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Uncharted 3: Lemarchand, North go deep on storytelling

Friday, 30 September 2011 08:20 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Naughty Dog’s Richard Lemarchand and Nolan North speak to Johnny Cullen about the Uncharted 3′s creative process, story, mo-cap and much more.

Naughty Dog’s Uncharted

Debuted at E3 2006 with a mysterious teaser.

Considered the flagship franchise for PlayStation 3.

Over 8 million copies sold worldwide in the series.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves netted numerous Game of the Year awards and holds a 96 metacritic average.

Will debut as a launch title on Vita with Golden Abyss in Japan on December 17.

I’m never a conversationalist in interviews. No matter how hard I try, I’m always focused on the information I’m after – which feels robotic and also probably prevents me from thinking of followup questions – not a chat, although I’d like to think I am getting better at that particular skill.

But last week, for at least 20 minutes at Eurogamer Expo, I was able to have a conversation, not an interview with Nolan North, Mr Nathan Drake himself, and Naughty Dog’s lead game designer Richard Lemarchand. Even with the background noise and PA announcements blaring off in the background, it still felt like anything but work, as you’ll see below.

As anyone who attended the pair’s developer’s session last week will know, it’s almost unbelievable how much collaboration there is between North and Naughty Dog, but also how much the former knows of development in games. I think it’s safe to say you’re dealing with a committed Nolan North, no matter the job.

VG247: You mentioned yesterday in the session you had a very big collaboration between you and the studio. Infamously, you’re doing other games like Assassin’s Creed, Dark Void, etc. You do most of these games for days at a time, whereas with Uncharted, it’s about 14 months you said?

Nolan North: It can be up to that, up to 14-16 months just because around the time… [speaking to Richard] you guys would go into development, it’s about a two year process, right?

Richard Lemarchand: Yeah, yeah.

NN: And this is actually good information from me too. When did we start casting from the end of [Uncharted] 2?

RL: I think it was about six months after the beginning of development in the game.

NN: So about six months in. I have about 16, sometimes 18 months, but it varies. It would have gotten more so on the third one, even more involved, because there was more cut-scenes and more time.

RL: And just more stuff to do because the games have got a bit bigger each time and more intensive. And of course, Nolan was involved in the creation of the multiplayer part of the game as well as the single-player.

“So that six months really gives us the breathing space to have a good long think about all the things we want to put in the next game and start to make some choices, and as Amy says, stick some pins into the idea of what it could be.”

NN: We did the motion capture for all of that stuff and it was great fun. But also the rehearsal timing, It’s one of the few games that would take time to have a full day of rehearsal, well not a full day, a full session, four hours. Like, say, mind the one session in the morning, we’ll show up, usually have a nice breakfast and a little chat. By 10AM, we roll onto set and we sit around a table with Amy Hennig, our writer and creative director, and Gordon Hunt, our director, sometimes Josh [Scherr, cinematic director]…

RL: Gordon Hunt is our director of motion capture. Something that I think not enough studios do is to work with a director of acting basically, someone who had been working with actors all their life.

NN: Especially someone who’s done stage, because [Hunt's] done stage and television. The motion capture, performance capture is a lot like theatre.

RL: So that six months really gives us the breathing space to have a good long think about all the things we want to put into the next game and start to make some choices, and as Amy says, stick some pins into the ideas that we think we wanna keep. And from there, we can start production.

NN: And unlike starting out on a big, full 120-page script like a phonebook, there’s just a few select scenes to get us going. And then, that collaboration process comes in. We’re able to do those scenes, see where it goes, and then she’ll write for the next section and the next point, the next point, the next point and where she wants to go. She’s very open to change in direction, but still keeping the through-line to where she wants to end up. Brilliant. It’s very difficult to do, but she’s one of the few who can make it work.

Yeah, definitely. A master of her work.

NN: She is absolutely the top of the game. She’s amazing.

RL: Yeah, absolutely. One of a kind.

But that’s just one collaboration between you and Naughty Dog. But there’s also another collaboration between you, Naughty Dog and Bend with Uncharted: Golden Abyss for Vita. How is that going?

NN: We do the same process of motion capture, but with a different director, Kris Zimmerman [Ed note: Kris directed a lot of the voicework on the main Metal Gear Solid series - JC] who’s on that one, who’s a fantastic director. There was a lot of pointers throughout, I know John Garvin [writer and game director of Golden Abyss] consulted with Amy Hennig quite a bit because she birthed the character.

So he would talk to her to get some insight on the character and he was very keen to ask me, ‘Is that something he would say that? How do you feel about that? Would Drake do that?’ And he was pretty spot on with his writing and how he wanted to get it done. And as you know, the hardware is different, so it has to stay true to the characters in the story. I think Rich can talk about that a little more because the mechanics of a handheld are different.

RL: Right, for sure, especially a handheld with all the new capabilities of Vita with game design considerations. But we’ve been very lucky that Sony Bend have run with that. I think Amy gave them what we call a big brain dump at the beginning of project. We talked them through not just the evolution of the world of Uncharted, but also the creative process that we use for working with the actors and developing the performances and implementing them into the game. But from that point on, the guys were really off and running. We’re very excited to see what they come back with.

Nolan, you seem to have a lot more detailed knowledge of Vita than probably most voice actors.

NN: I take a pretty keen interest in development now. As we’ve talked about yesterday, I am writing the book, Drake’s Journal: Inside the Making of Uncharted 3, and it’s really my perspective. As you know, I do a lot of games, but this one’s very near and dear to my heart. And the people at Naughty Dog are near and dear to my heart. And I wanted to show them something that highlighted what they do and how we do it together. In terms of Golden Abyss and how I came in, as I’m writing this book, we started doing that. So I understand how they’re working and how a development office works and what they’re looking to do. So I’m a fan of the process of making the game.

Uncharted 3′s gamescom trailer

RL: What you have to understand is that Nolan actually has a curious inquisitive nature and I think this is a huge part of why we gave him the role of Nathan Drake because Amy and Gordon and the other people involved could see that, fundamentally, he’s the same kind of guy as Nathan Drake; he loves to find out what’s going on. He’s fascinated by the world around him and by history.

NN: And quite frankly, how can you not? I mean, you get to know these guys and you learn that… Like the scenes we’ve been showing like the plane sequence, I got to learn there must be over a dozen people that put in hundreds of hours just to do their one little bit and then to make a whole. The logistics of all those people doing their jobs that well to make it all come together and work it out, I can’t even begin to tell you. I went to college and I still don’t understand fully how they do it, but I know how to write it down and hopefully help people gain an insight into how hard they work.

RL: And we’re very excited about Nolan’s book. It’s really flattering to us that he’d want to write a whole book about our process because we’re all interested in the way games get made. Constantly refining our own processors, constantly trying to learn new things. It’s like being in college working at Naughty Dog.

NN: But it’s also not just about learning how you do it, it’s about the fun that they have while they’re making it. And sometimes, [talking to Richard] as you put it, when we go mental.

RL: [laughs]

NN: A lot of people going mental because…

RL: They’re staying up late, polishing the game.

NN: And losing their minds.

RL: Yes.

Tell me about your experiences in other games. Obviously, Uncharted is the big banana. It’s not just “a job,” it’s something you collaborate on. You could basically say, let’s take this for example: Kiefer Sutherland on 24. He started out on the show as an actor before moving onto a producer. That’s what I’d basically compare your collaboration with Uncharted.

NN: I wouldn’t put myself as a producer.

Oh no, no. I mean the same caliber of collaboration.

NN: Yeah, I see what you mean. Just the fact that actually going from the point of just being cast, and we all kinda learned on Drake’s Fortune how things were working. And then, as their technology advanced in development, they added things. And as an actor, I remember for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves being asked to come in for all the casting sessions, not just to read out with this possible character, but actually have my input be valued as something like, ‘do you think this is somebody we should hire,’ which was a daunting task. And we did the same thing for 3 to a certain extent where I had even more say on the casting.

But it’s something that every actor should have a chance to do because you realise that the people who come in – and every actor should know – even if you don’t get a job, it doesn’t mean you weren’t good. It just means you weren’t ‘the right fit’ for that particular project. There were people who didn’t get a job on 2 that ended up getting a job on 3 because we remember them from that one.

Misters North and Lemarchand, just before
the former’s EG dev session on Saturday

RL: Yeah.

NN: I know Amy and I have a couple of names that we’ve kept in the back of our heads that if we are lucky to do an Uncharted 4, it’s somebody we’d like to work with in the future. So for me, just the fact that they include me in any role other than just the guy who comes in to do Nathan Drake is very flattering and humbling.

RL: And that kind of inclusive, collaborative style is really just a reflection of the way we work at the studio as well.

NN: Yeah, Naughty Dog as a developer is a collaborative unit. It’s unbelievable. Christophe Balestra and Evan Wells [co-presidents] are there just as much if not more than anyone else.

RL: And they’ve done an amazing job of fostering the kind of company culture that’s not about departments or many layers of bosses. It’s about a bunch of talented, creative people who are under the same roof who love games, who have some experience making games, and who are good at brainstorming and coming out with some crazy idea, like the idea that Drake gets sucked out of the nose of a breaking apart cargo plane. And then to have the kind of temerity to chase the idea down, see it through, to actually make it work, with the tools that we use to make the game – which very often involves people from widely different disciplines, maybe a programmer, an animator, a visual effects person…

NN: Working together.

RL: Working together, yeah. Not because anyone’s told them to, but they see what they need to do to get the thing finished. So they run across the office, tap someone on the shoulder and say, ‘hey, I need your help with this thing.’ So it’s very kind of open, and like Nolan says, inclusive in that kind of way. And that extends to the actors. We’d be fools if we didn’t take advantage of the opportunity together.

Let’s talk about mo-cap. That’s something that’s pivotal to Uncharted. And, by the looks of things, it’s going to be part of the games you make in the future at Naughty Dog, not just with Uncharted, but with maybe potential Jak and Daxter titles and any other games you do in the future. I’m not asking are you doing another Jak and Daxter, it was just an example.

RL: Yeah, I mean motion capture is something that we hadn’t used until we made Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, and it was really a step into a brave new world for us. Nolan’s really travelled with us on that whole adventure because we had a lot to learn about how to do it. Other game studios were using mo-cap, movies had been using mo-cap for quite some time. But we decided to go back to basics and figure out what would work out for us.

NN: It’s interesting how it’s evolved. One of the first scenes we ever mo-capped for Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was the part where Elena and Nate had to jump out of the plane at the beginning and parachute out. They actually, on the stage, carpenters built the framework of part of a fuselage, and the steering column was PVC piping. But there was a little cutout and we had to kind of climb through it. And if we did that today, it’d be nothing more than some chairs and boxes. And we wouldn’t even need that stuff.

And actually, some of the plane was much more inclusive to hide some of the markers on the [mo-cap] suit. Another example is Eddie Raja when they drive off the jeep in Drake’s Fortune. They actually rented a jeep – this is in the book too – that actually had … mouse crap through out it. [all laugh] And it stank like urine and it had little mouse faeces.

We had to jump into it – I remember banging my knee, it was a big metal old Toyota jeep – and then what we realised was you don’t need that. And by the time we got to Uncharted 2, it was a couple of benches, a fake steering column, the shift was a PVC pipe with a tennis ball.

And by the time we got to Uncharted 3, it was just chairs because the animators knew we just need to do this and they actually had the model and it just became paired down to the essentials. It makes it a little more difficult as an actor because you have less to work with, but at the same time, it’s also a little more freeing because you don’t have to worry about banging your leg, which as long as you picture that jeep and just jump in there because in first instance, lets say the animators decide, ‘oh it should be a truck, not a jeep,’ they can just go ‘okay,’ change it and make the skin whatever they want it to be.

RL: That’s a great evolution of our process. Very interesting.

NN: And much less expensive than renting a jeep for the day.

I want to touch upon something you made comment on yesterday. You said doing mo-cap like the MotionScan tech in LA Noire would be “difficult”. Does that show how much of a free-form performance you could do with Uncharted and Naughty Dog compared to something like MotionScan and LA Noire?

NN: Richard can touch upon the technology of facial capture, but I know a couple of the actors who did the facial capture. And it’s very difficult that you have to be animated. If you just watch us talking, anybody, we move our heads, I might do this and I might do that. They can not do that. And what happens when you have to keep your face that still, you’re going to one of two ways: you’ll be so afraid to actually emote and move your face and so it’ll be very boring or you’ll try to overdo it. And now, all of a sudden, you’re going, [he says with an expressionless face] ‘hey, listen to me, you know whats going to happen when we go down that street.’

So if you’re locked in that position, what’s the point? The point is when you’re locked in that position, you’re not being natural. And good acting is being natural. With Uncharted, one of the things that is vital to the performances is the fact they had people who do the facial animation that they will sit there and watch reference videos. So we’re in our suits doing all these things and the movements can be very free, can get as close as we want to another actor and talking, fighting, getting in their face, whatever and not worrying about the markers on my face in case they fall off, are they capturing it?

“There’s some great, subtle facial moments in Uncharted 3 unlike any of the other previous games that I’ve seen, like Drake and Elena at the gate. Watch the facial and know that we gave those performances.”

And then, what they do, they’ll just take a normal performance, but just have videotaping cameras that’ll go back and the animators can watch my face do a little crinkle or that I might do something subtle. And subtly is the key, and they can just hand animate the facial animation. I think it’s a true testament for this game that people love Drake’s personality. And there’s some great, subtle facial moments in Uncharted 3 unlike any of the other previous games that I’ve seen, like Drake and Elena at the gate. There’s other moments I can’t give away, but watch the facial and know that we gave those performances, and that was great.

But people who do the facial animation, they had to translate that so you could see it. And they credit me to say, ‘but you guys gave that performance so we could animate it.’ ‘But you had to animate it.’ So it’s a real marriage, it’s that collaboration I keep going back to. So without them, it doesn’t matter how good my performance was.

RL: And I think that’s the main point of this discussion about performances, what kind of technology you use to capture and then reproduce the performances in the game. Yet we’re lucky we live in the time where we have this amazing choice of tools, these different techniques for capturing performances being developed.

And I think, as with anything, it’s about finding the right tool for the particular job you want to do. The way Nolan’s described, where we do full body motion-capture and animate their faces, is what we decided to be the best way for us in making Uncharted, but that doesn’t mean that these other ways of doing it don’t have their own excellent uses. I’m just delighted to be alive in 2011 and these things exists. All these amazing games are coming out.

Final question. You touched upon the scene with Drake and Elena at the gate from gamescom. Afterwards, there was some speculation that Elena was pregnant. Either that or the end of Uncharted 2. What can you say about that?

RL: Wow, what can we say about rumours of pregnant Elena?

NN: You know what would be great? I should just set the record straight. At the beginning of Uncharted 2, Nathan Drake is at the bar drinking because he’s just come from his vasectomy. [Everyone laughs]

So if Elena’s pregnant, my guess is it’s Sully’s. [All laugh] That’s all I can say. That one’s a spoiler.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception launches on November 1 in the US and November 2 in the UK for PS3.

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5 Comments

  1. Johnny Cullen

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed doing this. Just sheer brilliant.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. monty12345

    I really enjoyed reading this! really great johnny, Those two fellas, and the whole ND team seem so passionate about making games. Brilliant.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Johnny Cullen

    Oh they are. They absolutely are. It came across when I was talking to them last week, especially Nolan. You wouldn’t think a voice actor like him would be so passionate about just one game, especially when someone like him does so many games, but he is ‘committed to the cause,’ basically.

    It’s basically why the interview was so much of a joy to do.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. speedxl01

    It’s great how all that camaraderie translates into the game.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. triggerhappy

    Fantastic read. Thanks Johnny, now im late for work :P

    #5 3 years ago

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

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

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

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

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

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

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

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

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

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

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

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

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

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

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

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

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

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

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

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

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

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

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

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

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

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

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

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

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

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

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

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

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

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

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

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

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

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

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

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

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

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

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

  • Toejam and Earl are back with a new Kickstarter

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

  • New Wander trailer shows off Azertash form

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

  • SOMA approaching beta phase on PC and PS4

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

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

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

  • New Hunger teaser released by LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers

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

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

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

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

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

  • Play Battlefield Hardline starting March 12 through EA Access

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

  • This video summarizes the contents of Destiny patch 1.1.1

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

  • Destiny 1.1.1 patch notes out, update is live

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

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

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

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

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

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

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