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War’s new face – Epic explains Gears 3′s cover art

Thursday, 24 February 2011 20:01 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Epic’s art director and Gears of War 3’s exec producer give VG247 the thinking behind the visual ID of the biggest Xbox 360 game of 2011.

Gears of War 3′s cover art, featuring Marcus
kneeling in the foreground, both the
chainsaw and Pendulum War Lancers, Anya
and Dom. The game ships worldwide on
September 20.

Few games will ever enjoy the sheer indulgence of truly making an event of the reveal of its cover art. Only an icon, a franchise great, could withstand accusations of hubris at the idea. Gears of War 3 is one of a tiny handful that could ever manage it.

After confirming a global release date for the game yesterday, Microsoft today unveiled Gears 3′s signature image at a San Francisco press event, stating in all but words that you’re looking at Xbox 360′s core in 2011.

The art features Marcus, kneeling as he was on the cover of the first game, flanked by Dom and the now-playable Anya. This image depicts the Gears end-game, and the wrapping-up of a trilogy that’s as intrinsic to Xbox 360 as it is to action gaming history in its entirety.

Epic art director Chris Perna is behind the picture’s design, and, speaking on the phone, tells VG247 that the concept of grit through despair drove the final composition.

“I think we wanted something that plays to the world a little bit,” Perna says. “It’s further along in the story, and we wanted to try to get some sadness in there, but still have that determination. They’ve been through a lot, especially now that this is the trilogy wrap-up, and we wanted to show the weariness of the characters, to show it on their faces, but not to make them look sad or sorrowful or wimpy. We wanted to keep that resolution.”

Marcus has lost his full armour in the third
game, but retained the trademark circular
breastplates.

Perna’s aware that the image is still very much in keeping with the franchise, but hopes fans will see something fresh.

“I think we’ve brought a more modern look to the game,” he says. “We’ve purposefully reversed the logo text so it’s black on a lighter background to give a more modern, updated feel to the franchise.

“We’ve kept the colour scheme similar with some warm colours, but we’ve added some cool with the sky. And it’s not the same amber as in the previous two. I think if you line them up it still fits in that same family, but it’s different enough to make it feel fresh and new. That’s what we’re hoping for.

“I think the imagery is iconic and it’ll pop off the shelves.”

If tweaking colours and swapping logo shades don’t sound like seismic shifts, that’s because they’re not. When you’re moving onto the visual identity of the third instalment of one of the biggest franchises in entertainment as a whole, reinventing wheels isn’t advisable.

“It has to fit within the brand,” says Gears 3 executive producer Rod Fergusson.

“When you have a brand it has to be brand-recognisable, and people have to be able to see what it is, but at the same time it has to be different enough and interesting.”

Fergusson explains that Marcus’s crouched pose in the cover art is a lesson learned from the Gears 1 key art. Having the COG in a kneeling position allows a detailed character to fill the frame and permits large logo type. Crouching is apparently good if you want to sell videogames.

Girl power

It’s not just colour-nudging and letter changes that mark Gears 3′s cover from the rest of the series. See that person on the right there? That’s Anya, the pen-pusher from Gears 2. She doesn’t look so neat now, does she?

Gears of War 3 contains playable women for the first time. Samantha Byrne, Anya Stroud, and Bernadette Mataki, a character from the Karen Traviss Gears of War novels, will all be controllable in the game, and, as the art shows, Epic has been careful they’re not victims of sexual stereotyping.

“The women in the previous titles have been helpers,” Perna says.

“In the third installment we’ve brought them to the forefront. They’re on the frontlines with men. We don’t want centrefold models out there, so we tried to rough them up a little bit, put them in armour and portray them as tough, independent women.”

Fergusson concurs.

“We were trying to go for equality, because whatever a male soldier can do or have done to them, a female soldier can experience the same: she can chainsaw Locusts in half, and she can get chainsawed in half. It was all about equality and treating them as equals.”

“I think the imagery is iconic and it’ll pop off the shelves.”

Anya’s no pushover, and she’s got the weapon to prove it. The rifle she’s holding in the image is a Pendulum War era Lancer, or the Retro Lancer and Epic tags it, a fixed bayonet precursor to the chainsaw classic so closely associated with Gears of War as a franchise.

The Retro Lancer, as per the game’s back-story, comes from an era when human fought human. The fixed bayonet was abandoned because it was prone to shattering on Locust skin.

“The chainsaw bayonet was developed specifically to get through the Locust’s thick hide,” says Rod. “It represents an evolution away from human-on-human combat.”

The Retro Lancer is a scruffy weapon, patched up and pragmatic, as befits the story.

“We wanted to get a really worn, used, broken feel to it,” says Perna. “Everything they’re doing is pieced together. It’s not coming out of the military machine any more. They’ve got boats that are tied together; they’ve got weapons that are tied together with duct tape. If you look at the detailing of the weapons, everything is self-repaired. They’re basically homeless. They’re a broken band of brothers out there.”

Pride of place in the art’s weapons stakes is, of course, taken up by the chainsaw Lancer.

Fergusson: “It’s something we always focus on as an icon. We always make sure it’s visible in our visual identity. From the Gears 1 cover, to Gears 2 and 3, and even in a lot of our marketing materials, we go out of our way to make sure the Lancer is always there.

“It has a real connection to Gears, and I think it’s true in the new visualisation as well. Even when we were doing the cover with Gears 2 and we were walking sideways, we made sure the M-rating stuff didn’t cover the gun.”

Perna adds that the Lancer’s iconic status was by no means assured during the original Gears of War design phase.

The first game’s box art from 2006. The new
cover takes inspiration from the kneeling
pose.

“We all kind of thought it was goofy,” he says. “We tried different designs. There was a circular saw, a turkey cutter-type thing, and we were like, ‘There’s no way this is going to work.’ Once we landed on the final design, though, it was just ‘there’. We knew that was it and that was how it was staying. We knew it was going to be iconic.”

”Look ma, no face”

Gears of War’s other, irrefutable icon is its protagonist, Marcus Fenix. He’s changed. In the previous two covers, Marcus was wearing full armour. Not any more.

“We’ve tried to imagine what would be under the Gears 1 and 2 armour,” says Chris. “It’s summer. The world is hot, and it’s oppressive. We didn’t want them in stuffy outfits. We wanted a different, iconic look to the characters, but at a glance you still have to recognise them as Gears of War.

“The main part of the Gears of War armour is the circular breastplates; that’s what sets them apart. We had to keep that, but also answer the question of what it looked like underneath. We started with Marcus and gave him a kind of Kevlar vest. Look at the lights; in Gears 1 and 2 they had three stripes, so what does that look like with the housing off? What does that look like underneath, with the raw bulb under there? Under the Kevlar they have leather padding, and stuff like that. That’s where all that’s coming from.”

Marcus has still got his hat. Perna admits, though, that removing it was an option.

“We thought about it, but we wanted to keep that iconography,” he says. “That’s him. At a glance you can tell it’s Marcus, especially when you play the game. It’s his trademark.”

To the left of Fenix in the image is Dom. Dom, as you’ll know if you played through the second game, hasn’t had the best of luck, what with him having to murder his wife in cold blood because she got all the life-juice sucked out of her by the mean old Locust.

“Dom is a broken man,” says Perna, explaining the design direction he took with the character in Gears of War 3.

“He’s had to put his wife down. He found her in a terrible state, and it crushed his soul. He’s not taking care of himself any more, and we wanted to portray that through his design. He’s unshaven, he hasn’t slept and he’s crusty; a piece of him died with Maria.”

Theory of evolution

The art Epic’s showing today is not a standalone product, but an evolution of design over a giant trilogy, the latest in a rich artistic story that began with the first Gears of War in 2006.

The cover of the second game, released in
2008. The all-important Lancer was
carefully placed to avoid the M-rating
symbol.

The original, clearly born from the Unreal stable of character design, set a new benchmark for space action in general, both in terms of look and polish. Gears has become an Xbox 360 icon, thanks both to its art and its exclusivity.

No previous game in the genre had been so artistically chunky. Gears of War’s solidity was no mistake, Perna says.

“We worked very hard to get that heavy feel. We wanted everything grounded. We didn’t want to go crazy, far sci fi; we wanted a Vietnam-esque sci fi. We wanted to feel the weight of the characters, so we worked hard with animation and the way the characters move and run, and we worked hard with character designs in terms of the armour feeling heavy and grounded and reality-based.

“We put a lot of work into designing characters. The feel of the world all wraps up as being heavy and grounded. That’s what we were going for.”

Gears of War’s character design was heavily influenced by Conan artist Frank Frazetta.

“They’re almost barbarians in space, but not that far,” Perna says of Marcus and team, adding that the characters’ stories soften them away from being ridiculous, despite there enormous muscles.

It wasn’t only character design that immediately set the game apart, however. Gears of War was famous for its adherence to the concept of “destroyed beauty,” an idea of ravaged civilisation that permeated the game so completely its special edition included a book solely dedicated to the matter. Fergusson explains that the notion was an vital building block for Gears of War as a franchise.

“It was part of trying to create a science fiction world that wasn’t made of neon and glass; people had lived there,” he says.

“We were going for marble, statues, pillars: history. People lived there for hundreds of years, and it wasn’t shallow. That weight of the world, with its materials of marble and granite, complimented the weight of the characters. From how much smoke comes off a character when he slams into cover, to characters grunting; it all wove into this desire to create a real place, even though they were unreal men.”

Round two

While Gears of War was distinctive, though, it wasn’t free of criticism. Many complained of a blandness in the colour pallete, and the moaning wasn’t lost on Perna. Gears of War 2 contained a substantially altered look, with a wider variety of environments and a largely underground adventure striking at the heart of the Locust.

“We just wanted to separate it a little bit. I was a little disappointed by the dark and the desaturation of Gears 1, and we wanted to bring some more colour into Gears 2. If you look at it, it’s still dark and gritty, but it’s got a little more colour in it, a little more red and orange.”

The Gears of War series

Developed by Epic Games.

Published by Microsoft.

First title released in 2006 for 360, and a year later on PC.

The sequel came in 2008 for 360 only.

Microsoft said in April 2010 that series sales had hit 12 million.

Taking a more detailed look at the Locust in the second game threw up a Gothic design, but Perna says it wasn’t intentional. There was no getting away from the barbarians, though. One of Gears 2’s iconic press shots showed one of its new enemies, the Boomer Mauler, worrying a dust cloud with his flail and shield and wearing little but a horned helmet. The picture came straight from Conanville.

“That Boomer with the shield is classic Frazetta, right? That’s the type of style we like, and it just comes through in the final product,” says Perna.

The Locust for the third game have changed again. Since the end of the Gears 2, everyone’s favourite chainsaw fodder has become less organised, less civilised. The Stranded Locust have been designed in wrappings, and are living in the badlands in squallor, a far cry from the subterranean grandour of Gears 2. Perna likens them to the Sand People in Star Wars.

This time round there’s a second threat. The Lambent Locust have mutated into a third race, and bear more similarity to something designed by Giger than Frazetta. They have exoskeletons and growths. Perna welcomed the break from designing the more structured, humanoid Locust.

“They’re a bit more feral,” he says of the new Lambent. “It was really exciting to get that design down, work on the behaviour. We could go more savage with them. It was really fun to work on those.”

And while the Locust have got more visually varied, so have the game’s environments. In previously released media, Epic’s shown off US diner-style levels, the likes of which have never been included in a Gears title.

“We just wanted to portray different areas,” says Perna. “In this game we’re travelling around a lot more. Gears 1 was set in certain cities, and we wanted an older, European vibe. Some of the cities in Gears 3 will capture a more Spanish influence.

“There’s going to be Spanish influenced stuff, and there’s Mayan stuff, and some of it’s going to be really post apocalyptic, dark and gritty.”

Rod adds: “In Gears 1 you’re exploring Ephyra, the capital city, and around it. In Gears 2 you’re exploring underground and Jacinto; Gears 3 is much more of a road trip.”

The variety in environments even stretches as far as ship levels in Gears 3. The game begins with action on an aircraft carrier called Raven’s Nest, but Perna assures that these sea-based environments will only bring visual alterations.

The reveal trailer.

“We’re not doing a lot of boat-to-boat fighting and we’re not changing the gameplay. It’s still the Gears of War stop-and-pop-type gameplay, with flank bowls and all that kind of stuff. It provides a nice backdrop, but it doesn’t fundamentally change play,” he says.

Gears of War 3 proved today, though, that gameplay isn’t everything. Games can be about an icon, and something as simple – and convoluted – as a picture.

They can also be about plot. And there’s one question that key art could never answer.

“Does Carmine die?” I ask.

The conference line explodes with laughter.

Gears of War 3 releases on September 20 worldwide for Xbox 360.

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29 Comments

  1. 52pickup

    This was the “big” MS conference? I’m confused. Please tell me they didn’t hold a conference for some box art.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Bloodyghost

    Great Article and read!

    #2 4 years ago
  3. earlyrock

    I think Angry Birds on WP7 was their big woot.

    Still, the Gears 3 cover looks great.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. spiderLAW

    This huge ass article for boxart?
    Wow Pat….just wow.

    Im as excited for this game as anyone else but shit, you guys are making it sound like its the biggest event in gaming history.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Bloodyghost

    @4 How about you read the article. Its more then just the BoxArt.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. theevilaires

    They should rename the game to “3rd War of Gears” then I may get excited….(goes back to playing KZ3)

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Awesome. The only 360 exclusive I’m getting this year.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    ^Well, that part’s not awesome, the box art is…

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Fin

    I rarely say this about boxart, but that cover actually does look really good.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. spiderLAW

    @5
    I read the article. No need to tell me to.
    Yes its more than just about the Boxart. Its more about the direction its taking but it all stemmed from the boxart. Article should be titles “Gears3 new Art direction and Boxart reveal” or something like that.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. spiderLAW

    @7 Same here

    I think the boxart is a tad cliche. Plus the 2 previous boxart tell more about the feel of the games story than this one does. The fact that it needs explanation is evidence.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. mathare92

    The cover art forms the basis of the interview which is pretty much a discussion of GoW’s art direction over the years.

    Not really into the series, but that was an interesting read.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    I don’t get it. I thought women were to important, they were only used for breeding since the human civilization is a the brick of extinction.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. onlineatron

    I like, much better than the Gears 2 cover.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Definitley better than Assasin’s Creed’s covers, which all look practically identical.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Maxey

    Blue and Orange color contrast? Check.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. DEADEYES

    The cover of the second game, released in
    2008. The all-important Lancer was
    carefully placed to avoid the M-rating
    symbol. —> but it’s already had “M-rating” on the image!!! =))

    #17 4 years ago
  18. osric90

    I want the trilogy on PC, Halo too.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Helghast95

    The coger looks very well. I think Gears of War 3 is the only game because I have the Xbox 360. Remember, Carmine Must Die…

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Zana

    I can’t believe they are making such a fuss out of a COVER ART. When will they finally admit their game is nothing but a mindless shooter and take responsability for it? It’s not a shame to create this kind of game, it’s quite fun, but stop believing you are making art.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. CAL141

    Like it! Can’t wait!

    #21 4 years ago
  22. tontsa91

    @7

    Pretty much the ONLY 360-exclusive that comes out this year.

    #22 4 years ago
  23. ruckus

    FAIL – They should have been holding ice cream cones.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Alakratt

    well, looks like im buying a 360 today along with gears triple pack. question, is the 360 in the alan wake/forza 3 bundle the same as the stand alone 250gb one? i mean motherboard-wise and processor size? i ask since the ps3 slim got 2 reductions in cpu/gpu size.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. Alakratt

    @ TEA

    Hey man, add me on PSN, id is Alakratt.

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Gadzooks!

    @13

    “the brick of extinction.”

    I know it’s only a typo but I couldn’t help thinking of Hitchikers guide to the galaxy when I read that! xD

    “The Vogon constructor ship hung in the air in exactly the same way that a brick doesnt.”

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Crab of Thunder

    ^:) Love that film.

    Nice boxart i guess, looking forward to this game.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. ARG.Ghost

    How much time toke to render that image and with what equipment xDD

    #28 4 years ago
  29. GearsGeak

    Whut da fack?! Why the hell isn’t Damon (Baird) on the cover?! D:<

    #29 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • Lords of the Fallen developer offers Hideo Kojima a job

    Amid the current turmoil between Hideo Kojima and publisher Konami, one studio has offered the legendary designer a position. Lords of the Fallen developer Deck 13 took to Twitter to extend a job offer to Hideo Kojima. Dear Mr. @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN In case you are currently searching, we have an open position as Head of Game […]

  • Destiny Xur update: should you buy MIDA Multi Tool?

    The question on every Destiny player’s lips today. And the answer, supplied by resident Destiny expert Paul Davies, is… Yes! We asked Paul whether or not he thought Xur’s Exotic weapon this week was worth the 23 Strange Coins. Here’s what he said: “It was already a great gun to own for PVP owing to […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 has an all-male cast to make it “more approachable”

    According to Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata, the main cast of the game is all-male because it makes the game “more approachable.” Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata spoke to Gamespot about the reason for his choice of making the core cast an all-male affair. “Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable […]

  • Hearthstone Blackrock Mountain is coming April 2

    Blizzard has given Hearthstone expansion Blackrock Mountain a solid release date. Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain adventure pack will be released April 2 in the Americas region, and April 3 in Europe, Korea, Taiwan, and China. Blackrock Depths is the first wing to be released, others will follow one week apart. Other than the 31 new cards, […]

  • Bloodborne: if you can’t load your save after installing firmware 2.50, this will help

    If you’re having issues loading your Bloodborne save after applying firmware update 2.50 to your PS4, this should help you out. Reddit user KBALLZZ encountered an issue after installing update 2.50 on his PlayStation 4. Bloodborne started reinstalling the day one patch again and when it was done he couldn’t continue his game or load […]

  • Use this code to get 10% off on PSN purchases

    Sony is offering a 10% discount coupon to anyone looking to buy games on PlayStation Store this weekend. Sony’s latest discount coupon code is here. You’ll receive 10% off your cart total when buying from the PSN Store. The offer is not valid on purchases made on PS Vita, PlayStation TV, PSP, or in-game stores. […]

  • Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin upgrade path announced, system specs revealed

    Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin will offer returning customers a chance to upgrade at a discounted price. Those who already own Dark Souls 2 on Steam and are interested in picking up the Scholar of the First Sin edition will be happy to know that publisher Bandai Namco is offering them an […]

  • Bloodborne: this is what happens when you have 40 Insight

    Insight is one of the currencies in Bloodborne, but it’s also a mechanic that affects the gameplay. There are MASSIVE SPOILERS below, so turn back now or one of Bloodborne’s gameplay mechanics will be SPOILED for you. Just like Blood Echoes in Bloodborne, Insight is used to purchase certain items from vendors in the game. […]

  • Phase two of Xbox One April update brings voice messages, dedicated servers for party chat, more

    The second phase of the April update for Xbox One is now open to members of the Preview programme and and it looks like there are even more features in store. Phase one of Xbox One’s April firmware update started a few days ago with improvements to party chat and achievements notifications. Today, phase two […]

  • GTA 5′s graphical “downgrade” is a bug, will be fixed in upcoming patch

    As of patch 1.8 for GTA 5 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, a few graphical issues have cropped up leading some to believe there has been a stealth downgrade to the game’s overall graphics. Over the past couple of days, Reddit went nuts over a video showing what appears to be a downgrade to […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for March 27, 28 – MIDA Multi-Tool edition

    Xur: Agent of the Nine has arrived at The Tower in Destiny to rid you of your Strange Coins. Xur: Agent of the Nine has once again made it to Destiny’s Tower to sell you Exotic weapons and gear in exchange for Strange Coins and Motes of Light. For this weekend, Xur can be found […]

  • Destiny vault space upgrade will have enough room for every Exotic

    Destiny is finally getting the vault space upgrade players have been begging for almost since launch week. Destiny players can currently use vault space to store 20 pieces of amour, 20 weapons and 20 general item stacks. In the latest Bungle Weekly Update, the developer revealed that as of patch 1.1.2, due before House of […]

  • Half-Life 2: Update mod applies some sparkle to the original title

    Half-Life 2: Update will be available tomorrow, and thanks to the modding community, those who own the vanilla version of the game can apply a visual update to the 2004 title. The comparison video shows you the differences between the original version, and the version with Half-Life 2: Update applied. Here’s what the mod includes: […]

  • Neverwinter MMO can now be pre-downloaded on Xbox One

    You can now pre-download the free-to-play Neverwinter MMO on Xbox One. The game launches on March 31, but you will still need an Xbox Live Gold account to play it. Based on the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, the game can be downloaded from the Xbox Store.

  • Destiny of Spirits will go offline starting next month

    Sony will be ending service for Destiny of Spirits starting next month, Sony has announced. The free-to-play Destiny of Spirits was released in late March 2014 on Vita, and tasked players with collecting supernatural forces appropriate to their geographical location, and then trading them with others online. Gravity Rush spirits were added to the game […]

  • MotoGP 15 is out this spring on PC, last and current-gen consoles

    MotoGP 15 will be released in June on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Milestone has announced. Bike, rider and team customization are part of the latest release in the franchise, along with time-trials and enhanced career options. The game features over 20 bike models divided into three classes: MotoGP, Moto 2 […]

  • Cities: Skylines players should check out Nakatomi Plaza and Wayne Enterprises

    Nakatomi Plaza and Wayne Enterprises can now be yours in Cities: Skylines. Die Hard fans will be familiar with Nakatomi Plaza. Those who have never watched the first film and live in Los Angeles know it by its real-life name, FOX Plaza. It was created by Enos Shenk and is available through Steamworks. Those who […]

  • Call of Duty franchise has sold 175M copies, players have thrown 300B grenades

    With the Call of Duty Championship kicking off tomorrow, Activision has sent over a series infographic full of interesting figures such as the number of copies sold over 10 years and how many grenades players have tossed. According to the stats below, the Call of Duty franchise has sold 175 million copies across all platforms […]

  • Save up to 75% on select SEGA games on Steam this weekend

    SEGA has put many of its games on sale through Steam this weekend and the firm has also announced Eastside Hockey Manager is now available through Early Access. The sale runs through March 30. The entire Total War, Company of Heroes and Dawn of War back catalogs are discounted 75% and all associated DLC is […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight PC confirmed as digital download-only in UK

    Batman: Arkham Knight will indeed be a download-only title on PC in the UK, Warner Bros. has confirmed to VG247. Batman: Arkham Knight will be available as both a physical and digital release for PS4, Xbox One and PC in North America and Europe. Again, in the UK, the PC version will be “available as […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege release date set for October per GameStop Italy – report

    GameStop Italy may have let the release date for Rainbow Six Siege slip if a recent listing is accurate. According to the listing, the game will release on October 16. While this could be a placeholder date, October 16 is a Friday in the UK, the usual day new releases land at retail. The release […]

  • Watch the $1 million Call of Duty Championship right here

    The The Call of Duty Championship takes place this weekend, and you can watch all the action as it unfolds right here. The event takes place in Los Angeles tomorrow March 27 and runs through March 29, and the livestreams are below. 32 teams from five continents and 11 countries will be competing in Call […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: Battlefest kicks off this weekend with Double XP

    A new season of Battlefest kicks off this weekend, and starting today, you will earn Double XP in Battlefield Hardline. Battlefest for Hardline is similar to the event held for Battlefield 4 last year. For the entire month of April and into May, in-game events and competitions will be held by the developers and player […]

  • Don’t forget: the GTA 5 PC pre-order bonus cutoff is March 31

    Just a friendly reminder to those planning on purchasing GTA 5 for PC: you have until March 31 to pre-order if you want all the bonuses on offer. Those who pre-order will be handed $1 million in-game cash plus a bonus $300,000. It is split between GTA 5 and GTA Online: $500,000 for Grand Theft […]

  • Games with Gold offers doubled for April – six games instead of three

    Microsoft’s April Games with Gold collection is being doubled. For the month Xbox Live Gold members will receive six instead of three games free. Here’s what’s on offer: Pool Nation FX: Available all month on Xbox One Child of Light: Available all month on Xbox One Gears of War: Judgment: Available from April 1-15 on […]

  • Pokemon players can grab a code for Shiny Charizard at GAME in April

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire players along with Pokemon X and Y owners can grab a free, rare Shiny Charizard from April 3 at one of GAME’s 320 stores in the UK. The redeemable codes for the character will be made available upon request and no purchase is necessary. Those who pop into one […]

  • F1 2015 will arrive on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in June, includes Mexico circuit

    Codemasters has announced its F1 franchise will make its series debut on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this June with the release of F1 2015. The game was developed using a new engine and contains improved handling and physics for all vehicles and parts attached. This includes: engine, transmission, aerodynamics, fuel tank, force feedback, suspension […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video confirms Liu Kang as playable character

    Liu Kang has been confirmed as a playable character in Mortal Kombat X in the latest video. You’ll also notice Bo’ Rai Cho in there as well. In the Shaolin trailer above you also get a look at Kung Lao and Kung Jin who is new to the series. Apparently, Raiden’s past champions of the […]

  • Short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront shows the Battle of Hoth

    A short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront has been posted by EA on Twitter. Well, that speeder isn't going anywhere. Can someone give us a lift to @SW_Celebration http://t.co/srEVrAA0zl #SWCA https://t.co/4W4LG8myke — EAStarWars (@EAStarWars) March 25, 2015 The teaser shows vehicles which we could be using in the game, but it mainly shows the snowy landscape […]

  • Pillars of Eternity releases today – get all the review scores here

    Pillars of Eternity, which still stands as the second most-funded video game on Kickstarter, finally releases today. It’s also getting some rather positive reviews scores, which we’ve rounded up for you. The isometric, party-based RPG from Obsidian Entertainment was one of the first video game projects to take to Kickstarter, and hit its $1.1 million […]

  • Take an in-depth look at Evolve’s Behemoth monster and four new hunters

    Evolve’s fourth monster, the Behemoth, as well as the four new hunters are shown off in new gameplay video. Evolve’s latest gameplay trailer gives everyone a good look at each of the four new hunters and the massive Behemoth monster. The hunters can be bought either separately or though the hunting pass, while the monster […]

  • PS4 firmware update 2.50 causing issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall

    The suspend/resume feature in PlayStation 4′s 2.50 firmware update is causing some issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall. Killzone: Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla has said that the game is experiencing some issues in some instance where the suspend/resume feature is used. The timing of when players put the game in suspend mode does have an effect, […]

  • Bungie on Destiny matchmaking: “We believe there’s no substitute for a pre-made team”

    Crazy though this may seem, it’s possible that Destiny shipped according to plan. History points to community as a crucial component, far from the contingency that many now suspect. Paul Davies spoke to Bungie for clarity. “The community always engineers the best solutions for bringing players together. While Matchmaking is a great resource for introducing […]

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]