Combine powers

Combine powers

PLAYERS will have more things to do after finishing Dishonored 2. An update next week will introduce New Game Plus mode.

This doesn’t just include the ability to play the game with the powers they get from the first time, as gamers can combine powers from both protagonists.

Whether you finish the game with Corvo Attano or Emily Kaldwin, you will start with all the items and there is the option to pick and use abilities from both characters by reassigning runes.

There is one bad news though. Players will not get the custom difficulty setting with this update as it has been pushed to next month. — Source: Dishonored 2


Female fighters

Female fighters

FINALLY, girls are on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. The game received a major free update this week, which includes new maps and game types as usual.

What’s remarkable is the inclusion of female avatars for the first time. Previously, women soldiers weren’t an option in the original game in 2007. They only became playable in Call of Duty: Ghosts in 2013.

Meanwhile, six new maps — Bloc, Countdown, Pipeline, Showdown, Strike and Wet Work — bring the total number to 16.

And finally, Supply Drops that have appeared since Advanced Warfare in 2014 has been added to the game. These are cosmetic items that can be unlocked.
— Source: Call of Duty


Final add-ons

Final add-ons

DOOM is rounding out the year with the last of three premium downloadable content called Bloodfall for the PlayStation, Xbox and Windows PC.

This paid add-on will have a new weapon, more customisation options and three multiplayer maps: Empyrian, Boneyard and Outbreak.

The latest weapon for the game is a grenade launcher that can act as a smoke bomb for its secondary fire.

You will find more movement with this update in the form of lateral thrusters to give you short directional bursts. — Source: Doom


Winter comes to Overwatch

Winter comes to Overwatch

THIS week, hero-based shooter Overwatch goes into holiday mode with Winter Wonderland.

This limited-time event will have a few heroes getting into the spirit with brand new skins, which you can get from loot boxes by levelling up or buy with in-game gold.

Some of the heroes getting it are Zarya, Pharah, Reaper and Winston.

Fans are excited as turret builder Torbjorn has a spot-on Santa cosplay.

Aside from skins, there is also a brawl mode called Snow Brawl while some maps are covered in snow and decorative lights. — Source: Overwatch


Epic Warriors

MULTIPLAYER melee game For Honor will have its closed beta period next month.

The game producer and developer also said more information will be revealed on how these warriors — samurai, knights and vikings — find themselves against each other.

In addition, it was revealed the game’s antagonist is called Apollyon, who seeks to incite war amongst the various factions.

A trailer is also out which details the motivations of the three factions including Knights of the Iron Legion, Warborn Viking clans and Samurai of the Dawn Empire.
Source: Ubisoft


Disappearing live broadcast

live broadcast

IF streaming live on Facebook is not enough, Instagram just made the feature available for everyone this week.

To start broadcasting, head over to your Stories camera and swipe to Live mode. Other users will know whether someone is broadcasting with a ‘live’ badge over the icon.

As usual, those who are watching can leave comments and tap the Heart button to send the floating icon into the view.

What’s different when compared to Facebook’s feature is that there will not be an archived version of the broadcast.


Dropbox for Xbox

Dropbox for Xbox

OVER the years, Dropbox has been forthcoming about its ambition to be available everywhere. That got them integrated with Microsoft Office in 2014.

Now, the service is appearing unexpectedly for Xbox One.

Of course, you won’t be editing documents, but the app in the console will serve as a place to keep screen captures.

Further, you can stream any video files in your Dropbox to the Xbox One, turning it into a media device.

This is possible thanks to the universal nature of Windows 10 so building one for the console is faster.

However, there are some changes because the interface has to suit a controller instead of mouse and keyboard.


Stream in 360 degrees

Stream in 360 degrees

is taking its video streaming service Live to the next level with the new Live 360.

The company will also introduce surround video broadcast in real time.

To celebrate that, the company is partnering with National Geographic to broadcast live from its Mars Desert Research Station facility situated in Utah.

For this feature, it looks like Facebook will be adopting the slow and steady approach. For now, the focus will be on Pages so that organisations can utilise it in the coming months.

Once that’s done, the distribution will broaden to more Pages and even user profiles by the end of next year.


Best got bigger

BEFORE the smartphone market was flooded with big screen devices, there was the Huawei Mate series. This puts a lot of pressure on the company’s latest phone, Huawei Mate 9, to stand out from the pack. But it has plenty to offer.

Huawei proved in recent years that they can make beautifully designed devices. The Mate 9 sports a premium feel with an all-metal body and rounded corner.

The thin bezel also gives you a comfortable grip despite the large size. The design is part of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy, so there is nothing new to excite but people will instantly recognise the product.

While other big screen phones are heading towards quad HD resolution, the Mate 9’s 5.9-inch screen is sticking to full HD which still delivers crisp and rich colours.

This feels like a missed opportunity as images are not as pin-sharp compared to quad HD but it nonetheless offers a great display with fantastic viewing angles.

The Mate 9 definitely aces the performance test with its octa-core processor and 4GB RAM.

Whether you are playing intensive games with apps running in the background, the phone can handle multiple tasks seamlessly.

In terms of software, it comes with the latest Android 7.0 Nougat with EMUI interface.

That’s not a bad thing as Huawei has finally reworked its software, giving it a more modern look.

What’s interesting is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into its system. The device will learn your behaviour and optimise performance to run smoother.

For instance, if you often open Facebook after using Instagram, the machine will remember that so that it can better prepare itself in the future. This will take some time before you see the results.

The camera for Mate 9 gets a boost as it includes the Leica lens at the back, allowing the device to mirror what you would get in a proper Leica camera.

This works for Huawei with its dual-lens at the back. The monochrome lens has 20 megapixels while the colour lens has 12 megapixels.

Get those two to work together and you will get detailed images with accurate colours in good light.

However, low light photos still yield mixed results with some hits and misses.

Huawei Mate 9 has everything you want in a smartphone.

The screen is great for media consumption and the processor is a powerhouse.

Still, with such a great device at hand, the price may scare people away.

Its predecessor, the Mate 8, is a more affordable option if people are willing to make a small compromise.


Hacking through the world

WHEN Watch Dogs came out in 2014, it was known to adapt Grand Theft Auto’s open world, Assassin’s Creed movement and modern world technology. However, the game fell short as main character Aiden Pearce was boring and the tone of the game was too dreadful.

Now, Watch Dogs 2 is out to improve things — the core gameplay from the first game, but with an all new cast.

Marcus Holloway replaces the previous protagonist and he is no loner. With a close crew comprising Sitara, Wrench, Josh and Horatio, they call themselves DedSec.

Together, this hacker group fights for privacy and justice against the likes of FBI and social network companies.

Already, the game’s upbeat tone is a vast improvement. While there are some serious issues tackled, you won’t be too bored as you progress through the story.

The cast is also fun as the game fully embraces geek culture — your headquarters, for example, is underneath a comic book store.

It won’t take long before you warm up to the characters. This sense of camaraderie showcases some of the game’s best writing especially with your character’s cheeky nature.

True to the open world platform, the game lets you do what you want.

Using your hacking abilities, a lot of the environments can be manipulated.

For example, you can make cars on the road turn a certain way or cause two rival gangs to fight. Yet, the missions’ duration is a problem as each mission feels like it takes mere minutes to complete. The game’s design forces you to go through repetitive patterns.

In order to broaden your abilities, you need to collect Research Points and Key Data, which you use to work your way through a skill tree that branches off depending on your playing style.

Alternatively, you can diversify your skill as the story mode gives you enough points to do so. There are even useful tools such as a remote control car to go through vents and a drone for scouting environments.

Given the game’s jovial tone, it feels odd to shoot guns. This is where the game falters because the mechanics make stealth difficult.

With enemies that range from too smart to incredibly dumb, there are endless ways for you to be discovered. When that happens, they become more alert and it will eventually turn into a gunfight.

The main character — a morally stable guy — and armed combat does not gel at all.

It begs the question of why such a talented hacker needs to resort to firearms when he can do great feats from behind a computer.

And after slaughtering so many, it feels weird to see him joking around with his mates in the base.

Watch Dogs 2 could have been a better game if it forces players to only use their hacking skills. Without the combat, it could provide a fresh game mechanic that is different from other combat games.

Multiplayer mode seems problematic as when the game launched, it was turned off. Now that it finally works, the transition from single player to an online playing field is seamless.

You will have fun trying to hack other players without being noticed or pursue participants on the run.

One common issue that pops up is the slowdown in framerate. It can be quite bad, causing lag in visuals and unjustified deaths.

Still, the game is definitely a step up and beyond compared to its predecessor.

The beautiful world makes you want to explore more and the characters are lovable thanks to their unique personalities.

But the inclusion the combat mechanic is jarring as it contradicts tone of the game. Despite that, it is still an entertaining game to spend hours on.

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