Joe's Take: My Top 4 Reasons to return (or try) ESO!

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My Top 4 Reasons to Return to ESO!

Over the last few weeks,  I have returned to a game that i once avoided like the plague. ESO- or Elder Scrolls Online - was once the MMO that no one talked about. When it first launched, I, like many others, dismissed it as - lets face it, it wasn't that great. Having a subscription based game didn't work out well for Bethesda and ZeniMax, as there was not enough content to sustain a subscription based audience. 

Also, the game was way overhyped. After the successful launch of the The Elder Scrolls : Skyrim - a commercial and critical success, this game had to live up to the expectations that an online version would have to meet. However, it slowly dawned that after a $200 million production budget, people didn't want another Skyrim clone. Add that to the extensive bugs at launch, the game just never held my interest. 

Until Now...

With the relaunch, a new lease of life has been given to the game, which has led me to create this list of 4 reasons you should give it a try:

#1- Worthwhile End-Game Content.

The Craglorn patch update featured the game's first new adventure zone, and it was geared toward veterans who wanted a group-centred endgame destination apart from the VR journeys on the other factions. It also includes 12-player encounters that are similar(ish) to raiding currently available in other MMO's.

#2-  (Finally) Good Guild Functionality.
Another addition added a lot of guild functionality. Now we've got custom ranks and associated permissions as well as the ability for guildmasters to design looks that players can display via tabards. ZeniMax has provided 250 colours, 63 backgrounds, and 136 crests to choose from when designing a guild emblem. And, to top it all off, guild traders (which are basically Gold Trading Company NPCs for hire) are a well-implemented and a neat idea.

#3- Dyes, Dyes, Dyes!
Much like SWTOR and other MMOs, ESO underwent a huge cosmetic update, bringing Armour dyes to the table, allowing the more fashion-conscious players (such as myself) to come up with original designs to light up the battlefield. Even though this was a much needed improvement to the game, they really take the biscuit having the dye system being tied to ESO's achievement mechanics rather than its crafting and economy systems, as I think making dies would fit better than hunting achievements. 

#4- No Subscription Required!
That's right, nothing helped this game more than switching to a Buy to Play model. And it has really re-rejuvenated the game; replenishing the many players lost since the dodgy launch. Considering you can pick up this game fairy cheaply (mine cost £20) I'd say that you should give it a go! Yes, the starting zones can be a bit tedious, but it's definitely a fun and enjoyable ride if you get it for the right price. 

Sam's Take: Memories of Deadpool

Recently, I had the pleasure of playing the new PS4 port of Deadpool. I have positive memories of that game - as well as having a very funny story and charismatic characters, it was a very well made game, not one that tried to be funny and forgot about the gameplay (A la most "joke simulator" games on Steam).

Not only was the core gameplay responsive, outlandish, and very, very gory, but there were also very funny gameplay sections parodying various styles of games. Whether it was a top-down roguelike, a 2D side-scroller or an on-rails shooter, Deadpool always seeked to make gameplay out of its jokes - and that's why it did so well as a game.

The PS4 port didn't disappoint me at all - despite being a little on the pricey side and having no graphical upgrade whatsoever, I was glad to finally see High Moon Studios' swansong back, after being yanked off of store shelves due to a licensing problem.

After playing through it again, I was happy to see that it's still kept its appeal, despite being 2 years old. The many platforming sections in the game weren't frustrating thanks to to the ultra-responsive movement system, the combat felt crazy, OTT and entertaining, and the humour as relevant as ever - the funny comments on weeaboos, the games industry and the people surrounding is so on point that it seems that this game predicted the future.

Of course, the slapstick humour also made this game what it was - whether it was the legendary "slapping Wolverine" scene, Deadpool shooting himself after listening to Cable, or just Deadpool's many conversations with the voices in his head, Deadpool (the game) is, in my opinion, one of the funniest games out there. What makes Deadpool's style so funny is his self-awareness, the fact that, by the end of the game, Deadpool has pretty much obliterated the 4th wall.

I just wish that more developers strived to make games like this, games that had style and substance in equilibrium. Seeing as High Moon Studios has been relegated to porting, and other famous comedy game developers such as Rare aren't having their best days, indies have saved the day again and have come up with some excellent comedy games.

The most obvious is Undertale, possibly one of the best games that came out this year. Looking like a boring turn-based JRPG, Undertale, under the surface, is a quirky, cute, and hilarious little title that is fully worth your money. From the little comments your enemies you make to the fact that you don't battle at all - pretty much complimenting your opponents - it's a very lovable game.

Or how about Roundabout - another indie title that came out last year. It was a very niche genre - a tiny open world in which you travel in a revolving limousine. That sounds crazy already, but the addition of cheesy FMV knocked this game out of the park.

So developers - please, please start working on more comedy-focused games. Sometimes, we all get tired on "grizzled white guy kills terrorists" and we need a little quirky humour in our lives.

Carlo's Take: Zombies and the PS4's New Feature!

All right, before I start discussing stuff today, I need to say a major SPOILER ALERT for the most recent episode of The Walking Dead, that being Season 6 Episode 7. If you don't want to know the fate of a major character, you may want to skip out on this article.

Are...are they gone? O-okay.

So, in between sessions of gorging myself on Fallout 4, I managed to fit a TV show or two in, and one of those was the Walking Dead. Many remember that a few episodes ago, Nicolas (the coward) killed himself and made Glenn fall off of the dumpster they were both on into a crowd of Feral Ghouls- I mean Zombies - I mean Walkers. We then saw someone's guts being ripped out and Glenn looking pretty hurt, and his name was even taken off of the opening, which led to many speculating to his death.

But, HE ISN'T! GLENN IS ALIVE! At the start of this episode, it shows him rolling under the dumpster and waiting for all the Walkers to leave. I know it should come off as a relief, but it was anticlimactic, and they didn't particularly try hiding his survival - unlike another surprising "death" from the big season finale of a popular show *cough* Game of Thrones *cough* which still has people wondering for that character's survival. It makes it seem like certain people in TWD are immortal, and they don't have the guts to kill anyone. While it does bring me to sadness, I do think Glenn really will die sometime soon, presumably in a gruesome fashion to confirm it. But with that out of the way, I did enjoy the episode; the chemistry between Glenn and Enid was cool, and nothing much else happened (apart from the tower falling down which I want to see how they'll deal with)

Moving away from Walking Dead, there was a recent announcement for the PS4 - there is PS2 emulation being worked on with higher resolution, framerates and trophies! Currently, it has been tested on 3 old Star Wars games, none of them Battlefront I'm sad to say, but it looks really good when compared to the original version. And that's only three games- what about all of the others? I'd love to revisit all my old games, like Sly and Ratchet & Clank and the ones I didn't have an opportunity to have a go at such as Okami.

However, I have yet to find how these will be put on PS4. Hopefully it won't be doomed to Playstation Now. If it does, what about the lesser known games that won't be emulated? Also, does this show that Playstation is running out of ideas and looking for a quick cash grab using nostalgia? So many questions, but I don't think they're running out of ideas. If it does get shoved into Playstation Now though, I probably won't touch it for the time being. I don't have the money for the PS Now service for the moment, as much as it interests me. As much as it makes me seem cheap, they do need to adjust the prices for the permanent purchases by a couple of pounds.

So, how about it? Anyone interested in old PS2 games? What about that Walking Dead episode, anyone mad or glad that Glenn's alive?

James' Take: Star Wars Battlefront First Impressions

I remember when this game was first announced, there was quite a lot of uproar about its developers and publishers, EA. However, as I was blasting, flying and saber slinging my way through the multiplayer, all of those thoughts faded and I knew; 'This is what a Battlefront game should be like'

There is a brilliant mix of maps from the original trilogy, a familiar ground and air combat system and breathtakingly awesome graphics with the icing on the cake of the already developed Frostbite engine from Dice. The mobile companion app allows you to earn in game credits for weapons and appearances, check your statistics and keep up with your friends' progress on the fly.

All the problems in the Beta such as trouble joining friends' lobbies, timed hero power ups and an unfair advantage to the Imperials in Walker Assault mode have been (thankfully) fixed also.

This game has hours of multiplayer, a great challenge mode for solo, split- screen or co-op play and 4 more DLCs to come, I must say I was quite impressed with this release.

The Week Ahead

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Now that the big game releases - apart from Just Cause 3, of course - are all out the way, the final stretch of 2015 is upon us, and it's oddly quiet. Don't worry - for those of you who overdosed on Fallout 4 and other such gems, this week's releases are full of... re-releases and game of the year editions. Oh.

First up is Beyond: Two Souls, which is finally getting a PS4 release on Tuesday in North America and Thursday in Europe. In case you've forgotten, you play as Jodie Holmes, a girl who's been linked with an entity she calls Aiden since birth. You follow Jodie throughout the years of your life, growing as you realise more ways to control Aiden. Admittedly, it's got some voice talent behind it, with Willem Dafoe and Ellen Page lending themselves to the project, but, in my opinion, this can barely be called a game. Some say David Cage is a genius, I just think that he's an idiot who just needs to make a film already.

There's also Bloodborne: Game of the Year Edition, launching on Friday for PS4. It's a weird choice, since Bloodborne only came out 8 months ago, but that's just what the industry is now. The GOTY Edition packs in the original Bloodborne game as well as its recent expansion, The Old Hunters. If you've not yet tried Bloodborne and want to get hyped for Dark Souls 3, now is the time. 

Of course, this week also gives way to a couple of crappy licensed games - any fans of Monster High can pick up Monster High: New Ghoul in School for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii or Wii U, likewise Fireman Sam fanatics can have their gaming thirst quenched with Fireman Sam: To The Rescue on 3DS, which (presumably) follows Sam's descent into existentialism as he ponders questions such as "If fires keep happening, why do I keep fighting them?"

Are any of you planning on getting any of these games? Tell us in the comments!

The Gadgets and Khajiits Reboot

Hi Guys,

We've been in a rut as of late, but, trust me, this is well and truly over. We've hashed out a schedule that works for us - and should work for you - and we're excited for all of these changes. Still, our biggest change to announce is a new member of the team: James! This new additional member should help us bring out regular content and enhance your experience.

Now, the new schedule - we're completely scrapping news articles. We know that we can't compete with other sites in that respect, so we're now changing to weekly pieces in which we rant/talk about games, experiences, TV shows, movies or tech. Here's that new schedule in full:

Monday: James' Take

Tuesday: Carlo's Take

Wednesday: Sam's Take

Thursday: Joe's Take

Friday: Our Weekend, in which all members of the team talk about their weekend plans.

Saturday: SWTOR Saturday, in which Joe wraps up the week's SWTOR news

Sunday: The Week Ahead, in which we talk about the upcoming week in games and movies

We'll also be continuing Reviews, because that's a given.

Hopefully these changes are enough to keep the site fresh, and look out in the future for more stuff, including a possible podcast.

Thanks for sticking with us!

The Team