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Techland's Hellraid has been given a glossy new coat of blood

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Techland's Hellraid has been given a glossy new coat of blood

Hellraid is Dead Island developer Techland’s gorey first-person hack and slash RPG, and we’ve not heard much about it for a while. That’s because Techland have been presumably rather busy making significant changes. 

So it’s being re-announced: a new Hellraid, not the old Hellraid. That means a new engine, new combat systems both for melee and magic, and a crafting system. 

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Dying Light producer dismisses "lazy" link to linear Mirror’s Edge

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Dying Light producer dismisses "lazy" link to linear Mirror’s Edge

The decision to turn Mirror’s Edge 2 open-world seems logical enough; the free-running dream made real. It’s the urban equivalent of Skyrim’s distant-mountaintop promise: If you can see a rooftop, you can hop, slip and slide your way there.

But Mirror’s Edge was never really about choice. Sure, its greatest pleasures were to be found sourcing new routes in its Time Trial mode - but were those really choices, or optimisations?

Tymon Smektala would probably suggest the latter. He’s working at Techland on the Dead Island developers’ free-roaming zombie jumparoo, Dying Light, and is a little tired of the comparisons to DICE’s flawed opus.

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Call of Juarez: Gunslinger PC review - Print the legend

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Call of Juarez: Gunslinger PC review - Print the legend

I could append a ton of qualifiers to how much I loved Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. “For a $15 game..." or “Approaching it with low expectations" or “As Western shooters go..." But they don’t do justice to the sheer delight I took in playing it.

Gunslinger is a thoroughly conventional shooter, but it approaches its straightforward task with such style, simplicity, and humor that playing it was like being a bubble in a glass of champagne. I was propelled along by its effervescence, struck at every turn by its canny use of limited resources to create something unique and sometimes even beautiful. In this, more than anything else, it is a kindred spirit to the Hollywood Westerns that helped make the frontier such an indelible part of American culture.

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Dying Light crosses Dead Island with Mirrors Edge and sprinkles it with I Am Legend

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Dying Light crosses Dead Island with Mirrors Edge and sprinkles it with I Am Legend

I Am Legend was a fine film - not great, certainly - but it was solid and compelling, particularly as a result of the clear danger that nighttime presented protagonist Robert Neville. At night the monsters filling the city were able to hunt him freely, uninhibited by the sun’s harmful rays.

Techland are taking frames out of the film’s reel with their latest project: Dying Light. It sees you searching the game’s Rio de Janeiro-styled city for supplies by day and holding up in buildings by night, fighting off hordes of hunting creatures.

And all with a dash of first-person freerunning to keep us entertained.

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Visiting Dead Island: Riptide with some terrible tweens

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Visiting Dead Island: Riptide with some terrible tweens

I knew my hands-on with Dead Island: Riptide at PAX was in trouble the moments a pair of nine-year-olds lined up at the stations next to me, with a single ineffectual parent at the other end of the row. They each went for the same controller, fought briefly over it, then settled down and put on their headphones. Suddenly, mine were filled with exactly the kind of nonstop falsetto cursing and shit-talking that I spend most of my multiplayer life trying to avoid.

On the plus side, it’s not often you get to preview a game under the dreariest real-world conditions imaginable. In some ways it’s a good thing: just as bad games can help put good ones in perspective, interacting with bad players challenged what I thought I knew about the audience for games like Riptide. You see, Riptide isn’t a game for children, but a pair of little kids loved it all the same. And that’s a problem.

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Call of Juarez: Gunslinger trailer is all pretty panoramas

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Call of Juarez: Gunslinger trailer is all pretty panoramas

UbiSoft have just released a very brief teaser trailer for Call of Juarez: Gunslinger, the fourth game in their wild west shooter series. I've counted two cowboys in it, but not much else, as it's really just a trailer for another trailer, coming on March 14. Still, it does at least present a series of pretty pans across some very peaceful scenery, scenery I assume we're all going to shoot up the moment we get our hands on the game.

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Dead Island: Riptide is all about kicking zombies' heads off, probably

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Dead Island: Riptide is all about kicking zombies' heads off, probablyI've written "kick a zombies [sic] head off" in my Dead Island: Riptide notes and I'm not entirely sure I remember why. The adjacent notes don't offer any clues: "improved physics, zombie fell over lolol" and "new enemy types, man with guts out". I can only assume that, at some point in the two-player co-op presentation of the Dead Island sequel, creative producer Sebastian Reichert kicked a zombie in the chest and its head came flying off. That feels right. Yes. That is probably what happened.

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Dead Island: Riptide dev: "You can buy Gears of War in Germany, but not Dead Island. What's the difference?"

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Dead Island: Riptide dev: "You can buy Gears of War in Germany, but not Dead Island. What's the difference?"Dead Island is a game about killing undead people, lopping off their limbs and shooting them in their heads so that all their blood and brains come out. It's developed partly in Germany, though curiously, due to the country's restrictions on the sale of violent media, the game is not widely available in stores there. Which is obviously frustrating for Dead Island's developers, who would probably like to show the game to their friends. Sebastian Reichert, creative producer on Dead Island: Riptide, was frank about his annoyance: "it feels [effing] awkward to have one of the most successful games in years and nobody in your country knows it".

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