Void Bastards is currently available to play on PC and Xbox One, available to purchase or as part of Xbox Game Pass. From a team made-up of ex-Irratiional Games employees it mixes the rogue light genre with sci-fi survival and a vibrant comic book presentation.
"... Void Bastards succeeds mainly because it doesn’t feel like a slog or grind or padded rogue light. Where the difficulty outweighs the reward and the upgrades you discover over several hours moving you forward just an inch. Weapons in Void Bastards have a great feel, grow more powerful over time, and are inventive to boot. Kittybots not only attract attention like a metallic car alarm with whiskers, but they also explode in an array of grenades once destroyed. Certain weapons are better against certain enemies, and being limited to what you can carry alongside having to source ammunition often leads to some great moments where all you might have to clear out a ship full of high-level Janitors is a pack full of Kittytbots and a few proximity mines."
It's easy in this day and age to slap together a cohesive, alive open-world and have single protagonist running around in it. Open-world gaming is now just a popular as annual mainstays like Call of Duty and Battlefield. It's a lot more difficult to take that formula though, and remove the concept of a single hero, which is exactly what Ubisoft has done with Watch Dogs Legion.
What's just as difficult is explaining just how this works, and why it's both fascinatingly ambitious and downright scary in concept. Here's a snippet from our own hands-on:
In Watch Dogs Legion, every person populating this futuristic dystopian London also has purpose. They each have skills, relationships to other people in the world, jobs, criminal records, dodgy or altruist agendas. They have personalities that define all of the above, and you need to work with them to gain their trust and hopefully recruit them to the cause of Dedsec. Sometimes this doesn’t work, sometimes you can fail at helping them and produce a knock-on effect of negativity that goes against Dedsec’s goals. But if it does work, you can use their skills and jump between any active person on your roster at any moment in the game. If they find themselves in trouble, they can also be dropped at death’s door (figuratively) where you’re given a choice to revive them for another go at it, in real-time right in front of what dropped them in the first place, or you can surrender.
CD Projekt RED has been busy. With the likes of Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, GWENT: The Witcher Card Game and the much-hyped and E3 show-stealer, Cyberpunk 2077 (thanks to some Keanu magic), news that Nintendo Switch fans would also be playing in the world of the critically acclaimed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been met more than favourably.
It's also not really all that surprising, but now one of the highest rated games of all time can find an audience it might never have broken through to, and they get to play it on the go.
Winner of over 800 awards, including 250 Game of the Year awards, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is an RPG set in a fantastic open world full of adventure, danger, and mystery. As professional monster slayer Geralt of Rivia, gamers must set out to find the Child of Prophecy — a powerful entity that may send the world spiraling toward destruction. Along the way, the witcher will find himself facing not only mighty foes, but also difficult choices, the consequences of which will ripple throughout the game’s epic narrative.
Set to launch this year both digitally and in retail, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition for Nintendo Switch comes with the base game, as well as every piece of additional content ever released. This includes both story expansions, Hearts of Stone and Blood and Wine, as well as all 16 free DLCs. In total, the Complete Edition offers over 150 hours of gameplay, for the first time playable truly on the go. The game is being ported to Nintendo Switch by Saber Interactive in close cooperation with CD PROJEKT RED.
In addition to the game card housing the entirety of the Complete Edition’s content, the box will also come with a set of physical goodies: The Witcher Universe compendium, game map, and stickers.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is the first game from the franchise to be released on a Nintendo console, introducing the series to brand new audience, as well as giving anyone who already played Geralt of Rivia’s final adventure a chance to experience it again on the go. The release of the game on Nintendo Switch is also bound to further cement Wild Hunt’s status as the best-selling title of the franchise, which currently makes for more than half of the series’ 40 million copies sold.
Ahead of E3 we had the chance to go hands on with Wolfenstein: Youngblood the new co-op adventure starring B.J. Blazkowicz's daughters. And plenty of Nazi killing action. So, does anything change with the introduction of a second player? Sure, but this is still very much a Wolfenstein game.
Although designed as a co-op shooter, Youngblood feels like the next game in the series. After a lengthy cinematic featuring a tender moment at Casa de Blazkowicz set decades after the events of New Colossus, you’re introduced to B.J.’s twin daughters Jess and Soph. Long story short papa goes missing and it’s up to his kids to track him down. Behind enemy territory, in the neon-streets of 1980s Paris. The City of Light, and giant swastikas. Because, yeah, those guys are still around.
That setup might sound like someone put Super Mario Bros. and any one of Liam Neeson’s dozen or so action films released in the past year inside a Story Blender 5000, but its execution is handled rather well.
At a pre-E3 press event to get actual time with the game, we were invited to play the freshly revealed Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Breakpoint where we mixed it up, co-op styles, with a few local friends and caused a fair amount of chaos amidst headaches.
The headaches came by way of just not being very stealthy in a game about soldiers who live for the stealth. Here's a snippet:
his setup allows for a unique follow-up to Wildlands in that combat and story are now far more intimate in active unison. Your backs are more against the wall and with a seemingly endless supply of military tech, strongholds and what can only be a fast track chopper conveyor belt, Walker and his army are far more dangerous. Ubisoft tells us the game will also support AI Ghosts for the soloists of us out there, but in reality these games are far more fun with friends given the systems upon systems you can play with, that can only be disrupted in chaotic harmony by nefarious individuals.
It’s clear there’s two ways to play Breakpoint: seriously, or randomly. The game itself fosters the idea of guns-a-blazing or stealth, though it must be said the latter proved difficult to not just master, but to even actively perform. This might be a balance issue, or it might be that we just didn’t get a chance to spend the required amount of time with the game to work like the well-oiled Ghost machine we should be. But it was still fun, and often hilarious.
As part of E3 2019 we had the chance to go hands-on with DOOM Eternal and witness the evolution of the id Software's classic re-imagining of the iconic series.
The subtle genius of DOOM Eternal’s design, and it’s tough to use that word to describe anything about the game, comes with just how brilliant and oddly inessential the grappling hook - or meat hook - is. The secondary fire mode for the series’ iconic Super Shotgun presents a wonderfully focused implementation of the videogame grapple hook. Instead of being able to hook onto any rough surface for traversal, its usage is limited to the meat and fleshy bits of the wide range of demons you come across. Brilliantly, this both amplifies the effectiveness of an already powerful weapon whilst adding a new dimension to the push-forward always-moving combat that is the hallmark of an id Software shooter.
At this point it’s common knowledge, at least in the digital realm of Doom, that the closer you are the more damage a shotgun does. And when it comes to ‘Super’ shotguns, that’s a lot more damage. So then why not prime the weapon, hook onto the fleshy bits of a demon, and fly-in in close enough so that as soon as you see whatever hue of glowing red makes up their eyes you can quickly send dozens of pieces of them on a one-way vacation to the nearby walls and floors.
Taking the stage at the Xbox E3 2019 Showcase after a digital cameo in an electrifying new Cyberpunk 2077 cinematic trailer, Keanu Reeves was there to not only introduce the game but reveal the release date in style. April 16, 2020 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The Cyberpunk 2077 countdown begins!
In the following cinematic trailer we get to see a rather tense moment of the Cyberpunk 2077 story play out - in what looks like the default male character alongside a few key NPCs you meet along the way. Although pre-rendered, it looks to recreate moments from in-game, including the reveal of Johnny Silverhand - played by Keany Reeves.
According to the release Reeves not only provided his likeness but also recorded extensive full-body motion capture for the role.
Alongside the release date comes word of the expected Collector's Edition, which comes in a box modeled after one of Night City's buildings. Which will come packed with a 25 cm statue depicting the game’s protagonist, a steelbook case, a hardcover art book, and more.
Yesterday we presented the first half of our deep dive into Metroidvania games, presenting our picks of the best modern entries in a genre whose history you can trace all the way back to the 16-bit and 32-bit era classics from Nintendo and Capcom, Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
With this list, compiled by Seamus Mullins, inspired by one of the genre's recent hits - the excellent Dead Cells.
Shadow Complex Remastered
Platform(s): Windows, Mac, PS4, Xbox One
Developer: ChAIR Entertainment/Epic Games
If you prefer Metroidvania with guns over swords, then you can’t go past the remastered version of ChAIR Entertainment’s ’s Shadow Complex.
A smart twist on the side-scrolling Metroidvania formula, Shadow Complex keeps you guessing throughout its action-thriller story, switching perspectives and throwing dozens of crazy situations at you. As you traverse the game’s mysterious underground complex, you’ll discover several unique power ups, difficult challenges and epic boss battles to boot.
Many a Diablo fan (coughKostacough) has likely been champing at the bit to get a piece of Warhammer: Chaosbane. Unfortunately sometimes mimicry isn't the best form of flattery, nor is it conducive to placating needs, desires and wants. All of which essentially permeate our review of the Warhammer spin on the Diablo formula. Sorry, Toadovsky.
To a Diablo III tragic, this is a major drawback. For years we've been spoiled with a wealth of generated content that keeps the hack 'n' slash fresh. Likewise, my seven characters have been assailed by a cast of monsters so diverse it's like the original Necronomicon grew into a Stephenie Meyer-esque series of novels. In comparison, Chaosbane offered me four heroes and what felt like the first page or two of a demon brochure.
Let's take a look at the player characters first, none of which can be customised (not even gender variants). I personally went with the wood she-elf scout who deals in high-mobility arrowslinging and can also spawn in Groot familiars. An online co-op buddy of mine went the route of a High-elf mage who loves to teleport, burn things, and deliver AOE pain from afar. One of my sons stepped into the armour of an Imperial Soldier who wades in close and is adept at defense / counter-attacks. Last but not least, we had some online rando dipping in and out as a Dwarven Slayer – an AOE maestro who's all about that bleed effect. Decent selection, all in all, but I sure did want more choice.
Our trilogy of Logitech G Pro review is now complete - with the new Logitech G Pro Wireless Mouse. Perhaps the lightest gaming mouse on the market, and there's no wires to boot. Like with the Logitech G Pro Mechanical Keyboard and the Logitech G Pro Gaming Headset it continues the trend of minimal design with an eye on pro and competitive gaming.
And by lightweight, we mean it. Logitech has created perhaps the lightest wireless gaming mouse we’ve ever used – it clocks in at an almost featherweight 80g. As to why, the design decision is clear when your factor in the behinds the scenes story that led up to the release of the Logitech G Pro range. Alongside its own engineers and designers, Logitech worked closely with several pro gamers to fine tune and adjust each design to meet their needs. To create the perfect Gaming Mouse. Of course, the very idea of such a device is kind of absurd – as when you factor in grip styles, types of games, other uses, customisation, and so forth there are several acceptable preferences. As to how – that comes with the new low-power HERO 16k sensor and battery design that allows for both a small overall weight and long playtime between charges. Like, going a week or two without needing to be plugged in.
The 16-bit and 32-bit era classics from Nintendo and Capcom, specifically Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, still resonate to this day. So much so that an entire genre, called Metroidvania was born. With the release of the excellent Dead Cellslast year, it brought to light just how much innovation and genuine talent there is not only in the indie scene but in this seemingly throwback genre.
Which is why Seamus Mullins has decided to compile the 20 very best examples of modern-day Metroidvania games - with Part One covering 10 games that are definitely worth checking out.
Platform(s): Windows, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Wii U
Developer: Thomas Happ
Frequently praised as one of the best and most faithful Metroidvanias in recent years, Axiom Verge is a modern classic.
Set to a tense sci-fi story in a mysterious alien world, you’ll need to break the very game to triumph; overcoming foes and puzzles with creative and mind boggling glitches. Axiom Verge is all the more impressive knowing it was developed by one person, the incredibly talented Tom Happ, who worked on the game for several years.
We're less than a week away from E3 2019, or days when you consider that EA Play is happening this weekend with a first look at Respawn's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. But, the show proper kicks off once again with Microsoft's Xbox Showcase. Which is why we've put together this handy list of local AEST conference times with a side helping of predictions.
With all the info you need for the Microsoft, Bethesda, Devolver, PC Gaming, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and Nintendo showcases. And sure, this year will be Sony-free but even that's not enough to stop the Hype Train.