open world

Watch Dogs update makes drinking easier and hacking your friends possible

Shaun Prescott at

One of the more amusing controversies to emerge after the release of Watch Dogs concerned its drinking mini-game. Dedicated players were outraged that drinking in Watch Dogs was too hard, and they were right: if you wanted to play the mini-game past the point required by the main campaign, it did get very bloody hard. Never mind though, because the newest Watch Dogs update makes the uniquely annoying mini-game much easier, for those among you still determined to master virtual drinking.

Saints Row 4: National Treasure Edition announced, is out next month

Phil Savage at

Saints Row 4 wasn't shy about... well, anything really. But it definitely wasn't shy about DLC. Naturally, then, it's time for the mad-cap open-world adventure to receive its everything-but-the-kitchen-sink bundle release. The National Treasure Edition will collect the game and its 29 DLC packs into a single package, and is due out on July 8th.

Watch Dogs patch due "in the coming days", brings performance improvements

Phil Savage at

Watch Dogs... something, something... hacking... er... patching into the mainframe? Nope, that's all I've got. I tried to work out a joke that would tie Watch Dogs' upcoming update into the game's overall theme, but the end result was a mere shade of its initially promised glory. Ah well, at least it will serve as a reminder of how damaging it can be to raise people's expectations.

Wait, what were we talking about? Oh yes, Watch Dogs has a patch on the way. It'll fix several bugs and crashes, and is promising to bring "several performance improvements" to PC.

Watch Dogs mod enables "E3 2012" visual effects, improves performance

Phil Savage at

It's becoming an increasingly common practice: taking a recently released PC port, and working to improve its visual fidelity. What makes Watch Dogs slightly different is its own pre-release media. Specifically, its 2012 reveal, which promised a level of fidelity and shiny visual effects that the final release couldn't match.

Not without mods, that is. A new work-in-progress "E3 Bloom" mod not only introduces more dramatic lighting, but also comes with performance tweaks, stuttering improvements and depth-of-field effects.

H1Z1 trailer forgoes flashy effects in favour of open-world drama

Phil Savage at

There's a Microsoft conference happening as I write this, and—in a tiny window in a corner of my stream—I'm being distracted by the whizz-bang particles and drama of the big-budget shooter. Pft, and maybe even tish, say I. I'll take the decidedly more lo-fi action depicted in H1Z1's survive-'em-up. SOE have released a new E3 trailer showing the range and scope of their open-world alpha.

Watch Dogs video: max settings at 1920x1080 on LPC

Wes Fenlon at

Watch Dogs launched with some performance issues on PC that cause serious stuttering and lag on some systems. Ubisoft is still working on a patch to iron out those problems. To see how the game performed for us on ultra settings, we threw Watch Dogs at the LPC and recorded some open world driving, hacking, shooting mayhem with Nvidia Shadowplay.

Watch Dogs trailer explains why there's a spider-tank, also other stuff

Phil Savage at

Ubisoft are doing another one of their '101 trailers', where they painstakingly explain one of the their upcoming games. This time, it's Watch Dogs. Across the 10-minute video, you'll learn about hacking, see a range of multiplayer modes, hear the line "T-Bone doesn't plays by his own rules", and find out what the hell is up with the bizarre spider-tank thing.

Meet the characters of Watch Dogs

Emanuel Maiberg at

Up until now, the marketing campaign leading up to Watch Dogs has focused primarily on its features and technology. If you’re looking for more info on that kind of thing, Tyler got to play Watch Dogs for a few hours last month, and you should read and watch his hands-on impressions. He came away surprised at how much he liked the main character, Aiden Pearce. But there are more people to meet in Chicago, as Ubisoft's newest trailer shows.

Watch Dogs video report — hands-on with the story, missions, and open world

PC Gamer at

Yesterday, Tyler posted his impressions of Watch Dogs after he spent several hours terrorizing Chicago with blackouts and burst steam pipes. Here are more of his thoughts on playing Watch Dogs, this time with words from his mouth and gameplay video provided by Ubisoft. Watch Dogs is out May 27th, walking tank and all.

H1Z1 footage shows that, yep, it looks a lot like DayZ [Update: DayZ similarities addressed in Reddit post]

Tom Sykes at

The Long Dark's creative director reckons the apocalypse doesn't have to feature zombies - but, erm, here's one more open world post-apocalyptic game that does. As announced last week, Sony's entry into the DayZ genre is the wittily (if clinically) named H1Z1, a game that differentiates itself from Dean Hall and Bohemia's game by...well, that part's not totally clear yet, but it's been a fairly democratic process so far. H1Z1 game designer Jimmy Whisenhunt and technical director Tom Schenk took to Twitch a few hours ago to show off the game as it stands now; you'll find 50-odd minutes of walking, zombie-battering, scavenging and driving, in a game that admittedly looks very pretty but so far doesn't seem to boast any distinguishing characteristics.

Watch Dogs system requirements confirmed, wants a 64-bit system with significant oomph

Phil Savage at

Hold your PC tightly, because, depending on the age of that rig, it may be in for a shock. Ubisoft have confirmed the system requirements Watch Dogs, their upcoming open-world techno-jerk simulator. As suggested by the previously leaked listings, you'll need at least 6 GB of RAM to the run the game at its minimum setting.

Watch Dogs video shows off wind, water and lighting effects

Phil Savage at

Update: AGB's video has been removed by Ubisoft.

Recently, discussion about Watch Dogs has centred on whether its recent trailers are up to the quality of its E2 2012 reveal—the implication being that the answer is no. But whatever the AGW (Applied Graphical Wow-itude) Rating of the final game, it will at least have some shiny environmental effects, like detailed wind simulation and bothersome raindrops. Some of those effects are shown in this tech video.

Betrayer leaves Steam Early Access today, marks the occasion with a launch trailer

Phil Savage at

As previously announced, Betrayer, Blackpowder Games' stealth exploration FPS, will today sets sail from the land of Steam Early Access. Created by a team founded by ex-Monolith devs, including key people from NOLF and FEAR, the game strands its players on an island filled with mystery, suspense and demonic Spaniards. A new launch trailer gives a sense of Betrayer's style, and of its menu colour options.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance video swings at realistic combat

Omri Petitte at

Warhorse Studios' upcoming RPG Kingdom Come: Deliverance has a few impressive check marks so far in its aim to deliver a totally realistic portrayal of life in medieval Europe. No dragons: check. Brightly colored cloth garb: yep. Horses: it has them. But what about the battles? Warhorse's newest video is all about Kingdom Come's combat and the studio's methodical research to keep scraps as realistic as possible.

What we want from The Elder Scrolls VI

Leif Johnson at

The Elder Scrolls Online may be getting all of the attention right now, but for many of us, the soul of the series will always be Bethesda's sprawling, open-world single-player games. It seems likely that we'll see a new Fallout before we see a new numbered titled in the beloved fantasy RPG series, but that doesn't mean we can't start to dream, right?

Kingdom Come: Deliverance first-look: "Dungeons and no dragons" in Warhorse's open-world RPG

Ian Birnbaum at

Under its leafy canopy, the wooded clearing has an earthy glow and a still, oppressive quiet. It’s a scene fit for motivational posters and pre-packaged Windows wallpapers, and it would be picturesque if it wasn’t for the dirty, angry man with the broadsword. He stands up, hefts the weapon, and charges straight at me, looking for blood. My sword is already out, and my steel rises to meet his.

Midwinter remake in the works, Kickstarter coming early this year

Tom Sykes at

Mike Singleton's chilly post-apocalyptic survival strategy RPG Midwinter is getting an HD remake. Not familiar with the legendary (and now sadly departed) developer/author and his oeuvre of classic 8- and 16-bit PC games? Have a browse of his Wikipedia page. Not familiar with Midwinter, his ahead-of-its-time first-person survival game from 1989? Have a read of this lovely retrospective on Eurogamer. Midwinter's HD remake will head to Kickstarter early this year, and if all goes well developers Chilli Hugger Software are planning for an "early 2015" release.

Natural Selection 2 developer Unknown Worlds announces ocean-based Subnautica

Patrick Carlson at

Subnautica, the new project revealed today by Natural Selection 2 developer Unknown Worlds Entertainment, has us looking below the surface. With an open-world ocean as its metaphorical sandbox, Subnautica sounds like an exploration experience that might not fit comfortably into some of the neat little categories we use so often when talking about games.

Just Cause 2: Multiplayer Mod to hold final beta test next week, announces Steam release

Phil Savage at

It's so simple when you think about it. How do you make Just Cause 2 more chaotic and hilarious? You increase its number of players from one to multiple thousands. Only, it turns out that creating something chaotic, hilarious and stable is a lot more complicated. That's why the mod Just Cause 2: Multiplayer has, until now, been restricted to occasional test weekends, giving fans just a brief window to shoot, grapple or drive their way to mega-carnage. That's about to change, first with a week-long final beta, before - soon after - an official release.

Saints Row IV gets into the spirit with How The Saints Saved Christmas DLC

Phil Savage at

Is the weather outside frightful? Maybe it's your climate's attempt to get into the Christmas spirit. More likely, if you're an inhabitant of Saints Row IV's virtual steelport, it's the result of superpowered psychopaths raining fiery and/or electric and/or frosticle death down onto the ground. An upcoming DLC pack, How The Saints Saved Christmas, will attempt to fill that psychopath full of holiday cheer.