Horror adventure game Worse Than Death will be getting a sequel in the form of a comic book series, bringing its panel cutscenes to life in a new story.
Created by Toronto-based studio Benjamin Rivers, the studio dabbles in both video games and original graphic novels. Its latest project, Snow, was inspired by city life in Queen Street West and centered on a woman forced to confront fears which have haunted her across a lifetime. The comic also spawned an online browser game and a live-action indie movie adaptation directed by Ryan Couldrey.
Worse Than Death drew positive reviews from critics, including CGMagazine writer Pedro D’Avila who wrote “Worse Than Death is a game that brings horror to a different spectrum. While its storyline can at times feel overly cliché, the tight gameplay and feel for self that comes with tapping into the players’ sense of security overall creates an experience that is definitely worth a try.” The game also brought suspense through its puzzles while uncovering an unsolved, albeit terrifying mystery from the late 80s. The longer players navigate through its world, the more lasting its discoveries became.
The game also took carried its premise into creative uses. Protagonist Mia jumped from panel to panel in an effort to figure out why all of her first dates were seemingly killed. This also leads her into a race against time to find out the source (before it reaches her first). Its mix of 16-bit graphics were also mixed with comic-book drawn animations during Worse Than Death‘s puzzle and dialogue-based sequences. Text-based effects drove up the horror with atmospheric audio.
A trailer teased the first chapter of the sequel, available to read now through digital comic service ComiXology.
Lucifer is officially coming back for a season 6 on Netflix, with star Tom Ellis confirmed to have renewed his contract following a few negotiation hitches.
According to Comicbook.com, the actor will be continuing to play the anti-hero and nightclub owner in a grittier setting after Fox cancelled the series in Season 3. The show was later picked up by Netflix and was revived in a multi-season deal. On paper, Tom Ellis continues to carry on the title role until the end of Season 5 (which has still yet to be released). Showrunners Idly Modrovich and Joe Henderson were also given contracts to produce Season 6 with many of the decisions apparently focused on Ellis’ conditions.
So far, Netflix is teasing fans about the show’s return and recently released Season 5’s episode titles.
Tom Ellis’ most recent appearance included a surprise cameo role with John Constantine actor Matt Ryan as part of DC’s Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. The scene featured Lucifer paying a favour to Constantine as the team visited Lux in Los Angeles.
Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge park will be the next location for ILMxLab’s next title following 2019’s Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series.
In a release, the team stated they would be returning to Star Wars with a new storytelling experience that will “feature both new and iconic characters,” under multiple installments. While fans were able to live out their Jedi power fantasies in Vader’s Mustafar castle, Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge will be showing fans a new side of its planet Batuu and add new lore in the franchise’s Sequel Era. It will also feature more game-like mechanics, including “multiple styles of gameplay” and different levels of difficulty for new and experienced VR players.
According to ILMxLAb, Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge is set between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker with elements inspired by the look and feel of its reimagined universe. The story will also use the authentic theme park experiences given by Disneyland to create a similar interactive game. Like Vader Immortal, it would feature RPG-style dialogue and “one-way communication” to immerse players in The Outer Rim.
A concept image was also revealed by ILMxLab, showing off a sunnier locale with Batuu settlements sitting along twisty rivers. Canyons surround the villages, expanding Galaxy’s Edge‘s scope from a theme park to a living world. It’s likely the studio will continue building on the exploration mechanics from Vader Immortal while stitching in action and puzzle-solving. Under a new setting, it’s unknown whether or not players would get the ability to use the Force again or fight hordes of enemies in a replayable Dojo mode which made the VR experience worth returning to.
But in capturing Disneyland’s theme park, the existing Galaxy’s Edge attraction was built to let players live out their favourite Star Wars moments, similar to how ILMxLab followed a checklist of wish-fulfilling actions such as jumping a ship to hyperspace to fighting Stormtroopers in a large battle. The world of Batuu contains a smuggler-filled outpost which is occupied by The First Order during their war efforts against the Resistance. In Disneyland, Rebel spies and other otherworldly visitors also roam the outpost to greet guests and share banter.
All three episodes of Vader Immortal are coming to PlayStation VR in June 2020, while Star Wars:Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge was announced without production or release dates amid the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. As a collaboration with Oculus Studios, the game is expected to be a timed exclusive for the Oculus Rift, Rift S and Oculus Quest systems when it’s released sometime in the future.
New images of Nintendo’s anticipated Super Nintendo World theme park are circulating online, showing off a colourful island of pipes and plastic shrubs for guests to navigate through.
The park features (tempting) platforms seen in many 3D Mario games while koopa shells are scattered across the park. The kingdom’s shrubs are also complimented with fake trees surrounding guests for immersion-factor. Interestingly, there seems to be a few mystery blocks hidden around Super Nintendo World but it’s likely they won’t be punchable for money.
The shots, taken by a drone on top of the existing Universal Studios Japan, also suggest the theme park extension is close to finishing while it remains closed from a worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Its launch will also include two major rides – an attraction called Yoshi’s Adventures and Super Mario Kart which are inspired by their games.
Super Nintendo World also contains other experiences captured straight out of the company’s family-friendly franchises while its characters would be roaming the parks. Originally announced in 2017, the land was going to be officially unveiled by Universal for the public during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Its increased tourism during that time would have also attracted more guests for Universal Studios Japan.
Rumors suggested the park took over $540 million to create while plans to bring Super Nintendo World exist for Universal’s other theme parks in Orlando and Hollywood.
In the game’s official Twitter, the fighting game was announced as the streaming console’s latest free monthly game for Pro subscribers with crossplay support available. Battle for the Grid offers cross-platform functionality with the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and Stadia with a library of old and new Power Rangers seen in decades-worth of shows and films. It also brought the Rangers into a modern generation game setting after making its rounds across mobile and handheld platforms.
But Battle for the Grid also separates itself as a fighting game that can work through demanding internet connections. For competitors, timing is a key aspect in precise attacks while lags can turn the tide of fights. According to IGN, strong online features are a must in online matches while it’s rare to see five systems work seamlessly. Ars Technica argued in October 2019 the genre also suffers from a “delay-based” obstacle that hits players in critical moments while online latency means players have to make their moves a bit earlier for them to register.
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid was released in 2019 by developer nWay and continues receiving support through additional Rangers and online DLC.
Riot Games’ next online game League of LegendsWild Rift was featured with gameplay details in the latest Summer Game Fest stream, with an alpha test going live for mobile players next week. The game surprisingly keeps the look and feel of its PC counterpart while addressing fan requests for a portable version of Lol. Wild Rift was also built from the ground-up with assets re-created from the main game while optimizing smooth performance on iOS and Android phones.
Champions players have connected with in the PC versions are making their way into smaller screens while Wild Rift adds simplified controls for a traditional top-down action experience. Its sizzle also revealed champions such as Nasus, Ashe, Hasagi and Garen returning with their own abilities. In true League fashion, players will still be fighting under a PvE mechanic with an online-competitive integration.
In an interview with Geoff Keighley, design director Brian Feeney said the smaller mobile format also lets players experience League of Legends in shorter phases during breaks and commutes.
“Mobile in particular is a phenominal platform for social play,” he said. “There’s nothing quite like having a LAN party in your pocket and just sitting down at a table over dinner and playing with three to four different friends.”
While its console version is still in the works, Feeney mentioned the mobile version has been designed for both touch and controller peripherals. On launch, it’s still unknown whether or not the option would be ready for players looking to use accessories. Other optimizations included tight dual-stick control schemes and more shortcuts to help along League of Legends Wilf Rift‘s smaller but faster-paced form factor.
Summoner spells are getting an intuitive touch experience, letting players assign their champion abilities quicker before entering a match. The mobile controls also add shortcuts for summoning magic and perks faster while it’s important for activating the titular Wild Rift. The mechanic flips the map for both competing players while enemies would spawn parallel on both sides. The rift itself will also feature different colored golems, and dragons to encounter as parties make their way through the map.
Tiers are also doubled-down for gear, with specific types working best for some champions for maximum damage, crowd control and defense. Under an online 5v5 match, players can also use their strengths to their advantage and creatively mix attacks against enemies according to the extra power. The extra loot and cosmetics are also optional without an overwhelming amount of ads and pop-ups. Its trailer also featured a few new skins for champions players can purchase on mobile and keeps the free-to-play experience intact.
“We are keeping the (League of Legends) experience pretty close to PC,” said David Xu (Papa Smoothie), product manager for Wild Rift. “Our philosophy remains simple. We want to retain the feel of your favourite champions so they are authentic to what you know from League and we only look for changes where it makes sense.”
Alpha players can access 36 of the 140 characters from League of Legends as Wild Rift makes its way on iOS and Android devices. The game is currently available to pre-register on Google Play supported phones while its iOS version is coming soon.
Sonic the Hedgehog is reportedly coming back to the big screen sooner than expected after SEGA had found his first film to be a success, with the first film’s production team and cast possibly returning as well.
If the Nintendo Switch is the gift that keeps on giving, what it gives is a constant onslaught of old favourites made new for millennial video game fans that might not have driven headfirst into more complicated open-world games. And the newest gift is more of a pizza arcade prize, with the release of Five Night’s at Freddy’s: Help Wanted for the Switch.
The legendary franchise has grown from its crowdsourcing roots in 2014, though the bones of the game have remained the same. The player is the nighttime security guard for a pizza franchise (reminiscent of Chuck E. Cheese) who must ward off the animated characters who tend to violently stuff humans into costumes. Each level is one of said five nights and adds a new mechanic to the game for the security guard to manage in order to avoid an attack by a creepy fuzzy pal of Freddy’s. With each addition to the franchise, the mechanics are changed, though the theme and gameplay remain the sam; toggle through security cameras and keep track of which baddies are near and rattle through the ways to trick them into not recognizing you.
Switch’s release is the seventh in the canon and includes “collection of classic and original mini-games set in the Five Nights universe,” marked as “FNAF 1,” “FNAF 2,” FNAF 3,” Dark Rooms,” “Parts and Services,” “Vent Repair,” and “Night Terrors.” There’s also an option to flick a switch which changes the colours of the menu and appears to show some hidden levels. Perhaps someone who can stomach more of the scares can fill you in on that element of the gameplay. This appears to be a “nightmare mode,” where players can replay levels with increasing difficulty and scares.
The Switch release comes off the latest VR release, this one being “flat” and to make up for it, they’ve added a Switch controller “rumble” to assist with the jump scares.
The gameplay isn’t a revolutionary change from its predecessors, but it’s a total blast. Fun to play solo while in full panic for the eight or so minute rounds, I can imagine this would be an unbelievable game to play in a small group as you all shout and scream at each other, trying to spot the walking baddies and ultimately getting shrieked to a loss. Locked down, I couldn’t resist video chatting a friend to have her witness the whole disaster in real-time, the two of us screaming the entire way through. As a fan of horror games, and further, a fan of games that don’t require a massive commitment, this is an absolute treat to shove in short bouts of gameplay.
The original game being positioned for a computer keyboard lends really well to a switch controller. Using the arrow pads on the left side, the player toggles through the security cameras, and the right side and trigger buttons are to execute moves. There’s a bit of a control issue with precisely moving around the cursor using the joystick, but most of that can be circumvented with other buttons. It’s obvious from the gameplay that this would be out of control in VR and you can almost sense where the game is failing to live up to it. That said, the gameplay doesn’t suffer more than a couple awkward joystick problems if that’s your preferred way of viewing the area.
Having dumped a good amount of time into the game, I can easily call it “fun.” Maybe not the game I will tell all my friends to run out and buy, especially with the rise in multiplayer online games making for more dynamic gameplay, but for those of us who like to pop in an play a quick 20, or have something simple to play with a few friends over, FNAF:HW is fun as hell. I see myself returning to it for a long time, casually with friends or to kill brief blocks of time. The intro to the game, positioning itself as a VR experience for which just has to agree to a brief release, is hilarious and sets the tone for a ridiculous game about evil animatronic killer characters at a pizza place denying any massacre liability. From a story telling standpoint, skipping the background in favour of “and now we closed the shop, and we swear nothing bad happened,” is brilliant, and I can’t help but admire how vivid a of a picture a 30 second introduction paints.
Ultimately, FNAF: Help Wanted is a fun, straight forward single player game that makes the case for games like it. It’s scary enough for fun screams, but manages to be subtle in the terror and storytelling, giving a lot with a little. At its reasonable price point, with a load of mini-games, I’d recommend it to anyone looking for something to do.
The demo for the anticipated System Shock remake is being included as part of GOG’s Summer Sale, with over 3000 PC titles up for grabs at a discounted price.
As an Alpha demo, players get to experience a slice of the dystopian science-fiction first person shooter which gained a cult following in 1994. Developed by Nightdive Studios, the reimagining updates the original game in almost every aspect and brings its immersive setting to next generation systems. The game has also been deemed a “faithful reboot” which made its Kickstarter goal since it was announced in 2017. The project funded over $1,350,000 through more than 21,000 backers and accelerated the game’s development into 2020.
According to the demo’s page, players can experience a short introduction and level from the new System Shock while it requires only 2.3 GB of space. PC systems will also require a minimum of an Intel Core i7 3770k with an NVIDIA 1060 or equivalent.
System Shock‘s demo is a cherry on top of CD Projekt Red’s own sale from its distribution platform. Headlined games including Metro Exodus: Gold Edition are discounted to $35.99 CAD (55% off) while Deus Ex: Mankind Divided comes at $11.99 CAD (75% off). Other classics such as Dragon Age: Origins – Ultimate Edition are at a single-digit $6.50 CAD (75% off) as the critically-acclaimed Indie RPG Disco Elysium comes reduced at $34.09 (25% off).
One of the biggest sales gamers can nab features the Dishonored Complete Collection, which contains all two games and DLC Death of the Outsider from $109.99 to $32.99 CAD (70% off).
Of course, those looking to access System Shock and other free deals can still do so with no strings attached through their sale which goes on from May 27 to July 15, 2020. A demo for the remake of Destroy All Humans! is also available to download using GOG’s launcher.
You can view the full GOG Summer Sale on their website here.