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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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    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 […]