Tomb Raider trailer shows combat moves, resulting blood-'splosions

Omri Petitte at

The spry Lara Croft tumbles onto PCs on March 5, but Square Enix is taking a machete to the wait with another look at Tomb Raider's combat, which apparently involves the good Ms. Croft's natural skill at wanton slaughter. Stealth takedowns, melee slug-outs, and shooting sprees all show up, though the common result throws a lot of blood everywhere and turns the young adventurer into a rather brutal killer.

Darkout: a sci-fi sandbox survival game inspired by Minecraft, Terraria and the dark

Tom Sykes at

The night is dark and full of terrors, as you'll doubtless agree if you've played Minecraft or Terraria at all. Night is the time to shut the door and go to sleep, or (if you're stranded in the wilderness) to dig a hole and stay there until the monsters go away. Darkout - inspired by Minecraft and Terraria - takes things a step further, by smothering an entire alien planet in suffocating gloom. Stranded on a Metroid-ish world, you'll have to use light to your advantage to fend off an army of shadowy creatures - and that's in addition to the more typical survival business of gathering resources. The intriguing Darkout's currently in paid beta, and it's now available on Desura. Also, it features jetpacks.

Tomb Raider's story is 12 to 15 hours long, doesn't contain swimming sections

Omri Petitte at

It's been a while since we've heard anything new about Lara Croft's ambition to collect even more bruises in the Tomb Raider reboot, but in a Twitter Q&A held last weekend (via Eurogamer), Crystal Dynamics Global Brand Director Karl Stewart wrote that Lara's journey needs "12 to 15" hours to complete. Additionally, Stewart revealed that there will be no swimming in the game.

Tomb Raider lead writer sees "no reason" to avoid sensitive storytelling themes in games

Omri Petitte at

While fun is their primary goal, games often portray themes courting controversy as a means of conveying more meaningful and mature experiences. Crystal Dynamics' reboot of Tomb Raider pairs the franchise's staple action-heavy content with a younger, frightened, and more vulnerable Lara Croft -- human-like traits of weakness which came into focus after a particular scene within gameplay footage shown at this year's E3 included an apparent rape attempt on the battered explorer. Crystal Dynamics later quieted the ensuing public outcry by disproving any perceived themes of sexual assault, but in a new interview with GameSpot, Tomb Raider Lead Writer Rhianna Pratchett sees "no reason" why general game storytelling shouldn't touch upon sensitive topics.

DLC news round-up: Dishonored assassins, Trine 2 goblins, and DCUO superheroes

Omri Petitte at

Rather than trickle them out, we've mashed three of today's DLC announcements into one hefty round-up post. Here are the details on extra content for Dishonored, Trine 2, and DC Universe Online.

Trials Evolution: Gold Edition motors onto PC early 2013

Omri Petitte at

RedLynx's platform-racer series captures the joy of awkwardly heaving bikes over increasingly complicated obstacle courses, but we tasted the dust when Trials: Evolution released solely for the Xbox 360 in April. Thankfully, Trials Evolution: Gold Edition skids back home to the PC in early 2013.

Crap Shoot: Wrecked: A Psychedelic Adventure

Richard Cobbett at

Richard Cobbett gets high just thinking about one of the silliest edutainment games in the history of mankind. Remember: winners don't play Wrecked. They're too busy snorting coke off hookers.

Wrecked actually exists. This is important. This isn't a joke post. It's not a game we made up. It's not some dodgy Newgrounds thing. It appeared on a PC Zone (RIP) coverdisk back in the 90s, and promptly became one of the rarest, most sought-after PC games in history - not because it's any good, it's really not, but just so those of us who remembered it could convince the world it wasn't a dream. Wrecked. An edutainment platform game about the dangers of drugs. This isn't just a Crap Shoot. This is Vindication.

Crap Shoot: Darkened Skye

Richard Cobbett at

Richard Cobbett heads down to the sweet shop to dig up an infamous story of revolution, rebellion and sticking it to the man. Oh, not this rubbish little fantasy game. We're talking about its developers...

Advertising in games is nothing particularly new, whether it's a dedicated license like Cool Spot or M.C. Kids, or simple product placement, like Space Quest V's callouts to US Sprint, Robocod's levels made of Penguin bars or Zool's obsession with Chupa-Chups. Darkened Skye wasn't the first. It won't be the last. It is however unquestionably the sneakiest. There isn't so much as an extra logo on the box to warn you, nor anything in the blurb that hints at the truth behind this forgotten action adventure. Even when you start up the game, while the clues are there if you know what you're looking for, it's about ten minutes into the story before the game finally admits that the mysterious 'orange artifact' that gives less-than-humble shephard girl Skye her first magic powers and looks amusingly like a Skittle... actually is a Skittle. Or rather, a Skittles™.

Congratulations, you've bought an advert! THERE WILL BE NO REFUNDS!

Hands on with the new Lara Croft game

Evan Lahti at

You might have heard that Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is Indiana Jones-meets-Diablo: isometric Mayan dungeon crawling where hell's minions are swapped for giant spiders, spells traded for pistols and flamethrowers. But developer Crystal Dynamics is keen on downplaying any comparison between Diablo and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. I got to play it for myself in co-op with the game's creative director Daniel Neuburger, so here's my take.