How Microsoft Changed The Gaming Industry

When the original Xbox was released in 2001 it wasn’t exactly the most popular game system on the market. The PlayStation 2 was what most would consider the dominate console with the Game Cube not too far behind. However looking back on things it is very clear that Microsoft started changing the gaming market even before the Xbox 360 was released.

Online Gaming

The biggest thing that Microsoft did with the original Xbox was have one of the best online gaming services to ever grace the console gaming market. Many will argue that the Dreamcast had online gaming first, which it did, however Xbox Live was successful while the Dreamcast was an epic failure. One of the biggest reasons why Xbox Live was so successful was because it utilized high speed internet connections which allowed for lag free gaming. Not only did it support high speed internet it was also ready to go online right out of the box providing you had an extra Ethernet cable laying around. With the PlayStation 2 which was also able to go online, you had to shell out an extra $30 or $40 to buy the adapter to go online, until the newer slim PS2 was released anyway. Of course today every new game console can go online in some form or another.

Hard Drive Included

While Sony has a much better idea with their PS3 and letting its users use any hard drive they like. However the Xbox was the first console to use a hard drive which let its owners save game files without the need for a memory card. This was the first time console gamers could do this, and it was beyond convenient not having to plug in a memory card to the console, or having to worry about buying an extra memory card just so you could save your games progress. Today the Xbox 360 and PS3 both utilize hard drives.


While Microsoft didn’t rock the gaming community with their Xbox 360 they did add one very nice feature to all of their games, achievements. Before gamers could get achievements for playing their games they didn’t have much of a way to show off to their friends and often times wouldn’t go out and do the extra things that developers added to their games. With the addition of achievements, gamers can now show off how many points they have as well as the difficult things they had to do to get them. With the not so recent update Sony gave our PS3′s for Trophy support it just goes to show how important Achievements are.

With the upcoming release of the Kinect this November I am sure that Microsoft will once again change the video game industry. Have an opinion? Let me (and my readers) know about in the comments section below. Via Xopus.

Natural Selection

Natural Selection by Unknown Worlds

During its time, Natural Selection was one of the first games to merge both FPS and RTS genres into one game. The game revolves around an army of marines who are fighting against an invading race of Aliens. This aspect of the game is played primarily in first person in large maps set in spaceships and space stations.

With regards to Natural Selection’s multiplayer, it was one of the first games to incorporate a “Commander”. The Commander has a top-down view of the battlefield and assumed a support role for the marine forces. He had the ability to drop supplies, issue orders, construct buildings and upgrade weapons and equipment. Natural Selection is a novel indie game with a lot of unique elements that make it a game worth trying.

There is currently a Natural Selection 2 that will soon be available.


E.Y.E by Streumon Studio

Indie developers Streumon Studio have released E.Y.E, a first person shooter that takes place after the war with the metasteunonic Force. The organization the main character belongs to decides it’s their time to revolt against the established federation.

After waking in a cave all alone, a witnessing the death of your comrades, the main character realizes he must lead his secret society called E.Y.E to destroy the federation. However, the all-powerful E.Y.E has a series of internal conflicts that makes the process of revolt difficult.

E.Y.E is a compelling story that becomes juicier has the game progresses. With an internal faction war, the powerful coalition, political intrigue and personal obligations, you will never witness a dull moment.

The Ball

The Ball by Teotl Studios

The much anticipated, much advertised indie game, The Ball was brought to the world by Teotl Studios. The first-person, action adventure indie game was developed using the Unreal engine and features a full single player campaign.

The main character, an archeologist, studying a dormant volcano in Mexico, accidentally gets stuck in cavern only to discover hidden dangers. On top of discovering ancient ruins that have never been before been seen, you stumble upon a rare artifact, a gold and metal ball.

By adventuring deeper into the undisturbed cave, you begin to uncover the secrets of the ball, ancient ruins, death traps, puzzles and vicious creatures. Using only the ball as your weapon, you must push deeper into the depths of the volcano if you mean to discover the true meaning surrounding the ball.


In most competitive multiplayer games, the moment you lay eyes on an opponent, everything speeds up. You’ve stalked through reeds or crept through corridors, weapon raised, looking for action; when you find it – or it finds you – the winner is the one with the quickest draw, the truest aim, the battle typically over a split-second after it has begun. In For Honor, things couldn’t be more different. You’ll sprint between capture points, merrily cutting swathes through the battlefield of AI grunts. Then you lock eyes with a human-controlled foe, the camera angle shifting ever so slightly to keep them in frame, and the pace plummets.

For Honor’s battles are tense, cautious, and above all, slow. Little wonder, really – you’re not popping
off shots at an enemy’s head from half a map away, but squaring off against a foe standing a few feet from you, each of you trying to find a gap in the other’s defences, probing and poking with bloody big swords. Squeeze the left trigger and you enter battle stance, with nudges of the right stick up, left, or right moving your weapon from eye level to either hip. That dictates both the angle of your attack and your defensive position; you’re looking to attack where your opponent isn’t guarding, and they’ll be trying to do the same to you.


You’ll strut forward with sword held high, then at the last moment flick it to your left and attack. You’ll get a hit in, but your foe moves their sword to block your follow-up. You back off, raise your sword up high again and move back in. You know your opponent is expecting a last-minute switch; do you hold position
and attack high? Should you change stance two times, or three, before attacking? Or risk doing exactly the same as thing before?


It might look sluggish, but these decisions come quick and fast, and while heavy armour and greatswords naturally slow the overall pace, For Honor’s closest mechanical relative is the charmingly lo-fi modern multiplayer classic Nidhogg. There’s a whiff of Dark Souls in the weight and drama of the combat, too. And the design of Dominion, the game’s headline multiplayer mode, draws, oddly enough, on Call Of Duty. As the mode’s name, which riffs on COD’s Domination gametype, should make clear, this is a battle over three capture points. Yet there’s a touch of genius here that is all For Honor’s own.

FALLOUT 4 Building a better tomorrow

Before the bombs fell, people built things to last; it ain’t easy putting together a toaster that can survive a nuclear apocalypse and still work 200 years later. But hey, if you think you can improve on their creations, go ahead – in Fallout 4, you’ll have the freedom to craft to your heart’s content.

You know all that junk you always horde in Bethesda games? Picking up everything you see until your backpack is straining with forks, brooms, and children’s toys? Well this time round you’ll be able to put all of it to use. Everything you find can be broken down into its constituent parts, and those are what you need to cook up inventions of your own. Craft work Open up an alarm clock, for example, and you’ll get glass – one of the components needed to make a scope. Equally you could’ve pulled it out of a microscope, or a baby’s bottle. Add in steel, screws, and adhesive (maybe from a wrench, a pair of handcuffs, and a roll of duct tape respectively) and you’ll be sniping at raiders in no time. It’s a far more organic system than in the previous two games, which would frequently see you scouring the wasteland for an absurdly specific shopping list of ingredients. And scopes are just the beginning – the game will feature over 700 mods for its 50+ weapons, allowing for a ridiculous amount of customization.

Each weapon is separated into parts, including its barrel, magazine, grip, muzzle, sights, and more, and changing these can utterly transform a gun. Swap out a plasma pistol’s short barrel for a long one, and its grip for a stock, and you’ve turned it into a rifle. And why stop there? Put a splitter on the muzzle and you’ve got an energy shotgun. Or give it a focuser and a scope and you’ve got a sniper rifle. You can make more subtle changes too, picking parts to get the stats and features you want – trading damage for less recoil, or taking an accuracy penalty in exchange for a bayonet. Ultimately you’ll end up with your own collection of weird mechanical hybrids; they’ll fit right in with the irradiated mutants.

Using your power armour will be much more involved than in previous games. It comes with its own unique HUD – those dials display your health, ammo, and rads.

Your power armour will be similarly malleable, with each leg, arm, the torso, and the helmet all independently customisable. For every part you’ll choose the style (from the original Fallout’s T-51, to the Enclave-esque X-01, to the brand new T-60 set) and the model, which will provide modifiers such as extra resistance and bonuses to damage. You’ll also be able to slap on upgrades like stat-boosting paint jobs, explosive shielding, or lead plating to protect you from rads. Oh, and a jetpack, of course. Original synth As a tech-obsessed tinkerer, you’ll fit right into the new setting. The Commonwealth, Fallout’s version of New England, is rife with futuristic inventions, created by the powerful and sinister Institute. ‘Synth’ androids –some indistinguishable from humans, others Ghoul-like and monstrous – fight for the dark aims of their creators, or against them in a bid for freedom, and the makeshift towns feature mysterious facilities like The Memory Den, seemingly a place to virtually experience the lives of others. But hey, get bored of all that and you’re free to head back to your own custom-made town, build a computer out of junk, and start programming light shows and composing music on it. And Bear Grylls thinks it’s impressive that he can make a hammock out of sticks and clumps of moss? Please.



Halo 5 Guardians

There can be little argument that the dominant genre of the last console generation was the FPS. A year and a half into this generation, however, and we’ve yet to see a new FPS really take centre stage. Destiny has perhaps been the most notable, though its MMO/co-op leanings aren’t to everyone’s tastes, and while Titanfall was critically acclaimed at launch, its popularity has dropped with all the velocity of one of its titular mechs. With Halo 5: Guardians set to launch in October, 343 Industries is hopeful that it’ll be the studio responsible for the first must-have new-gen FPS, but given its disastrous Master Chief Collection launch, in order to achieve this accolade there’s a lot of trust to be regained. Get free tips from here.


Fittingly, trust plays a part in the game’s storyline, which sees the player controlling two different sets of protagonists through a split narrative. Set eight months after the end of Halo 4 , Guardians reunites Master Chief with his long-time Spartan-II unit Blue Team: Kelly-087, Linda-058 and Fred104. Although his fellow Spartans are still operating under the UNSC, they – along with Chief – decide to go AWOL for reasons yet to be revealed, but likely linked to Chief’s questioning of his former beliefs. Meanwhile, Spartan-IV super-soldier Agent Locke (as seen in Ridley Scott’s Halo: Nightfall live-action series) has been tasked with finding Master Chief.

A number of colonies have been unexpectedly attacked, and it’s up to Locke – along with his Fireteam Osiris squad Buck, Tanaka and Vale – to find Chief and his Blue Team deserters and find out if they’re somehow involved. The player, then, will control both Master Chief and Agent Locke at different points in the campaign, getting to see the story from both sides as both encounter the mysterious Guardians and discover their role in proceedings. There hasn’t been such a distinctly split narrative in a Halo game since Halo 2 , but 343 Industries is adamant it wasn’t a driving force in its decision to go down the dual protagonist route. “While Halo 2 wasn’t the direct inspiration for our approach to narrative in Halo 5: Guardians , we are aware of some of the parallels between the two games,” franchise development director Frank O’Connor tells us. “One of the biggest differences in the storytelling for Halo 5 is our focus on two opposing teams of Spartans and all of the narrative possibilities that allows for.” Instead, the studio feels that Halo 3 spin-off ODST is a more appropriate spiritual predecessor.



“We’re telling a sweeping sci-fi action story, but at the same time we want to ground that with more intimate and personal moments,” O’Connor explains. “With two heroes and eight playable characters, we have a lot of room to explore the relationships between the different team members and their stories. “It shares a couple of other aspects with Halo 3: ODST too, Nathan Fillion’s Buck for one, but also a light hint of detective story, as you’ll experience the story through the eyes of Fireteam Osiris as they stalk their prey and investigate his tracks. But in terms of atmosphere, it’s less noire, and more classic Halo spectacle and scale.”

5 Games I Need To Beat

In my life I spend more time starting a video game than actually finishing the game. I blame this on becoming busy and having to neglect the game long enough to lose interest in it. Considering that my job now is to play games and write about them, I think I can probably manage to actually beat a few games that I’ve needed to beat for quite some time now, however I wasn’t able to.

final-fantasy-xiiiThis game engulfed me initially, I was going through at least one chapter every time I played the game and it looked like I’d actually beat this game. Then chapter 11 came along, I finally got freedom and could run around in an open expansive world, too bad I saved my game in a fairly boring spot and now when I pick the game up I just can’t stay interested long enough to the get the next kick ass cut scene. This game makes the top of my list since it has been out for such a long time and I am very close to beating it.

metal-gear-solid-4This game is supposed to be amazing from what I’ve heard. From what I’ve played of this game it is pretty good however I am only half way through this game and it was released at least 2 years ago, if not longer. I can blame not completing this game on selling off my first PS3, however when I bought a PS3 this past Christmas it was the first game I bought and I still haven’t finished it.

red-dead-redemptionThis game is a fairly new one in my collection and it sucked me in from the very beginning. It was something about riding a horse but it was okay to do so because I could shoot people in the process. Of course I got distracted by school work, Six Flags and other things and haven’t returned since. Those of you that read the review for the game on here that was from our part-time writer Chris who actually does finish his games… Except for Naughty Bear, lol at you Kim.

borderlandsYet another older game that I still haven’t beat. This one I blame on selling my Xbox 360 after it died on me for the 2nd time. I sold it off to GameStop when I got the fixed one back from Microsoft and I sold off my Xbox 360 collection to eBay, this game was one of them.


I didn’t buy this game for the longest time because I have a fear of superhero games. If the game isn’t branded by Spiderman I just assume it sucks because usually it does. However after hearing so many good things about this game, and Movie Gallery going out of business and thus the game being quite cheap I decided to buy it. I got through the first area of the game and am now outside the Asylum however I haven’t returned since. I don’t know why I haven’t considering the game was amazing.

I know I’m not the only one that has some games that still need to be beat. What games do you still need to beat? Let me know in the comments section below.