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7:00 AM on 04.09.2014

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes the shooter looter to the moon

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is official. The latest entry in Gearbox's shooter looter takes place between the original Borderlands and Borderlands 2, hence the Pre-Sequel moniker. The new game is based on the Borderlands 2 en...

Hamza CTZ Aziz


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Child of Light is a return to classic JRPG wonder photo
Child of Light is a return to classic JRPG wonder
by Alessandro Fillari

Last year, the news of Ubisoft making an old-school throwback to the JRPG genre took a number of people by surprise. When Destructoid got the chance to check it out, there was a healthy amount of curiosity around it. Not too many people knew what to make of it, especially considering it was coming from the team that made Far Cry 3, which is a title that seems very far apart from it.

But after spending some time with Child of Light, about three hours to be exact, there might be more in common with these two titles than you think. I got the chance to talk with lead writer Jeffrey Yohalem, and saw what passion and a small team working on a unique throwback to JRPG titles managed to come up with.

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Hands-on with Ultra Street Fighter IV's Decapre photo
Hands-on with Ultra Street Fighter IV's Decapre
by Ben Pack

Earlier this week I got to spend some time with Ultra Street Fighter IV, Capcom’s fourth and final iteration of the original 2008 game. My demo was presented by professional fighting game player turned Capcom employee Peter “Combofiend” Rosas, who walked me through the fifth and final new character, Decapre, as well as the other changes of the version.

The game features five new characters, including four adopted from Street Fighter X Tekken. These characters are Hugo, Elena, Rolento and Poison. The first two characters are meant to play like their versions in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, and the later two are more similar to their SFxT versions.

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Bound By Flame is richly detailed and dark photo
Bound By Flame is richly detailed and dark
by Alessandro Fillari

The fantasy genre has been a staple of the gaming scene for a long time. They go hand in hand, really. Because of this, it’s common to see titles that look to similar to each and don’t necessarily distinguish themselves from the pack.

Well, I was lucky enough to check out a new title within the genre that seeks to leave a big impression on fans. In Bound By Flame, players can walk the fine line between good and evil, and leave a very visible and lasting impression on their character and the world they inhabit.

At GDC, the developers at Spiders, creators of Mars: War Logs and their last fantasy title Of Orcs and Men, showed off a near-final build of their next action-RPG title. During this private showing, they displayed several sections of the game and went into detail about the choices and customization players can expect in their adventures.

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Hyper Light Drifter is gorgeous and punishing photo
Hyper Light Drifter is gorgeous and punishing
by Alessandro Fillari

In recent times it seems as though games in 'retro-style' are on the rise. Perhaps this is nostalgia at work for a bygone era of gaming, or maybe there's an endearing spirit and honesty from gaming's past that people still resonates with people. One such title that believes in the later is Hyper Light Drifter. After an enormously successful Kickstarter campaign, the developers have been keeping things pretty close to the vest since it was funded.

During GDC, IGN hosted their Media Indie Exchange event to show off new and upcoming titles from independent developers and on-hand were the developers of Hyper Light Drifter with a new build. After getting some much appreciated hands-on time, we spoke with Heart Machine's Alex Preston, got to learn how the development of Hyper Light Drifter has been going, and how you can incorporate retro games into modern game design.

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Breaking New Ground: Metal Gear Solid V's Tactical approach to Open World photo
Breaking New Ground: Metal Gear Solid V's Tactical approach to Open World
by Max Scoville

Considering that the series just celebrated its 25th anniversary, it might seem a little odd that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is only the fifth game in the series. However, if you’re counting Peace Walker, it’s the sixth, and the seventh if you include Portable Ops, too. If you're counting every game with the words "Metal Gear" in the title, it's something like the thirteenth game in the series.

Plenty of other game franchises would've retired or rebooted by now (and plenty have) but somehow, this one manages to consistently reinvent itself, all the while staying within the confines of the same universe. Ground Zeroes makes some of the most drastic changes the series has seen in over a decade, while still managing to feel familiar.

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Preview: Murdered: Soul Suspect photo
Preview: Murdered: Soul Suspect
by Steven Hansen

The last few times we've written about Murdered: Soul Suspect, the discussions centered around next gen ports. Well, that and the protagonist's unfortunate choice of head wear and other accoutrements. I mean, the fedora is somehow not the most egregious fashion choice. Wallet chain? 

But now I've gotten a chance to play and have a bunch of different things to complain about.

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Wolfenstein: The New Order is as middling as I feared photo
Wolfenstein: The New Order is as middling as I feared
by Abel Girmay

Wolfenstein: The New Order is a videogame that has guns in it, and you use these guns to kill people. That's about as remarkable a statement as I could rack my brain for after spending three hours with game.

As much as some Wolfenstein fans may want to greet The New Order with fanfare and anticipation, I have to say folks, there just doesn't seem anything noteworthy to this newest title. With the exception of a few moments, Wolfenstein: The New Order feels like a phoned-in, by the numbers first-person shooter.

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The Toymaker returns in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 photo
The Toymaker returns in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

The Toymaker was first introduced in Mirror of Fate, and he returns for Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2. Dracula is looking for the Mirror of Fate, and when the Toymaker is about to present one clue pointing to the mirror he gets floor molested and turned into a big jerky boss fight.

I'm actually really looking forward to Lords of Shadow 2, it's just something about this boss fight that kind of turned me off. I think it's the lack of music. What's up with that? Is Konami worried about getting flagged some weasel claimer?

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Enemy Front is a fresh approach to World War II shooters photo
Enemy Front is a fresh approach to World War II shooters
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

Back in 2011 CI Games announced Enemy Front, a World War II shooter that was being worked on by Stuart Black who was the guy responsible for Black. It's funny how over-hyped that game was looking back.

Anyway, Black left at some point in 2012 and since then Enemy Front was completely reworked. It's still a World War II shooter, but instead of just being another colorless run-and-gun shooter like Call of Duty, the developers at CI have taken more of a fresh approach to the genre that made me think of it as a nice cross between Bad Company and Far Cry 3 during my hands-on time.

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Preview: Dark Souls II photo
Preview: Dark Souls II
by Alessandro Fillari

As one of the most celebrated and admired games of the last generation, the Souls series from the developers at From Software has many admirers and critics. Many swear by its uncompromising and hardcore gameplay systems and design, while others view it as unfair and unnecessarily difficult. Regardless, it's safe to say that the series, particularly Dark Souls, has garnered a lot of attention for the once niche developer.

With the next entry only a little more than a month away, many of its devotees are itching for their next chance to venture into the world of Dark Souls. During Namco Bandai's media event held earlier this week, Destructoid got the chance to try out an hour of the game and experience what From Software has in store for the curious and hardcore alike.

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Lords of the Fallen won't be a walk in the park photo
Lords of the Fallen won't be a walk in the park
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

A couple of weeks ago I wrote up this little story asking for CI Games to show us some real gameplay footage of Lords of the Fallen. Well, there's still no footage but at the very least I got to see the game in action earlier this week in person and boy was I impressed.

Visually the game looks like it's truly taking advantage of the new gaming hardware. In fact the screenshots don't do the game justice. From the character designs, to the levels that you'll be traversing in a similar style to the Zelda series, it all has a ton of detail that brings this medieval fantasy to life.

What I'm really looking forward to is the combat. The action-RPG is more strategy rather than a hack-and-slash, and you really have to experiment with each fight to see what works. Going in blindly swinging will just get your ass kicked, especially against the bosses that can take you out in one hit sometimes. That should tell you something especially considering that most fights will typically be one-on-one battles. 

"We wanted to try to make it feel as if Tekken or Street Fighter was imbued inside every one-on-one [fight]," executive producer Tomasz Gop told us. That said it's not trying to be a completely hardcore game as there will be a lot of tools to help you experiment and not get totally frustrated. "I think it's a tactical kind of game," Tomasz commented. "Very advanced in terms of combat, but at the same time we're trying to make sure that it's not a treadmill kind of experience."

Most of what I saw was pretty much covered by Destructoid in the past if you want to learn a little more about the combat system and character customization. I do want to give you a deeper dive, but not until we get some actual hands-on time. Otherwise, Lords of the Fallen will be out this Fall for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

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Preview: The first four hours of Thief photo
Preview: The first four hours of Thief
by Alessandro Fillari

Back in October, I got the chance to sit down to chat with members of Eidos Montreal after a lengthy session with the new entry in the Thief series. Since the reveal in 2009, the game has gone through many different iterations and changes. From an obnoxiously named THI4F and a proposed and tested third-person action game; this new take on the series has been through the ringer. As such, fans have been skeptical of whether a new entry can work.

The Thief series is known for being one of the pioneers of the stealth genre on the PC, and fans of the series have been looking forward to seeing its return. As somewhat of a soft-reboot for the series, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix are in an interesting position to re-introduce fans to Garrett, the Master Thief -- along with new players looking for a new game with a different approach to stealth gameplay.

Well, after spending about 4 hours playing this new take on the series at a media press event; I can safely say that I came away quite impressed with what Eidos Montreal have in store. The scope and adaptive take on stealth is dense and complex, and even may impress those who wrote off this new take on a classic series.

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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII after 30 hours photo
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII after 30 hours
by Dale North

SHUT UP, Hope!  I'M TRYING TO WORK HERE!

Okay, sorry. Hope is always talking in my ear. Non-stop. You'll see. Oh my God, you'll see.

I'm coming off over 30 hours of nearly non-stop play of Square Enix's latest, Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, and I have a lot to say. Of course, I'll hold the full verdict back for our review, coming early in February, but I hope to cover a lot of ground and answer a lot of questions you've had in this preview.

If you have any other questions beyond what is covered in this preview, hit me up in the comments section below and I'll do my best to answer them without breaking embargoes that I've signed off on.

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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is bold and uncompromising photo
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is bold and uncompromising
by Alessandro Fillari

In 2010, Konami took a chance on the obscure Spanish development studio MercurySteam to create a reboot for one of the most adored and quoted game series ever. While Castlevania: Lords of Shadow went on to become a popular seller and was admired for its storytelling and action, it was a also a polarizing entry among fans of the series.

Now, the developers are back with their next and final title in the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow series -- and they fully intend on leaving their mark on the franchise. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 is daring, shows the clout that the developers earned from their previous outing, and also marks the first time we'll get to play as the infamous Dracula.

Destructoid was invited out to play the first few hours of the game, where we also had some time to chat with game producer Dave Cox. We got to see firsthand what it took to bring this iconic character to life, and how the developers at MercurySteam plan to make the series relevant again.

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Alien: Isolation captures the mood of Ridley Scott's film photo
Alien: Isolation captures the mood of Ridley Scott's film
by Brett Makedonski

Have you ever been hunted? I haven't (in a videogame or, thankfully, real life). Some games make veiled attempts to simulate the sense, but as long as you learn and know the correct order of operations, they usually don't take much to best. Alien: Isolation made me feel as if I was being hunted for the first time ever. It competently thrusts you into the role of the prey, and as a result, it is completely f*cking terrifying.

Before my 40 minute hands-on demo with Isolation, key developers from Creative Assembly gave a very short briefing on the studio's intentions with the game. First and foremost, it wanted to get back to the roots of survival horror by making a game based on the original survivor horror movie, Ridley Scott's Alien. In the developers' eyes, the best way to do this was to "re-Alien the Alien."

What they meant by this is that they wanted players to always have the Xenomorph on their minds, regardless of the situation. A "low frequency, high impact" approach to brushes with the Alien was their aim. They cited Hannibal and Jaws -- two fixtures of horror movie culture -- as examples of incredibly effective characters despite having very little screen time. However, perhaps their most effective strategy to re-Aliening the Alien is including only one Xenomorph in Isolation.

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