In Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm DLC, players can forge the destiny of the vast northern realm of Canada, helmed by the country’s seventh prime minister, Wilfrid Laurier.

With Canada, players will be able to farm on icy tundra tiles, purchase snowy plots at reduced rates, and construct ice hockey rinks to increase appeal and culture. The Great White North is a largely peaceful land, and as such its special ability is the Four Faces of Peace. Essentially, Canada cannot declare surprise wars, but likewise cannot be the target of one. The country also receives extra favor for tourism and diplomatic missions and is a solid choice for a diplomatic or cultural victory. Playing as Canada also grants players control over the famous red-shirted Canadian cavalry unit, the Mounties, which also have the unique ability to create national parks.

Civilization VI: Gathering Storm releases February 14. To get a glimpse of the Maori civilization, hop on over here.

It happens to everyone, even the most cautious gamer: you are playing a game with friends and things get a little too loud. When it happened to Jovante A. Williams and his friends during a game of Super Smash Bros., the cops got involved and showed up at the door alongside Williams. The officers were responding to a noise complaint from nearby neighbors, but stuck around to join the fight.

After the cops confirmed that there were didn’t seem to be an excessive amount of noise, they were getting ready to leave before they inquired to Williams what they were playing.

“I’m like, ‘Y’all wanna play Smash?!’” Williams told YahooLifestyle. “And two of them literally raised their hand and walked up. They’re like, ‘How do you jump?’ They were acting; one of them was playing Pikachu!” He noted that they seemed to actually be pretty experienced in the game.

When the officers first arrived at the scene, Williams was pretty concerned. “Of course, you’d bring more cops,” he thought when he first arrived. “It was concerning. You see so many videos of terrible results…I’m not trying to end up in jail or hurt, or have my friends harmed, or to start a commotion. But you know what? I heard the police asking ‘What’s Smash Brothers?’ Instead of something negative…it was something wholesome.”

[Source: YahooLifestyle]

When Rico Rodriguez raided his first island nation in the original Just Cause, fans were entertained by a singular, satisfying objective: blow stuff up in the most exciting and ridiculous ways possible. Three games later, your goal remains largely the same, but new destructive tools, customization options, and the series’ largest physics-based sandbox yet deliver a steady stream of mayhem and hilarity.

Just Cause 4 review screens

When I first started Just Cause 4, it didn’t make a great first impression. The main menu screen requires a hefty load time, and many cutscenes suffer from stuttering framerates and perplexingly low-res textures. The story those scenes convey also isn’t anything to write home about; Rico Rodriguez finds himself on yet another island that needs liberating from the Black Hand mercenary group, which has served as the antagonizing force in most of the previous entries. Add in some confusing progression and customization menus that take a while to wrap your head around, and I had some serious doubts if Just Cause 4 would live up to my previous enjoyment of the series. 

Those doubts didn’t last long once I began exploring Just Cause 4’s diverse and beautiful open world. One of the biggest criticisms lodged at Just Cause 3 was its stuttering and inconsistent framerate, and Avalanche’s number-one priority here was clearly the gameplay. Even when I was laying siege to the Black Hand’s most fortified strongholds, ziplining between attack helicopters and showering the battlefield with the debris of every radar dish, propane tank, and enemy vehicle I could set my sights on, the frame rate held up, and the visuals continued to dazzle.

Just Cause 4 review screens

While players can find an arsenal of satisfyingly overpowered weapons strewn about every enemy stronghold, your most invaluable tool remains Rico’s grappler. The handy arm cannon allows you to flex your destructive creativity by suspending objects via giant balloons, tethering them together with cables, or turning pretty much anything into an improvised missile with rocket boosters. Rico’s grappling hook, parachute, and wingsuit also turn him into a veritable superhero, and make zipping around the island a breeze. Sticking a squad of enemy soldiers with airlifters and inflating them into the stratosphere isn’t the smartest way to win a ground conflict, but it sure is entertaining.

Liberating Solis is slightly more involved than previous entries. Instead of just blowing up everything that’s painted red (which you’re still encouraged to do), Rico undergoes discrete missions to soften up each district before advancing the frontlines of the war, which is represented by endless clashes between the Black Hand and Rico’s Army of Chaos. These liberation missions become repetitive, but are augmented by three different chains of missions that feed your grappler upgrades. The main story missions provide further variety, and are also broken down into several chains based on biome-specific weather storms that have Rico chasing tornados and wingsuiting his way through sandstorms, blizzards, and deadly lightning storms (not recommended, by the way). All in all, Just Cause 4’s missions offer up plenty of manic fun, even if I was ready to never flip another circuit breaker once the final pocket of Solis was liberated.

 

Just Cause 4 occasionally gets too difficult for its own good, bombarding you with swarms of enemies that have no qualms about taking potshots from afar. This was also an issue in previous entries, but the gunplay has improved; even the most bullet-spongy enemy can be downed with a few headshots, and generous checkpoints ensure steady progress through even the most difficult missions. Being able to commandeer an enemy helicopter and blow your attackers to kingdom come also helps stem the frustration.

Most of my favorite moments in Just Cause 4 had nothing to do with the story missions, and instead emerged out of playing with Rico’s ridiculous toolset – like turning a dumpster into a humble airship with a couple of balloons and riding it across the island, or rigging the horses on a merry-go-round with rocket boosters and watching it spin out of control. If you can devise a stupid and dangerous use for Rico’s grappler, you can probably pull it off – and I’ve got a hard-drive full of hilarious videos to prove it. Just like any good sandbox game, Just Cause 4 gives you the freedom to make your own fun, and has kept me experimenting and entertained for hours after the credits rolled.

The film adaptation for Dmitry Glukhovsky’s 2005 novel Metro 2033, which was successfully made into a video game back in 2010, has been cancelled and all rights have reverted back to the author. In his book, the post-apocalyptic story is set in the Moscow Metro and tackles themes of communism and xenophobia, both of which Glukhovsky felt were in jeopardy when MGM decided to relocated the story to America. 

The author explained that, “In Washington D.C., Nazis don’t work, communists don’t work at all, and the Dark Ones don’t work,” and that, “They had to replace the Dark Ones with some kind of random beasts and as long as the beasts don’t look human, the entire story of xenophobia doesn’t work.”

Though it must be difficult to see a project so long in the making get scrapped – MGM originally gained the rights to Metro 2033 in 2012 – Glukhovsy has another Metro project to look forward to. Metro Exodus, a game being made by Deep Silver and 4A Games, is set to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC February 22. You can check out their concept for the snowy Russia wasteland here

[Source: PC Gamer]

Rockstar has just released its latest DLC for Grand Theft Auto Online, and it looks like players will be able to enter the Maze Bank Arena for some car-on-car gladiatorial combat.  

Arena Wars brings with it a new workshop capable of turning your car into a death machine, seven new arena event modes, and the ability to track your progress in the events to unlock trophies and new outfits. Players can also get their hands on 12 new contender vehicles all capable of receiving metal-shearing upgrades, available in three new styles: apocalypse, future shock, and nightmare.

Among the many modes announced, players can jump into the area for the free-for-all mode of carnage where players will battle it out with a host of other weaponized vehicles until there’s only one left standing. There are also classic modes like flag war (capture the flag) and some new ones like here comes the monsters, which unleashes a horde of monster trucks upon some hapless compact cars to see if even one of the eco-friendly vehicles can survive. Players who are eliminated will also become spectators capable of unleashing explosive-armed RC cars and lethal drones upon the remaining drivers.

The new DLC released today, so if players log on from now until December 17, they’ll receive a free in-game T-shirt, double GTA$ and RP in the arena mode, as well as discounted weapons at the weapons shop.  

Epic Games has removed the Infinity Blade Trilogy from the iOS app store, citing concerns about being able to support it as developer Chair works on its next game, Spyjinx.

The company made the official announcement on its blog yesterday. “With the development of Spyjinx and other projects, it has become increasingly difficult for our team to support the Infinity Blade series at a level that meets our standards,” Epic said. The company will support Infinity Blade III with Clash Mobs over the next month.

Although new buyers can no longer access the games on the store, those who’ve already purchased and downloaded the games will continue to have access to them (and be able to re-download them) “for the foreseeable future.” All in-app purchases for the game have also been removed.

Epic ended the blog by hinting Infinity Blade may pop up “in places you wouldn’t expect,” – A nod to the sword’s sudden appearance in Fortnite as a weapon.

I sunk a few hours into the first Infinity Blade, and while I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan of the series, I did appreciate its fusion of choose-your-own-adventure branching paths and Punch-Out!!-esque boss fights. I’m not sure why the series had to disappear completely instead of just no longer being supported, but I always had some intention, however minor, to play through this series at one point. But I think the real question is: What does the future hold for Infinity Blade FX, the arcade version of the game!?

The phrase “a sinking feeling” describes the way your stomach feels when you descend in a roller coaster or a car crests a steep hill, but it’s something that’s hard to emulate without physically moving. While a lot of games end up being capable of bringing about that feeling, none excel at it quite like Ace Combat, and the newest game in the series makes you feel like you’re actually in the cockpit of a fighter jet.

As a series, Ace Combat has been its own roller coaster in narrative over the years. After a fairly disastrous foray into the real world, the series is returning back into the realms of fictious lands and their fictious wars. The opening CG scene for Ace Combat 7 is narrated by a young girl who, over the course of many years, built a fighter jet with her war veteran grandfather and his friends. She remains an ancillary fixture of the story, adjacent to a number of the big events and skirmishes breaking out during the war between the Osean and Erusean armies, serving more as your R2D2 than your Luke Skywalker.

The first mission takes the training wheels off the moment you go wheels up, tasking you with the main goals of your gameplay: shoot things and don’t crash. After being told that there are enemy fighters and bombers in the area, your squad dispatches to a nearby island to get a practical lesson in locking on to enemies and shooting missiles at them. After the mission ends, a cutscene explains that Erusean forces placed drones in shipping containers sent to Osea and remotely activated them to attack, which seems like a pretty good plan.

The second mission has your fighter taking on those drones, jets with the ability to make pinpoint turns into the foggy clouds above. Dogfighting with these enemies as you do your best to dip in and out of the clouds to avoid icing up and finding yourself face-to-face with the ground as you struggle to pull up and not crash straight into the soil is an actually indescribable feeling and feels fresh every single time it happens, which is a lot because I’m a bad pilot.

The VR missions might be the real star of the show, however, and are genuinely impressive. The side missions put players back in the role of Mobius 1, the hero of Ace Combat 4 and general mythological hero of Erusea. The venerated tones with which characters speak about you is probably the second biggest thrill in the game behind the emetic quality of doing loops to dodge missiles in VR. While it is only a side mode, it could stand as proof of concept of how well VR dogfighting can work in general.

We also got a chance to try multiplayer, a point-based online match that puts six planes in a 3v3 fight. Enemies take a lot longer to kill in this mode, so you go for inching you way up with bullets and the occasional missile. At the end of each round, you’re given accolades depending on what you excelled at or failed spectacularly at, such as “Avoided the greatest number of missiles using cloud-cover” or “Fired the most missed shots.”

As someone who has dabbed in Ace Combat before but rarely dove in head-first, I came away from the demo excited to play more, especially with a PSVR in tow. It will also be interesting to see how the fanbase takes to the new game’s narrative hooks and the return to what people liked about Ace Combat in the first place.

Ace Combat 7 releases for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 18, then on February 1 on PC.

Bandai Namco has announced that their newest Tales of game, a mobile title named Tales of Crestoria, will be coming stateside in 2019. While not quite dubbed the next mainline or flagship Tales of game, Crestoria has all the resources of one and will be releasing in 2019 on iOS and Android.

“Tales of Crestoria takes place in an oppressive dystopia where every citizen must carry with them an all-seeing ‘Vision Orb’ that monitors for criminal violations,” Bandai Namco writes. “The game follows protagonists Kanata, a naive boy blindly accepting of to the Vision Orbs’ justice, and Misella, an audacious orphan unbridled in her dedication to defending Kanata. Due to the horrific events of one fateful night, the duo find themselves branded “Transgressors”, and condemned to death by society’s popular vote—the draconian system of justice by which their world is governed. With eyes now opened to the injustices of society, a chance meeting with Vicious, “The Great Transgressor,” gives Kanata and Misella a defining choice: Own your fate, or let fate own you.”

To celebrate, Bandai Namco has released a concept movie to show off the themes of that description in a fairly cool artstyle Check it out below.

Like most recent Tales of games, the title will be a collaboration between artists Mutsumi Inomata and Kosuke Fujishima.

Despite Bandai Namco traditionally releasing one mainline Tales of game a year, they have slowed down considerably in the last few years, not releasing a new title since 2016’s Tales of Berseria. Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition, a remaster of the decade-old classic with additional content for English-speaking players, will see release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on January 11.

A ratings leak a few weeks ago accidentally let slip the title Nier: Automata Game of the Yorha Edition, a pun on Game of the Year using the organization name within the game. It’s not a high-level pun or anything, but it’s serviceable. In a way that makes me wonder whether or not Square Enix remembered if they had already announced it or not, the Nier: Automata Twitter account today confirmed the existence of the game with a message from director Yoko Taro, complete with spelling errors.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

It is likely that the Game of the Yorha Edition will be similar in concept to the Xbox One port of Nier: Automata, which was dubbed the Become as Gods Edition. That version packaged all the game’s DLC onto the disc, which unfortunately did not include any real story DLC, mostly just arenas and boss fights for players that want to dig deep into that stuff. But hey, if you’ve been curious, this is as good a time as any to try.

Nier: Automata is currently available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Almost ten years ago, Glen Schofield surprised a lot of industry watchers and fans alike by announcing that he was leaving EA Visceral and founding a new studio at Activision called Sledgehammer Games. Today, Schofield announced on Twitter that particular journey is over as he moves on to further things outside the company.

Schofield founded Sledgehammer in 2009 under the auspices of Activision to work mostly on Call of Duty as part of Activision’s plan to start trading off yearly titles in the series between three studios. As Schofield mentions in his tweet, Sledgehammer oversaw Modern Warfare 3, Advanced Warfare, and World War II. The last of those games was such a success that Schofield and co-founding partner Michael Condrey were brought into Activision’s corporate team to oversee all of the company’s games just earlier this year.

While at EA Visceral, Schofield served as the creator and executive producer of Dead Space, the seminal sci-fi horror series. His credits also include directing Blood Omen 2: Legacy of Kain and Akuji the Heartless. He was also given special thanks in Call of Duty: Black Ops and Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver.