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Deciphering Dark Souls 2′s ‘accessibility’

Friday, 24 May 2013 08:29 GMT By Stace Harman

Dark Souls 2′s very existence has Stace Harman rather delighted, but he questions whether making the game more accessible might rob it of its appeal.

Dark Souls 2

Unlike its predecessor, Dark Souls 2 is being developed simultaneously for PS3, 360 and PC, which should help avoid the criticisms levelled at Dark Souls somewhat lacklustre PC port.

Dragons are once again set to play a large role throughout the game. From the gameplay so far, we’ve seen a tentatively titled Mansion of Dragons and around a dozen dragons featured during a bridge-crossing segment.

The decision to keep Dark Souls 2 on the current generation of machines was made partly for the sake of expediency .

Despite the series offering an infamous degree of challenge and my own personal first play-through of Dark Souls clocking in at 100+ hours, this super-human individual was able to complete it in just 86 minutes.

There are many stories that offer an insight into the mind of Hidetaka Miyazaki, the creative driving force behind Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. There’s one about a digital photo frame that displayed varied feedback to Demon’s Souls, which the director kept on his desk throughout the development of its follow-up.

There’s another about Miyazaki watching tapes of dedicated Demon’s Souls players completing the game with the weakest character class, so that he might better understand the level of devotion that the game was capable of inspiring.

My personal favourite tells of how the air of ambiguity that surrounds series features like World Tendency and Covenants is a considered and deliberate choice on Miyazaki’s part.

It is the director’s attempt to recreate the mix of awe and incomprehension that he himself experienced during childhood as he struggled to understand the foreign language of western fantasy literature.

By not providing all of the answers and leaving some mysteries unexplained, Miyazaki hoped to encourage players to invest themselves in the fiction of his Souls series and to engage their imagination to fill in the blanks.

It’s these stories that go some way to helping us understand what Miyazaki has brought to From Software’s celebrated series, in terms of both mechanical design and emotional impact. It’s these same stories that make it difficult for fans to not be concerned by the fact that Miyazaki’s involvement in Dark Souls 2 is at a supervisory level only.

What’s more, his replacement, Tomohiro Shibuya, has stated that Dark Souls 2 will be less obtuse and easier to understand, while on a recent trip to Namco Bandai’s UK HQ I was told that the game’s narrative will be clearer and its story more structured.

Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to make something easier to understand and many will feel that the secrets of series should, at the very least, be decipherable through exploration of the game, rather than an online wiki. However, all of this makes me wary of the direction that Dark Souls 2 could take if pursuit of these notions is not expertly managed.

A more structured story suggests a clearer idea of where to go and what to do next, which risks depriving players of having to make their own exploratory journeys to figure it out for themselves. To be denied this joy because a wider audience might be disorientated by too many paths or frustrated by the lack of obvious direction is one of my biggest fears for Dark Souls 2.

Say what you see

Watching a Namco Bandai rep playing 20-minutes of the sequel cannot hope to address these concerns but it does reveal a number of clues concerning other key elements of the game.

The gameplay that we’re shown is that which was revealed last month, so rather than give a blow-by-blow account of it it’s more useful to focus on some of the finer details. In this vertical slice of gameplay, an armoured knight is depicted entering a ruined keep, lighting a bonfire and descending a ladder into the depths below.

The bonfires are amongst a number of features to make a return from Dark Souls. In this pre-alpha gameplay there’s much that is yet to be pinned down, but nonetheless the basic form and function of the HUD appears familiar. The health and stamina bars are the same as before, although there’s what appears to be a sun and moon icon where the humanity counter was previously.

There’s no word on whether this is indicative of a shifting day/night cycle, although it doesn’t appear to be the case from what I observe. It could be an emblem that depicts covenant allegiance or is linked to the character class; similarly, it might just be a placeholder at this point. Humanity was one of the core concepts of Dark Souls, affecting numerous game factors and so it wouldn’t be surprising for it to feature in the sequel in one form or another.

The HUD in the bottom-left of the screen looks largely familiar. One key difference is the ability to assign three weapons to the right-hand weapon-slot compared to Dark Souls’ two. There are also smaller item slots next to the main cardinal-point display that suggest an expanded number of secondary items will be accessible without having to dip into the inventory system.

The inventory system itself is currently implemented in only its most basic form. It still takes up most of the screen but is offset to give you a view of your character. While this affords a vanity view of your avatar as you swap armour and equipment it has the more important function of allowing you to see if you’re about to be attacked; it’s unknown at this stage whether you’re able to pause the game.

Aesthetically, Dark Souls 2 shares the ruined beauty of its predecessors. The art direction once again lends personality to crumbling grandiose structures and harsh natural landscapes. A new engine has been developed in order to address the frame rate issues of Dark Souls and with the new engine come a handful of new tricks. The lighting effects are excellent and also serve a gameplay function.

It’s now possible to carry a torch to illuminate those dark corners but doing so deprives you of the ability to equip a shield and so it may be a case of sacrificing the ability to effectively defend against that which is trying to kill you for the relative luxury of being able to see it.

Outside, wind rustles clothing and, in one dangerous sequence, slows movement across a bridge to a crawl as dragons circle overhead. It looks likely that we’ll see more varied weather conditions that we have before.

In truth, there is nothing on show here that offers any cause for alarm. No wholesale changes, recharging health or ill-advised cover mechanics to sully the series’ pure roots and challenging gameplay.

Instead, there is just that one nagging worry that without Miyazaki’s constant presence, the rest of the team might be tempted to tip the balance further in the player’s favour or face publisher pressure to chase a bigger audience by relaxing the firm hand that the first two titles maintained throughout.

Perhaps it’s unfair to be concerned or maybe it’s the unavoidable by-product being so invested in the franchise. I keep coming back to the idea that Miyazaki’s show-not-tell approach is completely at odds with so many other high-profile titles. Without him, will damaging sacrifices be made in a bid for mass-market acceptance?

Of course, neither Dark Souls nor Demon’s Souls were made by just one man. Therefore, I can only hope that those who worked alongside Miyazaki paid close attention to his methods and share his passion for treating players like intelligent adults. Ultimately, I want some of the mystery to remain intact so that I might savour the experience of figuring it out for myself.

Dark Souls 2 will be released on PS3, 360 and PC either later this year or early next.

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12 Comments

  1. The_Red

    This is exactly how I felt about the DS2 gameplay reveal. I was worried about a lot of things. Then saw the footage and everything felt good (Regarding how there haven’t been any major bad changes and how there wasn’t a real cause for alarm).

    Yet… those words about more “accessibility” and more streamline approach to storytelling are still there :(

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Kieran

    @1

    exactly its difficulty is what made it popular in thee first place im all for more people playing it but i would like it add a difficulty mode but lose the accessibility part

    #2 2 years ago
  3. polygem

    i just finished demon´s souls 2 weeks ago or so and started it the week before. this game is unbelieveably good. i haven´t played the game before because all the press and fans made it much harder than it actually is imho. i always thought the game will be great but frustrate me too much. well it didn´t, if anything it motivated me to start and finish it in about a week and after 46 hours i realised that i killed every demon in the game (cannot wait for my ng+) just wishing to go on and on and on.
    i just started dark souls now, i am only 12 hours or so in and i really enjoy this game but i think i found demon´s more accessible which is strange because having played demon´s really helps to understand how dark souls works. i think it is the design of the gaming world, the nexus vs. the more open worldish approach in dark. i think i really preferred the nexus more. it was more streamlined, more accessible, it gave me the option to browse through the levels in the nexus, planning my ride through the game a little more…you can still plan what to do next in dark souls and you freaking have to but it feels different. i never thought of needing a guide in demon´s but for dark i am getting the feeling that i absolutely need one, like it is even esential to have a guide to play the game properly. right now i am a a bit lost in dark. most bosses i encountered feel too hard yet, i travelled to many locations but i do not make much progress in any of them right now…i know, this is part of the game, i must think for a way out of this, this is exactly what makes this game feel so depressing, dangerous and fun at the same time, but all this was there in demon´s too but it encouraged me to press further in the game more. i returned to the nexus, felt save for a while, skilled my char, might go somewhere to grind if i wasn´nt making progress, instantly hopped into another world later..tried to survive longer…it felt better to me. not saying dark is a bad game. the opposite is true, i love some of the levels, some of the enemy animations are outstanding, the atmosphere is great….but yeah, i think demon´s was more accessible.

    BTW : FANTASTIC ARTICLE!

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Stace Harman

    @1+2 I’m really looking forward to seeing more and being able to go hands-on for a few hours in order to play a chunk of the game and get a feel for how it’s set-up. I’m positive about it in general, I just have one or two concerns that I’d like to be cleared up sooner rather than later!

    @3 I agree that some elements of Demon’s are actually more accessible; the level structure is a big part of that. Having distinct worlds makes it easier to tackle, but that’s why I prefer the coherence of Dark Souls’ world and having to figure out where to go next rather than going from A to B.

    Thanks for the feedback, folks.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Mineral4r7s

    What I love about Dark Souls is the fact that you have one wide open world. Filled with tons of shortcuts. Every shortcut found for the first time blows your mind. Everything is connected everything is easy to reach. Its such a small world that seems so hugh because of all the possibilities. If you look closely you can see where you will be next and if you reach that spot and you look back you can see from where you came and it always, still, after 250 hours of dark souls, blows my mind.

    The world design is simply genious.

    Even after having played so long, watched so many videos I still encounter things I did not know about previously. Each playthrough is partially a new game, a new playstyle, a new world. If you know how you can approach the game from all directions its just astounding. Game is too easy for you? Choose Deprived at start and play naked the whole game and try to remain human for added pvp difficulty.

    Beating a specialized PvP character with a greenhorn character you just created feels just so good. I really do love this game. Not many games have moved me like this one. This games story made me cry, jump in joy and tremble from fear.

    I have heard about the rumous regarding Dark Souls 2, I have not watched a single piece of gameplay as I want to see it all for myself. I hope they do it right and if they don’t I can still play Dark Souls 1. They don’t need to make a better game, I don’t know if they even can, just a game like this that gives me hundreds of hours of joy.

    Did you know that you can see the Asylum Stray Demon, the first boss you encounter as you enter the fighting room? Its standing on the roof and watching you, and as you approeach he jumps down.

    You can see the Moonlight Butterfly, outside of the fog, clinging to the wall if you look closely.

    There are so many details I can’t write it all down.

    I have to go now so I stop here.

    I believe in you From Software, don’t screw up.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. TheBlackHole

    I’ve had many an argument over this with people at work.

    IMHO, I’m all for keeping the game tough at its core and not shifting on that vision, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t add a different/easier/harder/more accessible mode.

    People who don’t like trial & error or unreasonable difficulty are never going to play the game anyway, but making some concessions on one aspect of the gameplay still allows people to experience an incredible world full of depth, character, combat and exploration.

    I really feel the focus on difficulty being this game’s USP does it a disservice.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. redwood

    I am happy with where ds2 is going. but what is miyazaki doing? what’s his secret project. I just hope he doesn’t go the path of fumito Ueda, i.e fade away.. I want him to keep making games (for as long as he likes)

    #7 2 years ago
  8. MFBB

    There will be little changes, just like from Demons Souls to Dark Souls.

    But in the end, all fans of the first two games will enjoy it for sure :)

    I hope they do a better job on the technical side of the game.

    A bit concerned about the Playstation version since they use the PC as lead… ports to the PS3 from Xbox/PC tend to be the worst version with the most issues.

    Even so all those 3 games would not be possible without the Playstation fans who made this series successfully, so dont force me to buy the PC version…wanne play this on the couch again :)

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Mineral4r7s

    @8 PC version is the superior version. You can mod the game, it looks way better, DSCfix enables easy coop with friends or duels with friends. PC version is the recommended version, imho.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Rafa_L

    @9 I don’t know, I’m put off by the many videos of hackers, I play on ps3 and aside the flickering graphics glitch and some lag, I love it.

    I do like mods, but at this point the multiplayer is all there is to me, though some appearance mods are cool, many people hack and make pvp horrible.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Mineral4r7s

    @10 I can tell you from my experience that hackers exist but they are rare. Most of the time you have fair duels, I invade constantly with my slvl 40 char other players in the forest while running through the world of dark souls, killing bosses and I always have fair 1n1s. I also happened to invade a world with 2 players. One cosplayed Smough the other one Ornstein :D, I invaded together with another player and we both had fair 1n1 fights. Its hella fun. If you somehow get your hands on dark souls for PC, I am pretty sure it will soon be reduced on steam in the summer sale give it a try, its like a whole new game.

    ps:
    pvp lvl on PC is 100

    greetings
    my name

    #11 2 years ago
  12. HighWindXIX

    For what it’s worth, I’m excited about a little more transparency to the setting and the story. On one hand, it is cool to notice little things linking an item to a story event while reading it’s description but the fact that I didn’t pick up on it till my third play through is also kind of a bummer. As much as I like the joy of discovery, realizing that there’s probably way more to the story that I won’t enjoy unless I scour every item description or read a wiki is also a little disheartening. I know several people who didn’t even know what the choice they were making at the end of the game meant. So if Dark Souls is a 2 out of 10 on a scale of clarity and explanation, how about we make Dark Souls 2 a 3 out of 10.

    #12 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Mortal Kombat X video confirms Liu Kang as playable character

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

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

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

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

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

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

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

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

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

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

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

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

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

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

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Kojima Station show suspended

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

  • Watch Battle Royale for free this weekend on Xbox Live

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

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

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