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Thief: opening the door to the next generation

Friday, 5 April 2013 16:37 GMT By Stace Harman

Thief gives Stace Harman a first-hand glimpse into the spectacle of next-gen games, but underlines how even with extra power behind them, some things never change.

Thief

2014’s Thief will mark the return of master pilferer Garrett, ten years after he last appeared in Thief: Deadly Shadows on Xbox and PC.

Thief supports pacifist playthroughs, but game producer Stephane Roy goes further to suggest that “technically speaking, avoiding conflict is actually the main goal of this game.”

Thief will take place in The City, an unnamed locale in a period that’s described as being “Victorian, on the verge of industrial revolution.” The game is being built using a heavily modified Unreal Engine 3.

Thief’s first-person viewpoint will occasionally switch to third-person to aid with environmental traversal and “offer a different flavour of play”.

Thief is being developed by Eidos Montreal and is set for release on PC, PS4 in 2014.

Watching Eidos Montreal’s Thief demo on PC, I’m struck by two things. The first is the aesthetically pleasing display of dynamic lighting, volumetric smoke, god-rays and weather effects that’s being delivered to my eyeballs. The second is just how completely it is undermined by the simple act of opening a door.

The play-through I’m watching is that which was concisely described by Dave a little while back.

In it, master thief Garrett scales the rooftops of a darkened cityscape in order to orientate himself, prior to hot-footing across town to reach the House of Blossoms brothel before the clock strikes 12.

Eschewing the heavily guarded front door of the pleasure house for a conveniently overlooked hole in the wall, Garrett slips inside, incapacitates a guard, burglarises a strongbox and pick-pockets a patron.

All actions are expertly carried out without raising suspicion as Garrett surreptitiously extinguishes light sources to facilitate his slinking through the shadows. It’s atmospheric, moody and watching Garrett ply his illicit trade provides an undeniable frisson of excitement.

And then he opens a door and my brain pulls a sad face.

We’ve all seen it play out a thousand times before: player gets within a few feet of a conventional door, player presses button on controller, door swings open without being touched by avatar. It’s a very familiar scenario and that’s precisely the cause of my consternation.

Where is Garrett’s natural caution? Why doesn’t he ease the door open and peek round it? Why is the door either wide open or shut tight? There’s an immediate sense of disconnect between player, avatar and game-world that’s caused by such mundane trifles as having a door swing open without being touched.

It’s something that we’ve grown used over the years but equally it’s something that could become increasingly difficult to accept or ignore as we move toward the brave new world of next-gen.

Putting this to Thief producer Stephane Roy elicits a thoughtful pause before he delivers an unexpected answer, “It’s a tradition, if I may call it that, that’s known throughout the video game industry: doors are a pain in the arse.”

“In terms of the AI understanding the role that doors play, how to navigate them, how they affect the layout of a room … in real life opening a door is nothing but in a game it’s more complicated. Then there’s the animation of the action and the angles from which a player can perform it; it’s a lot of work. That said, I agree, this is next-gen and the idea that there is some kind of magic door that just swings open is not good.

“The most important thing for us is immersion and that you believe in this world. This type of detail can undo that. I cannot promise you anything but I am certainly putting some pressure on people on my team to find solutions to these kinds of problems.”

Of course, the opening of a door is merely representative of a host of accepted conventions and immersion-breaking problems to be addressed by Thief and its next-gen brethren. Guards incapable of looking up, amnesiac AI outfoxed by breaking its line of sight, gimmicky super-powered vision that highlights objectives and provides solutions to puzzles.

There are a lot of things that we’ve gotten used to seeing in our games that developers of next-gen titles are going to have the power to address. The question is: will they?

Sumptuous visuals aside, it’s disappointing to see a next-gen game being played in exactly the same way as a current-gen title. However, what’s more encouraging is the conversation that I have with Roy afterwards in which he addresses many of these concerns.

For example, he speaks of how the increased processing power of next-gen machines allows for AI to be managed on many more levels than is currently possible and how it will facilitate a more seamless transition between states of awareness.

What’s more, veteran guards can display more complex behaviour patterns than low-level rookies, meaning that tricks that work against some AI entities won’t necessarily work in the same way against others.

“For us, the big thing with the next generation is how it will allow us to really concentrate on creating an immersive experience,” Roy reiterates. “We’re having a lot of conversations internally about how to address issues and ensure that the world feels believable.”

It’s at this point that I bring up Focus, Garrett’s vision-altering power that will be familiar to players of Tomb Raider, Batman, Hitman, Assassin’s Creed and a host of other games. Here, Focus is a limited resource that can be used to highlight objects, aid pickpocket and lock-picking attempts, and facilitate takedowns during combat.

Thief director Nicholas Cantin has previously stated that use of this power will be “completely the player’s choice”, but in the level I watch, Garrett uses it to uncover hidden glyphs to solve a mission-critical puzzle and there really doesn’t appear to be any other way to achieve that without using Focus.

“The Focus is really linked with the story, something happens at the beginning of the story that makes sense of it … we’ve worked very hard to make sure that it doesn’t feel like a video game gimmick and having said that its use will be optional, we have to work very hard to make sure of that,” Roy explains. “If we have a puzzle that all of the people in this city cannot solve [without Focus], then we have to be able to explain why that is.”

Reading between the lines it seems likely that, as things stand, the use of Focus during moment-to-moment game play will be optional but that Garrett’s reliance on it in other instances is inextricably tied to the narrative.

In truth, this first 30-minute look at Thief raises more questions than Roy has time to answer. He promises future demos will better illustrate how the AI behaves and how myriad approaches will affect the way a level plays out, but that will have to wait for another day.

In the meantime, it’s exciting to imagine how light and shadow, a contrast that has always played a fundamental role in Thief series, might affect game play. The possibilities that could be explored through clever use of dynamic light-sources, real-time shadows and genuine reflections could fundamentally enhance the Thief experience beyond anything that is currently possible on PS3 and 360.

Of course, video game conventions are not going to change overnight. It’s going to be a while before we find out whether Thief, or indeed any of the first-wave of next-gen exclusive titles, will offer a genuinely new experience or, at the very least, more than just a shiny new wrapper.

To paraphrase Roy, for me the next gen is less about the number of polygons being pushed around the screen and more about what those polygons are doing. I just hope that extends to how they open doors.

Thief will launch on PC, PS4 and “other next-generation consoles” in 2014.

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19 Comments

  1. _LarZen_

    We have next gen hardware and next gen graphics. What we need now is next gen games.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. SameeR_Fisher

    The Door, I wish developer would play Splinter Cell Chaos Theory -which is kinda the king of stealth games, at least to me- Sam Fisher holds the door, he can swing it open, or control how much of it he opens to peak around corners, I really miss such attention to details.

    Focus, again Splinter Cell, they introduced the trifocals goggles, you could use the Thermal Vision to see the finger prints in a keypad in SAR, or see mines, or sometimes see guards behind thin wall -rarely-, it was REALISTIC, but now ?!, it is all about supernatural vision and tracking and BS.

    Thanks Stace for actually being worried and seeing faults that other would generally just let go.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. fearmonkey

    I think it’s great Stace that you called them on the door thing. That is a good call, hopefully they listen to your feedback and implement something. I could see where an animation evertime a door was opened would be annoying, especially if they have a ton of doors. Having that animation could affect level design. I applaud bringing it up :)

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Stace Harman

    @1 +1

    @2 @3 Thanks, folks. We’ve waited a long time for the next gen and I’m keen for devs to prove that it’s been worth it.

    Also, @2, the Splinter Cell example is a great one. If you’re heavily invested in stealth, things like how your avatar interacts with a door has a big effect on the game play experience.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. cw5th

    Another thing that crossed my mind as i was reading through this article. What about creaking doors/doorhandels?

    That would be one of the worst things a Thief can come across i would assume.

    The whole house is dead silent, no one is making a noise. Garret opens a door and “eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh”… “shit”.

    It would be quite difficult and the player has to time the opening of a door with a loud noise(which belongs into the natural sound of the scene(Clocktower or something like that)), but it would be so aweome if it works out…

    Just a thought.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. apollyonbob

    @4 Yeah, it has a huge effect. And yes, doors are a pain in the ass. But it’s kind of like … what have they been doing? I would think that “making stealth work” and AI would be, you know, kind of priority #1 and #2 respectively.

    Instead, they’ve probably been working on … what, the graphics?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    I completely agree about the door.

    I remember that Penumbra, in some ways, felt like a very natural evolution of thief. So did Amnesia. What I want to happen, what I desperately want to happen… what should happen… The Amnesia devs need to make a spiritual Thief successor. No, really. They do.

    Penumbra got that feeling of caution right, and Amnesia refined it. It was for survival horror rather than thievery of course, but if you play Penumbra and Amnesia, and look past the horror, the feeling of a thief game is very much present. That’s what I want from a Thief game, not PUSH BUTAN SWING OPEN DOOR.

    This is pretty much off my list, but at some point… I’m hoping someone shows the mainstream how it’s done.

    But right now I kind of want to go and follow around Frictional Games like a lost puppy with my plaintive pleas of ‘oh please won’t you use that brilliant engine of yours to make a true Thief successor? Oh please

    I want another Thief game. But this isn’t it. Come on, Frictional, I know you have it in you.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. TheWulf

    Plus! The atmosphere of Amnesia/Penumbra is absolutely perfect for a Thief game, it’s very reminiscent of the older ones. The older Thief games had an atmosphere that you’d need a good steak knife to carve through, it was something that could get your heart beating. Plus, there were more… disturbing elements of Thief.

    Really, Frictional Games would be my dream Thief designers. They have the atmosphere down, the disturbing elements, the art, the gameplay (that feeling of caution and building fear)… why are these guys doing what Frictional could do so much better? If I had money, I’d throw it at Frictional to do a Thief successor just to spite them.

    Almost tempted to shoot a mail Frictional’s way rambling about this.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. SameeR_Fisher

    @4Stace: that’s exactly why I am kinda against mainstreaming in Stealth games, the devs begin to lose focus on the important little stuff, sure they can make a balanced games, but the stealth would never compare to a pure stealth title.

    It is sad times we are living in where mainstreaming is a must, I would love to see a Splinter Cell title or any new IP in the vein of Chaos Theory.

    Thief -as far as I know- is the first stealth game in next gen, so alot of pressure on it, I want it to deliver, I want it to try and remain as stealthy and hardcore as possible, we need a strong pure stealth titles alongside the balanced mixed stealth/action titles.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. RandomTiger

    Great stuff Stace, not sure if the door thing in itself is a good or bad idea, I would have to playtest it. But developers need to understand that next gen is an importunity to step up more than just the graphics.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. karma

    I just can’t be excited for this reimagining. No way in hell they are gonna make a faithful to the original Thief game in this day and age of dumbed down, mass market appeal games. It just won’t be Thief. Just antoher stealth action game that isnt half as immersive as the original.

    I mean, come on they got qte like combat encounters, no Stephen Russel as Garrett, increased focus on combat, Mirrors Edge style free running and the worst of all a third person climbing camera? Did they learn nothing from Ion Storm’s Deadly Shadows?

    Sorry but as a big fan of the original 2 games, this doesn’t interest me.

    Maybe if Deus Ex: HR had felt more like the original DE, then i’d give em a chance, but it felt so watered down by comparison.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Jerykk

    While it would be nice to be able to open the door in various ways (ala Chaos Theory), what’s more important is that the AI recognize that the door has been opened. The AI should remember the default state for environmental objects like doors, so if a door is closed by default, they should get suspicious if they see it open. They did this in NOLF2 and it was pretty awesome.

    Speaking of memory, the AI should have it. In every stealth game I’ve ever played, the AI has extremely short-term memory. They can notice a series of suspicious occurrences but as long as you space them out appropriately, the AI will always return to its idle state as if everything is fine and dandy. The size of the suspicion increments should increase with each subsequent event. So, the first time a guard hears a weird noise, his suspicion increases by 10. The second time he hears something, it increases by 50. The third time, 100.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. reask

    Excellent article Stace and my reason for visiting this site on a daily basis upon other great journos like Dave and Sam to mention but a few.

    Nail on the head was nailed in this article.
    Stop with the pretty games and bloody work on the actual game please.

    God of war 1 and 2 for example, I mean solid gameplay doing the job over cosmetics.
    THIS IS WHAT WE YEARN FOR DEVS SO PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE TAKE NOTE.
    Kindest regards Reask.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Kuwabara

    Different animations can be used depending on the angle and speed you approach the door. How about being able to drop down and in first person view look under the door for feet or shadows, or be able to put your ear against the door to hear the vibrations of sound from the other end. There’s plenty of ways to do this and it can add some exciting gameplay elements.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. DarkElfa

    So basically, what is happening in this next generation is the Uncanny Valley of in-game movements.

    As things become more real, the animations become far more noticeable and distracting. While they can almost make the models and textures look photo-realistic, the actual movements and interactions of models are far behind the curve.

    A living being makes random movements that are rarely duplicated, but that is almost if not straight out impossible to do in-game.

    Until true AI is achieved and computers can create things like random movement on the fly, it’s a valley that cannot be traversed.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Phoenixblight

    @15

    Only way to counter the uncanny valley is with 3d scanners and mo cap much like Fox Engine. But in reality it is quite a cost up front to do this and smaller studios and publishers won’t be able to pull it off. THis is generally why I like stylistic approach it makes the game timeless and not as obvious being outdated.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. manamana

    Bravo Stace! The attention to the door “detail” tells the whole story of sluggish game developement and why immersion of a gaming world will fall apart without attention to such details considering the context of the game.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Erthazus

    So it’s a Thief for a console gamer.

    Great. Just great. I’m sure that Thief community will be pissed so much about this. that’s what i’m talking about. With a small controller that has 16+ buttons and crappy “AIM” you can’t make a decent stealth game. It’s going to be stealth action game with cut scenes and stupid AI because most of the console gamers will not use gadgets, think or wait some time to do things… but will start killing them with a bow… In Deadly Shadows you could actually kill a person with a dagger but that was hard as F. If you didn’t know how to do it you would die in 3 hits.

    There was a reason why Thief 1 and 2 were never released on a console. Now, good bye to stealth games.. welcome to another shitty Action game with a bow.

    Why making a stealth game for a community that Does not like stealth games at all? Just for the sake of making it an action game and sell to idiots? F. that.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. GwynbleiddiuM

    @18 Last stealth game Eidos produced clearly shows where the company stand on the subject, each feet on the side of the genre in a dock position, splashing poop all over it.

    #19 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    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 […]