The video game industry is booming. Americans spent $21.53 billion on games and hardware last year, and sales of the new-gen PS4 and Xbox One have exceeded expectations. So why are layoffs so common in the industry? Why are so many video game studios closing? Why does it feel like the people who make video games are always on the hook?
The next-generation of monitor technology is upon us, quadrupling the number pixels on our screens and placing a heavy burden on our beleaguered GPUs. What does it take to put together a 4K-ready gaming PC? If you've got a gaming PC capable of playing most modern-day games at Ultra settings, there's a good chance it'll be able to handle an Ultra HD monitor. How well it handles an Ultra HD monitor will come down to your graphics hardware.
It's been more than 20 years since Doom and Myst changed the landscape of video games forever. One exponentially advanced the language and possibilities of the first-person shooter genre and the other pulled players into a fictional world like never before. Despite the fact that they spoke to vastly different audiences, both games were huge, phenomenal hits. Not surprisingly, two of the men instrumental to each game's success initially hated the game the other guy produced.
I think I know what my favorite moment in Titanfall is. I'm in a Titan when my display tells me an enemy pilot has crawled up my back. My Titan's near death anyway and I know there won't be time to hop off and shoot the pilot down. Besides, my Titan is prepared for this exact moment. Earlier, I equipped it with a kit that would eject me, cloaked, just before it was set to explode. I should be just fine.
Thief is the long-awaited fourth entry in the storied Thief series. Its predecessors are often credited with revolutionizing if not flat-out inventing a particular genre of immersive stealth game. Unfortunately the latest release boils down to a city full of closed doors and dead ends, boxed in and lined with nothing but rough edges.
There was a time when the size of a gaming notebook didn't matter so much. Three or four years ago a portable gaming rig that was nearly two inches thick and weighed close to ten pounds was an impressive thing. Pull one of those beasts out at a crowded coffee house and the other customers knew you weren't about to pull up a spreadsheet.
Nostalgia seeps out of every virtual pore of Double Fine's latest game, spearheaded by beloved developer Tim Schafer. The game exists only because of the generosity of thousands of people who, by and large, wanted to recapture the charms of their video game playing youth. So, it's fitting that Broken Age looks like a gorgeously designed animated movie you can play through.
You pay $60 for many of the new games you play, but how much does a blockbuster game cost to make? Many in the industry don't even know the budgets of games. It is not unusual for developer working on a big-budget game to have no idea of the game's budget. To answer the question, we've pulled a bunch of scattered data from public sources as a first attempt to get a comprehensive sense of how much money the world's biggest and most expensive games cost.
In 2014, the PC gaming giant will be launching their first official piece of hardware: The decidedly odd, innovative Steam Controller. What will happen when a company steeped in software releases their first piece of hardware? No one -- including the people making the controller -- is quite sure.
We're in the second week of a YouTube copyright enforcement crackdown whose most visible effects have been on the video gaming community. Each day turns up a new example of a video getting thrown in YouTube jail on a ridiculous technicality. The situation seems to defy common sense, but we'll try to explain it in common language, anyway.
Twenty years ago, on December 10, 1993, John Carmack, John Romero and the rest of the team at upstart id Software unleashed a game called Doom upon the world. Twenty years later, both men have written about their favorite memories of the game for you and all fans of Doom to read. Here they are, in their own words...
Dreamhack Winter, an annual LAN party held in Sweden, is easily the biggest of its kind in the world. People come from all over Europe (and sometimes further afield) to spend a few days hanging out, seeing bands and watching pro gamers. Oh, and lugging their entire PC then setting it up in a cavernous, sweaty hall.
How good is the PlayStation 4? Ask me in five years. Ask me after I figure out whether God of War is headed in the right direction, after I learn whether it has become unfathomable to play a console game without livestreaming it. These days, many game reviews aren't really done when they first run. They can explain parts of the game accurately at launch, but online communities shape these games. That's true, too, for the surprisingly online-centric PlayStation 4.
The world is on the brink of war, and it looks like you and the rest of the Tombstone squad are riding that fine, dangerous line that circles all around it. Like almost everything hinges on you carrying out one mission on top of the other. There are these big set-piece moments—the Michael Bay explosions and extravagantly violent and precarious situations you and your squadmates find yourselves in—that set an exciting tone for all of a few seconds.
On multiple levels, this game is about finding one's voice. Players inhabit a Bruce Wayne who's been Batman for two years, as he faces a crucible that will test his resolve as never before. The people making Origins are trying to establish their creative voice as well. The game has been made by a new studio who are following up two well-regarded games by originating studio Rocksteady.
Rockstar Games has scaled a mountain with Grand Theft Auto V, creating the best-looking, best-sounding and, most importantly, best-playing version of gaming's most notorious franchise.
Scaling one peak, however, reveals another—their cloud-piercing ambition to create a great ensemble video game drama, an epic of intersecting, interactive lives. Rockstar doesn't summit that new peak as impressively with GTA V, but in its first attempt at such an audacious feat, makes a good go of it.
Fans of the original flower defense game were understandably miffed when they discovered the official follow-up would be launching exclusively on iOS, but what really worried folks was the "free-to-play" business. Luckily, Plants Vs. Zombies takes a different approach to in-app purchases than most mobile games.
Rather than alienating fans of the original game by locking content behind pay walls or dumbing-down gameplay for more casual players, Plants Vs. Zombies 2 is only going after players who lack the patience or skill to make it through the game on their own.
The Ouya doesn't promise a brilliant future. It sells at $99 using a less than top-level Tegra 3 quad-core processor. As an Android device, it signals that it'll probably be displaced by a better iteration as chip prices go down. Ouya execs have said as much. There's no 10 year lifecycle on Ouya 1.0.
You get the Ouya for the now. You get it for the summer of 2013 and the fall. You get this to wedge it in the gaps of your gaming life. There are some good games, but not many, and they're hard to discover. The Ouya is a fascinating experiment and can be fun for those for whom $99 isn't much to plunk down.