We once again return to the zombie apocalypse in the third part of our adventures of The Indie Stone's survival horror sandbox Project Zomboid. In today's episode, Carl braves the streets once more in a bid to get back to the safehouse. Hijinks ensue as he battles more undead, battles against a scratch, and finds more steaks. See it all after the jump.Click here to read more...
We return to our adventures in The Indie Stone's survival horror sandbox game with the second part of our Project Zomboid videos. In today's episode, Carl ventures out into the city in search of some much needed supplies, and faces off against his first zombie horde. See how he fares after the jump.Click here to read more...
It’s not a brand new release that we’re looking at today, but a game that has been a work-in-progress for some time. Project Zomboid from UK developers The Indie Stone puts players in the middle of a zombie apocalypse with absolutely no hope of surviving, and so in today’s episode of Dealspwn Playthrough Carl throws himself into the survival horror sandbox by giving the story mode a go in the latest stable build. See how he fares at the start of his adventure by checking out the video after the jump.Click here to read more...
So after interviewing Lead Game Designer Danny Belanger, I naturally jumped at the chance to talk to cinematic animation lead Lars Bonde about the artistic challenges Watch_Dogs poses, motion capture, his influences and what the next generation promises beyond shinier graphics.
That said, we're not above talking about Drive, guns and car chases either...
Jonathan Lester (Dealspwn): Thanks for talking to us, Lars. Watch_Dogs must pose a massive challenge compared to other games. To my knowledge, no-one's ever had to animate someone getting splashed by a taxi before, discovering that their bank account has been hacked and his wife's leaving with the kids. That must be fun for you as cinematic animation lead!
Lars Bonde (Ubisoft): The challenge has been fun! Partially because, a lot of times in games, there are so many restrictions in terms of technology and how far you can go. But Ubisoft have been really great in saying, “you know what? Go as far as you can and then whatever you can do, we can always scale things down.” Everything has been built in layers. The AI programmer Eric [Baillargeon] has really provided a lot of those opportunities for us.
We've done a lot of motion capture, shot a lot of data, have a lot of actors and we work really closely with them on what we can do. When the car runs by [in the rain], someone has to be splashed. Yes, we're not putting water in the motion capture studio and spraying it up on them, but we have all kinds of other artefacts we can use like foam or whatever. We make sure that we have a little projector or a cannon that can blow it up on them and they can react to it. We can have something race by them so they can react to it as if it's a car.Click here to read more...
After taking E3 2012 by storm and then disappearing off the grid, Watch_Dogs has taunted us for months with its promise of totally open-ended action gameplay on an open world scale. Hacking. Shooting. Sneaking. Driving. All of it, all at once, the way you want to play it.
Thankfully Ubisoft are starting to talk specifics. Having taken a long look at their latest production build, I was able to sit down with lead game designer Danny Belanger for a long discussion about Watch_Dogs' numerous gameplay systems, sophisticated AI, unique mechanics and next-generation potential. Look out for our second interview with Cinematic Lead Lars Bonde tomorrow.
Please note: Some of these questions have been submitted by our own community and members of watchdogforums.net. These questions have been clearly credited , and many thanks to everyone who got involved!
Jonathan Lester (Dealspwn): It's difficult to imagine a new IP getting a warmer reception. How exciting is it to be working on an entirely new property, and have such a strong following already?
Danny Belanger (Ubisoft): It's really exciting. When we revealed [Watch_Dogs] last year at E3, the team were super-excited by the reception. We honestly did not expect that much.
Dealspwn: You crushed E3 2012, basically.
Danny Belanger: For us, it was just...it's fun, we like the project, but you never know how it's going to be received. It's fantastic and the team is hyped!Click here to read more...
Watch_Dogs' mysterious multiplayer functionality is getting slightly clearer. A structured competitive mode has been briefly hinted at, but more excitingly, singleplayer sessions can start to bleed together while other players synchronously enter your version of Chicago via a companion app from anywhere in the world.
"Ambitious" might be a bit of an understatement, but don't worry, you can play offline.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360 | Wii U | PS4
Watch_Dogs could well be the first truly 'next-gen' game.
We're not talking about graphics here. The latest build of Ubisoft's ambitious cross-generation title looks shiny enough running on a PS4-specced PC, but we can take detailed textures and lighting for granted. Rather, Ubisoft Montreal seems to be obsessed with creating a true sandbox using dynamic systems-upon-systems that allow players to affect a simulated city, which in turn reacts to their every decision. Everything and everyone is connected, from the single mother on benefits you walk past in the street to the police car on patrol and the suspected criminal you discover while hacking a security camera. Instead of dominating players with scripted situations, Watch_Dogs plans to offer us problems and opportunities, the tools to deal with them, then challenge us to find our own solutions on the fly.
Emergent, unpredictable and open-ended gameplay made possible through "systemic" design and sophisticated AI. Gunplay, stealth, hacking, traversal, profiling, driving and media control are all just tools at our disposal, and all have their uses in what's shaping up to be a staggeringly ambitious proposition judging by the 30 minutes of live production code Ubisoft brought along to the Parisian preview session.
Watch_Dogs revolves around Aiden Pearce, a man shaped by violence and obsessed by electronic surveillance. Having made a questionable living through cyber-fraud, identity theft and hacking bank accounts, he's a streewise and tech-savvy individual, but a "violent family tragedy" makes him strike out against the shadowy corporations that dominate a dystopic near-future Chicago. His fixation with surveillance escalates into full-blown vigilantism, and a desire to stamp his authority on the city by any means necessary. Whether he becomes a hard-edged antihero or detested villain will be entirely down to you.Click here to read more...
Though Ubisoft promises that the core Watch_Dogs gameplay experience will be identical regardless of platform, Ubisoft have revealed that the next-gen version will pack more than just prettier visuals. The simulation itself will be more realistic, allowing for advanced weather effects and fluid modelling.Click here to read more...
Saints Row IV's closed-door preview session is now available for all to see thanks to a brand new narrated walkthrough from senior producer Jim Boone. It's practically identical to the pre-reveal demo I was shown back in March, so now you can make your own mind up about whether Volition's next sandbox will be delightfully cathartic or a shade too silly.
More details available in our extensive Saints Row IV interview with design director Scott Phillips, ahead of its launch on August 23rd.Click here to read more...
Saints Row IV will allow players to assume the role of the President Of The United States, which will be light on paperwork and heavy on insane superhero shenanigans. You can catch up on your presidential (ir)responsibilities in this decidedly silly new trailer, while we've got more in-depth details in our Saints Row IV preview and extensive interview.
Saints Row IV is out on August 23rd in the UK.Click here to read more...
Mr. Lester has been under strict embargo for the Saints Row IV part of the Deep Silver showcase he visited yesterday, but it appears that Deep Silver and Volition have jumped their own gun, and announced the game early, delivering a deliciously overblown trailer alongside an August release date.Click here to read more...
Apparently not busy enough maintaining Rift and the impending release of Defiance, Trion Worlds now have another feather in their gaming cap thanks to a deal with South Korea based XLGAMES. In a press release issued this morning, it was announced that Trion would be acting as publishers for the upcoming MMORPG Archeage in western territories.Click here to read more...
Arguably the finest FPS experience of 2012 with a huge single-player game on a series of beautiful tropical island full of pirates and angry wildlife. Customisable skills, most notably some excellent stealth moves along with lots of exploration opportunities mean this will last you for months. multiplayer options include the usual modes along with one that sets the large areas of the map ablaze. The co-op levels are great fun too and much more enjoyable than the usual co-op horde modes as they feel like proper stages.
If you still haven't picked up L.A. Noire yet, your apathy has been rewarded by another cheap price for the complete edition (including all of the DLC cases).
It hasn’t even been out for a month yet, and here we are seeing the first time the PC version of Ubisoft’s shooter at the magic £20 mark. The Game Collection are the retailer in question, with their deal currently providing a saving of a fiver over the next best offer.
Whereas last year Skyrim let us catch fish with our bare hands, this year Far Cry 3 lets us wrestle sharks with our bare hands. That really should be the only reason you need to buy it, but it helps that it’s also one of the best FPS titles released in 2012. A huge open world shooter that’s action packed and fun to explore, the value for money here is unbelievable. Thanks to samster @ HUKD!
Far Cry 3 just strolled in at the end of the year like it owned the place and only went and gave us what may be the best shooter of the year. It's definitely the most improved sequel I've ever seen. The huge and beautiful tropical location is a pleasure to explore and there's so much to do as you play a tourist trying to rescue his friends from the local psychopaths. Jon loved the game in his review and I'm currently in the process of writing up a multiplayer review -the co-op is amazing so far. Come join us, the water's lovely. And full of sharks.
Far Cry 3 is nearly the perfect sandbox.
It's big, of course. Very big. The Rook Islands become a truly enormous playground good for dozens of hours of continued adventuring, stuffed with all manner of exciting shenanigans and unpredictable wild animals. It's well-crafted too, in that every square foot of terrain has been sculpted to make a fun and accessible environment for us to climb, drive and generally mess around in.
But Far Cry 3's greatest triumph lies behind the scenes: superbly versatile and unimpeachably solid core systems that constantly empower the player, making you feel like a consummate badass regardless of whether you're using stealth, cover, gunplay or fire to get the job done. What most games only let you watch in cutscenes, Far Cry 3 freely lets you do on a minute-by-minute basis. So long as you're good enough, you'll become a nightmarish jungle legend made flesh.
Click here to read more...
Dishonored is, quite frankly one of the best games of this generation, as we suggested in our 9/10 review. It's staggeringly good, stealthy tour-de-force that excels at providing some serious satisfaction when it comes to shadowy action. And it's now out over here in the UK today! So, to celebrate Arkane proving that you can drop a new IP at the end of a console cycle (take that, Gibeau!), here are ten tips to help you survive Dunwall's streets, sewers, and skyline.
Batman might be able to step into a tiny shadow and disappear, but you're not him. Guards will pass you over from a distance if you're hiding in a shadowy corner, but otherwise make sure that there's a solid object in between you and their eyes. Shadows are useful at range, but anyone up close will grow pretty suspicious. Still, if they do start getting uncomfortably close, you can always posses a rat and scurry away, or possess the guard himself and make him jump from a high ledge.
They might look a little bit like The Addams Family's eater eggs, but these disgusting mollusks have one purpose, and one purpose only: to vomit acid bile all over you until you drop dead. If you spot a cluster of them, check the surrounding area with Dark Vision for other humans. If there's no one around to hear you, blast the Krusts with a grenade. You could try and Blink past them, or even sneak if you have sound reduction on your boots, but otherwise blow them up from behind cover and then steal the pearls that they've been hiding.Click here to read more...
Developers: Ubisoft Montreal
In my last preview for Assassin's Creed III, I ripped down the web of historical lies that told us the French turned the tide of battle against the Redcoats at Chesapeak, and learned that it was mainly down to an Assassin with a jaunty hat. Well, a couple off weeks ago, I realised that, as it turns out, our fashionable murderer was also the one who dumped all of that lovely tea in Boston's harbour too.
Assassin's Creed III marks a period of transformation for Ubisoft's lucrative series. Not only is this final chapter in Desmond's story paving the way for a completely new approach to the series beyond October 31st, but Ubisoft have suggested that this is a game built to usher in the next generation. The AnvilNext engine is reportedly squeezing every last drop of power from the current systems, and it shows.
It's a game that represents so much upheaval, experimentation, and the forging of new paths, that the American Revolution seems an utterly perfect fit. From the tranquil, verdant forestland of the Homestead and its surrounding lands, to the glades and river-carved valleys of the frontier, to the wildly different, hustle and bustle of an adolescent Boston and New York - not yet fully formed, brimming with character and energy, the streets lined with soldiers, the public mood a simmering cauldron of dissatisfaction. Assassin's Creed III is a game that manages to both feel vastly different to its predecessors, and yet also utterly familiar.Click here to read more...
Assassin's Creed III is shaping up rather nicely from what we've seen thus far over the past few months. At Gamescom 2012 we caught up with lead game designer Steve Masters to get some perspective on how AC3 came into being, and what will differentiate the adventures of Connor Kenway from those of Altair and Ezio before him.
Matt Gardner: Ezio Auditore da Firenze was a much loved character. How do you go about replacing such a charismatic central protagonist?
Steve Masters: We didn't want to create the same character again. We wanted someone with a different personality, a different sort of style. Honestly, it was a huge amount of effort between a number of guys – so we had the lead creative director and the story guys injecting personality into the role, and then the concept artists as well developing his look. We've got a Mohawk consultant on board to ensure that the cultural representations in the game are authentic and that we don't do something incorrect in any way. So it's been a collaboration between a number of people, but it's spearheaded by our creative director, Alex Hutchinson, who's basically been responsible for ensuring that Connor has his own personality and his own character.
Matt Gardner: So who is Connor? What is it that differentiates this character from his predecessors, and how (if at all) does that feed into the gameplay?
Steve Masters: He's not as outgoing or flamboyant as Ezio maybe was; he's a little more reserved, he's quite taciturn, and a little bit more unrefined. He's not the product of high society, he's a half Mohawk-half British assassin. So he's an outsider – he's always been on the periphery of the cultures and societies he's been exposed to, so that's reflected in a different personality. But we wanted to take that sense of character and bring it to bear in gameplay terms as well, so he's a little bit rougher, a bit more brutal, and we've redesigned a number of the classic Assassin's Creed core moves and styles in order to reflect that and move the series forwards. Seeing his takedowns for the first time might provoke something of an 'Oh!' moment he can dual-wield now, and killon the move without breaking his flow.
Matt Gardner: Casting our minds back, before the game was officially unveiled, there was a great hubbub of wild theorising over the potential setting for this game. From the Far East to Victorian London to the slave trading in the Caribbean to the Terror of Revolutionary France. Why this setting? Why did you choose the American War of Independence?
Steve Masters: Well the American Revolution for us was a significant moment in time that brought great change to a vast society very quickly. We like to go to those pivotal moments in human history, we're all about times of great change, and the Revolution it starts a series of events that leads to an incredibly dramatic change in the relationship between citizens and their government. So as well as being one of those pivotal moments, we thought that it would be quite relevant to what is going on in the world today, and we thought we could expand the reach of the series with it.
There were some interesting gameplay possibilities too, like bringing in muskets. I mean, they're very basic guns, but their incorporation now allows us to do interesting things with pistols. We had the hidden gun before, but the introduction of flintlocks and some of the crazy weaponry that comes out of this era gave us a rich playground to work in.
There were so many events in this period there were absolutely iconic and full of dramatic potential. So we saw the time period as advantageous in both narrative and gameplay terms, as you can see from the stuff we've been showing.Click here to read more...