I've played and enjoyed all of the Saints Row games to date, but wonder how much longer this can last. How much more ridiculous can the series get, and even if there is room to up the insanity, do we even want that? Where Volition goes from here, I'm not sure.
Gat Out of Hell, a standalone expansion, will give the studio some breathing room to figure that out while keeping the series on store shelves. As will Saints Row IV: Re-elected, a "Game of the Year"-style re-release for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Both are due out January 27, 2015.
I played a brief demo of Gat Out of Hell at PAX Prime over the weekend and spoke with studio creative director Steve Jaros about how the game is influenced by Disney films. Yes, really.
Telltalle has been a busy beehive lately. Having wrapped up The Walking Dead Season 2 and season one of The Wolf Among Us, this fall will bring us right into the first episode of Tales from the Borderlands. Darren seemed positive on the game when he saw it at E3, but for a series like Borderlands that built its name more on its genre fusion gameplay than it's setting, I didn't know what to expect or hope for going into this demo.
After it was over, I came out with confirmation that Telltale is still the best at what it does.
Mighty No. 9 is probably one of the most anticipated games of 2015. After a massive Kickstarter, creator Inafune and developers Comcept and Inti Creates have kicked off a long line of products to hype it up, including Mighty Gunvolt and a potential cartoon.
After all that hype though we finally have a chance to play the game. I have to say, it has the feel of a Mega Man game, but a few aspects definitely took some getting used to.
There was some initial skepticism when it came to Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions and its so-called "3D action." For starters, it's been several years since the last games entered our lives to rekindle old leaderboard feuds. There was also confusion surrounding developer Lucid Games who, as it turns out, is made up of former Bizarre Creations staff.
Even if I hadn't known that fact going in, I like to think I would've picked up on it instinctively during a hands-on session at PAX Prime. Despite a few significant changes such as the shift from a flat playing field to planet-like 3D stages, Dimensions unmistakably feels like Geometry Wars.
As I sat down for my appointment with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, I had to make my toughest decision at PAX Prime. Running through Claptrap's capstone abilities, I was faced with the following dilemma: Do I want to become a pirate ship or a disco ball?
I wasn't exactly jarred by the wacky prospect. I mean, this is Borderlands we're talking about, and even more specifically, this is Claptrap. But, you seriously expect me to just select between those two like it ain't no thang?
I went disco ball. I can't say I regret my decision.
It takes a certain kind of appeal for Devolver Digital to add a title to its stable of games. While the indie-friendly publisher doesn't necessarily have an underlying style that unite all of its games, there is a common theme. They're all uniquely awesome in some way. A Fistful of Gun is the newcomer to Devolver, but it falls right in line as one might expect.
A Fistful of Gun is a top-down western arcade shooter that's all about execution, but maybe moreso about how you'll arrive at that execution. In predictable fashion, there are a bunch of bad guys on the screen, and you're tasked with shooting all of them. One hit kills them, one hit kills you. Where this game thrives is in the choice that it gives the player.
Music has always been at the heart of what Harmonix does. From Rock Band to Dance Central to the extremely experimental Chroma, the studio's made sure that whatever the player's doing, they'll nod their head and tap their foot while doing it. Even when branching out as far as it is with its new project A City Sleeps, Harmonix never strays from its roots, and the game feels remarkably better off for it.
A City Sleeps is a game that Harmonix is dedicating only a fraction of its resources to. The team, comprised of only five people, was the group that was working on Chroma until the studio decided to indefinitely put it on the backburner. Not sure exactly how to mold something as ambitious as the musical first-person shooter, the team segued to something more manageable -- a twin-stick shoot-'em-up for PC.
Costume Quest, like every Double Fine game, is charming. It's a fresh-feeling, low stakes take on the JRPG genre, more Earthbound than Final Fantasy. Though, as Chad put it in his review, it's "RPG Lite," accessible for all ages.
Double Fine doesn't want to sacrifice that, but does want to make Costume Quest 2's combat a bit more engaging. I was engaged with Paper Mario (or Final Fantasy VIII) style timed button presses that help your attacks do a bit more damage. Similarly, a well timed tap on defense will reduce the damage you take. This engagement, though, make things a bit easier so long as you can hit those button presses.
Anytime you sit in on an early look at a new videogame, the presentation's sort of structured the same. Throughout the introduction to the title, the developers always -- always -- pepper the speech with catchy phrases about the approach that they wanted to take, their influences, and what they want to elicit from the players.
BioWare's showing of its newly announced Shadow Realms at gamescom 2014 fell right in line with these expectations. What makes it noteworthy is the sheer amount that the studio hopes to accomplish. After listening and talking to developers from BioWare at gamescom, it's evident that they have big ambitions for Shadow Realms. It's a title that aspires to do a lot of different things in a lot of different ways, and it's unclear right now how some of it will be executed. But, there appears to be solid framework to build around for now.
Which Lara Croft do you prefer? Crystal Dynamics has two versions of her, splitting the iconic character into distinctly different properties. The recentTomb Raider reboot and the scheduled follow-upRise of the Tomb Raider paint Lara in a survivalist light -- someone that's fighting for her life more than anything else. That's all well and good, but you can't fault anyone that favors the other Lara; they're probably just used to her.
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris continues what 2010'sGuardian of Light began -- getting back to theTomb Raider roots with a star that had no problem mowing down anything in her path to find more treasure. She’s brash, she’s ruthless, and, (ideally) she has a few friends helping her.
Guardian of Light is highly regarded by most -- an isometric, top-down twin-stick shooter that was a delight to play. With few complaints from the fans, Crystal Dynamics knew that Temple of Osiris wasn’t an effort that it’d necessarily want to revamp, but rather just improve. The two levels that we played at gamescom 2014 indicate that it's certainly poised to do just that.
I stopped tallying at ten counts of the word "iteration" in the early goings of the SOE Live 2014 presentation for SOE's upcoming (PC, PS4) survival zombie sim H1Z1. Okay. I get it. That's why the game wasn't so hot when it was first shown off and why there's still work to do before it comes to Steam Early Access "soon."
"It kicked us in the butt," I was told of initial previews, which were not all that kind to the project (our own Wett Brett Makedonski called it "almost unplayable").
One glance at Moon Studios' Ori and the Blind Forest is enough to be immediately enamored by the game's visuals. Actually, it's almost an inevitability. Every piece of media that Microsoft releases for Ori draws attention to the glistening colors and stunning backdrops. Not as if that can be helped, mind you; it's a part of the design that just tends to precede everything else.
At its press demos at gamescom 2014, Moon Studios was almost sheepish about the fact. It was well aware of the recognition that the game has gotten for its looks thus far. Now, it wanted to show that Ori's brilliance is rooted in something deeper.
Think back on Far Cry 3. Reflect on all the memorable moments you had with that game. What sticks out the most? The missions or the unscripted stuff that happened in the open world?
Chances are you primarily remember the unsc...
Gamescom is a noisy, crowded mess. Shoulder to shoulder with patrons that didn’t seem to care what they bump into, I trudged my way to my next appointment. As I stepped through the door to the meeting room, something unexpected happened. I was teleported from a loud convention center to a rebellious teenager’s room.
Seated at the foot of a twin-sized bed, I took in my surroundings. The top of a makeshift television stand housed a half-smoked joint, while a pair of dirty Converse rested underneath. Posters of influential punk rockers littered the wall, all askew. “Fuck” was scrawled on almost everything, but especially a tattered American flag.
I wasn’t in Germany anymore. I was in Arcadia Bay, Oregon. More specifically, I was in Chloe’s safe place -- the only spot in the world where a misunderstood teenage girl can be herself. I was inside the world of Dontnod’s newly announced Life is Strange, and it was a wonderful place to be.
Far Cry 3 had some pretty wild moments. Like, remember when Vaas was dancing around on the stripper pole? Good stuff. Far Cry 4 will have some crazy segments as well, but these are a little more grounded to the core of the game.
Scattered around Kyrat are hidden tankas that, once discovered, allow the main character to meditate and travel to Shangri-La to relieve the life of a legendary warrior. You'll be transported to a surreal world with floating islands and you are equipped with only a bow and arrow to take on the enemies of these environments.
Oh, and you have a tiger that you can command to attack others. The tiger can also turn invisible.