As I reported way back in December of 2017, PlayStation VR is getting its first MOBA. Dark Eclipse, developed by Sunsoft, will release on Wednesday, 9/26/18.
I'm kind of surprised that we never saw a beta for Dark Eclipse here in the U.S., but a little bit of poking around on Reddit shows that the development team emailed codes out to certain folks and held the beta quietly, maybe only in the UK.
According to a recent article on Variety, Dark Eclipse will be completely free to play, with players able to manipulate in-game characters with either Move Controllers or the Duel Shock.
“With 40 years in the business, we’ve seen many gaming trends come and go, but few have been as exhilarating as VR’s expansion and mainstream acceptance,” said Shohei Sakakibara, a producer and project leader at Sunsoft. “Everyone at Sunsoft is enamored with this type of quick, strategic, multiplayer gameplay, so we brought our passion for the genre and combined the best characteristics of VR, MOBAs and RTS games into ‘Dark Eclipse,’ a game that’s both familiar and eye-catchingly innovative.”
A decent breakdown of gameplay is housed over Dark Eclipse's official PlayStation page, but here is the general idea: "Control three characters, called Leaders, each with unique abilities. The target is to destroy the enemy base while defending your own base. Collect resources to build towers. The towers protect you and give you vision to enemy movements."
That all sounds great, but a lot of this game's success will be in how well it trains players to play. I'm hoping for a robust tutorial/training mode in order to get started, because as a MOBA noob, I'm already a little shaky going into a game of this nature.
Either way, we'll find out Wednesday!
The Call of Duty franchise and metal band Avenged Sevenfold have teamed up once again.
For the release of a new Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies trailer, Avenged Sevenfold has created an original song for the franchise titled "Mad Hatter." The track is featured on the band's newly released Black Reign, which is a compilation of the band's four musical contributions to the Call of Duty series.
This upcoming zombies campaign is shaping up to be the biggest and most lofty of the series, possibly in order to offset the absence of a single player campaign. From having participated in all three weekend betas of the game and viewing this trailer, it appears that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 may very well live up to Treyarch's stated goal, to create the most in depth and re-playable installation in the franchise.
The trailer itself reveals a new zombies map titled "IX." The map resembles Ridley Scott's Gladiator and the famous art print Pollice verso if both were overrun with the undead. The trailer showcases tigers, a Colosseum, ornate combat armor, and a character reminiscent of Saddler from Capcom's Resident Evil 4, along with hordes of zombies and interesting looking boss encounters.
Gamers and fans of the franchise are highly anticipating the release of this title and can only speculate on the information provided by Treyarch during presentations, and these short trailers. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is scheduled for release on October 12th, 2018, and we will have to wait until then to know definitively how this game fares.
Music enthusiasts will have to decide how they feel about Avenged Sevenfold's newest track for the series. I'd like to volunteer, as a former major fan, that the band's single "Carry On" which was featured in an after credits scene in the second Black Ops game, is my personal favorite. "Carry On" takes advantage of lead guitarist, Synyster Gates' dive bombing on the tremolo bar and ability to shred through sweep picking arpeggios and chug along on the low e string. That song rocked the house and empowered listeners with its uplifting lyrics. Unfortunately I did not feel the same about "Mad Hatter." Have a listen and let me know how "Mad Hatter" holds up to you.
I still recall when Breaking Benjamin and Halo 2 collaborated, or when P!nk and Eminem lent their song "Won't Back Down" to the original Black Ops trailer.
What are some of your favorite music and gaming collaborations? Email me and let me know! I have enclosed Eminem and P!ink's, as well as Avenged Sevenfold's best, contribution to the Call of Duty franchise. Both are too good to pass up.
Dontnod's Vampyr was a critical hit upon release, but even the most glowing critiques admitted that it had some issues. Combat balance was all over the place, and a host of bugs dragged down the experience. Dontnod are fixing these problems with the latest patch. It adds two new difficulty settings: Story Mode, which de-emphasizes combat while putting a stronger focus on the plot and character-driven RPG aspects, and Hard Mode, which ramps up the combat for a real challenge. Hard Mode also reduces the amount of XP you get from killing enemies, forcing you to feed off of citizens even more, which, if you've played the game already, you know has serious permanent implications for the story.
This update also adds numerous optimization tweaks and bug fixes, and enables Nvidia Ansel support for taking screenshots. You can read the full patch notes over on Steam here, and while you're there, take advantage of the game's 20% discount if you haven't picked it up yet.
There have been a lot of pretenders peddling third party Switch controllers since the console launched in early 2017, some decent, some pretty terrible. That said there haven't been any officially licensed options yet, so if you wanted to buy with complete confidence you were stuck forking over $70 for the (admittedly great) first party Switch Pro Controller.
Power A is adding a new option to the mix. They've produced licensed peripherals for Nintendo in the past--I quite liked their Wired Fight Pad for Wii U--so it's a natural fit that they would make something for Switch that carried Nintendo's official o-k. Their upcoming Enhanced Wireless Controllers offer most of the same functionality as the Switch Pro Controller but retail for the more reasonable $49.99.
The Power A Enhanced Wireless Controller pairs to Switch through Bluetooth 4.1 so you avoid the typical third party USB dongles. The new pads also have programmable buttons on the bottom grips and center, and motion controls for aiming in Splatoon 2 or Breath of the Wild. The only thing that I didn't see in Power A's press materials was force feedback; nothing about HD rumble or even basic vibration. This is probably why the Enhanced Wireless Controller is 20 bones cheaper than the real thing, and there are probably some patent issues to work around but it would be a nice feature to have.
In any case the Enhanced Wireless Controller sounds like a feature-rich alternative to the first party product. I'm also drooling over the GameCube-style version that Power A is teasing; no doubt it will make Smash fans pretty happy this holiday. You can pre-order both of these products at most major websites and retailers, and they'll arrive later this fall.
As I wrote yesterday, I recently received a promotional email from Telltale Games, announcing their distribution of a PS4 and Xbox One port of Beam Team Games' survival title Stranded Deep. The email originally struck me as odd, as I was unaware of Telltale doing any publishing outside of games developed internally. However, as I have a fondness for Telltale, I was excited, and was going to post about the announcement last night.
However, before I got the chance, news circulated that Telltale was closing down, with all of their current and future projects cancelled (except for a Netflix version of their Minecraft game). I reached out to Beam Team for comment, and they responded this morning. They pledged to be as communicative as possible through "the uncertainty, in light of recent news". They also directed me to this statement on their Steam forum:
Just wanted to pop in and let everyone know that we're actively gathering information in light of the recent announcements from Telltale.
From our side, there's been a lot of hard work from everyone involved and we'll be doing absolutely everything we can to ensure the release and success of SD on consoles!
We'll let you know more soon.
So, it kind of sounds like Beam Team doesn't know what's going on either, and they are actively "gathering information" to determine the status of the console port of their title. Stranded Deep has over 18,000 reviews on Steam, with a "Mostly Positive" rating. With the surge in popularity of survival games, it seems like a great fit for a console port. Gaming Nexus will keep you posted on this side-story to the Telltale shutdown as details develop.
You have probably read the sad news that has made its way around the interwebs today that Telltale Games, the developer of many beloved adventure titles, is shutting its doors. Most of the staff was laid off this morning, with Telltale saying that it is keeping a skeleton crew on board to finish a few things off. No word yet on what this means for ongoing projects like the current season of The Walking Dead, or any future Telltale titles.
But what really has me befuddled is the fact that I just received an email from Telltale to my personal email account yesterday, advertising the upcoming release of Stranded Deep, a survival title developed by Beam Team Games.
Now, it's important to note that Stranded Deep was released on Steam in January of 2015, so this ad that I got was announcing the pre-sale of a PS4 and Xbox One port. The website is still live, but the links to pre-order take curious parties to "page not found" areas in the PlayStation store and a pretty lame looking page in the Microsoft store.
I repeat, I got this advertisement email yesterday, and the announcement started making the rounds that Telltale was closing down early this afternoon. What wild chain of sad events led to this predicament, and how does Beam Team Games feel about these developments. I sent Beam Team an email to see if they had any comments, and will update if I hear back.
Until then, we at Gaming Nexus wish all the best for the staff at Telltale that lost their jobs today. This was sad news indeed.
This weekend, Bungie is opening up their newest Destiny 2 game mode to everyone, completely free. From September 21st-23rd, those with a copy of Destiny 2 can play Gambit for free, essentially meaning you don't need the Forsaken expansion to try it out this weekend.
Gambit, a hybrid game mode released with the Forsaken expansion, combines elements of player vs. environment and player vs. player gameplay. Two teams of four players race to eliminate enemies in their corresponding areas, then bank the motes those enemies drop. Once a team has banked enough motes, a Primeval spawns. Destroy your primeval first, and your team wins the round. At certain amounts of motes, a portal opens, and you can send one of your teammates through the veil to wreak havoc on the enemy team. When you take down an enemy, they lose their motes, or you heal the enemy teams Primeval if it's been summoned.
I've been grinding Destiny 2 since the Forsaken release, and I have to say that Gambit is a ton of fun. There is a tremendous amount of strategy involved, and the game mode strikes a near-perfect balance between PvE and PvP. If you've been thinking about checking out the new expansion, this is a solid place to start. You do need vanilla Destiny 2 to capitalize on the opportunity, but the original game can be bought from most retailers at a relatively low price.
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep
Gambling regulators from 16 agencies will look at the "blurring of lines between gaming and gambling"—but no, they already affirm that loot boxes are not considered gambling under national laws. Marriages fail for a lot of reasons, and 200 divorces this year have cited Fortnite addiction as one of the causes; but as a frame of reference, there are upwards of 800,000 divorces each year in the U.S. And here are a few factoids about gamers compiled by the Pew Research Center, like what percentage of teenage boys play video games—but wait till you see what happens after age 50.
So, what are you playing?
I'll be spending my time this weekend going between a couple of games. Last month I finally broke down and picked up a PS4, so besides playing Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker for my first PS4 review, I also started up Horizon Zero Dawn and have been enjoying that. Then I got the chance to review Mega Man 11. For those who don't know, I'm a huge Mega Man fan. I've already cleared the game once, so now it's just a matter of going through the challenges. Then I'll probably play through the game again to see if I can clear it any faster now that I'll know what to expect. That's the speedrunner in me talking.
I’m starting the Mayan apocalypse in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, because it was only a matter of time before Lara’s “take what you want and somehow end up blowing everything else to kingdom come” approach to archaeology blew up in her face. Off the bat, I think I prefer Rise of the Tomb Raider on the history front. It just seems so much more thorough in that respect, but I’m biased as a history student. But in terms of dialogue and main characters, Shadow of the Tomb Raider wins by a landslide. I love the dynamic between Lara and Jonah, as well as how natural their conversations sound; it adds so much more color to the beginning of the game. Plus it’s lovely to look at. The jungle setting is vibrant, and the tombs—though I wish they had a stronger historical narrative behind them—are fun to explore, and seem so much more open than Rise of the Tomb Raider. It’s just a great game, even though I’m only 9% in.
It’s another one of those awkward weeks when I find myself recovering from a recent addiction, but can’t seem to find a new one. A couple of reviews broke me out of my previous routine, but I have yet to start another. This is all just a new way of saying my usual: Project CARS 2. I know I say that a lot and it probably sounds like the same old thing, but there is so much breadth, and in some cases depth, in cars, tracks, and racing eras in PC2 that it never really gets old.
I am planning on settling in for a few long sessions with my PlayStation VR this weekend. While I am still having a hard time setting aside Firewall: Zero Hour while I finish up that belated review, I am actually looking for Transference to be the game that breaks me from my Firewall addiction. Newly released by Ubisoft and Elijah Wood's studio, Spectrevision, Transference is an interesting mix of full motion video and VR escape-room puzzle gameplay. The conceit of the game is that players are toying around with a new technology that allows them to experience the memories of others. So, naturally, the scientist in charge of the experiment records the memories of a patient with PTSD. What could go wrong? I played through the demo this weekend, and found that the visuals and audio combined to create quite an eerie atmosphere. One moment in particular scared the pants off of me, and the scare felt well-earned due to the overall mood of the piece. Look for the review sometime in the coming weeks.
I'm also still dorking around in the wastes with Wasteland 2 on the Switch. That's going to continue on for a while. Although my score for the game was a little low due to technical issues, I'm still really enjoying exploring around and cleaning up side missions. I am also enjoying the stabby-stab character that I based on my daughter, and feel like she might be the model for characters I create in other games going forward. Blade-wielding berserker five-year-olds are hugely entertaining.
Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition pretends to have wide-open tactical gameplay, but it's quite the opposite. You have to learn to play with the developers' very specific rule set, and to cheese the AI whenever humanly possible because the AI will certainly cheese you. I've run into enough glitches on the PS4 that it's become a way of life: enemies I can't target because they're clipping through doors, getting pinned against walls when there should've been 180 degrees of escape, chandeliers hanging high above somehow blocking movement and attacks underneath of them, and I swear, my warrior missing 100 percent of his swings that should have an 80 percent chance to hit. Even XCOM is like, C'mon, bro. The characters are all Dickensian villains—even the good guys—which can be fun, but the tactical game is often hosed with bugs, at least on PS4. I'm firing up the PC version to see if the same issues crop up there.
With my key for The Bard's Tale IV showing up, I know where my free time will be spent.
Playing what I could of the Battlefield V Beta, I've decided to hop back into Battlefield 1, before the wave of change inevitably crashes on the shores of a new dawn on this multiplayer franchise. Lofty metaphors aside, the game continues to astound. Pretty much all of the main expansion packs have been released for free by DICE, much the same as they did with Battlefield 4, and the game is still getting updates and new weapons, even though those will probably thin out before too long. Coming off the BFV beta, it's amazing how far this game has come. While I noticed some similarities in how the game's looked—BFV, for instance, was so damn beautiful I could barely tell what was happening—BF1 really does have its own unique aesthetic, the WW1 setting undoubtedly factoring in, what with the combination of modern arms and military clashing with 19th Century architecture and ways of life; see the farm house on River Somme engulfed in flames in pretty much any round of Conquest Assault. There's not that much new I can say about the game, other than the fact that it really has grown into one of the most unique modern multiplayer shooters of its era.
Starting at 12 PM EST today, Fortnite will officially kick off the Fall Skirmish. Over the next six weeks, a different skirmish will take place each Friday, featuring a whole host of professional Fortnite players. This all leads up to the final week, which will be played at TwitchCon from Oct. 26th - 28th.
The Fall Skirmish is another iteration in Epic Games' attempts to perfect their competitive model. Over the next few weeks, we'll be certain to see spectator enhancements, different formats, and much probably even more crazy antics if the Summer Skirmish is any indication.
From what Epic has released already, here's what we know about the Fall Skirmish:
In addition to the weekly skirmishes, the creators and competitors in the Fall Skirmish are also split into one of five clubs: the Fort Knights, Lucky Llamas, Dusty Dogs, Rift Raiders, or Bush Bandits. Each club gets awarded points for their play in the Skirmishes and Weekly Trials. At the end of the Fall Skirmish, there will be a $4 million prize pool split among the clubs based on total points earned.
Speaking of Weekly Trials, there will now be trials throughout each week for the clubs to take part in. These will rewards a payout based on weekly placement, as well as contributing to total club points. For the first week of the Skirmish, the trial is "Squad Goals", which will reward the squads with the highest amount of total eliminations in a single match.
Week one of the Fall Skirmish kicks off at noon EST today with the EU group, and the NA groups will board the bus at 4 PM EST. The format of week 1 is called "Hold the Throne", and will be played in Duos. Here are the specifics of the format:
Six total matches are played, and duos earn points for both placement and eliminations
Lastly, the duo with the most eliminations throughout the whole tournament earn the Hold the Throne title, which gives them +2 points. This title can be passed between teams after each game.
Personally, I'm really pumped to see how Epic pushes the envelope for the Fall Skirmish. Fortnite as a game has shown a willingness to evolve and grow extremely rapidly, and this next iteration of Fortnite esports will hopefully be no exception.
With an electronic dance sound, the trailer for Hover, a parkour racing game developed by Fusty Game and published by Plug-in Digital, is reminiscent of another old-school racing game from Nintendo from back in the day. I never played that game though, so I can't really make any comparisons. But Hover is officially available for Nintendo Switch owners, as of yesterday.
Taking place in ECP17, AKA Hover City, players lead a group called the Gamers in their attempt to overthrow the dictatorship of the Great Admin, which has declared having fun illegal. Players run and jump through the city, taking down propaganda, and try to reach the Orbital Station so they can contact the Galactic Union to put an end to the dictatorship.
The game also contains a multiplayer segment, much of which is shown off in the trailer below.
You can find out more about the Switch version on Nintendo's website. Hover is also available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Trailer from GameSpot Trailers.