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Found 14 results

  1. This has been quite the year for THQ Nordic's acquisitions. So far, the publisher has bought up Deep Silver's parent company, Koch Media, Bugbear Entertainment, and Coffee Stain. With those companies under its belt, the expansion of THQ Nordic now controls, and seems to have plans for: The Saints Row franchise, the Metro series, Kingdoms of Amalur (a really interesting buy, to be sure), ReCore, Alone in the Dark, Wreckfest, and Goat Simulator just to name a few of their higher profile properties - which doesn't include all of the IP already under the company's belt. And with the acquisition of Carmageddon from Stainless Games THQ's expansion isn't slowing down anytime soon. It's safe to assume that buying up all of these properties means that we can expect to see remasters and entirely new games in these franchises. With Carmageddon, though, this is likely the first move in making a brand new entry in the series. The last title, Carmageddon: Reincarnation, released back in 2015 and had a lackluster reception despite a successful crowdfunding campaign. All things considered, the franchise is primed for a comeback in another three years - conveniently the amount of time it would take to develop a reboot or sequel. For those unfamiliar with Carmageddon, the franchise began in 1997 with a racing game that offered a number of different ways to win its races. Players could play traditionally, destroy all of the other racers on the course, or run over all of the pedestrians in the level. The violence inherent in the last option was used to comedic effect by the game, though it caused a great deal of controversy around the world. Various international versions of Carmageddon changed the pedestrians to zombies or robots while countries such as Brazil banned the game completely. Eventually it was released on PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo 64 - though the latter two featured heavily edited versions of the game to comply with Nintendo's family friendly policies which have since... *eyes Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus on Switch* relaxed. Are you excited to see Carmageddon getting a second (or third) chance at success? It seems like a quirky racing title with an emphasis on destruction could do pretty well alongside the Forzas and Mario Karts rolling around these days. 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. This has been quite the year for THQ Nordic's acquisitions. So far, the publisher has bought up Deep Silver's parent company, Koch Media, Bugbear Entertainment, and Coffee Stain. With those companies under its belt, the expansion of THQ Nordic now controls, and seems to have plans for: The Saints Row franchise, the Metro series, Kingdoms of Amalur (a really interesting buy, to be sure), ReCore, Alone in the Dark, Wreckfest, and Goat Simulator just to name a few of their higher profile properties - which doesn't include all of the IP already under the company's belt. And with the acquisition of Carmageddon from Stainless Games THQ's expansion isn't slowing down anytime soon. It's safe to assume that buying up all of these properties means that we can expect to see remasters and entirely new games in these franchises. With Carmageddon, though, this is likely the first move in making a brand new entry in the series. The last title, Carmageddon: Reincarnation, released back in 2015 and had a lackluster reception despite a successful crowdfunding campaign. All things considered, the franchise is primed for a comeback in another three years - conveniently the amount of time it would take to develop a reboot or sequel. For those unfamiliar with Carmageddon, the franchise began in 1997 with a racing game that offered a number of different ways to win its races. Players could play traditionally, destroy all of the other racers on the course, or run over all of the pedestrians in the level. The violence inherent in the last option was used to comedic effect by the game, though it caused a great deal of controversy around the world. Various international versions of Carmageddon changed the pedestrians to zombies or robots while countries such as Brazil banned the game completely. Eventually it was released on PlayStation, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo 64 - though the latter two featured heavily edited versions of the game to comply with Nintendo's family friendly policies which have since... *eyes Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus on Switch* relaxed. Are you excited to see Carmageddon getting a second (or third) chance at success? It seems like a quirky racing title with an emphasis on destruction could do pretty well alongside the Forzas and Mario Karts rolling around these days. 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. Sunset Overdrive was one of the hottest games on the Xbox One shortly after its launch. Several years later, it has now found its way onto PC courtesy of THQ Nordic. Heck, it is even receiving a physical PC release, a rarity in 2018, that should be arriving at physical retailers next week. Both the physical and digital editions of Sunset Overdrive's PC release will include all of the DLC from the Xbox One version. Both versions will also retail for $19.99. Sunset Overdrive presents the player with a bouncy romp through the far-flung, post-apocalyptic future of 2027 when a contaminated energy drink turns tens of thousands into horrific mutants. Equal parts Tony Hawk and Ratchet & Clank, Insomniac's malleable adventure will keep players entertained from start to finish (I found it immensely fun at the very least). The main campaign is supplemented by two additional DLC adventures: Mystery of Mooil Rig and Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines. Sunset Overdrive is now available for 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. Sunset Overdrive was one of the hottest games on the Xbox One shortly after its launch. Several years later, it has now found its way onto PC courtesy of THQ Nordic. Heck, it is even receiving a physical PC release, a rarity in 2018, that should be arriving at physical retailers next week. Both the physical and digital editions of Sunset Overdrive's PC release will include all of the DLC from the Xbox One version. Both versions will also retail for $19.99. Sunset Overdrive presents the player with a bouncy romp through the far-flung, post-apocalyptic future of 2027 when a contaminated energy drink turns tens of thousands into horrific mutants. Equal parts Tony Hawk and Ratchet & Clank, Insomniac's malleable adventure will keep players entertained from start to finish (I found it immensely fun at the very least). The main campaign is supplemented by two additional DLC adventures: Mystery of Mooil Rig and Dawn of the Rise of the Fallen Machines. Sunset Overdrive is now available for 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. THQ Nordic announced today that Red Faction Guerrilla would be getting the remaster treatment for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The official title of the game will be Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered. That punny title is 100% real. Red Faction Guerrilla takes place about 50 years after the events of the original Red Faction. Players take on the role of a freedom fighter seeking to toss off the oppressive yoke of the Earth Defense Force (unrelated to the Earth Defense Force series). The game made a name for itself in 2009 with the unprecedented level of environment and structure destruction afforded to players who set foot in its open world. Re-Mars-tered will feature fully overhauled graphics that rework and freshen up the textures, modify the lighting and shadows, and shift how shader and post processing work. The new Red Faction Guerrilla will also support 4k resolution. Though we don't know exactly when Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered will release, we know that it will hit stores sometime during Q2 of 2018, sometime between the beginning April and the end of June.
  6. THQ Nordic announced today that Red Faction Guerrilla would be getting the remaster treatment for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The official title of the game will be Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered. That punny title is 100% real. Red Faction Guerrilla takes place about 50 years after the events of the original Red Faction. Players take on the role of a freedom fighter seeking to toss off the oppressive yoke of the Earth Defense Force (unrelated to the Earth Defense Force series). The game made a name for itself in 2009 with the unprecedented level of environment and structure destruction afforded to players who set foot in its open world. Re-Mars-tered will feature fully overhauled graphics that rework and freshen up the textures, modify the lighting and shadows, and shift how shader and post processing work. The new Red Faction Guerrilla will also support 4k resolution. Though we don't know exactly when Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered will release, we know that it will hit stores sometime during Q2 of 2018, sometime between the beginning April and the end of June. View full article
  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.
  8. 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
  9. Titan Quest released back in 2006, and an expansion titled Immortal Throne followed on its heels a year later. From that second expansion until now, over ten years have passed. Today, THQ Nordic announced that a second expansion has been stealth released for PC. The new adventure goes by the name of Titan Quest Ragnarök. Whereas the core game took players around the ancient world fighting mythical beasts and gods in Greece, Egypt, and China, Ragnarök adds a new Norse adventure developed by Pieces Interactive. It brings a new story act to the base game with a slew of new quests. Players will test their mettle against the Celts, the enigmatic Northmen, and the gods of Asgard itself. The expansion also sprinkles new features and secrets into the base game. More masteries help players optimize their playing style and offer more strategic flexibility. The new weapons add different ways to fight enemies and new gear brings a fresh look to Titan Quest. Most importantly, after more than a decade, players of Titan Quest will finally be able to wear pants! Ragnarök introduces graphical and performance improvements, too. New shaders and effects go a long way toward sprucing up the mythological action. Players will have access to better control customization, UI, and modding tools to create their own Titan Quest adventures. Oh, and ragdoll physics, because how else are you going to properly convey the power of Thor without sending everyone flying? Ragnarök is not a standalone adventure and does require the recent version of Titan Quest, Titan Quest Anniversary Edition, to function. Some of you might be asking yourselves, "why now?" After all, it is a bit weird that a publisher would go out of their way to fund the development of a game that's over a decade old. Perhaps this stealthy release becomes more understandable when looking at the sales of Titan Quest Anniversary Edition. The anniversary release aimed to celebrate the cult classic with a revamped and retooled version of Titan Quest and that was probably about all that it was expected to cash in on. However, it seems to have become something of a stealth hit, raking in over 1.6 million sales in the past year. I suspect that information funded the development of Ragnarök relatively quickly. So what do you think? Will you be picking up Titan Quest Ragnarök?
  10. Titan Quest released back in 2006, and an expansion titled Immortal Throne followed on its heels a year later. From that second expansion until now, over ten years have passed. Today, THQ Nordic announced that a second expansion has been stealth released for PC. The new adventure goes by the name of Titan Quest Ragnarök. Whereas the core game took players around the ancient world fighting mythical beasts and gods in Greece, Egypt, and China, Ragnarök adds a new Norse adventure developed by Pieces Interactive. It brings a new story act to the base game with a slew of new quests. Players will test their mettle against the Celts, the enigmatic Northmen, and the gods of Asgard itself. The expansion also sprinkles new features and secrets into the base game. More masteries help players optimize their playing style and offer more strategic flexibility. The new weapons add different ways to fight enemies and new gear brings a fresh look to Titan Quest. Most importantly, after more than a decade, players of Titan Quest will finally be able to wear pants! Ragnarök introduces graphical and performance improvements, too. New shaders and effects go a long way toward sprucing up the mythological action. Players will have access to better control customization, UI, and modding tools to create their own Titan Quest adventures. Oh, and ragdoll physics, because how else are you going to properly convey the power of Thor without sending everyone flying? Ragnarök is not a standalone adventure and does require the recent version of Titan Quest, Titan Quest Anniversary Edition, to function. Some of you might be asking yourselves, "why now?" After all, it is a bit weird that a publisher would go out of their way to fund the development of a game that's over a decade old. Perhaps this stealthy release becomes more understandable when looking at the sales of Titan Quest Anniversary Edition. The anniversary release aimed to celebrate the cult classic with a revamped and retooled version of Titan Quest and that was probably about all that it was expected to cash in on. However, it seems to have become something of a stealth hit, raking in over 1.6 million sales in the past year. I suspect that information funded the development of Ragnarök relatively quickly. So what do you think? Will you be picking up Titan Quest Ragnarök? View full article
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. Naomi N. Lugo

    Review: Lock's Quest

    That last wave of Clockwork horrors has left me exhausted with my defeat looming imminent. The enemy infiltrated my barriers, and have begun their final push toward their objective. The stronghold will be destroyed within seconds once they break through, but I’ve got the next round planned. I’ve assessed my strategy and know how to hold the oncoming Clockwork army back until I can regroup. This round my plan will surely... wait, no! How did they get through there that fast? Wait! Lock’s Quest immerses players in tower defense gameplay with RPG elements sprinkled in. The game first hit the scene in 2008 when THQ released it on the Nintendo DS. At release, it enjoyed a bit of a cult status with mixed reviews from critics. On May 30, 2017, the remaster released on consoles with updated music, controls, and graphics, as well as the addition of extra content. The new graphics slap a new coat of paint on Lock's Quest that looks like an isometric mash-up of Pokémon and Stardew Valley. While music and UI got the remaster treatment, combat saw expansion. A new progression system, strategy elements, map, endless mode and other features were added to appeal to old fans of the series as well as "sophisticated gamers" according to the new features listed on the game's website. This beefing up affects build and combat gameplay (more on those modes later). The progression system now aligns with the plot, unlocking relevant goodies for build-mode. And the remaster also boasts speedier build/combat cycles so players can assess their strategy if necessary to tackle the next wave more effectively. While I did get frustrated when I failed a stage, I did appreciate the ability to reset and tackle the challenge with new knowledge. However, I did occasionally have issues with crashing when attempting to do so. Speaking of building and combat, 5th Cell structured gameplay around tower defense into two distinct modes: Build Mode and Battle Mode. Players have a time limit on their barricade planning in Build Mode. This barricade protects an objective and must withstand a barrage of enemies within the combat time limit. The tools and resources at your disposal correspond to progress as the enemies get more diverse and stronger. Structure options include walls, turrets, land mines, soldiers, and more. The currency you'll use to construct your barricade comes from defeating enemies and adds a depth to the difficulty. If you're not doing well in your planning it will carry over to the next level. During the battle phase you have control of Lock, and depending on your progress, he has different abilities. At the very beginning of the game though he has a vital skill called ratcheting where he repairs the damage done to structures. His other abilities range from attacks and energy drains to more advanced repair and money drops. The enemy, the Clockwork focus on attacking your infrastructure during this stage. Guiding Lock will help you save your defenses for future rounds and help earn some currency. The foundation for the civilization of the Kingdom where Lock's Quest takes place surrounds the discovery of an element called Source, aka that currency we were talking about earlier. Source doesn't really have an explanation, but people who have been dubbed Archineers found a way to manipulate it. The magical stuff powers defense items, like what Lock builds and uses. Conflict came when one Archineer found that Source could replicate life and utilized this ability. The king banished this Archineer. This Archineer then became Lord Agony and created the Clockwork, "living" machines, in retaliation. Lord Agony disappeared seemingly defeated, but the details of the battle remain unclear to the world's inhabitants. This all happened before the events of the game. One thing is clear, however, the Clockwork have returned. Players participate in the current, battle-ridden world as the titular Lock, a young hero with an unclear past but a determination to pave his future. Lock lives with his sister Emi and grandfather Tobias. One day while making repairs to structures on the shore Lock and Emi come across a wounded Archineer who fled from a battle against the Clockwork. The wounded Archineer enlists Lock to help fend off an upcoming attack. In the chaos of the attack, Emi is lost, the town falls under the attack and Lock gets determined to defeat the Clockwork. What I could really get behind in terms of the story was the fact that it explained the gameplay. Lock's Quest's use of story makes it unique. Rather than arbitrarily running alongside the gameplay, the story seeks to explain the presence of the RTS gameplay. Lock has Archineer abilities and can manipulate source making him able to build turrets. This makes sense with this context. Rather than expecting players to just accept the mechanics of the game, the devs did a good job of weaving it into the story. Not a small feat for a tower defense. While Lock's Quest's strength shines in its storytelling, its weaknesses lie in combat. Isometric view is standard in games like this, but I found myself fighting with it during the battle sequences. Moving Lock around was painful. The slow movement became especially noticeable while fighting under the constraints of a time limit on a battlefield swarmed with enemies. I also had some issues with crashing and having to restart. I wasn't a happy gamer when I discovered that the cutscenes were unskippable. Conclusion: While frustrating at times, Lock's Quest provides engaging mechanics that makes you want to progress. I found it a little addicting to see how the enemy would interact with my builds, and the degree to which they would be successful. And like a good little gamer I was driven by the need to unlock new gear to fortify. Crashes and trouble finding Lock during a stressful attack sequence definitely detracted from my initial experiences, but overall this title had me pushing my left brain during combat and engaged my right with the world it managed to create. Lock's Quest was reviewed on Xbox One and is also available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo DS.
  14. Naomi N. Lugo

    Feature: Review: Lock's Quest

    That last wave of Clockwork horrors has left me exhausted with my defeat looming imminent. The enemy infiltrated my barriers, and have begun their final push toward their objective. The stronghold will be destroyed within seconds once they break through, but I’ve got the next round planned. I’ve assessed my strategy and know how to hold the oncoming Clockwork army back until I can regroup. This round my plan will surely... wait, no! How did they get through there that fast? Wait! Lock’s Quest immerses players in tower defense gameplay with RPG elements sprinkled in. The game first hit the scene in 2008 when THQ released it on the Nintendo DS. At release, it enjoyed a bit of a cult status with mixed reviews from critics. On May 30, 2017, the remaster released on consoles with updated music, controls, and graphics, as well as the addition of extra content. The new graphics slap a new coat of paint on Lock's Quest that looks like an isometric mash-up of Pokémon and Stardew Valley. While music and UI got the remaster treatment, combat saw expansion. A new progression system, strategy elements, map, endless mode and other features were added to appeal to old fans of the series as well as "sophisticated gamers" according to the new features listed on the game's website. This beefing up affects build and combat gameplay (more on those modes later). The progression system now aligns with the plot, unlocking relevant goodies for build-mode. And the remaster also boasts speedier build/combat cycles so players can assess their strategy if necessary to tackle the next wave more effectively. While I did get frustrated when I failed a stage, I did appreciate the ability to reset and tackle the challenge with new knowledge. However, I did occasionally have issues with crashing when attempting to do so. Speaking of building and combat, 5th Cell structured gameplay around tower defense into two distinct modes: Build Mode and Battle Mode. Players have a time limit on their barricade planning in Build Mode. This barricade protects an objective and must withstand a barrage of enemies within the combat time limit. The tools and resources at your disposal correspond to progress as the enemies get more diverse and stronger. Structure options include walls, turrets, land mines, soldiers, and more. The currency you'll use to construct your barricade comes from defeating enemies and adds a depth to the difficulty. If you're not doing well in your planning it will carry over to the next level. During the battle phase you have control of Lock, and depending on your progress, he has different abilities. At the very beginning of the game though he has a vital skill called ratcheting where he repairs the damage done to structures. His other abilities range from attacks and energy drains to more advanced repair and money drops. The enemy, the Clockwork focus on attacking your infrastructure during this stage. Guiding Lock will help you save your defenses for future rounds and help earn some currency. The foundation for the civilization of the Kingdom where Lock's Quest takes place surrounds the discovery of an element called Source, aka that currency we were talking about earlier. Source doesn't really have an explanation, but people who have been dubbed Archineers found a way to manipulate it. The magical stuff powers defense items, like what Lock builds and uses. Conflict came when one Archineer found that Source could replicate life and utilized this ability. The king banished this Archineer. This Archineer then became Lord Agony and created the Clockwork, "living" machines, in retaliation. Lord Agony disappeared seemingly defeated, but the details of the battle remain unclear to the world's inhabitants. This all happened before the events of the game. One thing is clear, however, the Clockwork have returned. Players participate in the current, battle-ridden world as the titular Lock, a young hero with an unclear past but a determination to pave his future. Lock lives with his sister Emi and grandfather Tobias. One day while making repairs to structures on the shore Lock and Emi come across a wounded Archineer who fled from a battle against the Clockwork. The wounded Archineer enlists Lock to help fend off an upcoming attack. In the chaos of the attack, Emi is lost, the town falls under the attack and Lock gets determined to defeat the Clockwork. What I could really get behind in terms of the story was the fact that it explained the gameplay. Lock's Quest's use of story makes it unique. Rather than arbitrarily running alongside the gameplay, the story seeks to explain the presence of the RTS gameplay. Lock has Archineer abilities and can manipulate source making him able to build turrets. This makes sense with this context. Rather than expecting players to just accept the mechanics of the game, the devs did a good job of weaving it into the story. Not a small feat for a tower defense. While Lock's Quest's strength shines in its storytelling, its weaknesses lie in combat. Isometric view is standard in games like this, but I found myself fighting with it during the battle sequences. Moving Lock around was painful. The slow movement became especially noticeable while fighting under the constraints of a time limit on a battlefield swarmed with enemies. I also had some issues with crashing and having to restart. I wasn't a happy gamer when I discovered that the cutscenes were unskippable. Conclusion: While frustrating at times, Lock's Quest provides engaging mechanics that makes you want to progress. I found it a little addicting to see how the enemy would interact with my builds, and the degree to which they would be successful. And like a good little gamer I was driven by the need to unlock new gear to fortify. Crashes and trouble finding Lock during a stressful attack sequence definitely detracted from my initial experiences, but overall this title had me pushing my left brain during combat and engaged my right with the world it managed to create. Lock's Quest was reviewed on Xbox One and is also available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo DS. View full article
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