hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Free BioShock photo
Free BioShock

Grab a free copy of BioShock Infinite on Xbox Live

At least play the opening sequence
Mar 16
// Jordan Devore
March is already half over (have you filed your taxes yet?), which means more free Xbox games. With an active Xbox Live Gold membership, you can now download BioShock Infinite for free on Xbox 360. Love it or hate it, there's...
Free Evolve DLC photo
Free Evolve DLC

Evolve's free map DLC is doing that 'Xbox first' thing

Two Broken Hill maps incoming
Mar 12
// Jordan Devore
It's great to see free maps in a multiplayer-centric game like Evolve, but -- there just had to be a but -- timed platform exclusivity? Considerably less good. When the maps Broken Hill Mine and Broken Hill Foundry debut on M...
Evolve photo

2K does pay-to-win lite with Evolve app

Because who doesn't love pay to win?
Jan 30
// Robert Summa
Obviously, 2K loves money. I mean, they're a company, so that's what their primary function should be, right? Well, with video games it can be a little tricky. You can love money, but at the same, you still have to respect wh...
Borderlands 3 photo
Borderlands 3

Gearbox 'ready to start' Borderlands 3, begins hiring process

This could be you, apparently!
Jan 25
// Mike Cosimano
During the official Borderlands panel at PAX South, Gearbox chief Randy Pitchford confirmed the company was "ready to start" production on a new game in the franchise, later taking to Twitter with an open call to developers l...
The Behemoth photo
The Behemoth

This monster is so big it could barely fit into Evolve

So they made him DLC
Jan 13
// Kyle MacGregor
The Behemoth, Evolve's fourth monster, is a big boy. "He was literally made as large as we could make him," says developer Turtle Rock Studios. The dude is so big he can't even jump. Jumping is totally overrated, though. Lea...
Borderlands photo

These are the most popular Borderlands characters

As decided by the fans
Jan 08
// Mike Cosimano
Per the official Borderlands Twitter account, Krieg, Claptrap, and Tiny Tina are the series' most popular characters amongst Borderlands fans. There's no clear indication which character received the most votes, but I wager C...

Review: WWE 2K15

Nov 20 // Brittany Vincent
WWE 2K15 (PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Visual Concepts, Yuke'sPublisher: 2K SportsReleased: November 18, 2014MSRP: $59.99 The centerpiece of 2K15 is MyCareer mode, where you can make your own wrestler and take them from the NXT Training Center all the way to the World Wrestling Entertainment World Championship. While the RPG element of gaining VP points that can be used to teach your character moves is somewhat interesting, the matches themselves are by large one-vs-one grindfests which will devolve into spamming the same tactics to win each time. The game allows players to experience some historical rivalries focusing on John Cena vs. CM Punk and Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels. The cool thing about this mode is that if you recreate certain events as they really happened, you're rewarded with a cutscene. This feature adds a bit of pizazz and challenge to what would otherwise be a bland mode. [embed]283898:56406:0[/embed] The combat has undergone massive changes, however. Before 2K15, WWE games had been fast-paced in the action department, leading to some fun, yet inaccurate combat moments. This iteration slows the fighting down to a more realistic pace and the results are terrible. It feels like the worst aspects of Dark Souls and quick-time events all mixed together to form a system that tries to be tactical and ends up just being frustrating. Instead of quick slaps to the chest, the slowness of the combatants make it look as though they're trying to throw 25-pound weights at each other. It felt awkward and unresponsive, as well as a waste of the fluid animations and character models. There's no evasion or blocking to be found here, either -- the game instead relies on a time-based counterattack/reversal system. Unfortunately, there's very little indication of when exactly you need to hit the counterattack/reversal button on each attack, so it ends up being a huge ordeal of trial and error, memorization, and luck. If you end up getting attacked on the mat or pinned, expect to lose your first few times, as getting out of either of these situations depends on a timed button press as well. The new stamina system rounds out the terrible design decisions with already slow characters running out of steam quickly and becoming even slower. It seems what was meant to invoke a strategic reservation of stamina instead results in a boxing-like game of attrition in which you just try to keep away from your opponent until he wears himself out. This would be acceptable in an actual Greco-Roman wrestling game, but in the drama-filled, high-flying extravaganza of WWE it really detracts from the experience. There were some positive points in the game, though. For instance, I had a decent time building a custom character. Unfortunately, there are a lot less options when it comes to body type, clothing, etc, than even the old N64 games, so instead of a squat, top hat-wearing clone of The Penguin, I ended up with a kind of short, though still buff wrestler in overalls who could have been the Penguin's cousin, whom I affectionately named "Tinky Boy." Assigning my new character moves was easy in principle, with each move displayed on the screen so players can choose wisely. However, the move set was so large that it was a bit overwhelming and I ended up just going with the defaults for most of them. The entrance creator was also surprisingly robust, but the lack of music customization and background movie, as well as having to utilize other wrestlers' or generic tunes kind of took the oomph out of it. What turns the game from a decent but somewhat lacking wrestling experience to an absolute struggle is the constant loading. On the Xbox One version, it needed to load after nearly everything. When I was creating a character and wanted to change his hair the game loaded: before displaying the hair options, after applying the hair I chose, while opening the color customization menu, after applying the new color, and upon exiting the hair menu. This turned what is normally one of my favorite processes into an absolute nightmare. For a game that is not really all that spectacular to begin with, this was the killing blow. I will be the first to admit that I haven't played a wrestling game in quite some time. My memories of wrestling are of the cheesy but fun antics of Hulk Hogan, Diamond Dallas Page, Mankind, and the sort. To be honest, John Cena's angsty stare, which is plastered wherever the developers could find space for it, irritated me. However, I am certain that no matter how much things have changed, bad gameplay is the same now as it was then, and the questionable design decisions and performance of this game have a bargain-bin feel about them. If you're hankering for some good wrestling times, look elsewhere. This one's down for the count, even if you can play as Sheamus. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
WWE 2K15 review photo
Reckless rasslin'
Professional wrestling was a cultural phenomenon when I was younger. In the third grade, conversations at school were a general 50/50 mix of Dragon Ball Z fact repetition and which was better: WCW or WWF. When Hulk Hogan star...

Some kind of monster photo
Some kind of monster

NBA2K15 face scanner has borne creatures that beg for death

Spooky stories to tell in the dark
Oct 07
// Steven Hansen
At least Madden's glitches were funny. This is more like The Fly, or the chimera in Fullmetal Alchemist. 

I took a field trip to play Civilization: Beyond Earth's first 100 turns

Aug 28 // Steven Hansen
[embed]280195:55442:0[/embed] Firaxis released the above first fifty minutes of Beyond Earth with commentary from Firaxis' Pete Murray and David McDonough. It delves into setting up your Civ game, ending before a few turns have passed. There are a bunch of decisions to make early on, including picking your sponsor (affects bonuses you'll get throughout your game), colonists (to reinforce your sponsor choice or to try and balance things out). You can also choose from pre-determined planets geared for veteran Civilization players -- this definitely is quite a bit of "Civ 5 in space" -- or roll random planets of three categories: Terran (Earth-like -- large swaths of sea and land), Protean (one ocean, one large landmass), and Atlantean (small, connected islands you can sail between on gondola to support the tourism economy).  Going Atlantean was an easy decision, but then I had to keep clicking away at the randomizer to get a planet name I liked. I saw "Nye," a science name, but my finger was faster than my brain and I clicked again and lost it. I did the same for "Funk." However, I needed to lay claim to planet Funk and so I cycled through all of the randomly generated planets until it came up again.  I landed on Funk and began my great conquest of getting ravaged by siege worms. There are three basic affinities to align yourself with. Harmony thinks you should adjust and adapt to alien ecosystems. Supremacy thinks you should conquer them. Purity just wants to have its own little slice of old earth. It's more brute force than Supremacy, which turns to cybernetics and technology as humankind's key to survival.  One hundred turns is not a lot of turns to play out in Civilization. I barely got any trade routes going and didn't get to engage in much diplomacy beyond one gent that suggested we have open borders, to which I, aware that I would never reach his borders before my time expired, agreed to. Still, Harmony might be my preferred route. It is not advisable to go after local alien wildlife. If you do, it will get angry and kill you. Even if you don't, a Siege Worm might still decimate every single structure you've built before enough volleys of missiles from your city center shoos it off. Early on, you don't have a lot of choice but to coexist, so leaning in on Harmony makes sense. Then again, all of the affinities can be pretty isolationist early on as you just focus on domestic infrastructure, save for sending explorers to excavate fallen satellites and other wreckage.  The biggest difference Beyond Earth has over Civ 5 is the sprawling tech web (42:08 in the above video), which groups generalized ideas in extending directions (and more specialized, resource intensive subsets below them). That and the bonus for upping Virtues across the board, rather than filling them out sequentially. Also that you're in space this time and don't have to deal with Gandhi. 
Civ Beyond Earth preview photo
Space is the place
Civilization: Beyond Earth isn't just a missed opportunity for transmedia synergy by way of the family Smith's After Earth. It's a game about space. About space colonization, specifically, because the Earth is a goner (w...

BioShock on iOS photo
BioShock on iOS

BioShock jolts iOS devices today for $14.99

Rapture in your pocket
Aug 27
// Brett Makedonski
It's a novel concept to take some of the most revered console and PC games from less than a decade ago and put them on phones. Seriously, how have we come this far this fast?! The devices that sit in our pockets and are prima...
Firaxicon photo

Civilization, XCOM dev doing its own fan convention

Aug 26
// Steven Hansen
Firaxicon sounds like an expensive drug for lumberjacks. Or a bad sci-fi original film. But it's actually a new convention put on by Firaxis, developer of the Civilization games and the recent, real good XCOM reboot...
Deals photo

Play Borderlands 2 for free on Steam this weekend

Shoot and loot like it's 2012
Aug 21
// Jordan Devore
As part of a 2K sale on Steam this weekend, the publisher is giving folks a chance to play Borderlands 2 for free on Steam today through Sunday at 1:00pm Pacific. Borderlands 2 has also been marked down to $4.99 to own, or $9...
WWE 2K15 photo
WWE 2K15

The WWE 2K15 Collector's Edition is Hulkamania themed

You too can be a Real American
Aug 07
// Chris Carter
2K Games revealed the contents of the Collector's Edition of WWE 2K15 this week, and it's a doozy. In addition to getting a copy of the game (hey, not every CE has the game these days!), you'll also get a special Hulkama...
Evolve delayed photo
Evolve delayed

Shoot: 2K pushes Evolve to February 2015

October's release schedule is now *slightly* less crazy
Aug 05
// Jordan Devore
As part of its financial results, Take-Two Interactive announced that Turtle Rock Studios' cool-looking shooter Evolve has been pushed from an October release to February 10, 2015. In a statement, 2K said the additional time ...

That BioShock teaser was an iOS port and it plays well (sort of)

Aug 04 // Steven Hansen
Now that Apple has gone ahead with some controller support, you can play BioShock with any compatible unit. I did so as I waded through the intro (and waded through freezing plane crash water), but I figured playing with the touch controls might prove a bit more informative. Not everyone has one of those pricey controllers.   After getting through the lengthy establishing bits and exposition and finding a plumber's discarded wrench, I finally got to smash some Splicer faces. Virtual joysticks will appear wherever you rest either thumb. I still managed to drift too far off sometimes, but I only felt mildly hampered. I moved less smoothly than I might with a controller, but it worked well. It's an option, anyway, leaving you stuck between it and expensive controllers.  The interface is pretty slick. On the right side, there's a big virtual button to use either your equipped weapon or plasmid (no dual wielding yet, remember). You can also switch between plasmids and weapons and search through trash cans for cigarettes and bodies for money. It all works well enough, retooled as it is. The problem with the touch controls comes in combat. You might adapt and get better at them. You might already be better at them than I am. But I had some difficulty in my right thumb being needed to both a) line up the shooting reticle and b) tap the big old "shoot" button. That bit of time in between is troublesome. If this were all puzzle solving, exploration, and Pipe Mania hacking, the touch controls would be a completely viable option for the iOS port. However, in the hour I played, I struggled shooting things accurately, which is a big deal for a shooter. I killed things good, thanks in part to some bullet magnetism that took shots over the shoulder and counted them a couple inches left or right, but the precise tactility of first-person shooting is lost here. It just feels a little less good when the game rewards you for being in the vicinity. It's a necessary change, though, because otherwise you would line up shots and lose them in the split second you stopped aiming to tap "kill," assuming you didn't move the reticle in that motion. Good thing targets are generally running at you, too, because keeping up with lateral movement isn't easy.  The port is novel (it's on my phone!), it's perfunctory, it's a reminder that BioShock was pretty cool, and with a controller you can basically match the original experience. The touch controls work about as well as they could, but can't overcome losing the precision in first-person shooting.
BiOShock photo
That BioShock teaser from 2K? It's not a new BioShock game. It's the first one, but on Apple devices. Hence the apple in the tease. Clever. Who called it? This is basically a full port of the PC version of BioShock,...

Borderlands photo

Borderlands multiplayer moving to Steam, SecuROM DRM is out

Steamworks support coming in a separate update
Jul 29
// Jordan Devore
The original Borderlands was one of the notable titles affected by the shutdown of GameSpy Technology at the end of May, but 2K said it would eventually use Steamworks in an effort to keep multiplayer going. That's still comi...
Thunder butts and meat popsicles
I got my hands on Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel recently, and I've got some hot info on the new mechanics, and one of the new player characters, Athena the Gladiator. The game's new Stingray vehicle has a neat trick to it, the...

Deals photo

Classic X-COM games join the Humble 2K Bundle

Beat the average price to unlock them
Jul 15
// Jordan Devore
2K said it would add more games to its ongoing Humble Bundle featuring the likes of BioShock, The Darkness II, and Spec Ops: The Line and indeed it has. Folks who pay more than the average (approximately $8) will gain access ...
Deals photo

BioShock, The Darkness II, and more in this Humble 2K Bundle

Morbid curiosity has me interested in The Bureau
Jul 08
// Jordan Devore
If you want to jump straight to the new 2K Humble Bundle, here's the link. It's a tremendous value. This one is offering pay-what-you-want pricing for The Darkness II, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, and the original BioShock....
Borderlands Pre-Sequel photo
Borderlands Pre-Sequel

Handsome Jack gives out hot tips for surviving on Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's moon

Most of them involve violence
Jul 03
// Darren Nakamura
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is only about three months from release, but there is still so much more to learn about it. Borderlands 2 antagonist Handsome Jack is here in a video previously exclusive to E3 attendees, to show ...
Civ: Beyond Earth photo
Civ: Beyond Earth

Sid Meierís Civilization: Beyond Earth will launch in October

There's a pre-order bonus too
Jul 03
// Chris Carter
Civilization: Beyond Earth looks like a pretty cool entry into the Civ franchise, and now we have a set release date -- October 24th, 2014, coming in at $49.99. Currently, PC is the only planned platform. There's also a pre-...
John Cena photo
John Cena

John Cena will be the cover superstar of WWE 2K15

I'm pretty sure you can see him
Jul 01
// Chris Carter
When WWE 2K15 hits the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 28th this year, it'll bring with it John Cena as its cover superstar. Cena is one of the WWE's longest running faces, keeping a positive image throughout his c...

Preview: Sid Meierís Civilization: Beyond Earth

May 20 // Dale North
[embed]275105:53951:0[/embed] I started out in an area called the Lush Biome where the idea was to take the explorer unit from my base and go explore, with the hopes of finding anything that could help us. But these guys are not a combat unit at all so they were quickly trampled by the green miasma-eating aliens that spawned up from a point just above my base. Angry at dying so soon, I sent my only combat unit up to take care of business, but they were quickly surrounded and whittled down to just a few members. It wasn’t but a couple of turns before my one little hex of nearly dead troops was surrounded.  Down but not out, I quickly generated new units and used my base’s defenses to hold the little guys off. That almost dead unit was able to level up and become stronger, too. I was eventually able to take out that troublesome alien spawn point, get a new explorer unit to start exploring nearby ruins, and even build up some defenses. Meanwhile, leaders of other factions were knocking on my door, and none of them were willing to play nice. If that wasn’t enough, I quickly got to a point to where massive Siege Worms were drilling underground and then coming up to attack my base. The plan I had to build a beacon to distract them and then take them out from behind was never going to be realized. Tactical satellite building? Psssh.  I was going to have to leave this demo session without achieving anything.  The three or four dozen turns I had to play Civ: Beyond Earth weren’t enough to dig down deep. I barely got to touch the massive web of a tech tree that the game brings. In this web you start out in the very middle with habitation and expand outward. Even with only a few moves I was able to branch out into some deep science fiction ideas. Computing could quickly move into things like transcendental math, terraforming, or synthetic thought. Going off on a completely unique path would be very easy in this game. Quests? Nope. Not enough time. Some popped up, but I had my hands full. Taking on these quests are how you’ll dig into the story and learn more about humanity’s new home.    I also didn’t get to interact much with any of the leaders or learn their affinities and preferences for humanity’s future. But from what I saw in my brief session, that stuff is pretty interesting. Some groups want humanity to preserve itself without the use of cybernetics, while others think that humanity needs to evolve into something like a native species. What’s clear is that none of them agree. Each’s factions beliefs are reflected in their talk, military units, and even their architecture. I would have needed much more time to begin exploring these approaches. Hopefully I can do that soon. But I was able to take out a single Siege Worm before my time was up. This is a city-sized beast that takes multiple units to take out — one we were directed to avoid. I took it down with desperate measures and felt a bit better about myself. In my game, humanity was probably still screwed. But at least I accomplished something on this harsh alien planet.   Civilization: Beyond Earth launches on PC, Mac, and Linux this fall. has relaunched with new information on Beyond Earth today.
Civ: Beyond Earth photo
I killed a worm and I liked it
I tried to help settlers colonize a new planet (Earth becomes uninhabitable after we screw it up in a big way) in our first hands-on with a pre-alpha build of the upcoming game Civilization: Beyond Earth early last week. I wa...

2K 15 photo
2K 15

2K announces Kevin Durant as 2K15 cover athlete

Who doesn't like this guy?
May 07
// Chris Carter
The time has come for another sports game publisher to reveal their cover athlete, and 2K Games has announced that 2014 MVP Kevin Durant will grace the cover of 2K15. This will be Durant's first cover, and let me say as an NB...
BioShock photo

Somebody put BioShock assets in Unreal Engine 4

The end result is pretty good, all things considered
Apr 29
// Jordan Devore
The original BioShock ran on (a heavily modified version of) Unreal Engine. That was almost seven years ago. What would the game look like running on the newest iteration, Unreal Engine 4? Someone had that same thought and p...
2K Games photo
2K Games

2K moving Borderlands, Civilization games to Steamworks

And discontinuing online support for some titles post-GameSpy shutdown
Apr 22
// Jordan Devore
2K has announced plans to migrate some of its online-enabled games away from GameSpy Technology since the service is shutting down on May 31, 2014. Loads of titles will be impacted -- not just 2K's library -- so consider this...
PAX East photo
PAX East

2K is bringing Borderlands 2 for PS Vita, Evolve to PAX East

Gearbox and Firaxis announcements too, it sounds like
Apr 04
// Jordan Devore
Evolve. Now there's a game I've been hoping to try out for a while now. PAX East attendees will be able to get their hands on the Turtle Rock Studios-developed multiplayer game next weekend as well as Borderlands 2 for PlaySt...
Fatrs 'N' Crafts photo
Today on Fart's 'N' Crafts, I'm drawing Godzilla and Big Boss fighting! Or hanging out. Or something. This suggestion comes by way of Nicholas Layne on YouTube, thanks Nick!  If you'd like to buy a print of this drawing, you can pick one up right here!

Irrational Games closing photo
Levine forming smaller team focused on highly-replayable narrative-driven games
"I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it," wrote co-founder Ken Levine in a post that comes as an utter shock. "I'll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two. That is going to mean ...

Borderlands photo

Headhunter Pack 4 hits Borderlands 2 next week

Love (and bullets) in the air
Feb 05
// Conrad Zimmerman
The fourth installment in the Borderlands 2 series of "Headhunter" DLC expansions will be releasing next week. Mad Moxxi and the Wedding Day Massacre has been announced by 2K as arriving on February 11 for...

Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...