Posts by Ben Silverman
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In18 hrs ago
There are few things more alluring to a kid than a claw machine. One three-year-old in Lincoln Nebraska, however, got a little too close to the prizes tucked inside.
According to local authorities, the child’s mother called Nebraska police on Monday to report her son had left the apartment when she was in the bathroom. After canvassing the area, the cops found the kid in a most unusual spot: inside the claw machine at a nearby bowling alley.
Authorities believe he got in through the central prize hole.
"You have to weave your way in and out, so he had to work pretty hard to get in there," Jim Lakey, the owner of the machine, told local station KLKN-TV.
"It's kind of a rarity."
The boy was uninjured and was apparently just playing with stuffed animals and ignoring passers-by, who presumably were ignoring him, too. Or perhaps they figured this was the creepiest claw machine in the world and thus averted their gaze to avoid going straight to hell for considering playing a game in which a three-year-old boy was the grand prize.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In2 days ago
The long-running Civilization series puts you in the shoes (or boots, or sandals) of a famous historical leader and tasks you with guiding a culture to world domination.
But according to the newly announced Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth, there's a lot more out there than just measly old Earth. Developed by legendary developer Sid Meier and his team at Firaxis Games, this spacefaring take on Civ is due out in fall 2014.
“The Civ team was excited about the opportunity to continue the story of Civilization into the future, because it allows the team to break free of historical context,” said Civilization overlord Sid Meier. “We’ve always let our fans create the history of mankind, and Civilization: Beyond Earth will now let them create the future.”
If this sounds familiar, it’s because you wisely played 1999’s Alpha Centauri, a fantastic, Sid Meier-produced Civilization spin-off set in the stars. Civilization: Beyond Earth isn’t related, however.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In5 days ago
The first time it happened to me, I had just jumped off a building.
Technically, I was rescuing the good citizens of Seattle from the clutches of an oppressive government agency in the PS4 hit Infamous: Second Son. I spotted a caravan of enemies parked on the streets right below the skyscraper I was using as a sofa, so I did what any superheroic do-gooder would: I leapt into the air and starting charging up my groundshaking super punch.
And that’s when it happened. A sharp, sudden, piercing pain in my right wrist. My real one.
It’s since been diagnosed as a complicated kind of tendonitis with a name I can only pronounce correctly when I’m reading it, and while it’s treatable, it’s just the latest in a series of vaguely embarrassing but totally real ailments caused by excessive gaming.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In13 days ago
The man best known for scaring us with aliens is teaming up with a game franchise best known for letting us mow down aliens.
According to Variety, legendary sci-fi filmmaker Ridley Scott has signed on to produce a new Halo feature for Microsoft. The new Halo project will reportedly be along the lines of the Halo: Forward Unto Dawn digital web shorts rather than a full-fledged Halo film.
A collaboration between Xbox Entertainment Studios, current Halo developer 343 Industries, and Ridley Scott’s production company Scott Free TV, the project will be directed by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan, whose past directorial work includes six episodes of fellow sci-fi staple, Battlestar Galactica.
Mimnica-Gezzan also spent years working as an assistant director to Steven Spielberg, who was previously announced as the executive producer of a separate Halo series. That project will reportedly be unaffected.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In21 days ago
The Batman is back. And this time, he’s got wheels.
Of course, Batman: Arkham Knight, the third and final game in Rocksteady Studios’ best-in-class superhero trilogy (the last installment, Arkham Origins, was not developed by Rocksteady), is about a lot more than riding around in the Batmobile. It’s about the Caped Crusader saving Gotham from The Scarecrow, who has turned the city into an evacuated ghost town after threatening to infect its citizens with fear gas. It’s about criminals and vengeance and justice and people dressing up in ridiculous outfits to do ridiculous things.
But mostly, it’s about the Batmobile, because in Arkham Knight, the Batmobile is a thing of beauty and terror.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In26 days ago
Grungy graffiti artist Delsin Rowe isn’t your typical superhero. He bums around in a junky pair of jeans and a knit cap, sports gadgetry no more advanced than a cell phone, and seems more content tagging walls than saving lives.
Infamous: Second Son, however, is as gaudy as its star is gauche. Releasing this week, the long-awaited PS4 exclusive is a visual smorgasbord that turns Seattle into an action-packed sandbox and shows off the power of Sony’s new system.
Though it's the third Infamous game, Second Son is a standalone effort; you won't need to have played the prior two games to pick up the scent of the story. Superhuman ‘conduits’ live among us, gifted with all sorts of crazy abilities that naturally scare the pants off the powers-that-be. The government-run Department of Unified Protection has been created to capture conduits (unpleasantly referred to as ‘bio-terrorists’), though they often do their job a bit too enthusiastically, setting up a showdown between Delsin and the organization’s grumpy leader.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In1 mth ago
There’s a lot riding on the sturdy legs of Titanfall, the man-vs-mech online shooter hitting stores this week.
Published by EA and developed by former Call of Duty vets at Respawn Entertainment, it’s the biggest release thus far for the Xbox One, and while it’s not technically an exclusive -- it’s also coming to the Xbox 360 and PC -- it won’t be appearing at all on the rival PlayStation 4 or Wii U. Without a Halo or Gears of War game out yet for their fledgling next-gen system and with sales lagging behind Sony’s flagship console, Microsoft is searching for a system-seller.
Well, they’ve found it. Like any self-respecting giant robot, Titanfall saves the day, reinvigorating the stale first-person shooter genre with a potent combination of finely-tuned gameplay and riotous wish fulfillment.
Titanfall drops players into the futuristic Frontier, a collection of deep space planets that serves as the battleground for two warring political factions. To make their point, each side employs Titans, giant mechs pulled straight out of an anime fantasy. And you get to control them.
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In1 mth ago
It took a while, but Lara Croft’s rebirth is finally paying off.
Publisher Square Enix has announced that cumulative sales of last year’s acclaimed reboot of the iconic series are closing in on 6 million units. The company says that puts the game on track to become the best-selling Lara Croft game of all time.
That’s quite a change from last May, when Square Enix said it was “disappointed” by sales of the game despite it selling 3.4 million copies in its first month. The company had hoped to hit 6 million out of the gate -- an absurdly high goal for a series that had not had a critical hit for several installments.
Sales of the game, in fact, were a factor in the ouster of Square Enix president and CEO Yoichi Wada.
Now, says head of product development Darrell Gallagher, Tomb Raider has “exceeded profit expectations and continues to make significant contributions to our overall financial performance.”
- Ben Silverman at Plugged In1 mth ago
Flappy Bird may have officially flown the coop, but it left plenty of eggs behind. And they’re hatching like crazy.
According to Pocket Gamer, a new Flappy Bird clone appears on the App Store every 24 minutes. That’s 2.5 clones per hour, or about 60 per day.
Dong Nguyen, the developer of the original touchscreen-tapping wunderkind, took his immensely popular game offline last month because he thought the game was proving to be “too addictive,” a problem countless game designers would love to experience.
And indeed, they’re trying to do just that by shamelessly ripping off his one-trick flying pony. Between February 28 and March 3, notes Pocket Gamer, a stunning 241 new Flappy Bird clones were made available for download.