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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 latest Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows off a gloriously beautiful world. Xenoblade Chronicles X is Monolith Soft’s first solo Wii U game, and the developer is clearly enjoying being able to build a big open world with all the features we’ve come to expect. Missed the whole Xenoblade thing? Chronicles X is a sort […]

  • Dead Rising: Watchtower teaser talks up the benefits of Zombrex

    Live-action Dead Rising movie Watchtower is almost upon us. Dead Rising: Watchtower will release on Crackle on March 27, and via other digital distributors thereafter. Enjoy the short teaser below, courtesy of IGN.

  • We Happy Few debut hits you upside the face with a frying pan

    Contrast developer Compulsion Games has revealed its next project – the delightfully creepy-looking We Happy Few. We Happy Few is set in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England” where “a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial”. Players are tasked with blending in with […]

  • Slender: The Arrival creeping onto PS4, Xbox One in March

    Slender: The Arrival sold like hotcakes on PC and last-gen consoles, so why not terrify yourself on PS4 and Xbox One, too? Slender: The Arrival will release on PS4 on March 24 and on Xbox One on March 25, developer Blue Isle Studios has announced, for $10. No word on that Wii U version, though. […]

  • GOG weekend sale celebrates German debut

    DRM-free games vendor GOG is celebrating its German-language launch with a tasty sale. The sale offers discounts over 25 “German favourites”. Highlights inclue 97% off Deponia, and less steep but still tasty savings on Memoria and Blackguards 1 and 2. The sale will run through March 3, and you do not have to be, speak, […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes back to Japan

    The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is called Made in Japan, and I’m sure you can guess the theme. Pay what you want for Cherry Tree High Complete Pack (PC; Steam or DRM free), Fairy Bloom Freesia (PC; Steam or DRM free) and Influent + Language Pack (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM free). Pay more […]

  • Capcom “looking into” solutions to Resident Evil: Revelations PC co-op issue

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 fans should sit tight for a bit, as Capcom is working on some sort of solution to the co-op issue. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t have local co-op on PC and fans are pretty mad about that, as it was advertised ahead of release as a key feature. Although Capcom has […]

  • The games industry is disruption, says Assassin’s Creed producer

    Former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond has characterised the games industry as one long series of upsets. The games industry changes all the time, and that’s one of its best qualities, Raymond said. The ex-Ubisoft leader told Polygon that the reason seh got into games in the first place was because it “is this undefined […]

  • GTA 5 made $31 million in digital revenue in January

    GTA 5 is the highest-grossing title at the moment in terms of digital revenue, and the PSN is absolutely minting it. Digital games industry analyst Superdata has extended its scope to include console games, which means we suddenly have access to a whole bunch of data we’ve only been able to guess at, or extrapolate […]

  • Destiny: Inferno playlists debut next week

    Destiny PvP will shake things up next week with a new way to slaughter your mates in the Crucible. Destiny is already a skilled PvP game, but the new Inferno playlists will turn things up a notch with a focus on “basic gunplay”. The first of these, Inferno Control, kicks off on March 3 and […]

  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

    Battlefield Hardline Premium perks have apparently leaked a bit early, according to a post on Reddit. Over on the Hardline subreddit is an image which was take at a GameStop location, noting two week early access to content additional Battlepacks and more. Here’s the rundown: Four expansions Two weeks early access 12 additional Battlepacks Exclusive […]

  • Final Fantasy: Record Keeper arrives in the US this spring

    Final Fantasy: Record Keeper will be released in the US on iOS and Android this spring, DeNA and Square Enix today. The mobile titles allows players to “relive favorite moments” across all Final Fantasy installments and build a team of classic characters from across the entire franchise. If you sign up for email updates, you […]

  • Battlefield Hardline now available for pre-order, pre-download on Xbox One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

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

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

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

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

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

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

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

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

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

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

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

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

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

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

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

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

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

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

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

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

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

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

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

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

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

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

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

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

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

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

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