New Presentation Focuses On The Battle System And Character Progression

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Earlier today the 2nd Xenoblade Chronicles X Direct hit Japan and this time the focus was on the combat of the game. As I did for the Exploration Direct, I’m going to walk you through all of the information we learned from watching the presentation. This Direct was densely packed with information so let’s get started.

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The trailer begins in earnest around the 2:20 mark. Elma walks us through the basics of battle. Like Xenoblade, combat alternates between using the basic auto attacks and choosing when to unleash your arts which are on cool down timers. Unlike Xenoblade, every character can swap between close range weapons like swords and long range weapons like guns. Each of these attacks have different properties, so you’ll need to choose the right weapon for the proper situations.

Badland Offers Great 4-Player Co-Op Fun On PS4

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Badland Offers Great 4-Player Co-Op Fun On PS4

Back in 2013, the beautiful, silhouetted simplicity of Frogmind's Badland won the developer one of Apple's Game of the Year awards (read our review here). After over 20 million downloads on mobile devices, the game is now being updated for wider release on consoles, PC, and Vita. I got my hands on the enhanced PlayStation 4 version of the game and played around with modes like co-op and deathmatch.

Badland contains the original 100-level single-player campaign, along with 100 co-op levels and a number of bonus stages that were offered as DLC packs on mobile devices. These stages have been modified to accommodate the new control scheme. The original Badland's controls were as simple as pressing the screen to make the little round critters flap their arms and fly. Now an extra degree of control has been added thanks to the controller's analog stick. The extra movement is subtle, but helps for fine-tuning your trajectory through narrow gaps.

Blizzard Entertainment Reveals New Characters, Beta Release Next Fall

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Blizzard Entertainment Reveals New Characters, Beta Release Next Fall

Blizzard has announced two new characters for its multiplayer first-person shooter, Overwatch. The pink-haired Zarya is the game's first female tanker, and McCree is a cybernetic gunslinger. These two faces join characters we've already heard about, like Tracer and Reaper.

Zarya brute force will be a powerful asset to players, as she shoots enemies with her particle cannon. Additionally, she has the Graviton Surge special ability, which holds enemies in a gravity force barrier. McCree wields a revolver and can throw grenades at oncoming enemies. He has a unique ability called Dead Eye that can be used to target multiple enemies at one time. 

Check out the character trailers below.

Virtual Reality And The Horror Of Deep-Sea Isolation

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We took a look at Honor Code's deep-sea horror game, Narcosis, when it was first revealed last year. Today at GDC 2015 Jeff Cork and I had a chance to strap on the latest version of the Oculus Rift VR kit and explore a flooded, derelict underwater research station. We discuss our impressions of the game's scariness and the use of VR.

Tim: Jeff, had you ever tried out the Oculus Rift before our hands-on demo with Narcosis at GDC?

Jeff: Nope. For whatever reason, I've never had any demos for games that used the device, and I never got around to trying out the one we had in the office. I'm not anti VR or anything, but I'm not frothing at the mouth to stick my face in one of those things, either.

Changing The Scope And Scale Of RTS Battles

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Changing The Scope And Scale Of RTS Battles

Today at GDC, I got to see a demo from Oxide Games' newly announced RTS, Ashes of the Singularity. It features an interesting approach to unit management, nicely lit explosions, and, oh, a few thousand ships blasting at one another with lasers and missiles, thanks to the studio's Nitrous engine.

The game's set in a far-off future, where mankind has transcended its flimsy physical husks in favor of an uploaded consciousness. Those post-humans are locked in all-out war with a rival faction, the A.I. Substrate. And as I saw, "All-out war," means more than few ships circling around and taking potshots.

Stardock brand manager Adam Biessener walked me through the demo, which was appropriately focused on the game's technology. [Full disclosure: Biessener was a longtime PC editor at Game Informer before working at Stardock.]

New Gameplay Teaser For The Screen Warping Adventure Unveiled

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New Gameplay Teaser For The Screen Warping Adventure Unveiled

At GDC 2015, Curve Digital announced that it is bringing Ludo Land’s Four Sided Fantasy to Wii U, Xbox One, PS4, PS3, and Vita, in addition to the already announced PC version. The game's main gimmick is that you can toggle on and off the ability to warp from one side of the screen to the other in order to navigate the environment.

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If you want to see more of Four Sided Fantasy in action, you can look at Ludo Land’s Kickstarter page. Not only does their Kickstarter page show many GIFs hinting at how the puzzles will evolve over time, it also offers some artwork for the main character – an unnamed businessman who wants to escape from the boredom of his office job.

Take A Spin On A Roller Coaster In New Gameplay Trailer

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Take A Spin On A Roller Coaster In New Gameplay Trailer

Atari is bringing back the famed theme park simulator with an assortment of new perks. It's been 11 years since the release of Roller Coaster Tycoon 3, the most recent PC game of the franchise, and the upcoming game is the most ambitious yet.

The new trailer straps you into a roller coaster and shows off new gameplay elements, such as rides and visuals of your dream theme park. The most innovative addition to the game is multiplayer, allowing you to visit other parks, share ride blueprints with friends, and the ability to team up with others to create your own amusement park corporation.

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Stylish Roguelike Dungeon Crawler Announced In Trailer

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Harebrained Schemes, the makers of Shadowrun Returns, has unveiled the new roguelike dungeon crawler Necropolis. This sleek-looking game has a low-poly art design and utilizes combat based on timing and animation.

You play as an adventurer exploring the depths of Abraxis' necropolis. The archmage's tomb is safeguarded by magical forces and enemies, but hidden deep inside are treasures and magical items. The maze-like dungeon shifts its hallways in different directions and closes walls at a whim, creating a procedurally generated experience like no other. To survive, you must create magic potions and collect mystical books which are used to level up your character.

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The Banner Saga's Creative Director Announces New Independent Project

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Alex Thomas, creative director for Stoic's The Banner Saga has split off to create a new indie developer called Candle & Key, and he is currently working on a new project titled Killers and Thieves.

Killers and Thieves puts players in the role of a guildmaster, tasking them with building a band of thieves. Players will have to manage and upgrade their headquarters and thieves, while also maintaining enough gold to keep their operation running. Guildmasters that fail to pay upkeep for resources lose people and property, and potentially open the door for a rival to attack.

Joining the overall guild management is a an XCOM-like squad-based mission system. Players will choose a group of thieves and infiltrate a procedurally generated city block. As with XCOM, squad members are far from untouchable and stay dead after they’re killed in the field.