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Dead Space 3 co-op test: march of the toy soldiers

Thursday, 8 November 2012 14:07 GMT By Dave Cook

Dead Space 3′s co-op and action leanings have some gamers worried. VG247′s Dave Cook goes hands on and speaks with Visceral to find out if there is cause for concern.

Digesting horror media – be it a game, book or movie – is always scarier when you’re experiencing it alone. That’s just a fact. So how then does Visceral Games attempt to make Dead Space 3′s co-op mode have the same impact as its solo offering?

This is one of many questions directed towards the game after its initial reveal at EA’s pre-E3 conference earlier this year. The clip showed a more agile Isaac Clarke nimbly flopping around the snowy expanses of Tau Volantis like a drunk seal. It felt odd.

Clarke also farted out a military-grade payload of bullets that seemed to go against what survival horror titles stand for. Limited resources, a feeling of weakness and seemingly impossible odds can be just as tense and scary as a cheap jumpy moment, but these traits were no where to be seen.

‘That’s not Dead Space! That’s Gears of War! Get that rubbish off the screen!’ cried the masses. But after sitting down to actually play some co-op for ourselves recently, our fears have subsided a little – but not entirely.

Clarke of duty

Our hands-on session begins during act two of the campaign, and just as if Dead Space 2 only came out yesterday we’re back into the thick of it, using stasis to slow down Unitologist soldiers, dismembering them with well-placed rounds and yes, even dodge-rolling to avoid returned fire.

So at core level very little has changed here, and that should go some way to convincing sceptics that the game still feels at home in the Dead Space saga. Admittedly, the ammo count has gone up, and the gun-toting human enemies go against the gruesome Necromorphs of old, but it doesn’t seem like that much of an issue at the moment.

“The addition of John Carver was something we took very seriously. We did not want to just tack on a soldier who was just Isaac’s sidekick, or who was one dimensional. He needed to have his own unique back-story, which you’ll learn more about throughout the game, and through our new graphic novel.”

We asked Steve Papoutsis, vice president of Visceral Games for his reaction to the negative reception of Dead Space 3′s initial reveal, to which he replied, “One of the things with Dead Space that I think is really important is, we don’t look at it as a particular stereotype of game. It’s not meant to be an action or puzzle game, it’s a Dead Space Game.

“Now, a Dead Space game requires the following stuff: intense atmosphere, survival, action, thrills, horror, tension – you need all of those things to make Dead Space game. So if you have all of those things, and Necromorphs, and Isaac, then you can have yourself a Dead Space game.”

Granted the game does have all of these ingredients, and perhaps Papoutsis has a point when he says that preconceptions linked to specific genres should never sway one’s opinion of a game, but you can’t blame fans for jumping the gun at Dead Space 3′s reveal.

One thing Papoutsis didn’t mention was the insertion of Isaac’s co-op buddy John Carver. He’s the anomaly here, adding a new spin on the franchise that some critics have slammed Visceral for, so we ask Papoutsis for his thoughts Carver’s involvement.

“We’ve tried to evolve our narrative from the first game, all the way to this one, and we’ve also gone of and done Dead Space: Extraction, so we’ve always tried to increase what’s been going on in the Dead Space universe.

“In terms of story, one of the things that’s important to us is that our characters need to be compelling. They need to have strengths, weaknesses, they need to go on a journey, and they need to learn something during the game.”

Papoutsis added, “the addition of John Carver was something we took very seriously. We did not want to just tack on a soldier who was just Isaac’s sidekick, or who was one dimensional. He needed to have his own unique back-story, which you’ll learn more about throughout the game, and through our new graphic novel.”

I see dead people

Carver’s modus operandi is that he’s an ex EarthGov soldier, and he’s out for revenge against the unitologist ranks after he saw his wife and child slaughtered in front of him by Necromorphs.

He’s become scarred and a little bit warped after coming into contact with a Marker, which projects imagery from his married life around the dank confines of the ice planet’s facilities. This is where Viscerals’s clever take on the co-op format comes into play.

”You can play the solo game and get the A-B story, but when you actually play with a friend it adds something to it, so that addition is what you see with Carver, and how he’s dealing with his internal demons.”

While playing as Carver we battle through the Necromorph ranks alongside Isaac and come to a long, dark corridor. In the middle stands an eerie toy soldier carved out of wood. It’s about the same height as our heroes and just stands there, not moving, doing nothing.

The doll spooks Carver as a cut-scene triggers, showing him walking towards it. Suddenly he becomes startled and turns to see the face of his dead wife projected onto Isaac as she speaks to him. Isaac shakes Carver until he snaps out of it, and gameplay resumes.

Things only get creepier from here, as the person playing as Carver starts to see more of the eerie dolls lining the hallways, and the person playing as Isaac sees the world as in its natural state.

“Are you seeing this?” Carver asks Isaac, and is met with an order to snap out of it in return. Things get even worse as a set-piece triggers that sees Carver walking around a warped dimension full of motifs from his son’s birthday party, more dolls and creepy apparitions that attack and hurt the soldier.

We’re playing as Carver, so naturally we shoot the phantoms to drive them back, but on Isaac’s screen, it’s looks like we’ve gone nuts, running off, shooting at nothing and rambling like a maniac.

Isaac calls on Carver to come back as Necromorphs in the real world start to swarm him, but we can’t hear his cries behind us as we march on through the hellish birthday party, blasting ghouls that aren’t even there.

It’s a great take on schizophrenia, but we’re curious, because at one point Isaac and Carver do see the same weird stuff happening. So our bet is that they’re actually the same person, but we’ll have to wait until we play the game to find that out.

Developing insanity

Back to Papoutsis, who explained to us, “When you look at our co-op, it’s what I call ‘additive’ to the game. You can play the solo game and get the A-B story, but when you actually play with a friend it adds something to it, so that addition is what you see with Carver, and how he’s dealing with his internal demons.

“Our biggest hit has been on the story. Writing [co-op] into the narrative in a meaningful way. It’s a lot of work for the team, and it’s challenging because a lot of people aren’t even going to see it, as some will just want to play single player.”

“When you look back in a few years and when people talk about this generation of consoles…it’s our goal that Dead Space 3 is remembered as one of the games that pushed the limits of these consoles.”

Deep stories are all well and good, but for some, the best horror experiences come through ambiguity. Explain the horrific goings on in too much detail and they lose their bite, but Papoutsis believes Visceral has got the balance nailed.

“I think you’re always going to have a bit of that, but one of the goals with Dead Space 3 is to actually answer a lot of questions. Our players – those who are really into the fiction – want answers. They want to know more about the Marker, Unitology and the Necromorphs.

“That being said, I think there are always going to be some open-ended questions, and I think – again – that’s part of what makes a universe compelling for people to get immersed in.”

It’s a long campaign too, made longer by the lure of co-op replay, Papoutsis revealed, “This is by far the longest Dead Space game we’ve ever made – significantly longer than Dead Space 2. I can’t give you an exact number, but it’s really big.”

We ask Papoutsis about tech, and how far the team has squeezed power out the game’s respective release formats, “When you look back in a few years and when people talk about this generation of consoles…it’s our goal that Dead Space 3 is remembered as one of the games that pushed the limits of these consoles.

“Whether that’s through the innovative approach we’ve taken to co-op – doing something that no one else has done in that regard, or what we’ve done with our weapon crafting system, narrative or our big epic moments.

“We want people to look back and say, ‘Hey remember Dead Space 3? They did some really cool things.’ That’s one of our goals and I think our team is working hard to execute that.”

Craftwerk

In addition to Carver, a longer campaign, a deeper story and co-op, Dead Space 3 also has thousands of crafting combinations. We weren’t able to try crafting for ourselves, but we did gather up a great deal of resources strewn across the environment.

Both Carver and Isaac have scavanger bots that can be deployed in hotspots – areas with strong signal strength – and then let loose to automatically scan for component parts. These elements are then automatically made available to you at the next upgrade workbench.

When in co-op, both players receive any new weapons made, ensuring both parties get a share in the spoils. Papoutsis talked us through the possibilities of crafting, “You’ve got well over a thousand different combinations of weapons you can create. The crafting system is another addition we’re really excited about.”

Papoutsis added, “We’ve taken the idea of upgrading your weapons and now we’ve gone all the way towards letting you make your own. If you want to make a Ripper with a flamethrower as the alt. fire, then you can make that. If you want a Pulse Rifle with a Javelin Gun as the alt. fire, then you can do that too.

”With Dead Space 3 we look at it and asked, ‘how can we motivate ourselves and surpass ourselves? What could be our rallying cry?’ So, a lot of people talk about triple-a quality – and that’s a term in regards to quality – so we said, ‘you know what? What if we did quad-a?’”

“You can make Stasis packets, upgrade points you can place in your Rig, or your weapons. There is a ton of stuff to make. We’ve opted to not have credits in the game, instead, you now have resources that you use.

“Some people may not like all that flexibility and depth,” Papoutsis stressed, “so we’ll ket you take all the resources you collect from defeating Necromorphs and you can use those to exchange those for blueprints that will then be turned into the weapon that you want.”

It’s nice to see that the crafting mechanic is optional, so that those just looking for a straightforward ride can immerse themselves in the horror and action without having to worry about juggling weapon components.

But don’t expect to create a badass weapon that makes the game too easy however, as Papoutsis stated that you will always be tested regardless, “What you played today was tuned to the easy side so you could play without getting too frustrated. There is a lot of effort that goes into balancing our gameplay right up until we finish the game.

“The approach we’re taking is that when you play in co-op, the difficulty is increased so that it feels like an equal, if not greater challenge than single player. In terms of difficulty modes, I don’t want to give away too many details, but you’ll have a number similar to what had in Dead Space 2, but also going beyond that.”

We return to the notion of people looking back at Dead Space 3 with fond memories in years to come, and ask him about the challenge behind all of this effort, “One thing that we talk about a lot with the team is, we want to make sure everything we do in the Dead Space 3 franchise is of an extremely high quality level.

“We’ve been honoured to have people enjoy our games, and give us a lot of praise and support. We owe it to our players to continue to exceed their expectations. So with Dead Space 3 we look at it and asked, ‘How can we motivate ourselves and surpass ourselves? What could be our rallying cry?’

“So, a lot of people talk about triple-a quality – and that’s a term in regards to quality – so we said, ‘You know what? What if we did quad-a?’ I know it sounds a little funny, but it’s kind of our belief that if you want to hit your target you have to set something in front of you, and we want to aspire to do things better than we’ve ever done. We want to do that as we are so appreciative of our fans.”

Will Dead Space 3 meet it’s ‘quad-a’ goal? You’ll find out when the game launches on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 across Europe February 8th.

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12 Comments

  1. Edo

    I am trying ,I really am to find something positive about this game but I just can’t!And this guy’s middle age car salesman talk isn’t helping either.And please Dave,tell me he didn’t tried to convince you that co-op is actually a better part of the game ?!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Strange Sultan

    “The addition of John Carver was something we took very seriously. We did not want to just tack on a soldier who was just Isaac’s sidekick, or who was one dimensional…”

    NOPE! they just wanted to add shitty multiplayer. The loneliness, and the dark and dead silent environments is what made Dead Space special to me. otherwise, it’s just another 3rd person shooter.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. dax

    BAM!!!! There goes the last true horror experience!

    We have capcom to thank for this bullshit horror multiplayer era!

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Mineral4r7s

    @3 yeah, resident evil 6 wasn’t horror in the slightest. It was fun, like Gears of War fun. But not Horror game fun.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Dave Cook

    @1 Yeah they firmly believe it enhances the game. But you don’t have to use it. I think it does some neat tricks in co-op, but is it scary? No.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. OrbitMonkey

    Quick question, did Deadspace 2 sell more than Deadspace? Because if their changes are working, their not gonna stop are they?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Edo

    @5 I know that I don’t have to use it but if they openly admit that they have put more effort into co-op that doesn’t sound promising for the single-player portion now does it?

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Dave Cook

    @7 who said they were putting more effort into co-op?

    I’m not defending them at all here I’m just one of those ‘benefit of the doubt’ guys. I never write something off until I see more of it. I’m not entirely convinced by the games co-op, so I won’t play it :)

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Edo

    @8 Well,If it talks like a duck and walks like a duck it most certainly isn’t a Necromorph :) .

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @9 haha :P

    #10 2 years ago
  11. SameeR_Fisher

    you know what, I am still not convinced that Co-Op can bring horror, cause you still got a friend to ease your worries, nervousness and cover your back, it is simple as that, Horror is best tackled alone.

    They seem to have worked alot on Carver, so why not instead of Co-Op make something similar to Resident Evil 2, 2 selectable characters in the same place, but both go through different stuff, puzzles, and bosses, it would have been better than forcing people to play Co-Op to experience Carver story IMO.

    If they wanted Co-Op why not make a game mode or something on the same concept, 2 players ((or even 4)) against hordes of Necromrophes and trying to escape a ship or something, and once someone is dead, he is dead for good, and the rest of the team need to continue on, coupled with low resources and few weapons, it would have been alot better right ?!

    Human Enemies, Cover System, Universal Ammo, Rolling right and left, Co-Op, these are things that brings worry to any Horror fan, especially since Resident Evil wasn’t able to integrate these addition and still be a Survival Horror game, granted that Dead Space was never a pure survival horror game, but it was close on harder difficulty, Dead Space 3 on the other hand …………..

    well I will be honest, I wasn’t disappointed at Visceral so far, I bought Dead Space 1 and loved it, bought Dante’s Inferno, liked it alot and waiting for Dante’s Purgatory, I bought Dead Space 2 and enjoyed it as well, so I will give them a chance with Dead Space 3, I hope it lives up to it, and doesn’t go the way of Resident Evil.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Clupula

    You know, that whole one character seeing one thing and another seeing another thing is kinda cool, but the fact that most of us, when we play with our friends, use mics, is going to ruin it.

    “Holy shit, I’m being attacked by toy soldiers! Why aren’t you shooting them?”
    “Dude, that’s just part of the game. Your character is hallucinating. Wait a few seconds and it’ll show the cutscene and he’ll snap out of it.”
    “Oh, okay.”

    #12 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    GTA has a long history of controversy. The latest Did You Know Gaming tells the full stories behind the sensational headlines. Grand Theft Auto is such a byword for controversy that it’s easy to forget the full context of what actually happened to bring mainstream press, politicians and interest group awareness to the Rockstar series. […]

  • Infamous 2 one of five new PlayStation Now additions for March

    PlayStation Now will expand to the tune of five new games this month. The March PS Now additions are Infamous 2, Twisted Metal, R-Type Dimensions, Alone in the Dark: Inferno and Operation Flashpoint: Red River. PS Now will set you back $20 per month or $45 for a three month subscription. It offers all you […]

  • Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster gets PS4 release date

    Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster hits PS4 in May. The PS4 release date for Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster is May 12 in North America and May 15 in Europe. Gematsu reports a special pre-order bonus calendar with art by Yoshitaka Amano is available through the Square Enix Store and participating retailers. In Europe, pre-ordering […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare getting 15 new Prestige levels

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players can now aspire to the ranks of Grand Master Prestige. Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games will add 15 more Prestige levels to the latest Call of Duty, giving players at max XP a chance to grow even further. According to the Sledgehammer Games blog, when you enter Master level […]

  • Destiny: Crota’s End recreated in Minecraft

    Destiny’s toughest challenge gets even nastier if you throw Creepers into the mix. The ultimate Destiny challenge – for now – is the Crota’s End raid. Taking place in an alternate dimension accessed through the Hellmouth on the Moon, the Raid takes Guardians through a pit of darkness to the resting place of Crota himself. […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3D trailer introduces the Heir to the Monado

    Xenoblade Chronicles 3D protagonist Shulk is the Heir to the Monado, his distinctive red sword. Let this trailer fill you in on what that means. Xenoblade Chronicles 3D releases for New 3DS on April 2 in Europe and April 10 in North America. As well as all the content of the Wii original, it has […]

  • The Elder Scrolls: Total War mod covers Morrowind, Oblivion and more

    The Elder Scrolls: Total War is a terrific mod allowing you get get intimately involved with the history of Bethesda’s detailed fantasy universe. The first release of The Elder Scrolls: Total War dropped on the weekend, giving players their first chance to try out LoRdNazgu1‘s creation. This version runs from 3E 427 to 4E 45, […]

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 out now on Steam

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 is out now. Yes, we’re surprised too. You can grab Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 on Steam for $8. Developer Scott Cawthon really doesn’t mess about; the game was only announced in early January. Here’s the blurb: Thirty years after Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza closed it’s doors, the events that took […]

  • EVE Online heister makes off with $13,000 worth of goods

    EVE Online is a hotbed of villainy, espionage and backstabbing, but one intrepid corporate thief has made waves even in this setting. The thing about EVE Online is that it’s a true sandbox: the game’s rules are very loose, and allow players to make careers out of theft, piracy, assassination and espionage in addition to […]

  • Marth Amiibo getting a stock refresh in North America

    Nintendo of America has announced a fresh supply of the difficult to find Marth Amiibo. The Marth Amiibo will be back in stock in the US in late April, the platform holder said on Twitter today. Planning to pick up Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. and don’t have a Marth amiibo? More are headed to stores in […]

  • Skyrim beta update upgrades creation kit file size

    Skyrim has been granted a new beta update – more than three years after launch! – to improve the experience for modders and those who use them. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim released in November 2011. I think that’s worth noting before we discuss the beta update that dropped today, even as Bethesda is working […]

  • Paradox’s next epic RPG is, uh, Knights of Pen & Paper 2

    Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is very serious business so please enjoy this very serious trailer. “Return to the dicey world of Knights of Pen & Paper for a new turn-based adventure, where players get to take on the role of players, and also of the game’s encounter-designing, rules-laywering GM in a fully customizable […]

  • Amplitude looks amazing in new gameplay trailer, has a team multiplayer mode

    Amplitude may have been delayed but we still get something this March: a fine new gameplay trailer. Amplitude is coming to PlayStation 3 and PS4 sometime in northern summer. It’s a reprisal of Harmonix’s classic rhythm action game, a forerunner to its later efforts with Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and was crowdfunded. Update: Turns […]

  • DayZ creator’s “crazy”, “esoteric” next game developed with Improbable

    DayZ creator Dean “Rocket” Hall has dropped the first vague details of his new game project. “I do not want to make safe games. I do not want to make games the way we have been making them. What if the most experienced video game staff in the world collaborated on the most esoteric and […]

  • Battlefield Hardline will support AMD’s Mantle

    AMD has confirmed what most Battlefield fans thought. Battlefield Hardline will indeed support Mantle. Battlefield Hardline will support Mantle, AMD has confirmed. Some players weren’t sure whether the retail version of the game will support AMD’s API, due to its absence from the recent PC beta. AMD did not say whether the feature will be […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 GDC 2015 sizzle reel shows what the tech can do

    Unreal Engine 4 is a pretty versatile bit of tech, as this new sizzle reel shows. As one of the more ubiquitous engines, Unreal will be on show at GDC this week. Developer Epic produced the following sizzle reel to quickly demonstrate what it can do – cutting edge graphics (there are very few games […]

  • Survarium’s latest patch removes limit on battle ammo, rebalances experience gain

    The latest Survarium patch has readjusted the value of experience and reputation points gained and removed the limit to the maximum amount of ammo you can use in combat. Survarium developer Vostok Games has released patch 0.27a to the public, having recently finished testing it. The patch is a major one and covers changes to […]

  • The Hunt Begins in new Bloodborne TV spot

    Bloodborne is so close you can almost smell its coppery tang on the wind – and also you can watch commercials for it. Bloodborne arrives on PS4 at the end of this month (March 24 North America, March 25 Europe, March 27 UK) so excitement is starting to build. Sony isn’t helping keep us calm […]

  • World of Warcraft: you’ll soon be able to buy game time with gold

    Blizzard will soon allow World of Warcraft players to exchange in-game gold for game time and vice versa. Blizzard has announced a new system that will launch soon for World of Warcraft. The system is called WoW Token. Using this system, players will be able to buy game time using in-game gold. Here’s how it […]

  • 3D Realms’ Bombshell returns with the first gameplay trailer

    Remember 3D Realms’ Bombshell? The isometric ARPG that was announced last year? Well, it’s back, and we get to see gameplay footage. The game stars Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison, a bomb technician turned mercenary with a mechanical arm. She will embark on a quest to rescue the president and save Earth, all while shooting aliens. The […]

  • Unreal Engine 4 is now free for everyone to use

    Epic Games has made Unreal Engine 4 available for anyone to download and use, for free. Unreal Engine 4 is now free. Anyone can download it and start using it, the developer announced today in a blog post. The download features the the full set of tools used by Epic, and includes 100% of the […]

  • Call of Duty European Championship winner announced

    The winner of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship has been announced. This past weekend, 28 teams representing UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, the rest of Europe and Middle East attended the final of the European round of the Call of Duty Championship. UK team Epsilon eSports was crowned […]

  • GOG brings back Insomnia sale with discounts up to 90% off

    GOG.com is bringing back its Insomnia sale event with even more games. GOG’s Insomnia sale is back with double the amount of games. This year, there will be two sets of games available at once. The sets are seasoned classics and fresh new titles. Each set will feature games with discounts up to 90% off, […]

  • 2K is shutting down NBA 2K14 online servers, won’t affect career save files

    2K will be shutting down the servers for NBA 2K14 this month. The publisher revealed yesterday that online servers for NBA 2K14 will be turned offline on March 31. “You will no longer be able to play ranked games/online association,” reads the announcement. NBA 2K14 relied on online servers to store save files for MyCareer […]

  • One Dead or Alive tournament organiser is proposing ban of “over-sexualised” costumes

    A Dead or Alive tournament organiser has suggested a soft ban on some of the game’s “over-sexualised” costumes, and not everyone is happy. Tournament organiser “The HuBBs” took to the FreeStepDodge forums to suggest a list of rules that other offline tournaments can follow. The list goes over stages, characters, moves, which is certainly in […]

  • Destiny: all the news from Bungie’s open house Q&A

    Bungie hosted an open house Q&A session with the community last week and lots of exciting news have come out of it. Arekkz Gaming has gathered all the information that came out of Bungie’s open house Q&A in one handy video. The list is massive, going over Exotic weapon balance, upcoming events, PVE, Crucible rewards, […]

  • Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen to honour Nimoy with in-game memorials

    Developers behind space exploration games Elite: Dangerous and Star Citizen will honour the memory of Leonard Nimoy through in-game memorials. The develops of both games have confirmed separately that in-game memorials will be established to honour the memory of the late Star Trek actor, Leonard Nimoy, famous for playing Spock. Elite: Dangerous executive producer Michael […]

  • Deal: get a PlayStation 4 + three exclusives for $399

    Amazon’s latest PlayStation 4 deal is not one to miss. With purchase of a PlayStation 4 console from Amazon in the US, the online retailer will throw in digital codes for Infamous Second Son, Killzone Shadow Fall and The Last of Us: Remastered, all for the same MSRP of $399. The Last of Us Remastered […]

  • Destiny: this is how one player predicted House of Wolves details and Xur’s inventory

    The method one Redditor possibly used to leak some details from Destiny’s House of Wolves was the same one he used to predict the inventory of Xur: Agent of the Nine. Last week, Reddit user Megamanexe4 leaked a few pieces of House of Wolves expansion content. The leaks included strikes, new Crucible mode, and a […]

  • Mortal Kombat X is coming to iOS… as a card-battler

    Mortal Kombat X will be releasing on mobile devices in some form, just not the one you except. Mortal Kombat X is coming to Android and iOS devices as an extension of the main game. It will launch in April alongside the console versions. The mobile game will be part card collecting and part fighting […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain announcement coming this Wednesday

    Kojima Productions will unveil something about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain this Wednesday. Metal Gear Solid fans should standby for a Phantom Pain-related announcement on Wednesday, March 4. According to developer Kojima Productions’ Twitter, there’s going to be an announcement at 2pm GMT on Wednesday. The developer posted the following image. The image […]

  • Reader survey: time to let us get to know you better!

    We’d really appreciate it if you could fill in this survey about the websites you read and the games you buy. It massively helps! You can fill out the survey right here and obviously all the information you supply is confidential. It helps us build a better picture of the people who read our site […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium: here’s everything you get for $50

    Battlefield Hardline’s Premium membership will give players access to 4 new features, early access to expansion packs and more. EA detailed the offer today – it costs $50 in total (£40 in the UK) and gives players a whole bundle of new gear and content. Check it all out in handy list form below: Masks […]

  • Hayter’s gonna hate: the voice of Solid Snake wouldn’t answer my Metal Gear question

    Voice actor and Hollywood writer David Hayter discusses the differences between movies and games. And politely declines my leading question. “It might be fun to do a crazy, over-the-top film version of Saint’s Row.” Yeah, that headline is a bit cheap but you’re reading the work of a man who once asked the maker of […]

  • Xbox One bundle gets £100 price cut in UK

    Microsoft has knocked up to £100 off Xbox One bundles in the UK. The Xbox One with Kinect Assassin’s Creed bundle is now £100 cheaper and comes with a free £20 voucher to be spent on the official Microsoft online store. Over on the Xbox online store there’s a £70 price cut on the white […]

  • Pokemon Shuffle downloaded 1m times, free stuff given out to celebrate

    Free-to-play 3DS title Pokemon Shuffle has been downloaded over 1 million times. As a reward for playing the match-3 puzzle game Nintendo has gifted players a Complexity -1 item for free. The item reduces the difficulty of a level, according to Eurogamer. By all accounts Pokemon Shuffle is a cynical game with poorly implemented microtransactions. […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power sure is pretty

    FrozenByte Games has revealed Trine 3, due for release in 2015 And what better way to reveal a new side-scrolling adventure than with a very pretty trailer full of gameplay? The latest in a series that has already sold 7 million copies is earmarked for PC and “other” formats. Trine 2 released on PS3, PS3, […]

  • Dying Light takes UK number one

    A month since it was released on digital platforms, Dying Light’s physical release has topped the UK charts. Techland and Warner’s zombie survival game has proven to be one of the big hits of the year so far. It was released on digital formats a month ago but has only just been released on good-old […]

  • GTA 5: that’s some seriously accurate grenade throwing

    Think you can take down a jet plane with a grenade throw? This guy can. In fact, he can do it twice. This is in a variation on the player-created deathmatch “Stunters Versus Snipers” which seem to be all the rage in GTA Online at the moment. One team has a sniper rifle (and grenades) […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: Mother Base turns pink in the morning sun

    The Phantom Pain looks nice even when Kojima just takes a quick pic with his phone. Look at that beauty. We get nice reflection in pink at the first gray of dawn. pic.twitter.com/aERTBoZT9z — HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) March 2, 2015 The game doesn’t have a release date yet, which makes us a bit nervous for it […]

  • Dying Light: Underpant Gnomes and 9 other secrets you missed

    Dying Light still has legs – maybe because it’s crammed full of secret things to discover. Ten of those have been highlighted by TerraMantis’ latest YouTube video, including reference to the Underpant Gnomes, guitar lessons, farting zombies and well, we don’t want to spoil it for you. Even if you think you’ve seen everything in […]

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Raid Mode dance gestures are deadly

    Why blind ‘em with science when you could kill ‘em with dance moves? revelations raid When I say Resident Evil: Revelations 2‘s Raid Mode dance gestures are deadly, I’m not being figurative. If you finish the first chapter of Revelations 2 you can unlock Gina for use in Raid Mode. All characters can use gestures […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition mod enables male Blackwall romance, terrific joke

    “Male Inquisitors can now scale the wall,” says a clever Redditor. A new Dragon Age: Inquisition mod removes Blackwall’s romantic restrictions, allowing male Inquisitors to chat up the fuzzy-faced warrior. Blackwall doesn’t have any race preferences, so you’re good to go there. Dragon Age: Inquisition romance mods are pretty common by now, and to be […]

  • Destiny: it is possible to solo the Weekly Heroic

    Destiny players willing to faff about with their system clock can solo the Weekly Nightfall if they prefer. The Weekly Heroic is one of Destiny‘s toughest challenges. Responding to player feedback Bungie implemented matchmaking for the Weekly Heroic, but there are players who genuinely prefer to go it alone. There’s now no legitimate way to […]

  • Clayfighter remaster on the way, says Interplay

    A Clayfighter remake is inbound, apparently. Interplay has announced a Clayfighter remaster, combining the content of all past games into one package. Features include: Characters such as Bad Mr. Frosty, Blue Suede Goo, Earthworm Jim, Hoppy, Boogerman, Tiny – and more with over 20 characters total Over 20 familiar environments from the series to duke […]

  • The quickest way to climb in Dying Light

    Dying Light players! Are you sick of picking your way carefully up the sides of tall towers? Have I got a trick for you. The parkour system in Dying Light is okay, but climbing anywhere especially high can be a bit tedious. Enter Jesse Lester, who took a look at the tools available and worked […]

  • Bungie “always” looking at Exotic changes for Destiny updates

    Destiny developer Bungie won’t stop tinkering with Exotic weapons. In Destiny, Exotic weapons are supposed to be the best of the best – and to feel unique. Guns like Ice Breaker and Gjallahorn definitely hit the mark there (although less so when everyone has one), but unfortunately, there are a few that just don’t strike […]

  • Is Uncharted 4′s first trailer a tribute to Crash Bandicoot?

    Uncharted 4′s first proper trailer bears some remarkable similarities to the opening moments of a much earlier Naughty Dog game. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has more in common with Crash Bandicoot than you might think. It’s Naughty Dog’s first game on a new console, yes – but if you compare Uncharted 4′s E3 2014 […]

  • Sonic console games will continue, says Iizuka

    Sonic Team leader Takashi Iizuka has said there are no plans to stop making Sonic games. Sonic hasn’t retired from the ranks just yet. “Please rest assured, I personally have no plans to stop making Sonic games for home consoles,” Iizuka told 4Gamer [Japanese]. The comment arose after the site asked if Sonic would become […]

  • Stealth Inc. 2 coming to PSN, apparently

    Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones will soon be available on PlayStation platforms, if a trophy list is to be believed. Stealth Inc. 2 initially launched as a Wii U exclusive, disappointing fans of Curve Studios’ tough action game. We’ve heard nothing to contradict this, but Exophase, a generally reliable source, has dug up […]