Where's Our Doom Eternal Review?

about X hours ago from
Where's Our Doom Eternal Review?

Doom Eternal's review embargo is up, but the multiplayer servers are not online, meaning critics haven't been able to play any of Battlemode yet. For this reason alone, I won't post Game Informer's Doom Eternal review until I get the chance to explore what this avenue of play has to offer.

Battlemode promises to be quite different than Doom's traditional multiplayer offerings, and is designed as an asymmetrical multiplayer experience that pits a player-controlled Doom Slayer against two player-controlled demons. The concept is cool, and playing as bad guys is always fun, yet developer id Software and publisher Bethesda Softworks weren't able to find a way to get it in front of me for the review. From what I can tell from Battlemode's menu, it appears to be a fairly substantial experience, with plenty of unlockables, like skins for the Slayer, demons, and weapons, as well as victory poses and more.

Now the good news: Doom Eternal's single-player campaign is bloody brilliant, and just keeps getting better as it goes. I adored 2016's reimagining of Doom, and this sequel absolutely crushes it. The gunplay is electrifying and loaded with depth. With a wide selection of weapons and gadgets to cycle between, and heightened environment traversal, the Slayer rips across the battlefield like an acrobat who has gone nuclear. He's a sight to behold and fun as hell to control.

Where's Our Doom Eternal Review?

about X hours ago from
Where's Our Doom Eternal Review?

Doom Eternal's review embargo is up, but the multiplayer servers are not online, meaning critics haven't been able to play any of Battlemode yet. For this reason alone, I won't post Game Informer's Doom Eternal review until I get the chance to explore what this avenue of play has to offer.

Battlemode promises to be quite different than Doom's traditional multiplayer offerings, and is designed as an asymmetrical multiplayer experience that pits a player-controlled Doom Slayer against two player-controlled demons. The concept is cool, and playing as bad guys is always fun, yet developer id Software and publisher Bethesda Softworks weren't able to find a way to get it in front of me for the review. From what I can tell from Battlemode's menu, it appears to be a fairly substantial experience, with plenty of unlockables, like skins for the Slayer, demons, and weapons, as well as victory poses and more.

Now the good news: Doom Eternal's single-player campaign is bloody brilliant, and just keeps getting better as it goes. I adored 2016's reimagining of Doom, and this sequel absolutely crushes it. The gunplay is electrifying and loaded with depth. With a wide selection of weapons and gadgets to cycle between, and heightened environment traversal, the Slayer rips across the battlefield like an acrobat who has gone nuclear. He's a sight to behold and fun as hell to control.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Is The Most Welcoming Game I’ve Played In Years

about X hours ago from
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Is The Most Welcoming Game I’ve Played In Years

I love playing life sims. I enjoy how the genre transmutes low-stakes routines into compelling loops and satisfying progress, all in a peaceful domestic package. However, despite being a longtime fan of The Sims and Harvest Moon series (and sinking hundreds of hours into Stardew Valley across various platforms), I never gave Animal Crossing a fair shot. I resolved to change that with Animal Crossing: New Horizons. When we were sent copies of the game, I dove in to act as support for Jeff Cork (whose review you can read right here), but I was not prepared for how completely absorbing this world is. Both thematically and mechanically, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is among the most welcoming games I’ve ever played.

That may seem like a strange category to single out; we often discuss games in terms of things like narrative, weapons, or characters rather than how “welcoming” they feel. That’s not necessarily bad, but those elements don’t figure heavily into the Animal Crossing rubric. Instead, this is a game about creating a bright, idyllic virtual world that you can inhabit for days, weeks, and even years. To pull that off, New Horizons does a few key things that make the game approachable for almost all players – whether they’re seasoned fans or newcomers like me.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Is The Most Welcoming Game I’ve Played In Years

about X hours ago from
Animal Crossing: New Horizons Is The Most Welcoming Game I’ve Played In Years

I love playing life sims. I enjoy how the genre transmutes low-stakes routines into compelling loops and satisfying progress, all in a peaceful domestic package. However, despite being a longtime fan of The Sims and Harvest Moon series (and sinking hundreds of hours into Stardew Valley across various platforms), I never gave Animal Crossing a fair shot. I resolved to change that with Animal Crossing: New Horizons. When we were sent copies of the game, I dove in to act as support for Jeff Cork (whose review you can read right here), but I was not prepared for how completely absorbing this world is. Both thematically and mechanically, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is among the most welcoming games I’ve ever played.

That may seem like a strange category to single out; we often discuss games in terms of things like narrative, weapons, or characters rather than how “welcoming” they feel. That’s not necessarily bad, but those elements don’t figure heavily into the Animal Crossing rubric. Instead, this is a game about creating a bright, idyllic virtual world that you can inhabit for days, weeks, and even years. To pull that off, New Horizons does a few key things that make the game approachable for almost all players – whether they’re seasoned fans or newcomers like me.

Where Is Our Persona 5 Royal Review?

about X hours ago from
Where Is Our Persona 5 Royal Review?

Persona 5 Royal hits later this month, but you may be seeing some reviews around the internet right now. However, this is a long RPG (over 100 hours), and I haven't reached the end yet. One of the key selling points of this enhanced edition is a whole new semester at the end of the narrative, so I want to be sure to experience that before I render my final verdict.

However, with around 75 hours put into the game, I am sure that Royal delivers the best way to experience Persona 5. The new interactions, confidants, and palace additions give more context to the story and fun ways to further connect with the world. I really like Kasumi and Maruki, two new confidants introduced in Royal. These characters not only add interesting and endearing conversations and scenes, but they give you meaningful upgrades and stat boosts for ranking them up. However, I am disappointed and confused about why Kasumi only has 5 ranks instead of the normal 10 for confidants.

Where Is Our Persona 5 Royal Review?

about X hours ago from
Where Is Our Persona 5 Royal Review?

Persona 5 Royal hits later this month, but you may be seeing some reviews around the internet right now. However, this is a long RPG (over 100 hours), and I haven't reached the end yet. One of the key selling points of this enhanced edition is a whole new semester at the end of the narrative, so I want to be sure to experience that before I render my final verdict.

However, with around 75 hours put into the game, I am sure that Royal delivers the best way to experience Persona 5. The new interactions, confidants, and palace additions give more context to the story and fun ways to further connect with the world. I really like Kasumi and Maruki, two new confidants introduced in Royal. These characters not only add interesting and endearing conversations and scenes, but they give you meaningful upgrades and stat boosts for ranking them up. However, I am disappointed and confused about why Kasumi only has 5 ranks instead of the normal 10 for confidants.

The Sports Desk – What 2K's NFL Deal Could Mean For The Future Of Football

about X hours ago from
The Sports Desk – What 2K's NFL Deal Could Mean For The Future Of Football

Football fans have been praying and petitioning for EA’s exclusivity deal with the NFL to end so the public could once again get more than one officially licensed NFL title. The news that 2K will be putting out “non-simulation” NFL titles starting in 2021, however, probably wasn’t what they were envisioning. Although it signals 2K’s return to the gridiron, these upcoming games won’t be competing on the same playing field as Madden.

The phrase “non-simulation” is, of course, a clear indication that this isn’t the return of the NFL 2K series as we knew it back in 2004 when 2K and EA competed for the football crown. Historically, leaving licensing exceptions for certain kinds of experiences (like an MMORPG) or on specific platforms are common. They allow other companies to make different kinds of games that don’t infringe on the core deal because the audiences are considered different, and therefore they won’t cannibalize sales from the main piece of pie. For instance, when NASCAR handed out its official license to 704Games (then DMi) in 2015 it was just for simulation titles. 

The Sports Desk – What 2K's NFL Deal Could Mean For The Future Of Football

about X hours ago from
The Sports Desk – What 2K's NFL Deal Could Mean For The Future Of Football

Football fans have been praying and petitioning for EA’s exclusivity deal with the NFL to end so the public could once again get more than one officially licensed NFL title. The news that 2K will be putting out “non-simulation” NFL titles starting in 2021, however, probably wasn’t what they were envisioning. Although it signals 2K’s return to the gridiron, these upcoming games won’t be competing on the same playing field as Madden.

The phrase “non-simulation” is, of course, a clear indication that this isn’t the return of the NFL 2K series as we knew it back in 2004 when 2K and EA competed for the football crown. Historically, leaving licensing exceptions for certain kinds of experiences (like an MMORPG) or on specific platforms are common. They allow other companies to make different kinds of games that don’t infringe on the core deal because the audiences are considered different, and therefore they won’t cannibalize sales from the main piece of pie. For instance, when NASCAR handed out its official license to 704Games (then DMi) in 2015 it was just for simulation titles. 

New Gameplay Today — Nioh 2

about X hours ago from
New Gameplay Today — Nioh 2

The first Nioh was no slouch when it came to difficulty, but apparently it wasn't enough for Team Ninja. Nioh 2 is even more brutal, according to our own Dan Tack, but he was more than up for the challenge. 

In today's NGT, Dan takes Kim, Alex, and me on an in-depth tour of the upcoming Souls-like. You'll get a good look at his overpowered ax build, and also learn more about many of the game's complex, interconnected systems. There's a lot to take in, but Tack makes it look easy. Because of course he does.

Nioh 2 is out on March 13 for PlayStation 4.

New Gameplay Today — Nioh 2

about X hours ago from
New Gameplay Today — Nioh 2

The first Nioh was no slouch when it came to difficulty, but apparently it wasn't enough for Team Ninja. Nioh 2 is even more brutal, according to our own Dan Tack, but he was more than up for the challenge. 

In today's NGT, Dan takes Kim, Alex, and me on an in-depth tour of the upcoming Souls-like. You'll get a good look at his overpowered ax build, and also learn more about many of the game's complex, interconnected systems. There's a lot to take in, but Tack makes it look easy. Because of course he does.

Nioh 2 is out on March 13 for PlayStation 4.