Sections

Exclusive – Obsidian on Alpha Protocol, RPGs, staying indie and much, much more

Wednesday, 28 October 2009 10:19 GMT By Patrick Garratt

alphaprotocol

Despite the fact Obsidian spy RPG Alpha Protocol’s been pushed back into next year, the game remains one of the most anticipated in the market. Many of you were born to be Bond, clearly.

Good news for you all today, then. We’ve been lucky enough to get a huge chat with senior producer Ryan Rucinski, PR producer Matthew Rorie and lead designer Chris Avellone on the game, the state of play in RPGs in general and so much more your brain’ll ache.

Hit the link. There really is a ton of stuff in there, so don’t miss it.

Interview by Nathan Grayson.

VG247: What inspired Alpha Protocol? I mean, Bond and Bourne are obvious influences, but what else? What did you read, watch, and play while working on the game?

Ryan Rucinski: The inspiration came from a couple of the owners; Chris Jones and Feargus Urquhart. Over lunch they had a discussion as to why there were no spy/espionage RPG games in a modern day setting. At that time there were games that dealt with the genre but never as an RPG, and they were always set in the future so the “toys” they got to play with were pretty fantastic.

After the initial pitch everyone got into the idea and started our research. Movies and television that we took a lot away with were Syriana, 24, The Kingdom, Kill Bill, and quite a few novels and comics.

Chris Avellone: We did a lot of research covering the different espionage archetypes like Bond and Bourne. As Ryan said, we also immersed ourselves in several seasons of 24, as we wanted the missions and even the conversations to have an urgency about them to keep the pressure on. A lot of the Kill Bill influences came out of the concepting of the characters; each of them had enough of a visual and emotional signature without becoming so implausible as to be unrealistic. Having those signature-traits influence the plot and relationship mechanics was a lot of fun as well.

Alpha Protocol forgoes the nerdy mainstays of sci-fi and fantasy for spies and guns. Is Alpha Protocol meant to be a more mainstream-friendly RPG?

Ryan Rucinski: I wouldn’t say it is more mainstream-friendly, but it is definitely something a bit different. We are catering to the players that don’t mind action blended with a lot of the plot and character reactivity based on their actions. Depending on in-mission events (killing innocents, etc.) and what the player says and does, elements really do steer the story.

For example, I spent some of my money on intel to find out what kind of actions one of our characters had a predisposition to. I played up those elements to get on their good side, but as I went through the story I discovered that the character I was dealing with was a bit shady and not forthcoming with some of their true intentions.

I then put them in a position where they would, at their own risk, be helping me on a mission. When they got captured I had the option to forego my primary objective and rescue them or they could end up “perished.” You might say that after the mission they (literally) didn’t have the guts to betray me again.

I am not sure if that is mainstream, but it sure felt new and refreshing!

Chris Avellone: Ryan is a psychotic murderer masquerading as a producer and there were no witnesses to the events above: and that’s one of the play-styles you can take in Alpha Protocol and have fun with it. We’ve made the game’s mechanics accessible, but left a lot of the choices on how events unfold up to the player and their preferences.

I don’t know if that’s necessarily “mainstream,” but it was a hell of a lot of work on our end to make sure the game catered to different action styles and different attitude styles (professional “paladins,” pragmatic gung-ho soldiers, smooth talking operatives who just like getting in close to hear all the subjects have to say before silencing them with a takedown jab to the neck).

Will Alpha Protocol see any post-release DLC? And if so, will it be free or available for a small fee?

Matthew Rorie: I don’t think we can really speak as to DLC at this point. Who knows what the future will bring, though?

Is Alpha Protocol a standalone story? Or are you taking a Mass Effect trilogy-like route and developing the game with sequels in mind?

Matthew Rorie: It’s definitely a stand-alone story with a concrete beginning, middle, and end(ings). If the opportunity for a sequel arises, there are definitely places we could go with the story, but for the moment we’re just hoping people enjoy Alpha Protocol in and of itself.

Chris Avellone: The game has an ending; several of them. The possibilities from there on out can be up to the player, but we wanted to focus on making the game complete in and of itself. We’ve taken pains to create a rich espionage world, however, so by the end of the game, it’s apparent there’s a lot more to explore in terms of factions, rival agencies, and counter-intelligence operations for additional content.

An alleged internal Sony tester recently said that Alpha Protocol wasn’t “RPG enough.” Ever since I read that, it’s been bugging me. RPG is such a muddled term these days. How does Obsidian define “RPG”? What makes a game an RPG, and not, say, a shooter with RPG elements or something like that?

Ryan Rucinski: “RPG” is a broad term with plenty of sub-elements. Technically, in any game you play as a character, you are playing the role of that character. A great game that was a shooter with RPG elements would be one of our favorites: System Shock 2.

In SS2 you ran through the game with pretty much no movies, a fixed story, and only one way to win. You did get bits of the story as you played through, and you got skills that helped you with some puzzle elements but besides the three archetypes of characters you really didn’t get too in-depth. On a side note, even if I heard that freakin’ monkey sound effect to this day I would probably swear and jump in the chair. Low on ammo and swinging a wrench at a monkey is no way to go through life.

Now, SS2 is very different than a Fallout or Oblivion title where everything is skill- and stat-based. Both are still technically RPGs one is just more about the numbers than the other.

Chris Avellone: An RPG is a game that provides character progression, opportunities for exploration, the ability to confront or fight adversaries and obstacles to achieve rewards, and, most importantly, gives choice in everything from character construction to action and dialogue choices in the game, and the game reacts to those choices in measurable ways. I agree with Ryan’s System Shock 2 analogy. I think if that game had had one chance to choose sides or make a choice outside of the level progression, then it would have the spine of an RPG, no question.

The percentage that a player is engaged in each of the RPG elements also factors into the definition as well – Alpha Protocol is a pretty strong blend of action, character building, character interaction and reactivity (as well as providing options and optional content you never need to do). We have several major characters that you can kill, change the allegiance of, or never encounter at all, and all of these opportunities have major effects in the game. We think that’s core to the RPG experience; we want people to discuss “their” path and see how much it compares to someone else’s. (Our reactivity summaries in our debriefing screens showcase this pretty well.)

As a side note, we had a debug option that showcased all the reactivity for each level, and when a reviewer took a look at it, it was one of the aspects he enthusiastically brought up – he found that seeing all the reaction results for a level was pretty fascinating. He was able to see how all the mission choices and dialogue choices could have played out and the effects it would have on people’s reactions, intel, and future mission structure.

We’ve been tempted to provide the debug command to expose all the reactivity for the official reviews, but we’ll see. We may just want to let people discover them on their own.

In that vein, plenty of games integrate elements of RPGs these days. Rock Band has character customization. Shooters like Call of Duty have upgradeable weapons. Do you think the RPG will eventually fuse with other genres wholesale and sort of just fade out of existence?

Ryan Rucinski: Nope, never. RPGs have changed over the decades but they have never faded away; they just changed to better suit the players.

RPGs used to be isometric only and turn-based. Then they moved to 3D dungeon-crawling with turn-based combat. Then a mix of real time combat in an isometric view, etc. RPGs continually adapt to the audience.

Chris Avellone: I agree with Ryan, I think there’ll always be a market for single-player RPGs. Even MMOs still recognize that a lot of players enjoy a single-player experience. I think there’s a lot of cool elements other game genres can draw from RPGs (just as RPGs can draw from the same genres, like we did with Alpha Protocol), and I think a lot of it is because a good chunk of fun about an RPG is personalizing your character, upgrading them and seeing them grow, and seeing what reactivity you get out of poking the environment. Players enjoy those mechanics, regardless of the actions they’re taking in the game, whether platformer, racing game, or sports game.

Good vs. evil morality systems are showing up in everything from Infamous to Army of Two these days. Alpha Protocol, however, jettisoned that in favor of the player’s actions shaping other characters’ opinions of the main character. Is this the beginning of the end for the black-and-white, light side vs. dark side meter?

Ryan Rucinski: I don’t think so. Some stories are specifically aimed at the extremes. That is up to the writers and designers of the game.

I can honestly say that Light/Dark is a hell of a lot easier to thoroughly write and test for. We have so many gray area actions going on that it is entirely possible to play through Alpha Protocol many times and find something new happen because of a decision you made very early in the game.

It’s awesome when you pull it off but I am certain that there were days that Chris Avellone wanted to actually get some sleep.

Chris Avellone: I doubt that black and white morality systems are going to end any time soon, and I’d say that for certain genres, having a strict black/white morality scale supports the genre and the game (Star Wars, for example). In Alpha Protocol, however, rather than you being marked as good or evil (which is a weak classification for the spy genre, in my opnion), individual people’s perceptions of you change.

We do allow the player to offer motivations and commentary on their own actions in the game (which may not mesh at all with their motivations at the end-game, with great results), but NPCs react to the player based on the NPC’s own morality judgments, not the player’s – or ours as game designers.

Alpha Protocol was recently said to have “tasteful, yet satisfying” sex scenes. There’s also an Achievement for doing the deed with every potential romantic interest in the game. Sex in most games, then, tends to represent a simple, concrete reward for completing a long, romantically oriented quest line. When do you think games will move beyond this simple reward-centric use of sex? When and how do you think sex will be used to elicit deeper emotions in games?

Chris Avellone: I don’t see sex in games as an achievement to be earned, but as an experience, and I think Alpha Protocol delivers it as an experience first. There’s a lot of emotional depth in Alpha Protocol from bonding over mutual respect, friendship, questioning traditional loyalty (at points, quite extreme), and even what I would call “no-mances,” which are devoid of romantic feeling entirely but provide a nice character arc for the player and the target, regardless. All of these aspects also change the flow of the game, the story, character’s attitudes, and can cause changes in your companions, missions, objectives, and even expose more of the backstory of you and your love interest. I think the focus on sex solely as sex (or more specifically, the taboo it has) is pretty ridiculous.

Studios like Obsidian and Treyarch have a very interesting business model in that you are often at the head of sequels to already established franchises. (You took over Neverwinter Nights, KOTOR, and Fallout. Treyarch develops every other Call of Duty.) What are the pros and cons of this business model? What’s it like to sort of inherit big-name franchises? How do fans react to this kind of thing?

Ryan Rucinski: It definitely helps extend the life of some of the franchise titles. Just think that if Treyarch were too busy to be able to do the next CoD then the players out there might have to wait 2-3 years to play the next iteration. That is quite a long wait.

I know there is the potential that if I couldn’t play a Fallout for that many years my interest might have waned and I could have moved on to the next big thing.

Depending on the developer and the franchise there are some real mixed results with the fans because of their past experiences. Some developers are a natural fit to help keep those titles and expansion moving and while there might be a bit of angst it is understood that if they want to experience more of their favorite game that this is who is going to do it for them.

If Obsidian were a developer that was known for making dating sims, I am pretty sure that the fans of the Fallout franchise would find out where we worked and drive a burning manure truck into the building.

Needless to say, there is some pressure to make sure you do it right.

Chris Avellone: Usually dealing with established franchises and leveraging the technology gives us a lot more time to focus on the content of a title (which can be castrated by actual development time) – it’s something that you see happen when expansion packs for games comes out, and happened with Neverwinter Nights’ Mask of the Betrayer and Storm of Zehir. When you don’t have to worry about the stability of the technology (or at least knowing its limitations), when you’ve got the content pipelines figured out for how to make levels, characters, conversations, etc. you can focus solely on the player’s experience and fleshing that out.

Obsidian is an independent developer that focuses on triple-A games, mostly in a single genre. Lately, independent developers have been purchased by publishers right and left, with id Software being the most recent example. What are the advantages to staying independent, and would Obsidian ever consider being bought by a major publisher?

Ryan Rucinski: Staying independent does give us the liberty to work on more than just a single franchise or two. Publishers have lots of great licenses in their hands and are looking for the right developer for their product. If we were owned by a publisher, we would very likely be stuck on licenses they own.

However, being owned by a publisher also supplies a lot of security because we wouldn’t have to actively seek a publisher to see if they have any work that needs to be done.

I’m sure that if the price and the publisher were a good match something could be worked out but I don’t deal with that part of the business.

Obsidian’s always mentioned alongside BioWare, which makes sense, because you both specialize in a similar style of RPG and you’ve taken up the reins on a couple of their licenses. Which is great, I’m sure. After all, BioWare rocks. In the deepest recesses of your heart, though, does that ever irk you? Do you ever wish that people would say, “Oh, that’s a BioWare/Obsidian style RPG,” instead of just giving BioWare credit for everything?

Ryan Rucinski: Personally, I think it is a compliment if a person thought that an Obsidian game was made by BioWare. They are awesome at what they do, and we all know it.

Chris Avellone: I agree with Ryan. Doesn’t bother me: we owe a lot to BioWare, and we see a lot of influences based on leveraging their technology. Using their tech does bleed into the design of games in general and that happened when we were at Black Isle all the way to Neverwinter Nights 2 and the expansions at Obsidian. There’ll be less of that in the future as we develop Onyx (Obsidian’s proprietary engine) and gameplay systems in the Onyx engine, though.

Obsidian has a rich history of story-based games. What do you think of games like Heavy Rain, which eschew traditional gameplay systems (shooting, platforming, role-playing, etc) altogether in favor of pure narrative-driven experiences?

Chris Avellone: I can’t wait to play Heavy Rain, and the dialogue system and presentation alone make me want to snag it and play it when it comes out.

Last but not least, Obsidian has one “unannounced game” on its plate. Can you give us any hints at what it might be? Is it an original IP? Or is it something brand new? Is it even an RPG?

Ryan Rucinski: To answer one of those questions I can firmly say “Maybe.”

Sorry, you know how it is. Until we get the go ahead from the Publisher we are legally bound to not say anything.

Latest

  • Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is a pause for tactics isometric RPG coming in 2016

    Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is a 2.5D isometric RPG, built in the vein of Baldur’s Gate and Dragon Age in the works at Withing Hour Studios. The game allows the player to pause combat to plan party tactics. “Set in the Venetian-inspired fantasy city of Ombre where rare masks are the key to casting magic, […]

  • Underworld Ascendant surpasses Kickstarter goal

    Underworld Ascendant which was launched on Kickstarter earlier this month, has met its  $600,000 funding goal. With six days left 10,786 backers pledged $610,541 In light of being funded, the team has also switched up the stretch goals as bit, as you can see in the image below. The studio, OtherSide Entertainment, is fronted by Paul Neurath, […]

  • Latest Evolve patch fixes progress and save game data loss on Xbox One

    A patch for Evolve has been released on Xbox One which fixes lost progress and save game data users had reported. The patch also fixes an issue with shadows and flashlight, makes incremental improvements to matchmaking, invites, and rejoining, and there were progressions balance changes. “The issue with lost progress and saved games was mostly […]

  • Online servers for Ridge Racer Unbounded shut down in Europe

    Online functionality for Ridge Racer Unbounded is no longer available, Namco Bandai Europe has announced. Solo mode and the track editor are still playable, minus the sharing options. Ridge Racer Unbounded was released on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March 2013. Thanks, MCV.

  • OlliOlli will be a cross-buy title on 3DS and Wii U

    Curve Digital has announced OlliOlli will be a cross-buy title when it releases on 3DS and Wii U. The Roll7 title will be the first third-party title to offer the functionality on the systems. OllliOlli will be released on the eShop March 5 The game launches on Nintendo’s eShop on March 5th, followed by Xbox […]

  • Darkbeast electrifies latest Bloodborne video

    The latest Bloodborne video shows off another monster in the game. This one is Darkbeast and he’s full of electricity. The video is the last of IGN’s month-long coverage of the title.

  • Future Assassin’s Creed games will have greater focus on modern timeline

    Ubisoft plans to focus more on modern timelines in future Assassin’s Creed games, the company suggested during its latest community livestream. During the Twitch stream, one of the lead writers for the Assassin’s Creed series, Darby McDevitt, said the modern timeline for Brotherhood’s town of Monteriggioni could inspire future development. “That only came about because […]

  • Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 is coming to Xbox One next month

    Halfbrick has announced Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 for Xbox One will release next month. The mobile title made its way onto Xbox 360 garnering 1 million downloads as of March 2012. It has a new multiplayer mode for up to four players with Battle and Party modes along with a new progression system. An announcement […]

  • New GTA 5 PC screens – shit the bed!

    Rockstar has pumped out 15 new screens for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto 5. Don’t touch them, because they’re electric. And if you touch them, you’ll get shocked. The PC version of GTA 5 has been delayed until April 14, which both sucks and blows. BUT! There’s a new trailer coming between now […]

  • Sony Japan accidentally erases 20th Anniversary PS4 contest entries

    Sony Japan has accidentally erased all information obtained from PlayStation owners who entered to win a 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4. Those who purchased PlayStation 3, PS4, Vita or Vita TV between December 4 – January 15 were handed a calendar with a code which entered them into the contest. Somehow, all data collected from the […]

  • Hearthstone datamine suggests Blackrock Mountain expansion on the way

    Hearthstone’s next update may be based on World of Warcraft’s Molten Core raid, if datamined information posted on Hearthpwn is spot-on. According to files mined from the latest patch, three new cosmetic card backs are on the way, one of which is called Molten Core. The data suggests that pre-ordering the Blackrock Mountain expansion will […]

  • Using Battlefield Hardline single-player gadgets increases your metagame rewards

    Gadgets contained in Battlefield Hardline’s campaign mode have been detailed, and each provides the player with various ways in which to solve crimes. According to design director Scott Warner, one way to “diffuse” a conflict when confronted with criminal activity is to flash your badge and ordering the criminal to freeze. Putting your gun on […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video is all about story mode, new characters

    After promising a new Mortal Kombat X reveal “soon”, NetherRealm Studios has made good on said promise by releasing the story trailer. The video shows parts of the story mode featuring Mileena, which takes place 25 years after the events of 2011′s Mortal Kombat. Outworld has become a larger threat and new fighters joining the […]

  • Destiny’s shotgun and pulse rifle buffs mean it’s time to rethink your load-out

    Destiny’s most-ignored weapons got major boosts this week. It’s time to start thinking about how to work them into your set-up. Even if you’re used to using scout rifles and sniper rifles as a general loud-out (neither class was touched by 1.1.1), the buffs to pulse rifles and shotguns should make you rethink your contextual […]

  • Battlefield Bad Company 2: five years later, what did it do so right?

    It’s been five years since the release of Battlefield Bad Company 2. What did the much-loved entry in the franchise do for the Battlefield series? Westie’s played Battlefield Bad Company 2 for over 1,260 hours on PS3 and PC. That’s dedication. In his latest video he discusses the stand out moments from a FPS classic, […]

  • War is hell in this Zombie Army Trilogy gameplay trailer

    Here’s five minutes of headshots, shambling zombies and an undead Hitler from Rebellion’s upcoming Zombie Army Trilogy. The Sniper Elite spin-off arrives on PS4, PC and Xbox One March 6 and includes three games (obviously) and a new Horde mode.

  • Titan Souls releases on PS4, Vita, PC on April 14

    Ace indie giant-slayer Titan Souls will be released on PS4, Vita and PC on April 14. Publisher Devolver confirmed the date to Eurogamer. Those of us in Europe will have to wait until a day later for release. Titan Souls is a tough-as-nails indie game where you have one life to slay a giant enemy. […]

  • Destiny weekly update: the lowdown on Inferno Crucible and Vault Transfer improvements

    Destiny’s weekly update has made some pretty significant changes – let Arekkz Gaming take you through them. Bungie has revealed the first release date for the new Inferno Crucible mode, and made it a lot easier to access your vault. You should subscribe to Arekkz Gaming. It will improve your life.

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory Feb 27, 28

    It’s Xursday again – what treats does he have for you this week? He’s in the North Tower, to the right of the Stranger’s room. Let’s take a look at the latest weapons and gear from your favourite Destiny trader. No Backup Plans [Titan Gauntlets] – 13SC ATS/8 Arachnid [Hunter Helmet] – 13SC Heart of […]

  • Battlefield Hardline will be stable on PC at launch, Visceral assures

    PC format is “by far the best gaming platform around,” says Hardline producer. “We’re doing what we can to take advantage of people’s different system with the graphics, framerate, controls, etc. We’re not just porting it over.” Battlefield Hardline developer Visceral is reassuring players that there will not be a repeat of the disastrous Battlefield […]

  • Win Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One

    We have 10 download codes for new indie puzzler Pneuma: Breath of Life for Xbox One to give away. The be in with a chance of winning a code, just enter your details below and we’ll pull the winners from the hat on Monday March 2nd, after 2pm GMT. Pneuma: Breath of Life is a […]

  • Life is Strange Episode 2 delayed

    Life is Strange Episode 2 won’t make its expected release date. The first Life is Strange episode released on January 30, and we had expected the second to follow on March 13. Square Enix has since confirmed to Destructoid that the next chapter won’t make its release date. There’s been no word of the new […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: which character will be revealed tomorrow?

    Mortal Kombat X director Ed Boon is teasing a new character reveal. During today’s Mortal Kombat X livestream, NetherRealm said that a new character would be revealed “very soon”. Boon followed up with this teasing tweet suggesting the reveal will occur tomorrow: Very soon? As in tomorrow? :/ — Ed Boon (@noobde) February 26, 2015 […]

  • Halo played by Twitch is an exercise in great patience

    TwitchPlaysHalo is ridiculous. Halo: Combat Evolved is the latest game to be sucked into the “TwitchPlays” phenomenon, and the results are somewhat painful to spectate. If you’re not familiar with the setup, which debuted with TwitchPlaysPokemon, the game accepts commands from the channels’ chat stream. Although it doesn’t have the strategic RPG elements of Pokemon, […]

  • Gold Amiibo sold out, selling at five times RRP on auction sites

    Gold Mario Amiibo are expected to sell for pretty astounding profits on eBay and other auction sites. The Walmart-exclusive Gold Mario Amiibo is already completely sold out. Plenty of people managed to snaffle them to resell, though. There are now dozens of listings on eBay and other auction sites. One of the average asking prices […]

  • Canadian new game prices jump to $75

    Canadian gamers are in for an unpleasant price hike. As spotted by HardcoreGamer, the local Canadian branches of Amazon and EB Games have raised the prices of upcoming games to CAD$75. The CAD$5 increasing comes within a year of prices hitting the CAD$70 point. CAD$75 (£38/€53) currently exchanges for $60, the standard US pricing. The […]

  • New Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows weather, day-night cycle

    The latest Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows off a gloriously beautiful world. Xenoblade Chronicles X is Monolith Soft’s first solo Wii U game, and the developer is clearly enjoying being able to build a big open world with all the features we’ve come to expect. Missed the whole Xenoblade thing? Chronicles X is a sort […]

  • Dead Rising: Watchtower teaser talks up the benefits of Zombrex

    Live-action Dead Rising movie Watchtower is almost upon us. Dead Rising: Watchtower will release on Crackle on March 27, and via other digital distributors thereafter. Enjoy the short teaser below, courtesy of IGN.

  • We Happy Few debut hits you upside the face with a frying pan

    Contrast developer Compulsion Games has revealed its next project – the delightfully creepy-looking We Happy Few. We Happy Few is set in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England” where “a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial”. Players are tasked with blending in with […]

  • Slender: The Arrival creeping onto PS4, Xbox One in March

    Slender: The Arrival sold like hotcakes on PC and last-gen consoles, so why not terrify yourself on PS4 and Xbox One, too? Slender: The Arrival will release on PS4 on March 24 and on Xbox One on March 25, developer Blue Isle Studios has announced, for $10. No word on that Wii U version, though. […]

2 Comments

  1. Hunam

    I so want to meet Chris Avellone. I loves him I do.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. Santa Clause

    Gotta admit, until I read this interview, this game didn’t interest me all that much.

    Now my interest in piqued.

    #2 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • Destiny: Inferno playlists debut next week

    Destiny PvP will shake things up next week with a new way to slaughter your mates in the Crucible. Destiny is already a skilled PvP game, but the new Inferno playlists will turn things up a notch with a focus on “basic gunplay”. The first of these, Inferno Control, kicks off on March 3 and […]

  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

    Battlefield Hardline Premium perks have apparently leaked a bit early, according to a post on Reddit. Over on the Hardline subreddit is an image which was take at a GameStop location, noting two week early access to content additional Battlepacks and more. Here’s the rundown: Four expansions Two weeks early access 12 additional Battlepacks Exclusive […]

  • Final Fantasy: Record Keeper arrives in the US this spring

    Final Fantasy: Record Keeper will be released in the US on iOS and Android this spring, DeNA and Square Enix today. The mobile titles allows players to “relive favorite moments” across all Final Fantasy installments and build a team of classic characters from across the entire franchise. If you sign up for email updates, you […]

  • Battlefield Hardline now available for pre-order, pre-download on Xbox One

    Battlefield Hardline is now available for pre-order and pre-download on Xbox One. You can pre-order it now from the Xbox Store and once you have paid for it, you can start your pre-download. Battlefield Hardline releases on March 17, and will be made available to pre-downloaders come 12.01am EDT. Check pricing and availability for your […]

  • Dying Light interactive video allows you switch between day and night

    A new video for Dying Light has been released, which allows you to hit the Z key to change between day and night. Titles Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone, the interactive story video showcases how the game changes between day and night. Daytime and nighttime are shown side-by-side but the z key allows […]

  • Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare out on PS3, PS4; PC delayed

    The Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is now available for PlayStation 3 and PS4. Havoc contains the four multiplayer maps Core, Drift, Sideshow, and Urban along with the AE4 directed energy assault rifle, its custom variant, and the Exo Zombies cooperative mode. You can purchase the DLC separately or pick up the […]

  • Here’s a teaser for Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2

    A teaser video for the second episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available, so if you’ve yet to play the first episode, you may want to skip this. Resident Evil Revelations 2′s first episode is out now. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Titan Attacks, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Country and more. eShop on 3DS Ironfall Invasion Titan Attacks! Donkey Kong Land – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 2 – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 3 – Virtual Console Luv Me Buddies Wonderland Around the World […]

  • Venture into the Valley of the Yetis next week in Far Cry 4

    The next batch of Far Cry 4 DLC, Valley of the Yetis, releases in March and Ajay Ghale will be tasked with surviving violent cultists and the mythical Yeti. Apparently the cult is looking for a secret hidden in the valley, and Ajay has discovered their motives. The DLC features co-op with a friend taking […]

  • The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack out for Payday 2, has dino masks

    The 19th DLC pack for Payday 2 title The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack is available on Steam from today. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: 11 new weapon modifications for the AK rifles in the game 11 new weapon modifications for the CAR rifles in the game Four new masks together with their […]

  • Battle Chasers slated for PC, consoles; comic picks up where 2001 storyline left off

    Darksiders creator Joe Madureira and Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli have confirmed a Battle Chasers game and a new comic are in the works at their new studio Airship Syndicate. Speaking to Polygon, Madureira and Stefanelli wouldn’t provide details on the the game, but did divulge it will be an adventure RPG with player-controlled Battle Chasers […]

  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video gives you a look at the game’s wildlife

    A new video shown by Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata during the latest Active Time Report, contains a look at the game’s wildlife and ecology. You can watch the full stream two hour stream through here, or a smaller clip courtesy of GamesHQMedia below.

  • Lionhead ventures into the free-to-play space with Fable Legends

    Fable Legends will be free-to-play when it launches on PC and Xbox One. According to Lionhead, the one versus four cross-platform title borrows from MOBA games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends as it will contain free, rotating heroes which will be added to a roster for a two week period. Once the […]

  • Win! 5 pairs of tickets to the Call of Duty European Championships

    We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway for the Call of Duty European Championships, taking place in London this weekend. The event takes place this Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Winners can watch teams will go head to head for a $10,000 prize pot […]

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

    Republique Remastered, which was announced earlier this month, is now available for Mac and PC. The game is 20% off through Steam, GOG and the Humble Store for $19.99 until March 4. Thereafter, it will run you $24.99. The Remastered edition contains all five episodes of the game, with 1-3 available now and the remaining […]

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

    Isometric shooter LA Cops is coming to Xbox One on March 13. Already on Steam Early Access, the game looks like it’s been heavily inspired by Hotline Miami. Walk into a room, open fire, leave bloody puddles in your wake. It’s being published by Team 17. Check out the video below for some 70s cop […]

  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

    Joe Madureira, creator of Darksiders, has released art that strongly suggests a Battle Chasers game is in the works. Battle Chasers was a comic book from the late 1990s that suffered notorious production problems between issues and was never finished. Madureira formed Airship Syndicate after the collapse of THQ, where he co-created Darksiders. His latest […]

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

    The trailer for notorious horror movie Axe has been recreated in GTA 5. The shot for shot remake is the work of gigerbrick who has previously recreated exploitation flicks like Machete and Hostel using Lego. The original Axe movie was banned in 1984 in the UK but passed with cuts in the late 1990s. Movie […]

  • Payday 2 for PS4 and Xbox One includes “a year’s worth of paid DLC” for free

    Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will include a year’s worth of paid DLC from the PC version of the game for free. The new-gen version of the game will be available June 2015, and includes almost all of the paid and free DLC released so far for Overkill’s popular first-person shooter. That DLC includes The Big […]

  • Yes, Mortal Kombat X will require Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

    Mortal Kombat X won’t bypass Microsoft and Sony’s premium online play requirements. Reports that Mortal Kombat X wouldn’t require PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold started circling earlier this week thanks to a communications error. Answering fan questions on Twitter, producer Shaun Himmerick accidentally gave the impression that premium console subs would not be required […]

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

    Destiny patch 1.1.1 has resolved or at least addressed a number of complaints voiced by the community, but there are plenty more. des Destiny community manage David “Deej” Dague has put out a call for Guardians to share their concerns – or rather, what they think the community is most concerned about. “Set aside your […]

  • Google AI can play games now, so we’re probably all going to die

    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]

  • Toejam and Earl are back with a new Kickstarter

    The early 90′s are alive and well in a new bid to bring back Toejam and Earl. Toejam and Earl released for Mega Drive (Genesis, Americans) in 1991, and the eponymous characters went on to count among Sega’s best-known characters. They appeared in a platformer, a light gun shooter and finally a 2002 Xbox game […]

  • New Wander trailer shows off Azertash form

    Wander is a collaborative, non-combat MMO in which you can take on a number of unique forms. Wander players begin as an ambulant tree called an Oren and can progress through several different bodies as they explore the environment, learning its secrets. One of these, which we’d not seen before this trailer, is the amphibious […]

  • SOMA approaching beta phase on PC and PS4

    SOMA, the new horror game from the Amnesia: The Dark Descent crew, is getting close to playable. Frictional Games has apologised for its recent silence over the project, but said it’s focused on reaching beta. Sorry all for the silence! We're closing in on Beta and everyone's working hard to get there. Once that's done, […]

  • Square Enix does not condone Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest HD Remaster

    Square Enix has said it’s not involved with a fan remake of Final Fantasy spin-off Mystic Quest. 1992 SNES game Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest is being remade by Dark Design as Mystic Quest HD Remaster. The developer is even taking pre-orders for the project. Unfortunately, it looks like it is in no position to be […]

  • New Hunger teaser released by LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers

    LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers Tarsier Studios have released a teaser trailer for Hunger, which was announced in May 2014 at the Nordic Game Conference. The game has been rumored to be the firm’s unannounced Sony project since 2010. Platforms are still to be announced, but the studio became a first-party SCE developer a few years back, […]

  • Here’s two Mario Party 10 overview videos, one featuring amiibo

    Overview videos for Mario Party 10 and the amiibo which work with the title have been released by Nintendo Japan. Obviously each one is in Japanese, but you get the gist all the same. Mario Party 10 releases on Wii U March 20 in North America and Europe. Thanks, AGB.

  • Clan Raids announced for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App

    Activision has announced a new Clan Raids mode will be made available through the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App. According to the CoD community blog, raids are time-based challenges where success earns you a spot on the Clan Raids leaderboards and new Clan Raid-exclusive in-game gear like the Equilibrium set. Clan members will […]

  • Play Battlefield Hardline starting March 12 through EA Access

    Xbox One users with an EA Access subscription will be able to play 10 hours worth of Battlefield Hardline starting March 12. EA Access members will are being granted access to the game five days before the street date, with full multiplayer and all saves transferring over into the main game. It was announced yesterday […]

  • This video summarizes the contents of Destiny patch 1.1.1

    With Destiny patch 1.1.1 now available, here’s a video summary of what to expect. In the video above, Arekkz Gaming gives you a rundown of the important bits in the update. Subscribe to Arekkz Gaming for more Destiny tips and trick through the link.

  • Destiny 1.1.1 patch notes out, update is live

    Destiny’s 1.1.1 patch arrives today, so if you have been kicked from activities, it means you will need to download the patch now that it’s live. We will be pushing the 1.1.1 patch for Destiny shortly. Players will be kicked from activities and required to download the patch. — Bungie Help (@BungieHelp) February 25, 2015 […]

  • Payday 2 packs based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number coming

    Starbreeze has announced another collaboration with Dennaton Games which will see masks based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number appear in Payday 2. The collaboration consists of two free updates when you acquire Hotline Miami 2 or its deluxe version on Steam from February 25. The two updates, called Hotline Miami Mask Pack and Jacket […]

  • Velocity 2X making its way onto Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One

    Velocity 2X will be released on Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One Futurlab has announced. The developer is in charge of the port, which will be published by Sierra. According to Futurlab, the deal with Sierra came about when self-publishing proved to be difficult due to spending “more time doing PR and marketing on Velocity […]

  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number finally has a release date

    A release date for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has been announced, finally. The game will arrive on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita March 10. It is now available for pre-order on GOG, Humble and Steam for 10% off for $13.49/£10.99. There’s also a Digital Special Edition available which includes tracks from […]