Over the past two years, the gaming industry has bequeathed us with some pretty remarkable experiences. Journey spoke to me without talking. The Cave taught me how to work together to solve things I never would have thought possible. And Mark of the Ninja made stealth games relevant for me, again.
The recently released adventure Brothers: Tale of Two Sons is a game that falls right in line with these experiences, and goes as far to exceed some of them.
Brothers is a $15 XBLA game part of Microsoft’s “summer of arcade” where you play the role of two brothers who are sent on a journey to find a cure for their dying father. The stakes are high, not only is your father on his deathbed, but you recently failed to save your mother as she slipped through your fingers and drowned. The only thing in the way of you and your brother becoming orphans is the ability to work together as a team. Continue reading “Why BROTHERS: TALE OF TWO SONS Is My Game of The Year” »
SkyDIEving is designed as a tech demo to show the capabilities of the Oculus Rift, not that they weren’t already, but now we can feel what its like to free fall thousands of feet through the air to a dramatic death.
Developer nDreams’ Joe Dale tells us, “it’s part tech demo for the Oculus Rift, it’s part demo for those who don’t have an OR, it kind of simulates what it’s like to jump off somewhere very high to your doom and finally, it’s kind of a game!”
The “experimental-game-demo-falling simulator-game thing!” as the company describes it, is available for free on the game’s official site for anyone to try out.
Sir, You Are Being Hunted is an interesting new roguelike set to hit Open Alpha on August 19. Set on an alternative version of the British Isles, players are thrown into a world where humans are constantly being hunted by robots for sport. This is a stealth/survival game that spans across five, 1x1Km islands the player is free to explore at will. The game is procedurally generated making every playthrough a different experience. The goal is to collect runes or pieces scattered across the game world in order to escape this “sinister approximation of the British Isles.”
“You have to forage for food, weapons and items in a procedurally generated environment with autonomous baddies who are going about their AI business whether you’re watching or not,” lead designer James Carey tells us. He was quick to point out that this is a living breathing place, not a set of sequenced events.
Head below, for more on the game’s planned multiplayer, our exclusive interview with James Carey and to check out James demonstrating some gameplay footage.
Thomas was Alone creator Mike Bithell has dropped the debut announcement trailer for his next project today. Volume is a slick looking, hardcore stealth experience where you can’t kill anyone, its a game about crowd control and avoidance.
Bithell tells the Jace hall Show that Volume is a “stealth game where you use distraction and sound to avoid and escape enemies. It all flows from that really…That’s true stealth for me, and the goal is to keep the player in that sweet spot of danger and control.”
The game is “100%” stealth, according to Bithell. There is no fighting and no weapons. But you aren’t just staying out of the way–avoiding those infamous line of sight cones–there’s more to it than that. There’s no traditional silenced pistol, or stealthy rear-choke holds here, your weapons are sound, a detailed sense of situational awareness and the art of distraction.
A couple months ago, the Last of Us released with fans heralding it as the greatest accomplishment of the medium, something that could show the general public, absolutely and unequivocally the power of interactive entertainment. I know I’m a bit late to the party here, but I’ve recently spent a good bit of time watching and reading what others have said and wrote about the game, because regardless of whether or not we all agree that the game was ultimately successful, it is still a hallmark moment in gaming – a piece that is genuinely worthy of discussion and consideration. Continue reading “Why We Need to Get More Creative with Game Endings” »
With the news of Elizabeth being a playable character in Burial at Seas DLC exciting some of us Bioshock fans to no end, there’s been a great deal of chatter over her brand new threads. Before we get into details about that, let’s discuss how Elizabeth’s original appearance in Bioshock has spawned dozens of cosplays amongst female (and male!) fans.
Elizabeth’s lovely outfits in Bioshock have always been a favorite of mine, as they represent two completely different eras, while being oh so fitting for the story that is Bioshock. Her “normal” outfit, as pictured below, is modeled after the fashion of the times, with a mixture of the forties, and the twenties, blended together.
It’s also very “service” looking–resembling that of a flight attendant’s uniform. Continue reading “Dressed To Kill: Elizabeth’s New Makeover in Bioshock Infinite” »
Are you a girl?
Have you ever thought, “Gee. There should be a convention for us girls who are geeks and nerds, where we can safely nerd out, without persecution, slut-shaming, creepy photographers who try and touch our butts with their cameras, and run by women nerds who understand the needs of other women nerds?”
Are you a man reading this article and going, “Oh, GOD. Not worth my time. Goddamn feminazi writer…”
Great! Sit right on it and screw right off! This wasn’t directed at you anyway! Cheers! Continue reading “GeekGirlCon: A Convention Celebrating The Female Geek!” »
Last week’s premiere of Everquest Next at SOE Live was downright mind boggling. Destructible environments? A constantly changing world? Eliminating levels and switching them for unfixed classes? This isn’t the game that begot World of Warcraft, this was something entirely new. And as a former Retnoob paladin from World of Warcraft who’s only flirted with one MMORPG since the Burning Crusade days, Everquest Next has the potential to get me interested in MMORPGs again.
The competitive first person shooter, Blacklight Retribution is slated to launch on the PS4, as one of the consoles first FPS titles. We were able to get an in-depth look at the game last night in the 1337LoungeLive, from Zombie Studio Director Jared Gerritzen, who hung out and answered fan questions face to face (see above video).
Blacklight Retribution succeeds Tango Down, which hit consoles and PC’s in December of 2010. Retribution has spawned a loyal and competitive fanbase, based on its unique customizations, a highly intuitive interface, and a number of diverse game modes, which we discuss in more detail in the video (transcribed in the interview below). Continue reading “Exclusive Blacklight Retribution Gameplay FOOTAGE and Interview with Studio Director Jared Gerritzen” »
Picture it: You’re a normal, healthy young man, enjoying high school like everyone else. You play sports with your friends, argue with your parents, and yes, you even have your eye on a special girl in your biology class. Life goes on as it normally would, until the day your special girl asks you to meet her behind the school. There’s something she wants to tell you.
You feel your heart racing fast–as if it were going to bust out of your chest. She looks at you, as you both strike up a conversation that leads up to her admitting that she likes you–and that she wants you to be her boyfriend.
Then you feel it. That rush of emotions and joy that causes you heart to beat excited…suddenly turns painful. And not in the metaphorical sense either; your heart is constricting, you’ve broken out into a cold sweat and suddenly you can’t breath. You’re only seventeen…
And you’re having an honest-to-God heart attack. You barely hear the girl screaming for help as you blackout entirely. Continue reading “Overcome Your Personal Obstacles, Look Beyond Apperances in Visual Novel Katawa Shoujo” »
The 25th anniversary of Madden is being sold for 99 bucks on Amazon.com. Notice that price point is a bit higher than the average $60 price tag attributed to the only video game this year to feature the NFL (but not this guy). There’s a kicker, however, the $99 version comes with a FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO NFL SUNDAY TICKET.
Yes, every regular season NFL football game will be available. No you don’t need DirecTV or a cable provider or a pre-existing package. You just need a PS3/XBOX 360 with the Sunday Ticket app (which is also free). So basically, the usually priced NFL Sunday Ticket at $299, can be yours for 40 bucks; assuming the purchase of Madden was a given.
That of course is the main assumption, and ultimately who Amazon and the Sunday ticket are targeting with the deal — those who had no plans to pay 300 for the ticket are now suddenly enticed given the 750% discount. Meanw Continue reading “Buy Madden 25 and Get NFL Sunday Ticket For Free (Deal Only Available on Amazon)” »
Papers, Please is a unique indie created by lone developer Lucas Pope. Having been Greenlit back in May, the game is primed for release on August 8 through Steam, Humble Store and GOG for both PC and Mac.
Papers, Please is a truly unique game that is a real testament to the kind of off-the-wall, genre bending experiences the indie space provides. Described as a Dystopian Document Thriller, you play as a immigration border inspector for the fictional nation of Arstotzka. Having just ended a war with neighboring country Kolechia, your job is to safeguard the borders of Arstotzka from terrorists, spies and other unsavory characters.
Scroll down to check out some gameplay footage and our interview with Lucas Pope. Continue reading “PAPERS, PLEASE Creator Hints At Un-Revealed Gameplay Features Ahead of August 8 Release” »
Admit. It.We all have our little “secret gaming obsessions”. There’s always going to be that one video game that you love that no one (living) knows you secretly enjoy it, nor are they aware of how it turns you into a squealing, excited little fanboy or fangirl.
Case in point:
A guy friend of mine (Who shall be named “Jake” because he’d kill me if I actually used his real name), is a hardened Marine with several years under his belt. He’s served over two tours in Afghanistan, smokes cigars, thinks Al Pacino is God, trash-talks on Live in a way that’s enough to make you cringe, and his room is covered in either half-naked or fully nude Playboy bunny posters.
Not surprisingly, he can be kind of a misogynistic douchebag at times, as he tends to believe all “women have a place” and it’s either “beneath” him or “in the kitchen”. Continue reading “A Lady’s Review Of “Shall We Date? Ninja Love”” »
The new Killer Instinct hit many of us by surprise in more ways than one. Its actual E3 reveal ended up being slightly underwhelming and, at times, even inappropriate – but this is a game – so let’s focus on that.
As more and more details come out on the new KI, it seems as though it’s primed to be the Killer Instinct game long time fans have waited for, a solid fighting experience for casual newcomers and a deep fighter, hardcore fans of the genre will appreciate.
Frank Wu, the star of the Kickstarter video below, has an obsession with ding-dongs and he needs your help in keeping his addiction alive.
The Kickstarter Campaign is asking for 5,000 bucks in order to finish development on their Revolution 60 mobile game that plan on releasing March 2014, as well as using some of the money to port the game from iOS to PC. If the campaign reaches certain stretch goals, the game will come out on Mac and even Linux. Revolution 60 has been in development for 3 years and by the looks of the gameplay/video, could be worth your time. It looks like a unique sci-fi RPG, a genre lacking on the iOS platform. While the graphics look outdated (even though they use the Unreal Engine?) Rev 60 gained much attention at PAX East, topping the list of best games of PAX East, and being called “One of the best games you’ve never played,” by MSN.
Yes, one can ignore graphics, especially an indie game for a iOS platform, but with games such as Infinity Blade using the same engine, one has to wonder if it will hold Rev 60 behind. This is still a minor complaint, as for a rather small budget, the game looks to present some interesting choices and an intriguing storyline.
Check out the Kickstarter video below as well as the Kickstarter page here!
2:55 Coffee Overdose!
3:00 Eats a Ding Dong while on treadmill!
3:10 Meet the Team!
Ever wanted to play as Princess Peach as something other than Player 2 or in as a racer in Mario Kart? Well technically you’ve already got that one Nintendo DS game, but in case you wanted something more, a couple game developers have scrapped together an unauthorized clone of the original Super Mario Bros. called “Sorry Mario Bros.”
The game scrolls right to left as not-quite-Peach escapes from Bowser’s Castle and back through three of Super Mario Bros.’ original levels, beginning with Peach informing Bowser that she can actually jump, negating the effectiveness of his prison and leaving only his Koopas, fire flowers, and various pitfalls to stop her.
If you’re looking for a fun little diversion, it’ll last you a solid hour or two–and remind you how challenging the Super Mario games are intended to be, but most importantly, it shows how conceptually easy it is to put Princess Peach at the head of her own game without radically changing the concept of a Mario game.
The game comes from developers Scott and Casey Goodrow, currently working on their own game The Wild Eternal. On their site, they state the reason for making the game was this:
“Women aren’t generally portrayed very well in games. They’re often hyper-sexualized or hyper-victimized for a number of extremely stupid reasons perpetrated by pretty much everyone: marketing teams, publishers…even devs. So, yeah, that’s bad. But what’s worse is that there are all of these close-minded King Koopas in the world who believe some very harmful things about a woman’s place in society. This is really bad. These people tend to be very vocal and often spit fire at those who would challenge their perspectives. Not cool.
So a couple of weeks ago @iamagamer_ca held a game jam based thematically around strong female protagonists, and Scott and I immediately knew we wanted to take part, because we believe women aren’t being fairly portrayed in games, and gender stereotypes are stupid and should be challenged.”
You can download the game for Windows and Mac here.
Recently, George Lucas and Steve Spielberg gave a talk at USC that mostly focused on the changes happening within the film industry, but did briefly switch over to the subject of video games and their future in the entertainment world. Lucas was slightly more optimistic about gaming’s future, but Spielberg offered an interesting thought to come from the man ultimately responsible for Medal of Honor.
He lamented games’ ability to produce empathy with onscreen characters, stating that while cutscenes might allow for some empathy in between the gameplay, the situation changes once gameplay resumes and the player takes control.
“The second you get the controller something turns off in the heart, and it becomes a sport.” Continue reading “What Steven Spielberg Might Not Understand About Gaming” »
Skulls of the Shogun first released earlier this year on Xbox 360 and now the game has been released on Steam with a bunch of new goodies. Developed by 17-BIT, the game features fast-paced, strategic turn based action “that mashes the strategic fun of Advance Wars with the over-the-top flare of a fighting game,” 17-BIT says.
For those who haven’t had a chance to go hands on with the game yet–you should– it’s a really fun, unique and highly accessible strategy title. “There’s no grid, no filler, and pick-up-and-play controls that make the whole thing as accessible as possible,” as CEO, Jake Kazdal describes it.
Over the weekend, Phil Fish announced the cancellation of Fez II, after enduring a harsh critique from UK Game Critic Marcus Beer, AKA The Annoyed Gamer. Beer attacked Fish for not commenting on rumors of Xbox allowing Indie self publishing, which prompted to Fish to lash out against Beer, announce he was done with Fez II, and lock down his Twitter account. Fez stated that the decision wasn’t because of one particular thing, but because of a “long bloody campaign,” a campaign easily trackable if you go back and read the comments section on any of his posts. It’s no secret Fish was controversial, but holy crap if our comments section looked like that I might have a nervous breakdown as well.
By some coincidence, (or maybe part of an escalating zeitgeist), internet hate was the subject of conversation elsewhere as well. British MP Stella Casey received a barrage of rape threats on Twitter after defending Caroline Criado-Perez, who successfully campaigned for including women on British currency and also the recipient of violent/rape threats.
Now Parliament is calling on Twitter officials to explain their policies on this harassment.
And to bring it out to a magic 3, last week after one of the Black Ops II Developers tweeted out some minor changes being made in patch notes, he was immediately inundated by threats, all for the millisecond-timing changes made to specific weapons. While these threats are already awful to begin with, the disparity between the micro-level changes and macro-level words only highlights the awfulness of the whole affair.
All of these events grapple with intersectionally different parts of trash talk and a culture that implicitly approves of hate speech, (Verbal assault as entertainment, a nasty part of our culture that preys on women, and….general life priorities), but some of the defenses against making any kind of change in our culture or in our technology have specifically started to bother me, and it all comes back to the classic “Sticks and Stones” argument. Continue reading “Phil Fish and the Myth of Sticks and Stones” »
Last week I published a piece on the Harsh Reality of Indie Game Success over at IGN. What happens after a small team produces a big hit…
Indie games, and the role they will take in the future success (or failure) of gaming markets is a hot topic these days. Following the release of Braid, the Xbox Live Marketplace looked like it was going to frame the lens through which we view independent games – small, cheap titles that are brought to consumers through mediated channels controlled by large publishers. Not quite the idyllic land of freedom and creative license that we’ve come to accept in that space today, but still a pretty big departure from the old way of doing business. Continue reading “How Microsoft Lost Control of The Indie Space (and Why I Hope They Can Get It Back)” »