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No Man's Sky photo
No Man's Sky

No Man's Sky can't be spoiled


Game's so big, everyone's experiences will differ
Jul 13
// Vikki Blake
Don't worry about avoiding videos and interviews regarding No Man's Sky; the game can't be spoiled, according to the developer. Talking to The Guardian, Hello Games’ Sean Murray said the sheer scale of the gam...
No Man's Sky photo
No Man's Sky

I'm finally starting to get No Man's Sky


Extended footage
Jul 06
// Jordan Devore
What do you do in No Man's Sky? Hello Games could spend the rest of its time leading up to release trying to answer that question and people would continue asking anyway. This "18 minutes of uninterrupted gameplay" from IGN ...

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

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


No Man's Sky PC photo
'Full release date soon'
Hello Games' Sean Murray took the stage at E3's first PC Gaming Show to announce that No Man's Sky will release on PC and PS4 "at the same time" -- no Sony timed exclusivity there. He noted that he was originally go...

Joe Danger photo
Joe Danger

Tearaway is back with a cameo in Joe Danger 2 for PS Vita


Forget Steve from Minecraft, play as Atoi or Iota instead
Jan 07
// Jordan Devore
Before No Man's Sky, there was Joe Danger 2, a lovable side-scrolling racing/platform game about a motorbike-riding daredevil. After appearing on Xbox 360, PC, and PlayStation 3, the game is now primed for its PS Vita debut, ...
New purple trailer photo
New purple trailer

No Man's Sky also has purple, is still amazing


Not all men's sky
Dec 05
// Steven Hansen
No Man's Sky showed off a particularly purple planet in its Game Awards trailer. It's still exciting, walking amidst bioluminscent fauna and dinosaurs, getting into your ship and zipping off to another planet. Oh, and t...
Misandry photo
Misandry

No Man's Sky planning 'something different' at PlayStation Experience


See new worlds, new gameplay
Nov 19
// Steven Hansen
I've been excited for No Man's Sky for almost a years' time now, but it has become a passive excitement as I wait patiently for it to release. This video, what with some footage I haven't seen and it generally looking a...
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I'll crush the whole moon with my butt
I've been buried in gamescom news this week, but I've surfaced to relay the stories I'm most excited about to you. Life is Strange is an unusual adventure game from the creators of Remember Me. No Man's Sky allegedly would take actual millennium to explore. And we finally see what Claptrap has up his sleeve in Borderlands The Pre-Sequel. Turns out, it's a whole bag of tricks.

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It would take you 4,000 years to see repetition in No Man's Sky


An FU to the 'guy in the comments'
Aug 13
// Dale North
At a gamescom presentation today, Sean Murray from Hello Games wanted to give his comeback to a "guy in the comments" that goes against his claim that the universe of upcoming game No Man's Sky is infinite. The comments ...
No Man's Sky photo
No Man's Sky

No Man's Sky is flying to PC just a bit after its PS4 debut


Then it's many men's sky
Aug 01
// Brett Makedonski
PlayStation 4 players better be fine with sharing their airspace, because those on PC will also have a chance to explore the procedurally generated lands of Hello Games' No Man's Sky. IGN reports that next month's issue ...

Video: No Man's Sky impressions

Jun 18 // Max Scoville
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Max and Bill attempt to describe procedural generation
Of all the games we saw at E3, No Man's Sky is probably the most difficult to describe without sounding like we just came down from a mescaline trip. A procedurally-generated universe filled with millions of planets? Each with new and unique flora and fauna? Spaceships that shoot lasers? This is definitely a high concept game. Hopefully, the final product delivers, because it sounds cool as hell.

Our personal game of the show picks for E3 2014

Jun 18 // Steven Hansen
Night in the Woods At E3 this year, there were plenty of big, loud action-packed games that got my attention with their ridable elephants, exploding testicles, and crapping horses, one game managed to stand out as something special. A Night In The Woods is a platformer adventure game in which players take on the role of a ennui-laden twenty-year-old cat named Mae, who's stuck living in a small town at her parents house, suffering the same existential crisis that many twenty-somethings experience when they don't immediately hit their stride after high school. In my time with the game, I hopped around exploring the world, examining objects, and talking to townspeople. One of my peers had been forced into therapy after getting caught stealing codeine cough syrup. In an attic, I found some baby rats living in a decommissioned parade float. The subject matter and tone was reminiscent of movies like Adventureland, Ghost World, and Girl, Interrupted, but with an aesthetic and sense of humor more in line with Guacamelee. I ended up putting my controller down before the demo was even complete, because I didn't want to spoil anything else before I had the full game in my hands. E3 is one of the biggest, loudest, most commercial events I've ever attended. Sure, I'm still stoked for the games with the explosions and guns and ninjas ripping out peoples' spines, but it's refreshing to come across something so weird, personal and human. Even if you play as a cat. Far Cry 4 I had so so so much fun with Far Cry 3 that I'm beyond excited to get my hands on Far Cry 4. The team at Ubisoft know how much of a success that Far Cry 3 was, and they're expanding on the core elements in lots of fun ways. Ridable elephants, semi-auto grenade launchers, cutting the breaks on cars -- tons of small touches on top of a system that was near perfect already, at least in my opinion. The new setting completely encourages vertical play, so you'll be getting that awesome wingsuit way earlier this time around. Plus grappling hooks! What's even more exciting is that you can invite your friends on the PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4 to help you play through the game in co-op even if they don't own a copy of the game. That's a concept that I really hope becomes a trend going forward. Other favorites: Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain, Titan Souls, Bloodborne, Super Smash Bros, Hyper Light Drifter, Batman: Arkham Knight, Splatoon, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse No Man's Sky Exploring is the best, isn't it? My favorite part of Minecraft is walking around caves and land masses just seeing what's out there and more often than not being totally amazed. No Man's Sky elevates that exploration to a whole new level. Exploring new planets and then exploring what's on those planets sounds like too much. In fact, it does sound like too much, at times. However, I know with Hello Games behind the helm that No Man's Sky will deliver. It may sound odd saying that, since their only track record is the Joe Danger series, but after meeting and chatting with Sean Murray at E3 2012, I know this ambitious title is in good hands. Plus, the Joe Danger games are amazing. Hello Games is like Thomas Jefferson, asking us, Lewis and Clark, to explore the Louisiana Purchase, which is No Man's Sky. It'll be ambitious, scary, but in the end, totally rewarding. And I'll take this moment to ask Steven Hansen to be the Meriwether Lewis to my William Clark [I do! - Ed.] If When Hello Games delivers, No Man's Sky will be their defining game, and the defining game of a generation. Assassin's Creed Unity Believe it or not, I'm still not tired of Assassin's Creed. Ubisoft has brought the kind of iterative design process you'd normally see in franchise shooters or sports games, but amazingly, managed to make it work on the scale of these open worlds, and it's working (for the most part). If Assassin's Creed Unity can provide on the fronts we've come to expect from a new entry in the franchise, while improving on what came before, then next year's romp in the chaos of the French Revolution should be pretty boss. Plus, being that far out should hopefully give the many Ubisoft teams at work on Unity time to course-correct after the debacle that is their current stance on having playable female characters. That's a real shame, considering that in the triple-A development space Assassin's Creed has been a somewhat reliable property to pay attention to diversity, at least compared to other mega-franchises. Other favorites: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed, The Order: 1886, No Man's Sky, Destiny Destiny The phrase, "From the creators of Halo," has been prominently featured in just about every piece of Destiny marketing, and for an unabashed Halo fanboy such as myself (yes, I even liked Halo 4 and ODST), the phrase commands a level of trust in what Destiny could be. As time went on however, it felt like little more than a marketing tagline. You see, the problem I, and many others, have had with Destiny was how coy Bungie was being with the details. Considering the game's title and first details were forcibly outed via a court document during the West-Zampella vs. Activision lawsuit, this isn't incredibly surprising. But when you invite an army of press up to your offices, and make an appearance the previous E3, I shouldn't still be confused as to what the game is. For me, E3 2014 was Destiny's put up or shut up time, and by God, did they put on a show, not only on the show floor, but also with the recent alpha. While we knew that the game was some sort of mesh of first person shooters and MMO's, the brilliance of it can not be appreciated until you've sat with it for a few hours. With a quest filled open world, and dungeon raids with bosses who's strategies would be right at home in Guild Wars 2, Destiny has so far done an amazing job of introducing the better parts of the MMO genre to an audience, like me, who's been typically disinterested. Don't misunderstand me either; I'm well aware that Destiny's MMO sensibilities are standard fare in any proper MMO, but the way it's brought together with the familiar Halo-feeling shooting gels into something great. It also helps that the game world does a great job of, while aesthetically science fiction, invoking the mystery and intrigue of a fantasy setting. Not enough can be said for the music either. Marty's ambient, soft chanting choirs, and dramatic swells during combat make me feels some type of way. Virtual Reality More interesting than the individual games that are revealed each year at E3 are the trends that dominate it. It gives a glimpse to the direction of the industry and what we can expect more of in the near future. This year, thanks to a strong showing, it's tough to not be convinced that the virtual reality space will be a very serious one very soon. It's not surprising that those working on virtual reality had an impressive E3; almost every single show turns out that way. But, it's the strides that are being taken to make the likes of Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus more monumental each time we slide that peripheral over our eyes. Lucky's Tale and Alien: Isolation are games that look to be light years ahead of where the technology was when it was first introduced. When will it plateau? When will we stop noticing such grand advancements with relative frequency? I don't know, but it's sure exciting to watch. Other favorites: Assassin's Creed Unity, Super Smash Bros., Alien: Isolation, Titan Souls, Far Cry 4, Metal Gear Solid V Master Chief Collection If you had any friends at all whom you wanted to play games with in 2004, they were playing Halo 2. It was a phenomenon; the masses bought an Xbox for the original Halo, and they purchased Xbox Live for Halo 2. And there was good reason for that. Bungie created a multiplayer experience that, to this day, is unmatched. It was simple, classic arena style multiplayer that has somehow been lost -- even within the franchise itself, unfortunately -- in the RPG class progression system of the modern multiplayer experience. Persistent lobbies and integrated clan systems were also breakthroughs in console online experiences, all backed up with the most memorable map design in any game, ever. After the original Xbox server shutdown a few years back there's no easy way to play Halo 2 online these days. However, later this year we get to do it all again with Halo: The Master Chief Collection. It encompasses all numbered entries 1-4 in the franchise, with the focus being on the sophomore entry's visual overhaul. From the screenshots so far, ten years has made it look like that original target render from its first E3 teaser debut. It looks incredible, but is going to play exactly the same with all the original super bounces, glitches, etc. going untouched. That's everything I could hope for. The rest of the games are also there with their respective engines, multiplayer maps (over 100), and campaigns; all accessible at any time without having to switch games at 60 frames per second in 1080p. Nothing like that has ever been done, and that's why it's incredible and exciting. I've put in what has to be thousands of hours in the franchise over the years, so there's no reason I should be that excited to do it again, right? Well, that's exactly why I am. I can't wait to play countless rounds of Capture the Flag on Blood Gulch, Team Slayer on Ivory Tower, Team Swat on Terminal, and everything in-between. I'm ready to be excited about playing a stellar arena style online FPS again, even if it means being so about games that I already have a decade ago. Others I'm excited for: Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Mortal Kombat X, Phantom Dust, and Xenoblade Chronicles X DOOM 4 I play a lot of DOOM. As in, present tense. Just last month, in fact, my brothers, my dad and I all huddled around my Xbox 360 and super shotgunned our way through the entirety of DOOM II in four-player co-op -- a memory I will not soon forget. To say that id's seminal All-Father of the FPS genre holds a special place in my gib-loving heart would be a gross understatement -- I live for DOOM, even 20 years later. So when Bethesda booted up their brief-but-badass CGI teaser for the new DOOM at E3 this year, I literally punched the air above my head and shouted "YES!" Everything about this trailer excited me; from the cheesy voice over to the slow crawl across the surface of the newly-designed Cyberdemon to the quick shots of the Union Aerospace Corporation logo on its armor, I was sold. And when the video closed with the classic DOOM shotgun pump and door-opening sound (oh my god that sound) and a next-gen Cyberdemon standing ready to fill my ass full of rockets, you couldn't have put a bigger smile on my face if you had showed me John Romero's head on a pike. We still don't know much about DOOM 4 -- including if it's even called that -- but hopefully Quakecon 2014 and the upcoming beta will duct tape a flashlight onto our eyes so we can peer into its shadows and reveal a bit more about what we can expect. Until then, if you need me you can find me watching the E3 teaser on repeat in between a replay of DOOM 3: BFG Edition. Because hey, DOOM 3 wasn't that bad. Other favorites: Bloodborne, Crackdown, No Man's Sky, Splatoon Bloodborne I love all of the Souls games in my own way, but out of the current triumvirate, Demon's is still my favorite. Naturally, my interest was piqued when I heard that From Software would be working on a spiritual successor for the PlayStation 4, helmed by director Hidetaka Miyazaki. What we got was something different -- something that doesn't necessarily follow the Souls formula as closely as Demon's successors, and I'm perfectly fine with that. The long rumored Project Beast was unveiled as Bloodborne, and it looks fantastic. Guns are a go, as is a newly minted 19th century Victorian-era town called Yharnam -- which is enough to set it apart from its predecessors right there. The good news though is that the tried and true strategic combat system returns, described as a "life or death struggle." Details are still being worked out on Bloodborne (we don't even know what the death system will be like), but you'll be hearing all about them as soon as we find out, because Miyazaki and his team have once again stolen E3, and my curiosity. Other favorites: Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Super Smash Bros., Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Bayonetta 2, Zelda Wii U, Halo: The Master Chief Collection Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Super Mario 3D World was an amazing experience. It had so many memorable moments; I could just go on about it for days. The Captain Toad stages, though, those were among my favorite parts of the game. From the moment I first experienced one of these inspired diversions, wherein players take a breather from the breakneck action to explore and solve puzzles, I longed for Mario's diminutive pal to get his own spin-off. Little did I think it would actually happen. Nintendo is actually making my dreams come true, though. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is coming to Wii U this winter and it looks like the developers have found plenty of ways to flesh out the concept and craft a varied, full-bodied product. I couldn't be more happy about that. Other favorites: Xenoblade Chronicles X, Bloodborne Metal Gear Solid V I could talk about my love for the Metal Gear franchise stemming from the very first time I popped Metal Gear Solid into my PlayStation, set a hard limit of two days, and finally completed it. I could go on for hours about the cinematography, the heartwrenching and yet totally engaging journeys I've gone on throughout the series, or even the fact that I can always count on a Kojima game to show me something I've never seen before. I could elaborate on how the very first full-length trailer sent actual chills down my spine, something I haven't felt from early game footage in quite some time. There are plenty of reasons why Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain remains my favorite game of E3, but the most succinct reasoning I can give boils down to four simple words: "We are Diamond Dogs." And I think I speak for every Metal Gear fan when I say that the phrase "next year" has never felt so incredibly poisonous. Other favorites: Bayonetta 2, D4, Devil's Third, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Amiibos, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, Splatoon, Cuphead Starwhal: Just the Tip What's better than intergalactic Narwhals fighting each other to the death with their glorious horns? Nothing. That's what. Out of all of the games that I played at E3, the one that I had the most fun playing was Starwhal: Just The Tip. Outstanding name aside, it's actually an extremely fun multi-player battle free for all. The level of customization you can do with your respective Starwhal is pretty darn impressive. Not only can you change the basic color of you Starwhal but you can also add accessories such as... wait for it... a lightsaber for a horn. Yes. Your Starwhal can impale other Starwhals with a lightsaber. You can also dress like a Jedi, put on a Jayne hat if you're a Firefly fanatic, and you can even don a fez and bowtie like the 11th Doctor if you really want to look cool. All of my nerd senses were tingling pretty hard during just the character select. If I was having this much fun in the character select screen, I could have only imagined how awesome the game would actually be. The game did not disappoint. Your target is a giant throbbing heart (which is also customizable!) right in the Starwhal's chest unit. Your goal no matter the game mode: STABBITY THE HEART. Granted, the controls were a little difficult to get used to at first and felt a little clunky but it was still an extremely enjoyable experience. Once you get accustomed to the controls you could really have a lot of fun stabbing your friends repeatedly with your own unique Starwhal. It's a very basic set-up. You use one analog stick to move forward and another to move from side to side. There's also a taunt that you can use to troll your opponents or strike fear into their hearts. Either one. You're a fancy dressed Space Narwhal. You do what you want. Sunset Overdrive Sunset Overdrive had me more excited than anything at E3. From the giant Fizzie balloon that hung intimidatingly above the convention center to the costumed staff and giant projector in which the game was shown on the show floor, its clear Microsoft has a lot of faith in the title. From what I saw and played this past week, it pretty much delivered on every level. Insomniac Games has been building their knowledge of shooters for years and Sunset Overdrive is the perfect execution of everything they have done right over the past two decades. The shooting/platforming/grinding mechanics are solid and I was more than impressed with the fluidity of the combat. The weapons will put any Ratchet and Clank fan right at home and the platforming/grinding feels like what would happen if you mixed Jet Grind Radio with Titanfall. The game screams with neo-punk attitude, and the world is absolutely stunning and full of character. Sunset Overdrive certainly sets the bar for current gen stylized games and I have high hopes for the final release after getting my hands on it this E3. Ori and the Blind Forest Since Nintendo and Konami seem set on never returning to 2D Metroid or Castlevania, we have had to rely on independent developers to deliver that experience, and Ori and the Blind Forest looks like it will excel in that space. Combat is fast and impactful without being too easy. Traversing the environments is intuitive with impressively precise control. But what really gets people to notice are the gorgeous, hand-drawn, never-repeated visuals. Each screen in Ori and the Blind Forest is a work of art, not only making great use of color and effects, but also providing the skeleton for challenging platforming. In motion, the artwork comes together even better than it looks in still frames, and the fluidity of its gameplay complements the artwork perfectly. Other Favorites: Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Sunset Overdrive, Super Smash Bros., Tales from the Borderlands Grim Fandango I was surprised as anyone when I heard that an HD remastered version of Grim Fandango would be appearing on the PS4 and Vita. The final notable adventure game from LucasArt's golden era has been out of print for a while now and has been absent from online stores like GOG.com and Steam. Fans have demanded an HD re-release but let's face it, those demand are seldom met. What's even more surprising is a one of the big three console makers having a 16 year old adventure game being worthy of appearing at their E3 press conference. Tim Schafer's final game for LucasArts was a wonderfully atmospheric mix of Dia De Los Muertos mythology and classic film noir style. It tells the story of afterlife travel salesman, Manny Calavera, who stumbles on a mystery that's seeing the dead stripped of their just rewards. Grim Fandango innovated in a quite a few ways, stripping away a lot of the interface that was a LucasArts trademark and fully 3D environments. I'd be lying if I said I thought Grim Fandango is going to shift a lot of PS4s and Vitas but hey, it's good to see one of the big three understand that re-releases of classic games like these are a great addition to a console's library. Splatoon I love Nintendo, wait no, that’s not right. What I meant to say was, I absolutely adore Nintendo, and everything they do. I also love to shoot stuff (in videogames that is). Imagine how excited I was when Nintendo announced Splatoon at this year’s E3. Two of my favorite things, shooters and Nintendo, brought together in one solid looking package. For those of you, who may have missed this amazing looking game, Splatoon is a third-person shooter starring a group of squid kids who set out to paint the playing field in as much colorful ink as possible. Now, this being Nintendo, there are no “headshots” full of blood, no gore, no limbs flying everywhere, nothing gross; instead we are treated with supersoakers full of brightly colored ink wielded by kids who can literally turn into squids to swim through their ink and sneak-up on their enemies. Although we only had the chance to view a couple of different maps, I am already sold on Splatoon and cannot wait to see how the game changes and takes shape. There’s something magical that happens when Nintendo makes games, the care and polish they put into everything they do oozes with love and I have no doubt that Splatoon will turn out any different. Color me interested, Nintendo. Other favorites: Zelda Wii U, Hyrule Warriors, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Bayonetta 2, Yoshi’s Wooly Word, Rainbow Six: Siege Smash Bros. The Year of Luigi may be over, but Nintendo is far from done with passionately and unabashedly embracing their current outsider image. While nearly every other big budget publisher put realism and ultra-violence at the forefront, Nintendo returned fire with... the God damn Pac-Man. Nintendo showed a lot of awesome games at E3 this year, with Zelda for Wii U, Splatoon, and Star Fox hitting particularly hard, but no other game sums up exactly where Nintendo is at this moment that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. It's a new spin on the old classics, fresh and exciting while familiar and comforting, completely ignoring the latest trends in AAA gaming while offering something that has more mainstream appeal than nearly anything else at the show. Smash Bros. is a perfect fit for E3. It's a celebration of videogames as a whole, and a extreme example of a feeling that only videogames can provide. A feeling that something shouldn't feel real, but it does. A feeling that all of the ingredients should taste right together, but they do. Sonic, Mega Man, Mario, and Pac-Man all kicking the crap out of each other doesn't make any sense. It also doesn't make any sense that we would want it more than anything else in the world right now, but we do. We really do. Alien: Isolation I've already written about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for our official Game of the Show, so for my personal pick I'll go with the other title on the tip of my tongue anytime anyone inevitably asked last week, "So, did you play anything good?" Yes, you nosy, banal bastard, I did. Alien: Isolation. It was terrifying and left my hands mildly shaky and my chest heavy. I swore a lot, but with headphones on, you never know how loud or who is hearing. How the entire game is paced out will be important, but the focused challenge map I played did well to distill the essence of Alien. You are completely, hopelessly outmatched by a superior being that lumbers with great size yet zips off into the ship's underbelly with quickness. Sitting there with the motion tracker out, wondering if you're screwed, is like Jaws' orchestral tension at all times and much bleaker. Stealth by way of survival horror rather than MGSV's stealth by way of empowerment. I really hope Isolation lives up to this showing. Other favorites: Metal Gear Solid V, D4, Cuphead, Grim Fandango, No Man's Sky, Night in the Woods -- Ciao, amiche
Favorite E3 games! photo
And then he said, that's not my podiatrist, that's my mother!
You saw our E3 2014 Game of the Show. It was Metal Gear Solid V. Saved you a click.  Now, it's a good one. In fact, I wrote about why it was our Game of the Show in that very post you just didn't click. But E3 was full o...

No Man's Sky developers want players to work things out for themselves

Jun 12 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
The video that was shown off during the PlayStation press conference was what founder Sean Murray showed off to us. Starting on a beautiful colorful planet filled with dinosaur-like creatures, to jumping into a ship, blasting off into space, and finally getting into a dogfight that would lead us entering a nearby barren brown planet.  It was one thing seeing the video, but seeing it play out in front of us live just blew us away. Everything was so seamless, and the fight against enemy ships reminded me a lot of how space combat worked in Star Fox 64.  Players will be turned lose on a random starting point on the far edge of a galaxy when they begin No Man's Sky. There's no objectives, and there's no real story or narrative here. Instead, players are encouraged to move towards the center of the galaxy. But that's no easy task: the closer you get to the center, the harder the game will become. You'll need to improve your character and your ship, which is accomplished by gathering resources on the planets you explore.  There could be millions, even billions of planets spread across this universe. An insane concept to wrap your head around. That said, not every planet will be super special to explore. Murray tossed out a number estimating that maybe 90% of the planets you encounter will be barren, while 10% will be these rare treats. Maybe you'll be lucky and come across a forest biome, or something filled with all sorts of fish life. It's a small chance, and to the team it's about creating these holy-shit moments where players feel amazing that they found something so rare and unique. [embed]276297:54362:0[/embed] So this will probably give you a large sense of what kind of experience No Man's Sky will be aiming to provide. It's appealing to those players who are into what's continuing to become a bigger and bigger genre. "What we find is that the people like me who grew up with like Mario, that Mario generation, we think in terms of levels, and story, and how many collectables will there be," Murray told us. "We get this question all the time, what are the quests, the missions ... they're imagining [something like] there are a hundred pieces of an amulet and they've been spread across different planets and you have to go find them. There's none of that. No NPC is going to walk up to you and say 'I farm space chickens and all of them have been lost! Can you find them and bring them back to me and I'll give you a reward' or whatever.  "There's none of that and we get those questions a lot. The people that I find really interesting are the people who are growing up with Minecraft at the moment, who are like 16 or whatever, and they will just come up and they'll be totally accepting and they will just want to know 'can you do this, can you do that.' For them, Assassin's Creed is confusing and limited kind of thing, I think."   No Man's Sky is proudly stating that everything about the game is procedurally generated in some form or another. An amazing feat, made even more amazing when you realize only a handful of people work at Hello Games. So how are they pulling it off? Sean explained their process to me with the example focusing on a tree. They created one single tree that would act as the blueprint to the game. Then they applied a slider system of sorts that you'd see in games where you can customize your character features. This happens to all their creations, and it's a smart tech system that understands the basic structure of the object. So the system knows that trees are supposed to have trunks, and it won't do something like create a horse-shaped tree, for example. There's an infinite variety of every single thing, and it was mind-blowing just seeing how many different types of trees they have in their system as they kept on scrolling and scrolling through all the objects while they were demonstrating the tech engine to us. This system now completely frees the team from the constraint of content creation.  "The big thing that I find as a developer is that [this system] frees us. Content is really constraining. Next-gen games in particular are really constraining to what we can do. And we just have to think about that a lot less," said Murray. "Naturally for making something like Assassin's Creed, you have to have 800 people working to make all the content. And then naturally you have to have a blueprint for all those people to work with."   All the things you can encounter in the world also have their own lives going on too. If you come across something like a rhino, for instance, you can follow the creature around and watch it drink water, eat grass, fall asleep, and just live out its life. The same goes for fleets that are soaring through the solar systems. You can watch a fleet of ships descend upon a planet, leave the area for a few minutes, and when you come back you'll see where the vessels would realistically be at had you continued to watch them the whole time. The AI lifeforms are heavily reliant on all sorts of math to make what you encounter have a realistic nature to them, and they sort of stop existing in the world when you're away from them in order to not overload the engine.  Our meeting finished off by briefly touching on multiplayer. Everyone shares the same universe, but everyone is going to be starting at different parts of various galaxies, very far apart. This is a frontier, as Murray told us. It's about survival, being a tiny spec in this universe. They're doing the opposite of what an MMO would do, and while you'll potentially come across other players that chance is very small.  Despite learning new specifics, there's still a substantial amount of mystery behind this game. And that's largely on purpose.  "Games have gone in this ridiculous direction where they don't hold anything back. First three minutes of Call of Duty is like I've seen everything that I could ever see," said Murray. "After you've seen five buildings collapse in front of you in an enormous earthquake or whatever I'm just kind of numb to it, I've seen it all. I think stuff like Minecraft, DayZ, and Terraria have been popular as a reaction to that. It's swung so far up in this way. It must be horrible to be on the Call of Duty team and work out how you're going to wow people next E3. What are the boardroom discussions like? 'Let's have a horse companion!' "We want you to boot up, spawn on a planet, and feel at a loss kind of thing. And then just go work out things for yourself. That kind of lovely feeling in Minecraft when you first played it and you didn't know what any of the formulas were for crafting. It's just a cool feeling."   No Man's Sky will make its console debut on PlayStation 4 at some point in the future.
No Man's Sky photo
No hand holding, all about discovery and exploration
No Man's Sky. We've been abuzz about this game ever since the first trailer was revealed late last year, and today Destructoid got to see a live gameplay demo showing off the amazing scope that the developers at Hello Games a...

No Man's Sky photo
The universe is yours for the taking
Hello Games' sci-fi exploration survival game No Man's Sky is looking and sounding as amazing and unbelievable as ever. Here's an in-depth conversation with founder Sean Murray at E3 2014 explaining what is and isn't possibl...

No Man's Sky PS4 photo
Wowww
Wow. No Man's Sky looks stellar. And it's launching first on PlayStation 4, at least when it comes to consoles. It's a little hard to believe something this pretty was developed by a tiny indie studio that just got flooded out of their offices. My hat is off to you, Hello Games.

Hello Games photo
Hello Games

Hello Games is back in action after office flood


'...it's all part of our little indie journey'
Jan 15
// Jordan Devore
Even though Hello Games was quick to say everything would work out in the end, I'll admit to being worried about the studio behind Joe Danger and No Man Sky's when its Guildford, UK-based office was flooded over the holidays....
No Man's Sky photo
No Man's Sky

No Man's Sky's procedural algorithm surprised Hello Games


Hello unexpected cave network
Jan 15
// Darren Nakamura
No Man's Sky is shaping up to be one of the most ambitious upcoming games, promising an infinite, procedurally generated universe to explore while being built by a small indie developer best known for the Joe Danger series. I...

Review: Joe Danger Infinity

Jan 09 // Chris Carter
Joe Danger Infinity (iPad, iPhone [tested on an iPhone 5])Developer: Hello GamesPublisher: Hello GamesReleased: January 9, 2013MSRP: $2.99 The setup here is  adorable, and mirrors Pixar's successful franchise of films involving magical toys coming to life. By way of King Gumball, all toys that are opened have a life of their own, and pretty much run around willy-nilly, racing about at their leisure. That's where the Joe Danger action figure comes in, as well as a playable supporting cast involving other toys and Joe's crew. This is a brand new adventure made exclusively for iOS, and as such, the touch-based controls return. It's all very simple stuff, with the ability to tap and hold the screen to duck, release to leap, or just tap quickly to jump. Just like Joe Danger Touch, it all works as advertised. Along the way coins and other collectibles will float around the screen surrounded by dotted lines, which allows you to tap them directly and grab them. This creates an interesting meta-game where you're not only dipping and dodging obstacles and hazards, but you're simultaneously tapping the screen to grab coins. If the game consisted entirely of just one of those mechanics it would be less justified as a mobile exclusive, but as such, it feels right at home. [embed]268538:52146:0[/embed] Although it's titled "Infinity," it's not an endless runner. You'll still progress normally with different tasks stage by stage, and unlock new events along the way. The biggest new addition is the host of vehicles you can choose from, such as a rocket, a jeep, a tank, and even airplanes. Most of these control fundamentally the same, but there are some nuances (the rocket hovers over puddles, for instance), and it adds another element of customization on top of the selection of characters. There are also leaderboard and score challenges as well, should you opt for a more competitive experience. But despite the charming "shrunken" theme, Infinity feels a bit too familiar throughout its campaign. You'll have a cute moment or two as you pull King Gumball's slot machine to grab a few new items every now and then, but most of the objectives, obstacles, and level designs just feel like pieced-together versions of previous titles. Whereas Joe Danger Touch felt fresh on a brand new platform, Infinity feels almost like a light expansion with a new coat of paint. It's a good coat, but something that doesn't feel necessary. There are two types of microtransactions (called "IAP" in the mobile arena) in Infinity, and one of them goes over the line of what I'd consider acceptable. The one that isn't so bad is the ability to buy more coins, the game's core currency. They can be used to buy vehicles and costumes, which is pretty standard procedure for a game like this. You'll earn this through normal gameplay, and by progressing through the story you'll unlock vehicles to purchase at a discounted rate. If you want, you can just buy coins and unlock things early, but you won't want to do that, because it costs around $4 each to unlock most of the items in the game early -- that's more than the full price of the app. Still, it's easily ignored, because you can get through the game as normal (albeit at a slower rate). It's the borderline offensive boosts that annoy me. After failing a level a few times, a giant icon will pop up on the screen asking if you want to buy an invincibility boost in exchange for straight real-life cash. It's kind of like the Super Guide in newer Nintendo games, but monetized to a fault. You can just close it out whenever it pops up, but it gets in the way of getting to another run, and feels like a giant ad. Part of me feels like Joe Danger Infinity wasn't necessary. Joe Danger Touch was an excellent game and complemented the platform perfectly. Although the vehicles bring a different set of flair to the series, the new additions and maps didn't really blow me away. Having said that, any Joe fan will probably eat up Infinity.
Joe Danger Infinity photo
A modest mobile romp
Joe Danger is a pretty massive hit for Hello Games. We loved the first game, we enjoyed the sequel, and in 2013 they brought the franchise to iOS. Now, Joe rides yet again on the mobile platform, but this time, he's shrunk down to Toy Story size and placed in a series of mini themed levels and races. It's more of the same, but that should be enough for Joe fans.

Joe Danger Infinity photo
Joe Danger Infinity

Joe Danger Infinity coming to iOS January 9


Come hell or high water
Jan 06
// Steven Hansen
The affable team behind Joe Danger and the exciting, upcoming No Man's Sky had its offices flooded over the holidays. We're talking, "a biblical amount." In fact, the water is apparently still rising as the team, relocated to...
Hello Games photo
Hello Games

Hello Games office flooded over the holidays


Of all the studios this could happen to...
Dec 26
// Jordan Devore
The offices of Joe Danger and No Man's Sky developer Hello Games were flooded this week, as detailed in a series of tweets by the studio. "A river broke its bank nearby yesterday, and A LOT of water flooded in really qui...
Joe Danger new iOS photo
Joe Danger new iOS

Joe Danger Infinity is a brand new iOS game


It's basically an endless runner (driver)
Dec 19
// Chris Carter
Hello Games is probably riding on a cloud right now. After announcing No Man's Sky the internet pretty much exploded, and everyone can't wait to see what it can offer. But the studio isn't forgetting its humble roots, as...
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Joe Danger 1 and 2 coming to the PlayStation Vita in 2014


Milk it for all its worth
Dec 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Joe Danger 1 and 2 is continuing its gaming platform tour with the next stop being on the PlayStation Vita. We knew this was happening back in August, but we have some additional info according to VG247. Hello Games is kind o...

No Man's Sky has me excited for the next gen

Dec 13 // Steven Hansen
[embed]267093:51755:0[/embed] "Not many developers seem to be, but we're excited to make a next-gen game," Hello Games' Sean Murray explains. "We want to make something that's next gen in terms of experience and gameplay, not graphics." Whereas other jumps practically built -- or facilitated the building of -- genres (3D sandbox games), this one "just seems so incremental." I couldn't help but agree. I have a PS4 sitting in a box that I probably won't feel compelled to unpack until The Witness releases despite a handful of titles I'm sure I'd have fun with (mostly Resogun and its indie ilk). Even Watch Dogs, the game people were excitingly wetting themselves over as the harbinger of "next gen" is coming to what are now last generation's systems. Murray's answer to the quandary is an idea that has been with the team since Joe Danger. Sitting slightly hunched, teetering, on the edge of a square, lime-green ottoman larger than a coffee table, Murray tries to prep me on what they're about to show. It could be nerves that keep him rocking, hands wringing as he periodically looks down at his shoeless feet. It could be jet lag that sees his introductory spiel more of a ramble, plucking trains of thought arbitrarily. I think it's more than that, though. It's excitement, bubbling under a surface of caution and put-togetherness. His vacillating, wry smile -- it's like he can't believe he's actually getting to make this game. "A lot of independent developers plateau," Murray says. It's not even that they do it consciously or willingly -- it's that they inadvertently set up fan expectations for what sort of content they make. It's a bit like being a typecast actor, like when Jim Carrey started making serious films instead of screwed-up faces. Murray primes me with the word, "sci-fi," but not like that -- not like what you're thinking -- he's quick to note. No Man's Sky is a world of science fantasy, of the science-fiction novel book covers that fascinated Murray in his youth. Art by Dean Ellis. Something from Moebius. The sort of colors that covered Asimov and Heinlein long before games dully fused sci-fi with grit and space marines. "At least three suns," he jokes. I'm told this new project -- I hadn't even been told its name yet -- is "about exploration." But not like that, I'm told; not "ambient wandering." There is a boundary and facileness to contemporary exploration in games, even in things as expansive as Fallout, where you are on the lookout for out the way areas of interest. You and every other player finds the same cool side story in the same cool dilapidated town. No Man's Sky has been procedurally generated. It is technically not infinite, but practically so. For someone to try and explore it all would be "literally impossible. They would die first." This is true frontiersmanship. Space is the place. The trailer begins underwater with translucent fish of bright, emanating blues and greens. It could almost pass for a tropical earth reef until you exit the water onto a beach lined with cinnamon trees and umber hedgerow. It's jarring. The team chose planets and worlds that more closely mirrored earth to show off to help us get our bearing in this space world. Everything in the trailer came from the same solar system -- a small fraction of the universe. Jumping into your ship and erupting through the clouds looks so meaningful, never leaving the first person. "You are a small thing in this universe," Murray says. "You are on your own. You are not significant." You're not safe. The suit and ship empower you, but you are not safe. I'm not sure from what you are not safe from. Other players? Or a hostile, apathetic universe? Those Beetlejuice-esque sand snakes? Both? I'm told you "won't feel alone." Other players will play a role in this experience, but not through traditional multiplayer. Everyone starts at sort of an edge of space, the circumference of an enormous circle. You can consider all the planets "like rooms in a roguelike." Ultimately, the goal is progress deeper and deeper towards the core of the universe, which becomes harder and harder; more and more unfamiliar. What happens along the way is up in the air. You can chart planets on an intergalactic map that all players can see. If you're the first one to play No Man's Sky and you see a planet in the distance and land on it, you can chart it, forever, for everyone, with your name on it. The Amerigo Vespucci of worlds. You might choose not to chart it, either. Maybe it has some resource you'd rather not someone else come exploit. "Some strange people I don't understand but am happy they exist will set up a strange hermit life and live out their whole life on one cool planet," Murray says. It seems as viable a path as braving the cool apathy of space, little about the game as we know. I think of some Swiss Family Robinson group nestled in a four mooned paradise replete with lush, bio-luminescent fauna and erupting phosphorus geysers. Sci-fi is just the adventure story on a grand scale. It's about exploration, about discovery. Discovery of worlds that don't make sense, that dazzle, that confuse, and that explain themselves, ultimately, if you pay close enough attention. "The thrust of next-gen consoles is moving towards movie cinematics," Murray says, "and everyone's experience is the same." The team believes divergence to be far more interesting. That choice -- not false binary, facile "this or that" choices -- gives what you do meaning. You can tell your own stories of the planet you landed on that no one else has ever seen, rather than if you let a character live or die. This whole universe exists. It is present, always. There won't be load times or menus. You won't leave first person -- it embeds you in that universe. What you can see, you can go to. What you can't yet see, too. "We don't have a skybox in the game. Our sky is a color, not a physical object. There are elements in the atmosphere that reflect light in different ways." Just like the clouds you fly through in the trailer, there is a permanence, a continuance. Yes, this is a heck of a lot of high-concept ballyhoo. Something about No Man's Sky's brief, fleeting trailer captured me, though, and talking at length with the team about the ideas behind it -- I'm excited. We don't have anything resembling a release date, or even an anticipated platform, but I'll gladly wait. If it can deliver on Hello Games' grand, ambitious attempts, it's going to be something special.
No Man's Sky interview photo
You can't take the sky from me
The highlight of the VGX, aside from Joel McHale's unrelenting irreverence, was the unexpected, unlikely No Man's Sky from the creators of Joe Danger. Much of the afternoon centered around content that was not particularly ne...

Hello Games photo
Hello Games

Explore the stars in Hello Games' No Man's Sky


The best thing shown at VGX
Dec 07
// Jordan Devore
The makers of Joe Danger are back with a completely different type of game. No Man's Sky is a procedural exploration title that debuted at the Spike VGX awards. It looks freakin' incredible. Hello Games' Sean Murray dropped ...
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Joe Danger Touch on sale, new mode added


New levels everyday
Jul 11
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Joe Danger Touch for the iOS is now on sale! You can grab  it for $0.99/£0.69, 66% off the normal price. As for everyone that already owns the game, you can go and update it for the a new mode called the Calendar T...
Joe Danger on PC judged photo
Joe Danger on PC judged

PC Port Report: Joe Danger 1 & 2


*Controller not included
Jun 28
// Patrick Hancock
Joe Danger and Joe Danger 2: The Movie are such great games. I played the crap out of both of them on the consoles, and am still really happy that they have arrived on PC as well. Some new features have been added, including ...
Joe Danger photo
Joe Danger

Joe Danger teams up with TF2 and Minecraft for PC version


All classes playable
Jun 19
// Jordan Devore
Joe Danger and Joe Danger 2: The Movie will be out on Steam starting June 24. The ability to share levels through Steam Workshop sounded like the real draw until I heard about Hello Games' collaboration with Valve and Mojang...
Free games! photo
Free games!

Joe Danger 2: The Movie free for PS Plus subscribers


Scumbag Sony burdening people with more free games
Mar 13
// Steven Hansen
PlayStation Plus subscribers can treat themselves to last year's wonderful Joe Danger 2: The Movie on the house (normally $14.99) as the gorgeous, expanded Excitebike-alike makes its way to the service’s giant list of f...

Review: Joe Danger Touch

Jan 10 // Chris Carter
Joe Danger Touch (iPad, iPhone [reviewed on an iPhone 4])Developer: Hello GamesPublisher: Hello GamesReleased: January 10, 2013MSRP: $2.99 (Universal App) To be clear, this is a new Joe Danger game. It's not a port, and the levels and controls are built from the ground up for iOS (what a novel idea!). Since the game is built with mobile platforms in mind, it does not contain the ability to manipulate your movement like the core game series, by means of speeding up and slowing down. As you can imagine, without the ability to change your speed, Joe Danger is fundamentally different. While people may feel like the game has been "dumbed down" as a result, it ramps up considerably after the first few levels, and you become acclimated to the new style fairly quickly. [embed]241721:46317[/embed] The fact is, if Hello Games had added too many virtual buttons, people would just yearn for a better control option. Simplicity is key with iOS games -- just look at Rayman Jungle Run -- but the controls aren't simply "let Joe drive, press the screen occasionally." Despite the aforementioned changes, that doesn't mean the game doesn't take advantage of the touch screen. There are gestures involved, like swiping Joe out of the entry gate to earn a timed boost, swiping to switch tracks, tapping to grab items, or dive bombing out of the sky for an early landing. Despite my initial reservations of my inability to change Joe's speed, I ended up liking some of the changes more than the original. For instance, there's nothing more fun in my experience with the game than rushing through a level, judging jumps and obstacles, and hunting for hidden objects simultaneously. This adds a new dimension, and gives the touch version a unique feel to it. The tried-and-true "three star" ranking system is present, which allows you to rank up and unlock new content. How you actually earn said stars is different depending on the stage, and is reminiscent of the Tony Hawk series (spelling D-A-N-G-E-R, for instance). I like this setup, as it mixes things up a bit and keeps you on your toes. In App Purchasing (IAP), an avenue that lets you pay money to unlock content is an option, but thankfully I never really felt like I was hitting a paywall (a point where you essentially can't progress without spending money), like a lot of other mobile games on the market. Similar to the console versions, I had the drive to keep pursuing my goals until I earned them -- the fact that you earn coins even when you die also helps, as you always feel like you're working towards some sort of goal. There are bonus levels where you need to buy a costume with in-game coins to play them, but you can skip past them and continue on your path. Sadly, there is no multiplayer support (which would have been amazing), but social Game Center challenges are offered in lieu of that. Thankfully, they're fairly well done, and the challenge system allows players to challenge others and ride through stages they haven't even unlocked yet, in favor of having fun with a buddy. Like Rayman Jungle Run, Joe Danger Touch really "gets it" when it comes to iOS gaming. You don't need to 100% replicate console experiences, and "simplified" doesn't have to always mean "dumbed down." All in all, Hello Games did a great job bringing the Joe Danger franchise to your pocket, and I highly recommend it to anyone -- former fan or not.
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Let's get dangerous!
Joe Danger was the definition of a perfect downloadable game. It was reasonable priced, it was tons of fun, and it was packed with content. Naturally, since a lot of other people felt the same, a Special Edition version of th...

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Joe Danger 2 PSN dated, exclusive content detailed


25 new levels to kick our asses
Oct 05
// Jordan Devore
As promised by Hello Games, the recently announced new PlayStation Network version of Joe Danger 2: The Movie with bonus content is coming out real soon. North America is getting it on Tuesday, October 9 for $14.99, while Eur...

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