Imagine a world where babies are stored in life-support jars, humans are stalked by oily ghosts, and the American president is played by Lindsay Wagner, the helter-skelter-haired star of 1970s cult TV show The Bionic Woman. This is the dystopian milieu of Death Stranding, which will hit shops soon, just in time for the hectic Christmas period. In this epic video game, by far the most controversial of 2019, players must traverse a future America to reconnect its “chiral network” (a posh internet), while dodging mysterious BTs (beached things). For reasons unknown, the living and dead coexist, with the protagonist able to connect to the “other side” via a “jar baby” in an artificial womb. One recent demo focused on such gimmicks as urinating to create mushrooms. Wagner is not the only star to feature. Acclaimed video game director Hideo Kojima and his team have also created incredible likenesses of The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus, who takes on … [Read more...] about Death Stranding: will Hideo Kojima’s mystery project redefine gaming?
On Sunday evening, more than 6 million people gathered online via streaming services such as Twitch and YouTube to watch the end of the world. Not our world, thankfully, but the world of Fortnite, which was sucked into a black hole, taking the whole game and all player characters with it. If you try to load Fortnite today, you’ll be presented with a blank screen. When developer Epic Games called the finale of Fortnite Season 10 “The End”, it wasn’t kidding. OK, before confused parents start celebrating, let’s be clear: Fortnite will be back, it’s just that Epic has closed out the first chapter of the game, which has amassed 250 million players since the launch of its Battle Royale mode in September 2017. And amid all the hype, hysteria and controversy that has surrounded the gigantically successful title over the past two years, one aspect has been overlooked outside its fanbase: this has been one of the most innovative story experiments of the … [Read more...] about Fortnite has reached The End – changing video game storytelling for good
When it comes to video games, violence sells. It’s put front and centre in massive marketing campaigns. This year’s E3, the biggest news event in the video game calendar, featured a lot of violent content, like every year before. It’s saddening how much of gaming is defined solely in those terms – especially when more relaxing alternatives have being going through a mini-renaissance recently. Chill out games that focus on growing and relaxing rather than shooting or racing are not a rarity. They are not given the same exposure as their blockbuster counterparts, but they are plentiful and popular. Stardew Valley, the creation of one determined developer, Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone, has reportedly sold over 3.5 million copies. This is a game about running a farm, interacting with the locals and joining in with harvest and fishing festivals. Its massive popularity reveals that people crave games that involve less stress, and the audience is at least … [Read more...] about Chill out: a new wave of relaxing video games shows there’s more to them than violence
The NHS has launched the first ever specialist clinic to help children whose lives have been 'wrecked' by video games. Teenagers addicted to gaming will get one-to-one therapy from psychiatrists either in person at a clinic or via Skype. Their parents will also be offered specialist advice on how to manage their child's addiction and reduce the amount of time they spend online. Announcing the new London clinic, the head of the NHS warned taxpayers should not be left to 'pick up the pieces' of the damage inflicted by technology firms. Growing numbers of children are compulsive internet users in Britain, with addiction to violent video games such as Fortnite a particular concern (pictured, action from Fortnite) Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: 'Health needs are constantly changing which is why the NHS must never stand still. 'This new service is a response to an emerging problem, part of the increasing pressures that children and young people are exposed to these … [Read more...] about NHS launches first clinic for children addicted to video games such as Fortnite and offer them one-to-one therapy from psychiatrists
Microsoft is now giving some people the chance to test its nascent game-streaming service, xCloud. Gamers in the US, UK, and Korea have all been invited by Microsoft to join a beta for xCloud, the company's upcoming streaming platform that will allow users to stream console games anywhere. Those who singed up for xCloud's preview last month can now stream a select number of Xbox titles that include Gears 5, Halo 5: Guardians, Killer Instinct, and Sea of Thieves. Microsoft's xCloud is the company's first-ever game-streaming service and has begun a testing phase in the US, UK, and Korea 'Public preview is a critical phase in our multi-year ambition to deliver game streaming globally at the scale and quality of experience that the gaming community deserves and expects,' said Microsoft’s cloud gaming chief Kareem Choudhry, in a statement. 'It’s time to put Project xCloud to the test in a broader capacity, with a range of gamers, devices, network environments and … [Read more...] about Microsoft starts inviting select gamers in the US, UK, and Korea to join its new game streaming service, ‘xCloud’