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Payday 2 photo
Payday 2

Overkill: Payday 2 microtransactions are 'not a success if people are angry'

In a long discussion with Steam mods
Nov 19
// Joe Parlock
Sit down and get comfortable, ladies and gentlemen, for the next gripping chapter of the ‘When Will Overkill Stop Being Shitty’ Chronicles begins now! You may remember a while ago that the Payday 2 Steam communit...

Review: Hatred

May 28 // Chris Carter
Hatred (PC)Developer: Destructive CreationsPublisher: Destructive CreationsReleased: June 1, 2015MSRP: $19.99 To be clear, I don't have an inherent problem with Hatred. We've seen far, far worse in terms of the video game medium -- in this very generation with Grand Theft Auto V's playable in-game torture scene. Or even Ninja Gaiden III's new "cutting" system, where enemies scream in agony as they're sliced into multiple pieces of flesh. The obvious difference here is that a lot of the targets in Hatred are civilians, which put people on edge. But really, plenty of mainstream action titles have more nuanced takes, killing servicemen and women, officers of the law, and yes, plenty of civilians. Where Hatred partly fails is that it doesn't really make any meaningful statements in regards to its violence. That that it needs to, mind, it kind of just "is." The main character (who is not named) hates the world, so he's going to take down as many people as he can before he dies. That's basically it. He starts in his neighborhood, then branches out across the surrounding area, using various forms of transportation to do it. I suspect there are going to be thinkpieces spouting up across the 'net after release, but don't expect anything as interesting as the ones that were spurred by Hotline Miami playthroughs -- another ultraviolent romp. All the while, he's ranting pseudo-philosophical nonsense. The developers have noted that he isn't trying to quote or channel anyone in particular, and boy can you tell when he says repeats tired phrases like "dust to dust" and "the death is waiting." Half the time you can't even hear what he's saying over the sound of gunfire and explosions. Nothing about the presentation is memorable outside of the distinct visual style. [embed]292912:58710:0[/embed] As a shooter, Hatred is fairly impressive (outside of the sparing terrible vehicular controls). Destructive Creations clearly has a knack for the genre, which makes the fact that it decided to create this lifeless world more disappointing. Shooting feels responsive, and the control scheme is easy to pick up and play, especially on a controller. I don't like that there isn't a toggle option for sprinting (you have to hold it down, which hurts your thumb after a while), but aiming, including the precision-aim system that provides an imaginary laser sight while holding the trigger, is spot-on. Visually, Hatred is somewhere in-between unique and messy. The grey sheen generally looks great, but it does get old after a few levels. Plus, you'll want to jack up the gamma considerably, as the playable character tends to get lost in the fray. Individual objects are all rendered with care though, and the destruction system allows you to do things like craft new exits by blowing through walls. There isn't a whole lot to do in those worlds though. It's level-based, and most missions boil down to "kill [x] number of civilians, then kill [x] number of police, then escape." There's a few unique levels like a sewer chase with the SWAT team or a linear stage taking place on a moving train, but most of them follow this same principle. The train scenario in particular presents some interesting possibilities, in that random civilians on-board are armed. It's often hard to pick them out of a crowd, and if a gun drops, they'll run to pick it up. That mission only lasts a few minutes though, then it's onto the next generic hub. Seriously, that's about all the game has to offer.  I also encountered a few bugs while playing, including disappearing bodies, wonky physics that caused some deaths, and a few fatal game crashes. Several levels were also mislabeled in the level select screen and sometimes, mission objectives wouldn't calculate correctly. The crashes in particular really hindered my playthrough, as they were all at the very end of a level, which forced me to replay them from the start. If it weren't for these issues, it would be a decent twin-stick shooter. Developer tools are evidently going to happen which may allow more interesting levels, but haven't been provided at launch. If you're curious, here's a full video rundown of the options menu. There's nothing really special about Hatred. It's a twin-stick shooter. It has guns in it. It has objectives. Most of the time those objectives involve acting like a menace to society or blowing stuff up. It doesn't have anything new to bring to the table, or anything interesting to say about the genre. You can go back to yelling at it now if you want. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Hatred review photo
Do you hate it?
When Hatred debuted, I pretty much kept quiet. No one can really win in that situation, when the explosion of opposing viewpoints was at its loudest. I decided to wait until the finished product was out and play it for m...

NVIDIA photo

Class action lawsuit filed against NVIDIA over GTX 970 card

When keeping it not real goes wrong
Feb 21
// Robert Summa
For those unfamiliar with the plight of the PC master race, there has been an ongoing debacle surrounding NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 970 video card. Users have been complaining that the advertised performance hasn't been up to snuf...
The Stomping Land dead? photo
The Stomping Land dead?

Early Access game The Stomping Land may be extinct

Not the mama!
Feb 18
// Jason Faulkner
In another Kickstarter heartbreaker, it seems as though The Stomping Land is stuck in the tar pits. After a very successful crowdfunding campaign in June 2013 totaling $114,060, it was released on Steam Early Access almost a ...

ESL retracts CS:GO ban photo
ESL retracts CS:GO ban

Valve and ESL retract ban on ex-ESC Gaming CS:GO team

With so much drama with the iBP, it's kinda hard bein' ex-ESC
Feb 08
// Jason Faulkner
Last Friday, Valve and eSports League Europe, issued tentative bans on three Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitive teams. Epsilon eSports, the former ESC Gaming team, and WinneR had players who were accused of match fi...
Dying Light mod support photo
Dying Light mod support

Techland declares support for Dying Light modders

What a twist!
Feb 07
// Jason Faulkner
In a complete 180° from the events of last week, Techland has announced it will support mods for Dying Light. In an attempt to stop hacks for the "Be the Zombie" mode, Techland accidentally blocked modders from being able...
Papers, Please photo
Papers, Please

Papers, Please was originally refused by Apple for pornographic content

Glory to Applestotzka!
Dec 11
// Brett Makedonski
Papers, Please, Lucas Pope's 2013 indie standout about an immigration officer just trying to provide for his family, makes its debut on iPad tomorrow. However, the version available on the App Store will be slightly diff...
Double Fine photo
Double Fine

Double Fine ceasing development on sci-fi sim Spacebase DF-9

Costing more money than it brings in
Sep 24
// Steven Hansen
Double Fine is ending its development of Spacebase DF-9 with a somewhat sudden final build of the game next month. Double Fine intends to stick around for bug fixes, but many of the game's initially planned features will...
Censorship!!!!!!! photo

Toxic League of Legends players facing permanent bans

Jul 21
// Steven Hansen
Riot Games wants to clear League of more "extreme" assholes. Starting today it's doling out bans -- permanent or 14-day -- for slurs, death threats, as well as "unsportsmanlike conduct," like repeatedly killing yourself ...

Watch Dogs PR stunt brings the bomb squad out

I like turtles
May 28
// Abel Girmay
Between sending brass knuckles for the Godfather II release, sending out $300 checks to represent greed for Dante's Inferno, and sending copies of Mass Effect 3 into space, you have to wonder how fun the world of games PR can...
LoL patch buggery photo
LoL patch buggery

UK anti-porn filters are cocking up League of Legends

*whispers* 'sex'
Jan 21
// Steven Hansen
The "for the children" UK internet restriction filters are going full bore this month. You remembered to opt out, right? If you didn't, not only are you going to be prevented from seeing my erotic Sonic fanfiction (which is u...

FireFall board votes out co-founder Mark Kern

The last of the four founders ousted from Red 5 Studios
Dec 20
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Co-founder and CEO of Red 5 Studios, Mark Kern, has been voted out of the company behind FireFall "effectively immediately." Mark was also removed from the board, and no longer has any authority with Red 5. The story comes vi...

The Stanley Parable dev to remove offensive images

Update incoming
Oct 25
// Dale North
I spent a fair bit of time with The Stanley Parable and didn't find anything offensive, but author Oliver Campbell and others did, and now developer Galactic Cafe plans to release an update to change out two images. Those tha...

Day One: Garry's Incident developers censoring criticism

Exploiting YouTube's copyright protection is kind of poopy, guys
Oct 21
// Jim Sterling
Wild Games Studio, the company behind Day One: Garry's Incident, is currently caught up in a controversy surrounding criticism of its game on YouTube. Immensely popular PC game critic John "TotalBiscuit" Bain has accused the ...
Women for Warface photo
Women for Warface

Crytek's Warface is getting playable women soldiers

It's still a dumb name; also, the ladies are sexualised because of fan feedback
Oct 09
// Steven Hansen
Warface, which I still can't say with a straight face, is adding playable women avatars to the fray. According to executive producer Joshua Howard, speaking to Games Beat, the "female characters are a big hit" in Russia, wher...

Volition weren't fans of THQ's porn star marketing push

There will be over 100 tracks spanning seven radio stations too
Aug 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Volition's associate producer Kate Nelson spoke with Edge Online about all things Saints Row, and specifically brought up how the team weren't fans of THQ's marketing push using porn stars. “I did not always love how mu...
Dishwasher: Vampire Smile photo
Dishwasher: Vampire Smile

The Dishwasher: VS finally ported to PC, just not legally

'This is restoration of justice'
Jun 05
// Brett Makedonski
Ska Studios has a pretty well-documented allegiance to publishing its games through the Xbox Live Arcade platform. The company's 2011 hit The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile has been an exclusive to the Microsoft service until...
SimCity photo

Will Wright: SimCity's server issues were 'inexcusable'

'I kind of did predict there'd be a big backlash about the DRM stuff.'
May 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Game Industry International caught up with legendary designer Will Wright who shared his thoughts on the train wreck of a launch SimCity suffered with all of the server issues players experienced when trying to play the game....
You suck! photo
You suck!

Ultima creator thinks other designers 'really just suck'

Can't tell if hubris or fair criticism
Mar 20
// Steven Hansen
Richard Garriott, known for creating the venerable Ultima series and sometimes known as Lord British, had some harsh truth bombs to rain down on his contemporaries. Speaking with PC Gamer, Garriott said, "I’ve met virtu...
SimCity photo

EA's free games for SimCity players includes SimCity 4

Plus Dead Space 3, Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 and more
Mar 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Electronic Arts is trying to make good for all their disastrous launch issues with SimCity by offering select PC games free to players. Starting today, players that have activated their copy of SimCity should receive an email...

The DTOID Show: Bros Before Hos, PS4, & Dishonored DLC!

Now starring Max "I'm Wearing a Shirt" Scoville
Mar 12
// Tara Long
Greetings! If you're watching today's show and wondering why Max happens to look so much like Adam Sessler, it's because he recently got a full-body makeover to look like Adam Sessler. Don't act like you wouldn't either, if ...

Jimquisition: SimShitty

Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Mar 11
// Jim Sterling
DRM is back again, and it's here to stay! Games are a service, so we're told, but who do they really serve? SimCity's failure to launch thanks to ludicrous DRM restrictions has been the hot topic of the week, and naturally there's a Jimquisition afoot to skewer Electronic Arts right in its Electronic Nads. Time to put a bit of stick about, wouldn't you say?
SimCity  photo

EA will be adding more SimCity servers over next two days

'Non-critical' features disabled in the mean time
Mar 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The SimCity launch has been pretty disastrous to say the least. My Twitter feed has been a constant stream of players experiencing connection issues, servers that won't save their cities, long queue times to get into a server...
SimCity server issues photo
SimCity server issues

SimCity players experience long waits to play

Single-player game ruined by online logins
Mar 05
// Joshua Derocher
SimCity was released today, and due to the controversial need to always be connected to EA's server in order to play people have been experiencing long waits just trying to get in. In order to play SimCity you have ...

Developer: Gearbox lied to SEGA, 2K over Colonial Marines

Feb 19 // Jim Sterling
"Gearbox was taking people off the project to put them on Borderlands 1," he says of his time on the job. "This was before the big art style change happened on Borderlands. Our team was getting smaller by the month, making it very difficult to get the game made. Ironically several of the team members were ex-3D Realms people who were saying [paraphrasing] 'Finally, we're going to Gearbox to make Aliens, and we're going to ship a fucking game!' Hah." According to our man with the inside track, it was later learned that SEGA actually canceled Colonial Marines, deciding to cut its losses after such a long development cycle.  "At some point in 2008, SEGA temporarily pulled the plug on the game," he said. "They caught wind of Gearbox shifting resources (despite still collecting milestone checks as if the team were full size) and lying to SEGA AND 2K about the number of people working on each project. This led to the round of layoffs at Gearbox in late 2008." The developer confirms he later spoke with people attached to the project at the beginning of 2012, and learned they actually didn't expect the game to ship in February, given its current state. It would appear staff on the game knew the thing was a bust, and were prepared for a fresh delay. Obviously, that never happened, and now we're here. Naturally, and like so much about this situation, information was provided on the hush-hush and cannot be taken as factual evidence of any wrongdoing on anybody's part. It is, however, yet another perplexing piece of the puzzle, one reflective of other things we've been hearing over the past week. Meanwhile, as SEGA and Gearbox both maintain a poker face, these whispered words are really all we have to go on.
Gearbox lied photo
Anonymous Aliens whistle blower blows whistle anonymously
It's fair to say the Aliens: Colonial Marines story has been a fascinating one. From the years of hype, to the negative reviews, to the later confusion over who actually developed the game, there's a lot of mystery and contro...


Gearbox 'looking at' an explanation for Colonial Marines

Pitchford claims there are 'stakeholders' to think of first
Feb 19
// Jim Sterling
After breaking his radio silence this morning to respond to lots of praise for Aliens: Colonial Marines, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford went on a bit of a blocking spree, cold-shouldering yours truly and a number of other people...
Bungie on PC shooters photo
Are mouse & keyboards, control over saves, and health packs a thing of the past?
A lot of news on Bungie's new shooter Destiny has come out this morning, and while it looks like an interesting game, there hasn't been a PC version announced by the Halo developer. Something said by the studio...

So ... who the hell DID make Aliens: Colonial Marines?

Feb 14 // Jim Sterling
Anonymous Allegations from Gearbox developer In 2012, an anonymous writer claiming to be a former Gearbox worker posted on message board to reveal the Colonial Marines campaign had been outsourced to TimeGate. According to the early allegation, dug up recently by Superannuation, Gearbox had refocused itself toward multiplayer a long time ago. Hate to say it, but I wouldn't get your hopes up too high for Colonial Marines. I used to work at Gearbox, and the development of that game has been a total train wreck, going on what, 6 years now? Gearbox isn't even making the game, except for the multiplayer. Primary development was outsourced to TimeGate Studios, which has a less than stellar past.I hope it proves me wrong, as I still have alot of friends still working at Gearbox, but I am expecting it to be average at best. While the comment went unnoticed at the time, its resurfacing seemed to explain a lot.  SEGA denies Colonial Marines was outsourced Dark Side of Gaming ran a story in which a SEGA rep was quoted as denying the outsourcing of Colonial Marines. According to Matthew J. Powers, the other studios involved in production merely "helped" Gearbox as it worked on both the solo and multiplayer portions.  Absolutely not, the game has been developed by Gearbox Software. Other studios [like Timegate] helped Gearbox on the production of single and multiplayer. Of course, as the story developed, it became wholly likely that not even SEGA knows who did what.  Randy Pitchford tells IGN TimeGate made up to 25% of A:CM A recently published IGN interview with Randy Pitchford, put out just before the controversy began, had the Gearbox CEO claim TimeGate helped with maybe a quarter of Colonial Marines. He said the studio was just as much a collaborator on the project if you took all of Gearbox's preproduction work out of the equation.  Houston-based TimeGate Studios, meanwhile, worked on “probably about 20 or 25 percent of the total time,” with Pitchford noting that “if you take preproduction out of it, their effort’s probably equivalent to ours. Now, it’s not fair to take preproduction out of it, but that says a lot about how much horsepower those guys put into it.” The interview also broke down the contributions from other studios. According to Pitchford, Demiurge helped Gearbox with networking and multiplayer options, while Nerve designed the multiplayer maps. Pitchford presented all this as Gearbox wanting to give customers more for their money, packing in more content rather than selling it as DLC.  Colonial Marines has a DLC season pass costing $29.99. Anonymous 'ex-Gearbox' dev spills the beans on Reddit Things got really interesting once an alleged developer took to Reddit and revealed some shocking, if true, details about A:CM's development. It's a story that involves Gearbox dicking SEGA around, pushing off its campaign to TimeGate, favoring Borderlands 2 over Aliens, and rushing at the last minute to fix an utterly broken, serviceable game. It's juicy stuff. First off, due to me breaking NDA, I can't provide any proof that I'm not just talking out of my ass. But I figure you'd be interested in hearing what I have to say regardless. I've been on the project for around a year and a half, so some of the following are things I've heard from more senior guys. Pecan (the internal codename for ACM) has a pretty long history. SEGA, GBX and 20th Century FOX came to an agreement to produce an Aliens game around 6 years ago, after which SEGA almost immediately announced it, long before Pecan had even started production. The game has been in active development in the past, only to be shelved in favor of another project (Borderlands, Duke, etc), and each time it was resumed it would undergo a major content overhaul. SEGA, naturally, wasn't super pleased about the delays, but GBX got away with it for a long time and the contract between SEGA and GBX kept getting augmented to push the projected release further and further back. The last time it was resumed, GBX outsourced a good portion of the game to outside companies. Initially, the plan was for TimeGate to take the majority of campaign, GBX would take MP, Demiurge and Nerve would handle DLC and various other focused tasks. This decision was made mostly so that most of the developers at GBX could continue working on Borderlands 2, while a small group of LDs, coders and designers dealt with Pecan. Somehow the schedules for Pecan and Borderlands 2 managed to line up and GBX realized that there was no fucking way they could cert and ship two titles at the same time. Additionally, campaign (which was being developed by TimeGate) was extremely far behind, even as Pecan's Beta deadline got closer and closer. In April or May (can't remember which), Pecan was supposed to hit beta, but GBX instead came to an agreement with SEGA that they would push the release date back one more time, buying GBX around 9 mos extension. About 5 of those 9 months went to shipping BL2. In that time, TimeGate managed to scrap together 85% of the campaign, but once Borderlands 2 shipped and GBX turned its attention to Pecan, it became pretty apparent that what had been made was in a pretty horrid state. Campaign didn't make much sense, the boss fights weren't implemented, PS3 was way over memory, etcetcetc. GBX was pretty unhappy with TG's work, and some of Campaign maps were just completely redesigned from scratch. There were some last minute feature requests, most notably female marines, and the general consensus among GBX devs was that there was no way this game was going to be good by ship. There just wasn't enough time. Considering that SEGA was pretty close to taking legal action against GBX, asking for an extension wasn't an option, and so Pecan crash-landed through certification and shipping. Features that were planned were oversimplified, or shoved in (a good example of this are challenges, which are in an incredibly illogical order). Issues that didn't cause 100% blockers were generally ignored, with the exception of absolutely horrible problems. This isn't because GBX didn't care, mind you. At a certain point, they couldn't risk changing ANYTHING that might cause them to fail certification or break some other system. And so, the product you see is what you get. Beyond gameplay, the story has been raised as an issue several times. I can't really comment without feeling bad beyond saying that the script was approved by 20th Century FOX, and that the rush to throw a playable product together came at the cost of the story. Campaign does a pretty bad job of explaining a lot of the questions raised at the start of the game, and so hopefully there will be DLC to flesh that out a bit better. I'll answer some questions, but I have to run soon, so it may take a while for responses. Alleged TimeGate developer throws Gearbox under the bus The original Reddit poster would later be responded to by a different anonymous user, this one claiming to be in the employ of TimeGate. Defending his studio against implications of laziness, the poster said Colonial Marines' campaign turned out so badly thanks to terrible supervision from Gearbox.  Just to clarify, Everything Timegate did was under clear and explicit direction from Gearbox. Gearbox had creative control of everything that occurred at TG. In addition, Gearbox was responsible for firing some of the most talented people (and internationally recognized as such) TG had employed, all of which were snatched up immediately by competitors. It was Gearbox's shitty oversight of the project that led to the product you all now have before you. I wouldn't expect you to understand, considering you're probably some QA who has no idea what goes on outside of his department. But TG had absolutely no control of what was produced, they did exactly what they were asked to. You should be furious with Gearbox for assigning such shit quality creative directors to the project. According to another anonymous poster, the game's ever-changing story didn't help TimeGate either.  The script was rewritten too many times. Demiurge working on Wii U version, now rumored to be indefinitely delayed The final chapter in the story so far places Demiurge as the studio behind the Wii U version of the game, with Kotaku alleging an indefinite delay on the upcoming release. Writer Jason Schierer made the claim, though notes it's not confirmed.  We heard from a tipster about a month ago that the Wii U version had been "postponed indefinitely." We reached out to Sega, and they denied it. I'll let you guys fill in the blanks there. :) And that's us up to speed on the Aliens: Colonial Marines story so far. Personal feelings on the game aside, it's one hell of a story, and I think that, when/if the truth finally outs, it'll make for some fascinating reading. It's already quite engrossing with just what we have!
Colonial Marines madness! photo
A rundown of all the known (and not-so-known) events so far
Aliens: Colonial Marines has turned out to be more than just a bad game. It's a confusing story of allegations, outsourcing, and potential deception on a considerable level. The biggest mystery to come out of this debacle is ...


EVE corporation disputes ISK confiscated by developers

EVE's security team called into question by corporation
Feb 13
// Joshua Derocher
An unnamed player was banned recently from EVE Online by CCP's security team for being suspected of running a bot on the marketplace. The practice of market botting involves running a script that can create buy and ...

Borderlands 2's Tiny Tina viewed as racist? [Update]

'Verbal Blackface'
Feb 04
// Jim Sterling
[Update: Mike Sacco no longer works with Cryptozoic Entertainment, seemingly as a result of his discussion over Borderlands 2. At first, Sacco stated, "I'm gonna confirm two things: That people tried to pressure Cryptozoic in...

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