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Shooters

Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny rubs salt in the overpriced expansion wound with Red Bull XP


Haha
Jun 24
// Chris Carter
As we all know, Activision is taking fans for a ride for the new Destiny expansion, and Bungie is getting really defensive about it. This is after the last expansion...well...sucked. Today they have announced that they a...
Splatoon photo
Splatoon

It's official: Splatoon sold over a million copies


Not too shabby, squids
Jun 23
// Chris Carter
It was no secret that Nintendo was betting big on Splatoon, and it looks like it paid off. They've just announced minutes ago that the game has sold (not shipped) one million worldwide, clicking in at "over 476,000 units...
Dirty Bomb photo
Dirty Bomb

Meet the Dirty Bomb team and maybe nab a Fragger


100,000 keys over at PC Gamer
Jun 16
// Darren Nakamura
I'm hearing more and more about Dirty Bomb lately, almost to the point where I might download the free-to-play shooter to check it out. The chances just went up a bit, because PC Gamer has its hands on 100,000 keys for one o...
Star Fox Zero photo
Star Fox Zero

Platinum-developed Star Fox Zero jets to Wii U this holiday season


Do a barrel roll!
Jun 16
// Kyle MacGregor
It's happening, it's finally happening! Kicking off its E3 showcase today, Nintendo finally unveiled the next entry in the Star Fox series. The new project is called Star Fox Zero and it's coming exclusively t...
Ghost Recon Wildlands photo
Ghost Recon Wildlands

Ghost Recon goes open world with Wildlands


Eww, bloody cocaine
Jun 15
// Jordan Devore
Ubisoft showed an intriguing new open-world game about taking down a Bolivian drug cartel during its E3 2015 press conference and, oh, it's just a new Ghost Recon. That's our Ubisoft! Ghost Recon Wildlands is a third-pe...

E3: First hands-on Ubisoft's Tom Clancy's The Division

Jun 15 // Steven Hansen
[embed]294064:59046:0[/embed] We sure as fuck weren't as team work oriented as Ubisoft's carefully directed demo, which will basically be the case if you aren't playing regularly with a couple pals. Quoting the developer, it's a "standard shooter" in terms of controls. Each character had a few different abilities, which later can be customized (there's a turret, remote sticky bomb, a homing mine that follows you until it finds an enemy to go after) and my character was outfitted with a shotgun that somewhat unsatisfyingly took chunks of my opponents' health bar out. Like, that's not what shotguns should be doing. But The Division is heavy on its crazy tech UI theme, and the co-op focus means it could end up something like Destiny -- kind of a boring loot fest, but fun with friends. It's cool that you're at risk of losing your high level loot if you're killed in this instance and that might make even strangers try and team up (loot is evenly split, too). There are crazy dudes with flamethrowers to worry about and "Rikers," a gang of murderous inmates escaped from Rikers Island prison, which kind of doesn't make sense given how many prisoners in the United States are non-violent offenders and probably would return to their families if released rather than into a group of murderous thugs, but, hey, gritty apocalypse. Of course there are also other players to worry about. At any moment they can go rogue and start fights between fire teams (in our demo, we all tried to kill each other), but you can also all work together and wait for an extraction out of the instance. The goal seems to be making it so your first impulse isn't to kill anyone you come across, because that just makes things harder and puts your gains at risk. The Division isn't quite for me. I don't need endless progressions, bars, and numbers to play a game. But folks who got well into Destiny might find a nice little squad-based multiplayer shooter here. But I also still have no clue how the open-world element works, as this demo might as well as have been any old multiplayer map.
The Division photo
Divisioning a division in Division
Tom Clancy may be dead, but The Division isn't. It's been two years since Ubisoft announced its apocalyptic "online, open-world action RPG," but I finally got hands-on at a Ubisoft event this E3. We were set up in a boiling h...

I'm all about Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2

Jun 15 // Jordan Devore
One of my teammates was a melee-centric superhero zombie named Super Brainz. There's also going to be a dedicated zombie sniper character, finally, and a sorceress. All told, there will be six new classes from the past, present, and future. Speaking of: one level is a time-travel theme park, as in, a theme park whose "attractions" are accessible via time travel portals. Clever. What else? Every mode supports split-screen play, which not even Halo is offering any more, and solo players can compete against AI if they're unwilling or unable to dip into player versus player (which was the best part of Garden Warfare). There will be private servers this time, as well as 40 characters at launch and regularly scheduled free content updates. PopCap wouldn't give any concrete details about character transfers other than "Yes, that's happening." Still great news. I wish I could give more detailed hands-on coverage but, shortly into our round of Graveyard Ops, the power went out at EA's preview event. Swearing ensued. I think an Xbox One even broke. Bummer. I'm curious to see PopCap uncover more layers of the Plants vs. Zombies universe -- it sure has gotten strange since the original lawn defense game debuted six years ago.
Garden Warfare 2 photo
First hands-on at E3 2015
Garden Warfare was astounding. It was a good shooter. It was also a good Plants vs. Zombies title, despite being a shooter. It had loads of free DLC. The game wasn't perfect, but I was hooked -- first on Xbox 3...

Super Brains photo
Super Brains

First look at Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2's new classes


Live gameplay
Jun 15
// Steven Hansen
Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 was confirmed earlier today at the Microsoft conference, but EA had a bit more at its press conference for the surprisingly good shooter. EA showed off live gameplay of its four-player zo...
Fallout 4 photo
You can play Donkey Kong on your Pip-Boy
Tonight at Bethesda's E3 2015 press conference, game director Todd Howard demonstrated Fallout 4, which begins before the bombs fell. The character creator takes place in a mirror and adjustments happen in real time. And, yes...

Splatoon photo
Splatoon

Splatoon gets a new weapon today, here are the details


Splash-o-matic!
Jun 12
// Brett Makedonski
Splatoon players have been painting the town for two weeks now, and have had a heck of a time doing so. Tonight, they get one more method with which to carry out their madness. A tweet from Nintendo of America reveals th...
Resogun photo
Resogun

Resogun just got some Wipeout themed DLC


And a soundtrack
Jun 11
// Chris Carter
If you boot up Resogun right now, you'll find a number of new updates awaiting you. For starters, Season Pass owners will get a PS4 soundtrack for free, which includes 17 tracks. The pass also includes Wipeout-themed sh...
Reinhardt photo
Reinhardt

Overwatch adds a robotic knight to its roster


Go team silver foxes
Jun 11
// Nic Rowen
Well, Steven asked for more old men and Overwatch delivered. Reinhardt, the latest character to receive a personal sizzle reel, is a 61-year-old self-styled knight who fights evil by encasing himself in a robotic suit of arm...
Halo photo
Halo

All new Halo games will be publicly beta tested first, says 343i head


Beta safe than sorry, right?
Jun 11
// Vikki Blake
From here on in, all new Halo games will be preceded by public beta testing.  "Going forward, you will never see a Halo game coming out without a beta. [Master Chief Collection] was obviously painful for our fans and for...

Review: The Next Penelope

Jun 10 // Chris Carter
The Next Penelope (PC [reviewed], Wii U)Developer: Aurelien RegardPublisher: Plug In DigitalMSRP: $12.99Release Date: May 29, 2015 (PC) / TBA (Wii U) It's the year 3044, in Ithaca. Odysseus has been away at sea for 10 years, and his kingdom is now under attack by Poseidon, father of the Cyclopes race. As a result, it's up to Odysseus' wife Penelope to find him. If you couldn't tell by the year marker, all of this is set to the tone of a futuristic epic -- spaceships are prevalent throughout Penelope's universe, and Poseidon is basically a member of an alien race. A lot of people probably won't even pay attention to the ties to Homer's Odyssey, but it works for the most part. All of this setup brings us to the main event -- racing. Yep, somehow, someway, this is a classic top-down racer reminiscent of the Micro Machines games or Blizzard's Rock'n'Roll Racing. As such, the visuals are retro-centric, and I have to say, they look excellent. Everything from the animated anime-like portraits during cutscenes and the colorful, flashy in-game graphics are painstakingly detailed. The controls take no time at all to learn, as they mostly consist of just altering your direction by way of the arrow keys or the gamepad's triggers, but they'll take quite a while to master. Acceleration is automatic, but weapons and power-ups can be enacted by pressing a specific button (in the case of a keyboard, the up arrow). These range from things like boosts to bullets, which you'll often need to blow away enemies or blast through hazards like boulders. They're fun to use, but since the general gameplay is so fast, they don't have as big of an impact as they should. [embed]293674:58914:0[/embed] Power-ups also bring another classic racing mechanic into play -- energy zones from F-Zero. While micromanaging your abilities, staying on track, and fighting off foes, you'll also have to occasionally steer yourself into the way of energy areas to sap up more power-up meter. It's fast, frantic, and fun, especially since individual stages are roughly a minute or two long. What's amazing to me is that The Next Penelope hosts a four-hour campaign. Heck, with its old-school flair it didn't even really need to go this extra mile, but it did. The campaign is even further augmented by a full galaxy map, the power to choose what stats to level-up (including upgrades to steering, defensive capabilities, and more outwards camera zoom). Boss battles on top of all this madness make things even more interesting, turning the game into a full-on shooter. It's crazy how much variety there is. The four-person multiplayer mode also has a mini-story involving Penelope's suitors, who are battling each other for glory. It's not a fully-fledged campaign or anything, but it's a neat little way to justify its inclusion. The gist is that all four racers, CPU or player-controlled, are attempting to blow each other up while they struggle to stay on one screen. If you're left behind, you're dead, and the last ship standing takes it all. It's a good old-fashioned slugfest across nine maps, and given the way it works, all four players can feasibly share the same keyboard. It's important to note that no online play of any kind is supported. The Next Penelope is a blast to play on PC, and will probably be a massive hit at parties when it arrives on Wii U later this year. It's a shame more old-school racers aren't around, but with games like this and 90s Arcade Racer, the scene is seeing a revival that brings a huge smile to my face. [This review is based on a retail build provided by the publisher.]
Next Penelope review photo
My, how mortals take the gods to task
If I told you that I wanted to mix Greek mythology with the racing and shoot-'em-up genres, you'd probably call me crazy. But that's just what developer Aurelien Regard did with his one-man show The Next Penelope, and for the...

Overwatch photo
Overwatch

Overwatch might appear in Heroes of the Storm, but only after its launch


I'd be up for it
Jun 09
// Chris Carter
Overwatch, the newest IP from Blizzard, looks like their biggest gamble yet. It's not banking on an established franchise like Hearthstone did with Warcraft, and the cast is composed of completely original character...
Wolfenstein photo
Wolfenstein

Bethesda to release Wolfenstein: The Old Blood on disc


Pre-order today!
Jun 09
// Vikki Blake
From July 21, North Americans will be able to pick up a copy of Bethesda's Wolfenstein: The Old Blood on disc for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Until now, you could only purchase the title online and download the 40GB ...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny leak hints at Taken King release date, new subclass abilities


Get ready, Guardian
Jun 09
// Vikki Blake
Destiny's next content drop, The Taken King, will release on September 15 and open up a third subclass and ability for each of the Guardian classes according to a report from Kotaku. Kotaku is asserting this following a tip o...
Dreadnought photo
Dreadnought

If you lose your ship in Dreadnought, you get put in a dinky little jet


In one mode, at least
Jun 08
// Brett Makedonski
Everything we've seen of Dreadnought thus far has been relatively low stakes. Sure, your ships are big -- and it's not good when they blow up -- but you'll come back strong as ever after a short wait. That's how Team De...

There's no way I'm playing Fortnite with randoms

Jun 08 // Jordan Devore
[embed]293554:58880:0[/embed] I didn't come away with any major new insights. This is a meaty game meant to be experienced over a long period of time, and it's hard to get a sense of how justified that will be from preview events alone. At what point do you grow tired of smacking abandoned junk for resources? There's also the matter of putting a lot of care into your fort's design but not quite enough care to stop the masses from ripping everything apart. Or maybe you didn't craft enough ammo, and now you're being overwhelmed by bees and laser beams. The threat of the grind demoralizes. I'm fond of Fortnite, conceptually, but I wonder if people will connect with it the way Epic hopes. It being free to play on PC and Mac will help. If you're planning on playing, be sure to do so with friends who can hold their own, communicate, and adapt when things inevitably go awry.
Fortnite photo
The PC and Mac beta is coming this year
I don't know that I've ever previewed the same game twice, but that's the situation I'm in after seeing Fortnite again at a recent pre-E3 event. It was much the same as last year. But since many people are unaware of what the...

MWO update photo
MWO update

Mechwarrior Online retools its MechLab again


Hold the phone, NEW MENUS!?
Jun 05
// Nic Rowen
Have you seen a commercial where a company basically throws its last product or several years of service under the bus to promote its new stuff? Like those bizarre ads for Domino's Pizza a few years ago which basically boiled...
Splatoon update photo
Splatoon update

Splatoon unlocks the paint brush weapon tonight


Look for it at 7:00pm Pacific
Jun 05
// Jordan Devore
Nintendo is adding a free weapon, the Inkbrush, to Splatoon today. It functions much like the rollers (#TeamRoller), but it's smaller, more nimble. As for gear, it comes with the Sprinkler and Inkstrike. You'll be able to fin...
E3 2015 photo
E3 2015

XSEED reveals E3 lineup full of hot new projects


Trails, Onechanbra, EDF, Senran Kagura..
Jun 05
// Kyle MacGregor
XSEED just revealed the games it's planning to bring to E3 this month and they're pretty exciting. First things first: There will be a lot of new reveals at the event, including The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel...
Torbjörn photo
Torbjörn

Blizzard multiplayer shooter Overwatch gets an old Swedish dwarf


Torbjorn
Jun 05
// Steven Hansen
Blizzard's first new franchise in 17 years, Overwatch, keeps adding to its cast of original characters. Well, as original as grouchy dwarves and Man With No Name knock off cowboys can be, anyways. The defensive-minded Torbj&...
Splatoon photo
Splatoon

Japan is really into squids now and kids now


Pure domination
Jun 04
// Brett Makedonski
Nintendo's Splatoon is enamoring people everywhere it releases. The family-friendly shooter has fans across the world transforming from kid to squid and back again. That influence extends to Japan, where players are eati...
Uncharted remasters photo
Uncharted remasters

Uncharted 4 beta access tied to The Nathan Drake Collection


Uncharted 1-3, 1080p, 60FPS
Jun 04
// Jordan Devore
Following this morning's accidental early reveal, Naughty Dog has come out with proper details on Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection. This bundle of PlayStation 4 remasters covers the first three games (in 1080p, running ...
GTA GIF photo
GTA GIF

A GTA Online GIF that sums up why friends are the best


Now that's an Air Bud
Jun 04
// Brett Makedonski
This GTA Online player looked to be dead in the water. The ground isn't much of an advantageous position to have when your enemy is floating in the sky. "Wasted" is imminent, right? Not if your bestie has anything to say about it. I was playing GTA:Online with a friend, and was pinned down by the cops. He helped out by being air support [reddit]
Splatoon photo
Splatoon

Splatoon developers talk about lack of voice chat


It doesn't seem to bother most of you
Jun 04
// Chris Carter
Just two days ago, I asked readers if the lack of voice chat in Splatoon, among other issues, really bothered you that much. Only 6.5% of you answered "yes" as of the time of this writing, and most people were more bothered b...
Dirty Bomb photo
Dirty Bomb

Splash Damage's team-based shooter Dirty Bomb hits Steam


It's still in beta!
Jun 02
// Jordan Devore
Huh. It feels like literal years have passed since I last paid much attention to Dirty Bomb, the free-to-play, class-oriented, multiplayer first-person shooter from Brink developer Splash Damage. It's still around. Stranger y...

Do any of Splatoon's online shortcomings bother you?

Jun 02 // Chris Carter
[embed]293141:58775:0[/embed]
Splatoon photo
No voice chat still a problem?
Splatoon is here, and our review was commented on more than The Witcher 3 or Hatred, which surprised me. People had a lot to say about Nintendo's newest shooter, and not everything was positive -- a lot of folk...

Review: Shooter

Jun 02 // Nic Rowen
Shooter (Book)Released: June 2, 2015MSRP: $5.00 Shooter is a collection of essays from recognizable names in game criticism speaking on a wide range of topics related to games that involve some kind of gunplay. Some chapters take a deep dive into the mechanical and technical details that make shooters what they are. Steven Wright's “The Joys of Projectiles: What We've Forgotten About Doom” for example, laments the rise of “realistic” modern shooters and how their largely interchangeable hitscan assault rifles have abandoned many of the mechanics that made early FPS games so pleasurable and skill testing. Others are more personal, such as Gita Jackson's touching reflection on how Counter-Strike could be seen as a microcosm of the (seemingly one-sided from her self-deprecating perspective) sibling rivalry she shared with her brother. Shooter strikes a great balance, it never gets so bogged down in technical minutia that it feels like a lecture in game design, but has enough mechanical grounding that it doesn't just become a series of anecdotes either. The games Shooter examines are varied and numerous. Of course genre forebears and trendsetters like Doom, Half-Life and Call of Duty are discussed as you would expect, but there is plenty of attention paid to less bombastically popular titles as well. Genre-defying shooters like Red Orchestra 2 with its brutally unforgiving depiction of realistic combat, and the insidious darkness of Far Cry 2, which sets aside the typical rationales for heroic violence to make the player complicit in something unsettling, get entire chapters dedicated to them. It's a great technique. By examining the few games that step outside of the bounds of typical FPS conventions and power fantasy dynamics and figuring out why they feel so different, it is easier to pinpoint the standard tropes and expectations of the genre that have become so ubiquitous that they are nearly invisible. Perhaps the greatest praise I can give to Shooter is that it made me reexamine and reflect on my feelings about a few games. When a piece of criticism grabs you by the collar and demands you take a second look at something, you know its doing it's job right. Filipe Salgado's chapter on the intentional ugliness and barely contained chaos of Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days almost made me want to play through the game again with a fresh set of eyes -- eyes more willing to see past the clunky mechanics and thoroughly unlikable protagonists to scan for deeper meaning. Almost anyway (this is still Dog Days we're talking about). At its best, Shooter feels like a lively conversation with some very smart people who enjoy, but expect more from, their trigger happy games. Its snappy, intelligent, and occasionally funny. At it's worst, the book veers into the pretentious. At times, it feels less like a conversation and more like an awkward dinner party dominated by a lecturing windbag everyone is too polite to interrupt. Thankfully these rough patches are few and far between. The rest of the book is well worth putting up with the occasional eye-rolling turn of phrase. Mostly though, Shooter feels important. The industry needs more “capital C” Criticism to unravel the subtext and ideas behind the games we love. Games mean something. They impart messages, communicate ideas, either by conscious choice on the part of their developers or by the assumptions they make -- the casual omissions and things taken for granted. We have to start examining these ideas in a mature, intelligent, and yes, academic way. Shooter isn't the first example of this kind of criticism in games writing of course; there have certainly been other books written, and articles penned (on sites like Destructoid, I might add) that dive into these waters. But, it is still very much a nascent field. Video games are a young medium, and we haven't had time to establish a critical tradition like film and literature has. We need to cultivate these voices; the generation of writers that will talk about games in a serious manner in the coming decades. What better way to stake a claim in this new field than to gather a variety of exceptionally talented voices to talk about and critically examine what is generally considered gaming's dumbest, most developmentally arrested genre? The thrill of shooting a Cyber-Demon with a rocket launcher may be obvious and simple, but there is a lot to unpack when you take a closer look.
Shooter Review photo
Looking at life down the barrel of a gun
Shooters seem simple. You step into the shoes of your typical tough guy space-marine or mercenary and empty clip after clip into the faces of Nazis, or aliens, or alien-Nazis from the vaguely disembodied gun bobbing up and do...


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