Lego's new Amiibo-like Dimensions figures haven't even hit stores yet, but already the company appears to be taking on another gaming phenomenon: Minecraft. The world's biggest toy brand has begun including small flyers inside some of its sets advertising a new game called Lego Worlds, inviting players to "Explore. Discover. Create." Sounds exactly like the premise of Mojang's popular sandbox game, doesn't it? Lego may have gotten a little ahead of itself as the dedicated website for Worlds has yet to go live, but something tells us we might learn more about this mysterious title when E3 comes around next month.
Neon green and red lights flash as Batman maneuvers the Batmobile through loop de loops in a gaudy underground racetrack. On the streets of Gotham, giant, bulbous tanks strafe around each other shooting at the speeding Bat-vehicle as it tries to escape. Onscreen, a computer-animated Alfred appears and gets snippy with master Bruce.
This is a description of the things I did in a demo of Rocksteady's Batman: Arkham Knight, due out this June on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. And if any of the above sounds a whole hell of a lot like the camp film Batman & Robin, well, that's because it's eerily similar. If you were a fan of that Joel Schumacher-directed 1997 nipple fest or the open-world distractions of the 2011 video game Arkham City, then that gameplay might sound pretty awesome. But for a fan of Batman: Arkham Asylum like myself, however, this sample of Arkham Knight was disconcerting.
Even though the Xbox One controller has earned many plaudits, one thing universally hated is the lack of a headphone port. So far the best solution has been to buy the $24.99 Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter, but even that's not without its problems. Although it won't be much consolation to gamers that already bought the adapter, Microsoft is going to release a refreshed controller this June with a 3.5mm port built in.
The Oculus Rift is prepared to melt your perceived reality in early 2016 -- if you have the proper PC. If not, a new, Rift-ready PC plus the headset itself should cost around $1,500, Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe said today at the Re/code conference. "We are looking at an all-in price, if you have to go out and actually need to buy a new computer and you're going to buy the Rift... at most you should be in that $1,500 range," he said (via Re/code). He didn't provide a standalone price for the Rift, but Oculus has already divulged its recommended PC specs and they're fairly hefty.
Life would be so much easier as a cat. Few humans recognize the potential for feline bliss better than Chris Chung, the creator of Catlateral Damage, a first-person cat simulator. As a kitty locked up in a house full of annoying human things, your goal is to knock down as many objects as possible, including books, lamps, groceries, toys and plants. After exploding in popularity in early 2014 and raising $62,000 on Kickstarter, Catlateral Damage is out today on Steam for a launch price of $9.
"I'm extremely surprised by the positive reception it's been getting, especially considering that this is my first game and that it's kind of a weird concept," Chung says. "The biggest surprise might have been our Kickstarter and how many people wanted to put their cat in the game. We had to increase the number of tiers due to high demand, which was awesome."
The approach of summer might mean it's time to unfurl the Slip N Slide, but there's only so much gaming you can do while flopping around in the water. Yes, you should get outside while the weather's nice, but there are also worlds to explore back in the air-conditioned confines of your home. If that system needs a refresh, or you're still in the process of cobbling together the ideal setup, we've got a list of some must-have gaming consoles, computers and accessories. Items like Astro's A50 wireless headset help keep you in touch with your raiding party, while Antec's Bias Lighting can improve your display's aesthetics. We'll have even more gaming gadgets for our buyer's guide in coming months, but for now you can scroll through the gallery below or head to the full gaming section to see what you're missing.
You'd think that blinding a professional driver with a custom Oculus Rift headset as they drift around a live track would be a crazy way to promote anything. And you'd be right. But, well, Castrol EDGE really wants you to know about its new Titanium Strong motor oil. So much so that it strapped a VR headset on racer Matt Powers and turned a Roush Stage 3 Mustang into a VR controller for its Virtual Drift Trial. From his perspective he's navigating through an apocalyptic VR landscape with crumbling roads and tidal waves of volcanic rock. From ours, it's as if he's got a death wish like an extra from Mad Max: Fury Road.
You know what's a good cure for office boredom? A Mac app that changes parts of your screen into a playable level straight out of Super Mario Bros. Thanks to Aaron Randall's Screentendo desktop add-on, a similar process to that of taking a screenshot can have you playing a unique Mario level in seconds. In this case, game building is a two-step process that first determines the underlying structure of the image before generating those bricks on top. Randall admits that the app isn't without flaws, and that it's more of a proof-of-concept than anything else. For example, the image rendering works best on images with high contrast -- like the Google logo captured in the video after the break.
Turns out the PS4 port of Street Fighter IV isn't all that Ultra. Sony secured a next-gen exclusive for the fighting game and its sequel, but its release has been marred by complaints. The internet is awash with reports of severe slowdown in menus, moves not working as they're supposed to, sound glitches and bizarre visual bugs. Although we haven't noticed some of the more egregious issues, the game does appear to have some input lag, which is a massive problem for a title that is all about timing. The entire thing feels like you're playing online with a weak connection right now.