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Windlands preview at EGX 2016

Windlands preview at EGX 2016

Windlands Preview

 

Windlands was one of the few at EGX 2016 that I was looking forward to seeing, Why you ask? Well, it’s because of the amazing world it’s based in and the mechanics of Attack on Titan grappling hook system that draws me into it. At least in this game, i don’t have to worry about been eaten in it… I hope!

 

Windlands is first person grappling hook VR exploration game. Soar through the ruins of a fallen civilisation and discover the secrets of the ancient world. It appeals to those who want to explore the breathtaking vistas at a relaxing pace, while the challenging routes attract gamers who like to master the skill of soaring through the towering environments at top speed.

I and Adam got a chance to play the game at EGX and boy were we not let down. This game is amazing in VR, truly is immersive as well as colorful. Psytec Games have truly outdone themselves and came up with a master piece and you can buy it today! You can find the game on the steam store here.

The way it work in game mechanics is quite simple, your character or person has two grappling hooks which are attached by left click and right click on the mouse with the space bar as jump or double jump, simples…… or is it? I found this game a pleasure to play in the sense that while i flew through the air, it actually felt like i was traveling very fast before coming to sometimes an abrupt stop. Because of this i occasionally got that butterfly feeling in my stomuch when on a roller coaster ride, that is what it felt like for me which is one big ride.

Talking to Jon Hibbins and Luke Sanders, we got an impression of pride of the game and well they should be.. Its a master peice game and one that i feel will take on the likes of Minecraft and Zelda in years to come. This is one dream like game that we are going to be jumping back in, so look out for our review on it!!

We also wish to thank Jon and Luke for showing us the game at EGX 2016, also to the entire Psytec team aswell for a brilliant game.

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Forgotton Anne preview at EGX 2016

Forgotton Anne preview at EGX 2016

Forgotton Anne preview at EGX 2016

When I first saw Forgotton Anne, I fell immediately in love with the game and it’s dark noir feeling. Adam and I were just introduced to Alfred Nguyen and Michael Godlowski-Maryniak of Through Line Games based in Denmark which was started in 2014, from there they began to show us the world of Forgotton Anne and oh boy were we in for a surprise.

Forgotton Anne is a beautiful story-driven, hand-crafted 2D cinematic adventure about the Forgotton Realm, where all mislaid items from the human world – old toys, letters, single socks – end up. With the help of the Forgotlings – creatures composed of these mislaid objects – Anne and Master Bonku, the only humans trapped in this realm, are on a quest to find their way home…

 

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Forgotton Anne was announced on Thursday in partnership with PlayStation, Square Enix Collective revealed this latest high quality and diverse title live on the PlayStation Access stage at EGX. We can understand the reason behind this as well, the art in the game is just amazing and it draws you into the world of the Forgotton Realm even more. Not only that, I am a big manga and anime fan so it’s all the more interesting for me when I see a game that merges anime style art and gameplay into one is simple just incredible.

 

 

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The game works as you control Anne through a platformer/sidescrolling world as you seek a way home from the Forgotton Realm, but everything is not what it seems and with the help of Anima(basically the life force of the Forgotlings) you must find a way through the Forgotton Realm. The game is scheduled for a release sometime in 2017, but don’t worry about that as we will be letting you all know in advance when you can get your hands on this amazing game.

 

 

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Batman – The Telltale Series gets a release date for Episode 3: New World Order

Batman – The Telltale Series gets a release date for Episode 3: New World Order

Batman - The Telltale Series gets a release date for Episode 3: New World Order

The third of five episodes in the season, Episode 3: ‘New World Order’ will be available digitally worldwide starting Tuesday October 25th on PC from the Telltale Online Store, Steam, and other digital distribution services, and on the Xbox Games Store for Xbox One. The episode will also be available October 25th on PS4 and PS3 in North America and starting October 27th for PS4 and PS3 in Europe. Release dates for additional platforms will be announced in the near future.

In Episode 3, Penguin’s brutal attack broadcast on live TV has left Gotham City reeling. As Bruce and Batman, you’ll dig deeper into the web of intrigue surrounding the newly revealed Children of Arkham. Meanwhile, behind closed doors, the mysterious Selina Kyle reveals more of herself to Bruce. And in the aftermath of the attack, Bruce’s friend and Gotham’s new mayor, Harvey Dent, is a deeply changed man. Who can be trusted when the future of Bruce Wayne – and the Batman – could be determined by the flip of a coin?

The series is also available to purchase at retailers in North America and Europe as a special Season Pass Disc, which includes the first of five episodes in the season, and grants access to the subsequent four episodes as they become available for download via online updates.

Rendered to look like a living, breathing comic book, Telltale’s vision of Batman features an award-winning cast of talent, including Troy Baker in the role of Bruce Wayne,Travis Willingham as Harvey Dent, Erin Yvette as Vicki Vale, Enn Reitel as Alfred Pennyworth, Murphy Guyer as Lieutenant James Gordon, Richard McGonagle as Carmine Falcone, Jason Spisak as Oswald Cobblepot, and Laura Bailey as Selina Kyle. Additional cast and characters will be revealed as the season progresses.

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Nintendo Switch Announcement | What We Know

Nintendo Switch Announcement | What We Know

Nintendo Switch Announcement | What We Know

Today is an exciting day because Nintendo has just put out a press release and trailer for their new console/handheld hybrid device, the Nintendo Switch. The Switch is surprisingly strong, incredibly mobile, and absurdly social.

As a kid I always imagined a console that I could play on my TV and then pick it up and play it while my parents were driving me somewhere. Well, it only took the majority of two decades but that time is here. The Nintendo Switch can be played on your television with a fairly standard controller. Okay, not super standard, but we are talking about Nintendo so you know that term has to be used loosely. But if you want to play on the go, you are able to take the Switch out of its docking station to reveal what appears to be a roughly 5 by 7 inch high definition display tablet. I say appears to be, as Nintendo has yet to release tech specs on the device, though I’m sure more info will follow.

Nintendo Switch

Now you may be thinking, how am I going to use a controller with a tablet on the go? Well, that controller we were talking about earlier is actually a modular set of “Joy-Con” controller sticks that slide off of the controller base, right onto the side of the tablet’s screen. That said, the two controllers can also be used detached from the device, and even can be used as two distinct controllers you and a friend can share to play with or against one another in game.

Now, because of the the portability of the Switch, you may be thinking that there is no way that it is going to be powerful enough to be a real competitor to current gen consoles. Well, that’s not quite true. While the full spec sheet is not out yet, Nvidia has released that they have developed custom software and hardware to power the Switch. This includes a custom Tegra processor that should be able to outperform the PS4 and Xbox One in graphical capability. Which actually makes sense if you look at the developers and publishers that have signed on to create games for the device.

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Yes, Nintendo is finally opening up to letting more third parties create games for their devices. This should be exciting news for everyone, as competition always creates a better market of quality, especially for the consumer. You’ll now be able to play the likes of Skyrim remastered on the go easily. If that doesn’t excite you, I don’t know what will.

Nintendo Switch Developers And Publishers

I for one am excited for the possibility of a proper console Pokemon game when this console is released in March 2017. As more information is released we will continue to provide updates on the Nintendo Switch, so be sure to subscribe and follow us on social media.

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ROCCAT Sova Review

ROCCAT Sova Review

With the Sova Lapboard, Roccat has a  new product in its portfolio, for all those want to play from their bed or couch. Featuring a gaming TKL keyboard, with a hard plastic mouse mat and a palm rest and some comfy cushions this could be an interesting option. Apart from that, the Sova is available as a rubber dome and as a mechanical version.

Today we’re going to introduce you to a new product from Roccat, which allows you to play comfortably from your couch. For the Sova Lapboard Roccat uses a TKL keyboard in combination with a huge mousepad beside it.

With the Sova Lapboard, Roccat offers a new device with a integrated TKL keyboard, palm rest and a large mousepad. First of all, we start talking about the design and dimensions of the product. The Sova Lapboard measures 640 x 280 x 37 mm with a total weight of over 2 Kg. The dimensions are adequate yet the pad might be larger. However, it’s clear Roccat preferred a smaller product, which makes it easier to handle.

The device is completely black whereas on the Roccat logo provides colour. The keyboard, with rubber dome switches and compact layout, is integrated into the main structure of the product and cannot be removed or moved to other positions. As we mentioned at the beginning of the paragraph the keyboard has no additional keys such as multimedia or macro buttons but there are few dual-function keys in the top row. The backlight is blue, which is basically the classic Roccat colour and the brightness is adjustable. The feedback is good and the key travel is precise, which leaves us with a decent rubber dome keyboard. Apparently, in terms of responsiveness, it’s far away from a mechanical keyboard. At the moment there is also available an additional version available featuring mechanical switches.

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The mouse pad area is made entirely of plastic and the noise when you move the mouse over it sounds unpleasantly cheap. Since there is empty space underneath the mousepad there is some sort of an echo. I would have preferred if the mouse pad area was solid or came with a fabric top.

On the flip side, the Sova Lapboard has been equipped with four cushions which guarantee good comfort and it will prevent feeling pain in your legs. During our test we were able to play comfortably for five hours straight, which should be enough for hardcore gamers. Looking for connectors we find two USB 2.0 at the top. The cable integrated into the device measures four meters in length.

Despite the rather bulky size of the product and the fact that there aren’t any special features such as macro buttons or volume control, the Sova Lapboard is an overall easy to use product. It’s rather unique and therefore kind of new to the gaming industry. The compact keyboard is quite comfortable thanks to the integrated palm rest, however, we can not tell the same for the wide mousepad placed on the right side of the Lapboard. The design is functional and with some slight improvements, we are sure it can be a good playmate. We remind you that the keyboard features a blue backlight and it’s also available with TTC mechanical switches or with rubber domes as in our case.

From an ergonomics point of view, the keyboard is very comfortable to use despite being fully anchored to the base structure of the product. When it comes to build quality our sample was well finished and overall the product feels pretty sturdy. The blue backlight is adjustable and precise despite it’s not entirely consistent in the case of the dual-function buttons. The only aspect which we believe should be improved is the mouse pad area, which should be more solid. We appreciate the two additional USB ports placed on the back, which are perfect for headphones and USB flash drives. The rubber coated cables measure four meters in length.

In the end, the Roccat Sova Lapboard is an interesting product that could be useful for everybody loves to play from the sofa. We tested this device with different games and we did not find particular limitations. The starting price of the Roccat Sova Lapboard is 149 euro for the rubber dome version and 199 euro for the one with mechanical keyboard.

Survival Horror: Origins | A Brief History of Survival Horror Games – Part 1

Survival Horror: Origins | A Brief History of Survival Horror Games – Part 1

It was a Friday. Bill Clinton was president of the United States. Because You Loved Me by Céline Dion was playing on the radio far too often for my liking. But most important to the story I want to tell, on March 22nd, 1996 a genre took the scene; the survival horror game. Resident Evil, or as dubbed in the Japanese market that originated it, Biohazard was born. It employed elements of horror that had yet to be taken advantage of in mainstream gaming culture. But I’m getting ahead of myself. While this may be the origin of the name, survival horror was seeded in many games that came before. Today I want to take a look at these games and how they shaped what would be one of the most popular genres for the better part of a decade.

bill clinton celine dion resident evil

This image will absolutely never be even remotely relevant ever again.

To fully understand the beginnings of the survival horror genre, one must look at the contributing climate. During what was arguably simultaneously the golden age and wild west of video games, the 1980’s were also host to another cultural phenomenon. The rise of the horror film, and more specifically the slasher flick. Where the 60’s saw the rise of camp horror that drew from classic tales of monsters, the slasher was a relatively new take on horror. Less intimate than the stories of Dracula, villains like Freddy and Jason were ruthless killing machines that stalked their prey. And that last bit is one of the most important factors in the rise and acceptance of the genre, at least in western culture. The horror climate that people wanted to see, changed to situations that were less about grand romantic adventures and instead fixating on a character or a group of characters tale of survival.

A common misconception, at least in my mind, is that the horror climate for western culture and Japanese culture was fractured, with western cinema adopting a more action oriented tone while Japanese film took a more psychological approach. While this is true in terms of narrative, I do not personally believe there was as big a difference between the two tonally. They both fixated on small scale stories with big horrific appeal that, again, told the tale of survival. This is very important, because if the genre had been any more polarized than it was outside of tone, we may not have seen as large an acceptance to the survival horror genre on such an international scale.

Granted, the stylistic elements that can be found throughout survival horror and the games that preceded the genre can be found in stories a fair bit older than the likes of the slasher genre. Many similarities can be drawn to H.P. Lovecraft’s work and the narrative elements and character design of many horror games. Some survival horror games have even gone as far as to use the stories as the setting of their games. But what may be seen as the most important aspect of survival horror, the gameplay mechanics, took a bit longer to realize than the setting and tone.

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Call of Cthulu (2017); Just one example of many games that directly use Lovecraft’s lore.

An early horror game that played a role in developing some of the more stealth driven aspects of Survival horror was Nostromo in 1981, a sci-fi horror game vastly inspired by Alien. The game had you sneaking through a space ship avoiding an invisible alien with the goal of escape. Another important note to take from this game was the use of limited resources require to achieve your goals. Should you not have enough of an item, you would have no choice but to die. This laid the groundwork for the importance of inventory management in future titles.

In 1982 we saw the release of 3D Monster Maze, which had the player attempt to traverse a maze while avoiding a T-rex in hot pursuit. You had no weapon to speak of and had to rely on getting out of the maze to win. The same year, Haunted House for the Atari 2600 released which featured monsters classically found in horror like ghosts, spiders, and bats. The game also featured a lighting element on higher difficulty settings where a player must light a match to reveal the area of the map around them. Playing with light and darkness is an element of many survival horror games that can be seen as an incredibly central role to gameplay. It’s interesting to see how this concept was played with in the formative years of the genre, as simple as they may have been at the time. Another title of the same year that may have played a role in developing the genre’s appeal was Sega’s arcade title Monster Bash that featured characters like Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman.

3D Monster Maze Survival Horror

Behold the face of true terror in 3D Monster Maze!

The latter half of the 1980’s saw more action horror games take the spotlight, such as Castlevania and Splatterhouse. While these games did not feature many gameplay elements that would have realistically contributed to the survival horror genre, they did a service to the horror game genre as a whole in showing how titles could receive critical acclaim and international popularity.

It wasn’t until 1987’s Shiryou Sensen: War of the Dead that a game that could truly be called a survival horror in retrospect hit the scene. The game was marketed as an action RPG. However, through the narrative, gameplay, and setting could have easily be seen as a survival horror premise today. The player character is a lone SWAT team member who must traverse a monster infested town to rescue survivors and bring them to a safe zone within a church. The gameplay featured open environments not dissimilar to Dragon Quest while exploring, while employing side scrolling real time battles like in Zelda II. The game also featured a limited ammo system, where often times players may run out and have to use either their fists or a knife to battle enemies. The game also featured a day/night cycle that would keep track of the number of days you had spent surviving. This feature would go on to be more prevalent in the survival and RPG genre as a whole, while not seeing as much use within the survival horror genre itself.

In 1989, however, the game that would have the most influence on Resident Evil and the genre as a whole was released. Sweet Home by Tokuro Fujiwara was possibly the most realized pre-survival horror game released within the generation. This one may be a bit obvious as Tokuro Fujiwara would go on to be the creator of the Resident Evil franchise, but the features present in this game are like going over a checklist of what is required to be a classic survival horror game. The game used a limited inventory and puzzles to create tension and immersion. There were multiple characters with their own unique skills and abilities, each with their own multiple character paths. An overarching story that was told mostly through documents found scattered around. Multiple endings based upon which characters survived and the paths you had taken throughout the game. These features, while scattered among the games I said lead up to that fateful day in 1996, were all together in the same place for the first time. That being said, the game was still a top down 2D RPG and the style that many attribute to the genre would not be found until a few years later.

1992 marked the release of Alone in the Dark. While it can be argued that this was not a true survival horror game because of its emphasis on action, it featured some of the largest stylistic elements of the survival horror genre. The pre-rendered backgrounds, the static and cinematic camera angles of scenes. The horrific take on light and darkness. It was the first time, in my opinion, that a game was able to achieve a truly terrifying atmosphere.

In the following years leading up to Resident Evil’s release there were several other games that in one way or another contributed to the genre at large. Titles like 1994’s Doctor Hauzer which featured no combat, but put an emphasis on puzzles and horror atmosphere. The game utilized sound and music in a way that heightened expectations in all future survival horror games.

Doctor Hauzer Survival Horror

Also, the low poly models in this game are super dope. Just sayin’.

But then, that fateful day arrived and the namesake of the genre was used for the first time, spurring several franchises that would become part of a cultural zeitgeist. But that, my friends, is a story for another day.

If you like my writing, please be sure to check out my other articles on here or follow me on Twitter @GameXSam. Stay tuned for more survival horror history next Wednesday! I also make videos for GameX on Youtube if you haven’t figured that out yet, be sure to subscribe!

 

 

EVE Online to introduce free access to award-winning sci-fi game universe

EVE Online to introduce free access to award-winning sci-fi game universe

CCP Games announced a new Clone States feature that will be added to EVE Online in a big November 2016 expansion. This will do away with trial accounts and allow any past, present, or future players join the EVE universe and fly amongst its thousands of solar systems and wormholes for free, forever. 

This feature will be one of the biggest changes to the EVE universe ever, exponentially and aggressively fueling the boundless potential of EVE‘s greatest game content—its players.

Historically, some of the most successful player Alliances have embraced the raw power of eager new pilots and many groups, both big and small, will recruit from this promising influx of players in order to bolster their territorial and financial ambitions. Whoever mentors them most effectively could upend the landscape of the entire universe, but even the addition of a single wingman to a fleet can make a tremendous difference.

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The massively multiplayer universe of EVE Online has been host to some of gaming’s most interesting conflicts, meta-game dramas, and player-made content during its rich 13+ year history, earning it awards for game design as well as its community, a place alongside a select few in the first set of video games inducted into The Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection, and the reputation that Killscreen calls “the game that science fiction warned us about.” It has inspired documentaries, graphic and fiction novels, developer rap videos, art and source books, charity drives that have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for disaster relief, real world near-space launches, in-person gatherings the world over, countless player-made songs and propaganda pieces, and even a monument to its players nestled in the harbor of Reykjavik, Iceland.

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In November, characters will be divided into two clone states. Omega clones will act similar to current active EVE characters, granted unlimited access to skill progression and rapid skill training. Alpha clones will become the new base state for all characters and available to any character at any time, able to train and use a specific set of skills to fly some of the most often-used ships into battle – Tech 1 frigates, destroyers, and cruisers. Access to trading, industry, and exploration skills will allow Alpha pilots to explore the breadth of the universe as well, as they fly alongside hundreds of thousands of other players from around the globe to explore, dominate, and evolve the massive virtual universe unbound by starter zones or server instances.

EVE’s developers offer the reason for fully opening up access to New Eden in today’s blog post.

As you know, EVE is a very special game. Our single shard server means that every player truly affects every other, whether through economics, resource gathering, direct combat or bad posting. This in turn means that our universe is more interesting, more exciting and more dangerous with each additional citizen.

Just like you, we’ve known this for a long time and, just like you, we’ve been doing everything we can to bring more people into our spectacular sandbox. Part of our vision for the future of EVE has included more open access for some time, but with the interconnected nature of the game comes vulnerability. We knew that if the flood gates were opened in the wrong way, we could see anything from server meltdowns to the collapse of the EVE economy. Over time, our hardware has improved, code has been untangled (mostly!) and we’ve found a design we believe in. EVE is ready for this.

For more specifics on the initially announced design, visit the developer blog and view the announcement video from EVE’s Executive Producer.

This November’s expansion will also include further development of sandbox gameplay features including the addition of Industrial Arrays, a new class of player-built structures furthering the progress of Citadel structures introduced in April. Other planned features include a new ship, tactical adjustments to warfare links, exciting changes for the Rorqual industrial capital ship, and more to be announced as development of EVE Online continues at its fast pace.

The EVE development team has outlined an extensive conversation plan with its players leading up to the introduction of the Clone States feature, catalyzed by the Council of Stellar Management player representatives and their upcoming multiple-day summit at the developer’s headquarters. Q&As, focus groups, feedback threads, in-person sessions at the EVE Vegas event in October, and more are planned for the next several months to make sure the final design strikes the right tone of inclusive access without upsetting EVE‘s beautifully intricate ecosystem.

November’s expansion follows the massive EVE Online: Citadel expansion earlier this year which introduced staggeringly large player structures to New Eden, a massive new server investment to fuel its thousand+ person spaceship battles, and dozens of regular updates every month that included everything from skill injection to fresh overview UI to new spaceships and modules. It also comes in the aftermath of the 100% player-driven, dramatic, and universe-altering “World War Bee” that has left lots of opportunity in its wake throughout player-controlled null-security space. Changes to the first few hours of the new player experience offer an easier transition into the sophisticated universe as well.

There’s no better time to come fly amidst the beautiful nebulae of EVE Online.

Top 5 Games Coming Out This Week | OCT. 9TH TO 15TH

Top 5 Games Coming Out This Week | OCT. 9TH TO 15TH

The top 5 games of the week are:

Gears of War 4:
http://www.xbox.com/en-ca/games/gears-of-war-4

Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/434050/

Project Genom:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/389040

Shadow Warrior 2:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/324800

Crazy Fun: FootRock:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/497100

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