THQ Nordic announced today that it's bringing back the Black Mirror adventure-game franchise with an all-new entry. The game, developed by King Art Games, is set for a late November release.
While it shares a name with Charlie Brooker's BBC techno-horror TV series, the Black Mirror games debuted in 2004, seven years before the show. The new entry shifts away from the original games' point-and-click roots, offering direct control of the characters. In addition, players will be able to interact with horrific "vision-like apparitions," according to THQ Nordic.
The trailer below offers a glimpse of the tone that the developers are shooting for, even if it doesn't offer much in the way of context or a shred of gameplay.
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We'll learn more about the game next week, when THQ Nordic shows off a playable build at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Stay tuned.
Black Mirror is set for a November 28 release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
The Evil Within had you delving into a twisted mind to sift through the wreckage of a broken life. The Evil Within 2 follows a similar thread, but throws in a few twists to keep things interesting. Enter Stefano Valentini, a deranged murderer Sebastian Castellanos will have contend with.
The latest trailer highlights Stefano's photography, revealing how his focus very quickly became a twisted obsession, and how he fits into the game's larger plot.
Sledgehammer Games has announced that the private multiplayer beta for Call of Duty: WWII will start on August 25th, and it's driving the point home with a new action-packed trailer.
The beta will be available to players who pre-order the game on PlayStation 4 - a beta for other platforms will follow at a later date. Participants can partake in the new War mode, along with team deathmatch, domination and hardpoint matches, across three maps. They'll also be able to check out the new class-based divisions and have access to a limited progression tree. The game's social-focused Headquarters feature, supply drops, and esports functionalities will not be included in the beta.
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Call of Duty: WWII will launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 3. For more on the game, check out our hub by clicking the banner below.
The free to download NBA Live 18 demo kicks off today, giving hoops fans their first look at the EA Sports project that has been under renovation for two years. With a development timeline double that of a typical sports game, NBA Live 18 brings a host of new changes that developer EA Tiburon hopes results in an appealing alternative to the NBA 2K juggernaut.
I spent a few hours checking out the content available for the demo at a recent event at EA, which serves as the full intro to the created-player experience dubbed The One. You assume the role of a hyped college athlete who blew out his knee right before he was about to declare for the NBA draft. The injury forces you to go back to college to rebuild your reputation before trying to impress NBA scouts by playing street ball and in pro-ams like the Drew league. The demo picks up with your character (who you can fully customize) hitting the streetball games with his best friend, Nick Howard and ends with you getting drafted into the NBA.
Here were our five biggest takeaways after playing through the demo.
Conversations Drive The One’s Storyline
Over the past several years, NBA 2K’s MyCareer mode has used voice-acted cutscenes to develop the stories of their fictitious protagonists to mixed results. EA Tiburon is going a different direction in The One. Judging from our experience so far, much of the narrative takes place via texting conversations with your friend, agent, coach, fellow players, media types, and others. EA producer Mike Mahar says there are roughly a dozen core characters you interact with on a regular basis, and then a bunch of fringe people as well.
These chats are participatory, allowing you to make binary choices throughout the discussion. Based on how you answer certain questions and the objectives you pick, the story branches in different directions. You may have continued conversations with certain characters, and potentially burn bridges with others. Many conversations end with you choosing between either accepting a crate reward (typically a pair of shoes or other apparel) or earning more Hype, a new leveling system that unlocks the ability to purchase higher tier crates via the store as you rank up.
In addition to these conversations, EA occasionally sprinkles in one of the most annoying sports pundits on the planet, Stephen A. Smith, to talk about your player’s current situation. These First Take snippets lend an air of realism to The One.
Communicating most of the story through conversation trees may rob the story of some drama, but overall it seems to be a flexible system that preserves player agency. We're curious how it holds up over the long run.
Taking A New Approach To Player Progression
As I detailed in a previous NBA Live 18 write-up, EA Tiburon is building a new character progression system that has common with games like Call of Duty and Destiny than other sports games.
When first creating your player, you must choose which archetype you want to play as. I chose a Point Shooter in the mold of Steph Curry. This archetype has a "Give and Take" signature ability that allows your player to accrue stackable shot accuracy bonuses the more you dish dimes. The point shooter starts with two upgradeable primary skills - three-point shot and mid-range shot. These are the only skills you can upgrade at the start. As you rank up you can unlock two other primary skills of your choosing. At level 7, I got to choose whether I wanted dribbling or passing to be my next upgradable skill. At level 15, you unlock your final upgradable skill.
After settling on your playstyle, you can alter your height and weight. As you move these sliders up and down, you can see how they affect your initial speed, vertical, stamina, and strength.
When you reach level 25 and 30, you can unlock a secondary skill that can also be upgraded, but only to a lower cap threshold than your primary skills.
As you play games, you earn skill points for upgrading your abilities, the aforementioned Hype for unlocking new tiers of crates, and reward points you spend to unlock those crates.
Each time you rank up, you earn a skill point you can put into one of your attribute trees. These aren’t always simple point upgrades like most sports games. Sometimes an upgrade grants you a standard point, other times it may unlock a couple points as well as a shoe or signature animation.
Stacking on top of your skills are traits, which you can think of as passive bonuses not unlock loadout choices in shooters. The choices available to me at the start were Quick Trigger, which gives you a slight shooting boost that gradually diminishes the longer you hold onto the ball; Steal, which adds stealing to your skill set; and Windbreaker, which slightly reduces the stamina you lose while springing from the backcount to the frontcourt. You can swap these traits out before the start of each match, and set up different load outs for playing on the streets or in the league. Each of these traits can be upgraded from bronze to gold and perhaps beyond.
Overall ratings will lock in the low 90s, and EA producer Mike Mahar says the best players at this skill level will play like the best NBA players. When all the play styles are maxed out Mahar’s hope is they all feel distinct. Rim protectors should play very differently from a point shooter. Mixing and matching traits along with your teammates can create interesting stacking bonuses. Should players find exploits, EA has a way to easily tweak the system behind the scenes to address it immediately.
I’ll need to spend a considerable amount of time with this system to determine if it’s an improvement over the standard upgrade systems I’ve seen in other games, but I’m intrigued by someone taking a new approach. Users can create up to five characters as well, so you can develop alts just as you would in a game like Destiny.
It’s All About Getting Dem Crates
Shooters like Overwatch and Battlefield have won over (and angered) fans with their loot crate reward systems. NBA Live 18 takes a similar approach. The crates you have available for purchase correspond to your Hype level. You can always preview the types of items available in a crate before making the purchase. Street packs focus on urban apparel, and League crates offer more official NBA gear. EA plans to offer other specific crate types throughout the year to celebrate particular players or the release of new apparel/shoes.
We haven’t spent enough time with the crate system to make any hard determination whether it feels exploitative. The crates we had available for perusal featured only cosmetic items. When we asked Mahar if skill-based upgrades like new trait levels would be available in the shop he admitted it’s a possibility, but these will also be available to earn via gameplay in Live Events.
Live Events Add Unique Challenges
It may not be a major element in the demo, but their inclusion gives us an idea of how EA wants to incorporate live events into The One. These one-off events challenge you and a group of friends to win "boss battles" against stacked clubs or other contests. These feats may require you to equip traits you typically don’t take onto the court, and reward you with unique crates that feature limited edition sneakers, unique traits, or even new trait levels that cannot be acquired in the traditional leveling system.
Because EA wants Live Events to drive community creation, right now the company only plans to offer cooperative challenges. If your team fails to pull out a victory, you can grind the challenge until you earn the crate.
Not everyone is interested in multiplayer experiences, so we hope eventually EA incorporates some live events that solo players can tackle as well.
Gameplay Is Much Improved But Has Room To Grow
After playing NBA Live 18 for a few hours, I’m convinced the gameplay is taking a positive step forward. The dribbling mechanic is responsive, the defensive feedback icons make it easier to say in position while defending attacking ball handlers, and I saw a lot more variety in the shot contest animations when players drive into the paint.
While much of the play is improved, I’m not ready to anoint it a serious threat to NBA 2K just yet. Some of the animations still look stiff, especially defensively, and the grading system in The One still feels like it needs some work to iron out rough edges. I saw some instances where passing out of a double team for a wide-open corner three attempted punished me for giving up a good look. Other times, I was docked multiple points while in traffic for giving up an open look to a player the AI just transferred my defensive responsibility to the nanosecond before he took the shot. I’m curious how the gameplay will hold up to more scrutiny as I learn its nuances.
It’s still way too early to hand out a hard grade on NBA Live 18, but one thing I can say unequivocally is this is a unique approach the created-player experience. The unconventional leveling system and incorporation of live events give the game a flavor all its own, which is a positive step forward for a series that has lacked an identity the past decade or so. If these changes sound interesting, check them out by downloading the demo yourself.
Madden developer EA Tiburon just announced details regarding what's new for its Connected Franchise Mode (CFM). While there aren't any big splashy sea-change features, a bunch of tweaks are being instituted to tune the game in various areas.
Here's an excerpted list of some of the changes for CFM:
There's a customizable, drag/drop draft board.
The CPU makes decisions based on your draft board if you automate the process, and it adheres to a maximum player position limit and a "cooldown per position."
More top-tier and undrafted WR prospects. Decreased mid- to low-tier WRs. The range for maximum-rated top-tier WR prospects has been increased, while the minimum ratings for lower/mid-tier WR prospects has been lowered.
Better Awareness for all WR prospects.
It's harder to trade for rookies as well as players in the first year of their contract.
Other positions such as QBs and RBs have extra trade value and will be harder to pry away from their teams.
Players are more choosey about accepting offers, particularly lower offers when there's only one team bidding.
There are off-the-ball injuries this year, but also a reduction in the rate and severity of injuries. The frequency of long-term ones are reduced and the short-term ones increased.
As a concession to cover star Tom Brady, quarterback careers will be longer "when they deserve it." Brady himself will no longer retire after a single season in CFM.
Roster cuts occur in the last week of pre-season
Starters' playtime is now more accurate, with starters playing only one quarter in the first and fourth pre-season games, two quarters in the second game, and three in the third.
Increased XP goals for some positions
More XP for a Pro Bowl appearance for offensive linemen, WRs, and DBs.
Double training rewards for Superstar and Quick players.
Physical ratings cost more (Speed, Strength, acceleration, and agility), with higher costs at higher ratings.
Young players get a discount on physical ratings until age 27.
A.I. WRs upgrade more efficiently to increase their OVR, while Route Running and Release attributes cost more.
Power and Finesse Moves cost more for defenders by approximately 80 percent.
Accuracy, Throw on Run, and Play Action for QBs costs more.
Speed for WRs, CBs, and RBs don't regress below 90 due to age.
Regression is added more slowly over time.
Older players' Awareness regresses on underperforming teams.
Las Vegas and San Diego have been added as options. L.A. is removed.
More contextual drama has been added for the Super Bowl, and the fourth-quarter and two-minute drill. Gaudin and Davis also talk about the playoff hunter, weekly award winners, and recap earlier games.
For the full details, head over to the official blog post by clicking on the source link below. You can also take a look at my thoughts on where CFM appears to be heading in this .
The Marilyn Manson song "Killing Strangers" perfectly sets the mood for the latest Dishonored: Death of the Outsider trailer.
Taking place after the events of Dishonored 2, Billie Lurk (a.k.a. Meagan Foster) sets off on a mission to find her mentor Daud (voiced again by Michael Madsen) and put an end to the supernatural chaos unleashed upon the world by The Outsider. With no god-gifted superpowers of her own, Lurk finds some powerful artifacts to help on this impossible task of assassinating a deity. The gameplay shown in the trailer demonstrates just how dangerous she's become, and also gives us a glimpse of some of the new faces standing in the way of her mission. At least one new enemy type looks as if it's born from the void, and we also see new parts of the city of Serkonos. In one scene, Daud studies a map of Upper Cyria. A newspaper clipping hanging next to the map mentions that the "Eyeless" still remain an eyesore for the city.
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Dishonored: Death of the Outsider is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 15. To learn more about the standalone expansion that wraps the Jessamine Kaldwin story arc, read our .
With the Las Vegas Golden Knights joining the NHL as the 31st franchise this year, the league currently sits as an odd number. Commissioner Gary Bettman has already entertained the addition of a second expansion team in the near future, which is likely why EA Sports was allowed give users the ability to add the 32nd franchise in NHL 18.
During an event at EA HQ, we got our first glimpse at how franchise mode handles adding new teams to the league. You can only add the 32nd team at the beginning of a new franchise mode, which means you have to pick from the leftovers remaining in the aftermath of the Golden Knights' expansion draft. Picking second for every position obviously puts the 32nd franchise at an extreme disadvantage, but I looked at the experience like a challenge. Could I draft a team that could compete for a playoff spot out of the gate? Watch this video to find out if I had what it takes to put a winner on the ice:
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NHL 18 comes to PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on September 15. To learn more about the game, watch us article.
With stellar broadcast style presentation, realistic animations, and more facial scans than most other games, the NBA 2K series has always been a graphical leader in the sports video game genre. With the power of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One at their disposal for NBA 218, the team at Visual Concepts is pushing their own benchmark even further thanks to 4K/60 frames per second visuals supporting High Dynamic Range imaging.
Today a new developer diary breaks down all the areas NBA 2K18 is making graphical strides, from more realistic bodies and higher fidelity face scans to authentic jersey colors and the largest collection of scanned shoes they've had to date. The video goes on to address one area of improvement called for by many people who play MyCareer - better character creation. This year, when constructing your MyPlayer you can look forward to more varied body types, improved face scan technology, and a larger library of hair styles to choose from.
Check out the video here:
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PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners can get their first taste of NBA 2K18 on September 8, when The Prelude demo launches. The full game releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch (digitally), and PC on September 19. To learn more, read about the .
The game mechanics in sports video games are always a major point of contention with fans of the sport. Some worship the altar of realism above all, dissecting every mechanic to reveal whether it serves the master of authenticity. Others prefer a more streamlined experience that values fun over whether or not a particular player can get up the court in four or six seconds. The NBA 2K series has always straddled that line deftly, which is why every year the franchise continues to be a critical and commercial success.
Despite its accolades, developer Visual Concepts sees plenty of room for improvement. For NBA 2K18, the studio is making meaningful changes to nearly every element of gameplay. It even took a jackhammer to one of the most integral systems in the game - player motion.
I recently traveled to Visual Concepts' Novato, California headquarters to get my first glimpse of NBA 2K18 and talk to developers about the myriad improvements they have planned for this year. Here are the standout elements.
Enhanced Player Accuracy
Playing on the more powerful PS4 Pro console certainly didn't hurt, but the first thing that hit me firing up NBA 2K18 was the graphical fidelity and attention to detail. The courts feature vibrant colors that glisten under the bright arena lights. Player likenesses take another dramatic leap forward, as you can see in the above side-by-side comparison of Celtics forward Gordon Hayward in NBA 2K17 (left) versus NBA 2K18 (right) by Operation Sports guru Steve Noah. Even the jersey colors look deeper. The game also appears to have more diversity in body types and hair styles. This is unquestionably the best-looking sports game on the market.
Revamped Player Motion
Basketball is a fluid sport played by some of the best athletes on the planet. Emulating NBA players' incredible feats of skill while still giving users control of their movements is the holy grail of basketball games, but no matter how good NBA 2K looks, there are always some longer-playing animations that feel like they rob you of stick skills for a nanosecond. Targeting this shortcoming is the predominant reason why Visual Concepts decided to write a new motion system for NBA 2K18.
"We've been accused of being animation heavy at times, and this year we've done a good job of making the game feel like you are in complete control," says NBA 2K18 gameplay director Mike Wang.
To do so the team created a new physics-focused system that always accounts for a player's size, acceleration, and speed before compiling the animations available in a particular circumstance. "We have complete control over this thing instead of just the animations that play out," Wang says. "Sometimes in the past you'd try to cut and it might be really fast or really slow based on whatever animation you happened to get. So this year the animations are kind of being built on the fly. We throw all these animations into a blender essentially, and there is nothing predetermined with it. It's all built as you move around the court. To get that to look just as good as it has always looked is where the challenge was, but I think the feel is one of the first things that is immediately apparent to people. When they play, it just feels like you are completely in control of your guy now. You're not a slave to whatever animations fire off."
The fluidity of motion and differentiation in player ability in NBA 2K18 were the next things I noticed after the dramatic increase in graphical fidelity. Players leading a fastbreak don't seem to lose momentum as easily as they did in the past when receiving a pass. It's easier to blow past defenders with elite players like Russell Westbrook, but shutdown defenders like Jimmy Butler are hard to shake.
"We're not all the way there, it's going to take time to make it perfect, but I think we're taking a big step in the right direction to making it feel like you're in complete control of your guy," Wang says. "Things like fastbreaks, transitions, the half-court offense, the flow of the game, the entire pace, it all kind of just works itself out and it fixes a lot of the problems that I think people had with 2K17. Last year people complained about the fact that if you got a certain dribble crossover first step animation, then you'd get a huge advantage because you shoot forward. Stuff like that made the game feel cheap. If you got the right animations to play out, that's what made you better than someone else. We didn't want that to be the case, so that's why the motion system was so crucial."
The skill-based shooting mechanic of NBA 2K17 worked for some but pissed off a great many others, leading to an endless stream of updates where Visual Concepts tried to find a solution that made everyone happy. This year, the studio went back to basics.
"Last year we tried to push that skills matter, and I think we went so far with it that it was all about stick skills, and we kind of lost a little bit of what it meant to have a really good rating and shooting in the right context with the right guy," Wang says. "We looked at it like skill, and a player's skill should be about more than hitting a button and timing it at the right time. That's what last year really was. If you hit the button at the right time and timed it at the right time then you'd get the green flash and make every shot, so we were chasing our tails trying to reel it in so we still had realistic numbers. We just had a hard time getting there. This year it's more about the context, about your player attributes, your badges, taking the right shots at the right moments. Timing's a huge factor, but it's not everything. So this year it's just better balanced across the board in terms of getting the right outcomes based on what you're doing with the sticks."
A new shooting feedback system gives you the context to understand why your shot did or didn't go in. Immediately after shooting, a stat bar appears at the top of the screen that tells you how good your release was and how contested the shot was. Visual Concepts has some work to do in making sure shot contesting is accurately reflected - I saw some instances where a small guard like Tyus Jones was able to strongly contest a stretch big like Dirk Nowitzki - but overall I think it's a smart addition. Pairing this with the shot meter (that now appears by the shooter's head) should result in plenty of feedback to guide users.
Deeper Passing Controls
The passing system in NBA 2K has always given players a ton of control, whether via using icon passing, stylish dishes, bounce passes, lobs, or alley oops. Wang says NBA 2K18's passing benefits greatly from the new motion system. "Motion was actually huge boon to passing because we can predict movement so much better," he says. "It wasn't doing weird things like spiking or slowing down too much based on some of the animations. It's much more predictable, so it helps the passing system a lot."
This year's game also introduces even more variation in the way you can dish dimes. Sometimes the standard passing mechanic has a hard time determining whether or not you are intending to pass to the near or far player in a particular direction. This year you can control where the pass goes by how long you hold the basic passing button. Tapping it directs the ball to the nearby player, while holding it will attempt the longer pass. Be wary of attempting long passes with unskilled passers - I felt awkward big men were even worse at initiating transition offense with outlet passes than in previous years, and the defense is more confident in jumping passing lanes for a quick steal.
Advanced players can take advantage of a new passing featured tied to the Circle/B button. Holding this button down gives you control of the targeted pass recipient, allow you to steer them behind the ball handler for a hand-off or cut aggressively to the basket. Releasing the button then releases the pass.
Dirtier Paint Play
Strength matters in NBA 2K18. If your pick and roll play creates a mismatch and you suddenly have a talented big like Karl-Anthony Towns lined up against an overmatched and undersized guard like Isaiah Thomas, you can post them up and bang them right through the paint to the basket with minimal resistance. Wang says Visual Concepts also put a lot of emphasis in opening up the triple threat possibilities for skilled big men. "With the new footwork there's a lot more you can do," he says. "The up and under game, the hook, the Hakeem Olajuwon where you fake a shot and do a step through - there are all kinds of things you can do."
Freer Ball Physics
Whether it's a football, soccer, or basketball game, loose balls always seem tricky to program. Often times the ball seems to gravitate toward a particular player animation rather than reward the user who makes the best attempt at the ball. During my limited time with NBA 2K18, I saw several new circumstances where the ball would pop free, and the subsequent animations that played out looked much more realistic. "That's one thing we felt like is an exciting thing in basketball that we weren't capturing very well - the 50-50 balls - so we spent a lot of time revamping," Wang says. "When the ball does pop free, there's all this cool stuff that can play out. Guys can get shoved while they are chasing the ball down for a loose ball foul. You'll see guys tripping over each other and multiple chaining of guys diving for the ball and it's still popping free. That scramble is what makes the game feel like there's a lot of hustle in 2K18."
Better Defensive Coordination
One of the most useful additions to NBA 2K18 is actually turned off by default to preserve the broadcast look of NBA 2K18, but I strongly recommend hardcore fans turn defensive communication on in the menu system. This feature creates chatter among your defenders, calling out who they take on fastbreaks, whether to go over or under a screen, etc. that may help you shave off dozens of points against. "The idea was to try and make it like you're playing with other humans and these humans are communicating to you," Wang says. "That was the whole idea. In real life, a huge part of playing defense is just communication. Teams that communicate are usually better defensive teams, so that is what we really wanted to translate into the game."
The revamped coaching menus also give you more feedback than ever before about what adjustments to hedging, screens, double-team rules, etc. do to your team. Diagrams and short, descriptive sentences should help casual curious users get up to speed on the types of defensive philosophies basketball teams practice.
Not every player in the NBA is good at following rules, so don't expect everyone to do the right thing all the time. Visual Concepts is making sure the lazier defenders stay true to life via a new system they jokingly refer to as "artificial stupidity." If a player has low defensive awareness and isn't paying attention to a cutting ball handler blowing past their defender, they will be late to offer help defense. This is going to make defensive stoppers more valuable than ever before.
Coaches Matter More Than Ever
Over the last several years, Visual Concepts has gotten better at making sure players make the same kinds of decisions as their real-world counterparts, whether that be Steph Curry pulling up for quick threes early in the shot clock, chaotic guards like Russell Weskbrook challenging defenses in myriad ways, or stretch bigs being willing to step back behind the three-point line and pull the trigger on the perimeter. Now the studio has turned its attention to making coaches feel more authentic as well.
A new menu called system proficiency gives you the breakdown of what system each coach prefers to run. Each of the many systems (like defense, triangle, perimeter centric, etc.) comes with its own set of bonuses and negative effects based on how well the coach runs the system and how well the players fit into that scheme. You can quickly understand how good a coach is with a particular scheme via the five-star rating he has, and players have a colored rating that ranges from red to green that tells you how well they fit into that system.
To make sure the systems fit the real-world NBA schemes, Visual Concepts polled coaches, players, and managers around the league. This new system will play a key role in adding talent via either the draft or free agency in MyGM. If your coach's system doesn't fit your roster, you may also want to look at bringing someone in who can maximize your team's potential with a different system. System proficiency also plays a role in roster formation in MyDynasty. "This is stopping the Iverson/Kobe/Jordan lineups being on the floor at the same time," says designer Scott O'Gallagher. "We know that's not going to work."
To read more about NBA 2K18, check out our breakdown of the .
In a recent trailer revealed by NIS America, we are introduced to five quirky protagonists coming to the upcoming visual novel Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
The Danganronpa series has always been known for eccentric high school students who face death in unusual ways, thanks to a sadistic bear who watches their every move. Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony brings back these themes, but takes place in a different school and introduces new mini-games.
In the trailer below, we meet five ultra-talented high schoolers who will soon scheme each others deaths and face off in trials. These characters include Ryoma (Ultimate Tennis Pro), Kaito (Ultimate Astronaut), Himiko (Ultimate Magician), Angie (Ultimate Artist) and Monodam (a robotic cub to the original Monokuma).
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Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony arrives on September 26 for PlayStation 4 and Vita. You can read our in-depth preview to learn more by .
Though it won't feature , Life is Strange: Before the Storm should offer fans plenty of the heroine's brand of spunk, bite, and kindness.
The latest trailer delves into the relationship between Chloe and her new stepfather, David. By this point in the game, you can see their relationship is already somewhat sour, though it hasn't reached the levels of pure resentment shown in the original Life is Strange.
Hunt: Showdown is a satisfying twist on the survival genre, pitting multiple players against common A.I.-controlled threats, leaving the decision of when to turn on other players up to the two-person teams. Crytek has released the first dev diary for the upcoming game, which tracks the twisted path that Hunt: Showdown took during development, while also showcasing what makes it unique.
The game's set in a gothic horror-inspired version of the Old West, with five teams of cowboys scouring the map for clues about their ultimate prize's location. Telegraph your location by speaking too loudly to your friend or making too much noise, and other players may learn your location. Whether they decide to leave you alone or add you to their kill list is up to them. Once the main monster is slain, the hunters have to banish the creature's wicked soul before fleeing the map.
Take a look at the video below to see how this dynamic plays out.
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For a deeper look at how the game works and why you should keep it on your radar, be sure to take a look at on Hunt: Showdown.
At this year's San Diego Comic Con, Sega announced that , and today we got our first glimpse of the new stages in action.
The new gameplay trailer is a nostalgia trip for longtime fans. It starts by showing Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles running around in a few of the Special Stages, which are reminiscent of the levels in Sonic R. Then we get a brief glimpse at a stage that looks like Studiopolis Act 2 before the trailer transitions into the game's Bonus Stages, which are pulled straight from Sonic 3 & Knuckles. At the end, we get a look at the Time Trial mode and its handy reset button, which allows you to instantly start over as you try to perfect your run.
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For more on Sonic Mania, you can check out some gameplay from the new Chemical Plant Zone .
A new trailer reveals more of what hockey fans can expect in NHL 18's arcadey, 3-on-3 mode.
By default, NHL Threes' gameplay is more over-the-top, with bigger hits, faster skaters, and harder shots. There's also a randomized money puck, which can give your team extra points, or take away from your opponents' score. Both of these features are customizable if you'd prefer a more realistic Threes experience.
This trailer reveals some more details surrounding Threes, namely the singleplayer campaign mode, where you travel across different circuits to unlock new players, jerseys, logos, and more. Also announced in the trailer is the addition of mascots in Threes (perhaps this is the "more" that players can unlock by playing the Threes campaign).
If you want to try Threes for yourself, it's playable in the NHL 18 beta, which is now open to everyone on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
And to hear what we thought of the NHL 18 beta, where we go over what we thought about this year's changes.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was one of the big surprises at E3. Of course, we knew the game was coming; the surprise was how good it looked. After getting some extensive hands-on time with the game, we sat down to talk with creative director Davide Soliani and lead producer Xavier Manzanares about Mario + Rabbids’ unexpectedly deep strategy, the team’s response to early negative leaks, and the surprising ways Mario Kart influenced their development.
How does Mario + Rabbids set itself apart from other strategy games? Davide Soliani: Since the very beginning, when we started to brainstorm this game, we wanted to come up with something that was totally new. If we were going to propose to Nintendo, we knew we had to have something that they were not used to or that they weren’t already doing. So, we started with the intention of saying we should renew the genre a little bit. We thought that tactical games are known to be slow paced and they tend to be a little niche, so why not try to have something very dynamic and colorful and fast paced. That’s why our first reference was Mario Kart. How cool would it be to try to translate that kind of action into the combat of our game? Compared to a lot of other tactical games, you see enemies taking cover and the heroes are doing the same, and they’re both shooting at each other, but they’re not moving much. In our game, the A.I. is coming towards you, so you must react to the situation, and the action is focused on moving around the battlefield.
Did you ever worry Nintendo wouldn’t like this crazy pitch for a strategy game starring Mario and the Rabbids? Manzanares: When I first started working on the Rabbids team in 2013, we knew that we couldn’t do any more party games, because of player fatigue and even internal fatigue. But we knew that the Rabbids could bring something different to all kinds of games. We had some very good relationships with Nintendo and we felt that this was an approach that Nintendo would be keen to as well. Mario’s done fighting games, card games, racing games, but strategy games are one of the few areas that Mario hasn’t gone into yet.
Soliani: I learned two things working with Nintendo. The first one is that you never have to restrain yourself, you always have to deliver. The second thing is that they are very open-minded, they can accept a crazy idea as long as you have a good reason.
How are you guys balancing the game’s deeper strategy elements with the fact that many Mario or Rabbids fans might not play a lot of strategy games? Are you doing anything to make it accessible to newcomers? Soliani: Well the first and easiest answer is that we did many, many playtests. However, the first rule that we had was to be as accessible as possible. We are a turn-based game, so we remove the stress of having to decide everything at the same time. Players can take as much time as they need to make decisions. Through observation, I think players will be able to come up with their own tactics.
Manzanares: I think people are going to have to level up their game. If you’ve never played this type of game, the early areas are there to prepare you, but then you will have to level up your game as you progress. If you’re more advanced you’ll see a different approach from traditional turn-based gaming, but then there are challenges on the side for people who feel really experienced with this type of game. For players who don’t traditionally play strategy games, perhaps they’ll want to play more games like this when they’re done. If we could do that, it would be super awesome.
Do you think the depth of strategy will surprise people? I think some people see Mario and Rabbids and they assume it’s going to be a kid’s strategy game. Do you think the game is deeper than that? Soliani: I think that we want to surprise them - in a positive way.
Manzanares: I think that people will feel smart playing this game. I think they will say, "Hey, I can have an impact in this battle." I think kids can be super hardcore, so I’m not worried about the game being too hard.
Soliani: In the playtests, we had some nine-year-old kids, and I said, ‘That is not going to work,’ but then they were doing some crazy stuff, and I started to feel a little bit old.
Manzanares: We differentiated between those who have never played a turn-based strategy and those who love those types of games. Those are the two extremes. We felt for those who never play these types of game, we think they’ll say, ‘Hey, this type of game is making me feel smarter.’ While those who really play these types of games will say, ‘Hey, this is a twist on something that I thought I knew really well.’
Was there a reason you didn’t include Rayman in the game? Did you discuss putting him in at one point? Soliani: We discussed it, but honestly, we thought that the strength of the Rabbids is that they are a white canvas, so you can do pretty much whatever you want. You can come up with crazy ideas and they work. We tried to bring the same spirit into this game. Mr. Miyamoto kept saying, "Show me your colors. Show me your Rabbid’s humor even more. Show me how crazy you can be." Of course, Rayman was part of the Rabbids games in the past, but now those are two separate universes.
When the concepts for this game first leaked online, there was a lot of negative reaction, but when you finally showed it off at E3, it seemed like fans came around and got excited. How did that whole roller coaster feel from the development side? Manzanares: Leaks are never great, but even though it was something that you don’t want to see, we knew that at E3 we were going to show the game and that people would get to play it, so we stayed focused on that. When we saw the reaction at E3, for us that was the biggest moment. People started to ask, "Hey, what’s this game? We want to know more.’ And that’s when we started to say, ‘Okay, anything that came before, we don’t care anymore.’
Soliani: It was a little bit discouraging for me to see those early reactions a few months before we were going to show it at E3. We knew that we were doing our best to bring something new to players. Really, most developers in the world are trying to do their best to provide something to players that, most of the time, creates positive emotions, so when you get those kinds of rumors, it can be discouraging. But as Xavier said, E3 was the reality ticket. When we saw the audience react so well, it was a big reward for everyone. Two weeks after E3, when I came back to the office, we found a new team. It gave us wings. Player reaction and support is an incredible energizer for the team.
During that announcement, there were shots of you tearing up at the show, Mr. Soliani, and the internet embraced it. Did you find that flattering or was it embarrassing at the time? Soliani: That moment for me was a shock, because I knew that Mr. Miyamoto was going to be on stage, but I didn’t expect that he would call out my name, so at that moment, after three and a half years of development, I felt for my team all the weight of development and I collapsed. But it was not embarrassing, it was a moment of joy. Three weeks later, I was still processing that moment.
For more on Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle be sure to watch our .
Switch owners looking for something new to play only need to wait until August 29 for what promises to be one of the most unique strategy games of the year.
We got our first look at Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle earlier this year and were immediately impressed. After getting our hands on an extended section of the game, Game Informer editors Dan Tack and Ben Reeves sat down to go over the finer points of Ubisoft's unique take on strategy action. Watch the video below to find out why we're excited to play this odd mashup.
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For more on Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle be sure to watch our on how they were influenced by Mario Kart and why they decided not to include Rayman.
Ninja Theory's Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is out in just a week's time, and the studio is hyping up its upcoming release with an emotional trailer. Ninja Theory also confirmed that Hellblade will be enhanced for PS4 Pro.
The ominous-looking trailer shows off gorgeous CGI cutscenes, along with some fight scenes in slow motion. Check it out for yourself below.
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As for PS4 Pro support, Ninja Theory says Hellblade can be played at an enhanced resolution or at a higher framerate of 60 frames per second. You can read the official statement below:
Today we are happy to share with you the Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Official Trailer. In addition to the release of our new trailer we are announcing that Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will be enhanced for PlayStation 4 Pro.
PlayStation 4 Pro players will have the choice between experiencing Hellblade with enhanced resolution or at a higher framerate of 60fps. High-end PC owners will have the option to play Hellblade with an uncapped framerate and in resolutions up to 4K. Hellblade on PC will also support 21:9 ultra widescreen.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice releases on PlayStation 4 and PC on August 8. For more, check out our cover story from earlier this year which includes exclusive interviews, videos, and more. Click the banner below to be transported to the hub.
You'll have to free the citizen restrained by the autorities, localise and then infiltrate into control centers of the anti video games propaganda, retrieve gaming consoles confiscated from the population to dethrone the new Mayor, who is the cause of all that mess. Beware, some new security drones are patroling the city and you'll have to be vigilent at the cost of being chased and having to shake them off.