Vampire: The Masquerade – Shadows of New York weaves a familiar tale. Yet it is not a tale familiar out of triteness, but rather in its bleak and despairing contemporaneity. Shadows of New York artfully depicts our 2020 hell-scape, holds it up as a mirror and doesn’t so much ask whether or not we’re fucked as yell it in our faces.
It is a tale of a debauched, grotesquely wealthy elite presiding over a city of broken, desperate people, haunted by an impending apocalypse—climate-induced, technological, viral, pick your horror—precious few seem inclined to curtail, let alone prevent.
And this apocalypse cares not a whit for whether you’re human or vampire; after all, Kindred were once human themselves, and its ruling body, the Camarilla—so intent on maintaining the status quo at all costs—a potent metaphor for a global system that refuses to change, adapt, or evolve.
With every ‘Souls-like’ comes the unavoidable comparison to Dark Souls and Mortal Shell uses many of the mechanics found within FromSoftware’s legendary series. The way in which it uses these mechanics but also carves a little space to use them in it’s own way is very reminiscent of the first time I ever played a Souls game. At first I didn’t really know what I was doing, or where I was going, or if I was even making any kind of meaningful progress. But I knew what I was playing was captivating and so I forged on into oblivion.
It was great fun. That’s it, no introduction needed. I’m going straight for the jugular on this one! Despite previously being somewhat of a skeptic on anything VR related, I also believe in a lot of cases it’s hard to have a stong opinion on something without first having an experience with that something. And so I had my first experience of virtual reality with my Oculus headset awkwardly strapped to my face and my touch controllers waving around clumsily as I entered the VR world of SUPERHOT.
I loved the original SUPERHOT on PC and soon became accustomed to the feel of my two motion controllers and headset within the game itself. I did almost lose my balance a couple of times early on but familiarized myself with the movements the game demanded of me with my previous experience with the PC version. With a game like SUPERHOT VR there certainly is a lot of movement involved. Every level is essentially a combination of dodging bullets, disarming enemies, shooting at unusual angles, picking up throwables from the ground, shelves and desks, punching enemies, dodging their attacks and so on. It definitely qualifies as light exercice and while I loved my time in the with the game, this is not the experience I look for in every day gaming.
The way I like to think of my enjoyment of this particular VR game is that it reminds me of going to the arcades as a kid. The enjoyment of having lots of small experiences that are super fun for short bursts before you move onto the next thing. And so I found myself after twenty or so minutes of SUPERHOT VR wanting to move onto something else. I ended up playing four or five different games in total but returned to SUPERHOT once more before I ended my session because I enjoyed it the most.
The immersion factor was much higher as is expected for the VR version of the game. It gave me a new appreciation of just how to take out each enemy and in what order, although aiming felt very different. Those moments you get in SUPERHOT PC where you pull of a really cool move felt even better in VR and things like flicking bullets out the air with your weapon, catching enemy knives and guns and swordplay were the highlight of my playtime. I would definitely be up for experiencing more SUPERHOT VR and VR in general in the future but I am yet to be convinced that this would ever replace my normal gaming set up.
Somehow, the only time I’ve talked about Horizon Zero Dawn here on The Reticule was during EGX 2016 where I squeezed in one small paragraph about the game in my Day One Report. I really don’t understand how I didn’t take a closer look at the game before launch back in February, or even after I started playing the game in May. It is quite brilliant, and surely a highlight of this generation, and shockingly is actually an open world game that I have completed. …
Welcome to The Reticule’s definitive roundup of gaming releases throughout July 2017. All release dates stated are for the EU, across all currently available platforms including Playstation, Xbox, PC, mobile and others.
7th Accel World vs. Sword Art Online
PS4, PS Vita
11th Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
“The biggest addition to The Zodiac Age is what we missed out on with the international release years back. XII took a lot of grief for the license board, and Square Enix made vast improvements by adding distinct jobs to incentivize replayability and tactical gameplay. This means you’ll be able to make Vaan a black mage if you want (but who would ever choose Vaan, right?) or maybe you’ll make Basch into a thief so he can nab you some precious goodies. Many proselytize this version of the game, and it’s pretty amazing to finally get it on Western shores. We’re also getting a much-needed fast-forward mode like the (amazing) Dragon Quest VIII remake on 3DS, which should make some of those more tedious sojourns into danger more manageable.” RPGFan.
17th Albion Online
PC, Andriod, iOS
“Albion Online is a sandbox MMORPG set in an open medieval fantasy world. It has a fully player-driven economy; all equipment items are player-crafted. You can freely combine armor pieces and weapons in our unique classless system – you are what you wear. Explore the world and tackle challenging PvE content. Engage other adventurers in small- or large-scale PvP, and conquer territories. Gather. Craft. Trade. Conquer. Leave your mark in the world.” Albion Online.
18th Children of Zodiarcs
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles
20th Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy
21st Splatoon 2
Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star
25th Fallen Legion
PS4, PS Vita
“For those who played Supergiant’s previous titles, Bastion and Transistor, Pyre‘s art style and presentation will be familiar. While neither Bastion nor Transistor felt small, Supergiant claimed that Pyre ups the ante. We likened Pyre‘s team-oriented competitions to a magical version of NBA Jam. The competitions are referred to as Rites, fast-paced three-on-three battles where the goal is to take out the other team’s signal flame before they manage to extinguish yours.” Digital Trends
“Redout is a stylish, futuristic racer bringing back the speed and vertigo of genuine arcade racing — get in the ship and slam that throttle. From the first moment, you will feel the enormous amount of power coming from your engine. Hovering a few meters above the ground going over 800 km/h is no piece of cake. Redout will take advantage of the Switch capabilities by using the right Joy-Con analog stick increase or decrease speed and left Joy-Con stick to drift around curves.” IGN
27th The Darkside Detective
28th Hey! Pikmin
Dr Kawashima’s Devilish Brain Training: Can You Stay Focused?
There are so many indie racers that one needs to do something different to get my attention. It can be bringing back an old school type of racing (Mantis Burn’s top down style), or offer something more special.Drive!Drive!Drive! or Drive³ as it is colloquially known by developer Gordon Midwood from different cloth has that something special. …
I wrote the following about Drive!Drive!Drive! in my report from day two of EGX, “If this falls through the cracks of public consciousness, I’ll be disappointed.” I take a look around today, and I find that the game has been released on Steam and the PlayStation Store. This pleases me, as this unique racer showed great potential when I checked it out in Birmingham. …
When a game is described by the developers as containing “surly gelatinous characters, brutal mêlée fight sequences, and absurdly hazardous environments” with the action taking place in a fictional place known as Beef City, you know it’s going to be fun. This is Gang Beasts, and I’ve got some quick hit thoughts after playing a bit of the online beta.
Distance is a game that frustrates me, not because I don’t like it or because it’s not a good game, but because I’m just not skilled enough to play it and therein lies the biggest problem I have with what should be a really enjoyable and fast paced arcade style racer. If it wasn’t for the fact that the rest of the game was so good I probably wouldn’t even mention it and off paper I’d put it down to bad design or lack of effort on my part. But the truth is that it’s well designed, fun to play, smooth running, has a great soundtrack and an increasing fan base that have already created thousands of custom maps to play on. It’s just a shame that this one mechanic slows all that down for me in such a way that I simply cannot compete with other racers in multiplayer and sometimes not even complete full race tracks at all.
If you want to see what Distance is all about for yourself, click on the video below.
With no solid release date set as yet, developers Refract hope to release some time in the first quarter of 2016. Distance can be purchased on Steam or via the official website for PC with other platforms to follow.
Things have come a long way since August when I last wrote about Destiny as I’ve reached Level 40 and completed the bulk of the main story missions across both year one expansions, and of course, The Taken King. You know what? Despite some ups and downs, overall, I’ve enjoyed it. A hell of a lot. …