E3 2018: Metro Exodus Preview
I wanted the Metro: Exodus demo to wow me, to get me pumped to play the full game when it comes out next year. Instead, I walked away feeling confused and unsatisfied. A lot of the bugs and quirks really soured me on the experience, issues that occurred with a high rate of frequency.
E3 2018: Dying Light 2 Preview
I cannot wait to play Dying Light 2! Based on the presentation, it hits all the right notes for a sequel. It expands on the gameplay mechanics of the first game while deepening the fiction and world building by introducing more humans that fall inside that dark, gray space of morality.
E3 2018: We Happy Few Preview
As it looks, We Happy Few has the makings of a decent story-driven action game a la BioShock. Compulsion probably wants to avoid the similarities but there’s no denying Ken Levine’s game help set a benchmark for these sorts of games. While I wasn’t too hot on the combat portion of the game, I was nonetheless intrigued by this alternative British dystopia. The atmosphere is moody, oppressive and grim.
E3 2018: Starlink: Battle for Atlas Preview
Although I was initially skeptical given how both Skylanders and LEGO Dimensions came and went (and blocked or limited content behind specific toy figures that had to be purchased separately), Starlink piqued my interest for two reasons: one, the gameplay portion feels like a more story-heavy version of No Man’s Sky and two, the starship toys look really, really cool.
E3 2018: The Messenger Preview
My time with The Messenger was painfully brief. In the twenty or so minutes it took me to finish the demo, I almost didn’t want to give the controller back because I wanted to play more. Or, at the very least, play through the demo again. The gameplay feels great, the writing is fun, and the 8-bit/16-bit shifts are really cool as a game mechanic.
E3 2018: Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has me excited for more games in this long running franchise. While I liked Bayek enough, Kassandra - for me - is worth the price of admission alone. The writing is great, she kicks ass in combat, and generally looks like she has no problems holding her own. The gameplay is solid and should delight the fans of Origins.
E3 2018: World War Z Preview
I liked what I saw with Saber Interactive’s zombie game. It’s action-oriented, the movement is breezy, gunplay is satisfying, and the zombies make for a trying and terrifying force to deal with. It’s a much more serious game than Valve’s zombie co-op shooter, so don’t go looking for Chicago Ted.
E3 2018: Strange Brigade Preview
There’s an untapped market when it comes to video games copying the style, substance, and hyper-stylized world of old adventure serials and Strange Brigade seems to be having fun doing it. At several points during the demo, the eager narrator I mentioned earlier would provide color commentary during some of the action scenes. This is probably the closest thing we’ll get to a video game version of Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
E3 2018: Overkill's The Walking Dead Preview
Despite its lower television ratings, The Walking Dead continues to whip people into an undead frenzy. This would explain why the transmedia franchise has been turned into a team-based cooperative shooter by Overkill, a studio owned by Starbreeze. At first glance, the team survival game has (so far) little to do with the television (and possibly comic) other than the title.
Reign of Guilds Preview
Remember five years ago when it seemed like everyone was trying to create the next World of Warcraft? The Blizzard MMO inspired so many different entries into the genre that its hard to remember them all. For many reasons those games haven’t stuck around and the genre itself has become rather stale. That’s why when I had the chance to check out the very early days of development on Atlant Games new project Reign of Guilds it peaked my interest.
Abandon Ship Preview
No one has ever complained that the age of sail naval battle genre has been over-saturated, so I was looking forward to spending some time with Abandon Ship, now in early access. Snagging some mechanics from FTL, a Kraken or two from Pirates of Caribbean and iconography from 19th-century maps, Abandon Ship seems to be sailing along well towards a full release.
Far Cry 5 Arcade Impressions
In addition to what so far looks to be an engaging open-world campaign in Montana, Far Cry 5 will also sport an arcade mode featuring a level editor and 6-on-6 PVP multiplayer. I was able to test out Far Cry Arcade at the same Ubisoft event where I got to preview the main game. I was not prepared for what I witnessed.
Far-Cry 5 Hands On Preview
Ubisoft’s Far Cry 5 is less than a month away, and I had the opportunity to return to its rural open world at a preview event. For those unacquainted, Far Cry 5 takes place in the fictional Hope County, Montana. Joseph Seed, also known as “The Father,” has taken over the land with his cult, the Project at Eden’s Gate. His siblings John, Jacob, and Faith – the “Heralds” – each control a region. You play as a junior deputy who is tasked with helping the resistance put an end to the cult’s influence.
Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Preview
“How would you improve upon the greatest isometric RPG ever made?” If you are as much of a fan of Pillars of Eternity as I am, then you may find yourself pondering this question. On April 3, Obsidian Entertainment intends to give us their answer when they release of Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire. With the 2015 masterpiece Pillars of Eternity, Obsidian Entertainment finally delivered some excellent gameplay to augment their traditional strengths of storytelling and dialog. It was a groundbreaking achievement for a studio that, until then, was best known for unorthodox expansion packs and sequels.
PSX 2017: Anamorphine Preview
Mental health is a mature subject, one that needs to be treated with care if used as a material for a genre typically associated with big explosions, burly men, and questionable armor design. My moment with Anamorphine, a first-person puzzle game developed by Artifact 5, was fascinating because of how it put me in the shoes of Tyler, a man suffering from the effects of post-traumatic stress.
PSX 2017: Kingdom Come: Deliverance Preview
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is shaping up to be a humongous game that promises the moon. Though it seemed daunting, I found myself chomping at the bits to play more because I’m attracted by its granular interaction and the mechanics of a world that exists on its own whether or not you choose to directly participate.
Far Cry 5 Preview
I had the opportunity to play Ubisoft’s upcoming Far Cry 5 at a preview event. The demo took place after the liberation of Fall’s End (previously seen at E3), so I had free reign to explore the Holland Valley region, a massive landmass covering about a third of the game’s world. Creative director Dan Hay emphasized that in that region alone, there were 10-15 hours of narrative content, not including the roughly 30 additional hours you could spend exploring it.
PSX 2017: The Gardens Between Preview
The long and short of it is, PlayStation Experience easily dominates the senses with the latest and greatest games featuring explosions, loud guns, and war cries. That’s what made playing The Gardens Between a real joy. A quiet adventure, The Voxel Agents developed a surreal puzzle adventure starring best friends Arina and Frendt who, for reasons unknown, have become slaves to time.
PSX 2017: Super Daryl Deluxe Preview
I won’t lie: Super Daryl Deluxe was probably the strangest game I tried out at this year’s PlayStation Experience. The game, developed by the two-man team of Dan & Gary Games, is an oddball adventure about Daryl, a slack-jawed high schooler who finds himself at the center of an interdimensional conspiracy involving self-help gurus, an underground textbook market, and friendship-starved computers.
PSX 2017: Mothergunship Preview
Earth is in danger! A malevolent AI has launched a devastating attack on our home planet using a fleet of deadly spaceships. A motley resistance organization with a love of big, outlandish weaponry are all that stand in the way of Earth’s total annihilation. Terrible Posture Games (Tower of Guns) and Grip Digital have teamed up to create Mothergunship, an action-oriented shooter which proves that the best offense is a great defense. I got to spend some hands-on time with Mothergunship at PlayStation Experience in Anaheim, California and walked away with the urge to play a lot more.
PSX 2017: Bow To Blood Preview
The idea is that players will take the role of captain on the airship Freelancer and take part in ship-to-ship combat for fortune and glory in The Arena. Bow To Blood struck a powerful nerve with me because I felt like I was playing a hybrid of Star Trek Bridge Crew with the sailing portions of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. Moving the Freelancer feels really great--it’s not zippy as a starfighter nor does it lumber about like a huge capital ship like the Galactica. The maneuverability of the airishp strikes a great balance that makes it a dream to fly.