Developers: Ubisoft Montpellier
By rights, we should have been enjoying the delightful whimsy of Rayman Legends by now. But then, Ubisoft couldn't be held responsible for Nintendo's failure to provide a platform with even a whiff of the possibility of breaking even let alone making a profit. So Rayman Legends is going multiplatform, and whatever the circumstances surrounding that shift and whatever effect that move might have had on the Wii U, one thing is certain: more people will play it now. And that's a good thing.
But it turns out that the very best thing about Rayman Legends might not be the pinsharp HD aesthetics, the inventive level design and taut platforming, or the way in which you can manipulate an area's moving parts with Murfy. If the preview event I attended a few weeks back is anything to go by, the best bit comes in the form of a football match.
Yes, you read that correctly.Click here to read more...
In today's episode of Dealspwn Playthrough, Carl puts his border control hat on and dives into Papers, Please, the dystopian immigration puzzle game from indie developer Lucas Pope. Watch as Carl guides you through the gameplay mechanics, accepting and denying people for the glory of Arstotzka (as well as hear his failed attempts to pronounce the country's name correctly.) See it all after the jump.Click here to read more...
PayDay 2 is out on PC today, and it's all we can do to keep working rather than skiving off to play some more of its sensationally enjoyable co-op. This randomised crime spree simulator is one of the most exciting multiplayer experiences out there despite a fair few quirks and eccentricities, offering players a wealth of depth and variety so long as you're willing to work together with friends and get your hands very, very dirty.
Indeed, we called it "one of the most exciting cooperative games on the planet" in our extensive PayDay 2 review.
There's so much to consider when planning the perfect heist, not to mention dealing with the fallout once everything inevitably goes wrong, that we've taken some of our experience with the preview and review builds to present you with a ten-step survival guide. We'll see you back at the safehouse.
In most missions, chances are you'll have to hunker down and wait for an objective to complete. Drills take an eternity to crack a vault or safe, even if you've brought along a skilled Technician, meaning that you'll want to turn your surroundings into an impenetrable bunker to keep the police at bay.Click here to read more...
Another week, another Xbox One U-turn. Wait, I'm sure I've written that sentence before.
This week, though, comes the revelation that Kinect is completely optional.
"Like online, the console will still function if Kinect isn’t plugged in, although you won’t be able to use any feature or experience that explicitly uses the sensor,” Xbox One architect Marc Whitten has revealed. “You have the ability to completely turn the sensor off in your settings. When in this mode, the sensor is not collecting any information. Any functionality that relies on voice, video, gesture or more won’t work. We still support using it for IR blasting in this mode."
“You can turn the sensor back on at any time through settings, and if you enter into a required Kinect experience (like Kinect Sports Rivals for instance), you’ll get a message asking if you want to turn the sensor back on in order to continue.”
Over the course of the past month or so, Microsoft have basically spent their time contradicting their big Xbox One reveal. After all, that was a presentation all about how incredible it would be to have a console that was always connected, linked with a camera that was strikingly more powerful than that of this generation, affording Xbox customers functionality that could not be found anywhere else.
Of course, that might still prove to be the case. There'll undoubtedly still be a whole bunch of things you can do with this super-powered Kinect device if you have it that will delight gadget hounds no end. For the record, many gamers I've spoken to have been rather more excited about the futuristic possibilities of a console so intrinsically linked with this superior Kinect tech.Click here to read more...
In a similar way to Skylanders, you place plastic toys on a docking station plugged into your console and those toys will appear on-screen allowing the player to use them in-game in specific Playsets.
Characters are linked to Playsets, specific stages based around famous Disney films or locations. John Day told us more at a recent hands-on event:
“In a given Playset you experience a single universe in a really immersive way. So when you play in Cars, you play as a Cars character you do things that makes sense to Cars like racing or building up the town of radiator springs. And if you play in the Pirates of the Caribbean Playset you get a very different experience, you play as a Pirate’s character, you get a pirate ship you sail the high seas, you fight the Kraken, the Kraken eats you, that’s what happens in Pirates. The two never really cross over, Jack sparrow will never go into the Cars Playset and McQueen will never go into the Pirates Playset."
Essentially a Playset is a campaign; it’s the main meat of a game that, until now, would be a separately released product on a disc.Click here to read more...
The Dark Room is playing at The Underbelly, Cowgate until August 25th at 20:40 each day. More info.
* * *
You awake to find yourself in a dark room.
It's dark and roomy and the hangover from the night before is only just starting to wear off and you're somewhere deep in the bowels of Edinburgh and a gurning illuminated head is shouting at you in a deep and booming voice.
"How will you find the light switch?" the head intones. "Can you see?"
"I can see," I reply.
"Bullshit you can see! You're in a dark room!"
This little exchange will no doubt be familiar to many who discovered John Robertson's The Dark Room floating around YouTube back in the early part of 2012, the comedic homage to the impossibly fiendish, acerbic text-based adventure games of yesteryear, many of which seemed to make no sense and took an all-too evident delight in bullying players. Now it's returned for another month to the Edinburgh Fringe for a riotous, sell-out run as a live-action, interactive text-adventure (it's on throughout this month, go and see it! - Ed.) , helmed by a wild Australian and his sinister, omnipotent alter-ego.
"The Dark Room is bastard hard," Robertson will tell me the day after I witness his performance as the Floating Head who serves as The Dark Room's dungeon master of sorts. "And it's deliberately designed to be so."
At the start of the show Robertson introduces himself, clad in leather trousers, a corset surrounding his midriff, and with a shock of blonde hair that makes it look like he just put his finger into an electrical socket. As himself, he's a wild bundle of comedic energy, so much so that it's almost exhausting. He talks rapidly, rising and falling in volume dramatically.
"I see we've got some children here this evening," he says, scouring his audience. "This changes NOTHING!"Click here to read more...
Dealspwn Playthrough is back, and today we're taking a look at Saints Row IV, the upcoming bundle of open-world insanity from Volition and Deep Silver that sees you play as POTUS with superpowers, attempting to thwart an alien invasion by a race called the Xin.
You can catch the first half hour of the game in our Opening Scenes video, but today we're showing a little bit of footage from the first few hours in which Matt lays the smackdown on a Xin flashpoint before using his superpowers to scale an alien tower in search of sweet XP and Cache credits.Click here to read more...
We’ve been looking forwards to Saints Row IV ever since Deep Silver surprised us all with its announcement earlier this year. Yet much of its hard-earned limelight has been stolen by Rockstar’s upcoming GTA V. Rockstar release a few screenshots, one gameplay trailer and the world goes nuts, despite the press not even being allowed to touch it. Same old story, same old Rockstar.
Well, balls to them. Less than a month before GTA lands, one of the worst gaming droughts we’ve seen ends with numerous big hitters and none of them look half as entertaining as Saints Row IV. Here at Dealspwn we’ve had plenty of updates, trailers, interviews and hands-on sessions and it’s time to tell you why you’ll be having more fun with the dudes in purple.
It's crude, rude, and lewd and you'll enjoy it all despite knowing better. Sure, we have games that try to be funny and just come out as embarrassing (hello Lollipop Chainsaw and Deadpool) but SR games have consistently amused with humorous missions and characters you'd never be able to call boring.
Unlike the competition, Saints Row has always allowed you to create the game’s leading star so there are no complaints about how they look or sound. Get under their skin and they still manage to have a fun personality thanks to a decent range of voices to choose from and a tongue-in-cheek script.
Rockstar tried to use Niko, Roman and it's collection of racial stereotypes to tell an interesting story in GTA IV, but amidst all the dull friend missions, overcooked accents and never-ending escort jobs, they proved to be a collection of unlikable, tediously miserable bastards. Whereas here we have a street gangster who became so popular they went from the crack house, to the whorehouse to the White House despite a seedy obsession for all things purple and gangsta.
What was the point of Rockstar trying to make Niko out to be this wounded soul, haunted by his past in Eastern Europe when most players were going to make him run down pedestrians, shoot pigeons and kill all of the prostitutes in Liberty City with molotovs before robbing their still flaming purses? Yeah Rockstar, a kill/forgive choice at the end was really deep after what we'd put the poor fucker through.Click here to read more...
Saints Row IV is in the house. Brendan is preparing a Sunday Seven for later that highlights just why Volition and Deep Silver's open-world playpen of insanity will rock your world later this month, but in the meantime why not check out the game's opening scenes in this new video.
There are spoilers, you understand, but if you're on the fence and somehow still not sure of what to expect at this point from Saints Row IV, put it in your face.
We'd also assume that if Keith David was our friend (how we wish it were so), he'd tell you to watch this. So you should. Because Keith David told you to.*Click here to read more...
In today's episode of Dealspwn Playthrough, Matt plays through a section of Josef Fares and Starbreeze Studios' new game, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and discusses the control system, the difficulties presented by having a narrative-led game with no dialogue, and how he wishes he was LeBron James.Click here to read more...
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons has been on our radar for some time now. A collaboration between Swedish filmmaker Josef Fares and Starbreeze Studios, the game is a gently paced title that takes players on a 3-4 hour journey in the company of two brothers searching for a cure for their ailing father.
The review will go live later today, and you can find our interview with Fares here.Click here to read more...
Click here to read more...
We're back with our final look at The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot. In today's episode, Carl provides commentary as he puts the Mage and Archer through their paces, before demonstrating the replay mechanics and turning Jon's castle into a smouldering ruin. See it all after the jump.
The recent spate of hurried u-turns from Microsoft have been positive things, albeit moves that come with caveats or some slight reservations. In the case of the capitulation over online connectivity requirements, Microsoft were accused of aborting their (highly flawed, it must be said, but ambitious) roadmap for a digital future by exchanging one extreme for another. In the recent revelation regarding self-publishing, the common consensus was "good move, but...", stating that Microsoft have more to do to win over an indie sector that they've blithely ignored in many ways in the last couple of years.
Communication, as we predicted, is the word of the moment. Sony have presented a unified front for the most part, carefully channelling the party message on the PS4, and generally responding to questions firmly and in a timely fashion. Moreover, Sony have succeeded with a very simple tactic, for good or ill, telling gamers what they want to hear.
Jon recently wrote that pricing something at £349 is not a reason to buy something, but actually for many it really is. Early adopters want a new console, so the question of "are you going to buy?" is irrelevant. It's all about "which one?" Sony have clearly understood that this generational console war, much more so than the last, is finally a fair race. Two manufacturers, two consoles, one holiday season release window. And, as many of our readers in particular will surely appreciate, value for money is crucial.Click here to read more...
Summer is traditionally supposed to be a quieter time of year, a perfect opportunity to relax and catch up on your backlog of games you bought but never quite got around to starting. Perhaps you'd saunter down to the ol' swimmin' hole (protecting yourself from the sun's deadly solar radiation with a lead-lined suit, obviously), or hang out with your friends in a convertible on your way to some sort of "sick kegger," you cool young things. I already earmarked a perfect ear of corn to lazily dangle out of my mouth as I played through Fallout 3 and Quake for the umpteenth time, before dozing off in the shade of a wide straw hat.
Not this year. Since we're fast approaching the end of this console generation, summer 2013 is utterly ridiculous, with numerous massive games slated to release over the course of a single month. 'Awesome August' is set to put several Christmas seasons to shame, so it's time to take a look at what to expect from this frankly silly month ahead.
Where possible, we've linked you to our very latest preview, news or trailer coverage!
2K Marin's XCOM reboot saw us sharpening pitchforks two years ago, but now that Firaxis have delivered the strategic last word on the series, we're definitely ready to judge this one on its own merits. Tactical combat and a refreshing 1950s setting leave us rather excited.Click here to read more...
Developers: Evolution Studios
Publishers: Sony Computer Entertainment
You think of Evolution Studios and MotorStorm is the first word that springs to mind -- the series with which the British studio made its name, combining searing speed with vehicular combat, diverse racing arenas with multiple routes to choose from, and real-time deformation. So it is that when we consider Evolution, we think of raucous arcade racing, with an emphasis on spectacle and frenetic engagement.
So sitting in front of Driveclub feels a little sterile at first. After all, in Sony's corner we already have Gran Turismo, Need For Speed, and everything in between. Here's yet another driving game with social features woven into the fabric of the experience, standing on the shoulders of Autolog.
But, we are told, this is a game with friendly interaction baked more intrinsically into the game than any that have come before it, and actually our brief hands-on time with the game does feel that way. We're given a couple of tracks and a couple of cars to play around in, and there'll be highlighted sections of the track that beam in data from the friends list that's been constructed. At the start of the demo, we're encouraged to take a picture of ourselves with the PS4 camera, and then constantly bombarded with challenges as we work our way around the track.Click here to read more...
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a home away from home, a sensational time sink and a phenomenal success the world over. Unfortunately, you'll also have to put in an inordinate amount of work to earn the staggering sums of money required to get anywhere. To this end, we've compiled a list of seven tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of the game; whether it's making bank or making lasting friends.
Gathering fruit will likely be one of the key ways to pay off your first home loan, but savvy Animal Crossing players know that money really does grow on trees. Forget your town's native fruit, which sells for next to nothing, because sooner or later you'll be presented with an exotic fruit (by a villager or letter) that sells for around 500 bells a pop. Instead of selling them, grab a shovel and plant them.
Trees don't require watering and grow quickly if you space them out regularly, and you'll quickly be rewarded with your first crop in a couple of days. At which point, it's time to bust out your shovel and axe, massively enlarge your orchard, and cut down all the useless pine trees to replace with tasty fruit-bearing alternatives. Within a week, you'll be able to make 1500 Bells per tree, and continue to expand your earnings exponentially by turning barren ground into money in your pocket, and fruit-less trees into fruitful Bell mines. Remember that you can stack up to nine identical fruit in a single inventory space!
Not only will you create a self-sustaining source of regular income, but your citizens will also be immensely grateful for all the new greenery, which will be reflected in the satisfaction survey. Thanks much!Click here to read more...
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams was one of the first Kickstarted games to release to the waiting hordes, and proved that crowd funding is capable of getting utterly fantastic projects off the ground. As we stated in our 8/10 review: "the brothers are history." Flushed with success, Black Forest Games have launched a new, and infinitely more ambitious, Kickstarter campaign for Project Ravensdale.
This "fuel fantasy" cooperative shooter promises to give us a fresh new take on classic sidescrolling gameplay, delivering deep dynamic multiplayer, strong singleplayer and a radical selection of insane weapons and jetpacks alongside knights and orcs. To learn more, I caught up with Black Forest Games and grilled them extensively about the project - and why it deserves your money.
If the idea of "Metal Slug meets Left 4 Dead meets a nuclear pinball machine" in a dieselpunk fantasy setting (featuring a gun that fires flaming beach balls) gets you hot under the collar, your mind is about to be thoroughly blown. With a fortnight left on the clock, it's time to see what this raucously inventive proposition is all about.
Jonathan Lester (Dealspwn.com): Thanks for talking to us! First things first: could you introduce yourselves and your role at Black Forest Games?
Hello, I’m Jean-Marc Haessig, creative director at Black Forest Games. I’m responsible for the overall vision of our products, which means shaping ideas and enabling the team to bounce on them and going crazy within the given frame. This includes very rough gameplay goals that need to be worked out and polished, the overall look and feel intentions, nailing down the setting with the team, getting feedback to readjust the vision and so on. Most of the time I use visual language as I figured out that sometimes a picture is better than thousand words…
Hi, I’m David Sallmann! I’m the senior game designer in the team, and it’s my job to make sure that all the designers are pushing in the same direction. Apart from providing feedback and making judgment calls, I also do normal design work. My most recent contribution to the Ravensdale prototype is the design of a modular system for weapons that allows all designers to quickly script and tinker with crazy concepts without bugging our programmers every five minutes. The wackier player weapons in the prototype so far include an explosive “beach ball” you and your buddies can kick and bounce around, a rolling ball of fire that leaves a sea of flames in its wake and erupts like a volcano when you hit it, and ricochet bullets that transform into bouncing shrapnel bombs when they hit an enemy. We also have more sedate designs like black hole bombs, lightning that forks whenever it hits an enemy, and a slinky-like projectile that crawls along walls and ceilings. OK, maybe they’re not that sedate.Click here to read more...
It strikes me after a few minutes of playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds that this game isn't really just for me, that's the narcissistic Nintendo fanboy in me mournfully admitting that. A Link to the Past released back in 1991, so it's been over two decades since the SNES' masterpiece first hit the shelves. That audience has grown up, we've moved on, but most importantly, those of us who were gaming back then have been joined by a new, diverse audience thanks to the attractive imperialism of Nintendo's handheld consoles.
This, perhaps even more so than Ocarina of Time 3D, is a game that serves more than one function. It's not a straight copy of A Link to the Past with mildly updated graphics, but rather a new title that pinches the overworld from the SNES but then moves to remix most of the dungeons, whilst adding in a new mechanic that flattens our green-capped hero and turns him into a moveable wall painting.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is set to arrive, then, as a nostalgic love letter of sorts to Nintendo's golden age and one of the best games to have graced any platform: a trip down memory lane with a few surprises for those of us who think we've been there and done that, and an instruction in a near-timeless legacy for new fans who've flocked to Nintendo's handhelds in the meantime.Click here to read more...
It's been a bit of a slow month, presumably because the end of August is looking more ridiculous than we can ever remember (more on that in a few days). But it's given us a chance to catch up with a few titles from earlier in the year (and 2012 is some cases) and get stuck in to a whole bunch of deliciously awesome games flying slightly below the radar.
NB. We'd have liked to have included Mario & Luigi: Dream Team Bros. and Pikmin 3 on this list, but after promising to send them, Nintendo failed to do so, thus we have no idea really of how good either of them are. You'd think, given the ailing nature of their home console, widespread timely coverage of their only first-party would be a good thing
Project X Zone - Project X Zone is an utter delight for fans of... well... pretty much every game from Capcom, SEGA and Namco Bandai. Hilarious dialogue, innovative hybrid RPG strategy, a massive character roster and eyecatching combat conspire to create a crossover so recklessly insane that it probably has no right to exist.
But we're so very glad it does. - 8/10Click here to read more...
Developer: Tribute Games
When Tribute Games announce a new title, we tend to ask, "how much, and where do we get it?" This boutique indie studio comprises a handful of Ubisoft veterans who decided to run with their love of classic games by forming their own retro-tastic outfit, bringing us the fantastic Wizorb and the utterly sensational Scott Pilgrim vs The World (quite possibly the finest movie tie-ins ever made). Blending superbly detailed sprite art with responsive gameplay and a heady pinch of nostalgia, they tickle our love for both old and new in all the naughtiest ways.
Mercenary Kings is their latest project, a Kickstarted run & gun platformer in the vein of Contra and Metal Slug... but packing the persistent crafting and exploration of Monster Hunter alongside an obscene number of infinitely-customisable guns. Now that we've put in some time with its Steam Early Access build, we can report that fans of shooting and looting with friends are in for an absolute treat.
If said friends happen to be clustered around the same screen, high-fiving and punching each other with merry abandon while knocking back lukewarm beverages and cold pizza, so much the better. Mercenary Kings is a whole heap of high calibre fun, and it's not even finished yet.
Click here to read more...