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Goat Simulator Review | Just Kidding Around

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Coffee Stain Studios, Goat Simulator, Indie Games, PC games, Sandbox games

Goat Simulator Review | Just Kidding Around

Goat Simulator is one of the first games that I've ever come across that arrives with a disclaimer from the developers concerned, actively warning people off of the game:

Goat Simulator is a small, broken and stupid game. It was made in a couple of weeks so don’t expect a game in the size and scope of GTA with goats. In fact, you’re better off not expecting anything at all actually. To be completely honest, it would be best if you’d spend your $10 on a hula hoop, a pile of bricks, or maybe a real-life goat.

And it might be right, you know.

For some, the thought of prancing about a pretty tiny, yet jam-packed sandbox as a crazy, bleating billy will seem completely pointless. Goat Simulator is a bit of an aberration -- a joke perhaps taken too far -- a broken, buggy mess that makes a mockery of game development and serves only as a flash in the pan designed to exploit today's obsession with YouTube-captured mishaps.

Goat Simulator is all of those things. Whether or not it's worth your ten dollars (or six pounds) will come down to how much of that you find amusing.

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Watch Dogs finally dated in tasty new trailer

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Action Games, PC, PC games, PS3, PS3 games, PS4, PS4 games, Sandbox games, Ubisoft, Watch Dogs, Wii U, Wii U games, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 games, Xbox One, Xbox One Games

PS4 gets extra content, Wii U gets extra delays

About time too. Just when our excitement for Watch Dogs reached critical mass, having previewed a production buildinterviewed the developers and even tested out the companion app, Ubisoft delayed their anticipated hacking sandbox at the eleventh hour. Then went dark.

The waiting began. The conjecture and concerns deepened. But now we can start to ramp back into hype mode, because Watch Dogs has been officially dated by way of a new trailer! So long as you don't want to buy it on Wii U, that is.

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Darkout Review | Despairia

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Allgraf, PC, PC games, Sandbox games, Survival

Darkout Review | Despairia

Platform: PC

Developer: Allgraf

Publisher: KISS Ltd

Darkout creates atmosphere better than any crafting sandbox game I've ever played.

Though heavily influenced by Terraria and Minecraft, this new procedural indie effort swaps lurid voxels for dense backgrounds and a rich colour palette, stranding us on a twilight forest world where shadowy predators hunt us through rippling bioluminescent foliage. Our unlucky astronaut is forced to subsist from the most primitive basics, crafting primitive shelters and tools from whatever they can find before eventually bringing outrageous future technology to bear, all while desperately trying to keep the lights on. There's a sense of real purpose, of threat, despair and desperation, that you rarely get from a procedural craft'em up.

Darkout Review | Despairia

Mind you, the player character model sticks out like a sore thumb: a clunky cutesy cartoon caricature who undoes almost all of Allgraf's good work in an instant. They've promised to improve the art assets across the board, but I'm afraid that this is a symptom of Darkout's biggest flaw.

Despite not being an Early Access title, it's neither complete nor fully ready yet.

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Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Review | Brilliant Buccaneering

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
AAAARGH ME HEARTIES!, Action Games, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Pirates, Sandbox games, Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montreal

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Review | Brilliant Buccaneering

Platforms: PC | PS4 (tested) | Xbox One | PS3 | Xbox 360 (tested)

Developers: Ubisoft Montreal

Publishers: Ubisoft

Apologies to those of you who've followed my writing on Assassin's Creed over the last couple of years as I'm going to repeat myself a little bit here, but for those of you coming into this review in need of a little context, here's the beef: Assassin's Creed III was a sprawling, clunky, overstretched, uneven adventure with a dull central character and too many diffuse game components that failed to come together to present an engaging, cohesive world. There was little freedom, too much linearity in a paradoxically gigantic world, a lack of verticality (the first thing anyone does in AC is climb the nearest tall steeple or spire), and an abandoning of the thing that had made the franchise great. The key has always been in the title: we want to assassinate people.

Thankfully, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag does much to bring stalking one's prey however you like back in a big way.

We'll get to the pirate stuff itself, but let's look at how the more familiar elements to the series have been tweaked up and expanded upon for this game. The best things from Assassin's Creed III -- things like running assassinations, the wide variety of darts, and treetop parkour -- have all returned. But now there's verticality to go with that. Not on the scale of the urban hives of activity that Rome and Constantinople and the Crusader cities presented to us, but enough to warrant more than enough rooftop hopping.

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Dead Rising 3 Interview | Josh Bridge On The Next-Gen Zombie Killathon

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Capcom Vancouver, Dead Rising 3, Games previews, Horror games, Interviews, Josh Bridge, Microsoft Studios, Sandbox games, Video interviews, Xbox One Games

Dead Rising 3 Interview | Josh Bridge On The Next-Gen Zombie Killathon

I've been rather underwhelmed by the exclusive offerings of both Sony and Microsoft up to this point, but Dead Rising 3 has given me a hefty hook and provided some much needed excitement. With more news each day of further game delays, and the wise choice looking like patience and prudence this Christmas, Capcom Vancouver have turned up with a game that I really, really want. I don't know how good it's going to be, I don't know just how deep all of the systems run, but I do know this: that game put the biggest smile on my face at Microsoft's Xbox One showcase yesterday, and it still hasn't come off. It's funny, it's empowering, it's expansive and ambitious, there's reams of choice and customisation. This is how you craft catharsis.

Dead Rising 3 is one of the Xbox One's flagship launch titles, carrying a hefty amount of expectation upon its shoulders. It's had a bit of a rough year in terms of reveals to the public at E3, framerate issues and Gamescom , and the stuttering, see-sawing marketing messages from Microsoft, but njow, close to launch, it looks like it's coming out of the gates hot. - Dead Rising 3 Preview

We sat down with executive producer Josh Bridge at a showcase event earlier this week to chat about how the power of the Xbox One is being used to propel the franchise forwards with this third game.

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Dead Rising 3 Hands-On Preview | Crafting Catharsis

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Capcom Vancouver, Dead Rising 3, Games previews, Horror games, Microsoft Studios, Sandbox games, Xbox One Games

Dead Rising 3 Hands-On Preview | Crafting Catharsis

Platforms: Xbox One

Developers: Capcom Vancouver

Publishers: Microsoft Studios

In line with Microsoft's seeming inability to get their PR and marketing messages straight earlier this year, I don't think any of us were particularly thrilled by Dead Rising 3's appearance at this year's E3. The trailer looked dour and grim, anathema to our memories of a series that has often been characterised by over-the-top, hilariously creative undead bashing.

Then Dead Rising 3 turned up in playable form at Gamescom, though we didn't have time to see it sadly, and all of the reports there were of dodgy framerate issues, but there were hints towards the freeform, anarchic nature of the older games, lashings of crafting and customisation, and Chinese whispers of yes it is pretty grey and brown, but I carved zombies up with a nitrous-boosted digger.

Dead Rising 3 Hands-On Preview | Crafting Catharsis

As it turns out, we can have our cake and eat it too. Alan Jarvie's art direction for this game might lean rather more towards the gritty, realistic end of the spectrum, but that's ok. The zombies in Dead Rising 3 do feel a little bit more fearsome, the tone is set a little darker, there's actually a bit of a horror feel to things this time around. But that doesn't mean you can't have hilarious, side-splitting moments of emergent brilliance and rampant hilarity. Dead Rising 3 is looking like a game that gives the best of both worlds, with enough variety in terms of game modes, customisation, and crafting to play the game however we want.

And just in case you haven't been listening to Game Buzz or read any of our stuff over the past...forever, we love choice.

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Project Zomboid Gets Steam Early Access This Friday

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
News
Tags:
Desura, Horror games, Project Zomboid, Sandbox games, Steam, Steam Early Access, Survival Horror Games, The Indie Stone

Project Zomboid Gets Steam Early Access This Friday

Keys Available From Desura For £4.99 Until Then

UK developer The Indie Stone announced last night that Project Zomboid will be making it long awaited appearance on Steam as an Early Access purchase from Friday. Considering the zombie survival sandbox title has been greenlit for quite a while now, the news will no doubt be welcomed by those who voted for its inclusion on Valve's digital marketplace many months ago.

To mark this occasion, the price for the title has been slashed over on Desura to £4.99. That's a 50% reduction on the price it will be from Friday, and purchasing on the indie-focused store will immediately grant a Steam key to pre-load the game. Those who have previous purchased the Alpha build will be able to claim a key as well, with details on how to do this found here.

A lot has changed since I last got hands-on with Project Zomboid earlier this year in a set of episodes for Dealspwn Playthrough - the engine has been revamped, the crafting system given more depth, and the struggle against zombie hordes made a much more dangerous affair. You can expect us to check out the latest build once it hits the game this Friday.

EverQuest Next Preview | Building A New World With Landmark

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Everquest Next, Everquest Next Landmark, Gamescom 2013, MMORPGs, PC games, ProSiebenSat.1, Sandbox games, Terry Michaels

EverQuest Next Preview | Building A New World With Landmark

Platform: PC

Developer: Sony Online Entertainment

Publisher: ProSibenSat.1

At this year's Gamescom, I was invited to join a press session hosted by Terry Michaels, Senior Producer on EQN, to learn a bit more about the upcoming MMO EverQuest Next, which was announced last month during SOE Live. Admittedly, a lot of the information that was shown was already fairly common knowledge, and so if you have yet to learn about what EverQuest Next involves, or just fancy a recap, you can do so by taking a gander at our reveal round-up from last month. Or, for those of you in a hurry, here’s the short version: Everquest Next is a  Free-to-play sandbox MMO where players can mix and match class abilities, rip apart the world with spells and abilities to explore four levels of world depth, with each server potentially being unique depending on how players react to its story arcs. Alongside this is EverQuest Next: Landmark – a stand-alone game where players can create their own buildings and landscapes using the same tools as the developers which can then be placed in the main game (or, alternatively, players can sell them as blueprints to others for real money.) There’s a lot more detail not covered in that brief summary (and it’s certainly worth reading up on) but those are the main points.

So with that in mind, we’re going to focus on the new tidbits of information about Landmark that were revealed at Gamescom.

During the reveal we got to see two classes – the Wizard and the Warrior – but up until now we had no idea what class players would be assuming during their time in Landmark at the end of the year. Well, Michaels announced during the press session that it will be the Adventurer class that will be playable in the creation sandbox, and that any progress earned whilst playing (or creating) will transfer over into EQN. This means that, because of the multiclass setup to mix and abilities from various classes, most players should have a strong line-up of actions to perform right off the bat when EQN does go live in the future. Michaels implied that although the main focus of Landmark will be creation and a way for the community to help build the world of Norrath with the developers, it would also be the entry point for the entire EQN experience when it launched later this year.

EverQuest Next Preview | Building A New World With Landmark

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inFamous: Second Son Release Narrows To February

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
PS4 games, Sandbox games, Sucker Punch

inFamous: Second Son Release Narrows To February

Just a quickie: Sony have informed Polygon that inFamous: Second Son is going to release in February 2014. Which I suppose is just inside the 'launch window,' if you're being generous. The anticipated Sucker Punch sequel has turned some heads for its new fire and smoke-related abilities, along with its sumptuously-modelled Seattle.

The brand new inFamous: Second Son Gamescom trailer introduces Fetch, who's seriously bad news.

Dead Rising 3 Gameplay Montage Gets Creative

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Capcom, Dead Rising 3, Gamescom 2013, Sandbox games, Xbox One Games

Dead Rising 3 Gameplay Montage Gets Creative

Capcom have thrown together a montage of Dead Rising 3 gameplay footage, which frankly looks excellent barring an inconsistent frame rate (which could be down to the video). Well worth a watch if you're thinking about getting involved in the Xbox One launch title, since you can see an enormous range of ridiculous guns, silly costumes and outrageous combo vehicles in action.

Before you ask, Capcom have reiterated that Dead Rising 3 won't come to other platforms. Ever.

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Saints Row IV Review | Superpowered Sandbox

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Deep Silver, Saints Row IV, Sandbox games, Superhero games, Volition Inc.

Saints Row IV Review | Superpowered Sandbox

Platforms: PCPS3 Xbox 360 (reviewed)

Developers: Volition Inc.

Publishers: Deep Silver

The 3rd Street Saints are much more than a bunch of purple-flecked gangbangers these days. In fact, they're running the country, and you, as the Boss, now answer to the name of Mr. President. There are a bunch of familiar faces in your Cabinet -- Keith David is your VP (now playing himself rather than the duplicitous Julius), Kinzie is your Press Secretary, Shaundi is heading up the Secret Service, and Benjamin "muthaf***ing" King is now your Chief of Staff.

And they all get kidnapped by aliens.

If you thought Saints Row: The Third went a little over the top, look away now. Saints Row IV goes bigger, better, and more batshit crazy than ever before. The Earth gets invaded by a race called the Zin, a bunch of extraterrestrials who resemble what the offspring of Mortal Kombat's Baraka and Goro might look like if they ever got it on. Their leader -- Zinyak -- is an egomaniacal Brit (to hear him speak), who finds himself amused at the Saints' tenacity, and isn't adverse to throwing verses of Shakespeare at you whilst bombarding you with waves of goons to demonstrate his superior strength and intellect.

The Zin enslave the human race, beaming them up to God knows where, and incarcerating key humans, such as the President, in individual virtual prisons, not unlike the Matrix. And much like the narrative in the Wachowski brothers' sci-fi opus, the game involves you breaking down the virtual code from  the inside, exploiting glitches and corrupting the code of your own simulated dungeon, and gradually turning the red of the Zin into the purple of the Saints.

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Dealspwn Playthrough | Saints Row IV Gameplay - Flashpoints and Towers

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Dealspwn Playthrough, Deep Silver, Saints Row IV, Sandbox games, Shaft vs. Mal Reynolds, Videos, Volition Inc.

Dealspwn Playthrough | Saints Row IV Gameplay - Flashpoints and Towers
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.

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Opening Scenes | Saints Row IV Gameplay – First 25 Mins

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Deep Silver, Opening Scenes, Saints Row IV, Sandbox games, Videos, Volition Inc.

 

Opening Scenes | Saints Row IV Gameplay – First 25 Mins

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.*

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Everquest Next Debut Roundup

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
News
Tags:
Everquest Next, Everquest Next Landmark, Free to play, MMORPGs, PC games, Sandbox games, SOE Live 2013, Sony Online Entertainment

Everquest Next Debut Roundup

Could The Granddaddy Of the MMO Reinvent The Genre A Second Time?

After months of waiting, chinese whispers, and downright teasing, Sony Online Entertainment finally revealed what they had up their sleaves with Everquest Next last night, and while there are still a lot of unanswered question what SOE did show was definitely something worthy of the hype they have built up over the last several months. During the keynote at SOE Live in Las Vegas, the development team took to the stage and showed how exactly they plan on making EQN the next step in the evolution of the MMO genre. We’ve got the details, including the keynote itself, for your perusal after the jump.

Be seated comfortably though, because this one, as they say, is a doosy.

Everquest Next Debut Roundup

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Guncraft Comes To Steam On August 9th

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Exato Game Studios, FPS, Guncraft, PC games, Sandbox games, Steam

Guncraft Comes To Steam On August 9th

Guns & Minecraft? Yes, Basically

Guncraft, the voxel FPS that challenges players to build maps, characters, vehicles and weapons on the fly, will release on Steam on August 9th. Expect some new features and trading cards, naturally.

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GTA Complete Package | £7.00 (With Code) | Gamefly | PC

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Action Games, PC games, Rockstar Games, Sandbox games

GTA Complete Package | £7.00 (With Code) | Gamefly | PC

GTA Complete Package | Gamefly | £7.00 (RRP: £39)
Voucher Code: GFDJUL20UK

Contains pretty much every Grand Theft Auto game and expansion ever released, except GTA London. Thanks to aitk3n @ HUKD!

Saints Row IV Hands-On Preview | Super Silly

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Action Games, Deep Silver, Dubstep, Saints Row IV, Sandbox games, Voli

Saints Row IV Hands-On Preview | Super Silly

Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360

Developers: Volition Inc.

Publishers: Deep Silver

Why is The Boss now President of the United States? Why does he find himself trapped within a virtual version of Steelport reminiscent of The Matrix? Where did these B-movie aliens and their impeccable English accents come from? Do I punch a guy in the balls or in the head for being a git? These are all questions that my hands-on time with the E3 demo for Saints Row IV threw up, and for the most part, they're all questions that I ignored.

We loved Prototype, as much as you can love a game that has The Most Bland Protagonist Ever Created as its central character. But it was the sandbox freedom that we enjoyed, helping along to no small extent by creating fantastic traversal systems and plenty of fun mechanics and powers to play (murder people) with. New York was reliably boring, but that didn't matter so much to us when we were whipping apaches out of the sky with tentacles and beating tanks into submission with their own turrets. Radical Entertainment gave us a whole bunch of fun tools and told us to go play with them.

Saints Row IV Hands-On Preview | Super Silly

It's an approach that Volition took to heart with Saints Row: The Third, to mixed reactions. Some embraced the silliness; others lamented that the series hadn't iterated more on the choice-laden empire building of Saints Row 2. For my part, I heartily enjoyed both games, but for admittedly different reasons.

One thing is for certain, if you found Saints Row 3 too silly for your liking, it might be best if you look away now.

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Nostalgia Reigns As Everquest Next Website Opens

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
News
Tags:
Everquest Next, John Smedley, MMORPGs, Sandbox games, Sony Online Entertainment, Website launch

Nostalgia Reigns As Everquest Next Website Opens

SOE Employees Regale Virtual Tales Of Yore

We won’t be getting any actual information until SOE Live in August, but Sony Online Entertainment have opened up a new website dedicated to the upcoming sequel to the original MMORPG success story – Everquest. The website contains five videos that tell a different story relating to Everquest and Everquest 2, from dressing up in costumes for a wedding, to helpful parenting tips, and winning a car. You can check them out by heading over to the Everquest Next website here.

Details are rather light on the ground at the moment, but we do know that Everquest Next will use the Forgelight engine that is currently used for Planetside 2 (which means huge open areas of land and thousands of players online at once are possible) and SOE studio head John Smedley has hinted heavily at the idea that it will be a huge sandbox game, distancing itself from the theme park experience that was Everquest 2. We’ll keep you posted on any new information as it emerges.

Dealspwn Playthrough | Project Zomboid - This Is How I Died Part 4

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Dealspwn Playthrough, Gameplay, Horror games, Project Zomboid, Sandbox games, Survival Horror Games, The Indie Stone

Dealspwn Playthrough | Project Zomboid - This Is How I Died Part 4
In our fourth episode dedicated to The Indie Stone's survival horror sandbox Project Zomboid, Carl faces off against the largest horde of zombies yet as he fights his way out of the diner. Does he survive? Do the undead finally get their fleshy meal? Will those steaks ever finish cooking? All these answers and more are in today's Dealspwn Playthrough, after the jump.

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Dealspwn Playthrough | Project Zomboid - This Is How I Died Part 3

Author:
Carl Phillips
Category:
Features
Tags:
Dealspwn Playthrough, Horror games, PC games, Project Zomboid, Sandbox games, Survival Horror Games, The Indie Stone, Zombies

Dealspwn Playthrough | Project Zomboid - This Is How I Died Part 3

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.

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