Something shuffles in your peripheral vision, your crosshair twitches, and a short burst of gunfire is followed by the gentle thud of a lifeless body collapsing to the carpet.
Back in January, Kotaku UK published a huge list of British developed games which were due to release in 2018 that we thought were worth keeping an eye on. While Supermarket Shriek (geddit?) got pushed out of its 2018 release window to Q1 2019, it's still one of the games that we were most excited to check out when the year began.
I'm on the show floor at Gamescom this week, and one of the first things we rushed over to check out when we got in was the demo for Devil May Cry V. We've seen CGI trailers at E3, and a little bit of hands-off gameplay footage, but this was our first chance to see how Capcom plans to revitalise the series and feel the controller in our hands — which is rather important for a series where smashing enemies in stylish ways is the whole appeal.
Vampyr is a moody RPG with a combat-to-conversation ratio that heavily favours the latter. You play as a conspicuously well-groomed Tory in a dying 1918’s London, named Jonathan Reid. After opening with Reid’s vampiric rebirth and “accidental” murder of his sister, Dontnod explore Reid's character through a mix of simple but not-to-be-underestimated cinematography that parallels his experience, expectations and position.
One reason we may play Games is simply to switch off from the world. More so than when reading a book or watching TV, the concentration required for playing games makes them ideal for shutting out unwanted distractions. Plus there’s the reassuring comfort of being in a world with clearly defined goals and rules, where our decisions feel transparent and consequential.
Condemned may start out like an adaptation of David Fincher's Se7en, but soon enough it gets much more wild and throws some paranormal elements in the mix. It's an atmospheric game with great detective gameplay, inventive fighting mechanics and enemy AI made of nightmares. It’s an unjustly overlooked gem that not only preceded the later FPS horror craze but also outscared most of them.
Around E3 time, in this job, your head gets a bit frazzled. Announcement here, trailer there, he's said this and she thinks that, here's our hands-on thoughts... it's an overload of gaming. The following days are usually a bit of a comedown, and you look for something a little more calm to suit the mood.
It was then I happened to see a photograph from Simon McCheung that had a weird combination of purity and warmth. There was something strikingly familiar there, but I couldn't quite put my finger upon what it was. Then, you catch it.
If you’re one of the many millions who regularly peruse what the Switch eShop or Steam store shelves have to offer, chances are that at some point you’ve thought “Phwoar, that indie game looks incredible!” The huge range of smaller titles being released every week include plenty that showcase a team or individual’s pure artistic vision – free of the compromise and blandness that can render triple-A art styles so utterly boring. A subset even choose to tantalise our nostalgia buds not by updating games we’ve already played – that’s for the big boys to handle – but by harnessing the power of the pixel.
In fiction as in life, dreams are powerful. For millennia authors have called upon them to bemuse, cajole, inspire and terrify their characters, as well as their audience. Dream sequences have been spicing up the stage since ancient Greece and have appeared in film since the early 1900s. It was only a matter of time before video games got into bed with them.
On Christmas, like many people all around the world, I spent some quality time with my siblings hunched around a video game. During a standard run through one of Super Mario 3D World’s many colourful levels, my sister asked if it was weird for Mario to be running around and attacking a bunch of cute creatures minding their own business.
Once a work enters the public domain, it is no longer subject to copyright laws. A publisher can print their own edition of the Beatrix Potter books, a filmmaker can make a film of any of Shakespeare's plays, and a game developer can adapt any of the characters, scenes or even whole stories from public domain works.
In the five years since we last saw a mainline Soulcalibur title released, no competitor has really stepped up to fill the game's specific niche. Focused on armour and weapons, the Soulcalibur games have always had a unique combat range, pacing, and impact speed built around various weapon styles.
I played Soulcalibur VI for around an hour at a press event last week and, while the demo was very limited, there was enough to show that the fundamentals of the series are not being radically changed. This is Soulcalibur as you know it, with some of its systems simplified, and a couple of new features to help turn the tide in a particularly one-sided match.