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Borderlands 2: giant video, how aesthetics and play fuse

Wednesday, 4 April 2012 13:00 GMT By Stace Harman

Here you have seven minutes of new Borderlands 2 gameplay in HD, a hands-on with multiplayer and a chat with Gearbox about quirky visuals and RoboCop. Ever seen a siren in action? Here’s your chance.

Borderlands 2

Features online and split-screen drop-in co-op.

Mission structure has been overhauled to eliminate the original game’s mandatory “checking-in” of missions, reducing back-tracking.

The ineligibility problem of Borderlands multiplayer that meant players that had completed missions couldn’t play co-op with those that hadn’t, has been fixed. Now, players further along in the story can reset their mission status to enable them to hook up with friends that are lagging behind.

Gearbox describes Borderlands as one of the most successful new IPs of this console generation, having sold over 4m of the original game.

Gearbox Easter Egg: Whilst acknowledging the difficulty of taking on development of last year’s Duke Nukem Forever part way through its gestation, a Gearbox rep suggested that the team are now in a position to make any future games in the series “much more our own”. Watch this space.

It’s a curio of game design that, for much its development, Borderlands looked nothing like Borderlands. As the story goes, a handful artists and coders were at a loose end a couple of years into the development of Gearbox’s new IP and so took it upon themselves to prototype an entirely different visual style for the multi-million-pound project; one that moved away from the photo-real and toward the realm of comic-books.

The results speak for themselves and the fact that Borderlands is recognisable from almost any screenshot is a testament to this experimentation and creative vision. It’s also to the credit of both Gearbox and 2K that so fundamental a change, made so late in development, was embraced wholeheartedly.

But if there’s one disappointment that arose from this eleventh-hour change of visual identity it’s that there was little time for the new art style to do much to inform game design. Whilst a few incidental flourishes appear here and there, it’s very easy to imagine a Borderlands whose vaults, caverns and rocky outcrops look photo-real.

However, with the distinct art style already in place this time around, Gearbox has been able to pick and choose how it incorporates it into every facet of Borderlands 2. Game and level designers have been in sync with concept and environmental artists from the off, resulting in a marriage of the exaggerated art style with more outlandish environments and offbeat character design.

“We wanted to keep that original art style and examine it to find out why it was successful,” explains Kevin Duc, lead concept artist at Gearbox Software. “We found this neat connection between the photo-real and comic-book-style cel-shaded which comes from keeping the inks loose but maintaining the grit of photorealism underneath.

“With loose art comes a vitality that allows story to be more free and level design to become a little more extreme. There’s a nice back and forth that develops with [the art team] expressing the ideas that [the story writers] have created and realising the crazy and dark characters.

“This means we can be a bit wacky with proportions but at the same time we keep this idea that we refer to as the Verhoeven effect. It’s the RoboCop concept; that there’s this extreme violence going on but with a touch of comedy which is making your laugh even when you’re being ripped in half. The art style definitely plays to that.”

Certainly, it would difficult to imagine a mid-level boss with a midget strapped to his shield being portrayed as anything other than darkly comic and, therefore, in any way other than with Borderlands comic-style visuals.

The exaggerated visuals also play a major part in the design of the multitude of guns and loot; while Borderlands primary reward system was based on the collection of new weapons, it was often necessary to compare and contrast every weapon-drop with those in your inventory to ascertain whether it was worth collecting.

“We wanted to keep that original art style and examine it to find out why it was successful. We found this neat connection between the photo-real and comic-book-style cel-shaded which comes from keeping the inks loose but maintaining the grit of photorealism underneath.”

Now, each weapon manufacturer has more distinct gameplay properties, such as those that explode when thrown or that are less powerful but far more likely to inflict status effects. The more clearly defined visual personality of these weapons allows for at-a-glace identification of their manufacturer, which in-turn enables you to determine whether it’s a class of weapon that suits your play style.

“When we created the Bandit-class we wanted to make it look like it’d been assembled up in the hills, all sharp edges and quarter-inch steel,” illustrates Duc. “With Torgue, a big beefy American 1980’s style manufacturer, we looked not just at guns of that time period for inspiration, but at other sources too, like motorcycles and chunky engine blocks.

“When we passed that back to the game designers they interpreted the visual design as a gun that should be throwing out these huge explosions all the time, so they come up with an accelerating bullet that explodes. That then came back to us in the art team and it was up to us to figure out how that projectile would look, and so it goes back and forth.”

The result is a set of weapons that follow real-world brand identity principles with the exaggerated and entertaining attributes expected of Borderlands.

Highly skilled

Personal preference of weapons combined with varied skill trees allows for some flexible class-customisation, as illustrated by our multiplayer session. A foray into a very wild, wildlife reserve begins me and my co-op partner allocating 20 skill points to customise our characters and despite both choosing to play as the Siren class, it results in two very different character builds. One is more support-based, with a nifty ability that converts the typically negative effect of friendly fire into positive healing, while the other has a more a powerful phaselock – the Siren’s new, combat orientated class power – that inflicts status effects in addition to freezing the enemy in place.

What follows is an entertaining co-op experience, but one that is not without niggles; the most fundamental of which is check-pointing, which is a concept that developers should have well and truly licked by this point.

Being granted a second wind for killing any enemy while bleeding-out is useful, as is the ability to revive a teammate, but when swarmed by assailants in an arena-style environment or facing a mid-level boss, these options become less viable – especially if playing with fewer than three teammates. Unfortunately, the checkpoint spacing then necessitates a long jog back to rejoin the fight – during which time your partner may also have been killed – which becomes tiresome.

A greater emphasis on co-op objectives would also be welcome; certainly the section that we played featured little that needed to be achieved as a team and so it became two, single players inhabiting the same space, rather than genuinely co-operating.

However, there’s over five months until the game’s launch which is plenty of time for minor check-pointing niggles to be addressed and for Gearbox to ensure that Borderlands 2 is as arresting to play as it is to ogle.

Borderlands 2 launches on PC, 360 and PS3 on September 18 in the US and September 21 in PAL territories.

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39 Comments

  1. LOLshock94

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j4t185wl-0
    ^more gameplay

    game looks shit

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    How does that look “shit”? Day one for me. Cannot wait.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Sam Clay

    I’m glad that there are more guns…I found there weren’t enough in the original Borderlands ;)

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DSB

    Sooooold.

    It’s gonna be another good year.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. fightclubdoll

    NEED A COLD SHOWER NOW… OR A LONGER LESS COLD ONE.

    OMG … CANNOT WAIT!! =-D

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Mark Limburg

    I’m quite liking the look of it. Very much the original, plus more. Think this is a game to organise a serious lan party to, indeed. As we know, coop is the best way to play this game.

    Some of the mob dynamics look damn interesting, where you’ll *need* coop to get a real handle on things. Sure, it’ll scale down for single player, but with the comments about split screen and *real* drop-in multiplayer, it just seems they’re really focusing in on getting that shift away from single player.

    Still need to see more on the RP elements to get into that. It’s always hard to nail down and get right. Of all games out there, it has the be the hardest dynamic to get right, and to appeal to a larger audience.

    I think they’re onto something cool here .. just want to see more at the moment. But this vid is a damn good start.

    Thanks Stace.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Stace Harman

    I foresee the creation of a VG247 co-op party for this one. Had a lot of fun with the first game and am looking forward to the sequel.

    @6 You’re most welcome, though only the words are mine; the video is courtesy of Mr Sam Clay – VG247′s shiny new video editor

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Colin Gallacher

    Lovely to see a nice chunk of Borderlands 2 gameplay. It’s really shaping up to be one of the most exciting cooperative games of 2012.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. endgame

    Wicked! More streamlined than the first game. Weapons look different awesome! Can’t wait to get my hands on it so I can play some coop with my friends. It’s going to be epic! :)

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Sam Clay

    @7 Oh Stace. You’re my favourite.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Chockster

    Looking forward to this, although my experience of the first was tempered by my lack of co-operatives to co-op with.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. OrbitMonkey

    That looks so much nicer graphically. Some pretty little skybox going on there.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. HauntaVirus

    Looks great, loving all the new weapon styles and sounds!

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    So far i don’t see any improvements at all. First game was mediocre because if you never played with your buddies it’s a horrible shooter with Diablo loot system and without decent campaign.

    Just because game have that RPG and loot progression feel it does not make it automatically a good game.

    I hope that they improved the majority of problems from the first game. Just better guns does not make it a good game.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. datass

    @14 Agreed, i got first one on discount, which will probably be the case with seconds…

    I think it will be another console game, with a little better support on pc this time…still, not gonna give full price tag

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Edo

    All I can say is….getch you one! :) .

    #16 3 years ago
  17. OwnedWhenStoned

    @14

    Each to their own I suppose. I loved the first one and only ever played single player. It’s the first game I’ve bothered finishing in ages.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Giskard

    @14 No improvements? Dude, did you even watch the video? The graphics themselves were such a huge step up from the first. Gameplay I can not comment about, but it looked similar, but then again, a shooter is a shooter is a shooter.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Erthazus

    “No improvements? Dude, did you even watch the video?”

    “Gameplay I can not comment about, but it looked similar, but then again, a shooter is a shooter is a shooter.”

    So no improvements at all, right?

    A shooter or not, great shooter is not just about shooting shit.

    “graphics themselves were such a huge step up from the first. ”

    Graphics are the same. Better effects are not better graphics.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. YoungZer0

    @19: Good thing this is more than a shooter then, right?

    Graphics aren’t the same. They are definitely better, the style is better implemented and since effects are part of the graphics, that means that the graphics got better.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. mickey2002

    Give Me Now.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Maximum Payne

    I agree that they didn’t add to much new.
    To be specific: they didn’t add any new mechanics.
    They add new weapons,enemies,coop fix and new level/upgrade system for character.
    I will still enjoy game for sure but then don’t bitch about Cod :”again set pieces,cheap story,tweaked mp…

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Johnny Cullen

    Looking hawt.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. ManuOtaku

    Oh man i loved the first game, but seeing the graphics now looks more a comic than anything else, which in my eyes is great, iam a sucker for this type of graphics, as for the gameplay even if the manage to not improve the gameplay at all, iam ok i love the first one, i just want more of the same, but if the gameplay is been improve already, well thats a big plus, cannot wait really.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. The_Red

    Wow, AWESOME. Really nice read. Really nice video and REALLY nice screens. FPS loot-fest FTW!

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Telepathic.Geometry

    FUCK YEAH! XD Count me in on any VG Borderlands MP action! :D

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Giskard

    @19 If the graphics are the same, you sir, must be bad at spotting the difference.

    The first game had very few hues, and the interesting elements (Read: enemies, buildings, vehicles, etc.) blended into the environment too much. Here, they seem to not be a part of the backdrop, but actually moving, interesting objects. It’s more visually striking and the color pallet is greatly improved.

    How you can deem it to be “the same” is beyond my comprehension.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. CityCobra

    More weapons and WUB WUB! What do you want more? :)
    Borderlands 2 interview and preview!

    http://www.gamingxp.com/report-1167-kategorie-interview-borderlands_2_interview_mit_kevin_duc_von_gearbox_software.htm

    #28 3 years ago
  29. Erthazus

    @20, every game improve visuals at some point, but this one didn’t do much for me. Some effects and comic style is not enough.

    But for me, visuals were good in the first game so i don’t complain here. I complain about making it more of the same, because first game was not a good game to begin with.

    Yeah, Diablo loot system is cool. Co-op magic works too… But that’s it. Everything else was a repetitive shootfest at best with generic quests.

    @27, the difference between visuals is that now B2 looks more a comic than anything else but that is not an improvement and to be honest i don’t care about visuals because first game had good visuals to begin with.

    My complain is about the variety. Sure, Diablo system is cool, co-op magic works, but beyond that i see zero improvements.
    I want to see how quests are in the game, because quests and it’s storyline was horrible.

    Shooting was easy and fun, but that’s not enough. Yeah, they improved enemies, but that’s not enough.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. Giskard

    @29 If you watched the video, or read the article, they clearly stated quest structure had been improved, as had the shooting responsiveness, and the variety of guns. All your concerns were addressed, and yet you still complain about them not improving the game?

    What else is there to improve? Giant messages saying “We like you, Erthazus, please keep playing!”?

    #30 3 years ago
  31. M. K.

    @30: Don’t pay attention to that, he’s just fooling around like everyday. We all know, that he’s going to play the crap out of this, like he did with some Call of Duty game, although he was hating against it the whole time before release ;D

    In my opinion this is going the rock, I wish this would release instead of diablo 3 this summer :P

    #31 3 years ago
  32. Erthazus

    @31, shut your pie hole. I didn’t even finished Borderlands 1 for the reasons i mentioned here and i have no reason to buy this one.

    @30, “hey clearly stated quest structure had been improved”

    All developers talk that their game is improved.
    I don’t see that. I expect them to have some sort of fetch quests that will be random. That is not improvement.

    “All your concerns were addressed”

    I don’t see that. I need a demo at least. Devs talk a lot always, but if they can’t show it then i won’t believe them.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. ManuOtaku

    I have always liked pies with holes, like cheese, i dont know why

    #33 3 years ago
  34. OrbitMonkey

    @33 sexual food fetish?

    #34 3 years ago
  35. Giskard

    @32 So you want a demo, know, when they’re 6 months away from release?

    Yeah, you’re not entitled at all, bro.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. Telepathic.Geometry

    I like pi. Nnngghh… /nerd pervert

    #36 3 years ago
  37. back_up

    looking good
    can’t wait

    #37 3 years ago
  38. Croach93

    @32

    If you aren’t interested in buying the game, then just go away. Nobody wants to hear your negativity. This game is going to be amazing. If you think otherwise, then keep it to yourself.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. Evil Skull

    OMG!! The game looks amazing i can’t wait to play it i love Borderlands i play it every day that’s my game rite there can’t wait!!!

    #39 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Bungie today released its Destiny teaser for tomorrow’s livestream, which focuses on Prison of Elders. Below is a breakdown of the teaser and what to expect tomorrow. Arekkz Gaming gives you the lowdown above. You can watch the full stream tomorrow here on the site. House of Wolves is out on May 19.

  • The 3D Realms Anthology is now available on Steam for PC and Mac

    The 3D Realms Anthology, announced back in October, is now available on Steam for PC and Mac for a limited-time price of $29.99. After the introductory period has ended, it will run you $39.99. The collection contains 32 games, which if purchased individually would you run more than $120. Here’s the list in case you […]

  • A Portal-themed pinball table is coming to Zen Pinball later this month

    Valve and Zen Studios have announced a Portal-themed pinball table is coming to Zen Pinball. The table will be made available on all pinball platforms, including Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX2, from May 25. Called the “Aperture Science Heuristic Portal Pinball Device”, it contains the characters Chell, Wheatley and of course GLaDOS. Portal Pinball […]

  • Star Wars characters coming with release of Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits

    Star Wars characters are coming to Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits. Disney says it will contain “many favorite characters and include more gameplay content and variety than ever before.” There will be three Star Wars Play sets: Twilight of the Republic set in the Episodes 1-3 timeline, Rise Against the Empire set during the […]

  • Hearthstone has been played by 30 million people

    Blizzard’s strategy game Hearthstone has 30 million players, the developer announced on Twitter. The figure doesn’t breakdown players numbers by platform, but Activision will release its recent financial report tomorrow, so maybe more information will be forthcoming. Hearthstone was releases on PC March 14, 2014 followed by Mac, phones, and tablets. Blackrock Mountain, the latest […]

  • Tomorrow’s Destiny livestream focuses on Prison of Elders – here’s a teaser

    Another Destiny: House of Wolves livestream takes place tomorrow, and it will focus on Prison of the Elders. The Prison of Elders is a prison facility in The Reef which is watched over by Variks and is part of the new Arena game mode which is limited to three players. The livestream will be hosted […]

  • Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced for current and last-gen

    Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced by Activision, which isn’t shocking in the slightest. Correction: My stupid brain has EA on it due to the financials release later today. The game is being published by Activision. Not EA and I previously stated. I apologize, and have reprimanded myself in a most sever manner. […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition is sold out in the UK

    Hopefully, you pre-ordered the Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition in the UK already. If not, you are likely out of luck. According to GAME, the pack which contains the Half Scale Replica of Snake’s Bionic Arm has sold out in the UK. The retailer confirmed the news to Videogamer this morning. […]

  • Far Cry 4 Complete Edition coming June 19 for PC, PS4 to the UK

    A Far Cry 4 Complete Edition has been announced and it includes the full game as well as the Season Pass. This is the sku which popped up on Amazon Germany earlier in the week. The Season Pass provides access to five separate pieces of DLC. Here’s a refresher on the DLC content: The Syringe: […]

  • The Witcher 3: live Q&A stream with CDP, new monster dev diary inside

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out in just two weeks, and if you want to know more about Geralt’s latest adventure, CD Projekt is hosting a live Q&A now on Twitch. There’s also a new developer diary below which focuses on monster in the game. The Witcher 3 is out on May 19. Huzzah! […]

  • Forza Horizon 2′s Alpinestars Car Pack has five cars and is ready for download

    The Alpinestars Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 is out now on Xbox One and its the only way you will ever be able to afford a 1992 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport. Unless, of course, you win the lottery or are left in some rich person’s will. In that case, I’ll take the ’53 Corvette, […]

  • Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition is now available in North America

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition has been released in North America. It will be made available in the Europe on May 7 and in the UK May 8 for £49.99 on consoles and £34.99 on PC. As previously announced, this edition contains all previously released DLC content as well as […]

  • Two GAME exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians now available for pre-order

    GAME has announced two exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians, and both are now available for pre-order exclusively through one of the retail chain’s 318 stores or online. The £79.99 Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians, which delivers new digital content wrapped in a steel book. There’s also the £199.99 Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector’s Edition […]

  • Deals with Gold: Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Bioshock Infinite, more

    Microsoft has announced its latest Deals with Gold discounts for Xbox Live Gold members. Franchises on sale include Far Cry, Call of Duty, along with individual titles Assassin’s Creed Unity and Bioshock Infinite. The full list is below. Bioshock Infinite discounts are available for both Xbox Live Gold and Silver members. Xbox One Far Cry […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has released, watch the launch trailer here

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can watch the launch trailer for it below. Boxed copies in Europe arrive from May 15, and in Australia/New Zealand on May 14. You can grab digital copies from the following online services: Steam, PlayStation Network, Xbox Store.

  • GOG’s online service GOG Galaxy is now in open beta

    GOG Galaxy, the DRM-free online gaming platform from the folks at GOG, has left Alpha and is now in open beta for all to try. As previously announced, the online service, similar to Steam, is option. Players do not need to play online as all games are stored by the service and can be played […]

  • DayZ-inspired Goat Simulator DLC GoatZ is out this week on Steam

    Goat Simulator players can download DayZ-inspired DLC this week called GoatZ. According to Coffee Stain Studios, GoatZ is “the only survival game on Steam that isn’t in Early Access.” Jokingly of course. The DLC features: Mandatory crafting system because everyone else is doing it. Zombies that bug out. There’s a pun here about actual living […]

  • No, Far Cry 4 is not currently free on PSN

    You may have seen a few Tweets from people saying that the PS4 version of Far Cry 4 is available to download from PSN for free. This is not true. A few readers have tipped us off to what looked like a glitch on PSN that allowed players to download the full version of Far […]

  • Metal Gear Solid: The 1984 Collection confirmed to be a clothing line

    Konami is teasing a Metal Gear Solid thing called “The 1984 Collection.” The Metal Gear Solid Facebook page posted this image about an hour ago: The caption reads, “Step back into the 80′s with our new MGS collection coming very soon! Stay tuned!” This is supposedly in reference to the clothing line that was announced […]

  • Portal, The Simpsons, Jurassic World & Scooby Doo packs listed for Lego Dimensions

    Lego Dimensions is likely getting a few unannounced content packs. One of which is themed around Valve’s Portal. A set of unannounced content packs for the upcoming Lego Dimensions have been revealed by US retailer Walmart. The listings include packs for The Simpsons, Scooby Doo and Jurassic World, and most interestingly, Portal. The listings have […]

  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Dragonslayer DLC announced, free to all this week

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting a multiplayer expansion this week. BioWare has announced that all owners of Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a new multiplayer expansion, for free. The expansion is called Dragonslayer and it’s centred around fighting dragons, hence the name. Three new playable characters will join the roster as you explore an all-new […]

  • Sonder is still happening, and this is the best news of the week

    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]

  • Lords of the Fallen, Divinity: Original Sin developers will reveal new games at E3 2015

    Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios have new projects in the works which will be revealed at E3 2015. Publisher Focus Home Interactive is behind both new games. In a French press release [PDF] spotted by RPG Codex, Focus said it will show off the two unrevealed titles […]