Login | Signup

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part One - Back From The Dead

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, MMOs, PC games, RPGs, The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax Online

The Elder Scrolls Online Review Journal: Part One - Back From The Dead

It's nice to be back behind bars. The Elder Scrolls Online brings familiar notes the fore immediately, clasping you in irons and having you awaken in a prison. But it is not the brig of a ship as in Morrowind, nor the Imperial jail in which you find yourself at the start of Oblivion. No, you start your journey in ZeniMax Online's Tamriel-set MMO as one of the many soulless denizens of the ethereal Wailing Prison, being chatted to by a ghost played by an actor with an instantly recognisable voice.

Aside from what has been a deep foray into the wonders of WildStar, I'd still hardly call myself an MMO aficionado, but The Elder Scrolls Online made me feel right at home from the very start.

I adored Morrowind and its expansive DLC, Oblivion took close to 100 hours out of me, and Skyrim was a mainstay in my disc tray for the best part of a year. The point is that I've been a huge fan of The Elder Scrolls series for some time, and I won't be the only one coming into this game from that perspective rather than those of genre fans. But, as I said, ZeniMax have done much to make TESO seem like a familiar adventure from the start, and that begins with a UI that's cribbed almost entirely from the PC version of Skyrim.

The level of customisation just at the start is almost absurd. The detail you can go into when it comes to the appearance of your character is almost insane. If you want to make a stick-thin Khajiit assassin with an arse the size of a houseboat, you can. I spent the best part of an hour concocting weird and wonderful characters with almost impossible physical proportions -- like the pot-bellied Argonian Dragonknight whose neck was almost the length of his forearm and whose eyes were practically in his mouth. No afros, though, ZeniMax? FOR SHAME!

Click here to read more...

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Video Preview | Slaughter By The Numbers?

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Dennaton Games, Devolver Digital, Gameplay footage, Games previews, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, PC games, PS Vita games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Rezzed 2014, Videos

Having fallen in love with Hotline Miami, we naturally made a beeline for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number at EGX Rezzed 2014. Though still months from release, its latest demo build is still as sleazy, gritty, brutal, horrific, sharp and gleefully enjoyable as ever. Not to mention exceptionally difficult in all the right - wrong? - ways.

But can the sequel deliver the same shock value and surprise of its predecessor? Will we actually ever reach a consensus on what the story, masks and characters represent? Frankly I have no idea yet, but fans of the original will definitely get hooked in for more gut-wrenchingly compelling ultraviolence. You can watch it all in our video playthrough above, accompanied by my vaguely informative wafflings.

Subscribe to Dealspwn for more gaming videos.

Grim Dawn Early Access Preview | In The Footsteps Of Titans

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
ARPGs, Crate Entertainment, Early Access, Games previews, Grim Dawn, PC games, RPGs, Steam

Grim Dawn Early Access Preview | In The Footsteps Of Titans

It feels like we've been spoiled a little bit by loot-oriented action-RPGs of late. Back in 2006, when Titan Quest first appeared, there'd been precious little to speak of, at least not with any real quality, but these days it seems like we're pretty flush with awesome loot-grinders. Not that I'm complaining, of course, it's just that a game has to stand out a little more these days if it wants to get noticed.

Grim Dawn is well on the path towards making that happen. It's got a pretty small dev team behind it, made up of a number of veterans who helped Titan Quest hit the shelves with Iron Lore nearly a decade ago, but its ambitious are large and it's a game that has trodden the crowdfunding-Early Access path rather well.

Iron Lore sadly went bankrupt shortly after Titan Quest's first expansion shipped back in 2007, but members of the original team reunited under the banner of Crate Entertainment, and are currently using a modernised version of the engine upon which Titan Quest was based to bring Grim Dawn to fruition. The game's still in its alpha stages, but it received a big content update a couple of weeks back, adding a second act, new enemies, and a host of other additions, so we thought we'd dive in and check it out.

Grim Dawn Early Access Preview | In The Footsteps Of Titans

Humanity gets a short shrift in Grim Dawn. The game opens with humanity in the middle of an otherworldly sandwich, caught between demonic hordes who want to harvest the living for resources, and another otherworldly faction who just want to eradicate mankind in order to stop that from happening. Grim doesn't even begin to describe it.

Click here to read more...

Opening Scenes | The Elder Scrolls Online Gameplay – First 30 Mins

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bethesda Softworks, MMOs, Opening Scenes, RPGs, The Elder Scrolls Online, Videos, Zenimax Online

Opening Scenes | The Elder Scrolls Online Gameplay – First 30 Mins

Oh man it feels good to be back in Tamriel.

The Elder Scrolls Online releases today and our coverage of ZeniMax Online's curiously innovative MMO starts here with a big, fat look at the game's Opening Scenes.

There's no commentary to this one, just sit back and enjoy the dulcet tones of Gambon and Cleese and the rest of the star-studded cast. There'll be a first impressions piece up later today, along with plenty of coverage of the game over the next couple of weeks, a regular critical diary of my time in Tamriel, several supplemental videos, with everything culminating in a massive final review a little after launch.

If there's anything you'd like to see in particular, let me know in the comments box.

Game Night | Heavy Weapon: Atomic Tank - Nuclear Stretch Goals

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Game Night, Heavy Weapon: Atomic Tank, Videos

Game Night | Heavy Weapon: Atomic Tank - Nuclear Stretch Goals
For this week's Game Night, Matt & Jon rectify a crime against gaming by making Carl play Heavy Weapon for the first time. Witness as the team attempt to beat the virtual communists, deal with randomers joining in, and attempt to get musical.

This week's perspective: Carl as Viceroy "Blue Tank" Mulk.

Not A Hero Preview | Cover, carnage, & cat bombs

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Gameplay, Games previews, Not A Hero, Rezzed 2014, Roll7

If you've not managed to check out Jon's interview with John Ribbins about Not A Hero, you probably should as it explains more about the setting for the game, what sort of features will be present, and features the Dealspwny (which is worth watching any video for.) This particular video preview focuses on the Alpha gameplay that was available on the show floor at this year's Rezzed, with Jon tagging me in to tackle the side-scrolling gun play. We scored some off-screen footage and I slapped my initial impressions in an audible manner over the top, so give it a watch to see why I consider it one of the more promising games I saw at this year's event.

You can watch it all in the video above, or on our YouTube channel.

Not A Hero Reveal Interview | "It's A Bit Like If You Crossed Gears Of War With Elevator Action"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Interviews, Not A Hero, PC, PC games, Platformer, Rezzed 2014, Roll7, Toby, Videos

Flushed with success from addictive Vita skateboarding game OlliOlli, Roll7 have revealed that their brand new title is a very different kettle of fish. Not A Hero blends cinematic cover-based shooting with two-dimensional platforming, casting players as a washed-up failed hero who performs increasingly bizwetworks to further his boss' political career.

His boss being a "giant purple rabbit from the future" called Bunny Lord. Because... why not.

Keen to learn more, we grabbed Roll7's John Ribbins for an interview at EGX Rezzed, during which we discussed Not A Hero's setting, gameplay, stern difficulty level and inspirations. With our site's official mascot -- Toby The Dealspwny -- overseeing the proceedings from his shoulder.

You can watch it all in the video above, or on our YouTube channel. Stay tuned for our video preview at 17:00!

Will Amazon Fire TV burn or fizzle? | Dealspwn Roundtable

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Amazon, Android, Fire TV, Roundtable

Will Amazon Fire TV burn or fizzle? | Dealspwn Roundtable

After months of rumours, Amazon have finally revealed their first major foray into the lounge. Amazon Fire TV is tiny and powerful, a quad-core set top box with 2GB of RAM crammed into a chassis that can snuggle into a one hand, designed to unobtrusively slot beside your existing AV setup. Packing HDMI, optical audio, robust voice commands, second-screen functionality and a range of entertainment services, it's gunning for 'all in one' appeal at a fraction of the cost. Specifically, $99.

Naturally Fire TV will take full advantage of Amazon's streaming entertainment services, alongside the likes of Netflix, Youtube, Vimeo and regional content providers, but the diminutive device also has some serious gaming chops.

A pleasingly chunky controller (sold separately) turns the set top box into a console, with the likes of Double Helix, Portal co-creator Kim Swift and Far Cry 2 producer Clint Hocking all headhunted to develop exclusive games and oversee the ecosystem. Even Notch has pledged to deliver an exclusive version of Minecraft. As an Android-based console with locked-down specs, developers will be able to quickly optimise their existing games for the platform too.

Will Amazon Fire TV burn or fizzle? | Dealspwn Roundtable

Exciting stuff... but can Fire TV successfully go toe-to-toe with the big boys on their own living room turf - and compete with any number of Android tablets that offer HDMI streaming? Is the market big enough for another Android micro-console? Big questions demand big answers, so we've got together for a bit of a virtual chinwag from three different perspectives.

Click here to read more...

The Dark Room Arena Spectacularrrrgh: John Robertson's live, interactive adventure game hits the Udderbelly Festival on April 18th, and you should be there

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Adventure Games, Comedy, John Robertson, Shameless plug, Text adventures, The Dark Room

The Dark Room Arena Spectacularrrrgh: John Robertson's live, interactive adventure game hits the Udderbelly Festival on April 18th, and you should be there

I've been spending a goodly number of Mondays recently camped out in the dimly lit basement of a bar lately, watching a manic Australian ridicule the intelligence of his audience for an hour and a half whilst prancing about with an Xbox controller strapped to his chest and pretending to be a floating head.

Any of you who read my interview with the man himself -- one Mr. John Robertson -- last year will know that there's a good reason for this. Robertson is a fan of the classic, text-based adventure games that were b*stard hard and seemed to have no small amount of contempt for the player, and so he designed his own. And then turned it into a live, interactive stageshow, and then a YouTube multi-million hit sensation, and then a stageshow again.

The Dark Room Arena Spectacularrrrgh: John Robertson's live, interactive adventure game hits the Udderbelly Festival on April 18th, and you should be there

Having taken The Dark Room all over the world, he's now doing a residency at the Gem Bar in London with the show every Monday, but is also set to play his biggest show in the UK to date at the London Southbank Udderbelly Festival, where he'll be bringing his live-action videogame to a 400-seater setting inside of a giant, upside-down, purple cow.

Click here to read more...

Vlambeer's Rami Ismail Talks Luftrausers Success, Microsoft Failures & Nuclear Throne - Video Interview

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Indie Games, Interviews, Luftrausers, Microsoft, PS4, Rezzed 2014, Sony, Videos, Vlambeer, Xbox One

Vlambeer's Rami Ismail Talks Luftrausers Success, Microsoft Failures & Nuclear Throne - Video Interview

Vlambeer's Rami Ismail is a bit of a legend, really. When he's not producing the likes of Super Crate Box, Luftrausers and Nuclear Throne, you'll find him championing indie games and speaking out against Microsoft's restrictive policies.

So naturally we had to grab him for an interview at EGX Rezzed.

Over the course of ten minutes, the Vlambeer guru looks back at Luftrausers' success and reception, discusses some high-level tactics and plane builds, explains why Microsoft's indie parity clause is holding them back and looks forward to the upcoming release of Nuclear Throne.

BROFORCE BROtally BROdacious VideBRO Preview | BROfessional Journalism!

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action platformer, Bro, Broforce, Free Lives, Games previews, PC, PC games, PS Vita, PS Vita games, PS3, PS3 games, PS4, PS4 games, Rezzed 2014, Videos

BROFORCE BROtally BROdacious VideBRO Preview | BROfessional Journalism!

BROFORCE!

It's all in the name. This cooperative run & gun platformer is utterly outrageous in all the right ways, letting us control awesome homages to classic action movies and throwing us into massively destructible levels in the name of RIDICULOUS ACTION. BROchete? BRO Dredd? Indiana BROnes? Brade? BROdell Walker? The BROminator? They're all there, and more besides, all ready to make stuff explode in the most epic of ways.

As an example, Carl took down a helicopter with a katana. Not unlike a boss.

We'll bring you a more in-depth preview soon, but here's what happened when Carl and I got to grips with BROFORCE at EGX Rezzed. Forget professionalism, because we've got BROfessionalism. Which is just as good, except with 100% more high fives and naked from the waist up.

Flockers Video Preview | Watch Jon Suck At Team 17's Sadistic Wooly Puzzler

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Early Access, Gameplay footage, Games previews, PC, PC games, Puzzle games, puzzler, Rezzed 2014, Team 17

Flockers Video Preview | Watch Jon Suck At Team 17's Sadistic Wooly Puzzler

Sheep have long been familiar companions to any Worms player. Whether an honourable lightsider or dastardly darksider, we're used to deploying armies of explosive livestock who merrily leap into harm's way before sacrificing themselves on the altar of victory. But have you ever stopped to wonder where these flocks of adorable ordinance actually come from?

Now we're set to find out -- and feel incredibly guilty in the process -- courtesy of Flockers. Team 17's newly-announced puzzler is set within the Worm's weapon factory, a gauntlet of industrial machinery, saws and blades, through which we'll guide our wooly mates using a 21st century take on classic Lemmings gameplay. It's tense, hectic, darkly hilarious and tremendously exciting.

You can read more about it in our Flockers hands-on preview... but wouldn't you rather watch the cuddly carnage firsthand? Behold: the entirety of the Rezzed preview build blundered through by yours truly, while Team 17's Bethany Aston valiantly does her best to make up for my extreme incompetence!

Company Of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies Interview | On Tactics, Multiplayer, Homeworld & Warhammer

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Company Of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies, Expansion Pack, Interviews, PC, PC games, Relic Games, Rezzed 2014, RTS, Sega, Videos

Company Of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies Interview | On Tactics, Multiplayer, Homeworld & Warhammer

Company Of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies was one of the biggest announcements of Rezzed 2014: a standalone multiplayer expansion pack that will act as a new point of entry for the series. The US Forces and Oberkommando West will grant us completely unique gameplay experience set throughout a brand new theatre of war, which slots straight into the existing multiplayer of Relic Entertainment's impressive RTS.

Want to know more? So did we. Luckily Company Of Heroes 2 producer Greg Wilson and game director Quinn Duffy were on hand to answer our many questions about the two armies, maps and new tactical opportunities that commanders will encounter on The Western Front.

Naturally we also had time to quiz them about Homeworld, the next Warhammer game and developing during THQ's implosion. They're fantastic sports, as you'll see in the video below.

Company Of Heroes 2: The Western Front Armies Interview | On Tactics, Multiplayer, Homeworld & Warhammer

Click here to read more...

Goat Simulator is utterly baaarmy and I can't stop playing it

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Coffee Stain Studios, Goat Simulator, Indie Games, PC games, Videos

Goat Simulator is utterly baaarmy and I can't stop playing it

I had to buy it. £6.18 seems a paltry price for getting stuck into a game that should never really have existed. But the Internet wants what the Internet wants, and after the rapturous reception to the first trailer for Goat Simulator, Coffee Stain Studios realised that this utterly barmy concept had captured the imaginations of a fair few people.

It's fitting that the game releases today of all days, but Goat Simulator is far from an April Fools' gag. Instead what you get for your ten dollars is a playpen of anarchy -- a little sandbox of destructible environments, oddball challenges, and daft achievements to unlock. It's deliciously open to modding, and I can't wait to see what people come up with in the weeks ahead. It's another YouTube darling, like Surgeon Simulator and Octodad before it, though without the purposefully botched controls.

It's a game that lets you become a jetpack-clad goat wreaking havoc on a small town, and that's amazing. There's a review coming shortly. No, really -- that's not an April Fools' gag either.

Full Bore: Part Two - Into Hard Earth Preview | Boaring, Not Boring

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Full Bore, Games previews, Indie Games, Nkiyu Games, Videos, Whole Hog Games

Full Bore: Part Two - Into Hard Earth Preview | Boaring, Not Boring

At first glance, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Full Bore has more in common with the likes of Terraria and Steamworld Dig than anything else. After all, here's another platform-heavy game with blocky pixels inviting you to explore labyrinthine, subterranean caverns and clear out rocks. But you'd be wrong. Full Bore flatters to deceive as a traditional platformer -- it doesn't even have a jump button -- and the focus here is firmly on puzzle solving rather than exploration or crafting. In many ways, Full Bore comes across as a Metroidvania title, with tusks.

Full Bore: Part One - The First Dig released last year, showcasing an open, non-linear environment that saw players tackling an array of block puzzles that became increasingly more fiendish. Full Bore isn't a game that sees you progressing in terms of capabilities as you move throughout the game, but rather lays everything out early on and then challenges your grasp of the game's various mechanisms with puzzles that become more intricate and fiendish.

Full Bore: Part Two - Into Hard Earth Preview | Boaring, Not Boring

The joy of the open nature of the game means that there's actually little frustration to be found in Full Bore. Rather early on you discover that you're actually part of a mining operation, and the vaults been blown wide open, scattering valuable gems and precious stones across the mine. This provides a nice little conceit for having you collect precious stones in certain puzzle rooms, but often you'll find that rooms have more than one entrance, and you'll have to go off and do a bit of exploring in order to collect everything.

Click here to read more...

Meet The Flockers: Hands-On With Team 17's Sadistic Worms Tie-In

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Early Access, Games previews, PC, PC games, Puzzle games, puzzler, Rezzed 2014, Team 17, Videos

Meet The Flockers: Hands-On With Team 17's Sadistic Worms Tie-In

Platforms: PC

Developer: Team 17

Publisher: Team 17

Sheep have long been familiar companions to any Worms player. Whether an honourable lightsider or dastardly darksider, we're used to deploying armies of explosive livestock who merrily leap into harm's way before sacrificing themselves on the altar of victory. But have you ever stopped to wonder where these flocks of adorable ordinance actually come from?

Now we're set to find out -- and feel incredibly guilty in the process -- courtesy of Flockers.

Team 17's newly-announced puzzler is set within the Worms' weapon factory: a nightmarish realm of grinding machinery, industrial mills, saws, blades and conveyor belts, all forming a giant and intricately designed mechanised hell. Entire herds of sheep are bound for the depths of the facility, destined to be stuffed full of high explosives and shipped off to the front lines... and it's up to us to save as many as possible from their grisly fate. What follows is a blood-soaked and thoroughly sadistic take on classic Lemmings gameplay, liberally flavoured with lashings of anarchic British humour and classic Worms references.

Meet The Flockers: Hands-On With Team 17's Sadistic Worms Tie-In

Click here to read more...

Alien: Isolation Hands-On Preview | Monstrous Potential, But With A Great Big "If"

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Games previews, PC, PC games, PS3, PS3 games, PS4, PS4 games, Rezzed 2014, Sega, Stealth Games, Survival Horror Games, The Creative Assembly, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One, Xbox One Games

Alien: Isolation Hands-On Preview | Monstrous Potential, But With A Great Big "If"

Platforms: PC | PS3 | PS4 (tested) | Xbox 360 | Xbox One

Developer: The Creative Assembly

Publisher: SEGA

I'm going to die in a locker.

It was all going so well. My exploration of an abandoned laboratory was proceeding swimmingly until the motion tracker blared into life, catching me out in the open with nowhere to run. The Alien is coming. It's close. I can't fight it. I can't outrun it. But a winking green light on the other side of the hallway promised a safe haven: a locker big enough to hide in, only a short sprint away.

Alien: Isolation Hands-On Preview | Monstrous Potential, But With A Great Big "If"

And now I'm going to die. Following my footsteps, the Xenomorph stalks past the locker grille, and for a split-second I think I'm safe as I peer through the slats. No such luck. It wheels and thrusts its eyeless muzzle up against the door, all fangs and slime. I shrink back from the grille, willing myself to sink into the darkness and hold my breath -- both in the game and in real life. Please, please, please just walk away! After what felt like an eternity, the chitinous horror finally sloped back down the hall and I let out a sigh of desperate relief. I've survived... but the Alien is still out there. Waiting. Hunting me.

If The Creative Assembly can sustain this fear throughout the campaign, Alien Isolation could well become the best and most chilling survival horror game we've seen in some time, not to mention an outstanding tie-in. That's a seriously big "if," mind, and the uncomfortable question hanging over what is otherwise a very impressive debut.

Click here to read more...

Game Night | Misadventures in Titanfall - Pacific Rim Edition #2

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
EA, FPS games, Game Night, PC games, Respawn Entertainment, Titanfall, Videos

Remember how we sucked at Capture the Flag? No longer, as we save the best til last. Yes, that's right, friends, Romans, countrymen, Pilots, and Mechs...we kind of rock out with our 40mm cannons out in the second part of our Titanfall Game Night.

Hats off once again to the Prof.

You can catch up with Part One here.

Game Night | Misadventures in Titanfall - Pacific Rim Edition #1

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
EA, FPS games, Game Night, PC games, Respawn Entertainment, Titanfall, Videos

Game Night | Misadventures in Titanfall - Pacific Rim Edition #1

Oh man, getting this thing to finally render and upload without calamitous crashes, YouTube processing fuckery, glitching sound, freezing video and more has been an ordeal and a half, but we can finally bring you the Game Night we recorded last week.

Sadly, the in-game audio got splinched with half of the commentary we were recording at irregular intervals, so in the end we cut it completely to preserve the full commentary recording. So no bullet sounds or explosions, I'm afraid. But we've stuck the Pacific Rim soundtrack in there for good measure, and it does make things rather more epic.

Then again that main theme could rouse the dead.

Huge props and mega-thanks to Profsaurus for joining us for the evening. You have my sword...

This one's for you.

Carl Versus Dark Souls II #11 - The sound of suffering

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bandai Namco, Dark Souls II, From Software, Gameplay

Carl Versus Dark Souls II #11 - The sound of suffering
The Old Dragonslayer may have been more troublesome than expected, but Carl has a plan - a scheme so brilliant it couldn't possibly fail - an 80's style action montage to get more souls and level up. Does the musical interlude work? Does Carl manage to take down the Old Dragonslayer? Should Carl be allowed near a microphone again? All these questions and more are answered in the conclusion of our Dark Souls II series.

If you want to learn more about Carl's feelings on Dark Souls II, you can read his review here.