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Pokemon Shuffle photo
Pokemon Shuffle

Pokemon Shuffle is (Rapi)dashing over to mobile devices


Can you Diglett?
Jun 29
// Brett Makedonski
You know the Beedrill by now: Popular games usually come to multiple platforms. It's especially true when those games are laden with microtransactions designed to wring Whiscash out of the player. It'd be Oddish if that ...
SDCC photo
SDCC

Tomb Raider? I hardly even know her, and it's even harder to pick her out on account of all the Croft cosplayers at this SDCC event


When Steven writes headlines for me
Jun 29
// Brett Makedonski
San Diego Comic-Con is a breeding ground for cosplay. You'll find everything from the most amateur of outfits to the best professional-grade costumes. People really like to dress up like the things they really like. Microsof...
Mafia III photo
Mafia III

Take-Two registers domains that imply a third take at Mafia


Maybe we'll hear more soon
Jun 29
// Brett Makedonski
Mafia II was a game with an interesting premise that was largely weighed down by the low-level chores the player was routinely asked to perform. Controlling the seedy underbelly of a city as a mobster is an exciting idea...

Pip-Boy photo
Pip-Boy

Bethesda's not making any more Fallout 4 Pip-Boys


Hope you snagged one
Jun 26
// Brett Makedonski
Like Fallout's Wasteland, resources are limited and not everyone's going to get the most sought-after of Fallout 4 memorabilia: a replica Pip-Boy. Yes, people quickly scooped up the limited number of Pip-Boy editions of ...
Bethesda photo
Bethesda

Don't expect another E3 presser from Bethesda next year


'It felt like the right time'
Jun 26
// Brett Makedonski
Bethesda kicked off E3 2015 a day earlier than usual this year, but don't expect it to become tradition. The publisher's Hollywood spectacle was well-received, and that alone would coax some companies into making it an annual...
Games with Gold photo
Games with Gold

Games with Gold just got twice as good on Xbox One


Two games instead of one
Jun 25
// Brett Makedonski
We're winding down the month, which means it's again that time where Microsoft lets its Xbox Live Gold subscribers know the new titles they'll get for free as part of Games with Gold. But, this announcement comes with a nice ...
Apple photo
Apple

Apple's removed all games with Confederate flags


Regardless of context
Jun 25
// Brett Makedonski
In the wake of the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, the social rift in the United States is again glaringly apparent. Hatred and racism are at the forefront of this tragedy, but issues such as gun ownership and histori...
H2O photo
H2O

Dying Light takes jab at Destiny, rehydrates userbase


#DrinkRightDyingLight
Jun 24
// Brett Makedonski
Techland is doing its damnedest to take the piss out of Destiny. You know, that "wow, this is really yellow, actually it's almost orange; this cannot be good for my kidneys" piss. It's running a similar drink-based promo...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

All of Halo 5's pre-order bonuses will be unlockable through gameplay


That's a nice change of pace
Jun 24
// Brett Makedonski
We've gotten used to a certain routine with regard to pre-order bonuses. Typically, they'll be made available weeks or months after release for a nominal fee. For those who are content to wait even longer, it's usually all in...
Pip-Boy photo
Pip-Boy

More Fallout 4 Pip-Boy editions are on sale at Amazon!


These should go quick
Jun 24
// Brett Makedonski
Last week at E3, Bethesda revealed an edition of Fallout 4 that comes with a replica, functional Pip-Boy. It ended up being the most in-demand item at the show. Pre-orders went up and sold out shortly thereafter. Well, t...
People Can Fly photo
Working on a triple-A shooter
People Can Fly, a Poland-based developer, announced a split from Epic Games this morning. While the studio gained notoriety for its Painkiller games, in 2007 the majority of the company was acquired by Epic, and since th...

Fire Emblem photo
Fire Emblem

Awakening saved the Fire Emblem series from cancellation


'Wasn't making numbers'
Jun 24
// Brett Makedonski
Fire Emblem has a rich history, with 11 titles and 25 years to its name. However, around the turn of the decade, Nintendo planned to kill off the series, as it just wasn't successful enough. Awakening changed those ...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Minecraft's largest piece of artwork seems impossibly detailed


World record holder
Jun 23
// Brett Makedonski
A lot of people make a lot of impressive things in Minecraft, but none of them go as big as Thorlar Thorlarian. That's not hyperbole, by the way; he actually has the world record to back it up. Recently, Thorlar finished a p...
The Evil Within photo
The Evil Within

The Evil Within's latest title update kills off letterboxing


And makes casual mode even easier
Jun 23
// Brett Makedonski
The Evil Within had a letterboxed aesthetic that didn't fly with everyone. It added to the cinematic presentation, but some people couldn't stand it. Coming up on a year after release, Tango Gameworks is just now making ...
Reggie on Metroid photo
Reggie on Metroid

Reggie on new Metroid: 'We know what we're doing'


'Trust us'
Jun 23
// Brett Makedonski
Many a Nintendo fan were met with disappointment one week ago when a new Metroid game was announced, but it wasn't anything like the Metroid game that they actually wanted. It didn't take long for the Internet to or...
Activision remakes photo
Activision remakes

Activision 'thinks a lot' about remastering Call of Duty games


Maybe it's just a matter of time
Jun 22
// Brett Makedonski
The video game landscape in 2015 is rife with remake after remake, and it's just something that we've sort of learned to live with. So, why is a publisher with a reputation for chasing cash not pumping out upgraded remakes of...
FF7 photo
FF7

The Final Fantasy VII port you don't want is coming in October


Contain your excitement
Jun 22
// Brett Makedonski
[Update: Square Enix reached out to "...confirm that the published release date for this title is incorrect. As discussed at this year's E3, Final Fantasy VII will be ported to the PlayStation 4 in Winter 2015. The pricing ...
Batman photo
Batman

This will be a nice eulogy for Batman if he dies in Arkham Knight


Legends live on
Jun 22
// Brett Makedonski
Like The Wallflowers (and David Bowie before them), we're talking heroes, if just for one day. And, in just one day, Batman will likely again prove himself a hero in Arkham Knight. That's sort of his thing. In this rather po...

Xbox originally thought backwards compatibility was impossible

Jun 18 // Brett Makedonski
To be blunt, I was sort of astonished to watch the Xbox One transform into an Xbox 360. With a simultaneous press of the menu and view buttons, the Xbox 360's guide pops up -- yes, the exact one that still exists on the legacy console. From there, it's fully functional to look at friends, launch games, view Achievements -- all that stuff that everyone's already familiar with. Maybe the most interesting aspect of backwards compatibility is its cross-platform ability. The presenter stressed that, because this is essentially an Xbox 360 running off of an Xbox One, anyone can play and chat with friends who are on 360. That's a nice way to bridge the gap for those whose friends haven't taken the "next-gen" plunge yet. But, just because it's acting as an Xbox 360 doesn't mean that it forfeits the perks of still being an Xbox One. The system's sharing and broadcasting features remain live, so snapping screenshots, capturing video, and Twitch broadcasting are all available options. Have your cake, eat it too. While all this seems great, one has to wonder how on-board third-party publishers will be with the feature. After all, they aren't making money if you're playing a game you already own. In an age of remaster after remaster, you have to think that it's a more alluring prospect to opt out of backwards compatibility and re-release a game at a higher visual fidelity and -- more importantly to publishers -- a price tag. However, Xbox doesn't necessarily think this will be the case. Or, at least it hopes it won't be. One representative went so far as to suggest that companies will use backwards compatibility to grow their brands. "Our group doesn't talk to the publishers directly, but if you listen to what Bethesda had to say on-stage on Monday where you get Fallout 3 for free if you buy Fallout 4, I think they'll do things like that to encourage customers to buy the latest games and to get into the IP. They want more people in the IP to grow their audience, not just the same people coming back. I think it's a good channel for them to be able to do things like that," he said. Microsoft's intentions for backwards compatibility appear earnest and sincere, but all these advancements make it sort of seem like the Xbox 360 is an obsolete machine. When I asked if consumers can just throw away their 360s after backwards compatibility is fully up and running, the presenters laughed and said "We wouldn't advocate throwing them away! But, like Phil said at the conference, now's the time for 360 customers to upgrade to Xbox One. We want them to say 'everything's there for me. Let's go.'"
Backwards compatibility photo
'The team never gave up'
Microsoft's E3 announcement that the Xbox One would be backwards compatible was a big one for fans who have thousands of dollars invested in the last generation of gaming. Two years ago, many struggled with the idea that thei...

E3 photo
E3

Destructoid at E3: Steven eats a banana


Jordan ate some string cheese
Jun 17
// Brett Makedonski
[BREAKING: ORDER REVERSED! ORDER REVERSED! See pic below.] Eating healthy is important when you're at an event that's as hustle and bustle as E3. That's why Steven takes a minute out of his day to give his body the nutrients it deserves by scarfing down a delicious banana. Stay tuned for part two later tonight, in which he'll down too much whiskey and cry into his street burrito.

No Man's Sky dev happy he didn't end up at 'Fuktown' at Sony conference

Jun 17 // Brett Makedonski
To be fair, there are systems in place to safeguard against it. Hello Games has implemented a filter to prevent those types of names from popping up. But, it's not perfect, and there's always the chance that something will be spelled in such a way to circumvent the filters. Murray anticipates it'll probably happen when No Man's Sky eventually releases on PS4 and PC. They'll just have to deal with it as it happens. That was the light-hearted side to our time with Hello Games; the rest was about the serious scope of No Man's Sky. In a way, it might be positioned to be an accessible EVE Online for the PS4 crowd. Murray said that three distinct styles of play pervade the game: exploration, trading, and fighting. He remarked that while most players they've seen blend the three activities, almost everyone leans more toward one than the others. Those who just want to find new planets and species can earn currency by uploading their finds to Atlas, the corporation that pays for this sort of thing. Others can invest their time in economy -- buying, selling, and trading to turn a profit. If anyone doesn't have the patience for those first two methods, they can make their living by attacking or protecting others. [embed]294286:59135:0[/embed] Murray was hesitant to talk about it, but there is an overarching objective to No Man's Sky. We hadn't heard much about that before, and after this interview, we still haven't heard much about it. The ultimate goal is to reach the center of the galaxy by expanding the breadth of your hyperdrive. However, we don't have any idea what we'll find there. When asked about it, Murray's colleague chuckled and said "Now he's going to start talking about metaphysics." And, he sort of did. Murray tangented to classic game design in titles such as Super Mario Bros. and how we've been trained to know what to expect from most games. He wants to move away from that, even if it means shrouding his game in mystery. Actually, maybe especially if it means that; he seems to revel in people not knowing what to expect from No Man's Sky. Murray's done a good job keeping everything under wraps. The truth is, we aren't all that much closer to understanding No Man's Sky than when it was announced a year and a half ago. Its universe holds untold secrets and discoveries, the likes of which no one's willing to divulge ahead of time. It's now apparent that it's by design. After all, no explorer ever knows the end-game; they just want to unravel the universe's mysteries.
No Man's Sky photo
That was a real concern
When Hello Games' Sean Murray stepped on the stage at PlayStation's E3 press conference, he had one fear, and he never bothered to voice it to Sony; he just hoped like hell that he wouldn't get bitten by all the randomness in...

Star Fox Zero might have the best use for Wii U's GamePad yet

Jun 16 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]294193:59106:0[/embed] Without wishing to sound too hyperbolic, this integration is such a creative use of the GamePad because the disconnect between the third- and first-person make it actually seem like you're hopping into a fighter jet -- even if just for a few seconds. Like, you need to look down to take care of some stuff, and then it's right back to flying about. Simply put, it's really great. However, there's an obvious learning curve, and it's not one that I was able to master in my 15 minutes with Star Fox Zero. Knowing which screen to look at, dealing with two different sets of inverted controls (left stick and gyroscope), shooting, all while avoiding enemy fire is no small task. There were several times when I'd brilliantly handle one small section only to completely bungle the next. Even when I thought I had the hang of it, I didn't. The level I played was on Corneria and it consisted of three phases. The first two were meant to acclimate you to the controls. It was probably possible to fail, but it didn't seem likely. By the time the boss revealed itself at phase three, the kid gloves came off. I'm not ashamed to admit that I didn't last long. I got caught up in looking at the GamePad too long when I should've spent more time navigating the Arwing. Shucks. I may have been disappointed in my failure, but I can't say I was disappointed with my experience. It was fantastic seeing and hearing from Peppy, Falco, and Slippy again. I did barrel roll after barrel roll -- not for survival, but for fun. It probably would've helped if I did them evasively. Platinum and Nintendo could've taken a simpler, scaled-down approach to this Star Fox, and everyone would've welcomed it with open arms. Rather, they're doing interesting and innovative things with the Wii U hardware, and that might be enough to push Star Fox Zero into another stratosphere. 
Star Fox preview photo
But there's a learning curve
Only a few hours ago, the E3 show floor opened up. As soon as it happened, Nintendo's booth was flooded, and the half-dozen or so Star Fox Zero stations were thick with intimidatingly long lines. People were willing to w...

amiibo at E3 photo
amiibo at E3

All of the upcoming amiibo, straight from the E3 show floor


All the views, none of the smells
Jun 16
// Brett Makedonski
Nintendo somehow managed to round up enough of these probably rare amiibo to put them in a glass case at E3. Lucky bastards. Do they even know how much these are worth? If Nintendo knew what it was doing, it'd sell those things on eBay. People are paying, like, sooooo much money for amiibo right now!

It's truly fun traversing Assassin's Creed Syndicate's London

Jun 16 // Brett Makedonski
As these things go, our E3 demo was free of any sort of missteps that would hint at a repeat performance. No surprise there; these showings are almost always incredibly polished even though they're all in "pre-alpha." What is worth noting is that Ubisoft actually let us have hands-on time this year. In 2014, it was a one-on-one hands-off session while a developer played. That could be a small indicator that the publisher has more faith in this year's iteration. I was turned loose in a very small section of London, and I immediately felt a knowing comfort. Assassin's Creed isn't going to change that much, after all. Having just walked out of a pub, protagonist Jacob was on the ground and surrounded by three story (or so) buildings. Rooftops are the much preferred method of getting around, so it's time to start ascending. This is where Syndicate made its open-world pacing apparent. Rather than climbing the face of every structure, Jacob can shoot a grappling hook that will almost instantaneously transport him to any summit. It may seem like it wouldn't be all that noteworthy, as several titles have implemented the same feature in recent years. But, it does such a great job of opening up the Assassin's Creed traversal, it's impossible to ignore its significance here. [embed]294140:59097:0[/embed] Once on the rooftops, it was simple to shoot ziplines across to even further destinations. It's no longer necessary to go from roof to ground and back up when trying to cross a city. Now, pathfinding is incredibly simple because it just requires a quick tap of a button to fire across the chasm. These ziplines serve another purpose too, though. Partway between two points, Jacob can decide that whatever's underneath him needs a quick blade in the back of the neck. Performing air assassinations while gliding along proves to be quite satisfying, not to mention efficient. This particular demo tasked me with clearing out a relatively small compound, which was a great opportunity to test out the only new weapon I was shown. Jacob has hallucinogenic darts at his disposal, which make enemies easy to deal with. What's more, shooting them into a fire gives them an area-of-effect radius instead of only harming one target. I took out three people with one dart and then threw a knife to drop some cargo on the head of a fourth. It was a pretty great way to quickly and creatively dispatch a handful of enemies. That's when the faction leader began fleeing, necessitating commandeering someone's buggy to chase them down. With a terrified horse pulling me around with all the grace you'd expect from a panicked animal, I eventually caught up. This initiated a "gang war" where I fought alongside approximately ten others to kill those on the other side, which concluded the demo. For the few takeaways I had, I was left with more questions. What role would Evie play opposite of Jacob? Will either be playable under any circumstance, or do they each have scenes dedicated to them? How will gameplay differ between the two? What are Ubisoft's plans for the modern story? How will the boroughs of London seem unique? I had a lot of inquiries, but the developers were tight-lipped about almost everything, simply stating that oft-repeated line "We're going to be talking about that later." Frustrating as it is, it's par for the course. Information's always locked down until the publisher's ready to reveal. From what we saw, everything about Syndicate is very Assassin's Creed. That's not much of a revelatory statement, but it is what it is. The grappling hook -- the one thing that isn't very Assassin's Creed -- was undoubtedly the finest feature. It's not the type of change that will be at the forefront of someone's mind when they think about the game, but it's an improvement that will keep traversal from becoming too much of a slog. That's a welcome addition if I've ever heard of one.
AC Syndicate preview photo
And a whole lot quicker
Ubisoft finally had all the perils that come with annual franchise installments come crashing down on it last year with Assassin's Creed Unity. It was the most ambitious Assassin's Creed title to date -- with its insanel...

Just Cause 3 somehow makes explosions easier than ever before

Jun 16 // Brett Makedonski
Immediately after beginning, fellow editor Jordan Devore tethered three grapples to the crotch on a statue of an oppressive ruler, pulled it until the entire thing crumbled to pieces (dick tater, am I right?), hooked the statue's head to a helicopter, and flew it off a cliff to a fiery death. Yep, Just Cause 3 is pretty fucking wonderful. The third installment in Avalanche's over-the-top action thriller franchise has a plot, but you wouldn't know it from what we played. Now that he has a few kills under his belt, Rico's returned to the Mediterranean-inspired area that he left as a child to overthrow an evil dictator. Our sandbox was more concerned with defying physics with the parachute and grappling hook, and using the wingsuit to glide far over the land and sea alike. Ironically, the wingsuit moments provided a nice touch of tranquility as we floated over the gorgeous landscape. From that high up, everything looked so serene and peaceful -- it was almost impossible to believe it's the work of an oppressive regime. That was immediately cut short when the next thought was "this needs more explosions." Because Just Cause 3 prioritizes the ridiculous over the believable, Rico is a one-man demolition crew and his supply never wanes. Avalanche has equipped him with a never-ending supply of C4, meaning that explosions are never more than a second or two away. What's the best way to dismantle this factory or to put this bridge out of commission? Our good friend C4 does the trick nicely. A lot of the design decisions were seemingly made as a result of Avalanche shrugging its shoulders. Regarding infinite C4, a studio representative told us "Why not?" Likewise, a new helicopter stunt trick where you hang upside down from the bottom was implemented because "That's just cool." After playing Just Cause 3 for a half hour, it appears that the developer put anything in the game that would make for a good time. It's certainly not a bad direction to take. Another point of emphasis for Avalanche pertains to traversal. The developer wanted to create a world that's easy and fun to move around. That's why the wingsuit, grappling hook, and parachute seemingly offer an infinite amount of momentum -- because slowing to a crawl just isn't as thrilling. It's also the reason why cars can be saved in garages and then recalled anytime you're near one. Hey, if you're going to take the discreet way around Just Cause 3, you may as well do it in style. Regardless of method, getting around Just Cause 3 may take a bit longer than you'd think. Avalanche developers tell us that the world is at least as big as Just Cause 2, but the layout's inherently different. The third installment will feature lots of islands, archipelagos, and little towns (Just Cause 2 kind of did too, but we're just going with what we're told). Also, Avalanche says that all the towns feel varied from one another and have their own sense of culture, so to speak. We wouldn't know a ton about that, because we were restricted to the first area of the game. Zooming out on the map, we could see the other two regions. They were significantly larger, and, as we were assured, significantly more difficult. When that's all available, players will get to experience what might be the developer's biggest goal: To create a perfect flow through the world. When all is said and done, Avalanche wants you to be able to flawlessly travel anywhere you want, however you want, and have a blast doing it. While it was nice seeing first-hand that Just Cause 3 nails all the things you'd expect Just Cause to nail, it was almost disappointing that the demo was completely unstructured. Okay, the sandbox element works great, but what does it have to offer players who want a reason to press forward? We weren't given a glimpse at that. Hopefully it's as competent as the free reign component is. Really, the takeaway from our time with Just Cause 3 is blowing up a lot of stuff makes for an enthralling time. It's not a revelation necessarily, so much as it is a good reminder. As we concluded the demo by demolishing a water tower that towered over a military base, a rep for the developer told us with a half-grin on his face "we're not really into subtlety." That's great, Avalanche, because neither are we.
Just Cause preview photo
That's saying something
So many preview events obsess themselves with presenting a carefully crafted slice of game. Here's a chunk of gameplay that puts the title's best foot forward. Don't deviate too far off the path, stick to the rules, and a P...

Deus Ex photo
Deus Ex

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is coming to light in early 2016


Can't kill progress
Jun 16
// Brett Makedonski
The Deus Ex: Mankind Divided section of Square Enix's press conference ended with Adam Jensen saying "I can only fight enemies I can see." That's kind of dumb. Luckily, not everything is dumb. We got a release date for t...
FFVII photo
FFVII

The less exciting Final Fantasy VII on PS4 is still on track


Not the one you care about
Jun 16
// Brett Makedonski
Everyone's abuzz about Final Fantasy VII on PS4, but while that's the talk of the town, Square Enix wants to keep us informed about something we're less excited about. The Final Fantasy VII Returns PC to PS4 port th...
Dreams photo
Dreams

Dreams is Media Molecule's latest wonderfully creative game


More at Paris Games Week
Jun 15
// Brett Makedonski
"I hope this fills your head with questions. That's natural." That's what Media Molecule's Alex Evans had to say about Dreams, the studio's latest project. He nailed it; Dreams has me wondering what the hell it is, whil...
Just Dance photo
Just Dance

Ubisoft has turned your phone into a console camera


Unless you're rocking a 2004 Razr
Jun 15
// Brett Makedonski
Man, so many people just want to dance in front of their video game consoles. You may scoff, but Just Dance is the most successful music franchise ever, so that statement applies to some folks. For those who haven't alr...
Controller photo
Controller

That fancy Xbox One controller is $150


The price of the high life
Jun 15
// Brett Makedonski
It may not have gotten a ton of attention this morning, but one of the more interesting reveals at Microsoft's press conference was the Xbox One Elite Controller. It's made for both Xbox One and PC, and the hook is that it's...

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