September 29, 2020 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment
Bandai Namco’s presentation during TGS 2020 included a lengthy look at their upcoming action RPG Scarlet Nexus, which is being developed for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC. This included a new story trailer, which focuses on the protagonist Yuito Sumeragi. Yuito is a psionic, a person who possesses powerful extra-sensory abilities, and he joins the OSF in order to help protagonist humanity from the deadly creatures known as the others.
While details about the game have previously focused on Yuito, Bandai Namco also revealed that he is not the sole protagonist of Scarlet Nexus. Another psionic recruit named Kasane Randall is the second protagonist, and the game’s story is divided between the two. Scarlet Nexus has a dual protagonist system, in which players will see the story through the eyes of both Yuito and Kasane.
The presentation also introduced the supporting characters Tsugami Nazar, Gemma Garrison, and Luka Travers, other members of the OSF and revealed new gameplay footage through a short demo uploaded here by GamersPrey. Additionally, the director revealed some interesting details through Twitter, stating that the OSF has restricted the aging of its members in order to keep the strength of their psionic powers. Whether this will play a role in the story itself or is merely an explanation for the characters’ appearances remains to be seen.
Scarlet Nexus is an action RPG that has previously drawn comparisons to Bandai Namco’s 2019 action RPG Code Vein, as well as the God Eater series, to the point where the producer clarified in interviews that Scarlet Nexus is not directly connected to those games. In addition to those games, the team behind Scarlet Nexus also worked on the highly-praised RPG Tales of Vesperia, which Bandai Namco has brought up when discussing the story-driven focus of the upcoming game.
The Scarlet Nexus release date is currently unknown, but you can learn more about the game by watching the TGS footage and visiting the official website.Tags: Bandai Namco, Scarlet Nexus
September 17, 2020 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment
At the recent PlayStation 5 Showcase, Square Enix officially unveiled the next entry in the Final Fantasy series. Final Fantasy XVI was rumored to be in development for a while, particularly when concept art for an unknown fantasy game from Square Enix’s Business Division 3 appeared on their website, and now it has been announced.
Check out the Final Fantasy XVI announcement trailer below.
Right now, very little is known about Final Fantasy XVI beyond what is shown in the trailer and the official announcement from Square Enix. Here’s what we do know.
Currently, Final Fantasy XVI has only been confirmed for the PlayStation 5. The trailer shown at the showcase said Final Fantasy XVI would also be coming to the PC, but that is not shown in Square Enix’s trailer or press release. It’s possible its PS5 exclusivity is temporary, but currently we don’t know.
It was long rumored that Naoki Yoshida, known to fans as Yoshi-P, would be in charge of Final Fantasy XVI. His work on Final Fantasy XIV made him a popular choice. He has been confirmed as the producer for Final Fantasy XVI. The role of director will be filled by Hiroshi Takai, who previously was the director of The Last Remnant and is the assistant director of Final Fantasy XIV.
Final Fantasy XVI is a single player action JRPG. Judging by the combat showcased in the trailer, it will be much faster than the combat in Final Fantasy XV or Final Fantasy VII Remake. We can see both melee and magic attacks in the trailer, but specific details of the combat system are still unknown.
Only a single character is shown in the combat scenes in the trailer. However, this does not necessarily mean that Final Fantasy XVI will not have a party or even that only the protagonist will be playable. The first trailer for Final Fantasy XIII and the original reveal trailer for Final Fantasy Versus XIII only showed Lightning and Noctis, respectively. Party members were only revealed later on. Therefore, it is still possible that Final Fantasy XVI features a party. Nothing has been confirmed either way.
The first trailer for Final Fantasy XVI gives us a glimpse of its story and world. It appears to be a high fantasy setting, something Yoshida said he would like to see the series return to. The main character is currently unnamed, but is the “Shield” for a boy named Joshua, and these two characters appear to be at the center of the game’s story. A handful of other characters are shown, including a woman who is potentially one of the antagonists.
Summons, referred to here as Eikons like in Final Fantasy XIV, seem to be highly important. Eikons are summoned or controlled by people known as Dominants. Shiva, Phoenix, and Ifrit all appear in the trailer, and since the game’s logo art appears to depict a fight between Phoenix and Ifrit, this is most likely a central conflict in the story. Crystals are also important here, another Final Fantasy tradition, and the dialogue suggests they are holding back an evil force known as the Blight.
The scenes shown in this trailer have led to much speculation about the specific story details, but trailers can be misleading. It’s too early to draw any definite conclusions about the story, the nature of Joshua, and so on.
We don’t know a lot about Final Fantasy XVI yet, since we only have this one trailer to go on. Fans are hopeful we might get more details this year, such as at the Tokyo Game Show this month, but the next big information reveal is set for 2021.Tags: final fantasy, Final Fantasy XVI, square enix
September 12, 2020 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment
At the September Ubisoft Forward presentation, Ubisoft officially unveiled its upcoming mythological action-adventure game Immortals: Fenyx Rising. First announced at E3 2019 under the working title Gods and Monsters, it will be released on December 3 for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, Nintendo Switch, PC (Epic Games Store, Ubisoft Store, and Uplay), and Google Stadia. If you purchase the PS4 or Xbox One version, you’ll be able to upgrade to the PS5 or Xbox Series version for free.
A new trailer was revealed at the showcase to demonstrate the game’s style and tone.
Set within the world of Greek mythology, the story of Immortals: Fenyx Rising is narrated by Prometheus and Zeus for comedic effect. You play as Fenyx, a Greek soldier who must become a hero in order to save the gods from the titan Typhon. (Note: Typhon is not referred to as a Titan in mythology, but a monster or sometimes a Giant. This is not the first time video games have named him a Titan, however, as God of War II did the same.) Like in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, you will be able to choose the main character’s gender. Fenyx’s appearance and voice can also be customized.
Ubisoft previously incorporated Greek mythology into Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, but it will have a much more prominent role here. Fenyx will wield special weapons and tools from the gods and fight powerful mythological monsters like the Minotaur. It is an open world game divided into seven realms inspired by the Greek gods, and the gameplay will feature puzzles, trials, and challenging boss battles. Another video shown at Ubisoft Forward provides an overview of what players can expect.
According to an interview with Eurogamer, the idea for Immortals: Fenyx Rising did come from their work on Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, as they wanted to explore the mythological setting in a game where they could enter more fantastic territory than the historical focus of an Assassin’s Creed game (despite its use of mythology). As such, there are many gameplay systems drawn from Odyssey, such as the combat and skill tree. However, if there’s one game Immortals: Fenyx Rising has drawn even more comparisons to from fans, it’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Hands-on previews from various publications are currently available, and a free demo will be made available for Google Stadia ahead of launch so that players can try it out. For now, Ubisoft also released an 11-minute walkthrough video showcasing more of the gameplay. Take a look.
Immortals: Fenyx Rising will be out on December 3. For more details about the game, visit its official website.Tags: Immortals Fenyx Rising, ubisoft, Ubisoft Montreal
September 4, 2020 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment
Mario is one of the most recognizable video game characters ever created, and with good reason. Nintendo’s iconic series has now been around for 35 years. On September 13, 1985, the release of Super Mario Bros brought Mario out of the arcades and onto a home console, and there has been plenty of speculation about how Nintendo might celebrate Mario’s 35th Anniversary.
Well, in a special Super Mario Bros. Nintendo Direct held on September 3, Nintendo revealed its plans at last.
First, Nintendo announced a new Super Mario Bros version of the Game & Watch systems, a line of specialized handheld devices that function as a watch and include a game to be played on the LCD screen. The first Game & Watch was released in 1980. This new one will feature a clock, 35 “little touches” to celebrate the anniversary, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2: The Lost Levels, and a special Mario-themed version of Ball (the game included on the first-ever Game & Watch device). Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros. will be out on November 13 for $49.99.
Next, Nintendo finally announced that Super Mario 3D World is coming to the Switch, something which had been rumored for quite a long time now. The Switch version of the Wii U’s 3D Mario title will include new content, in particular a new expansion of some sort called Bowser’s Fury. More details about this will be revealed soon. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury will be out on February 12, 2021 for $59.99.
Their third announcement was Super Mario Bros. 35, a new multiplayer twist on the original Super Mario Bros. that pits 35 players against each other online, with defeated enemies being used to sabotage the other players. Super Mario Bros. 35 will be out on October 1 for free with a Nintendo Switch Online membership, but it will only be available through March 31, 2021.
Nintendo moved on to reveal another twist on a familiar franchise with Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit. This special entry in the Mario Kart series comes with a physical kart and special gates that let players set up a course in their homes. The kart then reacts based on what is happening in the game as the player races. Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will be out on October 16 for $99.99, with your choice of either the “Mario Set” or “Luigi Set” to determine which kart you get.
The last Mario Kart game released before this was Mario Kart Tour for mobile devices, and the last mainline entry was Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the enhanced Switch version of the Wii U’s Mario Kart 8, so at this point it’s not clear if we should expect to see a Mario Kart 9 this console generation.
Finally, the last major announcement was another one that had been rumored ahead of time, Super Mario 3D All-Stars. This is a special collection that includes Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy. This will be the first time Super Mario Sunshine has seen a re-release, unlike the other two games, which have been ported in the past. The collection also includes an in-game music player featuring 175 songs from these three titles. Super Mario 3D All-Stars will be available on September 18 for $59.99, but both the physical and digital versions will only be available through March 31, 2021, a decision that has proven controversial among fans.
Nintendo didn’t say a word about Super Mario Galaxy 2, which has led to speculation about whether it will receive a separate standalone release on the Switch, be part of a second collection, or has simply been forgotten. Only time will tell.
Several smaller 35th Anniversary announcements were also made, such as Super Mario themed items coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons in March 2021 and a new line of physical merchandise being sold, but these were the major announcements. How do you feel about Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary plans?Tags: mario, nintendo
August 26, 2020 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment
After being leaked and then teased, two new games based on DC Comics characters have now been revealed.
The first is Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, an upcoming game from Rocksteady Studios. Rocksteady is the developer behind several successful Batman games that led to them becoming a well-known name in the gaming world, the most recent of which was Batman: Arkham Knight, and it was rumored for a while that they had a Suicide Squad game in development as their next big project.
(Technically their most recent game was Batman: Arkham VR, but their last major title was Knight.)
This game is another one set in the same universe as their previous games, but the focus is no longer on Batman. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League stars Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, and King Shark.
It is a third-person shooter that can be played solo or cooperatively with up to four players, and it follows the four supervillains on a mission to kill the heroes of the Justice League. It is due out in 2022 for the PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.
Hoping for something a little sooner than that? That brings us to the other new DC game announced…
The second rumored title now officially announced is Gotham Knights. This one is being developed by Warner Bros. Games Montreal, the developer behind the only major Arkham game not developed by Rocksteady, Batman: Arkham Origins.
Gotham Knights is an open world action RPG starring Batgirl, Nightwing, Red Hood, and Robin. Batman is dead, and these four step up to protect Gotham in his place. It can be played either solo or cooperatively with another player.
Strangely, however, Gotham Knights is not set in the same universe as the Arkham series. This is particular strange because Arkham Knight sets up the premise for such a game so well the natural assumption was that this game would pick up from there. Nevertheless, the developer confirmed that this is a separate story not connected to the Arkham games. Maybe this is to avoid conflicts with Suicide Squad, but it does seem unusual that they would pick this particular premise for a story in a separate continuity.
Perhaps the reason for this will become clear as we learn more about the game. In addition to the trailer, a 7-minute gameplay video was also shown from the pre-alpha build.
Gotham Knights will be out in 2021 for the PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC. Although there were rumors that it would be a “live service” or “games as a service” title, there is currently no evidence that Gotham Knights follows this model.
Fans of DC Comics and video games now have two games to look forward to: Gotham Knights in 2021 and Suicide Squad in 2022. Which are you the most interested in?Tags: Gotham Knights, Rocksteady, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Warner Bros, Warner Bros Games Montreal
August 18, 2020 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment
Remedy Entertainment often includes references to their past work in their games, and fans have long speculated that some of these are more than mere Easter eggs and the games actually take place in a shared universe. This possibility became most apparent in 2019’s Control, which not only included nods to previous Remedy games, but also showed a definite connection to Alan Wake through its upcoming AWE DLC expansion.
Alan Wake, which was released for the Xbox 360 in 2010 and then later for the PC in 2012, has now been confirmed to take place in the same universe as Control. Its plot features a writer searching for his missing wife as the events of his novel begin to come true thanks to a dark power, and this is the sort of Altered World Event (AWE) investigated by the Federal Bureau of Control in Remedy’s most recent game.
Remedy’s official website confirms that they’ve been planning these connections for a long time:
Remedy has introduced the Remedy Connected Universe, with AWE being the first “crossover event” to take place in it. They also have a new game from the Connected Universe currently in development.
The revelation that Remedy has been planning their Connected Universe for over ten years, along with the implications that some of the supposed Easter eggs are actually hints to this shared universe, have led fans to search for clues. Not only does Control contain references to Alan Wake, but the reverse is also true: Alan Wake includes numerous references to what would later become Control.
Control references in Alan Wake:
There was also a report that the Oldest House can be seen briefly in Alan Wake during a flashback, but this appears to be a glitch or illusion rather than an actual reference.
The Oldest House aside, Alan Wake and Control now explicitly take place in a shared universe, so what about the rest of Remedy’s games?
Quantum Break has frequently been theorized to take place in the same universe due to its numerous references to Alan Wake. One such reference that is much more significant now is the blackboard. Not only does the Quantum Break blackboard describe the plot events of Alan Wake, but it also explicitly uses the term “AWE,” which is then questioned as meaning either “Alan Wake Experience” or “Altered World Events.” Fans are divided on whether or not Quantum Break makes sense logically as part of the same universe, and it hasn’t been confirmed, but right now it’s the most likely candidate for another game in the Remedy Connected Universe.
From what we know so far:
And of course, there is the unknown in-development game already confirmed to be part of the shared universe.
Now, this is somewhat complicated by the fact that Remedy doesn’t own the Max Payne or Quantum Break IP, which could lead to them never being directly tied in even if the intention is there.
Right now, this is all we know about the Remedy Connected Universe. The AWE DLC for Control will be out on August 27, so more details might come to light then.Tags: alan wake, control, quantum break, Remedy Entertainment
July 30, 2020 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment
FromSoftware’s challenging action-adventure game Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has seen a great deal of praise and popularity ever since its launch in March 2019, and Activision reported sales numbers of over five million copies sold. This news also accompanied the exciting announcement of an upcoming free update that will add new Sekiro content.
As detailed by both Activision and the official website, this content update will include three main types of content:
Interested in fighting a boss again without starting a new game? That’s what these two new features will allow you to do. Reflections of Strength allow you to pick any single boss you’ve already defeated to fight in a rematch, while Gauntlets of Strength are described as “consecutive” rematches – in other words, a boss rush mode.
They can be accessed from any Sculptor’s Idol.
Three new “forms” will be added to Sekiro, but they are purely cosmetic, changing the Wolf’s outward appearance like costumes. “Tengu” and “Old Ashina Shinobi” have been revealed as two of the new forms, while the third form hasn’t been announced.
One is unlocked by beating the game, while the other two are unlocked through Gauntlet challenges.
Finally, Remnants are recordings you can make of up to 30 seconds of gameplay to be sent along with a written message to other players’ games. Players can then rate the Remnant video, which restores the health of the player who recorded it.
This exciting new update will be available as a free download on October 29. While the official website only lists the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC as target platforms, October 29 is also the release date for Sekiro on Google Stadia, so it is possible the Stadia version will include this new content as well.
Amidst all the excitement over this new update, it’s also led to a lot of fans speculating over what this means for the future of Sekiro. While FromSoftware’s other modern games have all received DLC expansions–Artorias of the Abyss for Dark Souls, the three Lost Crowns DLC packs for Dark Souls II, Ashes of Ariandel and The Ringed City for Dark Souls III, and The Old Hunters for Bloodborne–there has yet to be any DLC for Sekiro.
Many fans have been hoping to see Sekiro DLC to expand the story, with particular hopes for DLC focused on Tomoe. While this content update is no guarantee of a Sekiro story DLC announcement, it’s raised fans’ hopes once again by showing that new content can still come to the game. Perhaps there will be more Sekiro content added in the future.
Either way, it’s exciting to see new content on the way! Once again, you’ll be able to download this free update for Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice on October 29.Tags: activision, fromsoftware, pc, ps4, Sekiro, stadia
July 27, 2020 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment
At Microsoft’s Xbox Games Showcase, RPG developer Obsidian Entertainment showcased a few upcoming titles, including a newly-announced first-person RPG called Avowed for the Xbox Series X and PC.
While Avowed is a new epic fantasy RPG, it takes place in the world of Eora, the setting of the Pillars of Eternity series. Pillars of Eternity is an isometric RPG in the style of older classics such as Baldur’s Gate. Its success led to a sequel, Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. Both games featured a real-time with pause combat system (also known as “active pause” or “pausable real-time”) like the older isometric RPGs they followed, although Pillars of Eternity II featured a turn-based combat option as well.
Both games saw a relatively good reception, but that didn’t necessarily translate to sales. Design director Josh Sawyer reported that the low sales for Pillars of Eternity II meant they would need to “re-examine the entire format” if they ever made a Pillars of Eternity III. This might be why we’re seeing a new style of RPG set in the same universe.
Few details are known about Avowed at this point. It’s a first-person RPG, most likely with an action combat system. However, no combat is shown in the short teaser trailer. Its nature as a first-person fantasy RPG has drawn several comparisons to Skyrim and the rest of the Elder Scrolls series, but we don’t know yet if Avowed will be open world or not. The official website has been opened, but only shows the trailer and platforms so far.
Avowed will be available for the Xbox Series X and Windows 10 PCs, and it has already been announced for Xbox Game Pass. More details about the game are on the way.Tags: Avowed, Obsidian Entertainment, pc, xbox series x
July 15, 2020 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment
The Ubisoft Forward live stream over the weekend not only included a new gameplay overview trailer for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, but also its release date and an extended gameplay preview after the main showcase. Many more details have been released since then, so let’s late a look at everything that was revealed.
Asssassin’s Creed Valhalla will be out on November 17 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia. Its PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X release date has not been confirmed, but if you own it on PS4 or Xbox One, you’ll be able to upgrade it to the respective next-gen console for free.
The Assassin’s Creed Valhalla protagonist is a Viking warrior named Eivor, who can be either male or female. It features RPG mechanics and choices, dual wielding weapons, and an open world to explore that covers both Norway and England. You’ll be leading raids and recruiting new clan members to your settlement, and there will also be an online component that lets you create a Viking raider friends online can use in their raids.
In an extended preview from Ubisoft, we learn a bit more about what the basic gameplay loop for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will be like and see some of the previously-mentioned activities. During a raid on the village of King’s Bury, Eivor finds a Book of Knowledge and learns a new ability called Dive of the Valkyries, which helps the raiders reclaim the village for the Vikings. Next they attack Burgh Castle and show off more of the game’s combat as they fight their way through enemy territory. At the end, they have a choice to make – whether to spare their enemy or not.
The next section of the gameplay preview focuses on exploration as they discover many things in the game’s world: a cat that can be recruited, a “Flyting” insult battle, tattoo drawings to collect to give Eivor new tattoos, and a grim side quest with environmental puzzles that they stumbled across in their travels. Once they return to the story, we get to see the ramifications of the choice they made earlier and another battle to wrap things up. All of this can be seen in the 30-minute Assassin’s Creed Valhalla gameplay demo walkthrough posted by Ubisoft.
It appears as though the natural way they encountered the side quest in that preview is how side quests will be handled in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. That is, you won’t gather up quests from NPCs and then head out to solve them, but instead will come across them as you play and explore. More details about the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla side quests should be revealed as we get closer to the release date.
While there is a lot of excitement for Valhalla, there is also some consternation from fans who see the series straying further and further away from its traditional story and themes. After all, a Viking warrior isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you hear “assassin.” In fact, the Assassin Brotherhood and Templar Order haven’t even been established yet, although the series’ timeline established as of Assassin’s Creed Origins and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey allows for their predecessors to appear instead: the Hidden Ones and the Order of the Ancients.
According to an interview with Game Informer from April, Eivor’s goals will align with the goals of the Proto-Assassins met in the game, although further details have yet to be revealed.
Meanwhile, the modern-day storyline will continue as well. Another extensive demo preview, this time from the PlayStation Blog, mentions encountering Animus Anomalies. These glitches in the system will switch you to controlling Layla in the present day to continue that storyline as well.
We have a much better idea now of what to expect from the latest entry in the long-running Assassin’s Creed series when Assassin’s Creed Valhalla launches on November 17.Tags: assassins creed, assassins creed valhalla, pc, ps4, ps5, stadia, ubisoft, xbox series x
July 9, 2020 by Samantha Lienhard - Leave a comment
Nacon Connect 2020 featured the official announcement of the next game being developed by Spiders, who most recently released the fantasy action RPG GreedFall last year. Their next game is set in a new universe and is an action RPG for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC called Steelrising.
Steelrising takes place in an alternate history version of the French Revolution, where King Louis XVI commands an army of automatons. You’ll be playing as a robot named Aegis, who has been ordered by Queen Marie Antoinette to stop the king’s robotic army. Although the teaser trailer itself shows little more than concept art for the characters, the developers spoke a little more about the game afterwards.
As part of the Nacon Connect 2020 presentation, Spiders CEO Jehanne Rousseau spoke more about the gameplay and universe. Steelrising will have a “much more action-focused approach” than their previous games, although it is still an action RPG rather than a pure action game. Little has been revealed about the combat itself so far, except that you’ll find items to improve Aegis’s fighting abilities and that there are seven categories of weapons she can equip and use.
The world will include historical sites, such as the Grand Châtelet and the Tour du Temple (also known as the Square du Temple), and feature exploration that climbing, secret paths, and a fluid presentation. In addition to the main story, there will also be side quests for the player to find and complete.
In addition to GreedFall, Spiders previously developed games such as the cyberpunk RPG Mars: War Logs and its sequel The Technomancer, and the fantasy RPG Bound By Flame. GreedFall was their most successful and polished game released to date, so it will be interesting to see how Steelrising changes and improves their gameplay formula.
No release window has been given yet for Steelrising.Tags: pc, playstation 5, spiders, xbox series x