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Black Ops 2 campaign debriefed: time paradox

Friday, 16 November 2012 08:51 GMT By Dave Cook

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2′s campaign ventures into the future, but do its ideas feel like relics from the past? VG247′s Dave Cook investigates.

When it first hit the scene the Call of Duty series retold history by putting a Hollywood slant on real tales of courage and sacrifice. Today, you’re essentially James Bond in a fantasy world performing death-defying feats, playing around with gadgets and saving the world from an assortment of maniacs almost single-handedly.

This is perfectly fine, of course, as the series has never been a war sim. Its silly, over-the-top fun for fans of action cinema everywhere, and while it doesn’t batter the senses like Modern Warfare 3′s ‘let’s just throw more shit on the screen’ ethos, this is a spectacle in its own right.

However, the original Modern Warfare campaign is widely regarded to be the zenith of Call of Duty campaigns despite its relative simplicity, and quite rightly, because it’s a focused effort that really stands up if you revisit it today. So much so that many gamers have desperately want the series to match or surpass Infinity Ward’s effort.

“It’s only when Menendez’s endgame is revealed that you actually become conflicted. He’s fighting for the 99% – the poorer classes – and the campaign strong-arms you into accepting his cause to some degree.”

Treyarch’s first Black Ops gave it a decent stab, its tale of redacted CIA dossiers, mind-bending sleeper agents and the madness of Vietnam had the potential to raise the bar, but it got a tad too wacky towards the end to be taken seriously as a epic showstopper.

By looking to the year 2025, the studio has wisely given itself a blank canvas to explore a whole new assortment of global conflicts and expensive new toys, yet continues to fall back on action movie parodies and familiar gameplay issues. But it is still the best contender to Call of Duty 4′s crown to date.

The plot kicks off with an elderly Frank Woods retelling the story of how Alex Mason and Hudson rescued him after the events of the first Black Ops. It’s during these flashbacks that you’re introduced to Raul Menendez, the villain of the piece.

He’s a great bad guy – his harrowing past as interesting as the future he’s trying so hard to dominate. Dark Knight scribe David S. Goyer has tried to fashion a sympathetic villain in Menendez, but some attempts at pity fall flat, and serve to amuse instead.

It’s only when Menendez’s endgame is revealed that you actually become conflicted. He’s fighting for the 99% – the poorer classes – and the campaign strong-arms you into accepting his cause to some degree.

Two future missions expertly contrast the distinct class divide. The first is a tense battle up a flooded street in Afghanistan as civilians pick through garbage for scraps. The next moment, you’re infiltrating a man-made island resort.

It’s a holiday paradise where a weekend trip ‘costs more than you make in a year’, according to protagonist David Mason. The opulence of its shopping districts and garish nightclubs with their pounding dubstep underline a world gone wrong.

All of this makes Menendez’s final play – which isn’t just to steal America’s drone fleet, you’ll see when you play it – more poignant, and depending on how much you care about Call of Duty plots, you may be drawn in a little by his goal too.

Before that however, players will travel the globe with Woods and Mason, as the ‘numbers’ indoctrination rears its ugly head again, and granted, although it’s based on low-tech gear, you will experience some of those highly entertaining set pieces that the Call of Duty series delivers so well.

“Once you’ve had a taste of the future you probably won’t want to go back to the past, that is, until you realise that the mess of unanswered plot threads are actually starting to come together, making sense of what, at first, appears to be a total mess.”

The future missions are without question the most engaging of the campaign however, offering some genuinely refreshing locales, encounters and equipment to use. It’s all set against the boiling threat of a cold war between America and China over natural resources, and Menendez’s attempts to manipulate both sides using his fanatical cult Cordis Die.

Although it’s a neat set-up that asks some very poignant questions about the very real threat of resource wars in our own future, but the potentially chilling angle falls away to that same old action madness in moments. Again, the latter half of the game sees the plot improve.

All of this is fine to a degree, as Treyarch has rammed as much content and distractions in the mix as possible. For example, an early siege on Menendez’s underground facility sees players using stealth cloaks, wing suits, hacked turrets and turret drones in the space of ten minutes. It’s chaos.

At points it often feels like Treyarch has attempted to curry favour with gamers who dislike the future setting, as a 1980s attack on a Nicaraguan villa echoes the original game’s Bay of Pigs opener.

These are perfectly fine missions, but once you’ve had a taste of the future you probably won’t want to go back to the past, that is, until you realise that the mess of unanswered plot threads are actually starting to come together, making sense of what, at first, appears to be a total mess.

New to this year’s offering are four Strike Force Missions that break up the core plot at points. These quick, tactical skirmishes can be failed and will change the backdrop of the game’s ending accordingly, such as getting China on your side and other factors.

The hook here is that these missions give you greater control over the battlefield. The first scenario sees your squad defending a drone factory in India from Menendez’s forces, and players are given an assortment of troops, turrets and a CLAW mech to get the job done.

You can hop in and out of any single troop or AI tech device at will as you defend multiple objectives from enemy fire. For a better view of the battle you can jump into an overhead perspective and command troops from above.

Battles quickly become a mess as you scramble around with nowhere near enough troops to defend all three objectives at once, and a confusing control system to contend with.

“Strike Force Missions are a proof of concept that real tactical play could work in a Call of Duty paradigm, but a lot more work is needed to nail the formula down.”

It makes sense over time, but every time you restart you will lose a strike Force Team, meaning you can’t complete all four missions. You’re not given enough time in the heat of battle to properly adjust and understand to Treyarch’s new ideas.

You will eventually – near the end of the mission timer – have so few enemies to worry about that these solo attempts become possible, but at the outset the action quickly becomes bewildering as you try to remember which button does what. More room for practice runs is needed.

Insanely harsh timers are also punishing for newcomers, offering little margin for error. For all of their rough edges however, Strike Force Missions are a proof of concept that real tactical play could work in a Call of Duty paradigm, but a lot more work is needed to nail the formula down.

It’s a shame, but these shortcomings mirror many prevalent issues across the Call of Duty saga that refuse to go away. You still can’t open most doors on your own, instead being forced to wait for your AI buddies to stack up and do it for you, and at points it feels like you’re forever chasing HUD markers.

Granted some areas have been widened considerably and do lend opportunities to approach objectives as you see fit, and hidden weapon and tech caches offer incentive to explore rooms off the beaten path, even if they are just an arm’s length away.

The corridor nature of the series can only be masked so far by widening it a little, so it would be genuinely refreshing to see those battlegrounds expanded significantly to match the locales from Halo, or to a lesser extent Crysis 2.

An early mission on horseback sees Woods and Mason riding around a massive desert expanse, but there is only one proper path. Straying too far will cause the mission to end, or for you to be torn down by enemies. It’s an illusion, even if it is a very attractive one.

There is still no real incentive or scope for experimentation, exploration or initiative. There is still a deeply ingrained carrot and stick mentality at work here, and although such restrictive design gives rise to the set-pieces fans know and expect from it, Call of Duty has the potential to go much bigger.

Perhaps the next generation will yield such a shift in scope? It’s difficult to tell, but it’s clear that Treyarch has attempted to address many of the series’ campaign issues over the years, and for the best part it has merely papered over the bumps, rather than stamping them out completely.

Play areas are slightly bigger, the corridors have more junctions and the visuals are a relative step up, and as such, the Black Ops 2 campaign is indeed a super effort despite its flaws. But these are flaws that become less tolerable with each passing year.

Something’s got to give, and it feels like this is confidently the biggest step in the right direction for some time. Love or hate the end product, Treyarch deserves kudos for having the balls to try and trigger the sea change we now need. Your move Infinity Ward.

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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25 Comments

  1. Patrick Garratt

    Still haven’t got it. I’ll buy it this weekend, I think.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 You’ll love it Pat. You’re a fan of dubstep right?

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Erthazus

    I remember some youtube stream of Black Ops 2 campaign.

    It was just so lacking in quality. I remember one level when you are on the horse with the stinger (STINGER FOR FUCK SAKE on the HORSE) shooting soviet (!) vehicles (!) and helicopters with infinite ammo in Arcade mode (Oh well, that is a controller issue obviously.)

    I watched one level and it was full of shit every 5 seconds or so.

    Or.. Funny story sequence where you are trying to interrogate “Soviet soldier aka some kind of Boris” and if you choose to kill him these guys (muslims, whatever) are going to kill americans while saying: YOU (Americans) will be always our TRUE enemies.

    Why? WHY? Why? This game does not even explain That. I mean, daaamn, how can humanity create something like this?

    Oh and, I remember the sequence with helicopters. They have fogs from Call Of Duty 2. That is just wow… I want to hear how much was spent money for the developing.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Dave Cook

    @3 Yeah, it’s called ‘fun’. Try it some time.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Patrick Garratt

    I wub it, yeah.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Erthazus

    @4, That’s not fun. That is stupidity. Gameplay in this game is outdated thing from 99s.

    Shooting (!) vehicles (!) from a stinger on a horse in arcade mode =/= Not fun.

    Also, horse controls are horrible for a horse. I liked the fact that If shooting starts around you horse is going apeshit, but when you shoot from a Machine gun that robotic horse stands still. That is just moronic at best.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Dave Cook

    @6 Yes, the whole series has become a parody of stupid action movies and makes no attempt to hide the fact. Some people like that angle though. it’s why Commando is one of my all-time favourite movies, it’s such an unfettered guilty pleasure. It’s crap, but enjoyable.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Johnny Cullen

    I actually love the campaign for BLOPS 2. And if you had heard me say that for this or BLOPS 1 a few years ago due to both being made by Treyarch, I would have slapped myself. I didn’t enjoy Modern Warfare 3 last year, but I’m a big sucker for Cold War-like action games (this and MGS3 basically, not to mention I’m gasping for Agent right now).

    So yeah, I’m definitely in for one more Black Ops game when it comes back to Treyarch.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Dave Cook

    @8 Well said, this feels like a cold war take on the future. It’s the conspiracies and cover-ups that I like. The Noriega scenes are brilliant. Very tense.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. griffpaul

    have to agree with Erthazus here. guilty pleasure or not, if you’re critiquing a game then you have to know the difference between something being bad game design or an acquired taste.

    If explosions in games are all you can appreciate then yeah this probably is the best game ever, but this is easily one of the worst call of duties – single-player wise anyway.

    its just stupid, more than anything. like a teenagers wet dream, but without the quality of previous CODs

    The biggest disappointment was the ‘tactical’ missions. Strike force missions? They start off cool, but you soon realise that there’s no depth to it whatsoever. Shame, I would’ve loved a bit more of those if there was any depth to it.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Dave Cook

    @10 it isn’t badly designed though. From a design standpoint the levels are mechanically sound, the visuals are a slight step up, the gunplay handles superbly and more.

    Or do you mean design as in the plot and direction? I’m not having a go, just want to nail down what you mean :)

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Custard Ganet

    @6 Yeah? so how many hours have you sunk into this game you despise so far? probably around the 40 mark by now right? Prestiged once maybe…

    #12 2 years ago
  13. G1GAHURTZ

    Yooooooooo!

    Haven’t touched the campaign yet.

    Been on the MP, and had two games of zombies.

    In fact. I think I’m off for another session, right now…

    #13 2 years ago
  14. griffpaul

    @11 I guess I mean mechanically in a similar sense to Erthazus in that the horses don’t even react when rockets and guns and helicopters are flying everywhere. That bit could’ve been cool if they kept the ‘action’ to a minimum until off horseback, like a charge into battle and little else. A crescendo or something.

    But elsewhere, I think mechanical it’s lacking when compared to the rest. Okay, so it doesn’t have Modern Warfare’s respawning enemies, but you can see them literally pop into few.

    As for game design, that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with mechanics. Deciding to have a bit on a horse is game design and that – in itself – isn’t a bad thing. its more the way its done and that is bad game design.

    Course I don’t play COD for the single player so it’s kind of a useless argument, I just think saying its the best yet it perhaps a little much. especially when you seemed more negative towards the multiplayer, which actually IS the best yet. Ha

    #14 2 years ago
  15. absolutezero

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Inm29K9L9q4&list=ULInm29K9L9q4#t=2538s

    No spoilers present but my God what on Earth were they thinking.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Dave Cook

    @14 Yeah I still think Black Ops 2 multiplayer is the best by far, I just think there is still room for improvement. Been playing it lots since I got it :)

    #16 2 years ago
  17. griffpaul

    @15 I actually enjoyed that bit!

    @16 to be honest I don’t see how you can say that about the multiplayer (which is true, I won’t deny it) when the same is true of the single player. different story, yeah, but its still the same bits.

    the nano gloves bit, for example, is the same as the ice-climbing bit of MW2. Then a tree mystically falls on them to create a sense of danger? yawn.

    I guess I just want more from my games, to be honest.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Erthazus

    “it isn’t badly designed though. From a design standpoint the levels are mechanically sound, the visuals are a slight step up, the gunplay handles superbly and more.”

    CoD:BO2 Design is flawed as F.
    From a design standpoint the levels are small corridors where you don’t even require to shoot enemy at all. Basically it’s running “from A To the next checkpoint”. Levels that are biger are basically small arcade 3 minutes of gameplay.
    Visuals are the same as before. There are even fogs from Call Of Duty 2 not to mention about horrible textures, animation, lightning. There is absolutely nothing that is up to date.
    Gunplay is from 1999s thanks to John Carmack and his engineering skills. It’s SEMI-automatic without dispersion and other stuff that “Real weapons” must have.

    They even have railguns there… Really.

    Today I saw some “strategy” mini game in BO2. I don’t know what it is but gosh… What a piece of shit that mode is.
    Basically you can die as much as you want and shoot shit at the same time not to mention that bots that are fighting for you are stupid as hell, basically 95% of the kills are from You.

    I just don’t know what to say. Who created this piece of “Something clever and incredible”.

    But riding on a horse shooting soviet vehicles from a stinger in 80s will be my favourite part because it’s truly speaks about game quality.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Dave Cook

    @19 your existence on these pages is to troll. That’s what you enjoy doing. I won’t argue with you any more or give you any more fuel :)

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Erthazus

    @20, Sorry, but you don’t know what is “troll”. Everything that i said is my personal opinion.

    So you really believe that small corridors are not true in this game or that Visuals are better? Is this some kind of trolling, Dave?

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Hcw87

    So in previous cod games (not sure about BO1), you have infinitely respawning enemies, so you have to move forward all the time in order to stop their respawning (can’t stay at a distance picking off the enemies before moving forward etc).

    Does BO2 still have this flawed design in campaign?

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Deacon

    lol… let it go Erth, it’s Friday man!

    I’ve only really got one thing to say about BO2. I’ve watched quite a few gameplay videos online, and I really don’t know if it’s just me, but sheesh man that engine is looking tired. Don’t get me wrong, it looks like they’ve achieved great stuff with it – especially in campaign, but primarily when watching MP footage, the levels, lighting and scenery look like something from 2005! :p

    I’m no graphics whore, nor am I am FPS whore. Nor is CoD my specialist subject. I may just have seen some bad examples, I’m not watching 240 x 360 videos here though.

    And yeah, sorry, I know the graphics/engine thing must be getting a bit old now.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Dave Cook

    @22 no infinite respawns in the campaign apart from some of the Strike Force Missions, but then again your team has infinite respawns too so it’s fair.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. G1GAHURTZ

    @20:

    +1

    ——

    Don’t really have time to read all this, ‘cos I’m playing the game instead.

    League play has taken this game to a whole other level for me, though. (Platinum baby, yeah!)

    I probably won’t touch the SP for a few months, if I ever do. I’m not sure I’ll ever really understand why people prefer SP to MP in general…

    #24 2 years ago
  25. JimFear-666

    this game is my goty only for the easter egg after the credit haha :P

    #25 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    The Hundred Years War wasn’t ended by the superior forces of the French cavalry: it was ninja. Bladestorm: Nightmare Battlefield sim. Take control of dozens of unit types. You play a mercenary, fighting for both France and England, usually at your own discretion. Unit variations liven things up; Lady Lancers replace Knights. Vikings replace Swords. […]

  • First Bloodborne speedrun is in, game finished in under 45 minutes

    Bloodborne has been out for less than a week in most parts of the world and the first speedrun record has already been achieved. YouTuber Oginam_tv managed to finish Bloodborne in under 50 minutes. Of course not without utilising more than his fair share of exploits, including level-skipping glitches, as well as the item duplication […]

  • Advanced Warfare Infection gameplay shows the new map, monsters, extraction mechanic

    We’ve got some new gameplay footage from Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies episode 2 – Infection. Arekkz went to L.A. this past weekend and played the new map that Infection brings to Exo Zombies mode in Advanced Warfare. The map is noticeably larger than that of the first episode, with more branching paths you can unlock. […]

  • Hotline Miami collector’s edition is close, 50% already achieved

    The Hotline Miami crowdfunding effort to produce a special collector’s edition is going strong with 50% of the target achieved. Gamer Network’s collector’s edition initiative has announced that funding for the Hotline Mimi Gamer’s Edition has reached 50% of its goal, with just over nine days to go. The collector’s edition is a one-of-a-kind bundle […]

  • Woah Dave will be an extra free PS+ game on PS4 in April

    Indie platformer Woah Dave will be made free to PlayStation Plus members on PlayStation 4 in April, but it’s not part of the month’s main Plus offering. Woah Dave is a “secret” April PlayStation Plus game, according to Sony. The game is a 2D platformer that received positive feedback when it was released on PS […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: three international tourneys announced, $100,000 prize pool

    Warner Bros. has announced a new series of Mortal Kombat X tournaments with a prize pool starting at $100,000. Mortal Kombat X Worldwide Competitive Program is a series of tournaments that kick off in April and allow players from the around the world participation. The tournaments are the Fatal 8 Exhibition Tournament, Mortal Kombat X […]

  • Project CARS to receive a free car every month, starting with the Lykan Hypersport

    The Lykan Hypersport, the supercar featured in one of Furious 7′s action set-pieces, will be a free download for Project CARS owners. To thank the fans for their patience throughout Project CARS development and several delays, developer Slightly Mad will be giving all owners one in-game car for free each month. The first car will […]

  • Leaked Halo Online gameplay shows weapons, maps, and more

    Gameplay from the upcoming, Russia only, Halo Online has leaked online and it looks like a mix of Halo 3 and Halo Reach. Microsoft announced last week that a free-to-play Halo game is in development at Saber Interactive. The game will be available in Russia only, at least on launch. YouTuber Noble, with the help […]

  • Get PlayStation 4 with the PS Camera and The Last of Us for $399

    US retailer Best Buy is offering a free PlayStation Camera with the purchase of The Last of Us PS4 bundle. If you’re in the US, Best Buy is having a very good deal on PlayStation 4 systems at the moment. If you buy The Last of Us PS4 bundle, you’ll automatically get the PS Camera […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC comes to PS4 in May

    Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC has been given a release window for PS3, PS4, and Xbox 360. Jaws of Hakkon, the first story add-on to Dragon Age: Inquisition was released last week on PC and Xbox One. The release was a complete surprise, as there was no prior announcement. What was also surprising […]

  • Watch Rainbow Six Siege developers stream new gameplay right now

    Rainbow Six Siege developers are about to livestream new gameplay footage. Come and watch with us. The livestream below starts at 7pm UK time/6pm GMT. Ubisoft will be showing new gameplay footage and will talk more about the operator system, which was revealed today. The footage will be from the PC alpha build. Expect more […]

  • Advanced Warfare Exo Zombie Infected trailer shows new weapons, massive enemy

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Exo Zombies episode 2, Infected, has been shown off in a new trailer. The official trailer for Exo Zombies Infected is here with footage of the new gear and new enemies. All of which help set up the mess everyone’s making at Burger Town. John Malkovich and co are dropped […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition comes with a 120-page field manual

    Rainbow Six Siege will be getting a collector’s edition and it comes with a 120-page guide. The Rainbow Six Siege collector’s edition has been fully detailed. It’s called the “Art of Siege Edition” and will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, priced £65. Here’s what you get: A copy of the game […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege trailer is all about the operators

    Rainbow Six Siege has a new trailer available explaining the operator system. Operators are what makes any Counter Terrorist Unit and you will get to choose each of them individually before assembling a team. Any operator you choose will not be available for others though, so planning ahead will be crucial. The new trailer shows […]

  • Spotify now available on PS3 and PS4, lets you play music in the background

    Spotify has arrived on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. The Spotify app is now available in 42 countries on PSN. The app was part of last week’s firmware update and can be found under PlayStation Music. Anyone can download it, as it doesn’t require PlayStation Plus. You can use your PSN account to subscribe to […]

  • Let’s talk Battlefield Hardline weapon balance

    The weapon balance in Battlefield Hardline is causing a controversy among the players. Are some weapons too powerful, or are other not powerful enough? Westie has been playing Battlefield Hardline since it the day it came out and he has some opinions about the state of weapon balance as it stands right now. Westie also […]

  • UK Charts: Bloodborne enters at No. 2, Battlefield Hardline defends No. 1 spot

    Battlefield Hardline has defended the No. 1 spot in the UK Charts against Bloodborne’s impressive numbers. The UK Charts for the week ending March 28 show Battlefield Hardline continuing to hold the top spot despite dropping 43% in sales. Bloodborne achieved the No. 2 spot and came only 22,500 copies short of becoming number 1. […]

  • Halo 5: Guardians release date and new trailers released

    Halo 5 is coming in October. Are you ready? Halo 5: Guardians has been slapped with a release date of October 27. Microsoft and 343 Industries also released a new trailer to mark the news; check it out below. “The Master Chief. Spartan Locke. Who is the hunter and who is the hunted?” Microsoft said […]

  • Denial wins Call of Duty Championship 2015

    In a weekend where favourites crashed out and non-US teams took a beating, Denial stepped up to take the title and $400,000 prize Denial have beaten Revenge to win the Call of Duty Championship 2015, claiming a $400,000 prize. Taking place in downtown Los Angeles, 32 of the best teams in the world battled it […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Ascendance DLC- check out new maps and the grapple ability

    Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC is looking pretty sweet in these two new videos. The Call of Duty Championships this weekend have given our very own Arekkz a chance to check out the new Ascendance DLC coming this month. Take a look at all four new maps as well as the cool new grapple ability (which […]

  • Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies gets a “mini boss” with Ascendance DLC

    Zombies mode gets an exo-kick up the ass with Advanced Warfare’s second DLC drop, Ascendance. When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC drops this week, players will be going up against some tougher challenges in Exo Zombies mode. “It’s all zombies, all of the time,” says High Moon Studios Matt Tieger, head of the […]

  • GTA Online user videos show out of character Lester, important Police Business

    You know, Lester isn’t as soft as he lets on, at least in these two GTA Online videos he’s not. The first one below is from YouTube user 10Phoenix01 Gamer, showing Lester kick a guy’s ass. It’s apparently punishment for running over the player – at least that’s the way it appears. A second video […]

  • Guild Wars 2 devs explain how the Map Bonus system, precursor crafting work in Heart of Thorns

    ArenaNet has posted information on the Guild Wars 2 website explaining how crafting mastery, and crafting a legendary weapon, will work in the Heart of Thorns expansion. There’s also information on the new Map Bonuses system, which will make acquiring crafting materials a more “directed activity” and streamlined experience. The new system will also add […]

  • Fly around your creations in Cities: Skylines with the Flight Cimulator mod

    Cities: Skylines players can now fly over their creations thanks to the Flight Cimulator mod. Created by Ulysius and available through the Steam Workshop, the mod allows the user to simulate flight through simple controls. According to the mod notes, it is still a work in progress as Ulysius plans to add building collisions , […]

  • The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul arrive on PlayStation Vue

    Sony has announced the addition of AMC to its PlayStation Vue service, which soft launched in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia earlier this month. Those who use the service can now get their Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead fix, and also watch the Sundance channel, WEtv and IFC. AMC and WEtv are […]

  • Play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser

    Thanks to Roystan Ross and the Unity engine, you can play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser. This little nugget came to my attention yesterday, and unfortunately it became lost on my worksheet. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyway, the level is free-to-play and if you don’t wish to play […]

  • Steam’s Discovery Update has helped increase revenue for smaller titles

    Valve has said its Discovery Queue has increased product page views across Steam by 30% since the company launched the Discovery Update. According to Valve, 75% of those views come from the Discovery Queue, and 16% of product views can be attributed to the Discovery Queue. Even Steam Tags clicks have increased. The system is […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection April update includes “more ranked playlists”

    The next content update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection will “address a variety of issues across the game,” according to 343 Industries, including specific improvements to ranking. New quit and betrayal penalties are also in the works as the development team prepares to roll out ranks to additional playlists. According to 343, the latest […]

  • Get Spec Ops: The Line for free through 2K Games sale on Humble Store

    A 2K Games sale is going on this weekend on the Humble Store with up to 83% off on select titles. Games on sale include Evolve, Bioshock, Civilization and other franchises. Plus, Spec Ops: The Line can be yours for free with the purchase of any -2K title on sale. To see the full list […]

  • Dota 2 The International 2015 tickets are sold out

    Tickets to Dota 2 The International 2015 are now sold out, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The tickets went on sale in two phases starting March 27. Phase one sold out in six minutes, and phase two sold out in four minutes. Each round of sales offered the same quantity of General Admission tickets priced at […]

  • Here’s what’s expected in Battlefield 4′s Weapon Crate DLC – video

    A new Battlefield 4 drop is on the horizon, and to give you an idea of what to expect, we have a video for you below featuring information on the Weapon Crate DLC. According to Battlefield expert Westie, players can expect five new weapons along with the return of the Gun Master game mode. The […]

  • Pillars of Eternity issues to be addressed in patch 1.03, expected next week

    Obsidian Entertainment plans to release a Pillars of Eternity patch next week to combat issues users have reported. Until the patch is released, the developers have posted workarounds for some of the most common issues. The issues reported span framerate drops, inability to launch the game unless in administrator mode, crashes on 32-bit machines, animal […]

  • Mortal Kombat X videos show Erron Black gameplay, Ermac fatalities, more

    Erron Black, the gunslinger which was outed for Mortal Kombat X in the achievements listing last week, was featured in the latest livestream from NetherRelam Studios yesterday evening. Along with gameplay, fatalities and variations for Black, the developer also provided a look at gameplay for: Ermac vs Mileena; Ermac’s brutality and fatality moves; Lui Kang […]

  • The Legend of Zelda Wii U: 2015 release not a “priority”, skipping E3

    The Legend of Zelda franchise producer Eiji Aonuma is featured in the latest video update on the status of The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, stating a 2015 release is no longer a “number one priority” for the team. While Aonuma never specifically says the game has been delayed into 2016, the announcement confirms […]

  • Destiny gameplay designer exits for Bethesda

    Destiny’s senior gameplay designer Josh Hamrick announced on Twitter overnight he would be leaving the company in a week’s time for Bethesda. Hamrick joined Bungie in 2009 after working two years at Midway Austin, where he created multiplayer maps, modified single-player levels, and other designer functions. He was in charge of fixing bug in code […]

  • What to expect from the Call of Duty Championship this weekend

    Just settling down to the Call of Duty Championship this weekend? Here’s a rundown of today’s matches and what else to expect over the next three days. The Call of Duty Championship is taking place in LA this weekend until Sunday, with 32 four-player teams battling it out for a prize pot of $1 million. […]

  • MLB 15 The Show video highlights improved graphics, updated grass patterns

    Sony has released a video for MLB 15 The Show which provides a look at graphical improvements made to the game. Along with the visual upgrade over MLB 14 The Show, the game contains new minor league stadiums, dynamic sun generated in real-time, and upgraded grass patterns which reflect each stadium’s unique look. MLB 15 […]

  • Valve to offer HTC Vive Developer Edition free to qualified developers

    Valve has said it will offer the HTC Vive Developer Edition for free to qualified developers in an effort to buoy projects before the tech launches commercially. Surgeon Simulator developer Bossa Studios and The Room studio Fireproof Games are just some of the developers which already have a free Vive in-hand. According to Valve’s Doug […]

  • DriveClub gameplay video features MotorStorm’s off-road buggies

    Some gameplay footage of MotorStorm’s off-road buggies in DriveClub has surfaced. Pictures of the buggies were shown on the Japanese PlayStation Blog earlier this month, which considering the game was developed by Evolution Studios – which developed MotorStorm – this isn’t too much of a surprise. The buggies were first spotted by Videogamer, which pulled […]

  • Mortal Kombat X live-action TV spot features the track Chop Suey

    The TV sport for Mortal Kombat X has been released, and not only does it contain a “spontaneous fight circle” taking over an entire city, but it features the System of a Down track Chop Suey. Mortal Kombat X will be released on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One April 14. The […]

  • Bloodborne Forbidden Woods progression bug caused by multiplayer summon

    A progression bug in Bloodborne is in the works, according to Sony and From Software. The issue occurs when players activate a multiplayer session in the Forbidden Woods using the Sinister Resonant Bell or Small Resonant Bell. It also appears the Lunarium Key won’t appear because of the multiplayer bug, and without the key you […]

  • Yo-Kai Watch game franchise has sold over 7 million copies

    The Yo-Kai Watch IP has sold over 7 million copies, according to developer Level-5. The figure included both physical and digital download sales. Yo-Kai Watch 3 will be unveiled during Level-5 Vision 2015 next month. The first title is in the works for the west but is still without a release window. Thanks, Gematsu.

  • Bloodborne trademark returned to Sony after accidentally losing it

    In case you were worried or anything, Sony has once again obtained the Bloodborne trademark. Earlier this week it was revealed that Sony mistakenly abandoned the Bloodborne trademark along with four others registered with US Patent and Trademark Office: Guns Up!, Kill Strain; How Games Were Made to Sound, and No Heroes Allows: No Puzzles […]

  • GTA 5 PC official trailer coming next week, 15 new screenshots released

    New PC screenshots of GTA 5 have been released along with word of a new trailer coming on Monday. The screens below are from the PC version and you can view them in 4K glory over on Rockstar Newswire. The PC version of GTA 5 releases on April 14.

  • PSN real-time server status page launching in Europe soon

    PlayStation users in Europe will soon have its own a PSN Service Status Indicator. It was released earlier this month in North America. The indicator makes it easier to check whether PlayStation services are down or running as planned. This includes account management, PlayStation Now, the store, social services, etc. Sony told Eurogamer the service […]

  • Exclusivity contract prevents Bioware from revealing Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC release on PS4

    Bioware is unable to discuss when the Jaws of Hakkon DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition will arrive on platforms other than PC and Xbox One. According to various tweets from executive producer Mark Darrah, due to the exclusivity contract between EA and Microsoft, the studio is unable to announce a release date for PlayStation 3 […]

  • LEGO Batman 3 demo, Namco Museum, more added to North American eShop

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a demo for LEGO Batman 3, Namco Museum on Wii U Virtual Console, and various sales. Below is the full update. Nintendo eShop Dot Arcade – Wii U LEGO Ninjago – 3Ds LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Demo – Wii U Harvest Moon: The […]

  • Square Enix’s Easter Surprise bundle contains five mystery PC games

    Square Enix offering another mystery bundle to customers in the UK, which comes with five mystery PC games for £3.99. As before, customers will be unaware of the games they are purchasing in the mystery bundle, but the bundle contains triple-A titles worth £40 combined. One of Square’s previous mystery bundles contained Tomb Raider, Just […]

  • From Software’s PSone game Shadow Tower coming to PSN

    Shadow Tower, the first-person action-RPG developed for the original PlayStation by From Software, will be released on PlayStation Network. In the 1998 title, players took on the role of a mercenary who has returned home to the Holy Land of Zeptar to find the place has been sucked into the Underworld. He must use the […]

  • PlayStation TV gets price cut in the UK, now £44.99

    PlayStation TV has received a price cut in the UK. After several retailers started offering the console for less than the RRP of £84.99, users on DealSpwn began to wonder whether this is an official price cut, and not just regular deals or stock clearance. Sony later confirmed the new price of £44.99. “Starting from […]

  • Fast & Furious expansion for Forza Horizon 2 is now available, for free

    You can download Forza Horizon 2 expansion Fast & Furious starting right now. Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious is available to download now through Xbox Live for Xbox One and Xbox 360. The expansion is standalone, so you don’t need to own Forza Horizon 2 to play it. It’s also free from now […]

  • Fire-based weapons come to PayDay 2 with the Butcher’s BBQ Pack

    The 20th DLC for PayDay 2, the Butcher’s BBQ Pack, is now available on Steam. The DLC will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: Piglet Grenade Launcher, 12G Steakout Shotgun and Mk1 Flamethrower Molotov cocktails and incendiary ammo Four new masks, patterns, materials and achievements The Butcher’s BBQ Pack is another co-development between Overkill and Croatian […]

  • Lords of the Fallen developer offers Hideo Kojima a job

    Amid the current turmoil between Hideo Kojima and publisher Konami, one studio has offered the legendary designer a position. Lords of the Fallen developer Deck 13 took to Twitter to extend a job offer to Hideo Kojima. Dear Mr. @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN In case you are currently searching, we have an open position as Head of Game […]

  • Destiny Xur update: should you buy MIDA Multi Tool?

    The question on every Destiny player’s lips today. And the answer, supplied by resident Destiny expert Paul Davies, is… Yes! We asked Paul whether or not he thought Xur’s Exotic weapon this week was worth the 23 Strange Coins. Here’s what he said: “It was already a great gun to own for PVP owing to […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 has an all-male cast to make it “more approachable”

    According to Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata, the main cast of the game is all-male because it makes the game “more approachable.” Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata spoke to Gamespot about the reason for his choice of making the core cast an all-male affair. “Speaking honestly, an all-male party feels almost more approachable […]

  • Hearthstone Blackrock Mountain is coming April 2

    Blizzard has given Hearthstone expansion Blackrock Mountain a solid release date. Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain adventure pack will be released April 2 in the Americas region, and April 3 in Europe, Korea, Taiwan, and China. Blackrock Depths is the first wing to be released, others will follow one week apart. Other than the 31 new cards, […]

  • Bloodborne: if you can’t load your save after installing firmware 2.50, this will help

    If you’re having issues loading your Bloodborne save after applying firmware update 2.50 to your PS4, this should help you out. Reddit user KBALLZZ encountered an issue after installing update 2.50 on his PlayStation 4. Bloodborne started reinstalling the day one patch again and when it was done he couldn’t continue his game or load […]