The latest generation of the Xbox One is designed with greater graphics accelerators and a power architecture system that enhances VOIP capabilities and allows for faster and better game play. The core hardware of the system is at its best level yet, but it is the upgrade package that has people talking. The way it works in the gaming world, getting the console ready is half the battle to being able to access advances in software architecture that power the gaming experience. After a rough year of transition, the new Xbox One is poised to take over the gaming world again.
The console was always meant to be a gaming system that was made for gamers by gamers. The firsthand knowledge of what is really important in style, structure and design has always been what made it a leader. Microsoft isn’t a company that just spits out copycat systems to try and take advantage of a profit line; they take a long range view of loyalty and listen to their users.
The console had a rough time when Microsoft shifted development priorities into the now defunct Xbox Studio project, but the end result is surprising. The Xbox Studio project didn’t close down because it failed to find a way to allow for Microsoft to deliver original content to Xbox One users, it closed down because it showed them exactly how to do that well. The new upgrade package to be released includes some important feature upgrades, as well as the ability to install apps to third party media programs that Microsoft now has agreements with to provide streaming content. Here are the highlights of the upgrade package.
The Controller Low Power Indicator
No other gaming system identifies the needs of gamers as well as Xbox One. While flash and crash is all important in the gaming environment, having enough power to keep playing is even more important. This upgrade package includes a path to provide a power level indicator for the controller you are using. This way you will never have your play interrupted by your controller dying mid battle.
3D Blue-ray capability
Added to the capabilities of the hardware and software of the console is being able to play 3D Blue-ray discs. Blue-ray remains the highest industry standard for recreating immersion graphics and cinematic worlds for any media. For gaming, it can be the difference between an exciting game, and one that makes your heart race because you feel like you are really there. It also increases the types of visual media that you can play on your console.
Microsoft has reached agreements with some of the most innovative third party app providers to bring you more in-game and on console options for music, movies, social networks and news. You can now purchase these apps and new games directly from your console. This purchase system is a quick click and point style that uses the controller for navigation and selection.
World of Tanks has expanded from its original online offering to full Xbox versions, premium versions and eSports competition editions. While there are more tournament and team challenge options available on some of the platforms, most of the players engage in individual combat only – that is the true focus of the game. Over the years the game has expanded to include a variety of different battle settings, including historic re-enactments. Depending on the style of play that interests you, you can find a field to carry out your battle that will suit you in the game.
When World of Tanks was first released the battlefields that were offered had a heavy emphasis on fantasy. This wasn’t in response to a player preference but from the reality that re-creating actual terrain according to historic re-enactment standards is a very time intensive process. There is also the factor that many players aren’t interested in the restrictions placed on combat to meet re-enactment guidelines either. You can’t mech out a tank that could survive in outer space and take it over to the USSR circa 1938 and have a fair match. The historic battles arenas are fine-tuned and as close as you can get to an actual real field. The premium features that are available for these battles are limited to the actual battle resources that originally existed.
The new Team Play feature was released in an 8.9 version of World of Tanks and is slowly transforming the game. From the beginning, players kept stats on skills, kills and time spent in the game. You could boost certain skill stats and access upgrades for your tanks to increase kills and maximize time through purchasing premium features via the store. Team Play changed the nature of the game because now your stats have become even more important. World of Tanks uses a “match making” system to create teams. You can also create your own but the system for allowing them into legal matches is still not perfected. Once your team is assigned you have an option to engage in team training, or you can launch right into battle.
One on One
One on one play is still the preferred method of combat in World of Tanks, and it is supported well on every gaming platform that has a license for the game. The one on one play can be done through an auto match, random encounter or you can schedule a match with someone on line. It remains the best way to actually improve your skill, experience and kill rating in the game.
Customizing Tanks and Freemium Features
While skill and time are acquire in play, the majority of your skill stats are going to get racked up because of how massive your tank is. There are a lot of customization options you can access by spending the points you have accrued in the game. You can also go to the app store and purchase features. This is why it is called a “freemium” game. You can play and upgrade based on your stats, you can also jump ahead and by in to what you need.
As a multi-player shooting game, Titanfall taken everything its creators learned in Call of Duty and brought it into the first release design. In the game you control a variety of Titans, which aren’t gods – but the modern day equivalent of them. Titans are huge mechanized battle robots that you can then use to engage others on a player to player basis, in teams or enter into tournaments and competitions. It is the screen management and game play that really raise this game above the rest.
Here are the basics of how you can move through the game and control your Titan.
The game works by players choosing a Titan that they then control throughout the game. The Titan not only can be enhanced with skills and stats, but you can customize the Titan much in the same way that you can customize your cars in GTA. The game play consists of both scheduled matches and general open exploration of the different arenas and battle lanes. Each of the arenas has its own rule about what it takes to complete the area in order to move forward.
Engaging in Combat
There are several different options for how you can engage other players. Titanfall allows for free play, in which players can roam different open arenas and engage in spontaneous combat with NPCs and live players. Several different matches can also be scheduled with other players, compete in various league championships or live unscheduled competition. The league play follows a preset of rules and timelines over the course of several weeks and months to determine a winner.
Improving your Stats and Ratings
One of the aspects of play that people like about Titanfall is you not only can play using your Titan and customize the actual robot, but you can play as your character too and gain advantages and points. There are missions and tasks that can advance you in the game and earn you in-game money to then spend on your customizations.
One of the things that has made this game so popular is it is designed with a separate tutorial level that allows new players to learn the controls for the game and get used to the style of play before it affects their character. This is also a benefit to more experienced players who may be set on battles that don’t wish to be interrupted by newbies. The main Titanfall site also has a lively forum and an area with articles and special announcements that make it easy to keep up with the game.
The Xbox Tie-in
Titanfall was originally designed for online play using desktop access and the Microsoft Xbox system. The majority of players are accessing the system via Xbox. This is also the main communication platform between the players as well.
The game has won multiple awards for the game play design and is considered the most popular live action, multiplayer game on line in the world. It has also been recognized as one of the all-time best games designed for the Xbox platform. It continues to grow in popularity in part because the game design allows for addition of new levels. There is an upcoming map update and I'm really excited to see what it will bring.
You can tell that Icefrog had a strong hand in the release of the latest version of the "Defense of the Ancients" (DotA) gaming world; DotA 2 contains some of the most advanced changes to this gaming system yet. More importantly, it contains some upgrades that will give you an idea of just where the DotA 2 world may be going. With the addition of a social network, it stands to rival some of the more popular multi game playing universes, but the difference is few of the other game universes come with an entire international community of live players to support them.
What’s New in the Game and How it Works
Learning the new navigation isn’t hard, but the new in game social aspect can take some getting used to. There are ways in which to keep the in game and out of game chats open and you can also post to your threads while playing. One thing that is still uncertain is how accessible the social network will be when there is live time international competition. While strategy cheating isn’t that much of a concern yet, it isn’t hard to imagine it could be.
DotA 2 is becoming the game to try because it offers more than the usual multi-player role gaming setup. The play and character development is solid, as well as the combat situations and opportunities to grow standard stats and value stats. The value stats development almost plays like they took the concept from the GTA series of ownership and business and expanded it to hold the strategic role playing environment. In some ways it is also like World of Warcraft, where you need to farm gold and purchase weapons to win.
Does it Play Well on Many Platforms?
Right now DotA 2 is not released on many platforms and is only for PC and Mac. That could change in the near future. The addition of the social network can hold the promise of one of two ways of development. They could be looking to develop their own standalone environment, or they could be developing the game software enough to allow it to be integrated with an existing system that features a communications network. The way the current navigation options and inventory screens are designed it is easy to imagine them porting over well to any other style of home entertainment system.
What Does the Future Hold?
Dota 2 has advanced features and freemium features that can add to your experience in the game. While it has taken a while for this release to come to pass, what it is showing as the projected game development is getting people thinking about what the next patch will bring. One theory is that the move towards creating a social network around the game is less about getting players to interact then to begin enhancing security features within the game. The idea of their being enhanced security features may foreshadow releases with extended options and premium features available from within the game itself.