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2014 would seem to be the year in which the games industry has another crack at making primarily multiplayer shooting games work all over again. There’ve been a few false starts in the past, but Destiny and Titanfall are some super-big, super-fat attempts at achieveing enormous mass market success from shooters where narrative takes a backseat. Now Evolve joins the ranks of big games looking for a piece of glossy, next-generation COD-seasoned pie, and it comes from Turtle Rock Studios, those former Valve chums who did the heavy lifting on the original Left 4 Dead. (more…)
Making Left 4 Dead campaigns is an interesting challenge. You’re building levels for a game that decides when and where to attack the player, and you have almost no control over those moments. It means your focus is in creating the world and in making it an interesting space for the players to exist in. You can’t guarantee that the cleverly designed chokepoint you made will ever be used as one, but you can make it the prettiest damn corridor the player will ever see. The setting is one of the biggest considerations you have, and then you have to have the talent to pull it off. It’s why I think most L4D campaigns take such a long time coming. Dniepr’s a Left 4 Dead (1 and 2) campaign that’s set in the Ukraine, including Pripyat, and has been three years in development. There’s a quite startling pair of trailers below. (more…)
We’re waiting for you, Valve. In the sweat chamber. Show us what your mad wearable computing tech can do, instead of all this teasing. Latest report is that they’ve come up with kit which can measure assorted bodily responses, including heart rate, facial expression, brain waves, eye movement, pupil dilation, body temperature and, indeed, sweatability. Based on how you appear to be feeling, the game will alter factors such as difficulty and intensity to suit. (more…)
Yesterday, you probably read the first part of my chat with Valve’s Erik Wolpaw and Double Fine’s Anna Kipnis. If not, it’s right here- but FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY. By which I mean until the Internet ceases to exist, which, you know, could happen someday. Anyway, in today’s installment, we branch out a bit from yesterday’s story-centric beat. Valve’s newfound love of wearable computing, virtual reality, heaps behind-the-scenes info on Portal, crowd-sourcing, and more are all on the docket. OK, there wasn’t actually any sort of docket involved. I’m not entirely sure why I said that.>
It all began one sunny, seemingly inauspicious afternoon in a Starbucks. It also ended there – but, you know, later. Ragged and bone-weary from three days of wading through PAX’s diseased hordes, Valve’s Erik Wolpaw, Double Fine’s Anna Kipnis, and I huddled around one last vestige of civilized humanity: a table. Then we spent nearly an hour talking about this year’s sudden upsurge in crazy-interesting videogame stories, because it seemed like the thing to do at the time. It isn’t anymore, but – if you’ll believe it – it was considered cool back then. Those were the days. Anyway, here’s part one. If you behave yourself, you might get part two tomorrow. And maybe a cookie. But probably not.>
We are suddenly talking about Left 4 Dead a lot again. Could this be a sign of more substantial things to come? I doubt it, but it’s fun to hope for things – so long as you never stop hoping and are incapable of sorrow. Regardless, Payday: The Heist’s much-vaunted reproduction of Left 4 Dead’s Mercy Hospital is here to cure whatever ails you – assuming, of course, that you are made physically ill by the idea that Payday might eventually cease releasing DLC. Go download it! Or read details. These are your only options.
Left 4 Dead 2′s Cold Stream DLC has been through more tests than a guinea pig that just survived a nuclear blast. As well as the new map, the DLC contains Blood Harvest, Crash Course, Dead Air and Death Toll from the first game, but that’s not new news. The fresh meat on this data morsel is the availability of all mutations at all times and Valve promise “other surprises and details” soon. July 24th is the release date. That’s the release date for the DLC, by the way, not the guinea pig. The guinea pig is too uncanny to release into the wild so top scientists have sealed it in a lead box which is currently being dropped into a furnace.
Well, this is odd. We’ve known about an upcoming Payday: The Heist-Left 4 Dead crossover for about a month now, and – as is often the case with these things – it materialized earlier today via YouTube’s eyebeaming ethers. “”Have you ever wondered how the Left 4 Dead series began?” the video’s description asked, forcing me to realize that I’ve never actually wondered that. “It started with a heist!” Intrigued, the Internet looked on as Payday’s band of mask-loving hooligans shot its way through a very un-zombified version of Left 4 Dead’s Mercy Hospital. And then the trailer disappeared.
Happily, Eurogamer managed to upload a roll to its own Internet-powered projector machine, so you can still watch the trailer and remember it as it was before its mysterious disappearance. Perhaps Valve and Overkill (now known collectively as Valverkill) stole it. From themselves>. This may just be a heist caper for the ages. I, however, will work tirelessly to get to the bottom of it: Oh look, here’s the answer. It’s just a Left 4 Dead cameo (character and hospital setting) in a Payday map.
Hooray! Sort of, eh?
Seems a trifle odd to be saying this given 2009′s foremost angry internet man-generator was the perceived too-soon release of a sequel to Left 4 Dead, but Valve’s zombathons seem to me to have been left a little fallow of late. Team Fortress 2′s ongoing transformation into QVC, Portal 2′s awards-hogging and fever-pitch speculation about Half Life has been the order of the day for the last couple of years. You could – aheh- say that Left 4 Dead has been – aheh – left for dead. Aheh-heh-heh. Just my little joke, there.
Something is suddenly stirring, however (editor’s note – I really need more elegant alternatives to ‘however’ and ‘though’, which I know full well are often seen to be cludgy writing. Suggestions?>), and it comes not from Valve, but from Payday: The Heist devs and recent Starbreeze acquisition Overkill. (more…)
The handsome writer clicks on the Steam Store and types the word “zombie” into the search bar. Too many. He reorganises them by game only. Still too many. They’re everywhere. Surrounding us. An outbreak. It’s only a matter of time before — wait, what’s that groaning? Where is it coming from? He moves to his browser and checks his tabs. That wasn’t there before. He starts closing tabs down, isolating the infected tab: move Gmail, get away Reddit Aww, flee Katy Perry vs Aha. Just one more tab sits, keeping the outbreak from spreading. Slowly, uncertainly he clicks the ‘x’ on the Apple store tab and reveals the source: it’s the Contagion GDC trailer. (more…)