A Deeper Look At Emily's Monstrous Powers In Dishonored 2

The highly anticipated sequel to Dishonored is quickly approaching release. While we just saw a fresh look at gameplay featuring Corvo at QuakeCon, at Gamescom we got a deeper look at Emily Kaldwin’s supernatural abilities. We were treated to two demos, both from the point of view of Emily. First, she is tasked with a rescue mission as she navigates a conspiring inventor’s home, and then she infiltrates The Royal Conservatory where she takes on Delilah Copperspoon’s disciples from the witches’ coven.

“The duke’s circle is full of clever bastards, but no one is like Jindosh. His home is full of marvels, and there’s a reason people are afraid of his mention,” narrates a stern Emily as the opening scene of the demo gives quick snippets of Dishonored’s new setting, Karnaca.

We see a woman smoking a pipe on a boat as a black whale swims by, and the buildings of Karnaca loom in the distance. It switches to Emily’s point of view, as she begins to scope out the grounds outside of an austere mansion. This building is known as the Clockwork Mansion, and is the home of the conspirator and renowned inventor Kirin Jindosh. His home, as she mentions above, is full of trinkets and strange mechanisms; some can be dangerous, while others can be used to your advantage to navigate the maze-like interior.

Emily’s mission is to rescue Anton Sokolov, an ally from the first game who is being held captive. This turns out to be quite a challenge, as the home itself twists and turns with the pull of a lever, and robotic enemies known as Clockwork Soldiers stomp around the halls, along with human guards.

“Who would build something like this, and why?” monologues Emily as she warily admires Jindosh’s home.

Outside, Emily uses a telescope-like device to see in the far distance. Several guards are patrolling the grounds, so she takes a stealthy approach to get rid of them. She assumes her Shadow Walk form, which transforms her into a demonic creature made of smoke, allowing her to sneak up on her enemies unseen. She ferociously slashes them with a knife after lifting them up from the ground by grabbing one of their legs.

A group of guards stand together now, unknown of her presence. Using her Domino power, she is able to kill all of them at once. By decapitating one enemy, all of them assume the same fate. With the coast clear, she moves in to the building, slinking closer to her main target.

Inside, Emily pulls a lever that opens up a new entryway. Clockwork Soldiers stand nearby, but they do not attack her…yet. The voice of Jindosh booms through a speaker in each room she enters, taunting her onwards. The two finally come face-to-face through a glass window as he nears her in a long hallway, which ends with him deducing her identity as the Empress.

It’s obvious he sees this as a game of cat and mouse, as he alerts his mechanical army and human guards of Emily’s presence. She can no longer hide in the shadows; now, she rushes through the building, crashing through windows boisterously. She tackles Clockwork Soldiers, ripping off their bird-like skulls from their necks. With Far Reach, she jumps from one corner to the next. This power can be upgraded so that Emily can pull objects toward her, like a mental grappling hook. Light platforming ensues as she pulls levers to create new paths and shimmies across a ledge toward another part of the mansion.

In the final room, filled with blackboards with blueprint designs and an array of quirky inventions, Jindosh unknowingly awaits his fate. Approaching him from behind, Emily chokes him and straps him into a chair, one of his own inventions, which later continuously zaps him painfully. “With this machine, maybe you won’t have to die after all, Jindosh,” she says. While it may not kill him, Emily notes it may be a fate worse than death. “Not sure I call it mercy,” she says menacingly.

This ends the mission, and it transitions to the second demo, where Emily enters the sanctuary of the witches’ coven, a group headed by Delilah Copperspoon. We were only shown about three minutes of this gameplay, where she enters the museum-esque location where large, stuffed birds hang from the ceiling. Emily once again makes use of Far Reach, bouncing from one area to the next. She brutally stabs her enemies from behind, and jumps to a hanging chandelier. A couple of ghoulish witches sit here, unaware of her presence, until she guns them down without hesitation.

Dishonored 2 is absolutely brutish in the best way possible so far, and Emily’s arsenal of supernatural powers look to be a blast. The stealth RPG releases November 11 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Click below to view our hub, where you can check out exclusive interviews, videos, and coverage.

Beta Test A Deeper Look At Emily’s Monstrous Powers In Dishonored 2

New South Park: The Fractured But Whole Trailer Gives Gameplay Glimpse

Origin stories are important to a super hero, and the new Gamescom trailer for South Park: The Fractured But Whole not only touches on this, but some of the RPG’s gameplay as well.

For more on what people will be seeing, and smelling, from the game at Gamescom as well as PAX West in September, check out this previous trailer.

South Park: The Fractured But Whole comes out on December 6 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Beta Test New South Park: The Fractured But Whole Trailer Gives Gameplay Glimpse

Star Wars Battlefront Death Star DLC Includes A Good Ol' Trench Run

One of the bigger complaints about Star Wars Battlefront is that it keeps combat relatively grounded. Sure, you can strap into an X-Wing or a TIE Fighter, but you couldn’t soar into the blackness of space. That’s about to change.

In September, EA will release the third of four Star Wars Battlefront DLC packs. The Death Star add-on isn’t just a march down the space station’s glossy halls. It’s a three-part saga that kicks off with an epic space battle around a huge Star Destroyer.

The mission begins with the Rebellion attempting to clear the way toward the Death Star by obliterating a Star Destroyer. Waves of Y-Wings will swoop in, bombing the massive ship. The Empire must hold off the fleet for 10 minutes. This segment was much more satisfying than the terrestrial ship battles featured so far. Having more room to maneuver, asteroids to duck behind, and the giant Star Destroyer to dodge was the most fulfilling time I’ve had in one of Battlefront’s starfighters.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to play the other two segments. Following the Star Destroyer fight, the battle goes indoors on foot, where soldiers rush through the space station’s corridors in a pitched battle. Finally, the Death Star mission wraps up with one of Star Wars’ most iconic moments. You’ll have a chance to bullseye an exhaust port in as you fly the Death Star trench in an X-Wing.

Look for the Death Star DLC next month, with a two-week lead-in for season pass holders. For more, check out our review.

Beta Test Star Wars Battlefront Death Star DLC Includes A Good Ol’ Trench Run

Where's Our Madden NFL 17 Review?

The regular season of the NFL is coming and this year’s Madden along with it, but our review is still undergoing a few tweaks before we make it available.

I’ve played a lot of the game so far, and I really like the work that’s been done on the interplay between the lines in the trenches and the new defensive coverage zones. I even like some of the smaller touches to franchise mode like the revamped injury system and how it ties into player regression, although the mode itself isn’t wholly different from recent years.

As much as I’ve played, I still want to check a few things out in the online department before my review goes live.

Madden NFL 17 comes out on August 23 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

Until our review goes up, take a look at a recent Sports Desk for a Q&A session with a trio of Madden developers featuring your questions.

Beta Test Where’s Our Madden NFL 17 Review?

Metal Gear Meets Zombie Apocalypse In Metal Gear Survive

Konami has announced its first post-Kojima Metal Gear game, and it’s a bit off the beaten path. Metal Gear Survive takes place right after the end of Ground Zeroes, with members of the destroyed Mother Base ripped out of our reality and dropped into one much bleaker.

In Metal Gear Survive, up to four players team up to fight off “biological threats” that seem to look and function like mindless zombies. The trailer (via IGN)  even features a scene similar to one seen in The Walking Dead as former Mother Base soldiers clear the monsters from a fence.

While the cinematic trailer seems action-focused, Konami says the game is sealth-based. Metal Gear Solid Survive will be out in 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Beta Test Metal Gear Meets Zombie Apocalypse In Metal Gear Survive

Nine Years Later, BioShock: The Collection Makes Rapture Actually Look Like You Remember it

You likely don’t need me to tell you that you should play BioShock. You probably figured that out in 2007, when it first came out. That isn’t why I spent a few hours with BioShock: The Collection.

What you probably do want to know is that Rapture looks as stunning and eerie as you remember it. The water spouting in and pooling on the floor, the debris strewn about the once glittering halls, and the terrifying shadows of prowling splicers have the same impact as they did nine years ago.

But if you put the two games side-by-side (and I encourage you to watch the video below for just that purpose), you will see just how our memories play tricks on us. BioShock was an early Xbox 360 title. While the gameplay holds up, the visuals are showing their age.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

It’s here that the remastered version, which will be sold as part of BioShock: The Collection, seems set to succeed. Not only have the textures and effects been significantly improved, but the game runs smoothly at 60 frames per second.

I played through all of BioShock’s medical pavilion, fought my first Big Daddy, put a stop to Dr. Steinman’s terrible medical experiments, and hacked. Oh, did I hack. The Pipe Dream-style mini-game hasn’t changed one bit. 

Scattered throughout the original entry’s remaster are 10 video reels. These are how you’ll unlock the director’s commentary, which features Geoff Keighley interviewing creative director Ken Levine and Animation Lead Shawn Robertson. Robertson served as the animation director on BioShock: Infinite, also.

Sadly, the commentary isn’t available atop the gameplay. It would have been interesting to play with Levine and Robertson in your ear, talking about the different sights and sounds of Rapture. This is still a great bonus, as the tale of Andrew Ryan’s undersea paradise-gone-wrong is a fascinating one.

Both BioShock 2 and BioShock: Infinite look better, also. Neither are as strikingly improved as the original, but do benefit from the added polish. Both Rapture-based games will get the same improvements on PC, but Infinite already looks just as good on that platform.

I dipped into BioShock Infinite, replaying the entire first segment of the game. Since I played it originally on the Xbox 360, the improvements were noticeable, but not nearly as profound as the original BioShock’s upgrades.

In a generation that has been filled with remasters and ports, some good and some woefully disappointing, you might be tired of rebuying the same games for newer systems. Because these games are only being sold as a bundle and not a la carte, it might be a tough sell at $60. 

Remasters are always a “your mileage may vary” situation. If you’ve never played the BioShock games, this is going to be easy to recommend. If you’re considering revisiting these games, but are leery of poor quality ports, I can largely say you’re safe. There was a single issue I ran into with texture pop-in and one audio bug, but we were playing pre-release code that could very well be touched up before launch.

BioShock: The Collection will be out on September 13 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Beta Test Nine Years Later, BioShock: The Collection Makes Rapture Actually Look Like You Remember it

Injustice 2 Tease Features A Familiar Hyena

NetherRealm Studios’ Ed Boon recently tweeted out a darkened image of what appears to be a Hyena with the text, “A couple of fun reveals coming soon for Injustice 2,” and, “Gamescom: stay tuned for reveals.”

Harley Quinn, who was playable in the original Injustice, but has not yet been confirmed for the sequel, has a pair of pet hyenas. It’s entirely possible that one or both of the hyenas could be playable fighters in the game, but I have my money on them being present to lend Harley Quinn a violent hand. It’s also possible that it might be a tease for Joker, another fighter from the original game who has not yet been confirmed for the sequel.

For more on Injustice 2, head here for an interview with Ed Boon about the next DC fighting game.

[Source: @noobde]

Beta Test Injustice 2 Tease Features A Familiar Hyena

Lego Sculptor Recreates Wall-Merged Link From A Link Between Worlds

Lego sculptor Hans Demol has skillfully recreated one of our favorite green-capped video game characters completely out of Lego blocks.

In The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, Link has the ability to merge himself into walls, becoming completely flat. Demol’s creation mimics that look by arranging the pieces to fit Link into his own personal Lego frame. The total piece includes 250 rows of 80 plates. 

Check out a closer look at the mosaic, as well as some other Lego creations by Demol on his Flickr.

Beta Test Lego Sculptor Recreates Wall-Merged Link From A Link Between Worlds

Criterion's Star Wars Battlefront VR Mission Will Be Rogue One-Themed

EA had previously announced Criterion was working on a Battlefront VR X-Wing Mission and had revealed it would be free to anyone who’d bought the game on PlayStation 4, but was otherwise sparse on details.

Today the company announced the mission will be Rogue One-themed. Over on the EA blog, the company interviewed Criterion producer James Svensson about what it’s been like to work on the mission, how it became a movie tie-in, and some of the specifics of working with VR.

You can read more about Star Wars Battlefront: VR X-Wing Mission by checking out our E3 2016 preview here. We will have hands-on impressions of the mission later this week from Gamescom.

Beta Test Criterion’s Star Wars Battlefront VR Mission Will Be Rogue One-Themed

A Look At 20 Minutes of New Gears of War Gameplay

My chainsaw revs, chewing through what feels like a never-ending tide of Swarm. These are just Juvies, though. Small, fast, and fodder for my Lancer Mk. 3. They’re plentiful, but not smart enough to steer clear of my whirring death machine.

At Gamescom, we had a chance to check out 20 uninterrupted minutes of Gears of War 4. The segment sees JD, Kait, and Del fighting through the Swarm in an abandoned COG fort, uncovering new enemy types.

This takes place in the first quarter of the game, and introduces Juvies (enemies that are similar to Locust Wretches) mutating into other forms. Instead of springing from emergence holes, Juvies burrow into nests and explode out as Drones.

These larger enemies are similar to Locust Drones, picking up weapons and diving behind cover. They also pop out of gooey red pods that are scattered about, clinging to walls and ceilings. They can be dropped to the ground by firing at the tethers for improvised, destructible cover.

In typical Gears of War style, combat segments are separated with banter that helps set the stage and advance the story. In the demo, our heroes are on the trail of a Snatcher which has kidnapped a comrade named Oscar. If JD and friends don’t catch up and free him, he’ll be turned into a gibbering Swarm Juvie after gestating in one of the pods. 

The team tracks the Snatcher to a tram yard, where one final encounter takes place. The segment concludes with a pitched battle with a new enemy type called Pouncers. These dog-like creatures fling barbed quills from their tails and can also pin allies to the ground. During the demo, Kait was beset by one, but firing into the creature’s pulsating orange form freed her.

In addition to giving us a chance to get messy with Gears of War 4, Microsoft has released footage of the game running at 4K. You can see some of what we played in the video below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Gears of War 4 will be out for Xbox One and Windows 10 on October 11. For more, check out our coverage hub from April 2016.

Beta Test A Look At 20 Minutes of New Gears of War Gameplay