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6 More Tips to Help You Get Ahead in The Witcher 3

May 22, 2015 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt offers both a solid gaming challenge and myriad activities – which together make for a seriously in-depth and compelling experience. So you can make the most of your time with the game and stay one step ahead of all the monsters and ghosts trying to kill you, we’ve got some more tips for you (in addition to the pointers we gave you earlier this week!).

All I Do Is Quen
Quen is an extremely useful Sign at Geralt’s disposal, providing him a one-hit shield against nearly all enemy attacks. Before any major battle – or really anytime you see an enemy in the distance – cast Quen on yourself. You’ll start your fight with a shield and a full stamina bar, so you’re free to use other Signs.

Dodge, Dip, Dive, Duck, Dodge, and Roll
Geralt has two quick ways to avoid attacks: a sidestepping dodge, or a bigger rolling leap. While the dodge should be your go to move, there are certain enemies, and attacks that will require a full roll to avoid, or to maneuver yourself for a counterattack. Practice early in the game so you can learn the timing.

Heal Yeah
If you’re playing on either of the two highest difficulties (we recommend “Blood and Broken Bones” for a nice challenge), Geralt won’t restore his health while meditating. Not a big deal; you can keep food and potions on hand. But there’s also an ability – Suns and Stars – which causes Geralt’s health to recharge while he’s out of combat. It can make all the difference when you’re lost in monster-filled woods, far from a fast travel point.

Your New Friends: Matthew Parry and Matt LeBlock
Holding down LT makes Geralt block; tapping LT just before an enemy attacks results in a parry. We get that you might want to go all-out on attacking the ghouls and goblins, but you gotta use these if you want to survive. While the timing on parries is a bit trickier, it’s worth learning – a parry can often send an enemy crashing to the ground, leaving them open for an instant kill. Even without parrying, the block trigger is crucial for keeping large groups of enemies from tearing you to pieces.

Save the Quest for Last
It will serve you well to complete many side-quests and bounty missions during your journey, to earn both experience and money. But don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content in here; if you want to push ahead in the story, and feel strong enough to do so, go for it. Most of the quests are available to play in the endgame, and the few aren’t will alert you before they become unavailable.

Upgrade the Roach Coach
Roach is Geralt’s faithful-but-skittish horse. You’ll use him a lot, mostly to traverse the absurdly large environment. He’s also upgradeable, and when you have the money to spare, you should spend it on your horse. Upgrading his saddle bags lets you carry more items, and blinders keep Roach from getting too …read more

From Hollywood Star to Racing Star

May 22, 2015 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

Memorial Day Weekend is often considered one of the biggest weekends in all of motorsport, with the Monaco Grand Prix (Formula One), The Indy 500 (Indy Car) and the Coca-Cola 600 (NASCAR) all taking place on Sunday. What better way to celebrate the biggest weekend in racing than by watching a film about one of the most well-known, but unlikely, racing drivers of all time?

Starting today, “Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman” is available on
Xbox Video for rental and purchase. The film was co-directed by comedian, TV host, and avid vintage car collector and racer Adam Carolla and Nate Adams. The feature-length documentary film brings to light the history and success that Oscar-winning actor Paul Newman had behind the wheel, becoming a four-time national Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) champion among other successes. When filming the 1969 movie “Winning” about a race driver’s climb to prominence, he and co-star Robert Wagner were trained in performance driving and racing technique by the famed Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving. Newman immediately caught the racing bug and went on to compete off-screen, racing in into his 80s.

Forza Motorsport
is not only a partner with the Bondurant School, but was also a proud partner of the film’s premiere in Los Angeles last month. To learn more about the “Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman” read Forza Motorsport’s interview with Adam Carolla or watch the trailer and the film itself on Xbox Video. …read more

The Witcher 3 Gives You Even More Ways to Fight

May 21, 2015 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

If you’re already familiar with The Witcher – the vast, open-world action-role-playing game series from CD Projekt RED, you know that options are the name of the game. The series has always blended swords, sorcery, stealth, and sweet-talking, along with a bunch of other activities, to offer a wide-ranging, ever-evolving suite of gameplay. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – newly released on Xbox One this week – takes what the previous titles have done, keeps the great stuff, revamps the good stuff, and adds a whole mess of new stuff that pushes the sense of “there-ness” to just this side of reality.

First and foremost is the new fighting system. Revamped from previous titles, main character Geralt of Rivia maintains the use of his two swords (though he only wields one at a time), but an improved locking-on mechanism and more responsive controls allow for faster-paced fights while maintaining tactical complexity. Geralt uses moves based on actual medieval swordfighting maneuvers, and players can maintain subtle control over the position of his wrists, his footwork, and what kinds of stances he puts himself into. Of course, Geralt can also employ the Witcher universe’s magical signs at the press of a button, blasting enemies with flames or pushing them backward. The environment plays a part in the fighting now, too, with Geralt able to use environmental hazards to harry his foes or even outright kill them.

But environmental hazards aren’t Geralt’s only combat allies in The Witcher 3. New to this series is horseback combat, which allows Geralt to fight from the safety (theoretically) of a trusty steed. Whether armed with a polearm or a sword – again, using moves sourced directly from experts on medieval warfare – Geralt is a terror on his horse, able to lay waste to whole bands of ruffians with relative ease… or make quick hit-and-run attacks on tougher foes.

To help you find (or avoid) those foes, The Witcher 3 also incorporates the new “Witcher Sense” vision mode, which triggers Geralt’s preternatural senses. Witcher Sense is more a tracking assistant than the X-ray vision you get in some games – it shows the trails of Geralt’s foes (or other nearby folks), and allows him to stalk them, stealth kill them, or avoid them as needed. Alongside the game’s robust combat options, Witcher Sense means players have a whole variety of ways to approach challenges.

On top of all this, The Witcher 3 features a fleshed-out traversal system that the developers have likened to parkour: Geralt can move quickly through and over obstacles, climb rapidly, slide under or through gaps, and make a beeline through crowds. He can also swim now, including diving straight down and exploring the depths – something that’s entirely new to The Witcher, and presents new avenues for Geralt to explore his environment. Oh, and the game includes crossbows. Thwack!

It’s clear that the developers at CD Projekt RED spent a ton of time adding tons of great content to the world of The Witcher 3 …read more

5 Reasons We’re Still Loving Destiny

May 21, 2015 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

With this week’s release of Destiny‘s second expansion, House of Wolves, Bungie’s massively multiplayer online shooter has even more content to lure us back into the fight against the Darkness. Check out some of the reasons we’re just as enthralled with Destiny as ever.

The Story Continues
While the previous expansion, The Dark Below, focused on the Hive and their god Crota, House of Wolves is all about the Awoken and Fallen. Told through two perspectives, it’s a story about mutinies and a queen’s treasure, lending itself to bounty missions that take you all over the map. We really like the two narrators and their differing perspectives. It rounds out even more of the narrative and mythos of the world, in a way we haven’t seen before.

The Crucible Gets Real
The Crucible is fun, and a nice change of pace from the Destiny single-player and co-op modes, and it’s even better now that House of Wolves has dropped. The new update to Destiny (free to everyone) doubles the amount of Marks and Reputation players earn in the Crucible, and adds a ton of more loot drops – including Motes of Light and Legendary equipment. There are even new daily rewards just for playing The Crucible!

New Ways to Kill Each Other
House of Wolves adds even more player-versus-player content to Destiny in the form of three new Crucible maps, a new Crucible mode, and an entirely new PvP mode, “Trials of Osiris,” – the most challenging and most rewarding mode in the game. Playing the Elimination rounds in “Trials of Osiris” takes a massive amount of skill (and two trustworthy teammates), but the rewards are definitely worth it.

Rare Gear Keeps Us Addicted
House of Wolves offers the ability to upgrade weapons and gear to level 34. On top of that, new Exotic gear and weapons are available for all classes. Plus, “Trials of Osiris” offers its own unique gear to earn as you push toward 34, and it’s pretty slick. Whether you’re upgrading your existing stuff or going for the new gear, you now have plenty of opportunity to get stronger.

Prison of Elders Brings a New Endgame Experience
Prison of Elders is a wave-based arena mode that players who complete House of Wolves can jump into. Escaped criminals come in waves, challenging groups of Guardians to take them down in succession. You’ll have to complete objectives while you’re trying to survive… so strap in for a major challenge.

There’s still a ton to do in Destiny, and with the new modes and tweaked features, it might be time to try out one of the modes you don’t play as often. Bungie has added a lot of new content that will challenge even the most skilled Guardians. So grab your Ghost, and get to the Reef! …read more

5 Beginner’s Tips for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

May 21, 2015 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has finally arrived. It’s deep, it’s fascinating, it’s gorgeous – and it’s huge. There’s so very much to do in this game, and even the most fundamental systems are so rich and complex that any strategy guide could go on for days. But for those of you looking to jump into the world of The Witcher 3 as quickly as possible, these five basic tips will help you perform better in any situation.

1) Take Your Time
Many role-playing games these days tend to increase the challenge of the main quest or story in time with the progression of the player. Some even scale the difficulty dynamically, so that no individual element is too challenging at any given point. Wild Hunt takes a more old-school approach. The main quest line can move you very quickly into areas populated by enemies far beyond Geralt’s level, so you need to prepare yourself. You don’t need to worry about “grinding,” but you should do a bit of exploring before each next phase of the main plot (the game helpfully points out a suggested level for every quest, so it’s easy to see if you might be getting in over your head). Fortunately, there is a ton to do in every huge area of this massive game, from side-quests to undiscovered points of interest to simply freelance beast-slaying.

2) Wander
On a similar note, just as you don’t want to stick too closely to the main story path, you don’t want to stick too closely to the literal paths that crisscross The Continent. It’s nice to be able to hop onto a well-trodden road and let your trusty steed Roach auto-pilot you to your destination, but you’ll miss a lot if you don’t head into the interior, too. One area in the starting area of White Orchard, for example, contains a settlement overrun by ghouls. Exterminate them, and the original settlers will come back… and bring their grindstone, which will lay a nice buff on your swords. And you’ll pretty much only find places of power by heading off the beaten path; these places boost one of your magical Signs – and award an ability point to upgrade Geralt’s skills.

3) Meditate
Most RPGs feature a potion system for topping off health, and some feature a rest or camp system for bigger benefits. Wild Hunt‘s Meditate mechanic does even more: Not only will it recharge your vitality (i.e. health) and stamina, meditating also replenishes any of your potions, as long as you have some Strong Alcohol on hand. Furthermore, it’s a great way to advance time if you’re waiting for something in particular – or if you just don’t like roaming around in the dark. And note that can meditate just about anywhere you can stand up; as long as you’re not in combat, you should be able to take a quick breather. Even the shortest period of meditation will refresh you fully.

4) Take Combat Seriously
Combat in Wild Hunt is real-time, and it can …read more

New Xbox Features Now Available in Preview

May 21, 2015 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

The Xbox experience across devices is becoming more robust this week as we begin to roll out a host of new features. You’ll notice some old favorites—like avatars—making a comeback, and brand new features—like testing streaming—setting the stage for bigger things to come. Let’s jump in!

Xbox on Windows 10

Here’s a closer look at the great new features coming to Xbox on Windows 10 with this month’s Xbox app preview:

  • Avatars – You can now download and launch the Avatars app from within the Xbox app. To do this, from your profile, select Customize > Customize your avatar. If the Avatars app is not installed, you will be directed to the Windows Store (Beta) to install it. After the app is installed, select Customize > Customize your avatar to launch the Avatars app and edit, dress up, and buy new items for your avatar. There is a new color picker that pops up as a horizontal toolbar for colorable items, which allows you to choose between different items and colors, without having to bounce back and forth between pages.

  • Friends updates – We’re making it easier to add friends, designate them as favorites and share your name from the Xbox app. Click on a friend’s profile in your friends list and click on More > Change friendship to make them a favorite, or from anyone’s profile to add them as a friend. The friends list will now also show you which of your friends are in a party, playing multiplayer games, or broadcasting. You can also now report or block people from the Xbox app.
  • Game hubs – Similar to Xbox One, you can now view the game hub for an Xbox One game and view the activity feed curated by the game’s community manager. Click on any game tile, under Home > Recently played or elsewhere in the Xbox app, and you will be taken to the game hub. There you can also see friends who have played the game, your achievement progress and more easily get the details on the game’s achievements.
  • Game DVR – You can now alter the keyboard shortcuts used for opening the Game Bar, starting and stopping recording, taking screenshots, and more. Select Settings > Game DVR > Keyboard shortcuts to make changes. Highlight the Your shortcut box and use your desired new key combination to create your new shortcut. Also, you can now view and manage your cloud-based game clips from the Xbox app by selecting Game DVR > Shared.
  • Testing streaming – The Xbox team needs your help in providing information about your PC’s performance and connectivity characteristics as we prepare to enable game streaming from Xbox One to Windows 10 PCs. To do this, connect your Xbox One to your Windows 10 PC using the Xbox app: from the Connect menu, select …read more

Need for Speed Returns in an Action Driving Experience That Unites the Culture of Speed

May 21, 2015 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

Need for Speed Returns in an Action Driving Experience That Unites the Culture of Speed …read more

Xbox One Special Edition Halo: The Master Chief Collection Bundle Comes to the U.S.

May 20, 2015 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

For a limited time, Xbox fans in the U.S. can get their hands on an Xbox One Special Edition Halo: The Master Chief Collection Bundle featuring a sleek, Cirrus White Xbox One console and wireless controller. The bundle also comes packed with a digital download code for Halo: The Master Chief Collection – the essential Halo fan experience that features the Master Chief’s complete story through four free Halo games: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3 and Halo 4. Best of all, it’s all available for ERP $349 in the U.S.

Later this month, this Xbox One Special Edition Halo: The Master Chief Collection Bundle will be available in limited quantities for a limited time at participating U.S. retailers while supplies last so once they’re all gone, they’re all gone! Check with your local retailers for more details and be sure to grab yours before it’s too late. …read more

Over-the-Air TV Tuner Available Now for Xbox One in the U.S. and Canada

May 20, 2015 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

Today, we’re excited to deliver one of the most requested live TV features on Xbox Feedback to our fans. All Xbox One owners in the U.S. and Canada can now enjoy over-the-air TV alongside their gameplay with the Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner for Xbox One. Support for over-the-air TV on Xbox One means you can access broadcast networks available in your area, subscription free, and, in true Xbox One fashion, without having to worry about switching inputs between your games and TV. The tuner joins a number of TV-viewing options currently available to Xbox One, including live TV apps such as Sling TV, an impressive lineup of on-demand apps like HBO GO, Netflix, Comedy Central, and Hulu Plus, and cable TV and satellite TV integration.

With the Hauppauge TV Tuner for Xbox One and an HDTV antenna, Xbox One owners can look forward to a variety of useful features, such as the ability to pause up to 30 minutes of live TV, watch TV on the right side of your screen while playing games with Snap, and navigate channels using Kinect voice controls. Additionally, users can stream over-the-air TV to other devices within the home using the Xbox app on Windows 10 devices or the Xbox One SmartGlass app on Windows, Windows Phone, iOS and Android, even while someone else is playing a game on Xbox One. Users can even change channels remotely using OneGuide without disrupting gameplay on the TV. Over-the-air TV integrates with OneGuide, storing all of your favorite content in one place. Check out our recent announcement for full details on available features with over-the-air TV.

An over-the-air TV bundle, including a Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner for Xbox One and a Mohu Leaf 50 antenna, is now available exclusively at your local Microsoft store and at microsoftstore.com for $99.99 – a $30 savings. The tuner is also available separately for $59.99 at Microsoft stores and Amazon. Before purchasing the TV tuner or over-the-air bundle, remember to visit gomohu.com/xbox to check which channels are available in your area and find the HDTV antenna that’s right for you. For more information on how to set up your tuner and antenna with Xbox One, check out Major Nelson’s how-to video or go to Xbox Support.

From over-the-air TV to industry-leading apps, we’re thrilled to deliver a variety of entertainment experiences on Xbox One side-by-side with your gameplay. Grab your TV tuner today at participating retailers and start watching Over-the-Air TV on your Xbox One.


…read more

Forza Horizon 2 Pre-Order Car Pack Available Now on Xbox One

May 19, 2015 By: Sniper Category: Whats Up?

The Forza Horizon 2 Pre-Order Car Pack has arrived on Xbox One. Previously only available exclusively to Forza fans who pre-ordered Forza Horizon 2, these four amazing cars can now be yours. The pack includes two dream rides from Italy – the 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP-570-4 Superleggera and the 2008 Ferrari California – and a pair of amazing examples of German engineering in the 2013 BMW M6 Coupe and the 2013 Audi RS 4 Avant.

The
Forza Horizon 2 Pre-Order Car Pack on Xbox One is now available via the Xbox Live Store for $4. Here’s a closer look at the cars in the pack:

2011 Lamborghini Gallardo LP-570-4 Superleggera
Superleggera translates to “super light.” This Gallardo weighs in at around 3,400 pounds, and while that is far from super light, it is some 154 pounds lighter compared to a standard LP-560-4. That lightness comes from the use of carbon fiber and lots of it. The engine cover, the diffuser, the side skirts, the mirrors and much of the interior are all carbon fiber. Aluminum wheels and titanium lug nuts account for a few pounds dropped as well. The Superleggera produces 10 more horsepower due to a retune and added air flow via its larger intake nostrils. Improved air flow also increases downforce, making this Bull stickier than ever. The Superleggera is for the discerning Lamborghini driver who wants everything the Gallardo LP-560-4 offers, and less where you want less and more where you want more.

2013 BMW M6 Coupe
Among the tight competition in the sport touring class, the M6 Coupe holds its own. Harkening to its roots as an agile coupe powered by the same motor as the M1, the new M6 takes the heart of the original and adapts it to the current market. Astounding acceleration at any speed can be found under the right pedal thanks to the voracious twin-turbo V8 that kicks out 560 horsepower. Torque is felt immediately throughout powerband, so whether you are proving the M6’s worth off the line or disappearing into the sunset, all you need do is ask and you shall receive. While this M6 is no lightweight, it is lithe and dexterous in the cornering department. The sub-frame is bolted directly to the body, creating stiffness and an electronically-controlled differential instantly adapts to keep power to the ground. This ultimate touring machine is ready to demonstrate its inbred performance on any track.

2008 Ferrari California
When Ferrari decided to create a new drop-top grand touring car, they revived the California moniker from fast convertibles of years past and introduced a Ferrari first: a retractable hardtop that allows for high-speed cruising, rain or shine. Another innovation for Ferrari is the engine, which debuts a direct-injection system that allows for higher compression, meaning more power and better fuel economy. It’s essentially the same V8 that’s found in the F430 coupe, but the California puts it up front, behind the axle for superior handling and packaging. The California is no slouch, because with 454 horsepower …read more