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Minecraft Hololens photo
Minecraft Hololens

Wow, Minecraft on Microsoft's HoloLens looks hot


The power of Microsoft money
Jun 15
// Darren Nakamura
We have seen snippets of Minecraft on HoloLens in the past, but at Microsoft's E3 press conference today, a couple of presenters showed off something that had us putting up the respect knuckles. With a special camera showing ...
Terraria photo
Terraria

Terraria is coming to Wii U and 3DS


Eyeball shall cast all sinners asunder
Jun 08
// Joe Parlock
It's looking as though Terraria is coming to 3DS and Wii U, if a recent Amazon listing for the game is anything to go by. Now I know, Amazon has a pretty bad habit of just listing any game it can think of in the hopes it...
Terraria 1.3 photo
Terraria 1.3

Terraria 1.3 has mine carts and a release date: June 30


Terraria jumps the shark
May 28
// Darren Nakamura
Every time a new Terraria update trailer comes out, I find myself watching and rewatching it to try to pick out things that are new. The most obvious one in this 1.3 trailer is the mine cart. Now that it's here, it surprises...

Review: Kerbal Space Program

May 05 // Jordan Devore
Kerbal Space Program (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed])Developer: SquadPublisher: SquadReleased: April 27, 2014 (version 1.0)MSRP: $39.99 This is a game built to last. There are people out there spending hundreds of hours playing, learning, and teaching Kerbal Space Program and I'm not talking about some miniscule group of superfans. It's the kind of game that, whether you like it or not, comes creeping into your mind when you're supposed to be off doing literally anything else. It's contagious. There are a lot of deep, dense systems at play, and getting a handle on even the basics (knowing apoapsis from periapsis, prograde from retrograde) necessitates a commitment to learning real-world science and game mechanics before it "gets fun." I mean, sure, cobbling together a rocket, to use that word loosely, is enjoyable. At first. But then I came to realize what was possible in this sandbox and grew restless, forever in search of the next self-set milestone. However much effort you put into Kerbal, you'll get exponentially more back. Early on, you're met with one humbling experience after another. I went into the tutorials all bright-eyed and cheerful before the overwhelming reality of physics (my most dreaded subject in high school) came crashing down on me. The game's cartoon alien astronauts, the Kerbals, are a welcome sight. Their oddball expressions and mannerisms help warm up what would otherwise be a cold, calculated simulation. Not long into a training mission, one of them told me the job at hand "should be pretty easy even if you're not a famous rocket scientist like myself." Not a moment later, there I was, licking my wounds and wondering why that Kerbal had turned my home office into a house of lies. I'm not sure I've ever failed a videogame tutorial multiple times before. This is confidence-shattering stuff. My first hour or so is a blur by now, but I took notes along the way. "Intimidating homework," I summarized. Reading instructions, re-reading them, trying to do what they describe, failing, then repeating the process and inching slightly closer to success -- this is how it goes. Until, suddenly, it clicks. Bliss. [embed]291550:58433:0[/embed] The first time my rocket lifted off correctly, I cracked a smile and laughed with astonishment. It was joyous. Incredible. Then the thing started spinning out of control and the Kerbals trapped inside were doomed. I knew it, but did they? Those poor, brave, totally naive little green men. Upon failing the lesson, my instructor said he wasn't expecting disaster to strike. Personally, I had been counting the seconds. It gets better, though. You, the player, get better. On Twitter, I was told to seek out community-made guides and I'll echo that advice. The in-game tutorials aren't nearly as clear or hands-on as I would've liked, and a lack of grammatical polish didn't make using them any easier. Walkthroughs and wikis might as well be mandatory. There are folks out there like Scott Manley who are producing exceptional videos, and I'd be so lost without them. The simple act of watching someone else solve a problem -- escaping the atmosphere without burning an obscene amount of fuel, matching a distant vessel's orbit, saving a Kerbal lost in space (sorry!) -- can be enough to give you that edge. Thankfully, constructing rockets is simple. You drag individual components onto a 3D stage and snap them together. It's not quite building with LEGO bricks, but given the game's complicated subject matter, it is surprisingly close. Which parts you select for your ship and in what order, however, can be overwhelming. That's more of a problem in Sandbox mode, where you're given total freedom with a vast list of similar-looking pieces, than in Career mode, where new technology trickles in as you grow your space program from the ground up. Another surprise: the controls are, relative to learning astrodynamics, not too tough to figure out. The user interface is initially confusing, what with all of the gauges and that intimidating navigation ball to monitor, but Kerbal Space Program makes smart use of the keyboard. Cobbling together a bunch of ships and finally getting one of them to orbit the Earth-esque planet Kerbin for the first time is an awesome feeling. As in, awe-inspiring. It's a big milestone -- one I won't soon forget -- but there are countless more to tackle. You can switch to a map of space to track your vessel's trajectory and set up maneuvers to reach, say, the Mun (moon), or an asteroid, or make the journey back home. Actually, you can do whatever you want -- this is an open-ended game, after all -- but maybe don't sprint before you can crawl. For me, there is such a thing as too little structure in games, and for that reason I found myself switching back and forth between Kerbal's Sandbox and Career modes. The latter has a tech tree and jobs for you to take on. Newcomers will find its scope far more comfortable. As you gain science points by conducting research in the field and transmitting the data to your base (or physically bringing it and your spacecraft back safely to Kerbin's surface), you'll unlock access to more advanced gear. As you complete jobs -- testing specific parts at certain speeds and altitudes, or taking tourists on a ride without killing them, for example -- you'll get funds to upgrade your space program. A third mode, Science, rests in between Sandbox and Career. You'll still have to earn new parts by collecting science points, but, unlike Career mode, you won't need to worry about your space program's money or reputation woes. There are also several standalone scenarios, some of which were created in collaboration with NASA (get this game into schools!), that bypass the whole planning and building process and put you straight into an active mission. They're a great worry-free practice environment. Outside of those core modes, there are numerous mods to tinker with. The game has attracted a passionate, talented, dedicated community of players and creators. Even if the developers at Squad stop supporting Kerbal Space Program with new content and polish updates, I'm convinced this game will still be relevant a decade from now. My main fear of simulation titles is that I'll get bored. But, come to think of it, not once was I bored with Kerbal Space Program. I may have felt confused, and irritated, and hopeless at times, but those setbacks were fleeting. My desire to improve remains steadfast. Even the smallest accomplishments feel like massive victories, and once you experience that euphoria, you won't want to quit. Watch your ambition soar. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Kerbal Space Program photo
Science doesn't screw around
I might have never touched Kerbal Space Program had it not been offered as a review assignment. What a tremendous shame that would've been. From a comfortable distance, I had seen enough of this hardcore rocket-building and ...

Goat Simulator DLC photo
Goat Simulator DLC

GoatZ DLC brings fire-breathing zombie elephants to Goat Simulator


Also includes boring human zombies
May 05
// Alissa McAloon
Zombies are coming to Goat Simulator and absolutely no one is surprised. The zombie-filled GoatZ expansion calls itself "the only survival game on Steam that isn’t in Early Access," which is only a little untrue. ...
Starbound update photo
Starbound update

New Starbound update adds pets and teleporters


And what else? I don't know; SLIME!
Apr 21
// Darren Nakamura
It seems like these are being pushed out more frequently now. The last stable update to Starbound came out about three months ago, but before that it had been nearly a year. That said, this update seems much less substantial ...
GTA V PC photo
GTA V PC

GTA V may be seven discs on PC


Leaked photos appear to show LOTS of disc art
Apr 09
// Laura Kate Dale
[Update: A separate source reached out to us privately to independently verify that these images and the number of discs are accurate.] If a post that appeared on reddit earlier today is to be believed, the physical version o...
ATARI photo
ATARI

Atari's buggy, unfinished Asteroids MMO is out now


...on Steam Early Access
Mar 27
// Kyle MacGregor
Atari has taken a break from bullying indie developers to release Asteroids: Outpost, a gross and twisted cash-in on the beloved space shooter that first delighted arcade patrons in 1979. The "open world sandbox survival game...
Xbox One & PC photo
Xbox One & PC

State of Decay: Year One Survival Edition debut trailer, releases April 28


GOTY 2013, if you don't mention The Last of Us to me
Mar 19
// Stephen Turner
State of Decay was one of those pleasant surprises back in 2013. Sure, the sandbox/RPG-lite horror game was a little rough, but it was an intense experience full of free flow situations, base building, and likable survivors....
Goat Sim on Xbox photo
Goat Sim on Xbox

Lick the world: Goat Simulator releases for Xbox One and Xbox 360 in April


Better tell the teens about this
Mar 13
// Jordan Devore
Oh, right, Goat Simulator is coming to Xbox One and Xbox 360. That's happening in April. This short new trailer says as much, but there's another reason to watch: a real goat stands on an Xbox One. It tickles me knowing they...
Terraria: Otherworld photo
Terraria: Otherworld

Terraria: Otherworld's GDC trailer drops more hints about its alternate universe


Crystal defender
Mar 12
// Darren Nakamura
When Terraria: Otherworld was announced, it was difficult to tell from the trailer what makes it stand apart from its big brother Terraria or futuristic half-cousin Starbound. Developer Re-Logic's description gave some insig...
Terraria: Otherworld photo
Terraria: Otherworld

Terraria: Otherworld trailer shows an alternate dimension to the sandbox


'Not Terraria 2'
Feb 16
// Darren Nakamura
Whoa. What's this? A new game in the Terraria universe? I have just recently been getting back into the similar-but-unrelated Starbound, so this is especially interesting news right about now. Re-Logic released the above alp...
Windward photo
Windward

Windward: RPG lootin' on the high seas


Sea-ablo
Feb 10
// Darren Nakamura
To a sailor, a ship represents freedom. It grants the ability to go anywhere and do anything. In Windward, players take on the role of a captain, dropped into a tropical archipelago sandbox. True to theme, there are many opt...

Saints Row IV: Re-Elected is a prettier mash-up of aliens and sex toys

Feb 02 // Brittany Vincent
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected (PlayStation 4 [tested], Xbox One)Developer: Volition/High Voltage SoftwarePublisher: Deep SilverRelease: January 20, 2014MRSP: $49.99 The "Re-Elected" edition comes packaged with the updated PS4 edition of Saints Row IV, all the previously-released DLC, the expansion Gat Out of Hell (which I enjoyed thoroughly), and the Enter the Dominatrix feature – one of the best reasons to check out this re-release, especially since it features a host of deleted scenes from what would originally become Saints Row IV. It's basically a faux documentary told in an engaging fashion, and one of the best aspects of the entire package – save for the actual game, of course. If you already played through the game, you won't find anything changed here. The boss of the Saints has somehow managed to strong arm their way into becoming the President of the United States. In a sense, you may as well be a superhero – perhaps that’s why you end up getting super powers later on in the game. The game is centered around making the player feel as awesome as humanly possible, which it does accomplish in several ways. Zinyak, the alien mastermind behind enslaving humanity and committing a hundred other heinous deeds, is a well-read megalomaniac who’s content to toy with the Saints leader in any way he can, including depositing him or her into a virtual Steelport that’s been conquered and is teeming with Zin soldiers. It's your job to take him down. [embed]287011:57124:0[/embed] You do just that while navigating a simulation of the Steelport you know and love from Saints Row: The Third, getting yourself into a bunch of situations such as the Saints boss being whisked away into a ’50s-styled sitcom world where “golly gee” is about as rude as one can get, the hilariously awful dubstep gun, and the text-based adventure game snippets found nestled within the game. The introduction of superpowers to the mix is what ends up making Saints Row IV what it is, however. It’s empowering to be able to leap up tall buildings, slam into enemies with a lethal ground pound, or sprint through Steelport faster than a speeding bullet. Ice, fire, and other elemental powers are instrumental in incapacitating Wardens, larger Zin soldiers that wreak havoc on you if you amass a full wanted rating, and jumping across the city can be pretty exciting. Unfortunately, super sprint renders vehicles virtually useless, so that's one less thing you've got to engage in, but the array of other powers makes up for it. The leader of the Saints is consistently witty and fun, whether you choose a male or female avatar, and one of the biggest attractions of the game. “Romance” options, some great retro gaming references, and an excellent soundtrack accompany your jaunts about town, and if you’ve ever wanted to smack someone in the head with a writhing tentacle sword, this is your chance, especially given the upscaled visuals, additional content, and the just-released Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell. There’s plenty to do in Saints Row IV: Re-Elected, whether you're coming in as a new player or are here strictly for the additional content. As an aside, I want to mention that I’m pleased with where Saints Row has taken me before, but I’m ready for a new frontier. A new city. A new crew to run with. I had my fun with Steelport and the Saints, but perhaps it’s time for a new story. We’ll always have long car rides, er, sprints through the city...and this is the definitive way to experience Saints Row IV.
Saints Row IV: Re-Elected photo
Good to go for a second term
Saints Row IV is absolutely crazy. It is, without a doubt, one of the most off-the-wall sandbox experiences you can have on a console or otherwise. It's an excellent cooperative adventure as well, and it delivers the franchis...

Starbound update photo
Starbound update

Starbound update includes new race, new combat, new universe


First stable update in almost a year
Jan 28
// Darren Nakamura
Wow. It has been a long time. I thought that maybe I had missed a stable update somewhere along the line, but by Chucklefish's own admission, this is the first one since last March. To take a step back, development on Starbo...
Besiege photo
Besiege

Medieval contraption builder Besiege looks splendid


The incredible death machine
Jan 27
// Jordan Devore
Word of Besiege has gotten to me slowly, but now that it's here, I feel obligated to pass the message on. This is a physics-driven medieval puzzle game about building killer contraptions, like this ingenious windmill on wheel...
Lucius II photo
Lucius II

Heh, Lucius II *would* release on Friday the 13th


This doesn't look good
Jan 26
// Jordan Devore
  I liked the idea of Lucius. Not enough games place children in the leading role, much less children who happen to be the devil's offspring. But good games aren't built on potential alone. In his review for Destructoid,...
State of Decay Xbox One photo
State of Decay Xbox One

State of Decay Xbox One remaster hits April 28, upgrade plan detailed


Improved graphics and 'hundreds of smaller improvements'
Jan 20
// Jordan Devore
Oh, right, State of Decay is coming to Xbox One. Rough as it is in spots, the third-person zombie survival game is worth experiencing (though preferably during a Steam sale). Running around town with your crew, fortifying bas...

Review: Saints Row IV: Gat out of Hell

Jan 19 // Brittany Vincent
Saints Row: Gat out of Hell (PC, PS4 [Reviewed], Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360) Developer: Volition/High Voltage Software Publisher: Deep Silver Released: January 20, 2015 MSRP: $19.99 The game opens on the gang aboard the Zin Ship during a celebration of Kinzie Kensington’s birthday. During the festivities, Matt Miller produces a possessed Ouija board that was previously owned by Aleister Crowley, and it opens a portal to Hell. The Boss (your player character in the previous Saints Row games) is sucked through the portal and kidnapped by Satan. Johnny Gat and Kinzie follow through the portal to save their friend, and upon arriving in Hell go to the biggest building in sight. Ultor HQ. Dane Vogel, head of Ultor Corporation and previous adversary of the Saints, has started his business anew in Hell and lets the duo know that Satan has arranged a marriage between The Boss and his daughter. Vogel has big plans to corner the real estate market in Hell, and he needs Satan out of the way to do it. He presents Johnny Gat with Lucifer’s Broken Halo, a powerful artifact that imbues the user with fiery wings and arcane power, to assist in the assassination of the Dark Lord. All of the previous statements contained a lot of names that you may or may not remember depending on which games, if any, you’ve played of the series. This is one of the biggest things that marks this as a standalone expansion. This game is very self-referential, and unlike the main entries in the series doesn’t ease players into the world of Saints Row. It makes the assumption that you’ve at least played Saints Row IV, and spends little time on exposition or background other than some short illustrations and voiceover. [embed]285618:56942:0[/embed] This was a bit frustrating, because even though I’ve played through all the Saints Row titles, it’s been a while. It would have made the game more inviting to have at least a short flashback when meeting a character from a previous title, and unfortunately many players might miss out on some of the enjoyment and nostalgia from not having just a bit more context. However, there are a few new characters, and they are a blast. Shakespeare, Vlad the Impaler, and Blackbeard all join the cast, and although this entry is a bit short, I hope that future iterations will introduce as interesting of a cast as this one did. The setting is where this game really shines though. Hell looks, well, hellish. Instead of another romp through Steelport, we spend our time in New Hades, which is dominated by the Ultor Tower. It’s sometimes hard to notice flying and sprinting at high speeds, but different sections of Hell have different aesthetics, and the whole map, although smaller than Steelport, feels more alive and organic from all the unique buildings. Gone also are the nameless civilian fodder, replaced by “Husks,” which are the souls of the damned who are made to feel pain for all eternity. The police are instead demons who drive monster trucks, and there are a host of flying, shielded, and gigantic enemies, all with their own styles and methods of attack. All in all they made a much more entertaining and interesting adversary than the Zin, and the whole world feels much more polished and finished than Saints Row IV’s Steelport simulation. Much like the last game, you have access to a host of superhuman powers. With Lucifer’s Broken Halo you can sprout wings to glide, sprint at high speed, stomp the ground with various elemental powers, call upon demons to fight for you, and turn enemies to stone with power blasts. Whether in a simulation or powered by a demonic artifact, the result is much the same: you’re pretty much the most powerful being in Hell. I think powers are much more interesting in Gat out of Hell. Something about the last game’s powers being due to computer hacking and being trapped in a simulation was insanely boring. These games are a zany good time, but when I play something like this I like to feel as though I’m actually affecting the world I’m playing in, and getting powers from the broken crown of the Morning Star himself is way cooler. I do have a bit of a qualm with the missing character customization element, though. I understand that the game centers around having to play as Kinzie or Johnny Gat; but it would have been nice to at least change their outfits or accessories. So everything seems pretty positive about this game, right? It’s a high quality production, and totally awesome, so what could go wrong? Well, that cool setting, low price point, and interesting gameplay came at a cost, namely in the form of content. Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell is short. Really short. The first time I saved my game I had been playing for about an hour, and I was shocked when the screen said that the game was already 14% complete. I figured it was like Saints Row IV where that number didn’t really mean a lot or indicate how much content was left other than at a superficial level. Well, I was wrong. Gat takes about 6-7 hours to complete the main plot, and it could probably be easily taken to 100% within 12-13 hours. Honestly, I’ve paid $20 for a lot less fun, and although the game is short, what is there is solid gold. Plus, if you’ve never played Saints Row IV, or just want it and all its DLC on latest gen consoles, you can get Saints Row IV: Re-Elected, which includes this expansion for about $50. Gat out of Hell was a great swan song for Saints Row IV, and it is now one of my favorite entries in the series. There are plenty of games out there about depression, sexuality, violence, politics, and so on, and sometimes it makes me tired. I love Saints Row because I never have to deal with any issues within. There’s no agenda and no life lessons to learn. There’s only pure escapism. which is what games are meant for in my view. If I wanted to worry about all that, I’d just go to a college campus and listen to people complain for a few hours. As it is though, I hope that more developers take a cue from Saints Row and realize that it’s still okay to tell jokes and implement cartoony violence that’s still ridiculous and fun. I know gaming as an industry is maturing and people want to present new ideas and make statements using the media, but luckily, whenever I feel like I need a break, I will have Saints Row proudly on my shelf. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
SRIV: Gat out of Hell photo
Like a sinner before the gates of Heaven
There’s something about a series that doesn’t feel the need to make a ton of social commentary, or really feel grounded in reality. The Saints Row series is like if the worlds of The Naked Gun and Grand Theft Auto...

Medieval Engineers photo
Medieval Engineers

Build castles and blow them up with a trebuchet in Medieval Engineers


Coming soon to Steam Early Access
Jan 13
// Jordan Devore
Keen Software has built a million-person-strong audience for Space Engineers, but I've stayed away from the work-in-progress construction sandbox game so far. Steam Early Access often has that effect on me. The studio's next...
Terraria photo
Terraria

Had enough yet? Terraria headed to PS4 and Xbox One next week


Just remembered that I own Starbound
Nov 06
// Jordan Devore
There's no stopping Terraria. I played, and I do mean played, the 2D sandbox game years ago on PC, and it was quite the time sink. Back then, I didn't imagine it'd come to any other platforms, but it has -- to consoles, handh...
Steam photo
Steam

GRAV is a survival sandbox set on alien worlds


Purple trees? I'm listening
Nov 05
// Jordan Devore
I don't know when I'll be in a state of mind to play another "sandbox survival experience," but I do like the look of GRAV and its vibrant alien worlds. The dancing is a nice touch, too. This is a PC game in development at B...
Minecraft Vita photo
Minecraft Vita

Minecraft on PS Vita is the definitive portable version


Where was this two years ago?
Oct 21
// Brett Zeidler
You know what Minecraft is, your parents know what Minecraft is, and your grandparents just don't understand why that younger family member is on the iPad all the time. It's everywhere, but why has it never received a proper ...
Wii U photo
Wii U

U Craft seeks to fill the Minecraft void on Wii U


Someone's parents won't know the difference
Sep 30
// Jordan Devore
There might not be Minecraft for Wii U, but there is U Craft. Close enough? This is in the works at Nexis Games, the studio behind some games I'm also not familiar with -- do BrickBlast U! or The Dance of the Damned ring any ...
Goat Simulator photo
Goat Simulator

You can now play Goat Simulator on the go


I like the idea of playing it at the DMV
Sep 17
// Jordan Devore
Coffee Stain Studios has brought Goat Simulator to iOS and Android. It's $4.99. While the game is surely best controlled with something other than a touch screen, the make-your-own-fun sandbox experience is suitable for mobil...
Q-Games photo
Q-Games

The Tomorrow Children might just push me into buying a PS4


This is Q-Games, after all
Sep 16
// Jordan Devore
The Tomorrow Children was one of the more intriguing, albeit overlooked announcements out of this year's gamescom and the more I hear about it, the better it sounds. And there's plenty left to hear -- the team at Q-Games had ...
PS Vita photo
PS Vita

Don't Starve hits PS Vita next week with Cross-Buy


Reign of Giants expansion included
Aug 25
// Jordan Devore
Klei will release its sandbox survival game Don't Starve: Giant Edition for PS Vita on Tuesday, September 2. This port will come with the Reign of Giants DLC (more characters, biomes, seasons) included in its $14.99 price tag...
 photo

Take to the skies with the latest GTA Online update


Of course there's a Top Gun parody
Aug 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
It's been quite some time since a major GTA Online update but Rockstar has broken its silence with the announcement of not heists. Sorry.  Instead it's The San Andreas Flight School update. Expect new air and land vehic...
PS4 / PS Vita photo
PS4 / PS Vita

Nom Nom Galaxy will be right at home on PS Vita and PS4


Playable now on Steam Early Access
Aug 13
// Jordan Devore
Following its work for Q-Games on PixelJunk Monsters Ultimate and PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate, Double Eleven is now co-developing Nom Nom Galaxy for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita. Nom Nom Galaxy is as adorable as it is difficult t...
Watch Dogs photo
Watch Dogs

New Watch Dogs single-player content came out yesterday, if you're into that


Check out this bevy of additional stuff to do
Jul 02
// Brittany Vincent
Oh hey, everyone. New Watch Dogs content. The newly-released DLC package includes three new single-player missions and two new weapons, perks, and additional outfits. The first new missions will deal with Aiden Pearce infiltr...

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