Star Wars: Battlefront Strikes Back
Our recent demo of Star Wars Battlefront – publisher Electronic Arts’ and developer DICE’s reboot of the beloved Star Wars multiplayer-focused shooter, coming to Xbox One and PC this November – opened on the moon of Endor. The lush forest setting was immediately familiar; well, save for the fact there wasn’t a single Ewok in sight. Of course, the cute creatures were probably just taking cover from the epic, eye-popping battle that unfolded before us. Dubbed “Walker Assault,” the 40-player mode we saw was an all-out, action-fueled Rebels-versus-Empire melee. Complemented by detail-drenched character, vehicle, and weapon models – as well as the sort of immersive audio that will have you considering a sound system upgrade – the demo saw Stormtroopers and Rebel forces trading blaster rounds in adrenaline-pumping firefights that wouldn’t look out of place in the films.
Halo: Spartan Strike Launches Today on Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, iPhone, iPad and Steam
The newest mobile top-down shooter from the Halo universe has officially arrived. Today, Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries, in conjunction with Vanguard Games, launched Halo: Spartan Strike on Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, iPhone, iPad, and Steam as a digital download for $5.99 ERP. Halo: Spartan Strike tells a compelling new story in the Halo universe set during the events of Halo 2 on New Mombasa in 2552. As a Spartan supersoldier in a classified ONI simulation, delve into 30 challenging missions while leading UNSC troops through cities and jungles with an all new arsenal of weapons, abilities and vehicles.
Playing Detective in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
With just over a month until The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt lands on Xbox One, developer CD Projekt RED is now finishing up work on the main game and turning its attention to expansion packs. They recently detailed two such packs - Hearts of Stone slated to arrive in late 2015 and Blood and Wine scheduled to appear at in the first quarter of 2016. Remember, these are on top of the 16 free downloadable content packs extras every player will receive after the game launches. Hearts of Stone is said to deliver brand new adventures for the game’s hero Geralt, which includes 10 hours of gameplay in No Man’s Land and Oxenfurt to complete a contract handed out by the Man of Glass. Blood and Wine goes a set further and will include another 20 hours of gameplay in a new region of the game called Toussaint - a very different, tranquil location in stark contrast to what has been seen before. In addition to these new adventures, CD Projekt Red is also promising a large range of new gear to use and some new enemies to fight. The expansion packs will be available as part of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Season Pass or available for individual purchase from the Xbox Store.
Ascendance Adds Nastier Zombies and Beefier Guns to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
The second downloadable content pack for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – titled Ascendance – hit Xbox One recently, and added a slew of new content for your Exo soldiers. If you haven’t checked it out yet, we’ve got all the juicy details for you before you strap on your Exo and leap into the action. Ascendance features four new maps for multiplayer, ranging from small to large – and like all the Advanced Warfare maps, they feature their own unique gameplay twists. Perplex is a five-story apartment complex in beautiful Sydney. Construction drones systematically move the modules, creating a changing environment. Tight corridors and lots of windows facilitate a variety of strategies.
Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is Unlike Anything Else
“I really liked Dark Souls... what other games out there are like it?” It’s a question that eventually, inevitably pops up in online Dark Souls discussions everywhere. Given this week’s Xbox One release of Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, I expect the suggestion threads to start anew, once folks get their hands dirty with the super-special-edition-plus-downloadable-content-and-enemy-rebalancing edition of developer From Software’s landmark action-role-playing game. But today, I’m here to save you a lot of time and energy on the issue: Nothing else is like Dark Souls. Nothing. I understand the impulse. “I quite enjoyed this experience, and I want more like it, so what other games can scratch that same itch?” people ask. And I watch as others try to fill in the blanks with other games – often very good games, make no mistake – that seem to cleave close to Dark Souls’ very hardcore narrative and gameplay sensibilities. But when you break down exactly what Dark Souls is, and how it uniquely fuses the things that make up this particular “is,” you’d be hard-pressed to find other games that (again, awesome as they may be on their own terms) achieve that specific alchemy.