VGamerZ GameZ of 2015: #2- Evolve

Evolve is a tempting, tempting prospect. Call me cynical, but the concept itself sounds like something that can’t possibly be as awesome as it sounds. The fact remains, though: it sounds very awesome indeed.

Essentially, it’s made its way to the lofty heights of one of my GameZ of 2015 for one reason. It’s a Monster Hunter dream come true.

For the uninitiated, Monster Hunter is a co-operative action RPG experience that sends you on a series of missions. Your objective in all of them is generally to bash huge dragon-things in the face until they keel over. You then harvest their bodies for parts, use said parts to upgrade your gear, and use that to bash even huger huge dragon-things. When the hugest of the huge dragon-things is toast, the credits roll.

For the most part, this can all be done in singleplayer (with or without a scrawny little AI ally by your side). But for me, online co-op play has always been the heart of the series. I’m a support player by nature; paralysing a monster with status arrows for your teammates to whail on and celebrating the victory with them is a special thing. Your online hub is even a tavern, enhancing that spirit of let’s-get-drunk-together comradeship.

With all of this said, there’s one thing that many a Monster Hunter player would like to see. It’d stick out like a sore thumb and be completely ridiculous, but it would be a sight to behold: giving one player control of the monster and letting them loose in an attempt to destroy the rest.

Which is where Evolve comes in.

Evolve 2

It’s a completely unrelated game, of course, and plays in first-person. Nevertheless, it casts four players as the hunting party and a fifth as the monster, which is really all I needed to know.

Evolve is set in the far reaches of space, where human colonies on the planet Shear are under attack by furious slavering aliens. Mounting the counterattack is one William Cabot, retired space marine sort charged with evacuating the surviving colonists. To do this, he assembles a battle hardened team. From mercenary soldiers to dangerous psychopaths, anybody who can take these things out joins the fight.

Four game modes have been shown thus far: Hunt, Defend, Rescue and Nest. They’re all variations on the beast vs human team concept, but play out rather differently. There is generally a tactical element beyond ‘straight up shoot-tastic shooting and/or clawing’ involved too. With Nest, for instance, the alien player must defend six eggs located about the map, while the humans have ten minutes to destroy them. Meanwhile, Rescue turns the tables, tasking the humans with protecting and evacuating injured colonists before the creature kills them.

The first-person format brings another interesting twist to the game, in the form of FPS style classes. The hunters choose from four job roles: Assault, Support, Medic and Trapper. They’re all fairly self-explanatory, boasting their own little tricks like the Trapper’s forcefield to keep the quarry in place.

Evolve is released on February 10. It’s foremost on my radar for its Monster Hunter-ish tendencies and its unusual asymmetrical gameplay.

Here Is the Complete List of Games Available on PlayStation Now

PlayStation

Sony has just revealed the subscription plans for their PlayStation Now, a service that costs $20 per month (or $15, if you go for the three months plan) and features over 100 classic and not-so-classic PlayStation games that can be played on the PS4.

Right now, there are 101 PlayStation 3 games available on PlayStation Now, but Sony has announced that in the future they plan to bring to their service PS2 games as well as titles from the original PlayStation. But until that happens, this is what you can actually play on their service – the complete list of games available on PlayStation Now:

  • Anomaly Warzone Earth
  • Batman Arkham City
  • Ben 10 Omniverse
  • Ben 10 Omniverse 2
  • BioShock Infinite
  • BIT.TRIP Presents… Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien
  • BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger
  • BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma
  • BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend
  • Bound by Flame
  • Chime Super Deluxe
  • Contrast
  • Crazy Taxi
  • Critter Crunch
  • Cuboid Ultimate Bundle
  • Darksiders
  • Darksiders 2
  • de Blob 2
  • Dead Island
  • Dead Island Riptide
  • Dead or Alive 5
  • Dirt 3
  • Dirt Showdown
  • Dynasty Warriors 7
  • Earth Defense Force 2025
  • echochrome
  • El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron
  • Enslaved: Odyseey to the West
  • F1 2013
  • Final Fantasy XIII
  • God of War: Ascension
  • Grid 2
  • Grid Autosport
  • Guacamelee!
  • Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi
  • Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
  • ICO
  • inFamous
  • Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days
  • Killzone 3
  • LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
  • LocoRoco Cocoreccho!
  • Lumines Supernova
  • Madagascar 3: The Video Game
  • Metal Slug
  • Metal Slug 2
  • MotorStorm Apocalypse
  • MX vs ATV: Reflex
  • Nascar 14
  • NBA 2K14
  • Nights Into Dreams
  • Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
  • Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
  • Overlord: Raising Hell
  • Overlord 2
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition DX
  • Papo & Yo
  • Piyotama
  • Planet Minigolf
  • Port Royale 3: Gold
  • Pure Chess
  • Rainbow Moon
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time
  • Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault
  • Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus
  • Record of Agarest War
  • Red Faction: Guerilla
  • Renegade Ops
  • Resident Evil 5 Gold
  • Rise of the Guardians: The Video Game
  • Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken
  • Saints Row 2
  • Saints Row The Third: The Full Package
  • Saints Row IV
  • Shadow of the Colossus
  • Shatter
  • Siren: Blood Curse Episodes 1 – 12
  • Skullgirls Encore
  • Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time
  • Sniper Elite V2
  • Soldner – X: Final Prototype
  • Sonic CD
  • Sonic Generations
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Episode 1
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Episode 2
  • Spelunky
  • Super Street Fighter IV
  • Tales From Space: About a Blob
  • The King of Fighters XIII
  • The Last of Us
  • The Raven: Legacy of a Master Thief
  • The Sly Collection
  • The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season
  • Tokyo Jungle
  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune
  • Vessel
  • Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown
  • Warmhammer 40,000: Space Marine
  • Warhawk
  • XCOM: Enemy Within
  • Zen Pinball 2: Zen Pinball Classics

As you can see, there are some nice titles available and all genres are covered, but also a lot of filler content. However, with titles like Uncharted, Xcom, The Last of Us, Resident Evil or NBA 2K14, there is a good choice of games for a decent price – all worth trying out on your new PlayStation 4!

What do you think though? Is PlayStation Now worth the $20 monthly price tag or there should be more titles available at this price?

The Forest Coming To PS4

Forest

Sony announced via Playstation Experience that The Forest, a terrifying game of struggle and survival, will be coming to the Playstation 4.

Though no release date has been given, Sony was gracious enough to drop a spooky announcement trailer for those willing to have their pants torn off in fear.

You have been warned!

If you are a frequent visitor of VGamerz, you might recall an article I did on why you should play The Forest. After delving into the early access on Steam, I stand by what I said. It is both ambitious and unsettling, even if it’s not always for the right reasons.

I only hope that on the PS4, It will receive all of the updates and continue to expand as a game, as it is still in development.

How Scary Is… The Evil Within?

Evil

Oh yes indeed. This is the big one. Buckle up, guys and gals.

Prior to release, The Evil Within was hyped ‘til it could be hyped no more. This much ballyhooed return to survival horror’s roots was being helmed by Shinji Mikami, after all. In the world of dark hallways, befuddling puzzles and angry maniacs brandishing chainsaws at our faces, this guy reigns supreme.

This is the creator of Resident Evil, right here (not the crappy ones, the good ones), and you don’t argue with that kind of pedigree. The question is, does his first venture into the genre for some time deliver?

Well, it certainly punches you straight between the eyes from the start. Many reviewers have noted its numerous homages to Resident Evil 4, and the memorable opening is certainly one of those. Inside the first fifteen minutes, Mikami’s favourite trope, the chainsaw crazy, has been unleashed on you.

In the case of The Evil Within, he dangles you from meathooks in a kind of human larder, before engaging you in a deadly game of cat and mouse as you attempt to escape. Except here, the cat will slice your torso into pastrami with a big ol’ angry saw if he sees you. It all adds a whole new dimension to the word ‘deadly.’

Some players have deemed this section tedious, what with being unarmed and all. But for me, it’s a tense introduction to the game’s stealth mechanics and real statement of intent to boot. The frantic hobble through the whirly circular saw trap room, the desperate dash from the Sadist, being dumped into the creepy well of blood… most of this happens before the opening credits.

Um... it's not how it looks, officer.
Um… it’s not how it looks, officer.

This is the nature of The Evil Within’s horror. In your face, violent, gory, all kinds of creepy. It’s the Resident Evil 4 or Dead Space style ‘action horror/shooter,’ if that’s a thing that exists. In terms of the lion’s share of the gameplay, at least.

To that end, it throws just about every tired trope possible at us. The dodgy mansion that houses all kinds of questionable doings, the ‘undead’ enemies, the oft-predictable yet effective cheap jump scares. Mikami knows horror, but sadly he doesn’t know when to stop knowing horror.

This isn’t to say that the game doesn’t also dig a little deeper. Along the course of the convoluted story, psychological horror becomes more prominent. As you begin to piece together the whos, whats and whys, you realise that there’s something brilliantly creepy going on behind the scenes. Which I shan’t go into, for fear of the spoiler police.

As for its scaritude (which is also a thing), that’s as difficult to gauge as ever. It can be quite a panic-inducing game, dumping you in confined spaces with bosses that can insta-kill you and such. It has the foreboding atmosphere, the scare-rific locales, the scant supplies, every element it needs. It could be the start of a rather brilliant IP, but you’ll have to decide for yourself if it’s scary or not.

The VGamerZ Monster Files: The Sadist (The Evil Within)

Evil

The Evil Within hit stores this week, a survival horror title with a considerable pedigree. The game marks Shinji Mikami’s return to the genre, and the Hype Train expected a lot of Mr. Resident Evil’s new effort.

One thing we were certainly counting on is one of his hallmarks: the chainsaw-brandishing nutbag. Well, fear not, because he remembered to pack one. Let’s buckle up and meet The Sadist.

First, a little walk down head-lopping memory lane. Fans will remember Resident Evil 4‘s own ‘Chainsaw Guy’ (or Dr. Salvador if you prefer). This enemy appeared very early in the game, during a tense setpiece in the village. He was much more resilient than the standard Ganados, shrugging off bullets like the Terminator, and would insta-kill you if he got within range.

All of these fine attributes were shared with his female counterparts, the Bella Sisters, and The Evil Within’s Sadist is now part of that fine legacy of homicidal crazies.

He also appears very early in the game, as a way of introducing the player to the stealth mechanics in the most pants-fouling manner possible. Sebastian is still unarmed at this point, as he cruises through a deeply creepy hospital-y building. The Sadist is patroling the area, and you must desperately elude him. First, you’ll be forced to hide in a locker, Solid Snake style, before learning how to negotiate the environment without being detected.

"Wait, come back! I just want to be friends! Darn it, I came on too strong again. Is it the chainsaw? It's the chainsaw, isn't it?"
“Wait, come back! I just want to be friends! Darn it, I came on too strong again. Is it the chainsaw? It’s the chainsaw, isn’t it?”

The Evil Within utilises a stealthy trick or two of its own. There are wine bottles strewn about the areas (surprisingly many of them at that; your crazy mutant enemies must have a severe drink problem), which you can collect and throw. Whereupon, the lurking menaces will hurry off to investigate the noise.

These are tricks you’ll have to master quickly, as you’ll be thrown into the deep end in this one. Even in the opening chapter of the game, The Sadist does not take kindly to visitors. So un-kindly, in fact, that he’ll dash over to anybody he sees and send their heads bouncing along the floor before they can say ‘uh oh.’

In another homage to later Resident Evils, he’ll appear again later in the game. With Sebastian now tooled up with deathly death-sticks of his own, you’re able to turn the tables and kill him. Indeed, you must, as his pet saw is the key to a puzzle. All in all, this guy is the primary antagonist of the early game, and serves wonderfully at establishing the unique oppressive mood of The Evil Within.

Bonus points also for this guy’s design. He looks more intimidating and/or freaking hideous than Dr. Salvador ever did.

The Best Games You’ve Never Heard Of: Crimsonland

Crimsonland

Why, yes. Crimsonland does sound like a generic, craptacular, low-budget horror movie. You know the sort of thing: drunken youths wander about an abandoned amusement park at night and everybody wonders who’s going to have their pancreas impaled by the crazed killer first.

Well, fear not. That’s only kinda sorta the deal here, and in a good way anyway.

Crimsonland
is, in fact, a twin stick shooter from 10tons Entertainment. It first hit the PC in 2003, and has just this month made it to PS Vita and PlayStation 4. By all accounts, it’s a rather generic entry in the genre, but there are some brilliant touches that set it apart. Let’s take a look.

As a tiny space-dude (and on the Vita screen, as a really freaking tiny space-dude) you have one simple objective. Namely, to murderize. You appear in a series of arenas, are beset by all manner of nasties, and must dispatch them before they do the same to you. If you’re familiar with the likes of Robotron and Smash TV, you’ll know the score.

Mostly, it’s the variation on this basic concept that keeps the game appealing. In one mode of the original release, your character was stationary, and you defeated the encroaching horde by typing out the words above their heads. It was a fun little throwback to Typing of the Dead, and an example of the cheeky, slightly crazy spirit that runs throughout the game.

Man that's a violent screenshot. Hence the name.
Man that’s a violent screenshot. Hence the name.

The first mode on offer in the PSN edition is Quest. This is a procession of sixty stages, divided into chapters. Don’t let that fool you into thinking there’s a story going on here, though, because there isn’t. Not a bit of it. Instead, this is where you unlock perks and weapons for the meat of the game, the survival modes.

There’s the regular vanilla version, a blitz variant in which you have only an assault rifle, one with limited ammo and scarce one-use weapon pickups, and more. You gain experience for destroying the monsters, and can pick a perk with each level you reach. While this is all rather standard, I enjoyed the quirky humour and imagination that went into naming these abilities and describing their effects.

As quite a fan of twin stick shooters, I’d have to say this is one of the best I’ve played for some time. The weaponry is weighty and varied, and there are a lot of them to choose from. Quest mode is quite large too, and actually warrants play with the way that the unlocks work. It’s a fairly obscure download title, but it’s one that fans of such won’t want to miss out on.

New Bloodborne Gameplay Screams “Buy Me”

Bloodborne

Bloodborne, FromSoftware’s newest monster, has been given the ‘new trailer’ treatment at Gamescom 2014, and by Gwyn, does it ever hit hard.

Miyazaki dropping the more methodical approach of Dark Souls combat in favour of a more visceral, on-your-toes action game appears to be a smart move, as the action looks even more exhaustingly difficult and punishing than ever.

Imminent trailer ahead.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WsqQtqwP9E

My gushing for all things FromSoftware never ceases. With that however, comes exceptionally high expectations. Luckily, it appears that Bloodborne is shattering all of them with every new video.

Only time will tell if this game can manage to surpass the absolutely ridiculous standards FromSoftware has set for themselves. If this trailer is any indication, they’re on the right track.

Rime Is Back With A Glorious New Trailer

Rime

Rime was an incredibly beautiful and nostalgic game. One that captivated everyone watching Gamescom in 2013. It’s great then, that Tequila Works offers a new trailer for Gamescom 2014, and it’s even better than the last.

It has Wind Waker and ICO written all over it, and that is never a bad thing, is it?

Check out the glorious Rime trailer below and prepare to be very, very excited!

This is one of my most anticipated titles for the Playstation 4. This game seems to perfectly capture atmosphere and tone with its beautiful cel-shaded graphics and simplistic soundtrack, and it scratches my Wind Waker itch that no game has come close to touching before.

Please let this game come out already! The excitement can hardly be contained any longer.

Ninja Theory Announces Hellblade At Gamescom

Hellblade

Ninja Theory has been in the news a lot lately about a new IP, and thanks to Gamescom, we now know what it is. Hellblade … yes, that’s the real title, is a Playstation 4 exclusive action game from the team that brought you DMC, Heavenly Sword, and Enslaved.

To say I am excited for this new IP would be to put it mildly. Ninja Theory is a master at crafting bizarre and inspired worlds, fascinating characters, and tales full of drama and action. Hellblade, despite its title, appears to be up to snuff so far.

As always, your video awaits.

Ninja Theory is defined by three things: ninja-class melee gameplay, strong character stories and a unique art vision.
On Hellblade, we will double down on what we do best to give you a deeper character in a twisted world with brutal, uncompromising, combat.

We are embracing the creative spirit that comes with independence without letting go of the stunning production values that we are known for. It’s not indie, it’s not AAA. This is a third way. It’s independent AAA.

It’s about making a more focused game experience that isn’t trying to be all things to all people but satisfies a particular gaming itch. It’s about being in command of our creativity so that we can give you what you want from us at a lower price.

It’s very early days in the project but we are opening our doors and inviting you to join us every step of the way. We want to show you how we make this game warts and all so that you can be part of this journey.

Hellblade’s official website goes into a bit more detail and offers an additional video of details, so make sure to check it out.

Until Dawn, Horror Reinvented?

Horror

After having Sony tease “horror reinvented” for a week, everyone at Gamescom expected something big. What we have received, is ‘Until Dawn’.

If that title sounds familiar, it’s because it was being shown off a PS3 title years ago, but has since gone dark. Supermassive Games has kept quiet for quite some time, however …

Now, with a fresh coat of paint, we’ve been given a trailer detailing just what Until Dawn has become. Check out the viedeo below to see for yourself:

I must admit that I find little interest in this title. It’s not that it looks particularly bad, just that with a tagline like “horror reinvented”, you’d expect something that shies away from one of the biggest horror clichès of all time. It is a story of 8 teenagers staying in a cabin, and of course, as you and everyone else expects, a deranged killer is on the loose.

The only interesting part of this trailer in my eyes is that everyone can die, or everyone can live. This seems to suggest that choices will be a massive part of the story in Until Dawn, but until we see more, I’ll remain skeptical.