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How do you follow a game like Knights of the Old Republic, the most famous original Star Wars tale a video game has ever told? Forget about Obsidian's sequel for a moment and imagine it was BioWare staring at a piece of paper wondering how to follow a twist like Revan's. Because once upon a time BioWare was - and it came up with an idea.

It's becoming increasingly hard to remember a time when we visualised our metropolitan future differently: no rain-polished streets reflecting the glare of neon signs, no fetid slums nestled snugly around imposing high-rises, no collective mass of humanity wearing the marks of economic oppression and state-sanctioned violence in their purposeless haste, their hunched postures, their fearful silence. In other words, it's becoming increasingly hard to remember how we imagined urban dystopias before the iconography of Blade Runner gatecrashed our collective consciousness and etched its initials on the concept.

As the allocated 90 minutes clocked up and we all began to think about the few short hours left until we drag ourselves up for the Monday commute, it was hard to make head or tail of what Microsoft's Gamescom show had set out to achieve. In an hour and a half of reheated E3 trailers and recaps, there was perhaps one announcement of a genuine exclusive for Xbox: a vertical console stand for the day one edition of the Xbox One X, as unpackaged by Major Nelson in an abandoned office on the other side of the world.

The E3 Bulletin: Thursday

Miyamoto! Crash! Zombies!

E3 is still happening. E3 has always been happening. But today, finally, is the beginning of the end, as the brave troops overseas prepare themselves for a final trip round the show floor. Further reports suggest that the public access is putting things under strain, with a steady stream of "oh god the crowds" updates on social media that have been greeted with thousand-yard-stares by anybody who has ever been on the public floor at Gamescom.

UPDATE 12TH JUNE: You didn't throw away your old Xbox discs did you?! Quick, go find them in your local time-warp video game store, because old Xbox discs will work in Xbox Ones. Not only that but digital licenses will carry over and you can system-link across all three generations of console too.

All work and no play

In praise of video game rest.

Few video game protagonists keep to strict working hours, and how could they? When there's a war to win, a world to save, a lover's heart to ensnare and all the other grand and arduous problems that a game designer asks us to solve, it would be practically irresponsible to clock off a five for a pint of lager, a packet of crisps and a prestige TV box set. Even if they did have time to unwind then, just as we rarely see Tony Soprano bobbing away at the urinal, or Donald Draper questingly exploring a nostril, surely these parts of the game would be first for the editor's chop. What Lara Croft does to relax (eating caviar off her butler's extended arm while listening to Brahms, I like to imagine) is rarely relevant to the story at hand. Aside from the indulgently barmy Final Fantasy XV, what your character eats for dinner rarely has a place in the core gameplay loop.

The appeal of Morrowind for a first-time player today is surely that of getting lost. The game's once-breathtaking Gamebryo engine may creak with age, and its brittle, RNG-heavy combat may seem relentlessly archaic, but Morrowind's relative shortage of navigational aids now feels positively radical.

Digital FoundryDF Retro: Halo - the console shooter that changed everything

The history of Bungie's brilliant shooter, its tech re-assessed, plus the best way to play today.

Every so often a game comes along that changes everything. Games like Doom, Super Mario Brothers and Half-Life aren't just incredible games in their own right - they helped shape the gaming industry as a whole. Halo: Combat Evolved is one such title. As a game, Halo evolved and refined the first person shooter, making it work on a console like never before. As a product, it helped define the first generation Xbox and help Microsoft become the juggernaut of today and, as a project, it lifted its creator, Bungie, into the history books as one of the most revered developers of all time.

Phantom Dust is getting an HD remaster next year

Not to be confused with the cancelled remake.

Two years ago Microsoft announced a remake of Phantom Dust, the 2004 Xbox-exclusive card-based action-strategy game from Panzer Dragoon director Yukio Futatsugi. That project was cancelled last year shortly after Microsoft severed ties with the game's developer Darkside Game Studio. But now Phantom Dust has returned, albeit in a different form.

The Wind Waker inspired me to build a boat

And other stories of taking games too seriously.

Playing The Wind Waker inspired me to build a boat. There, I've said it. It still sounds a little silly - to me at least - and I'll get to that. But can we at least acknowledge that the game made a convincing case for the joys of sailing?

Speedrunner sets new world record for Doom... 3?!

Sprints through campaign in under 65 minutes.

With all the hullabaloo around id Software's shockingly sterling Doom reboot, folks have been revisiting previous Doom titles. One such series fanatic, YouTuber Corpseflesh, even set a new world record for blazing through 2005's Doom 3 in record time.

Max Payne is one of my top ten games of all time. There's something about the scrunchy-faced hero's first rampage through New York City that's stayed with me ever since I first played it in 2001. Aoife, on the other hand, had never played Max Payne until this month. Imagine growing up without ever knowing the joys of bullet time, hammy narration or a crippling addiction to painkillers; it's too cruel to contemplate.

Legendary and maybe part-machine programmer John Carmack will receive this year's BAFTA Fellowship award, joining the likes of Gabe Newell, Shigeru Miyamoto, Will Wright and many others. He'll receive the award at the BAFTA Games Awards 7th April in London - an event happening alongside EGX Rezzed.

The lost worlds of Lionhead and Bullfrog

From the archive: these cancelled projects offer insights into the ambitions of two great studios.

With Lionhead Studios facing closure this week, we thought it would be a good moment to revisit this piece, originally published in October 2012, tracing all the intriguing games that never quite made it out of the Guildford studio and its predecessor, Bullfrog.

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