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Sitting comfortably? Guild Wars 2′s lore boss on story

Thursday, 22 March 2012 16:00 GMT By Staff

Guild Wars 2 is attempting to revolutionise story in MMOs by offering non-cosmetic choices and a personal touch to a genre filled with cookie-cutter options. We speak with Ree Soesbee, ArenaNet’s lore and continuity designer, on how this new-found sense of freedom ties into the biggest MMO release of the year.

“I don’t think that story and gameplay are in any way harmful to one another; a player should expect – and receive – high quality in both aspects. That’s what makes a game exemplary, and that is exactly what we aspire to create with Guild Wars 2.”

Guild Wars 2 diverges from typical, monolithic story lines inherent in the majority of MMOs by using character-exclusive arcs. The intention is to provide the player with more of a sandbox environment, all based around a questionnaire filled out during character creation.

Player choices will matter during play, impacting the world around the character and allowing for a more personal, tailored experience. This was no easy task, as instanced and persistent areas had to not only adhere to player choice and biography, but remain connected to the core storyline without detrimental effects to gameplay.

How did the team manage it? Ree Soesbee, ArenaNet’s lore and continuity designer, explained.

VG247: What are the challenges of making the game inclusive to everyone while allowing it to feel like the player’s own personal RPG? Surely this is difficult to do in an MMO, given the amount of people involved.

Ree Soesbee: There’s no real way to allow a character the width of freedom available in RPG character creation, but we wanted to try to replicate that experience as much as possible. We wanted to allow players a great deal of latitude to define their characters. From that idea, we created the Biography system, which asks a player questions about their character’s history as they create the PC’s race, class, and appearance. We then use those answers in the game. Primarily, they give the player access to storylines that revolve around those background choices; secondarily, these answers change conversations and interactions with NPCs throughout the world.

One of the largest difficulties in this kind of story creation comes in trying to give the player the freedom to choose different outcomes, without overburdening the story team that has to design, spawn, and write each of those outcomes and how they interact continually from that point. Where a player might see three questions with three answers each, the story team is writing not nine but something closer to twenty-four (or more) results, based on the interaction of those answers. Add to that the fact that there are five races, each with that many questions; and that the races join together into a world-story with new questions, as well as more twists and options based on the original set. We try to bring out those choices as often as possible, in order to make a player’s experience unique and based on how they’ve designed the character – but that’s a lot of work!

Keeping those variables in mind when designing an overarching story is also difficult; we want the world story to make sense no matter what choices a player made for their character, but we also want it to follow a certain general path. Trying to remember how each branch arrived at the next story point requires a great deal of organization.

How will personal stories intertwine with the overall story while not succumbing to traditional MMO trapping of linearity?

All stories have an element of linear play; you begin at the beginning, and hopefully, there is a satisfying and climactic end. Our hope with Guild Wars 2 was to create that linear story more as a rope of intertwined threads, where many different smaller stories made up the larger, epic narrative of the world. As each player is one individual within the larger, constantly-evolving world, so too is their character’s story one aspect, or one viewpoint, within the grander whole.

Because no story should last forever, we gave the storylines in Guild Wars 2 breadth, rather than length. Once you’ve played through the overall story, you can go back and make a new character, with new background choices and in-game choices, and experience Tyria’s struggle against the dragon, Zhaitan, from an entirely different viewpoint. A player can also help others, and see portions of other stories by assisting with a friend’s storyline chains.

Will different personal stories and options come into play as the game advances, or are the story choices largely cosmetic?

ArenaNet’s Ree Soesbee.

The choices that a player makes for their character, especially at creation, are more than cosmetic. They define the character’s history and personality, and they outline the initial storylines that the player will experience with that character. After that, the choices made in-game by the player (such as joining one of the three Orders of Tyria – the Vigil, the Durmand Priory, and the Order of Whispers) change the ongoing experience. By choosing an order, the character chooses to experience that perspective in the world story, and so on, through myriad different variations.

Also, within each individual smaller story piece, a player has internal choices that affect the outcome of that smaller tale. For example, a norn player is character is asked at creation to decide if the most important virtue of a norn is cunning, instinct or strength. Each of those answers defines a storyline, and within that storyline are choices. A norn who chooses strength has the option in fighting their enemy; whether to assist in forging a powerful new weapon, or to summon the power of a Spirit of the Wild to increase their ability. Those two options give the player different objectives, different methods (and stories related to overcoming those objectives), as well as a different type of gameplay when they do face down their enemy in that storyline – with whichever advantage they chose to obtain.

Later in the character’s gameplay, NPCs in the storylines (or in the overall world) may refer back to the player’s experiences, congratulating them on their victory, or offering them information based entirely on the options they chose in a past storyline, Biography, or as part of their order.

Will NPCs react to the player differently based on personality choices made in the biography section?

Yes, although this will happen primarily within a character’s personal story or home instance. A player will also find NPCs in the main world (such as members of your chosen order) who references the player’s choices, both those made in the Biography and during the game.

How many story combinations are there?

From level 1-10, there are approximately 30 different storylines; those are based on character race, Biography and pre-game background choices. Continue that in tens through 80 levels; then add in the various different combinations based on internal story choices, choosing an order, and continued in-game Biography questions, and you can see that the aggregate numbers somewhere in the upper thousands.

What sort of impact has opening up story choices to the player had on lore in general?

None in particular; the lore of the game has remained constant. Both in storyline areas and in the overall world, players have many opportunities to interact with NPCs, learn about the history of Tyria, and discover what’s happening with the world story and the dragons.

Large events in the overall storyline, major battles and other significant twists in the fight against Zhaitan, are experienced by all combinations of a player’s possible story. We made this choice deliberately, ranking those story moments as separate from a player’s internal story; meaning, no matter whether a player has chosen to fight Zhaitan because the dragon’s minions killed your family, or destroyed a friendly village, or destroyed something important to your heritage, all player characters are present at a certain major battle within the storyline.

An individual character’s motivations and goals during that major battle may be different, according to their story choices, but the location and occurrence of that epic “world moment” happens for all characters in the game. In that way, the numerous ‘story threads’ conjoin, and then separate again, after that “moment” in the overall play of Guild Wars 2.

There seems to be a great push to imbue MMOs with story at the moment. You clearly think this really is the way forward for online RPGs, but isn’t there a risk of core gameplay principals being ignored in favour of plot? Doesn’t it ever concern you that the entire narrative angle may be a red herring for the progression of the genre?

Not at all. I don’t think that story and gameplay are in any way harmful to one another; a player should expect – and receive – high quality in both aspects. That’s what makes a game exemplary, and that is exactly what we aspire to create with Guild Wars 2.

People play games like Guild Wars 2 for many different reasons. Some want competitive PVP, while others want an immersive story. Some are interested in strategic combat, others want to explore and discover beautiful or hard-to-find places in a huge game world. With each generation of MMOs, all of these aspects are advanced, and the genre becomes more immersive and more fun. I think that if we concentrate on only one aspect, we do our games – and our players – a tremendous disservice. Gaming technology is progressing at a massive pace, and on the whole gaming audiences are more interested in complex, interesting storylines.

ArenaNet has a wonderful advantage in that both our writing team and our design teams are talented and inventive people. We work in an iterative process, so that our story and our skills interact to make Guild Wars 2 a tremendous game. We think our players deserve nothing less.

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20 Comments

  1. viralshag

    This would sound great and really original… If I hadn’t played it 3 months ago in SWTOR.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Laaveem

    The difference is that in SWTOR, the personal story is useless. You can choose any friggin’ answer and it won’t make a difference in the story itself. In GW2, choices you make affect your storyline. That’s the difference between a true RPG and a film where you just choose what the main character will say.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Viralblack

    Comparing SWTOR and GW2 is like comparing a Prius to Nascar. They may both have steering wheels but are completely in different leagues. (GW2 being the advanced of the two)

    #3 3 years ago
  4. viralshag

    Calm down 2 and 3, I was just poking some fun at GW2.

    But in response to your comments, #2, what they describe above sounds almost IDENTICAL to how story progression is in TOR.

    #3, Unless you have played the full game I don’t even know how you can come to that conclusion.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Laaveem

    First of all, what makes you think i’m not calm? I didn’t use exlamation marks or caps lock, which means my statements were supposed to be read in a “normal” colloquial tone. Secondly, in the article is written:

    “Where a player might see three questions with three answers each, the story team is writing not nine but something closer to twenty-four (or more) results, based on the interaction of those answers.”

    And again:

    “From level 1-10, there are approximately 30 different storylines; those are based on character race, Biography and pre-game background choices. Continue that in tens through 80 levels; then add in the various different combinations based on internal story choices, choosing an order, and continued in-game Biography questions, and you can see that the aggregate numbers somewhere in the upper thousands.”

    What happens in SWTOR? You speak with a character, he speaks to you. Then you choose between 2 or 3 different answers. What changes between those? Just the way your character answers to them. Because when you kill an NPC or spare his life in SWTOR… nothing changes. Which makes this game more like an interactive film.

    In GW2, when you make decisions, it affects your story line massively. There’s not a single path, but -as stated in the interview- hundreds of them. Now, this is what I expect form an RPG.

    PS: I’d like to let everyone reading this comment, that i’m not angry or altered in any way. Read it with a normal voice tone. Thanks for your understanding.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. GageCornelius

    I also want to add, that your story in SWTOR changes very little. There are times where you can gain an ally or an enemy, but outside of those moments, there is little change. Every Sith Initiate has the same storyline 1-10 and 11-20, whereas in GW2 the major stories are different based on race first, and then 1/3 questions. Your friend may be a human, but could’ve answered something differently and gotten a completely different storyline, or could have had the same answer and share the same storyline regardless of class. Do the research, it’s only all over the internet.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    I’m just going to add in that I’m a massive fan of Ree.

    One of the things that sold GW2 to me was her passion for it as a writer. I’m an artistic type, so that speaks to me. If you hadn’t noticed that about me yet, then you really haven’t been paying attention. I really enjoy art, philosophy, and good writing being rolled into games and I’m more than happy to see people take pride in what they do.

    Not only that, but Ree is a pretty great writer. She did the short stories for a number of the race week articles, the most seminal of which was… well, it was an absolutely beautiful piece about Charr lovers. And just how much they feel they have to sacrifice just to survive (survival is everything to the Charr – on the battlefield the soldier you can likely count on to remain standing at the end of it is a Charr, but this comes at a high price).

    Anyway, that mild segue aside, Ree is an impressive writer and visionary. I respect her. It’s always nice to read her opinions because, again, she really is clearly passionate about what she does.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. absolutezero

    Oh hay its Ree that female writer that has never been attacked by the internet despite being female and working in games.

    Wonders never cease.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. DSB

    @8 Has Corinne Yu ever been attacked? Personally, that’s the only videogame honey I care to recognize.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. TheWulf

    @9

    So you have trouble recognising women in the field of videogames?

    Okay then.

    I don’t have that problem. Corinne Yu is also awesome.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Stephany Nunneley

    @7 Agreed. Ree is awesome.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DSB

    @10 Yup, I have serious trouble recognizing women for being women. I really couldn’t care less whether a professional has tits or not.

    Women are common as dirt. I don’t see any need to roll out the pedestal whenever one of them lands a job.

    It’s a bit like metal, that way. There are lots of retarded bands out there who think hiring a female choir singer to do their vocals makes them awesome and unique, but really all it does is make them cheap and ordinary.

    I respect the women who have the balls to actually keep up. Actual merit, as opposed to simply owning a pussy.

    That’s also the reason why Stephany Nunneley rocks. And Girlschool, Acid, Holy Moses, Chastain and Hellion, for that matter.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Stephany Nunneley

    @12 I’m no Doro Pesch but thanks! You honestly, just made my day. :) xoxox

    #13 3 years ago
  14. DSB

    @13 Dammit, I forgot Warlock didn’t I?

    You’re welcome ma’am, keep bringing the funny!

    #14 3 years ago
  15. viralshag

    @5, I was actually saying calm down because two people jumped straight on the defensive over a little comment.

    I still don’t think this interview really sets it that far apart from TOR, if I’m honest. And I will happily accept I’m wrong when I actually play the game and it hopefully get proven wrong. Until that time, I need more than just the devs word on how varied and unique it is, considering we hear the same stuff about almost every MMO.

    But to me, this sounds a lot like TOR, just with a larger quantity of lines. And I’m a believer that quantity doesn’t make up for quality. As I said though, I will happily accept I’m wrong once I play the game. (That is, if I’m wrong.)

    #15 3 years ago
  16. GageCornelius

    @15: Go look at videos on youtube. The Media Event about a month ago has plenty of gameplay on it. Go look at some of the different people playing the same race. It’ll help.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    @15 I’m pretty sure expecting the second coming of the MMO is going to be just as disappointing with Guild Wars 2 as it may have been with SWTOR.

    It does seem like they’re going to do a lot to really tweak the formula though, especially in the areas where SWTOR was lacking.

    I haven’t played SWTOR, but based on the feedback, it sounds to me like a highly scripted MMO with loads more dialogue than WoW will ever have, but virtually the same on offer. In this case it looks to me like they’re looking at the gameplay, which is where you’re better off placing the attention in my opinion.

    http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2012/02/20/guild-wars-2-diving-in/

    That’s a pretty good series of articles based on the beta. I think it balances the high expectations with what’s actually on offer quite well.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. viralshag

    @16, Thanks. I’ll have a look for it. I haven’t had much time to check out all I wanted on it to be honest. I was hoping for a beta invite to get a taste of where it’s at.

    @DSB, Cheers, that was an interesting read. I really do hope the game is good. It should be on all accounts but I just feel MMOs are always going to be a short-lived flavour of the month type thing.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Lordnekroseth

    A lot of gamers try to compare SwTor-s story based gameplay to Gw2-s. But a lot of players dont know that SwTor didnt decide to go trough that part till Gw2 announced and introduced what they are up to. Since then mmos are ripping of the base idea with half sucsesses. Other companies dont understand the whole concept of this, only parts. No wonder they wont be sucsessfull

    Ree you also mention, that a new gen. has not only an improved and well made story line(s) (witch mmo-s lacked so faar) , but also a well made gameplay, system and mechanic. I agree on that, but i think you missed another REALLY important part ! It must also improve the part where you play with others. Since the whole point of playing mmo-s is supposed to be playing with others. Sadly i didnt feel playing with others any fun since Everquest 1. Trough i have no worries, Gw2 is showing a great deal of improvement on that side to. Good to see, you guys investigated, what is lacking in other games in the era. I see a miracle in progress.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Lordnekroseth

    I might also add, that a sucsess in beeing a good rpg dephends a lot on how the world is. A real good fantasy world is a half sucsess alredy.

    Actually i was missing a good rpg since Baldurs Gate, but Gw gave me hope. Nothing can bring back the good old paper and dice games, but atleast this can give back the feeling.

    #20 3 years ago

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    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 […]