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Found 8 results

  1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice exists as a fundamentally different beast than what many players might expect from the developers who brought them Dark Souls and Bloodborne. FromSoftware manages to infuse the stealth-action game with a lot of the same trimmings and style as their previous action-RPGs, but take Sekiro in an almost entirely different direction. Diverging from their incredibly successful formula to try something new represented a substantial risk. However, Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team pulled off the impossible and created an experience that will surely stick with players for years to come - provided they can adapt to Sekiro's punishing gameplay mechanics. Sekiro tells the story of an honorable (or perhaps dishonorable, depending on your choices) shinobi, a ninja in service to a young boy named Lord Kuro. Of course, a FromSoftware game these days needs an element of the mystic and Lord Kuro also happens to be the Divine Heir, someone blessed with blood that prevents him from ever dying. Of course, that blood makes him the target of every power-hungry figure who yearns for immortality. The lands of Ashina in feudal Japan find themselves overrun with hostile forces and Lord Kuro captured shortly after the game begins. Our titular hero, Sekiro, must use all of his cunning and swordsmanship to rescue his master and follow the Iron Code of the shinobi. In his quest to secure Lord Kuro and follow the boy's orders, Sekiro contends with far more than human adversaries. Ghosts, gods, demons, and creatures straight out of Japanese folklore rise to stop him and spread chaos throughout the land. Learning how to deal with all of these threats, both mundane and supernatural, as just one man armed with a sword and a handful of shinobi tools would be quite the challenge under a Dark Souls-like system of death. You will die. That's an inescapable fact about Sekiro. However, Lord Kuro gave his loyal shinobi the gift of his blood, bestowing the ability to resurrect from the point of death to give another chance at emerging victorious from battle. And what battles you will have to endure and survive. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice focuses on the back and forth of clashing swords. You won't be able to dodge roll around most attacks or play it safe. Instead the highly lethal combat encourages players to stand toe to toe with adversaries, timing blocks and counters to overcome enemies in a way that would feel right at home in the life or death struggles that play such an important role in Akira Kurosawa's films. In this way, combat becomes more of a dance, blades singing through the air as they strike against flesh and steel. Players who can pick up on the pattern of attacks, the pacing of the dance, will find that Sekiro takes on an almost rhythm game-like feel. Sekiro rewards players for timing blocks and dodges right by turning them into deflections or counters, moves that help open enemies up for attacks. This makes the ability to time moves properly incredibly important. It also often means that running around and avoiding attacks while waiting for an opening is just not enough to make much progress. In fact, most of the boss encounters early on are specifically designed to crush that approach to combat out of players. Clever use of shinobi tools, knowing when to disengage, and recognizing when the time has come to stand your ground and fight head-on all prove integral to standing in triumph over foes. Always remember that Sekiro was built with more verticality in mind than Dark Souls or Bloodborne, so keep an eye out for grappling locations, especially in boss fights. They could open the door for a quick escape or a devastating counterattack. Of course, mastering the basic combat only prepares players for the unexpected challenges that are to come. The world of Sekiro is one where a human with a sharp mind and skilled with a blade can fight on equal terms with gods and demons. The mechanics introduced in the early game apply when fighting colossal beasts and otherworldly threats, though adapting to those animations and rhythms can prove to be a true challenge. Contending with magic and restless undead might seem to put Sekiro on uneven footing, but as players progress, they can use skill points to unlock new combos and techniques to help them compete against even immortal adversaries. Beyond combat, Sekiro has much to offer in terms of narrative. For the past several games, FromSoftware has told stories heavy on lore and world-building without much of a focus on the main protagonist outside of the role they fill within that detailed world. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice takes a different approach, opting to have a named protagonist with clearly articulated wants and desires, and supporting characters who all relate to him. This, more than anything else, helps Sekiro to feel more grounded than any of Hidetaka Miyazaki's other projects over the last several years. The grounded experience is further reinforced by the fact that the setting is one in which humans not only survive but thrive. Some of the most interesting enemies and encounters aren't big in scope, just two highly competent humans fighting one another in a life or death struggle. Since the narrative frames those human struggles in a more intimate and personal way, the player gets pulled into that fight, too. It simply feels more "real." We are continually reminded throughout the game that dragons, gods, demons, and ghosts are all aberrations; creatures and creations that pervert the natural cycle of the world - or exist outside of it. That brings us to one of the more interesting elements of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: Religion. Whereas Dark Souls had bonfires and Bloodborne had lanterns, Sekiro has carvings of Buddha. In fact, Buddha and Buddhist imagery appear numerous times throughout Sekiro and understanding Buddhist philosophy can deepen the understanding of the narrative. For example, a major part of the central conflict raging at the heart of most FromSoftware games has been that holding onto something that will inevitably be lost can only cause suffering; it cannot actually satisfy. In Dark Souls, that something is Gwyn's Age of Fire and the curse placed upon humanity to force them into continuing the cycle over and over again. In Sekiro, the human pursuit of immortality represents a complete abandonment of the natural cycle of death and reincarnation. Sekiro's ability to die and resurrect is shown as useful but also something that spreads disease and suffering onto others. Those who have allowed themselves to become infested with immortal worms become undying and monstrous. The mission to create a god who could bestow eternal life sacrifices untold numbers of children to form one imperfect idol. In Buddhist terms, the dissatisfaction that these characters feel with their impending deaths are part of what is known as dukkha, the suffering and unsatisfying nature of a temporary existence. The way that they deal with that, however, is to wander far in search of an escape, a way to make their temporary state permanent rather than to pursue the eight-fold path and exit the cycle of reincarnation. Sekiro depicts the folly of such a wrong-headed approach to dealing with dukkha and the pain that can be inflicted on others by such an attempt. What interests me the most about Sekiro's depiction of Buddhism comes down to how its included so boldly in the game itself. Not many games are willing to show anything more than a fictional religion for fear that it might alienate some of the consumer base. In Sekiro, however, players pray at Buddha statues to fast-travel, level up, and more. The imagery is carved into the environments. Characters talk about Buddha, too. In fact, one of the main characters can't seem to stop carving Buddhas. One of the most important items players collect over their time spent in Sekiro are Buddhist prayer beads. There are even several cutscenes depicting the earnest prayers of our protagonist. That's bold and fascinating. How often have you seen a Muslim in prayer in a video game? Or a Christian? I honestly don't know that I have ever seen a protagonist in a video game pray in relation to a religion that exists in the real world. Video games are art and religion seems to be one of those areas that video games haven't yet gone in-depth, so this could be a sign of things to come. Conclusion: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice stands apart from the Soulsborne games. The highly lethal approach to combat seems suited for the mechanics and message the developers were going for. Encounters with enemies feel fair, with tight controls responding well to the rhythm of battle; even normal enemies sometimes achieve the satisfying back-and-forth trading of blows often reserved for mini-bosses. The world doesn't stop surprising right up until the end, especially if you aren't familiar with Japanese folklore. The main complaint about Sekiro's gameplay would be the functional but shoddy stealth system. A sequel seems almost inevitable at this point and further refinements to sneaking and related abilities would go a long way toward making it feel more robust. Perhaps sneaking through an enemy city and avoiding the non-violent civilians? Experiencing Sekiro's visuals feels like a treat for the eyes. The lighting and level design often lead to moments that feel cinematic and the day-night cycle that progresses as main story objectives are achieved lends each location a new experience when you begin backtracking looking for secrets (something you should definitely do). The music in Sekiro failed to live up to the standards of the visuals, but it doesn't actively detract from the game in any major way. It just doesn't stand out. However, the sound design almost completely makes up for the lackluster score. Blades clashing, otherworldly howls, the melancholy notes of ethereal instruments floating through the air, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice knows how to characterize its enemies and struggles by sound alone. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice should absolutely be on your gaming wishlist if you have any love for FromSoftware titles or action games in general. It doesn't get much better than this. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was reviewed on PC and is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice exists as a fundamentally different beast than what many players might expect from the developers who brought them Dark Souls and Bloodborne. FromSoftware manages to infuse the stealth-action game with a lot of the same trimmings and style as their previous action-RPGs, but take Sekiro in an almost entirely different direction. Diverging from their incredibly successful formula to try something new represented a substantial risk. However, Hidetaka Miyazaki and his team pulled off the impossible and created an experience that will surely stick with players for years to come - provided they can adapt to Sekiro's punishing gameplay mechanics. Sekiro tells the story of an honorable (or perhaps dishonorable, depending on your choices) shinobi, a ninja in service to a young boy named Lord Kuro. Of course, a FromSoftware game these days needs an element of the mystic and Lord Kuro also happens to be the Divine Heir, someone blessed with blood that prevents him from ever dying. Of course, that blood makes him the target of every power-hungry figure who yearns for immortality. The lands of Ashina in feudal Japan find themselves overrun with hostile forces and Lord Kuro captured shortly after the game begins. Our titular hero, Sekiro, must use all of his cunning and swordsmanship to rescue his master and follow the Iron Code of the shinobi. In his quest to secure Lord Kuro and follow the boy's orders, Sekiro contends with far more than human adversaries. Ghosts, gods, demons, and creatures straight out of Japanese folklore rise to stop him and spread chaos throughout the land. Learning how to deal with all of these threats, both mundane and supernatural, as just one man armed with a sword and a handful of shinobi tools would be quite the challenge under a Dark Souls-like system of death. You will die. That's an inescapable fact about Sekiro. However, Lord Kuro gave his loyal shinobi the gift of his blood, bestowing the ability to resurrect from the point of death to give another chance at emerging victorious from battle. And what battles you will have to endure and survive. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice focuses on the back and forth of clashing swords. You won't be able to dodge roll around most attacks or play it safe. Instead the highly lethal combat encourages players to stand toe to toe with adversaries, timing blocks and counters to overcome enemies in a way that would feel right at home in the life or death struggles that play such an important role in Akira Kurosawa's films. In this way, combat becomes more of a dance, blades singing through the air as they strike against flesh and steel. Players who can pick up on the pattern of attacks, the pacing of the dance, will find that Sekiro takes on an almost rhythm game-like feel. Sekiro rewards players for timing blocks and dodges right by turning them into deflections or counters, moves that help open enemies up for attacks. This makes the ability to time moves properly incredibly important. It also often means that running around and avoiding attacks while waiting for an opening is just not enough to make much progress. In fact, most of the boss encounters early on are specifically designed to crush that approach to combat out of players. Clever use of shinobi tools, knowing when to disengage, and recognizing when the time has come to stand your ground and fight head-on all prove integral to standing in triumph over foes. Always remember that Sekiro was built with more verticality in mind than Dark Souls or Bloodborne, so keep an eye out for grappling locations, especially in boss fights. They could open the door for a quick escape or a devastating counterattack. Of course, mastering the basic combat only prepares players for the unexpected challenges that are to come. The world of Sekiro is one where a human with a sharp mind and skilled with a blade can fight on equal terms with gods and demons. The mechanics introduced in the early game apply when fighting colossal beasts and otherworldly threats, though adapting to those animations and rhythms can prove to be a true challenge. Contending with magic and restless undead might seem to put Sekiro on uneven footing, but as players progress, they can use skill points to unlock new combos and techniques to help them compete against even immortal adversaries. Beyond combat, Sekiro has much to offer in terms of narrative. For the past several games, FromSoftware has told stories heavy on lore and world-building without much of a focus on the main protagonist outside of the role they fill within that detailed world. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice takes a different approach, opting to have a named protagonist with clearly articulated wants and desires, and supporting characters who all relate to him. This, more than anything else, helps Sekiro to feel more grounded than any of Hidetaka Miyazaki's other projects over the last several years. The grounded experience is further reinforced by the fact that the setting is one in which humans not only survive but thrive. Some of the most interesting enemies and encounters aren't big in scope, just two highly competent humans fighting one another in a life or death struggle. Since the narrative frames those human struggles in a more intimate and personal way, the player gets pulled into that fight, too. It simply feels more "real." We are continually reminded throughout the game that dragons, gods, demons, and ghosts are all aberrations; creatures and creations that pervert the natural cycle of the world - or exist outside of it. That brings us to one of the more interesting elements of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: Religion. Whereas Dark Souls had bonfires and Bloodborne had lanterns, Sekiro has carvings of Buddha. In fact, Buddha and Buddhist imagery appear numerous times throughout Sekiro and understanding Buddhist philosophy can deepen the understanding of the narrative. For example, a major part of the central conflict raging at the heart of most FromSoftware games has been that holding onto something that will inevitably be lost can only cause suffering; it cannot actually satisfy. In Dark Souls, that something is Gwyn's Age of Fire and the curse placed upon humanity to force them into continuing the cycle over and over again. In Sekiro, the human pursuit of immortality represents a complete abandonment of the natural cycle of death and reincarnation. Sekiro's ability to die and resurrect is shown as useful but also something that spreads disease and suffering onto others. Those who have allowed themselves to become infested with immortal worms become undying and monstrous. The mission to create a god who could bestow eternal life sacrifices untold numbers of children to form one imperfect idol. In Buddhist terms, the dissatisfaction that these characters feel with their impending deaths are part of what is known as dukkha, the suffering and unsatisfying nature of a temporary existence. The way that they deal with that, however, is to wander far in search of an escape, a way to make their temporary state permanent rather than to pursue the eight-fold path and exit the cycle of reincarnation. Sekiro depicts the folly of such a wrong-headed approach to dealing with dukkha and the pain that can be inflicted on others by such an attempt. What interests me the most about Sekiro's depiction of Buddhism comes down to how its included so boldly in the game itself. Not many games are willing to show anything more than a fictional religion for fear that it might alienate some of the consumer base. In Sekiro, however, players pray at Buddha statues to fast-travel, level up, and more. The imagery is carved into the environments. Characters talk about Buddha, too. In fact, one of the main characters can't seem to stop carving Buddhas. One of the most important items players collect over their time spent in Sekiro are Buddhist prayer beads. There are even several cutscenes depicting the earnest prayers of our protagonist. That's bold and fascinating. How often have you seen a Muslim in prayer in a video game? Or a Christian? I honestly don't know that I have ever seen a protagonist in a video game pray in relation to a religion that exists in the real world. Video games are art and religion seems to be one of those areas that video games haven't yet gone in-depth, so this could be a sign of things to come. Conclusion: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice stands apart from the Soulsborne games. The highly lethal approach to combat seems suited for the mechanics and message the developers were going for. Encounters with enemies feel fair, with tight controls responding well to the rhythm of battle; even normal enemies sometimes achieve the satisfying back-and-forth trading of blows often reserved for mini-bosses. The world doesn't stop surprising right up until the end, especially if you aren't familiar with Japanese folklore. The main complaint about Sekiro's gameplay would be the functional but shoddy stealth system. A sequel seems almost inevitable at this point and further refinements to sneaking and related abilities would go a long way toward making it feel more robust. Perhaps sneaking through an enemy city and avoiding the non-violent civilians? Experiencing Sekiro's visuals feels like a treat for the eyes. The lighting and level design often lead to moments that feel cinematic and the day-night cycle that progresses as main story objectives are achieved lends each location a new experience when you begin backtracking looking for secrets (something you should definitely do). The music in Sekiro failed to live up to the standards of the visuals, but it doesn't actively detract from the game in any major way. It just doesn't stand out. However, the sound design almost completely makes up for the lackluster score. Blades clashing, otherworldly howls, the melancholy notes of ethereal instruments floating through the air, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice knows how to characterize its enemies and struggles by sound alone. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice should absolutely be on your gaming wishlist if you have any love for FromSoftware titles or action games in general. It doesn't get much better than this. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice was reviewed on PC and is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. FromSoftware dropped a new cinematic trailer for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice showing off a bit of narrative as opposed to flashy combat. The beautiful flashback provides a glimpse at how protagonist Sekiro came under the tutelage of his grizzled mentor, the Owl. We see the Owl adopting an adolescent Sekiro in the aftermath of a bloody battle. Though brief, the scene highlights Sekiro’s more straightforward approach to storytelling as opposed to the vague narratives of the Souls series. First teased at the 2017 Game Awards, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice made its full unveiling during E3 2018. Taking place during the war-ridden Sengoku period of Japan, players control Sekiro, a one-armed shinobi who wields multi-functional prosthetic limb. After enemies leave Sekiro for dead and abduct a young lord he’s sworn to protect, the warrior must hunt down those responsible. Though it shares similar DNA to Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Sekiro's gameplay emphasizes speed, stealth, and verticality via a grappling hook used to scale structures Look for Sekiro: Shadows Die twice when it launches March 22 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. FromSoftware dropped a new cinematic trailer for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice showing off a bit of narrative as opposed to flashy combat. The beautiful flashback provides a glimpse at how protagonist Sekiro came under the tutelage of his grizzled mentor, the Owl. We see the Owl adopting an adolescent Sekiro in the aftermath of a bloody battle. Though brief, the scene highlights Sekiro’s more straightforward approach to storytelling as opposed to the vague narratives of the Souls series. First teased at the 2017 Game Awards, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice made its full unveiling during E3 2018. Taking place during the war-ridden Sengoku period of Japan, players control Sekiro, a one-armed shinobi who wields multi-functional prosthetic limb. After enemies leave Sekiro for dead and abduct a young lord he’s sworn to protect, the warrior must hunt down those responsible. Though it shares similar DNA to Dark Souls and Bloodborne, Sekiro's gameplay emphasizes speed, stealth, and verticality via a grappling hook used to scale structures Look for Sekiro: Shadows Die twice when it launches March 22 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  5. If sheer quantity decided the victor of E3, Microsoft would easily walk away with the win. Just as they did last year, the Xbox brand packed a ton of information into an over 90-minute presentation in front of their largest-ever live audience. To quote a stat from Xbox head Phil Spencer, Microsoft showed off 50 titles; 18 of them were console exclusives, and 15 that were world premiers. Microsoft addressed their first-party issue by announcing studio acquisitions, beefed up Xbox Game Pass, and even teased new hardware. Gamers walked away with a lot to digest, so let's make things easier by breaking down each announcement. I can think of few titles better suited to kick off a Microsoft show than a Halo reveal. In this case, we got a teaser trailer for Halo Infinite. We didn’t see much beyond scenic landscapes, some warthog riding, and a glimpse of Master Chief himself. 343 Studios later clarified that the video represents a tech demo for the Slipspace Engine and is not indicative of the actual game. Even still, Halo Infinite captured the imagination of the fans in attendance and started the presentation on a high note. We got our first look at gameplay for Ori and the Will of the Wisps. It looks just as beautiful, and challenging, as the original and arrives sometime in 2019. That same year will also see the release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The next title by FromSoftware was previously teased during last year’s Game Awards. It eschews medieval influences in favor of ninjas and a feudal Japan setting. Don't worry fans; it still looks pretty tough. It arrives in 2019 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Bethesda Game Director Todd Howard took the stage to give the world another look at Fallout 76. This prequel to the Fallout series takes place in West Virginia 20 years after the nuclear war. Howard stated the game boasts a world 4-times larger than Fallout 4’s Commonwealth. The player controls a member of Vault 76, one of the first vaults to open and begin rebuilding the country. The trailer gave glimpses of various locations while Todd briefly spoke about the game’s general focus of survival and restoration. Life is Strange developer Dontnod’s lightened the mood a bit with a trailer for The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. This charming title centers on a lonely boy who uses his imagination to escape a less whimsical reality. More importantly, it serves as a precursor to the still mysterious Life is Strange 2. In a cool move, Captain Spirit launches June 25 as a free download. Crackdown 3 suffered yet another delay prior to the show (this time to 2019), but a new trailer reminded everyone of what the wait will be for. The Terry Crews-narrated trailer showed off the over-to-top firefights and platforming, with some Hot Wheels-esque driving thrown in. Another crazy game in Nier: Automata, Platinum Game's breakout hit from last year, will arrive on Xbox on June 26. Packaged as the Become As Gods Edition, it includes all previously released DLC. Metro Exodus served up a new helping of gameplay. We got quick peeks at weapon customization, night vision segments, and terrifying creatures such as huge lake monster. Metro: Exodus continues to impress and arrives February 22. A new trailer for Kingdom Hearts III confirmed the game's arrival to Xbox, a first for the series. We got our first look at the world of Frozen, which stood as the video’s centerpiece. Tangled, Toy Story, and Hercules also got some spotlight. Aqua fans had their hearts broken when she appeared seemingly possessed by Xehanort at the trailer’s conclusion. Overall, this was a nice look at the game (one of several during the week) that had fans frantically counting down to the game’s January 29 release. Sea of Thieves left much to be desired, but Rare announced plans to fix that problem with two expansions. The first, Cursed Sails, launches in July. The other, Forsaken Shores, arrives in September. Outside of a short cinematic, no information was given regarding the actual content of these updates. DICE followed up their EA showing with a very brief cinematic for one of Battlefield V’s Nordlys campaign story. It centers on a Norwegian resistance fighter battling against German occupation while also trying to save her family. No gameplay was shown and the video lasted maybe less than a minute. Forza Horizon 4 raced on stage. The next entry boasts dynamic seasons that developer Playground Games promises will dramatically alter races. Winter, for example, freezes over bodies of water, opening up new areas for players to reach. Additionally, the Xbox One X version features a 60 fps mode. Forza Horizon 4 comes to Xbox One and Windows 10 on October 2 and hits Xbox Game Pass the same day. On the subject of bolstering the Xbox library, Phil Spencer announced the formation of new first-party studio The Initiative. He doubled down on that news by announcing the acquisition of third-party studios Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games. Since Microsoft paid Compulsion some lip service, we got new story trailer for We Happy Few. It showed off more of the wacky premise, showing how far the project has come. It has an August 10 release date. Playerunknown's Battlegrounds has new maps arriving in the coming as soon as this summer. Additionally, a new destination called War Mode is on the way. JRPG fans were happy to learn that 2008's Tales of Vesperia is getting remastered for Xbox One. This Definitive Edition includes previously Japanese-only content and characters and arrives this winter A gameplay demonstration for Tom Clancy's The Division 2 took viewers through a squad-based mission in the games Washington D.C. setting. The squad engages in a firefight against in and around a destroyed Air Force One. The Division 2 launches March 15 and you can sign up for the beta now. Ashley Speicher, head of Xbox Engineering, took the stage to talk about Xbox Game Pass. First, a new FastStart feature that launches select games twice as fast will be included in the June Xbox update. Additionally, Fallout 4, The Division, and The Elder Scrolls Online became available on Game Pass that day. Halo: The Master Chief Collection will join the library later this year. Future releases, such as Forza Horizon 4, Crackdown 3, and others, will be playable on Game Pass the same day that they launch. Next we got the required ID@Xbox rapid-fire showcase showed off upcoming indie titles. The highlight reel included Outer Wilds, Afterparty, Warhammer II: Vermintide, Super Meat Boy Forever, Sable, Generation Zero, Dead Cells, and Ashen. A new Shadow of the Tomb Raider trailer showed off more locations, including a Day of the Dead festival. We got a look at possibly the main villain, watched Lara stare down vicious jaguars, and watched her narrowly survive as a massive flood swept through a village. Following that was a short trailer for Session, a Kickstarted skateboard game that drew some comparisons to Skate, as well as a teaser for the Xbox port of mmorpg Black Desert. The stylish reveal of Devil May Cry 5 offered a huge surprise. As a direct sequel to Devil May Cry 4 (and thus ignoring Ninja Theory's DmC), Nero returns as the leading man alongside a new female sidekick. Gameplay showed off Nero's new robotic arm and a what appeared to be a time-stopping power. Oh, and Dante rode in for a quick cameo at the end. Director Hideaki Itsuno proudly declared DMC 5 as the best game he's ever made and has a spring 2019 launch window. Another surprise came in the form of a DLC expansion for Cuphead. Titled The Delicious Last Course, it releases next year and includes a third playable character, Ms. Chalice, along with a new island populated with bosses. Meanwhile, Tunic, the adorable Zelda-style game starring a cute fox, emerged from hibernation and looks as pretty and fun as ever. Phil Spencer returned to state that everything shown going forward would be never-before-seen world premiers. That kicked off with the reveal of Jump Force. This crossover fighter cherry picks characters from Shonen Jump anime like Dragon Ball and Naruto and pits them against each other. Look for it in 2019. Dying Light 2 premiered sporting a new emphasis on dynamic choice-making. The demonstration showed the player negotiating with a faction hoarding a crucial water supply. Depending on whether or not you follow them, the consequences physically alters the city and affects the population's morale and general way of life. Dying Light 2 features improved parkour mechanics and night gameplay, though not shown, remains a terrifying factor. Remember Battletoads? Rare hopes that you do because a new game is in development for launch in 2019. We didn't see anything of it, but we do know it'll support 3-player couch co-op and have a hand-drawn 2.5D presentation. Just Cause 4 made its official debut after being leaked twice before the show. A story trailer set up Rico's battle against the Black Hand private army. Fans also got to see the new weather effects, including a tornado (which Rico promptly jumped into). Just Cause 4 launches December 4. The Gears of War franchise has not one but three new titles on the way. First was Gears Pop!, which features Funko Pop versions of the Gears cast. For strategy fans, Gears Tactics blends turned-based strategy with the series cover-based gameplay. Finally, a cinematic trailer for Gears 5 (yes, just Gears) established Gears of War 4's Kait Diaz as the new protagonist. The trailer appeared to center on her ancestral connection to the Locust, with J.D. and Marcus Fenix serving as support roles. Phil Spencer returned to the stage one last time to tease future projects such as Microsoft AI and a game-streaming service. He even confirmed that the next Xbox console was already deep in development. Just as he was bringing the show to a close, the briefing's feed was abruptly hijacked by one more game waiting to make itself known. CD Projekt RED's long-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 made its big debut after spending years in hiding.The trailer showed off the sci-fi beauty of Night City as well as its seedy underbelly. The almost Grand Theft Auto-esque style trailer checked off the many of the cyberpunk genre's calling cards: humans with crazy machine parts, flying cars, and building-sized holograms. Everything looked gorgeous to the point of looking next-gen, though the game has been confirmed for this console generation. We still didn't get a release window but this incredible first look made arguably the biggest splash of any title shown throughout the show. So how do you think Microsoft's briefing shaped up? Let us know in the comments. You can also watch it yourself down below. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  6. If sheer quantity decided the victor of E3, Microsoft would easily walk away with the win. Just as they did last year, the Xbox brand packed a ton of information into an over 90-minute presentation in front of their largest-ever live audience. To quote a stat from Xbox head Phil Spencer, Microsoft showed off 50 titles; 18 of them were console exclusives, and 15 that were world premiers. Microsoft addressed their first-party issue by announcing studio acquisitions, beefed up Xbox Game Pass, and even teased new hardware. Gamers walked away with a lot to digest, so let's make things easier by breaking down each announcement. I can think of few titles better suited to kick off a Microsoft show than a Halo reveal. In this case, we got a teaser trailer for Halo Infinite. We didn’t see much beyond scenic landscapes, some warthog riding, and a glimpse of Master Chief himself. 343 Studios later clarified that the video represents a tech demo for the Slipspace Engine and is not indicative of the actual game. Even still, Halo Infinite captured the imagination of the fans in attendance and started the presentation on a high note. We got our first look at gameplay for Ori and the Will of the Wisps. It looks just as beautiful, and challenging, as the original and arrives sometime in 2019. That same year will also see the release of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The next title by FromSoftware was previously teased during last year’s Game Awards. It eschews medieval influences in favor of ninjas and a feudal Japan setting. Don't worry fans; it still looks pretty tough. It arrives in 2019 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Bethesda Game Director Todd Howard took the stage to give the world another look at Fallout 76. This prequel to the Fallout series takes place in West Virginia 20 years after the nuclear war. Howard stated the game boasts a world 4-times larger than Fallout 4’s Commonwealth. The player controls a member of Vault 76, one of the first vaults to open and begin rebuilding the country. The trailer gave glimpses of various locations while Todd briefly spoke about the game’s general focus of survival and restoration. Life is Strange developer Dontnod’s lightened the mood a bit with a trailer for The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. This charming title centers on a lonely boy who uses his imagination to escape a less whimsical reality. More importantly, it serves as a precursor to the still mysterious Life is Strange 2. In a cool move, Captain Spirit launches June 25 as a free download. Crackdown 3 suffered yet another delay prior to the show (this time to 2019), but a new trailer reminded everyone of what the wait will be for. The Terry Crews-narrated trailer showed off the over-to-top firefights and platforming, with some Hot Wheels-esque driving thrown in. Another crazy game in Nier: Automata, Platinum Game's breakout hit from last year, will arrive on Xbox on June 26. Packaged as the Become As Gods Edition, it includes all previously released DLC. Metro Exodus served up a new helping of gameplay. We got quick peeks at weapon customization, night vision segments, and terrifying creatures such as huge lake monster. Metro: Exodus continues to impress and arrives February 22. A new trailer for Kingdom Hearts III confirmed the game's arrival to Xbox, a first for the series. We got our first look at the world of Frozen, which stood as the video’s centerpiece. Tangled, Toy Story, and Hercules also got some spotlight. Aqua fans had their hearts broken when she appeared seemingly possessed by Xehanort at the trailer’s conclusion. Overall, this was a nice look at the game (one of several during the week) that had fans frantically counting down to the game’s January 29 release. Sea of Thieves left much to be desired, but Rare announced plans to fix that problem with two expansions. The first, Cursed Sails, launches in July. The other, Forsaken Shores, arrives in September. Outside of a short cinematic, no information was given regarding the actual content of these updates. DICE followed up their EA showing with a very brief cinematic for one of Battlefield V’s Nordlys campaign story. It centers on a Norwegian resistance fighter battling against German occupation while also trying to save her family. No gameplay was shown and the video lasted maybe less than a minute. Forza Horizon 4 raced on stage. The next entry boasts dynamic seasons that developer Playground Games promises will dramatically alter races. Winter, for example, freezes over bodies of water, opening up new areas for players to reach. Additionally, the Xbox One X version features a 60 fps mode. Forza Horizon 4 comes to Xbox One and Windows 10 on October 2 and hits Xbox Game Pass the same day. On the subject of bolstering the Xbox library, Phil Spencer announced the formation of new first-party studio The Initiative. He doubled down on that news by announcing the acquisition of third-party studios Undead Labs, Playground Games, Ninja Theory, and Compulsion Games. Since Microsoft paid Compulsion some lip service, we got new story trailer for We Happy Few. It showed off more of the wacky premise, showing how far the project has come. It has an August 10 release date. Playerunknown's Battlegrounds has new maps arriving in the coming as soon as this summer. Additionally, a new destination called War Mode is on the way. JRPG fans were happy to learn that 2008's Tales of Vesperia is getting remastered for Xbox One. This Definitive Edition includes previously Japanese-only content and characters and arrives this winter A gameplay demonstration for Tom Clancy's The Division 2 took viewers through a squad-based mission in the games Washington D.C. setting. The squad engages in a firefight against in and around a destroyed Air Force One. The Division 2 launches March 15 and you can sign up for the beta now. Ashley Speicher, head of Xbox Engineering, took the stage to talk about Xbox Game Pass. First, a new FastStart feature that launches select games twice as fast will be included in the June Xbox update. Additionally, Fallout 4, The Division, and The Elder Scrolls Online became available on Game Pass that day. Halo: The Master Chief Collection will join the library later this year. Future releases, such as Forza Horizon 4, Crackdown 3, and others, will be playable on Game Pass the same day that they launch. Next we got the required ID@Xbox rapid-fire showcase showed off upcoming indie titles. The highlight reel included Outer Wilds, Afterparty, Warhammer II: Vermintide, Super Meat Boy Forever, Sable, Generation Zero, Dead Cells, and Ashen. A new Shadow of the Tomb Raider trailer showed off more locations, including a Day of the Dead festival. We got a look at possibly the main villain, watched Lara stare down vicious jaguars, and watched her narrowly survive as a massive flood swept through a village. Following that was a short trailer for Session, a Kickstarted skateboard game that drew some comparisons to Skate, as well as a teaser for the Xbox port of mmorpg Black Desert. The stylish reveal of Devil May Cry 5 offered a huge surprise. As a direct sequel to Devil May Cry 4 (and thus ignoring Ninja Theory's DmC), Nero returns as the leading man alongside a new female sidekick. Gameplay showed off Nero's new robotic arm and a what appeared to be a time-stopping power. Oh, and Dante rode in for a quick cameo at the end. Director Hideaki Itsuno proudly declared DMC 5 as the best game he's ever made and has a spring 2019 launch window. Another surprise came in the form of a DLC expansion for Cuphead. Titled The Delicious Last Course, it releases next year and includes a third playable character, Ms. Chalice, along with a new island populated with bosses. Meanwhile, Tunic, the adorable Zelda-style game starring a cute fox, emerged from hibernation and looks as pretty and fun as ever. Phil Spencer returned to state that everything shown going forward would be never-before-seen world premiers. That kicked off with the reveal of Jump Force. This crossover fighter cherry picks characters from Shonen Jump anime like Dragon Ball and Naruto and pits them against each other. Look for it in 2019. Dying Light 2 premiered sporting a new emphasis on dynamic choice-making. The demonstration showed the player negotiating with a faction hoarding a crucial water supply. Depending on whether or not you follow them, the consequences physically alters the city and affects the population's morale and general way of life. Dying Light 2 features improved parkour mechanics and night gameplay, though not shown, remains a terrifying factor. Remember Battletoads? Rare hopes that you do because a new game is in development for launch in 2019. We didn't see anything of it, but we do know it'll support 3-player couch co-op and have a hand-drawn 2.5D presentation. Just Cause 4 made its official debut after being leaked twice before the show. A story trailer set up Rico's battle against the Black Hand private army. Fans also got to see the new weather effects, including a tornado (which Rico promptly jumped into). Just Cause 4 launches December 4. The Gears of War franchise has not one but three new titles on the way. First was Gears Pop!, which features Funko Pop versions of the Gears cast. For strategy fans, Gears Tactics blends turned-based strategy with the series cover-based gameplay. Finally, a cinematic trailer for Gears 5 (yes, just Gears) established Gears of War 4's Kait Diaz as the new protagonist. The trailer appeared to center on her ancestral connection to the Locust, with J.D. and Marcus Fenix serving as support roles. Phil Spencer returned to the stage one last time to tease future projects such as Microsoft AI and a game-streaming service. He even confirmed that the next Xbox console was already deep in development. Just as he was bringing the show to a close, the briefing's feed was abruptly hijacked by one more game waiting to make itself known. CD Projekt RED's long-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 made its big debut after spending years in hiding.The trailer showed off the sci-fi beauty of Night City as well as its seedy underbelly. The almost Grand Theft Auto-esque style trailer checked off the many of the cyberpunk genre's calling cards: humans with crazy machine parts, flying cars, and building-sized holograms. Everything looked gorgeous to the point of looking next-gen, though the game has been confirmed for this console generation. We still didn't get a release window but this incredible first look made arguably the biggest splash of any title shown throughout the show. So how do you think Microsoft's briefing shaped up? Let us know in the comments. You can also watch it yourself down below. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  7. During last year's Game Awards, Dark Souls/Bloodborne developer FromSoftware gave us a tantalizing glimpse at the next project. They pulled back that curtain entirely to reveal their next action title, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The game takes place in Japan and swaps medieval knights and Lovecraftian horrors for ninjas. Don't be fooled; there's still plenty of supernatural threats, including a massive serpent. The mysterious bone tool from the teaser is actually an artificial arm for the protagonist. This multipurpose limb can fire a grappling hook used quickly zip around or turn into an umbrella-like shield. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice launches in 2019. It will arrive on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  8. During last year's Game Awards, Dark Souls/Bloodborne developer FromSoftware gave us a tantalizing glimpse at the next project. They pulled back that curtain entirely to reveal their next action title, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The game takes place in Japan and swaps medieval knights and Lovecraftian horrors for ninjas. Don't be fooled; there's still plenty of supernatural threats, including a massive serpent. The mysterious bone tool from the teaser is actually an artificial arm for the protagonist. This multipurpose limb can fire a grappling hook used quickly zip around or turn into an umbrella-like shield. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice launches in 2019. It will arrive on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
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