A spinoff from CD Projekt Red's wildly successful conclusion to the Witcher franchise, Gwent is a collectible card game that originally appeared in the game itself. Now it's being flushed out into a standalone product and will first be available for public consumption at Gamescom 2016. In addition to that preview and for those of use who can't make it to Germany in August, sign ups for the open Beta are also going on at the official Gwent website. The open Beta should start sometime in September.
Gwent was a fun diversion within an already incredible game in The Witcher III: Wild Hunt and I am intrigued to see how it evolves to justify breaking it out into its own. I've been missing a card game in my life since I found the Hearthstone playing community too distasteful for my liking, and in many ways find that Gwent introduces a layer of real strategy over RNG luck that many other similar games are lacking in that the game is played with a single deck over three rounds. This allows for some interesting play where even with a weaker draw you can string out your opponent and sacrifice one round to flip the tables in the next.
Gwent will be available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
There will be a new leader in charge of the French forces for Civilization VI.
Napoleon Bonaparte, who has been a mainstay in the series with just a couple of exceptions, will be bowing out of the latest chapter in the Civilization series to make way for Catherine de Medici. If you aren't a history buff and aren't aware of Catherine's history with France, here's a good reminder of why she is a great choice:
Catherine was born as an Italian noblewoman and eventually married King Henry II of France. She was officially Queen of France from 1547 to 1559, which is when Henry II died. During her time as Queen, she would give birth to three boys, all of which would go on and become King of France in their lifetimes. While these are good reasons, they pale in comparison to the real reason she's on here.
Catherine was known as one of the most ruthless individuals in history. When her husband passed, she banished anyone who was an enemy to her (including Henry's mistress) and went on a tirade of manipulation and treachery to anyone she had deemed to have slighted her in her lifetime. That list was a long one, but the ultimate act of this woman's reign was an event known as the Massacre of Saint Barthelemy. I won't get into details, but let's just say that the body count was more than 3,000. I would highly recommend reading more about her and that event if you enjoy history.
The special ability for Catherine, which is talked about in the preview below, will grant a bonus to players who need to build wonders of the world mid-game. We're sure to find out more about Catherine and what she brings to the table in-game, but for now we'll leave you with the trailer and wanting more information for the October release.
Get your Star Wars prequel trilogy fix in LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Available now is a raft of DLC characters plucked from The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. This trailer kicks off with everybody's favorite character to come out of the prequel trilogy, Darth Maul. It then shows off a Hayden Christensen-aged version of Anakin Skywalker. There's also a laser blaster-toting Padme, a fruit-juggling Jar Jar Binks, and that elephant-bug-looking guy, Watto.
Our review of LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens just went up (GN score: 7.4). The series is as charming as ever—we're just losing patience with the poor save-game settings, which exasperate the game-stopping bugs. But hey! It's LEGO Star Wars, so it'll always have that going for it.
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens is available now on every platform under the sun.
Fallout 4 developer, Bethesda, walks through the latest DLC, Vault-Tec Workshop. It's part of the season pass content, or it's $4.99 purchased separately.
In Vault-Tec Workshop, you're seated at the architectural table to draw out your very own vault plans.
Sorry, you can't just start excavating any old chunk of ground on the map. It takes place in Vault 88. Instead of just dropping a bunch of new tools in your tool bucket (like the Wasteland Workshop DLC or Contraptions Workshop DLC does), Vault-Tec Workshop's narrower focus allows for a lite mission-oriented setup. What is Vault 88? Why does it exist? Bethesda is taking this opportunity to build upon that story a little bit once it hands you the keys to the vault. And that story begins when you make your way toward Quincy Quarries and listen in on a radio frequency that pops up.
Vault 88 was in the process of starting vault construction, but something went wrong, halting progress. So, you'll start the DLC with several building resources automatically made available to you—that's even before you start scrapping the stuff laying around. It's nice that you'll be able to jump right in without having to go on a major scavenger hunt beforehand. There's a lot of clean, new, pre-war furniture a wall decor to fill up the place.
Not to spoil anything further, but the original vault director has plans to experiment on the vault dwellers. Should be fun.
Fallout 4: Vault-Tec Workshop is available today, July 26, on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Fallout 4 itself launched in November of last year. We gave it our highest score.
No doubt, there's plenty of Gamertags that are not being used on the Xbox Live service that someone wants. Recently, Microsoft put back close to a million of them that were first created on the original Xbox and were never migrated. Now, anyone generated and not used in a five year time span will also be put back into circulation.
Given that if you haven't logged into Xbox Live in five years, it's pretty safe to assume you're not going to be using it again anytime soon. This gives folks a large gap of time in order to keep their Gamertag should they decide to wait a bit on picking up a new Xbox or logging into Xbox Live on their Windows 10 machine.
We’re closing out July on a quieter note than we have gotten used to this summer. Things are a bit slower and may lack the star-power we’re used to, but there are quite a few games launching that I am very excited about. First off, We Happy Few, which made its debut during the Microsoft press conference at E3 will be launched into early access this week. Think BioShock with an even eerier psychological focus. This one has some serious potential to be a major sleeper hit.
With the San Diego Comic Con this past weekend, there was a variety of comic book related movie and game news. On the game front, one of the biggest surprises was the upcoming re-release of the classic Marvel Ultimate Alliance franchise. The games, which launched nearly a decade ago, are both being updated and released this week for the current set of consoles and PC. These are basically Diablo style, action RPG’s, set in the Marvel universe. Each game features a giant roster of your favorite Marvel heroes and villains, including Spider-Man, the various X-Men, Punisher, Daredevil, Luke Cage, and the various Avengers.
What are you picking up?
Hyper Light Drifter is one of those fun success stories out of Kickstarter. The kind where the developer wants $27,000 but ends up with $645,000—almost 24x the developer's original asking price.
Even at the height of this gaming rennaissance of glitchy aesthetics, 8-bit environments, and tough-as-nails gameplay, Hyper Light Drifter still manages to stand out in the crowd.
You're the Drifter (naturally), traversing a world that looks like it took a page from the Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP art book. Using conventions from action-RPGs and adventure games, you move through a world struggling to survive atop its own ruins, a world without words, a world suffering from an unknown illness. Take your upgradable energy sword and cut down increaingly difficult bosses, slicing hyper light circles around them all. You just might find a cure for your world
PC has been hyper light drifting for a few months already. But it's coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this Tuesday, July 26.
Most games on the PlayStation 4 require a PlayStation Plus account in order to play with friends. Not No Man's Sky however.
Game Informer got word that you won't need to pay that yearly subscription if you want to jump into the game and perhaps meet up with your friends. In fact, the game's so big that Sony and Hello Games considers it a single player experience even though you have to be online to play and can meet up with random strangers.
Good on the Sony for not requiring PlayStation Plus to play. If it truly is that big and your chances of meeting your friends are very slim, then removing the requirement for Plus seems like a logical decision.
No Man's Sky is due out August 9 on PC and PlayStation 4.
Recently a new trailer for Final Fantasy XV dropped and with it new details on its release globally. Kingslaive was released in Japan on July 9th, and will see US audiences in August 19th. The digital release date is August 30th and Blu-ray and DVD releases will be available from October 4th. Final Fantasy Kingsglaive is an computer animated movie and its events run parallel to the events of Final Fantasy XV. The protagonists of Kingsglaive are members of an elite guard of the Kingsgalive whom share Regis' power drawn from Lucis' crystal and used in the defence of Lucis from the invading armies of the Nilfheim empire.
Originally released at Comic Con, the latest details coming out of the Ubisoft and South Park camps is a nice little developer/creator diary for South Park: the Fractured but Whole featuring Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and the Ubisoft staff. It's a solid seven and half minutes that starts with the creative process, the backstory and transition from the previous title - Stick of Truth, and leads into detail about the development of the game itself. It's a good look behind the curtain and contains plenty of in-game footage to transmit a pretty good idea of what the final product will look and sound like.
South Park: the Fractured but Whole releases December 6th for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.