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Killzone PS4: why being first demands excellence – interview

Monday, 7 October 2013 07:55 GMT By Dave Cook

Killzone: Shadow Fall is Sony’s leading launch title. VG247′s Dave Cook spoke with developer Guerrilla Games to get a handle on how it looks to exceed expectation, and showcase PS4′s power to the world.

Killzone: Shadow Fall

Developed by Guerrilla Games, Killzone: Shadow Fall is the fourth home console entry to the series.

The game is a PS4 launch title dropping November 15 in North America, and November 29 across Europe.

Pat recently had an extensive hands-on with Shadow Fall’s new multiplayer component Warzone. It’s incredibly customisable.

Killzone: Shadow Fall will offer players a DLC season pass option. You’ll find a trailer for the content here.

We’re rapidly approaching one of the strangest and most scrutinised launch seasons in gaming history. To many, the wait for PS4 and Xbox One has felt longer than past cycles and it’s clear to see that excitement among fans is at boiling point.

But for Killzone: Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla Games, the release of its shooter represents more than the start of a new generation. It’s a statement of intent for parent company Sony, a technical showcase that can – nay, must – convince players out there that the console still bears technical clout over rapidly advancing PC tech. It may also help decide which format you stick with for the next seven years.

There will always exist an appetite for console gaming but even at a distance we’ve seen many PS3 and Xbox 360 gamers turn to the PC market in search of cheaper games, broader innovation and the flexibility to upgrade their rig as they please. If any cycle represented a chance to cash those cheques and make good on the hype, then this is surely it. We’re almost there, and it’s genuinely thrilling.

I recently met with Guerrilla Games lead designer Eric Boltjes to discuss how the studio helped Sony thrash out the final PS4 tech, and how it felt to be a part of next-gen’s initial charge. Love or hate the Killzone franchise; there’s no denying that Shadow Fall is a remarkable technical achievement. For a day-one title, that’s impressive.

“We knew pretty early on that we wanted to be a launch title,” Boltjes explained. “We knew it was inevitable that there was going to be a new platform, so quite early on – about two and a half years ago – we said ‘You know, we want to be a launch title. We want to be on the next-gen console.’

“The reason for that is that Killzone is all about the graphics and gameplay, obviously [laughs]. But being able to do that on a new platform was just an amazing chance, I mean, we really wanted to get in there and we wanted to get in early.”

To prepare Killzone: Shadow Fall as a launch title, Guerrilla had to be exposed to Sony’s new strategy and tech early on. We’ve heard a lot of talk about the PS4′s PC-like architecture and vast improvements over PS3, but I wanted to hear it straight from someone who has been steeped in that world for the past couple of years. Was it as simple as armchair pundits keep assuming?

Boltjes continued, “The really scary part is, all the tools and all the stuff we developed previously had to go out of the window. We had to re-do everything. We had the engine that we were rebuilding to fit next-gen – you know, the new architecture all that sort of stuff – all the assets had to be re-done, weapons had to be re-done and the animation systems had to be rebuilt. It was a lot like leaving your save data for something new and scary.”

So it wasn’t all that straight-forward then, but Boltjes stressed – as many have before him – that the PS4 architecture is, “a lot more normal,” and added, “The architecture is really cool because it’s easier to develop for, you get more memory, you get more hard drive space, you get more processing power so the architecture is easier.

“It’s also a lot more demanding, because the production effort needed just to make a next-gen title now is not doubled; It’s quadrupled. That’s because everything needs to look that much better. It takes a lot more people, and that takes a lot more communication. So it does it make things a lot more easier from a technical standpoint, but from a professional standpoint it makes things a lot harder.”

This was always going to be an issue going into next-gen. I wrote about it in this blog after Battlefield 4 was revealed. The game looked incredible but I felt troubled at large, because it’s all well and good for developers of next-gen games to tart up their experiences with technical gloss, but unless teams are using that clout to come up with new, disruptive means of play, then that feels – to me – like wasted potential.

I don’t envy any studio making next-gen titles now, because this truly is a crunch time. With so much power, where do you turn to for inspiration? Simply updating visuals isn’t enough any more for a lot of gamers, and it’s a trap that I fear a lot of teams will surely fall into in the year ahead. Let’s face it, budgets are going out of control now, which means publishers will want to take less risks. The reality could be that we’re staring down a long line of pretty, yet ultimately bland experiences.

Yet I don’t feel that way when I look at Killzone: Shadow Fall. As Pat wrote in his multiplayer blog, Guerrilla’s competitive Warzone format sounds refreshing and fun. It’s a break away from standard playlists and the first time I’ve seen a console shooter give this much freedom to its online players. It’s new and uses a lot of the console’s power. Returning to our tech conversation, I asked Boltjes to discuss What Guerrilla requested of PS4 Architect Mark Cerny, during his infamous tour of Sony’s first-party studios.

“One of the things we wanted to improve upon was the controllers,” Boltjes replied. “I personally feel that in previous Killzones, the DualShock was always good, but when you looked at other controllers they had an edge. We really worked together with Mark from Sony on improving the controller. For example, the triggers. We wanted better triggers. They previously reverted inwards where, in a shooter game, that’s not very good. Your fingers slip off.

“We really pushed them to make better triggers that go up. Also stuff like the touch-pad. When I first saw it on the prototype controller I was like, ‘What the hell am I supposed to do with that? It’s not an iPhone game.’ But I’m really surprised as to how well that little thing works. I’m not promoting it, I don’t have to sell that controller, but I’m really happy with how it works in our game. Everything else works now, from response time, the dead-zones, everything is better. The lag is gone, and that makes Killzone a better game.”

The DualShock 4 is indeed a marked improvement over the PS3 controller, and Boltjes even added, “When developing PS4 and our game as well, we held a lot of prototypes, and we played around with them as well. In one, they had replaced all of the buttons were touch-sensitive. We just said, ‘No’.” This dialogue between format holder and studio shows that Sony has listened to its first-party stock when developing every key facet of PlayStation 4. With that kind of backing and communication, it’s little wonder that Guerrilla has managed to craft a game that oozes technical wizardry.

We’re yet to play the full campaign however, and that will be the true test of whether or not that additional power has been used to add depth and innovation beyond what you see on the surface. Many gamers out there won’t care, and will view Killzone: Shadow Fall as a visual benchmark of what’s to come, but others will look deeper, at where that power is being used and how it is driving new ideas in our industry.

For now though, I’m excited to get my hands on final Shadow Fall code, and to see those juicy visuals and – hopefully – new ideas with my own eyes. Based on my chat with Boltjes, I’m expecting one or two technically-led surprises along the way.

Killzone: Shadow Fall launches on PS4 across North America on November 12, and across Europe November 29. Will you be picking it up?

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33 Comments

  1. Xbone

    …and thats why it wont be 60fps.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Dragon

    Those screen-shots look delicious :D

    #2 1 year ago
  3. wildBoar

    @1 No ur cunsule is bad! Uhnghhhhh.

    I think what’s delightful about those screens is all the colour and the sharpness of the lighting. Battlefield is still a bit gray by comparison really.
    As for the campaign, let’s all hope it’s more of a Killzone 2 than a Killzone 3. They were really onto something there..

    #3 1 year ago
  4. redwood

    @1 oh look a talking bone :D

    #4 1 year ago
  5. DrDamn

    @3
    I really noticed the colours too. KZ2 got a fair bit of stick for the pallatte choices, but this looks great.

    One thing I’d like to know about is MP map size. What we’ve seen so far is fairly standard maps size wise and I’d like to know if there are some with a bit more scale like some of the KZ2 maps.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. dsr

    @3
    If you look at some videos, campaign is more like Crysis than Killzone now. Semi open world with places to explore and some optional objectives.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. wildBoar

    @6 I was thinking more in terms of the narrative and plot. How large the maps’s are for your pew-pewing doesn’t ultimately make all that much difference. It’s nice to have some extra space, but it’s still gonna be more of a Crysis 2 than 1 I’m sure.

    If it has a good story at the heart that’s more than enough justification however. And with KZ2 they almost had it, then dropped the ball on 3.

    So it’s peculiar what this’ll be like.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Docker Al

    30 fps is not a ‘technical showcase’. And it certainly does not ‘exceed expectations’. Sony and Guerrilla should be embarrassed.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. DrDamn

    @1 & @8
    MP is 60fps.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. systemr

    @8: it’s not about how many fps if something is nice or not, it’s about the whole package. i prefer 30 fps looking stellar than 60 fps looking meh.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. VibraniumSpork

    Welp, I think this is going to do great numbers for the PS4 launch either way. Most people I know/have heard from who’ve pre-ordered the console have at least included it as part of a bundle.

    I think a large part of that is definitely down to the visuals. If any game looks to show off the system on day one, this is it. From my perspective it also offers something different to the well-worn schtick of COD and BF, both of which I’m a little fatigued with.

    And Dave’s right. With the new console tech, I think most gamers are looking for something that tries something a little different as well as pushing the envelope presentation-wise. KZ has that sci-fi edge and what sounds like a pretty progressive multi-player suite. Titanfall looks set to decimate the competition on the innovation front though…

    #11 1 year ago
  12. monkeygourmet

    @11

    Yeah Titanfall looks hella good!

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Lv01

    @11, and im another that has included this in my preorder bundle. and im seriously excited for it. it looks gorgeous, and the MP ‘warzone’ idea is just a really nice breath of fresh air. roll on nov 29!

    #13 1 year ago
  14. VibraniumSpork

    @12 Yep! Unless anything concrete’s announced re: its status as a ‘timed exclusive’ (most importantly a PS4 release date) I just know that I’m going to have to strongly consider the inevitable XB1/Titanfall bundle -_-

    @13 Right there with ya buddy! GAME contacted me last Monday and I went for the KZ/camera/2 controller bundle. My body (though not my wallet) is ready ^_^

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Lv01

    @14 ditto. that deal is such good value tho..! and id always need a second controller anyway, so for them to include one in a killzone bundle was a no brainer!

    #15 1 year ago
  16. redwood

    the MP on this is gonna be ace!

    #16 1 year ago
  17. VibraniumSpork

    FYI, while they’re late to the party IGN have just posted an update about the PS4 bundles: http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g438/LethalSlayer_vP/fariko.jpg?t=1344465507

    They do mention that the KZ bundles come with a ‘Special Edition’ of the game…first I’ve heard of any special edition for the title though. Anyone got intel on that?

    #17 1 year ago
  18. pcbros

    @10 – I think the point some people are trying to make is that in order to “exceed expectations”, they wanted stellar visuals at 60 fps.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. monkeygourmet

    @18

    Yep. I didn’t expect any higher than that. 4K @ 30fps was obviously out of the question, but I don’t think 1080p @ 60fps is asking too much as a standard.

    Especailly as Sony have been whoring out new TV tech for ions. 3D seems to have died a death aswell.

    #19 1 year ago
  20. wildBoar

    @18 I think they do look pretty fucking crispy at 60 as well. Apparently Guerilla’s gay for shaders and illuminative lighting or whatever so they wanted to rather crank the fps down to 30.

    It’s still fucking gorgeous however. Making a game that’s too tasking for the hardware is fucking easy with current game software.
    What’s impressive is that they made the game without much any compromise and the PS4 will still fucking run it.

    And that they’re being so upfront about the hardware struggling is testimony to that they aimed high, and relative to where game software is at right now, that’s an incredible feat for the PS4.

    @21 gotta see the game in motion man, that’s where all that volumetric lighting comes into play.

    #20 1 year ago
  21. monkeygourmet

    Here’s a Killzone 3 screenshot to see how far we have come:

    http://www.gamedynamo.com/images/galleries/photo/2746/killzone-trilogy-ps3-screenshots-5.jpg

    And the infamous Killzone 2 E3 Demo…:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lRAPncF5qw

    It’s amazing, we’ve only just really achieved this and in some cases this demo still looks better than anything yet seen FPS wise.

    #21 1 year ago
  22. DrDamn

    @MG
    That is the actual how it turned out trailer – not the CGI one. So they musta got pretty close huh? ;)

    This is the infamous one …
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-4HNmuEAKg

    #22 1 year ago
  23. wildBoar

    @21 .. I don’t get what you’re saying..

    We’ve only ‘just’ achieved this? while linking to two several year old games.. But yeah, they do hold up if that’s your point.

    #23 1 year ago
  24. monkeygourmet

    @23

    Sorry, didn’t watch before I posted, I presumme I had the right one! :)

    Yep, thats the one! Still want to play a FPS that captures that chaotic ‘war’ feeling…

    @24

    Yeah, more the fact they hold up and that the leap isn’t crazy big.

    #24 1 year ago
  25. wildBoar

    @25 Try going online on KZ2.. Still better mp than 3, and you’ll be lucky if you don’t spawn on a grenade or in the crosshairs of an MG.

    Chaotic is in many ways the worst and best part of Killzone.

    #25 1 year ago
  26. DrDamn

    @25
    That’s a KZ3 bullshot though. It was good, but not that good.
    http://www.play-mag.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/KZ3-037.jpg
    http://www.mobygames.com/images/shots/l/607698-killzone-3-playstation-3-screenshot-approaching-a-derelict.jpg

    KZ Shadowfall …
    http://a.pomf.se/7Jg9.gif

    #26 1 year ago
  27. fearmonkey

    Killzone:SF looks beautiful to me, just gorgeous. I have rarely seen so much beautiful color in a FPS. While plenty of FPS’s use vibrant colors at times, they don’t have that same look that Guerrilla is going for.

    It certainly looks next gen to me. I can’t wait to play it and Knack.

    #27 1 year ago
  28. pcbros

    Are those actuall screen grabs in the article or in-game renders? The anti-aliasing looks pretty high.

    #28 1 year ago
  29. fearmonkey

    @30 – Hard to tell at this small of a shot really. All the shots I have seen before seem very low on jaggies, so could be a processed screen.

    I want to see video of that last shot where it’s raining, that looks very nice.

    #29 1 year ago
  30. DrDamn

    Better quality versions of the screen grabs here …
    http://www.gamersyde.com/news_gc_killzone_shadow_fall_new_screens-14450_en.html

    Nice vid here too …
    http://www.gamersyde.com/news_gc_killzone_shadow_fall_trailer-14520_en.html

    #30 1 year ago
  31. fearmonkey

    @31 – thanks!!

    The bigger screens show jaggies but very minimal which is nice, the game looks great! The appear to be in game multiplayer screens according to the links, so the single player would be even prettier.

    Wish the vid was just straight gameplay but it looks good.

    #31 1 year ago
  32. pcbros

    No doubt one of top looking next-gen titles.

    #32 1 year ago
  33. Nekrage

    This first KZ was so fkn terrible, I never picked up any of the other KZ games because of it.

    #33 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    The Legend of Zelda fans are clearly a very clever bunch. The production values on this Legend of Zelda fan film are through the roof. This is only the teaser, with the full movie from PlayerPiano to follow, and we’re pretty excited. By the way, Netflix is said to be working up a Live action […]

  • Underworld Ascendent backers unlock Lizardmen, more stretch goals available in final hours

    Underworld Ascendent’s Kickstarter has just 15 hours left on the clock, but backers have already unlocked some great stretch goals. One of the latest Underworld Ascendent stretch goal milestones was $750,000. By passing this post, backers have ensured the inclusion of Lizardmen in the final game. Developer Otherside will now add the Dire Grove environment […]

  • Early Access version of MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore lands on Steam

    MX vs. ATV Supercross Encore has landed on Steam Early Access. The game popped up on Amazon last month for PlayStation 4 before Nordic Games had the chance to announce it was reviving the former-THQ property for current-gen. It still hasn’t by the way, to our knowledge. According to information sent over today, the initial […]

  • Avalanche is making sure Mad Max stays “true to the collective body of work”

    Mad Max developer’s Avalanche Studios sat down with Game Informer, as part of its month-long exclusive coverage, to discuss the game’s development and physics-based car combat. In the video below, director Frank Rooke and senior producer John Fuller explain the process of designing the open-world game; how the narrative was fully integrated into the gameplay […]

  • Destiny will get another update before House of Wolves drops

    Destiny got a major update with patch 1.1.1 last week, but Bungie isn’t done. The next major Destiny update will arrive before the House of Wolves expansion. In this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, the developer said it wasn’t ready to share details yet. However, more information will be shared in the coming weeks. The update […]

  • A beta version of Guild Wars 2′s streaming client releasing soon

    ArenaNet has announced a beat version of its streaming client for Guild Wars 2 will be released alongside its upcoming update. How it works is explained in the latest blog post, but in short, it gets players into the game faster, much the same way the streaming client works in World of Warcraft. “Our goal […]

  • Steam storefront updated with Steam Machines, other product pages

    Valve has updated the Steam storefront with a list of various Steam Machines on offer, which range from $460 to $5,000. There is also a store page for the Steam Controller and Steam Link, both of which are out in November for $49.99 each. Steam Machines listed on the service feature a link to the […]

  • Finally, we get a look at Necropolis in action – video

    No longer content with releasing only gifs of Necropolis, Harebrained Schemes has decided to provide a short video. The upcoming third-person action rogue-like with procedurally generated levels is headed to Linux, Mac and PC sometime next year, with a possible console release as well. If you made to PAX East despite the weather, don’t forget […]

  • Super Dungeon Bros will be one of the first cross-play titles for Xbox One, Windows 10

    Another cross-device multiplayer game for Windows 10 and Xbox One has been announced, and it’s Super Dungeon Bros – a “rock-themed, co-op dungeon brawler” from React Games. Super Dungeon Bros tasks four “bros” with raiding underground crypts built by the gods through an ever-changing layout. There, they will be up against “dangerous foes, deadly obstacles, […]

  • Pre-ordering State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition in US nets an in-game knife

    Those who pre-order the State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition will net a bonus, according to Undead Labs. Select retailers in the US will offer the following knives as in-game pre-order bonus content: GameStop -  The Avalonian :  A true work of art, taken off the body of a fantasy enthusiast whose excitement at having […]

  • Rollercoaster Tycoon World gameplay teaser video released

    Today, Atari has provided a look at gameplay for Rollercoaster Tycoon World. Set for release during the first part of this year, the game allows players to build their own rides and which can be shared with other players. It will also feature four-player co-op.

  • One Heist challenge in GTA Online pays out $10 million in cash

    GTA Online’s new Heists content was previewed by various outlets at GDC 2015 this week, and according to hands-on with the free upcoming content, there’s over 20 hours worth of things to do and quite a bit of money to gain. Oh, and a VTOL Hydra jet too. According to a really informative piece from […]

  • Activision Blizzard makes Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list

    For the first time, Activision Blizzard has been named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list for 2015. The survey conducted by Fortune found the company “ranked highly with its employees” which felt the atmosphere was friendly and place in which they could “be themselves.” “We have always considered Activision Blizzard to be […]

  • Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend nets players special monster skin

    A Evolve community event is taking place this weekend, and participants will receive a special skin for Goliath, Kraken, and Wraith. Dubbed the Evolve Hunt for Gold Weekend, it’s the first in a series of upcoming online community challenges and events taking place over the coming months. Those who log-in starting today at 9pm PST […]

  • This video teases contents of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3

    A teaser video and images for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – Episode 3 have been posted by Capcom. The assets can be considered potential spoilers, so just be aware of that before having a look. The game’s Season Pass costs $20, and the disc version releases March 17 in North America and on March 20 […]

  • GTA Online Heists teaser video is extremely short

    With Heists coming to GTA Online next week, Rockstar has released one of the shortest teaser videos we’ve seen in ages. Hopefully you didn’t blink. Heists, along with Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode, arrive next week on March 10. The PC version of Heists will arrive on April 14 when the PC version of the […]

  • The Division rumors claim Dark Zones support up to 100 players – video

    With the recent leak of older, pre-alpha footage of the The Division, rumors over the game’s contents have been swirling, and today we have a video for you discussing said rumors. Once of the rumors pertain to the game is that it contains 50-100 Player Dark Zones, which are PvP areas. Supposedly, these areas also […]

  • Here’s a look at MGS5: The Phantom Pain emblem creation, limited edition bionic arm

    A look at how to create your own emblems in Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain was demonstrated in the latest Kojima Station broadcast, along with a look at the bionic arm replica included in the limited edition. A Venom Snake emblem will come with the limited edition version of the game, parts of […]

  • Elite: Dangerous coming to PS4 once Xbox One exclusivity period ends

    Elite: Dangerous was announced for Xbox One at GDC 2015 yesterday, and those disappointed over the lack of a PlayStation 4 announcement will be pleased to know it’s in the cards. According to Frontier boss David Braben the space-sim will head to PS4 at some point, once the console exclusivity deal with Microsoft has expired. […]

  • Here’s two new The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt screenshots to salivate over

    Two new screenshots from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have been released, and they are gorgeous as always. The screenshots follow the two released over the weekend. You can look at the new images in full HD glory over on Only Single Player. CD Projekt Red is at PAX East this weekend showing off the latest […]

  • Microsoft looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One

    With Windows 10, Xbox One users will soon be able to stream their games to PC. Microsoft is also looking into streaming PC games to Xbox One, according to news out of GDC. Speaking with Polygon at GDC 2015, Xbox program director Mike Ybarra said the company is also looking into the ability to stream […]

  • Free! Vindictus Lann Revamp codes worth €25

    We have 400 Lann Revamp codes worth €25 to giveaway for free to VG247 readers. All you need to do is enter your details in the box below and you’ll be given a code to redeem in game. The codes are for warrior character Lann and offer a 7 day unlimited Inner Armour pass, battle […]

  • US eShop update: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli and a demo version of Azure Striker GUNVOL. Your full update is below. eShop Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars – Wii U, 3DS – Cross Buy OlliOlli – Wii U, 3DS – Cross-Buy Proun+ – Proun+ […]

  • Rock Band 4 confirmed for Xbox One and PS4: supports old instruments and 2,168 songs

    Harmonix has lifted the lid on the long-rumoured Rock Band 4, stating it will support 2,168 previously released tracks and last-gen instruments on PS4 and Xbox One. The game will be out this year. Harmonix has yet to reveal specific features for the game, but it has been built with a completely new engine. As […]

  • First run of Rodea the Sky Soldier copies on Wii U come with Wii version

    The first print run of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will come with the Wii version packed in, NIS America has confirmed. The publisher confirmed today in a press release that anyone who buys the first run of the retail version of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will find the Wii […]

  • Unreal Tournament 4 lets modders sell cosmetic items to players

    Unreal Tournament 4 is a game built with the help of the modding community. So it’s only natural that it will feature a marketplace where all cosmetic items can be sold. Epic Games has confirmed that it will allow modders from the community to sell the cosmetics items they’ve created on the game’s marketplace. The […]

  • D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is coming to PC – rumour

    SWERY 65 has shown off D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die running on PC at GDC this week, teasing that a possible port may be on the way. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is SWERY 65′s latest project. An episodic detective affair, D4 came out on Xbox One last September and utilised Kinect as its main […]

  • Valve’s Lighthouse, VR controllers and more explained

    Valve’s less-talked about prototype VR controllers and its Lighthouse technology have been shown in more detail. When HTC announced Vive, the VR headset it’s working on with Valve, it mentioned “base stations” and ergonomic controllers. Now we know what they meant by that. The controllers are still in prototype phase, and will look better when […]

  • Listen to two professional Counter-Strike players explain why Dust2 is so popular

    Hear what makes iconic Counter-Strike map Dust2 one of the most popular maps in shooter history from two former eSports players. Sal “Volcano” Garozzo and Shawn “FMPONE” Snelling are both retired professional Counter-Strike players who are currently working as designers. At GDC this year, the pair hosted a panel titled “Community Level Design for Competitive […]

  • 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 […]