How Sekiro Plays Differently Than Dark Souls

about X hours ago from
How Sekiro Plays Differently Than Dark Souls

With Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, From Software is making a number of changes to the way it thinks about combat, level design, storytelling, and more. Although fans expect plenty of surprises when they sit down with a From game for the first time, certain aspects of the developer’s formula having been trained into players’ minds, and it might be these players who have the hardest time getting used to Sekiro’s changes.

To get a taste of how Sekiro might differ from From’s previous output we sat down with lead game planner Masaru Yamamura to get his insight on what learned players may want to rethink most when they jump into Sengoku-era Japan for the first time.

For years, fans of From games have learned an invaluable instinct: If you see your opponent wind up an attack, get out of the way. That will only get you so far in Sekiro, and Yamamura predicts some players are going to think the game is harder than it actually is if they dodge at the first sign of movement. “We feel like the initial impression is going to be, ‘Wow, these enemies are really tough! They have a strong defense,” he says.

How Sekiro Plays Differently Than Dark Souls

about X hours ago from
How Sekiro Plays Differently Than Dark Souls

With Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, From Software is making a number of changes to the way it thinks about combat, level design, storytelling, and more. Although fans expect plenty of surprises when they sit down with a From game for the first time, certain aspects of the developer’s formula having been trained into players’ minds, and it might be these players who have the hardest time getting used to Sekiro’s changes.

To get a taste of how Sekiro might differ from From’s previous output we sat down with lead game planner Masaru Yamamura to get his insight on what learned players may want to rethink most when they jump into Sengoku-era Japan for the first time.

For years, fans of From games have learned an invaluable instinct: If you see your opponent wind up an attack, get out of the way. That will only get you so far in Sekiro, and Yamamura predicts some players are going to think the game is harder than it actually is if they dodge at the first sign of movement. “We feel like the initial impression is going to be, ‘Wow, these enemies are really tough! They have a strong defense,” he says.

Our Most Anticipated Shooters Of 2019

about X hours ago from
Our Most Anticipated Shooters Of 2019

As we blast ahead in 2019, shooter fans face a murder’s row of promising games within the first few months. With games from the Metro, Far Cry, Division, and Rage franchises dropping before summer, those mousepads and analog sticks are about to get a serious workout. 

Looking beyond these early months, the heavy hitters become more few and far between, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the year is lacking in interesting projects. Let’s take a look at the most promising shooters scheduled to release in 2019. 

Release: February 22 Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Our Most Anticipated Shooters Of 2019

about X hours ago from
Our Most Anticipated Shooters Of 2019

As we blast ahead in 2019, shooter fans face a murder’s row of promising games within the first few months. With games from the Metro, Far Cry, Division, and Rage franchises dropping before summer, those mousepads and analog sticks are about to get a serious workout. 

Looking beyond these early months, the heavy hitters become more few and far between, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the year is lacking in interesting projects. Let’s take a look at the most promising shooters scheduled to release in 2019. 

Release: February 22 Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC

Gris Is The Best Modern Game About Overcoming Trauma

about X hours ago from
Gris Is The Best Modern Game About Overcoming Trauma

The vast majority of stories are about restoration. Yearning to restore or replace what has been lost is a very human thing, after all. The desire for restoration is a theme that echoes throughout art maybe more than any other. You find the theme all over the place in games, from sophisticated titles aping popular cinema (like The Last Of Us with Joel's attempts to replace his lost daughter with Ellie) to games that aren't particularly focused on narrative, such as Tetris, where you're constantly trying to restore the game screen to its blankness by removing the lines of blocks.

One particular type of game trope involves having a protagonist restore a fallen world. In Dark Souls, your goal is to literally light up a kingdom in the darkness of a fallen age. In Breath Of The Wild, Link goes on a quest to take on Ganon so that Hyrule can begin to heal after a century of strife and ruin. Gris falls into this category of games as well, focusing on a young woman's journey to restore a broken world, but is remarkably unique and affecting in its presentation.

Gris Is The Best Modern Game About Overcoming Trauma

about X hours ago from
Gris Is The Best Modern Game About Overcoming Trauma

The vast majority of stories are about restoration. The desire to restore or replace what has been lost is a very human thing, after all. The desire for restoration is a theme that echoes throughout art maybe more than any other. You find the theme all over the place in games, from sophisticated titles aping popular cinema (like The Last Of Us with Joel's attempts to replace his lost daughter with Ellie) to games that aren't particularly focused on narrative, such as Tetris, where you're constantly trying to restore the game screen to its blankness by removing the lines of blocks.

One particular type of game trope involves having a protagonist restore a fallen world. In Dark Souls, your goal is to literally light up a kingdom in the darkness of a fallen age. In Breath Of The Wild, Link goes on a quest to take on Ganon so that Hyrule can begin to heal after a century of strife and ruin. Gris falls into this category of games as well, focusing on a young woman's journey to restore a broken world, but is remarkably unique and affecting in its presentation.

How Overwatch Should Move Away From Loot Boxes

about X hours ago from
How Overwatch Should Move Away From Loot Boxes

I keep telling myself that Overwatch's loot boxes are not that bad. I'm a fool for believing this. From the viewpoint of maintaining the integrity of the game, I'm not wrong: Overwatch's loot boxes aren't pay to win. The items they contain are purely cosmetic, and don't enhance player abilities or throw off the balance of competition in the slightest.

Is Overwatch a shining example of how loot boxes should be handled? Sure. Well, kind of. For fans who play Overwatch religiously like I do, and want to unlock the coolest items and skins for beloved heroes, the boxes seep a different kind of evil than pay to win. This form of evil is tied to a timer. When a new event like the holiday themed Winter Wonderland rolls around, you only have a certain number of days to unlock the exclusive items contained in the boxes. If you miss your chance, the items are no longer available. You end up feeling the pressure to either play more or pay more to get these desired boxes. Maybe I'm crazy in thinking this, but a game shouldn't make you feel guilty for not investing more time or spending more money in it. I know the money earned from the loot boxes supposedly funds the development of the free DLC, but that doesn't mean it has to make the player feel like they are missing out on something.

How Overwatch Should Move Away From Loot Boxes

about X hours ago from
How Overwatch Should Move Away From Loot Boxes

I keep telling myself that Overwatch's loot boxes are not that bad. I'm a fool for believing this. From the viewpoint of maintaining the integrity of the game, I'm not wrong: Overwatch's loot boxes aren't pay to win. The items they contain are purely cosmetic, and don't enhance player abilities or throw off the balance of competition in the slightest.

Is Overwatch a shining example of how loot boxes should be handled? Sure. Well, kind of. For fans who play Overwatch religiously like I do, and want to unlock the coolest items and skins for beloved heroes, the boxes seep a different kind of evil than pay to win. This form of evil is tied to a timer. When a new event like the holiday themed Winter Wonderland rolls around, you only have a certain number of days to unlock the exclusive items contained in the boxes. If you miss your chance, the items are no longer available. You end up feeling the pressure to either play more or pay more to get these desired boxes. Maybe I'm crazy in thinking this, but a game shouldn't make you feel guilty for not investing more time or spending more money in it. I know the money earned from the loot boxes supposedly funds the development of the free DLC, but that doesn't mean it has to make the player feel like they are missing out on something.

How From Software Is Changing Its Approach To Storytelling For Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

about X hours ago from
How From Software Is Changing Its Approach To Storytelling For Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Set in the waning years of Sengoku-era Japan, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice features a brighter, more colorful world than we’ve seen out of From Software. This lets them create environments with a different air about them than either Bloodborne or Dark Souls, as the developer tries to both elicit and play with the beauty of Japan during the Warring States period. The change in locale has also prompted From Software to make some key changes to how it tells stories, but it’s not shying away from the key methods fans have come to love.

For starters, don’t let the brighter environments in Sekiro fool you into thinking this will be a cheerier tale. “Of course, this being a From title, there’s beauty and there’s death and decay to contrast that,” says From manager of marketing and communications Yasuhiro Kitao. When choosing a time period for Sekiro, From chose the earlier Sengoku era over the more modern Edo period as its setting specifically because it fit the studio’s style. “Edo is more like Japan coming back from the brink, and really kind of revitalizing itself, and everything’s a lot more early-modern [stuff],” Kitao says. “Sengoku is much like Dark Souls and such, more medieval Japan, and allows us to play with those medieval concepts and those more mystical concepts.”

How From Software Is Changing Its Approach To Storytelling For Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

about X hours ago from
How From Software Is Changing Its Approach To Storytelling For Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Set in the waning years of Sengoku-era Japan, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice features a brighter, more colorful world than we’ve seen out of From Software. This lets them create environments with a different air about them than either Bloodborne or Dark Souls, as the developer tries to both elicit and play with the beauty of Japan during the Warring States period. The change in locale has also prompted From Software to make some key changes to how it tells stories, but it’s not shying away from the key methods fans have come to love.

For starters, don’t let the brighter environments in Sekiro fool you into thinking this will be a cheerier tale. “Of course, this being a From title, there’s beauty and there’s death and decay to contrast that,” says From manager of marketing and communications Yasuhiro Kitao. When choosing a time period for Sekiro, From chose the earlier Sengoku era over the more modern Edo period as its setting specifically because it fit the studio’s style. “Edo is more like Japan coming back from the brink, and really kind of revitalizing itself, and everything’s a lot more early-modern [stuff],” Kitao says. “Sengoku is much like Dark Souls and such, more medieval Japan, and allows us to play with those medieval concepts and those more mystical concepts.”