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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 shows that time isn’t the best healer

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 14:02 GMT By Dave Cook

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13 puts players against the clock and drastically changes the tried format. VG247′s Dave Cook has been playing a recent preview build to find that time doesn’t always mend old wounds.

”Things do improve once you start to understand the demands of the time format and how to act efficiently, but you’re still sprinting between quests with obedience, stopping every so often to refill Lighting’s run stamina and cursing that bloody clock.”

Is the Final Fantasy series suffering from an identity crisis? That all depends on who you ask. Comparing the Fabula Nova Crystallis trilogy with the PSone classics certainly reveals a canyon of difference. Gone are the turn-based battles and world map exploration, replaced with reigned-in environments and fluid, oddly-named combat mechanics. It could be argued that Square Enix is simply keeping up with the times, but elements of Lightning Return’s odd design have left this critic feeling puzzled, and at times, disappointed.

I didn’t feel disappointment because the game is outwardly bad, but because there is a glimmer of a smart concept beneath the poorly-scripted exposition, unfortunate design flaws and at times, awkward combat. There was enough substance in the preview build I played to keep me keen for its full release, but I do have several concerns going forward. But first, some context.

The plot opens 500 years after the events of Final Fantasy 13-2 with the world teetering on the bring of ruin. Lightning awakens after a long slumber to find she has been chosen as god’s saviour, charged with saving as many souls as possible and ferrying them to the new world. With 13 days on the clock and plenty of obstacles in her way, the pink-haired hero certainly has a grand task ahead of her. In short; it’s Final Fantasy-meets-Dead Rising 3, a polarising blend if ever I’ve seen one.

At this point you need to ask yourself, ‘What does the Final Fantasy series mean to me?’ Personally, it’s all about turn-based battles, running around in circles for hours to trigger random encounters and leisurely exploring vast world maps on the back of a Chocobo. That’s a very different proposition to what’s being served up here. Time is always against you, forcing you to sprint around each of the world’s open regions.

At the outset you’re asked to dash around the city of Luxerion, rushing from one dull fetch quest to the next. The idea is that by completing tasks you remove the darkness from the quest-giver’s heart, saving their soul and earning you Eradia. At 6am every day Lightning is transported back to the Ark, a safe haven constructed by returning character Hope Estheim. Here, you’ll bank all Eradia earned to wind back the doomsday clock and get a daily helping of plot waffle from Hope himself.

You start with five days until world’s end, but if you’re quick and efficient you can bring the clock back to a full 13. These quests can prove incredibly tedious however. One key mission sees you trying to find five hidden numbers painted on walls around the city of Luxerion. To narrow down their location you need to gather information by speaking with NPCs; a lot of them. The final number happens to be locked behind a gate that only opens between the hours of 00:00 and 06:00.

So if you’re super-efficient and find yourself having to wait until midnight for the last number, you could hop the train to one of the Outerworld areas like the Wildlands or Dead Dunes. It’s a half-hour journey to the Wildlands, so you need to be wary of how long it takes to get here and back, on top of everything you plan to do while there. Add to this the fact that certain NPCs only appear at specific times, and some areas are open between set hours and you have a disorganised person’s idea of a waking nightmare. This is pressure I personally don’t want in my Final Fantasy experience. It feels out of place, but I respect the fact that you might enjoy the mechanic.

If you need some respite from times cruel flow you can also use Chronostasis to halt the flow of time. it’s one of several skills Lightning can trigger using AP points, which are earned through battle. While active, everything linked to the time mechanic will halt, which is useful if you need a few extra minutes to reach an NPC that’s about to leave their position, or pass through a time-release door before it closes. You can also spend AP on healing Lighting with Curaga, entering Overclock mode – that lets you unleash rapid attacks – and revive after death. AP also lets you flee battle at no cost, but it does add an hour onto the clock.


This is what I’m talking about. Everything feels like a time trial.

The numbers quest mentioned above is truly frustrating; an error of design. I spent ages walking down uninspired back alleys in search of NPCs while sweating profusely over all the time I was wasting. Another example saw me searching for a fabled white Chocobo in the Wildlands by first speaking with NPCs (do you see the pattern yet?) and then searching some airship wreckage for its trail. I found it wounded next to a snarling beast far too strong for my current level. I couldn’t beat it so had to return to Luxerion defeated, having wasted a ton of time on a simple beginner’s trap.

Another example much later in the Dead Dunes saw Lightning venturing into ruins in search of relics. I fought my way in after passing some relatively simple encounters, picked up the object and turned around to find my way back blocked by unavoidable, much tougher enemies. I barely made it out of there alive, and had to reload my save to start the fights over multiple times because I was ill-equipped. That’s simply poor design. I was lucky enough to have saved my progress just before the battle. Otherwise I’d have to go a long way back.

That’s when it hit me: this game has been designed for multiple play-throughs, just like Dead Rising. I’ve looked at Japanese speed-runs of this game on YouTube that show players sprinting to objectives with prior knowledge, each taking very little time at all, avoiding all the pitfalls. The same is apparent in the combat system. On your first pass, you’ll struggle to defeat what would commonly be regarded as a simple enemy without a long, drawn-out fight. It’s lucky then, that the doomsday clock pauses while in battle.

Lightning’s ability to switch outfits does more than fuel the Final Fantasy cosplay scene; it works a bit like Final Fantasy X-2′s Dressphere system. Creating garbs is perhaps equally the smartest and silliest aspect of combat, but it comes with a great degree of customisation. Creating an outfit – or ‘Schemata’ – starts with a base garb, which often includes an embedded buff or skill. The Red Mage coat comes with a Max HP boost of 150, for example. From there you can add a sword, shield, accessories and attacks bought at stores or forged using synthesis.

You can, naturally, add cosmetic items on top of the useful clothing – such as pink heart hair clips or a Carbuncle plushie – but they bear no impact on Lightning’s performance. The fact that she’s being treated like a dress-up doll didn’t sit quite right with me, but this isn’t the place for that discussion. You’ll do little fighting in the first few hours as you scramble around making people happy, but as you progress you’ll need to create a balanced stock of Schemata types and skill load-outs that support one another. As such, the combat does improve over time, and that keeps me somewhat hopeful for the final build.


Finding new base garments is actually quite exciting. Not in that way, pervert.

With three active Schemeta at any one time, you’re actually taking three characters into battle instead of one, seeing as each of Lightning’s outfits has its own ATB meter and only one health bar. Once the bar is depleted it’s game over. Annoyingly, you can only carry a set number of restorative items at one time – six at last count, although I suspect this may increase over time. I tended to go for at least four X-Potions and two Phoenix Downs to cover myself, but you’ll start to rue Square’s design once you get knocked out during an impassable fight without another Phoenix Down to hand. I still don’t fully understand why this item restriction has been forced on players, I really don’t.

The key to winning battles is staggering your opponent, which is a returning feature from previous Final Fantasy 13 games. Using Lightning’s Libra skill or through primers bought at stores, you can view a creature’s stagger condition and weaknesses. Even using these conditions I found battles against simple monsters lengthy and arduous. Things even out once you level up – you level up by completing quests this time, not by grinding battles – and I even watched another Japanese play-through of one particularly laborious boss battle, only to see a new game+ completionist coast through it with ease.

I couldn’t help but feel that combat was intentionally tough at the outset to encourage repeat play. At first I thought I was missing something or that perhaps my parry timing was all wrong, but I double-checked Libra, the YouTube video and the game’s rules again to find that it was just the way of things. I wasn’t having fun at the start. However, you’ll relax more once you start to understand the demands of the time and battle mechanics. You’ll also fight and race between tasks with increasing efficiency as you level up and unlock new shortcuts.

Opening a new map route by completing a key quest is actually really gratifying in a way Dark Souls fans appreciate. This game will make you work for such luxuries, so in a way this is perhaps the most ‘hardcore’ entry to the series yet – for lack of a better term. There’s a lot still sprinting between quests with obedience in here, and it really does get old fast when you stop occasionally to refill Lighting’s run stamina, or listen to more exposition-laden drivel, all the while cursing that bloody clock. This is not a game for everyone, that much is clear.

As our regular readers are aware, we at VG247 are not in the business of typical previews; so please do treat this as one veteran Final Fantasy fan’s opinion. I also appreciate that many of you out there really dig the Dead Rising time format, so if that sounds like you there’s every chance you’ll get some sort of kick out of the game. I’ve also spoken at length about why the Dead Rising time management dynamic is not for me in this article.

To me, the most compelling aspect of this game was it’s harrowing tone, which really does bring across the bleak outlook of humanity staring into oblivion. It’s the end of days, and at times it really does feel like it. I’m yet to run out the clock, but I suspect those last few moments before the apocalypse starts are quite sombre; perhaps even reflective. Regrettably, I have to admit that Lightning Returns hasn’t fully grabbed me yet, but I will certainly be giving it a solid try again at launch, purely because I’m still a fan of the series.

It may grow on me during a second pass, but let us know what you think of Lighting Returns: Final Fantasy 13 so far below.

Disclosure: To assist in writing this article, Square Enix sent Dave a PS3 debug copy of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13.

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19 Comments

  1. Telepathic.Geometry

    Dave man, as a matter of interest, what did you think of FF XIII? I got it cheap and am playing through it now, and I kind of hate it. It’s as if the goal of the devs’ was to un-streamline the game so that virtually every task in the game takes too much time.

    Battles were too fucking slow, traveling was too long, cutscenes were too many, gil was too little, CP was too mean… Even swapping out characters and having to re-equip them took too much time.

    It sounds like this Lightning Returns is another Squeenix train-wreck of shitty game design…

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 I liked it, but only because of its endgame (which is longer than the main quest). That’s the full experience IMO, and it gets a bit ‘Monster Hunter’ as you hunt beasts in the wilds. I invested a shit-ton of time into it at launch, although admittedly it may have aged horribly by this time.

    I even liked 13-2′s history-altering mechanic. In Lightning that ever-ticking clock just feels claustrophobic. I’m still playing the build I’ve got after 8+ hours and may do a follow-up come review-time.

    Any questions folks…ask away? I’m here.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Clupula

    Dave, you didn’t know before playing that it expects you to go through it several times? That was the very first thing I heard about it. That it does the Majora’s Mask thing.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Dave Cook

    @3 I know you ‘could’ not that you were ‘expected’ to. I’m not a fan of having my hand tipped to replay. I’ll only do that if I enjoyed it the first time to be fair. I’m going to keep going. Just did one area that’s up there with the Water Temple in terms of annoyance. Many trips back to the title screen to reload…which is a shame as some bits – combat, schemata – shine brighter with each passing hour.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Telepathic.Geometry

    Jayzus… You’re a better man than me. I’m in the end-game now, fighting Gui Longs, and… it’s too slow. I actually want to take on all of the marks, but it takes me so long to get from A to B, even with warps, that I can barely be arsed. And fighting them is usually the same few strategems, until you eventually take down their enormous life-bars. And…

    I’ll just stop right there, I’m being too negative.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. Clupula

    @4 – I dunno. Call me crazy, but I’m really looking forward to that aspect, provided there’s some different paths the story could take, depending on what you’ve done.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. salarta

    @2: “Any questions folks…ask away? I’m here.”

    What’s the best way to make a ham and cheese sandwich? :)

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Junior

    @salarta, take the ham out and add fresh tomato and basil

    #8 1 year ago
  9. Dave Cook

    @7 You make it naked.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Moonwalker1982

    If there’s one thing i hate in games, it’s time limits, oh my. I want to be able to take my time.

    By the way, FF15 will not be turn-based either, right? Is it like Ni No Kuni where you can just freely run around and attack when you want?

    #10 1 year ago
  11. salarta

    @8,9: Thanks, Junior and Dave! It worked so well that I’m now snowboarding off Mount Everest with a can of Mountain Dew in my hand!

    #11 1 year ago
  12. Junior

    @ mmonwalker, due to who is running ff15, everyone’s guess is that it will be similar to kingdom hearts.

    Ni no kuni battle system is nothing new on ff world. FF 11, 12, 13 and 14 is like that already

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Clupula

    Actually, it’s not a guess. Nomura has said, flatout, that it plays like Kingdom Hearts. So, FFXV will be an action RPG.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. salarta

    And FF15 will be the first main single-player Final Fantasy game Squeenix has made since FF12.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. FoureyesZero

    I saw the ending of the japanese version of the game online a while back and its a train wreck.
    Just when you think they couldn’t screw up any more than they have they do in epic fashion.
    Final fantasy used to be a landmark franchise.
    But as soon as we began the ps3 xbox 360 generation the whole thing just became irrelevant.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. L.H.

    “With three active Schemeta at any one time, you’re actually taking three characters into battle instead of one, seeing as each of Lightning’s outfits has its own health bar. Once all three bars are depleted it’s game over.”

    Wow. Just wow. The person who wrote this article simply never played the game. This is completely and blatantly wrong.

    Each Schema has its own separate ATB meter. Lightning’s HP is universal across Schemata; while you can have garbs with higher HP values, changing to a garb with higher or lower max HP retains the percentage of HP remaining.

    This is such a blatant and egregious error that it is simply impossible for Dave Cook to have played the game.

    Not to mention, Cook doesn’t say anything about Chronostasis, an ability that lets you stop time for a while—a massive boon with timed quests.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Dave Cook

    @16 I wrote it, and what you said here – “while you can have garbs with higher HP values” is actually what I meant to say. Thanks for spotting my error. I’ll fix it now and add a line about Chronostasis in.

    EDIT: Done. How many game writers can you say would actually listen and admit little errors like this, *then* fix them for you? Not many I can tell you that.

    Thanks.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. Dave Cook

    Fixed, thank you. Perhaps being a bit more polite about it next time might have be more helpful.

    Also Chronostasis isn’t all that helpful, IMO, especially in the Dead Dunes with the time locked doors, because they too freeze when you pause time, meaning you have to wait for the effect to end before going down the desired route. It was a pain.

    #18 1 year ago
  19. wicktus

    “shows that time isn’t the best healer”

    -> That’s true for the whole Final fantasy serie too ^^ !

    #19 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    We’re hotdogging tonight. I don’t even know what that means. Eight weeks of ridiculous death. Such a brave, true milestone. We’re going to celebrate two entire months of playing weekly GTA Online playlists with VG247 readers with Hotdogging, a set of six jobs I named completely at random. This one ends with a straight-up border […]

  • Puzzle platformer Four Sided Fantasy coming to PC, consoles in early 2016

    Curve Digital and developer Logan Fieth’s studio Ludo Land are bringing puzzle platformer, Four Sided Fantasy, to PC all major consoles in early 2016. Ludo Land are developing the PC version, with Curve Digital handling the console and Vita versions. Four Sided Fantasy tasks players with venturing across “dreamlike levels” by controlling and manipulating the […]

  • Tropico 5 arrives on PS4 in April – video

    A release date for Tropico 5 on PlayStation 4 has been announced. This is the franchise’s first foray onto PlayStation consoles. It arrived in Europe on April 24 and in North America on April 28. A Limited Edition has also been announced, and it includes The Big Cheese DLC and the Bayo Del Olfato sandbox […]

  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain Limited Edition PS4 releasing in Asia

    A limited edition Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain PlayStation 4 system will be released in Asia. The system and its DualShock controller were designed in collaboration with Konami Digital Entertainment and targeted for the Asia region, per Gematsu. It will be released as part of PS4 Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain […]

  • This video shows Sid Meier’s Starships being played on iPad

    Sid Meier’s Starships will be released on iPad alongside Mac and PC, and to give you an idea on how it plays on the tablet, a new video has been released. Watch below as Pete Murray and lead producer Stuart Zissu show off the iPad version. The 4X space-strategy releases on March 12.

  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood announced as standalone prequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order

    Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, a standalone prequel to The New Order, will release May 5 on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The game takes pace in 1946, and and players take on the role of B.J. Blazkowicz as he embarks on a two-part mission in Bavaria. Part one, Rudi Jäger and the Den of Wolves, […]

  • Observer Mode coming soon to Evolve as a free update

    Observer Mode will be released for Evolve as a free update for all platforms, 2K and Turtle Rock have announced. The community feature was designed to give Evolve players the ability to observe and add commentary as well as livestream, allowing a sixth user to “passively enter a custom game” with the ability to switch […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes and PS4 top Media Create charts in Japan

    The PlayStation 3 and PS4 skus for Dragon Quest Heroes were the top sellers on the Media Create charts in Japan, moving a combined 594,749 units. Elsewhere on the chart, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D was in third place with 39,751 units moved, and last week’s top seller, God Eater 2: Rage Burst, […]

  • Watch Hideo Kojima answer lots of your burning Phantom Pain questions

    What’s better than learning the official release date of MGS5: The Phantom pain? Hideo Kojima talking more about it, of course! Hideo Kojima has decided to answer a few fan questions about Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, to help boost everyone’s hype to insane levels. He talks about the game’s story, his relief […]

  • MGS5: The Phantom Pain Day 1 and Collector’s Edition revealed

    Konami has officially revealed the release date of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain alongside the game’s Day 1 and Collector’s Edition. Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain will release September 1, worldwide, as previously leaked. It will be available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The PC Steam […]

  • EU Club Nintendo: Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack back in stock

    Club Nintendo members in Europe can once again pick up The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds soundtrack. For 3000 Stars, members of the program will receive the double-CD soundtrack which features 89 tracks with liner notes from Ryo Nagamatsu and 12 sheet music excerpts. It also comes with 16 Milk Bar Musician pieces. […]

  • HTC apologises over “confusing” Half-Life VR comments

    HTC has misspoke when it talked about Half-Life coming to VR headset Vive. HTC chairwoman Cher Wang has apologised over the comments she made yesterday about the possibility of Half-Life coming to Vive, the VR headset it’s manufacturing with the help of Valve. Sources close to Valve, have indicated to the BBC that the developer […]

  • What do Heists and Daily Objectives tell us about the future of GTA Online?

    Daily Objectives could be more important to GTA Online than Heists. These theories and more, from a giddy Matt Martin. Yesterday Rockstar dropped a bombshell. Not only is it releasing Heists next week – the mythical 4-player missions for GTA Online – but it’s also going to be introducing daily challenges and more modes to […]

  • Breaking down Hardline Premium, is it worth it?

    Having been announced just a few days ago, the Premium service for Battlefield Hardline has been a topic of constant debate among the Battlefield community. Many look at Hardline as a Battlefield off-shoot that will just tide everyone over until Battlefront comes out in the fall. EA has other plans however, announcing a $50 Premium […]

  • Watch Dogs sold more than GTA 5 and FIFA 15 in Australia in 2014

    Watch Dogs outsold GTA 5, and FIFA 15, at retail in Australia last year. According to data obtained by the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) from the NPD Group Australia, last year’s year retail sales charts look a bit different in Australia. The top-selling game was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, followed by Watch […]

  • Watch PC footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt from GDC 2015

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a new gameplay video available that shows a bit of action from the PC version. The video below was captured from Nvidia’s GDC conference live-stream. Developer CD Projekt RED was on hand to show off The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s graphical prowess running on a PC. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • Dying Light: Hard Mode and Ultimate Survivor Bundle out March 10

    Dying Light’s second DLC drop, the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, and the free Hard Mode, have been given a solid release date alongside a new trailer. Dying Light developer Techland has confirmed that the Ultimate Survivor Bundle, the game’s second DLC drop, will release March 10. The DLC is part of the season pass, but will […]

  • Exploration puzzler Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4

    Ether One, the first-person exploration game that puts you in the minds of other people to help change events of their past is coming to PlayStation 4 this year. Ether One is coming to PlayStation 4 this year, developer White Paper Games announced at GDC 2015. A retail version will also be available alongside the […]

  • Larian “murdered” Divinity: Dragon Commander to focus on Original Sin

    Divinity: Original Sin developer Larian talked very candidly about the business side of development and the many unfortunate events that took place for the game to come out as it did. Larian Studios founder Swen Vincke gave a post-mortem on the troubled development of Divinity: Original Sin, and how it managed to overcome all of […]

  • Firewatch probably has the most natural dialogue of any game to date

    Firewatch developer Campo Santo has revealed the first ever gameplay footage of the upcoming exploration game. Firewatch is the first game from super indie studio Campo Santo. The game is set in the Wyoming forests where the player will be exploring the environment and act as a fire lookout. The game features extensive voice-acting as […]

  • White Night launch trailer is a noir thriller trip

    White Night is here, not long after it was revealed and with a mysterious launch trailer. White Night, the black-and-white survival horror set in 1930s Boston, has revealed its launch trailer. White Night is mix of old-school horror, exploration and puzzling solving in an eerie, noir setting. The game’s main mechanic is light. any object […]

  • Free-to-play is “a significant part” of PlayStation’s digital future

    Free-to-play games on PlayStation 4 have seen enough growth that Sony is now considering the model a major part of its future digital business. Sarah Thompson, senior account executive for PlayStation’s free-to-play business said at a GDC panel that Sony has witnessed impressive growth in the free-to-play sector. “We’re really looking at this as a […]

  • Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter documentary releasing free on YouTube

    Broken Age making of documentary Double Fine Adventure will be made available to all. When Double Fine turned to crowdfunding, changing the industry forever, it promised to give an unprecedented look behind the scenes with a professional documentary of the whole development process of Broken Age. That documentary was initially restricted to Kickstarter backers, but […]

  • Gone Home console ports cancelled following Midnight City difficulties

    Gone Home won’t be made available to the console masses after all. Indie hit Gone Home was announced for console release almost exactly one year ago, and we’ve heard absolutely nothing since then. Turns out, that’s because it’s not happening: developer the Fullbright Company confirmed to Eurogamer that the ports have been cancelled. “Our publishing […]

  • Microsoft rang Mojang the day Notch joked about selling

    Minecraft developer Mojang was sold because founder Markus “Notch” Persson made a joke on Twitter. Ever wondered how Minecraft came to be a Microsoft property? It’s actually a pretty great story. Remember when Notch tweeted this? Anyone want to buy my share of Mojang so I can move on with my life? Getting hate for […]

  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection matchmaking update rolling out

    Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been updated to help fix its tragic matchmaking. Again. Now almost four months old, Halo: The Master Chief Collection was still pretty broken as of this morning, with rubbish matchmaking and plenty of other issues to go around. 343 Industries is still trying to fix it, and has today […]

  • Nvidia unveils Shield, an Android 4K Smart TV set top box

    Nvidia has named yet another product “Shield” in an attempt to render us all hopelessly confused. The heart of Nvidia’s GDC 2015 press conference was the Shield, a $200 Android set top box launching in May. Apparently the “world’s first 4K Android TV”, the Shield supports 4K content encoded with h.265. The box runs on […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront footage shown behind closed doors

    Star Wars Battlefront is being shown to retailers. Now we want EA to show it to us. Star Wars Battlefront is expected sometime this year, so it’s about time EA gave us a look at DICE’s latest. It turns out that while press and gamers have had to twiddle their thumbs, EA is showing it […]

  • Dragon Age lead creative moves onto mysterious new BioWare project

    Dragon Age creator David Gaider is leaving his baby behind. Dragon Age is a team effort, but Gaider was one of the key creatives behind the franchise, creating the setting of Thedas (which, I was recently amused to learn, is an acronym: “THE Dragon Age Setting”). He was lead writer on all three games and […]

  • Unity 5 available for free with “no fucking around”

    Unity 5 looks amazing, and you can download and faff about with it for free right now. “We’re not nickel-and-diming people. When we say it’s free, it’s free. We’re not charging a royalty, which I think is akin to looking for whales.” Unity Technologies announced the release of the fifth version of its popular, simple, […]

  • Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 may be the end of the series

    Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 released yesterday, and many fans theorise that it marks the end of the series. Five Nights at Freddy’s developer Scott Cawthon has released a new teaser image on his website, but rather than pointing to a new game, many fans believe the teaser signals the end of the series. The […]

  • Source 2 announced, will also be free

    Valve has formally unveiled Source Engine 2, the third major engine to go free to developers at GDC 2015. Source 2 is the successor to the engine Valve has been using since Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2. Valve didn’t have much to say about the technicalities of this long-awaited release. It is apparently focused on […]

  • SteamVR: Valve’s Lighthouse tech allows you to walk around while playing

    SteamVR’s key differentiator is a piece of tech allowing headsets to connect with other devices for extra accurate, room-scale tracking. Valve has announced a new bit of technology called Lighthouse, which it is making freely available to any hardware manufacturer. Like the extra tracking LEDs on Sony’s updated Project Morpheus, Lighthouse improves the headset’s accuracy, […]

  • Steam Machines, Controller, streaming box to launch in November

    Steam Machines will finally become a reality before the end of the year. Valve’s living room PC systems will release in November, the company announced today. Well, I say Valve’s – the idea behind Steam Machines is that a number of manufacturers will offer variously priced systems. Alienware and Falcon Northwest are among the dozen […]

  • Telltale veterans form new team, announce teen thriller Oxenfree

    Oxenfree is a supernatural teen thriller from some of the team behind Telltale Games’ award-winning adventures. New indie Night School Studios unveiled Oxenfree at GDC 2015. It tells the story of a group of friends who accidentally open a “ghostly rift” at an overnight party on the coast. Night School, which is made up of […]

  • PS4 global sales now stand at over 20.2 million

    The PS4 has sold 20.2 million units worldwide. Sony announced the new PS4 sales milestone at GDC 2015 today. It’s a hell of an achievement and salt in the wounds for Microsoft, which hasn’t updated us on Xbox One sales since it shipped “almost” 10 million back in November last year, and has fallen back […]

  • PS4 VR headset Morpheus out in 2016, capable of 120 FPS – video

    Sony’s VR headset Project Morpheus has some impressive grunt. Virtual reality and Morpheus were the heart of Sony’s GDC 2015 presentation today, ahead of its newly announced first-half 2016 comemrcial launch. SCE Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida detailed the headset’s impressive capabilities, notably the fact that it can handle 120 FPS VR games. The PS4 […]

  • Papo & Yo developer making a VR game about dinosaurs

    Some days you write a headline and it makes you so happy that that you have to do a little chair dance, you know what I mean? Papo & Yo developer Minority Media, whom I would personally go to the wall for after they cut out my heart and stomped on it via the medium […]

  • Wasteland 2, Shovel Knight and more in big ole bunch of indies coming to Xbox One

    Xbox One owners are about to receive a pile of great new indie games. At GDC 2015, Microsoft revealed a list of new indie games headed to Xbox One. Some of these titles have already released on other platforms, so it looks like Microsoft has really relaxed the parity clause of ID@Xbox – or perhaps […]

  • Here’s an indie VR game made with Unreal Engine 4

    GDC 2015 is blowing up with indie games, VR and Unreal Engine 4, so here’s a video combining all three. Loading Human is a virtual reality adventure from indie developer Untold Games. It’s in the works for Mac and PC, and Sony has given an early green light for Project Morpheus, too, so expect it […]

  • GTA Online: Daily Objectives and Adversary Mode coming next week

    Heists aren’t the only thing coming to GTA Online next week: players can also expect Adversary Modes, new Daily Objectives and other Freemode activities. GTA Online’s Adversary Modes are new PvP modes which feature a range of competitive challenges and will unlock as players progress through Heists. Here’s a rundown straight from Rockstar: Come Out […]

  • Syndicate is the latest free game download on Origin

    The latest free title to be added to EA’s Origin service is 1993′s Syndicate. For a limited time, you can download the game for free and keep it, much like previous titles such as Theme Hospital. The isometric, real-time, tactical-action game was developed by Bullfrog Productions and released in June 1993. It is a favorite […]

  • Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen now available

    The Ancient Labyrinth DLC for Lords of the Fallen is now available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It will run you $7.99 and builds upon the existing lore, characters, and storyline. Have a look at some new screenshots in the gallery below.

  • Shadowrun Online gets a name change and release date

    Shadowrun Online developer Cliffhanger Productions has announced the game’s name has been changed to Shadowrun Chronicles: Boston Lockdown and a release date for April has been set. The new title was formed via the developer and its Kickstarter backers, with the goal being to let those unfamiliar with the game know by the title alone […]

  • Amazon hosting Rockstar and 2K Games sale

    Amazon is hosting a Rockstar Games and 2K Games sale with discounts Max Payne titles, Bully and more. Here’s just some of the offerings listed: Manhunt 2 PC Download $3.00 Max Payne 3 PC Download $4.00 Bully: Scholarship Edition PC Download $3.00 LA Noire Xbox 360 $2.95 L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition PC Download $6.00 […]

  • Destiny weekly reset video shows off Inferno Crucible gameplay

    We have a gameplay video featuring Inferno Crucible gameplay featured in the Destiny weekly reset for you. In it, Arekkz Gaming gives you a look at Inferno Crucible and goes over the various intricacies. You can read up on the weekly reset through the links.

  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Episode 2 available from today

    Episode 2 for Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is now available. If you’ve purchased the Complete Season, you’ll be able to download Episode 2 on PS3, PS4 and Xbox One. Steam players should see the episode go live around 9-10pm PST, and Xbox 360 owners should be able to download very early tomorrow morning, per Capcom […]

  • Here’s a sneak peek video for Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide

    Fatshark Games has released a sneak peek video for its upcoming Games Workshop title, Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide. Vermintide is a FPS, co-op action title coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and its set during the End Times of the Warhammer universe in the city of Ubersreik. Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare video shows Ascendance DLC early access weapon

    As you know, Xbox Season Pass holders now have early access to the Ascendance DLC Pack bonus weapons for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Now you can watch a trailer for the weapon. The OHM directed energy hybrid weapon can switch between an LMG and Shotgun “on the fly,” and it also includes the OHM-Werewolf […]

  • March PS Plus games include OlliOlli 2, Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty, more

    March PlayStation Plus titles have popped up on the PS Plus page. Noticed by NeoGAF user skynidas, the titles include: OlliOlli2 (PS4/VITA) Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PS4) Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty (PS4) Counterspy (PS4/PS3) Papo & Yo (PS3) Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment (PS3) A notice has also been posted on the EU PS […]