Choosing Your Own Path In The Abyss

about X hours ago from
Choosing Your Own Path In The Abyss

Underworld Ascendant is a game that, for better or worse, has the chains of history shackled to it. The new immersive sim from OtherSide Entertainment is a spiritual successor to Ultima Underworld, a 1992 game by many of the same developers who were more than happy to explain that it is often considered the first ever first-person action game. With that kind of precedent, the kind of pressure Underworld Ascendant is under starts to take form, though the game definitely seems willing and able to hold that weight.

To say the gameplay in Underworld Ascendant is player-authored might be selling it short. When we talked to OtherSide Entertainment cofounder and immersive sim luminary Paul Neurath earlier this year, he emphasized a desire to take the immersive sim genre further beyond its limitations. Circumventing limitations is the underlying foundation of the genre, after all.

In Underworld Ascendant, players have free reign to seek out solutions however they see fit using whatever is at their disposal. Using what is appropriately titled the Improvisation Engine, players can use and manipulate their environment to solve puzzles, cross gaps, defeat enemies, and generally just tackle any issue in front of them they may need or want to overcome.

Siegfried Comes Swinging In Soulcalibur VI

about X hours ago from
Siegfried Comes Swinging In Soulcalibur VI

Soulcalibur VI is marching towards a release this year (PS4, Xbox One, and PC), and Bandai Namco has just announced another combatant for its roster – Siegfried, who wields his massive zweihander Requiem in this gameplay trailer.

While you don't get to see the game's destructible armor in the trailer below, you can witness Siegfried's super in action.

To see more of the Soulcalibur VI's gameplay in action, check out this New Gameplay Today footage with our hands-on time with the fighter.

Seeing Alien Planets Through The Eyes Of A Robot Bounty Hunter

about X hours ago from
Seeing Alien Planets Through The Eyes Of A Robot Bounty Hunter

From its inception, one of virtual reality’s best video game applications has been the action of firing a gun. Gunheart, which is currently playable in early access, has not stumbled into some unknown fun mechanic of virtual reality, but it is trying to create a version that offers a compelling reason to fire a gun, and to do it over and over.

You are a bounty hunter tasked with clearing assorted work sites on various alien planets of their alien bug problem. You do this by making your way through levels and shooting the bugs alongside up to two other players. Structurally, Gunheart has a lot in common with Destiny. You work your way through the site with random cooperative players (or friends), get paid, return to the hub location, The Bent Horizon, exchange your earnings for upgrades and new guns, and repeat the process. A story is present to add some context to why you are shooting alien bugs, but the main thrust to keep playing is going to be the upgrades.

Take On The World With The Heart Of The Cards

about X hours ago from
Take On The World With The Heart Of The Cards

As part of the King Knight DLC for Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games announced the King of Cards expansion, a brand new campaign centered around becoming card royalty.

For the expansion, Yacht Club Games has created an entirely new card game that functions similarly to Final Fantasy VIII's Triple Triad card game called Jouster. Cards representing Shovel Knight's many monsters make up your hand with arrows pointing in assigned directions on them. The cards are laid down in lit up center squares with the objective being to slide a card onto a gem on the board. Cards can be shoved by other cards in your hand by lining up arrows from the shover with sides with no arrows on the shovee, eventually getting to the gem.

King Knight is introduced to the card game, then walks forward into a Jouster hall with multiple opponents ready to play. He has to defeat every enemy in the area before he can take on the Black Knight below in his quest to become King.

Funky Kong's Wild Ride

about X hours ago from
Funky Kong's Wild Ride

At PAX East 2018, we got hands on with the Switch version of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, one of Nintendo's Wii U to Switch ports in the system's second year.

The big new addition, and emblazoned on the front of the new version's box, is the introduction of Donkey Kong's relative Funky Kong to the playable character list. Unlike previous characters like Diddy, Dixie, and Cranky, Funky supplants Donkey Kong as the main playable character and has his own skills to get through the game's levels.

The gorilla with sunglasses and a surfboard has a much easier time through the game for new players who find Tropical Freeze a little frustrating their first time through. Funky can double jump, basically emulating Dixie Kong's hair twirl but without needing her as a partner. While Cranky could bounce on spikes, Funky makes them completely moot by jumping and standing on them. Funky also hovers, much like Diddy's jetpack, making the incredibly safe jumps even safer. Finally, Funky can move fast in the same way Donkey Kong can infinitely roll, but without the need for a partner Kong.

A Surprising Journey Through Time And Space

about X hours ago from
A Surprising Journey Through Time And Space

Outer Wilds' initial impression is rather mundane and even a little disappointing when you first sit down with it. The pitch for the game, space exploration governed and oppressed by a time ticking down to a universal restart every few minutes, feels almost wasted when you first sit down and try the game. I played the demo at PAX East, however, and came away feeling far more intrigued by the game than its initial moments disguised.

The game starts with your character, an alien of some sort, getting ready to use an amateur garage-built rocket to get off their podunk planet and see the universe. Before I could set off, though, I needed launch codes from the forest village's observatory as a cranky old alien in a rocking chair sternly informed me. Along the way, some alien children might ask the player character to play hide and seek with them to tutorialize the game's radio frequency receiver, or fly drones with someone to learn how to fly the ship, both of which I did and neither of which were particularly fun. Regardless, I got the codes, returned to the ship, strapped in, and took off.

This slow start drained me of enthusiasm for Outer Wilds quickly. I did not realize the game would soon make me feel foolish for thinking that.

Manage Not Just Your Riders, But Your Emotions Too

about X hours ago from
Manage Not Just Your Riders, But Your Emotions Too

Neo Cab is a game from Chance Agency (whose staff has worked on games like Firewatch) that's billed as an "emotional survival game," touching upon themes like the gig economy, technology, and human connection. Taking influence from ride-sharing apps like Lyft and Uber, Neo Cab puts you in the shoes of a driver who must manage both their emotions and riders.

You play as Lina, a young woman who is a newcomer to the city of Los Ojos. In the not-too-distant future, she's one of the last remaining cab drivers since most have been replaced by robots. She's empathetic and knows when to speak up or when to bite her tongue depending on who gets in her car. This insight is helped by an item she wears that helps track her emotional status. When rude customers make her angry or sad, this item will flash a certain color to let her know. This way, she can keep her emotions in check so that she can be level-headed and careful with how she interacts with riders.

Outside of conversations with riders and your resulting emotional health, you also have to manage your finances and reputation in order to progress.

Become Acquainted With 1918 London In This Dark And Gritty Trailer

about X hours ago from
Become Acquainted With 1918 London In This Dark And Gritty Trailer

We're just a couple months away from the release of Vampyr, an RPG about vampires taking place in 1918 London. A new trailer was recently revealed, giving us another glimpse at protagonist Jonathan Reid's plight and the world he inhabits.

Set as World War I comes to a close and around the time of the Spanish Flu, Britain is ravaged with death and overcome with hopelessness. In Vampyr, these dark times give vampires the opportunity to kill to their heart's desire without much of the city noticing. Playing as Reid, you are a vampire yourself, and one of the biggest challenges you face is morality. You need to satisfy your thirst for blood, but as a doctor, you often don't want to kill unless absolutely necessary. 

You can view the trailer below.

The Nazi-Killing Action Game On The Go

about X hours ago from
The Nazi-Killing Action Game On The Go

At PAX East, Nintendo gave us hands-on time with the Switch version of Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, last year's story-heavy action showcase from Bethesda.

The demo we played started about half an hour into the game, where protagonist BJ Blaskowicz obtains the ability to start moving around in the game's action sequences. The first area had Fergus Reid, BJ's partner-in-arms from the army through the resistance, imploring BJ to take back the resistance U-boat from Nazi clutches. 

On first glance, the game looks like the PC version on lower settings. It makes a lot of the same compromises that Doom made on the Switch last year, lowering resolution and depth of field to run at a consistent albeit decidedly lower framerate. When just walking around, this is not terribly noticeable, but getting close to walls or character models like Fergus bring you back to the reality that you're playing a game where the baseline was PlayStation 4 and Xbox One now crammed on to a Switch.

Bring On The Slow Survival Jams

about X hours ago from
Bring On The Slow Survival Jams

During PAX East 2018, State of Decay developers Undead Labs unleashed a new trailer for the game showing off different aspects of the zombie survival sim.

The somber trailer plays slow music over the gameplay and management mechanics of the game, showing off leader mechanics, shooting, even zombie tossing. At one point, the player character stuns a large zombie by shooting it in the head a number of times before running at it and swinging around its neck to stab it in the back of the head.

You can check out the new trailer below.