Publisher: 505 Games
Developer: Lab Zero Games
Release: October 8, 2019… 繼續閱讀
Click here to watch embedded media Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy has already appeared in Capcom’s Monster… 繼續閱讀
If you listened to our conversation on The Game Informer Show podcast, then you know that our favorite multiplayer mode so far in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is Gunfight. We’re continuing to roll out exclusive features on Infinity Ward’s upcoming reboot, and the video above shows off a full high-level round of Gunfight featuring the best players from the studio. Check out the video above to see Justin, Ivan, and Giancarlo from QA alongside weapons specialist Ruy battle it out in this quick, 2v2 duel. If you like what you see, you can play the mode for free this weekend with the Alpha on the PlayStation 4.
For more features on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, click on the banner below and follow along with our month of coverage.
When everything is a lie, how can you discern the truth? Telling Lies asks you this compelling question as you scour through video clips of dishonest people, and the answers can only be found with your own intuition.
Telling Lies is an adventure game from the creator of Her Story, and it takes the same clever concept and interface to greater heights and success. In Her Story, you search through grainy video archives on a retro computer. Telling Lies uses a modern interface, but you still type in clues (like phrases or words found in clips you watch) that lead you towards new videos as you piece together an overarching narrative. While that may sound mundane on paper, it’s far from boring in its execution, thanks to phenomenal acting and a deep central mystery with many different threads.
You play as a whistleblowing FBI agent who stole an NSA disk drive, and you plan to upload its contents to the public. The entirety of your time is spent watching, rewinding, and fast forwarding through archived video calls (as well as some clips captured by hidden cameras) found on that drive in hopes of understanding what happened to four connected individuals. I don’t want to spoil the mystery, but the main premise is about a special agent infiltrating a certain group of people, and what’s most interesting is how this mission affects his life and the people around him. What was the point of this mission? How did a cam girl get intertwined in catastrophic events? I was fixated on finding the answers to these questions and more like them. Telling Lies isn’t especially challenging, but that works in its favor; the thrill comes from making connections and watching the pieces fall into place without feeling impeded by mechanics.
The four characters are all lying about something to someone, which makes connecting the dots an exhilarating experience. However, you can only hear the audio and see the video feeds of one person at a time. Sometimes it’s abundantly clear who they are talking to, such as a father’s animated expressions and simple language pointing to the fact that he’s speaking to his young daughter, but other times it’s more cryptic. Hearing half the conversation gives you only a fragment of the information you need, and assembling the rest is a lot of fun thanks to thoughtfully placed clues. For example, a tattoo on someone’s chest led me towards discovering their identity, since the character’s words couldn’t be trusted. Sometimes you find the other half of a conversation, and the moments of silence or facial expressions on a previous video make more sense and give you a better idea of what’s going on.
The best thing about Telling Lies is the fantastic acting from its cast. Whenever something felt off, like a badly put on Parisian accent, there was a reason behind it rather than an indication of poor acting. I loved getting to know the characters and seeing different sides to each person made them complex and real. This consistency of writing and performance is particularly impressive considering the non-linearity; no two players are likely to watch the same videos in the same order, so the story works regardless of your path through the clues.
Click image thumbnails to view larger version
Every character behaves differently depending on the situation. They may have a shorter fuse when talking to their wife in comparison to how they speak to their boss. I was utterly fascinated by a man who could commit horrible acts but still be a loving father, and by one woman who was adamant about keeping her identity secret.
Telling Lies is especially interesting in how its themes connect to real-world politics and ethics surrounding privacy when in the hands of a government bureau. I empathized with certain characters, particularly because of their conflicted motives. Viewing different facets of their lives made me feel like a fly on the wall, and this voyeuristic touch bounces between unsettling and engrossing when peeking into these private moments.
Once I discovered the answers to the central mystery, I didn’t stop playing – I continued to find every bit of video content I could because I was enthralled by the people in this world. Attempting to understand the psychology behind each character’s actions made me all the more invested and perplexed, because in Telling Lies, even the smallest fibs lead to the biggest discoveries.
Summary: Phenomenal acting and a deep central mystery make this voyeuristic adventure game something special.
Concept: Search through video calls compiled by the NSA to piece together a mystery about four liars who are all connected
Graphics: The desktop computer aesthetic will be familiar to anyone who has used a Mac, and the glare of a woman’s silhouetted reflection in the screen fits the voyeuristic feel well
Sound: Mellow background music evokes emotion at the right moments. The characters’ tone of voice helps you decipher what’s real and what’s not
Playability: Swiping to the left or right easily lets you scrub through video content, and the desktop interface is simple to use
Entertainment: Excellent acting from actors like Angela Sarafyan (Westworld) and Logan Marshall-Green (The Invitation) brings depth and realism to the characters and their stories
We never like seeing games get delayed, but Until Dawn illustrates why more time in the development cooker can make a world of difference. Originally designed as a first-person horror game for PlayStation 3’s Move controllers, British developer Supermassive Games realized the game was more enjoyable when played from the third-person perspective, and also found out people didn’t want to buy a strange controller to play a game. Sony granted the team more development time to change the vision, which just happened to occur during a console transition, meaning the game needed to move to PlayStation 4.
When Until Dawn was first shown at Gamescom in 2012, I didn’t think much of it, and questioned the decision to make games exclusively for Move. Years went by and Until Dawn became a distant memory, until it resurfaced on PlayStation 4 in a video that blew me away. I didn’t know it was the same game. It was moody, legitimately scary, and I got a huge kick out of seeing the cheerleader from the Heroes TV show in a starring role. That would be Hayden Panettiere. In that trailer, Supermassive nailed the teen slasher flick vibe, and I was all in.
When the game finally released on August 25, 2015, after beginning development in 2010, I played all the way through it in one sitting, and immediately called it the sleeper hit of the year. No one was talking about it, yet it probably should have been in discussion for Game of the Year. Nothing was going to touch The Witcher III: Wild Hunt that year, but I thought it was brilliant. On my Top 10 list for the year, I listed Until Dawn as my number five pick, behind The Witcher III (at number one), Batman: Arkham Knight, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Bloodborne. That was a hell of a year for games.
So what did Until Dawn get right other than the slasher-flick setting? Meaningful player choice, do-or-die consequences, acting, scripting, and twists and turns you won’t see coming. It also makes you realize that, under pressure, you too do the absurd things you see characters in slasher flicks do. We yell at them on the screen for getting themselves killed, and yet, making the wrong choice here, which is sometimes obvious, puts you in those same shoes.
I don’t want to give away what happens in Until Dawn, as everyone just needs to experience it for themselves, but it goes places, to wonderful and scary places. In my first playthrough, only three of the teens survived. I played it again to save them all. Your choices matter that much.
The game features the writing talents of Larry Fessenden & Graham Reznick, and stars Panettiere as Samantha Giddings, Peter Stormare as Dr. Hill, and Rami Malek as Joshua Washington, among others. Yes, that Rami Malek.
So why bring up Until Dawn now? Supermassive’s spiritual successor, The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan, releases on August 30. It’s not only one of my most anticipated games of the month, but the year, right behind Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Play Until Dawn, and I bet you’ll be counting the days until Man of Medan hits. Supermassive created one of the most unique and enjoyable horror games to date, and I hope they can do it again next week.
As we already know, Avengers is an original story focused on the superhero team’s fall from grace. The A-Day celebration meant to laud the Avengers backfires as a surprise attack on the Golden Gate Bridge serves as little more than a distraction for the heroes as the real threat involved blowing up the Avengers’ Helicarrier and leveling much of San Francisco. As the city struggles to pick up the pieces, anger and blame falls on the shoulders of the iconic Marvel heroes.
Putting The Power In My Hands
This attack sequence serves as the introduction and tutorial of the game. As such, it introduces you to the five playable heroes in rapid succession. I start out as Thor, who wields his mighty hammer Mjolnir. Using the hammer, I bash generic gun-toting enemies over the head with combinations that combine light and heavy attacks. Enemies attack Thor from all directions, but indicators appearing over heads and from edges of the screen alert me of incoming strikes. With a simple press of a button, Thor dodges and opens the enemy for attacks. Thor’s melee combat feels competent, but basic. It’s only once I start using his powers that the encounters feel exciting. Using the god’s lightning, I annihilate the enemies around Thor, finally giving me the power fantasy that should come with controlling the son of Odin. Once I knock around some generic troops on the ground, enemies appear on top of the armored trucks, but Thor can easily dispatch of them by tossing Mjolnir their way. Performing ranged attacks works just how you’d think they would: the left trigger lets you aim, while the right trigger fires. For Thor, that means hurling his hammer at foes, but for Iron Man, who I control next, it means firing his repulsor beams.
As I take control of Iron Man, it begins with an on-rails chase sequence above the bridge. While I control the general location of Stark as he flies over the battle, the automatic dodge is generous when things get in the way. After I shoot down the enemies he was pursuing, the on-rails section gives way to a battle similar to what the Thor section threw at me. However, using Tony Stark often means hovering above the battlefield and raining death from above. Hovering up and down is simple, with one button lifting Stark up and the other bringing him close to the ground. I pick off the enemies one by one, with several uses of Iron Man’s powerful Heroic ability, the unibeam, destroying anything he aims his chest at.
However, while I love Iron Man and his suite of abilities (he’s arguably my favorite of the original Avengers squad), my brief time controlling the billionaire hero was a bit underwhelming. Hovering above the battlefield feels good, but blasting at enemies from afar felt so detached from the action; a ranged hero should still pack some oomph. I also wasn’t a fan of how each time he took damage, he fell from the sky, only to have to float back up to hovering altitude if I wanted to regain my vantage point. In addition, every time I used Iron Man’s unibeam ability, it felt like slamming the brakes on the action as the camera zooms in and Stark slowly turns toward his targets. I’m hoping these various combat modes can be polished and made to feel a bit smoother, as flying around and blasting foes as Iron Man should be endlessly exciting.
Thankfully, the scene transitions to Hulk, who feels like the unstoppable force that he is. His power lies in his brute strength, and it’s a sight to behold. Hulk can punch with light and heavy attacks just like Thor, but holding the button for heavy attack lets him grab an enemy and slam them around mercilessly. Seeing the bad guy ragdoll as you slam him into his buddies is satisfying, and running from battle area to battle area is fun thanks to Hulk’s ability to jump great distances and off flat surfaces. The Hulk segment ends with him taking out multiple enemies with his Heroic ability, his thunderclap, and destroying a couple tanks in brutal fashion. The game accurately captures the rage-induced rampages of Marvel’s green giant.
The scene then transitions to the Avengers’ Helicarrier above the city with a battle as Captain America. Cap is a bruiser who can toss his shield and bounce it off enemies like a pinball. While he’s still fighting generic enemies, his combat stands out more than Thor’s thanks to his ability to use his shield as either an offensive or defensive weapon.
The final scene of my demo put me in control of Black Widow as she takes on Taskmaster in a boss battle. After a framerate-dipping chase scene that has her riding on his back and punching him through various quick-time events as the other Avengers continue the effort to salvage the iconic San Francisco bridge, the two land on a stable surface and clash. Taskmaster’s signature ability is rapidly learning his enemies’ fighting styles, so I have to adapt each time he catches on to my tricks.
Thankfully, Black Widow has more than a couple tricks up her sleeve. She’s as competent in close-quarters melee combat as she is from long range, and she’s able to acrobatically get out of the way of Taskmaster’s charges. Her combination of martial arts skills and mid-range gunplay makes her arguably my favorite character to control in the brief time I spent with the game.
Charting A New Narrative
One of Crystal Dynamics’ main goals for Avengers is to tell a unique, all-original story starring the iconic heroes. “Think about how we reinvented Lara Croft,” senior brand director Rich Briggs says. “Taking these iconic heroes and reimagining them … that’s just part of our DNA. It’s always about that epic, character-driven action-adventure, and it’s about telling an original story with these iconic characters.”
The fallout of the A-Day disaster affects each of the heroes differently. Captain America is lost in the explosion. Tony Stark withdraws from the world, with no fortune or tech to fall back on. He feels as though he no longer has the answers for what the team needs to do. Bruce Banner begins questioning the role of superheroes and blames himself to the point where gets stuck in Hulk form. Black Widow returns to her life as a spy, as she feels guilty for not being there for Captain America. Thor’s attitude is that he’s no longer worthy to wield Mjolnir, so he leaves it at the Captain America memorial statue and works to serve the people of Midgard.
In addition, superheroes are now outlawed, and in their place is Advanced Idea Mechanics (AIM). Five years after the destruction of A-Day, superheroes are all but gone from the public eye, with AIM’s advanced synthdroid A.I. filling their shoes. However, part of that directive includes “protecting” the public from the super-powered individuals. While AIM puts on a public-friendly face, its pursuit of a society governed by technology could result in one of the biggest threats the planet has ever seen. Despite their reservations about practicing as superheroes again, the Avengers can’t sit idly by and let AIM reshape the world in its image.
With the heroes in disparate places physically and emotionally, the story of Avengers is about reassembling the world’s preeminent superhero team. You do this by traveling around the world and completing missions. While all I have to go off of is the tutorial sequence I played, Crystal Dynamics tells me the rest of the missions are more expansive, feature more difficult enemies and have fewer quick-time events. When you’re ready to jump into action, you use the War Table to choose from two types of missions: Hero and Warzone. Hero missions are single-player, narrative-driven stages. These put you in the shoes of a specific member of the Avengers as you advance the story of the campaign. On the other hand, Warzone missions can be played single-player or co-op online with up to four players total. Because these are typically more open, you can choose any hero. Playing either mission type unlocks new content, and grants you gear drops to equip on your character.
Assembling Your Avengers Your Way
These pieces of gear are important to powering up your hero. Gear is specific to each character, so don’t expect to equip that new rare reactor coil to Black Widow. Gear items can boost stats like melee, defense, and Heroic, and if you match certain sets of gear, you can reap synergy bonuses.
You can also customize your heroes’ various skills and loadouts through large ability trees unique to each hero. For example, with Iron Man, you can unlock new abilities in categories such as melee, repulsor, laser, and rockets. You can customize your loadout however you want, and even swap between different versions of these powers on the fly using the d-pad.
With all of these meaningful customizations feeding into how each hero plays, you can create different archetypes for how you want to play. For example, one player’s Thor might be a close-range brawler with the health of a tank, while another player’s Thor could be a bit nimbler and rely more on lightning attacks. I’m excited to experiment with Thor and Iron Man to see if I can spec them to play a bit more to my liking than they were configured for my demo.
Outside of customizations that can affect gameplay, Avengers allows players to also dictate how their characters look. If you don’t like Tony Stark’s suit in the screenshot above, you can expect a host of other suits to choose from. While chatting with the team, I see suits ranging from mainstream to obscure, from Crystal Dynamics’ take on Captain America’s classic costume and Black Widow’s predator outfit to King Thor and Joe Fixit Hulk. These skins are 100-percent cosmetic, meaning if you have an all-time favorite Iron Man suit, you don’t have to worry about limiting Stark’s powers just so you can equip it. Some of these cosmetic skins can be earned in game, while others must be purchased from the store. The studio wasn’t ready to talk about any other potential ways the title could be monetized, but the studio currently aims to keep everything in the store purely cosmetic.
The Road Ahead
If Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, and Hulk aren’t up your alley, Crystal Dynamics may have you covered. In addition to the SDCC reveal that Ms. Marvel herself, Kamala Khan, is in the game in some capacity (including the opening scene), new heroes and regions to complete missions in will be made available post-launch free of charge.
Avengers launches on PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, and PC on May 15. In addition, PS4 players will have first access to the beta prior to launch.
Update 8/19/19 7:50 p.m. CT: Respawn chief Vince Zampella has posted a comment on Twitterabout the issue.
— Vince Zampella (@VinceZampella) August 19, 2019
The original story from 8/18/19 at 4:06 p.m. CT is as follows:
To recap, the Iron Crown event had several cosmetics bundled into the Iron Crown Collection. These cosmetics were exclusive to the event and you could only nab them through lootboxes. Getting said lootboxes, however, was an expensive endeavor. For example, the Bloodhound’s heirloom set could only be attained after spending around $200 on lootboxes.
The apology thread on Reddit devolved into chaos, with a series of inflammatory comments — not just from disgruntled gamers, but from Respawn too. Instead of trying to calm the crowd or control the situation in a peaceful way, Respawn developers launched their own insults back at their fanbase by calling them “a**hats,” “freeloaders,” and “dicks.”
This flame war led the Apex Legends community to write an open letter addressed to Respawn. You can read the entire message below.
You committed the ultimate cardinal sin, you got personal. You, as a team of professionals trying to make money, got personal. You got personal and decided to insult your playbase, calling us “ass-hats” and “freeloaders”. Not a wise move.
We won’t forget this. You’ve set a new tone for the kind of interaction we’ll be having with you. It’s a cold one. One where there aren’t any illusions about the reality of the situation. Previous notions of “family” are dead. We are mere consumers to you, and that is obvious.
You have chosen to bring in a new era of hostility and bitterness. Well done. Great PR move.
We’ve reached out to Respawn and Electronic Arts for comment, and we’ll update this article accordingly should we hear back.
At E3 this year, Square Enix finally broke their silence on the lack of a Final Fantasy VIII remaster, long thought to be the result of a music licensing issue for the game’s main theme or a complete loss of the game’s source code, by announcing Final Fantasy VIII Remastered. While not an overhaul on the level of Final Fantasy VII Remake, it is a markedly improved facelift for one of the most divisive Final Fantasy mainline titles.
We now know that we won’t have to wait long for the game to release, as it will be hitting September 3. You can check out the release date trailer below.
The remaster boasts overhauled character models and, at least going by the trailer, seems to have all its original music still intact. Final Fantasy VIII Remastered releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on September 3.
We all know that Death Stranding is part of the strand genre, but there are still a few mysteries surrounding Hideo Kojima’s next title.
During the Gamescom 2019 opening presentation, we got another look at Death Stranding in action. The game is visual stunning, and the gameplay seems to involve a lot of walking through an open world where you will deliver goods and reconnect the people who live in a fractured America.
Players can scan the environment and use a variety of tools to explore/traverse an unforgiving terrain. If you fall down you might agitate the baby you carry, which would be bad. When this happens, players must cuddle and bounce the baby to make him feel better. Players will rock the baby by physically moving the PS4 controllers, using its motion controls. However, if you shake too hard the baby will get angry. And angry babies are bad!
We also got a look at another odd mechanic, which lets players pee. I’m sorry, did we say odd? We meant incredible. We don’t know much about this mechanic, but it might be tied to the game’s survival systems, and Kojima said that players would be able to use this pee as a weapon somehow. Additionally, if people continue to pee on the same spot in the world, “Something good will happen.” We don’t know what that means, but during the demo, Sam’s pee made a mushroom grow.
Also, game industry journalist Geoff Keighley is an NPC in the game.
Death Stranding hits the PS4 on November 8, but we should see a lot more next month at TGS. You can watch just the gameplay above, or watch Kojima’s full presentation below.