Sections

Dark Souls 2: a lesson in painfully balanced gameplay

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 08:02 GMT By Dave Cook

Dark Souls 2 finds itself in a precarious position. Change the format too much and alienate fans, don’t change enough and become stale. VG247′s Dave Cook quizzes Namco’s Takeshi Miyazoe about the conundrum.

Dark Souls 2

Developed by From Software, Dark Souls 2 is coming to PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in March 2014.

Dark Souls 2 beta sign-ups are now active on PS3. Find out how to register here.

You can check out footage of the game’s Mirror Knight boss here. It looks savage.

Details of the game’s pyromancy class, guard break and more can be found here.

If you read this site often you’ll know I’m nuts about Dark Souls. I blog about it often. Like, a lot. I even got an Ornstein and Smough tattoo after completing it, but even I’ve become curious as to just how From Software is going to advance its perfect storm of mechanics and design philosophies in a way that appeases die-hard fans. I don’t envy the studio right now.

Of course, there was the power-keg of criticism that erupted as soon as co-directors Tomohiro Shibuya and Yui Tanimura said Dark Souls 2 was more “understandable” than its predecessors. The fact is these guys aren’t stupid, and there’s no way this game will coddle players explicitly throughout the experience. To do that would be to scrap the superb blend of challenge, risk and gratification that forms the series’ heart.

I recently had a chat with Namco Bandai’s Takeshi Miyazoe about this very issue and I wanted to first touch upon the notion of ambiguity in the series. After all, each ‘Souls’ title has left world lore and the motivation of their cast largely to the player’s imagination, whereas other games seek to spell out the fine details in plain sight. All we know at this point of Dark Souls 2 is that the main player is cursed, so sets off into the world in search of a cure.

“I think one of the methodologies that we used for story-telling was appreciated by fans, that indirect way of story-telling,” Miyazoe began. “That will continue with Dark Souls 2. What happened to the character is what’s going to be revealed throughout the game itself, but the player will first find himself in this world with this curse of the dark ring. His journey will be to find a cure to that curse.”

So it’s still largely ambiguous then, but I suspect that fans of the series wouldn’t have it any other way. This quest to uncover the truth of the player’s curse will be fraught with death because mortality is – and always will be – at the forefront of this series. While the process of learning through dying and advancing incrementally through the open world will remain, the rules of that space and its many mechanics will be delivered more clearly to the player.

Explaining Namco’s reaction to initial concerns over the game’s clearer mechanics, Miyazoe said with a laugh, “Apologies for using the word ‘accessible’ again, but it’s not that the game is going to be any easier, but it will be the process of streamlining a lot of the ‘fat’ that hinders people from enjoying the true Dark Souls experience. So that’s what we meant by accessible. It won’t be easier.

“Our reaction that was; our thinking behind how we designed the game itself hasn’t changed, just how we falsely communicated it. But I hope we can continue to communicate to players that the game won’t be easier at all, and it’ll be as challenging or even more. We wanted to make sure we deliver the full, pure Dark Souls elements more directly to players.

“It’s hard to quantify how much harder it is. The challenges are still there, but just enough for me to be able to play the game, over come the barriers and difficulties in the game, and still have that sense of achievement when the difficulties are conquered. We are still balancing the game to a point where it’s conquerable but not to easy and not too difficult. We’re still doing a lot of trial and error, but I don’t think any players will be upset by how we’ve balanced the game. I think we will be able to meet the expectations of fans – both hardcore and new.”

After checking out forums and sites in my quest to beat the original Dark Souls it became clear to me that completing the quest is often worn like a badge of honour. Doing it once isn’t enough for some players however, and to those players Miyazoe happily confirmed that From Software is trying to revisit the way New Game+ works in Dark Souls 2. The feature is also a question of balancing, but seasoned players can rest assured that it’s currently in the works.

The world of Dark Souls 2 itself will require a greater degree of balancing than ever before, considering the play of light and dark, as well as new traps just waiting to slaughter careless adventurers rushing into areas blindly. We’ve already seen a rather terrifying rope bridge being torn out from under players by dragons, and pitch black areas that can only be illuminated by swapping out your shield for a torch. The dilemma of sacrificing your primary means of defence for visibility is both fiendish and inspired in equal measure.

The new Dual Swordsman class – seen above – is a key example of how this engrossing brand of risk-reward has been pushed even further to the fore in Dark Souls 2. While the class is both nimble and capable of dishing out a steady stream of large damage, getting the most out of its flurry of dual weapon attacks demands that players do away with their shield. It’s a risky strategy, but one veteran fans will surely relish.

Speaking of risk and strategy, I simply had to ask Miyazoe if Dark Souls 2 will include another savage boss battle like Ornstein and Smough, and to what extent players will have to grind in order to pass them. Of course, given the game’s expanded open world structure, it’s likely that such a bottleneck won’t exist this time around, but as a fan of the ruthless duo I really wanted to learn more.

“You won’t have to start from one venue, go through to the end, beat the boss and then start from a new venue. There will be be areas where you can meet the boss halfway. if you’re good enough or paying enough attention you might be able to defeat them early.”

“As much as the dev team is still balancing the game, I think there will be key moments in the game – not just challenges by story or difficulty – but there will be key enemies and bosses in the game that will challenge the players enough. There will be areas where we’re revisiting some of the boss battles as well, where you’ll be able to encounter boss battles part-way through the stage.

“You won’t have to start from one venue, go through to the end, beat the boss and then start from a new venue. There will be be areas where you can meet the boss halfway. if you’re good enough or paying enough attention you might be able to defeat them early. We’re trying to create a more interactive gameplay flow so that we sort of break a little bit in terms of the traditional ‘start point, boss and then new start point’ mechanic. I think that’s one of the challenges we’re trying to overcome through game design.”

In closing I wanted to quiz Miyazoe on the possibility of Dark Souls 2 on next-gen formats. There are – naturally – a lot of questions around the game’s March 2014 release and its proximity to both PS4 and Xbox One. I suggested that the game could eventually come to both formats as either a port or digital download of the current-gen build.

He replied, “At this point no. We haven’t discussed … or we haven’t made any decisions about next-gen. I think right now we want to concentrate on providing the game strictly on current-gen consoles as well as PC. We feel that with PS3 and Xbox 360 there’s a lot of potential we weren’t able to cover for the first Dark Souls, so we want to really capitalise on every aspect of current-gen consoles and get the game to players as soon as possible.”

Finally, on the shaky PC build of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die edition, he added, “It was a great learning experience for both us as publishers and From Software as the developers. As you know, the PC version last time was more of a port from console to PC. For Dark Souls 2 we are keeping PC in mind right from the beginning, so the release of the PC version will be a ‘PC Dark Souls 2′, rather than a port of the console builds.”

Are you looking forward to getting your teeth sunk right into Dark Souls 2? Let us know below.

Dark Souls 2 is out March 2014 on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Latest

  • Watch the Evolve Chappie Challenge tomorrow on Twitch

    Sony Pictures Entertainment, 2K and Turtle Rock Studios have announced a tournament being hosted by ESL, which will see Evolve players take on newest movie robot, Chappie. The ESL has teamed up with Twitch for the live 4 on 1 competitive event, and you can watch as it all unfolds tomorrow, March 1 at 3pm […]

  • If you’re attending PAX East, stop and have a look at Necropolis

    We haven’t heard much on Harebrained Schemes’ latest since it was announced in November, but today, the team has seen fit to release some interesting gifs of its a new project, Necropolis. Necropolis is a third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated which can be “re-rolled mid-playthrough” and is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online really is lovely, as these screenshots prove

    More Dragon’s Dogma Online screenshots have been released, and this batch is just as lovely as the last gallery we posted. Since this game will likely never leave Japan, the images are a bit of a salt rub for fans of the IP, but hopefully another entry in the series will be released at some […]

  • Action-RPG Death’s Gambit has a classic-Castlevania feel to it

    How would you like to become an agent of Death and rid the world of immortals? Then Death’s Gambit may just be the game for you. Announced by LA-based studio White Rabbit, the action-RPG with platforming elements tasks players with fighting gigantic enemies on an alien, medieval planet. Players will also encounter formidable beasts, knights, […]

  • Modder adds offline co-op into Resident Evil: Revelations 2

    PC users lamenting the lack of local, offline co-op in Resident Evil: Revelations 2 will be pleased to know a modder has remedied the omission. The mod, created by FluffyQuack, adds offline co-op mode to Episode 1 but the only caveat is players will need to use gamepads instead of mouse and keyboard (via Gamespot). […]

  • Number of Steam accounts with Dota 2 installed hits over 42 million

    Dota 2 has seen its installation rate jump 85% year-over-year, resulting in the MOBA now having close to 43 million installations worldwide. The figures were published via a report from video game research and consulting firm EEDAR, which studied Steam accounts daily to better understand the service’s player behavior and title performance. According to statistics […]

  • Nintendo issuing Eon Ticket codes for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire

    Nintendo is handing out an Eon Ticket to Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire owners which will allow them to visit the Southern Island. Once a player arrives, depending on which version of the game they own, Pokemon Latios and Latias are able to be caught. The Eon Ticket was originally issued via StreetPass, but […]

  • Here’s a couple The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to brighten your day

    Two images for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have surfaced on the game’s Facebook page. Grabbed by Gamekyo, the images show Gerlat and Vesemir chatting with a fellow, and the other shows Geralt riding up to some ruins where some people have been hanged. CD Projekt Red will make an appearance at PAX East next […]

  • Hyrule Warriors Boss Pack DLC contains unlockable character – potential spoilers

    While you already know the next DLC for Hyrule Warriors will allow you to play as the gigantic beast Ganon, there’s a rather humorous unlockable character contained in it as well. Potential spoilers follow below. When the DLC arrived in Japan February 26, YouTuber moccos-tan IsedelicaAs posted a video of the unlockable character, which is […]

  • Star Trek Online players gather on Vulcan to pay respects to Leonard Nimoy

    Star Trek Online players paid tribute to Leonard Nimoy yesterday by gathering around a fountain on Vulcan, the home planet of Spock in the Star Trek series. According to a post by barnacle999 on reddit, when he logged into the MMO “there were around 20 full instances and several partial,” culminating in around 1000 players […]

  • Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin gameplay video shows invasion of The Forlorn

    A new Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin gameplay video has been released, and provides the viewer with a look at the NPC invader system. Watch below as The Forlorn hunts down the player through the game with “with deadly skill and tenacity.” He even teams up with other enemies, making your fight […]

  • Visual upgrade for Wasteland 2, improved modding tools in the works

    A visual upgrade and improved mod tools are in the works for Wasteland 2, according to a blog post from inXile Entertainment. The upgrades will come about as the game’s codebase is migrated from Unity 4.5 to Unity 5. “A major benefit of moving to Unity 5 is that 5 will include many of the […]

  • Battlefield Hardline brings “Hollywood crime drama” to single-player campaign

    In the fifth developer diary for Battlefield Hardline, the team discusses how it’s bringing “Hollywood crime drama” to the shooter’s single-player campaign. The video was released a couple of days ago, so apologies are in order if this has been posted already, but I promise I searched the site and never found it. Visceral Games […]

  • Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is a pause for tactics isometric RPG coming in 2016

    Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is a 2.5D isometric RPG, built in the vein of Baldur’s Gate and Dragon Age in the works at Withing Hour Studios. The game allows the player to pause combat to plan party tactics. “Set in the Venetian-inspired fantasy city of Ombre where rare masks are the key to casting magic, […]

  • Underworld Ascendant surpasses Kickstarter goal

    Underworld Ascendant which was launched on Kickstarter earlier this month, has met its  $600,000 funding goal. With six days left 10,786 backers pledged $610,541 In light of being funded, the team has also switched up the stretch goals as bit, as you can see in the image below. The studio, OtherSide Entertainment, is fronted by Paul Neurath, […]

  • Latest Evolve patch fixes progress and save game data loss on Xbox One

    A patch for Evolve has been released on Xbox One which fixes lost progress and save game data users had reported. The patch also fixes an issue with shadows and flashlight, makes incremental improvements to matchmaking, invites, and rejoining, and there were progressions balance changes. “The issue with lost progress and saved games was mostly […]

  • Online servers for Ridge Racer Unbounded shut down in Europe

    Online functionality for Ridge Racer Unbounded is no longer available, Namco Bandai Europe has announced. Solo mode and the track editor are still playable, minus the sharing options. Ridge Racer Unbounded was released on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in March 2013. Thanks, MCV.

  • OlliOlli will be a cross-buy title on 3DS and Wii U

    Curve Digital has announced OlliOlli will be a cross-buy title when it releases on 3DS and Wii U. The Roll7 title will be the first third-party title to offer the functionality on the systems. OllliOlli will be released on the eShop March 5 The game launches on Nintendo’s eShop on March 5th, followed by Xbox […]

  • Darkbeast electrifies latest Bloodborne video

    The latest Bloodborne video shows off another monster in the game. This one is Darkbeast and he’s full of electricity. The video is the last of IGN’s month-long coverage of the title.

  • Future Assassin’s Creed games will have greater focus on modern timeline

    Ubisoft plans to focus more on modern timelines in future Assassin’s Creed games, the company suggested during its latest community livestream. During the Twitch stream, one of the lead writers for the Assassin’s Creed series, Darby McDevitt, said the modern timeline for Brotherhood’s town of Monteriggioni could inspire future development. “That only came about because […]

  • Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 is coming to Xbox One next month

    Halfbrick has announced Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 for Xbox One will release next month. The mobile title made its way onto Xbox 360 garnering 1 million downloads as of March 2012. It has a new multiplayer mode for up to four players with Battle and Party modes along with a new progression system. An announcement […]

  • New GTA 5 PC screens – shit the bed!

    Rockstar has pumped out 15 new screens for the PC version of Grand Theft Auto 5. Don’t touch them, because they’re electric. And if you touch them, you’ll get shocked. The PC version of GTA 5 has been delayed until April 14, which both sucks and blows. BUT! There’s a new trailer coming between now […]

  • Sony Japan accidentally erases 20th Anniversary PS4 contest entries

    Sony Japan has accidentally erased all information obtained from PlayStation owners who entered to win a 20th Anniversary PlayStation 4. Those who purchased PlayStation 3, PS4, Vita or Vita TV between December 4 – January 15 were handed a calendar with a code which entered them into the contest. Somehow, all data collected from the […]

  • Hearthstone datamine suggests Blackrock Mountain expansion on the way

    Hearthstone’s next update may be based on World of Warcraft’s Molten Core raid, if datamined information posted on Hearthpwn is spot-on. According to files mined from the latest patch, three new cosmetic card backs are on the way, one of which is called Molten Core. The data suggests that pre-ordering the Blackrock Mountain expansion will […]

  • Using Battlefield Hardline single-player gadgets increases your metagame rewards

    Gadgets contained in Battlefield Hardline’s campaign mode have been detailed, and each provides the player with various ways in which to solve crimes. According to design director Scott Warner, one way to “diffuse” a conflict when confronted with criminal activity is to flash your badge and ordering the criminal to freeze. Putting your gun on […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video is all about story mode, new characters

    After promising a new Mortal Kombat X reveal “soon”, NetherRealm Studios has made good on said promise by releasing the story trailer. The video shows parts of the story mode featuring Mileena, which takes place 25 years after the events of 2011′s Mortal Kombat. Outworld has become a larger threat and new fighters joining the […]

  • Destiny’s shotgun and pulse rifle buffs mean it’s time to rethink your load-out

    Destiny’s most-ignored weapons got major boosts this week. It’s time to start thinking about how to work them into your set-up. Even if you’re used to using scout rifles and sniper rifles as a general loud-out (neither class was touched by 1.1.1), the buffs to pulse rifles and shotguns should make you rethink your contextual […]

  • Battlefield Bad Company 2: five years later, what did it do so right?

    It’s been five years since the release of Battlefield Bad Company 2. What did the much-loved entry in the franchise do for the Battlefield series? Westie’s played Battlefield Bad Company 2 for over 1,260 hours on PS3 and PC. That’s dedication. In his latest video he discusses the stand out moments from a FPS classic, […]

  • War is hell in this Zombie Army Trilogy gameplay trailer

    Here’s five minutes of headshots, shambling zombies and an undead Hitler from Rebellion’s upcoming Zombie Army Trilogy. The Sniper Elite spin-off arrives on PS4, PC and Xbox One March 6 and includes three games (obviously) and a new Horde mode.

  • Titan Souls releases on PS4, Vita, PC on April 14

    Ace indie giant-slayer Titan Souls will be released on PS4, Vita and PC on April 14. Publisher Devolver confirmed the date to Eurogamer. Those of us in Europe will have to wait until a day later for release. Titan Souls is a tough-as-nails indie game where you have one life to slay a giant enemy. […]

38 Comments

  1. redwood

    i have officially quit reading DS2 articles from today :) might watch a full cg trialer but not gonna watch/read anything related to the gameplay.

    can’t spoil this for meself :)

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 :P I’m so excited. Even with next-gen, this and CLoS2 are up there on my most wanted list. Seriously excited for both.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. MFBB

    Its also my most anticipated game, more than any of the next gen titles.

    Would be great if new game+ offers something more than just a bit stronger enemies with a bit more health each playthrough (but dont ask me what).

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Deltaman42

    any word on the beta is it co-op or god forbid multiplayer???

    #4 1 year ago
  5. TheBlackHole

    An interesting, but slightly overrated game with some terribly broken mechanics, but an admittedly excellent art direction and refreshingly ambiguous story.

    I have nothing against the developers for wanting to make something challenging and unique, but my god to I despise every self righteous, self important, selfish player who bangs on about how offended they would be if FROM made the game any more ‘accessible’ for players not equipped to overcome the difficulty curve.

    Yes, it’s badge of honour that you completed the game – well done you. God forbid anyone less capable than you should have access to one of the more interesting, visually arresting RPGs of this generation.

    BTW – Battletoads would still kick all your asses.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Ekona

    @5 It’s a good point, and tbh it’s why I’ve avoided the DS series of games. I don’t particularly have the time any more to sit there and be frustrated with games that are too difficult and that I’ll never see the end of unless I spend hours working at them, so despite my curiosity about these games I’m leaving them alone.

    I default all my games these days to the Easy setting, as I get as much enjoyment from the way the game plays and seeing the story unfold as I do from the challenge of completing them. I don’t see why the game should be any worse for having an Easy setting, surely that just opens it up to more players?

    #6 1 year ago
  7. TheBlackHole

    @6

    The reason ‘Let’s Play’ videos have exploded is (aside from minecraft) because people watch things they can’t/won’t play themselves, so games that are too hard or too scary (dark souls, amnesia) tend to do very well.

    Also, you’re not alone – I used to work for a console game dev/pub and despite our core community purporting to be ‘hardcore’, stats showed us that 80% of people played games on the easy setting, and only 20% ever made it to the end of the games. These were high metacritic games too, all 85+

    “I don’t see why the game should be any worse for having an Easy setting, surely that just opens it up to more players?” This, + 1,000,000. too many gamers are concerned about how their own struggles will be undermined if others got the same rewards with less effort. IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!!!

    #7 1 year ago
  8. dotfaust

    @6 and 7

    No way, baby. The resources that would be used to craft an easy mode would have to come from somewhere, and that means less work put into that hardcore experience that only the souls series can deliver.

    I wouldn’t mind if they decided to use the dark souls series to break into the mainstream (massive budget, more “accessible”, etc) IF they revived demon souls as a lower budget series to fully cater to us masochists.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Ekona

    What extra resources would it need, realistically? A few hours of playtime to make sure that the stats are balanced, but other than that you just need to make the player more powerful or the enemies weaker. Job’s a carrot.

    Let’s say it costs an extra £5000 to sort, but because it’s more open you make an extra £25000 on sales. Why would you not do it, when it’s so simple to do?

    #9 1 year ago
  10. TheBlackHole

    @8

    No, you budget for it as a feature, like everything else. It has its own ROI (as @9 suggested), so it has no impact on the core product development.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. deathm00n

    While we are at it lets remove snipers from Battlefield, as they are hard for new players to play with. Super fast cars from Gran Turismo and Forza, they are too fast and hard to control. Combos from God of War and Devil May Cry, too hard for new players.

    Has anyone paid attention to the description of the mechanics of the game? Everywhere you read about the souls games it’s always about how hard the game is, it IS the main mechanic of the game, the devs states it must be hard, removing it would be as stupid as the examples I gave above. Without it, it would be an pretty ‘meh’ game with poor graphics. If you don’t like hard games, don’t play Dark Souls, and also don’t try to ruin it for the people who like it.

    By the way, I may be biased as my favorite game ever is Demon’s Souls

    #11 1 year ago
  12. TheBlackHole

    @11

    Okay, I’m trying REALLY hard not to feed the troll, buuuuuuut……..

    - Removing items or features from a game is NOT the same as changing how much health an enemy has. That’s why most games have several difficulty levels.

    - Increased/reduced health/damage is NOT a game mechanic.

    - Dark Souls is much more than a ‘difficult’ game.

    - Adding a difficulty level which changes nothing about the existing game does NOT ruin anyone’s experience. You can still play it the way you always have.

    - Video games are more than just a challenging set of objectives. Sometimes, good writing and good art direction are enough to thoroughly enjoy an experience (see: Gone Home, Dear Esther, SotC, Journey, Mass Effect, Skyrim), suggesting otherwise undermines the quality of games as entertainment.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. deathm00n

    “Okay, I’m trying REALLY hard not to feed the troll, buuuuuuut……”
    Trust me, I’m not a troll, I’m just showing my point at why I think the game don’t need to chenge.

    “- Removing items or features from a game is NOT the same as changing how much health an enemy has. That’s why most games have several difficulty levels.”
    Ok, now it’s more clear, what I was understanding you were saying was the the whole game should be more accessible. And I’m 100% against changing the game.

    “- Increased/reduced health/damage is NOT a game mechanic.”
    Agreed. My examples were over the top to show more clearly what I meant, english isn’t my native language so to show my point in a more clear way I do this a lot of times.

    “- Dark Souls is much more than a ‘difficult’ game.”
    I know, but its difficulty is the strong point of the game. So, to me creating or changing the difficulty level is against the selling point of the game.

    “- Adding a difficulty level which changes nothing about the existing game does NOT ruin anyone’s experience. You can still play it the way you always have.”
    But there will always be the question, if they spent time creating easier modes, who guarantees that the game is the same as if the whole development time was spent in a single mode?

    “- Video games are more than just a challenging set of objectives. Sometimes, good writing and good art direction are enough to thoroughly enjoy an experience (see: Gone Home, Dear Esther, SotC, Journey, Mass Effect, Skyrim), suggesting otherwise undermines the quality of games as entertainment.”
    You argument can be twisted in another way: “Video games are more than just good writing and good art direction. Sometimes a chalenge is enough to thoroughly enjoy an experience.” This is subjective, and I enjoy them both, your examples contains some awesome games.

    I guess this is going to last forever so lets just agree to disagree.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. stretch215

    @11 +1. Dark souls is pretty hard, but not impossible or “broken” at all. Some people just lack the patience to learn the mechanics. Once I had the “formula” down, I was fine. Bring on DS2!!

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Dave Cook

    @14 agreed, it’s totally not impossible if you know what to do. Takes a lot of grit and perseverance but it can be done.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. stretch215

    Lol. I guess the learning curve was too steep for #12 :D

    #16 1 year ago
  17. AngryConsumer

    i had a lesson in painfully wasting money on the first game. so after that i never bought any of other games. you can say the lesson was learned. the game is over hyped rubbish and crap. enuff said!

    #17 1 year ago
  18. stretch215

    @15 exactly. There were times when I wanted to flip my entertainment center in frustration, but those are the moments that make victory even sweeter.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. stretch215

    @17 I think the only lesson learned here is that you’re crap at dark souls.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. Metroid455

    @17 well… I wouldn’t call it crap, everyone’s free to like whatever they want but yeah I could never get into the series either, I also think the series is overhyped and flawed in design but hey whatever.

    @6 completely agreed, I do this alot aswell.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. TheBlackHole

    @13
    I can appreciate that. I think we both agree that the core game should not be altered, but game development isn’t always a case of taking resources from one job to complete another. If enough RoI can be planned for a new mode/feature/addition, it can be built without affecting the core game or its schedule.

    @16
    Damn right is was :)

    Seriously though, I understand why people like DS the way it is, and I would never suggest changing that for fans of the series, but I DON’T agree that adding an additional mode that has no effect on the core game would be in any way a bad thing.

    Being more inclusive helps strengthen the brand as a whole, meaning more opportunities for sequels, new IP, new media, who knows. A key example is Diablo. Terribly easy on its most basic setting, but infuriatingly hardcore on Inferno. DS is not a one trick pony. It doesn’t need to be difficult to be critically lauded – it is already an excellent game.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. xonetwoseven

    It’s always really bothered me when the main focus around Dark Souls is the difficulty. And do get me wrong, it is extremely difficult but after playing it for awhile I find it one of the most liberating games I have ever played. From software has taken away my ability to hem and haw over the amount of effort I want to put into this game, they just tell me, “This is how hard our game is. There is no way around it.” They also take away my ability to constantly reload my game to get the perfect outcome. By taking away these to things you are left to your own fate.

    Most people can see this as a dick move and a sign that the developer could care less how the person who just spent 60 dollars on their game feels. But nothing could be further from the truth. These hard choices are made because the developer actually respects you. They know if you apply yourself, you will conquer their game. Each death is a lesson and that lesson is, most of the time, one of humility. Humility in turn teaches you patience and precision. It doesn’t take a “hard-core” gamer to play Dark Souls, just a dedicated one. It’s like that line in Fight Club ” A guy came to fight club for the first time, his ass was a wad of cookie dough. After a few weeks, he was carved out of wood.”

    #22 1 year ago
  23. phastings

    @everyone who is dissing this series: for one, if you don’t want a difficult game, go play something else; no one is force feeding you souls, just as no one is forcing the souls fans to play casual titles,
    hence why you dont see us on articles for other games whining about how they need to adopt souls standard difficulty.. There are soooo many games you can play, and there is just one series for us… So yea.

    Secondly, these games are catered to a hardcore base of fans, who namely are older, used to the old school games that offered very few concessions, and appreciate a challenge that is as precise in combat mechanics as the souls games are.

    And don’t go fall back on “here is another elitist souls fan.”
    I’m a fan of amazing titles, and this would not be the same if they changed the core formula to appeal to everyone; as 99% of the other titles already do that

    #23 1 year ago
  24. Telepathic.Geometry

    Ooh, good man Dave. I too am looking forward to Lords of Shadow 2 and Dark Souls 2 with baited breath. I platinumed the first two games, and am looking forward to platinuming their kin all over again…

    #24 1 year ago
  25. phastings

    Also, the reason 80% of people play games on an easy setting is because an easy setting is an option for probably 80% of all games lol; human nature & instinct compell us to the easiest way to complete a task.

    Another thing is most games that have easy/hard settings have generic mechanics to differentiate the two and do not reward completion on difficult, which makes it a moot point. Dark souls does just the opposite in brilliant fashion

    #25 1 year ago
  26. gowan

    People who who feel they are entitled to an easy mode are the same who feel entitled everywhere. The world is getting too use to getting whatever whenever. If they want a certain song, it’s a click away. There are 24 hour stores to satisfy whatever need they have. It’s not all bad. But, it spoils a person into believing that everything should be that accessible. Instant gratification is become the norm & game companies make it too easy for that trend to continue by making easy-to-complete games.

    Let’s look at how it works in real life. You want an iPod but your folks say “you want it, you earn it”. So you go out and mow lawns, keeping the goal in front of you. With every dollar earned, you get more & more excited about the experience you’ll have. Finally the day comes when you buy the device. You’re elated because you accomplished your goal! Cut to the kid whose parents just gave it to him. He might like it, but it isn’t the same experience because what he got was not earned!

    If you reduce the difficulty, you can only do it so much across the board and sure that would make the first few areas easier to get through however, without learning the mechanics, the average person would start to still get slaughtered because there is no place in the game where a person should just be able to button-mash to get through. At that point, cue the people saying “I thought this was EASY MODE? WAH! I HATE YOU, FROM SOFT!” ::watch chump gamer rage-quitting on easy mode::

    Lastly, Easy Mode is a lot like getting the Drake sword. Sure, it makes one-shotting enemies a piece of cake, but it doesn’t scale & the player ends up being worse off because it kept him from learning basic combat mechanics. They had an overpowered weapon allowing them to button mash & feel like they accomplished something. It’s deceptive. Eventually it caught up to them because they didn’t learn how to level up their weapons & armor or, and this big… learn how to fight! Combat is the game.

    #26 1 year ago
  27. Telepathic.Geometry

    @gowan: I agree with most of what you say, but I think good game design comes from balancing the difficulty correctly.

    For example, if you drive around the city in Jak II, you would have to drive like a fucking God to have a smooth and enjoyable drive. Every little mistake you make results in the cops gettin’ on your ass, taking serious damage, losing speed, and usually being stuck in a corner or some other shit situation.

    In short, the game punishes you, makes your situation three times harder and makes it very difficult to recover, and even if you do, your next mistake is barely seconds away. THAT is why it is too difficult to be fun in my opinion.

    By contrast, a game like Vanquish slows down time when you’ve fucked up, and are on the borderline of massive failure. It throws you a lifeline, and although it might be tough to get back, it’s fun, and it’s doable, and if you pull it off you feel like a nano-God, and your situation is that little bit better. This is GREAT difficulty balancing in my opinion. Borderlands’ Second Wind system is similarly inspired.

    NOW…

    Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls are both very well balanced in so far as, if you pay attention, it’s never that bad. And if you’re really feeling the pressure, you can summon dudes to help you gang-rape the enemy, and even then you don’t feel cheap. You feel empowered, and you feel the camaraderie of war (I guess).

    I’m no trigger finger SF genius or FPS crackshot, but I have relatively easily platinumed both games, so they can’t be regarded as all that hard, Shirley…

    #27 1 year ago
  28. DrDamn

    @gowan
    That’s quite harshly put, but I think your last sentence summed all that needs to be said “Combat is the game.”. That’s the core point. If you create an easy mode which means you can plough through the game button mashing like you can with most others games these days then you aren’t playing a Souls game any more. The very essence of the game is in how you are asked to play it. It would take the very core of the game away.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. rtd2

    always these comments trying to explain why there should be an easier difficulty setting, and yet no one seems to get the point across. this series of games is focused on death, and overcoming challenges. this concept doesn’t translate to your easy mode. its not the equivalent of removing fast cars from gta, but instead removing the cars entirely.

    many (of my friends too), are incapable of understanding this. you will make a lot of “mistakes”, which will first translate to frustration. not pushing forward is the biggest mistake you could possibly make. you will feel great overcoming the challenges, but the challenges are nothing without the amazing game they are scattered throughout.

    #29 1 year ago
  30. Telepathic.Geometry

    Who cares if there’s an easy mode? I cannot remember the last time I set a game to easy. It’s usually normal or hard on the first run.

    You say it takes away from the game, but I don’t see how. You play on your difficulty, and let everyone else enjoy their game the way they like. If you like a good bum-fuck it doesn’t mean everyone else has to.

    To each their own lads.

    If you’re worried about the multiplayer, well, dudes playing on easy all the time won’t have a hope against seasoned hard mode veterans. If it’s loot and gear jealousy, get over it. If you really want Dark Souls II to be difficult, then let the Easy mode dudes have the best gear and double health and let them invade you in teams of 8 and fuck off complaining.

    Jesus, sorry, but I hate all this sanctimonious shit. I want the classic Demon’s/Dark Souls, but if it helps draw more people into the Souls experience, give them an easy mode, and find a way not to let it interfere with MP…

    If we can do that, From get more money and can afford to invest more money in this franchise that we love with absolutely NO adverse effects on us. Personally, I think that a good way to do Easy mode for Souls would be to have a guy like Solaire take better care of them. Make that the option at the beginning of the game. Solaire says, do you wanna buddy up? You say YES! it’s easy mode, you say NO! and it’s regular mode. You attack him, it’s Hard mode. :D

    #30 1 year ago
  31. rtd2

    #30
    its strange. you argue for an easy mode, then present a great example of how they could keep the difficulty the same, and make the game “easier” within the current mechanics. +1 for a great idea with more persistent summons.

    i couldn’t agree more that i’d prefer the souls series get more attention, and that more people experience them. but yes, i do feel as though a different difficulty setting would take away from the game. given that the game’s creators seem to agree, i think the burden of proof belongs to you. i think the difference in the experience would be substantial, and as i said, the game’s creators seem to agree.

    #31 1 year ago
  32. Telepathic.Geometry

    @31: Well, I’m not really a fan of the Easy mode tick bx approach in general, and I’m a great believer in different difficultiy modes being handled skillfully in-game.

    For example in NG+ the standard enemies aren’t all that much stronger, but it’s just enough that you can’t one-shit them unless you double-hand them, and that small subtle little detail really leads to different gameplay.

    Likewise, in Yoshi’s Island, you can just get to the far right, or, you can choose to collect all dragon coins and red coins.

    In Deus Ex/Dishonored you can kill everyone, and plow through quickly, or go pacifist, and stealth through.

    In the best games, the difficulty s built into the bones of the game, and there’s no need to select it on the main menu. I like that way the best, but let’s face it. A lot of gamers expect there to be a double-health, double-damage button so they can beat the game. So fuck it, just give it to them I say…

    #32 1 year ago
  33. xonetwoseven

    Maybe an analogy will help clear up the difference. Let’s say that games with selectable difficulties are like going to the gym. If you’re not all that into working out, you can stick to some light weights or some aerobics and still get a pretty decent work out, feeling good about yourself in the process. If you are hardcore into working out you can run for miles and lift weights until you can’t stand it anymore. Regardless, everyone can co-exists in the same building without compromising what they want to do.

    Now let’s say games like Dark Souls are like climbing a mountain. There is no way around how tall that mountain is or how treacherous the climb might be. Most people can make it some part of the way but If you want to get to the summit you have to put your heart into it.

    So what I’m saying is this; giving Dark Souls an easy mode is like putting an escalator on Mt. Everest.

    #33 1 year ago
  34. Telepathic.Geometry

    Most Mountains have roads leading much of the way up, and hikers can start t various different levels to suit their physical capabilities. And I view ths as a good thing.

    I would say that a very busy middle-aged man with bad knees would appreciate being able to avail himself of that service to be able to enjoy the view from the top.

    We gamers all have different lifestyles and abilities. I say let’s be inclusive. Let’s try to bring as many people into the flock as possible and who knows, they might gradually start climbing mountains honestly some day…

    #34 1 year ago
  35. xonetwoseven

    SO, we should let people start 3/4 through the game with maxed out stats and equipment? You know what, you totally win. Let just make sure everything is accessible to everyone. In fact, on top of the difficulty being off turning, some of the imagery is awfully violent, that is surely turning off a pretty big market. I mean if we can get a TEEN rating on this, that’s a whole new demographic that can play this game. Let’s try to think of a way to make this game by offending no-one but not alienating the core fan base but at the same time holding the hands of people not quiet up the challenge so they too can see the view from the top. Think of all the money FROM software can make; then they will be able to make MORE games.

    Oh wait, that doesn’t really check out, it seems like FROM made a little game called Demon Souls. Based on it’s core values of unrelenting difficulty that results in unparallelled satisfaction, it got a following of dedicated fans. This is despite the fact no one thought a game that actively tried to kill you over and over again would make any money. With their follow up, Dark Souls, it became a Mainstream success, even though they didn’t even waver on their values what so ever. It seems like FROM has no problem generating the revenue to make the games they so dearly want to play themselves.

    Your opinion makes sense only from a marketing stand point, and a very short sided one at that. Thankfully FROM software doesn’t have to make any concessions, due to their already proven ability to make large amounts of money by doing what they are artistically driven to do. And I am grateful for it, sure they have a golden goose on there hands, but they know better then to cut it open just to drain a few extra cheap bucks out of it.

    #35 1 year ago
  36. Telepathic.Geometry

    You are unreasonable.

    #36 1 year ago
  37. DrDamn

    @35
    I don’t think a mountain is a good analogy for the game, the enjoyment is not the view from the top, it’s the journey there which is important. You can’t change that and still have the same experience. That difficult journey is the essence of the Soul’s games (and should be of any game) – completion is secondary. An easy mode Souls game is no longer a Souls game, because the difficulty is essential to it’s make up. The developers shouldn’t be asked to do that any more than they should be asked to do a My Little Pony game. It’s not what they are trying to achieve or produce. Would you consider asking The Beatles to put a bit more dubstep into their songs because more people might enjoy them?

    #37 1 year ago
  38. Telepathic.Geometry

    Fair enough man, it wasn’t my analogy to begin with, and I agree, I think the moment to moment, what’s around this corner or down this hole or whatever is what drives me in this game. Just trying to engage the other guy using his analogy.

    #38 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • Mortal Kombat X: which character will be revealed tomorrow?

    Mortal Kombat X director Ed Boon is teasing a new character reveal. During today’s Mortal Kombat X livestream, NetherRealm said that a new character would be revealed “very soon”. Boon followed up with this teasing tweet suggesting the reveal will occur tomorrow: Very soon? As in tomorrow? :/ — Ed Boon (@noobde) February 26, 2015 […]

  • Halo played by Twitch is an exercise in great patience

    TwitchPlaysHalo is ridiculous. Halo: Combat Evolved is the latest game to be sucked into the “TwitchPlays” phenomenon, and the results are somewhat painful to spectate. If you’re not familiar with the setup, which debuted with TwitchPlaysPokemon, the game accepts commands from the channels’ chat stream. Although it doesn’t have the strategic RPG elements of Pokemon, […]

  • Gold Amiibo sold out, selling at five times RRP on auction sites

    Gold Mario Amiibo are expected to sell for pretty astounding profits on eBay and other auction sites. The Walmart-exclusive Gold Mario Amiibo is already completely sold out. Plenty of people managed to snaffle them to resell, though. There are now dozens of listings on eBay and other auction sites. One of the average asking prices […]

  • Canadian new game prices jump to $75

    Canadian gamers are in for an unpleasant price hike. As spotted by HardcoreGamer, the local Canadian branches of Amazon and EB Games have raised the prices of upcoming games to CAD$75. The CAD$5 increasing comes within a year of prices hitting the CAD$70 point. CAD$75 (£38/€53) currently exchanges for $60, the standard US pricing. The […]

  • New Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows weather, day-night cycle

    The latest Xenoblade Chronicles X footage shows off a gloriously beautiful world. Xenoblade Chronicles X is Monolith Soft’s first solo Wii U game, and the developer is clearly enjoying being able to build a big open world with all the features we’ve come to expect. Missed the whole Xenoblade thing? Chronicles X is a sort […]

  • Dead Rising: Watchtower teaser talks up the benefits of Zombrex

    Live-action Dead Rising movie Watchtower is almost upon us. Dead Rising: Watchtower will release on Crackle on March 27, and via other digital distributors thereafter. Enjoy the short teaser below, courtesy of IGN.

  • We Happy Few debut hits you upside the face with a frying pan

    Contrast developer Compulsion Games has revealed its next project – the delightfully creepy-looking We Happy Few. We Happy Few is set in “a drug-fuelled, retrofuturistic city in an alternative 1960s England” where “a plucky bunch of moderately terrible people trying to escape from a lifetime of cheerful denial”. Players are tasked with blending in with […]

  • Slender: The Arrival creeping onto PS4, Xbox One in March

    Slender: The Arrival sold like hotcakes on PC and last-gen consoles, so why not terrify yourself on PS4 and Xbox One, too? Slender: The Arrival will release on PS4 on March 24 and on Xbox One on March 25, developer Blue Isle Studios has announced, for $10. No word on that Wii U version, though. […]

  • GOG weekend sale celebrates German debut

    DRM-free games vendor GOG is celebrating its German-language launch with a tasty sale. The sale offers discounts over 25 “German favourites”. Highlights inclue 97% off Deponia, and less steep but still tasty savings on Memoria and Blackguards 1 and 2. The sale will run through March 3, and you do not have to be, speak, […]

  • Humble Weekly Bundle goes back to Japan

    The latest Humble Weekly Bundle is called Made in Japan, and I’m sure you can guess the theme. Pay what you want for Cherry Tree High Complete Pack (PC; Steam or DRM free), Fairy Bloom Freesia (PC; Steam or DRM free) and Influent + Language Pack (Linux, Mac, PC; Steam or DRM free). Pay more […]

  • Capcom “looking into” solutions to Resident Evil: Revelations PC co-op issue

    Resident Evil: Revelations 2 fans should sit tight for a bit, as Capcom is working on some sort of solution to the co-op issue. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 doesn’t have local co-op on PC and fans are pretty mad about that, as it was advertised ahead of release as a key feature. Although Capcom has […]

  • The games industry is disruption, says Assassin’s Creed producer

    Former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond has characterised the games industry as one long series of upsets. The games industry changes all the time, and that’s one of its best qualities, Raymond said. The ex-Ubisoft leader told Polygon that the reason seh got into games in the first place was because it “is this undefined […]

  • GTA 5 made $31 million in digital revenue in January

    GTA 5 is the highest-grossing title at the moment in terms of digital revenue, and the PSN is absolutely minting it. Digital games industry analyst Superdata has extended its scope to include console games, which means we suddenly have access to a whole bunch of data we’ve only been able to guess at, or extrapolate […]

  • Destiny: Inferno playlists debut next week

    Destiny PvP will shake things up next week with a new way to slaughter your mates in the Crucible. Destiny is already a skilled PvP game, but the new Inferno playlists will turn things up a notch with a focus on “basic gunplay”. The first of these, Inferno Control, kicks off on March 3 and […]

  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

    Battlefield Hardline Premium perks have apparently leaked a bit early, according to a post on Reddit. Over on the Hardline subreddit is an image which was take at a GameStop location, noting two week early access to content additional Battlepacks and more. Here’s the rundown: Four expansions Two weeks early access 12 additional Battlepacks Exclusive […]

  • Final Fantasy: Record Keeper arrives in the US this spring

    Final Fantasy: Record Keeper will be released in the US on iOS and Android this spring, DeNA and Square Enix today. The mobile titles allows players to “relive favorite moments” across all Final Fantasy installments and build a team of classic characters from across the entire franchise. If you sign up for email updates, you […]

  • Battlefield Hardline now available for pre-order, pre-download on Xbox One

    Battlefield Hardline is now available for pre-order and pre-download on Xbox One. You can pre-order it now from the Xbox Store and once you have paid for it, you can start your pre-download. Battlefield Hardline releases on March 17, and will be made available to pre-downloaders come 12.01am EDT. Check pricing and availability for your […]

  • Dying Light interactive video allows you switch between day and night

    A new video for Dying Light has been released, which allows you to hit the Z key to change between day and night. Titles Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone, the interactive story video showcases how the game changes between day and night. Daytime and nighttime are shown side-by-side but the z key allows […]

  • Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare out on PS3, PS4; PC delayed

    The Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is now available for PlayStation 3 and PS4. Havoc contains the four multiplayer maps Core, Drift, Sideshow, and Urban along with the AE4 directed energy assault rifle, its custom variant, and the Exo Zombies cooperative mode. You can purchase the DLC separately or pick up the […]

  • Here’s a teaser for Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2

    A teaser video for the second episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available, so if you’ve yet to play the first episode, you may want to skip this. Resident Evil Revelations 2′s first episode is out now. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Titan Attacks, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Country and more. eShop on 3DS Ironfall Invasion Titan Attacks! Donkey Kong Land – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 2 – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 3 – Virtual Console Luv Me Buddies Wonderland Around the World […]

  • Venture into the Valley of the Yetis next week in Far Cry 4

    The next batch of Far Cry 4 DLC, Valley of the Yetis, releases in March and Ajay Ghale will be tasked with surviving violent cultists and the mythical Yeti. Apparently the cult is looking for a secret hidden in the valley, and Ajay has discovered their motives. The DLC features co-op with a friend taking […]

  • The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack out for Payday 2, has dino masks

    The 19th DLC pack for Payday 2 title The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack is available on Steam from today. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: 11 new weapon modifications for the AK rifles in the game 11 new weapon modifications for the CAR rifles in the game Four new masks together with their […]

  • Battle Chasers slated for PC, consoles; comic picks up where 2001 storyline left off

    Darksiders creator Joe Madureira and Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli have confirmed a Battle Chasers game and a new comic are in the works at their new studio Airship Syndicate. Speaking to Polygon, Madureira and Stefanelli wouldn’t provide details on the the game, but did divulge it will be an adventure RPG with player-controlled Battle Chasers […]

  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video gives you a look at the game’s wildlife

    A new video shown by Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata during the latest Active Time Report, contains a look at the game’s wildlife and ecology. You can watch the full stream two hour stream through here, or a smaller clip courtesy of GamesHQMedia below.

  • Lionhead ventures into the free-to-play space with Fable Legends

    Fable Legends will be free-to-play when it launches on PC and Xbox One. According to Lionhead, the one versus four cross-platform title borrows from MOBA games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends as it will contain free, rotating heroes which will be added to a roster for a two week period. Once the […]

  • Win! 5 pairs of tickets to the Call of Duty European Championships

    We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway for the Call of Duty European Championships, taking place in London this weekend. The event takes place this Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Winners can watch teams will go head to head for a $10,000 prize pot […]

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

    Republique Remastered, which was announced earlier this month, is now available for Mac and PC. The game is 20% off through Steam, GOG and the Humble Store for $19.99 until March 4. Thereafter, it will run you $24.99. The Remastered edition contains all five episodes of the game, with 1-3 available now and the remaining […]

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

    Isometric shooter LA Cops is coming to Xbox One on March 13. Already on Steam Early Access, the game looks like it’s been heavily inspired by Hotline Miami. Walk into a room, open fire, leave bloody puddles in your wake. It’s being published by Team 17. Check out the video below for some 70s cop […]

  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

    Joe Madureira, creator of Darksiders, has released art that strongly suggests a Battle Chasers game is in the works. Battle Chasers was a comic book from the late 1990s that suffered notorious production problems between issues and was never finished. Madureira formed Airship Syndicate after the collapse of THQ, where he co-created Darksiders. His latest […]

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

    The trailer for notorious horror movie Axe has been recreated in GTA 5. The shot for shot remake is the work of gigerbrick who has previously recreated exploitation flicks like Machete and Hostel using Lego. The original Axe movie was banned in 1984 in the UK but passed with cuts in the late 1990s. Movie […]

  • Payday 2 for PS4 and Xbox One includes “a year’s worth of paid DLC” for free

    Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will include a year’s worth of paid DLC from the PC version of the game for free. The new-gen version of the game will be available June 2015, and includes almost all of the paid and free DLC released so far for Overkill’s popular first-person shooter. That DLC includes The Big […]

  • Yes, Mortal Kombat X will require Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

    Mortal Kombat X won’t bypass Microsoft and Sony’s premium online play requirements. Reports that Mortal Kombat X wouldn’t require PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold started circling earlier this week thanks to a communications error. Answering fan questions on Twitter, producer Shaun Himmerick accidentally gave the impression that premium console subs would not be required […]

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

    Destiny patch 1.1.1 has resolved or at least addressed a number of complaints voiced by the community, but there are plenty more. des Destiny community manage David “Deej” Dague has put out a call for Guardians to share their concerns – or rather, what they think the community is most concerned about. “Set aside your […]

  • Google AI can play games now, so we’re probably all going to die

    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]