Total War: Rome II may not have a firm release date yet, but The Creative Assembly have revealed that a ninth playable faction will be freely available to download on launch day. The Kingdom of Pontus, denizens of the mountainous lands around the Black Sea, excel at lightning-fast cavalry assaults, using scythe-bladed chariots to cut down legionnaires as they sweep across the battlefield.
The latest episode of Rally Point, Rome II's community show, goes into more detail. We've embedded it after the break.Click here to read more...
The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing, Neocore's Diablo-esque action gothic RPG, has received a new trailer to introduce the ghostly Katarina. Van Helsing will call upon his sarcastic spectral helper to boost his stats and help out in battle, all while levelling up her own personal skill tree.
Game's out in late may on Steam. You can check out the previous trailer for an exploration of the rage and skill system.Click here to read more...
Now that Bethesda have officially ceased supporting Skyrim with DLC, it's time for a GOTY Edition! The newly-announced Skyrim: Legendary Edition releases on June 7th in the UK, costing £39.99 on consoles and £29.99 on PC. (pre-order deals already seem to be available).
It contains the original game with up-to-date patches, alongside the Dawnguard Hearth Fire and Dragonborn DLC packs.
Platforms: PC | PSN | PS Vita | XBLA | Wii U (eShop)
Developer: Pwnee Studios
Cloudberry Kingdom has an unfortunate name. Even the most open-minded gamer will probably be beset with visions of cutesy iPad apps designed to cheekily flog microtransactions to your mewling infants, or the kind of shovelware that infested the Wii a few years back.
However, I'm thrilled to report that this adorable title masks a procedurally-generated platformer of deceptively hardcore proportions; the kind of thumb blistering, retina shredding, instantly engaging technical experience that will challenge even the twitchiest Super Meat Boy veteran. Throughout hundreds of stages, not to mention a randomly-generated mode that ramps up the difficulty the better you play, you'll brave a nightmarish gauntlet of spikes, pits and lasers while getting to grips with new mechanics on the fly.
After a successful Kickstarter, Ubisoft have stepped forward as a publisher for this brave indie proposition, which kicked my arse seven ways 'til Sunday in an hour of hands-on time.
Click here to read more...
GOG's weekend sale is a bit of a belter, offering a number of rather nifty games at a 50% discount. The excellent Hotline Miami, Unmechanical, La-Mulana and Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams are all on offer (for starters), giving you the perfect excuse to add to your ever-growing list of games you'll never quite get around to playing.
As always, click the banner or this hyperlink right here to check out the splash page, or the links above to read our reviews.
Sci-Fi RPG Mars: War Logs releases today on PC, and Focus Home Interactive have naturally loosed a cinematic launch trailer to show off the dystopian setting. Matt emerged from some recent contact time with mixed feelings, which you can read up on in our Mars: War Logs hands-on preview.Click here to read more...
IndieGameStand are currently offering Data Jammers as their PWYW deal, which you can buy for as little as 16p, but that isn't the smart play here. Instead, beating the tiny average price will net you Digital Eel's entire back catalogue, including the truly wonderful Strange Adventures In Infinite Space and its magnificent sequel. If you like FTL, you'll dig on these two spacebound roguelikes, which let you explore entire randomised galaxies in delicious bite-sized chunks.
Get on this.
As promised, we have some XCOM news to start your morning. 2K Marin have finally revealed their long-delayed shooter, entitled The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, for an August 23rd launch, described as "narrative-driven experience that is smart, engaging, and challenges players to think tactically."
Trailer, screenshots and details after the break.Click here to read more...
Steam are running a Rockstar weekend sale, kicking things off by repeating a deal from earlier in the year for Team Bondi's crime-solving adventure. While it isn’t quite as good as Gamefly’s recent offering, as it stands it’s the best offer around with a saving of over a fiver to be had.
Along with the main game PC gamers will get all of the DLC as well, meaning 5 additional cases and several suits which provide enhancements to certain gameplay mechanics, which creates even more value for money. Of course, L.A. Noire isn’t a perfect game, but the overall experience (as long as you’re not expecting and action-fest) is superb. In short, it’s a grand mainstream return of the adventure game genre. Thanks to Unrealistic @ HUKD!
GamersGate are offering a very reasonable price for Ghost Recon: Future Soldier's Deluxe Edition. Last year's shooter excels in the online arena, with a huge number of exciting gadgets, well-balanced classes and brilliantly-designed maps. Shame the singleplayer usually forgets that it's supposed to be a Ghost Recon game, though.
Look, there's a big difference between a good deal and a good deal. See, this right here is a good deal, because GamersGate will save you about £3 compared to 365 Games. But it also absolutely isn't a good deal, because the game itself was utter tripe. The 4/10 review is available for your perusal, though bear in mind that the latest patch actually improves a lot of the textures that I tore to pieces back in February. You can save a little extra with the 'elder-geek.com' voucher code.
UPDATE: Full credit and thanks to Dealspwn regular and HUKD contributor RikX, who found this long before I did!
Platforms: PC | PSN | XBLA (version tested)
Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger is going back to its roots. After The Cartel abortively flirted with a modern setting, Gunslinger returns to the rich pageantry and legendary figures of the Wild West, casting players as a bounty hunter who rubs shoulders with ornery cowpokes like Billy The Kid and Jesse James. Cowboys have never stopped being cool, and though we've lost sight of them under a never-ending sea of zombies and space marines, Techland's sequel is all about letting us live the ten-gallon fantasy in sepia-toned style. Accessible arcade mechanics make light work of six guns and high noon showdowns, while a cleverly-constructed narrative constantly calls our narrator's reliability (and sobriety) into question.
However, Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger also plans to challenge conventional wisdom. Instead of releasing as a stodgy full-priced boxed product (the likes of which have recently been losing money hand over fist), Techland are focusing their best ideas into a tight downloadable title on Steam, PSN and XBLA. It's the kind of forward-thinking move we've been begging for over the last few months, and if my 90 minutes of hands-on contact time is anything to go by, this tale of gunsmoke and vengeance should offer big-budget thrills for a fraction of what you'd usually expect to pay.
Six chambers of fun, for barely a fistful of Dollars.
Click here to read more...
Chiliean indies ACE Team have released a new trailer for first-person brawler Zeno Clash 2, which is set to launch on Steam next Tuesday. Drawing on the truly twisted world of Zenozoik (which was originally intended to sustain an MMO), it's easily on course to be as utterly bonkers as its predecessor, while also refining the melee combat with new skill-based tweaks.
Zeno Clash 2 is also slated for PSN and XBLA (release dates TBA).
Fable III is... the third Fable game. What more is there to say? It's got accessible one-button combat, cutesy art, reprehensible voice acting, nerfed NPC interactions and nowhere near enough strong storytelling to make Albion an interesting place to be. It's still maddeningly addictive, though, and Steam's midweek deal brings the PC version down to its sub-£8 standard deal price.
Note that the Traitor's Keep DLC pack is also on sale, and arguably provides the high point of the entire package in my opinion.
Developer: Trion Worlds
Publisher: Namco Bandai
We’re back with the second part of our Defiance review, where we will be looking at the content beyond the storyline, the community aspects, progression and gear, and ending with a summary of the current state of the game. If you have yet to see the first part, where I gave my initial impressions of Trion's online shooter, you can get up to speed by clicking here.
As well as the storyline missions that lead you across the Bay area, the game unlocks a series of various other missions to take part in. Side missions act as fire-and-forget bites of gameplay but often end up being forgettable and sometimes downright annoying thanks to the overused audio cues from NPCs (your digitised assistant EGO being the biggest culprit of unoriginal thought.) However, the quick nature of these missions helps to create an addictive feeling of doing “just one more mission” when you’re just a few hundred XP from the next EGO rating. Ultimately though, there is no real variation between them – activate this, kill X amounts of enemies, deliver that. Rinse, repeat, ugh. While there are tidbits of lore included, the fact they have been relegated to the initial text upon getting the missions comes across as a way to keep the budget lower.
Outside of these missions, players will also find arcade-esque time trial activities ranging from races around the world to score attack arena that give the player a certain weapon type to eliminate as many foes as quickly as possible. These missions come with leaderboards so players can continually compete with each other once they get the gold rating, and while they can be fun it can also be a little disorientating for newcomers due to the strange removal of crouch and sprint functionality (something that is not explained heading into these modes.) They make for a welcome temporary distraction, and the rewards of keycodes, resources and XP are small yet appropriate for the time spent, but they are by no means an aspect that will have players loading up their clients in several months’ time.Click here to read more...
Old Gods, the newly-announced DLC pack for Crusader Kings II, allows players to wield the might of the great Norse civilizations in their prime. Expect longships, pagan sacrifice and pine forests aplenty, as evidenced by a new trailer.Click here to read more...
The Creative Assembly have released a lengthy slice of Total War: Rome II gameplay that re-enacts the Battle Of Teutoburg. This vicious engagement saw the Roman army caught in a Germanian tribal ambush, acting as a perfect way to show off just how "savage and dynamic" these new scenarios will be. Creative Assembly staff are on hand to deliver a blow-by-blow explanation of both the new mechanics and historical details.
Total War: Rome II will launch on PC later this year.Click here to read more...
Developers: Larian Studios
Publishers: Larian Studios
"I just wanted to play a game with my girlfriend." In that one line, Larian CEO Swen Vinke sums up the ethos behind Divinity: Original Sin -- a game that harks back to the golden age of old school RPGs ("Look at my hair!" Vinke says pointing to his snowy locks. "I'm nothing if not old school!") and let's you enjoy that solo or with a friend, and also create your own adventures.
An isometric RPG situated in the universe of the original Divinity, Original Sin is the story of two characters -- one man, one woman -- who become embroiled in a struggle for an enormous ancient power known as The Source. We didn't really go into much more detail in terms of the overarching scripted narrative itself, because playing through a portion of Original Sin, with producer David Walgrave on hand to help me get up to mischief, it quickly became apparent that it's going to be the narratives that the players forge for themselves that truly stick in the mind.
Take an early example in which we came across a distraught clam. The shrieking fellow had found himself washed ashore and wanted me to throw him back in the water. At moments like these, both players get to make a choice: do we opt to steal the valuable little creature, or do the nice thing and fulfil his wish? David was all for being considerate, I was up for being a bit of a bastard, but the manner in which this conversation played out was fantastic, as burbling snippets of conversation choices bubbled up until we reached something of an impasse. At this point, the outcome was eventually determined by an unseen dice roll, and we chucked him back into the sea and received a nice little reward for our troubles.Click here to read more...
SimCity update 2.0 promised to fix a lot of things (the jury's still out on whether the pollution issue has actually been resolved yet), but players are taking to forums and YouTube to show off a shiny new selection of problems. From insane sewage generation to a proliferation of hundreds of taxis, there certainly seems to be a glitch for every occasion. Woodland also seems to have become worryingly nefarious as of late, both spontaneously creating pollution and emitting bizarre honking siren sounds in the middle of virgin wilderness. [via PCGamesN and Reddit]Click here to read more...
Indie Gala's latest weekly deal gives us a couple of interesting options. First of all, you can opt to spend $1 (£0.66) on Nuclear Dawn and Cognition Episode 1, which we can all agree is a nothing amount of money for these two decent titles. However, if you pay a bit more, you'll also get Cognition's second episode and the excellent parody RPG EvilQuest, which we reckon is the best value here.