The "Savage Road" story trailer suggests that there's a deeper tale behind all of the desert-drenched road rage and creative killing in the Mad Max video game. Apparently, that story is about a dude looking for a car, finding a car, kissing a lady and then destroying all of the evil men he can reach on four wheels. It's a slightly different narrative than the one in this year's film, Mad Max: Fury Road, and plot isn't the only way these two products diverge. We played a portion of Mad Max last week and found it to be fun as a car game but lacking in intrigue as a brawler: "In its translation to an open-world video game, Mad Max: Fury Road's unique charm's been traded in for monotony." Still, a video full of rampaging, spiky vehicles and bloodthirsty desert overlords gets our blood pumping every time. Watch the story trailer below. Mad Max is due on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on September 1st, with pre-orders open now.
Sony has long been willing to discount certain PlayStation games if you're a Plus subscriber, but it hasn't offered the certainty of Xbox Live's Deals With Gold. You don't know that you're going to get a steady stream of bargains, especially not for newer titles. That doubt should disappear after today, though. Sony has launched PlayStation Plus Specials, a sale program that gives you a break on games and add-ons that are still relatively fresh. How fresh? To start, you're getting 20 percent off Bloodborne in the US -- a sweet deal for a big PS4 hack-and-slash that's only a couple of months old. It's too soon to tell whether these offers will be as tempting down the line, but it's also hard to object to getting more savings for your money.
I couldn't resist Nintendo's Splatoon when I saw it for the first time at E3 2014. Squids with squirt guns locked in a summery battle to cover skate parks in neon ink? With a premise so weird and wonderful all on its own, I probably would have loved it even if those early demoes weren't fun as hell. Splatoon will finally be available to purchase this week but JXE Streams is going to give you one last early look at its single and multiplayer modes as well as its wee amiibo on today's show at 3:30PM ET.
D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die is a wonderfully strange detective game with a twist: There's a bullet lodged in your skull that allows you to touch certain objects and travel back in their timelines, to places and events pivotal to their existence. As a hardened Boston investigator, you're searching for the people who brutally killed your wife a few years ago, and along the way you run into a foul, potentially supernatural criminal organization. When D4 launched in 2014, it was exclusive to Xbox One and was a surprisingly successful Kinect game, using voice and motion controls in fun and immersive ways. Now, it's heading to PC on June 5th, priced at $15 on Steam, GOG, Playism and the Humble Store.
The US Air Force has an interesting dilemma: how do you convey the thrill of flying a fighter jet to potential recruits without taking them on a very expensive trip? Virtual reality, apparently. The military branch is teaming up with Reel FX on Air Force Performance Lab, a recruiting "experience" whose centerpiece is an Oculus Rift-based VR game that has you flying an F-35 through an obstacle course. It's more of an arcade game than a simulator, but the use of real throttle-and-stick controls and a rumbling seat could make it feel convincing enough.
Like any Mad Max fan thrilled by the film Fury Road, I approached Avalanche Studios' new video game translation hoping to find echoes of the film's anarchic spirit. And while the full game may deliver -- we won't know until review time -- the current demo feels more like a mundane snapshot of Max's offscreen life in that post-apocalyptic world than an adrenaline shot from Fury Road. Mad Max, due out this fall for PlayStation 4, PC and Xbox One, just doesn't have the same level of enervating detail.
VR turned me into a movie character -- a tiny, bright yellow firefly. But here's the best part: I got to experience it with someone next to me, both literally and virtually, in a dark room with headsets strapped to our heads. For Oculus Story Studio, arguably the Pixar of virtual reality, this is the first step in making the medium more social. And it's using its short film Lost, introduced earlier this year at Sundance, as a test bed. Still, whether we're talking about a cute movie or a fun game, most VR activities so far have one thing in common: They're solitary experiences. Oculus wants to change that.
Winter may be coming in Westeros, but it is long gone from our TV viewing schedules. The NBA and NHL conference finals are wrapping up this week, while summer TV shows start to pop up on the schedule. That means reality dreck like The Island, The Briefcase and I Can Do That, but NBC is also bringing a new scripted series called Aquarius starring David Duchovny. This season of Louie wraps up on FX, and if you haven't already bought his recent comedy special online it will air immediately after, and the Halt and Catch Fire starts on AMC. Gamers can check out expansions for Game of Thrones, The Evil Within and Dragon Age,while PS4 has a next-gen exclusive on Ultra Street Fighter IV. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).
In the early '90s, four odd-looking arcade games appeared at a rented-out store in my local mall. For about seven dollars, anyone could stop in and play three minutes of a new virtual reality game called Dactyl Nightmare. I paid up, put on the massive helmet... and then the game was over before I'd even figured out what I was doing in the blocky, chessboard-like environment. The whole experience left a lot to be desired and I never went back. It certainly wasn't the first VR experience (or the most advanced) made available for public consumption, but it sums up how many felt about the ill-fated, first wave of consumer-facing VR projects: all hype and not enough substance. The times and technology have changed, though, and it's finally time for round two. VR systems are being developed and promoted at a rate that outstrips the previous era, with better graphics and games (and far less queasiness) than ever before. VR, it seems, is just about ready for prime time. So to commemorate its second coming, let's take a look at virtual reality's bumpy road to mainstream recognition.
[Image: AP Photo/Mark Cowan]