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Hide-and-seek horror title The Flock coming to Steam

Dutch indie developer Vogelsap will release its hide-and-seek based survival horror title The Flock through Steam as part of an agreement with Valve, the company told Polygon this morning. The Flock is an asymmetrical multiplayer title designed for three to five players. These players because the Flock, deformed humanoid monsters with gnarled limbs and protruding bones, roaming a barren and dark world in which all life has perished. Gameplay is similar to red-light-green-light in that players must catch each other while they are unaware in order to take them out of the game. Players must become a being called a Carrier by gaining control of the Light Artifact, a mirror that shines a beam of light wherever it is pointed. The Carrier is slower and weaker than all other Flock, making...
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Why Square Enix uses DRM

Square Enix uses digital rights management to earn profits and protect its intellectual property, Square Enix America's senior manager of business and legal affairs Adam Sullivan told TorrentFreak. Square Enix has "a well-known reputation for being very protective of our IPs," Sullivan said, and it employs DRM to further that goal. "The primary benefit to us is the same as with any business: profit," he said. Though he acknowledged that some players have problems and there is "no perfect solution yet," DRM also has other benefits that help developers. "When F2P began trending, lots of people thought it would be the death of DRM. I remember talking with one F2P developer who couldn't imagine why hackers would want to attack his game, since it was free and all. Two months later they...
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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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Popular Chinese animated lamb joins Where's My Water? mobile franchise

Xi Yiang Yiang, one of China's most popular animated characters, is joining the cast of Disney's mobile franchise Where's My Water? with Where's My XYY?, available today for mobile devices. Players will guide the cheerful and critical-thinking lamb XYY on an adventure through medieval environments, where he must cut through dirt and guide flows of water to goals in order to defeat the Big Bad Wolf, XYY's nemesis. This new version of Where's My Water? also includes two new elements to maneuver — fire and oil — as well as 80 new levels and dozens of in-game collectibles for players to unlock. Where's My XYY? initially launched in China last December. The animation it is based on is still running, having produced just under 800 25-minute episodes since it first aired in June 2005....
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Wildstar PvP will throw you into a 40 vs. 40 battle royale

A new trailer for Carbine Studio's massively multiplayer release Wildstar shows off the high level player-versus-player combat you can expect in Warplots. Warplots are part of Wildstar's Elder Game for users who hit level 50. These are made up of fortress versus fortress combat, with teams coordinating their respective army of players. There are two win scenarios for every Warplots, while players can also earn currency throughout the match to use on upgrades. The long in-development title will launch on June 3 in two editions: standard and deluxe. WildStar's Standard Edition comes with a free 30 days of playtime, three seven-day passes for guests and an Eldan housing decor item. The Deluxe Edition includes a few additional pieces of unique Eldan-themed content: a hoverboard, a...
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Starbound studio is helping to bring metroidvania RPG Heart Forth, Alicia to new platforms

Metroidvania-styled role-playing game Heart Forth, Alicia will be published by Starbound developer Chucklefish, with plans to bring the game to platforms beyond Windows PC. "Chucklefish Games are a group of talented people helping us with our business responsibilities, marketing, distribution, and although they will not be providing Heart Forth, Alicia with funding at any point, they are opening up the doors for console porting," reads a statement from the company in the latest Kickstarter campaign update. "They're very nice people, too, and working together has been really smooth because they completely understand the development process of a game." The game, which is being created by developer Alonso Martin, hit Kickstarter this week with a funding goal of $60,000. It has reached...
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Wolfenstein: The New Order pre-orders open on Steam, includes TF2 armor and hat

Machinegames' alternate history first-person shooter, Wolfenstein: The New Order, is now available for pre-order via Steam for $59.95. Wolfenstein: The New Order will be released on May 20, but players who pre-purchase through Steam will get two exclusive Wolfenstein-themed Team Fortress 2 items. The items are the regime armor "Die Regime-Panzerung" and machinery soldier helm "Der Maschinensoldaten-Helm." Wolfenstein: The New Order is slated to release on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on the same day. Pre-orders for all platforms include beta access to the new Doom. For more on the game, read our recent hands-on impressions with the title and publisher Bethesda's commissioning of an original German-language pop music soundtrack for the alternate...
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Chaos Reborn Kickstarter surpasses crowdfunding goal

The crowdfunding campaign for Chaos Reborn surpassed its funding goal, according the game's Kickstarter page. As of this writing, the campaign has received $193,695 in pledges of its $180,000 goal from 4,721 backers with 11 hours remaining. "Chaos Reborn has been funded with just 34 hours to go on the clock," developer Julian Gollop wrote on the Chaos Reborn's Kickstarter blog. "Thank you to everybody who backed the project and promoted it. Thanks to my team for working after hours to make the prototype possible, and providing all the art and publicity material during the campaign. And thanks mum for being such a vocal supporter!" The designer of XCOM: UFO Defense launched the turn-based strategy game's crowdfunding campaign last month. It's planned for a spring 2015 release on...
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Relativity hands-on: walking on the ceiling

Relativity's hook is difficult to explain, and developer Willy Chyr knows it.I sat down in front of his MacBook last week on the PAX East 2014 show floor to play his first-person puzzle game and was greeted with an introductory message that told me to press space "to walk into wall." I didn't know what that meant. Seconds later, in a large white room, I walked up to a wall, pressed the spacebar, and my entire perspective changed. Two virtual feet I couldn't see planted themselves on the wall, and gravity obeyed. The camera position switched and the floor changed color to ground me in my new surroundings. The former wall had become the floor, and I was on my way to solving my first puzzle. In Relativity, everything is relative. This is Willy Chyr's first game. Last week, he brought it...
Opinion
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A eulogy for World of Darkness, written by (and for) a White Wolf fan

The executive producer of World of Darkness, Chris McDonough, looked uncomfortable. CCP fans and a few members of the press had just seen a presentation showing some of the game’s technology and were given a few details about the ideas that would drive the title. We were warned not to take images of the content or share video. We were told the game was years away. Our expectations had been tempered by any number of disclaimers."My role is to minimize the PR. I don’t want to support it. I wasn’t kidding when I said I didn’t want that video up, and we’ll try to get it taken down and if pops up anywhere," McDonough told me. I asked why they had shown anything. "I think because it’s the tenth anniversary, Hilmar [Veiger, CEO of CCP] wanted us to show some of it, because it’s...
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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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World of Tanks Frontiers update to introduce Historical Battles April 17

World of Tanks will receive a Historical Battles game mode and updated visuals with the game's Frontiers patch on April 17, Wargaming announced today. According to Wargaming, the update is the beginning of the "transformation" for World of Tanks this year. In Historical Battle mode, players engage in "legendary tank encounters" from World War II. Tanks have been historically outfitted for three battles: Operation Spring Awakening, the Battle of Kursk and the Ardennes Breakthrough. Frontiers also introduces high definition remakes of the American M4 Sherman, Soviet T-54 and German Tiger I — the first of 10 planned remakes. "New physics functions including blow-off turrets upon explosion of the ammo rack, and realistic suspension behavior in the HD models, create a more realistic...
News
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Twitch donating to help fund Twitch-powered Choice Chamber

Developer Studio Bean and Twitch are teaming up to fund the Kickstarter campaign for Choice Chamber, a "real-time, crowdsourced, procedurally generated game where your fate is in everyone else's hands." According to a representative from Twitch, at 12 p.m. ET today, the organization will "donate half of the remaining amount needed to reach their goal." Studio Bean launched Choice Chamber's Kickstarter campaign last month. As of this writing, it's received $14,861 in pledges of its $30,000 goal from 475 backers with four days remaining. Choice Chamber, a side-scrolling platformer for Mac and Windows PC that puts players in an endless enemy-filled dungeon, is designed to be played alongside a live Twitch video stream. Viewers can vote to change game elements like the shape of enemies...
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Phishers get creative with bogus offer for World of Warcraft's new expansion

Phishing scammers are targeting World of Warcraft players with a tempting but bogus pre-order offer tied to the Warlords of Draenor expansion, warns the security firm Malwarebytes. The bait, says Malwarebytes, is in the subject header: "Gift-Boost a character to Level 90 when you pre-purchase Warlords of Draenor!" The email body, purportedly from Battle.net, tells the recipient they're one of 50,000 selected to receive the expansion for free, and provides a code. Then they're directed to a phishing site that Malwarebytes credits as being very believable in appearance. It's all a big lure to funnel them through to a "redemption page" that asks users to give their Battle.net security question and answer. The email originates from a Gmail account and the link goes to "an already known...
Review
77 Comments
6.5

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...
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Richard Garriott wants you to port this proto-RPG teletype game

Richard Garriott kicked off a contest today to challenge gamers to port his first game, a 1977 role playing title built for a teletype machine, into something that can be played inside his upcoming latest game: Shroud of the Avatar.Two winners and two runners-up will receive backer pledges for Shroud of the Avatar. All entries, though, will remain the property of Garriott. In 1977, Garriott's father told his son that if he could create a working role-playing game, he would split the cost of an Apple 2 computer with him. "That's what motivated me to make sure D&D #1 worked so well," Garriott said. The game was created to run on the teletype machine at Clear Creek High School, in Houston, Texas, he said. "No teacher in the school knew how to use it," he said. "So I had the classroom...
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World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor updates won't slow down the game, says Blizzard

Those planning on playing the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Warlords of Draenor, shouldn't expect a drop in performance with the release of new upgraded character models to the game, Blizzard community manager Taepsilum said in a recent forum post. The new expansion will apply additional polygons and textures to character models and armor, as well as to the surrounding geometry of raids and bosses — all of which mean more processing power will be required; however, Blizzard plans to implement performance improvements for add-ons that process combat data and other stats. The development team will also reduce the amount of visual clutter that is visible during fights where groups of players are involved. "Client performance is something we care about a lot," reads the post....
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8 Comments

League of Legends bots will start playing like people in new update

Riot Games aims to bring some complexity to League of Legends bot games by introducing a new system that will see bot characters make decisions more in line with a human player, according to the latest blog post. The new system is being called Threat Evaluation and will see bots determine how strong they are compared to their enemies. In the previous system, bots based their reactions on how much damage was recently received to determine future threat. While this style of gaming may work in first-person shooters, it works less well in League of Legends. "Our previous systems used a method that is very common in games, especially first-person shooters," reads the post. "The bot looks at how much damage has recently been received and uses that to determine future threat. In an FPS,...
News
164 Comments

Bungie fires Halo composer Martin O'Donnell  (update)

Halo series and Destiny composer Marty O'Donnell was fired by Bungie's board of directors last week, the composer revealed via his personal Twitter account tonight. I'm saddened to say that Bungie's board of directors terminated me without cause on April 11, 2014. — Marty O'Donnell (@MartyTheElder) April 16, 2014 O'Donnell composed music for Oni, as well as the Myth and Halo series. He joined Bungie in 2000 as audio director after working on Myth 2, Oni and Halo: Combat Evolved's scores on a contract basis with his company TotalAudio. During his time at Bungie, O'Donnell directed voice talent and sound design for the Halo trilogy, Halo: Reach and Halo 3: ODST. He often collaborated with TotalAudio partner and now in-house audio design lead at Bungie, Mike Salvatori. ...
Video
21 Comments

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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