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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

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  • Core Morpheus hardware locked in, no plans for wireless version

    Sony has finalised the core hardware for its VR headset Project Morpheus, and does not currently plan on releasing a wireless version. SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida spoke to Gamespot at GDC and confirmed that the core hardware of Morpheus is “pretty much done” but that “lots of tweaks and improvements” are still being […]

  • Watch the full Phil Spencer keynote from GDC 2015

    The full GDC 2015 keynote of Xbox boss Phil Spencer is now available to watch. In case you missed last nights’s Phil Spencer keynote at GDC 2015, the whole thing has been made available to watch on YouTube. The address is titled “The Future of Gaming Across the Microsoft Ecosytem,” and it’s where Spencer announced […]

  • Elite: Dangerous won’t be “dumbed down” for Xbox One

    The Xbox One version of Elite: Dangerous will in fact be the same as the PC one. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier came out on stage last night at GDC to announce the game making its console debut on Xbox One. Some have feared that the port would not provide the same experience as the PC […]

  • Virtual reality: by gum, it’s really happening

    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! pic.twitter.com/OCQIuWbH3W — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on MLG.tv […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]

  • Microsoft offers up more details on Spencer’s GDC 2015 talk

    Microsoft has provided more details on Cross-Buy functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One as well as the Xbox Live SKU and other announcements made during Phil Spencer’s talk today. During the session, the head of Xbox shared “the next step” in the company’s plans for a unified platform across all Windows 10 devices which […]

  • Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 this summer

    Wasteland 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 as a Game of the Year Edition. inXile Entertainment announced the news on the PS Blog, noting the edition contains enhancements and improvements. The game has been ported to Unity 5, which was announced over the weekend, providing upgraded visual effects, “improved character models, upgraded environments, and Unity […]

  • Cross-Buy detailed for Windows 10 and Xbox One; Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One

    During Xbox boss Phil Spencer’s session at GDC 2015 today, it was announced Elite: Dangerous would release on Xbox One. Spencer also outlined cross-buy functionality across Windows 10 and Xbox One. Spencer’s talk started off with Frontier Developments announcing Elite: Dangerous for release this summer as a console debut on Xbox One, suggesting the Elite: […]

  • Longbeards Culture Pack available now for Total War: Attila

    The Longbeards Culture Pack is now available for Total War: Attila and it comes with three new playable factions. The Langobards, the Burgundians and the Alamans can be played in both single and multiplayer campaign modes as well as custom and multiplayer battles. A new feature called The Lay of Ybor is also included. It […]

  • Nvidia unveils Titan X as world’s “most advanced GPU” – video

    Nvidia revealed Titan X as “the world’s most advanced GPU” during Epic founder Tim Sweeney’s State of Unreal session a t GDC 2015 today. Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage during the panel stating it contains “8 billion transistors,” and has 12GB of RAM. Pricing wasn’t announced, but it was rumored back in January […]

  • Steam sale discounts titles announced for SteamOS

    With many of the year’s most popular games heading to SteamOS, Valve has decided to host sale in celebration. Here’s a short list of titles on sale. The full list of PC, Linux, Mac and SteamOS discounts can be found through the link. The Banner Saga Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Batman: Arkham […]

  • PayDay 2 announced for SteamOS, celebrating with franchise sale

    PayDay 2 is coming to SteamOS, Overkill has announced. Still under development, a release date will be announced at a later date. “Making sure PAYDAY 2 is available on SteamOS felt like a no-brainer,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze in the press release. “With PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition coming to the next generation […]

  • Magicka 2 has a release date and a crazy new trailer

    Magicka 2 has a release date for PC and the PlayStation 4, and Paradox Interactive has released a trailer featuring “Vlad’s latest lyrical triumph,” which is his rendition of the Game of Thrones theme. Magicka arrived on PC and PS4 May 26 and the game can be pre-ordered on PC beginning today, with PS4 pre-orders […]

  • Nintendo eShop schedule: Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone, others

    Nintendo has sent over a list of titles heading to the eShop in 2015. The schedule contains titles such as Affordable Space Adventures, Runbow, Swords & Soldiers 2, Don’t Starve: Giant Edition, Never Alone and Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars. Below a preliminary list of games scheduled to launch in the Nintendo eShop on […]

  • Week 8: Can you win the weekly VG247 GTA Online playlist? Play tonight at 8pm UK time!

    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]

  • Tropico 5 arrives on PS4 in April – video

    A release date for Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4 has been announced. This is the franchise’s first foray onto PlayStation consoles. It arrived in Europe on April 24 and in North America on April 28. A Limited Edition has also been announced, and it includes The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Limited Edition PS4 releasing in Asia

    A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain PlayStation 4 system will be released in Asia. The system and its DualShock controller were designed in collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment and targeted for the Asia region, per Gematsu. It will be released as part of PS4 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain […]

  • This video shows Sid Meier’s Starships being played on iPad

    Sid Meier’s Starships will be released on iPad alongside Mac and PC, and to give you an idea on how it plays on the tablet, a new video has been released. Watch below as Pete Murray and lead producer Stuart Zissu show off the iPad version. The 4X space-strategy releases on March 12.

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood announced as standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a standalone prequel to The New Order, will release May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes pace in 1946, and and players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he embarks on a two-part mission in Bavaria. Part one, Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves, […]

  • Observer Mode coming soon to Evolve as a free update

    Observer Mode will be released for Evolve as a free update for all platforms, 2K and Turtle Rock have announced. The community feature was designed to give Evolve players the ability to observe and add commentary as well as livestream, allowing a sixth user to “passively enter a custom game” with the ability to switch […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes and PS4 top Media Create charts in Japan

    The PlayStation 3 and PS4 skus for Dragon Quest Heroes were the top sellers on the Media Create charts in Japan, moving a combined 594,749 units. Elsewhere on the chart, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was in third place with 39,751 units moved, and last week’s top seller, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, […]

  • Watch Hideo Kojima answer lots of your burning Phantom Pain questions

    What’s better than learning the official release date of MGS5: The Phantom pain? Hideo Kojima talking more about it, of course! Hideo Kojima has decided to answer a few fan questions about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, to help boost everyone’s hype to insane levels. He talks about the game’s story, his relief […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain Day 1 and Collector’s Edition revealed

    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]

  • HTC apologises over “confusing” Half-Life VR comments

    HTC has misspoke when it talked about Half-Life coming to VR headset Vive. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has apologised over the comments she made yesterday about the possibility of Half-Life coming to Vive, the VR headset it’s manufacturing with the help of Valve. Sources close to Valve, have indicated to the BBC that the developer […]

  • What do Heists and Daily Objectives tell us about the future of GTA Online?

    Daily Objectives could be more important to GTA Online than Heists. These theories and more, from a giddy Matt Martin. Yesterday Rockstar dropped a bombshell. Not only is it releasing Heists next week – the mythical 4-player missions for GTA Online – but it’s also going to be introducing daily challenges and more modes to […]

  • Breaking down Hardline Premium, is it worth it?

    Having been announced just a few days ago, the Premium service for Battlefield Hardline has been a topic of constant debate among the Battlefield community. Many look at Hardline as a Battlefield off-shoot that will just tide everyone over until Battlefront comes out in the fall. EA has other plans however, announcing a $50 Premium […]

  • Watch Dogs sold more than GTA 5 and FIFA 15 in Australia in 2014

    Watch Dogs outsold GTA 5, and FIFA 15, at retail in Australia last year. According to data obtained by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) from the NPD Group Australia, last year’s year retail sales charts look a bit different in Australia. The top-selling game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, followed by Watch […]

  • Watch PC footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from GDC 2015

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new gameplay video available that shows a bit of action from the PC version. The video below was captured from Nvidia’s GDC conference live-stream. Developer CD Projekt RED was on hand to show off The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s graphical prowess running on a PC. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • Dying Light: Hard Mode and Ultimate Survivor Bundle out March 10

    Dying Light’s second DLC drop, the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, and the free Hard Mode, have been given a solid release date alongside a new trailer. Dying Light developer Techland has confirmed that the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, the game’s second DLC drop, will release March 10. The DLC is part of the season pass, but will […]

  • Exploration puzzler Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4

    Ether One, the first-person exploration game that puts you in the minds of other people to help change events of their past is coming to PlayStation 4 this year. Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4 this year, developer White Paper Games announced at GDC 2015. A retail version will also be available alongside the […]

  • Larian “murdered” Divinity: Dragon Commander to focus on Original Sin

    Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian talked very candidly about the business side of development and the many unfortunate events that took place for the game to come out as it did. Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke gave a post-mortem on the troubled development of Divinity: Original Sin, and how it managed to overcome all of […]