All posts under Feature
Far Cry 4 Valley of the Yetis

By on March 17, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Far Cry 3 — and Far Cry 4, which is just Far Cry 3 with a hat on — are all about one thing: outposts. Murdering bad guys in inventive and creative ways, involving bears as often as possible, is the bread and butter of Ubisoft’s new Far Cry, and it’s great. It’s genuinely great, and when I fired up Valley of the Yetis and began to take over my first outpost, immediately falling back into my old habits, I could feel a big grin spread across my face right away.

“This is what it’s all about,” I said to myself as I murdered a weird Tibetan mountain man with demon horns and threw his screaming body into a ravine. “This is what is best in life.”

Once they were all dead, Valley of the Yetis turned around and handed the outpost to me, and said “Now, you defend it from us.”

Yes, Valley of the Yetis. Yes I will.

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Grand Theft Auto 5 Heists

By on March 13, 2015 at 12:57 pm

Heists in Grand Theft Auto 5 Online. A long-awaited dream come true for many, though it’s worth remembering that in most instances, dreams end in a rude awakening before they can reach any sort of… satisfying conclusion.

It makes sense that in any large scale criminal endeavour, the most unreliable aspect is the participants. In GTA 5 Online’s heists, this comes in many forms, Network disconnections, deaths, mid-heist ragequits; the ways in which other players can get in the way of a successful heist are legion.

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Offworld Trading Company

By on March 11, 2015 at 2:19 pm

The former Civilization veteran behind a recently released economic real-time strategy title, Offworld Trading Company, says the reception to the game has been strong – but its unusual structure has made it a difficult sell.

“I don’t think we’ve figured out how to market this game,” Soren Johnson, the former lead designer of Civilization IV and now head of Mohawk Games, told at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco last week.

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League of Legends

By on March 9, 2015 at 1:32 pm

Getting rid of toxic and abusive environments in a game community doesn’t just benefit players – it has the potential to spread and start making the entire internet a better, safer place to interact.

Jeffrey Lin, head of the analytics research team at Riot, delivered this message at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco last week. He issued a strong directive for developers – you have a responsibility to make this happen.

But in order to do so, designers can’t wait days or even weeks before banning player or sending warnings, Lin said. They need to be immediate and extremely clear – otherwise, negative players will just continue their behavior.

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By on March 9, 2015 at 10:15 am

Telltale isn’t too concerned whether you think its projects are “games” or not, said the company’s CEO Kevin Bruner last week, instead arguing players should appreciate the projects for what they are – an innovative way of combining story and technology.

The comment was made during a presentation with Bruner,along with key writers and designers from Telltale during the Game Developer’s Conference. The group discussed what makes the company’s unique brand of adventure-style titles work.

“Whether they’re games or not, we don’t really care,” said Bruner, to applause from the room.

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homeworld remastered

By on March 5, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Homeworld is a deeply-loved franchise among PC gamers, and the news that Gearbox had picked up the rights to the games in THQ’s fire sale left many wondering if their precious memories would be treated with respect.

As Alex discovers, Homeworld Remastered is actually one of the best game remasters on the market, and sets a new standard for other companies to follow. Check out the video inside.

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By on March 5, 2015 at 11:03 am

Game developers need to start thinking more about eSports from the outset of their development, and create user interfaces friendly for spectators, players – and people who have absolutely no idea what’s going on.

In particular, designers should take influence from traditional sports broadcasts such as baseball to identify what information is most important, and what data simply makes people tired and confused.

This was the message delivered by Ryan Schutter of Blizzard, and Phillip Tan from the MIT Game Lab, during a talk at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.

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By on March 4, 2015 at 4:15 pm

Nvidia’s latest attempt to win over gamers in the living room is a set-top box with an exclusive emphasis on streaming video content, online services like YouTube, and full, new-release games in high definition.

The company announced the Nvidia Shield at a press event in San Francisco just now, but was present at a special hands-on session yesterday afternoon.

Nvidia is very much emphasising the Shield’s streaming capabilities as an advantage above competitors, at least in the gaming space. “We saw with Netflix how that has taken over the film and television experience in the living room,” a company rep said yesterday, adding it wants to create a similar experience for games.

“This is a streaming device on steroids,” it said.

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By on February 23, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Tomorrow marks two weeks to the day since Evolve arrived, and one thing is clear: it seems to be doing pretty well.

Not insanely well. Not blockbusteringly well. But just, you know, well. It’s chugging along. There haven’t been any server meltdowns, or last-minute patches. There haven’t been any emergency nerfs or unforeseen exploits. It’s just… doing okay.

Except, it seems, in the Court of Public Opinion — where Evolve is still struggling on a number of fronts. As one of the lawyers in that court, I’m going to use this article to tell you why you should be playing Evolve. I’m also going to have a bit of a go at Turtle Rock and 2K, because I think there’s some things getting in the way of Evolve really being that breakout success.

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Total War: Attilla

By on February 23, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Rome II was a disappointment. Not because it failed to meet the lofty expectations that are bound to come from being the first numbered sequel of one of the Total War franchise’s most beloved titles. Rather, it was because the game was a bloated, unwieldy mess. I appreciate my opinion of this is at odds with our previous review of the game, but I feel this context is necessary when discussing my reaction to the latest game from The Creative Assembly – Total War: Attila.

My reasons for so disliking the past game are numerous, but can be distilled into a key issue – lack of meaningful decisions. From its muddy combat, to a revised management system that unnecessarily abstracted key information, Rome II rarely made you feel you were in charge. Factor in the myriad of technical issues the game shipped with, and you should be able to understand my apprehension in approaching the latest Total War.

Thankfully, Attila represents a significant improvement on the past game. It may not return the series to the loft heights of earlier entries but it goes a long way to restoring faith in what The Creative Assembly is capable of.

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peter molyneux

By on February 17, 2015 at 10:40 am

Like almost everyone over the age of 30, there have been times where I have been stung by the bee of nostalgia. Our generation seems more determined than almost every other to demand a constant reinforcement of our childhood’s pop culture, whether it’s re-releases, re-makes, re-imaginings… or a combination of all three. When our demands are met, we reward them with cynicism and derision, after we quickly release that nostalgia is generally something that cannot be recaptured, let alone recompiled into a easily consumable package.

In reality, sentiment links us back to a particular moment or feeling in our past – somewhere safe, just and stable. Hollywood aren’t the only ones capitalising on this obsession, with a host of early game designers popping out of the woodwork, promising that their new (old?) projects and new (old?) ideas will right the wrongs done by those evil publishers who so long ago prevented these geniuses from realising their destinies.

Enough is enough.

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battlefield hardline

By on February 12, 2015 at 2:49 pm

I was talking to a friend on Skype after we had just played our first hour of Battlefield: Hardline‘s recent open beta, which included the new games modes Hotwire and Heist. We were discussing its improvements over the first Alpha test, which included noticeable polish, especially around the way that vehicles control and little things like frame rate and whatnot. I asked what he thought of the game in general. He paused for a moment before replying with “Well, it’s definitely Battlefield”.

He’s not wrong. Battlefield: Hardline is not a lot of things, and many of them for good reasons, but it’s almost certainly a Battlefield. Surprisingly enough, this is also one of its major problems.

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By on February 11, 2015 at 11:10 am

Every game of Evolve hinges around the Trapper. Their portable Dome and their knowledge of where and when to deploy it make the difference between victory and defeat in almost every encounter, and it’s vital that you know what you’re doing when your boots touch the ground. Let Joaby help you along the way.

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By on February 10, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Let’s not beat around the bush, friends: The Assault class is the most straightforward class in the game. You are the big guy with the big gun and the heavy armour, and your job is to make a mess of the monster’s face as fast as possible.

Is there more to it than that? Well… not really. But each Assault character plays differently, and there are other things to take into account.

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By on February 10, 2015 at 9:36 am

The Kraken is Evolve’s second monster, unlocked by getting one star in all of the Goliath’s four abilities (something which shouldn’t take you more than an hour or two, especially if you’re practicing against the AI just so you can use Rock Throw over and over and over without feeling bad).

If the Goliath is the tank, then the Kraken is the wizard — mysterious, vaguely bearded, and capable of dealing out immense long-range damage while hovering around. Playing as the Kraken requires planning and patience. Unlike the Goliath, rushing in and smashing everything in sight while furiously chaining attacks together will end badly. Instead, use your Cthulu-like brain to think ahead.

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