Category Archives: Games

British Games Institute cements UK cultural hub for video games

BGI merger with Nottingham’s National Videogame Arcade creates ‘centre of gravity’ for the UK’s £1bn-plus games industry – but it’s still seeking government support

The recently formed British Games Institute, which aims to become a video game equivalent of the BFI, is merging with the National Videogame Foundation to create a new body dedicated to supporting and promoting game development and culture in Britain.

The British Games Institute will be housed at the NVA’s National Videogame Arcade building in Nottingham, where a games museum as well as cultural and educational programmes have been in operation since 2016.

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Source: gadt

Call me Mr Monster Hunter: the man who guided a Japanese curiosity to global success

Capcom’s Monster Hunter: World is the fastest-selling game in its history. But for 10 years, the series struggled to find success outside Japan. What changed?

Wherever you looked in Japan in 2008, someone was bent over a tiny PlayStation Portable games console (PSP) – and that someone was probably playing Monster Hunter. From clusters of young people playing on groomed lawns outside universities to suited salarymen on packed trains, the game had friends, family and work colleagues banding together to track and fight gigantic fantasy creatures. You had a good chance of finding a game to join if you pulled out your PSP in any public place.

More than 40m Monster Hunter games, by Japanese developer Capcom, were sold between 2004 and 2017, but its success was confined almost entirely to its home country. Everything changed this year, though. When Monster Hunter World came out in January, it become not only the bestselling game in the series, but also the fastest selling game in Capcom’s history, selling 6m copies in less than a month. And much to the delight of long-time Monster Hunter players, it’s proved as popular in the US and Europe as it has in Japan.

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Source: gadt

Dead Space was to games what Alien was to movies

Now available free on PC, Dead Space came closer than any other game to replicating the look, feel and atmosphere of Ridley Scott’s sci-fi thriller

This week, Electronic Arts has made one of the most interesting and atmospheric narrative games of the 2000s available for free to users of its Origin gaming service. Released in 2008 and created by Californian studio Visceral Games, Dead Space remains a heady, often terrifying thrill ride and if you’ve never played it before, it’s worth taking this chance – especially if you’re a fan of the Alien movies.

Although there have been numerous attempts to bring Alien directly to video games – most successfully, Creative Assembly’s incredibly tense Alien: Isolation – it’s Dead Space that has got closest to replicating the look, feel and atmosphere of Ridley Scott’s original film.

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Source: gadt

Kingdom Come: Deliverance review – impressively detailed medieval life sim

PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One; Warhorse Studios/Koch Media
This lush and dynamic RPG prides itself on the historical accuracy of its recreation of 15th-century feudal Bohemia

Kingdom Come: Deliverance describes itself as a realistic and historically accurate role-playing game, which are dangerous words for any game to throw around. History, like beauty, is often in the eye of the beholder, while “realistic” should indicate more than just “visually detailed”. Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s version of historical realism is obsessive in certain areas, but curiously neglectful in others.

The epic, if familiar, narrative centres around Henry, a blacksmith’s son living in 15th-century Bohemia. Young Hal’s life is flung into chaos after a power spat between the king and his brother results in his village being torched and his parents being murdered. Fleeing with nothing but the last sword his father made, he embarks upon a quest for vengeance that sees him claw his way up the rigid social hierarchy of medieval Europe.

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Source: gadt

Gaming addiction as a mental disorder: it’s premature to pathologise players

Gaming addiction is expected to be classified as a mental disorder by the World Health Organisation (WHO) but – while concerns over the addictive properties of video games are reasonable – there is a lack of rigorous research to back it up

Video games played on smartphones, tablets, computers and consoles have been a popular form of leisure for some time now. In Europe, recent figures indicate that games are played by more than two thirds of children and adolescents, and a substantial number of adults now play games – 38% in the UK, 64% in France, 56% in Germany and 44% in Spain.

The WHO will publish the next revision of its manual – the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) – by mid-2018 and gaming disorder has been included in the draft for the first time.

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Source: gadt

Crossing Souls review – fun Stranger Things-style nostalgia for the 80s

Fourattic/Devolver Digital; PlayStation 4, PC, PlayStation Vita
There is nothing original about this Kickstarter-funded game with a plucky Goonies-style gang of 2D characters – but that is the point

When Crossing Souls’ protagonist wakes up in his pixelated bedroom, it’s not exactly difficult to divine which decade we’re in. The walls are adorned with posters of Ghostbusters and the now-defunct space shuttle. A clunky gaming console sits by a box-shaped TV. An artificial, fizzy green drink has spilled on the wooden floor. This is most definitely the 1980s. Crossing Souls’ chief ambition is to evoke nostalgia, and that goal it is evident in everything it does.

In the summer of 1986, the blue-haired main character, Chris, leads a band of four school friends around their California hometown. They are a Spielberg cliché: the geeky inventor-type, the annoying but lovable younger brother, the chubby one with a big heart, and the red-haired kickass girl. The chums come across a mysterious ancient artefact that will turn their sheltered suburban lives upside down. Soon they’re battling the forces of evil, crossing dimensions and even travelling through time.

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Source: gadt

A pirate's life for me: Rare's ambitious plans for Sea of Thieves revealed

The Xbox and PC online multiplayer pirate adventure will boast sea monsters and skeleton forts – and this is only the beginning

When the veteran British games studio Rare first revealed Sea of Thieves in 2015, it’s fair to say the response was positive. After years spent concentrating on the controversial Kinect device, the creator of luscious SNES and N64 classics Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie unveiled an online pirate adventure where groups of friends would set sail on an open ocean, seeking out treasure and doing battle with other player crews. It felt like the beloved developer had truly returned.

Two years later, anticipation remains high. Within five hours of the recent closed beta test going live, it was the most watched game on streaming service Twitch, beating even the mighty League of Legends. In the end, more than 300,000 people signed up to play, spending 2m hours and completing 400,000 quests in the week-long test.

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Source: gadt

Sports Direct to launch in-store eSports concessions

Sportswear retailer is joining up with Game Digital to create venues for hosting live matches

Sports Direct shoppers will be invited to take a break from browsing for leisurewear to play video games, with the chain unveiling a partnership that will see Game Digital open pay-to-play concessions in its stores.

Under the terms of the agreement, Sports Direct, owned by Mike Ashley, hopes to cash in on the growing popularity of eSports by clearing space in stores to host live matches between players battling it out in a variety of competitive video games.

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Source: gadt

Should vegetarian gamers go on virtual killing sprees? | Keza MacDonald

Some players find the carnage of Monster Hunter: World distasteful. To me, it is an outlet for the carnivore within

I have an admission to make: I’m a vegetarian who enjoys big-game hunting. For the past several weeks I have been playing Monster Hunter: World, a PlayStation 4 video game in which you head out into the wilds and hunt down enormous dinosaur-like creatures, wearing armour fashioned from the bones, fur and scales of previous conquests. Monster Hunter: World is nothing like real-world hunting. For one thing, the monsters in question are hugely powerful and often eat me for dinner several times before I finally manage a victory, and for another I do most of my hunting with a lightning-infused axe that transforms into a sword.

More saliently, it’s not real. My entertainment does not come at the cost of any real-world suffering. There is no possibility of extinction or ecological catastrophe.

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Source: gadt

Meet Sharon Carpenter, an exemplar for wannabe celebs | Rebecca Nicholson

She’s a safe pair of hands who asks the questions and fills the airtime

Hardly a day goes by without real life throwing another offering into the pot of potential Black Mirror storylines.

The latest is the general knowledge app HQ, played live on smartphones, like a quiz show, at set times of the day, with prize money to be divided up between the players who make it to the end of 12 increasingly difficult questions. I’ve never managed to get past question six, but I know someone who won $150. The game has already been on the receiving end of a number of controversies, about its investors and creators, but that doesn’t seem to have dented its appeal. While the quiz plays out, there’s a rolling comments section underneath it, like a demonic Twitter feed that it’s impossible to take your eyes away from. Not only is it Black Mirror-ish, it’s a bit Clockwork Orange, too.

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Source: gadt