Bloodborne is one of my most anticipated games of 2015. Having delved into Yharnam's bloodsoaked streets in hands-on preview sessions, gore-caked transforming saw in hand, I emerged knowing that this brutal and harrowing thing will likely be the game to sell me a PS4. There's much to look forward to, macabre as it is.
Legions of Dark Souls fans are champing at the bit for more From Software punishment, as if they're expecting a next-gen sequel, but I have a confession to make. I don't like Dark Souls.
Which, believe it or not, makes me doubly excited about what Bloodborne has to offer.
I have an odd relationship with Dark Souls, insofar as it's a game I deeply respect. I love the cohesive art design and the way its intricate levels feel like an enormous authentic world. I love the fact that it trusts players to piece together a mournful story through subtle hints and clues, not overbearing cutscenes. And who couldn't love any game brave enough to give players a stern challenge?Click here to read more...
Gamersgate have launched a Bandai Namco (it still feels weird to say it that way round) sale, knocking off up to 75% on selected titles. Dark Souls II on PC for £15 is a bit rubbish, but here are a few highlights:
Lords of the Fallen is looking like Dark Souls crossed with The Witcher. And that's fine.
When you first pick up the controller and start playing Lords of the Fallen, it becomes readily apparent that From Software's opus has been an enormous influence on this game. The controller setup is almost identical, the challenging philosophy behind the action is clearly evident, as is the commitment to visually interesting spaces, vistas, and enemies. Oh, and let us not forget the enormous, hard-as-nails bosses.
But what's clear is that Tomasz Gop , Deck13 and CI Games have little interest in making Lords of the Fallen a measuring rod and an exercise in frustration. Combat is very much predicated on the weight of your weapon and the heft of your armour, but there's a greater distinction here in terms of playstyles than might be found in LotF's inspirational genre predecessor. Lords is never going to handle like a Platinum game might, but there's a pleasing fluidity to the action when you're wielding lighter weapons such as daggers, and a satisfying brutality to larger two-handed weapons. Timing is of course absolutely key when chucking around war hammers and the like, whereas using your agility to dance out of harm's way and then back in to deliver strikes and flurries is paramount when taking a lighter approach.
Equipping a set of claws that makes central character Harkyn look like a medieval Wolverine allows for a sort of jump thrust that I'm pretty sure is pulled straight out of Brad Pitt's arsenal in Troy.
There seems to be a little more wiggle room in terms of setting up your character and doing things your own way, and that extends to the classes. You can choose between cleric, rogue or warrior at the start, but as far as I could tell, that only really affects your magical capabilities. There are bits and pieces of armour or weaponry labelled in a manner that might suggest class-specification, but these are simply suggestions. If you want your cleric romping about with an enormous axe and heavy armour, you absolutely can. And I do so love an RPG where I can mix and match.Click here to read more...
HD remasters and re-releases are big business, and in the wake of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition earlier this year, and the Final Fantasy X/X-2 re-release a few days ago, I've been thinking about some of the other games from the past fifteen years that would make for no-brainer re-releases on current, new-gen platforms like the Xbox One, the PS4, and the Wii U.
Sometimes, it's all too easy to attribute a re-release to a cashgrab, and the line shifts depending on who's drawn it, and how much the person in question values a game. Convenience is often one of the greatest reasons for picking up a game again on a new platform, particularly if it's a beloved title. But there are also certain practical improvements that we all look for when it comes to these revamps, from graphical improvements -- resolutions, textures, framerate, AA -- to additional content, smoother handling, new features, and making the most of the opportunities afforded by new tech.
In the case of the Xbox One and PS4, that means gameplay broadcasting and sharing services. On the Wii U, that extends even further to the unique capabilities of the GamePad and a greater focus on online multiplayer.
With that in mind, here are a few of my own personal picks for games I'd love to see make the jump from previous generations to the current one.
Metroid Prime Trilogy
This is a no-brainer. Metroid Prime still, somehow, looks absolutely outstanding, and both the first game and Echoes received a bit of spit and polish for the Collection that released on the Wii. Not only is it the best and bravest move Nintendo have made with one of their precious properties, but the explortory nature of the gameplay would lend itself brilliantly to incorporating the Game Pad. Scanning alien planets, pinpointing enemy weaknesses, plus you could use the motion control to steer the Morphball, and if Nintendo fancied adding in a spot of extra gameplay, you could get a nice little Commander-esque mode going on with the Game Pad in competitive multiplayer.Click here to read more...
Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition | Play-Asia | £8.66
Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition price comparison | Dark Souls Review
We published this one a few days ago as it was the cheapest price by far, and now it's gotten even cheaper.
There’s still a rather long wait to go before pledgers will be able to test out Cloud Imperium’s upcoming space sim Star Citizen, but last night the official website for the game was updated with a few words with studio head Chris Roberts. The post goes into plenty of detail over the subject of character death, Robert’s musings on how to approach it, and what the current plan is for players of the persistent online portion of the upcoming game.Click here to read more...
If you really want to shit yourself up this Halloween, then have Blockbuster send over this evil abomination. With death and a lengthy restart waiting around every corner there really isn't a more frightening experience on PS3. It's hardly fun, but if you fancy a true challenge and aren't prone to smashing pads to pieces - and have a sturdy bladder- then pick up this limited edition which includes an artbook, soundtracks, making ofs and a guide book. This is about half the price of other deals out there, as this edition has become quite rare.
Dark Souls' Artorias Of The Abyss content, which was previously only available to PC players, has now deployed on Xbox Live and PSN. £9.99/1200 MSP will net you new bosses, weapons, armour sets, monsters and levels, which all fit into the existing storyline.
According to the EU PlayStation Blog, the new DLC "lets you unveil some mysteries about the lost kingdom of Oolacile and the (in)glorious past of Artorias, one of the four champions of Gwyn, the lord of Cinder."
It's also a little on the difficult side. Who knew?
From Software has announced that Dark Souls' Artorias Of The Abyss downloadable content pack will be released on October 24th. This expansion will bring the console versions in line with the PC Prepare To Die edition: containing new maps, environments, enemies, bosses, gear and enhanced PvP.
The press release describes the experience as "torturous" and "unrelenting," which is probably exactly what most Dark Souls players are looking for.
We've got a double-whammy of Dark Souls news today. First of all, the all-singing, all-dancing Dark Souls: Prepare To Die edition will be headed to Steam as well as GFWL, after a fairly heated backlash and petition reminded Namco that Microsoft's gaming service isn't exactly the most popular around. This new edition will include new areas, bosses, weapons, armour and NPCs, and is slated for an August 24th launch.
However, this content will also be delivered onto consoles via a meaty DLC pack, entitled Artorias of the Abyss. It'll set Xbox 360 players back 1200 MSP, while PS3 owners will need to stump up $14.99 when the "winter" release date rolls around. [via IGN]
Everybody happy now?
After heeding the online petition (and teasing us something rotten), From Software has announced that Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition is headed to PC on 24th August. This expanded version of the hard-as-nails action RPG will include new environments, items and bosses - as well as improved graphics. It's unclear whether this exclusive content will also be delivered on consoles via a rumoured DLC expansion, but we'll keep you posted.
Interestingly, Games For Windows Live support has also been confirmed. We've got a new trailer after the break, and more details are set to release over the next few hours.Click here to read more...
From Software has launched an interesting teaser that's almost certainly confirming that the oft-requested Dark Souls PC version is set for reveal. The official Facebook Page is currently touting a "secret" that will be unveiled when the app receives enough likes... which ties in with a teaser for next month's edition of PC Power Play magazine. "You died." Sounds familiar?
In fairness, it's possible that this announcement could pertain to rumoured Dark Souls DLC... or both. We'll find out when the virtual wall comes crumbling down or PC Power Play's April edition hits Australian shelves. Whichever happens first.
In what can only be described as a heartwarmingly humble act, Dark Souls creative director Hidetaka Miyazaki has admitted to and apologised for frame rate issues in their tough-yet-rewarding RPG. In fact, Miyazaki is so mortified by the perceived problems that he's unsure whether fans will ever forgive him - and that a sequel might not happen because of it.Click here to read more...
Dark Souls launched on PS3 and Xbox 360 in October of last year, and has been ruining the mental state of its unwitting customers ever since. From Software's punishingly difficult dungeon crawler is a work of art; if you're idea of art is tearing your own hair out by the handful and erecting a shrine from the shattered remains of broken controllers. PC fans, obviously of a sadomasochistic slant, have been clamoring for a Windows port for months now, and it appears an online petition with over 65, 000 signatures might have gotten their attention...Click here to read more...
EGM purports that From Software are developing a DLC pack for Dark Souls. The report, based on intel from an anonymous source close to the project, suggests that the expansion is in the final stages of development and is taking aim for a late March release. EGM has also spotted a Namco Bandai trademark for "Forest Of Darkness," which is suggestive if nothing else.
This report does somewhat contradict Director Hidetaka Miyazaki's earlier statement that they're "not planning any DLC," but we'll keep you posted.
No surprises this week, statistic fans. FIFA 12 is still at the very top of the premier league; fending of a ferocious attack from id Software's latest IP RAGE. Despite being a self-confessed id fanboy, I couldn't give this flawed and fun shooter more than 7/10 in our full review. Considering that FIFA 12's sales are down 68% on last week and it still manages to top the charts, there's no wonder that it was one of the biggest UK entertainment launches of all time.
Dark Souls has done extremely well for itself, and has managed to beat Gears Of War 3 to third place. Check out Andy Rackstraw's take on this divisive (and brilliant) sadism simulator here.
Otherwise, the big hitters of F1 2011, Zumba, Dead Island and Deus Ex are still jockeying for position - but with plenty of huge launches set for the next few weeks, it's going to be all change soon enough.Click here for this week's UK Top Ten >>
Developer: From Software
Publisher: Namco Bandai
"You might make it boy, but by the skin of your teeth."
Rarely has a lyric in a trailer ever described a game so perfectly. That line from The Silent Comedy's "Bartholomew" arguably sums up the Dark Souls experience more aptly (and certainly more succinctly) than the visuals it accompanied: visuals of giant wolves, axe-tailed gargoyles, colossal stone knights and numerous other imposing beasts. They all serve to paint a picture of darkness, death and despair, but that lyric still says it best: you can make it through this game, but you're going to have to fight tooth and nail (and sword and shield) every step of the way.
Of course, this is nothing new for PS3 owners, who have had this game's superb predecessor Demon's Souls for over two years now. Indeed, a veteran of Demon's Souls will feel instantly at home here in the Dark: an identical control scheme, familiar combat and even many of the same voice actors welcome you into the experience like an old friend. Well, maybe not an old friend, maybe an older brother. An older brother who used to beat you up. For those unfamiliar with the Souls games, I should explain: Demon's Souls was an action RPG known primarily for its extremely high difficulty level and the equally high level of satisfaction it offered to players who could conquer it. Dark Souls takes the formula that its older sibling established and runs with it.
The back story of Dark Souls, such as it is, begins with a war between a group of supremely powerful humans and a race of ancient dragons - dragons which somewhat confusingly apparently existed before fire, but we'll overlook that. Betrayed by one of their own, the dragons fell, leading to the age of fire and the oncoming darkness. You might think this sounds like fairly standard fantasy fare, and you'd be right, not to mention charming and handsome. In truth, the story here is not a particularly important part of the package - it's there and it's fine, but it's just the necessary frame to provide you with a vague motivation ("Go and ring a couple of bells," an early NPC tells you, "and something will happen") to spend 60 or more hours in Dark Souls' world.Can Dark Souls live up to the hype? Is it more fiendish than its predecessor? Find out after the jump...
Demon's Souls was rather like Marmite in many ways and its offspring looks to be very much in the same vein (it's kicking my butt right now). But love it or hate it, you can't deny there are some gloriously big bosses out there just waiting to squash you into the dust over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and o.....Watch the latest trailer after the jump...
From Software don't much like gamers. They don't want you enjoying yourself when you play their game - unless sadistic difficulty levels appeal to you - they don't much care for well-implemented mechanics - again, unless you're a fan of their particular design philosophies - and now it appears they're out to punish Dark Souls customers who jump the line and grab a an early copy of the game in illicit fashion.Find out what cruel surprises are in store!
Namco Bandai has released the third and final part of their epic Dark Souls prologue series detailing the death of the dragons, epic betrayal and a miasma of death. Watch it after the break.Click here to read more...