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Aliens Colonial Marines: assholes and elbows

Tuesday, 11 December 2012 16:03 GMT By Dave Cook

Aliens: Colonial Marines is the canonical sequel to James Cameron’s 1986 movie. VG247′s Dave Cook goes hands-on and speaks with Gearbox Software about its development.

Aliens: Colonial Marines

The official, canonical sequel to James Cameron’s 1986 movie ‘Aliens’.

Set 17 weeks after the film, it sees a rescue crew landing on the infested planet of LV-426 to investigate the disappearance of Ripley, Hicks and company.

Gearbox Software – of Borderlands fame – is developing in close collaboration with 20th Century Fox and designer of the film Syd Mead.

It’s coming out February 12th on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360, with a Wii U version launching shortly after.

It’s little wonder that critics and fans have compared James Cameron’s searingly brilliant Aliens to the Vietnamese war. The film showed a group of brash, cocksure marines talking trash and entering into a conflict they didn’t fully understand, armed with bad language, testosterone – and as Hudson so colourfully put it in the film – ‘Nukes, knives, and sharp sticks’.

Within moments, the group finds themselves ambushed by Xenomorphs in the creaking confines of Hadley’s Hope, a sprawling, claustrophobic space colony on LV-426. Panic and confusion sets in, reducing the swaggering band of jarheads to gibbering children without a plan, and completely without hope.

At one point in Aliens, the marines’ predicament is underlined when they find out they have to wait 17 weeks before back up arrives, and realising they’re in a hopeless situation, they decide to escape on their own. If you’ve seen the film you already know how badly that turns out.

Aliens: Colonial Marines tells the story of that back up crew, and the shocking discoveries they find once they make their way into the depths of Hadley’s Hope in search of answers. There are nods to the film everywhere, and fans will appreciate the authenticity at hand.

But how do you create that ‘Vietnam movie’ atmosphere in a game? There has to be tension, a feeling of being outsmarted and overpowered, and the fear that comes with fighting an enemy that can strike from the shadows at any time.

After going hands-on with the game’s multiplayer and campaign, it’s clear that Gearbox has used its development time well, and has nailed the film’s atmosphere perfectly. From the rasping sound of your marine’s pulse rifle, to the spine-chilling screech of your motion scanner, everything here feels expertly placed.

“What do you mean, ‘They cut the power’?”

Diving into campaign first, our initial slice of gameplay sees us jumping into the boots of Cpl. Christopher Winter, part of the marine back-up crew. Winter is the star when playing solo, although the entire campaign can be played in co-op with up to four marines and as such, the Left 4 Dead parallels are hard to ignore.

What’s interesting is that there is scope here to funnel players into roles. For example, as the squad first make their entrance into Hadley’s Hope, everyone’s motion scanners start picking up movement, and you have to zero in on the signal to identify it.

Similar to Doom 3 – in which players could only have their torch or a gun out at any one time – using the scanner forces you to holster your weapon. So a smart co-op squad might assign scanning duties to one player and smart gun operation to another, while the other two watch the flanks and rear with pulse rifles or shotguns.

“If there’s a whole bunch of Xenos in the room and you just happen to start shooting one, don’t kill it, then move on to the one next to it – the one you shot first isn’t going to keep running at you. That’s because it doesn’t want to die. They’re smart creatures”

It’s not long before you can put those strategies to the test, as the squad finds itself holed up in the same operations bay that the movie team used to discuss their escape plan. Scanners go ape-shit, and just like in the film it looks as if the aliens are already inside the room with you. But you can’t see them.

This really is tense, as you start looking around in a blind panic at all the dots swarming in on your location. Suddenly they start pouring out of the ceiling grates, through the floor and slithering out of air vents, followed by blind chaos.

Auto-turrets can be placed to thin our the pack, but Gearbox’s AI is smart. For example, if you simply wound an alien, it will back off and crawl through the nearest exit before regaining health and flanking you from the sides, above, or below. As such you have to make every shot count, or else you’ll find yourself ambushed repeatedly.

I asked senior producer Brian Burleson if both the AI and level design proved challenging to code, given the complex, twisted nature of the Hadley’s Hope colony, “Levels weren’t easy to make in this game, because there are so many cool things we can do.

“The AI is smart because it does have a concept of when aliens have died, and a concept of where they are at – the damage, what routes they can use to get away from you – and if there’s no way to escape they can become more aggressive and just tear at you. Because they know they’re going to die, they’re not going to give up.

“There’s a lot of things that have decayed, things that happened, and that adds a lot of nods for people who have seen the films, and who really appreciate that sort of thing.”

“That makes them very terrifying. Because if there’s a whole bunch of Xenos in the room and you just happen to start shooting one, don’t kill it, then move on to the one next to it – the one you shot first isn’t going to keep running at you. That’s because it doesn’t want to die. They’re smart creatures.

“It really depends on the environment, because if the Xenos know there’s an alternate route to get to you, then they’ll use it. If there’s no alternate route – and this is part of the strategy – you can actually find choke points where the Xenos have to come through.

“But sometimes they Xenos know better and they just hang back, waiting for you to come out or they reposition and go into the vents, or under the ground. They then stalk the player for a better opportunity to come out.”

This happens a lot, and it doesn’t help that – after the stand-off in operations – Winter’s commanding officer sends him and a buddy off to search for two marines who have gone missing.

The action is then bookended by a still quiet as the pair search the slimy, terraformed hallways to find dead colonists and marines strung up with gaping holes in their chests. The ups and downs of the game’s atmosphere are paced well, and keep you on edge at all times, a feeling that all good Aliens games should deliver.

“That’s inside the room.”

Much of the game’s authenticity stems from extensive research by Gearbox Software, as well as close collaboration with the film’s designer Syd Mead, and studio Fox. The attention to detail is hard to ignore, with collectibles – such as Hicks’ shotgun and marine dogtags – littered around recognisable areas.

“Chronologically we come after Aliens and Alien 3,” Burleson continued, “about 17 weeks after Aliens. But in the universe the films are history at this point, so there’s a lot of neat things to recognise and nod to. When you go through those environments, those things happened.

“The atmosphere processor blew up, there as clearly a fight in operations, Ripley – when she was in that room with Newt – that all exists in the areas that you go through. We recreated those spaces as if they happened in the past.

“Going into those spaces again was really easy to do in collaboration with FOX as we respected it so much, but a lot of times they deferred like, ‘Oh, Syd Mead designed the concept for the Sulaco. That’s official because he did it.’ That makes sense.”

“There’s a lot of things that have decayed, things that happened, and that adds a lot of nods for people who have seen the films, and who really appreciate that sort of thing.”

While the tone is spot-on, the gameplay is ideal, with slick gunplay and satisfyingly chunky weapons. The Pulse Rifle is of course, an absolutely joy to use and hear, while the smart gun – which uses a scoped night vision reticle that automatically homes in on nearby targets – makes you feel like a god until it runs dry and you come back down to earth.

On Gearbox’s collaboration with Fox, Burleson continued, “They’ve been great to work with because respect for the history is very important. Being canonical, we can’t just change things that happened. Like I said before, the atmosphere processor blew up. That existed, and one thing they were keen on preserving was that historical events happened.

“There are some areas the film didn’t go into too deeply, or that were more ambiguous, so there is some room to explore when going back to those environments. Just like on the Sulaco – in the film you only saw the locker room, the training area, the mess hall and the dropship hanger.

“There’s so much more of that ship, it’s a giant ship. Going back and creating things you didn’t see, filling in those gaps, and working with people like Syd Mead who did the original designs, that made it very authentic.

“Going into those spaces again was really easy to do in collaboration with FOX as we respected it so much, but a lot of times they deferred like, ‘Oh, Syd Mead designed the concept for the Sulaco. That’s official because he did it.’ That makes sense.”

While it was a fleeting hands-on session, Aliens: Colonial Marines hits all the right spots. It’ll be interesting to see how all of Gearbox’s new area and alien types feel when compared to the elements of the film we already know. Up next: multiplayer.

“Marines! We are leaving!”

This is where things really get fun. Comparable again to Left 4 Dead, Aliens: Colonial Marines’ multiplayer sees one team playing Xenomorphs and the other playing as humans across several game types and maps.

The humans in multiplayer are part of the campaign rescue team, but they’re on the other side of Hadley’s Hope, and have their own problems to contend with. We tried Escape Mode first, and found it to be a thoroughly satisfying scramble that attempts to deliver the chaos of the movie.

It’s a 15 minute match type that sees the marines running towards an evac point, fighting their way through player-controlled aliens, welding open doors, hacking security stations and more to make good their escape.

The tension is insane as you run forward as a group, covering all angles and then – upon finding a door that needs welded open – forced to turn around and defend the position while one player does the welding. The stand-off element is superb.

“To survive that space is difficult for the player because the Xenos can go anywhere. They’re just going everywhere and they can tear you apart easily.”

Once that door is open, the chase begins again, and several more times until the dropship is in sight. It’s scrappy, loud and chaotic to boot, and it really does feel like a mad dash. Playing as the aliens however is all about patience and cunning moves.

While there are several marine class types – shotgunners, pulse rifle troops and so on – the aliens have a more diverse set-up. Some spit acid, others can execute fast stealth take-downs and more. Mixing up classes is the key to winning.

As an alien you can stick to walls and ceilings, scuttle through vents and use your senses to see marines through walls. You have to bear in mind that – when moving – you will show up on the human’s motion trackers, so you really have to be smart in your approach.

I ask Burleson if the chaotic vibe of the films was hard to nail in the game, “It’s not terribly hard, but what happens in the multiplayer maps is part of what happens in the story that you see in the campaign.

“There are more marines on the planet, so you’re part of those squads as they run actions, do missions and other things as the character from the campaign are doing things.

“The environments you go through in multiplayer are unique-looking, but they’re a still part of the same facility and the Sulaco ship. Those A-B objectives where you try to get away from the Xenos are clear a lot of the time, because it’s like, ‘Hey you’re going through the facility that’s overrun with Xenos. You have to go through the gates, the tunnels, you have to infiltrate, and then you have to get out.

“When you get out, you ask ‘How do I get out’, but then you’re met with more gates, a lot of construction, and leading the player through that space is very straight-forward. But to survive that space is difficult for the player because the Xenos can go anywhere. They’re just going everywhere and they can tear you apart easily.”

He’s not wrong, as human-controlled aliens can leap out at any moment so for marines, huddling together as a tight-knit unit is to be advised, while Aliens can branch off and use each level’s labyrinthine routes to spring surprise attacks. For the aliens, it’s almost like a sadistic game of hide n’ seek.

“You secure that shit, Hudson!”

I also tried Extermination mode, a 6v6 game-type that sees marines detonating two sets of bombs – in order to destroy clusters of xenomorph eggs – and then move on to another set. It’s similar To Battlefield’s Rush mode, and the way players have to destroy two M-COM stations before pushing the frontlines forward.

It’s comforting to know that Aliens: Colonial Marines manages to deliver the insane scrambling of the film, as well its sense of dread and tension. Everything looks right, and feels perfectly positioned, and I got the sense that the project has been a real labour of love. It’s the official Aliens sequel, no questions asked.

While it’s still too early to make a call on the overall quality of the game’s campaign – and the fact I only got to play 20 minutes of it – there’s no question that multiplayer is going to be an absolute riot with friends.

There’s a lot of online levelling, customisation unlocks and weapons to be earned through both competitive and campaign play, so multiplayer should offer a lot of depth once the game launches February 12th. That said, if the campaign manages to stick to the quality of its opening moments for the duration, then it should hold up well.

Disclosure:

  • Dave attended an official Sega event to write this article, however, all travel was paid for by VG247. He bought his own lunch, refreshments and dinner on the trip, and was offered an Aliens: Colonial Marines t-shirt at the door, which he politely refused. No other merchandise was offered.

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11 Comments

  1. BillyBatts

    The fact that you have to write that kind of disclosure at the base of a preview makes me sad.

    Because, you know, if you HAD accepted that t-shirt… I’d be at the front of the pitchfork mob.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. OlderGamer

    I am disapointed at the limited number of online players. Aliens Online from several years ago supported 4 fire teams of 4 players controling marines and if I remember right another 16 players controling Aliens in the Hive. 6V6 is just disapointing. I want massive battles.

    That being said I will own this for WiiU. Motion tracking on the GamePad should be great.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Dave Cook

    @1 :P

    #3 2 years ago
  4. oldschoolsoviet

    ” canonical”

    The Aliens Technical Manual was published 17(!) years ago. It was more “canonical” than this slap-to-the-face excuse of a plot, riding roughshod over 20+ years of (Dark Horse) comics, graphic novels, fiction and articles, that certainly featured far more interesting concepts and established a canon of it’s own. But hey, FOX own the rights now.

    “Being canonical, we can’t just change things that happened. Like I said before, the atmosphere processor blew up. That existed, and one thing they were keen on preserving was that historical events happened.”

    Funny, because it seems that’s the exact opposite premise of this development hell car-crash, shoe-horning the story to fit, no matter how awkward it becomes.

    As for the XP pop-ups, collectibles and generic basic/heavy/ranged xenos ? *sigh*

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Clupula

    Never liked most of the Dark Horse comics, myself. Always felt like bad fan fiction. People who couldn’t accept that Newt died.

    As for this one, the jury is still out until I play a demo or something. The fact that it has 4 player co-op and is from the makers of Borderlands does make me very hopeful, though.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Dave Cook

    @4 so you’ve played it through to completion I assume yeah? You seem to have all the answers after all…

    Also, what development hell?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. OrbitMonkey

    “Shag it people” … Please let that line be included…

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Ireland Michael

    @4 The game was never in development hell. It was just revealed way, way too early in development.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. starshop

    The game image very excite . You can see it here : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXcQwbJzqXI&feature=fvst

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Digital Bamboo

    Good to hear that the AI & combat may be just as strong as the atmosphere in this game. I got a little worried after reading otherwise over at Gamesradar. This piece was much more detailed, and positive. Anyhow, it sounds like Aliens fans won’t be disappointed.

    *nitpick “…Winter’s commanding officer sends him and a buddy off to search for two marines who have gone mission.”

    #10 2 years ago
  11. oldschoolsoviet

    @ 6 IP originally developed by Check Six, EA and FOX Interactive for the PS2, and cancelled. Rights snapped up by SEGA in 2006, and announced as a Gearbox project towards the end of the year.

    6 years, and all they have is a generic, CoD infused scripted shooter that judging by what’s been shown, still doesn’t surpass the Rebellion AvP games of the Jaguar and PC. Charger/bull xenos ? Did they think that was new, or knowingly rip-off the shambolic old toy line ? Not to mention the “oversight” of including female marines, dropping the possible BiA style for a dull, safe FPS angle, the documented meddling/control involved in any FOX venture, and the constant delays, all pointers to a project lacking a stable development.

    This has the same archaic stench of GB’s last resurrection: DNF

    Most Aliens fans are probably in their 30′s by now, and because of the influence of the film throughout gaming culture, not only have we seen it all before, we’ve seen better examples and homages elsewhere.

    #11 2 years ago

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    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 […]

  • Star Wars Disney Infinity re-release on the cards – rumour

    Star Wars is a no-brainer for Disney Infinity, and at long last it looks like it’s happening. A Star Wars re-release called Disney Infinity 3.0 has reportedly leaked from German retailers. We have to lable this one a rumour as we haven’t seen the original source, but the story was originally reported by DisKingdom, which […]

  • Award-winning mobile indie Monument Valley out now on Windows Phone

    Windows Phone’s game selection can be a bit restrictive, but has expanded delightfully today: Monument Valley is now available. Monument Valley is one of those gorgeous, mind-bending puzzlers the indie scene produces on the regular, winning awards and consuming everyone’s lives for weeks on end. Developed by Ustwo Games, with beautiful, understated art from Ken […]

  • Old-school EverQuest servers safe from legal troubles thanks to Daybreak agreement

    EverQuest rights holder Daybreak Game Company given its blessing to the wonderful Project 1999. EverQuest: Project 1999 is one of those lovely ideas that it are all too often crushed by the realities of the games industry. An entirely fan-managed affair, it provides an emulated version of the classic EverQuest experience, which is no longer […]

  • Free Dragon Age short stories fill us in on Corypheus’s followers

    Dragon Age: Inquisition developer BioWare invites you to learn more about the lore and characters that make up its beautiful role-playing setting. Dragon Age is set in Thedas, a world still only partially revealed by the three core games to date. BioWare puts a heck of a lot of work into its worldbuilding, employing a […]

  • Remember that gorgeous Luminous Engine tech demo? It now utilizes DirectX 12

    Remember the gorgeous Luminous Engine tech demo Square Enix showed off three years ago? The firm showed it again at Microsoft’s Build Conference, this time utilizing DirectX 12. The Witch Chapter 0 [cry] real-time tech demo was created from research Square conducted using real-time CG technology and DX12 in collaboration with Microsoft and Nvidia. The […]

  • Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones sneaks onto GOG and Steam services

    Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones can now be purchased through GOG and Steam. On both services it will run you £12.99/€14.99/$14.99. Links here and here. The game features: Fully explorable ‘Metroidvania’ style overworld, laying siege to a diabolical cloning facility with varied and detailed environments. A variety of special equipment to unlock new […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC Ascendance has arrived on PC, PlayStation consoles

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players on PC and PlayStation consoles can now download the Ascendance DLC. The second content pack contains the OHM weapon, the OHM Werewolf custom variant, and the second entry in the Exo Zombies saga, Infection. Four new maps are also included: Perplex, Site 244, Climate, and Chop Shop. Ascendance was […]

  • Latest Xbox 360 system update is live, now supports 2TB hard drives

    Xbox 360 now supports 2TB hard drives via the latest system update for the console. Support for the drives was announced earlier this month and has been available for preview members. “In addition we will also no longer reserve space in advance on your hard drive,” said the firm. “If you are using 16GB of […]

  • Kickstarter for Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor Yooka-Laylee launches tomorrow

    Playtonic Games has announced the Kickstarter campaign for its spiritual successor to the Banjo Kazooie series, Yooka-Laylee, will launch tomorrow. The title of the game was announced today along with the Kickstarter date. Formerly known as Project Ukulele, the 3D platformer is said to be “between the size of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie,” and stars Yooka […]

  • Console version of Mistwalker’s Terra Battle is in development

    Now that Mistwalker’s Terra Battle has surpassed 2 million downloads on mobile, the developer is now working on a console version of the tactical RPG. As part of the original Download Starter campaign, the 2 million milestone means the company will begin development on Terra Battle’s console version with details to be announced at a […]

  • Prison break game The Escapists is heading to PlayStation 4 from May 29

    The Escapists, Mouldy Toof’s prison break game originally released as a timed console exclusive Xbox One, has a release date for PlayStation 4. For those unfamiliar with the title, which is also a PC release, it tasks players’ time management skills as they do a bit of digging and crafting, and other prison-type stuff as […]

  • Dead Island 2 delayed into 2016 to ensure series is “taken to the next level”

    Dead Island 2 has been delayed into 2016 by Yager in order to ensure the sequel “takes Dead Island to the next level.” According to a tweet from the developer, it set “big goal” for the game, and in order to deliver what fans expect, the team needs more time to reach development goals. “We […]

  • Project Cars: here’s a list of all available cars at launch

    Project Cars will contain many, many cars and if we are counting correctly, there will be 74 total at launch. The standard edition contains 65 total, and when factoring the free car as well as the Modified and Limited Edition cars packs, you can add an additional nine cars to the mix. Comb through the […]

  • Competitive matchmaking support is coming to Team Fortress 2

    Team Fortress 2 will soon feature support for competitive matchmaking, which Valve says is a “high priority” project for it at the moment. According to a report from TeamFortress.tv, which visited Valve headquarters recently, Valve is looking into the possibility of 6v6 or 9v9 matches 9v9, a possible quick play option and it is also […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch fixes garage, Job crashes – full notes here

    Rockstar has pushed out a 353 MB patch for GTA 5 on PC The patch fixes a number of annoying bugs related to vehicles and garages, some deathmatch issues and purchase errors. It should also fix various freezing and crashing bugs, as well as a little issue with Steam. Time will tell if the patch […]

  • Fire Emblem If will come in White Kingdom and Black Kingdom versions with amiibo support

    We’ve finally got some juicy details on the next Fire Emblem game, but the most interesting aspect is that there will be two versions of the game. According to Siliconera, who translated an interview between Intelligent Systems and 4Gamer, there will a White Kingdom and a Black Kingdom version that offer different aspects of the […]

  • Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess heads west with “Golden Toilet” pre-order bonus

    Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess will debut on western PlayStation 4 systems this summer, Koei Tecmo has announced. It is also coming to PS3 and Vita. The game was produced by Keisuke Kikuchi of Fatal Frame fame and takes up where Deception 4: Blood Ties left off allowing players to relive Laegrinna’s pursuit to free […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario demo, Paper Mario, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a demo of Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition, Paper Mario on Virtual Console, and amiibo Tap. The full update is below. eShop update amiibo Tap – free – Wii U Star Wars Pinball DLC – Wii U Paper Mario – Wii U […]

  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided PC port handed off to Nixxes

    The PC port of the new Deus Ex has been handed over to Netherlands based studio, Nixxes software. After the initial reveal trailer at the beginning of April, we’ve only had a few morsels in the way of additional news. The most intriguing tidbit to date has got to be the fact that you’ll be […]

  • First-ever PC Gaming Show to take place at E3 2015 in June

    PC gaming will finally have its very own E3 press conference this year, thanks to PC Gamer and AMD. The PC Gaming Show will take place on June 16 at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles and it will be livestreamed on Twitch. PC Gamer said speakers at the presentation will include representatives from Blizzard, […]

  • Majora’s Mask light available now on Club Nintendo for 6000 stars

    Club Nintendo shuts up shop on September 30 and members are being encouraged to spend accumulated stars before then. And what better to spend them on, than this adorable Majora’s Mask light? If you’re a member based in Europe you can nab it for 6000 stars. If you’re in Australia or New Zealand, it’ll only […]

  • Unity support announced for HoloLens, will work with Windows universal apps

    Microsoft is partnering with game engine developers Unity in order to make HoloLens compatible with apps and games which use the cross-platform engine. The partnership was announced yesterday during its Build Developer Conference. Universal apps for Windows 10 systems will also be available on Xbox One later this year, suggesting possible HoloLens functionality with the […]

  • Splatoon Nintendo Direct airs Thursday, May 7

    A Nintendo Direct focused on Splatoon, the Wii U multiplayer title, on May 7. It will kick off at 7am PDT/10am EDT/3pm UK and it can be watched via the Nintendo Direct website. You can also have a look at the game through Nintendo’s Twitch channel. The last game-specific presentation took place last week and […]

  • GTA 5 PC: clean up the streets as a member of the San Andreas PD with this new mod

    Remember the awesome mods for GTA 4 and San Andreas that let you run amok online as a member of the po-po? Well, dust off your taser and load up your gun, because it’s coming to GTA 5. The new mod for GTA 5 is currently in alpha and can be downloaded at palmbeachgames.com. You […]