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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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  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

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

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

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

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

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

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

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

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

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

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

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

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

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

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

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

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

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

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

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

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

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

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

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

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

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

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

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

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

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

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

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

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

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

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

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

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

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

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

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

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

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

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

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

  • Toejam and Earl are back with a new Kickstarter

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

  • New Wander trailer shows off Azertash form

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

  • SOMA approaching beta phase on PC and PS4

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

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

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

  • New Hunger teaser released by LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers

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

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

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

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

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

  • Play Battlefield Hardline starting March 12 through EA Access

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

  • This video summarizes the contents of Destiny patch 1.1.1

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

  • Destiny 1.1.1 patch notes out, update is live

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

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

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