Few series have lineages as storied as Star Wars, which can be a burden for every new project that attempts to pull from its universe. For decades, Star Wars games have tried to retell the stories from the movies or diversify and explore the outside periphery of the galaxy far, far away. The story campaign of Star Wars Battlefront II charts a middle ground between the two, teetering on the edge of the movies we know and love without being directly involved.
The last Battlefront game that released in 2015 alongside The Force Awakens was a multiplayer-only affair that focused on back-and-forth battles across Star Wars history. However, one of the major complaints from fans was the lack of a single-player campaign, prompting EA to bring a high-budget campaign for the sequel.
Developed by EA Motive, the studio headed by former Assassin’s Creed producer Jade Raymond, the campaign puts the player in the shoes of Iden Versio. As a lifelong servant of the Empire, she has dedicated to the cause of wiping out the Rebel Alliance as commander of the Inferno Team. When the game starts, Iden is captured by the enemy and has to remotely control her backpack droid to free her. From there, she’s one blaster rifle and a hundred Rebels away from escaping the ship.
The prologue mission introduces you to all the basic game mechanics. Iden can use her droid to zap enemies into unconsciousness, which is good for stealth approaches. This skill requires a cooldown that can be lessened by killing enemies or making headshots, so Iden can’t avoid fighting for long.
After she makes her escape from the rebel frigate, Iden meets with her team to discuss the Empire’s counter-offensive on Endor. The then game leaps into the future to the forest moon just before the climactic moment where the Millennium Falcon blows up the Death Star as Iden and the rest of the Inferno Team try to fight their way back to their command post. Interestingly, some of the firefights here can be skipped, if you are feeling too moral to shoot some celebrating Rebels from the grassy knoll.
While the larger space of Endor does not quite have a Halo-like quality of tackling encounters any way you see fit, there is a lot less linearity to the level design than in the cramped hallways of the prologue chapter. You can sneak around the enemy, attack from behind, or lead a group of pursuers into a small enough space where you can take them all out with a grenade.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
Iden commandeers a TIE Fighter and heads into space, looking for her Admiral and father to reconvene. She finds his ship being bombarded by Y-Wings, forcing her into a space battle. The full space battles lack the strategic element of 1994’s TIE Fighter, but they are as fast and frantic as you would hope. Chasing an X-Wing through the remains of exploded Death Star as you both weave through debris is exciting and leaves you gasping at every near miss.
The chapter ends with Iden receiving posthumous orders from the Emperor, who left one final mission for his subordinates and was maybe better at predicting the future than people gave him credit for. The goals of the mission aren’t clear, but the objectives are, and Iden is more than willing to rebuild the empire that she believes is a force of good in the world.
The third chapter starts with a slightly volved space battle, allowing Iden to dock into enemy ships, shoot up their bay, and then proceed to their main computers on foot.
Battlefront II’s story campaign is likely the best Star Wars has ever looked in video game form. During some moments I squinted and was unable to tell the difference between the game’s cutscenes and the movies themselves. Space battles are visual treats, and I occasionally found myself being so distracted by what I saw that I crashed into the broad side of a Star Destroyer.
I ultimately walked away from Battlefront II wanting to play more of the campaign, but also hoping that the rest of it becomes teresting. I worry that Iden’s story will follow too many familiar tropes of confusion, redemption, and eventually rebellion, which would be disappointing if it does not subvert expectations. The gaming landscape has had Titanfall II and Doom’s campaigns since the last Battlefront released, so Battlefront II's campaign has big shoes to fill if it wants to impress when it releases on November 17.
The latest trailer for Pokeómon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon outlines a looming battle between darkness and light.
Along with its good versus evil allegory, the trailer also reveals new Pokeómon you can ride (was that Solgaleo?), what appears to be a Star Fox-style flying sequence (was that Lunala?), as well as a promise that, "This isn't the Alola you thought you knew."
Pokeómon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon are coming to 3DS on November 17.
Activision released three new trailers today for the upcoming Call of Duty: WWII. Instead of teasing in-game footage or revealing a cinematic trailer, the video is a lighthearted live action trailer that invites players to reassemble their group of friends to prepare for the game's release.
Three teasers were revealed for different regions: US, France, and UK. Each are slightly different with varying actors, but all have a similar amusing tone and message. You can view them all below:
(Please visit the site to view this media)
(Please visit the site to view this media)
(Please visit the site to view this media)
For more on Call of Duty: WWII, you can take a look at that includes exclusive videos, interviews, and more. Call of Duty: WWII releases on November 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Sony and Polyphony Digital are celebrating Gran Turismo’s 20th birthday a few months early in preparation for the launch of Gran Turismo Sport next week.
A video released today features executives from Polyphony and Sony explaining a bit of the history of the series and what it’s been like to work on the games. President of Sony Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida also explains how Polyphony CEO Kazunori Yamauchi’s always optimistic attitude encouraged the team during the development of the original Gran Turismo.
There are a lot of interesting quotes about the series’ development and how it’s changed over the years, including tidbits about the scale of Gran Turismo Sport and the effort that has gone into developing it. Be sure to check out the video below.
Even though it's typically obscured beneath a haze of slapstick and rubber-duck jokes, TT Games' Lego titles do actually contain narrative strings that tie the experiences together. Really! If you don't believe us, a new trailer for Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 will certainly dismantle your skepticism. It highlights the main conflict between a massive roster of heroes and their time-travelling foe, Kang the Conqueror. Also, it's narrated by Cosmo The Spacedog, who is a good boy.
You may recognize the voice of Kang the Conqueror, too. Actor Peter Serafinowicz, who plays TheTick on Amazon's The Tick voices the villain.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
Warner Interactive revealed a slew of characters at New York Comic Con, too. They include: Grandmaster (Thor: Ragnarok), Valkyrie (Thor: Ragnarok), Arizona Annie, Blade, Captain Avalon, Charlie-27, Chipmunk Hunk, Dormammu, Ghost Rider & Hell Cycle, Hellcow, Hobgoblin, Hulk 2099, Koi Boi, Lady Spider, Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Morbius, Phantom Rider, Red Wolf, Living Totem, Squirrel Girl, Super Adaptoid, and Ursa Major.
Players can expand the roster further by purchasing either the $14.99 season pass or the game's deluxe edition, which will add 60 additional characters and six levels. The levels are based on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and The Wasp, Cloak & Dagger, and The Runaways.
Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC on November 14.
The Evil Within 2 launches this Friday on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. We still don't know exactly how this sequel begins, but you can take a look at Sebastian Castellanos' first steps in a new version of STEM, the device that links minds together and brings horrors to life. This 40-minute clip does contain small story spoilers, but more so serves the purpose of showing how the new free-form exploration works in the city of Union.
The Nintendo World Championships were yesterday and hosted a number of Nintendo-themed gaming challenges for some of the world's best players to take on. The entire event (embedded below) is worth watching, but the final challenge is the most interesting, since it features a brand-new level from Super Mario Odyssey.
The challenges (which you can watch starting at the 4:34:54 mark in the video) had the final two competitors for the event, John Numbers and Thomas G, fighting for a five-second head start in the final challenge, which featured a boss fight from Odyssey. The new levels featured several 2D-platforming segments, some tricky flicking using Cappy, and an ice level featuring deadly rings and rotating platforms.
Bandai Namco has announced God Eater 3, a new title in the action-RPG series. The game's brief first trailer (below) features the same tactical weapon-switching that's become a staple of the series, as well as the big ol' bosses (named Aragami). The plot involves the main character breaking free from comically thick handcuffs in order to continue their mission of killing giant baddies with their transforming weapons, called God Arcs. The official press release also hints at a growing conflict within the God Eaters themselves.
Bandai Namco has not announced platforms for the game. However, judging by the look of the game and the Vita continuing to trail off worldwide, this could be the new game in the series (besides God Eater: Resurrection, a remake of God Eater Burst which made its way to the PS4) to land on modern consoles, which could help the series find a new audience.
As we inch towards Super Mario Odyssey's release later this month, Nintendo is trickling out new details surrounding the highly anticipated platformer. The newest trailer gives fans an overview of Mario's capture ability, along with new game modes including Assist Mode and co-op.
The trailer gives a lot of raipid-fire information about Mario's powers, such as how Cappy can help him reach higher places and the numerous beings he can capture. With the Odyssey, a giant hat-shaped flying ship, Mario can traverse the world to reach its many kingdoms. We also see more of the photo mode in action, where you can pause gameplay to take a snapshot, as well as a quick overview of several minigames that are scattered around the world.
Co-op is shown briefly in the video, where you can pass a joy-con to a friend to play together. In this mode, one player controls Mario while the other takes control of Cappy. We also learn about Assist Mode, which gives players some guidance through the campaign, such as arrows pointing you in the right direction and second chances if you fall to your death.
To see all of this in action, check out the video below.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
For more on Super Mario Odyssey, read to see how wacky this platformer can get. Super Mario Odyssey releases on October 27 for Nintendo Switch.
This article original appeared in Game Informer issue 294.
Famed game creator Shinji Mikami, known as the "father of survival
horror" for his work on the Resident Evil series, is not returning to
the director’s chair for The Evil Within 2. After successfully launching
this new horror series, he stepped back to let his young team at Tango
Gameworks take the reins. While Mikami remains a key player in
overseeing the progress of this sequel, he handed the bloody directorial
baton to John Johanas, who served as a visual effects designer on The
Evil Within, but also got his feet wet as the director of the game’s two
DLC add-ons, The Assignment and The Consequence.
The shakeup in
direction doesn’t mean a new start for the series. Unlike the first few
Resident Evil games, which introduced new protagonists and threats, The
Evil Within 2 once again inflicts pain and suffering upon Sebastian
Castellanos, a detective for the Krimson City Police Department who lost
his family, sobriety, and everything but his sanity.
beginning of The Evil Within, Castellanos was dispatched to investigate
multiple homicides at Krimson City’s Beacon Mental Hospital, but soon
found himself the pawn in a sinister game created by a mysterious
organization called Mobius, as well as a sick individual named Ruben
Victoriano (known more commonly as Ruvik).
After losing his
sister in a barn fire, Ruvik created a device called STEM that unites
multiple users’ minds into one, allowing them to physically live within
one central user’s memories. Ruvik created this machine with the hope of
seeing his sister again. He was sloppy in his experimentation, and the
technology soon became the desire of Mobius. They killed Ruvik and stole
his creation, but soon realized that they needed his brain to operate
it. They reanimated his brain to use it as the central operating system
of STEM, which was activated again when Castellanos entered the
Castellanos was trapped in a world of horror where he
experienced Ruvik’s torment and anger firsthand. After a hellish
journey, he ended Ruvik’s psychological threat by detaching his brain
from STEM, but it may not have stopped him completely. The game’s
conclusion is left ambiguous, perhaps implying Ruvik returned to the
real world and is now controlling the body of a patient named
Three years have passed since the incident at
Beacon Mental Hospital, and Castellanos has been searching for answers
that may link Mobius to the death of his family. As The Evil Within 2
begins, he receives a message from his former partner Juli Kidman, who
was secretly working for Mobius the entire time.
three years since Beacon happened, you’ve been searching for answers,"
she said in a recording. "You didn’t find what you were looking for
because they didn’t want you to. Mobius knows you’ve been following us.
They’ve been watching you for a long time. You trained and trusted me,
and in return I betrayed you. Long before we met, you lost your daughter
Lily. She’s still alive. This is your chance to save her; to get back
what you lost. Lily needs you. You’re going to need to go back into
As reluctant as Castellanos is to return to a world
that nearly killed him a hundred times over, he learns that the central
brain being used for this new iteration of STEM is his daughter’s. He
must enter her mind to locate her, and hopefully save her. He also hopes
to destroy Mobius in the process.
An Old Threat Reborn Our
demo begins in the game’s second chapter, called "Something Not Quite
Right." We don’t know what events precede this playthrough, but the
dialogue leads us to believe Sebastian just entered STEM again.
is back as a guiding voice, but an untrusted one now that Castellanos
knows her true intentions. She tells him that he should begin by looking
for the members of Mobius’ lost Search Party Team, who disappeared in a
town called Union. She suggests they may have a lead on Lily. The town,
which is created by Lily, is supposed to be quaint and peaceful,
showing how STEM should -really -work.
We meet Castellanos in a
deteriorating elevator, but he already looks like he’s been through
hell. His right hand is bandaged, he looks disheveled, and although he’s
wearing a tactical shoulder holster, he appears to have already lost
When the elevator doors open, the environment around
him is shrouded in darkness. A lone florescent light illuminates a
small section of a regal black and white checkered floor. A fenced in
area can faintly be seen to the left. Castellanos approaches the light,
and ducks down to squeeze through a hole in the fence that appears to
have been munched on by something large. Again, we see nothing but an
unnerving black. Castellanos activates his flashlight, which provides a
little comfort, but not nearly enough. A quick scan of the area reveals
nothing of importance - more fencing to the left, torn white drapes to
the right, and the makings of machinery and equipment for a factory.
Looking dead ahead, Castellanos sees dozens of corpses wearing white
robes dangling from ropes. They all appear to have been hanged, but the
blood on their bodies shows something sinister happened to them before
The only way forward is through the corpses. Castellanos
moves slowly, but accidentally runs into a couple of them. They remain
dead, swaying gently from his touch. The sea of bodies gives way to a
metal wall with a red eye painted on it. He can’t interact with it, but a
loud swooshing sound rings out, and he spins to see a camera on a
tripod across the room. He examines it, and again hears a swoosh. The
dangling bodies have moved, and now are lined in straight rows,
revealing a clear path to a metal door. Castellanos cautiously inches
forward, and opens it. A well-dressed man stands directly behind the
door holding a camera. Before Castellanos can do anything, the camera
flashes brightly, and then we see nothing but darkness.
on the floor of a new room, Castellanos sees a wall-sized mirror
holding the photograph that was just taken of him. Frustration begins to
sink in. He angrily grabs the photo, and then sees something out of the
corner of his eye - a woman dressed in red reflected in the mirror. A
quick spin reveals nothing, just more white drapes covering age-old
items. Castellanos turns back toward the mirror, which now holds the
sinister smile of a demon that looks like Laura, the spider-like demon
that stalked him throughout the first game.
The mirror shatters
loudly, and this new version of Laura now caled "Guardian" stands in his
world. As a manifestation of Lily’s mind, she’s different now, standing
somewhat normally on two legs, but is at least 12-feet tall. Her hair
is still a hypnotic mess of black, but it’s no longer her defining
feature; her right arm is replaced by a gigantic, spinning saw blade. A
deeper look at Guardian’s body reveals her flesh is sewn together with
black wire, and every once in a while you can see smaller arms reaching
out from her limbs. She’s a monstrosity, and once again
Castellanos spins and runs, turning every
which way, but the room is relatively small, offering no escape route.
Guardian laughs hysterically, but has trouble keeping tabs on her prey’s
location. This allots Castellanos time to sprint past her into the
opening where the mirror once sat. Guardian’s wild laughter keeps up
with Castellanos’ descent into a lengthy hallway, his stamina draining
with each step.
Castellanos looks back to see where Guardian is,
only to see her burst through a wall. The pursuit continues, and panic
is clearly setting in on our unlucky protagonist. He keeps looking
behind him, but should keep his gaze directly ahead to a glowing white
door that has silently opened to reveal the man with the camera again.
He’s done taking photos, and now wields a sizable hunting knife. The man
throws the blade forward and it slides easily into Castellanos’
shoulder, sending him to the ground. The man turns around and vanishes
in a puff of smoke. Guardian’s pursuit intensifies. She lunges forward
and grabs Castellanos off of the floor with what appears to be three
separate hands that make up her left arm. As he’s being strangled to
death, Castellanos pulls the knife from his arm and jams it into his
attacker. She drops him and screams in pain, creating a window for
escape. After entering the doorway of light, Castellanos falls to the
ground, and the door behind vanishes in a flash. He’s now in a quaint,
This is how our hero obtains his first weapon:
the hunting knife. This dramatic moment also signals a shift away from
unrelenting action to Castellanos becoming the hunter through
Fighting Back Electricity still
pumps through the home, and many of the rooms have working lights that
show it’s been lived in recently. The windows are broken and trash bags
are everywhere, but everything else is pristine, such as the nicely
arranged vases on the mantel and modern furniture. The home holds
healing items, the first of 40 hidden documents, and a handgun.
Castellanos almost misses the firearm when leaving the house through the
front door, but grabs it from an end table with one foot out of the
Standing outside on the front porch, his surroundings
are darkened woods with a tall tree canopy blocking out most of the
moonlight, but not the light rain. A concrete path begs him to venture
into the woodlands, and he wastes no time finding out where it leads. He
assures himself, "Don’t worry. It’s just a small, quiet town," but
takes it back seconds later, "Yeah... Too quiet."
A good way down
the path, he sees a woman sprint into another home. He calls for her,
but she doesn’t break stride. He tries to knock on the door, but it
slides open when his hand touches it. Again, darkness, but this time
with a voice saying "Skin and bones... Eat. Gotta eat..." We then see
plastic bags filled with unrecognizable meat, and a woman at a table
feeding a boy. He looks near dead, but his gargles say otherwise. She
slaps him when he struggles to swallow whatever she spooned him. "Don’t
cry. I’m doing what’s best for you," she says, as she slams his head
against the table.
It’s a disturbing moment, and for the sake of
spoilers I won’t detail what happens next, but Castellanos learns humans
are more than they seem. Their heads are made up of white tentacles
that squirm wildly, but almost appear to be made of milk or glue.
far in this demo, one of the big things jumping out is Castellanos’
animations. He may vocalize his thoughts to a thing he is seeing, but
you’ll sometimes seem little animations that go along with his state of
thought. When he approaches the boy at the kitchen table, he puts his
left hand up to his face to cover his nose, and then his right as he
draws in closer. If the player didn’t approach the table, this little
sequence wouldn’t be seen. A thorough inspection of the house reveals
the crafting component gunpowder.
Castellanos once again enters
the wooded area. The rain has ceased and nightfall appears to be setting
in. A short run down the stone path leads to a road with abandoned cars
obscured in light fog. The sounds of gunshots and yelling ring out.
Castellanos tracks the sounds to what appears to be the heart of the
city, with several small two-to three-story buildings and a church.
when it seems the coast is clear, several rotting zombies sprint across
the road in hot pursuit of a Union security detail. Although the detail
is decked out in flak jackets and equipped with heavy artillery, there
are too many zombies to deal with. A few panicked shots hit their marks,
but the zombie hunger wins out. One Union member enters a house and
slams the door.
Castellanos uses stealth to navigate the swarm,
sliding along the side of cars and emerging at the right times to
silently take down lone zombies with a knife through the top of their
skulls. Enemies have three stages of alertness: a sound wave indicating
they hear you, a partially open eye for thinking they saw something, and
an open eye for full awareness. Although timing is everything, and
Castellanos won’t want to remain exposed for too long, he wants to
recover the Green Gel enemies drop, which can be used later to upgrade
Most of the zombies are feeding on their new
meals, and Castellanos has no problem making short work of them. A close
look at one of their corpses again reveals the milky substance on
specific body parts. After entering the same home that the Union person
fled to, Castellanos moves a bookcase in front of the door to block it,
just like Leon could in Resident Evil 4.
The frightened Union
worker has barricaded himself in the basement. He reveals himself as
Liam O’Neal, and appears wary of a non-Union member talking to him.
Castellanos says he’s here to "restore the Core," which likely means
he’s trying to remove his daughter from it.
The game then
indicates that the player has located O’Neal’s Safe House, a location
that can be revisited. The first Evil Within game was linear in design,
but the sequel now features areas you can return to. Union is somewhat
of an open space that can be freely explored. O’Neal won’t venture out
of the house with Castellanos, but does have information on the Core,
and tells him Castellanos’ "communicator" can be tuned to detect its
activity. The goal now is to track the girl’s voice to its origin.
leaving the safe house, Castellanos drinks a cup of coffee, which
restores him to full health. He must brew another pot if he wants to use
it again, but this action will take some time to complete. He also
grabs ammo, weapon parts, and more gun powder, which he combines at the
workbench to craft more handgun bullets. He also uses this station to
upgrade his handgun’s ammo capacity. The other upgrade options are
firepower, fire rate, and reload time. All options feed from the same
weapon parts pool, and each field can be upgraded numerous times,
leading to the weapon gaining levels. Castellanos can also craft items
in the field, but at the expense of more resources.
hallway in the safe house produces a familiar sight: a specter of a
nurse walking into a mirror. Castellanos shouldn’t be confused by this
vision, as they were one of the few beacons of safety in Ruvik’s mind,
but he immediately questions it. "What the...who was that?"
into the mirror and is teleported to what appears to be a police
station. At the end of a hallway sits a wheelchair under a spotlight.
When Castellanos approaches it, static appears on screen and he’s
teleported to another reality, one that cannot be made out for a split
second, before returning to the chair. Reality shifts to a darker place
again, and we see the chair consume Castellanos, fastening his arms and
placing a device over his head.
The nurse approaches him, and he
finally recognizes her as Tatiana. From this chair, the player can once
again exchange Green Gel for upgrades in health, combat, athleticism,
stealth, and recovery.
These fields should allow players to
sculpt skills to their preferred play style. Upgrading stealth can lead
to small bonuses like increased movement speed, and bigger perks down
the skill tree like the ability to perform a stealth kill from around a
corner. The combat tree increases damage of melee attacks, and can
decrease the kickback of a shotgun. Athleticism can be upgraded to
enable an auto-avoid for specific attacks, and recovery has a perk that
makes Castellanos automatically use a medical syringe when taking a
The police station is a haven for Castellanos. Here,
he finds the first of a new collectible, one of 11 photographic slides
that can be viewed through a projector on his desk. This particular
slide shows us a moment from Castellanos’ family life. He comments on
After returning to Union via another mirror, Castellanos ventures
to the city square to track down a girl’s voice using his communicator.
By holding it in front of him, he can scan for resonance, indicated by a
frequency fuzz that intensifies when he points the communicator in the
right direction. Once a strong signal is found, he can lock onto it.
onto the street again triggers an event. Part of the world sudden
collapses, creating what appears to be a bottomless canyon. Another part
of it jets upward to create a mountain-like structure with a portion of
the city still perched precariously atop it. The search for the girl
requires just as much stealth as before, but now with the added effort
of bringing up the communicator to keep going in the right direction. At
one point, Castellanos picks up chatter from a fallen Mobius operative
and uses the frequency to find his location, leading to the bounty five
The world is open for him to freely explore,
should he chose to do so. He can also track "unknown resonance" to
perhaps find other people in need. In this playthrough, he scavenges the
exterior of homes for a bit, but continues following the girl’s voice.
journey leads to a beautiful white home, where he finds a journal on
the kitchen table. When he touches it, the room temperature drops, and a
chair shakes violently. Lights flicker as he retreats to the living
room. Before he can get there, a ghost-like apparition of a woman
appears behind him. She hums a melody, as she slowly floats forward.
again refrain from spoiling what happens next. This sequence shows just
how terrifying The Evil Within 2 can be for encounter design, pacing,
and keeping players off kilter. The gameplay hasn’t changed much since
the original entry, but this second stage shows the player has more
freedom in exploration.
It’ll be interesting to see just how far
Tango takes this element when The Evil Within 2 launches on October 13
(Friday the 13th). Our first taste of this dark adventure was filled
with jump scares, gore, and monsters galore, but the big hook is once
again Castellanos’ journey for answers, which is far more personal this
time with his daughter being dangled in front of him.
Going into the Star Wars Battlefront II having not researched the game much, what immediately strikes me when first spawning into the forest of Takodana Fortress as a First Order Stormtrooper is the atmosphere. I immediately recognize the large lake and dilapidated architecture from The Force Awakens, and when I start hearing blasters I feel like I am in the Star Wars universe. This is the same feeling Battlefront gave me last time around, so if the atmosphere didn't do it for you then, this game probably won't do much to change that.
Quickly learning the abilities of the Assault class I picked for this eight-on-eight objective mode called Strike (the beta also includes Galactic Assault, modes), I shoot a scan dart at the entrance of Maz’s Castle, the building my team needs to retrieve a package from. The dart pulsates for a short time, showing all enemies within a small radius around it. I use this information to try and time a perfect grenade through the building's sliding door into a slew of enemies, and...the door happens to slam shut; the grenade bounces back and blows me up. My first match isn't the time to be making perfect plays, but within seconds I’m reselecting the assault class (I like the blaster’s short and medium range versatility) and spawn with a number of teammates.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
The game always tries to spawn you with a group of teammates, but it isn’t afraid to spawn you alone if none have died by the time your spawn timer reaches zero. It’s meant to encourage group play, but half the time squads seem to run in as many directions as there are people immediately after spawning. The quick respawn speed makes the scale of battles feel a lot larger than just 16 people, however. Sticking together this time, my new squad makes its way back into the fortress, where another teammate has already grabbed the objective.
A waypoint on my HUD shows me where the package is, which is helpful because my aforementioned teammate drops it before he’s even out of the base. Having now successfully infiltrated Maz’s Castle, I lob another grenade through a narrow doorway, and a few seconds later hear a satisfying explosion and see another line of text appear in the kill feed. Each class has a unique grenade in Battlefront II, and the assault class’ thermal detonator feels powerful. Pushing to retake the objective and get it to the extraction point in the forest, I'm shot in the chaos and notice a number on screen go down by one. It’s the number of lives my team has to extract the objective before we fail.
Spawning again, I notice defenders posted atop Maz’s Castle. Defending snipers have been taking pot shots at my team unnoticed. There are stairs in the base I can climb to reach the roof, but I have another idea.
I stay back this life, using my blaster’s zoom to pick off enemies, who feel a bit bullet spongy. This is where my number-one gripe with the beta comes in: lag. Particularly when large battles occur, there’s a tendency for frames to drop and the game to freeze for a few precious seconds. This is what betas are for, though, so hopefully these problems don’t make their way into the full game.
Having taken out a number of enemies from a safe distance, at last it's time to bring my plan to fruition. I've saved up 2,000 battle points from kills and other gameplay actions, and I’m ready to become a Jet Trooper, which has both upward and forward jump jet abilities. I run to the wall of Maz’s Castle and jet up, but I don't make it nearly high enough. Disappointed, I feel somewhat taken out of the experience. I expected to jump clear to the roof, but my 2,000 battle points barely got me half way there. I later try the Wookie character, who has a powerful crossbow and the ability to quickly increase their health. These upgraded characters bring some variety to combat, but battle points aren't going to be an auto win for anyone unless they have the skill to go with it.
Battlefield II’s beta is very fun to play. The quick respawn system keeps the flow of play fast, and the variety of characters and weapons keeps the gameplay fresh. I didn’t expect to be transported back to the Star Wars universe until Episode VIII in December, so the atmosphere of the game really took me by surprise. I’m afraid the smaller map and game mode selections will get bland before the beta ends Monday, but even after hours of playing the same map and mode, I plan on hopping back in soon. I hope the rest of the game lives up to my first few hours of play, but I'll definitely be playing it for the rest of the week and am looking forward to the game’s November 17 release.
The Need for Speed series is known for its quality licensed soundtracks, and today, EA is letting players get a full listen to the soundtrack for the next entry.
The soundtrack includes music from artists like the Gorillaz, Queens of the Stone Age, Run the Jewels, and a whole lot of other musicians that I must admit I have never heard of because apparently I am old man and this is how I found out.
For more on Need for Speed Payback, which is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 10, .
EA's Star Wars Battlefront II is making a lot of changes in comparison to its predecessor, such as introducing a single-player campaign. Recently, a new trailer finally gives us a glimpse of what to expect from the story.
Battlefront II's campaign takes place between the events of Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Although Emperor Palpatine has been defeated, he lives on through Messenger droids. These Messengers bear the face of the dead Palpatine through a hologram. In the trailer, we see a Messenger droid giving foreboding instructions to enact the Emperor's plans of revenge.
(Please visit the site to view this media)
"Early in Star Wars Battlefront II, a Messenger tasks Iden and her father, Garrick Versio, with terrifying instructions," EA writes on the PlayStation Blog. "We don’t want to reveal much more about this critical sequence, but its pretty clear that Iden’s "unusual" mission will place her on a collision course with the last wishes of the fallen Emperor."
Star Wars Battlefront launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC as of November 17. If you're eager to try out the game sooner, .
Providing interesting spins on gameplay is important for new titles. Between big budget triple A titles and the constantly growing indie market, it’s integral for a new game to bring something different to the mold and give gamers a reason to check them out. Luckily, PolyKnight Games is on the right track with their upcoming flight exploration sim InnerSpace.
We wanted to take the mood that Proteus presents the player, that open vibe, that feel, and we wanted to pair that with more arcade like tactility in the actual gameplay," says 3D artist Steve Zapata. "One of the biggest things for me is that we wanted those moments where it’s a lean-back experience, where you can explore and really appreciate just being in that space, but if you want to, you can lean forward and there’s something to lean into."
Players assume the role of the Cartographer, a sentient exploration drone reanimated by an archeologist, and then fly and swim through a series of inverted planets long abandoned by their rulers, awash in subterranean seas, craggy stone faces and shining beacon lights filled with cosmic colors. As players guide, maneuver, and crash their plane through these planets, they collect Relics and bits of exchangeable energy called Wind, and start to piece together where the planets’ inhabitants went, and why. Though the underground take on flight-sim gameplay can be disorientating at first, it becomes easier as you get into the groove of each plane’s speed and responsiveness.
Collecting these items also unlocks new frames for the player’s plane, allowing for faster flight, underwater traversal, and more health. In the game’s demo, for example, the wooden plane allows for tighter turns and faster movements, but can’t access underwater segments. The piano plane, on the other hand, is slower and feels stiff when trying to fly through tight spaces, but can transform into a submarine to explore underwater passages.
There are seven different planes to unlock in all, and one is only available to backers of the game’s Kickstarter. Two other frames were designed by backers who reached a high enough donation tier.
"We really wanted our backers that put their trust in us to be able to be able to leave their thumb print on the game," Zapata says. "So instead of having backer content be something that’s off to the side that they can unlock with cheat codes or something like that, we actually made some of the more critical or important planes that you unlock, with really unique feeling, something that we worked with backers to get into the game, and we really make belong in this space but still has their signature about it."
Boss encounters, meanwhile, act more as exploration puzzles than conflict-driven encounters. Throughout the game, players encounter demigods, beings of great power who hold vast amounts of the world’s remaining Wind. Players encounter and communicate with these demigods by exploring the world’s hidden passages, and each encounter will teach them more about what happened to the planets they inhabited. The game’s earliest boss, the sun fish, forces players to explore the environment, searching for subtle clues as to how they can penetrate a wall of light surrounding the glowing sea god. Because of the subtlety of where the clues are hidden in the environment, the encounters can take a while to figure out what you need to do, but serve for some great "Ah-ha!" moments once you do put the last piece of the puzzle in place and guide the plane through that last obstacle.
Sound serves as a key element of the game’s style and presentation. In addition to melodic bell and chime music matched by electronic mixes created by in-house composer Chris Miller, the sound effects for each plane are custom made with digital instruments, creating unique stalling and diving sounds as well as the noises each frame makes while turning.
"Each of the worlds have their own sound to them and each of the planes are connected to a world," says PolyKnight’s studio director and engineer Tyler Tomaseski. "We wanted those planes to be attached to the soundscapes of those spaces so you could take those sounds from those worlds and play them in worlds where they don’t belong."
This thoughtful approach to sound design most certainly pays off. Going through the demo, it was hard not to be at ease as the notes from banking the plane melted into the chime and bell based melodies of the planet’s main track. Throw in the serene aquatic ambient sound during the Sunfish encounter, and it’s hard not to praise the effort put into making the game’s sound work memorable.
While the flight sim elements could still use some polish, the title’s twist on traditional flight sim gameplay and sound-based style help it stand out from the pack. Players can set off to uncover the secrets of the past when InnerSpace releases this winter on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.
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.