StarForge Review

Starforge is a multiplayer FPS block building and defense game developed by Codehatch. So far, the main thing that is available to do in Starforge is to defend a structure from enemies, and you are given supplies and guns to make that possible. You will be spending time between waves collecting different types of materials to build walls and turrets, or opening crates to find newer and more powerful guns to use on your enemies.

All of this can also be done in multiplayer with other people, which requires someone to set a server up on their side and everyone else connecting to their IP address, since there currently aren’t any official servers to play on. In general, you could loosely say that the game plays like Minecraft, except for the whole idea of being able to shoot with guns and driving cars. A recent update to the alpha includes a day and night cycle, vehicles, grenades and flashlight, as well as optimizing the game a ton so it will run better even at the highest settings, since before it felt as if it suffered from a major memory leak. Another update has come out, this time introducing the infinite terrain map which will generate a new map that goes on forever every time that you start it up. There are also currently weather effects on this new map.

There isn’t a whole lot in the way of options, and the main ones that you will be able to change are graphics and key bindings through the Unity engine launcher. Even so, you can’t greatly customize the graphics, since you can only select the screen resolution and the actual graphical quality ranges from settings like “fast” and “fantastic”. You are able to select whether you want to play in windowed or full screen mode though.

Eventually StarForge will allow you to mine and transform the terrain, ride in vehicles of different kinds, build and play in space above the planet without loading screens, and a survival mode where you have to explore to gather resources while building a base of operations all the while enemies are trying to kill you. This is just all that is hinted to come, there is sure to be more as the development process goes on.

Starforge is very much in alpha stage, so if you decide to buy it don’t expect there to be a lot of content. It is currently 20 dollars on Steam or the main Starforge website, but when the game is finally released it’s price will double to 40 so it is best to buy now. There is also an option to pay 75 dollars to join the founders club, which comes with a fair amount of exclusive cosmetic options only available to founders, such as unique tilesets, helmet and tools, and your name added into the founder list. So if the game sounds interesting with the few features that are currently available, or if you just want to support the development so all features can eventually be implemented, it is worth buying StarForge.

Final Fantasy XV Multiplayer Expansion: Comrades Launches October 31

For the first time, Final Fantasy XV players will be able to create their own avatar and join up with three other friends to take on epic quests and battles in the game’s first and only online multiplayer expansion titled “Comrades.” Starting October 31, players will set foot as a survivor from Kingsglaive to find out more about the disappearance of Noctis after the events in Chapter 13 from the main game.

As members of Kingsglaive, players equip royal sigils that grant special powers from the Lucian bloodline. Players can then strategize and create a balanced team to take on a variety of quests. In addition to multiplayer quests, single player quests are also available for players to enhance their characters.

Square Enix also released a trailer featuring a brand-new track, “Choosing Hope” composed by Uematsu and sung by popular Japanese singer Emiko Suzuki.

Set in a world engulfed by darkness, the expansion casts players as a member of the Kingsglaive, with powers and unique abilities invoked from various Lucian kings, who join forces to bring the Light back to the kingdom of Lucis. Other members of Noctis’s crew including Gladiolus, Prompto and Ignis will be made playable in future game updates.

Final Fantasy XV Multiplayer Expansion: Comrades will be available to players who purchased Final Fantasy XV and the Final Fantasy XV Season Pass or Final Fantasy XV Multiplayer Expansion: Comrades standalone expansion. It also requires a subscription to an Xbox Live Gold membership or a PlayStation Plus subscription. Internet connection is also required to access this content.

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner – MARS Announced for PC

Cygames and Konami Digital Entertainment have announced Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner – MARS, a jointly developed, remastered version of the hit title from 2003, Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner. The latest title in Konami’s breakneck robot battle series will avail of the latest 4K and VR technology to bring high speed robot action smashing its way onto modern consoles – and to the Tokyo Game Show, where visitors will be able to get their first glimpse of the game in action.

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner was the sequel to the PlayStation 2 title, Zone of the Enders and continued the high-octane, big robot, super-fast action that characterized the first title in the series. In 2012 the two titles were re-released as Zone of the Enders HD Collection, for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which featured high definition visuals and updated UI.

The current release is based on this high-definition version of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, but with a host of virtual reality content to truly immerse players into the experience of piloting a big robot. Using The 2nd Runner’s unique graphics technology, ZOE Shader, all of the visuals have been completely overhauled for 4K technology and given cutting edge post effects, and all of the audio has been remastered, providing truly luscious stereophonic sound.

Gamers will be able to experience the thrill of piloting a high speed giant robot for themselves at Tokyo Game Show 2017. The game will be playable at the Konami Digital Entertainment booth at the event, which takes place from September 21 to 24 at the Makuhari Messe convention center.

Forza Motorsport 7 Demo Now Available Alongside the Launch Trailer

We’re excited to let everyone know that the official Forza Motorsport 7 demo for both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC is now available for download, with three unique racing experiences showcasing the depth and breadth of the experiences available in the game. You can read all about what to expect in our recent Xbox Wire post.

In addition to getting ready for the launch of Forza Motorsport 7 by immersing yourselves in the demos, check out our launch trailer for the most comprehensive, beautiful and authentic racing game ever made!

This stunning 4K video captured with all in-game footage gives you a glimpse of the thrill of real-world racing at the limit that you can experience in Forza Motorsport 7. Feel the adrenaline rush with HDR, authentic engine response and realistic audible and visual experiences. Also, for the first time ever, customize your racing style alongside your vehicle with a massive Driver Gear collection, taking your Drivatar to the next level.

With Forza Motorsport 7, everyone can experience the danger and beauty of competitive racing at their limit. Collect over 700 Forzavista cars, including the largest collection of Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches available in any racing game. Master over 30 famous environments with dynamic conditions that change every time you race.

As part of today’s announcements, Forza is also revealing the “Voices of Motorsports” contributors that will be featured in Forza Motorsport 7. This year’s list includes past and current racing drivers, automotive industry designers, automotive journalists and automotive personalities, each bringing their own unique perspective to racing, driving and automotive passion.

Forza Motorsport 7 will be available as an Xbox Play Anywhere title (Xbox One and Windows 10 PC versions included with single digital purchase at no additional cost) on Sept. 29 for Ultimate Edition owners and on Oct. 3 for Deluxe and Standard edition owners.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus ‘No More Nazis’ Trailer

The Nazis have taken over America. They’ve turned Manhattan into a wasteland. They’ve walled off New Orleans and are systematically purging the city, burning people and homes to the ground. And they brazenly walk the streets of small-town USA – going where they want, taking what they want and behaving however they please. But this is not BJ Blazkowicz’s America. The United States will never be broken – not with BJ on the job, rallying the Resistance and igniting a revolution. Watch the Resistance rise up to strike fear in the Nazis in the latest trailer for Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus releases on October 27, 2017, on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Winner of more than 100 awards at E3 2017, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus also received four nominations from the official E3 Game Critics Awards (including Best of Show) and won Best Action Game.

Lucid Games announces free-to-play vehicle action game Switchblade for PC

Lucid Games have announced the official Closed Beta for Switchblade, a dynamic new vehicle action game for PC and PlayStation®4, developed using the power of Unreal Engine 4.

From a team that has worked on titles such as Project Gotham Racing, Blur and Geometry wars, Switchblade is an arena-based 5v5 vehicular shooter that combines high-octane combat with an ever-shifting array of strategic choices. Seamlessly switch between heavily armed vehicles at any time to create endless tactical choices. Chase down a rival in a speedy fighter, then swap to a heavy-duty battlewagon to attack your competitor’s tower as your teammates switch between healers & artillery to back you up.

Win battles, grab loot and create your own unique online superstar as you rise through the ranks of a spectacular e-sport championship.

‘We’ve got so much experience with driving games at our studio, but in a race there’s only ever one winner.’ said Craig Howard, Creative Director at Lucid Games. ‘We wanted to make a game that more than one person can win, a true team game and one that rewards tactics as much as reactions’

Switchblade will be released as a Free-to-Play title on PC and PS4 in early 2018.

Gearbox is winding down work on Battleborn, shifting devs to unannounced project

The following statement was released by Gearbox and 2K:

Hello Friends

It’s been a while since I’ve communicated with you directly, so I wanted to take the opportunity to write to you as Battleborn rounds another milestone in its life.

As of this week, there will be no more Battleplans and there is currently no planned content after the Fall Update. Details of any future changes or news will be made on our forums or through social media, so keep your radars on.

Never fear! Battleborn is here to stay. Nothing is changing with Battleborn, and the servers will be up and active for the foreseeable future. We announced the Fall Update for the game at PAX including some new skins, themed around some of your favorite Borderlands characters! That update will also include some updated title art (more full bar titles!) for the more significant challenges in the game, as well as some additional Finisher Boosts and Taunts. Also, there are minor balance changes in that patch.

If you’ve been paying attention to recent news from the Gearbox Panel at PAX West, you’ll have heard that many folks at Gearbox are working on a highly anticipated project. Although I’m sad my time on Battleborn is coming to a close, I’m happy to announce that I will play a significant role on this highly anticipated but unannounced game, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing some from me again in the future regarding Gearbox games.

I’ve been working on Battleborn nearly exclusively since 2012, and in some ways, that work stretches back to 2009 for me. It’s been a long labor of love with many of my good friends at Gearbox, and I’m proud to have shared that journey with you, our community. Your spirit and loyalty have been a constant inspiration to the team at Gearbox.

Also, I want to personally thank you for giving Battleborn a chance, and dipping down into a new universe with us. We make games for you. And many of you have shared with us how much Battleborn has meant to you personally.

It’s always a bittersweet time when transitioning from one project to another, but also offers the opportunity to step back and enjoy the game we created. Keep an eye out for me in game!

For now, Commander Jythri is signing off and taking the first transport back to a wonderful box of surprises.

You are awesome.

For Solus.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Review

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn is an mmorpg with a Final Fantasy theme developed by Square Enix. There are two genders and five races to choose from, which are the hyur(humans), Elezen(elves), Lalafell(small childlike creatures), Miqo’te(cat people), and the Roegadyn(large hulking people). You can fairly customize your character’s appearance, such as height, colors, face, and even voice. After this there are a few roleplaying choices that you can make, such as a birthday and the deity that they worship. Your character’s name requires a first and last name, and if you can’t come up with one you can have one be randomly chosen for you depending on your race.

There are eight classes to start out as in A Realm Reborn, and the nice thing is that this isn’t permanent choice. After playing the game for a little while, it is possible to start the quest at every classes guild and after that you can easily swap to any class you want just by equipping the weapon required by it. Three magic classes, five physical classes, three gathering classes, and eight crafting classes. A lot of classes have abilities that can be shared between another, and even the gathering and crafting classes have these abilities as well.

When you get one class to thirty and the correct secondary class to fifteen, they will combine and allow you to start using a specialized job, such as the paladin job which requires thirty gladiator and fifteen conjurer. These jobs get a slight attribute bonus, their own special abilities only available to them, but a lot less slots to equip cross class abilities learned from other classes.

Crafting in A Realm Reborn is a lot like playing a minigame and you are actually manually crafting an item instead of it doing it automatically. As your crafting classes go up in level, you will acquire more abilities to use that will help you become successful and creating higher quality items. It actually is possible to automatically create items after making one yourself the first time, but this is more risky with a very low chance of getting better quality items.

Instead of just clicking on a rock or tree and automatically getting resources from it, you can choose exactly what you want to get from a particular node and your gear will even determine how successful you are. Just like crafting, gathering classes have skills that you can use while collecting items, such as decreasing the chance of failure and increasing the chance of obtaining higher quality items.

You can expect the usual economy mechanics in A Realm Reborn, mainly with ways to buy and sell items through a market. You can easily see what items are being sold for currently, and even the past sales of items which can all help you with deciding how much is good for an item you’re wanting to buy or sell.

Most enemies you will come across in the game have been in the Final Fantasy world for a long time, such as tonberries, malboros, cactaurs, and bombs. All enemies have a basic attack that they will hit you with, along with either one or two special attacks that project an area on the ground that you need to avoid, or lots of damage and even status effects will be applied to you. Bosses in dungeons act the same way as well but sometimes have unique mechanics, such as summoning additional monsters or instantly killing you with doom if you’re not paying attention. Later on you will fight the primals, which are basically the summons that you have seen in previous Final Fantasy games, such as Ifrit, Garuda, and Titan.

A major difference in the abilities in this game compared to other is that there is a two and a half second global cooldown, instead of the usual one second cooldown found in most other MMOs. However, getting speed stats on your gear will not only let you cast abilities faster, but will also lower the global cooldown as well. A lot of the abilities in the game, especially magic spells, resemble a lot of the spells you’ve seen in many other Final Fantasy Games. You can cast ice, fire, flare, holy, cure, etc… and even the dragoon or lancer classes have the jump ability. A fair amount of the abilities on each class are actually shareable between classes, such as using the cure spell on a paladin.

The quests available will be mostly the same as other MMOs, but there are a lot less of them to complete which shortens the time to get to max level greatly. You can expect the quests that want you to go kill a certain amount of enemies or use an item at a certain spot. Rewards for quests include experience, gil, and a choice of one piece of equipment. A single player story plays out while you complete the quests, and there will even be cutscenes for you to watch. Most dungeons and all end game content requires you to play through the story in order to play through them.

Out in the world of A Realm Reborn you may stumble upon fates, which are randomly appearing world quests that you can complete for a large reward. These generally require you to kill a bunch of enemies that spawn, a boss type of a normal enemy, collecting items and returning them to their owner, or guarding a traveler as they wander through the land.

Existing in a large world, many options of travel will help with cutting down time when you need to move from location to location. The major cities have teleportation points scattered around them and you can use them for free. You can hire chocobo porters to take you to already visited areas out in the world. Later on you can acquire your own chocobo that you can direct wherever you want. The best and fastest way to travel is through the aetheryte system, which will let you teleport to any crystal that you have tagged in the world no matter where you are. This includes a small fee however, which will only seem expensive in the beginning of playing the game. You can however select a total of three points to be your favorites, which will cause the gil fee to be halved. Finally, a home location can be selected where you can teleport to it at any time for free, but you must wait 15 minutes between each time of doing it.

Instead of being called guilds, free companies are groups of players playing with the same goal in mind. They can gain ranks that will gain the whole company bonuses, such as being able to use the guild vault and providing everyone with experience bonuses.

A dungeon finder tool called the duty finder allows you to automatically get put into groups with other people to complete the dungeons and boss fights that require more than one person. Even though you can be every class on one character, you can only queue as one class or job at a time instead of multiple. There is the option of choosing to play with other people on different regions and language servers, such as french or japanese. So far all group content is available through the finder, even large raids.

One of the biggest differences in these dungeons compared to other game is that they require a party of 4 people instead of 5. You will encounter multiple groups of enemies usually in groups of three before each boss. While exploring the dungeons there will be treasure chests hidden around that have the chance to drop good gear. Most will have three bosses in them which sometimes have unique mechanics about them, but most of the time you just need to avoid danger zones. Endgame dungeons will award you with tomestones along with the usual gear, which can be enchanged for some of the best gear in the game.

As of now, the endgame is fairly lacking but is also being actively developed for as well. There are only two real dungeons to play through after you reach the max level of 50 to obtain gear and tomestones. After you obtain some new gear, the next step is to fight the 3 harder versions of single boss fight encounters that you did while playing through the story. When these are defeated, you will finally have access to an actual raid which consists of 5 mini dungeons with bosses in each. A 24 man raid will be available soon in the first major patch.

With A Realm Reborn available on the Playstation 3 as well, both platform versions are actually completely playable together. PC and PS3 users are all playing together without even realizing it. This increases the chance that you will be able to play with friends, since it gives them another option to play the game.

Being Final Fantasy themed and the ability to do everything on one character is pretty much the only big differences between A Realm Reborn and most other major MMOs. For the first few major updates of the game, you will receive them every 3 months at first. You can expect to see new dungeons, new raids, new jobs and classes, as well as completely new mechanics such as PvP and housing.

Other than the large amount of options available in A Realm Reborn that exist in all other MMOs, one unique thing is that you can play it with a controller since it is also designed for the Playstation 3. The graphics aren’t pushing any boundaries, though if you have a fairly good computer you can easily max it out and get good FPS. Texture quality could be better in some cases, since during cutscenes objects can appear ugly when you’re looking closely at them. Except for a select few cases during cutscenes, there is almost no voice acting in the game. You will recognize a lot of familiar songs and sounds from previous Final Fantasy games, such as the victory tune and chocobo riding.

The base game doesn’t feel very well put together, and the restriction of only being able to do one thing at a time gets annoying at times. You can’t talk to NPCs while mounted, your inventory can’t be moved around when you’re doing another action, and other little things just like these. After getting your main class and job to max level, which was easily done with the quests available to you, leveling up additional classes has very few options. Since most, if not all, quests were completed already on your main class, this means the only way to level up anything else is through doing tons of fates and dungeons. Even though you will get a 50% increase in experience to begin with, doing either of these activities over and over can get boring fast.

Dungeons and most bosses found within them all feel mostly the same and can get repetitive quickly. Enemies are almost always in groups of three and they never do anything special other than attack the tank and sometimes use an AoE attack. Most bosses just require you to avoid attacks and rarely have any real unique mechanics of their own, though the ones at the end of dungeons usually do something different than normal.

The end game raids and boss fights are challenging and fun, but the path to get to them could have been a whole lot better. There is only two whole real dungeons to go through at max level to earn currency and gear, which will get boring very fast when similar MMOs have multitudes of dungeons to do at endgame.

There is almost no customization at all when it comes to your character and classes. Attribute points and the sharing of cross job skill do exist, but there is almost never a reason to not build your character the way as everyone else. There are few sets of gear at the end of the game, and everyone of the same job will almost always look the same. Only crafted gear can be dyed or have materia slotted into, which further reduces the amount of customization since most gear that you will wear at endgame will be special pieces obtained through currency. Being available on the Playstation 3, as well as the exact same as the PC version, it could be said that a MMO on a console can potentially prevent it from being developed in ways that have made other major PC MMOs great.

As long as you know the general idea behind MMOs and the class that you have chosen, there is very little difficulty until you get to the end game fights and raids. Even then, getting better gear and simply practicing the fights will allow you to beat anything. Crafting, gathering, and leveling up your character allows you to stop at any time, though doing dungeons and events with other players might not be the best for people with tight schedules. The shortest dungeons can take at minimum 30 minutes. When you get to level 50 though, the single boss fight raids only take 10 minutes if they are done in one attempt.

Until you get to the endgame raids, the game is very simple and easy, especially for veteran players. You can expect around the same amount of difficulty for new raids and boss fights as most MMOs, as in it stays challenging until you get very good gear and have done the fights many times. Harder versions of similar fights are available, and will allow people to attempt their favorite fights at a higher level. The usual achievements in MMOs exist with A Realm Reborn, but the ability to level up every class and job on one character adds a whole lot more for people to do. MMOs don’t really have a game length since there is always stuff to do and updates add new content all the time, but the amount of time spent getting to endgame is a good thing to know. Depending of course on how often you play the game, it can take 1-2 weeks to max out your character if you focus on one class or job only, and branching out into multiple classes will of course slow you down.

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn costs 30 dollars on the PC, along with 70 or 50 dollar collector’s edition depending on whether it is a physical or digital purchase. It is possible to upgrade to the collector’s edition later on if you don’t currently want to spend that much money. The collection includes physical items such as the box, art book, soundtrack, art cards, security token, and a movie. Digital in-game items that you can get with it are a cosmetic hat, a Coeurl mount, baby behemoth pet, and armor for your chocobo.

If you are only interested in having one character to play, the game only costs 13 dollars a month which is slightly less than other subscription based MMOs. It is possible to pay 15 dollars a month instead if you want to have more than one character on the same server, but with how you can accomplish everything on one character, there isn’t really a reason to pay more for this.

There are currently no additional purchases that you can make, and everything is available to all players without having to pay additional money, such as free MMOs having a cash shop.

Okami HD for PS4, Xbox One and PC Launches December 12 in the West

The much loved and highly acclaimed BAFTA award-winning visual masterpiece Okami HD will be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC both physically and digitally across Europe on December 12, 2017.

The original game, released to critical and consumer acclaim in 2006, was hailed as one of the most beautiful games ever created, and this latest release with its renowned Sumi-e ink art style is now even more breath-taking as the graphics have been updated to take advantage of modern high resolutions. Okami HD will be compatible with Xbox One X and PS4 Pro whilst featuring stunning 4K graphics on Xbox One X, PS4 Pro and supported PC hardware.

In Okami HD players take on the role of Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess who inhabits the form of a legendary white wolf Shiranui on a quest to defeat Orochi, an eight-headed demon and tyrannical monster responsible for turning the world into a ruined wasteland. Players must use Amaterasu’s magical abilities and arsenal of items, attacks and Celestial Brush techniques to restore the land of Nippon to its previous glory full of life and colour. Along the way, Amaterasu will be called upon to help a cast of quirky and intriguing characters and defeat a bevy of brutal enemies to rid the land of Orochi’s curse.

Players will be able to choose between playing in a modern widescreen format or the original 2007 release’s 4:3 ratio. Interactive loading game screens from the original game are also included, allowing players to earn bonus demon fangs which can be traded for in-game items.

Okami HD will be available digitally for all formats for MSRP £15.99 / €19.99 / $19.99 on December 12, 2017.

Ubisoft Announces New Online FPS Multiplayer Title, Atomega

Today, Ubisoft announced Atomega, a new online multiplayer FPS available on September 19th, 2017 on Steam. Developed by Reflections, a Ubisoft studio, in the same small incubator which created Grow HomeTM and Grow Up, Atomega was made with a creatively experimental mind-set, deliberately seeking to create unusual concepts which will surprise and delight players.

Atomega takes place at the very end of time where reality is rapidly dissolving. All that exists are Exoforms, super advanced post-biological lifeforms, masters of matter, energy and the last distant relative to man and machine. As the laws of physics slowly repeal, the Exoforms fight for fun and dominance, replaying the final moments of the universe in an arena at the edge of destruction.

The player must acquire mass, by peacefully collecting it or via firefights, to evolve his Exoform from the nimble Atom to the godlike Omega. Competing for mass, players engage in a frantic battle for supremacy through intense 10-minute rounds, gathering up to eight players. Acquiring mass also grants points and the player with the most points at the end of the round wins. It is a relentlessly competitive experience, an easy to pick-up but hard to master game, with a light-hearted tone echoing the personality of its small development team.

Atomega will be available digitally worldwide on Steam on September 19th, 2017.