The Last of Us DLC bringing new difficulty, maps, gear and skills

The third and final pack of downloadable content for The Last of Us Season Pass holders will introduce a new difficulty mode, maps, gear and survival skills, Naughty Dog community strategist Eric Monacelli revealed today on the PlayStation Blog. Each of the four separately priced packs will be free to those who've purchased the game's Season Pass. The $4.99 Grounded Mode DLC will introduce Grounded Mode to the campaign, where the "AI is relentless, smart and brutal, and survival will be near impossible," Monacelli wrote. The $9.99 Reclaimed Territories Map Pack will include four new maps: Wharf, which is set in the docks where Joel meets Robert; Capitol, set in Boston; Coal Mine, set in Colorado; and Water Tower, set in Lincoln, Pa. The $5.99 Grounded Bundle will add new guns and...

Toys for Bob and the story behind Skylanders

Beasts are peeking out of every nook and cranny in the office, a crazy infestation of plastic chaos.The figurines sit on shelves, hang on walls, tumble on desks in states of unpainted nakedness, dismantled and incoherent. They gurn, snarl and claw in an infinity of static poses. This is the place where the little plastic creatures of Activision's breakout monster hit Skylanders are conceived and birthed, the headquarters of Toys for Bob, a tiki-pirate-ship-themed ex-aircraft hanger in Marin County, California. Since its introduction back in 2011, the Skylanders video game and toy series has generated upwards of $2 billion in lifetime sales. It is one of the top 20 game franchises of all time, with 175 million toy sales. The Skylanders monsters have captured the imaginations of...

Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition launches May 16 at retail

The PlayStation 3 version of Mojang's Minecraft will be available on disc at retail May 16 in North America, the studio announced today. It will be released May 14 in Europe. Developer 4J Studios launched Minecraft: PlayStation 3 Edition on PlayStation Network in mid-December, and has sold more than 1.5 million copies since then. The retail version will include all content updates through title update 14, which was released on PS3 last month; that patch brought Emeralds, Ender Chest, potatoes and more to Minecraft. Update 15, which is the most recent one, is not yet available on PS3. According to Mojang, 4J is still working on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Xbox One versions of the sandbox game. The Xbox 360 Edition of Minecraft has been available at retail since April 2013....

Trials Fusion review: back to the future

The first words you hear in Trials Fusion are "Welcome to the future! Man! Machine! The future!" You hear these words in the game's main menu, within a theme song on constantly loop. They're "sung" over a sci-fi, synthy backing track as a way to introduce you to this new, futuristic setting. It's hammy and over the top, but it also feels equally lazy, like it's the easiest way to convey this setting in the fewest amount of words. This is fitting, since in so many words, this is Trials Fusion. It cruises on the legacy of its impressive predecessor, offering up mostly the same motorcycle platforming gameplay in a dull package. Fusion cruises on the legacy of its impressive predecessor Despite appearances, Trials Fusion is a platforming game. If you've never played a Trials game...

Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn registrations exceed 2 million worldwide

The total number of registered accounts for Square Enix's revamped massively multiplayer online game, Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, now exceeds 2 million worldwide, the company announced today. Famitsu reported last October that the game reached more than 1.5 million registered users worldwide. However, Siliconera pointed out at the time it was not transparent how many of the figure were active users of the relaunched version. Final Fantasy 14 was originally released in September 2010 and was revamped to address its crippling issues. It relaunched with server congestion problems as A Realm Reborn last August on Windows PC and PS3. A Realm Reborn was released to PlayStation 4 on April 14 following a beta test phase and then a brief in Early Access period on the console. Users...

Snoop Dogg voice pack coming to Call of Duty: Ghosts April 22

A Call of Duty: Ghosts Snoop Dogg Voice Pack will be available on Xbox Live on April 22, according to a video developer Infinity Ward released. The video shows snippets of voice-over work the rapper provided, including lines like "Rack up points by reaching the enemy portal, you dig," "Squad member active — my brother from another mother," and "Homies out the joint, it's party time." "What interested me most about the project is my voice can be connected with a game that's so hip and so hood," Snoop Dogg said. "It says a lot. It's associated with greatness." The voice pack will be released for other platforms at a later date.
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NHL 14 simulation picks Boston Bruins as 2014 Stanley Cup champions

This spring, the Boston Bruins will win their second Stanley Cup in four years, according to EA Sports' simulation of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs in NHL 14. The Bruins, the best team in hockey during the 2013-14 regular season, defeated the San Jose Sharks four games to two in EA's simulation. They eked by the New York Rangers with an overtime victory in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals after taking down the Detroit Red Wings in the first round and the Montreal Canadiens in the semifinals. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask led the way, posting a 1.56 goals-against average and a 16-6-2 record with four shutouts in 24 playoff games. Last year's real-life Western Conference champions, the Chicago Blackhaws, were sent home in the second round by the Colorado Avalanche, who fell to the...

Dark Souls 2 speedrunner uses glitch to complete the game in just over an hour

Speedrunner and YouTube user Noobest completed a playthrough of From Software's punishing action role-playing game, Dark Souls 2, in about one hour and 15 minutes using the Shrine of Winter skip glitch. The Shrine of Winter skip, which must be done with the game's 1.00 version, allows players to skip gathering four Great Souls before venturing to Drangleic Castle, effectively cutting a large portion of the game. You can watch Noobest fly through the game's levels in the video above; more videos are available on the streamer's Twitch channel. Dark Souls 2 launched for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 last month. The Windows PC version of the game is slated for launch April 25. For more on the game, read our review.

The Division dev on Watch Dogs: it's 'tremendously important' knowing when to delay

Delaying a game may incur additional costs and fan ire, but in the end it's important for a developer to recognize when a game needs additional incubation time for quality purposes, Tom Clancy's The Division managing director David Polfeldt told The Examiner. According to Polfeldt, it is "tremendously important" that developers and publishers know when to take a hit and delay a game. He said that Ubisoft's stock shares fell 25 percent the day the company announced its highly-anticipated open-world hacking game Watch Dogs had been delayed from October 2013 into 2014. "It takes so much courage to live through that day and still think that was a good decision," he said. "So for us in the development [side], that's an important message that ultimately the management will back up the goals...

From gatekeepers to guns for hire: The new role of indie game publishers

The role of a publisher used to be simple, although the business itself is complex. They would fund your game, they would make sure it was released on consoles or the PC and in exchange they would often own the intellectual property behind the game and take a cut of profits. You needed a publisher to get on consoles and to make sure your game found an audience. They held the keys to the kingdom. This is no longer the case, and the idea of what a publisher does or doesn't do, or whether they're ever needed for smaller developers, is rapidly evolving. "We are a publisher for developers that don’t need one, and I think that’s the first thing everyone needs to know: You don’t need one," Nigel Lowrie, of Devolver Digital, told Polygon. "Once you’ve established that, I think...

GT Academy 2014 set to begin in Gran Turismo 6 April 21

GT Academy 2014, the Gran Turismo series' gamer-to-racer competition and reality TV series, will begin April 21 in Gran Turismo 6, publisher Sony Computer Entertainment announced today. The company runs GT Academy in partnership with Nissan and Gran Turismo developer Polyphony Digital. GT Academy began in 2008, and one of the inaugural winners, Lucas Ordóñez, remains a professional race car driver. This year, the organizers will run GT Academy competitions in Europe, Germany and the U.S., along with a new International GT Academy across Australia, India, Mexico, the Middle East (Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) and Thailand. The European event will cover Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland,...

Terraria 1.2 update live on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PS Vita April 17

Terraria's major 1.2 update hits Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita April 17, developer Re-Logic announced on the game's official Facebook page. The overhaul to the 2D sandbox, which rolled out to the Windows PC version last October, will be free to all Terraria owners. Update 1.2 for consoles includes the same features that was released to Windows PC, except with a handful of console specific differences. The hefty update introduces a slew of bug fixes, improvements, new recipes and items. Changes to the graphics, NPC, mechanics and gameplay are also included. You can read the full change log on the official Terraria forums. Re-Logic's adventure sandbox game was first released on Windows PC in 2011, and is currently available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iOS and...

Child of Light's latest trailer walks viewers through the world of Lemuria

The latest trailer for Ubisoft's fairy tale-inspired Japanese-style role-playing game Child of Light introduces players to Lemuria, the world in which young pink-haired heroine Aurora sets off on her journey. The video above briefly flies through a handful of environments Aurora will travel through — villages, forests filled with insect-like enemies, damp caves, rocky cliffs and ancient ruins. The little girl will run, float and fly through this world, collecting treasures, fighting off beasts and looking for a way to return home to her father. Child of Light will launch on April 3 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. Check out previous videos detailing the game's artwork and soundtrack, as well as our interview from PAX East with Child of...

Dead Nation launches for PlayStation Vita April 15

Top-down shoot-em-up Dead Nation will launch for PlayStation Vita April 15, XDEV Studio Europe associate producer Rogan Ogden announced via the Playstation Blog. In Dead Nation, players assume the role of one of two zombie apocalypse survivors searching for a cure. The PlayStation Vita edition was announced at E3 2013 and will be available for $7.99. In addition to online and ad-hoc co-op, it also includes global leaderboards. Dead Nation, originally developed by Resogun creator Housemarque, launched for PlayStation 3 in 2010. An updated version of the game was released for PlayStation 4 last month and includes the game's original campaign mode, as well as The Road to Devastation expansion pack. "Like the PS4 version of the game, the PS Vita version has been developed by our friends...

Tales of Symphonia Chronicles review: passing by

Tales of Symphonia Chronicles comes 10 years after the original Tales of Symphonia launched on the GameCube. Chronicles brings together the original and its Wii sequel, Dawn of the New World, to commemorate that 10-year anniversary. With this re-release, Namco is giving a whole new generation of RPG fans a chance to play one of Tales Studio's most warmly regarded creations in high definition for the first time. Long-time fans might be eager for an excuse to replay Tales of Symphonia, while a whole new generation of RPG players may have never been exposed to it to begin with. Unfortunately, neither Symphonia nor its sequel benefit much from the makeover. Tales of Symphonia stars a diverse group of fighters led by wannabe-macho-man Lloyd. His friend Colette has been chosen by the...

Crysis and Crysis 2 on PC losing online multiplayer in GameSpy server shutdown

The Windows PC versions of Crytek's first-person shooters Crysis and Crysis 2 will lose their online multiplayer modes as a result of the GameSpy server shutdown slated for next month, according to a post on the Crysis forums. GameSpy Technology announced earlier this month that on May 31 it would shut down many of its servers, which host online functionality for several dozen titles across console, mobile and PC. In a post on the Crysis forums, the company revealed that it would not be looking into migration options for Crysis and Crysis 2 on Windows PC, resulting in the complete shutdown of online functionality for these titles with GameSpy's decision. However, the company noted that multiplayer in the console versions of Crysis 2 remains unaffected. "The single-player campaigns in...

OlliOlli heading to PlayStation 3, PS4 and PC in late July

Roll7's side-scrolling skateboarding game, OlliOlli, is expected to launch July 22 for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PC, director Simon Bennett told Den of Geek at PAX East. "We are looking at July 22nd," Bennett told the publication. We've contacted the developer for more information and will update accordingly. Last month, Roll7 announced that OlliOlli was slated for launch on Linux, Mac, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC this summer. BlitWorks, which worked on PlayStation ports for Spelunky and Fez, is responsible for the game's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 editions. Hotline Miami publisher Devolver Digital will publish the PC ports. OlliOlli launched for PlayStation Vita in January; its deal for Vita exclusivity is expected to end this summer. Bennett previously...

How you craft Child of Light's story as you play

Ubisoft Montreal's Child of Light looks like a 2D side-scrolling platformer, and most of those games are all about mechanics; if there's a story, it's usually a static tale that doesn't have much to do with playing the game. But Child of Light lead writer told Polygon at PAX East 2014 that when he and creative director Patrick Plourde were designing the title's concept, they wanted story and gameplay to be deeply intertwined. "I believe that gameplay is central to an interactive experience; otherwise, it should be a movie," said Yohalem. He explained that when Ubisoft greenlit the platformer, which is inspired by elements such as eastern European fairy tales and Japanese role-playing games, the publisher allowed him and Plourde full creative freedom. The duo decided to shy away from a...

Murdered: Soul Suspect strives to strike a balance between narrative and play

More than anything, Murdered: Soul Suspect is meant to tell a story.Developed by Airtight Games for Square Enix, the game puts players in the shoes of recently murdered detective Ronan O'Connor. The detective finds himself dead on a street after pursuing a lead on a serial killer. When he tries to reunite with his dead wife she tells him he has something to resolve before the two can meet in the afterlife. That's where the third-person perspective game picks up, with the spirit of O'Connor standing over the body of O'Connor. "Square came to us wanting to do a collaborative project," said Matt Brunner, creative officer of Airtight Games. "We sat down and discussed all different kinds of projects and we sort of narrowed in a game about a protagonist who is a ghost." Over the next year...
Roster File

The latest must be the greatest in sports video games

Ask a fan for his favorite sports video game and you'll rarely get a current one. You may not even get one for a console still in production. Warhorses like NHL '94, Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball and the venerated NFL 2K5 come up a lot. Among mine are NCAA Football 2004, MVP Baseball 2005 and College Hoops 2K8, and none of those series even exist anymore. Nostalgia may have a lot to do with it. In present day, however, there still is the deep, demanding expectation that the latest edition be better than anything preceding it, if not everything ever attempted in that sport before. One might think an audience that cherishes old and long-since outdated titles might be more forgiving if the latest version of FIFA or NBA 2K isn't as compelling as a landmark entry earlier in the series. I share...
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