Though at this point it was hard to see how Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 would have hit its planned "late 2020" release window -- we haven't seen or heard much from it in a while. That, and 2020 be a little crazy. With the official statement shifting the release window to 2021, the statement made by developer Hardsuit Labs and publisher Paradox Interactive explains that more time is needed.
"Our goal has always been to deliver the best game possible, to immerse you into a Seattle re-imagined in the World of Darkness, and deliver a worthy successor to the original Bloodlines game," the statements says. "Due to the quality bar and ambitions we have set for ourselves, we have made the difficult decision that we need more time."
With the release of the fifteenth expansion for Blizzard’s Hearthstone this month - Scholomance Academy - we sit down with the development team to learn about its development.
“With Hearthstone even when we're post-apocalyptic, as with Ashes of Outland, we're still pretty whimsical,” Chadd Nervig, Senior Game Designer on the Hearthstone Card Design tells me. “But this is definitely more front-facing whimsy. Scholomance as a setting gave us lots of ideas too, with one of those ideas being Studies. So, we wanted to come up with designs for a series of cards that would exemplify that, all the different ways across different subjects. We have a series of cards called Studies that discover some type of thing, and then your next one of that type of thing costs one less.”
As a competitive card game that celebrated its sixth anniversary earlier this year it’s this tone and putting a spin on the Warcraft-universe that drives the team to keep pushing the competitive card game genre forward.
“It is a Hearthstone twist on this place called Scholomance from WoW (World of Warcraft),” Chad explains. “We pulled from our own histories with school, college, university. I had to pick some of the fun tropes there, the common themes that we can all rally around. The troublemaker, the bully, the guy flipping his pen constantly in class next to you and being annoying.”
And we say that as massive horror game fans, and aficionados. Remothered: Broken Porcelain looks to take the fear aspect of games like Alien: Isolation and The Evil Within to extra levels as a sequel to a cult (heh) classic in Remothered: Tormented Fathers. And today's trailer highlights the visual aspect of the game, while showcasing some of the deep characters you'll engage in this survival horror jaunt.
Here's some official wordage:
Remothered: Broken Porcelain, created and designed by Darril Arts and developed by Stormind Games, is set to send chills down players’ spines when it reaches PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 20.
The new trailer finds young misfit Jennifer getting acquainted with the faces and frights of The Ashmann Inn, a secluded mountainside establishment steeped in mystery. From the residence’s unbelievably cold management to a rumoured haunting by a robed figure known only as Porcelain, Jennifer faces ample challenges settling into her new home. Meet Jennifer and the rest of Remothered: Broken Porcelain’s key characters by viewing the trailer below.
A sequel to the critically lauded cult classic Remothered: Tormented Fathers, Remothered: Broken Porcelain builds upon the original’s captivating narrative with new characters, evolved and expanded gameplay, as well as an astonishingly realized world teeming with deadly secrets. Balancing tension-fueled stealth gameplay with engrossing storytelling, Remothered: Broken Porcelain’s winding mysteries are as thrilling to unravel as they are frightening.
Watch the new trailer for the game embedded below.
I loves me some skating. It was a massive part of my younger days and I follow it with a passion to this day. I'm a gun at THPS (the good ones), and skate. was a revelation to me, so Skater XL speaks to me on those fronts; it is authentic and it is skateboarding, it's just... it has some issues.
I'll let my in-depth review do all the talking, but here's a snippet:
From the coping on console, you get Easy Day High School, The Big Ramp (which I’ll detail more shortly), Downtown LA, California Skatepark and West LA Courthouse. Included at launch are three community-built maps from the PC build (and community, natch), but that’s kind of it. Don’t get me wrong, each of these maps is fraught with opportunity for tricking or stringing together lines. And the gap potential in all of them is amazing. It’s just that within each you’re left to your own devices, and you’re on your own. There’re no moving parts in any sections of the game; no cars, peds, other skaters… nothing. And it’s kind of in that omission the game’s nature bares its soul -- this is a title you need to make the most of, and if you’re of the ilk who likes challenges, missions or even a story, your imagination is going to be working overtime here.
And by speculation, we mean just what could they do with such a license given the studio's Arkham pedigree? If this comic book nerd had to posit a few guesses, the image used in the revealing Tweet is clearly our best place to start.
So, how does this work? Well, we reported in June that a number of domains had been registered by WB Interactive in the lead up to the upcoming DC Fan Dome mentioned in the tweet. The image clearly shows Superman being targeted by the Suicide Squad, which could suggest old Supes has had a grumpy morning and gone off chops at the world (look closely at his face), with no one else capable of bringing him down, leaving the government(s) no choice but to call in the oddball crew. But then, in that scenario, what about Batman? Well, one of those domains that was registered was "suicidesquadkillthejusticleague" which could mean he's been taken care of already or, in a complete reverse, maybe the Suicide Squad has escaped and Supes was the one who threw them in the slammer... or maybe it's something different entirely.
As long as it has nothing to do with the recent movies (Margot Robbie's Harley aside), consider us piqued.
We get so many games crossing our virtual desk. It feel like it's raining them at the moment it's so rampant. Often these are left-of-field mobile pitches, crazy MMOs no one outside of the 6 million playing it have ever heard of, or first-time releases from dow-eyed Indies not yet ready for the cut-throat world of videogame publishing, media, PR and reviews. Sometimes though, we get an honest-to-Buddha standout, and in Buka Entertainment's 9 Monkeys of Shaolin old-school beat 'em up throwback we've got just that.
The game is due to hit all the platforms you could squeeze it on to this October 16, but we'll let the game do its talking. We just desperately want to play it:
9 Monkeys of Shaolin marks a true rebirth of the iconic beat 'em up genre in vein of old-school video games. If, as a kid you had hours of fun playing beat 'em up videogames crushing foes left and right then this new title from the creators of hardcore brawler REDEEMER is definitely for you!
As a mere Chinese fisherman Wei Cheng you have to avenge the death of your friends and family slaughtered in a pirate raid at your peaceful village. Game protagonist is quite a tough nut to crack as he knows the basics of ancient martial arts only mastered by legendary Shaolin monks. Get your trusty battle staff ready for a challenging adventure in Medieval China and for merciless fights with hordes of various enemies.
Action-packed battles, user friendly controls and incredible atmosphere of great kung-fu movies of 70s – all this makes 9 Monkeys of Shaolin a perfect choice for every true fan of really hardcore brawlers.
3 unique fighting styles: fight on earth, in the air or use mysterious magic seals. Combine these elements to defeat every enemy on your way.
Captivating narrative: discover the fascinating story of Wei Cheng and follow him as he rises from a simple fisherman to the master of Shaolin martial arts.
Stunning visual style: unlikely combination of historical and mystical elements gives you an exciting experience from every scene appears on screen.
Extensive character development system: you learn a great deal of ways to victory as you discover various unlockable perks, items and fighting styles.
More than 25 different levels: Chinese villages, pirate ship, Buddhist monasteries, Japanese mansions, ancient ruins and many more.
10 types of Chinese and Japanese polearms, each with its unique traits. Discover the landscapes to find new items!
Co-op play: invite your friend to help you fight through growing waves of enemies and complete the game together.
Check out the trailer embedded below, and some screens below that.
Take nothing away from the cats at Visual Concepts, their visuals nous is next-level, with each instalment in the long-running NBA 2K series one-upping itself every time, and with new, powerful consoles on the horizon and the next iteration on its way, it's pretty easy to suggest NBA 2K21 will be the most impressive one of the lot. But we can assert that here, because this trailer is running on current-gen hardware, which means we still haven't seen what it'll look like on PS5 or Series X.
It's been a weird year for the NBA which is just now back up and running thanks to a hub in Orlando, Florida. And as the reinvigorated season dribbles closer to playoffs, many of us are still in isolation or just plain working from home, but have likely craved live sport all year (thank you, AFL), with not much on the menu. So, having this baby in your hands despite what the future might look like, or hold, gives us something from a sports perspective. Amd with visuals this close to the real thing... well, just see for yourself:
Lights turned off. Arenas went quiet. But the game never stopped. 2K has debuted a brand-new, lights-out gameplay trailer for NBA 2K21 on current-gen consoles, featuring clips of many of the league's brightest stars executing buzzer beaters, high-flying dunks, blocks and more.
With extensive improvements across the board and deep, varied game modes, NBA 2K21 offers one-of-a-kind immersion into all facets of NBA basketball and culture – where Everything is Game.
The September 4 launch for NBA 2K21 on current-gen is fast approaching and today's trailer is just the first of many gameplay-related announcements that will be rolling out through the upcoming weeks. Expect to see new information on gameplay, MyTEAM, MyCAREER and more in the coming weeks.
Up until now we've believed there to be only two kinds of laptops out there (when it comes to Highlanders there can be only one), those that can handle games and those that can't. Where, when it comes to the latter, they better be ultralight, thin, and built for productivity. But what if that productivity enters the realm of content creation, 3D modelling, and video editing. Well, that's where the NVIDIA RTX Studio steps in. Specifically the impressive Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR Laptop.
And as expected such a machine is pretty powerful.
The first thing you notice as mentioned in the introduction is the quality of the Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR display – pristine and factory calibrated 4K with 100% Adobe RGB, 400-nit brightness and accurate and vibrant HDR. With HDR turned off the brightness here is, well, intense and more than enough for productivity across the entire Adobe Suite without having to worry about any sort of degradation. With HDR the results are rather good but not quite on par with some of the higher-end HDR-1000 or HDR-1400 displays we’ve seen. But, as those displays tend to cost as much or more than the entirety of the Gigabyte AERO 17 HDR, the 4K display Gigabyte managed to pack in here is the sort of thing that exceeded our expectation heading in.
Now, one aspect of an RTX Studio machine is the use of RTX Studio drivers as opposed to the usual GeForce Game Ready drivers we’ve grown accustomed to. As to why, that comes down to specific optimisation for Adobe apps, Maya, video editing software, and other tools that can take specific advantage of RTX hardware. The results are immediately impressive – where offloading tasks like rendering and other intensive bits of digital work normally assigned to the CPU nets you sizable performance gains. The sort of stuff that when put next to a high-end Mac, will make those eyebrows perk up to say “woah, okay didn’t realise that a GPU could do that”.
With the Beta for Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics’ Marvel’s Avengers going live this weekend we had the opportunity to don a metallic suit, step into some green skin, and flex some stretchy limbs as part of a recent preview session.
The introduction is all big-budget cinematic spectacle, recalling the most impressive single-player action-adventures of the last decade – scripted narrative beats, limited level design, quick-time events, and more than enough eye candy to make you forget (for a moment at least) to stare at Thor’s godly cheeks. But it’s over in a Flash (sorry, wrong universe) and then you’re being taught – once again - how the other side of the game works.
The levelling, the repeatable missions, the loot system, the crafting, it’s information overload. Like a single-player title merged with a co-op looter-shooter campaign, but the result is pure late-stage Brundlefly.
And by 'Our' I mean be sure to check out my full preview 'Horizon Zero Dawn is the Best Game I Haven’t Played' -- because, before hitting PC it was always one of those PS4-exclusives that I wanted to play (but never got around to). And now with it enhanced and looking better than ever it's the sort of game that still manages to stand out in an already impressive line-up of PC releases for 2020.
Paired with impressive art direction and a style that is as focused on beauty as it is technical detail, this 2020 re-release that also includes The Frozen Wilds expansion in a Complete Edition is simply put – stunning. Some of its advanced visual effects and graphics options make it look next-gen too – a little glimpse at the sort of stuff we’ll be seeing in the PlayStation 5-bound sequel Horizon Forbidden West.
I mean, it’s nuts.
Built on developer Guerrilla’s in-house Decima engine, the same toolset and technical wizardry that powered Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding (another PS4-first title that recently got an equally impressive PC release), this version of Horizon takes an already solid foundation and adds all manner of premium bits and bobs. Like modifying a bow for more damage or better handling or upgrading a few pouches so you can store more rabbit meat, Horizon Zero Dawn on PC takes full advantage of current high-end graphics technology.
Another year another FIFA, but unlike other sports titles out there EA's take on the World Game is one of constant evolution, change, and updates. In addition to looking better than ever this year the focus is on personality and expanding the footwork to clear the way between you and the keeper.
A snippet from out in-depth preview.
Even though these gameplay changes are also based on community feedback, the renewed focus on dribbling, personality, and runs, will have a far-reaching impact on couch co-op and online play. And in keeping with the theme of FIFA 21 – the first and probably biggest – gameplay change comes in the form of fancy footwork.
Dubbed ‘Agile Dribbling’ this is that thing we’ve all done once or twice on the field over the years, try to trick defenders into committing their weight and movement in one direction as our feet dance and move the ball about in a different direction. Like a martial artist showing off a form, it’s a mix of grace, skill, and beauty. That’s not to say that it’s ever worked for me (it hasn’t), but as FIFA puts you in control of the biggest football stars in the world this sort of fancy footwork opens the door to swift side-to-side ball control in a way that looks cool and adds a different way to break from a defender.
Blending the survival vibe of something like Ark: Survival Evolved with Honey, I Shrunk the Kids is reason enough to pique our interest. And that's exactly what Grounded is - available now (as an Early Access release) on Xbox Game Pass (PC and Console) and Steam. We put Adrian Haas through our own shrink ray to explore the microcosm of Obsidian's latest.
And to find out whether he has the smarts of a Szalinski kid. Or, if he's just another soda chugging Thompson.
At first glance, there's not a lot separating Grounded from other survival games like Ark: Survival Evolved or Conan Exiles. There's your typical survival tropes: hunger, thirst, exploration, weapon and armour crafting, shelter building, and so on. What sets Grounded apart from the crowd though are all of the little things, like quest markers measured in centimetres and the fact that you're not gathering rocks or even pebbles; but peblets. Hydration comes in the form of dew drops, and the clover portion of a four-leaf clover is strong enough to withstand your weight.
At this stage of the game's Early Access journey, things are as relatively bare as the wide open spaces of a new vegetable plot awaiting seeds - in Grounded such a site is huge. Only a portion of the story has been revealed, and with the opening teaser being engaging as it is, there’s a sense that this is more proof of concept than a rough-around-the-edges full game.
The big Warframe reveal of TennoCon 2020 is the huge Heart of Deimos open-world expansion. Set to release on 25th August on all platforms (including Nintendo Switch), this update introduces the third open world environment set on the Mars moon of Deimos. And it looks creepy.
Which probably has to do with the fact that it's populated by the Infested, including a bunch of new infested types. In terms of look, the deep reds, charcoal, and volcanic orange set a harsh and darker tone than previous expansions. In terms of overall size this open world is smaller than the Plains or Orb Vallis, but offers more in terms of verticality and densely compacted (and populated) areas.
The moon's surface is all you might imagine it to be - the Infested motif of seething unidentifiable masses and pulsating globs of living matter dominate the landscape, interspersed with larval pods that burst open and belch forth Infested reinforcements. Overhead the night sky is consumed by gigantic worms or tentacles that seem to battle for control of the day/night cycle. How this plays into quests or bounties (if at all) has yet to be revealed.
Here's the 30-minute Heart of Deimos gameplay preview from the event.
Under the surface of Deimos are interconnected tunnels and vertical spaces, which unlike the caves beneath the Plains, are procedurally generated, and contain the remains of the moon's previous inhabitants. Perhaps the murky secrets of the origins of the Infested will be revealed here.
One of the more interesting leftovers from the past civilisation are huge combat mechs that can be controlled by Transferring the Operator out of the current Frame and into the mech. These mechs are going to have to be overwhelmingly powerful, or have mighty defensive capabilities if they're going to provide any substitute for a well modded Warframe.
And seen above another cool feature is that players will now be able to shoot their secondary weapons whilst riding their K-Drives. Which, in keeping with the theme, turn into mutated dragonflies on Deimos.
Also coming with the new expansion is the Helminth Chrysalis System. This will add a further layer of customisation to a Warframe by means of transferring a Helminth ability to a Warframe, once the Helminth has been sufficiently levelled up by feeding it your excess resources. And by sacrificing one of your own Warframes, you'll be able to donate one of its abilities to the Helminth, making it available as a replacement for another Warframe's ability.
For example, replacing Mag's Pull with Volt's Shock. It remains to be seen just how useful this process may be, especially considering that Warframe abilities have been designed to synergise with each other. The full list of Warframes and their replaceable abilities will be revealed when the expansion drops, along with more details regarding the Helminth abilities. Certainly, it has the potential to properly shake-up the sheer number of build opportunities.
One final note, the 44th Warframe, communuty-designed void-powered Xaku, will be released with the expansion too. And on that note here's a look at Xaku.