H1Z1: Just Survive
An MMO game referred to as a "survival sandbox" by its creators, Daybreak Game Company. H1Z1 takes place in an alternate world, 15 years after the discovery of the titular virus that caused a world-wide zombie epidemic. The few survivors fight for their lives, struggling against zombies, wild animals, and other surviving factions. During the game, players get the chance to build a shelter or even entire cities somewhere in the United States. An extensive crafting system also makes it possible to craft useful items from procured raw materials. On the technical side, H1Z1 uses a modernized version of the Forgelight engine which was previously used in Planetside 2 and EverQuest Next among others. The game uses the free-to-play model with micropayments for some additional features.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
An arcade flight simulator and continuation of the popular series published by Bandai Namco. Like its predecessors, Ace Combat 7 is set in alternative timeline, in which there are different countries, and humans have constructed unique flying units. Game focuses on the story, which we learn both through events during missions and many cutscenes. The gameplay is mostly arcade, with only a few simulation’s features. Due to that, realism has to move over and make space for dynamic and eye-catching sky fights, including battles with powerful bosses. Each available plane flies slightly differently, resulting in a more varied experience. Ace Combat 7 offers a story campaign for one player and multiplayer mode. Developers made use of Unreal Engine 4 and also added support of PlayStation VR goggles.
The third installment in a war-themed RTS game series, whose previous editions were released in the years 2003-2007. The game was developed by Russian studio Nival Interactive, also known for Rage of Mages, Silent Storm, and the fifth installment in the cult Heroes of Might & Magic series. In contrast to its predecessors, Blitzkrieg 3 focuses mainly on multiplayer gameplay and is available as a free-to-play game with microtransactions. However, the developers did not forget completely about enthusiasts of solo playing – they can buy a single player campaign as a paid DLC. Gameplay mechanics follows well-proven solutions, whereas changes brought by this new installment mostly boil down to audio-visual improvements. Fully 3D graphics is much more detailed, there are new effects of explosions, as well as better-looking and fully destructible environment.
An online action game set in a science-fiction world and developed by the experienced team of Epic Games studio – creators of famous titles like Unreal Tournament or Gears of War. The gameplay of Paragon combines features of a classic online shooter and MOBA, pitting two teams of five against each other and trying to blow up opponent’s base. Each player controls one hero, chosen from a huge roster of characters with unique skills, and during the skirmishes we are accompanied by turrets and allied units controlled by AI. The experience points we gather are used to level up our characters through several different skill trees, with all changes being reset after a match. Every success earns us special cards, used to build our personal deck, which enhances our fighting potential permanently.
Kingdoms and Castles
An economic strategy game developed by Lion Shield, a team set up by former members of Maxis – the studio behind the SimCity series. In contrast to the aforementioned franchise, Kingdom and Castles is set in a fantasy world. You take the role of the manager of a small village which you are to develop and transform into a thriving city with a castle able to withstand enemy attacks. During gameplay, you need to gather resources necessary for putting up buildings. Also, you need to skilfully manage farms so as to feed all your peasants. However, if you forget that seasons in this title change, you might face famine. You have to strike a balance between the satisfaction of the inhabitants and the tax rates you impose on them. The objective is to defend your city from Viking raids and dragons attacks. To survive, you need to build castles with defensive walls and watchtowers.
A fan modification of the classic first-person shooter Half-Life from 1998; the mod's development took roughly 8 years to complete. In terms of plot, the production is a faithful recreation of the original game and tells the story of Gordon Freeman, a physicist, and his struggle for survival in the titular Black Mesa Research Facility invaded by mysterious beings from another dimension. The implemented changes relate primarily to the audio-visual aspects, which were developed entirely from scratch, using the original locations, 3D models, and sound effects as a model. The game is powered by the popular Source engine, which created for the cult Half-Life 2, enabling it – in comparison with the original GoldSrc engine – to fully employ the capabilities of modern graphics cards and multi-core processors. This allows us to enjoy high-quality visuals, improved physics and character animations, and a host of advanced visual effects. An entirely new soundtrack, composed by Joel Nielsen, was also made for the game.
Strategy July 2017
A city builder strategy game developed by the independent studio Mothership Entertainment. The player arrives at the planet Aven Prime, assuming the role of the founder of one of one of the first extraterrestrial colonies. His tasks include expansion and settlement of new areas, taking care of the settlement’s technological infrastructure and the morale of its inhabitants, as well as fighting dangerous fauna and results of extreme weather conditions. The action takes place in varied environments: starting from swamps, through deserts, to icy polar regions, which influences the conditions in subsequent missions. The core of Aven Colony is the single player story campaign. The game also features a sandbox mode where we have no additional tasks apart from commanding a space base. The production’s graphics are high-quality not only because of the well-designed environments but also thanks to interesting designs of futuristic buildings.
Racing October 2017
At the Gates
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.
Crash Bandicoot HD
Developed by Vicarious Visions studio from the USA, a remake of the first installment of the Crash Bandicoot franchise. Compared to the original production, this title features brand new graphics along with a fresh soundtrack. Even though there are a few minor improvements in mechanics, the backbone of the game stays the same. Once again, you play as a bandicoot named Crash, whose objective is to stop doctor Neo Cortex from raising an army of obedient, humanoid animals. Crash Bandicoot HD is a classic 3D platform game, so gameplay consists in going through diverse locations, avoiding numerous traps, and fighting enemies by hitting them with the spin attack or by jumping on their heads. Once you run out of a limited number of lives, you'll have to start a level all over again. However, the title features a system of checkpoints, diverse secrets, and power-ups granting temporary bonuses.
Sea of Thieves
An action adventure game focusing on multiplayer, set in an open world filled with pirates, treasures and exotic lands to explore. It is a work of the experienced studios Rare – creators of such classic series as Donkey Kong and Banjoo-Kazooie. Players take on roles of corsairs taking part in countless adventures, both on land and open sea. Gameplay revolves around exploration and searching for legendary pirate treasures, though there is a lot of fighting against monsters, as well as epic naval battles of competing groups. As can be easily noticed, Sea of Thieves takes a lot of inspiration from classic tales of pirates, but depicts it in a very humorous way, which is emphasized with its cartoonish visuals.
Pure Farming 17: The Simulator
An advanced farming simulator developed by Techland in cooperation with the independent studio Ice Flames. Similarly as in other games in the genre, in Pure Farming 17: The Simulator the player assumes the role of a farmer who must maintain his farm. The task requires him to perform various field activities like planting and watering seeds, gathering crops and selling them. Funds obtained in that way can be used for improving the farm and buying new vehicles and farming machines. The game offers many innovative solutions and mechanics that were previously unavailable in other games in the genre.
An action adventure game to be available on PlayStation 4 and later on also PC. The title was designed by the industry legend and co-creator of the Metal Gear series, Hideo Kojima. The story of Death Stranding focuses on the evolution of human race and on the “connection” motive which redefines the role of failure and death in videogames. American actor Norman Reedus who is well known for his role in The Walking Dead TV series plays the role of the main protagonist of the title. Reedus previously worked with Kojima on the canceled survival horror Silent Hills. The gameplay mechanics of Death Stranding combine features of action games, adventure games and RPGs. However, the developers have ambition to move beyond the traditional understanding of these genres and create a completely new quality which will combine the traits of traditional video game with symbolism and new ways for experiencing the story and fates of the characters.
Darkest Dungeon: The Crimson Court
RPG 30 June 2017
The first expansion for the 2016 dungeon crawler RPG Darkest Dungeon by Red Hook Studios. The add-on utilizes the gameplay mechanics from the core game — you complete a team of heroes and set out to explore the eponymous Darkest Dungeon. Your goal is to find enormous riches, with which you can expand a shabby hamlet, also serving as your base. Like in the original Darkest Dungeon game, the characters of The Crimson Court suffer from typical human ailments — some of them may go berserk, while others may panic when surrounded by darkness. The game places a strong focus on blood, which is a theme connecting the items you find and your enemies. The expansion also marks the first appearance of vampires, creatures with a unique set of characteristics and abilities.
A sequel to one of the most popular Korean MMORPG games. MU2 is a title produced and published by Webzen Inc. The game is set on the mythic continent of Mu which, according to the theories of James Churchward, was inhabited by the ancient civilization of Naacal. Players assume the roles of heroes seeking fortune, adventures, and some monsters to hunt for in this legendary realm. Gameplay in MU2 focuses on dynamic combat resembling typical hack-and-slash mechanics. As an MMO, the game offers extensive social features, letting you communicate with friends, form teams, and create clans. High quality visuals in MU2 are powered by the popular Unreal Engine 3.
A survival simulator that emphasizes multiplayer. It is the first major production by Bankroll, an Australian developer studio. The gameplay mechanics do not deviate from the majority of similar games, especially the bestselling Rust. The player character finds himself at a vast desert plain and his task is to survive in this hostile environment. The game focuses primarily on survival aspects and the most important thing is to ensure that the protagonist has his basic needs satisfied and protected from such hazards as hunger, thirst, fatigue, radiation, or changing weather conditions. From among other titles in the genre, Hurtworld is distinguished by a protection system that evens out the chances of beginners and seasoned players. Another noteworthy feature is the punishment system — should a character who has killed many rivals die, he loses more valuable equipment than the others.
Terraria: Otherworld is the second part of the popular sandbox platform game, developed by Andrew Spinks and his independent studio Re-Logic. In the game, referred to as “two dimensional Minecraft”, we are given the ability to shape a randomly generated world without restrictions and to create a number of useful tools, utility objects and structures via its crafting system. Terraria 2 has a similar, old-school layout and similar mechanics as the original, but the game features also a huge number of changes and innovations that were not implemented by the author in the first installment of the series. First of all, players were given an infinite number of worlds at their disposal, each representing a different biome, e.g. woodland, arctic, desert, or lunar. Furthermore, character development system, object finding and creation, as well as the interface of the game, were modified. The game traditionally focuses on cooperation of many players, what allows them to collectively raise buildings or fight encountered monsters.
A free-to-play real-time strategy game by Wildfire Games, a studio founded by developers and gamers who work for free in their spare time. Initially, the title was supposed to be a mod for Age of Empires II but eventually it was ported to a new engine and made available as a standalone production. The main goal of its creators was to present the most important civilizations that existed on Earth between the 5th century BC to the 5th century AD. In 0 A.D., we take part in a completely fictional conflict, although the game stays faithful to history in terms of weapons, buildings, and so on. The gameplay involves controlling a nation of our choosing and developing it throughout centuries. The player has to erect buildings, produce food, and acquire resources necessary for expansion. Apart from these, we also have to prepare for potential wars by recruiting soldiers that will repel enemy invasions or conquer nearby settlements or cities.
Adventure September 2017
A first-person science fiction horror action game heavily inspired by the works of H.R. Giger, the creator of the xenomorph from the Alien franchise. Scorn takes the players to an unreal world that balances on the verge of dream and reality. It consists of several open locations joined together, built almost exclusively from organic material; each one is characterized by different style and a unique set of logic puzzles. Careful exploration is a very important element of the gameplay, since every thing we accidentally miss can completely change the further course of the game. As we progress, our character masters new skills and finds numerous useful items and weapons. Combat is not the main focus of the gameplay, though, for not every character we encounter is hostile towards us. The main highlight of Scorn is a dense atmosphere of constant anxiety. The production is powered by Unreal Engine 4, and, apart from realistic graphics, features a minimalistic interface which empowers immersion.
Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem
An action RPG set in dark fantasy world, developed by SolarFall Games and focusing on freedom of gameplay and character development. We play as a former officer of the corrupt Human Republic, who has developed magical powers; in a country were mutations are punished by death. Running away from certain demise, the hero ends up in the ranks of mysterious Templars, where he must discover the truth about his dark secret, which can lead to the end of humanity. The gameplay draws on classic hack’n’slash titles, though developers implemented some of their original innovations to enrich the game. One of them is the incredibly complex crafting system, providing the player with nearly complete liberty when making equipment and weaponry. Character development is equally unusual – the game’s heroes don’t learn a predefined set of skills from the start, but their bodies mutate depending on one’s play style.
Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr
RPG September 2017
An action RPG set in the popular universe of Warhammer 40,000 and developed by the Hungarian studio Neocore Games, so far known from its King Arthur series and The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. We play as an agent of the inquisition traveling throughout the galaxy, whose role is to take part in the bloody fight against enemies of the Emperor wherever need be. Gameplay of Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr consists of two parts. First, there is a campaign, throwing us into the eternal conflict, in which the agents of inquisition will play a crucial role. The other one is an extension of the main story and gives us opportunity to freely explore the universe of the game within typical sandbox gameplay.