Ten years ago, multiplayer-only games went through a severe identity crisis. More people than ever were gaming together, but they were increasingly playing online only. The small-stakes joy of twitchy experiences like Street Fighter II and Super Off Road, games meant to be played in short sessions preferably in the same room, weren't feasible anymore. Video games have always been expensive to make, so multiplayer modes had to either come packaged with other content -- consider Halo's famed multiplayer tucked alongside its single-player story -- to flesh them out or be custom built to serve hardcore players meeting up on the internet, a la Team Fortress 2, Valve's modern-day equivalent to the easy-access multiplayer of yore.
Google and its video game studio, Niantic Labs, are adding another layer to their augmented reality app, Ingress, by bringing it to TV, The Information reports. In Ingress, players travel -- in physical reality -- to marked locations called "portals," and they hack and defend those positions using iOS and Andriod devices, including Android Wear. It's a lot of mystery, stealth and geolocation wrapped in a sci-fi vibe, and players are meant to feel like operatives in world-changing missions. Plus, the app has been downloaded more than 10 million times since launching in 2012. Yeah, that sounds like it could make for a fairly entertaining TV show.
Being an enormous fan of From Software, the truly insane studio behind PS4's new gothic role-playing game Bloodborne, I imported Demon's Souls from Honk Kong back in 2009. No one knew anything about it at that point, but I learned quick: the game is vicious, cruel and devoid of altruistic design. It punished me repeatedly, so when Dark Souls and Dark Souls II cemented the series as a deep, dark well of mystery that will never help you, I gave up. Now that successor Bloodborne has arrived, I'm ready to try again. Join me as I blindly embrace its brutality for the first time on today's stream.
In a rather off-hand comment at today's Facebook developer's conference, company CTO Mike Schroepfer dropped a hint that the Oculus Rift VR headset could come to market this year. It was during an overview talk about what VR means for the company, where Schroepfer demonstrated a sleek looking space shooter game. Following that, he said "You're going to be able to do this, this year in VR ... and in something shipped by Oculus."
Minecraft has been heralded for its focus on building, creativity and exploration. Players learn about architecture and construction, as well as the simple joy of self expression. The game's open nature has also given birth to countless mods that teach budding builders about coding, geography and art. Recognising its power as an educational tool, a free copy of the game is now being offered to every secondary school in Northern Ireland.
"The Commodore 64 is like my Bible; that's when [game] music began because that's when they put an analog chip into a computer," composer Jesper Kyd says of the nearly 33-year-old home computer. "Before that it was PC or Atari and everything was like 'beep, beep, beep, beep-beep beep' and who the fuck wants to listen to that?"
Razer's entry into virtual reality may not be as ballsy as HTC's or Samsung's, but it could be just as important. Back in January the gaming manufacturer revealed Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR), a project that offers a hardware design and software framework that anyone can build VR devices and apps from. Today, OSVR is announcing that more than 20 higher education facilities will join the initiative and be provided with development kits and the necessary support to create new experiences and hardware.
If you read through Ready Player One and thought its virtual gaming world deserved a first-class movie adaptation, you may just get your wish. Deadline has revealed that Steven Spielberg will direct the big screen version of Ernest Cline's novel for Warner Bros., with both the author and The Avengers writer Zak Penn producing the most recent script. That's promising stuff, although there are quite a few challenges if it's going to be faithful to the book -- it may need a lot of visual effects wizardry to make people suspend their disbelief, and the pop culture references could make for some problematic rights issues. Provided everything goes according to plan, though, the book is going to get much, much more than just a quick cash-in.
[Image credit: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images]
Get ready for the curtain call: The second and final act in Double Fine's Kickstarted adventure series Broken Age launches for PC in North America on April 28th (29th in Europe), IGN reports. Plus, the full game -- Acts One and Two -- will hit PlayStation 4 and Vita on those same regional dates. Broken Age Act 1 launched January 28, 2014, and we found it to be a sincere, optimistic adventure that had us yearning for more.