OnLive has announced that they'll be hosting demo versions of all the nominees and honourable mentions in this year's Independent Games Festival until March 11th. If you've yet to sample the delights of Dear Esther, Frozen Synapse, SpaceChem, To The Moon and Atom Zombie Smasher, it's high time you did.
You can also vote for your favourites... and if you like them, buy at a 75% discount once the promotion finishes. We'll be ready with a roundup.Click here for the full list of OnLive indie demos >>
A mysterious countdown timer has appeared at Lionhead.com, which is inexorably ticking down to the last day of GDC 2012.
And that's all we know... but not all we can surmise. It's possible that the countdown is simply ann0uncing a website redesign (unlikely), but the Facebook link takes readers directly to the official Fable page. Could a new Fable announcement be in the offing - either more details about The Journey or a reveal for an entirely new title?
We hope not, to be honest. I know it sounds a little harsh, but the insipid world Albion is holding Lionhead back from creating a truly superior RPG. Molyneux and co are capable of so much more in our book, but we'd love to get your take on it. As well as what you reckon that red button is all about...
Double Fine's recent Kickstarter initiative has raised over two million dollars to fund their mysterious adventure game, and has caused many pundits and gamers to wonder whether the system could be a viable alternative to using traditional publishers. However, Tim Schafer has spoken out to suggest that the developer/publisher relationship is still a vital part of the industry, and that the likes of EA and Activision have nothing to worry about.Click here to read more...
I Am Alive is very much alive, and finally nearing the end of its labourious development cycle. To celebrate the XBLA March 7th launch (followed by a subsequent PSN release, date TBA), Ubisoft Shanghai has issued a new dev diary that discusses how the experience will be far more tactical than most shooters, with players forced to conserve ammo, pick targets and make difficult decisions to survive.Click here to watch it >>
Telltale Games are currently undercutting the competition with a deal of their very own for Sam & Max Complete Collection. $39.95 - £26.02 Sterling according to PayPal's current exchange rate - will net you all three seasons including Sam & Max Save The World, Beyond Time And Space and The Devil's Playhouse. This is much cheaper than buying the seasons separately (it works out at £8.67 per season, even cheaper than XBLA/PSN), and a whopping saving compared to the £39.99 RRP.
Stronghold 3 was completely broken at launch. So utterly unfit for task, in fact, that I spent the bulk of my 3/10 review pointing out flaws and sobbing softly into my keyboard.
However, Firefly have been hard at work and fixed a whole lot of stuff. It's now easier to play, more accessible, less aggravating and wolves can't climb sodding ladders any more. If you're tempted, Zavvi and The Hut are the cheapest retailers around at the moment by £2 (though have slightly raised their prices compared to last month's deal).
Platforms: PC | PS3 | XBLA (reviewed)
Developer: Trapdoor Inc.
Publisher: EA Partners
We've had our eye on Warp for some time, ever since Trapdoor showed off their debut downloadable title to devastating advantage last April. Its sumptuous art design beckoned to us like moths to a flame, wowing us with a jarring juxtaposition of cold and sterile environments with warm, rounded character design and liberal crimson splatters of arterial blood. It was thoroughly gorgeous and subconsciously unnerving in equal measure, and I'm delighted to report that the gameplay packs enough exciting variety to do the aesthetics justice.
What's more surprising, though, is that Warp has more in common with Metal Gear Solid than that Valve puzzle game. You know the one I mean.
Click here to read more...
Frozen Synapse handily got our vote for the best strategy and indie game of 2011, and a cross-platform iPad version will soon be arriving on the app store. However, Mode 7 Games are apparently "always open" to the idea of bringing the experience to other platforms... and that a Vita or PS3 version will be entirely "up to the platform holders."Click here to read more...
GAME has announced that they'll be offering Ubisoft's Vita launch titles from tomorrow, suggesting that the embattled high street retailer has reached a credit assurance arrangement or paid up front for stock. In a statement made to VG247, GAME confirmed that Rayman Origins, Lumines and Michael Jackson: The Experience "will be available in all channels from tomorrow."
No news on The Last Story as yet, but every little helps.
Sine Mora, the dieselpunk XBLA sidescroller from Digital Reality and Suda51's Grasshopper Manufacture, was given a firm March release date last week. However, this new trailer has confirmed the March 21st launch along with a 1200 Microsoft Points price tag - and shows off the breathtaking 2.5D graphics as well as satisfyingly hardcore SHMUP action. Over 60 different ships, weapons and gadgets will be available for our perusal, backed up by an original score from Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka.
Click below for the teaser, and browse over to Matt's Sine Mora hands-on preview for more details.Click here to watch the Sine Mora 'From Dust To Dust' trailer >>
Hunted: The Demon's Forge had some big ideas, but sadly ended up looking like a barefaced attempt to re-set Gears Of War in a fantasy universe. There are moments when the cooperative gameplay comes together in some exceptional set pieces - tempered by weak AI, some poor level design and thoroughly aggravating characters. Tesco Entertainment are offering the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions for £6.00, which is nearly a £3 saving on PS3 (though note that it's a similar price at Amazon on the Xbox 360).
Chaosoft Games has announced that EvilQuest, their award-winning Xbox Live Indie RPG, will be available from Wednesday 29th February on the PC. It's a seriously impressive game that evokes the 8-Bit classics of yesteryear, but allows players to indulge in a refreshing bout of pure unadulterated evil. The PC version includes all of the recent updates delivered by Xbox Live dashboard update.Click here to read more...
Assassin’s Creed 2 is one of the few examples of a truly superior sequel, improving on almost every aspect of its predecessor while introducing new gameplay elements, weapons and gear of its very own. The Assassin's Creed series is one of my surprise favourite franchises of this generation - and the second outing is still arguably the best considering Brotherhood's schizophrenic storyline and Revelation's bitty structure. Tesco Entertainment is currently charging a meagre £3.00 for a boxed PC copy, which is the cheapest price around unless you're looking for the complete edition.
The Vita has landed... squarely on top of the UK charts. Uncharted: Golden Abyss and FIFA Football have romped to first and second place respectively - and with good reason: they're both undeniably fantastic games as well as being solid launch titles for the new platform. I'm reliably informed that sales of these two titles accounted for nearly half of all games sales in the UK over the past seven days. An amazing achievement.
Elsewhere in the charts, controversial newcomer Syndicate has entered in seventh place, and we'll have a full review for you soon. Starbreeze has big shoes to fill and a vocal fanbase to convince. Rayman Origins is also back in the top ten thanks to its new Vita version (which features heavily in a number of launch bundles), and we couldn't be happier.
We've got the full top ten squirreled away after the break, along with links to our reviews where applicable.Click here to read more...
Proteus is set to be one of this year's standout Indie games when it launches in Autumn, having already won awards at Indiecade and IGF 2012. It's a gorgeous, surreal and life-affirming exploration of an enormous world that's compelling and soothing in equal measure.
So, if you want to get in on the ground floor, you can pre-order a digital copy at a reduced price over at the official site... which will also get you immediate access to the beta build and an exclusive EP containing a musical exploration of Proteus' themes.
Project Draco, the spiritual Kinect sequel to Panzer Dragoon developed by the same core team, has been officially named Crimson Dragon. Because it contains a great big red dragon, most likely. As well as finally discarding the working title, Grounding has also released a clutch of truly breathtaking screenshots - which we've rounded up below.
Crimson Dragon, like its predecessors, will allow you to take to the skies atop a monstrous steed - blasting all and sundry with its arrows of light using Kinect gesture controls. Players will also be able to customise a variety of dragons by feeding them, both in terms of stats and possibly cosmetic details. All we know is that Kinect desperately needs some more imaginative core IPs, and this one appears to fit the bill nicely. Look out for it on XBLA later this year.Click here for the Crimson Dragons screenshots >>
Nintendo has officially announced that the next Pokemon games will be direct sequels to Black and White, unimaginatively titled Pokemon Black and White 2. This is a first for the franchise, but more surprisingly, Nintendo has also announced that Black and White 2 will be DS titles rather than the series' first foray onto the 3DS proper. While some may balk at the move, there's no denying that the 3DS' 4-5 hour battery life is probably nowhere near powerful enough to support a Pokemon game - especially since you'll want to take it everywhere.
Shame, though, because the 3DS' Augmented Reality could have been a brave new opportunity for the long-running Game Freak powerhouse.
Pokemon Black and White 2 have been confirmed for an Autumn release in the UK.
Lost Planet 2 is an odd little game. Capcom promised to deliver more in every way; including bigger action, massive bosses and riotous cooperative play. Unfortunately they also managed to screw the pooch by keeping in the obscenely annoying reliance on knockdown attacks, hateful lack of checkpoints and unbelievably clunky multiplayer game menus that stops players joining games in progress or playing levels they haven’t reached in singleplayer. A massive patch has sorted out a fair few of these problems, but beware that LP2 can be as aggravating as it is visceral.
If you're in the market, though, Tesco Entertainment will sell you a 360 copy for three quid.
PC World Downloads have dropped their already deal-worthy £6 price for Empire & Napoleon: Total War's GOTY compilation down to £4.99... which then becomes £3.99 when you pop pcgamer20 into the voucher code field.
So, if you're a fan of great strategy games, you probably should.
Radical Entertainment plan to build on Prototype's success with an ultraviolent sequel that features improved mechanics, more freeform rampages and a protagonist worth caring about. Prototype may be set for an April release, but if you want to get in early, Sainsbury's Entertainment have an astoundingly cheap pre-order price that already breaks the £30 barrier.
UPDATE: This must have been a misprice. Hopefully Sainsbury's Entertainment will honour it.