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Alien: Isolation is more than just you and a Xenomorph photo
Alien: Isolation is more than just you and a Xenomorph
by Brett Makedonski

At the reveal event for Alien: Isolation, we were shown a lengthy demo that got right to the heart of the conflict at-hand: Amanda Ripley trying to navigate a space station as a very aggressive Xenomorph hunted her. In our first look at the game, those were the only two entities present. We were told at the time that there'd be some human survivors, but the developers were fairly tight-lipped as to what their roles would be.

Now that we've had a second chance at Alien: Isolation with a new build developed specifically for a pre-E3 event, the picture's significantly clearer as to how these interactions will go. This demo, which was about as long as the first one we saw, did more to highlight what some of the game's shortcomings might be. That said, it also reinforced our initial impression that Isolation is poised to be a tense, heart-pounding affair.

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Assassin's Creed Unity captures the liveliness of revolutionary Paris photo
Assassin's Creed Unity captures the liveliness of revolutionary Paris
by Brett Makedonski

Ubisoft took a bold step in opting to release Assassin's Creed Unity exclusively on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. With a fragmented userbase on consoles, publishers are mostly taking the predictable approach of launching games on last- and this-gen systems, obviously to maximize sales. Maybe the business-savvy (or at least conventional) logic backs this decision, but that's not what Ubisoft's doing with Assassin's Creed Unity.

By dedicating itself to developing solely on the most powerful platforms available, Ubisoft has opened the door to make the most involved and detailed Assassin's Creed title yet. That's a good thing because if our hands-off demo is any indication, Paris during the French Revolution has many stories to tell.

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Why the heck is Forza Horizon 2 trying to get me killed? photo
Why the heck is Forza Horizon 2 trying to get me killed?
by Steven Hansen

Driving is dangerous. We take it for granted, but you're more likely to die driving to the airport than zipping through the air a mile high in a heavy, metal tube. I am pretty okay at driving, but I am notably not great at driving video games. I crash a lot, even while speeding through a track designed for the sole purpose of being driven on.

I picked the loudest, yellowest Lamborghini. The camera zoomed in and showed little specs of water on the car as if had just went through a wash. I hit start race. Then Forza Horizon 2 tried to have me killed.

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Watch us play an hour's worth Destiny's open world photo
Watch us play an hour's worth Destiny's open world
by Hamza CTZ Aziz

The folks at Bungie gave Destructoid full access to the Destiny Alpha just before E3. You may remember that I wasn't all that excited for the game the last time I saw it, but having full freedom to do whatever and being able to discover things on my own has really changed my opinion.

I'm way more excited for Destiny again now, and you can see why as Max Scoville and I play nearly an hour's worth of the open world aspect known as Patrols. Plus we went and checked out the social space hub called The Tower at the very end of our playthrough.

For more on Destiny, check out Chris Carter's full hands-on breakdown, and we'll have some videos of the multiplayer PvP stuff later today.

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Hands-on with the Destiny first-look alpha photo
Hands-on with the Destiny first-look alpha
by Chris Carter

After months of hype it's nice to be able to sit down and actually play a game for yourself. It's crazy to think that Bungie sent over members of the press to an event without even giving them a chance to play Destiny, but here we are these many months later, and the technical alpha has started for PlayStation 4 owners.

I've been playing it for quite a while, and I'm glad to say that it was worth the wait -- even if it doesn't blow me away quite yet.

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I'm loving Sunset Overdrive's mutant killing arsenal photo
I'm loving Sunset Overdrive's mutant killing arsenal
by Steven Hansen

As much as I like Sunset Overdrive's mix of Jet Set and Ratchet and Clank, I'm less in love with the insufferable punk aesthetic its sleeveless jean jacket wearing lead puts forth. Just because you pin cloth to your jean jacket doesn't make you punk, punk.

Thankfully Sunset Overdrive has eight player co-op and character customization so you can play as a beefy middle eastern man with bunny ears or something. I tried out its Night Defense mode, which is a horde/tower defense sort of deal with you and your friends protecting vats of goop.

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Ori and the Blind Forest is a beautiful metroidvania photo
Ori and the Blind Forest is a beautiful metroidvania
by Darren Nakamura

Before I was able to play Ori and the Blind Forest, Microsoft Studios producer Daniel Smith rattled off a list of influences for the game, which sets lofty, perhaps unreasonable, expectations. He cited the works of Hayao Miyazaki, Super Meat Boy, Limbo, and Metroid. Though each has achieved greatness in its own right, the grouping is a strange one.

Imagine my surprise and delight to find that the influences are not only clear, but that they work wonderfully together.

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Fable Legends combines Left 4 Dead with Dungeons and Dragons photo
Fable Legends combines Left 4 Dead with Dungeons and Dragons
by Darren Nakamura

For better or worse, Fable is one of the staple series for Xbox consoles. Since its beginning as a relatively simple action-RPG, it has seen some entries go off in various directions. Fable Legends is another game that takes the core gameplay and spins it off into something unique for the franchise.

Rather than focusing on a single player adventure with highly customizable character progression, heroes in Fable Legends are one of four set characters, and the four venture together to take on more action-oriented challenges. It might be a far cry from main series Fable, but it works well.

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Battlefield Hardline: First hands-on impressions photo
Battlefield Hardline: First hands-on impressions
by Dale North

I was pretty excited to be able to be the first to tell you about Battlefield Hardline, the new team up cops-and-robbers title from Visceral (Dead Space) and DICE. But trailer leaks, detail leaks, and even gameplay video leaks ruined the fun. I played the game several weeks ago and did my job to keep the secret! Too bad no one else did.

So you probably already know the idea behind Hardline: a sandbox that takes the mayhem of a Battlefield game but puts a crime revenge twist to it. It's a multiplayer cops and robbers game, two factions going at each other like a playable heist movie. It's as cool as it sounds.

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Fantasia: Music Evolved introduces partner apprentice Scout photo
Fantasia: Music Evolved introduces partner apprentice Scout
by Dale North

Harmonix has thought a lot about how they'll welcome players to Fantasia: Music Evolved and they've decided to add a partner apprentice that will serve as a sort of game guide. Her name is Scout, a talented but impatient apprentice that works alongside the player to fight the force called the Noise.

Scout is fully voiced and animated, and appears as the game begins to help kick off the story. She seems to have a lively personality, wearing a star-covered ball cap and street clothes. Players will cooperate with Scout to save Fantasia. 

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Batman: Arkham Knight: Batmobile can transform into a freakin' tank! photo
Batman: Arkham Knight: Batmobile can transform into a freakin' tank!
by Dale North

We gave you our impressions from the very first look at Batman: Arkham Knight back in March, but now we're back with a twist. That Batmobile we talked so much about? Yeah, it's great. Cruisin' around Gotham and blowing up sh*t is never going to be anything but great. But they were holding out on us:

The Batmobile can transform into a freakin' tank!

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Costume Quest 2 isn't for the hardcore, but it's for the hardcorn photo
Costume Quest 2 isn't for the hardcore, but it's for the hardcorn
by Brett Makedonski

If there's one thing that the folks at Double Fine aren't known for, it's being pigeon-holed into making the same game. In fact, almost all of its titles are wildly different from one another. From the likes of Brütal Legend to Stacking to Broken Age, nothing the studio does is derivative of its past works.

It's not exactly a flag that Double Fine waves proudly, but it maybe kind of is, in a way. That's why when I sat down with publishing manager Greg Rice last month to talk about Costume Quest 2, he almost sheepishly started off with "Well, it's the first sequel we've ever done," (apart from the add-on to Double Fine Happy Action Theater, which hardly counts).

The statement struck me as unusual as I mentally ran down the company's list of titles. "Has Double Fine really gone this long without iterating on any of its other games?" I pondered. Apparently so, and Costume Quest 2 will be the game that finally breaks the streak.

And, that's okay, because more Costume Quest is never a bad thing.

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Use an open world to fight for freedom in Homefront: The Revolution photo
Use an open world to fight for freedom in Homefront: The Revolution
by Brett Makedonski

As a result of THQ's fire sale at the beginning of 2013, several IPs were ushered off to new homes, just waiting for someone to advance their stories while being published under a new banner. One such example is Homefront, which was met with a relatively poor reception upon release in 2011. Now, Crytek has scooped up the rights and plans to reinvent the property with a sequel.

Homefront: The Revolution sees a continuation of the world that Homefront introduced us to, but from a different angle. It's now four years after the initial invasion by North Korean forces, and the United States is completely occupied. The North Koreans have opted to establish their base in Philadelphia, which is the setting for the game.

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The Evil Within seems like it forgot the 'horror' in 'pure survival horror' photo
The Evil Within seems like it forgot the 'horror' in 'pure survival horror'
by Brett Makedonski

All too often, survival horror titles perform poorly in some areas, but it's somehow acceptable because that's the trade-off for being survival horror. If the experience is tense and scary, it seems like everything else is forgivable. That's a very important "if" however, because if it doesn't deliver on the horror front, you're suddenly left with a game that just performs poorly.

After having almost two hours of hands-on time with The Evil Within, it's perilously close to falling into this category.

As a disclaimer of sorts, I was thrust into two levels at varying points of the story. Chapter 4 and Chapter 8 were the two sections shown, and both were ineffective at providing any scares, any true adrenaline-pumping moments, or really anything even noteworthy. For what it's worth, maybe I was missing the context of the previous parts of the game that might give others an overarching sense of fear. As isolated incidents, they were just dull.

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Metro Redux comes to Xbox One, PS4, and PC this summer photo
Metro Redux comes to Xbox One, PS4, and PC this summer
by Dale North

As you may have heard, Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light are coming together for a new remaster package for the new generation of consoles and PC in the newly announced Metro Redux. This is better than your standard tweak-and-ship remaster as it has seen a full year development cycle, with the original in-house team handling the work. They know their games inside and out so you can consider this a true director’s cut. 

Each game will be available separately as digital downloads, priced at $24.99 a piece, including all of the DLC released since each title’s original launch. A double pack including all will release for consoles, priced at $49.99

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Evolve is making advances toward infinite replayability photo
Evolve is making advances toward infinite replayability
by Brett Makedonski

Evolve, the asymmetrical four-versus-one multiplayer game from Turtle Rock Studios, is built around the titular premise of growing, becoming stronger, (dare I say it?) evolving. In game, this is called "staging up." As the monster grows, it becomes more and more of a hulking behemoth potentially capable of complete domination. Every time we get our hands on Evolve, it's a little clearer that this is an apt metaphor for predicting its chances of success.

If you're unfamiliar with Evolve, Hamza wrote a preview around the time it was announced that covers the broad concepts of the game. While a multiplayer shooter might sound intuitively broad, it's the nuances found within that will be what keeps players coming back over and over again. That's really the developers' goal -- to keep players coming back. They casually mentioned that with Evolve, they're trying to make a game that's infinitely replayable. 

Lofty as those aspirations may be, it's not outside the realm of reason. As new maps and variations of each class are revealed, it's easy to see how switching out just a few moving parts can really alter the dynamic of any given game. Up until now, each build of Evolve that we were shown has been essentially the same thing -- forest map, four hunters, one goliath. It's been interesting just working within the changing constraints of different cooperative partners and everyone's fresh approach to the game.

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