“The continent of Europa is engulfed in the flames of the Second Europan War between the Atlantic Federation and the Autocratic Eastern Imperial Alliance. Although the Federation struggles valiantly against the Empire’s forces, the relentless imperial military machine threatens to consume them. With victory slipping away, the Federation executes Operation Northern Cross: a last-ditch attempt to capture the imperial capital and end the war.
Roll7 are now legends for their Olli Olli series which is something I regrettably completely forgot when I walked up to them at last year’s PAX East on the third day (when they were admittedly quite tired) but gave their game Not A Hero the same fair chance I’d give to any game. I sat down and got hands on of an early build that impressed me with its simplicity and focus on fun factor / gameplay design, something the indie scene is becoming well known for thankfully. They made a joke to me when I showed up at the Devolver Digital booth and let them know I’d already seen everything else there so I wanted to give their game a try. Roll7 told me (dripping with sarcasm) that all Devolver’s other projects had been cancelled, and that Not A Hero was taking over now.
In this game players take the role of a man hell bent on gaining votes for would-be mayor BunnyLord. The way these votes will be acquired is by the player taking control of character Steve, the campaign’s figurehead of BunnyLord’s run for office. But Steve doesn’t just ask politely for votes, nah that would never work, and BunnyLord probably isn’t dishing out billions from Afghanistan investors either. In this futuristic “2.25D” shoot-em-up votes are gained by stopping crime the bloody hard way. Shooting up the dirt bags of the city in the name of BunnyLord will gain the exposure needed to truly capture the voting public and become Mayor once and for all.
In addition to being Steve, there are also 9 more playable “non-heroes” with unique attacks and weapons. Each is to be played in a different style of gameplay. Missions take place on levels that look straight out of Elevator Action but with enhanced graphics and a way more fast-paced, diverse set of moves for players to carry out. Jumping through glass and smashing onto new floors like a James Bond action film, players make use of grenades, shotguns, fully automatics, swords, and more. Performing execution moves, tackling enemies, and snapping to cover in a very unique mix of 2D and 2.5D gameplay while facing every kind of enemy you can imagine, Not A Hero is best described by watching it in video.
Take a look below at Not A Hero being played by BunnyLord himself, but rest assured the feel of this game in your hands is something very tactile and interactive which is probably best not to miss out on when it releases for Steam on May 7, 2015 in 3 weeks, 5 days, 21 hours, 16 minutes, and 32 seconds. Okay I might have made up the part about the seconds. It’s 30 now. Can’t wait!
HD Gameplay of Not A Hero:
In what is surely to be taken the wrong way, video games are invading the Earth and out to kill everything held sacred. What was intended to be a message of peace has now come back to bite humanity in the, well you know. An alien life force imitating video games as real life weapons against the species. Superstar talent like Adam Sandler, Kevin James (who frankly should have been listed higher on the film’s IMDB page), and a bunch of other Hollywood people you’ve probably never heard of but find strangely familiar face-wise fill out the cast.
Sony Pictures is putting this film out which will debut in theaters on July 24, 2015 in North America, August 12, 2015 in the United Kingdom, and kicks off their long line of films based on video games coming this year and over the next few. The creator of Pac-Man even gets a time to shine, somebody who I have met personally during an E3 open bar and certainly knows how to have a good time I might add!
Everybody goes through a partying phase, some never made it out of theirs. Luckily for you Party Hard from tinyBuild and Pinokl Games lets you take those mother effers out, because you’re just trying to get to sleep and everybody thinks it’s party central non-stop. Or maybe you just hate your neighbors? The dark humor possibilities are endless with this game, as players are tasked with committing murders under the guise of being just another party animal like the rest of them – all while trying not to get caught. Now if this sounds a bit much for you I assure you, continue reading because it gets even more awesome.
Scattered all around each level in Party Hard are various ways to end the lives of those who seek to oppose you by refusing to kill the party. Sometimes you might just stab somebody in a room when they are alone and walk off like nothing happened. Other times you might try and set people up for disastrous accidents that will not end well for them (or so you’re hoping). Coming to Steam and mobile platforms later this year, Party Hard just brings a hilarious offer to the table. Of course, none of this is meant to be taken seriously, and the pixel art should give that away from the get-go. But as far as gameplay mechanics, it’s one of the only titles where you can simply break out into dance at the push of a button, experience dancing bears, ganja conspiracy plots, and flaming limbo lines all together.
Recently at PAX East 2015 my favorite YouTuber Jesse Cox sat down and played the game. While at first things were pretty bizarre, and understandably so, the game’s charming mechanics won over audiences who tuned in live via Twitch as well as the broadcaster himself. Take a look below at that and be on the lookout for more as this game makes its way to full release (if the SJWs don’t write a hundred cry blogs about it first of course). Editor’s Note: You’re probably not getting it Australia. Just sayin’.
Extended Gameplay Video featuring Jesse Cox:
Now that the fifth Beta phase has been issued for Sorcerer King it’s high time RealGamerNewz drops our thoughts and feelings on the direction the title has been heading in thus far, the development studio’s vision for those who don’t know yet, and a general impression on how that vision is actually being delivered. Most importantly, whether or not this game is even fun. But first things first, there’s a few things you may not know about me which I’d like to disclose immediately.
A quick internet search will show you that I’ve had my hands on two of Stardock’s other games in this genre (4X Turn-Based Strategy), namely Fallen Enchantress and Elemental: War of Magic. My experiences were not pleasant and the Reviews I provided reflect that loud and clear while still giving readers an idea of their redeeming qualities. The first one, Elemental, even came with a full length book. This prompted me to attempt and bring Brad Wardell onto a Podcast of the publication I was contributing for when I made the Review. Ever the busy guy, Brad apparently never got a chance to respond. Looking back I sincerely wish that I had tried harder, since now a ton of controversy has rained down on the industry and I feel it’s all tainted the developer to press relationship quite a bit, while at the same time causing far more open transparency (albeit through callous methods). That is neither here nor there for the purpose of this Preview though, but suffice to say I found it odd when Fallen Enchantress was released and had almost everything wrong with it that Elemental did (despite clear attempts from the dev team not to) yet the press gave glowing Reviews with high scores. I might have been a bit too harsh on it, but I lambasted it for being a re-hash and even felt that Wardell himself just didn’t know when to give up on a concept after I had played it.
So with all of this personal history / bias in mind, on walks Sorcerer King to my doorstep. Is it different enough? Is it good enough? Or is Stardock Entertainment just really good at PR and Marketing now? I dug in hoping to find out… Giving every game a clean slate to be judged on regardless of who made it or the past iterations is a concept I take seriously a member of the gaming media. Forgive, but don’t forget might not be an accurate way of describing this – but let’s just say that doesn’t mean I won’t notice repeating trends nor ignore them. With that all in mind I’m thankful to be able to say that Sorcerer King is a lot better than the previous two games I have mentioned, while still stubbornly carrying out their legacy. Before I deliver some of how I feel the game has improved, I would like to speak about the developers’ vision for this game and the genre overall for those who might be reading and wondering what they’ve gotten themselves into with this abnormally upfront Preview.
After watching many developer streams I’ve come to understand what the team is going for this time around. A more approachable game that gets things right the first time rather than asking the player to bend over backwards to understand it. As for my own personal thoughts, I am pleased with what has become of this turn-based strategy series. Sorcerer King is distinguished and very different from its predecessors in many ways. Most immediately recognizable is the fact that the game is simply much easier to learn, more clear and obvious in its functionality, and most importantly – it’s more fun. Even without cutscenes players will be able to grasp the story being told here. While a few very advanced strategists can point out features and details that need re-tooling, the game is finally complete in that any player of the Strategy genre will be able to approach it without prior knowledge of the series.
Stardock Entertainment has truly produced something worthwhile with Sorcerer King. Although some polish on balance can be expected before the final release, it feels almost finished already, which makes me feel confident in this evaluation. Normally for Previews we like to stick with being informative versus evaluative, but given the history of the franchise and the high price point of entry for users it felt necessary to be judgmental. Now let’s talk about the actual details of how Sorcerer King games play out mechanically speaking.
– Build outposts to expand your territory, claim resources as your own in order to defend the world against prime evil
– Train units to expand your armies, stack them and bring dozens into each battle
– Upgrade your city with buildings that unlock a more advanced civilization, and enhance your army (among many other things)
– Gain spells, champion attributes, resource modifiers, and much more as your units and structures level up
– Craft potions, weapons, equip individual units with everything they need, auto resolve battles, or fight them out manually in strategy RPG grid style fights (some battles cannot be skipped)
– Come across interesting and varying random encounters with your choices impacting what happens in the immediate moment as well as eventual future such as robbing people, recruiting people, saving people from monsters, doing deals with neutral parties within kingdoms you wish to sway back to your side and away from the sorcerer king, and much more
All the while the Sorcerer King himself will continue to visit you and try to tempt you to join his side or at least accept his aid. It seems like a terrible idea and it’s probably better to maintain your honor in this quest since the world is depending on you as the last kingdom around. Engine performance issues are less than expected given the instability of the previous two games in the series, but there are still hiccups in frame rate and loading which is a shame. Of course, that could easily be a symptom of the game not being done yet, as it is still in Early Access, and I have not experienced anything game-breaking nor trudging along levels of slowdown.
There is so much to say about this game and much of it is good. It’s very deep and diverse gameplay, lore, and beautiful presentation make it a must have title for strategy fans of any caliber. Finally it is possible to really understand what you are doing and function in the game without being a completely obsessed person scouring every detail. But this isn’t what everybody in the existing fan-base had wanted.
Some features have been “dumbed down” or removed entirely for the favor of making this game a better title for the overall gaming public. I want to personally thank Stardock Entertainment for making that difficult decision and executing it gracefully (most of what is lacking is actually in the game in some form, telling me that the dev team tried their hardest to avoid leaving things out) and while normally I’m against this practice in games, it made sense for this one. The games that came before it were simply not that good in my humble opinion and though I sympathize with strategy fans who meticulously frothed at the mouth over tiny details and statistical charts they were influencing, Sorcerer King is simply a better, more complete package.
Perhaps since the game is still in Early Access Stardock still has time to add back in some of the pieces that players are missing. But as it stands, this game is an amazing accomplishment bridging the gap between good design, responsible scope of core systems, and ridiculously ambitious scale. I look forward to possibly giving more Early Access Impressions, and definitely performing a Full Review upon release, though it will probably be around four thousand words or more because there is so much to cover in Sorcerer King. If you love the Strategy genre, buy this now.