The Director And Producer Talk New Improvements

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When Final Fantasy XII released in 2006, it was seen as one of the more divisive entries in the history of the mainline series. Coming off the well-received Final Fantasy X and the first online game of the series in Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XII shook up the formula significantly to deliver an experience that was loved by some, but proved to split the community of Final Fantasy fans. With Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, Square Enix hopes to reintroduce players to a new and improved version of the game in hopes of making the experience more accessible and less divisive.

Remastered with new visuals, an improved user interface, and high resolution textures, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age has all the markings of a good HD remaster. Players will notice things such as better textures on things like armor, skin, leather, and other items within the environment, as well as improved facial expressions. The fonts of the user interface are also improved to make it a more friendly experience.

The E3 Stage Demo Played Better Than It Looked

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Aside from the multitude of premature leaks, most of the E3 2016 press conferences went off without a hitch. There were few bad demos, but one of the surprise poor stage demos was Final Fantasy XV. The demo showcased the massive Titan Trial, which had Noctis and Gladiolus battling one of the largest foes ever seen in the series' long history. Unfortunately, the stage demo was full of missteps and a rush of negativity flooded social media as fans reacted to the action shown on screen. I had the chance to check out the demo for myself, and while it's still not my favorite Final Fantasy sequence I've seen, it was much more enjoyable to play the battle than it was to watch it.

The build up had me, as Noctis, taking on a few standard enemies. With Gladiolus' assistance, we made quick work of these baddies. Within minutes, we moved into the open area that housed the Titan seen in the stage presentation. The Titan telepathically communicates with Noctis, which makes the protagonist none too pleased. He decides he's had enough and fights back. He and Gladiolus burst into action, but they're completely overwhelmed. Ignis and Prompto are on their way, but they'll be a few minutes. The two present members just need to survive until help arrives.

Hands On With This Gravity Defying First-Person Shooter

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During E3, I was given the chance to play a couple of rounds of Boss Key's upcoming multiplayer first-person shooter, LawBreakers, a game that tries so hard to capture the glory of arena shooters like Quake III and Unreal Tournament. On that level, it works pretty well, letting you zip around various maps, playing as colorful characters armed with powerful, futuristic weaponry.

At the beginning of each match, you're given the option of four classes: titan, enforcer, assassin, and vanguard. Each class has their own special ability set and style of play that will likely appeal to a variety of players. Titans are powerhouses capable of dominating a space with lightning. Enforcers are your standard soldier armed with an assault rifle, pistol, and useful sprinting ability. Assassins are great at moving around the map quickly, slashing at foes with swords while the vanguard has rockets and a cool pulse blast ability that flings enemies away from you.

Demo Showcases A Promising Sci-Fi Mystery

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The last we heard of Tacoma, Fullbright's sci-fi follow up was being delayed into 2017. Yesterday, I got to sit down and watch a lengthy segment of gameplay from early on in Tacoma and came away impressed with what I saw.

The demo follows protagonist Amy Ferrier, a contractor and operations specialists who's been suddenly hired to the space station Tacoma. I watch Amy enter Tacoma through a hatch and, in a fantastic sequence reminiscent of both Alien and 2001: A Space Odyssey, travel down a long white industrial tube, bathed in red light, to the station's entrance. Here the person playing the demo, Fullbright co-founder Karla Zimonja, explores the hallway and plays basketball in zero-g.

As Amy proceeds into the part of the station with simulated Earth gravity, it's explained why she is here: to retrieve the station's malfunctioning (possibly corrupt) A.I. called Odin, who zooms around us as inverted pyramid spouting data and gibberish. Amy sticks some sort of contraption on a engineering panel and it's here that Zimonja explains the player is free to explore the station and discover what happened to the crew while that data is uploading to the device.

Six Reasons Why The New Firaxis Game Was One Of E3’s Most Underappreciated Gems

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Six Reasons Why The New Firaxis Game Was One Of E3’s Most Underappreciated Gems

In Civilization VI, you’ll get to build a civilization and nurture it from the stone age to the space age. For Civ fans this is nothing new, but the sixth entry in Firaxis’ 4X strategy masterpiece has some great improvements. Let me count the ways.

1) The Art Is RadCiv VI’s fog of war system slowly reveals the world as you explore it. This is pretty normal, but what is new is that after you’ve discovered an area and leave the world takes on an old world map-like aesthetic. The studio hasn’t really shown this off in any of the images of the game for some reason, but it looks really cool. 

2) Confidence BuildersWorkers are now called builders, and while they only have a limited number of uses they are great for cultivating your city. I used builders to create farms on tiles with wheat and then turned a tile with rocks into a mine. These benefits happen instantly and give you an added boost to your cities production.

The Game Is Expected To Release Sometime This Year

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The Game Is Expected To Release Sometime This Year

Developer Reikon Games recently released a bunch of new screens for its upcoming cyber-punk game, Ruiner. It looks as bleak as it does fun.

Set under the shadow of a mysterious building called "Heaven," in the city Rengkok, Ruiner appears to be a game about violent unrest in the face of industrialization. A top-down shooter, the game looks gritty, colorful, and violent. Get a glimpse of the game below.

Ruiner is expected to release this year exclusively on PC. Make sure to check out our Test Chamber of the game. 

The Golf Club 2 Swings For Distance

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The first Golf Club game made its name with an extensive course creator and a meter-less swing mechanic. It was also notable for bucking the sports game trend of yearly installments. Numerous free and paid updates followed the game post-release, but it was unknown when or if a full-on sequel would come out. At E3 the company finally announced a follow up, and the amount of features packed into The Golf Club 2 proves that this isn't just an iterative shuffle forward, but a big stride for the franchise.

One of the main knocks of the first game when it released was its lack of a career mode. The Golf Club 2 solves this with golf societies. Gaining entry into better societies (by paying the increasing entry fee from the money you've earned) is how you move up the ladder and get into more prestigious tournaments with more fanfare and trappings. You can design your societies' badge and get access to better digs.

Customization also comes into play through the extensive golfer editor. 60 actors have been scanned for use in the game, and a bevy of sliders let you terraform their visages to your liking. You can even adjust the moles and pimples on their faces. Further customization comes into play through the ability to pick different clothes and choose their color, as well as design the emblem on your shirts. 

Looking At The New Battle System

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Looking At The New Battle System

The popular Tales Of series is ready to return for its 16th entry. With a revamped battle system and the franchises' first exclusive female protagonist, Tales of Berseria is looking like a refreshing entry in the long-running franchise. I recently met with Tales of Berseria producer Yasuhiro Fukaya to discuss the changes that have been made to differentiate Tales of Berseria from its predecessors.

The biggest change for Tales of Berseria is the new battle system, which gives characters free movement within the battle, as well as free rotation of the camera for players. Players can also assign up to four artes to each of the face-buttons, for a total of 16 artes assigned at a time. The new core element to the battle system is called "Break Soul." Using this system, you build up three gauges in order to release one Break Soul attack. For the main character Velvet, the result is a powerful combo that inflicts heavy damage. 

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Looking Better Than Ever At E3

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Looking Better Than Ever At E3

Mafia III’s story is told via a really cool documentary-style narrative, and during my E3 visit, I got a chance to tour Hanger 13's re-envisioned city of New Orleans, the crime-drenched city of New Bordeaux.

Main hero Lincoln Clay, an ex-Vietnam war vet who is betrayed by the Italian mob and ends up on a quest to see their criminal empire burn.

Hanger 13’s rendition of New Bordeaux feels like a character itself. My tour through the city starts in the bayou as we work our way through the French Ward. Each of the 10 districts have their own ecology. The bayou is a scenic swampland that feels sticky and hot. Amidst these foul waters the mafia runs guns and produces moonshine.

Being A Vampyr Has Its Perks

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Dontnod Entertainment made an impression on players last year with Life is Strange, its episodic game about growing up, discovering who you are, and working through supernatural abilities. Its upcoming game, Vampyr, deals with a few of these themes, but it tackles them in a more action-packed – and bloodier – framework. You play as Dr. Jonathan Reid, a physician who has to deal with an outbreak of the Spanish flu in London, and also his own vampirism. It's not all bad, however, as an E3 demo showed.

Here are three positive things about being a vampire (or vampyr) in the middle of a disease outbreak. Things could certainly be worse...

You Can Do What You WantPlayer choice is a big part of Vampyr, which is something that Dontnod has explored in its previous games. Here, one of your big decisions is simple: Who do you eat? As a vampire, you have certain...urges, and it's up to you how you sate them. While you don't have to kill people, doing so propels the story forward in different, unexpected ways. If you decide to lure a thug into the shadows and take a bite out of his neck, he could leave behind a family, who in turn could suffer in his absence. Is that something you can live with? As you play, you can investigate the backgrounds of various people, which should help you make your life-and-death decisions, too.