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Category Archives for "Preview"
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Kingdom Come: Deliverance is an Upcoming Medieval Sandbox RPG

Kingdom Come: Deliverance is one of those games I saw back at an E3 or during some game conference and thought it looked decent, but then forgot about it completely.

They were kickstarted successfully back in 2014 for four times their ask, and were planning to deliver the game much sooner but saw some setbacks. Now the game is coming out February 13, 2018 for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

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Monster Hunter World: Beta is Fun

Short post tonight, friends. I have a cold/flu I’m battling that zaps me every time I try to play something. I did manage to play the three quests in Monster Hunter World Beta on the PS4.

Graev is really the big MH fanatic of the family, so I have to defer to him on all of the real technical details on things. I’m a novice having only played two previous versions, one of which I only dabbled and the other I played for maybe 30 hours. Something about MH on a 3DS screen is what kept me from playing more. I needed that bigger screen and controller to immerse myself more.

Monster Hunter World is awesome. It’s still very much Monster Hunter, but the presentation on PS4 is excellent. I think the controls are what make it for me more than anything else. The graphics are also really pretty, but something about having so much more control over my character while fighting a giant boss on a big screen felt right. I’ll have more to say when I think think straight and try more weapons.

If you have a PS4, even an original launch one like me, give it a shot! The beta is open until the morning of the 12th.

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ECO: Captain Planet Meets Minecraft

I've had the Minecraft itch for a while, but instead of going back and playing MC for the umpteenth time, I think I'm going to be a little more forward looking to a game I've followed only loosely for a while: ECO

ECO is a sandbox-style building game that takes the whole "living world" concept to the legitimate next level.

"Every organism in Eco exists as a component in a rich simulation. A disruption in one species can have cascading effects across the planet. Chop down all the trees, and habitats for creatures will be destroyed. Pollute the rivers with mining waste, and your farms will become poisoned and die. The ecosystem supplies materials to the world. Manage your pollution, mining waste, hunting, and resource collection to limit your effect on this system, or you may run out of resources."

They're definitely trying to teach you something here. ECO has some grants and funding from educational sources, and the game itself seems to lean heavily towards teaching the players that there are consequences for how you interact with your world. I couldn't help but remember my Captain Planet cartoon-watching days.

  • Over 30 different craft tables, with hundreds of recipes
  • A simulated ecosystem with dozens of unique species
  • Vehicles and roads to move resources around your world
  • Create your own backed or fiat currencies
  • Build stores where you can sell your excess items for a profit
  • Balance your diet to increase your skill point gain
  • Create contracts for jobs that you would like other players to do for you
  • Propose programmable laws to protect your world or increase your profits
  • Run for office and make global decisions
  • View data from your world and use it to back your decisions
  • Claim land as your own property, and share rights to it it with who you’d like to
  • Give and remove reputation from other players

Scope creep is what I fear most from a game like ECO. Everything from running for office to creating your own currencies, to creating vehicles, etc.

I don't know how they manage to make it all work in a sandbox game, but it certainly sounds enticing enough to give it a try.

Now the big question: Do I buy into the alpha phase, or wait for launch? ECO is currently available for early access on the official website, but not yet available for pre-purchase on Steam.

There are talks of hosting Keen and Graev Community servers, which I think could be a lot of fun if we managed to get a group of people together devoted to making a nice and thriving civilization... though knowing some of my friends, we may need to impose heavy fines on strip mining.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp

I was traveling and super busy this past week when Animal Crossing Pocket Camp had its proper announcement during the Nintendo Mobile presentation.

I like Animal Crossing games. I'm a sucker for their cute, sim-like, decoratingness. I've played them on handheld systems in the past, and always seem to find a certain relaxing pleasure to the series.

I've been a fan of the idea of bringing games like this to smartphones for years. I think it's long overdue for Animal Crossing to get a proper insallment, and I think we're way past due for a real Harvest Moon game too.

Anyway, let's check out Animal Crossing Pocket Edition.

"Some amenities shown require giving up your entire life extensive game play"

I found the disclaimer on the second video rather humorous. You know when there's a disclaimer like that on a video it means "good luck."

The gist of the game:

  • You're the new camp manager responsible for making the place thrive by decorating and attracting friends to visit
  • You can do all the familiar animal crossing things like harvest fruit, fish, decorate, buy, interact with villagers, etc
  • Looks like multiplayer is a thing with people visiting
  • In-app purchases will obviously net you rare items

I have high hopes that this means we might see Animal Crossing come to Switch, but AC has definitely found a home on mobile devices.

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Pantheon’s TwitchCon Presentation Had Some Gems

Pantheon has reserved a special place on my "MMOs to watch and be excited about" list because it's trying to hearken back to an era where MMOs were based on a world of challenge and teamwork.

So as the years go by, my interest grows as Visionary Realms continues to show more and more gameplay. 

Obviously what they showed was early, and the hiccups/issues were present. They're going fairly indie on this one, and it shows, but that's okay. There's a lot to glean from some of the ideology they're expressing.

I took away several key points from this presentation that I want to share with you. 

MMOs Lost that 'Stickiness' Feeling

This is hard to define clearly, but it has to do with the idea that the game and the world evolve beyond more than just the repetitive tasks of killing monsters and clearing a dungeon for an in-game defined objective.

MMOs were once about forming the community and the bonds of friendship for no other reason than having virtual friends or to live and fill a role in a virtual world. That's the glue that makes these games often 'sticky' and something we want to continue to log in to each and every day -- or even 17 years later.

How Pantheon looks to create that feeling again... I don't really know that Brad answered that clearly beyond having a game that will be challenging and require teamwork. To me, it's not something that one can clearly check the boxes required and then have a sticky game.

Acclamation Feature

I thought this was really cool. Instead of there being invisible barriers or simply quest objectives locking your progress, your character will actually go up against the environment. This is definitely a nice play on the "player vs. environment" angle of PvE.

For example, during the presentation we saw that a snowy area will require cold resist gear. I hope there will be fire, poison, and other area making environment a real factor in "PvE."

Situational Gear

Most games -- probably all these days -- tend to have a "this is the best sword at level 20." Pantheon is striving to have a system where gear is more situational. One sword might excel in one area but not in another. I believe this system will expand to other armor and weapon combinations.

Mobs React to Raid Size

When asked whether raids will be the typical fair, the Visionary Realms team responded by saying yes, but with more twist. In previous games like EQ you could bring 40 people to a 20-man raid. In Pantheon you can still do that, but if you bring an overwhelming number of players the encounter is going to react -- the monster might run away or call reinforcements.

No Instances, Open World

This matters a lot more than people give credit. To have an open world vs. instances means we're all playing together. Your group doesn't get an instance to itself. This means a zone isn't "completed" or "reset". An open-world provides much more "live in it" and "survive it" gameplay.

Pre-alpha Begins Before the Holidays

Pantheon still has a ways to go, but they're entering Pre-alpha before the holidays. I hope they us a big favor and continue to release gameplay showing off the gameplay. I'd like to see what it's like in a group, what it's like to craft, what it's like to explore, etc. I don't want cutscenes or gimmicky trailers -- pure gameplay. I'll be watching.

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