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Inventing Asura: Guild Wars 2′s Ree Soesbee and Jeff Grubb

Thursday, 15 September 2011 14:02 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Over on the official Guild Wars 2 website this week, the spotlight is on the Asura race, and VG247 has an exclusive interview with continuity and lore designers Ree Soesbee and Jeff Grubb as well as the first look at new assets featuring the diminutive, gnome-like mad scientists.

Jeff Grubb and Ree Sosebee

Ree Soesbee:Continuity and Lore Designer for ArenaNet. Completed her MA in English Literature and worked on her PhD at UNC-Chapel Hill in North Carolina. Author of more than a dozen novels, as well as numerous traditional RPG and CCG games.

Jeff Grubb:Continuity and Lore Designer for ArenaNet. Has worked on a number of RPGs and has written a number of successful novels, short stories and comics. Credits include The Finder’s Stone Trilogy and 2006′s Guild Wars Nightfall.

Jeff Grubb along with his colleague Ree Soesbee, both work at ArenaNet on Guild Wars 2 as the game’s lore and continuity designers. As world builders, the duo are tasked with creating the people, nations and races in the game, and are also charges with determining why monsters are roaming about the place, and what the overall theme of the game is.

In Guild Wars 2 there are five playable races, as opposed to the original where only the Humans could be played, consisting of the former; the Charr, the Norn; the Sylvari; and the Asura.

The Asura first showed up in the last of the Guild Wars expansion, Eye of the North, and are a race which was driven to the surface by the Great Destroyer, one of the servants of an Elder Dragon. In Guild Wars 2, the Elder Dragons, huge titanic elemental forces, have awoken and are coming back into the world raising islands from the bottom of the sea and leaving great scars across the territory.

How this pertains to the Asura, is the Elder Dragon Primordus, the herald of the Great Destroyer, drove them to the surface where they became a refugee race in Guild Wars 1.

Since then, they have done very well for themselves in Tyria, using their extremely advanced knowledge of magic and the arcane. This intelligent, gnome-like race used magic to carve a massive cube of stone out of the earth, and set it aloft in the sky. This, is their main city, Rata Sum, is where they are still building by carving pieces off and casting more things aside.

Looking at the Asura environment, it’s a very magical world which uses magic on a day-to-day basis as opposed to using it as a province of an elementalist. The majority of Asurans know about magic and how to use it, so they see it as part of their universe as opposed to separate. As far as what they look like, they were an underground, cave-dwelling race, so they are diminutive with long ears and big eyes.

According to Grubb, it would be “very dangerous to say that they are cute or inoffensive,” because not only do they have sharp teeth, but even sharper minds to go along with the attitude that they are “the heirs to the universe.” They are the smartest kids in the class and they know it.

Basically, the Asura are a rather narcissistic race of mad wizards, doing constant research to advance their sum of knowledge, all the while trying to solve everything the universe holds. They try to understand anything and everything, and believe there is no problem that can’t be solved given their application of intelligence, resources and willpower. Thus, these are the hallmarks of being an Asura.

VG247: Basically, what you are saying is the Asura are more mentalists than they are physical, because they use the Golems for all the physical work they need, correct?

Ree Sosebee: The Golems AND the other races. One of the ways that they interact with the other races is by having them do the heavy lifting. The Asura are inventors and when we say that we don’t mean just craftsmen or that they create physical things – they are intelligent and have thoughts on how the world should be shaped and should work, they have thoughts on how things should interact, they have philosophies that control their use of magic in technology of a magical design. They think outside the box constantly – that’s just what they do.

Jeff Grubb: People ask what the historical comparisons are, and they are really very much like the natural philosophers of the Enlightenment who were trying to discover what oxygen was and how the circulation system worked – like people such as Newton who were polymaths who worked in 15 different fields at once making amazing discoveries in all of them. Imagine a race of Newton’s, a race of Edison’s and you have the Asura.

The Asura are “very much like the natural philosophers of the Enlightenment.”

I imagine they could cause a lot of chaos as well because of their abilities. They don’t seem inherently evil though – more chaotic neutral maybe?

RS: Not even chaotic – they are just self-absorbed. Speaking in very general terms, an Asura’s primary goal is to further himself. He wants to be recognized for how intelligent he is. He wants to invent something that will change the world, whether that be an invention or a philosophy, he wants to be seen as prestigious and awesome and amazing and he wants everyone else to look up to him and curry his favor. They are not an evil race – there are evil people and evil groups but as a race they are simply self-absorbed.

JG: There’s a line of thought that on the one hand they are very lawful in that they are highly organized in their thought processes, but they are very chaotic in that if you get a bunch of them together, it’s like herding cats because they all have their own way of taking care of things. And while it is an organized and precise way, it is different than everybody else’s way.

I see that they like using a lot of electricity, so they are like a bunch of little Tesla’s walking around?

JG: Tesla is the patron saint of this bunch. They would have loved him; he’s the patron saint of weird science. It’s not so much electricity as energy – magical energy. Electricity is part of it, but they also deal with lines of force. They have their labs, but these labs are under water or floating under the surrounding territories or carved deep into the rock and they look magical as well.

Asura, according to the lore, are centered around krewes or research organizations with one called the Inquest. Is this particular krewe going to create major problems?

JG: Oh, yes! To solve a problem, a bunch of Asura get together, they form a team, they solve the problem, they go their separate ways – that’s the concept of a krewe. They are a very organized operation in that sense. One of the problems that they have with the krewes, is that some are far off with labs out in the wilderness with privacy and trying yo make sure that they are the guy with the credit and that no one else steals it. A lot of the knowledge gets lost, a lot of signal drops out.

The Inquest has come up with a way of reducing that loss of signal and what they have done is to effectively create a corporation. They have created a hierarchy, they are much more lawful than the members of their race, but it tends to be lawful-evil, as they are cut off from morality at that point. So they will do things that most Asura will not want. Most Asura would not want to conduct experiments on sentient races, whereas the Inquest don’t have those qualms – they believe the end justifies the means. They are the kind of an organization where if you join the Inquest, you are never leaving and everything you do belongs to the group, so it’s very much a more structured and controlling organization. All Asura are manipulative, but the Asura are very heavy-handed.

“Tesla is the patron saint of this bunch. They would have loved him; he’s the patron saint of weird science.”

Each of the races have members of their own race that they are fighting; the humans are fighting bandits, the Charr have the renegade legions that they are fighting and in the case of the Asura, they have the Inquest that have the potential to beat the Asura at their own game.

Are they also located at Rata Sum or are they encountered at a different point in the game?

RS: They are, but Asura tend to have their own laboratories and if an individual is working on a project, they will have a place where they and a smaller group of people are tasked to working on that. The Inquest has larger labs and larger bases where they work on their things, but they have members in Rata Sum where they have representation there, because they are a large group of the Asura.

JG: In the starting area there is a former Inquest lab – with the accent on “former” – where they were experimenting when things went horribly, horribly wrong, so there is a big chunk of territory which is twisted and melted and has all kinds of strange magical effects going off all of the time. Part of the early story takes you off into that area.

That sounds cool actually.

JG: It is – we took the brakes off for the Asura, they are a cool race. They have magic as an inherent part of their life, like we have electricity. They consider it to be a component as opposed to something a particular class or group, or profession does.

When you go to their main city, will other races be able to go there as a hub, as they make use of the other races? For example, if you were playing as a Norn, would you have the opportunity to go to explore Rata Sum too?

JG:Not only will the other races be able to go, there is also an Asura gate from Hoelbrak, the Norn main city to Rata Sum.

Looking at the different crafting disciplines, when you play as the Asura will they still be able to choose crafting disciplines or will they implement arcane into tailoring tools or leather works and armor?

JG: The races make no difference – all races can do all crafts, do all professions or character classes. So while they are a very magical race, there are no restrictions for being an Asura warrior or guardian. In fact, I saw a lot of them in the demos that we have been running at the conventions because they have really cool combat moves and they look really good in the demos, so people are running around with these heavily armed little Asura with huge swords and they are really awesome. Everybody can craft, but where the Asura abilities take more prominence is in the stories – your own personal story where you are inventing, over and above what we have in our traditional crafting system.

RS: We don’t want to limit anyone with the idea that if you choose a specific race that you can’t do a profession or a craft, we very much want people to play with what they think is fun. There are certainly going to be recipes or things you can craft that, by that items nature, looks like it was invented by an Asura or a Charr, but that won’t matter to you as a player for the purposes of creating such an item or following such a craft – or profession path.

JG: The one unique ability that the Asura has is the battle suit. If you are playing as an Asura, you have a skill that no other race has, where you can call a battle suit into being. You can get into the battle suit and run around in it or other members of your party, whether they are human, Charr or other can get onto the battle suit and operate in it. Each of the races has their special abilities that belongs to their race alone, and this is something that only the Asura can do.

Does that mean that the Asura can call a Golem into battle?

JG: That’s a potential, I can’t answer that directly yet as it’s one of the details we haven’t addressed yet but it is a potential. We are a growing, living game as we are still under development and we know that the Golems are very much tied into the Asura, but how we are going to utilize them is still evolving.

Going back to the core story of the Asura when they lived underground, are they responsible for the scourge which is hitting the land now, because of where the power from their travel gates came from? The herald of the Great Destroyer used the gates to get to them, so are they indirectly responsible for all the dragon havoc caused?

JG: Back in the time of the Eye of the North, the Asura had a connection of teleportation gates that worked out of a central hub and they put that hub over a center of extreme magical energy, a strong arcane force where the Great Destroyer and Primordus were. That’s why it was a great source of magical energy, they were building over an Elder Dragon. When the Great Destroyer woke up, it captured that hub and then used those gates to get through the underground and that is what drove the Asura up.

“We took the brakes off for the Asura, they are a cool race.”

Since then, the Asura have fine-tuned their gates, so they are no longer dependent on that central hub and make use of more dispersed hubs. It operates more like packets in computers – just as the internet functions because not every piece of information takes the same route. This is an example of how the Asura learn from their mistakes; horrible things have occurred and they look for ways to stop them from happening again in the future.

As far as we know, the Asura were not responsible for the awakening of the Elder Dragons, nobody knows why the Elder Dragons woke up or why they show up once every 1,500 years or so. There have been a number of them that show up: one of them is Primordus, another was Jormag, the ice dragon, who awoke in the North and drove the Norn south. Another was Kralkatorrik the crystal dragon, who awoke and then left a huge scar in the Charr lands of Ascalon to get to the south. They are all deadly, nasty creatures, but the Asura are not responsible for awakening the dragons, they just built a major component of their society on a fault line and were not aware that they had done so.

There will be different Asura gates to travel through, then?

RS: What we wanted to do with those gates, was if you and I are friends and wanted to play together, you as a Norn and I as an Asura, we won’t have to run across the entire world to find each other, we would just go to our main cities and via the Asura gate transfer to where the other person is playing and join up.

JG: By the same token, this means that the Asura have infiltrated a lot of the other societies. If there is a Charr in the human city of Divinity’s Reach, he would be looked on as an enemy of twenty years ago and attract attention, whereas the Asura are known as the guys who run the gates which makes them less threatening. These Asura are very insidious, they are the mad wizards.

Since they are more “brain than brawn,” would you say they are more gnome-like creatures than goblins? Because when you think of goblins, you picture a nasty, more threatening creature.

JG: Interesting that you mention gnomes, because I created the Tinker Gnomes of Dragonlance which were the technological gnomes. The big difference between the two races is that the gnomes of Dragonlance were these boffins that built things that blew up and made inventions that required further inventions to fix. The Asura are serious, the Asura are competent. They know what they are doing and if they build something it will happen. If they are going to build a monorail, they will build a monorail; they won’t build something that will not change the world. The Asura ultimately believe that the universe is a big equation, the eternal alchemy which can be solved and that is their goal.

Guild Wars 2 – Asura Race Featurette

As far as the weapons are concerned, are blasting rods or magical swords part of these weapons?

JG: All weapons are available to all races, so humans will have staffs and rods and Sylvari will have swords, the difference is how they approach these. Humans tend to be more traditional fantasy weaponry. The Sylvari grow their weapons, so they would have an axe, for example, that would look like a butterfly wing attached to an organic post. The Asura weaponry, as you noted, tends to have much more of an arcanic feel to it. There’s a sword, but it’s a glowing sword. There’s a blasting rod, but it has bits floating and orbiting around the hilt, so they take what they know into the creating of their weaponry.

So they will have use of all weapons, then, just in different manners? For example, I know some games will allow a wizard to use only staffs and one-handed swords whereas a champion can use a two-handed sword.

JG: We talk about the difference between race and profession, so not all professions will be able to use all weapons. For example, warriors would not use a scepter and focus whereas the elementalists would not use a two-handed sword.

RS: But an Asura could be either one of those and so could a Norn, so it’s much more based on the profession as to what weapon you will use.

Anyone can chose any profession like that then? I know games like LOTRO for example, certain races can’t be a Warden.

JG: We didn’t want to limit people that way. We wanted to tell the story about why the Asura are cool through the story. As most Asura will be magical characters, they’ll be elementalists or necromancers, but as we said, we saw a lot of people playing Asura warriors because they have some really cool moves.

How is development going and are you getting closer to announcing when you will go to beta? I am hoping, soon?

JG: Development is going really well, we have just rolled out a new demo at PAX, at Cologne at Games Con and we’ll be at Paris Games Week as well, that is showing off where we are right now. We have stated that we are going to do a closed beta by the end of the year and based on the information that we are going to be gathering from that, that will set how far we are. I can tell you that the entire staff, as a result of being at these conventions, is incredibly super-charged about getting this game done. We have written a lot of checks through the last few years saying we will be doing this , we are going to get rid of the trinity, we’ll be handling story differently , and one by one we’ve been showing people that we can do this. Now we have to get it across the finish line.

I saw the Norn demo at GDC and I loved it.

JG: Yeah, we throw you into the middle of the combat and that demo teaches you what it’s like to be a Norn. You are a hunter, you want to gain reputation and at the end of it, you get to fight a huge Ice Worm. It’s not your “kill 5 rats” type of demo. It is a truly beautiful game; I just can’t tell you how fantastic the art is, how well the entire game is coming together for us – and it’s just a great game to play.

ArenaNet will start holding small, closed alpha and beta tests sometime this year, with feedback determining a date for the public beta test and the game’s ultimate ship date.

We’ll have the trailer posted for you in a bit.

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    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]

  • Week 8: Can you win the weekly VG247 GTA Online playlist? Play tonight at 8pm UK time!

    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]

  • Tropico 5 arrives on PS4 in April – video

    A release date for Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4 has been announced. This is the franchise’s first foray onto PlayStation consoles. It arrived in Europe on April 24 and in North America on April 28. A Limited Edition has also been announced, and it includes The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Limited Edition PS4 releasing in Asia

    A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain PlayStation 4 system will be released in Asia. The system and its DualShock controller were designed in collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment and targeted for the Asia region, per Gematsu. It will be released as part of PS4 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain […]

  • This video shows Sid Meier’s Starships being played on iPad

    Sid Meier’s Starships will be released on iPad alongside Mac and PC, and to give you an idea on how it plays on the tablet, a new video has been released. Watch below as Pete Murray and lead producer Stuart Zissu show off the iPad version. The 4X space-strategy releases on March 12.

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood announced as standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a standalone prequel to The New Order, will release May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes pace in 1946, and and players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he embarks on a two-part mission in Bavaria. Part one, Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves, […]

  • Observer Mode coming soon to Evolve as a free update

    Observer Mode will be released for Evolve as a free update for all platforms, 2K and Turtle Rock have announced. The community feature was designed to give Evolve players the ability to observe and add commentary as well as livestream, allowing a sixth user to “passively enter a custom game” with the ability to switch […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes and PS4 top Media Create charts in Japan

    The PlayStation 3 and PS4 skus for Dragon Quest Heroes were the top sellers on the Media Create charts in Japan, moving a combined 594,749 units. Elsewhere on the chart, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was in third place with 39,751 units moved, and last week’s top seller, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, […]

  • Watch Hideo Kojima answer lots of your burning Phantom Pain questions

    What’s better than learning the official release date of MGS5: The Phantom pain? Hideo Kojima talking more about it, of course! Hideo Kojima has decided to answer a few fan questions about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, to help boost everyone’s hype to insane levels. He talks about the game’s story, his relief […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain Day 1 and Collector’s Edition revealed

    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]

  • HTC apologises over “confusing” Half-Life VR comments

    HTC has misspoke when it talked about Half-Life coming to VR headset Vive. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has apologised over the comments she made yesterday about the possibility of Half-Life coming to Vive, the VR headset it’s manufacturing with the help of Valve. Sources close to Valve, have indicated to the BBC that the developer […]

  • What do Heists and Daily Objectives tell us about the future of GTA Online?

    Daily Objectives could be more important to GTA Online than Heists. These theories and more, from a giddy Matt Martin. Yesterday Rockstar dropped a bombshell. Not only is it releasing Heists next week – the mythical 4-player missions for GTA Online – but it’s also going to be introducing daily challenges and more modes to […]

  • Breaking down Hardline Premium, is it worth it?

    Having been announced just a few days ago, the Premium service for Battlefield Hardline has been a topic of constant debate among the Battlefield community. Many look at Hardline as a Battlefield off-shoot that will just tide everyone over until Battlefront comes out in the fall. EA has other plans however, announcing a $50 Premium […]

  • Watch Dogs sold more than GTA 5 and FIFA 15 in Australia in 2014

    Watch Dogs outsold GTA 5, and FIFA 15, at retail in Australia last year. According to data obtained by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) from the NPD Group Australia, last year’s year retail sales charts look a bit different in Australia. The top-selling game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, followed by Watch […]

  • Watch PC footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from GDC 2015

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new gameplay video available that shows a bit of action from the PC version. The video below was captured from Nvidia’s GDC conference live-stream. Developer CD Projekt RED was on hand to show off The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s graphical prowess running on a PC. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • Dying Light: Hard Mode and Ultimate Survivor Bundle out March 10

    Dying Light’s second DLC drop, the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, and the free Hard Mode, have been given a solid release date alongside a new trailer. Dying Light developer Techland has confirmed that the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, the game’s second DLC drop, will release March 10. The DLC is part of the season pass, but will […]

  • Exploration puzzler Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4

    Ether One, the first-person exploration game that puts you in the minds of other people to help change events of their past is coming to PlayStation 4 this year. Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4 this year, developer White Paper Games announced at GDC 2015. A retail version will also be available alongside the […]

  • Larian “murdered” Divinity: Dragon Commander to focus on Original Sin

    Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian talked very candidly about the business side of development and the many unfortunate events that took place for the game to come out as it did. Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke gave a post-mortem on the troubled development of Divinity: Original Sin, and how it managed to overcome all of […]

  • Firewatch probably has the most natural dialogue of any game to date

    Firewatch developer Campo Santo has revealed the first ever gameplay footage of the upcoming exploration game. Firewatch is the first game from super indie studio Campo Santo. The game is set in the Wyoming forests where the player will be exploring the environment and act as a fire lookout. The game features extensive voice-acting as […]

  • White Night launch trailer is a noir thriller trip

    White Night is here, not long after it was revealed and with a mysterious launch trailer. White Night, the black-and-white survival horror set in 1930s Boston, has revealed its launch trailer. White Night is mix of old-school horror, exploration and puzzling solving in an eerie, noir setting. The game’s main mechanic is light. any object […]

  • Free-to-play is “a significant part” of PlayStation’s digital future

    Free-to-play games on PlayStation 4 have seen enough growth that Sony is now considering the model a major part of its future digital business. Sarah Thompson, senior account executive for PlayStation’s free-to-play business said at a GDC panel that Sony has witnessed impressive growth in the free-to-play sector. “We’re really looking at this as a […]

  • Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter documentary releasing free on YouTube

    Broken Age making of documentary Double Fine Adventure will be made available to all. When Double Fine turned to crowdfunding, changing the industry forever, it promised to give an unprecedented look behind the scenes with a professional documentary of the whole development process of Broken Age. That documentary was initially restricted to Kickstarter backers, but […]

  • Gone Home console ports cancelled following Midnight City difficulties

    Gone Home won’t be made available to the console masses after all. Indie hit Gone Home was announced for console release almost exactly one year ago, and we’ve heard absolutely nothing since then. Turns out, that’s because it’s not happening: developer the Fullbright Company confirmed to Eurogamer that the ports have been cancelled. “Our publishing […]

  • Microsoft rang Mojang the day Notch joked about selling

    Minecraft developer Mojang was sold because founder Markus “Notch” Persson made a joke on Twitter. Ever wondered how Minecraft came to be a Microsoft property? It’s actually a pretty great story. Remember when Notch tweeted this? Anyone want to buy my share of Mojang so I can move on with my life? Getting hate for […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking update rolling out

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been updated to help fix its tragic matchmaking. Again. Now almost four months old, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was still pretty broken as of this morning, with rubbish matchmaking and plenty of other issues to go around. 343 Industries is still trying to fix it, and has today […]

  • Nvidia unveils Shield, an Android 4K Smart TV set top box

    Nvidia has named yet another product “Shield” in an attempt to render us all hopelessly confused. The heart of Nvidia’s GDC 2015 press conference was the Shield, a $200 Android set top box launching in May. Apparently the “world’s first 4K Android TV”, the Shield supports 4K content encoded with h.265. The box runs on […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront footage shown behind closed doors

    Star Wars Battlefront is being shown to retailers. Now we want EA to show it to us. Star Wars Battlefront is expected sometime this year, so it’s about time EA gave us a look at DICE’s latest. It turns out that while press and gamers have had to twiddle their thumbs, EA is showing it […]

  • Dragon Age lead creative moves onto mysterious new BioWare project

    Dragon Age creator David Gaider is leaving his baby behind. Dragon Age is a team effort, but Gaider was one of the key creatives behind the franchise, creating the setting of Thedas (which, I was recently amused to learn, is an acronym: “THE Dragon Age Setting”). He was lead writer on all three games and […]

  • Unity 5 available for free with “no fucking around”

    Unity 5 looks amazing, and you can download and faff about with it for free right now. “We’re not nickel-and-diming people. When we say it’s free, it’s free. We’re not charging a royalty, which I think is akin to looking for whales.” Unity Technologies announced the release of the fifth version of its popular, simple, […]

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 may be the end of the series

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 released yesterday, and many fans theorise that it marks the end of the series. Five Nights at Freddy’s developer Scott Cawthon has released a new teaser image on his website, but rather than pointing to a new game, many fans believe the teaser signals the end of the series. The […]

  • Source 2 announced, will also be free

    Valve has formally unveiled Source Engine 2, the third major engine to go free to developers at GDC 2015. Source 2 is the successor to the engine Valve has been using since Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2. Valve didn’t have much to say about the technicalities of this long-awaited release. It is apparently focused on […]

  • SteamVR: Valve’s Lighthouse tech allows you to walk around while playing

    SteamVR’s key differentiator is a piece of tech allowing headsets to connect with other devices for extra accurate, room-scale tracking. Valve has announced a new bit of technology called Lighthouse, which it is making freely available to any hardware manufacturer. Like the extra tracking LEDs on Sony’s updated Project Morpheus, Lighthouse improves the headset’s accuracy, […]

  • Steam Machines, Controller, streaming box to launch in November

    Steam Machines will finally become a reality before the end of the year. Valve’s living room PC systems will release in November, the company announced today. Well, I say Valve’s – the idea behind Steam Machines is that a number of manufacturers will offer variously priced systems. Alienware and Falcon Northwest are among the dozen […]

  • Telltale veterans form new team, announce teen thriller Oxenfree

    Oxenfree is a supernatural teen thriller from some of the team behind Telltale Games’ award-winning adventures. New indie Night School Studios unveiled Oxenfree at GDC 2015. It tells the story of a group of friends who accidentally open a “ghostly rift” at an overnight party on the coast. Night School, which is made up of […]

  • PS4 global sales now stand at over 20.2 million

    The PS4 has sold 20.2 million units worldwide. Sony announced the new PS4 sales milestone at GDC 2015 today. It’s a hell of an achievement and salt in the wounds for Microsoft, which hasn’t updated us on Xbox One sales since it shipped “almost” 10 million back in November last year, and has fallen back […]

  • PS4 VR headset Morpheus out in 2016, capable of 120 FPS – video

    Sony’s VR headset Project Morpheus has some impressive grunt. Virtual reality and Morpheus were the heart of Sony’s GDC 2015 presentation today, ahead of its newly announced first-half 2016 comemrcial launch. SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida detailed the headset’s impressive capabilities, notably the fact that it can handle 120 FPS VR games. The PS4 […]

  • Papo & Yo developer making a VR game about dinosaurs

    Some days you write a headline and it makes you so happy that that you have to do a little chair dance, you know what I mean? Papo & Yo developer Minority Media, whom I would personally go to the wall for after they cut out my heart and stomped on it via the medium […]

  • Wasteland 2, Shovel Knight and more in big ole bunch of indies coming to Xbox One

    Xbox One owners are about to receive a pile of great new indie games. At GDC 2015, Microsoft revealed a list of new indie games headed to Xbox One. Some of these titles have already released on other platforms, so it looks like Microsoft has really relaxed the parity clause of ID@Xbox – or perhaps […]

  • Here’s an indie VR game made with Unreal Engine 4

    GDC 2015 is blowing up with indie games, VR and Unreal Engine 4, so here’s a video combining all three. Loading Human is a virtual reality adventure from indie developer Untold Games. It’s in the works for Mac and PC, and Sony has given an early green light for Project Morpheus, too, so expect it […]

  • GTA Online: Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode coming next week

    Heists aren’t the only thing coming to GTA Online next week: players can also expect Adversary Modes, new Daily Objectives and other Freemode activities. GTA Online’s Adversary Modes are new PvP modes which feature a range of competitive challenges and will unlock as players progress through Heists. Here’s a rundown straight from Rockstar: Come Out […]

  • Syndicate is the latest free game download on Origin

    The latest free title to be added to EA’s Origin service is 1993′s Syndicate. For a limited time, you can download the game for free and keep it, much like previous titles such as Theme Hospital. The isometric, real-time, tactical-action game was developed by Bullfrog Productions and released in June 1993. It is a favorite […]

  • Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen now available

    The Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen is now available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It will run you $7.99 and builds upon the existing lore, characters, and storyline. Have a look at some new screenshots in the gallery below.

  • Shadowrun Online gets a name change and release date

    Shadowrun Online developer Cliffhanger Productions has announced the game’s name has been changed to Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown and a release date for April has been set. The new title was formed via the developer and its Kickstarter backers, with the goal being to let those unfamiliar with the game know by the title alone […]

  • Amazon hosting Rockstar and 2K Games sale

    Amazon is hosting a Rockstar Games and 2K Games sale with discounts Max Payne titles, Bully and more. Here’s just some of the offerings listed: Manhunt 2 PC Download $3.00 Max Payne 3 PC Download $4.00 Bully: Scholarship Edition PC Download $3.00 LA Noire Xbox 360 $2.95 L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition PC Download $6.00 […]

  • Destiny weekly reset video shows off Inferno Crucible gameplay

    We have a gameplay video featuring Inferno Crucible gameplay featured in the Destiny weekly reset for you. In it, Arekkz Gaming gives you a look at Inferno Crucible and goes over the various intricacies. You can read up on the weekly reset through the links.

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Episode 2 available from today

    Episode 2 for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is now available. If you’ve purchased the Complete Season, you’ll be able to download Episode 2 on PS3, PS4 and Xbox One. Steam players should see the episode go live around 9-10pm PST, and Xbox 360 owners should be able to download very early tomorrow morning, per Capcom […]

  • Here’s a sneak peek video for Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide

    Fatshark Games has released a sneak peek video for its upcoming Games Workshop title, Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide. Vermintide is a FPS, co-op action title coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and its set during the End Times of the Warhammer universe in the city of Ubersreik. Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide […]