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The Last of Us: Naughty Dog owns stealth survival horror

Monday, 4 February 2013 08:06 GMT By Phil Owen

The Last of Us has finally appeared in playable form. What exactly is it? Is it any good? Phil Owen has pleasing answers both these questions.

Naughty Dog’s Latest

The Last of Us is the first new property from Naughty Dog since Uncharted, and the first it has had in active rotation while the previous franchise is yet to be retired.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world characterised by zombie-like victims of a fungal plague. Other survivors are perhaps a worse threat.

An E3 2012 demo of the PlayStation 3 exclusive was well-received but shocked some viewers with its raw, confronting violence.

A release date of May 7 has been confirmed.

For the first time last week, Naughty Dog gave us the chance to get our hands on The Last of Us and see exactly what kind of game we will be getting in May. We’ve seen hands-off demos before, but watching does not at all match the experience of playing it for ourselves. I can attest that seeing someone who is intimately familiar with how the game works play it will not adequately prepare you for facing the horrors of The Last of Us.

Before we played, creative director Neil Druckmann gave us some background on the section we would see, which takes place relatively early in the game. Hero Joel and his friend Tess live in a quarantine zone in Boston twenty years after a fungal infection ripped the United States apart. They are smugglers who bring things into and out of the zone, and they are tasked with taking a girl named Ellie out from this safe area to a group of men they will meet at the state capitol building some ways away.

The demo picked up as the three are making their way through the city, which is completely mucked up, as the military had dropped bombs on the city to try to contain the zombie-like infection. The early part of this journey involves a lot of climbing over and under things as rain falls on our protagonists’ heads. Eventually, we enter a skyscraper that no long stands up straight, and the experience of exploring it is a bit disorienting.

But, of course, The Last of Us is about more than just walking around. After a while, Joel, Tess and Ellie encounter some of the infected denizens of the city, whom they must take down.

Combat in The Last of Us is stealth oriented, but Naughty Dog have created combat systems that are unique. There are three stages of the fungal infection, and in the demo we faced two of them, the Runners (stage one) and the Clickers (stage three). The important thing to remember about these enemies is that Runners can’t see too well, and so their vision is based on movement, like a tyrannosaur, and the Clickers can’t see at all and must use echolocation in order to get around.

If you try to approach The Last of Us the way you would any other stealth game, like I did, you will be beating your head against a wall.

So if you try to approach The Last of Us the way you would any other stealth game, like I did, you will be beating your head against a wall. In the first serious encounter with these enemies — an area that contained five or six Runners and one Clicker, I died over and over again without making significant headway. I became immensely frustrated, and I started to worry that the game might be unbalanced and far too difficult.

Thankfully, though, a Naughty Dog staffer had been watching me play, and he pointed out to me that I can walk right up to a Clicker without him noticing me if he’s not making noises. This was an important note, because Clickers are horrifying once they hear you — when a Clicker detects you and gets within arm’s reach, he will one-hit kill you. Meanwhile, you can brawl with the Runners, and so once the Clicker was dealt with I was able to take down the other enemies efficiently with my lead pipe.

I should note that the learning curve was high because I was playing a section in the middle of the game that takes place after the tutorial sections that we must assume exist, given Naughty Dog’s development history this generation. Players coming into the full game will likely have a better grasp of how the stealth combat works at this point in the game than I did.

Indeed, there was another section later in the demo in which you must face off with an additional bunched collection of enemies, this one containing half a dozen Clickers and a couple Runners. Now that I had a handle on how to play the game, I was able to pass through that section without serious frustration. Yes, I still died a few times, but I felt like I was making progress with each attempt. It did not feel overwhelming.

Special editions

The Last of Us has spawned dour special editions, complete with DLC and collectibles.

In Europe, collectors can choose between the Joel and Ellie packages.

While US denizens take their pick from the Survival and Post-Pandemic bundles.

By that point, too, I had learned the value of crafting, which is a necessity in surviving The Last of Us. As you explore, you’ll collect a variety of seeming pointless items like scissors and tape and glass bottles. With the crafting system Naughty Dog has built, you will use those items to put together useful things like Molotov cocktails and shivs, and they also allow you to upgrade our weapons. A pipe is nice on its own, as it will allow you to take down a Runner twice as quickly as if you are just using your fists, but if you combine your pipe with blades from scissors, you can kill them with one hit. Upgrading will also allow your improvised weapons to last longer, as they can only stand a limited number of hits before breaking.

As a stealth game, The Last of Us is also unique in that the player character, Joel, is not alone in his adventures. Indeed, in the demo I played, he is accompanied by two other people. In the first major combat section, Tess and Ellie stayed back while I cleared the room, but in the next one they followed me around as I tried to quietly take down enemies. As I played, I could not tell if in those situations that stealth was broken if it was me or my companions who did it, but what I found most interesting is that they would notice that stealth was broken before I did. On those occasions, I would realize I had alerted more enemies when Tess opened fire. The AI seemes effective at helping out when this happens; Tess even took out a Clicker once all on her own.

Given that having companions follow you around in a stealth game is a new wrinkle for the genre, I couldn’t help but ask Naughty Dog co-president Evan Wells about why they chose to go that route and how it works from a technical standpoint.

“It’s a struggle,” he told me, “but it’s so important for us to tell the story to have- well, the story is entirely around Joel and Ellie. When we set out to make this game, we knew that was a challenge that we had to tackle. The rewards are huge, because you can tell a much better story when you have other characters to play off of, so you’re not just having an inner monologue or talking to yourself. To have that dynamic and build that bond between characters across the course of an entire game is really interesting to us.”

In terms of building a game with a stealth system that needs to account for multiple protagonists presented Naughty Dog with serious obstacles that needed to be addressed, and Wells discussed those with me.

A lot of work goes into The Last Of Us’s cutscenes,
which so far look just as good – if not better – than
the Uncharted franchise’s.

“Do you ever allow your companion to break stealth?” Wells commented.

“If you’re staying hidden, will the player feel completely cheated if, for reasons they’re not responsible for, stealth is broken? We thought yes, that is the case, and so now we have to make sure that somehow we keep the allied NPC out of the line of sight of our enemies. It took a huge AI challenge to– it sort of works both ways: they have to be smart about where the enemies are, but the enemies have to be smart about where the allied NPC is, and we make sure that they will intentionally not look in their direction if they happen to be exposed at the right time. It’s kind of a give and take.”

So Wells put to rest my fear that Ellie or Tess could be a liability, and he also noted that they can be quite handy in a fight, as I mentioned above. Joel’s lady friends are quite dangerous when they need to be.

“Although we had all those challenges in trying to figure out how to deal with the stealth game,” Wells remarked, “now you reap all those rewards when you have an ally when combat opens up — you all of a sudden think [Ellie is] the coolest person ever when she can rescue you.”

Due to the stealthy nature of the game, you won’t find the kind of epic set pieces we’ve come to expect from Naughty Dog thanks to what they’ve done with the Uncharted series. It’s just not that kind of game, as you might have realized from my descriptions of the gameplay above. But they did design the game with a similar philosophy to their other current generation games in that they have had some idea of the type of sensory experience they wanted to craft before building the story.

“You develop the story, and that will bring to light some moments in the game that really create some awesome gameplay,” Wells told me.

“Sometimes, it’s the story that drives us to say, ‘OK, we need to create this environment and this kind of gameplay,’ and other times it’s like, ‘OK, is is the experience we want to create — how do we get the story to pass rough that?’”

“You’ll have an idea, for instance, we just thought it would be really cool to have an environment where you’re going through a subway that’s been flooded out, and you’re in a building that is completely collapsed in on itself, and so you’ve got this familiar environment that people might go through on their daily commutes, but it’s completely turned on its head and becomes unfamiliar because you’ve got these creatures dwelling in it and it’s been neglected for twenty years and you can see what nature has done to it.

“That was just a moment we wanted to experience. We wanted to see what it would be like to go through a creepy environment like that in the dark, with this antagonism on you. So, then, you just feed that into the story — well, how do you get them into that scenario?”

Wells summed up the whole design philosophy as so: “Sometimes, it’s the story that drives us to say, ‘OK, we need to create this environment and this kind of gameplay,’ and other times it’s like, ‘OK, is is the experience we want to create — how do we get the story to pass rough that?’”

From what I played of The Last of Us, I feel as if that philosophy is working, but only the full game will be able to tell us if that feeling is accurate. You’ll be able to pick up Naughty Dog’s latest and decide for yourself on May 7 in both North America and Europe.

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25 Comments

  1. Mike W

    My God, I haven’t been to forest hills in years, I wonder does it look like that? (I’m from Boston people) ;)

    Staying on topic, this game is going to be nuts.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Patrick Garratt

    Must-buy. Can’t wait.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Dragon246

    First game that I will play till completion on consoles this year. Probably the strongest contender for GOTY for me along with GTA5 and GOW.
    This just sounds more awesome the more I hear about it.
    This game also shows how things like crafting etc. doesn’t really require a second screen to be effective, judging from the previews.
    @Phil,
    Are clickers stage 2 or 3? IGN reports them as stage 2. Are you sure that they are stage 3?
    Also, did sony release any sort of videos to accompany this reveal. I would have LOVED to see the beautiful graphics again.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Telepathic.Geometry

    Hi Phil Owen, I’m an annoying grammar nazi who points out insignificant typos: “answers TO both these questions” Now, I’m gonna read this article. I’ve been looking forward to The Last of Us for a while now, seems like it might be The Walking Dead meets Uncharted. Sorry for being a pain…

    #4 2 years ago
  5. chaoszage

    Game Title should be Silent Hill:Last of Us :P

    #5 2 years ago
  6. KAP

    I love that this is completely different to uncharted. Less about set pieces more about tention. This is what we all have been hungry for since resi evil turned into gears of war.

    Glad to see the video on IGN of the gameplay, looked so tense…. wow.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Get_crazy

    If you want to see new gameplay footage with those clickers (it’s stage 3, stage 2, as I understood, is a transition between runners and clickers but ND didn’t want to share any further at the moment). Anyway, there goes the new gameplay footage:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6jIK_cHF5c

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DrDamn

    Really looking forward to this one too.

    @3
    Plenty of games have effective crafting systems, but it’s not simply about being effective. It’s about this sort of thing being enhanced by a second screen.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. manamana

    Pre-order is already out but damn, that sounds and looks right up my alley. The video is just what I hoped it would be like. Great stuff coming!

    #9 2 years ago
  10. daytripper

    They have nailed the atmosphere, the clickers create tension knowing one screw up and it’s game over. Day one

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Dragon246

    @8,
    Its personal choice then, I believe second screen adds nothing in this regard. You believe otherwise.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. polygem

    i am looking forward to this as well…@Get_crazy: thanks for the link, haven´t seen that footage yet. intense stuff.
    it really looks great. i was disapointed with zombiu. not that it´s a bad game but i just cannot get into it somehow. i crave a creepy, intense and atmospheric game with an immersive story. here it comes i hope.

    @dragon: a second screen would enhance these kind of games for sure…let´s see what you think about that when sony goes that road ;)

    #12 2 years ago
  13. lexph3re

    This year is such a great year of gaming to me. I choose not to look at ALL of my must haves this year so I don’t spoil my urge to play them. Dead Space 3 comes out tomorrow and all I watched was the very first trailer and the kinect trailer. I just don’t want to feel like I played the game before actually playing it anymore. A lot of experiences were ruined because of that for me.

    This game looks bloody epic and so does Ascension. Such a great year for gaming for me

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Erthazus

    They don’t own it. Pat.

    You never played Metro 2033 or Amnesia: The dark Descent. Just try out Metro: The Last Light this year at least or Amnesia: Machine for Pigs.

    I want the game and will probably try it but I don’t see a single thing that said it is a horror. So far it was a survival action game.

    The biggest thing about this game is that it has inventory and you can actually Craft things. Shooting mechanics were nice, animations, graphics (for a console that is limited as F.) but at the same time everything what I saw was SCRIPTED.

    If it is Scripted it will be easy as hell.

    P.S. this game would be much better next gen. It looks just meh in 2013 already. Look at any PC multiplatform these days with Anti-Aliasing and tesselation. Look at the Crysis 3 PC videos where everything looks sharp and then look at the TLOU screens. ND is very talented studio, but PS3 limited their ability to do things better.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. DrDamn

    @11
    Of course it comes down to personal opinion, but when presented with some valid points do you have anything to counter them with other than “No, I don’t think so”.

    For example a touch screen is quicker and easier to use to select and manage inventory as you might need in a crafting system. That’s a fairly reasonable assertion that most people would agree with. A d-pad controller cursor selection method is a work around, functional, but a work around.

    Or in a survival horror game making the player look away from the screen at the pad to perform certain actions also helps with atmosphere as it re-enforces the actions the character is doing. I.e. taking their attention away from what is around them and putting their focus elsewhere.

    These are enhancements. Not something which makes these things possible, but which enhances the functionality.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Dragon246

    @15,
    There is a 4th wall, I am not Joel. I want to see him doing those things, and I certainly know the backpack is behind me, and its not a touchscreen. And I certainly want to marvel at screen during these times.
    Again, this is not a survival horror game, at least devs don’t believe it so. Its just so good that it transcends multiple genres.
    Its a perfectly good method to do stuff like crafting without needing an extra peripheral.
    These are also valid points/opinions, and I am not forcing it on anyone.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. DrDamn

    @16
    “Its a perfectly good method to do stuff like crafting without needing an extra peripheral.”

    That’s not the point though. No one is saying you can’t do it without it, no one is saying it’s needed for these things. We are just saying a second touch screen can enhance these things.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Dragon246

    @17,
    And I don’t see any enhancements. I listed my reasons, feel free to disagree.
    Move is supposedly the best motion controller from FPSes (ask Ken or Guerrilla), do I agree, no. I don’t like Duck Hunt style shooting. Keyboard and Mouse are the best controllers for fpses. Just sayin’

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Kabby

    Oh, zombies.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. killersense

    man survival horror isn’t my cup of tea :( but i love naughty dog games especially uncharted and the way they tell a story so i am definitely gonna pick this up. worse case scenario is i probably put this is on easy just to run through and experience the story.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. PEYJ

    For me most emotional games are about the immersion with the environment and the characters, not the technology. Having a second screen prevents 100 % focus from the story and its players and instead provides you with another tool/toy. Fair enough if people like that but a game like is not for that.

    I tried ZombieU (NOT to be compaired to The Last of Us) and ultimately I found the second screen use annoying. However, thats a question of taste looking at how the game is presented and how little the story means.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. nhowell14

    This game is terrifying, simply because it’s actually plausible….

    This game could very easily be the new Resident Evil / I Am Legend fix I’ve been absolutely craving for. Thankfully it’s an exclusive PS3 game, that way it’ll be worth the time to play. No more cross-plat titles for me. They just never seem to hold up to what Sony’s first party studios put out.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Erthazus

    ^ I hope this game will be a new Resident Evil in both sales and metacritic.

    I so hope for that. crapcom should just go away with their stupid reboots.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Dragon246

    @PEYJ,
    +1

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Telepathic.Geometry

    Yay, Peyj is back! ^-^

    #25 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    The second phase of the April update for Xbox One is now open to members of the Preview programme and and it looks like there are even more features in store. Phase one of Xbox One’s April firmware update started a few days ago with improvements to party chat and achievements notifications. Today, phase two […]

  • GTA 5′s graphical “downgrade” is a bug, will be fixed in upcoming patch

    As of patch 1.8 for GTA 5 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, a few graphical issues have cropped up leading some to believe there has been a stealth downgrade to the game’s overall graphics. Over the past couple of days, Reddit went nuts over a video showing what appears to be a downgrade to […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for March 27, 28 – MIDA Multi-Tool edition

    Xur: Agent of the Nine has arrived at The Tower in Destiny to rid you of your Strange Coins. Xur: Agent of the Nine has once again made it to Destiny’s Tower to sell you Exotic weapons and gear in exchange for Strange Coins and Motes of Light. For this weekend, Xur can be found […]

  • Destiny vault space upgrade will have enough room for every Exotic

    Destiny is finally getting the vault space upgrade players have been begging for almost since launch week. Destiny players can currently use vault space to store 20 pieces of amour, 20 weapons and 20 general item stacks. In the latest Bungle Weekly Update, the developer revealed that as of patch 1.1.2, due before House of […]

  • Half-Life 2: Update mod applies some sparkle to the original title

    Half-Life 2: Update will be available tomorrow, and thanks to the modding community, those who own the vanilla version of the game can apply a visual update to the 2004 title. The comparison video shows you the differences between the original version, and the version with Half-Life 2: Update applied. Here’s what the mod includes: […]

  • Neverwinter MMO can now be pre-downloaded on Xbox One

    You can now pre-download the free-to-play Neverwinter MMO on Xbox One. The game launches on March 31, but you will still need an Xbox Live Gold account to play it. Based on the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, the game can be downloaded from the Xbox Store.

  • Destiny of Spirits will go offline starting next month

    Sony will be ending service for Destiny of Spirits starting next month, Sony has announced. The free-to-play Destiny of Spirits was released in late March 2014 on Vita, and tasked players with collecting supernatural forces appropriate to their geographical location, and then trading them with others online. Gravity Rush spirits were added to the game […]

  • MotoGP 15 is out this spring on PC, last and current-gen consoles

    MotoGP 15 will be released in June on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Milestone has announced. Bike, rider and team customization are part of the latest release in the franchise, along with time-trials and enhanced career options. The game features over 20 bike models divided into three classes: MotoGP, Moto 2 […]

  • Cities: Skylines players should check out Nakatomi Plaza and Wayne Enterprises

    Nakatomi Plaza and Wayne Enterprises can now be yours in Cities: Skylines. Die Hard fans will be familiar with Nakatomi Plaza. Those who have never watched the first film and live in Los Angeles know it by its real-life name, FOX Plaza. It was created by Enos Shenk and is available through Steamworks. Those who […]

  • Call of Duty franchise has sold 175M copies, players have thrown 300B grenades

    With the Call of Duty Championship kicking off tomorrow, Activision has sent over a series infographic full of interesting figures such as the number of copies sold over 10 years and how many grenades players have tossed. According to the stats below, the Call of Duty franchise has sold 175 million copies across all platforms […]

  • Save up to 75% on select SEGA games on Steam this weekend

    SEGA has put many of its games on sale through Steam this weekend and the firm has also announced Eastside Hockey Manager is now available through Early Access. The sale runs through March 30. The entire Total War, Company of Heroes and Dawn of War back catalogs are discounted 75% and all associated DLC is […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight PC confirmed as digital download-only in UK

    Batman: Arkham Knight will indeed be a download-only title on PC in the UK, Warner Bros. has confirmed to VG247. Batman: Arkham Knight will be available as both a physical and digital release for PS4, Xbox One and PC in North America and Europe. Again, in the UK, the PC version will be “available as […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege release date set for October per GameStop Italy – report

    GameStop Italy may have let the release date for Rainbow Six Siege slip if a recent listing is accurate. According to the listing, the game will release on October 16. While this could be a placeholder date, October 16 is a Friday in the UK, the usual day new releases land at retail. The release […]

  • Watch the $1 million Call of Duty Championship right here

    The The Call of Duty Championship takes place this weekend, and you can watch all the action as it unfolds right here. The event takes place in Los Angeles tomorrow March 27 and runs through March 29, and the livestreams are below. 32 teams from five continents and 11 countries will be competing in Call […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: Battlefest kicks off this weekend with Double XP

    A new season of Battlefest kicks off this weekend, and starting today, you will earn Double XP in Battlefield Hardline. Battlefest for Hardline is similar to the event held for Battlefield 4 last year. For the entire month of April and into May, in-game events and competitions will be held by the developers and player […]

  • Don’t forget: the GTA 5 PC pre-order bonus cutoff is March 31

    Just a friendly reminder to those planning on purchasing GTA 5 for PC: you have until March 31 to pre-order if you want all the bonuses on offer. Those who pre-order will be handed $1 million in-game cash plus a bonus $300,000. It is split between GTA 5 and GTA Online: $500,000 for Grand Theft […]

  • Games with Gold offers doubled for April – six games instead of three

    Microsoft’s April Games with Gold collection is being doubled. For the month Xbox Live Gold members will receive six instead of three games free. Here’s what’s on offer: Pool Nation FX: Available all month on Xbox One Child of Light: Available all month on Xbox One Gears of War: Judgment: Available from April 1-15 on […]

  • Pokemon players can grab a code for Shiny Charizard at GAME in April

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire players along with Pokemon X and Y owners can grab a free, rare Shiny Charizard from April 3 at one of GAME’s 320 stores in the UK. The redeemable codes for the character will be made available upon request and no purchase is necessary. Those who pop into one […]

  • F1 2015 will arrive on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in June, includes Mexico circuit

    Codemasters has announced its F1 franchise will make its series debut on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this June with the release of F1 2015. The game was developed using a new engine and contains improved handling and physics for all vehicles and parts attached. This includes: engine, transmission, aerodynamics, fuel tank, force feedback, suspension […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video confirms Liu Kang as playable character

    Liu Kang has been confirmed as a playable character in Mortal Kombat X in the latest video. You’ll also notice Bo’ Rai Cho in there as well. In the Shaolin trailer above you also get a look at Kung Lao and Kung Jin who is new to the series. Apparently, Raiden’s past champions of the […]

  • Short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront shows the Battle of Hoth

    A short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront has been posted by EA on Twitter. Well, that speeder isn't going anywhere. Can someone give us a lift to @SW_Celebration http://t.co/srEVrAA0zl #SWCA https://t.co/4W4LG8myke — EAStarWars (@EAStarWars) March 25, 2015 The teaser shows vehicles which we could be using in the game, but it mainly shows the snowy landscape […]

  • Pillars of Eternity releases today – get all the review scores here

    Pillars of Eternity, which still stands as the second most-funded video game on Kickstarter, finally releases today. It’s also getting some rather positive reviews scores, which we’ve rounded up for you. The isometric, party-based RPG from Obsidian Entertainment was one of the first video game projects to take to Kickstarter, and hit its $1.1 million […]

  • Take an in-depth look at Evolve’s Behemoth monster and four new hunters

    Evolve’s fourth monster, the Behemoth, as well as the four new hunters are shown off in new gameplay video. Evolve’s latest gameplay trailer gives everyone a good look at each of the four new hunters and the massive Behemoth monster. The hunters can be bought either separately or though the hunting pass, while the monster […]

  • PS4 firmware update 2.50 causing issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall

    The suspend/resume feature in PlayStation 4′s 2.50 firmware update is causing some issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall. Killzone: Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla has said that the game is experiencing some issues in some instance where the suspend/resume feature is used. The timing of when players put the game in suspend mode does have an effect, […]

  • Bungie on Destiny matchmaking: “We believe there’s no substitute for a pre-made team”

    Crazy though this may seem, it’s possible that Destiny shipped according to plan. History points to community as a crucial component, far from the contingency that many now suspect. Paul Davies spoke to Bungie for clarity. “The community always engineers the best solutions for bringing players together. While Matchmaking is a great resource for introducing […]

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]

  • Kojima Station show suspended

    In another episode in the the ongoing kerfuffle between Hideo Kojima and Konami, the publisher has suspended the Kojima Station web show. Recent tweets from the newly created Japanese Metal Gear Solid account confirm that Kojima Station will not be broadcast tomorrow, but would not provide a date for the next episode. The Tweets were […]

  • Watch Battle Royale for free this weekend on Xbox Live

    Square Enix is celebrating the launch of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD by offering Xbox Live members in the UK a free rental of Battle Royale. Starting Saturday, March 28 and through Sunday, March 29, Xbox Live members in the UK will be able to rent Battle Royale through the Xbox Video Store, for free. The […]

  • Bloodborne journal, part 1: managing anxiety on the path to the Cleric Beast

    Bloodborne is both like and unlike the Souls games. Brenna descends into Yharnam with reluctance and trepidation. Need help succeeding in Bloodborne? You need our Bloodborne walkthrough and boss guide. Bloodborne isn’t Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. Let’s get that out of the way right off. I enjoyed both Dark Souls games, but it was […]