After falling down a hole in last week's Hunger Games video, this week it's all about Sky Wars -- a game mode where everyone starts on their own little floating island and fights to become the last person standing.
True to form, the first thing I go and do is fall in a hole. Great.
I've discovered that I desperately need practice in terms of the basics when it comes to Minecraft, and that it always helps to have a crafting guide open on a second screen. This week's efforts are riddled with failure, but we also have our first taste of victory, and I follow Deadpool around demand that he gives me his skin.
It's all rather surreal.Click here to read more...
Back in 1999, gamers banded together to demand an end to the accusation by mainstream media that violent video games were in some ways to blame for that decade's school shootings. Fifteen years on, just last week, and a woman due to give a speech at a university cancels the event in light of security measures implemented to prevent threat of a "Montreal Massacre" style attack. Her crime? Making feminist videos critiquing video games.
In the past week, the New York Times ran a front page story that put Sarkeesian's cancellation of her university talk due to a "massacre" threat in the same sentence as movement known as Gamergate. The Washington Post, and The Guardian weighed on it too. Sarkeesian appeared in Rolling Stone and Newsweek following the pulled event, her name in the ascendancy once more, largely thanks to the same anonymous abusers who would see her silenced. The mainstream media saw a woman who talks about sexism in games being hounded by anonymous sexist trolls online, and #Gamergate creator Adam Baldwin questioning her abuse and belittling her experiences in since-deleted Tweets. The mainstream media made a broad connection and had themselves a field day. Deja vu.
I'm fed up with all of this. I'm fed up of having a pastime and an identity that I treasure and believe in dragged through the mud because people would rather sling abuse and trade insults and invent "sides" and cling to a social media construct rather than engage in meaningful communication. This all started with a break-up made public and (unfounded) allegations of a developer sleeping with a journalist for positive coverage, and it has developed into a nebulous movement that has attracted all sorts -- from criminals to anonymous trolls, from disgruntled gamers determined to strike back against a press that has seemingly abandoned them to right-wing opportunists with a passing interest in games and a greater interest in scandal, from lifelong gamers protective of their sub-cultural identity to moderates who have tried to steer the conversation around to real talk about representation and ethical standards and how we all need to take a long hard look at ourselves.Click here to read more...
Long-time readers will know I have a soft spot for the Warcraft franchise, especially World of Warcraft. As a day-one player who has experienced everything the game has offered, including the Mists of Pandaria expansion, I’ve seen it go through a fair few changes. New races being added, enhanced weather and lighting systems being introduced, a new class thrown into the mix, talent points being redesigned, and a constant stream of rebalancing for everything involved, That said, some things have stayed the same in the face of change. New abilities would continue to crowd up toolbars, the rise of damage and health numbers for players and NPCs alike spiralling up exponentially, and the models for the playable races becoming more and more dated as the years went by. With the upcoming expansion Warlords of Draenor approaching, Blizzard saw it as an opportunity to fix these things, and so with patch 6.0.2 being unleashed last week I returned to the MMO behemoth for the first time in nine months. It was time to see if the game that sent the genre mainstream still had the ability to pull in new punters and veterans alike.
I’ll tell you one thing though – WildStar’s combat and traversal systems have spoiled me rotten compared to WoW's seemingly archaic mechanics, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
The inclusion of the Worgen, Goblin and Pandaren made it quite clear that the original race models needed an update. The blocky, expressionless and (in the case of humans) hairlipped choices on offer just didn’t blend with the rest of the updated visuals of the game. Thankfully, after years of waiting the update has arrived – except for Blood Elves, who will have to wait a little while longer to be made more beautiful. If I’m honest, I really shouldn’t be impressed by the new visuals and animations considering what the competition has produced elsewhere in the genre, but I really am.
Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360 (reviewed)
Developer: 2K Australia
Publisher: 2K Games
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is ridiculously good fun. I really can't stress that enough.
This awkwardly titled segue might appear to be a lazy off-year cash grab, but it actually delivers the most fundamental mechanical update the series has ever received. Low-gravity combat. We're still shooting and looting, but now we're soaring merrily through the air (or vacuum!), using a nuanced double jump to gain extra height or boost our way around sprawling three-dimensional stages.
It's awesome, and unlocks a host of exciting new encounters as we take on airborne foes in the air, rain down firepower onto smart squads of jetpack troopers or employ an epic Butt Slam attack to smash down into enemy formations; cracking their faceplates and watching them asphyxiate to a wub wub soundtrack. On top of that, insanely powerful laser cannons and freeze-shattering Cryo weapons slot perfectly into the Borderlands experience, giving us more ways to brutalise anyone stupid enough to stand against us. Now that I'm used to The Pre-Sequel's very Australian humour and voice cast, I don't think I can go back.
It's so much fun, in fact, that while I'm playing I can ignore all of its many, many, many flaws.Click here to read more...
Anarchy Reigns is amazing. It's one of the most ridiculously brilliant online multiplayer ever released, hailing from the developers of Bayonetta and God Hand, but SEGA royally screwed the pooch by staggering the release date, leaving the player base fragmented and very sparse.
£2.78 is an absolute steal, but remember that Amazon charge delivery on orders under £10 unless you have Amazon Prime. Worth adding onto an existing order, perhaps, or getting from a mate who subscribes for the Instant Video. Thanks to Wishwash182 @ HUKD!
Welcome back to Click To Play , the new-old regular series that takes a look at a new browser-based curio each week to further the fine art of procrastination. We accept absolutely no responsibility if you get caught at work/school/uni gloriously wasting time on the games listed here when you should be working.
This week: Assembots
Assembots is basically what you'd get if you crossed robots with Lemmings.
Each stage sees you attempting to guide a certain number of robots from one factory to the next and, just like the eponymous heroes of Lemmings, your mechanical chums in this will simply trundle forwards until you give them a new instruction or they hit a wall. The game eases you into things with a smattering of commands available from a horizontal array at the bottom of the screen, and to begin with you'll dig through dirt walls and platforms, climb walls, and turn into stationary pillars that can be used to activate switches and prevent robots from hurling themselves off of cliffs. You'll only have a limited number of these commands, however, so it's important to think carefully before applying them to a robot -- you simple click the command (or use the hotkeys) and then click the robot you want to apply it to.
Click here to read more...
AI War: All Of It | GamersGate | £2.70 (RRP: £12.99)
If you're spoiling for some incredibly tough space strategy action with the scale of an old-school 4X title, AI War is pretty much your dream game. Arcen Games delivered an absolute corker that has massively grown over the last few years with numerous DLC packs and sweeping expansions. It can all be yours for £2.70 from GamersGate, who'll also flog you the DLC separately at a massive discount if you already bought it in a bundle.
Be advised, though, I'm not kidding about AI War being hard. In fact, I didn't feel capable of reviewing it, because I sucked so badly at it.
Minecraft (PS4) | The Game Collection (via Rakuten) | £9.99 (save £2 vs Base)
Voucher Code: LAUNCHFIVE
The Game Collection ran a £9.99 flash sale for the PS4 version of Minecraft last week, a serious saving, but are still sneakily retailing at the same price via their Rakuten store listing. You'll need to use voucher code LAUNCHFIVE though.
I... don't need to explain what Minecraft is, do I? Thanks to oUkTuRkEyIII @ HUKD!
An absolute blast from the recent past. Saints Row: The Third is a crazy adrenaline-fuelled sandbox that pushes fun factor to the absolute maximum, and is still well worth checking out. For all you last-gen holdouts enjoying all the big savings without shelling out for new hardware, the Full Package is available for a paltry £7.98 from Zavvi as a PS3 Essential or Xbox One Classic title. Thanks to badger2609 @ HUKD!
Better late than never. There's still time to take advantage of the tail end of The Humble Bundle's weekend sale, which slashes some weird and wonderful games published by Devolver Digital down to size.
Personally speaking, and with links to our reviews, I'd recommend grabbing crazy Pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend for £3.49, glorious madcap shooter Serious Sam 3 for £2.99 (and the previous games, with the exception of Serious Sam 2!), elegant roguelike shooter Heavy Bullets for under a fiver and Cosmic DJ for £1.99.
Either way, the deals end at 18:00 BST today.
Good morning! I trust you had a relaxing weekend. Here are your headlines.
Why Far Cry 4 is set to own 2014 | Brendan's confident that it will live up to the hype.
This Week's Releases | Witches, Wangs and Warriors
Game Buzz | We weigh in on the issues that matter.
With one short month to go before Far Cry 4 lands, we take a decisive look at all the available evidence, including our very own hands-on sessions, to make the case that we could be looking at a Game of the Year contender here. So dive into this week’s Sunday Seven: Why Far Cry 4 is Set to Own 2014.
You wouldn’t think it to look at them, but the honey badgers are arguably the most vicious creatures in Kyrat. Hunting missions will make a return, but using fire or explosions to kill animals will result in damaged pelts that are worth less cash and possibly not be as useful for crafting. Looks like we’ll have to avoid using rocket launchers and mines on the monochrome missile-like bastards then. Other animals that want to eat your eyes include wolves, rhinos, leopards, eagles, cave bears and much more. Come at me, nature!Click here to read more...
We've been getting stuck into the long-awaited Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel this week, so take break and check out our Opening Scenes video and Top Ten survival guide. Elsewhere in the features Carl has been playing with some new ships in Star Citizen and even took them out for a race or two. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham has rocketed up our most wanted lists thanks to Jon's recent hands-on report and interview, ensuring it's a perfect title for you and the little ones, although we all know that's just an excuse. Matt's Interactive Narrative series continues this week with a look at sports games and he also chats with the team behind Company of Heroes: Ardennes Assault before getting a hands-on for himself too. Our weekly guide to next week's releases is up too, including links to our past coverage and the cheapest prices on the leading formats. There's even more packed into the features section and you can find all the links below.
In the reviews Matt's been blown away by the mighty Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U, but had his buzz mildly dampened by the surprisingly awful F1 2014. Jon's been reviewing his usual selection of questionable Japanese material again in the stacked forms of Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus and Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed. He also reviewed the really rather boobless, but excellent Defense Grid 2.Click here to read more...
A great week for Wii U owners who can feel super smug as the Umbran witch makes her Nintendo debut. There’s quite the musical theme elsewhere with the latest Just Dance title and Harmonix’s motion-controlled take on Fantasia. The words Firaxis and Alpha Centauri are probably enough to get our PC-gaming readers excited, not to mention a certain Dreamfall title. Read on for the full rundown along with links to our past coverage and the cheapest prices.
Fans have only been waiting since 2006 to find out what happens next in the Dreamfall saga, so yeah, they’re pretty pumped for this one. We get the feeling this is going to be a Kickstarter success story and can’t wait to play the new episodic format. The game is also coming to PS4 at some point, but release dates vary from next week (wrong), to November, to next year. Expect reviews of the PC version from our very own Carl Phillips soon.Click here to read more...
This week, we deal with Driveclub's latest woes and ask how big games sites can justify early reviews for online games, we chat about Microsoft's continued defence of their indie parity clause, and we take a look at the announcement for the rather controversial Hatred.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.
Morning, folks! Here's a link to some of the larger stories of yesterday for some breakfast reading. Although, we're beginning to think that DriveClub not being online is starting to become the status quo rather than news. It seems like everyone had a rough day though with delays for our favourite upcoming racer and the latest Hitman movie. I'd clear some hard-drive space on your XO too, as Master Chief seems to have put on a bit of weight.
The big question to be posed to the latest in a line of yearly, iterative games is always "what's new?" People won't drop fifty quid for a game that makes the odd cosmetic change or just swaps old rosters for new. We like progression, we like to envisage some sort of movement forwards in the quest to create the most authentic, awesome representation of a sport or pastime, as if there's a perfect goal to be reached that yearly series creep closer to each year.
Of course, when a new batch of consoles have been released, but you're still tethered to the old bunch, I would imagine that keeping up, let alone trying to improve in meaningful fashion, can seem like a Sisyphean task. Unfortunately, in a year where games are shinier and sparkier than in previous ones, you have to make some strides in terms of gameplay.
Sadly, F1 2014 doesn't really do that. In fact, in many ways it does the exact opposite.Click here to read more...
What's better than being able to freely download and play a game for an entire weekend, then paying a tiny discounted price to own it forever if you enjoy it?
Being able to freely download and play TEN games! I suppose that it's ten times better if you want to get technical. Steam are now running ten simultaneous free weekends, allowing you to download all of the full versions and play them as much as you like until the early hours of Monday morning, while also offering serious discounts. There's no way you'll be able to play all of them, but there's something here for everyone.
Your best bet is to browse over to the splash page and see what takes your fancy, but for completion's sake, here are the ten games in question along with their discounted prices, links and reviews where possible.
Let us know what you're playing!