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Metal Gear Solid and the gaming cinema curse

Friday, 31 August 2012 08:48 GMT By Brenna Hillier

The history of game-to-movie adaptations is littered with corpses. Why are so many promising projects abandoned, and why do so many survivors just plain suck? Brenna Hillier investigates.

The most successful adaptations are those who pay the least heed to the “real” canon of the licenses they exploit. If you want to wring a pretty penny out of a gaming property you need to shuck off most of the trappings of established narrative and personalities and focus instead on a few core takeaways.

Hideo Kojima made an announcement yesterday which shook the industry – unfortunately, some of it was shaking with laughter. Metal Gear Solid, still one of the most cinematic games ever created and certainly the release which kickstarted a more film-like approach to gaming, is going to be made into a movie.

Or is it? Although the project was announced with fanfare – plenty more than the usual Variety Magazine blip – it’s still clearly in the early stages. Columbia Pictures has signed on, and Avi Arad’s enthusiastic, but when the producer took the stage to chat with Kojima it became apparent that no director, writer or talent is on board yet.

The MGS movie’s embryonic, and game-to-film projects have a habit of quietly dying (or disastrously hitting roadblocks) before they ever enter production. In an interesting coincidence, Arad’s last high profile gaming production was to be based on Capcom’s Lost Planet, with a script written by David Hayter – the voice of Solid Snake. It never got off the ground.

This is a familiar story. Although the vast majority of licensed movie deals never go anywhere, the phenomenon is particularly egregious with games. Even a very brief survey of announcements of the last few years reveals a startling number of failed attempts to bring games to the big screen. With a bit of desultory digging I turned up 33 unreleased projects – the vast majority of which have ran aground, or, in some cases, quietly sunk without a trace.

That’s not to say the same fate awaits Metal Gear Solid. As many have pointed out, a movie is almost redundant; the narrative is already consciously cinematic. With a troop of colourful characters just begging to be brought to life and plenty of excuses for special effects blow outs, it’s not going to take a heck of a stretch to put together a decent treatment. Just don’t hold your breath. Kojima’s announcement has reignited my interest in a number of interrelated questions about Hollywood’s troubled relationship with gaming properties. Why are games, an increasingly mass market entertainment medium, apparently so difficult to adapt to film? Why do movies based on games have such a bad reputation? Why do we even want or need movies based on games? Who are they for?

Top 10 grossing game movies

01) Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Worldwide: $335.1 million
US domestic: $90.7 million

02) Resident Evil: Afterlife
Worldwide: $296.2 million
US domestic $60. million

03) Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
Worldwide: $274.7 million
US domestic: $131.1 million

04) Pokémon: The First Movie
Worldwide: $163.6 million
US Domestic: 85.7 million

05) Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
Worldwide: $156.5 million
US domestic: $65.6 million

06) Resident Evil: Extinction
Worldwide: $147.7 million
US domestic $50.6 million

07) Resident Evil: Apocalypse
Worldwide: $129.3 million
US domestic: $51.2 million

08) Mortal Kombat
Worldwide: $122.1 million
US domestic: $70.4 million

09) Resident Evil
Worldwide: $102.4 million
US domestic: $40.1 million

10) Hitman
Worldwide: $99.9 million
US domestic: $39.6 million

That the latter two questions are so difficult to answer goes some way towards explaining the first two. Nobody seems entirely sure which audience is being targeted with a game-to-film adaptation. If a film faithfully reproduces a game it’s going to be of little value to franchise fans, but it’s going to alienate them if it departs from established canon. If it’s not targeted at the fans at all, why attach a gaming property, something that still carries a stigma despite gaming’s growing social acceptability as an entertainment medium?

Back to the drawing board
Interestingly, the most successful adaptations are those which pay the least heed to the “real” canon of the licenses they draw on. The Resident Evil films are among the highest-grossing video game movies; while critics find little to admire in the spectacle-heavy adventures of Milla Jovovich’s specially created character, Alice, each of the film ranks in the top ten earners of game adaptations, making most of their box office earnings outside the US. Silent Hill, which notably hails from the same production team and is soon to spawn a sequel, did less well internationally but is in the top ten for US domestic earnings. These movies tend to be rubbished by fans of Capcom’s horror efforts, because they throw out established plots and characters in favour of new interpretations. They remain informed by particular themes, motifs and icons of the games, but make no effort at fitting in with the rules of the universe inside your console.

Two other top ten entries, Tomb Raider and its less successful sequel The Cradle of Life, took a similar approach. Lara Croft, never a steady characterisation even over the course of just one of her multitudinous releases, was reinvented for the films. The adventures she undertook and the characters she encountered were likewise far removed from anything the games established. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time has the highest worldwide gross of any video game adaptation to date, and, again, it played fast and loose with the characters and story of its parent IP; don’t even get me started on what they did to Tahmina.

These examples suggest that if you want to wring a pretty penny out of a gaming property you need to shuck off most of the trappings of established narrative and personalities and focus instead on a few core takeaways. This is understandable: a lot of what makes a game so compelling fails to translate to less interactive media. Our most-praised epics (Mass Effect, for example) are divided into short, episodic arcs suitable to a play session, which add up to an overall narrative too long for a standard film. Our most iconic heroes (Master Chief, the early Lara Croft, Gordon Freeman) are deliberately empty, every-man types we can all individually adopt as we play – but with little to recommend them as protagonists for 90 minutes of passive observation. Turning games into films means dropping a lot of what makes them special to their fans.

Why license?
Hollywood, like the games industry, is increasingly focused on smaller numbers of bigger hits, and is building towards a reliance on series and franchises, à la the recent success of Marvel. Launching a new property on a Hollywood budget presents the same kind of investor-unfriendly risk as launching a new gaming IP, so it’s understandable that a studio would consider adapting an established, successful gaming brand.

Maybe that’s what David O Russell planned to do with his generously loose interpretation of Uncharted; tack the name onto an exploitable genre – heist films – while maintaining the lip service of a few core ideas.

Movie announces ’07-’12

Including cancelled, stymied and MIA.
List almost certainly incomplete.

Area 51, Army of Two, Assassin’s Creed, BioShock, Broken Sword, Castlevania, Cold Fear, Clock Tower, Dante’s Inferno, Dead Space, Driver, Duke Nukem, Everquest, Fatal Frame, Fear Effect, Gears of War, God of War, Guitar Hero, Halo, Joust, Kane & Lynch, The Legend of Spyro, Lost Planet, Mass Effect, Metal Gear Solid, Mortal Kombat 3, Onimusha, Soul Calibur, Splinter Cell, SpyHunter, The Suffering, Uncharted, World of Warcraft

Given what we’ve discussed about the success of easily mutable properties and their potential advantage to a Hollywood project, it’s easy to guess what kind of games are going to be most attractive when shopping around producers and studios. You want something with immediately understandable film themes – Resident Evil’s corporations and monsters, Tomb Raider’s globe-trotting gunplay. You want characters flexible enough to mould into an audience-relatable protagonist. You want a story which fits nicely into a typical 90 minute arc.

Otherwise, you want a licensee happy to see you throw all this out and start again under your brand name, and games companies are less and less happy with that kind of arrangement, as they become increasingly aware of how cheap licensing waters down a brand with the potential for transmedia. Sony scuttled Uncharted when it started heading south; Epic and Irrational have both demurred when their properties, Gears of War and BioShock respectively, didn’t inspire agreeable treatments; Ubisoft has locked down Assassin’s Creed; Blizzard is guarding World of Warcraft so closely that, devastatingly, Sam Raimi gave up and wandered off to do Oz.

Where Hideo Kojima is all enthusiasm, other licensees have learned to be wary in their quest to take franchises mainstream. It’s difficult to translate the magic of games to films in way that captures the mass market and pleases core fans; it’s hard to avoid cheapening a property in the process; and it’s hard to sell movie-goers, gamers and investors alike on adaptations after years of Uwe Boll’s deliberate, tax-evading flops. It’s no wonder gaming properties so rarely make the jump with significant success.

Avi Arad says games are the new comic books, and in a year or two we’ll all be heading into cinemas to watch Metal Gear Solid and its ilk the same way we did The Avengers, Iron Man and Captain America. We’re hedging our bets.

Thanks to freelance game and film critic James O’Connor for acting as a sounding board during the construction of this piece.

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17 Comments

  1. Freek

    Succesfull comic book films have had high profile, quality filmmakers, with a great cast to back them up. The people writting and directing them grew up with the property, had a strong passion for the franchise they worked on and got the studio onboard with their vission.

    That has NEVER happend to games. Nobody cares about the adaptation and nobody understands them. Not the studio, not the people making it, not people starring in them.

    The closest we got was Silent Hill, a well intentioned failure.

    Untill that changes, game adaptations will continue to suck. Just another license to exploite rathen then a project with a good idea and passion for the characters.

    But look to Youtube. It’s full of quality shorts that faithfully adapt games. If you can do it in a 5/10 min short, you can do it for 120 min aswell. Just so long as you have people making it that actually give a shit.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. friendlydave

    #2 3 years ago
  3. mojo

    #1:
    “Succesfull comic book films have had high profile, quality filmmakers, with a great cast to back them up”
    and still most of them suck.

    and silent hill wasnt bad.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. freedoms_stain

    From that list there on the right, Spyro could actually make a decent kids film.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. TheBlackHole

    The answer to this question is actually incredibly simple. They give the greenlight to terrible directors because they don’t ask for much money, and they refuse to let good directors take them on because they ask for too much.

    The only three adaptations with genuine potential were:

    Halo – Pete Jackson, Neill Blomkamp.
    So, apparently, the MULTIPLE OSCAR WINNING director of Lord of the Rings and director of District 9 aren’t the right fit for a fantasy sci-fi epic. Erm, right.

    Bioshock – gore Verbinski.
    I’m not his biggest fan, but he does big-picture action well and he wanted to make the film a hard-R. Hence why he’s no longer attached.

    Uncharted – David O Russell
    Another Oscar nominated director (maker of Three Kings and The Fighter), who dropped out due to the Studio wanting to inact their own ‘vision’.

    Instead, we get Uwe Boll and Paul Anderson.

    Fuck you Hollywood. Seriously, fuck you.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Freek

    Halo got killed because the deal coulden’t be made. The creative team was fine but it was a multipell studio deal that ran into financial trouble.

    Same with Bioshock, the studio wanted a PG13 or a low budget.

    David O Russel’s Uncharted would have been total garbage. It was some wierdo family heist movie with freaking Marky Mark in the lead and Robert De Niro as his uncle. A train wreck that needed to be canned.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. TheBlackHole

    @6

    1 – the multiple studio deal was fine until PJ wanted 10% of gross receipts.

    2 – So the studio had no interest in a film that was either in line with the game’s tone/horror elements, or wanted to make a cheap movie about an underwater city.

    3 – The ‘Marky Mark’ insult is old hat. Watch Three Kings, The Departed or Boogie Nights and then tell me he can’t act. Sure, he makes some shit, but under a decent director he can produce.

    Traditionally, good directors make good movies. Bad directors make bad ones. It sounds obvious, but generally it’s true. Hollywood just ignores this and goes where the money is. Why make a well received movie and receive half the revenue, when we can make a poorly received one that people will still watch and receive 90%.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Freek

    He’s had some okay roles, but he is completly wrong for the part of Drake and dumping all of the Uncharted storyline and characters for your own story, as Russel was doing, is pointless. We should be thankfull that one got killed.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. OrbitMonkey

    I blame that Mario movie with Bob Hoskins and Dennis Hopper. It tainted Hollywood’s collective conciousness when it come to videogame adaptations. :-S

    #9 3 years ago
  10. mojo

    9:
    lol thats by far the most irritating movie ive seen in a long while..
    happened to see a bit of it just a few weeks ago..
    OMG what a, well, what?!

    #10 3 years ago
  11. CPC_RedDawn

    Without a doubt the best video game – movie adaptation is Silent Hill. Sure it was nowhere near groundbreaking, but at least it stuck to the source material and veered off here and there to do its own thing. At least the acting was great, the story was there, the special effects were awesome too. Not like most of the game movies we get, the prime example being Resident Evil, I fuckin LOVE the games, they seriously are some of my fav games. But Paul.W.S.Anderson has fucked them up beyond belief. They had the perfect formula for a great horror film, a small squad of police officers get lost in the woods and fine refuge in a mansion… All they needed to do was mix it up a little and create their own set pieces to surprise the audience… but no… Anderson thinks he has to think of weird and “sexy” ways in which to slap him wife on screen wearing leather, or jumping around with nothing on (yea sure shes hot but still!).

    Sorry… rant over. I really did like Anderson after he made the excellent horror movie Event Horizon. But after Resident Evil, Three Musketeers, he has well and truly destroyed his reputation!

    I think it is a great idea for Sony to start making some great high budget blockbusters. I think they are getting jealous of Marvel and all their success with comic book movies. Sony has a film company, and they have a games company… I think we might start seeing more and more games movies… Lets just keep EVERYTHING crossed shall we!!

    #11 3 years ago
  12. diego-rbb-93

    #5 BlackHole:

    David O Russell redifined Uncharted breaking the main story completely, bringing us some modern “treasure hunter” family. Pure shit for this adaptation, maybe in another stand-alone movie would work perfectly.

    The bad news were about losing Joe Pesci and De Niro in the way, which sounded awesome. Good news? New script ordered by Sony. Nathan Fillion still can go in.

    About Halo, the production were still too expensive. Microsoft couldnt find any real Company Producer with enough eggs to produce a 250/300 millions project. Or you are James Cameron being produced by Fox, or you are fucked up.

    Lot of pre-production was done, we can still see it in the future, but millions and big FX advances will be needed.

    And Bioshock, more or less the same. 200 millions were needed for a movie that was going to be recorded on green screens and expensive water chambers. Too much cash for scenaries/FX.

    #11 CPC. Resident Evil 1, by Anderson, was an aceptable movie. It really broke with all canonic situations and characters, but it wasnt a bad movie. Zombies were well done zombies AND SCARING, and the make up was still awesome (in the next movies, its poor shit, well, maybe Apocalypse still did well), the Licker was amazing, the movie really did it well showing Umbrella labs installations, the characters were at least, a bit carismatic across the horrible situation and they were really fucked.

    The end was extremly promising (come on, that final image of Raccoon City destroyed, with the movie main theme done by M. Manson was so cool. THAT image, that was pure RE)… But then, Apocalypse came out. I liked it, but it was the movie that really redefined the rest of the saga, the base for all the stupid changes that Anderson took for the next scripts).

    Anderson is a direct with more to offer. But this shit he´s selling, its doing money. Its the only thing we can expect for the moment. The day he really pushes his mind in a non adaptation movie, we could see something interesting.

    About Sony, you shouldnt expect big blockbusters. Sony Pictures only bet money for their big franchises that reported secure money: Spiderman and Resident Evil, and the first one took a lot of money from Columbia. I hope to see them putting money for new big blockbusters, but right now, with all the economical problems on Sony entire company, I dont see this division spending 200 millions in something not called Spiderman. A lot of luck they already have with a shit franchise like RE doing a lot of millions for movie.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. diego-rbb-93

    About Metal Gear Solid, I´ve a lot of years thinking about how adapt it. And the only way I see it, its in two parts.

    See, you need to introduce Solid Snake as, from one hand, a strange and deadly soldier/spy need by the goverment. For the other hand, you must explain all the “shit” that happened in Outer Heaven and Zamzibar. That needs its time, man…

    Apart from that, Metal Gear Solid compilates a brilliant script full of big twisted plot points, betrayals, dramatic battles, extremly big characters, genetic experimentation points, politics, ect…

    Not everything can be there, but it should. Metal Gear Solid have one of the best scripts ever done.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. NiceFellow

    It’s hardly tricky to work out. Most games, much as love them are either:

    1 – pure games hence by defintion useless to base a film on (other than as a cash in on popularity)

    2 – hybrid games mostly focused on gameplay with a crappy plot mostly cribbed from film/literature/comics and by defination already below standard for a film

    3 – cinematic games that balance plot with gameplay. But even the best of these are essentially weaker copies of better films/literature/comics

    So the problem is simple, starting from a game – apart from the loosest elements that might be interesting such as setting or elements of characters – you’re starting from below par material for an adaptation when you take a game as the source.

    Pretty much every film based on a game is a mix of cash in perhaps with an element of vanity project. But despite some being decent I don’t see any ever matching their better sources.

    Sure you could make a film of Uncharted – but I doubt you’re going to top Raiders of the Lost Ark, or even Romancing the Stone for that matter. The best to hope for is a competent film vs the classics in the genre.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Clupula

    As an absolutely huge fan of the Metal Gear Solid series, I have very little doubt that the MGS movie will be complete and utter shit. Directors have this weird hard-on for jettisoning what makes a game great when they make it into a movie. The Uncharted example is a huge one. I am so glad that one got killed. It had as much to do with Uncharted as Doom had to do with Doom.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. xino

    lolz
    i’m surprised Hit man made it to top 10 O_o

    #16 3 years ago
  17. CaptPierce

    The Prince of Persia film is the closest videogame film I liked. It followed the story enough for me to care, even if it only used the Sands about 4-5 times in the movie. Was it perfect? No, but it wasn’t complete dog shit like everyone said.

    #17 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    TwitchPlaysHalo is ridiculous. Halo: Combat Evolved is the latest game to be sucked into the “TwitchPlays” phenomenon, and the results are somewhat painful to spectate. If you’re not familiar with the setup, which debuted with TwitchPlaysPokemon, the game accepts commands from the channels’ chat stream. Although it doesn’t have the strategic RPG elements of Pokemon, […]

  • Gold Amiibo sold out, selling at five times RRP on auction sites

    Gold Mario Amiibo are expected to sell for pretty astounding profits on eBay and other auction sites. The Walmart-exclusive Gold Mario Amiibo is already completely sold out. Plenty of people managed to snaffle them to resell, though. There are now dozens of listings on eBay and other auction sites. One of the average asking prices […]

  • Canadian new game prices jump to $75

    Canadian gamers are in for an unpleasant price hike. As spotted by HardcoreGamer, the local Canadian branches of Amazon and EB Games have raised the prices of upcoming games to CAD$75. The CAD$5 increasing comes within a year of prices hitting the CAD$70 point. CAD$75 (£38/€53) currently exchanges for $60, the standard US pricing. The […]

  • New Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows weather, day-night cycle

    The latest Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows off a gloriously beautiful world. Xenoblade Chronicles X is Monolith Soft’s first solo Wii U game, and the developer is clearly enjoying being able to build a big open world with all the features we’ve come to expect. Missed the whole Xenoblade thing? Chronicles X is a sort […]

  • Dead Rising: Watchtower teaser talks up the benefits of Zombrex

    Live-action Dead Rising movie Watchtower is almost upon us. Dead Rising: Watchtower will release on Crackle on March 27, and via other digital distributors thereafter. Enjoy the short teaser below, courtesy of IGN.

  • We Happy Few debut hits you upside the face with a frying pan

    Contrast developer Compulsion Games has revealed its next project – the delightfully creepy-looking We Happy Few. We Happy Few is set in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England” where “a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial”. Players are tasked with blending in with […]

  • Slender: The Arrival creeping onto PS4, Xbox One in March

    Slender: The Arrival sold like hotcakes on PC and last-gen consoles, so why not terrify yourself on PS4 and Xbox One, too? Slender: The Arrival will release on PS4 on March 24 and on Xbox One on March 25, developer Blue Isle Studios has announced, for $10. No word on that Wii U version, though. […]

  • GOG weekend sale celebrates German debut

    DRM-free games vendor GOG is celebrating its German-language launch with a tasty sale. The sale offers discounts over 25 “German favourites”. Highlights inclue 97% off Deponia, and less steep but still tasty savings on Memoria and Blackguards 1 and 2. The sale will run through March 3, and you do not have to be, speak, […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes back to Japan

    The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is called Made in Japan, and I’m sure you can guess the theme. Pay what you want for Cherry Tree High Complete Pack (PC; Steam or DRM free), Fairy Bloom Freesia (PC; Steam or DRM free) and Influent + Language Pack (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM free). Pay more […]

  • Capcom “looking into” solutions to Resident Evil: Revelations PC co-op issue

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 fans should sit tight for a bit, as Capcom is working on some sort of solution to the co-op issue. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t have local co-op on PC and fans are pretty mad about that, as it was advertised ahead of release as a key feature. Although Capcom has […]

  • The games industry is disruption, says Assassin’s Creed producer

    Former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond has characterised the games industry as one long series of upsets. The games industry changes all the time, and that’s one of its best qualities, Raymond said. The ex-Ubisoft leader told Polygon that the reason seh got into games in the first place was because it “is this undefined […]

  • GTA 5 made $31 million in digital revenue in January

    GTA 5 is the highest-grossing title at the moment in terms of digital revenue, and the PSN is absolutely minting it. Digital games industry analyst Superdata has extended its scope to include console games, which means we suddenly have access to a whole bunch of data we’ve only been able to guess at, or extrapolate […]

  • Destiny: Inferno playlists debut next week

    Destiny PvP will shake things up next week with a new way to slaughter your mates in the Crucible. Destiny is already a skilled PvP game, but the new Inferno playlists will turn things up a notch with a focus on “basic gunplay”. The first of these, Inferno Control, kicks off on March 3 and […]

  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • 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 […]