What are you playing?

Halloween is over so its time to burn off all that candy by... sitting in front of your TV and playing games.

This week my life has been heavily taken over by Forza Horizon. I played the demo and thought the game played well but I can honestly say the demo doesn't do it justice. The game has taken a different approach this time and drops you in a large world where you are free to drive around and select Races, PR Stunts, Showdowns or just 1 on 1 races.

Within the last week I have managed to clock up 24 hours in races alone, this is not including time spent exploring the world and finding old abandoned cars in sheds to take back to my garage to fix up.

The online side to Forza is also as fun with great game modes such as King, Infected and Cat & Mouse. I’ve also become addicted to driving through speed cameras and working my way up the world leader boards. Both me and my friend James spent over 2 hours driving up and down the same street over and over again to try and shave off a few milliseconds off our time, but it was worth it in the end as I’ve now landed in the top 1% of people in the world.

The game has so much to be doing apart from your standard races. So as you can guess I will be playing a lot more of it this weekend.

So over to you, have you had the chance to play Forza yet? and if not what are you playing this weekend?
382 Views | 2 Comments

Sadly, Social Games Are Here To Stay.

I recently attended Game Developers' Conference Online in Austin, Texas. There, some of the industry's top online game makers gave talks about the current state of the industry, educational seminars, and more.

One session which stood out was given by Nikolaus Davidson (Amazon.com games), Scott Rigby (Founder of Immersyve), and Scott Dodson (Bobber Interactive), about the ethics of modern game development. The main focus of the talk was how social game companies are conducting morally gray, or frowned upon best practices, but if they would stop, their sales would actually increase, and players would be happier. These practices include ideas such as making the "share" button large, but the "do-not-share" option tiny, restricting game access to encourage purchases, and so on. This coercion, their studies show, can pay off at first, but leads to rapid drop-off over time; Players discover the strings attached to their puppeteer... Then cut them off. Unfortunately, the companies are swimming in money from these scummy tactics. Mr. Davidson even went so far as to say (paraphrasing): "If you're not free to play right now, then you're insane. I don't even think you're in the game business."

The message, for me, was clear: Free-to-play is not going away any time soon. The worst part is that they know if they improved, things would get better for everyone. But change takes time, which also takes money. So for now, settle in for some micro transactions, and don't forget to farm corn with your ex sister-in-law once per day.

Source: http://schedule.gdconline.com/
(Unfortunately you need an expensive pass to watch a recording of the session)
438 Views | 0 Comments

GamingUnity 3

In the past, we have spoken about GamingUnity updates... and yes the site has been lacking over the past month but there is a big reason behind it; things are about to change.

McNandy and I have worked hard on this site over the past year but we both have full times jobs it has been a task to keep up with the site. So I’ve decided to hand in my notice and become a full time web designer. I will be spending some of my time working on client websites to bring in some money for bills but aside from that I will be spending most of my time working on the new site. McNandy is already chomping at the bit to get down to some coding so over the next few months we will be both working on a new site. He's also in the process of changing his own job which should free up more of his time for GamingUnity.

So, what's coming first?

Speed
Well we started out being the 19,334,575th most visited site in the world, and we wanted to become one of the top million as a goal. We are now very happy to say we are ranked ~195,766 and have broken our target, but with this traffic comes a lot of bandwidth so today we will be buying a new private server to speed up your viewing pleasure. This does mean you might see the site go down a few times in the next 48 hours.

Images
We have been asked a few times why we don't allow users to upload images, and the simple reason was bandwidth and security. Thanks to a new server and working with Imgur.com’s developer program we will be rolling out the ability to host images and to quickly view peoples' photos of their game room, latest pickups. game characters and other hilarious screenshots.

XP system
You will have noticed that over time you have been earning XP but you don't appear to have a reason for it? Well over the next month you will be able to unlock extra parts of the site and earn even more XP from doing basic things such as posting a link on Facebook. The new XP system will look a lot more like a RPG stats system than the old standard level up meter, as it will be a lot more varied.

Quick Features and Widgets
You might have noticed the “Top 5” bar was removed from the top of the site, this was to improve on site speed. However, it will be coming back along with a widget bar that you will be able to customize to show news, content and even external website feeds.

Mods
With every game and console you can write a review, add videos, add images (well, next week you can!) but we also want you to be able to add mods and files so you can direct download indie games or map packs via the site.

A new site
Some of you old school users might remember GamingUnity 1, the design was put together before we'd fully created the site, so the site soon outgrew the design. The current design (known to us as GU2) has been much more suited, but as we have plans to roll out many more features we feel a redesign is needed. This will mean you can do more on the site with less clicks; as the internet is becoming more powerful we want to harness this and give you a fantastic speedy and user friendly experience.

Mobile site
We're also very glad to say that once we've got the masses of work involved in completing all of the above done we'll also be looking into rolling out an Android and iOS app for GamingUnity, so you can take the site with you wherever you go!

And a load of other stuff
On top of all this we will be rolling out a chat room where you can watch YouTube videos in sync with everyone else in the room. Justin.TV will also be built in so you can watch live gaming at any time. The ability to add your own games for sale. A trade site so you can swap and share unwanted games and a big bag of more updates we have planned to role out.


So for everyone who is still around, we really appreciate the time people have invested in to the site so far and McNandy and I are over the moon how far the site has come, but its now time to change gears and make this site bigger, faster and with more features and content.
574 Views | 5 Comments

Sping Sping Sping Sping goes the WiiU advert

Over in the UK we now have our first WiiU advert and lets just say its.. SPING SPING SPING SPING.. .whoops... sorry about that. After watching this poor attempt at pushing a console I can't stop saying SPING.

The advert does show a few seconds of Mass Effect and Batman, but the advert looks to be heavy on pushing its crazy controls more than anything.

I’m still on the fence about this product, but as my partner is Nintendo crazy we pre-ordered our WiiU last night, but even she is disappointed at this attempt at an advert.

Watch the advert for yourself and let us know how you feel?
1644 Views | 6 Comments

EA has lost thousands of dollars

Poor old EA have been asking gamers to complete an online survey and as a little incentive they are giving a $20 voucher to be spent on origin.

Not a bad idea, but sadly EA don't understand the idea behind vouchers. Normally a voucher code would no longer work once its been redeemed, but they forgot that little bit out.

This made its way online to such sites as Reddit and then there was an explosion of people downloading EA games that fall under the $20 mark. Its said EA have lost thousands of dollars in this coupon idea.
819 Views | 0 Comments

Pumpkin Competition

It's that time of year again where we try and scare little kids or just fill our tummy with candy. As you know you can't have Halloween without pumpkins, so here at GamingUnity we wanted you to show off your skills. To sweeten the deal we will also chuck in $15 worth of points for your system of choice (Xbox Live, Playstation Network, Wii and steam)

Rules
All pumpkins must be based around gaming
You must film your end result and submit it to this competition
Write the words "GamingUnity" on paper and include this in your video to prove this is your video.
The winner will be picked on November 1st
The winner will the the person with the highest video rating.

Click here to view the competition page
537 Views | 0 Comments

Distance is a great looking arcade racer.

Back in 2011 a bunch of programmers set off to make a game called Nitronic Rush, it was a arcade style futuristic racing game that did very well and landed the team a few awards for innovative mechanics, visual style, audio design, and atmosphere.

The members of the team were then offered jobs by AAA game developers, some of them snapped at the offer while others decided there is more arcade fun to be had that the AAA industry is not bringing. They have now formed a new team by the name of Refract Studios have turned to kickstarter for funding a new game called Distance.

[quote]Distance is a PC/Mac survival racing game that combines the intense action of arcade racing with the exploration of an atmospheric world. You control a unique car that allows you to boost, jump, rotate, and even fly through a chaotic and twisted city. The world has a mysterious history, and as you explore you'll be able to uncover pieces of its past.

The roads are treacherous and unpredictable with obstacles around every corner. Instead of doing laps on a loop, you'll be trying to survive to the end in the quickest time. Since your car has several abilities, it allows you to not only drive fast on the track but also upside down and on buildings and walls! You can also fly to discover new shortcuts and paths.

You can take on the roads alone, or in multiplayer with your friends!
[/quote]

They are after a total of $125,000 and within the first 24 hours they have landed $16,744. Check out the video above and show your support if you enjoy the project

Distance - A Next Generation Arcade Racer
899 Views | 0 Comments

Smart move Microsoft, smart move...

Microsoft has dropped a bombshell after Luke Plunkett from Kotaku questioned them on the Windows 8 Marketplace.

As you would expect you can buy games via Microsoft's Marketplace, but all the apps won't have any age restrictions so under the Windows App guidelines games rated over PEGI 16 or ESRB Mature with not be allowed.

This is not a big issue for the United States as very few games land a rating higher than this, but over the pond in Europe its a little different. Here is a hand full of games that got a PEGI 18 rating.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The Witcher II
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
Max Payne 3
The Walking Dead
Sleeping Dogs
Dishonored
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 3
LA Noire
Spec Ops: The Line
Fallout: New Vegas
Deus Ex
Assassin's Creed: Revelations

So this means you won't be able to buy these games, is this a problem you ask? Well no as you can still buy these games via steam or in physical format but the big question is why on earth does Microsoft think this is a good move to cut out revenue from these big games?
2718 Views | 1 Comment

Blackspace is a space RTS that looks great

When I browse Kickstart I find majority of the time any project I believe is going to be a success tend to be happily on their way to the goal set or have already smashed that total and are on the way to doubling it.

This weekend I came across a game by the name of Blackspace and was shocked to see that it only has 10 days left and its not even hit its half way marker for funding yet.

Blackspace is a unique action RTS with an emphasis on defense. Mine a cluster of anomalous asteroids and defend yourself. This might not sound groundbreaking but watch the video above and it blew me away.

Here is some more details from the kickstarter page

[quote]
Blackspace is a defensive action / strategy game that takes place in the not too distant future, when asteroid mining has become common. Piloting a mining craft around a unique series of asteroids, you will be establishing mining operations while defending yourself from incoming enemies who loot and destroy.

The key features in this game are a destructible spherical play surface,direct control of the environment and extensive use of physics to make the experience more organic and non-formulaic. Upgrade and modify your ship and your operations to suit your play style.
[/quote]

For more details head over to Blackspace’s kickstarter page and try and help spread the word.
930 Views | 1 Comment

Medal of Honor: Warfighter Beta for XBL Gold users

Xbox Live Gold subscribers will be able to get their hands on Medal of Honor: Warfighter Beta tomorrow night. The exclusive beta will allow you to play an online multiplayer mode by the name of “Hotspot” and will take place in random locations. There are a total of 72 Operators to unlock in the full game but beta testers will be able to play with 12 of them.
837 Views | 5 Comments

Resident Evil Scores a 0.4

The latest Resident Evil has had mixed reviews from the critics, but with the game now out to buy its not taken long for fans to complete the game and quickly flood in to Metacritic to chuck in their review.

The game has dropped to a 0.4 on both Xbox and PS3 versions of the game. Over 2,380 of the 2,484 reviews are negative. Have you played Resident Evil 6 yet and if so what are your feelings towards a 0.4 score.

Metacritic's user reviews
880 Views | 3 Comments

EA sell physical games with no discs?

As we all know EA likes to back the digital side of gaming more than the physical. They have even gone on record saying "Going 100% digital is inevitable", but for now at least we can still buy out games in physical format... or can we?

EA are now selling 17 Command & Conquer titles all in one box for a price tag of $49.99 in Physical version and $49.99 for PC Digital Version. The problem is that if you buy a Physical version not only will you have to wait for it to be shipped, but when you get the game you will find no game disc will be included but instead a digital download code inside the box.

This is in the small print on the banner above but I think a lot of people will miss this and assume if there are two different version, they will be expecting a disc inside a "Physical Version".

What do you think about EA new tactics? Are you happy as a collector you still get a box for your game self? Or has EA forced this digital world on us?

EA, you're obviously drunk. [hawkxcore via Reddit]
878 Views | 3 Comments

Slender Man's Shadow (and 'GUN')

Those of you who follow news about the game Slender will most likely have heard of a game called "Slender Man's Shadow" - a series of games inspired by the original Slender: The Eight Pages. If you've heard of this, you've probably visited the site for the game made by Marc Steene and Wray Burges over the passed week and noticed that it's a little easier on the eye than it used to be, and the keen-eyed of you will have noticed the logo in the top left of their new site.

So, without further ado, we're pleased to announce the beginning of a series of sites, known as the GamingUnity Network! We abbreviate this to 'GUN', because it sounds cooler. "What's the point in these sites though?!" I hear you scream at your monitors. What we're trying to do with them is provide a few central hubs where you can find all your videos, images (to come soon) and other information for specific games. As these sites grow, so will the amount of content on GamingUnity for when you feel like a full dose of gaming videos.

What we aim to do, where possible, is provide a sleek website for indie games who don't have the time to make their own. The best thing about these sites? We make them for the devs for free, so that they can put all of their resources into making what we all love - brilliant, innovative games. There will also be a few hubs for games which already have their own sexy websites, because we think they will benefit from having one place to go for all their user made content.

This is just an announcement of our plans; we aim to get these up and running soon but at the moment check out Slender Man's Shadow for an idea of what we're trying to do - you'll probably notice how it taps into our existing set of gaming videos to give users just those relating to Slenderman's Shadow.

We're also pleased to announce that yesterday Marc and Wray released the latest map for Slenderman's Shadow - 7th Street. So use the link above and go see if you can beat this latest instalment of escaping the lanky bugger.

What do you look forward to from GUN? Do you have any suggestions for it? Let us know in the comments below!
3831 Views | 2 Comments

What Are You Playing?

It's been a while since we've done one of these... because... well, it's been a while since there's been any notable releases as the stale period of summer releases was upon us. However, this is now gradually lifting and some big titles are on their way out. This week's highly anticipated release is, of course, Borderlands 2! There's also a good release for you virtual petrol heads out there - F1 2012!

This is what I will inevitably be spending all my time on this weekend! I'll probably be playing as a Siren for a dedicated co-op playthrough, and maybe the Gunzerker for a "Whenever I feel like a bash" campaign. I expect that all of you will already know what Borderlands 2 is, so I won't waste your time explaining the concept. Guns and Loot, that's all you need to know. Lots of gun. Lots of loot. Simple.

As an aside, this brings me to think about Aliens: Colonial Marines again, another 4-player co-op shooter from Gearbox. Set in the Aliens universe as the title implies, this sees your squad of 4 marines visiting LV-246 and getting thoroughly destroyed by the sharp, slimy creatures. I mention this only because I first read about this approximately 1 year before the release of the original Borderlands. With two games and many years to perfect their 4-player co-op shooting mechanic, I look forward to this game an incredible amount. I'll even be playing it through with my Dad... I hope he isn't shocked by the language that can be spurted out during the undoubtedly tense encounters that will occur.

So, after that little digression.. what are you playing this weekend? If you're playing Borderlands 2, what class will you be playing primarily?

Let us know in the comments below!!
851 Views | 10 Comments

Money from Broken Sword might mean a Beneath the Steel Sky 2

Revolution Software wanted to make a new Broken Sword, but didn’t want to go down the path of finding an evil Publisher who will take some of the profits and also try and steer the direction of the game.

Instead they turned to us, the gamers and asked for $400,000 on kickstarter. I myself have already thrown money at my screen while screaming take my money. Its great to see they have already shot past their goal and made $517,075 with 9 days still left to go.

Now Revolution Software have passed their target they are now talking about “Stretch Goals”, they go on to talk about how they now plan to have the game on iPad, Android Tablets, Linux as well as the normal PC version. The thing I found more interesting is on their latest update video they talk a little about using the “Stretch Goal” money to green light Beneath the Steel Sky 2, he goes on to say this is not set in stone yet but even if the stretch money doesn't help it green light, they still want to making it.

So very good news for Point n Click fans like myself.
812 Views | 2 Comments

LittleBigPlanet Meets Final Fantasy VII

Now, I'm a massive fan of Final Fantasy VII...

And I also really like LittleBigPlanet 2...

So, what happens when the two collide?

LBP2 creator BRRPPPPPPPPPPPPP (aka James Colliver, and yes that is his username) has carefully re-created the Playstation classic in LBP2, even down to the conversations seen in-game. Bosses? Check. Limit Breaks? Check. Six months worth of work has gone into his project, and he should be very proud of his finished product.

If you still haven't been sold on the idea you can view his YouTube page right here. You'll find 6 videos of the 20 chapters available to download from the Playstation Network.

Now are you sold? Click here to add the levels to your download queue.
899 Views | 2 Comments

Why ‘Slender’ is one of the most terrifying games I have ever played

I’m not new to puzzle horror games, having played Penumbra, Amnesia, and other shock horror games such as Dead Space, and to a lesser extent, F.E.A.R. Despite this, I can safely say that ‘Slender’ is one of the most truly horrifying games I have played.

‘Slender’, a game created by Parsec Productions, is based upon the Slender Man, a fictional character that was made up a couple of years ago by popular website, ‘SomethingAwfulForums’. The competition was to make one of the most blood-chilling and believable mythical characters that this forum could, and to spread it across the internet placing rumours.
Slender Man is a tall, thin bone-white man in a black suit with no face that can be recognized, which has the ability to create extra limbs from his back, giving him the appearance of a spider in some fan art. He is usually found in a habitat of forests, where he is able to blend in with the trees in his long thin shape. He specializes in kidnapping people, especially children, however there have been some more gruesome mythical tales of people found impaled on trees with each of their organs put in plastic bags and placed back within the body, which was then sealed up.
Naturally, after being told all of this about a year ago by my friend in a late night gaming session, when I was home alone, I was mortally terrified of this ‘Slender Man’ character, especially after having looked up some of the mythical tales about him.

As the character of ‘Slender Man’ got more popular and people started to get more interested in him, there began to be questions about why a film or game hadn’t been made out of this enemy, being such a strong and well thought out character. This is where I began to see new game plays on my favourite YouTube channels of a game called ‘Slender’. I immediately assumed it was something to do with the Slender Man, as the art style was very similar to that concept art of him around today.

I decided to have a go at this game, despite my fear of it. Upon starting up the game, the concept of it is very basic. You set what graphics you want it on, what resolution you want, and you begin. You appear in a forest at night, what a typical setting, with only a flash light and a task to find 8 pages. As you look around the forest the pages that you find are stuck to random scenery, however each play through, they will be in different places. Upon finding the first page, you become the prey, and tension building background noise that cannot really be described as music is added, making your heart pound more.

As you run, basically blindly through this forest, you need to keep your eyes peeled. It is certain that you shall run into the Slender Man at some point during your ¬¬play through. Most likely, you are going to see him in the distance after collecting your first page; however the forest and mist will attempt to play tricks on you. A vague white dot of mist could be taken as his face, and the long, thin trees don’t help either.

If you run near to the Slender Man, or if he teleports directly into your face, your camera will begin to gain static, which is a reference to the series ‘Marble Hornets’ on YouTube, which features the Slender Man. Every time he is near to the camera, which appears to be your sight in game, it begins to break down, the audio and video files becoming corrupted. You need to look away from him immediately, or it will be your death, similar to the styling in amnesia. If you stare at an enemy in amnesia for too long, you begin to lose sanity.

I will not give away too much about tips and tricks to complete this game, because when you get a method it is relatively simple. I would say the initial surprise you get from this game is the most important, but that does not mean that on other playthroughs it is not enjoyable. I think the best way to approach this game is to get straight into it, before watching any videos on it, but afterwards, watch how hilarious it is for others.
There are some small things that really add to the game, such as if you leave your flashlight on for a while, it dims, and the fact that you do actually lose stamina from running, despite there being no UI. If you get caught by this white no faced man, past versions of this game immediately crashed the program to desktop. It does now have a repeat option, however I would say that the effect of seeing him and then your program crashing is really quite nerve wracking, and actually I believe should not have been taken out of the game.

I’m sure there are actually spawn points for him once you enter a certain region, and that these could be planned out and some kind of walkthrough could be made, but I would completely disagree with doing this. It would completely spoil the atmosphere of the game, not only to play it with a walkthrough, but to be tabbing out every now and then. However, one tip I will give you. If he is following you; Don’t turn around! In fact, most of the game, he could be right behind you. He will not always get you this way, as this game relies on terrifying you first before killing you, as the Slender Man is said to terrify his victims in the mythical lore.
In games like Amnesia, Penumbra, and other horror games, you are able to remember that the enemy is stupid. They are simply pathing guards that you can trick. However the Slender Man always knows your there. Always Watches, no Eyes, to quote. He is clearly a lot more clever than the zombies like guards in these two games, and will also immediately kill you if you get caught, where as in other games you can usually take a couple of hits.

All of these things build up together to make a terrifying horror game. It is true that you could say, ‘jump scares’ idea is a little easy, however It is built up so well by music, atmosphere, and the idea that you are alone within this world against an intelligent enemy really adds together to make this an incredible, but heart stopping game.

I hope I have not too much away in this game, but even If I have you would still be terrified by this game. All I can tell you is that this game is the only game that I have played in a long time that actually made my heart pound and my body shake, and before you call me a coward, play the game yourself and then tell me how much of a coward I am. I commend this game for being one of the scariest games I have played in a long time!
14051 Views | 20 Comments

CS:GO Pre-Order Beta Launch!

If you have pre-purchased Counter-Strike: Global Offense, and weren't already in the closed beta of CS:GO, restart your Steam. It's available for download now, if you haven't noticed already.

At approximately 1 AM GMT, Valve launched their beta for CS:GO, the follow up to their widely popular game Counter-Strike: Source, for those of you that have pre-ordered CS:GO.

Be aware that even if you already were in the beta but have not yet purchase the game you can only play till August 20th, and will not receive the full game.

Counter-Strike: Global Offense will be available August 21st if you have not baught it already.

That's it, bye guys. I'm off to play some CS:GO, GL HF!
1621 Views | 6 Comments

Introducing TF2 Co-op!

The day has finally come, to be able to play Team Fortress 2 co-op with friends!

The Mann vs. Machine update, available August 15th, will have you and 5 of your friends fight waves of robots in an all new mode. According to Valve, the update will have new maps and you will be able to upgrade abillities and weapons.

The robots, named "The Gray Horde", are trying to plant a bomb in one of Mann Co.'s strongholds. It's up to you and five friends to stop this new "Team". Yet, unlike BLU or RED, this horde seems to have "abilities"; instead of the Sniper, we get the Bowman, whose only attck is to fire arrows at us like the Sniper would do with the Huntsman. And the new Scout's, who are now named the Minor League Scout, ability is to stun you using his baseball. These are just a few named but there are more coming as this is only the first day of announcements, there are still to more days for more. Day 1 is "Machines", Day 2 is called "Mercs" and Day 3 is going to be called "Bounty". What more will we get? We'll just have to wait.

If you still haven't seen the trailer or would like to know more about the update, you can visit the TF2 homepage or use this link
1166 Views | 2 Comments

Source Engine 2 Found In Source Filmmaker Files

According to some users over at Valvetime.net, if you look through the newly released Source Filmmaker, you can find files the have references to a "Source 2" and a new Half-Life game.

For those of you who don't know, Source Filmmaker is a tool that utilizes film-making tools within the source engine, allowing you to create films using the engine that supports games such as Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead, and more.

So far, each new engine made by Valve has been introduced with a Half-Life game, which is probably going to be the case with this engine. This is huge news if you've been waiting for the next installment in the Half-Life series, the last one having been released a little over five years ago(2007!).

Hopefully this is hinting a new Half-Life game in the near future for all of the fans who've been waiting!

Here's the file path on the hard drive: ".../SourceFilmmaker/game/sdktools/python/global/lib/site-packages/vproj/vproj.py"

Valvetime article

1057 Views | 2 Comments

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