Whether you play as the killer or prey there is gruesome fun to be had, but this console transfer cuts too many corners
Watching a good slasher movie is a highly interactive experience. You cover your eyes, you jump, you lurch forward on the sofa, but mostly you yell incredulous statements at the characters such as: “No, don’t go in there!”; “Make sure he’s actually dead”, and the classic “Don’t sneak off to have sex!”. As soon as you’ve seen a few Halloween rip-offs or Scream, which made a virtue of those tropes, you know all the beats of the slasher experience – and we always think we could make a better job of surviving.
Last year, little known Canadian studio Behaviour Interactive gave PC owners the chance to test this theory with the release of Dead By Daylight, an online multiplayer slash-’em-up. Now the game has been launched on PS4 and Xbox One, and with the similar Friday 13th also available, it is a big moment for the emerging genre of asymmetric multiplayer horror.
The developer behind retro-tinged shooters Super Stardust and ResoGun returns with an astonishing twin-stick masterpiece
There is a famous story behind the making of Robotron 2084, the seminal 1982 arcade game which provides the clear inspiration for Nex Machina. Designer Eugene Jarvis, the genius behind hit coin-op Defender, broke his wrist in a car accident and found himself unable to use a fire button. Determined to keep working on a new game project, he and colleague Larry DeMar hacked together their own controller using two joysticks; one to move the onscreen character, one to fire a weapon. The twin-stick shooter was born.
Thirty-five years later, we have the latest title from Housemarque Games, the Finish studio that’s spent two decades rediscovering and perfecting classic arcade game dynamics. Its Super Stardust and Resogun titles are exemplary old school scrolling shooters, catching the speed and style of arcade blasters but enriching them with modern era visual exuberance. Nex Machina continues that legacy – and then some.
Lack of story and some dodgy characters don’t spoil this physical Switch game’s immensely playable core
The premise of Arms requires a substantial suspension of disbelief. The characters in Nintendo’s new fighting game mostly seem to have ended up immersing themselves in this sport because their arms (or, in one case, hair), instead of regular arms, are capital-A Arms – springy and extendable and ending in interchangeable weaponry. This raises some questions: How do they eat? How do they pick their noses? How do they wipe?
Of course, a game like this doesn’t need to make sense, and the marketing makes it clear that Nintendo is perfectly content with the ridiculousness of it all. But given the popularity of the
With nods to Bladerunner and an isometric design that harks back to Amiga games, this could be great fun if the campaign mode wasn’t so tricky
Attempt eight … cross bridge and stab guard with back turned. Immediate right and slice ninja waiting by exterior lift. Leap on lift and ride to roof, bypass countless foes and prep grenade for patrolling bodyguards. Unleash.
Next reach roof and snipe fleeing target before he reaches exit. Jump 30 flights to ground below and run for cover. Shoot sword-juggling ninja in path with pistol – hat-tip to Indiana Jones – and rush to save point.
The hype for Snake, T9 texts and sleek design has turned the 3310’s relaunch into an event. But 2G connectivity and a rubbish camera bring you back to earth
The darling of Mobile World Congress and retro tech fans is finally here, but does the new Nokia 3310 live up the hype? Is it everything your rose-tinted view of the year 2000 is crying out for?
Not many things can genuinely be described as “iconic”, let alone pieces of technology that are here today and gone tomorrow. The original Nokia 3310, loved the world over for Snake, its apparent indestructibility and simplicity, is probably about as close as gadgets get.
Developer Impulse Gear has made an earnest attempt at a VR version of Halo, but the game, and its strange PlayStation Aim Controller, fall short of the target
When the GunCon, a plastic replica pistol for the PlayStation console, first launched in December 1995, it came in just one colour: jet black. Viewed from any distance, the only giveaway that this was a video game controller, rather than an authentic firearm, was the claret-coloured start button on the side of a barrel. Pull a GunCon from a rucksack on a crowded subway and you’d almost certainly cause a terror stampede. When the devices launched in the UK, the law demanded they were recoloured bright blue and red.
There’s no risk of any potentially deadly confusion when it comes the PlayStation Aim Controller, which launches this week alongside Farpoint, a futuristic shooting game built for virtual reality. It’s an impressionistic sketch of a firearm, built from the kind of white tubing you might find under a kitchen sink, with a glowing ping-pong ball fixed to the end of the barrel. If the purpose of peripherals like this aim to narrow the gulf of abstraction that separates activity in a video game from its real-world counterpart (the plastic driving wheel that makes it feel more like you’re driving a Ferrari in Forza, for example, or the wooden gear lever that approximates the Shinkansen’s dashboard in Densha de Go) then this effort seems laughably off-target.
A mobile game makes an infectiously good transition to tabletop, a card game richly rewards smart selection and a domino-strategy mashup is a quickfire winner
There’s a faintly luddite spirit to the board game renaissance of recent years, perhaps a reaction to the heavy demands screens now make on our time. Yet there isn’t such a great divide between games built of cardboard and those spun from code. They explore similar themes and their designers frequently learn from one another.
In 2007, a simple web game, Pandemic, challenged players with spreading an infection across the world. Around the same time, an unrelated board game of the same name tasked its players with preventing the spread of disease and quickly assumed cult status. Soon after, a mobile game called
Bethesda’s reimagining of the popular shooting game combines the best of Bioshock, Dead Space and Dishonored but does little extra with them
Nearly everything good about Prey is pulled from a game released in the last decade. Well, four other games to be exact. As Morgan Yu, your first action will be to pick up a wrench and start clobbering things, just like Jack in BioShock. The desolate, ruined space station setting brings back memories of
Based on an old mechanical coin-op game, this is a quaint, challenging puzzler that works especially well on the Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch owners should immediately add TumbleSeed to their collection. This mid-priced roguelike is available for PC, Mac and PS4, but both its aesthetic and its core mechanic fit particularly well on the Switch, especially in portable mode.
Your goal is to move a seed up a procedurally generated mountain, but the mountain is full of holes and you can only move the seed with a stiff green vine that stretches horizontally across the whole screen, using the left and right analogue sticks to tilt each side up and down. The notion of using a horizontal bar to move a round object up a holey course might sound original, but it’s directly inspired by a 1983 mechanical arcade game called
Our monthly guide to new board games features a mysterious archipelago kingdom off the coast of Japan, a magical gardening game and a chance to play pizza
Welcome to our monthly roundup of the best new board games. This time around we’re building shrines and palaces in ancient Japan, stuffing ourselves with delicious pizza and growing magical flowers in a surprisingly cut-throat gardening contest.
Teen rebellion is even better fifth time around, while a crowd-funded platformer revives the 90s and Kenya’s wildlife gets up close and personal
PS4, PS3, Sony, cert: 12 ★★★★★ Following the success and acclaim of Persona 4, this new entry in developer Atlus’s series of turn-based role-playing games has a lot to live up to. Thankfully, Persona 5 exceeds these high expectations, oozing style and personality. In both the dynamic, context-specific loading screens and the intuitive battle menus, every design decision reinforces the narrative theme of battling the corrupt systems that have robbed the protagonists’ futures, driving them to become the phantom thieves of hearts. Even dungeon descents are made to feel like heists, with the protagonists infiltrating the mindscapes of their abusers to steal their secrets and treasures.