The Elder Scrolls Online review: other people

Editor's Note: With The Elder Scrolls Online, Bethesda Softworks and developer Zenimax Online Studios aren't aiming at MMO fans alone. Instead, ESO is being heralded as a full Elder Scrolls experience. This isn't surprising in the wake of Skyrim's massive success, but it does raise a question: can an MMO provide an experience compatible with the expectations of the more than 20 million people who bought Bethesda's last RPG? And will MMO fans be similarly satisfied? With that in mind, we're trying something different with our review of The Elder Scrolls Online, bridging the gap between the two points of view in question. On one side, we have Polygon's resident Skyrim devotee, Justin McElroy. On the other? Polygon's most dedicated player of MMOs, Phil Kollar. by Justin McElroy & Phil...

Moebius: Empire Rising review: remedial history

Moebius: Empire Rising was difficult for me to get through. It's not difficult in the traditional sense — any determined player with an eye for adventure game logic will be able to complete it. No, I found it hard to get through because of its unlikable lead character, dopey writing, uneven puzzle design and omnipresent sexism. There were times during my playthrough where I caught glimpses of what writer/producer/designer Jane Jensen (famous for her work on the Gabriel Knight series) was going for — but Moebius utterly failed to recreate the charm of a 1990s-era adventure game. Moebius stars Malachi Rector, a genius art appraiser with a cold, misanthropic demeanor courtesy of a difficult past. Throughout the game, Malachi traveled the world, appraised rare artifacts, solved...

Zuckerberg tried out PS4 VR headset a week before Oculus VR acquisition

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg went hands-on with Sony's virtual reality headset, Project Morpheus, a week before buying VR headset manufacturer Oculus VR, Gamespot reports PlayStation marketing executive Guy Longworth as saying. Speaking during a Games Marketing Summit 2014 session, Longworth recalled how Zuckerberg asked, "Can I have a tech demo?" for Project Morpheus and how he was curious why Zuckerberg was interested in seeing Sony's headset. Facebook announced in late march its intention to acquire the Kickstarter-funded virtual reality headset creator for $2 billion. The Federal Trade Commission granted a request from the acquiring party, listed as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, to purchase the virtual reality headset manufacturer Oculus VR on April 22. "I wish he bought...

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is 'coming soon' to Android

XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Firaxis Games' turned-based strategy game that pits a human resistance against alien invaders, is headed to Android "soon," according to a recent tweet from the series' official Twitter account. The game will be available through Google Play and the Amazon Appstore, according to the tweet. XCOM: Enemy Unknown arrived on iOS for iPad and iPhone last June where it's available for $19.99. You can check out the launch trailer for the game's first mobile incarnation below. XCOM: Enemy Unknown is also available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac and Windows PC. XCOM: Enemy Unknown - The Complete Edition, a version that includes its major add-on content, was released last month for Mac and PC for $49.99. For on the game's original incarnation, be sure to read Polygon's X...

World of Warcraft designers offer 30-minute deep dive into Warlords of Draenor's changes

In the latest episode of WoW Source, lead encounter designer Ion Hazzikostas, lead class designer Kris Zierhut and senior game designer Brian Holinka discuss the upcoming player-vs-player and class changes for World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor. Warlords of Draenor is the fifth expansion to the popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The new content takes players to Draenor, home of the orc and draenei races, in addition to raising the game's level cap and adding new content. Speaking about the game's PvP, Holinka explained that adjusting crowd control effects from the previous expansion was a "very high priority." "There's a couple of big problems that we had in PvP [in Mists of Pandaria] that we really want to address," Holinka said. "Things that players...
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Defense Technica arrives on Xbox 360 today

Defense Technica, developer Kuno Interactive's multiplatform tower defense/strategy game hybrid, arrives on Xbox 360 today. The Xbox 360 incarnation is available now in the Xbox Games Store for $9.99. A free demo of the game that tasks players with defending their core from "an onslaught of unrelenting biomechanical terrors" by using and upgrading tower defense weapons, is also available for download. Defense Technica was released last year for Mac and Windows PC and is available for $14.99 on Steam. You can watch a trailer released last year alongside the PC versions to see the game in action.

Armello: the sneaky, treacherous race to the throne

"What we've always loved in board games is treachery," says Trent Kusters, co-founder of game studio League of Geeks. "Treachery in board games is great. It's like one minute we're buddies, but you know at some point one person is going to stab the other in the back." Kusters is demoing the alpha build of Armello, League of Geeks' debut title for PC and tablets, which is currently seeking funds on Kickstarter. It's a digital board game. Players tap on their hero character to move it around as they would on a physical board. They roll virtual dice like they would physical dice. And they commit acts of treachery, they plot and scheme and form alliances just like they would in a traditional board game. "That's what we wanted to set up," Kusters says, "the ability for people to create...

Train Jam 2014 offers up first batch of games

The first batch of games conceived out of Train Jam 2014, a 52-hour game jam held on a train travelling from Chicago to San Francisco, are now available on the event's official website. At the time of writing, the growing list currently offers 18 games available to freely download for Windows PC, Mac, Oculus or Android, or play online in a browser. Games include Android title Disconnect from Rami Ismail, Brice Puls and Benedict Fritz; Off the Grid by Ryan Wiemeyer, Jamie Sanchez, David Laskey and Chris Wade; Space Jeff from Matthew Hudgins; and, Oculus Team by Alicia Avril and Andrew Gleeson. The event, which took place March 13-15, offered a way to rally developers heading to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and create games whilst in transit. Train Jam was organized...

Developers from CCP Games to wrestle MMA fighter during Eve Fanfest

This year's Eve Fanfest, the annual celebration of all things Eve, will include an event called "Eve of Destruction" in which 10 developers from CCP Games will face off against mixed martial arts fighter Gunnar Nelson, the studio announced today. According to a press release from CCP, the individuals will engage in "actual physical combat" against Nelson (photo above), an Icelandic UFC fighter who is a practitioner of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. During Eve of Destruction, Nelson will partake in 10 back-to-back bouts of one-on-one wrestling against members of the CCP team. There will be only one win condition: submission. The format is a gauntlet — each match will run for as long as it takes, and the breaks between the fights will last only as long as is required for the next combatant to...

Fract OSC review: dead or alive

Who knew club music could feel so lonely? Fract OSC, a hybrid of rhythm, puzzle and exploration games, abandons you inside a broken synthesizer. It's a dark and quiet cavern littered with orbs, boxes and planks that occasionally react to your existence. The environment is distant as it is cold. There are no characters, human or otherwise, and the architecture is sharp and alien. If your office copy machine could dream, perhaps this would be its fantasy: a Tron-like wasteland free of pesky humans. Your job — as the only living thing here — is to fix the synthesizer from within. Don't expect any help. There's no explicit instruction. At first, the goal appears to be find the stations plotted around the landscape, which once discovered, act like a web of futuristic monorail...

Starbound review: space jam

In its best moments, Starbound feels infinite. As a kid, I remember daydreaming about discovering a game that never ends. These days, that dream seems a lot less far-fetched thanks to the popularity of games based on procedural generation — that is, content that is made up by the game on the fly rather than painstakingly put together by level designers. Even within that growing space, and even in its current early access form, Starbound is one of the most impressive never-ending games I've ever played. Progression is sometimes gated in arbitrary ways, and some content is obviously unfinished, but any problems I had faded to background noise in the midst of my planet-hopping, universe-spanning adventures. Starbound is one of the most impressive never-ending games ever ...

Octodad review update: PS4 and more

If you haven't played Octodad: Dadliest Catch since it was released on PC, you'd be forgiven for initially assuming the PS4 version was just a straight port. It looks the same, it plays the same; it was, at least for the first half hour or so, the exact experience I remember from my first playthrough. That began to change once I reached the supermarket and found that the mango soda I needed to retrieve for my family had been perched not atop a free-standing pyramid of crates but a sort of half-pyramid flush with one of the supermarket walls. With the added support to crawl up, the once highly-irritating climb had become about 100 percent less infuriating It's a minor change, but representative of the several tweaks that have been made to make the paternal cephalopod's outing so much...

GameSpy shutdown taking Borderlands, Civilization titles offline 'temporarily'

The impending shutdown of online-service provider GameSpy Technology will "temporarily" take Borderlands and some Civilization games offline as publisher 2K Games moves them from GameSpy to Steamworks, while nearly 20 other titles will lose online support, 2K announced today. GameSpy Technology, which provides the online back-end for dozens of games, announced earlier this year that it would close May 31. On that date, 2K said today, online service for eight different games will "temporarily" be halted as the publisher migrates support from GameSpy to Valve's Steamworks platform. The titles in question are Sid Meier's Civilization 3, Civilization 3: Conquests, Civilization 3: Play the World, Sid Meier's Civilization 4, Civilization 4: Beyond the Sword, Civilization 4: Colonization, C...

Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure delayed until May

Adventure game Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure will now launch for Windows PC and Mac on May 7, the developer announced in a recent video update. Originally slated to launch April 22, the two week delay is to allow the game's creators to add more polish to the game. Tesla Effect tasks players with investigating crimes and questioning witnesses in post-apocalyptic San Francisco as "down on his luck" private investigator and series icon Tex Murphy. Tesla Effect starts after the events of 1998's Tex Murphy: Overseer, the game combines live-action with full-motion scenes and features interactive dialogue. Players can pre-order the game for $19.99 from GoG and Steam now. Those who pre-order Tesla Effect will receive the Tex Murphy Live Jazz soundtrack upon release and fourth Tex...

World of Warcraft's Noblegarden lays eggs for players April 21-28

World of Warcraft players can partake in the egg-filled feast of Noblegarden April 21-28, according to a post today. According to in-game lore, the annual Easter-like celebration traces its origins to ancient druidic festivals. Throughout Noblegarden, players can search low-level towns for brightly colored eggs, which can be hidden or sitting in plain view. Those eggs can contain prizes like chocolates, costumes, rare items and toys. The Noblegarden festival also offers daily quests, known as the Great Egg Hunt, as well as festival-appropriate clothing and merchants hungry for Noblegarden chocolate. You can check out the full list of seasonal items, including pets and mounts, in's Noblegarden 2014 page. For more on the future of World of Warcraft, be sure to...

Game of Thrones is the first 'free-to-play' TV show, and gaming is racing to catch up

Game of Thrones is a massive hit for HBO, both in terms of the raw numbers of people watching and the cultural impact the show has had on television in general. It maintains the cable channel’s status as the home of prestige television, as HBO is a place you go when you want to keep up with what people are talking about on Monday morning.It's also a giant "victim" of piracy. 1.5 million people reported downloading the episode "The Lion and the Rose" on its first day of availability online, with upwards of 200,000 people sharing the same copy of the episode. This is a record-breaking event in the world of media piracy, but HBO doesn't seem to care. Why does a cable channel get to sit out of the piracy discussion, and even crack jokes about the popularity of its content when the question...
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