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EVE Retribution and beyond: CCP talks vengeance

Monday, 10 December 2012 08:36 GMT By Dave Cook

EVE Online: Retribution gives players the tools to exact sweet revenge. VG247′s Dave Cook speaks with CCP Games to discuss the expansion, and what the team has planned for 2013.

CCP Games

Founded in 1997, based in Reykjavík, Iceland.

EVE Online launched in May 2003, and is not approaching its tenth year.

EVE Online: Retribution is the game’s 18th free expansion pack, and it focuses on the theme of revenge.

Check out the studio’s website for more information.

Game critics often talk about evolution whenever genres advance or new technology gives studios greater ability to explore new mechanics or themes. We use it like it’s going out of style, but can simple paradigm shifts really be considered evolutionary? I’m not so sure any more.

After all, evolution is a natural process, not a carefully considered, pre-planned design spurted out by focus-test groups or engineered through costly R&D trials. No, it’s something that just happens and it never stops for a second. You can’t pause nature or tell the tide to stop rolling in and out. That’d be akin to playing god.

These things are inevitable, and as residents on this planet, we simply have to adapt to whatever the natural order throws at us. EVE Online is evolutionary. I say this because even as the MMO reaches its tenth year, the team at CCP Games are still taking a hands-off approach, letting the world of Tranquility evolve at a distance.

They’re not overlords who rigidly dictate the natural order of its play-space, instead, they merely give players the tools to advance the world’s evolution themselves. Empires rise, they burn to the ground, and thousands of personal – often incredible – tales seep through the server, all without any as much as a single push from the developer.

That is true evolution, and in EVE Online: Retribution – the game’s 18th free expansion pack – CCP Games isn’t just giving players tools to work with, it’s giving them sharp, blood-thirsty swords with which to wage war and shank each other in the back with. Revenge its the theme, and you can bet that the world is going to get particularly heated as a result.

I asked lead game designer Kristoffer Touborg why his team decided to prod the EVE universe so profoundly, and to get an idea of how the games populace might push back – be it through war on a mass scale, or the settling of small, personal vendettas. Either way it generates bespoke missions and potential for new stories to tell.

“I think there’s two things for me,” he explained, “One is that – at the moment – I’m really interested in finding ways to create content for other players. We have all these old systems that have been around for quite a long time, but I don’t think we’ve done anything lately that’s too sandbox, or lets people poke at each other with a stick. We’ve been looking at this for a while.

“Bounty hunting is one of these things, and we’re looking at more features for next summer and winter. In general I’m just trying to see if we can do some kind of test
case for a system where we basically have profitable content created by players.

“Should we hide small bounties? Should we up the limit on how much you have to put on? Should we just leave it? Right now, I just want to leave it. I kind of want to see what happens.”

“So I could go in and say, ‘Every time you kill someone, we’re going to generate a bounty of 1 million ISK on someone, but I really dislike that kind of stale system, Instead this is a test to ask, ‘Would players pay to create content for each other?’

“We’re looking at a ton of features that allows us to do this – bounties, structures and other things – but in general, it just follows our design principals of making tools for players to create content and stories, rather than us just writing the stories for them.”

When Touborg spoke about players paying for content, he isn’t talking about microtransactions, but the ISK bounties they can place on each other’s heads. If someone wrongs you, you can pay to open up the game’s PvP rule-set for 15 minutes, giving aspiring bounty hunters a window to make some fast cash and gain notoriety among the stars.

That is also evolution. These aren’t pre-planned bounty hunter quests you get in other sandbox games, but the result of real grievances, petty squabbles or carefully planned plots to overthrow an entire corporation. It’s content made by the player, not by the developer.

It’s a system that Touborg felt was in need of improvement, and so it’s the biggest change running throughout the Retribution expansion. He’s been monitoring it since it launched last week and it’s already throwing back some interesting results.

“There are also unexpected consequences. I’ve been monitoring the bounty system really heavily, just because I’m interesting in it, I want to see where it’s going and what people are doing with it. It’s kind of like a really awesome social experiment.

“We don’t just get happy people as a result of this. We had a guy who was just basically sitting in a help channel, just posting bounties on everyone asking questions. It was kind of a douche move, and so then we had an issue where people had small bounties on them, and they wanted to get rid of the ‘wanted’ sign.

“If you live in Empire Space that ‘wanted’ sign doesn’t really do anything, but the aesthetic existence of the ‘wanted’ sign on their portrait really offended players. There’s a group, and we’ve allowed them to not get touched by others.

“I try to kind of envision what players will do with our tools. I’ll sit down and think, ‘How are they going to use this?’ and I typically think of 10% of their usage and the other 90% is stuff players come up with that I learn of afterwards.”

“There are people who live these lonely, isolated existences where they’re interacting with parts of EVE that don’t contain other players, and suddenly some guy has rolled along and put a sticker on them. It’s not something that will impact their gameplay, but there are some people who are up in arms about this.

“We’ve been talking about it. Should we hide small bounties? Should we up the limit on how much you have to put on? Should we just leave it? Right now, I just want to leave it. I kind of want to see what happens.

“If anything, I’d put in a system where you could buy your bounty out for twice the amount. So if someone puts an 100k bounty on you, you could pay 200k to Concord or the system to make it go away.

“That’s how my mind works at least. I want to see how offended people will be by this ‘wanted’ tag. Are people so offended that they’d pay twice the amount to essentially have their character portrait cleaned up?”

There’s also a new ‘safety’ feature that forewarns players of actions that may get them hounded by concord forces, or penalised to the point that they can no longer dock until alarms cool off. It’s similar to the alarm countdown in Metal Gear Solid, showing you how long you have until the heat dies down.

It’s a simple icon system on the HUD that denotes certain actions and reactions, yet it distils down EVE’s sprawling aggression system – which was once collated as a 38-page document by one of CCP’s third-party QA teams – into three handy icons and some simple text feedback. It’s quite a feat.

So if your safety warning is set to green then the game prohibits you from doing silly things that will result in penalties, medium level lets you dabble in mayhem a little and red means it’s open season on you if you break one of the game’s many rules.

“We used to have a warning system so if you tried to do something bad it’d tell you, ‘You’re about to do something bad, do you want to go ahead?’ That never really worked out because people were never sure when they should be clicking ‘yes’, or when they should be clicking ‘no’, and they were mis-clicking.

“Now the system refuses to do the action but it tells you why. So it says, ‘You can’t do this action because your safety is at level one’, then you could go to the safety and correct it.

“That is better content than anything I could sit down and script. The fact that these people keep posting money into this, which will continually give them targets, is better than any dungeon or event that I could ever make.”

“But instead of a dialogue pop-up – which is an easy way to circumvent thinking – this basically says, ‘Your module is red because your safety level is on. If you want to change it, you must make the conscious choice of adjustin your safety level.’

“It’s very much like a gun safety. It’s either either on or off, and there’s also a medium setting. If you get pursued by Concord we have a UI that tells you all the timers. So the safety is to restrict your own actions, and the timers explain the stuff that you’ve done.”

“All your current states are shown. Your safety level will determine what stations you can get into. If your safety level is green, you won’t be able to get one of the flags that can’t make you jump. If safety is at medium you can get some of them, but if your safety is at red then of course you can get all of them.”

It’s a system that was engineered to spark conflict, rather than control players, as freedom is still at the forefront of CCP’s thinking. Touborg admits that creating tools in order to provoke a reaction within the community is a tricky process, and that he can only ever predict a small percentage of ways people will react once they’re introduced into the wild.

“I try to kind of envision what players will do with our tools. I’ll sit down and think, ‘How are they going to use this?’ and I typically think of 10% of their usage and the other 90% is stuff players come up with that I learn of afterwards.

“One of my hopes for this one was that personal bounties would kind of go into the background in favour of corporation or alliance bounties, because I’m not the biggest fan of ‘needle in a haystack’ play – finding one guy in the whole universe.

“If I had the choice between people putting bounties on individual players and desperately trying to hunt them down in space, or somebody putting gigantic piles of money on a corporation or alliance, and then someone saying to their own corporation ‘these guys have 10 million on them, let’s spend a month hunting them down in their space’, then that would be my ideal scenario.

“We’ve seen some superstar, individual bounties – one guy has 5 billion ISK on his head already – and we’ve seen a ton of corp and alliance bounties and that makes me super-happy. If you want to PvP for money you can look at the alliance board and go, ‘Alright, there’s 10 billion ISK at stake here, I can go here, hunt these guys and make money.’

“That is better content than anything I could sit down and script. The fact that these people keep posting money into this, which will continually give them targets, is better than any dungeon or event that I could ever make.”

”I think there are other products that have suffered greatly from not taking our approach. I think for example – my first love, and perhaps the game I looked to as my single most important source as a game designer – was Ultima Online.”

I ask if this new system of bounties and mass vendettas could spark wars once day, and the expectation is that yes, it will. The approach here is to really shake up the hornet’s nest in a significant way.

“I really hope it does,” he admitted, “and if it doesn’t then something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. This is a mechanic that should spark conflict. The intent of this is for people to get upset with each other.”

The reason Touborg and his team chose to focus on one area in Retribution – the concept of vengeance – is that the game’s thousands of mechanics are threaded together so tightly that altering one aspect will unquestionably have an effect on another.

“Yeah, but that’s good,” he explained “because that’s basically like patch notes. If I change something in this patch, I have to revisit something in the next patch, and well, that’s kind of good because the entire reason we’re doing this expansion was that our bounty system didn’t work well any more.

“Now we have a really exciting bounty system, so maybe next expansion we’ll touch on something else that didn’t work. We’ll fix something and introduce something at the same time, and that kind of excites me.”

Along the years the concept of EVE’s approach to freedom has been debated in the CCP boardroom as it’s the main reason that such knock-on effects occur, but while it’s challenging, Touborg stressed that he wouldn’t have it any other way, and that it’s not a system that other games can employ.

I asked Touborg about the complaints of griefers and scammers putting potential EVE Online players off the title, and we both agreed that keeping the freedom to be a nuisance or a saint must always remain at the forefront.

However, other titles like League of Legends have seen its developers Riot Games deploy a new task force to crack down on trolls and other toxic elements, so I asked him for his opinion.

“I’m happy we’re in the niche where we have this approach. I don’t think our approach would work in League of Legends and I don’t think their approach would work in EVE Online.

“I don’t think League of Legends should do it, because with EVE, letting people do what they want is the product, while in League of Legends the arena play is their product. Their approach to getting rid of toxicity is a great one, and I think they’re doing the exact right thing.

“But I think there are other products that have suffered greatly from not taking our approach. I think for example – my first love, and perhaps the game I looked to as my single most important source as a game designer – was Ultima Online.

“EVE is basically a universe that is connected by a thousand features. There’s not one core gameplay mechanic that we’re constantly working on, and the fact that you have to gather threads together, and prioritise in order to figure out where to go next is just crazy.”

“I think Ultima Online had the cross-rods that we’ve had a few times where the developers have gone, ‘OK, this is getting out of hand, should we stay the course in the hope that our approach is right, or should we fundamentally change the way the game works to make it safer.

“I think they went in the wrong way. I remember – through the years – many situations where we sat in the meeting room and said, ‘OK this is getting out of hand, and we should change how EVE Online works’, but luckily there have been enough people with cold water in their blood who said, ‘No, this is our product, this is how it is.’

“I’m happy about that because it’s certainly gone wrong for other games that haven’t stayed the course.”

I ask Touborg how CCP looks to change EVE Online beyond Retribution, in the run up to its tenth anniversary, and beyond. He revealed that the planning process – even after a decade – still isn’t set in stone, and that there is still work to be done in perfecting the universe as it exists now before significant expansion can be achieved.

“I don’t know exactly how to distil it,” he said, “but I guess it’s a mix of a Rubik’s cube, a bottle of vodka and something else. I don’t know, but we’re constantly trying to plan several years ahead, but it’s so difficult with such a big game.

“I think this is a blessing and a curse, but EVE is basically a universe that is connected by a thousand features. There’s not one core gameplay mechanic that we’re constantly working on, and the fact that you have to gather threads together, and prioritise in order to figure out where to go next is just crazy.

“We talk about adding more space to EVE every year, and I usually tell people no because that is such a big new can of worms when I think about getting our current universe under control – which is what we’ve been trying to do over the past year or two.

“I’ll be happy with where EVE is in another year or two, but right now there’s just so much that we’ve build up over the years that we’re working on now.”

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3 Comments

  1. roadkill

    :thumbs up:

    #1 2 years ago
  2. DarkElfa

    They need to refresh the old designs somewhat. The new designs are much more fresh and in tune with modern design thinking then say, the Nyx.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. CCPcantMakeGames

    CCP delete the new AI or at least get off your sheep humping asses fix the fucking AI! You guys are horrible at developing your own game! Fix this shit assholes!

    #3 2 years ago

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    The dream has died: Twitter has disabled Internet Archive game embeds. Remember how for a few days you could tweet a link to an a game on the Internet Archive and it was playable direct from that tweet? Well, Twitter has cancelled that. All those tweets now just show links. GamesIndustry suspects it has something […]

  • Lords of the Fallen, Divinity: Original Sin developers will reveal new games at E3 2015

    Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 and Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian Studios have new projects in the works which will be revealed at E3 2015. Publisher Focus Home Interactive is behind both new games. In a French press release [PDF] spotted by RPG Codex, Focus said it will show off the two unrevealed titles […]

  • Rare game announce expected at E3 2015

    Rare’s new game will be shown off at E3 2015, apparently. Rare hasn’t announced a reveal, and neither has Microsoft, but it looks like the news has slipped out anyway. IGN cites a tweet from Rare creative director Simon Woodroffe in which he says that a new project from Rare designer Gregg Mayles will be […]

  • Batgirl expansion included in $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass

    Here’s what you get in the $40 Batman: Arkham Knight season pass. Batman: Arkham Knight’s season pass was announced last week, but apart from the news that it would cost a whopping $40/£33, we didn’t get many details of what it would include. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has since acknowledged the clamour this caused, as players […]

  • Star Wars Day Xbox sale discounts Force Unleashed, Lego games

    Star Wars Day is upon us, and here’s an Xbox sale to mark it. Microsoft is offering discounts on Xbox 360 games to celebrate May 4. From my desk here in Australia the sale is a bit light on content – two Lego games, plus The Force Unleashed and its DLC packs. Your mileage may […]

  • Here’s hoping this tease means we see Mass Effect at E3 2015

    Mass Effect boss Mike Gamble has shared a teaser image, which we’re more than happy to draw speculative conclusions from. The new Mass Effect game in the works at BioWare Edmonton is a mysterious beast. Judging by how long it’s been in development, it feels like we’re about due for a proper reveal, to clear […]

  • Watch almost a whole hour of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood is almost here. Are you ready for old-school shooter action? Wolfenstein: The Old Blood publisher Bethesda livestreamed almost an hour of the Machine Games shooter recently, and has now uploaded the archive to YouTube. Check it out below: Wolfenstein: The Old Blood launches digitally on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on […]

  • Splatoon lacks voice chat to promote a positive online experience

    Nintendo’s multiplayer game Splatoon will not contain a voice chat option in order to “focus on the positive aspects” of online gaming. Speaking in the latest issue of Edge magazine (thanks, GamesRadar), Splatoon co-director Yusuke Amano said personal experience with negativity in online voice chat was one of the main reasons for excluding the feature. […]

  • D4 on PC: differences from Xbox One version, system specs announced

    D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die – Season 1 is coming to PC, and Access Games has provided a list of features different from the Xbox One version. We’ve pulled most of the changes off the game’s website and posted them below, along with the PC specs. D4 on PC Kinect gesture input controls replaced with […]

  • The Megalodon returns to Battlefield 4 with the latest CTE patch

    The Megalodon Easter Egg in Battlefield 4 may have been removed earlier this year from Naval Strike, but it has since resurfaced on the CTE with the latest patch. I’d make a Jaws reference, but it’s been done to death. The shark is shown in the video on the Paracel Storm map which was where […]

  • Survival horror game Kodoku has a new work-in-progress trailer

    Kodoku, the survival horror title from Carnivore Studio, has a new work-in-progress video available, showing you how the game is coming along. Announced for PlayStation 4 and Vita back in 2013, the game is slated for release sometime this year, and tasks the player with avoiding mythical Japanese ghosts using only magic and stealth. Thanks, […]

  • Current HoloLens prototype has noticeably “tighter” FoV compared to January build

    Microsoft’s augmented reality headset HoloLens is still very much in the prototype stage, according to various reports out of the Build Conference. Microsoft hasn’t discussed technical specs with the press yet as nothing is set in stone, but during a hands-on at Build, Ars Technica noticed the prototypes had a “x86 processor, 2GB RAM, 802.11ac […]

  • Silent Hills petition asking Konami to continue development has over 50,000 signatures

    A petition to save the Silent Hills game has been formed by fans in the hopes Konami will change its mind and bring the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro back from the dead. Konami confirmed on Monday the Silent Hill remake from film director Del Toro and Metal Gear’s Hideo Kojima had been cancelled, but […]

  • Attack on Titan has a US release date, title changed in EU over copyright claim

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be released under a different title in Europe, according to the publisher, and while a release date has been set for North America, the same cannot be said for fans across the pond. According to Atlus, a copyright claim in Europe has forced the company to publish the […]

  • Yooka-Laylee meets final Kickstarter Stretch Goal in less than 24 hours

    The Kickstarter for Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee sailed beyond its final £1 million ($1.5 million) Stretch Goal overnight, which will allow for a simultaneous release on all announced platforms. Once funded, Yooka-Laylee was slated for release on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One; however, a simultaneous release on all platforms wasn’t guaranteed unless […]

  • Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, but not by much

    Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, according to an announcement from Roll7. Not to worry though, it’s only by a week. According to the developer, the delay is due to “having undergone super-secret upgrades to crank shit up to 60fps.” The extra week will provide the additional time needed for tweaking […]

  • Assassin’s Creed, The Crew, Far Cry 4, other Ubisoft titles on sale through the Humble Store

    Ubisoft has put a number of its games on sale through the Humble Store. Franchises Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are on discount as are single release titles. The list of games on sale are below. For pricing in your region, head over to the Humble Store. Anno 2070 Complete Edition Assassin’s Creed 3 Assassin’s […]

  • Payday 2: Repeater rifle, Peacemaker pistol introduced with The Butcher’s Western Pack

    Overkill Software released the 21st DLC pack for Payday 2 yesterday, titled The Butcher’s Western Pack. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and other digital distribution channels. “For our 21st DLC we go back in time to visit the Wild West and the arsenal it was known for,” said the developers. “With it we’re introducing […]

  • The Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter just launched and has already met its funding goal

    Playtonic Games launched the Kickstarter campaign for Yooka-Laylee at 5pm UK, and in just over 30 minutes it already hit its $270,000 funding goal. You can watch the funding counter continue to roll over through the link. Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer where the characters use special moves such as Yooka’s tongue grapple and Laylee’s […]

  • Batch of hi-res Persona 5 screenshots released by PlayStation Japan

    A set of screenshots have been released for Persona 5, and while you’ve seen these before in magazines and on the official website, these are high-res versions. Some will even look familiar to those who watched the first gameplay trailer back in February. The shots were posted over on the PlayStation Japan Persona 5 game […]

  • Is Alien: Isolation getting HTC Vive support?

    Placeholder images for SteamVR icons have been found and it looks like there may be support for Alien: Isolation, so if you enjoy soiling yourself, get psyched! NeoGAF members found a thread on Reddit, where a little rooting around in a Steam directory unearthed the images. The list includes both games and apps, and as […]

  • Xbox Live multiplayer is free this weekend on Xbox 360

    Xbox 360 players in all Xbox Live regions can play multiplayer online for free this weekend. If you are a Silver member, this means you are Golden from May 1-3 and can play multiple games online with your buddies. All you have to do is log-in to Xbox Live.

  • Assassin’s Creed actor Michael Fassbender confirms film production starts September

    The Assassin’s Creed movie will start production this fall, actor Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, 300, X-Men:First Class) as confirmed. Speaking with ComingSoon.net, Fassbender said filming will start in September, which is inline with Ubisoft’s announcement in February. The actor will star in the film alongside Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, both reuniting with their MacBeth director Justin […]

  • Eve Online boss states VR won’t be as big as we think next year

    I don’t think I’m the only one who wants VR to hurry up and manifest into a Sword Art Online-esque reality. Unfortunately, the chief executive officer at the studio behind Eve Online doesn’t think that will be happening any time soon. Talking to Venture Beat, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson touched on his excitement at the prospects […]

  • The Last of Us: Left Behind goes standalone in May on PS3, PS4

    Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of US DLC Left Behind will be released as a standalone experience next month. It can be purchased for both PlayStation 3 and PS4 through the PS Store and a two-hour demo of the Factions multiplayer will also be made available. “The Left Behind standalone game will have […]

  • EA’s annual E3 press conference takes place on June 15

    Electronic Arts has announced its annual E3 2015 press conference will take place the day before the show kicks off on June 15. EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft always hold press events the day before E3 officially starts, so this isn’t any surprise, really. The presser, dubbed “Live to Play”, will last one hour and […]

  • Steam exchange rate mix-up closes down community market

    The Steam community market was buggered up big time today after a mix-up with currency conversion had items selling from practically nothing, to millions of dollars. PC Gamer picked up on the news after a thread on Reddit appeared with screenshots depicting just how silly things were getting over there. The currency exchange rate data […]

  • Britney Spears signs five-year deal with Glu for new mobile game

    Pop star Britney Spears has signed a five-year deal with Glu mobile for a new, untitled game. The mobile game will feature her “voice, likeness, and creative influence,” and is due for release sometime next year. Glu also signed a deal with Katy Perry in February, so expect a game revolving around her to hit […]

  • Large Activision publisher sale on Steam discounts Call of Duty, Prototype, more

    Activision has put the majority of its library on sale through Steam this weekend, and if other titles weren’t included, it could be referred to as a Call of Duty sale. Below are a few standouts. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Gold Edition 25% off Call of Duty: Ghosts 67% off Call of Duty: […]

  • The Dota 2 International Compendium is out, second Stretch Goal almost complete

    The International Compendium has been released for Dota 2 with the prize pool sitting at a lovely $1,917,155 as of press time. Valve said over the weekend to expect the International Compendium to drop sometime this week. As with previous years, those who purchase the Compendium can earn rewards by completing challenges, making predictions and by […]

  • If permadeath RTS games are up your alley, check out indie project XO

    The Square Enix Collective showcases projects for a limited time to help drum up community support and potential backers, and RTS title XO from Jumpdrive Studios is worth taking a look at. The teaser trailer is fairly brief, but if you visit the page for XO over at the Square Enix Collective, it’s understandable – […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch disables mods. Here’s how to get them working again

    A new patch for the PC version of GTA 5 was released yesterday and, as it turns out, has wiped the ability to use mods with the game. The wasn’t great news for some players, but YouTuber taltigolt has already figured out how to play the PC version with mods after installing the patch. Matt […]

  • Xbox One ad stealth launches a mysterious Halo 5 competition

    A new Xbox One advert released today isn’t as straightforward as it appears. The trailer has a couple of pretty conspicuous ‘glitches’ throughout, and members of NeoGAF wasted no time in breaking it down. The first item of interest is the screen from the hunt the signal site, which displays an error message when accessed […]

  • Battlefield 4 Jungle map improved with latest update

    DICE LA has updated the Battlefield 4 Jungle map, adding more foliage and a new route. As demonstrated by Westie in the video above, the map now has the kind of foliage you’d expect in the jungle, helping to conceal infantry players. The update also tweaks positions of objective points and has added a concealed […]

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate free DLC pack for May includes Metroid and Mega Man armour

    The May DLC pack for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate boasts some big ticket items, including Metroid, Street Fighter, and Mega Man gear. This big fat chunk of free DLC, detailed on the capcom unity blog, includes Hunter equipment: Metroid’s Varia Suit Metroid’s Zero Suit Metroid’s Arm Cannon Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn USJ’s Star Rook […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for May 1, 2 – Hard Light edition

    Here he comes with his weird face, dealing goods and gear for Guardians. It’s Friday. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back in the Tower. Of Course he is. Got your Strange Coins? Here’s what’s in his bag this week: Ruin Wings [Exotic Titan gauntlets] – 13SC Don’t Touch Me [Exotic Hunter gauntlets] – 13SC […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC drops for PS4 on May 26

    Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC has now been announced for May 26 for PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The announcement was made on Twitter via the official Dragon Age account. Mark your calendars! #DAIJawsOfHakkon pic.twitter.com/mU1WfkSrQV — Dragon Age (@dragonage) May 1, 2015 The DLC was released for PC and Xbox One back in March thanks to […]

  • New Witcher 3 screenshots highlight Geralt’s questionable fashion choices

    Even though The Witcher 3 release date is drawing closer, it still feels like a million year away. So here are some more screenshots to tide you over until then. We got to look at in-game shots yesterday, but these new screens show Geralt riding through some gorgeously vibrant mountains, in the midst of combat […]

  • Sims Gurus patch out pregnant men

    Say goodbye to The Sims 4 unique take on fatherhood, as The Sims Gurus confirm that male pregnancies are no more. The Sims 4 players have been reporting high numbers of alien abductions, leaving their male characters with sore bottoms and a bellyful of alien baby. Kotaku reports that not everyone was getting their knickers […]

  • Black Mesa countdown probably points to Half-life remake release date

    Half-life remake Black Mesa may have a release date at last. Black Mesa is a Source Engine remake of the original Half-life, which like everything related to Half-life feels like it’s taking forever to come out. The first part launched in September 2012, and it looks like we might have a release date for the […]

  • Spector puts down rumours of troubled Epic Mickey development

    Epic Mickey seemed like a surprising follow-up project from the man who made Deus Ex, but Warren Spector has put down rumours of a difficult relationship with Disney. Epic Mickey displays several qualities found in Spector’s other games and which he has always espoused in interviews – heck, this is the man whose dream it […]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Protest Goat secures future for Elite Dangerous destruction derbies

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

  • Destiny’s stunning landscapes captured in panoramas

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