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Civilization: Beyond Earth's latest trailer shows a colony at its height

Firaxis released its latest trailer for Civilization: Beyond Earth after its panel at PAX Prime this weekend. Over six minutes of gameplay, it shows how a colony functions once it has reached full strength, about 100 years into the game's timeline. That includes features like the "Purity Affinity," which basically means the human colony terraforms the environment to accomodate it, rather than adapting human biology to the environment through cybernetics, gene modification or other transfusions. There's also a demonstration of combat (against a freakin' Kraken), diplomacy, and the game's orbital layer. Civilization: Beyond Earth will launch on Oct. 24 for Linux, Mac OS and Windows PC. For more on the game, see this preview from this week.
25 Comments

In Firewatch, the job isn't to keep the wilderness from burning down

Firewatch, the first effort from a team of notable games developers and designers, released its first trailer this week, laying out the mystery that envelops the protagonist and the distant yet intimate radio relationship he has with his partner. Firewatch is the work of Camp Santo, a studio comprising Jake Rodkin and Sean Vanaman, both alumni of Telltale Games' acclaimed The Walking Dead Series, as well as Nels Anderson of Klei Entertainment's Mark of the Ninja, and the well known graphic designer Olly Moss. Firewatch appears to be set sometime in the past (note the use of the typewriter at 1:15 in the above video.) The game is being developed in Unity and is planned to release for PC on the Linux, Mac and Windows operating systems sometime next year.
News
13 Comments

Tales from the Borderlands lets you stop and smell the chaotic roses

Being terrible at first-person shooters is one of my worst-kept secrets. I'm uncoordinated, my reflexes are slow and I can move my in-game characters about as gracefully as a cat in a sack race. In my panic to try to not get shot and clear levels as effectively as I can, I often miss details of the game world. I gloss over environments. I don't pause to think of the backstory. From the moment I'm thrown into the game, it's go, go, go. According to Kevin Bruner, the founder and president of Telltale Games — the studio behind The Walking Dead game and The Wolf Among Us — I'm not alone. Bruner says that in first-person shooters like Gearbox's Borderlands, players tend to only experience a slice of the game world because they're moving so fast. When players are plunged into a world of...
Video
9 Comments

Costume Quest 2's tricky twins are back on their beat

Double Fine released a PAX trailer for Costume Quest 2 today, and announced an exclusive costume offer for anyone who pre-orders the game on Steam. Coming to Windows PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and Wii U this October, the creepy turn-based combat and exploration game puts players in control of twins Reynold and Wren as they set off on a trick or treating adventure. They'll fight evil characters in Halloween costumes that grant them superhuman powers. "It's probably our most requested sequel, besides Psychonauts," said Double Fine's Greg Rice in a recent Polygon interview. "People have been asking for it forever. I think it's that every Halloween you're reminded about the game. We have a lot of people who are coming back to us saying they replay it...
News
9 Comments

Top Hearthstone player joins Blizzard to help work on the game

Blizzard has hired a top competitive Hearthstone player as an associate designer on the game. Ryan 'Realz' Masterson announced on Twitter that he is joining the company. Masterson is a top competitive player of the virtual card game, as well as Magic The Gathering, and a noted Twitch streamer. Hot Off The Press - I have accepted a position as Associate Game Designer (Hearthstone) with Blizzard Entertainment. A new chapter begins... — Ryan Masterson (@Realz_HS) August 27, 2014 "This is a truly exciting opportunity for me," stated Masterson on a Reddit post. "I hope my association with the continuing development of Hearthstone will serve to comfort fellow ladder grinders, competitors, and players at large that one of us is behind the scenes looking out for the interests of...
News
4 Comments

Harmonix is making a musical shoot 'em up called A City Sleeps

Rock Band and Dance Central creator Harmonix is making a musical shooter — no, not that other musical shooter. The developer's latest game, A City Sleeps, looks like a shoot 'em up developed in the style of Cave or Treasure, but with the studio's trademark musical hook. A City Sleeps is a twin-stick shooter for PC that gives players control of Poe, a "dream exorcist" who can "enter the minds of sleeping hosts to rid their dreams of demons." Using a sword named Heartstrings and a gang of ghost familiars as sidekicks, Poe battles colorful enemies through dreamscapes while dodging bullet hell-style swarms of projectiles. Her ghost familiars can possess inanimate objects in the world, which will then assist her in battle. The game features an original soundtrack, Harmonix says, that...
Top Games
  • Watch Dogs
    • Platforms: Win, 360, PS3, Wii U, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Ubisoft
    • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
    • Release Date: 2014-05-27
  • Destiny
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One
    • Publisher: Activision
    • Developer: Bungie
    • Release Date: 2014-09-09
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
    • Platforms: Mac, Win, iOS, Android
    • Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
  • Dark Souls 2
    • Platforms: PS3, 360, Win
    • Publisher: Namco Bandai
    • Developer: From Software
    • Release Date: 2014-03-11
All Games
Opinion
18 Comments

Amazon and Twitch are the competitors YouTube needs

It's been a hell of a summer for Twitch.Reports that the game streaming giant was being bought by Google first surfaced back in May. By the end of last month, many were considering it a done deal. Then, out of nowhere, rumors hit this week that the Google deal had fallen through and Amazon, of all places, would actually be acquiring Twitch. Those initial reports were quickly confirmed via an official announcement. I'm sure it's been as tumultuous a roller coaster ride inside Twitch as it appears from the outside. But the good news is this: With the Amazon buyout, all of us got the best possible outcome. [image via @Julia_CaSsian] The Google problem Before I get into why I think Amazon is going to make for a great partner with Twitch, let me explain why I was so cynical...
Video
12 Comments

Spacecom is 4X strategy, but fast and made for multiplayer

Space strategy games, often referred to as 4X games, can be extremely satisfying. But they can also take weeks out of your life. Not so with Spacecom. The upcoming PC, Mac and Linux game thrives on multiplayer, meaning that up to six players can duke it out in the hard vacuum of space in under an hour. The game is also clearly designed with tablet play in mind. Ben Kuchera joins Charlie Hall for an Overview. If you like what you see, grab one of the beta codes in the comments below and keep an eye out for another batch, coming to Polygon's Facebook page later today. The team at Spacecom is also running a tournament at this time.
News
14 Comments

GOG.com launching DRM-free film initiative with 20 gaming-focused documentaries

Online digital game retailer GOG.com is extending its DRM-free philosophy to movies, kicking off the initiative today with 20 documentaries focused on video games and gaming culture. GOG.com's new DRM-free Movie section will launch with a handful of world premieres — documentaries including The King of Arcades, Gamer Age and Pixel Poetry — as well as award-winning films like Indie Game: The Movie. Two titles, Art of Playing and TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard, will be available for free. All movies can be downloaded or streamed for viewing, and GOG.com is promising the addition of more titles every week. According to a statement from GOG, the company is now aiming to bring major Hollywood studios on board and add their movies to the DRM-free catalog. But most studios, said...
News
8 Comments

If you thought Dark Souls was hard, try Titan Souls

Death is inevitable in Titan Souls. Playing as a tiny pixel human, players get one arrow and one hit point. If they fire their arrow, they have to retrieve it in order to fire it again. If they get hit even once, they die and have to return to the last check point and do it all over again. Every battle is against a boss — a kind of super enemy that is much bigger than the player. But every boss also has a weak spot. Find the weak spot and the boss can be taken out in one hit. "The process of playing involves dying a lot," says David Fenn, who made Titan Souls with two other developers at studio Acid Nerve. "You need to learn from your mistakes every time you die. You need to really prioritize staying alive as much as you can so you can observe enemy behavior and work out when you're...
Review
57 Comments
7.0

The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale review: can't go home again

The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale has all of the ingredients necessary to pull together an explosive ending. After a second season of dramatic highs and crushing lows, I still felt a strong connection to protagonist Clementine. I've been with her through so much, and I was invested in seeing where she ends her journey (for now, at least). Yet at the end, I was left feeling more empty than anything else. The Walking Dead's Season 2 finale is about as inconsistent as the season as a whole has been. It never stops striving for the depth and emotional impact of the first season, but it also never quite lives up to its own legacy. (Editor's Note: If you haven't played any of The Walking Dead Season 2 and are concerned about spoilers about the direction of this season, it may be best to...
Video
8 Comments

This new Titan Souls gameplay trailer is all about staying alive (and failing to do so)

Titan Souls developer Acid Nerve released a gameplay trailer for the action game today, offering a glimpse at its pixelated world and the fearsome titans within. Our hero has to fend for himself with a bow and a quiver with a single arrow, along with a dodge move for defense. Death is a certainty in Titan Souls; what's important is to glean some lessons from it. Titan Souls is set for release in Q1 2015 on Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Windows PC. For more, check out our E3 2014 interview with Acid Nerve below.
News
39 Comments

PSN returns after daylong outage caused by DDoS attack

PlayStation Network is back online in North America following a daylong siege by hackers who even communicated a bomb threat to an airline in order to divert a flight carrying a top Sony executive. PSN and Sony Entertainment Network returned to service about 3 a.m. ET. A statement on the PlayStation Blog said the system was taken offline because of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. "We have seen no evidence of any intrusion to the network and no evidence of any unauthorized access to users' personal information," the statement said. Because of the outage, the regular maintenance scheduled for PSN in North America has been postponed. It was to have lasted from about 12 to 7:30 p.m. ET. The outage began sometime in the early morning Sunday; a hacker group claimed...
25 Comments

The Elder Scrolls Online launches loyalty program for subscribers

The Elder Scrolls Online is kicking off a loyalty program for subscribers in September, offering in-game items to those who have paid subscription time of three months. Emails will go out to eligible paid subscribers next month, but Bethesda says the first reward will be a vanity pet - a High Hrothgrar wraith (pictured) — "that will let you show your dedication to saving Tamriel wherever you adventure in-game." Loyalty rewards will be added as subscriber tenure grows; the next one is planned for six months of subscriber time. The Elder Scrolls Online launched for PC and Mac four months ago. The game's console release has been delayed to at least the end of this year and no specific release date has been announced yet. The subscription time necessary to earn loyalty rewards is...
News
6 Comments

Fortnite 'director's commentary' video explains what we were watching a month ago

Last month, Epic Games released about a four-minute clip of gameplay for Fortnite, its upcoming free-to-play game that combines elements of crafting, shooter and role-playing games. Now they're thinking it might have been a good idea to provide some director's commentary so people know a little more about what they're looking at. Thus they've put up this video, which is about 10 minutes longer, featuring systems designer Cameron Winston and community manager K.L. Smith going over the "Defend the Fort" trailer in greater detail. This includes a breakdown of the classes, how resources are harvested and used, where traps and defenses are best placed and the capabilities of enemies. It's a video companion to Polygon's own preview of the game from early July. Fortnite has been accepting...
Video
7 Comments

Russian and German armor clash in Combat Mission: Red Thunder

Last week saw the release of the version 3.0 upgrade to the current Combat Mission engine, an upgrade that is reflected in the standalone title Combat Mission: Red Thunder, which introduces Russian forces for the first time. Dave Tach joins Charlie Hall in this Overview to take a ride with a German armor group and see first hand the awesome firepower that a 70-ton King Tiger can dish out. Just a little over a year ago Polygon profiled the team at Battlefront.com, makers of the Combat Mission series. Now well into its second decade, the series lets players take on the role of World War II commanders and fight out the great infantry battles of that conflict on their PC or Mac. What makes Combat Mission unique is something called a "WeGo" system, wherein each side issues orders to their...
Video
20 Comments

A guided tour of the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

You see a lot of crazy stuff built in Minecraft. With tens of millions of copies sold, the game has spawned a closet industry of builders, hackers and tinkerers. Minecraft communities have reconstructed the mines of Moria. They've placed a steampunk city atop a giant tortoise. Minecraft is even being used to teach. The possibilities inside Minecraft seem endless. One user, Cody Littley, went a step further recently. He made a hard drive inside Minecraft. Without any third-party crafting aides, he built one kilobyte of read-write storage. He joined me for a guided tour.
News
8 Comments

How Super III is super inspired by Super Meat Boy, Super Mario 64

Super III, a new game from Super 91 Studios, aims to combine the "tight and responsive" controls of Super Meat Boy and the mission system of Super Mario 64 in its gameplay. In Super III, players control the alien III on a mission to save human survivors stranded after a galactic war. The game is a fast-paced 2D puzzle-platformer in which players can climb or quickly warp across the level to make their way through. "Controls are very tight and responsive, similar to Super Meat Boy's, making you feel it was your fault if when you make a mistake and not feel cheated by the game," Super 91 told Polygon via email. Players can choose new missions by entering different portals; like Super Mario 64, each level has several missions to be completed. Tasks include killing enemies, solving...
News
1 Comment

Jenny LeClue is a mystery adventure game influenced by divorce

Upcoming mystery-based adventure game Jenny LeClue draws influence from developer Joe Russ' experience growing up in a divorced family and the effects it had on his childhood, he recently told Polygon. Jenny LeClue tells the coming-of-age story of a young detective investigating a murder case involving her mother. In the game, Russ wants to explore choice and its responsibilities, he told Polygon. Choices are rarely wrong or right, and motives for making those decisions are important. "Growing up in a family of divorce is all about choices, and how your parents' choices can greatly affect you — at least as much as them," Russ said. "It's about accepting that sometimes the right choices have tough consequences. "These are the things I want players to be able to explore in the game and...
News
9 Comments

Clementine will make a stand as The Walking Dead Season Two closes next week

The fifth and final episode of The Walking Dead Season Two, No Going Back, will launch next week, developer Telltale Games announced today. No Going Back will be available for Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Windows PC on Aug. 26, Xbox 360 on Aug. 27 and for iOS on Aug. 28. The announcement was made alongside the release of the season's final trailer, which chronicles the emotional journey of protagonist Clementine and asks players to reflect on the choices they've made for her character. Be warned, the trailer is packed with spoilers for previous episodes in both seasons of Telltale's episodic drama — so you may want to hold off watching until you're all caught up — and includes an all-new scene created specifically for the trailer. The Walking Dead: Season Two episodes are...
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