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Found 466 results

  1. The Flying Tigers were the most prolific group of air force pilots in the Pacific theater during World War II, undertaking dangerous missions on behalf of both the United States and China during World War II. They became known for their daring tactics and successful sorties against the encroaching Japanese while armed with only 99 P-40 fighters painted with the iconic bared shark teeth. The Tigers were entirely made up of volunteer pilots from a mixture of military and civilian backgrounds. An upcoming game from Ace Maddox, a Swedish indie dev, delves into the story of the Flying Tigers directly. Flying Tigers: Shadows Over China features a single-player campaign that offers a window into the secret operations of the American Volunteer Group, the people who would go on to be known as Tigers. There's also an option for players to fly into combat against one another in competitive dogfighting, crazy rocket-propelled battles, capture the flag, and more. The gameplay takes players into the skies for a fusion of flight-sim and arcade action. For players who enjoy a stylish gameplay twist, Ace Maddox has implemented TrazerTime, a slow-motion combat mechanic, along with variable weather, and a huge roster of aircraft. Players will find themselves running fighter, bomber, gunner, recon, and night missions. Flying Tigers: Shadows Over China releases on January 12th, 2018 for the Xbox One. View full article
  2. An intriguing indie adventure game has appeared on the horizon. Today, french indie studio Big Bad Wolf revealed The Council, an episodic adventure game set to launch this February. The new entry in the genre offers players the opportunity to make difficult choices that will have "permanent, long-lasting consequences." Aside from being a narrative adventure game in the same vein as Telltale's work, what exactly is The Council? Set in 1793, players become Louis de Richet who journeys to the private island estate of Lord Mortimer after receiving a cryptic invitation. Gentlemen and women from across the world seem to have been invited, as well. George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte count themselves among Lord Mortimer's guests. Those who operate the levers of power in the world have all assembled for a mysterious purpose... and suddenly a murder interrupts the gathering. Everyone seems to have their own schemes and plots, but the players will have to uncover the mysteries of the island and guests while discovering the true nature of The Council. Big Bad Wolf has developed a new system for navigating conversations that they're promising will be unique. The Social Influence system relies on players to use skill and various resources to come out on top and achieve ideal outcomes. Those resources will be gathered during exploration segments that also provide opportunities for players to learn the weaknesses of the other island guests. Should an encounter be failed, there's no game over screen in The Council. Instead, player choices are permanent and can result in physical disfigurement, mental trauma, or (rarely) boons that will hinder or help players for the rest of the game. As players proceed, they will have opportunities for Richet to hone his skills. Perhaps the diplomatic approach appeals to you? Maybe history or science would make worthy allies? Or could it be that detective skills are what will make the difference? Over 15 skills are available, adding an almost RPG-like dimension to The Council. These skills will allow players to explore the island their own way, uncovering dark secrets as they progress into Lord Mortimer's abode. The Council’s first of five episodes, titled 'The Mad Ones,' arrives on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in February, 2018.
  3. An intriguing indie adventure game has appeared on the horizon. Today, french indie studio Big Bad Wolf revealed The Council, an episodic adventure game set to launch this February. The new entry in the genre offers players the opportunity to make difficult choices that will have "permanent, long-lasting consequences." Aside from being a narrative adventure game in the same vein as Telltale's work, what exactly is The Council? Set in 1793, players become Louis de Richet who journeys to the private island estate of Lord Mortimer after receiving a cryptic invitation. Gentlemen and women from across the world seem to have been invited, as well. George Washington and Napoleon Bonaparte count themselves among Lord Mortimer's guests. Those who operate the levers of power in the world have all assembled for a mysterious purpose... and suddenly a murder interrupts the gathering. Everyone seems to have their own schemes and plots, but the players will have to uncover the mysteries of the island and guests while discovering the true nature of The Council. Big Bad Wolf has developed a new system for navigating conversations that they're promising will be unique. The Social Influence system relies on players to use skill and various resources to come out on top and achieve ideal outcomes. Those resources will be gathered during exploration segments that also provide opportunities for players to learn the weaknesses of the other island guests. Should an encounter be failed, there's no game over screen in The Council. Instead, player choices are permanent and can result in physical disfigurement, mental trauma, or (rarely) boons that will hinder or help players for the rest of the game. As players proceed, they will have opportunities for Richet to hone his skills. Perhaps the diplomatic approach appeals to you? Maybe history or science would make worthy allies? Or could it be that detective skills are what will make the difference? Over 15 skills are available, adding an almost RPG-like dimension to The Council. These skills will allow players to explore the island their own way, uncovering dark secrets as they progress into Lord Mortimer's abode. The Council’s first of five episodes, titled 'The Mad Ones,' arrives on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in February, 2018. View full article
  4. Code Vein has been on our radar since its mysterious tease and subsequent reveal. If there were any doubts about the inspiration Bandai Namco took from From Software's Bloodborne, there can't be much more after seeing the latest trailer. "We fight, we drink blood, revive, and then fight some more. Our lives are pretty much one endless loop." This quote from the trailer refers to the vampyric apocalypse the main characters find themselves struggling against. However, it also sums up the mechanics of Code Vein, which thrusts players into the role of a newly turned vampire who must fight and drink blood in order to retain sanity in a world wrecked by a mysterious cataclysm. The quote could also be interpreted to mean a nod toward Bloodborne, a game that might also be summarized as, "fight, blood, revive, repeat." However, it seems apparent that Code Vein has taken pains to distance itself from those comparisons. While there's certainly some gothic inspiration in the art design, it's tuned down in favor of a more jagged, ruinous apocalypse. The characters also retain their anime-inspired designs, a feature that extends into the animated opening created by studio ufotable. Not only that, but the soundtrack as showcased in the trailers to date seems to be a mixture of operatic Final Fantasy and dark rock. The previous trailer offered up a sweepingly orchestrated score, which stands in stark contrast with the latest soundscape. The newest trailer features the opening theme of Code Vein, the track 'Underworld' by a band called Vamps. Code Vein is set to release sometime in 2018 on PC, PlayStation 4, and PC.
  5. Code Vein has been on our radar since its mysterious tease and subsequent reveal. If there were any doubts about the inspiration Bandai Namco took from From Software's Bloodborne, there can't be much more after seeing the latest trailer. "We fight, we drink blood, revive, and then fight some more. Our lives are pretty much one endless loop." This quote from the trailer refers to the vampyric apocalypse the main characters find themselves struggling against. However, it also sums up the mechanics of Code Vein, which thrusts players into the role of a newly turned vampire who must fight and drink blood in order to retain sanity in a world wrecked by a mysterious cataclysm. The quote could also be interpreted to mean a nod toward Bloodborne, a game that might also be summarized as, "fight, blood, revive, repeat." However, it seems apparent that Code Vein has taken pains to distance itself from those comparisons. While there's certainly some gothic inspiration in the art design, it's tuned down in favor of a more jagged, ruinous apocalypse. The characters also retain their anime-inspired designs, a feature that extends into the animated opening created by studio ufotable. Not only that, but the soundtrack as showcased in the trailers to date seems to be a mixture of operatic Final Fantasy and dark rock. The previous trailer offered up a sweepingly orchestrated score, which stands in stark contrast with the latest soundscape. The newest trailer features the opening theme of Code Vein, the track 'Underworld' by a band called Vamps. Code Vein is set to release sometime in 2018 on PC, PlayStation 4, and PC. View full article
  6. Darksiders 3 has been pretty quiet since the third entry in the series was resurrected by THQ Nordic back in May. Yesterday, it surfaced once again with almost two minutes of gameplay. Fury, the new protagonist of Darksiders 3, traverses a flaming hellscape as she whips skeletons into shape or, perhaps more accurately, out of their various skeletal shapes. The tease shows some whip-swinging action and the combat mechanics of larger encounters when Fury runs into a giant, flaming suit of armor. While there's no big reveals to be had in the new gameplay trailer, it's good to see the project in functional action! Darksiders 3 is expected to ship sometime in 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
  7. Darksiders 3 has been pretty quiet since the third entry in the series was resurrected by THQ Nordic back in May. Yesterday, it surfaced once again with almost two minutes of gameplay. Fury, the new protagonist of Darksiders 3, traverses a flaming hellscape as she whips skeletons into shape or, perhaps more accurately, out of their various skeletal shapes. The tease shows some whip-swinging action and the combat mechanics of larger encounters when Fury runs into a giant, flaming suit of armor. While there's no big reveals to be had in the new gameplay trailer, it's good to see the project in functional action! Darksiders 3 is expected to ship sometime in 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. View full article
  8. Metal Gear Survive hits store shelves in February, but before the official release Konami will open up a beta in January. the beta will run from January 18-21. The beta will open up the game's co-op to test out the core mechanics (and network stability) of Survive: Base building, crafting, and combat. People who play the beta will be given in-game bonuses in the core game, such as a FOX HOUND name plate, a bandana, and a Metal Gear REX head. The beta will be immediately available to everyone on January 18. Speculation has run rampant about the future of the Metal Gear franchise since the high profile departure of Hideo Kojima. Konami's follow up to Metal Gear Solid V certainly raised some eyebrows when it was announced at E3 2016. The shift to some kind of zombie survival game struck many as odd and the lack of information on the game only caused people to become more uncertain, especially after the guiding force of the franchise split from the company. To give players an idea of what to expect, Konami has released a lengthy, commentated trailer to give an overview of Metal Gear Survive. First off, the story is not canon. It takes place in an alternate reality where following a massive attack at the conclusion of Metal Gear Solid V a portal opens up to another dimension, sucking up parts of structures and soldiers from Mother Base. One of the soldiers from the base, the protagonist, manages to avoid being sucked into the wormhole, but is sent into the rift several months later by a shadowy government organization. Once on the other side, the protagonist must hunt for food, build a base, fight off the ever-present zombie threat, and complete missions out in the strange, new world. Metal Gear Survive releases on February 20 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. View full article
  9. Metal Gear Survive hits store shelves in February, but before the official release Konami will open up a beta in January. the beta will run from January 18-21. The beta will open up the game's co-op to test out the core mechanics (and network stability) of Survive: Base building, crafting, and combat. People who play the beta will be given in-game bonuses in the core game, such as a FOX HOUND name plate, a bandana, and a Metal Gear REX head. The beta will be immediately available to everyone on January 18. Speculation has run rampant about the future of the Metal Gear franchise since the high profile departure of Hideo Kojima. Konami's follow up to Metal Gear Solid V certainly raised some eyebrows when it was announced at E3 2016. The shift to some kind of zombie survival game struck many as odd and the lack of information on the game only caused people to become more uncertain, especially after the guiding force of the franchise split from the company. To give players an idea of what to expect, Konami has released a lengthy, commentated trailer to give an overview of Metal Gear Survive. First off, the story is not canon. It takes place in an alternate reality where following a massive attack at the conclusion of Metal Gear Solid V a portal opens up to another dimension, sucking up parts of structures and soldiers from Mother Base. One of the soldiers from the base, the protagonist, manages to avoid being sucked into the wormhole, but is sent into the rift several months later by a shadowy government organization. Once on the other side, the protagonist must hunt for food, build a base, fight off the ever-present zombie threat, and complete missions out in the strange, new world. Metal Gear Survive releases on February 20 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
  10. In the year 21XX, Mega Man was reborn as Mega Man X, a robotic bounty hunter taking on the robo-criminals of the future. The X series spanned three console generations before its final entry in 2005 with Mega Man X8. Next summer all eight games will be available for the first time on modern systems (there was a Mega Man X Collection on the GameCube and PlayStation 2, but it only included the first six games of the series). While more information has been promised in the next several months, there are definitely still some questions. Capcom has made a habit of releasing some robust collections, breaking up the mainline Mega Man series into two packages. The Mega Man Legacy Collection included the first six games of the franchise, followed by The Mega Man Legacy Collection 2, which held Mega Man 7-10. Does this mean X will get a similar treatment with X 1-4 as one bundle and X 5-8 as another? Or perhaps all in one bundle? It also isn't outside the realm of possibility that Capcom might see fit to release them all individually. However Capcom decides to do it... MORE MEGA MAN X! That's always a good thing. Look forward to seeing X on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sometime next summer. View full article
  11. In the year 21XX, Mega Man was reborn as Mega Man X, a robotic bounty hunter taking on the robo-criminals of the future. The X series spanned three console generations before its final entry in 2005 with Mega Man X8. Next summer all eight games will be available for the first time on modern systems (there was a Mega Man X Collection on the GameCube and PlayStation 2, but it only included the first six games of the series). While more information has been promised in the next several months, there are definitely still some questions. Capcom has made a habit of releasing some robust collections, breaking up the mainline Mega Man series into two packages. The Mega Man Legacy Collection included the first six games of the franchise, followed by The Mega Man Legacy Collection 2, which held Mega Man 7-10. Does this mean X will get a similar treatment with X 1-4 as one bundle and X 5-8 as another? Or perhaps all in one bundle? It also isn't outside the realm of possibility that Capcom might see fit to release them all individually. However Capcom decides to do it... MORE MEGA MAN X! That's always a good thing. Look forward to seeing X on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sometime next summer.
  12. The Blue Bomber has just turned 30 years old and Capcom has given everyone's favorite robotic defender a gift: The surprise announcement of Mega Man 11! The new Capcom title aims to take the series in a bold new direction. While Mega Man 9 and 10 adopted the retro aesthetic of the original NES classics, Mega Man 11 makes use of 3D models and lighting to give the decades old franchise a new coat of paint. On top of that, the gameplay clips shown on the 30th anniversary livestream put on by Capcom offered glimpses at a handful of Mega Man's new powers. Charged shots, the return of Rush the robo-dog, an ability to summon a series of brick cubes on top of enemies, and an impressive ability that seems to temporarily supercharge Mega Man round out a few of the fun tools players will have at their disposal. Oh, and newcomers to the series who find the traditional difficulty daunting can take refuge in a lower difficulty mode (and those looking for additional challenge might just find more demanding modes). Capcom reassured fans who might be put off by the visual tweaks saying, "with an expert development team at Capcom, many of whom have been working at the company since the early 8-bit era, we’re revitalizing and revolutionizing Mega Man for a new generation while keeping the series’ tight classic gameplay and the heart of our beloved hero intact. Veterans can expect the series’ signature challenge, and we’re inviting new players to the mix with a variety of difficulty options to choose from in the game." Mega Man 11 is coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in late 2018. View full article
  13. The Blue Bomber has just turned 30 years old and Capcom has given everyone's favorite robotic defender a gift: The surprise announcement of Mega Man 11! The new Capcom title aims to take the series in a bold new direction. While Mega Man 9 and 10 adopted the retro aesthetic of the original NES classics, Mega Man 11 makes use of 3D models and lighting to give the decades old franchise a new coat of paint. On top of that, the gameplay clips shown on the 30th anniversary livestream put on by Capcom offered glimpses at a handful of Mega Man's new powers. Charged shots, the return of Rush the robo-dog, an ability to summon a series of brick cubes on top of enemies, and an impressive ability that seems to temporarily supercharge Mega Man round out a few of the fun tools players will have at their disposal. Oh, and newcomers to the series who find the traditional difficulty daunting can take refuge in a lower difficulty mode (and those looking for additional challenge might just find more demanding modes). Capcom reassured fans who might be put off by the visual tweaks saying, "with an expert development team at Capcom, many of whom have been working at the company since the early 8-bit era, we’re revitalizing and revolutionizing Mega Man for a new generation while keeping the series’ tight classic gameplay and the heart of our beloved hero intact. Veterans can expect the series’ signature challenge, and we’re inviting new players to the mix with a variety of difficulty options to choose from in the game." Mega Man 11 is coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in late 2018.
  14. It's official, the game that took 10 years to develop is one year old. Final Fantasy XV celebrated it's first birthday today and to celebrate Square Enix made a few announcements. To commemorate the event, Square Enix held what it called an “Active Time Report” which was a live stream with voice actors from the game and Kingsglaive and discussed "the past, present, and future of Final Fantasy XV." The biggest news to come from the stream was the details of December update. It was revealed that players will be able to switch between Noctis Ignis, Prompto and Gladio during the main campaign of the game. While there are some restrictions to this, notably the Chapter 9 Leviathan fight, this feature is available mostly in the open world. During the Japanese stream, it was revealed that there would be more episodic installments for the game with Episode Ardyn being confirmed as one of them. There was no word on the character focus for the other two, but there has been speculation that they might be about Aranea and Lunafreya. Yes please. The goal for release on these is 2018. In addition to all of that, we also got to see the first three opening minutes of the upcoming Episode Ignis which will be released Dec. 13. The multiplayer expansion Comrades made an appearance as well with the update on that coming out around the same time as Episode Ignis. Updates for Comrades are also planned for next year, with the possibility of a playable Noctis, Ignis, Gladio and Prompto. FFXV wouldn't be anywhere without its fans, and Square included its players in the celebration with a Moogle Fan Art Competition. "To help celebrate the one year anniversary of FFXV, we’ve made a limited number of handmade FFXV moogles, kupo!" said the announcement. The competition is open now until Dec. 31. View full article
  15. It's official, the game that took 10 years to develop is one year old. Final Fantasy XV celebrated it's first birthday today and to celebrate Square Enix made a few announcements. To commemorate the event, Square Enix held what it called an “Active Time Report” which was a live stream with voice actors from the game and Kingsglaive and discussed "the past, present, and future of Final Fantasy XV." The biggest news to come from the stream was the details of December update. It was revealed that players will be able to switch between Noctis Ignis, Prompto and Gladio during the main campaign of the game. While there are some restrictions to this, notably the Chapter 9 Leviathan fight, this feature is available mostly in the open world. During the Japanese stream, it was revealed that there would be more episodic installments for the game with Episode Ardyn being confirmed as one of them. There was no word on the character focus for the other two, but there has been speculation that they might be about Aranea and Lunafreya. Yes please. The goal for release on these is 2018. In addition to all of that, we also got to see the first three opening minutes of the upcoming Episode Ignis which will be released Dec. 13. The multiplayer expansion Comrades made an appearance as well with the update on that coming out around the same time as Episode Ignis. Updates for Comrades are also planned for next year, with the possibility of a playable Noctis, Ignis, Gladio and Prompto. FFXV wouldn't be anywhere without its fans, and Square included its players in the celebration with a Moogle Fan Art Competition. "To help celebrate the one year anniversary of FFXV, we’ve made a limited number of handmade FFXV moogles, kupo!" said the announcement. The competition is open now until Dec. 31.
  16. The indie title Mulaka has been gathering some buzz in recent months. The action-adventure game follows the shaman Sukurúame as he races to battle the otherworldly powers corrupting his homeland. Developer Lienzo created Mulaka in the hope that their game will be both enjoyable for players and also teach about the Tarahumara culture. Sukurúame and Mulaka are based largely on the Tarahumara, a people indigenous to northern Mexico. The Tarahumara were known for their stamina and ability to run vast distances in the sprawling landscape they called home, but they were far more than that. To help players better understand the beating cultural heart of Mulaka, Lienzo has launched the first episode of a three part educational series about the Tarahumara. Mulaka draws from the legends and myths passed down by the Tarahumara to create a visually unique world full of incredible demigods and magic - all grounded in real-world locations and beliefs. Lienzo hopes that giving the Tarahumara people a story within a modern game will help to shad some light on a culture many people might never have heard of otherwise. "Even though I didn't know the mythology, it is still part of the city I live in, and the state and the country I live in. So I really feel proud that we can get to share part of this amazing culture with the world," says Lienzo's lead developer Adolfo Rico. The next two videos will be coming soon. Expect to see them go up sometime before Mulaka's early 2018 release on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. View full article
  17. The indie title Mulaka has been gathering some buzz in recent months. The action-adventure game follows the shaman Sukurúame as he races to battle the otherworldly powers corrupting his homeland. Developer Lienzo created Mulaka in the hope that their game will be both enjoyable for players and also teach about the Tarahumara culture. Sukurúame and Mulaka are based largely on the Tarahumara, a people indigenous to northern Mexico. The Tarahumara were known for their stamina and ability to run vast distances in the sprawling landscape they called home, but they were far more than that. To help players better understand the beating cultural heart of Mulaka, Lienzo has launched the first episode of a three part educational series about the Tarahumara. Mulaka draws from the legends and myths passed down by the Tarahumara to create a visually unique world full of incredible demigods and magic - all grounded in real-world locations and beliefs. Lienzo hopes that giving the Tarahumara people a story within a modern game will help to shad some light on a culture many people might never have heard of otherwise. "Even though I didn't know the mythology, it is still part of the city I live in, and the state and the country I live in. So I really feel proud that we can get to share part of this amazing culture with the world," says Lienzo's lead developer Adolfo Rico. The next two videos will be coming soon. Expect to see them go up sometime before Mulaka's early 2018 release on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
  18. Praise the sun! Okami makes the jump to current-gen consoles this December. The Capcom published critically acclaimed action-adventure game originally released for the PlayStation 2 back in 2006. Since then, it has been ported to Wii and PlayStation 3. Now, Clover Studio's classic will be available in HD with the option to switch between a more modern widescreen presentation or the original 4:3 ratio. In Okami, players become Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun who becomes a white wolf and sets off on a quest to defeat Orochi, an eight-headed demon bent on destroying the world of Nippon. Okami HD releases on December 12 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. View full article
  19. Praise the sun! Okami makes the jump to current-gen consoles this December. The Capcom published critically acclaimed action-adventure game originally released for the PlayStation 2 back in 2006. Since then, it has been ported to Wii and PlayStation 3. Now, Clover Studio's classic will be available in HD with the option to switch between a more modern widescreen presentation or the original 4:3 ratio. In Okami, players become Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun who becomes a white wolf and sets off on a quest to defeat Orochi, an eight-headed demon bent on destroying the world of Nippon. Okami HD releases on December 12 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
  20. The recently released Elex is, quite simply, a painful slog of an RPG. At turns charmingly sloppy and infuriatingly obtuse, it feels like a bumbled combination of Dark Souls, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Mad Max. Elex stands as proof that you can create a world that pits magic Vikings, drugged up wasteland raiders, technologically advanced religious zealots, and magically enhanced super mutants against one another and somehow still render it all boring. How does it accomplish this feat? Read on. Elex takes a step in the wrong direction right off the bat with its protagonist. Commander Jax takes on the central role of this adventure. He's part of the Albs, a society of enhanced mutants that have purged themselves of all emotion in exchange for the massive power granted by a substance known as elex. However, we don't know any of that as in the opening seconds we see Jax's sci-fi fighter jet get shot down by unknown people for unknown reasons. The backstory to this scene gets inexplicably doled out in small doses via flashbacks to years before the events of the game. We have a protagonist without emotional responses to anything and a blank backstory. Jax does have one interesting spark of characterization, though. Severed from his connection to his fellow Albs, Jax slowly begins to either regain a connection to his emotions or not depending how the player behaves. Unfortunately, that aspect of the character never really feels explored, leaving Jax an incredibly bland and uninteresting lead. After being shot down in enemy territory, emotionless Jax embarks on a quest to get revenge. A bland protagonist might be something a game could survive if the supporting cast can shoulder the extra weight. Elex's writing and NPCs simply can't bear that burden. The dialogue hamstrings any attempt to build up other characters. The very first interaction the player has with an NPC results in that character explaining several times in the same dialogue tree that the player can find supplies in the nearby town. Did you know you could get supplies in town? Hey, no worries, you can get supplies in town. You can take some jobs and gear up in town. It never really becomes better as the game progresses, either. Sometimes characters will seemingly glitch over dialogue or have wild mood swings between dialogue options. One of the NPC companions went from feeling neutral towards Jax to idolizing him over the course of one conversation on one sidequest. On a different quest, I selected a seemingly innocuous dialogue option that prompted an NPC to attempt to murder Jax - and the game warned me after I killed him that the game had been altered significantly. Combat stands as one of the weakest elements of Elex. Despite existing in a world of hand grenades and plasma rifles, melee weapons serve as the primary way players deal damage in the world. Those who want to rely on ranged attacks will quickly find them weak, especially early on, and this can quickly lead to being mauled on all sides. That leaves players to rely on melee or the various faction abilities. In order to access magic, psionic powers, or chemical augments players will have to ally themselves with one of the game's three factions: the Berserkers, the Clerics, or the Outlaws. If you haven't allied with one of the three groups, generic combat will be the only option available. That leaves melee, which seems to be aiming for a Dark Souls-like rhythm, but fails spectacularly. Players must manage their stamina to make sure they can dodge or defend against enemy attack patterns. If attacks are properly managed, a special attack can be performed to deal critical damage. These attacks locks Jax into prolonged animations that frequently miss their target, leaving him vulnerable. This can be a huge problem in a game where even low level enemies on the easiest difficulty can take a player from full life to death in a handful of attacks. With such life and death stakes, the spotty hit detection becomes an unending source of irritation. I died several times from attacks that hit a visible distance away from Jax's character model. Important note: For a very, very, very long time after beginning the game, Jax will be weak. If you truly want to explore the open world of Elex and meet the other factions, you will encounter enemies capable of instantly killing Jax. Those deaths might occur with little to no warning, too, as many enemies are simply leveled higher from the initial areas - meaning you'll only know that they are different from the enemies you've defeated handily before when you get close enough to target them and see a skull by their names. Jax's weakness might be remedied by an empowering leveling system. The leveling system in Elex somehow manages to be a convoluted mess. Each level gives you 10 points to spend on character attributes and a learning point that can be spent at the various trainers throughout the world to learn new active and passive abilities. Attribute requirements are tied to each ability and each piece of armor and weapon in the game. If you want to have better armor, you need to gain a new level and put points into the required attributes. I'm sure there must be mid-tier weapons somewhere in Elex, but I couldn't find anything that seemed meaningfully different or more powerful from the blunt axe I found during the first hour of the game after having played the game for over a dozen hours. The weapons that I did manage to scrounge up all had requirements far beyond what I could equip. So, naturally, I put points into those areas to try to be able to use something better than that axe. The downside of that approach was that I couldn't put points into things like constitution, which meant I couldn't equip better armor or shields. Even when I finally managed to have the points in dexterity and strength required to shoot a plasma rifle, I was sorely disappointed to learn that at best it only tickled most enemies. This led me to a the following conclusion: In the world of Elex a level 0 blunt axe is somehow more powerful and effective than using a plasma rifle that requires 50 dexterity and 30 strength. Elex's story offers a great degree of flexibility. That flexibility goes to waste in a world that squanders a lot of intriguing concepts and potential by linking it with bland characters and fetch quests that exist to waste time. I bring that up to point out that Elex asks players to join one of the factions - but a player looking to make an informed decision without faffing about in the area with magic Vikings forever will have to make their way through almost certain death to reach the Clerics and the Outlaws to see if joining them might be preferable. A single sidequest might require fifteen minutes of running through the wilderness. Traveling between settlements could take much longer. Dying en route puts you back at the point of the game's last autosave, which can result in hours of lost time. To alleviate this, fast travel teleportation pads exist throughout the world. However, they can also be easy to miss and remain deactivated if the player doesn't walk on top of them. This problem even seems to be recognized in the game design since one of the generic abilities (with insanely high requirements) reveals all of the teleportation pads in the world. I would not recommend Elex to anyone. It manages to trick the player into forgetting about its frustrations by playing the way one would expect from a middle-of-the-road RPG with grand ambitions, but it invariably falls into some new pitfall included in the game either by poorly conceived design or by complete accident. The setting holds a great deal of promise, but the narrative often finds itself too caught up in world building to remember that compelling characters are necessary. The dialogue manages to be uniformly atrocious and grating. The visuals look great from a distance, but closer inspection reveals a lot of characters and environments to be pretty ugly. Glitches routinely pop up - one time I initiated a conversation with an NPC and Jax teleported halfway through the ceiling and remained trapped there after the conversation finished. Other than an intriguing premise and a fun trailer, Elex has very little going for it. Elex is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. View full article
  21. The recently released Elex is, quite simply, a painful slog of an RPG. At turns charmingly sloppy and infuriatingly obtuse, it feels like a bumbled combination of Dark Souls, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Mad Max. Elex stands as proof that you can create a world that pits magic Vikings, drugged up wasteland raiders, technologically advanced religious zealots, and magically enhanced super mutants against one another and somehow still render it all boring. How does it accomplish this feat? Read on. Elex takes a step in the wrong direction right off the bat with its protagonist. Commander Jax takes on the central role of this adventure. He's part of the Albs, a society of enhanced mutants that have purged themselves of all emotion in exchange for the massive power granted by a substance known as elex. However, we don't know any of that as in the opening seconds we see Jax's sci-fi fighter jet get shot down by unknown people for unknown reasons. The backstory to this scene gets inexplicably doled out in small doses via flashbacks to years before the events of the game. We have a protagonist without emotional responses to anything and a blank backstory. Jax does have one interesting spark of characterization, though. Severed from his connection to his fellow Albs, Jax slowly begins to either regain a connection to his emotions or not depending how the player behaves. Unfortunately, that aspect of the character never really feels explored, leaving Jax an incredibly bland and uninteresting lead. After being shot down in enemy territory, emotionless Jax embarks on a quest to get revenge. A bland protagonist might be something a game could survive if the supporting cast can shoulder the extra weight. Elex's writing and NPCs simply can't bear that burden. The dialogue hamstrings any attempt to build up other characters. The very first interaction the player has with an NPC results in that character explaining several times in the same dialogue tree that the player can find supplies in the nearby town. Did you know you could get supplies in town? Hey, no worries, you can get supplies in town. You can take some jobs and gear up in town. It never really becomes better as the game progresses, either. Sometimes characters will seemingly glitch over dialogue or have wild mood swings between dialogue options. One of the NPC companions went from feeling neutral towards Jax to idolizing him over the course of one conversation on one sidequest. On a different quest, I selected a seemingly innocuous dialogue option that prompted an NPC to attempt to murder Jax - and the game warned me after I killed him that the game had been altered significantly. Combat stands as one of the weakest elements of Elex. Despite existing in a world of hand grenades and plasma rifles, melee weapons serve as the primary way players deal damage in the world. Those who want to rely on ranged attacks will quickly find them weak, especially early on, and this can quickly lead to being mauled on all sides. That leaves players to rely on melee or the various faction abilities. In order to access magic, psionic powers, or chemical augments players will have to ally themselves with one of the game's three factions: the Berserkers, the Clerics, or the Outlaws. If you haven't allied with one of the three groups, generic combat will be the only option available. That leaves melee, which seems to be aiming for a Dark Souls-like rhythm, but fails spectacularly. Players must manage their stamina to make sure they can dodge or defend against enemy attack patterns. If attacks are properly managed, a special attack can be performed to deal critical damage. These attacks locks Jax into prolonged animations that frequently miss their target, leaving him vulnerable. This can be a huge problem in a game where even low level enemies on the easiest difficulty can take a player from full life to death in a handful of attacks. With such life and death stakes, the spotty hit detection becomes an unending source of irritation. I died several times from attacks that hit a visible distance away from Jax's character model. Important note: For a very, very, very long time after beginning the game, Jax will be weak. If you truly want to explore the open world of Elex and meet the other factions, you will encounter enemies capable of instantly killing Jax. Those deaths might occur with little to no warning, too, as many enemies are simply leveled higher from the initial areas - meaning you'll only know that they are different from the enemies you've defeated handily before when you get close enough to target them and see a skull by their names. Jax's weakness might be remedied by an empowering leveling system. The leveling system in Elex somehow manages to be a convoluted mess. Each level gives you 10 points to spend on character attributes and a learning point that can be spent at the various trainers throughout the world to learn new active and passive abilities. Attribute requirements are tied to each ability and each piece of armor and weapon in the game. If you want to have better armor, you need to gain a new level and put points into the required attributes. I'm sure there must be mid-tier weapons somewhere in Elex, but I couldn't find anything that seemed meaningfully different or more powerful from the blunt axe I found during the first hour of the game after having played the game for over a dozen hours. The weapons that I did manage to scrounge up all had requirements far beyond what I could equip. So, naturally, I put points into those areas to try to be able to use something better than that axe. The downside of that approach was that I couldn't put points into things like constitution, which meant I couldn't equip better armor or shields. Even when I finally managed to have the points in dexterity and strength required to shoot a plasma rifle, I was sorely disappointed to learn that at best it only tickled most enemies. This led me to a the following conclusion: In the world of Elex a level 0 blunt axe is somehow more powerful and effective than using a plasma rifle that requires 50 dexterity and 30 strength. Elex's story offers a great degree of flexibility. That flexibility goes to waste in a world that squanders a lot of intriguing concepts and potential by linking it with bland characters and fetch quests that exist to waste time. I bring that up to point out that Elex asks players to join one of the factions - but a player looking to make an informed decision without faffing about in the area with magic Vikings forever will have to make their way through almost certain death to reach the Clerics and the Outlaws to see if joining them might be preferable. A single sidequest might require fifteen minutes of running through the wilderness. Traveling between settlements could take much longer. Dying en route puts you back at the point of the game's last autosave, which can result in hours of lost time. To alleviate this, fast travel teleportation pads exist throughout the world. However, they can also be easy to miss and remain deactivated if the player doesn't walk on top of them. This problem even seems to be recognized in the game design since one of the generic abilities (with insanely high requirements) reveals all of the teleportation pads in the world. I would not recommend Elex to anyone. It manages to trick the player into forgetting about its frustrations by playing the way one would expect from a middle-of-the-road RPG with grand ambitions, but it invariably falls into some new pitfall included in the game either by poorly conceived design or by complete accident. The setting holds a great deal of promise, but the narrative often finds itself too caught up in world building to remember that compelling characters are necessary. The dialogue manages to be uniformly atrocious and grating. The visuals look great from a distance, but closer inspection reveals a lot of characters and environments to be pretty ugly. Glitches routinely pop up - one time I initiated a conversation with an NPC and Jax teleported halfway through the ceiling and remained trapped there after the conversation finished. Other than an intriguing premise and a fun trailer, Elex has very little going for it. Elex is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
  22. The Steven Universe games are strange beasts. Save the Light releases tomorrow for PlayStation 4 and November 3 for Xbox One. It serves as a direct sequel to Attack the Light, which released on Android and iOS. That's the exact opposite of how most game series tend to work. On top of that, Save the Light will be the 15th game involving the characters from Steven Universe. Strangely, or perhaps less strange for fans of the hugely popular Cartoon Network series, the console adaptation of the franchise looks to be incredibly well put together. The aesthetic remains true to the show by adopting an almost Paper Mario-like style. The combat system also appears to be something that fans of classic RPGs and newcomers alike could enjoy with a variety of special moves, summon-like fusion forms, and unique battle mechanics that freshen up the hybrid real-time and turn-based battles. Steven, Garnet, Pearl, Amethyst, Connie, Greg, and Peridot all join forces to save the light tomorrow on PS4 and November 3 on Xbox One.
  23. The Steven Universe games are strange beasts. Save the Light releases tomorrow for PlayStation 4 and November 3 for Xbox One. It serves as a direct sequel to Attack the Light, which released on Android and iOS. That's the exact opposite of how most game series tend to work. On top of that, Save the Light will be the 15th game involving the characters from Steven Universe. Strangely, or perhaps less strange for fans of the hugely popular Cartoon Network series, the console adaptation of the franchise looks to be incredibly well put together. The aesthetic remains true to the show by adopting an almost Paper Mario-like style. The combat system also appears to be something that fans of classic RPGs and newcomers alike could enjoy with a variety of special moves, summon-like fusion forms, and unique battle mechanics that freshen up the hybrid real-time and turn-based battles. Steven, Garnet, Pearl, Amethyst, Connie, Greg, and Peridot all join forces to save the light tomorrow on PS4 and November 3 on Xbox One. View full article
  24. I have some words for you: Motor. Cycle. Wheel. Saws. If a combination of those words caught your attention, keep an eye on the upcoming Steel Rats. The 2.5D action arcade title combines motorized combat with stunts to create retro-futuristic destruction gameplay. Motorcycles operate based on the physics of Steel Rats with customization options. Players will pilot their battle-hardened racer on sketchy streets, over near-future rooftops, and through grungy tunnels. You might be asking yourself at this point, "What exactly is a Street Rat?" The Street Rats are a punk biker gang who rule the streets of Coastal City. You might think that makes them a threat to law and order, but quite the contrary. The Street Rats are the last remaining line of defense for a city under constant siege by an oncoming army of junkbots bent on its destruction. Players can choose their own characters, unlock special moves and bikes, and fight across the near armaggeddon cityscape of their once sacred turf. The soundtrack of Steel Rats is being created by the Japanese rock trio The 5.6.7.8's who are known for their song "Woo Hoo" featured in Kill Bill: Volume 1. “Steel Rats is set in an atmospheric, stylized, retro-future version of 40s and 50s Americana,” says Jacek Gburczyk, art director on the project, “we’ve taken everything we love from America in that time period and mixed it up with our favorite parts of dieselpunk and steampunk influences to create something that has a wholly original feel and character.” A new CGI trailer released today conveys the essence of what developer Tate Multimedia envisions for their project. Steel Rats comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2018.
  25. I have some words for you: Motor. Cycle. Wheel. Saws. If a combination of those words caught your attention, keep an eye on the upcoming Steel Rats. The 2.5D action arcade title combines motorized combat with stunts to create retro-futuristic destruction gameplay. Motorcycles operate based on the physics of Steel Rats with customization options. Players will pilot their battle-hardened racer on sketchy streets, over near-future rooftops, and through grungy tunnels. You might be asking yourself at this point, "What exactly is a Street Rat?" The Street Rats are a punk biker gang who rule the streets of Coastal City. You might think that makes them a threat to law and order, but quite the contrary. The Street Rats are the last remaining line of defense for a city under constant siege by an oncoming army of junkbots bent on its destruction. Players can choose their own characters, unlock special moves and bikes, and fight across the near armaggeddon cityscape of their once sacred turf. The soundtrack of Steel Rats is being created by the Japanese rock trio The 5.6.7.8's who are known for their song "Woo Hoo" featured in Kill Bill: Volume 1. “Steel Rats is set in an atmospheric, stylized, retro-future version of 40s and 50s Americana,” says Jacek Gburczyk, art director on the project, “we’ve taken everything we love from America in that time period and mixed it up with our favorite parts of dieselpunk and steampunk influences to create something that has a wholly original feel and character.” A new CGI trailer released today conveys the essence of what developer Tate Multimedia envisions for their project. Steel Rats comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2018. View full article
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