RageSquid’s game Descenders seems like a weird Mad-Lib creation, but it’s very real. You’ll be forgiven for not believing that a procedurally generated, downhill BMX roguelike isn’t just the product of an A.I. gone amok. The game came out on PC a few months ago, but it’s on Xbox One Game Preview soon, which gave Kyle, Leo, and me an excuse to race (and ragdoll) our brains out.

Even though the basics are the same – ride down a hill and ultimately cross the finish line – each level offers a fair bit of variety. It can come in the form of different challenges, tricky courses, or even the inclusion of a tricky first-person perspective. Fortunately for us, Kyle is a trained professional, and he was able to take on everything the game threw at us. Well, for the most part.

Descenders hits Xbox One Game Preview on May 15.

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Detroit: Become Human is only a few weeks away, and like all
of Quantic Dream’s previous story-driven adventure games, it promises to be a
conversation starter. Rather than actually wait for release to have that
conversation, however, I figured we’d kick things off early by guessing what we’ll
see in the game – contest style!

Here’s the thing: I’m not the biggest David Cage fan. While I
absolutely love and adore that Cage has the freedom and determination to bring
his creative visions to life, his style of storytelling has always been a bit
too convoluted and clumsy to enthrall me. The early demos for Detroit: Become
Human did little to change my mind, but the sci-fi
nerd
in me still held out hope that this one might be different. It’s got
robots, after all – how bad could it be?

Then I read Kim’s
recent preview
and learned that one of the ways Detroit conveys the tension
between man and machine is that humans make the androids sit at the back of the
bus. The back of the bus! Like a robot Rosa Parks – a Robo Parks! Out of all
the fascinating themes and questions surrounding artificial intelligence and
its place in human society, “androids sit at the back of the space bus” seems
like the first idea in a spitball session that immediately gets thrown out for something
better
anything else!

Anyway, that little factoid got Jeff Cork and me talking about
what other things we might see in Detroit: Become Human, which Cork suggested I
turn into a column, because why waste this hot content on each other? I decided
to spice things up by turning it a contest (Jeffs are notoriously competitive,
if you didn’t know), and here we are!

Since it was technically Cork’s idea, he got first crack at potential
guesses…some of which are less inspired than others (see prediction #5). I
followed up with my own list of robot clichés that I am confident will win.
Finally, I roped in Kyle as a third contestant, who took his usual half-assed
approach to the challenge and just regurgitated references to other sci-fi
films. It really doesn’t get any more Kyle than that!

Anyway, here are our best guesses for the character moments,
plot twists, and dialogue snippets we’ll see in Detroit: Become Human. We’ll
update the story after launch to see who is the ultimate winner of the Great
Detroit: Become Human Predict-a-thon!

Note: For the game’s
sake, we’re hoping against hope that the following lists don’t contain any
actual spoilers.

Jeff Cork’s Very
Clever And Probable Predictions:

Prediction #1: A human
NPC acts surprised when they learn your character is an android
This is a solid opening guess for Cork that seems inevitable at some point
during the game.

Prediction #2: An android
gets beaten at a protest and bleeds some weird-colored goo
The only way I see Cork losing this one is on the technicality of what
constitutes as “weird-colored.” Still, probably happening.

Prediction #3: A poignant quote from MLK Jr. is recited or displayed
I would’ve said this was too on the nose, but again, space bus.

Prediction #4: Someone says they think androids are equal,
but that they should live in separate societies
Hoo boy, am I going to lose this contest?

Prediction #5: Some dude f—s a robot
Not the way I would’ve worded it, but this is 100 percent happening nonetheless.

Prediction #6: “Wait,
if you’re an android, how can you eat and drink?”
I’m sure there’s going to be a billion lines of dialogue so it certainly
seems plausible, unless the androids in Detrois can’t actually eat or drink.

Prediction #7: A point-of-view
shot of an android dying, complete with Terminator
2
-style “CRITICAL SYSTEM FAILURE…POWERING DOWN” UI text
A great guess that I’m jealous I didn’t get to make myself. Also, if those are
the exact words of the UI text, that’s probably an instant win, right?

Prediction #8: Fake
man-on-the street news interviews with people saying mean things about androids
during the opening credits
Cork voluntarily limiting this in the opening credits is certainly a bold move, but I’m
guessing he’s still right.

Prediction #9: Some
android with part of his skin all gone and messed up but he don’t care
This one could work both in terms of a heroic android saving someone in a
perilous situation, or an evil android that can’t be stopped from whatever evil
thing it’s trying to do. So yeah, probably happening.

Prediction #10: A
shot of a bulldozer pushing piles of broken androids into a mass grave while
sad music plays
Good lord, did Cork just guess the final shot of the game? Because it
certainly feels like it…

Jeff M’s Even
Cleverer And More Probabler Predictions:

Prediction #1: An android
turns evil and some part of him glows red

I can’t believe Cork missed this one!

Prediction #2: An android
is convinced it isn’t an android
Not only that, but I’m betting it will be intended as a big plot twist even
though we all see it coming hours before it happens.

Prediction #3: Some
of the androids have weird accents when saying certain words but no one
acknowledges it

This one’s a bit meta, but we never explicitly said that wasn’t allowed, so I’m
going there.

Prediction #4: A slow-motion
shot of an android dying with smoke billowing out of its ears, nose, or throat
It’s gotta happen, right?!

Prediction #5: “We deserve the same rights as you! We may
not be flesh and blood, but we feel!”
Maybe not those exact words but the sentiment at least – and I’m feeling
pretty good about my chances.

Prediction #6: An android professor waxes poetically about
the meaning of life
This is probably my riskiest prediction, but I still feel like I’ve got a
50-50 shot.

Prediction #7: An android
gets damaged at some point and starts making unnecessarily loud grinding/buzzing
noises to convey that it’s injured
This is as safe a bet as Cork’s fifth prediction. Maybe they’ll happen in
the same scene?

Prediction #8: A bunch
of human men make crass sexual remarks about a female robot while she silently
endures the harassment
Cue close-up of the android’s face while she stoically stares into the
distance. I’m totally going to win this contest!

Prediction #9: Androids looking down on other androids because
they are an older model or have undesirable service jobs
I’m not sure that the game will delve into android-on-android
discrimination, but it seems like the logical next step.

Prediction #10: An android
sacrifices itself to save a human being, which sparks a change in the way
humans see robots
This is essentially my guess for the ending, though I think Cork’s is
stronger. Then again, with branching storylines we could both be right!

Kyle’s Terrible,
Horrible, No Good Very Bad Predictions:

Prediction #1: An
android peels the skin off its hand to prove it’s a robot, Terminator-style
Kyle apparently felt the need to add “Terminator-style”
to his guess, in case you didn’t get the reference.

Prediction #2: Logic
is super-duper important to these androids, and one gets really confused about
something being illogical
This is probably going to be Kyle’s best guess, and it’s actually a decent one.

Prediction #3: An
android asks, in earnest, “What is love?”
Dang it, that’s a good prediction too. Is Kyle a dark horse in this
contest?!

Prediction #4: An
android has a dream about electric sheep
Okay, never mind. He’s just regular old Kyle again.

Prediction #5: The
song “I Can’t Stop Loving You” by Ray Charles plays at some point
Kyle passed along this YouTube
link
to inform me what he was “referencing”
with this prediction, proving he in fact doesn’t know the difference between a reference
and prediction. You’re making a different list, Kyle!

Prediction #6: There
is an off-screen million android march

Not sure why it has to be off-screen, but it’s a solid guess. We’ll give him
credit even if they show it on-screen, because frankly Kyle needs all the help
he can get.

Prediction #7: The
androids bleed white goop
This one is really close to Cork’s second prediction, but we’ll use the
color as the distinction. White blood: Kyle wins. Any color other than white or
red: Cork wins.

Prediction #8: A
human suddenly and inexplicably forgets that androids are way stronger than
humans
Based on the wording, I’m thinking not only does an android have to display
a feat of superhuman strength, but that human bystanders have to appear shocked
and/or surprised by it. Seems like a decent prediction.

Prediction #9: An
android is tasked with pointing out how many cars appear in a series of
pictures and reading some weird blurry text, and they can’t do it
That’s actually a pretty funny joke – but a lousy prediction, KYLE.

Prediction #10: A
human says, “I almost forgot you were an android for a second there!”
I could see this one happening, but to punish Kyle for not taking the
contest seriously enough, we’ll make him be the one who plays through the game
a hundred times to exhaust all the dialogue and branching choices. It’s the
only way to make sure we don’t miss anything!

Be sure to check back
after the release of Detroit: Become Human to find out who got the most predictions
right, and share you own predictions in the comments below! For more laughs, click the banner below to visit Funny To A Point’s
fancy-pants hub.

Yesterday, we showed off the first hour of Sony Bend Studio’s game Days Gone, complete with developer commentary. Today, we’re picking up right where the action left off, showing what comes after players leave Copeland’s camp. We’ve got a packed house, with Ben Hanson and Jeff Marchiafava joining Leo and me in the discussion. There’s a lot to take in, including some exploration, clearing out a couple of smaller camps, and plenty of freakers infected. 

Hanson and Fava were on the cover trip with me, and they all were able to play through this section on their own. Fortunately, they wield that expertise as a way to keep the conversation going, instead of second-guessing my every action – which may or may not include a few missed shots. Look, I was nervous, and I was using a weird controller or something? Probably?

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For more on Days Gone, check out our hub page by clicking on the banner below.

An Injustice 2 fan may have inadvertently gotten more than he expected by tweeting out a wish to Netherrealm’s Ed Boon.

Boon replied to the fan’s thinly veiled request for more Injustice 2 content in 2018 with a thinly veiled response.

Our Take
It would be easy to brush this off as a simple typo, but considering Mortal Kombat’s longstanding obsession with the letter “k,” it seems unlikely. Hopefully, we’ll see if this means more info about the next Mortal Kombat game as we head into E3.

Crytek is taking full advantage of Hunt: Showdown’s Early Access nature with the release of the shooter’s first major content update. The patch makes some fundamental changes to the game, including the addition of scoped weapons, new traits, and a variety of tweaks to level designs to make camping a little less easy.

There’s a lot to absorb with today’s update, but the team has created a couple of videos to help communicate what’s been added and what’s changing. In the first video, the game’s senior system designer and lead designer walk through the highlights of the patch overall.

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That’s followed by a walkthrough of the extensive map changes with Hunt: Showdown’s level design director. 

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The game is currently available on PC in early access. For more on Hunt: Showdown, take a look at our recent episode of New Gameplay Today.

In 2008, Left 4 Dead delivered an intense cooperative shooting experience set in the zombie-infested apocalypse. Now, nearly a decade later, independent studio Holospark is set to fill that void with Earthfall, a game that takes heavy inspiration from Valve’s beloved series. Instead of fighting off hordes of zombies, however, you’re blasting your way through swarms of aliens.

We were joined by the design team at Holospark to get an exclusive look at a difficult, never-before-seen level of Earthfall, Hatchery II. Check out this episode of New Gameplay Today to learn more about this Left 4 Dead-inspired shooter and what players should expect from this upcoming release.

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Earthfall is currently available on PC through Steam Early Access, with a full release coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in June.

This morning, tickets for this July’s second-annual Pokémon Go Fest went live. Less than an hour later, they were sold out. According to Niantic, players will still be able to celebrate even if they couldn’t get tickets or aren’t able to make the trek to Chicago.

Last year’s inaugural Pokémon Go Fest didn’t exactly go smoothly. The event was plagued with technical issues, which made it nearly impossible for some attendees to access the game. On-stage presentations were interrupted by chants of, “Fix the game!” Niantic ultimately agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by people who were upset after paying for airfare and other travel expenses.

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Our Take
Here’s hoping that Niantic learned from its mistakes, and has figured out a way to deliver online access for a highly concentrated group of players who require it. If not, at least we’ll be able to read some entertaining stories later.

On today’s Sony Blogcast, chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden revealed the plans for what Sony’s bringing to E3 this year. In lieu of a traditional press conference, the publisher will instead focus on “deep dives” for four upcoming exclusives: Ghost of Tsushima, The Last of Us Part II, Spider-Man, and Death Stranding.

Layden also says that Sony will be announcing third-party publishing partners as well as new indie titles. The publisher will not be revealing any new hardware.

You can listen to the whole blogcast episode right here.

 

Our Take
In my eyes, Sony’s presentations for the previous E3s have been super effective in getting people excited for its exclusive games. Switching gears is bold and surprising. I’m curious to see how that plays out.

Codemasters’ latest racing game is a vastly different experience from past games like Dirt and its various F1 titles. Onrush is an arcade-style racer, with teams of cars and other vehicles battling it out in a variety of different fast-paced modes. We didn’t want to show you an extended string of crashes and blown turns, so we brought in a ringer for today’s episode of NGT.

Racing expert Matt Kato joins Leo and me for our latest episode, highlighting each of the modes that he played and also showing off what happens when A) you remember that there is a brake button and B) you know how to use it. Full confession: I spend a lot of time getting towed back onto the track racing games, all right? Sheesh. 

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Onrush is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on June 5.

Devolver Digital and developer Mega Cat Studio are releasing a brand new SNES game, cart and all, that illustrates the frustrations and dangers of game development crunch with profits going to mental health charity Take This.

Fork Parker’s Crunch Out is a management sim where the player takes the role of a Devolver Digital executive who needs to get a game shipped on time. He does this by giving his employees coffee, disciplining them for for not working efficiently, or breaking out a gentle electric shock to keep them focused and motivated.

When a game ships and its profits rake in, you make it up to your employees by reinvesting some of that money into espresso machines and parties to express how truly sorry you are about them not seeing their families and other loved ones before getting right back into more crunch time.

Devolver is actually producing SNES carts for the game for $50, with there only being 1000 copies for sale, but it should function fully on a normal SNES system. There’s also a fancy $150 special edition that has a screen on the cartridge that displays the game’s title logo when the system is powered on. Devolver is donating its entire cut to Take This, a non-profit charity for mental illness prevention and mental health issue awareness in gaming.

To read more about crunch in the gaming industry, read David Milner’s award-winning piece on the subject.

 

Our Take
It sounds like a pretty good illustration of gaming crunch and how executive teams try to paper over the labor abuses with pizza parties and platitudes rather than actual change. Playing as the CFO is an interesting idea since it puts you at war between the ethics of the decision and the goal-driven gameplay. I’ll be interested to see it when it comes out.