Here’s How You Can Play StarCraft in Your Browser

The first StarCraft game was a revelation for the real-time strategy genre. Sporting easy to understand gameplay mechanics and relatively low system specifications, it soon became one of the most widely played games ever.

And while strategy games have yielded the limelight to the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre with games like League of Legends and Defense of the Ancients 2 (Dota 2), there’s still some love for StarCraft. So much so that GitHub user Ryuta has uploaded the necessary files needed for you to play the game in your browser thanks to the wonders of HTML5.

No installation is needed and it has complete animations from the game. However it is by no means the full game, its levels are currently demos only. However, Ryuta has included cheat codes that worked in the original game.

Needless to say, don’t expect this version of StarCraft to be available for long. It uses assets from the original game without permission from Blizzard according to The Next Web. What this means is, there’s a good chance that it will be removed sooner rather than later.

You can check it out on your browser without downloading it. While most strategy games find themselves on PC or tablets, it’s heartening to see how far the Web has come, allowing those to check out great games despite of what is perceived to be sub-par hardware.

Pillars of Eternity The White March Expansion Now Available

Pillars-of-Eternity

The first expansion for the awesome Pillars of Eternity game has now been made available to purchase and takes the form of the Pillars of Eternity The White March Part 1.

The Pillars of Eternity: The White March – Part I is a huge expansion for the game that is now available via Steam for PC, Mac, Linux and SteamOS and contains new quests and area content, as well as enhanced Player Party AI and Enemy AI.

Watch the launch trailer below and gameplay trailer to learn more and see what you can expect from the new expansion that includes features such as :

▪ Raised level cap: Your party of six adventurers can now progress beyond level 12 to 14. The additional levels add powerful new spells, abilities and talents for all 11 classes.
▪ New areas to explore: Largely focused on the snowy environments inspired by Icewind Dale, the expansion will feature a new quest hub, and many additional quests and dungeons.
▪ Soulbound weapons: The expansion features mighty artifacts that grow stronger over time. These weapons gain different powers and attributes depending on the character class that binds to it.
▪ New companions: Part 1 of the expansion introduces two new companions you will be able to use throughout all of your adventures. The Devil of Caroc, a rogue, and Zahua, a monk, will be available to join you on your quest in The White March and will travel back with you into the base game.
▪ Multi-class talents: Classes will now have additional options to diversify and take on some of the abilities of other classes.
▪ Party AI: Now you will have the option to set AI scripts for your party, allowing you to focus on controlling the characters you care about most.
▪ Enhanced Enemy AI: Enemies and monsters are now smarter than ever. The new AI makes the entire game more of a challenge, and spell casters will use a wider variety of their spells in more devastating ways.
▪ Respec: At any inn or tavern the player can re-level their party members. It gives flexibility for the player to experiment with the RPG systems and try out builds with the newly added multi-class talents. If you aren’t completely satisfied with your character, you can now do a rebuild and start over fresh.

Razer Orochi 2016 Wireless Gaming Mouse Introduced

Razer Orochi 2016 wireless gaming mouse

Razer has unveiled a new addition to their range of wireless gaming mice with the unveiling of the Razer Orochi 2016 that builds on previous versions and offers the highest DPI sensor in a mobile gaming mouse currently available.

The Razer Orochi 2016 is equipped with a 4G, 8200 DPI laser sensor, which is capable of tracking movement speeds of up to 210 inches per second with 50 G acceleration. Providing gamers with pinpoint accuracy via a Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connection.

Razer Orochi 2016 wireless gaming mouse

Features of the new Razer Orochi 2016 wireless gaming mouse, that is powered by 2 x AA batteries include :

• Dual wired/wireless Bluetooth 4.0 technology
• 1,000 Hz Ultrapolling (Wired) / 125 Hz Ultrapolling (Wireless)
• 1 ms response time (Wired) / 8 ms response time (Wireless)
• On-The-Fly Sensitivity adjustment
• 8200 DPI 4G laser sensor
• 210 inches per second / 50 G acceleration
• Battery life: Approximately 60 hrs. (continuous gaming) or 7 months (normal usage)
• Ambidextrous form factor with textured rubber side grips
• Chroma lighting with true 16.8 million customizable color options
• Inter-device color synchronization
• Seven independently programmable buttons
• Razer Synapse enabled
• 1 m / 3.28 ft. braided fiber USB charging cable
• Approximate size: 99 mm / 3.90 in. (Length) x 67 mm / 2.64 in. (Width) x 35 mm / 1.38 in. (Height)
• Approximate weight: 110 g / 0.24 lbs.

The Razer Orochi 2016 is now available to preorder directly from the Razer online store with worldwide shipping expected to take place during October 2015 and is priced at $69.99 or €84.99

Metal Gear Solid – everything you need to know about the entire series

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainMetal Gear is arguably the greatest action gaming series ever created – but it is also easily the most bewildering. What is the difference between Liquid, Naked, and Solid Snake? What is Foxdie? And why is the US president involved? These are just some of the questions lurking within Hideo Kojima’s expansive, convoluted and often contrived gaming classics.

So if you’ve been attracted to the series by the deliriously positive reviews of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, but are worried about not understanding anything that’s going on, here’s what you need to know. We’ve also ranked all the main titles for lasting quality – behind the latest title, of course, which we consider to be the very best.

Metal Gear

Metal Gear
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Metal Gear – the original game first seen on the old MSX computer

Year: 1987
Format: MSX2 (now on PS2, PS3, 360, PS Vita as part of MGS3: Subsistence / HD)
The one where : Special ops soldier Solid Snake infiltrates Outer Heaven on the trail of missing agent Gray Fox. Directed over the radio by his CO Big Boss, Snake discovers the existence of Metal Gear, a doomsday nuclear-equipped tank, and plans to take it out – but the enemy seems aware of his movements, and Big Boss starts acting funny. Eventually Snake offs the Metal Gear, and Big Boss reveals himself as the puppetmaster. The two face off, and after winning Snake flees the exploding compound. But after the credits, Big Boss vows he will meet Solid Snake again …
Best bit: When Big Boss, panicking at Snake’s success, tells the player to “TURN THE MSX OFF AT ONCE.”
Weirdest bit : Metal Gear was “ported” to the NES but utterly butchered in the process, with many important aspects (like the Metal Gear) removed. Kojima publicly disdains this version.
Still playable? Technology has moved so fast Metal Gear is more of an historical artefact than a great game, but in its time the achievement was enormous.
Series ranking: 9

Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake

Metal Gear 2
Metal Gear 2 – the snake bites back in one of the greatest games of the 8bit era

Year: 1990
Format: MSX2 (now on PS2, PS3, 360, PS Vita as part of MGS3: Subsistence / HD)
The one where : An enormous refinement over Metal Gear, and the basis for many of Metal Gear Solid’s 3D mechanics, Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake sees the retired Foxhound agent return for one last job. Again. Supported by Roy Campbell, Solid Snake infiltrates Zanzibarland to rescue a biologist, but discovers there’s a new Metal Gear project cooking away. Snake duffs up Metal Gear D’s creator, destroys the mech, battles ex-comrade Gray Fox to the death, and then faces off against Big Boss. Again. In a rather grim twist, Snake burns Big Boss to death with an aerosol can and a lighter.
Best bit: The wealth of new options Snake has for stealth, including robotic mice.
The weirdest bit: There are children knocking about the fortress, and you can shoot them (which is penalised with loss of health) .
Still playable? It was one of the best 8bit games ever made – but, unavoidably, of its era.
Series ranking: 8

Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid – the series updates to 3D for the PlayStation generation

Year: 1998
Format: Playstation (also available on PC, PS3, PS Vita)
The one where : Metal Gear moves into 3D. The detailed environments and polished presentation set a new standard for action games – then Kojima’s gift for creative set-pieces and toying with the player elevate things even further. Solid Snake stars again, this time facing down his brother Liquid Snake alongside a great rogues’ gallery including Revolver Ocelot, Psycho Mantis and Sniper Wolf. Snake infiltrates Shadow Moses in order to rescue two hostages but, after both die in his presence, begins to suspect he’s the vector for a bio-weapon called Foxdie.

Another Metal Gear turns up, this time twinned with its guilt-ridden creator Otacon. The cyborg ninja slaughtering Liquid’s troops is revealed as Gray Fox, kept hideously alive by bio-mechanical engineering, who earns his redemption in getting crushed by Metal Gear Rex. Solid Snake duly takes out Rex, socks Liquid in his posh English jaw, escapes in a jeep, and then when Liquid makes a dramatic return – Foxdie hits him. Solid Snake survives and imagines a future free of this crazy stuff. Who wouldn’t?

Best bit: When Revolver Ocelot has Snake trapped in his torture device and advises that you submit before death because “there are no continues, my friend”.
Weirdest bit: Probably the fact that you can gawp at Meryl in her underwear while hiding behind the ceiling vent – then you have to punch her unconscious when Psycho Mantis takes over her mind and starts saying “make love to me Snake!”
Still playable? MGS holds up surprisingly well. The stealth is fast-paced with clear mechanics, and Shadow Moses is still a detailed, vibrant world.
Series ranking: 4

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty

Metal Gear Solid 2
Metal Gear Solid 2. “You haven’t seen me, right?”

Year: 2001
Format: Playstation 2 (later PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita)
The one where : (Deep breath) Snake takes photographs to prove the existence of Metal Gear Ray, a new weapon, which is immediately stolen by the returning Revolver Ocelot – who now thinks he’s Liquid Snake. I know. Fast-forward two years and new character Raiden’s responding to a terrorist incident on an offshore rig called the Big Shell and, lo and behold, Solid Snake and Metal Gear Ray are right in the middle.

MGS2 is a rug-puller, not least in the fact you play as Raiden, and a core part of its technique is to bombard the player with information so they’re not sure what is true. As the mission proceeds, Raiden’s world starts collapsing, his support team begin to behave erratically, and revelations pour out of everyone – but what to believe? Liquid Ocelot reveals the Big Shell was set up to train a soldier as good as Solid Snake (ie Raiden), a new Metal Gear called Arsenal crashes into downtown Manhattan, and Raiden is ordered to assassinate Solidus Snake. Solidus? Yep. The third brother of Solid and Liquid, Solidus is also the president of the US (!) but makes zero impression before being offed. This is honestly the simplest explanation of MGS2 you’ll find anywhere.
Best bit : The revelation that Raiden is a rookie soldier who’s been trained through VR videogames to emulate his hero Solid Snake – making him not-unlike the target audience.
Weirdest bit : Kojima realised that killing off Liquid Snake in MGS was a terrible idea – despite the character’s terrible accent. So Ocelot returns, with Liquid’s hand grafted onto his arm, and is “taken over” by Liquid’s personality. Dire.
Still playable? MGS2 is an acquired taste, not least because it’s got far too much exposition. But the ideas are great, and the game underneath all the chin-stroking is even better.
Series ranking: 5

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Metal Gear Solid 3
Metal Gear Solid 3 – the best in the series before Phantom Pain, we believe

Year: 2004
Format: PS2 (later Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, 3DS)
The one where: After the negative reaction to MGS2’s internet philosophising, Kojima goes back to the series’ roots – and basically makes a Bond movie set at the height of the Cold War. Naked Snake, who is not Solid, is double-crossed by his mentor the Boss as she defects from west to east. The political shockwaves mean that Naked Snake soon has a new assignment – assassination. Fighting his way through Boss’s WW2 Cobra unit, as well as psycho Russkie Volgin, Snake and the Boss eventually face off in a field of white lilies. Naked Snake is haunted by the success of his mission, and is given the name Big Boss – the CO and antagonist of the original Metal Gear.
Best bit: The End, a hundred-year old sniper, and a boss battle that can take hours as you battle mano-a-mano over a huge environment.
Weirdest bit: The eerie boss battle against the Sorrow forces you to wade through the ghosts of all the enemies you’ve killed before that point.
Still playable? MGS3 has aged better than any other entry, because the story is easy to follow and the amazing systems have the time they need to breathe.
Series ranking: 2

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

Metal Gear Solid 4
“Hmm, yes I suppose you’re right… wait, what?”

Year: 2008
Format: PS3
The one where: Kojima makes the game the fans say they want – Solid Snake’s back. And Meryl. And everyone else from every game. MGS4 is the series lowpoint, even if there’s still a great game in there somewhere, because it’s buried under a mass of convoluted and contrived fanservice.

Solid Snake is, pointedly, now an old man – and war is in an era where “normal” soldiers are no longer required. Yet this hardy geriatric stealths his way through, settling various old scores before a return to MGS’s setting of Shadow Moses, where he and Liquid Ocelot pilot the Metal Gears from the first two games. Characters including Psycho Mantis, MGS3’s Eva and Meryl return in ways that only dull the impact of their original characters. After even more cutscenes, Solid and “Liquid” fight to the death in an admittedly great showdown. At the very end, Big Boss turns up again, says “I was never dead all that time after all”, then dies.
Best bit: The “octocamo” suit at the centre of MGS4’s stealth, which lets Snake blend into surroundings like a chameleon, is both an incredible mechanic and gorgeous in action.
Weirdest bit : After beating the main bosses, they turn into scantily-clad ladies who try to hug you to death – and can also be enticed into a photo mode.
Still playable? If you skip all the cutscenes, MGS4 has a lot of great stuff – but redundant elements too, and a few duff sections. The years have not been kind.Ranking: 7

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
“Kojima? Are you in there? Because nobody understands what’s going on.”

Year: 2010
Format: Sony PSP (later PS3, 360, PS Vita)
The one where : Big Boss is running his own mercenary group, helped by his chum Kaz Miller, and gets tempted into Costa Rica by CIA agent Hot Coldman – who has an audio recording of what appears to be the Boss. As Big Boss investigates and sets up his own private army, he begins uncovering the existence of an AI-controlled nuclear-capable Metal Gear – built because of Coldman’s belief that human unwillingness to launch a nuke is the flaw in deterrence theory.

Big Boss shows Peace Walker what deterrence theory really means, whereupon the machine’s AI personality (based on the Boss) realises it shouldn’t be allowed to exist and drowns itself. Alongside this, Big Boss’s merc squad has been constructing Metal Gear Zeke as a defensive measure, which eventually gets nicked by the peace-loving Paz who threatens nuclear war. After sorting her out, Big Boss finally accepts his nickname and christens this new merc paradise Outer Heaven.
Best bit : The introduction of the fulton surface-to-air recovery system, which lets you hook balloons to KO’d bad guys and turn them into Mother Base soldiers.
Weirdest bit : You can use X-ray vision, never explained, to look at the underwear of female characters during cutscenes.
Still playable? This is a truly epic PSP game with a lengthy main game supplemented by numerous objectives and challenges. Peace Walker’s a masterpiece but also built for its chosen platform – Sony’s PSP. It doesn’t transition perfectly to the big screen but in co-op, especially, it’s still fantastic.
Series ranking: 3

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes
Metal Gear Solid Ground Zeroes – the primer to Phantom Pain provides a compelling play space

Year: 2014
Formats: PC, PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One
The one where : Chico and Paz, two supporting characters from Peace Walker, have been kidnapped and are being held in Camp Omega – a thinly-veiled version of Guantanamo Bay. Big Boss breaks in to get them out, but it’s all a set up. While he’s at Camp Omega, Mother Base is being razed to the ground by XOF, and Paz has been booby-trapped with bombs – she leaps out of the chopper before exploding, but the chopper loses control anyway and the only survivors are Miller and Big Boss.
Best bit: Helping an informant escape by providing air support, and realising it was Mr Kojima all along
Weirdest bit: The idea of a bad guy called Skullface inserting two bombs into the body of a teenage girl is probably not Kojima’s greatest moment.
Still playable? It’s a great starter. Ground Zeroes is more than anything a showcase for imagination, experimentation, and play for play’s sake, because there is simply so much to do in and around this environment.
Series ranking: 6

Spinoffs, Remakes, and Revengeance

A quick look at the titles orbiting the main Metal Gear series

Metal Gear 2: Snake’s Revenge
Year: 1990
Format: NES
The one where: Konami wanted a Metal Gear sequel and gave the job to someone other than Hideo Kojima. Though much-derided by series fans, Snake’s Revenge is decent for the time.
Still playable? One for Metal Gear boffins only.

Metal Gear: Ghost Babel
Year: 2000
Format: Game Boy Color
The one where: Konami mishmashed together Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake and MGS to make a Game Boy Color game. This is one of the series’ secret gems, a non-canon but completely true-feeling Metal Gear
Still playable? Great, but hard to get hold of.

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
Year: 2004
Format: Gamecube
The one where: Silicon Knights remade Metal Gear Solid for Nintendo’s Gamecube, introducing some of MGS2’s mechanics and rather unwisely recasting much of the voice talent.
Still playable? The original MGS remains definitive.

Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops / Portable Ops+
Year: 2006/7
Format: PSP
The one where: Big Boss is being targeted by Foxhound and has to build his own squad to respond, but the kidnapping mechanic is terrible – which rather taints the whole thing.
Still playable? Obsessives only, and even then …

Metal Gear Acid / Acid 2
Year: 2004/5
Format: PSP
The one where: it turns out you can make a half-decent card game out of the MGS principles, but you can really bog it up with cutscenes and chatter too.
Still playable? The card strategy is great, but Acid 2 is a much better take on the formula.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Year: 2013
Format: PC, PS3, 360
The one where : MGS2’s Raiden returns as a cyborg ninja who’s had quite enough stealth, and now just slices through armies and enormous mechs at mach speed. A belting action game, the mental plot ends with Raiden ripping out the heart of a US senator.
Still playable? Yes, it’s incredible.

Rise Of The Tomb Raider Will Not Have Multiplayer

tombTomb Raider fans are looking forward to the latest addition to the franchise called Rise of the Tomb Raider, but they might not be too excited to learn that the new title will not have a multiplayer mode. This news was revealed through the latest issue of the Official Xbox Magazine.

Well, for fans who were looking forward to the multiplayer mode, this will be very disappointing. We now know for sure that this isn’t going to happen.

The 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider featured a multiplayer mode that put teams of players against each other in arena maps. These maps had lots of gadgets and traps that were heavily inspired by the game’s main story. Fans seemed to like it. It looks like the decision to cut this part of the game was made to make sure that additional time could be spent on perfecting the single-player experience which is a bigger area of focus for the developers. You can’t really fault them for that.

Rise of the Tomb Raider will release later this year for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. Sorry multiplayer fans. At least we know that the single-player experience should be quality as they are giving it extra attention.

Club3D Radeon R9 390 royalQueen

PRICE WHEN REVIEWED

£289 inc VAT

CLUB3D RADEON R9 390 ROYALQUEEN REVIEW

Launched as AMD’s answer to the phenomenally popular Nvidia GeForce GTX 970, the Radeon R9 390 graphics card is a serious challenger offering excellent bang for the buck as well as double the amount of RAM. See also: What’s the best graphics card?

The Radeon R9 390 is an upgraded version of the previous R9 290 offering great value for money for those on a budget. Despite Club 3D’s marketing blurb, you’ll probably be wise to avoid trying to play games at 4K resolution, but you should be able to play all the latest games at 1920×1080 and above with decent quality settings. Pushing the previous GPU harder does come at a cost – power consumption and temperatures can tend to run rather high.

This example from Club 3D, the Radeon R9 390 royalQueen, has been pre-overclocked from the standard core speed of 1000MHz to a why-did-they-even-bother 1010MHz, while the memory speed has been left at the standard 1500MHz. The card is cooled by a large heat sink, fitted with three fans – which we’ll discuss more later.

Club3D Radeon R9 390 royalQueen

CLUB3D RADEON R9 390 ROYALQUEEN REVIEW: PERFORMANCE

At under £300, the Club 3D Radeon R9 390 royalQueen offers understandably lower performance when compared to cards costing more than double the price. That’s not to say it’s a poor performer, far from it, it’s just up against much tougher competition here. We actually think you’re getting a great deal of performance, and very close to the price/performance ratio sweet spot. Our tests often recorded average frame rates in excess of 60fps at 2560×1440 and, yes, occasionally at 4K, proving the Radeon R9 390 royalQueen to be a very capable card at this price.

However, despite its relatively modest (among top-end cards) gaming performance, the Club3D Radeon R9 390 royalQueen proved to be one of the loudest.

Under FurMark stress testing, the three fans became progressively louder with each degree rise in temperature. The cooling was effective, keeping temperatures below 70 degrees Celsius, but this certainly isn’t a card you would select if you’re hoping for a quiet setup. This is mostly due to the inherently power-hungry nature of the Radeon R9 390 which is essentially a tweaked and overclocked version of an older technology pushed harder to gain extra speed. It may seem counter-intuitive, but most of the flagship graphics cards (such as the GTX 980 Ti) run much more quietly than this one.The cooler is also unusually deep, causing the card to be a little wider than normal and limiting access within the PC case.

If you fancy something a little faster, the most obvious potential upgrade to consider would be the Radeon R9 390X. Club 3D makes a royalQueen version of this too, but with a price premium of around £100 the extra performance you would gain is effectively negligible. It comes at no surprise that the XFX Radeon R9 390X Double Dissipation Core Edition, is available at highly discounted prices.

CLUB3D RADEON R9 390 ROYALQUEEN REVIEW: BUYING AS AN UPGRADE

If you already own a PC with AMD graphics, then a Radeon R9 390 can make a particularly cost-effective upgrade as Radeon graphics cards can often work in tandem with previous GPU versions in a CrossFireX multi-card setup. So, if you already own a reasonably recent AMD graphics card and a compatible PC, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to leave it right where it is and simply plug in the Club 3D Radeon R9 390 royalQueen alongside it for a big boost in performance.

The Club 3D R9 390 royalQueen OC 8GB Edition lacks most of the bells and whistles found on premium cards, but offers excellent performance for it’s low price. Just watch out for the fan noise and be sure to provide adequate cooling.

 

SPECS

Uncharted 4 confirmed for March

The next game in the popular Uncharted series was first teased in November 2013 and officially announced at E3 in June 2014, but we’re still waiting for the game to be released. Here, we bring you everything you need to know about Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, including UK release date rumours, gameplay demos and pre-order options.

You’ll also like: 19 games you should be most excited about in 2015

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End release date: When is Uncharted 4 coming out in the UK?

Finally we have an official release date for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End: 18 March 2016.

That’ll come as good news to fans, who have previously had their hopes put up with a series of incorrect release date rumours.

It was looking likely that an October or November release was planned, thanks mainly to a January 2015 leak. Walmart appeared to accidentally leak the official release date of the game, claiming that it’d be launched on 31 October.

Shortly after the Walmart link, though, Fudzilla suggested that Uncharted 4 would be released in America on 29 September, followed by a 2 October release in Europe.

However, in March 2015, the directors of Naughty Dog (the studio behind Uncharted) took to the PlayStation Blog to break some bad news to fans – Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End won’t be out until Spring 2016, claiming that the game is much more ambitious than they originally imagined.

“So we’ve made the difficult choice of pushing the game’s release date. Giving us a few extra months will make certain that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End not only meets the team’s high standards but the high standards that gamers have come to expect from a Naughty Dog title.”

Since then, Sony Computer Entertainment president and global CEO Andrew House confirmed at an Investors Day conference that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End will be out before the end of Sony’s 2015 fiscal year, which ends on the 31 March 2016. Although it’s not quite a release date, it does mean that by the end of March 2016, we’ll have Uncharted 4 in our hands.

Note, though, that Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a PS4 exclusive, so Xbox One owners will be missing out this time – but hey, don’t moan too much as Xbox gamers get Tomb Raider 2before any other platform.

Read next: PS4 vs Xbox One

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End price: Best places to pre-order Uncharted 4

Despite the lack of an official release date, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is already available to pre-order from several UK retailers. We’d recommend waiting a little while longer if you like to order Collectors Editions or special pre-order bonus bundles, as none have been announced yet but could be revealed later in the year.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception offered some pretty cool Collector’s Editions complete with a figure and other extras, and the pre-order bonuses included weapon mods and more.

If you’re not worried about those extras, you can currently pre-order Uncharted 4 from Game, Amazon and Shop To, with Amazon’s option the cheapest at £48.99 (with a pre-order price guarantee so it may drop), Game’s is £49.99 and ShopTo’s is £54.85 with Price Promise.

If you can’t wait until next year to sink your teeth into some next-gen Uncharted gameplay, Naughty Dog is planning to release theUncharted: Nathan Drake Collection on 9 October 2015, containing the first three Uncharted games. This also includes access to the Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End’s multiplayer beta when it’s available later on this year.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End gameplay

Uncharted 4 is set three years after the events in its predecessor, Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, when Nathan’s brother Sam needs his help (which comes as quite a surprise considering Nathan thought Sam was dead). This forced Nathan out of retirement to once again return to fortune hunting in search of pirate treasure.

“His greatest adventure will test his physical limits, his resolve, and ultimately what he’s willing to sacrifice to save the ones he loves,” reads the PlayStation website.

It wasn’t until E3 2015 where the true extent of the graphics and gameplay were revealed. During Sony’s E3 conference, we were given an opportunity to watch a demo of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and it looked amazing. It features Nathan and Sully wandering through a French-speaking market before being ambushed by military soldiers. As you can imagine, an intense chase ensues – but we don’t want to ruin the surprise for you, so you can enjoy the full demo below.

FIFA 16 India Price Confirmed; Amazon Is EA’s New Exclusive Partner

FIFA 16 will be exclusive to Amazon India, according to a banner on the retailer’s website. The game will be available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One, and should hit the country on release date at Rs. 3,999 for the standard edition, and Rs. 4,499 for the deluxe edition of the game on Xbox One and PS4. The standard edition of the game will be Rs. 3,499 and Rs. 3,999 for the deluxe edition on Xbox 360 and PS3.

It comes as a shock to many a retailer considering that FIFA is one of the biggest, if not the biggest franchise in the country. “No we haven’t been informed if EA has a new distributor after parting ways with the last one, they were supposed to make an announcement a few weeks ago but that didn’t happen,” a buyer at a large format retailer told us, adding that he would be revising his estimates on game sales for the year drastically.

(Also see: Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Indian Price and Release Date Confirmed)

Meanwhile those who can, will be obtaining the game via other means. “They [EA] have not learned from the mistakes of Activision with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Destiny,” said a bemused retailer. “The grey market will end up supplying most of the country. Most grey importers are looking to sell the PS4 version between Rs. 3,300 and Rs. 3,500.”

It’s a sentiment that’s echoed across game stores. Considering how poorly Call of Duty and Destinyfared, it’s but obvious that a large chunk of gamers in the country are not interested in buying their games online. Whether this impacts FIFA 16 or not though, remains to be seen. According to sources, all of Electronic Arts’ upcoming games such as Star Wars Battlefront, Need for Speed, and Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst are exclusive to the e-commerce giant. NDTV has reached out to Amazon and EA for comment and will update the story the moment we have a reply.

Destiny Update 2.0

Destiny-The-Taken-King

David Dague A.K.A DeeJ from Bungie has taken to the PlayStation blog to provide more details about the upcoming new expansion The Taken King and the Crucible Preview Event.

Check out the official Destiny The Taken King Crucible Preview Event trailer below, together with the official Destiny The Taken King Launch gameplay trailer that has already been released to whet your appetite further.

DeeJ from Bungie here, paying you a visit with previews of Destiny Year Two. We’re about to launch The Taken King, and things are about to get a lot more interesting in our shared world. I’m at your service to bring you up to speed.

First up, you’re invited back into the Crucible next week to sample some new combat modes using the weapons and abilities you come to master over the first year of maneuvers in Destiny. Check it out! If you’re wondering how to spend your last weekend before Update 2.0 changes the way we all play, check out the Bungie Weekly Update for some recommendations for this weekend. It’s also full of repeat performances of live reveals and gameplay trailers.

​Forza Motorsport 6 hands-on: Bigger, wetter, and a new card-based mod system

Turn 10 Studios’ Forza Motorsport racing sim franchise turned 10 years old this year and celebrated by announcing the next iteration at the 2015 Detroit auto show earlier this year. Forza Motorsport 6 will hit the Xbox One console on September 15 bringing more cars, more tracks and more new features than ever before. I was recently able to get a few hours behind the wheel of FM6’s single-player career mode to check out some of those new features.

Like all Forza titles of recent memory, FM6 starts out with an inspirational video. The dramatic bit of cinema featuring a foot race between young boys and the question of “why do we race?” is a bit more high concept than I expected. It didn’t get my hair standing on end like Forza 5’s intro, but it’s soon over. Next, Forza uses the racing sim trope of dropping the player into one of the best cars in the game — the 2016 Ford GT cover car — to teach the basic controls before taking a big step back and asking them to choose a much less powerful car to actually start their career with.

Motorsports’ career starts with compact imports and gives the driver the choice of a handful of cars, with the Volkswagen GTI as their first free car. I chose an FD Mazda RX-7, which I then covered in a gaudy woodgrain finish using Forza’s color customization tools, which feature a few new options for this generation. (Unfortunately, we were unable to capture video or screenshots of the wooden rotary.)

After a few races at a few familiar tracks (and a few new ones), I’d graduated to a 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata and confirmed that the gameplay, the physics, the visual fidelity of Forza Horizon 6 are on par with what I’ve come to expect from the franchise. The game looks fantastic and the level of detail is phenomenal. From the cockpit view of the MX-5, I could see that all of the gauges (including speedometer and tachometer) worked. Take a really close look and you’ll see that the odometer also works and accurately tracks the number of miles driven since the car was virtually purchased with in-game currency. It’s crazy.

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Forza’s Drivatar system returns for this iteration, which uses Microsoft’s cloud processing backend to analyze your in-game driving style to create a digital avatar that that then appears in other players’ races around the world. You may be playing the Forza 6 demo this weekend and trade paint with my Drivatar in my hot pink Miata. Of course, it’s nigh impossible to test how accurate these avatars are to their creators, but I think that seeing my friends’ names adds a bit of cheekiness and vindictiveness to my play.

Mod cards, prize spin

With each race, players will earn driver XP (experience points) and, when enough points are gathered, rank up to the next level. Aside from the bragging rights of having a number next you your gamertag that’s one more than before, ranking up triggers a new feature called Prize Spin. If you’ve played Forza Horizon 2, this bit should be familiar. Prize Spin is sort of like a slot machine for prizes, ranging from in-game currency to new and rare cars for your digital garage. During my 2-hour play session, I managed to unlock the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro — a carbon-fiber, 550-plus horsepower diesel hybrid LeMans prototype racer. It’s pretty badass.

Also new to the Forza franchise is a feature called mod cards. Mod cards are like digital trading cards that can be used to modify a race in the single player career mode — a bit like Fallout Shelter’s lunchbox cards. Cards are acquired by buying mod card packs with in-game currency, which randomly awards five cards. More expensive mod card packs have a better chance of awarding the player with rare and powerful cards. Cards are divided further into Crew, Dare and Boost subcategories.

Boost mod cards are single use, awarding the player with improved starting grid position, improved payout for winning, more player or vehicle XP, and so on. Crew and Dare cards can be used over and over again, improving vehicle performance in some way or challenging the player to complete some stunt during the race. For example, I unlocked a “crew” type card called Grip Specialist that improved grip by 6 percent on any track and an additional 6 percent when racing on the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. Other cards “dared” me to only use the chase camera for improved experience, “dared” me to pull off a number of clean draft passes, or “boosted” my experience upon winning.

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Only three mod cards can be used per race, but more can be bought and held in the player’s inventory. And to keep the game somewhat balanced, players can only use one Crew card and one Dare card per race, so I wasn’t able to stack a grip boost on top of a power boost.

Some of Forza Motorsports’ more hardcore fans may take issue with crossbreeding a collectable card game with a serious racing sim, but the feature didn’t seem like a game breaker to me. For starters, the modest boosts awarded by the cards don’t seem grossly overpowered and it’s not like the game forced me to use them. Additionally, mod cards can only be used in the single player, career mode and not in any of the online multiplayer game types, which keeps all of the competitors on fairly even ground. Finally, you can only buy card packs with in-game currency and since Forza Motorsport 6 won’t feature any microtransactions that let you buy in-game currency with real money, players won’t be able to just pay to win.

Night and rain driving

About five races into Forza 6’s career mode at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, the game introduces the player to one of its coolest new features: driving in the rain. Forza faithful will point out that weather was introduced previously in Forza Horizon 2, but Motorsport 6 takes this feature to a new level.

In the rain, traction is reduced, but the wet also affects how the game’s physics engine simulates the tires heating up. The tracks, which have had their every bump, dip and bend meticulously laser-mapped, will form puddles, which further affect grip and can cause the cars to hydroplane. Racing in the rain also causes water to bead up on the car’s virtual windshield and be slapped away by little virtual windshield wipers. In the case of my Mazda MX-5, which is driven with the top down even in the rain, the driver’s helmet visor also gets a few drops of water landing on it and evaporating away. I thought this last bit was a nice touch.

I’ve been with the Forza franchise since Forza 2 on the Xbox 360 and have logged countless digital laps around Sebring, so there’s a sort of gamer muscle memory. The appearance of puddles at familiar apexes, the elongation of the braking zones, and the thrill of four-wheel drifting around the turn 17 complex completely transforms this familiar track into a new and awesome experience.

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A few races later, night driving is introduced, which poses its own set of challenges — from reduced visibility to a cooler track surface, again, affecting the tires’ grip. The level of illumination varies from course to course, some tracks feature floodlights and others, such as the Nurburgring Nordschleife, are inky black outside of the throw of your car’s headlamps.

Forza Motorsport 6 features varying levels of AI difficulty, driver assist, and physics realism that can be customized, mixed, and matched by the driver to suit their play style. One of those settings is Vehicle Damage, which can be set to simulation level where a crash can leave the car’s engine, suspension, and body inoperable or just cosmetic levels where the car gets banged up, but doesn’t suffer any performance loss. Beware when choosing the former before a night drive; an errant bump could leave you without headlamps in the dark and out of luck.

Showcase events

Every few races in the single player career mode, Forza will throw the player a curve ball in the form of a Showcase event. These events place the driver into a historic car on a historic track and help to introduce the player to new parts of “the lore of motorsports.”

The first Showcase unlocked puts the driver behind the wheel of a 220 mph Indycar racer searing its way around the Brickyard at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After four or five races at the 2016 Miata’s pace, the racer’s speed seemed unreal and took a few laps (and a few crashes) to get into a good cadence. I appreciated the change of pace and, as the sort of Forza fan that has a handful of cars that I usually run, also appreciated being temporarily forced outside of my safe zone and into a part of the game that I probably wouldn’t experience otherwise.

Again, I see the Forza Horizon franchise’s influence here. Motorsports’ Showcases aren’t as gonzo as Horizon’s racing a stunt plane in a Boss Mustang or Horizon 2’s Bucket List challenges, but the basic DNA of experiencing a legendary car under unique circumstances is still there.

Other Showcases feature other race series and tracks; all of them feature an intro spoken by some racing legend familiar with the car or course to explain the significance of what the player is about to embark upon. From the looks of the menu screens, there are dozens of these Showcases.

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More play, less pay

At its core, Forza Motorsport 6 promises more: more tracks, more cars, more game types and league play, and more of the racing that’s kept Xbox racing fans interested for the five previous titles — seven, if you count the Forza: Horizon franchises. FM6 is said to launch with over 450 cars when it hits the Xbox One on Septemeber 15. There’s a wider variety of car types and racing classes including including electric Formula E, Australian V8 Supercars, BTCC racers and more. There will be 26 different tracks, many with options for day, night, rain, and alternate configurations that brings the number of unique configs above 100.

The other side of that “more” coin is less — less of the things that enthusiasts and gamers complained loudly about in the previous title. Specifically, that means microtransactions. Forza Motorsport 6 will, according to Turn 10, “not feature any microtransactions at launch…” sort of. While it’s true that players won’t have to pay for tracks, mod packs, or in-game currency, Turn 10 will continue its tradition of offering periodic car packs (or a season pass bundle of six packs) down the line and that players will be asked to pay real money for them, but those packs won’t come until after launch. Either way, there should be significantly less nickel and diming overall this generation.

Forza Motorsport 6 hits the Xbox One on September 15, retailing at $59.99 for the Standard Edition. A $79.99 Deluxe Editions is also available, adding the first DLC car pack and Forza VIP membership to the mix. And of course, there’s a $99.99 Ultimate Edition that grants the first six DLC car packs and early access to the game, unlocking the download for play on September 10.

In Australia, the three editions will cost AU$99.95, AU$126.45, and AU$151.95, respectively. UK racers will have to wait a bit longer; FM6 doesn’t get to that side of the pond until September 18 for £49.99, £65.99, £81.99 for Standard, Deluxe and Ultimate editions. However, neither the UK or Australian Ultimate editions appears to include early access to the game.