Understanding The Story And Gameplay Of Assassin's Creed Rogue

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Last year's Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag was an odd entry in the series. Some players praised the game for its emphasis on freedom and exploration, while others longed for the more narrative-focused, city-based gameplay of previous entries. This year, Ubisoft is hoping to appease both ends of the spectrum by releasing Assassin's Creed Rogue for the PS3 and Xbox 360 and Assassin's Creed Unity for the new generation. Assassin's Creed Rogue, developed primarily by Ubisoft Sofia (the team behind Assassin's Creed III: Liberation), is built on the tech that brought us Black Flag and has players sailing around the river valley off the coast of North America and exploring the icy North Atlantic. We spoke to the game's narrative designer, Richard Farrese, and the brand content manager for the entire series, Jean Guesdon, about what it means to play as an Assassin turned Templar.

Watch the video below to learn more about the exploration in the game, hear music from Rogue, and get hints about the game's mysterious tie into Assassin's Creed Unity.

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Why Smite Is A Huge Score For Xbox

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At Gamescom 2014 it was announced that Hi-Rez Studios’ free-to-play third-person MOBA Smite would be coming to Xbox One. It was revealed alongside a smattering of other excellent titles, but it may be the most significant of the batch. Why? Consoles need a MOBA, and while there have been attempts to stick the popular PC genre in the console space, Smite has qualities that make it a perfect fit.

Isometric, top-down MOBAs that are rooted in the RTS beginnings of the genre can be awkward to control with a controller. There are tons of abilities and activated items to keep tabs on, auxiliary units to control, and most important, the constant moving of the screen to keep the action focused. This is accomplished by keyboard or mouse dragging on PC, and it’s an unneeded part of the process thanks to the unique third-person shooter feel that Smite brings to the table. It’s going to be easy to translate the action to a console perspective, and this will help Smite immensely.

The console space has room for a big ticket MOBA, and although Dota 2 and League of Legends may rule the PC scene with droves of newcomers looking to break into the genre, those titles will be much tougher to translate to the control schemes and style of the console. Smite already plays perfect with console control schemes and sensibilities.

Which Controller Is The Loudest? Sounding Off On Controller Noise

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Which Controller Is The Loudest? Sounding Off On Controller Noise

Recently, while making my way through Infamous Second Son as the rest of my household was asleep, I could distinctly hear my controller echoing through the house. It wasn't from the speaker built into the controller I always forget is there that periodically emits noise to remind you of its existence, but rather the clicking of the shoulder buttons. It seemed louder than any controller I could recall. The same seemed true of the Xbox One controller. In a silent house with the television volume turned low, I felt like I could hear the clicking of buttons and tapping of control sticks more than I could in the past. I decided to take initiative and find out if the latest controllers were truly louder, or if I was just imaging things.

To do this, I looked around to find a recommended decibel-measuring application to download for my phone. I landed on Decibel 10th, which you can find here. While useful for my purposes, it is not a perfect measurement of sound that a professional device would offer. Understand that this data is not perfect, but it does offer a good idea of which controllers make the most noise, from the NES' rectangular square controller, to latest speaker-enhanced controllers of today like the PlayStation 4's.

The first thing to measure was the background sounds from the quiet room I hid away inside of to perform my experiments.

Test Chamber – Tales Of Xillia 2

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Test Chamber – Tales Of Xillia 2

Tales of Xillia 2 hits store shelves today. What better time to see the game in action?

Bandai Namco has delighted RPG fans over the years with its charming Tales series. Tales of Xillia 2 picks up a year after the events of the first game, letting you see how the worlds and characters have grown. New to the cast are Ludger and Elle who have a mysterious connection that leads the Xillia gang on a bigger journey. Expect all the RPG staples: exploration, customization, and party bonding along with Tales' hallmark action battle system. Our review went live recently, but we wanted to give you a taste of the game in action.

Join editors Kyle Hilliard and Kimberley Wallace as they explore Elympios, test out combat, discuss what makes this entry tick, and let you know how kittens play a role in the journey. 

What EA Sports Games Could Learn From Each Other

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What EA Sports Games Could Learn From Each Other

EA Sports developers often talk about the benefit of being able to share technology from one EA team to another. Whether its the upcoming PGA Tour title using DICE's Frostbite 3 engine or Madden and FIFA both using the Ignite engine, there's an advantage of having shared resources. Naturally, this applies to features too. What ideas from one EA Sports title would benefit another?

Features like Ultimate Team thrive in different sports (it originated in EA Sports' UEFA Champions League 2006-07, but is everywhere now), and series like NCAA and Madden have historically had a close feature sets with each other. While we certainly wouldn't want to have every EA Sports title identical to each other and not all sports are the same, there are ways that each franchise could benefit from the others.

This is list is by no means exhaustive, so please feel free to add your suggestions in the comments section below.

Tagline Teardown: Improving The Trailers From Gamescom 2014

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Tagline Teardown: Improving The Trailers From Gamescom 2014

Gamescom 2014 wrapped up this past weekend, and our eyes are only starting to recover from watching all the trailers. We couldn't help but notice that a lot of them ended with taglines – some good, some not so great. We're nothing if not helpful, so here are our suggestions on how they could have been improved.

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DestinyThe Tagline: Become LegendTeardown: Let’s ignore the fact that this sounds like something a caveman would say. In Bungie’s MMO shooter, you’re in a world that’s densely populated with people all vying for glory. And they all happen to be the chosen ones, too (or so we think). While it’s good to have goals, you probably aren’t going to rise to straight-up legendary status in Destiny. Sorry, space warlock.
Suggested Replacement: Become A Legend
Alternate Suggested Replacement: Be A Shooty Guy In Space

Can Assassin's Creed Unity Pull Off A Love Story?

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Can Assassin's Creed Unity Pull Off A Love Story?

We've already focused on the new gameplay that can be found in Assassin's Creed Unity, but for last week we wanted to highlight the game's story. You can learn much more about the characters of Arno and Elise in our dedicated profiles that we posted. While visiting Ubisoft Montreal for our September cover story, we spoke with creative director Alex Amancio about the difficulty of creating a love story within a game. Pulling from examples like Ico and Passage, Amancio and his team are attempting to make the bond between Elise and Arno front and center in the minds of players. Be sure to post a comment below with your thoughts on the team's approach and whether other games you've played have successfully tackled a love story.

Watch the interview below to learn more about Amancio's thoughts on the difficulty of pulling together an in-game love story.

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2014’s Upcoming Wii U Games

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2014’s Upcoming Wii U Games

With major titles like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. coming this year to Wii U, we decided to pull together everything that we know of that's slated for 2014. The following list will be updated and amended throughout the year. If you something confirmed for 2014 release that's not on our list, please let us know.

Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes - September 23This year's installment focuses on Marvel Comics' pantheon of heroes. It will be out this fall.

Hyrule Warriors - September 26We still have some time before a proper Zelda title on Wii U, but this gives us a taste of Hyrule. 

2014's Upcoming Xbox One Games

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2014's Upcoming Xbox One Games

Sure, streaming, television, and video recording are great features to have in a console platform. They aren’t what gets you to open your wallet and bring home an expensive piece of gaming hardware. We’ve heard your pleas. You want games.

That’s why we’ve put together a quick rundown of the games to look forward to. We'll continue to update this list, and if you see something missing, please let us know. Here is everything we know that's planned for the Xbox One in 2014.

Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition - August 19The Xbox One version of Diablo III will include the Reaper of Souls expansion and new social features not currently found in the PC original. If you’ve been playing on Xbox 360, you’ll also be able to port your character over and keep playing.