A Closer Look: Fade To Silence, New IP from THQ Nordic

Resurrecting the title of THQ itself, Nordic Games has become THQ Nordic and in a true show of form for the artist mastery the development house has been come to known for – Fade To Silence was showcased as one of our most enchanting games of The Game Awards 2017. Currently launched into Early Access mode on Steam, Fade To Silence will eventually see release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox ONE platforms this year.

From the publisher that will also bring players Darksiders 3 this year comes a crafting survival game with cold, harsh winter and a dash of the Lovecraft twist on top. Players can take over outposts, hunt for food, build up their bases with various installments and upgrades through resource gathering and management, and engage in deadly combat with various enemies of the wild.

Something horrible lurks within the blinding white of our main character Ash’s environment. The Eldritch of an endless, post apocalyptic winter are here at the mercy of the old ones, an eternal evil that does not always provide full explanation of itself but perhaps extends its existence beyond time itself.

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PC Version of Monster Hunter: World Gets Development Update Presentation

Ryozo Tsujimoto is the Producer of Monster Hunter: World which awed gamers worldwide at The Game Awards 2017 alongside Death Stranding as our two most anticipated games. In this new developer presentation from the team behind MH:W we will hear about the latest behind-the-scenes updates on the current status of development behind the PC version of Monster Hunter: World. He also announces that the team is planning to continue updating the game with new monsters after release, which will all be included upon release of the PC version later this year.

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Nine Parchments Review

Rouge-lite without the random element
(4K Magic Online Co-Op Game)

Nine Parchments is something of a unique proposition for the gamers of Steam’s massive platform. In the Action RPG genre, magic wielding specifically, this new title exists as a story mode game that has been adapted to a much greater purpose.

Through a multi-run system, Nine Parchments has been developed into a Rougelite gameplay experience that has none of the fatigued randomly generated elements of the sub-genre but instead an excellent display of top quality game graphics, engine performance, elemental magic spells, enemies, unlockable characters, spells, weapons, and more.

The title doesn’t take any of the industry’s recent controversial advantages against the player but rather instead attempts to deliver the ultimate package in a full title of abundant content that’s as well balanced as it is well designed. Fun Factor takes center focus with a solid gameplay battle system to match the desirable graphics and presentation of the game, and a first foundation to what hopes to be a brand new series makes a great installment for RPG fans of many types to play and enjoy online together or solo in battle.

The main objective regardless of whether its your first story playthrough, or your fortieth, is to acquire new parchments or spell books and scrolls. 4 Difficulty Options, 32 Levels, 8 Boss Fights, Hardcore Mode, In-game rewards for hard work on higher difficulty settings such as Rare Loot, Prestige Drops, Legendary versions of Additional Unlockable Playable Characters, Spells, Wizard Hats, Wizard Staffs, Equipment, and more.

Gameplay

Enemies can get their own elemental defense, paired with a bubble / shield type defensive predisposition pertaining to the opposite elemental defense. This double negative ensnarement of magical defense causes players to need a great equipment, co-operation with each other on attack co-ordination, and a quick thinking attack and dodge move to survive it all. The game has 4 difficulty settings in total which can change the outcome of an already difficult to master charade of elemental magic attack and dodge choreography with a sinister army of beings fighting against your survival.

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Why Valve Needs a “Vive 2” to Re-Spark VR Developers’ Innovation

***[UPDATE: VIVE PRO ANNOUNCED, 2K PER EYE] HTC VIVE PRO LEAKED FOLLOWING VIVE 2 SPECULATIONS AND DEMAND

VR gaming is here to stay, and evolve. However, that evolution may be moving at too fast of a rate for companies to keep up. The mainstream adoption of VR itself has been a great blessing for developers and backers of the technology this generation. Some major flaws in the first round of VR still haven’t been addressed though, and that process is painfully slow – possibly meaning VR progress will be a lot slower than we all thought.

While at times disappointing it’s still a great thing that VR has “arrived” so to speak, and now has a foundation from which to grow. What would be great to see next is for a company to release a proper package with all of the new technology advancements that have been made since the first round of hardware releases hit. Microsoft simply investing in enabling third parties to make their own headsets is interesting, but not quite the convincing brand gamers need to trust VR is headed in the right direction and invest.

Currently there are too many add-ons and not enough software on the market to justify if they’ll actually be adopted or not in a meaningful gameplay experience. We need something like an HTC Vive 2 package with support for walking in virtual reality. This could easily be done using mostly just the same parts as the existing Vive if need be – but they need to let players walk around in open worlds using the Vive Trackers which could be temporarily marketed as foot trackers or leg trackers even though they can be used for more than one purpose in-game.

Teleporting as a movement function makes players sick after a couple of hours. Thumbsticks are not ideal either. I’ve still been enjoying lots of VR games though which are built around these problems. Racing wheels and cockpit flight stick games are also great in VR. I like virtual board games too, it’s very fun and they let you play with non-vr people as well.

Millions of VR gaming headsets have been sold now between Vive and the PS4’s new Sony PlayStation VR (PSVR for short). Vive has essentially smoked Oculus, and Valve is behind it – they just didn’t want to own the fault if it failed, so they let HTC also keep their name on it. Valve and Carmack and Oculus shared all VR information until the Facebook merger with Oculus. That’s why Vive is better. Facebook is a typical corporation, but Vive and Steam VR are the embodiment of dev legends discussions manifested.

That same strength is a weakness though, because then again it’s Valve. They suck at support, and produce no content.They are lazy as hell and so slow and perfectionist too. The foot trackers already exist as an add-on but most players have no clue that one would even be needed for ideal VR experiences. If they get motion sick, they won’t even know why and just give up on VR entirely most likely.

These add-on trackers can be used for anything the developer chooses, which is actually the right approach most likely but we need way more games that are currently not done yet to release and show the industry the way they can be used. With so many VR headsets selling on the high-end, big companies are coming in late to the game and developing multi-year projects that we won’t see for a while. It’s coming though. The problem is, we still don’t know if these developers know or care about the movement problems discussed here.

To force a user to buy expensive trackers and/or dramatically ruin the game by designing it so predominantly around teleportation or crappy thumb-stick movements when it really needs to be leg gestures for walking like bending your knee slightly as if to step so you can traverse big maps in open worlds. Or, to track your feet, put you on a treadmill if you have even more money. But that’s not all marketed and supported by games yet, isn’t perfected, and even though it works at a high level players don’t know about it.

Vive looks good, it’s trippy, and it’s fun. The games that do exist are pretty interesting, all they need is to say “Here’s a Vive 2, Here’s PSVR 2 when PS5 comes, or PS4 Ultra rather” – since the PS4 Pro doesn’t do Ultra settings textures like my PC still. SO that’s the next logical step I think for them. PS4 Pro is good, I love it, but it’s got that console blur mask going on and less detail. Exclusive games are the ones that really make the difference, even with less spec due to more money and care being spent. That’s why gamers love Sony, they hire talent.

PSVR 2 to up the quality and get foot trackers involved, get rid of the Move and PS4 Camera for better controllers and tracking units, require the PS4 Ultra console if necessary for the extra high resolution and tracking accuracy. This is a likely course of action for Sony – but will be a way harder road. They need a Vive 2 to first show them the right direction.

Complete backwards compatibility and catering to the existing Vive and PSVR userbase in ways that make them feel appreciated would be absolutely crucial to avoid souring the market and ruining the momentum of sales of course.

It would still only be a small step up from what we already have now, but with a more uniform understanding for the consumer and developers of VR games that players need to virtually explore and stop f****ing teleporting! Of course, slightly better resolutions and whatever latest controllers they want to shove at us are acceptable evils to bring this progress forward. The headset can upgrade a lot but I think they’ve finally reached a place where it’s going to stay on the market and evolve, and that’s exciting.

Entertainment Software Association Condemns World Health Organization’s “Gaming Addiction: Mental Illness” Ruling

According to the ESA (comprised of various video game interests) the WHO has actually not finalized their ruling of Video Games Addiction as a Mental Illness. Entertainment Software Association member companies currently has its own inner-battles going on due to the recent Lootbox debate where governments are categorizing games containing Lootbox Micro-transactions as Gambling therefore subject to legal regulations.

In a statement made by the ESA as their official reply to a draft created by the World Health Organization classifying gaming addiction as a disease, ESA said this;

“Just like avid sports fans and consumers of all forms of engaging entertainment, gamers are passionate and dedicated with their time. Having captivated gamers for more than four decades, more than 2 billion people around the world enjoy video games.

The World Health Organization knows that common sense and objective research prove video games are not addictive, and, putting that official label on them recklessly trivializes real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder, which deserve treatment and the full attention of the medical community.

We strongly encourage the WHO to reverse direction on its proposed action.”

Sure, the ESA has a lot to say now that the World Health Organization is stepping in, but they can blame themselves for allowing what prompted this to happen-

The Lootbox Gambling Video Game Scandal of 2017.

All of this is hot off the heals of a multi-million dollar scandal costing billions in shareholder displacement as Disney wars with EA Games over their recent Star Wars Gambling fiasco involving investigation from the FTC and prompting legislators to organize. Legal questions begin to arise when titles are using players as funnels for cash in unrealistic systems designed to deceive and betray false sense of secure investment and trust in the art medium of video games.

Meanwhile, what’s left of the original Halo creators at their shell of a company (now owned by Activision and still called Bungie) has seen another high profile sci-fi fantasy online action shooter video game lying to players about the odds of obtaining experience, level ups, and rewards for their time put in. These systems of course, have been designed to be predatory for gamers of all ages in forcing them to pay to proceed in their games of choice rather than just play them.

Even worse, to pay for a “chance” to succeed and gain the items they need, but like a slot machine – there’s no guarantee they’ll win. Odds are not advertised, and behind-the-scenes scam systems have been patented by Activision themselves to deliberately trick players into illusions of gameplay experiences designed to get them paying more.

Monster Hunter World: No Lootbox, PS4 Pro Beta #2, New Trailer, and Release Date

This is the Monster Hunter game that could bring in new players while uplifting the franchise to a huge upgraded look and feel. Capcom is performing strong as many Japanese game companies reclaim their extreme prestige of the past during the recent couple of exciting years.

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Battlefield 1 Turning Tides Expansion Review

This past week the first two maps of the Battlefield 1 expansion “Turing Tides” has now released. Also a new operation, new weapons, and new assignments have been added as well. But let’s get into the meat of this latest expansion in the latest Battlefield title.

“Turning Tides” as of right now only has its first two maps out, as the other two are coming in early January when it releases outside of the premium pass. But the first map we have is “Achi Baba” which is a trench warfare heavy map. The gameplay here is probably what I would consider the most accurate to the World War I setting. As you find yourself constantly running through trenches, grenades flying around and landing in front of you. It’s very infantry focused, and one of the best maps in the game in my opinion. The other map “Cape Helles” is more fitting with the theme of the DLC. Featuring plenty of sea gameplay, with also a big mix of air and infantry based defense gameplay. This map I find a bit weaker, as the attackers really only utilize the sea gameplay, while defense is more on infantry and sky.

There are plenty of new weapons that honestly don’t add to much to the sandbox of Battlefield 1, especially compared to “In the Name of the Tsar.” I feel like the real potential of this expansion lies with the next two maps that are coming, so when they release I will update this review with those. But the infiltrator hero class has been added in this update. Which serves as a more stealth based hero character, which is very fitting for Battlefield 1 and has the potential to be one of my favorite new classes.

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Hello Neighbor Review

Hello Neighbor is a very different type of game than you may have expected. Then again, being different than what you’re probably used to is also likely what brought you here in the first place. The sense of curiosity that’s been known to kill the cat, or in this case the neighborhood vibe of a suspenseful Alfred Hitchcock film meets puzzle game and dash of Five Nights At Freddy’s fan conspiracy community sprinkled on top without the annoying parts. It’s like Five Nights At Freddy’s for adults, but it’s so much more.

This game seems to exist within its own realm and as such follows its own rules of logic. A lot of time is spent fighting with your own mental patience or lack thereof. Gamers who take a calm and calculated approach and like to pause and think before every action might beat the game quicker than those who have lots of energy.

Sometimes the right action seems so simple but any little mistake will have you running to get back to the point where you had an opportunity to test your theory. The result will just be a lot of failure and the enemy growing more prepared and aware of your thinking process. The controls and physics of the game sometimes cause problems which aren’t your fault as well.

Many abstract moments leave the player constantly guessing what’s going on, but that’s the genre of mystery / adventure games that have recently cropped up. There’s a huge audience for it, but if you need something like a clear narrative, gunfights, or magic spells to keep you interested – it might not be for you. Instead, Hello Neighbor is a bizarre and artistic piece of content which can drive you borderline insane with spirit like a creepypasta.

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Best Multiplayer Game of the Year 2017 – The Game Awards

This category was perhaps one of the most crucial elements of the show. As, if Star Wars Battlefront 2 or Destiny 2 had been allowed to win, a gamer uprising against The Game Awards was likely imminent.

Geoff Keighley and staff continued to show grace with this year’s awesome show by being diplomatic in how they handled the situation. Although still somewhat controversial, their pick avoided an immeasurable backlash by siding with what the gamers wanted.

Nominees were as follows:

  • Destiny 2
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Splatoon 2
  • PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds
  • Fortnite
  • Call of Duty: World War II

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Best Indie Debut & Best Art Direction 2017 – The Game Awards

The Best Indie Debut is a new category for The Game Awards this year which recognizes games making a huge splash during their first year of launch. The category will serve to highlight runaway blockbusters from the indie scene which hit the ground running.

Cuphead is good. Everyone should play it. It’s on PC too so you have no excuse, and definitely pay for it don’t steal it. Those developers deserve that money. They worked their asses off. Fuck the Oscars.

Cuphead is the Best Debut Indie Game of the Year 2017.

Cuphead also win the award for Best Art Direction which I would agree with whole-heartily as it depicts the classic cartoon animations of the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and even 60’s with likeness to something out of a Mickey Mouse legendary series in video game form. It definitely deserves an award and any recognition that it gets, and more.

51 different outlets and influencers judged half of the vote for this award with the other 50% of the vote going to gamers and website visitors who participated in The Game Awards live interactive.

Nominees:

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Get Three Free PC Games Without Any Strings Attached

A little free game for the holidays in case nobody gets you anything – at least you’ll have that.

For the next 15 hours you can still get a free Steam key for Homefront through the Humble Bundle Store recently acquired by IGN…. but that’s a story for another day. Even if you don’t have a gaming computer right now, all you need is a Steam account and to create a free Humble Bundle account, then link the two together and receive this free game.

Homefront: Free for a Limited Time

Ubisoft is also giving away World in Conflict, a top-rated RTS game for free as we speak. Even if you don’t have disk space on your hard drive for now, you can still activate it with your account for playing at a later date similarly to Homefront’s deal above. There’s really no harm in stacking up free titles this way, and Ubisoft has been doing good things in the games industry as of late, so it’s guilt-free as well. All you have to do is download the UPlay app on your PC, it’s not even half as annoying as the Windows 10 Games Store (back from the dead GFWL… Tristan “just told me don’t even bring that up”.

World in Conflict – Complete Edition – Free (Ends December 11, 2017)

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag will be free December 12, 2017

Many people felt that Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag was the last actual good game in the franchise until Origins brought it back to stardom. “Origins doesn’t bring the series backwards to its roots either, but instead reinvents the wheel in a way that’s good for the series and feels like it realizes some of the original vision behind titles like Assassin’s Creed.”

“Obviously the setting is different in this new adventure, but it feels like the series always was supposed to be.” These are our currently flu-bound Deputy Editor Tristan Werbe’s words, Stay Tuned for the Full AC: Origins RealGamerNewZ Review & grab these free games.

Every World Premiere Reveal & Trailer from The Game Awards 2017

Just in case you needed to double take some of the amazing showings at the best gaming event in recent history, The Game Awards had everything from a surprise rebirth in Soulcalibur IV to very high quality New IP never before seen until today.

The longest World Premiere is even included, in at nearly 8 minutes long – Death Stranding by Hideo Kojima, Guillermo del Toro, Kojima Productions, and  Sony Interactive Entertainment starring Norman Reedus (of The Walking Dead) who also took stage during The Game Awards 2017.

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