Activision Archive


Chivalry: Medieval Warfare review (Xbox 360)

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare was developed by Torn Banner Studios and published by Activision for Xbox 360. It was released December 3, 2014 for $14.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.

Medieval 1

Within the first five minutes of booting up Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, I was absolutely certain that I would hate it. After a year packed full of dazzling next-generation titles delivered via the might of Xbox One, I was ill-prepared for Chivalry's low-res textures and clunky combat; in fact, the whole thing repulsed me. Regardless, I ploughed grimly forward like one of the stoic feudal knights to whom Chivalry pays homage, chopping, hacking and bludgeoning my way through one foe after another – and as the body count mounted, so did my respect for this brutal, bloody title.

Battles take place between the rival forces of the Mason Order (bad/red) and the Agatha Knights (good/blue) as they vie for control of their fictional kingdom. Whilst it is possible to play against up to seven AI bots, the real fun can be found in multiplayer battles featuring 12 human combatants. Each player chooses a class from the four available, including an archer and three melee fighters ranging from light through to heavy in terms of their weaponry and armour. More on that later, though; let's cut right to the bone and find out if Chivalry is worth your hard-earned cash.

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Buy a new Xbox One, get a free game of your choice


Microsoft just announced a special deal for players looking to upgrade to the next console generation. Until September 13th, anyone purchasing a new Xbox One can get a game of their choice. This includes any game released on disc, even the just-released Destiny, Microsoft has specified that the deal is good for bundles including Forza Motorsport 5 and Madden NFL 15, so those consoles will come with the bundled game plus a game of your choice.

This is surely timed to utilize the release of Destiny to its full potential — Microsoft did something similar for the Titanfall release, enticing people to buy the new console on the promise of getting the latest and greatest game. Don't be surprised if this deal returns in the future when other high-visibility titles launch — using the momentum of good software to sell hardware is a smart move, and a good deal for players yet to upgrade.

Source: Xbox Wire


Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions announced

Geometry Wars Retro Evolved Explosions

Activision recently announced Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions in development by Lucid Games for Xbox Live and other platforms. Geometry Wars was one of the Xbox 360's first and most popular downloadable titles, for good reason — it defined a modern standard for retro twin-stick arcade shooters. Such a title steeped in arcade gameplay of the 1980's needs a publisher suited to the time period, and Activision has rebooted the storied Sierra publishing brand as an indie-focused wing of Activision to help make Geometry Wars 3 continue to define the shoot-em-up genre for the next generation. Geometry Wars 3 will add five new battle modes and a full single player campaign, in addition to the shooting we have come to adore. The "Dimensions" subtitle comes from an announcement about 3D gameplay, though we don't yet know what that means for the gameplay. The game will launch during this year's winter holiday season — the sooner the better if the previous two games are anything by which to measure.

Sierra was responsible for numerous franchises throughout the 1980's and 1990's, perhaps most famously for King's Quest (and it's numerous spin-offs) and The Incredible Machine. In an interview, senior director of external development Bob Loya notes that the Sierra name carries a lot of historical weight: "It certainly helps that there's a generation of gamers and developers who are fond of the label. More importantly, the Sierra name has a "feel" to it that really helps everyone align with the objective of creating truly special, independent games. It just works well when we talk with potential indie developers about Sierra's vision. We really like the idea of developers being able to interact and be represented by a brand they have a personal connection with."  A King's Quest sequel is also in development by Sierra, but without the direct involvement of Ken and Roberta Williams, the original programmer and designer of the franchise respectively.


Disclaimer: Image is taken from Geometry Wars Retro Evolved


TMNT: Out of the Shadows – Leonardo Trailer

The fourth and final trailer showcasing the individual talent of each titular turtle has arrived, this time demonstrating Leonardo's combat prowess. The eldest of the bunch, and the most well-rounded, Leonardo uses dual katanas and doesn't falter, or excel, in his speed, strength or damage. This makes him an ideal choice for players looking to learn the ropes without being penalized.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is the upcoming brawler from developer Red Fly Studio, which offers up a grittier take on the current Nickelodeon adaptation of the franchise. We've spoken at great length about Out of the Shadows. From its emphasis on uniting old and new fans, to the familiar combat mechanics, merging the fluidity of Arkham Asylum with the precision and choice of a fighting game.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is slated to be part of Xbox Live Arcade's Summer of Arcade promotion. Though the exact date and price have yet to be announced, expect to get your hands on the fighting foursome when the promotion begins this August.


Summer of Arcade 2013 titles announced

Summer of Arcade

While the E3 spotlight may be on the Xbox One, plenty is still happening on XBLA with today's announcement of 2013's Summer of Arcade lineup. The titles include Charlie Murder from Ska Studios, Activision's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Starbreeze Studios' and 505 Games' collaborative effort Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, and Ubisoft's HD re-imagining of Flashback. Dates and prices have yet to be announced, but stay tuned as more information comes out of E3 this week.


Wolfenstein 3D returns to XBLA


The classic first-person shooter Wolfenstein 3D is once again available on XBLA. Originally released back in June 2009, the game was briefly missing from digital stores due to publishing rights being reverted back from original publisher Activision to Bethesda, who acquired developer id Software in 2009. The rights for the console ports of the game couldn't be simply transferred between publishers, causing Bethesda to have the game rated by the ESRB and certified by Microsoft again. Wolfenstein 3D returned last Friday with the same 400MSP price tag, and remains exactly the same as its previous release.

Source: Bethesda Blog via Polygon


TMNT: Out of the Shadows – Michelangelo trailer

The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows trailer spotlighting each of the titular foursome has made its way to the surface. Michelangelo's finally in the spotlight and showing off what he does best: cracking wise and cracking heads with a free-flowing style that's part breakdancing, part Capoeira, all fun-loving party animal.

Developed by Red Fly Studio, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is set to come crashing down this summer on Xbox Live Arcade. The cooperative action brawler pits you and up to three friends against the mean streets of New York with high-flying teamwork and unlockable moves. Check out the trailer above for the fast and furious action.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – Into the spotlight


We've been talking all week about the turtles’ return to game form and the specifics of Red Fly Studio’s plan to unchain your inner turtle. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows is trying to do a lot of interesting things. It’s attempting to merge the original spirit of the fiction with the appeal and accessibility of the new animated series. It’s injecting personality into the titular characters, not just in their dialogue, but their combat styles and mannerisms. It’s building a fighting scheme that’s trying to marry fast and fluid with balance and intuition and imbue elements of control and variety more closely at home in a fighting game than a brawler. It’s attempting to do all of this, but at the end of the day, it’s still a game – so let’s talk about gamification.

There’s no place like home

If Out of the Shadows excels anywhere, it’s in going the extra mile to incorporate all those little pieces of Turtles fiction that really drives home the experience. The game’s main menu structure, which could have been a series of colored rectangles: Campaign, Mission, Extras – has been smartly incorporated into the turtles’ interactive underground headquarters. You’ll roam the halls and visit the many facilities, each one with a unique purpose, as Frechette explains.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – Ready to rumble


“I wanted to take the balance of Arkham Asylum, you know – when to attack, when to counter, that balance – and add in more of a fighting game element,” says Chris Frechette, Lead Designer of Red Fly Studio’s upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. He wants to bring more control and variety to the scheme, as he says, “Recognizable combos and special attacks so you feel like, ‘I just did that,’ and it’s not just a random attack.” Frechette has been guiding us through his action brawler, intent on recreating the fast and fluid teamwork-centric combat that’s the cornerstone of Turtles fiction.

When it comes to three-dimensional fighting schemes, it’s hard not to consider Arkham Asylum’s one of the greatest of the generation. It’s easy to pick up and play, empowering when employed against the mobs of thugs and street-trash that attack from all sides, and it’s extremely difficult – and rewarding – to master. But Frechette isn’t content to just repurpose what’s been done. As he walks us through what to expect when Out of the Shadows arrives, it’s clear he’s aiming for a whole new level of combat.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows – TMNT meets UFC


In our last look at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows we learned how Red Fly Studio plans to bring thirty years of TMNT fans together. That’s no simple task. The TMNT name has been scattered to the wind since shortly after its inception, divided among the many incarnations of the fiction, each with their own differences. There are fans of the comics, fans of the movies and fans of the many animated shows. There’s no right way to appreciate the Turtles, it would seem. But as XBLAFans delved further into the game, guided by Lead Designer Chris Frechette and his passion for Out of the Shadows, we discovered the unifying appeal might be the differences in the turtles themselves.

If there is one universal truth that pumps through the heart of every Turtles fan past, present or future, it would seem to be this: everyone’s got a favorite. The dynamic personalities of each turtle are anchor points to latch onto, letting you identify with a personality that mirrors your own. Individually they hold their own strengths and weaknesses, but together they rely on one another to form a fighting force. Whether you're the intelligent one, the honorable one, the funny one or the tough one, you're represented in the diversity of the heroes in a half-shell. It’s a powerful sentiment that Red Fly Studio aims to leverage in its forthcoming title.

“One thing we wanted to do was not only have their personalities represented in their bodies and their facial animations, but blend that into combat in a way that hasn't been done before,” Frechette says. He’s loaded up the Shadowboxing mode in Out of the Shadows, where players will be able to get a feel for a turtle and his unique combat style. Unlike earlier games in the Turtles saga, Out of the Shadows will incorporate separate fighting disciplines for each turtle, bringing their personalities to life during combat, not just when they’re cracking wise and talking trash.

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