IMAX VR Experience Opens in Trafford Centre Manchester

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Blastprocess was invited to try out the attractions at the new Odeon IMAX VR which is now opening at the Trafford Centre in Manchester on Friday 24th.

Mike was particularly keen – I think he was nearly at the ‘are we there yet’ stage as we drove down for our allotted meeting. So it was with great excitement that I and Mike approached the freshly revealed new attraction. Its protective hoardings had only been removed the night before.

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So after the warm welcome from Ben and his team of VR helpers we were given a guided tour of the booths and choice of the entertainments within. Honestly we felt like we had entered the Crystal Maze. But before we could begin we had to fill in some light paperwork and watch the health and safely video before moving onto the initial experience.

First up was Space Flight… (The full title is a little bit of a spoiler so I’ll stop right there). In this you are the passenger of an aircraft that achieves low Earth orbit. Now I’d best explain that you’re wearing; the glasses are HTC Vive business edition, meaning that you can’t buy these in the shops/online etc., and depending on the games then other equipment will be utilised (subpac rumble backpacks for example). For Space Flight you’re sitting in VR designed rumble chair - we'll find the name for this! Despite knowing that you’ve going nowhere the feeling of actual take off comes across as being very real and the views are exceptional. And as I implied earlier when I mentioned the title; I can’t tell you what happens…

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Life of Us was next on the agenda and this is unusual. Not in a bad way but this needs some careful explaining. Essentially in this experience you evolve from a ‘blob’ (yeah it will have a scientific name but let’s just go with ‘blob’) that goes through various incarnations as it evolves. Unlike Space Flight this is multiplayer so I could ‘see’ Mike next to me as we progressed through different geological periods. Our forms changed with each new time period and we learned as we went along what we could do with our new found bodies. The end was unusual - Let’s just say that it feature’s music by Pharrell Williams.

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And so onto Eagle Strike; now I have no hesitation is saying that this was my favourite. This game allowed for various combinations of player vs player action but found 2 vs 2 to be the best.
In it one team are eagles whilst the other are falcons and we’re using some very snazzy Xbox controllers to interact with the game; with the exception for the direction of flight which was controlled by the turning of your head. Essentially you were tasked into bring food back to your eyrie. Once your bunny snack was acquired you were vulnerable, the opposing team now trying to snatch the animal carcass from you. Think of it as a feathery game of capture the flag. I must mention the landscape in this title. You are flying over and through a desolate and decaying Paris. The boulevards and alleyways present you with cover and the occasional speed boosts. It was a considerable joy using these as cover trying hard not to clip any of the scenery.

From being covered in feathers our next game gets you encased in metal as we played Archangel. This is a story driven mech simulator/shooter where you operate a 6-story walking robot. Story and path through the environments were predetermined but by using the Vive haptic feedback controllers you operated the robots arms; which of course mean you are controlling its collection of ordinance. In game selections allow you to change the loadout and there’s a choice of narrative experiences depending on the difficulty you wish to experience. 

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For the next game it was the moment that Captain Kenny of the United Federation of Planets to makes his mark because we played Star Trek: Bridge Crew “Rescue at Perseph”!
(OK the actual title doesn’t include!) 

This is ideally designed for 4 players so just having the two of us made it a little taxing. That doesn’t mean you have more work to do; other players are replaced by bots but I feel that having people you know in all the positions would make following updates easier. I took the role of the Captain of our Federation vessel and Mike was designated as Tactical, the other possible roles being Helm and Engineering. 
Being set in the reboot film universe, or Kelvin timeline the look of the bridge matches that seen in the JJ Abrams/Bad Robot films so has a modern take on the original series look.
Since only the Captain can see all the mission objectives, this is a game of communication. So the Captain has to instruct the crew taking care that their actions don’t overlap since some commands will have a direct impact on the ability of others to achieve their orders. So a certain amount of judgement and oversight is needed. We managed to rescue 5 people during our session and this is certainly an interesting game that deserves a lot of exploration and play. Talking to the staff they’ve managed to rescue 25 people so unlike the Kobayashi Maru this isn’t a no-win scenario (Star trek II reference there folks).

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From Star Trek we moved onto Star Wars: Trials on Tatooine. Now I’d played this last year at Star Wars Celebration Europe on the LMxLAB stand so I was eager to give a better showing this second time around. In this mini adventure you’re tasked with meeting a certain smuggler and you will get ‘a bad feeling about this’ as trouble obviously breaks out. Again I’ve no wish to spoil things so I can’t really tell you what will certainly be the main selling point. However when I played this before this was the first time I appreciated what VR could now achieve; the sense of being part of the action was overwhelming. 

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And finally we played Raw Data. We were recommended to play this last. The reason being that by then we would have become familiar with the VR technology plus this title is a lot more physically demanding than the others.
In essence is a first person sci-fi themed shooter. Three character classes exist with the game which also affected the load out to be carried. I found the easiest was the character with the handgun(s), the katana wielder and the shotgun user requiring more skill to play but in balance provide more flexible firepower. This title used the haptic controller to move you around the play environment. This was achieved using what appeared to be a grenade ark showing where you’d instantly move to. This worked very well allowed you to appear behind your target before teleporting out.
I could tell that this was Mike’s favourite and he seriously liked the shotgun…

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We spent the afternoon enjoying the experiences that IMAX VR could provide so many thanks to Liam and his VR hosts of the IMAX VR Manchester Trafford Park for their time, trouble and patience. We look forward to a return visit and also seeing future titles and when they appear.

IMAX VR will be opening it's doors or is that virtual space? for you to explore and immersive yourself in on Friday 24th at the Trafford Centre in Manchester. On-line bookings will be taken through it's website but we'll give you updated as more information lands come launch day.

A little snippit from Mike; 

IMAX VR is truly unlike any other VR experience that I've come across. Start to finish, this is how you showcase and explore the world of VR

It's all he talks about!

Rive: Ultimate Edition – Nintendo Switch Review

This is a multiformat twin-stick shooter now making its debut on the Nintendo Switch.

OK first some basics – I’m using the Nintendo Switch in hand held mode and despite the Switch having a new Copilot mode it will be played solo.

Initial impressions…

So after installing the game data and the appropriate button presses its game on. After a very brief spacey bit it was platform shooter time and the first thing that came to mind was the NES Sunsoft game Master Blaster. However unlike the almost sedate nature of that title this 6-legged vehicle is faced with apocalyptic levels of incoming foes and their ordinance.

The usual rules apply; one stick for movement the other for firing and the other buttons for jump, scanning, secondary weapon selection and firing.

Downed enemies bring forth bits of scrap which act as a form of currency for upgrades. These upgrades either grant permanent enhancements or limited secondary weapon availability.

So its shoot stuff, collect the spoils, trade and repeat. A novel addition is the scan which turns the weapon into a means of examining the surroundings and triggering doors or hacking equipment for your own use.

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So what’s it like…

Visually everything is nicely done and the game has an entertaining self-aware narrative taking place. Progress is marked with checkpoints which prove really useful since this is a challenging game despite what it says on the start screen (you can initially select between normal and hard - no easy mode here). I had opted for normal – but this isn’t the normal for feint hearted.

This game pulls no punches and you learn to progress the hard way. Certain areas despite their intensity provide a challenge but periodically you’ll be presented with additional trials. These can be in the form of direct danger from an advanced adversary or an environmental obstacle to overcome, but quite often it’s usually both.

Thankfully the checkpoint positions are usually fairly placed so plunging you back into the action close to where you met your waterloo.

As you progress additional game modes are unlocked (Missions, Challenges and Battle Arenas) so providing a diversion from the main game.

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Final thoughts…

I’ve yet to try it in docked mode but I’m hopeful a larger screen could present a slight edge when the attack waves become intense. 
This is a nice solid title featuring robust gameplay and professional music and visuals. It is hard at times due to the intensity of the gameplay but it can be overcome with practise.

RIVE: Ultimate Edition coming exclusively to Nintendo Switch™ November 17th! Two Tribes’ metal wrecking, robot hacking shooter RIVE will be better than ever on Nintendo Switch. Check out http://www.rivethegame.com for more!

AAA, Hollywood Vets Announce Indie Nintendo Switch, PC Shooter 'SleepTight'

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Sleep Tight haunts Nintendo Switch, PC in Early 2018

LOS ANGELES - Nov. 14, 2017 -Sleep Tight, an adrenaline pumping arcade-style, twin-stick shooter with base-building elements, launches for Nintendo Switch and PC in Q1 2018.
 
Sleep Tight will be the debut project fromWe Are Fuzzy, a veteran team of AAA game developers and big-budget film VFX artists. The team is led by Maxx Burman, whose credits include Far Cry, League of Legends, Westworld, and Titanfall. Disney character artists, including Dylan Ekren, who worked on Wreck It Ralph and Zootopia, and Ubisoft designer Oscar Mar, whose resume cites the Far Cry and Rainbow 6 franchises.

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Sleep Tight draws from shared childhood experiences to deliver a fast-paced twin-stick shooter that marries adrenaline-pumping action with a charming world wrapped in blankets of nostalgia.
 
Build pillow forts during the day to prepare for hordes of monsters who emerge after dark. Fight back against their relentless onslaught with dart Gatling guns, water balloon launchers, remote controlled gun turrets, and other toys. Throughout these frenetic nocturnal battles, players will collect stars from fallen enemies to upgrade their skills, buy power-ups, and unlock new weapons.

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"Since I was a kid, I always wanted to make games. After 10 years of working on other people's projects, it was time to make my own, and I wanted to go back to that feeling of pure play." said Maxx Burman, co-founder and creative director at We Are Fuzzy. "I feel fortunate to work with such talented artists to bring this Pixar-esque world to life. I think it's an experience that will appeal to the young at heart, no matter their age."

For more information on We Are Fuzzy and Sleep Tight, visit the game's official website.

The Exorcist: Legion VR Scares Oculus Rift and HTC Vive Uses on November 22nd

VR horror fans will be ready for this. The Excorcist Legion VR is coming to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on November 22nd with a planned release on PSVR later on. See full details along with a new trailer, below!

The Exorcist: Legion VR Comes To Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on November 22nd

November 14th, 2017 - Fun Train and Wolf & Wood are proud to bring The Exorcist horror franchise to premium virtual reality with The Exorcist: Legion VR. Based on the events of The Exorcist III, players experience a stand-alone story untold in the movies across five chapters. Chapter 1: First Rites and Chapter 2: Idle Hands are expected out November 22nd, with the rest following soon after. First Rites will launch at $3.99 for the first week during Black Friday, making it a 20% discount off the normal experience, with Idle Hands available at $4.99.

The Legion has come! A variety of demons have returned to our world just as Pazuzu (the main demon from The Exorcist franchise) promised. Follow in the shoes of a detective in Chapter 1 as they uncover strange details behind the grisly murder of a priest. Each subsequent Chapter takes the player further in the journey as they assume the role of a detective investigating the demonic entities lurking in the shadows, culminating in a satisfying ending for any fan of the franchise.

  • Five stand-alone episodic chapters that come together for a truly cinematic end.
  • Don’t just play the movies, live a whole new story experience in full VR!
  • Step into the shoes of an exorcist to confront ancient forces of evil when everything is at stake!
  • Discover an intricate story filled with mystery and peril.
  • Choose between HTC Vive or Oculus Rift headsets via SteamVR or purchase directly from the Oculus Store for an experience unlike any other. 
  • Switch between both free roam and teleport locomotion to have full control over your experience.
  • Play using room scale, standing, or even seated.
  • Utilize a menu consisting of a cellphone, an exorcism kit, among other important items found during the journey.
  • Unique items found throughout the stories are collected in your evidence room to be evaluated at a later time.
  • Chapters can be replayed at any time, enabling users to discover hidden story content, special achievements and easter eggs.
  • Chapter 1 and 2 will be out for PCs concurrently on November 22nd on Oculus Store and SteamVR, with a later release on Viveport and Playstation Network Store.

“This franchise deserves to be done right and the only way to have a truly definitive experience for such a story is in virtual reality,” said Douglas Nabors, CEO of Fun Train. “Playing a non-VR horror game is one thing when you’re safely behind a monitor. But, when you’re living the horror up close and personal, The Exorcist: Legion VR will resonate with you for years to come.”

Arcade-style SHMUP 'Beekyr Reloaded' OUT Now on Steam

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Beekyr Reloaded - The definitive bee'em up.

14th November 2017,
KaleidoGames officially announces the release of Beekyr Reloaded for Windows PC, finally leaving Early Access. An action game with multi-directional scroll, diverse mechanics, a groundbreaking theme and a great co-op mode.

But hold on a second! Wasn't the shoot'em up genre dead? Not anymore! We are here to breathe new life to the genre! Face a tough arcade-style shmup with no spaceships nor aircrafts, but cruel wasps instead! It will teach anyone how this kind of game is played, while having a great time!

A bunch of giant hornets have destroyed your hive and taken the pollen away. Fight the swarms alone or with a friend, and destroy the wicked hornet queen! The Insect World is a very dangerous place but... What are you waiting for? Avenge them all !
 
Availability:
Beekyr Reloaded will be available for Windows PC as a digital download on Steam from November 14th 2017. Versions for game consoles might come at a future time.

Beekyr Reloaded has become apart of our First Level series and you can see the video below!

TMA 178 – Our Favourite Game…

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Illness is a funny thing. It can make a man question to it’s core not only how great a single game is in itself, but further more games in general. Join the sick mind of Mat Boyle as he talks Wolfenstein 2, Super Mario Odyssey and Mario _ Rabbids Kingdom Battle, while the healthy and vibrant Tom Parry also chucks in his two cents on single player experiences, particularly in fighting games and confesses to the most heinous of acts: He’s finally caved and bought a Switch!

Listen here.

 

Top 12 Toys Picks for Christmas 2017 from DreamToys

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London 8 November 2017: DreamToys, the UK’s most accurate and authoritative predictive list, today announced the top 12 toys expected to be the most sought after this Christmas.

Nerf Nitro Longshot Smash and The Original Stretch Armstrong bring familiar names to the list while film and TV licenses are represented by PJ Masks Headquarters Playset, Lego’s Star Wars BB-8 and Paw Patrol Sea Patroller.

Laser X – 2 Player Pack and the sequel to last year’s hit Hatchimals, Hatchimals Surprise, highlight the increasing creativity within the growing interactive toy market while L.O.L. Surprise Series 2 and Fingerlings showcase the importance of collectibles to the toy market.

Other products in the top 12 include Mattel’s Enchantimals Playhouse Panda Set, Hasbro’s FurReal Roarin’ Tyler and the big Christmas game for 2017, Toilet Trouble.

“This year’s DreamToys Top 12 is an exciting range of innovative toys that demonstrate the creativity of the toy industry and the magic of Christmas,” commented Gary Grant, chair of the DreamToys committee.

“From the biggest collectible trends and licenses of 2017 to exciting action products and board game sensations, this year’s list is incredibly diverse and with price points to suit all budgets. With so many products vying for a child’s attention it’s pleasing to be able to pick a list that promotes togetherness, innovation and creative play that will capture the imagination this Christmas.”

“39 per cent* of toy presents bought for children at Christmas will be directly driven from children’s wish lists or letters to Santa. Therefore, more than 60 per cent of consumers buying presents for children this Christmas are likely to rely on lists like DreamToys to make an informed purchasing decision.”

Frederique Tutt, global industry analyst for the NPD Group’s toys division added, “With £1.2 billion spent on toys for Christmas – the equivalent of one third of total annual toy spend - the toy industry is all-systems-go as the 25th December draws closer. The list chosen by the 2017 DreamToys panel reflects the increased popularity of traditional play patterns with Games & Puzzles, Plush and Dolls as the fastest-growing categories to date. The 2017 Dream Dozen offers great variety this year, and with it, fun and play value for all age groups and wallets.”

New for 2017 is the DreamToys Facebook page (www.facebook.com/dreamtoysUK) which showcases all the toys selected on the list to help consumers choose the best product for them.

The full Top 12 list is as follows in no particular order (all prices quoted as RRPs, final price may vary from retailer to retailer)

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DreamToys takes place at St Mary’s Church, York Street, Marylebone, W1H 1PQ from 7am-2pm.

Spokespeople from the Toy Retailers Association are available throughout the day, along with photography and video assets. Full details of the list and product shots can be found at: www.toyretailersassociation.co.uk/dreamtoys-2017

*Statistics provided by the NPD Group

Hand of Fate 2 Out Now on Playstation 4 and PC - Reunite with The Dealer

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Hand of Fate 2 Available Now for PlayStation 4, PC

BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND - Nov. 7, 2017 - Hand of Fate 2, the anticipated follow-up to Defiant Development's action RPG downloaded by millions, is out now for PlayStation 4 across North America and Oceania as well as Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux. An Xbox One version with Xbox One X compatibility and 4K Ultra HD support and a European PlayStation 4 release are also in the cards and coming soon. 

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Taking place after the events of the original Hand of Fate, the sequel reunites players with the Dealer, who has returned from the void. Now seeking vengeance, this enigmatic agent trains a new player to master the Game of Life and Death, which fuses Dungeons & Dragons-style trials constructed from collectible cards with gripping hack-and-slash combat encounters.
 
After building a deck of item and equipment cards, Hand of Fate 2 players square off against the Dealer and his deck of challenges. Shuffling all these together, the Dealer lays out a dungeon floor to explore where each card presents players with new trials to overcome, including combat encounters that bring enemy cards to life in real-time action sequences.

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An assortment of enhancements to the original Hand of Fate debut in the sequel including companion characters that offer help in battle alongside tabletop bonuses and their own side-quests, an overworld map, more tabletop mini-games to enjoy, and other exciting surprises that elevate the Hand of Fate experience to new heights in conjunction with more refined combat and a thrilling new narrative.
 
"When developing the original Hand of Fate, we set out to create a tabletop game that comes to life. While that project was widely praised and an incredible success for us, we felt there was room for improvement," said Morgan Jaffit, Director, Defiant Development. "We've spent the past two years working to one-up ourselves, and the results have paid off. I'm proud to say this is the best game I've ever worked on and am ecstatic it's finally ready to be shared with the world."
 
Hand of Fate isavailable via PlayStation 4 and Steam for $29.99 USD / €24.99 / $29.99 AUD and supports English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese language options.

For more information on Hand of Fate 2 and Defiant Development, visit their official
website
, check out game's Steam page, like it on Facebook, or follow the studio on Twitter.

Ginger: Beyond the Crystal platforms onto Nintendo's Switch This Christmas

Ginger: Beyond the Crystal comes to Nintendo Switch on November 17th, while a boxed retail version will be available in 2018.  

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The 3D platformer by Drakhar Studio will see the light on Nintendo hybrid console, after pleasing the fans of the classic genre last year on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 

Madrid, Spain, November 6th 2017: After delighting fans of 3D platforms on PS4, Xbox One and PC last year, the adventure ‘Ginger: Beyond the Crystal’, developed by Drakhar Studio, is about to launch on Nintendo Switch thanks to BadLand Games. The title, starred by the amusing character that gives name to Drakhar's creation, will be available for Nintendo hybrid console just before Christmas. The game will be available in digital format on the eShop starting on November 17th; physical version will arrive on 2018.

All-time Nintendo users, the first gamers that experienced a "new dimension" in the platformer genre thanks to Super Mario 64, will be more than pleased to see Ginger getting launched on Switch, but they won't be the only ones that would enjoy the title created by Drakhar. Ginger: Beyond The Crystal it's an adventure game and a 3D platformer, in which the player will have to rebuild a magical world devastated by the explosion of a crystal. Ginger will have to find the damaged crystals and purify them thru the godess. But he's not the only survivor, he'll have to find the rest of inhabitants and rescue them from other worlds, where they're kidnapped. 

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Ginger will have to face a lot of enemies, traps and platforms on his journey through fifteen different levels with more than 200 side quests. 
Great visuals and an epic soundtrack will take players trough three different dream worlds, where they'll find different characters that will give them special skills that will help them solve each task. Also, the game has 15 different bonus levels that will put the players skills to test.
For Luis Torres, CEO of Drakhar Studio, one of the best new features of the game is "joining farming and simulation genres to classic adventure/platformers like Spyro, Zelda or Donkey Kong Country".
Moisés Otero, ‘Ginger: Beyond the Crystal’ production designer, highlights that "besides being a classic 3d platformer, the game has modern mechanics, simulation, quests, adventures, small village rebuilding and even has a new game mode called Old School,  harder tha normal mode, specially made for classic games fans".

Morphite Xbox One Review

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Totally in the dark on this game; so the style and type of gameplay I’d been tasked with reviewing was a complete mystery. So wasting no time I redeemed the review key via the Xbox store and waited as what was a relatively small file downloaded.

Initial impressions.

Starting off aboard a space station our heroine, Myrah Kale, is sent on a sort of coming of age/first steps type mission. Despite it clearly not being a point and click adventure, this was the immediate first impression. Most likely due to the linear series of events that then followed.

After a short while just following the story prompts which are acting as a tutorial of sorts. The game’s play mechanic started to show through. In short explore, collect, redeem/trade and repeat as required.

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The art style is described as ‘Stylized Low-Poly Look’ which seems fitting enough. Some commentators have described it as being similar to Astroneer – which is a reasonable enough statement to make although Astroneer uses a wider range of colours and effects for the art style/environment that it is using.

The music is also worth a mention. The game uses a series of musical cues and mood pieces that play during certain moments acting more as a sound scape than a soundtrack. Like the art style these are very distinctive and helps to give it a sense of place that’s very unique.

So back to the game; having gained a mentor and a feline flying robot (called Kitcat) I completed the firing tutorial and left the space station on-board my own spacecraft. The navigation of which is via a galaxy/solar system type maps. Up to this point everything was first person but inside the ship the view is locked down.

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Between you and the destination there are traders and other space stations. Essentially these provide the obvious trading opportunities and in the case with space station upgrade possibilities. Of course there is also the possibility of combat. This takes the appearance of using one of the gun emplacements as seen on-board the Millennium Falcon (or for seasoned players ‘Star Raiders’ through a porthole). This played well enough although I had to change the control scheme from directional to ‘pilot’ like in style by inverting the vertical input – always nice when control options are provided but I do wish there was a way to know which was the default option.

Now the first of a couple of pointers that may prove to be beneficial.

Upgrades generally require materials and currency (the delightfully named ‘chunks’). Two types of materials has been the norm so far for upgrades and the coloured bar to the right of the material names is a pictorial representation of the amount you’re carrying (if any) vs the amount required. Since you see all the possible upgrade slots at each venue despite what’s actually available it is a little confusing at first when the on screen requirements are all blank. However the exchange of materials and funds soon becomes a major plank of the game design. Upgrades exist for yourself, equipment and your ship with upgrade areas specialising in one of the three branches.

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Planetside

Now the main thrust of the game is the planet surfaces and it is this that has drawn the strongest comparison to the look of Astroneer and the gameplay of No man’s Sky. As per the Astroneer the No Man’s Sky reference is not quite right either – yes both feature planet surface exploration but the landscape in Morphite is smaller and more valley like in layout thus leading to a precise objective. The reduced colours and geometry is pleasing on the eye with the only drawbacks being that some features such as tunnel entrances can literally disappear when they are the same colour as the surroundings.

Planetary exploration is accessed from orbit via a pod like thing that also acts as a restock point for your weapon and maybe a checkpoint – I say maybe since it’s all a bit confusing. I’ve relied on the checkpoint system only for it to ‘not-save-your-progress’ this forcing me to chase the same amphibian several times.

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As I progressed the gameplay did start to coalesce so you can then adopt a playstyle to maximise your playing experience and in game rewards. The game is essentially an exploration based; by scanning flora and fauna on planets you gain readings of their biology that act as tradable items and gateways to enhancements. Other minerals/currency can be acquired via the good old fashioned Zelda approach of smashing stuff or in our instance - shooting it.

Now another playing pointer. You will depend heavily on two items from your roster; the scanner which scans things and you gun with which you can shoot them afterwards. Initially to select between the two required you to pull up a menu and select between them. This was really unwieldy. After all scanning and shooting are the two things you do all the time and rapid selection was pretty much mandatory. Later on I discovered that the D-pad was used to bring up and zoom in/out on a map (up/down) however undocumented was the fact that left/right cycled through your items as well. This turned out to be a mixed blessing since the act of operating the map also moves the held item along. Initially I thought was my inexperience in changing the map but alas having the map up does affect the item being held. The map alas has its own issues. Normally it hangs in the upper right of the screen but is very faint. The version you call up occupies the majority of the screen and is more opaque. So as you move around it does obscure a lot of the scenery and cannot be adjusted. Not only does it make seeing thing difficult as you move but you cannot use anything you’re carrying so no scanning or shooting allowed. Another issue is that the map is rendered as per the height you’re currently at; so instead of seeing the shapes of the valley or caves you can instead get a slice of the world where the terrain has narrowed or even no longer exists at this vertical point.

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As already mentioned you progress by exploration and essentially scanning everything. Like all games of this ilk your equipment is compromised at the start and upgrading via exploring is paramount. That does mean that some of the wildlife you see is practically impossible to scan (flies for example). There is a log to let you catch up on the creatures scanned but there appears to be no way of knowing if you’ve scanned all those on a particular planet (they do visually take on a slightly different on-screen appearance). Some lifeforms appear more than once with different preceding adjectives to differentiate between them. This may be down to some sort of seeding system but I noticed at least one whose name of Lakeshits seems a little unfortunate (or maybe I’m breaking the word up incorrectly…).

At this point I should come clean and point out that I haven’t completed the main game yet. In my defence I have literally gone off and done my own thing. Something that this game allows you to do -without question. There is a story and objectives (and a very handy quest screen to keep up to date of what you should be doing) that lead to planetary structures with platform/switch type obstacle courses and the unveiling of a story point (the not at all mythical Morphite!).

The conclusion

This is proving a tricky title to review. There is a lot to admire in this game and they have tried to make it as approachable as possible. Admittedly some of the areas are a little empty and the electronic music (more of an atmospheric audio experience) and graphics can grate if the game is played excessively. However in smaller doses the open ended exploration and easy going nature of this title makes this a game to fall back on, especially since death doesn’t really penalise you – just puts you back to the last checkpoint (maybe).

 “Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?”

You can find out even more details on Morphite on Crescent Moon Games website, while following the developers Blowfish Studios and We're Five Games.

Morphite is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Steam, Nintendo Switch and iOS. 

 

DOOM is coming to Switch let's see it running!

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The news of the latest instalment of DOOM is coming to Nintendo's Switch is a few months old, but if like me you heard the news and never got around to watch the game in action. Here's a few videos from Gamespot and Eurogamer showcasing and explaining the in-depth details on how the game runs on a handheld console. Breathtaking...  

Deep Rock Galactic Needs Talented Dwarven Miners

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READY TO MINE?

At DEEP ROCK GALACTIC, we always need new talented dwarven miners to join us on our glorious endeavor!
Recruitment is simple! All we ask is that you can say YES to the following statements:

  • Do you like mining?
  • Do you like killing aliens?
  • Do you like beards?

If so, sign up below before November 6 at 11:59 PM (CEST), and join us November 9-12 for the OPEN ALPHA on Steam (PC).

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16-bit Nightingale Downs Jumps onto Steam

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Animals have existed for centuries, eventually forming societies and organizing to protect each other. In Nightingale Downs, you become part of that world.

You play a deer, tasked by your clan leader with a most urgent mission: Find and sabotage the plans of a local human settlement, intent on destroying your homeland. Your journey will be long, through dangerous jungles and facing many natural predators.

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Features:

  • Bright and beautiful 16-bit pixel graphics draw you into the story, with lighting and weather effects. Those who enjoyed SNES-era games will be right at home here!
  • Battle 25 different enemies, many with variable abilities and strengths. Find and use 30 different items, with fights and loot randomized every game.
  • Complete over a dozen side quests, many connecting in some way to the main story. Use the unique Karma system to build your own character, your way.
  • Professionally written, novel-quality storyline, with stirring original music, voice acting and sound to draw you in.

Enter the world of Nightingale Downs today!

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You can Find Nightingale Downs on Steam right here, and keep unto date with SimProse Studios on twitter here.

Assault Android Cactus Lands on XB1X, XB1 on 7 Nov

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Assault Android Cactus Energizes the Xbox One X on 7 Nov.

Supports Xbox One X Native 4K 60fps at Launch

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BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND - 25 Oct. 2017 - Assault Android Cactus, the action-packed arcade-style twin-stick shooter developed by Witch Beam, will hit the Xbox One marketplace on 7 Nov. 2017, for $14.99 USD. Launching alongside the Xbox One X, Assault Android Cactus will debut native 4K 60fps support and include an optional developer commentary. Players can try before they buy with a free 30-minute trial of the upcoming console version on the Xbox One and Xbox One X.
 
Assault Android Cactus replaces the traditional life system with a continuously draining battery. Players will need to make every second count as they maneuver through endless swarms of relentless robots to grab power-ups and all-important batteries from fallen enemies. The only way to survive is to keep fighting.
 
Each of the nine vibrant android heroines has their own character-specific primary weapon with infinite ammo and a more powerful secondary weapon with a cooldown timer. Knowing when to switch between the two is the difference between victory and defeat on ever-changing stages. Accessible gameplay makes Assault Android Cactus an intuitive title for one to four people to pick up and play.
 
A variety of game modes put the androids' skills to the test. Infinity Drive throws out wave after wave of mechanical minions. Rumble with the big boys with the Boss Rush mode or drop by the Daily Drive to challenge a new scenario every day. Unlock EX options that open up a first-person perspective, powerful MEGA weapons, or an A.I. partner to bring along for the ride.
 
Follow Junior Constable Cactus and her friends across 25 action-packed levels as they regain control of the Genki Star space freighter from robot workers running amok. Lasers will fly as androids dodge bullets and send five bosses back to the scrap heap, all before their batteries drain away.
 
"The spirit of our game comes from a love of the arcade culture we grew up with," says Santana Mishra, director, Witch Beam. "I'm excited Xbox One owners will get to experience Cactus's non-stop action, and in glorious 4K HD on the Xbox One X."
 
Assault Android Cactus is currently available for PlayStation 4, Windows, Mac and Linux for $14.99 USD. Those platforms and the Xbox One release will be available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Japanese.
 
For more information about Assault Android Cactus, please visit the official website or follow the game on Twitter and Facebook.

Cooler Master, NZXT and Now Futuremark join PC Building Simulator

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While building a PC can be an exciting task, it could also be a little daunting but fear no more PC Building Simulator is here!

Accurately Benchmark your PC in PC Building Simulator with Futuremark

LONDON - 26th October, 2017 - The UK based independent game publisher, The Irregular Corporation, is delighted to announce that Futuremark has joined the PC Building Simulator project as a partner. Futuremark creates benchmark tools that help people measure, understand and manage computer hardware performance.

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Futuremark’s popular 3DMark and VRMark tools will be emulated in-game with real-world data ensuring that PC Building Simulator is as accurate as possible. These benchmarking tools will allow PC Building Simulator players to test the performance of their creations, diagnose hardware issues, select the best components and progress in the career mode, all whilst becoming more knowledgeable about PC building in the real world!

 
"3DMark has been a key part of the PC builder's toolkit for almost 20 years now. Millions of gamers, overclockers, and system builders have used Futuremark benchmarks to test and compare PC performance," said Jani joki, Commercial Director at Futuremark. "We are thrilled to be working with The Irregular Corporation to help create an authentic, accurate and realistic benchmarking experience for their PC Building Simulator game."

 
The game puts players in the shoes of a PC builder, working within their own shop to create fully functioning gaming PC’s. The game features a large array of detailed and accurately rendered components from motherboards to CPUs that respond just as they would in real life, players have the ability to experiment with the installation of these components while fully animated installations let the players see exactly where each part slots into the computer.

 The game provides a tutorial system, which guides players step by step through the PC building process. Using detailed instructions, the simulator explains each component and function and allows players the

freedom to preview their own creations and play independently when they feel they are able.

 
PC Building Simulation will launch in January 2018 and you can add PC Building Simulator to your wishlist today at http://store.steampowered.com/app/621060/PC_Building_Simulator/,

 
For more information on PC Building Simulator, please visit: http://www.pcbuildingsim.com/ or follow PC Building Simulator on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook for the latest news and updates.

About Futuremark, a UL company

Futuremark creates the world's most popular performance tests for PCs, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, and VR systems. Futuremark is part of UL, a global safety science organization with more than a century of expertise and innovation in the fields of product safety testing, inspection, and verification services.

https://www.futuremark.com

About The Irregular Corporation

The Irregular Corporation is a newly formed publisher, focused on releasing specialized games for unique communities. Based in London, UK and founded by industry veterans, we aim to bring gaming to new audiences.

 Twitter: https://twitter.com/IrregularCorp
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theirregularcorp/    
Website: http://www.theirregularcorporation.com/  

Bomber Crew Flys onto Steam today!

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Bomber Crew, the WW2 strategy simulation game from Runner Duck and Curve Digital, is available now on Steam

We put our Bomber Crew to the test while at EGX 2017 and let's say we needed some more practice... but for us, it was one of the stand-out games of the show.

London, United Kingdom – October 19th – Brighton-based two man development team Runner Duck Games, alongside award-winning publisher Curve Digital, today release the strategy simulation game Bomber Crew on Steam at the price of £14.99/$14.99/€14.99. As an added launch week bonus, anyone who purchases the title in the first 7 days of release also gets 10 free DLC Bomber skins and a 15% reduction in price.

In Bomber Crew players have to recruit, train and upgrade their very own WW2 Bomber Crew, each with only one life, and then guide them to victory while overcoming the challenges of enemy flak fire, unstable weather conditions, enemy radar detections, dreaded enemy Aces and many more. Every bombing run is a risk, but the rewards are great.

Every Bomber can be customized to the player’s desire, with the ability to change the base colour of the Bomber, all the way up to upgrading the bombing capability and the survival capabilities (you can even draw your own wing art using the in-game tool!)

Dave Miller, co-founder of Runner Duck said: “Bomber Crew’s subject is one that I’ve always been fascinated in, so shipping this game is a real thrill. Runner Duck’s debut year has been an absolute pleasure thanks to Curve - an excellent publishing partner and a lovely bunch of people!”
Marketing Director of Curve Digital, Alex Moyet, said “Working with the guys at Runner Duck has been absolutely fantastic, they’ve put everything they have in to the release of Bomber Crew and the end result really shows. We’re extremely excited for Bomber Crew to be in the hands of players, we can’t wait to see their Bomber designs, their Bomber names, and most importantly, show us their crew!”
 
Bomber Crew unlocks on Steam at 6pm BST / 7pm CEST / 10am PDT. http://store.steampowered.com/app/537800/Bomber_Crew/
 
About Curve Digital
Curve Digital is one of the world’s leading publishers of games on PC and consoles.

Since 2013, we’ve been working with some of the world’s best game developers to help bring their games to the widest possible audiences all over the world.

From celebrated indie hits like Thomas Was Alone, The Swapper, Dear Esther and The Flame in the Flood, through to brand new titles like Human: Fall Flat, Stikbold: A Dodgeball Adventure and Action Henk, we’re passionate about what we publish.

In July 2017 we were recognised by the celebrated Develop Industry Excellence Awards as "Publishing Hero" for our recent work. 
 
About Runner Duck Games
Runner Duck Games is a two-person indie studio founded in 2016 by artist Dave Miller and programmer Jon Wingrove following an extensive stint at Relentless Software. Throughout their careers the pair have worked on a series of both indie and AAA franchises across mobile and console including Buzz! and DiRT 2. Runner Duck Games is based in Brighton, UK.

TMA 176 – The Dark Side of 3D Podcasting

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The boys messed up a recording, so this is officially a do-over! Listen to Tom and Mat quote each other as they tell you tales of Mat’s Trip to a flea market and the wonders he found there in. Tom’s been playing Hell Blade, Mat almost Beat Nier:Automata and a few surprises aside! We look at the upcoming releases for the month of October, talk in length about our piles of shame and as always, have a good old natter!

Listen here.

It's like a GIANT Arcade with UNLIMITED coins! PLAYExpo Manchester This Weekend

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Tired of FIFA18, stuck waiting for the next Call of Duty game? Why not treat yourself and the whole family to a gaming event for all ages and style of video games with Replay Events PLAYExpo.

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The Norths biggest ever video gaming expo returns for its sixth year at the huge EventCity exhibition centre in Manchester with an expected 25,000 attendees!  The two-time award nominated show will once again be jam packed to the gills with loads of features, tournaments, exhibitors and oodles of video gaming mayhem. With everything you love about gaming and popular culture all under one roof, the show has something for everyone and is not to be missed.

Modern Gaming, Indie, Retro, Arcade, Pinball, Minecraft, VR, LAN, Guests, Merchandise, Cosplay, Tournaments, Education, Communities, Tabletop Gaming, Photo Shoots and More!

Tickets are on sale now at www.playexpomanchester.com

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This will be our 5th year at PLAYexpo but what we enjoy the most is meeting up with friends. Playing plenty of classic games, hidden gems, meeting original creator of games - we met the team behind Dizzy and Tomb Raider last year, and the known fact that theres something new around each corner due to the sheer amount of video games on offer!