Five Things We Learned From Our Hands-On

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Five Things We Learned From Our Hands-On

Total Warhammer II, a sequel to Creative Assembly's combination of its influential Total War strategy series with the Warhammer franchise, is due out before the end of the year. Our PC editor Dan Tack enjoyed the original game, writing in his review that "Total War: Warhammer is one of the best Total War games I’ve ever played, and fans of either franchise should find themselves with a winner here. Those looking for more historically rooted fare may find the fantasy over the top, but plenty of solid strategy lurks under the magic and mayhem."

The sequel looks to continue the tradition of the first, putting tactics and fantasy front and center. We recently checked out a snippet of Total War: Warhammer II and came away enjoying our time with it. Here are our five big takeaways.

Owners Of The First Game Get Something SpecialA patch that Creative Assembly will release shortly after TW:WH II's launch will allow owners of the first TW:WH to combine campaigns of both games, giving them access to all the factions from the first game as well as the world map, much in the way that Left 4 Dead II gave access to the original game's maps if you owned both.

A Bloody Good First Impression

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A Bloody Good First Impression

At a recent event, I had the chance to play through the opening of Koji Igarashi's Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a spiritual successor to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Though the demo wasn't that long--15 minutes at the most--it did deliver much of the same feeling I had when I originally played Symphony of the Night all those years ago.

The basic setup of Bloodstained has you playing Miriam, an orphan exploring a demon-occupied castle in the hopes of finding a way to break a curse that's slowly causing her skin to turn into crystal. A third-person, 2.5D action RPG, Bloodstained has you collecting powers that help you navigate the castle and defeat enemies. During my time I came across a wealth of weapons I could equip, like swords and even kicking shoes, but I kept to my whip mostly, which dished out a fair amount of damage from a distance. I also collected powers that let me shoot bones and flames at foes, which was immensely helpful when I came up against some of the more powerful enemies, like massive knights.

The castle itself is interesting if a bit traditionally medieval. There's a lot of stone and bellowers. The art style makes the setting feel exceptionally gothic instead of generic. I had fun navigating the various nooks and crannies, leaping down on enemies with my whip.

A Promising And Emotional Adventure From The Creative Director Of Shadows Of The Damned

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A Promising And Emotional Adventure From The Creative Director Of Shadows Of The Damned

The upcoming Last Day of June is an adventure game by Massimo Guarini, who directed Shadows Of The Damnned and created indie darling Murasaki Baby. Last Day of June follows husband Carl as he deals with the loss of his wife June, lurching into the past and trying to come into some form of peace in the present.

The game is a third-person adventure title with an puppet animation-inspired aesthetic devised by Jess Cope, who worked as an animator on Tim Buron's Frankenweenie.  You can watch a trailer for Last Day of June here:

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Fly Over A Scenic Kingdom In E3 Trailer

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Fly Over A Scenic Kingdom In E3 Trailer

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an upcoming RPG described as "Dungeons & Dragons, but without the dragons." If that sounds like your kind of game, a new E3 trailer is out now, showing off the game's beautiful world – and just a hint at danger.

The game doesn't feature traditional classes. Instead, players can upgrade their character as they see fit, as they explore the lush world of medieval Bohemia.

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Trailer Shows Attack On Titan-Style Action With A Fantasy Twist

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Trailer Shows Attack On Titan-Style Action With A Fantasy Twist

Iron Galaxy and Maximum Games have announced a new game, which pits players against 150-foot-tall ogres. Fortunately, as a new trailer shows, they're monsters that can be sliced apart with swords. 

You play as a soldier named Avil, who is one of the final Sentinel soldiers. He can take on the Ravenii monsters both on foot and in the air – something that Iron Galaxy's work on the Killer Instinct reboot undoubtedly informed.

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Skullgirls Creators Announce Switch Release With New Trailer

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Skullgirls Creators Announce Switch Release With New Trailer

Indivisible, a new RPG from Lab Zero (the developer behind Skullgirls), announced this morning that the game will be available on an additional platform: Nintendo Switch.

You can check out the trailer below which showcases protagonist Ajna's platforming, turn-based combat, and fantastic 2D animation. Along with Switch, Indivisible is planned for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC next year.

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Learn About The Characters In These Silly Comics

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Learn About The Characters In These Silly Comics

Valkyria Revolution comes out in a few weeks, and Sega has released a few comics to help players get to know some of the characters. However, these aren't multi-issue scenarios that depict elaborate backstories; they're goofy, lighthearted four-panel comics that put three characters in the spotlight.

Amleth Gronkjaer, Basil Sabancci, and Fritte Eriksen each get to star in two entries. Amleth is a stoic military captain, Basil is flirtatious young tycoon, and Fritte is journalist – though the full scope of their personalities and interactions aren't represented in these vignettes. For that, we'll have to play the full game when it release on June 27.

Check out the gallery below to see all six comics.

The Rice Cultivation/Action-Platformer Hybrid Is The First Game In Xseed's E3 Lineup

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The Rice Cultivation/Action-Platformer Hybrid Is The First Game In Xseed's E3 Lineup

Publisher Xseed Games announced the first game in its E3 2017 lineup today. Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin comes from Edelweiss, the developers of Astebreed, and combines side-scrolling action-platforming with rice cultivation, set against the backdrop of Japanese mythology. 

You play as Sakuna, a harvest goddess who has been banished to an island of outcast humans. The side-scrolling part of the game has you battling demons with farming tools and a "celestial scarf," while the gameplay at your home base involves a detailed rice-cultivating process, which helps improve your harvest and hone your skills. The game is described as "a love letter to Japanese culture" and "an ode to the artistry of cultivating rice."

You can view the Japanese trailer below.

How Legendary Composer Yasunori Mitsuda Is Bringing The Soundtrack To Life

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How Legendary Composer Yasunori Mitsuda Is Bringing The Soundtrack To Life

The world of Valkyria Revolution is heavily influenced by the European industrial revolution, drawing upon thematic elements from the time period and integrating them into a war of liberation. The game focuses on the concept of death and overcoming the fear that accompanies it. 

Yasunori Mitsuda, the composer of Valkyria Revolution, encapsulates the classical feel of that era, bringing the game's inspiration to life and actively shaping the tone experienced by the player. To reproduce the feeling of the European industrial revolution, Mitsuda conducted a live concert-hall recording with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. The scale of the recording was unheard of in Japan and lends "a great richness to the score," according to Mitsuda. Additionally, Mitsuda places particular emphasis on the score's ability to seamlessly transition between in-game events.

Mitsuda and the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra are joined by multilingual Australian-Japanese singer Sarah Àlainn, whose haunting voice appears on several tracks, including the main theme.