Dead By Daylight Coming To Xbox One, PlayStation 4

A lone survivor wanders the woods, flinching at every cawing crow and snapping branch. Suddenly, a chainsaw revs, a chase ensues, and all is lost, leaving the murderer character victorious.

Pitting four victims against a single hunter, Starbreeze Publishing has announced that Dead By Daylight will soon bring its asymmetric horror to console. Physical and digital copies of the game, which will include bonus content such as the original soundtrack and previously-released DLC characters and maps, will be available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 starting on June 20.

Check out our review of Dead By Daylight and our impressions of it on the GI Show.

 

Our Take
Dead By Daylight has been popular on PC, so it makes sense that the game is coming to console as well. I personally can’t wait to scare myself senseless all over again.

Beta Test Dead By Daylight Coming To Xbox One, PlayStation 4

The First Season Of Gears of War 4 Versus Begins Today

One of the most popular games on Xbox One is Gears of War 4, and its multiplayer suite is getting a shot in the arm with the long-awaited implementation of Seasons.

Season 1 of Gears of War 4 multiplayer begins today; along with an overhaul to the skill-based matchmaking algorithms, combatants should now be pitted against more evenly matched opponents. Seasons will last around three months (this first season is due to expire in mid-July) and offer exclusive rewards in the form of fancy-looking weapon skins, awarded for reaching high ranks in various modes. Additionally, next week will see the launch of a Ranked Stats tracker, so players can see detailed reports on their progress from season to season.

For more on Gears of War 4, check out our review.

[Source: Gears of War]

 

Our Take
Gears of War has a fun solo/co-op story mode, but its competitive multiplayer is what keeps players coming back for years after release. Rocket League made a strong showing with its seasonal approach to versus matchmaking, so it’s cool to see GoW4 applying a similar tact; this way noobs like me will be less likely to get stuck in matches against hardcore champions. I’m content to splash around in the shallow end of the pool, so to speak.

Beta Test The First Season Of Gears of War 4 Versus Begins Today

The Virtual Life – The Unsettling Humanity Of Nina Freeman's Kimmy

Kimmy is a different kind of game from the rest of developer Nina Freeman’s works. Freeman, who now works at Fullbright as a designer on Tacoma, has released a number of personal vignette-like games throughout her career. Her early projects are notable for being games that explore sexuality in interesting, thought-provoking ways. How Do You Do It?, for example, humorously focuses on a small girl mashing her toys together in a vaguely sexual way as much as she can before her mother gets home, while Cibele is a narrative-driven experience that focuses on a relationship that blooms over an MMO.

Freeman, who was an English undergrad, says she owes a lot of her development and games-writing to her interest in poetry. “I wrote a lot of personal work when I was writing poetry, and I tended to write about stuff like sex and sexuality. In games, sex and sexuality are usually presentational, while in poetry you’ll have a lot of famous work about it,” she says, before listing examples like Allen Ginsberg and Elizabeth Bishop.

“I spent a lot of time in college researching that and writing a lot of erotic poetry. It was just something that I was used to writing about and that, in the poetry world, is pretty common to write about. So when I started making games, I brought that over naturally because it was the perspective I was coming from.”

Kimmy marks a departure from the sexuality-driven topics of Freeman’s previous work, instead being an adaptation of an experience Freeman’s mother told her. In Kimmy, you play Dana, a young girl in 1968 who comes across a smaller child named Kimmy. Dana, believing Kimmy has been sent to her by god, takes Kimmy home to her mother who immediately returns Kimmy home. However, Kimmy’s mother decides to let Dana babysit her daughter for a quarter a day (remember, this is a fair bit of money in 1968 for a kid). Dana’s mother sees this as an opportunity to keep her daughter busy after school, so she allows it to happen. The adults are busy and wrapped up in their own kinds of drama, so the children are left to their own devices.

From there, the game unfolds, letting you spend your after-school hours with Kimmy, meeting both Dana’s friends and Kimmy’s would-be friends to play games with them. These segments are presented in a visual novel-esque manner, with both Kimmy and Dana talking to other kids who have their own share of problems. There are Anthony and Amber, who seem well-adjusted but are prone to bickering, and Blythe, who’s spoiled and likes to do things she knows she’s not supposed to, like stealing and drinking her father’s beers. 

All of this sounds rather lighthearted, and its pleasant coloring book aesthetic helps reinforce that notion. However, Kimmy is a surprisingly dark game that goes to unexpected and very human places.

Even from its start, Kimmy evokes a certain kind of dread, a sense that There Is Something That Is Not Right Here. People make references to how Kimmy was tied to a porch during the afternoons before Dana became her babysitter. As someone who lives in the rural South and has often heard stories about Ye Olden Days, I just shook this off as a bygone thing that adults did. However, soon enough, the horrors of reality start appearing on the outskirts of Kimmy and Dana’s lives: neglect, abuse, self-loathing, and even death are all around the bend.

When Blythe talks about beer in a joking fashion, Kimmy brings up how much her father drinks. When Anthony and Amber talk about their parents working, she mentions how overworked her mother, a waitress, is. Dana does her best to smooth over these awkward moments but it quickly becomes clear that Kimmy lives a different life from most of the kids in the game, with a troubled family and a sense that she is trapped, and is punished socially for it.

Dana is initially presented as a savior. We’re here to help Kimmy, to save her from this life by teaching her that people are good and that interacting with them is, more often not, a reward. This is perhaps a naïve perspective, but that fits because Dana is a child, not as young as Kimmy, but not hardened by the struggles of adulthood either. How Dana and Kimmy interact with each other – who’s teaching who and what are both of them getting from each other – is probably the game’s most compelling feature.

Freeman says she views her game as a story about the importance of communication and honesty. “Dana is a curious kid, trying to get all the details about what’s happening but is being stopped by adults and having her mother say, ‘Don’t get too involved with other people.’ I find [the communication process] really interesting in a general life sense. How do you communicate about really difficult things with people you want to connect with but are afraid to? I think we’re taught to be afraid to talk about serious stuff with other people, whether it’s family members or friends.”

Life is difficult. We’re born. We die. Things that are equally insignificant happen in between. We often tell ourselves stories, not just to pass the time but to help give order to the chaos of our lives. It’s a normal thing to see ourselves as the protagonist of a story, surrounded by people, each of them taking on their roles: friends, lovers, rivals, foes – so on, so forth. However, Kimmy plays on that idea because, just as is often the case in real life, our stories often don’t go the way we plan or expect them to.

For Kimmy and her own story, Dana is not a conventional heroine. She does not win and save Kimmy from the world of adulthood that’s bearing down on her faster than it is for anyone else in the neighborhood. Legitimately horrifying things happen during the game out of view, and Kimmy has to bear the brunt of those events. However, she finds some measure of comfort in Dana’s company and in that way, Dana, who goes out of her way to get to know Kimmy and is vocally outraged in the upsetting conclusion, is a heroine. Not because she’s invincible but because she cares and is willing to do more than shrug her shoulders when everything falls apart, even if her efforts are fruitless. Sometimes it’s enough just to have people there to understand and help us out. For Kimmy, Dana is that person.

Kimmy is a surprisingly dark game, but it’s not relentlessly bleak. This is an interactive story that explores the messiness of living and trying to be there for other people in difficult situations without easy answers or solutions to their problems. However, there will always be someone like Dana, trying to preserve the good in the world, come hell or high water.

Beta Test The Virtual Life – The Unsettling Humanity Of Nina Freeman’s Kimmy

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap Remaster Offers Something Close To Time Travel

I’ve written about it before, but I have a soft spot for Sega’s Master System console. It never gained the widespread audience the NES did during its heyday, but it was home to several games I look back on fondly to this day. Alex Kidd had several solid titles, and I even got a kick out of the uniquely bizarre Psycho Fox, but the hands-down best game on the console was Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap. It was a great platformer, with light-RPG elements and a hint of Metroid. A remaster of the game came out this week, and it made me grateful that I am such a hoarder – for reasons you’ll soon understand (and potentially even benefit from).

Developer Lizardcube lovingly rebuilt the game’s visuals with hand-drawn animations, and they did a remarkable job. The game looks great, and they added some much-needed personality to a few of the game’s stiffer characters (Lion-Man, I am looking at you). As you might expect, you can swap between the rebuilt version and the original with the press of a button, and you can do the same with the soundtrack – choosing either the chiptune original or a nicely recorded orchestral remaster. That alone is enough for me to give a recommendation, but the team went one step further: they reverse-engineered the game’s password system.

I can’t overstate how happy that makes me. If you’re a weirdo who still has passwords from their original playthrough of the game, you can enter it into the title screen and continue right where you left off. It’s a little detail that really makes all the difference. I understand that not everyone either scribbled down their Wonder Boy III passwords, let alone kept them. But I cracked open my original box and found the paper my brother and I not-so-meticulously used to record our progress. I’ve scanned both sides for you, and you can click on the images for larger versions. I don’t know where most of these passwords will take you, but that’s part of the fun. Think of it as a more primitive form of one of my favorite archaeological endeavors.

We clearly weren’t big on staying between the lines. It was a simpler time, or something like that. We also couldn’t be bothered to write “hearts” in its entirety, favoring the abbreviated form, “hrts.” Time is money.

Look. We never claimed to be organized.

 

One more thing!

This is a scan of the original game box. If you aren’t familiar with the Master System, they came in hard plastic boxes similar to the ones Sega Genesis games would later use.

I absolutely love the “Sega for the ’90s: The New Generation” sticker on the box. 

This is a scan of the box that our remaster code came in. It didn’t have a cartridge inside, but it was inside a faithful reproduction of the original box – complete with printed instructions. Best of all, the screenshots on the promo packaging faithfully recreate the ones you can see on the original box. I don’t usually like to write about promo materials, but I had to make an exception here. I’m clearly not alone in my love for this game.

Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is now available on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, and it’s coming to PC later this spring. (And yes, they lost the “III” during the remaster.)

Beta Test Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap Remaster Offers Something Close To Time Travel

Cloak And Dagger Unite In Show's Debut Trailer

Scheduled for 2018, Marvel’s upcoming Cloak and Dagger television series brings a new dimension to the duo’s relationship and backstory. Two teenage runaways with a linked past, the latest incarnations of superheroes Tyrone and Tandy, also known as Cloak and Dagger, adds romance and tension to the pair’s dynamic.

Fans of the superhero duo will also see plenty of the pair’s dual-nature weapons in the trailer below, with Tandy wielding light daggers and Tyrone sporting a cloak made of shadows.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Check out more happenings in the Marvel cinematic universe with announcements for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and the New Warriors TV show

Beta Test Cloak And Dagger Unite In Show’s Debut Trailer

A South Korean Presidential Candidate Just Released A StarCraft Map As Part Of His Campaign

Anyone who runs a political campaign will tell you that appealing to the younger generation is important. Sometimes that means dropping references to Top 40 songs to show you’re hip. Other times that means releasing a map for a game from 1998…wait what!?

South Korean presidential candidate Moon Jae-in has released two maps for Star Craft: Brood War, which just went free, that he made. Of course the maps are rather simplistic, with the only notable thing being that his name is spelled out across it in mineral deposits, but hey: it’s the thought that counts, right? You can watch him build one of the maps in slow motion if that’s a thing you want to use 30 seconds of your life on:

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Welp. 2017 everybody.

Beta Test A South Korean Presidential Candidate Just Released A StarCraft Map As Part Of His Campaign

Jonathan Blow Shows Off Prototype Of His New Game

During this year’s RebootDevelop, a game developer’s conference in Europe, Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid and The Witness, took to the stage to give a presentation on programming. During the presentation, he showed off a slice of his new untitled project.

If you fast forward to the 5:32:00 mark in the stream, you see it for yourself. The prototype looks like this:

Blow takes care to say “this is a work and progress” and that the visuals are not final. The game is grid-based and features a character who can run around, but nothing else is clear about gameplay at this point.

You can read our review of Blow’s last game, The Witness, here.

Beta Test Jonathan Blow Shows Off Prototype Of His New Game

EA Is Giving People The Chance To Play Battlefront 2 At E3 For Free

EA just made the tickets for its second annual EA Play event go live. Last year, at E3, EA Play was an event where the publisher gave players the chance to try out Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1, and Madden NFL 17.

Once again the publisher is letting players have a go at a bunch of upcoming titles:

From June 10 – 12, 2017, we’re bringing the action to Hollywood, and you are personally invited to attend. Be the first to play Star Wars™ Battlefront II and our next Need for Speed™ game, as well as upcoming EA SPORTS™ titles: Madden NFL 18FIFA 18 and NBA LIVE 18. There will be lots to see and do, so don’t miss out. Get your tickets today – they’re FREE!

Last year the tickets went fast, so you’re going to be in town during E3, now’s the time to grab them. You can do that here.

Beta Test EA Is Giving People The Chance To Play Battlefront 2 At E3 For Free

Reader Discussion: What Games Should Be On The Potential SNES Classic Edition Console?

Reports surfaced this morning that Nintendo probably has a SNES Classic console in the works. What games should be on it?

There are a few that seem like sure things, like Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, or maybe Castlevania IV and Pilotwings, but what about the bubble games? Will we see the Mega Man X games on there? What about Square Enix games like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy III (A.K.A. VI)? Where does Donkey Kong Country 3 fit into all this? What about Earthbound (A.K.A. Mother 2)!?

The NES Classic Edition came with 30 games – and they were good ones, too. What games need to be on the SNES Classic if it truly is on the way? Let us know in the comments below?

Beta Test Reader Discussion: What Games Should Be On The Potential SNES Classic Edition Console?

Nicalis Is Teasing (Or Trying To Generate Interest For) A Binding Of Isaac Amiibo

It is by no means a confirmation of its future existence, but Nicalis, The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth’s publisher recently shared a picture of an Isaac amiibo.

For his part, The Binding of Isaac’s creator, Edmund McMillen, retweeted Nicalis’ tweet and responded, “NEVER!” to a fan asking if a potential Isaac amiibo could make the game easier. We’ve reached out McMillen for more information and will update this story if and when we receive a reply.

[Source: @Nicalis]

 

Our Take
The Binding of Isaac is a game that has strangely tied itself to the Switch, even though it has been out for years on just every platform. Being basically a launch title when there is currently so little to play on Switch has put Nintendo’s new console and Isaac in an exclusive club. If it does come to exist, I imagine it will be similar to the Shovel Knight amiibo, which Nintendo basically gave permission for, as opposed to manufacturing itself. I hope it does become a real thing. Like most of McMillen’s work, it would be weird and unexpected!

Beta Test Nicalis Is Teasing (Or Trying To Generate Interest For) A Binding Of Isaac Amiibo