Games

What To Expect From Doom Eternal's Campaign, Multiplayer, And More

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 08/12/2018 - 17:15

A day after Doom Eternal's extensive gameplay reveal at QuakeCon, I sat down with id Software's Marty Stratton, who serves as the project's executive producer, and Hugo Martin, creative director, to talk about how the sequel will shake things up for the campaign, combat, multiplayer, and mod scene. Stratton and Martin wouldn't give away every secret, yet but did dive deep into what we can expect from certain aspects of this sequel.

Take me back to the conclusion of Doom. You finished it up and started thinking about the future. What was that aftermath like? What kind of discussions did you have?
Marty Stratton: It was quick. We started planning and pre-production right away. We had post-mortem discussions about what we did right and wrong and what we wanted to do better. There was a lot of research on reviews, YouTube, everything. We took it all in, and tried to figure out where to go from there.

Hugo started with the creative team right away; trying to figure out where we would go next.

Hugo Martin: We also hoped to get the chance to make another one, so the story arc started in 2016. We laid the groundwork for the sequel. There was a ton of work to be done across the board, but in that regard, it was about continuing what we started.

At that point you were showing the world what a new Doom could look like. Now you say you are creating an entire Doom universe. That screams of extensive plans. Can you discuss what we can expect from the Doom universe?
HM: We're so excited. It's what we always wanted. It just means [Doom Eternal] has depth and a lot of substance. That's mostly it – that it's something that is worth your time.

MS: There's thought and depth behind every decision, visual, level, and weapon. We tried to build a lot of lore into the codex in Doom 2016. A portion of the audience dives into that. Some people don't even know it's there. We think people that do invest in it appreciate it. With Doom Eternal, we want to make sure it's within arm's reach if you want it. It's all there. There are answers to your burning questions.

A lot of people are affected by the game on a visceral level. They love killing the demons. None of that is changing. What is exciting for me are the conversations that happen around this stuff as we build it. They are so amazing and fun. The ideas and lore are thought through by really creative people. We haven't really put [the lore] out there where people can be a part of it. That's what I love about story games, stuff like Elder Scrolls. They put it out there where people can get it at varying levels. We want to bring people into that conversation a little bit more. We think what we have is exciting.

Is that lore mostly going to be off to the side in the codex again?
HM: It's not just lore or backstory. If you want to surf the main game, we have what we call the A story and B story. The A story is the main game, and what the average consumer is going to experience. The B story is context for everything, like who am I talking to, why did that guy interact with me in that way? The key thing when we say "universe" is we want to take the Doom player to places they've never been before. That serves the A story. It's not just about making juicy codex entries, it's about, as you saw with those locations, taking you to new places. As Marty said, Doom is about killing cool bad guys in amazing places with awesome guns. That's it. The amazing places part, and the cool demons part, and the awesome guns part fit into that stuff.

"The ballista is kind of an ancient looking weapon. Where does that come from? Do I get to go to that place?" We just want to make sure that Doom has some fantastic set pieces in it. We're swinging for the fences with this one. We're going to go to some cool places. Doom universe is just about making the game more awesome and fun.

Let's talk about the slayer himself. You guys gave him an upgrade...a few upgrades.
HM: It's the evolution of who he was in Doom 2016. He's still the same guy, but fictionally speaking, he is constantly modifying his armor. Many people call out: If he is this ancient warrior who has been in this eternal struggle between good and evil, why does his armor look modern? There's a good answer for that. He's changing his armor all of the time. He's upgrading it. Superheroes do it. That's a part of that genre. We think of him like a superhero. When he upgrades his stuff, he does it with efficiency in mind. From a gameplay perspective, we always think of that first.

The blade in particular is something we thought a lot about. It's hard for us to glory kill enemies with [the slayer's] bare hands. Some of the demons are the size of elephants. We would talk about the glory kills, and [the development team] would be like "I can't do this." They would put the slayer's hands on the baron's face, and they would look like baby hands. We had to give him a tool. He always had to pull parts off of enemies, which he still does, but now he has a utensil to take out large enemies more efficiently. The first glory kill he does in the demo is faster than any in Doom 2016. [The blade] is faster, it can take out big enemies, it looks cool, and adds variety.

MS: We really tried to maintain the dance, flow, and feel of combat. Everything we've added is centered around that same dance, just giving you new moves to use on the dance floor. That was always important that it was the same dance. We want it to be a tight game loop where the player is thinking of what to do next. The flamethrower, I don't know how much it got noticed, but when you shoot a guy who is on fire, there's a benefit – you get armor shards. It works a little like the chainsaw. It isn't just cool looking, you get gains from it.

HM: Destructible demons are the same. Is [the destruction] all cosmetic only? No. Some of it can be strategic. For example, you can shoot off the gun turret on the Arachnotron. That's his primary attack, and it can be pretty devastating. If you have good aim, and you want to nerf his abilities – he still has other attacks, though – you can take out that gun. As long as something feels like it is promoting the player to be aggressive, it's Doom. All of these things, the doom blade, equipment launcher, it's about being aggressive.

The thing that surprised me the most about the gameplay you showed was how open the spaces were. Are most areas that large?

HM: If the race car gets faster then the race track has to get bigger. That's basically it. Our race car can do a lot of things now, so the track he's on has to be bigger. Talking about our traversal combos, when you double jump to a dash into a monkey bar swing use the meat hook and then wall climb, it makes the ambient spaces more dynamic. Having the tools in place as game designers allows for some really interesting moments, and that includes combat.

MS: The stuff happening around you in these levels is crazy; whether you're experiencing hell on earth on the edge of collapsed buildings or fighting under the BFG 10,000 on Phobos. We're not just taking you to new places. The experiences you're getting in places you've been, like the UAC, you've never seen before in a Doom game. We've really taken that next step. The worlds were great in 2016, but the level of s--- going on around was never at 10. The sky box was never at 10. This time around, when you look around, you're going to see you're in the middle of something big going on.

Can the meat hook latch onto anything?

MS: Just demons.

It has to be made of meat then?

MS: Yup. Exactly.

The meat hook is attached to the super shotgun. Does that mean you need to have that weapon equipped to use the hook?

MS: Yup. The way works is when you have the super shotgun out, you hit the mod button and it shoots it out.

You didn't go into multiplayer, SnapMap, or mods during your presentation. Can you talk to me about your plans for those things? Todd Howard took Escalation Studios, the team that made SnapMap.

MS: Todd takes everyone. (laughs)

I'll start with SnapMap. We decided to move away from it. We loved it and thought it was great, but it didn't scratch the itch we thought maybe it could for people. We touched on the Invasion stuff. That's a whole part of game we think people are going to have fun with. That was a high-level goal for [Doom Eternal]. We're also working on a PvP component. We'll talk about it later. It's also very Doom, as we like to say. It isn't a sidecar experience. We are doing that internally. We've taken all of that in.

HM: (whispers) It's awesome.

MS: [The multiplayer] is new and different. We're also planning for probably the thing that was most requested, which is post-campaign content that we create, not through something like SnapMap.

HM: The campaign, Invasion, PvP, it all feels like Doom this time. There isn't kind of a separation there where you're like "I kind of like the MP, but it doesn't feel like Doom." We were aware of that. We're making it internally now. We're excited about what we have.

Categories: Games

<p>We already know Fallout 76 will be

Game Informer News Feed - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 19:17

We already know Fallout 76 will be an online-oriented game, with a focus on inter-player interactions over branching dialogue trees with NPCs. But what does that mean when it comes to player-on-player confrontations? During today's Fallout 76 panel at Quakecon, project lead Jeff Gardiner, game director Todd Howard, and development director Chris Meyer gave us some elucidating details.

Since Fallout games have been mostly single-player affairs up to this point, multiplayer introduces some interesting problems. At the forefront of the team's mind was the question of how the world would deal with griefers - people who might wander the wasteland looking to ruin other people's games by relentlessly attacking them.

Howard's answer to this question was quick. "We turn ass***** into interesting content."

"We want this element of danger [in Fallout 76] without griefing," Howard said. After hitting level five, you'll begin to encounter other players as you explore the wasteland. One of the ways you can interact with them is to shoot them. Taking into the account the fact that players are likely going to shoot each other on the fly quite often (by accident or otherwise), early potshots won't deal much damage. But if one player is insistent on attacking another, that damage will begin to increase. You can, however, avoid accidental encounters completely by enabling a pacifist flag, which will prevent your bullets from harming other players.

If you do want to fight, the individual levels of each player will matter, but not as much as you might think. Players who've played for a while will obviously be stronger, but that doesn't mean lower-level players are entirely powerless. The power curve is more normalized in PvP than in PvE, making PvP encounters a bit more fair. "The guy in Power Armor with a minigun is obviously going to be harder [to kill], but if you get the drop on him with a knife, it does kind of work," Howard said. 

How the defending player chooses to respond is up to them. If they reciprocate the attack, each player offers a cap reward based on their level, making it tempting to land a kill. VATS returns in Fallout 76, though it's been altered to accommodate the new online nature of the game. Targeting takes place in real time, and you can't target individual body parts at first. Instead you can target the whole body, with a hit chance based on your Perception attribute. You can also use VATS to find sneakier players. Early on VATS may not be as effective as simply shooting your opponent, but invest in Perception and that will likely change.

If you lose a scuffle and die, you'll not only drop your cap reward, but also any junk you might have had on you at the time. Junk is accumulated by searching the world and isn't worthless, either; you need it to build up your camps or craft armor, among other things.

The team didn't want to make death too punitive, but they wanted it to mean something, leading to a system where you do lose something when you die, but it's also not an all-or-nothing affair. So whenever a player encounters what they think might be a tough area or player, they may want to think twice about how much junk they're holding and whether to engage. To circumvent losing junk, you can store it in various stashes hidden around the world, any base camp you might have built up, or in Vault 76.

If someone does end up murdering you, have a chance to get revenge. Once you return to life, you'll be given the chance to seek out that specific player and retaliate. If you manage to win that round, the game will give you double the normal reward for killing them.

But perhaps the most interesting mechanic arises when one player doesn't want to fight. A player who kills someone who didn't fight back becomes a wanted murderer. There's no reward for murdering someone who doesn't fight back other than the brief satisfaction it might give a jerk, and the cost is high; being a wanted murderer marks that player on the map of everyone around them as a red star. That player also carries a new bounty that comes out of their own caps, incentivizing every other player in that instance of the world to kill them. Wanted players won't be able to spot anyone around them on their map, making it difficult for them to see attacking players coming.

Players also have camps they've built to worry about, but losing them won't be as heartbreaking as you might expect. Nukes are a big part of the Fallout experience according to Bethesda, and while getting your carefully-built camp nuked might sting, you can choose to "blueprint" individual structures, letting you recreate them entirely with a simple button press. Of course, you can also use this feature to quickly relocate your camps as well.

Communication is a major part of online games, and Fallout 76 is no different. Along with voice chat for players you join up with, you can also choose to toggle voice chat for nearby strangers on or off, letting you hear them coming or simply make it easier to create ad-hoc roving bands of survivors.

Hopefully, with these various methods of inter-player violence and communication, Fallout 76's decision to foregone bespoke storytelling for more lively player-told stories will pay off.

For more on Fallout 76, check out our write-up on its character progression and creation, as well as how mutations alter your character.

Categories: Games

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Game Informer News Feed - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 18:33

Although we have a general overview of what Fallout 76 is going to be (an online action-RPG where players replace NPCs and become the vehicle for storytelling), it was hard to get a good idea of how we'd be interacting with our characters over the course of several hours. Earlier today at a Fallout 76 panel for Quakecon, Bethesda revealed how character progression, character creations, and mutations work in their new game.

The best way to think about progression in Fallout 76 is by visualizing your character as a deck of Magic: The Gathering-style trading cards that gets stronger as you level. Starting out, you'll have one point invested into each of the seven attributes that make up Fallout's S.P.E.C.I.AL. system. Every perk has a point cost associated with it. An early perk called Gladiator, for example, offers a 10-percent boost to melee damage and costs one point in the Strength attribute to equip. 

You can equip as many perks (which take the form of cards) as you want, provided you have enough points in that attribute to accommodate them. You can also combine copies of the same card into stronger versions of that card, which increase the potency of the card but also its cost. Cards can drop or be fused into each other up to a point cost of five. Bethesda pointed out during the panel that there are "hundreds" of perk cards to experiment with.

Tying into the trading card idea are card packs. When you level up, you can add one additional point into any attribute to let you expand which perk cards you can equip, and you will be able to choose one new perk, but every few levels (every two levels early on, then every five levels), you'll receive card packs, which will give you several cards to experiment with (as well as a joke and chewing gum that will temporarily reduce your hunger when you eat it). Because you start off with one point in every attribute, this allows you to experiment with perks you might otherwise ignore in favor of leveling one specific attribute. Some cool perk cards may drop that cost more points than you might have in a particular attribute, which incentive players to rethink their progression in order to equip a perk outside their expertise. 

Once you reach level 50, you will no longer be able to invest additional points into any attribute, but you will still regularly receive perk cards, which will let you further customize your character.

As you explore the wasteland of West Virginia and level up, you'll likely wind up in some irradiated areas. If you happen to accumulate too many RADs, you'll become susceptible to mutations, which will alter your properties for both better and worse. One mutation Bethesda shared was one that turned the player into a marsupial, increase their jump height dramatically at the cost of reducing your carry potential and strength.

One important aspect of this new system is that, like trading cards you can swap them out any time depending on the situation. There's no cost for swapping out perks, so if you see a combat situation on the horizon, you may want to respec if you've been running a lockpicking "deck" while breaking into people's homes. Of course, with Fallout 76 being a live game, you'll want to swap cards out in safe spot.

The online, multiplayer focus of Fallout 76 may not seem to jive with the Charsima attribute, which in past games was where you could invest points and become a smooth-talking negotiator with NPCs. In Fallout 76, Charisma has been retooled to work as the sort of co-op attribute, allowing players to equip perks that benefit their entire team. Some Charisma perks are oriented towards solo players, but most will emphasize teamwork.

Another social aspect players can expect in Fallout 76 lies in character creation. Character creation is mostly similar to Fallout 4's with a close-up camera of your character within the world. However, this time you also create a snapshot of yourself, using different expressions and poses. You can also use these out in the world, where you can take a selfie at any time. As players take selfies in the world, it'll become populated with curated photos from the community, giving the map a more populated feel.

For more on Fallout 76, check out some of the details on the upcoming beta, your progress in which will carry over to the full game.

Categories: Games

We Happy Few Review - Joyless

Gamespot News Feed - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 01:23

Just like the forcibly stretched grins of its inhabitants, the joy found in We Happy Few is a facade. The game's fascinating setting of a drug-fueled society wasting away in fake happiness is squandered on repetitive environments, poorly paced and downright boring quest designs, and a variety of confusing mechanics that never find harmony with each other. Its three individual tales of survival manage to deliver some surprisingly poignant moments, but We Happy Few does its best to dissuade you from wanting to play long enough to see them through.

We Happy Few takes place in a timeline where Germany reigned victorious after World War II and has England bowing to their whims. Children are sent to the German mainland without reason, and the quiet town of Wellington Wells is plunged into a drug-induced mirage of peaceful, happy co-existence. With pills called "Joy" helping citizens forget the atrocities of the past, uprising is far less likely. But this fake sense of tranquility brings about its own problems. Citizens refusing to live under Joy's medicinal spell are outcast to the borders of city, forced to live in decrepit, crumbling houses while they wait to starve to death. The citizens of Wellington Wells are always happy to see you, but only if you abide by their rules.

Enter Arthur, Sally and Ollie--the three characters you'll control throughout three acts that show all sides of this horrific society. Arthur suffers from post-traumatic stress, reliving the moments where he lost his brother to the German kidnappings. Sally hides a secret within the walls of Wellington Wells while also providing black market drugs to those who pay enough. Ollie is just a confused war veteran, disturbed by events of the past that have shaped his future. The more personal aspects of each character end up being more interesting than the mythos surrounding them. Each new perspective lends context to previously puzzling interactions to create clever "aha" moments, and the stories have powerful themes of abandonment, parental sacrifice, and overbearing guilt. Each finds a satisfying (if not always happy) end to their journey, despite the mechanics fighting actively against you reaching their climax.

In Early Access (where the game sat for nearly two years), We Happy Few was a survival game. That's mostly stayed the same, despite the structure of its design changing around it. As any character, you'll need to manage meters for hunger, thirst, tiredness, and more (Ollie actually needs to watch his blood sugar, of all things), which impose penalties and buffs on your fighting and movement abilities. Early on, managing these statuses is difficult, with a scarcity of resources while you're still coming to grips with We Happy Few's many rules. But they soon end up being just frustrating. The resources to replenish them aren't hard to find, but constantly having to tend to them when you're just wanting to get along with the story is arduous.

There is an unbelievable number of items to pick up and carry in We Happy Few, but only a small handful end up being useful. You’ll frequently be forced to pick up flowers to craft healing balms or bobby pins for lockpicks, for example. But vials of toxins that can knock out or kill enemies don't give you a reason to choose one or the other. The crafting menus for each character change based on their abilities, but the core items that are shared between all three are likely the only ones you'll actually utilize--the specialized items hardly necessitate their complex requirements. It feels like such a waste having a vast crafting system attached to a game that never puts you in a situation where it feels necessary. We Happy Few has many ideas strewn across its menus but nothing mechanically that requires their use.

This frustration is only exacerbated by the lack of interesting quests to undertake in We Happy Few's relatively large open world. Its inhabitants treat you as their delivery boy, never giving you anything more complex than walking to an area, picking something up, and walking all the way back. Quest design works counterintuitively to the idea of having to scrounge to survive. Even if you wanted to reach into the world's nooks and crannies to find something interesting, inquisitive eyes are rarely met with any rewards aside from the plethora of items you probably already have stashed in your inventory. There's a point in Arthur's story where he exclaims, after a multi-staged questline, "All that, just to reboot a bridge?" and it feels like he's crying out for help from you directly.

What attempts to break up this straightforward structure are the rules of Wellington Wells. Outside of its walls you'll be forced to don tattered clothing to fit in with the rest of the depressing crowd, as well as fighting off temptations to steal from their strewn-about dwellings. Inside is another story entirely. The inhabitants of Joy-infested cities will be quick to throw up arms should you do anything but walk. Haunting guards and eerie Joy-sniffing doctors pose a threat to your blending in, which can force you to pop some pills from time to time. Their effects keep you hidden for a time but have devastating withdrawal symptoms that prevent you from masking your depression, which can have an entire city on your tail in mere seconds.

The setting sounds intriguing on paper: a system where stealth is managed by social interactions and conformity. But its execution is lacking. Obeying the strictly imposed rules is trivial and only slows down your progress towards the next quest marker, negating any sense of tension they might have imposed. Outside, the rules are looser, but there's also far less to look at. You'll spend a lot of time simply sprinting through empty fields with no discernable landmarks, only to be greeted by another bridge into another strict state that brings progress to a crawl. It's a disappointing misuse of a system that might have otherwise been engrossing.

It feels like We Happy Few understands many of its mechanics are a chore to begin with.

The character progression system is even more underdeveloped. While each of the three characters has some unique characteristics, the abilities you're able to purchase are largely shared between them, and many give you ways to turn some of We Happy Few's rules off entirely. One allows you to sprint through cities without rousing alarm for example, while another lets you ignore annoying night curfews entirely. It feels like a concession--like We Happy Few understands many of its mechanics are a chore to begin with.

When rules aren't being (mercifully) stripped away, they often just don't work. The night curfew, for example, will have guards turn hostile should they spot you. But conceal yourself on a bench, and they inexplicably ignore you entirely. Melee combat is monotone and predictably boils down to you exhausting your stamina swinging your weapon and then simply blocking until it recharges. When you're not being forced to contend with that, you'll be sneaking around enemies with a barely functioning stealth system. Enemies are inconsistent in their ability to spot you, sometimes walking across your path without a whiff of suspicion. Their patrol lines are easy to spot and never deviate, making the reward of a successful infiltration feel remarkably hollow. Most times they're just far too predictable. They'll stare for extended periods at distractions you conjure and fail to search an area after spotting you briefly. We Happy Few's stealth is so transparently binary that it just feels like you're cheating the system most of the time.

It's a shame that so many of these systems never fit together in a cohesive way, especially when the world itself is overflowing with potential. There's some rich environmental storytelling in We Happy Few, even if its visual variety is shallow. It's striking to transition from dilapidated walls with mad ravings written across them to neatly structured hollows parallel with rainbow roads. The way We Happy Few mixes up its visual representation based on your character's mental states is clever, too. On Joy you'll witness double rainbows as far as the eye can see, with a shiny veneer encapsulating the overly cheery nature of your character. Withdrawal sours this into a dreary grey world where the sounds of flies and visions of decay replace usually unremarkable facets of the environment.

This blends well with We Happy Few's interpretation of the era. Monochrome television screens hang from awnings and play the propaganda-filled ravings of the enigmatic Uncle Jack swing towards you as you pass with a startling red hue. The stretched faces of Wellington Wells' most behaved citizens are off-putting in a brilliantly creepy way, even if there's such a lack of distinct character models that you'll find multiple identical faces hanging out on a single street corner. Cartoonish robotic contraptions mingle in more strictly secure areas and whistle off cheery tunes as they pass by. They also tend to mess about with the pathfinding for Wellington's human inhabitants, which is hilarious only the first few times. For everything that We Happy Few gets right in terms of world building, its gameplay leads it astray.

For everything that We Happy Few gets right in terms of world building, its gameplay leads it astray.

Technical issues plague We Happy Few too, ranging from mildly annoying to borderline game-breaking. Characters will often clip through the floor or disappear entirely as you approach. Shifts between night and day see characters appear and disappear from one second to the next. The framerate suffers on capable PC hardware. Quest logs will sometimes not refresh, while getting an item at the wrong time failed to trigger a quest milestone, forcing me to reload an older save. Audio can disappear from cutscenes entirely for long stretches of time. From numerous angles, We Happy Few is in rough shape.

But even if you are able to overlook its technical shortcomings or perhaps wait for more stable patches in the future, We Happy Few's biggest problems are ones that are hard to remedy. Its entire gameplay loop is underpinned by boring quests and long stretches of inaction. And even when it forces you to interact with its world beyond just walking to waypoints, combat, stealth, and otherwise fascinating societies fail to impose the right balance of challenge and tension. There's a clear lack of direction that We Happy Few is never able to shake, which wastes its intriguing setting. It does manage to weave each of its three stories cohesively into a larger tale, but it's also one that's never critical enough to earn the right to repeat "happiness is a choice" any chance it can. There are just too many hurdles to overcome to enjoy We Happy Few, and not enough Joy in the world to cast them aside.

Categories: Games

The Walking Dead: The Final Season's Launch Trailer Looks Back At The Start Of The Journey

Game Informer News Feed - Sat, 08/11/2018 - 00:05

The Walking Dead: The Final Season is out in just a few days, which means the shambling corpses are heading right for you.

Clementine can never forget the lessons Lee taught her about surviving and now she acts as the guardian for AJ as Lee did for her. Check out the trailer below.

The Walking Dead: The Final Season's first episode releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on August 14.

Categories: Games

The Quiet Man Is Three Hours Long And Utterly Nuts In This New Footage

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 21:10

One of the most bizarre announcements at Square Enix's E3 conference was The Quiet Man. In a trailer that blended live action with a few seconds of punching-filled gameplay, the game posed about four thousand questions and answered none of them. But in a surprise reveal, Square Enix showed off more than 40 minutes of the game and blew our cumulative minds. 

The Quiet Man is being developed by Human Head studios, who are best known for 2006's Prey. It looks absolutely absurd. Here's some details we picked up from the demo and producer Kensei Fujinaga's commentary.

Length

The game is roughly three hours long. 

"However you look at it, it will never be an opulent and ornate treasure box, sparking with all the colors of the rainbow," Fujinaga says. "However, if this tiny, tiny stone that represents a frankly disproportionate level of challenge and experimentation from my modest team, can shine brightly like a diamond in the hearts of our players out there, I would safely say that there could be no greater joy for us than that."

It will be priced lower than a full retail release.

Story

The narrative will follow Dane, a deaf young man who's attempting to find a kidnapped dancer. As implied in the reveal trailer, The Quiet Man mixes its gameplay with live-action cutscenes. In one scene, the screen turned blue and an FMV face covered some of the punching action.

Also, a gangster killed Dane's mom. This presumably fits into the story somehow. Most of the characters shown seem to be a Japanese interpretation of America's criminal underbelly, replete with racial stereotypes and over-the-top costuming. 

Gameplay

In deadly silence, Dane martial-arts his way through several rooms of goons. Much of the combat seems to center on finishing moves that defy all laws of physics, such as flipping a dude 180 degrees before punching him in the mouth. In one scene, he seems to die, only to wake up to a real-life woman smiling at him. The checkpoint then reloads; it's incredibly jarring. 

Sections of the game also place Dane in slower situations in which he walks around an environment and looks at objects. 

The Quiet Man's appears to be following in the footsteps of Deadly Premonition; relentlessly weird and more than a little janky, but with an absolutely sincere charm. Although Dane's haircut looks like it wants to speak to a manager and the story embraces the most offputting parts of Quantum Break, the game has all the makings of a true cult classic.

It's currently in development for PS4 and PC.

[Source: Destructoid] 

Categories: Games

Doom Eternal First Look: A Bigger, Badder, Bloodier Demon Fest

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 19:45

Id Software’s new vision for Doom debuted at QuakeCon in 2014. As imps and demons were torn to shreds with bullets and chainsaws, the crowd roared in approval, and clearly wanted to see more.

Flash forward four years, and the bloodthirsty cry for more was answered: id once again gave QuakeCon attendees the first look at Doom Eternal, the next chapter in the studio's flagship series.

Id's Marty Stratton and Hugo Martin took to the stage with heavy metal blaring as loudly as the crowd's screams. Stratton was taken aback by the crowd's enthusiasm, giving them a, "F--- yeah. You guys are unbelievable. It's awesome to be back here."

The Doom Eternal presentation began with concept art that showed the Doom slayer’s new look, which includes armor tweaks and new tools. Stratton said id's focus was making this interpretation of the slayer the most powerful hero the studio has ever created.

As you can see, the slayer boasts modified armor with extendable blade, spikes on the gloves, an over-the-shoulder attachment (which can equip flamethrowers, missiles, and grenade launchers), and just as much green as he's always worn. His boots also grant him the ability to perform a new omnidirectional dash maneuver to give him a little burst of speed when he needs it.

While he looks like a formidable killing machine with nothing in his hands, id has developed plenty of new and updated weapons for him to wield. The return of the Super Shotgun was greeted with a cheer, which now has a Meat Hook below its barrels. The Meat Hook isn't just used to stab enemies in the face; it functions like a grapple that allows players to latch onto something at a great distance and pull the slayer closer to it. The momentum of that pull can propel him in different directions, allowing for vast amounts of space to be gained in the air.

Other new armaments include a handheld ballista, a redesigned rocket launcher, a plasma rifle, and something called the Crucible Sword. What will the Doom slayer use them against? Martin says this sequel boasts twice as many enemies as the previous game. Along with a host of demons we've never seen before, id is bringing back the Pain Elemental, Arachnotron, and Archvile, to name a few. One of the new beasts is named the Marauder, and Martin teased that he looks like the Doom slayer for a reason. The level of detail in each of these creatures is impressive, as are their death animations, which now unfold through new technology id calls "Destructible Demons." In a series of stills, we could see how taking bullets incrementally affects a demon's limbs, skin, and organs.

 

The new gameplay demo begins on a familiar note: With the slayer putting on his helmet. We then see him test out his blade by extending it for a second before retracting it. As he moves forward, it becomes quickly apparent we aren't in hell anymore. The fires are now on Earth tearing apart one of its cities. Skyscrapers lay in ruin, and demons are everywhere, even descending from the skies.

The first few minutes of action play out like a greatest hits reel from the previous game, showing the slayer unloading clips into slow-moving demons, and periodically rushing in to decapitate one or feed it its own heart as a meal. The fluidity of play is impressive, holding true to the 60 frames per second that id achieved in the original. The environment is wide open and vertical, allowing for the Meat Hook to be used to reach higher areas and stretch across fiery pits. We even see the slayer launch into the air, grab onto a yellow pipe for a split-second, and swing to another area. The gunplay seems rote at this point, but the slayer's range of mobility impresses, and he can even make new paths for himself by punching through walls or scurrying up them with his new gloves.

While the gunplay looks fun, the most interesting elements that occur during it are the little things, like the periodic flamethrower burst from his shoulder attachment, which stuns a couple of enemies, allowing for ammo to be sprayed at them safely. The glory kills are as violent as always, but none of the executions were radically different than stuff we saw in the last game. Heads go flying, bodies are split in two in a variety of ways, and a stern punch can splatter brains. The most interesting glory kills incorporated the slayer's new blade, which in one instance doubled as a skewer for a heart. You also don't seem to be rewarded with as much ammo or health for performing glory kills; the only pinata like effect we saw happened when the slayer ripped through an enemy with his chainsaw.

As fast-paced as the action was, id revealed that it was being played on a controller, and then showed what that same area and combat could look like when turned up a notch while being played on a keyboard and mouse. The heavy metal intensified and the bodies hit the floor at an almost hilarious speed.

 

This second playthrough also teased something new in an "Invasion" alert that appeared on the screen. Invasions allow you to enter another player's game as a demon. You can even invite a few of your friends to enter someone else's game together as a slayer hunting party.

Stratton said that the game won't just be set on Earth and Hell, and teased much more. "We're not just making a Doom game anymore. We're making a Doom universe," he said. One of these new destinations is Phobos, a technologically advanced place that houses a giant skyscraper-sized version of the BFG called the BFG 10,000.

When the slayer arrives on Phobos, the people running the station are in awe of him. They back away, murmuring how he shouldn't be there, and one guy is so speechless that he doesn't say anything when the slayer grabs the red keycard from around his neck and drags him in his wheeled chair to open a door. The slayer also silently takes a weapon out of the hands of a soldier. He apparently has quite the reputation here.

The Phobos area delivered more of the frenzied combat Doom is known for. The demonstration ends with a tease of a boss battle and the promise of a new weapon being used to tear this foe wide open – the Crucible Blade.

Doom Eternal doesn't have a release date or window yet, but is in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch. Let's hope this means the Switch version will launch alongside the others this time.

The crowd at QuakeCon ate up the violence again, but the cheers weren't as loud as in 2014. The shock factor just isn't there: id isn't reinventing the formula again. The roar of approval had more of a tone of "I can't wait to get my hands bloody in this world again,” and that's exactly what id is inviting players to do.

You can check out the extensive footage in the video below starting at 1:10:56.

 

Categories: Games

Frantic New Rage 2 Gameplay Emerges From QuakeCon

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 17:53

During today's QuakeCon 2018 keynote, Avalanche and Bethesda showed off fresh gameplay for the upcoming first-person shooter Rage 2.

Set 30 years after the events of the first game, Earth is beginning to return to its previous state, springing back to life after the cataclysmic events that preceded the initial title. While the weapons, abilities, and wingsticks steal the show in the new gameplay trailer, we also get a look at the new Goon Squad faction, as well as our first glimpse of an intense convoy takedown. You can see the new gameplay for yourself below.

Rage 2 launches PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in spring 2019. For our recent hands-on impressions of Rage 2 from E3, watch our discussion here.

Categories: Games

How Lara Croft Has Evolved In Shadow Of The Tomb Raider

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 14:02

Jill Murray is new to the Tomb Raider series. She previously worked on games like Moon Hunters, Lawbreakers, and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. But now that Murray is lead writer on Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the process of designing a world-spanning adventure feels different.

“Well, first of all, only this game has Lara Croft. Obviously, it’s a huge honor to work on a character with such a lengthy history that spans decades,” Murray says. “She is so strong. She can handle a lot of challenge. With this game, sometimes unwittingly, she becomes her own worst enemy because she is so strong. Our antagonist in this game is a really interesting person, but in a way it's unnecessary to challenge Lara Croft, because Lara Croft is going to create her own challenges by always going so hard and obsessively and stubbornly on everything.”

At the same time, a lot of Lara’s strength has been earned. As fans of the series know, the last two Tomb Raider games put Lara Croft through the ringer. The internet is full of videos of the many ways Lara can meet a grizzly demise, but Murray hopes to flip that narrative in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. While there will still be several opportunities for Lara to reach an untimely end in Shadow, she also won’t get beat up as much over the course of this new campaign. This change represents how Lara has grown and evolved since the series reboot back in 2013. Lara Croft has gone through a baptism of fire and become a capable survivor/hunter.

“In the previous games, Lara was constantly falling because that was the only way we had, at the time, to go down,” says Murray. “So we had to have her fall because there were no mechanics to go down. Now we have a rappel system, we have underwater sequences where she can go down, and all these elements going down, so things are much more elegant and she's much more self-controlled. She's much more mobile with the world, but she's still doing these crazy things.”

Shadow of the Tomb Raider has no shortage of crazy moments. Our previous tastes of the action have seen Lara swing off the sides of cliff walls, crawling through collapsing tunnels, and falling out of the sky after a plane breaks in half. We’re happy to see how the character has evolved into a more capable hero, but we’re confident that she won’t make it through this next adventure without a few bruises. Shadow of the Tomb Raider launches on September 14 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

 

For more on Shadow of the Tomb Raider be sure to read about Eidos Montreal’s insanely clever difficulty system or watch us play nearly 30 minutes of the final build.

Categories: Games

Exploring Shadow Of The Tomb Raider’s Insanely Clever Difficulty System

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 08/10/2018 - 14:01

The three major pillars of the Tomb Raider series are exploration, combat, and stealth, but chances are that you have a harder time engaging with one of those segments more than the others. In a clever move, developer Eidos Montreal has fragmented the difficulty settings so Shadow of the Tomb Raider players can individually adjust the challenge for each gameplay pillar. For example, if you enjoy puzzles but want to cruise through the combat sequences, you can kick up the difficulty of the puzzles and decrease the challenge of the combat. To better understand how this mechanic works, we sat down with Shadow of the Tomb Raider game director Daniel Bisson.

“This game, in general, is harder [than past Tomb Raider titles] and we want to make sure that people can tailor the difficulty based on their play style,” says Bisson. “Because we feature three different gameplay types, it's a very difficult game because you have puzzles, traversal, and combat and each of them needs to be balanced.”

When most games adjust difficulty, they really only throttle the difficulty of combat, but Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s difficulty settings also effects its puzzles and exploration, and since you can set them individually it's easy to tailor a game experience that fits your preference. During a recent hands-on session, I adjusted the difficulty of puzzles and noticed that it affected the amount of time Lara had to react to time sequences. For example, on easy I had more time to run through a door after hitting a switch. Additionally, when I activated Lara’s hunter mode – which highlights important objects in the environment – she offered useful hints and tips on how to complete a certain puzzle. However, on harder difficulties, Lara offers fewer and fewer hints and the path through a level becomes less highlighted.

“In hard, all the white paint that tells players were to go is completely gone,” says Bisson. “The normal difficulty on Rise of the Tomb Raider’s traversal is equivalent to the easy version on Shadow. We wanted to adjust that because it got to the point where people were just following the white paint and it wasn’t very interesting. We want people to lose themselves for hours in there, and by taking out some of that white paint we’re finding that people are discovering things in the world that the might not have found otherwise.”

This approach to exploration actually improved my experience with the game’s early hours. Over the last few years, I’ve grown tired of exploring in games like Tomb Raider and Uncharted because the path forward often feels too obvious – I often feel like the developers are holding my hands through a game because the path forward is painted into the world. Players who are happy with this approach can play Shadow of the Tomb Raider on the easy exploration setting and have that familiar experience. Those who want an old-school experience that doesn’t feature any environmental paint can play on hard. Personally, I feel like Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s normal difficulty does a good job of subtly blending the white paint cues into the environment in a way that isn’t immediately noticeable. This meant that I had to occasionally hunt around for the next place to go, but I never grew frustrated and lost.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s difficulty settings are pretty nifty and I hope that other games take this approach of fracturing the various aspects of gameplay into different difficulties. We’ll see if this approach takes off after Shadow of the Tomb Raider launches on September 14 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

 

For more on Shadow of the Tomb Raider be sure to read about how Lara Croft has evolved for this entry or watch us play nearly 30 minutes of the final build.

Categories: Games

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Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:55

Square Enix has announced that American owners of Dragon Quest XI will find some equipment in their starting bag that hits Dragon Quest fans right in the nostalgia. You can dress Dragon Quest XI's Luminary in the clothes of Dragon Quest VIII's hero from the get-go.

When you start Dragon Quest XI, you'll find two items in your bag: Trodain bandanna and Trodain togs. Putting on these two items named after the pivotal castle town in Dragon Quest VIII gets you Eight's clothes, though they're just clothes, so you're still the Luminary. The clothes are slightly better than your starting kit otherwise, but won't last you the whole game. However, you will get a recipe to create more powerful versions of the clothes for late game content.

You can check out the trailer for the costume below.

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age releases on PlayStation 4 and PC on September 4. A Nintendo Switch version of the game will be arriving later, though Square Enix has not indicated when.

Categories: Games

Eight Reasons To Be Excited For World Of Warcraft: Battle For Azeroth

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 22:24

World of Warcraft’s Battle for Azeroth expansion arrives next week, and with it comes a host of new additions to the fantasy MMO. From new PVP and PVE modes to giant frog mounts, we break down the eight most exciting changes coming to World of Warcraft in Battle for Azeroth.

The Story

[SPOILERS for WoW: Legion and Battle for Azeroth follow.]

Battle for Azeroth picks up after World of Warcraft’s previous expansion, Legion, which concluded with the titan-turned-demon Sargeras stabbing a giant sword into the planet Azeroth. The wound caused a powerful material called Azerite to pop up all over the planet. The Horde rushed to obtain it, and the Alliance soon did the same.

As revealed in the recent “Warbringers: Sylvanas” animated teaser, Horde Warchief Sylvanas Windrunner burns Teldrassil, the world-tree home of the Night elves, kicking off the Alliance-Horde conflict in Battle for Azeroth. This particular event has caused some upheaval among Warcraft fans.

The Azerite System

The powerful substance that’s causing Battle for Azeroth’s conflict, Azerite, has important gameplay implications, too. After completing an introductory quest chain, players will obtain the Heart of Azeroth artifact, which they’ll use throughout the expansion to empower certain helms, chest pieces, and shoulder pieces with unique traits. For more info on the Heart of Azeroth, you can read Blizzard’s preview of the artifact.

The Island Expeditions  

Island expeditions take players to the unexplored islands of Azeroth, where a team of three players face off against an opposing team of either other players or “advanced NPC” opponents that take varied approaches to fighting and have more abilities than normal NPCs. The teams race to collect 6,000 Azerite by defeating creatures, mining nodes, and looting chests, all the while fighting with one another.

Each island aspect is randomly generated, meaning players will encounter different events, obstacles, and enemies in each expedition. To read more about island expeditions and about World of Warcraft’s new PVP system introduced in Battle for Azeroth, check out Dan Tack’s hands-on preview of the mode.

The New Zones

Battle for Azeroth introduces six new zones to World of Warcraft – three for the Horde and three for the Alliance. Alliance players journey to the seafaring continent of Kul Tiras, home to the Tiragarde Sound, Drustvar, Stormsong Valley zones. Horde players travel to the troll-dominated Zandalar, where they explore the Zuldazar, Nazmir, and Vol'dun zones. Each of these zones brings plenty of new environments for players to explore and enemies to defeat.

The Unique Themes  

Hand-in-hand with these new zones comes Battle for Azeroth’s distinct area, gear, and enemy themes. The Alliance’s zones are heavily nautical-themed. Players will encounter lush greenery in Stormsong Valley and sailors and pirates in Tiragarde Sound. The perpetually autumnal Drustvar shakes things up as players face off against witches and treant-like creatures in the zone’s spooky forests. If you’ve ever wished World of Warcraft was more like Pirates of the Caribbean or an American folktale, you might want to consider rolling an Alliance character in Battle for Azeroth.

The Horde zones have major prehistoric vibes, with ancient forests and dinosaurs to boot. The Zuldazar zone is the oldest city in Azeroth, and it’s caked in gilded trollish architecture. Nazmir is home to your quintessential prehistoric landscape, full of swamps and towering trees. Vol’dun provides players with an expansive desert full of dino bones and vicious snake people. Troll themed areas are nothing new in World of Warcraft, but this may be the most extensive and fleshed out troll area to date. If you liked the League of Explorers Hearthstone adventure and its Indiana Jones themes, you’ll probably like Zandalar.

Of course, Zandalar’s tone appears significantly darker than League of Explorers – in fact, the expansion as a whole seems to be taking that path. Warcraft’s memey humor will no doubt be present, but the savage blood trolls of Nazmir, the creepy witches of Drustvar, and the expansion’s Warbringers trailers set a pretty serious tone. The expansion’s return to classic Horde versus Alliance conflict has a fairly epic and climactic feeling to it, so it’s no surprise Blizzard is keeping things dark.

The Updated Visuals

Part of the reason all this new content is so exciting is because it continues to use the cartoony,  higher-polygon art style Blizzard has been implementing since Mists of Pandaria (and, to a larger extent, since Warlords of Draenor’s character model updates). A large number of old models are finally getting upgraded to this visual style, and several NPCs are getting updated appearances to reflect Battle for Azeroth’s story events.

You can see the full lists of the NPCs and creatures receiving updates on Wowhead.

The Allied Races  

Players who pre-purchased Battle for Azeroth had the opportunity to unlock four new “allied races” – Void elves, Lightforged dranei, Nightborne, and Highmountain tauren. Battle for Azeroth will add four more races to the game: the Dark Iron dwarves, the Mag'har orcs, the Zandalari trolls, and the Kul Tiran humans. The Zandalari and Kul Tirans won’t be added until sometime after Battle for Azeroth’s launch, but they’ll be worth the wait for their awesome-looking dinosaur and tree-creature druid forms.

Each of the allied races come with their own starting quests, as well as the opportunity to unlock unique “heritage armor” sets.

The Warfront Mode

Warfront is a new PvE mode inspired by Blizzard’s Warcraft 3 RTS. Warfronts pit 20 players against A.I. opponents in large-scale battles for territory, and will allow the Alliance and Horde to alternate control of those territories. According to Polygon, “each player-controlled character acts as a hero would, leading the charge and swinging the battle in your faction’s favor.”

Blizzard community manager Randy “Kaivax” Jordan explains how a Warfront is initiated and completed in this post:

“Here’s an outline of how the cycle works:

  • The Alliance starts with ownership of Arathi Highlands, and Horde players challenge them by contributing professions items, gold, and War Resources to help their faction build up enough strength to attack. This is a region-wide effort.
  • Once enough contributions are supplied by the region, the Warfront: Battle for Stromgarde unlocks and Horde players are able to queue for the experience. This queue remains open for a set duration, allowing players to complete the Warfront on a schedule that works for them.
  • After the Horde attack is complete, the Horde takes control of Arathi Highlands, giving them access to a unique World Boss and a series of rare spawns and other rewards only available during the period when their faction owns the zone.
  • The Alliance then begins contributing resources to challenge Horde control.

The cycle continues perpetually, with each faction competing against the other to gain access more quickly or reduce the enemy team’s access to the zone.”

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth launches August 13 for players in North America. For more on the new expansion, check out the “Warbringers: Jaina,” “Warbringers: Sylvanas,” and “Old Soldier” character trailers, or read Dan Tack’s hands-on preview.

Categories: Games

15 Standout Details From The Red Dead Redemption II Gameplay Trailer

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 20:20

Today the public got its most in-depth look at Red Dead Redemption II to date with a six-minute gameplay trailer that highlighted the many new features coming to Rockstar's first game built from the ground up for the current-generation consoles. The richly detailed world – from striking vistas of pristine landscapes to densely packed shelves in the general store – proved the famed open-world developer is taking its craft to the next level.

The six-minute clip gives us a lot to digest, so we cut up the trailer to highlight the features we're most excited about.

Insanely Detailed Weapons

Max Payne 3 featured some of the most detailed gun design ever seen in third-person shooters, and this aspiration for authenticity carries over to Red Dead Redemption II. In this trailer alone, we see unique reload and shooting animations for revolvers, repeaters, and shotguns. Morgan even takes time to polish one of his six-shooters, giving players a nice view of the weapon detail. Looking at the guns of the fellow outlaws, it looks like some have unique custom handles as well. We hope the gunsmiths let you tailor the look of your firearms.  

 

The Tiny Combat Reticle Returns

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer the subtly of this small reticle to the giant, complex ones you see in many modern third-person shooters. It keeps the action looking cinematic and also gives you accuracy to the pixel. I'm glad to it carries over from Red Dead Redemption, as well as the X mark on the map that shows you where there are dead bodies to loot.

 

Another Gang Member With Dead-Eye Aim 

It looks like Arthur Morgan is just as talented as his partner in crime, John Marston, when it comes to shootouts. The famed dead-eye system from Red Dead Redemption returns with a new sheen. 

 

Improved Melee Combat

Hand-to-hand combat has never been a focus of Rockstar open-world games, but it looks like Rockstar is taking a major step forward with its fisticuffs in Red Dead Redemption II. In the few fistfights we see in the trailer, you can see block, kick, grapple, and shove mechanics.  

 

Varied, Intricate Vistas

The attention to detail and draw distance in the environments is remarkable in and of itself. Then, consider how many different biomes Rockstar has created in Red Dead Redemption II. In this trailer alone we see a modernizing Blackwater city, dusty cattle towns, bustling villages with abodes sprinkled around the main street, dense forests, mountains covered in deep snow, arid deserts, and everything in between. Each of these looks more lifelike and authentic than the original game thanks to minor details and impressive lighting. To keep the environments front and center, it appears Rockstar has opted for a minimal HUD as well.

 

A Dynamic Ecosystem

Based on this clip, it looks like various wildlife that wanders the vast expanses of open terrain in Red Dead Redemption have their eyes on more than just the humans wandering into harm's way. Various animals square off against each other dynamically, and you may just stumble upon a fight that leaves you a healthy heap of animal skins to sell.

 

A Reactive World

This small clip demonstrates how the world can react to your actions. As Morgan pulls the trigger and downs an enemy by the barn, we see bats disperse from the rooftop. You also get a glimpse of this reactive dynamic in an earlier sequence where Morgan is thrown through a saloon window. He lands in the mud, which leaves his clothing soiled exactly where he landed. As his aggressor approaches in the thoroughfare, a crowd naturally gathers around them to gawk at the fight.

 

A Man and His Horse

Rockstar has previously detailed how it wants to create a strong bond between horse and player in Red Dead Redemption II. We see some of that in action in this trailer, as Morgan takes time to tame a wild stallion, brush his steed, and store extra weapons in his saddlebags. Some horses are better off being used for certain tasks, which should drive a healthy economy if you like taming horses and selling them off for profit. The horse animations look dramatically improved as well; I particularly love the moment where a horse bucks off its rider as Morgan buries a bullet in him. 

 

More Varied Interactions With Strangers

As with Marston in the previous game, you don’t need to make Morgan an irredeemable outlaw. The honor system returns and takes into account how you react to strangers you come across. Sure, you can intimidate witnesses to your crimes or even rob them, but you could also choose to walk away from fights and diffuse tense situations and build relationships instead. This system works both ways, so don’t be surprised if your bad (or good) reputation precedes you as you walk into a new town and are recognized for your past transgressions (or good deeds). 

 

Another Collection Of Interesting Side Characters

Red Dead Redemption boasted several memorable interactions with characters like Nigel West Dickens, Landon Ricketts, and Bonnie McFarlane. This gameplay trailer teases some of the varied personalities we can expect to come across in the follow-up, including what appears to be a man of science, brothel madame, and a man who likes to think of himself as an oilman. 

 

Parlor Games Return

Sometimes you want to take a break from all the gunplay and relax with some good old-fashioned gambling. RDR included era-specific parlor games like liar’s dice, blackjack, poker, and five-finger fillet, so it’s only fitting the next game in the series carries forward that tradition. Here we see Morgan playing cards with some fellow Van der Linde gang members using currency amounts that make way more sense for the time period than the hefty sums gambled in Thieves’ Landing last time around. Perhaps these moments can act as bonding activities (or lead to serious fallout) with your fellow outlaws. 

 

Organic Side Missions

One of the ways Red Dead Redemption stood out from other open-world games was you never had an overwhelming to-do list of side missions. This could be carrying forward in the sequel. As we see Morgan interact with his compatriots, the trailer indicates this is how many side missions may organically arise within the game. The lady putting her hand on Morgan’s also could imply romances may develop among the camp members. 

 

Taking Friends Along For The Ride

Not all activities in Red Dead Redemption II are about living the outlaw life; sometimes you just want to relax (or help out the camp’s food situation) by hunting or fishing. Judging from this trailer, you can invite camp members along for these activities should you want some company. 

 

Enjoying Camp Life

In addition to performing various tasks to keep the camp running, you can also enjoy some downtime with your partners in crime. These moments may provide an incentive to rush back to camp every night to hear character backstories or enjoy some song and dance in between all the gunfights and heists. We even see a happy young family sitting around the campfire that appears to be John Marston, Abigail, and young Jack.  

 

Living On The Run

With lawmen and bounty hunters always in pursuit, the Van der Linde gang can't stay in one place too long before finding a new place to hide. The trailer shows the outlaws picking up camp and moving out. Since they have some big wagons in the cavalcade, it appears the group is at great risk of ambush during these sequences. I'm curious to see how much say the player has in where they decide to make camp down the road.

Categories: Games

Watch The Red Dead Redemption II Gameplay Trailer Here

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 16:00

This is the moment you've all been waiting for – the Red Dead Redemption II gameplay trailer. After teasing the gorgeous open world, characters, and plot, Rockstar is finally ready to give you a larger glimpse at how the game looks with a player controlling the sticks. 

Watch here:

Red Dead Redemption II is scheduled to release on October 26 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 

Categories: Games

Both Persona Dancing Games Coming Out Earlier Than Expected

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 15:21

Earlier this year, Persona fans the world over started to get their groove on when news hit that dancing spin-off titles for both Persona 3 and 5 were due out next year. It looks like they have even more reason to get excited now: Atlus has apparently pushed the release date for both games to December 4, 2018.

The company made the announcement with new trailers for Persona 5 Dancing Star Night and Persona 3 Dancing Moon Night, which you can watch here:

For more on Persona and dancing, you can check out our review of Persona 4: Dancing All Night right here.

Categories: Games

Mega Evolutions In Action In New Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! Trailer

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 15:08

The latest trailer for Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! not only shows off Vermilion City, but also Mega Evolutions, which were discussed in Japanese magazine CoroCoro yesterday.

The trailer below shows of Mega versions of Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur, as well as an encounter with Team Rocket, gym leader Lt. Surge, and the S.S. Anne.

For more on the game, take a look at our hands-on impressions here and here.

Categories: Games

Unavowed Review: Dressed To Possess

Gamespot News Feed - Thu, 08/09/2018 - 04:00

Unavowed sounds straightforward on paper. It's a classic-style point-and-click game about demonic possession set in New York City with people to talk to, and puzzles to solve. However, as you get to know its characters and fall further into its mystery, it becomes increasingly clear that Unavowed is much more than it appears: it's a brilliantly written adventure that makes you care deeply about its inhabitants and subverts your expectations.

Many tales involving demonic possession typically conclude with the entity being banished from its host, but in Unavowed, this is where the story begins. Your character wakes up on a rain-soaked Brooklyn rooftop with a hazy memory, surrounded by people you've never met. To your horror, they inform you that you've spent over a year slaughtering people throughout New York and there's a citywide manhunt for your capture. They are the Unavowed: an ancient, hidden order of demon-hunters dedicated to protecting the city from all kinds of supernatural threats. With the spirit seemingly gone, you join their ranks and work to piece together the what, how and why of your demon's bloody murder spree across the city.

It's a good setup for any mystery, but Unavowed sets itself apart with charismatic, fascinating characters and stellar writing. From the members of the Unavowed to bystanders you encounter on street corners, every inhabitant of this version of New York is a compelling character study. A struggle with alcoholism, the burden of generational history, and deep sadness of personal obligations are some of the powerful ingredients that are deftly woven into future quests and conversations in ways that organically reveal themselves to be integral to the game's fiction.

For your own character, three origin stories--bartender, actor, or cop--factor into your interactions. Not only does this change how you're able to interact with people in certain situations, but entire sections of the game will be entirely unique based on your initial choice. There's a surprising replayability to Unavowed--on my second playthrough as an actor, I experienced numerous conversations and encounters that I had no idea even existed the first time around as a bartender, and these lent new perspectives to the overarching narrative.

As you recruit and develop relationships with your team members, they'll quickly grow into well-rounded characters, complete with their own fears, desires, and vexes. These personalities are fleshed-out through incredible writing and voice-acting that genuinely conveys a human experience. It's a strength that permeates the dozen or so hours of the game; their individual histories and shared trauma inform how they interact with you, the world, and each other. In Unavowed, getting drawn into a lengthy conversation is a joy.

But it is the overall mystery that is at the forefront of your adventure here. Investigations lead you all over the city--Brooklyn, Staten Island, Chinatown, Wall Street, The Bronx--and locations are beautifully realized in the colorful 2D artwork. As you progress, you'll need to navigate delicate relationships with business owners and neighbors as you journey to discover the true intention of your ex-demon, who has been manipulating the fear and anguish of these same people.

You'll also need to solve puzzles to defend yourself against ghosts, release tormented souls, and uncover layers of the mystery. The quests you're tasked with are varied and often unpredictable. You might be trying to decipher a hand-written code for an office keypad one minute, and trying to release an interdimensional dragon before it devours you the next. Some puzzles are satisfying to solve through deductive reasoning, and others serve as narrative tools that absorb you into the story. A number of branching choices also arise throughout the game, and they never feel fleeting--even the smallest moments often prove to be consequential in some respect. In addition, because you're limited in only taking two members of your team on any given mission, you have to weigh your choices carefully. Who you bring impacts your puzzle-solving and dialogue options, as well as possible outcomes based on a character's history with an area, their individual talents, and the existing relationships they may have with people you encounter--the number of possibilities here is impressive.

But Unavowed's greatest strength is that it maintains an admirable focus on incredible characterization that feeds into every quest and conversation. Every question you ask, every decision you make, and every sacrifice you make carries you and your team members on an impassioned journey that epitomizes the best qualities of an adventure game. It never rests on tropes, a strong sense of empathy is present through its entirety, and not only do you come to wholly understand character motivations, the way these people deal with supernatural situations helps to build a bond between them and you as a player. From its wonderfully realized locations and its inviting, three-dimensional characters, Unavowed will have you eager to discover the captivating stories lurking in the demonic underworld of New York City.

Categories: Games

<p>We already knew that Super Smash

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 17:44

We already knew that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is going all in with the characters and stages included. While we knew Nintendo was having fun with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's soundtrack since the reveal at E3 this year, series director Masahiro Sakurai dropped a ton of new information during today's Nintendo Direct.

Sakurai stated there are more than 800 tracks on the soundtrack, but if you include menu music and fanfare, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features more than 900 compositions. Sakurai also claimed that you if played all the music in Ultimate back to back, it would take 28 hours to get through all of it.

Like the Wii U and 3DS versions, you can select the tracks you want to play on each stage, and how frequently you want to hear them. However, this time around, you can select any tracks from the series, rather than the tracks for that particular game. This means that if you want to hear Wind Waker tracks on the Breath of the Wild stage, you can do that.

You can also listen to these tracks outside of the stages by accessing the Sound Test menu. There, you find the tracks sorted by game series for ease of browsing. Players are also able to create their own playlists, which is handy for a feature Ultimate borrows from the 3DS version of Super Smash Bros.: the ability to listen to the soundtrack even if the screen is off. This means that you can plug headphones into your Switch and listen to songs in handheld mode without having to leave the screen on.

If you want to listen to some samples of the soundtrack, you can head to the official site by clicking here. Sakurai says the team will continue adding new selections from the soundtrack every week in the lead up to launch. You can also listen to a few selections below.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches on December 7 on Nintendo Switch.

Categories: Games

<p>During today's Nintendo Direct

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 16:17

During today's Nintendo Direct focused on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, series director Masahiro Sakurai went over several details. One of the most impressive details involved how many stages this massive version of Nintendo's crossover fighter will contain.

A comparison graphic used by Nintendo to demonstrate how many stages have appeared in each entry of the Super Smash Bros. series

According to Sakurai, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate features 103 distinct stages. Each stage can be transformed into Battlefield and Omega forms, and every stage can be used in 8-player battles. In addition, all stages are available from the very beginning, so you don't need to unlock them.

Players can also toggle whether they want stage hazards to be active during any given battle. In addition, if you select the "Stage Morph" option before a battle, you can select two stages that the battlefield will transform between over the course of the fight.

With so many stages, the team decided to order them chronologically based on when they were introduced into the Super Smash Bros. series.

In addition to the stages we already knew about, Sakurai introduced several fan favorites that are returning for Ultimate.

 

The following stages were confirmed to come back for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

  • Great Bay
  • Shadow Moses
  • Living Room
  • Gaur Plain
  • Figure-8 Circuit
  • Flat Zone X
  • Pokémon Stadium
  • Garden of Hope
  • Brinstar Depths
  • Summit
  • Unova Pokémon League
  • Magicant
  • Gamer
  • Final Destination

In addition, Nintendo revealed New Donk City Hall from Super Mario Odyssey. The stage begins at ground level before scaling the tower with rising platforms. The musicians you collect in that Kingdom in Super Mario Odyssey also appear in the stage, and it appears that if you hit them and Pauline, the vocal rendition of "Jump Up, Superstar!" plays.

Sakurai says that the team worked hard to modernize the look and balance of returning stages, but for stages from the original Super Smash Bros., the team tried to keep them as faithful in both look and design to the original version as possible to prioritize nostalgia. You can see some examples below.

 

Super Smash Bros. is set to launch on December 7 for Nintendo Switch. For more announcements from this Direct, check out the announcements of Simon and Richter Belmont, Dark Samus and Chrom, and King K. Rool. Also be sure to check out our roundup of a ton of miscellaneous information from the Nintendo Direct.

Categories: Games

Shovel Knight, Rathalos, And More Debut As Assist Trophies In Smash Bros. Ultimate

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 08/08/2018 - 15:50

Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai showed off a few more assist trophies in today's Direct, confirming some new crossovers for the game and also a few new trophies from Nintendo's history.

Assist trophies are basically non-playable fighters that can be summoned into battle. When a player grabs one, it summons an AI-controlled fighter who can be attacked and knocked out for points by other players, but also performs their own attacks. In the E3 Direct, Assist Trophies like the returning Waluigi were shown off, but also new crossovers like Hudson's Bomberman.

Here's a list of what was shown today:

  • Zero from Mega Man X
  • Knuckles from Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Klaptrap from Donkey Kong Country
  • Kapp'n from Animal Crossing
  • Chef Kawasaki from Kirby
  • Gray Fox from Metal Gear Solid
  • Nikki from Flipnote
  • Shovel Knight
  • The Moon from The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
  • Rathalos from Monster Hunter

While some of them just come out and attack, a few have special properties. Kapp'n drives a bus through the stage, Chef Kawasaki cooks the opponents like Kirby's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Nikki draws things on the stage to hurt opponents, Shovel Knight attacks enemies and digs up food, and the Moon crashes into the entire stage.

Additionally, Rathalos is both a boss in the Monster Hunter stage and an Assist Trophy, the first of its kind in the series.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate releases for the Nintendo Switch on December 7.

Categories: Games

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