Chivalry II presents medieval multiplayer chaos with 64-player matches full of armour clad Knights and Lords (and Peasants) looking to lop off a few heads or limbs. Our review today is a bit of a special one as Adam 'Griz' Mathew recently discovered his own medieval knight lineage -- and long dormant skills he brought to the fore.
Out of the hundred odd games I've ever reviewed, I've never felt so fated to play something as I have Chivalry II. You see, just last week, I'd finished tracing my heritage back to a medieval knight of intimidatingly high renown. Old mate was a Marcher Lord. Your rough historical equivalent of a Chivalry II account grinded up to max level.
During my research, I often found myself wondering what my forebear's 9-to-5 was like. Wikipedia wasn't really painting much of a picture. Then, weirdly, the review opp for this medieval “first-person slasher” dropped into my lap, and lo, I was allowed to get my Sir David Mathew on.
Just without the inconvenience of excruciating permadeath.
What I'm presenting is an imperfect comparison, obviously. Chivalry II is a multiplayer-focused brawler whose fictional bloodletting merely apes actual medieval battles. Though, in another weird cosmic coincidence of DNA tracing, Torn Banner Studios says it was inspired by the battles seen in Game of Thrones. Author George R.R. Martin drew his own ideas from The War of the Roses, Sir David's main brouhaha.
We went through the many, many showcases and presentations that made up this year’s E3 season and put together our list of the games that impressed us the most. Basically, everything we can’t wait to play.
Forza Horizon 5
Stephen: What struck most with the Forza Horizon 5 reveal was just in how Xbox let the game do the talking. There was no fanfare, hype or countdown-esque build-up to an official unveiling of what is arguably the most impressive-looking new-gen game on the Series S|X yet. And if Microsoft had gone down that path, in seeing what Playground has crafted here, you wouldn’t have been able to scold them for it. But plonking this right in the thick of everything and just letting it breathe was a genius idea, and made the whole reveal more impactful.
What equally spoke to the strength of the new entry is that it wasn’t flash-in-the-pan, either. There was gameplay substance right from the outset which meant the mind was multitasking in trying to imagine what the game would offer when it’s out in the wild while trying to pick our jaws up off the floor. Horizon 5 was more than just a feast for the eyes, it was a saving grace.
Kosta: This was one of those classic E3 out of nowhere reveals. Based purely on the opening moments of the trailer, which showcased near-photo-real environments set south of the border, there was a distinct Red Dead Redemption 2 vibe. What could it be? From there we got a close-up of some fancy Italian sports car and the ‘what if’ became, ‘oh, this is Forza 7 or 8 or whatever’.
I’m not really a fan of racing sims so the sentiment quickly changed from restrained interest to sheer unbridled joy. And a “mama mia, this here be Forza Horizon 5!” thanks to the, err, Italian sports car still on screen. From the stunning visuals to the vast open-world to the fun multiplayer exploration, racing and activities, Horizon is the most exciting franchise in all of racing. And its next gen debut is looking tasty.
Which means you can break thrones from anywhere. What a world and age we live in. For those unaware of what exactly a "Thronebreaker" is, we have a handy review of the experience from back when it was released on PC and Xbox One. And now the game is available for Android devices, joining a massive list of other playable platforms in iOS, PC (GOG and Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, as well as PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S via backwards compatibility. Phew.
Here's a little from CD Projekt RED:
The release on Google Play brings the complete Thronebreaker experience to Android, with dedicated touch-screen controls designed for mobile play, as well as cross-save support with versions of the game available across other supported platforms. By playing Thronebreaker players can also unlock various bonuses in GWENT: The Witcher Card Game, including unique ornaments and 20 premium cards to be used in multiplayer battles.
Thronebreaker for Android is being distributed in the “Freemium” model, allowing players to download and try the game for free. After reaching a certain moment in the story, players will be able to purchase the full game to continue the adventure.
Watch a trailer for The Witcher Tales: Thronebreaker embedded below.
While Xboxcontinues its path to total domination more and more games for Game Pass are rearing their head, though in this case that head is made of metal, and comes from a relatively unknown developer in RyseUp Studio, but boy does it look the goods.
Fear not PCMR for almost all Game Pass exclusives will have a PC release alongside console, and the instance here of Roboquest that's wholly true. Here's what RyseUp has to share:
WHAT IS ROBOQUEST EXACTLY? Well, the year is 2700. Climate change and wars have changed the face of the world that we currently know. Humans live scattered throughout the desert, struggling to survive.
A young scavenger girl named Max stumbles across an old Guardian robot, lying abandoned in the sand. She activates him, knowing that possession of a Guardian will give her an advantage at surviving.
Turning on the old Guardian kicks off a dangerous journey that will take the unlikely pair from dangerous canyons to vast cities searching for answers to mysteries that may save humankind.
It will be difficult. Badbots and their bosses will stop at nothing to protect the secrets that could decide the fate of humankind.
GAMEPLAY Our motto for the game is think fast, shoot faster. Jump into the steel shoes of a high-powered, hyper-mobile robot and wreak havoc on evil bots. Battle your way through procedurally generated biomes on an unrecognizable earth.
Scorched canyons and vivid cities are packed with secrets to unearth, upgrades, and enemies to eradicate. Destroy every laser-shooting Badbot and boss that stands in your way.
Choose from an arsenal of more than 50 unique handcrafted weapons. Gather powerful technology. Upgrade abilities and customisations for your character and basecamp.
Do not worry if you are the only PC player in your crew and your friends all own Xbox, we will support cross-platform play. And while you are kicking metal ass, you can bob your head to the high-octane soundtrack composed by Noisecream, and if you do not know this artist, do yourself a favour and check him out.
Well, that is it for now. We look forward to sharing more details with you about our Xbox exclusive Roboquest as we head to Xbox Game Pass.
Shades of Borderlands mixed with the frenetic pace and movement of the modern DOOM games aren't without comparative merit, but we'd prefer to judge this one in isolation, and can't wait to play. Check out the Game Pass trailer below, and stay tuned for more as we edge ever-closer to getting some early hands on it.
We bring you all the major reveals from the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct. So, did we get to see The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 and Metroid Prime 4? Well, one out of two ain’t bad.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2
Announced two years ago, ahead of today there was very little we actually knew about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (the working title is ‘Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’). Not that we now know a whole heap, as we’re talking about a pretty quick 1:20 or so of game footage -- we do get to see Link explore and glide around structures that sit amongst the clouds above Hyrule. That is, floating cities and the like. Yeah, it’s the sort of addition that feels truly exciting -- and adds to the already impressive freedom and scope found in the original. Visually this also looks like a cut above, with the painterly look dialled up some with characters and objects and things like castle walls (Hyrule Castle baby) packing some serious detail. Oh, and we also got a release window - 2022.
No Metroid Prime 4, boo. But wait, what’s this? The first side-scrolling Metroid title in 19 years? Metroid Dread follows on from Metroid Fusion where a faster, more agile Samus descends upon planet ZDR after the Galactic Federation picks up mysterious signals. Samus’ arrival reveals a planet being overrun by an alien menace, while DNA extracting robots called E.M.M.I. have become corrupt and are now hunting Samus down. As with any great Intergalactic Bounty Hunter story though, it’s time to find those new E.M.M.I. countering skills and upgrades to take down all threats and work out what’s really going on, on planet ZDR. Metroid Dread is out this October 8 on Nintendo Switch.
The team at 343 Industries is currently doing its thing and working towards Halo Infinite’s big Holiday 2021 launch -- which is set to feature both a cinematic single-player Master Chief-led campaign and an extensive free-to-play multiplayer component. One that will be hitting Xbox consoles and PC on day one, with a design that is described as a return to classic Arena and Team-based action. But also, multiplayer that is a modern Spartan-step forward for the franchise.
Halo Infinite isn’t simply the next release in the iconic Xbox franchise, it’s a platform that will evolve over multiple years. And this is the first step in that journey.
Watch the full Halo Infinite Multiplayer reveal above
As part of a new multiplayer deep dive that broadcast overnight we got our first look at what to expect when it comes to Halo Infinite Multiplayer. There’s a lot to get through, so let’s get to it.
When it comes to E3, you can always count on Microsoft to bring the spectacle -- and E3 2021 was no different thanks to the combined Xbox & Bethesda Showcase. Traditionally these two publishers do their own thing, but now that they’re both a part of the same happy Xbox Game Studios family we got an action-packed 90 minute presentation covering 30 titles, 27 of which are headed to Xbox Game Pass.
Yeah, it was as breathless as it was impressive.
So, did we get our first look at Bethesda Gamer Studios’ Starfield? Yes we did, though it was more of a teaser. We also got a fresh look at Halo Infinite, this time with a focus on the multiplayer side. Plus, the surprise -- and frankly stunning -- Forza Horizon 5 reveal which sees the series visit Mexico later this year. Throw in the eastern European combo of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 and Atomic Heart, not to mention the very cool-looking new indie Replaced, and Team Xbox managed to bring the goods, more goods, and nothing but the goods.
Like most out in the gaming wild, I was expecting maybe to see the next Forza, not Forza Horizon 5 at this year's Xbox pre-E3 media briefing, especially when you consider most of developer Playground Gamesshould be working on Fable, and yet here we are, picking our jaws up off the floor.
Arguably the most impressive visual and performance showcase for Microsoft's console(s) yet, Forza Horizon 5 is more than just near-perfect photo-realistic visuals -- it's a game that delivers performance, creativity and gravitas.
Your ultimate Horizon adventure awaits! Explore the vibrant and ever-evolving open-world landscapes of Mexico with limitless, fun driving action in hundreds of the world’s greatest cars.
And in both videos embedded below it's easy to get lost in the eye-candy, but we'd be remiss to ignore new additions and features, such as this being the biggest open-world in the series yet featuring the highest elevation ever recreated in the franchise. Forza Link is a smart system that not only helps you stay connected with friends and other players, but it actively helps you find activities you enjoy and then links you with players who also like the same things. It's Swipe Right, Horizon style. And finally Events Lab is a new user-created content toolset to let you make your own races, game modes and other experiences.
But enough from us, watch the videos embedded below, and mark your calendars for November 9.
Turns out the joke is somewhat real -- although Devolver MaxPass+ is a “no-cost subscription service for top tier consumers that unlocks access to dozens, possibly hundreds of dozens of premium purchases available only to the most important users”. So yeah, basically a way to keep tabs of some of the for-reals games shown, like Shadow Warrior 3, the stylish Trek to Yomi, and the locally sourced Phantom Abyss.
But before we get to the individual game trailer and info -- here’s the latest DE3U installment in full.
The Full Devolver MaxPass+ Showcase
Devolver Digital Inc, unsanctioned publisher of weapons-grade video games, continued to revolutionise the video games industry with its latest online auto sensory extravaganza earlier today. The over-enthusiastic label revealed Devolver MaxPass+, a completely free subscription service that offers the entire Devolver Digital catalog - including all future titles - as exclusive, premium purchases.
Ubisoft has long offered up some of the most expansive press conferences and showcases -- with its E3 2021Ubisoft Forward event being no different, even in digital-only form. Although it might have lacked the punch of a brand-new Assassin’s Creed reveal, alongside a few notable titles Missing In Action (Beyond Good & Evil 2, Skull & Bones), we did get a big Rainbow Six Extraction reveal.
Plus a few more surprises.
Rainbow Six Extraction
It’s almost redundant at this point to compare a co-op shooter to Left 4 Dead -- the genre is basically a thing unto itself. Now that the proverbial lid has been lifted on Rainbow Six Extraction -- Ubisoft’s “tactical co-op PvE experience” set in the same universe as the popular Rainbow Six Siege -- we get to see just what a co-op shooter looks like Tom Clancy-fied. And the results are very cool, we love how both the Operators and the strange alien creatures add a distinct flavour to the action. We had the chance to go hands-on and speak with the game’s director ahead of Ubisoft Forward too -- so head here to check out that coverage.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
Released back in 2009 Avatar went on to smash all global box office records and usher in the dawn of the age of 3D cinema. Fast forward to today and 3D cinema is all but a fad and Avatar is not really a presence in pop culture. That said, director James Cameron is finally preparing to release a string of sequels -- with Ubisoft and the talent folk at Massive (The Division) set to bring a new open-world action-adventure set on the alien planet of Pandora to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC next year. As per the trailer it looks impressive, and Pandora is the sort of prime locale for a vast and diverse open-world. Going first-person is an interesting approach, and we can’t wait to see an unedited slice of gameplay for this one.