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Shovel Knight photo
Shovel Knight

Nintendo isn't producing the Shovel Knight amiibo


Distribution also up to Yacht Club
Aug 30
// Mike Cosimano
At PAX Prime 2015, Yacht Club games "Captain" Sean Velasco told Destructoid that Nintendo isn't actually making the Shovel Knight amiibo. The figure's production and distribution was left in the hands of Yacht Club, which is ...
Adam Boyes photo
Adam Boyes

BREAKING: PlayStation exec 'doesn't like' PowerPoint transitions


#PowerPointTransitionGate
Aug 24
// Mike Cosimano
In a shocking reveal tonight, PlayStation director of portfolio strategy John Drake confirmed on Twitter that beloved executive Adam Boyes was not a fan of PowerPoint transitions. The leak came in response to Sony employee Ma...

Review: Risen 3: Titan Lords Enhanced Edition

Aug 21 // Mike Cosimano
Risen 3: Titan Lords (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox 360)Developer: Piranha BytesPublisher: Deep SilverRelease Date: August 12, 2014 (PC/PS3/Xbox 360) / August 21, 2015 (PS4)MSRP: $39.99 (PS4) $29.99 (PC) $19.99 (Xbox 360, PS3) From the second Risen 3 begins, you can tell something is wrong. There's a very perceptible lag in character movement. Often, a full second would pass before my input was registered. Jumping off a ledge higher than an inch causes the camera to whip upwards -- totally independent of any input! -- giving the player a very good look at your character's upper back and approximately 0.5 inches of the sky. This sucks when there are enemies that need killing and you have to wait for the game to give you back control of the camera. The simple act of getting from place to place feels like a slog, actively discouraging players from exploring a moderately amusing setting. I will certainly say that much for Risen 3: there are pirates and there was nothing particularly wrong in that department. But, alas, we live in a post-Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag world. The aesthetic elements of Black Flag (sea shanties, every noun capitalized, charming dialogue delivered well) helped build a sense of place and time. Risen 3 is a unique example of non-modern anachronisms, with pirates and mages living together in an era that feels unstuck from time. It's a neat concept in theory, and there was a short period where I was kind of digging it. But the more time I spent chatting up the Pirate Admiral (seriously) about teaming up with the Demon Hunters, the more everything began to fall apart. In most cases, two great tastes taste great together, but there's an incongruity here that proves insurmountable. This may be due to the blindingly dull story, which is a rare mix of embarrassing and baffling. Are you sick of dark fantasy stories where the world is on the brink of annihilation because of demonic/supernatural forces to which the hero is mysteriously tied? I know I am! The archetypical hero's journey is not inherently a bad story to tell, but Risen 3 feels almost painfully familiar -- apart from the fact that you play an undead hero. That's okay, I guess. To be fair, there aren't piles of dark fantasy games clogging GameStops like modern shooters in the Call of Duty heyday, but when each game is around 60 hours long, the setting feels tattered after playing just one title. [embed]306876:60066:0[/embed] Even if this particular well had not been exhausted by this point, Risen 3 has a terrible story by any standard. The voice acting ranges from amusingly bad to excruciatingly bad, which only makes the lousy dialogue even worse. There is no reason for the player to care about the proceedings -- your character doesn't even get a name, player-assigned or otherwise. I never cared about the state of the world, partially because the quest system is an absolute mess. Quest upon quest piles up on itself, each more tedious than the last. I will admit to something right now -- I frequently consulted a guide when playing Risen 3. Thankfully, it's been a year since the game originally released, so there are extensive walkthroughs out there. I had a webpage in front of me that literally told me exactly what to do and the quest system still confused me. There's no indication as to which quests are necessary to mainline the story, which I aimed to do in order to wash my hands of this game as soon as possible. God, I hate Risen 3. We haven't even gotten into the combat yet. Fighting an enemy usually goes something like this: you spot a bad guy, the bad guy's attack animation basically teleports to your location and knocks off a chunk of your health, you get knocked to the ground and stun-locked, and then you dodge-roll around the bad guy while your companion (who somehow does way more damage than you ever will) does all the work. The enemies are always faster and stronger. They can break your parry, and you can't do anything to them. It's not like Dark Souls where the relatively underpowered player and carefully planned attacks are part of the game's balance. When the physical distance between the player and the enemy is so variable with so little time to react, combat becomes a crapshoot. Plus, when you die, you have to wait for the game to prompt a save reload and then you've got a 2-3 minute loading screen to look forward to. Let me tell you about the mission that forced me to give up on Risen 3. The open world is split up into islands. Once you get your real pirate ship, fast traveling between islands (there's no island-to-island sailing like in Black Flag) will trigger an event. There was a sea monster fight that was boring and took entirely too long, for example. Based on that, I assumed the majority of the sea-based missions would take that formula. However, I was "treated" to a pirate vs. pirate battle where I had to prevent boarders from destroying my ship. The boarders would bring over gunpowder bombs, which I had around 40 seconds to defuse. Except you can't defuse the bomb until you kill the enemies guarding it. You have to do this three consecutive times, with the amount of enemies increasing every time. I got profoundly lucky in that I had a handful of useful magic spells. Without them, I would not have made it through. It took me hours to make it past the bomb segment, and another handful of hours to chip away at the enemies on the other ship. The first time I beat the boss at the end, it felt like a revelation. And that's when the game broke. My character was standing on nothing as dark waves crashed beneath him. I couldn't move him or the camera. None of the buttons worked. I sat there dumbfounded before closing the application, reasoning that I could jiggle something loose by trying the sequence again. I was wrong. The game had essentially trapped me. The mission I could not complete was apparently mandatory for completing the story. So, in addition to being just bad on a whole host of levels, Risen 3 is broken and poorly optimized. I honestly lost count of the amount of times my save files refused to load. The frame rate often drops to levels unbefitting an otherwise ugly current-generation console game. It's honestly unbelievable that consumers are expected to pay forty dollars for this. Risen 3 is stunning, but not for the reasons the developers intended. Frustrating, ugly, broken, irritating, dull -- I cannot recommend this game to a single person. Even if you enjoyed it on PC, there is no way the busted PS4 version is worth a double-dip. If you want pirates, play Assassins' Creed IV. If you want epic fantasy, play Dragon Age: Inquisition or The Witcher: Wild Hunt. If you want a combination of the two, know that desire could lead you down a very dark road. Please do not buy Risen 3. It is a very bad game.
Risen 3: Titan Lords photo
Dead is better
The best noir films end on a downer. Whatever great conspiracy the hero came so close to unraveling has come out on top -- the bigwigs in charge have evaded justice and a lot of good people died along the way. But the protago...

Fallout 4 Pip-boy photo
Fallout 4 Pip-boy

(Update) The Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition was back in stock for like a second


The (Pip) Boy is back in town
Aug 19
// Mike Cosimano
[Update: And it's gone already!] The Fallout 4 Pip-boy Edition is back in stock on Bethesda's proprietary storefront. If you missed out on the first run of pre-orders, this looks to be your last chance. It's also one per customer. Sorry, scalpers!

Review: Goat Simulator (PS4)

Aug 15 // Mike Cosimano
Goat Simulator (Android, iOS, PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox 360, Xbox One)Developer: Coffee Stain StudiosPublisher: Coffee Stain StudiosRelease Date: April 1, 2014 (PC) / September 16, 2015 (Android/iOS) / April 17, 2015 (Xbox One/360) / August 11, 2015 (PS3/PS4)MSRP: $9.99 (PC/PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/Xbox One / $4.99 (Android/iOS) When you start Goat Simulator, the game's four-legged protagonist is dropped into an ordinary town and tasked with jumping over a fence. It's a clever subversion of standard game tutorials, and it will be the last time I use the word 'clever' in this review. From there, the game provides the player with little challenges, like pressing the 'Baa' button or running on a wall for a certain period of time. These challenges help boost your score, much like almost everything else in the game. Licking people is worth a handful of points, for example. There are unique things to do in the world -- like finding EDM musician deadmau5 and licking him -- that earn both points and an achievement on your platform of choice. The achievement list can be a help if you're looking for things to do, but some are so obtuse that you're better off trying to explore the world. Herein lies Goat Simulator's Achilles' Heel -- it plays like trash. This is ostensibly part of the game's larger gag, there's even a button dedicated to entering a ragdoll state. But the game tries to have it both ways. Collectibles litter the map (including a handful you need for achievements) and some of them would be challenging to acquire in a superior title. Feats of skill in a game with frustrating controls are certainly impressive, but that doesn't make the struggle any fun. There are a bunch of modifiers, some of which are fun to play with for approximately ten minutes. The jetpack is chuckle-worthy and the VR modifier is an unyielding nightmare straight out of a PG-rated Hellraiser. It is also worth seeing. I used the modifiers as ripcords throughout my playthrough -- when things got too dull, I would hit the jetpack button and watch as the goat flew around in slow-motion. It wasn't hilarious, but it was something to break up my numerous attempts at nailing the manual challenge. (You can perform 'manuals' by flicking the stick back and forth and then trying to balance the goat on its front legs. It's awful) [embed]305553:59993:0[/embed] The game's core joke is difficult to criticize because humor is subjective; one man's guffaw is another man's blank stare. I have a vivid memory of watching Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom in a packed theater and being the only person laughing along. The jokes I found so tickling absolutely failed to play with the rest of the audience. And that's fine! I can sit here telling you that Goat Simulator is just not that amusing for the rest of my life, and that won't register with half of my audience. However, I cannot imagine the people who "get" Goat Simulator will be okay with paying for the experience. Not to keep coming back to movies (comedy games are something of a rarity, so I have to look outwards) but I wouldn't spend full price on a film that gives away its best jokes in the trailer, no matter how funny those jokes were. I played the game on PS4, where it costs $10. That is unconscionable. If one were so inclined, Goat Simulator could go on forever. It's a playground, not a series of objectives, and no high score can hide that. But it's not worth an hour of your time, let alone days. The game has two areas and lacks both the MMO and Zombie DLC. There's just so little to do and even less that's worth doing. Even if the price was right (and that price is free, regardless of platform) Goat Simulator is not worth playing. It's a game designed for YouTube, not the average consumer. Reward this shrewd business decision by not buying this game and just watching some clips online instead.
Goat Simulator review photo
Baa-ring
There's something to be said for games that revolve around a single joke. If you've wrung every possible guffaw out of a game within the first half-hour, you can just close it and move on with your life. In theory, Goat ...

Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

Fallout 4 is a never-ending time sink that will consume you and your relationships


Pick a vein and get to work
Aug 06
// Mike Cosimano
According to multiple posts from the Bethesda family of social media presences, Fallout 4 has no level cap and will not end once the main storyline is complete. So, if you were so inclined, you could spend the rest of your li...
Kentucky Route Zero photo
Kentucky Route Zero

Kentucky Route Zero Act 4 is 'not canceled'


Christmas in August
Aug 03
// Mike Cosimano
Kentucky Route Zero developer Cardboard Computer has taken to its Twitter account to address the existence of the forthcoming Act IV. The developer is adamant that the game has not been abandoned, even though no concrete rele...
amiibo photo
amiibo

Rumor: GameStop holding amiibo event on 8/8 for Duck Hunt, Game and Watch, and R.O.B. (Update)


You had to know all that up front
Aug 03
// Mike Cosimano
[Update: The beloved amiibo News Twitter account just posted a picture of a GameStop flyer advertising this event. We currently have no official confirmation from GameStop, but this looks fairly legitimate. It's worth noting...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Microsoft plans to integrate PC to Xbox streaming


They already announced Xbox to PC
Jul 29
// Mike Cosimano
In an interview with The Verge, Xbox head Phil Spencer spoke to the possibility of streaming games from your PC to your Xbox One. The just-launched Windows 10 comes packaged with Xbox One to PC streaming functionali...
Ouya photo
Ouya

Update: Razer/Ouya deal means no money for indies, devs encouraged to not talk to press


Free the Games fund goes kaput?
Jul 28
// Mike Cosimano
[Update: In a call with Polygon, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan confirmed that the company would be looking into fulfilling the contracts made by Ouya. "We are going to try and make good on this fund and give these developers an opt...
3DS photo
3DS

Nintendo has some new original 3DS units in stock


Last chance?
Jul 24
// Mike Cosimano
Nintendo's online store has a handful of brand new original 3DS units available for purchase, including the blue Luigi's Mansion bundle and the red Super Mario 3D Land bundle. Although we have no sources to confirm this, it's...
Pokken Tournament photo
Pokken Tournament

Pokken Tournament will be at Dave and Buster's


No word on Chuck E. Cheese's
Jul 22
// Mike Cosimano
Pokkén Tournament will be available for testing at the arcade/restaurant chain Dave and Buster's, according to executive Kevin Bachus. This news is somewhat unsurprising, considering that specific Dave and Buster'...
Omni Plus Beanbag photo
Omni Plus Beanbag

Our butts and backs tested the Omni Plus beanbag


With improved model photos!
Jul 18
// Mike Cosimano
Unless you're one of those lunatics with a standing desk, you likely play a lot of video games sitting down. And whether you're a writer with a looming review deadline, a recently single game enthusiast, or a bored teenager, ...

Review: The Fall

Jul 14 // Mike Cosimano
The Fall (Linux, Mac, PC, PS4 [reviewed], Wii U, Xbox One)Developer: Over the MoonPublisher: Over the MoonMSRP: $9.99Released: May 30, 2014 (PC) / July 14, 2015 (PS4) The Fall opens with style, as gravity slowly kicks in for a mysterious suited figure entering the dusky atmosphere of an alien world. This figure is Colonel Josephs, a soldier in a generic future army. But the good Colonel is in critical condition, leaving his life in the hands of ARID, the AI controlling Josephs' suit. Unfortunately, she's trapped in a decrepit android repair facility, packed with hostile security drones and run by a fantastically creepy caretaker. Her one ally is the facility's mainframe, who is understandably happy to see a friend after decades of loneliness. The character writing is fantastic. ARID doesn't know it, but every attempt to save the meatsack trapped inside her suit brings her closer to escaping her restrictive programming. At first, her determination appears to be a result of coding, but as Josephs comes ever closer to expiring, genuine emotion begins to push through her automated facade. Rogue artificial intelligence hasn't been this compelling since the Portal games. The same goes for the other characters. The caretaker's job is to designate malfunctioning units, but nothing is safe from its critical eye. Both malfunctioning robots and innocent humans are killed and literally crucified by its hand -- a result of overly rigid programming. The character is brought to life by some delightfully creepy animation and a holographic disguise gone horribly wrong. The mainframe, on the other hand, wants to be closer to humanity in the hopes of being treated fairly. ARID exists in a space between these characters; between rigid adherence to the rules (the caretaker) and simulated humanity (the mainframe). Without spoiling the game's killer ending, ARID does make something of a decision between the two. [embed]295646:59464:0[/embed] It's also worth noting that The Fall is not technically over, with two more parts supposedly on the way. The ending of Part One brings closure to the game's themes and ARID's character arc, so it's difficult to guess where the game could end. There's certainly something to be said for exploring characters after a major revelation, so I have faith in the future of The Fall. As long as the writing stays at this level, we'll be in good hands. If there's one area where the game could improve, it's the puzzles. ARID's suit has a series of abilities that can only be activated if her human pilot is in danger. In order to get through the facility and make it to the medical center, ARID has to find a way to manipulate both her environment and her programming. This leads to clever scenarios, where you transform a harmless security door into a death trap, all in the hopes of activating your cloaking mechanism. Unfortunately, most of the puzzles can be reduced to "use item on other item." In retrospect, they seem well-telegraphed, but they're frustrating in the moment. The bulk of the item-based puzzles take place in a domestic droid training center, which makes up for the frustration with atmosphere and some clever jokes. I imagine pumping up the game's brightness would also help a lot with finding interactive objects. Like a fool, I went with the default. Don't be like me. There's also combat, made more tactical by ARID's weak shields. Although the health bar is fairly sizable, both the shields and life support regenerate more slowly than a dead turtle. The real penalty for poor performance is having to sit around and wait. Or you could take a page out of my book -- I was able to make a quick sandwich, eat it, and clean up in the time it took for ARID to come back to full health. This doesn't matter after a certain point; once you get a certain gun upgrade, you can pop headshots like nobody's business. When you nail The Fall's combat, you feel like a badass. The Fall Part One's minor gameplay shortcomings don't even begin to tarnish the sheen on everything else. It's a seductive old-school sci-fi yarn, with characters that somehow manage to represent greater ideas and exist as fully-formed beings. Even though two more episodes have been confirmed, the game ends on an exciting conclusion that could function either as a cliffhanger or a definitive finale. If you're into books like The Martian Chronicles, there's no reason to let some potential head-scratchers keep you from a great experience. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
The Fall photo
Fallen angel
The Fall's opening act is something out of a collection of Ray Bradbury short stories, where hard science leads to deeper questions of morality puzzled over by engaging characters. It's the right sort of science fiction,...

Transformers: Devastation photo
Transformers: Devastation

Watch Comic-Con footage of Platinum's Transformers game


Where's Transformers Animated 2??
Jul 09
// Mike Cosimano
Today, Hasbro announced the release date for Transformers: Devastation at its SDCC Generations panel. The game will be released on pretty much everything on October 6, 2015. Coincidentally, that will be the day I retreat into...
Anime Expo photo
Anime Expo

Check out all this cosplay from Anime Expo in 60 FPS


What is anime?
Jul 08
// Mike Cosimano
Cosplay videos are always challenging, especially when you're at a show where you don't recognize half the characters. I don't watch a whole lot of anime, but I wanted to see if I could make an interesting video nonetheless! ...
Arkham Knight photo
Arkham Knight

Video Review: Batman: Arkham Knight


Going arkHAM
Jul 06
// Mike Cosimano
Holy bat-milk, you guys! We're doing video reviews regularly now! This one is based on Steven's review of Batman: Arkham Knight. Since we're not so deep into this scheme that we can't self-adjust, I want to hear from you all:...
Terminator Genisys photo
Terminator Genisys

There's an in-theater Terminator game, and it's real silly


What a surprise!
Jun 30
// Mike Cosimano
Terminator Genisys is a very dumb movie, as you would expect from a series that both resolves its franchise-long conflict with every other installment and involves copious amounts of overly complicated time travel. From the n...

Super Dungeon Bros plays like garbage, with humor to match

Jun 25 // Mike Cosimano
Super Dungeon Bros takes place in Rökheim. There are four rock-themed brothers: Axl, the angry one; Freddie, the one who knows no fear; Lars, the one who keeps saying 'love' ad infinitum; and Ozzie AKA Michelangelo From TMNT, But A Rock This Time. I had to look up this information on the provided fact sheet, because the 'bros' are not characters. They have a "thing" and that "thing" is drilled into your skull like a well-placed icepick at an Italian dinner party gone wrong. Here's an example: when the party encounters some enemies, Lars can say "Careful, they've lost that lovin' feeling." This is the patent pending "Bro Banter" system, controlled by the player via the d-pad. Now, imagine hearing this line dozens of times over the course of a single dungeon run. It's a joke that would be right on the edge of amusing...if told once. And that's not even the worst of it! Ozzie's catchphrase is "That's what she said," a phrase I literally have not heard in years. When this was presented to me, I had to check my calendar to make sure I had not been trapped in some kind of 2011-centric time vortex. The Bro Banter system is supposedly reactive -- you can respond to banter from your compatriots with banter of your own, but I never got it to work organically during my play session. I did manage to get a confirmation that more recorded lines would be coming. Although I wouldn't get my hopes up for that, considering the fact that somebody told somebody else that recording a line from everyone's collective middle school experience and putting it in the game was a good idea. Playing the game is on the same level as the writing; it's bad. The characters are floaty and unresponsive, it feels like you're controlling an invisible character pushing the player character around. And the combat is somehow worse. The heavy attacks and the light attacks feel almost indistinguishable. I also found myself struggling with the controls more often than I'd care to admit in mixed company. It's not that the game is complex, it's just flat -- like a can of soda left out in the sun. The enemies feel same-y, both in terms of design and attacks. What separates an ice giant from a small goblin? Not much aside from their health bars. And when the weapons feel so inefficient, that larger health bar can be a real nuisance. Some of the loot in the full game could potentially mitigate this issue, but the game still has fundamental control issues. Maybe it was that 'last day of E3 funk', but the action made me want to take a nap. In order to complete 100% of the game, players will have to spend about 100 hours of their time with Super Dungeon Bros, which feels like a threat. The game plays terribly, and it's not amusing. Yes, it has couch co-op, but so does the excellent Diablo 3 console port. There are funnier games, there are better brawlers, there are more engaging couch multiplayer titles, there are more rewarding dungeon crawlers. Just because Super Dungeon Bros comprises all of those elements doesn't mean any of them work.
Super Dungeon Bros photo
Keep that dungeon locked
Unnecessary negativity is a blight, especially for writers. It can poison the mind and alienate the reader; a cancerous state of mind that serves nobody. Personally, I try and avoid it whenever possible. That mentality does m...

Transformers: Devastation photo
Transformers: Devastation

We saw Transformers at E3, and it looks rad


[feat. Polygon's Nick Robinson]
Jun 22
// Mike Cosimano
I'm going to cover Transformers: Devastation until either the game is cancelled or I have a physical copy in my grubby dork hands. I hope you have all come to terms with this, as I have not. More Than Meets the Eye is on...

Transformers: Devastation made me feel like a kid again

Jun 18 // Mike Cosimano
[embed]294389:59150:0[/embed] Transformers: Devastation takes place during Season 2 of the cartoon, right before the 1986 film. That's just one example of the attention to detail Platinum has applied to the game. They've even based generic enemies on the obscure Jumpstarter figures, a visual reference that earned a sizable grin. All your favorite characters are back too, with their original voices. Peter Cullen is unlikely to relinquish the Optimus Prime crown any time soon (despite having been outclassed by both David Kaye and Garry Chalk years ago), so he's still hanging around. Dan Gilvezan, the original Bumblebee, is back in the game too, delivering a solid performance. However, the death of Chris Latta has deprived us of Wheeljack, resulting in a competent sound-alike. The game has five playable characters: Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Grimlock, and Wheeljack. During the demo, we got our hands on Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. Although the characters feel different, there's a consistent undercurrent there -- a good sign of a solid combat system. Although this may come as no surprise to Platinum fans, Devastation's combat is simultaneously flashy and responsive. Even Bumblebee's light attack looks like it hits hard. Transformation is even incorporated; during a combo, players can transform into a car and ram into their foes, only to transform back and keep the combo rolling. This even works in midair. For example, during an enormous boss fight with the combiner Devastator, Optimus rocketed toward Devastator's head in truck mode before turning into a robot and smashing the Decepticon's face in with his Energon axe. This kind of spectacle is exactly what I was imagining on the floor of my living room, all those years ago. There's one thing in particular that stood out to me when I saw the game, and I think it perfectly encapsulates just what makes Devastation special. Optimus has a special attack where he transforms into a truck, summons his trailer from nowhere, drifts it into his foe, and then transforms back as the trailer disappears. Optimus Prime's disappearing trailer is a Transformers inside joke that's been turned into an attack in this real video game. Yeah, Transformers: Devastation plays like a dream. But it's nice to see one of my favorite franchises treated with the respect I believe it deserves. This truly is the Year of Cosimano.
Transformers: Devastation photo
Combiner Wars
Much like every other adult with an unhealthy love of The Transformers, I spent a good portion of my formative years on the floor, plastic robots in hand, crafting elaborate scenarios from whole cloth that would pit my diminu...

YouTube Gaming photo
YouTube Gaming

YouTube announces Gaming app, improved livestream


And by 'improved' they mean 'usable'
Jun 12
// Mike Cosimano
Today, YouTube announced YouTube Gaming: a hub specifically designed to curate gaming content. YouTube Gaming will take the form of both a website and a mobile app, and will launch sometime "this summer" alongside improved li...

Payday 2: Crimewave Edition is yet another competent port

Jun 12 // Mike Cosimano
[embed]293774:58944:0[/embed] Payday 2: Crimewave Edition (Xbox One [reviewed], PS4)Developer: Overkill SoftwarePublisher: 505 GamesReleased: June 12, 2015 MSRP: $49.99 In Payday 2, you're a gang of criminals in Washington, D.C, intimately familiar with the ins and outs of crime and crime-related activities. You and three friends (or AI partners if that's how you roll) apply this skillset liberally, transforming places where once there was no crime into a veritable haven of villainy. In some ways, you could say the Payday Pals are some kind of wave...of crime. These dirty deeds range from bank robbery, to jewelry store robbery, to museum robbery, to art gallery robbery, to murder. To be fair, unless your team is quite good, each mission ends with a sizable body count, so there's murder to be found in just about every mission. This is a sticking point with Payday 2 -- it's very difficult to pull off a controlled heist. Even if you're rolling with a team of people you know and everybody's using microphones, there are still a lot of unknown factors and most of the best stealth gear is locked behind dozens of hours worth of progress. Since the core shooting is tight and responsive, stealth attempts quickly transitioning into explosive gunfights was never a genuine problem. At first blush, locking different approaches behind progression is at the very least disingenuous, but if you're going to be playing the game for that long anyway, rewarding time spent with variety is a smart play. But in this case, appreciating design must take a backseat to player enjoyment. Pistol suppressors -- a crucial tool for stealth missions -- are either the luck of the draw or hidden behind some labyrinth of menus. It's impossible to tell which. Although there's a limited pool of missions, I never saw them all in my 16 hours with the game. This is partially because I spent time grinding out shorter, easier missions for cash and experience, but there's still a fairly respectable amount of content available. Since Crimewave Edition comes with all the DLC released up to that point, there's a lot even beyond the missions. There's more guns, a new character class, and even new characters (including a female member of the Payday Pals, and the boogeyman himself: John Wick). Something also has to be said for the game's atmosphere. When the relentless, driving soundtrack kicks in right as a fresh wave of pigs rush your crew, it's hard to not get swept up in the moment. I'll always choose stealth over action, but I never felt the need to restart a heist in Payday 2 because I had grown accustomed to the combat -- it had become a regular part of life in this fictional capital. Maybe there's something there about the normalization of violence, about how the endless war of attrition between the law and those who operate outside it only serves to perpetuate a culture of death -- when the authorities perform a show of force, perhaps they are creating the very criminals they seek to apprehend. Look, there are a lot of re-releases in stores right now, and even more coming this year. More often than not, they are slight, if competent, upgrades from the last batch of consoles. They've got nothing on the PC versions, but not everyone can afford a monster rig. Payday 2 is reasonably engaging, and the Crimewave Edition works as advertised. The framerate is solid, which is a nice bonus. But this is still a slightly new wrapper on a two-year-old game. Know this, at the very least: if you choose to skip this game in the hopes of drawing a line in the sand regarding split-gen ports, there are worse titles to pass over.
Payday 2: Crimewave photo
Yeah, I'm thinking I'm back
Much like the president from Resident Evil 6, the last generation of games has risen from the dead to feast on the living. We’ve seen so many remasters, remaster collections, and straight ports in the past year that it ...

Splatoon Transformer photo
Splatoon Transformer

This Splatoon Transformer is more than meets the eye


Beast Wars 2: Back in the Habit
Jun 12
// Mike Cosimano
I like Transformers a lot, and although I haven't played Splatoon yet, I dig that game's style. So a mix between Nintendo's latest brainchild and Hasbro's favorite son was bound to be a Mike Cosimano Favorite. A fan arti...
The Chinese Room photo
The Chinese Room

Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is coming August 11


Left Behind 2: The New Batch
Jun 11
// Mike Cosimano
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, a first-person exploration game from Dear Esther developer The Chinese Room, will be coming to PlayStation 4 on August 11, according to creative director Dan Pinchbeck. "We look back now ...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Xbox One price cut is permanent, gets new 1TB model


Yep, it comes with Halo
Jun 09
// Mike Cosimano
After an Amazon leak confirmed the existence of an Xbox One model with a 1TB hard drive, Microsoft has officially announced both the new SKU and a price drop for the 500GB model, along with the new Xbox One controller. The co...
Street Fighter V photo
How does Ryu type with those things?
Hey, how do you feel about fighting in the streets? Well, if the mere concept of pavement brawling is enough to get your boxing gloves in a knot (?), this is the website for you. My fellow Destructoid contributor Alessandro F...

Iron Brigade photo
Iron Brigade

Double Fine gets Iron Brigade rights back from Microsoft


But who owns Trenched?
May 26
// Mike Cosimano
Today, indie developer/publisher Double Fine announced that it had regained the rights to Iron Brigade, a 2011 downloadable title originally published by Microsoft Studios under the name Trenched. From this point on, the game...
Kickstarter photo
Kickstarter

Dimension Drive's trolled Kickstarter is back for more


It's time for Jack to let 'er rip!
May 19
// Mike Cosimano
Dimension Drive, the indie game famous for having been trolled by a fraudulent 7,000 euro pledge, has returned to Kickstarter for another shot. "We've had [support] from all over the world. People calling us, sending us ...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Testing company claims Microsoft can brick your Xbox One whenever it wants (Update)


Guess some of that old DRM remains?
May 14
// Mike Cosimano
[Update: Microsoft issued a statement, saying: "To be clear, if a console is suspended from Xbox Live for a violation of the Terms of Use, it can still be used offline. Microsoft enforcement action does not result in a consol...

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