Monthly Archives: February 2015 - Page 2

Destroyer Annihilation – Homeworld Remastered – Multiplayer Beta

Check out this Multiplayer Beta gameplay clip of Homeworld Remastered.

Battlefield Hardline’s Visuals Aim for Believability, Realism

Battlefield Hardline‘s visual direction is aiming for “heightened, dramatic realism,” creative director Ian Milham wrote in a post today on the publisher’s official site. “We’re not worried about authenticity so much as believability.”

The look is meant to help sell the fact that the game is set in the real world. “Everyone’s detector is finely honed for the real world. If it’s not believable, it’s immediately noticeable compared to what you can get away with in a fantasy or sci-fi environment.”

For inspiration, the team pulled from the simple, saturated look of many Michael Mann films, specifically Heat, Collateral, Thief, and Miami Vice. Ian hopes that the focus on visual presentation will help tell stories and sell some of that plausibility.

“For instance, on ‘Bank Job’ you can see how the first criminal team must’ve gone into the bank before the round starts, with the blown open doors in the front providing a distraction, and the strike team eliminating guards in the back. We also put in all the culture and signage around the world to help it feel like a real place and not just a ‘multiplayer map.'”

Hardline launches March 17 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. You can see more of the game in the images below.

Bowser Party and Amiibo – Mario Party 10

Justin Haywald tells us about his time playing Mario Party 10 and explains what exactly a Bowser Party is and how Amiibo will function within the game.

8 Games That are Making the World Better Nominated for Upcoming Awards

2818423-8927212879-New_G.jpg

Games for Change, a non-profit organization that celebrates and promotes social impact games, announced the nominees for this year’s Games for Change Awards. There are eight nominees for three different categories: Best Gameplay, Most Significant Impact, and Most Innovative.

The finalists are:

  • Never Alone for Best Gameplay and Most Significant Impact
  • This War of Mine for Best Gameplay
  • That’s Your Right for Best Gameplay
  • Mindlight for Most Significant Impact
  • Zoo U for Most Significant Impact
  • Bounden for Most Innovative
  • Skip a Beat for Most Innovative
  • Parable of the Polygons for Most Innovative

The organization will also honor Tracy Fullerton with the Game Changer Award, which recognizes “the significant global contributions of individuals who inspire and mentor new generations of game creators and researchers.” Fullerton is a Director of the USC games program and author of Game Design Workshop, a seminal book on game design.

Winners will be announced at the Games for Change Festival Awards Ceremony on April 22. Nominees are selected by a committee of game designers, academics, writers, and executives from across the industry.

Mortal Kombat X – Cassie Cage Variations Explained

Cassie Cage has three variations including Spec Ops, Hollywood, and Brawler. Her skill sets include some of her parents personality a nut punch, some tactical military rockets and a little bit of her own skills as well.

GS News – Destiny DLC Info; Study Reveals Why We Buy PS4/Xbox One/Wii U

A study explains why gamers pick up the new-gen console they do, more Destiny DLC info leaks, and Fable Legends will be free-to-play.

Hand of Fate Review

Hand of Fate may not be a Dungeons & Dragons game, but it captures the imagination in a similar way: by abstracting exploration and encouraging your mind to create exactly what the forests, dungeons, and villages you encounter might look like. The game’s mysterious and melodramatic card dealer takes the role of dungeon master, uncovering cards that represent star-crossed lovers looking for a friendly face, or raging riverbeds that must be crossed. Meanwhile, you sit across from the enigma holding the cards, choosing whether to help the lovers, or to alert their parents; you navigate that river, hoping to traverse it unscathed, rather than to draw the ire of nearby lizardpeople. You never see these lovers: they exist only as a few words and a card. Hand of Fate invites you to look beyond its abstractions and picture such moments with your mind’s eye. When the game tells you of a surreal circus that dissipates on the wind once you make your exit, the writing is just clear enough to let you paint within the outlines drawn for you.

It’s tempting to call Hand of Fate a cross between a collectible card game and an action role-playing game, and while you can customize your deck, that comparison doesn’t seem quite right. A typical CCG is competitive, having players attack and counter using cards that represent creatures, heroes, statistics, and so forth. In Hand of Fate, those cards act in tandem as a tabletop game board in which you move your token one square at a time, uncovering events with each turn. The enigmatic dealer places his cards face down in a linear or non-linear arrangement, and with each move, you lose a single ration of food, which is one of three primary resources–along with gold and health–that you must track. That card might represent a simple bandit ambush, a bard asking for coin in return for a song, or a magic portal that takes you to the next adventuring area–which means navigating a new arrangement of cards.

The gods will not always smile upon you.

Drawing a card often leads to more choices, many of which are determined solely by luck. You are running from a giant tentacled behemoth, and your destiny belongs to the whims of four cards, only one of which represents success, while the others represent various degrees of failure. The four cards are shuffled, and with a shaky hand, you choose the one you hope leads to safety. Some events are stacked in your favor–the hand may consist of three success cards and one failure card, for example–while others punish you with several randomized draws in a row, each of which possesses only a single chance of success. Victory often means drawing from a stack of equipment cards from your own deck (Ooh, look: a flaming sword!). Failure, on the other hand, usually means drawing loss cards that diminish your maximum health, or even curse you with negative effects that last until the game is over–unless, that is, you draw a card for a mage that sells curse removals, and you actually have the 75 gold necessary to buy his services.

Encounter cards lead you into battles that are not left to your imagination, but occur in real time. Combat ushers you into a small map within a forest, or within a ruined temple, and you swing your axe or sword at rats and mages until they fall–or until you do. Skirmishes have a Batman: Arkham vibe, in the sense that prompts appear over your head, and you must press the proper button to counter a melee attack, or to deflect an incoming projectile. Early battles are easy enough to survive, but as the story mode wears on, you face difficult situations made even more challenging by bear traps hidden in bushes, and giant golems that pound the ground, forcing you to tumble away lest you lose a giant chunk of health.

What a clusterjam!

Hand of Fate’s brilliance lies in how its abstract components inform very real battles. Should you run out of food, for instance, each turn slashes ten health points away from your total supply. If you are nearing death when the next battle begins, you are all that more anxious about timing your swings perfectly, and avoiding traps at all costs, knowing that being hit by a single dart is enough to change the tide of battle. Back and forth you move, from battle arenas to the cards in front of you. When you draw near death during battle, you return to the cards hoping the next move might bring you nearer a priest who might heal you, rather than draw a curse that siphons away your last remaining spirit. When you leave the cards for battle, you wish you hadn’t sold shield for the food you were so desperate for. Tensions rise as the pendulum swings back and forth, and all you can do is pray the hand of fate provides cards that favor and bless you. It’s a satisfying tug of war, unusual in the way it marries the conceptual with the physical.

It is in the details that Hand of Fate suffers, occasionally allowing the frustrations to outweigh the fun. On the battlefield, the small maps and fixed camera don’t play nice, too often limiting your point of view when you most need situational awareness. I often longed for breathing room, such as when close to a dozen rats swarmed me on a sea vessel so small that neither I nor my enemies could properly move about. And I often wished for a better camera, particularly during the occasional trap mazes, when I couldn’t quite tell if a map square was trapped because a wall was in my way, and the camera had yet to pull closer. Off the battlefield, the element of chance also proves vexing. What is an adventurer to do when a series of curses has reduced your maximum health pool to one point of health before you have ever entered battle? You might play several story matches over and over again, pining for triumph, only to throw the controller and move on to something less cruel, like Spelunky or Dark Souls.

Health and food are even more valuable than gold–but boy does gold come in handy!

Technical troubles hinder the game in and out of combat. The frame rate in particular is habitually unstable; the single-digit jitters that typically occur when the dealer performs his mystical shuffles may not affect gameplay, but it certainly diminishes the magic of the moment. I also encountered numerous bugs; there was a period during which I had to start up the game multiple times before it would run, and another stretch during which the lava golem would immediately die when he performed his first attack, as if he was taking damage from his own wallops. (Note that I have only played on the Xbox One; these problems may or may not occur on PlayStation 4 or PC.)

Yet Hand of Fate has a way of drawing you back into its fold, even after you have completed its story and have taken to Endless Mode, which challenges you to stay alive as long as you can before your luck runs out. The game absorbs you in three ways at once, by invoking both the loot-gathering vibe of an action RPG, the deck-fiddling fun of a CCG, and the “I’m feeling lucky this time!” aspirations of games of chance. It’s a powerful one-two-three punch, though you need to be prepared: sometimes those punches land with unexpected pain.

Mortal Kombat X – All Brutalities Showcased So Far

Over 10 of the 100 plus brutalities were shown today in Mortal Kombat X for Ermac, Cassie Cage, Kotal Kahn, D’Vorah, Kung Lao, Raiden, Quan Chi and more .

Brutalities Confirmed For Mortal Kombat X, Next Character Reveal Coming "Very Soon"

[UPDATE] During a live-stream today, NetherRealm officially confirmed that Brutalities will return in Mortal Kombat X. There will be more than 100 in all. Some were shown off during the presentation, and as you’d expect, they are brutally violent. In addition, NetherRealm teased that the next Mortal Kombat X character reveal will be coming “very soon.”

The original story is below.

Mortal Kombat X developer NetherRealm Studios has announced a live stream coming later this week, and based on the language, it’s all but confirmed that we’ll be getting a look at the game’s Brutalities.

NetherRealm’s Twitter account sent out the image below, scheduling the Twitch stream for this Thursday, February 26, at 4 PM Eastern/1 PM Pacific. It includes the phrase, “It’s going to be brutal,” which, combined with a tweet from creative director Ed Boon in response to someone asking about Brutalities, makes them appear to be a lock.

Brutalities are hard-to-pull-off finishing moves that were introduced in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. They’re one of the many types of Fatalities the series has offered, along with the Animalities, Friendships, and Babalities.

Although Brutalities haven’t been in many of the Mortal Kombat games, including 2011’s Mortal Kombat, NetherRealm had already (perhaps inadvertently) confirmed their existence in X: A video it released included a reference to a bonus that players would receive for pulling one off.

Even if you’re not interested in Brutalities–which will presumably not skimp on the violence, given what we’ve seen so far, there may still be reason to tune in. The live stream is likely to also reveal a new character, something Boon teased earlier this month. Maybe that masked gunslinger?

Mortal Kombat X releases on April 10 for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Evil Within’s First DLC Launching In March, Adds New Playable Character

Bethesda on Wednesday announced that the first expansion for Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami’s horror game The Evil Within will launch in March. The expansion, called The Assignment, will be released across console and PC on March 10.

In The Assignment, which is the first in a two-part expansion, gamers get to play as Juli Kidman instead of the main campaign’s hero Sebastian Castellanos. Kidman is played by Dexter actress Jennifer Carpenter.

2040585-711438_20130528_005.jpg

The Assignment’s story runs concurrently to the main campaign, and should answer some of the questions fans might have regarding Kidman’s whereabouts during The Evil Within.

The DLC introduces “disturbing” new enemies, as well as more mysteries–and horrors, of course–to uncover. The second part, called The Consequence, will be released later. Together, the two-part expansion will dive into “Kidman’s hidden motivations and her mysterious connection to Mobius, the shadowy group thought to be behind the gruesome events of The Evil Within.”

The Assignment and The Consequence, as well as an upcoming expansion called The Executioner, are included with The Evil Within’s $20 DLC pass. Interestingly, The Executioner flips the game on its head, allowing you to play as the bad guy.

Alternatively, all three adds-ons can be purchased individually for $10 each. But if you’re sure you want all three, buying the pass is the economical choice.

Check out a trailer for The Assignment above. And next Friday, March 6, Bethesda will hold a live Twitch stream to reveal more gameplay from the content.

The Evil Within is available today for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4. For more, check out GameSpot’s review.