before it launches using the Xbox One’s Instant On mode.

The day one update weighs in at around 55 GB (46 GB for the game and 9 GB for the update), according to reports.

GameSpot

Nvidia’s “Game Ready” Driver Updates to Be Locked Behind Its Software

Nvidia will soon require you to use its GeForce Experience software in order to download Game Ready driver updates, though it’ll continue to offer standard drivers through its website.

This is according to PC World, which reports the switch will happen in mid-December and will require you to have registered an email address with Nvidia.

That this is true only of Game Ready drivers is significant–these are the smaller, far more frequent updates that tend to coincide with the release of a new game and help to ensure they run well. You’ll still be able to download larger driver updates on a quarterly basis without using GeForce Experience.

“We kind of have two camps in terms of gamers,” Nvidia producer manager Sean Pelletier said during a recent conference call attended by PC World. “On one hand you have the gamer that’s just casually playing things here and there, using their system for daily use and gaming on the side. They don’t want to be inundated with these [Game Ready] drivers.”

“On the other side of the equation you have enthusiast gamers, who get excited about preloading a game, who want to play a game the day it comes out with all the bells and whistles,” Pelletier added. “That’s obviously the demographic we’re looking at for Game Ready drivers. We’re targeting GFE as a single-source destination for those gamers.”

While it’s true that these two demographics exist, and that only the latter might be inclined to use GeForce Experience, it doesn’t explain why it’s necessary to lock Game Ready drivers behind this barrier.

It might simply be that Nvidia wants to encourage GeForce card owners to download the software. It’s traditionally been used as an easy way to keep GPU drivers updated and optimize in-game graphics settings based on your hardware. More recently, however, Nvidia has announced plans for more extensive features, including a PS4-style feature that allows for games to be shared over the Internet.

GameSpot

“Vast Majority” of Xbox One Owners Who Have Kinect Still Use It, Microsoft Says

According to Microsoft marketing executive Mike Nichols, the “vast majority” of Xbox One owners who have a Kinect still use the voice- and gesture-based camera peripheral on a regular basis. In a new interview, Nichols declined to provide an exact number for how many Kinect units have been sold.

But he did say the people that do have Kinect use it often, but not for gaming. “I can say that the people with Kinect still make up a very, very sizable portion and that those people do use it quiet frequently,” he told Polygon. “Less for games, but a lot more for biometric sign-in and user interface.”

When the Xbox One launched in November 2013, Kinect was included in every bundle. In fact, Microsoft said Kinect and Xbox One were one in the same. However, Microsoft later offered a less expensive Xbox One bundle without Kinect, selling the camera separately for $ 150.

Microsoft is now designing future Xbox One updates, like the New Xbox One Experience coming in November, with the understanding that not everyone has a Kinect. You might think this could lead to some potential problems or challenges, but Nichols pointed out that it’s a similar scenario to the Xbox 360, where Kinect is also offered as an optional peripheral.

“It’s not unlike the situation with Xbox 360, when we added Kinect and you had to design for with and without systems,” he said. “That same part of the decision trees exists now. Now we’re not designing for everyone who has it or everyone doesn’t have it. We’re designing for a good chunk who have it and use it and some new customers who now have decided to get an Xbox One who don’t have a Kinect, at least not yet.”

Microsoft’s commitment to Kinect continues with the introduction of Cortana voice search through a future Xbox One update. But in terms of Kinect games specifically, Nichols declined to say anything on this front.

Back in May 2014, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said stripping Kinect from Xbox One bundles may actually lead to greater Kinect sales in the long run. In June this year, Xbox marketing executive Aaron Greenberg stressed that Kinect is not dead, saying that Microsoft will support Kinect “where it makes sense.”

Do you have Kinect? Do you use it often? Let us know in the comments below.

GameSpot

Styx Xbox One/PS4/PC Sequel Announced With Bigger Budget, New Engine

Last year’s stealth game Styx: Master of Shadows is getting a sequel for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The game, Styx: Shards of Darkness, is in development at Cyanide Studios and is published by Focus Home Interactive. That’s the same developer and publisher behind the 2014 game, which GameSpot scored a 5/10.

For Shards of Darkness, Cyanide is pledging “more ambition” and “bigger ideas,” made possible in part by the game’s bigger budget compared to the original. In addition, Shards of Darkness runs on a new engine, Unreal Engine 4. Its predecessor was developed using the Unreal Engine 3.

Among other things, players can expect new enemies, environments, and mechanics, including grappling, rope-climbing, and using a knife as a zip-wire.

The game’s first screenshot (above) shows a “more nimble, more refined” Styx green goblin. In terms of story, Cyanide said Shards of Darkness will “delve deeper into a more complex narrative and fully realized world.” The game is set at least partially in a place called Körangar.

“Following the fall of Akenash tower, an extraordinary matter has forced Styx out of hiding to infiltrate Körangar, the city of the Dark Elves,” reads a line from the game’s story description. “Supposedly impregnable, a diplomatic summit offers Styx a chance at slipping in unnoticed, as he learns that the event is nothing but a mere facade… Moreover, the Elves have joined forces with the Dwarves, and the only thing both races have in common is a mutual hatred of the Goblins…”

Shards of Darkness has been in development for more than six months. It is due to launch across PS4, Xbox One, and PC in 2016, though a specific release date has not been announced.

If you’re looking to pick up the first Styx game on PC, now is a good time, as Master of Shadows is discounted by 66 percent to $ 10.19 right now on Steam.

GameSpot

Why Battlefront IS the Star Wars Game You’re Looking for In 2 Minutes


Why Battlefront IS the Star Wars Game You’re Looking for In 2 Minutes

The Star Wars Battlefront beta has finished, and while some folks are grumbling about balancing issues and spawn point stupidity, we thought we’d take two minutes to tell you about all the amazing stylistic things that Battlefront has hit right out of the park.

In 2 Minutes

About In 2 Minutes

GameSpot

Halo 5 Gameplay, Deus Ex Impressions, Star Wars Battlefront and The Witcher DLC – The Lobby


Halo 5 Gameplay, Deus Ex Impressions, Star Wars Battlefront and The Witcher DLC – The Lobby

This week Justin hosts to talk about the brand new Halo 5 trailer and what we can get out of it, our first impressions of Deus Ex, whether or not to buy the Star Wars Battlefront Season Pass and how we liked Hearts of Stone DLC from The Witcher 3.

The Lobby

About The Lobby

Broadcast live from our studios in San Francisco, join GameSpot every Tuesday at 2PM Pacific for the latest previews, interviews, game demos, giveaways and more.

Schedule: Tuesdays at 2PM

Host:

GameSpot

Call of Duty: Black Ops III’s “Realistic” Difficulty Is One Shot and You’re Dead

The existence of a “Realistic” difficulty mode for Call of Duty: Black Ops III was recently discovered by the game’s achievement/trophy listings. Now, Treyarch has provided more details on how this uber-challenging mode works. Producer Jason Blundell tells XboxAchievements, “[In Realistic] you have one point of life, so if you’re shot once, you’re dead. It completely changes the way you play the game.”

He went on to say that surviving in Black Ops III’s four-player co-op campaign will require the coordinated effort of all soldiers. And patience. Lots and lots of patience, it seems.

“You all have to survive as a group,” he explained. “You end up respecting the level in a completely different way, and once gunfire opens up, everyone just drops to the ground, because if any one bullet hits you or a grenade goes off near you, you’re dead.”

Past Call of Duty games have featured Recruit, Regular, Hardened, and Veteran difficulty settings.

If you’re playing Black Ops III’s co-op campaign with computer characters instead of human friends, you may be happy to learn that the game’s AI has been completely rewritten to “make independent decisions,” Blundell explained. He added: “We have more types of AI than we’ve ever had before.”

For lots more on Black Ops III’s campaign mode, check out GameSpot’s recent preview.

Black Ops III launches on November 6 for all platforms. The last-generation versions of the shooter do not have a campaign mode, a point that will be made clear on the game’s box. In other news, a Treyarch producer apologized for a recent Black Ops III marketing campaign involving a fake terrorist attack.

Activision also has released stunning new trailer for Black Ops III’s zombies mode, Shadows of Evil, showing off the virtual versions of actors such as Jeff Goldblum, Ron Perlman, Heather Graham, and Neal McDonough.

GameSpot

The Expendables 4 Confirmed, Here’s When It’s Coming

They’re not getting any younger, but the veteran action stars of The Expendables look set to return for another movie. Variety have confirmed that The Expendables 4 is set to film next year, for a 2017 release.

Even though 2014’s The Expendables 3 made less than either of its predecessors, a sizeable proportion of the total gross was taken in China. This has led to considerable Chinese investment in a fourth movie, with SSXH Beijing and Max Screen Film Distribution putting more than $ 25 million into the production.

The disappointing box office performance of The Expendables 3, which starred Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, and Mel Gibson, has been put down to a combination of the film leaking early onto the Internet, and the decision to make it a PG-13 rather than the R rating of the previous films. In an interview with CraveOnline last year, Stallone admitted that it was a mistake to aim for a lower rating.

“I believe it was a horrible miscalculation on everyone’s part in trying to reach a wider audience,” he said. “And in doing such, diminish the violence that the audience expects. I’m quite certain it won’t happen again.”

“In an R-rated film it is difficult to believe that none of the heroes die. I personally just believe that the characters become identifiable and their demise could put a dark cloud over an audience exiting the theatre after seeing the film. But that may change in Expendables 4.”

GameSpot

Why Star Wars Battlefront Isn’t “Battlefield With a Star Wars Skin”

DICE is most famous for its Battlefield series. So when it was announced that the studio would be working on a new Star Wars Battlefront, some worried this game would essentially amount to Battlefield with a Star Wars skin. In a new interview, DICE general manager Patrick Bach said such a game would be a “safe” and guaranteed money-maker in the short term, but it would have damaged the brand in the long run.

“You could have done Battlefield with a Star Wars skin; that would be safe,” Bach said in the latest issue of OXM (via GamesRadar). “That would be the sane and sober thing to do if you just want to make money. That’s the money-grab; go for it. But that’s not very strategic in the long term.”

He added: “Think where you want to be in five years and you won’t want that reputation behind you because that would be a burden rather than a benefit. You want a fresh start so you can go in a new direction. That’s exactly what we’re doing. The first Star Wars movie was in the same place. When you look at it now, it was the safest bet ever–but that’s easy to say now. Back then, why would you want this space opera?”

In a previous interview, Bach said DICE wanted Battlefront to have a “heart and soul of its own.”

“Star Wars fans expect a Star Wars game, not a Battlefield game,” he said over the summer. “We looked at what Star Wars stands for, rather than asking how can we tweak Battlefield to be something else.”

The Battlefront beta is currently ongoing across Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. It ends October 12, so if you haven’t tried it out already, you’ll want to do so right away.

GameSpot

Watch PS4-Exclusive The Talos Principle Deluxe’s Video Design Series

With the PS4 version of The Talos Principle launching next week, developer Croteam has released four introductory behind-the-scenes videos for players new to the upcoming Deluxe Edition.

Priced at $ 49.99, The Talos: Principle: Deluxe Edition is the PS4 version of last year’s first person puzzler of the same name. It contains both the original game and its recently released expansion Road to Gehenna.

The video series details several aspects of the game and its expansion, including narrative, philosophy, puzzles, and tools. Check them out below.

Narrative and Philosophy of The Talos Principle

Puzzles and Tools in The Talos Principle

Narrative and Philosophy of the Road to Gehenna

Puzzles and Tools in Road to Gehenna

The Talos Principle was initially released on the PC last year. Its expansion Road to Gehenna was released this past July. You can read our in-depth reviews of each here.

The Deluxe Edition is set to release for PS4 on October 13.

GameSpot

Transformers: Devastation Review

Nostalgia can be a cruel and misleading force. The part of our brain that wants desperately to relive our past experiences can sometimes trick us into eagerly consuming games and books and movies that ultimately turn out to be crassly recycled garbage merely masquerading as the thing we once loved. Thankfully, Transformers: Devastation spares us this hurtful indignity. Rather than vaguely imitating certain superficial aspects of the franchise, Devastation recaptures its spirit and presents it anew. The overall experience is shallow and imperfect, but it also delivers the frenetic fun of the original cartoon in a way anyone could appreciate, not just the franchise’s most devout fans.

Even just looking at Devastation feels fun. Its cel-shaded world is steeped in bold, saturated hues that perfectly suit the subject matter. Action sequences explode with bursts of color, characters move with dramatic speed blurs, hard black outlines frame every object the way they might in a comic book–essentially, every loving detail perfectly conveys the vibe of a classic Saturday morning cartoon, as does the story.

Optimus Prime is just one of five playable Autobots, each of which offers unique moves and stats.

Megatron has teamed up with the Constructicons, and they’re once again wreaking havoc because, like, they’re bad and stuff. The narrative is utterly simplistic in a “Suitable for ages 8 and up” kind of way, but there’s something oddly comforting about its absolute moral clarity. The villains are evil, the good guys are noble, and friendship wins the day. In essence, it’s a story for kids that pulled a neat trick by making me feel like a kid again. There’s only about as much story content as you’d expect from a three episode arc of the show, but honestly, that’s enough. It hits the high notes and cuts all the filler. Fans will be served, and everyone else will be entertained.

Besides, the real star here is the flashy, dynamic combat. Devastation was developed by famed Japanese studio PlatinumGames, and it shows. The gameplay evokes shades of Vanquish and Bayonetta’s flashy, fast-paced, combo-driven madness, only simplified and streamlined. As with most contemporary third-person action games, you have light and heavy attacks that can be strung into combos. At the end of each successfully executed combo, you’ll see a button prompt for a powerful “vehicle attack.” After that, you can dodge your opponent’s next move, triggering a brief moment of slow motion that allows you start the process all over again.

Megatron wants to turn Earth into a new Cybertron. We must stop him!

Action not only looks and feels satisfying, it also requires a keen sense of timing. Should you fail to activate your vehicle attack in time, your surprisingly formidable opponents won’t hesitate to break your rhythm and beat the crap out of you for a while. That risk of failure creates a genuine feeling of reward, on top of the visceral joy and empowerment that comes with pummeling bad guys with effortless style. All this satisfaction is further amplified when you’re able to implement other combat techniques like launchers/aerial combos or ranged attacks just to add a little variety. The well of options runs impressively deep–assuming you’re willing to hunt around in menus to learn the ins and outs of each character–and like Platinum’s other games, this depth allows for a welcome sense of creativity and self-directed challenge.

Those characters, by the way, are of course the iconic Autobots. Following a relatively short introductory segment, you can choose to play as Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Wheeljack, or even goofy robotic T. rex Grimlock during any of the campaign’s missions. While these characters aren’t hugely distinct, they’re far more than simple pallette swaps. Optimus moves a bit slower but deals more damage, Bumblebee has greater agility and can more easily link vehicle attacks–you get the idea. Your character choice won’t drastically alter your experience, but you can at least pick the Autobot that best suits your gameplay preferences.

You can also outfit each bot with upgradable weapons and technology built from loot you gather in game, although this component may be Devastation’s biggest misstep. The idea of combining two weapons to make one stronger weapon is, fundamentally, pretty cool, but the whole system is poorly explained and needlessly convoluted. Worse still, nothing I created ever seemed to impact the gameplay in any material way, rendering both the weapon system and in-game loot hunting pointless. The gameplay remains fun regardless, but a feature that could have really enhanced the experience instead just sits there unused.

Imagine upgrading that giant hammer with elemental abilities. Now imagine that upgrade not mattering.

Unfortunately, Devastation suffers from other issues beyond a half-baked loot system. Some–like slightly overpowered weapons and poorly communicated mission information–are negligible, and to the game’s credit, it’s generally pretty clever about concealing its flaws. For example, the beautiful characters models and fluid animations make the bland, repetitive environments and ugly textures easier to ignore. The frequent and diverse boss encounters distract from the otherwise rote, unimaginative, and oft-repeated mission objectives.

Other issues, however, are unavoidable, the largest of which is a simple lack of depth and content. There’s just not that much game here. The campaign lasts roughly six hours and offers only limited replay value. The only additional mode is a series of challenges that mirror the campaign’s empty side quests. I mean let’s face it, “Kill all these enemies within this time limit” is not a real mission. You can rove around the hub city within the campaign, but rather than feeling open, it’s a weird maze of tight, samey looking corridors littered with lazy invisible walls. Plus, given the pointlessness of the aforementioned crafting system, there isn’t much incentive for exploration.

The frequent and diverse boss encounters distract from the otherwise rote, unimaginative, and oft-repeated mission objectives.

Still, the thought of simply beating up a bunch of slick-looking robots for a few hours is plenty appealing on its own. Devastation leverages the Transformers license masterfully and delivers tight, satisfying action with incredible flair. Honestly, I had fun just driving around trying to do donuts, and at one point, I randomly picked up a taxi and threw it over a building just for laughs. That’s pretty great. And when that perfect rockin’ soundtrack kicks in as you face off against Megatron, that’s even better.

GameSpot

Watch Destiny’s Greatest Heroes, The Backstreet Boys, Take on the Eye of a Gate Lord Mission

We’re not sure if you’re aware of this, but some kind of space monster is really angry at Destiny‘s Guardians for killing his son Oryx (not to be confused with Ground/Rock-type Pokemon Onyx).

Apparently this Taken King (he sometimes refers to himself as the Tekken King even though he mains an unbelievably cheap Eddie Gordo) has appeared on Earth and is being a right pain in the butt. In addition to corrupting organisms and turning them into mindless alien zombies, he’s stepping on daffodils and taking all the Pumpkin Spice Latte syrup from Starbucks**. He is the absolute worst.

Lucky for us, The Backstreet Boys are here to save us–with music! Disguising themselves as a Guardian group called Husky Raids, they appear in locations around the galaxy, rebelliously singing and dancing to counteract that grumpy old alien monarch. See them in action below, it’s impressive stuff.

If you haven’t already seen it, your day will be made 100% better by watching this other video of the Husky Raid group defying the alien overlords by breaking into some impromptu Gwen Stefani.

**This may be total lies.

GameSpot

Rise of The Tomb Raider Season Pass Includes Endurance Mode, Two Extra Tombs to Explore

The Rise of the Tomb Raider season pass includes “a range of content that will extend your single-player campaign, and also allow you to compete with friends,” according to a listing on the game’s Xbox.com product page.

The season pass description states it will grant players access to “three major releases” that “challenge you to survive the extreme conditions of Endurance Mode, explore a new tomb that houses an ancient terror in Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch, and combat waves of infected predators in Cold Darkness Awakened.”

It will also deliver “a steady stream of outfits, weapons, and Expedition Cards beginning on Day One and continuing over four months.” This will keep players “customising, expanding, and challenging friends to new adventures.”

Expedition Cards are sold in packs of five and bestow a “distinct advantage” on Lara. These can be used in all extra gameplay modes. Currently, Xbox.com lists Gold, Silver, Challenge, Advantage, and Wild Packs, with each one “guaranteed to contain at least one rare card.”

Neither Square Enix nor Microsoft have officially announced or detailed the season pass. Its existence was leaked by Amazon, which listed the pass for $ 30.

Although details on Rise of the Tomb Raider’s multiplayer mode have not yet been divulged, a recent report revealed will not have a traditional multiplayer mode like its predecessor did.

The Rise of the Tomb Raider release date has been confirmed as November 10 for Xbox One and Xbox 360, with PC and PlayStation 4 versions landing in 2016. For more on the game, check out GameSpot’s recent preview,“Like Father, Like Daughter.”

GameSpot