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Black Ops Declassified: this is not a Game Boy port

Friday, 19 October 2012 17:11 GMT By Dave Cook

Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassfied is heading to PS Vita November 13th, but VG247′s long-time CoD fan Dave Cook is a bit worried about how it’s shaping up.

Back in the heyday of Nintendo’s original Game Boy, handheld ports or adaptations of home console games were often viewed with an air of scepticism. How could those tiny, wee, monochrome characters and the Game Boy’s measly two buttons compete with the awesome force of the SNES or PSone?

Well, they couldn’t in terms of raw power, but when adapted well, and turned into something more suitable for handheld play, ports can often offer a neat addition to their bigger brothers – and in some cases surpass the original effort.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified is – from what I’ve seen and heard so far – a prime example of how not to transfer an established console franchise to the handheld arena. ”

But what about handhelds today, when the PS Vita’s specs sit comfortably alongside Xbox 360 and PS3? Is there any call, want or need for shoddy handheld adaptations of home console IP? Is there any excuse for taking a full home console game, scooping out a cross-section of what it offers and cramming it into a smaller format?

The answer all depends on the game in question of course, but Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified is – from what I’ve seen and heard so far – a prime example of how not to transfer an established console franchise to the handheld arena.

Declassified is developed by Nihilistic – the same team that brought you Resistance: Burning Skies – a game I personally reviewed and felt wasted a chance to show that twin stick shooters could exist happily on Sony’s handheld

It just didn’t gel for me personally, but I can appreciate that some people did enjoy it. The fundamentals of the game’s shooter controls worked well enough, but the I simply felt that the game wrapped around that core felt shockingly last-gen.

The visuals were shoddy, the plot was weak, and its multiplayer modes felt sparse and uninspiring when compared to home console shooters. In Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, Nihilistic has a chance to make amends and to build on the foundation it laid with Burning Skies.

But after seeing the game in action during gamescom this year, I came away feeling irritated and disappointed. Make no mistake, for all the shit it gets me, I’ll happily admit that Call of Duty is my all-time favourite multiplayer series, and I saw true potential in Declassified when it was announced.

”If I stripped out level 1-1 from Super Mario Bros. and tried to market it on iPhone as a brand new experience tailored to your handheld device, you’d probably spit in my face .”

However, while sitting there, watching four players clumsily run around maps that looked like they were ripped right out of the original Black Ops, and what I assumed were re-used assets, menus and HUD markers, the realisation started to creep in that this could be another Game Boy-era handheld hatchet job.

Had I time-travelled? Did the last ten years of game development innovation simply not happen? I was genuinely taken aback by what I saw then, but it’s key to stress that I haven’t actually played the game yet, so again, please only treat this as a first-impression deal.

But as they say, first impressions are everything, and I wasn’t impressed at all. The multiplayer map names were the first thing that caused concern. Take Shattered for example, a map that looks like a slice of Black Ops map Cracked, or Rocket, which appears to be a scaled down version of Launch.

They’re not new maps in an aesthetic sense. I’m sorry, but if I stripped out level 1-1 from Super Mario Bros. and tried to market it on iPhone as a brand new experience tailored to your handheld device, you’d probably spit in my face for having the audacity to ask that you pay for it. The returns here are diminishing, and it left a sour taste.

Visually, the Cracked map I saw didn’t look brilliant – certainly not falling in line with Call of Duty’s home console iterations. Another issue was the fact that melee and grenades are mapped to the touch screen, due to the absence of rear triggers. Watching four people throw grenades at the same time into all the wrong places to show how ‘well’ the mechanic works isn’t a good sign.

Grenades are hurled by dragging them on screen – the same mechanic employed in Resistance: Burning Skies. It was crap then, and if it’s verbatim in Declassified, it will be crap in that game as well. It’s necessary given the handheld’s control limitations, but it doesn’t compare to classic digital controls.

”I for one won’t be putting money down on this game. I’ll have Black Ops 2 by then, a game that I feel pulls in the opposite direction and for me, personally and sincerely, is the best entry to the Call of Duty series to date.”

Its strange that Nihilistic recently stated that Declassified is a multiplayer-focused title, because the campaign – which is simply broken down into small, easily digestible chunks – is the only part of the game that so far makes sense to me.

When you’re on the go, you just want something short and contained that you can dip into, and that’s fine, but chopping down Declassified’s multiplayer to just eight players in total raises all sorts of problems. I’ve since read accounts of multiplayer that suggest spawn kills are a common occurrence, given how small the maps are. That’s simply not on.

Take Nuke House for example, which is supposedly just a house with a street and garden on either side – it apparently feels like it was ripped right out of Black Ops map Nuketown.

In fact, IGN’s hands on impressions of Nuke House are telling:

Even 2 vs. 2 matches feel cramped on this map, and spawning directly in front of the barrel of a waiting enemy became a regular occurrence. With so little room to breathe it didn’t feel like normal CoD, where teams have a chance to regroup and recuperate even if they’re getting beat down since they’ll end up spawning far enough away from the action to reassess and respond to the other team’s playstyle.

It just feels a bit too chaotic, like no matter how skilled I am I’ll have to deal with people getting the drop on me simply because they spawned in one of the few places they can at the wrong moment.

If this is a genuine problem, why not make new maps that offer something new, and that are better tailored to scaled-down play? Why crop down and modify existing play-spaces and make them feel weaker by comparison. These are all questions Call of Duty fans should be asking.

These aren’t problems that are exclusive to Declassfied, because as I mentioned earlier, this kind of bite-size porting was common back in the day, but in the age of powerful tablets, smartphones and handhelds, should paying consumers stand for such lethargic takes on existing IP?

I for one won’t be putting money down on this game. I’ll have Black Ops 2 by then, a game that I feel pulls in the opposite direction and for me, personally and sincerely, is the best entry to the Call of Duty series to date. Here’s why:

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30 Comments

  1. Erthazus

    “long-time CoD fan Dave Cook”

    When you started playing Call Of Duty? MW1 or the first game?

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    CoD 2, I missed the craze with the first one man. But I’ve since played it yeah.

    CoD 2 was wicked like. Parallel to MoH it was like :O

    It’s a long series dude, let’s just say I’ve played it for the majority of time, I know my way around it.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. lexph3re

    You really are on a agenda to get people to not buy this game huh Dave?

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Dave Cook

    @3 not at all, absolutely not. It’s just an opinion piece from a concerned fan of the series.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. lexph3re

    I’ll say this much. If this game sells well and move even 3 million copies. Wouldn’t you expect a part 2 that rectifies and makes it more enjoyable?

    Look at how Activision aren’t even developing it. If this game moves in high volume it’s a big possibility they might come and give you exactly what you want.

    My advice? Don’t buy it. I know I won’t (different reasons though). Let others build it up and wait for a potential definitive version.

    Nice opinion piece though.lol

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Dave Cook

    @5 I would, and I sincerely hope that my fears are laid to rest because again, I’m a huge fan and that’s why my first impressions got me so annoyed. I think there is much more potential here to do something better.

    Also, I see what you mean about doing a follow up that builds on the original, but Burning Skies to me, feels like that original, same as the original Black Ops. Declassified has so much in common with both games they already have a foundation to build on, but they haven’t from what I’ve seen.

    They appear to have played it so very safe, that the game feels uninspired. Again – and I said this in my piece – I haven’t actually played it, so this is purely a comment on my experience of seeing it being played live, so I hope to christ I’m proved wrong come November. I actually want to be proven wrong here.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Gekidami

    Well, if Criterion can get a whole PS3 game on the Vita (with only the number of players in MP taking a hit), i dont see why Acti didnt just port Blops 2. I get that they wanted a new game for it, but if you’re just going to hand it over to the cheapest devs around to rush out some crap using as many assets from an old game as possible, you may as well just do a port.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Dave Cook

    @7 Well said, partly my point. You don’t dick around with franchises as big as CoD, so I honestly don’t understand why they didn’t do what you suggested, or developed it in-house. I mean Resistance was bad in my opinion, really, really bad.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. killersense

    @5 that is exactly what i think will happen. activision could make a big deal about how they are doing the vita version in house and will be on par with the console versions next year. my guess is black ops 2 development started way before they got vita kits and they didn’t want to do one this year and sony probably really pushed for it and hence they allowed it to be outsourced for this year. these cod games are on a tight dev cycle so i don’t think they were interested in dedicating time to the handheld version at this point. i fully expect next year to be in house. we shall see if it is true.

    on a side note hats off to ubisoft though because that assassin’s creed game looks really good and i am actually more interested in the vita version than the console for some reason.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. tenthousandgothsonacid

    And it’s not even 60fps ffs. I could take crap visuals if it was 60fps. Sony could have cleaned up on Vita sales if this had been any cop but sadly it isn’t :(

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Dragon246

    I dont know what to say. I dont want any game to fail but the failure of this game will do more good to vita customers and sony too imho. It will tell devs that half-assed ports wont make the cuts and will make sony realise why they dont have many killer franchises despite so many exclusives. B grade exclusives by B-grade studios are a complete no-no.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. OlderGamer

    Welcome to Vita. Enjoy your stay.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Dave Cook

    @12 is it mad that my most played and favourite Vita game is Lumines: Electric Symphony. it’s actually brilliant.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. OrbitMonkey

    Does this come with zombies? Because theirs a really decent version available on ios for a tenner, is it?

    #14 3 years ago
  15. polygem

    at least they chose the right titles: resistance: BS and COD: declassified…..epic hints.

    resistance BS was such a let down. it was a bad game. i still cannot believe sony letting that happen to a very good franchise…

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Dave Cook

    @14 no zombies, only 6 MP maps, 4v4 multiplayer.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. lexph3re

    @13 my most played are GR and recently the beta for PAS. Soon will be Rag and AC3L though

    #17 3 years ago
  18. ManuOtaku

    And the usual people reacted yesterday, like they normally do, knowing the WiiU version of black ops not being the best, like i said in that thread activision do not care that much for the WiiU version and neither Vita, i will not say is entirely their fault on both fronts, but they have they share of fault IMHO, and this reinforces that notion.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Dragon246

    @17
    My most played are wipeout 2048, unit 13 and escape plan. Rag isnt announced for eu right?

    #19 3 years ago
  20. lexph3re

    I don’t think it is. They actually might push back the US release date again too. If they do I’m going to cry man been waiting paitently with it paid off saying take my money and the F*cks won’t take it :’(

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Belmont

    I find all of this quite a bit dissapointing.One of the best names in gaming in the hand of such developers. I think that in general Sony should have sufficed with AC3 L for fall and waited for Killzone Mercenary. Vita has a decent line up so far.but this COD is a shame.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. ps3fanboy

    just wait until this horrible game is done, it will sell in millions. it will show activision that they can get away with anything. because the cod sheep’s will buy anything branded as cod. welcome to the mediocre gaming world of 2012.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Nfanboy

    I just don’t understand why Sony did not put more pressure on Activision to produce a better game.

    On the PSP, the GTA, MGS, FF games were top notch. They helped the PSP perform pretty well, even if the DS was never in reach.

    Declassified had a really the opportunity to help Vita sales. But clearly this is a flop in the making. Ok there is a Vita bundle coming with Declassified, but Nintendo has just a Mario Kart 7 bundle with a “white” 3DS on the horizon… Just sayin.

    With no price drop on the hozizon and no killer ap anythime soon ( maybe Liberation can help ), the Vita situation is more and more worrying…

    Sony needs to seriously step up to save a brillant piece of hardware that has yet to receive proper support from Sony and 3rd party devs.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Gekidami

    ^ If Sony forced anything, Acti would just stop making the game and it would hurt their relations. No one wants the platform holder breathing down their necks, and Acti are big enough to not have to put up with it.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Erthazus

    “why Sony did not put more pressure on Activision to produce a better game.”

    Because Declassified quality is the same as Infinity or Treyarch’s game.

    If you think that i’m wrong then name at least one thing that is better on console/PC version then on the Port Station Vita’s CoD game.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Da Man

    It’s amazing how Erthazus doesn’t even need to take PCP to go properly, genuinely nuts..

    I don’t know what kind of English reading comprehension one must have to ask why Psv port comes across inferior in the comment section of an article about it. No matter how many times the idiot was ridiculed and proven to be utterly wrong he still thinks he can have an ‘opinion’, on top of that he actually believes his bullshit.

    It’s just proper, severe denial.

    The game comes across as a huge missed opportunity and a desperately put together churn.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. woe

    This looks horrible.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Erthazus

    @TardMan, wrong thread. It’s PSV, Sony and CoD not your favourite Xbox 360 or Halo thread. Cry moar better there.

    “The game comes across as a huge missed opportunity and a desperately put together churn.”

    Yeah! Sticky Jumps! POSV!11 my PS2 was broken 10 times and this will be no different with PSV!111111 you forgot to add.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. Da Man

    Thank you for proving my point.

    http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%E0%EB%EE%EF%E5%F0%E8%E4%EE%EB

    #29 3 years ago
  30. ArabianSwagga

    Actually Nihlistic sucks! Sony made the big franchise that’s called Uncharted and they made a PS Vita version and it turned out to be a great game and a best seller!

    #30 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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

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

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

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

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

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

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

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

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

  • Rare game announce expected at E3 2015

    Rare’s new game will be shown off at E3 2015, apparently. Rare hasn’t announced a reveal, and neither has Microsoft, but it looks like the news has slipped out anyway. IGN cites a tweet from Rare creative director Simon Woodroffe in which he says that a new project from Rare designer Gregg Mayles will be […]

  • Batgirl expansion included in $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass

    Here’s what you get in the $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass. Batman: Arkham Knight’s season pass was announced last week, but apart from the news that it would cost a whopping $40/£33, we didn’t get many details of what it would include. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has since acknowledged the clamour this caused, as players […]

  • Star Wars Day Xbox sale discounts Force Unleashed, Lego games

    Star Wars Day is upon us, and here’s an Xbox sale to mark it. Microsoft is offering discounts on Xbox 360 games to celebrate May 4. From my desk here in Australia the sale is a bit light on content – two Lego games, plus The Force Unleashed and its DLC packs. Your mileage may […]

  • Here’s hoping this tease means we see Mass Effect at E3 2015

    Mass Effect boss Mike Gamble has shared a teaser image, which we’re more than happy to draw speculative conclusions from. The new Mass Effect game in the works at BioWare Edmonton is a mysterious beast. Judging by how long it’s been in development, it feels like we’re about due for a proper reveal, to clear […]

  • Watch almost a whole hour of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is almost here. Are you ready for old-school shooter action? Wolfenstein: The Old Blood publisher Bethesda livestreamed almost an hour of the Machine Games shooter recently, and has now uploaded the archive to YouTube. Check it out below: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood launches digitally on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on […]

  • Splatoon lacks voice chat to promote a positive online experience

    Nintendo’s multiplayer game Splatoon will not contain a voice chat option in order to “focus on the positive aspects” of online gaming. Speaking in the latest issue of Edge magazine (thanks, GamesRadar), Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano said personal experience with negativity in online voice chat was one of the main reasons for excluding the feature. […]

  • D4 on PC: differences from Xbox One version, system specs announced

    D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Season 1 is coming to PC, and Access Games has provided a list of features different from the Xbox One version. We’ve pulled most of the changes off the game’s website and posted them below, along with the PC specs. D4 on PC Kinect gesture input controls replaced with […]

  • The Megalodon returns to Battlefield 4 with the latest CTE patch

    The Megalodon Easter Egg in Battlefield 4 may have been removed earlier this year from Naval Strike, but it has since resurfaced on the CTE with the latest patch. I’d make a Jaws reference, but it’s been done to death. The shark is shown in the video on the Paracel Storm map which was where […]

  • Survival horror game Kodoku has a new work-in-progress trailer

    Kodoku, the survival horror title from Carnivore Studio, has a new work-in-progress video available, showing you how the game is coming along. Announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita back in 2013, the game is slated for release sometime this year, and tasks the player with avoiding mythical Japanese ghosts using only magic and stealth. Thanks, […]

  • Current HoloLens prototype has noticeably “tighter” FoV compared to January build

    Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens is still very much in the prototype stage, according to various reports out of the Build Conference. Microsoft hasn’t discussed technical specs with the press yet as nothing is set in stone, but during a hands-on at Build, Ars Technica noticed the prototypes had a “x86 processor, 2GB RAM, 802.11ac […]

  • Silent Hills petition asking Konami to continue development has over 50,000 signatures

    A petition to save the Silent Hills game has been formed by fans in the hopes Konami will change its mind and bring the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro back from the dead. Konami confirmed on Monday the Silent Hill remake from film director Del Toro and Metal Gear’s Hideo Kojima had been cancelled, but […]

  • Attack on Titan has a US release date, title changed in EU over copyright claim

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be released under a different title in Europe, according to the publisher, and while a release date has been set for North America, the same cannot be said for fans across the pond. According to Atlus, a copyright claim in Europe has forced the company to publish the […]

  • Yooka-Laylee meets final Kickstarter Stretch Goal in less than 24 hours

    The Kickstarter for Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee sailed beyond its final £1 million ($1.5 million) Stretch Goal overnight, which will allow for a simultaneous release on all announced platforms. Once funded, Yooka-Laylee was slated for release on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One; however, a simultaneous release on all platforms wasn’t guaranteed unless […]

  • Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, but not by much

    Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, according to an announcement from Roll7. Not to worry though, it’s only by a week. According to the developer, the delay is due to “having undergone super-secret upgrades to crank shit up to 60fps.” The extra week will provide the additional time needed for tweaking […]

  • Assassin’s Creed, The Crew, Far Cry 4, other Ubisoft titles on sale through the Humble Store

    Ubisoft has put a number of its games on sale through the Humble Store. Franchises Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are on discount as are single release titles. The list of games on sale are below. For pricing in your region, head over to the Humble Store. Anno 2070 Complete Edition Assassin’s Creed 3 Assassin’s […]

  • Payday 2: Repeater rifle, Peacemaker pistol introduced with The Butcher’s Western Pack

    Overkill Software released the 21st DLC pack for Payday 2 yesterday, titled The Butcher’s Western Pack. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and other digital distribution channels. “For our 21st DLC we go back in time to visit the Wild West and the arsenal it was known for,” said the developers. “With it we’re introducing […]

  • The Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter just launched and has already met its funding goal

    Playtonic Games launched the Kickstarter campaign for Yooka-Laylee at 5pm UK, and in just over 30 minutes it already hit its $270,000 funding goal. You can watch the funding counter continue to roll over through the link. Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer where the characters use special moves such as Yooka’s tongue grapple and Laylee’s […]

  • Batch of hi-res Persona 5 screenshots released by PlayStation Japan

    A set of screenshots have been released for Persona 5, and while you’ve seen these before in magazines and on the official website, these are high-res versions. Some will even look familiar to those who watched the first gameplay trailer back in February. The shots were posted over on the PlayStation Japan Persona 5 game […]

  • Is Alien: Isolation getting HTC Vive support?

    Placeholder images for SteamVR icons have been found and it looks like there may be support for Alien: Isolation, so if you enjoy soiling yourself, get psyched! NeoGAF members found a thread on Reddit, where a little rooting around in a Steam directory unearthed the images. The list includes both games and apps, and as […]

  • Xbox Live multiplayer is free this weekend on Xbox 360

    Xbox 360 players in all Xbox Live regions can play multiplayer online for free this weekend. If you are a Silver member, this means you are Golden from May 1-3 and can play multiple games online with your buddies. All you have to do is log-in to Xbox Live.

  • Assassin’s Creed actor Michael Fassbender confirms film production starts September

    The Assassin’s Creed movie will start production this fall, actor Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, 300, X-Men:First Class) as confirmed. Speaking with ComingSoon.net, Fassbender said filming will start in September, which is inline with Ubisoft’s announcement in February. The actor will star in the film alongside Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, both reuniting with their MacBeth director Justin […]

  • Eve Online boss states VR won’t be as big as we think next year

    I don’t think I’m the only one who wants VR to hurry up and manifest into a Sword Art Online-esque reality. Unfortunately, the chief executive officer at the studio behind Eve Online doesn’t think that will be happening any time soon. Talking to Venture Beat, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson touched on his excitement at the prospects […]

  • The Last of Us: Left Behind goes standalone in May on PS3, PS4

    Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of US DLC Left Behind will be released as a standalone experience next month. It can be purchased for both PlayStation 3 and PS4 through the PS Store and a two-hour demo of the Factions multiplayer will also be made available. “The Left Behind standalone game will have […]

  • EA’s annual E3 press conference takes place on June 15

    Electronic Arts has announced its annual E3 2015 press conference will take place the day before the show kicks off on June 15. EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft always hold press events the day before E3 officially starts, so this isn’t any surprise, really. The presser, dubbed “Live to Play”, will last one hour and […]

  • Steam exchange rate mix-up closes down community market

    The Steam community market was buggered up big time today after a mix-up with currency conversion had items selling from practically nothing, to millions of dollars. PC Gamer picked up on the news after a thread on Reddit appeared with screenshots depicting just how silly things were getting over there. The currency exchange rate data […]

  • Britney Spears signs five-year deal with Glu for new mobile game

    Pop star Britney Spears has signed a five-year deal with Glu mobile for a new, untitled game. The mobile game will feature her “voice, likeness, and creative influence,” and is due for release sometime next year. Glu also signed a deal with Katy Perry in February, so expect a game revolving around her to hit […]

  • Large Activision publisher sale on Steam discounts Call of Duty, Prototype, more

    Activision has put the majority of its library on sale through Steam this weekend, and if other titles weren’t included, it could be referred to as a Call of Duty sale. Below are a few standouts. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Gold Edition 25% off Call of Duty: Ghosts 67% off Call of Duty: […]

  • The Dota 2 International Compendium is out, second Stretch Goal almost complete

    The International Compendium has been released for Dota 2 with the prize pool sitting at a lovely $1,917,155 as of press time. Valve said over the weekend to expect the International Compendium to drop sometime this week. As with previous years, those who purchase the Compendium can earn rewards by completing challenges, making predictions and by […]

  • If permadeath RTS games are up your alley, check out indie project XO

    The Square Enix Collective showcases projects for a limited time to help drum up community support and potential backers, and RTS title XO from Jumpdrive Studios is worth taking a look at. The teaser trailer is fairly brief, but if you visit the page for XO over at the Square Enix Collective, it’s understandable – […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch disables mods. Here’s how to get them working again

    A new patch for the PC version of GTA 5 was released yesterday and, as it turns out, has wiped the ability to use mods with the game. The wasn’t great news for some players, but YouTuber taltigolt has already figured out how to play the PC version with mods after installing the patch. Matt […]

  • Xbox One ad stealth launches a mysterious Halo 5 competition

    A new Xbox One advert released today isn’t as straightforward as it appears. The trailer has a couple of pretty conspicuous ‘glitches’ throughout, and members of NeoGAF wasted no time in breaking it down. The first item of interest is the screen from the hunt the signal site, which displays an error message when accessed […]

  • Battlefield 4 Jungle map improved with latest update

    DICE LA has updated the Battlefield 4 Jungle map, adding more foliage and a new route. As demonstrated by Westie in the video above, the map now has the kind of foliage you’d expect in the jungle, helping to conceal infantry players. The update also tweaks positions of objective points and has added a concealed […]

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate free DLC pack for May includes Metroid and Mega Man armour

    The May DLC pack for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate boasts some big ticket items, including Metroid, Street Fighter, and Mega Man gear. This big fat chunk of free DLC, detailed on the capcom unity blog, includes Hunter equipment: Metroid’s Varia Suit Metroid’s Zero Suit Metroid’s Arm Cannon Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn USJ’s Star Rook […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for May 1, 2 – Hard Light edition

    Here he comes with his weird face, dealing goods and gear for Guardians. It’s Friday. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back in the Tower. Of Course he is. Got your Strange Coins? Here’s what’s in his bag this week: Ruin Wings [Exotic Titan gauntlets] – 13SC Don’t Touch Me [Exotic Hunter gauntlets] – 13SC […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC drops for PS4 on May 26

    Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC has now been announced for May 26 for PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The announcement was made on Twitter via the official Dragon Age account. Mark your calendars! #DAIJawsOfHakkon pic.twitter.com/mU1WfkSrQV — Dragon Age (@dragonage) May 1, 2015 The DLC was released for PC and Xbox One back in March thanks to […]

  • New Witcher 3 screenshots highlight Geralt’s questionable fashion choices

    Even though The Witcher 3 release date is drawing closer, it still feels like a million year away. So here are some more screenshots to tide you over until then. We got to look at in-game shots yesterday, but these new screens show Geralt riding through some gorgeously vibrant mountains, in the midst of combat […]

  • Sims Gurus patch out pregnant men

    Say goodbye to The Sims 4 unique take on fatherhood, as The Sims Gurus confirm that male pregnancies are no more. The Sims 4 players have been reporting high numbers of alien abductions, leaving their male characters with sore bottoms and a bellyful of alien baby. Kotaku reports that not everyone was getting their knickers […]

  • Black Mesa countdown probably points to Half-life remake release date

    Half-life remake Black Mesa may have a release date at last. Black Mesa is a Source Engine remake of the original Half-life, which like everything related to Half-life feels like it’s taking forever to come out. The first part launched in September 2012, and it looks like we might have a release date for the […]

  • Spector puts down rumours of troubled Epic Mickey development

    Epic Mickey seemed like a surprising follow-up project from the man who made Deus Ex, but Warren Spector has put down rumours of a difficult relationship with Disney. Epic Mickey displays several qualities found in Spector’s other games and which he has always espoused in interviews – heck, this is the man whose dream it […]