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.

Entwined Review and Gameplay

Entwined

On the gaming world’s biggest stage Entwined was born to high expectations. The short presentation during Sony’s press conference introduced the title as the first game from a group of recent college grads, a new Sony studio called Pixelopus. The short gameplay segment shown featured flowing audio and striking visuals, immediately recognizable as the barrel gameplay from games of old. The short presentation ended with the announcement that it was on sale, right then, to Playstation 4 owners.

The abrupt announce and sell strategy of Entwined may seem a bit shady to some, but after playing through the game I can assure you there is nothing to worry about. In short, Entwined complicates one of the classic gameplay types so intuitively that it remains interesting for an entire game. The music is paced and varied, with the best tracks earning a place in your memory. The visuals are great for the same reason music visualizers are, they manage to match the speed, music and gameplay in a way that’s beautiful without being in the way. As the game culminates, the difficulty can become off-putting, until you overcome the challenge and it is appreciated for it’s purpose. The game comes across as a good freshmen effort that promises greatness in thee years to come.

Entwined2

The gameplay evolves and challenges you through each of the game’s nine section’s or ‘lifetimes’. Beginning simply, every few seconds players align two characters, each controlled with an analog stick, against a grid they can pass through (Check the gameplay below to see this in action). Each character, a blue bird and orange fish, is stuck in the right and left hemisphere’s respectively. The movement allows for small twists to the base gameplay, for example as the two  get closer they become green and are able to pass through green spaces. While this may sound simple and even be simple for the first two or three lifetimes, the difficulty and complexity of each level increases dramatically. The level design is smart, with one level requiring the two characters to always occupy opposite sides and the next required no synchronization at all. This building and twisting of expectations builds throughout the game and makes the real challenge of hand-eye coordination all the more difficult.


ScreenShot_ChallengeMode_Fire

As to the story, the gameplay and objectives lend themselves to a tale of connection and reliability. Many subtle messages are sent through minute actions, such as the two characters relying on each other for success and the relationship between the players movement. The undertones of relationship can be ignored for other facets as well, whether the soon to be beloved soundtrack or the elegantly stylized visuals. Entwined’s soaring soundtrack makes good use of quiet melodies and driving hooks, more than once pairing with vista’s for truly chilling set-pieces. The visual design changed slightly with each passing lifetime along with the music, making this one sharper, this one electric and that one airy. The best part in the game happened toward the end as all the past aesthetics’s and music blended for the last level. Halfway through the game I expected the collage, but that didn’t decrease the inexplicable happiness I felt seeing all the little bits and pieces brought together underneath the games best track. The culmination wowed me in contrast to previous levels which I enjoyed, but didn’t love.

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The problem with Entwined is the problem of many indie titles. Difficulty is to blame for the only real unpleasantness found within Entwined. While the game is by no means ‘hard’, the punishment dealt out during later levels serves only to distract and frustrate the overall calming experience. In the moment it feels so out of place, being mad at this game that has thus far has only projected joy and peacefulness. Disconnecting from the characters you have come to endear, while remembering that this is a video game that you can loose, can be disheartening to say the least. Entwined manages to alleviate some of the irritation by making players feel triumphant over the difficulty through the stellar music, but for some, the frustration may be too much to get past.

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Entwined provides a good experience all around with standout looks and sounds that will leave a player entranced. The game is a bit short at only 2-5 hours, and the difficulty is problematic for some. Overall, I thoroughly appreciated the atmosphere, enjoyed the distinctive gameplay and  reveled in a completed challenge. Entwined carries on the mood, individuality and aspirations of games like Journey and The Unfinished Swan with the same gumption and less polish.

VgamerZz_1

Final Score: 8.5/10

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK4jIN9GvP4&feature=youtu.be

Exclusive Battlefield Hardline PS4 Beta Gameplay

Battlefield

We here at Vgamerz have been trying out the Battlefield Hardline and decided to share a bit of our experience thus far.  The cops and robbers centric shooter is the first yearly  entry in Battlefield, but it seems to make up with gameplay innovation with new game modes and gear. The gameplay video features play from both the police and criminals, along with a number of different weapon sets.

Driving feels better than before as, with a more traditional racing drift allowing for quicker and more response driving. The vehicle sets themselves felt shallow in comparison to those available in Battlefield 4, but with the crime angle more vehicles are sure to be added by launch day. Moment to moment it felt weird to play as both sides, with Cops using excessive violence and criminals mowing down cops in turn.

The imagery is sure to disturb some players more than others, but since the gameplay feels exactly like every other Battlefield I found it a simple ascetic swap that may not affect long time players.  The gadgets are another cool addition, with zip lines and tazers leading the way. If Battlefield can change the formulaic combat scenario while still operating within their gigantic destructible arena’s then Hardline may be the best title yet. All this remains to be seen however, as the developers have proven a that a good framework exists and the only thing left is coming up with new ways to interact with it.

The new Battlefield and Call of Duty titles are both taking their respective series in new directions that aim to steer away from the typical military shooter, and I hope they can succeed. For more info on the Call of Duty trailer check here, and for all your E3 news needs head on over to Vgamerz news hub.

No Man’s Sky Timed PS4 Exclusive

Sky

Perhaps the most anticipated PS4 indie, No Man’s Sky had a brand new trailer debut on Sony’s main stage. The last we heard of Hello Game’s ambitious space explorer, the studio had been flooded and the game’s fate unsure. Making a triumphant return to the big stage, No Man’s Sky captured the hearts of gamers yet again with a single trailer. The game revolves around an infinite, procedurally generated universe filled with planets. Whenever someone first start up the game, they are placed on a brand new planet, all their own. From there they travel throughout the the universe discovering new planets, species and even other players. The space exploration looks like a simple point the ship and go experience, with some space vista’s rivaling the beauty found planetside. There is minimal combat, but somehow even that looks relaxed and fundamentally rewarding. The game also has timed console exclusivity on PS4, meaning that Playstation will be the only place  to play for a while after launch. No Man’s Sky is doing something special, and you can see it for yourself below.

The game revolves around an infinite, procedurally generated universe filled with planets. Whenever someone first start up the game, they are placed on a brand new planet, all their own. From there they travel throughout the the universe discovering new planets, species and even other players. The space exploration looks like a simple point the ship and go experience, with some space vista’s rivaling the beauty found planetside.

Check our hub for all the latest E3 updates.

New Mortal Kombat X Gameplay Footage

After it’s announcement a couple of weeks ago, Mortal Kombat X got it’s first gameplay trailer during Sony’s E3 conference. The trailer shows new environmental attacks, like grabbing a branch and swinging on a limb. It’s reminiscent of NetherRealms last game Injustice: Gods Among Us, where different characters interacted differently with Kombat pieces of the environment. The trailer also details X-ray moves too, in all their bone crunching brutality. The graphics aren’t anything compared to the CG trailer from a couple of weeks ago, but the game looks better than any comparable fighting games on the market. Check out the trailer below and share your thoughts in the comments.

Check our hub for all the latest E3 updates.

Grim Fandango Remaster on PS4, Vita

Fandango

One of Sony’s best moves at this year’s E3 was snatching up the ol’ Tim Shafer and Double Fine. Their other brilliant play was in form of Grim Fandango and its much needed revival. With a fresh coat of paint, Sony can officially seal the deal whilst simultaniously bringing back one of the most bizarre and creative adventure games to ever release, and I can’t wait to sink my teeth in.

In true Tim Schafer fashion, the introductory video is reminiscent of his special brand of humour. Check it out below to see for yourself:

Can we expect Psychonauts next?

Dead Island 2 Announced

Island

In addition to Dying Light, Deep Silver revealed during the Sony Conference that Dead Island 2 is also coming to PS4. The game will get a Sony exclusive class as well.

The trailer didn’t show much in the way of showing gameplay, but it did let us in on the tone of the game.  The trailer was goofy, and displayed a sense of humor that wasn’t present in the original game. Dead Island’s visceral gameplay and moment to moment mechanics are presumable returning, while vehicles are all but confirmed for the trailer.

Check out the video below to see the first details about the upcoming Dead Island 2:

Check our hub for all the latest E3 updates.

Grand Theft Auto V on PC, PS4, Xbox One This Fall

Grand Theft Auto

During Sony’s E3 conference, they revealed that Grand Theft Auto V will be coming to the Playstation 4 this fall. They left out the part about the PC and Xbox One versions, but all three will be available for purchase. If you are one of the three people that missed out, or you simply want to see Los Santos in glorious next-gen, the following trailer should interest you.

I loved it when it launched, and it’s quite lovely to see Los Santos rendered at such high quality. However, I can’t help but feel as if there is too much of an emphasis on porting last-gen titles. That might just be my inner cynic showing .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DBrG2YjqQA

New Destiny Trailer and Gameplay

Destiny

Sony kicked off it’s Playstation E3 press conference with Destiny – and for all the right reasons.

Activision’s gigantic new FPS franchise started off with a trailer that blended both cinematic and gameplay footage, and showed in more detail a lot of the mechanics they have already talked about. It showed the vastness of the game and shared a bit about it’s combat. It was then announced that the Games Beta would come to Playstation games starting July 17th. There will be exclusive in-game missions, and a PS4 + Destiny Bundle as well.

Check out the Destiny traler below to see some gameplay from the upcoming game:

Check our hub for all the latest E3 updates.