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Homefront gameplay photo
Homefront gameplay

Who is building all the damn metal ramps in Homefront: The Revolution?


Also, it's a stupid game
Aug 05
// Steven Hansen
I noticed this watching Homefront: The Revolution's trailer live at gamescom: there are a ton of convenient, incredibly sturdy corrugated metal ramps, bridges, and walkways in occupied United States. It seems like 40% of the...
Heroes of the Storm photo
Heroes of the Storm

These are the next three Heroes of the Storm


Artanis, Kharazim, and Rexxar
Aug 05
// Jordan Devore
I don't think I'll stray far from Valla (especially now that I have her Master Skin), but I have been stockpiling gold for another Diablo character in Heroes of the Storm -- Kharazim, Monk of Ivgorod. At gamescom, Blizzard opened up about the Monk and shared details on two other heroes (Warcraft's Rexxar and StarCraft's Artanis) as well as a new three-lane map, Infernal Shrines.

Sam Lake explains Quantum Break's television show tie-in

Aug 05 // Steven Hansen
[embed]297184:59794:0[/embed] What's weird, though, is that while my suspicion and low expectations haven't changed even as the game has, there's some magic in hearing Remedy's Sam Lake tell it. Few can string together scripted nonsense like "intense story-driven action game spectacle" and still seem genuine with a kind of unassuming, unironic grin. It's adorable At one point Lake noted that the team destroyed yet another giant ship in the demo we were shown. "We are destroying another ship here as we did at last gamescom," Lake said, explaining that Remedy doesn't hate ships or the shipping industry. "We love shipping. Shipping games." Pause. "Hah hah." That was a "hah hah," not a laugh, and a perfectly delivered one. So we've seen "I'm a super badass baby-faced dubstep killer" wreck house on crews of heavily outfitted corporate military already and it's a little goofy as the guy in jeans and a Guess jacket brushes off assault rifle fire. He's aided by the time powers granted by a failed time travel experiment that is bringing about the end of time (hah). Time Rush allows Jack to run forward with time stopped, either to avoid environmental obstacles in platforming sections or to combo into running punches. Time Dodge is a quick dash out of harm's way or into an enemy to bump them a bit. Time Blast is an offensive projectile, Time Shield is a bubble shield, and Time Stop freezes time in one focused area. Some of Monarch's soldiers are outfitted with fancy backpacks that give them some of these powers, too, so you're not just up against folks shooting you. Quantum Break is "a story about warring philosophies," Lake says. The fatalist antagonist thinks the future can't be changed or fixed no matter what, the protagonist thinks that's bogus. The game focuses on the perspective of the latter, while "the show is about villains," focusing on the Wire half of the cast and what's happening at evil Monarch. So how does it work? "You first play through an act of the game, Lake says. "It culminates in a special scene that is the junction moment, where you make a choice," which opens up an episode of the show "based on the choice you make." So you get roughly 22 minutes of programming tailored to your decisions. And all of Quantum Break is "shaped by your choices." The given example of a junction moment is where evil corporate bad guy Paul Serene has to either: 1) kill a student activist who's witness to some shady things or 2) threaten to murder her family to bend her into submission. Both bad, one less bad, I suppose. Her death, should you choose, is reflected in the protest scene from last year's trailer. On the other hand, should she live, she becomes Jacks ally, helping to dig up dirt on Monarch. Sometimes these two parts of the game weave even closer. A live-action conflict between Monarch folks who've captured Jack ends at an anticlimax as their guns disappear and Jack is shown to have gotten away. On the game side, there's a cutscene of Jack waking up in the back of the van, noticing the conflict outside, and escaping (and gun jacking) during a time skip. With Xbox having killed its original programming arm, Lake also clarified that, "the game and the show ship together as one item."
Not skippable photo
'[They] ship together as one item'
It's been over two years since I first side-eyed Quantum Break, the television show and third-person shooter hybrid from Remedy (Alan Wake, Max Payne). Quantum Break finally has a release date it probably won't be delayed out...

Hitman studio just wants to 'get back to Hitman'

Aug 05 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]294082:59060:0[/embed] From what we saw, creativity should be a pillar of gameplay this time around. There's so much happening at any given time, leading to seemingly endless possibilities. Seifert pointed out how almost everything could be used as either a distraction or an instrument of death. Chandeliers can be cut loose, gas lamps can be tampered with, weapons could be smuggled inside electrical equipment, liquor could be poisoned, et cetera ad nauseam.  Our approach was a bit more customized. We planted an explosive device behind a guard and then threw a coin to alert him. Proficient in his line of work, he noticed the mine, disarmed it, and picked it up so no one would get hurt. He took it to the guard center inside which was past security. All we had to do was retrieve it later. Sucker. People who know and love Hitman might pick up on this style immediately, but newcomers won't necessarily know how the game's systemic nuances work. Seifert's solution to bridging this gap is an "opportunity alert" that doesn't quite guide the player, but informs them that something can be done. He noted that it's very important that the feature be able to be disabled. "Hardcore players will turn it off right away," Seifert said. "They want to discover things on their own." There's a lot to do in Hitman, and all these unique methods stem from the density of the levels. The stage we saw was set at the iconic Parisian Fashion Week (not my first time virtually touring the French capital). Seifert said that this was one of the smaller settings, yet it's still six times larger than anything in Absolution. Likewise, Absolution had around 30 NPCs with their own routines and lifecycles per level; Hitman will have around 300. Everything's bigger in Hitman, but it's not just for the sake of being bigger. It all leads to more options, which is exactly what players want from a Hitman game. There's no trick to being more efficient implementing this, either. It simply just takes more time. Seifert says that it has taken IO Interactive around a year to complete any given level. They take a while to create, but those levels will likely get a lot of use over time. One of the major planned features is an assassination mission that rotates out every two days or so. The catch is that players are only given a single try. If they botch it, the target gets away and they have a black mark on their permanent record. Success will be rewarded with unique items to carry into the campaign and leaderboard glory. This is indicative of Seifert's beliefs on post-launch content. He doesn't think that developers should spend four years creating a game, put it out, and then get working on another four-year cycle. Instead, he wants to offer players new things with regularity. That mindset isn't too unique, but Seifert is interestingly against paid DLC. That's why Hitman will have none. He said it's a model that he lobbied for, and admitted that it was a "tough sell." Everyone likes their money, after all. Still, somehow he won. The price of the base game is all people will have to pay to fully experience his game. Really, when you boil it down, Seifert's adamant attitude toward constant content is just another angle for all that Hitman wants to accomplish -- it's another way to give players options. The appealing idea here is that everyone will have a personal experience with the game -- their own stories to tell about an assassination gone right or awry. That, as Seifert would put it, is how they're getting back to Hitman.
Hitman preview photo
And the response to Absolution
"Hitman is 15 years old," IO Interactive head Hannes Seifert said. "That's a long time. Tastes change. It's time to get back to Hitman." That was Seifert's explanation for why the next game in the series has forgone a su...

Kamiya: Scalebound 'not a simple action game that Platinum is known for'

Aug 05 // Steven Hansen
[embed]297186:59795:0[/embed] Kamiya noted that Scalebound is, "a story about Drew...who has been transported from our modern world into this fantasy world," and by some held back plot point ends up in union with Thuban, the last of his kind. Very Dragonheart. Drew's devil may care attitude (and Devil May Cry Dante comparisons), "might be too early," according to Kamiya, who noted Platinum has released little information thus far. The "partnership between Thuban and Drew" is one of the many themes, both within the mysterious story and in gameplay. You're able to issue the AI-controlled Thuban basic commands which fall into 1) attack (at varying levels of scorched earth) and 2) fall back a bit. The latter is important because Thuban's stronger attacks can wipe enemies clean out of existence. If Drew downs them, he is able to crystallize them and collect the resulting red gems which can be used to customize Thuban. It's a bit weird you can actually change what kind of dragon he is, but hey, RPGs. "Pulse" drives the world of Draconis with its floating islands and colorful palette. It's also what powers Drew's Mega Man buster cannon-reminiscent pulse shot and the "colored accents on Thuban." I believe Kamiya called them green and I don't want to disagree, but they look pretty blue to me. I will ask my mother.  Aside from incentivizing you from not leaning too much on Thuban through the gem system, the demo continued past defeating the mantis boss in the trailer and into a much more narrow area where Thuban has to fly ahead and thus isn't free to use in combat. That means that, because of Thuban, "the world can't be too small," so there'll be plenty of open plains like the ones seen in the trailer. Other tidbits: Drew's transformation is "dragon mode" as it stands. Some trailer-like features montage showed off a large, NPC-filled city. There is also some sort of skill point system that seems like it's based on how well you perform combat. Drew also has access to a wide variety of weapons (halberds, enormous anime swords, etc.) that appear to be housed in a block-based inventory system (think Resident Evil 4). And, as learned yesterday, there's four-player co-op. "As kind of a policy for myself when I start creating a game, I am not creating to please everyone," Kamiya said. "My job is that you fall in love more and more with what I created." From what has been released, this feels like the most straightforward Platinum/Kamiya game. Basic action RPG stuff is appropriate for trade show reveals. Still, I think as crazy story details and mechanics are unveiled en route to the holiday 2016 launch (crossing back into the modern world? increased dragon skills and combo attacks?), I will get more and more into what is already a pretty, nice looking action game.
Scalebound at gamescom photo
Customizable dragon
First, note that I wanted to get Scalebound's Hideki Kamiya to say, "Ask your mom" on video, but gamescom meetings are too tight, too perpetually behind to get much good one on one in. Still, I got to see an extended playthro...

Final Fantasy Explorers chasing that Monster Hunter cheese

Aug 05 // Steven Hansen
[embed]296955:59743:0[/embed] It seems like modest fun, though. Things like the Fortune Teller, Item Shop, and Work Shop were closed down during my demo, but I took on a Flame Djinn hunt (Final Fantasy summon mainstay Ifrit), switched to my Dragoon pants, and embarked on a flaming dungeon with Chocobo and Goblin allies in tow. The targeting system feels a bit lose and using the d-pad for camera direction means your thumb's off the circle pad, but combat doesn't ask anything too complex. There's a basic attack button, while the shoulder buttons bring up special attacks, and doing real-time dragoon Jumps is fun. There are also even more limited special attacks accessed by pressing both shoulder buttons. Ifrit did do me in two times, but all reviving costs (with the boss' health still depleted whatever you got it to) is three minutes against the clear time. It seems like it'll be a grindy time-waster, but maybe the familiar trappings can catch folks who otherwise struggled to get into Monster Hunter. Not me, though. I'll keep listening to the Chrystal Chronicles OST. That'll do.
Hands-on at gamescom photo
Hands-on at gamescom
Square Enix is bringing Final Fantasy Explorers west come January, so I went ahead and played it here at gamescom (we also previewed it back in 2014 at Tokyo Game Show). The clearest thing to me is that I will never get anoth...

No more last gen ports? photo
No more last gen ports?

Ubisoft on The Crew's Wild Run expansion not coming to 360


'Shifting its development force'
Aug 05
// Steven Hansen
If you're in the small subset of people who: 1) enjoy Ubisoft's weird ass open world racing game The Crew, 2) play it only on the Xbox 360, and 3) are excited for the upcoming Wild Run expansion (November 17) , then I have ba...
Elite: Dangerous photo
Elite: Dangerous

Elite: Dangerous gets Horizons expansion, planetary landings


From Space Trucks to Space Buggies
Aug 05
// Josh Tolentino
Time to kick the tires, Commanders. Frontier Developments, they who run premier space-trucking sim Elite: Dangerous, just announced Horizons, the next expansion for the game. Due to open on PC and Xbox One this year, Ho...
Just Cause 3 photo
Just Cause 3

I won some Doritos out of a dumb Just Cause 3 claw machine


Did I say dumb? I meant awesome
Aug 05
// Brett Makedonski
Square Enix has no problem embracing how stupid and great and terrible and awesome its game -- and all video games, really -- can be. That's why there's a Just Cause 3-branded claw machine that's dishing out Doritos at gamesc...
FIFA 2016 photo
FIFA 2016

FIFA 2016's FUT Draft mode gets a trailer


Oh that banter what cheeky legends
Aug 05
// Joe Parlock
Want to see two footballers have some incredibly forced “top quality bants”? Want to have your soul ripped out of your eye sockets and fed to a swarming flurry of crows? Well don’t worry, EA has you covered...
Unravel photo
Unravel

Unravel shows off live gameplay at gamescom


Make Martin Sahlin the King of Games
Aug 05
// Joe Parlock
The true star of E3 is back, now at gamescom. Nervously taking to stage once more, Martin Sahlin and Yarny showed off some live gameplay of Unravel while giving a heartfelt speech about what presenting at E3 really meant to ...
The Sims 4 photo
The Sims 4

The Sims 4 go European with the Get Together expansion


Windenburg looks like a fantasy MMO
Aug 05
// Joe Parlock
EA has announced a new expansion pack for The Sims 4, the Get Together expansion pack. The new expansion will bring in a European-style city called Windenburg, and is due to be released in November this year. EA has said it ...
Star Wars Battlefront photo
Star Wars Battlefront

Fighter Squadron brings dogfights to Battlefront


FINALLY!!!
Aug 05
// Laura Kate Dale
Today at gamescom we got our first trailer for Fighter Squadron, a twenty person dogfight mode for Star Wars Battlefront. You can pilot a bunch of different ships, including the Millenium Falcon, and there will be twenty AI fighters flying in the skies alongside the twenty human players. Yep, this looks pretty cool. I'm glad we finally have this confirmed for the game.
Knights of the Fallen Emp photo
Knights of the Fallen Emp

New Star Wars: The Old Republic - Knights of the Fallen Empire trailer shows off gameplay


Back to 'BioWare-style storytelling'?
Aug 05
// Joe Parlock
BioWare has shown off some more of its upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire, at gamescom. The newest trailer that actually shows gameplay can be seen above. The expansion will feature ...
Mirror's Edge Catalyst photo
Mirror's Edge Catalyst

Sprint over here and watch the first Mirror's Edge Catalyst gameplay trailer


Daaaaamn this looks good
Aug 05
// Laura Kate Dale
Finally, Mirror's Edge Catalyst has gameplay footage available for you all to watch. Thank you gamescom. So, what did we learn from this new footage? Well, we learned that Catalyst looks a lot like the original Mirror's Edge, with combat discouraged in favour of running and being a rebellious badass. So, I'm reassured that this should be the Mirror's Edge game I am hoping for. Fantastic news.
Need for Speed photo
Need for Speed

Need for Speed trailer shows us some surprisingly good FMVs


We're well above Night Trap quality now
Aug 05
// Joe Parlock
EA has released a new trailer for the upcoming Need for Speed, showing off some of the FMVs that will be featured in the game and some of the main characters who we’ll meet in it. I’m not a big driving game fan, ...
Final Fantasy XV trailer photo
Final Fantasy XV trailer

Final Fantasy XV gets gamescom 2015 trailer, no release date


Watch the new Final Fantasy XV trailer
Aug 05
// Steven Hansen
Well, there it is, the latest substantive look at Final Fantasy XV, the game that started as Final Fantasy XIII Versus (PS3) and has changed considerably in the near decade since then. Despite the playable road trip demo, it...
Final Fantasy XV photo
Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV's big gamescom trailer has a cute dog!


Full trailer coming in 7 hours
Aug 04
// Steven Hansen
So, between this, Fallout 4, and Metal Gear Solid V's Diamond Dog...year of the dog? Yeah, year of the dog. Square has noted Final Fantasy XV was a ghost at E3 because the company was focusing on its gamescom showing. That tr...

Superhot asks that we do something different with a gun in our hands

Aug 04 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]297228:59815:0[/embed] "Time only moves when you move." That's Superhot's very to-the-point slogan. The game's stuck in a perpetual bullet-time that slows to an absolute crawl. Upon touching the left stick, it speeds up to the degree that you sped up. It's important to manage these movements almost like a resource of sorts. The polygonal enemies will swarm in the event that you're wasting movements. The most challenge lies in figuring out where exactly these enemies should be shot. Significant leading is required because they aren't going to stay where they were when the bullet was fired. Stylish headshots are tempting, but the smart money's on a well-placed round in the body. It accomplishes the exact same thing, but again, several years of experience have taught us to aim for the dome. Before long, a pattern forms. Slowly line up a shot, inch along in any direction at a safe pace until the bullet hits, stop and find the next foe. It's easy to understand but so counter-intuitive for most. That's why even when they showed restraint, they eventually gave into the urge to press forward quickly. That's a death sentence in Superhot. If you'll notice, I've been using most of this preview to critique others' performance at Superhot. That's because I played it on VR at E3 2014, and I was very good at it. Blazed through the demo, in fact. This non-headset business would be a breeze. Dammit, I just died. Okay, no problem, just a quick restar--son of a bitch, I died again. This doesn't make sense. I know what to do, I'm just not doing it for some reason. Oh, god. Am I playing just like all these foolish other journalists? Ugh, this is embarrassing. That's exactly what was happening. When I was cool, calm, and collected, Superhot was easy to manage. The second I got either too confident or flustered, everything went awry. The ability to throw the player between those two mental extremes at such a quick pace is a defining attribute of the game. And, a constant source of anguish. Just take it slow, and everything will work out.
Superhot preview photo
Keep your cool
One after another, I watched everyone play Superhot wrong. They all made simple mistakes, threw their hands up in pleasant frustration, and then made the same mistakes again. Every single person was bad, and it was kind ...

Homefront: The Revolution is very different than when we last saw it

Aug 04 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]297199:59800:0[/embed] When I first played Homefront: The Revolution, the world felt lived-in. The oppressive themes were apparent, but the citizens seemed to accept it and go about their daily routines (except for the ones sparking the revolution in secret, of course). I believed that this was a city I could change the face of. I saw the potential to revolt and to do so in creative ways. The chunk I recently saw was more chaotic than that. Things are on fire and smoke billows on the horizon. All those people doing everyday stuff don't exist anymore. There are a few freedom fighters, but not many. It's mostly an empty playground for me to ramp my motorcycle off stuff. Rather than showing off a functioning city, this version of Homefront: The Revolution opted for sporadic waves of enemies. Many battles took places in warehouses, often around large crates that are meant to scream "industry!" It was all just so boring. It was like a Call of Duty where you traverse more ground before the next section of bad guys with guns. The world was still open, but the enemies acted with the scripted ways of a linear game. The player reached the top of the stairs, so it's time to charge through the door. That is to say, this demo largely erased my positive attitude toward Homefront: The Revolution. I'm not going to care about liberating a city if there's no one in that city. Its lifelessness reminded me of every shooter I've played for the past ten years and then immediately forgot about. The thing is, this can't be the true Homefront: The Revolution. Its premise is one with promise, but this slice shows none of that ambition. There's no way the game's skewed this far from concept. I guess I'll chalk this up to another misrepresentative demo, and hey -- I just broke the rule I spent the first paragraph talking about.
Homefront preview photo
But not necessarily better
Sometimes when you see a game at a preview event, you don't even want to write about it. You just know that what was shown wasn't a good representation of the final game. Malicious intent isn't always to blame, either; there ...

Everything that happened at Microsoft's 2015 gamescom conference

Aug 04 // Chris Carter
New Quantum Break trailer has a hobbit and military violence Microsoft debuts Crackdown 3 gameplay at gamescom Scalebound gameplay trailer reveals four player co-op, coming Holiday 2016 Quantum Break now has an April 5, 2016 release date Xbox One DVR functionality coming in 2016 Killer Instinct Season 3 coming March 2016 on Xbox One and PC Bloodstained will feature Microsoft crossplay, new character revealed Lovely Xbox One controller gets an ugly chatpad Xbox One backward compatibility comes to everyone in November Ark: Survival Evolved adds giant spiders to its dino-fest Ron Gilbert's Thimbleweed Park coming to Xbox One, Windows 10 We Happy Few is coming to Xbox One first, my fair lady Cobalt, that arena battle game, is still an Xbox exclusive Thimbleweed Park has an Anthony Burch doppelganger Homefront: The Revolution is doing an Xbox One exclusive beta 'Xbox players love their fut' and crappy FIFA deals Halo 5's new trailer has an excellent sliding kill Microsoft announces Halo World Championship, special 1TB Xbox One New Just Cause 3 trailer looks like silly, explosive fun Rainbow Six Siege scmhoozes gamescom with German counter terror unit Forza 6 team is way too hyped about rain Halo Wars 2 confirmed for Xbox One and PC, coming in 2016 Tremble in fear at our first look at Dark Souls 3 Cities: Skylines will arrive on Xbox One first on console
gamescom 2015 photo
Lots of non-exclusives
Hey, you know what? I actually enjoyed Microsoft's gamescom conference for the most part. Sure it had a lot of non-exclusives in there, but it wasn't a train wreck. I mean, when your heavy-hitter is Halo Wars 2 you know it's not all that exciting, but again, it could have been a lot worse. Plus, I know a lot of people who actually really dug Halo Wars, so I bet they're happy.

GSG9 photo
GSG9

Rainbow Six Siege schmoozes gamescom with German counter terror unit


Meet GSG9
Aug 04
// Steven Hansen
"Germany?" "That's...that's where we are!!!" [pulls pud over close ups of lil flags on the uniforms]
Forza Motorsport 6 photo
Forza Motorsport 6

The Forza 6 team is way too hyped about rain


They recreated every damn puddle y'all
Aug 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Look, Forza Motorsport 6's dynamic rain features might be all well and good, but to your average dude that just wants to race cars real fast, these guys are way too stoked about some puddles.
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Halo 5's new trailer has an excellent sliding kill


Where do you slide?
Aug 04
// Brett Makedonski
I'm at Microsoft's gamescom press conference battling bad Wi-Fi and mashing the keyboard in hopes that words magically form. Sometimes I get a chance to look up at the what's happening on the screen. It just so happens that ...
gamescom photo
gamescom

'Xbox players love their fut' and crappy FIFA deals


Xbox One bundle, week early access
Aug 04
// Steven Hansen
That is FIFA Ultimate Team, the thing EA uses to somehow make more money than just releasing a new FIFA every year (two when it's a World Cup year). "FUT fans this is a deal for you." Xbox One folks get FIFA 16 one week early...
Homefront photo
Homefront

Homefront: The Revolution is doing an Xbox One exclusive beta


Can you feel the excitement?
Aug 04
// Kyle MacGregor
Guerrilla warfare shooter Homefront: The Revolution is getting an exclusive multiplayer beta this winter on Xbox One. Until then, watch some propaganda about our faceless Korean overlords.
We Happy Few photo
We Happy Few

We Happy Few is coming to Xbox One first, my fair lady


So good
Aug 04
// Brett Makedonski
ID@Xbox head Chris Charla ended his segment of Microsoft's gamescom press conference by calling We Happy Few "one of the creepiest games in recent memory." Look at that trailer. He's not wrong. It's not exactly feel-goo...
Ark photo
Ark

Ark: Survival Evolved adds giant spiders to its dino-fest


Coming to Xbox One
Aug 04
// Steven Hansen
Bad name, but man Ark: Survival Evolved looks great. It's already playable on Steam in Early Access, but it's coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One early next year. Not sure if it can do as well there as it will on PC, where people who play stuff like DayZ tend to congregate, but, hey, name one more cool-looking dinosaur game coming out anytime soon. Really, if I'm missing one, let me know.
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Xbox One Backward Compatibility comes to everyone in November


Games with Gold gets a boost, too
Aug 04
// Brett Makedonski
Microsoft is obviously looking forward to the future, but it hasn't completely turned its attention from the past. At E3, it dropped the bombshell that it had a backward compatibility program so that Xbox 360 titles could be ...
Xbox One chatpad photo
Xbox One chatpad

Lovely Xbox One controller gets an ugly chatpad


Function, not form
Aug 04
// Steven Hansen
I mean, hey, it works. Anyone type enough on the Xbox One that they're picking this bad boy up when it launches in November?

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