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...

Peggle 2 is coming to PlayStation 4

PopCap Games' addictive pachinko-style peg-smashing game Peggle 2 is ending its Xbox exclusivity soon. The developer announced today that the Peggle sequel is PlayStation 4-bound on Oct. 14. Peggle 2 was originally released for Xbox One in December 2013, followed by an Xbox 360 release in May. PopCap and publisher EA have released a handful of downloadable Peggle Masters for the game, including Jimmy Lightning and Windy the Fairy. The official Peggle Twitter account posted box art for the PS4 version of Peggle 2, pointing to a possible physical retail release. We've reached out to EA to confirm.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor trailer gets cozy with vile Orc

Ratbag is a sniveling, whining wretch, a scumbag, even by Orc standards. In this new trailer for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor we get to meet Ratbag and learn about his relationship with heroic human protagonist Talion. In the Monolith game, due to be published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on Sept. 30 for consoles and Oct. 2 for Windows PC, players create feuds with their enemies, even as they climb through the Orcish ranks. To find out more about the game, take a look at Polygon's new preview.

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...

Alone With You coming to PS4 and Vita, reveals its Hitchcockian twist

Among the games announced yesterday for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita is an interesting little title called Alone With You. Releasing in 2015 on both platforms, the game is developed by Benjamin Rivers, whose horror game Home received critical praise. Alone With You is a love story about an interstellar explorer trapped on a doomed colony. At this year's GDC Rivers talked with Polygon about the game, which was at that time very early in development. "I really wanted to make a romance-focused game — like a dating sim idea," Rivers said. "But dating sims are all kind of the same deal. They're all genre-specific, they're often culturally specific, and they don't vary a whole lot." Rivers had said he would play with existing romance game mechanics and tropes, but held back...

Saints Row 4: Re-Elected coming to PS4 and Xbox One, $30 this January

Last year's Saints Row 4 is being ported to current-gen systems by High Voltage Software and branded as Saints Row 4: Re-Elected, it was revealed at a PAX panel this afternoon. The project was announced alongside a new Saints Row expansion titled Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, which is being developed by series creator Volition alongside High Voltage. The port will be available for $29.99 including all Saints Row 4 DLC, or for $49.99 as a bundle with Gat out of Hell. Both will be available January 27, 2015. The developer teased new features like voice commands (examples given: "motherfucker" and "son of a bitch") along with modding so players can create their own weapons. We'll have more on Saints Row 4: Re-Elected, as well as Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, in the next couple days.
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

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell sends the Saints to Hell in 2015

Volition's next entry in the Saints Row series is titled Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell and sends the franchise to the afterlife in 2015. According to a trailer that debuted at PAX Prime today, the Saints' Johnny Gat and Kinzie are sucked into Hell via ouija board to battle demons and some "prominent historical figures," ultimately coming face-to-face with Satan. The game features online co-op for two players. Its version of Hell will be about half the size of Saints Row 4's Steel Port, Volition says. Players will get access to a handful of new weapons in Gat Out of Hell, including the Arm Chairmageddon (a La-Z-Boy recliner with guns), the Energy Caster, a Locust Gun and a weapon that fires a plague of frogs. Developed by Volition and High Voltage Software, Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell...

How Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor turned me into a vengeful psychopath

In Monolith's Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, death might be temporary, but grudges last forever.I'm waiting less than patiently for the hero, Talion, to return to the land of the living — again. It's the third time I've died during my demo. I'm told this isn't unusual. But if persistence can be considered a virtue, I'm nearing saintly levels thanks to the game's Nemesis system. The Nemesis system is Monolith's way of making enemies more than faceless foes. Orcs have unique names and ranks that shift as the game progresses; if Talion fails to kill them in battle, they'll remember his face. Running into them again will trigger new tactics and taunts, and they're likely to have grown in strength. It's a system that provides an endless wave of foes that want to kill me, and I really,...

Here is how to become a genius detective in Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments

The latest gameplay trailer for the upcoming Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments gives you a glimpse at how the investigation process will work in the game. As part of the investigation, players will be able to analyze the face of those they interrogate for details that could lend themself to personality traits and clues. This ranges from details of what they are wearing, which could indicate how fastidious they are, to items they have on hand. The game features six cases that conclude in nine possible endings based on the choices Holmes makes throughout. Additionally, developer Frogwares has developed the game in Unreal Engine 3, a change from its typically used in-house engine, which will allow for greater detail in scoping out the crime scene and the characters Holmes meets. F...

Dust: An Elysian Tail coming to PS4 'very soon'

Developer Dean Dodrill announced today that his action-platformer, Dust: An Elysian Tail is coming to PlayStation 4 "very, very soon." Originally launched for Xbox 360 in 2012, the new version will run be presented at 60 frames per second at 1080p, according to a blog post on PlayStation Blog.  Polygon's review of the original game said that "any game can borrow from the stuff that made Metroid and Castlevania into legends, but few put those elements to such good use as Dust."

How Salt and Sanctuary reimagines Dark Souls as a 2D action-platformer

To say Salt and Sanctuary, Ska Studios' upcoming 2D action-platformer, is inspired by the Souls series is a pretty big understatement.The game, which will launch next year on PS4 and PlayStation Vita, borrows, mutates and 2D-ifies countless mechanics from the ultra-punishing RPG series, from its equipment customization to its risk-reward structure. There's a lot of familiar (but transformed) ideas, but there's plenty of new designs as well, like a grid-based leveling system, a checkpoint customization mechanic and a unique art style, reminiscent of Ska Studios' prior work on the XBLA title Charlie Murder. There's a ton of concepts to explore in the game's PAX demo build, which we got our hands on earlier today. Check out the video preview above to see Chris Grant and I explain some of S...

Salt and Sanctuary brings a love of 2D Castlevania and Dark Souls to PS4, Vita

The next game from Ska Studios, developer of The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile and Charlie Murder, is coming to PlayStation 4 and Vita in 2015. It's called Salt and Sanctuary and, according to its creator, is inspired by Nintendo DS-era Castlevania games and From Software's Souls series. James and Michelle Silva, the two-person team at Ska Studios, describe Salt and Sanctuary as a "stylistic, brutal action RPG platformer that's teeming with visceral, satisfying combat, deep, diverse character builds and some of the most incredible bosses we've ever made." In an email to Polygon, James Silva said, "Michelle and I wanted to marry our visual and gameplay style and aesthetic from The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile with RPG mechanics and themes inspired by DS-era Castlevanias and Souls games." Ska...

Nidhogg coming to PS4 and joining iOS hit Ascension on Vita

Sony today announced two new titles for the PlayStation Vita; Nidhogg and Ascension: Chronicles of the Godslayer. Nidhogg will release simultaneously on the PlayStation 4 and feature competitive multiplayer between both Sony platforms. Nidhogg is a two-player dueling game that reached cult status even before its release in early 2014. It focuses on fencing to the death in a tug-of-war where the winner receives a glorious death at the hands of a giant pink dragon. Russ Frushtick reviewed the game for Polygon and commented that "Nidhogg never feels simple, and it never feels cheap. Kills must be earned through thoughtful strategy rather than button mashing, and it's immensely satisfying when a plan comes together." The title spawned several retro-flavored dueling games, including T...

How one indie got Sony and Microsoft to support cross-platform content

Cross-platform play: It's the feature gamers always ask about, with Xbox fans wishing they could play with PlayStation people and vice versa. That doesn't appear to be something either Microsoft or Sony is interested in, but the companies' new attitudes on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One allowed one indie studio to deliver the next best thing — cross-platform sharing of users' creations.User-generated content, like custom maps for a shooter, can often be uploaded to the internet and shared with other players — but only if they're on the same console as you. That has been standard for the past decade, with rare exceptions such as Unreal Tournament 3, where players on PlayStation 3 could use maps, mods and skins that others had created on Windows PC. But games in which you can create...

Creators of Metro 2033 say PS4 is more powerful, tease open-world game

4A Games chief technical officer Oles Shishkovstov says the developer behind the Metro series is working on an open-world title. In a lengthy interview with Eurogamer, he also goes into great detail about programming for both of the current gen game consoles and discusses how ongoing improvements to their toolsets will contribute to their next game. 4A Games and publisher Deep Silver recently released updated versions of both Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light. Each is being sold separately and bundled together in a package called Metro Redux. The updates represent a total remaster, a kind of director's cut, and have taken the Ukrainian studio more than a year to complete. Metro Redux is available on PC, as well as the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. While both console versions of Metro...

Assassin's Creed Unity delayed to Nov. 11

Assassin's Creed Unity, the current-generation entry in Ubisoft's open-world action series, has been delayed from Oct. 28 to Nov. 11, the publisher announced today. Ubisoft said the extra two weeks will allow the development team to add a bit more polish to the game. "This being a fully next-gen game, it requires a lot of work, a lot of production, and a lot of learning," said Unity senior producer Vincent Pontbriand. "It's always hard to be precise and to quantify exactly how much work is involved. So as we get close to the finish we often realize we're near the target but we're not quite there yet." Ubisoft says that the dev team will be spending the extra time to improve minor aspects of the game, and that a day one patch is in the works that will bring other improvements. The...

A lightning tour of Infamous: First Light's scaled-down scope

It was less than six months ago that I was running through the streets of Seattle, blasting evil soldiers with superpowers in Infamous: Second Son. Now Sucker Punch is back with a stand-alone, downloadable add-on and a new playable character. Join Griffin McElroy and I for a quick look at what's new in Infamous: First Light. We check out the tinier, slightly different city, the new battle arena and more. You can also check out my review of Infamous: Second Son. A full review of First Light will be coming later this week.

Madden 15 review: victory formation

EA Sports' Madden series celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. This year's Madden NFL 15 observes another important milestone: the 10th edition under the exclusive license of the National Football League. That deal fundamentally altered the relationship between sports gamers and developers. The exclusive license made the annual, iterative nature of sports video gaming a primary topic of criticism. With no alternatives on the shelf, skipping a year of a series was now a grave choice for a fan, between picking up something that didn't earn the money or going without that sport for a year. Ten years later, Madden NFL 15 validates its iterative process as a game that improves rather than repairs or attempts to reinvent itself. Too many times over the past 10 years, Madden's...

What's exclusive to the PlayStation versions of Destiny?

Bungie's Destiny is a multiplatform game, but the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 versions of the game are home to a handful of exclusives coming first to Sony platforms. In a new video released by Activision and Bungie, the publisher and developer lay out what PS3 and PS4 players will get access to first. The PlayStation exclusives highlighted in the above video include the Exodus Blue competitive multiplayer map and a strike — a cooperative game mode in Destiny — set on Mars named Dust Palace. There's also a trio of rare, class-specific gear sets: Vanir for the Titan, Argus for the Hunter and Manifold for the Warlock. Two weapons, the Monte Carlo exotic auto rifle and Hawkmoon exotic hand cannon, are also PlayStation exclusives. More details on those items are available at the...

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...
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