Archive - Andy Farrant
Andy is co-editor at Outside Xbox, enjoys difficult moral decisions and fights like a cow. You might remember him from such defunct Xbox video channels as Inside Xbox.
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The French Revolution, the setting for Assassin's Creed Unity, was an incredibly bloody period of French history in which tens of thousands of people died and the political landscape of Europe was changed forever. The Assassin's Creed games are all about the historical accuracy, and if we break out the history books, we can get a pretty good idea of some of the things we'll be seeing in the game. Let's take a look, shall we?
The whole point of achievements is that they're supposed to be just that - achievements. They should be awarded for feats of gaming skill or for exploring off the beaten track. They should, in short, be hard to get. Someone clearly forgot to tell the designers of these, the easiest achievements we've seen in games.
The Destiny beta has finally arrived on Xbox One and Xbox 360, and will be with us until July 27, which is plenty of time to see and do everything that the beta has to offer. In fact, you might find yourself running out of things to do once you've finished all the missions and hit the level cap. Luckily, we at Outside Xbox are nothing if not resourceful, so we've come up with a few other ways of extending your time in Bungie's MMOFPS. Only one of them involves dancing, we promise.
It must be hard enough making just a handful of endings for your game, just look at how badly Mass Effect 3 stuffed it up. With fighting games boasting rosters of up to 40 characters, all of whom need their own little arc to string together the beatings, that's a lot of endings to write. Perhaps that's why fighting game ending sequences are so frequently completely, unashamedly mental. Hit the jump for the seven weirdest.
Abyss Odyssey is the new game from ACE Team, the developer behind the wonderfully weird and unique Zeno Clash and Rock of Ages. In it, you traverse a constantly changing, procedurally generated labyrinth inside the dream of a sleeping warlock, a warlock you must kill by journeying to the very bottom of the labyrinth. That old chestnut. Hit the jump to watch Mike and me get stuck into some co-op gameplay, as we try to figure out what the hell is going on.
In an ideal world, a mental hospital would be a safe, calm sanctuary where qualified professionals treat the afflicted with understanding and compassion. In the world of videogames, a mental hospital is a nightmarish prison that attracts sadistic quacks and where 20th century medicine never happened. Hit the jump for seven videogame asylums that seem custom-built for turning the sane insane, and turning the insane into murderers, cannibals, monsters and vengeful ghosts.
Team OxBox's GTA Online challenges, collectively known as Grand Theft Sporto, return this week with the monster truck challenge. The rules are simple: Stood at the top of Mount Gordo are Mike and me. Parked at the bottom of Mount Gordo is a Liberator monster truck. First one to drive that monster truck off the Vespucci Beach pier is the winner. Who will triumph and who will be admitted to hospital with suspicious monster truck-shaped injuries? Hit the jump to find out.
The Destiny beta might not be coming to Xbox One for another six days, but that wasn't going to stop us sitting down with the PlayStation 4 version to see what we'll be getting. Hit the jump for a look at Destiny's character creator, a good chunk of single player and a couple of rounds of the game's domination-style multiplayer mode, control.
Easter eggs let developers hide jokes, scares, secrets and downright weirdness in their videogames. Also bitchy asides about their rivals, and movies they don't like. Catch the the nine cattiest examples in this video.
It shouldn't be hard to make a videogame commercial. Show some footage of the game. Tell people the price. Maybe stick some dubious accolades on there. Or you could slap together some inexplicable madness that has nothing to do with the game you're selling, that's good too.
Peter 'Tyrion Lannister' Dinklage is taking a lot of flak for his voice performance in the Destiny alpha. To be fair, he is playing an emotionless AI called Ghost and also his is far from the worst videogame performance we've had from a respected Hollywood actor.
July might be a barren wasteland of NO NEW GAMES, with nothing to look forward to except Forza Motorsport 5: Racing Game of the Year Edition, but it's also a chance to revisit my favourite game of the last generation for a farewell tour. In Show of the Week, I jump back into Red Dead Redemption to find out once and for all if the game's spooky ghost town of Tumbleweed is actually haunted.
Fighting games are overrun with muscular men in karate gis, women who forgot to put on 80 percent of their clothes, and ninjas. So many ninjas. It's easy to forget the contingent of kookier fighters that include possessed weirdos, dead US presidents and rapping clock-enthusiast Flava Flav. Hit the jump for a salute to the genre's seven most bizarre characters.
The agents of The Division's eponymous Division are no strangers to fancy military technology, with their contact lens heads-up displays and 3D floor maps. The Division's coolest trick, though, is a technology known as Echo. Find out what it is and what it does from The Division director Ryan Bernard after the jump.
Massively multiplayer online role playing games, or 'MMORPGs' for people who don't want to spend all day saying videogame genre names, are much more popular on PC than consoles. In other news, the sky is blue and two plus two remains four. Hit the jump for four ways that Destiny plans to go where no MMO has gone before - that is, successfully onto a next-gen console.
John DiMaggio, Nolan North and Troy Baker have played some of the most iconic videogame characters of recent years, including Booker DeWitt, Nathan Drake, The Joker, The Penguin and Marcus Fenix. In one chaotic E3 video interview, they talk socks, pain noises and hypothetically punching Kevin Spacey in the crotch.
Assassin's Creed Unity means to give the Assassin's Creed series a shakeup as it enters the new generation. Fresh from a demo at E3 2014, Jane and I run down eight significant changes to the familiar Assassin's Creed formula.
As we speak, the entire games industry is decamping to Los Angeles for the Electronic Entertainment Expo, which kicks off from Monday 9 June next week. Outside Xbox will be there to bring you all the news but, in the meantime, Show of the Week looks forward to E3 2014 and speculates on the games set to be revealed at the show.
After a wobbly year, Microsoft has the chance to turn things around with its E3 media briefing on Monday 9 June. What does Microsoft need to do at E3 to put the shine back on Xbox? We talk it out.
Making videogames isn't an easy process, and it takes time. When it takes too much time, though, games drift into the dreaded region known as 'development hell', where production is never cancelled but doesn't seem to go anywhere either. Hit the jump for six games we're not sure if we're ever going to play. But, you know, we want to.
Since the announcement of Far Cry 4, we've been pondering how Ubisoft can improve on Far Cry 3, one of our favourite games of 2012. It turns out there are seven things the developers need to nix for Far Cry 4. Why is it always seven?
With Microsoft's announcement that it will start selling the Xbox One without Kinect, the future looks bleak for the divisive camera peripheral. Is this the end for Kinect? Will developers still bother making games for it? What does this mean for the chances of an Xbox One virtual reality headset? We talk it out after the jump.
Watch Dogs imagines a world in which powerful hackers can use smartphones to control entire cities. I can't even beat level 80 of Candy Crush. Still, their skills are less impressive in a videogame world, judging by some of the shoddy security systems we've come across in games.
Through systematic study, experiment and observation, scientists seek a greater understanding of the world for the betterment of mankind. Someone should tell that to scientists in videogames, as they are all intent on creating supermonsters, hands that shoot bees and exploding murder robots. These are the videogame scientists most deserving of a Darwin Award instead of a Nobel Prize.
Wolfenstein: The New Order is an unashamedly old-school shooter with a ridiculous story and plenty of nods to its 90s heritage. If that makes it sound like Duke Nukem Forever, don't worry. Wolfenstein feels like the throwback first-person shooter that DNF should have been.
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