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.


  • Advanced Warfare’s Exo Zombies gets a “mini boss” with Ascendance DLC

    Zombies mode gets an exo-kick up the ass with Advanced Warfare’s second DLC drop, Ascendance. When Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Ascendance DLC drops this week, players will be going up against some tougher challenges in Exo Zombies mode. “It’s all zombies, all of the time,” says High Moon Studios Matt Tieger, head of the […]

  • GTA Online user videos show out of character Lester, important Police Business

    You know, Lester isn’t as soft as he lets on, at least in these two GTA Online videos he’s not. The first one below is from YouTube user 10Phoenix01 Gamer, showing Lester kick a guy’s ass. It’s apparently punishment for running over the player – at least that’s the way it appears. A second video […]

  • Guild Wars 2 devs explain how the Map Bonus system, precursor crafting work in Heart of Thorns

    ArenaNet has posted information on the Guild Wars 2 website explaining how crafting mastery, and crafting a legendary weapon, will work in the Heart of Thorns expansion. There’s also information on the new Map Bonuses system, which will make acquiring crafting materials a more “directed activity” and streamlined experience. The new system will also add […]

  • Fly around your creations in Cities: Skylines with the Flight Cimulator mod

    Cities: Skylines players can now fly over their creations thanks to the Flight Cimulator mod. Created by Ulysius and available through the Steam Workshop, the mod allows the user to simulate flight through simple controls. According to the mod notes, it is still a work in progress as Ulysius plans to add building collisions , […]

  • The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul arrive on PlayStation Vue

    Sony has announced the addition of AMC to its PlayStation Vue service, which soft launched in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia earlier this month. Those who use the service can now get their Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead fix, and also watch the Sundance channel, WEtv and IFC. AMC and WEtv are […]

  • Play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser

    Thanks to Roystan Ross and the Unity engine, you can play the first level of Super Mario 64 in your browser. This little nugget came to my attention yesterday, and unfortunately it became lost on my worksheet. Better late than never, I suppose. Anyway, the level is free-to-play and if you don’t wish to play […]

  • Steam’s Discovery Update has helped increase revenue for smaller titles

    Valve has said its Discovery Queue has increased product page views across Steam by 30% since the company launched the Discovery Update. According to Valve, 75% of those views come from the Discovery Queue, and 16% of product views can be attributed to the Discovery Queue. Even Steam Tags clicks have increased. The system is […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection April update includes “more ranked playlists”

    The next content update for Halo: The Master Chief Collection will “address a variety of issues across the game,” according to 343 Industries, including specific improvements to ranking. New quit and betrayal penalties are also in the works as the development team prepares to roll out ranks to additional playlists. According to 343, the latest […]

  • Get Spec Ops: The Line for free through 2K Games sale on Humble Store

    A 2K Games sale is going on this weekend on the Humble Store with up to 83% off on select titles. Games on sale include Evolve, Bioshock, Civilization and other franchises. Plus, Spec Ops: The Line can be yours for free with the purchase of any -2K title on sale. To see the full list […]

  • Dota 2 The International 2015 tickets are sold out

    Tickets to Dota 2 The International 2015 are now sold out, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. The tickets went on sale in two phases starting March 27. Phase one sold out in six minutes, and phase two sold out in four minutes. Each round of sales offered the same quantity of General Admission tickets priced at […]

  • Here’s what’s expected in Battlefield 4′s Weapon Crate DLC – video

    A new Battlefield 4 drop is on the horizon, and to give you an idea of what to expect, we have a video for you below featuring information on the Weapon Crate DLC. According to Battlefield expert Westie, players can expect five new weapons along with the return of the Gun Master game mode. The […]

  • Pillars of Eternity issues to be addressed in patch 1.03, expected next week

    Obsidian Entertainment plans to release a Pillars of Eternity patch next week to combat issues users have reported. Until the patch is released, the developers have posted workarounds for some of the most common issues. The issues reported span framerate drops, inability to launch the game unless in administrator mode, crashes on 32-bit machines, animal […]

  • Mortal Kombat X videos show Erron Black gameplay, Ermac fatalities, more

    Erron Black, the gunslinger which was outed for Mortal Kombat X in the achievements listing last week, was featured in the latest livestream from NetherRelam Studios yesterday evening. Along with gameplay, fatalities and variations for Black, the developer also provided a look at gameplay for: Ermac vs Mileena; Ermac’s brutality and fatality moves; Lui Kang […]

  • The Legend of Zelda Wii U: 2015 release not a “priority”, skipping E3

    The Legend of Zelda franchise producer Eiji Aonuma is featured in the latest video update on the status of The Legend of Zelda for Wii U, stating a 2015 release is no longer a “number one priority” for the team. While Aonuma never specifically says the game has been delayed into 2016, the announcement confirms […]

  • Destiny gameplay designer exits for Bethesda

    Destiny’s senior gameplay designer Josh Hamrick announced on Twitter overnight he would be leaving the company in a week’s time for Bethesda. Hamrick joined Bungie in 2009 after working two years at Midway Austin, where he created multiplayer maps, modified single-player levels, and other designer functions. He was in charge of fixing bug in code […]

  • What to expect from the Call of Duty Championship this weekend

    Just settling down to the Call of Duty Championship this weekend? Here’s a rundown of today’s matches and what else to expect over the next three days. The Call of Duty Championship is taking place in LA this weekend until Sunday, with 32 four-player teams battling it out for a prize pot of $1 million. […]

  • MLB 15 The Show video highlights improved graphics, updated grass patterns

    Sony has released a video for MLB 15 The Show which provides a look at graphical improvements made to the game. Along with the visual upgrade over MLB 14 The Show, the game contains new minor league stadiums, dynamic sun generated in real-time, and upgraded grass patterns which reflect each stadium’s unique look. MLB 15 […]

  • Valve to offer HTC Vive Developer Edition free to qualified developers

    Valve has said it will offer the HTC Vive Developer Edition for free to qualified developers in an effort to buoy projects before the tech launches commercially. Surgeon Simulator developer Bossa Studios and The Room studio Fireproof Games are just some of the developers which already have a free Vive in-hand. According to Valve’s Doug […]

  • DriveClub gameplay video features MotorStorm’s off-road buggies

    Some gameplay footage of MotorStorm’s off-road buggies in DriveClub has surfaced. Pictures of the buggies were shown on the Japanese PlayStation Blog earlier this month, which considering the game was developed by Evolution Studios – which developed MotorStorm – this isn’t too much of a surprise. The buggies were first spotted by Videogamer, which pulled […]

  • Mortal Kombat X live-action TV spot features the track Chop Suey

    The TV sport for Mortal Kombat X has been released, and not only does it contain a “spontaneous fight circle” taking over an entire city, but it features the System of a Down track Chop Suey. Mortal Kombat X will be released on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One April 14. The […]

  • Bloodborne Forbidden Woods progression bug caused by multiplayer summon

    A progression bug in Bloodborne is in the works, according to Sony and From Software. The issue occurs when players activate a multiplayer session in the Forbidden Woods using the Sinister Resonant Bell or Small Resonant Bell. It also appears the Lunarium Key won’t appear because of the multiplayer bug, and without the key you […]

  • Yo-Kai Watch game franchise has sold over 7 million copies

    The Yo-Kai Watch IP has sold over 7 million copies, according to developer Level-5. The figure included both physical and digital download sales. Yo-Kai Watch 3 will be unveiled during Level-5 Vision 2015 next month. The first title is in the works for the west but is still without a release window. Thanks, Gematsu.

  • Bloodborne trademark returned to Sony after accidentally losing it

    In case you were worried or anything, Sony has once again obtained the Bloodborne trademark. Earlier this week it was revealed that Sony mistakenly abandoned the Bloodborne trademark along with four others registered with US Patent and Trademark Office: Guns Up!, Kill Strain; How Games Were Made to Sound, and No Heroes Allows: No Puzzles […]

  • GTA 5 PC official trailer coming next week, 15 new screenshots released

    New PC screenshots of GTA 5 have been released along with word of a new trailer coming on Monday. The screens below are from the PC version and you can view them in 4K glory over on Rockstar Newswire. The PC version of GTA 5 releases on April 14.

  • PSN real-time server status page launching in Europe soon

    PlayStation users in Europe will soon have its own a PSN Service Status Indicator. It was released earlier this month in North America. The indicator makes it easier to check whether PlayStation services are down or running as planned. This includes account management, PlayStation Now, the store, social services, etc. Sony told Eurogamer the service […]

  • Exclusivity contract prevents Bioware from revealing Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC release on PS4

    Bioware is unable to discuss when the Jaws of Hakkon DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition will arrive on platforms other than PC and Xbox One. According to various tweets from executive producer Mark Darrah, due to the exclusivity contract between EA and Microsoft, the studio is unable to announce a release date for PlayStation 3 […]

  • LEGO Batman 3 demo, Namco Museum, more added to North American eShop

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a demo for LEGO Batman 3, Namco Museum on Wii U Virtual Console, and various sales. Below is the full update. Nintendo eShop Dot Arcade – Wii U LEGO Ninjago – 3Ds LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham Demo – Wii U Harvest Moon: The […]

  • Square Enix’s Easter Surprise bundle contains five mystery PC games

    Square Enix offering another mystery bundle to customers in the UK, which comes with five mystery PC games for £3.99. As before, customers will be unaware of the games they are purchasing in the mystery bundle, but the bundle contains triple-A titles worth £40 combined. One of Square’s previous mystery bundles contained Tomb Raider, Just […]

  • From Software’s PSone game Shadow Tower coming to PSN

    Shadow Tower, the first-person action-RPG developed for the original PlayStation by From Software, will be released on PlayStation Network. In the 1998 title, players took on the role of a mercenary who has returned home to the Holy Land of Zeptar to find the place has been sucked into the Underworld. He must use the […]

  • PlayStation TV gets price cut in the UK, now £44.99

    PlayStation TV has received a price cut in the UK. After several retailers started offering the console for less than the RRP of £84.99, users on DealSpwn began to wonder whether this is an official price cut, and not just regular deals or stock clearance. Sony later confirmed the new price of £44.99. “Starting from […]


  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 1 year ago
  2. Mike W


    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 1 year 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 1 year 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 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

  • Hearthstone Blackrock Mountain is coming April 2

    Blizzard has given Hearthstone expansion Blackrock Mountain a solid release date. Hearthstone’s Blackrock Mountain adventure pack will be released April 2 in the Americas region, and April 3 in Europe, Korea, Taiwan, and China. Blackrock Depths is the first wing to be released, others will follow one week apart. Other than the 31 new cards, […]

  • Bloodborne: if you can’t load your save after installing firmware 2.50, this will help

    If you’re having issues loading your Bloodborne save after applying firmware update 2.50 to your PS4, this should help you out. Reddit user KBALLZZ encountered an issue after installing update 2.50 on his PlayStation 4. Bloodborne started reinstalling the day one patch again and when it was done he couldn’t continue his game or load […]

  • Use this code to get 10% off on PSN purchases

    Sony is offering a 10% discount coupon to anyone looking to buy games on PlayStation Store this weekend. Sony’s latest discount coupon code is here. You’ll receive 10% off your cart total when buying from the PSN Store. The offer is not valid on purchases made on PS Vita, PlayStation TV, PSP, or in-game stores. […]

  • Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin upgrade path announced, system specs revealed

    Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin will offer returning customers a chance to upgrade at a discounted price. Those who already own Dark Souls 2 on Steam and are interested in picking up the Scholar of the First Sin edition will be happy to know that publisher Bandai Namco is offering them an […]

  • Bloodborne: this is what happens when you have 40 Insight

    Insight is one of the currencies in Bloodborne, but it’s also a mechanic that affects the gameplay. There are MASSIVE SPOILERS below, so turn back now or one of Bloodborne’s gameplay mechanics will be SPOILED for you. Just like Blood Echoes in Bloodborne, Insight is used to purchase certain items from vendors in the game. […]

  • Phase two of Xbox One April update brings voice messages, dedicated servers for party chat, more

    The second phase of the April update for Xbox One is now open to members of the Preview programme and and it looks like there are even more features in store. Phase one of Xbox One’s April firmware update started a few days ago with improvements to party chat and achievements notifications. Today, phase two […]

  • GTA 5′s graphical “downgrade” is a bug, will be fixed in upcoming patch

    As of patch 1.8 for GTA 5 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, a few graphical issues have cropped up leading some to believe there has been a stealth downgrade to the game’s overall graphics. Over the past couple of days, Reddit went nuts over a video showing what appears to be a downgrade to […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for March 27, 28 – MIDA Multi-Tool edition

    Xur: Agent of the Nine has arrived at The Tower in Destiny to rid you of your Strange Coins. Xur: Agent of the Nine has once again made it to Destiny’s Tower to sell you Exotic weapons and gear in exchange for Strange Coins and Motes of Light. For this weekend, Xur can be found […]

  • Destiny vault space upgrade will have enough room for every Exotic

    Destiny is finally getting the vault space upgrade players have been begging for almost since launch week. Destiny players can currently use vault space to store 20 pieces of amour, 20 weapons and 20 general item stacks. In the latest Bungle Weekly Update, the developer revealed that as of patch 1.1.2, due before House of […]

  • Half-Life 2: Update mod applies some sparkle to the original title

    Half-Life 2: Update will be available tomorrow, and thanks to the modding community, those who own the vanilla version of the game can apply a visual update to the 2004 title. The comparison video shows you the differences between the original version, and the version with Half-Life 2: Update applied. Here’s what the mod includes: […]

  • Neverwinter MMO can now be pre-downloaded on Xbox One

    You can now pre-download the free-to-play Neverwinter MMO on Xbox One. The game launches on March 31, but you will still need an Xbox Live Gold account to play it. Based on the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, the game can be downloaded from the Xbox Store.

  • Destiny of Spirits will go offline starting next month

    Sony will be ending service for Destiny of Spirits starting next month, Sony has announced. The free-to-play Destiny of Spirits was released in late March 2014 on Vita, and tasked players with collecting supernatural forces appropriate to their geographical location, and then trading them with others online. Gravity Rush spirits were added to the game […]

  • MotoGP 15 is out this spring on PC, last and current-gen consoles

    MotoGP 15 will be released in June on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Milestone has announced. Bike, rider and team customization are part of the latest release in the franchise, along with time-trials and enhanced career options. The game features over 20 bike models divided into three classes: MotoGP, Moto 2 […]

  • Cities: Skylines players should check out Nakatomi Plaza and Wayne Enterprises

    Nakatomi Plaza and Wayne Enterprises can now be yours in Cities: Skylines. Die Hard fans will be familiar with Nakatomi Plaza. Those who have never watched the first film and live in Los Angeles know it by its real-life name, FOX Plaza. It was created by Enos Shenk and is available through Steamworks. Those who […]

  • Call of Duty franchise has sold 175M copies, players have thrown 300B grenades

    With the Call of Duty Championship kicking off tomorrow, Activision has sent over a series infographic full of interesting figures such as the number of copies sold over 10 years and how many grenades players have tossed. According to the stats below, the Call of Duty franchise has sold 175 million copies across all platforms […]

  • Save up to 75% on select SEGA games on Steam this weekend

    SEGA has put many of its games on sale through Steam this weekend and the firm has also announced Eastside Hockey Manager is now available through Early Access. The sale runs through March 30. The entire Total War, Company of Heroes and Dawn of War back catalogs are discounted 75% and all associated DLC is […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight PC confirmed as digital download-only in UK

    Batman: Arkham Knight will indeed be a download-only title on PC in the UK, Warner Bros. has confirmed to VG247. Batman: Arkham Knight will be available as both a physical and digital release for PS4, Xbox One and PC in North America and Europe. Again, in the UK, the PC version will be “available as […]

  • Rainbow Six Siege release date set for October per GameStop Italy – report

    GameStop Italy may have let the release date for Rainbow Six Siege slip if a recent listing is accurate. According to the listing, the game will release on October 16. While this could be a placeholder date, October 16 is a Friday in the UK, the usual day new releases land at retail. The release […]

  • Watch the $1 million Call of Duty Championship right here

    The The Call of Duty Championship takes place this weekend, and you can watch all the action as it unfolds right here. The event takes place in Los Angeles tomorrow March 27 and runs through March 29, and the livestreams are below. 32 teams from five continents and 11 countries will be competing in Call […]

  • Battlefield Hardline: Battlefest kicks off this weekend with Double XP

    A new season of Battlefest kicks off this weekend, and starting today, you will earn Double XP in Battlefield Hardline. Battlefest for Hardline is similar to the event held for Battlefield 4 last year. For the entire month of April and into May, in-game events and competitions will be held by the developers and player […]

  • Don’t forget: the GTA 5 PC pre-order bonus cutoff is March 31

    Just a friendly reminder to those planning on purchasing GTA 5 for PC: you have until March 31 to pre-order if you want all the bonuses on offer. Those who pre-order will be handed $1 million in-game cash plus a bonus $300,000. It is split between GTA 5 and GTA Online: $500,000 for Grand Theft […]

  • Games with Gold offers doubled for April – six games instead of three

    Microsoft’s April Games with Gold collection is being doubled. For the month Xbox Live Gold members will receive six instead of three games free. Here’s what’s on offer: Pool Nation FX: Available all month on Xbox One Child of Light: Available all month on Xbox One Gears of War: Judgment: Available from April 1-15 on […]

  • Pokemon players can grab a code for Shiny Charizard at GAME in April

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire players along with Pokemon X and Y owners can grab a free, rare Shiny Charizard from April 3 at one of GAME’s 320 stores in the UK. The redeemable codes for the character will be made available upon request and no purchase is necessary. Those who pop into one […]

  • F1 2015 will arrive on PC, PS4 and Xbox One in June, includes Mexico circuit

    Codemasters has announced its F1 franchise will make its series debut on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this June with the release of F1 2015. The game was developed using a new engine and contains improved handling and physics for all vehicles and parts attached. This includes: engine, transmission, aerodynamics, fuel tank, force feedback, suspension […]

  • Mortal Kombat X video confirms Liu Kang as playable character

    Liu Kang has been confirmed as a playable character in Mortal Kombat X in the latest video. You’ll also notice Bo’ Rai Cho in there as well. In the Shaolin trailer above you also get a look at Kung Lao and Kung Jin who is new to the series. Apparently, Raiden’s past champions of the […]

  • Short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront shows the Battle of Hoth

    A short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront has been posted by EA on Twitter. Well, that speeder isn't going anywhere. Can someone give us a lift to @SW_Celebration #SWCA — EAStarWars (@EAStarWars) March 25, 2015 The teaser shows vehicles which we could be using in the game, but it mainly shows the snowy landscape […]

  • Pillars of Eternity releases today – get all the review scores here

    Pillars of Eternity, which still stands as the second most-funded video game on Kickstarter, finally releases today. It’s also getting some rather positive reviews scores, which we’ve rounded up for you. The isometric, party-based RPG from Obsidian Entertainment was one of the first video game projects to take to Kickstarter, and hit its $1.1 million […]

  • Take an in-depth look at Evolve’s Behemoth monster and four new hunters

    Evolve’s fourth monster, the Behemoth, as well as the four new hunters are shown off in new gameplay video. Evolve’s latest gameplay trailer gives everyone a good look at each of the four new hunters and the massive Behemoth monster. The hunters can be bought either separately or though the hunting pass, while the monster […]

  • PS4 firmware update 2.50 causing issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall

    The suspend/resume feature in PlayStation 4′s 2.50 firmware update is causing some issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall. Killzone: Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla has said that the game is experiencing some issues in some instance where the suspend/resume feature is used. The timing of when players put the game in suspend mode does have an effect, […]

  • Bungie on Destiny matchmaking: “We believe there’s no substitute for a pre-made team”

    Crazy though this may seem, it’s possible that Destiny shipped according to plan. History points to community as a crucial component, far from the contingency that many now suspect. Paul Davies spoke to Bungie for clarity. “The community always engineers the best solutions for bringing players together. While Matchmaking is a great resource for introducing […]

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]

  • Kojima Station show suspended

    In another episode in the the ongoing kerfuffle between Hideo Kojima and Konami, the publisher has suspended the Kojima Station web show. Recent tweets from the newly created Japanese Metal Gear Solid account confirm that Kojima Station will not be broadcast tomorrow, but would not provide a date for the next episode. The Tweets were […]

  • Watch Battle Royale for free this weekend on Xbox Live

    Square Enix is celebrating the launch of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD by offering Xbox Live members in the UK a free rental of Battle Royale. Starting Saturday, March 28 and through Sunday, March 29, Xbox Live members in the UK will be able to rent Battle Royale through the Xbox Video Store, for free. The […]

  • Bloodborne journal, part 1: managing anxiety on the path to the Cleric Beast

    Bloodborne is both like and unlike the Souls games. Brenna descends into Yharnam with reluctance and trepidation. Need help succeeding in Bloodborne? You need our Bloodborne walkthrough and boss guide. Bloodborne isn’t Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. Let’s get that out of the way right off. I enjoyed both Dark Souls games, but it was […]