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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...
Dreadnought photo
Dreadnought

A detailed look at Dreadnought


Channel your inner Adama
Feb 04
// Robert Summa
For all you Battlestar Galactica fanboys who think you can command even half as well as the great William Adama, then the armada fighter Dreadnought might still be the battlefield you're looking for. In this new commentary v...
Dreadnought photo
Dreadnought

This Dreadnought video shows you how to actually play Dreadnought


There's very much a right and wrong way
Oct 16
// Brett Makedonski
As I learned at PAX Prime, actually knowing how to play Dreadnought is half the battle. It's an enamoring idea to rush in with the quickest ship and fire until either you or your target is dead. If that's your approach,...

I didn't think Dreadnought's hulking ships could be as fun as they are

Sep 04 // Brett Makedonski
Going into a hands-on session at PAX Prime, I was really only equipped with the information that our own Darren Nakamura outlined in his preview from E3. Turns out that was enough because it looks as if I may have played the same build as him. At the very least, the same five ships were playable (Dreadnought, Corvette, Artillery Cruiser, Tactical Cruiser, and Destroyer), and I only played one map a couple times. I started off as the Corvette. The developers said this was predictable. New players tend to favor maneuverability and speed over what the other classes have to offer. I zoomed around for a while thinking that Dreadnought was a slow-paced space shooter. Nothing offensively bad, but nothing really special at the same time. The game didn't really open up until the developers actually showed me how to play. Selecting the Dreadnought (new ships can be chosen anytime after death), I listened and executed as they gave me the step-by-steps to excel. Turns out, Dreadnought's exponentially more satisfying when you play it correctly. As we picked an unfortunate opponent, I fired a tactical nuke at them, used a warp ability to get alongside them, diverted my energy to offensive abilities, shot my broadside cannons at them, and then spun around to focus my secondary weapon on finishing them off. Suddenly Dreadnought was kind of fast-paced, but only because I was smart about it (or rather, the developers were). I was barely moving, but there was a ton going on, even if the other player likely had no clue what was happening. The thing is, once you get into this mindset, it's relatively easy to consistently play with this sort of style. Once the game's in the wild and everyone figures out the optimal way to play, it's going to be interesting to see how the elite players separate themselves. Will they adapt and form new strategies? Or, will they simply be quicker and smarter about when and which combat scenarios they get themselves into? The five-versus-five multiplayer is only one component of Dreadnought, albeit quite a large one. Yager Development told me that it built the game with multiplayer at the forefront of its mind, so it's reasonable to assume that single player will incorporate a lot of those tenets. As it's a free-to-play game, there's going to be some sort of monetization model, but Yager was unwilling to talk about it apart from "it won't be pay-to-win." You could tell that the team was more interested in finally getting the game into players' hands rather than talking business. And, a lot of players did get to check it out at PAX. From what I saw, the line to demo it looked consistently busy. You have to wonder how many of those people walked away understanding what Dreadnought's aim is, and how many thought it was just a boring, slow game. The truth is, it's anything but the latter, you just have to know what to expect.
Dreadnought preview photo
Like a chess match in space
A very specific connotation pops into your mind when you think about spaceship fighters. Your brain's flooded with thoughts of dogfighting ships zooming around, barrel rolling, and flipping end-over-end to fire unceasing spac...

California is not an island, but here are my Dead Island 2 impressions

Aug 16 // Dale North
I played in a group with three others, with each of us playing one of the two available classes in the demo. The berserker class does exactly what you'd expect: crowd control. Named Ryan, he can push through with big weapons, breaking up zombie traffic with only a few swings. But I played as Dani, a speeder. She's quicker, and can slice limbs off with her blade. She's great for the type of player that likes to slash and run.  Both types work great on the standard zombies, called walkers. A short bout of slashes has their heads flying off easily. There are runners that charge at you out of nowhere, though. Playing Dani made it easy to get in and get things done. She was also great for getting the hell away from the suiciders -- the zombies that explode after they chase you down.  Dani has this great move where she can sneak up on a big zombie thug tank-type character, get behind it, kick it to have it fall on its knees, and then cut it up in a big way. I did that a few times. Her big attack required a wait, but if it hit right it would slice most zombies clean in half. It's too bad that our demo had no real objectives outside of a short defense mission, guarding a video store. That was still a good time, though. I looted an electronics store to upgrade my weapons, snuck around a neighborhood, fought in backyards, and found some great vantage points to enjoy the view. I enjoyed playing with the various weapons the demo had available. Picking a lock in the back of a gas station had me finding a wood axe to get slashy with. And throwing propane tanks into crowds is always fun.  Dead Island 2 isn't finished -- what I played was considered pre-alpha -- but it's looking pretty nice already. Things lagged a bit when the crowds got thick, and there was a weird blur when I spun the camera around. Still, the highly detailed neighborhood was easy to appreciate, and the California sun that drenched the streets was just as I know it to be. The Hollywood sign served as a backdrop to all of this. Crowd control in a small, closed space is only fun for so long, but I'm sure there will be plenty of next-gen gutting in the final game. We'll get a better look at it as we draw closer to its Spring 2015 release date. Dead Island 2 is coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC. 
Dead Island 2 photo
Hands-on at gamescom
You'll be able to explore Los Angeles, Santa Monica, some beaches, a golf course, and maybe even more in the final version of Dead Island 2. But what Deep Silver was showing at gamescom 2014 was pretty limited. I only got to run around a small, closed-off section of the Los Angeles suburbs. It was a short taste of what the Southern California zombie-slaughtering life is like. 

Dead Island 2 gameplay trailer shows zombie freezing, chopping, and neck-snapping

Aug 11 // Bill Zoeker
Watch the full trailer below. [embed]279425:55239:0[/embed]
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I probably shouldn't get my hopes up
There's a new gameplay trailer out for Dead Island 2, called "Sunshine & Slaughter" revealing a variety of ways to to dispatch the undead. The most interesting of which involves some sort weapon modifier allowing players...

Gameplay trailer photo
Gameplay trailer

Explode zombie heads into raspberry jam with Dead Island 2


First gameplay trailer
Aug 11
// Steven Hansen
This game is a bloody messy. In a good way. I've never been too keen on Dead Island, but maybe with Spec Ops developer Yager on Dead Island 2 (PC, PS4, Xbox One), this will make for a good time. Maybe some white ph...

Dreadnought's huge spaceships are a fairly untapped idea, but still feel familiar

Jun 18 // Darren Nakamura
Before jumping into a team deathmatch, the five ships available in the E3 build were introduced. Though all ships in Dreadnought are meant to be big, they do still run a range of sizes. The titular Dreadnought was likened to a Star Destroyer, an enormous capital ship that can take and deal immense amounts of damage. On the other end of the spectrum is the Corvette, which was compared to the Millenium Falcon; it is easily the fastest of the ships on display here, but still several times larger than a single-pilot fighter. However, what that all translates to in game terms is a fairly standard class-based multiplayer setup. The Dreadnought is your tank and the Corvette is your scout. Also on display were the Destroyer, an all-around combat ship, the Artillery cruiser, a long-range damage dealer, and the Tactical cruiser, which was essentially a healer. Though only five ships were shown, more are planned for the future. There will eventually be more classes of ships, as well as different ships within a class, each produced by three different in-game manufacturers. In the couple games we were able to fit into the session, I got to try out the Tactical cruiser and the Artillery cruiser. Both handled similarly: They are smaller and less armored than the Destroyer or the Dreadnought, but still take some time to get where they need to be. The movement is tank-like, where ships can move forward and backward or they can turn, but they cannot strafe. Additionally, as airborne vehicles, they can ascend or descend. All of the movement, thrusting, reversing, turning, ascending, and descending is appropriately slow. It can be a little jarring for those more accustomed to fast action, but it makes sense and it sets up a different pace for the way battles play out. Thankfully, one of the features that all ships have is the ability to divert power between subsystems. Diverting power to thrusters will make your ship move more quickly, and diverting it to shields will increase the amount of damage that can be absorbed. Additionally, certain special abilities, like the Tactical cruiser's enhanced repair beam, drain energy. This focus of energy cannot be sustained indefinitely; once the meter runs out, the ship must resume normal operating conditions while it recharges. Each of the different classes of ships has a set of four special abilities to use. In addition to its powered up repair beam, the Tactical cruiser could self-repair, for instance. The Artillery cruiser has a nearly invisible cloaking ability, as well as a siege mode, which increases damage output, but decreases mobility and makes it more susceptible to damage. Though we only got to try out team deathmatch, there are three modes planned. The second one discussed was team elimination, which was described as taking the deathmatch gameplay and slowing it down even further, creating an even more tactical experience. The third game type was not portrayed in detail, but one of the developers described it as a unique game that that fits into the universe. He said that the team took what they learned with how the battles changed when transitioning from deathmatch to elimination, and built the third game mode with those fundamental ideas in mind. Though we were shown a simple, ten-player deathmatch, Dreadnought is not solely a multiplayer affair. Yager reported that it would also include a single player campaign, with episodic content. Additionally, it is planned as a free-to-play title. Yager would not discuss the details of how it intends to monetize the game, but the developers on hand did mention that progression through the ranks would be horizontal, cutting down on more experienced (or wealthy) players having access to strictly better gear. The developer intends to avoid a pay-to-win setup. Dreadnought is set to release on PC initially. There are no official plans to release on additional platforms yet, but the developer did mention that it has a build that is playable with a gamepad, so the ability to branch out onto consoles is there, should the opportunity arise. This is a strange beast in my brain right now. Its pacing is sure to turn off players who prefer faster action. It is not a game about dogfighting so much as it is about moving as a team, maintaining strategically advantageous positioning, and using abilities effectively. With its standard class archetypes and huge ships, it plays almost like an MMORPG dunked in molasses. And yet, I still feel compelled to check it out when it releases. I am not even sure that I really enjoyed my time with it, but I am sure that I want to spend more time with it to find out.
Dreadnought photo
Like Team Fortress 2, except with hulking, massive spaceships
The reveal trailer for Dreadnought pushes a lot of the right buttons for science fiction fans. It puts potential players into the right frame of mind and really sets up the scale of the endeavor. Combatants will not be dartin...

Dead Island photo
Dead Island

Dead Island 2 wants to be cool and kickass


Let's see if they can deliver
Jun 13
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The debut of Dead Island led us to believe that it would tell a very dramatic and serious story about the horrors of the zombie apocalypse. That’s not quite the game we ended up with, so it’s refreshing to know th...

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