Steam Game Festival: First Impressions of Demos

As the Summer Game Fest is going on for the next little while, the next edition of Steam Game Festival is here. This time, it opens up a huge amount of free demos to try out. Definitely more selection than the week duration of the festival itself. Because of that, we tried to pick some more relevant titles to check out and do a little first impression on their playable demo. 

The Almost Gone (Happy Volcano)

With minimalist design and game mechanics similar to that of Monument Valley (playthrough) but with a more mysterious narrative undertone, The Almost Gone is a point and click mystery puzzle game that focuses on discovering puzzles in rooms that can rotate to discover new things on different walls and furniture as we roam around our home in the midst of moving and parents divorce and other family issues adding in the mix. 

The playable demo was the first chapter of the game. The puzzles itself are quite decent and this sort of game definitely will work well on mobile devices as the touch mechanics will work well. The story itself has some heavy content and might not be for everyone, especially those sensitive to this subject matter (they even have a warning at the beginning of the game). The puzzle design is pretty good but the maneuvering around with the arrows can get a little confusing from room to room (but maybe that’s just because I have a bad sense of direction). 

The Almost Gone will release on Steam on June 25th. 

Moncage (OPTILLUSION)

Moncage is an adventure puzzle game that plays with using different sides of a cube to put together elements of different interactive scenes that help unlock more possibilities. These connections are the key to unlocking scenes and moving through this world trapped in this cubic device. 

The demo itself shows off these elements pretty well. It is able to show off the game mechanics and much more, the well thought-out game design and imagination that is all about connecting the dots and exploring the scene. It also has the option to give hints of what items are the pieces to use in the puzzles in the scene that can be used but gives room for the player to work them out themselves. It’s a matter of patience and noticing the little details and then putting it together. Sometimes, its not easy, even in the demo there were some challenging moments. As a puzzle game, its pretty unique. The only thing left is to see what type of story they are trying to tell as each scene reveals pictures to pick up that seem to connect to an unknown narrative. 

There is no date confirmed yet for Moncage but its definitely on that should be on your radar if you like puzzle games from the first look at the demo. 

Ami (LightHouse Studio)amigame

Ami is an upcoming action side-scroller platformer. The demo is very concise and starts off with a segment of the main character riding a bike in a town without electricity and then getting chased down by two boys in a van that suddenly wants to shoot her where she ends up at a house and it cuts inside where we pull some item and activates a button to get out of the trapped situation and the demo literally ends there. 

Based on that, the world itself is fairly dark and shows perhaps something has happened to the place itself that’s caused its lack of electricity and dangers. The visuals, the movement and mechanics gave strong vibes of Limbo or Inside (which is a good thing). The game is in very dark and gloomy colors except for the main character who is a red-haired girl with a light blue dress, yellow backpack and orange bicycle. 

Honestly, the demo is too short to truly have much of an impression on this. It does have a lot of room for potential depending on what the “deep story” they plan to deliver is all about. I do like the more minimalist visual style and darker world and even the environment and music from this one or two parts. However, there leaves a lot of room to see more revealed before there’s an actual anticipation for the game. 

Arrog (尘归尘, LEAP Game Studios/Hermanos Magia)

Arrog is a puzzle adventure that takes place in a hand drawn black and white world with a few color accents that tells the story of a man who is accepting his death through his dreams. According to its Steam page, its a 30 minute narrative experience which means that the few minutes of the demo does already capture a good bit of where this is heading.

The first impressions of the game is bizarre and abstract. Those are the two words that go with these experiences that want to be created. There’s something very whacky about a game once you realize what its about as the game constantly revolves around the outline of a man lying down and then interacting with different objects on the screen that will create some change and animation to happen. There isn’t exciting gameplay but its focus is on the experience so its probably not for intense gamers as its fairly toned down in gameplay mechanics department. Its just a lot of clicking around. If you like games with deeper meanings and simple minimal style, this  might be one to keep an eye on.

Arrog will release on July 28, 2020 on Steam. 

A Juggler’s Tale (Kaleidoscube)

A Juggler’s Tale is an upcoming 3D sidescroller that actually has a narrator that tells the story of Abby, a string puppet who escapes from the locked cage at the circus to see the world outside. The demo starts off as she goes to her circus act and then to her escape while showing off some of her abilities. 

Visually, the game is set like a puppet show where all the characters are moving with their strings. These strings come into play to hold her up when she’s falling down but it also hinders her movement when there’s an object in her way. It works a little to the concept of Unraveled. At the same time, the environment and art looks a lot like the styles of movies like Coraline. The world itself has a darkness of a little girl traversing a dangerous world and ends up getting help from friends like in the demo, her circus act companion bear, Urs plays a part in aiding her escape, having some strong vibes similar to Little Nightmares (review). 

With vibes of so many outstanding games, A Juggler’s Tale definitely feels like it has a lot of potential. The only thing is to see how the mechanics get polished up in the final release which has a way to go as its planned for release in 2021 but there is no official date yet. 

Roki (Polygon Treehouse)

Roki is an upcoming adventure 3D adventure game inspired by a Scandinavian folklore which tells a dark fairy tale of a girl called Tove who explores this fantastical winter forest landscape on a mission to save her brother Lars.

In the demo, the general idea is this point and click element where there is a story narration which gives a little bit of reading dialogue. At the same time, its about picking up items to navigate the area to progress. It all works fairly well. The demo puzzles weren’t too hard to figure out. The color palette in this world as well as the game mechanics all work fairly well together. The hand-drawn art style also is pretty nice. There’s definitely a lot a to love about this one and one to look forward to: Folklores and fairy tales, a family tale as well as adventures and fun characters in a winter landscape definitely ticks all the boxes.

Roki will release on July 23, 2020 on Steam.

Here’s the a batch of Steam Game Festival demo first impressions!
Any of these games caught your attention?

EA Play Live 2020 [Recap & Thoughts]

Starting off with a Thank You message from Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Miller to first responders, their own teams working from home as well as the players and addressing some of the issues going on to share their stance on the situation, EA Play Live 2020 kicks off with host Greg Miller promising huge surprises and incredible reveals. 

Here’s what we saw

Apex Legends: Season 5 Update

Fortnites main rival Apex Legends introduced Season 5 aswell as the latest update called Lost Treasures Collection Event and will launch on June 23.

At the same time, Apex Legends will be landing on Steam and Nintendo Switch this fall along with cross play, though wether this game will far any better on Switch than the ones which came before it remains to be seen.

The Sims 4  

Compared to previous years we didn’t get a new content announcement but instead that The Sims 4 latest is heading to Steam aswell Nintendo Switch though considering how clumsy the console versions felt it remains to be seen how the Switch will hand it or if it’s destined to be another transfer which sounds good on paper but doesn’t work.

Outide of the event the latest content pack Eco-Lifestyle has been released for the game allowing your Sims to live greener livestyles, dumpster dive and recycle objects they no longer want with the fabricator.

EA Originals Upcoming Games

It Takes Two (Hazelight)

It Takes Two is the third game from Hazelight written and directed by the always entertaining Josef Fares, who previously brought us Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and A Way Out.

Continuing to build on his love for co-op gaming experiences, this game is a co-op action-adventure platformer which if we are to believe Fares will “blow your f**king mind away” as the team at Hazelight are aiming to fully combine the story and game mechanics than treating them as two seperate elements.

as you play two dolls of a little girl Rose  whose parents are about to separate and while trying to deal with the emotions of this situation creates the two dolls you play as as they come to life

Based on his previous games, Josef Fares projects are always something to anticipate with Hazelight especially so keen to tap into overlooked concepts and it’s hard to not be caught up in his enthusiasm really making this one to look forward and more news being announced  before its anticipated release in 2021. 

World Premiere: Lost in Random (Zoink Games)

Coming from the developers of Fe, Lost in Random is an upcoming action adventure game sharing a Gothic fairy tale giving off Tim Burton-esque vibes with a style reminicint of Coreline.

as it weaves a coming of age story with a young girl and her weird dice friend Dicey roaming the kingdom of Random which is governed by rules and minimizing risk, but with Dicey’s help, the hero will learn to accept randomness and the flow of life

 It’s expected to release in 2021 and compared to the some of the trailers we have seen its kind of nice to have a title present a solid and certainly unique idea than some abstract concept of what the game will be about

Rocket Arena (Final Strike Games)

The third EA Originals to wrap up the independent game selections is a debut title from Final Strike Games called Rocket Arena.

Its title which pretty much sets out what it’s about in the trailer with this 3v3 multiplayer rocket only shooter looking more to atap into the Overwatch market than yet another Fortnite clone. Unquestionably a colourful title with it’s dynamic mapsand colourful and customizable characters all with thier own combos and special abilities

Its set to release on July 14th on PS4, Xbox One, Origin and Steam and will support cross play right from the start. while on July 28th, they will release their first content update.

Star Wars: Squadrons

Certainly it’s been awhile since we have seen a Star Wars game focus purely on dogfights and piloting the legendry craft of the franchise so unquestionably expectations are high for this title taking place after the events of Return of the Jedi which appears to be a much requested update for the Tie-Fighter and X-Wing games.

Featuring a single player campaign were you will play as pilots for both the rebel alliance and the empire with the whole game played from the beautifully designed cockpit with the option for VR play aswell for an even more immersive experience

The game also features a 5V5 multiplayer alongside the usual game modes and unquestionable looks stunning as we saw glimpses of iconic locations like Cloud City while the in cockpit chatter between pilots gives it the same feel of Lylat Wars another game sorely in need of a sequel

Add to this a wide range of customisable options all unlocked in the game including the Ewok bobblehead it’s nice to see the Star Wars games still managing to generate the excitment currently failing to happen with the the movies.

Released October 2, 2020

Next Gen World Premiere: EA Sports

FIFA and Madden announced thier yearly updates with this dynamic trailer but as always with these games your know already if your going to get them or not

Announcement: New Skate Game

Skate 4 might be one of the most requested games whenever we get one of these showcases so to finally know that a new game is in development is certainly welcome news for the fans who have been waiting since 2009’s Skate 3 for a follow up, though of course it would be typical that we wait for years for a new skate game and then 3 come along at once!

Sure it was literally just an announcement but to know a game is being developed is alot beter than another year of hoping that they are working on one.

That wraps up the EA Play Live 2020 event!
Which of these titles are you excited about?

Future Games Show 2020 [Recap & Thoughts]

Summer Game Fest introduces something along the lines of what The Games Awards usually would provide with world premieres and exclusive trailers, except without the awards part. Future Games Show 2020 was hosted by Nolan North and Emily Rose online as they introduced each game while giving time for some developers to talk a little about their game and what to expect. 

Quantum Error (TeamKill Media)

Quantum Error is a first person shooter horror game taking place in a research facility that is on fire. Playing as the firefighter captain, what starts out as a rescue mission quickly is more than it seems. Its expected release in summer 2020 on Playstation 4 and later on for Playstation 5. You can find more info on their site HERE.

World Premiere: Dustborn (Red Thread Games)

Dustborn is an upcoming story -driven action adventure, looking like a comic book story, that follows a group of misfits and outcasts on a road trip across America. Using narrative choices, aka the power of words, they need to navigate different different situations, like persuading characters.  Feeling a little like Life is Strange, this is one to keep on the radar. Dustborn is expected to release on PC and consoles. 

Ghostrunner

Ghostrunner is a hardcore fast-paced slasher action game. Looking at the trailer, its in constant first person motion with quick reflexes to kill and survive this cyberpunk world. Its main goal is to fight to the top of a mega structure to confront the Keymaster at the top level. 

Call of the Sea (Out of the Blue)

Call of the Sea is a first person adventure game set in 1930s where the female protagonist is on an expedition in corners of the South Pacific in search of her husband missing from a previous mission. The game is introduced as a balance between puzzle solving and strong narrative. The protagonist, Norah is voiced by Sissy Jones (Firewatch) and aims to tell a story of both mystery and emotional journey.  Call of the Sea is an Xbox/Windows 10 exclusive. 

Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One (Frogwares)

After some success with previous Sherlock Holmes, Frogwares continues with this franchise but this time around they take it back in time to play as a 21 year old Sherlock before he becomes the legend now. Set in the late 19th century where Sherlock Holmes returns home to investigate the mysterious death of his mother, it keeps the open world exploration and now has expanded to being able to interact with the world like people on the streets. Much like its previous games, the detective features as well as taking the right actions to make the correct deductions will lead to different results. Its set to release on PC and console in 2021.

Cygni: All Guns Blazing

Cygni: All Guns Blazing is an old-school shoot-em-up that looks like Galaga and Ikaruga on steroids, all set in a stunning sci-fi city.  

World Premiere: Morbid: The Seven Acolytes 

Morbid: The Seven Acolytes is a pixelated top-down action game that looks like Bloodborne meets Zelda with a healthy dose of pixelated gore, we love to see this get a release for the Switch especially.

Cris Tales

Cris Tales is a love letter to classic J-RPG which plays with the concept of time allowing in real time on one screen to maneuver through the past, present and future. In the developers words, “learn from the past, act in the present and rewrite the future..”. This is also a game which wears its love for the genre on it’s sleeve citing the likes of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 6 among it’s inspirations.

Hot Shots Racing

Release date: Summer 2020

Lucky Mountain Games’ creative director is Trevor Lay who prior to begining work on  Hotshot Racing had already put in stints with both EA and Rockstar Games and now he wants to bring racing back to it’s arcade roots with the likes of Daytona USA, Virtua Racing, and Sega Rally serving as the inspiration and Sumo Digital providing additional support whose previous games include Sonic All-Stars Racing and Outrun 2006 a perfect fit for such an old school arcade racer.

Neon Abyss

From the creator of Worms, comes another irrelevant 2D action side scrolling shoot ’em up which looks fantastically nuts packed with rogue-like dungeon system. Its set to release on July 14th, 2020 on consoles and PC. 

Skater XL

While the wait for Skate 4 continues, this looks set to help fill the void while certainly tapping into those old school Tony Hawk vibes which itself has a remaster on the way combing the first two games. Its available on Steam Early Access. 

GTTOD Get To The Orange Door

An Xbox exclusive combing run and gun antics with a real Tron Vibe and currently has a free demo to try out on Steam. 

Waking 

Waking is a third person action adventure game set within a coma as you explore a world made up of your own memories in this Inception style adventure.

Space Crew

From the makers of Bomber Crew comes this pixelated take on Star Trek. Space Crew is expected to release in September 2020. 

Maid of Sker

Maid of Sker is a first person psychological survival horror game inspired by Welsh folklore. Its main game mechanics is focused on being stealthy and using a weapon with limited ammo to create sounds to distract the blind enemies walking the hotel grounds. Three different difficulty levels will be introduced which won’t change the scare level but changes the AI reaction. Its expected to release later this year on consoles and PC. 

Future Hits Montage

Rapid fire clip show showcasing titles without full trailers including:

  • Smite
  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
  • Carrion
  • Unbound: Worlds Apart
  • ANNO: Mutationem
  • Doggone
  • The Almost Gone
  • Inkulinati
  • Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms
  • Wave Break
  • Cloudpunk
  • Windjammers
  • Hammer Ting
  • Stage Hands!
  • ArcheAge: Unchained

The Captain Is Dead

The Captain is Dead is a retro sci-fi themed game which is set to tap into the current board game obsession especially as more games get digital versions. The Captain is Dead set to release in 2020. 

Blankos Block Party

Blankos Block Party is reminiscent of Little Big Planet as you play living vinyl toys in a fully customisable world running with both NPCs and other players on their colorful environment. Its expected to release seasonal content regularly. They don’t have a release date yet but it will be in 2020. 

Main Assembly

Main Assembly is a sandbox game which allows you to essentially make anything you want bringing to mind Sony’s Dreams certainly the vehicle construction options look fun. Its currently out on Steam Early Access. 

Last Oasis

Last Oasis is a survival MMO.  The debut from the Polish development team Donkey Crew who here present a future where the Earth has stopped spinning. The result being that the planet split into two extreme environments, one blistering hot and the other cruelly cold. Its currently on Steam Early Access.

Wasteland 3

Brian Fargo, the producer of the original Fallout returns with the most anticipated sequel to Wasteland 2 set for release on Xbox One, PS4 and PC on August 28 and once again featuring the same top-down action of the previous games.

Remothered: Broken Porcelain

Remothered: Broken Porcelain is a survival horror game written and directed by the Italian video game artist and director Chris Darril. It serves as both the prequel and sequel to the original 2017 game Remothered: Tormented Fathers the game will serve as the middle part of his Remothered trilogy as two young girls attempt to solve the mystery of the Ashmann Inn. Its set for release on August 25, 2020 on PS4, PC, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

Rogue Company

While looking similar to Fortnite, the focus of Rogue Company will be more on team play while promising cross play, including the Nintendo Switch. You can sign up for the alpha at www.roguecompany.com.

Outriders

Upcoming Square Enix game Outriders is a third person co-op shooter from Polish producer People Can Fly and featuring four different classes all with their own special abilities which have been revealed over the course of the trailers we have seen since the games announcement.

Disintergration

Disintegration is a hybrid first-person shooter and real-time strategy game from V1 Interactive taking place in a world were human brains integrated into robotic bodies outnumber natural humans. The evil posthumanist faction seek to wipe out the last “uncanned” humans. With you playing as Rohmer Shoal, the integrated outlaw gravcycle pilot, who thinks that humanity should be allowed to exist without being hooked into man-made hardware. It will be released on June 16, 2020 on PS4, Xbox One and Steam.

Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost is one of the more ambitious titles for the next gen consoles and set in a world were World War 2 never ended this mystery adventure game follows a 12-year-old boy who finds a mysterious Nazi bunker while roaming a post-nuclear Polish wasteland.  The game is said to be a journey through the five stages of grief, which will be reflected in dialogue, character interactions, and the environment with your choices gradually affect the game’s characters, as well as its visual style, environment and sound effects.

Operation Tango

In Operation Tango, teamwork is key as you team up with another player to play the roles of an agent and a hacker to save the world from evil forces as you infiltrate enemy strongholds, hack computers, break into secured rooms, and navigate areas filled with enemies and turrets. Many of the solutions push players to solve puzzles in what is promised to be a “Feel-Good Spy Thriller”. Its set to come out at 2021.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

Little is know about this new IP from Ember Lab being developed for the PS5 as you play a young female hero facing off against forest-dwelling creatures using a magic staff that can also take the form of a bow-and-arrow while using magic to rid the world of evil, and most importantly save those doe-eyed cottonballs.

Serial Cleaner

Serial Cleaner is a top-down action game that casts you as a crime-scene cleaner. Its off-kilter hand-drawn art style is immediately captivating alongside the unique player which sees you disposing of bodies and mopping up blood puddles while avoiding guards, while the prospect of hidden movie levels makes it only the more intriguing. Its expected to release on 2021.

A packed show and certainly a step up from the PS5 launch, but what are you most looking forward to?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Summer Game Fest: Playstation 5 Event (Recap + Thoughts)

E3 might have been cancelled but another version of it spreading over the next few months called Summer Game Fest with different studios and collaborated showcases to share some upcoming games both AAA and independent titles.

The first to kick things off is Sony Playstation who is bringing their PS5 reveal as well as their upcoming games. Kicking off with a reel of Playstation 4 games that have been released, we jump into a show that shares both upcoming games and the different elements of Playstation 5.

Here’s the recap of this year’s online Playstation event!

Playstation 5 Reveal

 

So we finally got out first look at the next generation of gaming and the latest edition to the Playstation family with’s unusual book design let alone the return to white which we’ve not seen from Playstation since the PS1. Hopefully there will be an option for black to avoid the sticky paw prints showing up on the box otherwise our order for the new hardware will include a can of spray paint.

The box is expected to be released in two formats with one having a blu-ray compatible disc drive and a lower priced version being based around digital downloads which when we have seen it previously as with the PSP GO really didn’t future proof itself much less your games library making it possibly a better investment to spend that extra to get the drive

Backwards compatibility has been rumoured amongst the usual shop talk with plans for the console to be able to play PS3 and PS4 titles again pushing the argument for investing in a disc drive.

Still for those of you who like to know the specifics of what’s in the box

  • CPU: 8x Zen 2 Cores at 3.5GHz.
  • GPU: 10.28 TFLOPs, 36 CUs at 2.23GHz, RDNA 2 architecture.
  • RAM: 16GB GDDR6.
  • Storage: Custom 825GB SSD.
  • Expandable storage: NVMe SSD slot.
  • Optical drive: 4K Blu-ray drive.

You will also get a copy for GTA V which no doubt will have most players scratching their heads despite the reassurance that the game is being further expanded when what most gamers want is GTA VI

 

The controllers remain largely the same outside of looking like they have been ripped out of Mass Effect with the touch pad still bafflingly remaining with the light moved from the front to the side of this pad…again not sure who wanted these features kept.

We also see the addition of a speaker / microphone built into the controller which hopefully won’t be on all the time should you be subjected to the foul mouthed ramblings of the squeekers. We also get the share button for the social media minded but likely this will just end up filling the hard drive with mispresses as it currently does when we have seen this elsewhere.

The are ongoing plans for more VR tech aswell as a new camera both peripherals it seems that they are determined to make a thing despite hardly making an impact currently on the general gaming populous.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales

 

 

After the success of Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man, their next game is now in the works focusing on Miles Morales’ story which no doubt delight those fans of the first game initially excited to see him in the original game preview only to find that his parts of the game were sneaking missions.

While there was some discussion as to whether this game is a spin-off, its since been confirmed that this will be a standalone title and while the trailer showcased new suits and moves, little is known at this point about the story. Luckily its not too long of a wait as its expected to be released in time for the holidays.

Gran Turismo 7

 

Almost every change in Gran Turismo’s franchise as lead to some new way of being immersed in a new racing simulator. Gran Turismo Sport has kept its game going very well by giving monthly updates of adding new cars and tracks. As this upcoming title is in the making, we can only expect what else they can add to the game. Of course, they did talk a lot about anticipating a campaign mode, which will be interesting.

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

 

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the sequel to 2016’s Ratchet & Clank, also developed by Insomniac Games and will be a Playstation Exclusive. This time, the game still takes the third person shooter and platformer perspective as the duo heads into their next adventure. The gameplay shown in the trailer gives some idea on how the dimensional rift between alien worlds will look as well as some of the action parts of how the shooting elements will work and the different weapons.

Project Athia

 

Square Enix games are always something to look forward to. Project Athia looks incredible beautiful visually. However, its only a little teaser trailer that was shown with a little bit of in-development gameplay. Its a game with a female protagonist and seems to have some adventure elements in a world of danger with big creatures. Visually, its very appealing but seeing as Project Athia is still just a working title, the game is definitely still early in development. Its one to probably look forward to in the future.

Stray (Annapurna Interactive) – release 2021

 

A third-person adventure game but really it’s a cat simulator, in which the player controls a stray cat (with backpacks and all) exploring a cyberpunk city, populated by robots. It has open world elements, with a focus on the atmosphere and art while bringing to mind “Three Robots” from Love Death + Robots.

Returnal (Housemarque Game)

 

Returnal is an upcoming game developed by Housemarque Games. The player controls a space pilot stranded on an alien world. Every time she dies, the world regenerates. The game will combine first-person shooter and roguelike elements.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

 

We should have expected the return of Little Big Planet and of course, Sackboy is back for the PS5 and now on a 3D plain moving away from the usual side scrolling fun in makeshift worlds. It remains however to be seen if the freedom to customise will be carried across to this game or not.

Destruction AllStars

 

Destruction AllStars is developed by Lucid Games and is an upcoming vehicular combat game, exclusive on Playstation. Being gamers of Carmageddon and Twisted Metal at some point previously, its nice to see more of these car destruction derby games appear. It’ll be interesting to see where this game will differ from its predecessors.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits

 

We’re always excited to see games with female protagonists. Set in a oriental story with a lot of oriental music to pair with it, Kena: Bridge of Spirits seems like a cute and action-packed adventure. The cuteness is from the little black creatures surrounding the main character but also the different creatures that she has to fight. Visually, this game looks pretty good in its world, character and creature designs. This game is set to be a Playstation 5 console exclusive.

Goodbye Volcano High 

Developed by Ko-Op, Goodbye Volcano High is an upcoming narrative adventure game set in a world of anthropomorphic dinosaurs circling a group of friends navigating through their final year in high school.  Its set to release in 2021.

Oddworld: Soulstorm

 

Picking up from the remaster of the original game New N Tasty this latest trip to Oddworld will be both a continuation of that game as a remake of Abe’s Exodus while using the power of the new hardware to really create some spectacular moments as we see throughout the trailer.

Certainly of all the games we saw this was one of the stronger arguments for upgrading your console especially for those with fond memories of the original games and looking to see it expanded further.

Ghostwire: Tokyo

 

When GhostWire: Tokyo was first announced, it was really just an intriguing idea. This year, Playstation brings it a step further revealing some gameplay to this upcoming horror IP. The Tokyo backdrop is great for this horro set in the paranormal realm with all the different types of spirits haunting the city. At the same time, we get to see some of the gameplay from its fighting mechanics to enemies. Its definitely one that looks like it will be a lot of fun.  Its set to release in 2021 as a Playstation 5 console exclusive.

Jett: The Far Shore

 

Set for release at the holidays, Jett: The Far Shore is an upcoming cinematic adventure game that is an interstellar expedition on an ocean plant looking for a new place as the future is facing oblivion.

GodFall

 

When GodFall was announced as the first game on Playstation 5 with a not-sure-what-to-expect sort of trailer back at The Game Awards last December, it hasn’t quite been on our minds. This latest trailer is definitely a deeper look as it reveals the gameplay for this upcoming action RPG. Visually, the world and its enemies look cool but then there are hints of reminders of some previous games in the same vein except this one seems to have some cool weapons to master and set in a different sort of world. Its set for release at the holidays.

Solar Ash

 

From the creators of award-winning Hyper Light Drifter, Solar Ash looks visually like its previous game and is pretty much a successor. It still features a masked character but this time heading into The Void.

Hitman III – January 2021

 

Agent 47 is back for his more assassinations with new locations including Dubai while promising the usual blend of stealth and cunning kills which we have come to expect from the series.

Little Devil Inside

 

Little Devil Inside is probably the quirkier trailer so far in this event. It follows a man on an adventure while having a parallel to the routine life of an old man. Where do these two cross their path and what is the correlation will be where it’ll be intriguing to see. The game shows off a lot of fun creatures and definitely feels more light-hearted.

NBA 2k21 – Fall 2020

 

You know what it is so your either excited or not about the yearly update to the franchise.

Bugsnax – Holidays 2020

 

From creators of Octodad, this quirky title promises 100 different bugs for plays to hunt, capture or just stumble across as you figure out the mystery of the island. If you’ve played Octodad then you pretty much know the tone of what to expect in their games and this feels right up the alley especially as soon as the strawberries turned around and scurried around with eyes.

Demon’s Souls

 

As a lot of games gets their remake, Demon’s Souls is the next action RPG in line which was originally developed by FromSoftware. Its remake however will be developed by Bluepoint Games.

Deathloop

 

Arkane Studios has developed some great games before. When Deathloop was first announced, it already looked intriguing. This time, we’re seeing a little more in this latest trailer. Its noir-esque setting, focus on stealth and first person shooter elements all looks like a ton of fun especially as its as its title says: a loop. The story is about rival assassins caught in a time loop and when you die, you just restart the loop again. Of course, the goal here seems to be to break out of the loop. This one looks like potentially a lot of fun.

Resident Evil Village

 

Set a few years after the event of Resident Evil: Biohazard as you play as Ethan once more, this time investigating the mysterious village of the title which is somehow linked to returning series stalward Chris Redfield. Retaining the first person perspective of the last game, fans will be hoping it can continue the revival of the franchise that Biohazard began. Resident Evil 8 is expected to release in 2021.

Pragmata-space-astronaut-saving a girl to the moon – coming 2022

 

Probably one of the latest titles in this batch to expect release in 2022, Pragmata is an upcoming game from Capcom set in a future with an astronaut and a little girl. There’s not a lot to go on except a first glimpse of sci-fi elements so one to look forward to future trailers.

Horizon II: Forbidden West

 

Originally planned for the PS4 this middle part of the planned trilogy now continues on the PS5 as Alloy continues her quest to stop the HADES system from destroying all life on earth. With shots of a post apocalyptic San Francisco the journey is expected to be an epic one especially as we saw shots of deserts, lush forests and icy wastelands as well as featuring new tribes and machines to defeat.

That’s it for this recap and thoughts on Playstation 5 Reveal Event!
What are your thoughts on Playstation 5? Which games are you excited for?

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

With the world currently being forced to stay indoors it’s really the situation we as gamers have spent a large portion of our lives preparing for, but certainly one of the biggest suprises has been with the cult like following that has sprung up around  Animal Crossing: New Horizons. So keen to discover what it is that has everyone so seemingly hooked and with nothing but time on my hands I checked it out and set out on my own desert island escape.

The fifth official game in the franchise which started back in 2004 on the N64 with this latest installment being largely linked to shortages of the Switch especially with gamers following the government orders to stay indoors during the COVID-19 Pandemic while physical copies of the game have also started appearing at greatly inflated prices leading Nintendo to push more heavily their advertisements for the Nintendo e-store and e-copies of the game.

The game itself provides pure laid back escapism as you essentially play yourself or at least a fully customisable character who has signed up along with two animal companions to live on a deserted island and build a community. Now while this might conjure ideas of poorly built shelters and battling the elements to carve out a living nothing could be further from the truth as once again is a game with zero risks.

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Starting out in a tent which series mainstay Tom Nook rents to you and which you are tasked with paying off by collecting objects around the island or completing tasks as you quickly find that your now locked into an a series of escalating mortgage as you move from tent to house and with each escalating mortgage you pay off allowing you to expand your house but as with everything in the game no one is going to be chasing you to make payments and it’s this idea of living life at your own pace which runs to everything which happens in the game with the allure of expanding your island being the driving force to complete tasks.

While you might have a mortgage to pay off there is still plenty of other things to do on your island as you control the locations were your animal pals set up their houses as well as were structures like the museum and island store are built. Of course despite the fact your not the only resident on the island it does fall to you to do essentially do everything as you run around the island gathering items to for fill the checklist requirements needs for building structures and building items. Everything you need for these builds can be found around the items by chopping trees for wood and hitting rocks for iron and clay even the weeds and flowers can be gather to make objects to furnish your house or impress your new animal pals.

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The collecting habit though isn’t limited to just building as you can also collect bugs, catch fish, dig up fossils and later collect art to be displayed in your island museum by Blathers the owl who despite his dislike for bugs will display your finds slowly adding to the exhibits as you collect all the items. For this reason the museum is one of the more rewarding aspects of the game as you get to enjoy all your hard work as you wander its exhibits either on your own or with friends visiting your island.

If your a fan of story driven gameplay then Animal Crossing really doesn’t give this as instead the focus is on you creating your own fun by moulding the island into your ideal getaway with tasks only serving as a way to unlock new items, skills or to earn Bells (the local currency) or Nook miles (points for completing tasks) to allow you to buy new items, skills or even a ticket to another island to find new items to add to your own island.

Due to this pick up and put down style of play this a perfect title for the Switch a console best suited to this style of play than long gaming sessions. At the same time this isn’t the sort of game you beat over a weekend and instead a title which you enjoy over a number or weeks or even months watching your island community grow. The fact that the island is all played in real time meaning that 7pm in the real world is also 7pm on the island with weather patterns being scarily in tune with the weather of the real world and kind of the reason that my island has seen much like the UK so much rain.

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One of the biggest issues for the game is the lack of save options with plays forced to save directly onto their Switch while compared to one other games in the series which allowed multiple islands here the game only allows one island making it tricky for those of us who share a switch and were everyone wants their own island. Certainly a glance at the negative reviews for the game on Amazon reveal this to be one of the biggest complaints about the game and while Nintendo are apparently working on a way for players to recover their island if their Switch is stolen or broken.

Certainly the game is a unique experience that has the benefit of being on the Switch as it’s hard to say if it would have the same appeal without the pick up and put down style of gameplay that the Switch specialises in which is really the best way to play this game I found. Sure the laid back lifestyle offered by the game might not be to all tastes but certainly it’s a fun way to pass these lockdown hours or just take a break from your main gaming choice of the moment as you hunt bugs or hunt down resources for your next build Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a game packed with distractions.

Rating 4/5

Two Point Hospital

For those of you with fond nostalgic memories of playing Theme Hospital should rejoice as here they are finally given much longed for spiritual sequel to the 1997 classic originally released by Bullfrog Productions for which it marked the last of their planned Theme series when producer Mark Webley and lead artist Gary Carr left the company. Now 20 years later they finally return to the game with their new studio Two Point Studios.

Rather than a remastered version of the original game, here they take what was great about the original game while tweaking the format to create a game which is both familiar and fresh at the same time as players are once more put in charge of managing a series of hospitals each with their own unique challenges from doctors needing training to creating a research hospital all while dealing with the influx of patients suffering from humorous conditions whose cures are often as funny as the ailments.

As the hospital manager your given a building shell to turn into a fully functional hospital as you create rooms to house GP offices, wards and treatments. You also need to hire the staff and generally ensure that your patients are kept distracted and comfortable by adding facilities and decorations. This however is far from the realistic simulation as the game maintains the comedic slant of the original with paitents suffering from Light-headedness having a lightbulb for a head while animal magnetism sees the patient wandering around the halls of the hospital with several cats stuck to them. At the same time the in game radio and tannoy announcements only add to the fun, while patients who die in the hospital coming back at ghosts to terrify the other patients and your staff until a janitor with the ghost capture skill can vacuum them up.

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Over the course of the 15 levels there is enough variety between levels to keep things interesting especially as each new hospital unlocked brings with it a new challenges like staff to be training or earthquakes and new unlockables which helps balance out the cut and paste gameplay which surprisingly isn’t as grating as you would expect as the sense of reward from bringing order to the chaos greatly outweighs the repetitiveness while the room copy function really is invaluable for rooms which your find yourself needing several of like the GP office. The rating systems for rooms however is flawed as certain items carry more prestige than others meaning that if your looking to max out your rooms your find yourself filling them with the same items rather than aiming for something which ascetically looks pleasing.

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More than just another cash in on your nostalgia the game more than stands on it’s own merits than just tapping into your fond memories of theme hospital and while certain elements burn themselves out quicker than others this is still a highly enjoyable sim to lose a few hours in, while at the same time being free from the spreadsheet balancing of it’s counterparts making it the perfect starting point for the more casual / newcomer to sim games.

Rating: 4 / 5

Team Sonic Racing

If you can say anything about the Sonic racing series it certainly can’t be about the lack of innovation that the series has seen over the three games as they have strived to try and knock Mario and Co. off the top and provide a genuine alternative to the ever popular Mario Kart series.

Previous instalments of the series saw Sumo Digital taking the nostalgia route of bringing together memorable characters from Sega’s franchises to race against each other though sadly this isn’t the case here as with a new team being brought onto the project they instead choose to expand their Sonic brand while drawing more randomly inspiration from Sonic Heroes to create a teamwork racer which is less about being the fastest but rather working as a trio to claim the top spots.

The plot this time for those of you who need alittle depth to your racing sees Sonic and pals being invited to compete in a series of races by the alien tanuki Dodon Pa. Of course Sonic is quick to suspect something is afoot. Is this another fiendish plot by Doctor Eggman? Honestly you won’t really care by the end of the campaign as it’s presented as a series of character images over stage background making an already thin plot all the less engaging so you’d be forgiven for just skipping over it to get to the next race.

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Removing the transform mechanics of the previous game Sonic and All-Stars Racing: Transformed sadly has been removed in favour of themed cars based around their driver all of which can be modded through parts won over the course of the game to add the usual bonuses to your chosen racer. Here though the focus is on team play with players getting to pick from a roster of 12 of the franchise favourites, with characters falling into the categories of Speed, Technique and Power from which you can make your trio even duplicating characters if you so wish. This however is removed for the Team Adventure which sees the roster broken up into it’s appropriate teams cover each of these areas.

While initially the team aspect is fun, especially seeing your characters banter back and forth through Lylat Wars style pop up’s which also extend to your rivals who will taunt / curse. Through your team you can also request or even send power up’s to your team members helping you to maintain a lead or help a team member catch up. Outside of this though it doesn’t really add a lot to the game much like the track which without the freedom to explore Sega’s back catalogue for inspiration or kept firmly in the Sonic world for this outing which while it does provide some fun locations far too often it felt like I wasn’t exactly seeing anything new the further into the game I got.

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In terms of the gameplay the racing mechanics are easy to pick up with the expected power up’s available to provide the required offensive / defensive attacks though nothing really stands out amongst the usual missiles and block drops while none of the characters having their own special feels like a missed opportunity, especially when the team special is essentially a glorified boost move.

With Mario Kart 8 still the standard for arcade racers like this the gap between the two is still a noticeable one but when compared to the current competition like the brutally tough Crash Team Racing this latest instalment in the Sonic racing franchise still maintains it’s place as the next best alternative. Certainly if Sumo Digital are planning on keeping future instalments firmly in the Sonic camp hopefully they can try and bring something new to the universe than just tapping into familiar locations and characters.

Glass Masquerade (2016)

Glass Masquerade is a 2016 independent game by Onyx Lute which takes its players to assemble stained glass art displays and clocks which are part of the International Times Exhibition set as a tour around the world.

Glass Masquerade is a puzzle game concept inspired by Art Deco and stained glass artisans of the 20th century. Its a casual gaming experience set with soothing and atmospheric music. There is no narrative story line. Its goal is to share the beautiful art pieces replicated as a virtual gaming experience of putting together these stained glass art representative of each country. It takes a twist on the jigsaw puzzle but translates it to something a bit more complex as the pieces are all in odd, irregular shapes and not the typical pieces that most people are accustomed to.

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For what its intended, Glass Masquerade is a wonderful experience. Its visually appealing. The world map is done really nice. The set-up for each of the different shaped clocks that acts as the stained glass frame adds some unique elements. The game gives a starting point of having certain red pieces that act as anchors to where to begin. There are also different difficulty levels to the puzzle which can be played as desired provided its been unlocked from completing a previous level.

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Available in both mobile, console and PC gaming platforms, Glass Masquerade is an indie game that can reach the much more casual gamers. Its one to play to simply relax. If the 30 levels of the base game isn’t enough for you, the game also has some free extra levels. Some are demo levels of a DLC pack that needs to be purchased as an add-on. Others are simple free themed single puzzles like for Lunar New Year. All this boosts up the level count to be a well-rounded 50 levels. If you finish with that and want more, Glass Masquerade 2: Illusions was released in February 2019.

Frostpunk

Set in an alternative 1886 were the earth has been plunged into a new ice age leading the population of Britain to head to the coal-rich north were cities are built around huge generators while the small population attempt to carve out a new life while surviving the brutal conditions. Now as the Captain of this colony the player has to attempt to carve out a society from the limited resources all while maintaing the hope of your people and preventing an uprising.

Released on PC last year and now finally making it’s way onto PS4 and Xbox One with a smooth transition that manages to work around the lack of mouse to provide another enjoyable management sim for the consoles with the gameplay mechanics easily adapting to the console controls to provide the same immersive experience as it’s PC counterpart.

Tasking the player with carving out an existence for their followers in an unforgiving environment Frostpunk is all about finding the lesser of two evils especially when resources are limited and there are objectives to be met. So will you maximise the resources by forcing the kids to work and adding sawdust to the food or will you treat your followers fairly and hope that you have enough coal to keep the all important generator running. These are just a few of the quandaries that you will face as the odds continue to stack against you.

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Using a unique building mechanic were buildings are curved to build out from around the generator rather than the more traditional building blocks and there is a real sense of achievement in seeing your small city emerging out of the snowy crator while your followers carve paths through the snow to reach the surrounding resources initially collecting scrap metal and wood from crates as you build up to sawmills and mines as you work through a surprisingly in-depth tech tree. To add to this Frostpunk also throws in the element of cold or more precisely finding ways to battle the cold as if your followers get cold then they can get sick or even refuse to work if it gets cold enough all adding additional strain while perhaps forcing the player into making more ruthless choices than they normally would just to keep the fires burning.

Another fun aspect to the game is the laws which initially focus on Adaptation which effect the day to day running of the city. This is soon after joined by Purpose which also bring the biggest change as players have to choose to go down the path of Faith with religion being used to raise hope with the potential of turning your settlement into it’s own religious cult unless of course you choose the path of order were propaganda and patrols will help maintain the peace and prevent uprisings. With both paths bringing their own unique buildings and objectives it adds a lot to the re-playability to the game much like any of the laws as your want to see how different choices can effect the running of the city.

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While the majority of the game takes place maintaining your city and stopping your followers freezing to death. Scouting proves to be an equally important of the game and thankfully proves to be a much better handled system than we saw with Surviving The Aftermath with scouts being sent out to locations around the map with each location adding to the world lore aswell as providing resources to be scavenged as well as survivors or automatons to help further your cause while the game mixes things up by often offering a choice to make at each location which might endanger your scouts at the risk of claiming big rewards or invaluable outposts.

Visually the game looks fantastic especially as you build up this world of industry and snow while the generators billow plumes of smoke into the sky. The downside though is that a lot of the buildings start to look the same meaning that you really need to plan out the placement of certainly buildings especially I was left on more often than I wanted spending way too much time struggling to find the medical hut with the only way to find it being to click on anything which vaguely looked like it might be the right building which could be resolved easily with the addition of a building list to skip to what I needed than trying to remember were I placed everything. Equally for those wanting to get down to street level the zoom won’t take you down that far even if you can click on any of your followers to read their little bios.

A fun challange for fans of management sims with the setting providing a new and intresting challange with the variety of scenarios only making it just as fun to replay, while the endless mode ensure there’s somthing there for those who just want to play out thier steampunk fantasies without the drama. This is a title that certainly delivers an engaging experience well worth discovering.

Rating: 5 / 5

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