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Indigenous groups seek games company to tell endangered stories

Inspired by media interest in a game about Alaska Natives, indigenous groups around the world are seeking ways to bring their own cultures to video games. E-Line Media, Upper One Games and the Cook Inlet Tribal Council are putting the finishing touches to Never Alone, a game that draws heavily on the Inupiat culture of rural Alaska. Following heavy publicity for the game, including NPR and the Los Angeles Times, other groups that represent indigenous communities are looking to tell their stories through games. Both E-Line and CITC have set up a new operation called World Games that will release games based on cultures that have hitherto struggled to find a voice. Interest has so far come from Hawaii, Azerbaijan and Siberia. "It's really resonating to the point where other...
News
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Up to half of Redbox game rentals translate into game sales (update)

An increasing number of people are streaming and downloading video games, but this doesn't mean the end for physical goods, nor does it spell trouble for game rentals — that's according to Redbox's director of video games, Ryan Calnan. Redbox currently has automated rental kiosks for DVDs, Blu-ray discs and video games at more than 35,000 locations across North America and offers game rentals for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii. Select markets also offer games from the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Wii U. During the company's first quarter for this year it topped 200 million rentals, of which video games accounted for two percent. While this number may seem small, Calnan told Polygon it's actually a big deal for the games industry. "We have a 20-50 percent conversion rate...
Video
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Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty gameplay video - The first 10 minutes

If you don't remember offhand just how punishing the original Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee was, let the recently released remake Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty serve as a stark reminder. The revamped title pulls no punches, tossing landmines, hostile wildlife and gun-toting monsters at you in generous quantities — often while you're attempting to jump over a buzzsaw-lined pit, or negotiating a maze of motion-sensor alarms. If you need a refresher, check out the gameplay video posted above, which shows off the game's opening 10 minutes. Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty is out now on PlayStation 4, and is in development for PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U and PC.
News
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Far Cry 4 avoids the 'white savior dudebro' pitfall

In some ways, Far Cry 4 is a product of Far Cry 3's missteps."We don't create our games in a vacuum," C.J. Kershner, one of the script writers for the game, told me at a recent PlayStation event. "We were aware of the discussions happening about Far Cry 3. People identified some problems." What sort of impact did that have on Far Cry 4, I asked. "Our protagonist is not the white savior, not the dudebro," Kershner said. "He's not coming back to his hometown to help. "Your basic objective is to fulfill your mother's last wishes, to scatter her ashes in her home country." And that was one of the things that interested Kershner in the game. "The thing that drew me most to the project was that the basic objective was human, very relatable," he said. "That feeling was sort of driven home...
News
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Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris launches Dec. 9

Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, the sequel to isometric action-adventure game Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, will launch for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC Dec. 9, IGN reports. In Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, Lara and her rival Carter are cursed after breaking into an ancient temple. Along with demigods Isis and Horus, they set out to defeat the evil Set and break their bad luck. In a step up from the previous game, Temple of Osiris will feature co-op play for up to four people. The game's predecessor was released in 2010. Unlike other Tomb Raider games, it focuses heavily on multiplayer gameplay. Players compete for loot while working together to solve puzzles and smack down enemies. Crystal Dynamics announced Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris at E3...
Video
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Destiny's beta comparison video: PS4 versus Xbox One

Now that both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have access to the Destiny beta we thought it would be fun to compare what the first few minutes of each looked like. Do keep in mind that while the PlayStation 4 beta runs at 1080p, the Xbox One beta is running at 900p. That will change at launch when both hit the 1080p mark. Both videos were captured using the console's built-in video capture app. Now drop into the video to have a quick look-see at how the two versions compare, and why I'm constantly mocked when I play shooters, no matter the platform.
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
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Feature
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Launching Civilization: Beyond Earth

Launching Civilization: Beyond Earth By Russ Pitts @russpitts Share Tweet Lying on its side, it's longer than three 18-wheelers and as tall as a three-story house. It's broken into sections: the F1 rocket engines, the first stage, the second stage, the third stage and then the command module and escape tower — the parts people recognize. The Apollo parts. The parts that took men to the moon. Eleven-year-old Will Miller stands next to the bell of the F1, the broad business end of the rocket engine. The part that breathes fire. He looks up at the engine bell, then at the relatively tiny command module. He thinks about how much power it takes to send such a small object into space, and how, back here on the ground, there are people who made that powerful rocket,...
News
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CounterSpy hits PlayStation platforms on August 19

Dynamighty's stealth side-scroller CounterSpy is coming to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on August 19, according to a post on the PlayStation Blog. The title will cost $14.99 and is available as part of Sony's cross-buy promotion, meaning players can purchase CounterSpy once to obtain copies for all three platforms. CounterSpy is also cross-save compatible, allowing players to save to the cloud and pick up where they left off on any PlayStation platform. CounterSpy borrows elements from the 1950s and 60s Cold War and the ever-popular spy culture mythos. Players will join a rogue spy agency and work on the sidelines to keep the world's super powers from destroying everything. For more details on the title, check out our recent hands-on with the PS4 version and the...
News
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PlayStation players can get Disney Infinity's Hulk first in these collector sets

Disney Infinity players on PlayStation consoles will have the opportunity to snag the Hulk figurine early in one of two bundled sets, executive producer John Vignocchi announced in a post on the PlayStation Blog. Starting soon, players can pre-order the PlayStation Collector's Edition — which includes Black Widow, Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Thor, and Hulk figurines, as well as an Avengers-themed play set, two power discs and the glow-in-the-dark Frost Beast Collector's Edition display. A closer look at the display, which Vignocchi notes was designed with both Disney Infinity and Marvel collectors in mind, is available in the video below. Additionally, Sony will be offering a Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes PlayStation 3 hardware bundle this holiday season. The $249.99...
Deals
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GameStop has a plan to give The Last of Us owners half off of the Remastered edition

What do you do with that PlayStation 3 version of The Last of Us when the game makes its debut on the PlayStation 4 July 29 as The Last of Us Remastered? GameStop has an answer. From July 27 through August 2, the retailer will take your PS3 disc on trade and give you half off the PS4 version, which will retail for $49.99. Sony is not offering a discount for those who own the original version of the game, though it did drop the price by $10 in late June. For more on The Last of Us Remastered, be sure to read our recent impressions of the "stunning visual masterpiece" and watch the E3 2014 trailer below. You can also read our review of the original and the story-based Left Behind downloadable content, which will be included in Remastered.
News
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Batman: Arkham Knight DLC to include a Red Hood story mission (update)

Batman: Arkham Knight may feature an add-on story mission starring the violent vigilante Red Hood, according to allegedly leaked GameStop promotional materials posted by Batman News. The above picture — in addition to the previously-announced playable Harley Quinn DLC — mentions the Red Hood Story Pack, in which players can "play as the ruthless vigilante." The picture also notes the pack is pre-order bonus and exclusive to GameStop. Yesterday afternoon, GameStop tweeted a blurry image of what looks like the Red Hood character shown in the above materials. The tweet mentions an announcement connected to the image and a "big game" coming today, July 23. In Batman lore, the Red Hood's identity has frequently changed, but one of his first incarnations was as the Joker's original form in...
News
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Kickstarter suspends Ex-STALKER devs' Areal campaign, West Games turns to direct funding

Areal, the game pitched as a colorful, open-world post-apocalyptic adventure from "senior ex-S.T.A.L.K.E.R. developers," found success on Kickstarter, but now the project has been suspended and all pledges have been canceled. According to a message sent to Kickstarter backers today, "A review of the project uncovered evidence that it broke Kickstarter's rules." Now the developer has turned to direct funding through its own website in an effort to finance Areal. The suspension of Areal's Kickstarter hit with less than 48 hours to go in its fundraising campaign. The developer, West Games, had raised nearly $65,000, well beyond its original $50,000 fundraising goal. Kickstarter doesn't disclose why it suspends campaigns, but said it will take such action if campaigns misrepresent or...
News
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Destiny beta returns a day early, now available for Xbox players

Destiny's maintenance period is over and the game's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 beta is back online a day earlier than expected, Bungie announced on its official website. The beta is also now available for Xbox 360 and Xbox One players. Codes were sent out earlier today. "We know you've been waiting, so we busted our asses to finish our chores up early," the post reads. "You can download and play the beta right now. This is a great moment for the entire Bungie community to share in this adventure, and we couldn't be more excited. Get in there. Break it. Tell us what you think. Share your experiences online. The beta went offline yesterday afternoon, following its launch last week; it was expected to return sometime on July 23 with the beta launch for Xbox 360 and Xbox One players...
Video
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The Crew beta gameplay video - From Detroit to Seattle

Earlier this week, Ubisoft's open-world driving game The Crew entered its closed beta testing phase, giving a few drivers access to the game's enormous, America-shaped playground. Check out the video above to see some of our experiences in action, including car shopping, customization, dynamic challenges and a few of the game's story-based missions. For more context on what you're seeing, check out our half-hour Overview on the game below, in which we take a road trip from Detroit to St. Louis in the very realistic span of about ten minutes.
Culture
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Find out which experimental games excite Korean devs

Note: A few frames of the above video are not suitable for work. A group of Korean game developers were inspired by GDC's Experimental Gameplay Workshop to host their own curated games exhibition. The festival, called Out of Index, opened for submissions June 22nd and just a short month later the games were demonstrated at a small party in South Korea. "People say ‘There is nothing new under the sun,'" reads OOI's mission statement. "Does that mean there wouldn't be any new grammar [of gameplay] then? No! "We would like to inspire new energy to the Korean game industry through various experimentation [sic]." The showcase featured 14 games, including Western games like David OReilly's Mountain. Check out the video for the highlights. You can find information, including videos, about...
News
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Battlefield Hardline delayed to 2015

Battlefield Hardline has been delayed to early 2015, Electronic Arts announced today, saying that the development teams want to spend more time developing the game to ultimately deliver a better product. "Back at E3, we launched a beta for Hardline — we wanted to not only show you the game, but to let you play it for yourselves," Karl Magnus Troedsson, DICE vice president and group GM, wrote on the Battlefield blog. "Millions of you jumped in and had a great time. As a result, the Visceral Games team learned a lot from players about what they wanted in the game. We've been pouring over the data and feedback, and have already been putting a lot of it right into the game and sharing it directly with you. "This feedback also spurred us to start thinking about other possibilities and...
News
44 Comments

Dragon Age: Inquisition delayed to Nov. 18

Dragon Age: Inquisition, the upcoming role-playing title from BioWare, has been delayed and is now set for release Nov. 18 in North America and Nov. 21 in Europe, the studio announced today. Publisher Electronic Arts had originally set the release date for Oct. 7, so the new date represents a delay of six weeks. In an open letter on the game's website, executive producer Mark Darrah said, "While this extra few weeks may not seem like a lot, I know the game you'll play will be all the better for it." Darrah added, "This last bit of time is about polishing the experience we want you to see. Ensuring that our open spaces are as engaging as possible. Strengthening the emotional impact of the Hero's choices. And ensuring the experience you get is the best it can be in the platform you...
Video
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The Crew closed beta - Overview video

Grab your Funyuns and your Yoo-hoo, because we're going on a road trip. There's a lot to do in Ubisoft's open-world driving game The Crew — even in the game's closed beta test, which went live earlier this week. You can buy cars, equip them with different specialties and performance-boosting upgrades, and plaster them with tribal tattoos. You can go through story-based missions, or drive around looking for the dynamic challenges that pepper the nation's roadways. My favorite activity, though, is just driving through our hyper-condensed country, and seeing what cities made the cut. (Congratulations to Greenup, Illinois!) In the half-hour Overview above, Chris Plante and I hit the open road, taking a leisurely drive from Detroit to St. Louis. If our chattering is making it difficult to...
News
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Media Molecule teases PS4 project with trippy strobe-lit faces

Media Molecule, the U.K.-based studio that created LittleBigPlanet, is working on a PlayStation 4 game, and the company released a video today to give a shadowy glimpse of the title. "A rendering error on our new PS4 project caused this trippy sequence of colorful nonsense that begged to be shared," reads the video's YouTube description, which would seem to indicate that the strange footage is part of the game in some way. The brief clip appears to contain multiple faces illuminated by strobe lights in various colors, but then, that's the way it looks to us. Perhaps this is Media Molecule's version of a 21st-century Rorschach test. Media Molecule's most recent game was the PlayStation Vita title Tearaway, which launched last November. The studio has yet to reveal any details about its...
Video
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Here's what you're in for when Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty launches this week

Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty launches this week for PlayStation 4, and developer Just Add Water shared one final trailer today detailing what players are in for. New 'n' Tasty is a recreation of 1997 platform Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, in which the titular Abe embarks on a quest to free the slaves of the Rupture Farms meat packing plant. The PS4 version will be available tomorrow, but those who purchase this version will unlock the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita version through Sony's cross-buy program once they are released. Just Add Water is still working to launch these latter two versions as soon as possible, and other versions are in development for Linux, Mac, Wii U, Windows PC and Xbox One. Check out the trailer above for a look at the game in action, as well as some of its...
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