標籤彙整:Games Previews

The Gorgeous Hand-Drawn RPG Continues To Impress, Both In Play And Look

Publisher: 505 Games

Developer: Lab Zero Games

Release: October 8, 2019… 繼續閱讀

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Play, Progress, And Customize Your Heroes How You Want

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Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

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.


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Final Fantasy VIII Remastered Releasing In September

Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Release: 2019
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

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.

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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.


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An Expanded Look At Death Stranding’s Gameplay

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Kojima Productions
Rating: Rating Pending
Platform: PlayStation 4

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.

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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.

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Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot Gets Driver’s License Mission And New Characters

Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: CyberConnect2
Release: 2020
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

When Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot was named and officially shown off at E3 earlier this year, none of the footage showed anything past the Frieza Saga. In a game about Goku’s life, it makes some sense that it would at least go through the part where he becomes a Super Saiyan, but fans were concerned it wouldn’t go beyond that. Not only does the game go beyond that into the Android Saga, it includes the best filler episode from the show.

In the latest issue of Jump, the manga magazine that ran Dragon Ball, Bandai Namco revealed a few new things about the game. The game, as mentioned will continue through the Android Saga, meaning the Cell Games will likely feature prominently. It hasn’t been said if the game will go past that, but Cell Games would make a logical end to the series, as would the following arc. In addition, Jump confirmed that one of the side missions in the game would be based on the 125th Dragon Ball Z episode where Goku and Piccolo get driver’s licenses.

The episode itself was based on the cover to chapter 255 of the manga, wherein Piccolo attempts to drive a car with Goku backseat driving.

Finally, the game will introduce a new character, an ex-Ginyu Force member named Bonyu who left the squad due to her dislike of the poses. Considering she is described as “busty” in the magazine, her name is a less-than-tasteful Japanese pun. But it’s Dragon Ball, so that’s pretty par for the course.

Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot is releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in 2020.


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Why Paralives Is Looking To Be The Sim’s New Rival

Developer: Alex Massé
Rating: Teen
Platform: PC, Mac

Paralives is an upcoming indie life simulation that is shaping up to be the first worthy alternative to The Sims. Players build their dream house, create characters, and manage their lives with as few limitations as possible. Imagine houses that can be square or curved, stairs leading to anywhere in any direction, and curtains or tablecloths available in a variety of colors. Whether you are in your car, on a bike, or riding horseback, you can explore an open world full of family, friends, and foes. Similar to the houses you build, the relationships in your town are a direct result of your actions. It doesn’t take long to figure out why many from The Sims community are keeping an eye out for Paralives. With the base game set to include dogs, cats, horses, cars, weather, and even boats all of which are customizable, it’s no wonder the title has drawn some interest. 

Filling In The Blanks

Alex Massé, the man behind Paralives, has been a fan of simulation games, especially The Sims, since he was 10 years old. Now that he has enough game development experience under his belt from working on PewDiepie’s Tuber Simulator along with demo projects for Unity’s Project Tiny, Massé decided to quit his day job and develop Paralives full-time. “Since I started in game development, I’ve always wanted to create a simulation game and I made different prototypes over the years,” he says. “With Paralives, I’m hoping to make the game I always wished I had and I feel a lot of people will appreciate this different take on the life simulation genre.” 

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With Paralives, Massé wants to offer players a sense of endless customization. “I think what life simulation games have been missing is powerful and intuitive tools that allow players to easily create any house with precision,” he says. “A lot of people want to recreate themselves and their own house in the game so it’s important that everyone is able to achieve this. Paralives is also built from the start to take place in an open-world neighborhood, offering many fresh options for exploration and story making.”

These gameplay features could be the solutions for most of the shortcomings that have frustrated faithful simulation fans; no more settling for off-colored furniture or being forced to place objects where you don’t want them due to a strict grid system. 

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Paralives offers plenty with its core gameplay, with building options down to the smallest detail. Players have the choice to use a grid like The Sims or go without one, so they are no longer limited to strict object placement within certain square units. While there are cheats in The Sims to get around this, fans will likely appreciate how Paralives is built with those solutions in mind. If you want to make a house look more lifelike by adding clutter and placing objects in realistic positions, Paralives has you covered. 

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Creating Complex Characters

We’ve had glimpses of the intricate building gameplay in Paralives, but the level of sophistication with character creation and animations is still up in the air. Massé’s main focus right now is on building, but he is eager to offer more in the character department, and Massé is putting a lot of faith into procedural animation. Procedural animation involves automatic computer-generated animation based on previously created animations. So rather than animating every single character, Massé can save time and letting the computer help out. “I wouldn’t need to animate a hug between two adults and a hug between an adult and a child, for example,” Massé says. “The system would adapt itself and make the adult crouch before hugging the child.” He is not only looking to incorporate this technique with the animations, but for gradual aging as well.

Massé has brought up the concept of ‘chance cards’ in the Paralives Discord and Patreon where he began a discussion on how to expand and create something more engrossing. ‘Chance cards’ are a common element in The Sims 4, where a randomized opportunity prompt asks you to choose between a few options for your sim. For instance, you may be asked if your child sim should cheat on a test because they didn’t study or own up to their mistakes and fail. Massé recognizes how these could break immersion if not done well. 

“These random events need to have a meaningful impact on the player and they could be completed by real actions that you ask your character to do,” Massé says. “Another important aspect is that chance cards need to be relevant to you and your characters so the chance card algorithm needs to adapt to your playstyle as well as your characters’ skills and personalities.” He’s going to reveal more on character development with an upcoming announcement trailer. In the meantime, Massé made sure to let us know we’re going to be able to pet the dogs in-game.

By The Community, For The Community

Massé encourages those who are excited for the game to join the Paralives Discord and share their ideas on the type of content they would like to see. He’s been surprised by the sheer amount of replies that have been submitted so far. It’s been a little over a month since Paralives began marketing and there’s already a 100-page document the fans created that houses all the ideas called the Parabook. Many of the suggestions have given Massé inspiration. 

“To name just a few that caught my attention: random events such as power outages, various customization options for furniture, different levels of intensity for personality traits, the option to make a loan at the bank, and many more,” Massé says. “I won’t be able to fit everything into the game as I need to focus on the core gameplay and make the game enjoyable. But being able to receive ideas from everyone is very useful and exciting!”

The Future Of Paralives

Concerning the future of Paralives, Massé is all about supporting the game after release with free updates rather than having players continue to spend money on DLC. That’s going to be a huge draw for Sims players. Modding is also going to be a big part of the game’s future. Though script mods are not currently planned at the moment, Massé is “working on tools that will allow people to customize the game in a lot of different ways and share these as mods on Steam Workshop.” He has opened up the floodgates and is encouraging players to let their ideas run wild. With lofty ambitions for what you can do in Paralives, I’m excited to test the limits of my imagination when it launches.

It looks like life simulation gaming is getting a strong, new addition. For more on the genre, be sure to check out my feature on the top Sims 4 DLCs. And if you’re looking for more games with an easygoing play style, take a minute to get familiar with Animal Crossing: New Horizons and everything we know so far.


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Multiplayer Warfare

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Publisher: Activision
Developer: Infinity Ward
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Activision and Infinity Ward have passed on new multiplayer footage of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, this year’s new take on the Modern Warfare formula that updates and recontextualizes its various themes. The multiplayer, however, still has all the same qualities fans of the series have loved over the years.

You can check out the video above, which was captured originally in 4K on the PlayStation 4 Pro. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is launching on all varieties of PS4, same with Xbox One, and PC, with crossplay between all platforms, on October 25.

Click on the banner below to reach our hub for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. We’ll be adding content all month examining how Infinity Ward is breathing new life into the longstanding series, with articles, interviews, videos, and more.


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Cross-Save Comes To Destiny 2 Next Week

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Bungie, High Moon Studios

Release: September 4… 繼續閱讀

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Short Jab And A Long Jacket

Publisher: Arc System Works
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC

A few months ago, Arc System Works announced a new River City Ransom game developed by WayForward called River City Girls. The new game stars high school girls Misako and Kyoko beating up the delinquents of River City  in an effort to get back their boyfriends from nefarious clutches. Today, Arc System Works released a Japanese overview trailer for the game showing various new mechanics and bosses.

You can check out the Japanese language trailer below.

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The trailer shows off some new things like the shops, one of River City Ransom’s finest traditions, as well as an interesting new comrade recruitment mode. Sparing some enemies lets you summon them in for attacks later. We can also see intros for what appear to be the various bosses in the game. 

River City Girls releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on September 5.


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FL4K The Beastmaster Joins The Hunt In New Borderlands 3 Trailer

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Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Gearbox Software
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The final trailer for the last of the four new Vault Hunters has arrived, and FL4K the Beastmaster and their three loyal and fearsome pets are ready to kill. Meet the pack in the newest character trailer.  

FL4K has three pets of different varieties, each with its own abilities. First is a Spiderant in the Hunter skill tree with a drill for a leg and a penchant for killing. The Jabber, of the Stalker skill tree, is eager to please. The Skag, in the Master skill tree, is a deadly beast who just wants to have fun. On top of these three pets, FL4K can also summon Rakks to fly into battle after expanding the Hunter tree. 

FL4K, a marksman, is an emergent A.I. on a never-ending hunt. What exactly are they hunting for? You’ll have to wait for Borderlands 3 to find out. Borderlands 3 is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 13. For the other hunter trailers follow the links for Zane, Amara, and Moze.


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