One of my first gaming systems was the Atari 2600. Being born not too lon before the big video game crash of 1983, my parents had the Atari 2600 before I was born and I enjoyed the heck out of it while growing up. Sometimes the simplest games can still provide hours of entertainment. With Atari Flashback Classics now available on the Switch for $39.99, Atari has plopped 150 games spreading across the arcade, Atari 2600, and Atari 5200. Some of the games included are Centipede, Canyon Bomber, Outlaw, Combat, all three of the released Swordquest Games (which is awesome considering how hard Swordquest: Waterworld is to find), and more. It does look like games not currently owned by Atari aren't on the list, so no versions of Pac-Man (Namco) or Space Invaders (Taito). Still, the game selection plus online multiplayer means you can finally play Combat against a friend online. I mean, who doesn't love a nice game of Tank Pong?
I don't play a lot of mobile games outside of a couple, so when I read that Clouds and Sheep 2 is coming to the Nintendo Switch, I had to do some research to see just what it was. I'm not going to lie, a sheep herd simulation game wasn't my first thought, but for those who haven't played the game, that's basically what we have here. In Clouds and Sheep 2 you can raise and care for your animated sheep herd, decorate your pasture to your liking, and even control the weather. However, if you don't take well enough care of them, they might just turn into clouds. Clouds and Sheep 2 will launch for the Switch next week on December 21st. Below are the Switch reveal trailer as well as the original mobile version trailer from 2015 to show a bit more about what the game entails.
In the week before the week before Christmas, the staff here at Gaming Nexus quietly revisits some old standbys, tackles long-standing video projects, or, as usual, crams for review deadlines. Russell is trophy chasing his way through Borderlands 2, Kinsey is going HAM on Horizon Zero Dawn, Dan keeps the survival-simulation cogs turning in 7 Days to Dies, and Randy refuses to eject from his BattleTech cockpit. Also, it’s approaching time to hand out our Favorite Games of the Year awards, with many of us starting to solidify our final thoughts on the year that was 2018 in video gaming.
So, what are you playing?
I've been on a bit of a Digimon kick recently. After playing the first four Digimon World games for an ongoing YouTube project, I recently picked up Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth on PS4 and have been having a blast with it. Granted, parts of the plot kind of make me sit there and scratch my head in amazement/confusion, but I'd definitely say it's the best Digimon game I've played so far. Beyond that I've also been firing up Borderlands 2 a bit here and there in an attempt to finish off the achievements in that one. Of the four I have left, one I have to complete "Tier 3 Match: The Death Race," one is "Finish All Side Missions," and Tier 3 Match is the last side mission, one is to finish level one of all non-area specific challenges (meaning I have a very long date with a shotgun and AoE grenades), and staying in Zero's Deception skill for 10 seconds. Fun times.
As a reward for turning in my thesis, I finally let myself beat Horizon Zero Dawn! Up until now, I’d been snagging all the collectibles and data points, because for some reason the game activated my completionist mode which really only comes out for Tomb Raider games. But now, having done everything I could possibly do, save for lighting every single campfire and visiting every single machine site, I decided to give myself a few hours of rest and beat down on Helis and HADES—and immediately after that, start a New Game+ on Ultra Hard. We’ll see how this goes once I have time again.
I'm elbowing my way through the crowd into the final act of BattleTech, doing everything humanly possible to reach the BattleTech: Flashpoint expansion. In the meantime, however, I've liked the quality-of-life improvements from Update 1.3. MechWarrior abilities were revised, so I had to plug through my entire roster and reassign thousands of skill points, but that just gave my mercenary crew some much-needed rebalancing. My reputation among the factions is easier to gauge now. Oh, I'm severely disliked by The Local Pirate Organization? Inform me when the situation changes. And I'd restart with a clean slate in Career Mode, but the big payouts and even bigger mechs from the vanilla storyline missions are too good pass on.
My Gris deadline hit this week, too. My daughter had been most helpful in yelling at me for not continually engaging in Gris's gorgeous coming-of-age story, then expressing bummer-voiced disappointment that I'm flying off to another sector of the Inner Sphere because Daddy's assault mechs need some new shoes! Also, you're eight, kid, go to your room.
Mutant Year Zero is mad that I'm ignoring it. Hades is mad that I'm ignoring it. And if I don't get my act together, Below, which launched today, is going to be mad that I'm ignoring it. December is not safe anymore. [Update: I wouldn’t forgive myself if I didn’t get Below, so I got Below.]
This week it looks like I will be continuing with 7 Days to Die with our dedicated Gaming Nexus team of John and Sean. Also, with Frontier dropping a massive update for Elite Dangerous, I suspect we will be jumping back into the game once the inevitable money exploits have been identified (wink). Still wrapping up once last piece of hardware review that I expect to be in early next week, but that will be concurrent with gaming.
Below. I've waited years. Revealed at E3 2013, delayed indefinitely in 2016, and now launched in 2018. With little more than the imperative to explore, survive and discover, something about Below caught my attention in a way that I couldn't yet describe. Something about being so small in so much darkness. Something about moving with such deliberation towards that door that only went one direction. Something about Below wanted to do "stepping out into the dark" the way The Elder Scrolls or Fallout does "stepping out into the light." I just couldn't ignore the way the darkness took up so much of the TV screen's real estate, and how the black levels somehow became a part of the HUD. Shadows and a lack of light became the user interface.
I didn't know why, but I had to get in there. Now, with Below launching on PC and Xbox One today, I can finally head down into those dungeons where, surely, there be dragons. Even if those dragons are merely a fear of the dark.
This week, Treyarch released one of the first free content updates for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, titled Operation: Absolute Zero. This content update is available now on PS4, but will make it's way to Xbox and PC in the near future.
Operation: Absolute Zero brings the first new operator into play. Her name is Zero, and it would appear she's a hacker type. Her specialist equipment is the Disruptor, which appears to "Disrupt" enemy equipment. Her specialist ability, Icepick, looks like a souped up version of the Black Hat from Black Ops 2, allowing her to hack into all enemy equipment and disable it.
The update also brings two new weapons into play, which will be available on the black market: the Daemon 3XB SMG, SWAT RFT Assault Rifle, and the Secret Santa melee weapon. Players will have to earn these drops from the revamped black market, but they'll be able to test them out in a new game mode: Blackjack's Gun Game.
Blackout players will be interested to see that a new location has been added to the map, a yacht representative of the Hijacked map from Black Ops 2. A new vehicle, the ARAV armored truck, joins the battle with a mounted machine gun. Players will also be able to unlock Zero as a skin in Blackout, as well as doing the character missions for the four playable characters from the zombies map IX.
Other smaller changes are included with the new content update, and those interested can find the Treyarch blog posting here.
'Tis the season, and GOG is offering up a freebie for members today with a copy of Full Throttle Remastered while their Winter Sale is going on. The game was originally released by LucasArts back in 1995, but was remastered by Double Fine and re-released on 04/18/17.
Best way to describe it is as a classic single-player, graphic adventure game, but check out the trailer below to really see what it is about. We never reviewed it, but it has a decent Metacritic score, and hey, it is free for the rest of the day and ends at 9:00 a.m. EST tomorrow.
Atlas had originally planned on going Steam Early Access today, but it hit a one-week delay. It's now happening on Wednesday, December 19. Atlas is a first-person open world pirate adventure MMO from the makers of ARK: Survival Evolved the open world Dino-Riders MMO.
Atlas, like its older brother ARK, appears to be a hot mess of fantasy-fiction tropes. Except Atlas has weirdly proportioned ships, floaty on-wheels physics, cannon fire against five-headed dragons, giant sea monsters, ancient gods, flaming hell demons, procedurally generated treasure maps, blunderbusses, fight clubs, climbing into crow's nests, spyglassing the horizons from the crow's nest, and oddly sinking ships (unless you get to deep sea dive those shipwrecks, then that's really cool). What's crazy, though, is that the gameworld will host up to 40,000 simultaneous players, crawling over 700 unique land masses, across 17,000 square miles. I mean, those are some EVE Online numbers right there, except EVE spreads their players around an entire galaxy of stars. Can't imagine how fun (?) of a cluster it would turn into, even if you got a Battle Royale-sized encounter happening in one place. Oh, and when I said "fun," I meant "an unimaginable PvP hell." You're also doing it with customizable ships, so that'll be interesting to see in action as well. Go ahead and hit the jump down below for even more details. It's a lot.
Atlas will be $30 in Early Access, then will probably jump to $60 when it officially launches. Again, Atlas goes Steam Early Access next week on December 19.
[Thanks, GameSpot, for the trailer.]
With the announcement of Mortal Kombat 11 last week at the Game Awards, Warner Brothers has announced that the MK Kollective project, which was a big hit with Mortal Kombat X is making it's return.
The MK Kollective project is where fans of Mortal Kombat can all come together to share their love for the game by creating and sharing original content based on the MK franchise like artwork and cosplay. Some of the content for Mortal Kombat X even made it's way into the game itself as unlockable pictures in the Krypt.
Below is a list of content creators who will be revealing Mortal Kombat related projects in the weeks ahead.
BossLogic – @bosslogic (Illustrator)
Alicia Marie – @aliciamariebody (Cosplayer)
Mimi Choi – @mimles (Makeup Artist)
Christine McConnell – @christinehmcconnell (Baker, Artist)
Mache – @mache275 (Artist)
Plastic Cell – @plasticcell (Sculptor)
Urban Aztec – @urbanaztec (Art Mercenary)
Gabriel Dishaw – @gabrieljunkart (Sculptor)
Light Balance – @lightbalance (Dance Crew)
Chloe Dykstra – @skydart (Cosplayer)
Tyrsa – @tyrsamisu (Typographer)
Alexandre Nicolas – @alexandrenicolas.artist (Sculptor)
Arno Kiss – @arnokiss (Designer)
Bethany Maddock – @bethanymaddock (Cosplayer)
Hydro74 – @hydrosevenfour (Illustrator)
Nubia Moraes – @nubiabakeoff4 (Baker, Artist)
Rafael Oliveira – @rafa_oliveira_cos (Cosplayer)
Robert Generette III – @rob_zilla_iii (Illustrator, Designer)
Skinner – @theartofskinner (Artist)
Yago Dawkins – @yagodawkinsart (Artist)
To see all of the content from the community, or to add your own, be sure to check out Mortal Kombat Kollective's official website.
Clouds & Sheep 2, the sort of 2D sheep herding simulator from HandyGames, is coming to Nintendo Switch. HandyGames released the console announcement trailer on their YouTube channel today, which you can view below. There's not a whole lot of detail told to the player of what they can actually do, but there is a lot of gameplay showing what they can do.
Things like rolling sheep into snowballs, putting them in hats, and taking them to multiple locales all seem to be a part of the game, as well as shearing, having them fall in love, and even catching them on fire.
The game releases December 21, 2018.
Red Dead Redemption 2 and the recently rolled-out Red Dead Online Beta have been getting some great reception around the internet and now are getting a few updates. Per the Rockstar Twitter feed, both the game and Online Beta will get several updates today, with most being bug fixes.
Red Dead Online Beta General / Miscellaneous – PS4, Xbox One