The creators of the Oculus Rift Virtual Reality system raised eyebrows when they recently dropped the idea of giving their device away for free. Many gamers were surprised that a $300 device would in the long run perhaps be given away for free, but that ignores the Oculus Rift, and the games designed to run on it, were born out of a collaborative culture. Funded on Kickstarter, distributed among game developers ranging from CCP to Indie Devs, the Rift is an interesting creature that hasn’t reflected business patterns or mindsets seen from traditional hardware creators.
But the talk of the Oculus Rift going free does bring up an interesting idea: How much gaming’s been grappling with the concept of “Free” and alternative pay models, and what this means for us as a community, both as developers and gamers. I did a little digging to learn more about some of the waves that the idea of “free” has had on our culture. Continue reading “What Does “Free to Play” REALLY Mean For Gaming’s Future?” »
Kanye Quest 3030 is a hip-hop, sci-fi RPG starring none other than Yeezus himself that has recently been released and been receiving a lot of attention from the games media. West is sent through time to a “strange futuristic city in the year 3030″ where he must battle against and join forces with fellow rappers including Tupac, Jay Z, RZA, Dr. Dre, and Eminem, to name a few.
Scroll down to check out some gameplay footage from the trailer along with a download link to the full game, our interview with the game’s creator and an epic instrumental rendition of Kanye’s Power song.
Payday introduced gamers to a focused and intense heist simulator that attempted to re create the dramatic and visceral feeling of cuffing the tellers and trying to make it out alive with the Swat team rushing the building. This time around Overkill is taking the Michael Mann’s Heat-like action to the next level in Payday 2.
This time around Overkill has introduced a ton of new features while maintaining the core of what made the original so fun and addictive. Game director and former Battlefield lead designer David Goldfarb tells us the team really pushed themselves, working ridiculous hours while eating copious amounts of McDonalds.
“We really tried to create the cooperative robbery fantasy by adding all this depth. Whether it was adding stealth, a true economy, the improved gunplay, graphics and sound, the insane variety of mask/weapon modifications, the crazy and inspired level design brought by the crazy and inspiring level design team, or the depth of the skill system…” Goldfarb tells the Jace Hall Show.
The Operative: No One Lives Forever was released to the gaming world on November 9, 2000. It instantly received nods for game of the year and over time, has become recognized as one of the best First-Person shooters of the past 14 years.
No more proof is needed than the recent discussion from authors on Rock, Paper Shotgun, Kotaku, and Destructoid, who explain how the smart, funny spy thriller not only holds up, it still defies norms in the gaming world. But wouldn’t you know it, the game almost wasn’t made. Not because of quality issues, but because MGM believed that the developer, Monolith, was attempting to infringe on their James Bond film RIGHTS to make the game.
According to a cease and desist letter that CEO of MONOLITH, JACE HALL, received from Michael Moore, who back in 1999 sat as one of MGM’s Senior Vice Presidents: Continue reading “Turns Out NO ONE LIVES FOREVER…Almost Didn’t Live At All” »
I was lucky enough to attend the San Diego Comic Con this year, for my second year in a row. As a hardcore gamer, who admittedly was still recovering from a whirlwind E3, I was on the lookout for any signs of life from the games industry. Here’s primarily what I found:
- South Park: Stick of Truth Game Release Date 2014…
The South Park TV Series has been one of my favorite shows for many years, and I was pumped to be able to attend the South Park: Stick of Truth Panel to see what news they would reveal about the current state of this long awaited game.
Of course, I was only disappointed…
Trey Parker and Matt Stone (THE South Park Creators) were the only two appearing for the panel, which seemed a little weird because I felt that someone from Obsidian Entertainment, the company developing the game, would also want to provide answers and insight into the games development. Trey and Matt said that they felt like they had been stuck on a Tuesday for the last 2 years of development on the game. The term Tuesday meaning the way they felt when stressfully finishing an episode of South Park before it aired the next day (this). Continue reading “So Comic-Con 2013 Happened…Here’s 5 Things The Average Gamer Should Know” »
The video game cover athlete has seemingly replaced the ol’ Wheaties box as the most prestigious thing a sports celebrity can do outside of their chosen profession. It took decades to become that big of a deal, even though sports stars have always been a staple of promoting video games.
This week’s history lesson touches on this, going back to the late 70s as some of the biggest legends in sports endorsed the “realistic” Atari sports video games. Also included is a pre-Madden game series John Madden, an acrobatic baseball legend, another baseball legend totally slacking at his job, one of the toughest boss enemies in the NES era and a bonus piece you’ll have to stick around to see.
Check back every Monday for more history lessons on the storied past of video games. I will be calling names and you will be graded.
Distance is a fast paced, arcade style racer, that has you racing, flipping and flying a slick futuristic car through a Tron-like neon city. Described as a survival racing game, it is essentially the spiritual successor to the popular Nitronic Rush. A title well known for its visual style, audio design, unique mechanics and overall atmosphere. Another way developer Refract describes the experience is “Trials Evolution + Rush 2049 + Halo + Tron: Legacy.”
Some of the game industry’s most experienced and prominent designers are teaming up to bring back the “Auto Duel.” David Jaffe (Twisted Metal) Zack Norman (Interestate 76) and a team of designers from Spider-man 2 to Oddworld are kickstarting “MotorGun.” Set in a post apocalyptic world, MotorGun lets gamers do pretty much anything they want behind the wheel, in addition to customizing everything from the look to the payload of their car, in a slew of different landscapes (from the desert to the inner city).
Yes it looks like MotorGun will be serving up plenty of awesome destruction, but it is also drawing parallels to Interstate 76, which for fans not familiar with the game, infused a bit of a cerebral approach in addition to some cataclysmic collisions (e.g. you’d have to consider how to weigh your payload with your car in order to succeed in some levels). Continue reading “Twisted Metal, Interstate 76 Game Designers Are Bringing Back The Auto Duel With MOTORGUN [Exclusive Images]” »
Bleed is a frantic yet precise 2D platformer that has gained a lot of attention among gamers after having been released on Xbox Live Indie Games. It was also Greenlit and then released on Steam just recently.
We are talking about 7 levels of 2D stylish, DMC-style acrobatic dodging and shooting with flamethrowers, bullet reflecting swords and fun boss battles. For those who haven’t had a chance to go hands on with this one yet, you really should. Although the game can be a little short, the fun and action packed pace of it really warrants multiple playthroughs on harder difficulties.
I had a chance to go hands on with the PS3 title, “The Puppeteer”, this year at E3. My experience overall was fantastic…except for one tiny, tiny complaint. The choices around Kutaro’s gender felt a little…strange. Much of the early part of the game is cutscenes setting up who you are, who the Moon Bear King is, and why you have this giant pair of awesome scissors. Your soul is sucked up from Earth, deposited into a puppet, sent into slavery, and then you literally lose your head.
Except, there was one confusing part of the experience. One of the game’s mechanics is the use of acquiring and swapping through different kinds of heads both as a life system and as a power system, effectively rendering the player’s visual identity as really malleable. At one point, I was technically a cheeseburger. So as a result, the constant use of everyone shouting “BOOOOOYYYYY!” at me felt somewhat arbitrary. Are cheeseburger puppets even identifiable by gender?! Continue reading “Your Game Being “Art” Does Not Protect You From Criticism” »
Nordic Games is set to release its upcoming episodic crime adventure game, The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief in just one week from today. Taking inspiration from Agatha Christie novels and heist dramas like The Sting and The Thomas Crown Affair, The Raven will take players on an investigation spanning across the globe in search of a master thief, The Raven. The game’s story is written by the same people behind the “The Book of Unwritten Tales,” so expect a well written tale here.
The Raven will be coming in three episodic bits, the first of which drops next week on July 23 for PC, Mac and Linux. Check out our exclusive interview with executive producer/co-author Marco Rosenberg below, he tells us the company plans to have the game on console’s “a few weeks after the” others.
“…the United States government recognizes League of Legends pro players as professional athletes and award visas to essentially work in the United States under that title…now we can start looking at international players when they come over. It’s a much easier process because they’re actually recognized by the government. This is a huge thing.”
Continue reading “You’re Missing The Point, Yes Professional Gamers Are Athletes, Here’s Why” »
Jim Shepard has worked on his fair share of AAA games over the years including Star Wars: The Old Republic. He has now released a new 2013 summer demo of his upcoming roguelike adventure game Dungeonmans.
This is one roguelike fans of genre should keep an eye on. It features all of the gameplay goodies we can expect from this kind of game as well as an interesting take on character progression with the Dungeonmans Academy system. Expect randomly generated dungeons and enemies as well as a tactical turn based combat system.
Undertale is for the most part a traditional RPG, except that in this game no one has to get hurt if you don’t want them to. Creator Toby Fox has designed the game so that character interaction and choice play a major role not just in telling the story, but also in the game’s extremely unique combat system. Undertale is being compared to titles like Mother 3, Cave Story, the Shin Megami Tensei series, and Homestuck.
After completely annihilating its Kickstarter goal by almost 30K and launching the playable public demo, we decided to sit down with creator Toby Fox to find out more about this unique take on the traditional RPG formula. Although we may have to wait a while for the full game to hit in Summer 2014, the good news is that the demo is currently available for Windows and Mac. This is a fairly lengthy demo that contains around one quarter of the entire game.
TellTale’s The Walking Dead 400 Days survives on one of its most interesting strengths–its lack of fixed presence within the massive world of The Walking Dead Universe. Created as an additional experience for fans hungering for more after the stellar experience of Season 1, 400 Days is a must download for anyone who enjoys gaming as a storytelling medium, especially if they haven’t played the prior episodes.
400 Days takes place over the course of Days 2-400 of the Apocalypse, telling the stories of five survivors going through different post Apocalyptic encounters. Some, like the criminal Vince, play out short scenes that emphasize the adrenaline-pumped decision making but strip a way a lot of the puzzle solving and long-form character development around them. Others, like Chell’s, are more meditative and give the player a longer time to think about the consequences of their actions. Either way, the experience of rapid-fire decision making in the face of Apocalyptic survival conditions remains the main draw of Telltale’s take on the Walking Dead franchise, and the emphasis on character continues to drive a strong experience that challenges the player’s moral values. Continue reading “400 Days of Hell, Why Standing Alone Helps The Walking Dead” »
Elevendy Studios, The same team behind the WatchDogs, Assassins Creed and Zombie U artwork, is partnering with The Nerd Machine to give you the chance to own some of the most epic nerd art-pieces in the history of space and time. The artwork, dubbed “Nerds VERSUS Aliens” will be releasing exclusively at Nerd HQ during SDCC 2013. Seven 24″x36″ canvas prints and one 14′x3′ canvas prints all told will be auctioned off to the highest bidder(s) at NERD HQ with the proceeds going to Operation Smile.
The artwork features Alison Haislip, Nathan Fillion, Stan Lee, Felicia Day, Cliffy B, Zach Levi, Beau Ryan, and a number of the world’s most influential and biggest nerds fighting off an alien attack.
“It’s an honor to be involved with something that not only raises money and awareness for Operation Smile, but also really connects with the fans down at Comic Con and give them an opportunity to be a part of something with all of their favorite nerds,” said Alison Haislip. Continue reading “Felicia Day, Alison Haislip, Beau Ryan, And The World’s Biggest Nerds Take On Aliens For A Good Cause” »
CastleStorm is an interesting hybrid action, strategy, and physics-based destruction game that is releasing on Steam in just over two weeks on July 29. Developed by Zen Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios, the game is available on XBLA where it has received favorable reviews. While there haven’t been any serious complaints with controls on the consoles, you would have to think this might be an experience better suited for the PC. Zen Studios has blended together some solid tower defense strategy with over the top, Angry Birds-like catapult action to create a slick and fun experience.
Head below for our exclusive interview with Zen Studios, a link to the full soundtrack and some gameplay footage.
Re-Mission 2 includes six games, all which function to put the cancer patient inside their own body and simulate how to “defeat” cancer. The result is meant to empower young cancer patients and give them the experience of what its like to stand up to cancer and win.
Needless to say the endeavor sounded state of the art and one of the most overlooked features of gaming — their ability to LITERALLY change someone’s life. We were lucky enough to interview the team at HopeLab, to get more insight and info into just how video games are allowing young patients to treat their cancer.
JHS: Can you give an example of how the gameplay parallels real-world strategies to fight cancer? Continue reading “How Video Games Are Making it Possible For Patients to Fight Cancer” »
Most of us know the Angry Video Game Nerd for his fouled mouth reviews of the 8 and 16 bit era’s worst games, something he has been doing since the dawn of Youtube. The Nerd is now making his way into his own game: Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures. Like you may have expected and can see in the gameplay footage below, AVGN Adventures is a retro 2D side-scroller in the vein of Mega man and Castlevania. The game has been Greenlit on Steam and will be coming to the Wii U and the 3DS. Won’t be long now, the official Facebook page says: “AVGN Adventures is coming Summer 2013″
It is extremely self aware and packs the same comical and ridiculous entertainment the Nerd’s popular reviews always have. There’s a system in place that generates an endless number of filthy Nerd-like remarks both on the death screens and in-game. But this is not a game to be taken lightly in terms of gameplay and difficulty. Developer FreakZone Games and publisher ScrewAttack are ensuring that this is a game with extremely tight controls and that when you die it’s because it’s a difficult game not because it’s poorly designed. ScrewAttack owner “Stuttering” Craig Skistimas tells us, “We want AVGN Adventures to mirror the old school vibe from both story and difficulty…With that said, my personal favorite features of the game is how hard the game is. We’re making a game that, when you get to a checkpoint, you feel rewarded and accomplished…” Continue reading “Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures Coming This Summer With Tight Controls and A Lot of Foul Language” »