The Hidden Ones is the first major season pass content for Assassin's Creed Origins, or, as I like to call it, AC Egyptian Style. The DLC up to this point has been mostly clothing and weapons to toy with. Nothing crazy.
But The Hidden Ones opens up the map to include Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. It also raises the level cap from 40 to 45 as the story talks about a rebel faction fighting off Roman occupiers on the peninsula. The bad guy in the video is talking about the Brotherhood of Assassins wanting "peace and order." Funny how the good guys and bad guys often want the same thing. It's just how they go about achieving their goals. That's what usually separates the two.
Assassin's Creed Origins: The Hidden Ones launches Tuesday, January 23. It's already part of the season pass. Or it's $9.99 sold separately.
Watching the trailer for Beat Saber will only take 33 seconds of your life. That brief trailer is all it takes to know whether or not you are in on Beat Saber. When that beat dropped at the 20 second mark, I knew that I was all in.
Czech Republic-based development studio Hyperbolic Magnetism announced their upcoming rhythm game Beat Saber this weekend with one of the most effective trailers I’ve seen in quite some time. Already rocking just under 500,000 views after 2 days, it is fair to say that Beat Saber has gotten the attention of the internet.
This is the sort of game that spawns a million Youtube videos. The player stands at the ready with two glowing sabers (let’s all agree right now not to call them “lightsabers” anymore). Cubes come floating towards the player, who slashes at them with the sabers to the rhythm of the beat. Here’s the catch: each cube indicates a direction that the player must swipe. I have obviously never seen anyone play this game, but I assume that the more difficult levels will lead to much flailing and howling.
With a very cool visual style and a focus on carefully crafted levels and accessibility, Beat Saber is due on all three major VR platforms sometime in 2018. The development team states that their goal is to “make players almost dance, while cutting all the cubes and avoiding obstacles”. I take an ostrich approach to VR dancing (if I can’t see you, you can’t see me). As someone that finds himself happily dancing almost every time I play any VR game, I’m crazy excited for Beat Saber.
Atlus has announced that their fans don't have to wait too terribly long for Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, the remake of the cult classic DS RPG. Redux is arriving May 15th. The remake brings new story content, new art by Masayuki Doi, and a new playable character named Alex.
I reviewed the original DS game way back in 2010 and I really enjoyed it, but I felt the ambitious story and dungeon crawling gameplay was hamstrung by the grainy resolution and other technical limitations of the DS. Hopefully Redux can stretch its legs more on 3DS. I'm looking forward to the improvements Atlus has made; this is one game that actually does deserve a refresh.
Fatshark has announced that famed Danish composer Jesper Kyd is returning to compose the soundtrack for Vermintide 2. This isn't too surprising considering Kyd scored the original Vermintide, but it's good to know he's back in the saddle for the sequel. Kyd is known for bringing his distinctive sound to State of Decay, Borderlands and the Assassin's Creed series, and on Vermintide 2 he's using a Norse influence for the new Chaos Viking enemy faction. You can check out one of his tracks for the game below.
This week's Nintendo Download has both indie and first party goodness for eShop patrons. Kirby Battle Royale arrives on the 3DS, allowing you and four friends to decide who is the greatest Kirby as four of the little puffs can battle using all sorts of copy abilities and battle types.
Darkest Dungeon brings gothic roguelike adventuring to Switch. The game was a huge seller on Steam and being able to take it on the go adds even more incentive to pick it up if you previously missed it.
Also of note is the expansion pass for Xenoblade Chronicles 2; this week the first content packs for pass owners drop, adding new quests, rare loot and some helpful gear.
There's more digital goodness in the press release below so check it out if you're keen to do some eShop shopping this week.
2K has recently put up a new video that talks about some of the new features coming to Civilization VI: Rise and Fall. For instance, how you do in one era will have lasting effects in the eras to follow. Being a successful leader can be prosperous and send you into a Golden Age, but falling behind can bring about a Dark Age. Each transition to a new era brings with it a choice for which direction you want to send your empire, such as expanding your military or focusing on pious worship. More features include different things to do during the various ages and the bonuses they can bring.
Update (Saturday, 9:41 AM):
The West Coast apparently woke up and is working to repair the PlayStation Store.
While connectivity is still spotty, I was able to log into the sale for long enough to catch sight of a few more pretty great deals:
I'm gonna snag Oxenfree. That's a great deal.
Also included are all of Sony's PlayLink Games, including SuperMassive's Hidden Agenda. That one is worth five bucks, for sure.
If you pay attention to the PlayStation Store, you can usually spot a Flash Sale coming before they drop it. If the weekly deals only hold a couple of indies that no one wants and add-on packs for free-to-play games, you can be sure that a Flash Sale is heading your way that weekend.
This weekend, Sony is holding a $5 Flash Sale, with everything listed costing $5 or less. This would be great if the sale weren't completely broken. Since Friday night, I've tried to browse the sale from my PS4, from the Playstation App on my phone, and from my PC. Every time I click on any link from the $5 Flash Sale, I am greeted with a lovely banner. Under this banner is a bunch of blank space. Sony does not want us to buy their sweet $5 games. It is as though they were holding a garage sale with a bunch of stuff they don't really want to sell.
I've attempted to reach out to Sony to inform them that their sale is not functioning, but everywhere I look seems to indicate that Sony runs on Pacific Time, so they are all still asleep. Which is nice for them, I suppose.
If they get it up and running, the big advertised deals are:
I'd love to tell you what else is on sale, but for now, Sony is keeping its secrets.
The gamer that made a swatting call on a random address now faces involuntary manslaughter charges. "I had physical things thrown at me as a result," says Seamus Blackley, talking about his design of the dinner plate-sized Duke controller for the original Xbox; The Duke is being re-released at the end of March. And the ESA, the video game publishers' lobbying group that runs the annual E3 convention, condemned President Trump's disparaging remarks toward Haiti and African countries.
So, what are you playing?
Russell Archey, Staff Writer, @NeoScyther
I'll be going back and forth between an upcoming review and clearing out my backlog. For the former I'm checking out The Escapists 2 on the Switch. I didn't play the original, but after going through the tutorial for this one, I'm kind of worried. Not that the game won't be good—I am enjoying it—but that I'm usually not that good at games that require me to not be noticed. It's probably why I've never gotten anywhere in a Splinter Cell game. As for my backlog I started up Batman: Arkham Asylum prior to Christmas, and while I haven't played it in a couple of weeks, I've actually made more progress than the first time I played it, so I'm slowly making my way through it.
Kinsey Danzis, Staff Writer, email@example.com
I'm putting off the final fight with Calamity Ganon in Breath of the Wild for as long as possible. And just so you know, I typed Clamity Ganon and am subsequently imagining the beast at Hyrule Castle as a giant flying clam. I just downloaded the Expansion Pass and immediately went for the Ancient Bridle and Saddle, and am currently cavorting around Hyrule Fields trying to find hidden chests. It's definitely freeing not to be afraid of Guardians or Lynels anymore; the fully upgraded Champion's Tunic is a bit OP, but not enough to make the game feel broken, which is great for someone like me who plays mainly for the story and the cool loot.
Eric Hauter, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm continuing my playthrough of the first season of Batman: The Telltale Series. Telltale continues to surprise me with their narrative choices, throwing certain Batman traditions to the wind, while still hitting major story points. Playing this game is like looking at the Batman universe through a slightly warped glass, and I'm loving it.
I completed my playthrough of the story missions in Star Trek Bridge Crew with my sons last weekend, and I think we might dip back in this week to try to wrap up some trophies and take another run at the Kobayashi Maru challange. We have managed to get at least 100 folks off of the doomed ship, and we should be able to pull together a run that gets us 120 and the "No-Win Scenario" trophy.
In the evenings, I've been playing the PSVR port of Vive's early hit Out of Ammo, in anticipation of my review on the January 30 release date. Between that and Bridge Crew, my mind is pretty locked up in military strategy.
Charles Husemann, Editor-in-Chief, @chusemann
Darkest Dungeon is out for the Switch and I'm planning on diving in this weekend. I logged a lot of ours with the PC version (which I Kickstarted) but the Switch seems like the perfect platform for the game—well, other than for tablets.
I'm also hoping that I get in the closed beta for Sprint Vector this weekend as I've been looking forward to the game since it was first announced. It looks great and I'm always on the hunt for another VR game that gets my blood pumping.
Outside of those, I'll be logging time with the multiplayer portions of Call of Duty: WWII and Battlefront II.
Randy Kalista, Staff Writer, email@example.com
As an act of self-discipline, needless or otherwise, I've deleted all but one game from my PC and all but one game from my PS4. This is how I'll finally glue myself to one game until completion on either platform. When I'm on the PlayStation, it's Mass Effect: Andromeda. When I'm on the PC, it's Elite Dangerous. Wait wait, play Elite Dangerous "to completion," you say? How, exactly, might one do that in a sandbox sci-fi flight simulator set in a 400-billion-star Milky Way? Well, one doesn't. One doesn't do anything to completion there. Unless you set up an arbitrary goal for yourself. Which I have. It's to reach the center of the galaxy, using any meandering path I choose. Not to mention making a Scrooge McDuck pile of money exploring stars, planets, and their moons along the way. I crossed the 200-hour mark in Elite Dangerous last weekend, taking photographs of mountain passes on rocky planets somewhere between Cepheus Dark Region and Veil West Nebula. But Elite Dangerous is the distraction. Mass Effect: Andromeda is the goal. 2018 is still a year of second chances, for me. And when it comes to games that need a second chance, Andromeda is my obvious choice.
Rob Larkin, Staff Writer, @Rob_GN
There are all sorts of goings on around my home nowadays with renovations happening downstairs. Unfortunately the noise is causing a big disruption in my infant son’s sleep schedule and my wife might take him to Montreal this weekend for some peace and quiet. If that happens, I’m breaking out the PSVR that still sits unopened from Black Friday. I’ve decided to keep both the PSVR and Vive until I play through the small handful of PSVR exclusives on my mind and then maybe eBay it to fund a Vive Pro. So I’m hoping to jump in on the handful of PSVR games I’ve already got, like, Arizona Sunshine, EVE: Valkyrie, Skyrim, and the PS Plus freebies from months past.
Nicholas Leon, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ha! I think the real question is: What do you have time to play?
In between what readings I have and finishing my thesis, as well as two birthday parties (ha, is that considered too much information?), I think that the only thing I'll really have time for this weekend is a quick match of Battlefield 1, just to keep from getting rusty. And I really don't think that's too bad.
Kevin O’Connell, Staff Writer, email@example.com
I am at a standstill with GN gaming for right now, so I am putting some time into the Mass Effect Trilogy. I was going to save my replay for a remastered version of the original, but it seems to be a hope dream rather than a happening. Love the story of ME1, though I am ignoring the less-than-spectacular gunplay right now.
Am planning on a South Park marathon in February (I and II) when my brother visits. But for now, it is still shelved.
Awaiting my new HP computer at the end of this week. I will be working to get everything moved and set up as soon as it arrives. Hope I can get all my old games to work...they are a staple to my video gaming life.
Sometimes you just get lucky. Kind of on a whim, I stopped by the Oculus store ti browse through the multitudinous games I can't/won't buy. Much to my surprise, I found a Free Weekend title that was going to unlock in just 3 minutes. It me all of three seconds to start the download of From Other Suns, even though I knew absolutely nothing about it other than a quick description on the store page.
And that, folks, is how I found myself on the bridge of a starship trying to figure out which part of the other ship nearby I should aim at. You know, to kill him before he could kill us. Space can be that way.
That was the end of the tutorial and I have yet to enter into an actual mission, but the tutorial itself guarantees that I soon will. Early impressions are of a full VR and somewhat shallower Elite: Dangerous but with a lot more motion and some shooting, too. Aesthetically it's pretty barren, though, at least to the extent that I've seen in the admittedly brief period I played with it.
It looks pretty good, so you probably ought to head on over to the Oculus Store to give it a try.
After topping many “Most Anticipated Games of 2018” lists, Ambition of the Slimes has arrived on Nintendo Switch, and is now available for $4.99.
Just kidding about the lists, of course. But, I must admit that I am intrigued by anything named “Ambition of the Slimes”. Developed by Flyhigh Works, Ambition is a tactical/grid-based RPG, featuring the lowliest of all RPG villians – the slime- as the heroes of the story. Judging by the trailer, different colored slimes have different battle abilities, including the ability “Claim”. With this disgusting sounding ability, slimes thrust themselves into enemies’ mouths, taking control of their bodies for the duration of the battle.
All joking aside, I love the 16-bit look and feel in this trailer, and the music is just what the doctor ordered for a game like this. I love Final Fantasy Tactics and Vandal Hearts and other tactical games of this ilk, so I am 100% buying Ambition of the Slimes. In fact, it will now become my official second Switch game ever, right after Golf Story.
Come on, folks! It’s called Ambition of the Slimes! It’s five bucks! This game looks awesome! Get on board!
Is anyone with me? Anyone? Anyone?