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    Creepy Horror Game 'Monstrum' Is Due Out On Consoles Soon

    Any time is a good time to be terrified. Thanks to SODESCO, Team Junkfish's acclaimed first-person survival horror game, Monstrum , will be available on soon on PS4 and Xbox One — it's been on PC since 2015, with regular updates. At this point, it's developed into a successful game with a following of loyal fans, and that trend won't be slowing anytime soon. While longtime players and fans are likely to buy the newest versions of the game, the jump to consoles will bring in all new players. Since its release, Monstum has sold more than 100,000 copies and earned a 90% review percentage on Steam, which is no small feat.
    It sets itself apart as a procedurally generated game, meaning that each game is different than the last. Players may be able to master certain strategies as they play, but the will never be able to conquer it in the same way as a game that remains constant. This provides a unique challenge for gamers looking for something fresh and exciting every time they pick up the controller. Players are trapped on an extremely creepy abandoned freighter that they must escape, but its as if the ship itself is a shapeshifter, changing with each playthrough.

    From SODESCO:
    "Monstrum is procedurally generated, so in each playthrough, players will face new fears and will have to invent new tactics. The goal of the game is to escape an abandoned cargo ship, infested by one of three daunting monsters called the Brute, the Fiend, and the Hunter. Each monster has its own behavior and requires a distinct approach. This, combined with the fact that the arena is different every time, makes Monstrum a unique experience with every playthrough."
    Game features:
    Survive a different environment and monster each time you play. Use whatever you can find to outwit the monsters and escape the ship. Stay alive or start all over again. Good luck. Start running. Hide, distract and run, but be careful not to fall into the numerous traps.
    Players will have to think quickly and use all of the tools available if they wish to survive their harrowing escape. Unfortunately, it is impossible to get out with just your wits, so you may have to venture further in to the ship to find the supplies necessary. Sometimes you can distract the monster at hand with a tool or item or hide in hopes that they slide by. But, no matter how carefully you plan, the monster is bound to get the better of you, eventually. So you start again, on a different ship with a different map. Even when the monster isn't nearby, the frightening atmosphere will follow you everywhere, distracting you until you lose focus and fall into one of the ship's many traps.
    Monstrum already looks fantastic on PC, but it's certain that every aspect of the game will be optimized for its upcoming console release. It's currently available on Steam and can be used with Oculus Rift VR technology. Console release coming soon!
    Watch the gameplay trailer:

    Grave Danger Is Live On PS4 And Nintendo Switch

    2D platformers like The Lost Vikings were the stars of the Super Nintendo era. While several games have attempted to replicate the challenging, yet humorous and entertaining gameplay experience, none have quite lived up to the task — until Grave Danger. With quirky characters and a hero's quest as the backdrop, Grave Danger's charming modern graphics and mechanics bring a popular retro game genre back to the forefront.
    The colorful worlds, thoughtful puzzling adventure, and uniquely talented playable characters are highlights, but desirable features like drop-in co-op play add another layer to the game. It's necessary for each character to perform to their particular strengths in order to be successful and it's absolutely possible for a single player to switch between them and complete the game. However, up to two additional players can join at any time and control their favorite. This type of casual co-op plays exceptionally well on consoles, especially the Nintendo Switch, which is designed to be portable and play well in a social setting. Though Grave Danger has been around for a little while, it's current edition, which released in late June of this year, should perform well on the indie-friendly Switch.

    From Spotted Shark Studio:
    "Players will enjoy an action-packed adventure game about an unlikely group of heroes. Switch between Dante the cowboy, Elliot the wizard, and Malice the reaper; use their different abilities to solve puzzles and make their way out of trouble. Will you be able to guide them to victory? Enjoy single player or co-op in order to solve puzzles! Enlist your friends to control all three characters locally, utilizing them to their maximum potential. If you can't play with a friend or want the completely single player experience, that's fine too; the game will be completely playable in either mode."
    Game Features:
     Ultimate Edition with 10 new levels!  Mind-challenging puzzles!  Beautifully crafted worlds.  Local Co-op, have a friend join in at any time!  Switch between three unique and quirky characters.  Challenge yourself with time-trial and perfect level runs.
    "Grave Dangers gameplay is about utilizing each character's unique abilities to solve puzzles. The player will switch between these characters and master their movements and attacks, guiding our heroes further into the story. Manage your party and keep everyone alive. Nobody likes a dead teammate. Don't leave your heroes unattended in a dangerous spot or they might get beat up!
    Teamwork is essential in Grave Danger. Each character must pull their weight and traverse the world to safety. Dante the cowboy is capable of climbing vertical walls. Malice the reaper can float horizontally across chasms and through narrow and dangerous areas. Elliot the wizard has magical elevation and can jump again once in mid-air."
    Grave Danger is available for PC, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.
    Watch the trailer:

    Last Chance! Take Advantage Of The Steam Summer Sale While It Lasts!

    As a heat wave grips the United States and much of the entire world, people are flocking to pools and water parks, hoping to find some relief from the oppressively high temperatures. Here in the South, where we're used to hot temps and soggy humidity, we're better prepared for the heat. Everyone knows that powerful air conditioning is a must during the Summer months. So, even though it's way too hot to go outside, my house is comfortably cool, and I'm happy to stay inside and play video games all day.
    Steam may not have been able to predict the heat wave that has everyone sitting inside, even on July 4th, but they know that Summer means hot days and kids home from school. So, it's time for their much-anticipated Summer Sale. Steam often has excellent sales with huge discounts throughout the year, but this one knocks the prices down on a ton of games, from indie titles to some of the biggest games and franchises available. If you've been waiting for the price to drop to purchase a particular game, now is your chance. Hurry up, the sale ends on July 5!
    Here's just a sample of the games discounted in Steam's 'Intergalactic Summer Sale Finale':
    Rocket League

    The weirdly popular 'soccer with cars' physics-based competition game is 50% off, and at $9.99, it's a steal! I was skeptical about it at first, but it's a lot of fast-paced fun! 
    "A futuristic Sports-Action game, Rocket League®, equips players with booster-rigged vehicles that can be crashed into balls for incredible goals or epic saves across multiple, highly-detailed arenas. Now with a full single-player experience."
    Player Unkown's Battlegrounds (PUBG)

    It only seems like everyone is playing Fortnite. PUBG is still going strong with its 100 player Batte Royale format. It's discounted 33% and is only $19.99. 
    "PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS is a battle royale shooter that pits 100 players against each other in a struggle for survival. Gather supplies and outwit your opponents to become the last person standing."
    The Forest

    As a fan of survival and horror games, The Forest is at the top of my 'need to play' list. I haven't gotten to it, yet, but I'm anxious to dig into this gritty experience. It's 33% off for the duration of the sale.
    "As the lone survivor of a passenger jet crash, you find yourself in a mysterious forest battling to stay alive against a society of cannibalistic mutants. Build, explore, survive in this terrifying first person survival horror simulator."

    Explore space and employ the best strategy as you establish your space empire. 60% off!
    "Explore a vast galaxy full of wonder! Paradox Development Studio, makers of the Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis series presents Stellaris, an evolution of the grand strategy genre with space exploration at its core."
    DRAGON BALL FighterZ

    DRAGON BALL FighterZ has quickly risen to the top as one of the most successful fighting games. I didn't understand what all the fuss was about — then I played the game. At just $35.99, now is the time to grab what is arguably one of the best games of the year.
    "DRAGON BALL FighterZ is born from what makes the DRAGON BALL series so loved and famous: endless spectacular fights with its all-powerful fighters."
    There's a lot more on sale, including some of the biggest game franchises like Total War, Tomb Raider, Elder Scrolls, Civilization, Rainbow Six, Assassin's Creed, Fallout, Final Fantasy, and much more!

    Harvest Moon: Light Of Hope Special Edition Has Arrived!

    It has been twenty years since the first Harvest Moon game was released, and to celebrate, Natsume and Rising Star Games released the most immersive game in the Harvest Moon series, while staying true to the legacy of the franchise and its fans. Harvest Moon: Light of Hope features the familiar gameplay and style of previous games, but adds new features, more depth to the story and characters, and a "retro plus" graphics style.
    The Harvest Moon games are lighthearted and family-friendly games but maintain a strong adult following, especially among fans who have played all or at least some of the many games throughout the years. Players keep coming back for the familiar gameplay that is more casual than challenging. However, they are addictive, playable, and incredibly charming. More than just a farming sim, Harvest Moon titles, including Light of Hope, have a story, goals, and the opportunity to foster and grow relationships with NPCs. The popular franchise has even led to imitators like the much-loved Stardew Valley. 
    The newest game in the series is hoping to keep up with modern gaming by offering new features. Light of is the first Harvest Moon game to include co-op play, via Soleil, the gem sprite, who can be controlled by a secondary player for cooperative farming and adventuring. The Special Edition also features a Season Pass that includes all four DLCs, which are also available for individual purchase.

    Over the years, many Harvest Moon games have been released on mobile consoles like the Nintendo DS line of systems and they lend themselves particularly well a portable format. They are great games to just pick up and play when you have a few free minutes to spare, though they can be difficult to put down once you get started. Fortunately, though Light of Hope is also available for PS4, it is the first Harvest Moon for the Nintendo Switch, continuing a long tradition of portable games — but this one is expansive enough to warrant home console play, as well.
    From Rising Star Games:
    In Harvest Moon: Light of Hope, players begin the game as they set out looking for a fresh start and new surroundings. During their voyage, their ship is hit by a monsoon and goes down. As they drift into a small harbor town, now in a shambles from the storm, it will be up to the player to help rebuild the town and save the lighthouse...but it won't be easy! Nevertheless, with some hard work growing crops, tending livestock, and gathering materials for repairs, players will be able to make new friends, start a family, revive the lighthouse, and save the town!

    "Harvest Moon: Light of Hope will set itself apart from other Harvest Moon titles with its depth, including a robust story and clear-cut goals," said Hiro Maekawa, President & CEO of Natsume, upon the release of the much-anticipated game.  "We set out to create a SNES-style nostalgic game with deep and meaningful characters and events, and we are excited to have our fans play it at E3 and tell us what they think!"
    Harvest Moon: Light of Hope Special Edition is available for Nintendo Switch and PS4.
    Watch the trailer:

    Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass - Pre-Alpha Gameplay and Everything We Know So Far

    Back in April, we covered the release of the first trailer for the upcoming Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass, which featured the game’s main protagonist Sam, casually riding his bike through a sunny forest, gunning down a headless kamikaze and disappearing into a wave of oncoming enemies. As the hype around the upcoming sequel grew, the developers over at Croteam kept silent and patiently waited for E3 before revealing more details. Although the E3 screening was behind closed doors, we did get some info and a few screenshots afterwards, with a very rough pre-alpha gameplay footage appearing online just a few days ago.
    Judging from the released videos, official announcements and sprawling rumors, its seems that big changes are coming to Serious Sam franchise, with some even having a potential to become revolutionary.
    First of all, the trailer and the pre-alpha footage both show large number of enemies congregating on a small area and attacking Sam, and while this is nothing new for the franchise, as every previous iteration had dozens of enemies running at you from all sides, some sources suggest that this time around, the developers are aiming at having tens of thousands of enemies appearing at once. Seeing how developers have been making a new engine for Serious Sam 4, this might very well be true as it is very doubtful that current Serious Engine can handle such a large amount of characters at once. If Croteam does succeed and manages to implement so many NPCs in one area, this will undoubtedly put to shame many bigger open world games.

    Left: Groups of enemies as seen in the Trailer, Right: Groups of enemies as seen in the Pre-Alpha Footage
    With so many NPCs potentially chasing after Sam, it is expected that a large sprawling map will also be included in the latest sequel. Developers suggested that the map will be 128 square kilometers and that players will be allowed to explore every corner of it. Although the game will keep its linearity and will not be open world, it is safe to assume that such a big map will probably be divided into smaller areas which can be visited as players progress with the story. Smaller sections will allow developers to experiment with different environments and map layouts thus making the levels more diverse and interesting which is going to be of crucial importance considering that large maps can often get boring and repetitive.
    In order to further eliminate this potential downside, Croteam also promised a new coop mode to be implemented in the final release. Unlike previous parts, coop mode in Serious Sam 4 will feature up to 16 players which can jointly take on the hordes of evil Mentals. This means that some old friends of Sam’s, such as Rodriguez, Hellfire, Jones and others, might make a return as the upcoming sequel will probably take place prior to their deaths and the Earth’s destruction in the Serious Sam 3: BFE. Implementation of the coop mode is a big plus and is sure to make exploration of the huge map and fighting tens of thousands of enemies more fun and engaging.
    Serious Sam 4 will also feature vehicles which players can use for both traversing the map as well as combat. Besides the motorcycle we see in the trailer, Serious Sam 4 will supposedly also have a bulletproof popemobile, along with a combine which appeared in the pre-alpha gameplay footage and which Sam uses to mow down enemies in front of him.  

    Screenshots of the combine that the players will get to drive around.
    Considering everything mentioned above, Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass is shaping to become another exceptionally fun game just like all the previous franchise iterations (except the PalmOS version of course). With the promise of a large map, more enemies, diverse vehicles and coop play, Croteam did set the bar high, however knowing their reputation of delivering on what’s promised, there is really no need to worry for the future of Serious Sam 4 and the franchise in general. As such, do not be put off by the rough pre-alpha footage, as it will definitely get better, and it won't be long before we will all get to experience what’s it like being chased by tens of thousands of headless screaming kamikazes.
    You can see the trailer, as well as the pre-alpha footage of the upcoming Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass below.  

    Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Offers New Beta Demo To Kickstarter Backers

    Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is currently in development, but publisher 505 Games is offering higher-level Kickstarter backers a chance to play the game's demo, which was revealed to industry insiders at E3.
    “E3 is one of the biggest game shows in the world, and it was a valuable experience to show off the newest content in Bloodstained and gather feedback from the industry friends and colleagues we invited to play the demo,” said Koji Igarashi, creator of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. “Now we’re ready to share the newest content and features with our great community of backers so we can source their input as well, which is immensely helpful to us as we continue on our journey toward launch.”
    Kickstarter backers at the $60 level and above can access a digital download of the beta demo on Steam for PC. The demo features new content and enemy previews, as well as an introduction to some of the NPCs and a deeper understanding of the story and quests. Players are put on a sailing ship being knocked about in stormy seas before they pass through a village and into a dark castle area. There's a bit to explore, characters to meet, and an introduction to alchemy and crafting via a visit to shopkeeper and exorcist, Dominique. 

    From 505 Games:
    "This imaginative, side-scrolling game is the latest opus from the renowned Koji Igarashi, godfather of the “Igavania” genre of gothic, exploration-focused action platformers. Initially revealed on Kickstarter with a goal of $500,00 USD, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night went on to become one of the most funded games on the platform, with more than $5.5 million pledged by fans eager for its creation. Set in the late 18th century England, an era when people’s lives changed dramatically with the ushering in of the Industrial Revolution, Bloodstained tells the story of Miriam, an orphan scarred by an alchemist’s demonic curse, which is slowly turning her skin to crystal. As the curse matures, Miriam drifts into a mysterious coma and awakens ten years later as a castle appears, and Hell is resurrected. Now, she must travel to the castle to hunt and kill its summoner, Gebel, battling his demons as she searches for a way to stop the curse."

    The full edition promises lots of features that players can't wait to get their hands on:
    - Addictingly tight and satisfying gameplay alongside a rich new story in the gothic dark fantasy style of Koji Igarashi, the celebrated godfather of "Igavania" games. 

    - A game soundtrack by genre and industry veteran Michiru Yamane, performed by a full live orchestra ensemble.

    - Story cutscenes and NPC interactions fully voice acted by a star-studded cast, including actors like David Hayter, Ray Chase and Erica Lindbeck to name just a few. 
    - A total of three playable characters, two of which have yet to be revealed.

    - A huge selection of weapons and spells, which you can upgrade, level up, and visually customize. 

    - Beautiful 2.5D graphics: 3D models crafted with a lot of love and care on a 2D game environment. That means lots of cool tricks that "regular" 2D can't do.
    Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is in development for PS4, PS Vita, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Xbox One.
    Watch the latest trailer:

    The Dragon Ball FighterZ Tournament Is Just Around The Corner – Get The Details!

    At the beginning of the month, Bandai Namco announced the DRAGON BALL Fighterz World Tour — a premier fighting game tournament series. The first stop on the tour is this weekend at the CEO Fighting Game Championships in Daytona Beach, Florida. Player registration for the event is closed, but plenty of fans can't wait to see who the best DRAGON BALL FighterZ in the world are as the World Tour shapes up.
    The DRAGON BALL FighterZ World Tour will feature seven main “Saga Event” stops. The first five are; CEO Fighting Game Championships (USA), VS Fighting (United Kingdom), Ultimate Fighting Arena (France), Thunderstruck (Mexico), Southeast Asia Major (Singapore). The final two tour stops have yet to be announced. No need to travel to watch the best FighterZ players in the world go head to head — fans can catch all the action live on the World Tour’s official Twitch channel.
    “The passion from fans all around the world continues to make DRAGON BALL FighterZ a huge success and we want to reward their extremely valuable support by creating the first ever worldwide tournament on a DRAGON BALL video game,” said Hervé Hoerdt, Vice President of Marketing and Digital at BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Europe. “With the DRAGON BALL FighterZ - World Tour, the best players across the globe will have the opportunity to compete against each other to determine the strongest of all.”

    This tour has an interesting format, with players participating at all seven events with the goal of becoming the Grand Champion at the Tour's conclusion. At the designated Saga Events, players compete for the seven Dragon Balls. The more balls that a player wins, the higher their seed at the finals of the tour. In addition, the finals will feature a last chance qualifier system culminating in an eight-man double elimination bracket competition.
    There are a few caveats, particularly in the event that a single player wins all seven events/Dragon Balls. That player will receive an automatic slot in the "Grand Finals" or championship match in the tour — this means that they are automatically guaranteed at least a second-place finish. Their challenger is the winner of what has become an open bracket event in this particular scenario. The challenger and the player possessing all seven balls compete in a first-to-ten set for the title of Grand Champion.
    In short, the number of Dragon Balls held by a single person will have an effect on the number of last chance qualifier tournament spots. Each new winner of a regular Saga Event earns a Dragon Ball and a slot to the finals. If the winner has won before, the next unqualified player gets a ticket to the finals. It's hard to know how the actual tournament will play out, but this format guarantees an exciting competition and eventual outcome. It's only a matter of time before we know who the best DRAGON BALL FighterZ in the world are.
    DRAGON BALL FighterZ is a fighting game based on the DRAGON BALL universe and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. It's available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. A Nintendo Switch version is due out this fall.

    Fortnite News: Limited Time 'Playground' Mode And Counterplay Updates

    As Season 4 begins to wind down, the Fortnite updates are coming fast and furious. They may not have the flash and excitement of the Battle Pass and major update announcements, but Epic Games is quietly implementing some major changes into the game.
    First, and perhaps most importantly, Epic has announced that they are making updates to accommodate different play styles and counterplay. One of the aspects that makes Fortnite unique is its building aspect. However, it's also what limits varying play styles and strategies, especially when a Battle Royale match is down to the last few players. Matches are often won by building a large, elaborate structure and killing off your enemy with a powerful weapon from the safety of your fort. It's a good strategy but can also get boring and repetitive. In an effort to keep players interested with more than just new skins, emotes, and novelty weapons, Epic is changing the game to encourage a wider range of play styles and more opportunities to win a Battle Royale match in different ways. They haven't been too specific about what changes they are making, but it's great to see that they're expanding the game this way.
    From Epic Games:
    "Fortnite is constantly evolving. Our goal with any changes is to keep the game fun and interesting, keeping it feeling fresh and new. 

    It’s important to support a variety of late game strategies, that don’t boil down to “just build lol”. We strongly believe that the evolution of Fortnite supports a wide range of play styles and counterplay. Currently, the superiority of shotguns, rockets, and uncapped building are such a dominant play style in the final circle that most other strategies are being drowned out.
    We have made a few changes recently -- and will continue to make more -- to give you options to counter other players in combat, especially in the late game.

    We are exploring changes to weapon balance and resource economy, like e.g. resource caps.
    So, where does this leave us?

    You should be able to find Victory Royales through multiple strategies. Shotguns should be strong, but other weapons have room to grow. Not every encounter should have to end in a build-off. We want to empower you to showcase your skill, strategy, and tactics in all variety of ways."
    New Weapon — Stink Bomb
    New Limited Time 'Playground' Mode
    With changes in overall gameplay coming, it's important to have a place to practice new strategies. Last month, Epic announced the 'Playground' mode, which appears to be a precursor to a permanent creative mode that may be added later this year. It replaces the current limited time mode which consists of battling in five teams of twenty. It should arrive sometime today; when I check in a little while ago, it wasn't live, yet.
    Playground is a custom game mode that allows you to play on a private island with your squad and experiment with new strategy, combat, and building techniques. It's non-competitive and stats won't be recorded, so you can explore and build at will. In the past, creative modes have allowed players to erect some really cool structures, so be prepared to see some amazing creativity.

    Players can explore the map without fear of being knocked out by a kill shot. You might be able to get your hands on that cool epic weapon you've always wanted or perhaps hone your skills with your favorite weapon. Friendly fire is turned on in Playground mode so you can practice combat with your friends, but you'll respawn when killed. Essentially, you can use your limited time however you like — build a statue to the Fortnite gods, duel with your friends and devise original game modes with your own set of rules, and explore as much as you like. And there will be llamas... lots of llamas!

    Resident Evil 2 Remake - On Its Way to Become a New Standard for Remakes

    This year is exactly 20 years since Resident Evil 2 debuted on the original Play Station. At the time, it was one of the best-looking games out there, with graphics, animations and sounds that gave nightmares to adults, let alone to a pre-pubescent teen such as myself. Playing Resident Evil 2 today can still be fun as it brings back nostalgic memories such as, in my case, many sleepless nights that I spend completely covered with sheets as I was too scared of looking at the ceiling out of fear that a licker might look back at me, however, despite the nostalgia we must all admit that Resident Evil 2 has aged really badly, both in terms of graphics and in terms of gameplay mechanics. As such, I was pleasantly surprised when at E3, Capcom revealed the first gameplay video of the upcoming Resident Evil 2 Remake, due in 2019.

    Left: Resident Evil 2 (1998) vs. Right: Resident Evil 2 Remake (due: 2019) - Need I say more? 
    During their presentation, Capcom staff revealed some details about the remake, and if they stay true to their words, Resident Evil 2 has a great chance to become a new standard for how remakes should be done. Namely, Resident Evil 2 is going to be remade completely in the latest RE Engine which was used in their latest installment – Resident Evil 7, meaning that the game won’t be simply infused with higher resolution textures like most other remakes out there. New engine will permit for higher resolution, 4K graphics, as well as higher FPS rates making the gameplay smoother and more visually appealing. Besides, making the game from scratch also allows for fixing of old and implementation of new mechanics, some of which Capcom has already disclosed. One of the biggest differences is probably going to be the change in camera for which the Resident Evil franchise was famous for, so instead of having that fixed corner camera, also called rodent POV in some circles, we will get the modern over-the-shoulder camera. Forfeiting the old POV will tremendously improve the characters’ aiming as well as give an opportunity to get rid of the horrible tank controls which have plagued the series up until the Resident Evil 4.
    With improved controls, camera angles and graphics, developers also promised a change in environment and atmosphere. Although all the locations, such as the Raccoon City Police Station, the Gun shop and others, will be present, they will all be enhanced with new areas, monsters and visuals as developers wanted to improve on the horror and lessen the action and shooting sequences. Like so, we can expect the gameplay to be similar to Resident Evil 7, with ammo being scarce and players having to ration its use and evade unnecessary encounters.
    Developers also promised that the zapping system will also be removed for the game’s remake. This means that players won’t have to switch in between Leon and Claire in the middle of the game, and debate which weapons to keep and which to give up. Instead, Claire Redfield will get an entirely separate campaign that will, presumably, tie in to the Leon’s and maybe even be prolonged. Nevertheless, two campaigns mean more playtime, and with original Resident Evil 2 taking about 8 hours to complete, the new one will offer at least 12 which is longer that most modern single player campaigns offer nowadays.  

    These two are going to get individual campaigns, so no more switching in the middle of playtrough.
    All in all, everything that has been released so far points that Capcom is taking Resident Evil 2 in the right direction. They have a strong base, an excellent story and a superb engine for which they are experienced, there by meeting all the prerequisites needed for a good game, or in this case, a remake. I just hope that along the way no problems will arise and we won’t end up with some monstrosities such as the Operation Racoon City or the Ubrella Corps.
    Resident Evil 2 Remake is due in 2019 and below you can check out the first gameplay video.

    Life Is Strange 2 Is Coming This Fall! Life Is Strange Summer Sale

    Square Enix and DONTNOD Entertainment have just shared some exciting news — Life Is Strange 2, the third game in the Life Is Stange series is due out this fall, on September 27th. Though we have very little info about the game, it appears to be a follow-up to the events of Life Is Strange, and will be comprised of a full five episodes. It's been a long time since I visited with these characters and experienced the heartbreak and brilliantly compelling story of the original game. This just shot straight to the top of my list of fall games.
    Watch the release date reveal:
    Life Is Strange 2 follows Life Is Strange and the three-episode prequel, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm. 
    Life Is Strange is an episodic style adventure game that allows players to reverse time through the game. It's primarily a game based on choice, so often, those mechanics are used to see how your choices affect the outcome. When faced with an important dilemma, you can play the choices, rewind time, and go back and change your decision. Then, you choose the one you want. Still, your ultimate choice in each situation has a huge impact on the outcome of the game and even life and death. In a few instances, time travel is needed to solve a few puzzles and progress through the game. Some players choose to do a single play-through with no rewinds until absolutely necessary. However, even if a player chooses to rewind and explore every option, there is still replay value as your outcome will change with different choices.

    At the very beginning, I was unsure as to whether I would enjoy the time travel mechanic. I like the idea of simply having to make a choice and accepting the consequences. But, as I played through the game, I absolutely loved it and the unique ways in which it could be used. In so many instances, knowing the outcomes made the choice more meaningful and impactful.
    While the choice mechanic could be seen as gimmicky, whether you liked it or not, it never detracted from the fact that this is a brilliant game. The characters and storyline are beyond exceptional and I can think of very few other games that have been so emotional, engaging, and stunningly executed.
    If you haven't played it yet, Life Is Strange is currently heavily discounted on Steam. The complete season (episodes 1-5) is only $4.99 and episode one is always free to play. It's available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

    The second game in the Life Is Strange series, Before The Storm, is a prequel to the original game. It consists of three episodes and is set three years before the original game. Play as Chloe Price and explore the origins of Chloe and Rachel's friendship, an integral part of Life Is Strange. Before the Storm does not use the time travel mechanic. 
    Life Is Strange: Before The Storm is currently on sale for $8.49 until July 5th.

    LEGO Disney Pixar's The Incredibles Isn't Just For Kids – Watch The Launch Trailer!

    Having played many LEGO games over the years, I had developed the opinion that these games were for kids. That didn't mean that I didn't play them and enjoy their charming mix of humor, story, and super simple gameplay and mechanics, but I recognized that these were not the games to grab when I was searching for a challenge. So, when I was given a copy of LEGO Marvel Superheroes for Christmas, I started it up thinking I was in for a relaxing experience. What I discovered instead was a fully-fledged Marvel game, with the signature LEGO humor, but also a visually fantastic adventure with amazing worlds, challenging puzzles, and exciting combat.
    My hope is that Warner Bros. latest LEGO game title is more of the same. 

    From Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment:
    “LEGO® Disney•Pixar's The Incredibles brings together all the unforgettable characters, action and humor of the Incredibles films in an imaginative LEGO® world of non-stop adventure,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games Publishing. “Players will undertake an epic journey across action-packed levels from both movies as they guide the superpowered Parrs in their quest to fight crime, while surviving family life.”
    “Players will enjoy the teamwork involved in solving the creative, co-operative challenges in LEGO® Disney•Pixar's The Incredibles,” said Sean William McEvoy, VP, Digital Games & Apps, The LEGO® Group. “Friends and family can use team-up moves and a range of superpowers, from Elastigirl’s transformations to Dash’s lightning-fast speed, unleashing the heroes’ impressive abilities to overcome any tricky situation.”
    “New threats, new villains and new family drama await players in LEGO® Disney•Pixar's The Incredibles,” said Lisa Anderson, VP, Games, Disney. “Fans will explore their favorite locations from the first film, as they battle Syndrome on Nomansian Island and discover new exotic destinations such as the mysterious New Urbem.” 

    One of the great features of these games is the co-op mode that makes it fairly seamless for other players to jump in and out of a game. Solo play is fun and satisfying, but playing with a friend is extra entertainment. And, it's a great opportunity for parents to play with their kids, as the second player doesn't need to be incredibly skilled. In the Incredibles, co-op play is highlighted, as each member of the family has their own strengths and weaknesses that can benefit players.
    The Incredible also boasts a "hub world", featuring a series of "Crime Wave" missions with different objectives and Boss Battles with recognizable characters such as The Underminer and Bomb Voyage. Players must stamp out the crime waves to unlock accessories and easter eggs. The Edna "E" Mode allows players to modify their characters' abilities and physical appearance.
    While the LEGO games don't come with gritty action and thought-provoking storylines, they do offer a moment of respite from a world that can be just a little too ugly at times. A colorful, immersive game that centers on wholesome fun and fighting crime and injustice just might be what we all need right now.
    LEGO Disney Pixar The Incredibles is available for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
    Watch the official launch trailer:

    Review of Night In The Woods – The Little Game That Could

    After languishing in my Steam library for months, I finally grabbed a copy of Night In The Woods for Switch, hoping that I would play it on a different system. Truth be told, it's the type of game (indie, narrative, simple controls) that I prefer to play on the iPad, but I got impatient waiting for the mobile port to show up. Fortunately, the Switch, with the benefits of full-sized console gaming combined with seamless portability lends itself to this type of game, as well. This is something that Nintendo and developers have picked up on, filling the eShop with tons of successful indie titles that have found a whole new audience with the Switch.
    For an indie game, there's a lot of hype surrounding Night in the Woods. With its high Metacritic score, multiple gaming awards, and positive feedback, it had a lot to live up to and I was afraid that I might be disappointed. I was convinced that in a sea of promising indies to wade through that this was "the game" that I had to play. Fortunately, after a somewhat rough start, I wasn't disappointed.
    From nightinthewoods.com:
    "College dropout Mae Borowski returns home to the crumbling former mining town of Possum Springs seeking to resume her aimless former life and reconnect with the friends she left behind. But things aren't the same. Home seems different now and her friends have grown and changed. Leaves are falling and the wind is growing colder. Strange things are happening as the light fades.
    And there's something in the woods.
    NIGHT IN THE WOODS is an adventure game focused on exploration, story, and character, featuring dozens of characters to meet and lots to do across a lush, vibrant world. After a successful Kickstarter it's being made by Infinite Fall, a teamup of Alec Holowka (Aquaria), Scott Benson (Late Night Work Club), and Bethany Hockenberry."

    First off, players searching for fast-paced action, exciting combat, challenging puzzles, masterful platforming, may find this game far from their expectations. While it's artistic, atmospheric, and impactful, it is a game of discovery, exploration, and deep soul-searching. There is a haunting mystery, some horror elements, a well-developed story, unique visuals, and deeply relatable emotions, but it's a particular type of game for a particular type of audience.
    As I settled in to play, anticipating the brilliant experience I was promised, I was initially a little disappointed by the visuals. The 2D style is well-executed, the colors are muted, befitting the tone of the game, and the characters display little emotion. I had seen plenty of screenshots and videos of the game so I knew what it looked like, but I was still underwhelmed. At the very least, I wanted to see Mae's emotions in her expression. I just wanted something more.
    A quick tutorial and story introduction illustrated the game's very basic mechanics. Interact with characters and something will happen or the story will progress and jump, jump, jump to take advantage of the simple platforming elements. My initial reaction was "it's a puzzle-platformer with a cool story" but that wasn't it, at all. 

    As I explored Possum Springs and met characters including old friends, town residents, Mae's parents, and more, I became annoyed with the animals characters. I have no idea why Mae is a cat and Angus is a bear. And why are they bipedal animals with thoughts and feelings while normal squirrels, birds, and housecats populate the town. Is it like the land of Fillory from 'The Magicians' where talking animals are a superior, yet subjugated race and non-talking animals are simply livestock or wild creatures? Those questions are never answered, except perhaps as an explanation for Mae's fascination with death and violence, because everyone knows that cats are violent creatures. Regardless, those unanswered questions faded into the background as Mae's story and that of Possum Springs began to unfold.
    Before long, any disappointment or questions disappeared as I was drawn in by the atmosphere, narrative, and soundtrack. Mae is facing down a crossroad that many young people experience: returning home after a failed attempt at college (or any number of other circumstances) and finding their small town somehow unchanged yet different in so many ways, some glaring and some nearly unnoticeable. Friends from high school are growing up and changing, while Mae feels stuck in the past, though it's likely that many of her friends while they are moving forward, are struggling with many of the same feelings. Regardless of personal experiences, many players will recognize the difficult emotions that accompany this time of transition in a young person's life. As much as I see myself as an adult, simply playing this game unearthed an emotional landscape that I thought I had left behind, and it was wonderful and terrifying all at once.

    Though it's easy to get caught up in adolescent angst, especially at Mae's age, Night in the Woods doesn't ignore the greater problems of the world. Mae is deep in her own experience as you interact with friends, go on adventures, get too drunk, explore the secrets of Possum Springs, and begin a journey of cautious self-acceptance, but the crumbling infrastructure, the financial woes of residents left out of work after the mines closed and retail businesses fled, and the overall deterioration of a struggling town aren't ignored, and neither are questions of sexuality and mental illness. There's no dwelling on it either, simply a presentation of facts of life, available for exploration and thoughtful contemplation.
    At this point, you're probably asking "but what about the game?" Honestly, that's a lot of it. It's beautiful, thought-provoking, and as it ebbs and flows, both charmingly mundane and stunningly emotional. Mae's experiences from day to day vary greatly as you use the basic platforming mechanics to explore the town in completely unexpected ways, communicate with friends and secondary characters to form relationships, and unlock hidden areas and events are somehow unimportant and absolutely crucial all at once. Depending on my mood, I found myself sometimes working to progress the story or at other times, just hanging out with friends or playing engaging mini-games. I developed a daily routine from Mae and made an effort to at least play one day in Mae's world for every one of my own days, though it was rare to stop at just one. For a relatively simple design, there is a lot to explore, from secret passages to haunting nightmares, all while accompanied by one of the most impactful soundtracks I've experienced in a long time. It's a beautiful and haunting game with an exceptional story that deserves to be played.
    Night in the Woods is available on PC, all major consoles, and a mobile version is due out sometime this year.

    ARK: Survival Evolved's 'ARKaeology' Event Is On Now, 'Extinction' Expansion To Come

    Dinosaurs are everywhere! A couple of weeks ago, Jurassic World: Alive arrived on mobiles, allowing players to harvest dino DNA using a drone, then evolve, collect, and battle with their very own roster of dinosaurs. This particular game is notable in that is uses geolocation and AR features — it's basically Pokémon Go with dinosaurs. Its release date wasn't random, as it's very close to the June 22 release of the Summer movie blockbuster, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Once again, the dinosaurs are no longer on their island but are all around us. In case you haven't had enough of dinosaurs of the Jurassic Park franchise isn't your thing, ARK: Survival Evolved is there in all its gritty, action-adventure survival glory.

    From now until July 15, players can experience the 'ARKaeology' in-game event. True to its name, this event involves digging and searching the multiple ARKs for fossil mounds. Scavenge those mounds to unearth dinosaur bones which are then used to create special, limited-time skins in a cooking pot. These collectible skins include the popular "Skeleton Dinos" from previous Fear Evolved events, along with the following:
    Dilophosaurus Mask (Hat Skin) Brachiosaurus (Brontosaurus Costume) Stygimoloch (Pachycephalosaurus Costume) Styracosaurus (Triceratops Costume)  In addition to cool new skins, ARKaeology has a new battle beast for players to tame, ride, and breed — the sci-fi themed 'Tek Rex', a heavily armored T-Rex that can be leveled up higher than a normal T-REx.
    Watch the ARKaeology Event trailer:
    But that's not all! Studio Wildcard, ARK: Survival Evolved's developers, has just released news about the upcoming expansion, 'ARK: Extinction'.
    From Studio Wildcard:
    "Finish your journey through the worlds of ARK in ‘Extinction’, where the story began and ends: on Earth itself! An Element-infested, ravaged planet filled with fantastical creatures both organic and technological, Earth holds both the secrets of the past and the keys to its salvation. As a veteran Survivor who has conquered all previous obstacles, the ultimate challenge awaits: can you defeat the gigantic roaming Titans which dominate the planet and complete the ARK cycle to save Earth's future?"

    We have a few months to get ready for Extinction, as it doesn't release until November 6. But, players can start preparing now. The first set of 'Explorer Notes' dropped this past Friday and more Extinction-related Explorer Notes will be released in the game and its existing expansions, which will unlock new skins and Tek-themed dinos in the ARKs. The first set of notes included the first Extinction skin, 'Corrupted Helm'.
    About ARK: Survival Evolved:
    "As a man or woman stranded naked, freezing and starving on the shores of a mysterious island called ARK, you must hunt, harvest resources, craft items, grow crops, research technologies, and build shelters to withstand the elements. Use your cunning and resources to kill or tame & breed the leviathan dinosaurs and other primeval creatures roaming the land, and team up with or prey on hundreds of other players to survive, dominate... and escape!"
    ARK: Survival Evolved is available on PS4, Xbox One, and Steam. A Switch version is currently in the works.

    Two Awesome Games Are Free To Play On Steam This Weekend

    The weekend is upon us which means Steam's free weekend games and weekend deals are active. It's easy to find decent sales and Free to Play periods nearly every weekend but this one in particular features two really cool games. First, we have Killing Floor 2, for which Tripwire Interactive just released their seasonal event, Summer Sideshow: Treacherous Skies. Second, the still in early access Quake Champions  is also Free to Play. These are very different games, but if you're a fan of first-person shooters then you're in for a busy weekend. As an added bonus, both games are heavily discounted, and the case of Quake Champions, the price of the Champions Pack is lower.
    The Killing Floor 2 Summer Sideshow: Treacherous Skies event is actually a sequel to a 2013 map called Steamland, and it definitely has a circus/freak show/steampunk theme. If that sounds like a lot to take in, it is. But, just suspend your disbelief and accept that you'll be fighting circus-themed Zeds and nearly invincible robots on a flying airship as you attempt to reach an island where the Ringmaster's home is located. 
    In addition to this intense event, a few upgrades have been added, including Endless Lockdown, a fan-made community map, a new playable DLC character name Mrs. Foster, a new weapons upgrade system, and several new and powerful weapons.

    About Killing Floor 2:
    "Just one month after the events in the original KILLING FLOOR, the specimen clones are everywhere and civilization is in disarray; communications have failed, governments have collapsed, and military forces have been systematically eradicated. The people of Europe know survival and self-preservation too well and lucky survivors have gone into hiding. Not all have given up hope though... A group of civilians and mercenaries have banded together to combat the outbreak and established privately funded operation bases across Europe. Upon tracking specimen clone outbreaks, players will descend into zed-laden hot zones and exterminate them."
    Killing Floor 2, complete with the Summer Sideshow event, is Free to Play on Steam until Sunday afternoon and both the main game and the Digital Deluxe Edition are 60% off for a limited time.
    Watch the Killing Floor 2 Summer Sideshow: Treacherous Skies Update Trailer:
    Once you're done fighting your way through waves of Zeds, try your hand at Quake Champions, the newest Quake game, still in early access.
    About Quake Champions:
    "Quake Champions is a return to the frenetic, fast-paced competition that established Quake as the originator of the multiplayer shooter genre more than 20 years ago. Quake Champions delivers the dark mythos of the first Quake combined with the groundbreaking multiplayer mayhem of Quake III Arena with a major modern twist – Champions. These fierce warriors each wield unique attributes and abilities, enabling players to compete in their own distinctive style, while adding an additional layer of strategy to the game."

    Quake Champions is a return to familiar Quake gameplay, with the added element of collecting "Champions" with different strengths, weaknesses, and skills, which brings an added level of strategy to the game, as well as a "collectors" aspect. Skill will still be rewarded, but the Champions add greater depth and playability.
    Though the game will eventually be Free to Play full-time, playing during this early access period requires the Champions Pack, unless you were one of the lucky people to receive an early access code while they were available. But, it's free to play for everyone this weekend and the Champions pack contains a host of other desirable items like the full roster of current and future Champions, three Loot Chests, an exclusive Early Access Ranger skin, and the ability to play in custom games. The Champions Pack is 34% off until June 21.

    Get Drunk With Satan In Afterparty – Watch The E3 Gameplay Demo

    While we were watching and waiting for big games from our favorite franchises to be announced at E3 2018, a few very promising indie titles may have slipped under the radar. One of those games is Afterparty , an upcoming game from Night School Studio, which brought us the simple, but highly acclaimed and brilliantly atmospheric Oxenfree . In Oxenfree, players solved puzzles and made choices that affected their characters, but it looks like Afterparty has expanded on that concept with a bigger world, neon-infused graphics with much greater detail, and a more in-depth experience overall. I'm hoping that it will be a multi-layered experience, building on the atmospheric feel of Oxenfree, but expanding the story and giving the characters a greater range of emotion and humor.
    Details aside, Afterparty promises players the opportunity to get plastered with Satan. That in itself brings the game to the forefront of completely original storylines and if it's done well and the game is entertaining and playable, it just might be a hit. With a combination of uniqueness, atmosphere, humor, and nuanced themes like friendship and good vs. evil, this will be one to watch.

    Sean Krankel, co-founder and studio director of Night School Studio, gives a colorful description of the gameplay:
    “I think it’s fair to say that if any of us turns up in Hell, our first priority will be to GTFO and get sloshed with our best friend. We want to give players real agency in accomplishing those goals,” said Sean. “Players can chat up demons and the deceased using a new dialogue system, challenge them to Satanic bar games, and drink from a huge menu of infernal cocktails, all with game-changing abilities.” 

    Dark but with a sense of humor, Afterparty appears to be driven by the immersive story, and every compelling story must have engaging characters that players can relate to in some way, or at the very least, hope to see succeed. Janina Gavankar (Star Wars: Battlefront II, True Blood) will voice Lola, one of Afterparty’s two playable characters.
    “Milo is a lost puppy without Lola, and Lola loves him for it. She’s protective to the death, and even after death,” said Janina of her role. “She didn’t even like drinking when she was alive, but how could anything get worse? When in hell, do as the demons do.”
    Alternatively, players will split their time and also play as Milo. From Night School Studio:
    As both Milo and Lola, the player will experience a neon-drenched vision of Hell for a wild, bar-hopping night. Exploring an interconnected network of underworld islands via the River Styx, players will be sucked into the lives of a variety of hellions’ storylines, each of which ripples into the next. What happens by the end of the night is completely up to the player.
    "We wanted to merge a heavily player-driven narrative with outlandish comedy that feels surprising and spontaneous," said Adam Hines, co-founder and lead writer. "So the player not only defines their adventure, but directly creates the outrageous situations that make any great ‘crazy night out’ story worth telling." 
    Watch the E3 Gameplay Demo of Afterparty:
    Afterparty will release in 2019.
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