It's not often that you start losing track of all the ways a game can disappoint you, which is what happened throughout the entirety of our time with the new co-op "action-RPG" Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance.
A snippet from our full review.
Releasing a game before it's ready is akin to pulling something out of the oven before ingredients are given the proper time to cook. And seeing as we’re currently in the ‘Day One Patch’ timeline, where final bits of polish happen in the days prior to a game’s launch and for the weeks following, the best you can hope for is a little bit of extra seasoning required. In keeping with the food analogy, that’s in reference to those final bits required to bring the whole dish together. A performance bump, glitches sorted, bugs squashed. Peas ready.
As seen with games like Cyberpunk 2077, sometimes the oven timer needs to be set for another year - to let those delicious ingredients properly bake. In the case of the technical mess that is Dungeons & Dragons Dark Alliance, the entire dish needs to be thrown out. With the oven deep-cleaned so its residue doesn’t find its way into your next meal.
Dark Alliance’s problems go beyond enemies zipping around arenas and ragdolling randomly at breakneck speed into walls. Though, a lot of that can be quite funny. It fails to do basic things like scale difficulty for solo and group play, or do the normal thing of not giving ranged mage-like enemies drastically higher physical-defence ratings than large hulking brutes. There are so many things half-baked, broken, glitchy, or simply baffling it’s almost commendable.
Housekeeping: This news post is based wholly on speculation with nothing confirmed from within EA's four walls.
Rumour has it EA is set to unveil a reimagining of the original Dead Space at its annual EA Play event, scheduled to happen on July 22 (July 23 in Aus). According to multiple reports citing multiple sources, the reimagining will be at the hands of EA Motive, the studio behind Star Wars: Squadrons which, if true, can be seen as awesome, or on-rails alarm bells.
Far be it for us to cast a shadow over an officially unannounced title from a maybe studio, but with Squadrons being almost better to play in VR, and with Dead Space at one time featuring in an on-rails scare-fest on the Nintendo Wii, and EA looking for dollarydoos where it can find it... well, "caution" is how we'd prescribe any fan anticipation.
Interestingly, this rumour, which has blossomed over the past few weeks either due to it being very real, or for the sheer will power the industry has in hoping things of this ilk are real, would sidle any endeavour up against The Callisto Protocol -- a "Dead Space-like" from the creators of Dead Space, specifically outspoken beefcake, Glen Schofield, who is one of our favourite games people.
If the rumour is true and it's all handled with a measure of respect to what came before it, we'll hold our breath, but heavy "what if" caveats weigh down the potential here. Like, why reimagine an already masterpiece-level title? Why revive a series in reboot form at all when it's not even that old and still incredibly relevant? And in taking into account those questions, why not just kick off with a brand-new horror-based IP in the same spirit as what Condrey and Schoefield did with Dead Space, you'd be held less accountable to fucking up a near-perfect game as it still stands, and applauded to trying something new.
One thing currently is true -- this rumour isn't going anywhere, so all eyes now are fixated on July 22/23. But in the meantime, check out the Related link above for a deep-dive on Dead Space, and watch the reveal trailer for The Callisto Proitocol embedded below. And be sure to tell us what do you think of all of this.
A wonderful experience from start to finish, and one that is given an extra layer of beauty thanks to its use of GeForce RTX-powered real-time ray-tracing and cutting-edge DLSS rendering. Light Brick Studio’s LEGO Builder’s Journey is a wonderful little puzzler.
Many of us have a connection to Lego and the creativity it fosters. Specifically, as that imaginative gateway that led to the creation of many a makeshift spaceship, weird looking abode, or multi-colour robot. When Builder’s Journey taps into that creative spirit it borders on brilliant.
It’s not only the visuals that form the aesthetic and feel, the sound is also on-point. The moment you click that first brick into place, it sells the Lego-as-a-puzzle-game concept and setting in an instant. As does the sound of falling bricks and the slight tonal shifts that come from a larger four-piece block clicking into place. Coupled with the ambient score, one that manages to hit the emotional notes of the story without overpowering any other element, LEGO Builder’s Journey is top to bottom joy.
Presentation-wise it feels like a movie-length stage-play, where there’s a story to be found, charming characters, and various locations that come alive through, well, play. Each level or stage arrives in the form of a Lego diorama, where progression is as simple as creating a bridge, fixing a strange machine, or slowly putting together a flying home.
The global team of ffans working on Fallout: London has already put together the play-space, with a Fallout 4 Far Harbour-sized version of London packed with landmarks, factions, and things to see. From Buckingham Palace to the Underground. As per the reveal trailer for this ambitious mod project -- it's all looking very cool. Namely because it takes the post-apocalyptic series on a trip... across the pond.
That said, the Jason Statham-style narration is pretty hard to follow. What with all of its Ringo lingo. Which isn't really a criticism... it's tip top for real innit and all that.
Fallout: London is a DLC-sized mod for Bethesda’s Fallout 4. Distinct from the base game, the mod will allow the player to visit the previously unexplored post-apocalyptic environment of London. In a divergence from previous official titles in the series, Fallout: London is not set in America. This will allow the player to explore an entirely new setting, interact with new post-war cultures and societies, and see a world distinct from the Americana of the mainline games. It also allows the player to explore pre-war European history and the effects the Resource Wars had on the class-structured society of pre-war Britain.
One of the cooler aspects of this mod is the factions that feel true to the Fallout tone -- the Gentry being the high-society types that rule, the Tommies being the thugs or local militia, and Camelot seeing the return of the Round Table and Knights and stuff. There's a lot more, including the mystery surrounding the Royals.
Currently the team behind the project is recruiting and looking to shape the story and gameplay within the world and setting it's put together. To stay up to date on the mod be sure to visit fallout4london.com
Chivalry II presents medieval multiplayer chaos with 64-player matches full of armour clad Knights and Lords (and Peasants) looking to lop off a few heads or limbs. Our review today is a bit of a special one as Adam 'Griz' Mathew recently discovered his own medieval knight lineage -- and long dormant skills he brought to the fore.
Out of the hundred odd games I've ever reviewed, I've never felt so fated to play something as I have Chivalry II. You see, just last week, I'd finished tracing my heritage back to a medieval knight of intimidatingly high renown. Old mate was a Marcher Lord. Your rough historical equivalent of a Chivalry II account grinded up to max level.
During my research, I often found myself wondering what my forebear's 9-to-5 was like. Wikipedia wasn't really painting much of a picture. Then, weirdly, the review opp for this medieval “first-person slasher” dropped into my lap, and lo, I was allowed to get my Sir David Mathew on.
Just without the inconvenience of excruciating permadeath.
What I'm presenting is an imperfect comparison, obviously. Chivalry II is a multiplayer-focused brawler whose fictional bloodletting merely apes actual medieval battles. Though, in another weird cosmic coincidence of DNA tracing, Torn Banner Studios says it was inspired by the battles seen in Game of Thrones. Author George R.R. Martin drew his own ideas from The War of the Roses, Sir David's main brouhaha.
We went through the many, many showcases and presentations that made up this year’s E3 season and put together our list of the games that impressed us the most. Basically, everything we can’t wait to play.
Forza Horizon 5
Stephen: What struck most with the Forza Horizon 5 reveal was just in how Xbox let the game do the talking. There was no fanfare, hype or countdown-esque build-up to an official unveiling of what is arguably the most impressive-looking new-gen game on the Series S|X yet. And if Microsoft had gone down that path, in seeing what Playground has crafted here, you wouldn’t have been able to scold them for it. But plonking this right in the thick of everything and just letting it breathe was a genius idea, and made the whole reveal more impactful.
What equally spoke to the strength of the new entry is that it wasn’t flash-in-the-pan, either. There was gameplay substance right from the outset which meant the mind was multitasking in trying to imagine what the game would offer when it’s out in the wild while trying to pick our jaws up off the floor. Horizon 5 was more than just a feast for the eyes, it was a saving grace.
Kosta: This was one of those classic E3 out of nowhere reveals. Based purely on the opening moments of the trailer, which showcased near-photo-real environments set south of the border, there was a distinct Red Dead Redemption 2 vibe. What could it be? From there we got a close-up of some fancy Italian sports car and the ‘what if’ became, ‘oh, this is Forza 7 or 8 or whatever’.
I’m not really a fan of racing sims so the sentiment quickly changed from restrained interest to sheer unbridled joy. And a “mama mia, this here be Forza Horizon 5!” thanks to the, err, Italian sports car still on screen. From the stunning visuals to the vast open-world to the fun multiplayer exploration, racing and activities, Horizon is the most exciting franchise in all of racing. And its next gen debut is looking tasty.
Which means you can break thrones from anywhere. What a world and age we live in. For those unaware of what exactly a "Thronebreaker" is, we have a handy review of the experience from back when it was released on PC and Xbox One. And now the game is available for Android devices, joining a massive list of other playable platforms in iOS, PC (GOG and Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, as well as PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S via backwards compatibility. Phew.
Here's a little from CD Projekt RED:
The release on Google Play brings the complete Thronebreaker experience to Android, with dedicated touch-screen controls designed for mobile play, as well as cross-save support with versions of the game available across other supported platforms. By playing Thronebreaker players can also unlock various bonuses in GWENT: The Witcher Card Game, including unique ornaments and 20 premium cards to be used in multiplayer battles.
Thronebreaker for Android is being distributed in the “Freemium” model, allowing players to download and try the game for free. After reaching a certain moment in the story, players will be able to purchase the full game to continue the adventure.
Watch a trailer for The Witcher Tales: Thronebreaker embedded below.
While Xboxcontinues its path to total domination more and more games for Game Pass are rearing their head, though in this case that head is made of metal, and comes from a relatively unknown developer in RyseUp Studio, but boy does it look the goods.
Fear not PCMR for almost all Game Pass exclusives will have a PC release alongside console, and the instance here of Roboquest that's wholly true. Here's what RyseUp has to share:
WHAT IS ROBOQUEST EXACTLY? Well, the year is 2700. Climate change and wars have changed the face of the world that we currently know. Humans live scattered throughout the desert, struggling to survive.
A young scavenger girl named Max stumbles across an old Guardian robot, lying abandoned in the sand. She activates him, knowing that possession of a Guardian will give her an advantage at surviving.
Turning on the old Guardian kicks off a dangerous journey that will take the unlikely pair from dangerous canyons to vast cities searching for answers to mysteries that may save humankind.
It will be difficult. Badbots and their bosses will stop at nothing to protect the secrets that could decide the fate of humankind.
GAMEPLAY Our motto for the game is think fast, shoot faster. Jump into the steel shoes of a high-powered, hyper-mobile robot and wreak havoc on evil bots. Battle your way through procedurally generated biomes on an unrecognizable earth.
Scorched canyons and vivid cities are packed with secrets to unearth, upgrades, and enemies to eradicate. Destroy every laser-shooting Badbot and boss that stands in your way.
Choose from an arsenal of more than 50 unique handcrafted weapons. Gather powerful technology. Upgrade abilities and customisations for your character and basecamp.
Do not worry if you are the only PC player in your crew and your friends all own Xbox, we will support cross-platform play. And while you are kicking metal ass, you can bob your head to the high-octane soundtrack composed by Noisecream, and if you do not know this artist, do yourself a favour and check him out.
Well, that is it for now. We look forward to sharing more details with you about our Xbox exclusive Roboquest as we head to Xbox Game Pass.
Shades of Borderlands mixed with the frenetic pace and movement of the modern DOOM games aren't without comparative merit, but we'd prefer to judge this one in isolation, and can't wait to play. Check out the Game Pass trailer below, and stay tuned for more as we edge ever-closer to getting some early hands on it.
We bring you all the major reveals from the E3 2021 Nintendo Direct. So, did we get to see The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 and Metroid Prime 4? Well, one out of two ain’t bad.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2
Announced two years ago, ahead of today there was very little we actually knew about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (the working title is ‘Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’). Not that we now know a whole heap, as we’re talking about a pretty quick 1:20 or so of game footage -- we do get to see Link explore and glide around structures that sit amongst the clouds above Hyrule. That is, floating cities and the like. Yeah, it’s the sort of addition that feels truly exciting -- and adds to the already impressive freedom and scope found in the original. Visually this also looks like a cut above, with the painterly look dialled up some with characters and objects and things like castle walls (Hyrule Castle baby) packing some serious detail. Oh, and we also got a release window - 2022.
No Metroid Prime 4, boo. But wait, what’s this? The first side-scrolling Metroid title in 19 years? Metroid Dread follows on from Metroid Fusion where a faster, more agile Samus descends upon planet ZDR after the Galactic Federation picks up mysterious signals. Samus’ arrival reveals a planet being overrun by an alien menace, while DNA extracting robots called E.M.M.I. have become corrupt and are now hunting Samus down. As with any great Intergalactic Bounty Hunter story though, it’s time to find those new E.M.M.I. countering skills and upgrades to take down all threats and work out what’s really going on, on planet ZDR. Metroid Dread is out this October 8 on Nintendo Switch.
The team at 343 Industries is currently doing its thing and working towards Halo Infinite’s big Holiday 2021 launch -- which is set to feature both a cinematic single-player Master Chief-led campaign and an extensive free-to-play multiplayer component. One that will be hitting Xbox consoles and PC on day one, with a design that is described as a return to classic Arena and Team-based action. But also, multiplayer that is a modern Spartan-step forward for the franchise.
Halo Infinite isn’t simply the next release in the iconic Xbox franchise, it’s a platform that will evolve over multiple years. And this is the first step in that journey.
Watch the full Halo Infinite Multiplayer reveal above
As part of a new multiplayer deep dive that broadcast overnight we got our first look at what to expect when it comes to Halo Infinite Multiplayer. There’s a lot to get through, so let’s get to it.
When it comes to E3, you can always count on Microsoft to bring the spectacle -- and E3 2021 was no different thanks to the combined Xbox & Bethesda Showcase. Traditionally these two publishers do their own thing, but now that they’re both a part of the same happy Xbox Game Studios family we got an action-packed 90 minute presentation covering 30 titles, 27 of which are headed to Xbox Game Pass.
Yeah, it was as breathless as it was impressive.
So, did we get our first look at Bethesda Gamer Studios’ Starfield? Yes we did, though it was more of a teaser. We also got a fresh look at Halo Infinite, this time with a focus on the multiplayer side. Plus, the surprise -- and frankly stunning -- Forza Horizon 5 reveal which sees the series visit Mexico later this year. Throw in the eastern European combo of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 and Atomic Heart, not to mention the very cool-looking new indie Replaced, and Team Xbox managed to bring the goods, more goods, and nothing but the goods.
Like most out in the gaming wild, I was expecting maybe to see the next Forza, not Forza Horizon 5 at this year's Xbox pre-E3 media briefing, especially when you consider most of developer Playground Gamesshould be working on Fable, and yet here we are, picking our jaws up off the floor.
Arguably the most impressive visual and performance showcase for Microsoft's console(s) yet, Forza Horizon 5 is more than just near-perfect photo-realistic visuals -- it's a game that delivers performance, creativity and gravitas.
Your ultimate Horizon adventure awaits! Explore the vibrant and ever-evolving open-world landscapes of Mexico with limitless, fun driving action in hundreds of the world’s greatest cars.
And in both videos embedded below it's easy to get lost in the eye-candy, but we'd be remiss to ignore new additions and features, such as this being the biggest open-world in the series yet featuring the highest elevation ever recreated in the franchise. Forza Link is a smart system that not only helps you stay connected with friends and other players, but it actively helps you find activities you enjoy and then links you with players who also like the same things. It's Swipe Right, Horizon style. And finally Events Lab is a new user-created content toolset to let you make your own races, game modes and other experiences.
But enough from us, watch the videos embedded below, and mark your calendars for November 9.