As consoles slip through from generation to generation, one stands its ground: the PC. Gamers have been enjoying PC titles since the seventies, and as we move into the 2010s the scene is just as packed and popular as ever. Polygon will be providing coverage for each console in streams. Follow this stream for everything and anything PC at E3.
For a few years after Blizzard first started to knead its bejeweled knuckles into World of Warcraft the industry was hit hard with the kind of Warcraftian twins and free-to-play half-cousins that even now still populate the genre. They look like World of Warcraft, they sound like World of Warcraft, except they're not, and we notice.
Over the last year and a half, massively multiplayer games have been bucking this trend under the realization that the subscriber-base of an imitation World of Warcraft's hits its ceiling fast. Which is why Gamigo is going a different path and breathing some...
Developer Vladimir Tortsov struggles to explain what makes game development in Eastern Europe different from development in the West.
Tortsov works for Snowbird Studios, a development team that isn't going to ring any bells outside of independent development circles across Russia but you'll recognize the lineage. The Russian independent games studio shares development connections with popular role-playing game Mount&Blade, whose expansion Mount&Blade: With Fire & Sword was published by Snowball Studios, the same publisher behind Snowbird's upcoming real-time strategy title Eador: Masters of...
At the E3 booth of Riot Games, a few of the studio members gather around a monitor to show footage of one of the team's recent Korean tournaments of MOBA game League of Legends. The video is loud. One of the developers apologizes about the language barrier.
"Forgive the foreign language. Just listen to the excitement." In fact you can barely tell what's being shown in detail: A large room, a collective of gamers from wall-to-wall, PCs, a big screen attached to a back wall that gives spectators a play-by-play of events in the game, and shrieking. They're showing the footage to give an...
When creative director Jay Crowe explains the brainstorming process that led to the adding of underwater play to Arma 3 he says it's an extension of the philosophy behind the entire series. Bohemia Interactive, the Czech team that have been working on iterations of their army simulator-cum-tactical shooter series Arma since 2001's Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis are seeking out a new way to make reality digital, and the philosophy that makes this possible is based on player freedom. Earlier installments in the series let its users run across miles of fictional islands or a post-Soviet...
The thrills in Sony Online Entertainment's new free-to-play shooter Bullet Run are awfully cheap — which, I suppose is appropriate, given that the game is pretty cheap too.
Bullet Run gives its players a suite of ridiculous special powers which complement the genre's standard abilities of "murder without fear of legal consequence" and "continuous life after death." One power straps a pair of deadly claws to the player, and gives them a burst of speed and shielding so they can go full-blown Wolverine for a few seconds. Another equips the player with Akimbo SMGs, and gives them the ability to...
The decision to turn classic tabletop game Cyberpunk 2020 into a video game comes with a pleasant surprise: A brand new edition of the pen-and-paper game is in development.
Speaking with Polygon during E3 last week, CD Projekt RED co-founder and current CEO Marcin Iwiński said that the tabletop game is getting an update designed by Cyberpunk 2020 creator Mike Pondsmith.
The update will be the first since the third iteration of the game, Cyberpunk V3, hit in 2005.
The goal, Iwiński said, is for Pondsmith to carefully update the game so it doesn't feel like a retro take on a cyberpunk...
E3 reiterated that 2012 is the year of the free-to-play shooter, and Crytek Kiev's Warface is next on the blocks. After a successful launch in Russia last year and with a Chinese beta underway, Crytek's satellite studio in Kiev has its sights set on western markets next. While no official publishing arrangement has been announced, free-to-play purveyors Trion were taking appointments for Warface at this year's E3, after Crytek announced a publishing arrangement for the game in Taiwan and Korea with Nexon in 2011.
But a publisher isn't enough for a success in an increasingly crowded genre,...
Though not on the E3 show floor last week, developer Zeboyd Games set up in a hotel across the street with an almost-final version of Penny Arcade: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness — Episode 3. And during an appointment, Zeboyd programmer/designer Robert Boyd broke down the main differences he sees between working on an original product and a licensed game.
You may recall a bit of a development hiccup when Penny Arcade Episode 2 developer Hothead Games moved on to other projects, and Zeboyd picked up the story with a dramatically different art style and approach, mirroring a 2D...
By now you've probably watched the E3 presentation of Watch Dogs. If you haven't, you should do so right here. It was easily the most visually impressive demo during this year's conference and one that was truly a surprise for just about every attendee.
But there's a lot that's not seen in the presentation. Behind closed doors, Ubisoft reps showed off the same demo, but introduced new gameplay elements and player options, further demonstrating the game's versatility. Follow along with the presentation above and we'll tell you where the behind-closed-doors demo differed.
6:15 - As Pearce...
When most people think "pirates," no doubt men wearing eyeliner and prancing around on ships come to mind. TopWare Interactive and Octane Games' Raven's Cry seeks to blow this gentle stereotype out of the water with a game that presents a more grounded and realistic take on pirates, something closer to its historical roots.
Raven's Cry tells the story of Christopher Raven, a hook-handed pirate seeking revenge for the murder of his family when he was a child. Christopher's story deviates from the more playful ones popular culture has woven, and players are presented with a gruesome, bloody...
Neverwinter might end up being the most faithful digital Dungeons & Dragons game ever made.
I'm not talking about the lore, or the art, or even the die-casting mechanics of the latest rendition of the tabletop game. (That latter honor, funnily enough, would probably go to Heroes of Neverwinter, the similarly-named Facebook title.) No, I'm talking about the spirit of teamwork that defines D&D's most dangerous encounters - the "Don't Split the Party," fellow-man-helping, oftentimes self-sacrificing, dirty job-fulfilling heart of the franchise.
Neverwinter certainly isn't the first D&D video...
We're streaming live from The Loft™ (not an actual trademark), regaling tales of the third day of E3, where we got our hands on pretty much everything and left no game controller unturned.
Our three hour live show kicks off to the following schedule Pacific Time:
7:00pm – The Besties Live from E3
8:00pm – Polygon's E3 wrap with staff members, featuring a special appearance from Adam Sessler
9:00pm – The best of E3 with Polygon
Our video stream below will begin at 7pm. It is like witchcraft!
With every bit of good news related to Dark Souls for the PC comes a touch of the bad. Yes, From Software's Windows PC port of 2011's challenging role-playing is coming soon to Steam and, yes, there are some graphics settings for players who prefer something better than 720p resolution.
And, sure, the new content that From Software is adding with Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition looks inspired. The environments and enemy designs continue to astound. But there is clearly some difficulty in getting Dark Souls running on PC, which the game's developers admitted to at E3.
On display behind...
id Software's John Carmack has been nursing a hobbyist's obsession with virtual reality.
Earlier in the month Polygon was shown his home-brewed virtual reality simulator, a head-mount display made up of recycled work he had done for the aerospace industry. But beyond the technical labour involved in creating gameplay innovations, Carmack says the future of all successful games technology comes from a simple and animal basis: Not technical hard-power but "a wide-eyed, grinning response" from the user that what the developer has made has really "got something."
The future of innovation will...
I cannot remember the last time I was so hesitant to get up from an E3 appointment than I was when my hands-on PlanetSide 2 demo came to an end.
It's partially because I had just gotten my loadouts the way I wanted them — much like a beaten-down piece of college-era furniture, I had worked myself into a "groove" of sorts, and I was reluctant to abandon it. Mostly, though, it's because my PlanetSide 2 demo was instantly and incredibly fun. The learning curve for controlling each of the free-to-play FPS's classes took only a few deaths, but even more surprising: The curve for actually...
A new bit of Jane Austen fiction hits e-readers later this year thanks to the BBC and its growing interest in video games.
"State of Affairs" will tell the story of a niece of Jane Austen's coming to the novelist's estate after her death in a quest to find the manuscript for Persuasion, a novel that was published posthumously in 1818.
The short story was created by one of BBC Worldwide's game writers to run in concert with the release of the company's upcoming Jane Austen Facebook game: Jane Austen Rogues & Romance.
Robert Nashak, executive vice president of digital entertainment and games...
A distress call from New Vulcan. A base littered with dead bodies. Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Spock must team up against a violent breed of aliens in Namco Bandai's new action game based on J.J. Abrams' Star Trek films.
The full cast of the 2009 movie lent their voices to the game, which chronologically takes places between the movie and its planned 2013 sequel. This is the first Star Trek game to feature Kirk and Spock as playable characters, and players must utilize the unique skills of both in co-op mode to successfully combat the alien threat.
Our demo began on the starship...
The game begins on a moving train, but this train is anything but ordinary. A ride for a mother and son takes a terrifying turn when a demonic entity absconds with the child. The mother, armed with only a shard of broken glass, must pass through the train cars, which are often filled with more otherworldly things than seats. She must decapitate corpses, kill fierce creatures, and do physical harm to her own person if she ever wants to see her son again.
A Mother's Inferno is a free-to-play first-person horror game for PC, developed by students from The National Academy of Digital...
The cleaver is a nasty piece of kitchen cutlery. Everything about the rectangular hatchet is brutal. The tough blade is designed to be hammered into thick meat, using the sheer force of the blow to cut through flesh, tendon, cartilage and bone.
Its efficiency at parting limb from body and finger from hand is also why triad members use the blade to deliver warnings to people who have displeased them.
The first time Dan Sochan heard of the Triad Chop was the night before he and two others were set to meet with members of major triad Sun Yee On in the back room of a Hong Kong social club.
Dishonored is the story of morality's greyer shades, of freedom of choice - and of whales, according to the game's lead designer Ricardo Bare. Arkane Studios, the development team behind the upcoming steampunk-like saga of protagonist Corvo Atano, built a city from the ground up featuring its own lore, history, plagues, religion, and spin on the industrial revolution. Their Dunwall has gone through a revolution in technology. It's a coastal town whose entire technological infrastructure and economy is based on a whaling industry in which huge ships go out to sea to capture the animals, kill...
The Elder Scrolls always lent itself to an open massively multiplayer space, according to Nick Konkle, lead combat designer for The Elder Scrolls Online, ZeniMax Online Studios' upcoming MMO. "I'll tell you what," he says, "it definitely started from the IP itself really lending itself to being in an open space. It's got this open world feel where you can explore the world, do what you want to do and become who you want to become. And I feel that that translates really well to an MMO."
Taking a page from the single player games that strived to allow players to go where they pleased at any...
SimCity's multiplayer component represents a new kind of multiplayer interaction altogether; one that deals less with cause and effect, and more with decision and prolonged repercussion.
Those two things might sound synonymous, but there are some subtle intricacies. In fact, all of SimCity's multiplayer interactions are subtle. Whenever you connect your city with that of a friend — a pact which places them in relatively close proximity on a much larger map — the decisions each of you make will affect the other in oftentimes indiscernable ways.
A hands-off demo at EA's E3 booth...
Mech shooter Hawken ambles along a fine line, trying to strike a precarious balance between the fast-paced, shooter action that appeals to some fans of the genre and the trudging simulation realism that appeals to others.
The end result is a game that can be played with stripped down controls and offers a satisfying, almost first-person shooter-like experience blended with a surprising amount of depth. While blasting at enemies with twin mounted weapons and using gadgets to disable opponent mechs, players also have to keep an eye on damage, energy use, fuel, and heat.
Game Director Quinn Duffy isn't worried about American gamers connecting with the Russian stars of Company of Heroes 2.
"There's something innately human about fighting war," says Duffy. "It's not owned by any particular side."
His team's real-time strategy game focuses on the Eastern front of World War II, tracking the Russian forces from 1941 to their march on Berlin in 1945. It is expansive, pitting Russian soldiers in a variety of environments from yawning fields to tight city streets. And all of this space, Duffy points out, is filled with mystery.
Many American gamers don't know...
Beloved action-platformer Jet Set Radio is getting the HD-conversion treatment with a port for PSN, XBLA, and Steam later this year. At E3 Polygon got a chance to toy around with the Vita version, and so far it's looking pretty good.
The new Jet Set Radio uses the source code for the original, spruced up with a bit of tinkering to make it work in widescreen HD. The version used is the De La Jet Set Radio deluxe edition released only in Japan. The camera has also been expanded to include a wider gameplay area.
The game looks and sounds just like the classic, with the added bonus of featuring...
It's been a while since we've seen something exciting from LucasArts in the game space, but the newly-revealed Star Wars 1313 has an opportunity to provide the revitalization the Star Wars franchise needs. LucasArts' secret to making a new must-have game is combining the talent from across the vast LucasFilm company and approaching the Star Wars universe from a new, darker angle.
Rather than working on its own as it has on many previous products, LucasArts is now working hand-in-hand with LucasFilm, Industrial Light and Magic, and Skywalker Sound, companies that help create some of the most...
The E3 doors have opened, and Bethesda has celebrated by releasing a new teaser trailer for its upcoming MMO spin-off, Elder Scrolls Online.
The very brief video shows quick shots of several fantasy characters, including a Skyrim-esque viking, an elfish woman wielding magical flame, and an army of rangers in a forest.
Could this be a glimpse of the game's reported three factions? Or perhaps a hint at some of the class options available in Elder Scrolls Online? We'll be checking it out on the E3 show floor and should be able to bring you more info soon, so stay tuned.
Adhesive Games has released a live-action trailer for Hawken. Directed by former Gears of War art director Jerry O'Flaherty, the gritty cinematic trailer introduces a human element into their upcoming free-to-play mech-based first-person shooter.
"Our goal was to integrate into this realized game world and not the other way around," according to Rogues Gallery, the VFX company that produced the trailer. "We wanted our work to seamlessly blend into Jerry’s vision; so we kept our pipeline as simple as possible and hoped that at the end of our 5 week schedule, we could stand by something we...
You probably already know that Far Cry 3 will have a pretty expansive single-player campaign. You may even know that it will have an adversarial multiplayer component, complete with weapon unlocks, custom classes, the works. What you may not know is that, on top of those pretty meaty modes, there's also going to be co-op. Yep, an entirely separate co-op campaign where you and three buddies will team up to take on the island's various pirates and cult leaders.
The mode follows in the footsteps of Left 4 Dead in that each player takes on a different set character with their own backstory. At...
Electronic Arts finished off its E3 2012 press conference with a gameplay demo of Crysis 3 and a release date announcement. Crytek's latest gorgeous shooter will launch February next year.
Though it uses the same engine as 2011's Crysis 2, this sequel boasts some impressive new bells and whistles, including improved particle effects. As you might expect from this superpowered franchise, the demo showed off the main character leaping huge bounds, ripping apart structures with his bare hands, and even taking down a helicopter using a bow alone.
The E3 demo of Crysis 3 ended with a dam...
When people think back to the highlights of the original Far Cry, they think of one thing: Wide open spaces. And maybe mutant apes. But mostly: Wide open spaces. Crysis stuck with this model, giving players giant environments to play around in, letting them approach situations in any way they saw fit. And then came Crysis 2. While not what one would call closed off, Crysis 2 wasn't nearly as wide open as its predecessors, often forcing players into tight alleyways, limiting maneuverability and player choice. When levels did open up, they were invariably far more memorable and fun. Crytrek,...
At their press conference prior to this year's E3, publisher EA announced that the Danger Close developed sequel to 2010's Medal of Honor will release this October 23rd. Like Battlefield 3 last year, this gives EA a hint of breathing room prior to Activision and Treyarch's Call of Duty release this fall with Black Ops 2. EA also debuted the ability to pilot a military drone during some missions, and also reiterated the Global Warfighters multiplayer mode.
Star Wars: The Old Republic will be free-to-play starting in July, allowing players to create characters and live out their stories until they reach Level 15.
The promotion, which is similar to World of Warcraft's free-to-play promotion (which goes to Level 20), is a major part of BioWare's plans for the future of the MMORPG. The deal was announced during EA's E3 press conference, where other upcoming updates like a new playable race (the catlike Cathar, seen above) and new planet (Makeb) were revealed. No precise release window for those features were revealed.
Atlas today announced Zeno Clash II which is scheduled to release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in 2013.
Zeno Clash II is the sequel to the award-winning first-person melee brawler from developers ACE Team. The game will offer full drop-in, drop-out co-op multiplayer.
Fans will also now be able to explore the setting of Zenozolk, which is described as an open world that users can "fully and freely explore."
The original Zeno Clash released to PC in 2009, followed by an XBLA release in 2010.
Following the reveal of the South Park: The Stick of Truth release date at Microsoft's E3 press conference, THQ has let us in on a few new details of the upcoming game, including DLC news and pre-order bonus info.
For those rushing out to the store to pre-order, you'll receive the bonus "Good Times With Weapons" pack for South Park: The Stick of Truth. This includes the Bulrog Chicken Attack, Cartman's Kick-ass Sai, and a Samurai Costume for the main character.
If you happen to specifically pre-order the Xbox 360 version of the game, you'll also get the "Mysterion Superhero" pack, which...
Microsoft has just unveiled SmartGlass, allowing you to use a phone or tablet to control content on your Xbox and get bonus content on that second display, but the company kept mum on its interaction with Windows 8 until just a minute ago. Microsoft has now revealed that, as expected, the feature will work with Windows 8 tablets and PCs. The company also teased cross-play between PCs and consoles. It's good news for PC owners — you won't be forced to buy into a Windows Phone or a tablet using Windows 8 to get in on the bonus interactivity offered by SmartGlass, you just need to upgrade your...
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will arrive on 360, PS3, PC and Mac on August 21st according to a release just dispatched by Valve.
Apparently none too worried about their thunder being stolen by the ongoing Microsoft E3 press conference, Valve announced the launch date alongside an approximate $15 price tag across all platforms.
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