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Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide goes all in with hectic co-op action photo
Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide goes all in with hectic co-op action
by Alessandro Fillari

I've long been an admirer of the Warhammer franchise. While a lot of people seem to put more of their attention towards the 40K universe, the high-fantasy setting of the former is so rich and features such a breadth of potential. As such, I was surprised to hear last month that Fatshark is making a new Warhammer title.

During a special hands-on session at GDC, the folks behind Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide showed off their co-op title that'll seek to offer hardcore action within the high-fantasy universe, while giving loot hungry players the urge to explore the street and depths of Ubersreik. 

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Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns seeks to redefine MMO endgame progression photo
Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns seeks to redefine MMO endgame progression
by Chris Carter

Guild Wars 2 is an ambitious project. While ArenaNet's initial offering of Guild Wars was more of a social dungeon crawler than an MMO (the company called it a CORPG, or competitive online role-playing game), the sequel was a bonafide massive experience.

The kicker? ArenaNet was still able to cut out the subscription fee, effectively making Guild Wars 2 buy-to-play and allowing players to return at any time.

Here we are over two years later with the Heart of Thorns expansion on the horizon, and the developer continues to find ways to innovate.

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The Flock is an intense, scary game of flashlight tag photo
The Flock is an intense, scary game of flashlight tag
by Alessandro Fillari

With so many horror titles out, it's difficult to keep things interesting for players. While some focus on throwing countless monsters at you, others seek to make players feel nearly powerless against a limited number of foes. But what about a title that seeks to create a blend of the two? The Flock is a unique title that mixes multiplayer action with the sense of dread felt in horror games.

At the Indie Megabooth at GDC 2015, developer Vogelsap showed just how intense flashlight tag can feel in an unnerving and darkly atmospheric setting.

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Megaton Rainfall is superhero action on an epic scale photo
Megaton Rainfall is superhero action on an epic scale
by Alessandro Fillari

Last month, we got a tease from an upcoming indie action title that will put players in the role of a superhero during an alien invasion. The trailer certainly inspired a lot of interest, as it was more somber and earnest, not loud and over the top like other superhero games we've seen.

Watching the footage, I got the impression Megaton Rainfall was a mix between Superman and Earth Defense Force, which sounds like it would make for an exciting title. Thankfully, we didn't have to wait too long to play, as the sole developer Alfonso Del Cerro was excited to get the game in player's hands at GDC 2015's Indie Megabooth.

Dubbed a "first-person superhero game" by its creator, Megaton Rainfall feels like a unique blend of genres.

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Mushroom 11 is a very different game than we saw in 2014 photo
Mushroom 11 is a very different game than we saw in 2014
by Brett Makedonski

We haven’t gotten a look at Untame’s Mushroom 11 since we gave it a Best of PAX East award in 2014. It captured our hearts at the Boston show, with its approach to kinetic energy proving absolutely entrancing. Seeing it at GDC 2015, Mushroom 11 isn’t the same game we played 11 months ago. It’s come a long way.

The PAX demo put a lot of emphasis on forcing your way from the right to the left as quickly as possible. Environment served as the primary obstacle, walls and whatnot requiring creative erasing of the omnipresent green blob to hopefully get up and over. It was a skill-based affair, through and through.

Now, Mushroom 11 wants you to think. Each chapter is littered with puzzles that put a halt to the endless scurry leftward. For instance, we saw a bit that necessitated using the blob to form a ramp that would launch a rolling boulder. Another section needed a bridge that would cover five sensors at the same time.

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Y2K is a surrealist fantasy told through the lens of a Murakami-loving hipster photo
Y2K is a surrealist fantasy told through the lens of a Murakami-loving hipster
by Brittany Vincent

Y2K began with protagonist Alex Eggleston returning to his his hometown from college. I watched him gaze out of bus windows until the scene shifted to him sharing a seat with a man in a panda costume.

This was jarring enough to give Alex reason to look completely shaken and offended, and as the jaunty soundtrack suggested, should have felt super quirky and weird. It didn't.

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We've got to go to Mars in Offworld Trading Company photo
We've got to go to Mars in Offworld Trading Company
by Jason Faulkner

In a future where corporate greed has depleted the Earth's resources, humanity has taken to space to acquire the goods needed for survival. The asteroid belt was supposed to be the great salvation, an almost limitless bastion of metal and minerals which could be used to prop our depleted world up. However, the same corporations that harvested the Earth dry laid claim to all the most bountiful asteroids, forming a syndicate that continued to subjugate even the most powerful of the world's governments. That's where you come in. In one last great experiment in capitalism, you'll be claiming stake in the New Martian Colonies, the last place within humanity's reach that hasn't been claimed by the hand of the syndicates.

Offworld Trading Company is being produced by Stardock, developed by Mohawk Games, and headed by Soren Johnson, Civilization IV's lead designer. It's a real-time strategy where there are no armies to move, units to build, or cities to conquer. Instead your fight is purely financial; sell high, buy low, and bankrupt the competition. It's still in Steam Early Access, but the main gameplay modes are already all there. There's a dynamic campaign in which you'll play through a series of scenarios to make your way to the top of the Martian economy. They've also integrated a fairly intuitive set of tutorials that help get you into the game quickly, as well as take you through the advanced mechanics if you need the extra help. Multiplayer is also fully integrated, although when I checked there weren't a ton of people playing the game yet.

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The first three rounds of Sid Meier's Starships are not enough photo
The first three rounds of Sid Meier's Starships are not enough
by Darren Nakamura

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth released to mixed reactions. I loved how it took the took the classic gameplay to alien worlds, and I especially appreciated its underlying narrative about the future of the human race. Other long-time fans of the series saw it as derivative of Civ V, with too little added and too much stripped out.

Like it or not, one thing that Beyond Earth has done is to lay the foundation for Sid Meier's Starships. It continues the story of the human settlements on an alien planet, far enough into the future that they are able to travel between stars in less time than the initial exodus from Earth took. The result: a series of skirmishes for control of a very tiny galaxy. Sure, why not?

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Saving the newly erected Ass from poop water in Cities: Skylines photo
Saving the newly erected Ass from poop water in Cities: Skylines
by Steven Hansen

Paradox is sticking with, "let’s talk about our product on its own merits" tact with its upcoming city-builder from developer Colossal Order, but I am under no such nice-marketing guide (nor do I know tact, as this post will confirm).

Cities: Skylines is looking to be what busted ol' SimCity should’ve been.

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In the world of Sorcerer King everything is terrible photo
In the world of Sorcerer King everything is terrible
by Jason Faulkner

This turn-based fantasy/strategy with city-building elements is super enjoyable. Even in Steam Early Access, it's got a surprising amount of polish, more so than several AAA games I can think of. I have encountered no gamebreaking bugs, and the main problems right now seem to be stat balance and unimplemented art.

If you enjoyed the RPG elements of Heroes of Might and Magic and the city-building of Civilization, there's a lot to like in this game's eclectic blend of gameplay. However, if turn-based gameplay isn't really your thing, Steam's $39.99 price tag may be a bit too steep. 

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Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker is devilishly difficult, set for release on May 5 photo
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker is devilishly difficult, set for release on May 5
by Alessandro Fillari

What a busy year this is going to be for Atlus. With the release of Persona 5 in the coming months, there are a lot of expectations for what's ahead with the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. In order to keep fans satiated till then, the publisher is offering another dose of MegaTen with a revisit to another much-loved title.   

Just last month, Atlus released the follow-up to Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 in Japan. As an updated version of the Nintendo DS's Devil Survivor 2, the new 3DS release will have players re-experiencing the events of the original game along with a new story to unfold. Though fans in the west were left wondering about the fate of its release on this end, all we got was a vague confirmation that it was coming with no concrete date set.

Fortunately during a special hands-on session hosted by Atlus, the publisher has now revealed plans for the western release of Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker on May 5, 2015. Now on a new system, this ultra-quirky and devilishly difficult take on the MegaTen formula will get players to experience Devil Survivor 2 in a fresh way.

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Noct will scare the shit out of you when you least expect it photo
Noct will scare the shit out of you when you least expect it
by Kyle MacGregor

The derelict building was a sanctuary, a place to gather supplies and take shelter from the horrors of the outside world. I moved from one chamber to the next, anxiously investigating the structure, sighing in relief upon clearing the final alcove. No hostiles. It was safe. Or so I thought.

It charged through the door the moment I lowered my guard, almost as though it was reading my mind, just waiting for the perfect moment to strike. I attempted to defend myself, but it was too late. The hulking abomination had me cornered and wasted no time running me down.

This is the cruel world of Noct, a nightmarish landscape from the mind of Chris Eskins.

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Mortal Kombat X introduces online factions and brings back the Challenge Tower photo
Mortal Kombat X introduces online factions and brings back the Challenge Tower
by Abel Girmay

Two more months. Just two more months.

That's what I have to keep telling myself while agonizing over the release of Mortal Kombat X. As someone who logged nearly 7,000 matches into the last Mortal Kombat, and still plays Injustice from time to time, any new info is good news, and NetherRealm has recently dropped a lot of details on the game's online modes.

Let's dig in.

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Breach & Clear: Deadline is a surprisingly good action-RPG photo
Breach & Clear: Deadline is a surprisingly good action-RPG
by Jason Faulkner

The original Breach & Clear was a tactical strategy title in the vein of the XCOM or Rainbow Six series. It was fairly surprising when its sequel Breach & Clear: Deadline turned out to be an open-world tactical action RPG with zombies, which is probably a new genre and you heard it here first. I was skeptical of the idea at first; I mean tactical and zombie games are usually worlds apart in gameplay style, but after 30 minutes or so of play those fears were laid to rest.

The events of the game take place during an outbreak of "zombies" who are not zombies, but hyper-evolving parasitic worm infested human bodies. You play as a team of highly trained soldiers who make it their mission to protect the remaining humans of Harbor City, and stop the infestation at its source. Plot isn't a strong suit in Deadline, but the execution is quite a bit of fun, and sometimes it's nice to not have to concern yourself with an epic tale.

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Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is more than just a remaster photo
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is more than just a remaster
by Alessandro Fillari

I'll be the first to say it: it's going to be the year of Souls. With the release of Bloodborne only a month away, which looks to redefine the experience along with its wonderful change of setting, From Software has been busy as of late. But that's not stopping the studio from re-releasing its previous title Dark Souls II for new audiences on new hardware.

Recently, the developers released an update for existing versions of Dark Souls II for all players, adding in an invasion faction, characters, and even new encounters. Of course, this is to ease them into what Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin has to offer. Though there's been little information about what to expect from this revisit, the folks behind the title had a lot to say about it.

At a special Bandai Namco Games event last week, Destructoid got to go hands-on with the new and improved version of Dark Souls II and chat with Bandai Namco global producer Atsuo Yoshimura. Though many see it as simply a remaster, From Software thinks of it as much more.

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In Darkest Dungeon, what doesn't kill you only makes you more peculiar photo
In Darkest Dungeon, what doesn't kill you only makes you more peculiar
by Rob Morrow

“If I am mad, it is mercy! May the gods pity the man who in his callousness can remain sane to the hideous end!” – Howard Phillips Lovecraft, The Temple

As you might be aware by now, Darkest Dungeon is a visually striking, turn-based role-playing game featuring roguelike elements with a very clever twist. Unlike conventional RPGs, Red Hook's incorporates a unique system of psychological pressures and their subsequent side effects that run parallel and eventually intertwine with your party's development, creating an entirely new experience each time that you roll a new game.

As your party gains in experience by adventuring through these darkened and harrowing lands, you'll follow the familiar routine of periodically upgrading their particular abilities and equipment, making each character a little more effective at what they do as you progress. What makes Darkest Dungeon so singular is that second set of mechanics I mentioned: the Affliction system.

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