Batman: Arkham Origins had to endure a lot of cynicism from the peanut gallery as it rushed headlong from sudden announcement to pre-Christmas release. It's hardly surprising, too -- after the Arkham series earned high c...
I talked with Zombie studio head Jared Gerritzen about the game, how the North American opinion has refracted back into worldwide free-to-play design, growing global markets that outnumber the United States, and more.
2K has just announced that the first major DLC for BioShock Infinite, Burial at Sea: Episode 1, will be available on November 12th for $14.99 (or included with your Season Pass). This date is a worldwide release for the PS3, 360, and PC, so no timed exclusive or staggered release nonsense here -- everyone is getting it at the exact same time.
Burial at Sea features a self described "film-noir" themed story as you explore the original BioShock's Rapture setting, and encounter some "old friends." I have no idea what to expect from it, but rest assured I'll be trying it out at launch with the rest of you. I'm just glad it's happening right before the massive double-console launch.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution was quite the accomplishment when it was released. It wasn't everything an old-school Deus Ex fan could ask for (those boss fights), but it was a very reasonable compromise, and a great game in its own right.
Fast forward over two years later, and the Director's Cut is now gracing the twilight of the current console era, with new content and improved visuals in tow. While I'm not quite sure those extras are enough to sway fans who have already beaten the game from top to bottom, the good news is it's still the same great game we all enjoyed back in 2011.
If you've ever wanted to tear across a fantasy realm with a roving band of criminal misfits, you might be able to live out your dream in Daedalic's tactical role-playing game, Blackguards. You might recall that I wasn't particularly sold on what Daedalic considers villainous, as the first few character profiles the developer released seemed pretty tame.
After sitting through a hands-off demonstration in London earlier this month, I'm more convinced, seeing quite a bit of lechery, greed, drug abuse, and being promised a whole lot more. Daedalic assures me that you can do far worse, and it's not about choosing to be good or bad, but rather deciding quite how terrible you'll be.
Most of what I saw during my hour with the game was combat. It combines traditional role-playing systems and turn-based combat amid a field of hexes with environments riddled with interactive potential. Each conflict I viewed exploited the battlefield differently, reminding me more of tabletop role-playing games than traditional tactics games like Heroes of Might and Magic.
How do you review a game like The Stanley Parable? To describe any one part of it is to risk its ruination. To detail what it has to say about game design, the illusion of choice, and the psychology of the gamer is to tell you too much.
Comparisons, too, are going to be woefully inadequate. Perhaps its closest cousin would be Dear Esther, but where Dear Esther wastes the form of interactive entertainment, Stanley Parable uses and then subverts it. Where so many games that aspire to be more than games end up less than any form of art, Stanley Parable strives, and then succeeds, to be every game ever created. Even so, holding the game to the standards of any other title is simply not going to be correct.
So, how do you review what has become known as The Stanley Parable HD, the full-scale reimagining of one of the most intriguing mods available online? How do you discuss it, analyze it, and recommend it?
[Update: If you're curious about those PlayStation 4 or Xbox One bundles that you pre-ordered GameStop and Amazon have both released a statement detailing what they'll be doing.]
Ubisoft has pushed two of its high-profile titles, Watch Dogs and The Crew, off until its next fiscal year. Watch Dogs was originally slated to help round out this year's annual holiday crush in late November. The Crew never had a formal release date, but was expected in the first quarter of 2014.
Now, both of them are expected sometime after April 1, 2014. With regard to Watch Dogs, the development team said "We struggled with whether we would delay the game. But from the beginning, we have adopted the attitude that we will not compromise on quality. As we got closer to release, as all the pieces of the puzzle were falling into place in our last push before completion, it became clear to us that we needed to take the extra time to polish and fine tune each detail so we can deliver a truly memorable and exceptional experience."
The Watch Dogs news doesn't come as much of a surprise, given that Ubisoft hasn't ramped-up the marketing as one would expect with a game that's set to come out in a month. However, it's quite the blow for people that were looking forward to picking it up alongside an Xbox One or PS4.
Amnesia creator Frictional Games knows horror, I think we can all agree. There have been some intriguing videos about the team's next project, SOMA, to help set the sci-fi mood. Now we have the mother of all teaser trailers to make the wait for 2015 absolutely painful.
What has me most excited about SOMA is that it's a different kind of horror -- one that I'm super interested to see Frictional tackle. This is coming to PC and PlayStation 4 and will feature no combat or cutscenes. Love to hear that confirmed so early on, although, it only seems early to us; the game's been in development for three years now.
Best of all, what's shown here isn't going to ruin anything. The footage comes from a custom-made level "meant to show off the general feel and tone of the game," not an exact segment of SOMA that we'll get to experience ourselves. For that matter, the character showcased isn't even the protagonist. Frictional knows what's up. This is how you promote your game.
It's believed that Grand Theft Auto V will release for PC in the first quarter of 2014, reports Eurogamer. "I don't think it'll be console exclusive very long," said Chris Silva, an Intel director of marketing, chatting with PC Gamer. "But that's what happens when you have a brand new launch with two companies that have lots of money trying to make sure they have content."
Rockstar's official line on the matter is that "We don't have anything to share about the possibility of a next-gen or a PC platform release at this time and we are completely focused on delivering the best possible experience for the consoles people have right now."
While I'm thankful to get some GTA V time in using Conrad's copy, truth be told, I'm cautious not to get too invested in the main story knowing how much better the game could be on PC. GTA Online, however, I don't mind playing now. Until roaming gangs of players mercilessly and systematically hunt me down. Actually, that's kind of hilarious, in retrospect.
If you're up on your Roman history, you'll know that I'm referring to that ancient Roman formation in which soldiers tightly align their shields to protect themselves from every angle as they advance. Even without the immortalizing effect of Asterix comics, the testudo remains an enduring icon of Roman military power, but it also serves as an apt analogy for the state of Total War: Rome II.
Indeed, the testudo is large, densely-packed, deadly effective, glorious to behold, and in the heat of battle, seemingly unassailable. At the same time, the testudo -- and Rome II like it -- is slow to move, unwieldy, and when scrutinized closely, reveals a number of vulnerabilities and gaps in the defense.
If you haven’t played the eXcellent XCOM: Enemy Unknown, you should. However, now there is a caveat to that. You should play it, but you should probably wait until November 12 to do so because that’s when the Enemy Within eXpansion comes out
Those who own Enemy Unknown on PC or Mac will need to plunk $30 down on the expansion and start a new XCOM campaign to eXperience the content. Console owners can nab a bundle of Enemy Unknown, all its DLC, and Enemy Within for $40, which is a particularly lovely deal if you haven’t picked the game up yet.
I recently got to play a solid few hours of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and was able to do whatever I wanted, outside of the select core missions Ubisoft wanted to specifically show off. There was a lot to do, but I wanted to focus specifically the open ocean world and how you'll be interacting with it here.
Why? Because it was easily my favorite new feature for the Assassin's Creed series due to it being something fresh and different. Plus I liked ramming my big ship into tiny little ships because I'm the best pirate ever.
It's here! It's finally here! Pokemon X and Y is out this week for the 3DS and it's pretty much going to be the only thing anyone talks about leading up to the next-gen consoles. Oh, Beyond: Two Souls is also out this week. It has emotions and stuff. You like emotions, right?
Other biggies this week are two repacked re-releases: Borderlands 2 and Dishonored Game of the Year Editions. Oh, videogame industry. No wonder gamers love Steam sales so much.
[Gabe of Thones header image crafted by commenter EmirSc]
Valve revealed the specs for the high-end version of its Steam Machines, and they look impressive. Most of the parts were detailed, so it's easy to figure out how much these could cost.
I put together some parts that match Valve's list, and priced it out on Amazon with a Prime account. I have four options, ranging from low-end to extreme. Even the "low-end" system is still a hefty machine capable of speeding past the next-gen consoles, and the extreme system is an insane beast that will gladly make your eyes bleed with pixels.
Some of the prices might seem steep, but remember that these are high-end systems. These rigs are made for people who want to be able to have this be their primary gaming computer, and for those who don't want to rely on streaming from another device. These are the boxes you want to look at if you want to get into PC gaming with some really nice performance.
Later this year, Valve will ship out 300 prototype Steam Machines for beta testers. If you thought you wanted in on this action, just wait until you see the official system specs. "The prototype machine is a high-end, high-performance box, built out of off-the-shelf PC parts," says Valve. "It is also fully upgradable, allowing any user to swap out the GPU, hard drive, CPU, even the motherboard if you really want to."
GPU: some units with Nvidia Titan, some GTX 780, some GTX 760, and some GTX 660
CPU: some boxes with Intel : i7-4770, some i5-4570, and some i3
RAM: 16GB DDR3-1600 (CPU), 3GB DDR5 (GPU)
Storage: 1TB/8GB Hybrid SSHD
Power Supply: Internal 450w 80Plus Gold
Dimensions: approx. 12 x 12.4 x 2.9 in high
For reference, the current slim Xbox 360 4GB console's dimensions are 12.4 x 11.9 x 7.4.
As we know, multiple manufacturers will be introducing their own SteamOS-powered systems next year. "Some of those companies will be capable of meeting the demands of lots of Steam users very quickly, some will be more specialized and lower volume. The hardware specs of each of those machines will differ, in many cases substantially, from our prototype."
I swore hand over heart that I would not spoil the resolution of Burial at Sea, so that will remain a mystery until the rest of you fine citizens get to enjoy it before the holidays. However, to give you a sneak peek at Burial at Sea: Episode 1, some spoilers will naturally occur.
You're Booker, Private Investigator; your office exists in the heart of Rapture in 1958. Elizabeth walks into your office, reminiscent of a scene from the Maltese Falcon, and employs you to search for a missing girl named Sally. You tell her Sally is dead, but Elizabeth has reason to believe she's still alive.
And from here, your quest in a Rapture set before the downfall begins.