Bandai Namco Is Teasing Something "Major" For Dark Souls III

It’s been a while since we heard anything about Dark Souls III beyond it being a fantastic addition to the series. However, it looks like that’s about to change on August 24, according to the Dark Souls 3 Twitter account anyway:

While you’re waiting to hear the announcement, be sure to check out our Chronicles of the game here.

Our Take
Whatever this announcement turns out to be, let’s just hope it’s not more Dark Souls swag.

Beta Test Bandai Namco Is Teasing Something “Major” For Dark Souls III

RPG Grind Time – My Conflicted Feelings About The Final Fantasy XV Delay

The longer
something remains out of reach, do you start to lose interest? I’ve never been
more conflicted about a game than I am about Final Fantasy XV. It’s put us on
quite the journey, especially since the Final Fantasy XIII Versus days. If
you’re keeping track, it’s been now over a decade that the project has lingered
in our minds, every so often popping up and tantalizing us with how great it
could be, while also making us skeptical about the actual experience. The past
E3 presentation at Microsoft’s press conference had some technological hiccups,
which didn’t instill any confidence, but at least it played better on the E3 show floor. At this point, I feel
like I’ve been on a constant loop of excitement and disappointment with this
game, which might be why I’ve been tackling myriad feelings over the
recent delay
.

Part of me
feels like I should be angry. If there was one milestone not to miss on this
project after all its trials, it was the final release date, which had a whole
event centered on it
. At the same time, I don’t want to play an unpolished
game. I always prefer a developer take the extra time to make sure a game is
stable. Nothing is worse than having glitches, especially when a game crashes
on you, causing you to lose progress. I don’t want to feel frustration while
playing games or be taken out of the experience because of issues that should
have been ironed out during development. As games continue to get more
ambitious and complex, I suspect it will become harder for developers and
publishers to nail down release dates. It’s one of the first questions that
comes up when a game is announced, but how can you factor in unknown obstacles
until you’re in the nitty gritty? Announcing a project too early can be a
recipe for disaster, and we’ve seen that firsthand with Final Fantasy XV. Since
its announcement, things have been poorly planned, which makes me all the more
nervous when there’s another bump in the road.

Still,
there’s nothing I want more than this game to be wonderful after I’ve waited so
long for it. The Final Fantasy series is so ingrained with my love for the
genre that I want to see it thrive again, and Final Fantasy XV has more riding
on it than any other entry in the series. It’s Square Enix’s chance to show it
can still compete in the triple-A RPG market and captivate a new generation of
gamers who didn’t grow up with the franchise like I did. Can it handle a more
open world? Can it deliver on action combat? The stakes have been raised; the
genre has evolved a lot since Final Fantasy XIII with games like The Witcher 3:
Wild Hunt and Fallout 4.

I like how director Hajime Tabata has the
handled the project since he stepped in, taking over for Tetsuya Nomura, so he
can focus on Kingdom Hearts III. Tabata inherited a game that was steeped in
controversy and high expectations. He’s interacted with the fans more than I’ve
seen any other Final Fantasy director outside of XIV’s Naoki Yoshida. He’s
delivered two demos just to ensure the game is living up to expectations and so
he can correct any glaring issues and improve the project. I feel like Tabata
has been very open and upfront about what’s going on with his Active Time
reports. I feel like he’s been a fresh change for the series, and that’s
exactly what this high-stakes entry needed.

When we went
on our cover story for the game, I was impressed and optimistic by what
I saw. During my hands-on time, the awe and wonder I hadn’t experienced with
the series in some time was there. Every time I see a new summon I get excited
by how badass they look; the larger-than-life Titan is all kinds of amazing.
When I see a new town, I can’t wait until I’m able to explore it. I dig the
action combat, which I think is a change the series at least needed to try. I
like the idea of just a group of old friends coming together to save the world.
The characters all seem to have their own roles; Prompto tries so hard to pick
the group up and Ignis is so protective over Noctis that he makes sure he’s
eating right. Noctis always has the weight of the future on his shoulders, and
I’m curious how the game tackles this dilemma and makes him into the king he
needs to be. I keep getting surprised by how much I see that’s actually in the
game, from the side quests to various locales whenever a new trailer debuts.

Right now,
there’s promise, but I’m a little over just possibilities at this point. I need
to actually be in the world. I’m done with hopes. I need reality, and the
reality is that the game needed to be pushed back. I accept that, but it
doesn’t mean after all that’s been said and done that I’m thrilled about it. My
biggest hope is that Square Enix has learned a lot of lessons to apply to
future projects. Because I can’t handle another entry that’s like Final Fantasy
XV’s development – and don’t even get me started on Kingdom Hearts III. Now all
I can do is wait until November 29 to experience the end result of this long,
long journey for another entry in an RPG series that’s meant a hell of a lot to
me through the years.

Beta Test RPG Grind Time – My Conflicted Feelings About The Final Fantasy XV Delay

You Can Directly Control And Customize Your Dragon In Scalebound

First announced at E3 2014, Scalebound is a different kind of experience for Platinum Games, a developer that normally focuses on fast-paced action games, such as Bayonetta. With this RPG’s mix of fantasy and modernity, it caught the attention of several fans, though one question has been unanswered until now: How does your dragon complement the gameplay, and what is its role? At Gamescom, creative producer J.P. Kellams and Platinum Games’ Hideki Kamiya pulled back the curtain and told us what we can expect from dragons in Scalebound.

Scalebound follows the headphone-wearing teenager Drew and his dragon Thuban, and what Platinum Games unveiled today is that you can directly control the dragon in battle. When you aren’t in control of him, he is under the A.I.’s direction. Because of the strong bond between Drew and his dragon, the two can merge their consciousness through Dragon Link, which allows Drew to direct Thuban in combat. When this is activated, the camera switches to Drew’s over-the-shoulder perspective, and he is unable to move while he directs Thuban. Because of the resulting immobility, this function should be used strategically, so that you don’t end up finding yourself in a vulnerable position.

Each time you defeat an enemy, you gather gems, and these are used to upgrade and morph your fire-breathing companion at dragon shrines around the world. Shown for the first time at Gamescom, your dragon is customizable in many ways. Scalebound offers three base dragon types, and each of these can be interchangeable through morphing. The two-legged Rex type is a basic, all-around dragon that has a good balance of speed and combat skills, the tank dragon is slower in speed but conjures powerful attacks while being able to sustain large amounts of damage, and the Wyvern is incredibly quick while excelling at air attacks but is weaker on the ground. At dragon shrines, you can morph and customize these different types into your own beast, interchanging different qualities from each breed. These will add aesthetic changes, too. For example, as you morph your dragon, you’ll see its body type adapt to your selections.

Next, depending on what parts you have in your possession, you can add in attack buffs for your dragon into five different slots. For example, you can customize your dragon to have an ice tail. These tap into the special, elemental attacks that unleash during berserker mode. Additionally, your dragon can also wear armor, and these are bought with currency that is retrieved when you defeat certain quests, enemies, or open chests. Once again, five areas on your dragon can be allotted armor, and these can be damaged in battle, so keep an eye for repairs. 

“The goal that we have for this system, is that eventually you’re going to arrive at the perfect dragon for you,” Kellams says. “When you’re playing in multiplayer, it’s very likely that your dragon and my dragon will be totally different.”

As for the relationship between Thuban and Drew, while they have a magical bond between them, they don’t always get along. Kamiya mentions through his translator during the presentation that they will often “butt heads” as they are both young and very close in terms of mental age. Scalebound releases on Xbox One and PC next year. 

Beta Test You Can Directly Control And Customize Your Dragon In Scalebound

New Yooka-Laylee Trailer Showcases Adorable, Cuddly Action

Playtonic Games has released a new trailer for Yooka-Laylee for Gamescom that shows off about two minutes of new footage featuring the adorable platforming duo. You can watch it right here:

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Playtonic recently released a sample of Yooka-Laylee called Yooka-Laylee’s Toybox that you can watch us check out here.

Beta Test New Yooka-Laylee Trailer Showcases Adorable, Cuddly Action

Resident Evil 7 Hands-On Left Us Confused And Unimpressed

By now, Resident Evil fans have probably poured over the “Beginning Hour” demo that was released during E3. We’ve explored the creepy house. We’ve watched (and interacted with) the VHS tape in the living room. We’ve been invited to “join the family.”

That demo isn’t part of Resident Evil 7. It was put forward for tonal purposes, though fans weren’t quite sure exactly what that meant.

Today, we can tell you definitively what Resident Evil 7 is and what it isn’t. Mostly. Kind of.

A little.

The entire game will be in first-person, just like the Beginning Hour demo. In the Gamescom demo, which you have already seen almost in its entirety (except for excessive strong language and a simple puzzle), a girl named Mia is running from Marguerite Baker, the woman with the lantern. In the demo, she is howling about Mia being ungrateful for a gift which she was offered.

This bit takes place in Dulvee, Louisiana. The Baker family has disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

The Lantern demo is a found footage segment, just like the one that was in Beginning Hour. As Capcom has previously discussed, the protagonist (who has yet to be revealed) is male, so we don’t quite know who Mia is or the “Ethan” who she is addressing.

We also don’t know to whom Marguerite is referring when she howls about someone offering Mia “her gift.” The woman also references that she and her family took Mia in and opened their heart and home to her.

At least some of the found footage segments are optional, and it’s not clear quite yet how they weave into the main story narrative. We just know that they do.

I didn’t love the demo. I thought the jump scares were predictable, the gameplay about as far as you can get from any version of Resident Evil we’ve seen before, and the experience fairly boring. Capcom wasn’t even ready to tell us quite yet if what you do in the found footage segments has any bearing on the “real world” that we’ll explore as the protagonist.

The one thing that did stand out as a positive is the use of depth of field to create cinematic moments. Unfortunately, those emerge most when hiding in one spot and remaining motionless for extended periods of time. The Lantern demo does a good job of aping the B-movie slasher vibe, but I’m not sure that’s what I want from Resident Evil (or from any series).

I’m not sure what Capcom is planning. Perhaps we’ll find out sooner rather than later as we approach the January 24, 2017, release date how this relates to the series and its established characters. Until then, I’m hesitant about this one. I hope Capcom is able to change that.

Beta Test Resident Evil 7 Hands-On Left Us Confused And Unimpressed

Night School Studio Reveals Launch Trailer For Mr. Robot Game, Available Today

After teasing fans on Twitter, the Telltale Publishing and Night School Studio collaboration has been revealed as a text adventure game based on Mr. Robot. The mobile title, Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n.ipa, is out now on iOS and Android platforms.

This game is set during the show’s first season, and features characters like Elliot and Darlene. Players assume the role of someone who has discovered a smartphone used by the hacking organization. Using a messaging app, players will make choices to target and interact with key characters to bring down the villainous E Corp. You can view a brief teaser that introduces the E Corp messaging app below.

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You can download the game now for $2.99. Night School Studio released Oxenfree earlier this year, and Telltale Publishing recently put out 7 Days to Die.

 

Our Take
Mr. Robot is one of my favorite shows on TV right now, and lends itself well to this kind of dialogue-heavy gameplay. I will be checking the app out for sure, but it may not be welcoming to those who haven’t seen the show.

Beta Test Night School Studio Reveals Launch Trailer For Mr. Robot Game, Available Today

Nioh's Second Demo Has A Release Date And It's Soon

Earlier this year, the PlayStation 4 exclusive Nioh received a limited-time alpha that let players tackle a slice of the game. Koei Tecmo has just announced when players are getting their second go at the game with a new demo and it’s coming fast:  August 23.

You’ll have to jump on that demo pretty quickly if you want to play it though, as it will be disabled and removed from the PS Store on September 6.

You can read our impressions of the E3 Nioh demo here.

 

Our Take
I came away really impressed with what I saw of Nioh at E3. Too bad I’ll be out of the country the entire time the demo is available. Way to go, Gwaltney.

Beta Test Nioh’s Second Demo Has A Release Date And It’s Soon

Square Enix Announces Nier: Automata Availability On PC

Square Enix has announced that post-apocalyptic RPG Nier: Automata will be launching on PC through Steam as well as the originally planned PlayStation 4 launch.

Nier: Automata is the follow up to 2010 title Nier, and tells the story of androids 2B, 9S, and A2 as they fight to reclaim a world currently over-run by machines. Some recorded gameplay of the title surfaced back in April during a Square Enix event, and we even got some hands-on time the game and developer Platinum Games during E3 2016. 

Although there’s no specific release date for Nier: Automata, Square Enix says PlayStation 4 and now PC users can expect its arrival sometime in early 2017. 

Beta Test Square Enix Announces Nier: Automata Availability On PC

Spooky New Resident Evil 7 Trailer Introduces Characters

After the fascinating E3 playable trailer that Capcom released during E3, the publisher has taken a slightly more traditional approach with this new one. You can’t play it, but it’s still pretty creepy, focusing on a young woman trying to make her way through a mysterious plantation, avoiding her pursuer. You can watch the whole thing right here:

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And you can check out our Test Chamber of the playable trailer, Beginning Hour, here.

Beta Test Spooky New Resident Evil 7 Trailer Introduces Characters

Watch Dog 2's Wild Multiplayer World

Today’s Watch Dogs 2 Gamescom trailer outlines the title’s multiplayer world where anybody and anything can be just around the corner.

The trailer below outlines how you can meet up with others and co-operatively hack and complete missions in the world. It also details the new Bounty Hunter mode. A bounty contract is issued when you cause too much ruckus in the single-player world and get the police on your tail. This can cause up to three other players to take up the contract on your head. Once this happens, it’s not just a matter of survival, however, as you can complete and cash in a counter-bounty on your pursuers too.

The footage also talks about online invasions: where you fight off other hackers trying to invade your session.

All these online modes are optional even though there is a bleed through between single-player and multiplayer.

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Beta Test Watch Dog 2’s Wild Multiplayer World