hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

 photo

Trailblazing race game Krautscape now in Steam Early Access


Take the lead, build the road
Apr 01
// Conrad Zimmerman
Last week, we took a  look at upcoming indie title Krautscape, a racing game where the leading player builds the track while they drive and opponents seek to exploit shortcut opportunities to steal that lead away. I...
 photo

Musical exploration game FRACT OSC will be at PAX East


New teaser video released
Mar 31
// Conrad Zimmerman
FRACT OSC will be releasing next month and while we don't know exactly when it will be available for purchase just yet, we do know that the game will be playable on the show floor at PAX East, April 11-13, as part of th...
Watch Dogs photo
Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs' digital Chicago explored in new trailer


Hack the Windy City
Mar 27
// Conrad Zimmerman
A new video has been released by Ubisoft to inform players of what they can expect when exploring the city of Chicago in Watch Dogs. It emphasizes the open nature of the world, the player's ability to impact it through the g...
Shadowrun Online photo
Shadowrun Online

Early Access version of Shadowrun Online launching March 31


Combat-focused prologue to full campaign
Mar 27
// Conrad Zimmerman
Cliffhanger Productions has announced a Steam Early Access release date for Shadowrun Online, the successfully crowdfunded MMO set in the magic-meets-technology setting of Shadowrun. Launching on March 31, the game will begi...
 photo
Behold the awesome might of the URAUSER
After no small amount of effort (and a couple of glitches that I am a bit peeved about), I finally managed to complete all of the challenges in Luftrausers and the reward you get for doing so is totally amazing. 

Wolfenstein photo
Wolfenstein

Wolfenstein: The New Order 'Panzerhund Edition' comes without game


$100 package now available to order
Mar 26
// Conrad Zimmerman
Bethesda announced today that pre-orders are available for the "Panzerhund Edition" of Wolfenstein: The New Order, a limited-edition package which includes an 8" articulated statue of the Panzerhund enemy, documents, patches,...
Cabela's photo
Cabela's

New Cabela's trailer puts a happy face on hunting


Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts now available
Mar 25
// Conrad Zimmerman
Cabela's Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts was released into the wild today for Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and Wii U. Activision released this trailer to accompany the launch. I love it so, so much. It's less about the gameplay, which...
Trials photo
Trials

Trick-filled new trailer for Trials Fusion


Closed beta currently in operation
Mar 25
// Conrad Zimmerman
Ubisoft has released this new trailer for Trials Fusion, with a look at some of the flips, grabs and holds possible with the game's new FMX trick system. Trials may not have needed more ways to screw up a landing, but t...
 photo

Escape Goat 2 released as Tim Schafer tries to take credit


The man can ham as few men can
Mar 24
// Conrad Zimmerman
Are you ready to laugh? Double Fine has released this video to promote the launch of Escape Goat 2 today on Windows, Mac and Linux PCs, and I suspect it's the funniest thing I'm going to see today. Watch what happens wh...
Trials photo
Trials

Trials Frontier to arrive on iOS April 10


Free-to-crash
Mar 24
// Conrad Zimmerman
Trials Frontier, the first mobile version of RedLynx's acrobatic motorcycle series, now has a release date of April 10 for iOS devices. An Android launch of the free-to-play racing title will arrive at a later, as yet undisc...
Disney Fantasia photo
Disney Fantasia

Harmonix reveals The Hollow region of Disney Fantasia


Also announces multiplayer mode and more music
Mar 24
// Conrad Zimmerman
Harmonix has released this trailer for Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved, highlighting a new region of the game, The Hollow, where players will bring a forest environment to life through playing songs and interacting in the wor...
Kojima photo
Kojima

Hideo Kojima unboxes Big Boss in Paris game shop


Backed by breezy Metal Gear theme
Mar 20
// Conrad Zimmerman
This is a silly little video uploaded today to the official Metal Gear Solid YouTube page. Hideo Kojima made a surprise appearance at a Micromania game store in Paris to celebrate the release of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Ze...
 photo

Division devs brag about Ubisoft's Snowdrop engine


Video shows tools in use, little else
Mar 19
// Conrad Zimmerman
Ubisoft dropped this video today featuring some of the people working at Massive Entertainment, talking about their experience using the Snowdrop engine to develop Tom Clancy's The Division. If you're hoping to see some addi...
Oddworld photo
Oddworld

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty looking good in new gameplay trailer


The definitions are so high
Mar 19
// Conrad Zimmerman
I've been a big fan of Oddworld from the very beginning. And the beginning is coming around again with the looming arrival of Oddworld: New & Tasty, a remake of the original classic Abe's Oddyssee in high-defin...
Sacred 3 photo
Sacred 3

First gameplay footage of Sacred 3 released


Launch date set, pre-orders open
Mar 19
// Conrad Zimmerman
Deep Silver has announced a release date for Sacred 3, scheduled to arrive on August 26 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. They also brought the gift of a first gameplay trailer. I'm a fan of combining the cooperative goal ...
Bears vs. Art gameplay photo
Bears vs. Art gameplay

Bears vs Art gameplay shown in short new trailer


More pieces of puzzle game revealed
Mar 18
// Conrad Zimmerman
Last week, Halfbrick announced their latest game for iOS devices, Bears vs. Art, setting up a bunch of (adorable) exposition about a bear and the art museum which has infringed upon his territory but barely offered anything ...

These are my favorite Luftrausers

Mar 18 // Conrad Zimmerman
 photo
So many choices!
I've been slavishly playing Luftrausers like a madman this past weekend, and I'm shaping up to be a fairly decent player. To help you get a sense of the different Rausers you can pilot, I put together this little video ...

Review: Luftrausers

Mar 18 // Conrad Zimmerman
Luftrausers (PC [reviewed], PS3, PS Vita)Developer: VlambeerPublisher: Devolver DigitalRelease: March 18, 2014Price: $9.99 [Disclosure: The author of this review is listed as a "Play Tester" in the credits for this game. Though the credit list consists of a number of journalists and critics, effectively people who have been playing versions in pre-release, we thought it best to mention this to avoid any seeming impropriety. -Ed] Like many arcade-style experiences, the core gameplay of Luftrausers is instantly accessible. Piloting an aircraft called a "Rauser," the player faces a increasingly powerful opposition from all directions in a two-dimensional playing field bordered by the ocean and an atmospheric limit (both of which are damaging to penetrate). The Rauser has two defenses, a weapon and an automatic repair system, with only enough power to use one at a time. Surrounded by enemy planes, ships, submarines, and other war machines, maintaining the balance between offense and defense is central to securing a high score. Just this alone is tremendously fun to play. The Rauser is a nimble, responsive craft that spins and thrusts instantly on command and soars through the sky. Turns can be taken quite sharply (though gravity and momentum play significant factors in precisely how much) and pulling up and out of an oncoming stream of enemy fire is exhilarating. Colliding with enemies deals damage to both the enemy and the Rauser, adding an additional, risky offensive option. And so, the central mechanic of being able to either shoot or heal creates constant, second-to-second decisions regarding when it's better to run or fight and how to best do either. [embed]272105:53022:0[/embed] Luftrausers' simple arcade gameplay is broadened through a challenge-based progression system that offers more to work for than straight score. Each attempt to play comes with up to three mission objectives, which vary from achieving a minimum score, killing a specific number or type of enemy and other similar goals. As these goals are completed, new ways to customize the Rauser become unlocked by way of additional components. A Rauser consists of three parts: a weapon, a body, and an engine. Each unlocked part comes with its own advantages and disadvantages which contribute to the overall craft. Some of these are obvious (the more armored body is heavier, duh) while others have more subtle impacts on the Rauser's abilities that can be enhanced or diminished with complementary components in other slots. While most work pretty well together, it's possible to build some pretty disastrous combinations as well. Experimenting to find one that best suits the player's preferred play style can take time, but results in a Rauser that feels personal and a joy to pilot. Once all of the components are unlocked, five for each part of the craft, the range of Rausers available is considerable. Each component also comes with its own line of mission objectives, thus extending the game's content with further goals. Those driven to accomplish the most difficult challenges offered by Luftrausers will likely find themselves further experimenting within the constraints of using specific equipment just to accomplish objectives. That sense of progression is also necessary to keep difficulty from being overwhelming to the point of discouragement. There is little mercy given by the enemy AI. Air combatants relentlessly hunt the player, while oceanfarers spray ammunition into the sky, usually right into their path. Evasion is often difficult, and there comes with experience some awareness of how not to get oneself into impossible situations, but eventually everyone succumbs. Cold comfort when you've been killed for the thousandth time, but that and the option to try again are all you'll get out of Luftrausers. The most frustrating enemy is the battleship, which drifts across the ocean firing its twin cannons into the sky at regular intervals. These are large and heavily armored, second only to the blimp -- the game's "final boss" enemy -- in terms of the beating they can take, and getting caught in their line of fire can very easily get a Rauser killed. Their targeting can be exploited and destroying them is more tedious than difficult with practice, so the issue isn't really with their design which is, at worst, annoying. Where the battleships become a problem for the game lies in the way Luftrausers spawns its enemy groups. Too often, there will develop a concentration of as many as six of these monstrosities with nothing else to fight, forcing a dragged out battle to take down even one of the things. It absolutely kills the frenetic pace of play whenever this happens, the slow creep of the battleships feeling out of place as the sole enemy combatants, and there hardly seems any way to avoid it, as sinking them takes more effort than nearly every other foe by a considerable margin. It only gets harder the further you play, and culminates in the absurdly challenging "SMFT" mode. This version of the game is completely uncompromising, with no gradual ramp up in difficulty whatsoever andmore aggressive enemies with new behavior patterns and increased firepower. Players will die immediately upon starting the mode, which leads the game's background music with a blaring air raid siren that rings out long after most will have died -- a mere 13 seconds. It's ways can be learned as well through grit and determination, "SMFT" allows no room for error and no pity in its onslaught. Luftrausers' visuals are brilliant in their cohesion with the gameplay. What appears basic on the surface enjoys a greater level of complexity hidden beneath as smoke trails from damaged ships and sparks fly from the Rauser, giving visual indication of its state. It's rather amazing what has been accomplished with just a six color palette, though the design does sometimes work against the player when silhouettes of multiple enemies cover one another and make it difficult to accurately assess risk. Fast fun and devilishly hard, Luftrausers shows once again that Vlambeer understands how to make classic arcade mechanics feel fresh and exciting. It's great in short bursts, the speed of each round often terribly brief, but lends itself to hour-long sessions of hammering on the controller to start a new game. While the pacing occasionally runs into a few issues, this is still a phenomenally fun shoot-em-up that will challenge players to meet its demanding difficulty.
Luftrausers review photo
Initiate wing attack plan 'R'
Vlambeer's air combat game, Luftrausers, has finally been cleared for take-off, following a wait that seemed far longer than anybody expected it would. It's been worth holding out for, and fans of high speed, challenging shoot-em-ups have something pretty special on their hands.

Home photo
Home

Home announced for PS4 and PS Vita


Indie horror has new address
Mar 17
// Conrad Zimmerman
The indie games just won't stop coming to Sony's tent, and today we learn that Ben Rivers' Home will be arriving on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita later this year. Atmospheric and full of surprises, Home is a creepy ...
Inifinite Crisis photo
Inifinite Crisis

Inifinite Crisis open beta launched


Superhero free-to-play MOBA now playable by all
Mar 14
// Conrad Zimmerman
The multiplayer online battle arena title featuring DC Comics characters, Infinite Crisis, has started its open beta today. Interested parties can go and sign up now at the game's official website. To celebrate the launch, t...
Wii Sports Club photo
Wii Sports Club

Play Wii Sports Club for free next weekend


'Resort Course' added to golf offerings
Mar 14
// Conrad Zimmerman
Nintendo is taking another stab at getting players on board with Wii Sports Club with a free-to-play weekend, starting on March 21st and running through the 23rd. Those with a Wii U will have unfettered access to the thr...
Cabela's photo
Cabela's

New shots of Cabela's Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts


Oh, the places you'll kill
Mar 13
// Conrad Zimmerman
Activision put out a few new screenshots of Cabela's Big Game Hunter: Pro Hunts, releasing for PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U on March 25. They depict animals to be shot and environments in which they can be shot, lik...
Alien: Isolation photo
Alien: Isolation

How Creative Assembly is designing their Alien for Alien: Isolation


Smart, aware and invincible
Mar 13
// Conrad Zimmerman
Sega has released a new video featuring members of the development team at Creative Assembly working on Alien: Isolation, as they describe their goals and approach toward designing the lone Xenomorph stalking the player thro...
 photo

Little Big Adventure coming to Android and iOS March 27


Curse you FunFrock!
Mar 12
// Conrad Zimmerman
DotEmu announced today that they'll be bringing the classic French adventure Little Big Adventure to iOS and Android devices on March 27. Celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year, the game follows Twinsun, a youn...
Dark Souls II photo
Dark Souls II

Prepare to die less with this Dark Souls II strategy overview


Tips from Junglist and VaatiVidya
Mar 11
// Conrad Zimmerman
Alongside today's launch of Dark Souls II, the game's Australian YouTube channel published the above tutorial video featuring Jeremy "The Junglist" Ray and YouTube Souls expert VaatiVidya. It's a thorough explanation of...

Review: Infested Planet

Mar 11 // Conrad Zimmerman
Infested Planet (PC [reviewed], Mac)Developer: Rocket Bear GamesPublisher: Rocket Bear GamesReleased: March 6, 2014MRSP: $14.99 Infested Planet is a real-time strategy game where players are given command of a small squad of soldiers pitted against an unending stream of mutating aliens on a mysterious planet. The general goal of most missions is to wipe out the aliens by destroying hives from which they spawn in a slow, oozing mass. Destroyed hives are turned into command posts (or bunkers) which must be defended to prevent the enemy from re-establishing the hive, and provide a place to heal units or spawn replacements for them when killed. The insectoid foes are relentless and will attempt to sneak through any gap in defense, and hanging on to what the player has managed to secure means resources will be spread thin. The size and power of your squad can be increased during the course of a mission, with weapon upgrades and structures that provide passive bonuses and new abilities. These are purchased with a kind of currency earned during the stage by taking over hive locations and retrieving resource crates on the battlefield. The design encourages aggressive play and rewards it with greater power, but the limited size and capability of the squad makes every push forward a chance to lose ground already gained, while the difficulty continues to tick upward with the introduction of new mutations among the aliens. [embed]271773:52940:0[/embed] Mutations are varied and effective at countering player strategies. If you're having a lot of success in taking control points by getting in close with a flamethrower, enemy turrets will develop the ability to push your soldiers back with each shot. Overcome that with a well-placed sniper, and the aliens will erect walls to eliminate line of sight to your targets. There are plenty of them and the variety keeps the game feeling varied and fresh from one round to the next, though it can be a bit difficult to keep track of them all (there are 35 different mutations in total) and remembering the name and function of each is about as much a challenge as developing the appropriate response. The gameplay is tense, hectic, and generally fun. But there are some elements that the game does a poor job of explaining, notably the spawning of replacement units. When a soldier is killed, there is a cooldown period before they respawn based on their value to the unit (a soldier with a shotgun is worth more than one with a rifle, for example, and takes longer to return). But it's often unclear which of the player's control points those units will spawn from and occasionally they'll spawn in a wholly inconvenient place which seems to make little sense. This can result in idle units far from the front line, easily forgotten, their absence dragging down the rest of the squad. The game has some visual challenges as well. While environments and enemy character models manage to strike a balance between function and form, the members of a player's squad are too simple and a bit too similar. Upgrading a soldier's equipment changes their color, but the colors don't contrast enough between a few of the designs when they really ought to be popping off the landscape. Infested Planet includes a 17-mission campaign which serves as a great introduction to the mechanics and strategies, providing a nicely graded difficulty that challenges without overwhelming the player too early, offering abilities over time at a steady rate. The campaign also offers more mission variety, with some stages requiring the protection of specific units or the destruction of specific targets as mission parameters, and some set-piece stages which flip the script and put the player wholly on the defensive. In the campaign, access to the full range of abilities is restricted and unlocked over time by spending money earned at the conclusion of each mission. Money is awarded even if the player loses or surrenders the battle and struggling players can also use it to hire more (and better equipped) units for the squad on a per-mission basis to give them an edge in future attempts. A series of ten additional bonus stages becomes available about a third of the way through, which offer some alternative challenges and an opportunity to earn more money to help with a particularly troubling primary mission. The campaign is a enjoyable mix, appropriate for less experienced real-time strategy players. There is a bit of a story there as well, mostly conveyed in text preceding missions with some occasional mid-mission drama to spice things up. There's not much to get excited about one way or another where the plot is concerned, with a couple of stereotypical commanders (one military, one scientific) bickering over the approach to dealing with the alien threat while your team gets dragged back and forth by both of them. Predictable but inoffensive, the story elements are nice as a backdrop to give structure and reason for the campaign missions but serve little other purpose. Aside from the campaign, Infested Planet offers a "Skirmish" mode with eight difficulty stages, appropriate for players of any skill. Beyond this, custom settings can be applied that control every aspect of a mission to create a wholly original challenge. You can adjust the map size, respawn delay, types of enemy defenses and even which specific mutations the aliens will have access to. It's a flexible, powerful mission tool that will act as an enabler to addicted players who are constantly seeking a new thrill. While there is no form of direct multiplayer to be found, the game does offer some competitive opportunities through weekly challenges and leaderboards. Three levels of the challenges are available each week, with scores and rankings largely determined by how quickly the mission is completed. Weekly challenges can be attempted as many times as desired, with the best score out of all attempts posted to the leaderboards. The feature should give some additional life to the game over time and those looking to compare their skills with others should appreciate it. When it comes down to it, Infested Planet is a fun spin on sci-fi real-time strategy that makes good use of tower defense mechanics in an offense-focused game. A little rough around the edges, it still manages to succeed in creating an experience that is challenging and unique every round while providing options which accommodate a wide range of skill level.
Infested Planet photo
Game over, man
This should sound somewhat familiar: a small band of mercenaries are on a forbidding planet, confronted by a horrific alien force that swarms across the landscape. Well-armed and entrenched, the soldiers have been easily keep...

BioShock photo
BioShock

Irrational devs recall proudest moments from their last BioShock DLC


I'm getting a little veklempt
Mar 11
// Conrad Zimmerman
In this reflective look back at the soon-to-be released final DLC for BioShock Infinite, members of the team at Irrational Games talk about the elements of the experience they are most individually proud of. There are also l...
Bears vs. Art photo
Bears vs. Art

Halfbrick reveals new puzzle game Bears vs. Art


When nice bears go bad
Mar 10
// Conrad Zimmerman
I hope you have some insulin handy because this trailer introducing Halfbrick's new game, Bear vs. Art, is sweeter than strawberry sundae topped with candy-coated gumdrops. I have watched it four times and still giggle at ho...
 photo

Reversed platform runner Spoiler Alert challenges you to unwin the game


Cats and dogs living together
Mar 10
// Conrad Zimmerman
TinyBuild has announced today that they'll be working with Danish developer MEGAFUZZ to release Spoiler Alert, an auto-run platform game which plays in reverse. Beginning at the end of the game, already completed, players ar...
 photo

Fight Club as a 16-bit beat-em-up game


Do you want to finish her off?
Mar 10
// Conrad Zimmerman
This was a treat to find this morning. It's the latest installment of "8-Bit Cinema", a series from YouTube Channel Cinefix which presents how films might have been represented in classic games, and they've cast Fight Club&n...

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