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The Secret World’s first hours: on mystery and thrills

Thursday, 5 July 2012 09:50 GMT By Patrick Garratt

The first few hours of The Secret World are thrilling and baffling in equal measure, and potentially point to the first genuine MMO breakthrough in years. Patrick Garratt takes his zombie hammer to Kingsmouth.

It’s too early to judge. The servers are juddery and there are some obvious bugs right now. It needs more of a tutorial and some proper group tools, but in truth? I enjoyed the opening sequences of The Secret World more than any other MMO I can remember.

Funcom released Conspiracy MMO The Secret World yesterday, birthing a quirky online game attempting to reinvent the genre’s wheel.

The Secret World is contemporary horror-fantasy. The premise is that three factions operate in the background to everyday life, battling evil and each other just beneath the surface of your day-to-day existence. The shadows are encroaching on normality, though, and a war’s emerged in which the actions of the London-based Templars, the Illuminati from New York, and the Dragons from Seoul will shape the future of mankind.

Twinkies

Starting from the top, character creation’s pretty basic. You get to choose skin and eye colour, nose, lips, jaw, hair and clothes. It’s nowhere near as in-depth as an offline RPG. You have to be chiselled and muscly. It seems reasonable that you’re not going to save the universe by eating too many Twinkies, but I created a couple of male characters and it was tough to stop them looking generic.

My main Templar, named “CrazyAsses” for no good reason, starts by dreaming black and white characters are telling him about “voices”. He wakes to find himself a psychic nutter capable of trashing his apartment by looking at it. After a week of practice, he can lob a ball of energy around and not freak out so much. A Templar visits. CrazyAsses had been “chosen,” and unless he joins up his glowing hands are going to cause him problems. So he does.

The start area of a London street signals The Secret World’s intent of dropping you into real-world mystery. It’s refreshing be a million miles away from WoW. Once through a police cordon – helped by a DI who’s in on the conspiracy – you’re filled in on a terrorist attempt in Tokyo. You see a puppeteer spouting doom, waving a king marionette, ranting about the warm smell of “stale piss”. You collapse.

After inhabiting the body of a Templar called Sarah, you’re thrown into a mission called Ground Zero, a dreamlike experience of the aftermath of the Tokyo subway attack.

This is a taster event. Missions are split into “tiers”. Tier 1 of Ground Zero is to get a gun, which is lying on the floor in front of you. Tier 2 is to clear a platform of enemies, and so on. You have to work through the subway system, killing as you go. It’s good. You click on “accept” and the gun shines yellow on the floor. On-screen prompts leave you in no doubt as to what to do. Combat is intense, and the game doesn’t give you much time to get used to it. Targeting’s with tab and the camera’s standard MMO. Abilities are on the number keys. You can shoot, fire a couple of heavier shots, heal yourself and others. You get mobbed by shadows and brutish large things which take a good deal of beating.

You end by walking onto the last platform and seeing planets and asteroids before collapsing again and reverting to your own character. You’re being bombed with story at this point, and go to see Richard Sonnac in Templar HQ in central London. A spell in “the Crucible,” a training ground in which you select a weaponset, gives you a look at the various starting kits. You have the ability to maifest anima, you’re told, “to do magic”.

Sonnac burbles about Solomon Island and the Illuminati, the “reckless” faction in the game, before you trundle off to Kingsmouth, The Secret World’s first main area.

The whole experience is filmic. Load screens colour from black and white then fade out as bars fill, and the in-engine cut-scenes do a good job of keeping you intrigued. The general character and inventory interfaces are really nice, with slots for talismans, weapons, stats, and all the rest of it eminating from your avatar in annotated rays.

Aside from the setting and modern UI, though, the real difference in The Secret World if the classless levelling. As you fight, you acquire Skill Points and Ability points (SP and AP). Instead of being as “assassin” or a “soldier” you’re just you. You put your skill points into weapon proficiency. CrazyAsses has a hammer, so he’s used points to increase hammer damage. You need to add SP to certain categories to be able to use objects. To equip a talisman, for example, you need to have at least one SP in the Major Talisman line on the skill interface.

AP is spent on new abilities. You buy new icons for your hot-bar as you move along. CrazyAsses has a Haymaker move, for example, for smashing the enemy scum all up in the face with his hammer. There’s a “Decks” system so you can pick what essentially amounts to a class and work towards it. You click on the Deck you’re after and it shows you where to put your points if you’re trying to make a Warlock of a Witch Hunter.

The progression system’s exciting stuff – if unintuitive; it wasn’t until Brenna led me through how to allocate AP that it made any sense – but after a few hours in Kingsmouth there does appear to be a giant flaw in the plan: grouping seems to be really hard.

CrazyAsses no mates

The progression system’s exciting stuff – if unintuitive; it wasn’t until Brenna led me through how to allocate AP that it made any sense – but after a few hours in Kingsmouth there does appear to be a giant flaw in the plan: grouping seems to be really hard. Unless I’m missing something blindingly obvious, there’s no casual grouping system. You have a Friends interface and stuff for your Cabal (guild), but there doesn’t seem to be a way of just quickly finding someone with which to overcome Mr Slightly Too-Hard Monster. A cursory search suggests this is the case, and it’s going to be patched in later. General server chat’s a heavy stream of “LFG” on Grim, and Brenna said the same of Cerberus. I’ve tried to group with a bunch of people standing around in Kingsmouth, for example, just to have the requests instantly rejected. Maybe it’s because I’m called CrazyAsses, but even so, this seems pretty odd considering the entire point of the game is to get together to win.

One neat thing TSW does do, though, is allow friends to “zone” to each other across servers. Brenna popped over to Grim to hold my hand through a bunch of the early missions, and it works well, but not being able to just find a quick partner for a mission lift doesn’t seem very sensible.

It’s too early to judge, however. The servers are juddery and there are some obvious bugs right now. It needs more of a tutorial and some proper group tools, but in truth? I enjoyed the opening sequences of The Secret World more than any other MMO I can remember. It’s thoughtfully-paced, exciting, and it looks lovely. There’s no way I could say for certain it’s a stayer (the group issue’s a massive alarm bell, especially now I’m running into missions which are tough to solo), but on first impressions the final product’s a funny, thrilling attempt to drag the MMO into contemporary territory, and it definitely has succeeded in an entirely new take on levelling. Based on that alone we should all be tooling up to quash the mysterious forces of evil right now. The world won’t save itself, you know.

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13 Comments

  1. BULArmy

    I am getting my copy today, but maybe will be able to play first on Sunday. I have huge hopes, as I had with AoC(in my view the only MMO close to disturbing WoW). AoC had a lot of problems with middle to late game content, as with the bugs and that killed it, but still is one of the different MMOs. I hope Funcom solved those problems, because I am sick of all the generic fantasy MMO setings, the concept here is absolutely amazing.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    It’s a lot of fun. The setting’s brilliant.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. brento73

    Although I don’t have the free time of money to pick it up at launch, I did get the chance to get in on some beta events, and I think the game is pretty cool. Although I experienced some bugs and issues, and the grouping isn’t as easy as I’d like(as mentioned above), the game world feels unique amid the sea of Tolkien-inspired fantasy games. I can only think of a few MMORPGs that didn’t have a setting similar to EverQuest(or Ulitma Online before that), and those haven’t done real well. Given that one non-fantasy game that started off a bit rocky, but went on to stick around for the long-haul was Funcom’s own Anarchy Online, I have high hopes for TSW. Since I’d really love to play it down the road, I REALLY want it to be a hit.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DSB

    I think you’re overlooking a few things Pat.

    Champions had much the same system for levelling (somewhat clunkier with trainers etc. but still very free) and Conan was ultimately quite a pretty game as well, but it didn’t do them a whole lot of good, because ultimately they didn’t have proper endgame.

    There’s very little to distinguish The Secret World from those two, especially Champions, based on what I played during the beta.

    I think the thrill you’re talking about is a very basic one, that probably only counts if you haven’t played those other ones, which I think a great deal of the core MMO audience will have.

    And ultimately it doesn’t last. I really liked that Champions was more actiony and scripted with guns and spells and all kinds of craziness, but ultimately there wasn’t a lot to really use it on besides the grind, just like there isn’t in The Secret World.

    A successful MMO isn’t about the short term, it’s about the long term, and while I haven’t played The Secret World for very long, I didn’t see any indication that it had much beyond the grind.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Patrick Garratt

    @4 – I did play Champions. Did you not have a level in that? I bounced off it, to be honest. TSW’s loads better.

    I didn’t play Conan, because I was fantasied out. I’ve just moved on to the second TSW area. We’ll see if there’s enough there to keep things interesting soon enough, I guess.

    It definitely is a lot of fun. The story could go on forever, assuming there’s enough interest. I’m crossing my fingers, but I’m really enjoying it at the moment.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DSB

    @5 Yeah you did, and it did make you go through trainers and all that, but it had the same kind of freedom that you do in The Secret World. If you wanted to be all guns and magic, you could.

    But just like The Secret World, the degree to which the game rewarded it was very shoddy.

    It’s not a bad MMO, but I just think it takes more than a decent one to really make a mark these days. It is a big step up from Conan on Funcoms part, but I don’t see how it will make people run from the MMOs with more solid dungeons and endgame.

    You should do a follow up once you max out. I think that’s really the kicker when it comes to MMOs.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Patrick Garratt

    @6 – Yeah, I will. Brenna’s keen on it, so I think we’ll be playing it a bit internally. I’m definitely interested in seeing how long it’ll keep me going for.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight

    What I find fun in Secret World is the investigations and fantastic environments. I would just get to high level just so I could explore all areas but I won’t pay a sub just for those two things.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. GwynbleiddiuM

    @8 Well TBH I don’t think it’ll last long. I don’t wish em ill but I think eventually people will start to want more rewarding experience, more stuff to do and when those demands aren’t met with proper content things will start to fall apart. TSW doesn’t even have a proper FAQ on their website yet, there are no alternative payment options like game cards as far as I know cause when I’m going to play a p2p mmo I need that option as I don’t have credit card or paypal due to international sanctions. So I think they wont last long based on my personal experience and I played a lot of different MMOs in the past including both Champions and AoC from Funcom.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Kabby

    Doesn’t interest me and seems clunky in everything it does. I await your follow-up article in 3 months time.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. TheWulf

    Will wonders never cease? I actually completely agree with DSB.

    Champions Online is a marvel of a game (heh), and it’s really enjoyable. I loved the customisation, I truly enjoyed being my own hero, but what plagued it was that they didn’t have enough variety in the content. And what variety they did have wasn’t easily repeatable, so you’d blow through these fun bits and then you’d be left with the grind. And that was playing it casually.

    I still love Champions Online, don’t get me wrong. I’d recommend it to anyone wanting to try an MMORPG because it’s a brilliant game, and in a lot of ways it’s almost GW2. It’s clever, it’s thoughtful, and it has a lot going for it. But ultimately the way they designed it, so akin to traditional MMORPGs, is what doomed it.

    What had the potential to save Champions Online came too late.

    They added adventure packs and comic series. The first one, the Serpent Lantern, was terribad. I’ll admit that. But the rest of them? Demonflare, Resistance, and the comic series? Brilliant! Brilliant! Now… what would have saved Champions Online? If the whole game had been like those adventure packs and comic series.

    But they understood that too late. Maybe Champions Online 2 will…

    Who knows.

    But what makes a game enjoyable is if you have content that one or more people can enjoy with as small amount of drama and mechanics overhead as possible, and you want to let them enjoy this content whenever. This is why Guild Wars 2 works, and this is why it’s basically CO++. It’s Champions Online done right.

    The events, both renown (heart) and dynamic are clever.

    They’re clever because you’re not playing the UI. You don’t need to group with people, you don’t need armchair generals, you don’t need drama. You can just hop into this crazy shit as it’s happening. See people invading a town? You can jump in to help stop that, and you can even fail.

    How is this relevant? You can play whatever events whenever you want.

    Levels don’t matter. You get rewarded according to your current level, anyway, and numbers don’t matter because your power is matched to the content you’re doing. So whether you win or lose is very much an element of your skill. A level 80 character could fail at a level 10 event.

    So if you get bored of doing events in areas which are designated as level 80, you can go and do events which are designated as level 10. You’ll get rewarded for it in ways which are very relevant to you as well.

    In this way, the entire game is end-game.

    It’s clever, really clever. Let’s say that there’s this event you liked playing as a level 40 character, yeah? You can go back and play that event at level 60 and have a blast with it until you’re done with that, and you can do that without anything getting screwed up. And you receive the same level of challenge at level 60 that you did at level 40.

    Now, the adventure packs and comic series of Champions Online also scaled like this, but they were instanced. Which is a damned shame.

    Guild Wars 2 is like an entire game of CO’s comic series and adventure packs, except set in the open world where everyone who’s in the area can take part in them and be rewarded for them in meaningful ways. It takes the good ideas of Champions Online and builds upon them, and it fixes them, and builds the entire game upon the basis of good ideas.

    The problem with a game like TSW is that it’s traditional. You’ll blow through the good content, and people will get in your way and annoy you when you’re trying to do that (adventure games are usually very personal experiences), then you’ll pass all that content and what’s left to you?

    You grind. You grind. You grind. You grind some more. Because all you have left is the combat.

    I want to see more games being clever like GW2, where people are encouraged to play together, but where the older content of the game never becomes irrelevant. Guild Wars 2 is end-game, all of it is end-game. It’s end-game from level 1 to level 80, it’s designed that way. That’s why GW2 wins. CO came so damned close but it didn’t get enough right. GW2 does. If GW2 becomes the new MMORPG standard, I will be very happy.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. TheWulf

    Also, Pat… come on. You know TSW has a level as well as I do, it’s just not explicitly explained as a level. It’s a level that’s obfuscated.

    Area A: The monsters in this area are easy, you need only two skills to do well.
    Area B: The monsters in this area are harder, you’d need at least five skills to do well.
    Area C: The monsters in this area are much harder, you’d need a good variety of skills to do well.
    Area D: If you don’t have the right skills and powered up in the right way, the monsters here will slaughter you.

    Area A: Level 1
    Area B: Level 5
    Area C: Level 20
    Area D: Level 50

    It might not implicitly state a level, but there is one there. It’s measured instead though but the amount of skills you have and how powered up they are. It’s just that you get those skills and upgrades more intermittently (Guild Wars 2 also does this with its skill unlocks and weapons) instead of it being linked into a level.

    But the level-gating is still present on TSW’s content. It’s painfully obvious that level-gating is there. Just because it isn’t called a level, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a level system in place there. A level basically means X Amount of Power, and that philosophy is firmly in place in TSW.

    If you want an example of a game without level-gating, look at Ultima Online or Minecraft. In those games if you’re careful you can go wherever you want. This is absolutely not true about The Secret World. It’s just a really pretty con, it’s a clever con that people want to believe.

    But levels and level-gating are alive and well in TSW. Obfuscation thereof is irrelevant.

    And what makes it worse is that it’s going to hard for people to group up since you can’t explicitly say what level an area is, you can only try and compare what skills a person has and how powered up they are. People are going to get sick of that fast.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. absolutezero

    I bought The Secret World for Ragnar tornquist and little else. Im enjoying taking my time going through the story, which is actually somewhat interesting.

    I made a girl that looks real.

    Actually she kinda looks alot like Sue Perkins. D:

    #13 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Atlus makes “minor edits” to Dungeon Travelers 2 in order to avoid AO rating

    Atlus has announced it has made “minor edits” to four in-game images contained in Dungeon Travelers 2 to avoid an AO rating by the ESRB. According to a press release from the company, localization sometimes require changes to content in order for it to be “understood en masse,” which is why it worked closely with […]

  • Battlefield Hardline is 40% off through Origin this weekend

    The standard edition of Battlefield Hardline on PC is 40% off this weekend through EA’s Origin service. The Digital Deluxe Edition is also 40% off and includes various Battlepacks unavailable in the standard version. You can also pick up the Battlefield Hardline Ultimate edition for 23% off, which comes with all four planned expansions through […]

  • Submerged is an exploration-adventure game coming to multiple platforms

    Submerged is the latest title in development from Uppercut Games, and the exploration-adventure game is coming to PlayStation 4 and other platforms this year. The game takes place in a flooded city which Miku and her wounded brother Taku have reached by boat. Miku needs to find a safe place for her brother to rest […]

  • These screenshots for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt show superb attention to detail

    Some gorgeous new screenshots for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have surfaced, and a couple are wallpaper worthy. Especially the one with the horse, but as you’re well aware, I’m horse crazed. The images below in the gallery have been scaled to fit properly, but if you head over to NeoGAF you can bask in […]

  • Namco kicks off Humble Store partnership with Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin

    Namco Bandai has started offering its PC titles on Humble Store, and this includes the recently released Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin. Other titles include Dragon Ball Xenoverse, and Project Cars. “In Japan, the Bandai Namco Group companies are known for supporting different charity programs and we are very happy to be […]

  • World of Tanks: 2,000 Bonus codes to give away

    Already have a World of Tanks account? We’ve got 2,000 codes for players to top up their Gold and Premium days. This weekend sees the World of Tanks Grand Finals take place in Poland, and we’ve got a bunch of game codes to give away to celebrate. Each Bonus PC code offers 150 Gold and […]

  • Mad Max contains Top Dog camps with boss fights

    Mad Max will have bases which vary in difficulty, some of which are considered a “finale” for a particular region and feature a boss fight. Speaking in the latest issue of GamesMaster via GamesRadar, the game’s producer John Fuller said this allows players to tailor their experience by deciding how much of a challenge they […]

  • Just Cause 3 gameplay trailer reveal coming next week

    Mark your calendars for Tuesday, April 28, because you won’t want to miss the gameplay reveal of Just Cause 3. Avalanche tweeted the date along with a teaser, as seen below. The box art has also made an appearance. Keep an eye on the game’s YouTube page, and we’ll be sure to post the video […]

  • First paid Skyrim Steam Workshop mod has been pulled

    Valve’s new incentive which allows modders to charge for their creations hasn’t been live for 24 hours yet, and already, one mod has been pulled. The mod in question was Chesko’s Fishing Mod for Skyrim, which the creator pulled after a community member questioned whether Chesko had permission from the creator of the character-idle animations […]

  • Resident Evil HD Remaster has sold over one million copies worldwide

    The HD remaster of Resident Evil has sold over one million copies worldwide since its January 20 release, Capcom has announced. The company attributed the sales milestone to producing a “great product” along with excellent word of mouth and praise from fans. In February, Capcom said Resident Evil HD Remaster was its fastest-selling digital title […]

  • The Crew: the Raid Car Pack and Raid Live Update now available for download

    The Crew players can now download the Raid Car Pack which is the last of four themes car packs. The Raid Live Update is also available, and it contains six new tuning specs. The car pack contains three new cars: the 2012 Cadillac Escalade, the off-road 2011 Volkswagen Touareg NF and the McLaren F1 supercar. […]

  • Geralt is very professional in the latest Witcher 3: Wild Hunt TV spot

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new TV spot that’s short and to the point. The latest Witcher 3 trailer comes in the form of TV spot. It’s all CGI, and it looks good. If you’re more into gameplay trailers, the latest one will serve you well. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out […]

  • Steam roguelike sale is live, offers deep discounts on a stellar collection of titles

    If you’re into challenging, procedurally-generated, and infinitely-replayable games, Steam’s current sale will hook you up. Steam is hosting a sale on roguelike games. Plenty of titles in the genre are on sale for upwards of 75% off. Highlights include Risk of Rain at 75% off, Don’t Starve at 66% off, Spelunky at 75% off, FTL: […]

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 finally gets online co-op in Raid Mode on Xbox One

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has been patched to support online play in Raid Mode on Xbox One. The Xbox One version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 lacked online support in Raid Mode for a long time. Until today. A new patch has been released to bring that version in line with the rest of them. […]

  • A section in Killing Floor 2′s EULA about cyberbullying is riling up some fans

    Killing Floor 2 has recently got into a bit of trouble with some fans due to a clause in its EULA that gives the developer the right to revoke a user’s license without prior notice. The Killing Floor 2 EULA – just like many others found in modern games, has a section dedicated to cheating […]

  • World of Tanks: 2,000 free tanks and in-game cash to giveaway

    To celebrate the World of Tanks grand finals this weekend we’ve got some great freebies to give away to new players. We have 2,000 PC invite codes to giveaway, with each one offering new accounts a T2 Light Tank, 100 Gold and 1 Days Premium worth around €8.00. All you need to do is enter […]

  • Marvel announces partnership with Telltale, first game due in 2017

    Marvel and Telltale have entered into a partnership that will allow the developer to work on a new game series, due in 2017. Telltale has announced that it has partnered with Marvel Games, Marvel Entertainment’s video games division, for the development of a new game series. No indication was given as to what the new […]

  • Destiny: Bungie is not saying no to a player trading system

    Bungie has not completely ruled out the idea of bringing a trading system to Destiny. Destiny does not offer any way for players to trade items amongst themselves. But ever since the game’s release, players have never stopped asking Bungie to add one in. While the developer does not have a satisfying answer, it’s still […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for April 24, 25 – MIDA Multi-Tool edition

    The weekend Exotics market run by Xur: Agent of the Nine is now open for business. Destiny’s bizarre vendor, Xur, has arrived at the Tower. Xur is your man if you’re looking for Exotic armour or weapons. Not only that, but he will also let you exchange your old Exotic gear for new, upgraded versions. […]

  • Warcraft movie delayed yet again

    The Warcraft movie will no longer hit theatres in March 2016. The release date of the Warcraft movie has been pushed back by three months. The movie was expected in March 2016, but Legendary Pictures announced yesterday that it is now due on June 10, 2016. No reason was given for the delay. This is […]

  • Destiny: Iron Banner returns on April 28

    Destiny’s Iron Banner PvP event will return this Tuesday. Bungie has announced that the Iron Banner, it’s once-every-few-weeks PvP event, will make a return with next week’s weekly reset. It was initially due this week, but because of the recent Crucible changes that were implemented with patch 1.1.2, Bungie wanted to wait and see. That […]

  • Deus Ex devs take the piss out of Black Ops 3

    Deus Ex developers have been having a bit of a laugh at the expense of Call of Duty’s official Twitter account. You would be forgiven to think that yesterday’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 ‘Ember’ teaser was part of an ad campaign for a Deus Ex game, with all the biohacking, wearable tech, augmentation, […]

  • Bungie weekly update: Commendations begone

    Destiny’s weekly update is here to determine the fate of all those Commendations you’ve been earning in the past few months. Bungie started off this week’s update with a recap of the details revealed during the recent livestream. There wasn’t really anything on this front that they haven’t talked about already. With the exception of […]

  • This GTA 5 trainer lets you play as almost anything and it’s the best thing ever

    Want to play GTA 5 as a monkey, a cat, a fish, a deer or some other non-human thing that we eat or keep as a pet? ScriptHook has you covered. Not only can you play as critters, it change other game values, according to an explanation from PC Gamer. These values include making changes […]

  • EA Sports moves Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR release date to July

    EA Sports has announced Rory McIlroy PGA TOUR will be released in July. Originally announced for June, the golf game will now release the same week as the Open Championship at St. Andrews, on July 14. EA also provided some more color on gameplay features such as the ability to customize the game by borrowing […]

  • Jason Voorhees joins Mortal Kombat X in May, Kombat Pack owners get first dibs

    Jason Voorhees will arrive for Mortal Kombat X players in May, NetherRealm Studios announced today during the latest Kombat Kast. Jason will be shown for the first time on Monday, May 4 during a special Kombat Kast. According to EventHub which watched the livestream, the developer will also show off the character’s move and Variations. […]

  • The Witcher 3: Nvidia heads to Poland for a behind-the-scenes look – video

    A video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, taking you behind-the-scenes with CD Projekt RED. Nvidia’s GeForce crew went to the firm’s studio in Poland to talk with the game’s executive producer John Mamais, who provides a look at the PC version of the upcoming RPG. CD Projekt, according to the video […]

  • Microsoft notes decline in Xbox unit sales for Q3 FY15 to 1.6 million

    Microsoft reported its Q3 FY15 earnings today, citing growth in Xbox Live usage as one of the contributing factors to the firm’s reported revenue. However, the firm noted a decline in units sales for its Xbox consoles during the quarter. Microsoft Q3 2014 (yoy comparison) Microsoft Q1 fiscal 2015 Microsoft Q2 fiscal 2015 The firm […]

  • Powerplay is a new feature included in the Elite: Dangerous May update

    The next update for Elite: Dangerous is coming next month and it includes a new feature called Powerplay. According to Frontier Developments, Powerplay allows players to participate in an ongoing battle that “enhances every aspect” of the game. Players can become allies with a number of galactic Powers and guide their strategy, pursue objectives in […]

  • Facebook says it’s “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift

    Facebook has said it is “too early” to discuss large-scale shipments of Oculus Rift as the VR headset is still in the development stages. Speaking during a call to investors, Facebook CFO David Wehner said the company had nothing to announce regarding the amount of stock it expected to ship. “We have not announced any […]

  • Battlefield Hardline’s first patch and rental server program hits next week

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch has a release date for both consoles and PC. PC & Console patch and RSP for Consoles coming April 28th. Fixes include TDM spawns and more: http://t.co/BZYJeomPlr pic.twitter.com/27TCiY8hmf — Battlefield (@Battlefield) April 23, 2015 The update will include fixes to Punkbuster, Nvidia DirectX drivers, TDM spawns, contains weapon balance tweaks and […]

  • Modders can now earn money through Steam Workshop starting today with Skyrim

    Valve has introduced a new functionality within Steam Workshop which will allow mod makers to earn money for their creations, starting with Skyrim. The update will allow content such as mods, items, or maps to be sold through Steam Workshop for titles which have the feature enabled. A new “streamlined process for listing” has been […]

  • Play Skyrim for free this weekend on Steam and take 75% off while you’re at it

    Skyrim is free this weekend on Steam providing wanna-be Dragonborns who have procrastinated on wetting their blades with Stormcloak blood the perfect opportunity to give the RPG a try. Head over to Steam and download the game and play for free until April 26 at 1am PDT. The game is also 75% off if you […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 “Ember” teaser video released ahead of full reveal

    Activision has released a Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 teaser video titled “Ember” and you can watch it right here. Here’s the video blurb: “In the next 50 years, technological advancements will lead us into a world where only those who risk going too far, will find out how far we can actually go.” […]

  • Dragon Age Keep update includes more customizability and control

    Bioware has updated Dragon Age Keep after listening to community feedback. The update includes more customization and control over heroes, world states, career and more. Players can now customize hero portraits or delete Dragon Age: Inquisition heroes from the Hero section. They can also remove playthrough states from the World State Manager and keep up […]

  • Here’s a look at some Conker community creations in Project Spark

    Conker’s Bug Reunion releases today, and below is a video showing some of the community creations you will be able to download using the creation pack. Project Spark is a free download on Xbox One and Windows 8.1, and you can download the Conker Creation Pack today. It contains 350 assets in order for users […]

  • Rainbow Six: Siege video shines spotlight on the British Counter Terrorist Unit

    Ubisoft has released a Rainbow Six: Siege video which gives you a look at the British Counter Terrorist Unit which features “the best of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.” The firm said that over the next few weeks it will introduce the public to each of the units in the game. Rainbow Six Siege […]

  • Mario Kart 8 DLC and Mewtwo for Super Smash Bros. headline eShop update in North America

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with an update and new DLC for Mario Kart 8 and the Mewtwo DLC for Super Smash Bros. Other highlights include Mario Kart DS on Wii U Virtual Console, the continuation of International StreetPass Week and more. Full update is below. Nintendo eShop Mario Kart […]

  • Square Enix host E3 2015 conference this year on June 16

    With Final Fantasy 15, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on the horizon, it should come as no surprise to learn that Square Enix will be hosting a dedicated E3 2015 conference this year. The presentation will take place Tuesday, June 16 at 9am PDT/12pm EDT/5pm UK. It will be broadcast […]

  • Final Fantasy 4: The After Years 3D remake releasing on Steam next month

    Final Fantasy 4: The After Years has been given a makeover and will be released on Steam of PC next month. You can now pre-order it on Steam and take 10% off for the time being. The game will be released on the digital service May 12 and will include trading cards and achievements. Thanks, […]

  • This Project Cars video shows off the racer’s multiplayer

    Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has released a new video giving you a look at the game’s multiplayer. The game is out next month, and if you would like to refresh yourself on the tracks included,  give this a look. While you are clicking links, here’s the minimum and recommended PC specifications which dropped last […]

  • Looks like Logitech is getting out of OEM mouse production business [Clarification]

    Logitech will no longer produce “low-end” mice, citing a decline in PC accessories. This story has been updated to include a clarification. According to a Reuters report, per MCV, the firm will instead focus on video accessories and streaming music, as its wireless Bluetooth speakers are now its best-selling product rage. This will help offset […]

  • Win! We have 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys to give away

    Must have more MOBA? Win one of our 1,000 Heroes of the Storm beta keys and see if you’re more Blizzard than LoL. Can’t wait for June 2? Of course you can’t. We have 1,000 closed beta keys for Heroes of the Storm to give away this week, allowing you access before Blizzard’s MOBA goes […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X Nintendo Direct airs tomorrow, April 24

    A Nintendo Direct devoted entirely to Xenoblade Chronicles X will air this Friday, April 24. The video showcase will start at 11am PDT/2pm EDT/7pm UK. After the showcase, a new Nintendo Treehouse: Live presentation featuring the game will air. This is the second Xenoblace Chronicles X Nintendo Direct, but the first in English. The first […]

  • Blizzard will have 500 game stations set up at gamescom 2015

    Blizzard is heading to gamescom 2015 in August and it will have 500 game stations set up for attendees to get their hands on five of its titles. The developer will be set up in Hall 7 and those who stop by will be able to get hands-on with the latest content for Heroes of […]

  • PS4 price cut to £299 in UK

    Sony has dropped the price of the PS4 in the UK. For a limited time only, you can grab the console for £299.99 from Argos, Game, Tesco and Very. Go to Amazon.co.uk and you’ll get it for £289. You’ve only got until April 28, then it goes back up to £349. Go, go, go. For […]

  • Mad Max: first ever gameplay footage revealed

    Today, we get to finally take our first look at gameplay from Mad Max. Avalanche and Warner Bros. have shown off the first gameplay trailer for Mad Max today. The trailer below offers a look at melee combat, car combat, customisation and much more. Give it a watch below: There are a few new screenshots […]

  • Overlord: Fellowship of Evil has four-player co-op like we figured

    Codemasters has pulled the veil back on the next Overlord game, and its a four-player co-op game called Overlord: Fellowship of Evil. Rhianna Pratchett is back to write the story. The game may be co-op at its core, but it can still be played single-player. Each of the four playable character have strengths and weaknesses, […]

  • Update now available for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X and Y

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire along with Pokemon X and Y are being updated by Nintendo to fix a few bugs and in-game text. There’s also the possibility of a few hacks and exploits being fixed. Per Nintendo Life (via Serebii), both patches are 250-270 blocks in size, and it’s a mandatory update which […]

  • Side-scrolling cover shooter Not a Hero gets a demo

    Not a Hero, the upcoming game from OlliOlli developer Roll7, has received a demo. The demo for Not a Hero was made available today on Steam. In the game, you play as Steve, the campaign manager for BunnyLord. A time-travelling rabbit who’s running for mayor of London. Think this is an absurd premise? This trailer […]

  • You have until April 30 to export your Green Day: Rock Band tracks to Rock Band 3

    Harmonix has announced that those looking to export their song collection from Green Day: Rock Band into Rock Band 3 can only do so until the end of the month. April 30 will be the cutoff date for anyone who wants to export tracks from Green Day: Rock Band into their Rock Band 3 library, […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight minimum, recommended, and ultra PC specs revealed

    Batman: Arkham Knight is looking like it’s going to be quite a taxing game. Nvidia has released a list of the minimum, recommended, and ultra PC requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight. Here’s the full thing: Minimum OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required) Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom […]

  • Bloodborne patch 1.03 is live, reduces loading times, fixes suspend/resume bugs, more

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Bloodborne. The patch reduces loading times, adds item descriptions to loading screens, and fixes other various bugs. From Software has pushed update 1.03 live to all Bloodborne owners. As promised, it reduces loading times by approximately 5 to 15 seconds. Another new addition is showing item descriptions instead of […]

  • Battlefield 4: first look at Community Map in action

    Get your first look at the map designed by the community of Battlefield 4. Battlefield 4′s community-designed map is a reality. DICE has recently updated CTE to include an early version of the map. It’s not fully textured as Westie is about to show you, but the layout is nearly finalised. Westie goes over the […]

  • Microsoft apologises for uploading misleading Witcher 3: Wild Hunt footage

    Xbox’s YouTube channel uploaded a video of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt yesterday that was captured from the PC build. The most recent gameplay video for the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt appeared on the Xbox YouTube channel and showed a quest from the game’s opening section. A few minutes after it had gone live, […]