Forza Horizon 3 Articles RSS Feed | Forza Horizon 3 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Microsoft Announces Xbox One S All Digital Console Wed, 17 Apr 2019 11:35:48 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Microsoft announced the long-rumored Xbox One S All Digital system during its pre-E3 Inside Xbox presentation April 16. It was accompanied by a press release detailing the rationale for the system.

The system is set to launch May 7.

As the name suggests, the Xbox One S All Digital (XB1SAD) is a completely digital system. It has no disc drive and, thus, does not support physical media. Instead, games must be downloaded from the Microsoft Store or accessed via the Xbox Game Pass.

The XB1SAD still includes Netflix, browsing, and 4K support, though

The system will retail for $249.99 and comes with three pre-installed games: Minecraft, Sea of Thieves, and Forza Horizon 3, along with a trial period for the Game Pass.

Jeff Gattis, General Manager, Xbox Product Marketing, said the decision for a digital-only console came in response to what the company sees as shifts in the gaming industry. According to Gattis, gamers want their media digitally, just like with books, music, and film.

The parody trailer accompanying the announcement echoes that sentiment. The idea presented is that progressing to an all-digital system is not only simple, but it's also the next logical step in hardware development.

Gattis says the new Xbox system will better accommodate players who feel the same way, those who only download their content and need their saves to be secured in the cloud instead of on their system. The system's lower price point is also meant to remove entry barriers to Xbox gaming as well.

However, as many others also pointed out after the announcement, the savings might not be quite as beneficial as they first appear.

Digital-only means few or no discounts and no access to pre-owned games. When users want to buy a new game ($60), then the $50 overall console savings disappears immediately.

Moreover, many retailers offer special bundles of the traditional Xbox One S with a pre-installed game for less than the XB1SAD's price point.

It appears the move might be less in response to changes in the market and consumer habits than it is with shifts higher up in the industry.

With the digital-only XB1, Microsoft is ultimately one step closer to entering the looming streaming wars with Google and its Stadia, carving out its own identity separate from Sony's PlayStation 4 and Nintendo's Switch.

10 Best Reviewed Games of 2016 Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:40:28 -0500 Curtis Dillon


And there you have it! 2016 is officially in the rear view mirror and, after a list like that, we can agree it was a heck of a year.


From blazing the trail in Madagascar with Nathan Drake, to building your own world in Stardew Valley -- with a few sausages in between -- 2016 offered up some pretty amazing experiences.


If nothing else, this list proves the sheer diversity in video games these days, what with a racing game, two sports titles, a VR experience, and several indie games. There really is something for everyone on this list and that's representative of gaming as a whole these days. We're spoiled with variety like no other time in history and maybe we should remember that the next time we get mad about Assassin's Creed's next location, or Death Stranding being many years away.


We gamers like to gripe about the little things sometimes, but every now and then it's nice to sit back and take a look at the truly amazing adventures we partake in. Developers spend hundreds, thousands, of hours toiling away on some of these titles and they deserve our thanks every now and then. So hop on to Twitter and send a nice word the way of Naughty Dog, or Playdead, or Increpare. Of course, before you do that you should let us know what your favourite game of 2016 was! And, as always, stay tuned to GameSkinny!


1. Uncharted 4: A Thief's End

Metacritic Score: 93 (User Score: 7.9)

Ahhh Naughty Dog, the unquestionable rulers and masters of the video game universe. Colin Moriarty of Kinda Funny often says that Naughty Dog operates on a level that no other developer even comes close to, and I'm inclined to agree.


The Uncharted series is among the very finest in all of video games, with 2 and 3 being both genuine masterpieces (and the original no slouch either). Then came The Last of Us which, for all of Uncharted's plaudits and achievements, cemented Naughty Dog as a step above everyone else in every way. The Last of Us is one of the greatest pieces of art and storytelling ever, in video games, movies, TV, whatever. It's that good.


So with Naughty Dog returning to Uncharted, and calling it Nathan Drake's last adventure, it's fair to say expectations were high. Well, Naughty Dog proved to everyone once again, that pressure and expectations mean little when you have a story to tell and the chops to make it good. And that it the biggest difference between Naughty Dog and many other developers, they don't just make a video game for the sake of it, they tell stories with compelling characters, the finest dialogue around, unparalleled graphics, and awe-inspiring set-pieces.


Uncharted 4: A Thief's End had all of those elements and more. Naughty Dog presented us with a more mature Uncharted; one we weren't sure we wanted but made total sense when we played it. Gunfights were scaled back in lieu of more exploration, driving sequences, and environmental storytelling. It was the perfect marriage of Uncharted and The Last of Us.


Nathan Drake's final adventure was a thrilling, emotional journey that cemented him, and Uncharted, as gaming royalty. I don't believe we've seen the end of Uncharted but, for now, Nathan Drake bows out on the highest of high notes. What more can be said about another masterpiece from the best developer in the industry? Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was the very best game of 2016, bar none.


2. Inside

Metacritic Score: 92 (User Score:7.9)

We waited 6 years for the next game from Limbo developer, Playdead, and boy was it worth the wait.


It can be very hard for a game to live-up to the expectations of a wait like that, especially an indie game because they are smaller games that tend to only last an hour or two, so that makes it even more impressive when they exceed those expectations. Inside did just that.


Receiving absolute critical acclaim, Inside evolved the formula of Limbo and, some would say, perfected the puzzle platformer. The visuals were perfectly artsy, the animations were highly-impressive, clever puzzles, and the story intriguing and just the right amount of vague. Some could argue that the puzzles in the game left a little to be desired but they weren't the focus of the game, Inside is about narrative, and the tale it weaves will leave you reeling for some time.


4. Out of the Park Baseball '17

Metacritic Score: 92 (User Score: 3.2)

Just like last year, Out of the Park Baseball '17, ahem, knocks it out of the park and scores high on the year's best list.


Simply put, OOTP Baseball series is the go-to game if you want a baseball simulator. I mean, just look at the amount of information on screen (as seen above). The game puts you in the shoes of a baseball GM and tasks you with rising through the ranks, managing finances, trading/scouting, negotiating contracts, and all the standard GM mode affairs. However it's the insane amount of depth that OOTP '17 really shows-off.


For example, you can play as any team, from the major league to the minor league... or any team from the past 150 years. Yep, any baseball team in the frickin' history of the sport. The game doesn't feature any new modes worth mentioning, so unless you were a huge fan, you could stick with '16 and be fine. But for the hardcore fans out there, OOTP Baseball '17 is yet another entry in the finest sports sim around.


4. Forza Horizon 3

Metacritic Score: 91 (User Score: 7.4)

Every year Microsoft releases a new Forza game, be it Motorsport or Horizon, developed by Turn 10 or Playground Games, respectively. And with every passing year, Forza has slowly but surely replaced Gran Turismo as the King of the racing genre -- on consoles anyway.


Forza Horizon 3 is the latest instalment in this amazing franchise, and it genuinely took the series to new heights. Horizon is the more open of the two series', allowing players to drive a variety of vehicles and race in wide open environments. This time around, the fast-action was taken down under to the land of Australia where players got to race in beautiful, exotic locales.


The sheer breadth of activities, tracks and vehicles gives the game a ton of replay value but really the fun gameplay and stunning visuals are the real reason to go on this trip. Playground Games reminds us that driving games can be simply fun for those who aren't masters of the genre. You're up Turn 10, let's see what 2017 brings.


5. Overwatch

Metacritic Score: 91 (User Score: 6.8)

I think we all know what Overwatch is; a stylised team-based shooter from Blizzard. And we all know that it's pretty much unrivalled in the genre.


2016 was looking to be the year of the "hero-shooters," what with Battleborn, Paragon, and Overwatch duking it out for the crown. Now, at the start of 2017, I think we can all safely say that Overwatch wiped the floor with its competitors.


Featuring fantastic characters, slick visuals, and an addictive one-more-match mentality, Overwatch set itself apart from the other hero-shooters. Sure those games tried the same thing but they lacked that special Blizzard-level of polish and swagger. Overwatch is as good as it gets right now on the competitive multiplayer scene, and was voted game of the year by many an outlet.


6. Stardew Valley

Metacritic Score: 90 (User Score: 7.5)

You would have to have been living under a rock to not have heard of Stardew Valley. Releasing in February of 2016, Stardew Valley slowly spread like a forest-fire via word of mouth. The groundswell around this little title was reminiscent of Undertale last year.


What seems like a fairly innocuous farming simulator with charming graphics, Stardew Valley repeatedly peels back layer-after-layer of story and new gameplay elements. Like a cross between Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, this game created solely by Eric Barone, is a heartwarming life-simulator that threatens to eat-up hundreds of hours of your life.


7. NBA 2K17

Metacritic Score: 90 (User Score: 6.0)

Sometime in the past 5-6 years, 2K's NBA series snatched the crown of the best sports game and refuses to give it back. The series boasts unmatched graphics, career mode, commentary, and pure gameplay.


The caveat with the NBA series is that it's far from easy to just pick-up and play. The controls for the game are deep and quite complicated, unlike EA's Fifa, and that can be a barrier to entry but for those who take the time, find incredibly diverse gameplay that offers many hours of replay value.


The devil is in the details, as they say, and NBA is unrivalled. Every team plays exactly like their real-life counterparts, the crowd looks fantastic, guest-commentators keep things fresh, and many new and tweaked gameplay modes, are the reason NBA 2K17 retains the crown of best sports game.


8. Stephen's Sausage Roll

Metacritic Score: 90 (User Score: 5.6)

Let me guess, you haven't even heard of this one. Well don't feel bad, neither had I. Stephen's Sausage Roll was definitely not a title I expected to come across in the Metacritic best games of 2016 list, and yet here it is.


The gist is; you roll a sausage around a map until you reach the cooking area, and attempt to keep it there, without burning it, until done. Pretty straightforward stuff but if you've played, or watched, I Am Bread or Surgeon Simulator, you'll know it's anything but. The game gives you little in the way of instructions and forces you to figure certain things out on your own, a nice breath of fresh air in the days of over-complicated tutorials.


The ingenuity of the level design and the way the game teaches you things without you even realising are where this game succeeds most. It's a difficult game, but not an unfair one, and you'll be shocked by how very long it is. The game costs $30, which may sound a little much, but there is dozens of hours of content and the game consistently reveals new things and upends your expectations. It was a surprise that Stephen's Sausage Roll made this list but the real surprise is just how damn good it is.


9. Dark Souls III

Metacritic Score: 89 (User Score: 8.6)

Dark Souls was born from the ashes of Demon Souls -- a game that Sony had exclusive rights to but didn't see any potential in -- and what a spiritual successor it turned out to be. I for one would have considered the art of being relentlessly killed to turn many gamers off, but apparently we are gluttons for punishment. Dark Souls was a big success, then Dark Souls II released to less fanfare. Soon thereafter, Sony, releasing the error of its ways, rekindled its relationship with the studio to make Bloodborne. The PS4-exclusive was another huge hit and proved that lightning could strike twice.


Which brings us to Dark Souls III. Once again rising from the ashes, the From Software team resurrected the series from the limp corpse of Dark Souls II, added what they learned from Bloodborne, and created their finest adventure into madness yet.


Dark Souls III is a masterclass is world design, boss battles, visuals, and character progression. Sure the frame rate can wobble here and there, and the difficulty spikes are egregious, but those are two small complaints in what is a fantastic game. From Software, and creator Miyazaki, say that Dark Souls III is the end of the series -- although we will get more Bloodborne -- thus the series leaves us the way it came in; with a mighty punch in the face.


10. Rez: Infinite

Metacritic Score: 89 (User Score: 7.2)

Here we have the only VR game that makes the top 10 list. Rez: Infinite almost didn't make the list however because it is technically a revamped version of the PS2 game, Rez. However Infinite is a significantly improved and changed version of the game that's more than just a remaster.


Rez is an on-rails shooter that pits you as an AI in a computer system, with humans as the enemy injecting viruses into the system to destroy you. Making use of a lock-on mechanic and bombs, you blast your way through many levels of electronica-infused colour spasms that threaten to induce you in a coma.


Indeed Rez: Infinite is an experience like few others; don't get me wrong, many have tried but none have succeeded. Somehow the Rez formula still holds up to this day and just so happens to find new life inside a PSVR helmet.


It's January 2017 and that means it's that time of year when we all get nostalgic for the year that was. We like to take a look back and remember what we played, list our favourite games of the year, and even have a chuckle at the very worst the year had to offer.


So that brings us to the very best 2016 had to offer. It's fair to say a lot of people left 2016 feeling a little disappointed -- at least on the AAA front -- especially when you glance back at the star-studded 2015. However, once you dig a little deeper and look past the Mirror's Edge's, Mafia 3's, and No Man's Sky's, you'll find a lot of great titles that surpassed expectations, or came out of nowhere to blow us away!


Before we dive in to this list of greatness, the games are listed by their Metacritic score. Several games scored the same average, and are therefore ordered by their user score. There is no bias on this list, it's all based on the compiled reviews of critics, but don't be afraid to jump into the comments and let us know what your favourite games of 2016 were!

Buying Early Access to Games Has Got to Stop Wed, 02 Nov 2016 09:13:11 -0400 Angelo De Bellis

Amongst all the buzz and hype surrounding pre-order culture—trivial bonuses offered by different retailers, unique game editions, limited quantity formats, and day-one specially packaged titles—comes a relatively new marketing scheme, one that crumbles the very foundation of what it means to own a game early, a bullish effort to squeeze even more cash out of the supposedly most dedicated fans: early access games. 

The pre-order cacophony began as a method to quantify the popularity of an upcoming video game, and bonuses of varying qualities were created to intensify that desire in gamers to put cash down on a title before its release. Unfortunately, the act that once secured you a copy of a game which may have sold out instantly at your local retailer, has now spiraled out of control. Today we don’t pre-order games to guarantee us a copy of a highly sought after game.

In fact, the hype involved in franchise follow-ups is at such a frenzy that retailers now beg for pre-orders based on titles that have but a simple teaser trailer. It’s impossible to miss the “Pre-Order Now” marketing banners that pop up after the showing of a game at E3 or some type of enthusiast expo.

Source: Gamespot

And if you thought the incessant pre-order propaganda had already reached a boiling point, it seems that publishers have come up with a new attempt at getting our pre-order dollars. This new way to lure us into securing purchases ahead of release also incites us to spend well beyond the asking price of a typical video game for access to its contents ahead of the scheduled release.

The Culprit

If you haven’t yet encountered these titles that are offered early to those who pay, as of late, Microsoft has been the worst offender. Games like Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3 are prime examples of titles that were given this treatment. Gamers who pre-ordered the more expensive editions of the game were given access to them a full four days ahead of their official release.

In a similar manner, though based on different business models, EA Access subscribers also get portions of select games early. This kind of limited offering staves off some of my later arguments, but the crux of the issue remains.

Spending extra cash on a game to get a soundtrack and a decorative statue is a nice way to collect and show your passion for a particular series. Having access to games early simply because you have more disposable income than another fan is piggish capitalism.

Now don’t get me wrong -- video games are goods, and as such the bottom line is critical to their success and to the success of future games. But that cold, profit-driven model must have a marked line of unacceptability. Additions to games as bonuses are one thing, but asking for money up front and a greater sum of it for the product’s base contents is something else entirely.

As a gamer and a consumer, I’d be remiss not to speak up about this kind of overt greed that has the potential to grow worse.

Source: Gears of War

A Healthy, Wealthy Industry

How did we get here? Simply put, the games industry has grown a great deal over the years, and with that growth came a profit-hungry beast with many hands seeking clever ways to pull an extra few bucks from our back pockets. 

Though developers may be artistic visionaries who simply want their games to be enjoyed with a certain mark of success, the publishers and other involved stakeholders on the business side of things most definitely pursue monetary success --and clearly they go to great lengths to achieve it. But jeopardizing the meaning of a release date is no friendly way to engender a culture of fandom; it only serves to split gamers apart.

Yes, gaming is not the cheapest of hobbies. And yes, no one is forcing you to buy games on their release date. It is most certainly true that those without the money to afford games do sometimes get left behind. But, as if the barrier of entry wasn’t already high enough, another invisible barrier had to be added to make it that much harder to cross. It’s a needless imposition, a fabricated disparity between a gamer who is a fan of a series to a gamer who is part of some kind of exclusive, ultimate fan club. And’s it’s all done in a seedy way to influence you to spend more money.

The Wallet Has the Rights

The sad part of the matter is that purchasing options like this one create business models that are vetoed or accepted based on our money as the stand-in voters, and there is no way around that.

Let me elaborate with the following scenario: I want to purchase Gears of War 4: Ultimate Edition -- the one that was playable earlier than fans who purchased the base game. But I make my decision to spend the additional money based on the value of the physical/digital  goods that come with product. By completing the purchase, I’ve also, in essence, made a contract with the executives involved in the sales of the product.

I’ve said that I accept the business model adopted by the particular edition of the game and see nothing wrong with me having access to it before any other fans, even if it's an entire weekend. Though I don’t want to give the message that this is okay—I simply want the game with the additional goods—I’ve opened the door for more games to be sold based on this model, or invited the animation of some other ridiculous marketing effort in the future.

There is no way to differentiate that I purchased the product for its additional contents and not for the affordance it gives me to enjoy the game early. Or maybe I simply don’t care about the repercussion this will have on what the industry as a whole considers an acceptable practice.

Maybe I just want the more fully featured version of the game and am attracted to the fact that I get to play a game that I’ve been excited about for months four days early. It becomes a slippery slope of having dedicated fans who are robbed of the enthusiasm of owning a gaming upon release, while gamers with more money than the asking price get to enjoy benefits that are consequential.

Source: Gamespot

Where is the Value?

I think it’s the fact that selling games early really has no quantifiable value that upsets me the most. When the super amazing edition, or whatever they decide to call it, is ready to be sold, the base game is obviously also ready to be purchased by fans.

That’s what’s most irksome: additional game content like DLC and the like comes at a price because production costs are involved (though this is debatable). But offering a game early to fans is something that can be done across the board without driving the costs up. Selling a game early is just an arbitrary throw-in for fans wielding fuller wallets.

The Early Bird...

Moving away from the precedent established because of early access, we need to think about the game-related effects that spawn out of selling video games early. On a day-to-day basis, the internet is crawling with information about video games, or gaming debates, or game news. It’s hard not to scroll through my Facebook page or Reddit and not see comments based on a new release.

Just imagine how much more difficult it is to be a fan of an upcoming game when normal people (those outside of games media) are posting spoilers and the like because they have early access. Simply because certain fans are in possession of more green and are willing to purchase a different edition of the game you planned on getting on day one, you will have to dodge social media just that much more to prevent spoilers.

And it’s not because you aren’t getting the game when it launches, it’s because of a new business model that preys on our anticipation for a game.

Source: Microsoft

Games have become increasingly complex visual and interactive narratives with beloved characters and exciting plot twists. And while some gameplay-intensive experiences, like Forza Horizon 3, don’t suffer from this issue of spoiler fodder, certain games do. 

More than that, I repeat that the more that consumers purchase games offered like this, the more the model will be adopted until it perhaps permeates all big-budget franchises. I don’t think you’d like to see the next Halo or a sequel to The Last of Us spoiled because an increasingly vocal group has access to games more readily than you do, would you?

Even if you spend your game time playing multiplayer experiences, there is something to be said about having the ability to play early. I often find that jumping into a game after release is daunting when it comes to playing competitively online. All the other players have already leveled up their characters, equipped themselves with customized weapons, and acclimated their style of play to particular maps and the gameplay style at large.

Vocal Dissatisfaction

With the player base being segmented by those who purchase the base-model game at launch versus those who purchase the more expensive editions pre-launch, the community quickly becomes uneven. This is all because some gamers have the funds to buy the edition that offers the game at an earlier time. 

Aesthetic additions to weapons and such don’t harm the experience, but getting to grind through several hours, evenings, or even days of play before the main install base even gets a chance to pick up the controller just screams purposeful inequity.

Ultimately it’s our money that speaks, and at the end of the day the stakeholders who uphold the industry probably don’t care much that they set invisible barriers so long as they churn greater profits. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t be vocal about issues of consequence like these -- issues that have the potential to grow and do already impede on certain standards that shouldn’t be trampled on.

We should argue for better treatment. We're the market for these games, and they won't survive without us. I’d just hate to see something like the games industry continue to grow so unbearably money-driven as publishers and their partners proceed to act promiscuously with their sales efforts. Video games are a form contemporary art -- a statement for the kinds of entertainment we enjoy today -- and one that could be crippled by tactless businesspeople and poor taste.

Let's Talk: Forza Horizon 3 Review - Fun like a Dune Buggy, but Lacking Like a Reliant Robin Mon, 17 Oct 2016 02:00:01 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Let's Talk is a mixed audio and written series about talking -- that much is clear. I talk about specific games, the impact a game can have on the community, about recent events, or how past events have shaped what is now. Read the article first or watch the video -- it's up to you, but without further ado, Let's Talk about:

Forza Horizon 3 Review

The Forza series has always been among my favorite racing games, ever since Gran Turismo, dropped the ball with GT5 I fell over Forza 3. Developed by Turn 10, the focus was on making the driving feel good, and the physics being realistic, but also playable on controler -- so some unrealistic physics tricks have been used. Back in 2012, Playground Games took up the challenge of making a spin-off open world Forza game, and they came up with something special. Forza Horizon (FH).

A sequel released in 2014, but now 2 years later, the third and biggest game in the Horizon spin-off series was released on September 27th 2016. But how is it?

Not much new, other than the WHOLE SETTING

Content wise, FH3 doesn't really have anything new. I mean if you forgot to look at the whole world. We have moved out of a slice of Colorado, USA in FH, and we have moved on from the mediterranean of a tiny part of Italy, and a chink from Southern France in FH2. We now have a massive chunk of Australia to explore, in the best looking Forza game to date.

There are three major locations, so not only is the area you drive around in massive, but is also the most diverse in the series. A desert area where just driving around is fun, a more built up city area where being accurate is key, and a lush rainforest where it feels more like a Hillclimb or Rally stage -- my personal favourite area.

In each area you can plant a festival site, as you are now the boss -- another series first. You can expand these locations as well, simply by getting the crowd in. You just have to win races, get skill points, and 3-star (to get the the most crowd possible) speed cameras, average speed gates, and drift zones. While I find the speed traps to feel a bit cheap, as you simply get a super fast car, or upgrade your car fully and you basically get 3-stars.

FH3 is an amazing game, but...

...I never got that hooked by it. Something which surprises me because on every level it's a game I really enjoy, and from a technical standpoint, to a gameplay, it's right up there with the best racing games. I feel that perhaps my love for the series has tumbled because how my tastes in driving games has evolved.

I feel like I have moved on from the mostly arcade, with some simulation influences -- you can actually employ some realistic techniques in FH3, most notably you can do a very basic weight shifting for taking tight hairpins quickly. While the feeling of driving in FH3 feels amazing, games like Dirt Rally have just as good feel as FH3, but due to their very sim nature also make you work for that great feeling. So the likes of Dirt Rally, pCars, Assetto Corsa, and rFactor are all much more exciting to me now.

It's like the Souls series, I know they are good games, but they don't keep me hooked -- simply, I don't want to be tortured, but while not terrible at the Souls games, the world is too depressing for me to carry on fighting to just explore. For FH3 it's simply that the game doesn't make you work for the great feeling of driving, it just gives it to you. I don't feel like I need to work towards getting good, or feeling like I've accomplished something like in Dirt Rally, as FH3 is just giving it to you for free.

A me problem, doesn't mean a bad game

Cross-platform play is a little bit fiddly but works perfectly, as you have to use the Xbox Win10 app, and correcting from a drift when you overcook it feels a bit weird. Basically, I don't think opposite lock is realistically implemented, as I found I would often spin out the opposite way, as my car would wildly and suddenly flick around -- but this is an arcade driving game, so thats understandable.

FH3 has a massive amount of content, and a beautiful world that you really do want to explore, but it didn't grip me. I didn't want to keep playing like with pCars or Dirt Rally for one simple reason. FH3 It didn't make me work to feel like a driving god, it just made me one.

Copy purchased by self.

Let's Play: GameSkinny's Must-Play Games of the Month Mon, 03 Oct 2016 03:00:01 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

In any month, we here at GameSkinny, know there are tons of games to be played.  We cover and review so many that wanted a more intimate feature. We wanted to share what games occupy or have occupied our time this month.

For this feature, we sat down and spoke with GS community members Ashley Glitchiee and Pierre Fouquet.

Ashley Glitchiee

1. What games are you currently playing?

Elder Scrolls Legends is the only one really. I don't have much time to play so more in depth games are on the back burner.

2. This seems silly but is fun?

 It is very fun. Even as a beta it has very little bugs.

3. Why are you playing it?

I have always like card games, even though I am not very good at them. I love the Elder Scrolls as well, especially all the lore. So it was a no brainer for me that I wanted to play this. It has easy to learn mechanics, and various ways of balancing out op cards or decks. A variety of modes keeps things fresh, even when I don't want to play against other people, which other card games don't usually have.  

4. What makes them special?

The Elder Scrolls lore

5. Would you recommend it? Why?

I would most definitely recommend it. Especially when it fully releases. There is a plethora of things to keep someone interested, from a variety of decks to the story line in the tutorial. There are 2 arenas, one PvP and one PvE.

In the PvE one, you level up as you go through it so it does get harder the more/better you play. Collecting the cards can be something else people would like to do. Definitely a game for someone who likes the Elder Scrolls mythos and wants to experience it in another way.

Bonus: What would your selling point be for each game?

It’s a card game, the Elder Scrolls lore, the Bethesda quality. It’s also fun and easy to get into. There’s no pay to win as far as I can tell.

Next, we interviewed Pierre Fouquet to ask him what games he spent his free time with. 

So What games are you currently playing?

I’m currently playing Forza Horizon 3, Seraph, Dirt Rally, Project Cars, and Insurgency.

This seems silly but are they fun?

Forza Horizon 3 is fun, so far.

Seraph is reasonably enjoyable.

Project: Cars is fun. Dirt Rally is definitely fun.

Insurgency is fun but only with people who use voice chat and during co-op.

Why are you playing them?

I’m playing Forza Horizon was for reviewing but also because I love me some racing games.

Seraph is also for review.

I’m playing Dirt Rally because I love the Rally racing games.

I’m playing Cars because I racing games.

Insurgency offers a lot of downtime with a bunch of friends.

What makes them special?

What makes Forza Horizon 3 special is that it’s set in Australia, a setting not many other games use, and it’s beautiful looking.

Seraph is It’s a shoot em up, where you don’t need to aim.

Dirt Rally is just the best Rally game since Richard Burns Rally, and Colin McRae Dirt.

Project Cars is one of the best track racers around.

Insurgency is the midpoint between Battlefield, and Arma. Realistic, but not overly so.

Would you recommend them? Why?

Forza seems like a really good arcade racer. It’s also set in an interesting and beautiful location.

Seraph is a rather interesting shoot em up, where the lack of aiming doesn’t feel like a constraint and the focus is more on movement and powers.

If you love rally, and racing games, you just need to get Dirt Rally!

The same can be said for Project Cars, it’s the game to play if you love racers. GET IT! NOW!

If you want something which is a bit more realistic than Battlefield, or CoD, but not a military simulator, then Insurgency is your game. Note: There's a standalone Unreal Engine 4 game called Sandstorm is coming out at some point soon

Bonus: what would your selling point be for each game?

Forza Horizon; there’s no laws, driving around Australia in some of the world’s best cars!

Seraph is a shmup without aiming, where you aim is to look cool.

Dirt Rally is the best Rally game on the market, and Rallycross as an added bonus!

Project Cars is among the best racers on the market, and it runs amazingly on Xbox One and PS4.

Insurgency offers realism, without real life constraints, as well as amazing mod support on Steam.

What were your favorite games this month. What games do you find yourself playing regularly? Let us know in the comments section below.

Get your rev on - Forza Horizon 3 is out tomorrow Mon, 26 Sep 2016 09:23:01 -0400 Damien Smith

Playground Games latest installment into the Forza Horizon racing series releases tomorrow with Forza Horizon 3. It will be available on both PC and Xbox One and is published by Microsoft Studios.

What is Forza Horizon 3?

Forza Horizon 3 is an open world racing game. The environment is based in Australia. The map is said to be twice the size of Forza Horizon 2. The game includes locations like Surfer's Paradise, Byron Bay and the Australian Outback. The game will have over 300 cars ranging from 1940 right up to 2017.

The player takes on the role of the director of the Horizon Festival. This allows them to hire and fire racers as they please. In the previous games, the player took on the role as a racer of the festival, bringing a slight change to the gameplay. The player will also be able to create their own custom race tracks around the map.

What are Forza Horizon 3's features?

The game has an array of interesting features including:

  • A large open world with varying environments based in Australia
  • Over 300 cars including entirely new vehicle types. New vehicle types include Ariel Nomad, Class 10 buggies like the Penhall Cholla and B.J Baldwin's Trophy Truck.
  • State of the art technology creates a 24 hour timelapse of Australian sky.
  • You are the boss. You make decision that affects the festival
  • Horizon Blueprint - Customise hundreds of pre-created events
  • Hire and fire your friends
  • A huge amount of car customisation

Forza Horizon 3 is looking to being the most feature filled and the biggest game in the series to date. With tons of cars, locations. and customisation available, it is looking to have everything any car enthusiast would ever want.

Get your rev on

Forza Horizon 3 is taking the series in a slightly different direction to that of the previous installments. It also has a bigger roster of cars than the previous two games, with over 300 unique cars and 79 different makes. It is looking to being a fantastic game with tons of features that cater to all.

Get your rev on with Forza Horizon 3, releasing tomorrow!

You'll need a bigger garage -- Forza Horizon 3 car list contains over 300 unique cars Mon, 26 Sep 2016 07:44:05 -0400 Damien Smith

Playground Games latest installment of the Forza series, Forza Horizon 3releases tomorrow at retail and digital. One of the questions on people's minds will be; how many cars will the game contain? According to a news post on the official site, the game will have over 300 unique cars.

What cars are included in the list?

The list of 300 has an assortment of varying cars of all years and creators. A few examples of the old cars would be the 1972 Reliant Supervan III (pictured above). The 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ2, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT0 and the 1954 Jaguar XK120 SE.

For those with a modern taste in their cars, there is more than enough to cater. The more modern car models include the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan, the 2017 Ford GT, the 2016 Rolls Royce Dawn and more. Whether you are into old cars, modern cars or everything in between, Forza Horizon 3 will have you covered.

The tip of the iceberg

The car models and makes mentioned above are but the tip of the iceberg of Forza Horizon 3's massive list. Other car makes include Jeep, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Audi, Honda, Mazda, and Lotus. There are also lesser known car makes including AMC, Buick, Datsun, KTM, Mercury, STR and Tesla.

Overall Forza Horizon 3 is offering an impressive and vast array of different cars ranging from 1940 right up to 2017. Playground Games is not just featuring a large number of cars but recognizing the appeal of both old and new.

Racing fans can look forward to Forza Horizon 3 releasing tomorrow for the Xbox One and PC.

Forza 6: Apex Exits Beta Pit, Gains Wheel Support Wed, 07 Sep 2016 03:17:36 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Forza Motorsport 6: Apex, a free purer racing focused spin-off from Forza Motorsport 6 for Windows 10, has exited the beta phase of development. Going into full release also consisted of wheel support being added for many of the most popular Thrustmaster and Logitech wheels.

Brian Ekberg, Community Manager for Forza, has said that this update is a major milestone for the game:

This is a major landmark for the Forza series on Windows 10 and has been the result of months of hard work from the Turn 10 and Windows teams.

The supported wheels, shown below, are the same that the upcoming Forza Horizon 3 will support when released on September 27 worldwide.

  • Logitech G27 Racing Wheel
  • Logitech G25 Racing Wheel
  • Logitech G29 Racing Wheel
  • Logitech MOMO Force Feedback Racing Wheel
  • Thrustmaster T300RS
  • Thrustmaster T500 RS Gaming Wheel
  • Logitech G920 Xbox One Wheel
  • Thrustmaster T150
  • Thrustmaster TX Xbox One Wheel
  • Thrustmaster TMX Xbox One Wheel
  • Thrustmaster RGT Force Feedback Racing Wheel

You may notice a lack of H-pattern shifter support mentioned but fear not, as all of the above Logitech wheels, other than the G29, now support their respective H-pattern shifter. Support for Fanatec and other H-pattern shifters will be arriving from the end of September and onward.

If you want to stay up to date with all Forza 6: Apex news, or have any queries, head over to the official forums for a quick pit or to configure your race settings.

Let's Talk: This console gen is the best yet Sun, 14 Aug 2016 12:21:40 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Let's Talk is a mixed audio and written series about talking -- that much is clear. I talk about specific games, the impact a game can have on the community, about recent events, or how past events have shaped what is now. Read the article first or watch the video -- it's up to you, but without further ado, Let's Talk about:

This console generation being the best console generation

We are now in the 8th generation of consoles, it started when the Wii U was released WAY back towards the end of 2012, with the PS4 and Xbox One releasing towards the end of 2014. Unfortunately for Nintendo, they rushed out the gate almost unprepared, with some marketing which didn't exactly tell you what the thing was. Since then, they have done some interesting things on that little device.

As for Sony and Microsoft, their consoles are coming up to the 2 year old mark, and boy the last 2 years has been full of ups and downs. With Microsoft's lackluster unveiling -- after which Phil Spencer did a good job with turning everything around -- and Sony being very snide and childish about that. Now the waters have settled, and the consoles are each doing very interesting things, the PS4 is doing most of this locally, where the Xbox One is doing cooler things with the Microsoft network.

But what makes this the best console generation yet?

Wii U - Nintendo is 'growing up'

The Wii U was announced to everyone's confusion. "What was it?" This was the biggest question on everyone's lips. This failure in basic marketing lead to the Wii U not selling at first, but after a few years it started picking up. The multi screen system is an awesome idea, which I think even caused Sony to implement it into the Vita and PS3 while later making it more robust in the PS4. With the Wii U it allowed for some really cool usage. It's true, it hasn't been used to real success, but it's Nintendo bringing both the power of the home console with the portability of the handheld.

The best thing Nintendo did this generation was actually bring Bayonetta 2 to the console. This is the biggest step Nintendo has made yet, it shows them growing up. The perceived notion that Nintendo consoles are 'only for kids' is now dashed, Bayonetta is not a kids game, and this is the biggest step Nintendo have made yet. Here's to hoping that the NX will bring the power of just above a high end tablet, and the full portability of a handheld console.

Xbox One - Microsoft has crossed

Unlike Nintendo, Microsoft had a very focused marketing strategy, unfortunately it sparked a lot of controversy. When Phil Spencer took the reins of Head of Xbox, he turned the whole thing around, and built the Xbox One into a great console.

Xbox Play Anywhere, and Cross Play, may not be the biggest selling points for the console itself, but they are great selling points for Microsoft and a massive step forward for the industry. Sony have had the Cross Buy system for some time, but that was within their own ecosystem of consoles (PS3/4, and Vita). Microsoft have done it between the Xbox One and PC, which may finally bring an end to the 'fight' between PC and console players.

One of the other most impressive things Microsoft have done is with their cloud system, while we have yet to see what it can really do with the Crackdown reboot, its proof of concept in Forza Drivatars -- it's still a terrible name -- is very promising. Microsoft have taken their expensive tech background in the business sectors with their cloud systems and have brought that knowledge into the gaming sector, this represents a massive change in how Microsoft views their consoles and gamers as a whole. For that alone, Microsoft have done better than in the previous generations of consoles.

PS4 - "Greatness Awaits" is a terrible slogan

The PS4 hit the ground running. Yes, it's cliché to say, but it's true. Sony hit the ball out the park with it's marketing, no matter how childish some of it was. Greatness does not await the PS4, with games like Bloodborne, and Uncharted 4, it's possibly the least confident slogan I've seen yet. But Sony have also got VR, built for the PlayStation, and that alone means Sony is ahead in the hardware front -- on consoles, PC master race is of course ahead.

Sony have really pulled it out the bag -- I will use the clichés because, why not? -- with the PSN system. While I'm not for charging for an online system, look at Steam and how stable and fast it is for free, if it means that we don't get a repeat of the PS3 PSN then I guess it's acceptable. Sony have really beefed up the system and made it very robust, it's now as fast and stable as Xbox Live.

When it comes to indie games, you simply cannot ignore them anymore. And Sony has done an excellent job accepting indies onto their system, with Microsoft having a rocky start on their ID@Xbox system they have finally started embracing indie games. With some of the best experiences in gaming like Firewatch, Abzu, Superhot, or even Journey (which yes was a port from the PS3) both Sony and Microsoft have done a very good job incorporating indie into their console game lineup. Good job guys!

That is why this generation has kicked arse so far!

I'm not going to kid myself and say there aren't issues, there sure as well are, with dodgy DLC practices, microtransactions in full prices games (dubbed by Jim Sterling as Fee to Pay games), unfinished games being released as fully priced games, and a host of other issues with how large publishers treat their consumers, there is some way to go.  But the online systems, the dedication to supporting indie games, the breadth of experiences between the consoles, and above all the games, this generation started slowly but has finally proven that new can mean better.