Secrets have always been a big part of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. However, when players get stuck trying to find Easter eggs in any game now, they don't turn to glossy strategy guides like they did in the 1990s and early 2000s -- they open Twitch or YouTube on their smartphone. Developer Robomodo had this in mind when creating Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5. Lead designer Patrick Dwyer says that his team's tucked away the hidden skateboarding DVD -- a series staple -- pretty well this time around and that's a direct result of how the community responded when the studio released Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD back in 2012. "The day it came out there were videos of how to beat all of our missions," he says. "How's that possible? It's weird hiding stuff knowing that."
"It's like making a new Star Wars movie," says Patrick Dwyer, lead designer on developer Robomodo's upcoming Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 5. "The originals are great and then the rest weren't as good." He's referring, of course, to the high bar set by the first four games in the storied extreme sports franchise as compared to the middling releases that followed. The idea, as Dwyer explains it, is to treat anything that released past 2002's Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4 as if it never existed. And that's including the horrible pair of plastic skateboard peripheral-based games he worked on: Tony Hawk Ride and its follow up, Shred.
Everybody's Gone to the Rapture is a post-apocalyptic game with a difference. Instead of a nuclear wasteland, you're tasked with exploring an idyllic, but empty town in the middle of the English countryside. There's little dialogue, but the sweeping soundtrack sets a wonderfully melancholic tone. Composed by the game's director Jessica Curry, these original tracks are excellent examples of modern classical music. And clearly they've resonated with people -- earlier this month, the soundtrack placed eighth in the UK's "Official Classical Artist Albums Chart." Curry and the rest of her studio, The Chinese Room, were delighted. That is, until it disappeared from the chart the following week.
It's a rare, satisfying feeling when a community rallies together to ask a company to bring back a discontinued product and it actually works. Today is one of those days: Dell announced at PAX that it's bringing back the Alienware 18 -- the most powerful portable gaming machine the company's ever made. The revived 18-inch rig is being touted as a 'special edition' and will pack in a 4th Generation Intel i7 processor, up to 32GB of RAM, a 1TB HDD (with an optional 512GB SSD) dual NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M or 980M graphics, depending on the configuration. Too big? Too much? No worries --- Alienware is refreshing its 13-, 15- and 17-inch laptops, too.
If you're determined to play Assassin's Creed Syndicate on your sweet PC gaming rig, you're going to have to wait a while longer than everyone else. Ubisoft has announced that the Windows version of its Victorian stealth action game will arrive on November 19th, or nearly a month after the console edition's October 23rd debut. This is to make sure PC players get a "stable, optimized" version of Syndicate right from the start, the developer says -- clearly, Ubisoft is still feeling the sting of Unity's botched launch.
It's a mod, mod world when a universe-destroying Reaper from the Mass Effect series invades Grand Theft Auto V's Los Angeles stand-in, Los Santos. What you see up above is the result of Flickr user berdu applying the pretty self-explanatory "Mass Effect 3 Reaper as Blimp" modification to the PC version of Rockstar's stick-up simulator. It looks awesome and there's video of it in action after the break. As creator JJxORACLE writes on the (currently in beta testing) tweak's download page, sometimes the vanguard of our destruction will disappear from the skies completely and there doesn't seem to be any collision detection here. Oh, and its legs can touch the ground while it moves every now and again, because, you know, it's replacing Los Santos' legless blimp.
Deadly Premonition might not be a "good" game, technically speaking, but it's wormed its way into the hearts of a very passionate cult following. With that in mind, this seemingly years-late collector's edition of eccentric Japanese developer Hidetaka "Swery" Suehiro for the PlayStation 3 (fits with the game's weirdness, right?) is packed to the gills with goodies for the fans. Custom deck of playing cards? Check. A 30-page hardcover art book? Present and accounted for. There's a soundtrack packed into the pretty swanky collector's box, the game's director's cut and a download code for additional content so you can while away a few more hours with special agent York in this very Twin Peaks Pacific Northwest, too. Perhaps best of all? The Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut - Classified Edition will only run you $50 and it releases November 24th.
For years, the wisdom has been that if you wanted a dedicated gaming machine, you bought a desktop. Gaming components were too unwieldy to fit in a notebook form factor, and if you tried to put together a machine with desktop-caliber components, it always ended up too big and heavy to be truly portable. However, recent gaming laptops have defied that history, packing lots of power into thinner and lighter chassis. They're still not as slim as Ultrabooks, and meanwhile there's still a gap in performance versus desktop machines. Even so, your days of lugging around a large desktop tower to LAN parties are over. We've taken a look at some of the more recent entries in the race to build a smaller gaming machine to find ones that can fit your needs -- and budget.
LawBreakers is the new, free shooter from Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski and it features a bold premise: Humans accidentally explode the moon, which leads to catastrophic earthquakes that nearly split the world in two. Plus, the event leaves pockets of low gravity scattered across the Earth -- including in the Grand Canyon, which ends up surrounded by giant, floating rocks. It's a wild idea that, at first glance, appears to be heavier on fiction than science. So, we asked Dr. Phil Plait, a popular astronomer and science writer known as Bad Astronomer, what would happen to the Earth if humans accidentally shattered the moon. Plait responded via email with the following intro:
"I watched the trailer. Yeah, nope."
LawBreakers is not a post-apocalyptic shooter.
It is a shooter. It does star a group of Marine-like soldiers out to gun down people in the name of justice and it does take place in the future. But creator Cliff Bleszinski is adamant that this isn't a standard futuristic, kill-streak kind of game. As the mastermind behind Gears of War and Unreal Tournament, he knows all about those. Instead, LawBreakers takes place in a post-catastrophe world: Human experiments on the moon cause it to shatter, which triggers devastating earthquakes and breaks gravity in certain spots. Humanity rebuilds, bigger and better than ever, and then violent gangs begin to attack the new world. The LawBreakers are deployed to fight the gangs, using super-human supplements and special maneuvers made possible by the low-gravity zones.
The firm behind Angry Birds has announced that it's laying off a further 260 employees as it attempts to become a smaller and more profitable company. CEO Pekka Rantala admits that Rovio was too eager to "explore new business opportunities," which it did by doing "too many things." Unfortunately, with profits tumbling, the outfit is going to have to go back to being a stripped-down games maker. The lay-offs will come from all areas of the business except those working on the Sony-backed Angry Birds Movie in the US and Canada. It's not much of a surprise since it looked as if the company's day in the sun had ended a while ago. After all, Angry Birds 2 is the thirteenth title in the series, so it's clearly been flogging a seriously-injured horse for quite some time.