Square Enix’s flagship Final Fantasy series has undergone many evolutions in the last 20 years, but there are still some hallmarks expected from a game in the core franchise. Final Fantasy XV does have some of these familiar elements: dudes with hair reaching varying degrees of spikyness; a grand, high-stakes story involving a prince undertaking an epic journey; there’s even a grumpy old man named Cid. But these familiar details are juxtaposed with some pretty big departures from the formula. That’s not necessary a bad thing, as I discovered during my hands-on session with FFXV earlier this week. If anything, the demo showed me that the long-awaited next entry in the series is a lot of fun if you’re willing to let go of nostalgia and embrace the new.
Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, the latest in a landmark strategy series that spans decades, is less a game of sweeping changes than it is minor tweaks—and that’s a good thing. Civ V, released a lifetime ago (in video game turns) back in 2010, was damn close to perfection and kept gamers—this one included—coming back for hundreds and hundreds of hours. Messing with that formula too much might have been a recipe for disaster. Instead, Firaxis kept what worked and enhanced everything along the way.
Turn-based battles. Straight-up dungeons. Random encounters. For decades, these were the calling cards of the Final Fantasy series, making it one of the most prolific and beloved RPG franchises of all time. In recent years, however, Square Enix has strayed from its origins, using more real-time, action-based fighting sequences set on wide-open maps. Whether or not that’s a good thing is entirely dependent on your perspective, but one thing’s for sure: there’s still plenty of room in the modern gaming world for the turn-based RPG, and World of Final Fantasy scratches that itch in the cutest possible way.
At New York Comic Con, I got to go hands-on with Dishonored 2 for the first time since it was announced. It's interesting how easily I was able to fall back into old habits from the first game despite Dishonored 2 having a number of differences. Most notably, Emily and Corvo have powersets all their own. I stuck with Emily for the duration of my playthrough this time, mostly because I spent dozens of hours with Corvo in the past, but also to see how her abilities freshened up the experience.
After going a few rounds in MW Remastered’s multiplayer, we can safely say that despite the high-sheen gloss, the classic beats were left intact to make this the definitive version of Modern Warfare.
Zombies in Spaceland is absolutely the most cartoonish that Zombie mode has ever gotten in a Call of Duty game and it works out to be one of the most we’ve had with the mode yet as a result.
Much of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’s battle comes off the success of Black Ops III. Speed, momentum, double jumps and parkour figure into gunfights just as heavily. Sliding, jumping and surprising your opponents with elevation as you engage around corners is paramount to being the best. Though we’ve seen a lot of outside action in the trailers, Infinite Warfare’s Multiplayer won’t be putting players in cockpits and have them engaging in dogfights above the battlefield. This is still a foundation built upon players winning the war on the ground with superior map knowledge, fast reflexes and the best run n’ gun tactics.
We played both weekends of the Titanfall 2 Tech Test and have prepared an in-depth breakdown on what we saw during our time with the game.
Epic’s creed for Paragon is one of constant evolution, of continuous updating of both the game and its ecosystem, and so far the project seems to be off and running.
After persistent rumors and a few leaks Watch Dogs 2 was finally revealed just before E3 2016, moving the franchise from the urban jungle of Chicago to the sunny skies of San Francisco. With a new locale comes a new main character in Marcus Holloway, a hacker working in collaboration with the Anonymous-esque group called DedSec from the first game. Both the new face and the new digs bring a lot of improvements to the previous game, as my hands-on demo at Ubisoft’s booth can attest.