Saddle up: Oblivion is now backwards compatible

Microsoft’s been rolling out a lot of new backwards-compatible games this month, the latest of which is 2006’s beloved The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Bethesda tweeted that Oblivion, and all its DLC with the exception of Shivering Isles, was available for download on the Microsoft store. As always, if you still have the original disc, your game will be downloaded free of charge. Oblivion, which has been out for over 10 years, arrives right on the coattails of backwards-compatible versions of Mass Effect 2 (2010) and 3 (2012), which were debuted earlier this month. Bethesda’s banking on the nostalgia Though the…


Help fund your own terrible death in Agony’s bloody vision of hell

It’s been a while since I’ve seen a warning label at the beginning of a videogame trailer. “WARNING: This trailer contains violent footage and flashing images that some may find disturbing.” That’s how the Kickstarter trailers for Agony open up, before each of them start smashing heads open with fists—one is two minutes long, the other 16 minutes long, select your poison. That’s the kind of warning I mostly associate with Resident Evil 2 (1998). That game came out a tender age for me, eight years old, when I wasn’t allowed to play horror games and therefore grew an obsession…

Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 has lost some weight

A number of things define Gears of War. There’s the chainsaw-equipped assault rifle used to saw murderous reptile men in half, the constant rhythmic challenge of timing a supercharged gun reload, and, of course, the brick shithouse soldiers that players control throughout. These are all constants in Gears, reliable design elements that tie the series—a trilogy and spin-off game—together, regardless of where the story itself goes. Gears of War 4 is an intentional break from everything that came before, but, since it has that 4 on the end of its name, it’s also, in many ways, a continuation of Gears tradition, too. Much of it…


At last, the Lynchian detective drama Virginia has a release date

You could be forgiven for not hearing of Virginia before now. The first-person detective game—described by many as a mix of Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and Brendon Chung’s Thirty Flights of Loving (2012)—is something you probably want to be focusing your attention on right now, especially as it’s arrival is right around the corner. Here’s the deets: Virginia is coming to Windows, Mac, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on September 22nd. That’s less than a month away. Maybe it’s time to get up to speed. a love letter to TV shows that mix the wonderful and the mundane You can…


Fru might actually make the Kinect relevant again

New Xbox One exclusive game, FRU requires players to use the Kinect to play. That, in itself, is already strange, considering the Kinect was unbundled from the Xbox One two years ago. But FRU might actually be able to bring life back to the Kinect by doing motion controls in a completely different way. While many motion control games require the player to, in some way, imitate a natural movement, FRU doesn’t. Instead, FRU uses the outline of your body to demarcate portals on the screen. These then change the environment that the in-game character is in, granting them a way…


Let’s obsess over what Inside is all about

This article contains lots of spoilers for Inside. /// When I got to the furnace I thought that was the end of Inside. Immediately my heart stopped. “Oh my god they didn’t,” I thought. But the momentum of the moment and all the crashing glass and shrill screams that had come before urged me on. The King of Limbs (as some are now referring to it) slunk closer to the wall, both of us transfixed by the flames. The blob of mangled flesh and synaptic impulses is a tragic abomination, but did the game’s creators really want it to die?…

Lone Light

Lone Light teases out the complex symbiosis of light and shadow

Hessamoddin Sharifpour’s upcoming game Lone Light draws its puzzles from the timeless dance between light and shadow, telling the story of a lone light finding its way through the cosmos. Sharifpour is an Iranian programmer living in Toronto; come September, he’ll be attending the University of Toronto to study computer science. At 19, he is already the recipient of two awards—Best Idea and Jury’s Special Choice—from the 2014 Iranian Indie Game Developers Festival, as well as nominations for Best Indie Game of the Year and Best Design. there will also be hints of evolving cosmologies This early recognition for his…


The next game from the creators of LIMBO goes full-on George Orwell

It’s been six years since black-and-white sidescroller LIMBO (2010) came out. It might not feel that long—it doesn’t to me—due to it having lingered with an almost ghostly presence over the world of videogames. Small or large, it didn’t matter, many games have since adapted LIMBO‘s foggy chiaroscuro and quiet, morbid world for their own stories. You might think then, given that length of time, as well as the lasting paucity of LIMBO, that the studio behind it, Playdead, would have moved on. Plus, surely, the two-tone 2D landscape was made out of necessity; don’t they have wilder dreams to realize off the…


Entering Below’s deadly caves is not for the faint of heart

Below is about being small in a large, dangerous world. The game’s looming cave system dwarfs the player to little more than a speck on the screen, and its dark corners house hidden tripwires and pits that can lead to an early demise for those who are not careful. Characters only have a small pool of health which slowly bleeds out after being hit, and every enemy presents a threat. This player fragility is core to the game’s ideas of tension and adventure, but that does not mean that the player is left entirely defenseless. In the latest build of the…