Upcoming role-playing game Dragon Age: Inquisition does not let you directly import saves from past games, but a free service called Dragon Age Keep provides a nice workaround.
We've already heard lots about Dragon Age Keep, but BioWare today launched a beta for the platform and released a video (above) that aims to get you up to speed with how it all works.
The free web app (available on PC and consoles), allows players to create a customized Dragon Age historical world state, which carries over choices made in Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II. Dragon Age Keep lets players make over 300 key decisions so that you can "recreate your story" however you see fit.
Dragon Age Keep offers something of a questionnaire that covers choices made in the first two Dragon Age games. Your choices play out as part of an "animated journey" through a special series narrated by Inquisition companion Varric Tethras.
"Dragon Age Keep is an opportunity for players who are both new to the franchise and those who have played past games to forge the key moments in the lore, creating a personalized and customized experience when Inquisition launches starting on November 18," BioWare Edmonton and Montreal general manager Aaryn Flynn said in a statement.
You can get started with Dragon Age Keep today through its website.
Inquisition is coming to Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. You can listen to the game's epic theme song right now.
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Following the release of the free Power of Shadow downloadable content pack, Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor developer Monolith revealed the first full expansion for its game: called Lord of the Hunt.
Due out later this year, and part of the game's $25 season pass, Lord of the Hunt introduces the new Beastmaster Warchief into the game. From a press release, "Talion will join Torvin the Dwarven Hunter and use his powers of Domination to turn these menacing new beasts against the Warchiefs, proving that Mordor cannot be tamed."
According to the press release, the expansion will bring "hours of new gameplay" and will introduce:
While that gives us an overview, representatives from Monolith also answered a few of our questions about the DLC below.
GameSpot: How much freedom do you have to add content within the Nemesis system? If we've already dominated all the Warchiefs in Mordor, how are the new Beastmaster Warchiefs seeded into the hierarchy?
Monolith: The Lord of the Hunt has an entirely new and separate Hierarchy, and the Warchiefs have new abilities including riding the Caragaths and Wretched Graugs, that make them a fresh challenge.
How do mounted Warchiefs have their weakness, fear, and strength statistics allocated? Are entirely new stats created for them?
When you are mounted, you need to dismount them at the first stage of the fight. They are not all focused on mounted combat, some of them specialize in killing your mounts.
Does Talion's entire move set find some form of effectiveness against mounted Warchiefs? (It would probably be really awkward to Shadow Strike a Warchief on top of a moving Graug.)
You’re right, you can’t Shadow Strike him while he’s mounted. What’s fun is not only facing the mounted Warchiefs, but using the new beast abilities against them, whether it’s stalking them like a panther on the Caragath, projectile vomiting on them from the back of the Wretched Graug, or turning their Ghul army against them.
How different are these new monsters, functionally? Are they more than just re-skins with new abilities?
They are certainly more than reskins, they are new models with new skins and new abilities and they offer new gameplay. The Wretched Graug with the ability to projectile vomit is basically a tank, and the Caragath gives you mounted stealth allowing you to stalk and hunt your prey while riding.
Do you see the game's environment and the Nemesis system existing as something of a standalone platform to allow for future content to slot into it?
Currently we’re focusing on two main standalone DLCs: the Lord of the Hunt which adds the Beasts into the mix and The Bright Lord which lets you battle Sauron at the height of his military power in the Second Age.
What do you think? Is this enough content to bring you into the game if you've already finished exploring Mordor? Let us know in the comments below.
Xbox maker Microsoft has announced Microsoft Band, a heath-focused wearable device that comes with the tagline: "Leave your phone in your pocket, and miss nothing." The $200 device, which was rumored last week, is available to buy today through Microsoft's website.
In terms of health features, you can use Microsoft Band during workouts to track reps and calories burned (it even features built-in GPS to track routes you've walked, biked, or hiked). The device also features 24-hour heart rating monitoring and a sleep tracking option that will give you a detailed report when you wake up of how long you slept and your quality of rest.
It can determine how often you wake during the night, the duration of deep or light sleep, and your average heart rate per hour during slumber.
The Microsoft Band can also measure the intensity of the sun, informing you what type of sunscreen you should apply before heading outside.
On the productivity side, Microsoft Band will give you email alerts ("so you don't have to pull out your phone in the middle of lunch") and it can also sync with your calendar to give you a heads-up about meetings or other important events you don't want to miss. Microsoft Band is also voice-enabled, allowing users to speak directly to Microsoft's Cortana voice service, though this is only available on Windows Phone devices.
Microsoft Band will also display text messages when they come in, allowing you to quickly read them and reply with a simple, auto-generated message if you want. The device also will show you who is calling.
As for battery life, the Microsoft Band should last for 48 hours on a single charge, Microsoft says, though this depends on how often you use it and which apps you have enabled--GPS is a battery hog, for example. The device can be fully charged in 90 minutes, or 80 percent charged in 30 minutes.
The Microsoft Band must be paired with a smartphone for the initial setup, but after that, you can still access some of the fitness functionality (steps, calories burned, heart rate, etc.) without having a phone tied to the device. More details are available on Microsoft's website.
Microsoft Band is compatible with Microsoft's own Windows Phones (of course), as well as third-party devices such as the iPhone and various Android phones. The device comes in three sizes: small, medium, and large. For more on Microsoft Band, check out this page.
In September, iPhone giant Apple announced the Apple Watch, which features some of the same functionality as the Microsoft Band. The Apple Watch, however, starts at $350 and doesn't launch until 2015.
For more on Microsoft Band, check out GameSpot sister site CNET's in-depth coverage.
Ubisoft's upcoming ambitious open-world racing game The Crew does not launch until December, but some Xbox One and PlayStation 4 users can play it next week.
The publisher has announced that a second beta for The Crew will be held on both platforms November 6-10. It is a closed beta, but there are multiple ways to get in. You can either preorder the game to guarantee yourself a place in the beta (North America only), or you can put your name on the waitlist at The Crew's website right here.
The beta will let players race through the entire United States, Ubisoft says, though they can only complete challenges in two of the five regions available in the full game: the Midwest and East Coast. The Crew's beta will also offer competitive races, where players can enter PvP lobbies to go head-to-head with other real-world racers.
Customization options are also available in the beta, though they are limited to the Street and Dirt spec classes. In the full game, a total of five spec classes will be available.
Ubisoft says The Crew's closed beta is available to all Xbox Live and PlayStation Network players, though "some online features" require an Xbox Live gold or PlayStation Plus membership.
The first closed beta for The Crew was held in September on Xbox One and PS4, while PC players got to try the game even earlier. The Crew is also coming to Xbox 360, but Ubisoft has not announced plans to offer a beta on that platform. A PlayStation 3 version of The Crew is not in the works.
The upcoming beta is not the only way to play The Crew ahead of launch, as the racing game is currently out on a college football tour across the United States.
For more on The Crew, which launches December 2 across all platforms, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.
Veteran film director James Cameron is not impressed with virtual reality technology like Oculus Rift. During a recent Wall Street Journal event in California, the Titanic and Avatar director said he doesn't see the appeal of Oculus Rift, at least not yet.
"There seems to be a lot of excitement around something that, to me, is a yawn, frankly," he said, as chronicled by The Hollywood Reporter. Cameron, like other high-profile entertainment figures before him, questions the broad appeal of Oculus Rift.
"If you want to move through a virtual reality it’s called a video game, it's been around forever" -- James Cameron
"The question that always occurred to me is, when is it going to be mature, when is it going to be accepted by the public at large, when are people going to start authoring in VR, and what will that be?" Cameron said.
He also said that he has not yet seen a VR application that allows the user to do much more than look around a virtual world--video games have done this for long time now, he said.
"What will the level of interactivity with the user be other than just 'I can stand and look around,'" he said, adding: "If you want to move through a virtual reality it’s called a video game, it's been around forever."
Though he sounded pessimistic about Oculus Rift, he ended his thoughts by saying, "offhandedly" according to The Hollywood Reporter, that "Oculus Rift is fine. It's good a good display and that sort of thing."
Just this week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, whose company paid $2 billion to acquire Oculus Rift creator Oculus VR earlier this year, said it could be "a bunch of years" before VR tech sees widespread adoption.