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Black Ops 2 multiplayer: future imperfect

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 12:16 GMT By Dave Cook

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 multiplayer shakes things up considerably. VG247′s Dave Cook asks if Treyarch has spread its bets wisely enough.

Console development is often lambasted by those who champion new ideas. ‘Innovation on consoles’ is dead they say, as they scoff at the latest Resident Evil 6 and Halo 4 reviews. Those numbers are getting pretty high aren’t they?

Call of Duty: Black Ops is the 9th core entry to Activision’s juggernaut franchise. Now that’s a high number indeed. You’re right though, you’ve always been right: it looks just like every other game in the series. What has console gaming become if not a grease-stained production line manned by staff too afraid to dream a little bigger?

Compare it to the indie and PC market with its new IP and bright ideas. It’s an unspoiled paradise of innovation and imagination. If only the console market could get to that magical promised land. Unfortunately it’s become too big to fit through the gate.

“Black Ops 2 is confidently the biggest attempt to change the multiplayer template since the original Modern Warfare. But these changes don’t necessarily make it better as a whole.”

Console developers often peer through the shiny gold bars of this lush heaven, staring on in envy as Gabe Newell lounges by the pool feeding grapes to Notch. Somewhere within the utopia, Team Meat are riding their unicorns through a forest made of entirely dreams.

Luminaries like Jonathan Blow walk a hedge maze lined with paper money. They don’t need it after all, they’re not in this industry to win it. It’s an market founded on free ideas, not a yearly shooter series that doesn’t change much with each instalment. This is what gaming should be about shouldn’t it?

Well no, that’s not how the world works actually. Granted, few publishers know about the cyclical release ethos better than Activision, a powerhouse of long-standing, corrosive franchises such as Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk.

But Call of Duty – for everyone’s bitching and moaning about it – has yet to see that same decline. Its DNA is so ingrained into the popular subconscious, its long-standing mechanics and traits burned into the minds of its fans for Activision to ever allow significant slack on the leash.

But why should they? The series has never been healthier in terms of raw sales, and regardless of complaints focused on how similar it looks on the screen to its predecessors, Black Ops 2 is confidently the biggest attempt to change the multiplayer template since the original Modern Warfare. But these changes don’t necessarily make it better as a whole.

You do have to sit down and play it to get past the visuals however, and only then will you begin to appreciate Treyarch’s effort. I’ve often said on these pages that new IP is a wonderful thing, and even I can admit that Black Ops 2′s multiplayer is not perfect. But to change it too much would be suicidal, that much is clear.

The Call of Duty series sells so well because it’s superb at what it does, not because we’re all closed-minded gamers with no desire to explore new avenues. It’s an effective showcase of twitch gunplay and deafening spectacle. If you’re not a fan of it, then that’s perfectly fine.

That core gameplay remains in Black Ops 2, but while the action around players has slowed considerably when compared to Modern Warfare 3′s unfettered madness, there is a renewed emphasis on fast, pure gun vs gun gameplay that revolves around balance.

“The measure of your skill isn’t just in how good your kill-death ratio is, gauged instead by the overall contribution to your team’s final score, and this is another area where Treyarch has really thought about what Call of Duty was lacking.”

Newcomers and regulars will have a tough time adjusting to Treyarch’s new hit detection mechanic. Players take less shots to go down then ever before, and body placement is more important than ever. Shoot an opponent below the waist in a stand-off and you’re already dead. Precision is vital now, and that’s something anyone who has felt cheated by Call of Duty games in the past will surely appreciate.

This revised damage model works on most counts but it still feels like it needs further iteration, as inconsistent damage and questionable deaths begin to return. Knife lunge has also been reduced significantly but panic knifing remains an issue.

It does mean that the amount of bogus knife deaths per game has gone down, but the mechanic seems to stumble even when you’re toe to toe with players, as your point-blank swipe fails to register.

Still, arguably the biggest change to the series’ selection box of staples is the overhauled create-a-class system. Birthed at Treyarch from a paper board game called ‘Pick 10′, the system gives you ten points to spend on any gear you want.

Everything costs one point, from guns and attachments, to lethal devices and perks. It’s amazing how quickly your allowance runs dry when trying to replicate your favourite classes from previous Call of Duty instalments. That mindset doesn’t fly here any more, and while the model reduces unbalance it often feels curbing.

It has been meticulously geared towards keeping everyone on a relatively level playing field. Sure you might have a player with four perks, but he or she will have to sacrifice grenades or their secondary weapon for the pleasure.

The system marks the death of the overpowered ‘win-all’ class, and it’s the best move Treyarch could have made. However, Wildcards bend the rules at the cost of a point and allow you to carry one extra perk, grenade or tactical device, among others.

Score Streaks are the next big change and these do away with killstreak rewards altogether. Now the measure of your skill isn’t just in how good your kill-death ratio is, gauged instead by the overall contribution to your team’s final score, and this is another area where Treyarch has really thought about what Call of Duty was lacking.

You will have a really hard time earning Score Streak rewards by just killing people. Chances are you’ll occasionally get your lowest tiered option – such as a UAV or Hunter Killer drone, but heavy hitters like the AGR robotic turret or the Lightning Strike bombing run will require cooperation to reach.

“Score Streak rewards have also been well-planned to remove avenues for air supremacy. Nightmares of Modern Warfare 2 rounds spent huddled indoors away from the watchful cannons of an AC-130 are a thing of the past.”

Obviously objective-based game types are a better way of boosting your Score Streak given their teamwork nature, and as such Team Deathmatch rarely sees an abundance of active score rewards.

New mode Hard Point is perfect for teamwork – which is based on King of the Hill rules – as you receive bonus score for getting multi-kills, defending objectives and using your tool-set wisely. Chaining these factors is the key to earning quick rewards, and racking up high scores is certainly gratifying.

The low score rewards for vanilla kills dulls the desire to go on lone wolf missions around each of the 14 maps,instead fuelling cooperation. Solo play and kill-grinding will likely continue, but the means are here to get people working together more efficiently.

Score Streak rewards have also been well-planned to remove avenues for air supremacy. Nightmares of Modern Warfare 2 rounds spent huddled indoors away from the watchful cannons of an AC-130 are a thing of the past, and instead you have a manner of robotic threats to contend with.

Many of these rewards have secondary functions, such as detonating a Hellstorm Missile mid-flight to create a cluster bomb affect over a wide area, or taking over from the AI and controlling your AGR, Dragonfire or Sentry Gun manually. The added layer of control is certainly welcome.

Perks have also been down-tuned to offer mild buffs such as Lightweight’s faster movement and Blind Eye’s protection against air support. The polarising Ghost perk is now unlocked at level 55, which is the last rank. It now only hides players off the radar when they are moving, exposing campers at all times. It shows that Treyarch has been listening to fans.

Instead, gun upgrades acquired through skill make more of a difference, such as stabilising fore grip, select fire modules, FMJ rounds and an MMS scope that paints enemies through walls.

The weapon themselves are relatively equal in power, and there are little surprises, except the first three-round burst rifle – the SWAT-556 feels like another Type-95 at first – but then you soon realise that it’s not as powerful as it first feels, just more stable.

There are subtle handling differences here and there that will help you decide which is the firearm for you, but if you’ve played Call of Duty before you will pretty much know what to expect. The only big change is the select fire attachment that lets you switch between single shot and automatic discharge.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 offers – at a mechanic level – the best multiplayer experience the series has delivered. It’s an actual test of skill, not killstreak chaining, manipulative load-out mixing or anything that might seem a tad unscrupulous to players.”

Good tools are nothing without fun maps however, and while the original Black Ops maps – as garish as they seem now – had character, the same cannot be said for all of the new locales. There is a clinical vibe running throughout these arenas, as robotic as the drones and robots running around them.

There are a few stand-out maps however, such as the circular bullet train station Express, which occasionally sees a high speed shuttle barrel round the track, hammering any people or devices in its path.

Raid is a sore point, as its open areas and blind spots make every manoeuvre potentially suicidal. This map is an example of the anti-camping ethos run amok. Metldown on the other hand is a campers paradise, giving players plenty of cover to hunker down behind and slaughter you with ease as you pass.

It’s a mixed bunch, but it frankly shits all over Modern Warfare 3′s selection. Some maps are the usual facilities that you’re probably bored of by now, but the moving robot factory in Drone, the shifting freight containers of Cargo, and the futuristic cruise ship of Hijacked feel fresh and expertly designed.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 offers – at a mechanic level – the best multiplayer experience the series has delivered. It’s an actual test of skill, not killstreak chaining, manipulative load-out mixing or anything that might seem a tad unscrupulous to players. But the game will likely receive the usual torrent of flack from sceptics.

Treyarch has shown that it has the development chops to take a slight gamble with its latest multiplayer, just as FIFA 13 took a gamble with its expanded trick system and First Touch engine. That’s what Call of Duty is after all, a yearly sports game, but with big fuck-off guns instead of a football.

As such Treyarch deserves praise for looking at many of the areas fans took umbrage with, actually listening, then tweaking and rebalancing them for the greater good. The life and soul of the party may have diminished slightly, and some areas may still exist to infuriate, but there is still plenty of fun to be had for now.

Disclosure:

  • This review was written using a retail copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 bought by Dave himself at £44.99 and reviewed at home. VG247 did not attend the game’s official review event..

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19 Comments

  1. tenthousandgothsonacid

    44:99 !?! Dude you were done :)

    Tesco have it at 25 quid mate.

    One question, which platform did you review it on ?

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    I know, my local ASDA told me they weren’t having a midnight event, but they bloody well did :(

    Xbox 360 for me as all my mates have it on that.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. reask

    Really like your hands on articles Dave keep up the good work. :)
    How is the leauge thing working out for us less accurate players?

    Also would the accuracy thing be similar to say bf3?

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Dave Cook

    @3 League play takes five matches to qualify and unfortunately by that point I didn’t have time to really get into the tables. But yeah it’s a nice way of bracketing players into skill categories. It works :)

    On accuracy it’s not BF3 as there’s no bullet drop or real delay, but yeah accuracy is important to dropping people quickly. Chances are when you start you’ll die a lot. The old tricks won’t work as well in this one. It’s harder.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. absolutezero

    Why would changing the multiplayer completely be suicide when thats exactly what IW did in the first Modern Warfare?

    My history with CoD is a little bit of a love/hate relationship. CoD 2 in particular was fantastic and it still is in some respects so much so that its a much better WW2 shooter than World at War. CoD 3 was terrible in all respects. Modern Warfare still has the best campaign of the entire series. World at War was another mis-tread and was pretty offensive. MW2 was laughable and felt like it was created by two different teams within Infinity Ward, one making the ugly open American levels the other working on the more focused enjoyable SAS parts. Blops was my last meeting with the series and it again depressed the shit out of me, it became not really all that much of a game anymore.

    All the bravado and stacking up and monster closets just fell away to be revealed as the game mechanics that they are. It became a series of inputs as a slowly wandered behind my pack of AI allies and let them kill everything for me. Left Trigger Right Trigger rinse repeat.

    As it stands right now I have no real interest in the series what so ever, I would say I was a fan right up until MW2 and wanted to give it a chance to win me over again.

    I can kinda understand its continuing appeal to most of the people that buy it, its like football at this stage. A male soap opera you can use to make small talk with people.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. reask

    That,s me flucked so. :)
    Thanks dave.
    Are you putting any vids up later now that the community is live?

    #6 3 years ago
  7. ManuOtaku

    For what i did read i think i will give it a shot, i wasn´t that good in MW2 and MW3, my ratio was 0.68 aprox., but seeing that there is some key changes and because of those i might get the chance to being better at the game i will get it just to see is the COD for my style, thanks dave your review made one more copy sold for this game, thanks again.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. AmiralPatate

    An honest opinion on Black Ops 2, that’s something refreshing. Shoutout to Dave.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Dave Cook

    @5 bear in mind man I’m talking strictly about multiplayer in this piece. Zombies is tomorrow, I’m out of town Thursday so campaign will land on Friday.

    AI is a sticky point I agree. You’ll see what I think on Friday :)

    @8 Thanks :)

    #9 3 years ago
  10. absolutezero

    Oh of course Dave I understand completely. I just wanted to ask the question at the start and then my brain started vomiting everywhere.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. lama

    good read! i like the direction they are going, but im still not interested in playing this game.

    also it’s a shame you weren’t invited to the event!

    #11 3 years ago
  12. DrDamn

    @Article
    Great read Dave. Picked up a copy (360) in Tesco for £25 with a £25 PSN card. I’ll spend the PSN money on Vita stuff anyway. So even if I hate it I can trade again for little loss.

    @11
    It’s unlikely they weren’t invited, it’s a new site policy. Giving you more confidence that the view is unbiased and honest.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. OrbitMonkey

    I have my copy… & I’m nervous… Y’know change & all that :-/

    Still, life is change, can’t wait to see what’s what :-)

    #13 3 years ago
  14. ManuOtaku

    #12 Doc i recomend Dokuro, where is my heart, sound shapes and escape plan for the vita, in that particular order

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Dave Cook

    @13 it’s hard at first mate. The increased damage takes some getting used to.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. ManuOtaku

    #15 well Dave, that will level in the same way the playfield, the COD veterans will need to adjust too, therefore i might get a chance after all ;)

    #16 3 years ago
  17. stretch215

    Man, grabbed this at midnight and didn’t put it down until 5 am, playing mp and having a blast. Multi-team ftw!

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Hunam

    I grabbed it last night too. But… it’s really colourful. It’s kinda off putting as it’s like going to war with a cartoon.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. LuLshuck

    Seriously who makes these maps? I sold mw3 a week after having the game because the maps were small and im going to have to do the same thing with black ops 2, whoever is designing these horrible maps needs to play mw2

    #19 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    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 […]

  • Ubisoft makes good on Child of Light promise with free eBook

    Child of Light fans can check out a gorgeous new illustrated book set in the world of Lumeria. Earlier this month, creator Patrick Plourde confirmed that there were more Child of Light projects on the way. As we expected from the cagey wording, at least the first of these projects isn’t a game: it’s an […]

  • Half-life episode from Junction Point would have featured a magnet gun

    Half-life seems to be on near permanent hold, but at least we can glean some insight into what might once have been. Junction Point’s cancelled Half-life game came up in Warren Spector’s Reddit AMA overnight. Commenting that he isn’t sure whether he’ll get into legal trouble for discussing the project, Spector gave a few comments […]

  • Destiny: exclusive shader, emblem on offer with Nepal benefit shirt

    Destiny developer Bungie has asked Guardians to offer their aid, and they’ve already responded in troves. A new Destiny shirt added to the Bungie Store is the object of a fundraising drive to provide aid in Nepal following a devastating earthquake this week. Bungie popped the pretty stylish shirt on sale earlier today, offering an […]

  • What does the creator of Deus Ex think of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided?

    Deus Ex creator Warren Spector seems pretty positive about the direction the sci-fi series has followed under Square Enix’s hand. Deus Ex was created by Spector and his team at Ion Storm, and remained with Eidos after the developer shuttered. When Square Enix purchased the British publisher, it put new studio Eidos Montreal to work […]

  • Protest Goat secures future for Elite Dangerous destruction derbies

    One of the stranger and more beautiful stories to manifest in the gaming world this week, I think. Elite: Dangerous has given birth to an unintended, emergent style of gameplay; a destruction derby like affair where players gather in no combat areas to both race and gleefully smash into each other until a victor limps […]

  • Destiny’s stunning landscapes captured in panoramas

    Destiny has some beautiful environments, which screenshots don’t necessarily do justice to. Walking around Destiny exclaiming over the lighting effects and the tiny animated details is the best way to experience Bungie’s tremendous achievements, but these panorama images stitched together from in-game screenshots are a good second. Click to see them fullsize. Redditor CenturyEagle made […]