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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

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    The exact dates as well as more information on the Battlefield Hardline open beta will be shared tomorrow. This is according to the latest blog post from developer Visceral Games. “We’ll share the exact dates and info on the Battlefield Hardline open beta tomorrow,” wrote Visceral boss Steve Papoutsis. “Stay tuned, thanks again, and keep […]

  • Upcoming Hearthstone patch to apply balance change to Undertaker

    An upcoming Hearthstone patch will apply a balance change to the Undertaker card, Blizzard has announced. After the release of Goblins vs Gnomes, Blizzard said it kept an “eye on the state of game balance” as more matches were played using the additional cards. Released with The Curse of Naxxramas, Undertaker is considered an overly […]

  • February Games with Gold offers up Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

    The free games on offer in February via Xbox Live Games with Gold have been announced. Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One can download #IDARB during February. Xbox 360 users can grab Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons from February 1-15, when it will be replaced by Sniper Elite V2 from February 16 -28. […]

  • Kinguin blames unidentified Russian for deactivated Far Cry 4 keys

    Third-party game key seller Kinguin is issuing refunds to those who found their games deactivated through Ubisoft’s Uplay service. Customers which purchased keys for Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, The Crew and Watch Dogs are affected. Kinguin said 4,600 customer tickets were submitted over the last 72 hours and 35 out of 3,400 of […]

  • Video Unlimited to be re-branded as PlayStation Video starting in February

    Like Music Unlimited, Sony’s Video Unlimited service is being replaced and re-branded PlayStation Video. PlayStation Video will become part of PlayStation Network to streamline digital services for the over 64 million PSN users. PlayStation Video and PlayStation Music will be added to PSN which is already a destination point for the PlayStation Store, PlayStation Plus, […]

  • Spotify arrives on PlayStation Music this spring, Music Unlimited closing

    Spotify will launch on PlayStation Network this spring as part of a new music destination called PlayStation Music. PlayStation Music is a replacement for Music Unlimited, and those with a PSN account can link to Spotify which can be used just for music, or when playing games on PlayStation 4. Existing playlists from current Spotify […]

  • Closed beta for Alone in the Dark: Illumination starts tomorrow

    The private beta period for Alone in the Dark: Illumination starts on January 29. Those who pre-order the game via Steam, will automatically be included in the beta, enabling them to provide feedback on the first campaign in single-player mode. An additional beta period will be announced in the weeks leading up to launch. The […]

  • Majora’s Mask Special Edition New 3DS XL available once more on UK store

    UK residents who want to get their hands on the shiny Majora’s Mask Special Edition New 3DS XL can once again pre-purchase it through the Nintendo UK Store. If you want one, you better hurry because units will likely go rather fast. Only one per customer is allowed, and once you drop £209.99 on it, […]

  • Nintendo Q3: 1.9M New 3DS models sold, Wii U lifetime sales hit 9.2M

    New 3DS XL has sold 1.3 million units as of December 31, 2014, Nintendo announced in its Q3 financial results today. New 3DS moved 580,000 units by the end of the same period. Lifetime sales of both systems combined total a little under 1.9 million. Combined global sales for current 3DS models available in Europe […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s exo zombies reanimate a familiar format

    Advanced Warfare’s exo suits manage to bring an undead format back to life. Dave Cook welcomes zombies back to Call of Duty. “The challenges start to spike early so seasoned zombie slayers needn’t worry about being coddled.” Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s first DLC went live this week, dropping four very solid maps for multiplayer […]

  • YouTube app and Maps will be removed from PS Vita

    Sony said that it will end support for the YouTube and Maps apps, as well as remove the “near” feature in an upcoming firmware update. Sony has revealed that a system update releasing in March will remove the Maps app and prevent the “near” feature from obtaining location address or display maps, making it redundant. […]

  • There is a Destiny loot cave Easter egg in Dying Light

    Dying Light is the latest game to take a jab at Destiny by having its own loot cave. Destiny’s infamous loot cave has been recreated in Dying Light, sort of. Of course the loot cave in Dying Light is only an Easter egg and doesn’t actually net you any loot. Instead, upon entering it, you […]

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 supports co-op in story mode, but only offline

    You can play the campaign of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 in co-op, but not online. 4gamer spoke to producers of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 and made out with a few details concerning story, setting and more. The site confirmed that while you will be able to switch between characters in the single player, and have […]

  • The Witcher 3 may have a permadeath “Insanity” mode

    Although not yet confirmed, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developer CD Projekt RED is working on a difficulty mode dubbed “Insanity” that will delete your save if you die. During Monday’s Twitch stream, the developer took a few questions from the chat and we’ve got a bunch of answers. There are many interesting little bits […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition is the most successful launch for BioWare, based on sales

    Dragon Age: Inquisition is responsible for the most successful launch in developer BioWare’s history, according to EA. During last night’s EA Q3 2015 earnings call, the publisher said that Dragon Age: Inquisition was the most successful launch for developer BioWare. Today, we get a bit more detail. “In particular, Dragon Age: Inquisition had by far […]

  • Here’s a walkthrough of one mission from Far Cry 4 Hurk Deluxe DLC

    Far Cry 4′s latest DLC pack, Hurk Deluxe, seems like good fun, judging from this video. The Hurk Deluxe Pack was released today on all platforms. It comes with five new missions. The video below takes a look at the “Call of the Wild” mission. In the walkthrough you’ll get to see some of the […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beta date confirmed on Xbox Store

    The beta date for Battlefield Hardline has popped up on the Xbox Store, confirming the rumoured date. The listing for the Battlefield Hardline beta is available for anyone to see right now on the Xbox Store. Granted, it’s for Xbox 360, but unless EA is starting this beta early on Xbox 360, this will pretty […]

  • GTA player flies jets backwards in impressive stunts

    Doing stunts with jets in GTA 5 can be impressive, but it’s nothing like flying them backwards. Making videos of your jet stunts has become too mainstream. Which is why the latest video from YouTube channel GTA5Videos is all about defying that. The video below features some insane stunts mostly done by flying jets backwards, […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare balance patch out, System Hack nerfed, HBRa3 buffed

    The latest patch to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is here with some major changes to game balance. Making good on the promise to nerf System Hack, developer Sledgehammer Games has released the latest patch to Advanced Warfare to do just that, and much more. The patch is out now on Xbox platforms, with PlayStation […]

  • Grinding three purples in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel may crash your game [UPDATE]

    Update: Gearbox Software has announced there’s currently a hot-fix in place for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel as a temporary solution to crashes caused with the DLC update. Until a permanent fix can be made, the hotfix should correct crashing issues. All will be fixed in the next major game update. Original Story A bug that snuck […]

  • Havoc maps up the tempo for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

    Dave Cook dons his Exo suit to find the new Havok DLC maps a great change of pace for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Given that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare places great emphasis on verticality, it’s little wonder that Sledgehammer Games has designed the first of its four DLC map packs with elevation and […]

  • G2A responds to deactivated Far Cry 4 keys debacle

    G2A, one of the third-party sellers that were named in the ongoing episode of deactivated Far Cry 4 keys has decided to release a statement. G2A is a well known third-party key sellers online. Most users know it through its sponsorship deals with many YouTube and Twitch channels. The service sells keys both through its […]

  • Petroglyph’s Victory resurfaces with Korean co-developer

    End of Nations, Mytheon and Grey Goo developer Petroglyph Games seems to have salvaged a stalled project. Victory popped up back in early 2013 after Trion Worlds took End of Nations in-house. Petroglyph’s attempt to crowdfund the unusual strategy title ended in iniquity, but it vowed to do whatever it could to bring the game […]

  • Far Cry 4 Hurk Deluxe DLC now available

    Far Cry 4′s latest DLC pack adds new story missions and a pile of new weapons. Far Cry 4: Hurk Deluxe is now available on PC and Xbox platforms, and is rolling out to the PSN in line with local network updates. The pack bundles five story missions, including Yak Farm, Blood Ruby and Hurk’s […]

  • Yes, Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has microtransactions

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 has microtransactions, but thankfully they’re not as outrageous as initial reports suggested. The subject of Resident Evil: Revelations 2′s microtransactions arose earlier today with reports filtering out of a European press event that you’ll be able to pay to keep playing after your character dies. The ramifications of this are pretty […]

  • Play mini-games to unlock Magicka 2 content

    Magicka 2 publisher Paradox Interactive has invited fans to earn in-game rewards by playing other games. The Magicka website will host various mini-games in the build up to Magicka 2′s launch later this year on PC and PS4. Playing these games controbutes to a community score total which will eventually unlock in-game content as well […]

  • Deactivated Far Cry 4 keys were purchased through Origin

    Far Cry 4 owners who found their games deactivated without warning may be surprised to learn where they came from. Many copies of Far Cry 4 purchased through third-party re-sellers have been deactivated without notice. Although resellers affected by the deactivations argued that they had made authorised purchases, Ubisoft has denied this. The publisher told […]

  • Will Assassin’s Creed visit Japan in 2016?

    The next Assassin’s Creed game after Victory may finally bring ninja and assassins together. An Assassin’s Creed fan has spotted what certainly looks like a heavy hint that the next game after Victory will be set in Japan. Ubisoft forums member Cornik22 was looking through the Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag official art book when […]

  • Resident Evil HD modder aims to restore original, terrible voice acting

    Resident Evil and its early sequels are justifiably famous for their simply dire voice acting. Some Resident Evil fans feel they just can’t enjoy the experience of exploring Umbrella facilities if someone isn’t talking at them with absolutely no regard for pacing, content or tone. As a result, modder Bunny has stepped up to the […]

  • Record iPhone sales drive Apple to revenue spike

    The iPhone is still going strong – in fact, it’s selling better than ever. Apple has announced its financial results for the quarter ending December 27 2014, exceeding expectations with a 29.5% increase in revenues to $74.6 billion. This was a new record for the company. One of the key factors in this spike is […]

  • HoloLens has “mind-blowing” potential for games, says Microsoft CEO

    Microsoft’s VR wearable HoloLens is going to be great for games, according to CEO Satya Nadella. Speaking to investors, Nadella made Microsoft’s entertainment plans for the device explicit. “It’s also getting clearer how the games people love today will evolve to mind-blowing experiences in the future when designed for the mixed reality that Windows 10 […]

  • EA Q3: Battlefield 5 still on for holiday 2016, PGA Tour 15 spring release confirmed

    EA announced its financial results for its Q3 fiscal year 2015 quarter, ended December 31, 2014, noting total net revenue $1.13 billion in total net revenue compared to $808 million year-over-year. For the nine months ending December 31, total net revenue came in at $3.3 billion. Net revenues were up 39% and net income came […]

  • Players logged 113M single-player hours in Dragon Age: Inquisition, other EA games stats

    Ahead of its Q3 2015 earnings release, Electronic Arts has released a game infographic showing some interesting stats compiled through gameplay from October – December 2014. For FIFA 15, over 3.3 billion goals were made; 73 million knockouts occurred in EA SPORTS UFC; over 10 million families were created in The Sims 4; 113 million […]

  • Hyrule Warriors has shipped 1 million units worldwide

    Koei Tecmo has announced shipments of its Wii U hack and slash action title, Hyrule Warriors, has shipped one million units worldwide. The Omega Force-developed title was released in Japan on August 14 and in the west on September 26. Two packs of DLC for the game are slated for February alongside the version 1.5.0 […]

  • Xbox Games Store discounts Never Alone, Dragon Age: Inquisition, more

    This week’s deals available through the Xbox Games Store will be valid until February 2 with titles such as Battlefield 4, Dragon Age Inquisition, Never Alone, and Titanfall discounted. Discounted titles with an asterisk are for Xbox Live Gold members only. Xbox One Just Dance 2015* – 40% Another World* – 50% Never Alone* – […]

  • Say hello to Mortal Kombat X’s latest character: Reptile

    As promised, one of two character reveals this week for Mortal Kombat X has occurred: it’s the acid-spitting Reptile. Nice! Watch the video above. Mortal Kombat X is slated for release on April 14 and will be available on PC, PS3, PS4,Bxo 360 and Xbox One. Thanks, MrTGJelly (Trent).

  • Twisted fairy tale Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries hits Steam Early Access

    Woolfe: The Red Hood Diaries, the successful Kickstarter from GRIN Studios, has launched on Steam Early Access. The PC title is described as a “cinematic fable featuring a vengeful Red Riding Hood,” who armed with an axe sets out on a quest to avenge the murder of her parents. Gameplay features action-platforming, combo-based hack ‘n […]

  • Dead or Alive 5: Last Round delayed to late March on Steam

    Koei Tecmo has announced it is delaying the PC release of Dead or Alive 5: Last Round to March. According to an updated listing on Steam (thanks, AGB), the fighter was delayed “in order to provide you with the best experience possible.” To apologize for the delay, Team Ninja will offer the Halloween 2013 Set, […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online will be F2P “no plans” for western release

    Dragon’s Dogma Online will be a free-to-play title for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. Set for release this year, Dragon’s Dogma Online has a lobby which will support up to 100 players, is open-world, and the executive producer is Hiroyuki Kobayashi. Players can form groups with up to four players or pawns while raids […]

  • Watch this release video for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel DLC Lady Hammerlock

    The Lady Hammerlock DLC for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel releases today on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and coinciding with the release is the launch trailer. In the Lady Hammerlock DLC, players are introduced and will be able to step into the shoes of Sir Hammerlock’s sister, Lady Aurelia the Baroness. The DLC will run […]

  • Free DLC for Tales of Zestiria takes place after main storyline

    Free DLC will be released in Japan for Tales of Zestiria, and while Bandai Namco has yet to state whether it will be released westward with the core game this summer, it’s an interesting slice of content. According to information from Jump posted by Siliconera, the DLC Alisha After Episode: What Is Reflected In The […]

  • This video of a Paris flat looks the real deal, but it’s all Unreal Engine 4

    I’m not entirely sure when, or how, this fella managed to sneak into my secret flat in Paris and film it, but since it’s out there I may as well share it with you. All joking aside, this video is rather amazing. It provides a virtual tour of a flat located in Paris; however, it’s […]

  • The Witness passes key development milestone, still no release date

    The Witness has seemingly come back from the dead. Creator Jonathan Blow has posted an update on the game’s development. Surely you still remember The Witness? Jonathan Blow’s follow-up to Braid, which was shown during the PlayStation 4 reveal event all the way back in February 2013? Well, today we got our first development update […]

  • You can now take selfies in World of Warcraft

    The latest patch to World of Warcraft has added a S.E.L.F.I.E. Camera to the game. And it does exactly what it sounds like it does. Patch 6.1 is currently being deployed to World of Warcraft’s Public Test Realms (PTR). There’s a massive list of patch notes, but the most pressing one, other than Twitter integration, […]

  • Hellblade: early gameplay and prototype footage revealed

    The latest developer diary for Hellblade is here with a look at some early gameplay prototypes and a peek at some polished areas. Hellblade developer Ninja Theory has revealed even more details of how game development works behind the scenes. The eighth part of this ongoing diary shows early gameplay footage along with some intriguing […]

  • Resident Evil Revelations 2: Raid mode offline-only on launch, more details

    Capcom has revealed a tonne of new details about Raid mode in Resident Evil: Revelations 2. Capcom has confirmed that Raid mode will launch with the first episode of Revelations 2 in February. You will be playing it offline only though, either solo or in split-screen co-op. As for the online portion, Capcom promised it […]

  • Watch the first 20 minutes of Life is Strange

    The first 20 minutes of Life is Strange have been posted online for anyone to watch. The opening 20 minutes of Life is Strange set the stage for what kind of game it is. The kind that you’ll probably like if you’re a fan of Telltale games. The video is courtesy of consolewarsofficial and you […]

  • Don’t blame Ubisoft for cancelling keys – blame the culture of overpriced games

    Publishers need to drop PC games prices in order to stem the flourishing grey market, says Matt Martin. “How are you going to sell me Far Cry 4 for £45 when I can pick up Far Cry, Far Cry 2, Far Cry 3, Far Cry: Blood Dragon and extra DLC for just £30?” Some players […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online is real, full reveal in this week’s Famitsu

    What’s been heavily-rumoured to be the next instalment in the Dragon’s Dogma franchise, Dragon’s Dogma Online, will be fully revealed this week. According to a recent post by Famitsu, the magazine’s upcoming weekly issue, which releases January 29, will contain a massive feature on Dragon’s Dogma Online. The magazine will dedicate 18 pages to all […]

  • Valve responds to recent Counter-Strike match-fixing scandal, bans offenders

    Valve has investigated the recent case of match-fixing involving two teams in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional scene and decided to ban those involved from future tournaments. Recent allegations involving match-fixing between iBUYPOWER and NetcodeGuides.com – two of the professional teams that played in Cevo Season 5 – came to light. Valve has took notice […]

  • Having issues playing Grim Fandango Remastered on PS4? Sony is offering help

    Sony has offered a few steps to help those who are having issues with their pre-loaded PS4 installs of Grim Fandango Remastered. A few reports have started to appear online from users who’ve pre-ordered and pre-loaded Grim Fandango Remastered on their PS4 consoles. Sony has since posted a support thread on the official forums, to […]

  • Get Dragon Age: Inquisition for $36 and more in EA’s Xbox One sale

    Many EA digital games are being offered at considerable discounts on Xbox One right now. The latest EA sale is pretty good, offering sales on many AAA titles. It’s only available on Xbox One, with extra savings for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. The list below covers prices for Gold Subscribers. Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare […]

  • Grim Fandango Remastered reviews round-up, all the scores

    Grim Fandango Remastered is a classic game brought into the new generation, so it’s time for everyone to know how great it is. The reviews for Grim Fandango Remastered have started popping up and as per usual, we’ve collected a few of them below. Grim Fandango Remastered is, as the name suggests, a remastered version […]

  • The Witcher 3: latest build is 1080p on PS4, 900p on Xbox One

    The recent preview build of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was running at full-HD resolution on PlayStation 4 and 900p on Xbox One. German website Gamestar attended the recent preview event for The Witcher 3 and examined the three versions that were on offer, PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Here’s the quote, courtesy of Google […]

  • Joystiq is likely to close – rumour

    AOL is rumoured to be closing its video game site, Joystiq. Re/code is reporting that AOL is likely to close its video game site Joystiq soon, according to “various sources.” The move is part of a company-wide restructuring that will affect Joystiq and other “under-performing content properties.” Joystiq is one of the most renowned sites […]

  • The Last of Us movie will be “pretty faithful” to the game

    The Last of Us will bring many of the same elements to the big screen as the small one, according to writer Neil Druckmann. Although The Last of Us will have to be adapted in various ways to make the transition from lengthy interactive adventure to cinema-friendly story arc, Druckmann is hoping to keep the […]

  • Microsoft is fixing Xbox One’s slow controllers

    Xbox One control pads have many charms, but quick start up is not one of them. The Xbox One controller currently takes up to five seconds to connect to your console after switching on, which is an eternity for someone with an attention span as short as mine. Luckily, Microsoft is working to fix this […]

  • Lucius 2 releases on Friday the 13th (of course)

    Lucius 2 has a really fitting release date. Lucius developer Shiver Games has produced a follow-up to the dark tale of an evil child, and it’s coming your way on February 13 – which just so happens to be a Friday. Lucius 2: The Prophecy will set you back $20, and release through Steam. As […]

  • Saints Row 4: Re-Elected PS4 recalled in Australia, incorrect content to blame

    Saints Row 4: Re-Elected has been recalled in Australia due to a mysterious manufacturing issue. An Australian PR representative said that the retail PS4 version of Saints Row 4: Re-Elected has “a serious manufacturing issue” and has been recalled nation-wide. Here’s what we were told (emphasis mine): “A manufacturing issue has caused an incorrectly classified […]