It seems like every year release calendars get more and more crowed. So much so that individual days now have multiple triple-A releases, (I am looking at you October 27, 2017 and now February 22, 2019), making it impossible to ever clear out our ever-growing backlogs. If you didn’t already have enough to anticipate, there are many games coming out that are flying under the radar, with numerous Early Access releases and indie games. Here are 10 titles to look forward to aren’t called The Last of Us Part II, Spider-Man, or Cyberpunk 2077.

Untitled Goose Game – (No Platforms Announced)

This stealth puzzle game lets you play as a goose and bother a poor gardener until he rage-quits. Some activities you can partake in are; stealing his sandwich only to drop it into a nearby pond, forcing him to change hats, and playing music very loudly. All of this is done while generally avoiding his grasp and annoying the rube at every turn. The art is adorable and simple, the music is playful, and the goose is devilish. Basically, if you hate gardening, this is for you! House House is aiming for a 2018 release.


Wreckfest  – (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Bugbear Entertainment, who originally made the FlatOut racing series, which centered on physics-based destruction and ragdoll shenanigans, has cut out the middle-man. If the title didn’t give it away, Wreckfest is a smash-em up racing game, featuring demolition derbies and complex soft-body car physics. Vehicles can be smushed and crumpled in an infinite number of realistic and hilarious ways. The game has a slower pace than something like Burnout, since it is mostly focuses on demolition derbies and dirt racing, but the emphasis on car combat makes it feel like the next best thing for those clamoring for some car-focused violence. If you ever wanted to commit premeditated car murder, Wreckfest recently left Steam’s Early Access and will be making its way onto console this November.


Sunless Skies – (PC)

The sequel to the beloved Sunless Seas, Failbetter Games is bringing the horror to the clouds. Sunless Skies is a space-based steampunk Lovecraftian roguelike RPG. If that isn’t a mouthful, then you probably play too many video games. Sunless Seas was a tough-as-nails fail fest of nail-biting exploration and gorgeous 2D art from a top-down perspective. Sunless Skies takes this to the solar-system, as players fight to survive, explore, manage resources, and make life-threatening decisions. The series is known for its emergent gameplay and dynamic storytelling, so if you are looking to live the life of a spacefaring captain who is doomed to die, then Sunless Skies is for you. The title is currently in Early Access but will float out into the collective cosmos this September.


My Friend Pedro – (PC, Switch)

If Max Payne met Deadpool with a talking banana, then you would have the next game from DeadToast Entertainment. Developed by one guy named Victor, the game follows a man wearing a strange mask, banana-themed clothing, and wielding dual weapons. The actual gameplay looks like a 2D Max Payne, with physics-based goofs involving the ability to slam-dunk oneself, ride barrels while shooting enemies, and using frying pans to deflect bullets. It’s violent, goofy, absurd, and looks like an absolute blast. My Friend Pedro will hopefully be out sometime this year, but the only release date is “Coming Soon.” Well, soon can’t come soon enough.


Atomic Heart – (PC, PS4, Xbox One)

Soviet BioShock is the quickest and easiest way to describe Atomic Heart, from Mundfish Games, but to do so would be a disservice. The title follows an agent who has crashed into an unknown area at the height of the Soviet Union and takes place in an alternate universe where you will have to battle undead workers and robots alike. Information is light, but the trailers have grabbed the attention of many, as the title features horror, combat, and what looks to be an atmospheric and intriguing setting, not dissimilar to Rapture from BioShock. If Atomic Heart can live up to its influences, even just a little, it could be a trip worth taking.


Carrion – (No Platforms Announced)

In this lovely little pixel-art indie game, you play as a gelatinous globule of sentient matter that crawls around a facility absorbing the poor humans who live and work there. Basically, it is a horror game where you get to be the disgusting beast. This game is gross, but it’s more the “I can’t look away” type of gross. You crawl through ducts, rend people into digestible bits, and form a maw to devour them after you have murdered them horribly. Carrion is aptly titled and comes from the Transhuman Design, the minds behind the 2D murderfest, Butcher. The game is currently in alpha and has been playable at indie events like The MIX 2018. 


My Summer Car – (PC)

I bet you would never expect to hear car building, life simulator, and permadeath in one game description, but My Summer Car offers it all. You play as a young man during the ‘90s in Finland working to repair and build their summer car while surviving daily life. Players must drink, eat, sleep, bathe and generally live life, completing odd jobs and working to find money for food and to buy new parts for your sweet whip. Want a new duck-tail spoiler or window grille? Better get to chopping wood and delivering it around the open-world. The real kicker is the game features permadeath, so players must be careful not to die of starvation or crash into a tree on their umpteenth beer run. Otherwise, you start from the beginning, and this is not a short ride. Amistech has been working on the game in Early Access for two years now, but it is edging closer to launch, with the developers citing it may only be a few more months. My Summer Car is already a lovely, nearly feature-complete game that has won Finnish game of the year and is being inducted into the Finnish Museum of Games.


Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden – (PC)

Confusing title aside, Mutant Year Zero mixes XCOM-style tactics with stealth, weird animal companions, RPG elements, and loot. Freedom of movement allows players to choose how to tackle situations. You can even use stealth kills to clear out groups of enemies, but once the stuff hits the inevitable fan, combat takes a turn for the turn-based. From there the game will be familiar to any XCOM fan, all the way up to the individual UI elements. Mutant Year Zero sets itself apart though, with an interesting universe, weird characters, and fresh stealth mechanics that should shake things up. Mutant Year Zero is looking to crawl out of its post-apocalyptic hole sometime this year.


Ashen – (PC, Xbox One)

If your Souls-likes weren’t souls-y enough, Ashen has you covered. Featuring a bunch of strange featureless characters, whose defining characteristics are “long hair” or “mustache,” the indie RPG seems to use Dark Souls as a major inspiration with its stamina-driven RPG mechanics. While Ashen wears its influences on its sleeve, the game features a dynamic open-world, in-depth crafting, and a greater focus on co-operative play. Players will encounter one another in the world and can work with or against each other, even using co-op-only moves like boosting one to a high ledge to explore more of the world and survive longer. Ashen is set to release in 2018.


Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord – (PC)

The sequel to the best medieval war and life simulator, Mount and Blade II will follow the formula of the original, allowing players to start from a pauper and rise how they see fit. Loot and raze villages while amassing a roving band of mercenaries, swear fealty to a king, lay siege to his enemies in the hopes of being gifted a castle of your own, or set out and take part in tournaments to win the favor of the people. Mount and Blade lets you choose your path, and while it can be opaque about how to go about doing this, the results are compelling. Couple this with a combat system based on aiming your sword properly and timing your attacks, the ability to switch between first and third person, and massive battles with hundreds of combatants alongside dynamic sieges, and you have the medieval game of your dreams. The sequel features in-depth diplomacy, enhanced sieges, crafting, a brand-new engine, and a dynamic economy. Bannerlord was first announced in 2012 and TaleWorlds Entertainment has the release date set as “To Be Announced.”

For more games that you might have missed, check out our Banner Saga 3 review and our preview of Beware.

Although we have a general overview of what Fallout 76 is going to be (an online action-RPG where players replace NPCs and become the vehicle for storytelling), it was hard to get a good idea of how we’d be interacting with our characters over the course of several hours. Earlier today at a Fallout 76 panel for Quakecon, Bethesda revealed how character progression, character creations, and mutations will work in their new game.

The best way to think about progression in Fallout 76 is by visualizing your character as a deck of Magic: The Gathering-style trading cards that gets stronger as you level. Starting out, you’ll have one point invested into each of the seven attributes that make up Fallout’s S.P.E.C.I.AL. system. Every perk has a point cost associated with it. An early perk called Gladiator, for example, offers a 10-percent boost to melee damage and costs one point in the Strength attribute to equip. 

You can equip as many perks (which take the form of cards) as you want, provided you have enough points in that attribute to accommodate them. You can also combine copies of the same card into stronger versions of that card, which increase the potency of the card but also its cost. Cards can drop or be fused into each other up to a point cost of five. Bethesda pointed out during the panel that there are “hundreds” of perk cards to experiment with.

Tying into the trading card idea are card packs. When you level up, you can add one additional point into any attribute to let you expand which perk cards you can equip, and you will receive that chance to choose on new perk, but every few levels (every two levels early on, then every five levels), you’ll receive card packs, which will give you several cards to experiment with (as well as a joke and chewing gum that will temporarily reduce your hunger when you eat it). Because you start off with one point in every attribute, this allows you to experiment with perks you might otherwise ignore in favor of leveling one specific attribute. Some cool perk cards may drop that cost more points than you might have in a particular attribute, which incentive players to rethink their progression in order to equip a perk outside their expertise. 

Once you reach level 50, you will no longer be able to invest additional points into any attribute, but you will still regularly receive perk cards, which will let you further customize your character.

As you explore the wasteland of West Virginia and level up, you’ll likely wind up in some irradiated areas. If you happen to accumulate too man RADs, you’ll become susceptible to mutations, which will alter your properties for both better and worse. One mutation Bethesda shared was one that turned the player into a marsupial, increase their jump height dramatically at the cost of reducing your carry potential and strength.

One important aspect of this new system is that, like trading cards you can swap them out any time depending on the situation. There’s no cost for swapping out perks, so if you see a combat situation on the horizon, you may want to respect if you’ve been running a lockpicking “deck” while breaking into people’s homes. Of course, with Fallout 76 being a live game, you’ll want to swap cards out in safe spot.

The online, multiplayer focus of Fallout 76 may not seem to jive with the Charsima attribute, which in past games was where you could invest points and become a smooth-talking negotiator with NPCs. In Fallout 76, Charisma has been retooled to work as the sort of co-op attribute, allowing players to equip perks that benefit their entire team. Some Charisma perks are oriented towards solo players, but most will emphasize teamwork.

Another social aspect players can expect in Fallout 76 lies in character creation. Character creation is mostly similar to Fallout 4’s with a close-up camera of your character within the world. However, this time you also create snapshot of yourself, using different expressions and poses. You can also use these out in the world, where you can take a selfie at any time. As players take selfies in the world, it’ll become populated with curated photos from the community, giving the map a more populated feel.

For more on Fallout 76, check out some of the details on the upcoming beta, your progress in which will carry over to the full game.

This week Bungie dropped a ton of details regarding what players can expect when Destiny 2: Forsaken launches in just a few weeks. The changes are wide-reaching and cover every aspect of the game, answering the questions and requests players have had for months now.

Power Acquisition

For most players, the biggest change will be how Power acquisition is changes. As we detailed during our month of Forsaken coverage, milestones (now renamed challenges) are changing significantly, both in quantity and quality. Bungie went a little deeper into these changes, detailing how different activities will offer different ranges of powerful rewards.

Raids, for example, will offer far more powerful rewards than just about anything else, and the weaker you are compared to that activity’s power level, the stronger the rewards will be. “If you manage to beat the raid while 40 Power under the recommended level, you should expect to receive more potent rewards,” the blog states. However, activities that are supposed to give powerful rewards will always give you something to power you up, so even if you’re high above that activity’s level, you’ll still get a little something for your trouble. “This means that players should still benefit when grouping with teammates who haven’t accomplished as much as they have,” the blog states. Exotic drops will also once again become powerful rewards.

Strikes are also being heavily reworked. Heroic strikes are gone, replaced with a more stratified difficulty system that offers 300, 400, and 500-power strikes for players to engage with, with options disappearing after you are 40 power above the threshold (save for the 500 strike playlist). These new strikes will have modifiers, integrating some of the feature set from Heroics.

Nightfalls are also getting some changes. Prestige difficulty is gone, but regular Nightfalls are now much harder. Players can now also choose one of three Nightfalls every week, letting them chance strike-specific rewards.

Meditations, which most players rarely engaged with in year one, are being replaced with a Heroic story playlist, with missions tiered depending on their time of release. Heroic adventures are also being added to locations marked as that week’s flashpoint challenge. Both of these revamped activities will also feature modifiers.

Multiplayer

Bungie showed off how it plans to make Crucible matches a bit more frantic by making players more powerful. As they announced last week, time-to-kill will be faster in the Crucible once Forsaken launches. A good illustration of how much quicker it will be are melee attacks, which will now kill in two hits instead of three. Powered-up melee moves, such as Titan charges, will now kill in one hit. Critical damage is now also increased, which means three headshots from a Better Devils now means death.

There are a few other changes coming to multiplayer as well. Starting in season four, Iron Banner will once again incorporate power levels into player damage and defense. Additionally, scoring a power play in these control matches will lock down all control points (which are now Iron Temple fire pits) for 20 seconds, giving the team who scores one free reign to score three points per kill and encouraging teams to prevent being on the wrong side of one.

Two other timely events, Faction Rallies and Trials of the Nine, are being sidelined for season four. Both are being removed so the teams behind them can retool and improve them for a later date.

Eververse

The Eververse, Destiny 2’s item economy with some ties to microtransactions, is also getting some changes.

Players can now get bounty notes form Bright Engrams (the rewards players get for “leveling up” after reaching the level cap), which offer Bright Dust used to purchase cosmetic items without real money. These bounties now tie into the Prismatic Matrix system from season three, and are now the only way to get your weekly allotted Matrix without paying real money.

There are also some new cosmetic bonuses to seek out, such as legendary ornaments for guns and Ghost Projection items for Ghosts, which display different holograms on the Ghost. Additionally, cosmetic armor sets will now drop with random perks, but have fixed perks when acquired from the eververse or Prismatic Matrix.

These are the major changes coming with Forsaken. To see all of what Bungie plans to change, make sure to check out their blog post on the topic.

 

Our Take
This is a lot to take in! In order to offer hot takes on all of these changes, I am going to use bullet points.

I am fan of:

  • Shorter time-to-kill
  • Raids being much more rewarding if you’re underleveled
  • The strike and nightfall changes
  • The addition of heroic story missions and adventures
  • Reworking Faction Rallies and Trials, two events I rarely participated in due to how grindy they quickly became

I am not crazy about:

  • No announced matchmaking for heroic story missions or adventures, which could mean playing through them as a solo player will be as frustrating as it was in the original Destiny
  • Having to complete a bounty in order to get my one free Prismatic Matrix for the week

Overall, however, I’m pretty psyched about these changes, which should make Destiny 2 a more diverse game come September.

To see what else Bungie is adding to Destiny 2 with Forsaken, make sure to check out our entire month of exclusive coverage.

With Evo behind us and The International ahead of us, August has a lot going on, tournament-wise. In fact, even in what’s supposed to be a slow week, we have some pretty major events going on!

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is finishing off its GLL season with a $100,000 grand finals match, so if you’re interested in seeing what high-level play looks like for one of the most popular games in the world, check it out. (Stream

The League of Legends North American LCS continues! There’s little room left for error as teams continue to fight for their place in the playoffs, but teams still have two weeks left, so they better make them count. (Stream / Schedule)

We’ve got a trio of Blizzard events this weekend! First up, Hearthstone is in Krefeld,  Germany for its HCT tour, so you can expect more top-level European card action this weekend! (Stream / Schedule)

Meanwhile Heroes of the Storm is having its Western Clash in good ‘ol Burbank, California, as four of the best teams from the West (duh) fight for their share of $100,000 (Stream / Schedule)

Finally, StarCraft II‘s WCS Challenger Copa finals come to a head this weekend, so come watch some of Latin America’s best General Duke it out! (Stream / Schedule)

Smite‘s competitive season may not have started yet, but we still have the All-Star Weekend to look forward to! Popular players are chosen and drafted onto four teams and pit against each other for our enjoyment. (Stream / Schedule)

That’s it for this weekend! Let us know if we missed an event, or if there’s a scene you’d like us to cover, in the comments below.

Replay – Game Of Thrones

About one year after the series premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones TV show, developer Cyanide Studio released a full, lightly Dragon Age-inspired RPG based on the property. It featured a total of two actors from the show, a cameo from Game of Thrones’ creator, George R.R. Martin, and we gave it a 6. It was, perhaps, not the best use of the property, but in 2012, we were eager to see what a game developer could do with the license.

After all collectively remembering the Game of Thrones video game was, in fact, a thing, we decided to look at another memorable video game based on a TV show and revisit one based on a movie that everyone forgot existed. There is a theme this episode, we just don’t remember what it was supposed to be.

The Walking Dead: The Final Season is out in just a few days, which means the shambling corpses are heading right for you.

Clementine can never forget the lessons Lee taught her about surviving and now she acts as the guardian for AJ as Lee did for her. Check out the trailer below.

The Walking Dead: The Final Season’s first episode releases on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on August 14.

Just as everyone expected, it’s the weekend again. For a while there it looked like we’d never see Saturday, but here it is, waiting with open arms. We’re kicking off our boots and settling in for a few days of gaming and… well, chores.

Let us know about your weekend plans in the comments below!

Javy Gwaltney – When I’m not writing, I’ll be taking up in a cafe and trying to make progress in Octopath and finishing up Mega Man X2. Also, hey, did you know those Mega Man X games are really good? Weird. I wish there had been a whole following dedicated to telling me just how good they were. The world of video games is really slacking in that regard.

Suriel Vazquez (@SurielVazquez) – After an incredible weekend at Evo I’m predictably back on my fighting game BS. Dragon Ball FighterZ is taking up most of my training mode time, but I do plan to poke around in Street Fighter V as well (I’m mostly excited for the new stage, honestly!). I’ll try to squeeze some Dead Cells and Hollow Knight in where I can, though! I’ve heard those games are good.

Leo Vader (@leovader) – Honestly, I don’t mean to devote my life to Siege but it’s happening. My new 144hz monitor has turned me into an unkillable gaming god. I’m excited for those September releases to start coming out so I can switch it up, but until then the lord Tom Clancy gets my undivisioned attention. Happy weekend!

Ben Hanson (@yozetty) – This weekend is devoted to my friend’s wedding. I have to give a speech and am uncontrollably nervous about the whole thing. Maybe I’ll find some time to keep plugging away at Dead Cells, it’s not my genre cup of tea but I want to understand it better and give it the ol’ college try. Other than that, I should be playing board games with Game Informer’s wonderful interns on Sunday.

Kyle Hilliard (@KyleMHilliard) – I am going to do so much laundry. It’s going to be insane. My house is going to be like the scene from Fantasia where the tower is covered in soapy water and Mickey is frantically trying to murder sentient mops with an axe. That’s going to be my house this weekend. I will also play some VR games, too.

Imran Khan (@imranzomg) – This weekend, I plan to play the hell out of Dead Cells. I’ve also been feeling a weird itch to play Bloodborne again despite getting the platinum trophy on it, so maybe I’ll start a new game and stream some of that.

Brian Shea (@BrianPShea) – I won’t have a ton of time to play games this weekend, but when I am in front of my collection, I’m probably going to be playing Dead Cells, Madden 19, and Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Jacob Geller (@yacobg42) – My lease is up this weekend, so I’m uprooting from my bougie student apartments and moving into a short-term Airbnb. If I survive that process, I’m hoping to make the most of my last weekend in Minneapolis by visiting some local waterfalls and eating obscene amounts of food.

Derek Swinhart (@Derek_Swinhart) – I will be pondering the existence of The Quiet Man and how majestic it truly is. On top of that I will be playing some Splinter Cell: Blacklist which is way better than I remember.

Camden Jones (@CCJ1997) – I’ll be moving half of my stuff back to Chicago, doing some school work, setting up utilities, and working at my other job. Hopefully I’ll have some time to help my brother finish grinding the Solstice of Heroes armor so I can finally escape Destiny 2’s sweet, beautiful clutches for a while.

I recently had the chance to dive into a pre-release version of Forsaken, the upcoming major expansion to Destiny 2, and detailed my thoughts in our cover story. That experience offered a glimpse into some of the core aspects of gameplay (like new supers and a new bow archetype) that players can expect to encounter in September,  as well as a sense of how the story will progress. However, the nature of the build I played didn’t provide a clear sense of the all-important “live” experience of progression, grinding, and event play that are so core to the ongoing Destiny 2 experience. For hints of what to expect there, I suspect we are better off looking at the current event roll-out, as Solstice of Heroes suggests some significant shifts in the approach to player investment, and it’s a worthwhile ride all on its own.  

Solstice of Heroes began last week, and runs through most of August, so if you’ve been away from the game, there’s still plenty of time to dig in. And, for the record, digging in is worthwhile. While I don’t love everything about this most recent update and event, it has a lot to offer, especially to dedicated players. Moreover, it’s a worthy attempt at pulling players back into multiple corners of the existing game, and offering meaningful reasons to be drawn in.

Solstice of Heroes has an engaging reward concept as its main conceit. You start the event with a low-level green set of armor, and through an array of tasks and grinds, you can upgrade that armor to the power cap. Moving from green, to blue, to purple armor, and seeing the cosmetic changes along the way, adds up to a satisfying loop that emulates what is fun about a new expansion release – the genuine sense of growth and improvement, something that I hope Forsaken provides in spades when it releases in a few weeks. Importantly, it also suggests Bungie is more aggressively exploring the sort of long-tail project play that kept players so invested throughout the life of the original Destiny.

In terms of content to discover, the best element on display (and the thing worth playing through even if you don’t decide to chase the armor set) are the five redux missions. Tapping into the woefully underused story missions from the core game and the locations in which they unfold, Solstice of Heroes reinvigorates five of the best and most memorable missions with new enemy configurations, pathing, and higher challenge, and all to great effect. These feel like legendary retellings of your quest to confront the Red Legion, from the first desperate defense of the City, to the harrowing assault on the sun-destroying Almighty. The brief but excellent “Spark” mission is a particular favorite, complete with hordes of Fallen scurrying out of the ground, and a fun new boss fight against a Servitor that just won’t die.

These reimagined story missions understand the small but essential distinction between reused content and recycled content, and opt for the latter. While much will seem familiar, the missions feel fresh and exciting thanks to reworked design. Many signs indicate Year 2 will be characterized by a similar approach to content. Bungie has already spoken about its plans to reinvigorate old content like Lost Sectors with new battles over the course of the expansion, or add new lore to chase on previous destinations; all of that should come as good news to players who recognize that much of Destiny 2’s existing content could feel meaningful again with some reworking and tweaks.

While the story missions in Solstice of Heroes recycle in a smart way, the same cannot be said for many of the objectives that characterize the armor set chase, and I’m torn about my enjoyment of the grind. On one side, I enjoy the discrete tasks that force me to play in interesting ways, like getting kills with a particular type of weapon, or collecting orbs by playing with a particular subclass loadout; these certainly take time, but there’s novelty in the play experience. But other tasks demand the replay of tired content in ways that simply aren’t enjoyable. For instance, one challenge demands that your character play through ten adventures to completion, but with no variation on this content from when you played them the first time months ago. Unlike the redux story missions, this kind of grind is squarely reusing old material without refreshing it, and comes across as time-wasting. I’m crossing my fingers that Year 2 will stay away from that kind of tedium, especially on content pieces that haven’t seen any adjustments. But, for instance, if the developers were to change up the adventures with new enemies, narration, bosses, and rewards? Bring it on.

Even with some overly time-consuming tasks, I like that the armor set chase pushes players into a variety of activities across the scope of the game, and encourages engagement with multiple tasks at once. At any one time in the game right now, it’s possible that I’m chasing a few of the newly reintroduced bounties, attempting to complete melee kills for my armor, trying to complete a masterwork exotic catalyst, and get through a nightfall milestone, all at once. That layering of projects is enjoyable in a investment and progression-oriented game like this, and it’s clear Bungie sees this style of play as central to how Year Two of Destiny 2 will roll out; Forsaken’s leads specifically spoke to me about that structure during our cover story interviews. The bounty system is expanding, and my experience in the early build suggests that the endgame experience in Forsaken’s Dreaming City will also reflect that layering approach, encouraging Guardians to pursue multiple tasks in tandem as they progress.

And while it rolled out officially a couple of weeks before Solstice of Heroes, I’ve also been overjoyed about the surprise appearance of the new ultra-challenging Whisper quest. For those who haven’t been following along, this secret mission was uncovered a few weeks back, and includes a thrilling jumping puzzle, a series of devious combat encounters, some intriguing lore elements, and the chance to snag one of the best exotic sniper rifles in the game, but only if you can beat a 20 minute timer. These sort of hidden missions ignited and united the Destiny community during the first game’s existence, and I’ve been stunned that Destiny 2 launched with little in the way of the same sort of secrets. The inclusion of the Whisper mission this summer makes me believe that the developers also recognize the absence, and I strongly suspect more of the same in Forsaken.

The other big takeaway from Solstice of Heroes is the focus on the grind itself. At launch, Destiny 2 backed away from many of the more grind-heavy activities that characterized its predecessor. Whether you enjoyed that shift or not, Solstice of Heroes seems to suggest a return to more activities that involve high time investment for at least some of the biggest rewards.

That’s not the only thing from the original Destiny that seems to be reappearing. The return of bounties and triumphs, 6v6 Quickplay in Crucible, and a more mysterious and serious tone to the story presentation are all already in evidence in Solstice of Heroes and the Whisper mission. With Forsaken, we know we’ll also see things like faster times-to-kill, a reworked Director that focuses less on weekly milestones as the only main way to progress, and a weapon slot system that returns favorites like shotguns and snipers into the energy category.

Alongside numerous brand-new features coming in Forsaken (like new supers and a dedicated endgame zone), an interesting picture emerges. Year 2 of Destiny 2 isn’t likely to be a total reversion to the styles of play that characterized Destiny 1. But it does seem to represent a conscious effort to take more of what worked in that original game, and add it into what works well in the new game. If Solstice of Heroes is any indication, players should expect a game that at times offers some time-intensive grinds (whether you like that or not), but also more of the secrets, rare rewards, and long-form projects that keep players coming back every week.

Hunt: Showdown, a horror-based multiplayer shooter from Crytek, is having a free weekend on Steam. You can gather together a hunting party and take part now.

The early access shooter blends PvE and PvP to develop campaigns based around player actions. You can check out our New Gameplay Today of the game in Feburary, though it has already seen some large content updates in the months since.

The structure of the game pits players either alone or with a partner against other hunters to find and defeat the Lovecraftian beasts that terrorize the countryside. The hunt is only the beginning, though, as winning teams soon find themselves with a target on their back, thus the Showdown part of the title.

You can go ahead and get your free weekend started now, as you only have until Monday to play.

One of the most bizarre announcements at Square Enix’s E3 conference was The Quiet Man. In a trailer that blended live action with a few seconds of punching-filled gameplay, the game posed about four thousand questions and answered none of them. But in a surprise reveal, Square Enix showed off more than 40 minutes of the game and blew our cumulative minds. 

The Quiet Man is being developed by Human Head studios, who are best known for 2006’s Prey. It looks absolutely absurd. Here’s some details we picked up from the demo and producer Kensei Fujinaga’s commentary.

Length

The game is roughly three hours long. 

“However you look at it, it will never be an opulent and ornate treasure box, sparking with all the colors of the rainbow,” Fujinaga says. “However, if this tiny, tiny stone that represents a frankly disproportionate level of challenge and experimentation from my modest team, can shine brightly like a diamond in the hearts of our players out there, I would safely say that there could be no greater joy for us than that.”

It will be priced lower than a full retail release.

Story

The narrative will follow Dane, a deaf young man who’s attempting to find a kidnapped dancer. As implied in the reveal trailer, The Quiet Man mixes its gameplay with live-action cutscenes. In one scene, the screen turned blue and an FMV face covered some of the punching action.

Also, a gangster killed Dane’s mom. This presumably fits into the story somehow. Most of the characters shown seem to be a Japanese interpretation of America’s criminal underbelly, replete with racial stereotypes and over-the-top costuming. 

Gameplay

In deadly silence, Dane martial-arts his way through several rooms of goons. Much of the combat seems to center on finishing moves that defy all laws of physics, such as flipping a dude 180 degrees before punching him in the mouth. In one scene, he seems to die, only to wake up to a real-life woman smiling at him. The checkpoint then reloads; it’s incredibly jarring. 

Sections of the game also place Dane in slower situations in which he walks around an environment and looks at objects. 

The Quiet Man’s appears to be following in the footsteps of Deadly Premonition; relentlessly weird and more than a little janky, but with an absolutely sincere charm. Although Dane’s haircut looks like it wants to speak to a manager and the story embraces the most offputting parts of Quantum Break, the game has all the makings of a true cult classic.

It’s currently in development for PS4 and PC.

[Source: Destructoid]