Guerrilla Games Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Guerrilla Games RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Creating The Emotional Intro of Horizon: Zero Dawn Tue, 28 Mar 2017 08:00:02 -0400 Caio Sampaio

Released on February 28th, Horizon: Zero Dawnreceived praise from players and critics, earning a 89/100 on Metacritic. Reviews applauded the game for many elements, including its narrative.

This production takes its audience to a post-apocalyptic world where machines have taken over the planet. Players control Aloy in her quest to discover the truth over the whereabouts of her mother. One of the triumphs of this game is the depth it gives to the characters and their motivations.

With this said, let us take a look on how developers managed to capture the feelings of players and let them ride an emotional roller coast in the first hour of Horizon: Zero Dawn.

The Introduction:

This game welcomes the player with a cinematic video showing the first five minutes of the story and it quickly grabs the attention of the audience, through stunning visuals, but it serves a purpose greater than filling a television screen with dazzling footage.

The opening of Horizon: Zero Dawn succeeds where many games have failed. In this title, developers used the first video to give to players a preview of the journey ahead of them, as opposed to merely introducing the basics of the story through an exposition dump or a narration -- or both.

This works in favor of this game, as it teases players so they have something to look forward to, thus increasing their desire to play. This is a concept better explained through examples, so let us look at some footage from the intro.

Horizon: Zero Dawn, mountains, snow

This is the first image the game shows to players. It instantly communicates what types of environments the audience will transverse in these lands. Then, the game proceeds to show the main activity of the story.

Horizon: Zero Dawn, dinosaurs, robots

In this image, players see the machines ruling the world for the first time. Attention must be given to what the character on screen says. 

"It is one thing to hunt a beat, another to hunt a machine. You must be humble and respect their power. I will teach you this, one day. 

Now, players know what their main activity in the game is. Through the sequences above, the game tells to players what the world and the gameplay will be like in the upcoming hours, but another element is missing.

Horizon: Zero Dawn, Teersa

This scene establishes the tribal culture of this universe, which players will see in nearly every faction they encounter, thus setting the tone of the narrative, while creating a contrast with the highly advanced machines players watched twenty seconds prior.

This is an example of an introduction video done properly. It sends a message to players, telling them how the world looks like, what type of activity they will perform and the tone of the experience.

In case you wish to know more about how to craft introductions that will catch the attention of players, you can watch the video below from the YouTube channel Extra Credits.

The intro of this game is important to create the an emotional experience not just because of the video itself, but what it links to, as this article will detail in the next topic.

Start From The Beginning:

The intro of this game is not compelling just because of the reasons mentioned herein, but because it breaks one of the main tropes of video game storytelling.

Before addressing this topic; however, there is a concept of narrative development that needs to be addressed first -- the three act structure. Which consists of dividing a story in three sections.

Act I - The part of the narrative that introduces the audience to the universe of the production, as well as to its characters, when an incident occurs, revealing the main conflict of the story.

Act II- Shows to the audience the quest of the protagonist to solve the conflict established in the previous first.

Act III - The hero has what he/she needs to overcome the conflict and this results in "the climax", the moment that solves the conflict.

The film industry uses this structure in most of its pieces, but video games usually change this approach to suit the needs of the medium. Many games rely on the narrative device known as in medias res, which means "in the middle of things."

This technique consists of starting the story in Act II, with the player in the middle of the main conflict. Through dialogues and environmental storytelling, the game gives to players the background information of Act I, throughout the second act.

Developers do this, because video games are about interactivity; therefore, they ensure players start fighting in the big conflict as soon as possible, because if players tackle a smaller conflict first, this might send the wrong message about the game, possibly leading to their disinterest.

The video below from the YouTube channel Extra Credits explains further the use of in media res in gaming, through a case study of Fallout: New Vegas.

The problem with this type of story structure is that it is difficult for the audience to relate to characters without witnessing their background story and their motivations, but this is where Horizon: Zero Dawn shines.

This game employs the three act structure, on top of a technique that is the exact opposite of in medias res -- ab ovo. It means "from the beginning" and consists of showing the entire arc of a character, since the moment he/she was born, to the conclusion of the story.

In Horizon: Zero Dawn developers used this technique by introducing players to Aloy as a baby. Once the intro video is over, the audience witnesses her as a child, when she falls into a cave that houses the ruins of the old civilization.

Shortly after returning to the surface, Aloy indulges to her father-figure, Rost, over the fate of the mother she never met. He claims not to know the answer and establishes the inciting incident.

He tells Aloy that the only way to get the answer she seeks is becoming a survivor and finishing " the proving" and being accepted by the Caja tribe.

Aloy accepts to train for this purpose, starting a sequence of tutorial missions, with which players can relate to and care about, given that they have a clear objective -- train to participate in the proving.

This game has an interesting first act, when many others fail to accomplish the same, through tutorials that do not have a meaning for the narrative, or by skipping the first segment of the story altogether, through in medias res.

By allowing players to literately see the growth of Aloy, Horizon: Zero Dawn ensures players have a clear sense of her motivations and her personality.

There is; however, another character that is crucial to create an emotional first hour in this game. 

Horizon: Zero Dawn, rost
Someone to Fight For:

Creating a compelling character in a video game is difficult due to the innate interactivity of the medium. Writers do not just write actions, as in a movie scene, they also need to design interactions.

In his book Level Up! The Ultimate Guide for Game Design, Scott Rogers describes a method to create powerful relationships between players and characters -- the Yorda Effect.

"Named after the non-player character from Ico, Yorda is a young girl that Ico has to protect from enemies and help transverse the environment as the pair attempts to escape a mysterious castle. Yorda is portrayed as a (mostly) helpless character, and her survival is critical to the player's success. If Yorda dies, so do you. This co-dependency between characters creates a protective relationship, in which the player comes to genuinely care about the welfare of the NPC."

If players think of their favorite non-player characters, they will probably recall of a character they depended on. The intent of this technique is to let other characters, apart from the protagonist, to impact the game positively.

Horizon: Zero Dawn, aloy, rost, training, bow

Horizon: Zero Dawn uses the Yorda Effect to make players create an emotional connection with Rost. He trains Aloy and stays alongside her through most of the first act of the story. He is literally the man responsible for turning Aloy into who she is. Without him, there would be no story.

On top of a well-written character, this dependence is what connects players to him.

This section discussed how the game used gameplay interactions to craft an emotional connection with a NPC, but now we will see how the story and gameplay build the protagonist -- Aloy.

Horizon: Zero Dawn, aloy

An Unified Protagonist:

Unlike other mediums, video games are interactive experiences and while this gives to writers more tools to work with, it also makes it harder to write a story, because, in order to achieve the best result, narrative and gameplay must work together.

This may seem simple at first, but many games feature stories that contradict what the players does, in order to keep the gameplay interesting. An example is Tomb Raider (2013).

In this title, players control Lara Croft. During cutscenes, the game portrays her as an average girl learning how to survive, but once players gain control over her, she grabs firearms and murders enemies by the dozens.

This is an example of the concept known as "ludonarrative dissonance", which occurs when the gameplay contradicts what the message the story tells. This lessens the emotional impact of the experience, as its most important pieces contradict each other, instead of working together.

Horizon: Zero Dawn, aloy

In Horizon: Zero Dawn, Aloy performs stunts similar to what Lara does in Tomb Raider, but the previous triumphs over the latter, because in it there is no dissonance in the ludonarrative.

Aloy trained throughout her entire life to become the ultimate survivor; therefore, it is reasonable that she is a capable fighter and has above average strength, stamina and agility.

The experience as a whole benefits from the gameplay and the narrative of Horizon: Zero Dawn working together, as players have a genuine feeling that they are in control of the same character they see in cutscenes.

This creates more emotional depth in the experience, as the protagonist is consistent throughout the story and players can witness her development unfold.

The topics above described how Horizon: Zero Dawn created compelling characters, but the world of this title has other inhabitants

Horizon: Zero Dawn, bird, glinthawk

An Uncommon Familiarity:

The creatures players encounter in the post apocalyptic world of Horizon: Zero Dawn look, move and behave as animals from our time, but they are made out of metal instead. They are similar, yet strange. This dichotomy creates inside the minds of players what is known as "the uncanny."

This concept was first established by Sigmund Freud in his book The Uncanny (Das Unheimliche). In it, he argues that people have sets of proven beliefs about the world. "The sky is blue", "fire is hot", "grass is soft", are some examples.

However, if these information are challenged or proven wrong, this creates a discomfort in people, which is known as cognitive dissonance, as the author Leon Festinger states in his book A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance:

"An action that contradicts existing beliefs, ideas, or values; or when confronted with new information that contradicts existing beliefs, ideas, and values."

Horizon: Zero Dawn applies this technique with its animals made out of steel, challenging the logic of players, which state that animals are made out of flesh.

This creates the cognitive dissonance that leave players in a position of vulnerability, as they do not know how the machines will behave, thus making the first enemy encounters of the game more intense.

The use of the uncanny to create a cognitive dissonance in players ensures that the first hour of the experience and its enemies create moments of tension, until players make a mistake and learn the hard way how these creatures battle.

Conclusion - The Best is Yet to Come:

There has always been attempts to demerit video games as a medium capable of producing rich experiences. However, as writers and developers continue to learn the language of this form of entertainment, more mature titles appear.

Horizon: Zero Dawn is an example of a production that portrays how much video games have evolved since their birth, not only in regards to graphics, but in terms of narrative.

We can only speculate what the future holds, but the journey of Aloy may become one of the timeless pieces of art this medium has produced, including BioShock, Metal Gear Solid and others.

The first hour of the experience ensures to communicate this to players, as the initial missions make the audience embark on a emotional roller coaster that only gets more intense as the narrative progresses, until reaching its climax.

Horizon: Zero Dawn, aloy

Upcoming Exploration Games that You Should Keep an Eye out For Tue, 08 Nov 2016 06:00:02 -0500 chopchamen

With the end of 2016 slowly approaching, and 2017 rolling in behind it, it's time to look at the games coming out in the final 2 months of 2016, and in the first quarter of 2017. There are a few exploration games coming out that look quite interesting.

1. Diluvion

Developed by Arachnid Games, and drawing inspiration from things like Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Kingdom and games like Freelancer, and Elite: Dangerous, Diluvion is a deep sea exploration game set in a world in which humanity was forced underwater by a great flood. There is a thick, unbreakable layer of ice that formed on the surface of the ocean, so they had to build new civilization under the water.

This game is 2D and 3D. The 2D parts has to do with interacting with the interior of buildings and ships, while the 3D part has to do with combat and exploration. And yes good people, the fish swim away from you when you're in the water.

For more information on this title, take a look at our PAX West demo coverage.

Diluvion will come out for PC users on steam late 2016, or early 2017, there will also be console versions later on.

2. Horizon Zero Dawn

Developed by Guerrilla Games, Horizon Zero Dawn takes place in a world in which futuristic civilizations were halted, causing some sort of mysterious event that killed them off. Your character, Aloy leaves her village in search of what happened to "The Old Ones," the previous civilization.

The gameplay looks quite interesting for Horizon, there is a lot of trial and error involved in the combat, with no tutorials on how to take a machine down. There are many different machines to hunt or kill for resources.

Horizon Zero Dawn is an open world game with RPG elements. However the RPG elements aren't going to run very deep, as Guerrilla Games wanted to avoid complicated and confusing menus.

Horizon Zero Dawn is set to release sometime in February 2017, for PS4.

3. Final Fantasy XV

"A fantasy based on reality," this game takes place in a more realistic world. You play as either  the main protagonist Noctis, or one of his companions. It's an open world Final Fantasy, and feels more reminiscent of 7-9 in that regard.

Noctis is on a journey to marry his fiancee, Luna when he finds out his homeland has been invaded by a rival nation that had falsely proposed a peace treaty beforehand.

Although this is a Final Fantasy title, the combat may feel more like Kingdom Hearts, as it's breaking from the traditional turn based system of it's predecessors. This could be good, not to say turn based is bad, but it allows you to seamlessly enter combat as you encounter enemies, which in turn increases immersion.

But the most exciting feature in my opinion, is the fact there are gargantuan creatures you encounter on your journey, seeing them loom the landscape from afar.

Final Fantasy XV will release November 29th for PS4, and Xbox One.

4. Mass Effect Andromeda

Taking place in a different galaxy, a long time after the events in the first 3 Mass Effects, this Mass Effect is putting you in the boots of one of the two protagonists, the Ryder siblings, Brother and Sister.

Featuring a game engine that is new to this series, DICE's Frostbite 3 Engine, and also new 4k and HDR tech, this game is going to new heights as far as visual aesthetics go.

With the Mako making a return, the game is open world, and still features everything that made the first three games great. To name a few, the choices and the dialogue trees, but also making a return is the multiplayer co-op.

There was a new story trailer put out recently, you can watch below.

Mass Effect Andromeda is currently set for a first quarter 2017 release date.

These are just a few of the games coming out, there is also Ghost Recon Wildlands, Yooka-Laylee, Sea of Theives, The Dwarves, and many more amazing titles later in the year!

For more gaming stories and news, check out the other articles here, on GameSkinny!

5 games that put players in the role of a guerrilla fighter Wed, 11 May 2016 09:51:06 -0400 Stan Rezaee

Homefront: The Revolution is set to be released on May 17 and will have gamers once again fighting to liberate America from North Korean occupation. Unlike its predecessor, players will actually wage a guerilla war against a superior army.

One person going against an entire army is not new in gaming, but it's a different experience when players have a sense of being vulnerable. Titles that have made guerrilla warfare part of the gameplay have focused on crippling the enemy, along with boosting the morality of the population.

For those who can't wait to join the resistance, here are five games that best recreate the experiences of fighting in a guerrilla army.

Note: this list focus on titles that not only require players to fight a large army but also cripple their efforts while waging a propaganda war to win the hearts and minds of the population. Hence, simple shooters like the original Homefront will be excluded.


5. Freedom Fighters

This 2003 classic not only set the tone for other guerrilla themed video games, but also introduced Red Dawn to a new generation. Freedom Fighters is set in an alternative timeline were the Soviet Union becomes the world power after it won World War II by dropping the atomic bomb on Berlin.

In the present day, the Red Army begins an invasion of America by conquering major cities. Players take on the role of Chris Stone as he works with Isabella Angelina and Mr. Jones to build a resistance army and liberate New York City.

Players must capture key locations and disrepute the occupation as much as possible. At the same time, they must boost the morale of the resistance so that more members are encouraged to join the fight. 

4. Just Cause 3

While previous games in the series have focused on Rico Rodriguez being tasked with toppling dictators, this time he is on a personal mission. Rodriguez returns to his homeland of Medici and reunites with his childhood friend to overthrow the dictatorship of General Sebastiano Di Ravello.

Anyone who played Just Cause 2 will feel right at home while expecting a few major changes. One of those changes is the guerrilla warfare gameplay and setup.

Once again, players will use their grappling hook and parachute combo to wreak havoc on the enemy. Besides completing story objectives, Rodriguez must capture military outposts, acquire better weapons for the resistance, and turn the population against Di Ravello government.

3. Far Cry 4

The fourth game in the series was heavily inspired by the Nepalese Civil War, a 10-year conflict that was fought between Maoist intransigents against the Royalist government and ended with the monarchy being abolished.

The story follows Ajay Ghale as he returns to Kyrat to spread his mother's ashes. The moment he crosses the border, the bus is attacked by the military and he becomes the prisoner of Pagan Min, the nation’s despotic king. He is taken to the Royal Palace, but escapes and joins the Golden Path in their war against the government.

Players must work with the Golden Path to capture key outposts and military facilities. At the same time, they need to boost the morale of the resistance by acquiring resources, rescuing prisoners and disrupting the propaganda.

Ghale is also forced to make choices that will determine the future of what the Golden Path represents.

2. Operation Flashpoint: Resistance 

Both an expansion and prequel to Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis (also known as ArmA: Cold War Crisis), this tactical shooter improved on the original game in every way while introducing a unique experience. 

Inspired by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, player takes on the role of Victor Troska, an ex-SAS operative, who has returned to his homeland of Nogova. However his peaceful life is shattered when the island is invaded by the Soviet Union at the request of the countries Communist Party.

With limited resources and an inexperienced army, Troska must wage an unconventional war against the Red Army. Players must command a small squad to cripple the occupying forces while acquiring resources for the resistance.

1. Red Faction: Guerrilla 

The third game in the Red Faction series returns players to Mars while taking the Geo-Mod technology of the previous games and incorporating it into an open world environment. The result is an unforgettable gaming experience and one of the best titles that puts players in the role of a guerrilla fighter. 

Following the liberation of Mars in the first game, the Earth Defense Force (EDF) has established a new government that is oppressing the population. Players take on the role Alec Mason, who is forced to join the Red Faction when the EDF murdered his brother and labeled him as a terrorist.

Players are tasked with liberating all five sections of Mars by completing a series of key missions while waging a guerilla war against the EDF. At the same time players must demoralize the enemy while boosting the confidence of the resistance.

Freedom Fighters may have established the foundations for the genre but it was Red Faction: Guerrilla that perfected it.

Have you played any of these guerrilla themed games or was there a title that was missed? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Guerilla Games shows off their skies in Horizon: Zero Dawn Tue, 25 Aug 2015 20:22:47 -0400 Charly Mottet

Games nowadays are becoming more and more realistic, especially open world games. And stunning, beautiful realistic landscapes is what developer Guerrilla Games is aiming for with their new PlayStation 4 exclusive, Horizon: Zero Dawn

During their Siggraph 2015 presentation, the developer released an amazing time lapse video showing off the real-time volumetric cloudscape going on in Horizon: Zero Dawn's sky. They were aiming for a sky with "evolving and realistic results", not only concentrating on the clouds, but on the lighting depending on the time of day as well. Their methods are explained in detail by FX artist Andrew Schneider

Horizon: Zero Dawn is a step up from what Guerilla is used to working with. The Killzone series are what the developer is known for, and FPS games are usually very limited when it comes to maps, restricting gamers to a "predefined track". In this new game, their goal is to allow gamers to "traverse large distances", says Schneider. 

But wait... there's more!

The FX artist took the time to list off key points Guerilla had in mind for their new creation, and everything points to a promising open world game. They promise the ability to travel wherever you want. If you see the tip top of the mountain and decide that's where you want to go, then so be it! That is where you will go. 

"They are used to tell us where we are, when we are, and they can also be used as thematic devices in storytelling."

There will be a "time of day cycle", just like in the real world. The weather will change and evolve, the scenery (mountains, forests, plains, lakes) is described as "epic". But the most important part are the skies, not only filling up half of the screen, but also taking part in the storytelling. 

Guerilla Games is aiming for a 2016 release for Horizon: Zero Dawn, and as a reminder, the game will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive

How a New IP Won E3 for Me Sat, 20 Jun 2015 13:30:02 -0400 KungFro

I spent most of E3 itching for news of Fire Emblem Fates. Anyone who knows me knows that the Fire Emblem series is by far one of my favorites. I do love Kingdom Hearts and the Final Fantasy series, but my excitement for their presentations came and went. I had my own agenda to chase and no intentions of slowing down.

I did slow down though. Imagine my surprise when the game that did the trick was one I didn't even know existed:

Horizon Zero Dawn

It's not very often that a brand new IP completely vacates my brain. I, like many people, often succumb to the human tendency to compare things. The Horizon Zero Dawn trailer was able to override that process. 

Many trailers nowadays are oversaturated with fanservice, whether it be nostalgia or nudity. The expectations of the gaming populace command this reality, which is why it thrives. Give the people what they want, right?

New IPs are not bound by this rule, though. If a bar hasn't yet been set, everything is limbo. As such, we find ourselves like children, waiting for the helicopter to land. This spoonfeeding is necessary for us to properly acquire new tastes – and that's the best time to serve up some prime backstory.

The game's world has been described as "post-post-apocalyptic," being set during the flourish after the fall of mankind. This is the realization of our humanity: all things new are built through destruction. Is it an original concept? Not at all, but, then again, what is? The execution here is what made all the difference.

The beautiful landscape, tribal music, mechanical fauna, and thoughtful narrative came together in a commanding rush – and one I haven't felt in a while. Aloy, the heroine, has a voice weighted with a sense of reverence and responsibility. One of her lines, "Sorry, little one, but I couldn't let you call for help," really stood out to me. It challenged my own civilized survival instincts.

Guerrilla Games has most definitely gotten me with this one. I'm excited to see them trying their hand at RPGs, especially if this is the direction they're taking. Video games are a conglomerate of multiple artforms, where skimping on any piece is disenchanting of the whole. Speaking as someone with an extensive background in the arts, I'm pleased to say that I currently have no arguments here.

Keep an eye out for Horizon Zero Dawn, coming exclusively to PlayStation 4 in 2016!

Why Do People Think Guerrilla Can Make a Great RPG? Fri, 09 May 2014 10:14:02 -0400 Fathoms_4209

For the record, I'm a fan of both shooters and role-playing games.

I love the Killzone franchise, even if I think Shadow Fall fell a little shy. I also love my RPGs. Obviously, I play both genres for very different reasons, as you might expect.

Furthermore, I have great faith in the talent of Guerrilla Games and I'm all for studios branching out and trying new things. I'm saying all this because I don't want people to get the wrong idea: I'm not against the idea of developers embracing variety, nor do I heavily dislike either shooters or RPGs.

And yet, I'm wondering why everyone I come across seems to believe Guerrilla can create an amazing RPG. I hope they can but what evidence do we have that they will?

Me, I like a good story in my RPGs.

And because of that, I'm worried that we won't get a top-tier role-playing experience from Guerrilla. Thing is, while the campaigns were always great, the stories were hardly RPG-quality in my eyes. The dialogue and writing in Shadow Fall was especially unimpressive, and you really can't get away with that in an RPG. Even with the open-world RPGs like The Elder Scrolls, where the narrative doesn't take center-stage, there's still a ton of written lore, and the dialogue sequences are often quite intricate.

This is really not Guerrilla's strong suit. Perhaps they went out and hired different people specifically for this new project (and I hope they did) but based on what we've seen, there's no reason to think they can produce a quality role-playing script. That's one problem.

It's great to have talent but some talent is specified and as such... limited.

I'm not saying Guerrilla can't do it; I'm just saying there's nothing that says they can. There's the old adage, "everyone is good at something, but nobody is good at everything." That applies here. Just because you can create a great FPS doesn't automatically mean you have the requisite skill to produce a top-notch RPG. There aren't many similarities between the two, unless you're going for a Bioshock-like experience, which is a FPS/RPG blend. The argument as to what Bioshock actually is continues to rage; I won't get in the middle of that.

The point is this: you can't just say "talent is talent." In the artistic world, the artists tend to have a speciality, or a forte. Just because you can write a great sci-fi novel doesn't mean you can write a great literary novel. Just because you can direct an awesome action movie doesn't mean you can direct an award-winning drama. If you take this into consideration, and you examine Guerrilla's limited body of work, I think it makes sense to have reservations.

Oh, but I still want a fantastic PS4 exclusive RPG

Despite all this, I have to admit that I'd love to see a PS4 exclusive RPG created by one of Sony's internal studios. I can't think of one since Legend of Dragoon on the PS1, can you? I'm probably missing something in there, but I still like the idea of an exclusive, Western-developed RPG for Sony's new console. Sure, we'll still get those niche JRPGs that will likely be exclusive to the PS4, but the western stuff is always multiplatform.

All in all, I do want it to happen. I just think we shouldn't jump the gun.

First Free Killzone: Shadow Fall Maps Unveiled Wed, 15 Jan 2014 09:25:43 -0500 Brandon Morgan

Today, developer Guerrilla Games has shown off the first two free multiplayer maps coming to their sci-fi first-person shooter Killzone: Shadow Fall. The PS4 exclusive is one of the first games to show off the true potential of the next-gen system and many are still enjoying the multiplayer component. These maps will help encourage some new users to join in on the fun and keep old users going strong.

The two new maps in question are The Cruiser and The Hangar. Both new arenas are featured in the single-player campaign of Shadow Fall. Guerrilla wanted to give players the chance to duke it out in these futuristic locales online.

The Cruiser is a close-to-mid-range combat map set in a decommissioned ISA cruiser left floating dead in space. The level will consist of tight corridors and interconnecting compartments. Choke points will be a vital attribute to winning the battle here.

The second map, titled The Hangar, is more of a wide-open shootout extravaganza. Featuring one of the hangar bays of the Helghast's massive mining spires, there will be plenty of room to manuever and out-snipe your enemies. Alternative routes in the map will need to be secure for full control over the opposition.

Along with the two free multiplayer maps, developer Guerrilla Games announced they are working on the first DLC expansion for Killzone: Shadow Fall. They've promised more information on that in the near future.

Custom PS4 Controllers Are Pretty, But Are They Worth the Risk? Fri, 15 Nov 2013 23:29:40 -0500 Brian Armstrong

The DualShock 4 controller is already a huge improvement over the DualShock 3 in terms of functionality and features. But if you feel like black is a little dull, may have a solution for you.

While full customization won’t be available for another few days, you can log on right now and get a pre-designed custom PS4 controller. In the coming days you’ll be able to fully customize every aspect of your DualShock 4 controller, much like you already can with your PS3, Xbox 360, and soon, your Xbox One controllers as well.

It's Cool, but Is This Really A Good Idea?


The idea of letting someone tear open and put back together a precious DualShock 4 controller is a little hard to stomach (especially with the launch issues some PS4 systems have had this week), but it’s hard to deny the beauty of that white IGN controller Greg Miller shows off in this video. If it’s possible to get your own personalized controller and have it look this good, I may have to consider it.

But is it truly worth the risk of your controller not working right simply to get a unique design? The DualShock 4 is a great controller, and the Xbox One controller is one of the best reasons for owning that console, so what happens if it breaks? What happens if it's not put back together correctly? What if the most important accessory for your console simply does not work? Will it have been worth it then? The precision aiming required in games like Killzone: Shadow Fall could be permanently ruined if the controller isn't done correctly.

Steaming Ahead

It does make me wonder, though. With the recently announced Steam Machines, I wonder if those controllers will be customizable. Those controllers are more unique than anything we've ever seen, so I would be even more wary about messing with one. The thumb pads seem like an especially novel and tricky idea, so I just don't think I could trust someone taking apart that controller and putting it back together again perfectly.

The prices for Evil Controllers are not cheap, beginning at $89.99 for a basic, pre-customized  design, but there are many different colors, designs, and even mods you can add, depending on how much you are willing to pay. From bright neons to solid bold colors, you can pretty much get anything you want, assuming the cost and risk are worth it to you.

Is a custom PS4 controller something you’d be interested in getting? Is it worth it to you to pay potentially double what the controller costs just it give it a unique design? Let me know below, and talk me into getting one, or side with me and let me know I'm not being paranoid.

Sony Releases 1080p, 60 fps Gameplay Video for Killzone: Shadow Fall Tue, 05 Nov 2013 03:59:12 -0500 Brian Armstrong

Coming as a surprise to many gamers in the buildup to the next generation of console gaming is all the news surrounding whether games will run at 1080p or 720p.

This is a specification most gamers probably assumed would naturally be 1080p, considering many current-gen games already run at 1080p, and the new consoles were supposed to be much more powerful.

Nevertheless, there are a few games that have been announced to run at lower resolutions than 1080p (like the Xbox One version of Call of Duty: Ghosts), and it has the internet all riled up.

This War Is Fought Inside

This isn't intended to be another "PlayStation 4 is more powerful than Xbox One" commentary, but simply a quick look at exactly what 1080p and 60 frames per second will look like in the next generation. Sony released an official gameplay video for Killzone: Shadow Fall that isn't available to stream, but requires a download for viewing on your PC.

"Unfortunately, there are limitations to streamed video on the internet, many of the clips and trailers we’ve released thus far aren’t being viewed in the best possible fidelity and framerate...In order to properly demonstrate the framerate and resolution we achieve in Shadow Fall’s multiplayer, we’ve captured and lightly compressed new footage that we’re not offering through a video sharing service. Instead, we ask that you download and locally view the high-resolution, uncompressed footage directly from us."

The video is available to download here, and needless to say, it's beautiful. The world is lush, colorful, vibrant, and the action moves smoothly. The effort to make the game run at maximum performance seems to have paid off, as this may be one of the more beautiful launch titles of the next generation for either console. 

War Is Beautiful

The war of words on the internet has gone back and forth between gamers, with some saying 1080p and 60fps is an absolute necessity if developers want to be able to call their game next-gen, while others say they can't see a difference in quality. Digital Foundry recently put together a video showing the graphical differences between the PS4 and PC versions of Battlefield 4. The game is running on a maxed out PC with all the settings on Ultra, and while the PC certainly looks better, it's clear to see how much closer a next-generation console has come to recreating that experience than ever before.

The battle for next generation consoles is far from over, and resolutions and framerates may, in the end, be a reason one console does better than another. What about you? Does getting the highest resolution and framerate possible factor into your decision making for which system to buy? Are you a PC purist? Share your thoughts on the Killzone video and the future of graphics in gaming in the comments below.

Killzone: Shadow Fall Ready for Mass Production, Next Generation Almost Here Mon, 21 Oct 2013 12:48:43 -0400 Synzer

The gold master disc for Killzone: Shadow Fall has been shipped out for mass production, according to a tweet by Angie Smets early this morning.

The PS4 launch date of November 15th in North america is drawing closer and it seems launch titles are wrapping up development, like Killzone: Shadow Fall.

The past Killzone titles have been a staple in the Playstation lineup and should continue to be highly popular in the next generation.

Personally, I cannot wait for inFamous: Second Son because the first one was my favorite game for PS3. This will not be available at launch, but it will be in the launch window, arriving by March of next year at the latest.

The next generation of gaming is almost upon us and it should be incredibly exciting, right? Many people may be holding on to their current consoles for another year or two though and the good news it that the current generation will still get support for a while.

What is your take on the PS4 so far? Are you excited about Killzone: Shadow Fall or other titles within the launch window? Do you already have it reserved, or are you waiting? Let me know in the comments.

Killzone Shadow Fall Gameplay Demo and Trailer Videos Thu, 21 Feb 2013 03:07:37 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Killzone Shadow Fall got some pretty hefty screen time during yesterday's PlayStation Meeting -- a full seven minutes, in fact. Those seven minutes can be seen in the video below, while the one-minute trailer can be seen above in glorious HD.

Killzone Shadow Fall will be a PlayStation 4 exclusive. Vita owners can look forward to another Guerrilla Games title, Killzone Mercenary, later this year.