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Styx: Master of Shadows Preview | The Goblin Assassin

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Focus Home Interactive, Games previews, PC games, Stealth Games, Styx: master of Shadows

Styx: Master of Shadows Preview | The Goblin Assassin

Platforms: PC

Developers: Cyanide Studio

Publishers: Focus Home Interactive

Cyanide are rather busy of late. As well as readying a sequel to the Warhammer spinoff Blood Bowl, the studio are also hard at work on another spinoff title, this time in the world previously explored in Of Orcs and Men.

The recently announced Styx: Master of Shadows refers to the eponymous protagonist of the piece -- a goblin two centuries old, and the side kick to the orc Arkhail in the previous game.This is a world of traditional fantasy turn upside-down, where mankind has a lots to answer for as the races of Orcs and Goblins are trodden underfoot -- the former captured and enslaved, and the latter mercilessly persecuted.

Where Arkhail was large and lumbering and brutally strong, however, Styx is light, acrobatic, and nimble. A master thief and assassin, this game see him infiltrating the giant Tower of Akenash -- an intricately laid-out fortress built by the humans to protect a great tree that provides a substance called Amber. Think of Amber as Mana, and you wouldn't be far off, with the orangey substance proving to be the source of Elven magical power. Styx, the first of his kind, and full of questions as to the origins of the Goblin race is eager to sneak through the Tower and uncover the secrets of the Amber tree.

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Styx: Master of Shadows - put 25 Mins of offscreen footage in your face

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Focus Home Interactive, Stealth Games, Styx: master of Shadows, Videos

Styx: Master of Shadows - put 25 Mins of offscreen footage in your face

Focus Home Interactive and Cyanide Studio announced a new stealth 'em up game called Styx: Master of Shadows, coming later this year and set in the world from Of Orcs and Men.

We got a chance to check out an early build of the game in action at a recent Focus Home showcase earlier this week, and things are looking very promising indeed, with the demo we were shown looking pleasingly open, the stealth and cover mechanics seeming to be very fluid in deed, and it appears as though the player will be given large amounts of freedom to achieve their objectives however they see fit.

Styx: Master of Shadows rather reminded me of a time when Hitman was about freeform assassinations and imaginative stealthing rather than spandex nuns, albeit with Codename 47 replaced by a centuries-old goblin.

To give you a better idea of what to expect, we've slung an offscreen video of the whole Styx: Master of Shadows presentation up on YouTube. It's less than ideal thanks to Amazon Prime's spectacular failure to deliver a new mic on time, so apologies for the background noise, and unfortunately the glare from the venue's strange, red lighting reflects a little in the TV screen, but you'll get an idea of what's in-store and you'll be able to read our Styx preview later today.

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Game Night | Starbound - Toilet Humour

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Chucklefish, Game Night, Gameplay, Starbound, Videos

Game Night | Starbound - Toilet Humour
After a successful* pilot episode in which we stormed bravely* into the battle of Auraxis, we decided that for this week's Game Night we would go to a new frontier and start our virtual lives anew. For that, we felt there was only one choice, and delved into the Early Access version of Starbound.

Watch the team storm a mercenary base, fight evil pokemon, place toilets everywhere, and then decide to dedicate themselves to someone named Jor. See it all after the jump.

*Please note: Your definition of "success" and "bravery" may vary.

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Blood Bowl II Preview | Cyanide Aiming For eSports Greatness

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Blood Bowl II, Focus Home Interactive, Games previews, Sports Games, Warhammer

Blood Bowl II Preview | Cyanide Aiming For eSports Greatness

Platforms: PC

Developers: Cyanide Studio

Publishers: Focus Home Interactive

Blood Bowl is back, and this time Cyanide are really ringing the changes. What began as a hugely successful tabletop game, parodying American football and marrying the tactical elements of that sport with a fantastical setting , became a PC game in 2009 that was taken to heart by a resurgent Warhammer gaming fan base.

And now it's getting a proper sequel. We're not talking the 1.5-esque Legendary Edition that overhauled the UI, or the paid updates that ushered in more playable races. We're talking a brand new game.

Blood Bowl II Preview | Cyanide Aiming For eSports Greatness

We were told by Cyanide's Sylvain Séchi, who took us through a very early conceptual build, that pre-production actually began over a year and a half ago. Essentially, the team at Cyanide scrapped everything they had for the previous game and started afresh, with a new engine and a revamped art style to fall more in line with the slightly more realistic Warhammer 40K games we've been privy to recently.

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WildStar Gameplay: Winter Beta - Crafting 101 | Dealspwn Playthrough

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Carbine Studios, Dealspwn Playthrough, Gameplay, NCsoft, WildStar

WildStar Gameplay: Winter Beta - Crafting 101 | Dealspwn Playthrough
We're back with more Dealspwn Playthrough, as we continue our no-nonsense look at the various mechanics of upcoming MMORPG WildStar. In today's episode, we take get to grips with the Crafting systems in the game.

Carl provides commentary as he demonstrates a few of the ways crafting will work in-game, making some medicine, some food, and a pair of good old fashioned blasters. See it all after the jump.

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Horizon Early Access Preview | Master Of Orion Too?

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
4X games, Early Access, L30 Interactive, PC, PC games

Horizon Early Access Preview | Master Of Orion Too?

Platform: PC

Developer: L30 Interactive

Publisher: Iceberg Interactive

When it comes to creating a new Sci-Fi 4X game, you could do a lot worse than taking inspiration from Master Of Orion 2.

Horizon dreams of the golden age of eXploration, eXpansion, eXploitation and eXtermination, those MOO and Alpha Centauri days, wherein we'd leap into enormous galaxies and lead our civilizations to dominance through canny diplomacy, cutting edge research and colonisation. Not to mention wielding enormous fleets in tactical turn-based combat. Rather than trying to reinvent the genre, L30 Interactive are trying to bring it back in all its deeply involved, complex, occasionally overwhelming and rewarding glory. Promising eleven races, sprawling tech trees, massive randomly-generated galaxies and highly customisable fleets, they're certainly not scrimping on content.

Having sunk some considerable hours into the beta build (available on Steam Early Access for £18.98), I can report that Horizon is broadly on the right track. But can it deliver when the project hits v.1.0 next month?

Horizon Early Access Preview | Master Of Orion Too?

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Let's Play... Broken Age: Part 1

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Adventure Games, Broken Age, Double Fine, Double Fine Adventure, PC games, Point and Click, Videos

Let's Play... Broken Age: Part 1

It's here! The Double Fine Adventure is here!

Well... half of it anyway.

Remember all those times when someone would say, "Man, I'd pay good money to see Tim Schafer and co. do another point-and-click adventure game"? Well we did, and it's here, and it's stuffed with whimsy and charm and oddball humour.

But is it any good? Well, you'll have to wait a little while longer for our review, but in the meantime here's a little Let's Play video for the first half hour, with some bemused commentary from yours truly.

WildStar: The Noob | Episode 11 - The Flying Shark and Hunting Carl

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
MMOs, NCsoft, PC games, Videos, WildStar

WildStar: The Noob | Episode 11 - The Flying Shark and Hunting Carl

After putting out a bunch of fires last episode and trying to purge the Emberwood of its Dominion infection, this episode sees us getting a bit lost, wandering into an area of monsters that quickly overpower us, fighting a flying shark, and finally, finally uncovering a lurking Carl, who has been watching over us for the past few episodes like some sort of spectral guardian angel.

You can find more episode of WildStar: The Noob here, and be sure to stay tuned to the site tonight for another Dealspwn Playthrough, this time focussing on the game's crafting mechanics.

Top Ten Tuesdays | What To Expect From Next-Gen Tetris

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
PS4, Tetris, Top Ten, Top Ten Tuesdays, Ubisoft, Xbox One

Top Ten Tuesdays | What To Expect From Next-Gen Tetris

When it comes to showcasing the power and potential of the PS4 and Xbox One, there's only one classic franchise worth bringing screaming into the new console generation.

That's right. Tetris.

Ubisoft have officially confirmed that they're working on a brand new Tetris title for both systems, but we can't help but wonder whether the legendary license will struggle to compete with the biggest AAA franchises without embracing current videogame trends. That's what the focus groups and metrics are telling us. So without further ado, here's a list of cutting-edge features we expect from the upcoming sequel... whether we want them or not...

10: The Gritty Reboot Treatment

Top Ten Tuesdays | What To Expect From Next-Gen Tetris

The Tetritian Empire took everything from Commander Rick Matcher. After watching his family crushed to death by a Line Piece in the Border Wars of 2347, the grizzled soldier finds himself inducted into a shadowy paramilitary group who know, full well, that the blocks will return one day to threaten mankind and her colonies.

That day has finally come. As the evil Emperor Ell-blok leads the assault on the unsuspecting planet Earth, only Matcher and his mysterious telekinetic skills stand between humanity and utter destruction. But will he ever learn the truth about his father and Project Icarus?

Oh yes. That'll do nicely.

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WildStar: The Noob | Episode 10 - Summoning Guardians and Catching Fire

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
MMOs, NCsoft, PC games, Videos, WildStar

WildStar: The Noob | Episode 10 - Summoning Guardians and Catching Fire

Hello, and welcome back to WildStar: The Noob! We're into double figures! Exciting times indeed.

After last episode's glitchathon, it's time to start healing the Emberwood, and that starts with smashing up the fiery machines of death that the Chua have brought with them. They're quite big, though, so Shepherd Borg has to enlist the help of some nature trolls to help foil the DOminion's plans.

Then we try and get into a flying fire extinguisher and everything goes terribly wrong.

See if you can spot Carl in this video. He's there in the background in some key scenes, lurking quietly and watching from afar. We don't really see him in this one though, you'll have to wait for episode 11 for that.

Dealspwn Reload | Gaming SitRep - 20/01/14

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Dealspwn Reload, Videos

Dealspwn Reload | Gaming SitRep - 20/01/14
In an effort to help you keep up to speed with the crazy happenings within the games industry, we decided to create a new show for our YouTube channel to do exactly that. So, welcome to Dealspwn Reload.

Hosted by Carl, each week we'll take a quickfire review of the interesting tidbits of industry news, be it the exciting, the ridiculous, or the completely irrelevant, before providing a rundown of what games are releasing over the coming days, as well as what to expect on-site in terms of coverage. Be sure to give it a watch by hitting the jump.

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WildStar: The Noob | Episode 9 - Technical Difficulties

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
MMOs, PC games, Videos, WildStar

WildStar: The Noob | Episode 9 - Technical Difficulties

Welcome back to WildStar: The Noob! Apologies for the brief hiatus over the weekend, we ran into significant technical difficulties and a series of crashes disrupted the making of this video. However, we retrieved as much footage as possible and salvaged Shepherd Borg's latyest adventure as best we could.

We're back in the Emberwood today, kicking Dominion bottom once again, and trying to heal the burning glade to the best of our ability.

"You Stabbed Me In The Balls!" - Misadventures in Nidhogg

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
feature, Indie Games, multiplayer, Nidhogg, PC games, Videos

"You Stabbed Me In The Balls!" - Misadventures in Nidhogg

Nidhogg is a cracking little game, that much is certain. We'll worry about whether or not Messhof's multiplayer fencing title justifies its £10 price tag in the review later on today, but it's certainly got an addictive, pick-up-and-play charm to it.

Better yet, it supports local and online multiplayer!

Fighting bots is a waste of time, so naturally we had to bring you some multiplayer footage. But with the internet being a little iffy chez moi over the weekend, I had to ask for a little local help from my better half to stand in as an expert companion, seeing as she's actually done a bit of fencing before.

Nidhogg -- much like Smash Bros or Mario Kart -- is a game of fine margins and swift, stabby murder. Needless to say, it isn't long before the atmosphere is filled with indignant exclamations and declarations of vengeance.

Sony Coy On Western DriveClub Release. But Why?

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
DriveClub, PS4, PS4 games, Racing Games, Sony

Sony Coy On Western DriveClub Release. But Why?

The PS4 and Sony really need a racing game. And we should have one on the horizon. But earlier this week, when I asked Sony’s UK PR team for a release date or even a rough release period for DriveClub, they were only able to say, “I'm afraid we don't have any info on the release date for DriveClub at the moment.”

Originally planned as a launch title in the West, the game was delayed into 2014, with a general understanding it would be arriving on PS Plus in January or February. Instead, an announcement was made that next month’s free PS4 game would be the horror title, Outlast (which we can’t wait for by the way) and there was no mention of DriveClub at all.

DriveClub was confirmed for a February release in Japan when the PS4 launches next month in the Eastern territory, but earlier this week it was pulled from the launch line-up with only “various reasons” cited for the delay [Inside Games].

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Opening Scenes | Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD - First 20 Mins

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Dealspwn Playthrough, Opening Scenes, PS3 games, Xbox 360 games

Opening Scenes | Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD - First 20 Mins

Thanks to my recent acquisition of a Hauppauge capture device, I'm able to bring you an Opening Scenes video for Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD, the new HD port of the 2012 Vita game. I'll be bringing you a review very soon, but if you're eager to see what the opening twenty minutes hold, then marvel at my restraint as I avoid succumbing to collecting all the shiny things instead of doing actual missions.

Instead of playing an Assassin's game like my usual obsessive-compulsive (but very stabby) magpie, this playthrough video will show you cutscenes, climbing, fighting, costume changes, mistimed jumps and some ruddy vicious looking machetes. I've put a few hours into the game since recording this footage and am pleased to say it's going well so far. Aveline is a delightful character and the story is shaping up to be better than most Assassin's games. Stay tuned for that review.

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1954 Alcatraz Preview Playthrough | 30 Mins of Daedalic's Noir Adventure

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
1954: Alcatraz, Adventure Games, Daedalic Entertainment, PC games, Point and Click

1954 Alcatraz Preview Playthrough | 30 Mins of Daedalic's Noir Adventure

We've had our eye on 1954 Alcatraz for some time. The noir setting, the character mechanics that have you flit between the incarcerated Joe and his femme fatale wife Christine, the tantalising prospect of a branching narrative, all of it set to a bluesy, jazzy soundtrack and cel-shaded, expressive visuals.

Joe's been banged up for a heist that went south when the truck with all of the money in it blew up. But the gangsters to whom he owes a hefty sum think he still has it, hidden away somewhere outside of the prison, and are threatening Christine unless she pays up. Basically, as Joe tries to make his escape, Christine tries to find the money he hid before the gangsters make good on their threats.

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Game Night | The Pilot Part 2 - PlanetSide 2

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Game Night, MMOs, PC games, Planetside 2, Sony Online Entertainment, Videos

Game Night | The Pilot Part 2 - PlanetSide 2
We're back with part 2 of our pilot episode of Game Night, continuing our glorious march with fellow TR forces in SOE's free-to-play MMOFPS PlanetSide 2.

After rejoining the action and pushing through with the tank column, our heroic trio continue the push on towards another base, where an epic night-time battle ensues. Will they succeed? Will there be sweeping gains? You'll have to hit the jump and watch to find out.

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Taking The Plunge | Eleven Exciting Early Access Games That Deserve Your Attention

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Early Access, Indie Games, PC, PC games, Steam

Taking The Plunge | Eleven Exciting Early Access Games That Deserve Your Attention

...But Perhaps Not Your Money Yet

Steam Early Access and alpha funding is revolutionising the way we consume our videogames; granting us unprecedented grassroots insight into the way games are developed over months and years, all while supporting our favourite projects financially. Any number of intriguing games are currently available to play and pre-order in alpha and beta, many of which we're extensively covering with barely-constrained excitement in previews and videos. From insane destruction to infinite exploration, Early Access takes all comers.

But parting with your hard-earned cash for Early Access is another matter entirely, and the jury's still out on whether it's actually a double-edged sword in terms of expectations. To this end, here are eleven titles that have cemented their place in our 2014 release radar, explaining both why we're excited and whether it's worth shelling out to take the plunge. Alongside handy links to our videos and previews, natch.

This is just scratching the surface, since there's no way we can cover all of the most promising Early Access games in a single article. Be sure to let us know about any Early Access games you've been playing (yes, we know that Kerbal Space Program is awesome), and if you'd like us to make this a more regular feature!

Starbound (£11.99)

Taking The Plunge | Eleven Exciting Early Access Games That Deserve Your Attention

Why we're excited: Starbound offers us an infinite procedural universe to explore, dominate, settle and craft; taking cues from Terraria and Minecraft but launching the concept to radical new heights. Whether we're delving into dungeons, pimping out starships or taming wild planets into playgrounds, it's an absolute blast even in beta, and easily one of the hottest PC gaming properties of 2014. Major video coverage is incoming - stay tuned for our next Game Night!

Should you take the plunge? Yes. If you like the idea, there's plenty to keep you occupied... but beware an impending server wipe!

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The Wii U Is Failing, Roll On The Gamecube II

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Nintendo, Wii U, Wii U games

The Wii U Is Failing, Roll On The Gamecube II

So Nintendo have slashed their sales projections for the Wii U in 2014 by over two-thirds. To be honest, that's not particularly surprising; I certainly didn't think the Wii U would sell terribly well, mainly because Nintendo's strategy towards actually selling the things that they're making has been dumber than a bag of ham.

Iwata has also been talking completely out of his arse, suggesting that Nintendo hadn't predicted that they'd perform so poorly in Western markets. Now that statement is surprising, because Nintendo execs highlighted the US and Europe as problematic markets back at the start of 2013. Please understand won't cut it here; the fact is that Nintendo knew exactly what the problems were, they just didn't do anything about them.

"In particular, sales in the US and European markets in which we entered the year-end sales season with a hardware markdown were significantly lower than our original forecasts, with both hardware and software sales experiencing a huge gap from their targets," said Iwata.

"In addition, we did not assume at the beginning of the fiscal year that we would perform a markdown for the Wii U hardware in the US and European markets. This was also one of the reasons for lower sales and profit estimates."

It's difficult to take that seriously when we consider Iwata's report from April last year. Back then, the 3DS was on the upswing, but Nintendo had already identified that it needed to do more work in Europe especially, and the US. The Wii U, of course, was in dire straits after a hideous launch and Iwata noted that slow first-party releases, a lack of advertising, and no Wii Sports-esque killer app was drastically hurting the console. Fast forward almost a year, and nothing has changed.

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Crushers, Cannons & Car-sketball | Next Car Game Tech Demo Video Preview

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bugbear Entertainment, Next Car Game, PC games, Racing Games

Crushers, Cannons & Car-sketball | Next Car Game Tech Demo Video Preview

It's early days and early doors for Bugbear Entertainment's Next Car Game, but it's clear that the veteran studio are working on a single major goal for their upcoming racer.

Destruction. Unbridled, unabashed, silly and deliciously irresponsible car-nage.

To illustrate this point, Bugbear released a tech demo that shows off the outrageous physics and damage model powering their project, which I've appropriately tested to destruction in this new gameplay preview. Thrill! as I blast a muscle car out of an enormous cannon. Gasp! as I create a track special by plowing headlong through a grinder. Yawn! as I, erm, take a while to line up a perfect shot in an unbelievable game of car-sketball. Yes. That is exactly how it sounds.

If you like what you see, the project is now available to buy into on Steam Early Access - though £18.99 is arguably a big ask for a small amount of content at present. That said, I'd actually pay good money for a multiplayer version of this tech demo on XBLA or PSN...