Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is (temporarily) free on Origin

Andy Chalk at

I was a big fan of Plants vs. Zombies (I literally own at least five distinct versions) but PvZ: Garden Warfare left me cold. As a $30 third-person online shooter, it had the stink of a cash-in, and so I paid it very little attention and ignored it completely at launch. But what I won't touch for 30 bucks, I'll jump all over when it's free.

GDC 2013: Violent games are creatively "too easy" says Spec Ops writer

Omri Petitte at

Spec Ops: The Line writer Walt Williams stated during a GDC panel (via GameSpot) that he'd like to see fewer violent games emerge in the future because "creatively they're too easy."

Resident Evil 6 trailer shows Left 4 Dead 2 crossover cameos, roundhouse kicks

Omri Petitte at

Resident Evil 6 is out on PC starting today, and as announced by Capcom last week, it will feature PC zombie-slayers Coach, Ellis, Nick, and Rochelle from Left 4 Dead 2 in the exclusive Mercenaries No Mercy mode. A new trailer shows them doing what they do best, but the crossover hop seems to have bestowed the foursome with a repertoire of hilariously dramatic melee moves. There's no reason why the barrel-chested Coach would choose to shoulder-check through a horde before roll-diving away to blast an RPG at point blank, but damn if it isn't stylish.

Warframe jacks into open beta with a PhysX trailer

Omri Petitte at

Digital Extremes isn't just working on naked space dinos. It's also busy with bringing us armored space cyborg ninjas in Warframe, its co-op third-person shooter showing up later this year. It hit open beta earlier this week, and Nvidia has shared a tech trailer showing off the slick PhysX effects owners of its cards can glimpse while cartwheeling off walls and stabbing things with nano-swords.

Star Trek trailer is all about the Gorn and their deadly lack of clothing

Omri Petitte at

Trekkies have a special fondness for the Gorn, but here's a few facts for the less-familiar: the Gorn are giant space lizards. They appeared rarely in the TV shows, but the race's debut in the 1967 Original Series episode "Arena" went down in history as one of the most awkward man-vs-man-in-a-monster-suit fights ever televised. They're now a major enemy in the video game counterpart of JJ Abrams' upcoming Star Trek: Into Darkness film, and developer Digital Extremes wants the wrathful reptilians to pose a considerable threat beyond their wonderful fashion sense.

Sniper Elite 3 announced, Rebellion focused on "more of a sandbox game"

Phil Savage at

Adjusting their scope, accounting for wind, and holding their breath to steady their aim, 505 Games fired a series of bullets, each engraved with the message: "Hello, Sniper Elite 3 exists and we are publishing it." Those bullets travelled whole kilometres, eventually piercing the soft casings of PS3, Xbox 360 and the next-generation upgrades of both. The PC looked on aghast, thinking "Hang on! Why am I not in your crosshair?"

Just then, it too was hit square in the hard-drive, this time with a bullet direct from the Rebellion rifle. This one had the message: "Hello, yes Sniper Elite 3 is coming to PC too. It's just we're self-publishing it. Like we did with all the other Sniper Elite games." It was a much larger bullet.

Dead Space writer: Dead Space 3's action focus is a "necessary evil"

Omri Petitte at

Antony Johnston, the writer behind the original fright-filled Dead Space, spoke with NowGamer on the more action-heavy tone in the just-released Dead Space 3. Though he prefers fear over firepower, Johnston believes the increased action is "a necessary evil" to ensure growth of the series.

EA on Dead Space 3 exploit: farm away!

Omri Petitte at

Yesterday, we mentioned a certain area of Dead Space 3 where players can generate an endless bounty of crafting supplies and health kits for constructing the best weapons. Faster than a lunging Slasher, EA sent along a clarification that it's perfectly fine with the grind.

Dead Space 3 exploit provides infinite items and resources

Omri Petitte at

Circumventing the contentious inclusion of microtransactions in the day-old Dead Space 3, savvy players uncovered an exploit for farming up infinite crafting resources and health/stasis packs.

Dead Space 3 trailer shows story setup, slimy monster throat

Omri Petitte at

It's bedlam in Dead Space 3. Besides magical space rocks driving everyone crazy, we have to contend with freaking out our buddies with fits of hysteria and ex-Genesis drummers. And, as this latest trailer for Visceral's survival-shooter shows, our reasons for descending to Tau Volantis go out the airlock the moment the first squelching croak is heard from a Necromorph abomination.

Dead Space 3's executive producer defends PC's "straight port"

Phil Savage at

The news that the PC version of Dead Space 3 would be a straight port from the consoles - lacking any fancy PC-specific bells 'n whistles - was not received warmly. Speaking to Shack News, Visceral Games' executive producer Steve Papoutsis talked about the backlash. Turns out he's a bit miffed.

"It's confusing to me that this question even comes up," Papoutsis said, when asked about the lack of PC optimisation. "It's by no means any less important to us; it gets a lot of attention. The PC is a very different platform. As developers, you want to deliver an experience that's as similar as possible on different platforms."

Dead Space 3 trailer: a soundtrack worse than dubstep?

Phil Savage at

AARGH! IT'S HIDEOUS! KILL IT, ISAAC! KILL IT WITH FIRE! It's... it's Phil Collins. We're all doomed!

That's right, the latest trailer for Dead Space 3 inexplicably features hairless irritant (and actually quite good Genesis drummer) Phil Collins, marking the scariest thing to come out of the Dead Space franchise to date. You see, we laugh and we mock when trailers go wub-heavy, but when this is the alternative?

Visceral: Dead Space 3 microtransactions are for players needing "instant gratification"

Omri Petitte at

Earlier this week, a photo revealed the possibility of optionally purchasing crafting resources through microtransactions in Dead Space 3. In an interview with CVG, Visceral Producer John Calhoun said the inclusion of a quick-buy option is meant for players who "need instant gratification" instead of procuring materials on their own.

The Showdown Effect character trailer introduces a cast of action flick clichés

Omri Petitte at

The Showdown Effect, the upcoming run-and-gun side-scroller from Magicka creators Arrowhead, isn't just about ludicrously exaggerated shooting sprees. It's also about ludicrously exaggerated shooting sprees punctuated by the best sort of cheesy action-movie one-liners this side of a Schwarzenegger quip.

James Bond games quietly exit Steam, Activision's store

Omri Petitte at

The three Activision-published James Bond games available in Steam's storefront apparently made like their namesake yesterday and abruptly snuck out, users posting on the forums spotted (via NeoGamr). Luckily, the games didn't mimic Bond's other signature style of causing random explosions wherever he departs.

Dead Space 3 trailer recaps story and Marker lore

Omri Petitte at

Maybe "What Went Wrong: The Trailer" is a better preface for Dead Space 3's video summary of Isaac Clarke's encounters with the mysterious Marker structures. Sure, an artifact of limitless energy and potential may be an excellent sci-fi conversation piece for the living room, but the way it turns anyone near it into something resembling exploded watermelon is a bit of a problem, and nicely dovetails the series into the horror category. We hope Dead Space 3 and its new co-op mode live up to the franchise's existing marriage of screams and space, but we'll find out for sure when it releases February 5.

Payne Effects 3 mod for Max Payne 2 adds weapons, cinematic effects, and more

Omri Petitte at

The creator behind the Payne Effects 3 overhaul mod for Max Payne 2—yes, 2—released the final version today for download. The mod furnishes Max's Big Apple field trip with a larger arsenal, additional Bullet-Time cinematic effects, clothing, and even accompanying music. Hey, even revenge-fueled killing sprees need a soundtrack.

Dead Space 3 dev diary discusses co-op character sanity

Omri Petitte at

Facing Dead Space 3's horrors alone allows you to address the fears lurking within Isaac Clarke's hallucinatory mind. The co-op mode is less cerebral than single-player—it's here that you'll buddy-up with a partner to fight Necromorphs. But the conflicting experiences have something in common: you'll see things that aren't there. In a blog post written yesterday, Visceral Senior Production Designer Ben Wanat explained how sanity plays a different role for each co-op player.

Resident Evil 6 releasing for PC on March 22, system requirements announced

Omri Petitte at

In a blog post yesterday, Capcom announced that the PC version of Resident Evil 6 will arrive on March 22 for download (with an additional physical release in Europe), and revealed system requirements for the zombie-filled port.

State of Decay video shows stealthy use of loud, noisy fireworks

Omri Petitte at

You'll need supplies to feed, clothe, and house the needy mouths hunkering in your safehouse in Undead Labs' open-world survive-a-thon State of Decay. A lot of supplies. Lucky for you, they're happily strewn about in abandoned shops, homes, and eateries. Just as unlucky, scores of those annoying shamblers aimlessly mill in the way of your scrounging. Undead Labs' Halloween gameplay video shows a return to the basics of stealth and subterfuge to avoid detection—which ostensibly involves whipping a blockading horde into a fervor with carefully thrown firecrackers. Whatever works, I suppose—by the way, that mask totally succeeds in hiding your identity from mindless dead people.