Our new playthrough video is a 12 minute glimpse at the world of Don't Starve, the latest free PS4 game to land on the PS Plus service. The game's similarities to the likes of Minecraft, or more specifically Terraria, are there for all the indie-PC crowd to see. But how will such a niche survival-style title fare on the PS4?
Sony has been keen to show off their indie credentials with the PS4, but have they perhaps made a rare miss-calculation by having this as the first free PS Plus title since Contrast and Resogun back at launch last year? I'm very much a console gamer, but I managed to get into Terraria when I covered it on the 360 elsewhere last year. But Don't Starve is a different sort of beast with its aggressive one-life policy making it hard to stomach, especially given the lack of any tangible rewards for the time required to put in. That said, I've only played the game for about two hours so far.
As I said though, the game is free on PS Plus right now, so give it a go if you're hooked up, or check out my playthrough video to see the game in action first. It says a lot, that it's made me look forward to DriveClub (will be free on PS Plus next month) so much more now. Naturally, we'd love to hear from any of our readers who've downloaded the game recently too.Check out the video after the break.
Developers: inXile Entertainment
I have had a Rolling Stones track stuck in my head for days. "You can't always get what you want..." It keep going over and over in my mind. And it's not because I've been listening to the increasingly pained warblings of Mick Jagger, but rather because I've been playing an awful lot of Wasteland 2, and that sort of message is drummed into you from the very start.
It begins at the character selection screen, where you choose the four men and women who'll make up the ragtag bunch of rookie Desert Rangers that you'll control throughout the game. Naturally, if you're one of the die-hard, old-school RPG fans for whom this game has been made, you're going to want to create your own character, and the game allows you to do so, complete with the option of importing character portraits of your own. But the smattering of Attribute and Skill points is paltry: you can't have you cake and eat it to. There's simply not enough to go around, and the game knows it. And revels in it.
There are ten weapon skills to begin with, meaning that the combination of your team is enormously important. Characters tend towards specialisations, because there's simply no way to be a jack-of-all-trades, and the general skills are broken down far more than one might usually find in games such as these. Lockpicking and Safecracking are two different disciplines, and Charisma-led speech checks come in three separate flavours: Hard Ass, Kiss Ass, and Smart Ass. Creating a healer involves stuffing precious skill points into both Field Medic and Surgeon classes, with the former allowing the character to restore health, and the latter used to revive downed compatriots. The message from the very beginning, before you even get into the game properly, is very clear: choose carefully.Click here to read more...
You've got to hand it to Razer: they're always willing to think outside the box with crazy new ideas. Quite literally, because CES 2014 saw the reveal of their latest Skunkworks concept, a modular PC that takes the jargon, mystery and wrist clips out of upgrading a rig by not using a case at all. Project Christine is effectively a skeleton tower with space to slot processors, graphics cards, RAM, power supplies and storage drives directly into it with no fuss or hassle, allowing users to build a rig much like playing with DUPLO.
Want to upgrade your graphics card? Just buy a better one and plug it in, perhaps even leaving your old one in place for extra grunt. Fancy some additional RAM? Stick it in and you're good to go in seconds. Each module is self-contained, boasting the plug & play drivers alongside liquid mineral oil cooling in a single sealed unit. There's nothing to open up, nothing to bodge and to potentially break, completely demystifying one of the most intimidating parts of the PC experience for inexperienced or time-pressed gamers.
It's a fascinating idea, and doubly interesting since you could potentially buy it on a monthly subscription - receiving the latest and most powerful new modules through the post and thus keeping your rig on the bleeding edge with no work whatsoever, or "any prior technical knowledge."
But, as with any number of Razer ventures, there's a world of difference between a blue-sky pitch and a viable, saleable product. Is the world (and its wallet) ready for Project Christine?Click here to read more...
The quest to save the Elderoot continues as our dreadlocked Spellslinging explorer Shepherd Borg ventures deep into the bowels of the Blighted Glen to kick the butt of the dastardly Blight Queen before venturing back out into the sun-kissed glades of Nexus' overworld. Our intrepid hero then runs into a beast that looks rather like a giant bogey that's been barbecued.
It's disgustingly hideous, so naturally we have to fight it.
Plus, if you missed it last week, do check out Carl's in-depth look at the mentor system right here.
Developer: Amplitude Studios
Dungeon Of The Endless is incredibly tough. It's unpredictable. Beautiful. And breathes new life into the roguelike and tower defence genres, even though it's still only in alpha.
Amplitude Studios aren't known for sitting on their laurels. Having supported their superb 4X title Endless Space with masses of free and weighty paid DLC (the card-based ship combat is awesome, end of), they launched into a new venture that provides a intimate new perspective on the hard sci-fi universe. Arriving just before Christmas as an early access title, Dungeon of the Endless is already shaping up to be something rather special.
So what is it? On a basic level, Dungeon Of The Endless - which I'm not going to abbreviate to DotE to avoid any confusion - strands players on a mysterious planet, controlling survivors of a crashed prison ship. We have to lead our troops through randomly-generated dungeons in a blend of RTS and exploration gameplay, all while securing resources and territory to defend with turrets and fortifications. It's an unpredictable balance of offence, exploration, defence, Roguelike and strategy that constantly hits you where you least expect it... followed by a mad dash at the end of each level as hellacious enemy legions close in for the kill.
Just in case that wasn't enough, it also happens to look utterly ravishing.Click here to read more...
Happy New Year everybody, and welcome to the first podcast of 2014! We're back with a kickass look ahead to some of our most anticipated titles of the next twelve months. Expect pant-wetting excitement, outlandish predictions, and some rigorously thought-out resolutions for developers, publishers, us and YOU!
This year is going to be AWESOME!*
*Disclaimer: It might also not be. But we hope that it is.
Game Buzz Extra | Happy New Year 2014. Recorded January 9th, 2014.
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.
The internet exploded earlier today when the eagle-eyed folks at OnlySP spotted an odd discrepancy on the official Skyrim website. Namely: PS4 and Xbox One versions. Twitter, Reddit and the internet's assembled hacks burst into a frenzy, all tremendously excited that Bethesda had outed a new lease of life for their epic RPG.
Except they hadn't. Turns out that it was just a website error... at least, that's the official line.
It's possible that Bethesda's denial is damage control pending an official reveal, or perhaps unbelievably devious market testing, but this morning's kerfuffle makes for a more interesting discussion. Would you buy Skyrim on PS4 or Xbox One, and what would it have to do in order to earn your moolah?Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC | PS3 (tested) | Xbox 360
Lords of Shadow 2 opens with a rather epic tutorial level that, as you'll know if you've read Brendan's EGX preview, sees Dracula at the height of his power defending his castle from an angelic siege. Beset upon all sides by celestial forces, he takes the fight to the Golden Paladin and climbs up the heavenly golem attempting to smash his home to bits in order to dish out some serious punishment.
From then on, though, the Belmont family endure a rather rough few centuries.
To cut a long story short (and to avoid spoiling the delights of a Patrick Stewart-narrated family history), we rejoin Gabriel Belmont several hundred years later after he's been killed and resurrected a few times. An old man, barely in command of even a sliver of his former powers, his castle has mostly crumbled away, and a city built atop its ruins. Zobek informs Gabriel that Satan is preparing for a a massive invasion, and that his minions have been sent to Earth to get things moving along and to pave the way for his return. Gabriel -- essential a barely animated corpse wrapped in an opulent red curtain -- is frankly in no state to do anything.
A spot of murder and a bit of bloody feasting later, though, and he at least looks the part.Click here to read more...
We're back with Episode 5 of Shepherd Borg's adventures. Tasked with awakening the Elderoot in order to have a chance of perhaps reversing the Contagion that so adversely affects the Mordesh, we have to venture into an enchanted forest, steal the life force orbs from a bunch of golems, rescue some more root vegetables, and kill off a bunch of evil larvae.
Remember, you can catch up with the three previous episodes of WildStar: The Noob here, and if you want a more in-depth look at the innovative systems underpinning WildStar be sure to check out Carl's cracking playthroughs.
Matt has recently been doing a noob run of the game, filled with joy and wonder, and joyness, but after a brief hiatus thanks to the festive period we're back once again to provide a no-nonsense look at WildStar, the upcoming MMORPG from Carbine Studios and NCSOFT. So, in today's epsiode of Dealspwn Playthrough, Carl provides commentary as he goes through a few systems found within the game.
Watch as he explores the flexibility of the Limited Action Sets, and dives into the costume system to show off his fashion sense. After that, thanks to a helping hand, he demonstrates one of his favourite features in the game - the Mentor System. See it all after the jump.Click here to read more...
Some people, most of whom are yet to play the damn thing, started moaning about Titanfall's 6v6 player cap despite the developers' extensive experience in the field, years of testing, and Respawn never claiming to be developing a large-scale shooter.
I've already had a bit of a rant as to why the complaints seem a little rubbish, but to support my own already-unassailable logic, here's a list of six games that definitely don't need their player count increased, just to demonstrate that more doesn't automatically equal better...
We tried this once in chess club at school. Basically you take away the Rooks, then Knights, and the Pawns in front of them, and you play four-way chess. Chess is one of the best games ever invented, pitting two minds against one another in a decisive battle of tactical awesomeness. And we were idiots.
Have you ever tried having a thumb war with more than one other person? It's impossible. Someone just ends up getting punched.
The clue is in the name. Five-a-side football doesn't need any more players, because then it would actually cease to be five-a-side football. Semantics win! Plus, playing five-a side is always more fun to actually play anyway. Everyone's more involved, the pitch size is too small for anyone to ever get bored, and you're far more likely to see some futsal-esque trickery. Also, rush goalies.
Imagine playing multiplayer on an eighth (or less!) of a 14-inch CRT. In fact, don't. Because it's horrible and will give you a migraine.
Whoever thought Dead Space needed multiplayer needs their head examined. Dead Space was a fantastic game, albeit a little more heavy on the action than the horror, but its multiplayer component was woefully undercooked and completely superfluous to begin with. Just don't.
Any Super Mario game
The more players you shove into a Mario game, the more you run the risk of ruining what makes Mario great: that perfectly realised link between game designer and game player. Super Mario 3D World is brilliant fun, but it won't be remembered as a classic for that very reason.
So yes, there you have it. Six games from both real and virtual worlds that conclusively prove that more doesn't mean better. We at Dealspwn can assure you that this experiment was researched and conducted thoroughly in the name of science, and the above does not simply constitute the facetious ramblings of an irritated loon.
PlayStation Now was always going to happen. Ever since Sony forked over mad money for Gaikai and their streaming prowess, we knew that some manner of all-singing, all-dancing, all-streaming, all-device service was on the cards, and it now has a name and a face. As the first step in a major push towards a new way to enjoy games over a wide variety of connected devices, PlayStation Now is set to be Sony's ace in the hole over the coming decade.
See, though firm details are thin on the ground, PlayStation Now boasts clear potential. Streaming backwards compatibility on PS4 is just the beginning as the service rolls out to other platforms, then hopefully other territories beyond the US, before offering a greater variety and breadth of titles. It's tremendously exciting... but there are going to be a fair few issues to deal with along the way.
Click here to read more...
Bugbear Entertainment's Next Car Game is deep in Early Access, but is already turning heads with its impressive physics and truly ludicrous damage modelling that turns cars into chunks of twisted, brutalised yet still inexplicably functioning metal. I've delved into the latest Early Access build (available only by pre-ordering) to show you exactly what that means in practical terms.
Spoiler alert: it means awesomeness.
This time last year, I wrote some New Year Resolutions that we gamers should take to get the most from gaming and many of those points still stand today. Tempting as it was to adjust that article for 2014, I thought I’d set some resolutions for the Sony’s PlayStation 4 so it can have the best year possible. It’s not going to be easy, especially with a resurgent Microsoft seemingly overcoming shooting themselves in the foot for most of 2013. Sony has a narrow lead right now, but here are 10 Resolutions to make sure they stay in front throughout 2014.
I hope Sony earned a lot of money from Ustream, Twitch and Facebook for ignoring YouTube at launch, but enough is enough. We know YouTube support is coming, but we need it sooner rather than later so I don’t have to keep uploading videos to Facebook and then stripping them out to upload to YouTube – letting us put captured media on a USB drive would be handy too. The quality of captures isn’t what we hoped, with a low resolution for pics and a dark feel to the video, so some improvement there would be nice.
If Sony wants us to keep bothering with the likes of Twitch they could do with sorting out the archiving so it saves our streams for later viewings. We’re not all live-streaming celebrities, so live broadcasting makes us at best feel like someone that’s turned their TV to face out the front window for attention, or at worst like some nutcase shouting Biblical damnation at pigeons in the town square.Click here to read more...
Episode four sees us finally head down to the surface of the planet Nexus, whereupon it becomes readily apparent that the Mordesh have a bit of an unfortunate lot in life thanks to the genetic Contagion that affects them all. Thus we find Shepherd Borg slaughtering some of his own people, taking down some sort of dino-chocobos, and having a tussle with some creatures that resemble the black sheep of the Cthulhu family tree.
You can catch up with the three previous episodes of WildStar: The Noob here, and remember if you want a more in-depth look at the innovative systems underpinning WildStar make sure that you've been watching Carl's splendid playthroughs.
Thirteen Steam Machines were unveiled at CES this week, boasting an array of different specifications, capabilities, and price points. It looks like preparation for Valve and co.'s invasion of the living room is well underway, but there are a few sticking points that have left us all a little sceptical and relatively unconvinced that the arrival of the Steam Machines (kind of sounds like a Doctor Who episode) will herald the living room PC revolution that Valve are hoping for.
Anyway, here's what we thought of the initial reveal...
New device reveals are always exciting, but I can't even muster up a sliver of enthusiasm for the Steam Machines that were revealed today. Then again, Value and the manufacturers of these (for the most part) hideous boxes aren't aiming them at people such as I - they're trying to aim them at those looking for the very best in convenience, and the issue I see right now is that that particular audience is a bit limited.
The effort from Cyberpower is certainly the most affordable, but it's still more expensive than the brand new crop of consoles, and there's the issue - do you spend your money on a better known brand with the knowledge that sooner or later the big hitters - your Halos and Uncharteds - will make an appearance down the line, or do you spend that money on a Linux machine with a library that, while growing, is limited to begin with?Click here to read more...
After the drama of 2013 -- and you can read all about it in my Year in Review piece from last week -- we enter 2014 with two new consoles and healthy optimism. This time of year, when the fields of expectation stretch out before us towards the horizons of possibility, is the perfect time to use what we have learned over the past twelve months to try and determine what might happen over the next. So without further ado, let's gaze into the crystal ball and try to predict some of the happenings we reckon might come to pass in 2014.
The Xbone Strikes Back
Microsoft are at a clear disadvantage in many ways from our position here at the top of 2014. They have a console that lacks the raw power of its direct competitor, they have an image still suffering from the dramatic own goals and devastating gaffes of 2013, their offering is pricey and bulky and the OS is riddled with issues that need fixing.
But they have a slate of already-announced exclusives set for this year that seem enormously impressive. We always say that it's all about the games, and if that tenet proves true this year, Microsoft are well placed to have a bit of a blinder. It's going to be a much closer next-gen race that we all thought back in June.
Titanfall will be huge for the Xbox One. Yes, it's out on PC and Xbox 360, but the speed of it, the traversal systems and pick-up-and-play beauty of it, make it feel like a game designed for a gamepad and for a console audience, particularly when you factor in video sharing for those highlight moments. Halo returns too in 2014, and it's impossible to overstate the importance of that franchise to Microsoft's console efforts. But we're also looking towards Project Spark to deliver something that's always been a facet of Sony's arsenal -- the mentality of Play Create Share -- combined with something Microsoft should have been capitalising upon for years: crossover between PC and console.
That brings us on nicely to the next trend...Click here to read more...
Gabe Newell has gone on record to explain why Half-Life 2 Episode 3 or Half Life 3 still haven't materialised, suggesting that it just hasn't been a priority for the company over the last few years. It's illuminating stuff, but explaining the 'how' is only half the story. Reading between the lines, we reckon that the reason for their reticence to deliver is likely due to a simple matter of potential reward... versus potential risk.
In fact, logic suggests that never releasing Half-Life 3 might be the smart play, at least from a business perspective. Even though we desperately want an announcement during their CES presentation.Click here to read more...
I'm beginning to get the hang of things now. It's all coming back to me... sort of.
We're in the Greenhouse for Episode 3, and the pesky Dominion are up to all sorts of mischief, trying to purge the Arkship's food stores by terrorising all of the live edibles. It gets quite odd. First tiny cat-like dwarfy miscreants called Chua try to take all of the vegetables hostage, and then a giant robot tries to get into the life support unit. It's all a bit mad... and I'm loving it.
As before, do check out Carl's awesome WildStar coverage for some far more informative and useful material. I'm sure there'll be a WildStar-themed podcast along shortly too, and stay tuned tomorrow for episode four of WildStar: The Noob when we pop down to the surface of Nexus and find out more about the Mordesh.
Happy New Year readers! Here's to another year of gaming goodness. The lingering hangovers are slowly leaving our systems now, but the aching heads haven't stopped us from bringing you lots of features and reviews.
We finally get our hands on Broken Sword 5 - Part 1 after a long wait and it seems a kickstarted game was worth the effort for once! We're running out of things to play on our Xbox One, but Halo: Spartan Assault was mildly entertaining while it lasted. Risk of Rain isn't just wait the news has been saying all through Christmas, it's an addictive little indie game that Jon's been glued to for days now. In a move that's unusual for Nintendo, they've re-released some old games for you in the form of NES: Remix. Some things never change.
In our features section, Matt has a few new playthrough videos for Secrets of Raetikon and WildStar as Carl's finally convinced him to get back into MMOs. Anyone know where we can buy an intervention kit, just in case? Our awards season finally comes to close as we review the year, celebrate the Top Ten Games No-One Bought and choose the Best Game of 2013. Naturally, we opened up a vote for you guys too. Finally we look forward to 2014 by picking the games we're most looking forwards to in the next 12 months.Click here to read more...