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White Wolf photo
White Wolf

Paradox picks up White Wolf Publishing from CCP

The World of Darkness people
Oct 29
// Jordan Devore
White Wolf Publishing has found a new home under Paradox Interactive. The company, known for role-playing games like Vampire: The Masquerade, had been with EVE Online maker CCP Games since 2006. For years, CCP was working on ...
Vampyr photo

Vampyr teaser: Brief look at Life is Strange dev's new game

'The Role Playing Game'
Jun 18
// Steven Hansen
Dontnod is still wrapping up Life is Strange, but the Remember Me developer is also working on a new RPG with Focus Home Interactive called Vampyr. It was announced earlier this year, but this little concept teaser is the first look at the tone and whatnot Dontnod is going for its new project.
Vampyr photo

Vampyr: A new RPG from the Remember Me devs

'Take blood, save a life'
Jan 20
// Brett Makedonski
Dontnod Entertainment has yet to release its upcoming project Life is Strange, but it already has another game in the works. And, this one looks to be in a totally different vein (that pun will definitely make sense in a few ...
Nosgoth beta keys photo
Play the game before your friends
Destructoid is giving away a bunch of Nosgoth closed beta keys! Nosgoth is a free-to-play multiplayer experience set in the Legacy of Kain universe, involving humans and vampires locked in a bloody struggle against one anothe...

World of Darkness photo
World of Darkness

Development ceased on World of Darkness MMO

CCP CEO states, 'efforts were falling regretfully short.'
Apr 14
// Conrad Zimmerman
CCP Games announced today that development has been halted on the World of Darkness massively multiplayer online game. In a statement, CCP CEO Hilmar Veigar Pétursson expressed regret over the decision, sayin...
Castlevania photo

Blood is everything in Lords of Shadow 2 trailer

Well, ridiculously long swords are something too
Feb 24
// Brett Makedonski
Vampires sure do have a one-track mind, eh? Everything with them is all blood, blood, blood, blood, blood. Blood is family. Blood is power. Blood is everything. We get it. Vampires like blood. Gallons of the stuff. This Cast...
Check out one of the boss fights
The Toymaker was first introduced in Mirror of Fate, and he returns for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. Dracula is looking for the Mirror of Fate, and when the Toymaker is about to present one clue pointing to the mirror he ...

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is bold and uncompromising

Jan 09 // Alessandro Fillari
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 (Xbox 360, PC, PlayStation 3 [previewed])Developer: MercurySteamPublisher: KonamiRelease: February 25, 2014 Lords of Shadow 2 does well to try and ease players back into the action. In the opening level of the game, which takes place in the past during Dracula's prime, his castle is being raided by humans looking to vanquish him in the name of God. This epic and fairly ambitious area serves as the tutorial, where players learn the ins and outs of the combat and traversal gameplay. The controls are largely untouched, but feel much more tight and responsive than the previous game. Eventually, the Prince of Darkness succeeds in wiping out the army of Paladins and their man-made titan, but not before being surprised by the appearance of his son, Alucard. This sets the stage for what follows in a story that transcends the bonds of family and time itself. Immediately after the twist ending of Lords of Shadow, we find Gabriel Belmont, now known as Dracula, in a weakened state. After his resurrection from his defeat in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate by the hands of his own kin Simon Belmont and Alucard, he ventures out into the modern world looking for answers. With the promise to free him of his immortality by Zobek, a central villain from the previous game, Dracula must reacquire his powers and strength to defeat the army of Satan and prevent his return to the modern world. It's clear that everything in Lords of Shadow 2 is going for a much darker tone, and far more personal storyline. As the end of the former Belmont's story, MercurySteam plans to tell an uncompromisingly dark and sinister tale of redemption. And when it gets dark, it really gets dark. That includes placing players in positions that would disturb and trouble many. When Zobek realizes that Dracula won't last long in his weary state, he places the Prince of Darkness in a secured room, along with a frightened and helpless family of three. From here, players enter a first-person view and must go about slaughtering and feeding on each of them to replenish the Prince of Darkness’ powers. As you can imagine, this scene is very tough to stomach, let alone play through -- and the game pulls no punches as killing off one member of the family will cause the others to panic and become paralyzed with fear. It was sickening, painful, and heartbreaking to witness; however, this scene is incredibly effective in illustrating that Dracula is NOT the good guy of this story. I can already tell this sequence will be controversial, and may cause some to feel conflicted about the main character, but this was something that Konami and MercurySteam were very sure of conveying in their story. "That scene caused a lot of discussions between us and the marketing guys, as they believed we went too far," said Producer Dave Cox while discussing the feeding scene. "But we thought this wasn't going to be a Twilight or True Blood vampire, this is going back to what vampires used to be. Scary, evil. This is a character that has feelings and has emotions, but this is a guy who is not afraid to do horrible things." Not long after restoring his powers, we regain control of Dracula and must explore the modern world. As we progress further with our playthrough, things begin to open up. Gone were the awkward and jarring chapter breaks from the previous games, replaced with a more organic, natural flow. More and more, the linear progression faded and we were presented with choice and room for exploration. This title is not a simple improvement over the original, it is an evolution from years of design work and refinement that attempts to create a world that is alive and without limits. As many fans know, the original Lords of Shadow moved away from the famous Metroidvania style and flowed in a more traditional linear progression and focused heavily on set-piece moments scattered around the various levels;  his of course was the first thing that MercurySteam wanted to do away with. "We wanted to present everything seamlessly," said Dave Cox while discussing the world design. "In the beginning it's a very linear experience, but as you progress and explore the world it becomes more and more open. We did a lot of research with the fanbase, got the fans involved and asked for their opinions about what they wanted to see for the sequel. Almost every single person said they wanted to explore more and return to previous areas for new content." Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 sees a return to the open-ended approach in the vein of series titles following the Metroidvania design formula. While the developers were keen to move away from that label, they sought to evoke the same level of gradual open-world progression and exploration seen in titles like The Legend of Zelda and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Lords of Shadow 2 takes things much further by including the connection between two unique open worlds. Yes, there are two open-world settings to explore, each one possessing a unique setting and content such sidequests, NPC characters to interact with, and lore journals to collect. While fans might anticipate callbacks to the inverted castle of Symphony of the Night, the two worlds presented are wholly unique and independent from one another. As Dracula's Castle is set seemingly in the past, you'll encounter enemies and allies alike from that time period. The enemies range from humans, to the undead, that use traditional swords and magic to battle Dracula. Moreover, the layout of the castle represents a classic gothic style in keeping to series aesthetic. However, things change once Dracula is within the open world of the city. In the modern day, Satan's army has taken to the abandoned and derelict streets of the city, utilizing more advanced means to battle Dracula. These include giant robots, firearms, explosives, and power armor for the weaker minions. During the span of 10 minutes, our session saw Dracula battling waves of Paladins while exploring and completing side-objectives in his castle, and then transporting himself back to the modern day where he battled Lycans and Satan's Acolytes controlling mech suits complete with missile launchers. It was mind-blowing to say the least. You'd think something so different stylistically couldn't work, but it does. In many ways, the developers at MercurySteam sought to make a sequel that solved all the issues and criticisms of the original. As they were hampered by technical limitations for the first game, they spent the first nine months of development crafting a brand new engine to handle the scope and vision of their epic story. One of the benefits of the new engine allowed for the inclusion of a fully controllable camera. One such issue that has thankfully been fixed was the severe frame-rate issues of the original, which were often times below 20FPS during gameplay. With the performance of the new engine, the game now runs at a solid 30FPS without visual hiccups hindering the experience. With the solid frame rate, players can marvel at the stunning art direction that evokes the series' past while showing a new spin on the classic style. Although many of the new features present in the game may put off some fans, at its core, Lords of Shadow 2 is functionally the same as its predecessor -- yet it includes far more depth and content. In particular, the talent at MercurySteam wanted to include a larger focus on skill and variety to experience. One such area that benefits is the combat, which is more refined and tighter than ever. Though Dracula's powers are vast, he will still need to utilize dodging, blocks, and other strategies to wear down his enemies. The focus system from the previous game returns, where performing efficiently in combat can earn magic power to fill up both Light and Dark magic meters. "It's a thinking-man's hack-n-slash," Cox explained. "That's how I've always described it." A key element that MercurySteam wanted to include in combat is a greater level of variety and focus on tactics. Dracula is now armed with three central weapons, including his iconic whip. The light magic-focused Void Sword can freeze enemies and heal the Prince of Darkness' wounds, and the dark magic-powered Chaos Gauntlets can break enemy defenses with flame attacks. Like the original game, the use of light and dark magic plays a key role in combat. With both forms of magic, Dracula can heal himself and increase attack power of his moves. As the sword and gauntlets require light and dark energy to work, there is greater incentive for players to utilizes Dracula's offensive and defensive skills to exploit the benefits of the focus system. The Prince of Darkness also possesses an arsenal of relics to assist him in his fight against Satan's Acolytes and the Belmont clan. As a more advanced version of the sub-weapon system, relics function on a cooldown system and are powered by Dracula's blood energy. The daggers make a return in the form of the shadow daggers, but a brand new relic called Stola's Clock allows Dracula to manipulate time. During combat he can create a temporary circle on the ground where time is slowed along with anything else in it. This allows for some interesting chances for combos and crowd-control. It's pretty easy to become overwhelmed, unfortunately not for all the right reasons. While you have a number of options during combat, the action can get hectic and visually busy at points, which can become a distraction. Hopefully, the developers can tone it down a bit before release. It's not often you're playing as Dracula -- the vampire in fiction -- and the developers wanted to truly make players feel as if you were controlling a supreme creature of the night. "We wanted to tell Dracula's story, we wanted to present a character that had depth and depiction and wasn't just another Bela Lugosi depiction of the character," said Dave Cox. "From the previous Castlevania titles he was a one-dimensional character. We wanted to present a character that had shades of grey." In addition to his prowess in combat, he possesses many unique and interesting abilities that take advantage of his vampiric status. The fan-favorite Mist form returns and lets players enter special areas and evade waves of enemies while traversing through the world space. Another skill is Possession, which allows players to control the minds and bodies of enemies for their own benefit. Surprisingly, stealth can be a much better option when traversing through new locations. As some enemies possess skills and items which can prove fatal to the Prince of Darkness, it's best to get the jump on them whenever possible. During an early segment from our session, Dracula snuck his way into a massive pharmaceutical factory controlled by Satan's army and came across a special enemy utilizing modern weaponry. Using his powers, Dracula possesses a small rat and sneaks past this foe to use a special stealth takedown to enter its body and venture further in disguise. Of course, when things get too tough in a fight, Dracula can call upon his powers to transform into a dragon and unleash a massive attack on all nearby foes. Unfortunately, while you don't control this beast, you do get to watch a short but satisfying cutscene of him morphing into a massive beast and unleashing his fury. When you view both games side by side, it's clear that they both contain different design philosophies and ideas. While one game was limited by technology and time, the developers found no constraints for the sequel and were left unshackled by the past. In many ways, and if I may be so bold, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 represents the Symphony of the Night of the Lords of Shadow series. In terms of sheer expansion and game-changing elements. It's like night and day. So to speak. In a year with so many heavy hitters, it's best not to underestimate MercurySteam's new and final entry in the Lords of Shadow series. With a campaign spanning over 20 hours, improved world design, and a strong reverence for the source material that's still not afraid to tell its own story; Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is a title to watch out for. Even in the first few hours, its ambitions could not be contained by the tutorial and opening segments. Konami and MercurySteam certainly have a winner on their hands, and this game is poised to become one of the biggest surprises of 2014. As this is the conclusion of the Lords of Shadow storyline, they have every intent to make sure it will not go out quietly into the night.
Castlevania: LoS 2 photo
Dracula Unchained
In 2010, Konami took a chance on the obscure Spanish development studio MercurySteam to create a reboot for one of the most adored and quoted game series ever. While Castlevania: Lords of Shadow went on to become a popular se...

World of Darkness photo
World of Darkness

CCP laid off 15 people working on World of Darkness MMO

The game is still in development though
Dec 12
// Joshua Derocher
CCP is best known for creating EVE Online, but they have another MMO in the works called World of Darkness, which is based on the popular vampire and werewolf pen and paper games of the same name. CCP told Polygon that they h...
Freebies photo

Square Enix has made Bloodmasque free again

Half a million people downloaded this game
Dec 09
// Jordan Devore
Now through midnight on December 16, Square Enix's vampire-themed action-RPG Bloodmasque is free on the App Store for iPhone and iPad. I was strangely eager to share this news, but then I noticed the title was already free fo...

Night moves: No day cycle in World of Darkness, says CCP

Jun 05 // Joseph Leray
"We went through a lot of iterations on that," he explains when asked if World of Darkness would feature a day-and-night cycle. "At this point, we're pretty settled on it being permanent night." Vampire: the Masquerade and its first videogame adaptation -- Nihilistic Software's Redemption -- both included sunlight mechanics, but Troika's more recent game, Bloodlines, did not. Whether or not fans expected daytime portions of World of Darkness may depend on when and how they became familiar with the franchise.   While McDonough and his team experimented with sunlight, though, the idea quickly broke down. "The gameplay that surrounded making the transition [from night to day] was very convoluted," he says. "What could players do during the day? And how long did it last?" The implementation for one play was problematic enough, but the idea quickly ballooned to reveal more issues, like time zones. "So when is it day and night, and for who? If it happens on a fixed schedule, does that mean that if I live in Russia, it's always day?" he asks, noting the large Russian contingent in EVE Online, CCP's well-established flagship space MMO. "Maybe it's always day time when I'm available to play, so I don't want to," McDonough continues, rattling off a long string of unwieldy hypotheticals. "Or maybe I have to play this other character because we have alternate characters during the day." One workaround might be to corral the user base into different servers or realms, a common practice in other MMOs. If CCP could reasonably assume that every player on a given server lived in the same area, a more workable day-night cycle might have been possible. But World of Darkness, like EVE Online, is what CCP calls a "single-shard" game. That is to say that every player in the world will connect on one gigantic, persistent server. The thinking goes that with enough people in one on-going virtual world, drama, loyalty, politics, betrayal, friendship, treachery, and ambition should develop on their own, little bits of human nature enabled and nurtured by a few game mechanics. With no other server to offer safe haven, good and bad deeds alike will -- at least in CCP's estimation -- carry more weight. Designing an entire batch of secondary mechanics for sunlight-averse vampires is tricky enough, and McDonough's hypothetical Russian player doesn't help matters much. However, it's not just that accommodating worldwide time zones is difficult, it's that not accommodating them would violate the design ethos that governs everything CCP makes, from EVE Online to World of Darkness. "It's called World of Darkness. It's a game about vampires," McDonough says, bringing the conversation back to the ground.  "Ultimately, it became very convoluted and required a whole host of different systems that we felt was too complicated," he continues. "People want to play their vampire and, you know, it's the World of Darkness. That's really what it's about. That's the mood and tone." [Image credit: White Wolf Publishing]
World of Darkness photo
Because sleeping in a coffin is boring
News about World of Darkness has been predictably scarce: the CCP-developed MMO, based on White Wolf's Vampire: the Masquerade license, is still in early development, with no release date in sight. When I sit down t...

Review: Vampire Crystals

Mar 16 // Tony Ponce
Vampire Crystals (WiiWare)Developer: Shanblue InteractivePublisher: Shanblue InteractiveRelease: December 20, 2012MSRP: 1000 Wii Points As you learn in the prologue, vampires and zombies have formed an amicable partnership in a place called Creepyland. This symbiosis is disturbed when the evil dragon Ghoros inspires the zombies to revolt, thus a pair of young zombie-hunting vampires must pick up their boomsticks and mow down their former allies through 18 levels across three worlds. You can play with the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, using the pointer plus the B trigger to aim in any direction, but twin-stick purists will prefer the Classic Controller configuration. Simply tilt the right stick in the direction you want your bullets to fly and keep on pushing through the waves of foes. Very simple, very basic -- it just works. You have two objectives in each level: defeat a certain number of enemies and collect a certain number of crystals, both within the time limit. Aiding your campaign are randomly spawning weapons and items, from a Contra-inspired spread gun to hunks of ham that can distract enemies from attacking. The further into the game you progress, the better the selection of items become. Every sixth level is a boss showdown, in which you must contend with a giant monster while also warding off an infinite swarm of minions. The boss' own attacks are never as much of a headache as all the other action happening at once, so encounters boil down to how well you can distribute attention towards both threats while being mindful of the ever-present timer. [embed]248791:47585:0[/embed] The game quickly falls into a routine of repetition. The levels themselves are enclosed arenas, and you'll be running around in circles picking up freshly spawned crystals while avoiding freshly spawned baddies, over and over again until your eyes grow weary. I actually started nodding off in later stages, despite the unrelenting chaos. There's simply no way any game can maintain such high intensity without burning you out. When beset by throngs of skeleton warriors and goblins, the camera view often makes it difficult to properly see what your character is doing. On the upside, you can select one of three camera angles at the character select screen. On the downside, you can't make adjustments to it once in play, minimizing the effectiveness of camera control. Then there are the difficulty spikes that appear without warning. You could be breezing along fairly unimpeded and suddenly hit a wall of frustration. The second boss in particular is unlike anything else you'll face in the game -- it's an ogre that can only be damaged from the rear, frequently enters an invulnerability state with the side effect of imbuing all minor enemies with enhanced speed and strength, slows your movements with ground pounds, and launches volleys of flaming boulders, all while monsters harass you and mutant plants spit rapid-fire seeds. It's almost as though these challenges were scaled with multiplayer in mind, and to hell with solo adventurers. Speaking of multiplayer, there is no drop-in co-op, a missed opportunity for a title so firmly rooted in old-school arcade sensibilities. Even worse, solo and co-op modes have separate save files. So that ogre boss I just mentioned? If you invited a couple of buddies over to try to take the beast on together, you'd be surprising to learn you have to start all the way back in World 1-1. What excuse is there for that? After beating the final boss, the story pulls a Ghosts 'n Goblins and forces you to replay the entire campaign for the true ending, only now the levels take place at night and enemies are unfathomably more aggressive. I died three times during the revamped first stage before dropping the controller and saying, "No more." Clearing the three worlds once only requires a handful of hours, but the tedium that sets in early on makes it feel like far more time has elapsed. There was no way I was suffering through all that again. I can appreciate the classic arcade spirit of Vampire Crystals, but it does little to mask the shortcomings of old-school design while adding its own set of issues. Playing it single-player is chore, but convincing a group to play with you might be even more laborious. There just isn't enough meat on these dusty old bones.
Vampire Crystals review photo
Smashed TV
The rare act of generosity aside, support for WiiWare has been reduced to almost nothing, leaving the platform to shuffle along until the earth swallows it up. How fitting then that one of its few releases in recent months wo...


Mix Deus Ex, Hitman with vampires and you get Dark

Good. Bad. It will still SUCK, errr, get it?
Feb 14
// Allistair Pinsof
We may not get a sequel to cult-classic Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, but upcoming PC/Xbox 360 title Dark may fill that niche. Dark is a third-person stealth-action game in which the player takes on the role of...
Castlevania photo

Castlevania: Mirror of Fate gets a sweet pre-order bonus

Order at GameStop, get a cool 3DS case
Dec 03
// Chris Carter
If you pre-order Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate (what a title!) at GameStop, you'll nab a cool looking 3DS case for free. You'll have access to the pre-order bonus both in-store and online, although of course a...

Castlevania: Hymn of Blood Ep. 4 has no monster slaying

Series ties loosely into Lords of Shadow
Nov 14
// Tony Ponce
Four episodes into the IGN-hosted web series Castlevania: Hymn of Blood, Simon Belmont has yet to do battle with so much as a mud man. All he does this week is ride on a horse and drink wine. I want to see some violence, man...

Castlevania: Hymn of Blood web series bares its fangs

What a horrible night to have a curse
Nov 11
// Tony Ponce
Remember how I told you there was a Castlevania movie in the works and that Michael "Worf" Dorn would play a role? Only the latter half was true. The project, entitled Castlevania: Hymn of Blood, is actually a fan-made web s...

Have some new Castlevania: LOS - Mirror of Fate screens

Aug 15
// Brett Zeidler
You know, I've just come to accept that Nintendo doesn't feel like making a new Metroid any time soon. Maybe they're just not ready. But Konami has us covered with the next best thing: a brand-new 3D/2D Castlevania ...

Vampire action-RPG Blood Knights announced

Jul 26
// Conrad Zimmerman
dtp Entertainment Group has announced that they will be publishing Blood Knights, an action-RPG set in an ancient conflict between mankind and vampires. Developed by Deck13 (the small studio responsible for 2011 downloadable...

8-Bitham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter gets me hot and excited

Jun 21
// Tony Ponce
Even though my brain is telling me that Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is going to be a huge flop, my heart can't stop pining for it. I haven't felt this way about a movie since Snakes on a Plane, and I'll be damned if I le...

New World of Darkness video shows off in-game graphics

Mar 26
// Joshua Derocher
EVE Online's developer CCP are still working on World of Darkness, the upcoming MMO set in the same universe as Vampire the Masquerade. It's nice to hear them say it's still under development, but it's better to see som...

CCP's World of Darkness is not dead, just like a vampire

Mar 24
// Dale North
Chris McDonough, Senior Producer on World of Darkness, told audiences at EVE FanFest today that "reports of our undeath have been greatly exaggerated." CCP had a bit of a rough time last year, and news on the upcoming MM...

Weekend Modder's Guide: Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines

Feb 11
// Joshua Derocher
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines is one my favorite games of all time. It received mixed critical responses, was buggy as hell when it came out, and probably could have used at least another year of development time....

World of Darkness details hint at CCP's direction

Sep 21
// Jordan Devore
Details about CCP's World of Darkness have come out of a panel at The Grand Masquerade. The MMO is still in pre-production, which would explain why news has been so silent. Community sites who were in attendance got the juicy...

Playable vampires confirmed for Skyrim

Sep 12
// Jim Sterling
Remember in Oblivion, when you fought a vampire, and an hour later you noticed your character had aged by thirty years? Then you started to burn in the Sun? Then you had to take part in a two-hour fetch quest to find a cure? ...

Vampires are everywhere, even in your inFamous. At Sony's gamescom press conference inFamous 2: Festival of Blood was announced. In this game our hero Cole has been bitten and infected, and only has one night to find and kill...


PlayStation 3 for $10!

Next System PlayStation Meeting?
Feb 27
// Aaron Linde
Omigod guys, you'll never believe what happened. I found a PS3 for ten bucks -- that's right, a PlayStation 3, normally sold for upwards of $500, procured for a single slim Hamilton. It's weird, though. The discs won't fit an...

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