Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game - Complete Edition Review

Gamespot News Feed - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 19:03

When people think of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, they'll likely gravitate to either the comics from Bryan Lee O'Malley or the live-action film from Edgar Wright. However, one of the lesser-known strands of the Scott Pilgrim brand was the film's licensed game tie-in. Like the film, it was not only a faithful adaptation of the comics' tribute to geek culture and retro games, but it also happened to be a fun co-op brawler in its own right. After a sudden delisting from digital video game stores in 2014, the once-lost licensed game has scored a second life with the Complete Edition, and it hasn't lost its exuberant style. The game's passion for a bygone era can often be a bit overwhelming, yet it still offers a satisfying time brawling through the streets with friends.

Like its comic and film counterpart, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game sticks with the same video game-inspired conceit, but interprets it into an actual video game. After the titular character meets the girl of his dreams in Ramona Flowers, Scott and his bandmates Kim and Stephen, along with Ramona, have to fight a rogue's gallery of evil exes seeking to disrupt the relationship. In the vein of a classic arcade brawler, the game keeps its story light to put all its energy into showing off the stunning 2D visuals of its side-scrolling beat-'em-up gameplay, which leans heavily into the splendor of the retro era.

The original game wore its inspirations--classic games like River City Ransom, Final Fight, and Final Fantasy--on its sleeve, and the Complete Edition keeps its aesthetic and core gameplay intact. What you get in this enhanced package is the full game, the four bonus modes involving zombies and dodgeball, and the extra DLC characters--which include Wallace Wells, Knives Chau, and hidden character Nega-Scott. The Complete Edition also comes with Network Mode for online play, which was a late addition in the final DLC for the original game.

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Categories: Games

How The Action-Packed Persona 5 Strikers Appeals To Fans Of The RPG Series

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 15:00

Publisher: Atlus Developer: Atlus, Omega Force Release: February 23, 2021 Platform: PlayStation 4, Switch, PC

When Persona 5 launched in 2017, I fell into my new RPG obsession. I loved nearly everything about the journey of the Phantom Thieves, but the characters and the story are what stuck with me long after I wrapped up the more-than-100-hour journey. So when Persona 5 Royal was announced, I couldn't wait to jump back in and repeat the adventure with new characters, locations, and an additional story arc at the end. However, while I loved Persona 5 Royal (a lot, in fact), it left me wishing for an all-new story with the beloved cast of characters; I wanted to see how their friendships and lives evolved following the wild events of Persona 5. It may not be an RPG like the game it serves as a sequel to, but Persona 5 Strikers promises to give me the new adventure I've been craving since I first stepped foot in Café Leblanc nearly four years ago.

Co-developed by Atlus and the studio behind the Dynasty Warriors franchise, Omega Force, Persona 5 Strikers is hardly a direct successor to the Persona 5 I fell in love with. However, if you go in expecting it to be like what we saw Omega Force do with Hyrule Warriors, where it's just nonstop action and a constant stream of hack-and-slash battles, you're in for a surprise. Over the course of the first several hours I played, I felt less like I was playing some sort of strange, dissonant spin-off action game and more like I was playing a sequel to Persona 5 with action-based combat. 

The similarities and differences between Persona 5 and Persona 5 Strikers are most aptly displayed through the cast of characters and the way you interact with them. The majority of my early hours were spent in dialogue with the Phantom Thieves. I loved learning more about what they've been up to in the months since the end of Persona 5. The passage of time was particularly exciting for characters like Makoto, who is now in college and in a different place in her life. If you're into the style aspect of the title, nearly all the characters are sporting new looks as well.

However, while the characters and their voice actors return from the original Persona 5 (sorry, Kasumi fans), the social elements have been hugely scaled down from the mainline series. Instead of social links, you can develop bonds with characters on your team. Much like the dearly departed social links, bonds open up new stat boosts and abilities for characters. Unlike Persona 5's system, however, you don't earn points toward upgrades through going to a ramen shop, amusement park, or shrine with your friends, but rather by defeating enemies. I'm a little disappointed by the lack of social options since that's such a huge part of what made me fall in love with these characters and the series as a whole in the first place, but this project was never meant to be a social simulation like the original release.

While the original characters already have strong links to one another, they welcome a new member to the Phantom Thieves' ranks very early on in the story. Sophia is an artificial intelligence character that Joker and Skull find during their first trip back into the Metaverse. She joins the team, contributing narrative guidance on top of her skills in battle. Using her yo-yos, she can attack a wide range, while her blaster lets her hit enemies from afar.

In Persona 5, the team infiltrates a Palace by discovering a corrupt ruler, gathering information on them, and using an app on their phone to make the shift into the Metaverse. That process remains the same in Strikers; the team discovers that something strange is happening involving Alice Hiiragi, a fashion stylist and idol who has developed an oddly ardent following. As it turns out, the seemingly sweet Alice has figured out some way to capture the desires of ordinary people, turning them into obsessed fans who will do anything for her, including one man who drops to his knees and confesses his love to her in front of his own fiancé. Once the Phantom Thieves figure this out and see Alice's true nature, they know they can't let it stand, so they begin an investigation by talking to and eavesdropping on fans scattered throughout Shibuya.

Once the team has enough information, it's back to the Metaverse to infiltrate Alice's dungeon, which turns the area surrounding Shibuya Crossing into a jail. The dungeon I played, while shorter than a Persona 5 Palace, plays out shockingly similar to how they played out in the original mainline RPG; you traverse the area, ambushing Shadows as you go. The biggest difference in the entire game lies in the combat; rather than the turn-based fare of Persona 5, battles play out closer to the high-paced action of the Warriors series. While you can hack and slash to your heart's content, taking strategy into account is crucial. Not only can you swap between your active party using the d-pad, but you can pause the action to swap Personas and use their abilities. Capitalizing on enemy weaknesses can knock them down, opening the door for a powerful All-Out Attack. I was also caught off guard by how the battles are spaced out. Based on my time with the Hyrule Warriors games, I expected the battles to be more constant. Instead, the encounters more serve to break up the exploration.

Even when you're not in the dungeon itself, Shibuya and the surrounding areas feel like a return home if you've already played either version of Persona 5. Shibuya and Yongen-Jaya are laid out exactly as they are in Persona 5, and seeing the gang return to Leblanc or their hideout in the accessway brought a smile to my face. I know the team will eventually move on from Shibuya and Tokyo as a whole during the course of the story, but these callbacks to the Phantom Thieves' flagship adventure are fun.

If my early hours are any indication, Persona 5 Strikers serves as a compelling follow up to one of my favorite role-playing games of all time. Not only am I enticed by the idea of carrying on with the lives of the various members of the team, but I'm intrigued by the directions the story is going. Persona 5 Strikers launches on PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC on February 23. To see the initial announcement trailer of its Western localization, head here.

Categories: Games

Why Scott Pilgrim Is Still One Of The Best 2D Brawlers

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 01/13/2021 - 11:01

Publisher: Ubisoft Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Release: January 14, 2021 Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – Complete Edition is available this week, brought back to life by Ubisoft after the original version (which released in 2010) was delisted from digital storefronts several years back. In its absence, a kind of mythology has risen up around this 2D brawler, with fans remembering it fondly and proclaiming its place among the genre’s best. Some of that mystique may be related to the game’s delisting (sometimes people simply want what they can’t have), but after playing through the complete edition, I am reminded that all of the praise is anything but empty.

Most importantly, you don’t need to be a Scott Pilgrim fan to appreciate this game, or know anything about its world. Seeing the characters and story represented is fun if you’re familiar, but that tie-in is really a peripheral part of what makes this game noteworthy. That’s because, whether you’re talking about the Scott Pilgrim graphic novel or the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World movie from director Edgar Wright, this universe is steeped in video game references and sensibilities, and those take center stage for this adaptation.

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Most of the nods and Easter eggs in the game are callbacks to video game stuff, rather than anything tied to the Scott Pilgrim universe. You can expect a parade of references to things like The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more. In short, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game may be a licensed product, but it is approachable for all people regardless.

Once you start playing, you find more than the basic punch-and-kick mechanics of old-school brawlers. Your repertoire starts simple, but new layers are folded in as you progress to keep the action fresh, which is ultimately what makes this game such a standout. Encounters are an entertaining mix of straightforward brawling and various environmental variables. Maybe a crowd of screaming band groupies are about to trample you. Maybe you need to punch a stationary car to pieces. Maybe you are swarmed by ninjas, and swords are everywhere just waiting to be used. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game injects variety with amusing one-off segments and a plethora of weapons you can use to whack your enemies into submission, but it doesn’t rely solely on the novelty of using what you find around you.

Your characters also grow and improve, giving you another satisfying avenue for progress. The game takes lessons from some of the legends in the genre, including Streets of Rage, River City Ransom, and Castle Crashers. You level up, earn money, improve your stats, learn new moves, uncover secrets, and clash with epic bosses. You get the ability to grab, throw, and stomp, along with a handful of super-powerful techniques that really help you tear through a screen full of goons. The playable heroes (seven in total) are all different enough to reward ushering each one through the game, but not so different that you feel like you’re starting back at square one. And, of course, this is all best experienced as part of a four-player co-op group brawling together (though it works as a single-player game, too).

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Another thing that blows me away (even today) about Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is the presentation. From the fantastic chiptune soundtrack from Anamanaguchi to Paul Robertson’s pixel art, the whole package perfectly captures a retro aesthetic without feeling dated or archaic. It an experience that transports you back to the glory days of arcades, but from the comfort of your own home – and without that weird arcade smell.

I’m not formally reviewing this complete edition, because apart from being functional on modern consoles, it doesn’t feel significantly different from the original. But it was a great game then, and it remains a great game now. Yes, it’s a bummer that this fantastic brawler was unavailable to players for a while. But that time away seems to have allowed the game’s legend to grow, and this old-school throwback deserves its shot to find an audience again.

Categories: Games

Gotham Knights' Open World Was Optimized For Co-Op

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 01/11/2021 - 17:55

Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Developer: Warner Bros. Games Montreal Release: 2021 Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Gotham Knights was first announced during the DC Fandome streaming event. And even though it's not a part of the acclaimed Arkham series, the visuals and gameplay are informed by the popular Batman games. Players can take on Gotham's criminal underbelly as Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing, and Red Hood. In a deep-dive interview with GamesRadar, Gotham Knights' executive producer Fleur Marty and creative director Patrick Redding talked about WB Montreal's mission to create a seamless, engaging two-player co-op experience while staying true to the Arkham series' gameplay. 

"We have entirely redesigned the combat system in order for it to work well in co-op," said Marty. "Of course, we're still a brawler, and some of the mechanics won't feel totally alien for people who played and enjoyed the Arkham series, but it is in many ways very different." Additionally, the entirety of Gotham City has been redesigned so that co-operative play feels more natural and intuitive. Redding mentioned how co-op experiences will make players feel like an unstoppable duo, "The two-player dynamic fits the fantasy and the Gotham City setting. The 'duo' or team-up is such a central feature of the universe that there's a literal shorthand for it in the comics, animation, film, and TV versions. Gotham is a city of alleyways and rooftops, so the footprint for gameplay needs to be compatible with that."

Click here to watch embedded media

Gotham Knights launches for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2021. For more info on the game, check out our own interview with Gotham Knights' creators. 

[Source: GamesRadar via IGN]

Categories: Games

Super Meat Boy Forever Review -- Can't Stop, Won't Stop

Gamespot News Feed - Wed, 01/06/2021 - 19:04

Every aspect of Super Meat Boy Forever is frustrating in some way or another. It's a runner, so you have to time your jumps and don't have the liberty of setting yourself up perfectly before taking on a puzzle. And despite putting you on a treadmill, its levels demand incredible nuance and precision, which you'll hone through failure after failure after failure. Super Meat Boy Forever will kick you in the teeth and expect you to stand back up, flash a bloody grin, and go after it again. And that's exactly what happens. Though the jumps may be challenging, Forever's incredibly precise controls give you all the tools you need to stick the landing. The runner format is different, but it opens the door for new and interesting types of complex puzzles that spawn new, captivating varieties of spectacular yell-and-throw-your-controller platforming.

Like in the real world, time has passed in the Meat Boy universe. Meat Boy and Bandage Girl, whom he saved in the original, have settled down and had a baby, Nugget. In Forever, Nugget is kidnapped, so Meat Boy and Bandage Girl go after her. (You can play as either one from the very beginning.) The story has no material effect on your gameplay, but the short cartoon cutscenes find ways to grab your attention all the same with a webtoony out-of-left-field story chock-full of references to video game canon, adorable woodland creatures, cuddly animals, and the adorable little Nugget, who often proves too adorable for even her captor to ignore.

Super Meat Boy Forever captured on PC

The cutscenes are thus an entertaining reward for hard-earned progress. Following in the original Super Meat Boy's footsteps, Forever lays out levels sprinkled with bottomless pits and buzzsaws that require quick thinking and quicker reflexes to escape. At the same time, it's a very different game. Meat Boy or Bandage Girl constantly runs forward, and you simply control when they jump, slide, or punch. By necessity, the levels take on longer, more horizontally oriented shapes to accommodate the new system. Despite those changes, Forever still retains the essence of Super Meat Boy. Though automated movement theoretically seems like it would make the platforming less satisfying, since you aren't in complete control, Forever's challenge is just as captivating.

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Categories: Games

Calico Review

Gamespot News Feed - Wed, 12/23/2020 - 23:18

I was quite a young girl when I first got interested in video games. It was something of an awkward transition. At the time, games were largely considered "boy toys," so moving from typical "girly" things like princess dolls and My Little Ponies into gaming was jarring at times, especially since not a lot of games catered to the cute, colorful things I’d been enjoying at playtime to that point. Sure, I loved the fantasy worlds of Mario and Sonic, but I also wished there was a fun gaming playspace for me that echoed the fluffy-cats-and-rainbow-unicorns aesthetic of my Lisa Frank Trapper Keepers.

Had my third-grade self seen Calico, an open-world animal cafe and social interaction game, she would have lost her mind. Calico embraces an aesthetic and theme that is shamelessly, unabashedly girly in the best ways--a world of happy magical girls living in pastel-colored lands with fluffy, cotton-candy trees where all kinds of lovable animals roam freely. But while Calico's concept and visuals are a delight, the simplistic, bug-ridden gameplay dragged me kicking and screaming out of the childhood fantasy world I so wanted to exist in.

Calico is very cute (screenshots captured on PC).

Calico starts off with your created player character inheriting a cat cafe in a faraway world where magic is very real and a part of everyday living. Your job is to fill your little cafe with animals, decorations, and cute kitty-themed pastries while exploring the world and helping your new friends with various errands. It’s a very laid-back, play-as-you-please experience in the vein of other life-sim games, but with an air of play and fairy magic baked in: You can buy potions with funny effects to use on yourself and your animal friends, like shrinking down to mini-size to cook, zooming around while riding on giant red pandas and bunnies, decorating your house with clouds, flowers, and cat paws, and collecting basically any animal in the game (that isn’t already someone else's pet) to be a part of your cafe or your traveling posse.

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Categories: Games

Medal Of Honor: Above And Beyond Review

Gamespot News Feed - Thu, 12/17/2020 - 23:56

Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond marks a return to the series' historical roots as well as its first foray into virtual reality. It's been a long time since we've stormed the beaches of Normandy or liberated Nazi-occupied France in a Medal of Honor game, but Above and Beyond strives to bring us back to that familiar WWII experience within the new technology. Being asked to answer the call of duty and return to the battlefield in a new Medal of Honor is an exciting prospect, but Above and Beyond is far too simple a shooter and far too restrictive to ever feel engaging like the series once was.

Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond's campaign is composed of six major missions, each of which is broken into smaller sections, moving you from location to location as you make your way through the story. Each moment of gameplay has you moving through a small area and using a variety of WWII weaponry to take out Nazis. These moments can feature you walking around on foot or, at times, in the back of a vehicle.

Some of the action sequences can be a little too intense, including a sequence where my character was in the back of a moving truck and shooting enemies in the opposite direction, which made me especially motion sick. That said, Above and Beyond offers some great comfort options to help alleviate motion sickness. These include settings that let you tweak turning increments, turn on tunnel vision when sprinting, or even let you skip more intense action sequences entirely and continue through the story. These were enough to alleviate my own issues with motion sickness and made it possible for me to make it through every section without skipping through them. Starting up a new VR game without knowing how your mind and body will react to its movement can be intimidating, but Above and Beyond's options help mitigate discomfort you may experience throughout its duration.

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Categories: Games

Diablo Immortal Alpha Impressions

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 12/17/2020 - 23:00

Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment Developer: Blizzard Entertainment, Netease Platform: iOS, Android

The Diablo Immortal Alpha is finally here. How does it live up to expectations? It’s been quite some time since its meme-tinged reveal at Blizzcon years ago, and the free-to-play mobile Diablo game is out in the wild for a select group of testers. I had a chance to go hands on and slaughter skeletons, spiders, and cultists by the hundreds. Let me be upfront with initial impressions – it plays well, looks good, and leans in hard on the core principles that make Diablo games great. That said, it makes me wish I could play it on another platform without having to resort to Android emulation, as I simply don’t enjoy gaming on my phone for extended periods of time and I loathe virtual controls. Let’s dive in.

Click here to watch embedded media

Diablo Immortal takes place in the sweet spot between Diablo II and Diablo III chronologically. This means that a lot of cool characters are still around and in play to interact with. In this alpha, the Barbarian, Wizard, Monk, and Demon Hunter were available for play. I went with a class I’ve played a ton of in Diablo II and III, the Barbarian. The Crusader and Necromancer are slated to join the cast on launch. Many of my signature abilities like spinning around in a whirlwind or smashing things with big blunt objects are there intact, and there are even some mobility tactics to deal with when dodging telegraphed enemy attacks. However, again, playing it on my phone (A Google Pixel 4XL) made for a less precise experience than controlling my characters via WASD on Bluestacks emulation. The game looks really, really good “for a phone game” and there’s a load of voice-acting to go along with the rich effects. You get that sweet Diablo feel of punching through a pack of monsters, crushing elite enemies and bosses, and watching their bouncing bodies burst forth with a flow of gold and loot. There are even new random quests that can pop up when you’re in an area. These events are not complicated, but let you take on new challenges for additional rewards even when crossing familiar ground or exploring for bosses and chests.

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The first time I saw Diablo Immortal several years ago, I was not impressed. It looked like almost any other generic dungeon-crawler that you could accidentally download off the app store, usually games that just keep rolling out sequels and ways to siphon people’s paychecks for big boosts. However, the alpha build that’s out there now looks, feels, and plays much closer to a core Diablo title, with some simplification in place for the mobile platform. Here’s something they got really right - activities. They’ve basically encapsulated the Diablo II “run” where you would go farm a boss through a level and turned them into mini-dungeons with several bosses and other challenges before taking on the primary antagonist. 

You can run these dungeons to your heart’s delight with no stamina bar or restrictions. The first thing I did after knocking out King Leoric was queue up and go at him again. It’s the first dungeon activity you unlock, and the mini-dungeon contains two cool bosses and the big guy himself, who is very similar to his Diablo III incarnation, but he has a horse now. That’s pretty cool. Even cooler is the activities all have certain rewards to chase, so you might go after Leoric one day if you’re after a pair of pants or the Countess another if you want some crafting materials, as they change bonus rewards. These dungeons are tuned to be snack-size in length and are scaled to handle alone or with friends, though they’re tuned for a group of players and not soloists on “Hell II” difficulty, which I haven’t yet had a chance to explore. Groups in Diablo Immortal can field up to 4 players.

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In addition to these activities, rifts are back from Diablo III, with new options. Using crests, players can stack up modifiers for Elder Rifts to amp up the challenge – and the rewards. Elder Rifts can yield both runes and legendary gems.

Smashing through enemies is satisfying and you get that wonderful slot-machine feeling as you ramp up your gear, salvage your junk, and upgrade your high-power items. When you change out a slot (like a primary weapon) and you’ve sunk some upgrades into it, that can feel bad. Diablo Immortal lets you keep your upgrades tied to the slot when you change it out if you want, so you don’t need to feel bad about getting a hot new breastplate or a fresh axe. The paragon system returns, offering a smorgasbord of boosts after level cap (which is 45 in the technical alpha). These paragon trees let you focus on survival, treasure hunting, damage, and PvP. Yep, there’s PvP. I haven’t had a chance to engage in any PvP yet, but it’s back! Blizzard plans to add additional paragon trees to the game as time passes.

Click here to watch embedded media

So, Diablo Immortal is free-to-play. In this technical alpha, it’s not easy to determine just how much that will impact gameplay, but the plan is monetization via a battle pass, crest/reforge stone sales, and more. It’s important to relay that you can’t buy gear. It’s also important to let people know that Diablo Immortal is more of a MMO than its predecessors, where you can see and battle with random folks all over the world during your adventures. Guess what? You can also trade with them anonymously over a tool called The Market. What can you trade in the market? Legendary gems, materials, and supplementary items. How exactly this is implemented is not something I’ve had a chance to test yet, but I’m hopeful that with the focus on account-bound items and gear that it’s nothing egregious.

I’m aware that for some, Diablo on the go is going to be an awesome thing, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the technical alpha so far. It’s a much better experience and game than what has been previously shown, so it’s clear a lot of renovation and care has been spent getting it to a new place. I almost sort of have to acknowledge this existence of what appears to be a quite competent mobile Diablo begrudgingly, since the biggest takeaway from tapping on my cooldowns and watching loot flip out of flopping demon corpses is that I wish I could play it on a standard platform rather than hunching over my phone and clumsily mucking about with virtual controls and big chonky touch buttons.

I’m hoping that Diablo IV will scratch that itch, but with that likely far in the future, I guess I’ll hunker down and whack away at some ghouls on my mobile device. I’m hoping that Android emulation alternatives give players an option to play effectively and efficiently on a PC, but we’ll see how things go. While there’s no word on a release date yet, the “alpha” battle pass is scheduled to expire in around 40 days, so I wouldn’t be surprised to hear more about a beta or release in the near future.

Categories: Games

Myst Oculus Quest Review

Gamespot News Feed - Wed, 12/16/2020 - 20:29

If you've enjoyed having your brain teased by a video game in the last 20 years, or enjoyed the layered mechanical riddles of an IRL escape room, you have Myst to thank. Wildly popular when it launched in 1993, the narrative adventure was a pivotal moment for puzzle-solving in games. Now, 27 years later, the classic is reborn in virtual reality--rebuilt, but almost completely unchanged. Myst is and will always be a treasure. Even after all these years, its puzzles will still test, and maybe even stump, you. For returning fans, seeing it in VR for the first time is a powerful nostalgia trip. Being inside a world you’ve only seen through a screen before feels like diving into your own memory. When you get over that initial sense of wonder--or if you don't have the nostalgia that conjures it--Myst can’t hide its age, and its VR makeover exacerbates its blemishes.

Myst is a small uninhabited island dotted with odd buildings and unintuitive, free-standing switches. When you arrive, you have no idea why you're there or what you should be doing. As you poke around--opening every door, pressing all the switches, reading the books and notes you find--your situation starts to take shape. Trapped on Myst, you will need to unravel its puzzles to uncover its secrets and escape.

The content of Myst's places and puzzles do not follow any kind of unifying aesthetic--they are united in service of creating perplexing challenges that require you to be mindful of your surroundings and think creatively. At a glance, each puzzle seems completely obtuse, a hodge-podge of interactive puzzle pieces that don't easily fit together. More often than not, you'll need to take a good long look at your surroundings and figure out how the puzzle works before you can solve it.

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Categories: Games

Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 Review

Gamespot News Feed - Sat, 12/12/2020 - 00:50

Fans of competitive, block-dropping puzzle games had it pretty rough for most of the last decade. Creativity in the Tetris space was being stifled by a strict set of game-rules guidelines imposed by The Tetris Company, while Puyo Puyo was mostly trapped in Japan, playable only by those international fans fervent enough to tread import waters. Thankfully, things have changed somewhat on both fronts, bringing us the unusual mashup title Puyo Puyo Tetris in 2017 to critical and fan success. Three years later, we now have a follow-up in the form of Puyo Puyo Tetris 2. While it keeps much of what made the original game a success, it offers a few new game modes and online enhancements--but as a sequel, it lacks the same punch as the original.

Like in the original game, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is built around an engine combining these two competitive puzzle titans into a singular game entity. Players pick either Puyo Puyo or Tetris gameplay and go up against an opponent, with rules adjusted according to which style they're using--or they can play a mode that switches between Puyo Puyo and Tetris gameplay at set intervals. If you're feeling especially brave, you can attempt Fusion mode, which puts Puyo blobs and Tetromino blocks on the same board in a complex rules mashup that will put your puzzling skills to the true test.

But that's just the beginning. There's a lot on offer in Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 for both solo and multiplayer play. The Adventure mode offers an all-new story, complete with a pleasant new overworld interface and featuring a cast of colorful weirdos--mostly from the expanded Puyo Puyo universe--who solve all of their problems and disagreements by tossing colored blobs and blocks at each other. The game modes change in every chapter, so Adventure Mode serves as a way to practice and learn the various styles of gameplay available while also unlocking characters, in-game shop credits, and various embellishments for your profile. While the rainbow-colored characters and their jokey personalities are certainly cute, the nonsensical nature of the narrative will either charm you to bits or leave you mashing the skip button to get to the dropping faster. This mode takes a few hours to finish, and future DLC expansions have been teased.

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Categories: Games

Star Wars: Squadrons Has TIE Defenders And B-Wings Now

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 12/11/2020 - 17:45

Click here to watch embedded media

Publisher: Electronic Arts Developer: Motive Studios Release: October 2, 2020 Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The aggressive microtransactions of Star Wars Battlefront II left a bad impression on some players, which may be why EA's next foray into the Star Wars universe left them behind. However, that isn't to say that Star Wars: Squadrons has stopped evolving since its launch; the team at Motive Studios has continued to update the game with new features and options – all available to players for free.

The latest content drop – first discussed last month – adds two classic starfighters to the game: one for the Rebel Alliance, and one for the Empire. The good guys get the B-Wing, which appeared in Return of the Jedi. The bad guys get the TIE Defender, a powerful Imperial ship that was introduced in the original TIE Fighter PC game. You can see these two new starfighters (alongside other features) in the video above.

The update is available now on all platforms: PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Of course, you can also play the game (via backward compatibility) on the new-gen consoles. 

While the new ships are the main attraction, that isn't where the tweaks stop with this update. You can read the full release notes for the complete account, but here is an excerpt from the "General" category of fixes:

  • Added Custom Games and a server browser, available in the Multiplayer & Training menu
  • Adjusted Skill Rating requirements for each tier via server-side change last week (see below for full details)
  • Updated Skill Rating gain/loss ratios to better reflect each player’s performance in a match via server-side change last week
  • Ongoing server-side matchmaking improvements
  • Fixed an issue where the game could crash if the player didn't skip through the outro screens of a match
  • Fixed an issue where the game could crash when loading into Fostar Haven
  • Fixed an issue where having Lighting quality set to Low could create intense flashes of light on Fostar Haven
  • Fixed an issue where AI in multiplayer could on occasion deal no hull damage to players with their primary weapons
  • Fixed or improved instances of poor collision detection on Fostar Haven, Galitan, Esseles, Nadiri Dockyards, Zavian Abyss, and Sissubo
  • Fixed issue where the interior of the TIE interceptor could disappear after respawning
  • Fixed issue where Star Destroyer engine VFX could flicker
  • Fixed an issue where PlayStation 5 visuals appeared blurry.

Check out EA's post for me, or even better – hop into Squadrons yourself and see how the game has changed. If you do, which new ship are you going to try out first? 

Categories: Games

Outriders' New Trailer Teaches You How To Survive

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 12/11/2020 - 02:50

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Publisher: Square Enix Developer: People Can Fly Release: February 2, 2021 Rating: Mature Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Outriders is the upcoming shooter/RPG that casts players as super-powered warriors trying to survive and thrive on the hostile planet of Enoch. However, if you think this is a traditional shooter that has you crouching behind cover and using medkits to heal, then think again. Publisher Square Enix and developer People Can Fly just released a new trailer for Outriders that emphasizes the game’s ability to keep the action moving.

The trailer (above) runs through the “Mantras of Survival,” which are really just four tips that you should keep in mind while playing Outriders. They make a lot of sense individually, but as a whole, the paint the picture of a game that wants to keep players moving and shooting constantly, rather than getting caught in prolonged shooting-gallery encounters. The tips include things like “cover is for cowards” and “kill to heal,” so Outriders definitely doesn’t encourage conservative play.

The other two pointers are “think aggressive” and “powers on tap.” That first one is self-explanatory, but the second means that you have an array of special abilities with generous cooldowns,  so you shouldn’t worry about saving them only for dire situations – and that you shouldn’t just always be shooting stuff with your firearms.

If you want to learn even more about Outriders, you can check out our entire hub of content from when we featured the game on our cover. In fact, you can read that entire cover story right now. One the other hand, if you prefer your Outriders content with a dash of humor, you can watch our rapid-fire Interview with game director Bartek Kmita and lead writer Joshua Rubin.

Outriders releases on February 2 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It is also coming to Google Stadia, but that version doesn't hit until an unspecified date later in 2021.

Categories: Games

Sega's Turn-Based Strategy Game Humankind Gets April Release Date

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 12/11/2020 - 02:40

Publisher: Sega Developer: Amplitude Studios Release: April 22, 2021 Platform: PC

Humankind, the new turn-based historical strategy game from Sega and Amplitude Studios, has released a new trailer and been given a release date. The "Lucy" trailer showcases a new gameplay scenario players can check out as a part of the studio's OpenDev initiative, which solicits community feedback ahead of launch.

The new gameplay scenario will be available for players to check out from December 15 to December 28. The Lucy OpenDev scenario includes 40 cultures spread across four full gameplay eras, starting with the Neolithic era, or 150 turns (whichever comes first). Each culture features unique gameplay attributes, giving you a taste of the wide range of playstyles available in Humankind. You can also conduct battle on land or sea, and attempt to forge diplomatic relationships with seven A.I. opponents.

You can see the new "Lucy" trailer below.

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Humankind's full release hits on April 22 through Steam, Stadia, Epic Games Store, and retail. If you pre-purchase the Digital Deluxe Edition, which includes a digital copy of the game, the digital soundtrack, a unit and tech-tree PDF poster, and the Notre-Dame pack, you save 17 percent.

Categories: Games

Elite Dangerous: Odyssey Shows Off Gameplay Of Upcoming On-Foot Expansion

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 12/11/2020 - 02:30

Publisher: Frontier Developments Developer: Frontier Developments Release: December 16, 2014 (PC), October 6, 2015 (Xbox One), June 27, 2017 (PlayStation 4) Rating: Teen Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Get ready to embark on another journey across the stars as Frontier Developments has revealed the first look at gameplay for the next Elite Dangerous expansion, Odyssey. This expansion allows you to exit your starship, exploring the planets' surfaces on foot for the first time. While we received details of the expansion in August, we haven't seen solid gameplay footage of the planetary-exploration expansion to this point. That changed during tonight's Game Awards livestream.

As you step foot onto these distant worlds for the first time, you can expect to find new missions to take on with intense tactical combat Frontier hopes will be on par with the cockpit experience players have enjoyed for years now. Once Odyssey hits, players can customize their characters for on-foot missions with different suits and gear options to ready themselves for the dangers of the outside world.

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Also, you want to make sure you look good when you meet all those fellow commanders face to face in the various social hubs across the galaxy.  The social hubs are designed as meeting places for commanders in order to plan next moves, form alliances, and acquire or upgrade equipment. 

The team has worked to make the planets look good when you're on foot, providing stunning backdrops for starships, ground vehicles, and on-foot commanders colliding in battle. You can see the gameplay trailer below.

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Elite Dangerous: Odyssey comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in early 2021. Pre-orders are available now. 

Categories: Games

Bandai Namco Shows Off New Scarlet Nexus Gameplay And Story Details

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 12/11/2020 - 02:28

Publisher: Bandai Namco Developer: Bandai Namco Release: Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Scarlet Nexus has been one of the games that has been on our radar since its reveal in May. During The Game Awards, Bandai Namco gave us a new look at the gameplay and story of Scarlet Nexus.

Set in the far-distant future, Scarlet Nexus puts you in the shoes of psionic soldiers in an effort to battle a supernatural threat called Others. players can experience a dual-perspective story starring Yuito Sumeragi and Kasane Randall, new recruits into the psionic warrior ranks.

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Scarlet Nexus arrives on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in summer 2021.

Categories: Games

Evil Dead: The Game Launches In 2021

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 12/11/2020 - 01:11

Saber Interactive and Boss Team Games have announced Evil Dead: The Game. The game stars Bruce Campbell in a co-op PvP title where you fend off hordes of the undead.

We don't know much more about the title, but you can see the reveal trailer below.

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Evil Dead: The Game comes to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC in 2021.

Categories: Games

Crimson Desert Shows Off Impressive Gameplay Trailer

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 12/11/2020 - 01:05

Developer: Pearl Abyss

Crimson Desert showed off its first gameplay trailer during The Game Awards. With a story of mercenaries, dragons, and heroes, the stakes are high for the region of Pywel.

Check out the gameplay debut trailer below.

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Crimson Desert is set to launch in winter 2021.

Categories: Games

Scavengers Beta Is Available Now

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 12/11/2020 - 01:01

Publisher: Midwinter Entertainment Developer: Midwinter Entertainment Release: 2020 Rating: Rating Pending Platform: PC

Midwinter's free-to-play Scavengers is going into a closed beta with 50,000 player slots starting today on PC. If you've been a part of any of the other tests prior to this point, I have good news: You're already in. Looking to join up? Here's the link to the official site where you can sign up. The closed beta is slated to run until December 21. Not on PC? Scavengers is coming to other platforms too, but the beta is PC only.

What is Scavengers? It's a game that meshes PvE and PvP in a team-based battle royale environment. The early game will have you and your friends scrambling to collect scrap and survive against the elements, maybe trying to avoid wolves and bears that come out of the snow to eat you and attempting to stay warm as you pick up a few weapons. Using the scrap, you can craft all kinds of gear, including character-specific signature weapons like a bow that fires three arrows with every attack or a hand cannon that packs some serious punch.

During the early game, you'll likely have to battle other NPC bandits called outlanders, gain a few levels, and start collecting points. Every team is after points, and the team with the most at the end of the game wins. Well, as long as you can stay alive of course. Death is not permanent in Scavengers unless a whole team gets wiped within about a minute. If that happens, they're done for good. Otherwise, you can respawn on surviving teammates. However, if you die, any points you're holding will fall to the ground and can be picked up by anyone around. Oh, and one more thing. If you're holding the most points in the game, there's a marker on your head, literally. You show up on the map and will be a juicy target for anyone nearby.

The midgame is about taking down bigger and more dangerous NPC outposts for loot and levels and offloading your points via datalink, if you can. Points you shoot up via the datalink are "banked" so you won't need to worry about dropping them, but you're likely to face a host of undead enemies while defending the datalink. Yes, the enemies of nature are not limited to man and beast, there are also undead zombie-like aberrations for some reason, and the corruption extends to other enemies. Yeah, there are undead bears and stuff and they are an extremely lethal encounter should you be unlucky enough to come up against one, so be ready with your vehicles, stealth cooldowns, or heavy weaponry. At this point, many teams are going to be comfortable with skirmishing and fighting other players, so be sure to have a plan in place for when the action gets heavy.

Endgame forces the action to a smaller area via the genre-stable of the constricting circle, moving all players into an extraction dropship zone. If anyone on your team successfully lives to make it out on the ship, your points are tallied and the winner is the team with the most points. However, the dropship is a small area and intensely chaotic as every living member from all teams will be attempting to survive in that small area, so expect a ton of conflict and a ton of points changing hands. Team wipes are a real danger here.

After each match, there's meta-progression. You get a number of different crafting materials and other supplies based on performance that you can research outside of the matches, allowing you to take recipes into subsequent games. It doesn't give an insurmountable advantage to long-time or experienced players, as they still start at zero, but it does give players many more options to take into games via crafting. You still need to collect scrap to make these items and reach the appropriate level to wield them, but it allows you to take a set of tools into each game that's suited to your playstyle. For example, you could craft up a sniper rifle recipe and then take it into your games, but you'd still have to find all the scrap to make it within the game world from scratch. Still, this system gives players something to refine and chase outside of the game-to-game action.

Scavengers is slated for an early access launch in early 2021. You can find out more at the official website.

Categories: Games

Dead Space Creator Announces Grotesque Horror Game The Callisto Protocol

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 12/11/2020 - 00:48

Developer: Striking Distance Studios

Striking Distance Studios has announced The Callisto Protocol, a new grotesque horror game. The trailer doesn't give us much insight into how the gameplay will be, but it does show an abhorrent creature kill a guy while a menacing man watches from afar.

This single-player, third-person survival-horror game comes from the new studio founded by Glen Schofield, creator of the Dead Space games. The title is set in the year 2320 on the Jupiter moon Callisto. Schofield told Geoff Keighley during The Game Awards that he wants to make the single scariest game for PC and consoles.

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The Callisto Protocol is set to release in 2022.

Categories: Games

Hood: Outlaws & Legends Arrives May 10 On PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, And PC

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 12/11/2020 - 00:27

Publisher: Focus Home Interactive Developer: Sumo Digital Release: 2021 Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Hood: Outlaws & Legends has a release date at last. Announced today during The Game Awards 2020, the game is arriving on May 10, 2021. Hood: Outlaws & Legends is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC that day. Pre-orders grant early access to the game starting on May 7, along with a cosmetic outfit kit. Sumo Digital and Focus Home Interactive are bringing some brutal team-based combat from the middle ages to life. Did you miss the original announcement for Hood: Outlaws & Legends? Check out the trailer below!

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Hood: Outlaws & Legends features two teams facing off in a battle to collect stolen riches, with four major character archetypes to pick from. Play as a ranger, a brawer, a mystic, or a hunter, with many customization options available to craft your own playstyle within the classes. Want a little backstory on the classes you can play at launch? Take a peek at the brawler trailer below, and find the entire class roster on the official YouTube.

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In what is essentially a medieval form of a major competitive heist, Hood: Outlaws & Legends pits players against deadly NPC guards protecting loot and each other in team-based battles for the goods. You won't just have to outplay the A.I., but the other team will be looking to steal your spoils as well! Strategic thinking and decision-making come into play as you determine what the most profitable and successful strategy will be when dealing with the A.I. opponents and your real-life adversaries. As you journey through battle after battle, you gain options to change your character's abilities, visuals, and weapon choices.

The game is designed to push out content in a consistent fashion after launch, so new characters, maps, game modes, and events are all expected to arrive post-launch. With a mix of PvP and PvE concepts in the main game, it's easy to see how alternate game modes could focus more (or all!) on either experience. Watch the new release-date trailer below!

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Categories: Games