Sega's RPG Spinoff Gets A Release Date And New Trailer

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 03/27/2017 - 19:00

Following the success of Valkyria Chronicles Remastered last year, Sega is bringing the latest entry in the cult tactical action-RPG series to the West.

Valkyria Revolution isn't a sequel to the main Valkyria Chronicles storyline; though Sega is describing the title as a spinoff, with a new timeline and setting, though the series mythology, of ragnite ore and all-powerful Valkyria, remains in the new title. Bits of the story, as well as the new, faster-paced battle system, are on full display in a new trailer:

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The new Valkyria title is getting physical and digital releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, while the Vita version is only receiving a digital release.

Valkyria Revolution comes out on June 27. For more on the game, check out an earlier trailer. If you haven't played the original Valkyria Chronicles yet, perhaps this bizarre hour-long unboxing video of the 2016 remaster will convince you... Or check out Joe Juba's passion over the original PS3 release.

Categories: Games

Launch Trailer Revisits A Beautiful World Of Mayhem

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 03/24/2017 - 17:15

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition got a bombastic launch trailer today, showcasing several improvements over the original release, as well as some stylish mayhem.

The remaster of the 2011 arcade shooter, Full Clip Edition comes with a wide variety of improvements, including 4K support, 60 FPS gameplay on all platforms, and all previously released DLC content. Developer People Can Fly is also adding new content, including additional challenge modes, and the ability to play as Duke Dukem throughout the main campaign, complete with full voice over. You can take a look at the trailer down below.

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Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition launches April 7 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. For a look at the game's previously released story trailer, you can head right here.

Categories: Games

Supergirl Throws Down With Black Adam In Latest Trailer, Gets Punched Through A Pyramid

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 19:32

NetherRealm studios continued their Injustice 2 info drop today with a closer look at Supergirl's role in the fighting game's highly anticipated story mode. The third in a series of Shattered Alliances trailers gives fans their first look at Black Adam's gameplay and super move, as well as a good deal of Supergirl's origins, including the destruction of her home planet and a baby Superman.

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The biggest takeaway from the trailer is our first look at Supergirl's side of the story. While we've seen her in action in various trailers and in Injustice 2's closed beta, this is the first time we know much about her motivations, or her relationship with her cousin. Based on appearances, it would seem that Kara's first interactions with Superman happen at the beginning of the game, as she is seen fighting alongside him and Wonder Woman.

At some point in the story, she probably realizes how twisted he's become, and will go over to Batman's side of things. In several comics, Supergirl is actually more powerful than Superman, despite being less familiar with how to control her powers on Earth. With that in mind, I put good money on Kara Zor-El being the one who takes Superman down for good, but that's just speculation.

Black Adam is also a great reveal, and easily has one of the coolest supermoves we've seen in the game so far, if that is indeed what is shown in the trailer. The footage doesn't give a lot to speculate on in regards to his moveset, but if the recent trailer releases have been anything to go by, he should have his own personal trailer sometime soon.

For a look at the previous Shattered Alliances trailer, you can head right here. Earlier this week we saw Cheetah get her own trailer, highlighting her gameplay, which you can get a look at here.

[Source: NetherRealm]

Categories: Games

A Profile Of Prey's Morgan Yu

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 03/23/2017 - 15:30

Not a lot is known about Prey's protagonist Morgan Yu – who doesn't even know a lot about himself/herself. But today's developer diary sheds some more light on the character.

Developers at Arkane Studio discuss Yu, illuminating some important bits about his/her past, and discussing how your choices influence the game as a whole.

To find out more about the game's aliens themselves, check out this previous trailer.

You can also click on the banner after the jump for stories from our cover story hub.

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Categories: Games

New Trailer Highlights Burial Chamber Arena

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 18:15

Id Software (Doom) and Saber Interactive (Timeshift) are hard at work on Quake Champions, the latest entry in the venerable FPS franchise. The game is currently preparing for its upcoming closed beta test, but publisher Bethesda isn't done building hype for the title, releasing a new trailer for the Burial Chamber arena.

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The map offers ample opportunity for Quake's signature brand of bloody murder, with wide-open spaces for rocket-jumping and circle strafing, as well as some tighter corridors, perfect for point-blank shotgun battles.

For more on Quake Champions, check out the latest hero trailer, highlighting the intergalactic warlord, Scalebearer.

Categories: Games

Everything Review

Gamespot News Feed - Wed, 03/22/2017 - 00:30

Imagine taking a philosophy class where a brilliant, engaging, charismatic professor opens your mind and helps you see the world like you never have before who also pauses every few minutes to play a Frank Zappa album. That should give you a rough idea of what it's like to play Everything. It's a game that manages to convey profound beauty and a sense of one's place in the universe that's periodically undercut by a compulsive need to interject a sense of twee and abstract randomness. It's hard to tell how seriously you're supposed to take it all.

Everything is an interactive art project that allows you to transform into nearly any object you find, from planets all the way down to microbes. There are no traditional goals, and except for one particular area, Everything has no hard-and-fast boundaries. It's just you and the universe, with nothing standing in your way.

The dissonance starts from the very beginning. At the outset, you're a bear in a vast woodland full of creatures living out their lives. They move around by tumbling end over end, stiff as boards, like they're auditioning to be new Tetris blocks. After spending some time learning the basic controls, you can roam around freely, “sing” to other creatures and things, learn how to hear their thoughts, and figure out how to talk to them to gain their trust and move in groups. It's the game at its most playful: rocks, animals, and houses will grouse about a friend who's a jerk or cheerily go on about what a nice day it is all while doing perpetual faceplants to get around.

Eventually, one of the plants, animals, or objects you encounter tells you that you can explore things on a smaller scale--and thus, you learn the Descend ability, which allows you to embody a different creature on a lower plane of existence. That’s neat by itself, but the real magic occurs when you realize that you don't have to stop there. Embodying something like an insect is step one. Step two is inhabiting miniscule things like pollen or hair. You can then continue downward to atomic structures, and finally subatomic particles. The trick goes the other direction as well. A bear can Ascend and become a sequoia tree, which can become an entire continent. A continent can Ascend to become a planet, which can become a sun, which can become a galaxy.

The ease with which you can become one of a diverse set of objects across multiple planes of existence feels like a technical marvel. Everything's long-term memory is impressive as well. You can spend a solid hour exploring atoms in a blade of grass. When you eventually ascend, the game will remember the group of ants you corralled into service nearby, no matter how far you go.

If your greatest gaming dream is to assemble a street gang made up of two teapots, an eyeball, a saxophone, and a banana that misses its sister, Everything is the game for you.

Everything is at its most powerful when it provides humbling, awe-inspiring moments of scale, held even further aloft by sound bytes of the late British philosopher Alan Watts that arise along the way. Watts' ongoing narration may be the game's strongest core component, as it provides a sense of neo-spiritualist context to everything you see and experience. Exploring the very building blocks of reality is powerful on its own, but Everything achieves something deeper with the gentle, playful reminder that this, too, is us.

How, then, do you marry that with the ability to hop down the street as an refinery's smokestack, or talking with a monkey about how dumb his friends are? The answer: You don't. There’s an element of wacky, dadaist humor to Everything that, at its most absurd, brings back memories of Katamari Damacy's endless amusement; being able to roll the most random things up in a ball and watching them squirm around, making noises until the ball is big enough to swallow planets whole. You can't roll things up here, but if your greatest gaming dream is to assemble a street gang made up of two teapots, an eyeball, a saxophone, and a banana that misses its sister, Everything is the game for you.

Therein lies the fundamental issue: there is no unifying theory of Everything. If the point is to invoke a sense of existentialist zen, it accomplishes that, but it subsequently undercuts the accomplishment with a sense of lame, abstract humor. If the point is to invent a wild playground where everything that exists has a self-centered consciousness all its own, it’s that as well--in which case, it's almost taking Alan Watts' ideas to Looney Tunes levels of ridiculousness. When those two elements are at odds, the game seems to lose all meaning.

That's a grave disservice, too. More than a few games are able to deliver this brand of random crazy on a far more enjoyable, technically polished scale than this--the very “ending” of the game feeling like an inadvertent homage to the intro of every LittleBigPlanet game just solidifies that fact. But the number of games able to so effectively recontextualize how you think about your place in the universe in an interactive medium is paltry. That crazy game of playing as random stuff is disposable. That game of realizing we are all one is vital. A combination of the two thrown together, Everything becomes staggering in its ambition--and yet deeply disappointing.

Categories: Games

Springing Into Action With Two New Videos

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 18:25

Arms is not your typical boxing league. Fighters sport spring-loaded limbs that allow them to punch opponents from across the ring, special gloves let them set each other on fire, and one of the challengers is a mummy. With its newly-introduced quirky characters and a diverse arsenal of weapons, Nintendo's upcoming 3D fighting game puts a new spin on motion-controlled brawling.

The cast of Arms brims with colorful personality in the new character trailer below. Comprised of a springy everyman, peppy popstar, brooding ninja, undead menace, and mechanical genius, everyone brings their own unique fighting style to the ring. Whether it's Ribbon Girl's aerial acrobatics or Ninjara's smoke bomb teleportation, all the boxers have something that gives them an edge over their competitors. 

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Combined with these individual powers are six specialized gloves boasting different effects. The Toaster weapon lights opponents on fire and deals continuous damage, while Sparky temporarily stuns them with electricity. Players can mix and match powers by wearing different glove types on their left and right hands. This adds a layer of experimentation to the combat as fighters test combinations like the Slapamander and Megaton or Boomerang and Revolver.

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Arms is set to release for the Nintendo Switch this Spring. 

Categories: Games

Cheetah Sharpens Her Claws In Latest Character Trailer

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 17:33

After her initial reveal in the "Here Come The Girls" Trailer last month, NetherRealm has given fans a closer look at Cheetah with a trailer that spotlights the feral fighter and her various moves and abilities. Battling Robin, Deadshot, and Wonder Woman, Cheetah makes the best of a fast, juggle-heavy moveset to slash her way to victory.

Aside from Cheetah, the trailer shows off a fair bit of new content, including some new moves from Deadshot, as well as a new stage transition involving the Batwing getting its wings clipped. Check it out down below.

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Relying heavily on mixups and juggle combos, Cheetah seems like a character worth learning for any fans of Mortal Kombat X's Mileena or Alien. Her mid-air moves appear to make up a good deal of her potential, including a throw that can stop enemies from going in, and a pounce that acts as a kind of dive kick. She also comes with both high and low command grabs that can be juggled for further damage, making her a character that can keep her enemies guessing. 

Last week, NetherRealm sat down during one of their Watchtower Streams, and took a deep dive on Cheetah and Swamp Thing, detailing how their special moves, combos, and passive abilities work. You can find the stream archive here, and while the whole thing is a pretty good time, you can skip to the 48-minute mark to see when Cheetah takes center stage.

NetherRealm recently announced that Injustice 2's gear system will feature microtransactions for cosmetic items, which you can read more about here.

Categories: Games

Malicious Fallen Review

Gamespot News Feed - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 17:00

Malicious Fallen may not be developed by Platinum Games, but it sure does look the part. This may have something to do with the fact that developer Alvion supported Platinum Games during the development of such titles as Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Bayonetta 2, and Anarchy Reigns to name a few. Malicious Fallen delivers some beautiful, colorful, anime-inspired visuals, and presents a familiar approach to massive-scale fights and flashy combo attacks. But that’s not enough to shake the feeling we've seen it done bigger, better, and more cohesively elsewhere.

Malicious Fallen tells the tale of a land ruled by an insane king whose wife makes a deal with supernatural powers in order to end her husband's reign of terror. After he's gone, however, she finds herself more than a little hesitant to give up on her power trip. She becomes the new despot, subsequently granting her best warriors a share of the glory in rampaging across the countryside. A group of prophets, loyal to the powers beyond, have you in their back pocket. You play the part of the Spirit Vessel, who's been imbued with all the remaining magical power left in the universe, along with a cape called the Mantle of Cinders, to go forth and triumph over evil.

Since all of this is presented in text form, however, it ends up as an easily missable cover story for what essentially boils down to a dazzling boss rush that throws you to the wolves within minutes of starting the game. You're given a short, perfunctory tutorial, a series of portals to choose from, and off you go. The brevity of training could be forgiven if the game were more of an arcade-style brawler where you only really need to know how to hit, dodge, and maybe perform a flashy special, but Malicious Fallen--to its credit and curse--offers a combat system full of tiny intricacies that only really come together via rigorous, Sisyphean trial-and-error.

You begin your quest with a few attacks: the Mantle of Cinders can turn into a shield for defense, a set of giant fists for close-quarters combat, or it can fire a ranged attack that can target whatever's directly in front, and potentially barrage multiple enemies. To add an extra level of complexity, you can also alter attacks so that enemies who die explode, chaining damage to other nearby enemies. All of this is adds points into a resource called Aura.

Aura is everything in Malicious Fallen. Not only is it the resource that you use to heal, but when your Aura stash is full, you're allowed to unleash extremely high-powered attacks that can make relatively quick work of the game's massive bosses. All of this is technically explained in the tutorial, but these instructions mean little without context; you're ultimately left to figure out how to handle Aura on the fly, and likely die several times in the process.

The other gameplay element is a Mega Man-style system where every boss drops a new ability for you to use, and figuring out which ability will have maximum effect against each boss--or even whether what you have available will even make a dent--is, again, a trial-and-error process. It requires that you get very comfortable with each bosses' patterns and attacks, but it also means a lot of wrestling with the game's twitchy camera. It's the basis for a woefully unintuitive targeting system that only focuses on the boss, and sometimes has trouble even activating. It's not unusual to end up on your back, suffering from a barrage of cheap hits for prolonged periods of time, all because you weren't able to target properly. The kicker? Your life force is measured by having limbs and parts of your outfit knocked off--which, on a busy battlefield, can be near impossible to monitor. Typically, it's not until a single hit results in an unexpected game over that you realize how far gone you were.

Through the chaos, however, there are joys to be found. The game's ornate cathedrals and rollicking battlefields are, at times, breathtaking spectacles. The bosses themselves are fantastically designed, and just watching them move and react is impressive. While combat is poorly explained, going back to older bosses with a new arsenal and a better understanding of the game makes for a gratifying form of payback.

The fact remains that you have to perform a lot of legwork to understand how each boss works in respect to your abilities. There's a fine line to be crossed in a boss rush game, where hard fought battles lead to either sighs of relief or aggravated groans. Too often, Malicious Fallen earns the latter. Malicious Fallen isn’t a game that feels triumphant so much as tiring.

Categories: Games

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review

Gamespot News Feed - Mon, 03/20/2017 - 07:00

After the first few hours of Mass Effect: Andromeda, I was discouraged--maybe even a little distraught. Within that short span of time, I'd already encountered unconvincing animations, bog standard missions, clunky user interface, stilted dialogue--basically every red flag you hope to avoid when approaching a lengthy shooter-RPG powered equally by action and story.

Thankfully, Andromeda did improve. As I progressed, I unlocked exhilarating new combat options, met characters with deeper appeal than my initial crew, and discovered freely explorable worlds that finally fulfilled the series' decade-old planet-hopping promise. And yet, some of those early problems persisted throughout, and while I did catch glimmers of the original trilogy's greatness, that shine was often dulled by lifeless dialogue, tedious missions, and even technical shortcomings.

To its credit, Andromeda boldly abandons the familiar. In place of the iconic Commander Shepard, we have Ryder, the daughter (or son) of a man chosen to lead one of four arks filled with intergalactic explorers looking to found colonies in a distant star cluster. Several disasters later, Ryder inherits her dad's job, and while the moments leading to and including that scene are pretty hackneyed, the stakes really sink in once you reach the Nexus--Andromeda's version of the earlier games' Citadel.

Here you discover the other three other arks have gone missing and that the Nexus, which arrived ahead of the arks, has suffered every setback imaginable, from growing food shortages to a veritable civil war. With leadership in shambles and no resources to revive the cryogenically frozen colonists, the sudden arrival of an ark immediately lands Ryder in an uncomfortable position of power. In practice, the scenario felt more believable than typical "you are the chosen one" cliches. I understood why those characters would look to me and felt the weight of their desperation. So when the Nexus gradually sprang to life as I started fixing problems, I felt genuinely accomplished.

The central storyline revolves around an evil alien race and its narcissistic leader.

In parallel with this more broadly-focused narrative--which encompasses much of the side content--the central storyline revolves around an evil alien race and its delusional, narcissistic leader, who poses a more immediate threat than food shortages. He's less one-dimensional than he initially seems, but the plot is largely predictable in a mindless blockbuster sort of way. The two stories intersect occasionally, and both pay off in the end.

Truthfully, Andromeda's story problems stem more from delivery than from plot. The vast majority of Andromeda's characters are just dull, and conversations rarely delve deeper than arduous "get to know you" small talk. No one yells or cries or expresses any measurable emotion at any point, even when they explicitly talk about their feelings, and there's no Tyrion Lannister or Francis Underwood to keep things interesting. There was plenty of room for Game of Thrones-style power struggles on the Nexus, yet all political disagreements are merely mentioned without being explored. Even romance options feel stilted, and the culminating scene I unlocked for successfully wooing a crew member was not as explicit or exciting as you might expect.

Worse still, your agency in these conversations is limited. Sure, you can periodically select from up to four dialogue options, but these frequently boil down to "be optimistic" or "be realistic." On paper, this system improves over the rigid renegade/paragon dichotomy of the original series, but in practice, the various options felt only superficially different. And regardless of what I picked, my inputs only rarely impacted the outcome. Even when I tried to be rude, characters generally found a way to shrug it off. And after beating the campaign, I can only recall one major decision that had serious repercussions, and even that felt contrived. It also paled in comparison to the memorably gut-wrenching choices forced on me in the original games.

In fairness, Andromeda did sometimes surprise me with poignant moments, like my crew comforting me in a dark hour and a conversation with my partner AI about the meaning of life. The game just buries these gems under hours of empty or even cringe-worthy interactions filled with heavy-handed themes, awkward lines of dialogue, and weird idiomatic phrases that felt out of place in a far flung galaxy. What person says "What's the word on the street?" without irony in 2017 let alone 600-plus years in the future?

Andromeda's worlds are breathtaking to behold and exciting to explore.

Thankfully, I didn't have to dig as deep to find the things Andromeda does well. Its worlds, for example, are breathtaking to behold and exciting to explore. You eventually uncover four mini-open worlds, as well as smaller, standalone areas like an overgrown jungle outpost and your own ship, The Tempest. The four major maps are sizable and offer drastically different environments and hazards, from frozen wastelands to arid deserts to unruly jungles. They're also filled with NPCs to chat up and side missions to undertake. You could end up solving murders in a pirate port, betting at a Krogan fighting pit, or unlocking secrets in ancient yet hyper-advanced vaults. Or you could just wheel around in your Nomad. The galaxy is vast and varied, and that's worth being excited about.

I also fell in love with the combat, especially later in the game. The core shooting mechanics feel stronger here than anywhere else in the series, and the flexibility of the progression system let me cherry pick cool powers rather than locking me into a set character class. I ended up building, well...a space ninja, basically. I could use tech to cloak myself, biotics to charge enemies, a shield-buffing sword to deal damage, and the standard jumpjets to dart away again. The results were consistently frantic and fun, though there are plenty of other options as well. I enjoyed nearly everything I experimented with, even if most enemies proved to be predictable adversaries.

Combat's one major flaw is the crafting system. I would call it more of a missed opportunity than a problem, but crafting is often the only way to get the weapons and armor you actually want, which means hours of scanning objects to accrue research points and many headaches dealing with the messy UI. Even bare essentials like comparing weapon stats can be tricky or even impossible. The crafting and loadout stations are also at opposite ends of the Tempest, which routinely forced me to run back and forth to get things done. You will occasionally find loot around the world, but it's severely utilized as a reward mechanic. I felt deeply satisfied when I finally completed my perfect loadout, but I'm not sure it was worth the energy.

Crafting isn't Andromeda's biggest time-waster, however. That would be its tedious missions. Far too many open world quests--even some that feel important or come packaged in an interesting premise--devolve into multistep "go here, hit a button" errands. There's always another navpoint somewhere across the map or an NPC who needs exactly three items or a crucial datapad that's unexpectedly missing when you arrive. I frequently felt like an intergalactic errand boy, mindlessly scanning everything in sight so my omniscience AI partner could do whatever the situation required and give me a new waypoint to reach.

I frequently felt like an intergalactic errand boy, mindlessly scanning everything in sight.

These missions aren't all bad, per se, but they desperately needed some editing--or at least a wider variety of gameplay scenarios. Forcing players to repeat the exact same action three times or drive across the map to interact with one prompt isn't fun--it's padding. The campaign and crew loyalty missions provide better crafted experiences, but there's no avoiding at least some of the unimaginative tedium, especially since you rarely receive enough information upfront to really know what you're getting into.

There is plenty to do outside of missions, however. Andromeda includes a somewhat convoluted meta-game that challenges you to raise planets' viability levels by establishing outposts and completing other quests. You can also hunt for "memory triggers" left by your father that eventually reveal a few interesting secrets. And then there's mining, which uses a hot/cold indicator to let you hunt for crafting resources while driving across the worlds; space travel, which lets you jump from to location to location, scanning planets for XP; and strike teams, which give you the option to send unseen groups of soldiers out on missions or earn additional rewards by jumping into a cooperative multiplayer horde mode match. Individually, these elements don't add much, but collectively, they do round out the sci-fi fantasy.

Unfortunately, there's a dark cloud hanging over all of this: technical issues. Sure, the facial animations really don't look great, but the problems run deeper. On PS4, the framerate was all over the place both in and out of action. On both PS4 and PC, I encountered several audio issues, most notably multiple lines of dialogue playing at the same time, covering each other. I also saw other random glitches like characters that failed to load during conversations, exiting a conversation to find myself a room away from where I was previously, and enemies that fell into the level geometry. None of these issues rendered the game unplayable, but they were noticeable and pervasive.

In many ways, Andromeda feels like a vision half-fulfilled. It contains a dizzying amount of content, but the quality fluctuates wildly. Its worlds and combat shine, but its writing and missions falter--and the relative strength of the former is not enough to compensate for the inescapable weakness of the latter. As a Mass Effect game, Andromeda falls well short of the nuanced politics, morality, and storytelling of its predecessors. For me, the series has always been about compelling characters and harrowing choices, so to find such weak writing here is bitterly disappointing. Yet even after 65 hours, I still plan on completing a few more quests. The game can't escape its shortcomings, but patient explorers can still find a few stars shining in the darkness.

Categories: Games

Final Setlist Revealed, Classic Mode Detailed

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 22:20

Rock Band VR is just a week away, and Harmonix has just revealed final batch of songs which will be present at launch.

The virtual reality rock and roll simulator will contain 60 songs on day one, and the company plans to support the rhythm game with post-launch DLC; Six songs by Aerosmith (including "Ragdoll" and "Janie's Got a Gun") will be available from the Oculus Store for $2.99 each.

Finally, while we've already detailed how Rock Band VR shakes up the traditional Rock Band formula with its performance-based scoring, old-school fans of the franchise will be pleased to learn that the original five-button guitar gameplay is still an important part of the game. Classic Mode is the Rock Band we all know and love, but with an extra touch of virtual reality immersion thanks to the Oculus headset.

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Rock Band VR comes out exclusively for Oculus Rift on March 23. For more, check out our coverage of the narrative-based campaign mode.

[Source: Harmonix]

Categories: Games

New Cinematic Trailer Shows Off Robot Beatdowns And A Release Date

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 19:00

Lords of the Fallen developer Deck13 have released a new trailer for their upcoming action-RPG The Surge. The trailer features a release date for the anticipated title, as well as some good old-fashioned robot bashing as protagonist Warren battles his way through a facility presumably owned by the sinister Creo corporation.The game is set to release on May 16, with bonuses for pre-ordering. You can check out the trailer down below.

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The Surge is an action-RPG that focuses on brutal difficulty and timing, taking heavy inspiration from the Dark Souls series. We played a demo at E3 2016, and were quite impressed. You can read about it here.

Categories: Games

Expanded Version Of 2014's Fast-Paced Fighter Coming In May

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 18:30

Guilty Gear has been delivering solid, 2D fighting with an anime aesthetic since the original game hit the PlayStation all the way back in 1998. Now, nearly twenty years later, the latest iteration in the long-running one-on-one fighter has a release date on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

The amusingly-titled Guilty Gear Xrd: Rev 2 hits physical and digital shelves on May 26. This updated version of 2014's Xrd: Revelator will be available as a stand-alone purchase for $39.99, or as a digital upgrade to the original Revelator for $19.99. Rev 2 includes the original's previously-released DLC and adds new moves, stages, and characters, as well as expanded Arcade and Story modes. The whole game has been rebalanced from the bottom up, and is sure to provide a whole new experience for hardcore fans of the franchise.

[Source: Gematsu]

Categories: Games

A Longer Look At Modern Sonic

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 15:00

During its South By Southwest panel last night, Sega revealed the name for its upcoming mainline entry in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise as Sonic Forces. The reveal was followed by a quick teaser clip showing some gameplay featuring Modern Sonic running through a European-style city as destruction rains down from above. We had a chance to see a longer version of this stage.

The Modern Sonic mechanics in Sonic Forces are inspired heavily by the 3D gameplay found in Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations, featuring a new version of the Hedgehog Engine used in those games. As seen in the teaser, Sonic runs through the streets while the city crumbles around him. As he turns a corner, two giant egg-shaped robots can be seen in the distance approaching the city via water. Sonic can't immediately do anything about those giant machines, so he opts to take care of the smaller bots right in front of him. He boosts through the first set before using his homing attack to knock out another group and reach a higher platform. 

Throughout the rest of the stage, I see several familiar elements from the Sonic series, including grind-rails, ziplines, and boosters. As the level progresses, side-characters like Knuckles, Amy, and some members of the Chaotix communicate with Sonic via radio as if to report in on what they're seeing during the assault. Sega tells us that though these characters are present in the game, they are not playable. Instead, gameplay is focused on Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic, and a third style that Sonic Team is keeping close to its chest.

In Sonic Forces, Eggman has already conquered the world. He's won, and the effects can be seen throughout the various stages; this was immediately evident in the stage I saw. We don't know how the world has fallen under his control, but Sega is teasing further reveals for this in the lead-up to launch. 

Later in the stage, Sonic lands on a platform and the camera shifts to a side-perspective to deliver the modern gameplay with a side-scrolling twist that we've seen in prior games. Though this gives the sequence a definite retro feel, this gameplay is completely separate from the as-of-yet unveiled Classic Sonic stages.

The stage was but a quick sampling of what one-third of the Sonic Forces formula looks to deliver, but I left my demo hopeful of what this game could deliver. Sonic Colors and Sonic Generations were among the best-received entries in the franchise's recent history, and the fact the Sega is promising it has turned over a new leaf with regards to its deadline structure and development cycle has me optimistic.

Sonic Forces is set to release this holiday season for Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. However, before that hits, fans of the series can look forward to the previously announced Sonic Mania, which is being developed by a group of indie developers, sometime in the next several months. For more on that title, you can check out our most recent hands-on impressions.

Categories: Games

Shovel Knight: Specter Of Torment Review

Gamespot News Feed - Fri, 03/17/2017 - 00:30

Shovel Knight is defined by its likeness to games from the era of 8-bit consoles. It takes inspiration from games like Mega Man and Ducktales not only in its pixel- and pitch-perfect audiovisual aesthetic, but also in its mechanics--Shovel Knight is a resolutely unforgiving 2D platformer. Peril is almost always present on screen--be it a bottomless pit or a tough enemy that can quickly whittle down your health--making this a game that demands your undivided attention as much as it does your quick reflexes. Specter of Torment is the latest expansion to Shovel Knight, a prequel that's available as a standalone campaign on Nintendo Switch or a free update to those who already own the main game, and it follows the titular Specter Knight as he sets out to gather an army for the series' primary antagonist, The Enchantress.

Specter Knight's default skillset is dramatically more varied than that of Shovel Knight, with a focus on the lightness and dexterity of his character, as opposed to Shovel Knight's heavier, brute-force feel. Specter Knight has an innate ability to wall jump, mount ledges, and vertically scale walls for a short time. Most significantly, Specter has the ability to perform a mid-air scythe dash on enemies and certain environmental objects, an attack which sends him flying at an angle and is used for traversal as much as it is for offence.

The execution of these moves is simple, requiring nothing more than a timely press of the attack or jump buttons, and together they make Specter feel like a powerfully agile character who is a joy to control. But with these abilities come more difficult challenges in Specter of Torment's new platforming levels. Unlike Shovel Knight, whose stages gradually grew in difficulty and were gated in an overworld map style reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. 3, Specter of Torment presents you with the full selection of what I personally found to be equally-challenging stages and their accompanying boss fights, available to be tackled in any order in a structure more reminiscent of the Mega Man series.

Bottomless pits and other instant-death hazards feel more abundant in Specter of Torment, and proceeding forward almost always involves more than just careful jumping. Stages often require you to chain a series of movements together in order to keep Specter Knight airborne for extended periods of time over treacherous ground, and one fumbled execution could mean a complete do-over. You might climb the side of a wall to get you just enough height to wall-jump towards a series of swinging chandeliers, letting you scythe-dash into each one and eventually fling yourself across the room to mantle an opposing wall. Managing to reach a checkpoint after perfectly overcoming a series of obstacles without fumbles or fatalities is always a thrilling relief. The dexterous demands of performing these moves means that progress always feels satisfying and well-earned, even when it feels second-nature.

Each themed stage adds its own unique mechanical twists to the game's platforming which need to be internalised too. There are some incredibly memorable ones such as scythe surfing, which sees Specter Knight ride his scythe like a skateboard and grind rails to move through stages at speed--but otherwise the majority will be familiar to those who have played the main Shovel Knight game, albeit with minor twists to better accommodate Specter's abilities. This is unsurprising, given the game's prequel nature and the appearance of many of the same characters and worlds, but the new level designs still feel more demanding.

Specter of Torment also features many of the same formidable level bosses as the original Shovel Knight, and although many of the battles with them seem a bit too similar to their previous appearances, some are altered significantly to make the most of Specter's mobility, and can come as an enjoyable surprise to those familiar. The fight with Propeller Knight, for example, no longer takes place on a static platform, but in the midst of many tiny, cascading airships, requiring you to continually scramble upwards while dodging attacks.

The completion of each level allows you to purchase additional Curios, Specter of Torment's unique version of Shovel Knight's Relics, which allow for the use of special abilities at the cost of a consumable meter. Each Curio has its own distinct use to aid in the dispatching of enemies or to ease the burden of traversal. For example, the Hover Plume gives Specter Knight the ability to float in mid-air for a short duration, and Judgement Rush allows Specter to ignore pits and walls and teleport directly to an enemy. Each tool adds an interesting new facet to the way you can approach Specter of Torment's levels, but the entirety of the game can be completed without using them. I found that relying on Curios diminished the sense of satisfaction that came from overcoming difficult obstacles using only Specter Knight's base skillset, and tended to avoid them.

Much of what made the original Shovel Knight a success can also be found in Specter Knight. Level designs also cleverly act as intuitive tutorials, demonstrating the possibilities and limits of what you can and can't do in particular stages without explicit explanation. Shovel Knight's penchant for rewarding exploration is also still present. Secret paths and areas are strewn throughout the game's stages and hub world. Some are obvious, but some can come as a small surprise to those who are willing to push the limits of the traversal abilities. The game's checkpoint system--which allows you to actually destroy a checkpoint for monetary reward at the risk of having to re-traverse more of the level upon death--is still a clever mechanic. And Shovel Knight's sense of humor and charm still manage to shine through, despite Specter of Torment's more melancholic tone. Small moments like watching a reunited skeleton couple perform a waltz, playing with a cat, or simply enjoying the lighthearted dialog of NPCs provide nice moments of levity.

While it only took us a few hours in total to complete the game's story mode, Specter of Torment felt well-paced and never unnecessarily short. The density of challenge contained within its individual stages meant that I was always entirely concentrated on the next obstacle, but Specter of Torment attempts to pace its demands on your mental state every few levels with short, interactive narrative interludes that serve as an enjoyable prequel to this prequel campaign. Specter of Torment also offers a new game plus option upon completion with a slightly more demanding health mechanic, and also offers a challenge mode which presents a variety of platforming and boss fight trials under strict restraints.

Specter of Torment is a finely-crafted 2D platformer that is satisfying in all respects. Simply controlling Specter Knight--flying through the air and slicing through enemies--is a joy in itself, and being able to push your ability to control these skills in overcoming the game's cleverly-designed and challenging levels is always an exhilarating feeling. Specter of Torment is a focussed, polished, and satisfyingly challenging game that's well worth experiencing whether or not you've had the pleasure of playing Shovel Knight.

Categories: Games

The VR Horror Game Now Has A Release Date

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 22:30

Narcosis, an indepedent Horror game from Honor Code Inc we recently named one of the most exciting VR games on the horizon, has re-emerged from the depths with a new trailer and release date.

The VR title, which will release on the Xbox One, Steam, and Oculus Store on March 28, has plenty of deep-sea scares in its latest trailer. It reminds me quite a bit of both Soma (which I love) and Cryostasis (which was great despite a number of a technical glitches I encountered on PC), so it's definitely in good company. You can watch the trailer below.

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Categories: Games

Scalebearer Leaves An Impact In New Highlight Trailer

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 19:44

A new champion is set to join the ranks of id Software's hero-based online shooter, Quake Champions. Unveiled via Bethesda's YouTube channel, the intergalactic warlord Scalebearer is the primary focus of Quake's latest trailer, which shows the combatant in action with his special abilities that let him pulverize foes by landing on them from above or running into them headlong. 

Scalebearer will be joining other characters in the free-to-play title, and will be purchasable with in-game currency called Favor for a limited time, or a more permanent purchase with real world currency. You can check out his trailer down below.

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For more details on exactly how Quake: Champions' free-to-play model works, you can check right here. The game is also currently taking signups for a closed beta that is expected to start soon.

Categories: Games

A Dossier On The Deadly Typhon Aliens Of Prey

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 03/16/2017 - 15:05

Prey is all about getting a handle on the Typhon aliens and even using their powers yourself, so you're going to want to know something about them before you start playing.

Today developer Arkane released a new video for the title featuring a TranStar Corporation info drop of sorts on what the company – who to this point has done a bang-up job of containing the alien threat – thinks it knows about the Typhon.

For more on the Mimic in particular, check out this previous trailer.

Categories: Games

New Trailer Shows The Bonds Of Brotherhood

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 22:45

CI Games has released a new trailer for its upcoming game Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, which highlights the bond between brothers Jon and Robert North. Also, several heads explode like pumpkins.

The clip shows the brothers as both bottle-blasting kids and bad-guy-sniping adults, as well as some shots of driving and other gameplay sequences.

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The game was originally set for a January release, but it was delayed to allow for more additional polish. The game has apparently been delayed since that last report, with the official site now listing an April 25 release date. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Categories: Games

Capcom Taps Into Nostalgia With NES-Era Disney Collection

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 03/15/2017 - 15:58

Nostalgia continues to be a powerful force, and Capcom has announced a new game collection that's bound to appeal to people who spent much of their childhoods watching cartoons and playing games on tube televisions. The Disney Afternoon Collection is a compilation of six NES-era games, including DuckTales, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, and more.

It includes Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers 2, Darkwing Duck, DuckTales, DuckTales 2, and TaleSpin.

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The games have been updated to HD resolution, though, unlike 2013's DuckTales: Remastered, they don't feature new sprites. Instead, they're the chunky 8-bit versions players grew up playing. Players can rewind the games if they miss a jump or want another shot at a boss attack, and there are also new boss-rush and time-attack modes. Historians can also check out an in-game museum, which features concept art, music, and other goodies from each game's development.

The collection is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on April 18, and it's priced at $19.99.

Categories: Games