[We post a lot of articles here at Destructoid. The endless, ouroboros news cycle has us burning the snake at both ends, which will ultimately push big news, thoughtful original pieces, and all sorts of other great cont...
Back in 2011 CI Games announced Enemy Front, a World War II shooter that was being worked on by Stuart Black who was the guy responsible for Black. It's funny how over-hyped that game was looking back.
Anyway, Black left at some point in 2012 and since then Enemy Front was completely reworked. It's still a World War II shooter, but instead of just being another colorless run-and-gun shooter like Call of Duty, the developers at CI have taken more of a fresh approach to the genre that made me think of it as a nice cross between Bad Company and Far Cry 3 during my hands-on time.
As one of the most celebrated and admired games of the last generation, the Souls series from the developers at From Software has many admirers and critics. Many swear by its uncompromising and hardcore gameplay systems and design, while others view it as unfair and unnecessarily difficult. Regardless, it's safe to say that the series, particularly Dark Souls, has garnered a lot of attention for the once niche developer.
With the next entry only a little more than a month away, many of its devotees are itching for their next chance to venture into the world of Dark Souls. During Namco Bandai's media event held earlier this week, Destructoid got the chance to try out an hour of the game and experience what From Software has in store for the curious and hardcore alike.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote up this little story asking for CI Games to show us some real gameplay footage of Lords of the Fallen. Well, there's still no footage but at the very least I got to see the game in action earlier this week in person and boy was I impressed.
Visually the game looks like it's truly taking advantage of the new gaming hardware. In fact the screenshots don't do the game justice. From the character designs, to the levels that you'll be traversing in a similar style to the Zelda series, it all has a ton of detail that brings this medieval fantasy to life.
What I'm really looking forward to is the combat. The action-RPG is more strategy rather than a hack-and-slash, and you really have to experiment with each fight to see what works. Going in blindly swinging will just get your ass kicked, especially against the bosses that can take you out in one hit sometimes. That should tell you something especially considering that most fights will typically be one-on-one battles.
"We wanted to try to make it feel as if Tekken or Street Fighter was imbued inside every one-on-one [fight]," executive producer Tomasz Gop told us. That said it's not trying to be a completely hardcore game as there will be a lot of tools to help you experiment and not get totally frustrated. "I think it's a tactical kind of game," Tomasz commented. "Very advanced in terms of combat, but at the same time we're trying to make sure that it's not a treadmill kind of experience."
Most of what I saw was pretty much covered by Destructoid in the past if you want to learn a little more about the combat system and character customization. I do want to give you a deeper dive, but not until we get some actual hands-on time. Otherwise, Lords of the Fallen will be out this Fall for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
War of the Vikings, the close-quarters Vikings-versus-Saxons bloodbath, is in Early Access on Steam. Yesterday, it saw its biggest patch leading up to its early March release window. With it comes the content I got to test out last week.
To go along with the murder, there is now a persistent progression system (which will be reset at launch) and character customization, so everyone can fear the beard, or know of your reckoning by the brand on your bright pink shield.
It's fun as hell. I didn't want to stop playing it. I'd like to be playing it right now.
A couple years back, Destructoid's handsomely verbose Fraser Brown reviewed a strategy game of his ilk that didn't instantly fill me with dread and and remind me of my general inadequacy. Warlock: Master of the Arcane was ostensibly a 4X game, but with a much greater focus on straight up, scorched earth warfare and colorfully cliche fantasy characters, versus Civilization V's equally hexagonal historical pretension.
"I could play this," I thought. I never did, because initiative is beyond me. But now I've had a chance to play Warlock II: The Exiled. "I could play this more," I thought. It is really is quite a bit of fun.
Paradox is looking to make a game so ambitious you'd think they're trying to please Odin himself. Runemaster is an upcoming title from the house that made Crusader Kings,Europa Universalis, and many more hit strategy games from the Sweden-based developers.
Yet Runemaster isn't anything like Paradox has created in the past. It's a role-playing game with JRPG influences based on Norse mythology. It's a game where you'll play on the side of good or evil, preventing or bringing about Ragnarök (the end times). And it's a game that takes place across six procedurally-generated worlds offering emergent storytelling that changes based on what you do in your quests.
The year was 2012. Radioactive bees ruled the skies, filling their endocrine sacs with the remaining wisps of human hope, and garlic wolves devoured the remains. Meanwhile, Double Fine put out a wildly successful Kickstarter for Double Fine Adventure as Telltale began pumping out its The Walking Dead, which would go on to take year end awards en masse, presumably killing all the bees.
Adventure games lived.
In this resurgence, Tex Murphy franchise creators Chris Jones and Aaron Connors took to Kickstarter with Project Fedora, an FMV-laced adventure game in the continued future noir San Francisco setting the series started in.
Conception: Please Have My Baby was a PSP RPG we mostly posted about (kind of a lot) because of its title and baby-making conceit. It was a laugh that we nurtured. I think, anyway. We're at that point where a running joke becomes a confusing reality as its Vita and 3DS sequel, Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars, is actually coming to North America later this year.
In a further realization of this fevered dream meets running punchline, I played Conception II. I held it in my hands. I watched writhing pastel silhouettes (it's not nudity if there's no nipple, says Japan) emulate sex and hatch slave labor. It all happened so fast.
How weird was it seeing that reveal trailer forPlant vs Zombies: Garden Warfare at last year's E3? Plants vs Zombies was known for its focus on strategy and quirky humor, so it was a pretty surprising move for the developers at PopCap Games to bring such an interesting twist to their hugely popular franchise. As a fan of the series, I was mostly curious to see how it would translate from a tower defense style game to an online focused shooter.
But strangely enough, the transition worked out surprisingly well. And then some. Using the Frostbite 3 engine, PopCap Games took a chance and made its first foray into 3D, bringing along many of its characters from the series. EA invited some the press out to try a new build of the class-based shooter Garden Warfare and it turns out it's still just as strategic as ever.
Crusader Kings II is going strong since its release two years ago. Last year saw the release of a Linux version, The Old Gods expansion (which lets you start playing 200 years earlier in history), and The Sons of Abraham expansion.
Now, Paradox is readying another massive expansion, The Rajas of India. As the name implies, you will now be able to rewrite history as an Indian ruler; the entire Indian subcontinent is opened up. This doubles the landmass of the base game.
That's a lot of map -- map that you'll get as a free update to the game, but if you want to control an eastern territory and show those colonialists what's what, you'll need the expansion. And why wouldn't you want it?
The Hearts of Iron series focuses on the World War II period of world history and has a much more concentrated focus on combat than other Paradox strategy games. If you were interested in Crusader Kings II or Europa, but felt overwhelmed or bored by some of the headier mechanics, this may be the grand strategy game for you.
Magicka: Wizard Wars has been available through Steam's Early Access program since October and it's been seeing updates at least once a week. Updates ranging from small bug fixes, to big new additions. A lot of these updates are thanks to the fan interaction, as Paradox works closely with their community to shape their game.
With Wizard Wars in particular, the developers have received 20,000 messages so far with recommendations and suggestions. Granted, only about 40% of those messages were actually useful feedback, but it's not a bad percentage given the way Internet anonymity can be sometimes.
Duel Mode, created to fill the need of a training mode, is one of the big additions coming to Wizard Wars. It serves as a way for players to go head-to-head with other players with nothing else to get in the way.
Back in October, I got the chance to sit down to chat with members of Eidos Montreal after a lengthy session with the new entry in the Thief series. Since the reveal in 2009, the game has gone through many different iterations and changes. From an obnoxiously named THI4F and a proposed and tested third-person action game; this new take on the series has been through the ringer. As such, fans have been skeptical of whether a new entry can work.
The Thief series is known for being one of the pioneers of the stealth genre on the PC, and fans of the series have been looking forward to seeing its return. As somewhat of a soft-reboot for the series, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix are in an interesting position to re-introduce fans to Garrett, the Master Thief -- along with new players looking for a new game with a different approach to stealth gameplay.
Well, after spending about 4 hours playing this new take on the series at a media press event; I can safely say that I came away quite impressed with what Eidos Montreal have in store. The scope and adaptive take on stealth is dense and complex, and even may impress those who wrote off this new take on a classic series.
Whenever games tied to a major license are announced, there's usually a collective grumble from fans. Titles based on movies, television, or comics usually don't end up well, as most of the time they're developing with the focus on the brand as opposed to the game itself. With the announcement of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor back in November, many fans were taken aback by its seemingly loose interpretation of J.R.R. Tolkien's fiction.
But of course, you can chalk this up to pre-emptive nervousness considering the franchise's history in gaming. Which is totally understandable. But things now appear to be different, and this new sandbox action title from Monolith -- the developers of F.E.A.R, No One Lives Forever, and Condemned -- plans to take a fresh approach to making a game with Tolkien's lore.
During a private presentation of the game, Destructoid got the chance to check out a lengthy look at the game that represents a vertical slice of what the developers at Monolith have planned for their next foray into Middle-earth.
I got a PlayStation 4 and I really like it. I've played some fun games on there like Resogun and, uh, well okay that's about it. I mean I've played other games on the console like Assassin's Creed IV, but I'm specifically referring to the first party titles. I'm still waiting for that major Sony exclusive to suck all my free time away.
And I know for sure that's going to be Infamous: Second Son. It comes out on March 21, 2014, but I just want it now. That said, Sucker Punch needs to start showing off more of the power-ups you can get. Just another tease won't hurt, right?