Tag: Xbox 360

Battlefield 4 beta now available to download on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3

The call to rush to the online warzones of Battlefield 4 has rung out across the Land of the Internet, but will you answer that call? Will you fulfil your destiny and spawn multiple times on Siege of Shanghai in a mission of Conquest and Domination?

More importantly, do you qualify for the (at first) limited Battlefield 4 online beta test? You’ll need to be a Battlefield 4 Premium member, or have pre-ordered Battlefield 4 Digital Deluxe Edition, or be a registered owner of Medal of Honor Warfighter Limited Edition or Digital Deluxe Edition.

If you qualify, the following tweet from the official Battlefield Twitter account applies to you:

If you’re not yet seeing the beta for download, take a look at the roll-out time schedule below to see when it may unlock in your region, both for the exclusive beta today and Friday’s open beta:

Exclusive Beta Rollout Times (October 1st):

- PC: Live now!
- Xbox 360 world-wide: 2-6 AM PDT
- PlayStation 3 (Europe): 7-11 AM PDT
- PlayStation 3 (US): 3-7 PM PDT

Open Beta Rollout Times (October 4th):

- PC: 1 AM PDT/9 AM UTC
- Xbox 360 world-wide: 2-6 AM PDT
- PlayStation 3 (Europe): 7-11 AM PDT
- PlayStation 3 (US): 11 AM PDT

Note: DICE warns that “release times for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are controlled by Microsoft and Sony, respectively. The beta will be available within the range or times above, per console.”

GTA Online New Details: Choose Your Grandparents, Robbing Stores, Reputation, Passive Mode and More

A Reddit user, in charge of TheGTAPlace.com, hosted an AMA to answer questions about Grand Theft Auto Online after travelling to New York at the behest of Rockstar Games.

Playing on the Xbox 360, it was stated that there were no performance issues, with no lag though that could be different based on players playing across the world instead of in the same room. Bugs were also limited, with one particular instance involving cops killing another player on the same server first before setting their sights on you. Whether this was lag or a glitch wasn’t clear, but given that this was an early build from 1 to 2 months ago, there’s a chance that such bugs would be eliminated.

Almost all clothes shops and tattoo parlours were unlocked from the start. You can also choose the appearance of your four grandparents, which will influence your character’s look. You can customize your skin colour, hairstyle, age and other stats though. You can make a new character but it’s not certain if you can change this generated character. It’s not certain if you can create multiple characters for GTA Online.GTA-Online

You’ll need to reach about rank 8 or 9 to buy properties but there are plenty of houses and apartments to buy across the map. When you start the game, you’ll have missions such as Deathmatch and Races in which you can bet on the winner and earn money. You can also get texts from different characters for extra jobs to earn more money. Many weapons aren’t unlocked from the start, irrespective of how much money you have, so you’ll need to upgrade your rank by completing missions to unlock them.

As far as properties went, one small house was about $20000. You can rob stores and pick up roughly $3000-$6000 each time, but there will be enough balancing to ensure that it’s not abused. How it works is that you can point a gun at the store clerk and they’ll give you money in a carrier bag till the cash register is empty. You can shout into a headset to get them to give you money, which will cause the cash to be emptied quicker. Some store owners have pistols though, so be careful when entering and leaving lest you get shot.

You’ll start off in the single-player campaign in which you can switch to multiplayer from the character menu. The process has been described as quick enough to not be frustrating.

There is also something called Passive Mode, in which players cannot be killed and will have a line through their radar icons. You can’t quite switch while on a mission, and you may need to enter free roam for it. A reputation system is also in place to ensure you don’t drop out of matches for whatever reason. Passive Mode can be entered for a price, which would be about $100 or $500.

You can also take car insurance. Simply give the contact a call and you can make a claim on the car. This won’t net a huge amount of money, but it is a good way to get your car replaced.

Missions were stated to need at least two players, though some could have as many as eight taking part and they’re adequately team-based. For example: One team will be protecting an objective while the other team is focused on eliminating it. You’ll essentially see the same kinds of missions as present in single-player but with the ability to play with friends. Rockstar Games still stuck by their 500 missions number.

Interestingly, the Social Club was experiencing network issues during the event which prevented mission/job data from being downloaed. If that was a problem, think about how it will be once millions of people access GTA Online tomorrow. You can still play with friends and access the world, but you’ll probably be prevented from accessing the latest available missions.

Grand Theft Auto Online has shipped with Grand Theft Auto 5 and will be launching tomorrow for Xbox 360 and PS3.

Grand Theft Auto May Never Return to London

With the Grand Theft Auto franchise now having returned to two cities it utilized in previous generations – New York (Liberty City) and Los Angeles (Los Santos) – in 2008′s Grand Theft Auto IV and the newly released Grand Theft Auto V, gamers have wondered if the series will return to other past destinations in the eventual Grand Theft Auto VI.

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Official GTA London box art
Source: GTA Wiki

One of those cities is London, featured in Grand Theft Auto: London 1961 and 1969, both released in 1999 as expansions for the first Grand Theft Auto, which was released for MS-DOS, PC, PlayStation, and Game Boy Color in 1997. On returning to London, Co-Founder and Vice President of Creativity at Rockstar Games, Dan Houser, told The Guardian:

I think for us, my gut feeling is, GTA London was cool for the time, but games were more limited then. These days I think we would love to set a game in the UK, set in London, whatever, but I don’t know if it would be a GTA game. I think there are plenty of great stories we could tell about the UK, great environments to showcase, great gameplay mechanics that could have a UK bent to them – I just don’t think it would be a GTA necessarily.

The Getaway and The Getaway: Black Monday were two open-world video games based in London and were developed by Team SoHo and SCE London Studio. They were released for the PlayStation 2 in 2003 and 2005.

Grand Theft Auto V was developed by Rockstar North and published by Rockstar Games for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 17th, 2013. PC, Wii U, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One ports of the game are rumored.

Grand Theft Auto 5 Xbox 360 vs PS3 Faceoff

 
Xbox 360
PlayStation 3
Disk sizeDisc One: 7.7GB, Disc Two: 7.8GB17.4GB
Install7876MB (mandatory)8486MB (mandatory)
Surround soundDolby DigitalDolby Digital, 5.1 LPCM

Never a series short on ambition, Grand Theft Auto’s latest instalment brings to life one of the most beautiful and lavishly detailed sandbox worlds of the current generation. Long-time readers will recall that GTA4 represented a similar milestone moment in the showdown between PS3 and 360 back in 2008, with each version handling the newly-forged RAGE engine with unique visual trade-offs and Microsoft’s platform taking a lead in the performance stakes. Five years on it’s high tide for round two: the core engine work has seen great upheaval and the 49 virtual square miles of game world are impeccably presented on both platforms. Once again though there are key advantages to either side.

At its heart, RAGE is comprised of mostly in-house developed parts, from the animation engine and rendering framework to a bespoke scripting language – allowing developer Rockstar North to custom-tailor unique events for missions, and even design mini-games such as golf and tennis. But its core strength, stemming back to earlier iterations on PS2, is its ability to stream assets such as textures, buildings and oncoming vehicles seamlessly on memory-limited hardware. Level-of-detail scaling is used subtly, and in the case of thick, urban sprawls, skyscrapers act as occluders to allow culling of unseen geometry. Given the tight memory budgets of the PS3 and 360, tricks like these are crucial for keeping the game running at a fair clip, and to avoid abrupt pop-in.

For PS3 in particular, the technology has come a long way in harnessing the console’s notoriously finicky split-pool setup for RAM. The limitation evidently proved to be a roadblock for budgeting on the video memory side with GTA4, where the decision was made to render at a native resolution of 1152×640 – a 20 per cent cut-down compared to the Microsoft release. Thankfully this has now been addressed, and for the latest entry the PS3 version matches the 360′s full 1280×720 framebuffer. It looks gloriously clear, and image quality is now identical down to the pixel.

Thankfully Grand Theft Auto 5 synchronises the time of day before each major mission in a timelapse-style speed-up, though as always we’re at the mercy of the game’s simulated weather and randomised car placement.

It’s clear that, while each version of GTA4 offered a different look that befitted the technical limitations of each platform, now we have two versions that look very close indeed. The expensive 2x multi-sample anti-aliasing used on 360 is now gone, and so too is the PS3′s forceful blur filter – both releases now opting for a refined post-processing approach. The resulting image is minimal on blur, and very reminiscent of Rockstar’s Max Payne 3, covering all details such as geometry and alpha transparencies at minimal expense to tackle jagged edges. Dropping the Vaseline blur on PS3 stands as an especially big coup d’etat for image quality purists – something recognised by Rockstar itself during development of The Ballad of Gay Tony expansion, where it was axed outright. Similarly, we’re pleased to see the 360′s distinctive dithering artifacting has disappeared.

But, as with most late-generation Face-Offs, the best way to put differences into context is to start with the assumption that everything is otherwise the same. For Grand Theft Auto 5 this is very much the case – and overlooking some nitpicks, just about every single geometric detail and effect across Los Santos is like-for-like between PS3 and 360. However, there is one glaring contrast throughout our tests that can’t be ignored.

Grand Theft Auto IV – 11 Days Before Launch

The excitement is mounting. It’s now less than two weeks (11 days, in fact) until Grand Theft Auto V is released on the world. With new details revealed every day and nothing but positive reaction web-wide, you might be forgiven for thinking this could be one of the biggest games of all time. Any way you look at it, it’s kind of a big deal, right?

Go back to 2008 – 18th April 2008, to be precise – and you’ll see a very similar situation. The 18th was 11 days before Grand Theft Auto IV hit stores. What did we think? What were we talking about? What information were Rockstar trickling out?

I wanted to find out.

Grand Theft Auto IV Goes Gold

Take Two announced, 11 days before launch, that Grand Theft Auto IV had gone gold. This was marked by an interview on the Opie and Anthony show with writer Lazlow Jones, better known for his appearances on a variety of GTA radio stations. He spoke about the GTA IV’s 100 adverts, about the depth of the in-game internet and about how being shot in specific areas will affect Niko in different ways. His example was being shot in the leg causing Niko to limp…

Recording dialogue took a huge amount of time for Grand Theft Auto IV. Ten hours a day, five days a week for many weeks. It shows. The radio stuff in GTA IV is excellent, and, with a boost in focus on audio design for GTA V, I can only imagine things have been as busy again in the last few months.

The day before saw the launch of the Rockstar Social Club, a feature that had a few bugs to begin with but which, in the report linked above, seems to have been positively received. Skip forward a few years and it seems people groan a little about having to use it.

It Doesn’t Have Split-Screen

Stephen Tolito, still writing for MTV at the time, needed to stress that you wouldn’t be able to play Grand Theft Auto IV with a friend via split-screen.

Sorry, but the option is just not there. Players can go anywhere in “GTA IV”‘s massive city while in any of the multiplayer modes. I just can’t see how a single Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 could have been expected to render two different parts of Liberty City at once even in a half-screen size. That’s what many game makers tell me, too, when this topic comes up. For all horsepower of this new generation of hardware, split-screen is just something that doesn’t work. Not when the alternative — online one-system-per-TV gaming — is so easily achievable.
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Screenshot from GTA IV Single Player

Considering some of the things we’ve seen since GTA IV launched, perhaps it wasn’t entirely true that Liberty City, as it exists in the multiplayer mode, couldn’t have had two players playing it together. It’s also funny, considering the state of GTA IV’s multiplayer at times, that anybody would have ever called it an easier alternative.

You Don’t Have a Copy of GTA IV

Everybody on the internet was claiming to have a copy of GTA IV. EVERYBODY. If you were on a message board that at all had anything to do with GTA IV, you’d have come into one of the many fakes that ended up on YouTube.

The phenomenon became so widespread that GamesRadar’s Chris Antista ran a story about a particular case on their forums. He probably wishes he hasn’t.

Within five pages of the post above, you see a harmless joke explode into something else entirely. Ah, the internet of 2008. Completely different to that of today.

Microsoft Were Confident with their “Episodes”

March 2008 saw the Xbox 360 outsell the PS3, and part of the reason for that, Microsoft claimed, was because Xbox 360 was the place to play Grand Theft Auto IV.

From a post on GamesIndustry.biz:

“Whether it’s the results of online polls or data from pre-sells, consumers have made it clear that the benefits of Xbox Live and exclusive access to GTA IV episodic content are making Xbox 360 the chosen place to play GTA IV,” said the company. Microsoft sold 262,000 Xbox 360 consoles in March, compared to Sony’s 257,000 units. Despite the monthly spat between the two companies, Nintendo once again proved its home console dominance with over 720,000 units sold during the same period. Yesterday, Microsoft boasted that its marketing spend for the release of Grand Theft Auto IV wouldequal that of last year’s Halo 3.

Still, it seems to have worked.

Grand Theft Auto IV: Downloadable Cities

This is just a rumour, but did you know Rockstar are adding an entirely new city to Grand Theft Auto IV?

From CVG’s Grand Theft Auto IV Collectors Magazine (via Softpedia):

“Of course, to call games as vastly ambitious as Vice City or San Andreas mere ‘expansion packs’ seems childish, but nevertheless, the downloadable content (DLC) coming for the Xbox 360 version of IV has repositioned those games in just this way. DLC so far has meant the odd new car, jumper of bit of horse armour, but GTA IV is set to completely redefine the idea with expansions that are to GTA IV what Vice City or San Andreas were GTA III. Yes, Rockstar is clearly hinting at new downloadable cities; and the chances of them being London, Vice City or SA again are slim to none. So that’s new as in brand new. GTA IV’s Liberty City is the beginning. Think about that and be excited.”

The expansion packs did end up redefining Liberty City in many ways, but those changes were firmly set within the confines of the city. Where this one came from, well… we may never know.

Can We Catch STDs in GTA IV?

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Ricky Gervais at the comedy club in Algonquin, Liberty City

Some people wanted to see working petrol stations, others wanted to be able to spend actual time in jail. One person at GamesFAQs was desperate to catch herpes. Apparently there are things you really can’t do on your own.

Ricky Gervais To Make an Appearance

Back when Ricky Gervais was described as a “British comedian” and Karl Pilkington needed a wikipedia link so that people knew exactly who he was, Gervais let slip that he was involved in the new GTA game. Ars Technica covered the story on the 18th.

“It’s a first—which always interests me…” said Gervais, “Games have outsold Hollywood for the past few years so it’s nice to be a small part of that.”

Give it up for ZiT

What a small world it is. Back on April 18th 2008, Steven Van Eekeren found something he liked the sound of. ZiT Music is such an odd service out of context as you’re playing, although it makes a little more sense when you learn its connection to MP3s.

With ZiT Music Service, simply dial ZIT-555-0100 from anywhere in Liberty City whenever you hear a song you’re into and that song will be tagged for purchase later via the Rockstar Social Club and Amazon MP3.

Things You Could Do Instead of Install

Microsoft weren’t only confident about the Episodes in 2008. There had been some negativity surrounding the PS3 install time for GTA IV and Microsoft PR decided to take advantage of the situation.

They sent out the following email, made public by VG24/7. For an extra interesting read, check out the comments. 2008 was a time when Xbox 360 was winning.

With the OXM review hitting streets today, and your own preview impressions which are looking great, hopefully you’ll all be a bit wiser as to the ins and outs of GTA IV now. I’m sure you’ve all seen the chatter from the 1up GTA IV Preview on the PS3 install time….just a few thoughts on what you could do in this time if you were actually playing the 360 version from the moment you insert the disc….

· Steal your first dozen or so cars and test out the improved vehicle handling?

· Check out the cool features on your mobile phone?

· Rack up a 5 Star Wanted Rating?

· Have a blast of your first MP game on Xbox LIVE?

· Ditch the tracksuit chic and buy some new clothes?

· Unlock your first GTA IV Achievement and boost your Gamerscore?

….Or just start downloading a film from Xbox LIVE Video Store to watch later – check out the latest batch of arrivals this weekend!

The OXM Review Hit Streets

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Selecting character model in multiplayer

There was a lot of news, 11 days before the official release of Grand Theft Auto IV, but there was also a pretty long-awaited review. OXM gave Grand Theft Auto a 10/10 (“naturally,” one of the few original write-ups says). Utterly stunning in every respect might be fair, but I’m thinking the comparison between GTA IV’s choices and Bioshock’s might go a little far…

Conclusion

I’ve been playing Grand Theft Auto IV again in recent weeks, and it’s amazing to play it knowing how close we were to the cusp of a digital revolution. Jokes about phones that can take pictures and how agonizingly slow text messaging is… They still remain funny, but only because you can place them into the context of 2008. The world has changed so much in five years, but the denizens of the internet have not. They still get excited about every new piece of information, they still discuss and debate over every little thing and Microsoft and Sony fans will never just be able to get on.

Reading through all of this is also quite worrying. To see the feverish defence of any little complaint in comment sections. Knocking Grand Theft Auto IV is pretty widely accepted now, and I wonder how much of this excitement will remain when the flaws in Grand Theft Auto V inevitably come out. Will the excitement remain long enough to make GTA V another best seller or will, like Bioshock, Tomb Raider and The Last of Us before it, that same excitement give way to honest critique and even slight disappointment.

With only 11 days to go, it won’t take long for us to find out.

This 3D Map of Grand Theft Auto 5 is Awesome

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Fans of the Grand Theft Auto series have put together what appears to be a map of Los Santos in the upcoming Grand Theft Auto 5 game from Rockstar.

The map is unlike existing maps of the game in that it’s rendered entirely in 3D with all the topographical features of the terrain in Los Santos.

Grand Theft Auto 5 is slated for a September 17, 2013 release on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and represents years of hard work from Rockstar.

New Releases For The Month Of September

What’s going on gamers! So summer is officially over and school is back in session. But one thing that reminds the same are the new video games coming this month. Here are the new video game releases for the month of September.

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