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Review: Batman: Arkham Knight

Jun 25 // Steven Hansen
Batman: Arkham Knight (PC, Xbox One, PS4 [reviewed])Developer: RocksteadyPublisher: Warner Bros.MSRP: $59.99Released: June 23, 2015 Arkham Knight is stitched together with exceptional technical proficiency at the cost of tonal instability. City shared this problem. It insists on the direness of the narrative while letting you busy yourself with 69 (hah) AR challenges. It's worse in Knight, with even more dire stakes (there is nothing to do but escalate, of course) as Scarecrow intends to ruin all of Gotham with the help of the titular Arkham Knight.  There is so much "content" beside the main story path, but most of it is busy work. I've still not rescued all 20 captive firefighters spread throughout the city. Militia members set up dozens of roadblocks across Gotham's three islands that impede the Batmobile, but you can always go around them, or avoid driving except when mandated, given that Batman's grapple and glide are some of the coolest traversal methods in games. Clearing them isn't even that useful. It's just about getting to the super villain (most of whom have no story aside from "they're doing crime") at the end and notching the completion percentage. And of course this brings us to the Batmobile. It is cool and god awful. Calling it to pick Batman up; ejecting from it at high speeds and doing takedowns; the fact that all of Gotham's pillars and corners are destructible, so you typically don't do much crashing; remote control driving it towards Batman, who automatically jumps into it while you maintain control and momentum; the tank mode convincing me I need a Transformers game or Armored Core reboot. [embed]294804:59235:0[/embed] This all works well. It was also a lot of work for Rocksteady. Thus, there are heavy, mandated Batmobile segments, like the aforementioned waves of tank fights, and even a hilarious tank stealth section against bigger, stronger tanks. The Batmobile is cool as something I might occasionally use, but all the work that went into it means it needs a lot of screen time. It's actually pretty fun to chase Firefly through the streets in it, even if you have to do that several times before he's been punched enough to quit. When I'm forced to ferry passengers to the police station in it just so more drones can be thrown my way, it becomes a nuisance. When one side mission involves chasing missile-spongy armored cars while smaller armored cars attack me, over and over, it's not so fun. Everything is strung together nobly, but it's a case if "they were so concerned with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." Disjointed content put together as well as possible mirrors a main story that works too hard to put Batman in his car. The shorter side missions that pop up woven into the narrative are much more fulfilling than saving 20 different firemen, stopping Two Face's goons from robbing several banks or destroying five or so of Penguin's weapons stashes (though the latter teams Bats with Nightwing and the dual fighter segments are fun). Thankfully I hardly looked at the map screen this time around because there's a d-pad button just to bring up a mission select wheel so it's easy to ping pong between waypoints like an errand boy. I also hardly looked at the upgrades, usually going several hours at a time before dumping like 50 points into skills I mostly didn't use (but do reinforce that car for the mandated tank segments). I can't tell if there is less punching this time around. Maybe it's been replaced by Batmobile segments. There are also more stealth options, including fear takedowns that can be used to instantly incapacitate up to eight enemies at a time (ok, upgrades are sometimes helpful, as it starts at three). I can string together perfect, room-clearing 60x combo fisticuffs with the best of them, but combat never drags in Arkham Knight, which I appreciate because my favorite thing to do is to explore the city. That does bring up a series-long issue of detective mode and waypoints guiding you to the point of feeling like a middle manager. It's nice to just notice side missions -- hearing strange shrieks, hearing opera blaring over a PA system, seeing a building on fire -- rather than being directed towards them, but that's the problem with dealing with this size of open world necessitated by the series trending upward as far as stakes raising goes. But when you stumble on mutilated bodies and every time -- five times! -- the answer is to scan one obvious thing on each of three layers (skin, muscle, bone) with detective mode, you're not really doing anything, much less detecting. Batman is boring, right? The character. Sad about parents, righteous, rich, mostly ideal. When comic fans point to his spot at the top of the echelon it's always about the supporting cast (villains, namely). And so, post Joker, what is there to do? Two things, neither of them original, but one of them done well. Without getting too spoilery, the Joker has inevitably left his mark in the Arkham universe and these ramifications are handled nicely in one half of Arkham Knight, even if they open the door for perhaps the most unoriginal and obvious Batman story to take seed beneath Scarecrow's reign of terror in the other. Scarecrow, to Rocksteady's credit, plays a great villain here, though he does so from the shadows. Because Batman is Batman, it's hard to feel the stakes sometimes, but Scarecrow is good for manipulating Bats and leaving him one step behind, more and more panicked and fragmented. The Arkham Knight, meanwhile, mostly tries to kill you with very large vehicles. The whole tenor of the character feels at odds with his Scarecrow partnership. There's the weird red tactical camo print and his general, impotent rage. His voice, which seems to waver beneath the autotune, is a mix of haughtiness and incredulity. He hates Batman, knows Batman is strong, is sure that he's better, and gets real petulant every time something goes wrong. His hugely amassed, literal army -- ex-United States soldiers now mercenaries -- occasionally remark about how better outfitted they are now than when they were government employees and ask if all this gear is overkill for just one man.   And it's not, because Batman is Batman and he feels immune to even the direst of straits. It makes the villains -- Knight, namely -- look goofy as plan after plan are foiled, though Scarecrow holds it together fairly well as the story takes shots at characters adjacent to Batman. The most interesting story stuff is happening within Batman's head, though, and that's where the series returns to effective use of jump scares (not a bad thing!), Dutch angles, and unreliable world distortion. Shifting the world around the player, moving things that the player isn't looking at. There's some cool, occasionally chilling toying going on, but it's mostly wrapped up in the end of the game. Getting there, Arkham Knight struggles to surprise and delight as Asylum and City. One musical boss "fight" stands out as a show stealer, but it would have been nice to have more inventive moments like the Mr. Freeze fight from City.   If the Batmobile was Rocksteady's gambit in that regard, it failed. It makes for a better occasional use gadget than core gameplay system. The Riddler side mission sums up Arkham Knight's issues fairly well. Apropos of nothing, he becomes a racing aficionado and constructs massive death tracks beneath the city to go with his death traps. This is to cram more Batmobile segments in. He does his same, tired shtick for a third game, this time holding Catwoman captive, but also he's made both race tracks and robots to fight, just to add more. He even explains in-game why if he wins because Batman can't beat the robots, it still counts as a victory of cunning. He's doing mental loops to defend padding. At one point, he taunts that even a chimp can follow basic instructions. Sometimes that feels like Arkham Knight. More of the same isn't all bad; too much more of the same is, especially at the cost of upsetting the balance between familiar and new. Riddler's story can't be resolved (nor can you get the full ending) until you do the 300 or so Riddler trophies/riddles/whatever, but you can at least take it far enough to free Catwoman. Arkham Knight is a solid, if uneven send-off for Rocksteady's trilogy. Combat and predation are still satisfying. The narrative mixes unsurprising, but well done segments with unsurprising and uninteresting elements. It's full of nods, winks, nudges for batfans, even if certain super villain side missions feel needlessly tossed in. It makes me worried about what will happen with Batman in a new developer's less comfortable hands, and excited for what Rocksteady might do, itself free of the Batman myth. [This review is based on a retail build purchased by the reviewer.]
Batman review photo
Long Halloween
[Note: This review is based on a retail PlayStation 4 copy of Batman: Arkham Knight, not the PC version that is so broken publisher Warner Bros. temporarily delisted it from sale] If the difference between the real Batman and...

Xbox One deals photo
Xbox One deals

Xbox One with free game promo spiced up with $50 bonus


At ye local Microsoft web store
Jun 25
// Dealzon
Update 6/28/15: Deal just better and is still active at Microsoft Store. All bundles now includes free copy of AC Unity. For those with less than crystal clear memory (tsk tsk for not taking the right pill when you were young...

Warner Bros., stop outsourcing your broken PC releases

Jun 25 // Chris Carter
As a PC gamer since 1989, I'm used to the occasional PC-related issue. I remember installing games on multiple floppy disks, only to have it error out on the last disk, forcing me to start all over again. You thought DRM is bad now? I remember dealing with physical dongles that didn't work, or copies that didn't come with notebooks or materials required to complete the game -- at that point, your only option is to write a letter to the publisher or just buy a new game entirely. It wasn't ideal, but we've made strides since then. At least, some publishers have. For whatever reason, Warner Bros. continues to outsource the PC versions of its major games despite the fact that it pushes them quite heavily, boasting enhanced features that don't actually make it into the final version -- presumably because they weren't given the same amount of care as the console editions. You know what? If WB deems the console business more lucrative and easy to control, so be it, just focus on that, and don't release a half-finished PC port. Or at the very least, wait until the inevitable Game of the Year Edition and release an enhanced PC version then -- one that works. Whatever you decide, I hope you get your act together for Mad Max this September. It seems as if Avalanche Studios is handling the PC version, but for all intents and purposes, we thought that was the case with Arkham Knight all the way up until launch. As it turns out, it had an "external PC development partner," which was revealed to be Iron Galaxy Studios in the game's credits. Play it safe until WB decides to play it smart.
WB photo
We can wait for a working version
Another Warner Bros. PC release, another nightmare for those of you who pre-ordered the game. This just happened with a broken Mortal Kombat X port and it's happening again with Batman: Arkham Knight. While man...

#CrusaderGate photo
#CrusaderGate

Really hilarious #GamerGate joke in Batman: Arkham Knight


Hold onto your sides
Jun 25
// Jed Whitaker
So apparently there is a small jab at #GamerGate -- or is it at everyone? -- in Batman: Arkham Knight. I guess it is pretty funny, right? Especially the part where they allude to a slur for gay people, right guys? Is everyone laughing? I'm not but maybe I like my humor a bit more highbrow. 
Goodnight sweet Knight photo
Wow
It looks like Warner Bros. is doing the right thing and pulling Batman: Arkham Knight from Steam. The publisher released the following statement on the game's Steam community: Dear Batman: Arkham Knight PC owners, ...

More BADman drama photo
More BADman drama

Batman: Arkham Knight on PC lacking key visuals effects from console version


Who needs graphics anyways?
Jun 24
// Jed Whitaker
Batman: Arkham Knight released yesterday to terrible Steam user reviews for frame rate issues, and now Eurogamer is reporting that the PC version is missing visuals found in the PS4 port: Just as baffling is the fact PC lack...
Broken games photo
Broken games

The Arkham Knight PC port proves yet again that only suckers pre-order


A real shame
Jun 24
// Nic Rowen
Tuesday morning, I had a moment of weakness. After reading some stellar reviews (of the console versions) I allllmost pre-purchased the PC version of Arkham Knight. I've loved every other entry in the series and with those re...
Batman photo
Batman

Rocksteady offers bad temporary 'fix' for Batman: Arkham Knight PC woes


Um, okay
Jun 24
// Chris Carter
After all of the high-steppin' with its "better on Nvidia" ads, you'd think that some extra care would have been given to Batman: Arkham Knight's PC port, right? Well, like Mortal Kombat X, Warner Bros can't seem to launch a ...
Arkham Knght photo
Arkham Knght

Arkham Knght's gude mght have made a spellng mstake


How long before someone notced
Jun 24
// Joe Parlock
Writing for the Internet is strangely calming. I know that if I make a mistake (which I do, frequently) that I can quickly edit it and it’s gone forever. Unfortunately in the world of book publishing, that’s not s...
Batmobile photo
Batmobile

What do you think of the Batmobile in Batman: Arkham Knight?


Beep beep
Jun 23
// Chris Carter
Batman: Arkham Knight is finally here, and the consensus seems to be that it's not only a proper ending for the Rocksteady trilogy, but it may be the best game yet. But there's a major source of contention, and that's th...
Batman: Arkham Knight photo
Batman: Arkham Knight

Batman: Arkham Knight's minimum specs tweaked overnight


Holy graphic cards, Batman!
Jun 23
// Vikki Blake
The minimum spec requirements to run Batman: Arkham Knight on PC have been updated overnight. As gamers attempting to play Batman: Arkham Knight on PC continue to experience problems, it has now been acknowledged that AMD gra...
BROKEham Knight photo
BROKEham Knight

Warner Bros. strikes again: Batman: Arkham Knight having issues on PC


Frame rate unlock fix inside
Jun 23
// Jed Whitaker
So Batman: Arkham Knight just released and it seems like the PC port is having all kinds of issues. According to multiple Steam reviews the game is: capped to 30fps, often drops down to around 10fps or less when gliding ...
Arkham late Knight photo
Arkham late Knight
A select handful of reviews for Batman: Arkham Knight have popped up on the net this morning. We don't have one up and we likely won't have one ahead of its Tuesday release. In fact, it's looking like I will be heading out to...

Bat deals photo
Bat deals

All the Batman: Arkham Knight deals for this week's launch


Price takedown
Jun 22
// Dealzon
After a few delay and hiccups, the Caped Crusader's newest title Batman: Arkham Knight releases tomorrow on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The game lists for the usual $59.99, but on PC there are a handful of deals for...
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...

Weekend Deals: Grab hold of Arkham Knight at 46% off for PC

Jun 20 // Dealzon
Batman Arkham Discounts Use Coupon: DEALZO-N40OFF-BATAKV Batman: Arkham Knight Premium (Steam) — $53.99  (list price $100) Batman: Arkham Knight Standard (Steam) — $36  (list price $60) Batman: Arkham Knight Season Pass (Steam) — $24  (list price $40) Console Deals Batman: Arkham Knight + $10 Rewards (PS4) — $59.99  (list price $60) Batman: Arkham Knight Serious Edition (PS4, XOne) — $69.99  (list price $90) Use Code: GRAB25-PERCNT-OFFNOW Batman Arkham Origins (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) Batman Arkham City GOTY (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) Batman Arkham Asylum GOTY (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Deals Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward - Collectors Edition — $44.99  (list price $60) Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward — $29.99  (list price $40) Xbox & PS4 Consoles PlayStation 4 Console + Last of Us + Bloodborne — $399.99  (list price $400) Xbox One Halo MCC Bundle + AC: Unity + $50 Promo — $349  <- plus 1 free game Xbox One 1TB Console + Halo MCC + $50 Promo + AC: Unity — $399 <- ditto PlayStation Plus 12-Month Card — $39.99  (list price $50) Xbox Live Gold 12 Month Gold Card — $35.99  (list price $60) Recent Releases 06/12: LEGO Jurassic World (Steam) — $25.99  (list price $40) 06/10: Kholat (Steam) — $13.50  (list price $20) Upcoming Releases 07/10: F1 2015 (Steam) — $39.95  (list price $55) 07/21: F1 2015 + $10 Xbox Gift Card (Xbox One) — $59.95  (list price $60) 08/04: Rare Replay + $10 Xbox Gift Card (Xbox One) — $29.99  <- not bad MSFT 11/10: Fallout 4 + $10 Xbox Gift Card (Xbox One) — $59.99  (list price $60) 11/10: Fallout 4 (Steam) — $45  (list price $60) PC Game Deals Just Cause 3 (Steam) — $40.50  (list price $60) Battlefield: Hardline Deluxe Edition (Origin) — $34.99  (list price $70) Dragon Age: Inquisition (Origin) — $29.99  (list price $60) World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (PC DVD) — $29.99  (list price $50) Killing Floor 2 (Steam) — $23.99  (list price $30) <- Steam Sale Day 10 Battlefield 4 Premium (Origin) — $19.99  (list price $40) Resident Evil 6 (Steam) — $7.49  (list price $30) The Wolf Among Us — $6.24  (list price $25) Duke Nukem Forever (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) <- meh? Age of Empires II HD (Steam) — $2.99  (list price $20) Console Game Deals Lords of the Fallen (PS4, Xbox One) — $27.99  (list price $40) Just Dance 2015 (PS4, XOne, 360, Wii U, Wii) — $19.99  (list price $50) <- still going South Park: The Stick of Truth (Xbox 360, PS3) — $14.99  (list price $30) PS4 Bloodborne (PS4) — $39.99  (list price $60) <- not bad Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS4) — $32.95  (list price $60) The Last of Us Remastered (PS4 Download) — $11.49  (list price $40) Xbox One Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One) — $24.99  (list price $40) Forza Motorsport 5: Racing Game of the Year (Xbox One) — $24.99  (list $40) Wii U Zelda Hyrule Warriors (Wii U) — $48.99  (list price $60) Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (Wii U) — $29.99  (list price $40) Laptop Deals 13.3" Lenovo LaVie Z, i7-5500U, 8GB, 256GB, 1440p — $1,274.15  (list $1,700) 17.3" Lenovo Y70, i7-4710HQ, GTX 860M, 16GB, 256GB — $1,099  (list $1,500) 14" Lenovo Yoga 3, i5-5200U, 8GB, 256GB SSD — $919  (list $1,200) HDTV Deals 48" Samsung UN48H8000 Curved 240Hz 3D Smart TV — $1,049.99  (list $1,798) 55" LG 55UB8200 2160p 4K Ultra HD Smart TV — $838  (list $2,200) 55" Samsung UN55J6300 120Hz Smart HDTV — $749.99  (list $1,800) 55" LG 55LF6000 1080p 120Hz HDTV — $549.99  (list $899) 50" LG 50LF6000 1080p 120Hz HDTV — $499.99  (list  $700) SSD Deals Crucial M500 Series SSD 2.5" 960GB — $279.99  (list price $520) SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD 2.5" 480GB — $199.99  (list price $400) PNY CS1111 SSD 2.5" 480GB — $139.99  (list price $200) Seagate 1TB 3.5" Hard Drive — $34.99  (list price $80) Game deals from Dealzon. Sales from certain retailers help support Destructoid.
Weekend deals photo
Gotham's Bargaining
For PC gamers, Tuesday's release of Batman: Arkham Knight is fairly cheap over the weekend -- up to 46% off list price. Use our 40% off code at GMG which drops the price of the Standard Edition from $60 to only...

Contest photo
We're giving away 5 copies!
CONTEST OVER! WINNERS NOTIFIED BY COMMENT OR PM. THANKS! Courtesy of DLCompare.com, we have five copies of Batman: Arkham Knight to give away on Steam! To win, simply leave a comment below! We will select five winners at...

Batman CE photo
Batman CE

Batman: Arkham Knight $200 Batmobile edition canceled


'Greatly compromised' statue
Jun 18
// Steven Hansen
Ugh, what is this, Batmantoid!? I just wrote about how the exclusivity of the retail-exclusive DLC expires a few months after release, but there's one other Bat-thing to note, which is that WB has canceled the $200 edition wi...
You still have to pay photo
You still have to pay

Batman: Arkham Knight retail-exclusive DLC to be widely available in fall


You still have to pay
Jun 18
// Steven Hansen
Okay, let's unpack the headline. Batman: Arkham Knight is being published by Warner Bros. Interactive. WB is a consumer-gouging publisher, so Batman: Arkham Knight has a $40 season pass with Batgirl, $100 premium ed...
VIDEO photo
VIDEO

Batman: Arkham Knight gameplay live at E3


Video
Jun 18
// Steven Hansen
Batman: Arkham Knight is out next week, but in case you were interested in seeing it in a live, non-trailer setting, here you go. So colorful!
Scary as hell photo
Scary as hell

PS4 exclusive Scarecrow DLC shown for Batman: Arkham Knight


Looks so spooooooooky
Jun 15
// Jed Whitaker
Batman: Arkham Knight is getting some PS4 exclusive DLC that includes missions based around the Scarecrow, as well as some fancy costumes for Batman, including classic Batman.  One of the scariest trailers I've ever seen, with one of the coolest characters stuck behind console exclusive DLC. Too bad for Xbox One players, I feel for you.

Steam Summer Sale hits Day 3, Fallout 4 pre-order deal returns

Jun 13 // Dealzon
Top Weekend Deals Noteworthy Picks Batman: Arkham Knight Premium Ed. (Steam) — $53.99  (list price $100) Fallout 4 (Steam) — $45  (list price $60) Grand Theft Auto V — $45  (list price $60) ARK: Survival Evolved (Steam) — $24.89  (list price $30) Starcraft II: Battle Chest (PC/Mac) — $19.99  (list price $40) PlayStation TV — $39.99  (list price $80) Xbox Live Gold 12 Month Card — $35.99  (list price $60) Steam Summer Sale Deals Day 3 Cities: Skylines — $20.09  (list price $40) <- excellent at this price Prison Architect — $4.49  (list price $30) Sunless Sea — $11.39 (list price $19) Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel — $19.9  (list price $60) <- off lowest by $1.8 Borderlands 2 GOTY — $9.99 (list price $30) Shadow of Mordor cheaper at Bundle Stars ($20) or Games Planet ($17) Day 2 Wolfenstein: The New Order — $14.99  (list price $60) Wolfenstein: The Old Blood — $9.99  (list price $20) <- new low! This War of Mine — $7.99  (list price $20) Hitman Collection — $7.99  (list price $40) Mount & Blade: Warband — $3.99  (list price $20) <- worth a visit for $4 Child of Light (Uplay) — $3.74  (list price $15) Origin Sale Deals Battlefield: Hardline — $29.99  (list price $60) <- no surprises Dragon Age: Inquisition — $29.99  (list price $60) <- ties lowest ever Battlefield 4 + Premium — $24.99  (list price $60) Need for Speed Rivals: Complete Edition — $19.99  (list price $40) Battlefield 4 Premium — $19.99  (list price $40) FIFA 15 — $19.99  (list price $40) Recent Releases 06/12: LEGO Jurassic World (Steam) — $27.99  (list price $40) 06/11: The Story Goes On (Steam) — $3.37  (list price $5) 06/10: Kholat (Steam) — $13.50  (list price $20) 05/28: Flame Over (Steam) — $7.20  (list price $12) 05/22: The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 3 (Steam) — $10.04  (list $15) 05/19: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (DRM-Free) — $35.99  (list price $60) Upcoming Releases 06/16: Xbox One 1TB + Halo Master Chief Col. + $50 Gift Card — $399 06/18: Pro Cycling Manager 2015 (Steam) — $27  (list price $40) 06/23: Batman: Arkham Knight (Steam) — $36  (list price $60) 06/23: Batman: Arkham Knight Season Pass (Steam) — $24  (list price $40) 07/10: F1 2015 (Steam) — $35.95  (list price $55) 09/15: Mighty No. 9 (Steam) — $15  (list price $20) PC Game Deals Darksiders Franchise Use Code: GRAB25-PERCNT-OFFNOW Darksiders Franchise Pack (Steam) — $9  (list price $60) Darksiders 2 (Steam) — $4.50  (list price $30) Darksiders (Steam) — $3  (list price $20) LEGO Titles Use Code: GRAB25-PERCNT-OFFNOW LEGO Batman (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) Lego: The Hobbit (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) LEGO Lord of the Rings (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) The LEGO Movie: Videogame (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes (Steam) — $3.75  (list price $20) More Deals Killing Floor 2 (Steam) — $25.45  (list price $30) Mortal Kombat X (Steam) — $23.19  (list price $60) Cities: Skylines (Steam) — $20.99  (list price $30) Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (Steam) — $17.13  (list price $50) Console Game Deals Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin (PS4, XOne) — $41.99  (list price $60) Dark Souls II Collector's Edition (X360) — $39.99  (list price $80) MLB 15 The Show (PS4) — $39.99  (list price $60) Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker (Wii U) — $32.60  (list price $40) BioShock Infinite: Complete Edition (Xbox 360, PS3) — $19.99  (list price $30) Used Game Sale Dragon Age: Inquisition - Used (X360, PS4, XOne, PS3) — $24.99  (list $60) Evolve - Used (Xbox One, PS4) — $19.99  (list price $60) Far Cry 4 - Used (PS4, Xbox One) — $19.99  (list price $40) Destiny - Used (PS3) — $18.99  (list price $40) Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel - Used (Xbox 360) — $12.99  (list price $40) Assassin's Creed Unity - Used (Xbox One) — $9.99  (list price $40) Crimes and Punishments: Sherlock Holmes - Used (X360) — $8.99  (list $30) Laptop Deals 11.6" Apple MacBook Air, i5-4260U, 256GB SSD — $799  (list $999) 14" Lenovo Y40-80, i7-5500U, Radeon R9, 8GB, 512GB SSD — $749  (list $1,500) 15.6" Lenovo U530 Touch, i5-4210U, 8GB, 1080p — $599  (list $1,150) HDTV Deals 65" Insignia 1080p 120Hz LED HDTV — $699.99  (list price $900) 40" Samsung 4K Ultra HD 60Hz Smart LED HDTV — $549.99  (list price $1,000) 40" Samsung 1080p Smart LED HDTV — $489.99  (list price $600) 43" Insignia 1080p LED HDTV — $289.99  (list price $330) Accessories & Hardware Deals Crucial M500 Series SSD 2.5" 960GB — $289.99  (list price $520) XFX Double Dissipation Radeon R9 290X 4GB Video Card + Dirt Rally — $269.99  WD Elements 5TB External Hard Drive — $119.99  (list price $200) SanDisk Ultra II SSD 2.5" 240GB — $89.99  (list price $150)
Weekend Deals photo
Hide your wallets!
Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably knew that on Thursday the Steam Summer Sale kicked off. This Saturday marks Day Three of the sale with a new round of Daily Deals and Flash Sales coming at 1 PM Eastern. (W...

Horror and secrecy need to be better bedfellows

Jun 08 // Zack Furniss
[embed]293479:58861:0[/embed] Don't Do This In this year's Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Capcom felt the need to release videos that focused on the various beasties players would be facing throughout the episodes. Any surprise or confusion that should have been reserved for a first encounter is squandered by any fan wishing to keep up with a product they are excited for and have most likely already decided to purchase. Though some consumers make the decision to go on media blackouts to prevent this exact situation, it shouldn't be on them to decide not to watch. This effectively renders these marketing efforts useless. Another title that gave away too much before anyone played it is last year's The Evil Within. One of the bosses, an amalgam of limbs and hair, was arguably the most unique creature in the game. It could teleport from corpse to corpse by climbing out of their coagulating puddles of blood and your best bet was to flee. This made for a thrilling moment in a mostly monotonous survival horror, but by the time The Evil Within came out, anyone who had been following it knew exactly what to do to survive. So what do we about this? Publishers want to make money, and the best way to do that is by showing the most exciting, gruesome sections of their newest product. But is that the only way? There are a few successful games from the last couple of years that prove there are other viable methods. So What Can Be Done? This is the part where I talk about P.T. (you knew it was coming). On August 12 of last year, P.T. was released alongside a short teaser at Gamescom. The teaser only showed reaction shots of people afraid of whatever they were playing. I immediately downloaded it out of curiosity and found the best horror game of last year. That it ended up being a teaser for the now-cancelled Silent Hills was icing on the bloody cake (I can already hear DashDarwin fuming in the comments). P.T. diffused through gaming media like a drop of blood in a glass of water; even with (and, let's be honest, because of) its utter destruction by Konami it will be remembered for a long time. I'd be foolish to deny that P.T. being free had no bearing on how often it was downloaded. However, I think if a new game came out of nowhere for only a few dollars it would have a chance of replicating this viral success. It's worth a shot at least.  Next up, we have Bloodborne. Sony spared no expense with providing images and videos of From Software's latest, but players had no idea what was lurking in its back half. BLOODBORNE SPOILERS FOLLOW, SKIP THE NEXT PARAGRAPH AND IMAGE TO KEEP YOURSELF SAFE. Though Bloodborne started off with beast-like enemies and Gothic environments, its latter half brought enough Great Ones, cosmic horror, and tentacles to merit numerous comparisons to the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Most players would likely have been content with fighting lycanthropes in their various forms throughout the dark descent, but this unexpected tonal shift provided an identity that separated it from the studio's previous work with Dark Souls.  Providing media only from the first half (quarter, eighth, whatever) could be a way for publishers to keep the horror skulking about in the shadows and allow room for players to be surprised. An example of the downside to this method would be Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and its Raiden fake out. Though I appreciate that surprise now, Hideo Kojima earned a well of ire for that back in the day. There's definitely a risk here, but Bloodborne is proof that it can pay off beautifully. The last idea I have isn't exactly for releasing new games, but for adding content to them. The wonderful Lone Survivor: Director's Cut added extra endings, a new enemy, and fresh music to the original, yet no one could find them upon release. Creator Jasper Byrne teased this, and mentioned looking forward "to hearing your thoughts about the new edition, and interpretations of the new content… especially the secret endings!" And so began a mad hunt to uncover anything new, and no one could find anything for a few weeks (and if they did, they didn't tell the internet). Byrne created more excitement by doing this than he would have if he had just said "here's how you get the new ending, and here's where you fight the new monster." Though it isn't explicitly a horror game, Batman: Arkham Asylum did something similar. Just around the time the sequel Arkham City was announced, it was discovered that there were hidden blueprints for the Arkham City itself in the original game. How cool is that? Rocksteady Games waited until time had passed to expose this and it made players go back to see it for themselves. I understand that developers want everything they've made to get some time in the sun, but this delayed gratification can be just as, if not more, impressive. I'm not a marketing expert, and I won't claim to be. But in a time where the Internet can be used as a tool to spread information via experimental methods, we may as well try to change things up. P.T. and Bloodborne show that these risks can be well worth taking. Here's hoping some of these ideas are implemented next week at E3. Please don't show us everything!
Horror games photo
We can do better
Horror games, as much as I love them, have a serious problem right now.   In the modern-day media maelstrom, almost every scare, monster, and plot twist is given away or hinted at before a game is released. Of course, us...

Red Hood photo
Red Hood

Check out Red Hood in action in Batman: Arkham Knight


Sadly, a pre-order bonus
Jun 08
// Chris Carter
Because Warner Bros. is Warner Bros., the Red Hood Story Pack DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight will be hidden behind a GameStop exclusive pre-order bonus. It's a shame, because based on the video above, it actually looks k...
LA E3 ads photo
LA E3 ads

Uncharted 4 ad spotted as LA gets all dressed up for E3


Banner? I hardly even know her!
Jun 08
// Steven Hansen
Oh boy oh boy, I'm a week from making Jordan breakfast every morning and talking about the '97 Colorado Rockies in person with Brett Makedonski. E3's back, baby, like the Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bender the robot, Godfather III...
Batman: Arkham Knight photo
Batman: Arkham Knight

Nvidia gives Batman: Arkham Knight the Gameworks treatment


Look at all the settings you won't use!
Jun 07
// Zack Furniss
Like the previous games in the Batman: Arkham series, Arkham Knight's PC release will feature extra bells and whistles courtesy of Nvidia. If you don't have an Nvidia card, you'll always have this trailer to imagine wha...
Batman figure photo
Batman figure

San Diego Comic Con exclusive Batman toy is not that exclusive


Wait, what?
Jun 05
// Steven Hansen
Square Enix's Play Arts Kai line is doing a limited color version (it's blue, the color is blue) Batman Arkham Knight doll billed as, "Square Enix's 2015 San Diego Comic Con Exclusive," but you don't have to go to SDCC to get...
Batman photo
Batman

Batman: Arkham Knight clocks in at 45GB


No loading
Jun 04
// Chris Carter
Recently, we learned that Batman: Arkham Knight would have no load screens throughout the entire game. Today we have learned why, as it looks like Knight will take up a hefty 45GB of space on the PC, PS4, and Xbox O...
Arkham Knight photo
Arkham Knight

Harley Quinn has a new Arkham Knight trailer, and she is quite pissed off


Swingin' that bat like Sammy Sosa
Jun 02
// Brett Makedonski
Harley Quinn continues her crusade against authority, and she does it in style in this new Arkham Knight trailer. Cops fall one by one via Louisville Sluggers to the dome, explosive children's toys, and swift (non-Taylo...
Batman Arkham Knight photo
Batman Arkham Knight

Batman: Arkham Knight: No loading, trophies leaked, New Game+


69, nice!
Jun 01
// Steven Hansen
Batman: Arkham Knight director Sefton Hill explained in this developer diary that the new Arkham will have "No loading screens as you play through the whole game." "You can play from the start of the game to the end of the ...

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