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Downwell photo
Downwell

Downwell is definitely coming to Vita and PS4


Also a bunch of other indies
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
Indie champion Downwell is preparing to make a move beyond the PC and mobile realms. In addition to its Android release earlier this year, Devolver Digital is preparing to publish the game on PS4 and Vita. This has been ...

The biggest secret hidden across the three Assassin's Creed Chronicles games

Feb 09 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]340170:62181:0[/embed] It's unclear exactly when this sequence takes place, but it's sometime after Master Templar Berg recovered Assassin's Creed Rogue protagonist Shay Cormac's precursor box. These boxes are a source of great interest to Abstergo because they might hold the key to what Abstero is ultimately chasing after. More on that in a minute. Berg has been assigned to take Cormac's precursor box to Álvaro Gramática, one of Abstergo's highest-ranking scientists. Gramática's ecstatic with the find because he plans to use it in order to analyze another artifact, possibly another precursor box. In closing, Gramática exclaims that this is all to support the Phoenix Project. The Phoenix Project might be a means to the Templars' end-goal. The idea is to get close to the First Civilization by decoding their DNA. However, the Phoenix Project is centered around the notion that it might be possible to create a living First Civilization member from scratch with precursor DNA, rather than trying to clone an existing person. Even though it's basically just a teaser, it seems as Cormac's box may have Gramática and Abstergo one step closer to creating someone from the First Civilization, which would allow them to understand Pieces of Eden and other precursor technology. Maybe that's why Gramática sounds so stoked. If that's the case, it very well might mean the next Assassin's Creed puts a heavy emphasis on the present day. That fits right in line with the clues we found late last year. Abstergo's up to something and it might be huge. Who would've thought the Chronicles series would bring us three new protagonists with three separate stories, yet the biggest development would be on the Templars' side? At least it looks to have set the table for more Assassin's Creed to come.
Assassin's Creed photo
A precursor to something huge?
The Assassin's Creed Chronicles titles have been criticized (and rightfully so) for their lack of emphasis on narrative. Even though these are games where the narrative stakes are just as high as the mainline Assass...

Metal Gear Online photo
Metal Gear Online

Konami unveils details for new Metal Gear Online expansion


'Cloaked in Silence'
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
Konami is prepared to unleash the next wave of Metal Gear Online, in the form of a paid DLC campaign. It's called "Cloaked in Silence," and will add three new maps to the game (Coral Complex, Rust Palace, and Azure Mountain) ...

Review: Arslan: The Warriors of Legend

Feb 09 // Chris Carter
Arslan: The Warriors of Legend (PC, PS3 [not available in the west], PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One)Developer: Omega ForcePublisher: Koei TecmoReleased: February 9, 2016MSRP: $59.99 One of the chief problems with Arslan is that it assumes, to some extent, that you're familiar with the source material. This will likely be a problem for a lot of you out there as it's a relatively obscure anime. I'm pretty surprised to see that it's been localized, truth be told. It isn't that hard to follow though, as the gist is mostly set up for you in the first few chapters. The titular Arslan is the 14-year-old crown prince of a kingdom who is forced to step up after one of the worst wars his country has ever seen, and he'll have a little help from his friends. That's all a given. But the ins and outs of each character, their idiosyncrasies, and backstories -- much of those are lost in translation, literally. With a history spanning three decades across multiple manga volumes and anime adaptations, there's lots parse. The encyclopedia menu option helps but it's merely a band-aid. That's not to say a certain type of person can't get get drawn into the world -- far from it -- as that's exactly what happened to me. Arslan is more flashy than previous games from Koei Tecmo (with the obvious exception of Pirate Warriors), but it also touches on a few heavy-hitting subjects, albeit on a tertiary level, like slavery and freedom. The anime cutscenes are wonderfully integrated, and there's often a seamless transition to gameplay. Note that it's fully voiced in Japanese and subtitled, with no dub track. [embed]334572:62104:0[/embed] As expected, the same two-button combo system holds up. Combos flow effortlessly once you pick them up, and the efficacy of multiple abilities ensures that you're not just flailing about wildly mashing buttons. There's also the added bonus of blocking and evading, as well as the classic "musou" super attack and a special that's unique to each character. Once I started to unlock more of the cast, I was surprised at how little Omega Force resorted to cloning, accentuated by said special abilities. For instance, Narsus (an outspoken critic of the status quo) wields a paintbrush. Well, a magical paintbrush that can set traps, queue up earthquakes, and cause rainbow explosions. Daryun, Arslan's right hand, is a pole-arm-wielding fiend reminiscent of Warriors characters like Guan Yu, but he sports some of the most interesting animations yet in the series, specifically his prowess on horseback. Elam, an unassuming young kid, ended up being one of my favorite characters. His bow skills surpass most ranged characters in action games today. One dude uses a lute! And the list goes on.  Switching weapons by way of the d-pad also serves to mix up your tactics on the fly. The "Mardan Rush" mechanic is also a standout feature, rallying an entire battalion as a single unit, causing all sorts of mayhem and kill-counts in the thousands in just seconds. There are also several fun RPG elements to Arslan. You can equip up to three skills by way of "cards," which can be earned by completing specific objectives or just playing the game, or by synthesizing your collection. This is fun to do on higher difficulty levels, but it's not something you'll have to micro on normal or below, so don't get too worked up.  But all of that flash and panache comes with a tradeoff: the boss battles are more tedious than you're probably used to. A "shield" system is in place here, which requires players to whittle down a meter until they can do proper damage. The tactic is usually the same, in that hammering on them as much as possible is paramount, saving your musou to deliver the blow after cracking it, and repeating. It would be more of a crushing feeling if nearly every level weren't such a joy to play through. If you can stomach a few minor issues that add up over time, Arslan: The Warriors of Legend will be your huckleberry. True to Warriors form there's plenty of collectibles to find, new weapons to discover, online and offline co-op, and a free-play mode. Like nearly every Omega Force game before it, I'll be playing this one for quite some time. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Warriors review photo
Dynasty anime
Koei Tecmo is killing it in the beat-'em-up action space. While a lot of detractors erroneously claim that all Warriors games are "mindless button mashers," the studio has managed to keep the series interesting for nearl...


Lumines photo
Lumines

Two new Lumines games are launching this year


On iOS and Android platforms
Feb 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Two Lumines games are coming to mobile platforms later this year, Mobcast just announced. One, a paid app tentatively titled Lumines 2016, is expected to launch sometime this summer, while the other, Lumines VS, is planned fo...
Pokemon Go photo
Pokemon Go

Beware those Pokemon Go beta sign-up pages, they're all scams


As real as Mewthree
Feb 09
// Kyle MacGregor
The Pokémon Company has put out a warning concerning Pokémon Go, stating nothing has been announced regarding the upcoming beta and any new information will be shared via the official site. This seems ...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Based on this math, without challenges, it would take you 'a year of raiding' to nearly get 320 in Destiny


LOL
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
A redditor decided to crunch some numbers related to gear in Destiny, and the results are pretty hilarious. For those who aren't aware, the max "level" (Light level) in Destiny right now is 320. According to hi...
Deep Down photo
Deep Down

Deep Down is still happening, according to Capcom's copyright extension


Deep down we doubt this game will launch
Feb 09
// Joe Parlock
Deep Down was originally announced three long years ago this month, at the debut event for the PlayStation 4. Since then, the PS4 has gone from strength to strength, but poor little Deep Down is still nowhere to be seen. Fort...
World of Warcraft photo
World of Warcraft

Blizzard thanks fans for supporting them for 25 years


Happy birthday, Blizzard!
Feb 09
// Vikki Blake
To celebrate its upcoming birthday, Blizzard has released a video as a thank you to all the fans who have supported the developer over the last 25 years.   "Here’s to 25 years of creating some of the most epic memo...
Dangerous Golf photo
Dangerous Golf

Devs are already thinking about the next generation of consoles


Devs need to 'build for that future now'
Feb 09
// Vikki Blake
Ex-Need for Speed dev Paul Ross is already thinking of next generation consoles. Talking to Edge (via VideoGamer), former tech director Ross - who’s currently working on Dangerous Golf - said he wanted to "start to...
Pancakes photo
Pancakes

Get flipped on with this awesome Undertale pancake


Happy Pancake Day!
Feb 09
// Joe Parlock
Today is the most important day. Christmas go screw itself and New Year can piss off because today is the most wonderful time of the year: it’s Pancake Day. Whether you’re religious or not, today’s a day wh...

Review: Dying Light: The Following - Enhanced Edition

Feb 09 // Zack Furniss
Dying Light: The Following - Enhanced Edition (PC [reviewed], PS4, Xbox One)Developer: TechlandPublisher: Warner Bros. Interactive EntertainmentReleased: February 9, 2016MSRP: $19.99 The Following doesn't weave into Dying Light's main campaign. To start the expansion, you choose it separately in the main menu. You can drag your character's progress and inventory back and forth between the two campaigns at any time, but you can't just go to a fast travel and warp from one to the other. Once you begin, a short cutscene cuts to the chase: your character, Kyle Crane, has become aware of a route leading out of Harran. In this wild outback area, there's a cult that claims to have found some kind of immunity to the zombie virus. As this would benefit your cadre of survivors, you set out to investigate. The new area, called the Countryside, is huge. Techland claims that it's larger than the entirety of the original game, and I'd agree with that after playing to 100% completion. Since there are numerous open fields, it's not quite as packed as the urban environments in Dying Light proper, but I found this to be welcoming. It's not all open, either: you'll go from farms, to beaches, to graveyards, to caves, to factory areas, so you're constantly being stimulated in a new way. With a larger map, the customizable buggy goes from novelty to necessity rather quickly. Using a new Driver skill tree, which you level up by doing racing competitions, ramming zombies, maintaining top speed, and jumping off of ramps, you'll be able to improve your ride and add gadgets such as electrical pulses and UV lights. Since there are always zombies to squash under your wheels, this tree levels up rapidly. The buggy starts off entertaining, and gets better as you tinker with it. You can craft better tires, brakes, engines, and the like to make it faster and more responsive. I'm a sucker for driving in first-person games as it is, and driving in The Following might be the best incarnation I've played to date. A crossbow has also been added to your arsenal, which is a nice way to take out biters without attracting a horde. There are four different bolt types that you can use: normal, toxic, impact, and stun. I generally stuck to the normal arrows, especially when I snuck around the new Volatile caves. In Dying Light, Volatiles are the creatures that only come out during the night and can kill you within seconds if you aren't paying attention. In The Following, you can go directly to their nests to try to thin out their presence in certain areas. If you go in during the day, the caves will be littered with these bastards, and sneaking through with a crossbow was about the most tense this game can get. Going during the night is the safer bet, but I found it less thrilling when the odds weren't stacked against me. Another welcome addition is the Freaks of Nature, giant versions of the more devious types of infected strewn throughout the Countryside. The game recommends that you only try to fight these jerks with friends in co-op sessions, but if you find their weak point (or bring a really good gun like a cheater [me]), you can take them out solo. They offer special blueprints to create ever-more-vicious weapons. Usually you'll find these Freaks when you're on another mission, and suddenly a health bar will appear on the top of the screen a kick-ass John Carpenter-esque song will start pulsing. As far as the missions and story go, they're handled much better than the original game. This time, Techland is less interested in trying to make you care about certain characters and more interested in getting you to find out more about the cult. Instead of being a scary group of folks that are out to kill you, you're tasked with earning their trust so you can learn their secret. This leads to a mission structure where the side quests must be completed in order to progress in the main story. I didn't have a problem with this, because the side stuff, as before, is generally more intriguing than the actual story. Looking back on it, there aren't many story quests in The Following, but it all feels interwoven in a way that encourages you to scour every last bit of the Countryside. The only quest that I had trouble with was the penultimate one that involves some timed driving, and if you have no health packs, you're sort of fucked. I eventually persevered, but it was frustrating to be locked into the finale and unable to make it easier.  The final mission has some curious implications about the overall plot in Dying Light, but the ending shoots that momentum right through the head. I'm still hoping a sequel comes out of this, but I'm a little confused as to where it would go now. At this point, I must mention a caveat: I found Dying Light to be too easy about halfway through the game, so I played The Following on hard. I usually don't like to blather about the "right" way to play a game, but if you're going to play this expansion, I urge you to play hard mode.  Instead of the usual "enemies do more damage, and you do less" type of difficulty, Techland's version of hard is an improvement in almost every way. Medkits are no longer an instant heal, and instead provide healing over time. If you want to craft something or look at your map, you can't pause the game any more. Survivor sense doesn't show you every little item in every little room, so you have to more carefully observe your environments. If this sounds tedious, I promise that it makes the game both more immersive and more rewarding. Since this is part of the Enhanced Edition, which owners of the base game get for free (minus the expansion), there are a litany of other improvements to be found. There are daily bounties and a new Nightmare difficulty that have been added to rack up tons of experience, which you'll want for the new legendary levels. After maxing out a skill tree, points that would've gone to that tree now go to your legendary rank. You can spend these points on various buffs: 50% more firearm damage, more crossbow damage, better health regen, and other bonuses. There are a total of 250 of these points to earn, and they make you incredibly powerful. You'll earn them pretty slowly unless you play on Nightmare mode. In my 22 hours with The Following, I reached level five. Clearly, I need to jump back in there already. The Following was larger than I expected, and it maintains a high level of quality throughout. Being pared down from the bloat of Dying Light earns it more moment-to-moment excitement, and I greedily consumed it over the weekend. The last few minutes have me pondering the future of what's clearly going to become a franchise, and I'm ready for whatever Techland brings next. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Dying Light review photo
It should still be called Far Die
Dying Light surprised the heck out of me last year. While I mostly agree with Chris about the various faults and clichés found within (you can read my thoughts here, from back in my before-Destructoid days), it wa...

Pokemon photo
Pokemon

Watch Pokemon: The First Movie online for free


Poor Mewtwo
Feb 08
// Kyle MacGregor
You can now watch Pokémon: The First Movie via Pokémon TV, The Pokémon Company's official video streaming service, via your web browser, iPhone, iPad, Kindle, or Android device. I can ...
GameTrailers photo
GameTrailers

GameTrailers shuts down after 13 years


Best of luck to everyone affected
Feb 08
// Kyle MacGregor
GameTrailers is no more, the site announced today after 13 years in business. The unfortunate news was officially announced via the website's social media feeds, and was later confirmed by both Editor-in-Chief Brandon Jo...
PS VITA photo
PS VITA

Shiren the Wanderer saunters westward on Vita


Arriving July 26 in North America
Feb 08
// Kyle MacGregor
The fifth entry in Spike Chunsoft's Shiren The Wanderer series is coming west this summer. Aksys Games announced the good news earlier today over at the PlayStation Blog, revealing plans to publish the Mystery Dungeon spin-of...
The Divison photo
The Divison

Ubisoft didn't take 9/11 into consideration when making The Division


The subject apparently never came up
Feb 08
// Kyle MacGregor
Ubisoft recently held a press event for Tom Clancy's The Division in New York City, which is also the setting for the upcoming third-person shooter's post-pandemic survival story. The Division takes place in the wake of what ...
Promoted Blog photo
Promoted Blog

Comments of the Week: Love Love Love


Promoted from our Community Blogs
Feb 08
// Dreamweaver
Goooooooooooooooooooooood evening to all of my lovely audience members! Quick question: what the hell are you doing right now, and why isn't it showering me with love and affection? After all, your dear host, Dreamweaver, is ...
Firewatch photo
Firewatch

Get real printed pictures from Firewatch's photo mode


What else is on that old Kodak?
Feb 08
// Brett Makedonski
When Firewatch releases tomorrow, it'll have a neat little bit of functionality that blurs the line between video game and real life. Photo modes traditionally are used as a passive feature to memorialize something ...
Deals photo
Deals

Buy an Xbox One, get a $75 gift card plus a free game from Microsoft


Microsoft wants your tax refund
Feb 08
// Dealzon
Microsoft wants you to blow your tax refund on an Xbox One. To prove it, the Microsoft Store has fired up its Presidents' Day sale a week ahead of time. Xbox One bundles (including two new bundles) now have the first decent b...
Plague Inc on Steam photo
Plague Inc on Steam

Plague Inc: Evolved leaves Early Access soon


Spread disease with a friend
Feb 08
// Jordan Devore
After nearly two years and some 800,000 copies sold, Plague Inc: Evolved is ready for a full release on Windows, Mac, and Linux. That'll happen next Thursday, February 18. "By the time we launch, 18 major Evolutions (updates)...
Cookie Clicker photo
Cookie Clicker

Cookie Clicker wants back in your life


Version 2.0 is here
Feb 08
// Jordan Devore
Sorry about this. A new version of Cookie Clicker launched today with a revamped ascension system, quality-of-life improvements, and a cookie dragon, among many other additions. I'm telling you about it because I am a bad man...
And another one photo
And another one

Somehow DJ Khaled fits perfectly in The Witness


You smart. You very smart. We the best.
Feb 08
// Jed Whitaker
I've been playing through Jonathan Blow and gang's The Witness of which I have very mixed feelings -- unlike Brett who gave the game a perfect score in his review -- but that hasn't stopped me from falling in love ...
Bloodborne photo
Bloodborne

Badass blacksmiths make Bloodborne's iconic Saw Cleaver


Cleaver? I...
Feb 08
// Brett Makedonski
Bloodborne's rife with unique weapons, almost all of them fitting the criteria of being interesting enough to warrant a real-life adaption. But, the Saw Cleaver edges out the rest this time and is the one that's actually mad...

Review: Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia

Feb 08 // Chris Carter
Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia (PC, PS4, Xbox One [reviewed]) Developer: Climax StudiosPublisher: UbisoftReleased: February 9, 2016MSRP: $9.99 I was never really a fan of the modern settings in Assassin's Creed -- at least, the action sequences, because the walking simulator IT department bits from Black Flag on were cool -- but that doesn't mean they can't be done. As such, I was keen on seeing what Climax Studios could do with a tale set in 1918, this time shadowing assassin Nikolai Oreov and the quest for a Bolshevik artifact. The pulp animation cinematics are stunning, but the showstopping elements end there. The cast is simply not memorable, including Nikolai, who is doing "one last job" before he abandons the Assassins and finds a new life for his family elsewhere. It's a good hook but Russia never fully sells it, particularly given the underplayed performances. I don't need a charismatic, wisecracking Nolan North per se, just something to connect with. Russia also desperately wants you to know that "he's old," which should be meaningful, but we got a better angle on that storyline with Ezio in later core games anyway. That feeling of familiarity permeates throughout some of the other elements of the game. The Schlinder's List-esque monochrome and red aesthetics looked dope at first, but started to wear after a few levels. Outside of the blazing red and orange sky, a lot of the areas look too similar, even if it serves to differentiate all of the interaction zones (all those hidden little hovels). Though it does have the added benefit of cordoning off secret areas by purposefully not brightening them, which is rad. [embed]339981:62172:0[/embed] Beyond that, you can expect more of the same compared to the past entries in the trilogy, which is to say great things. The 2D switch-off works wonderfully. The controls are so responsive, and the tools available are not only effective, but succeed in not overwhelming the player. I love that you can approach levels with either a gung-ho or pacifist style, or anything in between, and the running slide assassination ability is still just as satisfying. Unique to Russia, yanking off grates Arkham style with a winch and using phones to distract guards is silly, but it works when juxtaposed to the serious art style. I'm a bit torn on the gunplay however, because while the art of sniping does technically fit the quiet nature of the universe, it wasn't done in such a way that elevates it beyond an arcadey shooting gallery. There are a few sequences where distraction is key, like a mini-puzzle of sorts, but in most cases you're just blasting away at folks until no one is left standing. With six challenges to do (just like India) and a New Game+ option, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: Russia has plenty to offer for a bite-sized package, but it fails to live up to the bar set by its predecessors. The loud and powerful styles of China and India simply trump the final piece of the pie, which goes out with a muted rebel yell. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Assassin's Creed review photo
Once more, with guns
Assassin's Creed Chronicles had a nice thing going on with China and India, delivering some of the classic stealth action the series is known for with a striking new art style and a shift to 2D action. Now Ubisoft i...

Mad Catz photo
Mad Catz

Three Mad Catz executives resign prior to tomorrow's earnings report


Probably not a great sign
Feb 08
// Brett Makedonski
Mad Catz is going through a tumultuous shake-up at a time that isn't likely to inspire confidence from investors. On February 9 (tomorrow), Mad Catz will publish its third-quarter 2016 fiscal results. In the lead-up to that, ...
N++ photo
N++

Precision platformer N++ headed to Steam


And possibly other places
Feb 08
// Jordan Devore
N++ released last year as a PlayStation 4 exclusive and, considering how dang good it was and how much of a following its predecessors N and N+ had, not nearly enough people played it. Hopefully that'll change this year when ...
Google VR photo
Google VR

Google will reportedly release a Gear VR competitor this year


And it won't be cardboard
Feb 08
// Brett Makedonski
The past four years have been VR hype-dominated, but if you were really pressed to pin one as The Year of VR, I suppose it would be 2016. That's when most of these machines leave their comfy nests and beta states, and they ac...
Mega Man photo
Mega Man

Mega Man EXE's 15th anniversary celebration looks fun


In Japan, of course
Feb 08
// Chris Carter
Over in Japan, lots of little events are held for almost every major gaming franchise. They're pretty much all awesome despite how intimate they are, and that's definitely the case with the Mega Man EXE 15th anniversary....
Street Fighter V photo
Street Fighter V

Necali goes full creeper in newest Street Fighter V CG trailer


Launch is near
Feb 08
// Chris Carter
Chun-Li laces up, Ken fixes his hair, Ryu gazes longingly at the sky, and Necali is creepy as all getup in the new CG trailer for Street Fighter V. I'm not a fan of the animation outside of that hand-drawn effect that the gam...
Fallout 4 photo
Fallout 4

This Mirelurk war in Fallout 4 does its best Starship Troopers impression


Mods away
Feb 08
// Chris Carter
More Fallout 4 machinima and mods are steadily pouring out from the community, some of which are better than anything the core game is offering. Rather than just throw a bunch of creatures into an arena and let things pl...

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