Agents of Mayhem ‘Who You Gonna Call’ Launch Trailer

The time has come. Deep Silver shares the launch trailer. Featuring every agent that you have met over the past few months, the trailer gives you a taste of the action you will find when you play the game.

Devil’s Night. The moment everything changed. The super villainous organization known as LEGION, led by a man called the Morningstar, made itself known with a simultaneous global attack. Using teleportation technology, and dark matter-fuelled weapons, LEGION appeared around the world in the blink of an eye. Devastating armies. Stealing resources. Crippling economies. Gripping everyone in fear.

In an effort to reclaim the world from LEGION, the Ultor Corporation forms a new anti-terrorist initiative: MAYHEM and enlists former LEGION Minister Persephone Brimstone to lead the fight against her former cohorts. Now possessing LEGION’s prized teleportation technology, Persephone and her Agents of Mayhem head to Seoul, fighting from the rooftops to the very underbelly of the city to stop LEGION —by any means necessary. Now you know why the Agents fight, and knowing is half the battle.

• Super-Agent Combat – Each of the 12 agents in Agents of Mayhem is a unique character with their own weapons, specialisations, skills and upgrades, special moves, and reason for fighting. Using their moves and skills like invisibility and triple-jump to out manoeuvre your enemies. The Agents’ power in combat comes from their daredevil nature and their greatest advantage is their use of teleportation technology.

• Exploration of Seoul in Open World Conflict – Seoul is your playground. Use your Agents abilities to traverse around the city, summon your custom Agent vehicle or carjack a civilian vehicle. Take part in the numerous open world activities to take back Soul from LEGION, from eliminating LEGION patrols, to destroying their equipment and supply trucks, to rescuing scientists that have been taken hostage, there are a plethora of activities for you to pick from.

• Build Your Agency and Craft Your Perfect Squad – Take MAYHEM from setting up operations in Seoul to a powerful Agency with major perks, global influence and the power needed to defeat powerful villains. Collect and upgrade your agents with gadgets, Dark Matter shards and outlandish weapons. With twelve agents to choose from there are over 200 different combinations of agents.

Who you gonna call? Agents Agents. Who you gonna call? Agents Agents.

Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption Coming West for PC in Q2 2018

Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption, a boss battler action-RPG from publisher Another Indie will come to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows and Mac, in Q1 2018.

Developed by Dark Star Game Studios, a team composed of AAA veterans including a former Ubisoft art director, a Blizzard technical artist, and a Konami senior programmer, Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption will be playable for the first time at Gamescom in hall 3, stand D-01B, booth 370, then will make its North American debut at PAX West in booth 7315.

Adam, a fallen soldier on a quest to save his soul, will face eight abhorrent bosses, the first seven each based on one of the deadly sins. Before each clash, Adam must make a sacrifice to enter combat and choose a stat to level down. Each fight will be tougher than the last and force players to carefully choose their actions in battle, aided by a variety of unlockable weapons.

The action is framed by a desolate afterlife in which Adam seeks to restore his memories and atone for his sins. How he interacts with each boss will ultimately decide his fate in one of multiple endings.

“Sinner is not another game where the player grows stronger to fight the final boss on equal footing,” says Iain Garner, Director of Developer Relations at Another Indie. “Adam will struggle with his physical prowess as well as his internal need for atonement, and his ultimate test will be his most challenging.”

Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption will be available in English, Spanish, German, Japanese, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese.

Call of Duty: WWII Nazi Zombies Mode Unveiled

An all-new, twisted take on Activision’s Call of Duty zombies co-op mode is here. Call of Duty: WWII – Nazi Zombies, a chilling, dark vision of undead horror, was revealed today at San Diego Comic Con alongside members of its all-star cast of characters, which in full includes David Tennant, Elodie Yung, Katheryn Winnick, Udo Kier and Ving Rhames. Launching on November 3rd as part of Call of Duty: WWII, the Nazi Zombies cooperative mode delivers a sinister original story from Sledgehammer Games, delivering a new definition of terror to Call of Duty zombies.

“With Nazi Zombies, we’re creating a frightening world full of terrifying characters and events that will make you jump and look over your shoulder. There’s an incredible amount of myth and lore, which our team has poured through in our development,” said Glen Schofield, Studio Head and Co-Founder of Sledgehammer Games. “This is unlike anything before, we’re taking players to some very dark, grim places in Nazi Zombies. This is one hell of a horror experience.”

Michael Condrey, Studio Head and Co-Founder of Sledgehammer Games added, “We couldn’t be more excited to showcase our reveal of Nazi Zombies here at San Diego Comic Con. It’s been great to return to creating a horror-based experience, and with Call of Duty, head back to the Nazi Zombies roots. The team at the studio is proud of the opportunity to deliver something special for the fans.”

Call of Duty: WWII – Nazi Zombies is a terrifying, new zombies cooperative experience that transports players into a labyrinth of chilling occult Nazi zombies experiments, and monstrous creations set mythically in World War II. The story unfolds as an international team peels back the vile layers of a malevolent plot masterminded by the Axis powers to harness unimaginable occult forces and create an invincible undead army. Featuring voices and likenesses, the global cast features David Tennant (Dr. Who, Broadchurch), Elodie Yung (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Daredevil), Katheryn Winnick (Vikings, The Dark Tower) Udo Kier (Blade, Melancholia) and Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction, Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation).

The Nazi Zombies San Diego Comic Con panel was hosted by YouTube personality Greg Miller, co-founder of Kinda Funny Games and featured the cast along with developers from the Sledgehammer Games team. Panel attendees got a first look at all new zombies footage, plus a behind the scenes sneak peek at the making of the new cooperative mode.

Cyberpunk Horror Game ‘Observer’ Coming August 15 for PC

The year is 2084. If you somehow survived the Nanophage, odds are you were killed in the War. Those who live have turned to drugs, VR, neural implants — anything to distract themselves from this new reality. You are Daniel Lazarski, an elite neural detective known as an Observer, and part of a corporate-funded police unit whose purpose is to hack and invade suspects’ minds. In this future, anything you think, feel, or remember can be used against you in a court of law.

When you receive a mysterious message from your estranged son, a high-level engineer for the almighty Chiron Corporation, you journey to the Class C slums of Krakow to investigate. But as you hack into the unstable minds of criminals and victims to look for clues, you are forced relive their darkest fears. How far will you go to discover the truth?

What would you do if your fears were hacked? Observer, the definitive cyberpunk horror story, arrives on PC, Xbox One and PS4 on August 15 with cyberpunk legend Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) as Detective Dan Lazarski. Developed by Bloober Team, the creators of Layers of Fear, Observer is a horror experience meant for mature audiences. What you see will disturb you.

Shadowrun Returns Review

You may choose to be male or female in Shadowrun Returns, though there are no advantages or disadvantages to being either. There are 5 humanoid races to choose from, which are humans, elves, dwarfs, orks, and trolls. You can customize what your character model looks like as well as the portrait. There is an option to make it so your model will reflect the chosen portrait, though you can toggle it off to design one of each that you like. Each race starts with a bonus to one of the many different skills, as well as each having different maximum limits to the skills. Orks and trolls can get high strength and body but low intelligence and charisma, while elves can achieve great charisma but not very good strength. You may choose an archetype to start off with, which starts you out with different sets of skills to get you started, or choose the none option to make your character from scratch.

There are 6 base skills to increase, which all branch down and allow you to learn sub skills. Body increases your health and chance to take less damage. Quickness allows you to use ranged weapons and dodge physical attacks. Strength determines how strong your melee attacks are and the effectiveness of thrown grenades. Intelligence is important if you wish to use robots in combat or use a deck to infiltrate computers, as well as increasing how much medkits will heal. Willpower allows you to use magical spells and adept abilities with your fists. Charisma unlocks different dialogue options for you to choose from, as well as being able to summon spirits during combat.

Instead of experience points, you will earn Karma at times throughout playing the game from completing objectives. Combat and defeating enemies themselves won’t earn you anything though. Because of this, you will need to make sure you complete all optional objectives so you don’t fall behind. You can apply the Karma that you earn on your skills, costing the same amount of what the next skill level is. If you are wanting to get level 9 charisma, you will need to spend 9 points in order to do so. There is a limited amount of Karma available to get during the dead man’s switch campaign, just under 200, so don’t plan on being able to max out your character.

The combat in Shadowrun Returns has you and the enemy team taking turns moving your characters around and attacking each other. During your move, you can opt to either stand out in the open or behind cover which will give you a defense bonus. All weapons and spells have a certain range in which they are the most effective in, and being closer will generally cause you to be more accurate with your attacks. Each character starts each turn with some action points, which are spent on each move distance and attack. If you have enough Karma spent into certain skills, you may have unlocked special abilities to be used with your weapons, which modify how your attacks act. A shotgun can just do a normal shot, or a special kneecap shot that decreases how much damage it does but can cause the enemy to have less action points on the next turn.

If physical combat is your type, there are four categories of guns, melee weapons or fists, and even grenades to choose from. Pistols, sub machine guns, shotguns, and rifles are the guns that you can choose from and all have special modes of firing to unlock such as aimed shots with more accuracy. Melee weapons such as knives, bats, and swords exist and allow you to dish out lots of damage when up close and personal. Fist are what you can use when you have no weapons, and they even have a large set of special spells meant for them if you choose to become an adept. Grenades are consumable items that can damage large areas of enemies, but can sometimes miss their initial target.

There is a large variety of spells within Shadowrun Returns, existing within three categories. The basic mage spells range from simply doing damage to healing the last instance of damage that hurt a teammate. Adpet spells compliment your fists and body greatly, increasing your punching damage or causing you to move farther on each move. Shaman spells employ a lot of buff and debuff spells along with indirect damage spells such as creating walls of fire that hurt characters if they decide to travel through them. Most spells will have a cooldown that prevents them from being used multiple times in the same round. At a certain magic skill level, you will be able to see ley lines that you can stand on which will make your spells more efficient.

Certain areas have special objects that you can click on to summon a spirit from if you have the necessary skills to do so. These spirits have their own set of spells as well as a basic attack. Every turn prompts you to choose from 1 to 4 action points to give the spirit, more increasing the chance that the spirit will break your control and start attacking anything at will. Higher charisma and spirit control skills will allow you to reduce the chance that a spirit will be able to break away from you.

Riggers can decide to bring along drones with them instead of weapons. These drones will passively follow the character until you decide to activate them. Upon activation, the character will have one less action point to use per turn, while allowing you to fully control the drone. Most drones just have basic attacks while others can do mortar attacks and even heal.

When you are in safe areas there are generally stores to sell you goods. The currency you will use is called Nuyen and you can get it from completing the main objectives and selling important items you find during your adventure. There are stores for any type of player, with weapon and armor stores, magic and decking stores, and even a store to buy cyberware. Most stores also include a consumable section, such as medkits and grenades. Even if you’re full, it is wise to buy a stockpile of consumables since you can store them in your stash for later. You can look at what is currently in your stash by clicking on the locker which is located in your home base, or just by starting a mission as it will allow you to equip items out of it before you start.

Certain areas allow you to deck, which basically lets you project a persona of yourself into a matrix like world. Only characters that have the decking skill may enter the matrix, and the ones that stay out have to protect the real bodies of the ones that go in. While inside, you will have access to any of the decking abilities that you have unlocked, such as healing yourself or other programs and dealing damage in an area of effect. You can even buy consumable programs to use inside of these areas, which create units that you can control. The goal while decking is to reach the terminal that allow you to take control of them, such as opening a door or taking control of a turret in the real world. All enemies in the area must be defeated in order to use these terminals however.

It is possible to buy upgrades and augments for your body called cyberware. These allow you to gain different bonuses such as armor and hit chance. Buying these cyberwares will cause you to lose essence, which will cause your spells to take longer to go off of cooldown. This means that it is best to only buy cyberware on characters that are mainly physical damage dealers and not ones that rely on magic.

About halfway through the game, you can begin to hire a wide selection of different Shadowrunners to help you on your missions. They range from all the combat types and races that exist in the game, and come equipped accordingly with equipment and spells. It costs Nuyen to hire them, but you are generally supplied with enough money to do so. Every mission requires you to rehire Shadowrunners even if they were previously hired, though their equipment will always be updated with the newest and greatest upgrades. When your mission starts, it is possible to equip your team with consumable items that you may have stored in your stash.

The largest part of Shadowrun Returns involves conversations with other characters and selecting what you want to say to them. Most options have the same results, though some allow you to earn money or get an optional mission. Some conversations will have special options to choose, which require you to have a certain level of charisma or other skills, which generally give you a nice reward or getting through an area much easier.

Whether you’re just wandering around or in combat, you can’t ignore your surroundings as there are things to find. Many objects can be examined, either giving you a clue about something or possibly letting you take an item to use later. If you pick up an item that you can’t hold, you can either send it to your stash or switch it out for something in your inventory, which will be sent to you stash as well. There are lots of people and characters to talk to, often giving you little objectives to complete or clues to your current one. Some areas are only accessible if you have the correct skills, such as hacking doors and safes as a decker or summoning spirits on the other side of doors to open them for you, or just simply finding a key or tool somewhere else.

At any time you may opt to rewind your current saved game to an earlier state. This will take you to any loading screen that you have been to previously, keeping your character and items exactly how they were. This will allow you to get out of tough situations that you are stuck in, or simply want to explore your favorite areas again.

Shadowrun Returns comes along with modding tools and an editor to make custom campaigns, also called UGC or User Generated Content. Everything that is created this way can be shared using the Steam Workshop, allowing everyone to see what masterpieces you have made. There are some things that you can’t change however, such as new skills and actual gameplay mechanics. New weapons, spells, and just simply altering already existing content is of course possible to do. Some things that aren’t even in the main campaign are available in the editor, such as random loot and random encounters. Hopefully in the upcoming months we will be able to see great creations by people in the community.

The options available to you bare, but there isn’t anything major missing from them. You can select your difficulty, whether or not the camera follows you, basic graphical options such as anti aliasing and resolution, as well as the sound levels. Graphics themselves portray to you a gloomy and dark atmosphere in Seattle. There is no voice acting at all in the game except for some minor grunts during combat. Music changes whether or not you’re in combat and there are a selection of songs to prevent you from listing to the same ones over and over.

It takes too long for the action in the game to start, since you will be spending most of the first half of the game exploring the world and occasionally running into short fights. It completely does a 360 later on though, where you will be spending short amounts of time actually exploring and talking to people, and most of your time in long fights. The design of combat and exploration areas become lazy early on, since you go from exploring and fighting in open areas with extra content to complete to predominantly combat areas that have you fighting down hallways with no secrets to find. One example is having to get to the top floor of a building, and there are multiple ways to do so depending on your skills and dialogue choices. After that, it becomes very linear.

The dialogue is very well written and you are given lots of choices to choose from, but most of the time everything happens the same no matter what you choose. Even with the amount of “choices” of what you can say to the characters in the game, the actual outcomes are pretty linear.

A lack of manual saving isn’t a big deal in the main campaign, since you will find loading screens fairly often in the first half of the game. Later on though the combat can get pretty long and you will definitely be wanting the ability to save when you can. Hopefully when people start creating custom campaigns for Shadowrun Returns they take into consideration the fact of not being able to manually save, or else they can expect low ratings. The above negatives are in regard to the main campaign “Dead Man’s Switch” that the game comes out with, and not about the actual game itself. This means that these issues may no longer exist when the community is given enough time to create campaigns themselves. Even this in itself is a negative, because it almost makes it seem like the developers are just relying on the community to make great content, instead of themselves.

The combat is the only aspect of Shadowrun Returns that could pose a problem to anyone playing. If this is the case, it is possible to drop the difficulty of combat down whenever you want. Everything else has no difficulty involved, since it just involves exploring the world or talking to characters in dialogue screens. At first you will be going through different areas fairly fast which means it will autosave more often. Later on however, combat areas will get longer and longer with no way to manually save, meaning you will have to make sure you can play for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. Shadowrun Returns won’t present much of a problem for anyone unless you decide to increase the combat difficulty. Everything else that doesn’t involve combat isn’t very difficult, since it is just picking dialogue choices and solving minor puzzles. There is nothing in Shadowrun Returns that is unlockable, you just simply play through the game. Other than the main story missions and objectives, there are at times optional objectives you can do, but they aren’t anything major. Replaying the game as a completely new class does allow you to enjoy different routes through the game, since there are certain options you can only choose when you have the right skills.

Shadowrun Returns costs 20 dollars, or you can opt to buy the digital deluxe version for 35 dollars. The digital deluxe includes the soundtrack along with an illustrated PDF detailing the story of Shadowrun as well as concept art from the creation of the game. For 15 extra dollars, the digital deluxe version just doesn’t seem worth it unless you like those kinds of extras, since most deluxe versions of games also come with actual content as well.

It is well worth purchasing Shadowrun Returns if you enjoy the turn-based strategy gameplay, engaging dialogue with the choices that you can make, or even if you’re just looking forward to all the creative new content that members of the community will make with the Shadowrun Returns editor.

Two Worlds II: Call of the Tenebrae Gameplay Launch Trailer

After a very welcomed and triumphant return, is it a pleasure for the teams from TopWare Interactive and Reality Pump to announce the release of “Two Worlds II: Call of the Tenebrae” Stand Alone.

Fans of the Two Worlds franchise were so excited about the release of this long awaited DLC, that the teams behind Call of the Tenebrae decided to release it as a stand alone, to give newcomers the chance to jump right into this one of a kind adventure.

For Two Worlds II Owners “Call of the Tenebrae” is available as DLC for a special loyalty discount.

So if you want to take a look at an adventure that is like no other, then make sure to watch our epic in-game gameplay launch trailer.

Warframe is Going Open-World with ‘Plains of Eidolon’ Expansion

For the first time in Warframe history, Tenno will have the freedom to explore, fight, journey and fly through the open Landscapes – Warframe’s first Open Zone – of Planet Earth in their own time, in their own way. Stepping into the rolling Plains of Eidolon, players will experience a rich landscape populated with both familiar and never-before seen creatures, enemies, a new Warframe, stunning vistas lit with a day/night cycle, and a gripping story told through interactive NPC characters who inhabit the bustling scavenger city of Cetus. In Plains of the Eidolon, players will set foot in a natural landscape with the freedom to explore it on their own terms.

With the first introduction of Landscapes in Warframe, Plains of Eidolon enables players to discover a bustling town full of NPCs with their own stories to tell, motives, quirks, and quests to offer. Cetus, a makeshift basecamp for scavengers known as Ostrons who’ve made The Bleeding Tower their home, is filled with activity and surprise. In this immense and gorgeous new landscape, players are challenged to attain a new Warframe and new weapons, engage in new story elements, and soar over the plains using Archwing – mechanical wings previously only used in space or under water. But beware — when night falls, even the invading Grineer flee the Spectral Sentients that haunt their colossal remains on the Plains of Eidolon.

“We have announced big things for Warframe at TennoCon before but nothing like this. Adding Landscapes is a huge leap that we’ve been working on for some time,” said Steve Sinclair, creative director of Warframe. “Plains of Eidolon is our first step in adding a new kind of player freedom to the game. We wanted to give our players something new, something dramatic, and that meant taking risks and evolving the game in a fresh, new direction. For veteran players, we’re always trying to give them a living, evolving game. Landscapes is a great example of how we do that. If you bounced off Warframe a while ago, this is a very different feel for the game that warrants a second look. We can’t wait to see how people react to this!”

Defiance Review

Defiance is a third person shooter open world MMO that is based on the SyFy show of the same name, and is developed by Trion. Creating your character is more about what they look like and nothing to do with what skills they can use while playing. You can play as a male or female human or Irathient character, only differing in what they look like. Face and skin color are the only things that you can customize, and the starting outfit you get is based on your background. Everyone comes equipped with a shield and the same amount of health. Shield and health will both regenerate if you have not been hit by anything after a set amount of time.

Instead of the normal leveling system of other MMOs, where you go from level 1 to 50 or so, Defiance uses the EGO system that simply tracks your progression through the game. You will start at 20 and the cap is around 5000 EGO rating. Leveling your weapon and vehicle skills, completing pursuits, simply leveling your character up, and other things, will all contribute to your EGO rating. The rating itself won’t make you any stronger, though at certain ratings you will earn more inventory slots and the ability to enter co-op dungeons.

Quite possibly the only thing that doesn’t get stale about Defiance, the huge selection of weapons available to you can keep you busy deciding what is best. There are a variety of types of guns, that range from pistols and machine guns to infectors and BMGs. Each type of gun can even come in multiple different variances, such as shotguns that shoot grenades and rocket launchers that split apart after the initial blast and creating more blasts. All weapons can have randomly assigned bonuses on them, such as more melee damage or higher accuracy. The rarity of guns that you find affect them the most, since they will have more bonuses and a lot of mod slots. Weapon strength does not improve as you go through the game, and they only vary based on the bonus that are present on them. Nano effects can also be found on weapons, randomly triggered effects that apply when they hit an enemy, such as fire that does damage over time or the syphon effect that will heal you or recharge or shield.

Every time that you level up, you will gain an EGO Unit that you apply on your EGO grid. You must first choose one of four EGO powers, which are decoy, overcharge, blue, and cloak. After that, you can begin to unlock the perks that surround them. All perks are very different from one another, and rarely give passive bonuses that apply at all times. This means that different combinations of perks can create new styles of play, such as getting all the crouching perks that increase your critical damage and decreasing the damage you take will make a sniper role fitting. Each perk can be leveled up three times, and it is possible to unlock other EGO powers.

Very early in the game you will acquire your first vehicle, an ATV of some sort called a runner, and you can eventually get rollers which look more like cars. There are various models of each type of vehicle, each having a different color scheme and set of stats. Every vehicle has the ability to boost, helping you reach your destination faster. Running over enemies is possible, but hitting the larger ones will cause your vehicle to be destroyed and you without shields.

Every type of gun and vehicle will have a skill assinged to them. Simply using each weapon and vehicle in the way they’re intended will earn experience towards the next level. Every time that you level a skill up, a bonus will be applied to that category from now on. Bonuses can range from higher damage and faster reload on weapons, to more hp and faster speed on vehicles. You can only gain weapon skill experience if the gun you are using hasn’t filled its mastery bar yet.

While playing Defiance, you will accumulate currencies such as Scrip, Ark Salvage, and Key Codes. Scrip is your basic money that can be used to purchase merchandise such as weapons and vehicles. Ark Salvage is another common currency that is used in some stores but mainly to upgrade and mod your weapons. Key codes allow you to purchase Lock Boxes that contain a random assortment of weapons, and they are obtained through Arkfalls, co-op missions, and most pursuits.

Many different enemy factions within the world of Defiance exist and each have their strengths and weaknesses. Mutants are basically humans that have mutated somewhat because of the Arkfall events, and they consist of gun wielding souldiers, cleaver wielding berserkers, and large Bio-Men with chainguns and grenade launchers. Raiders are another group of humans, that have rocket launchers and riot shield users, along with their large elite the Tanker only vulnerable to his back. 99ers could be classified as humans, but they’ve modifed 80% or more of their body so they’re essentially cyborgs now, and besides gun users they also have flamethrowers, a large grenade tosser, and the goldrusher who goes into a berserk mode when his health gets low. The Dark Matter is a group of people who are highly technological, able to deploy barricades and even mechs to help their cause. Inflicted are people who were exposed to a plague and has basically turned them into zombies, with the strongest type enclosed in a protective shell. Scrappers are robots that have formed from the wreckage of the great Arks, all being large sturdy hulks that can either fly or bombard the area with blasts. Hellbugs are menacing insects with great maws that try to swarm you with their larger and larger melee warriors, though they do have flyers that shoot at you and even tentacles that will rain down mortar shots. Most enemies can come in an elite variety, which just makes them stronger than normal.

Whether you’re doing story, side, or dynamic events, they all have the same basic mission objectives. Missions typicially instruct you to go to a certain area and find data recorders, rescue people, turning off turret generators, or just simply killing everything. They might not be like the quests you get in other games such as killing X pigs or collecting Y teeth, but they can still get quite repetitive.

You will recieve special contracts from the various factions of Defiance to complete on a daily or weekly basis. They are automatically obtained and will reset when the day or week has come to an end. Daily contracts generally want you to kill a random 20 type of enemy in a specific area, and weekly contracts generally want you to kill a random 100 type of enemy in an area as well. Completing these will earn you reputation, which is also a special type of currency that allows you to buy the rarest types of weapons, as well as letting you actually see their stats before hand. There are also special titles that you can earn if you can save up 1000 reputation from each faction.

Arkfalls are the large world events that happen every once in a while. They consist of an Ark Core that has fallen and you will need to rush there to either destroy it, or the enemies that have been attracted ot it. There are different versions of Arkfalls based on the faction of enemies present, and there are generally two of each type. Smaller Arkfalls just consist of a single core, while the much larger Arkfalls have multiple cores present spread out in a large area. After destroying all the smaller ones in a major Arkfall event, a final area surrounded by multiple Ark Cores will appear along with a boss in the middle of them. When you complete either a minor or makor Arkfall event, a reward screen will appear with all the experience and money you have earned, as well as equipment.

Even though the game Defiance takes place around San Fransisco and the SyFy show takes place around the former city of St. Louis, there are a few tie-ins between the two. There are episode missions that you can complete where you will run into familiar faces, such as Josh and Irisa Nolan. Most of this content won’t always be available, only for a time after the episode airs, and a lot of the tie-ins won’t make sense to you unless you’re watching the show as well.

Other than just missions to do out in the world, you can run into a variety of Activities to complete as well. These activities will let you earn a bronze, silver, or gold trophy which will reward you accordingly. You can find time trials, hotshots, and rampages. Time trials will place you on a vehicle and you will have to follow a set course through rings and hope you can do it fast enough to earn gold. Hotshots give you a gun and you have to kill enough enemies and get a big enough combo to earn enough points before you die or run out of ammo. Rampages are like hotshots, except you pretty much have unlimited ammo and have a time limit as well to worry about, though you can still easily die.

Instead of achievements, you have pursuits to go after in Defiance. Each pursuit is a list of related objectives that you need to complete in order to finish the pursuit. The objectives can range from finding a set of data recorders, doing certain tricks in your vehicles, or completing all the different objectives during a co-op mission. Most pursuits just simply increase your EGO rating by 5, while other special ones can reward you with outfits and titles to display on your character.

At certain EGO levels or progress through the main storyline you will unlock various co-op missions that you can enter. Each one groups you with 3 other players and you must work your way through an area with a specific faction of enemies to defeat the boss at the end. Other than the special boss at the end, co-op missions are exactly like all the other missions.

All PvP will take place in matchmaking, as there is no open world PvP of any kind. There are currently three smaller maps that are either about capturing points or team death match. One very large map that allows 64 Vs 64 players is available, but because of its size you can expect the waiting period to be very long. Other than the PvP modes being the same that exist in other games, the main unique thing about them is that they use your character directly with a few minor changes. You can use the same weapons that you use out in the world, as well as perks. Your vehicle cannot be used however, though there are a few spawned vehicles that you can use.

There isn’t necessarily a start to the endgame in Defiance, since you are pretty much always doing the same thing throughout the story. Though when you are done with the main story missions, everything else can just be considered grinding. You can go around and finish all of the side missions and activities, play co-op or PvP matches with other players, complete major Arkfalls as they appear, achieve the various pursuits, do daily and weekly contracts, and level all of your weapon and vehicle skills. There is no type of progression, as everything is unlocked around 500 EGO rating, so you won’t be doing raids with other players to get stronger to do even tougher raids.

Not necessarily similar, but Defiance does feel like a mixture of a bunch of known games. The shooting and gun aspect feels a lot like Borderlands, along with the vehicles. It being open and having vehicles is a lot like Firefall as well. Random Arkfall events are like the rifts in Rift. The activities that you can find out in the world are from a lot of different open world games over the years, such as Red Faction: Guerilla.

Since the game was a console port, there is a large lack of options. The basics are all there, such as sound and key remapping, but there are simply only 3 settings for graphics. Graphics themselves don’t look too bad, but the lack of customizing them might make it hard for some people to optimize the game well for their computer. Sound and music have no complaints about them, all enemies have lines they say to each other in combat and music changes on your situation. Though actually, your EGO that talks to you can become quite repetitive at times, such as when it tells you when a weak spot on an Ark Core has opened up every 5 seconds.

A lot of the game still feels like it was made for a console, which should never exist on a game for the PC. There are only three graphical settings, and the in game UI is navigated oddly. People don’t even bother using chat in game because of all of this. You will rarely ever run into another player while playing Defiance, so you will always be doing the missions solo, with Arkfalls and co-op missions being the only times that you will see other players running around. Arkfalls are very easy to complete with the mass of players that show up, and it is simply impossible to fail them. The Arkfalls themselves have almost no variety to them, and you will end up doing the same ones over and over. The lack of real endgame content is what will turn most players away, as the only thing to do when you’re done with the main story is just grind your skills and find better guns.

Except for possibly the later story missions, pretty much everything that you can do in Defiance is easy. Co-op missions get blasted through by groups especially if someone has a BMG, Arkfalls have so many players at them that they are impossible to fail. PvP might be the only thing that you could consider to be hard since it puts you against other people that are better than you. All the missions and everything that you can complete on your own don’t take very long to accomplish. Most of the co-op missions are fairly short and will only take a little while longer to complete. Even the large Arkfall events aren’t very long, they give you a time limit of 30 minutes or so yet it is generally done in only 15 minutes.

There isn’t really anything in Defiance that is overly difficulty or having a high skill ceiling. Co-op dungeons are fairly short and groups just blast through them anyways. The large Arkfall events are beyond easy especially when you have everyone on the server in one place at once. PvP is your best bet if you want something challenging. After beating the main story missions of Defiance, you would have been unlocking a ton of side missions and activities that you can do. There are also a ton of pursuits for you to pursue, from finding all the data recorders, doing spins in the air with runners, or just completing all the co-op missions, defiance has a lot for you to do.

Faster Than Light(FTL) Review

At first you can only pick the Kestral, which is a standard ship with no advantages or disadvantages. Later on when playing through FTL, you can unlock 8 other ships that you can pilot in new games. Each ship can have an alternate layout unlocked by earning 2 of 3 achievements that are specific to each ship, which completely changes everything about the ship, from how the rooms are organized and even different starting crew members and weapons. Two of them can be unlocked by simply advancing through the game, while the others require you to get lucky and find them while out exploring. All of the ships that you can unlock come with a different set of crew members and a ship bonus, such as the engi ship being able to heal anyone no matter where they’re at, or the slug ship automatically repairing breaches in the hull.

Ships have a variety of systems inside of them that you must keep together in order to be successful and stay safe. Most systems will gain a bonus if you have a crew member attending to it, though the piloting system requires someone at it to be functional. You start out with most of the basic systems, but later on you can buy more advanced systems such as cloaking or the personnel teleporter. Some of the important systems are the engines which allow dodging and weapons that allow your powered weapons to be functional.

When you acquire enough scrap, you can upgrade your ship at any time that you are not in combat or any other dangerous situation. Additional upgrades cost an increasing amount of scrap and it clearly details exactly what each upgrade does. Some upgrades that you can get include better engines that increase your dodge chance or shields that allow them to get hit more times before coming down.

All ships are made of up crews from different races of people and aliens, each having different advantages and disadvantages. The basic humans have nothing special about them, just a simple crew member. Other races are more unique, such as the rockmen who have a lot higher health and are immune to fire, or the engi who can repair a lot faster but deal a lot less damage to enemies.

Any race can do the same jobs on your ships, even earning experience to increase their performance. When a crew member is placed on some systems, they will gain a bonus according to the crew member’s current skill level. They will earn experience at their stations in certain situations, such as engine experience when you successfully dodge and weapon experience every time you fire. Damaged systems and hull breaches will automatically be repaired by your crew if they are in the same room as it.

Other than your crew and the systems inside of your ships, it is possible for your ship to get filled with hazards. Rooms may sometimes get a breach or fire inside of them when hit by enemy weapons instead of just simply doing damage to you. Breaches simply make it so the oxygen will quickly get drained from that room, while fires can spread from room to room doing damage to crew members and systems. One unique aspect of FTL is that you can control all of the doors inside your ship, so you can deprive fires and enemy units of oxygen, or opening doors next to breached rooms so the oxygen doesn’t run out as fast.

Ships can equip three or four different weapons, depending on what ship you start out with. Laser weapons will shoot out one or more separate laser blasts that can do small amounts of damage. Rockets can go through shields to directly damage systems and the hull, though they can be shot down by defense systems. Beams are very powerful weapons that can damage multiple system and hull areas, but are pretty much useless if they hit an enemy shield. Ion weapons don’t do actual damage, but instead shut down shields and other systems for periods of time. Teleported bombs can completely negate shields and and defense systems, as they’re directly put into a room without having to travel through space.

Alongside weapons, you can get the drone system that allows you to deploy a variety of offensive and defensive drones. Most drones float out in space either around your ship or theirs, depending on whether they’re shooting lasers or destroying incoming rockets. Other drones are units that can walk around inside ships, such as the repair drone or another that you can shoot into the enemy ship to attack it from the inside.

Your ship can equip up to 3 augmentations that will passively improve different aspects of it. Such augments include increasing the amount of scrap that you can find, to causing your medbay to heal your crew no matter where they are at on your ship.

While exploring or defeating enemy ships, you will acquire different types of resources that you need to keep an eye on. Fuel is required for every beacon jump that you do, and running out of it will cause you to have to wait turns before a ship appears to sell you some or engage it in combat. Missiles allow you to use your weapons that use missiles as ammo, since you won’t be able to use them if you don’t have any. Drone parts will be needed to deploy any of your drones, in similar fashion with missiles. Scrap is quite possible the most important resource, as it is the money used everywhere and will allow you to upgrade your ship as well.

When you engage another ship in combat, you have full control of your ship deciding on how much power each system gets and what weapons or drones to arm. As you exchange blows with the enemy, you will need to maintain your ship to make sure by putting out fires and repairing damaged systems. If a shot hits your ship instead of the shield, damage will be done to its hull as well as any system that was in that room. It is possible for enemies to send their own crew onto your ship, where you will need to either deprive them of oxygen or fight it out with your own crew. Combat ends when either you or the enemy ship has been destroyed, you accept their surrender, or if the situation looks dire you can just jump away if your FTL drive has charged. FTL being a rogue-like means that your ship being destroyed by any means will force you to start over in a fresh ship.

Each sector has a certain theme about them, and you can choose which ones to go to when you reach the exit in the current one. Nebula sectors will have most if not all of the beacons a nebula, so don’t get too dependant on your sensors. Alien race sectors will mostly have ships of the specified race, so if you don’t want to engage a certain type of alien be sure to avoid that sector.

When you’re not engaged in a battle of some kind, most of your time is spent looking at the sector maps. You can’t spend too long in each sector however, because a rebel army is close behind you and will make it difficult if they manage to catch up with you. Unless you have a special augmentation on your ship, all undiscovered beacons in the sector will have almost no information displayed about them, and you will just have to press your luck. You have to be careful in making sure you don’t run into the rare dead ends, as they may allow the rebel army to catch up to you. Some beacons will have markers when you are next to them, such as stores that allow you to buy and sell equipment, distress signals that have a good chance to be rewarding, and quests that you recieve from an earlier engagement.

While exploring and running into hostile and friendly ships, you will be looking at a lot of dialog boxes with multiple choices to choose from. These choices dictate how the current encounter will play out, such as attacking a mercenary ship instead of hiring it, or helping civilians from the danger that they have encountered. You will sometimes run into very rewarding choices, but they aren’t always guaranteed and can sometimes cause you to take damage to your ship or even lose crew members. If you have certain weapons, alien races, or even enough upgrades on your ship, it is possible to get blue dialog choices that are almost entirely guaranteed to work. Upgrading your med bay or simply having a slug in your crew will allow you to safely obtain a new crew member if you ever get that encounter.

While exploring you may run into space hazards. You might appear too close to a sun and fires will at times start in random rooms on your ship. Nebulas will cause your sensors to not work as well, and sometimes causing you to only have half as much power. These beacons will prevent the rebel army from detecting you as easily, increasing the amount of time you can explore the current sector. Asteroid fields will cause small rocks to occasionally hit your ship, depleting your shields or possibly hull damage. Luckily, all of these same events will affect enemy ships that you are in battle with.

Exploration and the rewards that you can obtain are highly influenced by luck. Every time that you go to a new beacon, it is possible for one of many different events to happen there. The success of your current game can go from doing really well to suddenly losing on the next encounter. Finding scrap, ammunition, and even weapons and augmentations are all possible to find.

There have been a number of successful rogue-likes released over the years, but not with a space theme. Some examples are Dungeon of Dredmor, Don’t Starve, Rogue Legacy, and Binding of Isaac. They may be a good alternative if you don’t like large amounts of luck dictating how well you enjoy the game.

There aren’t a whole lot of available options, though the game is simple enough to not really need them. The only graphical setting is how you want the game to fit within your screen. Graphics themselves are very simple, but they aren’t ugly because of it. Sound is the strongest non-gameplay element of FTL, as there are over 20 songs and there are tons of queues that let you know when something is going wrong.

Not a negative about FTL directly, but sometimes rogue-likes in general just have too much luck involved in them. Even if you are the most skilled person, the wrong unlucky move to a beacon can easily disrupt your perfectly designed ship. Other than the luck aspect, nothing else sticks out as being negative gameplay wise.

If you don’t like games that rely heavily on luck, Faster Than Light might not be the game for you. There is an easy setting, which will cause you to collect more scrap and run into easier enemies, but there is still a lot of luck involved and the last battle will still be a challenge. Every battle only lasts a minute or two, and everything else is done in dialog screens so anyone with a tight schedule will be able to fully enjoy FTL. You can save and exit at any time as well so if something urgent does come up you can leave whenever.

Anyone that likes challenging games, or luck filled rogue-likes, will undoubtedly enjoy FTL. Managing your ships and putting together the correct arsenal will require the best of pilots. If the game ever feels easy on the easy setting, you can also bump it up to the normal setting where you will acquire less salvage and run into stronger enemy ships. Along with defeating the boss ship at the end of the game, the 8 other ships that you can unlock will keep you busy for some time, especially since luck is required to get a bunch of them. There are also achievements that you can earn for accomplishing various things.

FTL: Faster Than Light costs 10 dollars with a soundtrack that costs 4 dollars. If you enjoy playing rogue-likes and don’t mind the amount of luck that is involved, it is well worth the money.

The Ball Review

Sometimes you can’t help but form an attachment. Remember the companion cube in Portal? Remember how endearingly cute it was, and how you wanted to protect it from harm? Or maybe you have a little pet in WoW that is just the sweetest? Or a particularly sexy car in GTA IV? I was expecting the same attachment to form between myself and my very butch, manly ball. It sits there, being all shiny and lighting up with an inner glow. And we’ve been through many things together: solved puzzles, beat up enemies, diced with death on many occasions. Yet…I feel nothing. Not a single scrap of affection for my silent partner. I even gave him a name to make him a bit more personable, but Bally the ball is still characterless. He just rolls along beside me, prideful of his roundness, and I’d happily discard him at any time in favour of a small pet frog. Called Froggy.

That complete lack of a connection is partially what ruins The Ball. That and the fact that your ball has absolutely no skills apart from…being a ball. If you are expecting some revolutionary puzzle game that will knock your socks off, go and play Portal instead. The Ball seems on paper like it could be used to generate some fantastic and varied gameplay. But somehow it just never does.

As an archaeologist that clumsily slipped down a hole into an old volcano, the discovery of this mystical ball launches you into a story that is about as gripping as a doorknob. The graphical representation of a lost underground ancient civilisation is actually quite convincing, with acceptably sparkly visuals painting a vivid picture. However, this is somewhat ruined by the fact that none of the levels retain even a vague semblance to their ostensible environments, purely because they are patently designed to exist as a giant playground for you and your ball. So whilst the eyes may be fooled, your brain keeps reminding you that there is a thinly disguised puzzle game hiding under that facade.

Control of your ball is via a jackhammer, through which you can either strike your ball to propel it forward, or magnetise it to draw it towards you. So to solve puzzles you move the ball about to press buttons, or drive machinery. Then for combat you can grab your ball and swing it about like a clumsy great club, or just fire it forward and hope to hit your foe. Enemies are quite stupid, frequently committing suicide in water to get to you. They also are blessed with eyes in the back of their head, as they will deftly dodge a ball that is coming up behind them, even though they are chasing you in the opposite direction.

The first third of the game is so simple you could do it blindfolded. Run down corridors, press buttons to open doors, then run down more corridors. At some points you get to ride little trains on tracks, which suddenly cease to be enjoyable when you realise that you have precisely zero control over the train you are riding in. They are pretty much just glorified cutscenes, and rarely do anything interesting, just trundle down interminably long rocky tunnels whilst you sit doing nothing. You can’t even get out of the train until the game decides you can.

In fact, the game decides far too much for you. Some of the activities require strapping your ball to something, in order to manoeuver that something into a position which helps you progress. Then, when the game judges that you have done enough manoeuvring, it will unstrap your ball for you, and refuse to let you strap it back up again. If you want to decide for yourself where to shift things around forget it. The Ball keeps patronisingly playing the game for you, minimising your control and input. You also fall into the water during the game, and the current rigidly drags you down a very specific route with no control whatsoever. At some points you may as well just be a spectator.

We really do applaud new ideas, and seeing indie game developers make it into the big wide world of commercial gaming is a true joy. But sadly it is simply impossible to recommend The Ball as a purchase to anyone. The game is just far too easy, too short, and lacking any real depth or imagination. There was so much potential in the idea, but that potential has not been fully realised. Any kind of gameplay variation, or any real skill required for the puzzles would have been gladly welcomed. Maybe the introduction of Bally’s good friends Cubey or Pyramidy may have helped. No, sadly the game’s fate is sealed as a mildly entertaining little puzzler that tried, and failed, at implementing a new idea. The Ball will soon be forgotten forever in the mists of time, so please allow it to sink gracefully into the mire unplayed, and let’s just salute the developers for having the balls (sorry) to try something new.