Middle-Earth: Shadow of War will have premium currency and loot boxes

The innovative Nemesis System created unique personal stories through procedurally-generated enemies who remember every encounter and are differentiated by their personality, strengths and weaknesses. Middle-earth: Shadow of War expands this innovation with the introduction of followers who bring about entirely new stories of loyalty, betrayal and revenge. The Nemesis System is also expanded to create a unique personal world through Nemesis fortresses, which allows players to utilize different strategies to conquer dynamic strongholds and create personalized worlds with their unique Orc army.

An important aspect of the Nemesis System now comes in forging, customizing and leading your own army of unique Orc followers against the fortresses of Mordor. There are different ways to do this, including dominating Orcs by exploring the vast open-world and encountering them as part of Orc society, or players can acquire Orcs and other items through the Market (in-game store).

Rogue Trooper Redux Launches October 17

Independent UK developer and publisher Rebellion today released a new Rogue Trooper Redux trailer comparing the game’s impressive visuals directly with those of the original 2006 game.

The new trailer also reveals the game’s launch date of 17 October 2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC (from Steam and GOG.com). The Nintendo Switch edition will release soon after.

Rogue Trooper Redux will be available digitally on all platforms and also as a boxed edition on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Priced at £19.99 / $24.99 / €24.99 and featuring a BAFTA-nominated campaign and dedicated online co-op modes, Rogue Trooper Redux will offer shooter fans incredible value, whether they’re new to the universe, or a fan of the original game and comics.

Lone Echo Launch Trailer ~ Oculus Rift + Touch

Ready At Dawn and Oculus Studios proudly present Lone Echo, a VR adventure into the unknown. Lone Echo tackles the mysteries of the universe with awe-inspiring outer space visuals, zero-G mobility, and real-time problem solving.

Immerse yourself into the unforgettable character of Jack, a Series 11 Echo Unit stationed on the Kronos II mining facility on the outer rings of Saturn and equipped with futuristic tools and capabilities that push the limits of your Touch controllers. When an unknown anomaly threatens your space station and your human companion, Captain Olivia Rhodes, you’ll leverage your technical ingenuity and futuristic tools to overcome a variety of challenges and obstacles to protect your ship and save your crew from impending danger.

And don’t miss Echo Arena, the competitive zero-G multiplayer experience from the Lone Echo universe. Lone Echo and Echo Arena are available exclusively on Oculus Rift + Touch.

Outcast: Second Contact ~ Adelpha Series Episode 3: Okasankaar

Bigben and studio Appeal have released the third episode of the “Adelpha Series” videos that invites fans to travel through the world of Outcast. Outcast: Second Contact, the remake of the legendary Outcast, will be released this autumn on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

After visiting the snow-covered lands of Ranzaar and the holy region of Shamazaar in the first episodes, now Cutter Slade sets off to explore the swampy landscapes of Okasankaar. Follow the adventures of the hero through his latest mission report.

Outcast: Second Contact is the complete remake for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC of the cult game Outcast. The first 3D open world in the history of video games and a true pioneer of the modern action-adventure genre, the original game won over 100 awards, including adventure game of the year.

Players take on the role of Cutter Slade, an elite soldier with a strong character, who has been sent to an alien planet as Earth’s last chance. Explore an awesome world that merges science and magic, explore exotic native cities, take on formidable enemies and try to uncover the secrets of an advanced civilization. Gameplay drives players to make right choices in a living world that has its own ecosystem with the fate of two universes depending on their success.

Assassin’s Creed Origins Officially Revealed

Amongst the Great Pyramids, the last pharaohs, and the myths of Ancient Egypt, the Assassin’s Brotherhood was born. As Bayek, a protector of Egypt, you’ll experience the origin story of the Brotherhood as it unfolds against the backdrop of one of history’s greatest empires, plunging you into a living world where epic battles will be fought and ancient secrets discovered.

Assassin’s Creed Origins features new action-RPG elements, which allow you to level and customize your own version of Bayek with unique gear and powerful weapons before engaging in a new combat system designed to offer more tactical freedom than ever before in the franchise. Likewise, a new quest experience gives you the opportunity to explore and uncover the mysteries of Ancient Egypt at your own pace.

In addition to the standalone game, Assassin’s Creed Origins will be available in Deluxe and Gold Editions. The Deluxe Edition includes the base game, a printed version of the hand-drawn world map, the official soundtrack, and a variety of digital content that includes the Ambush at Seas naval mission, the Desert Cobra Pack, and three bonus Ability points. The Gold Edition includes all of the Digital Deluxe Edition content as well as the Season Pass, which grants access to all upcoming expansions and equipment sets.

Assassin’s Creed Origins will be available at the launch of Xbox One X and on October 27 for Xbox One, PS4, PS4 Pro, and PC.

Bob Came in Pieces Review

Meet Bob, a cheerful, many tentacled alien who works in a call centre at the outer reaches of the cosmos. Unfortunately, one morning on his way to work, whilst travelling along the relative safety of the galactic equivalent of the A1, he was struck by a rogue meteor. The impact broke his spaceship apart and he plummeted towards a nearby planet, scattering bits of his spaceship across the land. This is where you take over, guide Bob around the planet, find the missing parts to his spaceship and get him to work on time. Bob Came in Pieces is a colourful little physics based puzzler from the indie developer, Ludosity Interactive and I have to admit, that there’s something good and wholesome about a game with a simple story and an odd name.

You start Chapter One with a simple, ‘get used to the controls level’. Using the cursor keys you tackle the planet and its environment, it’s easy really, think Lunar Lander but a lot more up to date. You are not left to wander around aimlessly though. Along the way you will come across big green exclamation marks, these provide valuable information about the world you are whizzing around in and the various puzzles that Bob will encounter whilst trying to piece his broken ship together.

Each of the lost pieces can be found at various intervals throughout the chapter/level and are attached to Bob’s ship via a configuration pad, which also acts as a save game and checkpoint, these crop up along the path now and then, usually and very conveniently before a puzzle. The pieces themselves come in two flavours, tools and modules. The modules look like left over plumbing parts from a B&Q skip, these can be dragged onto your ship and resemble pipes, U-bends and suchlike.

You can attach the tools, which are rockets, tractor-beam-like grabbers and pushers onto the modules to help you overcome the puzzles. But each puzzle requires a particular setup of spaceship before you can progress any further into the chapter. For example, to push a boulder out of the way, requires you to nudge it aside, but the gap between the wall and the boulder is very small. That being the case, jump on a configure pad and add a few pipes to Bob’s expandable ship, this allows you to poke them through the gap and push the boulder away.

Some puzzles need a little muscle, so attach an extra rocket booster and power into the blockage, however, beware as you add bits and bobs to your ship, it can easy become overbalanced and very difficult to control, so you have to think about making the additions ‘fit for purpose’. A great little feature of this game is, when you have a particular design that is ideal for say, ramming into a pile of crates, you can save that design and reload it, via the configure pad, whenever you come across the same kind of puzzle again. By the end of the game you’ll have a, kind of, Swiss Army ship of various designs. The idea is simple, but immensely fun. Guide Bob into the portal at the end of the level to progress to the next chapter, which undoubtedly becomes harder the further you delve into this bizarre and cartoon like environment.

Unfortunately, the game only lasts for fourteen chapters and can be completed in a few hours, but don’t worry, the fun isn’t over yet. Added to the main menu is a Virtual Reality mode which contains six events where you race against time to reach the portal. All the lost ship parts are there to help you and finishing gold can lead to an unlocked achievement, if you purchase the game via Steam.

The graphics are beautifully drawn and the atmospheric sound is delightful. The physics hold up pretty well, but it is possible to become stuck, especially if you are trying out a slightly unbalanced ship. A powerful rocket boost won’t pull you free and you seem to be caught on a rock by the appendages you have added, but thankfully, a quick press of the ‘Enter’ key takes you back to the last configure pad so you can at least try again. Another worry is, although it is a cheap game, its lasting appeal may dry up very quickly. I hope that the extra VR mode can add some extra gameplay by way of downloadable content, or perhaps a collection of user’ levels? I guess that may come with time, but until then have as much fun as you can with Bob.

Overall, for a game that only costs a few quid from Steam, Bob Came in Pieces is a great little addition to anyone’s collection. It’s a game that’s wonderfully good fun, and the ability to open it up in windowed mode means it is ideal for those times when you are supposed to be working. So keep the spreadsheet in the background and play Bob, when the boss makes their way around, just Alt-Tab.

The Original Strife: Veteran Edition Review

When people think about first-person shooters from the 90s, the likes of Doom and Quake instantly come to mind, but they don’t always remember the other titles that dominated a genre that was once massively flooded with Doom clones and similar titles.

One of those often forgotten about and hugely underappreciated titles is Strife, a game that set a presedence for comprehensively mapped first-person shooters, rather than the level based maps that all FPS games utilised at the time. Comprehensive mapping eventually turned into the open-world or sandbox concepts that are widely used in games these days.

Developed by Rogue Entertainment and published by Velocity Incorporated in 1996. Strife is based on the Doom engine from id Software. The game’s story takes place in a world taken over by a religious cult known as ‘The Order’. The game’s protagonist, a mercenary, becomes a member of the resistance movement in their goal to topple the Order’s rule.

Strife was one of the first games to add some role-playing game elements to the first-person shooter formula. Features like allowing players to talk to other characters in the game’s world hadn’t been properly introduced into the genre previously.

The Original Strife: Veteran Edition is a remastered version of the original game built for modern monitors and to display at higher resolutions. Models and textures have received to a touch up to look more visually appealing but to still retain the 90s first-person shooter look.

Aside from a few visual improvements, the game is pretty much the same as the original. Strife looks and plays exactly how it did the first time I played it, but there are some welcome gameplay improvements, a good example of this is the use of a mouse is now fully supported, making aiming much easier to master.

The game’s audio is vastly improved over the original, whether this is down to the fact that I’m playing this on a modern system with proper sound modulation and ampulation, but the game’s audio and sound effects sound much clearer and crisper than they ever did, but that retro Doom-esque vibe is still in tact.

A great addition in this ‘Veteran’s edition’ is the Multiplayer mode, which was pretty much complete but never released when the original was launched. The multiplayer mode retains a very 90s tone, and is not the same as multiplayer shooters we’re used to, it follows the same type of style as Doom and Quake multiplayer modes. Nonetheless, its addition is quite welcome considering the uproar that not including this mode caused first time round.

Unlike the Dooms and Quakes around at the time, your objective is not to kill everything in sight and find the level exit. Rather, the game is built more like an RPG, with mission based objectives. You play as a wandering mercenary who joins the resistance toward a corrupt government of cyborgs known as The Order. All of the characters in the game are more memorable and really well voice acted. It also features multiple endings, and overall the story is really engaging.

Strife also features hub levels like Hexen, where you revisit a central town location regularly to purchase ammunition and health items prior to a mission. The game also takes place in an interconnected world similar to Metroid. Where you can backtrack to prior mission areas if you so desire to uncover secrets you might have missed. Later on in the game the levels get much more sprawling and the level design in general gets more unique.

Making a game like Strife play as good as it did, if not better, than when it was first released a few decades ago may seem like a horrifying and daunting task, but they’ve really delivered with this Veteran’s Edition.

Overall, The Original Strife: Veteran Edition is a great game with a fantastic storyline, especially if you finish it, which is not an easy task. In a time where games are made to be as graphically appealing as possible and are packed with crazy SFX and cutscenes, Strife allows you to take a step back and realise that, without all of that, you can still enjoy a really challenging, gripping shooter that leaves you wanting more.


Square Enix Announces Lost Sphear for PC

Tokyo RPG Factory, the Square Enix studio dedicated to creating games that blend Japanese role-playing games with the latest technology for a new generation of gamers, has announced their all-new title, Lost Sphear (read as “Lost Sphere”). The title is set to arrive on the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Nintendo Switch console, and Steam in early 2018 for $49.99.

The adventure of Lost Sphear begins in a remote town where a young boy, Kanata, awakens from a devastating dream to find his hometown disappearing. To stop the world from being lost forever, Kanata and his comrades set out to rebuild the world around them with the power of Memory by manifesting thoughts into matter.

Expanding upon the beloved features from their debut title, I Am Setsuna, Lost Sphear features an enhanced gameplay system with a revamped ATB battle system where players can strategize and freely adjust their placement mid-fight, seamless environments, and various locations to explore.

For more information on Lost Sphear, please visit: lostsphear.com.

Lost Sphear will be available digitally from the PlayStation Store, Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, and Steam. A physical package is now available for pre-order exclusively from the Square Enix Online Store for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. Fans who pre-order the game from the Square Enix Online Store will receive two music tracks as a gift at launch.

Earth Defense Force 5 Third Trailer

In 2013, 7 years after Earth Defense Forces 3, the long-awaited sequel Earth Defense Forces 4 arrived on the scene bringing the ultimate in despair and exhilaration. In 2015, new missions were added and the game took the battle to the PS4 with more content and intensity than ever before as Earth Defense Forces 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair.

Now, in 2017, prepare yourself for a whole new fight in Earth Defense Forces 5, an all-new tale of invasion by unknown alien forces and humanity’s confrontation against them.

The 5th installment in the series brings with it the shocking arrival of a humanoid enemy! Is humanity destined for destruction in the face of this unprecedented threat?

Humanity, rise up and overcome your despair! Oppose your fate!