Crysis Articles RSS Feed | Crysis RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Crysis Remastered Next-Gen Update Adds New Graphics Modes Wed, 07 Apr 2021 15:19:21 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Crytek just made Crysis Remastered on consoles a little more Crisis-y with the release of a new update that includes a number of bug fixes, as well as next-gen upgrades for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. Those enhancements for the PS5 and Xbox platforms include new graphics modes and 60fps benchmarks.

The development team shared the news in two separate Reddit posts, each outlining what fans of the venerable first-person shooter can expect when they boot up the game. The bug fixes also apply to last-gen platforms: the PS4 and Xbox One. 

Here are the modes and standards for each platform per Crytek. 

Xbox Series X

  • Performance mode: 1080p at 60fps
  • Quality mode: 2160p at 60fps
  • Raytracing mode: 1440p at 60fps

Xbox Series S

  • Performance mode: 1080p at 60fps
  • Quality mode: 2160p at 30fps
  • Raytracing mode: 1080p at 30fps

PlayStation 5

  • Performance mode: 1080p at 60fps
  • Quality mode: 1800p at 60fps
  • Raytracing mode: 1440p at 60fps

The update also includes a new level, Ascension, which was previously a PC-exclusive area. The notes also mention the addition of "the Classic Nanosuit menu" and outline 114 fixes ranging from lighting refinements to stability improvements. 

The full patch rundown for each platform can be found in these posts for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S

Crysis Remastered released back in 2020 for the PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It received mixed critical reviews, with our own impressions leaving us wanting much more.

Reviewing it on Switch, we came away disappointed because of the game's "semi-frequent crashes, blurry, unappealing visuals, outdated gameplay mechanics, stuttering and sluggishness, long load times, and frustrating AI."

Still, Crytek has been diligently working on the game, releasing a DLSS patch for PC in March, as well as a resolution and improvement patch for Switch in December. 

Crysis Remastered Coming to the Nintendo Switch This Month Mon, 13 Jul 2020 12:15:28 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Although Crysis Remastered has been delayed on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch version of the game is still on track for deployment. According to Crytek, the Switch version of Crysis Remastered will launch on July 23. 

The update was shared on July 10, nine days after Crytek said the remaster would not hit its target launch. When news of the game's postponement initially broke, specific platform delays were not mentioned, so it wasn't clear if all platforms were affected or not.

At the time, preorders for the Switch remained open while preorders for other platforms were closed. Now we know why. 

Currently, there is still no news regarding the release date for Crysis Remastered on PC, PS4, or Xbox One. Following several leaks, including one in early April and another in late June, the game was delayed "several weeks" for polish on those platforms.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Crysis Remastered as we learn it. 

Crysis Remastered Delayed From Its July 23 Launch Date Wed, 01 Jul 2020 14:58:18 -0400 Jonathan Moore

It looks like the release of Crysis Remastered has been delayed. Crytek, the game's developer, released a statement on Twitter early Wednesday, confirming the delay on all platforms. A new definitive launch date was not provided.

Instead, Crytek said that it would be "a few weeks" before the first-person shooter would become available to everyone. Currently, Switch pre-orders are still open, though those on PC, PS4, and Xbox One will remain closed for now. 

As with some other recent game delays, Crysis Remastered is shifting its launch date to provide further polish to the final product. However, the developer did say that most of the game's features are already set in stone, asking the community to "stay with us while we take the time to make a few more improvements."  

Crysis Remastered was unveiled back in April. More recently, an alleged release date of July 23, alongside a trailer for the game, was leaked on the Microsoft Store. Both the MS Store page and its trailer have since been removed, though YouTuber EvilBoris has saved the trailer for posterity

Crytek did not specifically mention what their planned improvements would be outside of continued work on a "storefront." Though, some believe the tweaks will revolve around the game's graphics, which have been a polarizing subject on Reddit, ResetEra, and YouTube in the last 24 hours. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Crysis Remastered in the coming weeks. Hopefully, we'll know more sooner rather than later. 

Dust Off Your Nanosuit: Crysis Remastered is Heading to Modern Platforms Thu, 16 Apr 2020 15:49:22 -0400 Josh Broadwell

The gold-standard classic shooter Crysis is getting a hefty remaster sometime soon. It will be called (surprise) Crysis Remastered and feature a substantial graphics overhaul. It will release on all modern platforms.

The news originally came from a leak Gematsu picked up and was expanded on with an official press release from Crytek a short while later. This comes after the official Crysis Twitter account came to life just a few days ago. 

Crysis Remastered brings back the sandbox gameplay of the original and also focuses on the game's single-player campaign. Aliens have invaded a chain of North Korean islands, and it's up to you to wipe them out. How you do this is up to you, whether you choose your Nanosuit's stealth for surprise attacks or go full power and devastate your enemies.

Whatever you do, you'll do it with all the flash modern graphics can provide. Crytek says the remaster will have high-quality HD textures, temporal anti-aliasing, depth fields, new light settings, and a whole range of other improvements. It's quite the undertaking, and Saber Interactive — of Switcher 3 fame — is helping in the development process.

Crytek's CEO, Avni Yerli, said:

It’s an exciting opportunity to be able to bring Crysis back to PCs and current consoles — even Nintendo Switch! — so that a whole new generation of players can experience the thrill of a battle in the Nanosuit.

Crysis Remastered is set to release in Summer 2020. The events of the game begin on August 7, 2020, which has led some to believe the game will drop on or around that date, though it has not been confirmed. 

You can check out the full release over on Gematsu. Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Crysis Remastered news as it appears.

Something's Going on With the Crysis Twitter Account, Data Inbound Mon, 13 Apr 2020 15:34:04 -0400 GS_Staff

Update: 4/16/20: Crytek has officially unveiled Crysis Remastered. You can read the full story here

Original Story:

Pulling a Cyberpunk 2077, the official Crysis Twitter account came to life earlier today after nearly three and a half years of total silence. The tweet simply says, "Receiving Data," teeing up what might be an impending bit of news surrounding the highly-popular FPS franchise. 

As of this writing, there's no word on what that news might be, either from Crytek or Electronic Arts. Aside from a decade-in-review video shared on March 24 by Cryengine and retweeted by Crytek, there are currently no recent direct mentions of anything Crysis related on the Crytek, EA, or Cryengine Twitter accounts. 

Is the impending data drop news of a brand-new entry in the franchise for the PS5 and Xbox Series X? Will it be a reboot or a remaster of CrysisCrysis 2, or even Crysis 3 for current-gen and/or next-gen systems? As of now, no one knows for sure, but that hasn't kept the Twitterverse from speculating. As Pixelbuster points out, Crysis takes place in 2020 — August 7, to be exact. 

Now would be the perfect time to get fans — and the media — hyped for an impending release. 

Also, as pointed out by PC Gamer, the aforementioned Crytek decade-in-review video also contained "a brief clip of what appears to be remastered Crysis gameplay," and that the website was updated earlier this month with a pic of Nomad, though code contained "April Fool."

Crysis 3 was the last game in the Crysis franchise, and it released way back in 2013 on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox One. From the outset, the Crysis franchise has been one of the primary — if not the primary — benchmarks for PC power, spawning the eponymous phrase, "But Can It Run Crysis?".

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on the Crysis franchise as we learn more. 

The 10 Horror Mods That Will Have You Screaming Through Halloween Sun, 01 Oct 2017 09:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur


Hopefully, you've got enough mods on hand now to transform any game in your Steam library into its scariest version!


Of course, there's a whole lot more available out there than just the 10 listed here, with plenty more creepy add-ons for all your favorite games available through services like Nexus Mods or the Steam Workshop. If you can't get enough mods to try out this autumn season, check out last year's roundup of horror mods here!


Minecraft: P.T. Silent Hills Map


Download the P.T. Silent Hills Map Mod Here


Five months of painstaking work went into creating this map, and man does it ever show! Some insane Minecraft fanatic recreated the legendary Silent Hills P.T. playable demo to inject some serious horror into the block building, open world phenomena.


The pounding on the doors. The radio text. Absolutely everything from the (sadly) canceled Silent Hills demo has been lovingly recreated in pixelated form here. We might not ever get the full game, but this mashup experience is a nice consolation prize.


If you're looking for other scary Minecraft experiences or just want to spice up your gameplay, make sure to head over to our Minecraft mods page


Goat Simulator: Slender Survival


Download the Slender Survival Mod Here


Somehow, Slenderman has even managed to sink his fingers into the already-insane world of Goat Simulator, everybody's favorite dumb, time waster of a buggy tech demo.


This mod puts you in a dark survival mode, with a Slendergoat chasing close behind. Couple it with the Goat Simulator first-person mod and you're basically playing Slender: The Arrival, just with a moronic goat who has no bones and can fly.


Garry's Mod: FNAF And Beyond!


Considering the whole point of Garry's Mod is to change and add in new things, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that there is a horde of horror-themed Steam Workshop add-ons for the game.


Seriously, just hit the Workshop and randomly search for the name of any horror movie or game you can think of and something is almost certain to pop up.


Some of the best mods available include Five Nights At Freddy's, SOMA, Amnesia, and even Alien: Isolation, where modders have worked hard to make the models behave much like they do in their original games. Get ready to be terrified of a fast running Foxy all over again!


Arma III: Baphomet


Download the Baphomet Mod Here


We recently took a look at the best all-time mods for the hyper-difficult military shooter Arma III, and Baphomet proudly stands among them -- whether it's Halloween or any other time of year.


Melding together the tactical shooter genre with a storyline akin to Hellgate: London, Baphomet has your squad battling demons and zombies in a fiery hellscape as the denizens of the pit have spilled onto Earth. It's legitimately creepy and a whole new way to experience the Arma franchise.


Want to see what else is up in Arma III modding? Check out the full list of Arma III mods over here.


Crysis: The Worry Of Newport


Download The Worry of Newport Mod Here


This one deserves major kudos for drastically changing the Crysis base game, shifting it from a sci-fi action shooter to an atmospheric Lovecraftian horror game that's slow moving and all about investigation rather than running and gunning.


The Worry Of Newport mod is much more focused on narrative and horror overtones than fast-paced gameplay, so if you dig the idea of playing through a book (or enjoy games like Myst and the 7th Guest, just scarier), this is definitely one to try out.


Skyrim: Freddy Krueger


Download the Freddy Krueger Mod Here


The illustrious Skyrim modding community has added in characters from so many other franchises that I doubt I could even find them all in a full day of searching -- let alone download and install even a fraction of them.


But that means that horror- and Halloween-themed characters most definitely have not been left out, with the Headless Horseman and many other figures from myth and legend added to this open world fantasy game.


However, one of the most bizarre (and kind of amazing) has got to be Freddy Krueger. I mean, someone clearly put a lot of work into this mod, even if it doesn't fit the game at all. It has nothing to do with Skyrim and is beyond lore breaking, but it's also pretty awesome. Go ahead and kill Freddy, loot his dream chest, and become the clawed nightmare yourself!


And if you're looking for more ways to spice up your Skyrim experience, make sure to check out our Skyrim mods page


Skyrim: The Evil Mansion


Download The Evil Mansion Mod Here


Every time I think I've seen the pinnacle of what the modding community can accomplish, I'm consistently proven wrong by something even bigger and better than what's come before.


This latest jaw-droppingly awesome mod for a Bethesda game recreates the first Resident Evil inside Skyrim. Yep, all of it -- even the dogs jumping through the window in the hallway.


Although changes have had to be made to fit within the Skyrim framework, even some of the puzzles and traps have been recreated. Seriously, just get to downloading this one already.


Skyrim: Epic Halloween Overhaul


Download the Epic Halloween Overhaul Mod Here


If you only get one Halloween-themed Skyrim mod this year, this is unquestionably the one to get. It's got everything all in one bundle: new quests, new locations, and new skins. To top it all off, there are even pumpkin and Halloween light decorations placed everywhere to complete the vibe. 


Sadly, this mod isn't compatible with Skyrim: Special Edition, and it takes a little elbow grease to get working in the vanilla game because it's actually three different mod install files instead of one. But the results are well worth the work.


On the plus side, more content and updates are added every year, with the 2017 additions being worked on as we speak.


Fallout New Vegas: Obscurum Pandemic


Download the Obscurum Pandemic Mod Here


One-half survival simulator in the vein of PUBG or Battle Royale and one-half post-apocalyptic horror game, Obscurum Pandemic is a total overhaul of Fallout: New Vegas in the truest sense of the term.


This is an entirely different experience than what you normally get playing as the courier. The character creation and leveling processes have been radically altered, all the vanilla NPCs are gone, new warring factions are added, and monsters galore have now invaded the New Vegas wasteland.


This mod will make you wish you'd never left the Vault. 


Fallout 4: Pilgrim -- Dread The Commonwealth


Download This Scary Fallout 4 Mod Here


The only appropriate response to this overhaul mod is a simple Keanu-Reeves-inspired, "Woah." Pilgrim -- Dread the Commonwealth drastically changes Fallout 4's tone by changing up the game's color filters and weather, creating a dreary and gritty atmosphere inspired by horror flick The Witch.


But that's not all. Everything gets a creepy remake here, from the terrain to faithful hound companion Dogmeat (who, for now, is just a bit scarier version of his current self. However, in a future update, he will be replaced entirely with the Satanic goat Black Phillip).


For the best scary Fallout 4 experience, combine Pilgrim with the smallest setting on the Pip Boy Flashlight mod and install the Commonwealth Connifers Redux mod for a more forested feel in line with the movie.


Pilgrim is just one of dozens of Fallout 4 horror recreations! Want even more? Check out our full list of Fallout 4 horror mods here.


The glory of autumn has finally arrived, which for my family means an unrelenting onslaught of 31 solid days of horror! That's right, we only watch scary flicks, read horror novels, and play creepy renditions of video games for all 31 days of October.


Sometimes that's a tall order on the gaming front considering the relative dearth of horror games in the gaming world, but those who are willing to try diving into the mod community will find that nearly any game you can think of will have some kind of Halloween recreation or scary mod attached to it.


From truly scary total overhauls that add in completely new storylines to silly pumpkin skins simply added for aesthetics, there's something for everyone when it comes to Halloween mods. 


Over the next 10 slides we'll show you some of the best Halloween and horror themed mods currently available for the likes of Fallout 4, New Vegas, Skyrim, Arma III, Crysis, Garry's Mod, Goat Simulator, and even Minecraft!

Creative Director of Warface Talks About the Game's New Mission; the Future of Shooters and More Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:15:01 -0400 Caio Sampaio

No soldier can win a war alone. This is the premise behind Warface, a free-to-play FPS game developed by Crytek, which combines intense combat with gameplay mechanics that foster cooperation between you and your allies. Released worldwide on October 21, 2013, the game will soon live through another birthday and players will receive a special gift from the developers two months later.

During this year’s Gamescom, held on August 22 through 26, Crytek and the
publisher announced additional content for the game, which is set to release in December. The upcoming expansion will mark a new chapter in the conflict that drives the universe of Warface

According to the developers, the update will feature a new narrative-driven co-op mission held in Pripyat, Ukraine. Located right next to the epicenter of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe. It once was a vibrant location, but now it is nothing but ruins. Watch the trailer below:

Crytek’s free-to-play shooter takes place in a world devastated by the greatest
recession in history. Amidst the turmoil, a group of capitalists controls most of the global wealth, and to preserve their interests, they fortified their ivory tower with the might of a paramilitary force known as Blackwood. Players join Warface, an elite squad that fights back against the worldwide dominance of Earth’s resources.

During the story, you will face new enemies, bosses, and enjoy newly refined gameplay mechanics. With new additional content on the horizon, this is an opportunity to reflect on how the game became what it is today and where it will go next.

The Future of Warface:

GameSkinny had the opportunity to hold an exclusive interview with Michael
Khaimzon (above), the creative director of Warface, to have a better understanding of what the upcoming content will bring. Apart from the future, he also discussed the past and the present of the game, ending our conversation with some predictions for what innovations might be in the making for the FPS genre. As for the new mission of Warface, he said:

“This will definitely be one of the biggest updates in our history. The Chernobyl mission is going to be epic. It has been in production for almost a year, so there are lots of new things coming. New environment, new enemies, new boss fight, and a new chapter in the Warface- Blackwood duel. Let’s not forget, though, that, in addition to this mission, the update will also include new weapons, achievements, and many other things.

December, traditionally, is the most important month for us, as many players prepare for holidays; they have a lot of free time. So, we like to release especially enticing content in this time period. This year is not an exception. Having said that, there is also a new experimental mode coming to Warface, more like an event thing, in which we will test something that we actually started over 7 years ago. We really wanted to do this mode, but never got the chance, so now is the time.”

From the answer provided by Michael, we can assume that the new update will significantly change how you experience the game. On August 28, the official Warface account on YouTube uploaded a video showing behind the scenes footage of the new mission, allowing you to take a better look on what the expansion will bring to the table. You can watch it below:

The video gives you a glimpse of what the expansion will deliver and
displays the effort Crytek put into developing the content, even sending developers to study the location personally. While we will only be sure once we can actually play the new mission, it is possible to speculate that ambiance and immersion will be two of its strongest attributes, as a consequence of their extensive research.

We can claim this due to the fidelity of the levels, which are almost identical to the real locations they are based on, albeit with some minor changes. But that covers the future of Warface, for now. During our interview, Michael continued to discuss Crytek’s free-to-play shooter.

Warface Today: 

One of the main challenges for any game is staying relevant through the years. Some titles pass the test of time with excellence, such as World of Warcraft, while other productions are not as fortunate and their player base shrinks over time, as seen with Evolve. Michael commented on how Crytek works to retain its community in the long run:

“I think the key is listening to the community, understanding them, and releasing regular updates. We did 70+ updates so far - that is literally an update every single month. Thus, our players see that the game is truly live. It is changing, evolving, and they can influence that evolution. All of us, the developers, have to play the game, really play it every day, face the issues, and deal with them first hand.”

Apart from creating ways to keep an audience, the free-to-play model brings
another challenge. The game is always under development, meaning that the stream of new ideas must be constant.

Designers must always craft new features, maps and fine-tune the ones that already exist. Having new ideas is an appealing process for a developer and, once they are approved, the team must bring them to life. This brings us to our next topic.

Designing a Game That is Constantly Growing: 

Throughout the life of a competitive FPS title, developers often continue to expand the game by releasing new maps. To give an optimal experience to players, these levels are usually asymmetrical, meaning that both sides of the battlefield are different. The objective is to provide the player with a sense of novelty when crossing from one side to another, but this also raises a concern.

It is necessary to ensure both parts of the map have the same tactical opportunities; otherwise, a team will have an advantage, thus breaking the balance of the game. Creating two different sides, while making sure they are fair to both teams is an enormous challenge, and Michael provides us with some information on how this process works:

“It’s definitely a know-how that took us years to develop. We have a very detailed level design “bible,” that teaches certain rules relevant to all levels. There are tons of things to consider – timing, positions, slides, coop climbs, and best places for each class. This is really a topic that deserves its own article.”

Level design; however, is only one of the parts that create the experience of the player. A developer must pay close attention to the dynamics of the game modes the title offers.

In a game such as Warface, which contains a plethora of modes for PvE and PvP, a question begs for an answer: How do the creators split their attention across distinct types of gameplay while ensuring they are all fun? Michael discussed the matter:

“Well, some are more fun than others, but it’s a natural process – you have to try different things, some will work, some will not and it depends on the player’s own preferences. It’s OK, no one can predict with 100% certainty what will happen. We make assumptions based on what our players like and then go ahead and try these ideas. One thing we are definitely proud of is our Blitz mode.

We tried to take the typical Plant the Bomb mode to a different level - make it more casual and fast paced, while still quite tactical. It worked out really well. We can definitely say that Warface players prefer very dynamic type of game-play where you engage an enemy just a few seconds after the spawn or when the round doesn’t take longer than a couple of minutes - and that’s what we always strive to achieve.”

As Warface changes with each new update, by delivering new maps, modes, and missions, the game continues to make its path towards the future. With the largest mission in its history set to release in December, it is time to look back and recall how it all started. On this subject, Michael offered some insights on the initial moments in the development of Warface.

Where Everything Started:

The video above shows the first trailer of Warface and it displays how much the game has changed over the years. Prior to its release, Crytek had already developed other successful titles, such as Crysis and Far Cry, which scored 91 and 89 on Metacritic respectively. After the success of these productions, then came the moment for the studio to plan their next move.

The next step for them involved beginning development on a free to play competitive FPS game. For a company that had thrived developing paid AAA experiences, the shift in the payment model may seem like an audacious move. But, according to Michael, the decision came naturally. On this matter he stated:

“We already had a team in Frankfurt dedicated to AAA titles such as Ryse and the Crysis series, so we wanted to try a different approach – take a smaller team, and launch a title as fast as possible in a completely different way. It was also obvious to us that we were in a unique position. There was, and still is, not much competition on the F2P market for a high quality PvE COOP shooter. We knew that we had unique experience and a tool-set to get this out before others.”

Once the decision to develop a free to play FPS game became official, it was time to start planning the title. According to Jason Schreier in his book Blood, Sweat and Pixels, during the pre-production phase of a project, the developers must make decisions that will determine the future of their game; and that's just what Crytek did.

Through these preliminary stages, it is paramount to set priorities. Considering that Crytek had created successful FPS games in the past, the developers needed to decide whether they would transfer gameplay elements from Crysis (above) and Far Cry to Warface. According to Michael, the right choice was clear:

“Not much was carried over. When working on a typical box title, your main objective is to sell the game to the players. You do not have to worry about the churn rate or the playtime. In F2P there is no second chance. If you do something wrong – you lose the player forever, as he can simply delete the game. At the same time, it is easier to get people in, because there is no pay wall. In a nutshell, there is little to carry over, unless you are releasing a sequel with a different payment model.

As far as the other areas go, there is also a big difference. For example, in Crysis our objective was to make the most beautiful game, no matter the time and effort. In Warface, the focus is on performance, comfortable navigation, and map balance, as it’s - first and foremost - a multiplayer title, as opposed to FarCry and Crysis, which were about cinematic single player experience first.”

Considering Crytek’s approach of creating a brand-new design for Warface, the development team worked under the pressure of crafting innovative ideas that would resonate with the audience. The first step to developing a new game is delineating the goals of the project, and Michael spoke briefly on the subject of Warface's objectives at the start:

“Our priority was to deliver the first AAA F2P COOP title with a balanced,
cybersports ready PvP mode, and over time we managed to deliver pretty much exactly what we wanted.”

According to Michael, Crytek is happy with the product Warface has become.
Reaching the milestone of 48 million users -- according to the publisher -- proves that the game has developed a strong audience.

However, the FPS genre is a competitive market and studios must fight to stay at the top. This scenario entices competition between companies, as developers constantly innovate to get an edge over their rivals, and players benefit from this as more new and interesting games pop up.

The Future of FPS Games: 

Gamers enjoy spending time with innovative technologies, and one of the biggest developments of the video game industry in recent years is the push to create experiences in Virtual Reality (VR). While this hardware still needs to be refined, many players worldwide are already enjoying it, as evidenced by the 915,000 users who purchased the Sony PlayStation VR as of February 19. However, if you think this is the future of gaming, think again, because Michael believes that another innovation may be in store:

“One thing that will probably happen sometime soon is eye control. We will no longer need the mouse to move the cursor around and it will definitely affect the speed and precision of gameplay. As for VR, it is a very specific platform; it’s great for certain games, but not as much for fast-paced shooters. It is definitely cool, and Crytek has released some amazing games for VR, but in order for it to become mainstream, there needs to be significant hardware improvements.

No one wants to move around with heavy goggles on the head, trying to not be stuck in cables. May be once the glasses are wireless and as light as regular sunglasses, the VR will take off. But again, chances are it’s not going to replace PC for fast paced shooters.”

According to Michael, VR is still a long way from being the future of FPS video games. This is okay because while players do wish to see developers experimenting with new tech, studios can still create innovative and enjoyable experiences with today’s hardware.

But game makers are constantly conceiving new concepts to deliver unique productions and this drive towards innovation goes beyond creating new technology. One of the departments in which developers are investing heavily is narrative design.

Story in a Free to Play Competitive FPS Games?

On October 31, 2013, the YouTube channel Extra Credits released a video (above) discussing whether it is possible to implement a narrative in a competitive multiplayer game. Storytelling in gaming continues to become more mature and complex, and as this process unfolds, developers continue to bolster their skills to create more compelling narratives.

An example of this trend is Ken Levine’s presentation during 2014’s Game Developers Conference, when he pitched a concept for a story that can only be told through video games. With this scenario, some questions emerge: can game makers successfully implement a story in every genre? Can a free to play FPS game provide players with a meaningful narrative? Michael shared his thoughts on the subject:

“In F2P, the main issue is, probably, the resources – cut scenes and realistic acting is very hard to do, and it’s always a matter of priority. You ask yourself: what is the best way to utilize our time and effort? In F2P games, players want primarily action, so this has always been our focus.

Another thing to remember is that Warface is a coop game, there are five players who are not at the same place, looking in different directions, and doing different things, so it’s much harder to play a cut-scene that everyone will see. We definitely want to improve storytelling in Warface and are looking for the most efficient ways to do it without interrupting the gameplay.”

This statement from Michael may shed some light on the future of Warface, as
developers at Crytek try to discover new storytelling techniques that suit their game. Considering that their goal is to have a narrative that does not interrupt gameplay, it is possible that they decide to invest more in environmental storytelling. Whether this prediction will be accurate remains to be seen. 


Our conversation with Michael provided us with a glimpse into the future of Warface. The narrative-driven mission coming in December will significantly change how players experience the game, according to the developer. Based on the behind the scenes footage, it seems that ambiance and immersion will be two strong attributes of the expansion.

Another noteworthy point of our talk was Michael’s perspective over the future of FPS games. Unlike what some people may think, the Creative Director of Warface does not believe VR will be the future of the genre. He reckons this role will fall on the shoulders of eye-tracking technology.

Concerning the future of Warface, he claimed that his team is studying how to create stronger narratives in the game. However, due to the characteristics of a free to play title, the team would prefer to avoid relying on cutscenes to convey their story. This may lead them towards the use of environmental storytelling to strengthen the narrative of Warface.

To stay updated on how the game will continue to evolve and to play the upcoming Pripyat mission in December, grab your rifle and enlist today on Warface.


Top 10 most overpowered firearms in video games Sat, 09 Apr 2016 07:30:01 -0400 Sergey_3847

1. Pandora

Game: Devil May Cry 4
Type: Devil Arm


Pandora is not your common weapon – it’s a living weapon, a manifestation of a Demon’s soul. It can transform into seven deadly forms:

  1. Epidemic – a basic rocket launcher that shoots with high-powered projectiles.
  2. \n
  3. Hatred – a more powerful version of Epidemic.
  4. \n
  5. Revenge – an even more powerful version of Hatred, which is a particle cannon with an almost infinite range.
  6. \n
  7. Jealousy – a Gatling gun with a super high fire rate.
  8. \n
  9. Argument – a helicopter-like vehicle that can be used for air transportation that also has 14 rocket launchers attached to it.
  10. \n
  11. Grief – a huge and deadly boomerang with sharpened blades.
  12. \n
  13. Omen – a weapon that blinds all enemies within its range of effect using a massive flash of light.
  14. \n

You can obtain Pandora’s box after defeating Dagon in Mission 15 - Fortuna Castle.


Which of these ten firearms  do you like the best? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

2. Redeemer

Game: Unreal Tournament series
Type: Thermonuclear Warhead Launcher


Redeemer is undoubtedly the most powerful weapon in the whole Unreal Tournament series of games. This is not your typical rocket launcher but a fully controllable missile launcher. This means that you can manually guide the flight path of the warhead and strike it at an exact spot of your choice.


Even if you can’t see your target, you can launch the missile and travel around in order to find the best hitting area. Also, you should not worry if you don’t happen to strike at the precise location since the blast wave will destroy everything within its radius.


The only drawback of Redeemer is that you can’t see your character while in missile flight mode, which obviously makes you vulnerable to sneaky enemy attacks.

3. BFG 9000

Game: DOOM series
Type: Plasma Cannon


BFG 9000, also known as Big Friggin’ Gun, makes a return in the upcoming DOOM 4 game and will continue to shoot its highly powerful green balls of energy at all sorts of demons.


The energy particles that comprise the BFG’s projectiles are the so-called smart particles. This means that they guide themselves onto the enemies within the range of the projectile’s activity, leaving no enemy untouched.


According to the official history of the DOOM universe, BFG 9000 is the most powerful weapon ever created by humans. Well, this indeed makes it a fun toy to play with.

4. M42 Fat Man

Game: Fallout series
Type: Tactical Nuclear Catapult Weapon


Portable mini-nukes have always been the favorites of many shooter fans. Fat Man from the Fallout series is probably the most beloved and well-known handheld nuclear weapon. It doesn’t have any fancy features, such as homing missiles, but it does the job and it does it well by simply launching a nuke at an area of your choice.


Fat Man was called after the atomic bomb that was dropped over Nagasaki, Japan during the World War 2, so in order to avoid controversy, the famous gaming weapon had to be renamed in the Japanese version of Fallout into Nuka Launcher.

5. M-920 Cain

Game: Mass Effect series
Type: Heavy Weapon


Cain, also known as Nuke Launcher, is the best weapon in Mass Effect series of games for quick and effective aerial purges. It can also be used to insta-kill massive bosses. When it shoots and hits the target, the explosion creates a miniature nuclear explosion followed by a familiar mushroom cloud.


This portable nuclear device is very slow and requires a 100% charge before it can spew its massive charge of energy, so you must take into account the behavior of the enemies or the bosses before activating this amazingly overpowered weapon. The statistics show that Cain can be used once every mission, which is not much, but if used correctly, it can help you finish the game very quickly.

6. Meltagun

Game: Warhammer 40K series
Type: Fusion Gun


Have you ever seen a version of an energy/beam weapon that melts enemy tanks? Here’s Meltagun from the Warhammer 40K series of games that can melt anything that stands in its way. Every space marine knows that Meltagun, also called the Cooker or Melter, is the strongest handheld weapon you can obtain in the game.


The hissing sound that Meltagun emits when it shoots its high-energy beam is produced due to the boiling of the water molecules in the air. If you direct the beam at any NPC, it will simply vaporize the poor guy into the smallest particles. More than that, this fusion weapon can melt Adamantium – the strongest metal in the entire universe, so beware Wolverine!

7. Bozar

Game: Fallout series
Type: Light Machinegun


The strangest thing about Bozar is that by looks it is a typical sniper rifle, but in reality it is a light-weight machine gun with a sniper scope attached to it. The fans of Fallout call Bozar “the ultimate refinement of the sniper's art,” which is absolutely correct.


Imagine a machine gun with a super-high fire rate and the precision of a sniper rifle – there is probably no deadlier firearm in any other game. It easily pierces right through the hardest of the armors and just as quickly deals with heavy vehicles damaging their inner parts.

8. GK8 Gauss Rifle

Game: Crysis 3
Type: Long-ranged Weapon


"The much beloved Gauss rifle in its second generation form with more power and less recoil, improved in all the ways that matter. This electro-magnetic rifle will provide Snipers with the sheer power needed to get the job done."


What makes the Gauss weapon so powerful in Crysis 3 is the remarkable speed of the bullets made from the alloy of tungsten carbide and depleted uranium. The speed of these bullets equals Mach 8, which means that they are hypersonic or eight times faster than the speed of sound.


Besides the groundbreaking bullet speed, GK8 is equipped with a whole array of auxiliary navigational attachments, such as sniper scope, reflex sight, laser pointer and flashlight. All this makes Gauss rifle in Crysis 3 not just fast, but also super precise and super deadly.

9. M134 Minigun

Game: Grand Theft Auto series
Type: Heavy Weapon


Minigun is a staple weapon in the GTA series of games. If you want to have fun in GTA, all you have to do is find a high spot, enter a cheat command for infinite ammo and shoot at everything that comes in your sight. Then, it doesn’t matter if it’s a helicopter or an NPC – everything gets smashed to pieces.


M134 changed its size and ammunition capacity several times throughout the existence of the GTA series, but in the latest installment it also increased its shooting speed to 3000 rounds per minute, which made it even deadlier and more overpowered than ever before.

10. AWP (Arctic Warfare Police)

Game: Counter-Strike series
Type: Sniper Rifle


“High risk and high reward, the infamous AWP is recognizable by its signature report and one-shot, one-kill policy.”


AWP, also known as Magnum Sniper Rifle, is the deadliest weapon in the Counter-Strike series of games. It can instantly kill an opponent with one mere bolt-shot aimed at almost any part of the body. It’s a heavy weapon, and players who decide to go with it loose speed, but that doesn’t prevent it from being one of the most popular firearms in the game.


AWP is so overpowered that it completely ignores any type of armor that your enemy might be wearing and pierces right through it. Of course, you can’t fire that well without setting up a shot using the optics, but if you have just a little bit of time – the reward will be huge.


First-person shooter developers approach the design of firearms in their games differently – some want them to be as realistic as possible, such as Rainbow Six: Siege, or on the contrary, make them ridiculously overpowered, such as DOOM or Unreal Tournament.


This top 10 list will provide you with a selection of the most overpowered firearms in video games that would never exist in the real world (yet). Some of these weapons are so unbelievably strong that they require just one precise shot in order to finish any of the big bosses.


There are many other ones, of course, that didn’t make the list, so give it a go and share in the comments section the weapons you think deserve to be in this top.

Top 7 power armors in video games Fri, 30 Oct 2015 05:49:44 -0400 BlackTideTV


#1: Chozo Power Suit - Metroid Series


Samus Aran's Chozo Powered Armorsuit is the classic video game advanced armor. A brief glance at the abilities of this suit reveal life support, augmented strength, personal energy shielding, damage reduction and more.


Samus' armor has too many upgrades and variants to count, including alternate suit styles such as the Varia, Light, and Dark suits. Upgrades found throughout the Metroid series drastically alter the abilities of the power armor but there are some consistent attributes:

  • Power Beam - Samus' standard, built-in launcher.
  • \n
  • Oxygen Supply for outer space survival.
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  • Energy Shielding
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  • Damage Reduction
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  • Augmented Strength
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  • Life Support
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  • Extreme Temperature Protection
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  • Exterior Toxin and Parasite Negation
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  • Rapid Movement Speed
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  • Extended Jump Height
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These are just the basic attributes of this super-suit. Different weapons and abilities can be equipped including one where Samus tucks into a ball and uses extreme speed to roll like Sonic the Hedgehog through her enemies. 


The opportunities of this suit are endless, and it's a video game classic; very deserving of the #1 spot. 


#2: CryNet Nanosuit 2 - Crysis Series


The feature suit of Crysis 2 and is my personal favorite on this list. Able to send energy to one of three different "modes" at a time, the armor is fully versatile with cloaking capabilities, enhanced defense, and super-strength. The Nanosuit 2 allows its wearer to leap great distances, run at astounding speeds and perform on the battlefield like no other.


Much like the Sword of Godric Gryffindor in Harry Potter, the Nanosuit 2 only takes on that which makes it stronger, absorbing energy in forms such as radiation, static, kinetic, and carbon emissions. The shell's Ionic Electroactive Polymer Liquid Armor makes the suit extremely resistant to harmful radiation and blunt force trauma. Wearers of the Nanosuit experience an advanced reaction time of 0.08 milliseconds, and the armor is EMP resistant. 


#3: MJOLNIR Powered Assault Armor - Halo Series


Another highly recognizable super-suit in video game culture is the MJOLNIR assault armor from the Halo series. This suit is so advanced, regular humans can't even wear it without injuring themselves. Only surgically modified Spartan soldiers can control the suit's reaction time in order to use it to the best of their ability. 


Named after Thor's mythical hammer, this suit/operator combo is not to be trifled with. Increasing the wearer's reaction time by a factor of five and doubling their strength only scratches the surface of the abilities provided by this suit. It is extremely resistant to EMP and radiation and seals out harmful toxins from the environment. It provides users with a rechargeable refractive coating (an energy shield) to disperse a limited amount of incoming damage. 


The MJOLNIR assault armor itself is designed with an alloy of incredible strength allowing for extra damage to be taken before failing on the battlefield.


#4: T-51b Power Armor - Fallout Series


The advanced power armor worn by factions such as the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave in the Fallout series is probably one of the most widely recognizable suits of armor in video game history. Unfortunately, this suit really doesn't provide the wearer with any supernatural abilities; it's all pretty standard stuff... as far as video games go, anyways. 


Made of poly-laminate composite, the T-51b is lightweight for its bulky size and can absorb over 2500 joules of kinetic impact. I'm no scientist, but that sounds like a lot. A coating on the shell of the armor reflects laser and radiation emissions.


#5: Augmented Reaction Suit - Vanquish


The most notable ability of the Augmented Reaction Suit, or ARS, is extreme mobility. The use of built-in magnetoplasmadynamic thrusters allows for rapid evasive maneuvers on the battlefield. Powered actuators in the suit provide incredible speed and strength to its user. 


The ARS features a futuristic weapon retrieval tool dubbed BLADE, short for Battlefield Logic ADaptable Electronic weapons system. Essentially, BLADE can be used to scan enemy munitions, and then configure itself into any weapon housed in its memory on command. 


The suit also reduces firearm recoil, deals devastating damage in hand-to-hand combat, and can withstand a decent amount of damage itself, only giving way after sustained gunfire. 


#6: CMC Powered Combat Suit - StarCraft Series


Terran forces in the StarCraft series often don the classic Confederate Marine Corps exoskeleton. This suit practically doubles the size of its wearer and is immune to most small arms fire. The massive shoulder pads house extra ammunition and sensor arrays. 


But wait! There's more!


The CMC Armor comes equipped with a ton of special features, dependent on which model players are using. Most suits feature a life support system and NBC (nuclear/biological/chemical) shielding, allowing soldiers to fight in almost any environment. Newer models feature built-in heads-up-displays, increased structural support, and a range of enhanced perception abilities for use on the battlefield. 


#7: COG Armor - Gears of War Series


The standard issue infantry armor for the Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) Army is tough enough to withstand multiple gunshots. Only with sustained fire can this armor be broken. Armor seals on the chest provide added protection to vital organs, but don't hinder limb movement, allowing for maximum mobility.


The back-plate of the COG armor features a magnetic holster allowing soldiers to carry multiple weapons at once. 


Variations on the suit include the Onyx Guard Armor which covers its wearer more carefully, features extra armor plates, and is black in color. 


Sometimes, a character's choice in apparel can be the difference between life and death. Whether power armor enables players to breathe in toxic environments, move at sublime speeds, or deflect bullets, it's always helpful. In this article, we'll be covering the seven best power armors in popular video games. 


For the sake of clarity, power armor in this list follows certain criteria:

  • Worn, not driven. In other words, no mech suits, titans from Titanfall, or Gundam suits, for example. 
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  • Provides standard blunt force trauma protection. We are talking about armor, after all.
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  • Physically affects the wearer. To be plain, it must grant the character within some sort of ability that they wouldn't regularly have.
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How Metal Gear Solid 4 Influenced the Sci-Fi Military Genre Tue, 09 Jun 2015 12:19:19 -0400 Stan Rezaee

June 12 will mark the seven-year anniversary of when Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots brought closure to the story of Solid Snake and his war against Liquid Snake. Hideo Kojima made a bold decision to rewrite the setup of the stealth action genre while taking players to a distant future that mirrors our destiny.

Looking back now, one has to appreciate the game for not only raising the bar for the genre but for also creating the template used by other science fiction themed stealth and military game that has followed. Games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Advanced Warfare, Crysis 2, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution owe their existence to the foundation set by Guns of the Patriots.

Military science fiction is not a new concept to gaming as many titles have borrowed influences from classic works by having players fight in an intergalactic conflict in the distant future. Kojima however took players to a futuristic conflict that is closer to our current era with a moral perspective that was born in the aftermath of the Iraq War.

Looking back seven years later, this is how Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots established the template for todays military and espionage science fiction games.

The Changing Battlefield

In the distant future; the face of war has changed for the worse with the advancement in technology, a volatile geopolitical climate and the need for control. These were among the themes that Kojima explored in Guns of the Patriots. It's granted that the works of James Cameron and Sir Ridley Scott had a major influence, but it was enough for Kojima to create his own story.

Players are taken to a battlefield in the not-too-distant future were the face of war has changed into a mundane routine. Everything has become digital in this new battlefield as soldiers now rely on computer and drones to fight their wars. The introduction of mechs into the battlefield has made the weapons of the future become more automated.  

Players are introduced to an out of control Military-Industrial Complex that could easily be described as Dwight D. Eisenhower's worst nightmare.

Guns of the Patriots takes gamers to a world in which warfare has become dominated by mechs and computers while the actions of the soldier are being controlled.To make matters worse is players are introduced to an out of control Military-Industrial Complex that could easily be described as Dwight D. Eisenhower's worst nightmare.

Such a concept was once again explored in Deus Ex: Human Revolution followed by Call of Duty: Black Ops II and again in Black Ops III Advanced Warfare. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Warfare also took players to such a battlefield while Homefront: The Revolution will focus on a conflict between a highly technological advanced North Korea against the American resistance.

While the weapons and gear may be the work of science fiction, most of it's based on technology that is being developed. Tom Clancy has always done his research about the changing military landscape while Treyarch seeked the advise of Oliver North when developing Black Ops II.

Man vs Machine

Expanding more on the theme of controlling the battlefield, the player is presented with the moral quandary over the need for a soldiers freewill in warfare.

Technology has allowed for greater control and optimization on the battlefield while trying to make the concept of the hero obsolete. During the course of the journey, players are taught that heroes will never become obsolete regardless of how the world changes.

During the course of the journey, players are taught that heroes will never become obsolete regardless of how the world changes.

That may have been one of the major themes in Guns of the Patriots but it was also the subject of Frank Woods monologue in the premier trailer of Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Both of these traditional warriors express their belief that even in a changing world, technology will never replace the duty of the traditional soldier.

Other titles have taken a different approach into questioning if the technology makes the solider or is it their experience. Snake has always questioned the use of technology in replacing skills that are developed in combat. Players also examine such a philosophical challenges with Adam Jensen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution in a thought provoking journey that pays homage to RoboCop.

The Morality of War and Technology

New technology also brings with it a series of new moral dilemma's that we as humans must always confront. Those moral challenges are made even more difficult when the technology is being used in a military conflict as it opens up a new series of ethical dilemmas one must consider.

Kojima takes gamers to a conflict were everything is under control thanks to nano-machines in the soldiers and ID tags on weapons. Hence the theme of taking away the free will of the soldier and depriving them of the human elements. Is this morally acceptable or a necessary evil to preserve the battlefield? On the more extreme spectrum is Raiden along with the Beauty and the Beast Unit, whose humanity has been stripped away only to be transformed into machine or an emotionless killer.

As storytelling in gaming became stronger, many developers went back to further explore such philosophical challenges. The morality of war and technology was also explored in the Crysis series as humanity tries to replicate Ceph technology. Such a moral dilemma is also explored in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and the trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops III also gives hints to such a theme. 

These games paled to how Wolfenstien: The New Order explored the concept by giving such technological power to the Nazi's. At the same time the game explored the atrocities that has made the Third Reich synonymous with evil, as the technology is being used as a tool for the Final Solution.

The Growing Threat Of PMC's

While mercenaries have been around for as long as their has been armed conflict between states, the concept of the Private Military Company (PMC) was created by Sir. David Stirling (founder of the SAS) when he established Watchguard International as a means to provide military training to African and Middle Eastern nations. The need for security during the Iraq War saw PMC's grow to become a major industry and a topic of moral concern.

While games like Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction have glorified PMC's, Kojima has taken a moral objection to the industry by depicting them as the primary adversary in Guns of the Patriots. The battlefield of the future requires a professional army that is free of ideology or nationalism while the primary objective is to win just to earn their pay.

The battlefield of the future requires a professional army that is free of ideology or nationalism while the primary objective is to win just to earn their pay. 

Mercenaries have always been seen as soldiers who lack honor, hence many games have followed Kojima's example by portraying PMC's as a morally bankrupt army. Other examples to look at would be Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Crysis 2 which feature PMC's as an antagonist force. 

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was the most notable example all thanks to Kevin Spacey monologue on the fallacy of Democracy. The main story focuses on a PMC that has grown to become a military superpower that now aims for global dominance by launching an attack against the United States.

A different example to look at would be Deus Ex: Human Revolution which features a PMC having taken over police duties for several major cities. However who could forget about the mayhem created by CELL in Crysis 2 and 3.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was a thought provoking masterpiece that was ahead of its time. Looking back now, one has to appreciate how Hideo Kojima set the foundation for todays military and espionage science fiction games.

5 Times Gamers Fought North Korea Thu, 01 Jan 2015 17:52:42 -0500 Stan Rezaee

Despite threats of "terrorism" by North Korea and major movie theaters pulling the film like cowards, Sony stood its ground and released The Interview on Christmas Day. 

Audiences across the country enjoyed their freedom by laughing at Seth Rogan and James Franco bring down the tyranny of Kim Jong-un. Film buffs also had an excuse to watch Team America: World Police on Netflix once again. 

North Korea has been one of those villains that has appeared in pop-culture from time to time. Gamers had their fair share of memorable moments in wrecking havoc north of the Demilitarized Zone.

Here is a look back at the five most memorable times gamers fought the Korean Peoples Army (KPA). Don't worry the choice was not slim, so the Mickey Rourke game is not on the list. 

5. Homefront (2011 for PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Probably one of the most memorable games that pitted gamers against the KPA. John Milus recreates his iconic film with-in the context of a post-Cold War world in which North Korea rises to become a global power.

An EMP is used to cripple the western United States followed by an invasion by the KPA. Players take on the role of Robert Jacobs, a former Marine pilot, as he joins the resistance in trying to organize an attack to liberated San Fransisco from the Korean occupation. 

4. True Crimes: Streets of LA (2002 for PS2, Xbox, GameCube, PC)

This tribute to John Woo films has players take on the role of Nick Kang of the LAPD as he attempts to bring down a crime syndicate. Its uncovered at the end of each story-arc that the Russian Mafia and Triads were working with North Korea in a counterfeiting operation.

In two of those story-arc's, Kang will have to battle an army of North Korean commandos before having to fight General Han Yu Kim. Players will either toss him off a skyscraper (a homage to Die Hard) or give him a beat down at LAX. 

3. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2 (2004 for PS2, Xbox, GameCube) 

Finally a game that allows players to take the fight to Kim Jong-Il's door steps, courtesy of Tom Clancy. The second title in the tactical military shooter has players lead the Ghosts in a North Korea that is politically collapsing. 

General Jung Chong-sun takes power in a coup while a US Navy ship is attacked by a missile launched in North Korea (as depicted in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory). In response the Ghosts are deployed to cripple the KPA and try to bring stablity to the region.

2. Crysis (2007 for PC)

The first time gamers put on the nanosuit was during a futuristic conflict against KPA and the Ceph. After an archeologist team discovers unknown artifact, the Lingshan islands are invaded by North Korea. In response a Delta Force squad is deployed to rescue the civilians and uncover the mysteries of the invasion. 

Creating an open world environment using one of the most advanced game engine, Crysis legacy has been the pinnacle of the true power of PC gaming. Even to this day the graphic card is incapable of portraying the game on its full visual setting.

However fighting a futuristic North Korea that had somehow acquired nanotechnology was not its selling point.

1. Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction (2005 for PlayStaion 2, Xbox) 

The Sixth-Generation was an era dominated by sandbox gameplay after the success of Grand Theft Auto III. This game took players north of the 38th Parallel and have them offer their services to any faction wanting to protect their interest in a war-torn North Korea.

After its discovered that North Korea was trying to sell WMD's to terrorist, the country is invaded by the Allied Nation along with South Korea and the Peoples Republic of China. Also the Russian Mafia has set-up an operation to profit from the chaos. Players take on the role of a mercenary deployed to offer their services in helping any faction while hunting down key leaders of the regime.

Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction stood out from being a GTA knockoff's by having players explore a hypothetical inspired by the situation with the Iraq War during the time. However it also had its fair share of controversy with the game being banned in South Korea due to its sensitive subject.

Xbox One Indie Games Are Go! Microsoft Announce Extensive Developer Line-Up Wed, 04 Dec 2013 18:02:51 -0500 Destrolyn.Bechgeddig

A while ago, we pondered the sincerity of Xbox One's dedication to indie games and if they'd be able to claim a significant share of the market given Sony's head-start, as there was a grand total of 0 indie games at launch. 

However, Microsoft now look like they're putting their money where their mouth is by announcing a long and non-exhaustive list of developers that they already have on board to work with them.

On The List

The list so far includes no less than 32 developers who are confirmed as on-board Microsoft's indie initiative, ID@Xbox. Some of these include some well know indie developers, such as; Double Fine, the studio behind the cult titles Psychonauts and Brütal Legend; Drinkbox, makers of smashing Guacamelee; Halfbrick, the studio behind slash-tastic mobile game Fruit Ninja; and Definition 6, who have been causing excitement with their title Spy Party.

But it does looks like Microsoft are being a tad liberal with their definition of "indie" by including Crytek, makers of Far Cry, Crysis, and Xbox One launch-day title Ryse: Son of Rome. Their presence, however, is because they're going to be "self-publishing". But it's not like they're as strapped for resources as other developers, so can they really be classed as "indie"?

There's also some talk about Crytek picking up some smaller developers and getting them on board with them. But as ID@Xbox has always been pushed as a scheme to get indie games directly onto Xbox One without a publisher's help, such a position seems that of a needless third party. Not that we're chiding Crytek, it just does seem a bit odd that their stance within this indie scheme is one that's being touted at this stage.

Double Fine, too, is a studio that, depending on your point of view, is less indie than most and will forever be a moot point on what defines an independent studio.

But for the most part, the majority of the list is definitely indie, and it's really great that Microsoft are finally putting the wheels in motion for what was a big part of their pre-launch rhetoric.

Smoke, But No Fire

The list of 32 studios is part of a larger 50 developers that Microsoft have already approved to give dev kits to: two Xbox One kits, and a free Unity Pro licence. But despite the length of this list, there's very few titles that have been actually been announced. Although all studios say they're "working" on something, there's few firm confirmation of actual games.

Indeed, some of the developers themselves are being very couched about what they're working on and their future with Xbox One. On Eurogamer, Chris McQuinn of Drinkbox is quoted as saying,

"Can't quite say a whole lot at the moment, mainly because we're not too sure ourselves. But, I can confirm that we are working on a Xbox One title. As for working with Microsoft, well, it's still really really early, so get back to me in a few months on that question."

This is very different tone compared of the quote the studio is attached to in the official Xbox One press release, where Graham Smith is quoted as saying,

"Our experience with the ID@Xbox program has been great so far. As an independent developer, we're very excited to have an opportunity to self-publish on the Xbox One!" 

Zen Studios have also been unable to announce any title, even though they've recently pushed out news about their upcoming Zen Pinball 2 on the PlayStation 4. It looks like developing for the Xbox One isn't exactly their first priority, raining a little on Microsoft's parade.


Microsoft have also announced today that they're withdrawing exclusivity clauses for indie developers getting on board. This is a great for indie devs as it mean they no longer have to worry about dedicating themselves to one console for any period of time. This could also make more indie devs come forward to apply for the developer kits. Yet this does smack a little of desperation in trying to get more studios on Microsoft's side.

Watch This Space

Taking into account all of the above, we're still not convinced about Microsoft's potential to eventually compete at the same level as Sony. But at least they now appear to actually be doing something which could still turn the tide yet.

Medkits and Other Powerups That Make No Real World Sense Tue, 16 Jul 2013 21:49:02 -0400 Mat Westhorpe

The human body is a marvel. When damaged, it is capable of amazing feats of recovery. When threatened, it is able to supercharge itself with adrenaline to imbue greater strength, quicker reflexes and heightened awareness.

But just how far beyond believability are these abilities exaggerated in order to facilitate entertaining gameplay?

A Narrative Tool

One of the key attractions to playing games is to empower players, giving them extraordinary abilities and the chance to interact with impossible environments in challenging circumstances. Obviously, suspension of disbelief is required – real soldiers wouldn't take on entire armies alone and they certainly couldn't carry on after taking several bullets. I'm pretty sure plumbers don't take on over-sized wildlife and long journeys without at least a $200 call-out fee either.

In most cases, these reality-compromising game design choices are made to enhance playability. If games were ultra-realistic we'd probably die screaming on the first level and then never be able to play again, due to a bad case of perma-death.

Here's a quick look at common devices used to heal and “buff” player characters and just how plausible they are...


Battlefield Medikits & Healthpacks

As seen in: Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Battlefield and countless other FPSs

Retreating from overwhelming numbers, our plucky soldier has absorbed a hail of bullets, depleting his health bar, making his heart beat loudly and producing a fuzzy visual effect. Thank goodness he's carrying a medikit. Simply opening this little box of miracles instantly restores our hero to full fighting fitness and he heads straight back into the fray.

How plausible is this in reality? Not in the slightest.

Although entry wounds may appear deceptively minor, the sheer ballistic force dissipated by the passage of a high velocity bullet through the torso causes catastrophic internal damage (cavitation), which would almost certainly incapacitate our hero. Even if no vital organs are affected, the large exit wound would leave him with another potentially life-threatening problem.

Modern battlefield dressings are effective at stemming blood loss and morphine would help mask the crippling pain, but neither addresses the actual damage inflicted by the gunshot. This would require nothing less than a skilled surgeon (and they tend to complain if you try stuffing them into a medikit).

The Call of Duty series deserves a special mention as the soldiers there have now evolved entirely beyond the need for even these miraculous medikits, with only a moment's respite bringing their health bar back to full, as if the last barrage of hot lead had just winded them.

Plausibility Factor: 2/5 - Undeniable proof that it's just a game.



As seen in: Max Payne

In the short-term, strong pain relief could mask the distracting pain of a serious injury, but it would not allow the use of a shattered limb nor prevent internal blood loss.

If the painkillers were administered in an appropriate case where the injury did not cause disability and pain was the main impairment, it is unlikely that they would be of much help. There is a tendency for the most commonly used painkillers, opiates (the family of analgesics which includes codeine, morphine and heroin) to significantly slow mental and physical responsiveness.

Although the resultant slow heart rate and lowered blood pressure would help to reduce blood loss, being away with the fairies is generally not very helpful it the middle of a pitched battle.

In fact, in extreme circumstances, due to the fight-or-flight response, the body becomes flooded with neurotransmitters and hormones which act as a natural painkiller with the added advantage of being all fighty and flighty.

In any case, removing the pain isn't going to extend life or overcome injury.

Plausibility Factor: 2/5 – Drugs are bad, m'kay?

Magic Potions

As seen in: The Elder Scrolls and other fantasy realms

Mysterious health-giving phials of brightly coloured liquid are hard to quantify. After all, magic, by definition, is unexplainable. If you explain it, it becomes science and it's no longer a magic potion.

As sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke said, “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

We'll get on to Mr. Clarke's sufficiently advanced technology shortly, but for now, we're probably just going to have to accept that whatever power it is that makes tiny metal bikinis as effective as full plate armour also has the ability to dramatically accelerate the body's healing process.

Of course, it could just be the placebo effect. The human (and possibly elf, but we're getting out of my area of knowledge there) mind is a powerful thing and fostering a belief that treatment is effective can have very positive results. The reverse is also true, with curses and hexes working by power of suggestion, with the recipient allowing themselves to be convinced.

What's in the mysterious gloop isn't as important as what's in the imbiber's head. With that in mind, anything's possible.

Plausibility Factor: 3/5 – If Gandalf tells you to drink his magic juice, dare you argue?


Future Technology

As seen in: Halo, Crysis, DUST 514 and other sci-fi settings

Sci-fi has got it covered. If ever there was a viable explanation for the sudden repair of a seemingly manstopping injury, it's nanites.

An army of microscopic nano-surgeons who can mobilise instantly to repair tissue, disintegrate foreign bodies and reconstruct organs is a -ahem- bulletproof narrative device for instant healing. This, more than any other trick, provides a plausible explanation for self-regenerating health bars.

The addition of self-contained power-suits as seen in Crysis and DUST 514 make a host of superhuman feats perfectly acceptable without any need to gloss over glaring gaps in logic. Healing guns as seen in Team Fortress 2 could be explained by nanites riding on a light-beam and even instant resuscitation is plausible, as this description of a “nanite injector” from DUST 514 suggests:

“The nanite injector delivers an active helix directly into the bloodstream of the downed victim, whereupon individual subunits work to suppress the pain response, repair tissue and organ damage and re-establish regular cardiac rhythm. If administered in time, first-phase resuscitation (defined as ‘minimum-essential combat functionality') is typically achievable, though some psychological trauma is to be expected.” - DUST 514 wiki

Plausibility Factor: 5/5 – Because of midichlorians/nanites/the spice melange.


Mushrooms, Shells & Stars

As seen in: Mario and Sonic games and countless other platformers

Aside from the questionable messaging behind encouraging young players to eat mushrooms found on the ground, throughout Mario's many adventures, he's long been stuffing his face with funky fungus, turtle shells and other random objects for the many benefits they provide.

It could be argued that some of the effects are plausible at a moderate level – a “spring mushroom” (Super Mario Galaxy) could give off a hormone which might enable him to jump a little higher and a “blue koopa shell” (New Super Mario Bros.) might contain a stimulant which empowers him to swim a little faster.

But let's be honest.

If ever there was a game series that was a thinly-veiled glorification of the hallucinogenic effects of various naturally-sourced substances, it's Mario and Luigi. They're basically Cheech and Chong for the digital generation. Aside from their obsessive pursuit of mushrooms, are you going to tell me that Super Mario Bros. 3's “super leaf”, which grants the power of flight, is entirely innocent?

One day, Nintendo will release the very last Mario game which will end with a scene of Mario and Luigi waking up on a urine-soaked, filthy couch in a dilapidated apartment, revealing that the entire series of Mario games, from Donkey Kong onwards, took place in their minds after they binged on special mushroom pizza and a few “super leaf” roll-ups.

Plausibility Factor: At face value, 0/5. If we accept it's all part of a drug-fuelled hedonistic dream-state, 5/5.