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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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    Mad Max developer’s Avalanche Studios sat down with Game Informer, as part of its month-long exclusive coverage, to discuss the game’s development and physics-based car combat. In the video below, director Frank Rooke and senior producer John Fuller explain the process of designing the open-world game; how the narrative was fully integrated into the gameplay […]

  • Destiny will get another update before House of Wolves drops

    Destiny got a major update with patch 1.1.1 last week, but Bungie isn’t done. The next major Destiny update will arrive before the House of Wolves expansion. In this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, the developer said it wasn’t ready to share details yet. However, more information will be shared in the coming weeks. The update […]

  • A beta version of Guild Wars 2′s streaming client releasing soon

    ArenaNet has announced a beat version of its streaming client for Guild Wars 2 will be released alongside its upcoming update. How it works is explained in the latest blog post, but in short, it gets players into the game faster, much the same way the streaming client works in World of Warcraft. “Our goal […]

  • Steam storefront updated with Steam Machines, other product pages

    Valve has updated the Steam storefront with a list of various Steam Machines on offer, which range from $460 to $5,000. There is also a store page for the Steam Controller and Steam Link, both of which are out in November for $49.99 each. Steam Machines listed on the service feature a link to the […]

  • Finally, we get a look at Necropolis in action – video

    No longer content with releasing only gifs of Necropolis, Harebrained Schemes has decided to provide a short video. The upcoming third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated levels is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime next year, with a possible console release as well. If you made to PAX East despite the weather, don’t forget […]

  • Super Dungeon Bros will be one of the first cross-play titles for Xbox One, Windows 10

    Another cross-device multiplayer game for Windows 10 and Xbox One has been announced, and it’s Super Dungeon Bros – a “rock-themed, co-op dungeon brawler” from React Games. Super Dungeon Bros tasks four “bros” with raiding underground crypts built by the gods through an ever-changing layout. There, they will be up against “dangerous foes, deadly obstacles, […]

  • Pre-ordering State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition in US nets an in-game knife

    Those who pre-order the State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition will net a bonus, according to Undead Labs. Select retailers in the US will offer the following knives as in-game pre-order bonus content: GameStop -  The Avalonian :  A true work of art, taken off the body of a fantasy enthusiast whose excitement at having […]

  • Rollercoaster Tycoon World gameplay teaser video released

    Today, Atari has provided a look at gameplay for Rollercoaster Tycoon World. Set for release during the first part of this year, the game allows players to build their own rides and which can be shared with other players. It will also feature four-player co-op.

  • One Heist challenge in GTA Online pays out $10 million in cash

    GTA Online’s new Heists content was previewed by various outlets at GDC 2015 this week, and according to hands-on with the free upcoming content, there’s over 20 hours worth of things to do and quite a bit of money to gain. Oh, and a VTOL Hydra jet too. According to a really informative piece from […]

  • Activision Blizzard makes Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list

    For the first time, Activision Blizzard has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 2015. The survey conducted by Fortune found the company “ranked highly with its employees” which felt the atmosphere was friendly and place in which they could “be themselves.” “We have always considered Activision Blizzard to be […]

  • Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend nets players special monster skin

    A Evolve community event is taking place this weekend, and participants will receive a special skin for Goliath, Kraken, and Wraith. Dubbed the Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend, it’s the first in a series of upcoming online community challenges and events taking place over the coming months. Those who log-in starting today at 9pm PST […]

  • This video teases contents of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3

    A teaser video and images for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3 have been posted by Capcom. The assets can be considered potential spoilers, so just be aware of that before having a look. The game’s Season Pass costs $20, and the disc version releases March 17 in North America and on March 20 […]

  • GTA Online Heists teaser video is extremely short

    With Heists coming to GTA Online next week, Rockstar has released one of the shortest teaser videos we’ve seen in ages. Hopefully you didn’t blink. Heists, along with Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode, arrive next week on March 10. The PC version of Heists will arrive on April 14 when the PC version of the […]

  • The Division rumors claim Dark Zones support up to 100 players – video

    With the recent leak of older, pre-alpha footage of the The Division, rumors over the game’s contents have been swirling, and today we have a video for you discussing said rumors. Once of the rumors pertain to the game is that it contains 50-100 Player Dark Zones, which are PvP areas. Supposedly, these areas also […]

  • Here’s a look at MGS5: The Phantom Pain emblem creation, limited edition bionic arm

    A look at how to create your own emblems in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was demonstrated in the latest Kojima Station broadcast, along with a look at the bionic arm replica included in the limited edition. A Venom Snake emblem will come with the limited edition version of the game, parts of […]

  • Elite: Dangerous coming to PS4 once Xbox One exclusivity period ends

    Elite: Dangerous was announced for Xbox One at GDC 2015 yesterday, and those disappointed over the lack of a PlayStation 4 announcement will be pleased to know it’s in the cards. According to Frontier boss David Braben the space-sim will head to PS4 at some point, once the console exclusivity deal with Microsoft has expired. […]

  • Here’s two new The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to salivate over

    Two new screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have been released, and they are gorgeous as always. The screenshots follow the two released over the weekend. You can look at the new images in full HD glory over on Only Single Player. CD Projekt Red is at PAX East this weekend showing off the latest […]

  • Microsoft looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One

    With Windows 10, Xbox One users will soon be able to stream their games to PC. Microsoft is also looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One, according to news out of GDC. Speaking with Polygon at GDC 2015, Xbox program director Mike Ybarra said the company is also looking into the ability to stream […]

  • Free! Vindictus Lann Revamp codes worth €25

    We have 400 Lann Revamp codes worth €25 to giveaway for free to VG247 readers. All you need to do is enter your details in the box below and you’ll be given a code to redeem in game. The codes are for warrior character Lann and offer a 7 day unlimited Inner Armour pass, battle […]

  • US eShop update: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli and a demo version of Azure Striker GUNVOL. Your full update is below. eShop Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars – Wii U, 3DS – Cross Buy OlliOlli – Wii U, 3DS – Cross-Buy Proun+ – Proun+ […]

  • Rock Band 4 confirmed for Xbox One and PS4: supports old instruments and 2,168 songs

    Harmonix has lifted the lid on the long-rumoured Rock Band 4, stating it will support 2,168 previously released tracks and last-gen instruments on PS4 and Xbox One. The game will be out this year. Harmonix has yet to reveal specific features for the game, but it has been built with a completely new engine. As […]

  • First run of Rodea the Sky Soldier copies on Wii U come with Wii version

    The first print run of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will come with the Wii version packed in, NIS America has confirmed. The publisher confirmed today in a press release that anyone who buys the first run of the retail version of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will find the Wii […]

  • Unreal Tournament 4 lets modders sell cosmetic items to players

    Unreal Tournament 4 is a game built with the help of the modding community. So it’s only natural that it will feature a marketplace where all cosmetic items can be sold. Epic Games has confirmed that it will allow modders from the community to sell the cosmetics items they’ve created on the game’s marketplace. The […]

  • D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is coming to PC – rumour

    SWERY 65 has shown off D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die running on PC at GDC this week, teasing that a possible port may be on the way. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is SWERY 65′s latest project. An episodic detective affair, D4 came out on Xbox One last September and utilised Kinect as its main […]

  • Valve’s Lighthouse, VR controllers and more explained

    Valve’s less-talked about prototype VR controllers and its Lighthouse technology have been shown in more detail. When HTC announced Vive, the VR headset it’s working on with Valve, it mentioned “base stations” and ergonomic controllers. Now we know what they meant by that. The controllers are still in prototype phase, and will look better when […]

  • Listen to two professional Counter-Strike players explain why Dust2 is so popular

    Hear what makes iconic Counter-Strike map Dust2 one of the most popular maps in shooter history from two former eSports players. Sal “Volcano” Garozzo and Shawn “FMPONE” Snelling are both retired professional Counter-Strike players who are currently working as designers. At GDC this year, the pair hosted a panel titled “Community Level Design for Competitive […]

  • Core Morpheus hardware locked in, no plans for wireless version

    Sony has finalised the core hardware for its VR headset Project Morpheus, and does not currently plan on releasing a wireless version. SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida spoke to Gamespot at GDC and confirmed that the core hardware of Morpheus is “pretty much done” but that “lots of tweaks and improvements” are still being […]

  • Watch the full Phil Spencer keynote from GDC 2015

    The full GDC 2015 keynote of Xbox boss Phil Spencer is now available to watch. In case you missed last nights’s Phil Spencer keynote at GDC 2015, the whole thing has been made available to watch on YouTube. The address is titled “The Future of Gaming Across the Microsoft Ecosytem,” and it’s where Spencer announced […]

  • Elite: Dangerous won’t be “dumbed down” for Xbox One

    The Xbox One version of Elite: Dangerous will in fact be the same as the PC one. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier came out on stage last night at GDC to announce the game making its console debut on Xbox One. Some have feared that the port would not provide the same experience as the PC […]

  • Virtual reality: by gum, it’s really happening

    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]