Games

Dead Space Remake Review - Hits The Marker

Gamespot News Feed - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 16:00

14 years is a long time in the video games industry, yet it still doesn't feel like quite long enough for EA’s Dead Space. The original 2008 game is a modern classic that holds up exceedingly well by today's standards. There's very little that feels dated about its design, and the strategic dismemberment that forms the basis of its combat still offers a unique and gory thrill that's yet to be replicated. The remake's leap in graphical fidelity breathes new life into its stifling horror, but public discourse has centered on whether it really needs to exist in the first place. That might be a cynical viewpoint, but it's no less valid. And after reaching the end credits myself, I'm still not entirely convinced it needs to either, yet I'm extremely happy it does. Remaking Dead Space in 2023 may not feel especially necessary, but EA Motive has crafted a game that manages to improve upon its excellent progenitor in a variety of ways--even if only marginally so.

These improvements begin with its story, which has been expanded via a number of alterations to both its characters and storytelling. The basic beats that make up the original game's narrative remain intact, starting with your fateful arrival on the USG Ishimura. After responding to a distress signal, you find the hulking planet cracker-class ship floating lifelessly above the planet of Aegis VII. Once on board, things take a familiar sharp turn downhill, but now once-silent protagonist Isaac Clarke has been given a voice to react appropriately. I'm generally not a fan of silent protagonists, although there's always a danger of vocal characters being overly chatty, especially in a horror game where atmosphere and tension are so delicate. Thankfully, that's not the case here, and Isaac's newfound agency makes him feel less like a simple tool to be ordered around. Actor Gunner Wright reprises the role after bringing Isaac to life in Dead Space's sequels, so there's a level of continuity here that's also reflected in other aspects of the remake's design.

Much of the script has been rewritten to accommodate Isaac's speech, and the tale it weaves is still engaging. The church of Unitology--a cultish religious sect that plays a significant role in the Dead Space universe--is much more prominent this time around, especially early on. Characters mention the infamous church in a way that feels natural, discussing the sect before they're aware of just how substantial its impact will be on future events. Kendra Daniels--one of Isaac's colleagues and your main point of contact throughout the game--has also been rewritten in a manner that elevates the remake. Previously she was prickly and leaned into some needlessly antagonistic behavior, but she's now been transformed into an empathetic character, which pays off down the line in a more effective way than before.

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Categories: Games

Season: A Letter To The Future Review - The Meditation Game

Gamespot News Feed - Thu, 01/26/2023 - 15:00

Some games demand a specific kind of real-life setting to really be absorbed. Horror games beg for the lights off and headphones on, while co-op games are often more enjoyable when played together on a couch rather than online. Season: A letter to the future requires its own special circumstances--a calm, peaceful environment--and if you can provide that, you'll find in it a special stillness, a pensive story, and a memoir from a fantasy land worth experiencing.

Sometimes the language of open-world games is obvious, especially if you've played a few of them. Excitingly, Season doesn't feel like such a game, as its approach to gameplay and story are fresh and largely disinterested in giving you boxes to check. You play as Estelle, a young woman who sets off to observe and record a part of her world on the precipice of a new season. In this unnamed world, which is like ours but also definitely is not ours, a new season doesn't mean just a change in temperature; it means a total rebirth of the state of things. The game is deliberately unclear regarding exactly why, when, or how seasons emerge, and it seems at least sometimes they are influenced by people rather than natural things that happen to those people. Seasons seem to be more defined by the particular circumstances of a society--the breakout of war or widespread sleep, for example--more than they are snow days or fallen foliage.

For Estelle, it's important to document the outgoing season as all will be lost when the new season begins, even as no one seems sure what that season will usher in itself. For the people of Tieng Valley, a lush farming village that's largely been evacuated due to an imminent dam collapse, the beginning of the season may even be a matter of life and death. Equipped with a camera, audio recorder, scrapbook, and bicycle, Estelle treks into the valley to interview the last remaining locals, capture the state of the vista in its final days, and reflect on things like memory, community, and grief. These, and other themes, are delivered through thoughtful monologues and conversations that allow for players to insert themselves in the story.

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Categories: Games

Turn 10 Studios Gives A New In-Depth Look At Forza Motorsport

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 01/25/2023 - 20:40

Last summer, Turn 10 Studios and Xbox announced a new entry in the esteemed Forza Motorsport series, built from the ground up for Xbox Series X/S. The studio made lofty promises regarding the kind of experience it would be able to deliver with the new hardware, and during today's Xbox Developer Direct, we received more information on the next entry of the sim-racing franchise, simply called Forza Motorsport.

Turn 10 Studios calls this entry "a generational leap ahead for the Forza Motorsport series." For the first time in series history, Forza Motorsport has fully dynamic time of day and weather, which impact how cars handle; track temperatures and surface conditions combine with the texture of the driving surface to ensure that each lap is distinct. 

These races take place over 20 environments with multiple track layouts available at launch. Fans can expect their favorites from past Forza Motorsport titles, as well as five all-new locations. One of those locations is Kyalami, the first South African location in Forza Motorsport history. By utilizing photogrammetry and laser-scanned images, Turn 10 is able to depict 10 times the level of detail than past games. Environments feature more detailed vegetation and overgrowth, plus tens of thousands of fully 3D animated spectators.

Of course, the stars of the show will always be the cars, and Forza Motorsport brings a ton in that regard as well. At launch, the game features more than 500 real-world cars. Each of these cars is customizable using more than 800 unique upgrades and modifications. Each vehicle features a level of detail beyond what nearly any player will notice, with context-aware damage and dirt buildup that is unique to each vehicle, down to what kind of paint is currently applied. Advanced physics mechanics also improve the realism in how cars accelerate, brake, and corner. Thanks to special partnerships with Windows Sonic and Dolby Atmos, the cars and their respective modifications also sound better than ever before.

Players can expect to slide into the driver's seat and take to the tracks at some point this year through an all new online racing mode and single-player career mode when Forza Motorsport arrives on Xbox Series X/S and PC.

At the start of this year, we named Forza Motorsport one of our most anticipated games of 2023. For that full list, head here!

Categories: Games

Minecraft Legends Launches This April With Cross Platform Multiplayer

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 01/25/2023 - 20:35

During today's Xbox Developer Direct, we learned a ton of new information about Minecraft Legends, Mojang's latest Minecraft spin-off. In addition to new details on PvP, we learned the game is coming to Xbox and PC on April 18, just a few months from now. Like most first-party Xbox titles, it will be available on Game Pass day one. We also got a new gameplay trailer, which you can watch below.

If you're unfamiliar, Minecraft Legends is an action strategy game where players explore a procedurally generated world to find resources, build bases, and save the overworld. In the campaign, which can be played solo or co-op, players work together to stop Piglins from invading their world from the Nether. While traditional Minecraft gameplay has the player placing each individual block, this game allows you to build on a larger scale, placing walls, traps, and turrets. 

In the PvP mode, two teams of up to four players will face off in a battle to destroy the other team's base. Like the campaign, the world is procedurally generated, so every match is different. Throughout the showcase, developers at Mojang and Blackbird Interactive detailed their favorite strategies, like layering walls with traps in between or exploring the world to find rare mobs. Multiplayer also features cross-platform play and online matchmaking.

A blog post on the Xbox website also announced that a Deluxe Edition would be available at launch. It includes the base game and a bonus pack of skins. Minecraft Legends releases April 18.

Categories: Games

Take A First Look At World War Z's Upcoming Horde Mode XL

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 17:00

World War Z is no stranger to having lots and lots of zombies, but a new mode launching tomorrow somehow stuffs even more undead into the experience with Horde Mode XL. Horde Mode has existed in World War Z for some time, and tasks players with holding down a single location as waves of zombies invade. Horde Mode XL is functionally the same, but now boosts the number of on-screen enemies to 1,000, which is the most the game has ever managed to showcase at one time. You can check out a short gameplay clip of the new mode above, which skips the first few waves to jump right to the final XL horde.

Horde Mode XL is coming for free to World War Z tomorrow, January 24, only on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. You can read our review of World War Z right here.

Categories: Games

Forspoken Review - Forsaken

Gamespot News Feed - Mon, 01/23/2023 - 14:00

Though it takes inspiration from isekai--stories in which people from Earth are transported to and become trapped in a fantastical world (think Alice in Wonderland but Japanese)--Forspoken ultimately doesn't understand what makes that genre so popular. Instead, it tells a largely forgettable story that sets up major stakes but fails to offer a compelling reason for why the player should care. Luminous Productions' action-RPG feels great when it allows you to really stretch your legs and magically parkour across its fantasy landscape, but combat is clunky and regular exposition too often stalls the action.

In Forspoken, protagonist Frey finds herself trapped in the magic-filled world of Athia after stumbling through a portal. There, she bonds with a sentient brace she nicknames Cuff and then encounters a group of survivors living in the last city that's free from the effects of a dangerous miasma. This blight, which Frey calls the Break, covers the land and transforms living creatures into mutated monsters. Frey is the only exception, making her an ideal candidate for exploring the Break, finding its source, and destroying it. The whole situation is an intriguing narrative setup but boring or unlikable characters let it down. It's difficult to like the standoffish and stubborn Frey, the incessantly sarcastic Cuff (who regularly quips in Frey's ear like a discount JARVIS), or any of the survivors who are all too eager to completely rely on Frey's protection from the Break while also asking her to complete boring optional tasks like going on a tour of a lifeless hub or petting a bunch of sheep.

Forspoken's story is one about belonging--finding a place you want to stay and a people you wish to protect. Like any isekai protagonist worth their salt, Frey is initially resistant to her new surroundings before discovering that she's actually ideally suited to the world she's found herself trapped in. However, it's not a world that the game is able to adequately convince the player of wanting to stay in and protect. The emotional connection Forspoken tries to establish to incentivize the player to take action--to help the people that need Frey's help--is deeply uninteresting and oftentimes head-scratching and odd. The characters don't take the threat of Athia's imminent destruction very seriously and any tension that comes from their perilous existence is repeatedly undermined by meaningless busywork they want you to do. The characters themselves are also incredibly plain with two-dimensional personalities. They have no real convictions or anything interesting to say.

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Categories: Games

EA Sports PGA Tour Preview - Driving Forward

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 01/19/2023 - 16:00

Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Tiburon
Release: March 24, 2023
Rating: Everyone

EA Sports has been producing officially licensed PGA Tour video games since 1990, with stars like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy lending their names to the product over the years. However, the company has not released a PGA Tour video game since 2015, meaning other franchises have had time to slide into the space once occupied by EA Sports’ mainstay series.

However, EA Sports is ready to make up for lost time with its newest title. The emphasis this time around is on realism, not only with how the players and courses look but also in how players must approach every hole. For starters, each of the 30 launch courses was created with the help of the course superintendents, state-of-the-art technology (including helicopters equipped with lasers), and even geologists to ensure the most true-to-life experience for players when they step into the course-accurate tee boxes. Licensed players and realistic crowds also received a keen emphasis, with players from both the PGA and LPGA Tours mapped using high-tech cameras in multiple poses to render them in the Frostbite Engine. In addition, actors were scanned for the crowd to make them feel like actual people on the course instead of cardboard cutouts.

The four Majors were among the highest priority for the developers, as the PGA Championship, The Open Championship, the U.S. Open, and the Masters all feature custom presentations, highly detailed in-game trophy models, and special commentary. Speaking of commentary, players can expect hundreds of hours of content from a broad analysis team to avoid repetitive chitchat when you’re working through the various courses. You can also tweak various presentation and gameplay settings, including how dense you want the crowd to be during your round.

When you finally do step up for your first drive, the gameplay leverages ShotLink and Trackman data used for real-world analytics of PGA Tour players for realistic outcomes on every shot. This data allows each bounce and roll to behave accurately across every terrain and slope, even taking into account which type of grass grows at each course. In fact, every course in the game has its own physics profile, so playing through a dreary day at The Old Course at St. Andrews Links feels different than a humid round at TPC Sawgrass.

 

After selecting your club and approaching your ball, you have 20 different shot types to choose from, letting you attack each course how you want to and how the pros do in real life; you can even adjust the shape of your shot’s arc to perfect your approach. Using the analog stick to control the swing, players must execute the backswing in a smooth and efficient manner and time their impact on the ball to maximize results. If you time it just right, you receive a Big Hit Moment, a series trademark where you get a slow-motion view with a dramatic camera angle to emphasize your mastery on that stroke. Once you’re on the green, putting is also controlled by the analog stick, with a line that shows how far back to stroke and a shot assist option to help you aim. EA Tiburon hopes to add the traditional three-click control scheme to the game post-launch.

While you can play locally or online in unranked play, tournaments, private matches, and other game modes (including one where 16 players are simultaneously on the course), the destination mode is Career. Unified RPG progression lets you make the decisions you want to make for your created player, giving you meaningful choices to build your golfer from the ground up with skills, abilities, and gear to complement the robust customization options. In Career, you can even choose where you want to start, whether that’s as an amateur, on the developmental Korn Ferry Tour, or all the way in the PGA Tour; winning championships in the amateur circuit opens invites to more prestigious tournaments, giving you a meaningful feeling of progression.

Though it’s been a while since EA Sports released a licensed golf game, PGA Tour looks to pull out all the stops in pursuit of delivering the most realistic experience we’ve ever seen. Though I’ve long since fallen off the sim-golf genre, I’m already eyeing my tee time on March 24 when the game arrives on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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Categories: Games

One Piece Odyssey Review - Filler Arc

Gamespot News Feed - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 22:44

For decades, the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy and the Straw Hat Pirates have thrilled and enchanted readers and viewers across the globe. Turning such a beloved and long-running action-adventure series into game form has proven to be quite a challenge, with many developers stepping up over the years to try and gamify the magic that's made the One Piece anime and manga such a success, often to mixed results. One Piece Odyssey is the latest such attempt, and it takes the approach of transforming One Piece's dramatic battles into a turn-based RPG. While it does a solid job of getting the look and mood of the series down, One Piece Odyssey unfortunately offers little more than a very basic RPG adventure.

The game opens with the Straw Hat gang stranded on the mysterious island of Waford. Their ship, Thousand Sunny, lies in a wreck nearby and with no obvious way to repair it, the gang sets out exploring this wild new world. A strange young girl named Lim emerges and, fearful of the pirates, she removes all of the crew's strength and special powers. With the help of Adio, a rather suspicious adventurer who calls the island his home, the Straw Hats set out to recover their powers, learn the secrets of Waford Island, and escape to journey another day. Along the way, they'll also be able to relive the great adventures of the past.

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Categories: Games

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty | New Gameplay Today

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 14:00

In today's New Gameplay Today, your hosts Wesley LeBlanc and Kyle Hilliard discuss Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, the upcoming Soulsborne from Nioh developer Team Ninja set in ancient China. The two discuss Wesley's excitement for the game after playing through its first two chapters, how it differentiates itself from other Soulslike games, and just how difficult Wo Long is when it comes to combat. 

You can listen to the two discuss all that and more in the Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty New Gameplay Today below: 

As you can see, Wo Long is shaping up to be a unique and fun entry into the ever-expanding Soulslike genre. Fortunately, it's out in less than two months, hitting PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on March 3, 2023. You can read Wesley's full thoughts after his hands-on time in this Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty preview here

For more previews of some of the biggest games of 2022 and beyond, be sure to head over to our YouTube page for NGTs about Fire Emblem EngageVengeful Guardian: Moonrider, Gravity CircuitClive 'N' Wrench, , and more. 

Are you checking out Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty in March? Let us know in the comments below!

Categories: Games

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty Preview – Rising Through The Ranks

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 14:00

Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Developer: Team Ninja
Release: March 3, 2023

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty’s public demo gave players a chance to experience a more general idea of what this fast-paced action game offers, but Koei Tecmo recently gave us the chance to go deeper and play through the first two chapters in Wo Long in full. I’m starting to understand that developer Team Ninja is aiming for a wider swath of players with Wo Long as opposed to its Nioh titles, which are some of the most demanding in games. While Wo Long still features that trademark From Software-inspired challenge, it also features a unique system that allows you to change an enemy’s difficulty in real-time, making it much more approachable. 

At the core of everything in Wo Long is its unique morale system that rises as you defeat enemies and decreases when you take damage. Take enough damage, and you can drop a full rank. You restore your morale by defeating the enemy that took you out, which feels like collecting souls after death in Dark Souls, and I love its implementation here.  

 

In Chapter two, a mini-boss with a morale rank of 20 killed me while my morale was at 17. The higher an enemy’s morale, the harder it is to defeat, but uniquely, defeating enemies in the immediate surrounding can often lower an enemy’s rank. Plus, even though I began this section around morale rank 13, by defeating each enemy on the way to the mini-boss, I got back to 17. What’s interesting here is the push and pull between the urge to quickly rush to this mini-boss at a lower rank to obtain the morale and experience I lost, and the desire to take it slow, build my morale by defeating enemies along the way, and challenge the boss with higher morale. However, in doing this, I risk dying to one of the dozen enemies along the way. I like deciding how vital my experience and morale were, and I especially enjoy that I can increase my combat power by increasing my morale. 

This system feels like a built-in difficulty scaling. If I’m craving more challenge, I can confront a boss with a higher morale rank. If I’m struggling to defeat it, I can farm smaller enemies and build up my morale to be the same as the boss’.  

The morale system is so far Wo Long’s highlight. It adds a unique new element to the challenging action genre the Dark Souls series popularized. As From Software continues to perfect its take on this formula, I like seeing developers put their own mark on it, and that’s what Team Ninja is doing again with Wo Long. 

But that’s not the only aspect of Wo Long that impressed me; its combat is slick, fast-paced, and stressful in the best way, even when up against standard mob enemies (which can take you out with ease if you miss just one deflect, block, or dodge). It’s the first game to give me the same thrill of parrying and evading since From Software’s Sekiro, and I don’t think I can praise Wo Long any higher than that. 

The action takes priority, but something surprising about Wo Long is its characters and story. Gone are the obscure “it’s there if you look for it” narrative aspects typically seen in the genre. Instead, Wo Long presents its story with hype-inducing cutscenes, characters with in-your-face personalities, and storytelling that seems to come to me rather than me to it. Perhaps this is the result of playing through the game’s opening, but I’m hoping Wo Long continues to roll out its narrative as it did in these first two sections. Fortunately, I don’t have to wait much longer to find out. 

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Fire Emblem Engage Review - Rings Of Power

Gamespot News Feed - Tue, 01/17/2023 - 14:00

Fire Emblem: Three Houses was a smash hit for Nintendo both critically and commercially. While it didn't dramatically shake up the combat, its ambitious multi-campaign structure swung for the fences. It only seemed natural that Nintendo and developer Intelligent Systems would build off Three Houses' success. While Fire Emblem Engage certainly builds on the deep and rewarding tactical combat, the predictable story and repetitive side activities feel like a step backward for the long-running series.

Fire Emblem Engage follows a more traditional structure than Three Houses’ calendar-based progression. Your time is split between the tactical turn-based combat the series is known for and a hub-like area where you can interact with other characters and outfit your units with weapons and equipment. While there are multiple missions available to you at any given time, the story sticks to a linear structure as you plot a course around the map. There are no major story decisions, and apart from a couple characters found in optional paralogue chapters, everyone will recruit the same characters at the same time.

This traditional structure isn't inherently a bad thing. Some of the best games in the series follow this narrative style, and Engage's presentation and narrative are more polished thanks to its focused design. But this approach also puts the story in a brighter spotlight and, unfortunately, the extra polish doesn't hide the predictable and meandering plot, which overall falls flat.

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Categories: Games

Game Informer's 25 Most Anticipated Games Of 2023

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 01/11/2023 - 20:00

Now that 2022 is in the rearview, it's time to look forward to all that the new year has to offer. While last year brought some of the best gaming experiences of recent memory, 2023 has seemingly unlimited potential. From mainstay franchises by our favorite developers to new IPs and fresh faces, this year promises a lot in the realm of video games – and we probably don't even know many of the games coming in 2023.

These games, which represent the collective excitement of the Game Informer editorial staff, span the spectrum of experiences games can offer; the only requirement is that the games need to be currently announced for a 2023 release window. Check out our list of the 25 most anticipated games of 2023, and let us know in the comments which games you're most excited to play over the next 12 months. You can also send an email to Feedback@GameInformer.com for a chance to have your pick featured in an upcoming issue of Game Informer magazine.

Fire Emblem Engage

As the second mainline Fire Emblem title on Switch, Fire Emblem Engage hopes to build on the runaway successes of 2019's Three Houses. With the same turn-based strategy combat and beautifully animated visuals fans have known and loved for years, Engage is hitting all the right notes prior to launch. Add in familiar faces – such as Marth – who can help the player in battle through powerful Engage mechanics, and this is one fans of both Fire Emblem, and strategy titles as a whole should have circled. For more on Fire Emblem Engage, check out our episode of New Gameplay Today.

Fire Emblem Engage Platform: Switch Release Date: January 20, 2023 Purchase More Info Forspoken

The second game by Final Fantasy XV studio Luminous Productions, Forspoken tells the story of a young woman transported from New York to the fantasy land known as Athia. While there, she must learn magical powers to help the people escape from under the thumb of the ruling class and find her way home. With writers like Amy Hennig (Uncharted series, Legacy of Cain series) and Gary Whitta (Telltale's The Walking Dead, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) on board, we're hopeful for an action-packed adventure and well-written narrative.

Visit our Forspoken hub for exclusive content.

Forspoken Platform: PlayStation 5, PC Release Date: January 24, 2023 Purchase More Info Dead Space

Nearly 15 years after Dead Space hit PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, Electronic Arts is bringing a remade version of the smash-hit horror title to current platforms. This new version follows Isaac Clarke along the same basic plot but leverages the latest Frostbite engine to deliver stunning new visuals. With more voice acting, fewer loading screens, and redesigned character models and environments, this new version of Dead Space has the potential to give the long-dormant franchise a much-needed shot in the arm.

Dead Space (Remake) Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC Release Date: January 27, 2023 Purchase More Info Like a Dragon: Ishin!

Though the game originally launched in Japan in 2014, the Yakuza/Like a Dragon series has seen an explosion in popularity since the success of Yakuza 0 in 2017. As such, Sega decided to not only bring the PS4 and PS3 title to the West, but rebuild it for modern platforms. This remake takes the Late-Edo Period samurai story of the original game and retells it using Unreal Engine 4. The gameplay, which veers close to the classic style of Yakuza games, remains largely the same, but the visuals and audio have received upgrades across the board.

Like A Dragon: Ishin! Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC Release Date: February 21, 2023 Purchase More Info Destiny 2: Lightfall

Ever since Destiny initially launched in 2014, players have fought through the Light and Darkness Saga storyline. Now, nearly nine years later, that saga nears its conclusion. While Lightfall isn't the final entry of this arc, it promises to effectively set the table for the conclusion, The Final Shape. In the meantime, Lightfall takes us to the distant planet of Neptune and a mysterious city on its surface, even as Guardians learn about a new Darkness-infused power called Strand.

Destiny 2: Lightfall Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC Release Date: February 28, 2023 Purchase More Info Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, from Titanfall and Apex Legends studio Respawn Entertainment, effectively established itself as one of the premier franchises pertaining to the famous universe. Jedi: Survivor continues the focus on Cal Kestis in the period between the Prequel and original Star Wars trilogies, where Jedi are hunted down by order of the Empire. This time, Cal must use all he's learned – including new lightsaber stances, combat tactics, and Force abilities – to escape, survive, and continue his push against the tyrannical forces of Emporer Palpatine.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC Release Date: March 17, 2023 Purchase More Info Resident Evil 4

Capcom continues its classic Resident Evil remake series with perhaps the most beloved game in the franchise. Resident Evil 4 remains a benchmark for third-person action and horror games. The original is often praised as one of the best games of all time (we ranked it #34 when we put out our Top 300 Games of All Time feature in 2018), so naturally, we're beyond excited for a remake. This new version still features the over-the-shoulder gameplay style it helped popularize but brings the gameplay, visuals, and audio into more modern conventions. If Capcom can deliver as great of an experience as it did with its recent remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3, we're fully on board for another tense, grotesque helping.

Resident Evil 4 (Remake) Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PC Release Date: March 24, 2023 Purchase More Info Dead Island 2

At long last, Dead Island 2 appears ready to launch. The game, which was first revealed and demoed at E3 2014, has experienced a tumultuous development cycle, with the game jumping from studio to studio over the last nine years. Fans of the first game are champing at the bit to get their hands on this title, and we are too, now that we came away impressed by our time with the game as part of our recent cover story. 

Visit our Dead Island 2 hub for exclusive content.

Dead Island 2 Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC Release Date: April 28, 2023 Purchase More Info The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild completely revolutionized one of the most beloved gaming franchises of all time, all while crafting one of the greatest experiences many of us have ever played. Tears of the Kingdom has the monumental and daunting task of following that game up, not only as the next mainline Zelda game but also as a rare direct sequel in the Zelda franchise. With an increased emphasis on verticality, including an entire world in the skies, Tears of the Kingdom takes big swings, and we are beyond excited to revisit our favorite version of Hyrule and uncover more of its compelling mysteries.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom Platform: Switch Release Date: May 12, 2023 Purchase More Info Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

From 2009 to 2015, Rocksteady Studios was the king of the superhero genre in video games thanks to its Batman: Arkham series. However, aside from a VR spin-off experience in 2016, the studio hasn't released a game since the conclusion of its renowned trilogy starring The Dark Knight. That changes in May, as Rocksteady is not only poised to release a new game but also explore another corner of the DC Universe. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League puts you in the shoes of the lovable team of villains. Players take control of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and King Shark as they are on a seemingly impossible task from Amanda Waller: killing the heroes of the Justice League, who have been brainwashed by Brainiac. Players can step into the characters' shoes solo or as part of a four-player team, but from all the footage we've seen, this looks to be a fun, irreverent blast no matter which approach you take.

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC Release Date: May 26, 2023 Purchase More Info Street Fighter 6

Following the missteps of Street Fighter V's launch, Capcom changed its approach and, over the subsequent years, righted the ship on its most recent flagship fighter. With Street Fighter 6, the team behind the course correction held the reins from the earliest stages of development, and they seem to have learned plenty of lessons from the tumultuous launch of the previous game. With those lessons in tow, Capcom has created a title that is as functionally solid as it is flashy. Thanks to a large roster of new and familiar faces, three distinct control schemes, and a wealth of content at launch, Street Fighter 6 looks to be the grand return of the industry's most successful and beloved fighting franchise.

Visit our Street Fighter 6 hub for exclusive content.

Street Fighter 6 Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PC Release Date: June 2, 2023 Purchase More Info Diablo IV

More than a decade removed from its direct predecessor, Diablo IV has some big shoes to fill. While some were left cold by the free-to-play Diablo Immortal, Diablo IV hopes to turn up the heat by returning to the classic style of Diablo gameplay and structure. This new mainline game retains many features and mechanics that made the franchise an industry leader while offering new open world and PvP features in a knock-down, drag-out fight against the return of Lilith. You had better start conditioning your loot-retrieving muscles now.

Diablo IV Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC Release Date: June 6, 2023 Purchase More Info Final Fantasy XVI

Anytime there's a new mainline Final Fantasy game on the horizon, it's a reason to celebrate. As a preeminent RPG franchise for more than three decades, players have come to expect a high level of quality in the gameplay, presentation, and storytelling. Final Fantasy XVI looks to carry on the series' pedigree in those regards, with an involved action-RPG combat system, stunning visuals, and a dark storyline rife with political intrigue and high stakes. Final Fantasy XVI also sees Naoki Yoshida, the man largely credited with the turnaround of the now-wildly popular MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV, stepping into the producer role for this single-player Final Fantasy title. 

Final Fantasy XVI Platform: PlayStation 5, PC Release Date: June 22, 2023 Purchase More Info Alan Wake 2

Hot off its 2019 Game-of-the-Year winning effort in Control, Remedy Entertainment announced a long-awaited sequel to its fan-favorite 2010 game, Alan Wake. While 2012's Alan Wake's American Nightmare served as a competent spin-off, fans have been pining for a true sequel ever since that initial title arrived as an Xbox 360 exclusive. Following Control's success, we learned that the game takes place in a shared universe with the Alan Wake series, with the eponymous author even appearing in one of the pieces of downloadable content. At The Game Awards 2021, we finally received an official announcement for Alan Wake 2, seemingly thanks to a multiplatform publishing deal between Remedy and Epic Games. We can't wait to see what new horrors await players and the often-verbose protagonist when Alan Wake 2 launches sometime this year.

Alan Wake 2 Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC Release Date: 2023 Purchase More Info Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon

Speaking of recent Game of the Year winners, From Software is already going full-speed ahead with its next game after Elden Ring took home top honors in 2022. This revitalization of the Armored Core franchise is the first entry in the franchise in 10 years. While the Armored Core identity remains intact, From Software says it has learned lessons from its success on Soulslike titles. With Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice lead designer stepping into the director role for this title, fans of From should certainly be excited for this long-awaited return.

Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC Release Date: 2023 Purchase More Info Assassin's Creed Mirage

While we loved our time in Egpyt, Greece, and the British Isles with Assassin's Creed Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla, the ambition and scope of those games began to feel overwhelming. With Assassin's Creed Mirage, Ubisoft hopes to return to the series' roots with more linear narrative beats and a greater emphasis on stealth gameplay. In Mirage, players step into the role of Basim, a street thief in ninth-century Baghdad who was first introduced in Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Under the mentorship of Roshan, Basim learns to become a Hidden One and fight for a meaningful cause within the formula of the Assassin's Creed franchise. We're excited for Mirage on its own merits, but we also look at it as the start of a new era, which includes a slate of games announced last year.

Assassin's Creed Mirage Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PC Release Date: 2023 Purchase More Info Baldur's Gate 3

Baldur's Gate 3 is more of a known quantity for us than nearly every other game on this list, thanks mostly to its more than two years in Early Access. Larian Studios used that time to listen to the community and adapt its plans en route to a full launch. The result has been more than 50,000 user reviews with a "Very Positive" rating on Steam. Now that we know the game is scheduled to arrive in a 1.0 state in August, it's safe to say that those 50,000-plus fans are eagerly anticipating the conclusion of the main story arc.

Baldur's Gate 3 Platform: PC Release Date: 2023 Purchase More Info Final Fantasy VII Rebirth

The first part of the remade Final Fantasy VII wowed us back in 2020, making the wait for part two all the more excruciating. While Final Fantasy XVI is set to arrive in the first half of 2023, barring any delays, we should be able to round out the year with the second part of the three-part Final Fantasy VII remake project. Final Fantasy VII Rebirth carries on the story of Cloud, Tifa, Aerith, Barret, and the rest of the iconic cast. With Square Enix making changes to the established lore through this remake series, fans don't quite know what to expect narratively, but if the gameplay and quality are similar to Final Fantasy VII Remake, count us in.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth Platform: PlayStation 5 Release Date: 2023 Purchase More Info Forza Motorsport

The eighth entry in the simulation-facing Forza Motorsport racing series breaks naming convention by ditching the 8 in favor of simplicity. Developed with the Xbox Series X in mind, Forza Motorsport claims to fully capitalize on the increased power of the flagship console, rendering in 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. In the time since Forza Motorsport 7 launched in 2017, the spin-off Forza Horizon series has flourished, delivering two critically acclaimed titles in Forza Horizon 4 and Forza Horizon 5. Forza Motorsport is set to jump off the starting line this spring, so we anticipate hearing and seeing more about the next evolution in the racing-sim franchise soon.

Forza Motorsport Platform: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC Release Date: 2023 Purchase More Info Hollow Knight: Silksong

There's no way to overstate how anticipated Hollow Knight: Silksong is at this point. The first game became a massive hit in the Metroidvania space when it launched in 2017, but following this sequel's announcement in 2019, developer Team Cherry has been frustratingly quiet. Thankfully, during last year's Summer Game Fest, Xbox revealed that Hollow Knight: Silksong is among a large list of games arriving prior to the midway point of 2023. With Hornet stepping into the protagonist role for Silksong, as well as various other improvements and additions, Silksong easily slots in as one of our most anticipated games of 2023.

Hollow Knight: Silksong Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC Release Date: 2023 Purchase More Info Marvel's Spider-Man 2

In 2018, Insomniac Games delivered one of the greatest superhero games of all time with Marvel's Spider-Man. In 2020, it followed that up with the excellent Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, giving us another good excuse to web-sling and wall-crawl through Manhattan. With the second numbered entry in Insomniac's Spider-Man series, players face off against new threats, including Spidey's most iconic foe, Venom. The narration in the reveal trailer also seems to indicate the presence of Kraven the Hunter, which would only further complicate things for the duo of webheads in this true sequel to that smash hit. Either way, Insomniac has a lot of hype to live up to, but nothing about that studio's history would make us think it isn't up to the task when the game arrives on PS5 this fall.

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 Platform: PlayStation 5 Release Date: 2023 Purchase More Info Sea of Stars

Sea of Stars dropped our jaws with its gorgeous art style immediately upon its announcement in 2020. Since then, developer Sabotage Studio (known for 2018's The Messenger) has drip-fed fans information on its upcoming RPG. Sea of Stars draws inspiration from classic games like Illusion of Gaia and Chrono Trigger (even going as far as including works created by Chrono Trigger composer Yasunori Mitsuda in its soundtrack). Additionally, Sea of Stars serves as a distant prequel to The Messenger. While there's still so much we don't know, the turn-based combat, diverse cast of six playable characters, and continually gorgeous visuals have us eyeing its mid-2023 release window with great anticipation.

Sea Of Stars Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch, PC Release Date: 2023 Purchase More Info Starfield

Starfield will be the first game Bethesda Game Studios has released without "Fallout" or "The Elder Scrolls" in the title since 2006. Now, since that time, the studio has churned out myriad blockbusters within those franchises, including all-time classics like The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Fallout 3, and, of course, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but we're excited to see director Todd Howard and his team flex their creative muscles with an all-new IP. Described by Howard as "Skyrim in space," and by another developer on the team as "a Han Solo simulator," Starfield has piqued our interests since the early days of its marketing push. With a massive playable area to explore and a narrative that promises to explore what it means that man now lives amongst the stars, Starfield holds the potential to be Bethesda's next classic title.

Starfield Platform: Xbox Series X/S, PC Release Date: 2023 Purchase More Info Tchia

With stunning visuals that harken back to Zelda games like Wind Waker and Breath of the Wild, Tchia brings a gorgeous tropical adventure to you from the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Inspired by the island of New Caledonia (the homeland of developer Awaceb's co-founders), players interact with a diverse cast of characters inspired by the culture and explore a gorgeous archipelago that uses the landscapes, music, languages, and folklore to create a compelling story within a fictional world. Tchia, the main character, can soul jump, allowing her to control any animal or object, with more than 30 playable animals and hundreds of controllable objects. Tchia first caught our attention at The Game Awards 2020, but it was our trip to New Caledonia to learn about the inspirations of the game that cemented this as one of our most anticipated for 2023.

Tchia Platform: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC Release Date: 2023 Purchase More Info Witchfire

Drawing inspiration from both Dark Souls and Destiny, Witchfire, from The Vanishing of Ethan Carter studio The Astronauts, is a single-player first-person shooter described as "a roguelite for people who hate roguelites." Following the onset of a war with witches, players step into the role of a Church-hired witch hunter with the mission of finding the witch of the Black Sea and retrieving a mysterious artifact that can help win the war. Gorgeous graphics, smooth gameplay involving both gunplay and magic, and a compelling premise make this 2023 Early Access title one we cannot miss.

Witchfire Platform: PC Release Date: 2023 Purchase More Info

Which 2023 games are you most looking forward to playing? Sound off in the comments section or email Feedback@GameInformer.com to let us know the games you can't wait to get your hands on!

Categories: Games

Sports Story Review - Over Par

Gamespot News Feed - Mon, 01/09/2023 - 22:25

Developer Sidebar Games' sophomore effort, Sports Story, builds off the successes of its golf-focused RPG predecessor by adding more sports to participate in and additional considerations to the golfing experience. However, these efforts veer too far off course from what made Golf Story as special as it is, creating an experience that oftentimes suffocates under the bloat of too many unwanted fetch quests and unpolished mechanics. A weak story and numerous technical issues also hamper the experience, making Sports Story a disappointment overall.

Sports Story picks up a bit after the events of Golf Story. After proving to be a capable golfer, the unnamed protagonist now finds himself on the cusp of signing a contract and going pro. After going through the motions of checking into your hotel, finding new golf clubs, and acquiring a license, you head off to the countryside for a little practice. Upon reaching your destination, you find the area under the abusive thumb of the bat-wielding Iron Dragons and decide to take on the role of a detective to figure out what's going on and stop this gang from ruining people's lives.

The story abruptly shifts around this early point. No longer are you an aspiring golfer doing his best to solve other people's problems through your golfing skills; instead, you start hopping from one location to the next as a freelance investigator, aiding people in the struggles they're facing and collecting clues related to the ongoing threat of the Iron Dragons. It's not all that compelling a tale to watch unfold, especially with many of the funny and memorable characters from Golf Story either only showing up in a limited capacity or being entirely removed from the plot in favor of focusing on the bland and annoyingly simple-minded protagonist.

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Categories: Games

Fire Emblem Engage Preview – Consider Me Engaged

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 01/05/2023 - 14:00

Platform: Switch
Publisher: Nintendo
Release: January 20, 2023

I had always observed the Fire Emblem series from a distance, worried its strategy gameplay wouldn’t be for me or stressed determining where best to start and how to play through the franchise’s various entries. Fire Emblem Three Houses was the first I gave a good try and 80-plus hours later, it’s one of my favorite games on Switch and turned me into a Fire Emblem fan. Since its reveal, I’ve looked at Fire Emblem Engage as a test bed: am I actually a Fire Emblem fan, or did I just really like Three Houses and its engaging Hogwarts-like school mechanics? If the 10 hours I’ve put into Engage so far are any indication, I’m happy to say it’s the former. 

Engage isn’t doing anything I haven’t seen before in the fantasy storytelling realm. There’s a hero who saved the world, then they were in a slumber for a long time, and now they’ve awakened to find the once peaceful realm they saved in potential disarray once more. They also can’t remember a thing, with memories of their past slowly mushing their way into the hero’s brain. That hero is the Divine Dragon and he, in my case, is the main protagonist of Engage. He holds an Emblem Ring that allows him to tap into the strength and battle intelligence of past Fire Emblem hero Marth. However, Marth isn’t just a tool to use on the battlefield, though, as I talk with him and strengthen the bond between us, just as I do for the various allies I’ve already recruited into my Divine Dragon team-up. 

Since those opening introductory moments, I’ve met new allies wearing Emblem Rings and have seen how those past Fire Emblem heroes come into play, both as a battlefield tactic and as a personality to engage with outside of combat. Engage’s strategy gameplay isn’t reinventing the wheel – it’s Fire Emblem through and through – but the game’s namesake, Engage, is the mechanic that allows an ally or the Divine Dragon to summon their Emblem Ring hero, be it Marth for me or Celica for another. Each character with a ring has an Engage form that looks different, can typically move more spots on the battle map, and is significantly more powerful or, in some cases, more supportive with full-team healing abilities. I love turning the tides of a battle with the Engage mechanic, and in small skirmish battles, I can mop up enemies quickly by activating three Engage characters at once. 

 

To that end, though, Engage is lacking in the difficulty department. Because of this Engage mechanic, I rarely feel threatened. If enemies are closing in on an ally for the kill, I can Engage and get there quickly to defend the allies. If enemies are swarming me, same thing. That said, I’m still enjoying every battle, be it story-related or more minor skirmishes. I’ve lost an ally here or there – I’ve opted to go the Casual playstyle where allies defeated in battle return after I’ve won because I want to learn more about the various characters I’ve met – but I haven’t yet lost a mission’s primary objective. I’m hoping the difficulty begins to ramp up here soon and based on where the story’s headed, I imagine it will. 

When I’m not engaged in battle, I explore the game’s central hub, Somniel. It’s the Divine Dragon’s castle, and it’s where you can purchase new outfits, armor and weapons, general items, and more. It’s also where you can hang with the dogs, cats, sheep, and birds you’ve adopted out in the world of Elyos, and you can interact with everyone on your team to raise bonds, listen to support conversations, and train. When I’m not selecting my next mission on the Elyos world map, I’m at Somniel. Much like I did with the monastery in Three Houses, Somniel has become a check-in pit stop of sorts. After completing a chapter, I head there and run through my list of routine visits to the various shops, the dining cafe, the training facilities, and more. I could see Somniel becoming monotonous for some, but it’s scratching that checklist itch that empowers me to view my Divine Dragon as the one in charge. 

 

Fire Emblem Engage hasn’t captivated my every waking thought, but everything I’ve encountered ranges from great to excellent thus far. The story has been exciting enough, but having not experienced any of the twists, turns, or true drama I know the Fire Emblem series is known for, it’s nothing remarkable at the moment. I fear (for my team) that those things are coming, and I can’t wait. But even if Engage’s story remains as by the books as it seems right now, it’s shaping up to be a fun Fire Emblem game, and that’s something I’m excited about for my Switch.

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Categories: Games

Fire Emblem Engage | New Gameplay Today

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 01/05/2023 - 14:00

Your hosts, Wesley LeBlanc and Brian Shea, have played Fire Emblem Engage, and in today's New Gameplay Today, the two discuss their thoughts on it thus far. The two talk about their feelings on the game's combat, how it's similar and different to prior entries, the story and characters, and why it's absurd that you can't pet the dogs you can adopt in it. Enjoy!

As you can see in the video above, Fire Emblem Engage has both Wesley and Brian impressed so far. Be on the lookout for Wesley's final thoughts in his Fire Emblem Engage review later this month. 

For more previews of some of the biggest games of 2022 and beyond, be sure to head over to our YouTube page for NGTs about Clive 'N' Wrench, Inkulinati, Outer Terror, and more. 

Categories: Games

Street Fight 6 Cover Story – The Dawn of a New Era

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 12/28/2022 - 20:00

Each mainline entry of the Street Fighter series is an important milestone in the fighting game genre. Though every numbered entry received critical acclaim, Street Fighter V sticks out among fans as the outlier of the series; the game experienced perhaps the most tumultuous launch of any Street Fighter game to date. But out of that trouble emerged something great. Thanks to the team’s persistence, post-launch roadmap, and an injection of new blood into the project's leadership, Street Fighter V drastically improved its core gameplay, online play, content offerings, and more throughout its six-year lifespan.

With the benefit of those lessons learned, many team members that righted the ship are back to develop Street Fighter 6. The latest entry delivers myriad improvements, new features, and a sleek new aesthetic while simultaneously acknowledging and paying homage to each entry before it. Street Fighter 6 feels like yet another evolution of the fighting game genre ushered in by the franchise that pioneered it in the first place. Read more...

Categories: Games

Clive 'N' Wrench | New Gameplay Today

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 12/26/2022 - 20:00

In today's installment of New Gameplay Today, hosts Wesley LeBlanc and Marcus Stewart discuss Clive 'N' Wrench, an upcoming 3D platformer inspired by games like Banjo-Kazooie, Spyro the Dragon, and more. You can watch roughly 15 minutes of gameplay alongside their discussion, including exploration in one of the game's multiple themed worlds and a fight against one of the early bosses. Enjoy!

As you can see in the video above, Clive 'N' Wrench is shaping up to be a fun 3D platformer to keep your eyes on ahead of its release next year. Speaking of which, Clive 'N' Wrench hits PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC (via Steam and GOG) on February 24, 2023. 

For more, check out this Christmas World trailer for Clive 'N' Wrench

Are you going to check out Clive 'N' Wrench next year? Let us know in the comments below!

Categories: Games

Star Wars: Jedi Survivor Preview - A Wealth Of New Details

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 12/20/2022 - 16:00

Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Release: March 17, 2023

The sequel to Star Wars: Fallen Order, Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, was announced some time ago, but developer Respawn Entertainment has remained mostly silent on what to expect. That changed earlier this month when a new gameplay trailer pulled the veil back on several new gameplay features, not to mention an impending March release date. We followed up with game director Stig Asmussen to learn more details about the anticipated title.

One of the most notable additions is the arrival of several new fighting stances for Cal Kestis as he goes into battle. “We have five fully realized stances in the game,” Asmussen shares. “A lot of it depends on the enemy that you’re coming across. It’s advantageous to use certain types of stances against certain types of enemies, and it’s up to the player to figure that out. It requires the player to break down the enemies and figure out what the best weapon of choice is.”

The new stances include a dedicated dual blade option, showing Kestis flipping and spinning his two separate blades at high speed. A separate new stance finds the Jedi wielding a blaster and lightsaber simultaneously, adding a new ranged dynamic to his moves. “It really speaks to where we find Cal in this part of the story,” Asmussen says. “It’s five years since the first game, and the dark times are still in full swing. He’s an unconventional Jedi, and he has to do unconventional things. So, something that would be frowned upon during the height of the Jedi Order? Cal’s finding he’s going to do whatever it takes.”

Players also get a new heavy stance leveraging the crossguard-style lightsaber, made familiar by Kylo Ren. “It’s a more confident approach,” Asmussen says. “It’s weighty; it’s beefy. But you have to be very measured on how you use it because the timing windows are longer with the blade.”

In addition to the return of well-received characters like BD-1 and Cere Junda, Respawn is introducing new faces, including a mercenary named Bode Akuna. “He and Cal form a special bond,” Asmussen says. “It’s almost like they’re brothers. And they’re not exactly the same, but they really do complement each other.” Beyond story considerations, Bode plays a role as a buddy A.I. character who aids in both combat and traversal.

Jedi Survivor embraces several new traversal mechanics, allowing for much greater flexibility in exploration. That includes using an ascension cable for climbing and crossing distant points and Kestis’ ability to tame and ride mounts. “It’s much of a wider Metroidvania approach,” Asmussen says. “Cal can cross huge gaps by chaining several types of skills together. But it’s also about how we approach these mounts and how they’re used to negotiate and dominate the world.”

It’s clear we’re just scratching the surface. There’s a new gang of enemies Cal must contend against. We also know Cal is visiting a new planet in the Star Wars fiction, which Asmussen says will be a central proving ground and place of exploration, alongside visits to numerous other worlds. The action and visuals (with some particularly impressive ray-tracing) look phenomenal. All signs point to a sequel that is more than ready to step up from the role of Padawan to that of a true Jedi Knight.

Star Wars: Jedi Survivor is set to arrive on March 17 for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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High On Life Review - Talking Heads

Gamespot News Feed - Fri, 12/16/2022 - 00:12

When I booted up High On Life for the first time, I knew what I was getting myself into. I'm familiar with the work of not only Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty, Solar Opposites) but also of his game studio Squanch Games (Trover Saves The Universe, Accounting+), so I had an idea of the sort of comedy that was coming my way. What I did not expect, however, was a 3D shooter with Metroidvania vibes that echo some of the best games of my youth, and more importantly does them justice.

High On Life tells the story of an unnamed protagonist--whom everyone calls "Bounty Hunter," even their own sister--fighting against an alien drug cartel that's invaded Earth. The cartel wishes to round up every human on the planet and sell them as the drug, which other aliens can consume via elaborate machines. Our bounty hunter hero is armed with Gatlians, a race of talking guns, and each Gatlian possesses its own attacks and abilities. The concept is admittedly very weird, but it's a well-told story that kept me guessing until the end.

At this point, it bears acknowledging that this is 100% a Justin Roiland project, complete with all the hallmarks of his comedic philosophy. Rapid-fire monologues, fart jokes, demolition of the fourth wall, ad-libs, dark comedy--it's all intertwined within the game's narrative and presentation. If things like Rick and Morty, Trover Saves The Universe, or Solar Opposites aren't your cup of tea, this won't be either. That said, I have a very high tolerance for this sort of goofiness and I found myself laughing throughout the 10-hour adventure.

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Next-Gen Update Review - Wind's Howlin'

Gamespot News Feed - Tue, 12/13/2022 - 01:54

In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the sacred is always at war with the profane, and beauty is always at war with blood. The series has always contrasted its world's physical glamor with its intrinsic violence, but never has that contrast been this uneasy, this convulsive. That The Witcher 3 depicts the immediate brutality of battle in great detail is not a surprise; many games fill the screen with decapitated heads and gory entrails. It's the way this incredible adventure portrays the personal tragedies and underhanded opportunities that such battles provide that makes it so extraordinary.

It is more than its thematic turbulence that makes The Witcher 3 extraordinary, actually. Excellence abounds at every turn in this open-world role-playing game: excellent exploration, excellent creature design, excellent combat mechanics, excellent character progression. But the moments that linger are those that reveal the deep ache in the world's inhabitants. In one quest, you reunite two lovers, one of which is now a rotting hag, its tongue lasciviously lolling from its mouth. In another, a corpulent spouse-abuser must find a way to love two different lost souls, each of which test the limits of his affection. Don't worry that these vague descriptions spoil important events: they are simple examples of the obstacles every resident faces. On the isles of Skellige and in the city of Novigrad, there is no joy without parallel sorrow. Every triumph demands a sacrifice.

Every horse Geralt has owned is called Roach. Talk about an identity crisis.

As returning protagonist Geralt of Rivia, you, too, face the anguish of mere existence, sometimes in unexpected, unscripted ways. The central story, which sees you seeking your ward and daughter figure Ciri, as well as contending with the otherworldly force known as the wild hunt, often forces this anguish upon you. But it was my natural exploration of the game's vast expanses that proved most affecting. At one point, I witnessed a woman sentenced to death, doomed to starve after being chained to a rock. It's a chilling sentence, of course, but it was only later, when I accidentally sailed past the tiny island where her corpse still rested, that the horror of her punishment sunk into my heart. The Witcher 3's story did not script this moment; it was merely a passing detail that might have been lost in the waves or overlooked in favor of the harpies circling overhead. Yet there she was, a reminder that my actions--actions that felt righteous and reasonable as I made them--allowed this woman to rot in this faraway place.

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