As a gamer, it would be hard to deny that there are always exciting things happening in the gaming world. Whether it is a live stream hitting 10,000 followers or a game-breaking new grounds, there is always something going on in the gaming world. The year might already be half over, but there are still a lot of exciting things going on. Just look at the lineup of games that are still set to be released in the coming months. And, this is not to even mention everything that is going on with virtual reality, the Final Fantasy remake, or even Google’s new gaming platform.
Needless to say, there is so much going on in the gaming world it can make it hard to keep up. This is especially true is you are a cross-platform player trying to hold down a full-time job as well. Whatever your circumstances are, there are just some games that you can’t afford to miss. These are the games that you will learn about below.
Halo Infinite Brings Back Split-Scree Gaming
Do you remember when split-screen gaming used to be a thing? This was back on the Super Nintendo systems as well as the original PlayStations. Well, there is no denying that this long-time platform died and things changed greatly. However, it looks like this very platform is about to get a reboot. Not only is it about to get a reboot, but it is going to do so with one of the most popular and fanatical series of all time.
This would be Halo of course. The split-screen co-op was a platform that the Halo game built itself on, but as time went by it strayed. To see it come back into fruition will not only be reminiscent, but it will bring new, refreshing gameplay to the first-person genre that fans have grown to love over the years.
The Last Of Us: Part II Introduces Animation System & In-Game Storytelling
The original edition of this game was released over six years ago and it is still one of the most beloved games of all time. This is really easy to understand why, but the second edition of this game could turn the whole gaming industry upside down. The trailer for the game alone was impressive and certainly lived up to what fans have come to expect from this series, but what’s even more interesting and intriguing is what the director of the game had to say.
The director of this game said that they wanted to take very complicated systems that are random and make them deterministic. They want to show gamers specific things, but they also want them to experience them throughout the entirety of the gameplay. If the story, animation, and throat-slitting are anything like the trailer then fans are going to be in for more than a treat when the game hits shelves.
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Death Stranding Introduces Indie Mentality
It was a huge blow for both Konami and fans when Hideo Kojima announced that he was leaving the company. His beloved Metal Gear Solid series had been keeping fans entertained and drawn to their screen for years. This is probably why his first featured release was so highly sought after. Even though Death Stranding wasn’t the Silent Hill game that fans had been longing for it certainly made its mark on the industry.
You combine this with the fact that both Norman Reedus and Benicio del Toro are on board and you are looking at a game that could make massive waves in the industry while helping Kojima make a name for himself as a video game producer.
Biomutant Lets Character Aesthetics Directly Influence Combat
It would be hard for any gamer to say that combat isn’t one of the best parts of any action game. And, this is why Biomutant could change the industry forever. Sure, the game doesn’t really offer anything that you haven’t seen before in terms of graphics and story, but it is the combat that will excel. Players can now alter everything from the main character’s weight to his fangs, all of which will affect the way the fight scenes play out.
2013’s Tomb Raider Released for Free to Google Stadia Subscribers
Google are rolling out the big guns to try and quickly entice as many new subscribers as possible to Stadia, its cloud-based gaming service. From the start of December, Stadia Pro members are able to access the definitive edition of 2013’s Tomb Raider for free, with this game being significant as the first title of a rebooted Lara Croft trilogy.
Google will be hoping that the allure of the Tomb Raider name proves influential in attracting more gamers to the service. The Verge makes note of key information about Stadia Pro; currently, all Stadia users are classed as Pro, but an official Pro subscription will be launched next year alongside a free tier of membership.
The launch of Tomb Raider as a free game for Stadia users frustrated those who had already splashed out on the Lara Croft adventure, although Google adopted the generous position of refunding those users. The arrival of the Tomb Raider franchise on Stadia, particularly as a flagship free game, is testament to its status as one of the great gaming series.
Wherever Croft goes from here, she will do so on all of the cutting-edge consoles – from Stadia to the eventual PS5. However, the Tomb Raider brand has also shown a versatility that has seen Croft appear in different forms on an eclectic range of platforms.
Tomb Raider: The Action Adventure – DVD
Remember interactive DVD games? This may seem like an alien concept to modern gamers, but in 2006 it was a viable alternative for those without a console. The Action Adventure was tailored for those who had never owned a PlayStation and were therefore unfamiliar with the Croft character.
Players use their remote control to navigate through the action, which follows a similar plot to 2003’s The Angel of Darkness. The game also incorporated rudimentary ways to save the game or to earn bonus points. You can even still purchase the DVD via Amazon if you’re keen to try out a one-of-a-kind Croft experience.
Tomb Raider – Online slot
Microgaming’s Tomb Raider is one of the slots that are eligible for the jackpot city pokies welcome offer for new players, with users being able to access the game through the casino’s browser site as well as on iOS and Android. The slot has the typical level of quality that is synonymous with the Microgaming name, with this 15-payline video slot using Croft and the Tomb Raider logo as key symbols.
While it may not operate in the same first-person way as traditional Tomb Raider games, the overall design of the slot ensures that there is the classic Croft sense of adventure to the gameplay. This is arguably the most successful slot based on a video game character, largely because of Croft’s universal appeal.
Lara Croft: Reflections – iOS
This game is not necessarily novel because it was only released on iOS, with many Tomb Raider games also available on this platform. However, it definitely deserves a mention because of its card-battle nature. The standard adventure themes of the Tomb Raider series were converted into a card-playing format, where players simulated battling enemies and discovering artifacts.
The servers for Reflections shut down in 2014, but the game is further proof of the versatility of the Croft character. It seems inevitable that 2013’s Tomb Raider will receive a third sequel, one that will be available on all the major consoles. Croft will also surely continue to branch out from PlayStation and Stadia to appear in a variety of games that offer a twist on the classic Tomb Raider formula.
RISE OF AZSHARA: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Since the implementation of Patch 8.2 was made in World of Warcraft last June 25, 2019, the long-running MMORPG has been riding a wave of fan hysteria, culminating in the official release of the much-awaited Rise of Azshara. It’s a massive addition to the game—containing two new never-before-seen zones to earn WoW gold, a new raid, a massive dungeon to explore, and many more. Players are now able to fly around the Battle of Azeroth zones, collect exclusive pets to the two new areas, and collect essences. Truly, the time has come for the dawn of a new Azerothian age. The Rise of Azshara update is perceived as a godsend by many players for the failed expansion Battle of Azeroth expansion. We’ll be talking about everything you need to know about this update and more concerning the added features. With this patch already released, it’s only a matter of time before the WoW Classic update will be up next!
What is Rise of Azshara?
The Rise of Azshara update is part of the Battle of Azeroth expansion and is the patch following Tides of Vengeance. The expansion has been problematic for players due to the overarching lore down to the Warfronts and Azerith system. The update promises the address these issues. Some of the major highlights include the Heart of Azeroth Essence system, faction questlines for Taurens and Gnomes, as well as new mounts to collect.
What Are the Two New Zones?
There are two outdoor zones to explore: Nazjatar and Mechagon. Nazjatar is the captal city of the naga that is a large zone where there are a lot of new story quests, allies to meet, and rewards to earn. In Nazjatar, you can have a Bodyguard to accompany you, unlock and participate in Mrrl’s Trading Game to get unique rewards, participate in zone events, and many more. There’s also a new form of Gear exclusive in Nazjaar called the Benthic Gear. The Benthic Gear is similar to that of the Legion’s Relinquished Gear and Mist of Pandaria’s Timeless Gear. All Benthic Gear will have predetermined stats and provides additional bonus effects while on Nazjatar.
The Mechagon, on the other hand, is a level 120 outdoor zone filled with junk-covered hills where you can meet or make all kinds of mechanical-like toys, minions, and equipment via the junkyard tinkering feature. A city that’s inhabited by gnomes and mechas, the Mechagon island zone is an idyllic place for smaller than average World of Warcraft characters. Here, you can try your hand at the new eight-boss dungeon on advanced or Mythic difficulty. You can also collect blueprints in order to make trinkets.
Protection for the Big and Itty Bitty Boys and Girls
Due to the success of Patch 8.1 where the Dwarf and Blood Elf armor was released, Blizzard has decided to add more for different races, this time for Gnomes and Tauren. If you have a character that’s one of these races, now’s the time! To unlock the armor, you’ll have to complete a questline with these following requirements:
- Gnomes and Taurens must be level 120
- Gnomes must be exalted with Gnomeregan
- Taurens must be exalted with Thunder Bluff
- Complete the Stay of Execution scenario
Is There Something For My Pets?
Today’s your lucky day because there’s a new Pet Dungeon that’s available! Stratholme is a pet dungeon that is similar to the ones that came before it—namely the Wailing Caverns, Deadmines, and Gnomeregan. You can do the dungeons in either Normal or Challenge mode, which will give out different rewards in turn. For the Challenge version, you’ll be rewarded with the Evil Wizard Hat which summons Minimancer. For the normal version, you’ll be given an Ultimate Battle Training Stone that will unlock a Manapoof Link to Stratholme.
Rise of Azshara will not just be competing with its other MMORPG competitor’s expansions (ex. Shadowbringers expansion for Final Fantasy 14), but with its own as well, that being WoW Classic. Overall, it’s a great redeemer for what’sotherwise known as one of the worst expansions that Blizzard ever released. There is a whole slew of things you can do to farm WoW gold and explore to the point that your head will spin just trying to figure out what to do first.
FF7 remake scoops multiple awards at E3 2019
The Remake of Final Fantasy VII was announced at E3 in 2015. Since then, details about the game have been scarce save for an occasional teaser trailer. Many assumed that announcements would arrive at E3 2018, but alas the event came and went without a word whispered, although the team assured us that the remake was in development.
Now the long awaited FFVII Remake is upon us and those lucky enough to attend E3 2019 were treated to a fully playable gameplay trailer of the game. Highly anticipated, yet with fans of one of the greatest 90s classic games rightly skeptical, FFVII seems to be going down well with critics and casual gamers alike, winning several awards at E3.
E3 Game Critics Awards
The Game Critics Awards have now announced the winners of the E3 2019 awards. To be considered for the awards, the games had to have been demonstrated at E3 in a playable state for a minimum of 5 minutes. This meant that games like Cyberpunk 2077, Avengers, Halo Infinity and more were not included. The winners were decided by a vote from a panel of judges made up of critics and media outlets.
The Final Fantasy VII Remake picked up three awards, including the Game of the Show award, perhaps the most sought after of the bunch, along with Best Console Game and Best Role Playing Game. The FFVII Remake was also the only game at this year’s event to pick up three awards, with Doom Eternal behind receiving two awards. This meant that Square Enix was the only publisher with three awards. Bethesda and Activision both had two.
Final Fantasy VII Previews
Though I myself have not yet been able to play the Remake of FFVII, the E3 gameplay trailer gave many the opportunity to do so, and so far the reviews have not been disappointing. What’s immediately obvious from the trailer is that the graphics are stunning. “Wow”, was my first thought. This is sure to be a landmark game, pushing the boundaries in the same way that the original did.
The developers intend this to be far more than a simple copy and paste remake. This will essentially be a new game with its own dialogue, cut scenes and gameplay elements. Developers have now revealed that this will be a multi-game series. Even the first installment, dubbed the Final Fantasy VII Remake, will be released on double BlueRay disc, a testament to the sheer scale of the game.
The Remake will take place entirely in Midgar, the iconic first location from the original. At first glance, the storyline seems to follow the same direction, with your original crew setting out on a mission to blow up the Shinra Mako reactor. The gameplay trailer saw Barret and Cloud, original characters from the game, racing through the reactor and taking on the Scorpion boss.
Traditional Vs New
Fans of the original FFVII (myself included), released back in 1996, are worried about the changes tp the game and how they will compare to the original. It’s a legitimate concern, and age-old debate when it comes to remakes of classics.
It’s clear that the battle system is very different. It has been ‘upgraded’ from a turn-based system to a more action-based system with turn-based elements. You can attack quickly and freely, swapping between characters as needed or allowing them to be controlled by AI. Yet you still have an ATB, which fills up to allow you to use magic and special abilities. It’s a system that combines simple action with menu-mechanics. It won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but it seems to have appealed to those who have sampled it so far. Until the full game is released, we can’t know for sure whether the battles will still be interesting after 60 hours of gameplay, or whether the Materia and magic dynamics will be complex enough to keep old players happy.
At least this is a brand new game. If it takes a new direction and offers a completely new take on next-gen RPGs, then fans of the original can’t be too disappointed. Yet for me, I still can’t get my head around Barret’s over-the-top acting, or Sephiroth’s less-than-sinister sounding voice. I confess: I prefer to read text from blue boxes.
If the FFVII Remake lives up to the hype, then it should find the balance between keeping old crusty fans like me delighted, and attracting new players to the franchise. We still have a while to wait, with the release date currently set for March 2020, so let’s just wait and see.
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