Max and I got a chance to dick around in an almost-finished build of Far Cry 4, but unfortunately Max went home sick with an earache, so here's my playthrough, along with my impressions. And Max's dumb jokes.
Having now surpassed 500,000 downloads, Terra Battle fans will soon enjoy new characters from the original character and dragon model designer of Panzer Dragoon, Manabu Kusunoki. For more information on upcoming milestones and recently unlocked milestones, please visit Terra Battle's Download Starter.
Back in 2012, Far Cry 3 turned out to be a surprise hit for Ubisoft. It became the bestselling title of the series, appearing on many game of the year lists, and also created a rather excellent spin-off title. But with the announcement of Far Cry 4 back in May, many fans were pretty psyched to have a new game exploring another exotic locale, but also surprised to see something come so quickly.
With the reveal and release happening within six months of one another, it all seems like it has been going too quickly, and we've never really had the opportunity to digest something substantial for the game. Thankfully, Ubisoft agreed and allowed some extended hands-on time with the upcoming open-world shooter. After experiencing some time with the game's open-world, I can say that November is certainly going to be interesting month with this title coming to market.
Max was poring through some new Far Cry 4 footage and spotted a few things that he didn't quite understand. Here's his top picks of interesting things he can't explain, because this game isn't out yet and we thought you might want to see some of it because this is a videogame website, you clown.
It is challenging to fit "Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire" into a headline. It wasn't hard fitting these 3D updates of the Game Boy Advance classics on the 3DS, though. It was hard making a clean segue from my meta commentary on headline economy.
And speaking of economy—god I'm good at this—the new Ruby and Sapphire return to the humble Hoenn region with your player character bouncing into town in the back of a moving van. This is dangerous, by the way. Always Sunny in Philadelphia showed this. Not that we should expect stellar parenting in a world where pre-teens are globe trotting dog fighters.
What is stellar is the transition to 3D, despite the departure from X and Y's upper-crust hometown and my general preference for the second dimension over the third. It looks as nice as the previous 3DS outing, maybe a bit smoother. The level of detail also let me realize that the rival, Brendan, is actually wearing a goofy white hat. He doesn't just have spiked white hair. I won't give him guff for the hat, but "Brendan?" Brandon, Brendon, Brandan, Brando. I thought "Steven Hansen" was a nuisance to spell what with first and last name having common alternate spellings.
It's been four years since Assassin's Creed became an annual fixture. Every year, like clockwork, Ubisoft releases a brand new, fully developed title in the AC series. But things have changed slightly this year. In a surprising move, Ubisoft decided to ditch the cross-gen development for this year's release of Assassin's Creed, and focus on making two different titles that focused on different directions. With Assassin's Creed: Unity coming to current gen and PC only, many fans will likely miss out. But it seems like people have forgotten that another title in the series is releasing on the same day.
The ever elusive Assassin's Creed: Rogue, which was just announced two months ago, is Ubisoft's attempt to try to offer something for fans who haven't made the jump to current gen, but also aims to improve upon the design and structure set by fan-favorite Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Speaking with Rogue's producer, Karl Luhe, and after spending a good four hours with the tittle at a recent preview event, I see that there's a lot to like with this recent entry in the series.
Over the weekend, I was fortunate enough to check out the alpha build of Discord's enchanting procedurally generated action-RPG platformer Chasm. Now that I've finally had some hands-on with the game, I'd like to share my impressions.
We've talked about this gorgeous game on several occasions, but for those of you still unfamiliar with it, Chasm's list of influences should shed some light on what the team is going for. When asked which titles served as inspirations for the game, director James Petruzzi listed off classics such as Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night as well as The Legend of Zelda and Mega Man. Additionally, and this is something I would not have picked up on without poring over the game's newer screenshots, some not-so-subtle salutes to From Software's Dark Souls.
Modern-day Paris is vastly different than the city that served as the backdrop to one of the most famous uprisings in history: the French Revolution. Some of the greatest locales of the revolution are now gone -- either on the cusp of being forgotten by society, or repurposed altogether. The exact spot where the guillotine was used to behead Louis XVI can be pinpointed by going to Concorde Square and counting one, two, three lampposts in. The Bastille, the prison that was infamously stormed and destroyed is, well, destroyed. It’s been reduced to a scant few blocks next to a metro platform where commuters mostly ignore it. What was the residence of royalty now houses other treasures such as the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.
Therein lies the challenge for developers of Assassin’s Creed games. How do they capture the mood and atmosphere of a city that’s so far historically removed from present time? The setting is always the star of Assassin’s Creed titles, no matter which installment in the franchise you’re playing. But, they have to tread carefully because a dull city makes for a dull game.
I'm playing a lot of ping pong this weekend. Remember Ping Pong: The Animation? It has saved anime. I'm in some unfathomable cabin with a pool, pool table, ping pong table, tequila, and just enough wifi to post this. My hair is alive with olive oil. Maybe it will attract the bears.
This weekend, you should call your mother. See how she's doing. Mine wants to hang tomorrow but I'm in the woods.
Hang out with your mom and watch Ping Pong: The Animation with her. Cook some food.
[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 content off of the front page. Check here every Saturday for my attempt to rectify that.]
The Civilization series is famous for playing out in unplanned marathon sessions, where "one more turn" quickly turns into five more turns, which turn into another hour, before the player finally looks away from the screen to see that it is starting to get light outside. Knowing this, I'm not sure what I was thinking starting the preview build of Civilization: Beyond Earth on a Friday night.
By the time I finished for that session, I had played for eight hours straight and it was then four in the morning. Then I went to sleep, woke up four hours later, and started playing again, eventually logging almost a full day's worth of play time in a single weekend.
Yes, this is still Civilization through and through, but there are some new concepts included that impact gameplay in significant ways. Though there are clear connections, Beyond Earth is far more than just a reskinning of Civilization V.
I put a sizable chunk of time into the original God Eater 2 on the Vita late last year. It was a solid entry in the long line of recent hunting action games, but certainly not without its fair share of issues. It suffered from a lack of content, and its AI was dreadful. The plentiful content updates helped a lot; online coop, new story missions, extra equipment. At the end of the day though, it still felt incomplete. The underlying mechanics were strong, so I was hopeful that we'd see an upgraded version ala Monster Hunter and the Ultimate/G releases sometime in the near future.
Enter God Eater 2: Rage Burst.
Featuring a new storyline, new characters, new weapons, and all sorts of other additions, Rage Burst's developers are pushing it as the definitive version of the game. I had a chance to go hands on with the Vita build and clear the two demo quests at Tokyo Game Show, and I came away feeling good about the changes.
Ask most Tales fans what game has their absolute favorite version of the Linear Motion Battle System (LMBS), and you're likely to get a wide variety of answers. Some prefer the 2D combat from the Tales of Destiny PS2 remake and its sequel, while others hold up Tales of Graces F as representative of the direction the system should go. While I wasn't a huge fan of the latter game, I adored its fast paced, technical combat, and was let down when I eventually played through Tales of Xillia. It wasn't necessarily bad, it just wasn't what I wanted from the series.
I had heard that Tales of Zestiria would be borrowing major elements from Graces' combat, and after ten minutes of time with the TGS demo, I can definitely see the similarities.
As the virtual reality races wages on, different prototypes keep coming out for Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift. I had yet another chance to play two new titles on Project Morpheus at Tokyo Game Show. While they were certainly unique in their own right, it’s tough not to feel as if Oculus is a bit ahead of Sony’s project.
The first game that we played was The Deep – a shark attack simulator. Ascending from the depths of the ocean in a deep sea cage, I had a first-person view of an angry shark as he tried relentlessly to rip the vessel apart and feast. I’m sure I’m delicious, but I didn’t want it to find out.
I was equipped with a gun that fired flare-like projectiles, which could be aimed based on the positioning of the DualShock 4. Unfortunately, I don’t think these shots were actually effective in any way, and were only included to make the experience interactive. Still, it was fairly incredible to watch the shark lurk, circling the cage and slowly ripping it apart.
By the end of the ride, I made it to the surface intact. The finale held one last, grand attack in which I was sure the demo would end grimly. It didn’t, as the shark gave up and went back to the deep unknown to terrorize other unlucky creatures.
When the west finally gets Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate -- what Capcom calls "the most complete version of 4 that it'll get" -- players are going to need to turn their attention to the layering of the game. Rather than solely ground-level areas, Ultimate features plenty of ledges to climb up and to hop onto monsters' backs from. That's the big difference from the Monster Hunter you may already know and love.
Gone are the water terrains, which Capcom called "controversial." The newly placed emphasis on vertical play replaces them, in what is kind of the "hook" for the game. However, that doesn't mean Capcom expects the same mixed reception. The opposite, in fact. It anticipates that players will welcome the verticality because it's fluidly interwoven into play. Small ledges will be automatically ascended, and larger ones will actually take some effort to climb.
With this new information in mind, a party of four of us set off to best the Daimyo Hermitaur -- a giant crab-like creature. Equipped with a weapon called the Insect Glaive, one of our members sent insects toward our target to retrieve essences from him. The Insect Glaive also served a second (and more fun) purpose. It can be used to pole vault on top of a monster and ride him into temporary submission.
My time with Resident Evil: Revelations 2 at Tokyo Game Show was brief -- maybe 20 minutes if we're being generous. Swiftly dumped into the beginning of the game, I was left to try to unravel the mystery of what exactly was happening, an inquiry that went unsolved. It was predictable, though. There's a lot of story to tell over Revelations 2's month-long release of four installments in early 2015; they're not going to clue me in right from the get-go.
What I do know is that I woke up in a jail cell as Claire Redfield, the action protagonist of Revelations 2. She handles all the shooty/stabby parts, and her cohort Moira Burton handles all the investigation bits. Moira was similarly imprisoned close by, until I used Claire to free her. From then on, the two could be switched on-the-fly with a simple press of a button.
Seeing as it was the beginning of the game, this is where Revelations 2 did its best to acclimate players with the simpler mechanics. Here's a knife, stab stuff with it; here's a gun, it's used for shooting bad people. That sort of thing. After teaching me how to push shelving, a zombie burst through the other side, imploring me to punch him with my knife in his big dumb face.
Fun fact. When I was a child, my mother sat me down in front of Godzilla films and subsequently burned them into my brain. As a result, I ended up learning Japanese and moving to Japan as an adult. It's not a stretch to say that I'm where I am because of the big G.
So you can imagine my excitement when I heard that Bandai Namco was developing a Godzilla game for the PS3. The big monster has had more than his fair share of game appearances, but none of them have ever been any good. I recall playing Super Godzilla on the SNES and trying my best to convince myself that it was the best game I had ever played. Needless to say, I had some issues believing my own words.
In the course of covering videogames, sometimes you go into an appointment knowing exactly what's going to happen. You know precisely how the game will play and what the demo will be like -- everything's just crystal clear. That's how my first look at Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair on PS4 went. There sure are a lot of bugs, and oh boy, do you ever kill them.
Dropped off in the middle of a giant city, I was given ten minutes to defend Earth with my forces. Equipped with a machine gun and a rocket launcher, I set off to blow as many giant ants into rust-colored oblivion as I possibly could. Real talk: If the game kept track of this sort of thing, I may have done more damage than good. But, we're here to fulfill our exterminator superhero fantasies, so let's not dwell on semantics.
Anyone that's familiar with the franchise won't be surprised to find out that The Shadow of New Despair isn't going to push the PS4 to its visual limitations. Right now, everything looks pretty rough, and I'd doubt it ever gets significantly better. Every asset in the game is just more jagged than we're used in 2014 (and the past several years), but that's to be expected with EDF. It's almost a calling card of sorts.
Another calling card is just how much cathartic, dumb fun it can be. Yep, good thing I killed those huge bugs so now I can go take care of the giant ants climbing on the skyscraper and then I can massacre this other group of them. Relentless, unceasing insect murdering. It's not for everyone, but it looks as if The Shadow of New Despair will be right up EDF fans' alley. And, that alley will probably house some bugs that needs blown up.