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Watch 50-plus minutes of zombie-infested H1Z1 gameplay

Two developers of H1Z1 took to Twitch this week for the first time to show Sony Online Entertainment's upcoming zombie-filled open-world online game in action. Press play above to see game designer Jimmy Whisenhunt and technical director Tom Schenck walk viewers through H1Z1. The game takes place 15 years after the titular virus appeared, in a world where zombies and other players threaten your existence. In the 54-minute stream, Whisenhunt, who describes H1Z1 as a "hardcore survival game" with permadeath, and Schenck show off its crafting, day and night cycles and combat as they showcase the wonders and horrors of the apocalypse. H1Z1 is expected to be released for $20 through Steam Early Access sometime in the next several weeks. Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley...
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Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn on PS4 - Overview video

Very few games fill the chubby chocobo quotient that I've come to desire from the medium.Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn meets my obscure needs deftly, while also managing to deliver a surprisingly solid MMO experience. I've been waiting on the game's PlayStation 4 iteration before diving in, though, and I'm glad I did — A Realm Reborn performs sublimely on the console. It doesn't just tend to the interface issues MMOs run into on consoles, it almost comes up with a better solution for combat hotbars in the process. Not to mention Remote Play, which seems almost tailored for the slower pacing and canned animations of the genre. It's a match made in 7th Heaven. In this Overview, Phil Kollar and I talk about Final Fantasy XIV's PlayStation 4 version, and we also just totally kick it...
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What makes a good console MMO?

Welcome to Friends List!If this is your first episode, Friends List is a daily web series where we have one-on-one talks about a single question related to video games. The goal is to give both Polygon's many team members across the globe and those involved in covering, designing and releasing games, an opportunity to speak with you. Today on Friends List, Deputy Reviews Editor Phil Kollar and Senior Editorial Producer Griffin McElroy ask: What makes a good console MMO? The episode will begin at 2 p.m. ET (or thereabouts!) and will be available via YouTube following the recording. While you wait you can watch the previous episode: Is DRM good for games? Enjoy Friends List anywhere, anytime: Bookmark the Friends List video page. Subscribe to the audio-only podcast: Friends List on...
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Three indies discuss the future of free-to-play games

The phrase itself conjures up emotions.The free-to-play model as it's been used in the last few years is divisive. Some see it as a way to lower the barrier to entry, to invite players into games without an upfront financial burden. Others see it used as a crass business model designed to get players to pay to win. It's not only players who wrestle with the revenue model. Developers we we've spoken to are aware of its less than stellar reputation, even as they see its potential benefits. And some of them, particularly independent developers, are looking for ways to invoke the free-to-play model without the baggage associated with it. The free-to-play model is evolving, and the developers at Carbon Games, FrogDice and RobotLovesKitty showed us how. CARBON GAMES: AIRMECH ARENA O...
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Call of Duty: Ghosts adding R. Lee Ermey as a screaming drill instructor April 22

R. Lee Ermey, the actor best known for playing the drill instructor in Full Metal Jacket, will join the Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer voice cast April 22 on Xbox platforms, according to a video released today on the series' official YouTube channel. Press play above to hear Ermey's voice work in the upcoming Drill Instructor Voice Pack, which will arrive on other platforms after the Xbox Live release. True to his best-known work, Ermey informs players of their major malfunctions with phrases like, "A day without blood is like a day without sunshine!" and "When they drop weapons, take them you idiot!" Call of Duty: Ghosts won't be Ermey's first foray into video games. The actor has lent his distinctive voice to games in the Toy Story series, where he plays the army man toy...
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TimeGate's Minimum resurrected by Atari and Human Head, hits PC this spring

Minimum, the minimalistic shooter originally created by the now-defunct TimeGate Studios, is now in development at Human Head Studios and is coming to Windows PC this spring, publisher Atari announced today. The initial launch will come via Steam Early Access. Minimum is a five-on-five third-person shooter that also includes a heavy focus on crafting, which brings in elements of the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre. Players gather resources and use blueprints to build bespoke weapons and armor that get stronger with each consecutive kill. In addition, each team has a Titan at its disposal, a large robot that players also have to power up by "creep farming" as they attempt to take out the other side's home base. It's similar to the original concept that TimeGate had when it...
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Trials Fusion - Overview video

Welcome to the future!Those are the first words you hear after booting up Trials Fusion - but although its setting is certainly advanced in years, the latest entry in the moto-platforming series doesn't feel like a huge leap forward. It's partially because Trials Evolution did such a great job expanding the series with hooks like zany skill missions and zanier environments. Fusion, despite its futuristic potential, is surprisingly far more level-headed. In this Overview, Russ Frushtick and I explore Trials Fusion's glossy take on the land of tomorrow while I wreck close to forty-dozen bikes. Hopefully, future scientists have invented some kind of bike-cloning technology, or else this process is going to get very expensive, very fast.
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Is DRM good for games?

Welcome to Friends List!If this is your first episode, Friends List is a daily web series where we have one-on-one talks about a single question related to video games. The goal is to give both Polygon's many team members across the globe and those involved in covering, designing and releasing games, an opportunity to speak with you. Today on Friends List, Features Editor Russ Pitts and Reporter Dave Tach ask: Is DRM good for games? The episode will begin at 2 p.m. ET (or thereabouts!) and will be available via YouTube following the recording. While you wait you can watch the previous episode: What's it like attending versus being a journalist at PAX? Enjoy Friends List anywhere, anytime: Bookmark the Friends List video page. Subscribe to the audio-only podcast: Friends List on...
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Alien: Isolation video explores its 'low-fi sci-fi' design, straight out of 1979

Alien: Isolation is designed to look like the "low-fi sci-fi" universe in Ridley Scott's Alien film, and a video released today on the game's official YouTube channel shows how the developers are recreating that aesthetic. Press play above to see how The Creative Assembly is recreating the world of the 1979 movie for the upcoming first-person survival horror game, in which period-limited technology will affect gameplay. "This is a a game set in the future but based on the past," creative lead Al Hope said. "It's a place which we can really relate to. It's also a world where technology won't save you." Alien: Isolation is headed to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Windows PC on Oct. 7. For more on the game and its developers, be sure to read our interview with...
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PS4 update 1.70 coming soon, introduces video editor app, USB saves, game pre-loading

PlayStation 4's next system software update is "coming soon," Sony announced today, introducing video editor app ShareFactory, USB drive saves and software pre-loading on PlayStation 4 systems. Update 1.70 will add the ability to pre-download pre-ordered games "up to several days prior to release." Following the update, users who enable the auto-download feature will automatically pre-download software to their systems. Sony told Polygon last month that it was "considering" allowing software to be pre-loaded on PS4 systems, following a series of tweets from Sucker Punch Studios indicating that Sony Computer Entertainment America would roll out the feature in April. The system update will also introduce video editor app ShareFactory, featured above, offering users the tools to...
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Hands-on with Aaru's Awakening's 100 percent hand-drawn platforming

When Reykjavik, Iceland-based Lumenox Games revealed Aaru's Awakening last year, its hand-drawn aesthetic was its most defining feature. Aaru's Awakening had graphical creativity on lock from the moment its developers started showing it off. At PAX East 2014, we had the opportunity to see if the gameplay could live up to the high bar its designers set. You play as Aaru, a mythical creature that looks like a hybrid between a human crawling on all four limbs, a long-haired savannah cat and an anteater. In the PC version we played, Aaru moves with standard WASD controls. The mouse serves multiple purposes, the most significant of which is Aaru's teleportation ability. Aaru's Awakening is a side-scrolling platformer with a twist: You're often forced to traverse terrain that you can't...
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What's it like attending versus being a journalist at PAX?

Welcome to Friends List!If this is your first episode, Friends List is a daily web series where we have one-on-one talks about a single question related to video games. The goal is to give both Polygon's many team members across the globe and those involved in covering, designing and releasing games, an opportunity to speak with you. Today on Friends List, Reporter Alexa Ray Corriea and Reporter Dave Tach ask: What's it like attending versus being a journalist at PAX? The episode will begin at 2 p.m. ET (or thereabouts!) and will be available via YouTube following the recording. While you wait you can watch the previous episode: What can Sony do to save the Vita? Enjoy Friends List anywhere, anytime: Bookmark the Friends List video page. Subscribe to the audio-only podcast: Friends...
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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....
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Half-Life record breaking speedrun clocks in under 21 minutes

Quadrazoid, a speedrunner group, has set a record Half-Life run time with 20 minutes and 41 seconds, shaving minutes off the previous record of 29 minutes and 41 seconds. The run was completed on the hard setting with seven team members doing runs: quadrazid, CRASH FORT, coolkid, pineapple, YaLTeR, Spider-Waffle and FELip. The run is composed of 317, 249 segments and 107 saves/segments were made "only to cause and abuse save glitches." "Starting back in the summer of 2010, the estimated time for this run was thought to be roughly 27 minutes," quadrazoid wrote on the YouTube video. "However, after almost four years of painstaking planning, theory crafting and execution, we have arrived at our final time, smashing all of our wildest expectations. Not only do we owe this new...
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Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare gets free 'Zomboss Down' expansion today

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare's latest expansion, Zomboss Down, is now available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, developer PopCap Games announced today. Zomboss Down is the second free expansion for Garden Warfare, following March's Garden Variety add-on. The western-themed DLC includes eight new characters, such as the Law Pea and Sun Pharaoh, as well as a new multiplayer map for the Gardens and Graveyards mode called Cactus Canyon. The expansion also bumps up the level cap from 20 to 30. You can check out a trailer for Zomboss Down above, and read our full review of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare for more on the multiplayer shooter.
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Strike Suit Zero: Director's Cut - Overview video

Space: The abandoned frontier.Few genres have fallen off the face of the Earth harder than space combat games. For better and worse, Strike Suit Zero is a revival of the form, bringing the omnidirectional dogfighting (cool!) and repetitive mission structure (less cool!) that the genre was occasionally known for into the modern age. Of course, it's not without innovation; the addition of winged mechs and frequent Itano Circuses are both very, very welcome here. In today's Overview, Arthur and I try out the game's recently released Director's Cut, which hit Xbox One and PlayStation 4 last week. We also discuss our hopes that space games will soon have their Renaissance, and briefly ponder the career trajectory of one Freddie Prinze Jr.
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