Fighting April 2017
A multiplayer-focused joke arcade game created by Boneloaf, an indie studio from the Great Britain. More precisely, this is an unusual brawler, in which character physics plays a key role. You control colorful little men whose animations are procedurally generated as you play. The gameplay focuses on melee combat, including punching, kicking, throwing your opponents off ledges or pushing them into traps. The game offers several diverse locations, where you can hurt enemies using elements of environment, such as scaffolds, or running trucks, to add to the base moveset. The game’s visuals are minimalistic – the environments comprise of simple, untextured geometric shapes featuring little to no detail. The game offers several modes of local and online competitive multiplayer (solo or in a team). You can also compete against AI or play in the sandbox mode.
An MMORPG produced by Korean studio NeoWiz Games in cooperation with Epic Games. Bless is set in a fantasy, medieval-like universe, where two mighty kingdoms: Hierapolis and Cosmopolis, engaged in a long-term conflict fueled by philosophy and religion. The main hero joins one of the conflicting sides trying to turn the tide in its favor. In accordance with the typical MMORPG formula, the game lets you pick a character class and develop the hero’s attributes as you gain experience. The developers provided a variety of missions and a dynamic combat system. The game’s high-quality visuals are powered by Unreal Engine 3.
Total War: Arena
A strategy game that combines elements of RTS and MOBA productions, and a spin-off to the bestselling Total War series, distributed as a free-to-play game with optional microtransactions. Total War: Arena lets you take part in massive battles for up to 20 players grouped into two rivaling teams. Each contestant has three units to command, consisting of no more than 500 men each. The crew of Creative Assembly have decided to lift up the historical boundaries, so that now armies from completely different periods and civilizations can fight in one battle. Gameplay is focused on cooperation between players and skillful use of unique abilities of individual commanders.
Warcraft: Armies of Azeroth
Strategy May 2017
A fan-made remake of the cult classic Warcraft III, a game originally developed and released by Blizzard Entertainment in 2002, by WCR_Team. The title is available as a free modification powered by the StarCraft II engine; to run it, the free Starter Edition of the game is sufficient. Warcraft: Armies of Azeroth faithfully recreates the story of the original game, which tells of the war between Humans, Orcs, the Undead, and the Night Elves that takes place in the land of Azeroth. The production does not alter the gameplay mechanics in any way, still offering a combination of a classical RTS and an RPG. Therefore, the game focuses on gathering resources, base development, training units, and commanding them into subsequent battles. What differentiates the game from the original Warcraft III are the clearly prettier graphics created from scratch while remaining true to the source. Armies of Azeroth uses the both the soundtrack and the voice-over from the original game.
Monster Hunter Online
An MMO spin-off to the popular action-RPG series, in which the players’ basic task is hunting for various monsters. The series debuted in 2004 on the PlayStation 2 console, with Capcom being responsible for it since the beginning and joining forces with Tencent Games team (known from Call of Duty Online) for this installment. We enter an open world and play as the titular monster hunter. Aside from traditional attacks, each character has its own powerful special abilities. The gameplay itself is strictly arcade, and the players’ manual skills are more important than their heroes’ statistics. It also emphasizes teamwork, which plays crucial in defeating more powerful monsters. The game is powered by the CryEngine 3, which delivers high quality visuals. The title employs a free-to-play model with additional microtransactions.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Another installment in the popular action-adventure game series by Nintendo, and also the first game in the series for WiiU. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you play once again as the main character of the franchise, Link, who gets involved in yet another exciting and dangerous adventure as he tries to learn what led to the downfall of the land of Hyrule. The gameplay is a combination of several genres: adventure, action RPG, and even survival. During the game, you explore the open world, solve puzzles and fight enemies; the combat is arcade-like and requires you to use varied tactics. You also have to gather resources in order to prepare food and drink, which affect your abilities, just like pieces of equipment.
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.
Super Dungeon Tactics
Strategy Wednesday, 14 December 2016
A fantasy turn-based strategy game with RPG elements developed by American studio Underbite Games. Super Dungeon Tactics takes us to a fantasy world of Crystalia, and the action focuses on the Dark Consul whom we have to defeat by leading a guild of heroes and managing our party of adventurers that possess various skills. In the game, we explore randomly generated levels and complete a number of primary and secondary quests. Their integral part is turn-based combat where the result is decided by both tactics and some random factors. The game is characterized by an unusual character development system connected not only to experience but to equipment as well: individual parts can increase the wearer’s level.
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 free-to-play MMORPG set in a fantasy world and a debut project of the German developer Sandbox Interactive. The game’s universe is shaped entirely by players’ actions, who craft their own tools as well as build settlements and towns. The complex in-game economy system lets you e.g. rent production buildings or lease plots of land to other players. Apart from typical RPG story missions, an essential part of Albion Online are duels between players in PvP mode. The game’s world is split into 800 territories that can be conquered by players’ guilds, seeking valuable resources. Real-time combat uses mechanics typical of hack-and-slash games. While you are offline your territories are protected by a magic aura, so that battles can be fought only between online players. The game features a unique microtransaction system – a commission is drawn from transactions between players.
An open world sports simulator developed by Poppermost Productions - an independent Swedish team. SNOW, as simple as it sounds, focuses on skiing and snowboarding. Although the game was inspired by console series such as SSX, special emphasis was put on realism. The action takes place near Sialia mountain in the Alps, a place filled with ski slopes, hidden valleys and mountain villages. The players can compete against both the AI-controlled opponents and other players in the multiplayer mode. The gameplay is diversified with many character customization options and different kinds of equipment to choose from. The game utilizes CryEngine 3, thus the in-game locations present themselves more than satisfying and movement physics stand out with realism. The game is free-to-play with optional micro-payments.
Another installment in a popular FPS series that originated back in 1999. This title is a reboot of the series – and the first installment to feature the free-to-play business model – created by Epic Games, the fathers of the franchise. The game is set in the far future, when humans colonized many distant worlds and made contact with alien civilizations. As always, gameplay is focused on competitive multiplayer. Battles take place on large and diverse arenas. There is a wide selection of play modes, including classic Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, but also new, more complex modes. Along with the game, the authors offered powerful modding tools that let players change almost any element of the game. You can sell your works for in-game currency in a special store, and the profits from those transactions are the main source of income for the game’s developers.
Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach
Strategy 19 January 2017
A turn-based strategy game set in the Warhammer 40K universe, developed by debuting Scottish studio Straylight Entertainment. The game takes place in the 41st century, during the incessant conflict between the rival races. You lead one of the Space Marines chapters, called the Space Wolves, who resist the devastating orc invasion, led by Grukk Face-Rippa. Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach features two story campaigns, consisting of about 50 missions, and you can use 30 varied units, both standard ones and legendary ones. The gameplay is turn-based, although the pace is fast, and it is important to use tactical maneuvers and pay attention to the topography. As the game progresses, you units gain experience and level up. The game also features a quick fight mode, in which you battle the AI or another player in the PBEM+ system.
Sudden Strike 4
Strategy April 2017
The fourth installment in the series of real-time war strategies started in 2000 by Fireglow studio. After the franchise was taken over by Kalypso Media, the task of creating a new installment was given to the young team from Kite Games. Similarly as previous installments of the saga, Sudden Strike 4 takes place during World War II. In the game the player controls the armed forces of Germany, USA, Great Britain and Soviet Union, participating in battles during three large story campaigns and multiplayer skirmishes. The players can choose from more than one hundred varied units and from large variety of tactical options such as ambushes, using buildings as strong points, calling for air support or taking advantage of tanks' weak points. The greatest novelty introduced in this installment are much larger maps and the addition of nine generals based on historical figures. Their unique abilities can turn the tide of battle.
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.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
A third-person action game set in a fantasy world inspired by Celtic mythology. Title was developed by the British studio Ninja Theory, known for Enslaved, Heavenly Sword, and DMC: Devil May Cry. In the game we traverse a dark, mythical world, full of references to popular stories, characters, and monsters born in the imagination of the Celts. Protagonist of the game is a female warrior named Senua, who embarks on a dangerous journey to the land of the dead. As you might have guessed, during her journey, the heroine faces scores of dangerous enemies, with which she usually deals using a sword. Using a variety of combos and special abilities, Senua makes her way to the destination of her journey. Although a fully independent production, Hellblade features high-level visuals, and the gameplay mechanic brings several innovations to the slasher genre, in which the developers from Ninja Theory had become specialized over the years.
RPG May 2017
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 go on the so-called raids during which we visit the underground, 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 systems so every player can pick the one they prefer.