Feature
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How a talented programmer practically bluffed his way into the games industry, and why Crytek has not yet fulfilled its potential.

The story of Crytek: From X-Isle through Redemption

Crytek thrives on hyperbole. It is a developer known for pulling game technology forward, for being one of a handful of companies that will push the most powerful gaming machine to its limits. That hyperbole has become a kind of joke, in fact. "Does it run Crysis?" points to the flaws in any given piece of gaming hardware. But it points back to Crytek at the same time, begging the question, "Does my machine need to run Crysis?" Crytek's founder, Cevat Yerli, has always had a way with machines. A way of forcing them to perform amazing things on the screen, something he says is part of his company's DNA. It comes easy for team members. But with their latest title, Crysis 3, he thinks they may have focused their efforts too much on that technical side. "People really branded...

A guided video tour of an Unreal Tournament map

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Culture
5 Comments

Here's Warner Bros.' plan to make a lot more Harry Potter

Warner Bros. Entertainment is ensuring we will see more of Harry Potter, according to Variety — a lot more. The studio has assembled a creative and business strike squad called the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team. Based in London and Burbank, the group will control the vision for Harry Potter — "and its ancillary brands" —moving forward. The move to expand upon Harry Potter is part of Warner Bros.' creative partnership with author J.K. Rowling, the fruits of which were most recently seen in Diagon Alley, an expansion to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida. According to Variety, the team will oversee development for "new film series in 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'; the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry...
Culture
2 Comments

Twitter can fix its harassment problem, but why mess with success?

Twitter is an amazing set of golden handcuffs for people working in creative fields. As a service it allows you to share your work, talk with other like-minded people and engage directly with your audience. It's impacted the language we've adopted; Twitter is a powerful enough force that we say words like "engage." If you create any form of "content" it can be hard, if not impossible, to operate without using Twitter in some way. If you're a woman or a minority, on the other hand, it's also impossible to use the service without putting up with a daily drip-feed of hateful slurs, rape and death threats or people sharing your personal information, up to and including phone numbers and home addresses, as a means of intimidation. On many days it becomes a flood. For popular targets those...
News
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PlayStation Plus free games for August include Fez and Crysis 3

Fez and Crysis 3 lead the lineup of six games that will be available free to PlayStation Plus subscribers in August, Sony announced today. Polytron's Fez (screenshot above) will be free on PlayStation 4 along with Road Not Taken, the upcoming puzzle roguelike from Spry Fox. PlayStation 3 owners will be able to pick up Crysis 3 from Crytek and Proteus from David Kanaga, Ed Key and porting house Curve Studios. Vanillaware's Dragon's Crown and Digital Dreams' Metrico will be the two free titles on PlayStation Vita. Sony, in accordance with its recently overhauled strategy for its PlayStation Plus release schedule, will make all six aforementioned games free on the first Tuesday of the month, Aug. 5. That happens to be the release date for two of the titles in question, Metrico and Road...
Opinion
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What the world needs is not just a selfie phone, but more selfie video games

Microsoft's new phone, designed specifically for people who like to take photographs of themselves, is surely a gadget in dire need of a video gaming killer app.According to The Verge, Microsoft's selfie phone, previously revealed as codename Superman, is a handset with a 5-megapixel forward-facing camera and 4.7-inch display. This is serious innovation, of course. A camera on the front instead of on the back. Now you can celebrate your own wonderfulness without the inconvenience of turning the phone around. Unless you're a bathroom-mirror picture-taker. Then it all starts to get a bit complicated. But what kind of person would want to just take a bunch of selfies, without there being some way of keeping score, without some sort of fundamental point to the exercise? 21st century...
Opinion
206 Comments

The days of owning games are coming to an end

There's only so much you can do with a customer who buys a game. And I mean buying a game in the traditional sense, where you go to a store, pick up a physical product, and can play that product on your hardware forever and ever, amen. Sony has found success with "giving away" games every month for subscription of PlayStation Plus, and Microsoft is now catching up and starting to up the quality of the games being offered. But EA is taking things a step forward and launching a subscription-based service for the Xbox One. The price is relatively low. $30 a year gets you access to games, early access to content and a discount on new releases and DLC. If you're a fan of more than two or three EA franchises it's almost a no-brainer. You're going to save money, and EA likely has enough betas...
23 Comments
Polynauts

What games on the Hype Train exceeded your expectations?

Back in 2012 we asked the Polygon community a question: "What games on the Hype Train exceeded your expectations?" Since then we had a number of great responses from the Polynauts, all of which are listed below. The hype train is coming folks, and it's stopping at Kingdom Hearts, Castlevania, Skyrim, LBP2, Fallout 3 and Red Dead Redemption. - feel free to add more stops in the comments section below about the games you feel are hype-tastic. For me, my ‘Hype Train' was justified in the shape of the cowboy sim, Red Dead Redemption. A little background, I don't like GTA games. I never have, I probably never will. Something about the series annoys me, it might be the driving controls, it might be the "serious" business of crime, I don't know. Anyway, when I first heard about RDR,...
News
13 Comments

Homefront: The Revolution devs to move to Deep Silver as Crytek scales back two studios

Crytek's ongoing transition from a game developer to an online publisher is resulting in the effective shutdown of two internal studios, Crytek UK and Crytek USA, the company announced today. Earlier today, Deep Silver parent company Koch Media announced that it is acquiring the Homefront intellectual property from Crytek. The next game in the franchise, Homefront: The Revolution, was originally being developed by Nottingham, U.K.-based Crytek UK. Deep Silver is founding a new studio in Nottingham called Deep Silver Dambuster Studios, which will handle the development of the Homefront series going forward. Once the Homefront acquisition is complete, the members of the Homefront: The Revolution development team will "transfer their talents" to Dambuster Studios and continue working on...
Top Games
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    • Platforms: Win, 360, PS3, Wii U, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Ubisoft
    • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
    • Release Date: 2014-05-27
  • Destiny
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Activision
    • Developer: Bungie
    • Release Date: 2014-09-09
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
    • Platforms: Mac, Win, iOS, Android
    • Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
  • Dark Souls 2
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, Win
    • Publisher: Namco Bandai
    • Developer: From Software
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
All Games
News
4 Comments

Hatoful Boyfriend will let you date pigeons on Aug. 21

Admit it: you've given serious thought at least once to what it would be like to date a pigeon. On Aug. 21 all your pigeon dating sim dreams will come true when Hatoful Boyfriend launches for Linux, Mac and Windows PC, publisher Devolver Digital announced today. As the last human woman in the world, in Hatoful Boyfriend, you have no choice but to enroll yourself in pigeon high school and throw your search for true love literally to the birds. In this revamped HD version of manga artist Hato Moa's 2011 original, developer Mediatonic — the folks behind Amateur Surgeon and Foul Play — sets players in a world overrun with pigeon hotties just waiting to be courted. The game is available to pre-order through Steam now at 10 percent off its $9.99 price tag. Mediatonic's version also...
News
48 Comments

Destiny beta: Over 4.6 million served

More than 4.6 million people played the beta for Bungie's Destiny, publisher Activision announced today. The beta began July 17 on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, then kicked off July 22 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One before concluding on the night of July 27. Across those four platforms, a total of 4,638,937 unique players explored the beta. That player base makes the Destiny beta the biggest one in this console generation so far, as well as "the largest console beta ever for a new video game IP," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, in a press release today. As a comparison, Respawn Entertainment's beta for Titanfall in mid-February brought in approximately 2 million players, although it was available only on Windows PC and Xbox One. "We were totally blown away by the...
Culture
4 Comments

We knew Dark Souls 2 was missing something (it's Rocky)

Dark Souls 2 is about overcoming impossible odds, rolling with the punches, training towards perfection, until one day the underdog climbs the steps of Majula and raises his or her hands as the heavyweight champion of Drangleic. Dark Souls 2 isn't the obvious candidate to be a Rocky simulator, but watching this video by YouTube user SomaVlog, I see the similarities. The combat, in which the player learns and exploits enemies' attack patterns, has long drawn comparisons to arguably the best unofficial Rocky game of all time, Punch-Out!!. And the player undergoes the arc similar to the world's favorite tomato can, getting pulverized by life and a bevy of oddball antagonists. I don't know about you, but I'm inspired to return to Dark Souls 2 as a brawler. Then immediately quit after...
Culture
7 Comments

Bit Bash might be the next great indie game festival

Bit Bash is a free independent games festival being held in Chicago on September 6. It's the pet project of Jamie Sanchez, a creative professional who lives in the city, as well as other indie game developers and other members of of the Indie City Collective, a game development association and co-working space on Chicago's North Side. Sanchez says that the Chicago indie game scene is in need of better local as well as international promotion. With Bit Bash, she hopes to light a fire in the city and help promote the work of the growing enclave of developers there. "I had been hearing rumblings in Chicago for the need for more community gatherings," Sanchez told Polygon. "The need to get people, the public, interested. Involved. Educated on some level about indie games. "But we also...
News
3 Comments

Xbox One will launch in China on Sept. 23

The Xbox One will launch in China on Sept. 23, Microsoft announced today. The hardware — the first game console approved for sale within China's Free Trade Zone in Shanghai — will cost 3,699 Chinese yuan (approximately $599.35). Pre-orders in the territory are available now through Microsoft and regional partner BesTV. Games for the Xbox One in China will cost between 99 and 249 yuan. On day one, the console will launch in China with Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, Powerstar Golf and Zoo Tycoon, among others. Games slated to launch in China later this year include Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Sunset Overdrive. Publishers including 2K, EA and Ubisoft have also pledged to bring their games to China in the future. China's ban on the sale...
From SB Nation
18 Comments

FIFA International Soccer had two of the best glitches in video game history

Early FIFA wasn't as polished as modern FIFA, which led to these wonderful, classic screw-ups. FIFA is a miraculous game franchise. Modern versions of the game have incredible graphics, and are realistic enough to captivate you for hours and days and months while video game-y enough to be fun. You can lose yourself in a dynasty mode, you can kill away days playing friends. They are crowning achievements of what sports video games can be. They were not always that way. FIFA International Soccer (sometimes called "FIFA 94") was the first edition of FIFA. It only had national teams, and these teams had fictional players. It was a pretty good effort for an early rendition of a video game, but we're not here to praise it. We're here to talk about two of the most fun glitches in video...
News
7 Comments

Roguelike JRPG Dragon Fin Soup introduces another mode challenge and aggravate you

Roguelike Japanese role-playing game hybrid Dragon Fin Soup will include an Endless Labyrinth mode designed to push players' skills and patience to the limits, developer Grimm Bros. announced this morning. Endless Labyrinth mode features just that — an endless labyrinth packed with high-level bosses and traps that can take players out for the slightest misstep. Players can share how long they survive with their friends, competing for high scores in this arena designed to test their mettle. Additionally, Dragon Fin Soup will be featured in Cologne, Germany, next month at Gamescom's first-ever Indie Megabooth. The show runs from Aug. 13-17. Dragon Fin Soup, which was funded through Kickstarter earlier this year and approved through Steam Greenlight, tells the story of Red Robin — a...
News
109 Comments

Nintendo lost $97M last quarter even with the success of Mario Kart 8

Nintendo lost $97.2 million in the yearly quarter ending June 30, the company confirmed in its latest quarterly results. The loss comes even despite the successful sales of Mario Kart 8 earlier this year, which saw shipments of 2.82 million. Why? Nintendo states that these sales can be attributed to existing Wii U owners and not new buyers. The company shipped just 510,000 units of the console between April and June. Nintendo still expects to hit its target of 3.6 million units sold for this fiscal year. The Wii U's total shipments rose to 6.68 million as of June. The company confirms Mario Kart 8 represents 65 percent of the total 4.39 million software shipments made in this three month period, 80 percent of which came from outside Japan. Nintendo appears to be finding most of its...
Culture
12 Comments

You can pre-order this beautiful $365 Metroid statue starting today

First 4 Figures, a maker of fine collectibles, opened pre-orders for one of its best-looking statues today, a one-quarter scale Samus Aran wearing her light suit from GameCube game Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The price tag for this LED-lighted work isn't cheap: $364.99. The Samus statue, which stands 20 inches tall, is the first in a new series of Metroid Master Arts resin statues from First 4 Figures. The company has already released statues of Samus wearing her gravity suit, varia suit, phazon suit and zero suit, as well as recreations of her gunship. The light suit Samus is available in two options, the less expensive standard version ($339.99) and the "exclusive" light up version ($364.99). The standard version is limited to 2,500 pieces and the exclusive version is limited to 750...
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