04 August 2015
04 August 2015
04 August 2015
04 August 2015
04 August 2015
04 August 2015
04 August 2015
04 August 2015
04 August 2015
04 August 2015
04 August 2015
04 August 2015
04 August 2015
04 August 2015
04 August 2015
03 August 2015
According to Game Informer, Players will simply have to kill enemies and complete bounties instead of trying to gain more Light. This applies to the entirety of the leveling progression: the XP you earn will go toward your level until you max out at the new level cap, 40.
Of course, armor won't be useless. Better gear will still count toward your overall power and defense, so it'll still be important to go search for the best legendaries and exotics. However, that won't be necessary to rank up. Creative director Luke Smith stated that the Light level requirement resulted in forcing players to focus only on the acquisition of gear. "The conflation of gear and character level led to this place where your identity was determined by things outside of your control,” he explained. “We don't want to do that."
In addition, loot drops will be more closely tied to your character level. Bungie is changing the game so that you are even more likely to receive high-level drops the closer you are to level 40. You'll also get drops you already own much less in the new expansion.
Destiny: The Taken King launches on September 15. Bungie recently stated that The Taken King will not let you upgrade your currently owned legendary gear. Additionally, your Ghost companion will no longer be voiced by Peter Dinklage. Nolan North is redoing the entirety of the Ghost's lines in the game.
Better brew some strong coffee.
Games confirmed for the show include Star Wars Battlefront, FIFA 16, and Unravel. We're also expecting to see some new Mirror's Edge: Catalyst footage. While not confirmed, it's also possible EA will talk more about Mass Effect: Andromeda or Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2.
Tune in to find out. What are you hoping to see? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
New for Dark Souls III is a "Battle Arts" system where every weapon is equipped with a unique "Battle Art." Take a look at the video below, which originally aired during Microsoft's Gamescom briefing today, to see the how this works and more.
Dark Souls III launches is early 2016 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. The game is directed by Hidetaka Miyazaki, the RPG mastermind behind Demon's Souls, Dark Souls, and Bloodborne.
For a closer look at Dark Souls III, check out some images in the gallery below.
In her latest adventure, Lara Croft is driven forward by this desire--the desire to find truth in myth and apply it to our reality.
Rise of the Tomb Raider finds Lara in pursuit of the secret of immortality, seeking after legends inspired by the real world Russian fairy tales of Koschei the Deathless and the Lost City of Kitezh. Hot on her heels is the Order of Trinity, an ancient organization that has been searching for this same secrets for thousands of years. Lara will have to beat them to it and defend herself from their goons along her journey, with them tailing her through Syria and the frozen Siberian wilderness.
According to the developers, Rise of the Tomb Raider is far less linear than its predecessor. There is more freedom to play Lara like you want to, stealthing all the way through situations or upgrading her combat skills to the max and running in guns blazing. But there was one big thing players wanted that didn't make the cut in the first game.
The second title in the rebooted series also reintroduces an old staple from the original Tomb Raider games: big, grand tombs. In the previous game, tombs were smaller and optional, and weren't actually tombs--they were more self-contained environment puzzles on a lighter scale. But for Rise of the Tomb Raider, they're back in all their epic glory, presenting significant challenges for Lara that are tied to the overall narrative.
We got a look at one of the first tombs Lara will explore, the Prophet's Tomb, during a recent visit to developer Crystal Dynamics. For Rise of the Tomb Raider's tombs, the studio aims to celebrate Tomb Raider's classic physics-based puzzles while wrapping them in the more modern aesthetic of the new series--and, of course, taking advantage of the new console generation's power.
Upon entering this tomb, Lara paused to investigate runes cut into the side of a stone pillar. A small icon appeared in the corner of the screen noting that Lara had gained some language experience by reading them. I adore this small additional feature, because it shows Lara progressing not only physically, but mentally; she's earning her chops as a hardcore archeologist, and with the territory comes a lot of memorization and book smarts. So Lara's not only learning how to stealth kill and shoot straight--she's building up cerebral experience as well. Throughout Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara will continue to pick up these skills by investigating documents and artifacts, allowing her to read foreign text scattered on objects throughout areas and ultimately learn more about the world she's exploring.
Environments in Rise of the Tomb Raider are dangerous. I watched as Lara approached the tomb, balancing precariously on a thin stone bridge only to have it crumble beneath her as she neared the other side. Falling, Lara whipped out her climbing axe, snagging it on the edge of the broken stone and using it to move laterally across its ruins to safer ground. Swinging back up onto her feet, she crossed the remaining ground between her and the tomb's entrance and slipped inside.
After moving through a narrow crawl space littered with scorpions and corpses, Lara kicked through a dilapidated stone wall to reveal a small alcove. Water sloshed around her ankles. The only way out was upward, but there was no way for Lara to reach the waiting platform. After a quick look around the room, Lara took her climbing axe to a stone wall leaking water. A few carefully placed hits and the wall burst, the water rushing in and filling the space. This gave Lara access to the higher platform, allowing her to venture deeper into the tomb.
This is the standard fare for Rise of the Tomb Raider's tombs; Lara will have to manipulate the environment to get where she needs to go. Some solutions are simpler, such as breaking a wall to flood a room. Others involve a little more thinking. Tombs get more challenging the deeper you go down and the farther you progress through the game. Each experience will build on the last, acclimating Lara to the skills she'll need to master.
Those who haven't played the 2013 Tomb Raider won't feel lost here, either. Each new area and tomb has its tutorials built into the environment; new abilities and object functions are taught organically, giving players the chance to suss things out and learn for themselves how things work. Trees Lara can climb have more lightly colored bark near their trunks, and walls that are broken will show a few more cracks, maybe even a trickle of leaking water. There's no hand-holding here, but Crystal Dynamics has organically settled learning tools into the active parts of the game. This makes it quicker to ease into tomb puzzles and keeps the action fluid.
Between the tomb puzzles and Lara's expanded skill tree, which includes more options to learn exploration skills, the emphasis has been taken off of survival. In the previous game, Lara was simply trying to escape with her life--this time around, she's braver and free to explore. This emphasis on exploration is very evident in the way environments are laid out, giving players different paths to tackling situations and more ways to use the area to their advantage. Lara's using her archeological skills and physical strength to solve her problems, most of which involve sneaking through areas packed with enemies or skipping deeper into tombs in search of treasures.
She's becoming the Lara Croft we used to know: smart, strong, and skill-savvy. Rise of the Tomb Raider is not only bringing those classic puzzle solving, dare-defying elements of Lara's adventures back, it's presenting her as the tomb raider for the very first time. We're watching her grow and evolve, in ways that feel both familiar and fresh.
A quick rundown of what's included with Hardline's Robbery expansion is below, courtesy of EA.
Squad Heist aims to be an homage to Battlefield 4's Squad Rush but with a heist theme. The mode plays out across three distinct stages. They are:
At every stage, criminals have 25 "tickets," or lives. If they are used up, the cops win.
Robbery will be available first for Battlefield Hardline Premium members in September 2015. The DLC will be made available to everyone else later. It follows the previously released Criminal Activity DLC. Two additional expansions will follow: Getaway (fall 2015) and Betrayal (early 2016).
Let’s actually start with something positive: jumping from place to place in Red Goddess feels pretty good. You start with simple platforming skills and build to double jumps, wall climbs, and more dynamic boost techniques that allow you to cover a significant distance. Like any good Metroidvania game, certain paths are inaccessible until you learn a specific punch or unlock greater verticality, and by the end, the sheer number and diversity of your abilities allows you to seemingly fly from place to place in a single bound.The pinkest of houses.
Unfortunately, the environments often punish you for the tiniest of mistakes, and the platforming isn’t tight enough to keep up with the level of finesse that the game demands. Your long health bar, which only grows as you purchase upgrades, is useless once you’re faced with spikes, lava, and deadly foliage that causes immediate death, and the deeper you dig into the game, the more prevalent and difficult these obstacles become. Instant death obstacles are a frustrating inclusion on their own, but what puts it over the edge are the unbearable load times that can last as long as 45 seconds. In the grand scheme of things, waiting under a minute to resume play might not seem like the most egregious sin. However, being forced to stare at another loading screen after just barely clipping the corner of a spike at the end of an exhausting sequence that just killed you seconds before can be tortuous.
It’s the last 30 or so minutes of the game when this frustration boils over. Before facing the final boss, you’re presented with screen after screen of platforming misery where one false move leads to a quick death and, more importantly, yet another load screen. It’s these sporadic moments when you’re asked to make precise movements to avoid near minute-long pauses that mar both the pacing and the difficulty curve.Where's the shop again?
The combat isn’t nearly as unforgiving, but it isn’t any fun, either. The main character, a goddess named Divine, can quickly swap among three different forms: her basic, human-like Divine form, a fiery red Rage form, and a timid blue Fear form. Red enemies can only be beaten by Rage and blue enemies by Fear, so you need to shift quickly between bodies to deal with what’s in front of you. You can string together punches, uppercuts, and dashes into deadly combos, but little skill or grace is required. However, when things get more hectic and five or six enemies attack at once, the battles go from dull and sloppy to frustratingly chaotic. The combat doesn’t work with large skirmishes, where creatures of all shapes and sizes surround you and can send you flying into the air and out of your combination with a single blow. One wrong move can have you continuously batted back and forth between enemies like a human tennis ball until the sweet release of death and--yes--another damn loading screen.
There’s not even a compelling story to help drag you through the maddening platforming sequences and unsatisfying combat. The game is set inside Divine’s subconscious, where she’s searching for not only her own identity but also for the source of what’s haunting her. Her mind and soul are being broken down from the inside, so you must uncover memories and repel negative thoughts to save Divine from herself. That, in itself, is a fascinating concept, but it never really goes anywhere interesting. It looks and feels like your everyday fantasy world, and moments when you explore the memories of Divine’s fuzzy past turn out to be little more than quick, uninformative combat sequences that fail to add much to the narrative. The shoddy narration and uninspired writing of the various NPCs do little to keep your attention, and it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on among all the psychological metaphors and allegories.Leap of faith.
To make matters far more frustrating, the game has a tendency to simply not work. On more than one occasion, I ran into a situation where a door wouldn’t open or an important character wouldn’t move, forcing me to restart the game to fix the scripting. There are also stretches of time where there’s no music--be that unintentional or not--and you’re left to listen to little more than the unappealing grunts of Divine punching her way through another grueling combat sequence.
Red Goddess: Inner World gives you many reasons to put the controller down and walk away. The later platforming sequences are frustratingly difficult, the load times are excruciatingly protracted, the combat is sloppy, and sometimes the game just breaks. Jumping up walls and across crevices can be fun, but that's not nearly enough when everything else is such a chore to play.
The city-building game, which is heavily inspired by the SimCity series, was released originally on PC in March. It will make its console debut on Xbox One, but its release date has yet to be announced. It's one of the first games that publisher Paradox has brought to consoles. The studio also brought Magicka 2 to PlayStation 4, but otherwise it has only worked on games for PC.
Since its original release, Cities: Skylines has sold very well. After only a month, the game had passed a million copies sold. It did so well, in fact, that developer Paradox has been "surprised" by the game's success. Skylines has also been supported by free DLC, including maps and buildings.
We thought that the original PC version was terrific. You can read our review from real-life mayor Brett Todd here, who says, "There is no better way to take a peek at life as a mayor without filing your papers to run for office in the real world."
Keep an eye on GameSpot for more news coming out of Gamescom this week. You can check out all of the news from Microsoft's press conference here, and watch all of the new trailers here.
Bandai Namco has announced that Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 has been delayed.
The game was previously expected to launch later this year, but a new trailer (see below) shows that the game has slipped to February 9, 2016.
It's due out on that date for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
Ultimate Ninja Storm is being developed by CyberConnect2, which has worked on all the games in the Naruto Ultimate Ninja series since it first launched. The game will also include the older versions of Naruto, Sasuke, Sakura, and Hinata who appeared in The Last: Naruto the Movie, which is set two years after the final arc in the Naruto manga.
It’s the same sense of zen that most people can associate with going on a long drive, a contextual, situational awareness of the vehicle you’re in, what it’s capable of doing and not doing, the road ahead, and the other vehicles around you. It’s the point where you’re no longer fighting the rules of the world around you but flourishing within it. There’s an ebb and flow to every stage, a rhythm to every trap, every projectile, every time your tiny stick-figure ninja jumps through the air. Your average platformer presents an obstacle at each turn, expecting a specific utilization of the tools at your disposal to surmount. In N++, it’s more akin to the game teaching you to do a kinetic dance each and every time.
That isn’t to say that N, now in its third iteration, has become any less of a challenge. It’s still a game that’s definitely not going to coddle you on your neverending journey to the holy doorway out of each stage, and the portions have never been more daunting, with 100+ puzzles built right into the game and an infinite sprawl of new stages available through the level editor--some built for pure evil and others as a showcase of pure Rube Goldberg genius. However, the learning curve has a much more gentle gradation this time around. The game’s background, once a grayscale matrix pattern, can now be shifted into a number of contrasts and colors. Most are just cool, though a couple (like a certain pink one) are weirdly nauseating.The upward spiral.
Even the music, once a pulsing, pounding, insistent heartbeat, is now mostly a mix of chilled trance and tense, moody trip-hop. It’s a game that’s inviting you to the peace at its center instead of taunting you to come get it. The first trophy you ever get is the game’s ethos in a nutshell: “You Suck, but That’s Okay.”
Veterans know this, and there isn't much here to surprise anyone who's been through the wringer with N+. But the game doesn't have to surprise you. Instead, N++ is more of a refinement for a series that’s always felt like an ongoing statement of purpose more than a full game, despite the sheer number of puzzles pre-loaded. The game still feels a little on the slight side. Aside from high scores and the mere satisfaction, there’s not really an impetus for the average player to go chasing after the harder bits of gold scattered throughout the stage, especially when much of the same satisfaction can be had just from reaching the goal to begin with. Instead, it remains just as it has been, a strange sort of gaming meditation, sharpening skills that definitely have applications elsewhere in one’s gaming life. Try playing this for a half hour and then try beating the harder obstacle course stages in Rayman Legends. The same principles work like magic.No pressure or anything.
Still, the purity of N++ is still its greatest appeal, a stripped-down representation of the skills that many gamers have come to know as innate, given free reign in some of the best level design ideas in the industry. N++ may represent an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” sort of expansion, but the exhilaration that it continues to offer speaks to the idea that it may have been perfect to begin with.
If you want all the details on the biggest news from Microsoft's press conference, then check out our news roundup here.
In case you couldn't watch it live, check out our full list of the biggest news from show. Or you can see the full press conference replay embedded here.
If you want to skip right to the action, you can also find our full Xbox One Gamescom trailer roundup right here.
For even more Gamescom news, check out our full coverage hub here.
Galak-Z is inspired by anime, and structured like it as well. At release, there are four seasons, each serving as acts in this sci-fi story. You play as A-Tak, a pilot sent drifting into the far reaches of space after a disastrous battle with the powerful Imperial army. In order to progress, you need to complete procedurally generated missions, which function like episodes in the traditional TV sense. By completing five episodes in a row, you unlock a permanent new season, with its own randomized corridors and asteroid fields to explore.Dogfights are frantic, to say the least.
But if you die, you lose your progress, and return to the beginning of your current season. And during my 20 hours with Galak-Z, I died frequently--close to 30 times. This is a brutal, punishing game, and defeat is all the more heartbreaking because it means losing every upgrade to your ship. These augmentations affect an array of abilities. During my most recent playthrough--after I had already beaten the final season--I accrued a spread pattern for my lasers, increased shield capacity, flaming missiles, and a chance to freeze enemies. And I still died.Being surrounded is not uncommon.
But developer 17-Bit has created a system that lends meaning to your deaths, and creates a layer of strategy that Galak-Z's arcade-y aesthetic belies. Crash Coins are collectible currency that carry over from playthrough to playthrough, and collecting them means beginning a season with money already in your pocket. By finding Blueprints--permanent item unlocks for the shop--you can ensure that powerful weapons will be available to purchase at the outset, and you won't have to venture into dangerous corridors to find them.
Before each dogfight, you can consider your options by hiding behind a wall, out off enemies' sight lines. Based on the number of missiles you have left, the status of your health, and the rank of your enemies--which is indicated by colored stripes on their hulls-- you can plan out your approach. Environmental hazards, such as exploding barrels and live-wire electrical connections, pose even more threats to foes. In the end, though, you can just as soon choose to avoid a fight altogether. There are numerous layers to every fight.
This is where prior planning and strategizing come into play. Each mission poses a set of questions: should you explore, or should you focus on the objective? Should you search for combat upgrades or stick to the beaten path?
Answering these questions is never easy, but there are myriad ways to do so. Galak-Z's physics engine is all about actions and reactions, and learning the best ways to thrust the ship through abandoned space vessels is tantamount to mastering the combat system. The ship can strafe, reverse thrust, and even dodge above lasers--that is, toward the camera--so there's an added sense of verticality to hectic battles. You can also transform the ship into a mech, complete with grappling hook and lightsaber-esque blade, gaining the advantage in close-quarters battles. There are layers to every encounter, and Galak-Z demands that you pay attention to each situation--not only to what's around every corner, but where you stand in the overarching picture.Exploring abandoned space hulks will unlock permanent items in Crash's shop.
During one playthrough, midway through Season 3, when my health was critical and my missiles depleted, pirate raiders pursued me through the asteroid's interior. Ahead of me, Imperial scouts patrolled the hallways, and farther past them, wild space bugs protected their young. My options were running out, and I knew I didn't stand a chance.
But by boosting through the squad of Imperials and into the bugs' lair, I pitted all three factions against one another in a frantic three-way dogfight. This freed me to search for last-minute Crash Coins and Blueprints to help on my next playthrough. Failing in Galak-Z is not just about admitting defeat, but accepting it, and making the most of it.By the end of successful runs, the fighter can have any number of upgrade combos.
However, the learning curve here is steep, and its initial complexity created a slog through some of Galak-Z's more difficult encounters. It took me a while before I wasn't feeling overwhelmed by large enemy groups. Trying to dodge and fire missiles at the same time was particularly difficult, as they're mapped to the square and circle buttons, respectively, and it took excessive amounts of practice to master the ship's strafing ability.
But in the end, Galak-Z is about learning as you go, and making the best of what you have. It's a layered, complex system, and even now, 20 hours after I started it, there are upgrades I haven't found, techniques I haven't practiced, and possibilities I haven't considered. Galak-Z pummelled me, knocked me to the ground and kicked me when I was down. But when I finally got the upper hand, and beat the final season with only a sliver of health left, the victory was all the more rewarding.
Rare Replay is mostly old material, but oh what material it is. Boot up a game like Battletoads, and you're reminded of the golden, 8-bit era where studios experimented with wild ideas, when it was ok to make a game with frogs named Zitz and Pimple who walk upright and man-handle weaponized robots. Battletoads isn't merely regarded for its unusual dressing; it's also a game that's fun to play. It frequently surprises you with new mechanics and settings. These qualities define many of Rare Replay's best games, including Conker's Bad Fur Day, and Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, and Blast Corps. Even more straightforward games draw you in with great, refined gameplay, like Cobra Triangle and R.C. Pro-Am, or maybe you take a liking to the handful of games that marry great writing, music, and characters.Never played Jet Force Gemeni? Now's your chance.
Jetpac and other ZX Spectrum games are OK in small doses, but that's about it.
For a collection that's as broad as Rare Replay, it's not surprising that some inclusions aren't very compelling. Jetpac, for example, is a simple game where you hover around a single, looping screen, collecting parts for your spaceship while fending off aliens with a pistol. It's merely quaint, like other ZX Spectrum games of its era, and its difficult to warm up to.
Rare Replay lets you use save states to save and load progress at any time, though only in its pre-Nintendo 64 games. Equally helpful is the ability to rewind gameplay with the press of a button, which is most appreciated in games with arcade-like sensibilities. You also have the option to apply a scanline filter to these games, which simulates the feeling of playing on an old-school CRT TV by casting horizontal lines across the screen. It's a gimmick, but one that will give you some momentary satisfaction.
Though you may not feel compelled to commit a significant amount of time to some of the lesser games in Rare Replay, Snapshot mode chops these and other games in the collection into bite-sized, focused challenges. Remember the turbo tunnel from Battletoads? There's a Snapshot version of that section, only now, it's been turned into an endless runner. Snapshots are also gathered into playlists, so you can tackle a few in sequence, rather than manually selecting one after another. These are quick, palatable diversions that are fun, but also a good way to earn stamps--Rare Replay collectibles that you earn by playing games, and use to unlock documentaries on Rare and its games.Long live Battletoads!
Herein lies the only major problem with Rare Replay. With hundreds of stamps to earn, you eventually need to play games that you may not want to in order to unlock every documentary. If you're a fan of Rare and have followed its work over the past few decades, these videos are a treat. In some cases, their content is far more valuable than some games included here, as you gain first-hand insight into the evolution of Rare and its employees. While it makes sense to lock supplemental content for new games, where creators may want to share details about story and character development, it doesn't make sense for a collection that's designed to celebrate and honor a well-known studio like Rare. When you come to Rare Replay because you already know and love Rare's games, having such information withheld feels unnecessary and disrespectful of your time.
Much of Rare Replay is old material, but that's OK when so many of Rare's games easily stand the test of time. Getting the chance to play its classics in an easily accessible package is worth celebrating, whether you've played them before or always wished you could. And you should, if you haven't had the chance. Rare's games have a way of speaking to you with respect. They embrace video game conventions and rarely take themselves too seriously. Expressive characters warm your heart and catchy and complex soundtracks stick with you long after you turn off your console. Rare Replay is a great way to experience some of the best games from the studio's past, and the new videos that document Rare's storied history are the icing on the cake; it's just a shame that you can't access them from the start.