Outer Wilds Releases At The End Of This Month

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 20:15
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive Developer: Mobius Digital Rating: Rating Pending Platform: PC

Ever since Annapurna Interactive announced Outer Wilds, an adventure title that charts a middle path between Majora's Mask and No Man's Sky, we have been eagerly awaiting the chance to take the full game for a spin. It seems we'll get out chance sooner than we thought, as Outer Wilds releases in just ten days, May 30, on Xbox One and PC via the Epic Games Store.

The game is about all about exploring a pre-designed galaxy with planets that take different shapes, forms, and environments. As an alien explorer, the protagonist is eager to get off his small backwater rock and explore the galaxy in a spacecraft, but space is as dangerous as it is vast. We have played the game at a number of events over the last year and it always manages to surprise us and pique our curiosity.

You can check out the launch trailer below.

Click here to watch embedded media

Annapurna Interactive is releasing Outer Wilds as a console exclusive on Xbox One and a timed exclusive on the Epic Games Store, though it will eventually filter out to other storefronts. On the Xbox One, it will be a day-one Game Pass title, so subscribers to Microsoft's game download service can start playing it for no extra cost on that first day. 

Hopefully you do not get caught in a time loop between now and May 30.

Categories: Games

Your Marvel Comics Reading List Ahead Of Ultimate Alliance 3

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 05/20/2019 - 18:00

Publisher: Nintendo Developer: Team Ninja Release: July 19, 2019 Rating: Rating Pending Platform: Switch

For many fans, part of the fun of the previous Marvel Ultimate Alliance games is seeing all the character cameos, in-jokes, and other nods to the expanded Marvel fiction. From what we’ve seen of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, that kind of encyclopedic knowledge of the fiction certainly isn’t necessary to have a good time. But, if you’d like to tap into that part of the experience, your go-to source is a deep dive into the backlog of the many comic stories referenced within the game.

We asked Marvel to help us curate a list that would help you do exactly that. Rather than trying to add in our two cents, we’d like to let Marvel’s team speak for themselves to introduce their suggested reading list.

But before we pass the baton to their prepared written thoughts on the subject, it’s worth sharing that all of the titles below can be tracked down through your local comic shop, often in either single issue or trade paperback format. In addition, you can find any and all of these entries available as digital comics, or you can purchase a subscription to Marvel Unlimited; that app is available on the App Store and Google Play, and opens up access to over 25,000 comics for a regular monthly subscription fee.

Here’s what Marvel Games VP and creative director Bill Rosemann had to share to introduce the reading list. “Just as the huge roster of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order unites characters from across our sprawling universe, the game’s story similarly assembles and remixes awesome scenes, locations, and moments from throughout Marvel’s 80 years of storytelling. Packed with Easter Eggs and character rich dialogue, the swiftly moving story is both accessible to new fans and deeply rewarding for longtime True Believers. But if you want to earn bragging rights by dropping Marvel knowledge on fans and noobs alike, may we humbly suggest you dive into our Recommended Reading List (selected by game writer Marc Sumerak and arranged in suggested devouring order by Yours Truly)? From the mean streets of Hell’s Kitchen to the gleaming spires of Asgard, these classic tales by Marvel’s best creators will make you feel worthy enough to lift Mjolnir itself!“

And here’s the full reading list, as written and summarized by Marc Sumerak:

by Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, & Paul Pelletier

In the wake of Annihilation, a team of unlikely heroes unites to protect the cosmos.

by Dan Slott, Olivier Coipel & Giuseppe Canumcoli

Spider-Men (and Women) from every alternate Earth join forces to save all of reality.

by Brian Michael Bendis & David Marquez

To keep the streets of Manhattan safe, Marvel's street-level heroes must band together to become a new force for justice.

by Andy Diggle & Billy Tan

When Daredevil turns to the dark side, his fellow heroes must return him to the light.

by Kurt Busiek & George Perez

The Avengers must shut down their android arch-nemesis, Ultron, and his army of mechanical soldiers.

by Rick Remender & Jerome Opena

Wolverine assembles an elite team of X-Men willing to do whatever it takes to save mutantkind.

by Donny Cates, Nick Spencer & Rod Reis

A new group of Midnight Sons must rise to stop a literal Hell-on-Earth scenario.

by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee

Explore the wonders of Attilan with Marvel's most mysterious royal family.

by Ta-Nehisi Coates & Brian Stelfreeze  

A new age is dawning in Wakanda, and the Panther must find his place in it.

by Jim Starlin, George Perez, & Ron Lim


The legendary battle between Thanos and all of Marvel's mightiest heroes!

by Brian Michael Bendis & Mark Bagley

The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy team up to defeat Thanos once again.

by Jonathan Hickman & Steve Epting

Marvel's heroes form a secret alliance to prevent the end of all that is.

by Jonathan Hickman, Jim Cheung, Jerome Opena & Dustin Weaver

The mad titan Thanos makes his world-shattering return, in a galactic war that will be fought both on Earth and in deep space, with our heroes caught between both battles!

by Derek Landy & Philip Tan

Thanos's own ultimate alliance takes the spotlight in a tale of death and deceit.

For more on Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, check out our dedicated gaming hub by clicking on the banner below for gameplay impressions and video, exclusive character profiles, and more.

Categories: Games

Exclusive Hawkeye Gameplay Details In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 18:00

Publisher: Nintendo Developer: Team Ninja Release: July 19, 2019 Rating: Rating Pending Platform: Switch

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order looks to have a massive roster of supercharged heroes. We already know about 27 playable heroes, and there are more announcements to come, stretching across the Marvel universe and including characters from The Avengers, X-Men, Spider-verse, and more. As part of our month of coverage, we're highlighting a few of our favorites. Today we take a deeper look at one of Marvel's expert bowman: Hawkeye.

Alias: Clint Barton Comic Debut

Tales of Suspense #57 (Sept. 1964)


Raised by an abusive father, Clint Barton eventually ran away from home and joined a traveling circus where he learned how to be swordsman and trick bowman. After a short stint as a star carnival attraction, Barton was inspired to fight crime after seeing Iron Man in action. As Hawkeye, Barton eventually join both the East Coast and West Coast branches of The Avengers, and even took a turn leading the team.


Master archer; peak human conditioning; excellence eyesight; what else do you want?

Game Abilities

Exploding Arrows: Clint shoots several explosive arrows into the air that then rain down on the enemies and deal fire damage. Players can hold the attack button to aim.

Shock Value: Clint fires electric arrows in front of him dealing extra shock damage to characters in a row.

Scattershot: Clint shoots a barrage of explosive arrows at nearby enemies.

Piercing Shot: Clint's arrows pierce enemies in front of him. Players can hold the attack button to aim and hidden the attack area.

Click here to watch embedded media


Hawkeye is all about flexibility in combat. His specialty is ranged combat thanks to his arsenal off arrows. Hawkeye isn’t considered one of the most powerful avengers, but he’s pretty equally skilled in most things. He can hit his targets from across the battlefield, attack enemies in a line, rain down fire from the sky.

Come back throughout the month, because we'll have more exclusive features and character profiles on Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. Click the banner below to visit our hub. 

Categories: Games

Mojang Unearths A Bit More Info

Game Informer News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 14:01

Publisher: Microsoft Developer: Mojang Release: 2019 Platform: PC

Mojang revealed a new Minecraft spinoff at last year’s Minecon event, then seemingly took it back underground. Minecraft: Dungeons seemed like an interesting idea, with teams of four battling monsters in classic dungeon-crawler style adventures, but since that announcement we’ve heard virtually nothing else about the project. Fortunately, that’s about to change. Mojang is ready to share more information about Minecraft: Dungeons, and we were able to sit down with executive producer David Nisshagen in Mojang’s Stockholm studio and pick his brain for details.

Development on Minecraft: Dungeons began about three years ago, when an internal team of a few developers was working on a small single-player campaign. As it turned out, the team thought they were onto something fun, so they expanded its scope to include up to four players. That doesn’t mean you have to party up when you want to play, however. Solo players can venture out against the evil Arch-Illager and his monsters, and friends can drop in and out – with difficulty adjusting accordingly.
Players aren’t locked into particular combat roles, even though archetypical styles such as mages, rangers, and melee attackers are present. Rather than having innate skills and abilities, players can change their role every time they don a new piece of gear. Put on heavy armor, Nisshagen says, and you’re a tank. Or put on something lighter, and you’re faster and might excel with ranged weapons. “It’s like, do you want that cool thing? Go find it and wear it or wield it,” he says.

Minecraft: Dungeons is focusing on action and adventure, so players aren’t going to be building or mining as they quest. Other elements are drawn from the main series, when appropriate, such as enchanting. Originally, Nisshagen says the team experimented with having players use the system that’s in the base game, but it proved to be unwieldy and complicated for the faster pace they were aiming for. They’ve come up with a compromise that gives players agency over how enchantments fit within their playstyle without grinding things to a halt with excessive menu manipulation.

“Think of it like this: A sword drops. The sword has a couple of different enchantments options,” Nisshagen explains. “You pick one of them and enchant it with that. The next sword drops. It has the same look and feel and combat animations and all of that stuff, but it has different randomized enchantments attached to it. One of them can be super powerful for area of effect attacks. The other could be, I don’t know, poisons enemy over time. Even if it’s the same base item, they have vastly different properties on them.” Players can also purchase weapons and gear with emeralds they pick up from defeated foes. Some items grant defensive abilities for the whole team, too, such as healing auras that protect party members – provided they stay within range of their friends. 

The original trailer showed subterranean dungeons, but Nisshagen says the game takes advantage of the variety Minecraft is known for. “There are some levels or some biomes that are on the surface that are more open and sprawling.” I wasn’t able to completely pin him down on the overall structure of the game, but he said players could go back and explore areas that they’d already visited, and that there’s something similar to a hub world.

Click here to watch embedded media

Levels are procedurally generated, which made me wonder if players would be able to share particularly interesting world-generation seeds with friends, as in Minecraft or The Binding of Isaac. He said that there are some passionate speedrunners on the team, and they recognize the importance of being able to have some kind of even playing field to accommodate that playstyle. He said he couldn’t make any promises, but it’s something they’re considering.

Even without the building, Minecraft: Dungeons manages to capture the silly essence of what makes traditional Minecraft such a joy to explore. In addition to battling familiar monsters like skeletons and spiders, Nisshagen says players will get to see some all-new mobs as well. It didn’t look particularly threatening, but one little guy seems like he’s going to both delight and frustrate players: an adorable little key, who jogs away when he spies the heroes coming. You have to hit him a few times before you can pick him up, which looks like a task that’s going to be easier said than done.

We’ll know just how fast that little guy can run later this year, when Minecraft: Dungeons comes to PC.

Categories: Games

Team Sonic Racing Review - Something Borrowed and Blue

Gamespot News Feed - Fri, 05/17/2019 - 14:00

Team Sonic Racing is a wonderfully varied, fast and frenetic kart racer that, while a little derivative on the surface, successfully carves out its own space with a focus on team racing. Although Sonic, Tails and the gang might not carry the same weight as their mustachioed counterpart in red, and despite a few technical hiccups, Team Sonic Racing stands tall on the podium as a fun and colourful arcade racer that’s easy for anyone to enjoy.

There are numerous types of races to kick things off with, including your standard four-race Grand Prix, Quick Races, Time Trials and both local and online multiplayer. However, most of the characters and circuits are locked behind progress in the game’s Team Adventure mode. Oddly, this mode features a fully-voiced, yet conveniently skippable story that you have to hit a specific button to see (on PS4 you hit Square to play the story at the start of a race or X to skip to the race only) making it very easy to miss entirely. But while the accompanying story is quickly forgettable, the mode itself gets a lot right in terms of variety and structure, which is great, because that's where you'll spend the majority of your hours trying to progress.

In Team Adventure, completing objectives throughout each event will unlock the next event along the overworld path, along with more of the story. But the real focus is obtaining new car customizations, characters to race with, and tracks to race on in single-player mode. Car upgrades are gained by spending credits earned through races on Mod Pods, an unexciting form of loot box that reward you with vinyls to paint your car with, or new parts to change its handling characteristics. The system feels tacked on and arbitrary; a simpler structure of doling out upgrades as rewards post-race would have been more fulfilling.

There are 14 different race variations altogether, and Team Adventure uses a mix of them all, breaking up the eventual monotony of the standard races. There are more hits among these modes than misses, like an excellent car handling challenge where you need to skim star gates on the track while drifting, without hitting them--the closer you get to each gate, the higher your score goes. Another highlight is a mode where your only goal is to take down as many of Dr. Eggman’s Eggpawns on the track before time runs out. But others, like a timed race where the checkpoints move around on the road while you dodge traffic, lack the enjoyable flow present in the stronger circuits due to a stop-start nature. Team Sonic Racing feels its best when it’s moving fast, not when you’re trying to get back up to speed.

There are seven worlds with three tracks each, and they each have their own sense of place and vibrancy. Casino Park is a maelstrom of colors, music, and slot machines, while Seaside Hill shows off circuits by the sea, replete with wildlife like a giant mechanical squid or a massive flipping orca. Many of Team Sonic Racing’s 21 tracks feature branching paths, with some opening up shortcuts or secret areas to discover. Stumbling across these always feels fruitful as they’re often filled with rings to collect, as well as helping you gain a few positions on the track.

Teams are made up of three drivers each, one from each available class: speed, technique, and power. Speed drivers can repel enemy projectiles by timing their boosts to perfection. The Technique class is more handling-focused and drive over different surfaces without experiencing any slowdown, while Power class characters can knock opponents out of the way more easily as well as crash through any structural obstacles without slowing down or being damaged. There is a tangible difference to how each class and character feels in terms of speed and handling, meaning there's an advantage to picking a more favourable class for different individual events, but that’s not to say you can’t get it done with whichever character you like. Overall car handling feels wonderful, and drifting between corners flows like a breeze.

Out on the track, while your overall focus is on your own performance, the added element of team racing gives you a lot more to think about while sliding through corners and dodging rockets. If you spot a teammate stopped on the track, you can skim past them to give them a speed boost and get them back in the race, and you can follow the visible wake from your team’s leading driver to get a slingshot past them. If each member times it right, it’s possible for your team to leapfrog to the front of the pack in convincing fashion, and that feels excellent. Annoyingly, it’s nigh on impossible to practice something like this outside of multiplayer, as the AI aren’t quite up to pulling off this kind of strategy with great reliability.

Special items and boosts--known as Wisps--are laid across the track in various places, giving you an item to help your team or hinder your opponents with. Mechanically, many of these items and boosts bare a strong similarity to what you find in Mario Kart 8. While they achieve their purpose of helping you gap the field or compress the pack all while looking flashy, none of them are as amusing or fun as the Grey Quake, an item that flies out in front of the leader and grows huge rocky spires out of the ground, blocking the track.

There’s also a neat sharing mechanic that lets you request or share spare items with your teammates, and it comes with several cool advantages. Shared items are stronger and can often be used more than once, plus they fill your Team Ultimate meter. When this meter is full, you and your team can each unleash a powerful boost that not only makes you invincible, but also a wrecking ball, pushing anyone and anything out of your path to the front of the field. Timing the activation of the ultimate with your teammates also increases boost power, furthering the importance of keeping in sync. I did notice some consistent graphical stuttering whenever triggering the ultimate, but it only lasts a few frames and doesn’t really disrupt the action that much.

There’s both casual and ranked multiplayer, and while it remains to be seen how busy the ranked servers will be, our testing of the casual matchmaking prior to the game’s release was as smooth as expected. It could be a little snappier between races, but aside from having to be a little patient while the scores tally, it’s everything you can expect from an arcade racer. What is a little disappointing is the game’s performance in couch co-op. While not unplayable by any stretch, the framerate while playing two-player split screen on the PlayStation 4 Pro was surprisingly inconsistent, never feeling as smooth as you’d want, and certainly never matching its reasonable single-player performance.

The essence of Team Sonic Racing is good; its handling feels tight and smooth, drifting has a good flow to it, and the items are fun to use, as are the tracks to race on. It doesn’t bring much new to the genre, but it delivers where it counts. The racing is fast and fun, and the team aspects offer enough of a change to the formula to make Team Sonic Racing the endearing arcade racer it is.

Categories: Games

Exclusive Wolverine Gameplay Details In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

Game Informer News Feed - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 18:00

Publisher: Nintendo Developer: Team Ninja Release: July 19, 2019 Rating: Rating Pending Platform: Switch

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order looks to have a massive roster of supercharged heroes. We already know about 27 playable heroes, and there are more announcements to come, stretching across the Marvel universe and including characters from The Avengers, X-Men, Spider-verse, and more. As part of our month of coverage, we're highlighting a few of our favorites. Today we take a deeper look at one of Marvel's biggest heroes: Wolverine.

Alias: James “Logan” Howlett Comic Debut

The Incredible Hulk #180-181 (October 1974)


Oh boy, this is complicated, but we’ll do our best. Raised in Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada, sometime between 1882 and 1885, Logan was the illegitimate son of a wealthy plantation owner and a grounds-keeper. Logan spent most of his childhood in a sickly state, until his mutant powers activated during puberty. Later, he enlisted in the military and spent years wandering the globe before he was kidnapped by the Weapon X Program, which encased his skeleton with unbreakable Adamantium. Logan eventually breaks free and finds a family in the X-Men.


Regenerative healing factor; superhuman strength, stamina, and reflexes; heightened senses; retractable claws

Game Abilities

Claw Strike: Wolverine slashes forcefully with both sets of claws, then finishes with one last big slash.

Adamantium Assault: Wolverine jumps and performs a spinning uppercut that draws enemies closer and slices them to pieces.

Berserker Barrage: Wolverine jumps forward while spinning and slashing at anything in his way. Players can hold the attack button to aim this attack.

Primal Rage: Wolverine get angry. His attack power increase for a short time and he glows with rage.

Click here to watch embedded media


Wolverine has a lot of health and durability as well as a natural healing ability that makes him an ideal tank. He loves to mix it up close range, but he also has a few moves that allow him to dart across the battlefield. This knucklehead is great for managing large groups of enemies and giving other players some room to breathe.

Come back throughout the month, because we'll have more exclusive features and character profiles on Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. Click the banner below to visit our hub. 

Categories: Games

Total War: Three Kingdoms Review - A Dynasty Of Warriors

Gamespot News Feed - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 15:00

You're facing down the scattered remnants of the last, great Han warlords, and your entire adult life so far has been building to this moment. Ever since you first took up arms at the age of eighteen against the corruption bleeding China dry, vengeance has been the one thing driving you forward. People call you the Bandit Queen, spitting the title at your feet in battle before your twin axes cleave their heads from their shoulders. As your forces pursue routed, scarlet-clad warriors, you feel the gaze of one of your lieutenants upon you, pivoting almost too late to meet their steel with your own. However, you're resigned to this by now, and he meets a gurgling end like so many before him who disagreed with your methods. No general suffers any threats to their rule, even when the peasantry starts to mutter about you and the old tyrant, Dong Zhou, in the same breath. There are no saints in Total War: Three Kingdoms, just a castell of death and destruction with its apex pointed squarely at the throne.

The Romance of the Three Kingdoms is essentially the Chinese version of The Iliad in construction. Larger-than-life characters, an at-times heady mix of romance and intrigue, and a hell of a lot of fighting are what define it. However, it's almost entirely unique as a text because of the fact that it is widely treated as a reasonable record of the events of the turbulent period of 169 AD to 280 AD in Chinese history, despite embellishment. The Total War franchise is no stranger to adapting the militaristic trials and tribulations of our world's past, but Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a work that has at times straddled the dual worlds of academia and fantasy.

While the popular Dynasty Warriors games have very successfully depicted the fantasy, it's not been as easy to capture the intricate, personal stories of now-recognisable figures like Cao Cao, or to capture how they played into the wider scheme of the world as we know it. Total War: Three Kingdoms focuses keenly on those key figures and their motivations, using the literature's extensive canon as fodder for your own strategic in-game actions. Thrown into the thick of the battles and diplomacy of 190 AD, you'll need guts, gore, and perseverance to either unite China or to break the chains of oppression that hold its people fast, and Creative Assembly has succeeded in translating the themes from a decades-long, larger-than-life epic into a form that will appeal to both Total War enthusiasts and rookies alike.

For the uninitiated, Total War is a mix of turn-based strategy and real-time battles where you take full control of squadrons of warriors and watch them duke it out against your foes on a picturesque patch of blood-stained grass. When you're not exerting military might on everyone else, entries in the series have historically focused on strategy elements akin to those that you would see in traditional 4X games like Civilzation. You have to balance expanding cities with diplomacy, manage population growth and happiness, and also deal with the very real concerns of keeping enemies off your tail. You do this by managing a series of complex, interconnected systems that influence everything from your inner circle to what a certain township might have to trade in winter. Give a town a governor with a green thumb and see trade flourish, or marry off a dissenter to an enemy and see previous peace treaties wither. As with every strategy title, the consequences of your choices are far-reaching, and Total War is an exercise in choosing wisely.

The first thing that will stand out with Three Kingdoms is how it puts its best foot forward on its production values. Dynamic weather, lighting, and beautiful watercolour environments--ranging from mountains to besieged cottages--paint a striking backdrop for the conflict and bloodshed to follow. Your generals themselves remain rendered larger than life and in great detail, and their idle chatter (fully voiced in Chinese, if you so choose) lend them a lot of personality when you're taking your time deciding on your next move. The UI is also clean and well-designed; Three Kingdoms is a return to the usual gamut of interactive windows providing the minute details and statistics seen in older Total War titles, but information can be pinned and dismissed at will so you aren't fighting a battlefield of clutter.

Detailed mechanics from previous titles return, which means a lot of information for more recent Total War fans to contend with. This is particularly noticeable when wrangling your allies, which is now essentially a full-time job. Managing relationships within your own coterie is no longer as easy as paying them to look the other way, nor are the effects almost instantaneous. It's now a long game of min-maxing retinues, victories, ideal reforms, and placation. While you're picking a general, faction identities are not as set in stone in practice as they may have been in previous titles. Playstyles ranging from expansionist and war-mongering to diplomatic can all be found in the same faction, and this translates nicely to create a dynamic inner circle.

Some of the streamlining done in recent Total War titles has been walked back, potentially to emphasize Three Kingdom's focus on cults of personality in adherence with the source material for the game; your advisors and family members are all fully-fledged characters of their own with personality traits that will conflict, sometimes fatally, with your ethos. Making concerted decisions over a long period of time that are in line with your vassals' beliefs are necessary to keep them keen, lest you cop a challenge and a sword in the back when you least expect it. The threat of defection from your wider allies is always on the horizon too; the factions fighting over China are as fractured as the land itself. Where Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia invited you to ruminate upon keeping your faction cohesive so as to ensure that your reformations would live on, diplomacy and faction politics in Three Kingdoms feel much more like putting pressure on a bleeding wound. Everyone starts at each other's throats, with the major balance of power being in favour of the Han Empire.

Whether you were part of the Yellow Turban rebellion, an independent warlord, or a former seneschal of the Empire, everyone at the time was clamoring for a piece of the pie, and having that reflected in Three Kingdom's mechanics is a nice touch. But you can sometimes feel pigeon-holed into conflict in a way that restricts your agency as a player. War declarations come hard and fast, with AIs as mercurial at decision-making as their portrayals in the source material. Sure, you can suggest marriage or pay a tithe, but taking the peaceful road often shakes out to be incredibly costly in negotiations. By the time you're staring down a line of cavalry encroaching on your territory, you can often feel like you only have one real option: to fight to the death.

Combat in Three Kingdoms' main campaign has two distinct strains depending on which mode you're playing in: Romance, or the more traditional Historical option, which is more reminiscent of how Total War usually operates. While you can delegate combat to a dice roll of AI-generated auto-battling odds, getting bogged down in the minutiae of the battlefield is incredibly thrilling. You'll marshal your forces and pit them against those of your foes' in the pseudo weapons triangle of cavalry, infantry, and assorted others, all in real time. Whether it be a relentless siege against a settlement, meeting the Han empire in open combat, or simply trying to hold it together as someone else knocks on your gates with axe-wielding bandits, Total War's depiction of battlefield conflict is where it has always excelled, and Three Kingdoms is no different.

However, the distinctive, much-trumpeted difference between Three Kingdoms and previous titles is the aforementioned Romance mode. This is where the fantastical merges with the historical in a way that offers you a new way to dominate opponents on the battlefield. In this mode, your generals stand head and shoulders above the rest, capable of single-handedly taking out entire squadrons on their own even as they yell out orders to the men rallying around them. In Romance mode, the strength of said generals grows in epic scale and scope over time, much in line with the fantastical deeds they perform in the source material. Generals also have the option to engage in duels with each other, which provides a spectacular, clash of the titans-style combative satisfaction. Three Kingdoms also lets you take these types of confrontations one step further in the new Battle mode, which lets you reenact famous skirmishes from Chinese history as these storied generals. It's both nicely educational and a refreshing change of pace.

The game's tutorial is decent at helping you parse the essential mechanics from the math soup, but it feels like a large expository information dump as Three Kingdoms attempts to get you up to speed on both the world's ingrained politics and what to do with all these damn menus and buttons. You're given a crash course in everything from how to wage war to how to manage the people under your rule within the first 20 turns, which is mechanically almost a lifetime in-game, but not very long at all for someone who isn't familiar with Total War or the Three Kingdoms story to get properly acclimatised. But to its credit, Three Kingdoms does provide plenty of helpful supplementary material and difficulty adjustments to help rookies learn what they need to know to succeed, given enough time--from instructional videos to the pace in which the game unravels its conflicts on Easy difficulty, as well as the ability to streamline processes like waging war and building prosperous townships (the latter mostly through a one-size fits all approach to reformation). With enough patience, it's easy to be infected with Total War once you finally get your mouth around that first, overly-large bite.

Three Kingdoms feels like a breath of fresh air. By harkening back to the intricacies of older titles and builds on some of the foundations laid by Thrones of Britannia, it offers a distinctly contemporary and thorough experience. This is the most ambitious that Total War has ever been, from the variety of different ways that you can enjoy the game to the sheer scope of the stories that they've weaved around each unique character's playable experience. Three Kingdoms feels like the rightful evolution of the series, pulling from its roots in historical military tactics to come up with an engrossing modern strategy game that is always a delight, even in its less well-oiled moments.

Categories: Games

Exclusive Spider-Gwen Gameplay Details In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 05/15/2019 - 18:00

Publisher: Nintendo Developer: Team Ninja Release: July 19, 2019 Rating: Rating Pending Platform: Switch

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order looks to have a massive roster of supercharged heroes. We already know about 27 playable heroes, and there are more announcements to come, stretching across the Marvel universe and including characters from The Avengers, X-Men, Spider-verse, and more. As part of our month of coverage, we're highlighting a few of our favorites. Today we take a deeper look at one of the Spider-Verses most colorful characters: Spider-Gwen.

Alias: Gwen Stacy Comic Debut

Edge of Spider-Verse #2 (September 2014)


Born into an alternate reality, Gwen Stacy was actually bitten by the genetically-engineered spider that bite Peter Parker in the main Marvel timeline. Gwen used her newfound arachnid-like super-powers to start a career as a crimefighter, and the press quickly dubbed her Spider-Woman. In a tragic twist, Peter Parker was desperate to gain special-powers, much like his idol Spider-Woman, so he performed experiments on himself that turned him into a Lizard-like monster. Gwen was forced into a fight with Peter who accidentally died in the process.


Superhuman strength, speed, and stamina; wall-crawling; spider-sense; skilled fighter.

Game Abilities

Swing time: Gwen shoots a string of web into the air, then uses the momentum for a swing attack in the area. You can tap the attack button to lengthen the attack.

Legit Beatdown: Gwen creates a giant ball of web and swings it around her head in a circle, hitting enemies in an area.

Catchy Attack Name: Gwen releases multiple we blasts in front of her. You can tap the attack button to produce more webbing.

Disappearing Act: Gwen warps into the air above enemies and then slams to the ground unleashing a devastating shockwave. Players can hold the attack button to aim.

Click here to watch embedded media


Like Miles Morales, Gwen is really good and getting out of danger quickly. She has a lot of strong ranged attacked and allow her to play defensively. A lot of her abilities are area attacks, so she’s great and slowly chipping away and large groups of enemies. Her disappearing Action move allows her to warp above enemies, so she can quickly dodge some of the most deadly attacks. Like the rest of the Spider-Family, she can swing across the environment with her webs.

Come back throughout the month, because we'll have more exclusive features and character profiles on Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. Click the banner below to visit our hub. 

Categories: Games

Free Pokémon Beat 'Em Up Mobile Title Released

Game Informer News Feed - Wed, 05/15/2019 - 15:41

A new, free Pokémon mobile title has unexpectedly materialized called Pokémon Rumble Rush.

The game is available for Android and iOS smartphones today, and players will discover and explore islands containing numerous Pokémon to defeat, collect, and power up. Each island has its own Super Boss, and combing the islands nets rewards such as a hidden stage and Legendary and Mythical Pokémon.

Categories: Games

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Trailer Has A Dark, Mysterious Tone

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 05/14/2019 - 23:17
Publisher: Niantic Labs Developer: Niantic Inc. Release: 2019 Platform: iOS, Android

Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for its Niantic-developed, location-based Harry Potter game, Wizards Unite. The trailer itself doesn't offer a whole lot of new information, but it certainly sells the fantasy.

It might just be because I watched Pokémon Detective Pikachu last weekend, but this gives me some Pokémon Detective Pikachu vibes - something about the whole "what if this fantastical thing invaded our world?" premise, I think. That said, the tone of this trailer is rather different. The collision between muggles and wizards isn't a happy one in this trailer, which sees plenty of magical goings-on being captured by humans (who normally can't see this kind of stuff as it happens because of magic).

Click here to watch embedded media

Of course, with Wizards Unite being a location-based game similar to Pokémon Go, the premise of the trailer makes sense, even if it don't see the game in action. If you want more details about how the game actually, check out our preview from earlier this year

Categories: Games

New, Exclusive Gameplay For Man Of Medan

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 05/14/2019 - 23:00

Click here to watch embedded media

Publisher: Bandai Namco Developer: Supermassive Games Release: 2019 Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Since Until Dawn in 2015, Supermassive has become known for creative, unsettling narratives with impressive visual fidelity and surprising depth in how player choice could impact the outcome of the story. In this exclusive video, we see how Supermassive's next game lives up to the hype with the first entry in The Dark Pictures Anthology, Man of Medan.

Enjoy the video above! Man Of Medan releases this summer on PS4, Xbox One and PC. For more on the game, read Kim's preview here.

Categories: Games

Darkwood Review - Welcome To The Forest, Meat

Gamespot News Feed - Tue, 05/14/2019 - 18:46

When Darkwood originally launched in early access in 2014, it was an ambitious game that suffered from clunkiness and a lack of identity. In GameSpot's early access review, writer Brett Todd admired its willingness to experiment with aesthetics and rework the concept of permadeath, but couldn't get past the fact that it wasn't quite ready to go on sale. Now, in 2019, Darkwood is an entirely new game.

It was inevitable that Darkwood would be compared to similar open-world survival games like the Burtonesque Don't Starve, and from a gameplay standpoint their top-down perspectives and day/night cycles are similar. However, the most recent iteration of this macabre indie game is unwaveringly confident in itself. Darkwood revels in its eponymous darkness--even its daytime cycles are subjected to limited visibility, courtesy of its field-of-vision illumination. The best thing about this is that it doesn't rely on nighttime to be scary. Even at the crack of dawn, venturing too far from your hideout can result in you coming face to face with blood-curdling, satanic sadists hellbent on mauling you to death.

The game assimilates a plethora of systems into its makeup, including crafting, bartering, and combat. Although the mechanics are quite complex, Darkwood offers an intense but fair learning curve. While the controls are clearly mapped out on the pause menu, learning how to manipulate some of the game's ostensibly unimportant mechanics can give you a major edge as you progress into its more difficult areas. For example, the game affords you skills in exchange for cooking in ominous ovens. These skills usually only have a minor impact on the game, allowing you to benefit from a daily single-use perk such as running without taking stamina into account. However, these perks come at a cost: For every skill you gain, you must apply a negative effect designed to hinder you for the rest of your playthrough. These are incredibly minor, but in a game as brutally unforgiving as Darkwood, it's essential to level up with caution, which subverts the entire idea of leveling up rapidly in the first place.

As a result, opting to favor survivability over gratifyingly quick forward momentum often allows you to live longer in the end--something that's absolutely essential on Darkwood's harder modes, where lives are limited. But even on Normal difficulty, it's important that you recognize that this is an ambiguous world that necessitates experimentation. As the world deteriorates into madness around you, the only way to survive is to adapt alongside decay. Rather than help you, Darkwood's systems affect you in a much more neutral way. I spent a night boarded up in a hideout that was fortified to the teeth with barriers only to be attacked by packs of demonic dogs moments before the saving grace of the sunrise. However, I also happened to survive three nights in a row by hiding inconspicuously in a cramped corner, praying that I wasn't overwhelmed by hordes of red chompers in the twilight.

Because you're never truly safe in Darkwood, it's easy to lose track of time. Eventually, days seem to merge into one another, and it becomes startlingly clear that the majority of society has descended into an irreparable state of madness. People live in a perpetually frozen cycle of day and night in which there are only two recurring parts of the same day, repeated eternally. The characters you meet are mostly uninterested in speaking with you, but among the Silent Forest's more amicable residents are an aspiring astronaut named Piotrek, who is attempting to build a rocket ship out of hunks of scrap metal, and a muttering musician who plays dissonant, apocalyptic notes on a broken violin in an effort to win the hand of a woman kept locked in the basement by her older sister--something made all the more horrifying by how poorly he performs. These post-plague virtuosos are at home in Darkwood's chaos, and their chosen vocations reflect the fact that they've already been absorbed by the chaos of this dynamic and disintegrating world. That's one of the most horrifying things about Darkwood: the way in which humanity learns to use madness as an asset in a world without order.

That's one of the most horrifying things about Darkwood: the way in which humanity learns to use madness as an asset in a world without order.

There are, however, some aspects of Darkwood that indicate the transient nature of life in the forest. At the beginning of the game, you're given the opportunity to euthanize your wounded dog, who sits outside your house whimpering in pain. If you choose not to, the dog transforms into a vicious varmint by the time you return later, ferociously clawing and gnawing at you in a deranged state of mindless violence. Darkwood's narrative is ambiguous at the best of times and is mostly to do with choosing which NPCs to favor in various subplots, but easily-overlooked details like this dog's fate tell disturbing tales of their own. As a result, some subplots only tell part of the story. Other details are intricately interwoven into the environment, and these narrative manifestations and the more ostensible plot points are of equal importance in understanding the world at large.

That's what makes Darkwood so brilliantly-suited to console. Although on the surface a keyboard suits the game's mechanics--namely its hotfixed inventory system and the quickfire solutions that are often necessary for survival in the night--there's something much more visceral about playing with analog sticks and haptic feedback. Instead of simply pressing a combination of keys to attack anathemic abominations, you need to use hyper-sensitive camera control to succeed in combat. Dodging is mapped to an analog click, whereas shooting a gun genuinely feels instinctive because enemies close distance at an alarming rate. It's easy to miss point-blank because of a knee-jerk reaction, and it's the fact that you can be punished once and for all for doing so that makes the game all the more hair-raising.

What makes Darkwood truly special, though, is its world. At one point in the game, you visit an area simply known as "The Village." Here, a group of deranged denizens worship a gnarled sow, deifying it as "The Mother of all Pigs." Almost everyone in the village has descended into a state of utter insanity, with one of the town’s most domineering residents having developed a gravitation toward chickens after locking up her own sister to save her marrying a chagrined musician. Most of the citizens here immediately associate you with an aura of antipathy, but the fact they live in such an aloof society is horrifying. All around, the world is darkening and fading, and this singular town, serving as a bastion against a descent into savagery, is inevitably lost. Because you, the safe and sound player, get to witness it from an external perspective, The Village's encroaching demise is drastically more affecting. This is the last of the world, and it's due to go out not with a bang, but a whimper.

While Darkwood is an absolute marvel in terms of its aesthetics and gameplay--as well as its disarmingly dissonant score--I experienced several bugs that caused me to lose minor progress. In one case, I was trapped behind a disassembled tractor, which forced me to quit to the main menu and restart the game in order to press onward. On top of this, one of the game's areas caused the frame rate to drop so dramatically that playing became a chore. This was easily rectified, again simply requiring a soft reboot, but these glitches are a disappointing nuisance plaguing an otherwise exceptional game.

However, these bugs aren't game-breaking. And even though they irritated me, I couldn’t pull myself away from Darkwood, no matter how much its uncanny world made me audibly squeal. Rather than relying on jump scares--although they are present, to a minor degree--Darkwood psychologically unhinges you. You’re consistently lured into a false sense of security as you hole up in an ironclad hideaway before night falls, or when seemingly benevolent NPCs beguile you with promises of collaboration against the hordes of darkness. It’s horror by subversion, because it’s only when you’re safest that you let your guard down--and it’s only when you take that singular breath of respite that you concede to utter susceptibility. There’s nothing quite as scary as momentarily looking away before being drawn back in by a sound cue or a controller vibration. And before you know it, it’s fight or flight, as you fall into the fray of the unforgiving darkness and are forced to compose yourself within a split second or risk losing half your inventory.

In Darkwood, there’s an item you can show several NPCs called "photo of a road." What’s interesting about this is that several of these entirely disparate wanderers have the exact same response to this curious snapshot. "Around here," they say, "all roads lead to nowhere." And as Darkwood’s forest is guzzled up by the rapidly encroaching night, roads are no longer places-between-places. Instead, they’re a communal necropolis, waiting for the creatures of the night to tribute more destitute dupes to its earthy, deathly soil.

Categories: Games

Exclusive Spider-Man Gameplay Details In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 05/14/2019 - 18:00

Publisher: Nintendo Developer: Team Ninja Release: July 19, 2019 Rating: Rating Pending Platform: Switch

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order looks to have a massive roster of supercharged heroes. We already know about 27 of the playable heroes, and there are more announcements to come, stretching across the Marvel universe and including characters from The Avengers, X-Men, Spider-verse, and more. As part of our month of coverage, we're highlighting a few of our favorites. Today we take a deeper look at Marvel's newest Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Alias: Miles Morales Comic Debut

Ultimate Fallout #4 (August 2011)


Miles originally comes from an alternate reality. While visiting his uncle (who just happens to be a notorious super villain with the alias Prowler), Miles was bitten by a genetically enhanced spider similar to the spider that gave Peter Parker his powers, and Miles gains his own set of spider-powers. When Peter Parker (as Spider-Man) dies in a battle with the Green Goblin, Miles assumes the mantle of Spider-Man.


Superhuman strength, speed, and stamina; wall-crawling; near-invisibility camouflage; spider-sense; bio-electrokinetic shock

Game Abilities

Web Shooter: Miles releases multiple web blasts in front of him. Players can tap the attack button to produce more web attacks.

Surprise Strike: Miles turns invisible then closes in on enemies to strike with a burst of electricity.

Venom Strike: Miles drives both fists into the ground and releases a large sphere of electric energy in an area attack.

High Voltage Lines: Miles shoots a barrage of electrified webs at groups of enemies in front of him.

Click here to watch embedded media


Miles is a very acrobatic character. Most of his powers center on his ability to unleash electrical attacks, which stun or paralyze foes. As an agile hero, Miles can quickly dart across the battlefield and help offer support wherever it's needed. Like the rest of the Spider-Family, Miles can swing across the environment with his webs.

Come back throughout the month, because we'll have more exclusive features and character profiles on Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. Click the banner below to visit our hub. 

Categories: Games

Samurai Shodown Has A PS4 And Xbox One Release Date

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 05/14/2019 - 17:39
Publisher: SNK Developer: SNK Release: June 27, 2019 Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

SNK has announced the release date for the return of the long-dormant Samurai Shodown series: June 25 - on PS4 and Xbox One, anyway.

Along with the release date announcement, SNK released a new trailer breaking down the game, including the new Dojo mode. The mode learns from your actions as you play offline and creates a "ghost" of your actions, letting you play against yourself, or download other players' ghosts. You can see a quick breakdown of the mode below.

The game is also headed to Switch and PC, but that won't happen until an unannounced later date.

Click here to watch embedded media

Categories: Games

The Division 2's First Raid Begins This Thursday

Game Informer News Feed - Tue, 05/14/2019 - 15:00

Publisher: Ubisoft Developer: Ubisoft Massive Release: March 15, 2019 Rating: Not rated Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Ever since the release of The Division 2, players have been clambering for true raid content. Ubisoft has responded, and the first fruits of that labor are rolling out later this week. “Operation Dark Hours” releases this Thursday, May 16, beginning at 9:00 am Pacific, on all available platforms.

The raid is built as an eight-person activity, and details provided by Ubisoft make it clear that only the most experienced characters are going to be ready to face the challenges within; you need to have reached World Tier 5 and defeated Tidal Basin.

The Dark Hours raid takes you through the Washington National Airport, in order to halt the incoming flow of Black Tusk soldiers and supplies. Finish off the raid, and you can expect new gear including an exclusive exotic weapon.

Following in the footsteps of other MMOs and loot-focused shooters, Ubisoft also plans to acknowledge the team that snags the world-first completion. If your team wins that honor, your team photo and names to go up in the in-game White House for other players to see. If your team misses that honor, but still manages to complete the raid by May 23, you’ll get a commemorative arm patch. If you’re late to the party, but your team eventually finishes the raid at some point, you’ll get a dedicated clan banner and a trophy for your clan space.  

If you’re not planning on taking a shot at world-first, but you’d like to watch the action unfold, you can follow along with the action on Twitch beginning at 9:00 am Pacific on May 16.

Categories: Games

A Plague Tale: Innocence Review - A Sea Of Putrid Rats

Gamespot News Feed - Tue, 05/14/2019 - 00:00

One of the most macabre scenes in A Plague Tale: Innocence is the eponymous plague, manifesting in the form of cursed rats. These vermin have a malevolent, otherworldly presence, their incessant screeching and scratching on stone pavements and atop piles of corpses making for a nightmarish, cacophonous din. Like sewage sludge, these creatures pour out of crevices towards their unwitting victims, ravaging them until they are just skin and bones. It’s an incredibly grotesque and spine-chilling sight--one that will linger in your mind hours later.

But even though the rats are a constant presence in Innocence, they merely serve as the backdrop for its more poignant moments, featuring the two characters you’ll spend the bulk of your time with: Amicia and Hugo de Rune, a pair of young siblings who are suddenly thrust into this hellscape of war and pestilence. Set amidst the Hundred Years’ War during the Middle Ages, the comfort the siblings once knew as children to a noble French family has been ruthlessly shattered. The Black Death, too, has wrought terror upon the country, with the bulk of the French population either dying from the plague or eaten by rats. Compounding this is the Inquisition, a fanatical group of knights keen to get their hands on the last of the de Rune descendants. Surrounded with sludgy pools of grimy rats, and with murderous knights hunting them down at every other turn, the duo need to gather their wits, leaning on stealthier means to escape from this mess. But not only do you have to navigate through the bedlam as the teenage Amicia, you’ll also have to take care of the five-year-old Hugo; he panics and shouts for Amicia when she ventures too far from him--as any young child will presumably do when surrounded by a neverending miasma of death and decay.

This arrangement does give Innocence the appearance of an elaborate escort mission, but fortunately, the game knows how to subvert the tedium that’s so typical of such games. A huge part is due to how human Innocence is. Despite his neediness and naiveté, Hugo is easy to grow fond of. His childlike wonder cuts through the wretchedness of their circumstances, allowing him--and helping Amicia--to appreciate the beauty even in the bleakest of times. In one scene, he quickly takes off to a nearby pier, fascinated by the curious sight of bubbles from frogs in the lake. Even a small gesture from him, such as plucking a flower--a symbol of tenacity in such trying times--to gently place it among Amicia’s braids, captures the warmth of their relationship. Such moments are heart-wrenchingly sweet, and you’ll share Amicia’s growing attachment to Hugo; his companionship is even greatly missed when she has to be paired up with other characters you meet along the way. On a mechanical level, it also helps that the artificial intelligence behind the characters isn’t hopelessly illogical, at least most of the time. Hugo isn’t usually one to chase after a butterfly in the thick of trouble, but the game still has its moments where a companion might accidentally take a kamikaze dive into a pool of quivering rats. Thankfully, these blunders are mercifully rare.

With survival being the thematic core of the game, Innocence is, at its crux, a series of survival puzzles; you’ll need to avoid the ravenous rat colonies, as well as evade the knights of the Inquisition. The rodents are terrified of light and will scuttle away at its mere presence--a weakness you can exploit to make your way across death-stricken battlefields and cities. Yet key to survival is also vigilance; wander too close to the rats, and they will attempt to devour you, clawing at the fringes of the light as their teeth chatter with insatiable hunger. And when a few stray rodents manage to latch onto you, Amicia can drown in a whirlpool of vermin, as they viciously and noisily gnaw on her. Few scenes in video games manage to be quite as eerie as this, heightening the game’s cloying atmosphere of despair and danger.

What’s decidedly less impressive, however, are the members of the Inquisition. As children, Amicia and Hugo won’t survive most direct confrontations with these armored brutes, who are only too eager to swing their cudgels and swords upon discovering them. Luckily for the de Rune siblings, the knights are also dumb as rocks; these barbarians are easily distracted by loud noises or sudden movements, such as by smashing a pot near their feet or tossing a rock towards a nearby chest full of armor. After staring at the offending object for a minute, the knight will mutter a variant of “Guess it’s just my imagination”--the most hackneyed and quintessential line used by hilariously obtuse NPCs in stealth games--and lumber back to their post, completely bewildered by the sound. In another far more egregious gaffe, another knight, while gawking at rats stripping his comrade to the bones, would grouse about the pointlessness of searching for his murderer, since they must be far gone by now. He then settled back to his programmed patrol, his back turned against the torrent of crazed rodents. For a game whose storytelling relies heavily on its atmosphere of dread and fear, such illogical instances absolutely butcher the mood.

That said, the game’s puzzles eventually ramp up in difficulty in later chapters, which renders combat and confrontations unavoidable at certain points. As dim-witted as the knights are, they’re still mostly decked out in heavy armor and weaponry--and can make devastating enemies. To compensate for her lack of brute strength, Amicia can modify and augment her trusty slingshot and ammunitions with the right materials and a dash of basic alchemy, turning the humble tool into a deadly and versatile weapon. Hugo isn’t a passive companion either; reaching cramped, hard-to-access places is his forte, and he’s gutsy enough to crawl through smaller breaches in walls alone to open up new paths for Amicia--provided the coast is cleared. Other characters, like a talented young alchemist named Lucas and a pair of orphaned thieves called Mellie and Arthur, will come with vastly different capabilities--and each with their own affairs to settle in this dire tale.

Scenes of desolation and tragedy mark Innocence’s dark, intriguing world, tied together with a narrative that’s genuinely moving without resorting to fetishizing the children’s sufferings. Despite their challenging situation, the siblings make do with what little help they get, bolstered by Amicia’s astounding resourcefulness, to survive this catastrophic mess. The game also magnifies the cataclysmic impact of the Black Death through a lens of cosmic horror, invoking the frightful atmosphere of H.P. Lovecraft’s macabre stories; the slithering rats, whether they are scurrying in the dank blackness beneath the city or trailing around half-eaten cadavers, never fails to be disconcerting. On the other hand, its villainous characters are almost painfully one-dimensional, with predictable twists and turns in the plot. This renders some of its revelations lackluster.

Powerfully ghoulish depictions of the plague and rats aside, Innocence is ultimately an emotive story of resilience against harrowing odds. The game’s title is an obvious nod towards the loss of innocence the endearing young cast faces throughout their journey. But more than that, it also speaks of the depths of human depravity and the agonizing cost of survival in the midst of war. Despite the unremitting horrors of Innocence’s beginnings, the game occasionally lets in a faint glimpse of hope. One of my favorite moments is when Amicia spots another wildflower in a lone trek across the city, nestled among the decay of the rats’ revolting nests. Without her brother around, she picks it up, and places it gingerly in her own hair--a personal reminder to keep trudging on amidst the hardships, and a testament to her growing strength and tenacity. Despite flashes of predictability, moments like these will bring a lump to your throat, as it did mine.

Categories: Games

Exclusive Ms. Marvel Gameplay Details In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 05/13/2019 - 18:00

Publisher: Nintendo Developer: Team Ninja Release: July 19, 2019 Rating: Rating Pending Platform: Switch

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order looks to have a massive roster of supercharged heroes. We already know about 27 playable heroes, and there are more announcements to come, stretching across the Marvel universe and including characters from The Avengers, X-Men, Spider-verse, and more. As part of our month of coverage, we're highlighting a few of our favorites. Today we take a deeper look at one of Marvel's newest heroes: Ms. Marvel.

Alias: Kamala Khan Comic Debut

Captain Marvel #14 (August 2013)


A descendant of Pakistani immigrants, Kamala gained her powers while walking home one night from a party. Kamala encountered a cloud of Terrigen Mists – a mutagenic substance that awakens latent inhuman powers. After rousing from stasis, Kamala discovered that she had an unparalleled ability to stretch and shape her body, so she assumed the alias of one of her favorite super heroes and started fighting crime as Ms. Marvel.


Elongation of limbs, size alteration, accelerated healing, and the ability to alter physical appearance (including hair and clothing).

Game Abilities

Super Face Kick: You guessed it. Ms. Marvel performs a giant lunging kick with an enlarged foot.

Giant Foot Spinny Thing: Ms. Marvel performs a tornado kick with an enlarged foot. You can press the attack button repeatedly to spin longer.

Sweet Combo Attack: Ms. Marvel unleashes a flurry of punches, finishing with an uppercut. You can tap the attack button to continue the beatdown.

Embiggen: Ms. Marvel enlarges both fists and uses them like a hammer to smash enemies in front of her.

See some of her moves in action in the gameplay video below.

Click here to watch embedded media


Ms. Marvel is really good at mid-to-close-range attacks and an excellent all-around fighter. She can dart in and out of the action quickly, and her big attacks pack a punch. She also has a lot of area-of-effect moves to help clean up enemy fodder. Thanks to her stretchy powers, Ms. Marvel is incredibly durable and hard to kill.

Come back throughout the month, because we'll have more exclusive features and character profiles on Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. Click the banner below to visit our hub. 

Categories: Games

Dauntless Sets Release Date For Next Week

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 05/13/2019 - 17:57

Publisher: Phoenix Labs Developer: Phoenix Labs Release: May 24, 2018 Rating: Rating Pending Platform: PC

Phoenix Labs today revealed a release date for Dauntless, its monster-hunting cooperative action game. Players can dig in and try the full game on May 21 on their preference of PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or on PC through the Epic Games Store.

While this signifies the game moving from beta to full release, the team has already been releasing regular content updates for some time, so this release will accompany Hunt Pass Season 5, which is called Hidden Blades.

One of the biggest things players can expect to find is a rework of the existing campaign, which aims to improve crafting, questing, as well as better details at the end of a hunt to indicate how you’ve progressed.

Whether you’re a seasoned Dauntless hunter, or you’re ready to kill some behemoths for the first time, you can learn more about Dauntless’ launch at the game’s official blog. You can also check out our initial review from last year. 

Categories: Games

The New True Sequel, 20 Years Later

Game Informer News Feed - Mon, 05/13/2019 - 15:00

Publisher: Oddworld Inhabitants Developer: Oddworld Inhabitants Release: 2020 Rating: Rating Pending Platform: PC

A brand new entry in the long-running Oddworld series, Soulstorm is an ambitious game in its own right. But the story of how it came to be, and how it fits into Oddworld's 20-year-plus continuity, is just as compelling.

Lorne Lanning and Sherry McKenna founded Oddworld Inhabitants back in 1994, with the goal of melding a new generation of gameplay with Hollywood moviemaking flair. The company’s first release, Abe’s Oddysee, presented an unlikely hero confronting a seemingly impossible life of slavery and degradation. Originally planned as a quintology that would tell one massive story about Abe’s unlikely journey, the vagaries of game development, time constraints, and publisher demands took the Oddworld games down a far different route. Several of the subsequent games further fleshed out an already intriguing fiction, but they also moved away from the series' original vision.

In 2014, Oddworld New ‘n’ Tasty revitalized the original Abe’s Oddysee with modern graphics and gameplay, but hewed closely to the original design and script, setting a new starting point for the storytelling. But that’s where the familiarity ends; subsequent games in the series are planned to represent the original vision for the quintology through new installments, and an increasingly interwoven fiction about Abe’s rise to confront tyranny. The first game representing that new path forward is Soulstorm.

I saw an extensive demo of the project in action, and it’s fascinating to observe the ways it uses the launchpad of Oddysee to take Abe in new directions. Coining the perspective “2.9D,” Soulstorm sees its characters running and jumping along 2D planes in 3D environments. The planes rotate and turn as you run along them, and other 2D planes are visible in the background and foreground. Binocular emplacements allow you to look across the way to guard stations and workers that need rescuing, and plan your route to reach them. Other sections see you on a moving platform being hauled into the background, and you must dodge enemy projectiles as you pass each enemy station. The effect is that of a 2D action/platformer, but with depth and action unfolding in the locations viewable in the distance.

Click image thumbnails to view larger version



Soulstorm focuses on replayability through a wallet economy, crafting, and the return of the quarma system. You must gather moolah to purchase new crafting materials to make everything from a rubber-band bouncing ball to a flamethrower. Completing good deeds awards ch’i charms, which let you gain consumable powers to aid in your efforts to save the poor Mudokon workers, like temporary bullet shields or antidotes to heal the sick. A global quarma system tracks how many Mudokons you save or allow to be killed, as well as how many enemy Sligs you take out in the process. Kill a bad guy to save yourself, and you lose some quarma, but cruelly kill a helpless and bound enemy, and the hit to your quarma is much bigger.

Every level has a leaderboard, along with a global leaderboard for the whole game. In addition to quarma, players unlock badges for a variety of other tasks in each level, including finding secret areas, unlocking lockers (often from pickpocketing Slig guards), and burning flammable objects along the way. The goal is to create an experience that speedy players could complete in 12 to 15 hours, but that dedicated enthusiasts and leaderboard chasers could invest 100 hours to master each location.

Through it all, you’re following a cinematic story about Abe’s strange rise to Messianic status among his people, as more and more followers are willing to run along behind him into the mortal danger of machine gun fire, speeding trains, and unsafe industrial machinery. More followers give Abe increased mystical ability for possessing others, which in turn opens up new avenues for exploration. The number of followers can eventually balloon to as many as 300 on screen at once, communicating that this is much more than a solitary journey for Abe; this is about the survival of his species.

It’s thrilling to see this new and alternate path forward for the Oddworld fiction finally taking shape after all these years. I’ve yet to play or get a feel for the platforming and action in what appeared to be some especially frenetic scenes of escape, but I’m excited we finally have a new adventure for one of my favorite video game heroes.

Oddworld: Soulstorm is headed toward release on unannounced consoles and PC sometime in 2020. Check out the new trailer below.

Click here to watch embedded media

Categories: Games

Rage 2 Review - Walker Wasteland Ranger

Gamespot News Feed - Mon, 05/13/2019 - 13:00

At a certain point in Rage 2, you become an unstoppable force, a lone wolf that can take down bandit camps, monsters 10 times your size, and crowds of deformed humanoids with your gratifying, destructive abilities and weapons. Not only does your suite of superpowers make combat a blast, it's the key to developing a satisfying momentum. It's too bad that, more often than not, the game doesn't do enough to keep that momentum going.

Rage 2 doesn't waste a lot of time trying to explain to you why things are the way they are. It instead thrusts you into an open world with its fair share of places to go and things to do. In addition to bandits, mutants, and monsters, there's the villainous organization, The Authority, who wiped out your hometown. As the last ranger--elite soldiers with superpowered suits--it's up to you to corral three key leaders by carrying out their missions and finishing Project Dagger, a biological weapon to kill the Authority's seemingly immortal tyrant General Cross. It doesn't really matter who's who, just that you need to destroy those who are hostile. You're only marginally "super" at the start, but the gradual ascent to hero status is rewarding in that you accumulate a roster of devastatingly fun toys.

Arks spread across the map unlock powers called nanotrites as well as multi-purpose weapons, and these tools pave the way for dynamic approaches to some intense combat scenarios. Nanotrites can be used in isolation or in sequence, creating a diverse yet easy-to-understand set of abilities that allow you to efficiently rip through enemies. For example, Slam is a strong ground-pound that does area-of-effect damage, and Shatter tears through armor and forcefully sends foes flying backward. Their strong impact is matched by their effectiveness, and when combined with a beefy shotgun or rocket launcher, you create a distinct, destructive flow in combat. It's not unlike nailing down an attack rotation in an RPG and seamlessly swapping firearms for the right situation in an arena shooter.

Once you start stringing kills in succession, you can go into overdrive for a temporary boost where you essentially become invulnerable and weapons fire in an even more powerful mode. With all these capabilities in mind, you never have to resort to one individual tactic in fights because you're consistently cycling through all of your extraordinary tools. It's easy to see and feel the parallels with the modern Doom and Wolfenstein games, but Rage 2 distinguishes itself with how much you have at your disposal and how it's all intuitive to use.

You constantly evolve your arsenal via extensive upgrade trees. It's not just about enhancing weapon damage or increasing overall health; nanotrites can be made more useful with shorter cooldown timers, bigger target areas, and additional effects. Weapons also have branching perks, and special unlocks called Projects stack even more buffs on top of all your other capabilities. Upgrading all these facets can fundamentally change how you operate during the moment to moment action and open up new, devastating approaches in combat.

Rage 2's biggest issue is that it's structurally bare; most of its wasteland is made up of short, fragmented activities that hardly ask much from you and don't lead to anything worthwhile.

What Rage 2 is short on, however, are opportunities to put all those abilities to good use. The main campaign structure makes itself clear early on; do a mission for each of three different leaders, fill a trust meter by finishing corresponding side activities, then complete one more mission for each of them before the finale. It doesn't sound like much, because it isn't. Some of these missions make for the game's better moments, but combat sequences wrap up just as you get into a rhythm. And the main questline as a whole comes to an underwhelming head rather quickly.

Take a late-game mission, for example. You bust into a base with a massive tank, then blast through rooms of enemies before fighting a beast that takes more than a few shots to kill. But the tank sequence is essentially a thin on-rails drive-by, the rooms of enemies are recycled, and that beast is the same as ones you've fought before. There isn't much surprise or imagination for a campaign mission that's supposed to build toward a conclusion. Only once did the campaign put me in a position to get creative or extensively use my powers, and that was at the final boss.

Main missions rarely make use of the vast open world the game has to offer, too. There's a sprawling jungle to the north and wide desert plains in the southwest, and only one main quest takes you to each of those locations. At no stage are you introduced to their central towns, so they really exist for faceless NPCs to tell you about side quest locations, which you can very well find on your own by chasing down question marks that populate your map.

Side quests litter Rage 2's expansive wasteland, though it's made up of standard open-world fare, like clearing out a bandit den or pumping a huge mutant full of lead. Although fairly one-note, Convoys add some variety by incorporating car combat. Perhaps the best of the bunch is in taking over recharge stations where you have to fend off waves of increasingly stronger enemies with deadly efficiency--it's the most challenging type of mission as you have to pull out every stop and get creative with your powers and weapons, especially at higher difficulties.

Rage 2 also lacks an identifiable charisma, which is disappointing for a post-apocalyptic world. While it makes a good first impression by kicking off with an unhinged, in-your-face attitude, it unfortunately never builds upon it.

However, it gets to a point where you wonder why you're taking on all these brief missions. Sure, you get currency and materials for upgrades, but you're just getting them for the sake of it. Rage 2's biggest issue is that it's structurally bare; most of its wasteland is made up of short, fragmented activities that hardly ask much from you and don't lead to anything worthwhile.

Rage 2 also lacks an identifiable charisma, which is disappointing for a post-apocalyptic world. While it makes a good first impression by kicking off with an unhinged, in-your-face attitude, it unfortunately never builds upon it. In fact, the narrative devolves into a series of interactions with bland characters that make the storytelling come off as hamfisted. It makes a few attempts at humor which don't land, and the setting's deranged archetypes fall flat. It doesn't let the subpar narrative get in the way for the most part, though stilted dialogue sequences try to bridge the gap between missions.

It's as if the game is trying to strike a balance between the nonchalant badassery of Doom and the larger-than-life characterizations of Wolfenstein, and missing the mark on both ends of the spectrum leaves it directionless. As a result, it's hard to care about what you're doing in the world without much intrigue or a sensible thread to weave all your standard open-world activities together.

Other minor issues may frustrate you as well, like the constant game-pausing notifications for rewards and progress that interrupt the pacing. For a game all about fast-paced combat, it's truly an odd choice to stop everything to say you completed a mission even as conversations are playing out. Also, dialogue may just cut out completely mid-conversation.

I spent some time after finishing the campaign flying the Icarus gyrocopter from side quest to side quest while overlooking the vastness of Rage 2's open world. It's a gruesome wasteland with the potential to be a wide playground of opportunities to flex your robust set of abilities and weapons. And at times, it gave me just that. Yet I couldn't stop thinking about how that potential was left untapped. Open world games sometimes overstay their welcome, and it's odd to see Rage 2 have the exact opposite problem.

Rage 2 is at its best when you're given the chance to keep up a gratifying momentum in combat, but struggles to setup the scenarios its combat deserves. It's satisfying in the way clearing out an open-world checklist is, especially because powers are such a joy to use. The disappointment comes from the fact that those activities are rudimentary in nature and the decent ones end well before you get your fill.

Categories: Games