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Clouds and strife: The writing of BioShock Infinite – part two

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 08:05 GMT By Dave Cook

BioShock: Infinite writer and director Ken Levine continues his chat with VG247′s Dave Cook about how Irrational Games created one of the most anticipated follow-ups of the generation. WITH SPOILERS.

“Where BioShock was much more about archaeology and digging up what happened, Infinite is more about character archaeology and finding out who these people are and what their secret are, what their mysteries are.”

Looking for part one of this article? Go here.

Something strange happened during my first and only trip to E3. It was 2011.

BioShock: Infinite was one of the show’s biggest-hitters, and I was lucky enough to secure a seat for Irrational Game’s behind-closed-doors presentation. The demo opened with Booker and Elizabeth wandering the streets of Columbia unopposed by the city guard or Vox Populi. Together they strolled through boutiques and sun-baked plazas. Pedestrians wandered around happily. It was a marked change from the chaos and decay of Rapture.

Elizabeth spotted a dying horse at the roadside. Despite Booker’s objections she ran over to the animal and called on her ability to tear through the fabric of reality in an attempt to save it. With one surge of strength, she accidentally opened a portal to a dark street in the 1980s. The sound of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears could be heard through the rainfall, while ‘Revenge of the Jedi.’ was being shown at the cinema over the road. In the distance, a truck sped towards the player.

Booker panicked, screaming at Elizabeth to close the rift. The truck’s horn sounded as the vehicle bore down on them. More shouting. Panic. Additional shouting for heightened tension. At the last moment. Elizabeth collapsed the tear and returned the pair to Columbia, leaving a confused and terrified Booker asking, “What the hell was that?” The feeling was mutual, as the press started looking at one another, puzzled. What had we just witnessed and how did it relate to a game set in 1912? Just what was going on? Our whole understanding of the game had just been spun off its axis.

That precise scene didn’t make it into the final game, and I was fascinated to find out exactly what happened to it, and indeed if other areas of the game were similarly lost or abandoned on some cutting room floor, never to see the light of day. It was just one area of Infinite’s make-up that I wanted to clarify with writer and director Ken Levine. He was more than happy to set the record straight.

“There are like lots and lots and lots of drafts,” Levine explained, “and I don’t think we ever wrote a first draft start to finish then moved on. I think we wrote a section – we tend to write out of order – as that’s just the requirement of the development processes. We come up with a plot, then we write levels to support that plot but did have to write some things completely out of sequence. You write the core, then implement out of sequence because there’s no choice in terms of how production works.”

He stressed that game writing is an evolution in process and that quite often, things do change. Plot strands become redundant as other areas of a story shift, or if plot-driving mechanics are given the chop. Levine highlighted the decision to make the first BioShock’s encounter with Andrew Ryan a battle of philosophy and discussion, rather than a boss fight as particularly revelatory. The short version is that the horse scene simply felt out of sync with Elizabeth’s understanding of her powers.


The horse wasn’t the only element taken to the glue factory. Note Elizabeth’s original appearance.

He continued, “In Infinite there were changes, like in the beginning, Elizabeth’s tear powers were introduced later and her understanding of her own abilities was very, very limited. We realised because it was such a strange concept, so that if Elizabeth didn’t understand them, and the player didn’t understand them, or Booker didn’t understand them, it made everything incomprehensible. So we re-jiggered a lot of things to make her … like you didn’t actually see her open a tear until much later in the story, and then we said, ‘Woah, right in the tower you’re going to see her open a tear.’

“I always knew how the universes were connected. I always knew they took place in the multi-verse. That was very early. So we knew we were going back [to Rapture], but exactly the details of how they got there was another issue, as Elizabeth’s powers evolved a little bit along the way.”

“That sequence, originally took place later with her opening a tear in the street scene with the movie theatre, and then all of a sudden we were like, ‘We need to have this scene happen right at the beginning,’ and so the horse [scene] became irrelevant at that point. It was about observing her using this power that she knew about, so the meaning of the scene changed. So the element of that scene; we had to move its location, we had to move its chronology and we had to move certain things about it so it wasn’t just a horse opening up to a random street scene.

“She was envisioning Paris and that showed her aspiration in this painting of Paris, and that she wanted to go there. Because of moving that element earlier, there were lot of changes that went with that. A lot of people ask me, ‘Oh what about that scene with the horse? Why did you cut that scene?’ It’s not that we cut the scene. Other things came in and said, ‘This is what matters’, so we re-purposed the scene to happen much earlier, therefore the horse lost meaning.”

It’s a known fact that the original BioShock: Infinite concept was set in Rapture. Columbia didn’t actually exist at the start of the process, but that changed over time. Levine told me that he and his team didn’t want to simply go, “back to the well,” and rest on previous themes and concepts. Initially, the game would have depicted the downfall of Rapture before the events of the first game, but Levine felt that the mystery surrounding the Splicer uprising was so crucial to the city’s tone and atmosphere that it was one puzzle best left to the imagination.

While BioShock: Infinite’s DLC pack Burial at Sea will explore an alternate reality account of Rapture’s collapse, Levine still views both titles as telling very different stories. I asked him if he ever felt pressured to create a play-space that surpassed Rapture. “To me, BioShock 1 was a game about Rapture. BioShock: Infinite is a game about Booker and Elizabeth,” he replied, “so we really made a choice to go character-driven with Infinite. The city was important, that we really got that right and the art team did an amazing job.

“We really put a ton of passion and work into it, but you weren’t doing the same kind of investigation you were in Rapture because the story was happening right in front of you. You didn’t need that level of investigation. Where BioShock was much more about archaeology and digging up what happened, Infinite is more about character archaeology and finding out who these people are and what their secret are, what their mysteries are.

“So I didn’t really worry about competing because the goals from a narrative standpoint were very different. We didn’t have to carry the same weight that Rapture did, because otherwise it would just crowd out Booker and Elizabeth and they really had to have center stage. That’s not to say we didn’t love Columbia or put a huge amount of attention to it – it was huge – but at the end of the day it was secondary to Booker and Elizabeth.”


Fun fact: ‘Revenge of the Jedi’ was what Lucas originally wanted to call the sixth Star Wars film. Trans-dimensional!

As you’re no doubt aware the final BioShock: Infinite plot is a twisting affair full of reveals, warped realities, mysterious characters and a nagging sense of uncertainty. You really do get the feeling that things aren’t quite right in Columbia, and that some theory-expelling reveal lies around the next corner. Levine confirmed that during testing, not a single person knew where the game’s plot was headed. He admitted that there were times he didn’t even know precisely where the story would take players, but several anchor points remained throughout development.

“I generally don’t validate any particular theory because whatever theory works for you as a gamer is valid right? But, I do really enjoy the amount of energy people put into tracking the events, because I can tell you we certainly put a lot of energy into it. I can certainly sit down with you and explain every factual thing, or support each factual thing, but to me that’s really uninteresting.”

“Things evolve, but we definitely had a sense that Booker and Elizabeth were connected,” Levine recalled. “We went back and forth a lot on that connection, and the story was more complicated, Daisy Fitzroy was more involved with that connection earlier on. Then we realised that just added a huge amount of weight to the story-telling at the end that we couldn’t afford.”

One of those key anchor points was Rapture. There was no doubt in Levine’s mind that Infinite would have to return there, but figuring out a good enough reason for this to happen proved challenging in its own right. The solution lay with Songbird, Elizabeth’s sworn protector and one of BioShock: Infinite’s key antagonists. While it’s technically a villain, there’s a sense of sympathy that creeps through when you realise its simply fulfilling its duty and doesn’t want to see her come to any harm.

“I always knew how the universes were connected,” Levine admitted. “I always knew they took place in the multi-verse. That was very early. So we knew we were going back [to Rapture], but exactly the details of how they got there was another issue, as Elizabeth’s powers evolved a little bit along the way. Having the notion of drowning and Songbird being vulnerable to water, and having the reason they go there be because they have to do something about Songbird. That evolved.

“That was a way to wrap up the Songbird story, to show the transition. If Songbird – who was such a strong character – was going to go, Elizabeth was going to take control of that situation, do it in Rapture. The fact that the thing was vulnerable to water, well, where is there a lot of water? It all just sort of came together and the pieces started lining up.

“When you see ways to do two things at once … I mean you could have just gone to Rapture and have Songbird show up and then fight him there, but we realised you could also have it so that’s the way Elizabeth dealt with him. She chose that particular world to go to for a reason because it was associated with water. That all added up and made a lot of sense for us. As a writer you’re constantly looking for, ‘Here’s what I want to do, how do I get there, and how can I kill as many birds with one stone as I possibly can?’”

I posed to Levine that the idea that Songbird was this invincible, unrelenting pursuer would have been ruined if Booker suddenly turned around and shot it to bits during a climatic boss battle. He agreed and added, “I don’t know how we could have had them fighting Songbird, beating him up and then killing him. It didn’t seem to be nearly as powerful as that scene in – did you ever read of Mice and Men? Where George puts Lenny down? That’s got to be the most heart-breaking scene in literature I’ve ever read.


Watching Songbird die through the glass was a powerful moment. The Rapture setting iced the cake.

“The fact that [George] knows what’s going on and Lenny doesn’t, and there’s this mercy killing. To some degree Elizabeth is putting down her dog, her friend. To watch her do that and become that person was a clear sign that Elizabeth has changed, and she’s taking control of her destiny. But it’s also incredibly heart-wrenching and I don’t see the same drama coming out of a boss fight.”

“We’ve all done things in our lives that we can truly be forgiven for, and I think there are some things in life we feel we’ll never be forgiven for, or that you don’t deserve forgiveness for. I think that obviously what Booker did to Elizabeth as a child – to Anna – was unforgivable.”

Everything that follows after Songbird’s death serves as potentially confusing, with Elizabeth and Booker walking between worlds, discussing the fabric of reality and laying on more layers of plot. It’s a complex narrative, one that has seen gamers the world over create flow charts in an attempt to make sense of it all. I asked Levine if he’d seen any of the charts made by the players.

“Yeah I have,” he laughed. “There are flow charts we’ve made too. I generally don’t validate any particular theory because whatever theory works for you as a gamer is valid right? But, I do really enjoy the amount of energy people put into tracking the events, because I can tell you we certainly put a lot of energy into it. I can certainly sit down with you and explain every factual thing, or support each factual thing, but to me that’s really uninteresting.

“I’d rather give you the framework and then enough that people could put together those charts. The fact that people did is very gratifying because we wanted to give people enough information so they could start to put all the pieces together. It was very complicated to make sure we had a story that held together, that was that complex. Then it was a question of what don’t we tell, because if it was just what you were told, it would be an ‘explain-atron’ story, and that’s never interesting either.

“Someone in a podcast said, ‘If I find out that Booker is actually this, I’m going to be so mad.’ They had actually finished the game. My thought was, ‘Listen you’re going to rest easy because you’re never going to find out anything’, because there’s nothing to find out. Whatever you felt is valid. My intent, my writer’s intent doesn’t matter.”

Taking a gamble on ambiguity and trusting in your audience’s ability to use their imagination is an admirable quality that several games use to good effect. The go-to example is – of course – Gordon Freeman’s silent protagonist in Half-Life. If Levine’s intent was to spark debate and discussion surrounding the nature of BioShock: Infinite’s multi-verse, then from where I’m sitting the game has absolutely achieved in that aim. I’ve had long discussions about where the time-line splits and re-connects, who the Letuce’s were and what happened after that final fade to black.

The lack of concrete answers to questions of this nature could be seen as laziness on the writer’s part, but in actual fact they are empowering. Whatever you decide happened at the end of the original Mass Effect 3 ending was your own personal resolution. There are no rights or wrongs. For a game to give us, the players such creative control over a story in our mind is a rare thing, and serves to spark many long and interesting ‘water cooler’ discussions among our fellow hobbyists.


Elizabeth’s growth through Infinite makes for a compelling mystery across the plot.

For all its ambiguity, there is one central theme running throughout BioShock: Infinite that Levine feels strongly about. The notion of repentance. “We’ve all done things in our lives that we can truly be forgiven for, and I think there are some things in life we feel we’ll never be forgiven for, or that you don’t deserve forgiveness for. I think that obviously what Booker did to Elizabeth as a child – to Anna – was unforgivable.

“For him to have an opportunity to encounter her again, to subconsciously pursue her in a way, to arrive in a place and not even realise his connection to her, and then do what he could to unwind the poisonous knot he had made was a story that we felt was interesting. I’m way more interested in that story than the science-fiction elements. The science-fiction elements are at the service of that story, but I think that notion of, ‘What is redeemable, what is repent-able?’ is something that left a powerful impression that I think about in my own life.”

Several critics flagged up in their BioShock: Infinite reviews that the shooter-heavy sections in the game’s final third diluted whatever sense of established and sustaining plot Levine had built up in earlier sections. I have to agree, but I’d add that the ending more than made up for it. Few games have left a lasting impression on me as this, and you can believe me when I say I was mulling that ending over for a good week after the credits rolled.

When you consider the density of BioShock: Infinite’s plot, it’s clear that the whole yarn must have presented Irrational Games with a precarious juggling act. It’s similar to shows like Lost in that it provides more questions than answers for its duration, but unlike the island-hopping TV show, Infinite is largely resolute – deliberate ambiguity aside. By simply playing the game you can absolutely feel the enormity of the task at hand. You may feel that Levine’s penmanship stumbled at several points, but as a whole, it holds together admirably.

Whatever Levine’s writers intent may have been and whether you rate Infinite’s plot or not, it’s refreshing to see a game – a shooter no less – spark such widespread discussion and dissection as Irrational’s story in the sky.

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4 Comments

  1. mistermogul

    I didn’t really see what all the fuss was about with Infinite. Yeah it was a cool game with a nice art style but it wasn’t as amazing as the review scores implied in my opinion. Not when you put it next to GTA5 and TLOU which are only a point or two away on Metacritic.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Mike W

    @1

    So true, the game media really showed their bias with this game. But I think it had more to do with 95% of them being fans of Ken Levine, than actually reviewing the game itself, because like you stated the game was good but it was far from great.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Clupula

    I, for one, felt very let down by the lack of a Songbird boss fight. It wouldn’t have been that hard to make up a reason why he’d be weakened, especially considering what happens to him.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. mistermogul

    @2 – Good point Mike. The Ken Levine effect could have taken its toll on the reviews!

    @3 – Yeah I was convinced the Songbird would be the final fight. Shame it wasn’t…

    #4 2 years ago

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  • Three Easter Eggs spotted in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood – video

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has been released in North America, as you know, and it contains some fun Easter Eggs which you can take a look at in the video below. Don’t watch or read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled. Eurogamer’s Ian Higton spotted three Easter Eggs so far, and there […]

  • Destiny: Prison of Elders – here’s what to expect from tomorrow’s livestream

    Bungie today released its Destiny teaser for tomorrow’s livestream, which focuses on Prison of Elders. Below is a breakdown of the teaser and what to expect tomorrow. Arekkz Gaming gives you the lowdown above. You can watch the full stream tomorrow here on the site. House of Wolves is out on May 19.

  • The 3D Realms Anthology is now available on Steam for PC and Mac

    The 3D Realms Anthology, announced back in October, is now available on Steam for PC and Mac for a limited-time price of $29.99. After the introductory period has ended, it will run you $39.99. The collection contains 32 games, which if purchased individually would you run more than $120. Here’s the list in case you […]

  • A Portal-themed pinball table is coming to Zen Pinball later this month

    Valve and Zen Studios have announced a Portal-themed pinball table is coming to Zen Pinball. The table will be made available on all pinball platforms, including Zen Pinball 2 and Pinball FX2, from May 25. Called the “Aperture Science Heuristic Portal Pinball Device”, it contains the characters Chell, Wheatley and of course GLaDOS. Portal Pinball […]

  • Star Wars characters coming with release of Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits

    Star Wars characters are coming to Disney Infinity 3.0: Play Without Limits. Disney says it will contain “many favorite characters and include more gameplay content and variety than ever before.” There will be three Star Wars Play sets: Twilight of the Republic set in the Episodes 1-3 timeline, Rise Against the Empire set during the […]

  • Hearthstone has been played by 30 million people

    Blizzard’s strategy game Hearthstone has 30 million players, the developer announced on Twitter. The figure doesn’t breakdown players numbers by platform, but Activision will release its recent financial report tomorrow, so maybe more information will be forthcoming. Hearthstone was releases on PC March 14, 2014 followed by Mac, phones, and tablets. Blackrock Mountain, the latest […]

  • Tomorrow’s Destiny livestream focuses on Prison of Elders – here’s a teaser

    Another Destiny: House of Wolves livestream takes place tomorrow, and it will focus on Prison of the Elders. The Prison of Elders is a prison facility in The Reef which is watched over by Variks and is part of the new Arena game mode which is limited to three players. The livestream will be hosted […]

  • Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced for current and last-gen

    Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 has been announced by Activision, which isn’t shocking in the slightest. Correction: My stupid brain has EA on it due to the financials release later today. The game is being published by Activision. Not EA and I previously stated. I apologize, and have reprimanded myself in a most sever manner. […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition is sold out in the UK

    Hopefully, you pre-ordered the Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Collector’s Edition in the UK already. If not, you are likely out of luck. According to GAME, the pack which contains the Half Scale Replica of Snake’s Bionic Arm has sold out in the UK. The retailer confirmed the news to Videogamer this morning. […]

  • Far Cry 4 Complete Edition coming June 19 for PC, PS4 to the UK

    A Far Cry 4 Complete Edition has been announced and it includes the full game as well as the Season Pass. This is the sku which popped up on Amazon Germany earlier in the week. The Season Pass provides access to five separate pieces of DLC. Here’s a refresher on the DLC content: The Syringe: […]

  • The Witcher 3: live Q&A stream with CDP, new monster dev diary inside

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is out in just two weeks, and if you want to know more about Geralt’s latest adventure, CD Projekt is hosting a live Q&A now on Twitch. There’s also a new developer diary below which focuses on monster in the game. The Witcher 3 is out on May 19. Huzzah! […]

  • Forza Horizon 2′s Alpinestars Car Pack has five cars and is ready for download

    The Alpinestars Car Pack for Forza Horizon 2 is out now on Xbox One and its the only way you will ever be able to afford a 1992 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport. Unless, of course, you win the lottery or are left in some rich person’s will. In that case, I’ll take the ’53 Corvette, […]

  • Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition is now available in North America

    Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor – Game of the Year Edition has been released in North America. It will be made available in the Europe on May 7 and in the UK May 8 for £49.99 on consoles and £34.99 on PC. As previously announced, this edition contains all previously released DLC content as well as […]

  • Two GAME exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians now available for pre-order

    GAME has announced two exclusive versions of Halo 5: Guardians, and both are now available for pre-order exclusively through one of the retail chain’s 318 stores or online. The £79.99 Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians, which delivers new digital content wrapped in a steel book. There’s also the £199.99 Halo 5: Guardians Limited Collector’s Edition […]

  • Deals with Gold: Far Cry 4, Assassin’s Creed Unity, Bioshock Infinite, more

    Microsoft has announced its latest Deals with Gold discounts for Xbox Live Gold members. Franchises on sale include Far Cry, Call of Duty, along with individual titles Assassin’s Creed Unity and Bioshock Infinite. The full list is below. Bioshock Infinite discounts are available for both Xbox Live Gold and Silver members. Xbox One Far Cry […]

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has released, watch the launch trailer here

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood has launched on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can watch the launch trailer for it below. Boxed copies in Europe arrive from May 15, and in Australia/New Zealand on May 14. You can grab digital copies from the following online services: Steam, PlayStation Network, Xbox Store.

  • GOG’s online service GOG Galaxy is now in open beta

    GOG Galaxy, the DRM-free online gaming platform from the folks at GOG, has left Alpha and is now in open beta for all to try. As previously announced, the online service, similar to Steam, is option. Players do not need to play online as all games are stored by the service and can be played […]

  • DayZ-inspired Goat Simulator DLC GoatZ is out this week on Steam

    Goat Simulator players can download DayZ-inspired DLC this week called GoatZ. According to Coffee Stain Studios, GoatZ is “the only survival game on Steam that isn’t in Early Access.” Jokingly of course. The DLC features: Mandatory crafting system because everyone else is doing it. Zombies that bug out. There’s a pun here about actual living […]

  • No, Far Cry 4 is not currently free on PSN

    You may have seen a few Tweets from people saying that the PS4 version of Far Cry 4 is available to download from PSN for free. This is not true. A few readers have tipped us off to what looked like a glitch on PSN that allowed players to download the full version of Far […]

  • Metal Gear Solid: The 1984 Collection confirmed to be a clothing line

    Konami is teasing a Metal Gear Solid thing called “The 1984 Collection.” The Metal Gear Solid Facebook page posted this image about an hour ago: The caption reads, “Step back into the 80′s with our new MGS collection coming very soon! Stay tuned!” This is supposedly in reference to the clothing line that was announced […]

  • Portal, The Simpsons, Jurassic World & Scooby Doo packs listed for Lego Dimensions

    Lego Dimensions is likely getting a few unannounced content packs. One of which is themed around Valve’s Portal. A set of unannounced content packs for the upcoming Lego Dimensions have been revealed by US retailer Walmart. The listings include packs for The Simpsons, Scooby Doo and Jurassic World, and most interestingly, Portal. The listings have […]

  • This is the most authentic recreation of GTA 2 in real life ever

    Affordable drones have many uses. Most of them are not nearly as exciting as recreating GTA 2 in real life. I am surprised it took us this long, but someone has finally captured footage using a drone that resembles the protagonist’s experience in the classic GTA 2. These aren’t just shots of cars from a […]

  • PlayStation 4 sales reach 2m in the UK

    Sony has sold 2 million PlayStation 4 consoles in the UK, faster than it did with the PlayStation 2 – the company’s best-selling machine in the country. MCVUK is reporting that as of last weekend, 2 million PlayStation 4s have been sold in the UK. The data is based on GfK Chart-Track estimates. This makes […]

  • H1Z1 gets female characters, skin colour options planned

    In an effort to improve diversity in the game, H1Z1 developer has added female characters. Female survivors can now be found throughout the world of H1Z1. Developer Daybreak added the new feature in a patch released last Friday. You will be able to choose a female avatar in the main game and in Battle Royale. […]

  • Possible teaser site for Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi’s new game opens

    Either Castlevania creator Koji “IGA” Igarashi is working on a soon-to-be-launched Kickstarter for his new game, or someone is pulling an elaborate prank. At PAX Prime last year, during Keiji Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 panel, a flyer was handed out to attendees that showed what appeared to be a 2D game of some sort with […]

  • Destiny weekly reset for May 5: Heroic and Nightfall strikes detailed

    Tuesday is here and Destiny’s weekly reset is also here. Bungie announced that your weekly Destiny grind has now begun. The Nightfall and Heroic strikes are now live too. This week’s strike is Winter’s Run. Rainbow burn is back for the Nightfall, which means you do more damage with all elemental weapons, but also receive […]

  • PC version of Project Cars delayed in Australia due to severe weather

    Recent weather conditions in Sydney, Australia are responsible for a slight delay of the PC version of Project Cars in the country. Sydney recently suffered from storms that caused flooding in some areas. One of those is the place where publisher Namco Bandai was storing PC copies of Project Cars. The stock was “severely damaged,” […]

  • Twitch’s new process makes it easier for streamers to appeal flagged content

    Twitch has updated its appeals process concerning videos that have been flagged by the audio ID system. Towards the end of last year, Twitch introduced a new audio recognition system that scans archived streams and automatically mutes the audio whenever copyright music is identified. The system has been in-use ever since and Twitch has today […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a day one patch, but it’s not a major one

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will indeed have a day one patch, to make the first-time experience as smooth as possible. Like many modern games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will have its day one patch. According to the developer however, it wasn’t born out of necessity. Miles Tost, level designer at developer CD Projekt […]

  • CoD: Advanced Warfare owners get free pistol today

    Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is adding a new pistol to the game, free to all players. The M1 Irons is a new pistol that comes to Advanced Warfare starting today. The weapon is offered as a thank you gift from the developer. Sledgehammer says the Irons is good at range and packs a punch. […]

  • Fall down the Skullgirls Big Band music video rabbit hole with me

    Skullgirls is a pretty amazing fighting game, but did you know it’s also a passable music creation suite? Earlier today I was idly perusing an episode of PlayStation Underground showing off Skullgirls 2nd Encore, a re-release of the indie fighter packing in loads of new features and coming to PS4 – with full cross-play! – […]

  • The many uses of Wolfenstein: The Old Blood’s pipe weapon

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood adds a sick new weapon to BJ’s arsenal: a pipe. In Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a pipe is not just a pipe. Not only can you bash nazis with it, you can use it to climb walls, reach hatches, and even break through some walls. Plus? You can dual wield it. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X teaser gives first look at Predator

    Mortal Kombat X’s next celebrity guest was teased during the latest Kast. Today’s Mortal Kombat X Kast was mostly about all about Jason, but also included a very brief nod to Predator. You can watch the full livestream to see the tease in situ if you’re really keen, but IGN shared this convenient edit: There’s […]

  • Rock Band 4 has count-ins, drum fills and vocal harmonies

    Rock Band 4 will more closely emulate the feeling of being a real musician with some neat personalisation touches. For Rock Band 4, Harmonix elected to double down on player ownership of their experience rather than technical precision. To this end, it has implemented a number of cool new features. I am wildly envious of […]

  • Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z, Lost Planet 3 developer shuttered

    Spark Unlimited has gone down with all hands. The Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z and Lost Planet 3 developer has been shuttered and all staff laid off. Chief technical officer John Butrovich confirmed the news in a statement issued to IGN. “Spark Unlimited is closing as a video game developer. The ongoing opportunities for smaller mobile […]

  • PS Now subscription available on PlayStation 3 this month, Vita coming soon

    PlayStation Now’s all you can eat service has finally been dated for PS3. Subscriptions to PS Now, Sony’s cloud-based gaming service, will be available on PS3 from May 12 in the US. The all you can eat package will also be made available on select Bravia TVs and Sony Blu-ray players on the same date. […]

  • GTA 5 is even better with a gravity gun

    GTA 5 modders have made a dream come true, adding a gravity gun to your arsenal of mayhem-causing weaponry. GTA 5 isn’t ready for this. It looks like a heck of a lot of fun, but the poor old Los Santos po po can’t deal with the resulting carnage at all. If Rockstar were ever […]

  • “Mod makers should be able to make money from their creations,” says DOOM creator

    DOOM co-creator John Romero has weighed in on the paid mods debate. Paid mods are a hot issue right now. For years, Valve has been enabling content creators to make money from their work on Counter-strike: Global offensive, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2, but when it partnered with Bethesda to offer the same for […]

  • Watch WRC driver Kevin Abbring smash through a DIRT Rally challenge

    WRC driver Kevin Abbring has been participating in Dirt Rally’s daily events – and kicking ass. Dirt Rally seems to have ticked one of the most difficult to attain boxes of racing development – creating something professional drivers like to play, and which rewards their years of experience. Codemasters published the video below showing Hyundai […]

  • Mortal Kombat X patch to bring PC version up to console standard

    Mortal Kombat X PC will be fixed tomorrow, NetherRealm has promised. The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has come under fire for poor performance, including stuttering frame rate and bugs as plenty. About 45 minutes into a recent Twitch stream, NetherRealm boss Ed Boon said an update will drop tomorrow to address many of […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: all new Crucible maps detailed

    Destiny’s House of Wolves DLC will add four new maps to the Crucible, the game’s competitive multiplayer mode. Let’s take a look at all of them. Alex brings you new footage showing all of the four maps that will drop with House of Wolves. He goes over the layout, landmarks, gameplay styles, and other important […]

  • Custom Xbox One Star Wars controllers look very tempting

    Microsoft is celebrating May 4 by showing off concept designs for Star Wars-themed Xbox One controllers. May 4 is of course Star Wars Day and the controller concepts you’re about to see are just that, concepts. Or at least that’s what they said they are. There are four designs and they don’t look very practical. […]

  • Project Cars launch trailer is an anthology of race cars, set to the beats of Deadmau5

    Project Cars comes out this week and there’s just enough time for one last trailer. Project Cars, Slightly Mad Studios’ ambitious racer that has been in development for ages, is finally coming out this week. The racer received plenty of changes throughout its development based on community feedback and the final product will be in […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront dev reveals planet Sullust

    Sullust, a planet that has not been previously shown, will be featured in one of Star Wars Battlefront’s maps. Star Wars Battlefront developer DICE revealed today that planet Sullust will be one of the game’s locations. The planet was mentioned in the films and other Star Wars works, but was only shown today. DICE posted […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: Tower vendor changes

    House of Wolves will change the inventory of some of Destiny’s vendors and add new roles to others. Here’s everything that has been announced so far. You know that House of Wolves will bring a new social space to the game in the form of The Reef. But did you also know that the good […]

  • Nintendo apologises for Amiibo shortages, will reissue some out-of-stock figures

    Nintendo released a statement today to apologise for fan’s frustrations in finding some Amiibo figures and promised to handle distribution better going forward. Nintendo has been criticised recently for its lack of communication when it comes to new Amiibo figures. Something which has lead fans to not know if certain figures are limited to some […]

  • Halo: MCC “a black eye for us,” Halo 5 won’t suffer the same fate, says franchise director

    The development of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was of an “outrageous complexity,” which was one of the reasons it suffered a horrible launch. None of that will happen with Halo 5: Guardians, according to Frank O’Connor. Frank O’Connor, Halo franchise development director opened up to Xbox Achievements about the difficult task of developing The […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: weapon Reforging explained

    When House of Wolves drops in a couple of weeks, you’ll be able to change the stats of some in-game weapons. This process is called ‘Reforging’. Alex goes over all the details Bungie revealed about the new Reforging system. This covers the materials you need, the weapons that can be reforged and much more. Make […]

  • GTA 5 PC: control the in-game phone with your iPhone using this mod

    GTA 5′s latest mod lets you control the in-game phone with your real-life iPhone. Reddit user Planetleak wanted to see if he would succeed in getting his iPhone to control the phone in GTA 5. He did it and has a video to prove it. It’s not a mod per-se, but it emulates mouse and […]

  • SoulCalibur dev wants to know fans’ favourite characters for “something huge”

    SoulCalibur developers are probably working on a new game, because they’re asking fans to vote on their favourite characters. Project Soul, the longtime developer of the SoulCalibur series is soliciting feedback on fans’ favourite characters. The developer said as much in a post on its Facebook page. “Calling all SoulCalibur Fans! Project Soul would like […]