Games

Rock Duo Vamps Rocks Out About Game About Vamps

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 02:54

A new Code Vein trailer released today might give you tonal whiplash as Japanese Rock Duo Vamps is revealed to be doing the game's theme song. The trailer sets their song to cutscenes and gameplay footage that leaves you rocking out and confused.

The english voice-acted trailer shows off in-game cutscenes, animated cutscenes done by animation studio ufotable, and the Souls-like gameplay that has been the best comparison point for the game so far. 

You can check out the trailer below. Code Vein is releasing on Xbox One, PC, and PlayStation 4 in 2018.

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Categories: Games

Gorogoa Review

Gamespot News Feed - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 00:00

Few games take the concept of altering reality to as artistic a level as Gorogoa. This labor of love made chiefly by one developer is a gorgeous and intriguing puzzle game that works because of its stunning art and intelligent puzzle design. Far from a traditional game, Gorogoa is a slow and methodical trip into the surreal.

Gorogoa is a compact game with a minimalist design that works exceptionally well. The entire story of two young men researching the lore of gods and monsters in their world is told through the striking visuals and musical score. The focus of the game as a whole is on the puzzle mechanics, which are more than up to the task of making this two-to-three-hour excursion worth taking.

A simplified version of classic point and click adventure games, you tap on interactive elements within Gorogoa's artwork to trigger a mini-event. There are four panels on the main screen, each of which can hold a square-shaped picture. You can slide any picture into any of the panels and many of the puzzles require manipulating the pictures so they connect with each other.

Tapping on specific areas in a picture will usually zoom in on that element, and often if the element is a window or door, it will zoom right into a new location. Using beautifully detailed pictures, Gorogoa creates puzzles that work by altering the perception of the game’s own reality. Sometimes, for instance, a lamp in one picture is dark and you’ll have to find a lightsource within one of the other pictures.

To do this, you’ll have to find something glowing within another image, zoom in on the light source and then the lamp, and then move the circular hole of the lamp over the lightsource. This combines the two images to create something new. It also alters the remaining image(s) and usually leads to completely new paintings to explore.

Using simple touch controls, Gorogoa unveils surprisingly layered puzzles that can be confounding but that never feel illogical. It can be a challenge to figure out how all the images you’re provided at any given time interact with one another, but once you do, it all makes sense. Nothing feels random or contrived, which was a significant issue in classic adventure games.

This sense of order to the game’s world also leads to a palpable sense of accomplishment when you sort everything out. The first few puzzles ease you into the mechanics of Gorogoa, then the game throws you into an incredibly complex maze of clockwork-like machinations that require manipulating multiple panels in quick succession. The idea of moving a falling object from one aspect of a picture down into others in order to cause something to break is genius and extremely satisfying when you get it right.

The art is stunning, the atmosphere fascinating, and the puzzles are incredibly devious and clever. Gorogoa might not be a long game, but it is easily one of the most engaging puzzle games in recent memory.

Categories: Games

Latest Trailer Invites You To Join The Resistance

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 12/17/2017 - 23:20

Far Cry 5 is trading its exotic locales of the past for something closer to home, but that doesn't mean things get any less crazy. In the newest trailer, we're treated to some chaotic action while given an overview of how The Resistance works.

In Far Cry 5, an extremist cult has taken over Hope County, Montana. Here, you join forces with The Resistance, who are fighting back with all the firepower they've got. Each time you free a region that was once under the control of the cult, your resistance meter increases.

We also get to see what it's like to have beasts on your side, like mountain lions and bears, who you can have attack foes at your command. Watch the trailer for yourself below.

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For more on Far Cry 5, read about how Ubisoft is building what they describe as a believable cult and watch new gameplay here.

Categories: Games

Watch 13 Minutes Gameplay And Get A Peek At Multiplayer

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 12/17/2017 - 20:05

A new PlayStation Underground video shows off some gameplay of the upcoming remake of Secret of Mana. With a fresh coat of paint and a fully-voiced cast, this remake reimagines the 1993 classic for modern audiences.

In the video, we get to see a playthrough of a dungeon, along with a boss fight at the end. We also get a glimpse of the local multiplayer, a new feature that allows you to complete quests with up to two other friends. We also see characters wearing DLC costumes, such as a Moogle costume.

Watch the thirteen minute video below.

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For more about the remake, read our hands-on impressions. Secret of Mana Remake releases for PlayStation 4, PS Vita, and PC on February 15.  The title will also be getting a limited physical release for PS4 in the United States, Canada, and Latin America.

Categories: Games

Trailer Centers Around Trusty Feline Companions

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 12/17/2017 - 17:02

Rather than focusing on ferocious beasts, this trailer for Monster Hunter: World is instead centered around Palicos. These furry feline companions make a return, and this time they can be fully customized.

In the trailer below, we see that we can modify the color of their fur and choose their tiny clothes. Even small details like eye size, patterns, ear shapes, and voice can be adjusted to your liking. Palicos are trusty companions during your journeys, and can help you out if you're stuck in a difficult battle. Outside of aiding you in your journeys, they can also cook you up delicious meals. For example, in the trailer we see a Palico who happens to be an expert chef. 

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Monster Hunter: World releases January 26 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It's also releasing for PC, but a release date has not yet been confirmed. If you want to get your hands on the game sooner, a second beta on PS4 is coming as of December 22.

To learn more about the game, check out our December cover story coverage by clicking the banner below.

Categories: Games

Watch Gameplay Of Beerus, Hit, And Goku Black

Game Informer News Feed - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 18:00

The latest Dragon Ball FighterZ trailer pays homage to the series' classic moments, while also introducing us to some new characters.

The trailer premiered at this weekend's Jump Festa event, and shows off how some of the most important fights from Dragon Ball Z look rendered in Arc System's take on the Unreal Engine 4. The trailer also has the first snippets of gameplay of Beerus, Hit, and Goku Black, all three of whom were revealed a few days ago. The trailer also uses music from the original Japanese series, so anyone in the states who watched the sub instead of the dub should get a little does of nostalgia.

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Categories: Games

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild - The Champions' Ballad Review

Gamespot News Feed - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 16:00

Slipping back into Breath of the Wild is typically a painless process; spirited moments are never far away, and tranquil scenery makes the time between finding treasure and hard-fought battles consistently captivating. With so many things vying for your attention, it's fair to say that the game doesn't need to be expanded. But as the Master Trials DLC showed us earlier this year, there are still pieces of this lost chapter in Hyrule's history to uncover.

For the game's final act, The Champions' Ballad, Link's ancient allies (Revali, Daruk, Mipha, and Urbosa) get their chance to retake the spotlight. The result is less impactful to the overall story that we're already familiar with, but the accompanying quests and new gear do a lot of heavy lifting, delivering over a dozen new stages to test your problem-solving skills in ever more interesting ways. They alone make a return trip to Hyrule worth getting excited about.

A big part of this new journey involves walking in the champions' footsteps, re-enacting feats they performed prior to the fall of Hyrule, to unlock long-forgotten memories--but you must first prove yourself worthy of the opportunity. Upon returning to the Resurrection Chamber, the cave where Link awoke from his 100-year slumber, you're given a weapon known as the One-Hit Obliterator. As the name implies, this short-range weapon allows you to kill an enemy in a single blow; but with your health consequently whittled down to a quarter heart, you're also more vulnerable than ever.

Similar to how you may have felt when tackling Eventide Island or the Trials of the Sword, the threat of an easy death when wielding the Obliterator is stressful, and it takes time to acclimate to being such a fragile warrior. You may have shrugged off an occasional bee sting before, but it's little incidents like these that teach you to think twice about every move during this phase of The Champions' Ballad. Sadly, it's a great setup that ends too soon. After clearing out four small enemy camps and the shrines that emerge from their defeat, the weapon returns to the resurrection chamber having "fulfilled its duty." Even after completing everything the DLC has to offer, the weapon remains unusable, which feels like a missed opportunity.

With this stage of the new journey complete, you're sent to the four corners of Hyrule on a glorified scavenger hunt. The accordion-playing Kass regales you with songs that hint at your objectives without completely spelling out the steps involved. Adding to the mystery are the visual hints that reference a specific part of Hyrule, but these pictures are limited, forcing you to pore over the map in search of your destinations.

In a very pleasing way, the goals set for you take great advantage of Breath of the Wild's numerous mechanics. You will take on a snowboarding challenge that tasks you to pass through rings in a limited amount of time, hunt Hyrule's elusive dragons, and re-engage the banana-loving Yiga clan, among other missions that test the breadth of your capabilities. And for each task you complete, a new shrine surfaces from underground.

The Champions' shrines force you to engage in mindfulness and critical thought. They typically involve a lot of moving pieces, veering away from combat in favor of puzzle-solving. So far removed from a life of shrine-hunting in the main game, returning to these creatively built challenges takes you back to a time when Breath of the Wild was this new and mysterious thing, an experience filled with surprises.

Upon completing the three shrines in a given set, you're able to tap into the memories of the relevant champion. You don't get the opportunity to directly control Hyrule's famous defenders, but as Link, you re-enact their battles against Ganon's four blights--the same four bosses you fight at the end of each of the game's Divine Beast dungeons. The difference this time around is that you are limited to a small selection of gear based on what each champion would have carried into battle. Oddly, you retain access to the powers bestowed to you by the champions' spirits in the past, which give you incredible advantages and somewhat negate what would otherwise be difficult battles. You can always turn off these powers if you choose, but given the context of exploring someone else's memories, it would have made more sense had they been disabled by default.

Your immediate reward for beating each blight is the ability to recharge Champion abilities in less time, and new cutscenes for each champion; each one shows a recollection of when they were recruited to join Zelda's anti-Ganon squad 100 years in the past. These vignettes are more playful than serious, which is a little disappointing considering the gravity of the calamity they're up against.

Thankfully, there's a bigger and better reward waiting for you once you've resolved every champion's quests: a new Divine Beast dungeon, complete with a totally surprising boss fight. In a similar fashion to other Divine Beasts, the final station requires you to manipulate the entire structure, rotating major components this way and that, as you work to resolve the four puzzles locking away the final area. It's another reminder of how clever, if non-traditional, Breath of the Wild's dungeons are. While shrines ask you to solve puzzles comprised of compact devices and easily conceivable constraints, the scope of the final Divine Beast (like the ones before it) is delightfully difficult to wrap your head around both for how big it is and how intricate its solutions are.

The parting gift for your efforts is one of the unlikeliest additions to The Legend of Zelda: an ancient motorcycle. Loosely modeled to resemble a unicorn, Link's new bike fits thematically if not logically into Breath of the Wild's mythical tapestry. On one hand, having a bike at the ready overshadows your stable of horses. On the other, tearing through Hyrule on a motorcycle is as ridiculously playful as it sounds. It even makes for a fun snowboard replacement on snowy hills, which helps escalate the sense of speed as you rocket down mountains and look for ramps to catch a bit of air. The only real disappointment: you can't summon the motorcycle in the desert nor travel there if you're already on the go. Attempt the latter, and an invisible wall prevents you from proceeding, exactly the same as if you tried to enter on horseback.

Who knows if Nintendo will continue to surprise us with fanciful new additions to Breath of the Wild down the road, but considering that The Champions' Ballad is likely the final world on this chapter in The Legend of Zelda, it's a bittersweet goodbye. There are so many wonderful quests and beautiful, tiny moments that make revisiting Hyrule's past feel like reliving your own memories, when Breath of the Wild was truly new and surprising. Nintendo certainly could have extended some of the aspects within The Champions' Ballad, such as giving you access to the Obliterator at anytime, and letting you ride your new motorcycle over sandy dunes, but these are minor blemishes on an otherwise great trip down memory lane.

Categories: Games

Rare Details Trading Companies And Player Progression System

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 17:45

The world of Sea of Thieves has players sailing the high seas and collecting booty, but the game is about connecting with friends, and Rare makes that clear in its newest developer video.

In a recent design video, Design Director Mike Chapman says the company isn’t looking to wall players off from each other with disruptive power progression mechanics, “We wanted to build a game where the value of sharing a rich and diverse world with other players is much more meaningful than ever increasing stats."

To do this, Rare doesn’t have any barriers preventing players of different levels from playing together. Players can purchase voyages, or quests, and then all crewmembers vote on which of their voyages they want to tackle together. Majority wins in Sea of Thieves’ voting system, so no random drawing from player choices here. This system allows players who have advanced in the game to go on voyages even with the newest of players.

Voyages are sold by a number of trading companies found in outposts throughout the world, and will award gold, titles, ranks, and cosmetic items to those skillful enough to complete them. These rewards, which are split evenly across a crew, are a part of Sea of Thieves' progression system. Players can unlock customization options and show off to friends by completing voyages, but the company isn't ready to go into much detail about other ways to unlock rewards, such as microtransactions.

"We’re currently focusing on talking about our progression systems, the trading companies and the goal of becoming a Pirate Legend," says executive producer Joe Neate. "We will talk about our business model early in the new year."

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The trading companies each have different focuses, such as the Gold Hoarders’ desire for treasure. This trading company has a stash of keys, and will pay players to help them find the chests that belong to them, or may send them to solve riddles that require knowledge of the world’s islands.

The Merchant Alliance Trading Company desires to control trade in the sea, and will pay pirates to transport items ranging from wild animals to explosive barrels. There are a number of challenges facing pirates as they try to ferry these resources, such as lightning, leaky ships, time limits, and other pirates who may want to steal the cargo.

The last trading company Rare talks about is The Order of Souls, whose members can capture magic from the skulls of fallen pirates, and are happy to reward those who bring the skulls to them. This trading company’s voyages are more combat oriented, pitting players against skeleton crews (literal skeletons, not ships with few enemies), or sending them to attack one of the world’s many forts.

Players can rank up in each of these trading companies by purchasing and completing voyages offered by them. The more of the trading company’s voyages you complete, the more difficult and rewarding the offered voyages become. Eventually, players will achieve the status of Pirate Legend and have access to new voyages and rewards.

Rare is really focusing on player cooperation with Sea of Thieves, so it’s nice to know I’ll never be blocked from playing with my friends, no matter how far ahead (or behind) I get in the game. You can look forward to sailing the high seas with your friends on Xbox One and PC March 20, but in the meantime check out how Rare went about starting work on Sea of Thieves, and how feedback and data from the alpha tests changed the course of the game.

Categories: Games

Rumu Review

Gamespot News Feed - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 01:08

The moral and ethical dilemmas of engaging with ever-evolving technology isn't a new thing for video games. But in combining these weighty themes with a heartfelt story about family, loss, and love, Rumu brings a fresh and heart-wrenching perspective to some well-trodden thematic ground.

You play as Rumu, a tiny vacuum-cleaning robot who is as adorable as it is curious. Its one and only duty is to clean the futuristic house of its owners, David and Cecily. Said owners are nowhere to be found but the all-seeing sentient house AI, Sabrina, promises that they will be home soon. In the meantime, the only thing left to do is to clean and explore. Aided by Sabrina, as well as an eclectic mix of semi-intelligent home appliances and a house cat named Ada, everything starts off innocently enough. As you partake in chores, cleaning up some spilled tea here and some dropped toast there, Rumu slowly begins to grow self-aware. What starts off as a cute, whimsical adventure involving cleaning up spills soon gives way to a thought-provoking sci-fi tale.

Rumu is an isometric point-and-click puzzle game on the surface, but its strength doesn't lie in mechanics or aesthetics. Its puzzles are unchallenging and unexciting, and the discoveries that come from exploration play out in a linear fashion. The game instead anchors itself on Rumu and Sabrina's relationship and the underlying mystery of what happened to David and Cecily. Though the game is short--a full playthrough will last 2-3 hours--Rumu and Sabrina's complex dynamic and the central mystery is borne out in an engrossing manner from start to finish.

Rumu communicates with binary dialogue choices, while Sabrina is a fully coherent character. The little vacuum robot almost always "speaks" in variations of "I love you," and subtext is imbued into every line. Telling Sabrina "I love David, Cecily, and Sabrina" instead of "I love Sabrina, David, and Cecily" provokes contrasting reactions, and Sabrina possesses a sinister streak when provoked. She's surprisingly flawed for an AI character and prone to emotional vulnerability. Allegra Clark's excellent voice-acting gives extra weight to an already well-written character; little details like subtle breaks between words and slight pitch changes during heated conversations give the character a surprising degree of emotion and sympathy, and it's these finely-crafted moments that inject intriguing nuance into Rumu and Sabrina's relationship.

As pieces of the puzzle start falling into place, conversations with Sabrina take on a markedly more antagonistic tone. The I love yous become less frequent and more direct lines of questioning become the norm. The result is a fascinating look into emotional manipulation, familial relationships, and ultimately, loneliness. It's risky to focus an entire game around a single relationship since everything hinges on the strength of the characters, especially when both aren't even human. But both Rumu and Sabrina are well-written and surprisingly relatable during certain climactic moments. The experience is heightened by Rumu's beautifully poignant soundtrack, which perfectly evokes the game's futuristic setting and familial themes.

Events happen at a breakneck pace, and it doesn't take long for the story's conclusion to sneak up on you, but when you finally uncover the central mystery behind David and Cecily's absence, the emotional payoff feels well-earned thanks to strong character work and an impactful ending. It may be short and unchallenging, but Rumu's strong antagonist and its ultimately heart-wrenching journey make it one worth taking.

Categories: Games

Blending A Comic Book Look With Tactical Gameplay

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 22:15

We've seen a resurgence of isometric RPGs in the last few years, such as Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity and Larian Studios' Divinity: Original Sin series. Sword Legacy: Omen is the newest to join this trend, which blends a unique art style with tactical, turn-based gameplay. 

Sword Legacy: Omen is an RPG set in Broken Britannia, a realm that the developers describe as "candlepunk," where futuristic technology and medieval aesthetics meet. In the story, this is mostly represented through how alchemy and science are used to make technologically advanced machinery. The plot is also a reimagining of the King Arthur mythos, where a group of misfits embark on a journey to find the long lost sword Excalibur. You play as Uther, the leader of your party, who is accompanied by seven companions. However, you can only bring four at at a time with you. 

Gameplay feels similar to the likes of XCOM and The Banner Saga, where you only have so many moves. Strategy is entwined with how you plan out these maneuvers. When it's your turn, the ground lights up into squares, showing you possible paths for different characters. Certain moves can benefit the whole party, such as the protagonist's melee attack giving all allies a willpower point, which can be used to gain more AP. Other moves, such as moving too quickly toward foes instead of letting them come to you, can put you in harm's way.

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Members of your party have mostly archetypal skills, such as a thief being able to pick locks so you can loot treasure and a mage with basic magical powers. The mage, named Merlin, can shoot fireballs toward barrels which creates explosions that hurt everyone in proximity. This is just one example of how you can use the environment to your advantage, adding a layer of fun. Your party members have over 70 skills to unlock, which includes powers like creating a decoy or teleporting.

In Sword Legacy: Omen, your party members don't respawn after battle. If they collapse, they only return once you've completed the map, which can make for challenging encounters. This proved difficult when I had a downed party member during a tough fight. Much of Sword Legacy: Omen's gameplay doesn't feel that distinct or different, instead feeling similar to most other isometric RPGs I've played. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but hopefully its story and world can help it stand out.

During the demo I played, it was difficult to get a good sense of the story, since it included some placeholder dialogue and voice acting. Some of these were still written or voiced in Portuguese, since the development team is from Brazil. With isometric RPGs in particular, I've always enjoyed seeing how my choices play out or how deep mechanics can go when it comes to managing your party's skillsets. This felt like a missing component in Sword Legacy: Omen, where I didn't find story and gameplay affected one another in a compelling way.

Probably the most unique quality of Sword Legacy: Omen is its art style, which blends vibrant, colorful environments with a cartoonish aesthetic. Characters have a glossy, painted look to them, as if they came out of a graphic novel. When they speak, dialogue appears in comic book speech bubbles. These visuals really drew me in, making the world seem enticing and fun to explore. Originally, the game had a more Disney-like aesthetic, but the team opted for a darker and more gothic tone as development went on. 

Sword Legacy: Omen has some interesting themes, but as it stands, the gameplay lacks innovation and with placeholder dialogue here and there, it's hard to tell how strong a story it tells. With its candlepunk world and an original take on the classic King Arthur mythos, there's still promise that Sword Legacy: Omen can impress as the team continues to tinker. We'll see when it releases in early 2018 for PC.

Categories: Games

The Single-Player Campaign Focuses On Survival Over Stealth

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 18:22

The Metal Gear series has always been about great story-based, single-player experiences, which is why Konami's decision to make Metal Gear into a co-op survival experience with Metal gear Survive was concerning. Today Konami released a trailer with an extensive look at Metal Gear Survive's single-player campaign and, unsurprisingly, it's all about survival.

Yuji Korekado, a producer on Metal Gear Survive, opens the video by explaining that Metal Gear Survive, a spin-off from Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, will take place in an alternate timeline from the mainline Metal Gear games. The survival spinoff starts where Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes ended, with the destruction of Mother Base by the villainous XOF organization. Just as the base is destroyed, a wormhole opens up and sucks in debris and soldiers alike into an alternate world. As a Mother Base soldier, players narrowly escape this fate, but several months later they are tasked with entering the wormhole and establishing a forward operating base by a mysterious organization.

After this wacky setup, the campaign quickly sets up Metal Gear Survive's resource harvesting and base-building mechanics. True to its name, Metal Gear Survive features a lot of elements taken from the survival genre. You'll have to hunt animals, cook food, gather resources, and build defenses like electric fences and turrets in order to survive against wanderers, the crystal-headed definitely-not-zombies that occupy this alternate world. 

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There are main missions and side missions in the single player campaign, however Korekado focuses much more on the Base Camp, Metal Gear Survive's version of Mother Base. The Base Camp will be your home and throughout both the multiplayer and single player you'll be able to add defenses, farm crops, and create resource development facilities in order to increase its strength. Much like in the Phantom Pain, you'll also be able to recruit people and assign them to different teams within your base to increase its capabilities.

The trailer also notes that single player will be inextricably linked with multiplayer in several ways. Ammo is scarce, which means there is an increased focus on melee weapons and bows. Many of these weapons, including a flaming baseball bat, can be crafted using recipes, which can only be accessed through the co-op multiplayer portion of the game. The hardest enemies and missions can only be tackled in multiplayer. Any resources gathered in multiplayer can be used to build your personal Base Camp.

Metal Gear Survive might have the Phantom Pain's combat and visuals, but it's clearly a different beast. We still have yet to see how the survival elements and multiplayer-focused design will pan out, but we'll see if Metal Gear Survive is a worthwhile game in its own right when it launches on February 20.

If you're curious or excited to get your hands on Metal Gear Survive, you can try the beta when it launches in January.

Categories: Games

A Feel-Good Friendship Simulator

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 12/12/2017 - 15:00

In an increasingly darker world, games like Wattam emit a powerful light to brighten your day.

At PlayStation Experience, we got a chance to play the newest build of Keita Takahashi's quirky and unique project. Takahashi, who previously created the Katamari Damacy series on the PlayStation 2, introduced Wattam to the world at the very first PlayStation Experience in 2014. At the time, the game was being co-developed by Sony Santa Monica and published by Sony itself. After Sony dropped the game, Takahashi and Funomena studio took the project to Annapurna and redesigned the game in the process.

The new Wattam still focuses on Takahashi's vision of toys making friends by solving puzzles. The game starts with the cubic mustachioed Mayor sitting at the edge of the universe and lamenting his isolation when the universe sees fit to give life to a tiny rock. The mayor makes friends with the rock by holding its hand. To add to the fun, the mayor lifts up his hat and reveals a harmless bomb that blasts everyone into the sky for a chorus of laughing fits.

After the little rock is happy, the bigger rock also comes to life and wants to play, followed by a flowers, followed by an acorn that plants itself in the ground to birth a tree, which creates fruits, which are then eaten and become poop. When enough of the characters are poop, the toilet world latches on to the Mayor's cube and the Toilet friends join in.

The toilets scoop up enough of the poop running around and clean them to a golden shine that further friends come who have their own puzzle to solve to draw in new friends. This is the gameplay loop of Wattam, ultimately culminating in a puzzle that requires all the new friends to wrap up the level. 

It is pure joy in such a strange package, an entirely separate but natural follow up to Katamari Damacy. When Takahashi originally retired from video games, he said he was going to design playgrounds for children, which is exactly what Wattam feels like. The controls are slightly awkward and the interactions limited to what the game designs, but Wattam 

Wattam is scheduled for 2018 on PlayStation 4.

Categories: Games

A New Character Appears

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 21:30

Overkill, the team behind the cooperative heist shoot 'em up Payday, announced back in 2014 that it would be working on a Walking Dead game. We haven't heard much about it since then, but today we got a first glimpse at one of the characters we'll be playing as in this four player co-op shooter courtesy of a new trailer. 

The trailer focuses on Aidan, a man living in Washington D.C. and dealing with his daily responsibilities about as well as most of do. The trailer then cuts to Aidan walking around a post-apocalyptic D.C. strewn with "dead" bodies and taking on a group of zombies with a club. He seems to enjoys this a lot more than his life before the zombie apocalypse.

Overkill's The Walking Dead will feature a mix of first person shooter and survival gameplay, as players work together to fight zombies and humans. The trailer confirms the game's D.C. setting and a fall 2018 release date.

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For more on Overkill's The Walking Dead, check out our previous coverage.

Categories: Games

New Trailer Reveals Release Date

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 18:30

Conan Exiles has been available for early access on Xbox One and PC for awhile now, but the title finally has a full release date.

Conan the Barbarian and the open world survival game he’s in will fully release May 8 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The game has fared well in early access so far, having released new content throughout the year.

The release date was accompanied by a new trailer for the game.

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For more on Conan Exiles, check out our previous coverage here.

Categories: Games

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT's 28 Characters & 7 Summons At Launch

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 15:46

Square Enix has released the launch day fighter roster for Dissidia Final Fantasy NT on the PS4 via a trailer, which also showcases seven summons.

The title's season pass includes a further six characters as well as post-launch content. The developers say they hope to include more than 50 characters for the Japanese arcade version, but whether these will ever come to the console version is unknown.

For more on the game, check out its opening cinematic and this trailer on its gameplay systems.

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT comes out for the PS4 on January 30.

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[Source: Square Enix] 

Categories: Games

Iffy Dialogue Makes For An Uneven Experience

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 12/11/2017 - 01:19

Detroit: Become Human seems to invite concern with every stage showing over the past few years, stemming from an overall fear writer and director David Cage does not possess the chops for the subject matter he likes to tackle in his games. With Detroit, Cage is pursuing the worn foundation of Androids, commonly used in fiction as a springboard for metaphors about race, identity, paranoia, and secondhand citizenship. It is, if nothing else, an opportunity for Cage and Quantic Dream to prove their vocal critics wrong.

We played the Detroid: Become Human demo at PlayStation Experience 2017. The demo contained two scenarios, the first being the hostage situation that was first shown on stage to demonstrate the branching paths the game's narrative could take and again shown at Sony's PlayStation Experience presentation. In this scene, Android hostage negotiator Conner is tasked with defusing a hostage situation wherein an out-of-control Android has kidnapped a little girl and is holding her hostage after murdering her father. Connor is brought in and the player is given the choice of how to proceed.

The first task you are given once you take control is to meet with the captain currently managing the crisis. While you can go straight to the commanding officer, Conner can also examine various pieces of the environment to analyze clues and get a better picture of the assailant and increase his chances of negotiating, which is represented by a literal percentage counter that tabulates chance of success. Only some of the items in the room can be examined before you speak to the captain; everything else just produces a red barrier that the Android cannot cross due to programming telling him to speak to the captain first. It is unclear why the hallway is okay but the little girl's room is not.

When you do speak to the captain, he is curt, expressing his disdain for Androids in general, and his overwhelming need to get the girl safely out above all else, even if that means working with an Android as a negotiator. If you ask him questions like what the other Android's name is or what caused this behavior, he will simply tell you to go do your job. Another officer remarks how important it is to get the girl out, which makes it puzzling they would not aid Conner by answering simple questions that would literally increase the percentage chance of success.

Conner is then left, pardon the pun, to his own devices, and can either march out the door to confront the hostage-taker or continue exploring in now available areas to investigate clues. Despite the captain telling you that every second counts, you are free to basically do whatever while an invisible timer ticks down. Analyze clues, grab a gun you very much are not supposed to have, just stand around if you want, the choice is yours. Investigating the little girl's room reveals the bad Android's relationship with the family and his name that the captain clearly could have just told you.

After that time (which is not visible to the player) runs out, the captain barks that Conner must get out there. At the time, I was looking at an important clue which did not get added to my file despite my looking directly at it. I had not fully completed the crime scene reconstruction to show where the father's tablet fell, even though I could see it on the ground, and Conner remarking on the tablet being important. Still, you get moved to the veranda where the actual negotiation takes place.

It is a fairly tense scene, where Conner talks the other Android, Daniel, down with prompts of empathy and the clues he found searching the apartment while slowly walking forward toward him. The chance of success goes up and down depending on your answers, eventually reaching 100% chance of success and convincing Daniel to let go of the girl. 

Either way, the police shoot him, and none of that really matters.

The other part of the demo is the scene shown at Paris Games Week with the Android Kara, a service robot that is cooking and cleaning for a drunkard louse who is unhappy with his life. Despite possessing an intense hatred for Androids himself, he requires Kara's help in keeping his home (which, for whatever reason, looks identical to Ethan Mars' house in Heavy Rain) running, as he does not possess the inclination or mental faculties while drunk to do it.

Kara's first task is to serve dinner, which she does by bringing two plates of spaghetti to the dining room table. A secondary objective to turn on the lights appears on Kara's HUD, which took some searching to figure out which of the room's multiple light switches was the one the game wanted me to touch. The father eventually scolds me for not turning on the lights yet while Kara stands directly in front of it, leaving me to wonder what he thinks I was doing while walking toward the lights.

For virtually no reason, the father flies off the handle and flips the table, sending the little girl upstairs. He orders Kara not to move while he works himself up with no other prompting until he decides to go beat his daughter. The entire thought process lasts about ten seconds and then Kara is given the opportunity to subvert her programming and break through the barrier keeping her there.

I ran upstairs, took the father's gun from his bedroom, and then pointed the weapon at him. The hostage demo I had played before established that Androids are very much not allowed to possess guns for any reason whatsoever, but Kara had just overcome her programming, so it made sense for her to take it. She pointed the gun at the father and threatened him to stop beating the little girl, at which point he mocks her for Androids not being able to kill humans due to their programming and then knocks the gun out of her hands.

What followed is a fight scene that is a genuine mess of quick time events. A smattering of prompts appeared, one after the other, designed to allow Kara to duck and weave the father's attacks. Despite being the same motions for Kara herself to perform, sometimes the prompts were analog stick movements, sometimes they were buttons, and sometimes they were gestures with the Dualshock 4. They all looked identical, making discerning between analog stick movement and gesture movement shockingly difficult in the heat of the moment. 

After failing the quick-time events, the father is disposed of, and Kara and the little girl escaped on a bus. Without context, it is difficult to say whether that scene's cartoonish escalation was warranted or a symptom of a larger problem, but it left me raising more eyebrows than being curious at what's next.

The graphics of Detroit: Become Human are incredible and the music in the demo truly soars, but my fears about its writing have yet to be assuaged. Even without considering the scale of the story the game is trying to tell, individual scenes and dialogue are marred by poor execution, which could become a problem if those are the aspects the narrative needs to hang its hat on.

Detroit: Become Human is scheduled for release in 2018 exclusively on the PlayStation 4.

Categories: Games

An Out-Of-Nowhere Character Action Surprise

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 21:41

You would be forgiven for not knowing about Lost Soul Aside before this preview. When I saw the extremely long lines in front of the two-TV demo station at PlayStation Experience, I was similarly confused, and turned my head to try and figure out what I was looking at. We posted about some gameplay footage last night, but we finally got hands on time with the game.

Made by a single developer in mainland Asia by the name of Yang Bing, Lost Soul Aside looks and plays way better than it has any right to. A first look at the game belies its development resources, with graphics that rival a lot of large publisher-backed games on the PlayStation 4. There are obvious shortcuts, like the demo being contained to a small, geometrically simple cave, but the graphics and art invoke Final Fantasy XV more than anyone could expect of an indie title.

The virtues of Lost Soul Aside are not necessarily centered around its graphics, however, as much as they are how the game feels to play. It is a character action game through and through, with immediate controls that simultaneously feel smooth as butter and urgently reactive to you. Dodging is set to a button combination of Square and X, which I initially thought was one button too many at first, but it allowed me to dodge between quick frames of hammering the attack button on a monster's face.

The demo allowed use of three different weapons, a broadsword, a double-ended spear, and one-handed sword. All three were interchangeable using the shoulder buttons and could be mixed and matched during combos. The broadsword, a blunted blade that glowed a gnarly purple, was the strongest of the three but slow to the point of inviting enemy attacks. By contrast, the spear is lightning fast, punishing button mashers by locking them into combos that might not stun enemies. It does, however, have the fantastic quirk of blocking enemy projectiles while backdashing by spinning rapidly. The regular short sword is a mix between the two and I found it to be my preferred weapon.

The demo was not extensive, though given the small staff on the game, that is not unexpected. It is a playground to test combos against enemies that can and will kill you given the chance. There is no level structure or any progression beyond defeating waves of monsters until the boss appears.

The boss of the demo is a behemoth-like monster that might feel safer at home in Dark Souls than anything else. This analogy even extends to his moveset, which is made up of large swipes and wind-ups that give you ample time to dodge as long as you're paying attention. When the boss' HP, which is invisible, is drained halfway, the quadruped stands up on his hind legs and engages you with his own sword moves. I didn't last beyond this form, but its influences are clear.

Dodging is governed by a bar that depletes one visual notch with every dodge. It refills incredibly quickly so long as you aren't attacking, but that can be a difficult thing to balance in the heat of the moment. The dodging feels good, but the window is not so wide that you can simply assume dodging will save you from an attack. It has to be timed and timed well.

While it is unlikely it will ever live up to this comparison, Lost Soul Aside felt to me like a strange combination of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and Bloodborne. A lot of how well it can meet those lofty standards is still left unanswered, but Lost Soul Aside is absolutely one of the most surprising games at the show, and I can only hope it fulfills its promise.

The producer at China Hero Project has told us they are not yet sure if the game will be coming to the west but they are hoping to muster enough enthusiasm to bring it.

Categories: Games

Exploring An Ancient Culture's Mythology

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 21:26

Video games can be powerful in many ways, and some developers are building virtual worlds that do more than just entertain. Some, like Assassin's Creed: Origins' upcoming Discovery Mode, educate us about Ancient Egypt without the threat of enemies. Others, like the platformer Never Alone, hope to preserve the culture of the Alaskan Iñupiaq people by thematically reflecting their mythology and history.

Mulaka, from developer Lienzo, has a similar goal. Based off the indigenous culture and mythology of the Tarahumara tribe, Mulaka is an action adventure game that has players exploring the stunning sights of Northwestern Mexico. You play as a shaman, who is on a dangerous journey, attempting to stop powerful gods from the destroying the world. You can shape shift into several animals, including bears and birds, all while defeating massive enemies.

You can view the most recent trailer that was shown off at this year's PSX by watching the video below.

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The team at Lienzo researched the tribe meticulously, and worked with both anthropologists and members of a Tarahumara community, to ensure their representation is accurate. Mulaka releases for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC early next year.

Categories: Games

Packs A Pollo-Powered Punch

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 19:52

When Guacamelee released in 2013, the 2D Metroidvania dazzled with its fantastic combat and colorful artstyle. Guacamelee 2, which was announced at Sony’s Paris Games Week event, follows in the same footsteps as its predecessor while turning up the volume on all its features.

The original Guacamelee wore its influences on its sleeves, to the point where characters were getting weapon upgrades from Chozo statues, which were named the legally distinct Chorizo statues instead. It makes sense, then, that Guacamelee 2 so closely hews to what the original game was. You are interacting with the game in the exact same manner, through tough platforming challenges and melee fighting, but the game feels comfortable in its similarity.

While the original game supported two-player local co-op, the sequel doubles that number with four distinct characters, including the first game's protagonist Juan. This might be a scenario where less is more, as the screen gets chaotic with sprites flying all over the place with four players, but the option is there for those who want it. Multiplayer is again local-only, as Drinkbox explained that online multiplayer requires resources that would have to be pulled away from other parts of the project.

The demo we played has the protagonists chasing after one of the game's new cadre of villains, a lonely masked magician with an army of chickens and a strong desire to be best friends with the lead villain. You meet him a few times from a distance as he barks orders at chickens and generally chews the scenery with equal self-imposed drama to the first game's bad guys.

Each area of the game has a different environmental quirk it focuses on, with the demo area popping up traps from the ground if you stop on certain spots for a long enough time. The roll out of these traps is smartly designed, positioning them as things that should be avoided at first and eventually as things that can be utilized for your benefit. Luring enemies onto the traps hurts them and, crucially, also blocks attacks that are otherwise unavoidable.

The demo area also had small hooks floating in the air, which function similarly to the jumping off points from 2015's Ori and the Blind Forest. Jumping to one and hitting Triangle shoots you off in the angle you jumped at, which is of course used as a mechanism for increasingly more difficult platforming challenges. 

In the original Guacamelee, dimension switching was used for puzzle solving and platforming challenges and the idea was brought back in this demo with a new twist. Now, scrolling quarters of the screen will switch dimensions, which means you can be hitting an enemy and they will suddenly become incorporeal during your combo. In some rooms, the alternate dimension erases the platform you are standing on or is actually just a lava dimension, which forces speed and urgency on to you.

About halfway through the demo, we met with the Chicken Pope, papal poultry that grants you the ability to transform into a chicken once again. Unlike the first game, however, the chicken has full combat abilities and can hold their own in a fight, as well as their own unique abilities beyond just being small. Additionally, grabbing a temporary power up enlarged the chickens to monstrous sizes, like a Mega Mushroom in New Super Mario Bros., and let us stomp around and destroy enemies in a pollo-driven rage.

The demo ended with a boss fight with the masked magician, which incorporated everything you learned so far in the level leading up to him. His boss room contained two traps, spike towers that shoot up if you stand on their floor placement too long, which are key in blocking some of the boss' attacks and hitting him when he's up in the air. He would occasionally take breaks to shoot chickens at you in bullet hell-style patterns that you could glide and jump around in your chicken form.

Guacamelee 2's demo was fun and comforting and certainly does not reinvent the wheel. It does not need to, however, as the game remains fairly unique in its genre blending and still feels as good to play as ever.

Guacamelee 2 is scheduled to release in 2018 on the PlayStation 4.

Categories: Games

A Surprisingly Thoughtful Multiplayer VR Shooter

Game Informer News Feed - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 06:06

Announced at Sony’s annual PlayStation Experience, Firewall: Zero Hour is Sony’s answer to the booming genre of tactical team-based multiplayer shooters with a virtual reality twist.

Firewall follows in the vein of games like Ubisoft’s popular Rainbow Six: Siege, pitting two teams of four players each with contrasting goals against each other in tactical combat. Teams can choose to win a match by stealthily achieving their goals or they can win bloody, seeking out and flushing out enemies toward a grisly end.

The concept is simple: both teams of mercenaries have been hired by anonymous contract holders that either want to steal data or protect their own data. The contract holders act as an eye in the sky for your team and tell you about changing mission objectives or, as I became very used to hearing, express their disappointment in you.



What separates Firewall from the herd, however, is leveraging VR for the gameplay. The game uses the PlayStation VR headset and Aim controller to create an experience that feels a bit more real and tense than other games in the genre. There is no auto-aim or aim-down-sights mechanics because the game wants you to feel like you are physically holding the gun, an experience Sony pushed with their previous VR shooter Farpoint. Similarly, your HUD is on your wrist, which makes checking the map as simple as turning your gun slightly.

My first match was uneventful, my team failed to find the other team until they mysteriously and silently achieved their goal without us realizing it. Aside from accidentally throwing my grenades out due to the button being awkwardly placed on the Aim controller, the match saw little to no weapon use.



My second match, however, began with a bang as both teams met up in the stage’s building mezzanine and engaged in a firefight. The rifle and grenade aiming made total sense at once and I genuinely felt that every missed bullet was my fault. I died, but not before taking someone down with me, and my time rode the confusion to victory.

First Contact Entertainment's Firewall: Zero Hour can be played with either the Move or a DualShock 4, but is exclusive to PlayStation VR regardless of control method. The game is scheduled for release in 2018.

Categories: Games

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