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Found 73 results

  1. For as long as combat games have been around, there have been plenty that put players in the driver’s seat of all kinds of vehicles, from apocalyptic race cars, military fighter jets, and space ships galore. For players wanting a more nautical experience, pickings have traditionally been slim, especially if they wanted to go beneath the ocean’s surface and face the depths below. The team behind Aquanox: Deep Descent are on the case with an expansive prequel to the original Aquanox games of 2001 and 2003. Quick refresher for those of you, like myself, who might have missed the original deep sea shooters. Aquanox takes place in a world besieged by nuclear war and resource scarcity. After humans leech everything possible from the surface, the few remaining survivors fled to the depths of the sea, scavenging and fighting for as many supplies as each faction can grab. Their strength comes in the form of submersible combat ships, complete with a small army’s worth of firepower and technology to aid in the fight against the hazards of the deep. Extra Life got the chance to preview a hands-off demo for Aquanox: Deep Descent from developer Digital Arrow and publisher THQ Nordic. In Aquanox: Deep Descent’s single-player mode (10-12 hours long, according to the developer), players will build up a home base full of upgrades for their ships and the community. Ships are fully customizable, with players spending credits earned completing missions and scavenging resources on upgrades for engines, armor, weapon loadouts, electrical systems, and more. Ships are already divided into classes, though, like the light scouting class, the fighter, or the siege ship. For example, siege ships are primarily the tanks of Aquanox, built to take and deal massive damage while sacrificing ease of movement. Aquanox: Deep Descent’s single-player mode also acts as a drop-in-drop-out co-op mode. When a friend joins, they can choose one of the four available main characters to play as, along with their ship’s traits. Combat in Deep Descent moves much like a space flight simulator (think Eve: Valkyrie or Elite: Dangerous), but with the added twist of water impacting movement. Natural momentum carries a ship further and in a less direct way than an airplane might, meaning every dodging maneuver against enemy ships must be calculated for maximum advantage and minimal damage. The last thing you want is to crack open the hull of your ship on a rock or a poorly dodged torpedo. You’ll also be able to maneuver in any direction, opening up possibilities for offensive or defensive strategies. To hear it from the developer, Aquanox: Deep Descent may, to some players, feel like a more tactical round of Unreal Tournament, flitting around the environment to land a carefully aimed shot at a distant target. From a hands-off perspective, the comparison certainly carries some weight, as victory often goes to the player who can not only maneuver more strategically around their opponent, but also who can react faster and with more precision, balancing combat in a way that, while perhaps not perfect, fits within its own world just fine. Like those quirky combat games, Aquanox will also feature a variety of weapons that will have players adopting unique strategies. There’s the Shrapnel cannon, which launches a close-range burst of debris at opponents for devastating damage. There’s the the Hazard, or “Gooey,” which launches canisters of explosive bio-chemical liquids that stick to enemies and can later be detonated. Then there’s the high-powered Shard rail guns that let players snipe from afar, making the vast expanses of empty water a threat to all. Secondary weapons include mines, as well as mortar fire that can strike from above. Other secondary weapons perform specific actions like automatically firing at enemies within range or from any side, giving you the chance to slip away. All these abilities will be available in Aquanox: Deep Descent’s multiplayer mode as well, which includes solo deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture-the-flag, and a domination mode. To Digital Arrow’s credit, what we’ve seen thus far of Aquanox’s updated world looks impressive. For fans of “aerial” style combat games, the amount of customization and the frenetic pacing of these seadog fights are impressive. For those wanting a more exploratory adventure, the game’s visuals certainly hold up, and obviously look more impressive than its predecessors. While a game like Subnautica is incredibly expansive, Aquanox’s style seems decidedly more pronounced, with the darkness of the ocean depths shimmering against plant life and wreckage. Aquanox: Deep Descent is scheduled for a 2017 release date on PC. View full article
  2. For as long as combat games have been around, there have been plenty that put players in the driver’s seat of all kinds of vehicles, from apocalyptic race cars, military fighter jets, and space ships galore. For players wanting a more nautical experience, pickings have traditionally been slim, especially if they wanted to go beneath the ocean’s surface and face the depths below. The team behind Aquanox: Deep Descent are on the case with an expansive prequel to the original Aquanox games of 2001 and 2003. Quick refresher for those of you, like myself, who might have missed the original deep sea shooters. Aquanox takes place in a world besieged by nuclear war and resource scarcity. After humans leech everything possible from the surface, the few remaining survivors fled to the depths of the sea, scavenging and fighting for as many supplies as each faction can grab. Their strength comes in the form of submersible combat ships, complete with a small army’s worth of firepower and technology to aid in the fight against the hazards of the deep. Extra Life got the chance to preview a hands-off demo for Aquanox: Deep Descent from developer Digital Arrow and publisher THQ Nordic. In Aquanox: Deep Descent’s single-player mode (10-12 hours long, according to the developer), players will build up a home base full of upgrades for their ships and the community. Ships are fully customizable, with players spending credits earned completing missions and scavenging resources on upgrades for engines, armor, weapon loadouts, electrical systems, and more. Ships are already divided into classes, though, like the light scouting class, the fighter, or the siege ship. For example, siege ships are primarily the tanks of Aquanox, built to take and deal massive damage while sacrificing ease of movement. Aquanox: Deep Descent’s single-player mode also acts as a drop-in-drop-out co-op mode. When a friend joins, they can choose one of the four available main characters to play as, along with their ship’s traits. Combat in Deep Descent moves much like a space flight simulator (think Eve: Valkyrie or Elite: Dangerous), but with the added twist of water impacting movement. Natural momentum carries a ship further and in a less direct way than an airplane might, meaning every dodging maneuver against enemy ships must be calculated for maximum advantage and minimal damage. The last thing you want is to crack open the hull of your ship on a rock or a poorly dodged torpedo. You’ll also be able to maneuver in any direction, opening up possibilities for offensive or defensive strategies. To hear it from the developer, Aquanox: Deep Descent may, to some players, feel like a more tactical round of Unreal Tournament, flitting around the environment to land a carefully aimed shot at a distant target. From a hands-off perspective, the comparison certainly carries some weight, as victory often goes to the player who can not only maneuver more strategically around their opponent, but also who can react faster and with more precision, balancing combat in a way that, while perhaps not perfect, fits within its own world just fine. Like those quirky combat games, Aquanox will also feature a variety of weapons that will have players adopting unique strategies. There’s the Shrapnel cannon, which launches a close-range burst of debris at opponents for devastating damage. There’s the the Hazard, or “Gooey,” which launches canisters of explosive bio-chemical liquids that stick to enemies and can later be detonated. Then there’s the high-powered Shard rail guns that let players snipe from afar, making the vast expanses of empty water a threat to all. Secondary weapons include mines, as well as mortar fire that can strike from above. Other secondary weapons perform specific actions like automatically firing at enemies within range or from any side, giving you the chance to slip away. All these abilities will be available in Aquanox: Deep Descent’s multiplayer mode as well, which includes solo deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture-the-flag, and a domination mode. To Digital Arrow’s credit, what we’ve seen thus far of Aquanox’s updated world looks impressive. For fans of “aerial” style combat games, the amount of customization and the frenetic pacing of these seadog fights are impressive. For those wanting a more exploratory adventure, the game’s visuals certainly hold up, and obviously look more impressive than its predecessors. While a game like Subnautica is incredibly expansive, Aquanox’s style seems decidedly more pronounced, with the darkness of the ocean depths shimmering against plant life and wreckage. Aquanox: Deep Descent is scheduled for a 2017 release date on PC.
  3. The studio behind Killer Instinct is primed to bring another hard-hitting action experience to fans of properties like Attack On Titan and Shadow of the Colossus. Extinction drops players into the role of one of the world’s last Sentinels, warriors tasked with protecting the realm from towering, bloodthirsty ogres. Through a mix of high-speed movement and careful precision, players will have to find each ogre’s weak spots before they level the world. Extra Life got the chance to preview an early build of Extinction at E3, with Iron Galaxy and publisher Maximum Games showing off the basics of combat and just how we’ll be tearing down these monolithic monstrosities and their smaller minions. Iron Galaxy started our demo off in a modest village with a smattering of stone towers and houses. As Avil the Sentinel, we’re gifted with the ability to leap great distances and slice through ogre flesh and armor with a swing of a sword. Several ogres are bearing down the center of town, smashing entire buildings with their feet and fists. Iron Galaxy says each level will be completely destructible, and it certainly shows in the path of carnage each ogre leaves behind them. The only shortcoming is that each building leaves a perfectly squared pile of ashes, though it’s unclear if Iron Galaxy will add in some sort of destructibility physics so it looks more natural. As for the buildings that aren’t crushed, however, Avil can make great use of them by bouncing from canopies, gliding alongside walls, and dashing up them as well, similar to games like Prototype and Metal Gear Rising. When Avil makes it to his first giant ogre of the day, order of business dictates that he needs to dismember as many of its limbs as possible. He has to act fast, though, considering each limb can regenerate as long as the ogre still possesses its head. Avil strikes each limb’s armor, shattering it in one powerful swing, then ripping flesh apart moments later. All the while, the ogre is taking great swipes with its fists and stomping its feet in an attempt to smash him. Once the ogre is damaged enough, it slumps over, letting its wounds heal, allowing Avil to leap up its backside and slice it across the neck, cutting its head off and evaporating the body into valuable energy that Avil can absorb for his own benefit. You’d be forgiven for noticing the similarities ripped right from Attack On Titan, including the need to cut each giant’s nape, but in fairness the ogres do possess enough individuality among them to make them a little more entertaining than the awkward-looking Titans. And it won’t just be one ogre at a time. Iron Galaxy has shown off groups of ogres attacking from different directions or in packs, adding to the difficulty. There will also be a number of smaller minions (including human-size ogres and winged beasts) scattered about the map to distract you from bigger threats. Through it all, though, the visual aspect of combat does look entertaining, to say the least. Leering up at a giant from underneath its toes feels daunting, especially when those toes are closing in at high speed. That these creatures can be scaled relatively easily, in an environment with hundreds of variables to consider, means players will hopefully be more focused on the fun of the experience than battling the control scheme. The only possible downside to Extinction’s gameplay thus far is whether or not performing the same executions will get stale, and whether or not Iron Galaxy can instill a bit more life into these levels so we can feel like we’re saving the world, not just building after building. It’s fine that the world of a game called “Extinction” feels a little barren, but hopefully players will feel like they’re fighting for something instead of being the sole human left on the planet. Beyond the world-building, hopefully we’ll get a few more moves at our disposal for dispatching ogres, as the same combination of leaping, slicing, and wall-riding might feel played out by the time Extinction hits its third or fourth level. There’s still plenty more to see before Extinction releases sometime early 2018. View full article
  4. The studio behind Killer Instinct is primed to bring another hard-hitting action experience to fans of properties like Attack On Titan and Shadow of the Colossus. Extinction drops players into the role of one of the world’s last Sentinels, warriors tasked with protecting the realm from towering, bloodthirsty ogres. Through a mix of high-speed movement and careful precision, players will have to find each ogre’s weak spots before they level the world. Extra Life got the chance to preview an early build of Extinction at E3, with Iron Galaxy and publisher Maximum Games showing off the basics of combat and just how we’ll be tearing down these monolithic monstrosities and their smaller minions. Iron Galaxy started our demo off in a modest village with a smattering of stone towers and houses. As Avil the Sentinel, we’re gifted with the ability to leap great distances and slice through ogre flesh and armor with a swing of a sword. Several ogres are bearing down the center of town, smashing entire buildings with their feet and fists. Iron Galaxy says each level will be completely destructible, and it certainly shows in the path of carnage each ogre leaves behind them. The only shortcoming is that each building leaves a perfectly squared pile of ashes, though it’s unclear if Iron Galaxy will add in some sort of destructibility physics so it looks more natural. As for the buildings that aren’t crushed, however, Avil can make great use of them by bouncing from canopies, gliding alongside walls, and dashing up them as well, similar to games like Prototype and Metal Gear Rising. When Avil makes it to his first giant ogre of the day, order of business dictates that he needs to dismember as many of its limbs as possible. He has to act fast, though, considering each limb can regenerate as long as the ogre still possesses its head. Avil strikes each limb’s armor, shattering it in one powerful swing, then ripping flesh apart moments later. All the while, the ogre is taking great swipes with its fists and stomping its feet in an attempt to smash him. Once the ogre is damaged enough, it slumps over, letting its wounds heal, allowing Avil to leap up its backside and slice it across the neck, cutting its head off and evaporating the body into valuable energy that Avil can absorb for his own benefit. You’d be forgiven for noticing the similarities ripped right from Attack On Titan, including the need to cut each giant’s nape, but in fairness the ogres do possess enough individuality among them to make them a little more entertaining than the awkward-looking Titans. And it won’t just be one ogre at a time. Iron Galaxy has shown off groups of ogres attacking from different directions or in packs, adding to the difficulty. There will also be a number of smaller minions (including human-size ogres and winged beasts) scattered about the map to distract you from bigger threats. Through it all, though, the visual aspect of combat does look entertaining, to say the least. Leering up at a giant from underneath its toes feels daunting, especially when those toes are closing in at high speed. That these creatures can be scaled relatively easily, in an environment with hundreds of variables to consider, means players will hopefully be more focused on the fun of the experience than battling the control scheme. The only possible downside to Extinction’s gameplay thus far is whether or not performing the same executions will get stale, and whether or not Iron Galaxy can instill a bit more life into these levels so we can feel like we’re saving the world, not just building after building. It’s fine that the world of a game called “Extinction” feels a little barren, but hopefully players will feel like they’re fighting for something instead of being the sole human left on the planet. Beyond the world-building, hopefully we’ll get a few more moves at our disposal for dispatching ogres, as the same combination of leaping, slicing, and wall-riding might feel played out by the time Extinction hits its third or fourth level. There’s still plenty more to see before Extinction releases sometime early 2018.
  5. At E3 2017, independent UK studio Rebellion highlighted their upcoming Rogue Trooper Redux which releases Oct. 17. Rogue Trooper initially released in 2006 to PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Gameplay is in third-person shooter format and follows the titular hero Rogue as he navigates the world Nu-Earth, the last survivor of his unit of genetic infantrymen. Though his fellow GI’s lose their form as blue troopers, their engineering allows them to live on in Rogue’s gear through implanted biochips. The redux is a remaster and upgrades the 2006 graphics to HD, remodels assets, updates lighting, enhancing geometry along with other visual aspects. New features have been added as well that include additional difficulty settings, a revamped cover system, and modernized controls. I got the chance to experience the reboot first hand during a demo at E3. The demo took place during the first part of the game as each of Rogue’s squad members are getting attacked and “die.” After failing to save them, Rogue implants each into various pieces of his equipment. Each implant not only gave Rogue's arsenal multiple personalities but also new abilities. This was an interesting mechanic and it presented a dimension to gameplay. From the Rogue Trooper Redux website, “Gunnar turns your rifle into a sentry gun and boosts your accuracy under fire. Helm offers tactical advice and distracts enemies. Bagman can manufacture custom ammo, salvage parts, upgrade weapons and even lay minefields.” Gameplay is straightforward third-person fare with an extraterrestrial backdrop. There are plenty of explosions and over the top events with gameplay mechanics switching up to keep things interesting. What was most compelling to play around with was the aforementioned abilities implanted in the gear. Staying true to the source material was a priority for the team in 2006 and that remains true today. "We tried our best to take the inspiration of the comic and do it justice, and I think we really did achieve that," said Rich May, one of the original game's programmers. The reboot will be a chance for players who missed the game the first time around to jump into the Rogue Trooper universe. "It's really cool to see it out there again," said May, who went on to comment about how social media has allowed them to connect to a wide array of fans of the game as well as the comics. May also hopes for the game to reach a new audience. "It's one of my favorite things I've ever worked on," he said. Rogue Trooper Redux will release to Nintendo Switch (date TBD), PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC for $24.99. View full article
  6. At E3 2017, independent UK studio Rebellion highlighted their upcoming Rogue Trooper Redux which releases Oct. 17. Rogue Trooper initially released in 2006 to PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Gameplay is in third-person shooter format and follows the titular hero Rogue as he navigates the world Nu-Earth, the last survivor of his unit of genetic infantrymen. Though his fellow GI’s lose their form as blue troopers, their engineering allows them to live on in Rogue’s gear through implanted biochips. The redux is a remaster and upgrades the 2006 graphics to HD, remodels assets, updates lighting, enhancing geometry along with other visual aspects. New features have been added as well that include additional difficulty settings, a revamped cover system, and modernized controls. I got the chance to experience the reboot first hand during a demo at E3. The demo took place during the first part of the game as each of Rogue’s squad members are getting attacked and “die.” After failing to save them, Rogue implants each into various pieces of his equipment. Each implant not only gave Rogue's arsenal multiple personalities but also new abilities. This was an interesting mechanic and it presented a dimension to gameplay. From the Rogue Trooper Redux website, “Gunnar turns your rifle into a sentry gun and boosts your accuracy under fire. Helm offers tactical advice and distracts enemies. Bagman can manufacture custom ammo, salvage parts, upgrade weapons and even lay minefields.” Gameplay is straightforward third-person fare with an extraterrestrial backdrop. There are plenty of explosions and over the top events with gameplay mechanics switching up to keep things interesting. What was most compelling to play around with was the aforementioned abilities implanted in the gear. Staying true to the source material was a priority for the team in 2006 and that remains true today. "We tried our best to take the inspiration of the comic and do it justice, and I think we really did achieve that," said Rich May, one of the original game's programmers. The reboot will be a chance for players who missed the game the first time around to jump into the Rogue Trooper universe. "It's really cool to see it out there again," said May, who went on to comment about how social media has allowed them to connect to a wide array of fans of the game as well as the comics. May also hopes for the game to reach a new audience. "It's one of my favorite things I've ever worked on," he said. Rogue Trooper Redux will release to Nintendo Switch (date TBD), PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC for $24.99.
  7. There’s something to be said for a well-built role-playing game -- even better if it’s one with a visually pleasing aesthetic that communicates everything it needs to. Too many RPGs these days find themselves buried under menus and woefully implemented combat mechanics, or repetitive dungeon-diving. Battle Chasers: Nightwar feels like the rare RPG to sidestep all the bluster and bulk for something entertaining and at least mildly fresh. Based on the original Battle Chasers comic by Joe Madureira (also known for his work on Uncanny X-Men) and developed by Airship Syndicate (comprised of former Darksiders developers), RPG fans of any stripe should get a kick out of this action-packed world. I got a hands-off demo of Battle Chasers at E3 2017, where the developer took time to show off the world and combat systems. Taking place an undetermined amount of time after the original Battle Chasers comic left off on a cliffhanger, players can create a team of three (from a total of six optional characters) to do battle with vicious creatures and loot randomly generated dungeons. There’s Garrison, a swordsman with a tragic past, Gully, a nine-year-old girl who inherited a pair of massive, magical boxing gloves after her father disappeared, Calibretto, the iron giant war golem with a heart of gold, and more. The first thing players might notice is that despite Battle Chasers decidedly JRPG-esque nature, it’s characters play off of old tropes for inventive combat and character building. Instead of the lumbering, mechanical Calibretto acting as the team’s tank, it’s Gully’s magic gloves that provide the massive damage, and Calibretto’s intrinsic ties to nature that provide healing spells. Though each dungeon will be randomly generated, players will have to strategize before ever stepping foot into one. Each dungeon has different difficulties to choose from, modifying the number of enemies, traps, and the layout you’ll find, but also affecting the size of its reward. Once inside, players navigate an isometric layout filled with beastmen, animated skeleton warriors, and worse. Players can give themselves an advantage by luring enemies into the dungeon’s ancient traps before battle, shaving off a few key health points. Once in battle, characters take turns dealing damage or casting spells, with a queue on the left hand side telling you who will go during the next several turns, all based on stats like speed and initiative. Characters share a single “overcharge” gauge that essentially acts as magic fuel for special attacks. This gauge can be accrued over time, and each character has three separate levels of overcharge attacks so you might want to save it for a boss or particularly rough group of enemies. Garrison can unleash a devastating series of sword strikes on a single enemy, for example, while Calibretto is focused on damaging multiple enemies with his massive chaingun arm. Each character will have unique abilities they can use only a set number of times to solve puzzles or advance deeper into a dungeon, such as Garrison’s dash move or Gully’s punch, which allows her to knock down walls hiding secret areas. Every step taken begins to feel like a measured one, weighed against risk versus reward dilemmas. Players can locate treasure chests with rare loot inside, or opt to teleport it deeper into the dungeon. You’ll have to find it again, and the loot will be twice as beneficial, but you’ll lose it if you die before reaching it. Rare gear can also only be crafted within certain dungeons, giving players another incentive to take a deep dive. Amidst all of this, Battle Chasers possesses a striking art style, and not just thanks to Madureira’s illustrations. Even as they’re awaiting their turn in battle, characters bob and weave with an animated feel that helps bring them to life in a way few RPGs of either hemisphere achieve. This is especially apparent during attacks, when the weight of each character can be felt in their motion. Calibretto, the hulking mass that he is, barrels down on enemies with a decimating right hook, smoke billowing behind his trail, and enemies bouncing back with appropriate force. Even enemies get in on the action, with monsters similar to Dark Souls’ mimics (beasts that impersonate treasure chests for a sneaky bite attack) lashing out their engorged tongues with wicked style. It’s unclear how closely Battle Chasers will stick to the original comic series’ lore. Developers at Airship Syndicate say the plot will follow the party’s adventures in a world being sucked dry of its mana. After being shot down from the sky by pirates, the group will have to adventure across a massive island, finding themselves roped into a war against an evil vampire lord bent on conquering the world. Battle Chasers certainly isn’t shying away from the cheese of its inspirations. Battle Chasers: Nightwar is due out October 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and the Nintendo Switch for $29.99. A Steam sale currently has the game listed at $26.99, though it’s unclear how long that will last. View full article
  8. There’s something to be said for a well-built role-playing game -- even better if it’s one with a visually pleasing aesthetic that communicates everything it needs to. Too many RPGs these days find themselves buried under menus and woefully implemented combat mechanics, or repetitive dungeon-diving. Battle Chasers: Nightwar feels like the rare RPG to sidestep all the bluster and bulk for something entertaining and at least mildly fresh. Based on the original Battle Chasers comic by Joe Madureira (also known for his work on Uncanny X-Men) and developed by Airship Syndicate (comprised of former Darksiders developers), RPG fans of any stripe should get a kick out of this action-packed world. I got a hands-off demo of Battle Chasers at E3 2017, where the developer took time to show off the world and combat systems. Taking place an undetermined amount of time after the original Battle Chasers comic left off on a cliffhanger, players can create a team of three (from a total of six optional characters) to do battle with vicious creatures and loot randomly generated dungeons. There’s Garrison, a swordsman with a tragic past, Gully, a nine-year-old girl who inherited a pair of massive, magical boxing gloves after her father disappeared, Calibretto, the iron giant war golem with a heart of gold, and more. The first thing players might notice is that despite Battle Chasers decidedly JRPG-esque nature, it’s characters play off of old tropes for inventive combat and character building. Instead of the lumbering, mechanical Calibretto acting as the team’s tank, it’s Gully’s magic gloves that provide the massive damage, and Calibretto’s intrinsic ties to nature that provide healing spells. Though each dungeon will be randomly generated, players will have to strategize before ever stepping foot into one. Each dungeon has different difficulties to choose from, modifying the number of enemies, traps, and the layout you’ll find, but also affecting the size of its reward. Once inside, players navigate an isometric layout filled with beastmen, animated skeleton warriors, and worse. Players can give themselves an advantage by luring enemies into the dungeon’s ancient traps before battle, shaving off a few key health points. Once in battle, characters take turns dealing damage or casting spells, with a queue on the left hand side telling you who will go during the next several turns, all based on stats like speed and initiative. Characters share a single “overcharge” gauge that essentially acts as magic fuel for special attacks. This gauge can be accrued over time, and each character has three separate levels of overcharge attacks so you might want to save it for a boss or particularly rough group of enemies. Garrison can unleash a devastating series of sword strikes on a single enemy, for example, while Calibretto is focused on damaging multiple enemies with his massive chaingun arm. Each character will have unique abilities they can use only a set number of times to solve puzzles or advance deeper into a dungeon, such as Garrison’s dash move or Gully’s punch, which allows her to knock down walls hiding secret areas. Every step taken begins to feel like a measured one, weighed against risk versus reward dilemmas. Players can locate treasure chests with rare loot inside, or opt to teleport it deeper into the dungeon. You’ll have to find it again, and the loot will be twice as beneficial, but you’ll lose it if you die before reaching it. Rare gear can also only be crafted within certain dungeons, giving players another incentive to take a deep dive. Amidst all of this, Battle Chasers possesses a striking art style, and not just thanks to Madureira’s illustrations. Even as they’re awaiting their turn in battle, characters bob and weave with an animated feel that helps bring them to life in a way few RPGs of either hemisphere achieve. This is especially apparent during attacks, when the weight of each character can be felt in their motion. Calibretto, the hulking mass that he is, barrels down on enemies with a decimating right hook, smoke billowing behind his trail, and enemies bouncing back with appropriate force. Even enemies get in on the action, with monsters similar to Dark Souls’ mimics (beasts that impersonate treasure chests for a sneaky bite attack) lashing out their engorged tongues with wicked style. It’s unclear how closely Battle Chasers will stick to the original comic series’ lore. Developers at Airship Syndicate say the plot will follow the party’s adventures in a world being sucked dry of its mana. After being shot down from the sky by pirates, the group will have to adventure across a massive island, finding themselves roped into a war against an evil vampire lord bent on conquering the world. Battle Chasers certainly isn’t shying away from the cheese of its inspirations. Battle Chasers: Nightwar is due out October 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and the Nintendo Switch for $29.99. A Steam sale currently has the game listed at $26.99, though it’s unclear how long that will last.
  9. E3 is the land of the giants. Every year the titans of the industry gather in the same space to showcase their upcoming big budget releases. While the spotlight might be on the giants, indie games have also built their own community around the event. Areas like IndieCade or the Devolver Indie Picnic give the press and the public a chance to look at the latest games. Minneapolis developers Space Mace seized their opportunity to showcase their upcoming game Joggernauts as a part of MIX LA. We spoke with Zach Johnson, Tommy Sunders and Robert Frost about what it was like being an indie game at E3, the indie presence, the crowds and what’s next for Joggernauts. Can you describe Joggernauts? Zach Johnson: We say Joggernauts is a cooperative switching game about trying not to kill your friends. It kind of plays like a platformer, but you have to change places with each other as you're a team running through these alien worlds. There are color-coded puzzles, and you and your friends need to work out who needs to be in front for each color as you're running through these levels together. So it's a multiplayer auto runner and it's completely cooperative. We've taken out all of the competitive elements so you're always on the same team fighting against the game together. What are all of your roles in developing the game? Rob Frost: I do music, sound design and manage the community building. Tommy Sunders: I do all the art and graphic stuff and then Zach and I work on the design of the game together. Johnson: I do programming, and like Tommy said, we do game design together. Is this your first game as a team? Johnson: For the three of us together, this is our first (game). Our studio is called Space Mace and it’s the first for our studio, but we've all worked on games before this separately. In what stage of development is Joggernauts? ` Johnson: We're doing limited private early access through Itch.io and our target date for release is Spring 2018. We're in a phase where we need to do more content production like the gameplay, aesthetics, music and other stuff. All the direction for that is really high polish, but we need a bigger game. What was the process like getting to E3? Johnson: We applied to MIX LA and got invited to show our game. That was an awesome opportunity. It's a really neat thing that they have going there because they invite a wide range of games, like stuff that's very high profile and stuff that's up and coming and then there are tons of journalists there so you feel like you really get to meet people. Then we got some badges to come out on the expo floor and check out some stuff, so it's been fun. What was the event like? Sunders: It wasn't the craziest demo we've ever done. It's like a big party game and sort of draws its own crowd. It's four people playing, they start yelling, and then more people come around because there are people yelling and everyone starts to gather because people are gathering and trying to figure out what's going on. Johnson: I think we got lucky because the indie dev to the right of us didn't show up and we had a double wide booth - which we really needed because we had a huge crowd. What type of feedback did you get at MIX LA? Johnson: We got a lot of people who loved it and wanted to buy it and wanted to know what systems it was going to come out on so they would know if they could have it or not. Some of the other devs had some really cool ideas for small tweaks that we hadn't heard before. I mean we've been showing publicly for like three years and we actually got some new feedback that we've never heard that was really original thinking. It’s always fun to be amongst game developers who are thinking at that high level and can give you good feedback. Did you get to explore at all and see the other games? Johnson: I got to play Runner 3 and Joggernauts was actually inspired by me and my best friend drunkenly playing Bit.Trip Runner 1. We were like, "Okay, this is fun, but we have to keep passing the controller back and forth because it's a single player game." So how could you do a game like this, but multiplayer? And that's where the taking turns switching to the front of the group mechanic came from. Runner 3 was there, and I think it was their first public showing. So I got to play that which was awesome and meet one of the devs on that. I got to play Nidhogg 2 with one the creators. We tried to take turns roaming and making sure to eat and drink water and playing games with people and trying to grab journalists and pull them in to talk to us. What is it like coming from Minneapolis to E3? Johnson: We've been to IndieCade and GDC. We've been traveling a lot with the game. Sunders: We've actually even been to Berlin. Johnson: When everyone comes together from around the world to one place, the networking opportunities and access to resources and press is tremendous and we feel a little bit isolated from the press in particular in the Midwest. Sunders: The majority of the games industry's on the West Coast, and we're in flyover country. What do you think of the indie presence at E3? Frost: [IndieCade,] that's where we felt most at home. Sunders: We've been hanging out there because we know a number of the devs on those teams. There's the massive lines, or we could go stand and hang out with our friends. It's awesome that they have something like IndieCade in there, but at the end of the day, E3's not about indie games. Do you think that presence is building? Sunders: I've heard nothing but great things about indie games at PAX. People are there to see everything else that's not Sony and Xbox and Nintendo. We have yet to go to a PAX, but everybody's like, "No, no, [E3] is for the giant corporations, PAX is everybody else." Johnson: I like that there's an IndieCade booth and I like that some of the bigger booths have indie games. Devolver's got a presence here, the MIX was here. So there are these kinds of places to go and see indie games and play them and meet people doing indie stuff. I'd love to see more of that obviously as and Indie, those games are my jam. Why is an indie presence so important at a huge event like E3? Frost: A lot of the time indies have ideas that the big guys don't really take a chance on. I think a lot of times indies test the bar. More of that would be really nice to see an event like this. What do you think about E3 being open to the public? Frost: We've never seen it before to really judge it, but it is packed. Johnson: So many people. Frost: It's just uncomfortable really. Sunders: It seems like the industry people know better and they're just avoiding the floor as much as possible. Johnson: It’s nice to bump into fans and see people excited. I think the most interesting thing about it being open is that you see a lot of streamers and non-credentialed journalists who are actually doing really cool work and have like pro equipment. Like you see their regular badge like they're just here for fun but then they've got pro video stuff and they're doing like live streaming off of the show floor. That's kind of neat. You're getting voices that maybe hadn't gotten out there before. Would you come back to E3? Johnson: I would show a game here just because it's packed so you're going to get a lot of exposure. but it would be exhausting. I would like to set our schedules so we all would have some good breaks. Seeing a crowd this size, I really feel for the people at the IndieCade booth who are a small team of one or two who have three days of standing on the E3 show floor just seems so exhausting. I mean it's clearly a powerful opportunity. Everybody's here. It's like a central meeting time for the industry. What is next for Joggernauts? Johnson: We're actively doing a lot of business stuff right now and trying to sort out stuff on the publishing side. We really want to get out Spring 2018 and we could go faster if we could all be full time. We've been a part time like the indie story for like two and a half years. If we could go full time we could focus on the content production stuff and wrap the game up. We're talking to all the major consoles and did make a deal on one of them that we're not ready to announce yet. Things have been going well so we just kind of like want to go faster and get the game out. We're looking to PAX West as the next big opportunity to show the game. We're hoping that by PAX, ideally, we're going to be showing a much more visually polished build with a lot more going on and some new levels. I really want to introduce a new special PAX character, a new Joggernaut. Joggernauts is set to release in Spring of 2018. Keep track of it and Space Mace on Twitter or Itch.io. View full article
  10. E3 is the land of the giants. Every year the titans of the industry gather in the same space to showcase their upcoming big budget releases. While the spotlight might be on the giants, indie games have also built their own community around the event. Areas like IndieCade or the Devolver Indie Picnic give the press and the public a chance to look at the latest games. Minneapolis developers Space Mace seized their opportunity to showcase their upcoming game Joggernauts as a part of MIX LA. We spoke with Zach Johnson, Tommy Sunders and Robert Frost about what it was like being an indie game at E3, the indie presence, the crowds and what’s next for Joggernauts. Can you describe Joggernauts? Zach Johnson: We say Joggernauts is a cooperative switching game about trying not to kill your friends. It kind of plays like a platformer, but you have to change places with each other as you're a team running through these alien worlds. There are color-coded puzzles, and you and your friends need to work out who needs to be in front for each color as you're running through these levels together. So it's a multiplayer auto runner and it's completely cooperative. We've taken out all of the competitive elements so you're always on the same team fighting against the game together. What are all of your roles in developing the game? Rob Frost: I do music, sound design and manage the community building. Tommy Sunders: I do all the art and graphic stuff and then Zach and I work on the design of the game together. Johnson: I do programming, and like Tommy said, we do game design together. Is this your first game as a team? Johnson: For the three of us together, this is our first (game). Our studio is called Space Mace and it’s the first for our studio, but we've all worked on games before this separately. In what stage of development is Joggernauts? ` Johnson: We're doing limited private early access through Itch.io and our target date for release is Spring 2018. We're in a phase where we need to do more content production like the gameplay, aesthetics, music and other stuff. All the direction for that is really high polish, but we need a bigger game. What was the process like getting to E3? Johnson: We applied to MIX LA and got invited to show our game. That was an awesome opportunity. It's a really neat thing that they have going there because they invite a wide range of games, like stuff that's very high profile and stuff that's up and coming and then there are tons of journalists there so you feel like you really get to meet people. Then we got some badges to come out on the expo floor and check out some stuff, so it's been fun. What was the event like? Sunders: It wasn't the craziest demo we've ever done. It's like a big party game and sort of draws its own crowd. It's four people playing, they start yelling, and then more people come around because there are people yelling and everyone starts to gather because people are gathering and trying to figure out what's going on. Johnson: I think we got lucky because the indie dev to the right of us didn't show up and we had a double wide booth - which we really needed because we had a huge crowd. What type of feedback did you get at MIX LA? Johnson: We got a lot of people who loved it and wanted to buy it and wanted to know what systems it was going to come out on so they would know if they could have it or not. Some of the other devs had some really cool ideas for small tweaks that we hadn't heard before. I mean we've been showing publicly for like three years and we actually got some new feedback that we've never heard that was really original thinking. It’s always fun to be amongst game developers who are thinking at that high level and can give you good feedback. Did you get to explore at all and see the other games? Johnson: I got to play Runner 3 and Joggernauts was actually inspired by me and my best friend drunkenly playing Bit.Trip Runner 1. We were like, "Okay, this is fun, but we have to keep passing the controller back and forth because it's a single player game." So how could you do a game like this, but multiplayer? And that's where the taking turns switching to the front of the group mechanic came from. Runner 3 was there, and I think it was their first public showing. So I got to play that which was awesome and meet one of the devs on that. I got to play Nidhogg 2 with one the creators. We tried to take turns roaming and making sure to eat and drink water and playing games with people and trying to grab journalists and pull them in to talk to us. What is it like coming from Minneapolis to E3? Johnson: We've been to IndieCade and GDC. We've been traveling a lot with the game. Sunders: We've actually even been to Berlin. Johnson: When everyone comes together from around the world to one place, the networking opportunities and access to resources and press is tremendous and we feel a little bit isolated from the press in particular in the Midwest. Sunders: The majority of the games industry's on the West Coast, and we're in flyover country. What do you think of the indie presence at E3? Frost: [IndieCade,] that's where we felt most at home. Sunders: We've been hanging out there because we know a number of the devs on those teams. There's the massive lines, or we could go stand and hang out with our friends. It's awesome that they have something like IndieCade in there, but at the end of the day, E3's not about indie games. Do you think that presence is building? Sunders: I've heard nothing but great things about indie games at PAX. People are there to see everything else that's not Sony and Xbox and Nintendo. We have yet to go to a PAX, but everybody's like, "No, no, [E3] is for the giant corporations, PAX is everybody else." Johnson: I like that there's an IndieCade booth and I like that some of the bigger booths have indie games. Devolver's got a presence here, the MIX was here. So there are these kinds of places to go and see indie games and play them and meet people doing indie stuff. I'd love to see more of that obviously as and Indie, those games are my jam. Why is an indie presence so important at a huge event like E3? Frost: A lot of the time indies have ideas that the big guys don't really take a chance on. I think a lot of times indies test the bar. More of that would be really nice to see an event like this. What do you think about E3 being open to the public? Frost: We've never seen it before to really judge it, but it is packed. Johnson: So many people. Frost: It's just uncomfortable really. Sunders: It seems like the industry people know better and they're just avoiding the floor as much as possible. Johnson: It’s nice to bump into fans and see people excited. I think the most interesting thing about it being open is that you see a lot of streamers and non-credentialed journalists who are actually doing really cool work and have like pro equipment. Like you see their regular badge like they're just here for fun but then they've got pro video stuff and they're doing like live streaming off of the show floor. That's kind of neat. You're getting voices that maybe hadn't gotten out there before. Would you come back to E3? Johnson: I would show a game here just because it's packed so you're going to get a lot of exposure. but it would be exhausting. I would like to set our schedules so we all would have some good breaks. Seeing a crowd this size, I really feel for the people at the IndieCade booth who are a small team of one or two who have three days of standing on the E3 show floor just seems so exhausting. I mean it's clearly a powerful opportunity. Everybody's here. It's like a central meeting time for the industry. What is next for Joggernauts? Johnson: We're actively doing a lot of business stuff right now and trying to sort out stuff on the publishing side. We really want to get out Spring 2018 and we could go faster if we could all be full time. We've been a part time like the indie story for like two and a half years. If we could go full time we could focus on the content production stuff and wrap the game up. We're talking to all the major consoles and did make a deal on one of them that we're not ready to announce yet. Things have been going well so we just kind of like want to go faster and get the game out. We're looking to PAX West as the next big opportunity to show the game. We're hoping that by PAX, ideally, we're going to be showing a much more visually polished build with a lot more going on and some new levels. I really want to introduce a new special PAX character, a new Joggernaut. Joggernauts is set to release in Spring of 2018. Keep track of it and Space Mace on Twitter or Itch.io.
  11. How do you make a story about the construction of a 12th century England cathedral intriguing? I’m sure readers asked themselves the same question when author Ken Follett released the immensely popular historical fiction novel The Pillars of the Earth in 1989. Follett’s tale weaves through half a century and numerous characters living in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, painting a picture of political and social intrigue so well-received that it sold more than 26 million copies, and spawned television, board game, and musical adaptations. Now, developer Daedalic Entertainment, the publisher behind Shadow Tactics: Blade of the Shogun, as well as the developer of Tales of Monkey Island has jumped to make yet another point-and-click narrative adventure in its adaptation of Pillars. I had the chance to watch a hands-off demo of Pillars of the Earth, which included a bit of background on how Daedalic is adapting the 1,200-page book into an interactive, choice-driven experience, and what it all looks like in motion. The demo began near the beginning of the game, and after the novel’s prologue, with a young boy named Jack (who would go on to design the Kingsbridge cathedral) living with his outlaw mother in the woods. Jack comes across a man named Tom and his children searching for the baby he had recently abandoned in the forest. The group soon discovers a monk rescuing the child and bringing it back to the local monastery. Knowing he would be imprisoned for abandonment, the father allows his child to be taken. From here, players are able to interact with the man and his children in a typical point-and-click adventure style, getting to know them better with a variety of dialogue choices. As is typical for the modern form of the genre, players are able to choose from kind, considerate options to outright rude silence. Though the game will largely follow the same plot as the original novel, Daedalic is quick to assure us that players can in fact influence events and the fates of characters. Whether this means drastic plot shifts or just how certain characters regard others remains to be seen, though. For example, after Jack’s only book is stolen by Tom’s bully son, players can either figure out a way to sneak it from him peacefully, or dump a pile of snow on his head, causing him a ton of discomfort and aggravating him further, leading to unforeseen consequences even years later. Perhaps the first thing players will notice about Pillars, even if they’ve never read the book or watched the show, is the absolutely gorgeous art style permeating every scene. It’s both painterly and yet entirely alive, with snow falling gently over the hills of a muddy road, or the subtle look of despair and anger forming on a character’s lips as she drags a cart behind her. Daedalic have made one of the most gorgeous point-and-click games I’ve seen in a long, long time. As someone who enjoys lengthy books, but can often find it difficult to keep track of where characters are over 1,000 pages, the striking environments will certainly help keep players like myself on track. According to Daedalic, the game will feature over 200 of these hand-painted backgrounds. The narrative’s tone will also likely strike a chord with fans of series like Game of Thrones. Though the art might resemble something out of Avatar: The Last Airbender, this is Europe during the Anarchy period, a time of wanton murder and savagery. Expect bloodshed and strife, but also those meaningful slivers of humanity that make it all worth it. Like all episodic narratives, it’s on the developers to ensure that the game’s quality remains high and steady throughout, and that our choices matter, if only at the personal level. At the outset, The Pillars of the Earth looks like it could be one of 2017’s best narrative adventures thanks to its faithful, yet bendable adaptation of its source material and the stunning visuals accompanying it. The first of three episodes of The Pillars of the Earth is due out on August 15 for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. No price for individual episodes or season passes have been announced yet. View full article
  12. How do you make a story about the construction of a 12th century England cathedral intriguing? I’m sure readers asked themselves the same question when author Ken Follett released the immensely popular historical fiction novel The Pillars of the Earth in 1989. Follett’s tale weaves through half a century and numerous characters living in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, painting a picture of political and social intrigue so well-received that it sold more than 26 million copies, and spawned television, board game, and musical adaptations. Now, developer Daedalic Entertainment, the publisher behind Shadow Tactics: Blade of the Shogun, as well as the developer of Tales of Monkey Island has jumped to make yet another point-and-click narrative adventure in its adaptation of Pillars. I had the chance to watch a hands-off demo of Pillars of the Earth, which included a bit of background on how Daedalic is adapting the 1,200-page book into an interactive, choice-driven experience, and what it all looks like in motion. The demo began near the beginning of the game, and after the novel’s prologue, with a young boy named Jack (who would go on to design the Kingsbridge cathedral) living with his outlaw mother in the woods. Jack comes across a man named Tom and his children searching for the baby he had recently abandoned in the forest. The group soon discovers a monk rescuing the child and bringing it back to the local monastery. Knowing he would be imprisoned for abandonment, the father allows his child to be taken. From here, players are able to interact with the man and his children in a typical point-and-click adventure style, getting to know them better with a variety of dialogue choices. As is typical for the modern form of the genre, players are able to choose from kind, considerate options to outright rude silence. Though the game will largely follow the same plot as the original novel, Daedalic is quick to assure us that players can in fact influence events and the fates of characters. Whether this means drastic plot shifts or just how certain characters regard others remains to be seen, though. For example, after Jack’s only book is stolen by Tom’s bully son, players can either figure out a way to sneak it from him peacefully, or dump a pile of snow on his head, causing him a ton of discomfort and aggravating him further, leading to unforeseen consequences even years later. Perhaps the first thing players will notice about Pillars, even if they’ve never read the book or watched the show, is the absolutely gorgeous art style permeating every scene. It’s both painterly and yet entirely alive, with snow falling gently over the hills of a muddy road, or the subtle look of despair and anger forming on a character’s lips as she drags a cart behind her. Daedalic have made one of the most gorgeous point-and-click games I’ve seen in a long, long time. As someone who enjoys lengthy books, but can often find it difficult to keep track of where characters are over 1,000 pages, the striking environments will certainly help keep players like myself on track. According to Daedalic, the game will feature over 200 of these hand-painted backgrounds. The narrative’s tone will also likely strike a chord with fans of series like Game of Thrones. Though the art might resemble something out of Avatar: The Last Airbender, this is Europe during the Anarchy period, a time of wanton murder and savagery. Expect bloodshed and strife, but also those meaningful slivers of humanity that make it all worth it. Like all episodic narratives, it’s on the developers to ensure that the game’s quality remains high and steady throughout, and that our choices matter, if only at the personal level. At the outset, The Pillars of the Earth looks like it could be one of 2017’s best narrative adventures thanks to its faithful, yet bendable adaptation of its source material and the stunning visuals accompanying it. The first of three episodes of The Pillars of the Earth is due out on August 15 for PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. No price for individual episodes or season passes have been announced yet.
  13. Dead Alliance is a game in search of an identity. Equal parts Call of Duty, horde mode, and MOBA all in the same breath, the competitive undead shooter banks its success on finding a player base with a love of all three genres and then some. Not only do you have to worry about a team of enemy players firing bullets at you, you also have to contend with the ravenous horde of zombies roaming around each map. But have no fear, for the combatants of Dead Alliance aren't running in without some nifty tools to turn the undead into your buddies. I recently got the chance to play a preview build of Dead Alliance; more specifically the game’s team deathmatch and capture-the-flag modes. At a glance the game might appear little more than another competitive shooter, replete with armored dudes toting heavy machine guns and more body armor than a presidential meet-and-greet. There’s also the maps, which range from an uninteresting warehouse to a seaside port town, that all look as dilapidated and overgrown as you might expect. Thankfully, the developers at Psyop have injected this melting pot with enough variety in terms of gameplay and strategic options to warrant at least a chance. In Dead Alliance’s multiplayer modes (including team deathmatch, CTF, free-for-all, and king of the hill), players are outfitted with a standard variety of weapons (assault rifles, machine guns of the bulky and sub variety), but are also given special tools called “Zmods” that influence the zombies found on every map. If you’re losing sight of your enemies, throwing the P.A.M. grenade at a group of zombies will force them to run for the nearest competitors, giving you ample room to hose them down while they’re fleeing from the horde. The L.R.A.D. attracts nearby zombies to a single point, allying them to your team, while the Trailer flare lets you string along a group of zombies while it’s in your hands. Those tools, coupled with a few that repelled zombies, made for chaotic firefights and a few tense retreats as zombies swarmed my team. At times, the game can feel like a well-measured bit of chaos. Hunting down enemy players through MOBA-like lanes of traffic is frantic, and often the team on the receiving end of the horde has little time to react. Dead Alliance’s overall pacing also plays a role, as players only move at a fraction of the speed you might in a game like Call of Duty or Titanfall. This means a dead sprint will only keep zombies off your back for as long as you keep running, but it also means that evading enemy fire is more a matter of getting the drop on someone than actual mechanical skill. During our demo, it often felt like our victories were due to easy manipulation of choke points more than anything else. It’s difficult to tell from two rounds if the game will have much depth, but at this rate, Dead Alliance risks players losing interest more quickly than most. Dead Alliance is out August 29 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for $39.99. View full article
  14. Dead Alliance is a game in search of an identity. Equal parts Call of Duty, horde mode, and MOBA all in the same breath, the competitive undead shooter banks its success on finding a player base with a love of all three genres and then some. Not only do you have to worry about a team of enemy players firing bullets at you, you also have to contend with the ravenous horde of zombies roaming around each map. But have no fear, for the combatants of Dead Alliance aren't running in without some nifty tools to turn the undead into your buddies. I recently got the chance to play a preview build of Dead Alliance; more specifically the game’s team deathmatch and capture-the-flag modes. At a glance the game might appear little more than another competitive shooter, replete with armored dudes toting heavy machine guns and more body armor than a presidential meet-and-greet. There’s also the maps, which range from an uninteresting warehouse to a seaside port town, that all look as dilapidated and overgrown as you might expect. Thankfully, the developers at Psyop have injected this melting pot with enough variety in terms of gameplay and strategic options to warrant at least a chance. In Dead Alliance’s multiplayer modes (including team deathmatch, CTF, free-for-all, and king of the hill), players are outfitted with a standard variety of weapons (assault rifles, machine guns of the bulky and sub variety), but are also given special tools called “Zmods” that influence the zombies found on every map. If you’re losing sight of your enemies, throwing the P.A.M. grenade at a group of zombies will force them to run for the nearest competitors, giving you ample room to hose them down while they’re fleeing from the horde. The L.R.A.D. attracts nearby zombies to a single point, allying them to your team, while the Trailer flare lets you string along a group of zombies while it’s in your hands. Those tools, coupled with a few that repelled zombies, made for chaotic firefights and a few tense retreats as zombies swarmed my team. At times, the game can feel like a well-measured bit of chaos. Hunting down enemy players through MOBA-like lanes of traffic is frantic, and often the team on the receiving end of the horde has little time to react. Dead Alliance’s overall pacing also plays a role, as players only move at a fraction of the speed you might in a game like Call of Duty or Titanfall. This means a dead sprint will only keep zombies off your back for as long as you keep running, but it also means that evading enemy fire is more a matter of getting the drop on someone than actual mechanical skill. During our demo, it often felt like our victories were due to easy manipulation of choke points more than anything else. It’s difficult to tell from two rounds if the game will have much depth, but at this rate, Dead Alliance risks players losing interest more quickly than most. Dead Alliance is out August 29 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for $39.99.
  15. For as long as there’s been a Cthulhu mythos, there have been authors, filmmakers and game developers attempting to harness that shadowy void for their own twisted tales. Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu tabletop role-play game allowed players to create their own Lovecraftian fantasies in the vein of Dungeons & Dragons and became the defacto “official” Cthulhu game adaptation. Of course, that didn’t stop video game developers from attempting the same, like Headfirst Productions’ Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, or Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened. Now, though, fans of the tabletop incarnation may have their chance to transition their love to the television with Cyanide Studios’ Call of Cthulhu, an adaptation of Chaosium’s work. Publisher Focus Home Interactive (makers of Vampyr, The Surge and the Styx series) and developer Cyanide Studios gave a hands-off demo of Call of Cthulhu to media at E3 this year. The first difference most players will notice between Chaosium’s game and Cyanide’s is that it’s not a pure RPG. Call of Cthulhu is a first-person narrative adventure game, similar to Amnesia: Dark Descent, SOMA or Layers of Fear, but with plenty of RPG elements to keep those kinds of players busy with growing their character. Players walk in the shoes of Edward Pierce, a private investigator and former war veteran in 1920s Boston. Pierce is tasked with determining the truth behind the tragic death of Sarah Hawkins, a famous artist who had recently moved with her husband and family to the mysterious Darkwater Island. The demo starts off with Pierce arriving on Darkwater Island and investigating along the way to the Hawkins’ mansion perched atop a large hill. The developers stressed that a keen eye for clues will dramatically impact how well you fare, both in conversations with other characters and while exploring. Pierce spies a series of gravestones for the Hawkins family, noting that all but one have flowers lying at their base. Once Pierce makes it up to the fire-damaged mansion, he’s confronted by the family groundskeeper, still tending to the property and scaring off visitors. It’s here that players are given the chance to use a dialogue wheel to advance the conversation and their investigation. You’ll have a traditional slew of options, including hostility, lies or cooperation, but as the developer puts it, “knowledge is a weapon,” and in more ways than one. Our previous research at the gravestones lets us convince the groundskeeper that we’re on his side and have the family’s best interests at heart, allowing us to continue exploring the grounds in peace. Later on, we’re able to explore the mansion’s interior. Each room has been scarred by the blaze, leaving tattered furniture strewn about and soot hanging in the air. Pierce is able to find clues, like the outline of a victim’s body or a clock, and corroborate them against the evidence already compiled by the police. Again, knowledge proves vital, as Pierce is able to put together that the clock doesn’t match the time that the fire supposedly began. After our investigation, the demo jumped ahead a few chapters to experience what the more visceral side of Lovecraftian horror felt like. Pierce found himself browsing through a room housing antiques and some storage containers, like drawers and closets. At the far end of the room sat a full-length mirror. When Pierce approaches, an otherworldly creature with unnaturally long limbs and a razor-filled mouth emerges from the glass, sniffing him out. Much like Alien: Isolation or Amnesia, Pierce is woefully outclassed by the sheer might of this predator. True to Lovecraftian lore, if you stare too long at the creature, you’ll do irreparable damage to your psyche. However, Cyanide Studios has put an additional twist on traditional horror gameplay with the addition of phobias. Make use of the nearby closets to hide one too many times and Pierce will develop a fear of tight spaces, forcing players to think on their toes. It’s unclear how many of these phobias will be in the final game, but it makes sense to think of them as gameplay modifiers for commonly occurring elements, like closets, darkness or perhaps water. A sanity gauge (think Eternal Darkness) keeps track of your overall mental stability, and considering the horrors that lie in wait, it might be too tempting to stare into that dark void. Call of Cthulhu certainly looks enticing, but it remains to be seen if the experience will translate to meaningful role-playing and survival horror loop. While the mystery solving seems comprehensive enough, running away from Lovecraft’s finest over and over again might get old, especially if the mechanics never push beyond your typical “run and hide” strategies. Here’s hoping we get to see some different creatures than rent-a-Slenderman, and that the writing holds up throughout. Call of Cthulhu is scheduled for release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One later this year. View full article
  16. For as long as there’s been a Cthulhu mythos, there have been authors, filmmakers and game developers attempting to harness that shadowy void for their own twisted tales. Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu tabletop role-play game allowed players to create their own Lovecraftian fantasies in the vein of Dungeons & Dragons and became the defacto “official” Cthulhu game adaptation. Of course, that didn’t stop video game developers from attempting the same, like Headfirst Productions’ Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, or Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened. Now, though, fans of the tabletop incarnation may have their chance to transition their love to the television with Cyanide Studios’ Call of Cthulhu, an adaptation of Chaosium’s work. Publisher Focus Home Interactive (makers of Vampyr, The Surge and the Styx series) and developer Cyanide Studios gave a hands-off demo of Call of Cthulhu to media at E3 this year. The first difference most players will notice between Chaosium’s game and Cyanide’s is that it’s not a pure RPG. Call of Cthulhu is a first-person narrative adventure game, similar to Amnesia: Dark Descent, SOMA or Layers of Fear, but with plenty of RPG elements to keep those kinds of players busy with growing their character. Players walk in the shoes of Edward Pierce, a private investigator and former war veteran in 1920s Boston. Pierce is tasked with determining the truth behind the tragic death of Sarah Hawkins, a famous artist who had recently moved with her husband and family to the mysterious Darkwater Island. The demo starts off with Pierce arriving on Darkwater Island and investigating along the way to the Hawkins’ mansion perched atop a large hill. The developers stressed that a keen eye for clues will dramatically impact how well you fare, both in conversations with other characters and while exploring. Pierce spies a series of gravestones for the Hawkins family, noting that all but one have flowers lying at their base. Once Pierce makes it up to the fire-damaged mansion, he’s confronted by the family groundskeeper, still tending to the property and scaring off visitors. It’s here that players are given the chance to use a dialogue wheel to advance the conversation and their investigation. You’ll have a traditional slew of options, including hostility, lies or cooperation, but as the developer puts it, “knowledge is a weapon,” and in more ways than one. Our previous research at the gravestones lets us convince the groundskeeper that we’re on his side and have the family’s best interests at heart, allowing us to continue exploring the grounds in peace. Later on, we’re able to explore the mansion’s interior. Each room has been scarred by the blaze, leaving tattered furniture strewn about and soot hanging in the air. Pierce is able to find clues, like the outline of a victim’s body or a clock, and corroborate them against the evidence already compiled by the police. Again, knowledge proves vital, as Pierce is able to put together that the clock doesn’t match the time that the fire supposedly began. After our investigation, the demo jumped ahead a few chapters to experience what the more visceral side of Lovecraftian horror felt like. Pierce found himself browsing through a room housing antiques and some storage containers, like drawers and closets. At the far end of the room sat a full-length mirror. When Pierce approaches, an otherworldly creature with unnaturally long limbs and a razor-filled mouth emerges from the glass, sniffing him out. Much like Alien: Isolation or Amnesia, Pierce is woefully outclassed by the sheer might of this predator. True to Lovecraftian lore, if you stare too long at the creature, you’ll do irreparable damage to your psyche. However, Cyanide Studios has put an additional twist on traditional horror gameplay with the addition of phobias. Make use of the nearby closets to hide one too many times and Pierce will develop a fear of tight spaces, forcing players to think on their toes. It’s unclear how many of these phobias will be in the final game, but it makes sense to think of them as gameplay modifiers for commonly occurring elements, like closets, darkness or perhaps water. A sanity gauge (think Eternal Darkness) keeps track of your overall mental stability, and considering the horrors that lie in wait, it might be too tempting to stare into that dark void. Call of Cthulhu certainly looks enticing, but it remains to be seen if the experience will translate to meaningful role-playing and survival horror loop. While the mystery solving seems comprehensive enough, running away from Lovecraft’s finest over and over again might get old, especially if the mechanics never push beyond your typical “run and hide” strategies. Here’s hoping we get to see some different creatures than rent-a-Slenderman, and that the writing holds up throughout. Call of Cthulhu is scheduled for release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One later this year.
  17. What if I told you that the developers who reintroduced “hella” back into modern lexicon were tackling a 20th century vampire action epic for their next game? You’d be forgiven for refusing to believe me, but it’s true! Dontnod, the same team behind the 2015 hit narrative adventure Life Is Strange, are taking to the streets of 1918’s vampire-infested London, complete with all the stabbing and bloodsucking that entails. Dontnod gave a media-exclusive hands-off demo of Vampyr at E3 this year, demonstrating their progress since last year's already impressive E3 showing. The demo showcased how expansive their incarnation of London is and how its citizens will play a vital role in determining your fate as well as the city’s. You play as Jonathan Reid, a brooding doctor who quite literally moonlights as a recently-turned vampire. London is currently under siege from all ends, including a deadly flu virus and ravenous undead humans called the “Skal". Reid must work to find solutions to end both threats. Fixated on him, however, are an order of cutthroat vampire hunters nipping at his every step. Our E3 demo began with Reid confronting his superior at his place of work, a London hospital. Reid is attempting to determine what caused a number of grisly deaths, only to stumble upon another vampire speaking with his boss. Reid’s boss is quick to remind them both that the hospital is sacred ground among London’s vampire clans, suggesting the game’s dialogue and action choices will carry consequences far and wide. While searching for clues in the streets and alleys, Reid finds himself chatting with a suspiciously hostile man by the docks. It’s here that Dontnod shows off how his vampiric needs will twist each of London’s several districts and the people who reside there. The man is unwilling to cooperate with Reid’s investigation unless he can help him find his mother’s missing ring. It seems that she’s the only person this miserable grump loves, so in the interest of digging up clues, Reid searches the nearby dock. Unfortunately, the misplaced ring isn’t the only thing we find underneath a tunnel entrance. There’s also a nice pile of dead bodies. Turns out our reluctant informant is a serial killer, and after meeting mother dearest, it’s clear the poor old lady has made peace with her son’s vicious ways by covering up for him. Since you’re a vampire, you’ll need to feed off of at least a few of London’s residents to grow in power so you can defend yourself from the hunters. While the obvious choice might be to take out our murdering friend, it’s actually his mother’s blood that’s much higher in quality, and thus grants more experience points to channel into abilities. Dontnod makes the call to end the woman’s existence and reap the rewards. After assimilating her blood by sleeping the day away, we get a chance to see the results of our handiwork, and it isn’t pretty. Mr. serial killer’s home is trashed, with the man in question brooding in the bedroom about all the revenge he’s going to exact on the city. Dontnod informs us that other effects of our actions will include different market prices for items, more undead in the underground and dark corners of the city, increased crime, and a higher murder rate for NPCs. Dontnod also took some time to show off combat, and how you’ll mix traditional fisticuffs and bladework with vampiric bloodsucking. On a more surface level, it mirror’s Batman: Arkham’s third-person punching and dodging, with a bit of teleportation ala Dishonored’s blink ability. Enemies have health bars above their heads, so you’ll know exactly how close they are to death, but if you’re feeling a little aggressive, you can also magically sap blood straight from their skin to recharge your abilities and health. It’s inventive enough, especially once your blood bar is filled to allow some gory finishing moves. Reid eventually performed a finisher that teleported his form into the body of an enemy, tearing him apart from the inside before teleporting back to watch the ensuing explosion. I just hope it doesn’t feel like a weightless mash-a-thon in the final product. Part of Batman’s thrill was feeling every bone crunch. It only makes sense that actual bloodsuckers have as much force behind their punches, too. Vampyr won’t be the first action game Dontnod tackles (2013’s Remember Me saw to that), but their proclivity for taking risks, along with excellent characters and world-building give the game a solid foundation to move forward on. It remains to be seen if the experience will translate to a full open world with side quests and other minutia to tackle, but this will definitely be one shadow to watch over your shoulder for in the future. Vampyr is available this November for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. View full article
  18. What if I told you that the developers who reintroduced “hella” back into modern lexicon were tackling a 20th century vampire action epic for their next game? You’d be forgiven for refusing to believe me, but it’s true! Dontnod, the same team behind the 2015 hit narrative adventure Life Is Strange, are taking to the streets of 1918’s vampire-infested London, complete with all the stabbing and bloodsucking that entails. Dontnod gave a media-exclusive hands-off demo of Vampyr at E3 this year, demonstrating their progress since last year's already impressive E3 showing. The demo showcased how expansive their incarnation of London is and how its citizens will play a vital role in determining your fate as well as the city’s. You play as Jonathan Reid, a brooding doctor who quite literally moonlights as a recently-turned vampire. London is currently under siege from all ends, including a deadly flu virus and ravenous undead humans called the “Skal". Reid must work to find solutions to end both threats. Fixated on him, however, are an order of cutthroat vampire hunters nipping at his every step. Our E3 demo began with Reid confronting his superior at his place of work, a London hospital. Reid is attempting to determine what caused a number of grisly deaths, only to stumble upon another vampire speaking with his boss. Reid’s boss is quick to remind them both that the hospital is sacred ground among London’s vampire clans, suggesting the game’s dialogue and action choices will carry consequences far and wide. While searching for clues in the streets and alleys, Reid finds himself chatting with a suspiciously hostile man by the docks. It’s here that Dontnod shows off how his vampiric needs will twist each of London’s several districts and the people who reside there. The man is unwilling to cooperate with Reid’s investigation unless he can help him find his mother’s missing ring. It seems that she’s the only person this miserable grump loves, so in the interest of digging up clues, Reid searches the nearby dock. Unfortunately, the misplaced ring isn’t the only thing we find underneath a tunnel entrance. There’s also a nice pile of dead bodies. Turns out our reluctant informant is a serial killer, and after meeting mother dearest, it’s clear the poor old lady has made peace with her son’s vicious ways by covering up for him. Since you’re a vampire, you’ll need to feed off of at least a few of London’s residents to grow in power so you can defend yourself from the hunters. While the obvious choice might be to take out our murdering friend, it’s actually his mother’s blood that’s much higher in quality, and thus grants more experience points to channel into abilities. Dontnod makes the call to end the woman’s existence and reap the rewards. After assimilating her blood by sleeping the day away, we get a chance to see the results of our handiwork, and it isn’t pretty. Mr. serial killer’s home is trashed, with the man in question brooding in the bedroom about all the revenge he’s going to exact on the city. Dontnod informs us that other effects of our actions will include different market prices for items, more undead in the underground and dark corners of the city, increased crime, and a higher murder rate for NPCs. Dontnod also took some time to show off combat, and how you’ll mix traditional fisticuffs and bladework with vampiric bloodsucking. On a more surface level, it mirror’s Batman: Arkham’s third-person punching and dodging, with a bit of teleportation ala Dishonored’s blink ability. Enemies have health bars above their heads, so you’ll know exactly how close they are to death, but if you’re feeling a little aggressive, you can also magically sap blood straight from their skin to recharge your abilities and health. It’s inventive enough, especially once your blood bar is filled to allow some gory finishing moves. Reid eventually performed a finisher that teleported his form into the body of an enemy, tearing him apart from the inside before teleporting back to watch the ensuing explosion. I just hope it doesn’t feel like a weightless mash-a-thon in the final product. Part of Batman’s thrill was feeling every bone crunch. It only makes sense that actual bloodsuckers have as much force behind their punches, too. Vampyr won’t be the first action game Dontnod tackles (2013’s Remember Me saw to that), but their proclivity for taking risks, along with excellent characters and world-building give the game a solid foundation to move forward on. It remains to be seen if the experience will translate to a full open world with side quests and other minutia to tackle, but this will definitely be one shadow to watch over your shoulder for in the future. Vampyr is available this November for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
  19. For as long as I’ve known her, my mother has been deathly afraid of rats. Even the faintest squeak of the floor is enough to send her into hysterics, a trait my sibling and I have exploited to no end of our own sadistic joy. As a pediatric nurse, my mother regularly witnesses some of the scariest moments of thousands of people’s lives, but these tiny creatures still instill the darkest possible fear in her. A Plague Tale: Innocence is going to melt her gosh darn brain. The developers at Asobo Studio gave a hands-off demo exclusive to members of the media featuring the same locations from their E3 teaser trailer, showcasing Plague Tale’s dark Inquisition era and roving hordes of rodents. You play as a young, redheaded woman named Amicia, searching through the mucky streets of a 14th century French village for your younger brother Hugo and mother. It’s the middle of the night and the streets are deathly quiet. Amicia happened upon a group of Inquisition soldiers attempting to bust into a residence suspected of harboring criminals or the diseased; I’m not quite sure. What is sure is that these soldiers are definitely bad dudes (they also believe Amicia and her family are a clan of witches), as Amicia eventually comes upon a guarded carriage housing her captive brother. Two soldiers with lanterns are patrolling nearby as a few clusters of rats slink through the grass. Considering Amicia isn’t some hulking swordsman, she has to use her ingenuity and intellect to defeat obstacles. To that end, she’s able to use a sling to whip rocks at both guards, forcing them to drop their lanterns, which smash on impact. In the world of Plague Tale, strong light is able to ward off the rat hordes, as they’re infused with some magical, almost vampiric power that forces them to stick to the shadows; unfortunate for the guards now shrouded in darkness, as nearby rats immediately swarm them, leaping all over their bodies to tear their flesh apart. There’s little time to consider the wails of death, as Amicia grabs her brother and flees into a nearby cathedral. Plague Tale isn’t all rats and rock slinging, though. Amicia is able to order Hugo to slip into small spaces she’s too tall for, allowing him to retrieve light sources or other resources from unreachable locations and other basic puzzles. Amicia determines that they need to reach the back of the cathedral to find their missing mother, but it’s blocked by another large horde of rats guarding an oddly fleshy crack in the wall. After Hugo retrieves a lantern from behind a nearby gate, Amicia is able to disperse the rats by shooting a rock at a large fire pot hanging from the ceiling and knocking it to the ground. To the horror of Amicia and her brother, the resounding crash of metal on stone attracts more rats than she could account for. From every crack, hole and open wound in the stonework comes hundreds and hundreds of pissed off rodents. This is where Plague Tale’s technology shines through. After the demo, I asked how many rats the developers could fit on screen at once. Their answer: Roughly 3,000. The true beauty of these horrifying hordes isn’t just how many of them can be on screen, it’s how they flow like water, ebbing and gliding over architecture in a deliberate, yet chaotic nature. It’s eerily reminiscent of the zombies in World War Z, as they careened down a market street, flooding every inch from top to bottom with their collective rage. And while each rat beefs up the larger group, each one feels like a relatively independent creature when your light source is able to kill off a few stragglers. From there, Amicia proceeded to clutch Hugo close to her as they pushed forward through the avalanche of rats, directing the light towards any clusters that threatened to get too close. The tension continues to mount higher and higher until the pair make it to a gash in the wall, leading to a disturbingly dark and fleshy tunnel. Hugo, hearing the call of their mother, goes running off into the shadows as Amicia warns him that it can’t be her. A Plague Tale: Innocence definitely fits into publisher Focus Home Interactive’s mostly gothic repertoire and the hook of navigating a grim world beset by rodents is welcome. According to the developer, the entire game will take about 10 hours to complete, which begs the question of just how much this game will depend on rats, stealthing past soldiers, or basic puzzle solving with your brother. Plague Tale’s scope might end up getting a little too wide, but as long as the horrors of the rat horde stay fresh, I’ll be more than willing to bite. A Plague Tale: Innocence doesn't have a release date yet, but it is planned to hit PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. View full article
  20. For as long as I’ve known her, my mother has been deathly afraid of rats. Even the faintest squeak of the floor is enough to send her into hysterics, a trait my sibling and I have exploited to no end of our own sadistic joy. As a pediatric nurse, my mother regularly witnesses some of the scariest moments of thousands of people’s lives, but these tiny creatures still instill the darkest possible fear in her. A Plague Tale: Innocence is going to melt her gosh darn brain. The developers at Asobo Studio gave a hands-off demo exclusive to members of the media featuring the same locations from their E3 teaser trailer, showcasing Plague Tale’s dark Inquisition era and roving hordes of rodents. You play as a young, redheaded woman named Amicia, searching through the mucky streets of a 14th century French village for your younger brother Hugo and mother. It’s the middle of the night and the streets are deathly quiet. Amicia happened upon a group of Inquisition soldiers attempting to bust into a residence suspected of harboring criminals or the diseased; I’m not quite sure. What is sure is that these soldiers are definitely bad dudes (they also believe Amicia and her family are a clan of witches), as Amicia eventually comes upon a guarded carriage housing her captive brother. Two soldiers with lanterns are patrolling nearby as a few clusters of rats slink through the grass. Considering Amicia isn’t some hulking swordsman, she has to use her ingenuity and intellect to defeat obstacles. To that end, she’s able to use a sling to whip rocks at both guards, forcing them to drop their lanterns, which smash on impact. In the world of Plague Tale, strong light is able to ward off the rat hordes, as they’re infused with some magical, almost vampiric power that forces them to stick to the shadows; unfortunate for the guards now shrouded in darkness, as nearby rats immediately swarm them, leaping all over their bodies to tear their flesh apart. There’s little time to consider the wails of death, as Amicia grabs her brother and flees into a nearby cathedral. Plague Tale isn’t all rats and rock slinging, though. Amicia is able to order Hugo to slip into small spaces she’s too tall for, allowing him to retrieve light sources or other resources from unreachable locations and other basic puzzles. Amicia determines that they need to reach the back of the cathedral to find their missing mother, but it’s blocked by another large horde of rats guarding an oddly fleshy crack in the wall. After Hugo retrieves a lantern from behind a nearby gate, Amicia is able to disperse the rats by shooting a rock at a large fire pot hanging from the ceiling and knocking it to the ground. To the horror of Amicia and her brother, the resounding crash of metal on stone attracts more rats than she could account for. From every crack, hole and open wound in the stonework comes hundreds and hundreds of pissed off rodents. This is where Plague Tale’s technology shines through. After the demo, I asked how many rats the developers could fit on screen at once. Their answer: Roughly 3,000. The true beauty of these horrifying hordes isn’t just how many of them can be on screen, it’s how they flow like water, ebbing and gliding over architecture in a deliberate, yet chaotic nature. It’s eerily reminiscent of the zombies in World War Z, as they careened down a market street, flooding every inch from top to bottom with their collective rage. And while each rat beefs up the larger group, each one feels like a relatively independent creature when your light source is able to kill off a few stragglers. From there, Amicia proceeded to clutch Hugo close to her as they pushed forward through the avalanche of rats, directing the light towards any clusters that threatened to get too close. The tension continues to mount higher and higher until the pair make it to a gash in the wall, leading to a disturbingly dark and fleshy tunnel. Hugo, hearing the call of their mother, goes running off into the shadows as Amicia warns him that it can’t be her. A Plague Tale: Innocence definitely fits into publisher Focus Home Interactive’s mostly gothic repertoire and the hook of navigating a grim world beset by rodents is welcome. According to the developer, the entire game will take about 10 hours to complete, which begs the question of just how much this game will depend on rats, stealthing past soldiers, or basic puzzle solving with your brother. Plague Tale’s scope might end up getting a little too wide, but as long as the horrors of the rat horde stay fresh, I’ll be more than willing to bite. A Plague Tale: Innocence doesn't have a release date yet, but it is planned to hit PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
  21. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 made a big splash during Nintendo's E3 Direct presentation. The direct sequel to the Wii/New 3DS' Xenoblade Chronicles still doesn’t have a specific release date, but fans only have to wait until the fall of this year to get their hands the Switch JRPG epic. The next entry in the Xeno series puts the spotlight on two new protagonists on a journey to a mysterious land known as Elysium. The trailer shows off the expansive world that blends traditional fantasy with science fiction, as well as some of the new faces players will encounter. We also get a glimpses of the flashy combat against the intimidating creatures dominating both land and the skies. Are you looking forward to Xenoblade Chronicles 2? How do you feel about the new art direction, setting, and characters? View full article
  22. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 made a big splash during Nintendo's E3 Direct presentation. The direct sequel to the Wii/New 3DS' Xenoblade Chronicles still doesn’t have a specific release date, but fans only have to wait until the fall of this year to get their hands the Switch JRPG epic. The next entry in the Xeno series puts the spotlight on two new protagonists on a journey to a mysterious land known as Elysium. The trailer shows off the expansive world that blends traditional fantasy with science fiction, as well as some of the new faces players will encounter. We also get a glimpses of the flashy combat against the intimidating creatures dominating both land and the skies. Are you looking forward to Xenoblade Chronicles 2? How do you feel about the new art direction, setting, and characters?
  23. It’s a golden rule of gaming, especially mobile, that you’re eventually going to want some cool accessories on the go. It can be a tricky minefield of first-party bank breakers or third-party cheapskates, though, so it’s helpful to have a guiding hand in making your accessorizing decisions. We stopped by Nyko’s booth at this year’s E3 to check out their immense collection of Nintendo Switch accessories and determine which might be good fits for owners of Nintendo's hybrid device. Power Shell Case Release: July 2017 Price: $39.99 The kingpin of Nyko’s lineup, this hardshell case not only holds your Switch and up to 12 games, but it also stores up to three hours worth of charge for the Switch. The case doubles as a stand, with the USB plug-in resting at its bottom, allowing you to charge while playing stationary. The Power Shell Case might be a solid idea if you tend to play rough or have yet to pick up a case at all. Dock Bands Release: June 2017 Price: $4.99 Simple and stretchy, these little bands may not look like much. But for those worried about scuffing or scratching the screen on their Nintendo Switch, this item might be a lifesaver. The bands slip over the sides of the Switch’s screen and provide a protective buffer between the screen and dock when you insert it. Swivel Grip for Switch Controller Release: August 2017 Price: $9.99 Want a little extra grip on your Switch Joy-Con but don’t want to spring for a Pro Controller? These cheap plastic grips attach to the bottom of either Joy-Con and swivel out to form the traditional, not-quite-banana-like shape of most modern controllers. Charge Base for Switch Release: August 2017 Price: $29.99 The Switch is designed for portability, but it’s home dock definitely isn’t. If you’re the type to bring your Switch to a party, it’s easy to run out of power before the night grows old. Bringing the charge base along with you will allow you to restore battery life while you prop up the Switch on your friend’s mom’s dinner table. Which of these accessories do you think will be a good fit for you? View full article
  24. It’s a golden rule of gaming, especially mobile, that you’re eventually going to want some cool accessories on the go. It can be a tricky minefield of first-party bank breakers or third-party cheapskates, though, so it’s helpful to have a guiding hand in making your accessorizing decisions. We stopped by Nyko’s booth at this year’s E3 to check out their immense collection of Nintendo Switch accessories and determine which might be good fits for owners of Nintendo's hybrid device. Power Shell Case Release: July 2017 Price: $39.99 The kingpin of Nyko’s lineup, this hardshell case not only holds your Switch and up to 12 games, but it also stores up to three hours worth of charge for the Switch. The case doubles as a stand, with the USB plug-in resting at its bottom, allowing you to charge while playing stationary. The Power Shell Case might be a solid idea if you tend to play rough or have yet to pick up a case at all. Dock Bands Release: June 2017 Price: $4.99 Simple and stretchy, these little bands may not look like much. But for those worried about scuffing or scratching the screen on their Nintendo Switch, this item might be a lifesaver. The bands slip over the sides of the Switch’s screen and provide a protective buffer between the screen and dock when you insert it. Swivel Grip for Switch Controller Release: August 2017 Price: $9.99 Want a little extra grip on your Switch Joy-Con but don’t want to spring for a Pro Controller? These cheap plastic grips attach to the bottom of either Joy-Con and swivel out to form the traditional, not-quite-banana-like shape of most modern controllers. Charge Base for Switch Release: August 2017 Price: $29.99 The Switch is designed for portability, but it’s home dock definitely isn’t. If you’re the type to bring your Switch to a party, it’s easy to run out of power before the night grows old. Bringing the charge base along with you will allow you to restore battery life while you prop up the Switch on your friend’s mom’s dinner table. Which of these accessories do you think will be a good fit for you?
  25. Assassin's Creed: Origins was one of E3 2017's worst kept secrets thanks to numerous pre-show leaks, but it made its official unveiling at Microsoft's E3 press event. The debut trailer confirmed the rumored ancient Egyptian setting, detailing the story of the first group of people to call themselves assassins. The gameplay demonstration introduced players to Bayak, described as an "Egyptian sheriff" of sorts named, sliding down the side of a still-young pyramid. He faced off against armored enemies in a coliseum using various methods including the traditional blades, a sword and shield combination, and multi-shot bow and arrow strikes. Bayak's also shown swimming underwater, avoiding deadly threats like hippos and crocodiles. Among the locations players will explore include the Mediterranean Sea as well as the numerous royal tombs that dot the city of Giza. A long-form demo showcased additional gameplay from Origins, detailing new mechanics and stealth maneuvers. Using a trained eagle scout and pinpoint enemies, Bayak infiltrates the grounds of a local ruler's stronghold. The eagle seems to have replaced the series' signature towers for gaining new geography intel. Bayak used the tall grass to sneak up on guards and perform traditional takedowns. The demo concluded with Bayak taking down the ruler with a single bow shot, guiding the arrow's trajectory with a slow motion, first-person view. Assassin's Creed: Origins launches October 27 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Do you feel the Egyptian setting and origin story are enough to shake-up the long-running franchise?