Funded by Kickstarter, assisted by real drivers and powered by impressive cutting-edge graphical tech, Project CARS is set to become an automotive tour de force. After trying out the latest build at 4K resolution and on the Oculus Rift, I caught up with lead producer Pete Morrish for a chat about the new title and what sets it apart from other racers.
Infamous: First Light is out in the US today, and our review went live earlier. Here's what we said about the game:
Infamous First Light packs a whole bunch of content in at a decent price, and fleshes out Second Son's most interesting character in fine fashion, with a sibling story that tugs at the heartstrings thanks to another great performance from Bailey. It's an extension, perhaps, more than an expansion -- more of the same sort of thing, but with a slightly different flavour -- but given how much fun Second Son was, that's no bad thing.
But if you're still uncertain whether or not to buy the standalone prequel to Second Son, here's a little look in more depth at some of the changes you can expect to find playing as Fetch rather than Delsin, along with a video of the game's opening 10 minutes.Click here to read more...
I had a blast with Infamous: Second Son. For me, it was probably the best game in the series thus far, a polished experience that did the basics incredibly well, delivered some cracking performances from its leading stars, and dazzled the senses with a gorgeous Seattle sandbox and plenty of interesting abilities. It didn't seek to really break new ground or reinvent the wheel, but Second Son was supremely satisfying because Sucker Punch managed to nail things where they counted -- combat, traversal, scale, story. Would it have been nice to have Seattle live and breathe a little more rather than simply being an obviously gamified sandbox? Perhaps. But frankly I was having too much fun to really care.
Given the hot topic of female protagonists in the gaming industry, it's not surprising really that Sucker Punch were asked in the run up to Second Son's release about the possibility of a female playable protagonist. That questioning only became stronger when we were introduced to Abigail "Fetch" Walker -- a Neon-powered Conduit with some serious baggage in her past and a heavy chip on her shoulder. That Sucker Punch followed through and have given us a fat slab of Fetch's backstory to play through here in First Light is admirable.
More importantly, it's pretty damn good.
Laura Bailey is back to voice Fetch, and once again, the strength of Sucker Punch's performance capture really comes through. Anyone familiar with her story in Second Son will already know the end state of this prequel, set two years before the events of the original game. Fetch is making a living on the streets with her brother in First Light, making ends meet by doing unsavoury jobs for unsavoury people. By the time we meet her in Second Son, she's lost a huge deal, not least a sense of control, and First Light tells the story of how she goes from being a woman trying to hide her powers to being a Conduit fixer and assassin, to eventually becoming a powerful renegade filled with rage and anger.Click here to read more...
So, you patiently waited for the PS4/XO version of Diablo III, or Diablo III Reaper of Souls: Ultimate Evil Edition if we’re going with the full name. This new edition is stuffed with extra content, like the Reaper of Souls expansion, but you’re going to have to do some serious levelling before you can look the reaper in the eye.
So for those of you that didn’t play the original Diablo III to death two years ago, we’ve put together seven top tips for all you new adventurers out there to make your life that little bit easier. Naturally, we’d love to hear any hints you might have whether you’re a Diablo regular or a newb with a hot tip.
The Barbarian is the simplest class to start with, as they’re more melee-focused compared to the fancy-pants wizards. Why not take advantage of the Crusader though for added depth? The Crusaders are playable for the whole game now, after previously only being available in the expansion. Go on, they’re pretty badass.Click here to read more...
As gamers, we really hope VR takes off. Oculus Rift has impressed us since we first put the virtual reality headset on and back in March, Sony announced Project Morpheus, their own brand of VR headset that would let PS4 gamers to get involved. Which, speaking as a non PC gamer, was music to my ears as I was getting dangerously close to investing in a rig so I could play with an Oculus Rift.
But is Project Morpheus doomed to follow the disturbing pattern Sony has dragged itself through over the last few years? The main PlayStation consoles have been huge successes of course; I’m talking about the state of affairs for the PS Move controllers and the PS Vita.
The Move controller is a quality piece of hardware, proving to be a big step up from the original concept of the EyeToy on PS2 and the Wii’s controller on Nintendo’s mega-hit console. The Sports Champions games are up there with the very best of motion-controlled games and even Killzone 3 works really well with the motion/nav stick setup. But thanks to the scarcity of releases, I really have to think hard about what other games I enjoyed with the Move. It failed to get the support it so badly deserved from third-party developers, who were cautious to invest in development of anything more complicated than party minigames.
As that third-party support dried up, Sony also abandoned the development of any future projects, with Project Dawn being scrapped until its recent PS4 rebirth -sans PS Move control. This lethargic attitude to the Move controllers has carried over to the PS4, where they can only be used if gamers stump up the extra cash (£40-£60) on a new camera. But with Just Dance 2014 being the only big name title to support this setup, it’s no wonder there’s a sense of trepidation amongst gamers when faced with investing in more new hardware.Click here to read more...
It doesn't look like that medical career is ever going to happen for me. That said, I'd like to think that I'd be able to hold medical equipment with more conviction portrayed by the downright awful controls in Surgeon Simulator on PS4, where my dainty grip would indicate I'm holding a piss-soaked towel rather than a bone cutting electrical saw.
'But that's part of the fun' I hear you say. Admittedly, anyone in the room that watched my increasingly futile attempts at a heart transplant were in stitches, probably because they know how angry I was getting. When you're trying to control the action though, the joke wears thin pretty quick, especially when one of the multiple glitches sees sheets get stuck to your fingers or your hand gets trapped in the rib cage or on a table rail. There might be a review coming soon, but I should probably stop using Dr 'Hi everybody!' Nick videos for tutorials if I want to make any more progress. If that bunch of mindless plebs in Scrubs and Grey's Anatomy are supposed to be surgeons, I really should be doing better. For now I'm going back to having nightmares about having to review an Octodad/Surgeon Simulator crossover.Click here to watch the video.
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed) | PC
Developer: Mimimi Productions
Publisher: Loot Entertainment
It’s a little sad that I begin most of my platformer reviews by stating what a shame it is that the genre has all but disappeared from modern console line-ups, with only Ratchet & Clank doing their best to keep it alive. But with Insomniac aligning their studio closer to Xbox nowadays, it may be a while before the duo return. Let’s not talk about Knack either.
So, when browsing this week’s releases I was pleasantly surprised to see a new IP amongst the PSN releases and a quick trailer search later revealed it to be a new platformer. One download later and I’m in the world of The Last Tinker: City of Colors.
But, where’s the jump button? I just hold R2 to run and I’ll just ‘platform’ automatically? What!? So much for rekindling the platformer genre. To be fair, I should have known this game was aimed at a very young audience thanks to the mega-bright hyper-coloured visuals. We’ve nothing against games aimed at the younger kids though here at Dealspwn, as anything that eases new gamers in should be applauded, which is certainly the best way to look at this action-sort-of-platformer.Click here to read more...
That September 9th release date is getting ever closer, so maybe it's time to knuckle down that pre-order before you're stuck with a more expensive option after launch. Amazon are currently a fiver cheaper than anywhere else for the PS4 version, but for some reason they're sticking with a £45 price for the Xbox One version.
Thanks to ViperKeith at HotUkDeals.
More than just a visual facelift for the series, Metro Redux has put some extra effort in to tempt a spend. Metro 2033 has extra animations (such as the mask wipe from the sequel) and the weapon handling has been reworked too. Both games are now playable in Ranger and Survival modes too for a harsher challenge. All the Season Pass content for Last Light is included, adding an extra ten hours of single player content. This is shaping up to be well worth a look if you missed out on the games last gen. Metro Redux is released August 28th.
Thanks to ViperKeith at HotUkDeals.
Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot was brilliant, but it wasn't really Tomb Raider, was it? Our heroine schizophrenically flipped between helpless and murderous at the drop of a cutscene, there was a distinct lack of tombs to raid (not to mention Keeley Hawes) and the whole gritty thing took itself far too seriously to take seriously. Grit. Grit happened.
Rise Of The Tomb Raider may have dominated the Gamescom headlines for all the wrong reasons, so thankfully the other Crystal Dynamics studio are quietly beavering away at a follow-up to Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light, which can never be accused of taking anything seriously. Lara Croft And The Temple Of Osiris may be a puzzly shooty platformy cooperative romp for four players, not a purebred action platformer like its predecessors, but it feels like the Tomb Raider titles of old.
Because, quite simply, it's bringing the fun back to the franchise. Along with a billion spike pits, hot pants, loads of priceless ancient Egyptian superweapons and massive arguments after griefing your mates and stealing their gems. It's ridiculous, frequently stupid and absolutely ruddy brilliant. Tell your butler to fetch your dual pistols and let's take a closer look.Click here to read more...
"It's just beyond our imagination," said Sony Worldwide Studios boss, Shuhei Yoshida, speaking about the PS4's success. Over 10 million sales thus far, and counting.
"We are so happy. But I for one am a bit nervous because we do not completely understand what's happening. You need to understand why your products are selling well so you can plan for the future, right?"
It's a humble statement at first glance, but looking back at what's gone on over the past year or so, it's no surprise really that Sony have managed to extend a strong lead at the start of this new generation. Sony's message has remained so resolute, their communication never wavering for a second. Every step of the way they've delivered when it counts, not necessarily with perfect execution but, crucially, with more poise and appeal than their competition.
There was parity at the start of this generation -- unlike last-gen, neither Sony nor Microsoft had much of a jump on the other in terms of timing -- but being prepared counts for much, and having a solid strategy is invaluable.
So I don't believe you, Mr Yoshida, when you suggest that your company doesn't quite understand the recent success. To me, at least, it looks like a plan well executed. Here's why...
Staying on message
This has defined everything. #4thePlayers -- a motto much more than a social media hashtag, it underpins the entire philosophy behind the PS4. This isn't an all-in-one media centre, it's not one box to rule them all, it's a games console. Yoshida told Eurogamer that there was some trepidation over really focussing on games. "It defied the conventional thinking. Lots of people thought the dedicated game hardware might not be needed going forward, but still lots of people are very excited."Click here to read more...
Can Evolve truly make 4 v 1 multiplayer fun? Why the delay? What are the DLC plans? How tough was it to balance? What features were cut? Why can't we play it yet?!
Evolve has attracted a huge number of questions over the last few months, and thankfully, we've now got plenty of answers thanks to Turtle Rock producer Denby Grace. If you're excited, concerned or just suitably intrigued by the upcoming new-gen shooter, this is the interview you need.
Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot certainly was impressive. And gritty. So very, very gritty.
Thankfully the other Crystal Dynamics team is still making Tomb Raider games based on a confident Lara fighting crazy bad guys, dodging ludicrously silly traps and absolutely loving it; all voiced by the inestimable Keeley Hawes.
In effect, then, Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light feels more like the Tomb Raider games of old, even if it's an isometric puzzly shooter for up to four players. Keen to know more, I interviewed Crystal Dynamics producer Robert Siwiak to learn about the new gameplay elements, economy, story and whether we'd see more ridiculous crossover characters this time around.
Alien Isolation is shaping up nicely. Having spent four solid hours playing the latest Steam build, I can report that its adaptive AI and terrifying unpredictability makes for a very different kind of horror game.
However, the fact that sections starring the original Alien voice cast are only going to be available as pre-order DLC -- or paid DLC down the line -- has got many a hackle up across the internet. I naturally asked lead designer Gary Napper exactly why they'd taken the controversial move.Click here to read more...
Disney Infinity 2.0 has big plans. The original may have been relatively successful, attracting millions of players and holding its own against the established might of Skylanders, but arguably lacked a little bit of pizazz and a sense of the epic. Thankfully, few franchises can bring the epic quite as comprehensively as Marvel comics, which is now neatly under Disney's purview.
Let the crossover commence! Rocket Raccoon, meet Thor, Stich and Donald Duck.
Avalanche Software brought two new Infinity 2.0 playsets along to Gamescom this year, showing off the new Avengers and Guardians Of The Galaxy campaigns. Both the gameplay and the figures have received a serious upgrade. On the collectibles front, the new line of toys are much more solid and sturdy than their predecessors; feeling impressively weighty and hard-wearing. The new Venom and Hulk figurines are utterly enormous, almost twice the volume of previous figures, while the level of detail is seriously impressive when it comes to the new Rocket Raccoon and Stich models. Shame they'll be standalone, really, as opposed to included in the starter packs.Click here to read more...
Hohokum is beautifully endearing, whimsically comical, filled with bold colours and sumptuous aural dreamscapes. Its fluid mechanics are simple and straightforward, allowing players to concentrate on finding ways to interact with the cartoonish worlds and uncovering little visual rewards for their troubles.
But I found it to be somewhat problematic at first.
Hohokum feels like you're playing through a drug-induced cartoon from half a century ago in some ways. I half expected to be ambushed by Blue Meanies as I meandered through its myriad worlds. It's lovely to behold with its bright, bold colour scheme and cutesy art courtesy of Richard Hogg. I spent a good deal of time in one chamber of the game where the long, snake-like, cycloptic rainbow eel thingy that you control links up with a bunch of friends and they all respond to your controller inputs for a bit. It was like playing with a virtual spirograph, and I just danced for a bit with my rainbow eel chums and I looked up and I'd been doing it for almost half an hour.
That's probably my favourite bit of Hohokum so far, to be honest. it's a simple game once you peel away the quirky art. You steer this one-eyed spectrum snake around, occasionally slowing it down, sometimes speeding it up. And that's it. There are a bunch of multi-screen levels to the game that present you with some sort of bizarre tableau and just leave you to figure things out for yourselves. It's like a PixelJunk Proteus in some ways, or what Nokia's Snake did during the acid years, forgetting all about eating that square pixel, and going on a colourful bender.Click here to read more...
Hohokum is another one of those arty games that's going to polarise people. Some will hold it up as an example of unconventional interactive entertainment and proof that games can and are art. Others will passionately argue that it isn't even a game. There will be those that miss the point completely, some for whom this really isn't their thing. Equally, there will be others that pronounce Hohokum to be one of the best things to be seen all year.
I like the way it encourages a genuine spirit of "play" in a manner that's rather unique.
It's a combination of beautiful, striking art from Richard Hogg, various aural dreamscapes that soothe and relax, and fluid mechanics that aren't explained outright, instead encouraging you to discover little cartoonish vignettes through direct interaction as well as poring over the scenery with your eyes.
It's quite possibly the bubble bath of gaming.
The review's on its way.
Galahad's Thermite Rifle might be one of my favourite virtual weapons of all time.
Rather than firing boring old bullets, this steampunk boomstick throws out hundreds of fragile iron oxide and aluminium shells, which shatter on impact and flood the stage with thick clouds of choking gas. However, secondary fire lobs in a magnesium flare, which sets off a chemical reaction that reaches up to 2500°C.
In layman's terms: everything burns.
As such, using it is an absolute blast -- pun most definitely intended -- when The Order: 1886 actually lets you. Fighting through the neo-Victorian London streets as a latter-day Templar Knight requires you to keep your head and push forward, throwing up billowing thermite smokescreens to cover your approach and igniting them to wreathe entire squads of cockney rebels in flames.
Unfortunately, The Order 1886 is also very keen to be as "cinematic" and "filmic" as possible, meaning that much of your time will be spent gawping at what amounts to unskippable cutscenes.Click here to read more...
If you've yet to experience the Metro series (is two games a series? Never mind, we're going with it.), the Redux collection probably deserves your attention as it brings remastered versons of Metro 2033 and Last Light to new-gen consoles. £22.99 will get you a lot of tense and enjoyable game at a serious saving, then, even if the originals can be picked up for peanuts on PC. Thanks to sufyaan11 @ HUKD!
Until Dawn is a very different kind of horror game, in that it's halfway between a choose-your-own-adventure novel, David Cage cinematic QTE-fest and a Saw film. A good Saw film, if you can imagine that.
Having played it for the best part of 45 minutes at Gamescom, however, I was initially reminded of a cheesy slasher flick. A group of eight attractive twenty-somethings decide to take their holiday in a sprawling old house in the middle of an icy forest. It's spacious, comfortable and the perfect location for a getaway, at least it would be were it not for the masked psychopath hell-bent on murdering everyone. As such, you'll leapfrog between the perspectives of the terrorised tourists as they desperately try to survive the night. Who will live? Who will die?
That, dear reader, is entirely up to you. Until Dawn promises one of the most wildly-branching narratives in videogame history; boasting over a thousand different directions for the story to diverge and more than one hundred endings. Everybody can die, but depending on the decisions you make, you might be able to save a few before the credits roll. Followed by several more playthroughs with totally different results.Click here to read more...