Assassin’s Creed Rogue Announced, Cinematic Trailer Inbound

Assassin’s

As announced long ago, there were two Assassin’s Creed games on the horizon. With the recent leak of the rumoured ‘Assassin’s Creed Rogue’, Ubisoft has officially unveiled the new game with a fancy cinematic trailer.

As per usual with Ubisoft cinematic trailers, we’re given but a glimpse into the world we will inhabit, with visuals that are not at all representative of the final product.

What this trailer lacks in originality, it makes up for in conciseness and style.

“Assassin’s Creed Rogue is a brand new chapter in the blockbuster Assassin’s Creed universe. Play as Shay, an Assassin who finds himself at a crossroads and ultimately turns his back on The Brotherhood in order to hunt them down. Assassin’s Creed Rogue will be available exclusively on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 November 11th.”

As someone who appreciates the tact Ubisoft has when dealing with sensitive subjects in the Creed franchise, and the worlds that they so effortlessly build, I’m still disappointed to see yet another game being rushed out the door. That said, playing as a Templar should be quite entertaining, let’s just hope that the gameplay has been refined like Unity has suggested.

Playstation Plus: Games of August 2014

Games

As August is upon us, it’s but expected that Sony offers up a new round of free games to bless their beloved consoles and handheld. This month seems to be based on adventure, as we’re given a myriad of different games that base themselves around that premise.

A note-worthy point is that PS Plus members will be getting free access to the new game Road Not Taken, much like last year, where we were given Resogun and Contrast. It’s nice to see brand new games offered up, and we’ll have to see how worthy Road Not Taken is when it launches. For now, here’s the line-up this month.

  • Road Not Taken (PS4)

“From the creators of Triple Town, Road Not Taken is a roguelike puzzle game about surviving life’s surprises. You play as a ranger adventuring through a vast, unforgiving forest in the aftermath of a brutal winter storm, rescuing children who have lost their way. Randomly generated levels deliver a limitless supply of possibilities to explore and challenges to overcome. Your actions will influence not only your own story, but that of the villagers you hope to befriend and the town you call home.”

  • Fez  (PS4, PS3, Vita)

“Gomez is a 2D creature living in a 2D world. Or is he? When the existence of a mysterious 3rd dimension is revealed to him, Gomez is sent out on a journey that will take him to the very end of time and space. Use your ability to navigate 3D structures from 4 distinct classic 2D perspectives. Explore a serene and beautiful open-ended world full of secrets, puzzles and hidden treasures. Unearth the mysteries of the past and discover the truth about reality and perception. Change your perspective and look at the world in a different way.

  • Crysis 3 (PS3)

Players take on the role of Prophet as he returns to New York in 2047, 24 years after the events of Crysis 2. He discovers the city has been encased in a giant Nanodome created by the corrupt CELL corporation. The New York City Liberty Dome is a veritable urban rainforest teeming with overgrown trees, dense swamplands and raging rivers. Within the Liberty Dome, seven distinct and treacherous environments become known as the Seven Wonders. Prophet is said to be on a “revenge mission” after uncovering the truth behind CELL’s motives for building the quarantined Nanodomes. The citizens were told that the giant citywide structures were erected to protect the population and to clean these metropolises of the remains of the Ceph forces. In reality, the Nanodomes are CELL’s covert attempt at land and technology grab in their quest for global domination by means of debt enslavement.”

  • Proteus (PS3, Vita)

“Proteus is a game about exploration and immersion in a dream-like island world where the soundtrack to your play is created by your surroundings. The primary means of interaction is simply your presence in the world and how you observe it.”

  • Metrico (Vita)

“Metrico is a new world. A living world filled with infographics that react directly to your movement, actions and input. Metrico invites you to explore, experiment, test your skills and most of all: think outside the box. Immerse yourself in this experience, exclusive to PlayStation Vita system, and see if you have got what it takes!”

  • Dragon’s Crown (PS3, Vita)

Dragon’s Crown is a multiplayer hack and slash beat ‘em up game with breathtaking visual style, a design built around cooperative play and epic boss fights, and the ability to discover a new adventure in every play session. Dragon’s Crown allows up to four players to team up online to clear out monster-ridden dungeons, discover precious treasure, and destroy awe-inspiring bosses.

As always, check out the official Playstation Blog for more information.

Playstation Plus: Games of July 2014

Games

It’s that time of the month again. Sony has revealed its line-up for the free games catalogue to all Playstation Plus users across all Sony platforms.

With hits like Strider and Muramasa Rebirth as freebies this month, this might be 2014’s best offering on free games so far.

Unfortunately hen you have an influx of random titles throughout the months, games like Towerfall Ascension are easy to forget or miss. This is why services like Playstation Plus and hopefully Games With Gold are so great.

Playstation 4
  • Towerfall Ascension

TowerFall Ascension is the definitive version of the hit archery combat game. Inspired by classics from the golden age of couch multiplayer, it’s a local party game centering around hilarious, intense versus matches. The core mechanics are simple and accessible, but hard to master and combat is fierce. Loot treasure chests for game-changing power-ups, master the art of catching arrows out of the air, or descend on your foes and stomp them into submission. TowerFall is best played competitively with friends, cross-legged on the floor within punching distance of each other.

  • Strider

Strider returns in a brand new adventure, complete with incredible side-scrolling action, and lightning fast combat all in a massive interconnected world! Download the full game now and become the original assassin!”

Playstation 3
  • Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3 brings Isaac Clarke and merciless soldier John Carver on a journey across space to discover the source of the Necromorph outbreak. Crash-landed on the frozen planet of Tau Volantis, Isaac must comb the harsh environment for raw materials and scavenged parts. He will then put his engineering skills to the ultimate test to create and customize weapons and survival tools. Play together with a friend or alone as Isaac Clarke using the seamless new drop in, drop out co-op functionality. Each mode offers unique story elements and gameplay.”

  • Vessel

Vessel is built on an optimized liquid simulation featuring flowing water, scalding lava and steam, reactant chemicals, glowing goo, the mysterious ‘protoplasm’, and more. Each liquid has unique properties and mixes with other liquids for dramatic effects.

Playstation Vita
  • Muramasa Rebirth

From master video game developer Vanillaware comes Muramasa Rebirth, an action RPG that blends the vibrant and beautiful world of Japanese mythology and high flying, fast-paced action! Enter a world where demon, samurai and other deadly enemies vie to destroy you as you search for the fabled Demon Blades. Become the possessed princess Momohime, as you travel West, or the fugitive ninja Kisuke, as you travel East, through mythical Japan battling anyone who stands in your way.

  • Doki-Doki Universe

Embark on a journey with QT3 to discover humanity and engage with bizarre characters to learn more about them, and hopefully, learn more about yourself along the way.

As always, head on over to the official Playstation blog to get more information.

How Scary Is… ‘Dead Space?’

Dead Space

Resident Evil 4, as franchise fans will know, was a true revolution. Its dramatic changes to the series’ DNA weren’t universally popular (a euphemism for still cause many to go on spittle-flying Internet tirades to this day), but they were certainly radical. They also begged the question: can survival horror really work in this pseudo-TPS, Dead Space actiontastic style? When you’ve got more ridiculous weaponry than Arnold Schwarzenegger, what do you have to fear?

Well, if you’re going to be pernickety, that’s two questions. Fortunately, though, here comes Dead Space to help us answer both of them.

The game was released in 2008, and followed a similar horror/shooter template. It’s set five hundred years in the future, and humanity have predictably advanced from screwing up their own planet to screwing up everybody else’s. Our resource-ravaging ways have taken the ultimate step with the creation of the planetcrackers. These are vast starships with the capacity to ‘drain’ orbiting planets of everything of use, which sounds just about right really.

This dystopian image of the future was the first thing I found ‘scary’ about Dead Space, a possibility that hit just a little too close to home. I was unnerved even before the throat-slashing death beasts OF DEATH made an appearance.

Our protagonist is one Isaac Clarke, part of a mining team sent to answer a distress call from the Planetcracker Ishimura. Whereupon, naturally, all hell breaks loose, and his companions are slaughtered in a blood-leaky manner by the Necromorphs that have infested the ship.

Where the hell did this guy come from?
Where the hell did this guy come from?

Much like Resident Evil 4‘s Ganados, these hideous buggers are a step above the shuffling, useless zombies of survival horror yore. Necromorphs are born from the insidious influence of the Marker, a mysterious alien artifact. It first drives those within its proximity insane, eventually driving them to murder. Then, it spreads a virus that corrupts the bodies of its victims and mutates them into these beasts.

Ghastly as it all is, another little innovation was added to the combat. The resilient Necromorphs have to be killed by a technique known as ‘strategic dismemberment,’ meaning that you must slice away their limbs to destroy them. Mmm, yummy.

On top of that, Isaac is an engineer, not a badass supersoldier with rippling pecs and so on. As such, he’s mostly armed with improvised weaponry, a rock-boring handheld laser for instance. This lends an oddly ‘vicious’ edge to encounters which isn’t always found in games.

Another thing Dead Space does very well is maintain that oppressive atmosphere. As TPS-y and bullets-flying-every-damn-where-y as it is, that’s tempered by a psychological aspect. Some genuinely creepy moments ensue with survivors of the incident (none of whom survive for long), in inaccesible areas you can only watch from.

Dead Space, I think, combines the immediate jump scares with a deeper sense of lingering dread, and it’s very effective. The developers aren’t named Visceral Games for nothing.

Free Games Roundup

Games

Over the past few days a bunch of games have become free through services like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold. But which games are worth your time? This is VgamerZ run down of thee free games and whether or not you should hit that download button. On Xbox 360, Dark Souls I is free, while Xbox One Gold Members get Max: The Curse of Brotherhood and Halo: Spartan Assault. On the Playstation side PS4 Plus users can get the PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate and Trine 2 and PS3 Plus members can get NBA 2K14. Also on PS3 anyone with a US PSN account can download Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception (But this may be an error, so act fast). Back on PS4, Free-to-play title War Thunder rounds out the list of content available this week. With so many free games to get through, let’s get started.

Dark Souls I- Xbox 360

The spiritual sequel to Playstation exclusive Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls made the cult hit series a bit less cult. The game’s look evokes a paint by the numbers role-playing game, but the mechanics tell an entirely different story. A lot of people say Dark Souls is hard, and it is, the difficulty doesn’t come from frustrating cheap shots and random encounters. The difficulty of Dark Souls comes from it’s requirement of precision. Every section of the game can be memorized and beaten with the proper execution, it just takes time to gain the precision required. The process for learning the varying levels can be tedious to some and rewarding to others, so if you are interested in a giant game where every section is a trial, then give Dark Souls a download. Even if it doesn’t sound like your type of game I encourage everyone to test drive the game, it is rare to find a game as rewarding as Dark Souls with the same length and solid combat.

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Max: The Curse of Brotherhood- Xbox One

As one of the first Xbox One Games with Gold offer’s, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood may not seem like a compelling offer. The games quirky art style and story certainly don’t appeal to everyone, but if you can get past that then the gameplay is solid. The game focus’s on Max’s quest to get his brother back by jumping and climbing his way through deserts,  jungles and caves. Max uses a magic ‘magic marker’ to change the environment, growing pillars and lowering vines. The game has a very strong shift from beginning to end, changing from platformer to puzzler slowly but surely. For fans of colorful games that are fine and suitable for kids be sure to check Max out, but if cheesy humor and puzzle/platforming isn’t up your alley I might skip it.

MAX

Halo: Spartan Assault- Xbox One

The latest entry into the Halo series, Spartan Assault is at best a decent time. For fans of the franchise and twin stick shooters, there may even be something here. For those who don’t, the title feels like a mobile title. Without the story or gameplay to keep you hooked, there is really a drought of ‘fun’ in the experience. With very mobile game/Free-to-Play things like micro-transactions, even when the game opens up a bit with larger levels and more story certain aspects never fail to remind you where this game is from. There are some genuine moments of fun, but they are so few and far between that unless Halo AND twin stick shooters are your jam I can’t recommend it.

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PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate- PS4

The new bundle of the classic PS3 games makes it’s debut on the PS4. 2D and twin stick, PixelJunk is a shooter/arcade game with a huge emphasis on fluid physics. The levels are short, maybe 5 minutes long, and consist of getting in, grabbing as many stranded people and pieces of treasure as possible, and getting out. The controls make maneuvering your ship around lava and enemies a fun experience while many games make it a chore. The lava and water are two of the games biggest aspects, as using the liquids to get through a level becomes essential early on. The different aspects of each level combine to form the arcade like experience of trying to get as many resources as you can as quickly as you can. The game also features online play where to ships go head to head trying to rescue the stranded first. PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate is fun for almost everybody, especially those that enjoy old arcade games. If time limits and in-the-moment strategy aren’t something your looking for, then PixelJunk may be a skip.

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Trine 2- PS4

The Trine games are out for almost every platform in existence, but that doesn’t mean the game is any worse for it. Trine 2’s visuals are deep and colorful even though often it can be cluttered. The three character dynamic is used often and to great results, allowing players to take some control in how the puzzles are solved and the gameplay transforms. Throughout the game players balance and switch between the characters in order to pass puzzles and platform through the levels. The story is a bit throw away, with very one note characters and a world that is every fantasy world somehow rolled into one bland package. The co-op features do make for a bit more interesting time, but only due to thee players interactions and not a meaningful difference in how puzzles are solved. If platformers and co-op sound fun definitely go get Trine, but if fantasy and puzzles are not up your alley then move right along.

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NBA 2K14- PS3

The premier basketball franchise impressed everyone this year with a suite of new modes and in many cases eye popping visuals. While the last-gen version’s may not be AS drop dead gorgeous when compared to this gen’s, the game itself has more interesting modes and features. The Lebron James centric story mode won’t knock anyone’s socks off, but it’s a solid entry into the franchise for the uninitiated. Playing through the franchise mode is dynamic, offering a suite of tools and options to provide a fairly complex sim. On-the-court action is smooth and refined, allowing players to make snap decision and follow through with a game saving block or last second shot. NBA 2K14 is a must for fans of basketball and sports friends in general, but by now you probably know whether the 2K series is for you, so act accordingly.

Kobe-2

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception- PS3

The Naughty Dog team proved with Uncharted 3 that they weren’t one hit wonders. After Uncharted 1 was considered fun but flat and 2 blew everyone away, Naughty Dog left critics and gamers wondering if they could do it again. The proof is in the pudding as they say, and after Uncharted 3 released there was no doubting the studio’s talent. The 3rd person shooter has taken up the video game Indiana Jones spot, fusing some of the best stories with a loose gameplay that fits the tone perfectly. Now for a limited time you can have the game for free, so be sure and take advantage if action games and treasure hunting appeals to you.

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War Thunder- PS4

War Thunder started out as a PC exclusive plane fighting sim, but the Free-to-play title  has now flown over to PS4. The downloadable seems to have solved the problem plaguing many games on how to make aerial combat enjoyable, accessible and  still complex enough to require mastering. Flying through the sky’s in old WWII era planes looks great, and the variety of planes and ground units is large. After picking a side players set out to destroy targets and kill planes on huge teams made up of PS4 and PC players alike. The best part of War Thunder is it’s distinctness from everything else available right now. The unique gameplay and quick pickup make it the perfect free-to-play title, and one that is definitely worth a download.

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The games for this week are a great selection across genre’s and consoles, with great deals for everyone. Hopefully this article spread a little light on what each game was about, but in reality if you have the service then I recommend going ahead and downloading the game’s. Which game do you think is the best and why? Leave your answers in the comments below.

Update:

Since posting this article, Steam has hopped on  the free game bandwagon. If you head over to Valve’s PC platform right now you can get Sniper Elite V2 absolutely free. The 3rd person shooter is a generic WWII sniper centric game, but the gimmick of  X-Ray kills make it one worth checking out. Hurry, as it gains a price-tag in less than 24 hours.

The VGamerZ Monster Files: Necromorphs (Dead Space)

Dead Space

The futuristic, dystopian survival horror of Dead Space broke new ground upon release in 2008. It followed in the wake of Resident Evil 4, which pretty well marked the moment that the series/genre went gung ho and actiontacular. Remember Alice doing her slow-mo Matrix jump and kicking that dog in the face in the movie? That’s what Resident Evil looks like now, for better or worse.

The very mention of the fifth or sixth game causes great tidal waves of bile and fury across the internet, for that very reason. But what Dead Space did was nothing short of miraculous: keeping that gun-totin’ spirit while still retaining enough of the good ol’ fashioned horror.

Central to this was the creation of the Necromorphs. Hold on to your undercrackers, we’re going to meet them.

These hideous buggers are a step above your standard zombies in the ‘ew’ stakes. There are, granted, reanimated human corpses, but it’s a little deeper than that. They are born through exposure to the Markers, mysterious alien artifacts which spread a sort of infection to those with whom they come into contact. This causes a ghastly kind of mutation, in which claws grow from unusual places, skin turns inside out and even grandma doesn’t love you any more. A grisly fate indeed.

GAH!
GAH!

With their transformation complete, these beasts’ only thought is to spread the enigmatic ‘infection’ and create as many dead bodies as possible for this purpose. By, unsurprisingly, killing everybody and anybody right in the face. With death.

The bog standard Necromorph foot soldier is the Slasher, with its ghastly scythe-arms and tiny mutant hands growing from its stomach and such. These guys aside, they come in all kind of ghastly flavours. They range from horrific tumour-things which fire acid at you from shadowy corners to exploding baby-bombs. It’s all kinds of nasty.

Just to add to the fun, Dead Space introduced the ‘strategic dismemberment’ system. This meant you must blast off limbs to deal any real significant damage to some opponents. Couple with the improvised-mining-tools nature of your weaponry, it’s a brutal experience.

(UPDATE)ESRB leaks Persona 4 on PS3

ESRB

Update: Persona 4 has been officially announced for the PS3. It will arrive April 8th for $9.99 as a PS2 classic.

The official ESRB website has spilled the beans on Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 coming to the PS3, botching any potential reveal Atlus had planned.

The manner of the release is as of yet unknown, but I am hoping that they are planning a port of Persona 4 Golden to hype up the upcoming, highly anticipated Persona 5.

The ESRB states:

This is a role-playing game in which players control a high school student who enters a mystical ‘TV World, ‘ saves lost souls who are trapped on the ‘Midnight Channel,’ and establishes bonds with town characters in order to develop ‘Personas.’ Personas, which are summoned through the use of tarot cards, are creatures that can perform special offensive and defensive moves to aid during battles against monsters. Combat is turn-based with numeric values and light effects indicating attack/damage inflicted. Pixilated blood spray is briefly depicted during battles, and colored bloodstains stain some walls and floors. […] Story elements also make references to alcohol, including a long scene in which the main characters hang out in a club and play ‘drinking games.’ Although alcohol is never consumed, the characters display the telltale signs of intoxication: slurred speech, staggered walking, and red faces. Profanity can be heard in the dialogue.

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Courtesy of Destructoid

As someone who is currently playing through Persona 4 Golden on the PS Vita, I can say that the Persona franchise is one of the most engaging RPG series I’ve had the pleasure of playing, and I would not hesitate to get a copy on the PS3 if it is in fact P4G.