Gamescom 2012: All the games and news, live from Germany

Riding in the wake of GDC Europe, Gamescom 2012 is Europe's largest trade fair for games and interactive entertainment. It runs from August 15th through August 19th in Cologne, Germany, and includes more than 600 companies from 40 countries, and Polygon will be on the floor to bring you all the Gamescom news you can shake a warlock's staff or a space marine's gun at.

The Division confirmed for Windows PC

Massive's Tom Clancy's The Division will see a release on Windows PC, joining the previously announced PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms, according to an announcement on the official Ubisoft blog.

According to the blog post, Ubisoft attributes the game's impending release on Windows PC to the "vocal and passionate PC community."

"Since E3 we have been carefully listening to what has been said on the internet," executive producer Fredrik Rundqvist wrote on the blog. "I can’t stress enough how important it has been for us to feel your support, interest and commitment to the game. Your...

Dead Island: Riptide returns heroes to zombie-infested island, now with boats and defensive perimeters

Dead Island Ripdtide returns the original game's group of survivors back to the shores of an island resort overrun with zombies. But now a massive monsoon has flooded the terrible tropical paradise, transforming the city and its surroundings into swamp-like lagoons.

The game's recently reshaped island now forces players to rely on boats to travel between pockets of dry land and a new dynamic weather system brings rolling storms, and limited vision to the mix.

During a presentation at Gamescom earlier this month, lead creative producer Sebastien Reichert explained how it is that after...

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Gamescom 2012 in under two minutes

This is Gamescom. Or rather, this was Gamescom.

Germany's week-long celebration of all things video gaming, 140,000-square-meters, 275,000 people, visitors and exhibitors from 83 countries, all summed up neatly in a single one minute and fifty-one second video.

Were there games? Tons. But also cosplay, beach volleyball, off-road biking, motorcycle lessons, PC modding, news, previews, stories and finally, sweet, sweet sleep.

If you're interesting in digging into our coverage, check out the Gamescom stream which features more than 150 stories, interviews, press conferences, news, previews,...

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How Sony plans to make you want a Vita

Gamescom was the PlayStation Vita's show. At least it was in the minds of PlayStation executives.

"There were efforts by us to really feature the PS Vita in front of Gamescom coming off of the E3 press conference where we were criticized for not spending enough time to showcase our PS Vita content and plans," Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony's Worldwide Studio for Sony Computer Entertainment, told Polygon. "Coming to Gamescom, (the Vita) was clearly our focus."

That focus lead to a string of big announcements for Sony's portable including plans for PSone title compatibility, expanding the...

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'Medal of Honor: Warfighter' takes a page from 'Counter-Strike' with new Home Run multiplayer mode

Medal of Honor: Warfighter is taking a page out of the Counter-Strike playbook for multiplayer by offering a new mode, Home Run, in which players can only die once per round and will not respawn.

The concept is based on what is in essence an attack-and-defend match of capture the flag, where second chances aren't granted to downed players. A six-man strong defending team is given two flags to protect against six attackers in 10 fast-paced rounds.To win the attacking team only needs to capture one of the two flags and deliver it to their base.

The result is a frenzied match, with the...

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From Half-Life to Portal: The amazing PC casemods of Gamescom

Among the winners of this year's International German Casemod Championships at Gamescom were computers that looked like a Portal turret, a Half-Life HEV Suit Charger and a massive... egg?

Each year modders from around the country gather at Gamescom to show off and create spectacular mods. The competition is broken down into a number of categories, but the main divide is between the people who come with their cases finishes and those who arrive to build a casemod from pre-set pieces in 24 hours.

The 24 hours live-modding competition is broken up into three days of 8-hour marathon modding,...

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'Divinity: Dragon Commander' and the board game that helped it come to life

Dragon Commander was once the prototype board game created to test out just how the gameplay of its PC brethren, a real-time strategy game called Divinity: Dragon Commander, would work. Now the team is taking it upon themselves to develop the board game itself, to be packaged with the collector's edition of the upcoming PC game.

So far it's still in its prototype form. The board, built out of moveable hexagons, is cut from cardboard and overlayed with a paper print-out of the world. The play pieces have been 3D printed. And while the rules are still subject to change at this stage, the...

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The knife throwing, shark jumping, glider bombing of 'Far Cry 3's' open world

My favorite sorts of games are the ones you can get lost in. But having that moment thrust upon you, especially during a press preview, can be unbalancing.

You're in a village.

You have a gun.

Play.

There are no objectives here: No bad guys chasing me, items to fetch, cars to race.

So I walk.

I explore, tramping through the thick green grass into tropical forests, tracing dirt paths that fade away or turn into makeshift roads. I fire my first shot at a wild dog chasing a goat. I feel the need to explain my gunplay to the developer standing by me.

"I saved the goat."

The campaign will take...

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Around Gamescom's indie game world in under five minutes

France, Germany, Mexico, China, Korea, Iran: Tucked away in one of the business halls of Gamescom is a cornucopia of international games development.

While much of Gamescom is dedicated to the known, the big developers and publishers of the game industry, each year a number of national game foundations and organizations create booths to house the indie games of their countries.

Here's a very brief glimpse at just a few of the games on display in those international booths.


If the big, triple-A titles are more your thing, make sure to check out our tour of Gamescom's main halls.

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Roccat's Power-Grid in action

Roccat's Power-Grid is a free app that turns your iPhone into a touchscreen LCD display for your PC.

The idea, the peripheral makers say, is to leverage your phone to create a customizable display that can be used to monitor your PC hardware in real time or create hot keys for the games you play.

We had a chance to meet up with the peripheral maker at Gamescom to get our first look at how the software works in person, including a glimpse of the Counter-Strike GO hotkey set-up.


The Power-Grid hits the App Store later this year.

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Playing with Tengami's paper pop-up world

Papercraft gaming made quite a splash at Gamescom this year when Media Molecule unveiled their next title for the Vita: Tearaway.

But the portable augmented reality game from the creators of LittleBigPlanet wasn't the only impressive papercraft game at the show this year.

Tengami is the work of a quartet of former Rare Developers, a game that has players guiding an origami samurai through a rice paper world of puzzles, wolves and folding tea houses. It's a game of soft hues and rich textures. An experience both relaxing and challenging.

We sat down with developer Nyamyam's Jennifer...

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'Black Ops 2' establishes Treyarch's identity in the shared Call of Duty franchise

With its drastically different "Pick 10" class creation system and branching single-player campaign, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 introduces quite a few bold changes to the annual franchise.

The changes are a stark reminder of the popular franchise's shared development duties between Infinity Ward (the Modern Warfare series) and Treyarch (World at War and Black Ops). There's certainly similarities between the two in terms of tone, brand identity and technical specs — both place a huge emphasis on running at a butter-smooth 60 frames-per-second, for instance. But they've always had their...

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'Kumo Lumo' and 'Puzzle Craft' lead Chillingo's latest mobile gaming push

Chillingo continues to push hard into the world of iOS with its mobile gaming roster, featuring titles from Blitz Games Studio and Kokonut Studio, among others, shown at this year's Gamescom.

The Blitz-developed Kumo Lumo is something of a combination between sticker-craft, Katamari Damacy, and a quaint, Saturday morning cartoon take on Space Invaders. You play a two-dimensional cloud, Lumo, who when tapped on-screen can rain on fires, enemy black clouds, sheep, trees, volcanoes, mountains, among other interactive objects that react to the water poured down. Black clouds will evaporate when...

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'Resident Evil 6' gameplay video features snakes and saliva

Resident Evil 6, Capcom's upcoming survival horror game staring a trio of series veterans, received a new video today from Gamescom highlighting gameplay and a snake in desperate need of a dentist.

In the video, Chris Redfield, co-star of Resident Evil 5, and co-co-co-co-star of Resident Evil 6, faces down a sometimes transparent, always angry snake monster with a salivation problem. Amidst hanging carcasses, a staple of the Resident Evil franchise, the video shows Redfield taking advantage of the game's twists on the Resident Evil formula by changing weapons with a streamlined overlay, and...

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Academy Award winners discuss bringing wonder to PS3's Wonderbook

At least not until I heard that Moonbot was creating a book for the peripheral.

I know Moonbot Studios from its work on an amazing iPad app: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. The poignant, interactive allegory wasn't just a well-told tale, it was the first step in changing the way storytelling happened on the iPad. The short film that the app was based on also happened to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film.

That Moonbot's collective of artists and storytellers are working on another new form of storytelling, this time powered by the PlayStation 3, seems...

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God of War: Ascension is the story of how Kratos loses his humanity

Kratos is no stranger to collateral damage in God of War 1, 2, and 3. Some puzzles can only be solved by executing an innocent citizen of whichever city Kratos is visiting his wrath upon. Sometimes, those civilians aren't even doing anything to impede his quest for celestial vengeance: they're just in the wrong place (in front of Kratos) at the wrong time (when Kratos is angry, which is all the time).

God of War: Ascension lead designer Mark Simon told Polygon at Gamescom 2012 that Ascension would feature a Kratos that hasn't reached that level of sociopathic violence quite yet.

"For...

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Gamescom attendance hits 275,000, next year's show dated

More than 275,000 people converged on Gamescom's 140,000-square-meter show this year to check out the roughly 600 exhibitions, officials announced.

Last year's attendance was "about 275,000," according to show officials. Next year's show will run from August 21st to August 25 in Cologne, Germany.

This year's show, which included visitors and exhibitors from 83 countries, expanded to include not just PC and console games, but also mobile and social titles.

"The concept of gamescom has borne fruit: as a leading international trade fair, it presents all types and aspects of games for all...

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'Van Helsing' lets players augment powers on the fly

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is going to face some stiff comparisons, held up and measured against fellow action role-playing games Diablo 3 and Torchlight 2.

But while Van Helsing certainly shares a great deal of their attributes, it incorporates a mechanic that might just be enough to help it stand above the crowd: the ability to augment powers without digging through menu after nested menu.

Players of dungeon diving action RPGs will likely recognize most of Van Helsing's combat and progression mechanics. As Van Helsing — actually the son of Bram Stoker's vampire hunter, who's...

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Army of Two: Devil's Cartel is taking dudebro survival seriously with furious Overkill gunplay

With the introduction of Overkill mode, Army of Two: Devil's Cartel will feature more brutal gunplay than dudebro laughs seen previously in the series.

Overkill mode can be triggered after a bar, central on the screen, is fully filled based on the number of co-op actions, kills, distractions, and flanking done over time. The mode lets the user unleash massive amounts of damage in a short period, using unlimited ammo, and the result is the bloody explosion of enemies and the disintegration of cover. This includes pillars and walls, demonstrating the destructive powers of the game's...

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'Sacred Citadel' beats up cartoons, not genre conventions

Sacred Citadel may carry over the burly protagonists and fantasy trappings of the Sacred franchise, but its beat-em-up gameplay is a far cry from the hacking-and-slashing of the core series.

The brief, hands-off Gamescom 2012 demo touched on all the components you would expect from the genre. Players move around a multi-layered, two-dimensional path, wailing on enemies with combos of basic and special attacks. Juggling foes with upward strikes and aerial attacks builds those combos even further, pushing your personal score even higher. Players can dodge roll out of the way of danger, or...

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The manic world of 'Puppeteer' demands your attention

My notepad from my Gamescom 2012 demo of Sony Japan's recently revealed platformer Puppeteer is, sadly, blank. It's not because I'm a bad note-taker, or because I didn't have anything to write about the game — it's because it's one of the most arresting games I've seen in a long time.

The game takes place entirely on a static stage upon which all of the interactive elements are wheeled on and off, quite rapidly. During the demo, the game's very first stage is stacked, from front to back, and the player must move backwards through the set. After navigating one backdrop by jumping from side...

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Tomb Raider tests, defines Lara Croft's humanity

In reinventing the franchise, Crystal Dynamics doesn't reboot just the gameplay of Tomb Raider, it reboots heroine Lara Croft, taking the opportunity to reexamine Croft's motivation and humanity.

We sat down with Crystal Dynamics' Karl Stewart at Gamescom this week to discuss how the game strives to add depth to Croft's character, making her something more than a big screen action hero.

We also chatted a bit about the game's experience and skill systems. And got final, sad confirmation that there will absolutely not be any T-Rex boss fights at the end of this game.


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Company of Heroes 2 reveals the cold brutality of Rzhev Meat Grinder

In Company of Heroes 2's "Rzhev Meat Grinder" campaign, your task is to clear the crossroads and drive out the occupying German forces while simultaneously battling dynamic snow and freezing temperatures.

The historical event, named for the incredibly high mortality rate seen during the event in the second World War, is re-envisioned in this Company of Heroes sequel which pits units against breakable ice, and an environment that can change due to shifts in accumulating snow and melting then re-freezing ice.

A thermometer next to the Soviet unit's health bar shows their level of warmth,...

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'Neverwinter' Foundry lets you build anything, from PvP to text adventure games

Neverwinter's user-generated content crafting toolset, The Foundry, has come a long way since first being introduced during E3 2011.

The tools allow its users to meticulously craft dungeons and quests using pre-made assets which snap together effortlessly in a visual editor. Rooms can be connected, filled with objects, enemies and a treasure chest, the contents of which are pulled from an exploit-proof Cryptic-generated loot table. Though players can't upload their own assets to the engine, there's tons of room for customization thanks to the multitude of decorations that can be dragged and...

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You can papercraft all of Tearaway in the real world

"Go ahead and try it."

We're sitting in a back room on the second floor of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Cologne, Germany. The lights are dimmed, game developers and reporters are scattered around the room in little clusters chatting quietly. We're the loudest in the room, a boisterous group made up of Media Molecule founders Alex Evans, Mark Healey and David Smith and graphic designer Rex Crowle all sitting in a loose circle of chairs.

The group seem to enjoy chatting about their recently unveiled game Tearaway, a Playstation Vita title that has players using their "god like powers" to help...

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'Crysis 3' Hunter mode sums up the 'Predator' films in two minutes

Crysis 3's multiplayer Hunters mode, revealed earlier this week during EA's Gamescom 2012 press conference, turned me into a shrieking child in front of my professional peers, and I probably won't ever forgive it for that.

Think of the cliched expressions of panic you've seen in films like Predator, or any other film involving humans being served up as the Most Dangerous Game. The frantic scrambling into tight spaces, the questioning of whether to stay in a pack or go solo, the shooting into the darkness and hoping your bullets hit something — I did all of it, almost perfectly in that...

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'Secret Files 3' brings film aesthetic to adventure gaming

Secret Files 3, the third entry in the most popular adventure game series in Germany, brings film aesthetic to the typical adventure game format by deleting certain puzzles surrounding core emotional moments, developer Animation Arts explained during a presentation for the title at this year's Gamescom.

As demonstrated by the title's project lead Marco Zeugner, the writers and game designers for the title approach each scene differently based on working out how to construct game riddles in a way that retains the "filmic aesthetic" of the game.

"The team and I look into a scene to see where...

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'Hitman Absolution's' gun-toting nuns level changed after trailer backlash

The BDSM gun-toting nuns level of Hitman Absolution underwent some changes in the wake of backlash surrounding the game's E3 trailer, director Tore Blystad said in an interview with Eurogamer.

The trailer was based on one of the game's levels. Players would have the option to use the stealth mechanics the Hitman series is known for or "go in all-guns blazing," said Blystad, the latter of which he admits is "not the smartest way." He argued that the nun characters "fit" the Hitman universe which has been "colourful and cartoony" in the past, but that they were part of a "more extreme"...

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'Dead Space 3' weapon crafting lets you build a modified acid-shooting necromorph-killer

EA unveiled the Dead Space 3 weapon crafting system at this week's Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, demonstrating just how many modified weapons are technically possible to create in the title.

This updated version of the workbench from the previous two entries in the series allows users to choose whether the weapon is one-handed or two-handed. Users will then be able to choose the "upper tool," applying up to two to the weapon. In this presentation, a plasma core was added to the gun alongside a tesla core.

An adapter is then chosen, which modifies how projectiles are fired. These can...

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'Splinter Cell: Blacklist' gameplay footage shows Sam Fisher killing in style

Splinter Cell: Blacklist features a Sam Fisher at the peak of his career — he answers to no one but the President — but he can still be humbled by a terrorist, according to a lengthy gameplay video released by Ubisoft.

The video, embedded below, includes much of the same footage that comprised the live demo of Blacklist shown during Microsoft's E3 press briefing. This time, creative director Maxime Beland narrates the proceedings, and no, you can't turn the captions off.

Blacklist is a direct sequel to 2010's Splinter Cell: Conviction, which rebooted the franchise's gameplay with quick,...

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Gamescom prepared for Saturday's crushing crowds

Gamescom came to a grinding halt for some last year when masses of show-goers crowded the entrances to the fourth largest convention center in the world, forcing organizers to lock down the show.

This year Gamescom officials tell Polygon that they are sure that won't happen again.

Tickets to the show's busiest day, Saturday, were only pre-sold and organizers stopped selling tickets once they hit a cap they set, Koelnmesse press officer Christine Hackmann told Polygon.

No tickets will be sold for Saturday on that day and the organizers say they have been working hard to spread the word via...

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'Epic Mickey 2' is just the first step in Warren Spector's foray into musical games

Disney's Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is just the first step in designer Warren Spector's foray into developing musical-influenced games, he told Polygon at this year's Gamescom.

"If this works out, and frankly even if it doesn't, I have got ideas for what I want to do next to make gameplay out of songs. I want to do it in general, although I see ways how we can do it very easily and very effectively and very Mickey Mouse-ish ways, I guess, in the context of another Disney Mickey game. But I have to get approval first. Let's see how this one sells and maybe I'll get to do a third one and...

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RedKit modding tool accepting closed beta applications

RedKit, the mod tool for The Witcher 2 from developer CD Projekt Red, is now accepting applications for a closed beta, the developer announced today.

RedKit allows modders to create adventures in the world of Geralt of Rivia, protagonist of Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher novels and CD Projekt Red's role-playing games.

"We have our own vision for RPGs," said CD Projekt Red's Adam Badowski. "They should present an exciting story and give players lots of choices that really matter. The RedKit is designed to create adventures that way — mature, non-linear and engrossing stories set...

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'Dead Space 3' developer diary talks weapon crafting

The weapon crafting system expands on the workbench from the franchise's previous two entries. Isaac Clarke now has the ability to not only modify existing weapons, but build his own crazy contraptions from scratch. Want to take a blade from a circular saw and put it on a Plasma Cutter? It's all up to you. Feel like you could use a Pulse Rifle with a flamethrower attachment? Scrounge up the credits to pay for the parts, and go for it.

Visceral will also accommodate players who don't feel the need to tinker: the crafting system includes blueprints for a wide variety of creative weapons....

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Contracts will let players add not just hits, but backstory to 'Hitman Absolution'

Contracts, the community-driven, create-a-hit mode in Hitman Absolution, isn't just about creating new targets for Agent 47; the developers also hope that it might enrich the game's backstory with a tapestry of curated fan fiction.

Players create contracts for any of the non-player characters that inhabit Hitman Absolution by going into Contract mode, selecting an outfit and weapon, and then marking a target and taking them out. The contracts can specify, though not exactly, who is taken out and how. Up to three targets can be added to a contract.

Once a player exits an area through one of...

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'World of Tanks' developer will produce a 'conveyer belt' of hit titles following BigWorld acquisition

World of Tanks developer Wargaming.net will prove it is not just a one-hit-wonder after the release of its upcoming massively multiplayer combat title World of Warplanes, Victor Kislyi told Polygon today.

The company, that made its mark with the highly successful freemium title World of Tanks, will show both critics and users that they can create a "conveyer belt" method of turning out regular successes following the acquisition of middleware firm BigWorld.

"As a company we'll automatically prove we are not one hit company," he said. "We're a company that can make a hit game every year,...

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Activison's 'The Walking Dead' makes the zombies the stars

Though it's set well before the events of the television show, Activision and Terminal Reality's take on The Walking Dead honors what has made the series such a hit: grotesque multitudes of zombies in various states of decay.

Terminal Reality's Glenn Gamble walked a group of Gamescom 2012 attendees through some of the concepts behind the game, though save for a few stills and the game's announcement trailer, we did not get to see it in action.

The Walking Dead stars the show's reddest-necked survivors, the Dixon brothers, on a cross-country journey in search of supplies and other...

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Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel will be a bit more serious, a bit less 'dudebro'

Producer Zach Mumbach is hesitant to call The Devil's Cartel a complete reboot of the series that launched in 2008, but it seems to be very close to one.

"We're trying to keep the strengths of the Army of Two games: the tactical co-op, using cover, draining aggro, flanking, using tactics, and doing things that would benefit your teammate," he said. "Then we have a new engine, Frostbite 2, which allows you to destroy a bunch of stuff."

And then the team is laying that over a grittier, perhaps slightly more serious tone, one that allows for a bit of levity, but removes the notoriously...

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'Lost Planet 3' developers are 'flattered' at use of ice planet in 'Dead Space 3'

The developers of the upcoming installment in the Lost Planet series, Lost Planet 3, are flattered at the use of an ice planet environment in the Visceral Games-developed Dead Space 3, Capcom producer Andrew Szymanski told Polygon.

Despite numerous comparisons being made between both titles, Szymanski stated the similarities were simply a comparison; however, he emphasized that the Capcom-developed series had staked its claim on the setting years before.

"It's really a complete coincidence and a situation of parallel evolution that they decided to place the third game on an ice planet," he...

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'The Witcher 2' RedKit development tool could lead to 'Cyberpunk' mods

The in-development RedKit mod tool, created by The Witcher 2 developer CD Projekt RED could allow users to modify the studio's upcoming role-playing game Cyberpunk and even create their own titles from scratch.

According to lead designer Marek Ziemak, despite the mod tool currently being developed for fans to create both simple and complex mods for The Witcher 2, the team is not opposed to the idea of allowing users to create "different stuff" as well.

"We'd like people to create different stuff. Maybe not Witcher stuff. Maybe a cyberpunk game!" Ziemak laughed.

RedKit will let users...

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'ARMA' developers wanted to make a game 'like Minecraft'

Both Bohemia Interactive CEO Marek Spanel and a number of ARMA programmers wanted to work on the development of smaller titles in the vein of Minecraft, according to DayZ creator Dean Hall speaking today with Polygon.

"Marek, the CEO, and the programmers, they didn't want to work on big projects. Even like Command Carrier is quite a big project and ARMA 3 is a very big project. They wanted to work on something like Minecraft. So I think they kind of had that idea for a while. And then Minecraft came along and proved it could be critically and commercially successful. And then DayZ came...

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'Devil May Cry' developers didn't expect to be 'greeted as liberators' of the series

The developers behind the upcoming "Westernized" Devil May Cry didn't expect to be "greeted as liberators" of the series when they began developing their take on the Capcom series, Capcom America's Alex Jones told Polygon.

According to Jones, Ninja Theory was given the green light by Capcom to pursue their vision, after being told "you don't need to be tethered to the existing cannon in every particular place." However there was an awareness of an intolerance to major shifts in design from the series' passionate fanbase.

"There must be an awareness any time you make a substantial change to...

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'Lego: Lord of the Rings' to bring the lore to life with 85 playable characters

Lego: Lord of the Rings, the upcoming installment in the Lego games franchise, will feature 85 playable characters, including a number that have never appeared in the film adaptations.

The title, which will take place at the end of the Second Age, will focus on offering a complete recreation of all of Middle Earth as based on maps and information from the original Tolkien novels. All areas from Rivendell to Moria will be located in the correct location as based on the lore.

While the game will include an instant travel feature, it will be possible to fully explore Middle Earth by foot or on...

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Ubisoft selling $1 PC games to promote Uplay store

Uplay, Ubisoft's multi-platform online service, has added digital distribution to its PC client and is offering deep discounts to celebrate, the company announced today at Gamescom.

The new client and its integrated shop allow users to purchase, launch, and play games alongside Uplay's social services, like friends lists and chat.

Over the next four days, Ubisoft will discount four PC games to $1.00 each: HAWX 2 today, Eric Chahi's return to gaming From Dust on Friday, Silent Hunter 5 Saturday, and the well-received Driver: San Francisco on Sunday.

For a limited time, Ubisoft is also...

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Resident Evil.Net designed to urge players to finish 'Resident Evil 6'

When it launches later this year alongside Resident Evil 6, Resident Evil.Net won't just be a stat tracking site for the survival horror-action game, it will be a way the developers ensure that players finish the game they spent so much time creating.

"The impetus for Resident Evil.Net is that we realized a lot of people purchase games and never complete them," Eiichiro Sasaki, director of Resident Evil 6 told Polygon. "We were trying to figure out how we could get people to enjoy the game from start to finish.

"Resident Evil 6 has four campaigns. What if you play one and think, 'OK, that's...

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Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance slicing 'completely destroyed' the level design

The slicing mechanic in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance "completely destroyed" the level design of the title in early development, according to producer Yuji Korekado.

During its internal development stage, the slicing ability of the central character could fully demolish levels; an effect that was not the original intention of the designers.

"We wanted the player to be able to cut everything so actually we would develop something where you could do this," Korekado told Polygon today at Gamescom.

"We kind of saw it coming but it completely destroyed the level design. The game design was...

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'Borderlands 2' and how to exploit your Mechromancer

Borderlands 2's Mechromancer class is looking like it's going to arrive earlier than initially expected, Gearbox's Randy Varnell stated to a room of journalists during this week's Gamescom presentation of the upcoming sequel. What was originally believed to be a 60 day wait for the playable downloadable class before it would be made available has now shrunk as progress on the characters has made significant strides since the class concept was first announced at PAX, along with a few pieces of original concept art.

The Mechromancer shown during the presentation is a work in progress still,...

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'ZombiU' lets players leave clues behind for other gamers

Online players of the Wii U's ZombiU will be able to leave and read warnings and clues left by other gamers, the developers told Polygon today.

During a demonstration of the game at Gamescom, a Ubisoft Montpellier developer explained how the in-game messaging system would work.

In ZombiU, players take on the role of a series of survivors of a zombie apocalypse in London. The game's use of the Wii U and its oversized, touchscreen gamepad tweaks the way the first-person shooter handles. Instead of using the controller to just move and shoot, players can also use the gamepad's screen to scan a...

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'Firefall' has changed these past few months, and for the better

Firefall is not the same Firefall I played just two months ago at E3. Its colorful, subtropic environments look the same, and the jetpack-infused gunplay is familiar; but on a whole, the past 60 days have made it sleeker, and much smarter.

You can start with the broadest change of all: The Medic, one of the game's five classes (or "Battleframes") has been eradicated entirely. Its Team Fortress 2-esque healing beam boxed the player into a support-only role, which wasn't developer Red 5's intention. In its place, the Biotech has been introduced, which heals friendly units with large, AoE...

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'LittleBigPlanet PS Vita' trailer and screens are touching

LittleBigPlanet PS Vita offers new ways to interact with the ever-expanding world of LittleBigPlanet, and they're showcased in a new trailer and images from Gamescom 2012.

The game takes full advantage of the PlayStation Vita hardware, with controls that use the touchscreen and touchpad, tilt functionality, and camera. It also presents a new story to tackle, and does it with the LittleBigPlanet series' trademark whimsy.

LittleBigPlanet PS Vita is due out in North America on September 25th. When it launches in Europe on September 19th, it will also be available in a €249 PlayStation Vita...

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Rayman Legends' Barbara floats like a Valkyrie, stings like a barbarian

Accidentally unveiled prematurely in the lead up to Gamescom, Rayman Legends' Barbara the Barbarian is a big-headed brawler who can use the wings on her helmet to hover and an over-sized ax to bash.

I had a chance to check out Barbara's moves during a hands on that had a Ubisoft developer and I playing through three new levels.

Orchestral Chaos had us running through a timed map, dodging massive, thorny vines and jumping on monsters and pads to the rhythm of the level's soundtrack.

Where Orchestral Chaos was a race from right to left, Six Hundred Feet Under was a map that had us...

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Gamescom 2012 booth tour

Gamescom 2012 has begun, with today being the first of four public days. Thankfully, our spry correspondent Griffin McElroy checked out the massive convention yesterday, when it was only open to members of the media. And people wearing giant, furry Moshi Monsters costumes, apparently.

Griffin took a grand tour of multiple expo halls filled with huge booths from publishers of all kinds, and managed to stay relatively sweat-free... until 10:39 a.m., at least. We wish him the best of luck in that ongoing quest, especially now that the show is welcoming an expected crowd of 250,000 attendees.

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'Most Wanted' on Vita is a 30-frames-per-second wonder

And with few exceptions, that appears to be what the developers have done.

"Everything is the same," said executive producer Matt Webster. "It's the same size, open world, has the same cars, same features. That's why we wanted to make this version internally."

While the game's frame rate is floating at just under 30 frames a second, the same as the console version, Webster is sure they'll nail the rate and eliminate any slow down issues before the game hits.

The two major differences on the Vita are the 4-person multiplayer cap, and the game's graphics, which required some "shortcuts" to...

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'World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria' opening cinematic unveiled at Gamescom

World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria's opening cinematic debuted at Gamescom this week, and Blizzard has now released it into the wild.

It's another one of Blizzard's stunning CG creations, showing the eternal Alliance-Horde battle spilling into the peaceful land of Pandaria. Clearly, the Pandaren are not to be trifled with, even if Blizzard originally planned a completely different expansion to its massively multiplayer game.

Mists of Pandaria, the fourth expansion to World of Warcraft since its release in 2004, is set for release on September 25th.

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'Need For Speed: Most Wanted's' Kinect will make you a better, faster driver

Kinect will make you a faster, better driver in Need For Speed: Most Wanted.

That's according to Most Wanted executive producer Matt Webster, but it won't do that by having you hold an invisible steering wheel or wave your hands at the screen to boost. No, all of the confirmed Kinect support in Most Wanted will be voice commands.

While the team is still hard at work building out exactly what gamers can shout at the screen while they play, Webster was able to walk me through the philosophy of its use.

The voice command system will be tied into Most Wanted's on-the-fly easy drive menus,...

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Media Molecule ramping up for another big project

Call it a hunch, but I think when Media Molecule's Alex Evans told me that two-thirds of his studio is busying themselves by making tea, he was hinting that the studio behind LittleBigPlanet and Tearaway are scaling up for another big project.

"How many people are working on Tearaway," I asked, during an interview about the recently announced papercraft adventure game for the Vita.

"15," Evans replied.

"And how many people are working at your studio?"

"47, and we are hiring," Evans replied with a grin.

When I pressed him to find out what exactly those other 32 people were doing, Evans was...

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Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time includes playable Salim in ancient Arabia

Salim, a retired thief decked out in billowing green pants, a big white mustache and beard and a massive turban, brings with him the ability to quickly to spiral up ropes and columns using his Cobra Climb, a flying carpet he can use to drift down from jumps and a whirlwind attack.

The level in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time that we were shown during the demo takes place about halfway through the game, said Frank Simon, senior managing producer at Sony Computer Entertainment of America. Simon said they wanted to show us this particular level because it highlights Salim's unique platforming...

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Soul Sacrifice explores the landscape of human greed

While the most obvious theme found in Soul Sacrifice is sacrifice, the ability to sacrifice your character's body parts, friends and even soul for special powers, the upcoming Playstation Vita title is really more about exploring the landscape of human greed.

"All of the stages of the game are born out of human greed," developer Keiji Inafune said.

In Soul Sacrifice players take on the role of a person locked in a prison cell by a "savage sorcerer". As the character awaits to be sacrificed, they discover a mysterious book. The book chronicles the battles between monsters and sorcerers....

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Rayman Legends to be a Wii U exclusive

Rayman Legends will be exclusive to the Wii U console, according to a trailer released today at Gamescom.

The promotional trailer for Ubisoft's upcoming platformer, slated to be released later this year, shows all the ways players will be able to interact with the game world using the Wii U controller pad before ending with the screen: "Coming Christmas 2012, exclusively on Wii U". Ubisoft confirmed that this is true.

The trailer can be viewed below.

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'Resident Evil 6' Gamescom video follows Leon's bad day

Resident Evil 6, Capcom's upcoming survival horror game, received a new gameplay video from Gamescom today confirming that the subway is a terrible place to hide during the zombie apocalypse.

In the video, Leon Kennedy, one of the main campaign's three playable characters (not including the post-game bonus campaign), battles his way through a subway tunnel with a pistol at his side, a lightbulb that appears to be pasted onto his forehead, and a female companion.

"Not my lucky day," he says when the zombies inevitably arrive, as if he's been burdened with an overabundance of luck that we're...

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'Hitman Absolution' offers a closer look at user-created 'Contracts' mode

Hitman Absolution's "choose your own way" adage shows up through its Gamescom demo as a franchise philosophy-turned-marketing phrase, but it underlines an attempt to rid of earlier fears. Despite controversial trailers in which 47 turns up on the scene guns blazing, doing everything but the stealth cleverisms and creative assassinations that defined his franchise, the new Contracts demo shows no sign of the uncreative tendencies that made fans wary.

In fact, Contracts is an exercise in creative action, where stealth, among other tactics, is part of an overall arsenal of assassination...

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PCs stolen at Gamescom containing 'Divinity' builds, $5,000 reward offered

Two PCs containing early builds of developer Larian Studios' Divinity: Dragon Commander and Divinity: Original Sin were stolen from a booth at at Gamescom, the developer announced today.

Larian is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the PCs' return and the culprit's identity. "We're asking the game community to band together to track these criminals down and to get the games back," a representative from Larian wrote in an email to Polygon.

Larian asks that anyone with information about the theft visit their Gamescom booth at business hall 4.2, booth A-16, where they're...

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'Dead or Alive 5' welcomes Brad Wong and Eliot

Team Ninja has two more Dead or Alive 5 fighters to reveal at Gamescom, Brad Wong and Eliot, who made their series debuts in Dead or Alive 3 and 4, respectively. Newly released screenshots from the "fighting entertainment" game practically dare you to contest publisher Tecmo Koei's claim that Brad and Eliot "look more realistic than ever."

For the lapsed Dead or Alive fan, we'll remind you that Eliot is a practitioner of the explosive Xing Yi Quan style of martial arts. He's the youngest contestant in Dead or Alive 5, and a student of longtime DOA fighter Gen Fu. Brad Wong, who seemingly...

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See 'Hitman Absolution's' Contracts mode explained in trailer

Hitman Absolution developer IO Interactive announced a new game mode, Contracts, at Gamescom yesterday, and a new trailer for the game explains the way Contracts works.

Contracts is an online mode offering an asynchronous, user-defined multiplayer experience. Players set up a level with targets to kill, along with weapons and items to do it with, and then run through the level itself to set the parameters of the contract. Once it's ready to go, Absolution uploads the contract for everyone else to attempt; players can even create competitions that challenge people to outperform each other.

"...

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'Guardians of Middle-earth' summons Legolas and the Witch-king into the fray

Guardians of Middle-earth, Monolith Productions' multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) with elements based on Peter Jackson's on The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, received another battle profile vignette today profiling sharpshooting Elf Legolas and the deadly Witch-king.

The video posted below demonstrates Legolas' prowess in battle, including the ability to disappear into surrounding foliage, and the Silven Agility skill, allowing him to dart quickly behind foes for a swift kill. The Witch-king, the deadliest servant of Middle-earth's most evil resident, can raise his enemies from the...

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StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm beta invites coming in waves, registration information available 'very soon'

Beta invites for StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm are "coming" and will be sent out in waves, Blizzard Entertainment confirmed today to Polygon.

According to producer Kaeo Milker, new information on how to gain access to the expansion's beta will arrive shortly.

"There's some waves coming. I think very soon here we'll have a bunch of information on Starcraft2.com with various ways to get into it."

Milker added while the title has no official release date pinned down, Blizzard is in the "final stages here," and is in the process of readying for the beta. "It's nearing the end," he said.

S...

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'Command and Conquer Generals 2' merged into free-to-play 'Command and Conquer' platform

Command and Conquer Generals 2, the PC-exclusive real-time strategy game announced at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards, is being transformed into a free-to-play digital platform, Electronic Arts revealed today at Gamescom.

The existing portion of Generals 2, which is under development at BioWare Victory, will continue on as part of a "new digital experience" for the long-running franchise. While it will remain a strategy game powered by DICE's Frostbite 2 engine, General 2's single-player missions may have been lost in the free-to-play transition in favor of multiplayer, according to a r...

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'Just Dance 4' full track list unveiled

Ubisoft unveiled the full track list for upcomig dancing game Just Dance 4 today, which will include tracks from popular artists like Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj in "Beauty and a Beat" and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe."

The Wii U version of the game will feature three exclusive tracks: The Girly Team's "Ain't No Other Man," Cher Lloyd's "Want U Back," and "Domino" by Jessie J. All four versions will include 40 tracks by a spread of artists that have topped the Billboard charts:

  • Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes: "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" new!
  • Las Ketchup: "Asereje (The Ketchup...

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Why 'Super Crate Box' coming to PlayStation Mobile is a very big deal

PlayStation Mobile may be the smartest move Sony has made in years.

During Sony's Gamescom press conference earlier today, the company fleshed out plans for the service, which will bring "bite-sized" games to certain Android devices and the PlayStation Vita. PlayStation Mobile is Sony's equivalent of the iOS App Store, with certified game releases that only work on a select handful of devices.

From the point of view of indie developers, who have shied away from Android for a number of reasons, this is a very big deal.

When PlayStation Mobile kicks off later this year, one of its launch...

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'Ghost Recon Online' goes into open beta across 40 countries

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online, Ubisoft Singapore's free-to-play PC shooter based on the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon franchise, is now in a worldwide open beta, Ubisoft announced during its Gamescom 2012 press briefing.

Ubisoft ran a closed beta for the online shooter earlier this year, and opened it up to the public last week. Ghost Recon Online is still slated for launch later this year, with a Wii U release coming at some point after the PC launch. Check out the game's official website to get in on the action.

In other Ubisoft shooter news, Nadeo's online first-person shooter, ShootMania...

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Activision confirms the death of deathstreaks in 'Black Ops 2'

Gone is the chance in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 to take out your killer by dropping a grenade as you die or shooting them down with a well-placed shot as you bleed out.

While Activision already announced that "scorestreaks" are replacing the streak systems found in Call of Duty's Modern Warfare 2 and 3, some people seemed confused or concerned about the fate of deathstreaks. Black Ops, the last Treyarch Call of Duty game, did not include deathstreaks either.

Reached for comment today, here's what Treyarch developers had to tell Polygon:

"Black Ops 2 MP does not have any deathstreaks, this...

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'World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria' almost never was

World of Warcraft's upcoming expansion, Mists of Pandaria, almost never was, according to the massively multiplayer game's senior producer, John Lagrave.

The team at Blizzard were in the process of designing an entirely different expansion before they turned their focus toward the Pandaren race, first seen in Blizzard's Warcraft real-time strategy series.

"We actually had pitched an entirely different expansion to the team," Lagrave told Polygon during this year's Gamescom conference in Cologne, Germany.

"We got them all to say this idea was cool and this was interesting, just when we...

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'Anno Online' free-to-play city-building game announced by Ubisoft

Ubisoft today announced Anno Online, a browser-based free-to-play massively multiplayer version of the PC city-building game Anno 1404.

The title offers the full scope of the boxed game, while also focusing on casual players with a redesigned user interface to make the title more accessible.

Anno Online is being developed by Blue Byte Software for PC and all devices with an internet connection and browser capabilities. Blue Byte previously worked on Anno 1404 in 2009.

Anno Online will be available in beta on AnnoOnline.com shortly, and is due out this fall.

Update: Ubisoft released a...

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'Call of Duty: Black Ops 2' multiplayer helps you find your playstyle

The Pick 10 customization system in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 isn't just a new way to make your online soldier your own — it's a new way to play Call of Duty altogether.

For those who haven't followed the new Create-a-Class system here's a synopsis: You have ten "points" which you can spend to fit weapons, grenades, perks and attachments into your loadout. You still have to adhere to the franchise's set-in-stone rules, to an extent — you can't bring 10 different primary weapons into battle, for instance. The exception to that rule, however, is Wildcards, which can also be equipped with a...

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'Black Ops: Declassified' uses old-school Create-A-Class, not Pick 10

Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified, the first Call of Duty outing on the Playstation Vita, won't be built around the Black Ops 2 timeline, innovative new multiplayer class system, or weapons, Activision reps told Polygon.

Instead, the game's multiplayer will make use of the perks, weapons, and gameplay style of the original Black Ops. That's in part because the game itself takes place in the 60s, 70s, and 80s and is meant to tell the story of what happened after the original Black Ops in a series of Spec Ops-like single player missions.

During a demo at Gamescom today, an Activision rep...

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Watch this: EA and Sony's Gamescom 2012 press conferences condensed

The latter two of yesterday's Gamescom 2012 press conferences — EA and Sony — would take you about three hours to watch in their entirety. Don't waste your time with that! We're here to help you value your time as much as we do.

Check out the two videos below to see quick round-ups for EA and Sony's Gamescom pressers, respectively. There's footage of Sony's suite of new titles for Vita and PS3, some thorough and erudite evaluation of the Vita's new Cross Buy offers, as well as some commentary on FIFA 13's inscrutable MatchDay mode, which may literally include witchcraft.

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Mad Catz unveils Strike 7 gaming keyboard with touchscreen and modular layout

Accessory manufacturer Mad Catz has released a new keyboard designed specifically for PC gaming, featuring a touchscreen and a fully modular layout. Known as the Strike 7, the device is a companion to the company's Rat 7 gaming mouse and includes a total of 24 function buttons which can be programmed via the touchscreen. The latter can also be used to launch and control programs on the PC, including TeamSpeak, which is given a dedicated touch interface, allowing users to manage communication without eating into valuable main screen real estate.

For all its features, the Strike 7 also...

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Capcom reveals 'Resident Evil 6' 'Snow-Covered Mountain' gameplay

Capcom showed off a level titled 'Snow-Covered Mountain' from Resident Evil 6 at Gamescom today.

The gameplay footage shows Jake and his companion in a zombie-infested cabin on a snow-covered mountain as they fight their way out. The footage also shows him up against zombies who have picked up weapons and are firing rounds of bullets as he ducks and takes cover before shooting back.

The gameplay trailer can be viewed below.

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LucasArts shows off new 'Star Wars 1313' trailer at Gamescom

A trailer showing some of the action-packed scenes from LucasArt's upcoming third-person action game set in the Star Wars universe was revealed today.

Star Wars 1313 was announced backed in June during E3. In the game players take control of a bounty hunter as they venture into a dark part of the world, deep down on Level 1313.

The trailer that was released today (below) shows the bounty hunter's descent into Level 1313 and the early signs that things are about to go wrong.



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'Remember Me' mission turns ugly in Gamescom gameplay footage

Remember Me was announced during Capcom's Gamescom 2012 press conference today, and the publisher later released a lengthy video showing part of a mission from the futuristic action title.

The mission — in which the protagonist, Nilin, is ordered to "remix" a man's memory so he'll commit suicide — was one of two gameplay demos that developer Dontnod Entertainment presented. After some stealth gameplay that sees her climb up and hang from the environment to avoid detection by human and robot guards, she uses a special ability to delve into the target's memory and make him think he killed his...

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Only the strong survive in 'Tokyo Jungle's' Gamescom trailer

The wild, wonderful Tokyo Jungle has already been released in Japan, but PlayStation 3 owners in the West are still waiting to get their paws on this strange wildlife adventure that pits pomeranian against rabbit in a ruined downtown Tokyo.

Thanks to the game's latest trailer, we feel assured that Tokyo Jungle is still on its way to the PS3. And we learn that the hyenas of Tokyo Jungle are no laughing matter, panda bears can find love amid total destruction, and ... hold on ... is that a dinosaur? It appears we'll play as and slaughter a wide variety of animals in PlayStation C.A.M.P.'s...

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'Spy Hunter' deployed from Gamescom Weapons Van

Spy Hunter, developer TT Fusion's series reboot of the classic driving shooter, received its first gameplay trailer today showcasing some new twists on new terrain.

"Once again, players will reprise the role of 'The Agent' to take down a global terrorist organization set on world domination," according to publisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. "The Interceptor is ready for even the most difficult missions as it is able to seamlessly transform from supercar to off-road assault vehicle to speed boat and equipped with new tech gadgets and advanced weaponry."

Spy Hunter is geared up...

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'Lost Planet 3' trailer found at Gamescom

Lost Planet 3, the upcoming science fiction action game from developer Spark Unlimited, received a new trailer today to coincide with the game's appearance with publisher Capcom at Gamescom 2012.

The trailer finds the game's bearded protagonist, Jim Peyton, in and out of his Utility Rig's cockpit as he uncovers the worst kinds of secrets on the planet E.D.N. III. It also highlights Lost Planet 3's mix of Rig-assisted first-person and Rig-less melee combat. Yesterday, Capcom revealed the game's new cover system and The Winch, a new tool for the Rig that can grab enemies at range, both of...

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'Okami HD' looks pretty in gameplay footage and screenshots

Okami HD, Capcom's high-definition remake of Clover Studio's 2006 classic, is coming exclusively to the PlayStation Network this fall, and Capcom put out some new video and images from the remake for Gamescom 2012 today.

Okami HD brings the beloved 6-year-old adventure game into modern times with a 16:9 remake of the title upscaled to 1080p. It also features Trophies and supports PlayStation Move, an ideal control scheme for the game's celestial brush. Okami HD will be available on the PlayStation Store for $19.99 this fall.

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Meet the new Vergil of DmC: Devil May Cry

The younger, re-imagined Dante of Ninja Theory's Devil May Cry reboot meets his equally younger twin brother Vergil in a new trailer released by Capcom at Gamescom. World saving, demon slaying, and potential romantic entanglements ensue.

DmC's Vergil is described as a "calculating and dispassionate" contrast to the emotional, hot tempered Dante, star of the new Devil May Cry. Vergil serves as the leader of The Order, the underground organization intent on toppling the demonic regime responsible for killing Vergil's mother and enslaving his father. In this new trailer, we see Vergil's...

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Watch this: Capcom's Gamescom 2012 press conference condensed

Did you miss any of the announcements from Capcom's Gamescom 2012 press conference? It's entirely possible, because we're on the other side of the planet, and you were probably sleeping.

Don't feel bad! We were on the scene to wrap up all the new content for you, which you can read all about right here and here — or, if you're in a hurry, you can check out the video below for a quick wrap-up of the entirety of what the company has to offer this year. Stay tuned: We still need to wrap up EA, Sony and Ubisoft's pressers in the coming days! And then, at some point, we have to go play and write...

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Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time delayed to February 2013 (update)

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, the Sanzaru Games-developed fourth entry in the Sly Cooper series, has been hit with a delay to February 2013, according to Sony.

The game had previously been scheduled for release this year; in fact, Sony's official listing for it still shows a release date of 2012.

Sony showed the trailer below during the livestream that followed today's Gamescom 2012 press conference. The end of the trailer reveals a date of "early 2013" for Thieves in Time. Sony announced at its press briefing that Thieves in Time would be one of the first games under the company's new C...

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'The Last of Us' gets its own Gamescom trailer and images

The Last of Us, developer Naughty Dog's upcoming post-apocalyptic action game for the PlayStation 3, received a new trailer today during Sony's Gamescom 2012 press conference, highlighting a mix of old and new gameplay.

The trailer is part interaction between the game's main characters, Joel and Ellie; part running for their lives from an ambush first revealed in a gameplay trailer at E3; and part standard-issue grizzly killing of the kind you tend to find after the apocalypse.

You can check out the trailer below, which is set to haunting tunes of "Alone and Forsaken" by Hank Williams,...

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'God of War: Ascension' multiplayer beta on the way

God of War: Ascension developer Sony Santa Monica will soon be testing out the game's multiplayer component in a beta period, the studio announced today.

"It's critical to our team that we receive as much community feedback to tune and prime our multiplayer mode for one of the best experiences possible," said game director Todd Papy. The multiplayer beta will be available worldwide, and PlayStation Plus members will get an early crack at it. But the first public access goes to Gamescom 2012 attendees: Ascension will be playable in both single-player and multiplayer form on the show floor.

S...

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Sony confirms Dante, Sackboy, Spike, and Ratchet & Clank for 'PlayStation All-Stars'

The roster of Sony and SuperBot Entertainment's PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale grows by four today with the official confirmation of Dante from the new Devil May Cry, Sackboy from LittleBigPlanet, Spike from Ape Escape and Ratchet & Clank from, well, a whole lot of Ratchet & Clank games.

No surprises there, as those four characters were recently leaked alongside a few still unconfirmed fighters: Sir Daniel from MediEvil, Nariko from Heavenly Sword, and Raiden from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Still, it's nice to see Sony confirm their inclusion at Gamescom.

In a quartet of new...

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'Assassin's Creed: Liberation' trailer shows us how to Touch to Kill

Ubisoft has released a new Assassin's Creed: Liberation trailer for Gamescom, showing the game's novel Touch to Kill feature. Players will have the ability to freeze time and select a string of enemies to be assassinated. When time is unfrozen, the protagonist, Aveline, launches into a flurry of lethal attacks.

The trailer also shows Aveline in a new formal costume, something that was hinted at the end of the E3 trailer.

For more information on Liberation, check out our recent coverage. The game will ship on October 30th alongside its console cousin, Assassin's Creed 3. Watch the trailer...

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Walking With Dinosaurs and Disney content coming to 'Wonderbook'

Following its E3 reveal, Sony announced two new content partnerships for its augmented reality Wonderbook platform during a Gamescom press conference today. Both Disney and BBC will be partnering with Sony to bring their brands to the Wonderbook experience. While there were no specific titles announced from Disney, the BBC is working with Sony to bring its educational series "Walking With Dinosaurs" to the Wonderbook.

In the game, the Wonderbook is a globe which lets the child pick his dig site. And then it's a fossil, which is being mined from the dig site. The PlayStation Eye camera then...

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'Rain' coming to PlayStation Network

Sony just announced a new game, Rain, coming to the PlayStation Network later this year. It's being developed by Japan Studios.

Rain stars a small boy who, one day, becomes invisible. The only way he can be seen is by walking out into the rain, as raindrops coat his skin, giving him form. When not in the rain, the only indication he's present is in the rippling of puddles or the appearance of muddy footsteps.

Brief gameplay snippets shown during Sony's GamesCom press conference imply a 3D puzzle/platformer with some stealth elements, as the boy maneuvers over boxes and through environments...

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Japan Studio announces 'Puppeteer,' a bizarre platformer

Puppeteer is the new game from Sony's Japan Studio. The game takes place on a magical theater. Though it is a 2D platformer, action occurs on stage all around the player.

The story is sort of a reverse Pinocchio, in which a boy is kidnapped from his home and turned into a puppet. His wooden form provides the boy powers, represented by new heads. For example, a scissor ability allows him to slice upwards through tapestries. The art design calls to mind the arts and crafts vibe of LittleBigPlanet.

How the game's theatrical world behaves is tough to describe, so we'll leave the heavy lifting...

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'FIFA 13' gets PlayStation Move support

FIFA 13 will support PlayStation Move, Electronic Arts announced during Sony's Gamescom 2012 press conference.

David Rutter, executive producer of the FIFA franchise at EA Canada, came out with two developers for a live gameplay demo. Move can be used on offense for pinpoint passing by aiming at teammates, and players can use the wand to "paint" paths on the pitch to send teammates on runs. In addition, twisting the Move wand will apply spin to shots. On defense, you can aim at teammates to switch players.

FIFA 13 is due out on September 25th in North America, and on September 28th in...

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PlayStation Mobile bringing 'bite-sized games' to Vita and PlayStation Certified devices

Sony officially announced plans for its PlayStation Mobile initiative at Gamescom today, promising bite-sized games for PlayStation Certified, Android-powered devices and PlayStation Vita this year.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe CEO Jim Ryan said at Sony's Gamescom press conference that PlayStation Mobile will offer games from major and indie developers through the company's PlayStation Store. Game purchases are tied to your PlayStation Network ID. Buy a PlayStation Mobile game once, Sony says, and play it on any PlayStation Certfiied Device and PS Vita.

The service will initially be...

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified on Vita includes 4v4 multiplayer over WiFi, custom Vita bundle

While Activision isn't quite ready to declassify Call of Duty Black Ops Declassified, the forthcoming Vita release of the historically popular Call of Duty series, it did manage to share some details during Sony's Gamescom press conference today, including a November release window to match its console big brother.

Notably, the game will include 4v4 multiplayer over WiFi (presumably not 3G then?) across modes like Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed, on new maps built exclusively for PlayStation Vita. It will also include new weapons and gear designed to take advantage of Vita technology,...

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'Killzone: Mercenary' for PS Vita showcased at Gamescom 2012 (update)

Killzone: Mercenary, the first PS Vita iteration of Guerrilla Games' franchise, debuted with a live-action trailer at Sony's Gamescom 2012 press conference today.

Guerrilla is developing Mercenary. The trailer did include some gameplay footage of typical first-person Killzone action, augmented by touchscreen swipe controls for melee combat. Jim Ryan, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, called it "a first-person shooter that would simply not be possible on any other platform."

Update: The trailer is available to watch in its entirety below. According to Guerrilla Games, K...

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Sony announces Cross Buy: Buy a game on PS3, get Vita version for free

PlayStation 3 owners who purchase SuperBot Entertainment's new mascot fighter PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale will also get the PlayStation Vita version at no additional cost, Sony announced today. The buy one, get one free deal is part of Sony's new Cross Buy initiative, which will soon extend to other games.

Sony also announced that Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time and Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault — known as Ratchet & Clank: Q Force in Europe — will also support Cross Buy, a roundabout way of announcing that the next Ratchet & Clank game is also coming to Vita. Buying the PS3...

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Tearaway is the new game from Media Molecule

Media Molecule, the creators of LittleBigPlanet, have announced their new game, Tearaway.

The developers took the stage during Sony's Gamescom press conference today to show Tearaway for the first time. The Vita game follows a character named Iota, who is trapped inside the titular world, made entirely out of paper. Everything in the environment, we're told, will be interactive.

Certain characters and environmental set pieces react to the use of the Vita's touch screen, like drum skins that launch Iota into the air when tapped. Jabbing the rear panel lets the player virtually reach into...

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'LittleBigPlanet PS Vita' bundled with Vita at launch for 249 euros

LittleBigPlanet PS Vita will be available in a PlayStation Vita bundle when it launches this September, Sony announced today during its Gamescom 2012 press conference.

The bundle will sell for €249; a price for the United States remains unknown. LittleBigPlanet PS Vita is set for release in North America on September 25th and in Europe on September 19th.

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'FIFA 13' Match Day feature announced, demo coming September 11th

FIFA 13's EA Sports Football Club setup includes a new feature this year called Match Day, FIFA executive producer David Rutter announced at Electronic Arts' Gamescom 2012 press conference today.

Match Day offers "the deepest, most meaningful integration of video games and the real world, ever," according to Rutter. It allows players to receive updates about the real-world goings-on of the world's top soccer teams — news such as injuries and suspensions — through in-game commentary. And real-life player performance will now have an impact on in-game attributes: if Lionel Messi is tearing it...

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Dead Space 3 dated for February 5th in NA, 8th in Europe

Visceral Games' latest dismemberment-focused opus, Dead Space 3, has been dated for an early 2013 launch — February 5th in North America and the 8th in Europe, for both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 — following its predecessor's late January 2011 example. Now that publisher Electronic Arts has a date, it also has a pre-order strategy! If you drop some early money on the Limited Edition of the game, you'll be rewarded with "two bonus suits and weapons," available at the "start" of the game.

The "First Contact" bundle includes the aptly titled First Contact suit, a suit with "a flamboyant...

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'Battlefield 3 Premium Edition' includes Battlefield Premium membership for $70

During its Gamescom 2012 press conference, Electronic Arts revealed that a special edition of Battlefield 3, called Battlefield 3 Premium Edition, will be coming to North America on September 11th and to Europe on September 13th for $69.99.

The Premium Edition will include the Battlefield 3 game and a Battlefield Premium subscription (regularly $49.99 alone), which provides access to all five downloadable expansions for the game. It will also offer a "multiplayer Head-Start Kit that is custom-designed to help jump start players who are new to multiplayer by automatically unlocking 15...

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'The Simpsons: Tapped Out' returns to iOS App Store

The Simpsons: Tapped Out, EA Mobile's Springfield-building game, will be back on the iTunes App Store this week, Electronic Arts announced today during its Gamescom press conference.

It is already live on the German App Store, and will arrive globally this week.

The game originally launched in North America on March 1st, but was quickly taken down due to overwhelming demand. EA's chief operating officer, Peter Moore, came out on stage and announced Tapped Out's return with an image of Bart writing, "I will not under-provision servers," over and over on a blackboard.

In The Simpsons: Tapped...

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EA's Origin coming to Mac, Android, Facebook, and Smart TV

Electronic Arts is bringing its digital download service, Origin, to Mac, Facebook, Android, and Smart TV.

It was first revealed that Origin would be coming to Mac in a press release detailing the OS X version of SimCity, stating that the game would be coming as a "digital download via Origin in February 2013." The additional platforms were revealed during the company's GamesCom press conference.

No specific release date for the new platforms has been announced, though additional features to be added to Origin include support for free-to-play games, exclusive digital content, live videos...

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'NHL 13' demo hits next week (update)

NHL 13's demo will be available on August 21st on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network, Electronic Arts announced during its Gamescom 2012 press briefing today.

In Europe, PS3 players will have to wait an extra day until August 22nd.

The demo is meant to show off EA Canada's suite of improvements this year to gameplay and artificial intelligence. Gameplay changes include a revamped, physics-driven skating engine and smarter goalies, while EA Sports Hockey IQ means that CPU teammates and opponents will play more like real NHL players.

Since it's a gameplay demo, it won't offer a look at the...

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SimCity releasing on Mac in early 2013, PC beta announced

In an announcement timed with its Gamescom press conference, Electronic Arts revealed that the next installment of SimCity will now be coming to Mac in February 2013, right alongside the PC version.

SimCity for Mac will be sold as a digital download through Origin. The release stated that the Mac version "will feature the same deep, rich gameplay that will define the PC experience as players on both platforms compete or collaborate to create a new world, together." In addition to feature parity, this also reinforces that Mac and PC players will be able to experience cross-platform...

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Gamescom 2012: Everything you need to know

Riding on the heels of GDC Europe, Gamescom 2012 is Europe's largest trade fair for games and interactive entertainment. It runs from August 15th through August 19th in Cologne, Germany, and includes more than 600 companies from 40 countries, and Polygon will be on the floor to bring you all the Gamescom news you can shake a warlock's staff or a space marine's gun at.

Unlike E3, Gamescom is open to both the public and the press, and that creates an eclectic mix of industry- and consumer-driven content spanning the continuum from gaming tournaments to mini job fairs to cosplay contests. It's...

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'Hitman Absolution' will include player-created 'Contracts'

Hitman Absolution will turn every person in the game world into a target with a new game mode called Contracts, the developers announced in Cologne, Germany today.

"What happens if any person in the game word is a target," Christian Elverdam, Hitman Absolution gameplay director, asked during a presentation.

Elverdam showed off the familiar library level of the game, previously shown at E3, but this time paused the game to open a featured contracts option in the menu. The featured contract is an alternate hit that can take place anywhere in the game world.

"It turns the play experience on...

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'Half-Life 3,' 'Dragon Age 3' appear in Gamescom new release list (update)

Half-Life 3 and Dragon Age 3 are both included in a list of new releases uploaded to the official Gamescom 2012 site, possibly teasing announcements for both titles at the Cologne, Germany event.

While Gamescom doesn't officially kick off until tomorrow, two press conferences will take place later today: EA will showcase its upcoming titles at 10 a.m. ET, while Sony will give its highlights at 1 p.m. ET. If Dragon Age 3 is announced, EA's press conference seems like a likely place for it to happen — though both EA and Sony would be strange bedfellows for Valve.

We've contacted both EA and...

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Free-to-play games developers should expect 70 percent drop in users

Free-to-play game developers should expect a 70 percent drop in initial registered users, according to former Empire: Total War designer Jan van der Crabben during a keynote presentation at this year's GDC Europe.

Player retention is key for the success of free-to-play titles, Crabben explained, adding that while most players leave free-to-play titles within the first few minutes of registering, the number of users who stick with a game by the fourth day will generally continue to play. He went on to state free-to-play games must hook players within the first three minutes, while developers...

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Capcom reveals 'Remember Me,' a new action IP

Capcom has revealed Remember Me, a new game and franchise from Paris, France-based developer Dontnod Entertainment.

A brief trailer in the game showed off a young woman running and precariously leaping through a dystopian future city. Her memory has been erased, as she frequently discloses during the trailer, at one point asking, "I'm the hunter, why am I being hunted?"

The game's director explained that memory is an important part of the game, sharing an intimate memory of how he met his girlfriend. "What if we could all have access to all the memories of all the people in this room," he...

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Catwoman claws her way into 'Injustice: Gods Among Us'

NetherRealm Studios' fighting game set in the DC universe has a new addition: Catwoman. The cat burglar, whip enthusiast, and one-time foe of Batman has been confirmed as a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us at Gamescom.

Catwoman's moves appear to focus mainly on claw-based, hand-to-hand combat and liberal use of her whip to reach foes at longer distances. It is currently unclear what her unique special move will be, as her use of a rocket launcher and teleportation device are simply stage-based attacks.

Catwoman's confirmation brings the fighting game's roster to nine,...

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