GAMING, DISCUSSION – Throughout the first few weeks of this month, I spent most of my downtime watching playthroughs of the Nier: Automata game from different Youtube gaming personalities. As I watched, the idea of androids came up to me and how they were portrayed differently from what professionals in the real world think of it.
FIRST LOOK – Long Gone Days is a character-driven RPG inspired by dystopian literature, but set in our present timeline, showing real countries.
The game focuses on Rourke, a sniper from the Core, an isolated nation below the surface of the Earth. Just like his brothers, Rourke has been trained as a soldier ever since he was born and his knowledge is strictly relating to his job – nothing else.
As he executes his first operation, he realizes that there is something a-miss with his superiors’ objectives. He takes the decision to desert from the operation, not realizing the consequences of his actions.
Upon playing the demo version of this game, I must say that it was really something. The game shows a new focus on RPG – rather than leveling up, doing quests, collecting loot and the like, it focuses on the characters and their interactions with the world around them.
The story may not be something new but it’s how it is carried out or shown through the gameplay that makes it something unique for the RPG genre.
It still has the usual turn-based battling system that is all too familiar for an RPG but what’s new here is we have a “sniper mode” battle. Since Rourke is a sniper in his squad, we get to control and aim our targets – shooting them from a considerably safe distance as much as a real sniper would do.
Whilst in a turn based battle, instead of picking your targets as you would in a generic RPG, you get to choose which points of the target’s body you are going to shoot at. Each portion, whether it’d be the torso, head, legs, allows you to deal damage and accuracy depending on where you shoot.
Unlike most RPGs, there are no levels so no need to grind XP or something of the sort. Instead of levels, you will be customizing your party member’s weapons, skills, and adding new items for them to use.
Here’s another great and unique feature – morale. In order to make sure your party members fight to their highest abilities, you have to interact with them to keep their morale up so choose your words carefully. Whatever you say to your party members in battle may affect their performance.
Another interesting and unique feature is the NPCs. In order to interact with some of the NPCs, you have to gain the acquaintance of a party member who speaks the NPC’s native language. If the NPC is speaking Russian, then you’re going to need a party member to interact with said NPC. It brings the whole scenario real as being a soldier who’s just deserted in the middle of a war and you’ve got to use every asset you get.
The language barriers are a great and unique challenge for the player as they complete objectives and gain new items.
Also, every skill uses technology and science. No magic here, folks, we are set in a war where your skills will be throwing a grenade, an incendiary round or something similar.
The art style is very different from usual RPGs. Although it still uses pixel art, the textures are very detailed, an excellent use of color. The cut scenes are smooth and look almost like it came from an anime film. The character sprites are well done, as well.
It is expected to release on the first quarter of 2018.
A demo version is available on Steam, in case you wanted to have a look on this interesting, upcoming RPG game.
Despite their Indiegogo funding campaign ended on August 2016, the InDemand feature is on, meaning that you can still keep backing the development by pledging. Besides that, you can show your support to this game by sharing related articles, Facebook posts and tweets.
[images from Long Gone Days site]
NEWS – On the 26th of March, Blizzard Entertainment announced the upcoming released of a remastered version for their old RTS classic, Starcraft, and its expansion, Starcraft: Brood War.
Starcraft was released back in 1998 and it was received quite well.
Blizzard Entertainment re-defined the modern real-time strategy with Starcraft, and its expansion, Brood War. It became the standard of all modern real-time strategy games that we are currently playing now.
The game showed off a wonderful and exciting story-line through its single-player campaign in the stories of the Terrans, the Zerg, and the Protoss. It was basically an epic space opera filled with action, fantasy and drama. A story that was so complex and defined, two main games and a expansion pack was not enough to cover the entirety of its universe to the fullest.
It also paved the way for eSports. Without this game, the culture of online competitive gaming and eSports itself would not have been properly recognized and defined by the entire world.
Now, Blizzard Entertainment relives the glory of this RTS classic by giving it a remaster.
In this remastered version, Starcraft will have improvements to its graphics – an high definition remaster. Each unit has been improved to look even more detailed. Those tiny pixels we see in the original classic will be much more defined and detailed in this remaster.
The briefing scenes we usually see before we start a new single-player campaign mission has been improved.
The original Starcraft soundtrack and dialogue has been remastered and rejuvenated.
To top it all off, Starcraft: Remastered will be free-to-play, and that includes single-player and multiplayer.
The gameplay will still be the same: derpy Dragoons, terrible A.I. pathing – you name it. Blizzard Entertainment will only be tweaking the graphics and audio.
Rejoice, Starcraft fans!
FIRST LOOK – A surge of Mass Effect: Andromeda videos have been uploaded to Youtube, as of late, by various channels. Since I am unable to purchase a copy of this game, I will basing my thoughts from the various videos I have viewed in entirety on the first two missions of the game.
I would like to point out that I have never seen nor played the Mass Effect trilogy and thus I have no prior knowledge of the game’s universe. The basis for this article is only the events that happened during the first few missions of the Mass Effect: Andromeda game and nothing else.
The game begins in the Milky Way galaxy in the 22nd century, where humanity endeavors to colonize the far-distant planets of the Andromeda Galaxy. The player assumes the role of either Scott or Sara Ryder who joins the expedition and wakes up in Andromeda after a six-hundred year cryo-sleep.
Personally, a setting where humans are about to colonize far-distant worlds in space and you, as the player, are one of the key figures in making that a possibility, is something I adore a lot.
In this game, you play the role of Pathfinder in either Scott or Sara Ryder. As Pathfinder, you are to scout out new worlds where colonists can be safe to set up outposts and start colonizing. It is also set in a time where humans have contact with other alien species and have started cooperating with them. According to the backstory presented in the game, there seems to be a technological breakthrough after humans went to Mars and discovered alien technology.
In terms of story line, Mass Effect: Andromeda does a great job of getting you into the role where you explore the entire galaxy in search of worlds fit for human colonization. The game allows you to choose your dialogue creating different scenarios throughout your gaming experience. It also gives you a sense of urgency as resources are running short for the expedition therefore forcing you to quickly scout out one world after the next. Though, it does not affect the gameplay too much sadly.
Mass Effect: Andromeda is a open-world game where you can select any world you want to go through your ship, the Tempest. The player is free to complete the main objectives, side missions, and other odd jobs that are scattered all throughout the Andromeda galaxy.
In a part of the mission, the character you play as will somehow be incorporated to an artificial intelligence therefore boosting your abilities in different ways which affects combat and storyline. Honestly, this is a bit of a dark spot for me as there is no clear information from the two missions how such a thing is possible.
After looking at the first missions, Mass Effect: Andromeda shows a lot of promise and gives you the feel of space colonization. Fight off hostile aliens, a little bit of politics, and survival – it is one interesting and entertaining game to play.
I do hope to own a copy someday and experience it to the fullest but I can only look through other people’s experiences for the moment.
NEWS – You thought we’d see the last of him? Well, you thought wrong – Alexander the Great returns to Civilization 6 as the leader of the Macedonian civilization.
Macedon’s unique ability is called Hellenistic Fusion. With this ability, Macedon gets a bonus when he conquers an enemy city based on the districts built there. It is rather unclear whether what sort of bonuses the player receives. Maybe if there’s a theater square district, you get bonus culture yields – so on and so forth.
Macedon’s unique unit is called Hypaspist. Replacing the swordsman, these units when sieging districts and get support unit bonuses. The districts could mean the city center and the encampment district since these two are the only ones you can technically “siege.” With regards to the support bonuses, the Hypaspist unit would probably benefit from battering rams, medic units and the like.
Another unique unit is the Hetairoi. This unit replaces the horseman and comes with a free promotion. It is rather unclear whether you get the promotion after training this unit or after its first attack.
Macedon’s unique building is called Basilikoi Paides. It yields science whenever a non-civilian unit is trained in the city and additional bonuses for specific military units. This would probably be useful when you’re doing rocking a huge military and want to ahead in technology. You can be at war and still be inching closer towards either a domination or science victory.
As for the additional bonuses for every unit, I am not sure if it entails more combat strength, yields or faster promotions since information is very limited at this moment.
As the Macedonian civilization, you don’t have to worry about war weariness and falling behind since you get bonuses as you capture enemy cities and your unique building yields science as you train military units. So you can still be ahead in technology whilst beating the living crap out of everyone in the game.
Will your name become synonymous with conquest? How will you lead the Macedonian empire? Will you ensure that your civilization will stand the test of time?
NEWS – Civilization’s Youtube channel has just published a video yesterday unveiling the newest addition to the roster of civilizations, Persia.
In Civilization 6, the Persian civilization is lead by Cyrus the Great.
Cyrus’ leader bonus is called Fall of Babylon. It allows the player to declare surprise wars with less diplomatic penalties and gives all Persian units bonus movement after declaring war.
With this leader bonus, the player can freely declare war on any other civilization in the game without suffering the heavy warmongering penalties. It’s quite a pain when you really need to declare war on someone but you just can’t due to the fear of being denounced by everyone in the game. Worry not, for this bonus will save you from those pesky peace-loving hippies.
It allows gives you a head start with the bonus unit movement. This bonus movement allows you to mobilize your units more quickly and hopefully start dealing damage to your enemy.
This leader bonus is historically accurate since it contradicts Tomyris’ leader bonus which she dislikes surprise wars. In history, Tomyris and Cyrus were not exactly in the best of terms so it is quite nice how the developers added this in.
The Persian civilization bonus is called Satrapies. You receive a free trade route after completing the Political Philosophy civic and receive more bonuses from internal trade routes.
This bonus is extremely beneficial in a scenario where there is no safe trade route other than your own cities, most probably happening during a war. You can be at war or be under pressure from surrounding barbarians and still have a fairly healthy economy.
The Persian civilization’s unique unit is called the Immortal. It is a melee and ranged unit which replaces the swordsman and has a strong combat defense. Judging by the reveal video, this unit has a ranged attack of two tiles.
This unit is extremely useful if you want to dish out some damage without getting hit yourself. You can range attack a city and when it is down to low health, you can most probably melee attack in order to capture it. Still not sure regarding the melee part though but since it is a swordsman replacement, it wouldn’t make sense if it didn’t have a melee attack.
Lastly, the Persian civilization’s unique improvement is called the Pairideza. This improvement provides culture, gold and appeal. It gets bonuses from adjacent districts and city centers. Provides more yields in later eras.
This improvement could prove useful if you are going for the culture victory or you are just short on gold.
That’s all the current information regarding the new civilization.
How will you lead your civilization? Will it stand the test of time?
NEWS – Not too long ago, Sid Meir’s Civilization VI was released. It is the sixth of the ever-evolving and entertaining Civilization franchise. The game still operates the same with its predecessor, Civilization V, but with major changes to the mechanics and victory conditions.
I recently got my hands of a copy and been playing it for the past two days. It was a very exciting thing for me, being a fan of strategy games, to play this. The game was a little bit confusing at first but I got used to it fairly quickly. I’ll be tackling on the things that piqued my interest as I played the game.
First off, the main theme for the game was just spectacular. Every time I loaded up a new game, the song “Sogno di Volare” would just give me chills everywhere. It set up the premise of the game which was to “build a civilization that will stand the test of time”.
Secondly, Sean Bean as narrator was stunning to hear. The way his accent sets the mood when he dishes out a quote related to a newly discovered tech, civic, or wonder – it just gave me a realistic vibe of the game.
Lastly, the new victory condition -Religious Victory, is a new thing for the Civilization franchise. This is, personally, an enjoyable yet head-boggling goal to achieve. The victory condition requires you to convert the majority of the world to your religion. This can be time-consuming and can end up slowing you down if you don’t chart your course right. I’ll leave that up to your own personal experience.
While I may have left out some other new things like continents, new resources, and others – I’m leaving all of that to your own personal enjoyment. You can only enjoy something fully once you go in blind.
Civilization VI is the first base game of the series that is well-developed and feels complete. It is definitely worth your money and gaming time.