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Top 4 games we want to play in 2015: Justin’s picks

Batman: Arkham Knight

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Its been 2 years since I glided around Gotham as batman going from rooftop to rooftop silently taking down all my foes but now I return and this time I get the Batmobile.

Coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One on the 2 June

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GTA Online: You must be bored by now

I decided to write a suggestion letter to Rockstar about things I’d like to see:

Hi Guys,

Big fan of the GTA series.

At present I am really enjoying GTA Online and have suggestions for features (No particular order):
– Ability to move cars around in the garage via a hud window (like the context menu) where cars can be swapped into position
– More modification parts for the cars and ability to add more top speed via transmission rather than acceleration or possibly the chance to make a compromise between the two. Love the cars btw, Coquette is officially my favourite.
– Cross platform character progress – I really enjoy the game and have never sunk this many hours in such quick succession into any one game before. I will, like GTA 4 before it buy the PC version of GTA V/Online when it comes out and play with my PC based buddies. I know you’re putting in the work to make the PC version as good as it can possibly be so I ask kindly, no wait I implore you to allow me to import my GTA Online progress to the PC version as well. Currently I have fun with the PS3 version however I can’t help but feel that in some ways I am wasting away time that will be better invested in the PC version where I will inhabit for the foreseeable future when it comes out, what can i say I am a keyboard and mouse guy.
– Post mission passive mode – I have had points where after a game I get shot just because I was running to my car. This isn’t that big a deal but would it be possible for like 20 seconds of god mode while you get away from the lunatics that you were just killing merryweather dudes alongside?
– Crew only or Friend only option from within an Online game – I like the Crew/Friend only session option, it means I can be with people I trust. When starting GTAO from GTAV the option is there to get onto a Crew/Friend only session but I can’t find the option when you are already in a GTAO session. Can that be an option rather then exiting GTAO and starting GTAO again.
– Go back to where you came from – Before a mission if you are on a session by yourself or with friends would it be possible to go back there after a mission? Sometimes it’s necessary to re-invite people again to the server and sometimes resorting to the PSN messaging system which takes a while to write anything. Starting with friends and then ending up alone is lonely.
– Car randomisation – I am not sure if everybody is harking on about this but I find that car spawns seem to be a bit repetitive and not for lack of the selection, for one I know I haven’t seen an Obey Tailgater except the one on Michael’s drive in single player and never in GTAO. There are a shed load of Cavilvades and Issis though when you don’t want one. Handy = Gallivanters and a lot of them to sell so no problem with that.
– Car Armor – Could the glass be armored as well? Drive-bys could make the window go down or something? 360 degree shooting is wildly unrealistic anyway.

Best Regards and great work, keep it up!
Shaun

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Saints Row IV: Same stuff, now with more fun

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Carjacking, shooting dead, speeding, flying, running, insulting, punching and blowing-up these are a few of the things you are doing in Saints Row IV. If you isolate them like that it seems like a ticket to a penitentiary, what i didn’t say was speeding faster than a car while running, punching so hard that the target explodes, flying/gliding like a bird after jumping off a building. What is obvious is that realism really isn’t the key, non-stop excessive fun at the expense of virtual NPCs is. When a game includes the ‘Dubstep Gun’ alongside the usual armaments for pixelated purveyors of death and destruction, you just know it’s time to suspend your disbelief and pop your huge sociopath cat shaped hat on.

The Boss and Crew. She looks a heck of a lot like Lara Croft don't you think?

This is not the same world as before, Zinyak has taken over. The Boss looks like a sexier and more dangerous Lara Croft, now with 400% more posse

The Boss has never looked better

Just in case you needed convincing, that she looks like Lara

and another picture just to make absolutely certain

and another picture just to make absolutely certain

Saints Row has proven itself to be a viable contender in the Grand Theft Auto-style or sandbox game genre. It makes no attempt at trying to be better than GTA or wanting to compete directly with GTA except that it’s also an open-world albeit a wacky and insane one. They might be doing this out of respect, it might also be fear because Rockstar, makers of the GTA series gives as good as anyone else and when they feel threatened (outside of the legal aspects anyway) they strike with parodies or in-jokes about the offending game or developer within their own games. For Saints Row being so off kelter is not such a bad thing and with the hijinks players got in the previous installment, Volition must have thought ‘let’s turn this s#!t up to 11, no screw that how about 12 or 13?’. Care towards character development or a deep storyline were kind of set a side to allow for the craziest set pieces, weapons you probably haven’t thought of and strippers, lots of near nude women walking around Steelport’s streets.

That's big, the UFO thing that is

That’s big, the UFO thing that is

For this instalment of the Saints Row franchise we see the addition of super-powers to the player character and weird happenings in the city of Steelport (similar in most ways to the previous version). Without giving away too much it’s kind of like ‘The Matrix’ except not so full of itself as well as Mass Effect 3 except not serious… in any way. Also I made my character look almost exactly like Lara Croft and that is cool because walking around kicking-ass and taking names is much better when the character looks like the hottest virtual female character ever to grace the computer monitor, chase camera is a grand thing. It’s this customisation-ability that sets Saints Row apart from the average, I was bored playing The Bureau, I needed something to liven things up and fill in the gap between now and GTA V. Playing this game now, I am wondering how much fun GTA V will be when you can’t leap buildings in a single bound or perform super smackdowns.

Launching from static. like Neo

Launching from static. like Neo

Leaping buildings in a single bound, as opposed to 2 or 3 bounds

Leaping buildings in a single bound, as opposed to 2 or 3 bounds

Super speed makes cars redundant

Super speed makes cars redundant

Speeding, not a crime when it's sans vehicle

Speeding, not a crime when it’s sans vehicle

Gliding, falling with style - As your powers develop you can run faster and glide further

Gliding, falling with style – As your powers develop you can run faster and glide further

It looks like she's tickling this zin alien...

It looks like she’s tickling this zin alien…

...Nope she's just stuck her hand right into his chest cavity

…Nope she’s just stuck her hand right into his chest cavity

This looks like a sex act in mid-air...

This looks like a sex act in mid-air…

...Ends with a slam so hard he pulverizes

…Ends with a slam so hard he pulverizes

This could be painful for the zin

This could be painful for the zin

Swinger

Swinger

Heart-touching

Heart-touching

Puny human

Puny human

Wrestling moves are awesome

Wrestling moves are awesome

More awesome when you have superpowers

More awesome when you have superpowers

Blur of blood and pain

Blur of blood and pain

Have you ever been so mad you just swung an alien by the leg?

Have you ever been so mad you just swung an alien by the leg?

Lara... flexible

Lara… flexible

So in essence Saints Row IV is crazy fun, it’s kind of like a big block of DLC except the graphics engine has been polished somewhat. The lighting effects are nicer and all the more important as most of the game is spent in darker hours or aboard a large moveable object suspended in the void of space. Play to run faster than the fastest car, jump so high you can flip off invading aliens and then smash them so hard on the ground with super strength they become pulverized, this is the game Infamous and Prototype avoided being. Saints goes far to be ridiculous, so much so that it includes a wheel modification at an in-game shop called ‘Rim Jobs’ that looks like glowing dicks for spokes, I think you see where this is going – nothing is sacred.

One of my favourite guns in the game, the Dubstep Gun. Makes music and kills baddies dead. Also civilians dance to the beat

One of my favourite guns in the game, the Dubstep Gun. Makes music and kills baddies dead. Also civilians dance to the beat to cool lights

Same city, new objectives

Same city, new objectives

Tomb Wars

Lara taking on the aliens with a laser sword, this = awesome

Steelport - Not the same as we remember it

Steelport – Not the same as we remember it

You go around collecting these "Clusters" to upgrade powers

You go around collecting these ‘Clusters’ to upgrade powers

Another of the side quests is destroying power generators to take down shields

Another of the side quests is destroying power generators to take down shields with your bare hands

Power generator destroyed!

Power generator destroyed! Look at the lighting effects

Mad-Tomb-Wars

Mad-Tomb-Wars-Max

These things change from red to blue when you take them down

These things changes from red to blue when you take them down

For all the super powers a girl still has needs, like this supercar for instance... requisitioned from the local police

For all the superpowers a girl still has needs, like this supercar for instance… requisitioned from the local police, cheers Mr Wayne

I wish there was something important to say or a segue to something profound and deep about how Saints Row IV is a commentary on the deepest desires of the teenager and young person in western society but it isn’t. What is for me is a whopping good time, a generous serve of lunacy sprinkled with crack.

Oh you came for pictures? Have some more freshly snapped ones (click for hi-res)

Kinzie makes a return

Kinzie makes a return as your guide… oracle if you must

That's Keith David!

That’s Keith David, Vice President of the USA

Walk into the glowing door

Walk into the glowing door, the fate of the world rests on your lithe, toned shoulders

SR4 takes you to interesting locales like this virtual world... again

SR4 takes you to interesting locales like this virtual world… again

Text adventure SR4 style

Text adventure SR4 style

The Boss and Keith David share a moment

The Boss and Keith David share a moment

The team near the beginning, about to gain a fourth

The team near the beginning, about to gain a fourth

Matt Miller! escaping the alien ship with goop all over... reminds me of a movie

Matt Miller! escaping the alien ship covered in goop… reminds me of a movie

Oversized mech suit, nothing is beyond SR4

Oversized mech suit, nothing is beyond SR4

Boss calls dibs

Boss calls dibs

Keith David recreational

Keith David recreational

Pods with humans inside... where do I find Neo?

Pods with humans inside… where do I find Neo?

Some rail shooting action

Some rail shooting action

Do you play Saints Row IV and want to know how to get your character to look like mine? Check out youtube for a tutorial video for all the settings at Image as Desired.

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Grand Theft Auto V: Online

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The trailer is out!

Why are you reading this?

Trawl the forums, watch the video and comment (maybe not in that order).

I like many of you avid gamers had the opportunity to watch the video this morning and I can safely say that the premise is great. Rockstar have chosen to listen to the fans and it seems that we are going to have a much more involved experience with RPG  or Second Life-like elements; purchasing property and cars and generally getting busy in a beautiful open world like San Andreas (better version of Test Drive Unlimited?). With GTA IV you felt it, you could see the potential for a really great online experience if only they fleshed it out with some ownership of “things”. I could feel it with every fibre of my being when I ran amok or just stuffed around with my buddies online in free mode… imagine being able to be a cop and going toe to toe with some huge street gang who in turn are fighting their own turf war in a massive detailed world like Liberty City, it would be incredible!

Some things I’m thinking about:

– Outside is visible from inside so I guess you could snipe someone from outside in their own home which is a great segue to…
– What if a friend who has joined the server you are on and they happen to have bought the same apartment or house as you except on another server. That whole ability to kill someone from outside would suggest the building can’t be fudged with another floor right?
– The world will not be static, Rockstar eludes to more map coming up.
– More missions! I think everyone who has played any of the GTA games gets that feeling after the credits roll that the fun with the story is more or less over. Sure you can invite Roman to play darts again but it’s not the same, the amazing story telling and the 3-dimensional characters all stop and you Claude/Tommy/Carl/Niko/Johnny/Luis end up in what is still a great big city/county but you really have nobody to talk to. You’re on your own now and no one wants to talk to you. With the GTAO trailer we saw some of the story cast come back to give you new objectives, it’s like starting again but with your own character. GTAV in some ways is the intro to what is possible, GTAO is putting that to practice.

Exciting times, check the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olEGtoYs_8A 

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GTA V: The Collector’s Edition – Wait, you don’t have anymore copies?

You’ve heard the hype and seen the trailer, character intros and gameplay video, ok maybe if you’re a huge fan of Rockstar Games’ iconic Grand Theft Auto series or “GTA” as the standard mum’s basement gamer would say, you would know everything about GTA V. I thought I was the biggest fan ever!

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I’m a huge GTA fan- ah crap

I found out quite quickly that I was not a huge fan (a reasonably/medium/fair sized fan?) because by the time I thought I could get myself a copy of GTA V Collectors Edition they were already sold out. Oh man! I really wanted the deposit bag to go with the safe deposit box:

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Gym bag for gym things and safe deposit box for things like money or diamonds or sachets of Easy Mac! – gta4.net

I checked online and everyone is either sold out or just not selling it (Thanks EBGames for ruining my dreams). And then my hunt was blessed by the answer “Yes, we do have a one left”:

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Glory of glories! – Rockstar Games

After some riding at high speed from work to my hallowed destination in Parramatta (west of Sydney in NSW Australia) as well as a mistaken address (oh, so it’s in that part of town, you got some body armour on you?), I made it and in one-piece too! Slapped my card through the slot and I have in my hot hand/wallet a receipt for the deposit I put on my very own copy of GTA V the Collectors Edition! It just goes to show that even though it’s all sold out and Kotaku says it’s all done and dusted, a call to a difficult to get to shop can change all that (JB HiFi Parramatta on George St). Also small pieces of paper can sate the gamers desire to get his hands on a piece of gamer history, man I’m a dork.

Now that a copy is reserved I can think about what all this “Collectors Edition” mumbo is really about:

– More stuff than the average “stock” and even the “Special” version, because that’s for plebs and people who shop at EBGames.
– Cool GTA themed NewEra cap and deposit bag in a cool box, because difficulty to carry is a must, you can’t just slip this under the old rider jacket and zip on home.
– Loads of cool DLC – This used to be a kind of cop out to me as nothing was really beyond the 1337 haxxors (Elite Hackers) who with a deft code or two could just unlock those nice exclusives. These days it’s a little harder to obtain and especially in an immersive game world like the GTA series it makes the difference.
– Bragging rights – as long as I can get home without being mugged for my copy you can watch me get all un-PC and give Jack Thompson something to to be annoyed about.

This post is more of a “I am so happy and a little proud of myself that I needed to post about it” – kind of post, I apologise if you were looking for something a little more informative. Normal service will resume after these messages from our sponsors.

September 17 couldn’t come sooner.

Checkout the Rockstar Games site for more info and a “more biggerer” image of the collectors edition: http://www.rockstargames.com/V/img/en_us/collectors-full.jpg