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The end is nigh: why we need a better brand of apocalypse

Thursday, 1 August 2013 11:45 GMT By Dave Cook

The apocalypse hasn’t even happened yet and VG247′s Dave Cook is already bored of it. Is the end of the world being flogged to ribbons or is there life after the downfall of humanity yet?

I was sitting down to write a news story about Tokyo Jungle Mobile last week and upon typing the words ‘post-apocalyptic’ I stopped and realised just how often that term appears in gaming today.

The apocalypse is a hot ticket right now. We’ve had warring comedy films This Is the End and The World’s End releasing just weeks apart, along with a fuck-ton of games based on the downfall of humanity this generation. The recent success of Naughty Dog’s harrowing The Last of Us shows that the subject is still of interest to many.

”If Ubisoft Massive really had the guts it’d close The Division with the end of the world anyway, just to show that sometimes, despite humanity’s best intent disaster cannot be averted and by our very nature we are a self-destructive species.”

What is it about our ultimate demise that appeals to so many people? I think a large part of it is this morbid curiosity we all have where we put ourselves there, right after the bombs have fallen or aliens have slaughtered the populace and we ask ourselves that big question:

“What would I do in that situation?”

Seriously though; if the taps stopped running or the zombie horde rolled into town right now what would you do? There’s a strange, almost sadistic thrill that comes with playing these scenarios out in your mind and I think this is what made the opening moments of The Last of Us both so blunt and memorable.

It’s also why TellTale’s first season of The Walking Dead proved so effective. It showed survivors in the middle of an unfolding cataclysm trying to delay the inevitable, hopeful in the belief that over the next hill they’d find some sort of salvation or cure to the problems at hand.

As the player you witness and try to resolve very real issues like food, water, medicine and figuring out who to trust, while the evidence begins to pile up that in reality, life can never go back to how it used to be. It’s an effective human story told in a world overrun with ghouls, and it shows that post-apocalyptic settings needn’t be heavy with guns to be memorable.

By contrast games like Fallout or Borderlands place you in ruined worlds long after the event and send you off into the wastes armed with many weapons and skills. They’re power fantasies where the every day struggles of humankind don’t really impact your levelled-up warrior, but at the end of the day there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this approach either.

In fact, I really love how Fallout 3 presented the Capital Wasteland, especially the ravaged opulence of downtown D.C. and while you can see evidence of life before The Great War, it’s a series that has largely focused on how humanity advances from that point, instead of looking back in regret. The same goes for Borderland’s Pandora, which has been so abused by corporations that the only thing left to do is survive and rebuild.

The freshly-announced Mad Max from Avalanche Studios looks like it will fall into this category as well, with all of its applications of knees on chin and high-speed car battles. It looks perfectly fun but I think I’m growing slightly tired of this brand of action-packed apocalypse. I want the pathos, I want the human stories and I want to be part of the downfall as it unfolds.

Perhaps the most interesting cataclysmic game I’ve seen in some time is Tom Clancy’s The Division. Sure, it might not focus on a global pandemic, but the premise of a deadly virus spread through tainted dollar bills in New York really appeals. It’s still a shooter but you’re working to contain the apocalypse as it starts to unfold in front of you, and to halt the spread of the disease before it causes America to collapse. That, to me sounds thrilling.

If Ubisoft Massive really had the guts it’d close The Division with the end of the world anyway, just to show that sometimes, despite humanity’s best intent disaster cannot be averted and by our very nature we are a self-destructive species. I’d absolutely love to see that happen. It’d be a bit like the twist ending of Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines without the shit stuff beforehand.

Can you imagine an apocalyptic game that is basically the first half hour of The Last of Us made into a full release? If the story was written effectively it’d leave you constantly wondering if the collapse is about to be halted, but then it’d continually pull the rug out from beneath you.


Once Chance is a perfect example of what I mean. Play it here.

Would your trusted allies turn hostile if they realised that no matter what, the end is coming? Would they eventually betray you to preserve their own well-being? Would you be forced to kill that person if they turned on you? Where would you go? How would you find food? What is your place in this new, twisted place where judicial rule and social decency no longer apply?

To me the most interesting aspect of post-apocalyptic fiction is whenever a character looks back at the days of the big crisis and recalls their struggle to adapt to the savage new world unfolding around them. It’s this brutal transition that appeals to me most, but instead of looking back I’d like to play a game where I actually experience those painful moments as they happen.

The games industry has repeatedly shown that it can effectively create feelings of loss in players without resorting to hammy dialogue or thinly-veiled emotion. Look at the end of Shadow of the Colossus for one. Creating a story like this with maturity and provoking great emotional engagement in players absolutely can be done during an apocalyptic setting.

You can see an absolutely heart-breaking example of what I’m talking about in the compelling Newground flash game ‘One Chance‘, which places you as the only person who can avert the downfall of humanity as it unfolds. I won’t spoil what happens but once it’s over the game blocks your IP address meaning you can’t try again. It forces you to make tough, painful decisions with regularly upsetting consequences

I’d like to see studios take this approach and instil in us the pain of watching a character’s luxuries and loved ones slip away as the world decays around the player. We’d watch it happen reluctantly and slowly slide into a new, brutal form of existence without any say in the matter. I genuinely believe this could form the basis for a truly memorable apocalyptic experience.

Seriously industry; make it happen.

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17 Comments

  1. Talkar

    Nice article, and i would love to see some games take the suggested idea and just run with it.

    Also, damn you Dave for reminding me of Fallout 3 and how it is the second worst Fallout game xD

    #1 2 years ago
  2. GwynbleiddiuM

    ***SPOILERS ALERT***
    —just in case Clupula haven’t played any of these— :-”

    TBH Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Origins did a lot of that. So there are very bright examples of those entanglements you and I crave for Dave, granted not enough. The reason that I really liked KOTOR II – a lot – was in fact the bounds you created with the people around you as you went on to face Darth Nihilus. And how Bastila gave in to the Dark Side when Malak manipulation combined tortures made her into thinking that all is lost why not embracing it. Or in Neverwinter Nights when you lose Lady Aribeth, I felt loss and I felt that a lot during my gaming career, mostly BioWare is willing to do those things even if the the quality of their work has been deteriorating a bit lately.

    BioWare also did a lot with SWTOR’s story, like when you corrupt Jaesa Willsaam, it was the most fun I had in a video game. Or when Malavali Quinn betrays you and he admits that he regrets his treachery but seen that there’s no way you can defeat Darth Baras.

    So there are very great shinning examples out there but it is depressing that the source of these usually is either BioWare or sometimes Obsidian.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Talkar

    @2
    Those SWTOR moments were pretty good, i agree, but they could be soooo much more. With Jaesa you just force her to kill her master if memory serves me well. How fun wouldn’t it have been if you’d forced her to kill everyone she’s ever cared about? Or even do it yourself and then just watch her crack under the weight of it all and fully embracing the dark side?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Un-HolyMOTHERofGOD

    It’s too early to read this much. I’ll try again later.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Dave Cook

    @4 Did that really warrant a comment? :P

    #5 2 years ago
  6. deathm00n

    Great article Dave! And I agree, more games about the apocalypse happening right before your eyes would be nice!

    Talking about apocalypse games, one thing that I always think about is that we don’t have many of them that uses a different timeline, or another place in time. Fallout for example uses a timeline where the tech evolved only to war and people are stuck in the 50s. Dark/Demon’s Souls was some sort of medieval apocalypse. But beside those two universes we don’t have many other examples. I would love to see a medieval world being torned apart by dragons (you may think of skyrim, but with more impact, burned fields, old citys being taken as dragon nests). Or the egypt society being destroyed by their gods. Ancient China and Japan being overrun by their folklore.

    There’s a lot of options to create post-apocalyptic worlds, but we are stuck with the “our age overrun by zombies”.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. GwynbleiddiuM

    @3 Well as far as I remember it was just like that when you were searching for her. You seek everyone she knows and do do evil things with them. It was immensely fun to watch her crack before Nomen Karr, muhahahahhahahaaaaaa… you see it tickles me still. :D

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Dave Cook

    @1 & 6 Thanks guys :)

    #8 2 years ago
  9. bradk825

    @5 that reminds me of friends who like to post to facebook that they are hungry. Nobody gives a flying %^#$& just go eat!

    Anyway, fantastic editorial Dave. I agree that the best stories that really draw me in involve a little pain and sense of loss. If you can make someone feel a sense of loss when they are in real life not losing anything, that’s pro-fucking-ffesional storytelling. I like the “disaster in unfolding” situation better than the “there was a disaster and now there’s us” formula.

    I think some of the best stories that get labeled post-apocalypic are actually the apocalyse-in-progress.

    I hope to see more of a return to great, original storytelling soon. There have been some stale, recycled ideas out there lately. There are a significant number of gamers who need those deep stories to stay interested, myself included. Yes, I play the rinse and repeat games too, like CoD, for the gameplay and to play with friends, but when I game alone I need a good story to draw me in. My favourite novels are ones that contain strange events and strange consequences. (Currently about 25% into John Dies at the End and loving it)

    @4 Go back to bed.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Digital Bamboo

    I can vaguely remember, as a young boy, watching a TV movie in which the people were so helpless, so desperate in their post-apocolyptic world that it was actually a bit disturbing to watch. I have no idea what it was, as I can only remember ruins, hiding, and some sort of terrible threat, but it sprang to mind when reading this.

    It was much lower budget than this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOFsOA9VsBk but I found that trailer interesting.

    There are plenty of post-apocalyptic possibilities waiting to be tapped in books. Even though they are technically alternate history novels, several of Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century books–like Boneshaker & Ganymede–are begging to be made into games for any number of reasons (not the least which of being that they have strong female leads).

    Anyway just trying to say that there is no shortage of fresh apocalyptic stories, and no reason why any of us have to suffer through another I Am Legend.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Cobra951

    Nice article. Right you are. The apocalypse games and movies are coming out of our ears by now. I much prefer the Fallout 3 and Borderlands approach to that of The Walking Dead and The Last of Us, though I don’t mind the more depressive path now and then, if the game is truly worth it. I don’t so much think of the former as power fantasies as I do control fantasies. You are in control of yourself and your destiny, and you have a fully fleshed-out world in which to live it. The games where mere survival is a constant challenge tend to force you down a narrow path, where all you can do is react, very seldom act. That gets tiresome for me rather quickly. In contrast, I can live in Bethesda’s worlds for months of real time.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. sh4dow

    You know, I agree with the core of this article but… “despite humanity’s best intent”? Really? I know (of) only a couple of humans where I would dare to speak of “best intentions”. And their behavior is in NO way mirrored by humanity by and large. “Humans” as a whole are such egoistic, greedy and brutal animals that speaking about “best intentions” when referring to them just seems ridiculous to me.

    Which is why while I actually agree with the article when it comes to what I would like to see from games, I’m not sure it it would be such a great idea overall.

    Why?

    Well, I am very much reminded of Game of Thrones. I have a love/hate relationship with that show (or rather with its viewers…) because I found the first episode so brutal and lacking in hope that I actually stopped watching after that. But while I stopped watching the show, I still had a tremendous amount of respect for it for what I felt was a brutally honest portrayal of a medieval setting.
    So… to sum up… I found it perfect because it shocked and disgusted me so much that I didn’t even want to find out what happens next.

    And then I went online and checked out why other people loved it and what they said.

    “This show is so awesome, men are still real men!”
    “Yeah, rape that bitch!”
    “That’s how you deal with criminals”

    And many, many more like that.
    In fact, I didn’t find a single comment from somebody who was upset by the bleakness of it all. Just some who were repulsed because of the violence. Which I find to be on a similarly shallow level as the quotes above.

    I actually even got to work on the show for a while and… virtually all of my male co-workers only referred to Daenerys as “broad”, “hot slut” and so on. Objectifying a rape victim (on top of it one that has a decidedly natural/cute appearance, unlike Paris Hilton and similar chicks) – that’s the average guy for you. (And before somebody thinks I’m actually male bashing here… no worries, female co-workers weren’t much better…)

    Which just goes to show that you can have great intentions, portray something with shocking realism that is supposed to upset people and make them think. But instead, most might instead get off on it!

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Dave Cook

    @9 & 11 Thank you for reading :)

    And yeah @ 9 I agree that the best stories are those that unfold before the player and both push and pull the player emotionally. More of them please :D

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Un-HolyMOTHERofGOD

    @5 I was joking. God, no one has a sense of humor on this website. I’m outta here. Let me go try Videogamer.com.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Clupula

    You know, this article brings up my biggest complaint about Dead Space 2. When the game starts, all hell has already broken loose, and I couldn’t help but think that a better opening would have been to show the Sprawl as a living, breathing community before tearing everything to bloody chunks. We never got to see a functioning Ishimura. Seeing the Sprawl at full strength would have made what later happens tragic. I mean, just imagine seeing the nursery filled with light and laughter and, because this is a Dead Space game, you just know something horrible will happen there, but in the back of your mind, most people would then hope they’d never have to return to that area of the game.

    And then just imagine the extra impact of seeing that area again. HUGE missed opportunity, IMO.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Clupula

    @14 – Usually, it has to be funny to count as a joke.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. sebastien rivas

    I agree with this article but with limited opinion.

    Yes indeed, there is only that much you can do with a genre/ theme and thanks to next gen capabilities that genre and themes survived so far.

    Although Expectation is what’s killing the genre and theme.
    This genre and theme is what it is and nothing more in the simplistic ideal of it a doomsday kill them all and perhaps gore tone to it.

    I for one do not buy all genre theme out there that falls in that category because I know it is a “bis-repetitas”.
    Though I cannot help myself but think and see I will have fun killing nazies on next Wolfenstein installment and to go even further and to make a point I am about to pre-order mad max.
    I know the game is not going to be stellar and I do not expect it to be, yet feeling the mad max world, ambience, vulgar intensity etc attracts me and that is all I expect from it which leaves room to surprises and perhaps good surprises.

    And to go even further than that. What do you expect in this game/ genre/theme.
    Take a look at an article yesterday, something about COD introducing deep story of 2 brothers or something like that. I do not play COD and I am not sure what its content is like for offline gameplay. The jokes that were made out of it are truthful to the eyes of the beholders but it also means is that they do not want to see this happening or with limited increments because they feel there is too little that could help the genre/theme/style.
    So what’s next for doomsday/apocalypse that would make you want to buy?
    A lala land killing mickeys with forks and spoons? “it might be fun actually”.

    But my point is that too many expect just too much such as a dream within a dream for a title. Gamers are not sure what but they sense something more can be done, and that is a great ideal but until you know and release that something that definitely helps the genre/theme then think about it, bring solution and in the meantime do NOT expect more than what it is going to be.

    #17 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    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 […]

  • PS Store Easter sale discounts MGS: Ground Zeroes, Far Cry 4, more

    The Easter Sale is live on the EU PS Store, with Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes for less than £10, FIFA 15 Deluxe Edition for £30 and other savings. Some of the PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita discounts are valid through April 8, other through April 15. PlayStation Plus members can also take an […]