The Forest is a cracking survival-horror game that emerged onto Steam in Early Access a couple of months ago, and instead of playing it then, I decided to wait until July, which is traditionally a lovely quiet month, where AAA titles can be put to one side to allow for the sampling of exquisite indie treats and that backlog of games "that I've totally been meaning to play" can be trimmed down before silly season kicks off.
But then I (somehow!) convinced myself to play 50 hours of Watch Dogs. And then the Destiny beta turned up. And then The Crew beta turned up. AAAAARGH!
Even so, I'd wanted to check out The Forest for some time after having it recommended to me my several trusted colleagues and friends, and now I have. It's pretty damn good too.
Everything kicks off it Lost-meets-BioShock fashion. There's a plane crash, you land in a lush forest, it seems like you're the lone survivor, and right at the start you're introduced to a seemingly indigenous chap who carries off the only other passenger with you on the plane -- a young boy. The lack of passengers is probably an alpha thing, and therefore the presence of the young lad (Son? Nephew? Kidnap victim?) is clearly important. You probably have to save him as some sort of endgame objective.
As you'll see in the video, much of the early game is all about foraging for supplies -- rocks, sticks, food, etc. -- and fashioning yourself shelter and a fire. You've got a very handy survival guide that tells you exactly what you need to build structures and furniture, making the level of entry fairly low. But then it starts raining and your fire goes out and you can't find any sticks and you begin to freeze and you eat the wrong berries and die of food poisoning.Click here to read more...
I think that we can all agree that Battlefield: Hardline seemed a bit of a mess when it first emerged in beta form straight after it was shown off at this year's E3. The biggest complaint was the notion that iut seemed more like a BF4 spin-off than a new game in its own right -- a series of new maps, and new skins that could easily have spawned as a DLC drop than a full price new game.
Here we go again, thought many. Typical EA.
Jon posited in his article on the matter that knocking £15-20 off of the top and just releasing it as a multiplayer content pack would have bee fine, and he's probably right. A few more distinctive modes and we might have been happy with that. It's impossible to say just how the much-vaunted singleplayer component was coming along because no-one got to see it. The Bad Company games are testament to the fact that DICE can deliver strong campaigns, and Visceral have had their moments, but the latest BF singleplayer components have been utter rubbish. Po-faced, COD-copying mediocrity of the highest degree.
But it's okay, because Hardline is getting pushed back into early next year, and with a fresh 2015 release date all of these wrongs will be righted.
Hopefully.Click here to read more...
Microsoft aren't messing about when it comes to Xbox One exclusives, and they've got an early foot in the door. Following a strong start last Christmas, they've secured a fearsome suite of big games from shooters to racers, platformers, dancing games, Kinect showcases, insane open worlds and even a radical new editing suite powered by user-generated content.
Though we'll have to wait and see whether they actually live up to the hype, here are the hottest exclusives slated for 2014 along with the European release dates for your calendar.
"Gone are the artificial walls and fences of the first game, with barriers placed far more realistically this time around. If you want to fashion yourself a shortcut in a race, the chances are that you can. If you want to veer off the beaten track and tear up a vineyard, you absolutely can. Wooden fences are there to be smashed in the name of curiosity, the European countryside a canvas on which you can paint a petrol masterpiece. But the roads themselves real natural rather than purposefully crafted , and it's clear that Playground have done their research." - Forza Horizon 2 hands-on previewClick here to read more...
With Jon posting his hottest upcoming PS4 titles piece yesterday, something has become abundantly clear: Sony are rather on the slim side when it comes to exclusives this autumn and winter. LittleBigPlanet 3 is a game that the PS4 is crying out for, but it's being developed outside of the walls of Media Molecule's offices. PlanetSide 2 offers the expansive-yet-accessible F2P FPS that the new-gen platform has been crying out for, but why the hell has it taken so long, and will anyone care given that the game has been free and awesome on PC for years? We've struggled collectively as a team to muster even a smidgen of enthusiasm for Driveclub after a PR omnishambles and countless delays, especially given that the racing genre is packed to the gills this year and Evolution are facing staunch competition from the likes of Forza Horizon 2 and The Crew.
And I'm going to punch the next person who crows about The Last of Us Remastered like it's the sodding Second Coming.
Wightmad suggested that the Wii U is getting better exclusives than this. Looking at Bayonetta 2 and Smash Bros, I'm inclined to agree.
But, as we've suggested before, Sony are playing a long game indeed, and they're using the same weapons Microsoft employed with the Xbox 360 to do so: third-party partnerships. We could discuss the ethics of this until everyone involved is blue in the face, but the fact remains that both companies are investing heavily in cultivating third-party partnerships and bringing exclusive snippets of big-name games back from the haggling table. It could be as simple as running exclusive ads with your console appearing at the end, or something as brazen as securing a massive chunk of gameplay.
Microsoft have already done this with FIFA, essentially making Ultimate Team an exclusive piece of DLC. That's a big audience, football is massive, and people will jump ship for that. But Sony are doing something even more daring. They're going after Halo fans.
They're going after me.Click here to read more...
As you may or may not have noticed given the prevalence of Destiny content on-site, Brendan and I have been playing a significant amount of the beta for Bungie's upcoming FPS. There's lots we absolutely love about it, not least the core gunplay at the heart of the game, but there are also one or two things we'd certainly change.
I LOVE... the exquisite gunplay
Bungie are very, very good at making first-person shooters. They should be. They've been at it for decades. But Bungie feels like a refinement of everything that they've done previously. The very feel of the game, the heft of the guns, the movement and gait of the camera, the differences in agility between the three classes, and the behaviour of the enemies in the game -- it's all absolutely spot on. There's a mechanical brilliance to Destiny that is incredibly accessible and familiar on one hand, and yet exceedingly scalable -- a system to welcome beginners and give veterans the freedom that they want.
Put simply, it feels right. It feels good to control. To fire off a few rounds. To jump through the air, sling a grenade at one group of enemies, before wheeling about and using your fists and your firearm to beat down another group. It doesn't do anything new in this regard, it just feels nigh on perfect.Click here to read more...
After a couple of shaky years, the Wii U has stopped treading water and started fighting back hard, reminding gamers that it already boasts a fantastic lineup of great games. This trend is set to continue throughout the rest of the year, resulting in a slate that's relatively slim on quality but utterly sensational in terms of potential quality.
So without further ado, here are the Wii U's exclusive highlights with release dates and links to our on-site coverage where possible!
Bringing Zelda characters into Dynasty Warriors is risky business, but Nintendo are rigorously putting the incredibly inconsistent Omega Force through their paces and watching their every move. What we've seen so far looks like simple satisfying fun, and what Matt played cemented our opinion.
"If Hyrule Warriors can manage to borrow as much from Hyrule as it can from the Warriors series, then we might just see a Warriors game that proves to be something a bit special here, rather than a novelty paint job," he wrote. "I had fun, though; I can say that." Fingers crossed.Click here to read more...
The Floating Robot of Tyrion Lannister believes that there's an old comms array that might still be working up near the Skywatch, and that it could potentially put Earth in contact with some of the relatively close-by colonies.
Only problem is that swathes of Fallen and Hive stand in the way of getting some answers
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes place on the moon of the planet Pandora in the time between the first and second games, with players working for Handsome Jack. Not played any of the other games? Don’t worry; this is a simple place to start and newcomer friendly while giving plenty of nudges to the fans. So let’s dive in and see what 2K Australia has brought to the table since Gearbox handed them the reigns.
Two playable characters were available to choose from in this demo. First time through the snaking queue at the MCM Manchester Expo I tried Athena, a light and nimble character packing a collection of long-range weapons. Her standard mêlée move involves a sweet red katana slash that has a satisfying feel. Athena's most impressive feature though is her shield ability. A tap of L1 sees her raise her shield in her left hand, leaving the right free to continue firing a gun. The shield can be thrown Captain America style for a devastating attack with a tap of L1. The shield is thrown automatically after the meter has depleted too. It’s a great way to create some breathing room when multiple enemies are closing in. You're going to be happy to splurge hard-earned skill points on reducing the cooldown period for this one.
The second character I was able to choose was the imposing figure of Wilhelm. So, it comes as no surprise that we’ve found this Pre-Sequel’s tank character. His default loadout favored more explosive weaponry like shotguns and rocket launchers. Sadly, his melee attack lacked any sort of impact or visual style compared to Athena’s. Why should we be content with a standard rifle butt jab when Athena gets a freakin’ sword? Come on 2K, give him a hammer at least or seeing as we expect mental weapons from this series, maybe a small rabid skag on a stick would be better? Wilhelm’s special ability is much more useful (but again not very unique), a small backup drone that flies around you shooting at will. Frankly, I was too busy shooting to see how useful it was being.Click here to read more...
The "Shores of Time" Maat Mons Venus map added to the Crucible matches for the Destiny beta offers up a fresh slice of PvP action. The only mode available is still Control, where players vie for domination across three capture points, but what's interesting about Maat Mons is its size. Unlike the Moon map, Maat Mons is tightly packed, with all three control points very close together, much like Rusted Lands. All three points have two main routes in and out, creating a triangle that keeps players moving, and the flow of battle constantly changing.
It's a map that's perhaps a little unkind to Warlocks, mind, as you'll see in the first few seconds of the video above where Brendan and I help Bravo squad crush the opposition, after I throw myself to my death for science.
Definitely for science.
Sony are masters of The Long Game, and you can't fault their dedication. Instead of cutting the PS3 loose on the run-up to the PS4's launch, they instead delivered an emphatic exclusive lineup throughout 2013, which in turn means that some of their biggest first-party exclusives won't be ready until next year. "Greatness awaits."
But does that mean there's nothing to play on PS4 this year? Not on your nelly. Cross-platform releases notwithstanding, plenty of exclusives large and small are slated for Sony's slanty machine over the coming months.
So for your convenience, here are the hottest PS4 exclusives of 2014 along with European release dates.
If you made the jump to PS4 directly from PC, Wii or Xbox 360, The Last Of Us Remastered will allow you to get to grips with one of the PS3's most critically-acclaimed exclusives in a definitive edition. Sporting overhauled visuals based on cutscene assets and all previously-released content, I daresay that even diehard PS3 owners will be champing at the bit to get on board with this atmospheric, frequently terrifying and thought-provoking experience, especially since it should put the hardware through its paces.Click here to read more...
The Sims 4 has gotten itself a new 20-minute gameplay video showing off a whole host of content for the upcoming bundle of virtual puppet-mastery.
But the video also mentions something about a "Premium Membership" too, and that sounds rather familiar.Click here to read more...
More all-new Destiny footage for you before the beta goes offline today. This time, we check out the Level 4 story mission, "Warmind", hunting for an old AI that used to protect Earth. But the Fallen are looking for it too, and there's a showdown in the Skywatch.
There are some new enemies in this particular mission, the pesky shielded Servitor being one of them. But thankfully we're packing some new weapons as well, including a fusion weapon that narnesses Traveller power and disintegrates enemies like a Spartan Laser crossed with a shotgun.
Destiny's level 3 story mission is the same one we saw in the Alpha. We've plonked both vids here in this post (hit the jump for the alpha gameplay footage) so you can marvel at the similarities and the slight differences. The biggest talking point here? Dinklage's voiceover.
Does the mechanical, vocoder-esque effect improve things? Does it still need some serious work? The "wizard from the Moon" line is gone, but is the script the issue?
To be honest, I'm not sure I care too much given the delicious gunplay, and for my money, the robotic effect more or less does the trick. I don't think this performance is going to win any awards, but it's also still not the final version yet, so there's room for improvement.Click here to read more...
The Destiny beta is upon us, and we've got an enormous amount of content coming over the next few days. Whereas the Alpha presented us with a single story mission, there considerably more opportunities to get a feel for the game's narrative here in the beta.
You can check out Brendan's video of Destiny's striking opening scenes and the first playable mission here, and above we've gone and captured the level two mission, titled "Restoration", that sees my Warlock Guardian and the Dinklage Ghost rooting around Old Russia for a warp drive.
Make sure you hit subscribe, as there's going to be plenty more content to come!
After a successful Alpha test last month, we've been itching to play more Destiny and have been all over the new Beta which launched earlier this week. Our first video of the new build includes the opening cinematic and the entire first mission.
We'll have lots of Destiny coverage for you over the next week included the competitive multiplayer, co-op strike missions, closer looks at specific features and much more. We're giving you the chance to get involved too with our latest competition where we have three PS4 beta codes to give away.Click here to see the video.
Welcome to Community Feedback - a new series for Dealspwn.com which focuses on what you, our marvelous audience, have to say on the hot topics of the week. Hosted by The Viceroy of the website, we highlight the best & brightest submissions over our website, YouTube channel, and Twitter.
The topics this week include the debate over the best facial hair in all of gaming, and a look back at Jon's review of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls. Hit the jump to find out how to get involved in next week's topic!
Radial-G was one of the highlights of this year's Develop Conference Expo. Tammeka Games are currently Kickstarting an antigravity racer in the same basic vein as WipEout and F-Zero, seeking £50,000 to bring the fierce project to Oculus Rift and potentially Project Morpheus, and aren't afraid to let us try it out. Suffice to say that the hands-on prototype was intense... and yet somehow managed to throw me through twisting geometry-defying space tubes at breakneck speeds without even the slightest hint of simulation sickness.
You don't even have to take our word for it, because the demo is free to download and fully-playable on regular monitors.
Keen to know more, I grabbed Tammeka Games producer Sam Watts for an interview, who proceeded to explain how military precision, genre experience, years of preparation, careful planning and smart design have led to Radial-G becoming a very different kind of racer.
Jonathan Lester (Dealspwn): Thanks for talking to us, Sam. First things first, can you give us the elevator pitch? In your own words, what is Radial-G?
Sam Watts (Tammeka Games): It's a high-octane futuristic arcade racer, filling the slot that's been woefully left open by a lack of F-Zero and WipEout, to bring a high-octane antigravity racing to the current and next generation!
Dealspwn: Not to mention Virtual Reality platforms such as the Oculus Rift and Morpheus. I was very impressed by your prototype – what opportunities and challenges did you face when developing a game for VR?
Sam Watts: I don't want to blow our own trumpet too much, but we are very experienced in creating VR experiences. We've done a lot of high-level military virtual reality simulations before with multi-channel output and a lot of back-end networking...Click here to read more...
It was only last week the Dealspwn Trio had discovered the joys of Supraball, but a new patch released a few days ago meant they had to get used to some rather big changes. Today's Game Night takes a look at how they got on.
If you have downloaded the free Alpha version, be on the lookout for the official Dealspwn server and be sure to drop by! We'll be sorting out a community night in the very near future, so stay tuned.
Crowd-funding is still one of the most unique and fascinating ways for developers to secure enough cash to make great games, but it's not without risk. Coming to the table with little more than a promise and a pitch can be a dangerous game without any guarantees, while plenty of us still cling to some rather dated and disingenuous misconceptions about what Kickstarter and the like actually are.
Today brings us the news that Yogventures, a Yogscast-themed sandbox game that raised over half a million Dollars on Kickstarter in 2012 has now shut down, resulting in no small amount of disappointment and knee-jerk anger from its community. At least the developers came clean, mind, as so often Kickstarter projects can just quietly slide out of existence with no closure whatsoever. Such as we saw with procedural shooter Moon Rift, whose developer simply stopped updating and dropped off the radar several months ago, leaving $8000 worth of backers hanging.
There are lessons to be learned here, whether you're a gamer or a developer considering how best to fund a new title. Crowd-funding can be fantastic when you do it right, but it's not a shop, and over-reaching yourself can be absolutely devastating.Click here to read more...
Radial-G is intense. As an alumni of the WipeOut and F-Zero school of racing, it throws us into antigravity sleds and shoots us down insane twisting tracks, glued to the exterior of wildly crooked tubes that grant us a full range of motion. We'll dodge through fan blades, hurtle over speed boosters and ultimately jostle for position against 31 opponents. The sheer sense of unadulterated velocity is astonishing, even mindblowing.
However, perhaps the most impressive thing about this in-progress indie racer is that it also fully supports the Oculus Rift, allowing you to leap right into the cockpit and immerse yourself in its ridiculously hectic action... without throwing up all over the keyboard.
This is because Radial-G's development team has real pedigree, or in other words: they know what they're doing. They've worked on military-grade simulators before, clearly experienced in mitigating the effects of simulation sickness. Several staffers hail from Acclaim and Black Rock Studios, having previously developed many a racer. Producer Sam Watts even put in a long shift at NCSoft, contributing to Wildstar and other MMOs.
Most importantly, Tammeka Games are only asking for £50,000 to get the ball rolling on Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight - and you can try the free demo right now whether you have an Oculus Rift or not. PS4 owners should pay attention, because a certain Mr. Yoshida has also given it both thumbs up with Morpheus in mind.
If you're tired of waiting for Nintendo and Sony to get their act together, Radial-G is shaping up nicely.Click here to read more...