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The Division photo
The Division

Ubisoft has some awfully lofty expectations for The Division's launch


The beta did exceedingly well
Feb 11
// Brett Makedonski
Ubisoft released its most recent earnings report this morning. As is customary during those sort of things, Ubisoft co-founder and CEO Yves Guillemot talked to investors about the company's past and predicted its future. Tom ...
Street Fighter V photo
Street Fighter V

Street Fighter V's Alex is coming in March, here's some concept art


For straight cash or Fight Coins
Feb 11
// Chris Carter
[Update: Here's the new roadmap for Street Fighter V's content drops. Alex in March, characters in April, May, July, August, and September, and the cinematic story in June. Said other fighters include Ibuki, Balrog, Juri, Uri...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan is getting four player co-op, tons of free DLC


It's the Koei Tecmo way
Feb 11
// Chris Carter
Koei Tecmo might be bad at doing quality PC ports, but it has a good grasp on console development, and generally does a great job of supporting its games over time. That's also the case for Attack on Titan, which is gett...
Firewatch photo
Firewatch

Firewatch dev 'super fu*king bummed' about PS4 frame rate issues


'We're working around the clock'
Feb 11
// Vikki Blake
Developer Campo Santo is working "actually, literally, around the clock" to fix the frame rate drops experienced by PS4 players of Firewatch. "Couple'a updates," Vanaman stated on reddit. "One is that we're in pipe with ...
ARC SYSTEM WORKS photo
ARC SYSTEM WORKS

Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator coming to Europe this June


Just three days after North America
Feb 11
// Kyle MacGregor
Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator is launching in Europe on June 10, PQube announced today. That's the same week as the North American release, which is a pleasant surprise, considering the original game didn't wind up in Europ...
Yooka-Laylee photo
Yooka-Laylee

Meet Yooka-Laylee's newest character, Kartos


'The god of ore'
Feb 10
// Jordan Devore
I'm not sure how many more ex-Rare staffers can pile onto the Yooka-Laylee team, but there's room for at least a couple more. Playtonic went on a little hiring spree for its first birthday, adding environmental artist Damien ...

Finding Weezer's 'Across the Sea' in Firewatch

Feb 10 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]340578:62211:0[/embed] Firewatch's protagonist, Henry, is in need of something, anything that's therapeutic. That's why he accepted this job in the mountains away from his ever-crumbling life. His wife was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's and her parents took her back to Australia to live with them. Henry didn't have much say in the matter. So, he fled to the isolation of a Wyoming outpost, more alone but not necessarily any more lonely. The only human communication Henry would have for three months was with his boss, Delilah, via walkie talkie. It's the most beautiful part of Firewatch. The two converse regularly -- sometimes in a boss-to-subordinate capacity, sometimes just shooting the shit. On day one, Delilah feels like a stranger on the other side of the radio; by day 70-something, she feels like a best friend. Or, something more. Throughout "Across the Sea," Rivers maybe laments more than anything else. "Why are you so far away from me? I need help and you're way across the sea," he sings. It's clear that he has fallen to the rock star loneliness complex, the thought that even though you're immensely popular, there's no one who's actually close to you. It may be aggrandizing to cling to one fan in Japan, but he did. And it helps. In Rivers' case, his anchor is a world away. For Henry, it's as far as a short-range walkie talkie can reach. It doesn't matter; the difference is all the same. Both have found resounding solace in another person they've never physically met.  As both examples reveal, these types of relationships amplify certain emotions. There's an exchange early in Firewatch where Delilah prods Henry to describe himself. She wants to know what his eyes look like, what he'd be wearing if she caught his glance from across the bar. Rivers and counterpart have the same natural curiosity described in lines like "You wanted to know all about me and my hobbies," and "I wonder what clothes you wear to school, I wonder how you decorate your room." There's a darker side, though. Feelings of insecurity and guilt manifest for both. More accurately, they've always been there, but they surface now. Rivers emphatically states "I could never touch you, I think it would be wrong." Henry's reactions in certain moments make it clear that he's not sure all of this is appropriate, especially while his wife is still alive. He and Delilah aren't romantic, but they're intimate. They're close. Is that any better than a physical tryst? The answer is, well, it's complicated. Firewatch affords a lot of time to walk around and think about these things, but nothing ever becomes any more cut and dried. There's ambiguity and uncertainty, just as there should be. But, like Rivers' Japanese girl, Delilah gives Henry something to lean on. She's a beam of hope in an otherwise dark cloud of loneliness and doubt. That seems like it's probably worth it all. "Why are you so far away from me," indeed.
Firewatch photo
Fall to little pieces
As I trekked through Firewatch's forested western Wyoming landscape, one song kept entering and leaving my head, and it wasn't one of the game's serene, folksy acoustic guitar tunes. It was a song I listened to a lo...

Review: Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

Feb 10 // Chris Carter
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (PS4 [reviewed], PS Vita)Developer: Media VisionPublisher: Bandai Namco EntertainmentReleased: February 2, 2016MSRP: $59.99 Cyber Sleuth stands tall as a cute, vibrant adventure full of interesting setpieces. For those of you who scared of hearing "Arurururu-mon" over and over like previous iterations, the tone is amusing without being too cutesy and annoying, and the option to turn off monster voices in battle helps (I'm sure people would love that for Pokemon). In other words, Media Vision found a good balance between the series' mature and childish elements. The developer has also gone full Internet again. In this edition, your avatar is at the epicenter of a cyber world, complete with Digimon battles and a personified world wide web. The setting is EDEN, a virtual consumer-oriented network run by Kamishiro Enterprises, that prides itself on shopping first and foremost, which the game has mild commentary on to boot. Over the years, viruses and hacking have started to run rampant as a fringe movement, however, and that's where said monsters come in. EDEN is beautiful, to put it bluntly. The blank skies are actually an endearing quality that help differentiate it from many other renditions of the Internet, and the upbeat soundtrack is reminiscent of the Persona series in all the best ways. Avatars also chat about real locations like Roppongi and Shinjuku, and it's generally fun to hang around the world even without a purpose, just like in the .hack games. This is partially because the world is believable. The team put a lot of work into building up its lore and foundation. [embed]340181:62208:0[/embed] Cyber Sleuth doesn't exactly look like a current-generation RPG (mostly because it was originally released on the Vita in Japan), but the brief anime cutscenes help breathe some life into it. As a note, the entire cast is comprised of Japanese voices, and the avatar (male or female, your choice) is mostly a silent partner, only speaking to him or herself. The rest of the characters probably talk half of the time. This halfheartedness spills over to the story somewhat, because while the universe itself is compelling, the "hacker" angle doesn't really go anywhere, and suffers from an overly long intro/tutorial section. The Persona comparisons don't stop at the presentation. The world map is also a menu, with larger hub worlds to explore after making a selection. It's deceptively large, because while it's not truly open world (or even open map like Final Fantasy games), you'll unlock so many areas over the course of your adventure that it will take quite a while to explore them all fully. Since you can save nearly anywhere (Cross-Save is also in), the segmented zones don't become anything more than a minor nuisance. The battle system is basically everything you've seen before from the past few decades of JRPGs. There's an easy-to-read timeline on the side showing turn order, and your 'mon can attack, use a skill, guard, or change out. Yes, random battles are in, which is either deliciously or inexcusably old-school, depending on your tastes. At this point in my life, I'm kind of at a middle-ground mindset. I still love JRPGs dearly, especially those with great world-building and infectious casts, but I can do without the random battles. At the very least, it would be nice to see enemies on-screen -- or, as several games have done lately (such as Bravely Default or the modern Final Fantasy re-releases), allow the option to eliminate them at will, though you can reduce the frequency at some point. As expected, 'mon can level up to gain new skills, and since each one can house up to 20, it can get very deep very quickly, especially when you consider that there's over 240 in all. Party members also follow you, which is a nice touch as you're wading through all of the random battles. Feeding, a DigiFarm meta-game, a lab that levels up non-active 'mons, and evolution are also in, so there's plenty to mess around with if you aren't feeling up to a dungeon crawl at any moment. Said dungeons, however, are mostly linear. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth plays it safe in a lot of ways, but for many of you out there, that's going to be perfectly fine. Just don't expect it to convert you if you're sworn off the formula. [This review is based on a retail version of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
Digimon Story review photo
More Persona than Pokemon
For the past week or so, people have been asking me non-stop if we're going to review Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth. I wasn't actually sure if Bandai Namco was going to send a copy (it sent everything else), so for the gam...

Don't even bother booting up Destiny for the Crimson Days event

Feb 10 // Chris Carter
Readers have asked when I plan on hanging up Destiny, and I think that time is this week. Nearly all of my raiding group wasn't feeling up to playing, and some, after dabbling in Crimson Days, quit in disgust. Yes, I'm being dramatic -- this is a video game about shooting various aliens with little to no in-game backstories (why didn't they take David Cross' material!)-- but that's just the reality. Destiny is a very good game that's just handled poorly. Let's take a look at what Crimson Days entails. The Tower is decorated with cute Valentine imagery, which is fun for a few minutes until you realize that it's not nearly as in-depth as the previous Festival of the Lost event, despite twice the hype and buildup. Then there's two free basic-level emotes, and a handful of limited edition™ premium ones you can net for roughly $5. The cherry on top is a PVP mode called "Crimson Doubles," which pits two Guardians against another team of two, and then powers-up one member if the other dies (which is not actually beneficial if you play Bladedancer because it ruins your invisible effect -- oops!). Okay, great! So how long does the fun last? Around 30 minutes. That's mostly because Crimson Doubles feels like a repackaged mode that's existed since the game's launch. After 15 or so games I have yet to see a Ghost (much less a 320 Ghost), which is the sole draw of the event for hardcore players. If Doubles were more fun, I'd be inclined to play it a bit to get my elusive Ghost, but since I'd likely have to grind it out for days on end to even see a viable drop,I'm just going to Jerry Seinfeld my way out of the situation now. Even casual fans have been noting how much of a letdown Crimson Doubles is, because regular old Crucible gear is interspersed with the rewards. It's kind of like spending your afternoon doing Nightfalls at a Light Level of 315 to get a set of 305 Ghosts. This albeit limited survey suggests that getting a 320 Ghost is subject to a less than 1/500 chance. The kicker? There's no matchmaking. Wait, what? Yep, due to some technical reason beyond Bungie's control, there is no matchmaking for this two-person, opposite of "massive" event (for those of you who insist the game is an MMO for some reason, despite the largest activity only supporting six players). Because the community is so great, and so passionate, they actually did a lot of Bungie's work for them and created their own fun Tinder-like matchmaking system. Like all of the good matchmaking platforms (DestinyLFG, /r/fireteams), they are unofficial. To add insult to injury, the slightly different Ghosts and the reskinned PVP event is only available for one week. After that, it's back to thinking about how you want to break up with the game. Did Bungie not make enough money to fund real DLC yet? AAA development really isn't sustainable if that's true, and the "10-year plan" for the series is looking rather bleak unless big changes happen on top. It's crazy when you remember how much momentum Taken King had just a few months back.
Destiny photo
Broken Valentines
When Bungie announced the Crimson Days event for Destiny, my heart sunk a bit. I mean the notion is nice, but really, we all know that the Tower makeover is basically just an excuse to sell more microtransactions. "But you can pay for the [insert popular meme here] Drake Dance." Should I just...uninstall it now, or?

Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Star Wars Battlefront is handing out double XP this weekend


Anyone still play this?
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
I only jump onto Star Wars Battlefront every so often with friends as it got stale pretty fast, but for those of you who still play, there's a double XP event this weekend. This is because the community managed to complete ov...
Tough, but fair photo
Tough, but fair

Hitman minimum PC requirements shouldn't kill you


Nor should the recommended
Feb 10
// Steven Hansen
The new Hitman boasts bigger crowds than most games, but it has some of the more reasonable minimum (and recommended, actually) required specs that I've seen in a while, according to the Steam page: Minimum: OS: OS 64-bit Wi...
Dead: Michonne photo
Dead: Michonne

Telltale's Walking Dead: Michonne launches this month


And monthly after that
Feb 10
// Chris Carter
After months of waiting, Telltale has finally decided to unveil the premier date for The Walking Dead: Michonne. It'll drop on February 23 on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One -- as usual, the iOS and Android versions are ...
First gameplay video photo
First gameplay video

See just how much the gameplay has changed in Valkyria: Azure Revolution


Guess it really ISN'T a strategy game...
Feb 10
// Steven Hansen
It's been clear from the get-go that Valkyria: Azure Revolution is a spinoff from the Valkyria Chronicles series that graced the PS3 and PSP. It is much more anime-y, there are overwrought swords and melee combat, as well as...

Hands-on: I like the new Hitman, and its episodic model

Feb 10 // Steven Hansen
[embed]339955:62169:0[/embed] Okay, so, that out of the way, yep, the Prologue does take you back 20 years to 47's entrance into the ICA (like a pimp, but for murderers) and first meeting with his British-accented handler out in some Siberian-looking snowy wilds. The amount of story there, besides peoples' surprise at 47's murder prowess, is minimal, and it's mostly about setting up training missions to help get people acquainted with the Hitman style. And they're actually really cool because instead of virtual reality or whatever, the missions are actual, constructed sets. For instance, there is a yacht infiltration, but the boat is landlocked and there are blue tarps around it on the floor representing water (all the people, too, are, I suppose, ICA staff acting a part -- not sure where the secret organization finds dozens of extras, but, whatever). Beyond that cool touch, they are legitimate Hitman-style missions, closer in size to older entries. The boat adventure tasks you with killing "The Sparrow," a legendary thief half-heartedly trying to go clean, while introducing distraction techniques, disguises, acquired weaponry/items. Various costumes will grant you access to various parts of the ship -- security will keep you from walking straight on, but you can go around, choke out a maintenance worker, and work your way into the ship's underbelly and up towards the waitstaff, then clobber one of those fools. And maybe then just take up position at the bar and pour The Sparrow's lady a drink laced with poison. Me, I snuck into the room where he was doing business and shot both him and his associate in the head. Second bit in the prologue involves a Soviet defector whom I was able to kill by disguising myself as a mechanic and fiddling with the ejector seat he was meant to test per safety rules in the jet he was making his escape on. Shot his ass right through the roof and walked slowly away while everyone freaked out. I keyed onto the option because Hitman will offer some guidance in the form of Opportunities. Generally, you'll overhear some dialogue (if you stop and listen at the right place, right time) that hints at a murder solution (or towards a murder solution, i.e. letting you know where a target will be and when). If you decide to track that opportunity, it leaves breadcrumbs to the next bit in the form of UI markers on the map. Hitman purists, however, can turn them off completely, and there's no shortage of ways to do a murder, especially when it really opens up with the first mission, Showstopper, which takes place in an enormous mansion in Paris during a fashion show. One fun solution in Paris (also offered as an opportunity): the German model headlining the show looks quite a bit like 'ol McFurrowed-Brow, hint hint, wink wink. There are two targets here, a power couple in the fashion world secretly dealing undercover operator names to highest builder on the sly. The fashion show is huge, brimming with several hundred NPCs, from reporters to wait staff to models to socialites, while the dual targets encourage you to do something cool and stealthy (so as to not raise alarms and get into a firefight before you can take out the second). In addition to Prologue and Paris, the initial $15 (or $60 if you're a gambling man) also opens up Contracts, player-made hits using the same sandbox, as introduced in Absolution. The feature was something of an afterthought in the latter but ended up hugely successful, played by over 40% of players. One cool addition is the Elusive Targets, which appear for a limited time (in real-world hours) and only afford you one shot at making the assassination, like real life. Your success or lack thereof is tracked in your profile. They'll be much harder to suss out, too, requiring some detective work (eavesdropping, etc). These high stakes missions could end up a surprise high point. There are also developer-designed Escalation missions. The first -- again, set in the same Paris sandbox with the story-mode targets still present -- required me to kill a certain, new NPC with a saber (which you can only acquire in a certain area). From there, difficulty ramps up as parameters are added. The next rendition requires killing the same man with a saber, but also hiding the body within 90 seconds after the kill. And as you can see we're getting into the realm of replay and re-use. Player-made Contracts and Escalation missions are effectively the same as the lone story mission, but with different goals. If all you want is to keep fulfilling tasks until the game is over, Hitman's set up might not be for you. But I think the series works best as a creative sandbox you have fun and experiment with, which is why the $10 release structure for new areas makes sense for me, so long as the new areas are varied enough in their killing options and layouts. I enjoyed skulking about the Paris level for a few hours and there are still experiments I'd like to try -- not to mention that I never did finish the mission with finesse (I always cocked up by the second hit for a noisy kill, subsequent firefight, and inelegant escape). That you can test the waters with the first $15 episode -- if you don't like it, you're unlikely to like any more areas -- is an alright option as far as I'm concerned.
Hitman hands-on photo
Hands-on Ste-view
Have you ever wondered just how Cueball McFurrowed-Brow became the famously good killing man of the Hitman series' glory years? Of fucking course not, which is why the need to string Hitman: Absolution together into some S&am...

Screencheat photo
Screencheat

Illusive multiplayer shooter Screencheat hits PS4, Xbox One in March


No party fouls
Feb 09
// Jordan Devore
Following its PC release of Screencheat last year, Samurai Punk is bringing the unconventional first-person multiplayer shooter to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 1, 2016. It'll launch at $14.99. In the game, players are...
It exists photo
It exists

Crimson Singles is Tinder, but for Destiny


Swipe right on their initiative
Feb 09
// Steven Hansen
Five days ago a user on the Destiny reddit page suggested, "Someone should make a Tinder app for Crimson Doubles." Over the weekend, that become a reality as reddit's sjmorrow and sicemsam teamed up over three days to make Cr...
PS Plus photo
PS Plus

Exercise your Sony-given rights and vote now for the next free PS Plus game


Vote to Play (or die)
Feb 09
// Brett Makedonski
Voting in the United States is a very haves versus have-nots thing right now. Only a few people have gotten to cast ballots lately, and they're the citizens in the probably lovely states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Those of us...
SQUARE ENIX photo
SQUARE ENIX

Here's your first look at Dragon Quest Heroes II


Just as pretty as the last one
Feb 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Square Enix has shared the first images of Dragon Quest Heroes II, and it doesn't look dramatically different from its predecessor. That isn't too surprising, considering its predecessor debuted just a year ago and looked per...
SFV legacy support photo
SFV legacy support

Street Fighter V will have legacy controller support after all


No need for a new stick yet
Feb 09
// Nic Rowen
This is one case where I don't mind seeing a developer go back on something they've said. Spanish website MeriStation broke the news that Street Fighter V is going to come with a day-one patch to add in support to make PS3-er...
Sherlock Holmes photo
Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil's Daughter is launching on May 27


Has really, really nice cover art, too
Feb 09
// Joe Parlock
Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter, Frogwares’ newest Sherlock Holmes game, has finally been given a release date: May 2017, 2016 for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Publisher BigBen Interactive has also unveiled the box...
Far Cry Primal photo
Far Cry Primal

Get up to speed on Far Cry Primal with this '101' trailer


'Unlimited creativity'
Feb 09
// Darren Nakamura
Some people follow news on Far Cry closely, taking in every nugget of information out there. Others might be vaguely aware of Far Cry Primal's existence and premise, but don't know much else past that. This video is for the l...
Attack on Titan photo
Attack on Titan

Curious how Attack on Titan looks on PS3 and Vita?


Take a look
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
Attack on Titan is officially Koei Tecmo's first PS4-centric development project, but the game is also coming to PS3 and Vita by way of a downscaled port. While we've seen the PS4 build quite a bit since the studio went ...

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...

Division photo
Division

Get your skills in order before The Division launches


Or the next beta happens
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
I'm surprised at how many people rallied around The Division beta, as the community-based buzz around the RPG elements really took shape. A lot of my Destiny friends are planning on quitting for it, in fact. A player nam...
F.A.N.G photo
F.A.N.G

Get to know Street Fighter V's F.A.N.G better


Or not, he's creepy
Feb 09
// Chris Carter
We already know F.A.N.G is a poopy pigeon, but what else is there to learn about him? A lot actually! As one of the most interesting new characters in the series, I love his poison-based attacks, and his combos look pretty in...
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 ...
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, 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.]
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