Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (SotN) is one of the most influential games ever made. First released for the original PlayStation in 1997, the game has since been ported to nearly every platform under the sun. It perfected the series' core design conceit where players could explore gigantic 2D environments at will, collecting new abilities that unlocked hidden-in-plain-sight secrets in previously traversed areas. It also iterated on the superb Super Metroid released for the SNES three years prior.
Keita Takahashi is an unusual video game designer. His breakout hit, Katamari Damacy, was about picking up objects with an increasingly large, sticky ball. He then made Noby Noby Boy, a game about a colorful, worm-like creature that can stretch around animals, houses and planets. Now, the artist is working on Wattam, a light-hearted puzzle game about a little green mayor and his quest to find a group of long-lost friends. It's a wonderfully weird experience that doesn't fall into any conventional game genre — and that's just fine by me.
Titles by FromSoftware, like Dark Souls, Bloodborne (and most probably the incoming Sekiro) are exhausting games to play. Incredible and rewarding, yes, but harrowing too. Perhaps Déraciné is as much a break for FromSoftware's staff as it is for players. The new PlayStation VR game reunites Japan Studio, FromSoftware and director Hidetaka Miyazaki, and centers around gentle environmental puzzle-solving. No swords, no violence and no pride-damaging difficulty -- just some head scratching. Intrigued?
With its third season of The Walking Dead, game developer Telltale took a risk. The team moved the spotlight away from Clementine and onto a new batch of survivors led by former baseball star Javier Garcia. "People just wanted more Clementine," Kent Mudle, creative director on Telltale's The Walking Dead said. "They liked the Clementine stuff that was there, and she was playable in the flashbacks and that kind of thing. But that's what people have been demanding since season two, basically." So for the fourth and final season, the studio is putting the focus back on Lee's beloved "sweet pea."
Call of Duty is no stranger to the PC. Previous versions of the game have been available on the platform before this year's Black Ops 4, but Treyarch is putting way more energy behind the PC edition than it has in the past. That means a much larger team is working on this version of the game. There's much more attention to detail, customization and other features specifically for the PC faithful.
Naughty Dog's E3 trailer for The Last of Us: Part II gave us a good idea what combat as lead character Ellie would be like, but the story is still largely a mystery. But during a panel earlier this week, game director Neil Druckmann dropped a tantalizing hint about how the game might be structured. It sounds like it won't be the totally linear affair found in the first game. Instead, the narrative may move between two different times, much the way that Left Behind (a three-hour, Ellie-focused add-on to The Last of Us) jumped between two points in time.
With the rise of games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite, headsets have become essential gear. Like any other personal audio purchase, there are a range of options, offering loads of features and levels of sound quality -- depending on how much you're willing to pay. At E3, Turtle Beach announced two new wired headsets that offer solid audio and decent features without breaking the bank.
I never expected that particular phrase to pass through my mind, but it definitely did during my playthrough of the new Resident Evil 2 remake -- and more than once. Twenty years after its launch on the original PlayStation, RE2 has been essentially rebuilt from the ground up for modern platforms and it's nearly unrecognizable, at least from a visual standpoint. Gameplay-wise, however, it feels just like RE2.