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Battlefield 4: the technicolour dreamcoat

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 08:39 GMT By Dave Cook

Battlefield 4 was unveiled last night and it looked very pretty. VG247′s Dave Cook argues that next-gen developers have to be careful to avoid a significant but deadly trap.

Battlefield 4 looks lovely doesn’t it? Like, no messing about here, because only a fool would say that it doesn’t look like a technical marvel. The facial animation, the glistens of sweat, the lighting, the pained expression when you cut that chap’s leg off.

It’s all very impressive from a technical standpoint. Did I see innovation? Sure, from a visual perspective, but what was shown of DICE’s next campaign follows the same formulae of Battlefield 3. Walk here, follow your buddies there, presumably press ‘X’ to do just about everything that isn’t shooting.

I get it though: it’s a shooter right? It’s an action blockbuster of a game that needs to be guided to a degree, or else how will all of those mad scripted moments – that seriously do look insane by the way – play out properly.

It’s a superb demo, but I’m not bowled over. See, if you were to go back about 15 years ago you’d be able to pick any game magazine off the newstand and read about visuals so realistic that you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference from the game and the person sitting next to you.

Ludicrous hype I know, but even then I was fearful for the way gaming was heading. I prefer fantasy over reality, abstract worlds over real ones. That’s just who I am. I’ll type this next bit in bold so you really do get what I’m saying here.

I’m not saying that Battlefield 4 looks shit because one – I haven’t played it, two – I wasn’t there to see the demo with my own eyes and three – it doesn’t look shit. My following complaints extend to all developer currently working on next-gen console games, or with the next wave of PC tech, not at DICE or Battlefield 4.

Got it? Good. So back 15 years ago I imagined what these games would look like. I pictured us walking around in Grand Theft Auto 10 doing every day things, getting mild kicks out of crimes and mad stunts that – because they looked realistic – suddenly felt dull.

Then GTA 4 happened. That was more mature and realistic and many people claim it to be the dullest game of them all. I understand that’s subjective of course. Better visuals are fine and yes they can drive gameplay experiences if they are handled properly, but fancier lighting or better faces isn’t going to make raw, core gameplay feel any better in a shooter. I want ‘shooting’ innovation. New tricks.

That applies to all games, not just Battlefield 4. But on that note, you’ve no doubt seen me on here saying how much of a Call of Duty fan I am. True, but I’m also a Battlefield fan – I know, mad right, who would have thought it possible?

I gave Call of Duty the elbow when Bad Company 2 came out for well over a year, right the way from launch up to the time Battlefield 3 was announced. I still adore that game and feel it blew Battlefield 3 out of the water in terms of pure, fun gameplay.

And I know what you’re thinking, “But Dave you tool, Call of Duty is hardly innovative is it, you chubby noob.” Yeah I know, if anything Activision’s franchise is one of the most guilty franchises of cut and pasting ideas ever. No really, I’m agreeing with you, it too needs to seriously wake up and make big changes if it’s to survive another generation.

But back to Bad Company 2. It was just insane with open campaign maps, the ability to level a full area in multiplayer and so much more. Battlefield 3 felt stunted, slow and restricted to me. These concerns have followed me to Battlefield 4 and to all next-gen shooters as well. Again, this is a personal opinion and I fully respect yours too.

When we saw the PS4 announcement Killzone: Shadow Fall looked incredible, but once the gameplay began it looks like Guerilla had stolen Call of Duty’s jacket. The shooting seemed faster, not like the weighted heft of its predecessor. But oh it looked lovely didn’t it?

Innovation needs to happen across the board in next-gen. The potential is there if publishers let their studios run riot. but better visuals and particle effects are not innovation in the whole. They are visually innovative and perhaps enhance immersion to a degree, but if we’re just doing the same old scripted chores then can we truly say that things have evolved that much?

It’s like developers are jangling what appear to be shinier keys in front of our faces. They look like the best keys you’ve ever seen. They could change your life. You fork over the $60 asking price and look closer, only to realise they’re not new. They’ve just been polished.

If you want an example of this in gaming, just look at Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, a title that was ‘under-achieved in CryEngine 3™’. Yeah it looked nice in places, but it was a buggy, slack and often broken game that wasn’t enhanced by its visuals at all. This is a real trap that developers now face.

How to avoid that trap is the key. With the extra processing clout of next-gen consoles and new PC tech, it should be possible to try new, incredible things with the power at hand. But I fear we’ll merely get the same old experiences with a lick of paint and nothing more until the indies have at it.

It’s like asking a smelly tramp to wear a technicolour dreamcoat made of dreams. He may look like a fucking god, but he still reeks of last week’s stale piss underneath.

Still, I have high hopes for Battlefield 4 yet, because if you read these pages a lot you’ll know I’m a rife optimist who always gives the benefit of the doubt, so once again – I’m not having a go at DICE or the game because it looks ace – but developers need to know we won’t be conned by visuals alone.

What do you think?

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24 Comments

  1. monkeygourmet

    100% agree.

    This is another reason Im looking forward to seeing what the Wii U has to offer at E3.

    Killzone 4 was another example of tired old gameplay that just doesn’t age well.

    Other examples of games which I think are in danger of outstaying their welcome are:

    God of War
    Uncharted
    Gears of War
    Halo

    All big hitters, but having played all the last versions on PS3/360, the gameplay is becoming more and more ‘creaky’ while the graphics have got better.

    Again, another reason I will always love Nintendo games. If you strip away the graphics, the core gameplay is nearly always ‘timeless’.

    They must play test the shit out of stuff to lock down the levels and especially controls and it really shows.

    Not to start a flame war, but does anyone really think that ‘Knack’ or ‘Killzone’ will come anywhere near ‘Mario 3D U’ or ‘Metroid U’ for art design or playability?

    Im hoping that the rumours of a Fable MMO for 720 are true, not because I want that game particularly, but MMO and bigger online co-op games are something that could actually give console owners a change from the same old, same old.

    On a side note, I love the fact that Battlefield is basically Call of Duty now in single player, and people who hate COD are still praising it. It’s a shitty move from EA.

    It makes me feel that the boardroom said they couldn’t go back to Bad Company because we have Army of Two 3 coming out, ‘we already have our bro shooter quota covered’…

    Bad Company 3 would have been f**king awesome. :/

    #1 2 years ago
  2. ItsFade

    Well i’m a huge Battlefield fan and I always thought their single-player campaigns outside Bad Company 1 were garbage. Battlefield 3′s single-player was some of the most boring stuff I ever played through. I think it’s a franchise which would benefit a lot more from open game-play mimicking it’s multiplayer which is awesome than doing the corridor shooter boogaloo.

    This for me is especially noticeable after having played Bioshock: Infinite which reminded me of how good linear experiences are when they are done right and how most modern military shooters lacks sorely in that department. I’d rather they would try something different with their single-player campaign because it’s quite obvious anything in Battlefield, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor or Crysis single-player campaigns will never even come close to the quality of Bioshock: Infinite.

    That being said I thought the latest Black Ops 2 game took some steps in the right direction allowing for a little more player freedom. The game-play they showed from Battlefield 4 reminded me a little more of Bad Company and the more open levels than it reminded me of Battlefield 3. Hell you don’t even have to follow your squad members anymore, in the game-play reveal they actually followed you.

    It still seems largely scripted in some places however but slight glimmer of hope that it won’t be the regular dreck of a linear follow your squad mates and watch explosions campaign.

    I do agree that having nice graphics doesn’t cut it anymore if you can’t back it up with game-play to match. Every game these days have good or decent graphics, it doesn’t mean jack shit most of the time when i’m almost falling asleep 30 minutes into the game.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Hussar

    No dedicated servers and 128 player MP, no buy. Fuck off, EA.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Gadzooks!

    #1 and 2

    Full agreement from me.

    The one and only Battlefield I liked was BC1. Massive open levels with no linear corridor sections, a fun script with great characters.

    All subsequent BF games have been linear, super-serious shite.

    I don’t do OMP, so can’t comment on that side of things. It’s obvious that DICE haven’t given a shit about campaigns since BC1 though.

    Linear corridor games need to die a swift and permanent death.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. dex3108

    Dave you made little mistake :D It is not 60$ you need to add price of Season Pass to that :D

    #5 2 years ago
  6. xAKUM3TSUx

    Dave you have a very good perspective! Agree with you all the way. I want next gen games to be, for the most part, more innovative in gimmicks. Not just same game different graphics…Dont get me wrong. Amazing visuals are ace, but if I wanted BF3 then i’d play BF3.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. ps3fanboy

    @1 monkeygourmet

    so nintendos zelda,mario,donkey kong etc is not example of tired old gameplay or have outstaying their welcomes???… these games have been remaked in decades for every nintendo consoles and have 1000 of sequels and side games based of the same old characters from the 80′s. these games are just tired old gameplay and have outstaying their welcomes for a long time… its not gonna save the wii-u this time.. your full of shit monkey.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Juice_Man101

    @2 +1

    BC1 had the best single player and BC2 had the best multiplayer imo. The graphics look good but all I see is BF3.5 which isn’t a bad thing but every time I played BF3 I wished I was playing BC3.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. bitsnark

    Not sure I 100% agree with this article from a factual standpoint.

    I mean, other outlets are reporting that in the Battlefield 4 SP campaign there are some Halo style sandbox elements to it such as choosing whether or not to use a vehicle and enter the fray as well as squad based orders and tactics.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/gamesblog/2013/mar/27/battlefield-4-preview

    I’d say those factors alone probably elevate it above the “BF3 in Frostbite 3″ labels the game has erroneously been getting.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @9 yeah but sandbox compared to Bad Company 2′s almost open world approach?That’s what I want to see again, an actual battlefield. I think I’m wishing for too much mind ;)

    #10 2 years ago
  11. rafterman83

    Think you need to manage your expectations Dave.

    BF is all about the multiplayer, no-one really gives a damn about the single player – so what if its a corridor experience, MP certainly won’t be.

    It’s the best of both worlds, and less we not forget we’re only seeing 17 minutes of gameplay hardly enough to decide whether it’s next-gen enough.

    If you want an open-world single player go play Skyrim, as a fan of the series this is exactly what I want, a better looking game that expands on 3 in every possible way.

    Count me in.

    PS, If I had it my way, I wouldn’t even include a single player; but DICE likes a challenge so deal with it.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. bitsnark

    @10 I agree with you there; I don’t think we’ll get the BFBC2 campaign again (though qualitatively, depending on who you speak to about that campaign, the mileage on it varies fairly considerably), but in the meantime, the further we can get the series away from the mirage of CoD gold and its similarly designed shackles, the better the game will be :)

    #12 2 years ago
  13. monkeygourmet

    @PS3

    The fact that Nintendo is able to take those IP’s or characters and create quality new gameplay using them is a strength not a weakness.

    For example;

    Mario World – Mario Kart
    Luigi’s Mansion
    Donkey Kong – Donkey Kong Jungle Beat
    2D Metroid – Metroid Prime

    If it was so easy to cross things over then why does almost every other company fail so hard at it?

    Little Big Planet – Little Big Planet Kart

    We’ve been here so many times before, but my question stands:

    From a gameplay and art design perspective, do you honestly think ‘Knack’ on PS4 will actually come anywhere close to Mario Galaxy let alone Mario 3DU?

    Please try to seperate your hatred of a brand or franchise before you answer. Im not asking if you like Mario personally.

    Just because you blindly hate a brand doesn’t mean the games you mentioned aren’t prime examples of control and gameplay. You honestly think dev’s don’t use a lot of Nintendo games as benchmarks of game design? How many times have you heard Zelda OOT being referenced for inspiration by a games dev?

    #13 2 years ago
  14. zinc

    “…we won’t be conned by visuals alone”.

    LIAR!!

    :)

    #14 2 years ago
  15. xAKUM3TSUx

    @ps3fanboy: From what I’ve played of the series you listed, I dont see them all having the exact same mechanics in each of their respective installments. What draws me in to to those “tired old” games is the developers intent to expand on more than just the looks but what you can actually do in the game.

    Well thats how i see it.

    …but then I see your name and I think to myself: Am I wasting my time typing?

    #15 2 years ago
  16. AmiralPatate

    Sooooo, this is a new game, heh? Are we really sure this is not April 1st? Cause, same guns, sames vehicles, same character models, same dumb scripts, same auditive crime against the Battlefield theme, etc., etc..

    Why don’t they make a freaking BF2143? Or anything above 2040, or even alternate present, so they can invent guns, vehicles, do something original. I’m not asking for laser and spaceship, just something that is not same guns over and over again.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. manamana

    I absolutely agree and embrace journalists who are pointing that out. Next-gen will take a while, if it’s only for better visuals. At least for me.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. LordSkyline

    IT seriously makes me sad that majority of games don’t try to go for some ridiculous look. Where is the Torchlights and Wildstars of Shooters and Fantasy RPGs, (the last thing makes me so much more sad). Wheres our Fantasy RPG games that come with a fantasy world, and not just “real-ish world with orcs, elves and magic”. I want crazy stuff again, I want a game with a world that has 2 Suns, Purple trees Green Skies. Or really anything that isn’t “here is Earth with Magic and Elves”.

    I just want something different again, please? :(

    Edit: I’m aware Bi-Star worlds exist, examples n stuff.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. manamana

    Too be fair, Battlefield IS about realism – no need to bring pink unicorns in here. But at least change the storytelling, the gameplay and the friggin AI.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. LordSkyline

    Well of course not for Battlefield, but as Dave says, this isn’t just about Battlefield, it’s about the broad scale of things. And that scale is largely Beige, Brown, Grey these days, sadly.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. xAKUM3TSUx

    @manamana- Yeah, from this standpoint I agree. Maybe just a few new mechanics would do. In full, it would surprise me what they actually do add and if it doesn’t bother the game itself.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. SplatteredHouse

    A new cycle should be a time to start over. Reset. Think again. More than that, though; to impress me there must be established new foundations (where before were piecemeal, glued together layers of fixes, ultimately changing little, so constrained were they by the previous frame.)
    I’m glad I decided to read the other reaction article, after all.

    It was a distinctly lacking trailer, and what will be all the worse, would be if EA refused to understand, and recognise from where the disappointment stems. The most exciting part of it, was when I realised they were taking some colour palette cues from Spec Ops the Line, in attempt to un-bland their VAST fields of battle, just a little.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. ActionGameKing

    Another great article like the one Sam Clay wrote last night. It’s true that we should have realistic expectations from these big budget titles, but at the same time we as consumers should definitely demand more.

    @7 That’s the best point I’ve ever seen you make. Right now the industry is reaching gameplay fatigue. Publishers won’t allow massive risks for innovation because the games have to sell hotcakes. But there are a few big ones we could surely get excited about. eg. Destiny & GTA 5

    #23 2 years ago
  24. laughing-gravy

    I agree on the stale piss bit. This just looks a bit meh! Same old, same old but with shinier graphics. We need progress in gameplay more than we do in graphics. Only Media Molecules presentation at the PS4 announcement showed any real ambition. So I’ll wait to see what they are doing before I buy any new hardware.

    #24 2 years ago

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    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]

  • Jason Voorhees doesn’t look out of place in new Mortal Kombat X trailer

    Jason Voorhees comes to Mortal Kombat X starting tomorrow and it’s time to celebrate his arrival. Jason Voorhees, the first DLC character for Mortal Kombat X has been given the trailer treatment. Jason is part of the game’s Kombat Pack, owners of which can start using him tomorrow, May 5. Being an iconic horror character, […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition – Dragonslayer DLC announced, free to all this week

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is getting a multiplayer expansion this week. BioWare has announced that all owners of Dragon Age: Inquisition will receive a new multiplayer expansion, for free. The expansion is called Dragonslayer and it’s centred around fighting dragons, hence the name. Three new playable characters will join the roster as you explore an all-new […]

  • Sonder is still happening, and this is the best news of the week

    Sonder is a really interesting-looking new indie adventure, which I am quite excited to remember exists. We first heard about Sonder in late 2013, when its debut trailer introduced us to a Kamai Media’s ambitious vision. In the intervening months Kamai has been hard at work on its space station management sim slash non-linear narrative […]

  • Twitter axes playable Internet Archive embeds

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

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

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

  • Rare game announce expected at E3 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Splatoon lacks voice chat to promote a positive online experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Is Alien: Isolation getting HTC Vive support?

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

  • Xbox Live multiplayer is free this weekend on Xbox 360

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

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

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

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

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

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

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