Wolfenstein 2 deliberately caters to speedrunners, and Bungie hires them

about X hours ago from
Wolfenstein 2 deliberately caters to speedrunners, and Bungie hires them

Apparently speedrunning - racing to finish a game as fast as possible - is quite popular. Of course it is - where have you been? Haven't you heard of the charity speedrunning marathons Games Done Quick?

Speedrunning involves not only knowing every nook and cranny of a game but also how to cut its corners and even break it, if needs be. Take Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus - speedrunners discovered you can skip an entire boss fight with the Citadel/Zitadelle by simply running right past it. But the discovery wasn't the shock to developer MachineGames you might think.

"That might look like it's incidental, but the boss [executive producer Jerk Gustafsson] actually wanted - he likes for people to be able to speedrun the game," said senior game designer Andreas Öjerfors during his talk at Digital Dragons 2018. "Me, as the designer of the Citadel, I don't, because I want people to play my content!"

NES Classic Edition back up for pre-order

about X hours ago from
NES Classic Edition back up for pre-order

Those of you who have spent the past year and a half healing the emotional wounds of missing out on buying a Nintendo Classic Edition while they were still available (and not massively overpriced) can rejoice now, as a fresh batch of NES Classic Edition stock is on the way and pre-orders are live now.

The first of the officially endorsed Nintendo mini-consoles, the NES Classic Edition is set to go back on sale in earnest on June 29th, but pre-orders are live right now in multiple places and should probably be snapped up while they're available.

Argos is offering the console for £49.99, as is GAME, which offers free delivery.

Detroit: Become Human is a different kind of tech showcase

about X hours ago from
Detroit: Become Human is a different kind of tech showcase

As big budget triple-A games fixate increasingly on delivering larger, more complex open worlds, we're left wondering - what if all that power was concentrated instead into smaller scale environments with a focus on extreme detail? That's exactly the approach we see with Detroit: Become Human, with developer Quantic Dream delivering its best game yet - and a polished, intricate presentation quite unlike anything else seen on the market today.

Detroit is built on the latest iteration of Quantic Dream's in-house engine, and it's the first original PlayStation 4 title released by the studio. However, its concept is rooted in a 2012 technical demo presented at GDC known as "Kara", which was designed for PlayStation 3. This demo serves as a teaser for what would become Detroit, while acting as a reference point of sorts for how the technology would evolve over the coming years. It still looks good but the final game is a significant leap beyond that initial demo.

Detroit: Become Human review - clumsy yet effective robot-rights thriller

about X hours ago from
Detroit: Become Human review - clumsy yet effective robot-rights thriller

The main menu screen for Detroit: Become Human - Quantic Dream's new game about androids discovering free will and rising up against their human masters - features the face, stunningly well realised, of an android who talks directly to the player. The android looks like a young, pretty, white woman. She asks if we are enjoying ourselves, suggests we take a survey, jokes about the game save being corrupted. If you leave the menu on long enough, she changes the subject. Did we know about the underground railroad, the secret network which helped black slaves escape the antebellum South of the USA? Then she starts to sing, quietly, pleadingly: "Hold on just a little while longer, everything will be alright." It turns out this is a traditional gospel song. She might as well have burst into "We Shall Overcome."

Intentionally or not, it's a jarring moment. It also puts the lie to comments writer-director David Cage has made to the effect that his was just a science-fiction story about robots gaining consciousness, and any political or social-historical parallels in the real world were in the eye of the beholder. They are, in fact, quite clearly intended. Cage deliberately evokes slavery and the civil rights movement in the androids' plight.

A vote of confidence for new arcade co-op shmup I Hate Running Backwards

about X hours ago from
A vote of confidence for new arcade co-op shmup I Hate Running Backwards

I love Broforce and I'm constantly looking for games like it - fast and fun arcade games I can play with someone else at home. Well, one was released yesterday which fits the bill.

The game is I Hate Running backwards, published by Devolver and made by Croatian team Binx Interactive, and it's available on PC (£11), PS4 and Xbox One (both £12).

It's a top-down, vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up for two players (on the same machine). I Hate Running Backwards' twist is instead of facing enemies coming from the top of the screen, you face enemies coming from the bottom - you run, as the name suggests, backwards.

Microtransactions, battle royale and Wake Island - the Battlefield V interview

about X hours ago from
Microtransactions, battle royale and Wake Island - the Battlefield V interview

Well, who would have thought it. There's a new Battlefield game coming out this year, and it uses World War 2 as a backdrop for DICE's chaotic multiplayer sandbox, while also folding in features such as a new co-op mode and character customisation - both of which were the focus point for the reveal trailer - and doing away with the series' long-standing premium pass. Shortly after yesterday's reveal event, I got the chance to sit down briefly with DICE's creative director Lars Gustavsson, a long-standing member of the team and part of the franchise since its very beginning, to talk through some of the changes.

The reveal trailer looked incredible. It almost looks like gameplay, but I imagine it's not, right?

Well everything is shot in-game, and everything will happen in the game - it's all game engine and it's all going to happen, so it's a cinematic take on it.

Nintendo Switch consoles for £240 and more in TheGameCollection's sale

about X hours ago from
Nintendo Switch consoles for £240 and more in TheGameCollection's sale

Up-and-coming online retailer of video games and pop culture stuff, TheGameCollection, has made a habit of hosting a monthly range of discounts dubbed as Pay Day Price Drops. Despite the fact it's not technically pay day for everyone, it's certainly not a bunch of discounts to scoff at.

Perhaps the biggest price drop to be found in this month's batch of Pay Day Price Drops is the Neon version of the Nintendo Switch console, which is down to £239.95 while stock lasts. That's one of the biggest discounts on a Switch console since launch, so I'd expect stock to dry up on that one swiftly.

Elsewhere on the site, you can find Yakuza 6 for £29.95, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon for £19.95 each, God of War for £37.95, Ni No Kuni 2 on PS4 for £27.95, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild for £39.95, among many others.

H1Z1 dev battles login issues as PS4 open beta hits 1.5m players

about X hours ago from
H1Z1 dev battles login issues as PS4 open beta hits 1.5m players

Battle royale game H1Z1 is out now on PlayStation 4 - and it's been an early hit.

The game's open beta has seen over 1.5 million players, developer Daybreak announced, since it launched just two days ago.

That's an impressive figure (although it's worth pointing out that H1Z1 is, like rival battle royale game Fortnite, free to download), but it is one that has caused problems for the game. Players have complained about not being able to login or make purchases.

Chaos and tactics make for a tasty blend in Sushi Striker

about X hours ago from
Chaos and tactics make for a tasty blend in Sushi Striker

Some things in life are so innately delightful that I just can't spend enough time thinking about them. Leaf blowers! Tennis ball lobbers! The little motorised food lanes you get at sushi restaurants. This last one, gloriously, has been the key inspiration for Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido, a puzzle-battler that it's been hard to ignore since its hectic singalong trailer erupted onto Youtube a while back. I'm playing through the game's opening chapters right now - we'll have a review up soonish - and the whole thing is a treat. Sushi Striker does sushi proud, certainly, but it also does those motorised food lanes sushi likes to live on proud too. Hooray!

There is, inevitably, a story, and it's suitably goofy. The empire, right? They want all the sushi for themselves. The republic? They want sushi for everyone. Cue a delicious war, which the empire win and which appears to have claimed the parents of Musashi, Sushi Striker's protagonist. No matter! Because it turns out that Musashi is a natural with sushi striking - the fine and ancient art of eating sushi and then lobbing the plates at someone you don't care for. Pretty soon Musashi has a sushi sprite, which is a little creature cut from Pokemon cloth, to take into battle with them and things start to get gloriously nutty.

Nintendo is now selling the Switch without a dock in Japan

about X hours ago from
Nintendo is now selling the Switch without a dock in Japan

Nintendo is now offering the option to buy a Switch without a dock in Japan, in a new, reduced-price configuration known as the Switch 2nd Unit Set.

As its name implies, the Switch 2nd Unit Set is being marketed towards households that already have a Switch and dock, but want another portable unit for some reason. Nintendo's (Google translated) announcement offers several hypothetical situations where a 2nd Unit Set might be of use: when you want to play Switch but it's already taken, or want to play a competitive game with others, or simply want your own Switch.

Although apparently not its intended demographic, the Switch 2nd Unit Set might also appeal to those that don't want to play their Switch games on a television screen, and are perfectly content to use it as a portable-only device - especially given that the Switch 2nd Unit Set is being sold at a slightly lower price than the standard edition.