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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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    Battlefield Hardline is now available for pre-order and pre-download on Xbox One. You can pre-order it now from the Xbox Store and once you have paid for it, you can start your pre-download. Battlefield Hardline releases on March 17, and will be made available to pre-downloaders come 12.01am EDT. Check pricing and availability for your […]

  • Dying Light interactive video allows you switch between day and night

    A new video for Dying Light has been released, which allows you to hit the Z key to change between day and night. Titles Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone, the interactive story video showcases how the game changes between day and night. Daytime and nighttime are shown side-by-side but the z key allows […]

  • Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare out on PS3, PS4; PC delayed

    The Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is now available for PlayStation 3 and PS4. Havoc contains the four multiplayer maps Core, Drift, Sideshow, and Urban along with the AE4 directed energy assault rifle, its custom variant, and the Exo Zombies cooperative mode. You can purchase the DLC separately or pick up the […]

  • Here’s a teaser for Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2

    A teaser video for the second episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available, so if you’ve yet to play the first episode, you may want to skip this. Resident Evil Revelations 2′s first episode is out now. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Titan Attacks, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Country and more. eShop on 3DS Ironfall Invasion Titan Attacks! Donkey Kong Land – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 2 – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 3 – Virtual Console Luv Me Buddies Wonderland Around the World […]

  • Venture into the Valley of the Yetis next week in Far Cry 4

    The next batch of Far Cry 4 DLC, Valley of the Yetis, releases in March and Ajay Ghale will be tasked with surviving violent cultists and the mythical Yeti. Apparently the cult is looking for a secret hidden in the valley, and Ajay has discovered their motives. The DLC features co-op with a friend taking […]

  • The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack out for Payday 2, has dino masks

    The 19th DLC pack for Payday 2 title The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack is available on Steam from today. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: 11 new weapon modifications for the AK rifles in the game 11 new weapon modifications for the CAR rifles in the game Four new masks together with their […]

  • Battle Chasers slated for PC, consoles; comic picks up where 2001 storyline left off

    Darksiders creator Joe Madureira and Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli have confirmed a Battle Chasers game and a new comic are in the works at their new studio Airship Syndicate. Speaking to Polygon, Madureira and Stefanelli wouldn’t provide details on the the game, but did divulge it will be an adventure RPG with player-controlled Battle Chasers […]

  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video gives you a look at the game’s wildlife

    A new video shown by Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata during the latest Active Time Report, contains a look at the game’s wildlife and ecology. You can watch the full stream two hour stream through here, or a smaller clip courtesy of GamesHQMedia below.

  • Lionhead ventures into the free-to-play space with Fable Legends

    Fable Legends will be free-to-play when it launches on PC and Xbox One. According to Lionhead, the one versus four cross-platform title borrows from MOBA games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends as it will contain free, rotating heroes which will be added to a roster for a two week period. Once the […]

  • Win! 5 pairs of tickets to the Call of Duty European Championships

    We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway for the Call of Duty European Championships, taking place in London this weekend. The event takes place this Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Winners can watch teams will go head to head for a $10,000 prize pot […]

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

    Republique Remastered, which was announced earlier this month, is now available for Mac and PC. The game is 20% off through Steam, GOG and the Humble Store for $19.99 until March 4. Thereafter, it will run you $24.99. The Remastered edition contains all five episodes of the game, with 1-3 available now and the remaining […]

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

    Isometric shooter LA Cops is coming to Xbox One on March 13. Already on Steam Early Access, the game looks like it’s been heavily inspired by Hotline Miami. Walk into a room, open fire, leave bloody puddles in your wake. It’s being published by Team 17. Check out the video below for some 70s cop […]

  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

    Joe Madureira, creator of Darksiders, has released art that strongly suggests a Battle Chasers game is in the works. Battle Chasers was a comic book from the late 1990s that suffered notorious production problems between issues and was never finished. Madureira formed Airship Syndicate after the collapse of THQ, where he co-created Darksiders. His latest […]

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

    The trailer for notorious horror movie Axe has been recreated in GTA 5. The shot for shot remake is the work of gigerbrick who has previously recreated exploitation flicks like Machete and Hostel using Lego. The original Axe movie was banned in 1984 in the UK but passed with cuts in the late 1990s. Movie […]

  • Payday 2 for PS4 and Xbox One includes “a year’s worth of paid DLC” for free

    Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will include a year’s worth of paid DLC from the PC version of the game for free. The new-gen version of the game will be available June 2015, and includes almost all of the paid and free DLC released so far for Overkill’s popular first-person shooter. That DLC includes The Big […]

  • Yes, Mortal Kombat X will require Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

    Mortal Kombat X won’t bypass Microsoft and Sony’s premium online play requirements. Reports that Mortal Kombat X wouldn’t require PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold started circling earlier this week thanks to a communications error. Answering fan questions on Twitter, producer Shaun Himmerick accidentally gave the impression that premium console subs would not be required […]

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

    Destiny patch 1.1.1 has resolved or at least addressed a number of complaints voiced by the community, but there are plenty more. des Destiny community manage David “Deej” Dague has put out a call for Guardians to share their concerns – or rather, what they think the community is most concerned about. “Set aside your […]

  • Google AI can play games now, so we’re probably all going to die

    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]

  • Toejam and Earl are back with a new Kickstarter

    The early 90′s are alive and well in a new bid to bring back Toejam and Earl. Toejam and Earl released for Mega Drive (Genesis, Americans) in 1991, and the eponymous characters went on to count among Sega’s best-known characters. They appeared in a platformer, a light gun shooter and finally a 2002 Xbox game […]

  • New Wander trailer shows off Azertash form

    Wander is a collaborative, non-combat MMO in which you can take on a number of unique forms. Wander players begin as an ambulant tree called an Oren and can progress through several different bodies as they explore the environment, learning its secrets. One of these, which we’d not seen before this trailer, is the amphibious […]

  • SOMA approaching beta phase on PC and PS4

    SOMA, the new horror game from the Amnesia: The Dark Descent crew, is getting close to playable. Frictional Games has apologised for its recent silence over the project, but said it’s focused on reaching beta. Sorry all for the silence! We're closing in on Beta and everyone's working hard to get there. Once that's done, […]

  • Square Enix does not condone Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest HD Remaster

    Square Enix has said it’s not involved with a fan remake of Final Fantasy spin-off Mystic Quest. 1992 SNES game Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest is being remade by Dark Design as Mystic Quest HD Remaster. The developer is even taking pre-orders for the project. Unfortunately, it looks like it is in no position to be […]

  • New Hunger teaser released by LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers

    LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers Tarsier Studios have released a teaser trailer for Hunger, which was announced in May 2014 at the Nordic Game Conference. The game has been rumored to be the firm’s unannounced Sony project since 2010. Platforms are still to be announced, but the studio became a first-party SCE developer a few years back, […]

  • Here’s two Mario Party 10 overview videos, one featuring amiibo

    Overview videos for Mario Party 10 and the amiibo which work with the title have been released by Nintendo Japan. Obviously each one is in Japanese, but you get the gist all the same. Mario Party 10 releases on Wii U March 20 in North America and Europe. Thanks, AGB.

  • Clan Raids announced for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App

    Activision has announced a new Clan Raids mode will be made available through the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App. According to the CoD community blog, raids are time-based challenges where success earns you a spot on the Clan Raids leaderboards and new Clan Raid-exclusive in-game gear like the Equilibrium set. Clan members will […]

  • Play Battlefield Hardline starting March 12 through EA Access

    Xbox One users with an EA Access subscription will be able to play 10 hours worth of Battlefield Hardline starting March 12. EA Access members will are being granted access to the game five days before the street date, with full multiplayer and all saves transferring over into the main game. It was announced yesterday […]

  • This video summarizes the contents of Destiny patch 1.1.1

    With Destiny patch 1.1.1 now available, here’s a video summary of what to expect. In the video above, Arekkz Gaming gives you a rundown of the important bits in the update. Subscribe to Arekkz Gaming for more Destiny tips and trick through the link.

  • Destiny 1.1.1 patch notes out, update is live

    Destiny’s 1.1.1 patch arrives today, so if you have been kicked from activities, it means you will need to download the patch now that it’s live. We will be pushing the 1.1.1 patch for Destiny shortly. Players will be kicked from activities and required to download the patch. — Bungie Help (@BungieHelp) February 25, 2015 […]

  • Payday 2 packs based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number coming

    Starbreeze has announced another collaboration with Dennaton Games which will see masks based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number appear in Payday 2. The collaboration consists of two free updates when you acquire Hotline Miami 2 or its deluxe version on Steam from February 25. The two updates, called Hotline Miami Mask Pack and Jacket […]

  • Velocity 2X making its way onto Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One

    Velocity 2X will be released on Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One Futurlab has announced. The developer is in charge of the port, which will be published by Sierra. According to Futurlab, the deal with Sierra came about when self-publishing proved to be difficult due to spending “more time doing PR and marketing on Velocity […]

  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number finally has a release date

    A release date for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has been announced, finally. The game will arrive on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita March 10. It is now available for pre-order on GOG, Humble and Steam for 10% off for $13.49/£10.99. There’s also a Digital Special Edition available which includes tracks from […]