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Elite Dangerous: Braben’s square peg

Friday, 23 November 2012 11:17 GMT By Dave Cook

Elite: Dangerous is the long-awaited space trading game from industry legend David Braben. VG247′s Dave Cook asks him about the game’s galaxy, multiplayer and more.

“Elite was a truly stunning display of technical mastery, and fans have been calling out for Braben and his studio Frontier Developments to return to the series since the last game in the series Frontier: First Encounters launched in 1995.”

I want to try an experiment here before I kick off the interview. Open up a new web browser tab and look at your email inbox. Now pick any email in there and check to see what the file size of the message is, including any attachments enclosed.

Chances are you’re looking at something around the 8k mark for plain text emails, or anywhere from 30k to a few MB for messages with images attached. Now here’s a little fact for you: David Braben and Ian Bell’s original Elite was only 22k in size when it launched on BBC Micro in 1984.

If that’s not so impressive, then know that it is considered by many to the be the world’s first truly open world game, even though it was pre-dated by 1974′s Star Trader which focused on interstellar commerce, but followed a different format.

Despite its size Elite managed to fit a square peg in a round hole, delivering an impressive 256 planets in such a small file size, all procedurally generated with their own global economy and abiding by laws of science. You start the game with a relatively weak Cobra Mark III trading ship, 100 credits and venture forth into a vast galaxy teeming with possibilities.

You are then free to do as you please, much in the same way that EvE Online or DayZ allows today – but without the MMO leanings – meaning that there is no ending as such, just the freedom to create your own role in the wider world. Coming at a time where platformers were all the rage, it’s little wonder that Elite stood out from the crowd.

Elite was a truly stunning display of technical mastery, and fans have been calling out for Braben and his studio Frontier Developments to return to the series since the last game in the series Frontier: First Encounters launched in 1995.

Although it’s been a long time coming, the recently-announced Elite: Dangerous is the game fans have been waiting for, and it’s currently lighting up Kickstarter in a big way, sitting at £533,985 of its £1,250,000 goal at the time of writing. Clearly the series still has its fans and that, in turn, places pressure on Braben and his team to deliver.

It’s refreshing that, in this time of big budget development and cinematic, aural nightmares, Braben has stuck to a simple open world premise. The format remains unchanged as the threadbare game synopsis suggests, “Take a ship and 100 credits to make money legally or illegally – trade, bounty-hunt, pirate, assassinate your way across the galaxy.”

While it’s a simple concept it also offers a wealth of possibility, given the sheer scale of the galaxy being proposed. We spoke with Braben to learn more about what those propositions will mean to the player, and to shed new light on his ambitious project.

Naturally our first question to Braben is why the game has taken so long to surface, and why Kickstarter is being used instead of a big publisher. After all, if EvE Online can succeed, then why not Elite, the game widely regarded as a godfather of the space trading genre?

“The danger is that everyone has their own idea of what the next Elite should be. The question is: if those ideas are very different to each other, then it’s going to be very hard to try and deliver to that in a way that everyone will be happy.”

To answer our question Braben goes right back to the original game, “We pitched Elite to Thorn EMI back in 1982, and their response was, ‘We want the game to have three lives, to have a score and to take around ten minutes to play through.’

“We said no, but the point was that they looked at what games were in the market and successful, and they wanted us to make our game like those. Most games in the market at that time were clones of arcade games.

“You don’t need to put coins in at home, and they didn’t like our features, didn’t like the fact you had to save your position, and they said , ‘Who would want to play a game if it took weeks to finish it? People want games that take ten minutes’, and I said, ‘Well look, we’re not in a put putting 10p in.’

“I said, ‘People are at home now’, but they just couldn’t get that, and said that those were the kind of games that sold well, and didn’t factor in that nobody had really tried.”

Regardless of whatever reservations publishers had of the game, Elite became a smash hit for Braben and Bell, and Braben himself created two sequels over the years – Frontier: Elite II and Frontier: First Encounters.

Braben revealed that he has wanted to make Elite: Dangerous for many, many years, and that it has been in a concept phase for some time, “It was quite a long time ago. It had been skunk-worked in the background but it hadn’t been a full-on project, and I think that’s the problem.

“I think that’s why it has been stretched out, because other projects – our full-scheduled projects – tended to take priority. That’s just the nature of the beast, and one advantage of Kickstarter is that it makes this a proper, funded project.

But while the Kickstarter approach removes some common pressures of mass market development – as well as financial and marketability issues that come with big publisher deals – Braben admitted that the crowd-funding route has presented his team with new challenges.

“It’s a different kind of pressure,” he said. “It’s a pressure to make the right choices, and you’re not making choices for an imagined market. With this, the beauty is that we’re making choices for ourselves, and that actually is a lot easier.

“We can say, ‘Well all right, what would I want it to do in this circumstance?’ and that is great. It’s very, very liberating.”

“This isn’t an MMO. You’ll be able to load and save your position, and you’ll be able to choose who you play with. It’s a very different thing, and it’s got more common with the way people tend to play things like Call of Duty.”

Although it’s liberating, the ‘Elite’ name itself does come with lofty expectations that long-serving fans will come to expect. But Braben’s outlook on Kickstarter’s feedback towards Elite: Dangerous has so far re-affirmed that he’s on the right track.

“I think the response so far suggests that [the game] could fit with what a lot of people want, and I think that this is very reassuring. My fear wasn’t so much that there wasn’t a market out there, but it was more ‘Is the game we make going to appeal?’, because the danger is that everyone has their own idea of what the next Elite should be.

“The question is: if those ideas are very different to each other, then it’s going to be very hard to try and deliver to that in a way that everyone will be happy.”

Braben is also aware that spreading the game too thin in an attempt to appease everyone would be equally as disastrous, but as he explained, he has been planning the game out slowly over the course of many years, so the game’s skeleton – from a conceptual standpoint at least, has been in place for some time.

“We did start writing code before the Kickstarter project, a lot of technology, because one of the biggest risks of this project for me anyway, is going multiplayer, and getting the network to work in a reliable way.”

Braben is quick to stress that said multiplayer – while existing in a free galaxy – won’t be following an MMO format like EvE Online, “This isn’t an MMO. You’ll be able to load and save your position, and you’ll be able to choose who you play with. It’s a very different thing, and it’s got more common with the way people tend to play things like Call of Duty.

“In other words you’ll be able to save your position and not have to worry about it in the meantime, and that’s the sort of thing I want to be able to do. I don’t want to be really annoyed that I go away and come back to find some load of teenagers have trashed my position.

“What I want is the feeling of Elite and Frontier – that I’m exploring on my own – but that some of the people I meet I can actually work with. I could say, ‘Hey you’re going this way? Why don’t we go together and protect each other?.”

“We had this idea of groups. You could have a group which is just your friends, and it doesn’t have to be huge numbers of players. That means the only real players you’d meet in the game would be your friends within the group.

“The feeling would be mutual, as the understanding is that your friends are going to behave reasonably as well. They’re not going to be griefers, but if they are, your friends can get together and say, ‘Actually we’d rather you weren’t in the group any more.’

“While Elite: Dangerous will be the full-sized galaxy, the actual question that we’re thinking about is whether to contain the player in a smaller section at the start, just so there’s a bigger chance they’ll meet other players.”

“The other problem is that with something like Call of Duty, it’s impossible to play now because they’re so unbelievably good and I don’t play it every evening like some of them do. But our game can still be fun.”

It’s a very polite and cooperative approach to multiplayer then, and in many ways it’s the best move for Braben, rather than delivering dogfight arenas or some slant on the classic shooter deathmatch. But what of solo play? Are long, isolating sessions spent staring into the dark expanses of space still on the cards?

“I do like the feeling of solitude and exposure, because when you do meet other players it actually becomes quite frantic. I think games need a cadence of high-stress combat, then relaxed in between bits, and then moments of, ‘Oh christ, what’s that dot in the distance? What is it? Is it a ship? Oh god it is a ship,’ then you scan it and perhaps engage it in combat.”

Exploration and taking risks is to be encouraged however, as the far reaches of space are teeming with hidden asteroid belts to be mined and planets with varying economies that help you play the market, potentially making your commander far wealthier that at the outset.

“That’s the intention,” Braben explained. “And also I’m hoping it will spread a bit out of the game where you might text someone, ‘Wow, look what I found. Can you come and help me? I’m at these coordinates, or I’m just outside Lave.’ Hopefully your friends would then appear online within minutes.

“What I’m hoping for with this is that it’s done in a subtle way within the game. You could send someone a link so that when your friend fires the game up they could jump to that link directly. We haven’t got that bit in place yet, but I think it’s a small step from where we are now.”

True, the garish blue tints of Facebook and Twitter popping up all over your HUD would break the immersion of the Elite: Dangerous galaxy, so it makes sense that Braben would like to establish a more subtle system.

“I think relatively seamless is what we’re aiming for, so it would be something already pre-programmed in your ship’s computer. One of the things I like in real life is what you get in some cars. You can go into Google Maps, sent a link directly to the car so that when you get into the car your SatNav is already programmed. That’s very evil, but also very nice.”

When you’re not listlessly drifting around space, you can play off interstellar markets against each other, by buying resources low and selling them high to other planets. It rings true with previous titles and it’s only going to get bigger in this game.

“It’s parallel economies, that’s the point. The beauty is you could head off into the unknown and actually the economy could be quite small. You could very much dictate prices there. It is something we’re looking at, and we want to do it in quite a systematic way so that it’s relatively robust. What we don’t want is big exploits in the game. That’s what we want to try and balance.”

But it’s a big galaxy, stated Braben, which means maintaining a stable economy that big can cause issues, and potentially overwhelm new players, because as Braben recalled, “I think most people only explored 0.1% of Frontier.

“I think the release of this game will only be the start. This is the modern world so we intend to continue putting updates out there, improving the game, and bringing new features in across time.”

“So while Elite: Dangerous will be the full-sized galaxy, the actual question that we’re thinking about is whether to contain the player in a smaller section at the start, just so there’s a bigger chance they’ll meet other players

“I think we’ll certainly do that in terms of needing upgrades in order to go further, just to try and get people to find each other, but the Kickstarter group are more clued up people anyway – in the sense that they already know the series and what to expect from it.”

But rather than appease fans of old who will check out Elite: Dangerous regardless, Braben is hoping to predominantly bring this harsh world to newcomers coming at the series fresh. “I’m hoping that’s where most of the players will come from,” he admitted. “We need it to be fun to play – we’re not talking about dumbing it down – because otherwise you would only engage with a small percentage of the game.

“What I would hope is that they would gradually engage more and more with the game. You look at some of the more complex games that are out there, and you can see that they’ve managed to get a lot of traction over time, because they are rich, complex and skilful. So our intention isn’t to dumb it down.”

We offer Braben a comparison between Elite: Dangerous and FROM Software’s Dark Souls, in that players will occasionally get together online to collaborate and help each other, leave messages, and contribute to official Wiki guides. Braben is certainly up on the idea.

“I would absolutely hope for that yes, and I think the release of this game will only be the start. This is the modern world so we intend to continue putting updates out there, improving the game, and bringing new features in across time.”

If you would like to back Elite: Dangerous and keep up to date with all of Braben’s blog posts, check out the game’s official Kickstarter hub.

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8 Comments

  1. Gheritt White

    Elite, for me, is unquestionably the single greatest videogame achievement of all time (…OF ALL TIME!).

    I would buy this game without hesitation on release… however (unlike ShadowRun Returns, of which I’m a backer) I’m not convinced that £1.25M is enough money to make a game of this scope, nor do I think that it would be released in a timely manner. For these reasons, I won’t be backing the project.

    Nevertheless, I wish Fronter Developments nothing but the best of luck and every success imaginable and I shall be watching the game’s progress with a keen interest.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. cassius5000

    Thrown my full support, and money via Kickstarter, behind Frontier Developments and David Braben. This new incarnation of Elite has the potential to build on the successful foundations of the previous games and be something amazing on todays hardware. I urge everyone to take a look at the Kickstarter page, find the original games (available online from various sources) and pledge if they like what they see.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. neilster

    @GherittWhite – not sure of your reasoning there my friend – you say Elite is one of the greatest games of all time but you refuse to back the sequel?

    Couple of thoughts – firstly, for all we know Frontier may also be part funding it themselves over and above this total (they have already spent time developing the underlying tech) and secondly, the Kickstarter itself mentions that the target is the minimum they need but they hope for more to deliver more features, so… if you truly loved Elite, and would like to see a sequel please please back it!!!

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Gheritt White

    Fine, just backed at the £20 level.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. intrepidis

    I pledged £75 because I played Elite for weeks on the Spectrum, then on the Amiga I played Frontier: Elite 2 for months. Absolutely incredible games. Frontier has never been surpassed in scale, even to this day. The whole of our galaxy to explore and you can even land on every earth-sized planet! Amazing!

    Check out Frontier: Elite 2 on you-tube and imagine how awesome it would be on today’s technology!

    #5 2 years ago
  6. pamelameyerso1

    good

    #6 2 years ago
  7. RandomTiger

    You should also consider back this guy:

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/joshparnell/limit-theory-an-infinite-procedural-space-game?ref=live

    #7 2 years ago
  8. neilster

    Gheritt – nice one, thanks.

    Also new in game pre-alpha footage here, not yet posted to kickstarter
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=P5JYRyhxYhI

    #8 2 years ago

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    Praise the Sunbro, Bungie is finally going to fix the heavy ammo bug in Destiny. If Destiny has one bug that has gone too long unresolved, it’s the heavy ammo issue. For quite a while now Guardians wearing armour that increased heavy ammo capacity have found their supply emptied whenever they respawn, return to orbit […]

  • MLB 15 The Show continues year-to-year saves, has real time sun and shadows

    MLB 15 The Show is going to be oodles better than last year’s effort, judging by a list of planned improvements. SCE San Diego has released a list of features and improvements coming to MLB 15 The Show. For those keen on the franchise the news that year-to-year saves are making a return is an […]

  • Nintendo outlines 3DS and Wii U release dates for the upcoming year

    Nintendo has published a list of release dates for upcoming 3DS and Wii U games. There aren’t a great many surprises on offer, unfortunately, but if you’rew wondering what’s next for your faithful 3DS and Wii U, you can now consider yourself fully informed. It’s worth noting that these dates are subject to change, and […]

  • Majora’s Mask Hyrule Warriors DLC is just too, too cute

    Majora’s Mask might be the creepiest Zelda but its Hyrule Warriors incarnation is so adorable I don’t know whether to eat it or tuck it up in a little blankey. The Majora’s Mask DLC hits Hyrule Warriors is due on February 5, and includes a version of young Link so sweet that I need a […]

  • Fahrenheit remaster doesn’t play nicely with unusual Steam names, apparently

    Fahrenheit will reportedly not work for you if you have special characters in your Steam name. Fahrenheit, or Indigo Prophecy as it is sometimes known, has been re-released on iOS, Linux, Mac and PC thanks to Aspyr Media. It’s not much of an upgrade, but it is pretty cheap and a great way to experience […]

  • Bloodborne PS4 bundle pops up on Amazon Spain

    Bloodborne should definitely get its own PS4 bundle. It just makes sense. A Bloodborne PS4 bundle has popped up online, although there’s been no official announcement form Sony. Amazon Spain listed the pack, which includes a 500GB console and goes for €440. In other words it’s very similar to existing game bundles and doesn’t include […]

  • Ermac joins Mortal Kombat X cast

    Mortal Kombat X will see the return of the red-clad ninja with origins in myth and glitches. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Twitch stream made good on NetherRealm’s promise of a new roster reveal. As a few of you guessed from the teasers, the latest character to be announced is Ermac, another of the ninjas. Like […]

  • Badland: Game of the Year Edition coming this spring to multiple platforms

    Frogmind Games has announced it will be bringing its action-adventure game Badland to multiple platforms this spring with Badland: Game of the Year Edition. Initially released in 2013 on tablets, the game is a mix of physics-based gameplay with varying level designs and power-up featuring cloning, growing and slowing down time. Badland is set in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront concept art shows Endor, map details teased

    With Star Wars Battlefront set for holiday 2015, it’s high time we were told something about the FPS. Today, a slight bit of information was released on the game, along with a piece of concept art. Finally. While we wait until spring for the first look at the game, we’ll have to be sated with […]

  • You can now catch Emboar and Serperior in Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire

    Two new Pokemon are now available for Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire through the official Pokemon website’s special event. You can pick up the fire, fighting type Pokemon Emboar from January 28 – November 30, per IGN, using the special code POKEMON500. Enter it into the Mystery Gift section from the main game menu to […]

  • Fight demons, save the world in The Awakened Fate Ultimatum this March

    A new set of videos for The Awakened Fate Ultimatum have been released by NIS America, showing off the roguelike RPG coming to PlayStation 3. In the game, player will guide a high school student named Shin Kamikaze as he comes to term with being a god. After having a dream featuring a girl talking […]

  • You can now pick up Heroes of Might & Magic 3 HD Edition on PC, tablets

    Heroes of Might & Magic 3 HD Edition is now available on PC as well as Android and iOS tablets. The fifteen year-old title has been revamped in full HD and includes the seven original campaign scenarios and 48 skirmish maps. Local multiplayer mode, a map editor and a Steam lobby are also included.

  • 50 finalists for Bohemia Interactive’s Make Arma Not War contest announced

    The 50 finalists for Bohemia Interactive’s €500,000 Make Arma Not War contest have been announced, after the firm combed through over 250 entries. Finalists chosen in the single-player category were chosen by Arma 3 players, and the add-on and multipkayer entries were selected by Bohemia Interactive. Winners for the next round will be evaluated by […]

  • Here’s a new batch of gruesome Killing Floor 2 screenshots

    Tripwire Interactive has released a new batch of screenshots for Killing Floor 2. The screens show various weapons as well as a variety of Zeds ready to tear you to shreds. Killing Floor 2 is slated for release this year on PC and PlayStation 4. It will also be made available for SteamOS.

  • Hatred is now available for pre-order, new video released

    Hatred is now available for pre-order through the game’s official website. There are two editions to choose from: Digital version with the official game soundtrack for €16.66; or the Digital version with the game soundtrack and a T-shirt for €36.66. The second edition is limited to 1,485 units. Hatred, which was handed an AO rating […]

  • This The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D TV spot is sort of creepy

    With The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D arriving on the first Friday the 13th of the year, it’s only fitting Nintendo would release a slightly creepy TV spot for it. The game’s concept is rather dark, and while it the commercial isn’t too creeptastic, for as short as it is the message is conveyed […]

  • GTA 5 “documentary” chronicles the life of a Tennis Pro

    Here’s another user created video featuring footage from GTA 5, but this one is a documentary instead of crazy stunts, mayhem and face-plants. Created by Bombastic Gamer Films, the documentary delves into the life of Tennis Pro Andreas Schmovakovic, who is both the “greatest player in the world, and the worst.” It’s rather good honestly. […]

  • World of Tanks Xbox 360 updated with console exclusive Pacific Island map, JapaneseChi-Nu Kai tank

    World of Tanks: Xbox 360 Edition has been updated with a new and exclusive console-only map called “Pacific Island”, which also comes with a Japanese tank. Players will be able to wreck havoc in their very own Japanese Chi-Nu Kai tank, which ca be picked up through the in-game store for Tier 5. It tank […]

  • Here’s the first trailer for OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood

    Roll 7 has released the first trailer for OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood. Gameplay in the second outing will include ramps, jumps and hills, allowing for plenty of air and split level routes. It comes with a deeper combo system with Manuals, Reverts, Revert Manuals and Grind Switching. The ‘Tricktionary’ has also been updated with new […]

  • Learn all about the single-player mode in this Evolve video

    A video showing off the single-player portion of Evolve has been released by 2K and Turtle Rock. All content in the game can be played in either online multiplayer or offline in single-player. The video below contains two matches of Defend mode played from both the Monster and Hunter perspective. AI obviously takes on the […]

  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U update comes with 15 extra stages

    An update for Super Smash Bros. Wii U has been released, and it comes with 15 new stages for the 8-player mode. The update, version 1.0.2., is 316MB in size and the stages are split with nine normal stages and six Omega stages. Here’s the list: Regular stages Animal Crossing – Smashville Animal Crossing – […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update includes Metroid Prime Trilogy, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. demo

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with the Metroid Prime Trilogy, Shadow of the Ninja on Virtual Console and a demo for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Here’s your update: Metroid Prime: Trilogy – Wii U Rock ’N Racing Off Road – Wii U Frenchy Bird – Wii U Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. – […]

  • Battlefield Hardline open beta takes place next week on all systems

    Details and dates for the Battlefield Hardline open multiplayer beta were announced by EA and Visceral Games today. From February 3-8, the beta will be available to all players worldwide on Origin for PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. You’ll notice that the dates coincide with the Microsoft slip up earlier in […]

  • Transistor, Yakuza 4, Thief headline February PS Plus offerings

    Sony has announced your free PlayStation Plus games for the month of February. Come February 3 in North America and February 4 in Europe, Plus members on both side of the pond will be gifted with the following: Transistor (PS4) Apotheon (PS4) Yakuza 4 (PS3) Thief (PS3) Rogue Legacy (PS Vita|PS4|PS3) Kick & Fennick (PS […]

  • Life is Strange launch trailer and final dev diary released

    With the first episode of Life is Strange releasing tomorrow, Dontnod Entertainment has released the last developer diary for the title as well as the launch trailer. Titled Creating Arcadia Bay, the video provides more information on the licensed soundtrack as well as the voice actors behind Max and Chloe. It also touches upon how […]

  • LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers out this year

    LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers have been announced by Warner Bros., the former was outed by Toys R Us and then teased at the end of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, if you recall. LEGO Jurassic World encompasses all four Jurassic Park films and will be made available in June for 3DS, PC, […]

  • Pokemon, Super Smash Bros. top Nintendo’s million units sales list for Q3

    Nintendo has posted a list of titles which have sold millions of units as part of its quarter three earnings release. Global unit sales of 3DS titles for the nine months ending December 31, 2014: Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire: 9.35 million (life-to-date, same) Super Smash Bros.: 6.19 million (life-to-date, same) Tomodachi Life: 2.11 […]

  • How to take a screenshot on Xbox One: a lesson in frustration

    Trying to do just one simple thing seems to have 360 steps with Microsoft – why is the Xbox One’s functionality such a car crash? “The Xbox One’s definition of usability is in fact the exact opposite – this is a console designed to make life inconvenient for its players unless they sign up for […]

  • Game of Thrones’ Westeros is being made in Minecraft by 125 people

    WesterosCraft, the project dedicated to creating the entirety of Game of Thrones’ Westros has resurfaced. There are more than a few ambitious Minecraft projects, but hardly any as impressive as WesterosCraft. We first came across it all the way back in January 2013, but it looks much better now. “I would say the world is […]

  • Dying Light exploit gives you unlimited money and items

    Dying Light has been out for just over a day and an infinite money and item exploit is already out there. A simple exploit has been discovered in Dying Light that lets you duplicate weapons, all of which you can sell for profit. Win/ win. YouTuber PowerPyx lays out the steps in the handy video […]

  • Sunset Overdrive concept art is as jovial as the game itself

    Sunset Overdrive is a colourful game which is partly due to its concept art. The concept art featured below is created by Vaughan Ling, one of the concept artsists who worked on Sunset Overdrive. Anyone who’s played the game will immediately recognise the locations, weapons, character designs and general atmosphere of the game through these. […]

  • Get an extended look at the PS4 version of Project CARS

    The PlayStation 4 version of Project CARS has been shown in 1080p 60fps. The video below is captured by racing game enthusiasts Team VVV from a preview build. You can see different racing disciplines being demonstrated here, on different circuits. The game’s impressive visuals get even better when the weather gets worse.

  • Battle Pod is the Star Wars arcade game you’ve waited your whole life for

    Star Wars: Battle Pod is an arcade game that lets you replay the battles of the original trilogy, and features an incredible cockpit. If you’ve never played a game at an arcade before, Star Wars: Battle Pod will definitely be the one to change your mind. It’s an arcade cabinet out of a classic Star […]

  • CoD Exo Zombies: how to unlock the Ride of the Valkyries Easter egg

    To no one’s surprise, Exo Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has some Easter eggs. The first Exo Zombies Easter egg, of surely many more to come, has been discovered. It’s a musical one that involves Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. How you unlock it is not as convoluted as you might […]

  • Dying Light is sub-1080p on Xbox One, full 1080p on PS4 – report

    Early analysis of Dying Light on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has revealed a few technical details about both ports. Digital Foundry has produced some analysis of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports of Dying Light based on some early testing. Both versions manage a solid 30 frames-per-second, only dipping below that in […]

  • Battlefield 4 Second Assault DLC free to all EA Access members

    EA is offering Battlefield 4′s Second Assault expansion free to anyone with an active EA Access subscription. Anyone with an active subscription to EA Access can download the Second Assault expansion pack for Battlefield 4 starting January 29 and through February 28, free of charge. All you need to do is find it on the […]

  • The Witcher 3 is getting optimised, but no visual downgrade

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is in the final stages of development and developer CD Projekt RED is making sure optimisation work doesn’t impact the game’s visuals. The Witcher 3 art producer, Michal Stec, spoke to Eternity in an interview and was asked whether the team will downgrade the visuals to get better performance. “No. […]

  • Can’t download Dying Light on PS4? Here’s a fix

    If you’ve bought Dying Light on PS4 and you’re having trouble downloading it, you’re not alone. Here’s how to beat the bug. Techland’s Dying Light is stumbling out of the blocks a little this week, with many PS4 users experiencing problems with their full-game downloads. A bug’s to blame. Your console thinks you’ve already installed […]

  • What The Witcher 3 owes to Skyrim – and how it surpasses it

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt owes more than a nod to Bethesda’s Skyrim. I went to see The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and had a great time. I went in a fan of the books but not very experienced with the first two games. I came out with The Witcher 3 top of my gaming […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online has great monsters

    Dragon’s Dogma Online looks pretty rad – an undesirable quality in a game unlikely to come west, from our perspective. The first Dragon’s Dogma trailer was released this afternoon; admire its beauty below. The free to play online RPG was announced for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4 overnight, but Capcom doesn’t intend to bring it […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X map about five times the size of last game’s

    Xenoblade Chronicles X is not a small game. This week’s Famitsu has a feature on Xenoblade Chronicles X giving some details on Monolith Soft’s next RPG and first Wii U game. According to Siliconera‘s translation of reports on the feature, the game’s map is about five times the size of that in Xenoblade Chronicles. The […]

  • Take on Mars expected to hit beta in April

    Take on Mars, the space sim from Bohemia Interactive will soon be reader for wider consumption. According to a new Take on Mars development roadmap, the sim will go into beta at the start of April, with full release expected in June. The project is currently available via Steam early Access, but between now and […]

  • Can you guess the next Mortal Kombat X character reveal from this fatality audio clip?

    Mortal Kombat X will have at least one very liquid-sounding fatality. NetherRealm is revealing Mortal Kombat X’s cats one character at a time, and has promised a new reveal during a community Twitch stream tomorrow. It also provided the following teaser video – it’s audio only, and apparently taken from a fatality sequence. What’s your […]

  • Nintendo Creators Program now recruiting YouTubers – PewDiePie, others weigh-in

    Nintendo has opened a Creators Program designed to ensure creators get a slice of ad revenue from videos featuring Nintendo assets, and some prominent YouTubers aren’t pleased with the company. Update “What Nintendo are missing out on completely is the free exposure and publicity that they get from YouTube,” wrote Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) on his […]

  • Xbox Live issues under investigation

    Can’t sign into Xbox Live? Microsoft is on the case. Xbox 360 and Xbox One users report being unable to sign in to Xbox Live. Microsoft is already aware of and working on the problem. “Our team is hard at work right now trying to get this resolved. Thank you for staying patient while we […]

  • Make money from your non-Valve mods with Steam Workshop

    Valve has opened the money-making side of Steam Workshop to third-party titles, giving enterprising modders more ways to make money. Steam now hosts curated Workshops for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the first non-Valve games to support the scheme. What that means is that community members can create, vote on and eventually even […]

  • Check out DmC: Devil May Cry’s new manual lock-on

    DmC: Devil may Cry developer Ninja Theory has released a video showing off the new, controversial lock-on mode. The new manual lock-on is causing quite a stir, although its reception is probably better than the white-wigged Dante who makes fans even more upset than the original makeover. “The primary purpose of this video is to […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes looks pretty fun

    Dragon Quest Heroes is yet another Omega Force take on an existing property – like Hyrule Warriors or the One Piece games. And it looks pretty sweet. We haven’t heard much from Dragon Quest Heroes here in the west because it hasn’t been confirmed for release outside Japan. This isn’t terribly surprising as we still […]

  • Square Enix to reveal new PS4 game this weekend

    Square Enix is doing something pretty mysterious right now. The Final Fantasy publisher is teasing something called Project Code Z. The project, which Square Enix is tweeting about in Japanese, English and German, is due for reveal at Tokaigi 2015 on Saturday. It’s a PS4 game, but that’s all we know. There’s a website you […]

  • Tetris has crowned its first known western Grand Master

    Tetris fans have a new western champion. Tetris is one of those gaming obsessions that goes much deeper than you might expect. For example, did you know that some versions of the game assess your performance and over you the chance to become a “grand master”? Turns out that’s a thing, and according to Polygon […]

  • Ken Levine’s next game teased as “sci-fi-ish” small, open-world RPG

    A series of tweets from BioShock creator Ken Levine has shed a sliver of light upon his next project. According to Levine he and his team are considering something a bit sci-fi and contemplating first-person mode. The team is developing the game for PC with a large in scope, expandable, systems-based narrative where more can […]

  • Become a lynx in new Shelter 2 trailer

    Shelter 2 casts players in the role of a lynx, which makes for quite a different experience to the badger of the first game. The first Shelter game had you evading predators, but in the second, you becomes one yourself. That doesn’t mean there are no dangers to face, of course. Judging by the trailer […]

  • Why King of Fighters 13 isn’t coming back to Evo

    Evo, the premiere western fighting game tournament, has dropped support for a few previously favoured titles. King of Fighters 13 had a loyal following, but isn’t featured in the Evo 2015 line-up. “Many things go into what games makes it to Evo, but the most obvious one is, ‘Is the community playing this game?’” Evo […]