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4:00 PM on 08.29.2014

Now I know why Devolver picked up A Fistful of Gun

It takes a certain kind of appeal for Devolver Digital to add a title to its stable of games. While the indie-friendly publisher doesn't necessarily have an underlying style that unite all of its games, there is a common them...

Brett Makedonski




Bullet-hell and rhythm fans will both like Harmonix's new game photo
Bullet-hell and rhythm fans will both like Harmonix's new game
by Brett Makedonski

Music has always been at the heart of what Harmonix does. From Rock Band to Dance Central to the extremely experimental Chroma, the studio's made sure that whatever the player's doing, they'll nod their head and tap their foot while doing it. Even when branching out as far as it is with its new project A City Sleeps, Harmonix never strays from its roots, and the game feels remarkably better off for it.

A City Sleeps is a game that Harmonix is dedicating only a fraction of its resources to. The team, comprised of only five people, was the group that was working on Chroma until the studio decided to indefinitely put it on the backburner. Not sure exactly how to mold something as ambitious as the musical first-person shooter, the team segued to something more manageable -- a twin-stick shoot-'em-up for PC.

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Costume Quest 2 is still cute, trying to be more engaging photo
Costume Quest 2 is still cute, trying to be more engaging
by Steven Hansen

Costume Quest, like every Double Fine game, is charming. It's a fresh-feeling, low stakes take on the JRPG genre, more Earthbound than Final Fantasy. Though, as Chad put it in his review, it's "RPG Lite," accessible for all ages.  

Double Fine doesn't want to sacrifice that, but does want to make Costume Quest 2's combat a bit more engaging. I was engaged with Paper Mario (or Final Fantasy VIII) style timed button presses that help your attacks do a bit more damage. Similarly, a well timed tap on defense will reduce the damage you take. This engagement, though, make things a bit easier so long as you can hit those button presses. 

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Shadow Realms, the new BioWare RPG, has a lot of strong and unique ideas photo
Shadow Realms, the new BioWare RPG, has a lot of strong and unique ideas
by Brett Makedonski

Anytime you sit in on an early look at a new videogame, the presentation's sort of structured the same. Throughout the introduction to the title, the developers always -- always -- pepper the speech with catchy phrases about the approach that they wanted to take, their influences, and what they want to elicit from the players.

BioWare's showing of its newly announced Shadow Realms at gamescom 2014 fell right in line with these expectations. What makes it noteworthy is the sheer amount that the studio hopes to accomplish. After listening and talking to developers from BioWare at gamescom, it's evident that they have big ambitions for Shadow Realms. It's a title that aspires to do a lot of different things in a lot of different ways, and it's unclear right now how some of it will be executed. But, there appears to be solid framework to build around for now.

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Crookz puts a '70s heist movie spin on tactical gaming photo
Crookz puts a '70s heist movie spin on tactical gaming
by Dale North

A tactical game with a '70s heist movie theme? Finding something like that at gamescom is about as unlikely as finding a videogame trailer with porn star Ron Jeremy in it. But here we are with both. 

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Rediscover a Lara Croft you already know in Temple of Osiris photo
Rediscover a Lara Croft you already know in Temple of Osiris
by Brett Makedonski

Which Lara Croft do you prefer? Crystal Dynamics has two versions of her, splitting the iconic character into distinctly different properties. The recent Tomb Raider reboot and the scheduled follow-up Rise of the Tomb Raider paint Lara in a survivalist light -- someone that's fighting for her life more than anything else. That's all well and good, but you can't fault anyone that favors the other Lara; they're probably just used to her.

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris continues what 2010's Guardian of Light began -- getting back to the Tomb Raider roots with a star that had no problem mowing down anything in her path to find more treasure. She’s brash, she’s ruthless, and, (ideally) she has a few friends helping her.

Guardian of Light is highly regarded by most -- an isometric, top-down twin-stick shooter that was a delight to play. With few complaints from the fans, Crystal Dynamics knew that Temple of Osiris wasn’t an effort that it’d necessarily want to revamp, but rather just improve. The two levels that we played at gamescom 2014 indicate that it's certainly poised to do just that.

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H1Z1 is a lot more playable, still a ways out photo
H1Z1 is a lot more playable, still a ways out
by Steven Hansen

I stopped tallying at ten counts of the word "iteration" in the early goings of the SOE Live 2014 presentation for SOE's upcoming (PC, PS4) survival zombie sim H1Z1. Okay. I get it. That's why the game wasn't so hot when it was first shown off and why there's still work to do before it comes to Steam Early Access "soon."

"It kicked us in the butt," I was told of initial previews, which were not all that kind to the project (our own Wett Brett Makedonski called it "almost unplayable").

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Ori and the Blind Forest is a lot more than just a beautiful game photo
Ori and the Blind Forest is a lot more than just a beautiful game
by Brett Makedonski

One glance at Moon Studios' Ori and the Blind Forest is enough to be immediately enamored by the game's visuals. Actually, it's almost an inevitability. Every piece of media that Microsoft releases for Ori draws attention to the glistening colors and stunning backdrops. Not as if that can be helped, mind you; it's a part of the design that just tends to precede everything else.

At its press demos at gamescom 2014, Moon Studios was almost sheepish about the fact. It was well aware of the recognition that the game has gotten for its looks thus far. Now, it wanted to show that Ori's brilliance is rooted in something deeper.

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2:00 PM on 08.13.2014

How Far Cry 4 plans on making memorable missions

Think back on Far Cry 3. Reflect on all the memorable moments you had with that game. What sticks out the most? The missions or the unscripted stuff that happened in the open world? Chances are you primarily remember the unsc...

Hamza CTZ Aziz



Life is Strange is a world you'll want to lose yourself in photo
Life is Strange is a world you'll want to lose yourself in
by Brett Makedonski

Gamescom is a noisy, crowded mess. Shoulder to shoulder with patrons that didn’t seem to care what they bump into, I trudged my way to my next appointment. As I stepped through the door to the meeting room, something unexpected happened. I was teleported from a loud convention center to a rebellious teenager’s room.

Seated at the foot of a twin-sized bed, I took in my surroundings. The top of a makeshift television stand housed a half-smoked joint, while a pair of dirty Converse rested underneath. Posters of influential punk rockers littered the wall, all askew. “Fuck” was scrawled on almost everything, but especially a tattered American flag.

I wasn’t in Germany anymore. I was in Arcadia Bay, Oregon. More specifically, I was in Chloe’s safe place -- the only spot in the world where a misunderstood teenage girl can be herself. I was inside the world of Dontnod’s newly announced Life is Strange, and it was a wonderful place to be.

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Command a tiger that can turn invisible in Far Cry 4 photo
Command a tiger that can turn invisible in Far Cry 4
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Far Cry 3 had some pretty wild moments. Like, remember when Vaas was dancing around on the stripper pole? Good stuff. Far Cry 4 will have some crazy segments as well, but these are a little more grounded to the core of the game. 

Scattered around Kyrat are hidden tankas that, once discovered, allow the main character to meditate and travel to Shangri-La to relieve the life of a legendary warrior. You'll be transported to a surreal world with floating islands and you are equipped with only a bow and arrow to take on the enemies of these environments. 

Oh, and you have a tiger that you can command to attack others. The tiger can also turn invisible. 

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Alien: Isolation is haunting and uncompromisingly scary photo
Alien: Isolation is haunting and uncompromisingly scary
by Alessandro Fillari

Though it was initially seen as "Jaws-in-space," the legacy for Alien is certainly much more pristine than the one with the giant shark. Originally released in 1979, the first Alien would eventually become a much-loved horror film that spawned a major movie franchise. And while the sequels would get more attention and prominence among fans, the original still holds a special place in the hearts of fans.

After the release of some rather disappointing Alien titles, and with the Cameron interpretation of Alien as the de-facto standard for the franchise, the developers at Creative Assembly believed it was about time fans went back to the roots of the series. Just a week before gamescom, Sega invited Destructoid out to get some quality time with Alien: Isolation, and to speak with the game's creative lead, Alistair Hope. During our time, we got to learn just how different horror is when faced off with something out of your league.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition plays like a solid mix of Origins and Dragon Age II photo
Dragon Age: Inquisition plays like a solid mix of Origins and Dragon Age II
by Chris Carter

I wasn't very happy with Dragon Age II.

Whereas Origins was a glorious return to old-school RPG sensibilities, Dragon Age II played like an action game that took place in the same universe. I liked the sequel for different reasons, but it felt like a wasted opportunity as it attempted to juggle some of the RPG elements from Origins while having some faults of its own, like re-used environments and a lack of scale.

If you felt the same way, Inquisition may be for you.

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6:00 AM on 08.13.2014

Assassin's Creed Unity's two big changes that I'm excited for

Okay, so technically there's three big changes that everyone will be excited about, the third being the whole two- to four-player cooperative experience in Assassin's Creed Unity. Personally I'm not all that looking forward t...

Hamza CTZ Aziz



Killing Floor 2 has more gore than you can twirl a katana at photo
Killing Floor 2 has more gore than you can twirl a katana at
by Bill Zoeker

Killing Floor 2 is showing in spades much of what made the original a success. Blood by the bucket is shown to stain the map for the duration of the match as players dismember genetic freaks every which way. Tripwire Interactive has revamped the Perk system, added a ton of animation variations, and even added some sweet little flourishes to melee weapons.

As a fan of the original game, suffice it to say that what I've seen so far promises to bring the familiar flavor of carnage to another level.

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Video: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's new Stingray vehicle, Athena breakdown, and smart guns? photo
Video: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's new Stingray vehicle, Athena breakdown, and smart guns?
by Bill Zoeker

I got my hands on Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel recently, and I've got some hot info on the new mechanics, and one of the new player characters, Athena the Gladiator. The game's new Stingray vehicle has a neat trick to it, there may be smart-targeting laser guns in this new iteration, most importantly, Athena is definitely a badass.

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel releases in North America on October 14th, 2014; with the worldwide release following on the 17th.

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