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Paradigm Shift: Blending Action and RPG in Lightning Returns

Monday, 28 October 2013 11:08 GMT By Alex Donaldson

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 gets put through its paces by Alex Donaldson. He reckons it’s both new and exciting, contrary to gamer’s fears that the trilogy has stagnated. Find out why here.

After extensive hands-on time with Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13, I can’t help but feel a pang of frustration for what I think the team behind the game are likely to experience with its release. What I played felt a solid and intriguing title that left me eager to see how its mechanics develop over the course of a full game – but I also know many won’t give it a chance.

Even the most staunch, loyal members of the Final Fantasy fanbase appear divided by the game – some are desperate to get their hands on it, but a growing number are tired and uneasy. FF built much of its popularity on being fresh. A different world, a different cast – different mechanics, even – with every game.

It’s a clever tactic – each game had its detractors, but that crowd could always look forward to the next, all-new entry instead. While the tenth also had a sequel, this generation has seen Square Enix defined by one FF, with the 13th entry becoming a series all of its own.

Lightning Returns battle gameplay in action.

The detractors of the adventures of Lightning and company are only getting louder and more frustrated with each passing month, and I get the impression interest in the FF13 series is at an all-time low with FF15 now firmly on the radar.

Many want something new – and I can understand that – but perhaps what they don’t realize is that the third entry in the FF13 series is in fact, rather new, rather different, and quite exciting.

“We’re talking about very fast-paced games,” FF13 series Director Motomu Toriyama tells me as he tries to explain the strange action/RPG mash-up system of Lightning Returns in a brief chat after my hands-on time.

“It’s got to be very intuitive. It requires a kind of agility and a very quick response… it requires the actual player to have particular skills.” He chuckles and shrugs. “That’s something that I’m not very good at!

“Playing which involves those quick reflex skills or agility, I’m not very good at all. So I’m not necessarily personally that keen on that style of game.”

The solution for Toriyama and his team is a curious one – a system that at its base is evolved from FF13′s dynamic-looking turn-based Paradigm System, but is ultimately completely different. Landing in battles is much the same as it was before, but once in an encounter the game is transformed.

Lightning battles alone, and with the player tasked with looking after just one character the game can offer more direct control. Much as in her previous outing, Lightning has access to three pre-set ‘classes’ of a sort within battle. These come with various costumes attached, reminiscent of FF10-2, but the real feature of the costumes are the abilities each carry.

The abilities players choose for each of their three battle roles are assigned to each of the four face buttons. One I have access to, The Saviour, is the iconic Lightning skill-set – Thunder, Guard, Spark Strike and a Physical attack.

Using each attack costs some of a meter that only recharges when that role isn’t in use – the idea being that you’ll carefully deplete each role’s meter in order before switching to the next role by hitting a shoulder button, reminiscent of FF13′s Paradigm Shift.

This leads to interesting possibilities and challenges in my hands-on. When I finally stagger an enemy – a surviving mechanic from previous titles – if I manage to keep the enemy juggled in the air is down only to my button inputs, attack choices and prompt class shifting. All inputs result in instant on-screen action – so it’s a far faster paced game than any FF previous.

“In turn-based play after you attack you have to wait,” Toriyama explains. “You sit and you wait for the enemy to fight back, and then you can attack them again.”

“In the meantime your character is standing still, doing nothing – more than anything, it’s very unrealistic to look at. I thought – how can I make this look more realistic? Making it speedier was the answer – and so that’s why we made it more fast-paced.”

Adding complexity in button presses and reflexes is, of course, dangerous. There’s a chunk of FF and RPG fans who enjoy those games because they’re frankly rubbish at action-based games. One optional powered-up enemy in Lightning Returns is battering me so badly another journalist at the event leans over and tells me the control input to run away – but me being stubborn, I don’t. It takes a Square Enix rep imparting the monster’s weakness to even get my foot in the door at damaging him – and even then, my sloppy, newbie inputs aren’t cutting it at a slice of the game I’m told is several hours in. Eventually I manage to kill one of the beasts and am quite ecstatic.

While inputs result in immediate action, what is still very traditional in Lightning Returns is that the game is all about meter management. As a lover of fighting games I can get behind this; players need to be constantly aware of the read-outs the packed HUD is giving and switching their actions appropriately. Deep within this game’s combat system there’s still a kernel of turn-based RPG flair – something Toriyama tells me he hopes will keep the game accessible to those fans.

“I just don’t want to make a game where fast button control is everything. I want each player to have time to think – what am I going to do here? Why should I attack this particular monster in this particular way?

“That sort of tactical element is important. We have to find a really good balance between Final Fantasy’s traditional tactical gameplay and the excitement you feel with action-packed gameplay. That’s something I want to achieve.”

Most of my hour with Lightning Returns is in the end spent in combat. It’s combat I found exciting, challenging and refreshingly different against more powerful enemies, although when battling weaker foes it does descend into simply hammering the nearest attack until they fall down. Automatic health recovery after each battle only encourages this, as there’s no need at all to be careful against less threatening enemies to preserve health.

Other aspects of the game are difficult to judge in a short demo. The Majora’s Mask-style countdown is impossible to rule on in this context, while the deep customization of the weaponry, visual style and ability layout of each costume and class also needs more time to grow before it can be fully judged. Both seem promising, and like the combat I’m intrigued to see how deep they are and how fresh they remain over the course of a full-length game.

“We didn’t have an awful lot of time,” Toriyama admits. “An eighteen month development period. Even though we were quite busy and we had to move from one to the other quite quickly, we just managed to maintain the fresh ideas and the fresh feel of the whole scheme, so we’re quite happy about it.”

While it’s early days, based off my limited hands-on I’m inclined to say that with Lightning Returns Toriyama’s team has done a pretty impressive job – more so than the heavily-rehashed FF13-2. In its gameplay and combat this feels like a new, different and above-all exciting game, and a much more comprehensive evolution than FF13-2 offered.

The challenge it faces is winning over fans and players who have grown tired of the characters, story and world of the FF13 series – an ever-growing, incredibly vocal subset of people who have had enough; people who may not try this game even if they should simply because of what it is – another sequel to FF13.

Even if the game fails to win over those players, Toriyama describes it – and the entire FF13 series – as a vital learning experience for Square Enix and his team – and seems more relaxed and at ease now, with his work largely done, than on any other occasion I’ve interviewed him.

“We spent five years making FF13, and the lesson we learned from that experience is that you have to set out the engine at the earliest possible timing so that later on we wouldn’t have to suffer because of things we failed to do early on,” he candidly said when asked to describe the most important lesson he’s learned.

“In the future when we make more games for next-gen consoles, I think we’ll make sure that the engine is there and completely intact at a very early point.”

Toriyama pauses, and then there’s a smile and a shrug.

“Also, now Lightning is quite a big, famous character,” he enthuses. “Possibly even the most famous female in-game character ever. And that’s some achievement – we’re very proud of it.”

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 launches for PS3 and Xbox 360 in February 2014.

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16 Comments

  1. Tormenter

    What the hell are these asshats thinking of?

    Any relevence/originality or point to the FF series died years ago.. the games are simply cut scenes with what’s become progresively worse combat and shallow generic characterisation.

    What’s with their obsession over “Lightning”? She has the the worst characterisation in the entire series, but they think that if they mention ‘her’ enough and put ‘her’ in enough games she’ll become cool and desireable? Fuck off.

    Fucking series is dead on it’s arse. If it’s not simply abominable gameplay that forces the devs to go back to the drawing board AFTER release, then it’s shitty shallow characters, who amount to less then their design and their story combined.

    It’s time the FF series was retired to the glue factory.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Zana

    FF is still relevant, it’s just that people don’t want to admit it’s experimenting a lot (like the over-the-top reaction above). That feels more alive than most series to me.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Tormenter

    “Don’t want to admit?”

    The quality of gameplay and characterisation is demonstrable, you make it sound like some kind of denial or delusion… how fucking dumb are you?

    However if you wish to put it in those… terms, then how can you be sure that the fans’, and yours, enthusiasm isn’t also a delusion.. an unwillingness to let go of a series that has been run in to the ground by banality and shallowness, with just a hint of fucked up shitty combat and protaganists who no-one cares about.

    I DID like FF way back when.. but it’s simply become pretty graphics with all the depth of a puddle.

    Oh and a word to the wise…… Companies who make games that run into the hundreds of millions dollars to make… tend NOT to ‘experiment’ with their products… It wasn’t ‘experimentation’.. they simply made a bad game, then continued to do so.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Dragon

    @2,
    +1

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Gheritt White

    @3: And how the FUCK would YOU know anything about a videogames company’s decision making process, stuck on the side-lines like you are?

    Also, “good” and “bad” are entirely subjective. What’s entirely objective is how much your butthurt is showing.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Tormenter

    @6

    Do you honestly belive what you are saying? :o

    Good and Bad are DEMONSTRABLE.. it’s OPINION that is subjective… and the general opinion outside Squeenix/FF fanbois is that the FF games hold no relevence for todays market (even if Sqee COULD get a new decent game to market.. which they even admit that they haven’t recently, how can blinkered fans ignore what the company itself has stated on several occasions….

    At this moment in time Squeenix are throwing everything they can at the FF franchise in order to breathe some kind of undeath into it.. but it’s getting worse, as the sheer desperation in the development is beginning to shine through.. it’s become a massive hotchpotch of busywork and shockingly tangential gameplay.. as for the reitterations of their own combat system.. jeez.

    I’m certainly not saying to anyone ‘DON’T PLAY IT’…. but I will say that if you do then you have no right to expect enjoyable gameplay or any kind of engrossing originality at this juncture.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. Gheritt White

    @7: You literally don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about and you’d save yourself a lot of ridicule if you just closed your browser, turned off your computer and went and lived in a cave somewhere for the rest of your life with no ready access to human communication channels.

    Then, and MAYBE then, you might be able to reclaim some dignity after the embarrassingly asinine comment you just posted.

    FF still sells like gangbusters worldwide – the brand is very healthy and so even the prospect of it needing life breathed into it is utterly ridiculous, just like your argument and I dare say your face as well.

    Plus, good and bad are ENTIRELY subjective, both philosophically and materially. All fashions, tastes and modes of behaviour and transient and temporally constrained. What is considered “good” by ione society may be abhorrent to another and vice versa.

    But, to your case in point, let’s take Bionic Commando developed by Grin and published by Capcom: I think it is GOOD. My friend this it is BAD. Therefore you are wrong. Not only that, but you also smell funny.

    QED, bitches.

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Ireland Michael

    @8, As much as I agree with your opinions on his post…

    “FF still sells like gangbusters worldwide – the brand is very healthy and so even the prospect of it needing life breathed into it is utterly ridiculous”

    …this is categorically untrue. Even the guys at Square themselves have admitted these problems.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Gheritt White

    @9: Hmmm… then maybe I should say profitability. FF XIII and FF XIII-2 both made lots of money for the company and it looks that Lightning returns most certainly will as well.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Ireland Michael

    @10 Do you have figures to back that up? Unless you know how much each game cost, that’s difficult to estimate, especially when you take into consideration that FFXIII had a good five years or more development cycle. Even with a few million in sales, I’d be surprised if the first one made any large profit. FFXIII-2 maybe, but only due to the countless reused assets.

    This is a franchise in trouble, and has been for a while now. It has no idea where to go, where to go, or how to appeal to the market, and the current core franchise staff are simply not capable of providing quality experience. Toriyama especially should have been out the door years ago.

    Video game development cost have jumped so high in recent years (mainly due to graphics) that simply appealing to the Japanese market is no longer enough to remain consistently profitable, especially not with AAA titles.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. Djoenz

    FFXIII was shit. . .
    FFXIII-2 was shit!
    FFXIII – LR will be shit. that whole universe is shit.
    Lightning is popular because they forced her on most fans. Disgusting.

    Well my opinion seems to be on line with a lot of old fans but that doesnt matter. They will do whatever. Bad decisions since FFXIII. SE complaining bout Tomb Raider while FFXIII LR will bomb. SE has it. They only have a revenue from mobile titles etc. these days.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Ireland Michael

    While I have little fondness for FFXIII (good mechanics, but terrible story and characters), and I found FFXIII-2 fun but lacking, I honestly think LR looks pretty solid after the recent gameplay video they released, and I’m interested in actually playing it.

    Guess its just me.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Djoenz

    Mr. Michael those games are an insult to your intelligence.

    FFXIII-2 is a reused asset game with pokemon element tacked on.
    FFXIII-3 is like a Lightning cosplay fetish game from what Ive seen. And the victory pose oh my.

    Anyway dont buy it full price if I were you. Renting a okay.

    Trick me once FFXIII sold well but disappointed many ppl due to linearity. Shame on you.

    Trick me twice FFXIII-2 a mediocre sequal that could have been one major minigame. Shame on me.

    Lightning Returns? haha. tsk.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. Dragon

    “Guess its just me.”
    Nope.

    Although I am worried about its sales though. Signs aren’t good even in Japan.
    Still, at the end of the day, I like the XII series, and that is all that really matters to me.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Ireland Michael

    @14 I enjoyed the gameplay elements of the first game, but the story, characters, linearity, gating of the levelling system and the complete lack of decent end game content killed it for me. It’s the only Final Fantasy game I’ve ever traded in.

    FFXIII does indeed reuse many assets, and the story was an utter clusterfuck of stupidity, but the simple fact is that I enjoyed playing it. I thought the levelling system was a vast improvement, and the customisable monster system had a lot of depth to it, it also had a metric tonne worth of side content.

    I like what I’ve seen of the gameplay for Lightning Returns. Job systems are probably one my favourite mechanics of any Final Fantasy games, and the combat just… looks fun. I’m not going to let my biases from the first game dictate that.

    I’ll see what the reviews say about the gameplay when it comes out and make a judgement call based on that. I almost never preorder, so there’s really no rush. If it seems worth a full price purchase, that is what it will be.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. Lv01

    @13 and @15.
    and me.
    im a massive Final Fantasy fan, and i am very excited by Lightning Returns.
    i very much enjoyed XIII (enough to 100% platinum trophy it, which ive only ever done otherwise with Thomas Was Alone), and also very much enjoyed XIII-2. i admit that the story is not on par with other titles in the series, but i still found it to be entertaining. it has a beginning, a middle, and end, and so can hold my attention.
    and i am very excited by the tactical and strategical possibilities that the new combat system looks to hold. the amount of customisation there seems to be is insane! (and im not just referring to the changing of colours..!)
    roll on feb 14.

    #16 1 year ago

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    YouTuber wiliextreme has just uploaded a video comparing GTAV PC graphics settings, ranging from normal to very high. Take a look at the window reflections at the 2.30 mark to see just what a difference there is between the three settings showcased. GTA 5 released for PC last week. Be sure to check Matt’s impressions, […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront is 60 FPS, splitscreen not available for all modes

    Star Wars Battlefront has some good news and some bad news for you. Lots of Star Wars Battlefront information has been trickling out over the weekend, thanks both to press previews and DICE staff cheerfully tweeting answers to fan questions. As part of this bounty, we received some welcome news; Battlefront design director Niklas Fegraeus […]

  • This is what time The Witcher 3 will go live globally

    The Witcher 3 will be available simultaneously around the world. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt pre-loads are now available, so naturally you want to know what time you can actually start playing. The good news is all platforms and all regions will unlock at exactly the same time, so as long as you’ve downloaded and […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront playable solo with bots

    Star Wars Battlefront players who can’t or won’t play with others can always team up with and against AI. Star Wars Battlefront will support AI bots for those who want to play alone, DICE has confirmed. According to design director Niklas Fegraeus, bots will be available both on and offline. We have a feature called […]

  • Free Helldivers update coming soon

    Helldivers developer Arrowhead Games has begun teasing a free update. The Helldivers teaser below is called “Turning up the Heat”, which seems to be the name of the update. It doesn’t tell us very much otherwise, but I’m sure fans can figure out some of the details from watching the gameplay. The update is “coming […]

  • Borderlands creator farewells Gearbox

    Borderlands creator Matt Armstrong has announced his departure from developer Gearbox Software. Borderlands was Armstrong’s baby; he created the franchise and wrote the first game. the franchise has gone on to great success, but nevertheless Armstrong is moving on. He announced his departure from Gearbox on Twitter, sounding quite cheerful about it. Things changed. No longer […]

  • Sony Pictures has been working to secure the Smash Bros. rights – report

    Super Smash Bros. might be a Nintendo flagship, but it’s Sony’s movie business that wants to bring it to the big screen. A Super Smash Bros. movie is referenced several times in documents published by Wikileaks following the huge Sony Pictures leak. ArsTechnica dug out these interesting snippets, discovering that Sony made a “full court […]

  • Life is Strange Episode 3 coming next month

    Life is Strange Episode 3 will arrive as expected next month. Life is Strange developer Dontnod confirmed on Twitter that the third episode is on track for a May release. It's great to hear so many of you are excited for Episode 3 which will be released in May! (official date TBA) pic.twitter.com/jIp7upU2u9 — Life […]

  • Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness – details on story and setting emerge

    Information pertaining to the story and setting in Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness has been detailed by Famitsu. According to what Siliconera reports, several centuries after leaving Earth, humans have created the “Galactic Federation” in order to maintain unified order and peace after years and years of war. But all is not peaceful, as […]

  • This homebrew app turns your 3DS into a remote desktop – shown running World of Warcraft

    Modders are busy working on a Nintendo 3DS homebrew app which turns the system into a remote desktop. A post on the gbatemp forum (thanks, Eurogamer) shows the app in action running World of Warcraft on a 3DS – although not perfectly. At present, the app has a rather low frame-rate, but development is still […]

  • Release dates for three Hyperdimension Neptunia games announced

    Hyperdimension Neptunia fans will be pleased to know three games in the franchise have release dates for Steam and Vita. Hyperdimension Neptunia U: Action Unleashed, which was announced for western audiences last year, will arrive on PS Vita will be released digitally and and at retail in North America on May 19 and in Europe […]

  • Mass Effect 4 survey contains info on crafting, exploration, a Horde Mode more – RUMOR

    Remember when a Dragon Age: Inquisition survey popped up and outed possible content for the title? It’s happened again and this time it’s for the next Mass Effect game. Note: take the information contained herein with a grain of salt. Surveys, if this one is legit, are usually sent out to test ideas and aren’t […]

  • GTA 5 PC: modders poking around the files find Army Cavalcade, Feroci and SuperGT textures

    More GTA 5 information has been posted by modders poking around in the files of the PC version. This time, instead of zombies and horses, textures for the Army Cavalcade, Feroci and SuperGT vehicles have been found. New leaked vehicles Barbarian, Detonator and Tampa are also mentioned in the thread. A screencap of the files […]

  • Sony leaks: Uncharted movie similar to National Treasure but more “intense” and not as “silly”

    Sony Pictures wants the Uncharted film to be similar in tone to the National Treasure franchise, but not as soft or silly, and with deeper romantic storyline than the Nicolas Cage films. The information on the upcoming film was pulled from emails and database files derived from the Sony Pictures hack last year by North […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t just a “big-budget Battlefield mod,” says DICE

    DICE boss Patrick Bach has promised Star Wars: Battlefront isn’t just a “big-budget Battlefield mod,” as the game carries the Battlefront title for a reason. Speaking with Eurogamer during Day 2 of the Star Wars Celebration yesterday, Bach said the team stayed true to the “core ethos” of the Battlefront series by adhering to what […]

  • New Steam policy restricts accounts to protect users from phishing scams and spam

    Valve has implemented a new policy on Steam which limits user accounts which have spent less than $5 through the store. The new policy is to protect users from phishing scams and spam. If the users hasn’t spent anything on the store, they at least have to have $5 sitting in their Steam Wallet. This […]

  • Latest Flash Sale on the US PlayStation Store discounts action games and movies

    Sony is hosting another Flash Sale on the North American store with plenty of action games, and some films, to help get your weekend started. The list is super long, so here’s a few highlights: Army of TWO The Devil’s Cartel Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Bayonetta Beyond Good & Evil HD Castlevania: Harmony of Despair […]

  • A new expansion for Postal 2 called Paradise Lost was released today

    It appears Postal 2 has a new add-on available. No, it’s not for the 2003 version, but the Complete Edition which was greenlit on Steam 10 years later. Called Paradise Lost, the add-on stars the Dude and contains a new single-player story campaign and new areas featuring free-roam gameplay. The original voice actor for the […]

  • GTA 5 patch 1.01 is now available for PC, fixes launcher and framerate issues

    Rockstar has released patch 1.01 for the PC version of GTA 5 and along with a fix to the character’s facial features changing when transferring to PC, the launcher will no longer drain your CPU and crash. Here are the full patch notes: Fixed an issue where the GTAV Launcher would use an abnormally high […]

  • Ultra Street Fighter 4 will arrive on the PS Store for PS4 in May

    Ultra Street Fighter 4 will be released on PlayStation 4 in May, Capcom has announced. All characters, levels and previous DLC will be included in the PS4 version, including a fix to input lag found in the PS3 version’s controls. The fighting game will be released digitally on the PS Store May 26 for $24.99 […]

  • Upcoming Dark Souls 2 patch to fix weapon degradation glitch

    Weapon degradation wan’t an intentional feature in Dark Souls 2, and now that it has carried over into Scholar of the First Sin, the glitch will be patched out in an upcoming update. The glitch also affected the framerate of Dark Souls 2 on PC, and on all platforms with Scholar of the First Sin. […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront is now available for pre-order on Origin, Amazon, others

    Star Wars: Battlefront is now available for pre-order through EA’s Origin service as well as Amazon and GameStop. Star Wars: Battlefront pre-orders, as previously reported, will include early access to the free Battle of Jakku DLC. The planet is included in the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and finds the New Republic coming […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront – watch the lovely reveal trailer here

    The first trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront was released today after much anticipation. Watch the lovely game reveal below, all captured on PlayStation 4. The trailer was revealed during an EA panel today at the Star Wars Celebration, and featured Lucasfilm concept artist Doug Chiang, the game’s senior producer Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir, and other members of […]

  • Star Wars: Battlefront has 40-player battles, play as Darth Vader and Boba Fett

    Star Wars: Battlefront will take place during the original film trilogy’s timeline, according to a report from the Associated Press. It appears the information was posted ahead of time, (via Kotaku) as the report is written in past tense. According to the report, players will take part in “frenzied shoot-outs between up to 40 players” […]

  • Microsoft confirms departure of Xbox Europe VP Phil Harrison

    Microsoft has confirmed the departure of Phil Harrison, its corporate VP of Xbox in Europe. According to a statement, Harrison left to pursue interests outside of the company, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told GI.biz. “Following a successful tenure as Corporate Vice President in Xbox in Europe, Phil Harrison has chosen to pursue business interests outside […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Rent-a-Server option coming to both last and current-gen consoles

    Battlefield Hardline players will be able to take part in the Rent-a-Server program, similar to the one in Battlefield 4, when the first patch for the shooter is released. Rental servers will come to both last and current-gen consoles, and CPU issues will be addressed in the patch as well, which PC players will be […]

  • Chip’s Challenge and unreleased sequel Chip’s Challenge 2 arrive on Steam next month

    Chip’s Challenge, the 1989 top-down tile-based puzzler created by Chuck Sommerville, is heading to Steam along with the unreleased sequel Chip’s Challenge 2. After the release of the first game, Sommerville spent two years developing the sequel, only to find the trademark had been sold. The trademark’s new owners wanted him to fund the publishing, […]

  • Pillars of Eternity patch betas hitting Steam, update 1.05 to drop in May

    Patch 1.04 for Pillars of Eternity dropped yesterday, and according to Obsidian Entertainment, players can expect the next round of fixes to arrive in May. According to a post on the Kickstarter page, patch 1.04 contained quite a bit of fixes, and going forward, the team plans to continue squishing bugs, adding additional polish and […]

  • Goat Simulator comes to Xbox platforms

    Goat Simulator continues its plan to dominate all platforms under the sun by releasing on Xbox consoles. Goat Simulator has been released on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The store page for the Xbox One version is now live, but the 360 one is lagging behind. Don’t know what this game is or what it’s […]

  • Alienation: first co-op footage revealed

    We have our first look at gameplay footage from Housemarque’s Alienation. Housemarque has finally given us a look at their upcoming shooter project, Alienation. The twin-stick shooter will feature co-op and the new video shows it in action. It’s a short one but still manages to demo several environments. The game was shown off at […]

  • ReShade SweetFX supports GTA 5, user-made presets begin popping up

    GTA 5 modders started making presets for ReShade SweetFX as soon as they realised the tool supports it. To the modding community’s delightful surprise, shader-altering tool ReShade SweetFX was discovered to support GTA 5. What this means is that anyone can download the tool, mess around with the post-processing options, and inject them into GTA […]

  • Project Cars goes gold, full track list revealed

    Project Cars has finally gone gold. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has announced that the racer has reached gold master milestone. “We know the wait for the game to be released was worth it, as we’re confident the quality and realism level we have achieved will provide our fans with the game they are all […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes has a stupid subtitle in the West

    The Western release of Dragon Quest Heroes has been given the most absurd subtitle. Square Enix announced a while back that Dragon Quest Heroes will come to North America and Europe this year. Unlike in Japan, it will launch only on PlayStation 4. Earlier today, the Japanese publisher revealed what the game’s logo will look […]

  • Minecraft vulnerability allows users to crash servers remotely [UPDATE]

    A security flaw discovered in Minecraft’s code that could give perpetrators the ability to crash servers remotely has been fixed via a patch by Mojang. Update: Mojang has released an update to Minecraft patch 1.8, listed as version 1.8.4, and it is available now. It fixes reported security issues, in addition to some other minor […]

  • Official Bloodborne merchandise now available, including a limited edition statue

    The PlayStation gear store has added a new section dedicated to Bloodborne merchandise. The first set of items is as good as you’d expect. If you’re a fan of Bloodborne and want to make sure everyone around you knows it, you’ll be happy to know that Sony has added a few pieces of Bloodborne-branded gear […]

  • Destiny Xur update: should you buy The Last Word?

    Xur is selling one of Destiny’s top hand cannons today: The Last Word. Is it worth grinding the coins for? The answer is a resounding YES. The Last Word is one of Destiny’s best Exotics, and one of the best Hand Cannons in the game. Our Destiny expert Alex notes that it’s one of the […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for April 17, 18 – The Last Word edition

    What did our good buddy Xur bring for us this week? Xur: Agent of the Nine, Destiny’s weekend vendor is back with more Exotic offers. Xur is your guy if you’re after Exotic weapons or armour, provided you have the Strange Coins for them. Head over to the lounge in the Tower Hangar, you’ll find […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt discounted for Gold members, pre-load now live

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt files are now live on the Xbox Store. Xbox One owners with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt pre-orders can start downloading the full game to be ready for launch. The file size was confirmed earlier to be just over 25GB. Those who have yet to pre-order can do so at […]

  • GTA 5 files accessed by modders, reveal horses, zombies, more

    Modders have managed to pry GTA 5′s file lock open and expose many of its interesting innards. GTA community modders have gained access to several of GTA 5′s archives on PC. These files were previously believed to be inaccessible. Popular modding tool OpenIV, which was used in editing files in GTA 4 (hence the name), […]

  • Bethesda’s E3 invite features Dishonored, Doom, Wolfenstein… but no Fallout

    Bethesda is going first at E3 this year with a showcase of games on Sunday night. What clues can we see in the press invite? Skyrim publisher Bethesda has sent out confirmation of its E3 showcase, taking place Sunday June 14. The invite includes a number of Bethesda game characters including Wolfenstein’s BJ Blazcowicz, a […]

  • Here’s Crytek’s VR demo, because dinosaurs

    Dinosaurs! This is precisely what virtual reality is for. VR demos are all over the place and CryEngine developer Crytek has produced one of its own, showing off how the engine is flexible enough t- Look, let me level with you: I don’t care. I only care about dinosaurs. Hush now and watch the dinosaurs. […]

  • StreetPass update adds birthday collecting, VIP Miis and more

    StreetPass collecters should take advantage of an optional update. It’s International StreetPass Week, so now’s the time to break out the 3DS and go hunting. Don’t leave your home network without first checking out a new optional update, though. Kotaku reports the update prompt is available from the leftmost icon in your StreetPass Mii Plaza. […]

  • Massive Uplay sale offers cheap games in time for the weekend

    PC gamers can grab a sweet saving or two in Uplay’s Spring Sale. Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Alien: Isolation are all on sale as part of Uplay’s Spring Sale, among many other titles. The sale offers discounts of up to 85% off digital […]

  • Fix for GTA 5 PC Windows install bug releasing today

    Rockstar is set to release a patch today that will fix a bug preventing players from installing the game. The bug is tied to Windows usernames that use certain characters not supported by Rockstar. There’s already a workaround available on the Rockstar Support site, but those waiting for an official update will be able to […]

  • Prey 2 dev’s new mobile horror Lost Within out now on iOS and Fire

    Remember Lost Within, that mobile survival horror erstwhile Prey 2 developer Human Head Studios was making with Amazon Game Studios? It’s now available on iOS and for Amazon’s Fire devices, through the appropriate App Stores. There’s a little bit of extra info on it on the AGS blog, if you’re keen; unfortunately the blog doesn’t […]

  • Let’s take a look at Blood Bowl 2′s Chaos faction

    Blood Bowl 2: The Chaos Theory is only the latest in a much loved series of games based on a game based on two other games. Blood Bowl is a popular Games Workshop tabletop game which blends the fantasy universe of Warhammer with a fantasy sport drawing inspiration from American football and related games. It’s […]

  • “Second-person” shooter Screencheat coming to PS4 and Xbox One

    Goldeneye players should be familiar with the concept of screencheating, which is what this new indie is all about. Screencheat has been on our radars for a while but has now been confirmed for PS4, sparking a new wave of interest with a trailer and PS Blog post. However, it was one of a number […]

  • World of Warcraft Timewalking will make old dungeons fun again

    World of Warcraft will soon introduce a feature called Timewalking, designed to make you feel young again. When WoW players participate in a Timewalking event, they’ll be transported to a randomly selected classic dungeon. Upon entering, their level and gear will be scaled way, way down to the Dungeon’s Heroic level – so they won’t […]

  • Bloodborne and Dark Souls messaging – in real life

    Soapstone is a cool little app that mimics the messaging system found in Bloodborne, Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. Bloodborne and Dark Souls fans will surely agree that the asynchronous multiplayer side of things, with players leaving anonymous tips, encouragement and jokes for each other, is one of the cooler aspects of the From Software […]

  • Mass Effect fans, get a load of this My Talking Elcor plushie

    I have been waiting to write about this all day because oh my god. Mass Effect attracted a devoted fanbase and Bioware has found tons of clever ways to satisfy that fanbase’s desire for clothes, collectibles, books, comics and toys related to the future world of Commander Shepard and company. The company has been so […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection headed to retail

    Homeworld fans can purchase a neat little package of gloriously remastered nostalgia soon. The Homeworld Remastered Collection has been available online since the end of February, but is now on its way to retail thanks to a deal between new rights holder Gearbox and Ubisoft. The PC exclusive will launch in physical form from May […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt download size lower than predicted

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a hefty install footprint, but it’s not as bad as we expected. The Witcher 3 was expected to be a 50GB download after a note to this effect was added to the PlayStation Store. It looks like that might have been a placeholder figure, as DualShockers noted today that […]