One Piece's Open World Game World Seeker Gets A Collection Of New Screenshots

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 17:14

The open world One Piece game, subtitled World Seeker, has a collection of new screenshots, but not many new details.

We know the game will be open world, which is exciting considering one of One Piece's strongest elements is the fiction of its world and the world-building. We also know you will play as Luffy, he will have access to his gum-gum abilities like the gum-gum rocket (which he will able to use like a grappling hook to move around the world), the elephant gatling gun, and the gum-gum UFO, and we know you will be exploring castle, farm, city, and beach locations, though the game's press release does promise more.

We know platforms, too – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The date is a vague 2018, unfortunately. You can check out all the screens in the gallery below. For more on One Piece: World Seeker, head here.

Categories: Games

We Happy Few Slips To Summer Release, Reveals Second Playable Character

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 01/19/2018 - 16:13

We Happy Few's developer, Compulsion Games, released a few new tidbits about the dystopian game, including a look at a new playable character, Sally. The devs say in a new video that they're taking player feedback seriously, and have retooled the story to incorporate bigger moments earlier on. Those changes mean players will have to be a little more patient, however.

The game was originally set for an April 13 release, but it's now been pushed to sometime this summer. The video below explains the decisions in greater detail. More interestingly, it shows off Sally. From what little we can see, it appears as though she's able to bewitch her enemies. Then again, maybe she just likes to dance?

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Categories: Games

Kiryu Battles Sharks, Pacifies Babies In New Minigames Trailer

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 01/17/2018 - 16:04

The Yakuza series has given players a wealth of optional minigames and activities over the years, and Yakuza 6: The Song of Life keeps that streak alive. A new trailer for the upcoming game shows how Kiryu can fill his days managing a cat cafe, playing Virtua Fighter V, putting on a wetsuit and spear-fishing, and much more.

Take a look at the clip below for a rapid-fire look at some of the game's diversions. Some of them are bound to be familiar to fans, such as darts, the hostess club, and the batting cage. Others are new, such as the ability to play Puyo Puyo and Virtua Fighter V in arcades, and babysitting. It looks like Kiryu is good at silencing his enemies, as well as unhappy infants. Who knew?

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Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is coming to PlayStation 4 on March 20.

Categories: Games

The God of Destruction Shows Off His Skills

Game Informer News Feed - Sat, 01/13/2018 - 01:37

A new character trailer has dropped for Dragon Ball Fighter Z's God of Destruction of Universe 7, Beerus.

In the new trailer, Beerus, walking in alongside his attendant Whis, beats down on Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Goku. Beerus uses orbs and powerful ki blasts to both keep the opponent away and bounce them around like a plaything (or a ball of yarn).

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Beerus was one of the few characters designed before Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama was brought in on the Battle of Gods movie to design and help write, as explained in the March 2013 issue of Japanese magazine GetNavi. Toriyama misunderstood the name, originally meant to sound like the Latin word Virus, and assumed the name was a pun on the word Beer. As such, further characters related to Beerus, such as Whis, Chamba, and Vados all continued that alcohol theme.

Dragon Ball Fighter Z is scheduled for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on January 26. A beta for the game is running from January 14 to January 16, starting a day earlier for preorders, on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. You can download the client now to start as soon as the beta begins.

Categories: Games

The Developers Of Life Is Strange And Remember Me Task You With Judging Life Or Death

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 01/11/2018 - 10:30

Vampyr, the newest project from Dontnod, will release its first episode on January 18, with a teaser trailer from the developers dropping today.

The new behind the scenes trailer is a short teaser for what you can expect from the full game. The narrative director, Stéphane Beauverger, explains that the player encounters numerous other people during the story. These people tell the protagonist their thoughts, feelings, lives, and come to him for help, and it's up to the player whether you make them your prey or not.

Check out the teaser trailer below. You can find our preview of Vampyr from E3 right here.

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The first episode of Vampyr, Making Monsters, will be available on January 18. Each new episode will follow a week after the last.

  • Episode I: Making Monsters
  • Episode II: Architects of the Obscure
  • Episode III: Human After All
  • Episode IV: Stories From the Dark

Vampyr is releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Categories: Games

Character Trailer Focuses On The Stoic Assassin Hit

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 01/10/2018 - 17:04

Dragon Ball FighterZ comes out later this month, and Bandai Namco is continuing to drop trailers as we inch closer to its release. The newest teaser centers around Hit, a stoic assassin.

In the trailer, we see him fight against Goku. Hit is a character from Dragon Ball Super, similar to Goku Black. As an incredibly quick and deadly fighter, he puts up quite the fight. Check out the teaser below.

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For more, watch the recently revealed Goku Black trailer. Dragon Ball FighterZ releases on January 26 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Categories: Games

Surviving Is Hard When Zombies Are After You

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 18:28

Konami has released a new single-player trailer for Metal Gear Survive, the first Metal Gear game since the publisher's split with Hideo Kojima.

In the past, the trailers and footage from the game have emphasized the Survive aspect of the title and this trailer, despite focusing on the game's single-player, does much the same. The protagonist slices trees to make weapons and fight off the zombies that make up the alternate universe Mother Base.

You can check out the trailer below. Metal Gear Survive will run a beta on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 starting January 18 through January 21, which won't require PlayStation Plus but will require Xbox Live Gold. The full game launches on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on February 20.

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Categories: Games

A Push To Become The Greatest

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 01/09/2018 - 17:30

When UFC 3 was officially revealed back in November, we learned a little bit about its career mode, but the focus was largely on the retooled striking and animations. Now, EA Vancouver has pulled back the curtain to reveal the full breadth of the overhauled career mode that has you taking your fighter from young prospect to the greatest of all time.

As mentioned in our initial piece on UFC 3, the new career mode is all about bringing your character up the ranks to become the greatest of all time. When the team looked at what it could improve upon from UFC 2, it noted that it provided players with a long-term goal of becoming champion, but in the meantime, players just had to go out and win to climb the ranks to eventually achieve that goal. To make the mode more engaging, players now have short-term goals as they build toward the ultimate goal of becoming the GOAT. This comes in the form of incremental progress made toward your status as GOAT, as well as achieving goals for each contract. This means that regardless of where players are in their career, they can achieve goals set by the game. If you perform well and achieve objectives in your contract, it gives you a better contract next time, earning you more fight money, which can be used to afford to train at better gyms and improve your fighter's attributes. If the term "fight money" has you fearful of microtransactions, worry not; microtransactions are relegated to Ultimate Team mode.

In addition, over the course of each contract, you develop a rivalry with a fighter, which manifests over social media and can even lead to cinematic sequences detailing the bad blood between you and your rival to set the stage for your fight. You have choices to make during the lead-up to your fight. Not only do you choose from eight gyms of varying quality and prices, but also how you spend your time preparing for the fight. As you're selecting your gym, each has a roster of training partners ranging from fictional generic characters to real UFC fighters to prepare alongside. Once in camp, you have some options of how to allocate your time. If you choose to train, the game simulates your training session for you and allows you to gain attributes to improve your fighter. If you choose to learn, you take part in minigames that can lead to you learning new moves and earn new perks. If you spend time sparring, you jump into the Octagon with a sparring partner that emulates your upcoming opponent, and the game coaches you on how to approach that style of fighter. The final way you can allocate time is through promotional activities. While you obviously want to strike a perfect balance between these activities during any given camp, the ideal situation is to not over- or under-train and to make sure your fighter is at peak fitness for his or her fight.

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To become the GOAT, you must complete a combination of performance and promotional goals. Performance goals consist of things like setting the UFC records for number of knockouts over the course of your career, number of submissions, number of fights, number of "Fight of the Night" or "Performance of the Night" awards, or consecutive title defenses. Promotional goals consist of things like career earnings, pay-per-view cards you appear on, pay-per-view buys when you're on the card, and social media followers. To become the GOAT, you must accomplish six of the performance goals and two of the promotion goals.

Achieving the performance goals is self-explanatory, but the promotional goals are accomplished by taking time out of your training camp to participate in activities that build hype around you and your upcoming fight. These activities include handing out flyers to your gym, posting to social media, announcing a new nickname, doing a meet-and-greet at a local restaurant, or setting up a video game streaming channel. Several of these promotional activities have arcs that build based on your following and career status. For example, starting a streaming channel can eventually lead to you being invited by EA to a promotional event, while another path can land you on the cover of a new EA Sports UFC video game.

Of course, you can't become the GOAT if you never make it into the UFC. Thankfully, there are now multiple paths into the big show. In UFC 3's career mode, your fighter starts out in the World Fighting Alliance, a smaller fight promotion. Depending on how you perform on this smaller stage, you can either get called right up after a few fights, get invited to appear on a season of the UFC's reality show competition The Ultimate Fighter, or earn a last-minute replacement spot on a card in the UFC. This makes it so that the career mode is reactive to your performance from the get-go, and also removes the jarring "try again" screen from UFC 2's career mode if you lost in an elimination match. Of course, the sooner you get called up, the faster you can get to reaching your first title fight and achieving GOAT goals.

With so many improvements in career mode, UFC 3 looks to satisfy those who want to play offline and enjoy a traditional mode that tells the story of going from an unknown athlete to a legend of the sport. Of course, the game still features single-fight modes, Ultimate Team, and online competitive play, but as someone who always looks at career mode as my destination, I'm excited to see how all these changes work in concert to deliver a different experience from past entries.

Categories: Games

New Dragon Ball FighterZ Goku Black Trailer

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 15:24

Bandai Namco has released a new character trailer for Goku Black on the eve of Dragon Ball FighterZ's release.

Prospective gamers can get a glimpse of Goku Black teaming up with Future Zamasu for a devastating attack, and that's not all.

The game comes out for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on January 26.

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For more Goku Black, take a look at this previous footage.

Categories: Games

Watch Vegeta Turn Blue And Beat On His Enemies

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 20:21

In the latest character trailer for Dragon Ball FighterZ, Vegeta shows off his Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan form.

The new form adjusts Vegeta's moveset to focus on power moves and adjusts his supers for different attacks and angles than his Super Saiyan form.

Some of you might be wondering why Vegeta is blue and why anyone would possibly name something Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan. I can't answer the second one, but I'll cover the first. When Goku confronted Beerus and got really, really badly defeated, it was reasoned that a ritual involving six Saiyans could transform him into the Super Saiyan God, a form with pinkish skin and red hair. It worked and Goku was able to fight more evenly against the God of Destruction. The blue form, Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan, is the Super Saiyan form of that God ascension, which both Goku and Vegeta achieved after training.

It is never explained how and when Vegeta became a Super Saiyan God as he handwaves it by saying he did it through training as well and no one questions it. In Dragon Ball Super, the form is simply shortened to Super Saiyan Blue, but FighterZ is using the Return of Freeza movie name of Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan.

The short trailer for the form is below.

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Dragon Ball FighterZ is releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on January 26.

Categories: Games

Latest Monster Hunter: World Trailer Highlights Elder Dragons, Lots Of Roars

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 01/05/2018 - 16:19

Capcom has release new Monster Hunter: World footage, as well as the first details on its post-launch plans. The new trailer features several of the game's Elder Dragons, including the steel dragon Kushala Daora and the flaming Teostra.

In addition to those creatures, the clip shows Dodogma, a wyvern that feeds on rocks. After chomping on stone, his body converts the digested bits into an explosive substance that he can spit at his foes.

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PlayStation 4 players will be able to join in the final beta for the game starting January 18, and running through January 22. This last look at the game before its January 26 release date features the quests that were available in previous betas, as well as a chance to take on the Nergigante

As far as post-launch content goes, the first free title update will arrive in the spring. It adds the ravenous monster Deviljho, who feeds on anything unlucky (or stupid) enough to get in his way.

Categories: Games

A Dragon Ball Z History Lesson In Quick Flashes

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 01/03/2018 - 20:08

Bandai Namco has released the intro video for Dragon Ball FighterZ, which is mostly made up of quick cuts and zoom-ins on the characters.

The intro is using the in-game graphics to show off the entire roster of characters, obviously starting with Goku but then both Gohans get billing behind Trunks which is just crazy to me. You can check out the trailer below. If you want to get hands-on with the game ahead of its release, you can check out the open beta on PS4 and Xbox One starting on January 14.

Dragon Ball FighterZ is scheduled to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on January 26.

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Categories: Games

Spellforce 3 Review

Gamespot News Feed - Sun, 12/31/2017 - 18:00

Some cross-genre games are blended like ingredients in a mixing bowl, while others let their two halves live side-by-side. SpellForce III fits into the latter category, pairing role-playing and real-time-strategy elements. Though the end result is anything but unified, such a contrasting design keeps you from falling into a consistent routine. It also broadens the outlook of the stereotypical fantasy RPG, expanding the limited worldview of a handful of adventurers into the more expansive perspective of a general controlling an army.

Opening missions serve as an extended tutorial, first giving you the basics on how role-playing works, then moving into base-building strategizing where you take the fight to foes on a larger scale. You may start off exploring a map as part of a small party of heroes, slaying the odd gang of goblins or undead or giant spiders and cracking open chests stuffed with weapons, armor, and the usual assortment of magical goodies. You may finish off by taking all that you learned about the landscape while exploring, and build a base, constructing facilities to gather resources, and then whip up an army to hurl at foes who have been doing the same thing.

The baroque plot carrying you through it all assumes some familiarity with the SpellForce franchise, as you are dropped right into the aftermath of the Mage Wars on the Dungeons & Dragons-ish world of Eo. Events here serve as a prequel to the earlier SpellForce games, so it is tough to get up to speed initially. Main plot points feel like typical fantasy fare, though, as they revolve around your semi-chosen one status as the child of a treasonous mage. But there is a lot of depth and background information to absorb. Thankfully, everything eventually rounds into a compelling story. You just need some time to figure out your place amidst all the initially bewildering references if this is your first visit to Eo.

Plot is further developed through dialogue that includes quiet, character-building moments alongside stereotypically epic conversations about gods and magic. But as far as your involvement is concerned, there aren't a lot of meaningful choices to make. There are also strange shifts in tone, like some of the dialogue was written and recorded before any decision was made on what sort of age rating the game would aim for. So you get lengthy stretches where characters clearly go out of their way to avoid swearing, using awkward words like “heck” and “crap,” and others where characters let loose with incessant f-bombs.

Impressive presentation gives the game real visual impact whether you are playing adventurer or general. Maps are extremely detailed, with lots of little touches and great variety in background scenery. There is a very good balance here between trudging through murky caverns and wandering through forests and plains. The one drawback is that the settings can be too detailed at times, and things like chests and other points of interest are not all that easy to notice. You need to swivel the camera a lot to ensure that you don't miss anything. And all of this fidelity comes with the price of lengthy loading times, too. Venturing into any new locale drops you to a screen that gives you percentages on loading things like “Initializing Creature Resources,” which pulls you right out of the moment.

Character progression involves few surprises compared to other D&D-inspired games, and each character has access to just a few main skill classes and branching abilities. And since you gain experience fairly quickly, you can ultimately sample a lot of what's on offer. There are various schools of magic, combat skills like brutality and archery, and all-around categories such as leadership, with branching talents that include the usual range of attacks, buffs, and spells.

Combat is equally forthright. It's all real-time and rather chaotic, without a tremendous amount of thinking required in a given moment. Consider it a blend between the tactical battles of traditional RPGs and the more frenetic hack-and-slash of action-first RPGs. Combat is never so incessant as to grow tedious, and individual battles seem to fly by. The pacing of these sections is spot-on, with one distinct map after another pulling you into ever-more exciting bouts.

A similar story can be told when it comes to the RTS side of SpellForce III. Whenever a mission gets to the point where more is required than a party of adventurers, the game switches to an RTS mode and unlocks a construction menu where those adventurers lead the way as heroes in the army. From there, you build a town center and begin gathering the wood, stone, and food that form the game's staples. There are three building tiers, which means you start with expected basics such as the logging cabin, hunting cabin, stone works, and barracks, move on to a second level of iron smelters, forges, and farms, and then into a third that lets you exploit magical Arya water, train elite units, and build stone watchtowers.

Population caps regularly get in the way of fully manning facilities. This forces you to quickly expand territory and earn more population by setting up new outposts (peasants are locked to their regions, too, which also makes it imperative to keep pressing forward), but manpower always seems to lag behind. Needing to wait for carriages to ship resources to new outposts causes further delays, and you can't wait around to let stockpiles grow because enemy AI is on the attack almost immediately. Resources are also extremely limited, which also keeps you pushing onward so that you can keep the goods flowing to keep cranking out troops.

While both the RPG and RTS elements presented here stay true to form, the overall game is more than the sum of its parts because of how it makes such disparate concepts serve the goal of creating a militaristic role-playing epic. Incorporating base- and army-building into a traditional role-playing formula adds a scope and weight that would not be present if the game never went beyond three or four guys swinging swords and slinging spells. The end result may not be innovative, but it is an interesting and entertaining tweak of RPG conventions offering a lot to anyone looking for something offbeat and engaging.

Categories: Games

Tiny Metal Review

Gamespot News Feed - Fri, 12/29/2017 - 20:00

With no sign of Nintendo's Advance Wars strategy series returning any time soon, a game that attempts to fill the void like Tiny Metal is easy to get excited about. Thankfully, developer Area 35 has delivered a game that captures the spirit of the works that inspired it, and one that feels right at home on PC and on the go with Switch.

By and large, this is simply a game where adorably rendered soldiers with little armored vehicles take turns moving across a gridded map to fight their enemies one turn at a time. A unit represents a small squad, and when two units meet, the squads exchange blows while you pray some of your soldiers and vehicles survive the shootout.

Though Tiny Metal props up dire circumstances as the backbone of its campaign, it's also a game with a shady arms dealer dressed as a circus clown, so you know it doesn't take itself too seriously at all times. Average soldiers are expressively animated, and every unit type has their own personality, accent, and enthusiasm for destruction. This silliness is at odds with the dialogue-heavy and po-faced cutscenes, yes, but it also grows into the defining attitude of the game as you become more entrenched in combat. That said, don't feel too bad for turning off the in-battle emotes, which quickly grow repetitive.

You're given plenty of options to consider during combat, with a range of ground troops and military vehicles that grows steadily from the start, each offering distinct capabilities. Average, run-of-the-mill riflemen can only survive encounters with similar troops, but they're also the best at capturing city buildings and military facilities in pursuit of resources. A squad of rocket-launcher-equipped Lancers can't travel very far per turn, or capture as quickly as infantry soldiers, but they're the only units on foot that can put a dent in armored machines, known as Metals. Metals are probably the most all-around useful unit to place on the board, but they're not as mobile as some of the recon vehicles that help unveil the fog of war, like Scouts, Radar units, or Fighter jets.

Most of this should be familiar to anyone who's put more than a few rounds into an Advance Wars game, but Tiny Metal also has some new tricks up its sleeve to keep battles interesting for veterans. Focus Fire is a maneuver that allows multiple units to combo attack a single target. The benefits are twofold: the enemy can only retaliate against one unit per attack, and your combined attack gives you a better chance of wiping the target out before they get the chance to fire back at all. The riskier move, Assault, allows you push enemies off of a specific square, but at the cost of the enemy being able to fire first. Tiny Metal also has a Hero unit system where a super-powerful version of a specific unit type can be summoned to wreak havoc, but only once per match. These tactical considerations keep matches lively and unpredictable, and help distinguish Tiny Metal from being a mere Advance Wars copycat.

Following the tutorial battles at the start, the difficulty gradually increases as tactical options grow more diverse, with new units and commands appearing at a steady rate throughout the six-hour campaign. With multiplayer on hold until next year, one-off skirmishes are the current best way to keep playing after the credits roll, though they take some getting used to. Skirmish mode offers over 50 challenging battles, often in either inordinately small playing fields, groupings of rough terrain, or situations where you are grossly outnumbered and outgunned by the enemy. These fights will definitely keep you busy, but the jump in difficulty from the last mission of the campaign to even just the first few skirmishes is a big one that's initially off-putting.

The PC version of Tiny Metal is notably better looking and allows you to use a mouse, but fans of Advance Wars will find that playing on the go with Switch completes the nostalgic experience. The only major flaws in portable mode are the tiny fonts used in some menus, and a marked decrease in resolution when the camera zooms in to watch two units attack each other. The PC version gets more graphical options, and an unlocked framerate, but Tiny Metal's throwback action feels at home on Nintendo's portable.

Newcomers to the turn-based strategy genre are likely to have a blast with Tiny Metal all the way through its campaign, though the endgame is no doubt a little restrictive. Old hands to this type of strategy game will find a campaign that wears its influences on its sleeve, but still admirably and respectfully fits right in with them. It’s the kind of game where you jump in just to take two or three more turns and suddenly an hour has passed, and you can’t rest until that pesky enemy gunship or tank fleet is down for good. Hopefully that can continue next year if the multiplayer patch comes as promised.

Categories: Games

Brawlout Review

Gamespot News Feed - Fri, 12/29/2017 - 16:00

The Switch has had a fantastic first year, but one of the big Nintendo franchises the console is still missing is the much-beloved Super Smash Bros.. While rumors are swirling about some sort Super Smash Bros. 4 port to Switch, a few enterprising indie developers are looking to fill the void with Smash-inspired fighters of their own. One such effort is Angry Mob Games' Brawlout. While it makes a valiant attempt to put its own spin on the Smash style of platform fighting gameplay, Brawlout has some notable issues that aren't easily overlooked.

It's worth noting from the outset that the game is designed for competitive Smash fans. If you're looking for a goofy free-for-all with zany items and copious stage hazards, this isn't the game you want. What's here is a very basic selection of fighting arenas with restrained gimmickry, no items, and a handful of game modes that are focused specifically on pure fighting.

If you're familiar with Smash, the controls in Brawlout will feel like second nature. You have a regular attack button and a special attack button, and pressing these in combination with a directional input will change your attacks. Jumping and running also change your attack properties, and you can charge certain attacks for more power. The goal is to damage your opponent, then hit them hard enough to send them flying off the field. Sounds exactly like Smash so far, right? The big difference is that Brawlout doesn't offer shielding or grab maneuvers. Instead, the buttons you would normally associate with these moves are re-assigned to a dodge move with an invincibility window that can be executed on the ground or in the air.

While dodging is a mechanic that veteran Smash players will no doubt feel familiar with, the removal of shielding and grabs is quite puzzling. The lack of guard and throw mechanics, which are are nearly universal across all kinds of fighting games, limits your options in frustrating ways. The loss of shielding, for example, makes certain attacks a lot safer than they would be in other games of this sort, and puts a lot of power in the hands of someone going all-in on aggression. It doesn't necessarily result in a more aggressive game; it just gives someone on the defending side fewer options and leads to more frustration.

Brawlout attempts to cover for the loss of these options with an upgraded Rage mechanic. Rage was something of a hidden mechanic in Smash 4 that would increase a character’s damage output when they had taken a lot of damage. In Brawlout, Rage is very clearly visible through a meter shown underneath a character’s damage readout. As a character takes damage, their meter increases. They can use the meter to power up their special attacks, utilize a combo-escaping burst when the meter’s at least half full, or enter full-on Rage Mode (indicated by a large burning flame graphic on the character’s damage indicator) when it’s at max. Special moves have different properties when used with and without Rage meter to fuel them, so keeping tabs on your meter becomes a big part of the game at higher levels of play.

Brawlout presents its comic combatants and arenas with confidence and style, but even the game's relatively bland-looking characters prove useful during battle. Joining the cast of original fighters are two guests from other indie games: Juan from Guacamelee and the Drifter from Hyper Light Drifter. They both feel at home in the game, but as of this writing, Drifter is somewhat overpowered compared to the rest of the cast.

However, in order to access the full selection of characters and stages, you have to unlock them. And there is a lot of unlocking to do. Fighting on- and offline, completing the tutorials and arcade modes, leveling up characters, and fulfilling daily objectives will all earn you currency you can spend on "pinatas" (read: loot boxes) to earn characters, skins, and other goodies. To unlock more than three initial stages, you have to level up specific characters across numerous fights. No, you can't just find one fighter you really click with and play with them; you need to play each character until you reach a specific level for them to unlock one stage apiece. And that's a separate grind from the two different in-game currencies.

With the game being so slanted towards competitive play, Brawlout does its best to push you towards playing online. The problem is that, in its current state, online play is a mess. I had a handful of good sessions in my attempts to play online. By and large, my online bouts were defined by stuttering, clunky-feeling movement and laggy slideshows--issues echoed online by other players. It's hard to recommend a competition-focused game like this when part of its foundation is so flawed.

Brawlout is clearly trying its best to create a unique identity from the game that inspired it. However, the ways in which it's trying to do this--by removing key mechanics and putting an emphasis on grindy unlocks--don't work in its favor. Combine this with an online mode that just doesn't seem to function correctly most of the time and you've got a game that's disappointing in its current form. Keep the Wii U or GameCube hooked up to get your Smash fix for now.

Categories: Games

The Single-Player Of Star Citizen Tells A Sci-Fi Story

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 12/28/2017 - 00:04

The team behind Star Citizen's single player campaign, Squadron 42, has released over an hour of footage of the long-delayed story mode.

Star Citizen's story mode boasts a Hollywood cast, including Mark Hamill as the main character, The X-Files' Gillian Anderson, and Gary Oldman. Hamill, sporting a beard yet again, is referred to as "Old Man" and his interactions with the player shape the story.

Squadron 42 was announced in Cloud Imperium Games' Kickstarter for Star Citizen years ago with an intended release in October 2016. It currently has no release window. Star Citizen as a whole has exceeded $200 million crowdfunding.

You can check out the single player video below.

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Categories: Games

Sophitia Shows Off Her Skills In This Reboot Developer Diary

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 12/27/2017 - 22:12

In a developer diary for Soulcalibur VI, producer Motohiro Okubo explains what makes this reboot version of Sophitia so special.

Okubo kind of frames Sophitia as Soulcalibur's Ryu, making her a good character for novices who fights with an orthodox style. Okubo noted that Sophitia and Mitsurugi were the first characters made for the game and every other character was built around their style and visuals.

Check out the developer diary below. Soulcalibur VI is scheduled for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2018.

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Categories: Games

L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files Review

Gamespot News Feed - Tue, 12/26/2017 - 16:00

To refer to L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files simply as a VR port does it a disservice. In many ways, the game feels like a fresh experience with its new first-person perspective coupled with interactive environments. Despite its truncated length, you get the sense that Rockstar put a lot of work into The VR Case Files. It certainly has flaws, but raises the bar for what a good VR port should look like.

You play as the familiar detective Cole Phelps as he tries to solve several, mostly unrelated crimes within 1940s Los Angeles. Perhaps the biggest difference between The VR Case Files is that it only features seven missions, which provide roughly six to eight hours of gameplay. This is down from 21 cases in the original game and means that you lose the nuances from LA Noire's overarching narrative. If you've never before experienced it in its entirety, it will be confusing seeing a new partner for each mission without any added context. Due to the missions' very episodic nature, however, it largely still works.

Talking with other characters makes up the bulk of the experience, but you still need to move around the city. The most straightforward method is to hold down the right trackpad and alternatively swing your arms side to side to virtually walk in the direction you're facing. It can feel a little janky at times as some slight unwanted drifting may occur, but it gets the job done. The second, perhaps more nausea-free way to move, is to gaze at highlighted areas of interest and then press down on the trackpad to teleport.

The VR Case Files has been completely overhauled so that you can pick up a wide variety of highlighted objects in the world. It's not quite up to the level of Job Simulator in interactivity, but Rockstar does a good job of convincing you that LA Noire was built from the ground up for VR. You can pick up plates, cups, and more and just toss them around as you see fit. Where this added interactivity becomes really impactful is when, for instance, you're standing over a lifeless corpse examining how the person died. In general, the new first-person perspective bolsters the illusion that you're a detective by allowing you to pick up and examine clues like you might in real life. It makes you think about evidence in a new light.

Not all these interactions are positive, however. For instance, you may have to hold a match book with one hand and then use your other hand to flip it open to look for additional clues inside. While these occurrences might not be a big deal in the base game where the solution is simply a button press away, the answer isn't as obvious in VR when you don't know what objects might have a second layer of interactivity using your free hand. Luckily, these instances are pretty rare.

One the bright side, the new fist fighting mechanics feel like a surprisingly fun boxing minigame. Using room scale, you can get out of the way of punches and throw your own back at opponents. Characters react appropriately when hit, and punches feel very satisfying to land.

In general, the The VR Case Files has a lot of nice little VR touches. When you're interrogating suspects, for instance, you hold a little detective booklet with all your clues in one hand, and you've got a pen in the other, which you use to select your line of questioning. You can even use the pen to write in the notebook. There's really no meaningful benefit to the added mechanic, but it's fun drawing silly pictures while you're interrogating a suspect.

Driving has also been completely revamped. Since the game now takes place in first-person, car cabins are now meticulously detailed. To drive, you use the Vive controller to place your hands on the virtual steering wheel, but before you zip around town, you'll need to start the engine by turning the key in the ignition. There are a bunch of nice little touches here that really make you feel like you're sitting in a real car. For instance, you can use your palm to press down on the horn to honk, and you can even manually roll down the windows. The trigger on the right controller allows you to accelerate, and the trigger on the left allows you to break. Driving works as well as you'd hope given this control scheme, and it's fun trying to weave through traffic as you chase runaway vehicles. You can also drive around the city at your leisure. While there really isn't anything to do on the road other than to engage in some virtual tourism, it's nice just driving through a realistically rendered rendition of 1940s LA.

Visually, the graphics and artstyle work wonderfully in VR. While the unique motion captured performances look fantastic in the base game, I had some concern that they might take you out of the experience in VR, considering it's a new first-person perspective that gives you more movement agency to disrupt the pre-captured performances. Surprisingly, however, Rockstar employs head tracking, so characters will often look your way, even when you're moving around them.

The VR version isn't without its flaws, however. While the few shooting sequences are often exciting, and the gun models look and feel accurate based on how you reload them, aiming is often imprecise. Furthermore, even though 99 percent of the game takes place in first-person, there are brief moments when the game switches to a more traditional third-person perspective, which can be a little jarring.

While the game encourages you to physically sit in a chair when the situation calls for it, there's the occasional bug that makes it look like you're a super small person with tiny hands when you're playing seated.

While L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files has its flaws, it excels at making you feel and think like a detective in a way that the base game can't. The VR version isn't a replacement for the full game, but it's a great companion that allows you to play the greatest hit moments from Rockstar's noire opus in a welcomed new way.

Categories: Games

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Review

Gamespot News Feed - Fri, 12/22/2017 - 17:00

You know what's a great idea? Stuffing 100 players into a plane to parachute down onto a desolate island to scavenge for weapons, armor, and supplies in hopes of surviving a bloody deathmatch. And to keep things interesting as numbers dwindle, throw in the impending doom of an electric field that forces players into an ever-shrinking warzone. PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds turns this foreboding gameplay concept into an exhilarating multiplayer shooter. With several randomized variables that challenge you to adapt, no two matches are the same, and it's what keeps you coming back for more. It's not the first of its kind, and despite glaring flaws, PUBG emerges as the most accessible, mechanically refined battle royale game to date.

PUBG stands above its forebears by streamlining systems and mechanics to let you focus on gearing up, devising tactics on the fly, and executing them to the best of your ability. Gone are granular gameplay elements like crafting, bleeding, and the arduous navigation from games of this lineage. Jumping into a match is less daunting and faster paced than something like H1Z1: King of the Kill or earlier Arma II mods that Brendan "PlayerUnknown" Greene himself helped create.

Whether solo or with a squad of other players, the early phase of a match is filled with tense anticipation. Dropping out of an aircraft with just the clothes on your back, you're expected to loot for weapons, ammo, armor, and health packs. These critical items litter the city centers, towns, and abandoned structures across the game's two different maps. You have to account for the plane's flight path and determine if you want to pick a fight as soon as possible; if so, it's a race to find the first gun or immediately throw hands in a hilariously janky boxing match. On the flip side, parachuting to a more distant town results in a less stressful hunt for items; either way, you won't always get the gear you want. In squads, sharing an abundance of ammo and health packs or helping scout for a vehicle highlights the tactical advantage of team play in the opening minutes.

It's absolutely necessary to juggle all of these factors in the early phase of a match, and by the same token, this can prove to be exhausting and repetitive. Despite having relatively smooth inventory management, it's demoralizing to spend a majority of a match gearing up only to lose in the first firefight or die unceremoniously by distant gunfire coming from an undetermined direction. The harsh reality is part and parcel of the give-and-take you have to accept in PUBG for the more rewarding moments to surface.

After working through the hectic opening of a match, you then have to face the dread of engaging others while also keeping an eye on the slow yet ominous "blue circle of death" that forces players into an increasingly smaller zone. It gives you time to scavenge regardless of the area you land in, but the random nature of where the circle converges within a huge map ensures that no one strategy can be employed repeatedly. Whereas capture zones and specific choke points dictate the action in many shooters, PUBG leverages simple variables to stave off monotony.

You never know where the final firefight will take place, or which position will be most advantageous when things heat up, until the blue zone comes into view. One match could have the last 10 players fighting on the open shores and in between rock formations, and the next one could turn into a stalemate between squads holed up in buildings. Miramar, the newer desert map, showcases the evolution of PUBG with its more varied terrain, newfound verticality, and quirky touches to city interiors (like a luchador wrestling ring and a casino floor). Regardless of the map, the same rules and tactics apply, and it's up to you to adapt to the given environment.

Positioning, scouting, and knowing when to engage are vital to success; these are tenets that feed into the emergent tactics formed in the matter of seconds that separate life and death, especially when playing in groups. Imagine a skirmish against another squad across a crowded city. Spotting enemy movement presents an opening for a kill that'll turn the tide, but taking action puts you in potential danger. So do you pursue the enemy and brace for bullets raining down on you, or fire from afar and give your position away? If you take enough damage and get knocked down, teammates can revive you before you bleed out, but they'd be defenseless as the revive countdown ticks. PUBG is a series of calculated risks in the form of a shooter, and the unpredictability of where or when these moments happen keeps the game fresh.

As you inch toward becoming the last combatant standing, the tension ramps up exponentially. The risk-reward nature of PUBG is compounded by the fact that matches become more of an investment as they go on. But because of how much you have to work to achieve victory, winning is intrinsically rewarding, even without a tangible prize at the end. Whatever your style, there's a way to survive if you play smart. That's not to say the only triumph comes from winning, though. Survival itself is an achievement, every kill feels earned, and recognizing mistakes in a heated battle is a lesson learned.

PUBG retains some of the military-sim roots of its predecessors and is ultimately better for it; it's another layer of forethought required during confrontations. You'll find that guns aren't easy to wield, as recoil is a major factor that negates the effectiveness of full-auto firing modes outside of close-quarters encounters. Bullet drop makes sniping much more challenging than lining up crosshairs while health packs take time to be applied, which makes you think twice about healing under pressure. PUBG's learning process involves going through a lot of trial and error, but this is key in reaching the most satisfying parts of the game.

As of now, there aren't any in-game tutorials to lay out the basics or jumpstart newcomers. Even after several hours, you may still not realize that you can hold the ctrl key and right-click items in the inventory to drop a specific quantity for squadmates, for example. Although it's one of the more accessible games of this type, there's a lot to learn and nothing to show you the ropes if you're on your own.

While PUBG focuses on executing the core mechanics that make battle royale-like games great, it lacks technical refinement. At launch, PUBG is noticeably improved from its early access days, but frame rates can still fluctuate inexplicably. Even a high-end PC can have trouble maintaining a consistent framerate with relatively modest graphics settings, evidence of PUBG's ongoing optimization struggles.

Likewise, the familiar fear of seemingly random crashes and connection difficulties remains, and it's sometimes almost as unnerving as an opposing squad converging on your location. (If it's any consolation, you can pick up where you left off if you relaunch the game before your character dies.) You may also experience character models clipping through the environment and getting stuck inside objects. If and when these problems strike, an otherwise good match can be ruined in an instant.

PUBG's technical shortcomings can undermine its broader achievements on rare occasions, but they don't override your desire to continue playing. Each phase of a match presents a different type of tension that is equal parts thrilling and terrifying, driven by the insatiable desire to be the last person (or squad) standing. Whether you play solo or in a group, successfully executing adaptive tactics to win intense, high-stakes firefights makes for an incredibly rewarding experience. Every player has unique stories of their most memorable matches, and even after hundreds of hours, PUBG continues to inspire rousing tales of victory and defeat.

Categories: Games

Latest Trailer Highlights SSGSS Goku

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 12/22/2017 - 15:50

SSGSS Goku, A.K.A. Super Saiyan Blue Goku, is not a newly revealed character, but the latest trailer for the game highlights him and shows off some of his more powerful moves.

You can check out the trailer below which shows Goku achieving the new confusingly names god form, and use moves like his one-inch punch. Dragon Ball FighterZ is coming to Xbox One, PlayStation4, and PC on January 26 and pre-ordering the game nets you some in-game bonuses.

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Categories: Games