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Uncharted Success: Naughty Dog celebrates 25 years

Thursday, 22 December 2011 14:53 GMT By Johnny Cullen

As 2011 comes to an end, so too will an unknown celebration. Johnny Cullen charts Naughty Dog’s 25-year journey from school-days to super studio.

Naughty Dog

Founded as JAM Software in 1986 by Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin in high school.

Its first title, Ski Crazed, released in 1987 for Apple II.

Gavin and Rubin have since left the company, with Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra now heading the studio as co-presidents.

Was independent until January 2001, when bought by Sony.

Saw major success with Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter, but struck gold with Uncharted. A second team has now been established to develop a brand new IP, The Last of Us.

There’s been a few anniversaries in the gaming world this past year: Ubisoft’s 25th, Blizzard’s 20th. But it seems there may have been one that slipped under the radar, which is a big surprise considering this studio is now perhaps one of the most widely-recognised on the triple-A scene.

Naughty Dog is 25 years old this year.

Then again, it’s been a busy year for the studio. Along with the surprise announcement of a new IP, it released a third core entry in the Uncharted series and worked alongside Sony Bend on development of Uncharted: Golden Abyss for the Vita’s launch.

But all things have an origin.

Jamming, man

In 1986, high school students Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin joined forces to found what was then known as Jam Software. The pair had been experimenting with computer programming, tooling around with C++, before combining their talents.

The following year, despite a major upset in which the original version of Jam’s first game was wiped while accidentally copying bootleg games, the pair released Ski Crazed, a skiing title for Apple II.

A year later, Jam would launch Dream Zone on Apple IIGS – later ported to PC, Amiga and Atari ST – an adventure wherein the player would need to escape a dream and return to reality.

But it was in 1989 that the first seeds of the company as we know it today were sown. Making a new beginning, Jam Software was renamed Naughty Dog, with EA-published RPG Keel The Thief for Apple IIGS, Amiga and PC the first release under the new moniker. Its next effort, Rings of Power for the Genesis or Mega Drive, arrived in 1991 – another RPG published by EA.

And in 1994, Naughty Dog developed a 3DO fighting title for the now defunct Universal Interactive Studios (better known in recent years as Vivendi Games) called Way of the Warrior, with both single-play and multiplayer.

Based on Way of the Warrior’s success, Mark Cerny, then head of Universal Interactive Studios, agreed to back the company’s next games. What came afterwards signalled the beginning of Naughty Dog’s true success.

“Whoa!”

In 1996, with a distribution deal secured, Naughty Dog released a unique platformer called Crash Bandicoot. It was published by the fresh-faced Sony Computer Entertainment, which had released its debut console, the PlayStation, over 1994 and 1995.

In this game, we accompanied Crash in the first of many battles against Dr Cortex, as he attempted to save love interest Tawna from the mad doctor’s experiments.

Almost overnight, Crash became one of the faces of PlayStation; the simply-designed marsupial was such an icon that he reached unofficial Sony mascot status. The game was considered on of the platform’s first killer apps, selling 6.3 million units in its first six years.

Crash Bandicoot’s first level. Great scenes.

Within two years, Crash received two sequels, Cortex Strikes Back and Warped, before changing direction for what would turn out to be Naughty Dog’s final Crash game. Crash Team Racing, released in 1999, had the bandicoot and his colourful cast of 14 friends set out to stop the villainous Nitros Oxide through the medium of kart racing.

With Crash Team Racing, Naughty Dog signed off in style, both from the IP and from its relationship with Universal Interactive Studios. It was time for something new. In the same year CTR launched, a small part of the studio was working on a brand new IP for then fledgling PlayStation 2.

“Say goodnight, Jak!”

Both the beginning and end of 2001 would prove to be an exciting time for Naughty Dog. In January, free from its Universal Interactive Studios ties, the developer was purchased by Sony Computer Entertainment for an undisclosed amount.

By the end of the year, the first installment in its next IP would release. Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy launched in December 2001, maintaining the same platformng ethos as Crash Bandicoot. Telling the story of two friends, one of which became something known as an “outsel” – half otter, half weasel – the game followed the pair as they tried and change Daxter back to his original human form. The title would go on to sell 1 million units.

Jak and Daxter. Queens of the Stone Age.
Winner.

Free from the yearly development cycles of Crash Bandicoot, Naughty Dog spent a full two years on Jak II, releasing the sequel in October 2003. Jak 3 appeared in November 2004, and would be the last traditional Jak and Daxter game Naughty Dog would produce – but there was still another to come.

One feature of Jak X: Combat Racing would surprise: it featured online multiplayer, and was the first Naughty Dog game to do so.

Despite numerous requests over the years, Naughty Dog has not since revisited Jak and Daxter, but there have been other titles from other studios, such as Daxter from Ready at Dawn and The Lost Frontier on PSP from High Impact Games. A HD collection of the three main PS2 canon games will release for PlayStation 3 in February next year.

After work finished on Jak X: Combat racing, the team began work on its next new IP for PlayStation 3 under the codename “Big.” Perhaps it realised even then that there was to be a literal interpretation of that stand-in title.

“All men dream, but not equally”

The third franchise IP in the company’s history was produced under the guidance of new co-presidents Evan Wells and Christophe Balestra, as both Rubin and Gavin had left the developer.

Under the directorship of Amy Hennig, previously a director and writer on The Legacy of Kain series, Big would debut at Sony’s infamous E3 2006 press conference – although it would be a year before we learned the game’s title and protagonist’s name.

Just before E3 2007 – the scaled-down event held in a Santa Monica air hangar – Sony named the project as Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune. Releasing in November that same year, almost a year behind the PS3′s US launch, Drake’s Fortune cast players as Nathan Drake, on the hunt for El Dorado, supported by reporter Elena Fisher and mentor Victor ‘Sully’ Sullivan.

The game drew huge critical praise, won several end of year awards and sold strongly, with 3.5 million copies sold as of June 2009. A sequel was guaranteed, but few guessed that Uncharted 2: Among Thieves would be the studio’s defining moment.

How to Make a Trailer 101: Uncharted 2′s
gamescom 2009 video.

Released in 2009, Among Thieves had Drake team up with ex-love interest Chloe, as well as returning characters Elena and Sully, against war criminal Lazarevic in a race to the Chintamani Stone, with locations including Borneo, Istanbul and Tibet. Sales as of October 2011 reached 4.9 million units.

While Among Thieves added multiplayer to the series and pushed the PlayStation 3′s visuals further than ever, it was perhaps the game’s story which earned it multiple perfect reviews. The second game won game of the year awards from the likes of Eurogamer, the Spike VGAs, Destructoid, Joystiq, IGN, Kotaku and the VG247 community.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves promoted Naughty Dog to the top of Sony’s WorldWide Studios family, making it the company’s flagship studio.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception released last month, focussing on the relationship between Drake and Sully. While Drake’s Deception wasn’t quite the critical breakout of Among Thieves, it sold massively. First day sales numbers were 3.8 million units, with the series as a whole reaching 13 million units as a result.

Building on the franchise’s success, Naughty Dog has also been lending a hand to Sony Bend on development of Uncharted: Golden Abyss for PlayStation Vita. The collaboration between both studios saw Naughty Dog deliver unto Bend “a whole bible in terms of providing them with the full background of the Uncharted universe and all of the characters,” studio comms boss Arne Meyer told me at gamescom.

“Amy [Hennig] has had a really great working relationship with everybody up there. They ask her questions all the time, they’re on the phone all the time. Everyone understands that not only is Naughty Dog sort of the keepers of Uncharted, but it’s all in Amy’s head. So she’s always been very available to them for all of that.”

The Vita launch title has already proved itself, becoming one of Japan’s two most popular releases for the new handheld console.

With three core games and a spin-off all proving to be major successes, surely Uncharted 4 is a given, right? Easy to assume, could certainly happen, and would probably sell big – but the studio has now split its energies, at least temporarily, to work on a new IP. If the team providing post-launch support for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception isn’t merged back into this second group, it’ll be the first time in the developer’s history that it’s had two games in the works side-by-side.

“It never lets up”

Just this month, Sony began teasing a massive PS3 exclusive, known only as The Last of Us. Remarkably, the PR lockdown remained watertight; no one knew what it would be, and no one knew who was making it.

Teasers appeared all over the internet, but nobody made the connection. Even after the discovery of a teaser in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, we shrugged it off as nothing more than a tiny collaboration between Naughty Dog and whoever was behind the new game. After all, Naughty Dog only does one a game at a time; or so we thought.

The Last of Us. Expect big things from this.

At the VGAS, all was revealed. Naughty Dog, in secret, had been pulling together a secret second team to build its fourth IP. The Last of Us, then, is the first time the studio will introduce two new properties in the same generation.

Details are scant at the moment, but we know that the game is set in a post-apocalyptic world. Lead characters Joel and Ellie are together in what Naughty Dog calls a non-romantic “love story”, aiming to survive in a world which is filled with what seem to be creepy ant-human hybrid creatures.

It’s been a long 25 years for Naughty Dog, growing from the largely-forgotten Ski Crazed to the potentially massive The Last of Us. The studio seems to have shrugged off the cutesy looks of Crash or Jak and Daxter, instead opting for the serious route with Uncharted and The Last of Us.

However, one thing that has remained the same after a quarter of a century: the quality of Naughty Dog’s games has never let up. With The Last of Us inbound, that trait looks like it will continue.

Here’s to another 25 years.

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15 Comments

  1. Prof.Dr.Moertel

    Last and only Naughty Dog game I’ve played was Crash bandicoot, I think. Great studio, but the games just don’t really appeal to me (well, and I don’t own a PS3 anyway).

    #1 3 years ago
  2. HeavyD-Love

    Developer of the decade! Bring back the Bandicoot!!

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Patrick Garratt

    Uncharted is generation-defining, in my opinion. Really loved this article, by the way.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Psychotext

    Didn’t enjoy Uncharted 1 or Uncharted 3, but loved Uncharted 2 (Yeah, I don’t know why… it just clicked for me in a way the others never did).

    I loved Crash Bandicoot though. Good times. :)

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Johnny Cullen

    I wasn’t too fixated with Jak and Daxter – which is why I am going to buy the HD Collection next year – but Crash and Uncharted hold a lot of special memories for me. Crash 1 was the very first videogame I ever owned when I got a PlayStation 1 in Xmas 1997.

    Got CTR in 1999 after that. Good times.

    And obviously, Uncharted. What more can I say about the series? Loved UC1 when I got it the month after release, UC2 I adore to bits and is probably my favorite game this gen. And UC3 is definitely a gem of a game.

    Really can’t wait for The Last of Us now. That shall be all kinds of excellent, knowing ND.

    Properly enjoyed writing this.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Erthazus

    2 ND teams? Son, i’m dissapoint.

    Sony need to throw all the money at them.
    Make 24 ND teams

    so we can get a game every month that will be a masteriece. Now thats good in my opinion. :D

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Mike

    I really don’t get what the fuss is about. No game they’ve made has changed my view on games/gaming.

    They’re an average developer who have created a Hollywood-franchise that has amazing graphics and set-pieces.

    No game they’ve made has in any way stirred any emotion. They haven’t created / defined any genre.

    Their games are really superficial, but fun. And well-made. No question. But lauding them as champions of the industry is a bit…I dunno…populist?

    I can’t find the word.

    I don’t want to be derogatory about people whom I respect and their opinion, but I really, really disagree. :)

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Mike

    FWIW, the article is superb. It’s just the actual mai point of it, I disagree with.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Maximum Payne

    @7 Give it time and people would start bitching how ND sell their soul ,how is less quality…

    #9 3 years ago
  10. OrbitMonkey

    @7, Wait, you don’t understand the appeal of the Sony owned company? Er it’s cuz you a 360 fanboy innit?

    Well done Naughty Dog, never knew you were 25 years old! Got my 1st PS3 for Uncharted… Never looked back :-D

    #10 3 years ago
  11. tanman1234543

    I don’t understand why people hated Jak and Daxter. It is my favorite platformer of all time and favorite series by Naughty Dog. Uncharted games and Crash games were fun but not as fun as that series. The gameplay, characters, story, graphics just blew me away.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. tanman1234543

    I don’t understand why people hated Jak and Daxter. It is my favorite platformer of all time and favorite series by Naughty Dog. Uncharted games and Crash games were fun but not as fun as that series. The gameplay, characters, story, graphics just blew me away..

    #12 3 years ago
  13. HeavyD-Love

    @7 “I really don’t get what the fuss is about.”

    Well besides exceptional story telling, presentation, gameplay, and graphics…..dynamic level design for one. Have you played Uncharted 3? If so, think back to the yacht level for example. Some people say Uncharted doesn’t do anything new, I disagree. I can’t recall another game (at the moment) that changes the gameplay and map mechanics in the way that Naughty Dog does with the Uncharted series. When the water starts flowing into the ball room area and the ship is tipping, you can watch in real time as the barrels, cars, and boxes move with gravity as you’d expect them to and they’re physically supposed to. Water flows in and fills the room realistically, AND you can go swim in the water freely, they don’t block you from entering the changing water like some games might. The gunfight going on during these environment changes becomes much more interesting and challenging as a result.

    This is just one of the multiple dynamic level design examples that qualifies Naughty Dog and their Uncharted series to be “game changers”, “praise worthy”, and much more than just average as some people claim.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. HeavyD-Love

    P.S. Speaking of Naught Dog, Uncharted, and Crash Bandicoot…… I personally love it when they do the running towards the camera/screen run your ass off gameplay moments in Uncharted ala the Crash Bandicoot boulder chase level.

    Uncharted 1 did it with a falling wooden bridge in a cave.
    Uncharted 2 did it with a vehicle down an urban alley way.
    Uncharted 3 did it with water in a yacht hallway.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Chillanuggets

    @7 Personally I think it’s partly due to their odd place in the industry. They’re not a conventional team because everything about them is both premature and experienced, lackluster and impressive, etc. They’re a studio that’s been going strong for 25 years, yet has only recently been acknowledged as top-notch developers since ’07. Their games don’t carry the melodramatic, inventive or emotional weight of other games like BioShock, Half-Life, or Planescape, and those who do like them for one thing are also highly likely to dislike them for another. Their blockbuster-style Uncharted series also don’t possess the same atmosphere as other huge, set-piece based games because the graphical cues and blend of character, gameplay, and story (while not perfect) are markedly different and more nuanced. However, they’re also not as intimate or innovative as games like Mass Effect, Mirror’s Edge, or Odyssey to the West, for instance. Uncharted may not have defined or paved the way for a new genre, but that certain Naughty Dog ingredient of imperfect yet well-implemented gameplay elements is still apparent.

    When Naughty Dog stumbled over success, that’s pretty much what happened; they stumbled over and into success. After the release of UC2 people realized, at that moment, what Naughty Dog was capable of. And it must’ve been game-changing, because until that point, Naughty Dog made games the way Naughty Dog did games; and it was a peculiar pattern they left as a trail because, to me, the games industry seemed to be waiting to rain them with praise and call them outstanding developers, but was stopped short by glints of mediocrity and randomness — did they make good games? Yes, they did, but how can they go from something as highly acclaimed as Warped to something more behind-the-curtain and forgotten as Jak 3? Where was the distinction? Besides the technical prowess, what was something worth singling out within their games that could point to a consistent quality of theirs as a developer that actually seemed distinctive? From my perspective, it wasn’t until the release of UC2 that ND reached that point — that point that Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin so originally aspired to long ago; that which they had given birth to in their bedrooms hacking into Apple II’s making math games decades earlier; in fact it’s almost reminiscent to a classic underdog story.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that Naughty Dog currently retains such reverence within the video game industry because, well, that’s mainly all that they’re known for atm; being Naughty Dog, and making games as technically impressive and linearly entertaining as Uncharted 2. They haven’t soiled that reputation. They haven’t been embroiled in some kind of dramatic controversy. They aren’t yet associated with anything that would suggest them to be a lesser studio, and because of that, technically, they aren’t. What catapulted them to such a high tier of developer recognition wasn’t just the success of Uncharted 2 (Well…okay, maybe 85% of it was. :P), it was the fact that just being Naughty Dog and making games the way they’d do after setting themselves for it in a starting installment that they’d continue to expand upon and improve, just like in the past (with soaring ambitions and now with a recently adopted cinematic presentation nonetheless) was enough to take them to a precipice nearly no one saw coming. People saw extreme potential in a developer they’d never thought to look at before. A once respected, yet divisive and incomprehensible studio just suddenly burst into the spotlight with a sharper, more poignant identity, and suddenly became a name people knew how to at least generally react to: “Man, these guys can make some pretty good games.” And since then it’s been hard to see Naughty Dog’s name on a screen, box, or news article and not wonder, not even at least from occult curiosity, what they’re up to next. And while there’ll be many arguments about their qualities as a developer, few can argue against they gravity they now exhibit. Whether they use that to keep them up, launch them even further, or completely fall out of place is something we can only see in due time, though; and to that I say — regardless of background, future, or bias — here’s to another good, interesting, and unpredictable 25 years. ;P

    [Tl;dr, basically this was just a sentimental, overwrought piece on the overall growth and maturity in both Naughy Dog and public perception of Naughty Dog as a developer and game-maker over the past two decades. Really no defined point, as I just felt like ranting about a studio I have a peculiar, but passionate attachment to, lol. And besides, not sure where else I would post this on here. Although I do admit all the extravagant run-on sentences were probably a little overdone.

    Regardless, that's all for me today, folks. Like any other ND/survival/storytelling/Uncharted fan, hyped for The Last of Us which comes out 6/14! Will it flop it or will it mop it, only time will tell, lol -- but until then, happy gamin', everyone.]

    #15 2 years ago

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    Vostock Games’ post-apocalyptic MMOFPS Survarium will launch through Steam Early Access on Thursday, April 2. At present the build offers only the PVP mode, and plans to expand with more variations of gameplay are in the works. The developer stated in its announcement it wanted to work out issues in PVP before offering freeplay and […]

  • Evolve’s latest content update with Behemoth and Observer Mode arrives today

    Evolve’s latest content update releases today, and as previously reported, it contains the playable Behemoth and four new playable Hunters. It also contains the free Observer Mode, and two free maps are available today. The maps are available first on Xbox One and will be available for PC and PlayStation 4 on April 30. You […]

  • Assassin’s Creed: Chronicles India and Russia coming, China episode set for April

    As promised last year, there are more Assassin’s Creed: Chronicles games coming your way. Developed by Climax Studios in collaboration with Ubisoft Montreal, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, the side-scrolling action platformer part of the Assassin’s Creed: Unity Season Pass, will be the first standalone release. Two more will follow. China is the first episode, and […]

  • GTA 5 official PC trailer debuts April 2 in 60fps

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  • Dishonored and Never Alone are two of your April PS Plus offerings

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  • Going back to Jade Empire’s universe “comes up pretty regularly” at Bioware

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  • How to listen to the Vice City soundtrack while playing GTA 5

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  • Completionists could spend over 200 hours in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

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  • Limited edition Batman: Arkham Knight Steel Grey PS4 announced

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  • Super Mario 64 HD project receives takedown notice from Nintendo

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  • Dying Light players should use “extreme caution” handling Antizin injections tomorrow

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  • Nintendo of America’s hosting a Nintendo Direct on April 1

    Nintendo of America will be hosting a Nintendo Direct tomorrow, April 1 of all days. The company will be discussing upcoming 3DS and Wii U games. The session will take place at 3pm PDT/6pm EDT/12am CET. Catch a #NintendoDirectNA about #WiiU & #3DS games on 4/1 at 3 p.m. PT. Don’t let the date fool […]

  • How eSports changed Call of Duty

    Betting on eSports for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has reinvigorated the biggest game on consoles and turned it into a spectator sport. “We were looking at the eSports scene blowing up. Every year it was getting bigger. Players were maturing and being more discriminating. We had to understand the impact that eSports is having […]

  • Destiny: how does the road ahead look?

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  • GTA 5 patch 1.09 improves Heists matchmaking

    GTA 5 received a patch towards the end of last week. The patch, version 1.09, brought with it a few improvements to Heists and plenty of other fixes. Rockstar has released patch 1.09 (1.23 PS3 and Xbox 360) for all versions of GTA 5 to help make the Heisting experience better for all. The ‘auto-invite’ […]

  • Diablo 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and more make up this week’s Deals with Gold

    Deals with Gold is back for the week of March 30 with discounts on Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Lego Movie Videogame, and others. Xbox Live Gold members get a few good deals this week to spend money on. A large assortment of The Lego games is on […]

  • GTA 5: parallax occlusion mapping is gone, but framerate is better

    Patch 1.09 for GTA 5 has indeed removed the parallax occlusion mapping effect, but has in turn improved the game’s overall framerate – at least on PlayStation 4. Earlier last week a YouTube video came to light and showed what appeared to be the removal of effects from GTA 5 after applying patch 1.09. The […]

  • The Witcher 3 dev: DirectX 12 may not have impact on Xbox One games resolution

    DirectX 12 may not be the miracle that some are believing it to be, at least not when it comes to improving the resolution of Xbox One ports. Damien Monnier, a senior game designer at The Witcher 3 developer CD Projekt RED has revealed through a Twitter conversation with fans that DirectX 12 may not […]

  • Get infinite items in Bloodborne with this duplication glitch

    Bloodborne has a nasty glitch that will let you duplicate all in-game consumables. The glitch was discovered by Kotaku and makes item duplication pretty simple. Note that doing this will trivialise a major part of the game’s challenge and that it will probably get patched soon. For this glitch to work, you’ll need to create […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for March 31: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    The weekly reset to Destiny’s merchants, strikes, and reputation caps is here. The strike for this week is The Nexus on the Ishtar Sink on Venus. Void burn will be your ally/enemy for the Nightfall. The Juggler modifier is also available on both Heroic and Nightfall. Inferno Crucible mode also returns with Clash, and it […]

  • Motivational Growth is the first non-documentary film to be released on Steam

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  • Metal Gear Solid movie in the works at Sony Pictures

    A Metal Gear Solid film is in the making at Sony Pictures. Deadline is reporting that Sony Pictures has closed a deal to make a film adaptation of Metal Gear Solid. The film will be written by Jay Basu, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts attached to direct. Michael De Luca is said to be heading production. There […]

  • Destiny: Inferno mode returns this week with Inferno Clash

    Inferno mode returns to Destiny this week. This time it’s Inferno Clash. The Inferno playlist will be back to The Crucible rotation in Destiny this week. Unlike last month’s Control, Clash will be the mode variant this time. The main changes Inferno brings to the game is the removal of the radar (mini-map), scoring is […]

  • Bladestorm: how 28 rogue ninja conquered Brittany

    The Hundred Years War wasn’t ended by the superior forces of the French cavalry: it was ninja. Bladestorm: Nightmare Battlefield sim. Take control of dozens of unit types. You play a mercenary, fighting for both France and England, usually at your own discretion. Unit variations liven things up; Lady Lancers replace Knights. Vikings replace Swords. […]

  • First Bloodborne speedrun is in, game finished in under 45 minutes

    Bloodborne has been out for less than a week in most parts of the world and the first speedrun record has already been achieved. YouTuber Oginam_tv managed to finish Bloodborne in under 50 minutes. Of course not without utilising more than his fair share of exploits, including level-skipping glitches, as well as the item duplication […]

  • Advanced Warfare Infection gameplay shows the new map, monsters, extraction mechanic

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  • Hotline Miami collector’s edition is close, 50% already achieved

    The Hotline Miami crowdfunding effort to produce a special collector’s edition is going strong with 50% of the target achieved. Gamer Network’s collector’s edition initiative has announced that funding for the Hotline Mimi Gamer’s Edition has reached 50% of its goal, with just over nine days to go. The collector’s edition is a one-of-a-kind bundle […]

  • Woah Dave will be an extra free PS+ game on PS4 in April

    Indie platformer Woah Dave will be made free to PlayStation Plus members on PlayStation 4 in April, but it’s not part of the month’s main Plus offering. Woah Dave is a “secret” April PlayStation Plus game, according to Sony. The game is a 2D platformer that received positive feedback when it was released on PS […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: three international tourneys announced, $100,000 prize pool

    Warner Bros. has announced a new series of Mortal Kombat X tournaments with a prize pool starting at $100,000. Mortal Kombat X Worldwide Competitive Program is a series of tournaments that kick off in April and allow players from the around the world participation. The tournaments are the Fatal 8 Exhibition Tournament, Mortal Kombat X […]

  • Project CARS to receive a free car every month, starting with the Lykan Hypersport

    The Lykan Hypersport, the supercar featured in one of Furious 7′s action set-pieces, will be a free download for Project CARS owners. To thank the fans for their patience throughout Project CARS development and several delays, developer Slightly Mad will be giving all owners one in-game car for free each month. The first car will […]

  • Leaked Halo Online gameplay shows weapons, maps, and more

    Gameplay from the upcoming, Russia only, Halo Online has leaked online and it looks like a mix of Halo 3 and Halo Reach. Microsoft announced last week that a free-to-play Halo game is in development at Saber Interactive. The game will be available in Russia only, at least on launch. YouTuber Noble, with the help […]

  • Get PlayStation 4 with the PS Camera and The Last of Us for $399

    US retailer Best Buy is offering a free PlayStation Camera with the purchase of The Last of Us PS4 bundle. If you’re in the US, Best Buy is having a very good deal on PlayStation 4 systems at the moment. If you buy The Last of Us PS4 bundle, you’ll automatically get the PS Camera […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC comes to PS4 in May

    Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC has been given a release window for PS3, PS4, and Xbox 360. Jaws of Hakkon, the first story add-on to Dragon Age: Inquisition was released last week on PC and Xbox One. The release was a complete surprise, as there was no prior announcement. What was also surprising […]

  • Watch Rainbow Six Siege developers stream new gameplay right now

    Rainbow Six Siege developers are about to livestream new gameplay footage. Come and watch with us. The livestream below starts at 7pm UK time/6pm GMT. Ubisoft will be showing new gameplay footage and will talk more about the operator system, which was revealed today. The footage will be from the PC alpha build. Expect more […]

  • Advanced Warfare Exo Zombie Infected trailer shows new weapons, massive enemy

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies episode 2, Infected, has been shown off in a new trailer. The official trailer for Exo Zombies Infected is here with footage of the new gear and new enemies. All of which help set up the mess everyone’s making at Burger Town. John Malkovich and co are dropped […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition comes with a 120-page field manual

    Rainbow Six Siege will be getting a collector’s edition and it comes with a 120-page guide. The Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition has been fully detailed. It’s called the “Art of Siege Edition” and will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, priced £65. Here’s what you get: A copy of the game […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege trailer is all about the operators

    Rainbow Six Siege has a new trailer available explaining the operator system. Operators are what makes any Counter Terrorist Unit and you will get to choose each of them individually before assembling a team. Any operator you choose will not be available for others though, so planning ahead will be crucial. The new trailer shows […]

  • Spotify now available on PS3 and PS4, lets you play music in the background

    Spotify has arrived on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The Spotify app is now available in 42 countries on PSN. The app was part of last week’s firmware update and can be found under PlayStation Music. Anyone can download it, as it doesn’t require PlayStation Plus. You can use your PSN account to subscribe to […]

  • Let’s talk Battlefield Hardline weapon balance

    The weapon balance in Battlefield Hardline is causing a controversy among the players. Are some weapons too powerful, or are other not powerful enough? Westie has been playing Battlefield Hardline since it the day it came out and he has some opinions about the state of weapon balance as it stands right now. Westie also […]

  • UK Charts: Bloodborne enters at No. 2, Battlefield Hardline defends No. 1 spot

    Battlefield Hardline has defended the No. 1 spot in the UK Charts against Bloodborne’s impressive numbers. The UK Charts for the week ending March 28 show Battlefield Hardline continuing to hold the top spot despite dropping 43% in sales. Bloodborne achieved the No. 2 spot and came only 22,500 copies short of becoming number 1. […]

  • Halo 5: Guardians release date and new trailers released

    Halo 5 is coming in October. Are you ready? Halo 5: Guardians has been slapped with a release date of October 27. Microsoft and 343 Industries also released a new trailer to mark the news; check it out below. “The Master Chief. Spartan Locke. Who is the hunter and who is the hunted?” Microsoft said […]

  • Denial wins Call of Duty Championship 2015

    In a weekend where favourites crashed out and non-US teams took a beating, Denial stepped up to take the title and $400,000 prize Denial have beaten Revenge to win the Call of Duty Championship 2015, claiming a $400,000 prize. Taking place in downtown Los Angeles, 32 of the best teams in the world battled it […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance DLC- check out new maps and the grapple ability

    Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC is looking pretty sweet in these two new videos. The Call of Duty Championships this weekend have given our very own Arekkz a chance to check out the new Ascendance DLC coming this month. Take a look at all four new maps as well as the cool new grapple ability (which […]

  • Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies gets a “mini boss” with Ascendance DLC

    Zombies mode gets an exo-kick up the ass with Advanced Warfare’s second DLC drop, Ascendance. When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC drops this week, players will be going up against some tougher challenges in Exo Zombies mode. “It’s all zombies, all of the time,” says High Moon Studios Matt Tieger, head of the […]

  • GTA Online user videos show out of character Lester, important Police Business

    You know, Lester isn’t as soft as he lets on, at least in these two GTA Online videos he’s not. The first one below is from YouTube user 10Phoenix01 Gamer, showing Lester kick a guy’s ass. It’s apparently punishment for running over the player – at least that’s the way it appears. A second video […]

  • Guild Wars 2 devs explain how the Map Bonus system, precursor crafting work in Heart of Thorns

    ArenaNet has posted information on the Guild Wars 2 website explaining how crafting mastery, and crafting a legendary weapon, will work in the Heart of Thorns expansion. There’s also information on the new Map Bonuses system, which will make acquiring crafting materials a more “directed activity” and streamlined experience. The new system will also add […]

  • Fly around your creations in Cities: Skylines with the Flight Cimulator mod

    Cities: Skylines players can now fly over their creations thanks to the Flight Cimulator mod. Created by Ulysius and available through the Steam Workshop, the mod allows the user to simulate flight through simple controls. According to the mod notes, it is still a work in progress as Ulysius plans to add building collisions , […]

  • The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul arrive on PlayStation Vue

    Sony has announced the addition of AMC to its PlayStation Vue service, which soft launched in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia earlier this month. Those who use the service can now get their Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead fix, and also watch the Sundance channel, WEtv and IFC. AMC and WEtv are […]

  • Play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser

    Thanks to Roystan Ross and the Unity engine, you can play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser. This little nugget came to my attention yesterday, and unfortunately it became lost on my worksheet. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyway, the level is free-to-play and if you don’t wish to play […]

  • Steam’s Discovery Update has helped increase revenue for smaller titles

    Valve has said its Discovery Queue has increased product page views across Steam by 30% since the company launched the Discovery Update. According to Valve, 75% of those views come from the Discovery Queue, and 16% of product views can be attributed to the Discovery Queue. Even Steam Tags clicks have increased. The system is […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection April update includes “more ranked playlists”

    The next content update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection will “address a variety of issues across the game,” according to 343 Industries, including specific improvements to ranking. New quit and betrayal penalties are also in the works as the development team prepares to roll out ranks to additional playlists. According to 343, the latest […]

  • Get Spec Ops: The Line for free through 2K Games sale on Humble Store

    A 2K Games sale is going on this weekend on the Humble Store with up to 83% off on select titles. Games on sale include Evolve, Bioshock, Civilization and other franchises. Plus, Spec Ops: The Line can be yours for free with the purchase of any -2K title on sale. To see the full list […]

  • Dota 2 The International 2015 tickets are sold out

    Tickets to Dota 2 The International 2015 are now sold out, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The tickets went on sale in two phases starting March 27. Phase one sold out in six minutes, and phase two sold out in four minutes. Each round of sales offered the same quantity of General Admission tickets priced at […]

  • Here’s what’s expected in Battlefield 4′s Weapon Crate DLC – video

    A new Battlefield 4 drop is on the horizon, and to give you an idea of what to expect, we have a video for you below featuring information on the Weapon Crate DLC. According to Battlefield expert Westie, players can expect five new weapons along with the return of the Gun Master game mode. The […]

  • Pillars of Eternity issues to be addressed in patch 1.03, expected next week

    Obsidian Entertainment plans to release a Pillars of Eternity patch next week to combat issues users have reported. Until the patch is released, the developers have posted workarounds for some of the most common issues. The issues reported span framerate drops, inability to launch the game unless in administrator mode, crashes on 32-bit machines, animal […]

  • Mortal Kombat X videos show Erron Black gameplay, Ermac fatalities, more

    Erron Black, the gunslinger which was outed for Mortal Kombat X in the achievements listing last week, was featured in the latest livestream from NetherRelam Studios yesterday evening. Along with gameplay, fatalities and variations for Black, the developer also provided a look at gameplay for: Ermac vs Mileena; Ermac’s brutality and fatality moves; Lui Kang […]

  • The Legend of Zelda Wii U: 2015 release not a “priority”, skipping E3

    The Legend of Zelda franchise producer Eiji Aonuma is featured in the latest video update on the status of The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, stating a 2015 release is no longer a “number one priority” for the team. While Aonuma never specifically says the game has been delayed into 2016, the announcement confirms […]

  • Destiny gameplay designer exits for Bethesda

    Destiny’s senior gameplay designer Josh Hamrick announced on Twitter overnight he would be leaving the company in a week’s time for Bethesda. Hamrick joined Bungie in 2009 after working two years at Midway Austin, where he created multiplayer maps, modified single-player levels, and other designer functions. He was in charge of fixing bug in code […]

  • What to expect from the Call of Duty Championship this weekend

    Just settling down to the Call of Duty Championship this weekend? Here’s a rundown of today’s matches and what else to expect over the next three days. The Call of Duty Championship is taking place in LA this weekend until Sunday, with 32 four-player teams battling it out for a prize pot of $1 million. […]

  • MLB 15 The Show video highlights improved graphics, updated grass patterns

    Sony has released a video for MLB 15 The Show which provides a look at graphical improvements made to the game. Along with the visual upgrade over MLB 14 The Show, the game contains new minor league stadiums, dynamic sun generated in real-time, and upgraded grass patterns which reflect each stadium’s unique look. MLB 15 […]