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Hacking

Mario Kart photo
Mario Kart

These first Mario Kart 8 hacks are pretty benign


'Moo Moo Meadows' becomes 'Shitty luck course!'
Jul 07
// Jordan Devore
Through a browser exploit, a group has successfully managed to edit Mario Kart 8's memory on the fly, allowing, right now, custom Wii U menu fonts, renamed courses, and the alteration of which music plays when. Watch a demon...
Watch Dogs photo
Watch Dogs

The Art of Watch Dogs nails the modern cyberpunk aesthetic


Ubisoft's controversial open-world hacking game gets a beautiful art book
Jun 30
// Alasdair Duncan
For all the controversy over its graphical quality, Ubisoft's Watch Dogs had a compelling open-world version of Chicago to explore. As Chris Carter pointed out in his review, the visuals rarely meet the quality set by GTA V b...
HackZ photo
HackZ

DayZ developer's servers hacked, source code possibly stolen


No player info compromised
May 14
// Steven Hansen
Rely on Horror spotted a thread on game hacking forum Unknown Cheats which suggests user DevDomo gained access to developer Bohemia's servers. DevDomo's proof came in the form of some images which are alleged source code file...

Seven things I loved about playing Watch Dogs

Apr 23 // Alessandro Fillari
Watch Dogs (PS3, PS4 [Previewed], PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U (Q4 2014))Developer: Ubisoft MontrealPublisher: UbisoftRelease Date: May 27, 2014Set in the city of Chicago, Watch Dogs lands players in the role of Aiden Pierce, a gifted and resourceful hacker with a some serious baggage. After a failed assassination attempt on his life leaves a family member dead, he embarks on a vendetta across Chicago to find out who was responsible. Utilizing his hacking skills to use Chicago's city wide surveillance and service operations system, ctOS, Aiden bends the city to his will to root out the culprits, while keeping an eye on the citizens and suspects at large.1. The Windy CityThere aren't too many games set in the city of Chicago. As vast and dense as it is, you'd think there would be more games having players explore the city streets. So that's why it's a refreshing sight to see an open world title plant its feet in the Windy City as it's known. While of course it's not designed to scale, they do capture many of the familiar locales and attractions of Chicago -- from Millenium Park, Navy Pier, and many of the iconic skyscrapers -- the developers at Ubisoft wanted to set a title in a city that wasn't too often visited by games."[Chicago] feels fresh, the autumn, the setting," Belanger told Destructoid. "The architecture is both modern and old, and this creates a visual richness. Also, the surveillance system in Chicago is one of the most advanced in the U.S. Narratively, in terms of organized and population density, it give credibility for our story."Don't expect to stay in the city and suburbs of Chicago for the entire game, however. Aiden's missions will sometimes take him out of town to the local wilderness, away from the heavy traffic and dense ctOS infrastructure. This also presents interesting situations where players will have to rely on their other core skills, such as driving, shooting, crafting, and a little less on the hacking.2. The Brooding HackerEvery conspiracy thriller needs a central character, and Watch Dogs has got it with Aiden Pierce. Looking to find the man responsible for the assassination attempt on his life, Aiden Pierce will hack, shoot, drive, and amass resources to find the answers. Known as "The Vigilante" around the city, he's got the skills to track, hunt, and fight his prey on the streets of Chicago, all while keeping a low profile using the ctOS to his advantage. Along the way, Aiden Pierce will meet other hackers and dangerous individuals who will either hinder or assist him in his vendetta. While collecting resources and funds, players will be able to acquire new weaponry, spend skill points to boost his core skills such as combat, driving, hacking, and crafting abilities, and spend cash to get new vehicles and clothing (over 40 different options). When worse comes to worst, Aiden's no slouch in terms of combat. Wielding a baton and an assortment of firearms and gadgets, he'll take down waves of gangsters and cops who want him out of the picture.3. Hack The PlanetObviously, hacking your environment is the name of the game in Watch Dogs, and the developers at Ubisoft Montreal have pulled out all the stops to allow players full access to the city infrastructure. With the press of a button, players can manipulate city services to their whim, take control of security systems for intel, and even take out enemies with clever environmental manipulation. As you rank up and acquire more resources, you can invest in new upgrades for your hacking skills, which can open up even more opportunities. If you think causing traffic accidents was interesting, wait until you set off an explosion from a steam pipe underneath a busy street, or cause a mass blackout across the city. The level interaction is vast, and Watch Dogs offers an impressive amount of freedom for players.4. Walk around the right corner, and you can find anythingOne aspect of Watch Dogs that I really admire is that the people in this open world actually matter. In other open world titles, NPCs are mostly just cannon fodder or walking dummies to humiliate, maim, and otherwise ignore. While you can still grief and be a menace to the in-game society of Watch Dogs, it's good to remember that the citizens of Chicago all have identities. They have names, occupations, quirks, the list goes on. While this isn't to make you feel bad about harming them, it does highlight the reach you have when utilizing ctOS. Having information on a whole city brings you many different opportunities."The goal was to have a lot of density," said Belanger while discussing the opportunity players have at their disposal. "There's gameplay in every street corner. Those people, you can unlock side-content, story -- it's about fulfilling that fantasy of surveillance. We didn't want to gamify it, we wanted to make it a choice for players."Aiden's phone can tap into the devices of people in the city, and from there you have an all access look into their lives. While many of the options you have are purely voyeuristic, such as listening to calls and reading text messages, there are cases where you are presented with a choice. In one instance, I came across a woman on the street who was recently diagnosed with a disease. When I looked deeper into her data profile, I ended up stealing about $1,200 from her bank account. I immediately felt bad about it, but these newly acquired funds went to paying for my new gun, and then I moved on to the next person. The best part about this instance is that these tiny moments of narrative are scattered across the whole city. Some are minor, but others can pull you into something bigger with serious consequences.5. Mess with the Best, Die like the Rest (Multiplayer)As seen back in the E3 2012 reveal, Watch Dogs takes a very fluid and blended approach to multiplayer. After reaching a certain point in the story, Aiden will be able to contact and come into conflict with other hackers. Just like him, they have access to ctOS and high powered phones to bend the city to their will. If you haven't guessed, the other hackers are actually other players, and at any time they can invade your game to either steal vital information and resources, or simply eliminate you as a threat.This asynchronous approach to multiplayer makes things fluid and feel natural, and it all ties back to your primary resources and skills. Instead of playing as a fresh-faced wannabe hacker, you'll be playing as Aiden online. Of course to avoid confusion, others online will see you as a regular NPC that blends into the crowd. During my time online, I stalked another player to steal vital information from him. While he was aware of my presence in the game space, they didn't know where I was. I stalked the guy in my muscle car, stole his intel remotely via my phone, and made my getaway while he was none the wiser. I felt pretty sneaky, and I made out with a hefty amount of EXP to rank up. But then that excitement faded as I was invaded by the same guy minutes later. He T-boned my car at an intersection and filled me up with bullets from an assault rifle. It's good to remember that revenge is also an option in the online mode. But of course, if you're not up for facing other online, you can decline the in-game prompts or disable the online mode altogether.6. The devious power of a Companion AppMuch like other recent titles, there will be a free companion app for mobile devices called ctOS - Mobile. Wait, before you scroll down to the next point, just hear me out. ctOS - Mobile isn't just a simple app that relays supplementary data about the game as it also functions as an extension of the multiplayer experience. With your tablet device synced to your game, a friend can challenge you to a special ctOS - Mobile match. During these special scenarios, players in-game can either race against the clock across Chicago, or face off against waves of enemies, while the person with the tablet has complete control of the in-game ctOS infrastructure. This may all sound simple, and sorta gimmicky, but I can say that this mode felt very different from the traditional multiplayer. It felt way more devious and cruel, in fact. With control of ctOS, the player with the tablet can lay traps and swarm players in game to the point of exhaustion. During a racing mission, I was having a pretty pleasant time, but after the player on the tablet got the hang of the system and acquired more resources to spend on ctOS operations, I was running into barricades left and right while being swarmed by Chicago police. It felt exhausting and pretty scary to be on the receiving end. Moreover, players with ctOS - Mobile can taunt those in game by hacking into electronic signs and leaving messages. Much like the multiplayer features, the ctOS - Mobile game mode is entirely optional.7. Strange Days have found usIf you've been following this game in the last few months, then you probably saw a picture of a giant robot spider running around Chicago. Don't worry, Watch Dogs won't jump the shark or go Indigo Prophecy on you. Throughout Chicago, Aiden can take a break from busting up gang hideouts and uncovering conspiracies to unwind and expand his resources and skills by taking part in optional missions and games. Some of which are secret poker matches, street races, and even a clever take on Alternate Reality games, which task players with collecting holographic coins or shooting holographic space aliens in the streets of Chicago. "We wanted to support the fantasy of having a phone, and playing alternate reality games was a part of that," Belanger stated while discussing the colorful side missions. "It's an homage to older games, but it's also a lighter side -- even though the tone of the story is serious, we wanted to show that it was still a game. They fit the story, in the sense."Now, here's where things get strange. Across Chicago, there are sly merchants that sell "Digital Trips," which are special VR missions that Aiden can undertake. Not to be confused with the AR games, these missions are instanced and task players with goofy and bizarre challenges. Such as controlling a giant mecha spider as it rampages across Chicago, or another mission that's a nod to Carmageddon, where you get behind the wheel of a demonic car and mow down possessed humans across a hellish version of Chicago. This all may sound really odd and not in keeping at all with the game's tone, and that's OK. In the thematic sense, they help to illustrate the divide and detachment we have with reality because of our reliance on technology, which is in keeping with the game's central story. But in regards to game design, it's just good ol' dumb fun. And that's fine by me.Well, those are the things I really dug with Watch Dogs. Unfortunately, things weren't all great in the Windy City. Despite the fun I had with messing other players and the citizens of Chicago, I still found a few issues that bothered me. Many of them are purely technical, such as the unusually long load times, which are painful after failed missions -- but also how clunky platforming and free-running abilities feel. It feels like a scaled down version of Assassin's Creed, to be totally honest. This is especially troubling when meeting some objectives that require you to run to specific marks and make certain climbs. The accuracy for the traversal just isn't there. Of course, the big concern is the obvious visual downgrade. There was a bit of controversy last month about how different the game looked after its appearances at E3. Unfortunately, I can say that the game does look a bit off the mark with what was shown at E3. Moreover, the draw distances of assets can be somewhat of an annoyance, as you'll see cars and people phase in and out at a somewhat short distance. Don't get me wrong, though -- the game still looks pretty and runs very well. I was playing the PlayStation 4 version and the title runs at a solid 30FPS with little to no drops, and it looks very smooth in action. But, I'm still a bit disappointed to see how it doesn't quite reach those same visually heights we were originally shown.But in any event, I still came away quite impressed with what I played in Watch Dogs. I had my reservations at first, I assumed this would be more Assassin's Creed than anything else, but I found myself pretty intrigued with being a sneaky hacker in a city full of possibility. The attention to detail is strong, and the amount of content packed into the vast cityscape is impressive. With apparently over 30 hours of single-player content, in addition to the full potential of online multiplayer, there's a certainly a lot to uncover. It's a long time coming, and I'm definitely looking forward discovering how far Watch Dogs takes things when it comes out next month.
Watch Dogs preview photo
And a few things that I didn't love
The delay of Ubisoft Montreal's new open world IP, Watch Dogs, surprised many. With only a month away from launch, and a rather bold marketing push for the holiday season, Ubisoft appeared ready, but then we found it wasn't. ...

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This five-year-old found a major Xbox One password flaw


l33t hax0r
Apr 04
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
See that adorable little kid? That's five-year-old Kristoffer Von Hassel, and he discovered a major Xbox One password flaw. Kristoffer's parents noticed that the young kid was playing games he wasn't supposed to be on his fat...
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Hack The Gibson!
About this time last year, Watchdogs was looking like a major contender for my 2013 GOTY. However, here we are almost a quarter of the way through 2014, and I still haven't gotten my hands on the game, so I've been forced to...

Disrupt photo
Disrupt

Hack the planet: Disrupt is up on Steam Greenlight


Type 'cookie,' obviously!
Feb 18
// Darren Nakamura
Despite all of the art and design that goes into creating expansive worlds in an effort to create immersion, few games make the player actually feel like he is doing the things on screen quite like Uplink once did. Certainly...
GamePad photo
GamePad

Streaming games from PC to the Wii U GamePad possible


Hackers have reverse engineered the device
Dec 30
// Jordan Devore
Hackers booto, delroth, and shuffle2 have reverse engineered the Wii U GamePad and the results are impressive. The group's findings were presented at the Chaos Communication Congress including a demonstration in which The Le...
Hackers photo
Hackers

New consoles have brought a surge in hacking attempts


Europe's getting the worst of it
Dec 16
// Brett Makedonski
The gaming world isn't the only group of people that's excited by the recent launch of new consoles. It turns out that the hacker community's just as thrilled. Unsurprisingly, it seems that its intententions are far more nefa...
PS4 controller for the PC photo
PS4 controller for the PC

The DualShock 4 can be made to work on the PC


You just gotta grab some software
Nov 19
// Joshua Derocher
Thanks to some software created by InhexSTER, the PlayStation 4's DualShock 4 can be used with a PC. The guys over at PC Gamer have tested it out, and they explain how you can get it working. Right now the wireless functions ...
FFVII photo
FFVII

Final Fantasy VII NES restoration sees release


The clumsy bootleg becomes fully playable
Nov 14
// Audun Sorlie
It’s always impressive to see crafty modders making enhancements to fan-favorite games or allowing us to go zombie hunting in Russia, but I myself am more intrigued with the world of retro hacking. The endless imaginati...
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Here's what that big-ass 2DS screen looks like


2DS cracked open to see the magic inside
Oct 15
// Dale North
Just a bit after its announcement, we learned that the 2DS screens are really just one big screen with some facing plastic and software doing the trickery. Those clever kids at Nintendo never fail to surprise.  Rose Colo...
Quadrilateral Cowboy photo
Quadrilateral Cowboy

Quadrilateral Cowboy trailer leaves me anxious for more


Still no release date for Brendon Chung's 20th century hacking game
Oct 07
// Alasdair Duncan
This new trailer for Quadrilateral Cowboy has reminded me how much I want to play that game. I got a brief taste back at PAX Prime in 2012 and was immediately hooked by its lo-fi hacking aesthetic, especially after playing B...
Ubisoft hacked photo
Ubisoft hacked

Change your password: Ubisoft online systems compromised


Personal payment info NOT affected by intrusion
Jul 02
// Jordan Devore
Ubisoft has issued a security update warning that usernames, email addresses, and encrypted passwords have been obtained from the company's account database. "We recently found that one of our Web sites was exploited to gain ...
Newer SMB Wii photo
Newer SMB Wii

NEWER Super Mario Bros. Wii is available for free


Fan-made hack brings tons of new content to the Wii platformer
Jun 20
// Tony Ponce
If you are a Wii U owner and possess a copy of New Super Mario Bros. U, you've probably downloaded New Super Luigi U from the eShop already. That, or you are waiting on the limited edition retail release in the coming months...
EVE DDoS attack photo
EVE DDoS attack

EVE Online server taken down because of DDoS attack


Someone broke it
Jun 03
// Joshua Derocher
Yesterday EVE Online experienced some difficulties and was taken offline for most of the day. A distributed denial-of-service attack (DDoS) was launched against the Tranquility server cluster and prevented players from loggin...
Gunpoint demo photo
Gunpoint demo

Gunpoint demo available now, releases next week


Stealthy hacky punch-that-guy game
May 28
// Patrick Hancock
Gunpoint, and indie game about hacking, sneaking, and knocking guys through windows, now has a demo available on the main site for you all to get your certainly-grubby mitts on. Pre-orders are also available, with the b...
CS:GO photo
CS:GO

Play Super Mario Bros. within a Counter-Strike map


Now this is the sort of crazy mod hack I've been waiting for out of CS:GO
Apr 19
// Allistair Pinsof
Sometimes you need to put down the AK-47, pause the terrorist hunt, and play Super Mario Bros. Using a server plugin, a clever modder that goes by the name skwumpy created the Sourcemod Entertainment System or SMES, which le...
Blood Dragon photo
Blood Dragon

uPlay workaround resulted in Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon leak


Can this game just come out already?
Apr 09
// Jordan Devore
Although the leaked footage of Ubisoft's absurd(ly great-looking) standalone game Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon has been removed, it's too late; we've seen everything. One has to wonder, however, where the leak originated...
The War Z photo
The War Z

The War Z taken offline following security breach


User emails and passwords compromised
Apr 02
// Jim Sterling
It never ends for The War Z. While the controversial MMO was reinstated by Steam after addressing false advertising complaints, Hammerpoint's game is currently offline due to hackers making off with personal information. Acco...
Majora's Mask + Nic Cage photo
Majora's Mask + Nic Cage

Majora's Mask gains the mask-like face of Nicolas Cage


Tingolas Cage = Character of the year 2013
Mar 17
// Jonathan Holmes
First we have a hack of The Legend of Zelda that lets you play as Zelda. Now we have a hack of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask that features everyone as Nicolas Cage? It's feeling more and more like every game in 2013 cou...
Zelda photo
Zelda

Legend of Zelda hack puts Zelda in the starring role


It's finally her legend
Mar 17
// Jonathan Holmes
In what seems to be a budding trend, an industrious hacker has whipped up some animations and palette swaps for the Zelda sprite in The Legend of Zelda and made her the playable character. This isn't the first time a remake ...
Donkey Kong photo
Donkey Kong

Three-year-old wants to play Donkey Kong as Pauline


Dad makes it happen
Mar 09
// Jonathan Holmes
Tropes vs. Women in Videogames has finally hit the internet, and people have been more snarky about it than Juno MacGuff at a "learn to write like Joss Whedon" script-writing seminar. All that snark wont change the...
Wii U Pro Controller photo
Wii U Pro Controller

Wii U Pro Controller can now be used on a PC / Mac


It's finally useful for something, am I right? Nyuck nyuck!
Feb 18
// Tony Ponce
Much in the same way that a music artist hasn't made it until Weird Al writes a parody based on his or her song, game hardware hasn't made it until a young hacker gets the console's controller working on a computer. The Wii ...
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Sony fined 250,000 in UK over PlayStation Network hack


Regulators say Sony could have stopped it, Sony prepares appeal
Jan 24
// Jim Sterling
The infamous PlayStation Network hack may be a fading memory in the minds of games, but authorities have not forgotten, and they've claimed their pound of flesh. Claiming the hack could have been prevented, United Kingdom off...
EA Origin hacked photo
Recent wave of attacks hit hard
Origin has reportedly been hit by a series of security breaches, as users come to find their accounts have been cracked into and personal details changed. To make matters worse, Electronic Arts' own security measures ensure v...

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Find out how you can get banned from Black Ops II


Anything from pirating to boosting
Nov 12
// Chris Carter
Ah, the modern gaming era. Day one patches, online passes, and of course, permabans on consoles. As we're nearing the launch of the sure to be mega-hit Black Ops II, Treyarch has layed out a few ground rules. Most of it is co...
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Dad alters text in Wind Waker to turn Link into a girl


He wants his daughter to understand that girls can be heroes too
Nov 10
// Tony Ponce
Mike Hoye loves playing videogames and sharing his pastime with his three-year-old daughter Maya. Their game of choice is The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and Mike likes to read the text aloud so Maya can follow along. Bu...
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Borderlands 2 player mischief prompts patch on Xbox 360


Hang 'em all, I say
Oct 26
// Fraser Brown
The Xbox 360 version of Borderlands 2 has been having a few issues with some rather cheeky players using an external application to sabotage the characters of other players and disrupt their experience, the scamps! Earli...
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It's like that snake that's eating its own ass
I can't remember when, but apparently I challenged the Super Smash Bros. Brawl hack community to recreate the upcoming PS3/PS Vita title PlayStation Battle Royale All-Stars using the game that inspired it. I doubt my cha...







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