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X-COM 2 was released last year, but gamers are still clamoring for more. While Firaxis Games has yet to announce another X-COM game, the creator of the original 1994 X-COM: Enemy Unknown, Julian Gollop, has pitched his idea for a spiritual successor, Phoenix Point, on the crowdfunding site Fig.

Phoenix Point treads familiar waters, pun intended, with its premise: In 2022, scientists discovered an alien virus hidden in permafrost that started to melt. Called the Pandoravirus, it decimated the ecosystem, twisting humans and animals into absolutely horrific abominations. The Pandoravirus creatures mostly stayed in the dark ocean waters, but then they started to invade the land with the help of an airborne microbial mist. By 2057 — present day in the game — the monsters overwhelmed humankind and reduced it to several sparse havens, each controlled by a different faction. One of these factions is The Phoenix Project, and the player is in command of one of its cells. However, none of the other cells seem to be active, so it is up to the player to find out what happened to the other cells, make as many allies as possible, and fight back the invading Pandoravirus monsters.

Part of what makes Phoenix Point such an ambitious title is that Gollop promises to combine classic X-COM character customization and turn-based, tactical combat with a procedurally generated and fully destructible world — and I don’t just mean levels. The Pandoravirus monsters come in a wide variety of shapes the game can mix and match for deadly efficiency. It’s not too different from the way people customize their Warhammer/Warhammer 40K miniatures.

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Pandoravirus monsters are not the only problems players have to contend with in Phoenix Point. The game includes several human factions (aside from the player-controlled Phoenix Project), including militaristic New Jericho, the technologically advanced Synedrion, and the cultish Disciples of Anu who worship aliens. Each of these factions has its own unique weapons and technology, and to obtain these items, players either have to trade with or conquer these factions. Furthermore, each faction occasionally requests help from the player, be it to defend a base or assassinate someone from another faction. The player must decide which factions make the best allies.

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If Phoenix Point sounds like a game you would enjoy, you can back the game on Fig right now. The crowdfunding campaign only lasts until June 7th, but it’s already 88% funded so it’s obviously popular. Backer rewards start at pledges as low as $10, but in order to get the finished game, you need to pledge at least $30. If you feel extra generous, you can spend a whopping $1,500 (plus shipping and handling) to have your likeness placed in the game as a key NPC, in addition to all the rewards in the previous pledge levels. I for one am tempted to help back this game.

All you have to do to get my attention is talk about video games, technology, anime, and/or Dungeons & Dragons - also people in spandex fighting rubber suited monsters.

Gaming

Ten million people play The First Descendant in its first week

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The free-to-play shooter The First Descendant has gotten a lot of attention in its first week. The game’s publisher, Nexon, says that 10 million people have already tried it out.

Insider Gaming pointed out that since there is no cost up front, it’s still too early to tell how many of those players will stick around, but it’s still a big number for a new IP. On Steam alone, it peaked at 264,860 concurrents right after launch and has still managed to break 200,000 in the last 24 hours, so it looks like a lot of people are still really into the game.

It was a “mindless and repetitive grind,” and we gave The First Descendant a 3/10 in our review. Of course, that’s just one opinion; other experts have had different ones. Most people, though, say that the game’s annoying free-to-play model is the worst thing about it.

Are you one of the millions of people who played The First Descendant last week? Are you going to come back for more? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Raiden, the famous shmup series, will come back as a twin-stick shooter on PS5, PS4, and PC

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Raiden has a long and interesting history as a vertical shooter in arcades. However, the series is going to get a Super Stardust HD makeover, which means it will switch to a twin-stick format. It comes out in Japan on October 31. There’s no word yet on when it will come out in the West, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

A Gematsu translation of the game’s website says that the full version will have an arcade mode with up to six stages. There will also be an “Unlimited” option for people who want to be at the top of the rankings. It sounds like a pretty straightforward package in terms of what’s inside, but we think the action will be what makes it worth it.

There’s a trailer up top that should help you figure out what to expect. There are, however, different versions of Raiden 3, Raiden 4, and Raiden 5 that you can play right now on the PS5 and PS4, if you can’t wait for this game to come out in the West.

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Bandai Namco and Nike designed Tekken 8 sneakers with tag-team designs

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Nike, the maker of high-quality shoes, is working with Bandai Namco, the company that makes the Tekken series, to make a pair of sneakers. The fun competition is part of the franchise’s 30th anniversary celebrations. You can get your own pair for $250 or the equivalent in your country, though they’ll probably be worth a lot more on the sneakerhead black market.

Two pairs of Tekken 8 x Nike Air Foamposite One Fist sneakers are set to come out in September 2024, according to shoe fan Sole Retriever (thanks, VGC). The designs are based on Kazuya and Jin, two main characters in the series. You can get them at Nike and some other stores. People who like hypebeasts and fighting games are likely to buy these quickly, so if you like Tekken and shoes that make people talk, you should probably act fast.

Should Bandai Namco and Nike work together? What do you think? Are you going to fight for your own pair? Make sure to take good care of your shoes and keep their value in the comments section below.

 

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