Ubisoft Reveals E3 Lineup Teaser

The E3 season is upon us, and Ubisoft has released a teaser for its lineup to help everyone get in the spirit.

The teaser features South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Far Cry 5 clips, along with a plethora of never-before-seen (and humorously redacted) footage. As for the hosting duties, Ubisoft is apparently switching it up this year, putting developers in the spotlight rather than usual host Aisha Tyler.

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For more on the games we know will be in attendance at Ubisoft’s E3 conference, check out the South Park: The Fractured But Whole trailer and read up on everything we know about Far Cry 5 so far.

 

Our Take
Rumors have been running rampant about what will be revealed at the Ubisoft conference, and this teaser shows that Ubisoft is playing right along with the mystery. In contrast to the Sony E3 teaser, it’s nice to see Ubisoft taking the comedic route, and I think it works just as well. 

Beta Test Ubisoft Reveals E3 Lineup Teaser

D&D’s Stream Of Annihilation To Introduce Next Storyline

Wizards of the Coast is looking to highlight the dramatic growth of live-streamed Dungeons & Dragons that has entertained so many in recent years; the company is hosting a two-day event where the new D&D storyline will be revealed, and then previewed with the help of a variety of D&D streamers, including groups like Critical Role; Dice, Camera, Action; Maze Arcana; and Misscliks. In addition, the D&D team is promising that other partners will be in attendance to discuss how the new storyline will interact with connected D&D properties, so expect folks from the Neverwinter video game team, the Gale Force Nine tabletop publisher, and more.

The event is set to unfold over two days, each with a 12-hour online stream. The festivities get under way beginning at 12 p.m. Central/10 a.m. Pacific time on Friday, June 2. A second stream follows at the same times on Saturday, June 3. 

Early concept art for the new storyline hints at an urban settlement where dinosaurs appear to be domesticated, but Wizards of the Coast is remaining pretty quiet about the details until Friday morning.  

 

Our Take
The rise of online streamed play has injected new life into the D&D tabletop scene, even as many other players continue long-standing home gaming groups that form the bedrock of the D&D gaming scene. As Wizards of the Coast has expanded out into other spheres like board games and video games, the announcement of a new major story tends to have ripples that affect a large number of individual connected products. 

Beta Test D&D’s Stream Of Annihilation To Introduce Next Storyline

Embers Of Mirrim Review – Mind-Bending Fun

Embers of Mirrim is a challenging platformer that will mess with your head and make you curse your inability to accurately guide two glowing orbs along a path, but satisfies in the end through its creative designs and forgiving checkpoint system. Developer Creative Bytes Studios spends too much time tutorializing new powers – leading to stretches of the game drowning in repetition – but the experience becomes a fervent delight when the training wheels are removed.

Although no words are spoken and animations are used to convey emotions and intent, Embers of Mirrim tells an interesting story about two divergent clans of cat-like creatures called the Light and the Dark. The clans are summoned to a spire by a god-like entity called The Elder, who warns them of the end of days – a meteor shower that will destroy both of their colonies. As the Light and Dark retreat to their territories, fire rains to the ground, leading to an exciting escape sequence in which the player dawns the identity of Mir of the Light, a character that can sprint and glide, and a second sequence as Rim of the Dark, a more aggressive beast that can slam through obstacles.

Just when it appears play time may be divided equally between these two contrasting characters – perhaps showing one overcoming the other to save its tribe – an unexpected event occurs. A magic emitted by The Spire sucks the life force out of Mir and Rim and combines it to create a singular entity named Mirrim. This new being possesses the power of both clans. Mirrim is also gifted with the ability to split apart at any time into light and dark energy orbs called Embers that can pass through obstacles and float to higher areas.

Embers of Mirrim is a game with two identities: a nicely balanced platformer that revels in fast-paced precision jumping, and a challenging test of the mind that forces you to control two Embers at once using the right and left analog sticks. The game succeeds in both areas, but is at its best in the ambidextrous sequences which ramp up in difficulty, moving from the simple navigation of straight or wavy lines to dastardly areas where you easily lose track of which orb is tied to what stick. I would psych myself up and say, “Don’t press up on the right analog stick or you’ll hit the thorns.” Seconds later, I pressed up. The complex design of the sequence messed with my brain that much and that quickly. I died repeatedly before I could finally free myself of a reflexive move. That may sound frustrating, but the game never punishes you much for failure. Checkpoints are liberally spread throughout this linear game, and you don’t have to repeat bothersome sections if you already completed them.

This platformer rarely slows in pace, and always seems to be racing toward a big moment. Light puzzles are interjected occasionally, but this game is meant to be played fast, and that’s where a lot of the fun (and swearing) comes in. Almost every second and every little movement in that time is required for success. The quickness of play doesn’t slow, but tedium does rear its ugly head when new powers are introduced.

Most of the wildlife in the world reacts differently when an Ember passes through it, such as a frog-like creature turning into a bounce pad when the Dark hits it, or sticking out its tongue to create a path when graced by the Light. These powers succeed in changing up the flow of play, but are overly repetitive in design during the learning phase.

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Each of the zones, which range from forests to The Spire’s interior, conclude with a sizable boss fight. As menacing as these foes appear to be, they suffer the same fate as the power tutorials, and simply require repeated tactics to drop, such as evading attacks and assaulting a weakened spot when it is exposed. These encounters are fun for a few attempts, but end up being far too mechanical in design once you figure out the patterns.

Embers of Mirrim is a nice surprise that seemingly came out of nowhere. It doesn’t feel like a “me-too” platformer, establishing a unique identity with its crazy dual-movement sequences and zen-like platforming. It just needs to hold your hand less when introducing new things, which sadly affects the experience from start to finish.

Beta Test Embers Of Mirrim Review – Mind-Bending Fun

Middle-earth: Shadow Of War Delayed To October

The sequel to the acclaimed Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor was originally scheduled to release this summer, on August 22. However, an announcement on the official site breaks some potentially disappointing news to fans: The wait is going to be a bit longer.

Now slated for October 10, no specific reason was given for Middle-earth: Shadow of War’s delay, apart from developer Monolith’s desire to deliver the “highest quality experience.”

For more on Shadow of War, read a discussion about the game’s potential, or watch a trailer about its open world.

 

Our Take
As with any delay, having to wait to play a game you’re excited about is a bummer. However, more time usually results in a better finished product. So even though this is disappointing in some respects, I can’t say it’s bad news.

Beta Test Middle-earth: Shadow Of War Delayed To October

Square Enix & Bulletstorm Developer Teaming Up For New IP

Bulletstorm (the game’s Full Clip edition shown above) and Gears of War: Judgment co-developer People Can Fly are working with publisher Square Enix on an unnamed triple-A original title.

The project doesn’t have a name or release timeframe yet, but it will be for both console and PC.

Square Enix has confirmed that the title will not be at E3 in a few weeks.

[Source: People Can Fly]

 

Our Take
It’s good to hear that after the studio’s uncoupling from Epic and the departure of co-owner/creative director Adrian Chmielarz, that things are still moving forward.

Beta Test Square Enix & Bulletstorm Developer Teaming Up For New IP

Extinction Reveal Trailer Shows Attack On Titan-Style Action With A Fantasy Twist

Iron Galaxy and Maximum Games have announced a new game, which pits players against 150-foot-tall ogres. Fortunately, as a new trailer shows, they’re monsters that can be sliced apart with swords. 

You play as a soldier named Avil, who is one of the final Sentinel soldiers. He can take on the Ravenii monsters both on foot and in the air – something that Iron Galaxy’s work on the Killer Instinct reboot undoubtedly informed.

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According to Iron Galaxy, players can expect a deep campaign with multiple side missions, destructible environments, and “a unique combat situation each time you play.”

The game is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in the first quarter of 2018.

Beta Test Extinction Reveal Trailer Shows Attack On Titan-Style Action With A Fantasy Twist

Elex Gets October Release Date

THQ Nordic and Elex developer Piranha Bytes have announced the game’s October 17 release date (PS4, Xbox One, PC) with a new cinematic trailer and details on the Collector’s Edition.

Elex is an action/RPG/post-apocalyptic sci-fi title, and the title’s jumble of influences translates to players navigating an open world with swords, guns, and magic at their disposal.

Here’s the contents of the Collector’s Edition (click to enlarge):

  • A 10-inch-high figurine of an Alb Mage
  • A 2-inch combat drone amulet
  • A cloth map of the world of Magalan
  • The original score on CD
  • An artbook
  • The game and its manual

For more on the game’s Berserker faction, check out this previous trailer.

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Beta Test Elex Gets October Release Date

Skullgirls Creators Announce Switch Release For Indivisible With New Trailer

Indivisible, a new RPG from Lab Zero (the developer behind Skullgirls), announced this morning that the game will be available on an additional platform: Nintendo Switch.

You can check out the trailer below which showcases protagonist Ajna’s platforming, turn-based combat, and fantastic 2D animation. Along with Switch, Indivisible is planned for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC next year.

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For more on Indivisible, head here.

Beta Test Skullgirls Creators Announce Switch Release For Indivisible With New Trailer

Please Welcome NBA 2K18's Other Cover Star

2K and developer Visual Concepts have revealed NBA 2K18’s second cover athlete, this time for the regular edition of the game – Cavaliers’ point guard Kyrie Irving.

Shaq has already been announced as the cover star for the game’s Legend Editions.

Pre-order the standard edition and you can play the title early on September 15, and all gamers who pickup the standard edition also get: 5,000 VC, 10 weekly MyTeam packs, a Kyrie outfit pack, and other in-game content.

NBA 2K19 is available in wide release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC on September 19.

Beta Test Please Welcome NBA 2K18’s Other Cover Star

YouTuber Drops Switch From 1,000 Feet With A Drone To See If It Will Survive

Nintendo hardware, especially its handhelds, are known to be tough. Game Boys have survived bombings, and the original model DS was designed from the start to survive a fall from chest height (Nintendo assumed people would drop their DS while placing the handheld in their breast pocket). YouTube channel UnlockRiver.com decided to take things a little further, or more appropriately, a lot further, by flying their Switch 1,000 feet into the air and dropping it. I won’t spoil the ending, but it’s worth seeing what happens.

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At the beginning of the video, the host expresses fear at dropping his Switch from the sky as he has put some time into Zelda. You know what would alleviate that fear? The ability to transfer or back up save files!

[Source: UnlockRiver.com on YouTube via NeoGAF]

Beta Test YouTuber Drops Switch From 1,000 Feet With A Drone To See If It Will Survive