Leading up to PAX Prime, Clapfoot released a trailer for its base defense shooter Fortified. It caught my eye for a few reasons, notably the '50s sci-fi movie theme and its general resemblance to Double Fine's Iron Brigade (formerly Trenched). There aren't too many games like it.
The build playable at PAX was fairly early in development but offered a decent enough idea of what to expect. Aliens are invading the city and you and up to three friends need to shoot them down, one wave at a time. I selected the character class with a jetpack, while my co-op partner had the unique ability to command soldiers around the battlefield. I think I made the right call.
We had the freedom to place defensive structures like machine gun turrets, a slowing device, and sandbags wherever we wanted within reason, and the shooting felt good -- surprisingly good. My favorite weapon was the rocket launcher, because it sent robot invaders flying all over the place. The physics were wobbly, exactly as you would hope. Again, think lo-fi science fiction.
With some proper maze-building techniques, we managed to funnel robotic spiders into a single lane so we could concentrate fire on flying saucers and other stragglers. The boss, a hulking robot, must have been inches away from our base before he went down.
I wasn't able to see the two remaining characters, upgrades, or any other levels -- I'm told they will more than likely all be set within a city -- but I liked what was playable enough to keep Fortified on my radar. The game isn't releasing on PC and Xbox One until next year, so there's time for more features and polish. In speaking with art director Adam Garib, it seems like the studio has a solid grasp on what's needed to flesh out the experience. Fingers crossed.
If Upper One Games’ Never Alone sticks out to you as one of the best examples of storytelling in recent memory, don’t be surprised. It sort of has an unfair advantage. You see, the tale it tells has only been passed down throughout several generations’ time. But, while its roots are in the past, the way it’s being told is unique and wholly original.
Never Alone is a puzzle platformer that’s about an old folktale of the Inupiat people -- one of seven major indigenous groups in Alaska. The project actually came about because the Inupiat’s tribal council wanted a way to pass their heritage down to the youths, who had become more enamored by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and of course videogames than they were with their own history. They reached out to E-Line Media to see if the educational game company would be interested in helping develop a game that would share a bit about them. The result was the creation of Upper One Games.
No, the next game from The Behemoth isn't a sequel to Castle Crashers. I mean, yeah, that'd be nice to have one day, but I'm loving how the studio is continuing to try new things. And its next project, the to-be-properly-named "Game 4," is most certainly a New Thing for the team.
It's a turn-based strategy role-playing game with the style and humor we've come to expect from The Behemoth. So, pretty freaking great. Will Stamper even returns from BattleBlock Theaterto narrate again. What begins as a typical fantasy adventure with swords and shields quickly morphs into a tale of robots, vampires, and anthropomorphic cupcakes. Knights getting extracted via space shuttle? Yeah, something's not quite right here.
As shown in the teaser trailer, a space bear has crash landed into a planet -- your planet -- and the universe hasn't been the same ever since. Just chaos, left and right. I was fortunate enough to spend well over an hour with Game 4 at PAX Prime and in that time, far more questions were raised than answered. I laughed more than a few times, though, and really dug the combat.
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.
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD is taking Square Enix's beloved RPG series in a bold new direction. According to director Hajime Tabata, it's "much more mature in comparison with previous titles" and provides "a completely new take on the franchise" for adults.
Destructoid met up with Tabata over the weekend in Seattle to check in on how the remaster of the 2011 PSP game is coming along. Visually speaking, it looks quite good, though that's far from the upcoming PS4 and Xbox One title's most striking quality.
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.
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.
Go, go, go. Always on the move. That's all that we've seen of Insomniac Games' Sunset Overdrive since its initial 2013 reveal. Seriously, think back. Do you remember seeing any footage of the game where the oddball protagonist isn't running, jumping, or grinding along?
Chances are you haven't, because the developers have built Sunset Overdrive around the notion of motion. Standing still will get you killed, and maybe more criminally, it's just so damn boring. If you're going to let the player build any character they want -- say a cross between an '80s punk rocker and a Cold War-era Russian trooper -- that high-octane approach needs to permeate every aspect of the game, and it begins with the concept of momentum.
Remedy Entertainment has made a living by following a tried-and-true formula: take a third-person shooter, support it with a catchy and innovative gameplay mechanic, and wrap it all up with an emphasis on narrative. Max Payne did it with stylish slow-motion dives while slinging bullets with pinpoint precision. Alan Wake used equal parts light and lead to fend off the evil that encapsulated Bright Falls. And, while Quantum Break's Jack Joyce doesn't lend his namesake to a title, he has his own methods to ensure that he'll be a memorable figure.
The difference between those two examples of Remedy's prior works and Quantum Break lies within the fact that the core mechanic of the latter inherently changes the protagonist. In fact, it's sort of what amounts to be a superhero origin story. At Riverport University, a fictional school in the northeastern United States, a time-travel experiment went awry, and as a result, Joyce found himself with the ability to manipulate time. That's all well and good apart from the fact that the failed experiment also tore the fabric of time and the world is coming to an end.
As Joyce tries to find a solution to the impending doomsday, he has two foes to combat -- an evil business enterprise and time itself. Monarch Solutions learned of Joyce's abilities and are looking to capture him to use for its own nefarious purposes. After all, it wouldn't be a videogame mega corporation without some sort of malicious intent. The divide between Joyce's pair of opponents symbolizes the divide that looks to mark the gameplay experience.
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.
Xbox's flagship franchise isn't something that Microsoft's going to stray from anytime soon. Why would it? If there was any doubt about Halo's lasting appeal, it was dashed with the E3 reveal of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Life was suddenly jolted into fans of the franchise as many that weren't on-board with the Xbox One resigned themselves to getting the console primarily to pick up the four-in-one package.
As The Master Chief Collection provides an experience that ties together the included titles, Microsoft wants to offer a means to tie together everything Halo that fans could possibly want. At the company's gamescom 2014 press briefing, The Halo Channel was introduced, and during a speed run meeting with 343 Industries, we got a better glimpse at what it'll be like.
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...
Even though I wasn’t optimistic about the prospect, I wanted to put my best foot forward. With a cheery tone to my voice, I affirmed the stranger’s request to play Project Totem cooperatively with me. The entire meeting he had seemed so eager, feverishly scribbling down notes as the Press Play developers explained their unabashedly simple, yet deviously difficult game. I was the one playing and talking, but he probably deserved a shot too, right?
“Damnit, he’s going to suck, and it’s going to piss me off,” I thought.
And, I was right. Well, sort of. Project Totem’s co-op play is designed in such a way that you’ll probably come to this conclusion about your partner regardless of their skill set. Failures by me? Temporary miscue, sure to never happen again. Failures by him? Does this dolt even have opposable thumbs, or does he simply mash the controller against his forehead?