Monday, January 19, 2015

Upcoming Action Games in 2015!

                Following up on my articles about upcoming games this year, now I’m going to talk about some of the most anticipated and interesting titles of the action genre with a blend of adventure.

Resident Evil HD Remaster
Release Date: January 20

                Following the trend of visually enhancing older games for younger audiences and dedicated fans, Capcom are bringing us their masterpiece game that gave life to this franchise.
                For those who don’t know, the action of Resident Evil takes place in 1998 and follows a group of special police forces named STARS tasked with investigating mysterious murders in the outskirts of Raccoon City. On their arrival to the scene, they are attacked by mutated creatures forcing them to run into the cover of a mansion and getting trapped inside it. The mansion is filled with zombies, traps and biological weapons, putting the well trained group through hell in their attempt to escape.
Resident Evil’s action sets the course of the story and presents some of the most important characters in the series like Chris Redfield and Jill Valentines which are the two protagonists of the game, Barry Burton, Rebecca Chambers and of course Albert Wesker, the captain of the special forces, which all play a supporting role throughout the game.
                The remastered version of the game will feature more detailed graphics including some newer graphical effects, widescreen support, high quality sound with support for 5.1 channels output and enhanced controls.
                Resident Evil HD Remaster looks like a great opportunity for both old and new fans of the series to replay the game that started it all and gives newer players the chance to experience the thrilling highly acclaimed game in a more modern manner. I sincerely hope that the update brought to the graphics will not mess up the feeling of the game as it happened with other titles that went through a similar process.

Saints Row: Gat out of Hell
Release Date: January 22
                Saints Row: Gat out of Hell is a standalone expansion to the action game Saints Row IV. This expansion is developed for PC by Volition, the same studio behind the original game.
                The leader of the saints has been kidnapped by Satan in order to marry his daughter. The player can take the role of either Johnny Gat or Kinzie Kensington and will go straight to Hell in order to rescue their leader and stop Satan. During their trip, the two will meet with previous enemies and friends which will guide them (or not) in their glorious quest.
                The game world will be an open world sandbox as usual, but instead of featuring a city this time the action takes place in Hell.
Characters will be enhanced with new thematic abilities like angelic wings or hellish frogs and will be able to wield new weapons inspired by the seven sins.
                Saints Row: Gat out of Hell comes with a 2 player co-op mode and will present the same comical and over the top action that the fans of the series are used with.

Resident Evil Revelations 2
Release Date: February 25 Episode 1

                Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is the tenth installment in the famous survival horror series by Capcom.
The story will be presented in an episodic way, spread out through four parts, and will take place between the events of Resident Evil 5 and 6. The game will feature Claire Redfield as the protagonist and Moira, the daughter of Barry Burton, as a supporting character.
                Claire is now working for Terra Save, an anti-bioterrorism organization. The action of the game is triggered when unknown armed forces assault Terra Save’s offices and kidnap our protagonist and her sidekick during Claire’s welcoming party. The two of them wake up later in a detention facility lurking with enemies.
The gameplay will be survival focused with limited resources that have to be spent carefully in order to get out of the dark and mysterious prison.
                Resident Evil Revelations was one of the most well received title in the series in the last years and answered to some interesting questions that fans had. Nothing less is expected from the second game.

Grand Theft Auto V
Release Date: March 24
                If there is a game that beats The Witcher 3 in postpones in the last couple of years it must be the PC version for GTA V.
The game launched almost one and a half years ago on old-gen consoles, in autumn of 2014 for current-gen consoles and it was supposed to come to PC a while ago, but was postponed repeatedly leading to rumors that it will never see the light of PC screens.
                The plot revolves around three main characters which come together through complicated situations.
Trever Philips is a Canadian, who was raised by an abusive father and an emotional mother. He was abandoned as a child and his childhood experiences lead him to a violent behavior.
Michael De Santa is a 40 year old married man and the father of a boy named Jimmy.
Franklin Clinton is a member of the Chamberlain Gangster Families and an ex gang banger who works as a repossession agent for a luxury cars dealership.
                The gameplay follows the three characters as a team as they commit all sort of illegal activities and get dragged up into complicated situations. Each character has its own special ability to help the team get passed the missions. The game features an even greater freedom of movement and action than the previous titles in the series, besides the car stealing and driving around the open world or flying above the city and its surroundings, GTA V now offers even an underwater exploration component with submarines and diving.
                The online mode of the game was enhanced to support up to thirty players and includes the entire content that was created so far for this mode of the game.
                The game looks beautiful in terms of tech with graphics updated fit for the power of the newer video cards that the PC users own. A wide variety of graphical effects have been added to the game including improved lighting and a great draw distance. The world of Los Santos never looked better.
                Grand Theft Auto V is currently available for preorder for those who feel courageous enough and are not afraid of another postpone.
 The preorder offers a free game chosen from older titles developed by Rockstar and in-game bonus money for the campaign as well as the online mode of the game.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Release Date: Q1

                The Metal Gear franchise has been avoiding the PC market for a long time, but starting with Revengeance the franchise is crawling back onto the PC scene.
                Metal Gear Solid V is an action adventure stealth game developed by Kojima Productions using Fox Engine (PES 2014-2015) and published by Konami.
                The game is a sequel to Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes which was released in the spring of 2014. The action takes place nine years after the events of Ground Zeroes with Snake awaking after a nine years long coma in a world still under the pressure of the Cold War.
                The gameplay will be mostly unchanged from the previous title. The open world will offer diversified ways of getting through one area to another with a big focus on stealth play. Players will be able to use vehicles to travel from one location to another including tanks. To help get through difficult areas AI companions will be available, each with their own set of abilities and players will be able to call helicopters for support and send teams to scout ahead.
Another feature of the game will be the base building which adds a management part to the gameplay. The base can be upgraded to allow for new items and weapons development. Recruiting members from enemy soldiers or prisoners will expand the base influence throughout the organization
                The Metal Gear Solid franchise’s plot is very complicated and has expanded drastically through the tones of releases in the latest years. For those that do not own a console and didn’t play the previous games because of that, getting into this series might be difficult as Konami might have waited for too long to bring this series back to PC audience.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue
Release Date: Q1
                Assassin’s Creed Rogue is the eighth installment in the series and is a sequel to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. The game is developed by Ubisoft Sofia using the AnvilNext engine and was initially released for both old-gen and current-gen consoles in the autumn of 2014.
                The story takes place during the Seven Years’ War and has as a protagonist Shay Patrick Cormac an assassin questioning the motives of his creed as well as those of the templars.
                Rogue’s gameplay will be very similar to Black Flag’s. Players will be able to explore the seas aboard the ship Morrigan and engage in naval warfare. There will also be the usual land based exploration of the series with various missions tied to the story.
                The game is set for an early release this year and is probably what fans of Black Flag have been waiting for. This is most likely not the only title from Assassin’s Creed series that will get released this year, as the franchise has annual releases, sometimes even biannual.

Alone in the Dark: Illumination
Release Date: Q1

                Alone in the Dark: Illumination is the sixth installment in the legendary survival horror series now developed by Pure FPS using Unreal Engine 4 and published by ATARI.
                The world of Illumination and its creatures are inspired by the terrifying writings of H.P. Lovecraft with monsters taken from the most horrible nightmares and unworldly areas.
                The game will feature four different dynamic campaigns presenting the mysterious and forsaken town of Lorwich, from its creepy surroundings to its horrifying depths where the old ones might be waiting.
Players will be able to choose one of the four heroes in the game, each with different weapons and abilities, and play alone (in the dark) or as part of a team of up to four players battling the creatures lurking in the dark.
                I’m a huge fan of H.P. Lovecraft, I’ve read almost everything he published and I’m quite excited knowing that this game takes heavy inspiration from his writings. I wish more games will approach this twisted mythos that he created as it’s a perfect setting for horror games.

Batman: Arkham Knight
Release Date: June 2

                As hard as it is to believe, the highly successful and well received Batman Arkham series might come to an end with Batman: Arkham Knight, this year’s release from Rocksteady Studios.
                The game brings the player back to the dark and twisted Gotham City as the vigilante Batman to fight and stop the Scarecrow who united a large amount of dangerous criminals under his command. Villains like Harley Quinn, Two-Face or Penguin will try their best to end the Dark Knight saga once and for all.
                The gameplay will follow the same trait lines that made the Arkham series so successful with many elements from previous games being reused.
Familiar gadgets will make a comeback as well, like the indispensable grapnel gun, the line launcher, batarangs or the incredibly overpowered detective vision.
To better cope with the open world environment of the game the Batmobile will be featured in the game as a driveable vehicle that can be summoned at the player’s location. The vehicle can boost up speed, rotate in place like a tank, smash through various barriers and objects, jump medium distances and use a wide variety of arsenal.
The Batmobile can be an intimidating vehicle for the Dark Knight’s enemies, some will run immediately at the first sight of it.
To accentuate even further this new feature of the game, the Batmobile can be upgraded with various new abilities that will make it even more fun to use and a more powerful weapon/tool.
                The game world comes to life through the power of the resourceful Unreal Engine 3 and despite the age of this engine, the graphics in Arkham Knight look quite amazing.
                Batman: Arkham Knight looks like the perfect ending for this well known series. Rocksteady Studios did a great job presenting a comic book superhero in their video games like no one else managed before. In June we will find out what will happen to the Dark Knight and the way he will enter into legend.

Beyond Good & Evil 2
Release Date: TBA
                Beyond Good & Evil 2 is an action adventure game currently in development by Ubisoft Montpellier and is the sequel to the 2003 game with the same name.
                The original game’s story takes place in the year 2435 on the planet Hilys and follows the adventures of Jade, a young human, and Pey’j, a boar like humanoid creature and Jade’s guardian. As the two characters run out of money, Jade starts a job as a photojournalist and investigates the military dictatorship system named Alpha Sections about human disappearances leading the two characters into shady and dangerous situations.
                The sequel to the game will continue the story of the original and it will deal with the planet’s future and relationship with animals. The game will feature many levels, known characters and emotional gameplay all wrapped up in a much more cinematic experience than we had in the previous title, an experience that the developers wanted from the beginning but they couldn’t do it in the first game due to technological restrictions of that time.
                Fans have been asking for a sequel for this game for years and the game was in development for a year already in 2008 but was put on hold in 2009. Ubisoft made an official announcement in 2014 saying that Beyond Good & Evil 2 is in active development for the next-gen platforms. Hopefully we will get more information about this game soon.

Just Cause 3
Release Date: TBA

                Just Cause 3 is an upcoming action adventure developed by Avalanche Studios and published by Square Enix.
                The action will take place in the Mediterranean area on a fictional island named Medici. Rico Rodriguez, a member of the secret organization known as Agency, will retake his role as the protagonist fighting against another harsh dictatorship.
                Just Cause 3 will be the same crazy action game as the previous titles with lots of fighting and assured destruction.
The grappling hook and parachute, the signature gadgets of the protagonist, are to make a comeback in this game besides many other mechanics that will intensify the fun.
The world of the game will be about the same size with Just Cause 2 and to make traveling and exploration easier, there are a wide variety of vehicles to be used from cars, to boats and even helicopters, as it was expected from such a game.
The game won’t lack in the weapons department either with a huge arsenal at players disposal to be unleashed against the forces of General Di Ravello.
                The graphics of Just Cause 3 look pretty amazing and recreate in a colorful yet realistic way landscapes from the Mediterranean area. Lots of cool visual effects have been seen in the screenshots as well as spectacular explosions and physics
                Just Cause 3 might be a blast for the fans of the series if it keeps up the old recipe of the game while improving on it. 2015 is a year full of open world games, but I don’t see this game as a lesser contender to this market than any other title that will be released this year.

Ghost of a Tale
Release Date: TBA

                Ghost of a Tale is an upcoming action adventure game developed by one person, Lionel “Seith” Gallat, an ex-game designer for DreamWorks and Universal Studios. The game is created using Unity engine and everything was made possible with the help of an Indiegogo campaign that rose close to fifty thousand dollars.
                The action is set in a dark fantasy world populated by anthropomorphized animals and follows the adventure of Tilo, a minstrel mouse, as he explores this dangerous world.
                The gameplay isn’t combat oriented, but rather a mix of action an adventure with a lot of exploration, finding clues, reading journals and fighting monsters when necessary.
                Ghost of a Tale passed Stem’s Greenlight vote and it will most likely launch through the Early Access program in a closed beta state.

Release Date: TBA
                This game sparked my interest from the moment I first saw it (which was quite late). Below is a top-down perspective action adventure game developed by Capybara Games (M&M: Clash of Heroes), with a combination of multiple genres and features a warrior exploring the depths of a mysterious island. The game mechanics are inspired by roguelike games with randomly generated world, fair but challenging combat and permanent death.
                With its simple but stylish graphics, challenging gameplay focused on exploration, survival and combat and the possibility for co-op gameplay, Below looks like a frustratingly and fun experience with high replayability.

Mirror’s Edge 2
Release Date: TBA

                Mirror’s Edge 2 is an action adventure game currently in development by EA DICE using the Frostbite 3 engine. The game is not a sequel or prequel to the original title but an actual reboot.
                The action in Mirror’s Edge takes place in an unnamed city in a utopian world where people live comfortable lives and crime doesn’t exist, but everything is made possible through a totalitarian regime which monitors and controls everything. A network of runners has been created which delivers messages while escaping the heavy surveillance of the regime.
Faith is a female runner and the protagonist of the game. After her sister was framed for the death of the Pope she starts investigating the motives behind his assassination uncovering dangerous truths.
                The gameplay in Mirror’s Edge is dynamic and parkour focused with loads of climbing and jumping from one building rooftop to another combined with moments of combat and intense action.
The big change in the reboot is the addition of an open world environment. Mirror’s Edge 2 will focus more on diversification of gameplay and will improve on the first person combat mechanics while still putting a big accent on parkour.
An interesting fact about the game is that few of the original writers are working on this project.
                At E3 2014 a prototype gameplay was shown to the public and no other footage was released. Not much is known currently about the game except the few things that developers mentioned in various interviews. The game is expected to come this year, but it remains to be seen if DICE can actually manage this considering their very busy schedule with the releases of Battlefield Hardline and Star Wars Battlefront.

                Both indie and AAA developers have something to show this year when it comes to action games and I’m glad I have titles to choose from (finally!). I’ve been waiting for a while to play some good action games, but the PC market really lacked releases from this genre in the last years.


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