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Sandbox games

Saints Row IV only £4 on PC at Games Planet

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Action Games, PC games, Saints Row IV, Sandbox games

Saints Row IV only £4 on PC at Games Planet

Saints Row IV | Games Planet | £4
Price ComparisonReview

Saints Row IV might not be the most difficult game out there, but by god it's fun. Probably one of the finest sandbox games out there just for sheer insanity, Saints Row IV might just be the best game in the series (although I kind of swing between this and SR2 on a daily basis). You can grab it for around £4 at German site Games Planet, though only buy if you're based in the EU as the Steam code is region locked.

Be quick, mind, as there are only 12 and a half hours left to go for this flash deal.

Thanks to socialjeebus at HotUkDeals.

Watch Dogs: DedSec Edition just £44.99 at Base

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Action Games, PS4 games, Sandbox games, Ubisoft, Watch Dogs: DedSec Edition

Watch Dogs: DedSec Edition just £44.99 at Base

Watch Dogs: DedSec Edition | Base | 44.99 | Review

Base are not necessarily the most reliable retailer when it comes to snappy delivery, but this one might be worth the wait. Watch Dogs: DedSec Edition is just £44.99 at Base right now, and this limited edition package comes with some rather tasty stuff.

One for collector's, the DedSec Edition comes with the following:

A 23cm Aiden Pearce Figurine
Steelbook
DedSec Collector box
Watch Dogs Artbook: artworks and illustrations that inspired the game
Original soundtrack of the game
Watch_Dogs map of Chicago
Set of 4 collectible cards: discover Watch_Dogs iconic characters through augmented reality
Set of 3 exclusive badges

Also included is around 60 minutes of extra DLC and bonus weapon rewards. If you've not discovered the delights of Chicago yet, this might just be the perfect opportunity. After the Destiny beta, natch.

Great spot by Jas10.

Don't have GTA V and can't be arsed to move or wait? It's now half price on Xbox 360

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
GTA V, Sandbox games, Xbox 360 games

Don't have GTA V and can't be arsed to move or wait? It's now half price on Xbox 360

GTA V has had a 50% price cut on Xbox 360, but the offer only runs until midnight tonight. It's worth noting that you've been able to get it at this price from retailers for a while, but it's a useful drop for the supremely lazy and those box-haters out there.

It's a slightly sad indictment of digital pricing, to be honest. Apparently not making loads of cases and printing crates of disc is super expensive. Still, sometimes you just have to have it immediately, and maybe that's worth paying for. Not at full price, mind. But that's what deals are for.

Skills For Kills, Agent! Crackdown finally confirmed for Xbox One

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Cloudgine, Crackdown, Microsoft E3 2014 Press Conference, Sandbox games, Xbox One Games

Crackdown is indeed coming to the Xbox One, confirmed today by a suitably ridiculous CG trailer during Microsoft's E3 press conference.

Expect killing criminals with guns, destructible buildings, killing criminals by throwing cars at them, a variety of vehicles, killing goons by blowing them up and generally inflicting as much insane police brutality as possible in a massive cel-shaded playground.

Hopefully. Series creator Dave Jones and Scottish studio Cloudgine have yet to show us any gameplay, but frankly we've been waiting long enough. Let's have it. I've just gotta get those pendulous orbs.

Dead Rising 3 jumps from Xbox One to PC

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
News
Tags:
Capcom, Capcom Vancouver, PC games, Sandbox games, Xbox One Games

Play it with an Xbox One controller

Dead Rising 3 was our favourite launch title on either new-gen console by a country mile, translating horsepower into outrageous fun rather than shiny graphics. However, PC gamers will soon be able to get in on the action with a graphically-enhanced PC version of the Xbox One exclusive, boasting "upgraded textures" and trading cards if you buy on Steam.

You might not have to play it on Xbox One, but at least you can use an Xbox One controller. Microsoft has now released the drivers at long last; they'll be included in a later automatic Windows update or you can grab them now from Major Nelson. Unlike the Xbox 360 controller, you can connect it via a standard micro USB cable.

Watch Dogs Review | Big Dog

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
PC games, PS3 games, PS4 games, Sandbox games, Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Reflections, Watch Dogs, Xbox 360 games

Watch Dogs Review | Big Dog

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

Developer: Ubisoft MontrealUbisoft Reflections

Publisher: Ubisoft

Watch Dogs has its moments.

Interconnected future Chicago is a hacker's playground. You'll infiltrate heavily guarded compounds without even setting foot in the building, leaping between CCTV cameras like a digital ghost. You'll turn car chases into carnage as you detonate sub-street steam pipes and raise bridges, speeding away from pile-ups that would make Elwood Blues doff his fedora. Vindictive players will terrorise panicking criminals by remotely sending them threatening texts and arming their grenades, an unseen terror who eventually sneaks in to mop up stragglers with a baton and silenced pistol.

When its hacking, gunplay, stealth and driving come together, the result is pure water cooler magic.

Unfortunately these moments are wrapped in an open-world game that's arguably too big, flabby and formulaic for its own good, but they still make Watch Dogs well worth playing.

Click here to read more...

Nether Hates Me, But I Kinda Love it | Early Access Preview

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Features
Tags:
Early Access, Nether Productions, PC, PC games, Phosphor Games Studio, Sandbox games, Survival games

Nether Hates Me, But I Kinda Love it | Early Access Preview

Platform: PC (Steam Early Access)

Developer: Phosphor Games

Publisher: Nether Productions

It took me five minutes to hate Nether with a passion. Taking its cues from the likes of DayZ and Rust, this Unreal-powered indie effort threw me straight into a grim grey world with little more than a butter knife and a mysterious parcel. I wandered around the vast empty expanse for what felt like an eternity, surveying the ruined cityscape and initially-mediocre visuals, hacked up a teleporting fiend and took its tongue, then got my face ripped off by a massive bat creature. New character. Reload. My next avatar fared little better, surviving for a few minutes until a malicious player shot me in the back of the head and didn't even bother to loot my pathetic possessions. The urge to ragequit was overwhelming.

Then, suddenly, everything clicked and I realised that I wasn't just surviving - I was loving every silly, unpolished, harrowing player-driven second of it.

Nether Hates Me, But I Kinda Love it | Early Access Preview

Two things happened. First off, I blundered into the options menu and enabled anti-aliasing like the dolt I am. It was like receiving cataract surgery as the world resolved into a softer, sharper, more hauntingly beautiful place. Though no graphical powerhouse and lousy with visual quirks, Nether is a cut above its peers.

But, more importantly, I started playing with Carl over VOIP... at which point I discovered that Phosphor Games are creating a unique take on the sandbox survival genre that allows you to make your own fun in some interesting ways, and gives you a reason to play beyond just living another day.

Click here to read more...

Only a few hours left to nab Saints Row IV for £7.49 at the Humble Store

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Action Games, Deep Silver, PC games, Saints Row IV, Sandbox games, Volition Inc.

Only a few hours left to nab Saints Row IV for £7.49 at the Humble Store

Saints Row IV | Humble Store | £7.49
Price ComparisonReview

I got a massive kick out of Saints Row IV thanks to its focus on giving you ridiculous superpowers, outlandish weapons, and setting you in a homage-toting version of the Matrix. It's a whole bunch of fun, and it's on sale over at the Humble Store for the next seven hours.

 

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.

Click here to read more...

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.

Click here to read more...

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.

Click here to read more...

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.

Click here to read more...

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.

Click here to read more...

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.

Click here to read more...

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

Click here to read more...

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.

Click here to read more...

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.

Click here to read more...

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.

Click here to read more...