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Infinity and Beyond: Ken Levine on reinventing BioShock

Tuesday, 12 April 2011 07:14 GMT By Nathan Grayson

BioShock Infinite’s certainly got people talking, but all-too-often the conversation quickly jumps to: “What the hell is it?” We caught up with Ken Levine to find out.

BioShock Infinite

The first Irrational-developed BioShock sequel.

Leaves Rapture behind for Columbia, a city in the sky.

Launching on PS3, PC, and Xbox 360 in 2012.

In a world full of PR-regurgitating execs and phoned-in, dialed-down sequels, Irrational Games’ Ken Levine is quite the anomaly. He could have ridden BioShock’s tidal wave of success right back into Rapture for BioShock 2, but he instead chose to craft an entirely new world from the ground-up – literally.

Rising from Rapture’s dilapidated depths, Levine’s taken to the skies with BioShock Infinite’s Columbia. And it’s not just a simple change of scenery, either. Gone is Rapture’s crushed Objectivist spirit, replaced by sunny early 1900s American idealism.

That, however, raises the question: why even call it “BioShock”? Why not embrace Infinite’s originality and free it of the tremendous expectations that go hand-in-hand with the BioShock name?

“I think the fact that the physical location is different is not the only thing that defines a BioShock game,” Levine tells VG247 during a recent phone conversation. “I think there are plenty of other themes that define it that way.”

He adds: “It’s a BioShock game, in the same way that a Call of Duty game is a Call of Duty game or a Zelda game is a Zelda game. What you’re doing in terms of gameplay – it’s centered around moving through this world that’s incredibly detailed and realistic yet kind of fantastical.

“The fact that you have weapons in one hand and powers in the other hand and it’s all about how you take on challenges with those powers that you have a good degree of control over – those things make it very much a BioShock game.”

This town ain’t big enough for the two of us

On paper, then, Infinite’s ties to the rest of the series are undeniable, but that’s just the start. Dive deeper and you’ll find the game’s very DNA, which paradoxically owes everything to BioShock, and knocks down everything it worked so hard to build up. Nowhere is that more obvious than in Infinite’s encounters, which – in some cases – take the “S” out of FPS altogether.

“I think what’s interesting is that defining what a typical encounter is in BioShock Infinite is going to be very tough,” says Levine.

“When we started the BioShock franchise, one of the biggest challenges we had was when the player encountered the Big Daddy for the first time. The natural reaction of the testers was that they’d whip their gun out and start shooting it, because that’s what you do. When you see somebody in a first-person shooter, you shoot ‘em.

“We had to do a ton of work to train the player not to shoot the Big Daddy immediately. Like if you remember, it was four – maybe five – times before you were in a place where you could actually shoot him. We sort of did all this work to make the player understand that there were other ways to approach the problem.

“So we really tried to expand that thinking in BioShock Infinite to a broad range of AI – that there are AIs in the world that have different [behaviors]. Sometimes they’re not going to fight you at all. Sometimes they’re going to find you in the right conditions.

“The example we gave is that you come into a bar and there are all these guys, and you’re not sure what’s going to set them off. Maybe nothing will set them off unless you take your gun out and start shooting them. There’s a whole range of activities that could set them off.

“It’s sort of like, you know, in your personal life, you come home and sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to say to your significant other that may set them off [laughs]. Or they may say something to you.”

Confused? In most cases, that’d be an unfortunate indicator that Irrational ought to get its head out of the clouds and go back to the old drawing board. For Levine, however, that’s mission accomplished.

“Some people have said to me, ‘How do you know what’s going to make them fight you?’ And I’m like, ‘Well that’s the interesting thing. You don’t.’”

“So some people have said to me, ‘How do you know what’s going to make them fight you?’ And I’m like, ‘Well that’s part of the interesting thing. You don’t.’ You learn things along the way. There are certain tools you’re going to have that are either going to turn enemies into friends or sometimes friends into enemies.

“But that whole messing with the AI space – you know, finding groups that are opposed to each other and being able to exploit those oppositions to your advantage – those are some of the really fun things that we started in BioShock, but we’ve moved it away from the Big Daddy space and into a much broader AI space,” he explains.

Booker and Elizabeth, sitting in a tree

Unlike BioShock, Infinite’s definitely not a one-man show. In fact, based on what Levine tells us, Elizabeth might be even more important than you. And that’s key, because she’ll be responsible for saving your skin on multiple occasions. Here’s the thing, though: it comes at a price.

“There are always moments where she offers opportunities for you, and you can take advantage of those opportunities, or you can just ignore them. In the actual game itself, it’s basically she can offer up stuff almost everywhere. And it’s really about you deciding what are these opportunities you’re going to take, because she doesn’t have an unlimited power set in terms of how much she can do for you. So you have to choose,” he says.

“It’s going to be very, very interesting. I mean, she’s a narrative driving force in the game, certainly. But she’s also something that really expands [your options]. She’s another arrow in your BioShock powers quiver. We’re expanding that quiver substantially for the game itself in terms of the powers you have in your hands, but also Elizabeth adds a whole new spectrum to that,” he adds, using the rainstorm from the first gameplay demo as an example.

“When somebody makes a sacrifice for you, that’s an incredibly bond-forming experience. That’s the root of every powerful relationship.”

Granted, that’s only half the equation. Why should you care about Elizabeth’s currently non-specific plight if she’s just a gun with soulless eyes and a doll-like face? Sadly, the gaming industry’s not exactly known for its stable of subtle, convincing characters, but Levine’s not the type to call it quits just because everyone else has already thrown down the Rubick’s Cube in frustration.

“When we started with this companion character, we said, ‘Well, it’s easy to have Booker form an attachment with Elizabeth.’ That’s easy, right? I just write that. Booker says, ‘You’re awesome,’ and Elizabeth goes ‘You’re awesome too!’ That’s the easy part.

“The hard part is how you make the player form an attachment. And what we did – we’re going to be showing a lot more of the dynamics of their relationship in the next demo – is we said, ‘OK, what makes people form attachments in life?’ Especially very quickly, right? Because these people just met each other,” Levine says.

“If you go back to those relationships you’ve had in your life where you just meet somebody and the attachment grows quickly, there are several things to be thought about. One is that generally people thrown into a crucible together – into a dangerous, challenging, stressful situation – often form relationships more quickly. And the way they form them is they end up making sacrifices for each other. It’s doing things together that cost them.

“When somebody makes a sacrifice for you, that’s an incredibly bond-forming experience. That’s the root of every powerful relationship.”

Simple enough, right? When your characters are in a first-person shooter, we don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say they’ll be in danger every once in a while. For instance, all the time. For Levine, though, it’s a bit more complicated than that.

“I think one of the primary examples is people fall in love with their doctors,” he says. “Again, because they’re in a dangerous, stressful situation and here’s somebody who’s really pulling out the stops for them.

“So Elizabeth and Booker quickly form this relationship based upon the fact that, well, they’re not having a very good time [laughs]. They’re probably having the worst time of their lives, and they’re the only ones there for each other. They’re the only ones that each one can turn to.

“So we look into our own lives and the problems we’ve had – the sickness we’ve had, the financial problems we’ve had – and the people that have been there for us and the things they’ve done for us. That’s what we use for an inspiration in thinking about this relationship.”

A man chooses, a slave obeys

Infinite, then, is a game that’s very much about the player’s experience both inside and outside its confines – not some hypothetical “optimal” playthrough. Options abound, both in terms of how you play and how you interpret the subject matter.

And that’s hugely important for Levine – especially in a videogame culture that otherwise hinges incredibly heavily on binary, this-or-that choices. Good versus evil, Xbox 360 versus PS3, Marvel vs Capcom versus a good fighting game – you name it. The mentality’s everywhere. Levine, however, isn’t a fan.

“I think that generally, our feeling is that most people feel trapped in between very, very polarized viewpoints and are really somewhere in the middle of that.

“You can get crushed by those viewpoints. Our personal feelings come more from that – of being somebody who doesn’t wake up every morning knowing exactly what their political viewpoint is, exactly what their social viewpoint is, and going out and spending every ounce of energy making sure people get in line with that viewpoint. I think we’re more about asking questions and providing answers,” he tells us.

BioShock Infinite’s incredibly impressive
gameplay demo.

“I think in terms of how we think about it, we have less of a Manichaean view of the universe. To me, the real world is a little more complex. There are some extremes, obviously. I mean, if you invoke Godwin’s Law – bring up the Nazis – and you find these real extremes where it’s kind of hard to find any positive viewpoint.

“But in general, I think that the world’s a pretty murky place. If you really try to find white hats and black hats, it’s very tough to find them in the real world. But I think we’re attracted to them because it’s simpler, and people like simplicity.”

Broad black and white strokes will only get you so far, however, and in case you hadn’t guessed, Infinite’s not really into the whole “limits” thing. At the end of the day, Levine and co are only hoping to give you a little nudge – not a harsh shove right off the deep end.

“I think if you played our other games – System Shock 2 and BioShock – we’re not generally fans of saying, ‘here’s a definitive statement about the world and how it should be,’” Levine explains.

“With the first demo of Infinite, we had a lot of responses saying, ‘oh, you’re attacking this group. You’re attacking that group.’ They’ve not seen what else is going on in Columbia. We’re into presenting a bunch of different viewpoints and saying, ‘Here’s the good, here’s the bad. Why don’t you sort it out?’”

“No multiplayer? Five out of ten.”

When the original BioShock first came out, the whole world did a collective, especially sticky spit-take. “No multiplayer?” it asked. “Madness! Sheer madness! It will flop and never have at least two sequels.” It did not flop. It has had at least two sequels.

Levine, then, doesn’t look at multiplayer as an absolute necessity. If you’ve got an interesting idea, that’s fine. But if you’re tacking on multiplayer for another quick-and-dirty bullet point, then you’re destined to fail.

“BioShock’s a great example,” he says. “We sold 4.5 million units. To some degree, that was a victory of, ‘Let’s make the right product – not what a marketing survey tells us.’

“If we had a great multiplayer thing to say in that game, we would have made a multiplayer mode. We would have done it if we had something to say. But we just didn’t, so I didn’t want to do what I had done before. I didn’t want to be forced to fill a checklist some marketing guy had about what a product should be.”

“Most people tend to ignore a multiplayer mode that isn’t compelling. That’s way more common than anything else. People work all this time to create a multiplayer mode, and you can go on Xbox Live and you literally see – even in some good multiplayer games – six, eight, or ten people playing the game. Literally. In the world. It’s heartbreaking.

“If you’re going to do that, it’d better not be because some marketing guy is telling you to do it. It’d better be because you have something to say.”

A moment of violence

There’s no avoiding it. In the gaming industry, Ken Levine’s “that guy.” The brainy one. He asks big questions. Gamers name-drop him in the same way movie-goers talk about how they “get” Chris Nolan films. Even so, we’re still talking about games where – at the end of the day – you’re shooting dudes in the face.

Before the advent of videogames, face-blasting and chin-stroking weren’t generally considered compatible activities. Thus, the question arises: are we forcing two unlike puzzle pieces together and ruining both in the process? Typically an idealist, Levine takes a surprisingly realistic stance here.

“When you watch a TV show, people like looking at good-looking people. When you play a videogame, people like shooting stuff.”

“There’s a bit of suspended disbelief, right? You know, in BioShock 1, you’re going around the world and you’re exploring all this interesting stuff and answering all these moral questions. And you’re also shooting dozens and dozens of people to death.

“We give a reason, you know, because they’re coming after you, basically. But it is a little strange, right? No one can deny the suspension of disbelief you have,” he says.

“I feel this too when I’m watching a TV show. Some cop show or something. I’ll be like ‘wow, the cops in this city are very attractive!’ It’s ridiculous how good-looking all the victims and all the cops are. How photogenic they are. But when you watch a TV show, people like looking at good-looking people. When you play a videogame, people like shooting stuff quite often.”

There’s no denying, though, that games are becoming more and more advanced. There’s a difference between suspension of disbelief and outright denial. Levine’s well aware of that, but when push comes to shove, he has precisely one goal: fun.

“If you look at, say, Heavy Rain, I think they try to explore different areas of the challenge space. You can argue that’s more or less interesting as a challenge than shooting people. It’s generally easier to get past the suspension of disbelief problem, but you also have the question, ‘Is it as fun? Is that a fun challenge?’

“For whatever reason, the physical act of leading a target and shooting at it is an interesting, challenging fun dexterity problem,” he tells us.

“Games generally involve some interesting, fun challenges – whether it’s dexterity or mental. Videogames that don’t have that – more narrative fiction, like Swords and Sworcery on the iPad – there’s not really a gameplay component to them.

“But Irrational is making games. I like games. I’ve always liked games. I’ve always played games. I’ve always liked games that have some kind of challenge component. So I think I’ll continue to make games that have stories, but I really like the fact that games are games.”

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11 Comments

  1. themadjock

    Ken Rocks, I have total respect for him and trust he will guide infinite into being the true sequel to Bioshock. Compare this FPS with the bland and soulless yearly CoD rollout:

    Bioshock:

    One of he best stories in a game ever
    Great action
    Engaging characters
    Interesting environment

    Call of Duty:

    1) Your kidding right?
    2) Action less and less fun
    3) Are the characters in CoD games are just bots with names and bad dialogue
    4) Same old, same old

    Bring on 2012, I’ll be there with bells on

    #1 4 years ago
  2. mathare92

    Ken says it like it is. Top interview, Nathan.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Edo

    #1 Could not agree more,Bioshock was a game to remember forever,and the story…well I think it actually had the best story ever.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Shonak

    Plot, atmosphere – in general Rapture – was amazing. I didn’t like the gameplay so much though, but I’m sure they will improve on it, which means in this case: That Infinite will probably get a lot of lame metaphors like “the brilliance of the game is infinite” or “rasing the bar to the sky”… My most anticipated game of 2012 definitely.

    EDIT: Great article.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. YoungZer0

    Never finished the first game. Gameplay felt very raw and clunky. The world of Rapture kind of bored me. I get it, people got crazy.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. stretch215

    @1 why would you compare cod with bioshock? They are 2 completely different games. Bioshock is a single player game while cod is CLEARLY mp focused, with sp tacked on for good measure. If you buy cod for the single player you are very misguided. Everybody wants to take shots at the champ. Also “marvel vs. capcom versus a good fighting game” = me laughing out loud :)

    #6 4 years ago
  7. DSB

    @4 Yeah, the combat could’ve been better. Still, it was a truly original FPS in a time that didn’t really offer any.

    @6 True dat. CoD’s singleplayer is a Stallone movie, or maybe a Tom Berenger one. You take a big gun and then you kill anything that moves alongside a bunch of guys who are about to explode with sexual frustration and testosterone. It’s definitely not lacking in action, and while MW2s campaign certainly had no story to speak of, and far too many done-to-death plot twists, the sceneries were still pretty grand for a corridor shooter.

    Worth keeping in mind that CoD wasn’t totally MP focused until the last three iterations though. That’s probably put off some people.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. themadjock

    @6 Only for the fact that they are both FPS’s and one has originality and one churns out the same drivel yearly or twice yearly. More and more developers seem fixated to replicate CoD’s sales they need to make clones of it which damage the industry and games for us in general. To be fair I haven’t enjoyed CoD MP since MW1 and much prefer battlefield’s MP. I respect Ken because he says he won’t just add MP because the suits tell him he has too to get a high metacritic rating. He will take chances with gameplay mechanics, story lines and settings because he feels that will make an interesting game.

    I have played every CoD released I’m just tired of them now with their frustrating re-start points and short campaigns. I thought MW1 was amazing with the AC-130 level and the sniper level at chernobyl but they have rapidly declined since then, imho

    Anyway Bioshock yay

    #8 4 years ago
  9. BooDooPerson

    …I think we’re more about asking questions and providing answers,” he tells us.

    Just a guess, but maybe fix that to read “…THAN providing answers” – kind of a big difference. If it’s correct as posted, that’s a pretty odd statement to make.

    The write-up around Ken’s quotes was awkward (and downright painful in places) but thanks for conducting the interview!

    #9 4 years ago
  10. ultramega

    Can’t fucking wait for this game. Irrational Games is one of the finest developers in the industry, imo.

    #10 4 years ago
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    Bioware has updated Dragon Age Keep after listening to community feedback. The update includes more customization and control over heroes, world states, career and more. Players can now customize hero portraits or delete Dragon Age: Inquisition heroes from the Hero section. They can also remove playthrough states from the World State Manager and keep up […]

  • Here’s a look at some Conker community creations in Project Spark

    Conker’s Bug Reunion releases today, and below is a video showing some of the community creations you will be able to download using the creation pack. Project Spark is a free download on Xbox One and Windows 8.1, and you can download the Conker Creation Pack today. It contains 350 assets in order for users […]

  • Rainbow Six: Siege video shines spotlight on the British Counter Terrorist Unit

    Ubisoft has released a Rainbow Six: Siege video which gives you a look at the British Counter Terrorist Unit which features “the best of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.” The firm said that over the next few weeks it will introduce the public to each of the units in the game. Rainbow Six Siege […]

  • Mario Kart 8 DLC and Mewtwo for Super Smash Bros. headline eShop update in North America

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with an update and new DLC for Mario Kart 8 and the Mewtwo DLC for Super Smash Bros. Other highlights include Mario Kart DS on Wii U Virtual Console, the continuation of International StreetPass Week and more. Full update is below. Nintendo eShop Mario Kart […]

  • Square Enix host E3 2015 conference this year on June 16

    With Final Fantasy 15, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on the horizon, it should come as no surprise to learn that Square Enix will be hosting a dedicated E3 2015 conference this year. The presentation will take place Tuesday, June 16 at 9am PDT/12pm EDT/5pm UK. It will be broadcast […]

  • Final Fantasy 4: The After Years 3D remake releasing on Steam next month

    Final Fantasy 4: The After Years has been given a makeover and will be released on Steam of PC next month. You can now pre-order it on Steam and take 10% off for the time being. The game will be released on the digital service May 12 and will include trading cards and achievements. Thanks, […]

  • This Project Cars video shows off the racer’s multiplayer

    Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has released a new video giving you a look at the game’s multiplayer. The game is out next month, and if you would like to refresh yourself on the tracks included,  give this a look. While you are clicking links, here’s the minimum and recommended PC specifications which dropped last […]

  • Looks like Logitech is getting out of OEM mouse production business [Clarification]

    Logitech will no longer produce “low-end” mice, citing a decline in PC accessories. This story has been updated to include a clarification. According to a Reuters report, per MCV, the firm will instead focus on video accessories and streaming music, as its wireless Bluetooth speakers are now its best-selling product rage. This will help offset […]

  • Win! We have 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys to give away

    Must have more MOBA? Win one of our 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys and see if you’re more Blizzard than LoL. Can’t wait for June 2? Of course you can’t. We have 1,000 closed beta keys for Heroes of the Storm to give away this week, allowing you access before Blizzard’s MOBA goes […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Direct airs tomorrow, April 24

    A Nintendo Direct devoted entirely to Xenoblade Chronicles X will air this Friday, April 24. The video showcase will start at 11am PDT/2pm EDT/7pm UK. After the showcase, a new Nintendo Treehouse: Live presentation featuring the game will air. This is the second Xenoblace Chronicles X Nintendo Direct, but the first in English. The first […]

  • Blizzard will have 500 game stations set up at gamescom 2015

    Blizzard is heading to gamescom 2015 in August and it will have 500 game stations set up for attendees to get their hands on five of its titles. The developer will be set up in Hall 7 and those who stop by will be able to get hands-on with the latest content for Heroes of […]

  • PS4 price cut to £299 in UK

    Sony has dropped the price of the PS4 in the UK. For a limited time only, you can grab the console for £299.99 from Argos, Game, Tesco and Very. Go to Amazon.co.uk and you’ll get it for £289. You’ve only got until April 28, then it goes back up to £349. Go, go, go. For […]

  • Mad Max: first ever gameplay footage revealed

    Today, we get to finally take our first look at gameplay from Mad Max. Avalanche and Warner Bros. have shown off the first gameplay trailer for Mad Max today. The trailer below offers a look at melee combat, car combat, customisation and much more. Give it a watch below: There are a few new screenshots […]

  • Overlord: Fellowship of Evil has four-player co-op like we figured

    Codemasters has pulled the veil back on the next Overlord game, and its a four-player co-op game called Overlord: Fellowship of Evil. Rhianna Pratchett is back to write the story. The game may be co-op at its core, but it can still be played single-player. Each of the four playable character have strengths and weaknesses, […]

  • Update now available for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X and Y

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire along with Pokemon X and Y are being updated by Nintendo to fix a few bugs and in-game text. There’s also the possibility of a few hacks and exploits being fixed. Per Nintendo Life (via Serebii), both patches are 250-270 blocks in size, and it’s a mandatory update which […]

  • Side-scrolling cover shooter Not a Hero gets a demo

    Not a Hero, the upcoming game from OlliOlli developer Roll7, has received a demo. The demo for Not a Hero was made available today on Steam. In the game, you play as Steve, the campaign manager for BunnyLord. A time-travelling rabbit who’s running for mayor of London. Think this is an absurd premise? This trailer […]

  • You have until April 30 to export your Green Day: Rock Band tracks to Rock Band 3

    Harmonix has announced that those looking to export their song collection from Green Day: Rock Band into Rock Band 3 can only do so until the end of the month. April 30 will be the cutoff date for anyone who wants to export tracks from Green Day: Rock Band into their Rock Band 3 library, […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight minimum, recommended, and ultra PC specs revealed

    Batman: Arkham Knight is looking like it’s going to be quite a taxing game. Nvidia has released a list of the minimum, recommended, and ultra PC requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight. Here’s the full thing: Minimum OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required) Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom […]

  • Bloodborne patch 1.03 is live, reduces loading times, fixes suspend/resume bugs, more

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Bloodborne. The patch reduces loading times, adds item descriptions to loading screens, and fixes other various bugs. From Software has pushed update 1.03 live to all Bloodborne owners. As promised, it reduces loading times by approximately 5 to 15 seconds. Another new addition is showing item descriptions instead of […]

  • Battlefield 4: first look at Community Map in action

    Get your first look at the map designed by the community of Battlefield 4. Battlefield 4′s community-designed map is a reality. DICE has recently updated CTE to include an early version of the map. It’s not fully textured as Westie is about to show you, but the layout is nearly finalised. Westie goes over the […]

  • Microsoft apologises for uploading misleading Witcher 3: Wild Hunt footage

    Xbox’s YouTube channel uploaded a video of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt yesterday that was captured from the PC build. The most recent gameplay video for the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt appeared on the Xbox YouTube channel and showed a quest from the game’s opening section. A few minutes after it had gone live, […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator’s new game is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the game Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets has been working on. Patrice Desilets has just announced that the next game his indie studio Panache Digital Games is making is called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. The announcement comes from Desilets’s keynote at the Reboot Develop event in Croatia. The trailer started […]

  • Bloodborne: Cathedral Ward closed door mystery solved

    The mystery of the locked door at the bottom of the Cathedral Ward in Bloodborne has been solved. Bloodborne, like earlier From Software games, is filled with doors that don’t open the first time you try them. Some will give you “locked” messages, others “does not open from this side”. Some of these will open […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets is revealing his next game now [UPDATE: ended]

    Patrice Desilets, one of the original creators of Assassin’s Creed is hosting a presentation where he’s expected to talk about his next project. Patrice Desilets has emerged once again. This time he’s attending development conference in Croatia. Desilets is giving a live keynote and there’s a good chance we’re going to hear about his next […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: everything you need to know about gear upgrades & The Reef

    Bungie revealed plenty of important details in last night’s Destiny stream. Let’s go over everything. Alex wants to make sure you don’t miss any of the information revealed yesterday. Most of it affects all Destiny players too, even those who don’t intend on buying House of Wolves. During the first stream, Bungie explained the armour […]

  • Mod-friendly Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access in May

    Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access next month for a full release, Stardok has announced. The developer called the game the “largest and most diverse strategy sandbox to date,” as players have a variety of tools such as diplomatic treaties to resource exchanges, and United Planets resolutions to hundreds of research directions for […]

  • Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim is out next week on PC – here’s the pre-order trailer

    Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim will be released next week on PC, and today, we have a pre-order trailer for you. The game will be made available on April 28 for $19.99/€17.99/£13.99 on GOG, the Humble Store and Steam. Along with improvements over the original PSP version, it will contain less backtracking, controller support […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – full gear set up to level 34 in PvP and PvE, upgrades, more

    The Destiny: House of Wolves livestream this afternoon was chock full of information. Read onward for our full report. According to Bungie, Petra Venj, who serves the Queen, is the main story agent who leads the player through the main series of quests. Players who complete bounties will be able to level up in her […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – watch the livestream right here

    Bungie will host a Destiny: House of Wolves livestream at 2pm EDT today, and you can watch it right here. Watch live video from Bungie on www.twitch.tv The stream will introduce the new social space, The Reef, as well as gear upgrade paths. House of Wolves contains new Strike missions, The Prison of Elders three-player […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 22 team includes Barcelona, Chelsea players

    This week’s FIFA 15 Team of the Week is now available for FIFA Ultimate Team players. Each team member, as with previous weeks, is selected base on the previous weekend’s matches. Here’s the list of players now available: Starting GK: Claudio Bravo – FC Barcelona (Spain) CB: Leonardo Bonucci – Juventus (Italy) CB: Ömer Toprak […]

  • Sony’s Spring Fever Sale winds down with Shovel Knight and Call of Duty discounts

    It’s the final week of Sony’s Spring Fever Sale which means more games have been added to the mix. Shovel Knight, which launches today is one offer, and the rest are all Cal of Duty titles. The Taken movie series is on sale as well. With Shovel Knight available today on PlayStation 3, PS4 and […]

  • Drivers for Xbox controllers, voice messages, more features available in Xbox One preview

    Microsoft has announced new features coming to Xbox One and the Xbox App on Windows 10 through the preview program this month. Some of the new features have been requested by the community for both Xbox One and Xbox One SmartGlass. Here’s what to expect, straight from the horse’s mouth: Xbox on Windows 10 Game […]

  • Total War: Warhammer has been announced for PC, Mac, SteamOS

    Total War: Warhammer has been announced after previous teases from The Creative Assembly touched upon it. The game will contain “gigantic monsters, flying creatures, legendary heroes and storms of magical power.” It is also the first in a trilogy which includes two additional standalone titles and extra content packs. It will feature thousands of warriors […]

  • This video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features a quest from the prologue

    A new video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, showing off the Precious Cargo quest contained in the game’s prologue. The quest tasks Geralt with helping a merchant retrieve a mysterious box from the swamps. The scene looks familiar, but we’ve seen so many videos for the game it’s hard to tell […]

  • Limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online kicks off tomorrow on consoles

    The limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One tomorrow, and Sony has provided details on the tester for those who’ve been invited to participate. The beta test contains the full version of the game and will run from April 23-27, and will start and […]

  • Dying Light debuts in second place on Media Create charts

    Techland’s Dying Light made its debut in Japan lats week, coming in a respectable second place behind Nintendo’s Girls Mode 3: Kirakira Code. The zombie shooter sold 25,530 units on PlayStation 4, while the top earner for the week moved a little over 55,000 units on 3DS. Another western release when landed on the chart, […]

  • Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven will release in the west this June

    Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven has been given a release date by XSEED Games, which announced the localization back in February. The title will launch for 3DS in North America on June 2 digitally and through retail. It will be an eShop only title in Europe and Australia when it releases on June 4. A […]

  • This Overlord video teases four new faces of evil

    A new Overlord game is in the works, going by the previous teasing and this video – which teases the possibility of four-payer co-op. Or just four characters to choose from. We don’t know just yet – all we know is the team is asking you to “join the fellowship.” A new entry in the […]

  • GTA movie will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar’s Sam Houser, the BBC confirms

    The GTA movie Game Changer will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar co-founder and president Sam Houser, theBBC has confirmed. The BBC also confirmed Bill Paxton will play Jack Thompson, a role Paxton already confirmed last week when speaking with Deadline. Here’s the synopsis per the BBC: “Conceived for an adult audience, this special 90-minute drama […]

  • Take a look at Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode

    Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode has received a trailer today. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold will come with two modes, Classic and Story. Classic Mode was trailered today and in it, you’ll get to make your party by choosing from 13 classes. You’ll be able to customise them too using the character creation tool. Revamped […]

  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows to come with new challenge mode

    Shovel Knight’s upcoming expansion Plague of Shadows will bring with it a new challenge mode. Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games has revealed the challenge mode, one of the new additions coming to the game with the free Plague of Shadows expansion. “Are you more into digging than distillation? Already have your Feats book long […]

  • Nvidia releases complete graphical guide for GTA 5

    Those with GeForce cards will be happy to know that Nvidia has released a comprehensive graphical tweaks guide for GTA 5. Nvidia usually produces graphical guides for the big AAA games, and GTA 5 is no different. Their guides offer in-depth coverage of each in-game setting, how much they affect framerate, if they can be […]

  • Cthulhu voodoo: why Bloodborne is the best Lovecraftian game

    Sherif Said tackles Bloodborne’s links to Lovecraftian horror, explaining why you should face the madness and immerse yourself in its lore. Spoilers inside. No other game could commit to its themes so religiously without feeling the need to compromise its vision and veer towards accessibility. Bloodborne stands tall above any game that dares attach itself […]

  • WWE 2K15 is coming to PC this year

    WWE 2K15 will make its way to PC this spring. WWE announced that WWE 2K15 will make its debut on PC in the spring. The game will be based on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, both of which came out in November. MyCareer and 2K Showaces modes are included, as well as all […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new mod adds snow to GTA Online

    If you’re looking to get some snow in your GTA Online, someone figured out a way. Modder ECB2 created a mod that works with GTA Online on PC. The mod is called “Snow in GTA Online” and it does what it says on the tin. YouTube channel imperfectplayers captured a video showing it in action. […]

  • Deals with Gold: Call of Duty edition

    Xbox Live Deals with Gold for the week of April 20 are now live with mostly Call of Duty games. Various Call of Duty games are on sale on Xbox One and Xbox 360 through Xbox Live this week. Indie games Never Alone and We Are Doomed managed to sneak in as well. With the […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: PSN sign in problems fixed in new patch

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Mortal Kombat X and it brings an end to the aggravating sing in issue encountered by some users on PS4. Mortal Kombat X 1.03 patch has been released. The patch fixes bug CE-34878-0, which affected the PlayStation 4 version. The bug caused users to have to log in and […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new patch fixes Windows Media Player issue, getting stuck in the clouds

    GTA 5 has received a new patch on PC to fix issues caused by the lack of Windows Media Player and getting stuck between online matches. Patch 335.1 is now available to all owners of GTA 5 on PC. The strange issue that affected those who didn’t have Windows Media Player installed, has been fixed. […]

  • Halo 3: ODST and Relic remake come to The Master Chief Collection in May

    Halo 3: ODST and Halo 2′s Relic map remake are coming to Halo: The Master Chief Collection next month. 343 Industries has announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection owners will get Halo 3: ODST campaign and the Relic remake in the next content update, due in May. And as promised, the April update has […]

  • Rockstar says Social Club wasn’t hacked, account details leaked from other websites

    Following a number of reports from users who had their Social Club accounts hijacked, Rockstar has confirmed that the service has not been hacked. Over the last couple of days, a few users on Reddit and Rockstar Twitter support started reporting getting kicked out of their GTA Online sessions and seeing an error telling them […]

  • That Destiny: House of Wolves teaser is packed with new intel, Reef reveal at 11.00am PST today

    The new Destiny: House of Wolves social space was revealed more fully than you might believe in today’s teaser. A teaser for a Destiny: House of Wolves’ new social space went live earlier to advertise today’s full reveal. But resident Destiny expert Arekkz went over the teaser with his very fine-toothed comb and turned up […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront content not shaped by DLC plans, says producer

    Star Wars Battlefront may have DLC on the cards already, but DICE hasn’t built the game with extra content in mind, apparently. Star Wars Battlefront releases on November 17, and then on December 8, before the launch of the new movie, it’ll receive a slab of tie-in DLC. This early, pre-meditated content drop is a […]

  • We’ll finally get a look at Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 at E3 in June

    CI Games will show off Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 at E3 in June, according to the event’s official website. The Lords of the Fallen developer confirmed the game was in the works back in December as a AAA “production effort”. It is set during a modern day conflict in Eastern Europe and players will be […]

  • Ultima 7 Complete, Wing Commander 3, others added to Humble Origin Bundle 2

    The Humble Origin Bundle 2 has been updated with four more titles. The new titles are for Windows only and are SimCity 2000, Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger, Wing Commander 4: The Price of Freedom and Ultima 7: The Complete Edition. All can be yours if you pay above the current average, which […]

  • Don’t Starve Together has been updated to inlcude Reign of Giants expansion

    Don’t Starve Together has been updated and now includes “the vast majority” of the Reign of Giants content. Players who currently own Don’t Starve on Steam will get Don’t Starve Together for free when it exits Early-Access. During Early-Access, current owners of Don’t Starve get 2 copies of Don’t Starve Together through the Frontier Pack […]

  • Xbox Live Gold Members can play NBA 2K15 for free this weekend

    NBA 2K15 is free to play this weekend on Xbox Live for Gold Members in celebration of the NBA Playoffs. All Gold Members can play the basketball game for free starting at noon PDT April 24 through 12.01am Monday, April 27. Should you decide you want to purchase the game, your progress will carry over […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power hits Steam Early Access and is 10% off

    Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power has finally arrived on Steam Early Access and until April 28, you can knock 10% off the list price. After that, the title will run you $19.99/€19.99/£14.99. There’s also a three-pack available if you want to buy some friends a gift. It will run you $44.99 with the 10% […]

  • You can now grab Killing Floor 2 through Steam Early Access

    Killing Floor 2 is now available through Steam Early Access. Players who purchase Killing Floor 2 during Early Access for $29.99/₤19.99/€26.99 will given free content which carries over to the full release and even more content upon release. The Early Access version of the game contains the following, per Tripwire: Three non-linear levels – The […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves livestream will reveal The Reef social space tomorrow

    A Destiny Twitch stream will take place tomorrow and provide a sneak peek at the House of Wolves expansion. The stream takes place at 11am PDT/2pm EDT tomorrow and will show The Reef social space along with a look at new Vendors. House of Wolves contains new Strike missions, The Prison of Elders three-player arena […]