Tokyo RPG Factory Wants I Am Setsuna To Be More Than Just A Nostalgia Grab

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At GDC 2016, I had the opportunity to meet with Square Enix and take a look at Tokyo RPG Factory's upcoming homage to '90s JRPGs, I am Setsuna . Tokyo RPG Factory says its desire is to revisit, "the methods used to develop past RPGs to create a completely new RPG series, which will introduce the authentic JRPG style to current hardware using the technologies of today."

When I sat down for the meeting I was skeptical about the game. The biggest thing we knew about I am Setsuna is it draws inspiration from the JRPG classic Chrono Trigger. Director Atsushi Hashimoto and his staff took some time to explain I am Setsuna is about a young woman and the sacrifices she must make to save her people, to reiterate that the game was an attempt to return to what the development team considers to be the golden era of JRPGs.

Our First Look At Sniper Elite 4's Blood-Gushing, Bone-Breaking Action

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Our First Look At Sniper Elite 4's Blood-Gushing, Bone-Breaking Action

Ask anyone who knows the Sniper Elite series what the first thing that comes to mind, and I suspect you'll get the same answer from most. The stealth series is known for its brutal X-ray kills that show the stark reality of what happens when a high-velocity projectile rips through the body.

Bones break, organs rupture, and players wince. This time out, Rebellion has added more of the vascular system, and the effect is more gruesome than ever.

But underneath the blood-soaked franchise is competent stealth, clever A.I., and attractive settings. The latest game in the series takes us to pre-war Italy and sports a number of features that add to and refine how the franchise works.

A Bright Summer Release Window

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Have you been anticipating Capybara Games' Below? Good news! The game isn't far off from release.

Capy revealed a summer release window at the end of the IGF awards today, but not without giving us another look at the game with a new trailer. 

The procedurally generated dungeon crawler focuses on survival, and the trailer below showcases the dark trek you'll be going on. Be sure to turn up the volume to get a sampling of the fantastic music. 

New Trailer Explores The Hellish Maps Of Doom

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Bethesda released a video today on its blog, showcasing nine new multiplayer maps for the upcoming release of Doom.

The new maps are looking hellish, in a good way. They range form the underground depths of a chasm to a Union Aerospace Corporation on Mars. Bethesda explains in their post that, "These multi-tiered combat arenas are littered with hazards, and packed with items that can turn the tide of combat at a moment’s notice."

The announced maps include:

Brutally Kill Zombies In Virtual Reality With Into The Dead

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PikPok's iOS and Android game, Into the Dead, just received a new trailer in anticipation of its release on the Oculus Rift.

Into the Dead is an action-packed horror game that pits you against several gruesome zombies, and tests how long you can stay alive. It originally released on mobile devices in 2012.

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The Weapons And Enemies Of Gears Of War 4

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Gears of War has always had a fair amount of creativity stocked in the enemies it throws at players, as well as the weapons it has given them to mow them down. Though Gears of War 4 looks to make some changes when it comes to tone and scope, The Coalition aims to keep both enemies and weapons as delightfully nasty as they've ever been.

Old favorites like the chainsaw equipped Lancer and the trusty snub pistol return, but with some aesthetic changes. To help instill the more survival-horror aspects of the game, the Lancer now has a flashlight attached to it that simultaneously makes targets easier to see and highlights their creepier features. Of course, not all changes to the classics are done for pragmatic reasons. The team admits the Gnasher now has a shell rail attached to it simply because, "it looks cool." While these additions are mostly cosmetic and don't fundamentally change how these weapons function, they are pleasant to look at.

The new weapons we've seen are essentially construction equipment that has been repurposed for violent means. The Coalition chose construction equipment in particular as an inspiration because of Gears of War 4's setting becasue the humans left on Sera are trying to build a new life after the war with the Locust. The two new big weapons we saw (and played with) are the Dropshot and the Buzzkill.

Senau Struggles With Inner Demons In Moody, Beautiful New Hellblade Trailer

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Today at GDC, Ninja Theory took the stage at the Epic Games talk to show off a new trailer and subtitle for its upcoming game, Hellblade.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, as the game is now called, follows a Celtic warrior's spirit quest into Vikings territory. The new trailer showcases some amazing atmosphere, and toward the end of its reveal the developers pulled away a black curtain to reveal the trailer was being performed by the actress in real-time using a powerful new nonlinear cinematic scripting tool called Sequencer. This shot based workflow allows developers to edit individual shots on the fly and see the edits as the actor is working in the virtual scene. As the actress talked and made facial expressions, we could see it translate immediately into the scene. 

Check out the trailer here:

Learn About The Art Design And Characters In New Video

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Learn About The Art Design And Characters In New Video

Naughty Dog and PlayStation have released a new video about the making of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, which tackles the art design and character development.

The video includes interviews with several of the games designers, developers, and voice actors, from art director Roph Ruppel to voice actor Nolan North.

Ruppel gives insight onto Nathan Drake's character development over the course of the series, and how technological advancements now make it possible to present small details like wrinkles and other facial aging qualities on Nathan. "As we got better, and as the platforms got better, we can see [Nathan] not only get more complex and more sophisticated, but he also is aging," Ruppel said.

In Challenging Platformer Gonner, You Have To Use Your Head

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Raw Fury Games’s upcoming platformer Gonner has a lot to love in a lightweight package. The concept is fairly simple; it’s a tough platformer roguelite where your character has to choose from a variety of heads and weapons to complete the task at hand, tackling expansive levels and deadly boss rooms.

Players will unlock new heads through gameplay, though there are a decent amount of options to start with. Players can select heads that give them an additional jump, double fire, and extra pips of health. If you get hit (with most heads) your head will pop off and you have a chance to collect it with your body instead of dying immediately, but it can be tricky to get your essentials back when enemies are in the way. In true Mario fashion, you can also jump on top of most enemies to take them out, but be wary of prickly foes that won’t play nice with that strategy.

Gun selection is also important. Do you opt for the powerful but focused shotgun or the crowd clearing laser beam? Like the heads, it’s more about having options than finding the “overpowered” option; you’re basically selecting the right tool for the job based on what enemies you’re planning to face in the trials ahead.

Chronicle: RuneScape Legends Takes The Iconic Game Into The Digital Card Realm

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Chronicle: RuneScape Legends Takes The Iconic Game Into The Digital Card Realm

The digital card game market is exploding on PC and mobile, and old-school MMORPG RuneScape isn’t falling behind. Next week on March 23, everyone can get in on the action with the launch of open beta. Progress won’t be wiped for official launch, making this a soft launch.

The game attempts to do something markedly different than many others available today by incorporating board game elements into the mix, and having players essentially build their own decks to beat. While a dragon or massive monster might be difficult to defeat, including them in your deck can confer massive rewards to your character as well over the course of a match. In essence, players are building decks for their own champion to beat, not a deck to defeat the opponent.

There’s still plenty of room for interaction with the enemy though, and that can take place in a number of ways, both directly and indirectly. Perhaps you’re the type that wants to fight the opponent directly with battle cards, or maybe you just want to buff enemy monsters – making it harder for the opponent to fulfill their plans. If you’re playing as the thief, maybe you’re focused on stealing enemy resources to hinder their progression and resource acquisition. A multitude of playstyles are available to explore.