Hands On With Human Head's Hack-N-Slash Viking Adventure

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Hands On With Human Head's Hack-N-Slash Viking Adventure

After 18 years in the drawer, Human Head Studios has dusted off its Viking-themed action adventure series Rune with a new open-world, hack-n-slash adventure.

Rather than pick up where the original game left off, Rune: Ragnarok picks up in the midst of the Nordic apocalypse. Legends foretell the fiery death of all the gods during Ragnarok, but the cataclysmic event is not playing out as believed. The hellscape has taken hold, lasting nearly a decade. Giants, dragons, and the undead lay waste to the Scandinavian countryside, but somehow amidst this chaos, Loki has fiendishly prevented the end of the world from occurring. Your job is to take down this trickster god and get the apocalypse back on track. 

I ventured into this battle during a hands-on demo of the alpha build at GDC. The game is still very rough around the edges, but I still came away with a basic understanding of what to expect from this Viking adventure, which allows you to play single-player, cooperatively, or on PvP servers.

New Game From This War Of Mine Developer Leaves You With Difficult Choices

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New Game From This War Of Mine Developer Leaves You With Difficult Choices

Leading a society is a difficult feat. Leading a society in a dying world that's frozen over is even tougher. This is the premise of Frostpunk, an upcoming city builder and survival game from 11 Bit Studios, the creators of the indie hit This War of Mine.

Being a leader comes with difficult choices, and your decisions will either haunt you or progress your people to better days. You manage your society by following different story-driven goals, such as tasking groups to mine for coal. In Frostpunk, you are constantly gauging which choices are better in the long run, even if their immediate effects aren't favorable. This makes for a thrilling concept, where you are constantly thinking about the future of your people.

"Morality rules that apply to individuals like in This War of Mine don’t apply to entire societies. The rules are different. If you’re a leader, you can make a decision that you believe is the right one in the longterm, but people may disagree with you," 11 Bit partnerships manager Pawel Miechowski says.

Combining PvP And PvE For A Different Take On Battle Royale

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Combining PvP And PvE For A Different Take On Battle Royale

In 2015, Techland delivered an ambitious open-world zombie title that featured a heavy emphasis on scavenging, exploring, parkouring, and crafting. Dying Light garnered positive reviews, and Techland has continued evolving the experience ever since through updates and expansions. Now, the studio is hopping on board the battle royale bandwagon, but this is far from a PUBG clone.

Dying Light: Bad Blood is a new standalone online title set in the universe of the 2015 game. The concept is simple: six players are dropped across a large, open map with the goal of harvesting and looting enough blood packets to trade in for a helicopter ride out of the infected zone. The catch? There's only room for one.

The primary way to obtain blood packets is by killing zombies. Nests are located all over the city, and since you're racing against other players to get to the chopper with enough blood, you want to make a beeline toward the high concentration areas. Unfortunately, when you're dropped in, it's with nothing but the clothes on your back. Thankfully, the looting and crafting aspects of the original game are fully intact; you're not going to get far without a competent weapon, and weapon mods definitely help.

Julian Gollop's Spiritual Successor To XCOM Is One Worth Watching

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Julian Gollop's Spiritual Successor To XCOM Is One Worth Watching

Firaxis has done great work modernizing the classic XCOM franchise with two phenomenal titles. But that isn't stopping original creator Julian Gollop from pursuing his own evolution of the seminal turn-based strategy series. Phoenix Point is a spiritual successor that builds on the XCOM foundation in interesting new ways.

The year is 2047, and human civilization is under siege from a dangerous virus that was unleashed by melting permafrost. The virus spread quickly, mutating everything it came into contact with, and it only took two decades to dwindle human settlements into a few small pockets around the globe. To combat extinction, humans activate the Phoenix Project, a collection of the world's finest scientists, engineers, and military personnel. Players take control of this organization and must find a way to repel the viral assault.

I got a hands-on demo at GDC with Snapshot Games co-founder David Kaye, and came away impressed by the ways it enhances and extends beyond the XCOM template. Here are five reasons Phoenix Point is one game strategy fans should keep an eye on.

Trailer Offers A New Brief Look At Connor

about X hours ago from
Trailer Offers A New Brief Look At Connor

The android rebellion starts in May and today Quantic Dream offered a new look at Connor, the android on the side of the law. It's a brief trailer that doesn't reveal much except that Connor is supposed to be a top of the line police service unit.

Also there's lots of yelling and chasing, and Clancy Brown shows up at one point?  You can watch the whole thing right here.

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Diving Into The Cooperative Action Game Within The Death Drive Mark II

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Diving Into The Cooperative Action Game Within The Death Drive Mark II

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes features the return of Travis Touchdown in his marquee series. However, rather than the traditional No More Heroes experience, Travis and his nemesis Badman are sucked into a game console called the Death Drive Mark II. There, the two fight, race, and platform their way through various games that are odes to classic video game genres. While developer Grasshopper Manufacture has confirmed that racing, platforming, and other genres will be included in the game's roster, I went hands-on with the arcade-style action game.

I jump into a cooperative level in control of Badman. Together with a player in control of Travis, we hack and slash our way through waves of enemies as we work our way through the stage. Unlike traditional No More Heroes combat, the camera pulls way out and the screen is presented in 4:3 to pay homage to the arcade brand of action titles. I swing my bat a little too much and Badman leans over seemingly in exhaustion. I press down on the left stick and shake my controller to essentially reload.

Run A Business And Care For Your Dragon In Harvest Moon Creator's New Title

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Run A Business And Care For Your Dragon In Harvest Moon Creator's New Title

Last month, Aksys Games unveiled Little Dragons Café, an adorable game that combines restaurant management, raising a dragon, and cooking. It's a concept that interested us immediately, and today, we were able to get our first hands-on time with it on Nintendo Switch.

Aksys teamed up with Harvest Moon creator Yasuhiro Wada to bring Little Dragons Café to life. The story follows twins Ren and Rin, whose mother mysteriously falls into a deep sleep and is unable to wake up. You can play as either twin and name them whatever you wish. The sibling you choose not to play appears as your brother or sister in the café. After meeting a plump, wizard-like old man named Pappy, the twins discover that the only way to save their mother is to raise a dragon and feed it delicious food. At first, the two are overwhelmed at the idea of running a café without their mother, but once they learn the ropes, everything becomes smoother.

Milo And Lola Take A Shot At Satan

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Milo And Lola Take A Shot At Satan

Afterparty is the next adventure from Night School Studio (the team behind Oxenfree), and the game's first trailer shows the two main characters having a hell of a time escaping the afterlife.

Milo and Lola are being escorted to a bar in Hell via flying demon after Milo somehow got them killed. As the pair walk in, dialogue choice bubbles appear over Lola's head akin to Oxenfree. Unlike Oxenfree, however, Afterparty aesthetically aims for vibrant 3-D cel-shading with 2-D movements, whereas Oxenfree has backdrops reminiscent of a painting.

Afterparty also seems to have a dark but ironically humorous and lighthearted vibe. How can it not when Lola orders a drink called "Dead Orphan," Milo dances in front of demons that are tweeting about his moves, and the game's entire premise is to out-drink Satan to escape Hell?

The Spiritual Successor To Left 4 Dead I've Been Waiting For

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The Spiritual Successor To Left 4 Dead I've Been Waiting For

Left 4 Dead was an immediate hit thanks to its unique cooperative survival mechanics within the context of a zombie shooter. Unfortunately, the series has been stagnant for nearly a decade, and fans have been left craving another entry. While Valve isn't reviving the series, developer Holospark made it the driving inspiration for its upcoming game Earthfall.

Many of the ideas behind Left 4 Dead are intact with Earthfall: Players work in teams of four to get from one side of the map to the other, completing objectives and finding caches along the way. As expected, getting across the map isn't easy. Rather than dealing with a zombie outbreak, Earthfall players are in the midst of an alien invasion.

The scenario I played dropped me in the middle of a wooded area and tasked me with re-activating a dam's power to destroy a nest of alien pods before calling for evacuation – easier said than done. In addition to the grunts that litter the roadways and backwoods, I encounter aliens that pop with a poisonous cloud when you kill them, lanky creatures that quickly close distance to snatch you, and massive tanks that can absorb damage like a sponge.

Five Big Surprises From Our Hands-On Time With God Of War

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Five Big Surprises From Our Hands-On Time With God Of War

Sony Santa Monica opened its doors to the press last week, giving attendees a chance to spend a considerable chunk of time with the upcoming God of War. For about three hours, I was glued to the TV, as I got to experience Kratos' new story from its opening moments. Over the course of that time, I played through sections that resonated with me as a God of War fan, and was also pleasantly disoriented by its new direction. Read on for five of my most surprising and rewarding takeaways from the game. 

Warning: I'll avoid diving too deeply into spoiler territory, but I will describe a few events from the first few hours that particularly spoiler-sensitive types may want to avoid. 

The story is a slow, powerful burnThe God of War series is known for many things, including huge bosses, gruesome massacres of grunt enemies, and insanity stacked atop insanity. Most of the time, those elements are introduced within seconds of pressing the start button. That's not the case with this entry. I did get to see Kratos kill something with with his new Leviathan Axe, but it was a tree. And that came only after a contemplative moment where Kratos paused to put his hand atop a mysterious glowing handprint that marked its bark.