Articles by Chloi Rad

GAMING NEWS

7 Blockbuster Games That You Can Now Play for Free

Free, legal downloads of classic video games. By Chloi Rad Earlier this week, Blizzard made StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War available as free downloads on its official website. This is far from the first time a popular commercial game went the freeware route after a long, successful run. Below are seven commercial games that you can also play for free. SimCity (1989) The original SimCity debuted on Amiga and Macintosh computers in February 1989, selling one million copies by 1992. Beyond its critical acclaim as a city-building simulation game, it also earned awards and recognition for its success as an educational program. In 2008, Electronic Arts donated the source code to the One Laptop Per Child Program, which opened it up for free redistribution. Because EA still owned the trademark for the name SimCity, its free version was renamed Micropolis — Will Wright’s original working title for the first SimCity. Check out the source code here. The Elder Scrolls: Arena (1994) The game in the ongoing Elder Scrolls saga, the DOS-based Arena first debuted in 1994. Arena was known and even criticized for its starting difficulty, but there was no doubting the immense influence it had on READ FULL STORY…

GAMING NEWS

The Witness Designer Shows Early Prototype of Next Game

“Not remotely final.” By Chloi Rad Jonathan Blow, lead designer on The Witness, revealed a small glimpse of one of his upcoming games during a presentation at Reboot Develop. “This is a work-in-progress,” Blow explained. “These are not final visuals, but it’s a nice little grid-based game. I’ve got a guy who can run around and push blocks and stuff.” Screenshot from Jonathan Blow’s Reboot Develop 2017 talk. The demo — meant to show off the engine Blow has been building for the past year — showed off a single level from the unannounced project, which Blow described as “not remotely final.” According to Blow, he’s already designed about 25 hours worth of gameplay for it. You can watch the full stream of Blow’s Reboot Develop 2017 talk on Twitch. The demo begins at the 5:32:46 mark. Chloi Rad is an Associate Editor for IGN. Follow her on Twitter at @_chloi. READ FULL STORY AT IGN!

GAMING NEWS

Why 1 Million People Play PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is DayZ without the wait. By Chloi Rad For the past month, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has taken Steam by storm. The unusually-titled multiplayer shooter earned a whopping $11 million dollars during its first weekend on Early Access and has already sold over one million copies. It sits comfortably among the most-watched games on Twitch, next to streaming staples Hearthstone, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and League of Legends. The reason for this oddly named game’s sudden, meteoric success is simple: it’s really, really good. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds does what many games like it struggle to do: make large-scale, competitive multiplayer survival gaming exciting and accessible. The premise is straightforward. Up to 100 players parachute out of an airplane onto a huge island, where they must immediately arm themselves with any weapons they can scavenge from its abandoned towns, factories, and military bases. Over the course of each match, the size of the battlefield rapidly shrinks, as does its pool of survivors as players begin taking each other out. This imposes an increasingly player-dense playground for shoot-outs. By the end of each game, the last player standing or the last team standing wins. Few of the ideas in Battlegrounds are new. A READ…

GAMING NEWS

Titan Xp Graphics Card Has Twice the Teraflops as Scorpio

Pascal graphics come to Mac. By Chloi Rad Nvidia has quietly unveiled this year’s Titan graphics card today, the ultra high-end Pascal-powered Titan Xp. It is available now for $1,200. The new Titan Xp (an upgrade of 2016’s Titan X) boasts 12 teraflops of computing power — twice as much as Project Scorpio, which had its full specs revealed by Microsoft earlier today — as well as a full 3,840 CUDA cores running at 1.6GHz. It’s kept the same amount of memory as the Titan X at 12GB GDDR5X, but received a boost in memory speed (11.4 Gbps from last year’s 10 Gbps) and max boost clock (1,582MHz over 1,531MHz). You can check out the full specs on Nvidia’s website. Nvidia also announced new Pascal drivers coming later this month, which will grant Mac Pro and “Hackintosh” machines access to its Pascal-powered GPUs. For more on PC and gaming tech, check out our recently updated list of best graphics cards. Chloi Rad is an Associate Editor for IGN. Follow her on Twitter at @_chloi. READ FULL STORY AT IGN!

GAMING NEWS

DayZ Designer Reveals New Space Station Sim

Not the same as RocketWerkz’s other AAA multiplayer project. By Chloi Rad DayZ designer Dean Hall revealed his new game, Stationeers, at EGX Rezzed in London earlier today. Stationeers is a construction/management sim that will let you build your own space station in single-player or online with friends. It will launch on Steam Early Access, but a price and release date have not yet been announced. “We don’t want people to turn up and think it’s a first-person, hardcore shooter, 3000 player game, because that’s not what it is,” Hall told Eurogamer. “[Stationeers is] a hardcore, niche game in an area I’ve been interested in for a decade.” In September of last year, Hall spoke to Eurogamer about an unannounced AAA multiplayer game also developed by RocketWerkz. According to Hall, Stationeers is a totally different project with a much smaller team. Chloi Rad is an Associate Editor for IGN. Follow her on Twitter at @_chloi. READ FULL STORY AT IGN!

GAMING NEWS

Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City Review

Share. Frightening twists and turns permeate this exciting final adventure. By Chloi Rad You’d expect the finale of the Dark Souls trilogy to be a grand, apocalyptic affair, and as far as its haunting new settings and frightening boss fights go, The Ringed City certainly delivers. But for all the cool new gear, spells, and thrilling tests of skill and endurance it throws at you, this final DLC adventure for Dark Souls 3 has its strongest moments tucked away in the quieter corners of its carefully crafted world. This is the end of Dark Souls as we know it, and with it comes a host of exciting lore implications that tie back to previous games in the series. Most of those moments trigger startling revelations about this beloved world’s past, but also a few thought-provoking questions about its future… even at the end of everything. Watch the first 13 minutes of Dark Souls 3: The Ringed City below. Your journey to the legendary Ringed City actually begins in the Dreg Heap, a dreary, ash-covered ruin that resembles a tangled mass of old kingdoms, folding into themselves. The verticality of this strange place brings a terrifying scale to the opening READ…

GAMING NEWS

Silent Hill Monster Designer Reveals Art for Cancelled Game

Also, a cancelled “Russian retro sci-fi horror” from 2008. By Chloi Rad Silent Hill monster designer and art director Masahiro Ito has revealed a small, low-res piece of concept art he drew for a prototype of a cancelled Silent Hill game in 2013. The images first appeared on Ito’s Twitter and was later picked up by NeoGAF user Dusk Golem. “The one of concept arts for new Silent Hill which I drew in 2013,” reads Ito’s caption for the image. “The beginning of its story.” The concept art, which you can see above, appears to share the same rusted, industrial style that made Konami’s long-running survival horror series so distinct. Ito is known for his monster and background design work on the first Silent Hill, as well as his creature designs and art directing on Silent Hill 2 and 3. His most iconic creation is arguably the design of Pyramid Head. According to Ito, he was “not involved with ‘PT,’” the playable teaser for Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro’s now-cancelled Silent Hills, although he did express interest in working with Kojima back in 2012. That means we may be looking at art from an unannounced Silent Hill game predating Silent Hills. READ FULL…

Star Wars Celebration Will Skip Next Year, Return in 2019

This year’s Celebration is in April. By Chloi Rad Star Wars Celebration, the official fan gathering for the Star Wars franchise, will skip next year and return in 2019, when Star Wars Episode: IX is also slated to hit heaters. Details about the exact date and venue of the 2019 convention will be announced soon, according to Star Wars Celebration’s official blog post. This year’s Star Wars Celebration takes place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from April 13 to 16. Tickets go on sale in May. Lucasfilm and Disney have already kicked off this year’s upcoming Star Wars Celebration with a poster honoring the 40th anniversary of the Star Wars universe, which you can see below. For more on Star Wars, check out our deep dive into everything we know about the upcoming Star Wars movies, including Episode VIII, which hits theaters this December. Chloi Rad is an Associate Editor for IGN. Follow her on Twitter at @_chloi. READ FULL STORY AT IGN!

Mothergunship Is Intense, First-Person, Bullet Hell Madness

Break out the big guns. By Chloi Rad First-person shooters and bullet hells aren’t a common pairing, and that’s a shame — the result can be complete, overwhelming madness, and I mean that in the best way possible. If you’ve played Devil Daggers or even Tower of Guns (the first game from Terrible Posture Games), you know what I mean. There’s a certain, frantic joy in strafing around an arena while juggling a few dozen threats at the center of your crosshairs. That kind of fast-paced chaos is exactly what Terrible Posture’s latest endeavor, Mothergunship, seems to be going for, and based on my brief hands-on demo the result is something pretty special. Mothergunship is one of those shooters that demands constant movement — and those are some of the best kind, when pulled off right. I spent most of my demo frantically strafing and hopping around its massive spaceship setting’s huge, metallic rooms – partially to dodge its many dangers as I blasted my way to the next procedurally generated arena, but also because it felt pretty good. Not only does Mothergunship grace you with the power of a double and triple jump, but by leaping off a clunky…

GAMING NEWS

Steven Universe RPG Coming to PS4 This Year

Written for fans and newcomers to the show. By Chloi Rad Steven Universe is getting its own RPG called Save the Light, from Steven Universe co-creator Rebecca Sugar, Grumpyface Studios, and Cartoon Network. It’s set to launch on PlayStation 4 later this year. A sequel to the fantasy adventure show’s 2015 mobile game called Attack the Light, the upcoming Save the Light features an original story co-written by Sugar and will let players customize their team with different characters from the show. According to the official PlayStation blog, Steven Universe: Save the Light also boasts an “updated battle system” featuring elements of real-time and turn-based combat, plus a larger focus on puzzles and exploration in a 3D world. It was written to be fun for both long-time fans of the show and newcomers. Chloi Rad is an Associate Editor for IGN. Follow her on Twitter at @_chloi. READ FULL STORY AT IGN!

Ape Out Is Like Hotline Miami With an Animalistic Twist

Monkey business. By Chloi Rad I only got to play Ape Out for about 10 minutes at this year’s Game Developer’s Conference, but those 10 minutes were packed with such a raw fury that for a few brief moments, it felt like time was standing still. In Ape Out, you control a gorilla gone absolutely berserk for reasons that aren’t and don’t really need to be explained. Any questions I had about the “what” and “why” were immediately dashed — like an unsuspecting guard against a wall — once I broke out of my glass encasement and began my rampage throughout its first procedurally generated level. Check out Ape Out’s first trailer below, exclusively on IGN! Ape Out was pure intensity from that moment on. With movements so fast and fluid it almost looks rotoscoped, I barreled through corridors, grabbing baddies and hurling them against walls, propelling them with the sheer force of my punches to their off-screen demise, or using them as human shields before launching them like a bowling ball towards a pair of hostiles around the corner. Every bloody splat was accompanied by an explosive cymbal crash, a musical punctuation to my violence against the frenetic beat…

GAMING NEWS

Nidhogg 2 Is the Same Frantic Fun, With a Bizarre New Style

As the first Nidhogg taught us, less can be more. By Chloi Rad The first Nidhogg felt like pure, mechanical genius — a one-on-one, tug-of-war-style duel of wits and reflexes that, despite its simplicity, could carry hours-long sessions of frantic fun and friendly competition. Nidhogg 2 seems like it has the potential to offer the same kind of experience. It’s structurally identical: two players fight to the death as they try to make a run for their finish line at either end of a multi-screen level. But while the first Nidhogg embraced a graceful minimalism, Nidhogg 2 is going for more: more weapons, more levels, more backdrops, more sound, more color, more detail, and loads more violence. It’s hard to say what any of this brings to the table early on. In terms of weapons, Nidhogg 2 now spawns you back after each death with different types: sometimes the reliable swiftness of a rapier, sometimes a heaving broad sword, throwing knives, and even a bow. You still do battle using the three-stance approach perfected in the first game, but most of the weapons — despite their different animations and speeds — sort of feel the same. During the handful READ…

GAMING NEWS

The Game That Requires Your Entire Keyboard to Play

Become one with the keyboard. By Chloi Rad Most games confine their inputs to just a few keys at a time — trusty old WASD (though some swear by ESDF), the reliable left shift, left control, Q, E, T, F, maybe a few number keys, and almost always the beloved spacebar. Throw some scattered hotkeys into the mix and even the arrow keys, and you’ve reached the extent of keyboard inputs for most PC games. But Keyboard Sports isn’t most PC games. Keyboard Sports wants you to embrace the parts of the keyboard that don’t get much love — all those little nooks and corners between and around the Cool, Popular Keys. In Keyboard Sports, every key is important. And it’s a surprising amount of fun. Through a series of silly minigames, Keyboard Sports slowly introduces you to the idea of using the entire keyboard as a controller. Each button press prompts your little character to scurry over to the corresponding area of the screen. A grid of a keyboard overlaid on the game space makes this easier to understand, but it’s still hard to get accustomed to at first. I felt strange wandering away from the home keys READ…

Night in the Woods Review

Share. A sad and serious tale of generational anxieties wrapped up in a deceptively cute, funny exterior. By Chloi Rad Night in the Woods is all about the little things. Late-night diner adventures with friends; spontaneous rooftop stargazing; chatting about ghosts with the crust punks who hang out on the outskirts of town. Moments like these come and go faster than you can swing a bat at a batch of discarded light bulbs out behind the local snack mart, but thanks to earnest, heartfelt writing and a good helping of dry humor, they also lingered in my mind long after they’d passed. While some pacing issues hamper the excitement of this side-scrolling, story-driven adventure’s latter half, I never stopped feeling invested in the personal stories of its adorable anthropomorphic animal cast, whose individual struggles and flaws make them surprisingly human and often painfully relatable. “ Little mini-games add fun variety to your interactions. Night in the Woods’ story revolves around Mae, an unruly cartoon cat girl who drops out of college and moves back to her hometown of Possum Springs after a few years of being away. The setup serves the themes of the story well, but is also convenient…