Feature
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In the studio with the writers and actors of Defense Grid 2.

Inside a video game voiceover studio

Jennifer Hale asks a few questions about the character. That's less than 30 seconds after she walks in the room. Her arrival prompts the usual bit of Hollywood hug and kiss, and some hello-how-are-yous, but then it's down to business. Who is this character? What is she doing? Why is she here? And then, just a minute later, she's in the booth and she's nailing it. If you've played a video game in the past several years, you'll probably recognize her voice. Her list of credits is enormous. Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, Metroid Prime, Knights of the Old Republic, Mercenaries, the Metal Gear Solid series, Mass Effect 2 and 3, Gears of War 3, Diablo 3, Halo 4 and 5, Call of Duty: Black Ops, BioShock Infinite, The Last of Us and Broken Age...
News
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Xbox One Kinect available by itself this October for $149.99

Microsoft will release a stand-alone Xbox One Kinect on Oct. 7 for $149.99, the company announced today. The package will include a copy of Dance Central Spotlight, which launches Sept. 2 for $9.99. The game comes with 10 songs; customers can purchase additional downloadable tracks and import music from previous Dance Central titles. The second-generation Kinect for Windows was released last month for $199. Must Read From integral to add-on: The troubled journey of Xbox One's Kinect Microsoft launched the Xbox One last November for $499 with a Kinect in the box. In June, the company unbundled the Kinect from the console and began selling the system itself for $399. At the time, Microsoft said it would release a stand-alone Kinect sensor this fall. Last month, the...
News
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Forza Horizon 2 offers Xbox One demo on Sept. 16

Forza Horizon 2 will provide a demo on Xbox One on Sept. 16, two weeks ahead of the open-world racer's Sept. 30 launch, Microsoft said this morning. The announcement did not provide details of what events or how many cars would be in the demo. Nor does it sound like any demo is planned for Xbox 360; Forza Horizon 2 launches for it on the same day. Playground Games, which is developing the Xbox One version, said the two versions are "different games inspired by the same ideas." The announcement includes a list of 60 achievements, which gives hints about the locations drivers will visit in the game. Forza Horizon 2 is set in southern Europe. For more, see Polygon's preview of the game from E3 2014.
News
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Multiplayer comes to Dragon Age with Inquisition's 4-player co-op mode

BioWare is bringing multiplayer to Dragon Age: Inquisition, a mode that the developer describes as "an action-packed dungeon-crawling four-player co-op experience" with fast-paced, strategic team gameplay. In a FAQ posted to the official Dragon Age website, BioWare explains that in Inquisition's multiplayer mode players will embark on missions given by specialists; acquire gold and loot; craft new items; and unlock new characters, weapons, potions, armor and more. The goal, BioWare says, "is to make a fun dungeon-crawling experience that you can play with your friends. There will be no pay walls in Dragon Age multiplayer. Everything is accessible with gold coins. You can use premium currency, but you don't have to." Dragon Age: Inquisition's multiplayer won't have an impact on the...
Video
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See your favorite hockey arena in all its glory in NHL 15

The latest NHL 15 trailer, released today by publisher Electronic Arts, shows off the work developer EA Canada is doing to try to bring hockey arenas around the league to life in the game. Madison Square Garden, home of the New York Rangers, appears in EA's NHL franchise for the first time this year; until this point, the Blueshirts' home ice was a generic rink known in the game as "New York Arena." Other venues featured in today's trailer include Joe Louis Arena — the center of Hockeytown for the Detroit Red Wings — and the Montreal Canadiens' Bell Centre. The fans inside NHL 15's stadiums are just as important as the rinks themselves. There's a greater variety in fan models than ever before, and they'll act more like real fans would, too. NHL 15 is set for release Sept. 9 on...
Review
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7.0

The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale review: can't go home again

The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale has all of the ingredients necessary to pull together an explosive ending. After a second season of dramatic highs and crushing lows, I still felt a strong connection to protagonist Clementine. I've been with her through so much, and I was invested in seeing where she ends her journey (for now, at least). Yet at the end, I was left feeling more empty than anything else. The Walking Dead's Season 2 finale is about as inconsistent as the season as a whole has been. It never stops striving for the depth and emotional impact of the first season, but it also never quite lives up to its own legacy. (Editor's Note: If you haven't played any of The Walking Dead Season 2 and are concerned about spoilers about the direction of this season, it may be best to...
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
News
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Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham hits on Nov. 11

Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will launch on Nov. 11 in North America and Nov. 14 in Europe, publisher Warner Bros. announced today. The third installment in Lego's video games featuring DC Comics' iconic heroes will see Batman and friends teaming up to stop the villain Brainiac from destroying the planet. Players will follow the band of heroes across many worlds, working together to thwart Brainiac's plans. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will launch for Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Windows PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One.
News
6 Comments

The Evil Within's voice cast features 'Dexter' and 'Watchmen' stars

Tango Gameworks' psychological survival-horror title The Evil Within will feature a handful of actors known for their work on emotionally-driven TV and film, including Dexter and Watchmen veterans, publisher Bethesda Softworks announced today. Vocal talents in The Evil Within includes Jennifer Carpenter, best known for her seven-year run as Debra Morgan on Showtime's drama series Dexter. She also played the titular girl in 2005 film The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Carpenter will voice Juli Kidman, Sebastian Castellanos's junior detective partner, whom players will get to spend more time with in a post-launch DLC mission tailored to her perspective. Joining Carpenter is Jackie Earle Haley, who recently played Freddy Krueger in the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street and was the grumbling,...
News
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NBA Live 15 cover features Damian Lillard

The cover of NBA Live 15 will feature Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, publisher Electronic Arts announced today. Lillard, a point guard, was the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year and made his first All-Star appearance this past season. According to EA, Lillard has been working with NBA Live 15's developers at EA Tiburon for two years. The studio scanned his face and head to build a detailed in-game model of him, and along with doing motion capture work, Lillard has provided feedback on the game. Lillard also lent his voice to Learn Live, a tutorial mode that's new to NBA Live 15 and will help introduce players to the game — an onboarding process that was notably absent at NBA Live 14's launch. You can catch a glimpse of Lillard in NBA Live 15 in the video above, which EA...
Opinion
28 Comments

I owe my career to Halo 2

"How'd you get into that?"This is the first question people ask when I tell them I’m in video production. My default response has become to explain that it was just a hobby, and then it turned into something serious. I don’t tell people the truth until I’ve known them a while. A video game got me started. I’m not embarrassed that love for a video game has turned into a career. Quite the opposite, actually. It’s more the fact that people seemed to have a hard time understanding that playing a video game could lead into something substantial. "OK, but you must have gone to school for this, right?" That’s the second question. Nope. My only production experience before my first production job was three years of editing footage that I had captured from Halo 2. Learning by doing On...
News
9 Comments

Platinum Games' The Legend of Korra coming this October

Bayonetta creator Platinum Games will release downloadable combat game The Legend of Korra — based on the animated show of the same name — for PC and PlayStation platforms on Oct. 21 and Xbox platforms on Oct. 22, IGN reports. The Legend of Korra is a follow-up to Nickelodeon's popular animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Announced in June, the game follows the titular young avatar in between the show's second and third season. Players control Korra and her power to master the four elements — water, earth, fire and air — in different fighting styles. For more on The Legend of Korra, check out our hands-on preview. The game is being developed for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. A turn-based strategy game is expected to launch for Nintendo 3DS...
News
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NBA 2K15 trailer dazzles with dunks, mascots, cheerleaders and Shaq

NBA 2K15's first full trailer, released today by publisher 2K Sports, travels around the NBA for a dizzying array of action on the court and off. The trailer begins and closes with a glimpse of an in-studio pregame show, new for NBA 2K15, featuring host Ernie Johnson and NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal of the NBA on TNT. Once the video shifts to the hardwood, you'll see other new elements like mascots for the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets. The crowd seems more lively than ever, shouting "three" as a shot from downtown arcs toward the basket. And cheerleaders come onto the court to keep the fans standing. Today's two-minute trailer follows the first gameplay footage of NBA 2K15, which arrived in a 10-second clip on Kevin Durant's Instagram account earlier this month. Durant, the...
Culture
8 Comments

A mad genius just created Minecraft — in Trials Fusion

We've seen other games created in Minecraft, now someone's gone and created Minecraft in Trials Fusion, of all games. Here's "TrialsCraft," an adaptation by PneumaticBog484 running on Xbox One. It's not a large-scale map — 17 blocks on a 10 x 10 x 10 creation grid, but the fundamentals of Minecraft gameplay are there. See for yourself in this video above. PneumaticBog says the skill challenge has since been shared cross-platform, so users can find it on any platform, PC included. Want to see something else neat, by the same guy? It's "FPS Target Range II," whose wall-running evokes Titanfall. It features 10 custom weapons — with reload animations — and 30 hidden targets on the course.
News
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Microsoft hosting ID@Xbox open house before PAX kicks off

For those in town as Penny Arcade Expo kicks off next week, Microsoft is staging an open house at its campus and offering more than 25 playable games coming to Xbox One under the ID@Xbox program. The event is Thursday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. PT; it's free and open to anyone age 18 or older (those younger can attend if accompanied by a parent/guardian). A PAX badge is not required. Microsoft will be providing shuttle service — including on the infamous Sunset Overdrive bus that appeared at E3 — from and back to the Seattle convention center. There's also free parking at the Microsoft campus. For more on the games of the ID@Xbox program, see the above compilation video, which Microsoft aired at Gamescom 2014.
Culture
34 Comments

That bucket came from the moon: Yep, Destiny took the ice bucket challenge

GameStop, Notch, Xbox boss Phil Spencer, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson, Bill Gates and just about everbody else have jumped on the Ice Bucket Challenge bandwagon. So, why not the Ghost from Destiny too? And yep, his notorious catch phrase figures in, too. Apparently video game characters can challenge one another to this — in which people dump buckets of water on their head to raise publicity for ALS research (and/or contribute directly to said philanthropy). Warframe's developers took the plunge and nominated Destiny, which now is obligating Kevin Spacey's character from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Joel from The Last of Us and George Lucas, to take a soaking. Additionally, until Destiny's launch on Sept. 9, Bungie is donating 20 percent of the proceeds from sales at the...
News
8 Comments

FIFA to crack down on Ultimate Team cheating and coin-farming

Despite banning "hundreds of thousands" of accounts in FIFA's Ultimate Team mode since February, EA Sports says cheating, bot use, and coin farming and selling remains such a problem that they have to warn users they face automatic and permanent bans for certain prohibited activities. FIFA 15, according to lead producer Marcel Kuhn, will deploy with automated systems that recognize these abuses, where in the past they were policed manually. A post today on EA Sports' official site prescribes a "straight red" card — that's a total account ban — issued for any discovered instance of coin selling or farming, or for using exploits to record false match results in FIFA Ultimate Team on PC. "In the past, this banning has been manual and labor intensive," Kuhn told Polygon. "That's part of...
Video
20 Comments

A guided tour of the 1 KB hard drive built inside Minecraft

You see a lot of crazy stuff built in Minecraft. With tens of millions of copies sold, the game has spawned a closet industry of builders, hackers and tinkerers. Minecraft communities have reconstructed the mines of Moria. They've placed a steampunk city atop a giant tortoise. Minecraft is even being used to teach. The possibilities inside Minecraft seem endless. One user, Cody Littley, went a step further recently. He made a hard drive inside Minecraft. Without any third-party crafting aides, he built one kilobyte of read-write storage. He joined me for a guided tour.
Video
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Watch 20 minutes of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain gameplay from Gamescom

In the event that you missed Konami's livestream of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain from Gamescom last week, now's your chance to correct that. Konami uploaded all 20 minutes-plus of its The Phantom Pain walkthrough, showing off all manner of new gameplay features. The new capabilities of Snake's cardboard box are explored in the video, as are some creative ways to use the Fulton surface-to-air recovery system. There's even a tactical horse excrement deployment. For the uninitiated, there's some helpful narration about what's happening in the latest Metal Gear Solid. At Gamescom last week, series creator Hideo Kojima announced that Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and its prologue, Ground Zeroes, are coming to PC via Steam. The Phantom Pain is also bound for PlayStation 3,...
Video
34 Comments

Destiny launch trailer shows combat readiness

Here's the launch trailer for Destiny. Activision released the trailer this morning, which pulls together many of the game's selling points; grand sci-fi adventure, player choice, fast combat, good looks and seamless multiplayer. Created by Bungie, the studio behind the original Halo series, Destiny will be released on Sept. 9 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. Be sure to read Polygon's full Destiny coverage.
News
17 Comments

Game pre-loading comes to Xbox One early with Madden 15

Pre-purchasing and pre-loading of Xbox One games has come to Xbox One earlier than expected, thanks to EA Sports' Madden NFL 15. The Xbox One version of the game is now available for pre-loading to those who pre-purchase the game through the Xbox Games Store. Microsoft announced at its Gamescom press conference that game pre-loading would be available on Xbox One this September with the release of FIFA 15 and Forza Horizon 2. Microsoft was rumored to have pre-loading available on Xbox One earlier this year, when a page on Xbox.com hinted at a pre-load option for Respawn Entertainment's Titanfall. On Twitter, Xbox Studios partner studio manager Mike Ybarra said the move was in response to giving Xbox fans a feature they've been asking for. Xbox One owners who subscribe to Electronic...
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