In 2007 BioWare released the first Mass Effect to critical and commercial success, an RPG space opera with high production values, and choice and consequences. This spawned two sequels Mass Effect 2 which saw a shift toward action and an improvement of shooter controls and Mass Effect 3 which fans panned for having an unsatisfactory ending. Despite the attempt by BioWare to alleviate tensions and address fan concerns, the future of the series was kept hush until the 2015 E3 when EA announced Mass Effect: Andromeda. What remains to be seen is will a new direction revive interest in the franchise or did Mass Effect end with Sheppard? Warning there may be plot spoilers in the story section.
Kickstarter has become the catalyst for the return of many gaming trends whether it’s the side scrolling platformer with Shovel Knight, the space sim with Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen, or the CRPG with Path of Exile or Wasteland 2. Developed by inExile and published by Techland Publishing Torment: Tides of Numenera is the most recent Kickstarter success to hit the market. After over a year in Steam’s Early Access program its released as a finished product to consumers. The pitch was a spiritual successor and pseudo-sequel to Planescape: Torment, though with big shoes to fill will this game measure up?
After Doom and Wolfenstein put shooters on the map games like Call of Duty, Battlefield and Medal of Honor took them mainstream. With early entries focusing on World War 2 it wasn’t too long until consumers were worn out with the period and the trend of modern military shooters began. One game series set out to make a unique game set in World War 2, by refining it down to focus the core gameplay on being an OSS elite soldier. This series was Sniper Elite, developed and published by Rebellion the most recent entry Sniper Elite 4 recently released on PC. What remains to be seen is will there be anything new the series can do at this point or will it be another retread of an over exposed period?
Announced at E3 in 2015 For Honor is a fighting game with hack and slash elements. The game takes heavy inspirations from shooters and another medieval combat game which was at it’s height of popularity Chivalry Medieval Warfare. Developed by Ubisoft Montreal for the console version and Blue Byte for the PC version, the game was published by their parent company Ubisoft.
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There are few horror franchises as storied as Resident Evil, after the success of Resident Evil 4 there was a shift in the tone of the franchise. Less horror with a move toward third person action. With Resident Evil 6 being a huge disappointment for the fan base. With fans receiving an unfocused mess of global bioterrorism and multiple intersecting stories that created a narrative mess. After the outcry, Capcom promised to do better with Resident Evil 7 and deliver a more focused horror experience. What remains to be seen is whether Capcom would be able to successfully return to its horror roots. The following game review will contain plot spoilers.
More and more we are seeing games eschew the standard publishing model and turn to crowd funding. Whether Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Fig; fans are funding projects that the larger developers feel are too niche or risky to produce. One such game recently released after a successful Kickstarter campaign, The Dwarves developed by KING Art Games and published by Nordic THQ. Based on a fantasy novel of the same name it released fifteen months after the launching of the campaign. Warning the following will contain plot spoilers.
In June of 2012 Ubisoft announced Watch Dogs with the promise that you could hack the world. Sadly the game failed to live up to that promise and the hacking turned into timed button presses to stop a helicopter or prevent someone from calling the cops on you. Then during E3 of 2016 the sequel was officially unveiled after years of rumors. Ubisoft promised to do better with this game, they brought on people to act as hacking consultants. The following will contain plot spoilers for the game.