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The Last of Us Hands-On Preview:

We’ve finally been able to get our hands on Sony’s The Last of Us, to see if the hype around this survival horror game stacks up. The game comes from Naughty Dog, who has already established that they know how to provide action with the Uncharted series, but rather than focusing on loot plundering, The Last of Us is meant to be a terrifying escort mission, taking you across a dystopian United States.

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God of War: Ascension Hands-On Preview - A Softer, Multiplaying Kratos

God of War: Ascension is just over a month from launch, an approaching event that's increasingly been cause for alarm. After all, we haven’t even seen the single-player since last summer at E3, and while a multiplayer beta just recently wrapped, it just wasn’t the same God of War experience we’ve come to expect from this Sony tentpole that's made itself synonymous with over-the-top, first-person action gaming.

More to the point is that Ascension is a prequel to the entire series, giving us a look at Kratos before he was Kratos: the armed-to-the-teeth warrior who bellows anger at the gods while battling through impossible scenarios against supposedly immortal foes. By toying with the formula, Sony and their Santa Monica Studio would risk neglecting what's made GoW such a hit in the first place.

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Tags: G4, TV, Videogames

Bioshock Infinite Preview - Hands-On With One Of Next Year's Big Hits

Well, we have good news and bad news regarding BioShock Infinite. The bad news is that it’s been delayed again. According to Irrational Games’ Ken Levine, when they brought Rod Fergusson from Epic Games over to serve as executive vice-president of development, and to help finish this title, one of the first things he told them was that the game needed another month for polish and refinements. We’re okay with that... as long as it doesn’t signal a series of small delays.

So, that’s the bad news. What’s the good news? It’s worth the wait, and then some. While we don’t want to see this title pushed back any further, all of the hype behind it since the announcement and subsequent peeks at development have all been spot on. We were worried, as we are with most games, that the product wouldn’t live up to the expectations put out there from early looks and studio-controlled videos. But BioShock Infinite is on course to become the must-have video game for 2013.

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Morgan Webb was on hand at San Diego Comic-Con to moderate panel for The Unfinished Swan, bringing together creative director Ian Dallas, level designer Ben Esposito, art director Hokyo Lim, and producer Max Geiger to talk about their upcoming "first person painter" game that will be released sometime later this year on PlayStation Network.

It was interesting to learn that Ian Dallas has a background as a comedy writer, having worked at The Onion and on Drawn Together, especially since The Unfinished Swan feels much more like an introspective art game like Flower or Journey. It was almost as surprising to learn that Ben Esposito was a poet, as it sounded like a joke, but he actually went to college for that. Now he's channeling iambic pentameter into artistic levels.

The panel itself was mostly focused on the artwork in the game, which is the mechanic by which players find their way through the game. At first that involves throwing splats of black paint in a completely white room, which is something you'll have to figure out on your own. During some of the playtests, they noticed that players would sit there for five minutes waiting for the game to tell them what to do.

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Blizzard announced the new multiplayer units that are coming to Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm. Although the next expansion will focus on the Zerg, all three races will be getting new units. We've detailed those for you here, and we'll be getting some hands-on time with the game soon to let you know how they feel.

Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm "New Units" Explained by David Kim »


 

Blizzard's Dustin Browder did stress that, "This is absolutely a work in progress, and this could all change at any minute. If it doesn't meet our players expectations, we will take it out". So, we aren't even sure if they'll be in the final game. There will be a Heart of the Swarm beta, although Blizzard did not announce when that will be. With that in mind, here's what's new:

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Disney Epic Mickey 2

Chase Jones is the Design Director on Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, and it’s his job to make sure that all of the moving parts work smoothly together. Are the artists turning in their assets on time? Does the gameplay work cohesively with the story? Is everyone remaining fairly sane? It’s a lot to keep track of, and a big step up from his previous job as Lead Designer on Disney Epic Mickey.

We spoke to Chase when Disney Epic Mickey 2 was announced in Austin, Texas, where Disney’s Junction Point studios are located and headed up by gaming legend Warren Spector. Read on for the full interview with Chase where he talks about what the game holds in store, what changes they’ve made, and the most amazing thing he saw in the Disney Archives.

G4: So, it sounds like your team has been working on this game for quite awhile.

Chase Jones: Ever since the first one wrapped up. I mean whenever you set to finish out a project it’s like, what do we want to do next? So I think as we were deciding to bring the first one to a close, we started talking about this next one. Anything from camera to story, to mechanics; all of those talks began the moment we shipped.

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Darksiders 2

Many people know Joe Madureira as the talented artist behind comic book titles like Battle Chasers (which he created), Uncanny X-Men (including his stint through The Age of Apocalypse), and more recently, the new The Avenging Spider-Man. But to others, he is one of the creative principals at Vigil Games, which unleashed Darksiders on the world in 2010.

We spoke to Joe Mad (as he is known throught the world of comics) at a recent Darksiders 2 preview event, and he talks about the gameplay, the voice casting, and what you can expect from the other Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Read on for the full interview.

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Ever wanted to find out what it takes to get a video game job at Blizzard Entertainment? Chris Metzen, the vice-president of creative development at Blizzard, tells you how to approach the writing side of the business. Whether it's technical, dialogue, story, or otherwise, video games need writers. Metzen tells you what Blizzard looks for when hiring.

How To Get A Job In Videogames: Chris Metzen From Blizzard »


Let's face it. In the world of video game jobs, Blizzard is high up there on the list of places people want to work. Especially on the creative side, because who wouldn't want to write what happens in the next Diablo game? Here's my take: someone finally kills Diablo. Just a thought. But if you want to break into the industry as a writer, check out what Chris has to say and start honing that fan-fiction to a razor point.

Keep your browser tuned to G4 all week as we keep bringing you G4 University, and at the end of the week we'll have a guide for you that rounds up all of the information, and gives you the perfect places to start looking, along with some helpful tips. 

Want To Get A Video Game Job? Apply Here To Get Started!

Want to get a video game job? I'm sure you do. All week long G4 University has been bringing you feature stories and video about landing your dream job in the gaming industry. Now, it's time for you to put all of that knowledge to work and start applying for jobs. To make it easier, we've put together a list of links to the career pages of many top video game companies These include everything from publishers to developers, all the way up to Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

Take the time to craft a brief but well-written cover letter, make sure your resume is in order, and start applying! We're hoping you land your dream career at some point, and if you get a job somewhere please let us know. Who knows, we might be interviewing you about your upcoming game right here on G4!

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Transformers Fall of Cybertron

High Moon Studios was founded in 2002 in San Diego, California, and their first game was 2005’s Darkwatch, which performed well. They also worked on 2008’s Bourne Conspiracy game before moving on to what they are really known for these days: Transformers.

Since Transformers: War for Cybertron came out in 2010, the studio has released Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and is now deep in development on Transformers: Fall of Cybertron which comes out later this year. We talked to Peter Della Penna, President of High Moon Studios, about working on this franchise, and what makes High Moon tick. Read on for the full interview.

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Prototype 2

Matt Armstrong is the design director on Prototype 2 at Radical Entertainment. He worked on the first entry in the franchise as senior designer and he was responsible for a lot of different things from the metagame, to the disguise system, to the interfaces, so he basically knows the game inside and out.

But he kept himself from playing the original game after it came out, worried that he would be upset by what he felt were some of the design shortcomings. To that end, they’ve reworked Prototype 2 heavily, touching nearly every system in the game from combat to upgrades, and in his new role, he wants to be sure that everything in the game comes directly from the fiction and supports it throughout the gameplay.


Read on for our full interview with Armstrong as he opens up and talks about what went into Prototype 2, and what you can expect to get out of it.

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Borderlands 2 Pre-Order

The scene: you’re a college student in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex, and someone on your campus approaches you and says “Hey, do you like video games?” You should respond with a “Yes!” immediately, because you end up testing the next game from Borderlands developer Gearbox Studios. Because that’s exactly how they found people to test their latest blockbuster.

Matthew Armstrong, director and lead designer on Borderlands and Stephanie Puri, the director of the Gearbox “Truth Team” (or testing squad) held a panel titled “User Research: Lessons From Borderlands” to talk about the ways they collect test data, and what they do with it. The good news is that they really like user testing, and they care a lot about their fans.

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Sid Meier's Civilization V Set To Destroy Lives This Fall

Back in 1989, game developer Sid Meier said that “Games are a series of interesting decisions,” which is completely obvious when you’re playing a game like Civilization, where decision gates are often laid out in black and white for you when choosing things like what technology to develop.

But it’s less obvious that you’re making choices like this that affect your gameplay experience in everything you play, from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to Angry Birds. While it might seem like a no-brainer to look at games like that, it’s something that Meier wants more developers to pay attention to during the development process.

He broke down his now-famous quote into several different pieces for the audience at GDC: What makes a decision interesting? What are the actual decisions that the player is being asked to make? He also referenced the question that all developers ask themselves during the debug process, “Why did we choose to make this game?” If you ask yourself that question too often, then you might need to abandon ship and start over.

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Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning

Artificial intelligence in games is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, it's artificial, but no, it's not intelligent. It's still a program, following a decision gate and making choices based on pre-determined outcomes and priorities. But when these become complex enough, they can appear to make something sentient. That's something important in every video game where you're playing against the machine, which is pretty much every game if you think about it. Whether you're facing enemies in an FPS, or fighting off monsters in an MMO, you'll want smart foes to compete against, or there's no challenge to the game.

This is where programmers step in and do their work: building systems, paths, traits, and databases that will inform enemy constructs about what to do in nearly every possible situation in the game. This is why the AI Game Programmers Guild produces an AI track at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, bringing wisdom from those who have gone before to the up and comers. At this year's GDC, those three wise man were Michael Dawe from Big Huge Games/ 38 studios and his work on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Daniel Brewers from Digital Extremes on Darkness 2, and Borut Pfeifer from Plush Apocalypse Productions with Skulls of the Shogun.

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Help, Support And Money Wanted For Indie Game: The Movie

Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky are two filmmakers who went deep into the world of indie games, and ended up creating the fantastic Indie Game: The Movie in the process. But don’t just take my word for it. You can also, er… take my word for it in our review of the film. We were able to talk to the directors, just before the news broke that the movie was getting picked up and turned into a narrative series on HBO. If that seems weird to you, it’s because yes, that is weird.

But these two talented filmmakers have created a movie well worth watching for both fans of gamers, and people who have never played a single game (who are those people, anyhow?) Read on for the full interview where they talk about making the movie, what to expect on the Special Edition DVD, why they aren’t done with video game movies just yet.

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