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Lumberyard photo
Lumberyard

Amazon's new game engine has a 'zombie clause'


Finally, some Legal Fun
Feb 09
// Mike Cosimano
Normally, the Amazon Web Services Terms of Service is an interminable slog of legalese and jargon, a veritable Dagobah-esque mire only decipherable by super ambitious law-school kids. And with the addition of Amazon's new Lum...
Screencheat photo
Screencheat

Illusive multiplayer shooter Screencheat hits PS4, Xbox One in March


No party fouls
Feb 09
// Jordan Devore
Following its PC release of Screencheat last year, Samurai Punk is bringing the unconventional first-person multiplayer shooter to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 1, 2016. It'll launch at $14.99. In the game, players are...
It exists photo
It exists

Crimson Singles is Tinder, but for Destiny


Swipe right on their initiative
Feb 09
// Steven Hansen
Five days ago a user on the Destiny reddit page suggested, "Someone should make a Tinder app for Crimson Doubles." Over the weekend, that become a reality as reddit's sjmorrow and sicemsam teamed up over three days to make Cr...
Pokeman photo
Pokeman

Well, look at that: A soccer player with a Poke Ball shaved into his head


Pretty Great (Ball)
Feb 09
// Brett Makedonski
I don't get to talk about sports enough around here. I suppose that's to be expected when you write for a video game site. But, I like discussing sports and am left without a place to do it. So, I'll look for any excuse and m...

Gigantic photo
Gigantic

Gigantic developer Motiga announces layoffs


The game is still in closed beta
Feb 09
// Mike Cosimano
Just over two months after its most recent layoff announcement, Gigantic developer Motiga has announced another round of redundancies. Motiga CEO Chris Chung made the announcement on the site's official blog earlier toda...
PS Plus photo
PS Plus

Exercise your Sony-given rights and vote now for the next free PS Plus game


Vote to Play (or die)
Feb 09
// Brett Makedonski
Voting in the United States is a very haves versus have-nots thing right now. Only a few people have gotten to cast ballots lately, and they're the citizens in the probably lovely states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Those of us...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Dynamic difficulty tuning is coming to Killing Floor 2


Not everyone is happy about that
Feb 09
// Zack Furniss
Killing Floor has a fairly hardcore following: these folks build wikis to know every single damage value in the game, and pore over enemy animations so they can know the best way to take them down. The Hell On Earth difficult...
Overwatch photo
Overwatch

The Overwatch beta is back and it brought loot


Progression system and new mode added
Feb 09
// Jordan Devore
The closed beta for Blizzard's multiplayer shooter Overwatch returns today in the Americas and Europe, and it has upgrades: a new progression system for cosmetic rewards, a capture-point mode called Control with a pair of map...
Rift bundles photo
Rift bundles

The first batch of Oculus Rift PC bundles go up for pre-order next week


They start at a discounted $1,499
Feb 09
// Brett Makedonski
Now that full-blown VR Fever is upon us, many people find themselves in the regrettable position of having an under-performing PC. Running the Oculus Rift requires a decent rig, which isn't something that everyone who wants V...
Humble Bundle photo
Humble Bundle

The Humble Ubisoft Bundle adds Blood Dragon


And Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Feb 09
// Jordan Devore
I'm with Brett: the lowest tier in the Humble Ubisoft Bundle is worth springing for if you haven't played Call of Juarez: Gunslinger or Grow Home or Rayman Origins. It's one dollar for all three! The bundle's next tier up (ar...
SQUARE ENIX photo
SQUARE ENIX

Here's your first look at Dragon Quest Heroes II


Just as pretty as the last one
Feb 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Square Enix has shared the first images of Dragon Quest Heroes II, and it doesn't look dramatically different from its predecessor. That isn't too surprising, considering its predecessor debuted just a year ago and looked per...
SFV legacy support photo
SFV legacy support

Street Fighter V will have legacy controller support after all


No need for a new stick yet
Feb 09
// Nic Rowen
This is one case where I don't mind seeing a developer go back on something they've said. Spanish website MeriStation broke the news that Street Fighter V is going to come with a day-one patch to add in support to make PS3-er...
GameTrailers photo
GameTrailers

Before GameTrailers shut down, it re-scored Bloodborne a perfect ten


Its first ten ever
Feb 09
// Brett Makedonski
The games industry was saddened yesterday to hear of the closing of GameTrailers, a media staple for the past 13 years. People like to say "it's the end of an era" anytime anything popular ends, but the phrase actually feels...
Baldur's Gate photo
Baldur's Gate

BioWare writer David Gaider moves to Beamdog


Back to Baldur's Gate
Feb 09
// Jordan Devore
Long-time BioWare David Gaider (Baldur's Gate II, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Dragon Age) recently departed from the role-playing game studio in search of a "new challenge." As of this week, he has joined the Edmo...
The Division photo
The Division

The Division's open beta to begin on Feb 18 for Xbox One, Feb 19. for PC and PS4


Runs until February 21
Feb 09
// Joe Parlock
Hot on the heels of the short closed test a couple of weeks ago, Ubisoft has announced when everyone will be able to get their hands on The Divison’s open beta. For Xbox One players, the open beta will begin on Februar...
SQUARE ENIX photo
SQUARE ENIX

Final Fantasy IX out now on mobile, PC soon


With optional random encounters
Feb 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Final Fantasy IX is now available on iOS App Store and Google Play for a whopping $17. Square Enix announced the PlayStation 1 classic was on its way to PC and mobile devices back in December. There's no w...
Sherlock Holmes photo
Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter is launching on May 27


Has really, really nice cover art, too
Feb 09
// Joe Parlock
Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter, Frogwares’ newest Sherlock Holmes game, has finally been given a release date: May 2017, 2016 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Publisher BigBen Interactive has also unveiled the box...
Far Cry Primal photo
Far Cry Primal

Get up to speed on Far Cry Primal with this '101' trailer


'Unlimited creativity'
Feb 09
// Darren Nakamura
Some people follow news on Far Cry closely, taking in every nugget of information out there. Others might be vaguely aware of Far Cry Primal's existence and premise, but don't know much else past that. This video is for the l...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Curious how Attack on Titan looks on PS3 and Vita?


Take a look
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
Attack on Titan is officially Koei Tecmo's first PS4-centric development project, but the game is also coming to PS3 and Vita by way of a downscaled port. While we've seen the PS4 build quite a bit since the studio went ...

Review: Dying Light: The Following - Enhanced Edition

Feb 09 // Zack Furniss
Dying Light: The Following - Enhanced Edition (PC [reviewed], PS4, Xbox One)Developer: TechlandPublisher: Warner Bros. Interactive EntertainmentReleased: February 9, 2016MSRP: $19.99 The Following doesn't weave into Dying Light's main campaign. To start the expansion, you choose it separately in the main menu. You can drag your character's progress and inventory back and forth between the two campaigns at any time, but you can't just go to a fast travel and warp from one to the other. Once you begin, a short cutscene cuts to the chase: your character, Kyle Crane, has become aware of a route leading out of Harran. In this wild outback area, there's a cult that claims to have found some kind of immunity to the zombie virus. As this would benefit your cadre of survivors, you set out to investigate. The new area, called the Countryside, is huge. Techland claims that it's larger than the entirety of the original game, and I'd agree with that after playing to 100% completion. Since there are numerous open fields, it's not quite as packed as the urban environments in Dying Light proper, but I found this to be welcoming. It's not all open, either: you'll go from farms, to beaches, to graveyards, to caves, to factory areas, so you're constantly being stimulated in a new way. With a larger map, the customizable buggy goes from novelty to necessity rather quickly. Using a new Driver skill tree, which you level up by doing racing competitions, ramming zombies, maintaining top speed, and jumping off of ramps, you'll be able to improve your ride and add gadgets such as electrical pulses and UV lights. Since there are always zombies to squash under your wheels, this tree levels up rapidly. The buggy starts off entertaining, and gets better as you tinker with it. You can craft better tires, brakes, engines, and the like to make it faster and more responsive. I'm a sucker for driving in first-person games as it is, and driving in The Following might be the best incarnation I've played to date. A crossbow has also been added to your arsenal, which is a nice way to take out biters without attracting a horde. There are four different bolt types that you can use: normal, toxic, impact, and stun. I generally stuck to the normal arrows, especially when I snuck around the new Volatile caves. In Dying Light, Volatiles are the creatures that only come out during the night and can kill you within seconds if you aren't paying attention. In The Following, you can go directly to their nests to try to thin out their presence in certain areas. If you go in during the day, the caves will be littered with these bastards, and sneaking through with a crossbow was about the most tense this game can get. Going during the night is the safer bet, but I found it less thrilling when the odds weren't stacked against me. Another welcome addition is the Freaks of Nature, giant versions of the more devious types of infected strewn throughout the Countryside. The game recommends that you only try to fight these jerks with friends in co-op sessions, but if you find their weak point (or bring a really good gun like a cheater [me]), you can take them out solo. They offer special blueprints to create ever-more-vicious weapons. Usually you'll find these Freaks when you're on another mission, and suddenly a health bar will appear on the top of the screen a kick-ass John Carpenter-esque song will start pulsing. As far as the missions and story go, they're handled much better than the original game. This time, Techland is less interested in trying to make you care about certain characters and more interested in getting you to find out more about the cult. Instead of being a scary group of folks that are out to kill you, you're tasked with earning their trust so you can learn their secret. This leads to a mission structure where the side quests must be completed in order to progress in the main story. I didn't have a problem with this, because the side stuff, as before, is generally more intriguing than the actual story. Looking back on it, there aren't many story quests in The Following, but it all feels interwoven in a way that encourages you to scour every last bit of the Countryside. The only quest that I had trouble with was the penultimate one that involves some timed driving, and if you have no health packs, you're sort of fucked. I eventually persevered, but it was frustrating to be locked into the finale and unable to make it easier.  The final mission has some curious implications about the overall plot in Dying Light, but the ending shoots that momentum right through the head. I'm still hoping a sequel comes out of this, but I'm a little confused as to where it would go now. At this point, I must mention a caveat: I found Dying Light to be too easy about halfway through the game, so I played The Following on hard. I usually don't like to blather about the "right" way to play a game, but if you're going to play this expansion, I urge you to play hard mode.  Instead of the usual "enemies do more damage, and you do less" type of difficulty, Techland's version of hard is an improvement in almost every way. Medkits are no longer an instant heal, and instead provide healing over time. If you want to craft something or look at your map, you can't pause the game any more. Survivor sense doesn't show you every little item in every little room, so you have to more carefully observe your environments. If this sounds tedious, I promise that it makes the game both more immersive and more rewarding. Since this is part of the Enhanced Edition, which owners of the base game get for free (minus the expansion), there are a litany of other improvements to be found. There are daily bounties and a new Nightmare difficulty that have been added to rack up tons of experience, which you'll want for the new legendary levels. After maxing out a skill tree, points that would've gone to that tree now go to your legendary rank. You can spend these points on various buffs: 50% more firearm damage, more crossbow damage, better health regen, and other bonuses. There are a total of 250 of these points to earn, and they make you incredibly powerful. You'll earn them pretty slowly unless you play on Nightmare mode. In my 22 hours with The Following, I reached level five. Clearly, I need to jump back in there already. The Following was larger than I expected, and it maintains a high level of quality throughout. Being pared down from the bloat of Dying Light earns it more moment-to-moment excitement, and I greedily consumed it over the weekend. The last few minutes have me pondering the future of what's clearly going to become a franchise, and I'm ready for whatever Techland brings next. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Dying Light review photo
It should still be called Far Die
Dying Light surprised the heck out of me last year. While I mostly agree with Chris about the various faults and clichés found within (you can read my thoughts here, from back in my before-Destructoid days), it wa...

Puzzle photo
Puzzle

Someone made a robot that automatically beats Puzzle & Dragons


Fear the future
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
A reader this morning pointed me towards a pretty cool video by Japan's "Junya Sakamoto" over on YouTube, where a robot automatically deduces, and then solves puzzles in Puzzle & Dragons. If you watch the clip you'll...
Division photo
Division

Get your skills in order before The Division launches


Or the next beta happens
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
I'm surprised at how many people rallied around The Division beta, as the community-based buzz around the RPG elements really took shape. A lot of my Destiny friends are planning on quitting for it, in fact. A player nam...
Amazon photo
Amazon

Amazon unveils new CryEngine-like Lumberyard


It looks interesting
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
Amazon hasn't really taken off in the game space yet, even after acquiring the recently-on-fire Double Helix, but it's still trying. Its latest project actually looks pretty damn cool -- a new in-house engine called Lumberyar...
F.A.N.G photo
F.A.N.G

Get to know Street Fighter V's F.A.N.G better


Or not, he's creepy
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
We already know F.A.N.G is a poopy pigeon, but what else is there to learn about him? A lot actually! As one of the most interesting new characters in the series, I love his poison-based attacks, and his combos look pretty in...
Downwell photo
Downwell

Downwell is definitely coming to Vita and PS4


Also a bunch of other indies
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
Indie champion Downwell is preparing to make a move beyond the PC and mobile realms. In addition to its Android release earlier this year, Devolver Digital is preparing to publish the game on PS4 and Vita. This has been ...

The biggest secret hidden across the three Assassin's Creed Chronicles games

Feb 09 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]340170:62181:0[/embed] It's unclear exactly when this sequence takes place, but it's sometime after Master Templar Berg recovered Assassin's Creed Rogue protagonist Shay Cormac's precursor box. These boxes are a source of great interest to Abstergo because they might hold the key to what Abstero is ultimately chasing after. More on that in a minute. Berg has been assigned to take Cormac's precursor box to Álvaro Gramática, one of Abstergo's highest-ranking scientists. Gramática's ecstatic with the find because he plans to use it in order to analyze another artifact, possibly another precursor box. In closing, Gramática exclaims that this is all to support the Phoenix Project. The Phoenix Project might be a means to the Templars' end-goal. The idea is to get close to the First Civilization by decoding their DNA. However, the Phoenix Project is centered around the notion that it might be possible to create a living First Civilization member from scratch with precursor DNA, rather than trying to clone an existing person. Even though it's basically just a teaser, it seems as Cormac's box may have Gramática and Abstergo one step closer to creating someone from the First Civilization, which would allow them to understand Pieces of Eden and other precursor technology. Maybe that's why Gramática sounds so stoked. If that's the case, it very well might mean the next Assassin's Creed puts a heavy emphasis on the present day. That fits right in line with the clues we found late last year. Abstergo's up to something and it might be huge. Who would've thought the Chronicles series would bring us three new protagonists with three separate stories, yet the biggest development would be on the Templars' side? At least it looks to have set the table for more Assassin's Creed to come.
Assassin's Creed photo
A precursor to something huge?
The Assassin's Creed Chronicles titles have been criticized (and rightfully so) for their lack of emphasis on narrative. Even though these are games where the narrative stakes are just as high as the mainline Assass...

Metal Gear Online photo
Metal Gear Online

Konami unveils details for new Metal Gear Online expansion


'Cloaked in Silence'
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
Konami is prepared to unleash the next wave of Metal Gear Online, in the form of a paid DLC campaign. It's called "Cloaked in Silence," and will add three new maps to the game (Coral Complex, Rust Palace, and Azure Mountain) ...

Review: Arslan: The Warriors of Legend

Feb 09 // Chris Carter
Arslan: The Warriors of Legend (PC, PS3, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One)Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Koei TecmoReleased: February 9, 2016MSRP: $59.99 One of the chief problems with Arslan is that it assumes, to some extent, that you're familiar with the source material. This will likely be a problem for a lot of you out there as it's a relatively obscure anime. I'm pretty surprised to see that it's been localized, truth be told. It isn't that hard to follow though, as the gist is mostly set up for you in the first few chapters. The titular Arslan is the 14-year-old crown prince of a kingdom who is forced to step up after one of the worst wars his country has ever seen, and he'll have a little help from his friends. That's all a given. But the ins and outs of each character, their idiosyncrasies, and backstories -- much of those are lost in translation, literally. With a history spanning three decades across multiple manga volumes and anime adaptations, there's lots parse. The encyclopedia menu option helps but it's merely a band-aid. That's not to say a certain type of person can't get get drawn into the world -- far from it -- as that's exactly what happened to me. Arslan is more flashy than previous games from Koei Tecmo (with the obvious exception of Pirate Warriors), but it also touches on a few heavy-hitting subjects, albeit on a tertiary level, like slavery and freedom. The anime cutscenes are wonderfully integrated, and there's often a seamless transition to gameplay. Note that it's fully voiced in Japanese and subtitled, with no dub track. [embed]334572:62104:0[/embed] As expected, the same two-button combo system holds up. Combos flow effortlessly once you pick them up, and the efficacy of multiple abilities ensures that you're not just flailing about wildly mashing buttons. There's also the added bonus of blocking and evading, as well as the classic "musou" super attack and a special that's unique to each character. Once I started to unlock more of the cast, I was surprised at how little Omega Force resorted to cloning, accentuated by said special abilities. For instance, Narsus (an outspoken critic of the status quo) wields a paintbrush. Well, a magical paintbrush that can set traps, queue up earthquakes, and cause rainbow explosions. Daryun, Arslan's right hand, is a pole-arm-wielding fiend reminiscent of Warriors characters like Guan Yu, but he sports some of the most interesting animations yet in the series, specifically his prowess on horseback. Elam, an unassuming young kid, ended up being one of my favorite characters. His bow skills surpass most ranged characters in action games today. One dude uses a lute! And the list goes on.  Switching weapons by way of the d-pad also serves to mix up your tactics on the fly. The "Mardan Rush" mechanic is also a standout feature, rallying an entire battalion as a single unit, causing all sorts of mayhem and kill-counts in the thousands in just seconds. There are also several fun RPG elements to Arslan. You can equip up to three skills by way of "cards," which can be earned by completing specific objectives or just playing the game, or by synthesizing your collection. This is fun to do on higher difficulty levels, but it's not something you'll have to micro on normal or below, so don't get too worked up.  But all of that flash and panache comes with a tradeoff: the boss battles are more tedious than you're probably used to. A "shield" system is in place here, which requires players to whittle down a meter until they can do proper damage. The tactic is usually the same, in that hammering on them as much as possible is paramount, saving your musou to deliver the blow after cracking it, and repeating. It would be more of a crushing feeling if nearly every level weren't such a joy to play through. If you can stomach a few minor issues that add up over time, Arslan: The Warriors of Legend will be your huckleberry. True to Warriors form there's plenty of collectibles to find, new weapons to discover, online and offline co-op, and a free-play mode. Like nearly every Omega Force game before it, I'll be playing this one for quite some time. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Warriors review photo
Dynasty anime
Koei Tecmo is killing it in the beat-'em-up action space. While a lot of detractors erroneously claim that all Warriors games are "mindless button mashers," the studio has managed to keep the series interesting for nearl...

Lumines photo
Lumines

Two new Lumines games are launching this year


On iOS and Android platforms
Feb 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Two Lumines games are coming to mobile platforms later this year, Mobcast just announced. One, a paid app tentatively titled Lumines 2016, is expected to launch sometime this summer, while the other, Lumines VS, is planned fo...
Pokemon Go photo
Pokemon Go

Beware those Pokemon Go beta sign-up pages, they're all scams


As real as Mewthree
Feb 09
// Kyle MacGregor
The Pokémon Company has put out a warning concerning Pokémon Go, stating nothing has been announced regarding the upcoming beta and any new information will be shared via the official site. This seems ...

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