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December 14, 2017

The Last Jedi and more comes to Star Wars Battlefront II

With today's release of Star Wars The Last Jedi into cinemas, Electronic Arts and DICE have announced the next content drop for Star Wars Battlefront II, which includes a wealth of content from the new movie.

Finn joins the battle as a playable hero for the Resistance striving to keep the galaxy from oppression, while Captain Phasma is playable as a new villain leading the First Order in combat. Both characters are now unlocked without any Credits required for players who log in during the season. Players can also immerse themselves in the authentic sounds and high-fidelity visuals of two all new locations straight out of the film. 

Battle on Crait in epic 20 vs 20 Galactic Assault matches or go above the Resistance Base on the planet D’Qar in intense 12 vs 12 Starfighter Assault dogfights in space. To begin Star Wars Battlefront II The Last Jedi Season, players must first choose to fight for the Resistance or The First Order. This choice will be linked to recurring Challenges that rewards players on both the individual and faction-wide levels.

In Star Wars Battlefront II Resurrection, also available for free as a part of Star Wars Battlefront II The Last Jedi Season, players can continue Iden Versio’s journey through the First Order’s rise to power. Taking place after completion of the single player campaign, Iden returns to search for answers in three all new chapters. In her pursuit, she uncovers secrets of the First Order that leads into the events of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Harry Potter Hogwarts Mystery is coming in 2018

Warner Bros and Jam City have announced a new Harry Potter game, called Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery and its coming to mobile devices in 2018.

It’s the first mobile game in which players can create their own character and experience life as a student. Once you’ve settled into the school, your character can move through the years while doing all the same things Hogwarts students do: taking part in Duelling Club, for example, or going to classes such as Potions and Defence Against the Dark Arts. There’ll be faces you recognise, too, with many subjects taught by Professors you may already know and love (or know and dislike, depending on who they are…).

‘As Harry Potter fanatics ourselves, we have great respect for the millions of people throughout the world who have followed the Harry Potter stories for more than 20 years,’ says Chris DeWolfe, co-founder and CEO of Jam City. ‘This game is a labour of love for our developers and artists, who are dedicated to creating the most magical entertainment and game play experience for everyone who adores J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.’

Adds David Haddad, President of Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment: ‘It is great to work with Jam City on the game, as the company has a proven track record of bringing rich, beloved worlds to players of mobile entertainment.’

The new Hogwarts terms start in September, but all that is known at the moment is that Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery will be available at some point next year. More details, including actual visuals of the game are expected in the new year, for now though you can register your interest on the games website.

Bridge Constructor Portal launches on PC next week, consoles in 2018

Bridge Constructor Portal is set to release on PC next week, along with the mobile versions, letting players take on crazy new portal challenges, all while ensuring your truck makes it through.

Bridge Constructor Portal remains true to the lore of the Portal universe. Headup Games collaborated with Valve to ensure that the story of Bridge Constructor Portal remains true to the Portal franchise. Dialog, sound effects, and even test chamber names were developed with guidance from the original Portal team.

Bridge Constructor Portal will blend the laws of structural engineering and technology straight from Aperture Laboratories into an exciting new game experience. The release will be on December 20 2017 for Windows, MacOS and Linux as well as for iOS and Android. Versions for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation®4 and Xbox One will follow in early 2018.

Queen Wilhelmina Leads the Netherlands in Civilization VI: Rise and Fall

2K and Firaxis have announced that when Rise and Fall releases for Civilization VI, players will get the chance to play as Queen Wilhelmina, leader of the Dutch.

Her nearly 58-year reign is often remembered for her role maintaining Dutch neutrality during World War I and inspiring the Dutch resistance during World War II. Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom described the young Wilhelmina as pretty, polite, and intelligent, but Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany could attest to her wry wit.

The Dutch, well known for their trading, were blockaded by Allied forces by the close of WWI despite their claims of neutrality. Amidst all this, and around the wreckage of the world economy, Wilhelmina’s prudent investments would see her become one of the wealthiest people in the world.

With new units to enjoy as well, players will get to learn all new ways to play, hit up the official site to learn all about this new country. The expansion is set to release on February 8th for PC.

Rainbow Six Siege Year 3 has begun

Ubisoft has announced that the third season of content for Rainbow Six Siege is out now, letting players have access to new operators, progression boosts, customisation items, shop discounts, and more, which will come out over the next 12 months.

Also included is a once off bonus of 600 credits in the game, additionally, the Damascus Steel Signature weapon skin will be available to those who order before March 5th, 2018. 

As a reward for our players’ loyalty, owners of the Year 2 Pass will receive an additional 600 Rainbow Six credits when they purchase the Year 3 Pass.

December 13, 2017

Street Fighter V gets new characters and a new edition starting this January

Capcom has announced that another new fighter will be coming to Street Fighter V with Sakura coming in January, she is the first of the Season 3 characters, check her out in action below.

Through 2018, more characters will be released, you can watch the video below to see them as well. The video is actually from the Arcade Edition, which is also coming in January.

Total War Arena gets another developer diary

Total War Arena is still under development and again, the team at Creative Assembly have sat down to talk about the game, in their sixth developer diary. This time the focus is on how different units mirror their authentic roles in battle, check it out.

If you want to get into the closed beta, you can go ahead and register your interest over on the official site.

PayDay 2 is hitting Switch this February

Starbreeze Studios and Overkill has announced that PayDay 2 will be coming to Nintendo Switch on February 23rd for those in Australia and Europe, with North America getting the game on February 27th.

Last time we heard anything about the game was at the end of October, which you can see in the developer video below.

The game is available on other platforms already, so you can continue there, or you can take the PayDay experience no matter where you are.

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom lands a release date

Bandai Namco and Level-5 have announced that Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom will be released onto PC and PlayStation 4 on March 23rd, 2018.

Akihiro Hino the President & CEO of LEVEL-5 released a statement alongside the announcement.

“As you all know, LEVEL-5 is committed to delivering the highest levels of design and quality in each of our video game titles. The development of our latest project, Ni no Kuni II: REVENANT KINGDOM™, is coming along very well and we can’t wait to share this new adventure with you, our fans. In an effort to constantly innovate and bring new experiences to players, we’ve also implemented new modes in Ni no Kuni II: REVENANT KINGDOM including the new Skirmish and Kingdom Modes which will surly delight players. 
However, with innovation and new ideas come the need to ensure everything works together in a fun and cohesive package; this means we’ll need a bit more time to make sure the entire Ni no Kuni II: REVENANT KINGDOM experience meets LEVEL-5 and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.’s high quality standards. So today, I would like to ask for everyone’s patience as we move Ni no Kuni II: REVENANT KINGDOM’s worldwide release date to March 23rd, 2018 for the PlayStation 4 and STEAM. We will be sharing more news about Ni no Kuni II: REVENANT KINGDOM in the coming weeks and months as we move closer to our new launch date. On behalf of everyone at LEVEL-5, I want to thank you all for your patience and continued support.”

Expect more details in the new year on this massive rpg.

Portal Knights - Review

When Portal Knights was first announced, my first reaction was something along the lines of it being another Minecraft wanna-be, however after exploring the worlds and defeating hordes of monsters and more, Portal Knights offers up something more.

The game lets you create your own character and assign them one of three different classes, Warrior, Mage or Archer and once created, you can venture out to discover the world after the fracture. What caused the fracture is something you will discover as you play, but is how you discover it that is important, each world has varying levels of things to do, some worlds are lush with greenery and life, perfect for obtaining much needed supplies, others are barren and full of dangers, but provide some valuable ore. Each world you visit will have some form of history about it from before the Fracture, sometimes other people will be living in the world as well, letting you have small discussions with the people there. Story wise, the game is not strong, it’s a basic story, with hardly any progression and what characters you do meet with, usually only say the same line, unless they give you a quest, so don’t come in expecting anything to grand.

Gameplay is where Portal Knights shines, at least some of the time, as the gameplay is split equally between mining and exploring and the combat it offers, which again changes depending on your character class. When you start out, the worlds look small, they are not that large, but given that you can dig down a fair way, they actually offer a lot to discover, with each world having one or two buried secrets. The game mixes the exploration and combat quite well, but only if you swap view points a lot, which is the games biggest issue, at least playing it wise, when you are building or mining you can do so from either a 3rd person or 1st person perspective, the problem is the controls are way to finicky in their default for 3rd person to be a viable option, 1st person however works almost the same as Minecraft. The problem comes from when you are mining and discover an enemy, apart from when you are an Archer, any form of combat in 1st person is very hard to do.

The game offers you a lock on system, that when engaged, targets a specific character, your character however runs around completely free of that lock, so its nothing like the Zelda games. In 1st person, you can lock onto a character that is behind you and then if you move around, you can lose their position, it does not track, in 3rd person though it at least keeps your targeted enemy on the screen. The game even has an option to swap you to 3rd person once you enter combat, so it knows that, the preferred way to fight is in the 3rd person view. Once your combatting is complete, you will need to manually swap back to the 1st person if you need it, it does not auto do that, just a slight inconvenience really. Each of the games view modes works perfectly for one type of the game play on offer, but not the other and while I can appreciate they offer the option for players, it’s a shame that you can’t just enjoy one type of view point.

Once you have established your preferred view point of course, you will need to get out there and explore the world and doing so is important. As you explore, you will discover many items and mineral that you can use to upgrade your gear and prepare for some the combat that lies ahead. Crafting a new weapon however will require you to obtain ore, then smelt it, which needs a furnace and coal, then you need the appropriate level of work table to build your weapon, so the simple construction requires many steps and many worlds to visit. That is where the fun will come from, for a lot of people at least, having a goal in mind and then heading out to achieve it, is a welcome thing, the only concern to it, is that some worlds feel quite empty compared to others, but with random events that appear, there is usually something to appeal to all.

Portal Knights also suffers from a strange visual look, the characters look like they were pulled from the MySims series, which while not an issue, does not blend with the more grounded look that everything else has. Each enemy design looks more Dragon Quest-esk, with lots of skeletons, bats and what not to fight and while some of the designs are quite basic, there are a lot of them that do offer some fun looks, most of these come out at night. The worlds themselves sadly never really vary past the standard, grass plains, desert, jungle, etc; with each location theme repeating many times over the course of the adventure. Where the game struggles with the presentation however is that each location is filled to the brim with pointless decoration, while playing docked it does lag from time to time, but when on the go, it does it a lot, thankfully the studio seemed to have noticed this and added a way to turn all that pointless stuff off, which is honestly the best way to view it. Sound wise, the game is fine, creatures all have distinct sounds and they are easy enough to make out over the world audio and the games music, no character really speaks, except in the gibberish speak that games like to use and even then its only done when you interact with a character.

Portal Knights on Nintendo Switch is a great little game, it offers a lot more to the experience than Minecraft does, but does not throw you in the deep end like Dragon Quest Builders does, that is coming in 2018 to Switch as well. Players will likely find more appeal when they play with friends, because on your own, the adventure does not seem so grand, but given the amount of options that you can employee to customise your experience to your choosing, there is plenty to keep solo adventurers coming back.

Review copy provided by 505 Games

Resident Evil 7 goes gold and adds more DLC today

Capcom has announced that today sees the release of Resident Evil 7 biohazard Gold Edition, alongside the final two pieces of DLC, Not a Hero and End of Zoe.

The Gold Edition of the highly acclaimed survival horror title of 2017 includes all the contents from the release earlier this year along with all three pieces of downloadable add-on content, in one ultimate horror package. The previously released DLC packs - Banned Footage Vol. 1 and Banned Footage Vol. 2 are included as well as the final DLC release End of Zoe.

End of Zoe is a shocking instalment of the Resident Evil 7 biohazard saga where players discover what Zoe’s fate will be. In this chapter, players will take on the role of a new mysterious woodsman character, face off against new enemies and explore new swamp-filled areas. 

The other content, Not a Hero is available for all to download for free, to all owners of Resident Evil 7. The free Not a Hero update sees the return of Resident Evil fan favourite and veteran BSAA soldier Chris Redfield. Taking place after the horrific events that befell Ethan Winters in Resident Evil 7 biohazard, Not a Hero brings a brand new experience playing as Chris on the hunt to find the menacing trickster Lucas Baker and face new threats not met in the main game. As a member of Umbrella, Chris and team quickly set up a strategy to counter this latest threat. Will Chris once again solve the mystery and make it out of the plantation’s dungeons alive?

Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon -Review

Are you a fan of games such as dynasty warriors, Berserk and other games produced by Koei? If so, this is not something you might enjoy! Yup, you actually read that correctly...if your'e after some button bashing combos style fighting game, which is usually Dynasty Warriors with a skin...this is NOT it. This is a toned down version of the game where there's a bit more RPG element involved.

Nights of Azure 2 is a fantasy type RPG with most elements of the Koei fighting style games...however, the graphics are a little more basic and...well, after playing the game for a good 15 minutes, you start to tell that GUST Studios has 1 type of audience in mind when making the series...the stereotypical OTAKU. Yup! Everything about this game displays it, not that it's a bad thing, but it's tailored for a specific crowd.

The story revolves around the main protagonist, Aluche, who is set out to guard a childhood friend by the name of Liliana. Without giving away everything, she finds out that she's to deliver her childhood friend, who's a priestess now, to be a sacrifice. Unfortunately she never arrives at the Moon Queen due to being attacked by a powerful fiend. Fast forward a little and she's brought back to life after not surviving the battle...but this time as a half breed fiend/human. Amongst that, you team up other characters who join your party. That's the main gist of the story without giving much more away. I honestly can't say that the story is so appealing that you'd be following it to the tee...

The game is absolutely distracting, and as the graphics feels like this game is not being played on a PS4, but even an older generation console. The animation and movements are so stiff with minimal movement. And as previously mentioned, the game's target audience is definitely for the Otaku's. This can easily be seen as the character designs look as though they're just about to start a pole dance on stage. Yup, all the characters are wearing the most revealing costumes, all you ever see is huge cleavage. To make it even worse, there doesn't seem to be any male characters....yup, they're all female characters in skimpy outfits! It's an absolute dead giveaway.

The game mechanics are no better either, and are extremely basic. Not that you can do much to begin with, but with any standard Koei fighting game, you have the standard movements, and the variation of combos to remember. The only issues with this particular game is the fact that the camera movements/angles make it a little tough to follow at times.

Nights of Azure 2 isn't the best example of a stereotypical Koei game available. And if you have been to Japan, you know that there are a enormous amount of games we don't see in western countries. To add, they obviously churn through a massive amount in a short period of time. This feel exactly like that....catered for the Japanese Otaku audience which had been created in a short period of time and rushed off onto the shelves of shops, while they're already working on their next.

Review copy supplied by Koei Tecmo

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