Super Meat Boy Forever Is An Auto-Running Platformer

By John Walker on August 30th, 2014.

Team Meat’s peculiar teaser a fortnight ago for a game they’d called A Voyeur For September, has been revealed to in fact be a game called Super Meat Boy Forever (anagram, see?). And despite thoughts it was to be a “live action stealth game”, it is in fact a touch-based “auto-runner”, that will have a Steam release alongside phone/tablet. Confused? I think they were aiming for that.

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Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell – Down In The Valley Next Jan

By John Walker on August 30th, 2014.

Volition have announced a new entry in the Saints Row franchise, the curiously in-joke entitled, expandalone, Gat Out Of Hell.

After the most ugly of starts, Saints Row has gone on to be one of the series most worthy of excitement in recent years. Saints Row: The Third saw the franchise free itself of its genuinely unpleasant origins, and realise itself as a joy-filled, if somewhat problematic, alternative to GTA, rather than a clumsy clone. Last year’s Saints Row IV somehow survived both the collapse of THQ, and the conversion from add-on pack to complete sequel, to become one of the funniest, funnest games ever. So it’s with justified happy expectation that we receive the news that there’s to be a standalone expansion to part VI, Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell.

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Prison Architect Alpha 24 Improves Modding, Adds Snitches

By Ben Barrett on August 29th, 2014.

Sort of hoping someone makes school architect, which is basically the same with smaller sprites.

Prison Architect developers Introversion Software joke in their latest update that the dev team is now “more like half a million.” As well as an amusing way to introduce the changes to their mod system, which is now much more robust and capable of adding almost anything to the game, it’s also sort of true. Their massive, ever-growing userbase will now add anything they can imagine, for better or worse, and folks will balance out what they want themselves. Others will improve the systems already there or build collections of mods that interact particularly well. Sit back, Introversion, you’re basically surplus to requirements now.

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Diablo III Patched, Now Greater, More Seasonal

By Ben Barrett on August 29th, 2014.

Replace eyes with spikes for +3 damage.

Because video games, one of the things added in the latest Diablo III patch is “The Cesspools.” They’re the sewers of Westmarch, a city overrun by an angel of death and his hoards of minions, making them only slightly better than a toy store in the run up to Christmas. They’re included in patch 2.1.0 as a new area to explore within the endgame Nephalem Rifts, quick one-shot dungeons with totally random layout and encounters. These have also received an upgrade, now with timed “Greater Rift” versions that provide unique rewards and global leaderboards for speed and difficulty. The most significant introduction is Seasons, similar to the character ladders in ealier Diablo games, which allow a competitive version of levelling and loot hoarding.

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Full Motion Video: Dying Light

By Adam Smith on August 29th, 2014.

Dying Light is a 1-4 player cooperative first-person game set in an urban location that is full of zombies. Under development at Techland and originally conceived as a sequel to Dead Island, it contains all the expected gore and giblets, but also goes in for some of that parkour that the kids use to commute to their office jobs these days. Graham went hands-on at Gamescom and found the controls fussy, which I take to mean that he jumped off a building and landed in a zombie’s gob by mistake. I’m glad to have a sprinkling of doubt because a Mirror’s Edge/Left 4 Dead mash-up is mighty tempting and the brand new video below is brill. Graham keeps expectations in check, like a glum father explaining the queue sizes and fatality rates before a trip to the funfair.

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Grand Theft Aiden: The #WatchDogsIV Mod

By Alice O'Connor on August 29th, 2014.

That's one way to stop someone phoning in your crimes.

I’m eternally surprised by what modders manage to do with Grand Theft Auto IV, especially as Rockstar never released official mod tools. Modders needed to build tools before they could build mods, a bit like Minecraft–only you end up with high-fidelity murder rather than a monolithic phallus.

The latest wonder rising from GTA 4 borrows an awful lot from another open-world murder simulator: Watch Dogs. Mass-murderer-with-a-heart-of-gold Aiden Pearce is now hacking Liberty City with his magical telephone, popping barriers out the ground, riding trains, spying through cameras, screwing with traffic lights, and generally hacking the planet. It’s a remarkable feat.

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It Got Out: Containment Protocol Demo

By Ben Barrett on August 29th, 2014.

I first saw Containment Protocol at Rezzed this year when the large banner showcasing its simplistic, beautiful art style immediately caught my eye. It’s difficult to describe in ordinary genre terms, but it’s close to a survival/exploration game. You remotely control a quad copter exploring an abandoned scientific facility, only able to see via its lidar scanning the surroundings. It’s atmospheric to the max–sounds echoing in empty corridors, clinical beeping coming from the automated defenses of the facility. You can explore too, as solo dev Byron Atkinson-Jones has dropped a new in-browser demo on its site (the build he’ll show at EGX, in fact).

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Suspicious Mind: Sherlock Holmes – Crimes & Punishments

By Adam Smith on August 29th, 2014.

A new trailer for Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments demonstrates the manner in which a conversation with the great detective plays out. It’s impossible to lie to him, essentially – tell him that you’re feeling good about yourself for the first time in six months, and he’ll spot some lint nestling in the fabric of your cuff and use it as an excuse to deconstruct your frame of mind, pummelling you with the blunt edge of facts until good feelings are slumped, bloody by your side. I loved the depiction of Holmes in the previous Frogwares game, which also featured the most perfectly rendered dog dick I’ve ever seen. The trailer shows an interrogation, which involves spotting details and clues rather than interpreting a series of looping gurns and sneers.

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Freeware Garden: Level 2 – Virus Master

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on August 29th, 2014.

Better than X-OUT!

Listening to a thundering heavy metal soundtrack while blasting enemies straight from the 16-bit demoscene is, almost surprisingly, exactly as awesome as it sounds. Level 2 – Virus Master, on the other hand, is not as awesome as it sounds. It’s way better.

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Titanfall Without The Titans: A New Humans-only Mode

By Alice O'Connor on August 29th, 2014.

Get out of here, you crummy robot.

Titans are fairly central to Titanfall. They’re right there in the name–that’s what the game calls it when your honking great mechs plummet from orbit to the battlefield. I actually preferred the plain old manshooting though, darting about, double-jumping, and wall-running as a regular supersoldier with a jetpack. Well gosh golly, the next Titanfall update will introduce a new mode with simple 8v8 manfights, no Titans and no AI battlefield buddies.

Which makes me wonder: if we can remove the Titans from Titanfall, what titular elements can we remove from other games and still have something interesting?

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Rhythmic Shmup: Harmonix’s A City Sleeps

By Alice O'Connor on August 29th, 2014.

Seems pretty lively to me.

In the deepest, darkest basement of Harmonix HQ, Alex Rigopulos is trying to make a rhythm game out of a Cherry Bakewell. He’s added coloured buttons to it, he’s patting it to a mamba beat, he’s jabbing the glacé cherry and making an airhorn noise with his mouth. They’ll try to turn anything and everything into a rhythm game, that lot. Making air guitar into Guitar Hero went pretty dang well, though trying to rhythmise FPSs with Chroma has been trickier. They won’t give up.

Harmonix are now having a crack at shoot ‘em ups, they announced yesterday, in A City Sleeps.

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When Hope Dies: Breach And Clear – Deadline

By Adam Smith on August 29th, 2014.

Breach And Clear: DEADline is another zombie game but it’s [edit: possibly not] a tactical turn-based zombie game so I’m willing to give it a chance. If you put a turn-based game about OXO in front of me, it’d probably occupy me for at least a couple of hours. As already mentioned, this is a beefed up version of an iOS release and a new developer diary sheds light on the design philosophy of the development teams.

“One of the phrases that we are using here internally and is basically written on the wall everywhere we go is ‘what does it feel like when hope dies?’”

So says Gun Media creative director Wes Keltner. I really hope he doesn’t have reason to visit many public places with his permanent marker pen.

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Make Your Own Myth: Moon Hunters

By Adam Smith on August 28th, 2014.

There was a time when I thought Puzzle Quest and the like formed a signpost pointing to a bright future, in which themes and genres would become the bricks in a huge architectural toy chest. Who wouldn’t want to play a pinball game in which highscores and skillshots translate into the bank balance and item unlocks for a family of Sim-like Little Computer People? Or a game in which solving logic puzzles makes a car go faster and faster and faster until Lewis Hamilton throws a strop.

When I first read about Moon Hunters, I thought it would be something along those lines. Play a puzzle thing with some RPG-lite conventions attached to it and ‘construct’ a mythology. Then I watched the Kickstarter pitch video (it’s already funded) and gawped in amazement.

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