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Hands-on: StarCraft II single-player Campaign

Monday, 17 August 2009 08:08 GMT By Patrick Garratt

gameplayfirst

“Two hikers died here yesterday.”

“No fucking way.”

“F’real. I’m getting more water.”

It’s roasting. A hundred plus in the LA canyons and California’s on heat alert. We’re at Blizzard’s offices in Irvine and anything not black is blasted white. Death aside, however, we’re less concerned with the giddy temperature than the matter in hand: StarCraft II’s single-player.

In truth, none of us have any real idea of what to expect. The game’s Campaign has never been detailed beyond vague Blue Poster mentions. The solo game can’t just be “a story,” right? You expect more from Blizzard. You expect giant leaps, real advancement. We’re dumb in the heat.

The clue stands in the form of an icon.

As is well known, a large orc wolfrider statue dominates the outer space of Blizzard’s offices. Euro journos swap positions for photos against it, the humanoid smartly dressed by the drill blue sky. The last time writers were invited to the complex, fences ringed the statue’s base as the publisher was having a metal compass inserted into the ground around it. On it are forged Blizzard’s general ethics.

The barriers are gone now. Some of the motifs are funny (“Embrace your inner geek”) and some are austere (“Lead responsibly”). One is a giveaway.

The northern point, directly facing the office’s blank, toothy face, is stamped with the words, “Gameplay first”.

Should have known.

Gameplay. We have roughly four hours with a single-player demo I manage to get through a time and a half. No fucking about. Here’s what I see.

There are four options on the splash screen: Campaign, Battle.net, Scenario and Replay. I hit Campaign. There’s a choice of Easy, Normal, Hard and Insane difficulty. I pick “Normal”. I am normal. It seems fitting.

It’s four years after Brood War. Jim Raynor has pursued a vendetta against Arecturus Mengsk and the Dominion. The Zerg have reappeared. Raynor must choose against defeating Mengsk or safeguarding humanity against the Zerg. We find him on Mar Sara.

Note. The presentation, from the first moment, is extraordinary.

Cut-scene. Drinking. A revolver. Raynor’s a Mar Sara marshal. Wild West-style opening. Mengsk on a screen in a bar branding Raynor a threat.

The first mission’s called Liberation Day. It’s simple. Destroy a Dominion shipment center and strike a blow for the revolution. You get the Marine unit as a reward for completion.

“Let’s destroy that outpost and steal ourselves some guns,” says Raynor. And we’re off.

It screams “Blizzard”. It’s so well done. The game’s not even finished and it looks better than practically anything else you’ve ever seen. Marines jet onto a cracked road after a broken bridge. Destroy the outpost. Rugged, solid characters. Country music riffing in heaphones. Rays streaming down from street lights. Detail upon detail. This is the first fucking screen.

mission1start

The UI’s traditional and instantly familiar. Selected units are displayed in a central pane at the bottom of the screen, icon commands in the “command card” pane at the bottom right – Move, Stop, Hold Position, Patrol and Attack are all held here, complete with their one-key shortcuts.

Southern drawl’s embedded in every aspect. “Looking forward to it,” say the Marines as I right-click them down along a road. “Keep your shirt on sparky,” “This better be good,” and even, “Get some.” Yeehaw.

Cranes work. Smoke drifts. Flies buzz.

In-game cut-scenes push things along. Artcurus preaching in holograms. The Marines get busy blowing stuff up, showing off some excellent pyrotechnics.

holo

“Damn raider. We still have to live here,” moans a civilian when I blow up a virtual Arcturus. Marine reinforcements drop in and wipe out some Dominion. The general chatter seems a little cardboard, to be honest.

I have a moment of crisis and fiddle about. You can record video of play at any time. Extensive res options present themselves. “Quality,” framerate and audio are all setable. F11 starts the camera.

Crisis averted, I’m back in play. Something about a “relocation mandate”. “They can’t just take us away from our families, can they?” says some poor sap. He gets extremely shot by the dastardly Dominion.

This turns the tide. The civilians join in the final assault on the Dominion base, throwing petrol bombs with the rebels.

mission1end

The voice acting re-niggles. You’d think they’d be a little more excited. Because they’re kind of not.

I get stats: civilians liberated, holoboards silenced, largest force size, how many Dominion marines killed.

I see Achievements: not letting any civilians die, complete the level, do it in under three minutes on a certain difficulty.

The rebellion’s spreading. The tutorial mission’s over. I go back to Joey’s Bar.

Zerg, Zerg, Zerg

The now famous Tychus Findlay turns up. His armour’s a work of art. He’s got a painted woman on one of the shoulders, 40s style, suspenders and all.

“Nice suit,” says Raynor.

Tychus has been sent down for life. He’s “busted out” of his cryofreezer in transit. He fries a fly with his cigar.

The Dominion are “out here” digging up alien artifacts. Tychus can get “top dollar” for every artifact they “liberate” from the Dominion.

Everyone stops talking. I can click on characters for more story or just get right on going again by hitting a console.

Next mission: The Dig. I’m filled in in on any main story points I might have missed by not clicking on the cut-scene characters. It’s another tutorial mission, basically. We have to snatch an artifact from the Dominion, the Medic unit being dangled as a reward. Mr Medic’s a support trooper, I’m told.

The Dig shows me base-building for the first time. I’m into collecting resources, training SCVs, building units.

basebuilding

It’s standard stuff. I build structures like Supply Depots to increase the maximum amount of allowed units, build SCVs to collect crystals and gas, and so on. There’s no real departure from what’s come previously, as far as I can see.

The Medics turn up when I save a rebel base. When they heal, small crosses appear on the benefited unit then drift away. It’s so chunky and solid. There’s no “floatiness” to the game at all.

“Bad guys are thataway!” says a civilian. I fight them. Those explosions really are awesome. They have a shockwave, smoke, fire – the lot.

Now I have two units, the game’s basic mechanics are more obvious and, thankfully, pleasing. Medics naturally group off away from the Marines after a fight, making it easier to select them separately, although each unit is so distinctively designed distinguishing between them isn’t really a problem anyway.

I win easily. More Achievements: complete the level, complete all objectives, complete without losing a unit, complete on hard in under seven minutes.

The level-end stats are already more involved: units lost, units trained, structures raized, structures built, structures lost, structures total healing on Marines. Blizzard’s obviously going to have fun here.

There’s in instant Play Again option, too, should you feel the need to pep up your performance.

The squirly little bastards

Next one. Things are about to step up a gear.

We need to get the artifact off Mar Sara. Transport on the way. I get a bunker unit for this one.

The Zerg turn up and head towards my defensive position on a raised section of the map. We need to hold out by getting into bunkers and defending a bridge. The Zerg are squirly little bastards, more annoying than dangerous at first. Creep tumours edge forward, and their unit strength increases.

More Marines, more SCVs building and repairing bunkers, men being pushed into bunkers in an effort to stem the swarm. Every unit brings a new element of of both benefit and negativity. The bunkers are perfect for staged defence, but they take damage and burn. Sometimes only repair from multiple SCVs stops them exploding.

Suddenly I’m on a knife-edge. I write the following in my notes:

“Massive Zerg rush at the end. We die with three seconds to spare. They come from nowhere and reduce the base to rubble in seconds. Watching the clock, eyes flicking, hordes of them ripping the screen apart. This is the third fucking mission. It’s awesome.”

I’m not lying. The screen is completely overrun by Zerg. It’s vicious. And thrilling. And I’m extremely glad I’m playing this game.

I complete the level on my second attempt. Matt – a new character to the series – turns up with heavy ships, dropping mad firepower on the Zerg.

The stats change again: creep tumours dropped on base, peak enemies owned, workers trained, average minerals stockpiled.

More story. Go to warp. The Zerg have launched a full-scale attack. The Queen of Blades, Kerrigan, is leading the swarm.

The first three missions are over. A Blizzard staffer told us earlier that these scenarios are designed to ease us in, and they do just that. Even from the brief time we’ve been playing it, it’s blindingly obvious that StarCraft II is polished to an OCD level, and is meticulously balanced in its core mechanics. You can play it as frantically as you like. The music is measured, and once you’re familiar with the controls and the pace it appears to “just work”.

The second time I play the Zerg level I hardly lose a unit, but I ignore the pleas of stranded Marines as side-objectives. Had I rescued them things might not have been so pretty.

“I’m due an upgrade”

thebridge

The ship, the Hyperion, is now my base of operations, and I have access to other planets. Raynor’s default location is the bridge. I bundle off to the the Armoury for some upgrades.

upgrades

There are plenty of unit bonuses available from the off. Fusion welders for SCVs (-25% repair cost for buildings), a fire suppression system, strike turrets for bunkers, stim packs for Marines, nanobot injectors for Medics, and so on. The system’s very simple: you pay for upgrades. You get money from doing levels. And that’s it.

There’s a choice of missions now, selectable through the map section of the ship’s bridge. I choose The Evacuation of Agria. The planet’s been lost to the Zerg, and I need to escort the remaining civilians to the starport. For this I get Firebats, mechs with flamethrowers. They say things like, “Let’s burn,” and, “Yes” in proper robot speak.

At the day’s start, lead designer Dustin Browder told us that each of the game’s single-player missions was made to feel like a mini-game, and the intention starts to shine through from this point on. Each objective is different, as is the route to attaining it.

This time, civilians move at intervals from one side of the map to the other, and, obviously, are attacked along the way. The strength of the attacks increases, as does your force over time. Raynor pops up to drop not so subtle hints to man abandoned bunkers halfway along the route. I do so.

Everything’s balanced. It never feels unfair. The game’s laconic grace is boundlessly evident, despite the “cartoon” style. It feels effortless. Units group intelligently around the civilian convoys. I just right click them along. Nothing gets stuck on geometry or other units. When we’re attacked it’s a few clicks to ward the Zerg off, but it’s never too easy. I write the words “labour of love”. The six years dev time shows.

Then it goes bonkers again. I’m chased across the map by a crazy burrowing Zerg thing with yellow ears. God love you, Blizzard.

I’m given new upgrades as a reward for not allowing too many civilians to get eaten by the Zerg. Firebat bearclaw nozzles (attach area +40%) and Firebat viral plasma (+2 damage, four second duration) are added to my armoury.

The doctor from the last mission’s with me on the bridge now. And I can buy mercenaries from the Hyperion’s cantina. The first ones up are the Kel’Morian mercs and the Devil Dogs, elite Marines and Firebats respectively.

The mercenary element is something we don’t see too much of in the demo, but, again, it’s as simple as going to the cantina and buying units. How this is going to affect the overall running of the Campaign, and whether or not it’ll have a sway on the plot in any way, isn’t shown.

Entering the Void

The mission choice splits into three. I take Tooth and Nail. The Protoss come into play.

I notice that Jim has pack of fags in his shirt sleeve. The level of detail in the game’s every aspect is ridiculous.protosslevel

Again, the objective’s unique. Get an artifact before the Zerg beat the Protoss in another area of the map. And, again, the level’s so obviously well-balanced. Marauders are the main unit for beating the Protoss Walkers with their grenades. The Zerg-Protoss battle rages at the top of the map, while I fight my way through to the artifact at the bottom.

protosslevel2

The final sequence sees my Marines and Medics faced off against huge Protoss Walkers. It’s spectacular. I don’t want any of this to end.

The Raynor-Kerrigan story gets going properly after this mission. He calls her “darling”. They flirt. “Time’s running out. For all of us,” she says.

I’m just being smug about my upgrades – juggernaut plating and concussion grenades for the Marauders – when, to my horror, a screen pops up and thanks me for playing. I quit out and restart. Obviously.

Two times a charm?

I have to be honest. The second time round I’m more critical. Now I’m au fait with the controls I’m getting constant “additional supply depots required” messages in the base sections. Not enough minerals, I’m told. It feels a little old. But then these training missions are supposed to be left behind by the advancing player, not instantly replayed. Maybe I’m just pissed I can’t go through the full Campaign.

I find new base-building add-ons, ones that train Medics and Marausrers, such as the Tech Lab. Another lets barracks build two units at once.

And yes, I get to play the now-fabled lava level. A timer indicates when the lava will flood low ground. The objective is to collect 8,000 mineral points whiles protecting the SCVs from both the heat and Zerg attack. Ironically, this is the mission that feels most like work, despite the fact it’s visually beautiful. I don’t complete it.

lavalevel

lavalevel2

Gameplay first

There are around 30 missions in the game, we’re told, which has a “critical path” of roughly 19-20. I played through about five missions in four hours – and I’m not the most accomplished RTS player in the world – so that gives you a rough indication of how long it’s going to last.

StarCraft II really is all about the gameplay. I was never frustrated for the wrong reason. So much about what I saw was instantly accessible and pleasing that the chances of this being a “dud” are non-existent in my eyes. Just instant, pleasurable gameplay. The cutscenes are the “right” length to deliver the story, but only those interested will go after more plot. Everyone else will just play.

I saw a technical and presentational polish in Wings of Liberty I have never seen in any other RTS. What I saw, in the main, was amazing. Maybe the core game is merely a refined version of what’s come before, but everything surrounding it – from the slavish determination to make every mission different and recognisable, to those floaty crosses when a Medic heals – really is raising the bar a considerable margin. Giant leaps. Real advancement.

Gameplay first. Not a lie.

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2 Comments

  1. Johnny Cullen

    I want this game.

    Now.

    And I dont have a great PC to run it on nor am I a PC gamer. :(

    #1 6 years ago
  2. endgame

    u don’t even know the specs yet. but that doesn’t matter, i can tell u that blizzard titles work on pretty much any system out there.

    #2 6 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    DICE boss Patrick Bach has promised Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t just a “big-budget Battlefield mod,” as the game carries the Battlefront title for a reason. Speaking with Eurogamer during Day 2 of the Star Wars Celebration yesterday, Bach said the team stayed true to the “core ethos” of the Battlefront series by adhering to what […]

  • New Steam policy restricts accounts to protect users from phishing scams and spam

    Valve has implemented a new policy on Steam which limits user accounts which have spent less than $5 through the store. The new policy is to protect users from phishing scams and spam. If the users hasn’t spent anything on the store, they at least have to have $5 sitting in their Steam Wallet. This […]

  • Latest Flash Sale on the US PlayStation Store discounts action games and movies

    Sony is hosting another Flash Sale on the North American store with plenty of action games, and some films, to help get your weekend started. The list is super long, so here’s a few highlights: Army of TWO The Devil’s Cartel Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Bayonetta Beyond Good & Evil HD Castlevania: Harmony of Despair […]

  • A new expansion for Postal 2 called Paradise Lost was released today

    It appears Postal 2 has a new add-on available. No, it’s not for the 2003 version, but the Complete Edition which was greenlit on Steam 10 years later. Called Paradise Lost, the add-on stars the Dude and contains a new single-player story campaign and new areas featuring free-roam gameplay. The original voice actor for the […]

  • GTA 5 patch 1.01 is now available for PC, fixes launcher and framerate issues

    Rockstar has released patch 1.01 for the PC version of GTA 5 and along with a fix to the character’s facial features changing when transferring to PC, the launcher will no longer drain your CPU and crash. Here are the full patch notes: Fixed an issue where the GTAV Launcher would use an abnormally high […]

  • Ultra Street Fighter 4 will arrive on the PS Store for PS4 in May

    Ultra Street Fighter 4 will be released on PlayStation 4 in May, Capcom has announced. All characters, levels and previous DLC will be included in the PS4 version, including a fix to input lag found in the PS3 version’s controls. The fighting game will be released digitally on the PS Store May 26 for $24.99 […]

  • Upcoming Dark Souls 2 patch to fix weapon degradation glitch

    Weapon degradation wan’t an intentional feature in Dark Souls 2, and now that it has carried over into Scholar of the First Sin, the glitch will be patched out in an upcoming update. The glitch also affected the framerate of Dark Souls 2 on PC, and on all platforms with Scholar of the First Sin. […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront is now available for pre-order on Origin, Amazon, others

    Star Wars: Battlefront is now available for pre-order through EA’s Origin service as well as Amazon and GameStop. Star Wars: Battlefront pre-orders, as previously reported, will include early access to the free Battle of Jakku DLC. The planet is included in the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and finds the New Republic coming […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront – watch the lovely reveal trailer here

    The first trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront was released today after much anticipation. Watch the lovely game reveal below, all captured on PlayStation 4. The trailer was revealed during an EA panel today at the Star Wars Celebration, and featured Lucasfilm concept artist Doug Chiang, the game’s senior producer Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir, and other members of […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront has 40-player battles, play as Darth Vader and Boba Fett

    Star Wars: Battlefront will take place during the original film trilogy’s timeline, according to a report from the Associated Press. It appears the information was posted ahead of time, (via Kotaku) as the report is written in past tense. According to the report, players will take part in “frenzied shoot-outs between up to 40 players” […]

  • Microsoft confirms departure of Xbox Europe VP Phil Harrison

    Microsoft has confirmed the departure of Phil Harrison, its corporate VP of Xbox in Europe. According to a statement, Harrison left to pursue interests outside of the company, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told GI.biz. “Following a successful tenure as Corporate Vice President in Xbox in Europe, Phil Harrison has chosen to pursue business interests outside […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Rent-a-Server option coming to both last and current-gen consoles

    Battlefield Hardline players will be able to take part in the Rent-a-Server program, similar to the one in Battlefield 4, when the first patch for the shooter is released. Rental servers will come to both last and current-gen consoles, and CPU issues will be addressed in the patch as well, which PC players will be […]

  • Chip’s Challenge and unreleased sequel Chip’s Challenge 2 arrive on Steam next month

    Chip’s Challenge, the 1989 top-down tile-based puzzler created by Chuck Sommerville, is heading to Steam along with the unreleased sequel Chip’s Challenge 2. After the release of the first game, Sommerville spent two years developing the sequel, only to find the trademark had been sold. The trademark’s new owners wanted him to fund the publishing, […]

  • Pillars of Eternity patch betas hitting Steam, update 1.05 to drop in May

    Patch 1.04 for Pillars of Eternity dropped yesterday, and according to Obsidian Entertainment, players can expect the next round of fixes to arrive in May. According to a post on the Kickstarter page, patch 1.04 contained quite a bit of fixes, and going forward, the team plans to continue squishing bugs, adding additional polish and […]

  • Goat Simulator comes to Xbox platforms

    Goat Simulator continues its plan to dominate all platforms under the sun by releasing on Xbox consoles. Goat Simulator has been released on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The store page for the Xbox One version is now live, but the 360 one is lagging behind. Don’t know what this game is or what it’s […]

  • Alienation: first co-op footage revealed

    We have our first look at gameplay footage from Housemarque’s Alienation. Housemarque has finally given us a look at their upcoming shooter project, Alienation. The twin-stick shooter will feature co-op and the new video shows it in action. It’s a short one but still manages to demo several environments. The game was shown off at […]

  • ReShade SweetFX supports GTA 5, user-made presets begin popping up

    GTA 5 modders started making presets for ReShade SweetFX as soon as they realised the tool supports it. To the modding community’s delightful surprise, shader-altering tool ReShade SweetFX was discovered to support GTA 5. What this means is that anyone can download the tool, mess around with the post-processing options, and inject them into GTA […]

  • Project Cars goes gold, full track list revealed

    Project Cars has finally gone gold. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has announced that the racer has reached gold master milestone. “We know the wait for the game to be released was worth it, as we’re confident the quality and realism level we have achieved will provide our fans with the game they are all […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes has a stupid subtitle in the West

    The Western release of Dragon Quest Heroes has been given the most absurd subtitle. Square Enix announced a while back that Dragon Quest Heroes will come to North America and Europe this year. Unlike in Japan, it will launch only on PlayStation 4. Earlier today, the Japanese publisher revealed what the game’s logo will look […]

  • Minecraft vulnerability allows users to crash servers remotely [UPDATE]

    A security flaw discovered in Minecraft’s code that could give perpetrators the ability to crash servers remotely has been fixed via a patch by Mojang. Update: Mojang has released an update to Minecraft patch 1.8, listed as version 1.8.4, and it is available now. It fixes reported security issues, in addition to some other minor […]

  • Official Bloodborne merchandise now available, including a limited edition statue

    The PlayStation gear store has added a new section dedicated to Bloodborne merchandise. The first set of items is as good as you’d expect. If you’re a fan of Bloodborne and want to make sure everyone around you knows it, you’ll be happy to know that Sony has added a few pieces of Bloodborne-branded gear […]

  • Destiny Xur update: should you buy The Last Word?

    Xur is selling one of Destiny’s top hand cannons today: The Last Word. Is it worth grinding the coins for? The answer is a resounding YES. The Last Word is one of Destiny’s best Exotics, and one of the best Hand Cannons in the game. Our Destiny expert Alex notes that it’s one of the […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for April 17, 18 – The Last Word edition

    What did our good buddy Xur bring for us this week? Xur: Agent of the Nine, Destiny’s weekend vendor is back with more Exotic offers. Xur is your guy if you’re after Exotic weapons or armour, provided you have the Strange Coins for them. Head over to the lounge in the Tower Hangar, you’ll find […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt discounted for Gold members, pre-load now live

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt files are now live on the Xbox Store. Xbox One owners with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt pre-orders can start downloading the full game to be ready for launch. The file size was confirmed earlier to be just over 25GB. Those who have yet to pre-order can do so at […]

  • GTA 5 files accessed by modders, reveal horses, zombies, more

    Modders have managed to pry GTA 5′s file lock open and expose many of its interesting innards. GTA community modders have gained access to several of GTA 5′s archives on PC. These files were previously believed to be inaccessible. Popular modding tool OpenIV, which was used in editing files in GTA 4 (hence the name), […]

  • Bethesda’s E3 invite features Dishonored, Doom, Wolfenstein… but no Fallout

    Bethesda is going first at E3 this year with a showcase of games on Sunday night. What clues can we see in the press invite? Skyrim publisher Bethesda has sent out confirmation of its E3 showcase, taking place Sunday June 14. The invite includes a number of Bethesda game characters including Wolfenstein’s BJ Blazcowicz, a […]

  • Here’s Crytek’s VR demo, because dinosaurs

    Dinosaurs! This is precisely what virtual reality is for. VR demos are all over the place and CryEngine developer Crytek has produced one of its own, showing off how the engine is flexible enough t- Look, let me level with you: I don’t care. I only care about dinosaurs. Hush now and watch the dinosaurs. […]

  • StreetPass update adds birthday collecting, VIP Miis and more

    StreetPass collecters should take advantage of an optional update. It’s International StreetPass Week, so now’s the time to break out the 3DS and go hunting. Don’t leave your home network without first checking out a new optional update, though. Kotaku reports the update prompt is available from the leftmost icon in your StreetPass Mii Plaza. […]

  • Massive Uplay sale offers cheap games in time for the weekend

    PC gamers can grab a sweet saving or two in Uplay’s Spring Sale. Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Alien: Isolation are all on sale as part of Uplay’s Spring Sale, among many other titles. The sale offers discounts of up to 85% off digital […]

  • Fix for GTA 5 PC Windows install bug releasing today

    Rockstar is set to release a patch today that will fix a bug preventing players from installing the game. The bug is tied to Windows usernames that use certain characters not supported by Rockstar. There’s already a workaround available on the Rockstar Support site, but those waiting for an official update will be able to […]

  • Prey 2 dev’s new mobile horror Lost Within out now on iOS and Fire

    Remember Lost Within, that mobile survival horror erstwhile Prey 2 developer Human Head Studios was making with Amazon Game Studios? It’s now available on iOS and for Amazon’s Fire devices, through the appropriate App Stores. There’s a little bit of extra info on it on the AGS blog, if you’re keen; unfortunately the blog doesn’t […]

  • Let’s take a look at Blood Bowl 2′s Chaos faction

    Blood Bowl 2: The Chaos Theory is only the latest in a much loved series of games based on a game based on two other games. Blood Bowl is a popular Games Workshop tabletop game which blends the fantasy universe of Warhammer with a fantasy sport drawing inspiration from American football and related games. It’s […]

  • “Second-person” shooter Screencheat coming to PS4 and Xbox One

    Goldeneye players should be familiar with the concept of screencheating, which is what this new indie is all about. Screencheat has been on our radars for a while but has now been confirmed for PS4, sparking a new wave of interest with a trailer and PS Blog post. However, it was one of a number […]

  • World of Warcraft Timewalking will make old dungeons fun again

    World of Warcraft will soon introduce a feature called Timewalking, designed to make you feel young again. When WoW players participate in a Timewalking event, they’ll be transported to a randomly selected classic dungeon. Upon entering, their level and gear will be scaled way, way down to the Dungeon’s Heroic level – so they won’t […]

  • Bloodborne and Dark Souls messaging – in real life

    Soapstone is a cool little app that mimics the messaging system found in Bloodborne, Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. Bloodborne and Dark Souls fans will surely agree that the asynchronous multiplayer side of things, with players leaving anonymous tips, encouragement and jokes for each other, is one of the cooler aspects of the From Software […]

  • Mass Effect fans, get a load of this My Talking Elcor plushie

    I have been waiting to write about this all day because oh my god. Mass Effect attracted a devoted fanbase and Bioware has found tons of clever ways to satisfy that fanbase’s desire for clothes, collectibles, books, comics and toys related to the future world of Commander Shepard and company. The company has been so […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection headed to retail

    Homeworld fans can purchase a neat little package of gloriously remastered nostalgia soon. The Homeworld Remastered Collection has been available online since the end of February, but is now on its way to retail thanks to a deal between new rights holder Gearbox and Ubisoft. The PC exclusive will launch in physical form from May […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt download size lower than predicted

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a hefty install footprint, but it’s not as bad as we expected. The Witcher 3 was expected to be a 50GB download after a note to this effect was added to the PlayStation Store. It looks like that might have been a placeholder figure, as DualShockers noted today that […]

  • Bloodborne, beaten with a Guitar Hero controller

    Come on now, you didn’t expect anything less from the Souls community, did you? Bloodborne has been vanquished with a Guitar Hero controller, just a few weeks after its release. Kotaku reports Bearzly took nine hours to finish the game, which is probably less than many players using a Dual Shock. You can watch a […]

  • Vendors? New social space? Your House of Wolves questions will be answered

    Destiny players learned more about House of Wolves in this week’s Bungie update than you might realise at first glance. Resident Destiny expert Arekkz cast his eagle eye over this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, which announced next week’s Reef tour livestream. I personally am most excited to learn about gear upgrade paths, but Arekkz points […]

  • GTA 5 playable with Virtuix Omni VR treadmill

    You’ve seen GTA 5 with Oculus Rift, Now see GTA 5 with the Virtuix Omni. GTA 5 PC has unlocked a number of exciting possibilities. Modders and hackers are still working on making the game’s files accessible to third-party creation tools, but several cool things have been produced even with this barrier still in place. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: play as Rain and other locked characters on PC

    Mortal Kombat X players comfortable with tinkering with the game’s files can unlock unplayable characters. Mortal Kombat X includes a number of familiar fighters available only as opponents, not playable characters. if you’re super keen to try out Rain, Baraka and co, you can – with a bit of fiddling. Redditor XVermillion figured out that […]

  • Madden 16 release date set for August, of course

    Madden NFL 16 has a deeply unsurprising release date. Madden’s release date always falls at the end of US summer, and Madden 16 is no exception. EA Sports has announced that the NFL sim will release on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on August 26. We have absolutely no further information at […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront won’t have Battlelog support

    Star Wars Battlefront is not just Battlefield in a Hallowe’en costume, so don’t expect the same suite of features. Star Wars Battlefront is the subject of intense anticipation and curiosity, so it’s not surprising a bunch of rumours have turned up. One of these rumours suggests that Battlefront will have its own version of Battlelog, […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beats Bloodborne to top March NPD chart

    PS4 had a good month but it was EA’s multi-platform Battlefield Hardline that was the best-selling game. March 2015 NPD at a glance Total spend down 6% YoY. Hardware and software both down. Console hardware blamed for significant hardware dip. Accessories up. Battlefield Hardline tops software chart. PS4 outsells other consoles. Wii U, 3DS and […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves gear upgrade paths will be revealed next week

    Destiny developer Bungie will reveal new equipment upgrade paths during a livestream next week. Destiny: House of Wolves will release on May 19, the developer announced last week, promising a full schedule of reveals over the next few weeks. It also gave a broad outline of some of the things it will be discussing in […]

  • Don’t forget: the Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow

    Just a quick heads up to remind you that The Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow, April 17 at 10am EDT. The free weekend is an incentive to bring back beta players which tried the game, but decided not to pursue a purchase. You can play the MMO until 10am EDT on […]