Late Night Shop – Interview

It’s 7pm on Christmas Eve, or thereabouts. You’re pretty much there gift wise, but that book you ordered your Mum hasn’t turned up yet. She’d be fine about it but you’re in your mid twenties, and a Toblerone from the high street just isn’t going to cut it these days.

There’s only one thing for it; you’ll have to leave the comfort of your home and brave the shops on Christmas Eve. The queues! The screaming children! The depression dripping off of every member of staff! The screaming adults! One late delivery has meant your life is about to turn into some kind of Jingle All The Way’ian NIGHTMARE.

Sounds pretty horrifying, right? Well according to Plymouth based micro studio Total Monkery’s new game, Late Night Shop, you ain’t seen nothing yet.


Gamestyle: Explain Late Night Shop.

Fred Fitzpatrick (Artist): Late Night Shop is a first person horror experience set in a department store at night. It’s a First Person VR game, and is all about making your way through the environment avoiding mannequins that only move when you can’t see them. We’ve taken the Boo’s from Mario and updated them for the 21st Century, basically.


GS: How far into development are you?

Luke Coombes (Programmer): 2 months in, in terms of full term work at Total Monkery, but much longer outside of that. Fred came up with the idea last year and asked me to code it, so I worked on it for about 3-4 months; writing the AI and the detection system, making the bad guys movements etc. We built a demo and approached Total Monkery with it after finishing our last game, Elementales (available on the Windows Store now).


GS: Where did the idea come from? And why manequinns?

Fred: I was in a department store, it was actually Primark in Exeter-

GS: I can understand the terror, then.

Fred: Exactly. I was waiting for my girlfriend and could see over the tops of all the aisles and all around the store. I just had this image of all these mannequins pursuing someone through the shop.


GS: Where does the horror come from?

Fred: From the sight mechanic; the mannequins are incredibly fast, and the fact that they’re always going to get you when you can’t see them is going to lead to some great jump scares. They basically sprint at you the entire time you’re not looking at them, covering space in seconds. And they really pounce on you, so you’re on a knife edge the whole time.

Luke: Yeah, the horror comes from the suspense mainly. We’re very clear on it not being a Dead Space style gore fest.

Fred: Nothing’s going to come out and chain saw you in half, basically.



Luke: It’s all about finding the best path through, we want to have it so that if you know what you’re doing you can speed run through the perfect route.

Fred: That’s why we’re designing the levels rather than going procedural, it allows us to create the spaces with an aim of the player mastering them.

Luke: I like to think of it in terms of the scene near the beginning of the Matrix, where Morpheus is telling Neo exactly where to go to escape the office. We want the player to go from that to being Neo. The idea is that you can play the same levels in a few different ways, you can be stealthy or you can bomb it through past all the manequinns, and be just fast enough to avoid their gaze.


GS: How much do you think VR plays a part in the suspense, and when did that become a big aspect of the game?

Luke: We got VR involved pretty much as soon as we started working on LNS here at Total Monkery. I applied it to the playable demo we’d made to pitch the game and everybody that playtested it really loved it. They all seemed really psyched and at that point we realised how important it was.

Fred: Because it’s not a game about shooting guns it suits the format really well.

Luke: Some games can be too over the top for the format but because this isn’t set in a warzone-

GS: Depending on your thoughts on Primark in Exeter…

Luke: Well, yeah. Because we’re set in a department store there’s a bit less going on so it works much better than if you were to do a VR Call of Duty, say.


GS: Is there multiplayer planned?

Luke: Yeah, we’re developing it concurrently with the single player, it’s a-synchronous so we have one player controlling the shopper and another playing the whole team of mannequins. So when the shopper freezes one in their line of sight, player two can swap between enemies and try and outsmart them that way

Fred: It’s cat and mouse gameplay, basically.

Luke: Yeah.


GS: When can we expect to see Late Night Shop?

Luke: Release is dependant on funding but you can download a pre alpha build for PC, Mac and Linux at There’s a non VR build and also a VR version built for Occulus dk2.

Late Night Shop will be released in Q1 2016. If you like what you’ve read you can find out more at and


Space Beast Terror Fright – Preview

The first thing you see after firing up the current build of SBTF is a high score table in the ugliest 90s neon font plastered over the ugliest 90s 3D rendering of a space station corridor. What follows is the most harrowing, thrilling FPS I’ve played in years.

With a name so on the nose even Ronseal would be jealous, SBTF does exactly what it says on the tin. Playing as a lone marine (or split screen with a squad of up to 4) you blunder your way through a deserted space station trying to overload the facility reactor all the while being stalked by, well, space beasts. There’s no point beating around the bush, SBTF is Space Hulk. It’s Aliens. It’s James Cameron to Alien Isolation’s Ridley Scott and the purest distillation of its inspirations you could hope for.

Your helmet visor and the massive gun that sits at the side of your screen totally obscure your peripheral vision. The corridors are narrow and labyrinthine and you’re expected to memorise the station’s procedurally generated layouts on the fly. It’s an oppressive, claustrophobic game where getting disoriented is as dangerous as the creatures hunting you down. Faced head on, the aliens are cannon fodder but if one gets the drop on you then it’s instant death. Luckily there are sentry guns to activate and data terminals granting you power-ups ranging from gun upgrades to heat vision, turning combat into a glorious mess of Technicolor vomit. Each short lived game has a natural curve of escalation. The marines establish their defences and power up while the beasts create more hull breaches to spawn from. It takes just enough time for a favourable situation to turn sour for creeping dread to set in before near inevitable rout and carnage.

I emerged from my first play session brutalised and clinging to a single thought, “I hope they leave this just how it is”. Since then developer Nornware have wasted no time in adding an easy mode and navigation power ups. While they do make for a better, arguably saner game, I can’t help pining for that first horrific experience. There’s potential here for adding all the trappings of a modern FPS but apart from online multiplayer and LAN support there really isn’t anything else the game needs. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for a massive old school list of game settings that let me drop out all the unnecessary extras leaving the core experience intact.

For the bare bones of a production in the earliest stages of early access SBTF is already worthy of your time. It’s a tense, bleak experience where survival is a rare occurrence and your frequent death offers some of the best jump scares gaming has to offer.

DiRT Rally – Early Access Preview

And if your co-driver in DiRT Rally says “Don’t Cut” you sure as hell do not cut!

I had long given up on the rally genre. Colin McRae in the PS1 days, Richard Burns Rally and even the PS2 era WRC games all did a fine job of either being a super sim, or recreating the feel of rallying. By the way, the TV replays on WRC during that PS2 era are yet to be bettered in my humble opinion.

However, these types of rally games fell away as the introduction of the DiRT series changed up the format. There were still normal rally stages, but now we were introduced to many other formats of racing on mud, some welcomed and others not.

Many would lay the blame at the feet of Codemasters for this change, but in truth Colin McRae himself saw this new market for his own racing career and was really beginning to promote the X-Games style events, it was only his sad and untimely death that meant he never did get to fulfill his visions of redeveloping the sport.

So when games such as DiRT2, DiRT3 and DiRT Showdown moved further and further away from the traditional rally format, it seemed we would forever just have our memories of games gone by.

Now, I personally had a lot of time for the DiRT games, I liked the X-Game events, the wheel to wheel to wheel action, the various types of vehicle and even the much maligned Gymkhana events. Most of this was indicative of what was popular in the rally scene at that moment in time. Ken Block was rallying, he was the face and there is no doubting his talent.

New Rally games tried to reverse the trend, with WRC being relaunched by a new studio and going down the traditional format route. However, these games lacked that certain something. Neither were they complete simulations, nor did they full recreate the thrill of the sport. Licences and careers modes would do nothing to make these the must have games of the genre and in the end they became competent distractions.

So anyway, I was sitting there one afternoon, plodding along with reviewing another game when I get a message telling me about the new DiRT game… “DiRT4” I say to myself and go to look for some kind of announcement trailer. But instead I found something very different indeed.

An Early Access game for £23 on Steam, by Codemaster and released to no hype whatsoever. This has to be a new low for Codies, the once great publisher of some of my favourite games of all time. This is going to be awful, full of bugs and completely destroy the DiRT name.

I looked at the trailer, some screenshots and listened to some very early adopters. All of a sudden, it became harder and harder to hang on to my cash. I kind of want in on this, for the first time I have a good PC and I can give this a go. I’d had mixed results with Early Access games, so I wasn’t completely scared away.

Anyway, I bite the bullet, pay for the game and install.

I go through a bunch of menus, because essentially all I want to do is strap myself in and drive. Wales! Yes of course Wales, where else would I start. 5…4…3…2…..1…… Hit the gas and go go go… 2 corners in and I am into a ditch and needing to recover my vehicle.

It is clear from the very get go, that this isn’t a casual rally game and that I would need to rethink my approach. It was going to take many, many attempts to learn how the car handles and how it will handle different surfaces, etc. All of a sudden a quick test turned into a full on shakedown, trying to get the most out of the car as possible.

A rally car should feel like you are fighting to stay within the limits of control the whole time, striking that perfect balance between getting the best time and just keeping the car facing forwards and DiRT Rally succeeds at this nigh on perfectly. I come away from stages almost shaking from the pure exhilaration and the concentration and focus needed. It really is an amazing experience.

Yet here is the thing, this is a game with a severely limited number of cars and courses, it is in Early Access, yet it feels so much more complete than many, many full releases. As a game on its own merits, it is a fantastic package, but as Early Access this is something special.

Already included are career paths, daily, weekly and monthly community challenges, custom and private leagues with a working external website to keep track. All of these in my own experience so far have worked great, especially custom leagues.

Setting up a private league with set rules such as no restarts and forced headcam is wonderful to see and my participation in these has been wonderful. I may be 2nd from last, but I know that was due to a mistake, which meant I went from a good pace to game over almost, nursing the car to the end of a stage just so I can get it fixed and try to make it up next time.

Essentially, if you were put off by previous DiRT titles, because of the presentation, the fact that the disciplines were too fractured and the overall tone, then this right here is the rally game for you. Even at this stage it is something special and you need to get in and get muddy right now.

Dirty Bomb Preview

Lifeless save for a few unconvincing pigeons and a bunch of rats that look suspiciously like someone round the corner is pulling them along on a bit of string. In a strange twist, Dirty Bomb the game feels like a preserved snapshot from the recent past. A class based multiplayer shooter rooted in the early 00s, only breaking from it’s old-school template to shoehorn in modern free to play mechanics.

After the likes of Titanfall and Destiny, Dirty Bomb is initially jarring. The lack of advanced movement abilities, coupled with the historic PC shooter twitch feel, can make it seem like you’re steering a block of polystyrene around. There is a wall jump but don‘t expect it to be much use without hours of practice. Where Titanfall set out to close the gap between player intent and execution, Dirty Bomb deliberately widens it. Gunplay is purely a matter of headshots and reaction times making face to face encounters feel dry, but amping up the satisfaction of outmanoeuvring an enemy before plugging them in the back of the cranium.

Developers Splash Damage have focused on objective based gameplay to the exclusion of everything else. Maps are asymmetrical defender vs. attacker affairs offering linear progressions through a handful of main objectives with side objectives opening or closing advantageous shortcuts. One highlight is the Underground map, playfully flipping the concept of high-ground advantage on its head with perilous runs down banks of escalators. Another prototype Millennium Dome themed map showcases a less constrained take on the formula, hinting at more variety in future updates.

Sadly the Mercs, Dirty Bomb’s MOBA influenced take on character classes, lack personality, amounting to a collection of accents pinned to drab character models. Aesthetics aside, they’re mechanically solid with the beta showcasing multiple takes on some classes. For example, one medic can drop a health station suitable for defence while another can throw down a stock of med packs to support teammates pushing forward. Mercs are monetised with two unlocked as default with another two temporary unlocks on weekly rotation. They come in two price points, which at £4.79 and £6.99 are a little steep although pack deals are available. There’s always the option to unlock them with in game currency and after 7 hours of play I’d grubbed enough credits through level-up bonuses to unlock a third but a fourth would take serious grinding.

There’s no option to customise loadouts either. Instead you get a handful of loadout cards detailing fixed sets of equipment and perks. Random cards can be bought with real or in-game currency and unwanted loadouts crafted into better cards. It’s an act of streamlining that presents newcomers with the familiar irritations of the free to play model but none of the fun bits. There’s no setting your sights on a coveted weapon or perk or splurging on an impulse buy. Progression, even with an investment of real money, is rooted in random chance.

As an online experience Dirty Bomb is stable and largely lag free. Visually the slightly cartoony depiction of London holds up well with liberal splashes of colour and the game ran smoothly on my ageing machine. The free to play aspects are transparent from the start and centred around unlocking options instead of crippling new players with pay to win dynamics.

There’s a good chance Dirty Bomb will find a loyal fan base, hungering for a pre-hat Team Fortress experience despite the excess free to play baggage. Crucially for me I enjoyed my time with it despite my ambivalence to that bygone era. I suffered my fair share of crushing defeats at the hands of far more experienced players, the old-school take on the genre being unforgiving but unscrupulously fair. I also fought through heroic last stands, steamrolling victories and tense cat and mouse encounters and, if you can judge an FPS by it’s moments, then Dirty Bomb delivers.

Satellite Reign Preview

Is it me, or is there something about games that use an isometric view? I mean, there is Bastion, Transistor, Shadowrun, Diablo and so many more games that look spectacular using this view. Well there is another to add to my list of stunning looking games and that is Satellite Reign.

Developers 5 Lives Studios have a clear influence here and it is that of Bullfrog’s classic Syndicate. The proper Syndicate that was a proper RPG, not the recently released shooter of the 360 era. We don’t want a game based around that, they are ten a penny.

You hear the term ‘Spiritual Successor’ thrown around like candy at a Macy’s Day Parade and we have been guilty ourselves in doing that. However, this is the second game in a matter of weeks that really is the true successor to something that has long been forgotten or totally destroyed by a large publisher.

You know… War for the Overworld and Dungeon Keeper. Well this is to Syndicate, as that was to DK. A smaller team who were clearly fans of the original inspiration wanting to give likeminded fans a taste of something good.

Satellite Reign is joy to play too, with controls that make sense and clearly set out objectives that will also allow you to experiement. This is an Early Access game, but it really doesn’t feel like one.

It has a few problems sure, but there is nothing about this game in its current form that can scare you off. It looks the part, it plays well, it feels a lot more complete than most fully released titles these days.

The Cyberpunk setting may well be an overused cliche these days, but it works really well here and no aspect is oversold to the point it was to shove the setting in your face. It feels like a near future and almost realistic in what technologies it uses.

The AI on the whole is pretty solid at this point, though it feels it could use some tweaking, but again there is plenty of time for this to happen.

The one aspect that does let it down a little at this point is the opening tutorial levels, which feel a little rushed and lack the direction you need. At points is feels like it is holding you back a bit too much, but at other points it isn’t quite explaining the mechanics as well as you need.

The thing is though, any issues I have with the game at this point are really minor and more in line with my own expectations of a game, rather than any major flaws you expect from an Early Access title.

Once this hits full release we can safely say that you should jump in, if you have any love for a tactical RPG, but we are confident enough to say… Get it now in Early Access, you won’t be dissapointed.


Final Fantasy XV Preview

This is not your father’s Final Fantasy. There is no ATB, no magic, junctioning or materia, no Prelude. No job system, no battle transition and Victory Fanfare only plays after a good night’s sleep.

This is also not Kingdom Hearts. This is not a button-spam, dodge-happy, camera-crazy brawler masquerading as an RPG. In fact, it’s entirely too easy to define Episode Duscae by what it isn’t, because as a demo of a game nine years in development and generously described as “60 percent complete”, Duscae is little more than a tease.

What can we tell you? Episode Duscae is named for the region in which the demo takes place, a sprawling marshland filled with gargantuan beasts, scrappy scavengers and the occasional imperial dropship of magitek robots. With so many elements purposefully kept absent from the demo, there remains a handful of key takeaways: graphical fidelity and the stability of the game engine, the adaptation of the franchise and getting to grips with the combat mechanics.

There is one thing that is immediately apparent in the demo: Duscae looks incredible. Following on from the suffocating corridors of XIII and the roster of smartphone titles similarly for little but to discredit the brand, Duscae opens to the kind of expansive environment that feels appropriately unknown. Grass and banners twist in the wind, textures are crisp and palpable and the bestiary is as impressive as any eight-armed Gilgamesh. The landscape is convincing and intriguing to explore, and it is a joy to wander.

But the demo is not without blemishes. While the main cast and enemies are glorious, incidental humans look distinctly 360-standard, with unconvincing animation and poses that are at odds with their environment. Worse, Duscae suffers from moments of excessive slowdown, be it more understandably during some of the more evocative moments or just walking down sparse roads. How reflective the demo will be of the full game remains to be seen, but the amount and severity of slowdown is cause for concern enough.

Duscae has been “shielded” from the main storyline, save for some loading screen blurb about visiting the archaean Titan in Cauthess, a premise that is never clarified. In lieu, you’ll glean insight into the main party cast of Prompto, Gladiolus, Ignus and main character Noctis through a handful of cut scenes and a lot of incidental dialogue. Contrary to their boy band image – of which Gamestyle insists is no less ridiculous than your average Master Chief or Marcus Fenix – your compatriots are affecting company. Derived strictly from anime tropes, the work put into making them distinct shines through, from their dialogue to their running animation and mid-battle tactics.

More disappointing is the somewhat regressive Cindy, the busty open-top, short-shorts mechanic at equal ease with a CDR valve as she is with the party’s lingering gaze and staid flirting. While it remains to be seen whether there is a justifiable stance on Cindy, or indeed whether it warrants justification, as a character to stand in their own right but it is a shame that the demo approaches its close with such a step backwards after showing so much promise.

However the meat-and-potatoes of the demo are firmly in giving players their first taste of combat. An early combat tutorial gives three main instructions: hold L1 to dodge, hold square to attack and press cross to warp. Director Hajime Tabata has stated that his vision for the combat is less focused on technique selection and more on timing and spatial and environment awareness and after experiencing it firsthand, we can see the potential. While holding down square will see you through most battles, players will miss out on the flair and panache of mastering switching between evade, attacking and adjusting their weapons that are sequenced in your attack will leave you all the more satisfied. Duscae is also keen on encouraging intimate knowledge of its combat mechanics, providing as much as 250 percent additional experience for rounds with multiple parries and no damage taken. Needless to say but as we have done so excessively in this paragraph, Gamestyle is very keen on the combat. However we will make one concession to the message board dwellers; the tutorial is underwhelming and wholly inadequate.

Clearing the main demo will take approximately 120 minutes, although fully rinsing the demo brings this closer to five hours. There are a myriad of collectables, optional bosses and some hidden details when you take advantage of some of the demo’s bugs. It is a lot of money if you’re not interested in Type-0, the game in which it is exclusively bundled with, and while Gamestyle can’t necessarily recommend forking out £25 on eBay for an elusive code, Episode Duscae is a very enticing, very promising glimpse into what might be the far future. It is an ideal demo, generating little but hype. Consider Gamestyle hyped.

Block N Load Preview

I can’t think of a game in recent years that has left me as conflicted as the Block N Load beta. I spend much of my time getting frustrated with odd crashes and minor bugs, but clearly forgiving them as this is a beta, then all of a sudden just having a wonderful time. Yet finishing up unable to decide if I want to play the full release or not.

So what is Block N Load? You see, that is where things are difficult, because it is a jack of all trades, but a master of none.

It is part Minecraft, part tower defense, part FPS. It is as though fans of Minecraft, Team Fortress 2 and Orcs Must Die all got together and couldn’t quite decide on the best overall concept for their game, thus went for throw everything into the mix and see what happens.

Yet, at the same time, that is doing the game a major disservice, because despite the mix of genres, it feels like a coherent experience. Not perfect, still needing a lot of work, but coherent none the less and that is because the team managed to gate off each of the mechanics really well.

The set up allows you to build and set up defenses to help protect your base or help achieve one of the many goals depending on game type, once that timer hits zero it becomes all out war as the fast and frantic action takes over.

Once again the FPS mechanics aren’t overly complicated and fit well with the pick up and play style of the game, using the well known controls to allow you to jump right in. The fact that the FPS part of the game is competent helps keep the game fun, as you never really feel like you are fighting against sub par mechanics.

In the beta there are a healthy amount of environments to battle in and six character types which do a fine job of adding variation to each session, in fact thus far the claims of the developers that no two games will be the same has pretty much rang true, but it will be interesting to see if that holds up later down the line.

I managed to put a good number of hours into the beta and I’m torn, I really don’t feel any particular need to keep playing right now, but I am looking forward to the full release and will certainly dip back in to see where this ends up.

This works as a taster, but we do recommend just waiting and seeing what the full game turns out like.

Armello Preview

The king is dying from a mysterious infection and demonic creatures stalk the land. The animal clans are at each others’ throats and only one faction can seize the throne. It’s an instantly appealing setup for a digital board game of shameless opportunism and back stabbing, evoking fond memories of old classics like Moonstone and Talisman. In our Lets Play from a few weeks back we gushed about the production values on display in Armello, its lavish Saturday morning cartoon intro, slick UI and high quality artwork. This isn’t a ropey, cut and run Early Access project, the developer’s enthusiasm and belief in the game shows in every detail.

Four players wander around a hex grid kingdom completing quests, playing spell and item cards and stomping over each other’s ambitions. It’s engaging just clicking around, exploring the board, getting in scraps and soaking up the atmosphere even if you’re not entirely sure what you’re doing. A limited tutorial flashes up context sensitive advice and explanations but new players are left in the dark when it comes to basic strategies to follow. Even the in game manual has trouble walking you through the more intricate mechanics and I had to fall back on the currently incomplete developer wiki at times.

The Quest system presents further confusion. Character specific quests crop up in random locations requiring player stat checks to complete them, but there’s no indication of the probabilities involved. Even when the outcome text describes abject failure the game frequently still rewards you for the effort. Exploring dungeon spaces on the board is equally problematic, a random chance of reward or penalty but without an explanation of the balance of possibilities. This is compounded by clumsy execution, quest information doesn’t show up while other players are taking their turns’ leaving you feeling isolated and uninvolved. Infuriatingly the screen doesn’t always centre on players at the start of their turn, exacerbating the problem as they scamper about off screen. After four sessions I still wasn’t sure if this was down to my fidgeting with the mouse and keyboard or an inconsistency within the game itself. Coupled with a limited field of view that fogs out the further you pull the camera back, it starts to feel like the tabletop and videogame aspects of Armello are two sides that don’t fully mesh.

Beneath these surface irritations there’s a great deal of substance for players with the patience to uncover and decipher Armello’s many overlapping systems. There are stealth rules, AI factions roaming the battlefield, a day and night cycle and multiple win conditions. The themes of decay and corruption in the back story are superbly depicted with a mechanic involving the mysterious ‘Rot’ infection where a losing player might find themselves in a stronger position after multiple deaths. Players are rarely truly out of the game and the potential for massive upset and snatch victories is always lurking in the multiple card decks.

Like all Early Access multiplayer games, there’s a cloud hanging over Armello. Over my time with the game, I failed to find an open multiplayer match and played mostly against the AI. Private matches proved effortless to set up and while this is a game that shines when played with friends it still needs an active online community. There’s always the worry that the core community might move on before the final release. That would be a great shame as this is a deep, cut-throat game, albeit one that still needs some work. It’s unclear at this point how much will change before the official release but Armello is a game that shows great potential.


Victor Vran Preview

Well, you do now) first foray into the murky, bloody, button mashy, loot pooping world of action role playing games. And if there’s something gaming needs it’s ARPGs, because loot really does make the world go round. Shut up, it does.

Well, it needs ARPGs like Victor Vran, because reasons. Like when looking to redefine the key bindings and preparing my Razr Orbweaver and mouse for a sound button mashing, I noticed there was a pad configuration option. Diablo III on consoles worked incredibly well and it makes me a little sad that Blizzard have no plans to put the pad control method into the PC version, but that’s probably because it would take some major ground up reworking the UI and what have you. So having that in Victor Vran was a pleasant surprise.

Going by the boss battle in the first dungeon you encounter, the pad seems to be the control method that the developers want you to use, because dodging (mapped to LB on the 360 controller) is completely essential to staying alive. The addition of a dedicated jump button and mapping a movable camera just adds weight to the notion, especially in a genre where a locked isometric camera is the norm. How notoriously change averse PC gamers will take to that remains to be seen.

Much of the game is business as usual. You stomp through the various gothic looking locations, laying waste to all and sundry and looting their corpses for weapons, potions and gold. The combat is a little lacking in feedback, but is generally fine with you being able to switch between two weapons sets each with 3 moves. Dodge and jump can be used to ‘cancel’ abilities, and switching between weapons while hacking up the evil hordes becomes a skill worth learning to make the most of the cooldown periods.

There are no classes as such, nor skill trees. Haemimont have taken a rather daring approach, letting the loot drops enable creativity to take precedence in your builds. With the attack abilities being locked to the weapon types, the variety comes from mixing your two weapon loadouts. In addition, there are varieties of potions, outfits and Demon Powers (essentially super abilities) to equip into one of the two dedicated slots for each type. The downside to this is you have to wait for the loot drops rather than unlock them through considered skill tree management, but it has the potential to be a very flexible system.

The last component to the character build is Destiny Cards, which add variables like critical hit chance, extra health, extra damage and the like. Each one has a fixed cost, and you can equip as many as you want as long as you have the slots and you don’t exceed the amount of Destiny Points you have to spend.

Victor Vran is an interesting prospect. It brings some intriguing variation to a well tread genre in the character building, if not the combat. But there’s something missing, some spark that makes it fall short of being a compulsive bugger, preventing it from really sinking it’s teeth into you and refusing to let go. In its current state the compulsion to grind gear and replay areas isn’t there. In theory the challenges for each area are a good idea for replayability, but the rewards don’t make it worthwhile. Hopefully Haemimont can find that elusive compulsion with tweaks and balances to what’s already there.

If you want to try the game in Early Access you can get it HERE


Early Look: Beseige

You remember how it felt like they’d come up with a game and then forcefully rammed a bear and a pigeon into it? Besiege is that original game, but without the bear and pigeon ramming. If that sounds good, skip to the last paragraph.


If you didn’t play Nuts ‘n’ Bolts, it was essentially an early game in the crafting genre, Meccano in game form. Take various parts, fasten them together however you want and hopefully you’ll end up with a vehicle that can do whatever task is required of it. The only real difference here is that you’re creating siege machinery…but it’s a very subtle difference. You’ll burn cute little armies, fire cannons at sheep, inadvertently blow up your machine with a bomb that didn’t get catapulted properly…it’s great fun. The parts are basic, but can create enough combinations that realistically it’s only your imagination as the limiting factor.

And, to a lesser extent, the frame-rate. Optimisation is certainly something that needs to be on the to-do list and older processors, eg. mine, do get a little bit hot and bothered when lots of sheep are wandering around. Perhaps the building controls are a little counter-intuitive and the controls for navigating your machine are unnecessarily spread around the keyboard.

But really, 15 levels that require different machines to be made, loads of parts, the internet filling up with utterly amazing creations…this is a preview, so obviously no conclusions will be reached…but if it piques your interest at all, just buy it. Yes, obvious caveats about expectations from Early Access games, yes, blah, optimisation. But it’s a fiver, I’ve sunk hours into it already and I’ve not even finished the levels already there. Besiege is be-loody be-rilliant.

(Fingers crossed the review, due in 2016 sometime, ends on the same note.)

Dex Preview

If there is one thing Early Access does well, it’s games that have become frankly, personal projects of love. The amount of pixel art on show here is ridiculous, it feels like more effort has gone into a background pigeon than goes into many completed games. If you like pixels you’re more than getting your money’s worth in Dex from that alone.

Dex itself is a 2D open world, thankfully with teleporting so you don’t need to constantly backtrack, and essentially a metroidvania with a very large a dose of RPG, levelling up unlocks skills, gaining quests by talking to characters etc. Apart from a heap of typos, there are whole words missing, everything there is done well.

The setting is pure cyberpunk, with all the good and bad things that brings. The world is breaking down, drugs, guns and sex being sold everywhere. The fact that an enemy is as likely to drop pornography as they are a t-shirt is fairly representative.

As it stands, combat is more of a chore than it should be. Ideally the game would offer a way to avoid combat entirely, but instead enemies appear on screen and attack, leaving your character rolling left and right and either kicking or shooting, then rolling again. There’s little more to it, and anything that can be done in the final stages of Early Access to improve it would be beneficial.

Due to release this quarter, it seems hard to imagine there will be significant changes before release and it doesn’t really need them. This isn’t a game that will appeal to everyone, but if the remainder of the time is spent well those that find the idea of the game appealing will be very happy with their purchase. Come back for the full review when the game exits Early Access!

(And it really is a well-drawn pigeon.)

Carmageddon Reincarnation Preview

Nostalgia is a fickle mistress. Or master, whichever your preference. Especially when it comes to gaming. There’s plenty out there who hanker for a simpler time, and occasionally I do too. The trouble with the desire to throw yourself back to that nebulous grander age universally known as ‘the good old days’ is that it shifts as time marches inexorably on, and so the experience you hanker for is also eternally shifting. The other problem with gaming nostalgia is that sometimes you get exactly what you wished for.

Carmageddon Reincarnation, originally a Kickstarter which funded in June 2012 and aimed for a Feb 2013 release (which was hilariously optimistic in hindsight), has been kicking around in alpha form for a while. It didn’t have a structure as such, but after 3 years in development the recent release into public beta is the full game, ready for us all to hurl ourselves back to 1997 and get knee deep in knob gags, Carry On levels of innuendo and terrible puns. And, y’know, turning pedestrians into a red paste with outlandish vehicles.

Carmageddon Reincarnation (Car Promo Graphic)

Carmageddon Reincarnation is a conflicting beast. For those of you who never played Carmageddon 1 or 2 (we don’t talk about TDR), imagine Destruction Derby with weapons, developed by someone who watched too much Bottom, but completely misunderstood why the knob gags were funny (because Rik Mayall, obviously). The game was a bit one note and the AI incredibly stupid, but there was something fun about it all.

In its fundamentals, much of Carmageddon Reincarnation is almost exactly the same game as Carmageddon 2. The cars handle the same, the humour is the same, the mechanics and power ups are the same and, thanks to some horrific optimisation at this point, it almost looks the same. I had to run the game on the lowest settings to get a vaguely steady frame rate despite my PC being within recommended spec, and even then there were frequent frame lock-ups.

The gameplay has been tweaked so instead of just having to kill peds, destroy all the other players or somehow manage to complete X laps, there are different game types to mix it up, like Stampede where you have to be first to get through 10 randomly spawned checkpoints on a map, Ped Chase where you have to be the first to, er, kill 10 randomly designated pedestrians… OK, so far there’s not much variety. And the humour, while highly amusing in 1997, now seems incredibly crass.

A Carmageddon car splatters some cows.

Or maybe I just got old. A little from column A, a little from column B.

There’s also the issue that the AI is fantastically stupid, to the point of providing zero challenge in any way, shape or form. Turning the difficulty up (to ‘Harder Than Rimming a Rhino’, sigh) makes the AI more aggressive but not much more intelligent.

And yet… and yet there’s something about Carmageddon Reincarnation. Something that makes it fun, in the same way that 80s Schwarzenegger cheese-fest Commando is fun. It’s wonky as hell with a hideous frame rate and draw distance, but smashing up opponents is just as satisfying as it was 18 years ago. Running over pedestrians is more fun than any well-functioning member of the human race should enjoy. Having your car bounce around the level after you hit a bump when the Pinball power-up is activated is cackle-worthy even when it’s the 10th occurrence.

So in its current beta state it needs a lot of work. I doubt the gameplay and structure is going to change very much, but as it stands it’s looking to be what all Carmageddon fans were hoping for. Whether Carmageddon Reincarnation will find an audience that isn’t wearing rose tinted spectacles, however, remains to be seen.

Interview with Pillar Creator: Michael Hicks

Gamestyle: Hello Michael, thank you for joining us. Can you give us a little bit of history about yourself and how you got into game development?

Michael Hicks: Thanks for having me! I’ve been making games since I was a kid, I grew up with video games so it started off with me trying to mimic games I was playing… in 2007 I made my first full game, a 2D space shooter… and eventually worked my way up to a 3D space shooter in 2011 for Xbox 360. After that I started to look at games more seriously as a career… I made a few other games for Xbox 360 and then have been working on Pillar since August 2012.

So is Pillar somewhat of a dream game for you? Something you had in your mind from an early age? Basically what was the inspiration for Pillar?

Looking back now, I’d say it’s the best thing I’ve done… but it wasn’t my dream game or anything like that. Around 2012 I started to get frustrated at a lot of video games, essentially I feel most video games are about escapism and hiding from reality to some degree, there’s a place for that in the world but I wanted to see more expressive games that tried to give people things they could take back and relate to in real life.

So after making this experimental game called Sententia for Xbox 360, I started subscribing to this idea that video games need to move away from traditional narrative story, and focus on the gameplay mechanics and what they teach/say to the player. I started to believe that you could essentially tell a story through the gameplay mechanics…

So with all that bubbling in my mind, I started thinking about real life relationships I had with people… one in particular was really important to me but I could never describe in words how it felt to be around this person, we had this really weird chemistry… so I started thinking I could express it through the gameplay mechanics, in a sense showing how I saw the world and how she saw the world, and how the characters worked together. Then I saw this movie called Magnolia where it’s made up of a bunch of characters that make up a bigger story… I started combining that idea with the theories from psychology stuff like the Myers-Briggs and slowly the idea came together.

So really, a ton of different things inspired this game… but hopefully that gives you an idea of my head space at the time I started it!

Wow, that has covered a number of questions we had planned…

Magnolia is an excellent film by the way so that really has piqued our interest.

You mention wanting to find another way to tell a story. One thing I like about many Indie titles, is that they can take risks in how they tell a story, do you find you have that freedom, or is there pressure to find a new angle? Especially moving forward.

Yeah Magnolia is one of my favorite films, PTA is my favorite director! Feel free to ask any of those questions if you feel I could go into more depth on a certain area.

I love creative freedom, it’s the main reason I’m indie. I love making things because of the excitement of arriving at ideas you feel no one has thought of before. The excitement of doing something new is what motivates me to make stuff, so I don’t really feel a pressure to find a new angle or anything like that… it’s what drives me at this point really.

Great, so with Magnolia, it is wonderful to hear someone mention it as an influence, because it is a special film. But aside from the way the character’s own experiences all conspire to link to one another, was there any other influence that came from that? Or even from Paul Thomas Anderson’s style?

Yeah I think Paul Thomas Anderson had a huge influence on me creatively, especially with this game. He has a way of writing characters in an honest way that isn’t judgemental, he just presents things and lets you take it in. I feel in some of my earlier games when I would write dialogue, I would try to stress really hard that this person is evil or you know… put my own opinion into the writing. Paul doesn’t really do that in any of his movies, and that’s interesting because so many of his films are essentially character studies about people with realistic flaws.

So like I said, there isn’t any dialogue in Pillar… but I consider this game to be very similar to his movies; in a way Pillar is also a character study about people with realistic flaws… but I don’t feel like I make a judgement call on who is “right” or “wrong”, I just present the ideas and how they relate to the bigger picture I’m trying to convey.

That sounds right up our alley. However, before this turns into a chat purely about Mr Anderson, we’ll move on.

How much do you think the new landscape of gaming has allowed your vision to come together? This surely wasn’t possible just a few short years ago.

I couldn’t be doing this in the 90s… I’m from the middle of nowhere, so the only reason I’m here talking to you now is because of the internet and the rise of tools like XNA. I learned how to program from the XNA Community and various free resources online, and then the rise of digital distribution let these smaller teams take more creative risks. There’s no way a studio would pick up what I’m doing if I pitched it to them… and if they did I feel like they’d screw it up by asking me to make changes to cater to what they think gamers want right now and all of that jazz.

So yeah, I think we’re in a really exciting time for video games!

Which brings me nicely onto my next question and the differences between the big AAA titles and Indie developed games.

Games like Driveclub, Master Chief Collection, Assassin’s Creed, etc have all come out to a bad reception for obvious reasons, do you think that Indie titles are in a way a reminder that bigger isn’t always better? That sometimes it is the smaller innovations that have the biggest impact?

I think the primary difference between AAA and indie is how they prioritise money… and honestly this isn’t a black and white thing, we tend to stereotype this stuff. Somewhere I read an interview with the main director behind Goldeneye 007 and he talked about how they rarely had anyone check in on them or ask to make changes, they had a lot of creative control. There’s also A LOT of indies right now that operate like larger studios… they come in and analyze the market and try to cater to what’s selling right now.

So when I say I’m all about indies and I hate AAA… really what I’m saying is that I don’t like the pure business approach that people have to making things, I’ve never seen it produce anything meaningful… meaningful as in, causing a change in the video game industry or being something that changes people’s lives in someway. What I see with the business approach is that it’s a short term investment, they tend to make a lot of money right now but over the course of time are totally forgotten and replaced.

How many people are going to recommend Morrowind in 20 years? There will just be some new Elder Scrolls with better graphics that we’ll recommend. But how many people will remember Braid? You know what I mean? That’s the difference between the two approaches I think.

Wonderful response, there are some games that will always leave a lasting impression. Before you get to give us a reason as to why Pillar could be that sort of title, we have one more question.

So PS4… Is that it? Or can we expect other platforms at some point? You know you’ll get hounded for a Vita version right?

I’ve already been hounded =-P Seriously, go look at the comments on the blogs I’ve posted ha-ha. The game is going to launch on PS4, Xbox 360 and PC. It will be available on the Humble store for PC, but we’re also on Steam Greenlight right now so we could potentially see it on Steam too.

If the game does ok we’d love to see it on Vita so we’ll see what happens!

Good to know.

Thank you so much for joining us, before we let you leave we want to give you a chance to sell us Pillar! What should our readers expect? Why should they go and buy it?

If you agreed with any of my above answers then there’s a high chance you’ll enjoy Pillar… if you enjoy a good puzzler and experencing games that are attempting to try new things then this game is for you! If you want a game that respects your time and doesn’t give you any filler, then this game is TOTALLY for you. Ha-ha, thanks a lot for having me!

Pillar is released on PS4 on 17th February 2015 in the US and the day after in the EU

Bloodborne – Hands On Preview

Indeed, I braved the perils of encountering Swansea’s finest social shut-ins with nothing better to do on a Friday evening, all for the grand prize of a few goes of From Software’s forthcoming action-RPG, Bloodborne.

I have to admit, I’m a little rusty when it comes to the Demon’s/Dark Souls games, and I never played Dark Souls 2. When I found out about the lock-in event at my local Game store, I dug out my old PS3, and fired up the PS+ edition of Demon’s Souls to reacquaint myself with the controls. Aside from it feeling like meeting up with an old friend, playing Demon’s Souls really did put me in good stead for playing Bloodborne.

When I finally got my hands on the controller, I was presented with four choices of characters. All looked somewhat similar except for the fourth.  The first three all had some combination of melee weapons (swords and axes etc.), and guns (pistols and shotguns). The final character was specced out for agility, wielding what appeared to be a dagger and a pistol, and wearing a ragged, bird-like cloak, with matching mask. Think Big Bird, but if Tim Burton kidnapped and tortured him to the point of madness.

My first go, however, wasn’t with emo Big Bird. I went for a guy that looked like a good all-rounder, and with his pistol and awesome outfit, looked like a Victorian era Saint of Killers (if you don’t get that reference, you should remedy that, right now!). So off I went, axe in one hand, pistol in the other, cautiously walking along cobbled streets so gothic in style I half expected a Danny Elfman score to kick in.

I don’t know about most other players, but my experience with Demon’s and Dark Souls involved religious use of a shield. I loved my shields. So when playing Bloodborne I was very conscious of not having one. I felt vulnerable. Thankfully, the controls and feel of this Bloodborne demo were very familiar to me, thanks to my recent play of Demon’s Souls.  The right stick is still your best friend, click it to lock on to the enemy in front of you, and move it to lock on to another.

Similarly, performing rolls is also the same, and will likely prove to be a key element of survival in this game. The enemies come at you at a staid pace, only sometimes quickly advancing. I actually found this more unnerving than them charging at me. They appeared more cautious, and somewhat bizarrely, more human as a result. Combined with their looks, and the fantastically realised gothic streets, this created an atmosphere that is pretty much unmatched.  It felt like Wes Craven and Tim Burton had spawned some kind of horrible demon offspring, and I was the central role in one of its nightmares.

Going back to the combat, I tried a few approaches depending on the character I was playing with. Emo Big Bird’s nimble style didn’t suit me at all, and I died very quickly.  My best experience was with a character that wielded a great big sword in one hand, and a blunderbuss in the other. You may not have shields, but some of the enemy characters do, so it felt immensely satisfying to knock a shielded enemy back with my sword, and follow up with a fatal blast from my blunderbuss.  It would appear the key to Bloodborne’s combat may lie in combining both weapons to get the best out of them.

Of course, you can switch to traditional two-handed weapons. Carving your way through enemies in Demon’s Souls was always fun, and felt just as good in this, especially as your character’s clothes slowly get drenched in the blood of everyone you’ve slain – it makes emo Big Bird look particularly ghoulish. The exploration and “perhaps I’ll come back here later… much later” aspects of Demon’s Souls appear to be present as well. I decided to take a different route on one of my goes, and happened upon what can only be described as a big fat motherfucker, with a big fat motherfucking meat cleaver. “YOU DIED”.

The demo itself felt a little stuttery; for the most part it appeared to run at a solid 30 frames per second, but I did encounter the odd dip here and there. I asked the Sony rep at the event how recent the build was, and was told it’s the same demo that was at the Eurogamer Expo in autumn last year. From Software has had plenty of time to to optimise the game to make the most of the PS4’s power, and what I played most certainly whetted my appetite. The controls and combat felt just as tight as in Demon’s Souls, and the combination of gunplay with traditional swordplay adds a great new twist.  The graphical style From Software has gone for here evokes true horror, eschewing the fantasy trappings of the Souls series. I can’t wait to get my hands on the full game next month.

Bloodborne, exclusive to Playstation 4, will be released 27th March in the UK.

Battlefield Hardline Beta Preview

Saving Private Ryan? Inglorious Basterds? Platoon? Full Metal Jacket? Battlefield has always been a game about war, and the Dice invented “Battlefield Moments” have always reflected this. From taking out half an army with a well placed C4, to watching a crashing jet rip through a tank just as it’s about to blow up your tiny bike, it’s all the best moments from a million war films summed up in one tidy package. It’s always been a lot of military-based fun, essentially.

Until now.

What did I think of while I was playing the Battlefield Hardline beta? Heat. I thought of the Michael Mann film, Heat. And this can only be a good thing.

Arriving hot on the heels of one of the most famous big budget catastrophes of recent years in Battlefield 4 (despite Master Chief’s best efforts to finish the fight), Hardline is the first Battlefield game by Dead Space veterans Visceral. This, coupled with a delay from last Christmas in order to incorporate fan feedback, leaves Hardline with more to prove than the bastard lovechild of Paul Hollywood and Oscar Pistorius’ lawyer. A lady one… I don’t know.

First impressions were mixed. For starters, it worked! Yes, while Battlefield 4 spent most of its lifespan being about as reliable as a Max Clifford train service, Hardline seems to be genuinely playable on a basic level. Solid work Visceral! I booted the game up with a mate (the only way to play Battlefield, after all) and we went straight into our first game of Heist; one of two new modes in the beta.

Heist involves the robbers having to steal and the cops having to stop them. Be it jewels or cold papery-soft cash, your aim is to get in, grab, and escape on a nearby chopper. It’s a bit like Battlefield stalwart Rush meets Antony Worrall Thompson basically, and once you get used to it, it’s a lot of fun. Those first few games are classic Battlefield in the worst way though, incredibly poorly explained and a real struggle to get to grips with even if you’re from a BF background. I notched up over 100 hours on Battlefield 3 and around the same trying to get into a single game of Battlefield 4, so the slower movement and a new game mode (with pretty poor explanation) were a bit of a shock to the system.

Things improved though and Heist slowly started to reveal itself to be a bit of a winner. Destruction on the whole has been dialled down for Hardline, at least for this beta, but being able to trigger specific areas in the levels to blow through was fun and gives a real Heat style cops and robbers feel to proceedings. New zip lines and climbable ropes add to this, and by the end I was thoroughly enjoying playing as both sides of the coin. A new system of “purchasing” weapons is also great, players earn cash as they play and can pick and choose to unlock items that suit their play style, rather than generically earning the same upgrades as everyone else as they go.

Then there’s Hotwire, which for me is a complete justification for Hardline’s price tag. Played on your own I’d imagine it would be a fun little slant on Conquest, which involves the capture points being driveable vehicles, but with a friend. It’s the world’s greatest Starsky and Hutch simulator and had me laughing like Jimmy Carr’s drain for the two evenings I spent playing it. Despite some issues with cars essentially stopping dead in their tracks if they graze a pebble, the driving feels much more natural than in previous Battlefields, and with 5 command points driving around and everyone else in cars trying to blow them up, it really is a hoot.

Conquest is still Conquest, and will probably be the mode that keeps me coming back to Hardline as it has done every Battlefield since 1942. The maps are great and once you get used to the feel of the controls they’re also fine, even if the default Assault (or Operator here) weapon is ever so slightly shit in every conceivable way. Other weapons are better though and as I’ve mentioned it wouldn’t be Battlefield without it being slightly shoddy at first.

One other niggle is that currently the game looks slightly below par, but we have to assume this is due to it still being in beta. The graphics are currently some way between Battlefield 3 and 4, which is pretty inexcusable for a game that’s had this long in development. They also need to calm the Xbox DVR side of things down, I can’t speak for PS4 but at the moment it seems to record 30 second clips every time an ant farts, and after two nights playing I’ve got more unwanted videos on my Bone than a Leslie Grantham laptop.

Overall a positive beta then, and one that leaves me eagerly awaiting 20th March for the UK release. Hopefully Visceral will iron out the last few kinks and could have a real winner on its hands. It feels like there’s a real possibility this could be the definitive cops and robbers game, at least until those rumours of Lego The Wire are confirmed…

Woolfe – The Red Hood Diaries Preview

One of the many successful Kickstarter projects of 2014, Woolfe – The Red Hood Diaries is a 2.5D platformer with a dark story based around fairy tales and featuring an axe-wielding Red Riding Hood as the central character. The Kickstarter campaign’s success was probably thanks as much to the gorgeous concept art as it was the promise of the game. Time has passed, the game itself has had more work and is now available on Steam Early Access, which is what this preview is based on. Launching in mid-March, there’s still time left to improve a great deal.

Surprisingly, the first game that comes to mind when starting to play is Dishonored. Opening in a city, the dilapidation, the suffering of the population, the dark overlord all seem reminiscent. A dystopian city isn’t the most interesting, but even with that first setting in mind, the sheer gorgeousness of the concept art is immediately obvious in the game. Characters are incredibly well-designed and that attention to detail spills into the ongoing narration Red offers throughout.

Gameplay is old fashioned, with both the negative and positive connotations that brings to mind. Perhaps the most obvious recent suggestion for how it plays are the Scarecrow sections of Arkham Asylum and that certainly isn’t a bad thing. It is a platform game though, and a quite pedantic one. Instadeath abounds.

It’s wrong to point out many flaws at this point though. It needs, and frankly deserves, a ridiculous level of polish that isn’t present. [Although walking into an area to be greeted with in-universe wooden signs saying “Boss Fight Under Construction” is a lovely touch]. Whilst it’s not to recommend in the current state, unless you want to support development, if the required level of polish is applied and the final game is a smooth and satisfying tour of the art and story the team have created this could still be something very special indeed.

Keep an eye on Gamestyle for the full review when the completed game is available!

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax confirmed Region Free

And the whole of Europe rejoiced as Atlus have announced that Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is going to be region free!

This news probably due to the poor reaction received when the original Persona 4 Arena was region locked, with Europeans having to wait months for it to finally arrive on these shores. Ultimax looks to be going the same way with no news on a European date whereas it’ll arrive in the US on September 30th. So time to get importing.

Along with this, there also comes news of pre-order bonuses. These being:

  • Tohru Adachi DLC Pack – Free for the 1st week of release
  • Teddie Bop Bag
  • Tarot cards

Atlus also saying there is “more to come”.

Platinum Games making The Legend of Korra

Despite already working on Bayonetta 2 and Scalebound, that’s apparently not enough work for Platinum Games as today they have released an announcement trailer for The Legend of Korra.

Based on the animated series, The Legend of Korra will be released as a download for PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.

IGN have the first trailer which you can view below:

Codemasters Release New GRID AUTOSPORT Open-Wheel Video

Wednesday 4th June (2pm UK) – Today Codemasters® revealed a new video showcasing the Open-Wheel racing discipline, one of the five unique styles of racing set to star in the game’s new world of professional motorsport, now playing below

In the video, gameplay footage of GRID Autosport’s Open-Wheel racing discipline reveals purpose-built racing thoroughbreds going wheel-to-wheel in events where racing with precision at high speeds is essential for success. The video also features real-world racing drivers explaining the appeal of the discipline and how to succeed in cars which ‘take a bit of holding onto’, including British Racing Driver Club Rising Stars Jake Hill and Alice Powell, Danny Keirle from the Young Racing Driver Academy  plus Arden International Motorsport’s GP3 racer Patric Neiderhauser who explains that at “almost 200 mph, side by side, [it’s ]the best feeling in the world – it’s like being on a rollercoaster but you’re driving yourself.”

In GRID Autosport’s Open-Wheel events, players must race smoothly and shave seconds off each and every lap in lightweight racing cars designed for a phenomenal power-to-weight ratio. Slipstreaming and picking the correct line around each corner is vital in a range of series typically featuring a single car class. Open-Wheel race cars are masterpieces of racing engineering where contact can quickly lead to the end of a driver’s race, so players must execute clean passes at high speed in order to win. Codemasters has consulted with drivers who have competed in Open-Wheel races to bring the experience of racing these cars alive authentically.

GRID Autosport features a range of cars and series in the Open-Wheel category. Players will get to test their skills in stunning examples of automotive excellence, including the Dallara F312, Ariel Atom 3.5, Caparo T1, Dallara Indycar and many more. Open-Wheel events and championships in career mode and online are set on the game’s beautifully recreated circuits, including Circuit Mont Tremblant, Indianapolis, Spa Francorchamps and many more.

In GRID Autosports huge career, gamers will specialise in their favourite racing discipline or conquer them all; players will feel the aggression of the pack in Touring Cars, race into the night in Endurance events, race Open-Wheel cars with precision, show car control in Tuner events and react on the fly in Street races. Each unique category features series dedicated to different classes, including Touring Cars, Hypercars, Endurance GT Cars, Prototypes, Single-Seaters, Super Modified vehicles, Drift cars and many, many more. Bursting with content, GRID Autosport features over 100 routes across 22 incredible locations and the world’s most exciting contemporary and classic high-performance racing cars to collect, tune and upgrade.

GRID Autosport is set to ship on June 24th in the USA and release on June 27th in Europe for the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Windows PC and for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system. A limited edition of GRID Autosport featuring exclusive additional content including the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupé Black Series, GRID Autosport Black Edition, is available to pre-order from GAME in the UK. Fans can keep up with all the latest updates straight from the studio by speeding over to and or follow the team at

Mortal Kombat X Announcement Trailer

The last Mortal Kombat game brought the series back from the brink of death, and showed that MK could still hold its own in today’s fighting game market. Now Kombat has returned with Mortal Kombat X.

The announcement showcases the classic feud of Scorpion and Sub Zero as they do battle in the forest. “Mortal Kombat has always been about over-the-top, visceral fighting and with Mortal Kombat X we wanted to utilise the power of new-gen consoles to give players our most intense game yet,” says NetherRealm Studios chief Ed Boon.

“The team has worked hard to make sure Mortal Kombat X delivers everything fans expect along with new characters, new game modes and an all new graphics engine.”

Looking at the trailer and the use of environments makes us wonder if players will be able to make use of the stage in a similar way to last years Injustice: Gods Among Us. The trailer is below:

Mortal Kombat X is due out on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox 360 sometime next year.



PQube, Bristol (May 30th developers and publishers for consoles and Windows PC®, announces that MotoGP™14 will be available on Xbox 360®, Windows PC, Steam, PlayStation®3, PlayStation®Vita and on PlayStation®4 from the 20th 2014) – Milestone, one of the most recognized racing videogame of June 2014.

For those who pre-order the game from GAME in the UK will receive an exclusive ‘Legends of MotoGP’ card game pack.

Plus, Milestone is pleased to unveil the packshot for MotoGP™14, the game that gives you the chance to re-live the 2014 MotoGP™ Official Season. MotoGP™14 features tracks and riders from the official MotoGP™ 2014 season, the riders from MotoGP™ 2013 class as well as Champions from the past. MotoGP™14 hosts more than 100 riders, all the official manufacturers and 18 tracks.

Developed by Italian Milestone Studio, MotoGP™14 will be available from the 20th Xbox 360®, Windows PC®, PlayStation®3, PlayStation®Vita and on PlayStation®4.

Follow us on Facebook, check the Official Youtube channel, use the hashtag #motogpvideogame or visit the official product site

Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Trailer

Another year, another Call Of Duty, but this time with added Kevin Spacey. Who seems to be channeling Frank Underwood for his part in Advanced Warfare.

See the trailer below:

Expect more news and updates as E3 approaches.

Sony’s Indie Showcase Brings Some Goodness

So E3 is coming, but that hasn’t stopped Sony from getting ahead of the game and making some juicy announcements. With a whole bunch of Indies coming to PS4 and PS Vita.

The games pretty much speak for themselves, so just take a look at their trailers below:

Nidhogg (PS4)

Spelunky (PS4 – Cross Buy)

Chasm (PS4)

Skulls of the Shogun (PS4)

Source (PS4)

Axiom Verge (PS4, PS Vita)

Drifter (PS4, PS Vita)

Jamestown Plus (PS4)

Starwhal: Just the Tip (PS4)

Escape Goat 2 (PS4)

Ironclad Tactics (PS4)

Apoteon (PS4)

If that is what Sony have announced ahead of E3, then we should all be very excited for what they have saved for the event itself.

Get a free Wii U game with Mario Kart 8

Nintendo aren’t exactly known for their quality deals, but today they revealed one that’s bound to get all Wii U owners a little excited.

If you buy Mario Kart 8 and register the game on Club Nintendo (between 30th May and 31st July) you’ll be able to get a free Wii U game download. They’re not just throwing away bottom of the barrel stuff either, these are actual, quality titles. They are:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
  • Pikmin 3
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
  • The Wonderful 101
  • Game & Wario
  • Sonic Lost World
  • Nintendo Land
  • Wii Party U
  • Mario and Sonic at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games
  • New Super Mario Bros U

Mario Kart is out on the 30th May. We can’t wait.


Today Codemasters® announced that the next racing game in the award-winning GRID series will be GRID Autosport, set to ship on 24th June in the USA and release on June 27th in Europe for the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Windows® PC from Steam and for the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system.

GRID Autosport will bring alive the experience of becoming a professional racing driver in a new world of contemporary and classic motorsport. Drawing in spirit from classic Codemasters titles such as the TOCA series, developed in conjunction with community feedback and retaining the core GRID focus of ‘being all about the race’, gamers will experience a world of breadth, of depth, of intensity and of course, of the excitement that only racing cars can deliver.

Gamers can see GRID Autosport in action in a new gameplay video now playing at

Racing alongside a teammate, players must overcome key rivals and satisfy team sponsors in ferocious races where every pass and position counts. In GRID Autosports huge career, gamers will specialise in their favourite racing discipline or conquer them all; players will feel the aggression of the pack in Touring Cars, manage tyre wear and race into the night in Endurance events, race Open-Wheel cars with precision, show car control in Tuner events and react on the fly in Street races.

Each unique category features series dedicated to different classes, including Touring Cars, Hypercars, Endurance GT Cars, Prototypes, Single-Seaters, Super Modified vehicles, Drift cars and many, many more. Bursting with content, GRID Autosport features over 100 routes across 22 incredible locations and the world’s most exciting contemporary and classic high-performance racing cars to collect, tune and upgrade.

GRID Autosports features and tone have been shaped through consultation with the GRID community, professional racing drivers and the experts from AUTOSPORT magazine. This includes the return of an in-car view and the most authentic handling in a GRID game yet. Multiplayer racing is extended by RaceNet, Codemasters’ free million member strong online community portal, which will deliver new challenges every week from launch and sees the introduction of all-new RaceNet Racing Clubs for online, clan-style team competition. Party modes, Demolition Derby and competitive split-screen modes all complement the game’s extensive career mode and expansive core online game.

GRID Autosport delivers the most amount of content in the series yet and a truly authentic motorsport feel, but does not lose sight of what makes a GRID game a GRID game – it’s all about the race.

“The design philosophy behind GRID Autosport was to create a really focussed racing game,” said James Nicholls, Chief Games Designer, GRID Autosport. “We’ve jettisoned anything that doesn’t support the on-track competition and we’ve chosen a selection of cars and tracks that will give players a range of different racing experiences. That variety is crucial. There are five very distinct ways to race – this isn’t a game where basically every race is the same and the cars and tracks change. You need to adjust your tactics and learn different techniques to succeed in each racing discipline and each car has its own character too. Our AI will act and react in different ways depending not just on how you race, but the style of racing you are competing in and that’s vital in authentically capturing the feel of say, Touring Cars compared to Open-Wheel Racing.”

In developing GRID Autosport, Codemasters consulted extensively with the GRID Community, professional racing drivers and the racing experts from AUTOSPORT magazine.

TOCA Race Driver 3 was an office favourite back in the day, so when Codemasters said they wanted to take the series back to its core fan-base we got stuck in to help,” said Simon Strang, AUTOSPORT.  “Many of our guys that helped with the handling are either former racers and / or active amateurs, but their deep and ingrained knowledge of all levels of motorsport, from so many weekends spent in far-flung paddocks meant that Codemasters were able to extract aspects of knowledge and understanding that otherwise would slip by. The other thing is that while you want the cars to feel authentic, you don’t necessarily want to spend hours mastering it – that’s what real racing is for. You want that experience of racing. We hope that the balance is struck right for the players of GRID Autosport and that is certainly what we aimed to help with. The diversity of cars and tracks is another factor we were delighted by and the return of traditional touring car series and classic tracks is great news for racing fans.”

GRID Autosport will also be Codemasters most scalable game yet on PC. On high-performance set ups, GRID Autosport offers 4K textures, 4K output support and delivers a 1080P, 60 frames per second racing experience. However, the game has been optimised for performance excellence on the widest range of hardware for the widest range of PC players yet. The Codemasters PC development team has also benefited from a relationship with Intel that has delivered a range of further benefits for players on Intel® hardware, including for the first time, tablets.

“Through close co-operation with Codemasters, we are breaking new ground on optimising GRID Autosport running on Intel Architecture,” said Richard Huddy, Chief Gaming Evangelist, Intel. “Put simply, we have expanded the range of devices GRID Autosport will support – the game performs beautifully on PCs with processor graphics solutions and for the first time on Intel  Atom™ based tablets too. It’s a game changer in this respect, as AAA console quality gaming arrives on Intel powered Windows Tablets – bringing truly dramatic results. At the top end of the performance spectrum, GRID Autosport is setting the bar higher too. Order Independent Transparency, Volumetric shadows and advanced HDR rendering powered by Intel’s Pixel Shader Ordering Extensions are just some of the advanced technical features that serve to put gamers in the race like never before.”

GRID Autosport will be available for Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3 and Windows PC. Fans can keep up with all the latest updates straight from the studio by speeding over to and or follow the team at


APRIL 2014 – RENTON, WA – The time has come for gamers to Hunt Bigger Game. Wizards of the Coast today announced Magic 2015—Duels of the Planeswalkers, the latest installment for the popular Duels of the Planeswalkers franchise and the first version to release on the new next-generation gaming console, Xbox One. Starting this summer, Magic 2015 will put players at the centre of the action as the deadliest hunter in the Magic Multiverse, Garruk Wildspeaker, shifts his hunter’s instinct away from beasts of the wild to the ultimate quarry—you!

5. EN-Deck management

Magic 2015—Duels of the Planeswalkers will take the game to a whole new level, deeply engaging fans like never before. With new features including the ability to build customised decks, new booster packs with premium downloadable content, and an even more robust deck builder, players will take on their fiercest opponents culminating in the ultimate battle against Garruk. Magic 2015 will offer gamers the perfect way to start playing the world’s best strategy trading card game priming them for even more action with the upcoming Magic 2015 Core Set. In addition to the Xbox One, Magic 2015 will be also be available on Xbox Live Arcade, iPad via the App Store, PC via Steam, Android via GooglePlay, and Kindle via Amazon Marketplace.*

Please visit for the latest news and updates and follow Magic on Facebook and Twitter.

New Child of Light Trailer Released

We at Gamestyle are very excited for Ubisoft’s upcoming Child of Light and you should be too. Everything about the game screams quality and shows off just how the UbiArt framework allows developers to unleash their creativity. Which can be seen perfectly in the World of Lemuria.

Take a look at the latest trailer:


The Evil Within: Putting the horror back in Survival Horror

Today some new footage has been released of the eagerly anticipated The Evil Within. And boy, does it look good.

From the creator of Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami, the new trailer definitely has a classic Resident Evil feel. The graphics, over the shoulder perspective and even shooting mechanics look very RE4. Yet while that series shifted towards a more action orientated route, The Evil Within looks to be returning to a more horror focus.

Here’s the new trailer:

The Evil Within is out on 29th August for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

UFC gets Bruce Lee as a playable character….because why not?

You’d think it was still April Fool’s, but today EA have announced that Bruce Lee will be joining the new UFC game.

People who pre-order UFC for Xbox One and Playstation 4 will get the legendary Bruce Lee as a playable character. “I feel like this is the most ridiculous question,” creative director Brian Hayes said. “Why put Bruce Lee in a UFC game? It’s. Bruce. Lee…”

“You have the premier organization in the fastest growing sport in the world, the UFC; and the most iconic martial artist in the history of the world, Bruce Lee – a martial artist renowned for his philosophies that laid the groundwork for modern mixed martial arts. I can’t conceive of a universe where bringing these two things together doesn’t make sense. I know there are going to be countless fans that feel the exact same way and they will be eager play with such a legend in the UFC Octagon. I am one of them.”

As you can see from the below trailer, it all looks like something special indeed.

UFC arrives 17th June for Xbox One and Playstation 4.

New character Decapre makes her Street Fighter debut

There’s been a lot of speculation in the fighting game community on who the fifth and final Ultimate Street Fighter IV is going to be. Today it’s finally revealed as newcomer, Decapre.

Decapre will join new fighters Hugo, Poison, Rolento and Elena. Decapre being the only original character making her debut, though she does share a striking resemblance with Cammy.

Decapre trailer can be viewed below:

Along with five additional characters, the Ultimate edition of Street Fighter IV also introduces an Edition Select mode (where you can choose what characters version you want to fight from each Street Fighter IV game) and YouTube integration.

Ultimate Street Fighter IV arrives on PS3 and Xbox 360 in June, either as a DLC upgrade for Super Street Fighter IV or as a full package from retailers.

MXGP gets GAME exclusive pre-order bonus

PQube have today announced the pre-order bonus for MXGP – The Official Motocross Videogame. 

If you pre-order MXGP from GAME in the UK you will receive an exclusive limited edition book – detailing the tracks in the game, as well as giving a sneak peek behind the scenes for the game’s development – detailing the lengths that developers Milestone have gone to, to ensure it’s the most authentic representation of motocross ever seen in a videogame.

MXGP – The Official Motocross Videogame features:

  • All the riders, bikes, manufacturers and sponsors of MXGP – to fully capture the ambience of the MXGP season.
  • Revolutionary dual-stick controls, allowing you to manipulate the bike and rider simultaneously, for unparalleled depth in handling and physics.
  • Brand New Career Mode – allowing you to chart your journey from rookie ‘wild card’ to seasoned professional.
  • Real-time track deformation. Watch – and feel – the course change from lap to lap, where no two races are the same.
  • Online multiplayer which allows you to easily find races against players at your skill level.
  • Adjust every aspect of the bike to best suit the courses conditions and your own play style.
  • Depth of handling which allows players to express their own racing style. With no ‘correct’ way of riding – victory is entirely in your hands!

The game can be pre-ordered by clicking HERE.

MXGP arrives on PC, PS3, Vita and Xbox 360 on 28th March.

Watch_Dogs arrives 27th May

The biggest downside of the next-gen launches was the absence of Watch_Dogs, but you won’t have to wait much longer to get your hands on it. Ubi Soft have announced the game finally arrives on 27th May.

In a day full of Watch_Dogs news it’s also been revealed that PS3 and PS4 players will get 60 minutes of exclusive gameplay.

“We’re really excited for the launch of Watch Dogs on both PS3 and PS4 and are confident that it will prove to be one of the standout games of 2014,” said Michael Pattison, vice president of Third Party Relations at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

“It’s a unique and visionary game and we believe that the exclusive content available via PSN will not only excite gamers, but showcase how PlayStation is a preferred destination for Watch Dogs.”

Here’s the new Story trailer:

It’s worth noting that the 27th May date is for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions with the Wii U version released at “a later date”.


London, UK – March 5th, 2014 – Today, Ubisoft announced that Child of LightTM, the poetic turn-based RPG that will release digitally on April 30th, 2014, will also be available the same day in retail as a Deluxe Edition on PlayStation® 3, PlayStation® 4 and on Windows® PC. This Deluxe Edition is available for pre-orders right now and will be available in the UK and other EMEA territories only.

The Child of LightTM Deluxe Edition will contain exclusive content, including a poster designed by Yoshitaka Amano, the renowned Japanese artist, a 24 page art book with unrevealed artwork and an Igniculus key ring. This boxed edition will also include additional game content, with a bonus quest, a new character and a pack of collectibles.

Additionally, the PlayStation® 3 and PlayStation® 4 versions of the game, both in retail and digital, will benefit from the cross-buy option. Therefore, players buying Child of LightTM on PlayStation® 3 and PlayStation® 4 will be able to play the game on both platforms at no additional cost.

Child of LightTM is created by a small team of seasoned developers based in Ubisoft Montreal.  It has been developed on Ubisoft’s UbiArt Framework, a powerful engine that lets programmers and artists bring their art to life by allowing original concept art to be inserted unedited into the game world. In Child of LightTM, the effect is akin to stepping into an interactive painting.

Child of LightTM is a reimagining of classic fairytales, inviting players on an epic adventure into the magical painted world of Lemuria.  Players will uncover mysteries, participate in turn-by-turn combat inspired by classic JRPGs, and explore a mystical kingdom. The game puts players in the shoes of Aurora, a child stolen from her home, who, in her quest to return, must bring back the sun, the moon and the stars held captive by the Queen of the Night. Helped by her companion Igniculus the firefly and several unlikely allies, Aurora will face her darkest fears, including dragons and other mystical creatures, in this modern take on a coming-of-age story.

The game will be available for download on Xbox LIVE for the Xbox® 360 and Xbox® One, the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation® 3 and PlayStation® 4, the eShop from Nintendo for the Wii U, and PC Digital, at the price of £11.99.

For more information on Child of LightTM, please visit:

Rocksteady return for Batman: Arkham Knight

It’s obvious a lot of people were disappointed with Arkham Origins. Coming from a different team than the previous games Asylum and City, it suffered from game breaking bugs that Warner Bros would later say were not going to be fixed. But be sure to buy their story DLC! 

Batman: Arkham Knight though is back in the hands of Rocksteady. Set one year after the events of Arkham City, the below trailer showcases what villains the Dark Knight is coming up against, including Scarecrow, Two-Face and Harley Quinn.

The biggest game changer is the inclusion of the Batmobile, which will actually be drivable. “We’ve known it’s what people want,” said game director Sefton Hill. “It refreshes the whole experience.” Hill also saying that this is “the natural end for the story.”

Batman: Arkham City is scheduled for a 2014 release on PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Fez heading to PS4, PS3 and Vita this month

Playstation fans will finally get their hands on Fez later this month as it heads to PS4, PS3 and Vita on 26th March.

Originally released in 2012, Fez became a huge hit with its unique look and puzzles. It was also aided by being one of the featured games in the documentary Indie Game: The Movie.

Polytron are certainly hyping up the PS4 version. “Playing it on PS4 is what we consider to be the best-looking and smoothest Fez experience you can get on a TV set, running at beautiful 1080p (and yes, 60fps too),” said Polytron producer Marie-Christine Bourdua.”You wouldn’t think that upping the resolution would make a big difference in a game like ours, where the pixels are the size of Gomez’s fist… but it really does look even crisper and blockier – in a good way.”

According to Polyton there won’t be much in the way of added content, but for Playstation users who have yet to experience Fez this will be the perfect opportunity.