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Back on track: Final Fantasy creates head of steam at E3

Friday, 21 June 2013 14:19 GMT By Alex Donaldson

Final Fantasy swapped Versus for XV and showed it has a real future in Los Angeles last week. Alex Donaldson reports on a series reborn.

“When we originally launched the Versus XIII project, we thought that action-based would fit the title. I believe that there is a future for both action-based RPGs and command-based RPGs. It’s not that we’re not thinking of the future of command-based, but we think that this action-based RPG fits FF15.”

Final Fantasy VII is pretty damn famous within gamer culture. One of the best known lines of the game, delivered by walking black stereotype Barret Wallace, embodies Square Enix’s approach to its flagship series over recent years – “There ain’t no gettin’ offa this train we’re on!”

For the best part of a decade now, the series has felt lost. It’s been motoring along the track at speed, yes, much like the trains of the Midgar slums, but the track in question has been one with a muddled identity, and one too obsessed with chasing the success of the quoted game.

This generation’s effort, the Final Fantasy XIII saga, has often felt like it’s been dashing about beneath the shadow of the most successful entry in the series, searching for a soul and an identity. Heroine Lightning was pitched as a female version of Cloud, for instance, and FF13’s combat system was built to mimic the look of FF7 movie Advent Children’s action sequences – all while juggling the turn-based RPG roots and expectations of the series.

Worse, development of the game was a protracted, expensive five-year process. When released, the expensively developed game still split opinion – in large part, I think, due to a lack of an identity unrelated to aping other successful games in the series. Expensive development inspired sequels, too, so assets could be reused – and those also polarized gamers.

Excessive development time and cost combined with modest sales of sequels and the gigantic bungle that was Final Fantasy XIV to leave the company in trouble – something new CEO Yosuke Matsuda admitted and apologized for in an E3 presentation.

“Since the last fiscal year, the news of our earnings call and the change in CEO, I realize we have caused many worries,” Matsuda, replacement for Yoichi Wada, said. “With E3 2013 as our base point, we plan to begin to move forward in a stronger and bigger way.”

And they have, I think. The company clearly hopes that press, fans and investors alike will see their showing at this year’s E3 as a sea change for the company. It’s early days yet, but I’m actually rather inclined to agree, at least based on what we know and have seen so far.

So, here are the headlines: Final Fantasy Versus XIII is now officially Final Fantasy XV, while Kingdom Hearts III is also now in development. Both are coming for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, meaning the game previously known as Versus has lost its intended exclusivity and Kingdom Hearts will make its very first appearance on an Xbox platform.

That news in itself is all pretty exciting. Versus has just about always looked more interesting than the original FF13, and it puts Tetsuya Nomura – a key component of the massively successful FF7 – back at the front and centre of the series.

It was a difficult secret to keep, and many of Square Enix’s own PR team confessed to me they hadn’t seen the trailer until the moment it aired at Sony. “I was so excited I couldn’t get to sleep,” Shinji Hashimoto, Producer on the game, told the press.

Before talking about that game in detail at their E3 presentation, Square Enix wanted to cover that game’s direct predecessor – the upcoming relaunch of Final Fantasy XIV, titled A Realm Reborn.

“We believe that an MMORPG, FF14 contains the heart and soul of the FF series,” Producer Naoki Yoshida told the assembled press. The E3 trailer pushes this agenda – it’s a story-driven piece, filled with snippets of FF staples such as Ifrit, Ultima Weapon and an airship-piloting Cid.

A key announcement for the company was that the title would also ship on PS4 in addition to PS3 and PC – though that version won’t arrive until 2014. As underlined in our previous coverage, the most impressive fact about this reboot is that it is a true do-over; next to none of the original release remains. It’s been an expensive undertaking, and is something the company argue is an example of their new commitment to quality, to getting it right.

Also out soon are remastered HD versions of Final Fantasy X, X-2 and Kingdom Hearts for PS3 as well as the aforementioned third sequel to FF13, Lightning Returns. The latter is described by its producer at a game that will make fans ask “Is this really Final Fantasy?” thanks to a more action-based approach to its combat.

Even more action-based, though, is what we’re really here to talk about – the fifteenth main-line entry into the Final Fantasy series. Final Fantasy XV doesn’t just mark a change in terms of Square Enix committing to showing the game and getting it out on time, but also represents a change of direction for the series in general.

In gameplay footage we’re shown at the event lead character Noctis jumps about the battlefield in a manner that appears more fitting for a third person action game such as God of War or Castlevania, and the massive on-screen HUD elements of FF13 are largely absent. At a glance, it looks more like an action game.

This has some RPG fans concerned, but I actually think it’s a rather exciting change. Turn-based battles have struggled to mesh with the action-packed, mainstream vision Square Enix has held for the series in the modern cinematic experience driven age. The end result has been titles like FF13, which ended up failing to fully satisfy either fan base.

It’s an issue that FF15 Producer and Final Fantasy brand director Shinji Hashimoto had to field at E3 – with FF15 taking this approach, what happens to the more traditional systems of FF’s past?

“When we originally launched the Versus XIII project, we thought that action-based would fit the title,” he explained when quizzed. “I believe that there is a future for both action-based RPGs and command-based RPGs. It’s not that we’re not thinking of the future of command-based, but we think that this action-based RPG fits FF15.”

“For people like me, I want the game to be easy to operate – so I’m asking the development team to be a little bit flexible about the difficulty level,” he added – promising to ensure the game will be easily playable for fans of the older, slower-paced games.

Even if a portion of the most hardcore fans of the series are reluctant to stand behind the action-focused approach of FF15, the draw of the footage Square Enix released at E3 is undeniable. As with every year, their booth at the show was defined by a massive cinema-style screen with rows of seating in front of it.

When it aired trailers for games like Lightning Returns or the surprisingly clever Murdered: Soul Suspect, those seated in E3 exhaustion seemed to only partially pay attention – but every time the FF15 trailer came on, people seemed to become mesmerised. More would be drawn into the stand from the walkways, and phones would be raised to film the screen.

“I want you to understand that the FF series is always evolving. It’s always taking on new challenges; this is a positive change.”

It was surreal to see; after years of apathy for the series, people seemed invigorated, excited and interested in Final Fantasy in a manner I haven’t seen since the start of this generation – when FF13 was considered a potentially generation-defining, console war-winning game.

In that sense this is a massive victory for Square Enix, and marks the first time in too long the Japanese side of the company seems to have looped a lasso around what made their past games special. As a massive fan of PS1-era Final Fantasy (9 is my favourite) I couldn’t help but feel a stab of excitement at that trailer – and it’s fantastic to feel again.

It’s worth noting that there are still worries – the gameplay footage shown at the event, less flashily cut than the trailer, is a little less impressive. There are frame rate problems all over, and in places the combat looks dangerously close to the simplistic and I think boring Dynasty Warriors-style battles of Kingdom Hearts.

Even so, things such as an awesome-looking teleport ability, a glimpse of an open-ended in-game map, teases at stealth and underwater gameplay and Uncharted-like set-piece sequences all seem to indicate the game intends to drag the best of Final Fantasy kicking and screaming into the HD, cinematic era of gaming – just in time for the next-gen.

It sounds silly to say considering this game has been in development for some seven years, but it is also early days – it is just reannounced, and hopefully the frame rate improves.

And what of those fans who absolutely can’t stand an action-based title? Shinji Hashimoto wouldn’t be drawn too far, but did essentially say this isn’t the end for that gameplay style.

“The Final Fantasy series always has different systems and mechanics for each title,” he explained. “Each time, the development team for that title reviews the popular gameplay systems. For 15, we have an action-packed game system. That doesn’t mean the next title will be a similar way – but we’re not ready to comment on the future.”

“I want you to understand that the FF series is always evolving. It’s always taking on new challenges; this is a positive change.”

And so the train keeps rolling. As Barret said, there’s no getting off it, especially for Square Enix. Hopefully the tracks are now leading to redemption rather than ruin – fingers crossed.

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19 Comments

  1. bitsnark

    Brilliant article Alex – especially enjoyed the rampant FF7 analogies!

    But yeah, I can’t honestly remember the last time I was as excited for a FF title as I am now with FF XV.

    It must be the Nomura-effect or something :D

    #1 2 years ago
  2. tezzer1985

    All main line FF games have been very good RPG’s in my opinion, I have enjoyed every single one…FF9 is also my favourite.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Sini

    meh dont care for this action crap in ff games. Turn base combat in ff13 was the only thing i liked about the game, and they’re taking it out now

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Takeshi

    Great read. Every article concerning Final Fantasy XV = I gobble that shit up. Now I just hope we won’t have to wait until 2015 or something for a release date. Maybe they’ve waited so long to announce it so exactly won’t have to wait for years to see it.

    I do wonder how far they are with XV. I mean, we’ve seen outside areas in other trailers.

    I’m truly happy for SE. I want them to do well with their upcoming releases. Yeah, Kingdom Hearts III and FFXV. Now if they could just also get that Type-0 localization going as well.

    It’s either VIII or IX for me. Just because they don’t get as much love as VII. :D

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Zana

    “I want you to understand that the FF series is always evolving. It’s always taking on new challenges; this is a positive change.”

    Which is why the series was never really “out” of tracks… This choice of words is annoying. FFXIV 1.0 was their only failure and they made up for it already.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. salarta

    It’s nice that the Final Fantasy series is finally getting back on track with FF15. FF12 was a fairly good game, but it still wasn’t as promising and inspiring as FF10, the last FF game that was really able to pull that off. And FF13 doesn’t even really count as a Final Fantasy game, it’s just the names of things and bastardized Final Fantasy concepts slapped into an idea for a brand new IP, which is a long-running problem with Motomu Toriyama and the crap he makes.

    There’s a difference between evolution and mutilation; FF15 so far looks like genuine evolution.

    Whether the gameplay is action-based or turn-based is nowhere near as important as the atmosphere, concepts and themes of Final Fantasy. So far, FF15 is capturing all three.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. LordDjinn

    This game better deliver Square Enix, ive been so disappointed with your Final Fantasy Brand lately.. the darn 13 series.. >:/

    #7 2 years ago
  8. hitnrun

    @6 “slapped into an idea for a brand new IP”

    That’s what’s so mystifying to me about FF’s direction over the last 10 years. They obviously can poop these settings out in an afternoon. They’re just a mishmash of cool ideas loosely stemming from the same steampunk base.

    The “Final Fantasy” in the title already sells the game far better than continuity. Why does every FF need to be the base for a half-decade of spin-offs and sequels?

    #8 2 years ago
  9. deathm00n

    And that’s why Final Fantasy is one of the greatest series that exists, every new game is almost completely different from the predecessor, even in XIII series: XIII is different from XIII-2 wich is different from Lightning returns. Hate it as much as you will, XIII never broke the series, it sold a lot and a lot of people like it, it’s the second best game in the series for me, behind only VIII. XV is looking awesome, it’s reason enough for me to buy a PS4 the day the game releases. Say what you want, but you don’t play Final Fantasy for the gameplay or the story or the graphics, you play it because it always mix all these things in a way no other series can.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. salarta

    @8: The main reason Squeenix seems to think every FF needs to result in half a decade of spinoffs and sequels is that before FFX-2, fans of a particular installment constantly clamored for sequels to their favorite installments. They loved the worlds presented, they wanted to see more of those worlds.

    Unfortunately, the Squeenix that got their hands on actually making sequels was the one that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about quality, only about doing whatever they think it takes to sell more copies of a game. That’s how we ended up with FFX-2, 3rd Birthday, FF4:TA, and all of FF13 (I’m only covering the Japan side, otherwise there would be more games to cite). Now, when they make a game, they immediately decide every single game automatically needs to have sequels and spinoffs planned for it, solely because in the past, fans were dying to see more. They also figure that since making a sequel means they can re-use art assets from games they already made, it’ll be cheaper and quicker.

    Which is also part of the problem. Their assumptions of what gamers and fans will put up with leads to a lower opinion of them. A REAL sequel to Final Fantasy IV would have been awesome. Instead, it was a load of half-baked crap that lazily recycled old plot devices while purposely undoing major character development from the original game, just to give an excuse to put their moneymakers like Kain on a pedestal to sell more copies.

    It’s also part of why I look forward to FF15. For once since 2003, it looks like all the people with influence on the project actually give a fuck about making a great game that fits Final Fantasy. I need to mention that it’s obvious Matsuno cared about FF12, he had a nervous breakdown and had to be hospitalized over it after all, but it was also clear that the people above him at Squeenix wanted to force their ideas onto his vision, ideas that were based in their idiotic notions of what would make them more money.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Rosseu

    They better not return to that slow ass combat system FF13 had.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. machy

    FF13 was great and this should have stayed exclusive on ps i fear it may ended up just like ff13 with a lot of hate

    #12 2 years ago
  13. hitnrun

    @10: Interesting. Gaming theory moves so slowly in JRPG-land that I forgot about the old time lobbying for same-world sequels by enthusiastic (unrealistic?) FF fans and assumed the sequels were akin to the mindset that’s currently gripping the western publishers, i.e. “annual sequels/find the next Call of Duty.”

    I’m not as big an FF fan as you, but I was very enthused by that reveal. If nothing else, it killed a hilarious punchline vaporware game and moved the series forward to an actual real next installment in one stroke.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. salarta

    @13: I was seriously starting to refer to Versus 13 as the new Duke Nukem Forever, because that’s exactly what it was turning into.

    Anyway, yeah, I’ve been around for the series since the very beginning, albeit without the full knowledge of Squaresoft’s activities and processes when I was younger. I doubt hardly anyone in the U.S. would have known about how what got ported over as Final Fantasy II was really Final Fantasy IV and so on. I played and loved everything Final Fantasy that I got my hands on, including Final Fantasy Mystic Quest… until FFX-2 came along.

    FFX-2 was the point at which I started seeing the franchise getting treated worse and worse as time went on, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the quality started to go downhill as soon as Sakaguchi was no longer around. I don’t think the series absolutely requires his touch, but the kind of crap that’s been going on over the past decade at Squeenix is certainly far beneath the greatness that the series possessed. People, like me, clamored for sequels and spinoffs to their favorite games because they thought Squeenix would continue to not suck. Unfortunately, we got what we asked for, but not in the manner we thought we would get it. Like that oft-repeated tale of wishing for a deceased loved one to come back to life, only for that person to come back “wrong.”

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Mr Sparkle

    They need new character designers. FF games are never bad (they’re expected to be great because of the older classics in my opinion), but they do need a redesign visually. Prettier graphics because of new hardware doesn’t count!

    #15 2 years ago
  16. KineticCalvaria

    Final Fantasy… world of emo’s.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. salarta

    @15: Squeenix’s obsession with having the absolute best graphics imaginable on a platform has to go. Squeenix has been utterly obsessed with the idea that graphics are a required selling point for the franchise ever since FF7 wowwed people with CG and FMVs in a time when they expected video games to be sprites. Graphics aren’t what sell Final Fantasy games, and it’s really sad that Squeenix refused to learn that lesson from Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. sahand

    I’m sure this game is gonna be the best Final Fantasy ever.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. exiled

    “For people like me, I want the game to be easy to operate – so I’m asking the development team to be a little bit flexible about the difficulty level,” he added – promising to ensure the game will be easily playable for fans of the older, slower-paced games.”

    Now what the hell? If you’re going to make an action game, make it a good one. Just because I’m a Final Fantasy fan doesn’t mean I can’t kick Demon’s Souls ass. Are they really just going to serve up a DMC-wannabe “mash button to watch movie” type experience? Bleh…

    #19 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    As of patch 1.8 for GTA 5 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, a few graphical issues have cropped up leading some to believe there has been a stealth downgrade to the game’s overall graphics. Over the past couple of days, Reddit went nuts over a video showing what appears to be a downgrade to […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for March 27, 28 – MIDA Multi-Tool edition

    Xur: Agent of the Nine has arrived at The Tower in Destiny to rid you of your Strange Coins. Xur: Agent of the Nine has once again made it to Destiny’s Tower to sell you Exotic weapons and gear in exchange for Strange Coins and Motes of Light. For this weekend, Xur can be found […]

  • Destiny vault space upgrade will have enough room for every Exotic

    Destiny is finally getting the vault space upgrade players have been begging for almost since launch week. Destiny players can currently use vault space to store 20 pieces of amour, 20 weapons and 20 general item stacks. In the latest Bungle Weekly Update, the developer revealed that as of patch 1.1.2, due before House of […]

  • Half-Life 2: Update mod applies some sparkle to the original title

    Half-Life 2: Update will be available tomorrow, and thanks to the modding community, those who own the vanilla version of the game can apply a visual update to the 2004 title. The comparison video shows you the differences between the original version, and the version with Half-Life 2: Update applied. Here’s what the mod includes: […]

  • Neverwinter MMO can now be pre-downloaded on Xbox One

    You can now pre-download the free-to-play Neverwinter MMO on Xbox One. The game launches on March 31, but you will still need an Xbox Live Gold account to play it. Based on the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, the game can be downloaded from the Xbox Store.

  • Destiny of Spirits will go offline starting next month

    Sony will be ending service for Destiny of Spirits starting next month, Sony has announced. The free-to-play Destiny of Spirits was released in late March 2014 on Vita, and tasked players with collecting supernatural forces appropriate to their geographical location, and then trading them with others online. Gravity Rush spirits were added to the game […]

  • MotoGP 15 is out this spring on PC, last and current-gen consoles

    MotoGP 15 will be released in June on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Milestone has announced. Bike, rider and team customization are part of the latest release in the franchise, along with time-trials and enhanced career options. The game features over 20 bike models divided into three classes: MotoGP, Moto 2 […]

  • Cities: Skylines players should check out Nakatomi Plaza and Wayne Enterprises

    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 […]