Last November, Finnish game developer Housemarque declared that the arcade genre "is dead." The studio's last title, Nex Machina, was warmly received by the press and currently boasts an 88 rating on Metacritic. "Lackluster sales," however, meant the company needed to change direction if it wanted to keep making games. It vowed to make "something completely different" and today, we have our first tease of the team's new project. The game is called Stormdivers and it promises a "multiplayer-centric experience" blended with "hard flying and heavy hitting gameplay." What that means in practice, though, is a mystery.
It's easy to forget that real people create games. For them, the eventual launch is as much terrifying as it is exciting -- they've poured years of their life into a project whose success is far from guaranteed. And if you need an illustration of that point, you just have to ask God of War director Cory Barlog. He posted a video of his reaction to early reviews of the PS4 action blockbuster, and it adds a sorely-needed human element to an industry where developers are often reduced to a list of faceless names in the credits.
H1Z1's take on the battle royale genre may not be as popular as, say, Fortnite or PUBG, but it has something the other two don't: an eSports tournament in Vegas. On Saturday the 21st, 75 pro players from 15 well-known teams like Echo Fox, Cloud9 and Luminosity will try to survive to the bitter end at the Twin Galaxies eSports Center, which is located just off the strip within Caesars Entertainment Studios.
In the past, we've seen hotel rooms and even entire hotels specifically designed for those who prefer the orange glow of de_dust2 to a sandy beach. But Alienware's new gaming suite in Hilton's Panama City location might well be the easiest place yet to let a week of your life completely pass you by. Room 2425 offers guests the chance to avoid the rich culture of the Central American capital and enjoy the company of a monstrous Alienware gaming PC, Oculus Rift VR headset and Xbox One Elite. Move between the racing seat centerpiece and beanbags, foregoing the stunning view of the South Pacific Ocean to instead bask in the warm glow of the room's 65-inch 4K TV.
Post-apocalyptic stories are everywhere these days, so much so that it's not even surprising to see them in narratives meant for kids. But Biidaaban First Light, which premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival this week, isn't that. Instead, it's more like indigenous futurism -- a vision of Toronto long after modern civilization has disappeared, where nature has overtaken every nook and cranny of the city. Humans are still around, but they co-exist with the environment similar to the way Native Americans used to. Most surprisingly, there's no sense of loss in the film. Instead, it's simply a neutral look at one possible direction for humanity.
There's a new Serious Sam game on the horizon. A fresh instalment of the bombastic shooter franchise was teased in 2014 but never came to fruition. Instead, developer Croteam released The Talos Principle, a critically acclaimed puzzler about androids and AI. Now, though, we have a teaser trailer for Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass, which shows the titular hero driving through the (French? Italian?) countryside on a classic motorcycle. Of course, he's soon attacked by a "headless kamikaze," which Sam dispatches with a casual shotgun blast. The camera then pans back to reveal a horde of gruesome enemies and the message: See you at E3 2018.