Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

It went on a brief hiatus, but the daily Shack Snack has returned! Get a recap of today's top stories in a condensed three-minute video. Give it a look below and let us know what you think of the new presentation.If you enjoy, don't forget to subscribe to us on YouTube.





Destiny DLC expansion packs exposed in strange bug



Destiny is expected to receive a substantial update that will leave many of us who have been grinding away to obtain Legendary gear able to finally sleep well at night knowing Engrams will finally offer what they’re supposed to. But it looks like the game needs to be updated much sooner as a new bug has surfaced that has shown off what looks to be the names and some information regarding upcoming expansion packs.




Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 'Legends of the Lawn' free update releasing 9/30



EA & PopCap Games’ Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare has been receiving some regular updates over the past few months. Today, both companies have announced a new update, called Legends of the Lawn, will be available for free on PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 tomorrow.




PlayStation 4 Destiny Bundle contest from Sony and Taco Bell



Sony and Taco Bell have had quite the relationship over the years as both companies have worked together to give customers of the popular Mexican fast-food chain a chance to win several PlayStation products. Today, the two have announced they’re teaming up once again to give fans the chance to win a Limited Edition PlayStation 4 Destiny Bundle.

Shacknews - Nathaniel Hohl

Despite developer Bungie's insistence to the contrary, the company's new online sci-fi shooter Destiny can, for all intents and purposes, be considered a massively multiplayer online game. Like any good MMO, Destiny's appeal doesn't run out once a player reaches the maximum character level of 20. Below are five different activities Destiny players can participate in after reaching the endgame and level cap.


Earn reputation with NPC factions



As you may have already noticed, the level 20 cap in Destiny is actually a "soft" cap. There is a way to raise your character's level above 20 but not through gaining experience points. It's done by finding and equipping gear that is infused with light, a special stat found on select pieces of high-end armor. While light-infused armor can be dropped by enemies in combat, the one guaranteed way to get armor with light in it is through reputation vendors .


For more PvE-inclined players, there's really only one option: the Vanguard. Vanguard reputation can be earned by completing patrol missions, bounties, or Strikes and Vanguard marks can be earned by completing random Strikes via the Vanguard playlist which is unlocked once a player reaches level 18. If competitive play is more your game, you have a few more factions to choose from.


In addition to the base Crucible reputation and marks earned through competitive matches, level 20 players can also purchase special trinkets from the three other factions located in the Tower: Dead Orbit, the Future War Cult, and the New Monarchy. Purchasing and equipping a faction's trinket converts all earned reputation into reputation for that given faction which in turn grants access to that faction's items. Because different factions offer different rewards, be sure to pick a faction and stick with it since it takes a while to gain enough reputation to access its better items.


Work on your character's second sub-class



If, on your journey to level 20, you focused completely on only one of your character's sub-classes, now is the perfect time to start building up the other. It may seem counterproductive to purposefully strip yourself of power, but making sure you have both your sub-classes built up can give you something more precious than the rarest of engrams: options.


Each of the two sub-classes available to a given class feel similar enough that playing one doesn't feel too different from playing the other but each also has its own unique powers that can help in different situations. The Titan, for instance, has the Striker sub-class which is perfect for risky offense-oriented gameplay thanks to its Fist of Havoc special attack and its focus on close-quarters combat. Then it has the Defender sub-class which goes the exact opposite route; focusing on deliberate gameplay and defense through its Ward of Dawn special attack which can grant various group-oriented buffs to those who stand within its sphere of influence.


You might also have noticed a third blank spot in your character’s sub-class category. While Bungie has yet to reveal details about if and when a third sub-class for each Guardian class will be added, there are plenty of possibilities that can help round the classes out and make them more ideal in both solo and group scenarios. Personally, I would love to see a melee-focused sub-class that uses a sword, similar to the Sword of Crota story mission in which you get to temporarily wield an energy sword in third-person combat.


Since Hunters already have the Bladedancer sub-class, this new sword-focused sub¬-class could be added to either the Titan or Warlock. However, the Warlock would make the most sense considering the Titan’s Striker sub-class already focuses a fair amount on close-quarters engagements. Maybe the Hunter’s third sub-class could focus on stealth and/or setting traps while the Titan’s third sub-class could focus on long-range heavy firepower - or at least work better to close distances from the enemy. I’m sure Bungie has plenty of ideas of its own, but here’s hoping it’s also willing to listen to a little fan input as well.


Complete random strikes for Vanguard marks


As mentioned earlier, participating in random strikes via the Vanguard playlist awards both Vanguard reputation and marks. While you can start doing random Strikes as early as level 18, you should try and wait until you're level 20 since the level 18 Strikes only award reputation and not marks. As you collect more light-infused gear and slowly raise your level above 20, you can eventually do higher level random strikes and increase your amount of marks and rep gained per strike.


But what can you do with all those Vanguard marks after you've acquired them? If you happened to pre-order Destiny, there are two different vendors you can spend your marks at. All players can spend marks at their class-specific Vanguard representative for special armor and emblems. Those who pre-ordered Destiny can also access the special Vanguard quartermaster in the Tower docking quarter who sells low-level equipment (for glimmer), max-level weapons, and souped up Sparrows.


Completing these random Strikes also awards a random piece of rare armor or a rare engram. While it can be frustrating to receive an armor/engram drop that you can't use, decrypting those engrams can help raise your Cryptarch reputation level (the Cryptarch will mail you new rewards for each reputation level he gains) and breaking down unneeded armor pieces can grant vital upgrade components and extra glimmer. If you're looking for a guaranteed way to build your character up past level 20, doing random Strikes is one of the best, and most time-efficient, ways to do so.


Chest runs and resource farming



Remember those chests you sometimes find while exploring? In addition to the standard gold chests, which appear at set locations on each planet, there are also chests that randomly spawn at select points during pre-set time intervals which can be “farmed” if you have the patience to constantly search a given area. These chests most often just contain a small amount of glimmer and a given planet’s resources (Helium Filaments, Spirit Bloom, Spinmetal, etc.) which technically isn’t so bad if you’re looking to gain rep or upgrade your legendary gear. However, chests also have a chance of containing anything from uncommon items to rare/legendary engrams, making chest farming a lucrative practice for those who know where to look.


Right now, one of the most popular spots to do chest farming is located on Mars, and is a short distance from where you first appear when travelling to the planet. This location is ideal for several reasons. The chests can be farmed either solo or with a group. Bringing friends allows you to check all the spawn locations more quickly, but the area is small enough it doesn’t take too long to do a complete check of all spawn points by yourself. Lastly, the Vex and Cabal enemies that spawn here also have a chance of dropping items and engrams, which can help you bump up your Grimoire ranks and glimmer reserves, especially if you have a few Resupply Codes and/or Blue Polyphage consumables to spare.


Roll a new character with a different class


If grinding for reputation/marks/light gear sounds more monotonous than fun, one way to keep the game feeling fresh is by rolling up a new character and making them into a different class than your first character. While at a basic level all three of Destiny’s classes function in largely similar fashion, each class’s (and sub-class's) unique powers, armor types, and playstyles ensure that one can feel quite different from playing another. Rolling a new character can have other benefits, since your account’s Grimoire progress, total glimmer amount, and vault storage is shared across all of your characters. Reputation progress, sadly, is not.


You can further change things up by consciously making different gameplay decisions than you did before. Did your first character have a penchant for pulse rifles and shotguns? Try out some other weapon types like hand cannons or sniper rifles and see if they offer a better fit for your new character. Did you spend most of your initial time with Destiny sticking to solo story and patrol missions? See if you can recruit some friends and venture into some Strikes or even Crucible matches if you’re feeling especially brave.


While it’s true Destiny can start to feel a little monotonous and repetitive after a while, especially at the endgame, a conscious effort on your part to switch things up can help prolong your enjoyment and maybe even introduce you to a new favorite class, weapon, or game mode.




Nate Hohl has been working as a freelance writer and game journalist ever since he graduated college in 2011. He has written for a large number of different websites including freelancewriting.com and Newegg's gaming site gamecrate.com. While he enjoys writing news and reviews, he feels his skills are best applied when exploring relevant topics and engaging readers through opinion and editorial pieces.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

The Pokemon Trading Card Game has been around for well over a decade, quickly becoming a major force in the card gaming world. We found out last month that The Pokemon Company would take the next major step in the series' evolution by coming to iPad. The digital version now has a release date: tomorrow!


The iPad version of the game will play similarly to its PC counterpart. Just as in that version, it will be free to play with new users getting to start from four different free online decks. New booster packs and theme decks can be purchased with in-game Trainer Tokens, while trainers looking for a specific card can trade with others online.


The iPad version of the Pokemon TCG will feature cross-save compatibility with the PC version. New cards will continue to be released on a regular basis. For more, check out the trailer below.


Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Judging by the initial Gamescom reveal, it's hard to tell what ScreamRide is upon first glance. Fortunately, Frontier Developments executive producer Jorg Neumann is around to help explain what the next game from the Zoo Tycoon/Kinectimals/Roller Coaster Tycoon creator is all about. If you guessed it was a cross between a theme park simulator and Angry Birds-style destruction, you win!


Neumann explains that the game consists of building outrageous roller coasters and riding them, just as in many theme park simulators. The twist comes in that players are then welcome to use their coasters to destroy anything in their path, including massive skyscrapers."


"You can destroy anything, but you have to be smart about it," Neumann told Xbox's Major Nelson, shortly before a demonstration shows a coaster plowing through a support pillar. The result is destruction on a massive scale.


To learn more about how ScreamRide works, you can watch the video below. ScreamRide is set to hit Xbox One in Spring 2015.


Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Samsung has announced a new curved monitor the company says will deliver an “immersive viewing experience," and it's being geared towards gamers and for general multimedia viewing.


When the monitor is switched to game mode, the Samsung SD590C instantly adjusts its settings to specifically optimize itself for your current game session. According to the company, the monitor is able to detect changes in scenes, enhance color and alter the display’s contrast dynamically. It also promises that the curve decreases the clutter in your peripheral vision, so you won't have to shift your focus to the edges of the screen. Finally, Samsung boasts a "Game Boost" sound mode to isolate sound effects and make them stand out over background music. All in all, it certainly sounds like the company is aiming squarely at the gamer demographic.


It will be available starting on October 1 and is expected to retail for $430.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

October is nearly upon us and that means The Evil Within is preparing to creep out onto PC and consoles. Bethesda has released the latest trailer for the survival horror game from Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami. With over three minutes of gameplay, it should give folks a small idea of what to expect.


As one might suspect, survival depends on staying out of sight and defending yourself only when necessary. Resources are finite, though Bethesda goes into detail on the game's crafting system with a new blog post. The post details how to craft bolts for the Agony Crossbow, an invaluable weapon that can you out of hairy situations. Grabbing components will carry a lot of risk, since they'll often be hidden in hazardous places and time will not be on your side.


For more on what the gameplay aspect of The Evil Within will contain, check out the trailer below. The Evil Within arrives on October 14.

Shacknews - Shack Staff

Steve Watts: This is a game that really seemed to sneak up on everybody. Even as the reviewer, I wasn't really sure what to expect from it. I think what surprised me--and judging by the reviews, surprised just about everybody--is how well the Nemesis system works. I know it's all procedurally generated and randomized traits, but when you do get downed by an Uruk a few times and he keeps increasing in power and boasting, it is incredibly satisfying to take him down.



Steven Wong: I think perhaps the Nemesis system was implemented a tad too well. I spent hours hunting down captains and thinning out the ranks, and then realized that I wasn't furthering the plot. A lot of the abilities rely on campaign progress, so sometimes it almost felt like a chore to trigger a campaign mission, especially if you happen to spot a captain or two while running to the waypoint.


Overall, I think the Nemesis system works well, but I do have a few gripes about it. Especially how a captain will be powered up, even if he's not the one to kill you. It's ok if he steals the credit if one of his underlings gets the killing blow, but I was once stuck locked in a battle and a caragor came up from behind and devoured me. The captain, who was within an inch of his life, gained power from my death! I screamed, "Come on, at least eat him too!" Similarly, I was left a little gun shy after losing a survival challenge, which caused a no-level punk to suddenly rise up the ranks and undo all my hard work thinning out the leadership. That was the last time the Gravewalker would give away a freebee.




Watts: Yeah. Like I mentioned in my review, that sort of thing can snowball pretty easily. I kept inadvertently powering up a few captains until they were at max level and I was still just starting out. Funny enough, though, my strongest Nemesis and the one who most deserved the title was killed in an internal conflict with another Uruk who wasn't nearly as strong. It probably helped that I was picking at him from afar with my bow.


To that end, the one thing that disappointed me a little about the Nemesis system was how it ended. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that eventually there's a battle with whoever has been designated your "Nemesis," but by the end of the game I had killed or converted the ones who were really bothering me the most. When I got to my version of the big climactic battle, it was just some random Uruk who I think had been around when I died once or twice, but no one I remembered all that well or that I really wanted to get revenge on. It didn't really detract from the experience, and I can see how they meant it to work, but it just didn't work out that way for me.



Wong: Yeah, I wish you could could reply with a snappy comeback when some of these Uruk captains trash talk you. One guy popped out of nowhere and said something to the effect of, "You thought you defeated me, but now I'm back!" and I had no clue who he was. So, another thing that's kind of annoying about captain hunting is when they're immune to every special attack, and then make a run for it. I try to chase them down, but I've never been very good at chase scenes, even with games like Assassin's Creed. I'm always hot on their tail, but then they vanish. If the captain is immune to ranged damage, then you can't even use your bow to slow them down. I think captain that runs should be demoted, or soon see a power struggle for being a coward.


It does get to a point where if feels like you're fighting against the tide. I get that you can't stop Sauron's rise to power, but it doesn't look like the Uruk suffer any from lack of leadership, even with half their captains dead. I was really hoping that filling the top ranks with losers would have some sort of impact, but the Uruk still seemed pretty effective. But I guess all that would eventually be worked out through power struggles. Speaking of which, I love how the loser of a power struggle is represented as a head on a pike in the Army screen.


How did you like the Batman-esque freeflow combat? I thought it was pretty smooth going, not counting the occasional caragors. I had to get used to fighting in the open world, because I'd often be busy fighting a handful of Uruk, only to have another patrol come in and join, then another until I was overwhelmed. I eventually learned to use more Fear moves, but a couple of captains gained rank because the situation quickly grew out of control.



Watts: I think the freeflow combat works really well, especially as you gain access to more moves, but you're right that it can definitely be overwhelming at first. That was part of why I died and got so many captains upgraded. Nowadays, though, I have the combo meter requirement lowered to 5 hits instead of 8. When I walk into an orc camp I'm basically just a spinning whirlwind of death, constantly getting my combo meter up and then hitting a few orcs with insta-death finishers. If the freeflow combat in Batman made you feel empowered as the Dark Knight, this has a similar effect in the Lord of the Rings world once you really get going.


As for fighting the tide, I know what you mean. I wondered how Monolith would make this have an impact on the world that actually matters. Obviously Uruk are pretty plentiful no matter what you do, but at the end of the day you can't be the one to stop Sauron. I won't spoil anything, but I think ultimately the studio found a way to make your actions feel significant even if you aren't the one taking down the big-bad.



Wong: The game might benefit from a few more online options, but the Vengeance feature is definitely a nice touch. It marks bosses who successfully took out other players, and challenges you to take them down on their behalf. I just wish I knew who I was getting vengeance for, and maybe get an alert if someone got vengeance on my behalf. I also wonder if Vengeance is a cross-platform feature. Who knows? I could have ended up fighting that top level level Uruk you brought into power on your PS4 from my PC game. I also think it would be really cool if you could challenge someone on your friends list to defeat a captain that you couldn't, and essentially send them someone really tough to fight. But I'm pretty sure additional online content will be limited to global leaderboards available once the Challenge content becomes available.



I really dig how the Uruk talk about you if you stick to a particular play style. Personally, I preferred drop down from high locations to murder Uruk, and later on I overheard them talking about how they lost count of how many people died from the Gravewalker dropping from the sky. I want to get to the point where I can just show up and flip my collar like the Fonzie from Happy Days and scare Uruk off. Even though I didn't play too much of the plot, I have to say, the guy who voices Gollum (it's not Andy Serkis) gets it spot on.


That being said, I really like the game, but I'm not really getting a total game of the year sense from it. The combat borrows A LOT from Batman, and the stealth isn't as deep as some of the Assassin's Creed games.



Watts: I like the Vengeance feature, even if it is a little fiction-breaking. It's a little hard to feel immersed in Lord of the Rings fiction when you're being told to avenge the death of Xx420LuvrxX. I'm sure I've left plenty of vengeance targets in other people's games though, because I died quite a bit.


I think it's too early to put too hard a stake in the ground as GOTY, but it shot near the top of my list pretty quickly. I don't really fault it for borrowing elements from games like Assassin's Creed and Batman, since the real standout accomplishment is how well it makes all those systems work together, with the Nemesis system stacked on top of them. Is that innovative enough to earn it the big spot? I'm not quite sure on that yet, and we still have a lot of release season yet to get through, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's at least in my top 5.



Wong: So, what was your favorite skill or combo? I especially liked being able to assassin drop on an unsuspecting soldier, using Brutality to repeatedly stab him and scare the weaker guys away. Then I use wraith stun on someone, preferably the captain, and follow-up with sword strike to bring up my combo chain count. With a little luck, I get to finish someone off by grabbing someone by the throat, draining his soul, and causing his head to explode.


I thought that I'd enjoy the caragor riding skill a little more than I did. It's ok, but you can't pick things up or do combos will riding atop a beast. Caragors also seem to die a lot faster when they're fighting by your side than when they're just running wild. I guess that's the cost of domestication.



Watts: That's fantastic, because I hardly used any of those skills. I liked the Pin in Place and Elven Swiftness for catching up with slippery Uruks who tried to make a run for it. Get back here, ugly, I'm not finished with you!


Other than that, I leaned heavily on the ones that let me set up pretty nasty melee combos. Combat Drain mixed with Brand means you can Brand enemies, thereby taking control of them, right in the middle of sword combat. If you combine that with Blade Master, which reduces the threshold from 8 to 5, you can use it more often. Then if you combine that with Double Charge, you can brand two enemies in a row. It doesn't take long for me to turn a mess of Uruks into a huge mass of soldiers who fight for me.

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Activision and PlatinumGames’ The Legend of Korra will be releasing on October 21, and since we’re so close to its launch, Activision has released the first part in a new behind-the-scenes video featurette.


The first video dives into the origins of the unique collaboration between PlatinumGames, Nickelodeon and Activision. Nickelodeon, on one hand, was looking for a studio that was both passionate and talented enough to be able to give its Legend of Korra series the respect it deserves. PlatinumGames, on the other hand, found the challenge of capturing the game’s world while also delivering an equal action-packed experience alluring.


In addition to learning of the game’s origins, you’ll also be treated to a handful of in-game footage, showing Avatar Korra in action as she takes on several adversaries. We can see what looks to be some quick-time events as well as some good, old-fashioned martial art moves.


Shacknews - Brittany Vincent

Total darkness shrouds you. Armed with only a flashlight, a trembling beam of light guides you as the world you once knew crumbles away into something more sinister. Fear overtakes you, transformed you into some sort of inhuman being, one that has no qualms about burying an axe into the skull of wretched creatures that roam the landscape to ensure your survival. Because nothing else matters now, other than escaping the personal hell rising up around you. You reach for a rusted pipe, the only viable weapon in your vicinity, and trudge forward into the abyss. This is your life now. This is Silent Hill.



But it's not just a mere fictional town. It's hallowed ground for horror enthusiasts. The popular franchise completely revolutionized the way psychological terror incorporates itself into the more primitive jump scares and cheap pop-up tactics from worlds ago. Where most of the chills and thrills we found ourselves cowering from under cover of a heavy blanket in our bedrooms came from the sudden jolt of a hellhound busting through a window, shattering glass and our fleeting sense of safety, the cinematic horror of Silent Hill relied on something more sinister: the human psyche and the myriad of demons within. So why, then, has the series begun a slow descending spiral into the mundane over the past couple of years? Its unique brand of psychological horror used in lieu of visceral horror completely altered the limits of what would eventually become acceptable in gaming, paving the way for wave of equally disturbing exercises in survival horror that valued an unsettling atmosphere over B-movie schlock. Silent Hill was a pioneer even when game critics judged it solely as a “slicker” Resident Evil clone, and even though it's never been a perfect monster, it has certainly been an indomitable one. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, however, and while we’re seeing only glimmers in titles like P.T., the series has the potential to grow into its own once more. Perhaps a look to the past is required in order to understand where it’s been, where it’s at, and where it could go with the upcoming Silent Hills.


Team Silent


In the heyday of the original PlayStation, Resident Evil was king of the fledgling survival horror genre, or at least as far as 3D environments were concerned. While the prodigious Capcom classic was worth its weight in gold in terms of its shock factor and status as “go-to zombie classic,” it was very much a product of very American styled horror; big guns, tough guy heroes, and quite possibly one of the most iconic villains in history. Resident Evil was a gory, explosive success, but it lacked a certain something – aspects that no one had truly begun to explore just yet.



Enter Team Silent, the development team behind the franchise's starting point. After ownership of Konami had changed hands in 1996, the company looked to push a project that might find its niche amongst American consumers. Team Silent was formed from members of the Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo studio, and attempts were made at putting a “Hollywood” slant on their future project so as to attract American audiences for their next big hit. Team Silent went through a series of failed projects and ideas before deciding they would buck the self-imposed limitations set by the higher-ups at Konami, and finally settled on a cinematic project that would prey on players' perceptions and emotions. From a muddled group of developers who felt very much like the black sheep of their organization rose the game that would eventually be revealed at 1998's E3 as Silent Hill. Public interest and crowd response to the 3D rendering and models for the cast, as well as the unsettling cinematics only served as a booster for Team Silent, and with such a surprisingly favorable reaction Konami was prompted to treat this previously low-profile affair with much more care, allotting a considerably larger amount of resources to be used for the project they felt may actually become a success. With a mishmash of cultural references such as David Lynch's erratic filmmaking and compose Angelo Badalamenti's musical motifs, the project quickly evolved into a melting pot of media oddities already enjoyed by the staff, with early versions referencing everything from Michael Crichton's The Lost World to Troma Studios producers. While there were changes and cuts made by American staff to alter these references, the influences are easily seen in the narrative that unfolds and especially within the multiple puzzles around the world of Silent Hill. And despite its refusal to conform to mainstream ideas in horror, it would begin making waves in the realm, whether it knew it or not. By the time Silent Hill released in 1999, it was already initiating a chain of events that would lead to a veritable renaissance in the game industry when it came to scaring the wits out of its patrons.


My restless dreams


After battling with censors and a development crew who didn't always fully believe in their product, Silent Hill made its debut to mostly positive reactions. But despite the struggle to create an inherently different experience, most compared it to Resident Evil, which wasn't an unforeseen comparison, but parroted by most American reviewers who praised it for attempting something new and relatively unseen in the market.



But the haze of fog veiling the creepy town, the usage of grinding industrial as a backdrop for the madness unfolding onscreen, and the cold, steely atmosphere invited naysayers in again for another look. The absence of in-your-face shockers or classic monsters seemed to both puzzle and captivate players, as well as the strange third-person controls that didn't always work the way you needed them to, but added a sense of urgency to an already unsettling atmosphere that didn't openly announce its intentions. Though the voice actors were criticized for lackluster performances, despite the outside references to other games, critics generally regarded Silent Hill as a triumph of psychological horror later on down the road. Although the ball didn't really get rolling until subsequent releases found the niche Team Silent originally meant to carve. The onslaught of disturbing mannequin-like creatures, psychotic nurses, and tales of death and rebirth would press on, through a whopping eight more installations, evolving and transforming with each subsequent entry. Though the series itself has been in a state of flux over the years, stagnating in a Sonic the Hedgehog-like void and skipping over the series' conventional trappings, its fingerprint on subsequent horror releases is unmistakable. From muted tones to disturbing imagery used in lieu of big, bad zombies and vampires, it's clear other developers want to mimic the success Silent Hill found. Games like Condemned: Criminal Origins managed to weave a compelling detective story with truly disturbing backing musical tracks and darkness as a key element and driving force behind terrorizing players. Though technically it's a first-person shooter/action epic, you can't ignore the influences.



Rule of Rose borrowed heavily from the franchise with enemy types and combat engine, and most recently the terrifying PC horror opus Amnesia: The Dark Descent preyed on the fear of the unknown, toying with players' heads once more, introducing insanity effects and hideous monstrosities that wait in the dark, ready at any moment to pounce on the unsuspecting player. But no matter the game, if it involves dissolving reality into nothing and forcing players into maddening situations in which they question reality, Silent Hill perfected it, as far as video games are concerned.


Silent, rolling, hills


With such a rich and virile history, it seems obvious that the strange tale of Silent Hill should march forward, retold and retooled into newer, even scarier versions of its past self, but it's unclear as to what's coming next. After leaving such a mark on gaming, perhaps the familiar frightener doesn't have to rely on newer, big-budget releases, and instead subsist off the classics spawned in its wake. Silent Hill: Homecoming and Silent Hill: Downpour were radical departures in production value and tone alike, and upcoming projects with different developers and different teams may well follow down the same path. In part two of this retrospective-cum-future tale, we’ll explore the subsequent Silent Hill entries, their high and low points, and what that means for Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming Silent Hills. In the meantime, you might want to stay away from the walls in case they start rusting or looking grimy.




Look at you, hacker. Brittany is fueled by horror, rainbow-sugar-pixel-rushes, and video games. Until her dying breath she'll be wielding a BFG made entirely of killer drive and ambition. Check out her work at PfhorTheWin.com. Like a fabulous shooter once said, get psyched!

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Oculus Rift continues to strive to deliver the best in virtual reality, with Crescent Bay set to improve upon the Rift's tracking capabilities. But what about tracking the rest of the body's movements? That's where Sixense, makers of the Razer Hydra and the creator of the motion control DLC for Portal 2, comes in.


Sixense's STEM System is a wireless motion tracking device that utilizes motion tracking technology to help track movement for other parts of the human body, arms and legs, in particular. It allows for full freedom of movement, with low latency and one-to-one tracking, for the expression of gaming ideas previously-thought to be impossible. This includes the idea of an actual virtual reality lightsaber fight.


Our "Man with the Briefcase," Asif Khan, recently went to Oculus Connect to speak to Sixense creative director Danny Woodall to explain more about how the STEM System will work in conjunction with Crescent Bay and Oculus Rift, in general. Check out the full video interview below.


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