November 2019

Leaked PlayStation 5 dev kit photo sets tongues wagging

A photograph of the PlayStation 5 development kit has hit the internet.

The image, published to Twitter by user @Alcoholikaust, shows two PS5 dev kits side by side.

The Verge's Tom Warren has commented to verify the photo does indeed shows PS5 dev kits, and their unusual V-shaped design tallies with previous leaked images, Sony's own patented designs, as well as a description from Wired, which saw the dev kits in the flesh while reporting for an article on the PS5.

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Ex-Westwood Studios devs quietly announced a spiritual successor to Command & Conquer: Renegade

You'd be forgiven for missing it, but ex-Westwood Studios developers quietly announced a spiritual successor to Command & Conquer: Renegade this month.

Petroglyph Games is the Los Angeles-based studio founded by the last group of ex-Westwood employees who left when EA shut what remained of the Command & Conquer developer down in 2003.

Petroglyph has released a number of real-time strategy games over the years, including Star Wars: Empire at War, Rise of Immortals, Grey Goo and, most recently, Conan Unconquered.

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The very best Black Friday video game deals: all the top Switch, PS4 and Xbox One offers

You want all the best deals you can get, over the Black Friday period, but you're a busy person. You don't have time to scour the web for the best prices on all manner of video game paraphernalia. Well, that's where we come in!

To truly mark the most important day in the shopping calendar, we've brought all the best PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch discounts into one place. We know you're eager to both spend money and save money, which is why we wanted to make your life as easy as possible. I know you're hungry for deals, so without any further ado, here are all the top Black Friday deals that are out there.

If you want to check out a more exhaustive list of PS4 products that are on sale, make sure you have a look at the PlayStation 4 Black Friday deals hub. While we've ticked all the important boxes here, you may find something you like over there.

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Ex-Westwood Studios devs quietly announced a spiritual successor to Command & Conquer: Renegade

You'd be forgiven for missing it, but ex-Westwood Studios developers quietly announced a spiritual successor to Command & Conquer: Renegade this month.

Petroglyph Games is the Los Angeles-based studio founded by the last group of ex-Westwood employees who left when EA shut what remained of the Command & Conquer developer down in 2003.

Petroglyph has released a number of real-time strategy games over the years, including Star Wars: Empire at War, Rise of Immortals, Grey Goo and, most recently, Conan Unconquered.

Read more

The very best Black Friday video game deals: all the top Switch, PS4 and Xbox One offers

You want all the best deals you can get, over the Black Friday period, but you're a busy person. You don't have time to scour the web for the best prices on all manner of video game paraphernalia. Well, that's where we come in!

To truly mark the most important day in the shopping calendar, we've brought all the best PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch discounts into one place. We know you're eager to both spend money and save money, which is why we wanted to make your life as easy as possible. I know you're hungry for deals, so without any further ado, here are all the top Black Friday deals that are out there.

If you want to check out a more exhaustive list of PS4 products that are on sale, make sure you have a look at the PlayStation 4 Black Friday deals hub. While we've ticked all the important boxes here, you may find something you like over there.

Read more

Games of the Decade: Fez and the doors of perception

To mark the end of the 2010s, we're celebrating 30 games that defined the last 10 years. This is the last entry - you can now find all the articles in the Games of the Decade archive, and read about our thinking about it in an editor's blog. Stay tuned for a couple more special articles tomorrow.

Fez is one of those magic-trick games. You could call it a gimmick without being disrespectful - a good gimmick can enliven any game - but I'd define a gimmick as a novel, repeatable concept that gives you a little jolt of satisfaction when you encounter it. What Fez does is different. Its trick is very simple, but has deep implications. It defines everything about the game. It constantly changes the way you think. Playing the game, you perform this trick all the time, and yet every time you do it you still do a little internal gasp as it reorders your perceptions. It's impossible, but it's real. It's magic.

The trick is this: Fez is a two-dimensional platform game set in a world where three dimensions exist, but only two of them can be perceived at once. This fact is so brain-scrambling that the inhabitants of this world have forgotten it, or repressed it. It is revealed to our hero Gomez when he puts a magical red hat on his head. From then on, he - you - can rotate his world through four viewpoints, snapping it back into a flat plane where everything is reordered and much is revealed. The game world's three-dimensionality, its solidity, is real - it looks like pixel art, but is actually built out of cubes - but it can only be seen fleetingly as you flick from one plane to another, the way an illustration in a pop-up book leaps from the page and then collapses back in again. You have to hold it in your head.

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Atari VCS boss insists controversial console is on track for March 2020 release

The boss of the Atari VCS has said the console is on track for launch in March 2020 - but Indiegogo backers face yet another delay.

Over 11,000 people backed the Atari VCS on Indiegogo in 2018 to the tune of £2.3m, but the controversial console has faced a number of delays and tough questions about the viability of the product.

In a new self-published Q&A on Medium, VCS boss Michael Arzt insisted the machine was set for a full retail launch in March 2020, and even published pictures of the first Atari VCS pre-production units, fresh off the assembly line.

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Games of the Decade: Spelunky is an endless, mechanically perfect remix

In hindsight, and with all apologies, Spelunky is like smoking. I got into it in part because it's what all the cool kids were doing at the time. It was embarrassingly easy to get wrong at first, but quickly became a soothing, easily-consumed daily habit. This lead to an effortless-seeming fluency, internalising both the basic routines and the nuanced flourishes that come from years of increasingly instinctive repetition. And it kills me. Death is certain, usually accidental but never escaped - if you reach either of the game's endings, something it took me about three years and perhaps five hundred hours' play to be able to do more than one in every twenty tries, the final score screen lists cause of death as "old age".

The magic comes from the ingredients being so simple. At heart, it's a roguelike disguised as a basic and sweetly-styled platformer: you run, you jump, you have a simple melee attack and you have some bombs you can throw. Everything you encounter has a very simple moveset, and kills you. Spikes kill you instantly if you fall on them. Blocks kill you instantly if they fall on you. Bats drift towards you on a shallow diagonal trajectory, and can easily nibble away your health points if you don't hit them just so. Frogs hop, and do the same. Small aliens zap you from their saucers - although you can bring the saucers down by throwing something, which causes them to explode and kill you. This can happen on the other side of the level, without your involvement, and you only know it from the sound of a distant explosion from which a landmine comes flying out, and hits you, and kills you.

On each death, the world is remade: each cutely-themed level randomly regenerated, the enemies randomly placed, the route to the exit strewn with challenges that are individually very simple but combine in endlessly treacherous ways: the bat which knocks you into a tiki trap, the monkey that knocks you into a spike pit, the yeti which smacks you into the void. The appeal of Spelunky is the same live, die, repeat routine so cherished in the Souls games, but with a platformer's simplicity that makes it far easier to understand and far more appealing to retry.

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Games of the Decade: Papers, Please's immigration takedown is more powerful now than ever

Lucas Pope's dystopian document thriller Papers, Please is, on the face of it, a puzzle game about catching people out, but I think it's actually a game about coping with being punched in the gut, over and over again, with the relentlessly regular beat of a bass saxhorn playing a slow march rhythm.

Bowm! Bowm! Bowm! Bowm!

Amid the stress of trying to catch travellers out as an immigration officer working at the border crossing between fictional Eastern Bloc-style countries Kolechia and Arstotzka (glory to Arstotzka), Papers, Please forces you to decide the fate of not only strangers, but your loved ones. It is impossible to earn enough money to feed, heat and nurse your entire family. So you must decide who should live and who should die in your house. My wife is cold, sick and hungry. My son is cold and very sick. My mother-in-law and uncle are already dead. My son will die without medicine. If I spend the $5 I have spare after paying rent on medicine for him, my wife will probably get very sick and die. Both will get very cold because I can't afford to pay for heating.

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Get the lowest prices for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and FIFA 20

Most Black Friday deals may have been and gone already but with Cyber Monday still to go, there's still a few chances to bag some good offers, including deals for the latest and biggest console games of the year.

At Tesco, both Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order are available for just £40 each. That's the lowest price we've seen anywhere so far.

They've also got the lowest price on FIFA 20. We've seen a few retailers giving EA's footie title a few nudges down around Black Friday, but at £35, that's definitely the cheapest yet.

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