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Date: Saturday, 04 Oct 2014 22:15
Zorine and Dan play PS4 teenage slasher-horror game Until Dawn, and have difficulty coming to terms with its strange thematic and mechanical choices.
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Date: Saturday, 04 Oct 2014 21:30
Wanna co-pilot a spaceship while yelling at your friends and having the best time? Dan and Zorine did just that playing Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime.
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Date: Saturday, 04 Oct 2014 15:30

Earlier this week, the game developer-facing publication Gamasutra confirmed that Intel pulled an ad campaign from its website after it was "flooded with complaints" from the online movement calling itself Gamergate.

Yesterday, the microprocessor company issued a statement saying that it's sticking to its decision to pull the ad campaign, but that it didn't intend to support some of the movement's anti-feminist sentiments.

"We recognize that our action inadvertently created a perception that we are somehow taking sides in an increasingly bitter debate in the gaming community," Intel said. "That was not our intent, and that is not the case. When it comes to our support of equality and women, we want to be very clear: Intel believes men and women should be treated the same. And, diversity is an integral part of our corporate strategy and vision with commitments to improve the diversity of our workforce."

However, while Gamergate claims it's concerned with ethics and integrity in gaming publications, Gamasutra seems to have been targeted specifically to silence its editor-at-large Leigh Alexander because of her recent article, which criticized the movement and the term "gamer" in general.

"While we respect the right of individuals to have their personal beliefs and values, Intel does not support any organization or movement that discriminates against women," Intel said. "We apologize and we are deeply sorry if we offended anyone."

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg.

For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Date: Saturday, 04 Oct 2014 15:00
Chris Watters and the GameSpot crew take on Destiny's first raid! Part 1 includes raid preparation and loadout tips, as well as strategies for getting past the first challenge.
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Date: Saturday, 04 Oct 2014 13:47
Image Credit: Randy Pitchford

A Plano, Texas Police Department bomb disposal team was sent to Borderlands developer Gearbox's headquarters yesterday to deal with a car bomb threat, according to a series of tweets from Gearbox President Randy Pitchford.

Pitchford said that the the police arrived around 7:30 p.m. CST, after most Gearbox employees had already gone home. As you can see in the picture in Pitchford's tweet below, the police used a bomb disposal robot, apparently to clear one of the cars in the building's parking lot. It didn't find anything.

"I witnessed many police cars, the bomb disposal unit's bus, the robot and several BDU and PPD personnel working," Pitchford said. "I (foolishly) was not worried (choosing to believe the threat not credible), but Plano PD was pro, all business and kept everyone safe!"

Pitchford said the police wouldn't disclose any details about the threat and at the moment it's not clear if the it had anything to do with Gearbox, or if it was aimed at one of the other companies that are also in the developer's building.

In August, a hacker group that said it caused a PlayStation Network outage claimed responsibility for a bomb threat that grounded a plane carrying Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley. The group has been active since, most recently taking responsibility for downing Activision games Destiny and Call of Duty: Ghosts. However, both the group's website and Twitter account have been taken down earlier this week.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg.

For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Date: Saturday, 04 Oct 2014 11:15

(Some Of) The Big Stuff:

On Monday, Microsoft announced a brand-new OS, Windows 10. Who needs 9, anyway? Microsoft is shooting to launch Windows 10 in late 2015. Among the list of changes is a move away from Windows 8's "Metro" tile design.

Bungie continues to patch Destiny, on Wednesday launching patch 1.0.2 for all platforms. This update tweaks Strikes and elements of the Crucible, but the major change has to do with how Engrams are earned and claimed.

Nearly a year after Battlefield 4's troubled launch, a major "Fall patch" rolled out this week for all platforms. It introduced a long, long, long list of changes and tweaks, perhaps the most notable of which is improved netcode. This should result in players noticing fewer instances of "unfair" kills; i.e, when you thought you made it behind cover or when you trade kills.

Big titles were released this week, including Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Forza Horizon 2. Not interested in those? Not a problem, as the flood of new releases continues next week with Alien: Isolation, Driveclub, and NBA 2K15, among others.

The Other Stuff (Stories We Like, But Didn't Cover With a Standalone Post):

Indie hit Thomas Was Alone is coming to Wii U and PS4 and Xbox One, all set to ship in November 2014.

For the 21st straight year, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is America's richest person, according to Forbes. With an estimated net worth of $81 billion, he is far ahead of America's No. 2, Warren Buffett ($67 billion).

What happened on September 29, 1996? The Nintendo 64 was released, meaning the system is now 18 years old. GoldenEye 007 and Super Mario 64 are my two favorites. What are yours?

EA Sports simulated the 2015 NHL season and guess which team claimed the Stanley Cup? No, not my Boston Bruins, but rather the Los Angeles Kings. Watch the simulation video here.

Assassin's Creed publisher Ubisoft continued its worldwide push this week, announcing the formation of a new office in Moscow, Russia. The office will provide community development support and aims to work closely with partners to "increase marketing and sales growth" in the growing Russian video game market.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will include an homage to 1979's arcade game, Sheriff, with a special assist trophy. "It was quite a revolutionary game for its time," game director Masahiro Sakurai writes on Miiverse, calling out the way it used the left stick to move around the right one to shoot.

Is Europe getting yet another PlayStation 4 bundle? It sure looks like it, as Amazon UK has posted a product page for a Little Big Planet PS4 bundle. This piles on top of previously announced PS4 bundles for games like Far Cry 4, DriveClub, and Destiny, among others.

Ever wonder what it's like to make a video game? Nathan Vella, president of Below developer Capybara Games, talked about what it's been like for him in a new interview with Total Xbox and he didn't mince words. "I think one of the reasons games are successful is because making them is usually equal parts fun and soul-crushing drudgery," he said. "And that mix is kind of what being creative is all about--that's how you make the best music or film, it's where full-on passion meets intense hatred of your own project."

Rock Band creator Harmonix has released the first gameplay footage for the upcoming Amplitude game, which is coming to PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. It looks...Amplitude-y? Don't take our word for it; watch the work-in-progress gameplay video for yourself here.

NBA player Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers offered up one of the funnier quotes you'll read this week about video games. Discussing his workout/health regimen with a local publication, he said he knows he needs to get more sleep but is finding that difficult due to video games. "I know I need to get healthy. I know my diet is going to help me a lot. I need to lose weight, but sleep is always going to be hardest because I play video games all the time."

Like the music in Grand Theft Auto games? You may want to follow Solid Audioworks, a new sound company formed by a pair of veteran Rockstar Games audio designers. The studio plans to do work for games and movies.

A newly discovered "massive" Super Smash Bros. 3DS bug for turns Yoshi into a T-Rex. It's hilarious, and I hope it doesn't get fixed. Watch it here.

Confused by Destiny's story? You're not alone. The funny people at Mega64 took on the topic with a new video released this week and it hits the nail right on the head.

Until next week!

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Date: Saturday, 04 Oct 2014 06:01
Dan and Zorine get hands on with the newest entry in Battlefield: Hardline to let you know what the cops and robbers scenario plays like on the inside.
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Date: Saturday, 04 Oct 2014 03:30

Halo: The Master Chief Collection contains Halo 2: Anniversary, a remastered version of Halo 2. Though developer 343 Industries does not want to alter Halo 2's original storyline with this remastering, it is exploring other methods to tie the game into upcoming entries in the series.

"If you remember the terminals from the first Halo: Anniversary where you could find and unlock motion comic-style pieces that filled in story for what was going to happen in Halo 4, we're doing a lot of the same in Halo 2 that are going to start to hint at some things that are coming down the line in Halo 5," says Dan Ayoub, 343 executive producer, while speaking to GameSpot during EB Expo 2014. "Our terminals in Halo 2: Anniversary are going to focus on The Arbiter. You'll start to get an idea of his history and a little more about him."


Halo 2: Anniversary also features 53 minutes of in-game cinematics that have been redone by special effects company, Blur Studio. Ayoub adds that these aren't the only new cinematics that will feature in the game's campaign.

"We've created bookend cinematics that are going to also start to tie into some of the things that are coming down the line in Halo 5, and characters that are going to be in Halo: Nightfall, the live-action digital series.


"While we're going to stay very true to the main storyline to make sure it stays exactly the same, there are a number of opportunities on the fringe that allow us to start to hint at those larger stories that are coming."

We recently had hands-on time with the multiplayer of Halo 2: Anniversary, which you can check out here. Halo: The Master Chief Collection releases for Xbox One on November 11 in the US, and November 14 in Europe.

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Date: Friday, 03 Oct 2014 23:46

With the release of Super Smash Bros. on 3DS today, Nintendo also revealed a handful of new screens showing off some of the Wii U version's unlockable characters: Wario, Ness, and Falco. You can view a larger version of any of the images by clicking the thumbnails below.




We learned the game's full unlockable roster from the 3DS release of the Japanese version a few weeks ago (hidden behind spoilers tags, just in case you want to keep it secret).

  • Lucina
  • Dark Pit
  • Dr. Mario
  • R.O.B.
  • Ganondorf
  • Mr. Game & Watch
  • Bowser Jr.
  • Duck Hunt
  • Jigglypuff

To see more images of the game or check out the 3DS version, check out our full screenshot gallery here. The 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. is available now, and the Wii U version is due out sometime this holiday (though rumors have pointed to a November release date).

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Date: Friday, 03 Oct 2014 23:24

The story happens every few years. A parent attempts to sue some family establishment (like a theme park or a restaurant) because a child was traumatized when he saw a wandering mascot not wearing its massive cartoon head. Those kids are lucky. At least there's an actual, live, profusely sweaty human under Mickey's cool exterior. But imagine if there weren't. Imagine that underneath Mickey Mouse's exterior was nothing but a soulless, poorly programmed automaton, and that it might toss the first person it sees into an empty cartoon suit full of grinding metal and gears.

Now imagine your job is to watch over those creepy mascots at night. Five nights, in fact. And instead of having all of Disney's power and money to shut down any attempted Electric Parade uprisings posthaste, you're working at a second-rate Chuck E. Cheese called Freddy Fazbear's that has just enough electrical power to keep the desklight and the security cameras running between the hours of 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. (And that's if you decide you're safe enough to keep open the metal doors that you can lock down if you detect any threats.) This is Five Nights At Freddy's in a nutshell, but even that explanation doesn't begin to express just how nerve-wracking an experience it is.

It's nerve-wracking even before the real terror starts. The game is well aware of just how unsettling the bright multicolored fantasy objects we hoist onto children on a regular basis are in the right light, and your first look around at Freddy Fazbear's Funtime Palace--empty, dimly lit, and derelict--is a little chilling. Before anything out of the ordinary even happens, every synapse in your brain is sending the message that you do not want to be here. But for a few minutes, all is well, thanks to a recorded message left for you each night by your predecessor, a guy with a business-casual midwestern lilt who gives you a basic rundown on your duties and the morbid history of the place. And even then, this man's reasonable tone when talking about people being stuffed into the metal suits, or when describing a disturbing incident called "The Bite of '87," puts you on edge.

But then his message is over, and the real game begins. Your job is to flit back and forth between the security cameras, ensuring all the wacky animatronic characters are where they're supposed to be, which is in the back room. When they're not--and the fear instinct that comes with realizing that will serve you well here--your job is simply self-preservation. Close the doors, turn on the lights outside your office, and wait for Freddy or one of the others to wander away. The trick of it all is the battery bar at the bottom of the screen. Every action you take drains it, and drains it quickly, so keeping the lights on or the doors closed for half of your shift means the power to the whole place gets killed about 20 seconds before you do, in one of the most sudden and terrifying jump scares ever executed in any medium. Survival is a matter of conservation, observation, and timing.

This is fine. Everything is perfectly fine. Nothing to worry about here.

Five Nights at Freddy's may not seem like much of a game, and indeed, aside from the appearance of Foxy, the animatronic beast that awakens on night three, there are no real surprises once you've mastered the particulars and have died frequently enough. Only one of the animatronics actually moves while you are directly watching it, telling when you need to be on the ball, and hitting the lights or doors is easy until the later chapters. But the devil is in the details. Five Nights At Freddy's works its terrible magic because of contrasts. The part pizzeria's daytime atmosphere is replaced with desolate, looming shadows at night, rending the happiness with an ominous pallor. There's no music outside of the main menu, so anytime the oppressive silence is broken by footsteps, or random humming, or a sudden sting when one of the animatronics is right outside your door, is cause for sheer panic. In addition, while most of the story is imparted by the nightly phone call, if you're observant, you might notice how a particular sign you see changes its message from time to time. It starts with a warning against running or pooping in the pizzeria, but later morphs into a newspaper clip reporting on dead children. The print is so small that you have to squint to see it, which means ignoring your actual duties. And hello, you're dead. Being observant might save your life in Five Nights at Freddy's, but being too observant will get you killed.

The real miracle here is that the game communicates its gut-wrenching horror without a single drop of blood, yet still belongs in the upper echelon of horror games. You could describe Five Nights at Freddy's as consisting of mostly still pictures, but it's that stillness that causes you to sit there, hands shaking, with less than five-percent power left, praying the clock ticks over to 6 a.m.

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Date: Friday, 03 Oct 2014 22:16

Some guy is standing next to my Lexus LFA at the end of my racing triumph. He doesn't seem to be as excited as I am, even though he apparently represents me. He's the generic guy behind the wheel, the catatonic crash-test dummy whose presence at the end of every championship win mystifies me. I call him Gary.

Fortunately, Forza Horizon 2 isn't about Gary. For that matter, it isn't about me, either, but instead about the cars, those marvels of engineering, those occasional works of art. I approach the rarest vehicles in Horizon 2 as I might in real life: with careful reverence, taking caution not to blemish its high-shine finish. It seems a natural reaction to me. I just spent over a million dollars on this Bugatti Veyron Super Sport; a single fingerprint would be a real shame.

Of course, cars like this aren't meant to just be ogled: as beautiful as they might be, both in real life and in the remarkably attractive Forza Horizon 2, they are wild metal beasts, and you are their tamer. Like any game with the Forza name, this one understands that to appreciate the joy of racing, you have to first know the animal, hear it purr, and know what draws its ire. You aren't going to be hugging curves in that Camaro, but you can drift sweetly into them, after all. And once you wrestle this hulking creature of steel and fiberglass into submission, it is yours to command. Victory in Horizon 2 is sweet not because you beat the other racers, but because you and the vehicle overcame your differences.

As in its predecessor, the game's tracks are carved out of an attractive open-world, this one based in the French and Italian countrysides. You're here to participate in the Horizon Festival, a typical driving-game framing device that leads you from one race to the next, and puts you in control of one car class after another. The chatty narrators grow tiresome in their attempts to hype you up, especially considering there's no real reason to do so: Horizon 2's atmosphere bursts with adrenaline and enthusiasm. At festival hubs, laser lights flash across the sky, ferris wheels brighten the horizon, and throngs of celebratory crowds cheer your arrival loudly enough to provide lift to the helium balloons hovering above. "Cars are awesome and you're awesome!" proclaims Forza Horizon 2, with so much earnestness that you can't not believe in its confidence.

Planes (not pictured), trains, and automobiles.

The festival's showcase races are even more exultant. You're speeding alongside a hypertrain, or accompanied by roaring fighter jets. You pass one hot air balloon after another while an operatic aria warbles from the soundtrack. This is the life! And what a life it is, to give you access to so many wonderful vehicles. The credits you earn as you race and explore the overworld come in quickly enough to ensure you can usually afford the vehicle you require to compete, and many activities, such as the bucket-list challenges that have you catching air for points or drifting with abandon, temporarily provide you with the car you need, free of charge. Each vehicle feels and looks so right. Even a seemingly unimpressive vehicle like the Subaru WRX STI has its delights; I'm in love with the common but irresistible pops from its exhaust. It's not a difficult vehicle to come to grips with, however--not like the Ariel Atom 500, an extreme track toy whose lightweight slipperiness demands the utmost patience and finesse.

And thus we return to the taming of the beasts. The curvy, multi-terrain tracks require a subtle touch and forward thinking. The easy-ish AI doesn't put much pressure on; no, it's the car/track system that you overcome, not the computer drivers. Horizon 2's liberal rewind system allows you to erase silly mistakes during this process. There are places to enjoy the open road, but in festival races, the fun comes not from the breeze rushing through your hair, but from the tension of a demanding course, and the resulting relief of having effectively manipulated a two-ton machine into winning position.

This is Ben. He's like Gary, but a snazzier dresser.

Races take you off the pavement and into the fields and dirt, where you must learn new ways to control your mount. It's here that Forza Horizon 2 gets in its own way, encouraging you to rush over hills and through meadows towards your destination, only to throw that all-too-common knee-high stone fence in front of you. It happens as you crisscross the open worlds as well; that sudden roadblock can put a real damper on the fun, given how little warning there often is. Luckily, a good road trip can put you back in the right mood. As you rush from one destination to the next, you're accompanied by AI representations of your friends called Drivatars. It's difficult to tell just how well Drivatars mimic the behavior of their real-time counterparts, but given the aggressive approach of a friend's Drivatar--a friend that drives in a similar way in direct races--I'd say that's a good sign.

You may also conduct road trips with friends or strangers. Doing so requires you to endure some loading screens; given the inroads made by games like Need for Speed: Rivals, it's disappointing that the single-player progression and online racing aren't better integrated. But the playful banter of friends, and even the silly behavior of strangers, makes a road trip a gleefully good use of the open world. Heading to your goal, like all of Horizon 2's travel, means watching a continued smattering of rewards appear at the top of the screen. Near misses, trading paint, a little bit of air: the game thinks these mundane events are so cool you deserve a reward! Hurray… you bounced a few times in a row, you crazy kangaroo! But how can I be mad at Horizon 2 for celebrating the tiniest of victories? Mechanically, your reward takes on the form of experience points, but the perks you earn are marginally useful; how much victory can you feel knowing your vote for the next destination location counts you twice rather than once? No, the fun here is in the congratulation itself, not in the reward. "Cars are awesome and you're awesome!"

I wear my sunglasses at night. In my purple car. Don't judge.

Online events involve racing with an occasional dash of king of the hill, where drivers earn a royal title by crashing into the current kings, and then try to retain it as long as possible. This is all in the name of chaotic fun, and it's fortunate that Horizon 2's online launch troubles, which made connecting to others and creating clubs of like-minded drivers a crapshoot. As of this writing, however, online races are running smoothly; downloading cosmetic designs created by other players, however, does not always go according to plan. Luckily, I have still downloaded a number of wonderful paint jobs that show off talents that far exceed my own.

Forza Horizon 2 is hardly lacking in stuff to do, though the best events extol the driver/car relationship, either by demanding precise control, or by reminding you, once again, of its virtual mantra: "Cars are awesome and you're awesome!" Forget the forgettable jams emanating from the various rock and electronica radio stations you can tune to; that’s music for Gary, but not for me. No, Horizon 2 is about careening into the sunset while Beethoven symphonies blast from your speakers, as if you might leap off the edge of the Earth and straight into the arms of God.

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Date: Friday, 03 Oct 2014 21:49

A pair of Star Wars mobile games are no longer available for download, and neither players nor the developer of at least one of the games were told in advance.

Both Tiny Death Star and Star Wars: Assault Team have been pulled from the iOS and Android app stores by Disney. The two games are less than a year old; Tiny Death Star launched last November, while Assault Team landed this past March.

Assault Team was developed by an internal Disney Mobile studio. Tiny Death Star, on the other hand, was created by independent developer NimbleBit, best known for Tiny Tower. GameSpot spoke with NimbleBit co-founder Ian Marsh by email about the sudden removal.

"The first clue we received was a tweet directed at us yesterday from a player asking why the game wasn't available on the App Store," Marsh said.

As for whether it had gotten any indication that such a move could be coming, he said, "We never received any timeline but the layoffs which affected the Tiny Death Star development team along with the rest of Disney Interactive did make us unsure about the game's future."

According to Marsh, the game "seems to still be playable for now, but we have no idea how long that will remain the case."

NimbleBit--a four-person studio--was still making money from the game, and Marsh said the game's removal "will certainly be a hit to our business." But there's more on the company's mind than just the loss of money from the game: "[M]ore importantly [this] will likely tarnish the reputation we've built as a developer who values their players over revenue."

As for whether this would impact the company's likelihood to work with a company in a similar fashion in the future, Marsh said, "We're always open to ideas but historically things have worked out best just working on our own."

Disney declined to comment on the decision to remove the two games. It also wouldn't address how long they may remain fully playable (with in-app purchases enabled) for or if anything will be done for players who have spent money on these games.

We have, however, learned the purpose of the removals is to focus on newer mobile Star Wars games, including the Clash of Clans-esque Star Wars: Commander and presumably the upcoming Star Wars: Galactic Defense.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Date: Friday, 03 Oct 2014 21:05

Games based on the Alien franchise don't have the greatest track record for turning out well, with Colonial Marines leaving an especially sour taste in the mouths of many. Alien: Isolation has looked promising in the lead up to its release, and earlier today, its first reviews hit the web.

Isolation is developed by The Creative Assembly, the UK-based developer best known for the Total War strategy series. That puts Isolation, as a survival horror game, somewhat outside of its usual wheelhouse.

In recent months, we've learned about how a playthrough of the game will clock in at around 15 hours (which may not be for the best, if some reviews are any indication), and that it will even be possible to complete the game without killing anyone.

Below, you'll find a sampling of the first reviews of Isolation. For more, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

GameSpot -- 6/10

"...it's the endless meandering in between that proves troublesome, much of it intended to build tension, but most of it falling victim to a neverending sameness. I say neverending, but in reality, Alien: Isolation limps to its frustrating ending after many hours more than it can support. This is four hours' worth of a great idea stretched into 14-plus hours of messy stealth gameplay, creaky video game cliches, and limp exploration." - Kevin VanOrd [Full review]

PC Gamer -- 93/100

"It's ridiculous that it took the developers of a historical RTS to finally create an authentic Alien game, but The Creative Assembly have managed it. They've succeeded where countless others have failed by treating Giger's monster with the reverence it deserves: as something to be feared and respected, not faced head-on with a pulse rifle. Isolation is a taut, confident, and electrifying horror game that perfectly captures the essence of Ridley Scott's legendary film. I just wish they'd been braver with the story." - Andy Kelly [Full review]

Polygon -- 6.5/10

"In the process of contriving story twists and turns to support this spectacle, Alien: Isolation ruins the unique focus of its premise and moves away from the inspiration of the first film. It becomes something depressingly predictable for fans of the property who have been hurt again and again by underwhelming video game representations. Alien: Isolation isn't the worst Alien game, but thanks to its unrealized potential, it just might be the most disappointing." - Arthur Gies [Full review]

IGN -- 5.9/10

"It may seem strange to complain that a game's too long, but when the genuine scares of being hunted by an unstoppable predator are so diluted by repetition and padding, Isolation's epic length really does work against it. Someday, someone is going to make an incredible Alien video game that checks every box. But, sadly, Isolation is not it." - Ryan McCaffrey [Full review]

The Escapist -- 4.5/5

"Alien: Isolation can be frustrating, but it's mostly terrifying in a near-perfect way. The Alien is scarier than it's been since Ridley Scott first showed it to the world, and the atmosphere is thick enough to cut." - Jim Sterling [Full review]

Eurogamer -- 8/10

"Unlike the creature it so lavishly recreates, Alien: Isolation isn't quite a perfect specimen--but the things it does get right, it gets so brilliantly right that it will give you some of your best gaming memories of the year. There are a few too many repetitive lows in between those dizzying highs, and some teeth-grinding moments of unfair instant death, but as maddening as they are in the moment, those will be forgotten in time." - Dan Whitehead [Full review]

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Date: Friday, 03 Oct 2014 19:00

Gamers with extremely high-end computers can download a special HD content pack for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor that enables the game's Ultra-level textures. But do they actually make a difference?

In the very likely case that you're unable to take advantage of these yourself, Digital Foundry has provided some impressions of what they're like. You can also check out the video below for a comparison of the PS4 and PC (with Ultra textures) versions.

Expectedly, it's very pretty when running the game at Ultra. However, it's not the kind of leap over High that you might be hoping for, particularly because the most-improved areas are hard to notice while playing the game in a normal manner. "For the most part, we found that the high setting--in itself placing a significant video RAM requirement on the user--offers the bulk of the ultra experience," writes Digital Foundry.

The option for these Ultra textures are built into the game, but in order to actually activate them, you need to download a free DLC pack from Steam. Earlier this week, the pack was only obtainable through an unintuitive process.

Installing the HD content is now easy enough, but you'll need a fairly ridiculous rig in order to take advantage of this if you follow the recommended requirements. In addition to a 64-bit processor, you'll need at least 8 GB of RAM and a DirectX 11-compatible video card with at least 6 GB of memory. That is not a misprint. It is, however, what's making me so sad about having spent a ton of money on a 3 GB video card not so long ago.

Digital Foundry spoke with lead designer Bob Roberts about why this option is even being offered, given how few people have the necessary hardware. Roberts said the game's artists built the game's assets at "an outrageously high fidelity" before then optimizing them "to fit onto [PS4/Xbox One], to fit onto PCs at high-end specs."

"Then obviously there's going to be that boundary where our monster development PCs are running it OK--but why not give people the option to crank it up?" Roberts continued. "It makes sense to get it out into the world there--we have it, we built it that way to look as good as possible. You might as well, right?"

According to Digital Foundry, high-end artwork can actually be run on GPUs with less memory, but you'll run into issues without capping the framerate. Fortunately, the game offers a 30fps cap option if running the game at the highest quality possible is your goal, though you'll still want as much GPU memory as possible for a good experience.

For a comparison of the Xbox One, PS4, and PC (running without the Ultra textures) versions, check out our video below.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Date: Friday, 03 Oct 2014 18:45

EA Sports has released the third free content update for June's Xbox One and PlayStation 4 MMA game, EA Sports UFC. The update adds two new fighters (Gunnar Nelson and Tim Kennedy), as well as new gameplay updates and more in-game animations.

The full list of changes, courtesy of EA, is below.

  • Finish the Fight 2.0 --Finish off a rocked opponent, running them down across the Octagon with a flurry of punches once they've been wobbled.
  • Guillotine Takedown Reversals -- Users can now attempt a Guillotine submission while being taken down. This move is only available to fighters who can perform a Guillotine choke from Full Guard. To initiate the submission, deny the takedown by pressing R1/RB and down on the Right Stick.
  • Takedown Variety -- More variety added to takedowns based on denial and input times. Perfect takedowns will now end in Half Guard, while late denials or inputs will end in Full Guard.
  • Slips -- Back slips will now hold longer to avoid strikes and side slips now have improved evasive properties.
  • Fatigued Kicks -- New animations now added for fatigued kicks during health events or low stamina.
  • Nick Diaz in Middleweight Division --Silva vs. Diaz might still be four months off, but with Nick now available for play in the Middleweight division, you can start matching them up immediately. Manual Taunts have never been so useful.

The first free content update for EA Sports UFC was released at the end of July, introducing three new fighters (Tyron Woodley, Takeya Mizugaki, and TJ Dillashaw) and various gameplay mechanics, including power takedowns and sweep defense. The second free update came in August, and added three more fighters (Matt Brown, Mike Pyle, and Stipe Miocic), as well as new features like kick-catching and manual taunts.

For more on EA Sports UFC, check out GameSpot's review and what other critics are saying.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 11:54

Project Cars developer Slightly Mad Studios is aiming for the ambitious racing game to run at 1080p/60fps across both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the title. Creative director Andy Tudor revealed the target resolution and frame rate, explaining in a new interview, however, that the developer is having a tougher time getting to Xbox One version up to 1080p right now.

"On Xbox One it's not quite 1080p at the moment," Tudor told Eurogamer. "But it's not representative of the final quality. We're still aiming to get there. Towards the end of the game you're always optimizing, and during development it's a roller coaster. Sometimes you look at the game and think oh god, that's not working, that's not working. But other days you hit 60fps, and it's awesome."

Tudor went on to say that for racing games, hitting 60fps is "hugely important."

"What people don't know is that the physics underneath runs at 600 times a second," he added. "We measure the input you're doing on the controller 250 times per second. Project Cars does that way more than any other game--they're all doing that significantly lower. The screen refreshes 60 times per second--we're measuring the tires, the physics, the suspension, all that stuff, 600 times."

Project Cars races to market alongside competitors like Microsoft's Forza Horizon 2 and Sony's Driveclub. Both games run at 1080p/30fps, and the developers behind each title have explained why they think that was the right call. You can read Microsoft's thoughts here and Sony's here.

Project Cars launches November 18 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. A Wii U version is also in the works, and is scheduled to launch in 2015. This version is not likely to run at 1080p/60fps, but Tudor said Slightly Mad is happy with the progress it's making on the Nintendo version of the game.

"There are significant hurdles that we've had to get over, and that's kind of expected," he said. "But the fact we can have weather, time of day, a significant number of cars on screen, it's actually really promising."

Publisher Namco Bandai describes Project Cars as "the most authentic, beautiful, intense, and technically advanced racing game on the planet." For more on Project Cars, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch

For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 11:35

Uncharted 4: A Thief's End lead game designer Kurt Margenau has shared a new image of what Uncharted hero Nathan Drake will look like in the upcoming game, due out in 2015 for PlayStation 4.

Margenau released the image on Twitter, with the caption: "Drake looking next-gen as f*ck…"

He snapped the shot at the Naughty Dog 30th anniversary art exhibit, which is currently on display at a the Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra, California. The exhibit premiered on September 27 and runs through October 12. You can read more about it in this post.

It is unclear if the image of Drake you see above represents what he will look like in-game or only through cinematics.

A teaser trailer for the game released in June 2014 gave us a first look at how Naughty Dog had re-designed Drake for the new game. This image matches up with what we saw before, in that Drake's hair is now graying, he appears somewhat thinner, and his face is scruffy and slightly bruised.

Naughty Dog said previously that A Thief's End will tell a "more personal" story that delves into who Drake is a person. "It's his greatest adventure yet and will test his physical limits, his resolve, and ultimately what he's willing to sacrifice to save the ones he loves," Naughty Dog said in June about the game. The game also promises to be an "edge-of-your-seat" roller coaster ride.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch

For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 11:20

Barcelona forward Luis Suarez will not be playable in FIFA 15's career mode until October 26--a virtual suspension mirroring his real-world ban.

On June 26, Suarez was banned from "football activity" for four months after playing for Uruguay in the World Cup, where he was caught biting the Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder.

This marked the third time Suarez had bitten another person during a football match, and resulted in FIFA implementing one of the most severe bans in the organization's history (he is also suspended from nine international matches, which makes it highly unlikely that he will play a part in 2015 Copa America tournament).

Electronic Arts has elected to imitate this suspension in FIFA 15, by informing players who choose Barcelona in career mode that they cannot play Suarez straight away.

Those who select Barcelona in career mode are informed via a notice from the club's chief executive, which reads:

"Please be aware that Luis Suarez is serving a suspension and will not be available for selection until 26 October 2014."

Suarez, who in May won the Barclay's Premier League Player of the Season award, signed for Barcelona weeks after his ban, in a deal believed to be worth in the region of £75 million.

FIFA 15 shipped across North America and Europe last week, and accounted for 80 percent of all physical game sales in the UK for that week.

Rob Crossley is GameSpot's UK News Editor - you can follow him on Twitter here
For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 10:12

Publisher Konami has revealed that the PlayStation 4 version of Pro Evo 2015 renders at 1080p, as opposed to the Xbox One edition that displays at 720p.

The performance difference was disclosed on Konami's official webpage for the upcoming soccer title, which also showed that both next-gen editions run at sixty frames per second.

PES 2015, which ships on November 11 in the US and November 13 across Europe, was built with Konami's Fox Engine--the same technology behind Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.

Konami's soccer sim is the latest game to render at a superior resolution on PS4, following similar disparities in Battlefield 4, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, Call of Duty: Ghosts, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and Metro Redux.

In June, Microsoft announced it had made amendments to the Xbox One's hardware that allows developers to shift resources from Kinect to other elements such as game rendering, potentially allowing better parity in future game releases.

This came several months after Hideo Kojima remarked that the PS4 was notably better hardware for developers than Xbox One.

"I think, between the home consoles available in the domestic market, the PS4 is the best," he said. "It's also excellent for graphics, being able to render 1080p at 60fps with room to spare."

"Since it does it a little better than other hardware, the image quality of the PS4 is the most beautiful. It's the closest to the photorealistic quality we are aiming at."

Click on thumbnails below to view in full screen
Rob Crossley is GameSpot's UK News Editor - you can follow him on Twitter here
For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 09:22

Electronic Arts' FIFA 15 has shot to the top of the UK game charts after singlehandedly accounting for an extraordinary 80 percent of all game sales last week.

The seemingly unstoppable sports franchise, now in its 21st year, also managed to take 87 percent of all game software revenue at retail. Next-gen systems accounted for 54 percent of those sales, while Xbox 360 and PS3 took a combined 45 percent.

FIFA 15's dominance means Destiny falls to second place, shuffling Disney Infinity to third.

Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition, meanwhile, continues to demonstrate its staying power by climbing to forth. The other new entry in the top ten chart, the 3DS RPG Fantasy Life, which entered at eighth.

The full top ten all formats chart, compiled by GFK Chart-Track, follows:

  1. FIFA 15
  2. Destiny
  3. Disney Infinity 2.0
  4. Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition
  5. Call of Duty: Ghosts
  6. Watch Dogs
  7. The Sims 4
  8. Fantasy Life
  9. Minecraft: PS3 Edition
  10. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare
Rob Crossley is GameSpot's UK News Editor - you can follow him on Twitter here
For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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