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.

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,...

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.

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 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...

Demos are dead, long live demos

A game demo is marketing. It's meant to get you to buy the game. The point of a demo is not to allow you to try the game. It's not meant to give you a taste of the whole experience. It's meant to sell you the game. It's a carefully culled slice of the game designed to leave you with a very specific impression of the game, one that may or may not match up with reality. That's the problem with demos, whether they're something you play at home or something the press plays at a show like E3. They should not, but not always are, a representative piece of the game to give you a sense of the whole thing. The industry calls that sort of video or playable section a "vertical slice," a piece of the game that gives you a taste of what it is and what it's offering. It slices through all the layers...

Sexual conquest and emotional connections in Dragon Age: Inquisition

We've seen plenty of games in which romantic encounters are nothing more than sexual challenges. The player manages a character's actions in order to score, and this is counted as a relationship.It's a dynamic rooted in both the competitive, goal-driven nature of games, and the laddish perspectives of many of the people traditionally making games. But things are changing as games, and the people making them, take a more sophisticated approach. Dragon Age: Inquisition, BioWare's big fantasy role-playing game, focuses on the relationships between the character and the non-player characters he or she encounters throughout the story. Players have latitude about who they wish to spend time with, and how. Simply conquering another's affections, and notching a win on the bed-post, is not the...
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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Caped crusader goes kinda nuts in new Lego Batman 3 trailer

A new trailer for TT Games' Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham today shows Batman in a freaky frenzy over his little buddy Robin. There's no explanation about the dark knight's weird behavior, but we do know that many characters in this game are subverted by evil Brainiac as he seeks to take over the world. It just so happens that this trailer is almost entirely focused on Brainiac and his incredible shrinking device, but we also get a song and dance routine from Joker. Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will be released on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Wii U, 3DS and Windows PC this fall

How Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition tricked us into playing Diablo 3 again

Once again, Diablo 3 has buried its brimstone claws into the gaming community — this time in the form of the Ultimate Evil Edition on consoles. What's changed since the action-RPGs last, insidious incarnation? Well, for one thing, the font looks far less menacing, falling far short of the "Ultimate Evil" designation promised on the box. For more insightful insight, check out the Overview video posted above.

Ukraine's 4A Games lands in Malta: 'We are not betrayers'

Less than 24 hours ago, the leadership of 4A Games landed in Malta, fleeing the ongoing conflict that ravages Ukraine. The studio announced the move in May, just two months after Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed the Eastern Ukrainian province of Crimea. "Malta offers fantastic incentives for game development, and we are confident 4A games will be able to attract the very best talent from Ukraine, Malta and beyond," said head of business development Dean Sharpe. Must Read STALKER Fallout: Polygon goes to Kiev In the months since their decision to move the leadership of the company abroad, tensions with Russia have increased. A passenger airliner was downed, killing hundreds and sparking global outcry. The Ukrainian government has reported that Russian forces...

Arbitrator orders Bungie to restore Halo composer's stock in the company

An arbitrator has issued a preliminary injunction against Bungie, ordering them to return founders' stock to composer Marty O'Donnell, Venturebeat reports. O'Donnell was fired by Bungie's board of directors in April of this year. He joined Bungie in 2000 as audio director after working on Halo: Combat Evolved's score as a contractor, only to be brought on full time shortly thereafter. He is largely responsible for the soundtrack for the upcoming Bungie title, Destiny. In July, Bungie was ordered by the same court to compensate O'Donnell for unpaid wages, a sum totaling more than $95,000. Now, an arbitrator has ordered them to return stock to O'Donnell, specifically 336,375 shares of B-1 Preferred Stock as well as 48,000 shares of common stock. Bungie's lawyers "objected that if...

Diablo 3 performance comparison: Xbox One vs. PC

Today marks the launch of Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition, a bundle containing the original action-RPG and its expansion, Reaper of Souls, on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. How do these ports stack up to their PC predecessor? For an example of how the Xbox One version fares, check out the comparison video posted above.

1080p will come to Xbox One games, but at a cost

Games displayed at 1080p, while running at a smooth 60 frames-per-second, has become part of the marketing for many new games.It's a magical bullet point on a list of features that proves that your game is next-generation, and there are groups of players online who sneer at anything that can't quite hit that goal. Diablo 3 on the Xbox One, for instance, couldn't quite get there. The original response was to drop the resolution down to 900p and keep the frame rate. A smooth game, many would argue, is worth sacrificing a few lines of resolution. The problem is that this solution created a PR problem for Microsoft, a company that is scared of consumers seeing the Xbox One as a less-powerful console compared to the PlayStation 4. "That's what we demoed and were showing around E3 time. And...

Reddit comes to Xbox One this week with ReddX app

Reddit has come to Xbox One through an app called ReddX, Microsoft announced today, bringing the social networking/news sharing website directly to a video game console for the first time. The ReddX app, available today in North America, functions much like Reddit does in a Web browser, Xbox Live's Larry Hryb said, and can be snapped to the side of the screen while playing another game or using another app in Xbox Live. ReddX serves a customized main page and allows users to view all subreddits in the domain; images, videos and animated gifs are supported within the app. Additionally, ReddX will come with "unique media achievements named after some of the Internet's favorite memes." "Using ReddX also allows you to upvote or downvote a thread with just the touch of a button, as well...

Watch the 35-minute The Witcher 3 demo that was shown behind-closed-doors at E3

Theese 35-minutes of footage from The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt resemble the demo shown behind-closed-doors at E3 in June. The presentation focuses on some of the morally ambiguous choices in the game, including one involving an orphanage. Hope you're ready to feel sad. The Witcher 3 is a graphics showpiece, one of the most impressive looking games of the current generation of consoles and PC hardware. It's scheduled for release on February 24, 2015.

The police aren't an army: the problem with Battlefield Hardline

Electronics Arts thinks it can bring Battlefield's military gunplay home. It's not that easy.Battlefield Hardline moves the Battlefield series from international battlegrounds to a realistic domestic setting: As tricked out police, the player in Hardline uses heavy weaponry, armor and vehicles to kill criminals in Los Angeles. Despite the move, the series' fetishization of military weaponry, gear and lethal combat remains. Cops and soldiers are not the same thing. They serve different purposes. Soldiers often serve in war zones, in direct conflict with our nation's enemies. The police serve in our cities, protecting and policing our nation's civilians. And so Hardline is an uncomfortable role play within a role play: the player pretending to be a cop pretending to be a soldier. At...

EA Access subscribers only get six hours with the new Madden, says EA

Subscribers to the new EA Access program will be limited to "six gameplay hours" with Madden NFL 15 once it is made available to them before release, according to EA Access' Twitter account today. EA Sports did not answer questions, from Polygon and elsewhere, to clarify what "gameplay hours" means — whether actually playing the game or if that includes time spent in menus adjusting rosters and the like. Still, this figures to be more restricted than the old Season Ticket program, which gave subscribers early access to upcoming EA Sports games like Madden, with unlimited use, on the Friday before their general release in North America. In both cases, early access is limited to a pre-release period; once the game launches in retail stores and elsewhere, the pre-release copy that has...

Destiny's version of Venus is a lush, tropical warzone

The real planet Venus seems like a fairly inhospitable place to visit, with its 800 degree Fahrenheit temperatures and carbon dioxide atmosphere, but the version in Bungie's Destiny is described as "a paradise." In a new trailer for Destiny, we get a look at a team of guardians exploring the lost planet, doing battle with enemies like the Vex and the Fallen and what appear to be some pretty intimidating warships. Bungie and publisher Activision recently showed off what Destiny's version of Mars looks like — a red planet filled with alien terrors to shoot. Destiny is coming to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on Sept. 9.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor DLC includes a mission playable as Celebrimbor

Downloadable content for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor will include a story-based mission in which players control Celebrimbor, the original forger of the Rings of Power and the Wraith attached to protagonist Talion, publisher Warner Bros. announced this morning. The mission is part of the Shadow of Mordor season pass, which will give players access to a handful of additional missions, in-game challenges and runes and skins for Talion. These new missions include the above-mentioned Celebrimbor-focused story — The Bright Lord, in which players will battle against Sauron and his forces — as well as the Lord of the Hunt mission, in which players will stalk the beasts of Mordor to collect unique runes, discover hidden areas and fight more powerful creatures. Exclusive to season pass...

How Halo: The Master Chief Collection is improving on more recent games in the series

Not surprisingly, much of the attention so far lavished on Halo: The Master Chief Collection has focused on Halo 2. That game is celebrating its tenth anniversary and will, by some margin, be the most improved of the four core Halo games included in the package,which is due to be released on Xbox One on Nov. 11. But more recent additions to the franchise, Halo 3 and Halo 4, are also being given significant improvement, according to senior producer Dennis Ries. "We are putting a tremendous amount of work into Halo 3 and Halo 4 as well," said Ries, in a Gamescom presentation attended by Polygon. "You'll see them running at 60 frames per second at 1080p. We've made a lot of improvements to the lighting system and to the shaders and the difference is actually quite dramatic." Halo: The...

The Witcher 3 has its own in-game card game called 'Gwent'

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will feature a new game within its game, the competitive card game known as Gwent, developer CD Projekt Red announced today. Gwent is also getting a physical release, courtesy of the Xbox One collector's edition. CD Projekt Red describes Gwent as a fast-paced combat card game that has more than 150 unique playing cards, four factions, hero cards, spell cards and more. Gwent is "a game of initial simplicity and ultimate depth, something beloved by both road-weary travelers during long nights around the campfire and elegant nobles looking to liven up dragging dinner parties," the developer says. The Witcher fans can play Gwent in-game and in the real world, if they buy the Xbox One collector's edition of The Witcher 3. That version has been bolstered with a...
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