Culture
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John Romero's Christmas present is cooler than yours

Famed game designer Brenda Romero went to Twitter to unveil her husband, John Romero's, Christmas gift earlier this week and it is something else. Merry Christmas, @romero! Picking up John's Icons of Doom sculpture from Jason Hite (http://t.co/nk4q1kVu2N). pic.twitter.com/Ov2K2ZpE0k — Brenda Romero (@br) December 21, 2014 The sculpture, called Icons of Doom, is the handiwork of artist Jason Hite. His website goes into detail about his relationship with the franchise and includes some amazing photographs of his creation. "The sculpture was at the Copro Nason Gallery from Oct. 17 until Nov. 8," Hite told Polygon via email. "John Romero was actually the very first person I sent images and info on the Copro Show. He wrote back, 'The sculpture is incredible, I love...
News
13 Comments

A first look at the new Shadowrun coming to Kickstarter next month

Shadowrun Returns developer Harebrained Schemes showed off a preview of the "new setting" for its new Shadowrun project, hinting that the next installment in the cyberpunk fantasy franchise will take place in Hong Kong. "Here's a piece of look & feel concept art for our new setting," the developer wrote in an update on its Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter page. "We'll show how it translates into Shadowrun's isometric gameplay view when our Kickstarter launches in January!" Harebrained Schemes teased earlier this month that it was returning to Kickstarter in January to raise money for a new, unspecified Shadowrun project. A new expansion or standalone project set in Hong Kong seems likely, since the developer surveyed Kickstarter backers in 2012 to ask which location they'd like to see...
Cover Story
Issue 02

Dec. 9, 2014

The fall of THQ

Former employees explain what went wrong for the once-strong game publishing empire.

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Deals
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You can grab five seasons of Telltale games for $55 on Xbox One

If your holiday celebrations have lacked the drama that only life-or-death decision-making can provide, you can currently scratch that itch with the Telltale Games Collection at a reduced price on Xbox One. The bundle includes The Walking Dead: Season One (our 2012 Game of the Year) and its 400 Days add-on, The Walking Dead: Season Two and The Wolf Among Us. It also unlocks the first episodes of Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones, as well as full season passes for both series — all for $55, for Xbox Live Gold members. Thanks to the Steam Holiday Sale, you can also grab PC and Mac versions of all those seasons for just a bit more. At the time of this writing, the combined total of all that content on Steam is a little over $70. Telltale's titles are surprisingly...
Deals
36 Comments

EA is having a big sale on Origin, including Battlefield 3 for 99 cents

Electronic Arts is holding a holiday season sale on Origin PC games, including deals on Dragon Age: Inquisition, Titanfall, Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare and FIFA 15. One of the best deals may be the savings on Battlefield 3 — EA is offering the game for just 99 cents right now. Here's a sampling of what's on offer through EA's Origin store during EA's New Year's sale. Dragon Age: Inquisition - $39.99 The Sims 4 - $29.99 FIFA 15 - $39.99 Battlefield 4 - $14.99 Battlefield 4 Premium Edition - $29.99 Battlefield 3 - $0.99 Titanfall - $9.99 Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare - $7.49 SimCity - $9.99 Crysis 3 - $9.99 Dead Space 3 - $9.99 Mass Effect Trilogy - $14.99 The Origin sale also applies to a long list of deluxe editions, season...
News
7 Comments

Team Fortress 2 now has grappling hooks, power-ups and a new 'Mannpower' mode

Valve continues to experiment with Team Fortress 2 by adding grappling hooks and a new batch of power-ups for the free-to-play first-person shooter. The new additions are part of TF2's new Mannpower game mode, which Valve launched in beta this week. Team Fortress 2's new grappling hooks let players traverse through the game's maps faster than ever before, and they follow standardized video game grappling hook rules: Players can toss their grappling hook at a surface and be quickly yanked to that spot. The addition pretty substantially changes the dynamic of TF2 matches, and the grappling hook is currently only available to play in Mannpower mode on two maps, Foundry and Gorge. Mannpower is a new capture the flag-like mode that introduces nine new power-ups to the game and disables...
Analysis
58 Comments

No Man's Sky: what we know, and what we hope to learn in 2015

Safe to say that when Polygon's Dave Tach and Charlie Hall lay themselves down to sleep on Christmas Eve, they'll each be dreaming dreams of No Man's Sky. The enigmatic space exploration title on the way from Hello Games has already survived a flood, and now it's up against a firestorm of interest following a dramatic hands-on demonstration at E3 and a new trailer unveiled at this month's Game Awards. Dave and Charlie sat down a few weeks ago to break down the hype. We distilled that long talk down to a quick chat about what we know and don't know about No Man's Sky. Leave your questions and conspiracy theories below, and we'll see what we can do to run down that information in the new year.
News
7 Comments

Shovel Knight, what are you doing on that motorcycle?

Shovel Knight's titular hero is now available as a playable, motorcycle-riding, shovel swinging character in Road Rash spiritual successor Road Redemption, Yacht Club Games and developer Darkseas announced. Road Redemption is a procedurally generated combat driving game in which players jet around the country completing assassinations, robberies, races and more. The game is currently available on Steam as an Early Access title for Windows PC, while Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, Wii U and Xbox One versions are scheduled to launch next year. According to Darkseas Games, Shovel Knight is "basically Road Redemption's version of The Terminator." In the video above, his cutesy 2D aesthetic is gone. Shovel Knight cruises around town in his full suit of armor thwacking people with a shovel,...
Top Games
All Games
News
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Final Fantasy 14 gets a dragon-inspired race, new jobs and more

Heavensward, the upcoming expansion for Final Fantasy 14, had a mess of new details revealed at this past weekend's Fan Festival event in Tokyo. Let's go over the most exciting news.First and foremost, Square Enix revealed a new playable race that will be introduced in the expansion. The Au Ra (pictured above) are a lean, tall race with long tails, scales and horns sprouting from their heads. In the screenshots and video footage shown so far, male and female Au Ra look very different, almost like entirely different races. Players returning to Final Fantasy 14 to check out the new race will also be able to play with two new jobs — the damage-focused machinist, who can wield guns and craft turrets, and the healing-focused astrologian, who comes equipped with magic abilities to help buff...
News
14 Comments

The original developer of STALKER re-opens, has a good laugh, announces new game

GSC Gameworld, the original makers of the STALKER games, is back in business, reports Gamesindustry.biz. In a bizarre turn of events, the company that essentially self destructed in 2011 is back with a new website and a secret project in the works. Valentine Yeltyshev was interviewed by Gamesindustry.biz, who identified him as part of the original GSC team and "spokesperson for the studio's return." "The market we're in is quite old fashioned," said Valentine. "They're not 16 year olds, they're 25-40 years old. We don't think free-to-play is the right model for the game we want to make. So we're making an old-fashioned, full price game, we think our audience will be happy about that. We're expecting a lot of our old audience!" The published interview, while brief, covered issues...
Report
30 Comments

DayZ says that tension is on the rise, but so is the game's player count (correction)

As the multiplayer zombie survival game DayZ enters its second full year in Steam's Early Access program, the team behind it faces a number of challenges. After selling millions of copies of an unfinished game how does it keep its fans motivated to see development through to the end? And now that the creator of the game, Dean Hall, is leaving to form his own studio how does the team left behind keep its momentum going?Polygon reached out to Bohemia Interactive public relations' Matt Lightfoot via email to learn more about the state of affairs in zombie-infested Chernarus. One year ago last week, early access to the standalone version of DayZ went on sale. The successor to the wildly popular Arma 2 mod sold two million copies by May of the this year. That's 200,000 copies a month for a...
News
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Maniac Mansion creators' Thimbleweed Park closes with $626K on Kickstarter

The Kickstarter campaign for Thimbleweed Park, the new old-school adventure game from Maniac Mansion creators Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick, was successfully funded last week with a final tally of $626,250 from 15,623 individuals. That total surpassed the developers' original goal of $375,000 by 67 percent. Thimbleweed Park's backers hit multiple stretch goals along the way: Translations will be done for five languages; the English version will offer full voice acting; and the game will be ported to Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. People who missed out on the Kickstarter campaign can still contribute to Thimbleweed Park's development on the game's website. "The support for Thimbleweed Park has been completely and totally overwhelming," said Gilbert and Winnick in a Kickstarter...
News
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Resident Evil Revelations 2's opening features a hilariously bad TV ad

My main takeaway from this opening cinematic to Resident Evil Revelations 2 is that TerraSave needs a better ad agency. Capcom on Friday put out this video showing the opening four minutes of the game, which begins with marketing spot for TerraSave that barely rivals this cynically absurd one for Halliburton back during the Iraq war. That catch phrase is just ... breathtaking. Claire Redfield doesn't even get any of the hors d'oeuvres at this party (who paid for it?) before a helicopter and some heavily armed guys crash it. She's being kidnapped, along with Moira Burton. Capcom-Unity, which posted this video on Friday, says the two wake up on a prison island. I was hoping they'd abduct her into a focus group working around the clock to come up with a better TV ad for TerraSave. R...
News
26 Comments

Satirical North Korea video game isn't backing down following Sony Pictures hack

The creator of a satirical run-n-gun video game starring Kim Jong Un has, unlike Sony Pictures, no plans to cancel his project. That could be because the North Korean dictator rides a unicorn and single-handedly fends off an invasion of his country. Jeff Miller told the Associated Press that he's more motivated than ever to finish Glorious Leader! "We want the game to be as topical as possible," Miller said. That said, he's contemplating asking for money to beef up his studio's cyber security, in light of a humiliating breach carried out against Sony Pictures, the makers of The Interview, in which Kim Jong Un is a comical tyrant whose head explodes in the climactic scene. Hackers behind a massive dump of Sony Pictures' private emails demanded the film be scuttled, promising violence...
Culture
22 Comments

Naturally, someone built Notch’s Beverly Hills mansion in Minecraft

Not a day after word spread that Markus "Notch" Persson, the creator of Minecraft, purchased the most expensive home in Beverly Hills, did someone recreate it in the game that has made him so wealthy. Moreover, when filming it, Dan Bovey made sure to recreate it shot-for-shot with this piece of real-estate porn advertising the spread. Bovey says the download for Notch's digs will be coming soon on his page at Planet Minecraft. Notch created Minecraft, one of the all-time runaway hits of video gaming, and this summer sold the game and his studio, Mojang, to Microsoft for a reported $2.5 billion. He has since left the company.
News
39 Comments

What's it gonna take to put you in Star Citizen's latest ride?

Three years into its development, I'm not even ephemerally aware of the metastory in Star Citizen, the sprawling spacefaring MMO from Cloud Imperium. I am, however, aware it has intergalactic star vehicle advertisements that perfectly mimic those seen during your average NFL broadcast. The latest spot in Star Citizen's superb fleet reveal series is for the Mustang, not by Ford but Consolidated Outlands, an in-game manufacturer. Everything about this is spot on: the smug, self-regarding designer, the setting in a barren flatlands, the vague 3-D blueprinting. All it needs is the "closed course; professional pilot" disclaimer. Because don't tell me they don't have lawyers in this galaxy. Why isn't Star Citizen having a December-to-Remember sales event? I'd love to see one of these...
Opinion
101 Comments

Claim a free game and give up the right to sue over Assassin's Creed Unity

Those who bought the season pass for Assassin's Creed Unity are off and downloading their free game now, a make-good for Ubisoft shipping broken game that needed four patches in its first month. Game Informer offered a useful reminder that's worth repeating here: You're giving up legal rights by accepting the free game. It basically says in 200 words what Ubisoft wants you to say in five: "I will not sue you," whether for the busted game or the fact giving away free DLC devalues the season pass you bought. The waiver is buried in the mile of legal text that no one ever reads, but they're required to say they have before they can get their stuff. This makes it a little more clear why Ubisoft (or any publisher) would do something this. It's not because it's an apology or good PR. As...
Culture
28 Comments

Someone made the Star Wars trailer in GTA 5, and they actually pulled it off

There have been some ... less-than-worthy remakes of the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but this is not one of them. Even working within the limitations of Grand Theft Auto 5, Powerlight-13 of YouTube gets the job done thanks to superb aerial choreography. If you need a frame of reference (like you haven't watched it 6,237 times already), here's the original: Powerlight-13 has a slew of other in-GTA remakes, ranging from Godzilla to Breaking Bad to Back to the Future. Enjoy them here.
Report
15 Comments

2014 in review: a great year for horror games

While many folks feel 2014 was somewhat lackluster overall, it was a fantastic year for horror games.In some ways, it felt like horror games, once so very much in vogue with the survival-horror style (think the Resident Evil and Silent Hill series) in the late 90s, have been making a slow-but-steady comeback in the gaming public's mindshare. Two of the best games of 2014, in any genre, were capital-H horror works (Alien: Isolation and P.T.), and developers working well under those budgets are consistently creating some of the most interesting work in the indie space, using horror tropes or horror themes as a catalyst. It certainly doesn't hurt that the popularity of streaming and YouTube playthroughs are just about perfect for the horror genre — it's fun to watch other people get...
News
29 Comments

Chris Roberts says there's plenty of room in the verse for No Man's Sky and Elite: Dangerous

Chris Roberts, the man behind the Wing Commander series and the upcoming space simulation Star Citizen shared his hearty congratulations to the team behind Elite: Dangerous on their launch this week, saying that space sims are "finally getting the love they deserve." Elite: Dangerous was launched by Frontier Developments on Dec. 16. After more than two years in development, founder David Braben himself pushed the big red button sending the final code live to players. Roberts said it was a moment worth celebrating. "I know that many Star Citizen backers imagine there to be an intense competition between our game and Elite," Roberts wrote. "Nothing could be further from the truth. David and I promoted each other’s projects during our respective crowd funding periods because we both...
News
3 Comments

Try this short, sweet interactive story for free

Device 6 and The Sailor's Dream creator Simogo has a special Christmas gift for fans this year in the form of a short, free interactive story called The Sensational December Machine, the developer announced via its website. "The year is almost over, and it's that time of the year when you look back, get a bit contemplative and perhaps even a little misty eyed," the post reads. "What we found looking back, is that we always get so much support and kindness from our fans, and we wanted to find a way to express our gratitude. So, we've spent the last three weeks creating this thing as a Christmas present for you, our dear fans." As described on Simogo's website, The Sensational December Machine is the story of an inventor and her "unusual" creation. It's available for Windows PC and Mac...
News
5 Comments

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Exo Zombies mode, Hollywood talent teased in trailer

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Exo Zombies mode will bring more Hollywood actors to the first-person shooter when it launches next month, publisher Activision announced today. A teaser trailer released today offers some glimpses of the creatures players will be fighting. This time around, they're not regular zombies — they're Exo Zombies. The cooperative Exo Zombies mode will feature John Malkovich (Con Air), Bill Paxton (Edge of Tomorrow), Rose McGowan (Planet Terror) and John Bernthal (Fury). It's unclear if the actors will lend their voices to Advanced Warfare, or if their likenesses and performance capture will also appear in the game, like Kevin Spacey's starring role in the campaign as Jonathan Irons. (The trailer features narration from Malkovich.) The first chapter of Exo...
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