Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
A sequel to the popular Mount & Blade game series, which skillfully combined action with strategy and RPG elements. The sequel was developed by the creators of the original game – Turkish developer TaleWorlds. The story throws you right into the dark Medieval Times, forcing you to adapt to that harsh reality. Two of the game's most characteristic features are the open world and complete freedom to your actions. In order to gain fame and fortune, you have to prove yourself as a tactician, a diplomat, and a fighter. Similarly to its predecessor, the game consists of two gameplay layers. The strategic layer is set on a map, where you travel from one place to another and plan your overall strategy. The other one is action – where you take part in dynamic battles, sitting on a horseback or on foot, with a wide array of various weapons at your disposal in either first or third person perspective.
Assassin's Creed: Empire
The seventh major installment in the Ubisoft's best-selling action game series. Plotwise, Assassin's Creed: Empire is a sort of prequel to the entire series, taking players so far back in time as none other installment did - to the ancient Egypt, long before the two opposing orders of Assassins and Templars were founded. Players play the part of a slave, a distant ancestor to Altair - the protagonist of the first Assassin's Creed. Concerning mechanics, the title does not differ significantly from previous installments of the series, still being primarily an adventure game, supplemented with action sequences and carefully planned assassinations. The game world was, of course, with reverence typical of the franchise, adapted to the new setting, bringing back things like the possibility to mount animals or use boats. On the technical side, Empire is said to avoid relying on the achievements of previous installments, while our area of activity is approximately three times larger than what was offered by Assassin's Creed IV.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
RPG March 2017
The fourth part of the hugely popular action RPG game series in a space-opera setting. BioWare Montreal, the development studio that helped create the two previous installments took the reins of Mass Effect: Andromeda's development. The game's story is not associated with the trilogy about Commander Shepard's fight against the Reapers, offering instead a completely separate plot featuring new characters and locations. Using the proven pattern, the creators of Mass Effect: Andromeda put the focus on a spectacular TPP action experience and moral choices that have a direct impact on the course of events. The technical side of the game is based on the third-generation Frostbite engine, providing high-quality audiovisuals.
Horizon Zero Dawn
Action 28 February 2017
A third-person action game with RPG elements created by Guerilla Games, the studio known for Killzone series. The game is set in the distant future, where the world is ruled by intelligent animal-like forms that evolved from the machines responsible for the fall of an advanced human civilization centuries ago; the former rulers of the world survived, but their lifestyle was reduced to that of primitive, isolated tribes. The player takes the role of Aloy – a young girl, who seeks to find secrets of the ancients and discover her destiny. The heroine is not defenseless in this dangerous world. When fighting hostile machines she can count on her skills (developed individually) and loads of futuristic weapons, made up of parts of fallen enemies. The game is set in an open world, and the protagonist is free to choose both the order and method in which she undertakes missions. You can either openly confront your enemies or cunningly exploit their weaknesses.
A space simulator created by Chris Roberts and the Cloud Imperium Games developer team. The plot of Star Citizen is set in the 30th century. Humanity, united under the banner of United Earth Empire, has begun the colonization of the universe, encountering many alien races in its course. It is a unique opportunity for adventurous pilots to gain fame and wealth, as well as the treasured status of an intergalactic empire citizen. The gameplay combines elements of spaceship simulator, shooter, cRPG, as well as economic strategy. The game offers two modes. Squadron 42 is an offline campaign, in which the player-controlled character joins an elite squadron of star fighters. For MMO aficionados, the developers have created the Galaxy Mode, allowing them to play with thousands of others. Spectacular visuals of Star Citizen are generated by the CryEngine 3 engine.
Escape from Tarkov
A MMO FPP/TPP shooter with RPG and sandbox survival elements, developed by Russian studio Battlestate Games. Players become the members of two rivaling military corporations, fighting on the territory of an abandoned Russian city. Unlike many popular online shooters, this game stands out thanks to interesting story and full freedom of exploration combined with a whole bunch of various additional activities, which you can complete on your own or in cooperation with friends. Escape from Tarkov boasts a high level of realism in terms of both gameplay and graphics (thanks to the 3D scanning technology), extraordinary character progression system, and puts much emphasis on survival elements – your character needs to eat, drink, treat injuries, and avoid radiation in order to survive in this dangerous environment.
Action 14 February 2017
A third-person action game in a quasi-historical setting, with a focus on online competition. The production was developed by the experienced studio Ubisoft Montreal, whose portfolio includes several cult series, including Far Cry and Assassin's Creed. In the game, three factions are pitted against each other: The Chosen, The Legions, and The Warborn, modeled after the Japanese samurai, European knights, and Scandinavian Vikings respectively. During the game, each party is represented by dozens of warriors, but only four of them are controlled by players and equipped with unique abilities that can turn the tide of the battle. The game puts a great emphasis on a realistic reproduction of individual warriors’ fighting styles, and skirmishes are mostly based on the ability to use melee weapons, proper tactics, and special abilities of heroes. The online mode is complemented by a story mini-campaign that serves as an introduction to the gameplay.
Resident Evil VII: Biohazard
Action Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Seventh major installment in the cult series of survival horrors created by Capcom and launched in year 1996 on the PlayStation console. Subsequent parts of this long-standing series concentrate on a battle the humanity wages against a deadly virus which transforms those it infects into bloodthirsty monsters. The players accompany several characters who appeared in various installments of Resident Evil over the years as well as in many side installments. The game, being faithful to tradition, shows the action in third person perspective and the gameplay is based on exploration, fighting enemies and solving occasional logical puzzles. The game has a horror atmosphere which, across subsequent installments in the series, was gradually reduced in favor of action elements. Resident Evil 7 combines the best aspects of the old and new installments and is the first main Resident Evil game created for the eight generation consoles.
Strategy tomorrow, 20 January 2017
An economy simulator focused on managing a city throughout two centuries, starting in 1820. It was developed by Fragment Productions, the creators of the Rescue series. In Urban Empire, we control an entire family from which the subsequent mayors of the city originate, and our tasks include developing the infrastructure and new districts, driving the economic growth, and ensuring our citizens’ satisfaction. The gameplay is richer thanks to the fact that, as decades pass, both the technology and the geopolitical situation change, constantly providing us with new challenges. Another interesting feature is the “unofficial” part of being a mayor — we can resort to various political and personal games as well as corrupting and blackmailing unfriendly persons.
Action 07 February 2017
A third-person action game developed by Team Ninja studio (known from titles like Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden) under the supervision of Koei Tecmo company. We play as a samurai fighting against various enemies, among which we will find both humans and monsters. We cut our way through the enemies not only with conventional weaponry, but also with special abilities of our hero and the magical power enchanted in his sword. Gameplay is a mix of games like Onimusha and Dark Souls. This means that the difficulty level is high and it forces the player to make use of different tactics, dodges, blocking and powerful, complex combos. Interestingly, game has been announced as early as 2005 and was supposed to be one of the launching titles for PlayStation 3. However, due to a few complications, the developed has been postponed, and the final game will make it now to next generation of consoles.
A first-person perspective (FPP) sandbox survival horror game. The Forest is the work of an independent studio SKS Games, known mainly for the smartphone hit, End Night. The player assumes the role of a sole survivor of a plane crash. The hero ends up on an isolated island far away from civilization, inhabited by a tribe of cannibalistic mutants. The gameplay focuses on the exploration of land (forest, caves, etc.), survival skills (building a shelter, searching for food, setting traps, etc.), and fighting or avoiding confrontation with opponents. The creators have made an effort to create a lively, fast-changing world, allowing for great freedom of action. As for the technical side, The Forest utilizes Unity 4 engine.
Torment: Tides of Numenera
RPG 28 February 2017
A computer RPG based on a tabletop roleplaying system called Numenera that combines elements of fantasy and science-fiction. The title was created by indie developer inXile entertainment, mostly known for the highly acclaimed remake of The Bard’s Tale and post-apocalyptic Wasteland 2. The game is a spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment - one of the classics of the genre, created by Black Isle Studio in 1999. The original game’s co-creator, Colin McComb, was the lead designer in this new project. The game is set in the distant future, where humanity created a society on a civilization level similar to the Middle Ages, albeit the setting features also rare examples of highly-advanced technology left after more advanced, extinct civilizations. Gameplay is based on the rules of the tabletop system, appropriately modified for the needs of a computer game. The game features isometric perspective and real-time action, although the battles themselves are turn-based, as well as a system of moral choices, which have impact on the world and reactions of non-player characters.
Half-Life 2: Episode Three
The third expansion for Half-life 2, sequel to one of the most acclaimed first-person shooters, developed by Valve and released in 2004. Initially, Half-Life 2: Episode Three was supposed to be issued directly after the previous two episodes, released in years 2006 and 2007, but the project was canceled for unknown reasons. Story-wise, it was to be a continuation of the events presented by its predecessors and to bring a closure to many unresolved plots from the entire trilogy (e.g. events concerning the legendary Borealis ship and the technology found therein, all of which were to be destroyed by Gordon Freeman, the main protagonist). At the end of Episode Two, Freeman and his companion, Alyx, fly to Antarctica to find out what happened in the base located therein and why was it attacked by the Combine. Episode Three was supposed to provide explanations.
A science-fiction RPG title based on tabletop role-playing game Cyberpunk. This production was developed by CD Projekt RED studio – the team who gained worldwide acclaim thanks to its successful The Witcher series – actively supported by the co-writer of the original system, Mike Pondsmith. The story takes you to the year 2077, featuring technically advanced, albeit corrupted world of the future. The game is set in Night City, a place known well to the fans of Cyberpunk universe, where ominous intrigues and secrets thrive. While exploring the game’s open world, you learn the complex, multi-threaded narrative through numerous dialogues, which often put you up against tough moral choices. Classes and character progression system, combat model, as well as dozens of in-game augmentations were inspired of the original role-playing system. The visual side of the game is built on enhanced version of Red engine, previously used in The Witcher 3.
A fantasy MMORPG developed by NetEase. The plot of Revelation Online tells of a typical struggle between good and evil, and the players assume the role of heroes whose task is to defend the world of Nuanor from the forces of darkness. The key gameplay element is exploration of the vast world that is divided into ten provinces and three big cities. We also have to perform story quests and take part in so-called raids, during which we visit dungeons, find treasures, and face powerful enemies. There are several character classes at players’ disposal, each having different abilities that are developed with our progress. The main distinguishing feature of Revelation Online is the fact that our characters can fly (although you have to gain the 29th level first) in addition to walking. Moreover, the developers prepared three different control schemes so every player can pick the one they prefer.
Adventure March 2017
A sequel to a popular adventure game series created by the Belgian comic artist Benoit Sokal and Microids Studio, released over a decade after the second part. The story focuses on adventures of Kate Walker, a young lawyer, whose profession, in-born curiosity, and adventurousness get her entangled in a new mystery. Throughout the game, featuring classic point-and-click mechanics, you meet a whole menagerie of characters known from the previous installments in the series, as well as a cast of new heroes, including Still Life's protagonist and an FBI agent Victoria McPherson. Despite of using full 3D graphics that replaced hand drawn backgrounds, the game features the characteristic artwork style consistent with previous games.
ARK: Survival Evolved
A sandbox survival simulator set in an open world, which draws inspiration from productions such as DayZ. Unlike in the aforementioned title, this time we fight against powerful prehistoric creature instead of zombies. The game is the debut of an independent studio called Wildcard, founded by a former employee of Microsoft Game Studios. The player begins the game defenseless and naked on an unidentified island, and his or her task is to survive in this new, harsh environment. In order to do that, we must hunt and gather various raw materials which will be used to create the much needed weapons and tools. One of the most fun aspects of ARK: Survival Evolved are the meticulously depicted creatures – the game features more than 60 species of dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals. Since the title features o multiplayer experience, meeting other players in the game world will happen and, depending on their attitude, we can fight them or establish valuable alliances.
Next Car Game: Wreckfest
A dynamic racing game developed by the creators of the cult FlatOut series and the last two iterations of the almost equally famous Ridge Racer series – Finnish studio Bugbear Entertainment. The game takes inspiration from the previous works of the studio, focusing on crazy rivalry, unrestrained with fair play rules. Apart from having the best lap time and being the first one to cross the finish line, you should also eliminate your opposition as brutally as you can. Therefore, the races overflow with vicious competition, and the tracks quickly become covered with car wrecks of the defeated. The game features complex car customization both in terms of appearance and performance. From the technical side, the game catches the eye with well-polished graphics and advanced damage system, which impacts not only how the cars look but also how they behave. You can race alone, competing against AI, or take part in one of many crazy multiplayer modes.
Sniper Elite 4
Action 14 February 2017
The fourth major installment in the popular tactical first-person shooter series by Rebellion, in which we assume the role of a trained sniper fighting on various fronts of the World War II. In Sniper Elite 4, we control Karl Fairburne, the protagonist of the previous games, who is sent from North Africa to the Apennine Peninsula. His mission is to cooperate with the Italian resistance in order to help the Allied forces that are pushing to the north. As far as gameplay mechanics are concerned, the game develops the ideas of its predecessor, and our task is to efficiently eliminate subsequent targets; how are we going to do it is entirely up to us. The game takes place on vast sandbox maps and, as usual, puts a great emphasis on realistic recreation of bullet behavior depending on the atmospheric conditions. The title is meant to be played solo or in cooperation mode, although it does not lack for other multiplayer features known from its predecessors.
Survival sandbox FPP game prepared by the creator of one of the most popular Source engine modifications – Garry Newman and his Facepunch Studios. The game’s universe is inspired by titles like DayZ and S.T.A.L.K.E.R., featuring large open world, where your character struggles for survival. In terms of gameplay mechanics Rust was modeled after sandbox games like Minecraft. The in-game character gets hungry, cold, tired, and in need of shelter, and the primary goal is to provide for his basic needs, which boils down to collecting items and employing the game's advanced crafting system. Depending on your preferences, you can either play alone, focusing on survival aspect, or in multiplayer, where you get to cooperate and compete with other players, motivated by their own goals and needs.
Set in universe of Conan, a sandbox action game with survival features, developed by team at Norwegian Funcom, mostly known from its adventure cycle The Longest Journey and the Age of Conan MMORPG. We play as one of the many outcasts trying to survive in a brutal, hostile world. The gameplay of Conan Exiles doesn’t differ from what we have seen in other productions from this genre, focusing on fighting, gaining experience, gathering food and resources to craft many useful parts of equipment or build a shelter, providing us with protection against all kind of dangers, including attacks of wild animals and other players. As most f the game revolves around multiplayer, we are allowed to join forces with other players while completing tasks or building shelters. The developers have also included a full-scale single player mode.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Action 07 March 2017
The next installment in an action game series that originated in 2001. The series focuses on a famous American special squad known from the novels by Tom Clancy. The game was produced by a Parisian subsidiary of the Ubisoft company, also responsible for the previous installment, Future Soldier. The game is set in Bolivia, where a dangerous drug cartel spreads terror, violence, and lawlessness, unrestrained by the corrupted government authorities. Ghost Recon squad is sent into action in order to eliminate the key members of the criminal organization. Wildlands is revolutionary for the series, as it is the first time in the franchise's history when it takes the players into a vast, open world, which can be traversed on foot or by various vehicles – ground, aerial, or naval – resembling such franchises as Far Cry or Just Cause. The game was designed with both single player gameplay and multiplayer co-op for up to 4 players in mind.
H1Z1: King of the Kill
An MMO shooter with survival elements, set in a world after a zombie outbreak, developed by the Daybreak Game Company studio. The title is one of the two alternative versions of the survival sandbox game formerly known as H1Z1 that was divided into two independent productions during the early access stage. Unlike H1Z1: Just Survive, that remained faithful to the developers' original concept, H1Z1: King of the Kill focuses on dynamic action and players competing in one of several PvP modes, spearheaded by the Battle Royale mode, well-known from the original game. The game features also some elements of survival: before the struggle begins the players get a little time to gather resources and create equipment that they will use to fight their opponents. However, in contrast to the original game these elements were marginalized.
A sandbox car driving simulation. BeamNG.drive is a debut work of the indie developer Beam NG and the result of several years spent developing a highly-realistic driving model. Players can sit behind the wheel of several vehicle types (e.g. passenger cars, pick-ups trucks, vans) and explore the vast terrains prepared by the developers. In addition, the creators prepared several game modes, including police pursuits, street races, and courier missions. In-game editor lets the players create their own vehicles and tracks. The driving model takes into account the numerous factors that influence moving vehicles. The pinnacle of BeamNG.drive is its remarkably realistic damage system - the in-game crashes' resemblance to real-life road accidents is almost terrifying.