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Insomniac Games

Edge of Nowhere photo
Edge of Nowhere

Insomniac's Edge of Nowhere is an Oculus Rift exclusive


Third-person adventure in the Antarctic
Jun 11
// Jordan Devore
During today's Oculus Rift stream, Insomniac Games announced a third-person action-adventure game, Edge of Nowhere, exclusively for the Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset. Here's the teaser. "What appears to be a rescue mis...
Ratchet & Clank photo
Ratchet & Clank

PS4 could use more games like Ratchet & Clank


This sure looks nice
Jun 10
// Jordan Devore
"Play the game based on the movie based on the game." Next spring, Ratchet and Clank return for, well, Ratchet & Clank. Insomniac Games is working on a re-imagining of the original PlayStation 2 title, "revised to tie in...

Contest: Two copies of Sunset Overdrive and an Xbox One Bundle

Apr 28 // Mike Martin
Cheers and good luck everyone! Contest ends May 12th @ 11:59pm PST. Winners will be announced and notified by 5/18/15. Remember, our Huge Members get automatic entry into all contests (and double entries if you enter one manually), exclusive beta code giveaways for upcoming games, newsletters direct from the staff, ad-free browsing, and more! And most of all, your $3 a month helps directly support the site you love. Try us out!
Contest photo
Is it wrong I want to drink a can of Overcharge?
CONTEST OVER. Winners will be announced soon, via PM and then listed here.   Thanks to the amazing Courtney, as well as the fine folks at Microsoft and Insomniac, we have two copies of Sunset Overdrive to give away. Not ...

Insomniac Games photo
Insomniac Games

Slow Down, Bull is a strange one for Insomniac Games


It's on Steam, for starters
Apr 20
// Jordan Devore
When I think of Insomniac Games, a few titles come to mind: Ratchet and Clank, Spyro the (pre-Skylanders) Dragon, and Sunset Overdrive. The studio's new game, Slow Down, Bull, is not like those -- it's a smaller project for S...

Sunset Overdrive photo
Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive gets a permanent price drop, trades freaks for robots


Now $39.99
Apr 01
// Brett Makedonski
There's a lot of activity in Sunset City despite the fact that the town is a shell of what it once was. Those over-caffeinated freaks flood the streets, and there's one guy bouncing about like he's the one with 15 too many R...
Sunset Overdrive photo
Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive bounces to a filthy oil rig for first DLC


The Mystery of the Mooil Rig
Dec 09
// Brett Makedonski
Insomniac Games has detailed Sunset Overdrive's first add-on, and there are some pronunciation problems clouding up the reveal. The Mystery of Mooil Rig is the name, and how would one go about saying that? "Moy-il?" "Mo...
Sunset Overdrive trial photo
Sunset Overdrive trial

Gold subscribers can play Sunset Overdrive for free tomorrow


FYI: The game is 23.17 GB
Nov 21
// Jordan Devore
So here's a cool thing: Microsoft and Insomniac are opening up Sunset Overdrive for Xbox Live Gold subscribers for 24 hours. The punk-rock shooter will be free to play -- the whole game, including co-op -- from 12:01am Easter...

Review: Sunset Overdrive

Oct 27 // Chris Carter
Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One)Developer: Insomniac GamesPublisher: Microsoft StudiosReleased: October 28, 2014MRSP: $59.99 Sunset Overdrive is in your face from the get-go with a punk theme that permeates through its sound and visual style. It's immediately obvious from the character creation screen (which offers male and female options) that this is a wacky affair, with comic book style "POPs" and "BAMs" flying through the air as you attempt to make sense of an impending zombie outbreak. No time is wasted as it throws you into the action with a quick and dirty tutorial of its jumping, bouncing, grinding, and shooting basics. The gist is that if you see a rail or siding, you can grind it, and if something looks like you can bounce off of it, you can do that too. The free-flying movement system is just one facet of this over-the-top experience, as the first gun you get is essentially a cock-and-balls blunderbuss. Although it tends to have that "trying too hard" feel at times (some jokes fall flat, namely one mission that's a big Breaking Bad joke), I genuinely loved the atmosphere from the start. It nails that comic book veneer, but it also manages to deliver a ton of its own signature charm Insomniac is known for. It's present in just about every area of the game, from a gun that shoots records called High Fidelity, to a flaming bowling ball gun called The Dude, and a kangaroo-head codpiece. Weapons even have mini tutorials that explain how they work with full voiceovers, and there's tons of personality present throughout. I particularly love one mission hub that's full of quest givers that communicate entirely through texting (shown on-screen in a style similar to Sherlock). [embed]282603:56109:0[/embed] When you die in Sunset Overdrive, you'll respawn in a number of different ways, like rising from the grave or getting beamed down from an alien ship. Fast travel is usually represented by drinking a beer, blacking out, and "appearing" at the desired location -- seriously. At no point is this a boring game. The main drawback to this style though is that it can become a bit much, particularly when it comes to the main story. In fact it's not really so much a story as it is a constant string of jokes and references, which hit more than they miss, but leave you with a feeling that something is missing. Before you know it you're back to grinding and blasting like there was no tomorrow, but sometimes it feels like there's no real point to it. The free movement system definitely takes some getting used to, but once it becomes second nature it's a blast. As I mentioned, you can bounce and grind on just about anything. But beyond that you can actually "hang" on grind rails from below, run on water, air dash, and much more. It's awkward at first because you have to hit X to grind every time you want to plant on a rail, similar to the Tony Hawk series, and some rails are so short that it's barely worth the effort. The first few hours will feel odd, which is unfortunate, but once you start getting more movement options Sunset opens up. Eventually, you start to piece together the world like a puzzle, and integrate every trick in the book until you're flying around like a pro. Again, there's also fast travel, but I almost never used it because roaming around was too much fun. The "Overdrive" system allows you to pump up a special meter (that decays) for killing enemies while grinding or bouncing. It's both intuitive and fun, as it constantly goads you into actively playing. The amount of customization is insane, and there are a large number of "Amps" to attach to weapons to change their properties, as well as a ton of perks, some of which are really out there -- like the "Screw the Fourth Wall" perk that does nothing more than initiate an announcer who talks about how awesome you are. I've played for nearly 20 hours and haven't scratched the surface of the game's Amp and perk system. Speaking of Sunset's world, the game is broken into three distinct districts, all of which look similar in nature with a slight variation in themes (factory, residential, and a mix with some Tokyo flavor). It's large but not overly so. You'll come to recognize landmarks and know your way around without a map, but it doesn't feel like you're going to the same few areas over and over. Sunset plays out like a typical open-world action game, offering a main story that eventually brings the narrative full circle, as well as over 100 sidequests ranging from races, to score-attack modes, to tower defense scenarios. The latter is probably the standout bit, as you have the option to set up traps (which are also customizable) while you defend the objective. Even the fetch quests try to play it cool with self-referential jokes on the genre, and wacky concepts like luring a robot dog across a map with an exploding kitten gun. You can also star in a makeshift episode of "Redneck Running Man." Almost everything gives you some form of reward, and during one mission I even "leveled up" by way of perk system tokens 10 times (since you get separate rewards for just about every action you do). The amount of collectibles will also frustrate or excite you to no end, with everything from neon signs to lenses, cameras, and sneakers strewn about the sprawling map. If you're completionist, you can buy maps from vendors that show the location of everything on-screen. While I enjoyed Sunset's single-player experience, online play, titled "Chaos Squad," really surprised me. If you've ever played a game like Need for Speed: Most Wanted you'll have some idea of what to expect. Basically, up to eight players are brought into a single instance of the game, which takes place on the exact same map as the campaign. A mission will randomly pop up at a location, which players will race to, earning bonuses if they're among the first to arrive. I love this system because it feels organic and seamlessly integrated into the game without seeming tacked-on or like an afterthought. The racing system will earn you points but it's completely optional, and you can take your time to see the sights and do your own thing as well as join the group. Once you get to the objective, the game will allow you to vote on one of two missions, which are similar to the campaign but balanced with more enemies for more players. It's amazing to see the sheer variety of Sunset online right in front of you, as no two players I ever saw looked or controlled alike. While there were definitely a few shared gun loadouts in games, everyone had their own personal style on display, and seeing the synergy between people using frost and flame guns to change the state of enemies and others working in tandem to destroy or slow them down is a sight to behold. I played for hours with no signs of repeating the same pattern or seeing similar co-op partners. The end of the session culminates in a tower defense blowout, which is often the most fun, and allows you to rejoin another match with the same people. The best part of Chaos Squad for me is that you can bring back rewards into your core game -- there's no separate solo or multiplayer layouts, and the better you do, the more rewards you get. Sunset also has a set of weekly challenges, as well as Sunset TV, an ongoing video series that highlights new aspects of the game at different intervals. Sunset Overdrive may have a few flaws inherent to many open-world games and lacks an engaging narrative, but it's an incredibly fun, vibrant game that's a nice break from the overly gritty tone we see far too often in today's market. After Fuse, this is exactly what Insomniac Games needed.
Sunset Overdrive review photo
This game has a goat-head codpiece in it, 'nuff said
After booting the game up, it's apparent that Sunset Overdrive is the result of Insomniac Games going back to its roots. Before the developer was called upon to release the shades-of-brown-tinted Resistance and...

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Has my hype train derailed?
Sunset Overdrive was one of the most exciting announcements to come out of E3 2013, and since then, I've had numerous people say it looks like a game made just for me. For whatever reason, I didn't get a chance to check it ou...

Sunset Overdrive photo
Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive shows how live-action trailers should be done


It's mockumentary time
Sep 22
// Jordan Devore
Live-action trailers for videogames can be entirely hit or miss. It's to the point where I'm usually curious to check them out even if I have little if any interest in the source material. Will they be awesome, or a total tr...
Sunset Overdrive photo
Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive is getting two campaign add-ons


Season pass details
Sep 09
// Jordan Devore
I'm not in the market for season passes, but I still like to look just to see what DLC is lined up. In the case of Sunset Overdrive, Insomniac plans to release two campaign add-ons with "new locations to explore, stories to e...
Sunset Overdrive photo
Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive behind the scenes video tells us what we already know


In a way that's definitely not at all grating
Aug 26
// Brett Makedonski
If you're new to this or simply need a refresher course, this Sunset Overdrive video should get you up to speed on all the points that Insomniac Games is looking to hit with its quirky, open-world shooter. Constant move...

Alcohol-fueled benders are the quickest way to traverse Sunset Overdrive

Aug 21 // Brett Makedonski
At a presentation at gamescom, Insomniac went into a little more detail about Sunset City, the virtual skatepark that Sunset Overdrive gives the player free rein of. And, when we say free rein, we mean it. The entire map will be unlocked right from the very beginning of the game, leaving the player to explore to their heart's desire. Popping into debug mode, the developers raised the camera high into the sky to lend some perspective as to how big the world is. It's quite impressive, and should prove to be an aptly sized playground -- even for someone that's constantly on the go. The only reprieve from the ceaseless movement (ironically) comes from Sunset Overdrive's fast-travel system. Yes, for a game about bustling activeness, sometimes you'll want to thoughtlessly warp to the other side of the map. Even when Sunset Overdrive betrays the very foundation of its own experience, at least it does it in style. After selecting an available fast-travel spot, the game cuts back to the protagonist who pulls out a bottle and chugs it until blacking out. Seconds later, they stumble out of a port-a-potty with a wicked hangover, but at the desired location. Ridiculous? Definitely, but it's just another example in a long line of what Insomniac's preached from the beginning -- with Sunset Overdrive, fun trumps realism. That's why an entire city has seemingly turned into a giant bouncy house. That's why I watched the developers forge a legendary sword by repeatedly trampolining it to the bottom of a nuclear reactor. And, that's why alcohol's the quickest way to get across Sunset City -- because it's just the most fun prospect. Coincidentally, it's also the only time you'll get a break.
Sunset Overdrive preview photo
Just stop for a second
Go, go, go. Always on the move. That's all that we've seen of Insomniac Games' Sunset Overdrive since its initial 2013 reveal. Seriously, think back. Do you remember seeing any footage of the game where the oddball prota...

Sunset Overdrive gamescom photo
Sunset Overdrive gamescom

Soda scientist shows off Sunset Overdrive mutants and robots


Still so much better without the default lead
Aug 12
// Steven Hansen
There was a surprising amount of brand new stuff out of gamescom (thanks, Sony!), but let's not forget Sunset Overdrive is coming out October 28. It's pretty fun, though I've only messed with the multiplayer. 
White Xbox One photo
White Xbox One

White hot! Microsoft confirms Sunset Overdrive white Xbox One bundle


Try to conceal your disbelief
Aug 12
// Brett Makedonski
Microsoft's finally confirmed one of the worst-kept recent rumors in the videogame industry. Sunset Overdrive's getting a console bundle with that flashy white Xbox One. The bundle is expected to release right alongside Sunse...
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Also, it has been determined that it is a silly game.
As we recently learned, Sunset Overdrive lets players protect their genitals with the head of a green kangaroo, which is a very silly idea. But is that silly enough, in this post-Saints Row world? The answer is "who cares?" because there are also Hawaiian Shirts and Hawaiian Shirts are my jam.

Sunset Overdrive photo
Sunset Overdrive

You can wear a kangaroo codpiece in Sunset Overdrive


Strap one on, it's time to jam!
Jul 25
// Jordan Devore
For San Diego Comic-Con, Insomniac Games is talking up character customization in Sunset Overdrive and the clothing options range from "traditional" to "out there" -- way, way out there. Interestingly, these vanity items don...
Sunset Overdrive photo
Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive gets the Mondo poster treatment


Job well done
Jul 16
// Jordan Devore
Mondo has come out with some of the coolest movie posters in recent times. I've yet to get one, and not for lack of trying. Now, it seems videogames are on the table for the company -- I sense more pain from missed limited-ed...
Sunset Overdrive photo
Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive's opening cinematic is a staunch reminder that energy drinks are bad


Wimmy wham wham wozzle!
Jul 07
// Brett Makedonski
Hey local teens, think life is all about cool dance festivals and energy drinks? Wrong. It's not, and you better get on track or your existence will become one of two things. Best case scenario is you become The Original Par...
Sunset Overdrive photo
Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive's Chaos Squad looks like more fun than just a horde mode


You do a lot more moving
Jul 02
// Brett Makedonski
I hadn't really paid a ton of attention to Sunset Overdrive's multiplayer component. I figured it was just another co-operative experience where you hole up and fight off some baddies with your buddies. Rah rah, we've been h...
Insomniac's new game photo
Insomniac's new game

Insomniac experiments with open development on Slow Down, Bull


Inspired by indies like Double Fine
Jun 25
// Brett Makedonski
Insomniac may have had some big publisher backing over the years, but it considers itself to be indie at its core. That's why for its next game, Insomniac's going to experiment with an open development process, much like othe...
Sunset Overdrive photo
Sunset Overdrive

In a show of unity, Sunset Overdrive lets you be a female assassin


You might say it's in Insomniac's creed...also, traps
Jun 20
// Steven Hansen
I enjoyed messing with Sunset Overdrive's multiplayer mode at E3, partly because you could play as a beefy Middle Eastern man in a skirt or a tiny woman with bunny ears. Anyone other than Sunset's 'in your face' punk protago...

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...

I'm loving Sunset Overdrive's mutant killing arsenal

Jun 10 // Steven Hansen
In my first go at Sunset Overdrive, I've yet to get full hang of bouncing and grinding around, so I focused a bit more on eviscerating incoming  monsters. Maybe everyone else playing was trying to board slide because I carried our team to victory despite a last minute scare that saw our vats under attack from all sides. The Insomniac style is alive in Sunset Overdrive's weaponry. The gun that shoots vinyls, which can ricochet, was great for dicing up crowds of incoming enemies. It's Ratchet and Clank's Buzz Blades, but with more character. That's all the weapons, really. Familiar. Things that act as shotguns, things that act as grenade launchers. But with an interesting character and a lot more color. My favorite exploded into plumes of green dragon fireworks. There's also a melee, which feels pretty killer. A freeze bomb with a decent area of effect was also good at nullifying incoming hordes and leaving your team to smash up the frozen bodies. You can also set traps that look like spinning propellers at strategic spots, like the wooden barricades the monsters try to wreck to get further into the level, though I'm actually hoping that aspect is a little more involved, or evolves. Having the one trap per match left me missing Gears' setting up between waves. But these waves were only coming from two sides and it didn't seem like the most challenging difficulty the mode will offer. Co-op will always give a game legs because even a junk game can be fun with friends. There wasn't anything too new on display, but with the emphasis on movement and grinding on wires stretched across stages, this could provide a freer feeling alternative to all those "hunker down" sort of horde and tower defense modes.
Sunset Overdrive hands-on photo
Not so much loving its 'in your face' lead
As much as I like Sunset Overdrive's mix of Jet Set and Ratchet and Clank, I'm less in love with the insufferable punk aesthetic its sleeveless jean jacket wearing lead puts forth. Just because you pin cloth to your jean jack...

Sunset Overdrive photo
Be The Hero! Again
They gotcha, right? "Oh no, another cover-based shooter!" Nope, it's Sunset Overdrive which seems to be the antithesis of the dull drab shooters we're sadly used to. Presented by Ted Price, founder and CEO of Insomniac games...

Sunset Overdrive photo
Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive's getting crazy with eight-player co-op


Hope you have friends
Jun 09
// Brett Makedonski
Sunset Overdrive is one of the titles that Microsoft is depending on to bring an injection of charisma and zaniness to Xbox One later this year. Insomniac's colorful open-world shooter looks as if it hinges upon being a...
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Internal game jam helped make Sunset Overdrive not boring


Plus some new footage
Jun 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
E3 is next week and we're finally going to get our hands all over Insomniac's Sunset Overdrive. The latest episode of the Sunset TV show focuses on the early stages of the game, detailing how an internal game jam helped give...
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Microsoft will have Sunset Overdrive playable to the public during E3


You can also win a ticket into the press conference
May 31
// Abel Girmay
In addition to the usual show floor booths and Day 0 press conference, Microsoft will be holding a series of events to allow the general public a chance to be a part of the action. You can get a full list here, but the m...
Sunset Overdrive weapons photo
Sunset Overdrive weapons

Sunset Overdrive has a ricocheting record gun, TNT teddy bear


There's the Insomniac I know and love
May 30
// Steven Hansen
Man, it's nice to see Insomniac able to make fun weapons again. With yesterday's news of the Ratchet and Clank trilogy coming to Vita, I have an urge to play Ratchet and Clank. Sunset Overdrive, with its weapons and movement, seems like it'd satisfy my Ratchet urge and Jet Set urge at the same time. Too bad I need an Xbox One.
Amplitude Kickstarter photo
Amplitude Kickstarter

Insomniac supports Harmonix by pledging $7,500 to Amplitude Kickstarter


But there's still a long way to go
May 20
// Brett Makedonski
With only a few days left in Harmonix's Kickstarter for a remake of Amplitude, fellow developer Insomniac Games made a sizable contribution. The $775,000 asking price is now $7,500 closer to its goal. Insomniac cites being a...

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