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PixelJunk Shooter photo
PixelJunk Shooter

PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate is great (and now on Steam!)

Discounts available for PixelJunk owners
Oct 21
// Jordan Devore
Mmm, fluid dynamics. Double Eleven has brought PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate to Steam at long last. This package repurposes Q-Games' darling twin-stick shooters into a cohesive, singular experience with an optional new visual st...
Deals photo

Weekend Deals: Warhammer Vermintide only $20 as beta goes live

Less sweaty than LARPing
Oct 17
// Dealzon
Yesterday the Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide beta went live on PC. The beta key giveaways appear to be over, but if you pre-order you can jump in the co-op FPS "beta" right away before next week Friday's release. There's a...
RWBY: Grimm Eclipse photo
RWBY: Grimm Eclipse

An official RWBY game is on greenlight, and it looks pretty great

Dynasty Warriors + L4D = Grimm Eclipse
Oct 15
// Joe Parlock
Rooster Teeth’s popular animated series RWBY is getting a game called RWBY: Grimm Eclipse, and is up for you to vote for on Greenlight should you want to. Grimm Eclipse is a four-player co-op hack-and-slash that s...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Next Killing Floor 2 map takes us to the Black Forest

You always need a spooky forest
Oct 08
// Zack Furniss
Killing Floor 2's last major update brought two new maps, two new perks, and all sorts of necessary improvements. It's still in Steam Early Access, and each chunk of new content is bringing it closer to full release. So ...
Astroneer photo

Reshape planets with a friend in Astroneer

I'm so into this
Oct 07
// Jordan Devore
It's morning still. I feel way too groggy to let out an audible "whoa!" while watching a trailer for a video game, but Astroneer managed to elicit one anyway. Two, actually. It was the player-controlled terrain deformation th...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Make somethin' purdy in Killing Floor 2 and maybe win $1500

Make a gun skin! Or a dumb hat!
Sep 23
// Zack Furniss
Tripwire Interactive is hosting a Killing Floor 2 competition via Polycount called Guns 'n Gear. Anyone interested can create a cosmetic item or gun skin and attempt to win money/dosh. This contest began on Septembe...
Divinity redux photo
Divinity redux

Divinity: Original Sin should be the next great couch co-op game

Enhanced Edition coming to consoles
Sep 23
// Jordan Devore
If I'm going to play Divinity: Original Sin -- and I'm told that I absolutely should -- I'd prefer to do so cooperatively on a single screen. That's the topic at hand for this Enhanced Edition trailer. To recap, Enhanced Edit...
Spaceteam card game photo
Spaceteam card game

'Cooperative shouting game' Spaceteam getting a card version

Up now on Kickstarter
Sep 23
// Darren Nakamura
Back when we interviewed Spaceteam developer Henry Smith about the free cooperative mobile game, he mentions the real-time board game Space Alert as an influence. Now things come full circle, with Mathew Sisson taking the tab...
Halo 5: Guardians photo
Halo 5: Guardians

Okay, this Halo 5 cinematic is cool

Blue Team is back
Sep 23
// Jordan Devore
It's reassuring to know that I can still feel something while watching a Halo cinematic. This scene leads into Blue Team, the second mission of Halo 5: Guardians, which sees Master Chief and his crew clear out an ONI research facility overtaken by a rogue Covenant faction.

Review: Extreme Exorcism

Sep 22 // Jed Whitaker
Extreme Exorcism (PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Golden Ruby Games Publisher: RipstoneRelease Date: September 23, 2015MSRP: $12.99 If you've played one of the many indie couch competitive games that have become popular in the past year or two, you know the drill here: gather three of your friends together and fight to the death. The gimmick in Extreme Exorcism is that winning a round causes a ghost to replay your previous actions, including firing weapons that can kill your enemies, or even yourself depending on the various customizable settings. By default each player can carry up to three weapons at a time, which spawn in predetermined places around each of over 45 stages. Weapons range from basic punches and kicks to rocket launchers, boomerangs, and magical staffs. While the variety of weapons is nice, nothing really feels original, though familiarity makes the game very pick-up-and-play friendly.  Matches are fast and furious, especially when playing with the maximum of four players. Each time someone wins a round, a ghost will spawn of their previous win, and ghosts stay on screen until exorcised via the purple wings weapon that spawns from time to time. The fact that you can potentially have ghosts from four different players running around the screen firing off rocks and kung-fu kicks in every direction makes for some hectic games.  [embed]311776:60466:0[/embed] For those of you without friends in real life, there is an arcade mode and the challenge mode. Arcade mode is a series of matches in each level of the game where you're required to kill so many of your previous ghosts to unlock each level. The first ghost is spawned by killing a possessed chair, which is super simple as the AI isn't anything special, as it doesn't need to be since you're fighting your ghosts. Arcade mode is simple enough to be enjoyable alone, but can be played with up to four players as well, working together towards an enjoyable fight with a boss in the final level.  Challenge mode, however, is for one player only. In 50 different challenges you'll be tasked with completing different goals such as killing 100 chairs with three lives, or completing five rounds only using a boomerang. The challenge mode lives up to its name. It is easily the most challenging part of Extreme Exorcism and will test even the most seasoned players. I was able to unlock every challenge, but completing them is a different story, though I didn't really feel pressed to complete them given that there is no real reward other than feeling accomplished, and achievements if you care about those.  If anything, Extreme Exorcism is a game for those who have tried TowerFall and Samurai Gunn at their parties and want something even more hectic, and bustin' makes them feel good; otherwise players new to the genre may feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of on-screen action. As for me, I'll stick to the classics for my get-togethers. Simplicity is what appeals to me when I'm trashed and I'd rather not projectile vomit from my eyes trying to keep up with all those ghosts. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Review: Extreme Exorcism photo
No head spinning here
Four teenagers enter a haunted house and get killed by each other until ghosts show up. No, it isn't the plot to House on Haunted Hill but the mechanics of Extreme Exorcism, the new couch competitive game from Golden Rub...

Q-Games photo

The Tomorrow Children looks so dang cool

Tokyo Game Show overview
Sep 16
// Jordan Devore
The Tomorrow Children was among the first games to make me want to buy a PlayStation 4 sooner than later. While Bloodborne ultimately pushed me in that direction, I'm still captivated by Q-Games' uncanny game about exploring,...

Review: Castle Crashers Remastered

Sep 11 // Jordan Devore
Castle Crashers Remastered (PC, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: The BehemothPublisher: The BehemothReleased: September 9, 2015 (Xbox One)MSRP: $14.99 It didn't help that I was alone for most of the journey. Not only does the pacing plod as you methodically take out enemies by yourself, but certain fights aren't balanced well for solo play. When everyone's out to get you -- just you -- and they can collectively launch a volley of projectiles that stun, over and over again, it's hard to retaliate. My way around this was and still is to juggle foes in the air, but it's not fun feeling like you have to resort to such tactics. Of course, Castle Crashers is best played with companions -- even if it's just one other player. But I have a lone Xbox One gamepad and despite The Behemoth's promised matchmaking and network improvements for Remastered, my attempts at online co-op were sluggish. Even when slowdown wasn't an issue, it was hard to find other players around my character's level. While I opted to start fresh, you don't have to. If you played Castle Crashers on Xbox 360 and upload that save data via Xbox Live Gold, you can bring over your progress to Xbox One including weapons, animal orbs, and characters (but not including things like gold and consumables). That's terrific. So is the initial pricing for Castle Crashers Remastered. It's free if you're a Gold subscriber who owned the original game on Xbox 360. You have through September 20, 2015 to claim your copy, after which point the game will cost $5 with the loyalty discount. [embed]310233:60324:0[/embed] To be clear, Remastered is not a remake. It's more of a touch-up than anything -- a way to keep Castle Crashers easily accessible and relevant as the industry moves away from last-generation consoles. It's smoother (with a frame rate doubled to 60FPS) and better-looking (with five times larger textures). But this is a game from 2008 at its core. While the character designs remain charming as ever, certain backgrounds and other elements don't hold up as consistently. Bonus characters and animal orbs that were previously obtainable as DLC are now integrated, and the shallow, button-mashing mini-game All You Can Quaff is gone. In its place is a far superior time-waster called Back Off Barbarian. I didn't get it at first, but now I really dig it. You hop around a tile-based world and try not to get squished by other characters. The twist is that movement isn't as straightfoward as pressing up to move up. Instead, adjacent tiles are color-coded to match the Xbox controller's A/B/X/Y buttons. So depending on where you are at on the board, you may have to hit Y to move up. Or maybe X! You have to think fast to survive for as long as possible. Once Back Off Barbarian gets going, it's nerve-wracking in all the right ways. As much as I enjoyed the new mini-game, it's hardly enough of an incentive to justify paying full price for Remastered. It's a similar situation with the visual upgrades and behind-the-scenes tweaks. If you can snag the loyalty discount, by all means, go for it. An eventual Steam version is also planned, but release date and pricing details haven't been announced yet. I maintain that Castle Crashers is a good game. Great, even, if you're playing cooperatively. But seven years later, I'm not nearly as smitten. I just can't endlessly grind battles like I used to. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Castle Crashers review photo
Bring friends (or lots of potions)
In 2008, Castle Crashers rekindled my dormant love of beat-'em-ups. It had imaginative characters, strange and varied locales, and the four-player co-op was great at encouraging friendly competition. There wasn't much else li...

Review: Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Sep 08 // Jed Whitaker
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime (Linux, Max, PC, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Asteroid BasePublisher: Asteroid BaseReleased: September 9, 2015MSRP: $14.99 Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime takes place in outer space, the final frontier, a place of wonder filled with various anthropomorphic species, and a heart-shaped space station called the Ardor Reactor, which is powered by love and protected by the League Of Very Empathetic Rescue Spacenauts, also known as The Lovers. Everything was fine and dandy until the dark forces of anti-love destroyed the Ardor Reactor, ripped a hole in spacetime itself and took prisoner many of the lovely inhabitants. That is where The Lovers come in to save the day, running to and fro to control their circular spaceship while spreading love throughout the cosmos. While the story isn't exactly new -- evil force caused by evil being ruins the day, fix it -- the cute presentation and charm more than make up for it. Everything in Lovers is completely adorable, including the enemies. Lots of bright colors fill the screen, and love is emphasized at every turn. As you and a friend guide The Lovers through spacetime you'll be jumping from role to role inside various circular spaceships. Stations include thrusters, shields, turrets, navigation, and laser. Manning the guns is a pretty straightforward affair of aiming and firing, shields can be rotated around the ship to prevent damage from terrain, enemies, and projectiles, and the laser can be triggered causing it to automatically fire while rotating around the ship before needing to cool down. [embed]309747:60277:0[/embed] Piloting the ship is a bit different than any other game I've played. By default, you'll be rotating a thruster around the outside of your ship to determine what direction you'll be heading. If the thruster is on the bottom left of the ship, you'll be heading up and to the right, if it is on the top then you'll head down, and so on. While it may sound confusing, piloting only requires the brief tutorial to get used to and you'll be zipping through the cosmos in no time as if it were second nature.  Your goal throughout each colorful level in the four campaigns you'll be exploring is to find five of a possible ten captive critters to advance to the next stage. Collecting critters also increases your ranking, which unlocks different ships and upgrades for them, so exploring to find all ten critters per stage has its benefits. Gems are also found floating in containers in each stage and can be used to power up each station with power, beam, and metal abilities. Stations can be upgraded to hold two gems each, allowing you to mix and match gems to gain different effects. For example: two metal gems on the shield form a large spiky barrier that rotates a bit slower than other shields but provides more protection, or a power gem and a metal gem on a turret creates a powerful rocket that can be manually controlled. Experimenting with gems until you find the perfect configuration is exciting and leads to hilarious results, especially on the laser.  Campaigns have four levels and then a boss fight with massive creatures based on real-world constellations. Boss fights are as you'd probably expect: learn the bosses pattern, take its health bar down enough to piss it off, avoid an even larger barrage of attacks, success. Don't be fooled though, bosses are no pushovers and we found ourselves teetering on death whenever we finally defeated each boss.  Nearly every level seems to add at least one new enemy or mechanic, which keeps the entire journey fresh. The first campaign gives you the basics, before later campaigns add underwater combat, solar winds, and even wormholes that teleport you throughout the stage. Some of the more interesting stages include stationary defenses against waves of enemies and one particular stage that had to be completed in under five minutes before a star explodes killing everything in sight. We rushed through this time-limited level and ended up getting the last of ten bunnies with ten seconds to spare on the clock. We could see the exit as the clock hit zero, but luckily for us the explosion was a gradual one allowing us to make it by the skin of our teeth. I've never held my breath during a game as much as I have during Lovers, which makes the sigh of relief afterwards all that more rewarding. After finishing each campaign you'll be awarded a badge showing that you've completed it with each ship. While it isn't necessary to complete each campaign with each ship to reach the ending, it does add a bit of replayability and difficulty, especially if you're using the Jelly Roll ship. When piloting Jelly Roll your thruster rotates the entire ship, causing your controls to also change inside the ship along with it. When we played through one campaign with the Jelly Roll we found ourselves getting confused but laughing about it the whole time, though it certainly made the boss extra challenging. Completionists will be happy with the unlockable ships and added difficulty they provide.  Completing each campaign unlocks new cute Lovers to play as which don't change the gameplay, but instead just add to the overwhelming amount of cuteness the game already oozes. One of my favorite things about the Lovers is they have no gender signifiers, thus allowing you to technically be any gender you so wish to view yourself as. Those of you without a couch cooperative buddy -- as there is no online mode -- will be playing alongside a computer-controlled cat or dog that can be directed to man each of the stations at your will. Unfortunately your CPU partner will not control the thrusters, so all driving will be up to you, but the AI is very competent at the other stations. While Lovers is still very much playable as a single player title, it certainly shines as one of the best co-op experiences I've ever had and that is the way I feel it is meant to be experienced. Being able to blast asteroids and baddies out of the way while someone else is driving the ship is far more fun than watching an AI do it for you.  Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime reminds me why I love video games, because it provides a unique and colorful journey to get totally immersed in that can be enjoyed with a loved one. Probably the most original game I've played to completion in the past five years, and worthy every penny of its asking price. If you've got a loved one to play with, do yourselves a favor and play this game as soon as possible, you won't regret a your lovely journey through space.
Dangerous Space review photo
The Power of Love
Throughout my history of gaming there have been games that stand out as important bonding experiences: Bubble Bobble with my mom, Bomberman with my college roommate, and now Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime with...

Castle Crashers photo
Castle Crashers

Castle Crashers Remastered is free if you own the original on Xbox 360

Releasing September 9, 2015
Sep 04
// Jordan Devore
I like Castle Crashers a lot, but I wasn't planning on nabbing the remaster for Xbox One. Now I am. Castle Crashers Remastered releases on September 9, 2015. If you own the original game for Xbox 360 and have an active Xbox L...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2 is free to play for the weekend

Play with me, maybe
Sep 04
// Zack Furniss
I write about Killing Floor 2 perhaps too often, but considering it's the main game I play whenever I have free time, my eyes are always searching for relevant news. If my raving about it hasn't been enough to convi...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Killing Floor 2's Incinerate 'N Detonate update available now

It hath emerged from beta
Sep 01
// Zack Furniss
Though it's been possible to play Killing Floor 2's Incinerate 'N Detonate update since last week, it's now available to all. If you've grown bored with the lack of content in the Early Access, this should rejuvenate your des...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

You can play Killing Floor 2's Incinerate 'N Detonate update right now

Go forth, my child
Aug 25
// Zack Furniss
Killing Floor 2's Incinerate 'N Detonate update is playable now via an opt-in beta. The changelog can be found right here. There are two new perks, Firebug and Demolitionist, two new maps, a reworked audio system, and al...

Review: Capsule Force

Aug 25 // Jed Whitaker
Capsule Force (Linux, Mac, PC [reviewed], PS4)Developer: KlobitPublisher: Iron Galaxy StudiosRelease Date: August 25, 2015MSRP: $14.99 Two-on-two multiplayer matches make up the meat of Capsule Force across eight stages that each have an unlockable alternate variation. The matches consist of pink and blue teams working against each other to ride a tram to the other team's galaxy, which is trapped inside a -- you guessed it -- capsule. The first team to touch the other team's capsule wins. Capsule Force is easy to pick up and play. Grasping the controls fully takes maybe a match or two at most; you've got double jumps, an air dodge, normal shots, charged laser shots, a shield, and what I'd call blast jumping. Blast jumping can be performed by shooting the ground and then instantly jumping in the opposite direction for a faster and higher jump, which is vital for perfecting the game's single-player missions. Using the shield requires precise timing, but puts a bubble around your character preventing them from being harmed. Eventually you'll find out that air dodging allows you to double jump right away again, essentially allowing entire battles to take place mid-air. When attempting to kill other players, you've got two choices: normal shots or charging your shot to shoot a laser all the way across the screen, killing anyone it its path if they don't put up their shield. When using the laser, your character freezes in the air, allowing you to focus on aiming your shot. It is really satisfying to get a perfectly aimed mid-air laser shot killing both of your opponents and taking over the tram they were just riding.  [embed]306824:60087:0[/embed] Matches in Capsule Force are intense and hectic the whole time. Even if teams are pretty evenly matched, eventually the tram speed increases a great deal, allowing a quick turnaround for one side or the other. There were times when myself or my friends got a bit lost as to where we were on the screen due to this hectic nature, but it is all part of the fun. I will note, however, that some stages are similarly colored to the characters which can make it easier to get confused in than others. When not laughing your ass off in multiplayer, you'll tackle over thirty single-player missions. These consist of either rushing through stages as quickly as possible, or rushing through stages as quickly as possible while shooting targets. The target-shooting missions are reminiscent of the "Break the Targets" mode from the Super Smash Bros. series, and are just as fun. While it is a multiplayer-focused game, the single-player missions do add a nice distraction and practice, and those who complete them all will unlock stage variations, alternate costumes, and concept art. Giving single-player a purpose other than practice was a good choice, but locking multiplayer content behind it wasn't considering the limited amount of stages to begin with. The eight variations you unlock are essentially all new stages that just use the same backgrounds as the starter arenas, so they are certainly worth unlocking. Unlocking all the multiplayer content won't take more than an hour maximum for most players, so it isn't such a drawback.  If you're the kind of person who has friends over for couch competitive games, Capsule Force is easily recommendable as the multiplayer is a colorful, frantic, hell of a good time, but if you're a loner, give this one a pass. The limited single-player content won't hold your attention for long. I know I'll be playing Capsule Force at many of my shindigs in the future. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Review: Capsule Force photo
Blasting off again!
It is the far future, the year is 1999, and everything looks like a 1980s space anime; no, you're not tripping on mushrooms and having a flashback to your childhood, you're playing Capsule Force.   Capsule Force&nbs...

Chivalry/Killing Floor 2 photo
Chivalry/Killing Floor 2

Chivalry and Killing Floor 2 will have crossover weapons

You got your Zeds in my LARP session
Aug 20
// Zack Furniss
Two dismemberment-focused multiplayer games on PC, Chivalry and Killing Floor 2, are joining forces to release new content for those who own both titles. I already talked about the Knight character and his Zweihander weapon e...
Cute-'em-up photo

Shutshimi is a cute-'em-up about a muscular fish

Rapid rounds
Aug 20
// Jordan Devore
Strong-armed fish crack me up, so I had to give this game a look. It's a cute-'em-up in which levels last around 10 seconds or so, "then the player has ten seconds to pick a power-up from the shop for the next round." Except ...

Killing Floor 2's Incinerate 'N Detonate update feels damn good

Aug 20 // Zack Furniss
Killing Floor 2 (PC [previewed], PlayStation 4)Developer: Tripwire InteractivePublisher: Tripwire Interactive Release date: April 21, 2015 (Steam Early Access)MSRP: $29.99 As per the name of the update, the main draw here is the return of the Demolitionist and Firebug perks. In the past few months, most available perks had trouble taking down sub-boss enemies such as Scrakes and Fleshpounds. If you didn't have someone playing as Support with an AA-12 shotgun, chances are you weren't going to survive (put your dicks away, I'm not saying it was impossible, tough guys). In such a team-based game, it felt odd to be pigeonholed in this manner. Demolitionist fills a much-needed gap in Killing Floor 2's cooperative structure. Having the big guns necessary to tackle the big specimens feels long overdue, but it's much appreciated. You'll start off with sticks of dynamite, a utility knife, and the first tier weapon: the HX 25, a grenade pistol that may be my favorite in the entire game thus far. It launches a short-range horizontal cluster of grenades that explode on contact, and encourages strafing to properly group oncoming attackers. Having to change the way you move and think about lining up your shots separates this perk from the others in a pleasing manner. You have to reload between every shot, but the destructive power contained within more than justifies the increased pucker factor.  The second tier weapon is the C4, which I haven't got much of a feel for yet. You can deploy up to eight of them and then set them off in the order you set them. I imagine creative players will have fun rigging doors to blow, but I usually skipped C4 to get to the third tier M79 grenade launcher more quickly. You don't need to be as careful with this one as you do with the HX 25, since you can shoot from a farther distance. It doesn't work very well in a panicked backpedal, since you need to have a certain amount of space between you and your target for the round to explode. You'll still do damage with a dud round, but you won't take out the group in front of you like you were probably hoping. The final Demolitionist weapon is the RPG-7, which you've used in every game with guns ever. It's welcome here, even if I miss the LAW from the original Killing Floor. It launches one rocket at a time, which makes a missed shot a painful experience. You'll mainly want to save this for Scrakes, Fleshpounds, and the boss, Hans Volter. On a solo match I was able to take out Hans with three rockets, but they've already nerfed it somewhat since then. As much fun as it was to obliterate the boss so quickly, it's better that they took it down a notch. Don't worry, it still feels immensely powerful, just not ridiculously so. Perk skills for the Demolitionist include explosive resistance, being able to rig doors to explode when you weld them, and increased damage when using weapons from other perks. There seems to be less of a sure a build than with the previous classes. I only reached level six so I could only choose between supplying teammates with grenades and having my dynamite explode on contact. Even at this low level, I felt integral to every team I played on. Firebug occupies a similar role to the Commando perk: you're the garbage man, taking out the trash so your friends can take on the bigger meatsacks. You start out with Molotov Cocktails, a Fireman's Knife, and a makeshift flamethrower called the Caulk 'N Burn. It's a caulking gun that emits a short-range stream of flame that cooks weaker Zeds in seconds. It's easy to burn through all of your ammo before the wave is over but careful conservation eventually comes naturally. Once you have enough dosh (Killing Floor money), you can get the Trench Gun, a pump-action shotgun with incendiary rounds. This is the only weapon in the update that feels a bit underwhelming to me so far. The flame rounds are pretty, but feel ineffective. Next up is the Flamethrower, which is as enjoyable to use as I was hoping. Watching the never-ending onslaught of Zeds charge through your wall of flame only to keel over just in front of you remains a pleasurable (demented, horrible, what's wrong with me) experience. It sort of invalidates the Caulk 'N Burn though, since it's better in almost every way. The star of the show is the fourth tier weapon: the Microwave Gun. This high-tech laser beam feels straight out of Turok, replete with the oh God gross gore. It heats up enemies, covering their skin in what looks like gingerbread dough, making them expand until they just...pop, leaving entrails and other viscera strewn about. Some of the Firebug skill choices seems obvious: why would I choose to Flaritov (Molotovs become better light sources in dark areas) when I could have Fully Stocked (purchased weapons have full ammo)? Later skills seem more difficult to pick from, such as when you have to choose either increased range or splash damage. I wasn't able to try any of these skills, so maybe I'll be singing a different tune in a few weeks. Firebug, while entertaining, can't hold a candle to Demolitionist. I like having more options so I appreciate every perk, but a class that specialized in bosses was sorely lacking. I see myself rocking the grenade pistol for quite some time. And that's just the perks! The two new maps, Evacuation Point and Catacombs, are vastly different from each other. Evacuation Point is a more urban environment with plenty of open spaces and long tunnels to funnel Zeds through. There are only a few areas that you can get cornered, and there always seems to be an escape route. Catacombs is my new favorite map. It's an Ossuary under Italy, with tight corners and almost no light. It's the first map where every light can be shot out or accidentally blown up, and tension runs high when you can't see anything. It's fortunate then that one of the new perks is about creating meat torches, no? There's a host of other improvements that continue to make Killing Floor 2 feel more finished than the average Early Access title. The reworked audio includes meatier sound effects and also adds additional hit markers on the enemies. Whereas before there was really only a difference between head shots and body shots, metallic implants on the Zeds now make clanging sound effects. Shooting Hans' power core on his chest now does more damage than body shots. It's nice to be choosing to shoot somewhere other than chest or slightly above the chest. Upon ending a match, whether by defeat or victory, you're greeted with a results screen. Awards are handed out for various achievements such as killing the most specimens and getting the most assists. You can see which team member is doing the most damage, and how much experience you earned for each perk. Map voting has now been implemented as well so players can actually choose where they're going for the next round.  As if Killing Floor 2 wasn't gory enough, there's now the optional Nvidia FleX toggle that simulates soft tissue and fluid interaction. Just wait until the first time you launch a grenade into a group of Zeds and see the satisfying meat explosion. Do I sound crazy? I sound crazy. You need a beefy graphics card to handle FleX on high (they recommend a 770 or higher, which is what I'm rocking), but even with the extra giblets abound I didn't see a performance drop. If you want to get close to all that gore, you can try the new Berserker skill tree. Since the perk was underwhelming at launch, it's been completely re-worked. It has more damage resistance and you now have to choose between being stronger with normal strikes or doing massive damage with counterattacks. Since I've seen both styles of players, I know these changes will be appreciated. I still haven't mastered the parry. Some Zeds now have unblockable attacks (denoted by a fiery outline on their weapons) so Berserkers will have to stay on their toes. Berserkers (as well as Commandos) also have night vision instead of flashlight now. No more 'wasting' a skill slot! Dual pistols have also made their return, though the Gunslinger perk that will utilize them has yet to be implemented. Using their ironsights feels great; instead of holding your hands out a little further to zoom like the previous game, you aim with your right hand while the left remains in place. While the concept of dual-wielding is and will always be silly (he said while previewing a game with mutants taking over Europe), it's a great compromise. There are two crossover characters for players who own Red Orchestra 2 and Chivalry. The first is Anton Strasser, a soldier of the German Wehrmacht. He was cryogenically frozen by Hans Volter during World War II and now he's pissed. The second is a LARPing knight who played too much Chivalry before the Zed outbreak (seriously, that's what it says in his bio). He comes with his own unique weapon for the Berserker perk, a Zweihander that easily cleaves through Clots. As long as one player has this character, he can share the weapon with anyone on the server. This way the crossover bonuses are purely cosmetic. In a cool final touch, when Hans comes out for the final wave, he's introduced with a title card and a strategic hint. It's minor, but makes him seem more imposing. I look forward to when there are multiple bosses on rotation and each one gets their own little introduction. The Incinerate 'N Detonate content update is a shot in the arm for Killing Floor 2. Since the only problem I had with it before was that there wasn't enough to do, this was exactly what I needed to put it back into my regular rotation. While we don't yet have the release date for this update, it shouldn't very far from now. It's now in the QA stages, so as soon as final balancing touches are in place, it should be in your hands. I'm happy to say it was worth the wait. Now if I could just get the Sharpshooter perk back...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2 has been available through Steam Early Access for almost exactly four months. Upon its initial release, I was already surprised by how fluid and satisfying the cooperative horror shooter felt. Cleaving my...

Lovers Release Date photo
Lovers Release Date

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime finally gets a release date

And it's soon!
Aug 18
// Patrick Hancock
I've been waiting to play Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime since I first saw it at PAX East two years ago. It's a unique cooperative game that constantly keeps the players (see: lovers) on their toes. Each player can cont...
Curses 'N Chaos photo
Curses 'N Chaos

Curses 'N Chaos coming out August 18

Tribute Games' next joint
Aug 10
// Zack Furniss
Last year at PAX East, Jonathan Holmes had a chance to interview Tribute Games (makers of Mercenary Kings, which Patrick liked a bunch) about their newest creation, Curses 'N Chaos. It's a two-button couch/online co-op s...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

Dual pistols coming to Killing Floor 2

Demo skill tree detailed, too
Aug 09
// Zack Furniss
If you've missed dual-wielding in Killing Floor 2, I've got good news for you. When the Incinerate N' Detonate content update comes out, you'll be able to buy dual 9mm pistols just like in the first game. Instead of just...

Kamiya: Scalebound 'not a simple action game that Platinum is known for'

Aug 05 // Steven Hansen
[embed]297186:59795:0[/embed] Kamiya noted that Scalebound is, "a story about Drew...who has been transported from our modern world into this fantasy world," and by some held back plot point ends up in union with Thuban, the last of his kind. Very Dragonheart. Drew's devil may care attitude (and Devil May Cry Dante comparisons), "might be too early," according to Kamiya, who noted Platinum has released little information thus far. The "partnership between Thuban and Drew" is one of the many themes, both within the mysterious story and in gameplay. You're able to issue the AI-controlled Thuban basic commands which fall into 1) attack (at varying levels of scorched earth) and 2) fall back a bit. The latter is important because Thuban's stronger attacks can wipe enemies clean out of existence. If Drew downs them, he is able to crystallize them and collect the resulting red gems which can be used to customize Thuban. It's a bit weird you can actually change what kind of dragon he is, but hey, RPGs. "Pulse" drives the world of Draconis with its floating islands and colorful palette. It's also what powers Drew's Mega Man buster cannon-reminiscent pulse shot and the "colored accents on Thuban." I believe Kamiya called them green and I don't want to disagree, but they look pretty blue to me. I will ask my mother.  Aside from incentivizing you from not leaning too much on Thuban through the gem system, the demo continued past defeating the mantis boss in the trailer and into a much more narrow area where Thuban has to fly ahead and thus isn't free to use in combat. That means that, because of Thuban, "the world can't be too small," so there'll be plenty of open plains like the ones seen in the trailer. Other tidbits: Drew's transformation is "dragon mode" as it stands. Some trailer-like features montage showed off a large, NPC-filled city. There is also some sort of skill point system that seems like it's based on how well you perform combat. Drew also has access to a wide variety of weapons (halberds, enormous anime swords, etc.) that appear to be housed in a block-based inventory system (think Resident Evil 4). And, as learned yesterday, there's four-player co-op. "As kind of a policy for myself when I start creating a game, I am not creating to please everyone," Kamiya said. "My job is that you fall in love more and more with what I created." From what has been released, this feels like the most straightforward Platinum/Kamiya game. Basic action RPG stuff is appropriate for trade show reveals. Still, I think as crazy story details and mechanics are unveiled en route to the holiday 2016 launch (crossing back into the modern world? increased dragon skills and combo attacks?), I will get more and more into what is already a pretty, nice looking action game.
Scalebound at gamescom photo
Customizable dragon
First, note that I wanted to get Scalebound's Hideki Kamiya to say, "Ask your mom" on video, but gamescom meetings are too tight, too perpetually behind to get much good one on one in. Still, I got to see an extended playthro...

LEGO Marvel photo
LEGO Marvel

LEGO Marvel's Avengers pushed back to January 2016

Block quotes
Aug 05
// Steven Hansen
LEGO Marvel's Avengers will miss its fall 2015 release and instead come to North America on January 26 and Europe on January 29. Some real missed holiday sales opportunity there, looks like, especially with it coming to every...

Homefront: The Revolution is very different than when we last saw it

Aug 04 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]297199:59800:0[/embed] When I first played Homefront: The Revolution, the world felt lived-in. The oppressive themes were apparent, but the citizens seemed to accept it and go about their daily routines (except for the ones sparking the revolution in secret, of course). I believed that this was a city I could change the face of. I saw the potential to revolt and to do so in creative ways. The chunk I recently saw was more chaotic than that. Things are on fire and smoke billows on the horizon. All those people doing everyday stuff don't exist anymore. There are a few freedom fighters, but not many. It's mostly an empty playground for me to ramp my motorcycle off stuff. Rather than showing off a functioning city, this version of Homefront: The Revolution opted for sporadic waves of enemies. Many battles took places in warehouses, often around large crates that are meant to scream "industry!" It was all just so boring. It was like a Call of Duty where you traverse more ground before the next section of bad guys with guns. The world was still open, but the enemies acted with the scripted ways of a linear game. The player reached the top of the stairs, so it's time to charge through the door. That is to say, this demo largely erased my positive attitude toward Homefront: The Revolution. I'm not going to care about liberating a city if there's no one in that city. Its lifelessness reminded me of every shooter I've played for the past ten years and then immediately forgot about. The thing is, this can't be the true Homefront: The Revolution. Its premise is one with promise, but this slice shows none of that ambition. There's no way the game's skewed this far from concept. I guess I'll chalk this up to another misrepresentative demo, and hey -- I just broke the rule I spent the first paragraph talking about.
Homefront preview photo
But not necessarily better
Sometimes when you see a game at a preview event, you don't even want to write about it. You just know that what was shown wasn't a good representation of the final game. Malicious intent isn't always to blame, either; there ...

Scalebound photo

Scalebound gameplay trailer reveals four-player co-op, coming holiday 2016

Modern teen kicks ass on dragon
Aug 04
// Laura Kate Dale
At today's gamescom press briefing, we got our first look at Scalebound gameplay footage and it looks really bloody cool. At the press conference we not only got to see five minutes of gameplay footage, but we also learned t...
Killing Floor 2 photo
Killing Floor 2

New Killing Floor 2 weapon microwaves Zeds

Just like pizza rolls
Aug 03
// Zack Furniss
We're approaching Killing Floor 2's Incinerate N' Detonate content update (I've been saying this for too long, but it's closer every day), and Tripwire Interactive has shelled out a few more details for us. The...
The Banner Saga: Warbands photo
The Banner Saga: Warbands

The Banner Saga getting a cooperative tabletop miniature game

Jul 30
// Darren Nakamura
Stoic released The Banner Saga last year, and it was a great strategy role-playing game. It had characters on a square grid, drama, and lots of death. Basically, it was ripe for conversion to a board game. Today at GenCon, St...

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