Articles & Announcements


Jack Gardner

 
Supergiant Games has released a new batch of screenshots alongside the official launch date of their next isometric action-RPG.
 
On May 20, Transistor (which we played at E3 last year) will hit PlayStation 4 via PSN and PC through Steam and the Supergiant Games website. It will retail for $19.99 worldwide. The voice-over work will be in English, while the text will have localization options in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, and Portuguese.
 
You can view screenshots for Transistor on the Extra Life Facebook page.
 
 

Jack Gardner

 
Yesterday, in a nearly hour long Nintendo Direct broadcast, Nintendo divulged many new tidbits of information on the upcoming fighting title coming to 3DS and Wii U.
 
One of the biggest bombshells came at the beginning of the broadcast. Unlike what many people assumed, the two games will not be launching simultaneously. The 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. will be released this summer, while the Wii U version will be released sometime this winter. I'd be willing to bet good (none of that filthy bad money) money that gamers can expect the Wii U version to launch close to the holidays.
 
For anyone worried about the technical performance of the 3DS version of Smash Bros., worry no more. It was confirmed that all fighters will run in 60 frames per second, even while 3D viewing is enabled. The summoned creatures from items like assist trophies will run in 30 FPS, but every player character will move in 60 FPS regardless of what else is happening on screen.
 
There will also be substantial differences between the two versions. While both the 3DS and Wii U will have the same roster of fighters, they will have separate stages. Even stages of the same name in both will be tweaked and have different layouts in the two games. While the Wii U version will have a music player similar to the one found in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the 3DS will be limited to two songs per stage.
 
There will be some kind of connectivity between the 3DS and Wii U versions, but what form that will take and how extensive it will be remains to be seen. More details should roll out around E3.
 
The online multiplayer was revealed as well. Players will now be able to choose from two game modes: For Fun or For Glory. For Fun allows players to be put into games with random stages, all items on, with smash battles, and only wins are recorded. For Glory takes place on Final Destination, no items, 1v1 battle are possible, and both wins and losses are recorded. Of course, when playing with friends over the internet, players will be able to customize their settings to whatever they desire. Also, Final Destination has received an upgrade. Almost every stage now has a Final Destination form, giving more visual variety to one of the most iconic Super Smash Bros. arenas.
 
Instead of having an online ranking system, players will accumulate Global Smash Power, which can be used to brag show your friends how good of a smasher you are. Nintendo insists that GSP will not be what matches you up against opponents, the stat tracker for that will be hidden.
 
New fighters were also confirmed and shown off in great detail: Mega Man, Little Mac, Rosalina, Animal Crossing Villager, and Wii Fit Trainer. Characters that previously had multiple forms will now have a single form and move set. Meaning Samus, Zero Suit Samus, Sheik, and Zelda are now separate, playable characters. After the presentation concluded, the Pokémon Greninja was also revealed to be joining the cast.
 
Finally, the 3DS version was shown to have a unique game mode called Smash Run. Players are thrown into a random dungeon full of monsters and pitfalls where they need to collect various stat-boosting power-ups within a five-minute time frame. After those 5 minutes are up, players are thrust into a battle against each other where they must make the best of the stats they accumulated in the dungeon.
 
Overall, Super Smash Bros. 3DS and Wii U are looking to be entertaining next-gen evolutions of one of the most popular fighting game series of all time. If you have the time, you can watch the Nintendo Direct for yourself below.
 
 

Jack Gardner

 
For All To Play has taken to Kickstarter to fund their development of a game with no need for visuals, Grail to the Thief: An Interactive Audio Adventure.
 
Designed to be played and enjoyed by both the visually impaired and ocularly enabled, Grail to the Thief is a text adventure that conveys all of its information in an audio format. All dialogue is voiced, while sound effects, music, and ambient sound convey additional details about the in-game environment.
 
Grail to the Thief iterates on the traditional text adventure formula by giving players access to a number of options in any given scenario. This eliminates the tedium and frustration of experimenting with typed commands and allows players to enjoy the story, which draws inspiration from the likes of Zork, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and the movie Time Bandits. I could try and summarize the plot, but I'll let the developers do it for me in their own words:
Now if that isn't a plot I can get behind, I don't know what is. Grail to the Thief, if fully funded in the next 25 days will be released on PC, Mac OS X, and Linux, with stretch goals for mobile, a playable female character, and Spanish localization.
 

 
Interested parties can play a prototype of Grail to the Thief in either Chrome or Opera web browsers by following the link foralltoplay.com/prototype. To support pledge money in support of the project, head over to their Kickstarter page.
 
It is amazing to see how far games have come in recent years with more projects being undertaken to accommodate players who might not otherwise be able to play and enjoy games. Hopefully, we will be seeing more games take less able gamers into account as we move forward as an industry.

Jack Gardner

 
Famed throughout the world for his talents as an illustrator and character designer, Yoshitaka Amano partnered with Ubisoft to craft an artistic rendering inspired by the upcoming downloadable title, Child of Light.
 
 
Yoshitaka Amano has quite the legacy in the video game industry. There is a reason you might have gotten a Final Fantasy vibe from the completed piece; Amano designed the iconic look of the franchise himself. From 1987-1994, Amano worked for Square as their main character, image, and graphic designer. He has also continued to create logos and promotional images for the series up until the present. 
 

 
Child of Light releases as a downloadable title on April 30 on Xbox Live, PSN, Wii U eShop, UPlay, and Steam. It features a unique melding of traditional turn-based RPG gameplay and western folklore visuals.
 
 
Personally, this is one of my most anticipated smaller-scale titles for the coming year and I am excited to see Ubisoft going out of their way to show support for such a cool project. Keep your eye on this one, folks!

Jack Gardner

 
The martial arts master will be available both as an unlockable fighter and as a pre-order bonus in EA Sports UFC, the upcoming MMA fighting sim for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
 
 
While all UFC players will be able to unlock Bruce Lee by playing though Career Mode on the Pro setting, customers will also be able to unlock the fighter by pre-ordering at any of the following retailers: Amazon, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, GameStop, and Target.
 
“It has always been part of our vision to have Bruce Lee, the most iconic martial artist of all time, in the first ever EA Sports UFC,” said Brian Hayes, Creative Director, EA. “The team is very excited and tremendously honored to have the privilege of bringing Bruce Lee to life in our game. We’ve been working closely with the Bruce Lee team to ensure we represent the legend with as much visual and gameplay fidelity as possible.”
 
Shannon Lee, the daughter of Bruce Lee and the CEO of Bruce Lee, LLC, expressed her support of his digital resurrection saying, "I am so excited about this opportunity to bring my father back to video games! I’m thrilled that fans can now interact with him in a new way. The EA Sports UFC development team has been incredible to work with, and they've done a great job capturing the look and feel of my father."
 
EA Sports UFC launches this year on June 17 and it seems like the development team is doing their best to make sure the game is representative of the best that Ultimate Fighting has to offer.

Jack Gardner

 
With Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and now Dark Souls II, From Software has made providing gamers with challenging entertainment their overriding game design philosophy. The difficulty of Dark Souls II is both its greatest strength and also its greatest weakness.
 
For the uninitiated, Dark Souls II is an open-world action RPG. Players step into the shoes of some poor man or woman who has become afflicted with “The Curse” and has ended up in the kingdom of Drangleic. This is about as specific as the story seems willing to be, with the rest is a blur about a king, something about fire keepers, and giants. About three-fourths of the way through the game, the storyline inexplicably changes gears from trying to cure your character from The Curse to becoming the new king or queen of Drangleic. I was pretty confused when this happened, but being confused in Dark Souls II is the normal state of affairs. Also, I’d be lying if I said this game was about its story. The vague plot serves as an excuse to insert strange monsters and visuals.  
 
To its credit, Dark Souls II looks incredible. It retains the aura of faded glory, despair, and hopelessness of the first Dark Souls, but it isn’t afraid to access a brighter color palate. Sunsets on endless oceans, soaring mountain peaks, misty forest vales, these locations all have distinct color schemes and feel unique. By extension, Dark Souls II stands out visually more than its predecessor, whose graphical styles ranged from dim to dark. I can believe that people, insane though they may be, live in the kingdom of Drangleic, whereas the denizens of Lordran seemed entirely out of place. The creature designs range from traditional fantasy fare like giant spiders and dragons to monsters that would be right at home in a remake of John Carpenter’s The Thing. For example, one of the bosses is literally a giant pile of corpses fused together to form a disgusting mass of grasping arms and legs. It’s gross.
 

 
The Souls series has constructed its identity around the idea that games should be hard, but fair; a game design concept that many console games in the 8-bit era of gaming strove to embody. Gameplay largely revolves around knowing when to block, dodge, heal, and attack. Most monster encounters consist of learning their timings and weaknesses. In the average Dark Souls II fight or boss battle, if you die, it is largely your own fault for being too slow to block or dodge. Dark Souls II mostly succeeds in walking the knife-thin line that separates a difficult game from a frustrating game, but it does have its fair share of insta-death moments. Random explosions, powerful monsters masquerading as treasure chests, one-hit-kill boss attacks, Dark Souls II has a number of cheap ways to die. At times, this game made me so mad I had to put it down for a couple hours so as not to pull my hair out in rage.
 
What mitigates the feelings of frustration and will keep you coming back for more punishment is the sense of accomplishment after conquering a particularly hard section or boss. It also helps that Dark Souls II is fully aware of how difficult it is and is designed to lessen the impact of its own betrayals. Sure, there will be numerous times when you die unfairly, but the penalty for death is simply dropping your souls, the in-game currency used to level up and buy items. These souls can be reclaimed by going to where you died and recovering them. Once you know something will instantly kill you, it is usually easy to avoid. After killing enemies a certain number of times, they will disappear forever. This is probably to prevent people from farming up souls, which you obtain by slaying enemies, and to help players make it through overly frustrating portions of Drangleic.
 
Another method of alleviating difficult sections of gameplay is by summoning other players to assist in combat. A player having trouble with a boss or a long stretch of enemies can use an item called a human effigy to restore their zombie-like form to its human state, allowing them to summon allies. Offline players are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to summoning, since they may only call upon the various denizens of Drangleic. These stalwart heroes are controlled by the AI and are not very smart. They’ll throw themselves at bosses with as much relish as Kobayashi at a hot dog eating contest and they won’t stop until they are dead. There is another problem with summoning, though, and that is finding the item that allows you to summon and be summoned.
 

 
You see, the majority of the problems that I had with Dark Souls II stemmed from just how oblique and purposefully confusing the game can be at times. The player is never told that one of the most essential skills in the game is just talking to the NPCs repeatedly until they have nothing new to say. At one point in my playthrough, I had explored all available sections of Drangleic and was stuck. After several hours of aimless backtracking I found that I needed to talk with a specific shop keeper multiple times, a shop keeper I had no reason to talk to and whose merchandise I couldn’t use. Talking with that specific character opened up an entire half of the game. Talking with other seemingly unimportant characters multiple times is also what nets players access to certain items, like the items required to summon help for boss fights. On numerous occasions I picked up an item, read the description, and was still completely in the dark as to its purpose.
 
Perhaps the greatest example of just how frustratingly obtuse Dark Souls II can be is found in the information it conveys to players regarding covenants. Covenants are essentially groups you can join that give you special powers or advantages. One of the earliest covenants players can encounter is The Way of the Blue which summons other players to your aid whenever your world is invaded by enemy players. This is by far the most useful covenant early on in the game. However, there is another covenant called the Company of Champions, which was the first covenant I happened to discover. Not really knowing anything about it, I joined. Dark Souls II game never explains what the Company of Champions does, so I played the game, remarking how incredibly difficult all the starting areas seemed to be. It wasn’t until I reached a boss fight half-way through that I began to suspect the purpose of the Company of Champions. It turns out that joining the Company of Champions amounts to ratcheting up the difficulty to eye-gougingly hard levels. I’m all for allowing players to discover things for themselves; that can be a beautiful and awesome thing if implemented correctly. However, a little more explanation would go a long way toward making Dark Souls II a more accessible and less frustrating experience.
 
 
Conclusion:
 
On the one hand, I admire Dark Souls II. It is a game that is what it is and doesn’t bother trying to explain itself except in the broadest possible sense. Players must rise to meet its challenge; it doesn’t stoop to accommodate anyone. On the other hand, there are many occasions when Dark Souls II intentionally obscures itself in order to give the illusion that it is more meaningful and complex that it is. Difficulty should stem from gameplay, not from intentionally confusing the player. I enjoyed Dark Souls II very much at first, but it eventually wore out its welcome. If you enjoyed the first game or if you love difficult games, you’ll probably also enjoy Dark Souls II. If you don’t have a lot of patience or persistence, you should probably steer clear, or at least until the price drops significantly during a Steam sale or something.
 
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Jack Gardner

 
A few weeks ago, the industry was flabbergasted when Amy Hennig, long-time creative director of the Uncharted series, unexpectedly left Naughty Dog. She has since been picked up by Visceral Games, the developer behind Dead Space and Lord of the Rings: The Third Age.
 
It would appear that Amy Hennig was attracted to the idea of being the creative director of a new Star Wars game. For those that don't know, Visceral Games is owned by EA which has a contract with Disney to make games based on the Star Wars IP. The prospect of having creative control over a Star Wars property is certainly a mouth-watering prospect for any creative individual, especially a person of Hennig's creative caliber.
Steve Papoutsis, the vice president and general manager at Visceral Games, expressed his excitement at what Hennig would be bringing to their Star Wars project:
We're all pretty dang excited, too, Steve. As for what exactly that Star Wars game will focus on or be about, no one outside of Visceral knows. There has been some speculation that the remnants of Star Wars 1313 may have been picked up by EA following the closure of Lucas Arts. While there is no reason to believe those rumors, I can't help thinking how awesome playing a game that was described as "Uncharted + Star Wars" helmed by the actual creative director of Uncharted. This isn't likely, but a guy can dream, right?

Jack Gardner

 
Julian Gollop is perhaps best known as one of the creators of the original X-COM and, more recently, as the creative director on Assassin's Creed III: Liberation. However, his next project takes him back. Way back. 
 
Chaos Reborn is the sequel/update to Chaos: The Battle of Wizards which released in 1985. It is a turn-based strategy game in which players test their tactical prowess in magical deathmatches between wizards. Wizards are capable of great feats of magic, but rely most upon summoned creatures to battle enemy wizards. Every battlefield will feature procedurally generated terrain, requiring adaptable, on-the-fly strategies. Chaos Reborn will also offer multiplayer, co-op, and single-player RPG modes.
 
Players begin as simple apprentice wizards, but will be able to work their way up to the rank of wizard lords, wizard kings, demigods, and eventually gods. Attaining higher ranks will open access to a new game mode which will insert AI versions of player characters into other player's Chaos realms. The AI character's accomplishments in other player's worlds will net the AI's master gold and experience.
 

 
Exploration will be an important part of Chaos Reborn. Exploring could reveal new spells, equipment, or opportunities to conquer the realm being explored. The final game will include over 80 spells and 24 creatures. Some of these magics and monsters will be old favorites from the original '85 Chaos. Equipment can be upgraded by entering their inner realms, dungeons with strange properties and denizens.
 

 
A new turn-based strategy RPG from the mind behind the first X-COM with modern sensibilities and multiplayer? Wizards and magic? Monsters and gods? Yes, please! Ken Levine supports the project, too, which is just icing on the cake. The Kickstarter has 14 days left and is more than half-way to its goal. I'm incredibly excited and hopeful that this project will be successful.

Jack Gardner

April Fool's Day is a wonderful time for the video game industry. A time for tech companies, developers, and publishers to come together, let their hair down, and show a bit of their hilarious humanity. This year you can see Optimus Prime in Titanfall, a new fighting game from Blizzard, and Big Head Mode in Guild Wars 2.
 
First up, a new mobile game from  S2 Games is looking to do something never seen before in the mobile gaming space. Their next game aims to be something totally unique and wonderful, like a digital snowflake. Prepare to take to the skies with Bastion and Xander!
 
 
You can download their incredibly original game here.
 
Next, and possibly most disappointingly, Google announced the Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge. Essentially, players use Google Maps to catch Pokémon that can be seen in the real-world using mobile phone cameras. Why can't this be a real thing? Nintendo, get on that.
 
 
IGN has become somewhat infamous for its April Fools' Day pranks. This year they rose to meet expectations with an exclusive trailer detailing the first piece of Titanfall DLC which features Optimus Prime.
 

 
Developer Image & Form has announced a major update to the game SteamWorld Dig. Forget all the fantastical elements of mining that you might have picked up from games like Minecraft, Terraria, or even their own game; SteamWorld Dig is going realistic. CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson detailed what this will mean for the game:
Real-World Mining Simulator has numerous interesting features like trying to avoid contracting the Black Lung and procrastinating. You can read more about it here.
 
Sega took the opportunity today to reveal their new peripheral, the MEGAne DRIVE. Worn over the eyes, it translates languages, shows your dreams, and works with hundreds of other peripherals. Here are some of the highlights of the gear as translated from Twitter:
 
"Speed shock! Visual shock! Sound shock! ... More light and more to the emotional."
 
"Tonight is Samurai war, tomorrow is to bike hero when it comes transform."
 
"Your delusional power master MEGAne if?"
 
Needless to say, with marketing phrases like that the MEGAne DRIVE looks to be on track to dominate the VR market.
 

 
Square Enix decided to make a little goof of their own with a crossover between old-school Final Fantasy and Thief. It is entirely in Japanese and there doesn't seem to be much to interact with or accomplish, but is still pretty amusing.
 

 
OverClocked Remix has decided to launch their new in-house band with the name Rough McGruff. They also require all band members to have beards. This probably definitely maybe in no way relates to YouTuber Smooth McGroove.
 
 
The new game mode added to League of Legends today, Ultra Rapid Fire, has the goal of providing maximum fun by eliminating mana and energy, giving all champions 80% cooldown reduction, and doubling the attack speed of ranged champions. Playing the game mode will net players an exclusive icon.
 
 
BioWare has decided that their online store was incomplete without a Garrus Vakarian Body Pillow. Retailing for $40, the pillow is guaranteed to calibrate to your body and provide support, both on the battlefield and in bed.
 
For those of you who have been on the internet for a while, remember Homestar Runner? The site has been dormant for the past four years, but today marks the end of that humorless dry spell. New content has appeared on the site and reassures everyone that the things they found funny in the early 2000s is still pretty dang funny. Just sit on the intro screen for about 10 seconds to see what's been added.
 
CERN, the European organization that operates the world's largest particle accelerator and is on the cutting edge of science, today decided that its website would better suit the dignity of its institution better if all text on the website was in Comic Sans. To quote CERN's head of communications, James Gillies: 
Blizzard Entertainment had a number of astounding press releases today. To begin, they announced that they would be changing the name of the upcoming expansion to StarCraft II from from Legacy of the Void to Herald of the Stars. Details on the renamed expansion are tantalizing. Blizzard promises new units, weapons, armor, hairstyles, and a dance editor. It also appears that the name change is at least partially due to the desire to keep the same acronym that derived from the current expansion, Heart of the Swarm.
 
Blizzard also announced a new fighting game titled Blizzard Outcasts: Vengeance of the Vanquished. Outcasts features many of Blizzard's second-tier heroes and villains duking it out in glorious 8-bit graphics. Where else can you see Deckard Cain beating down Arcturus Mengsk with an old magic tome?
 
 
Guild Wars 2 has rolled out the Big Head update in its latest patch, doubling the size of all in-game heads. The reason for this change can be traced back to a study revealed in this photo. It turns out that science has determined that larger heads lead to larger amounts of fun.
 

 
Finally, former indie developer Phil Fish, who famously stormed out of the industry due to harassment, surfaced briefly on Twitter to announce his return to game development and Fez II. Fish, you clever minx.
 
Happy April Fools' Day everyone!

Jack Gardner

Review: Titanfall

By Jack Gardner, in Features,


 
I’ll get to the point: Titanfall has a lot of elements that will seem really, really good at first glance. It has giant robots, parkour ledge-grabbing, wall running, and explosions. If those sound like things that would appeal to you, then you will probably enjoy Titanfall. If, on the other hand, you are looking for an intriguing storyline, compelling characters, or anything outside of the multiplayer experience, you might want to look elsewhere.
  Titanfall is a first-person shooter from Respawn Entertainment that inserts players into a civil war torn vision of the space-faring future. Players take up arms as a member of either the courageous Militia or the nefarious IMC and engage in team battles with six players on each side and numerous AI grunt forces spraying bullets everywhere. The game modes on display are almost all variations on modes that we’ve all seen before in other games. Attrition, Pilot Hunter, and Last Titan Standing are all slightly tweaked versions of classic Team Deathmatch. Capture the Flag is… well, Capture the Flag. And Hardpoint Domination is Titanfall’s version of Capture Point.
 
While nothing terribly revolutionary seems to be happening in Titanfall’s game modes, the gameplay shines with polish worked into every aspect of the presentation. Matches begin with cinematic airdrops into combat zones along with AI allies, lending every match a sense of scale I’ve rarely felt in other multiplayer games. As soon as players hit the ground, the magic starts to happen. Since Titanfall features unlimited sprint, most players hit the ground running. All players are also equipped with jetpacks that allow for double jumps, wall-running, and ledge-climbing all of which can be linked together for a feeling of flowing movement. This freedom of mobility is largely what makes Titanfall standout. It liberates players from the traditional corridor shooting mindset that governs many of the most popular FPS games on the market. Running through a level becomes just as much fun as actually fighting through it.
 
One of my favorite aspects of Titanfall is the visual and level design. The maps take into account the vertical capabilities of the players and encourage the use of freerunning maneuvers. Visually, every level feels like it was once a space people inhabited. The debris in the battle zones provide glimpses into the world of Titanfall, into the culture of the Frontier. Some signs in homes are written with Chinese characters, Militia settlements look cobbled together from numerous pieces of used technology, and majestically large aliens stroll the map borders. Unfortunately, the backstory conjured by the minutia scattered throughout each level is more interesting to think about than the actual story told by the campaign, but more on that later.
 
 
Players new to Titanfall or FPS games in general are given an advantage to even out the skill disparity between  themselves and the hardcore, reflex shooter crowd in the form of the smart pistol, a weapon which auto-locks headshots. While it might seem overpowered, after spending a good chunk of time playing Titanfall, it becomes very apparent that the smart pistol’s lock-on isn’t nearly as fast as someone with a high amount of skill with a shotgun, rifle, or SMG. Skilled players will be able to take down the wielder of a smart pistol before enough headshots are locked. The smart pistol is available right from the start, but new weapons, customizable loadout slots, and titan gear can be unlocked by playing the game and levelling your account with experience earned from playing matches and completing various challenges in-game. Eventually, players will unlock the ability to use burn cards while in matches. Burn cards are a fun meta-game that provide finite, temporary benefits when used in a multiplayer match. These range from a large chunk of seconds shaved from your titan’s cooldown to enhanced versions of weapons in your loadout. They are gone forever after you use them, but you earn plenty of them while playing, so no need to be stingy with them.
 
Perhaps Titanfall’s biggest accomplishment lies in its balancing. It is a perfectly tuned multiplayer machine, an incredible feat when every player has the ability to call down giant robots from space that shoot gigantic rockets, catch bullets, and can self-destruct with the force of a miniature nuclear bomb. As each match starts, a timer begins counting down to when each player will be able to call down their titan. This timer can be reduced by eliminating enemy players, AI grunts, or titans. This makes the opening minutes of almost every match a frantic scramble to get the first titan of the game and secure an advantage over the enemy team. This doesn’t mean that players on foot are left defenseless. Each character’s loadout includes an anti-titan weapon that can puncture a titan’s armor. Though titans destroy almost everything that comes in contact with them, the anti-titan ordinance, along with the freedom of movement afforded to players, make fighting a titan on foot slightly less suicidal than it might initially seem. Regardless of winning or losing, the end of a match brings a new mini-game. The losing team must retreat to an escape ship and fight for survival, while the winning team is tasked with preventing their escape. I enjoyed the thrill of escaping at the last minute or preventing an adversary from escaping the battlefield.
 
The majority of Titanfall’s problems appear when it tries to present its campaign. Stemming from laziness, a lack of money, or a misguided design decision, the campaign is little more than multiplayer matches with voice overs slapped over them. That idea has the potential to be interesting, but not the way it appears in Titanfall. The story revolves around the war between the Militia and the IMC. I could look up the synopsis on Wikipedia and regurgitate that for you all, but I think how little I remember of the plot is more telling. The Militia are supposed to be the “good” guys, but I never really understood why we were supposed to be rooting for them other than because of the “underdog rebels fight evil empire” trope. The IMC are bad because they use robots or are trying to take the Militia’s land or something. I also can’t remember any of the characters except for “cool girl” and “guy-who-plays-with-knife.” Things explode and then the campaign ends.
 
The campaign never becomes detrimental to the rest of the Titanfall experience because it is just more multiplayer matches, but neither is it beneficial in any sense. I found it disappointing that such an interesting world, brimming with so much creative potential wasn’t explored in more depth. I have the sneaking suspicion that, this being Respawn’s first game, they focused their efforts on crafting and balancing the multiplayer experience and when they finished, they didn’t have the means or the time to also create an interesting or meaningful campaign. I don’t blame them for not having a noteworthy story; they did what they had to in order to sell their game. However, since video games are a medium for storytelling as well as for fun I can’t help but see this as a wasted opportunity. Perhaps we’ll see some interesting single-player DLC or a better campaign in Respawn’s next project?
 
 
Conclusion:
 
Overall, Titanfall is a thrilling experience and a blast to play with friends. Moments like smashing an enemy who was about to kill you by calling down a death robot from space on top of them are almost magical in how awesome this game can make players feel. While the lazy campaign bothered me as a writer, I doubt it will be a deal breaker if the previous sentence sounded cool to you. I’d urge those who write it off as “Call of Duty with robots” to try it before passing judgment.
 
Titanfall was reviewed on PC

Jack Gardner
 
 
Jane Jensen, the creator of the early 90s adventure game series Gabriel Knight, has declared that she will be beginning a new series of adventure games. The first of Jensen's new generation of adventure games will be titled Moebius: Empire Rising.
 
Moebius puts players into the role of Malachi Rector, an exceptionally perceptive antiques dealer who who falls somewhere between Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, and Indiana Jones. With Rector's photographic memory, players are tasked with solving the mysteries surrounding a young woman's death using clues, locations, history, and some creative mental gymnastics.
 
 
Phoenix Online Studios has also released the opening credits song, titled "The Wheel." The track is written and performed by Robert and Raleigh Holmes.
 
 
With the success of Telltale's The Walking Dead and Double Fine's Broken Age adventure games, it seems like the genre has been coming back from the brink of obscurity lately. Are you all excited to be seeing more games like this? Do you think that they'll remain niche or will they continue to find larger audiences?

Jack Gardner

 
The soundtrack to Vlambeer's retro arcade shooter is on sale and it's something like the Swiss Army knife of soundtracks.
 
I was a bit confused when I read that the Luftrausers soundtrack was available because, for those who don't know, the soundtrack of Luftrausers is made up of numerous tracks that change their combination based on what gear is equipped to your rauser. That means that there are over 100 combinations for different songs that could be included in this bundle.
 
My confusion has dissipated after discovering more about the final product. The Luftrauser's soundtrack holds five original songs and four specific songs used in the game. People who purchase the nine track album will also receive all the individual tracks separated, allowing more musically inclined gamers to remix and play around with them to their heart's content. Note: Kozilek, Luftrauser's composer, says that to remix the tracks "just remove the '.sav' part from the filename."
 
You can download the soundtrack from Kozilek's bandcamp page.
 
What do you think of the Luftrausers game or soundtrack? Do compelling game soundtracks or singles significantly influence your opinion of a game?

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