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Xbox One at gamescom: creativity, the cloud and something about Titans

Friday, 23 August 2013 18:10 GMT By Dave Cook

Xbox One’s policies are set and now it’s time to focus on the games. VG247′s Dave Cook plays Titanfall, Dead Rising 3, Forza 5 and learns more about Project Spark to get a feel for Microsoft’s future.

I was going to start this article by re-capping Xbox One’s policy woes to show how the company has come from a sticky situation to having a strong suite of IP in a matter of months. Truth be told I’m bored of it now, and I want to just focus on the games in this piece, because that’s why most of you buy consoles in the end isn’t it?

So let’s just get stuck in shall we?

Titanfall

I’ve never personally witnessed one game impact a trade show so profusely as Titanfall. Every journalist and game I’ve spoken to has said that Respawn Entertainment’s shooter is ‘game of the show’.

Even as I type this there are eight-hour lines in the gamescom public area to get a two-round hands on session. I just walked past a queue of tired, agitated journalists waiting in line to play the game down in EA’s press centre. The Titanfall booth is plastered with more accolade stickers and rosettes than any other game. This game is going to be big.

It’s the best game I’ve played this week, and while you can read my full hands-on impressions and interview with Respawn Entertainment on VG247 next week I couldn’t leave you hanging. I played the game on PC, but it’s also coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360, but I think regardless of platform the core experience is going to impress whoever comes into contact with it.

Perhaps you’ve seen this Titanfall gamescom trailer? None of that footage is bullshit. Everything looks and plays like it does in the video, and that goes for how easy and slick the parkour is, to how fierce the Titan mechs are, right down to how visually accomplished the game looks on the surface.

I played a few rounds on the Angel City map seen in the trailer, and it’s one of the game’s smaller play-spaces. You can navigate the area’s many windows, ledges and rooftops at speed, and perform a wall-run simply by jumping into any surface at an angle, all without a single button press. Hoisting is also automatic, and double-jumping over gaps, while hip-firing down to the streets below, only to score a head shot is simply joyful.

It has the twitch gunplay of Call of Duty, combined with new teamwork aspects such as dropping plumes of magnetic smoke to conceal your allies, or working together to bring down mechs with your anti-Titan weapons. Speaking of which, every so often you can call in an order that sees your Titan hurtling into the map from orbit.

Hearing the words ‘Standby for Titanfall’ then seeing your ride slam into the concrete is genuinely thrilling, but it should be noted that jumping inside the mechs doesn’t make you invincible, as they’re easily defeated by ground troops. You can’t jump, move much slower and are a big target for the other team to hit. It makes sure the balancing doesn’t suffer, and that’s very important indeed.

Ejecting from your mech is also badass, but I’ll go into that in more detail next week. I’m going to stop now as there’s so much more to say and if I keep going I won’t have much of an article left, but I’m seriously excited about this game for the way it shakes up the twitch shooter template and makes it genuinely refreshing one more.

Besides I still have to talk about Dead Rising 3, which is actually really badass. So yes, I hope this was enough of a taster for now. Moving on…

Dead Rising 3

I can’t stand the old Dead Rising games. It was the pressures of the time system that put me off, and while you can activate the clock in Dead Rising 3, I think I’ll be giving them a miss. But this is also why this new game appeals to me so much. It’s the open world setting of Los Perdidos that does it for me, combined with Capcom Vancouver’s wish to see you fuck about in that setting as much as possible.

No really, I’ve just seen a member of the team – as car mechanic protagonist Nick Ramos – combine a Blanka mask from Street Fighter 4 then wear it, giving him the ability to perform the green freak’s crouching punch shock attack, frazzling all the undead around him. He then combined a motorcycle engine and boxing gloves to make a pair of Dragon Punch gauntlets. Ramos then starting punching his way through the horde while screaming “Shoryuken.”

If you were ever concerned that this game has killed off the silly-gene within Dead Rising’s DNA, then don’t be. Seriously, it’s fine and very, very silly. Not convinced, then how about “Jazz Hands”, which are basically big metal gloves with guns for each individual finger? What about combining a chunk of ham and a bottle of whiskey to make a “Spitfire” cocktail? Ramos can then drink it to let him breathe fire.

Combining things is a big part of Dead Rising 3′s fun factor, and you no longer have to be at a crafting bench to tack components together. There are safe zones however, and from there you can re-equip anything you’ve made or found, as well as enlisting rescued survivors to fight alongside you. If you can’t be arsed going back to these areas to get backup, simply use the SmartGlass app to call them to your side.

Speaking of which, the SmartGlass app also doubles as a phone, so you will actually receive calls from quest givers and listen to their chatter through your mobile as if it were a real call. You also have a real-time map, the ability to drop flares from above the city to distract the horde and of course, lay down artillery strikes.

We were told that today’s build was just “weeks old” but it’s already looking fun with an insane number of zombies on-screen at any one time. The frame-rate stuttered often, but we were assured that newer builds have addressed the problem. Either way, it’s a superb technical achievement. The freedom to mess shit up and have a blast without that damn clock has me very keen indeed.

Project Spark

This is one of the most impressive things I’ve seen all week. No really, it’s a very powerful game-making tool for people without the ability to code, and that kind of empowerment should always be applauded. During our session we saw one developer make a level using the game’s simple terrain editor, then dress it up with detailed biome brushes that dropped grass, trees, flowers and much more into the world. Suddenly, that grey, empty space was now a tangible forest world.

The dev then dropped in streams, hills and even an quest-giving NPC. Here’s the point where my mind just blew up inside my skull. Everything in Project Spark can be given a “Brain”, and this determines its logic and reactivity to you, the player. So you can change the demeanour of say, an enemy troll so that it attack you on sight, or shuffles towards you slowly like a zombie. It can be fierce, passive, easily defeated, small, tall, powerful, weak, sad, angry or whatever you want

But when that troll is an NPC you can literally act out how it moves and what it says when you interact with it. We saw the coder moving his arms, dancing a jig and talking gibberish in the room using Kinect’s motion and microphone features. On the screen, his NPC copied him in real-time. Once saved, he dived into the game, approached the troll and it played the recorded motion and dialogue back to him verbatim.

It was insane just how quickly the team were able to make levels that looked better than the output of some studios. The scope is simply unreal. We saw an attempt to re-create Playdead’s Limbo that looked very close to the actual thing. There were turn-based RPGs, top down god sims, air combat battles, puzzle games, a fully-functioning piano and more.

If Project Spark proves popular enough, it could really shake up the games industry, inspire a lot of young minds to become game developers and help forge the next generation of new game creators. It’s genuinely impressive and places so much freedom and creative into the hands of gamers like you or I. This is one to watch for sure.

Forza Motorsport 5

Finally, Turn 10′s Dan Greenawalt talked us through the studio’s aims with Forza 5, and he stated that it was the studio’s most ambitious title to date. I’m inclined to believe him. After all, he commissioned a testing lab that works on ballistic missiles to help the studio test many tire types in order to get the game’s wheel physics feeling as realistic as possible. Greenawalt’s very passionate about cars, I’m sure you’ll agree.

But he’s also a humble chap, and always very aware of what car fans want out of their racing games. For example, he said he felt embarrassed by the fact that very few gamers who pick up racing games actually finish them. He said that while most racers start with slow cars on smaller tracks, and build up to longer, brutal races on long tracks, he doesn’t want Forza 5 to place those restrictions on players any longer.

In career, there are now many event types to choose from that each give you sweet cars from the word go, but if you want to go slower or smaller, you can do so from there. You don’t have to put up with plodding races around easier circuits before you get to the good stuff. It’s all there for you to enjoy in any order you like.

Each of these championships are introduced by the Top Gear team and focus on disciplines like “Rally Sport”, or “Modern Sports” cars. There are 42 of these championships, and because they demand certain car types to enter, Greenawalt confirmed you’ll need about 36 different cars to finish them all, as you can do about two championships with any one car.

The cars themselves aren’t perfect any more. There are paint imperfections visible in Auto Vista mode – which now applies to every single vehicle in the game – and this desire to remove away from pristine, sterile and unrealistic levels of perfection in racing extends to tracks. The team laser-tracked the entirety of Belgium track Spa, so that every crack in the asphalt, every weed growing over the apex and every chipped wall around the track is as accurate as can be.

I wrote some hands-on impressions of Forza 5 here if you want to know more about how it controls, but from a visual perspective the game simply looks stunning at 60 FPS, with dynamic lighting and incredible cockpit view fidelity that should give rise to new levels of immersion. Add to this the game’s Drivatar AI system – which does appear to shake up the way opponents race from what we’ve seen – and you’re looking at a big, absorbing racing experience for fans of the genre.

Xbox One may have had a bumpy ride on the way to Cologne this week, but now that the console’s policies are now set, Microsoft can focus on the games, and so far what I’ve seen is strong. The question is, can the software at hand convince naysayers to look past Microsoft’s gaffes and consider buying the console at launch?

Tell us what you think below.

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11 Comments

  1. Stephany Nunneley

    For some reason the “allow comments” box on this article wasn’t ticked. We usually never check for this because it’s selected by default in the CMS.

    Anyway, I’ve fixed the matter. Go nuts; post something.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. redwood

    TITANFLOP!!!!:D just kidding :P i just had this in my mind every time i read it’s name, just like shadowflop!

    #2 2 years ago
  3. PS4FANB0Y

    Lot’s of good games…

    Forza 5 > Any Racing game

    #3 2 years ago
  4. SlayerGT

    @3 Why?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. PS4FANB0Y

    @4 – Graphics (best I’ve seen), physics (best I’ve seen) and AutoVista is a car fan’s Toy Store.

    Don’t get me wrong, I grew up on Gran Turismo. But unfortunately GT6 is a PS3 game and not PS4 game… so comparing a PS3 game to a Xbox One game is a little tough.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. redwood

    @5 there IS grid 2 running on a high-end PC!

    #6 2 years ago
  7. PS4FANB0Y

    @6 – “Best I’ve seen”… never saw Grid 2 running on a high-end PC.

    But I know PC > Console in graphics.

    Forza 5 > Any CONSOLE Racing Game ;)

    #7 2 years ago
  8. redwood

    @7 http://cdn.styleforum.net/1/1e/1e94947a_Robert-De-Niro.jpeg

    #8 2 years ago
  9. bpd

    Some really good games here. On launch I’m most excited to try Dead Rising 3. Not much of an FPS person, so ill probably hold off on Titanfall. I love the Forza series, great graphics and gameplay, and awesome car customization, but I’ll probably hold off on that till I play some more of Forza Horizon. BUT the game I am MOST excited for from either console is definitely Project Spark. With the videos I’ve seen, I believe people will create amazing games and stories with that software. I know it’s also on win8, but I’m especially looking forward to the kinect and smart glass integration of X1.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. thesnowman

    Not a big multi shooter fan, but Titanfall does look good. Personally looking forward to Dead Rising 3 and Project Spark.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. European

    MS announcing multiplatform games hahaha

    losers xbot and PC beggars

    #11 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Live-action Dead Rising movie Watchtower is almost upon us. Dead Rising: Watchtower will release on Crackle on March 27, and via other digital distributors thereafter. Enjoy the short teaser below, courtesy of IGN.

  • We Happy Few debut hits you upside the face with a frying pan

    Contrast developer Compulsion Games has revealed its next project – the delightfully creepy-looking We Happy Few. We Happy Few is set in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England” where “a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial”. Players are tasked with blending in with […]

  • Slender: The Arrival creeping onto PS4, Xbox One in March

    Slender: The Arrival sold like hotcakes on PC and last-gen consoles, so why not terrify yourself on PS4 and Xbox One, too? Slender: The Arrival will release on PS4 on March 24 and on Xbox One on March 25, developer Blue Isle Studios has announced, for $10. No word on that Wii U version, though. […]

  • GOG weekend sale celebrates German debut

    DRM-free games vendor GOG is celebrating its German-language launch with a tasty sale. The sale offers discounts over 25 “German favourites”. Highlights inclue 97% off Deponia, and less steep but still tasty savings on Memoria and Blackguards 1 and 2. The sale will run through March 3, and you do not have to be, speak, […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes back to Japan

    The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is called Made in Japan, and I’m sure you can guess the theme. Pay what you want for Cherry Tree High Complete Pack (PC; Steam or DRM free), Fairy Bloom Freesia (PC; Steam or DRM free) and Influent + Language Pack (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM free). Pay more […]

  • Capcom “looking into” solutions to Resident Evil: Revelations PC co-op issue

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 fans should sit tight for a bit, as Capcom is working on some sort of solution to the co-op issue. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t have local co-op on PC and fans are pretty mad about that, as it was advertised ahead of release as a key feature. Although Capcom has […]

  • The games industry is disruption, says Assassin’s Creed producer

    Former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond has characterised the games industry as one long series of upsets. The games industry changes all the time, and that’s one of its best qualities, Raymond said. The ex-Ubisoft leader told Polygon that the reason seh got into games in the first place was because it “is this undefined […]

  • GTA 5 made $31 million in digital revenue in January

    GTA 5 is the highest-grossing title at the moment in terms of digital revenue, and the PSN is absolutely minting it. Digital games industry analyst Superdata has extended its scope to include console games, which means we suddenly have access to a whole bunch of data we’ve only been able to guess at, or extrapolate […]

  • Destiny: Inferno playlists debut next week

    Destiny PvP will shake things up next week with a new way to slaughter your mates in the Crucible. Destiny is already a skilled PvP game, but the new Inferno playlists will turn things up a notch with a focus on “basic gunplay”. The first of these, Inferno Control, kicks off on March 3 and […]

  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

    Battlefield Hardline Premium perks have apparently leaked a bit early, according to a post on Reddit. Over on the Hardline subreddit is an image which was take at a GameStop location, noting two week early access to content additional Battlepacks and more. Here’s the rundown: Four expansions Two weeks early access 12 additional Battlepacks Exclusive […]

  • Final Fantasy: Record Keeper arrives in the US this spring

    Final Fantasy: Record Keeper will be released in the US on iOS and Android this spring, DeNA and Square Enix today. The mobile titles allows players to “relive favorite moments” across all Final Fantasy installments and build a team of classic characters from across the entire franchise. If you sign up for email updates, you […]

  • Battlefield Hardline now available for pre-order, pre-download on Xbox One

    Battlefield Hardline is now available for pre-order and pre-download on Xbox One. You can pre-order it now from the Xbox Store and once you have paid for it, you can start your pre-download. Battlefield Hardline releases on March 17, and will be made available to pre-downloaders come 12.01am EDT. Check pricing and availability for your […]

  • Dying Light interactive video allows you switch between day and night

    A new video for Dying Light has been released, which allows you to hit the Z key to change between day and night. Titles Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone, the interactive story video showcases how the game changes between day and night. Daytime and nighttime are shown side-by-side but the z key allows […]

  • Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare out on PS3, PS4; PC delayed

    The Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is now available for PlayStation 3 and PS4. Havoc contains the four multiplayer maps Core, Drift, Sideshow, and Urban along with the AE4 directed energy assault rifle, its custom variant, and the Exo Zombies cooperative mode. You can purchase the DLC separately or pick up the […]

  • Here’s a teaser for Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2

    A teaser video for the second episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available, so if you’ve yet to play the first episode, you may want to skip this. Resident Evil Revelations 2′s first episode is out now. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Titan Attacks, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Country and more. eShop on 3DS Ironfall Invasion Titan Attacks! Donkey Kong Land – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 2 – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 3 – Virtual Console Luv Me Buddies Wonderland Around the World […]

  • Venture into the Valley of the Yetis next week in Far Cry 4

    The next batch of Far Cry 4 DLC, Valley of the Yetis, releases in March and Ajay Ghale will be tasked with surviving violent cultists and the mythical Yeti. Apparently the cult is looking for a secret hidden in the valley, and Ajay has discovered their motives. The DLC features co-op with a friend taking […]

  • The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack out for Payday 2, has dino masks

    The 19th DLC pack for Payday 2 title The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack is available on Steam from today. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: 11 new weapon modifications for the AK rifles in the game 11 new weapon modifications for the CAR rifles in the game Four new masks together with their […]

  • Battle Chasers slated for PC, consoles; comic picks up where 2001 storyline left off

    Darksiders creator Joe Madureira and Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli have confirmed a Battle Chasers game and a new comic are in the works at their new studio Airship Syndicate. Speaking to Polygon, Madureira and Stefanelli wouldn’t provide details on the the game, but did divulge it will be an adventure RPG with player-controlled Battle Chasers […]

  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video gives you a look at the game’s wildlife

    A new video shown by Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata during the latest Active Time Report, contains a look at the game’s wildlife and ecology. You can watch the full stream two hour stream through here, or a smaller clip courtesy of GamesHQMedia below.

  • Lionhead ventures into the free-to-play space with Fable Legends

    Fable Legends will be free-to-play when it launches on PC and Xbox One. According to Lionhead, the one versus four cross-platform title borrows from MOBA games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends as it will contain free, rotating heroes which will be added to a roster for a two week period. Once the […]

  • Win! 5 pairs of tickets to the Call of Duty European Championships

    We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway for the Call of Duty European Championships, taking place in London this weekend. The event takes place this Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Winners can watch teams will go head to head for a $10,000 prize pot […]

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

    Republique Remastered, which was announced earlier this month, is now available for Mac and PC. The game is 20% off through Steam, GOG and the Humble Store for $19.99 until March 4. Thereafter, it will run you $24.99. The Remastered edition contains all five episodes of the game, with 1-3 available now and the remaining […]

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

    Isometric shooter LA Cops is coming to Xbox One on March 13. Already on Steam Early Access, the game looks like it’s been heavily inspired by Hotline Miami. Walk into a room, open fire, leave bloody puddles in your wake. It’s being published by Team 17. Check out the video below for some 70s cop […]

  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]