We believe the title "femme fatale" is the most fitting when describing Desperados'Kate O'Hara -- a sassy woman with an eye for stealth, and knees with perfect aim. She also turns heads, in more ways than one, making her a deadly addition to the Desperados III gang.
Today, while celebrating the release of a demo for the game over at GOG, THQ Nordic and developer Mimimi have today also dropped a highlights trailer for one of the game's more interesting personalities:
She's got the look and she's absolutely hitting like a hammer: Kate O'Hara grew up as a Colorado farm girl, dreaming of fame and glamour on the stage in the big city. But she had to learn to get along in the rough wild west, where most men are not natural gentlemen and very often only understand the clear message of a joyfully kick in their ... well, crown jewels. This way, Kate can knock down enemies when she gets close enough - and she's got many ways to get in melee range. Naturally, she loves to disguise herself with different outfits and of course uses her overwhelming charm to distract opponents. And if these clever tricks fail, she relies on a girl's best friend: Her Derringer.
Out mid June, Desperados III comes to PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
With Microsoft revealing that playing Xbox One, Xbox 360, and original Xbox titles on the company’s next-gen console will make full use of the increased power and storage speed capabilities of the device. This means support for the Xbox Series X’s impressive instant resume feature in addition to higher resolutions, more stable frame-rates, and even HDR support for game from the early 2000s.
And right off the bat this gives the Series X a library of well over 1,000 games on day-one. With the same team behind the Xbox One’s impressive backwards compatibility at the helm, Jason Ronald, Director of Program Management for Xbox Series X, outlines the commendable effort put into this side of the console.
Maintaining compatibility presents a massive technical challenge as fundamental system and chip architectures advance across generations. Developers highly optimize their games to the unique capabilities and performance of a console to provide the best experience for their players. To make the Xbox Series X our most compatible console ever required both significant innovation in the design of the custom processor as well as the unique design of the Xbox operating system and hypervisor at the heart of our next generation platform.
Apparently, Team Xbox have already put well over 100,000 hours into playing backwards compatible titles on the Xbox Series X – and it has become the go-to console at home for much of the team. Yeah, those Microsoft employees are already enjoying the Series X life. A lot of effort has been put into ensuring that Series X hardware is leveraged for backwards compatibility – as opposed to simply emulating past hardware. It’s been reported that the PlayStation 5 will essentially run in PS4 or PS3 mode for its preservation side, which makes the following comment from Jason an obvious dig at the competition.
Advancing the State of the Art of Game Preservation
Not only should gamers be able to play all of these games from the past, but they should play better than ever before. Backwards compatible games run natively on the Xbox Series X hardware, running with the full power of the CPU, GPU and the SSD. No boost mode, no down clocking, the full power of the Xbox Series X for each and every backward compatible game.
As for playing original Xbox and Xbox 360 era games with HDR enabled, Microsoft is employing a HDR reconstruction technique that will “automatically add HDR support to games.” – meaning that the Series X will be able to run Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic in 4K with HDR enabled – two things that didn’t exist back when BioWare’s RPG classic was first released. As with all the company’s backwards compatibility efforts no additional work on behalf of developers or publishers is required. If it ran on an Xbox One it will run, enhanced and better than ever, on an Xbox Series X.
It also sounds like the team at Xbox has been hard at work since it began the whole backward compatible thing on the Xbox One. It’s been developing tools that not only increase resolution but also image quality and frame-rate.
Beginning with Xbox One X, the compatibility team developed brand new innovations that could be applied to a hand curated list of titles to enhance them even further than what was possible when they were first created. Techniques such as the Heutchy method, which enables titles to render with increased resolutions up to 4K, or applying anisotropic filtering to improve the final image quality bring these classic games up to modern standards, better than ever before.
With all of the additional power and advancements of the Xbox Series X, the compatibility team now has a veritable playground of new capabilities to innovate and push the limits of game preservation and enhancement. The compatibility team has invented brand new techniques that enable even more titles to run at higher resolutions and image quality while still respecting the artistic intent and vision of the original creators. We are also creating whole new classes of innovations including the ability to double the frame rate of a select set of titles from 30 fps to 60 fps or 60 fps to 120 fps.
120-fps for some the best Xbox One titles, on a capable display, would be amazing. Getting to play Red Dead Redemption 2 at 60-fps with no patching required would be impressive. No doubt this side of the console will be showcased in full as we draw closer and closer to release.
The Wii original gets the Nintendo Switch remaster treatment and the results confirm just why this series is one of the best. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition may not be a full remake but there's enough here, including a brand new story chapter, to make the cost of entry well worth it.
Especially if you're a fan. As our reviewer, one Alex Andreadis (no relation, okay sure, he's technically related), found out. In what is an epic review, for an epic RPG.
This remastered version for the Nintendo Switch offers everyone the chance to experience and play what is, to put it mildly, one hell of a journey. In a package that definitely lives up to its title, definitively.
Okay, so this is the point in our story where I let you in on a little secret – my favourite RPG of all-time is Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Getting the chance to visit the original and see how my beloved franchise started? An exercise in pure joy. On the story front this review won’t spoil any of the main beats, because like any great RPG or soldier in Daenerys’ army this is an experience best enjoyed unsullied.
Another one of our own went down the Indie developer path, and has come out triumphant with what can only be described as a small game, packing one massively firey punch. Wildfire is brilliant on so many levels, and while it took a long time to finally reach the wild, we're all the better for its extra time in development.
From Sneaky Bastards, founded be ex Aussie games journalist, Dan Hindes, Wildfire takes inspiration and cues from some of gaming's best stealth outings, all the while forging its own brand and identity with charm, challenge and confidence. Here's a snippet from our review:
While simple in its throwback pixel art style, Wildfire is in fact a deep affair riddled with choice and consequence. Sneaky Bastards as a “gaming collective” has always shown a love and reverence for stealth games. It’s how the name came about, and it’s the brand’s bread and butter. To this end, it’s easy to see collective influence pulled from various resources high in the genre. The likes of systems-heavy games such as Dishonored, Thief, Deus Ex and even Assassin’s Creed (to a smaller degree) coupled against level design that promotes stealth, but also comes with a risk of having it taken away from you creates dynamic situations -- some of which you might not have expected. And for a game presented in such a way to be as bold as to attempt to capture what more fleshed out 3D game-worlds akin to those mentioned above, to ostensibly pull it off… well, that’s a fine achievement indeed.
Based on its description alone Pixel Ripped 1995 should make you pine for the days of putting on some three-striped parachute pants. Available for PSVR it puts you in the role of a kid playing classic consoles in a reality-bending adventure that features homages to arcade beat-em ups, Castlevania, Sonic, and taking a trip to the local video store.
Which made Adam 'Griz' Mathew the perfect man to bring to the counter for overnight rental review duties.
In this love-letter to the decade we call the ‘90s you'll be donning the (totally-not-Samus's) armour of Dot, a sentient 16-bit heroine. Her chiptune-scored world has been turned upside down by the evil Cyblin Lord, a jerk out to ruin not just her pixelated plane of existence - but also the real-world, where the nine-year old boy controlling her resides. And this being VR, add another layer on top of that as you become said lad. Amidst this weird, multi-dimensional crisis is where Pixel Ripped 1995 breaks out its most blast-processed concepts.
Basically, the DualShock 4 in your hands become the virtual stubs and digits gripping the SNES-like pad of your “player”. Planted on the virtual floor with a shitty CRT TV in front of you, you're essentially asked to play a series of games within the game. Sometimes it'll be a top-down RPG that reeks of Zelda influences. Other times it’s side-scrolling, or even bouts of leaping and blasting space mutants and skeletons.
And while we all love those grains of sodium chloride, there's a bit of credence here based on a few loose facts, a retail listing, the timing associated with said listing, a cheeky fan-tease within another game that emerged out of nowhere, and in some good old praying to the Mother Chozo to let her adopted daughter, Samus Aran, out to play.
First, the listing: Swedish retailer Inet dropped the bombshell recently, and as you'll note with the above link, it has since been removed, but not before the likes of VG247 and a number of other gaming outlets nabbed a screengrab of the posting, submitting the error or gaff into the Internet pit of purgatorial shame, lest it be turned to triumph should the game actually release on the leaked date of June 19.
Secondly, Nintendo recently dropped its own bombshell out of absolutely nowhere, announcing the existence and rapidly approaching release date for Paper Mario: The Origami King which had what looked to be a cheeky bit of fan-service with Mario donning a papier-mâché Samus helmet, sending the Internet and fanpeeps into overdrive.
The rumour is timely given the sudden announcement of Origami King, meaning Nintendo is happy to just play the game their own way now, but we're encroaching on E3 time where at least some exciting news comes out of Nintendo's Direct showcases and Treehouse streams, so there's also that.
Finally, if we all just wish hard enough at the exact same time, who knows what we're all capable of.
If any of this is true, we only hope controls have been handed back to non-waggle players, because if I'm going to have to use those Joy-Cons in order to play the game with motion control, I'm going to be "something something". Stay tuned as we keep an ear to the Chozo grindstone for any further bounty hunter rumblings.
Graphics hardware is an area NVIDIA has been an industry leader for some time - its GeForce RTX line, powered by Turing architecture, has ushered in the arrival of next-gen real-time ray-tracing effects and advanced AI-based rendering in the games we play. The company’s latest graphics revolution, though, comes in the laptop space.
And in the age of social distancing and working from home we've partnered with NVIDIA to dig deep into both the gaming and creative side of laptops powered by NVIDIA tech. With NVIDIA Studio and the GeForce RTX SUPER gaming range your home becomes a place of work, play, or something in-between.
Mojang's Minecraft meets Diablo effort drops tomorrow, positioning itself as an accessible and entry-level version of the action-RPG. The only problem with that is, it kind of goes against the whole Minecraft aesthetic - making Minecraft Dungeons a somewhat fun but shallow and finite dungeon experience.
The accessibility angle is commendable, and in a sense Minecraft Dungeons could be a gateway to a wider swathe of more stat-heavy experiences – traditional action-RPGs like Diablo III, Path of Exile, or Wolcen. Using an established and iconic franchise to present a genre that may not have the same appeal or recognition is always a good thing. The biggest problem here, weirdly, is the Minecraft aesthetic.
In the sense that Minecraft isn’t simple, it’s visuals are. Players are given tools that foster and nurture limitless creativity. Minecraft Dungeons foregoes any real connection to its source outside of aesthetic and set dressing. There is depth to the mechanics and the free-flow nature of the class-free customisation, but Minecraft Dungeons is painfully simple. To the point where nothing in the actual world, save for hitting mobs, reacts to your weapon. No destructible objects, only the odd pull-this-lever to open-this-door interaction. Or, find the key.
Desperados could be considered something of a fringe title; hardcore real-time strategy for the ballsy tacticians out there. It's also not a new franchise, with this upcoming release being the third entry, but for many Desperados might not mean anything, and this has prompted THQ Nordic and developer Mimimi Games to string together a breakdown on just what to expect here, all the while building hype on a series that *should* be in everyone's vision cone.
Here's the official skinny ahead of the video.
"Desperados III is a real-time tactical stealth game!" - Yeah. And what exactly does that mean? Well, we're going to show you! When Desperados III will release on June 16th for PC, PlayStation® and Xbox One™, players can experience the origins of the beloved Desperados and dive deep into a demanding tactical game with a lot of freedom: Each of the many different scenarios will offer multiple ways to reach your goal and Desperados III gives you five unique heroes, each one with its own set of skills.
In the new trailer, you will see what view cones, the noise from gunfire, or sniffing guard dogs can do - or how you can use the environment to your advantage.
Play five unique characters, each with a very particular set of skills.
Experience true freedom of choice with countless different ways to overcome any obstacle.
Defeat large groups of enemies with careful planning and execution.
Witness the glory of classic Wild West scenarios like frontier towns, mysterious swamps, sprawling modern cities, and many more.
Choose between non-lethal and deadly attacks, stealth and blazing guns.
Adjust the game to your playstyle with various difficulty settings and special replay challenges.
The Showdown mode allows you to pause the game anytime and react to ambushes or surprise attacks.
Desperados III releases for PC, PS4 and Xbox One this June 16. Watch the new video embedded below.
While I reviewed the game on Xbox One, and it looks gorgeous on my Q9 Samsung 4K HDR QLED, our man Kosta "Kbit" Andreadis (aka "Toadovsky"), captured the first near 30 minutes of the game's PC release and I'm not too proud to say, I'm jelly of the visual fidelity he's playing it in.
To set it up, this is where the game establishes story, so if you don't want spoilers, head on over to my spolier-free review for more, but there isn't much here by way of taking the experience away from you, rather this is a good indication of motivation, movement, environments and world-building as well as tone, beyond our words, this might be a good way to make a choice on whether or not you feel like diving into this toothy affair.
Tripwire Interactive's Maneater is a breath of fresh oxygenated water through the gills, as far as gaming is concerned, where we take on the role of a young Bull Shark and nurse her through a life less loved by humans and other beasties of the sea, graduating her from a young 'un through to an elder statesfish. And all while eating up as much trash as possible -- in this case "trash" is interchangeable between literal trash and figurative humans as trash.
It's not without its faults, but the game goes to a lot of lengths to keep players engaged, enlightened and entertained. Here's a snippet:
It’s an odd reference to make, but Maneater reminds me a lot of games from the late 90s and early noughties. In fact, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater came to mind early, if only for the checklist-styled objectives riddled throughout the game-world, alongside the irreverent humour and the permeation of pop-culture Easter eggs. And this helps the game remain one step ahead of itself -- it doesn’t take itself seriously, but the setup alone is a thinker for us bipeds, giving food for thought on just what the world beneath any watery surface looks like to the actual custodians of those spaces. Naturally liberty has been taken on the social commentary side of the game, so it’s (hopefully) more over-the-top than the real world, but in our current climate with those in charge… I dunno. And I also digress.
With the recent release of Fallout 76: Wastelanders, the return of NPCs and traditional Fallout-style storytelling has seen the online Fallout find some post-apocalyptic redemption. We sit down with Bethesda Game Studios to discuss its development, the troubled launch, and the road ahead.
A snippet from our chat with Fallout 76 Project Lead Jeff Gardine and Lead Designer Ferret Baudoin.
The return of NPCs sees tension and mystery return to the simple act of exploration. With Wastelanders the spotlight not only hits the Settlers that have created a new village called Foundation. Or, the Raiders that have turned the wreckage of a crashed space station into a shanty town called Crater. It hits the stage too – West Virginia.
“You need those quests, those drivers, to get lost in the world,” Ferret continues. “It's this weird sort of Catch 22, which we didn't realise when we were making Fallout 76. We were so focused on just making multiplayer Fallout. We were enamoured with things like the first time we heard gunshots over a hill, knowing it was another player. There are so many games that already do that, but we were lost in it. Bringing NPCs back, for me as a player, gives the context needed to head out and power up and get materials for my C.A.M.P.”
Out today Saints Row The Third Remastered adds a shiny coat of paint to the fan-favourite and brings the experience to current-gen consoles. As the third game in the Saints Row series it's the one that fully embraced its comical, juvenile, and silly side wholeheartedly. Although a little aged on the design front, it's an experience that is still a co-op treat.
For the videogame scholars out there, this is the entry that introduced the dildo-bat, a floppy and bright purple melee weapon shaped like a sex toy. In that it is a sex toy you can use to beat up members of rival gangs. Or stand there hitting the bonnet of a supped-up cop car. Which really, tells you all you need to know. The over-the-top and comic tone of the third Saints Row game from developer Volition is fun pure and simple. Crass, sure – but the democratic approach to most of what you see and do is refreshing.
You can (and should) dress up your fellow Saints NPC “Homies” in gimp suits, which makes their encounters against cyberspace goths look nothing short of hilarious. And when you team up with a real-world homie to tackle missions and activities in co-op, it borders on brilliant.
If you were a child of the 80s and 90s, the sheer mention of movie monster mashups was as fervent a topic as Nintendo versus SEGA. The Aliens versus Predator concept would have been born in the playground first, as well as Freddy versus Jason, Batman versus Wolverine, Arnie versus Stallone, Arnie versus Van Damme, Arnie versus Bruce, Arnie versus... Everyone.
But perhaps one of the biggest high-concept playground mashups of all was the robot versus robot one, starring... you guessed it -- Arnie. Or, more specifically, Terminator versus RoboCop.
Aside from being able to quote both Terminator 1 and 2 word-for-word, as well as RoboCop (in a delightfully good Peter Weller voice), I used to imagine, draw, write and debate how this confrontation would go down. Would RoboCop's Prime Directives override those of the T-800? Would his compassion be a boon, or a weakness against an unstoppable killing machine? Could he just hack into the T-800's OS and reprogram him? I mean, if John Connor could do it, then surely Murphy could too?
I spent so much time thinking about this coming together of flesh and metal, I'd get in trouble for fixating so much. The video tapes we hired of both movies at the local video store were never returned, and my penchant for pausing and rewinding over and over and over meant the tapes had permanent stress points on them. The only other movie that saw more play time in my VCR in that era was Predator, and that's entirely understandable.
So here we are today, on the cusp of being able to finally match robot versus robot through the magic of NetherRealms' forthcoming expansion for Mortal Kombat 11, Aftermath. And as if reading my 14 year-old mind in some sort of retro-future time-loop throwback... thingy, NetherRealms has today dropped a visual representation of all of the above in glorious fashion.
Oh yeah, also, here's some actual information on the upcoming expansion:
RoboCop in Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath features the voice and likeness of actor Peter Weller, who portrayed the popular character in both the original “RoboCop” (1987) film and “RoboCop 2” (1990) sequel, while his opponent, the Terminator is based on actor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character from the “Terminator: Dark Fate” film.
Those who have already purchased Mortal Kombat 11 can preorder the Mortal Kombat 11 Aftermath expansion now, which includes the franchise-first story expansion, three new playable characters (Fujin, Sheeva and RoboCop), three character skin packs (incl. three skins each) to be released over time and the “Thanks a Million” Johnny Cage skin, all $59.95 (SRP) Players can also preorder the Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath + Kombat Pack Bundle for $69.95 (SRP).
New players can join the fight with the Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Kollection, including Mortal Kombat 11 along with all content from Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath and the previously released Kombat Pack (incl. the Terminator). The Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath Kollection will be available digitally on May 26 and can be pre-ordered now* for $89.95 (SRP) with digital preorders offering immediate access to Mortal Kombat 11 and the Kombat Pack upon purchase.
All preorders will receive the Eternal Klash Skin Pack at launch, featuring three new character skin variants – “Unbound Rage” Scorpion inspired by Mortal Kombat (2011), “Son of Arctika” Sub-Zero inspired by Mortal Kombat: Deception and “Kori Power” Frost, a Klassic version of the Lin Kuei warrior.
Watch RoboCop versus Terminator in Mortal Kombat 11 embedded below.