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Here is what has been making news: New Releases, Halo 5, Etherium, Hyrule Warriors, Mass Effect, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Night in the Woods, Dying Light, The Taos Principle, Disney Infinity 2.0, Fable Legends, Final Fantasy Agito, Tales from the Borderlands, Half-Life 3.
June 15th – June 21st
Sunday, June 15th
BattleBlock Theater will be available for the PC.
Thomas Was Alone will be available for the iPad.
Monday, June 16th
Xenonauts will be available for the PC.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe will be available (in UK) for the 3DS.
The Wizard Lizard will be available for the PC, MAC and LINUX.
Tuesday, June 17th
EA Sports UFC will be available for the Xbox One and PS4.
Battle Princess of Arcadias will be available for the PS3.
Tropico 5 will be available for the PC.
Munin will be available for the PC.
Wednesday, June 18th
Deadbreed will be available for the PC.
Thursday, June 19th
Robotics; Notes will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PS Vita.
Konchuu Monster: Super Battle will be available for the 3DS.
Pushmo World will be available for the Wii U.
Pro Cycling Manager Season 2014: La Tour de France will be available for the PC.
CV: Casting Voice will be available for the PS3.
Friday, June 20th
Divinity: Original Sin will be available for the PC.
Black Gold Conqueror’s Edition will be available for the PC.
Ascend: Hand of Kul will be available (in UK) for the PC.
Wolfenstein: The New Order will be available (in UK) for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PC.
Transistor will be available for the PS4 and PC.
Black Gold Online will be available for the PC.
Saturday, June 21st
Always Sometimes Monsters will be available (in UK) for the PC.
Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood will be available (in UK) for the Xbox 360 and PC.
Agent Locke is the mysterious character you see opposite Master Chief in the teaser image for Halo 5: Guardians. Locke will be featured in the upcoming digital Halo series and will have “a key role in Halo 5: Guardians” according to Bonnie Ross, head of 343 Industries.
Ross reported that the studio is “using Halo Nightfall to basically tell his back-story and tell his origin story.” Nightfall is the digital series which you can get full access to if you purchase Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Filming in currently in progress in Ireland, Iceland will be the next shoot location. According to Ross “You don’t have to watch this, but knowing this will kind of tee you up for all the new things that are going on in Halo 5: Guardians.”
The Master Chief Collection includes more new story content than just Nightfall. There will be hidden terminals added to Halo 2 which, when found, will allow you to watch animated stories that follow the Arbiter’s story. There will also be a new prologue which takes place before Halo: Combat Evolved, and a new epilogue which takes place between Halo 4 and Halo 5 to flesh out the universe even father.
Gathers all the best of real-time strategy games
Real-time strategy (RTS) used to be a huge PC game market. The number of RTS games available on Good Old Games is mind boggling. But these days the genre seems to have fizzled. The focus has become more on smaller, tactical battles rather than the huge army sizes and the number of strategic twists and turns they can take.
Etherium brings us back to our RTS roots while doing something a little different. Developer Tindalos Interactive has filtered through the best elements of the old and created a new RTS with those elements and more. You will fight wars for a substance called Etherium, it is your currency, and the wars look similar to a sci-fi gold rush for the powerful substance. With Etheruim you can purchase base buildings and units. There are three factions, or races, all of whom need Etherium for their own reasons. One race may use the substance to harness the power of the environment, causing sandstorms or erupting volcanoes.
Tindalos Interactive wants you to be able to play the game using the style you find most enjoyable. So, for example, if you are an old-school RTS gamer, you can still rush the enemy base with a line of tanks. You still have the varied abilities that each race has available for you to use. Additionally, you have the ability to move the camera skyward. The tanks you purchased are brought to you via a dropship, flying down from an orbital carrier. You can call upon an orbital battleship to deploy massive shells upon your enemy. While you don’t control the flying battleships, they do provide an impressive display of firepower.
There isn’t really a story-line, the game plays more like a board game where you attack planets and conquer their territory. For fans of RTS who have played some of the great RTS games of old, this is a long-awaited game that is sure to be a hit.
Zelda’s Universe, Dynasty Warriors style
When we think of Zelda games we think of adventures and solving puzzles. We think of Link, the protagonist, saving the world using a mixture of humor and action. Hyrule Warriors pits the Zelda universe characters against hundreds of enemies at once, similar to the chaotic battles within Dynasty Warriors games.
You will be able to go up against an army of moblins trying to prevent you from recapturing Hyrule Castle. Don’t fret over the number of enemy standing in your way, entire squads can be taken out with just a few swings of the right weapon and flashy combos are a simple matter of quickly tapping two attack buttons.
Carving through large groups of enemies with naught but a few button presses left me as satisfied as I was incredulous. Here, in the world of Hyrule Warriors, Link was an untouchable and overwhelming force who could not be stopped. As you wage battle you build up your special meter. Once filled you can unleash a commanding attack which effectively clears a group of bad guys or deals massive damage to one, very tough, boss.
As you might expect, one of the complaints with Hyrule Warriors is the simplicity of combat and similarly themed objectives can quickly grow rather monotonous. Still, that simplicity can also be the game’s strength for others. We will see if, once released, Hyrule Warriors will offer more variety than experienced by those who were able to experience the game at E3.
What’s included from previous games?
You may recall that BioWare has been insistent upon the fact that future Mass Effect games would leave the original trilogy behind, including protagonist Commander Shepard. Now, with work on the game well underway, we learn that certain races will be returning and, for fans of the Shepard trilogy, there will be “nods” given toward the past.
Aaryn Flynn of BioWare restated the studio’s statement that the new, currently untitled, Mass Effect game will be an “all new journey” which won’t involve Commander Shepard. Flynn added, “It’s exciting because [developer BioWare] Montreal is really killing it with Frostbite–they’re working really hard on that stuff. Casey [Hudson, series executive producer] and the Mass Effect leads are really working well with them, making sure everyone’s learning stuff, getting the fundamental tenets of the IP down. And they’re just going for it; they’re doing a lot of really cool stuff right now.”
Flynn explained that there will be the return of races, stating, “It’s Mass Effect, so it wouldn’t be a Mass Effect game without the Krogans.” He went on to assure those who are Mass Effect fans that what we know about Mass Effect won’t be abandoned. “We’ve got a pretty cool idea for how we’re going to carry on, keep the trilogy story separate, but at the same time, give a bunch of nods to fans who’ve really enjoyed the trilogy in the past. That’s all going to come out soon.”
We don’t have a launch date or information on what systems the game will be on yet, but you can bet we will let you know once the official information has been released.
Hailed as a new standard in FPS
There are few franchises out there that have reached the popularity and success of the Call of Duty franchise. Each year the title seems to outdo itself. The new Call of Duty is no exception and looks like it may well be the biggest game in the franchise’s history.
From the moment the E3 demo began, the visuals and graphics looked strong. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s facial capture technology gives us some of the most lifelike human expression we have seen in a video game.
It isn’t just the visuals that struck us as awe-inspiring, the sounds of the battlefield were jaw-dropping. Booming footsteps, firefights, drones, and explosions all were presented with amazing reality. But when it comes to gameplay, it was the grenades that stole the show. You will find that a grenade has a variety of electronic switches. Switch to the smart grenade function and the grenade will hover in the air, pick out an enemy and zip towards him before exploding. Choosing either the incendiary or flash grenade functions will do what you would expect them to do, and choosing the threat grenade function allows the grenade to locate and highlight enemies that are hiding behind cover. Now how cool is that?!
There is no getting around it, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is a delight for the senses, stunning visuals, fiery gameplay and an appealing story. While all these things have come to be expected from a Call of Duty game, Advanced Warfare takes it all to a whole new standard within which first-person-shooter titles will have to live up to.
Explore the environment as a cat
Night in the Woods is a little known game presented at Sony’s booth at this year’s E3. This game was easy to miss but appears to be one of those rare games that tells a story that some gamers will absolutely love while others will put no value on.
You play as Mae, an anthropomorphic cat, whose world is about to change. There is no combat, there is no danger, but there is a lot of moving around in the game’s universe. Mae, a cat after all, enjoys the simple act of play and can easily traverse power lines and rooftops. However, despite the play, Mae and the other residents, also animals, of the town express human worries and feelings. At one point Mae discusses a family she knows who had to leave their house for an apartment due to falling upon hard times. Another resident of the town expresses concern about gun violence.
Despite all of this, it is Mae’s personal life which is at the heart of Night in the Woods. We all know that things change over time, relationships end, friends drift apart, kids move out of the house, time and age takes its toll on us all. Mae’s life is on the brink of a large change. Early in the game Mae is gazing upon a family portrait hanging in her home as she comments, “I was so cute then. We were all so cute then.”
It’s those simple moments in life which Night in the Woods seems to understand. While sharing donuts with a friend, Mae, knowing her friend will be moving out of town soon, states, “I just want to hold onto something. Everything is ending, but I want more.” I do too! I’m eager to experience Mae’s story and find out just how she manages through life’s changes.
You must stay alive
Techland has traditionally brought us games that have been, well let’s face it, a bit awkward to play. For everyone who loved Dead Island, for example, others found the combat and movement too clumsy. Overall, many of Techland’s games have just lacked that final level of fine-tuning.
As a result, one would expect Techland’s Dying Light to also be lacking. Happily, the movement and combat actually seem to work well in this game. For example, when pulling yourself to the top of a ledge, you can feel the weight of your character, enough to be realistic but not sluggish. Nice job!
Dying Light was originally planned as a Dead Island sequel, the connection is clear as soon as you begin to play. The scenery is as intimidating as it is beautiful. You must survive within the South American slums, filled with the undead, all of whom want to eat you alive. Do you confront the zombies directly or do you try to stick to the rooftops? In one case you can quickly earn skill points, if you survive, and in the other case, you have a better chance of survival.
You can travel during the day or the night. Night time brings its own set of challenges and opportunities. The game isn’t all about clambering through hordes of zombies, stealth is also a useful tool. You also have a special vision mode which allows you to identify nearby zombies on your map. Besides swinging bats laden with spikes, you can throw firecrackers to distract your enemy, or you can do a cool sprint and slide move where you can knock down zombies coming toward you.
All in all, it seems that Techland’s Dying Light is smooth and satisfying, finally putting the studio in the running with the “big boys.”
Beautiful philosophical puzzles game
The same development team that gave us Serious Sam has now handed us a world of beauty and sly puzzles. The Talos Principle is so much more than just red key opens red door. Its puzzles are sophisticated and complex.
The Talos Principle is a gorgeous first-person adventure set in a land with towering trees and tantalizing vistas. You begin by following a path which branches off into several paths, each leading to a puzzle. You will need to figure out the solutions to these puzzles, what tools to use and what their objectives are, all on your own.
The Talos Principle is more than just puzzles, it is being called a philosophical puzzle game for a reason. As you progress through the game you slowly discover things about your character, you find that your hands are robotic, you hear a strange voice addressing you from the heavens and you find a computer which you can use to converse with the strange voice. Who are you? Where are you going and why? Will the voice give you the answers you need or …..
Even as a pure puzzle game, this is looking like it will be a winner, but add the search and discovery aspect of your own character and I think this game is going to be something special when it does launch.
The game will launch sometime this year for the PS4 and PC.
Promising more than the original
Many people have already spent a whole lot of money on Disney Infinity figures, if you play the game the obsessions takes hold of you, it’s just that simple. Currently Disney Infinity 2.0 is in development and promises to be much better than the original.
When describing the original and 2.0, John Vignocchi explains, “There was no real difference between Jack Sparrow and Barbossa. With Marvel superheroes, and with Disney Infinity as a platform moving forward, we really want you to have the investment in our characters, and make sure all these characters truly feel different.”
One of the main changes from Disney Infinity 1.0 is that the level cap will increase from 15 to 20. That increase will be available for the older characters as well as the new. Additionally, every time you earn a level you will earn skill points that you can spend on upgrades and new moves. When you import one of your old characters it will automatically receive the proper number of skill points depending upon their level. Vignocchi explained, “That Buzz Lightyear you got in 2013 will feel and play and act different in 2014.”
Sadly, you won’t be able to stuff more objects into your toybox in the new version and sharing across platforms will no longer be possible. However, the new version will allow a lot more fine tuning. With twenty new logic toys you can create storefronts, limit inventories, connect two levels together and remove creative powers from players. Additionally, using an internet connection, you will be able to insert speech bubbles. Be aware, you will be censored if you don’t stick within the “family friendly” realm of interactions.
A very different Fable game
I can’t say I’m too very excited about this one. I love the Fable series, and I know developers Lionhead gets criticism if they change the game too much or if the make the basic same game with each sequel. However, this one, I just can’t get into despite the fact that you can play as either the hero or the villain.
As a long time Fable fan, I guess I really had my heart set on Fable 4 not a dungeons and dragons type 4v1 setup. The unit types within the game are color-coded to help you control them easier. The ranged fighters are yellow, using the Y button; grunts are blue, using the X button; artillery units are red, using the B button; and the special stealth unit called Puck is green, using the A button.
Perhaps if they hadn’t included the Fable name in the title I would be less critical of the game. There are certain expectations that come along with the Fable name, at least for Fable fans. Legends just doesn’t seem to accentuate Fable’s many strengths. The world of Albion itself is a large part of what makes Fable games great. While the visuals are absolutely gorgeous in Legends, it all seems wasted due to the partitioned dungeons. There is no sprawling Albion within which one can explore and experience adventure.
Another of the strengths of the Fable series has always been crafting out your own destiny, choosing and then experiencing the consequences of your choices. Good or Evil, it mattered not, the game supported you, even changed your character’s appearance depending upon which direction you took. In Legends, you get to choose from a roster of cookie-cutter heroes with their own predetermined names and personalities.
Can you tell I’m disappointed? It isn’t clear yet if Fable Legends is just another one of Lionhead’s experiments like Fable: The Journey or Fable Heroes being sent out as they plan and work on a proper Fable 4, or if this is the future of the franchise. I’m holding onto some hope that a true Fable 4 will be developed, eventually.
Coming to Android and iOS
Following its Japan release, Square Enix is bringing Final Fantasy Agito to North America. The game will be available for iOS and Android devices as a free-to-play game with unspecified in-app purchases.
In Final Fantasy Agito you take on missions, craft your own ultimate weapon and take on enemies “involving the entire Final Fantasy Agito player population. The game is set in Orience with the key characters from that universe. The Orience setting comes from Final Fantasy Type-0, which is also getting a Western release for both the Xbox One and PS4.
Neither Final Fantasy Agito or Type-0 has a specific release date yet.
Devs having fun with killing
Richard Iggo, senior director of marketing for Telltale Games, explains the company’s upcoming adventure game that is set in the world of Borderlands. “The first thing to say is that it might seem kind of odd that we, a company that is known for character-based gameplay, choices that you make, all that kind of stuff, is making a game on a first-person shooter. In general terms it’s a genre that really hasn’t focused on story and character.”
Tales from Borderlands dives into the characters that make up the Pandora world and gives us some of the background information. Iggo continued to explain, saying, “In a nutshell, Gearbox has created this world that’s rich in story and content and background, you just haven’t seen it yet. We found out, when we started this partnership with Gearbox, that they have as much material, probably as much if not more, as something like Star Wars. It sounds like hyperbole, but it’s absolutely true.”
The game takes place after the events of Borderlands 2, touching on the power struggle happening following the death of the game’s villain. You play as two characters throughout the game, Fiona, a female grifter trying to make one final score before taking off, and a company man, Rhys, who thinks getting himself a vault key will bring him power and riches.
The story is a flashback where the main characters meet up with a masked character trying to get inside a vault. Each main character tells their side of the story, each a bit unreliable but seeing the story from two points of view opens things up in an interesting way.
Told with the flair for characters and the writing which Telltale Games is known for, the story makes sense and the game is filled with the Borderlands charismatic characters we have grown familiar with. It is clear that the Telltale developers had fun with both the story and characters. In Borderlands, death is cheap and everyone knows it, yet the characters all seem to be enjoying themselves.
If you love Borderlands, this one needs to be added to your game library.
No-show at E3
Sadly, the Half-Life 3 release date that we anticipated to hear about at E3 never happened. We have waited a decade for this news, had some teasers that it could be announced at this year’s E3, and yet, we got nothing. No sign at all of an upcoming Half-Life game. Fans of the franchise, myself included, are left feeling disappointment.
Valve, like so many other times, didn’t even participate in the largest annual gaming event of the year. Valve, what else could possibly be more important than E3? Even the Sony time slot for a Valve press conference was a hoax. So, we are left dealing with the fact that Half-Life 3, despite some high hopes, won’t be happening anytime soon.