Thursday, September 29, 2016

Things you should know about Battlerite Early Access!




                Battlerite Early Access is barely a week old and I’ve already spent so much time in it to learn a bunch of tricks. As usual, I would like to share my knowledge in the game and I hope it will come in handy to you.
                Battlerite is not your day to day MoBA (technically it is an Arena Brawler) and while lacking in the complexity given by builds made around itemization, there are a ton of mechanics and tricks to be known. Here are a few of the things I found helpful:


Know your champion’s battlerites

In Battlerite there isn’t any leveling system or item progression during matches like in regular MoBAs, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have your personal builds. Each new round you can pick from three different passive skills called battlerites which enhance some of your champion’s abilities with the 5th (last) round having only two options to enhance the ultimate. There might not be many options, but in many cases the bonuses are equally interesting and provide enough variety to make actual builds that change the way the champions should be played.
He's way too awesome!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Screenshot of the Week #95: Battles done right...




               Battlerite is a game I knew nothing about until a week ago and now, after more than 15 hours spent playing, I’m almost in love with it. Battlerite is an arena brawler built on the backbone of Bloodline Champions. The game has similar gameplay mechanics as its predecessors but with cooler looking graphics and art style, a better business model, all kind of improvements and more importantly (for those who know a little history) without Funcom getting the fans mad.
As an arena brawler without any progression system affecting the game, Battlerite is all about teamwork and skill. Every ability in the game is a skillshot which makes the combat more engagingly entertaining and challenging at the same time. Put this combat system in a 2v2 or 3v3 scenario and the combo possibilities and teamwork required to pull them off is something that goes past the learning curve of probably most of the arena brawlers out there. Don’t get scared though, understanding the game’s basics is fairly easy and intuitive, especially for those who played some MMOs arenas, but mastering the game is another story entirely. Reaching the level of confidence and knowledge that makes you really good at this game is a long and perilous journey filled with frustration and moments of sublime satisfaction, but a journey I’m up for.
                Innovation and challenge is something I look forward in any game and Battlerite has both in spades. As an Early Access release, there is still much to be done, but the foundation has been laid and it is solid. I’m looking forward to see what Stunlock Studios is going to do with this game from this point until the full free to play release in Q1 2017.
Two birds with one shot!


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For Honor Alpha Test Impressions!




                I’ve been craving for a video game with medieval combat ever since Dark Souls 3’s non-magic combat got me riled up, but this craving is bound to go unsatisfied, at least for a while. Looking at the bright side of things, the close future might be holding what I’m looking for with the upcoming releases of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord (I’m holding my hyping inner demon in check!), For Honor, Of Kings and Men and even Mirage: Arcane Warfare.
On that note, last week’s For Honor Alpha test was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss and since there was no NDA I’m going to share some of my thoughts about the game’s multiplayer aspects.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Screenshot of the Week #94: Deadly space!




                We are in mid-September and it’s already getting quite crowded with new releases and that’s even without Children of Morta and Masquerada: Songs and Shadows, which apparently were supposed to come out this week, but didn’t. Divinity: Original Sin 2 and EVERSPACE made it into Early Access, I’ll skip the former for a while as I don’t want to get spoiled, but I did give EVERSPACE a try. This week there were also two games available for testing: For Honor, in its current Alpha state, and Battlerite, which is also coming through Early Access on September 20. And these are just the games I got to play aside of my routine, I have to skip on many interesting titles because time just doesn’t allow me to go through all of them.
                Getting back to EVERSPACE, developed by ROCKFISH Games on Unreal Engine 4 and with the help of a Kickstarter campaign in which they raised more than 400,000$, the game is something we rarely get to see (if ever), a true roguelike in space. Yes, that’s exactly as it sounds, a roguelike game with everything that entails, which is basically dying a lot and restarting from the beginning. There is a permanent progression system which gives an incentive to continue and makes restarting over and over feel less painful, but even without that, the fans of roguelikes will find this game quite entertaining and challenging.
                In its current state EVERSPACE will probably keep the stubborn players busy for several hours (not to mention some gorgeous visuals), but even with the replayability that comes with the rogulike genre, the game clearly lacks variety in many aspects. It could also use some tweaking as it can get painfully annoying at times because of some artificial increase in difficulty which doesn’t scale so well with the player’s progress.
                EVERSPACE is a promising game, a more arcade alternative for space enthusiasts (and we know there are many out there), but with a different style and purpose than what titles like Elite Dangerous or Star Citizen are aiming for.
In the future, the game will feature a story mode as well as more ships and probably more content in general. Some of these will be added until Q1 2017 when the game is bound to receive a price increase, but until then I think it has enough to offer. But what do I know, I couldn’t get past the 3rd Sector.
Playing possum!


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Saturday, September 17, 2016

Things you should know about EVERSPACE Early Access!




                EVERSPACE, the space roguelike funded through a Kickstarter campaign and powered by Unreal Engine 4 has launched into Early Access this week. The game is pretty interesting and quite challenging. So, to save you from some of the trouble I went through, here are some tips and tricks that you might find helpful:


Know what you are getting into

Before buying and playing EVERSPACE you should know what kind of game this is, because at the first glimpse it can be misleading.
EVERSPACE is a roguelike space shooter with a fast paced 6DOF control system and a bunch of arcade elements. This is a game where you die and start over a lot in an attempt to progress as far as possible, not a simulator with an in-depth economy, meaningful space trading, piracy and a realistic flight model. If you are expecting an alternative to Elite Dangerous or Star Citizen, you are barking up the wrong tree. That being said, EVERSPACE can be a pretty entertaining game for any space aficionado out there if you have the patience for a roguelike.
Welcome to EVERSPACE!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Screenshot of the Week #93: The Atlas!




                Today is one of those screenshots that doesn’t look very interesting but has a lot of meaning. Path of Exile Atlas of Worlds expansion was released last week and naturally I returned to the game that I have on my PC since early 2013.
                The new expansion adds a substantial amount of content, but it doesn’t expand on the main story with an additional act, instead changes the progression through end game content by adding another labyrinthine progression UI for the game’s maps. The new progression system makes the end game much more challenging forcing players on a path of increasingly harder maps. In tone with the new progression, the game has received a bunch of new maps as well as a large number of new bosses to test each player’s build. Items, skills and various other things have been added to complement the expanded end game. But the biggest highlight is the performance improvement which everyone has been anxiously waiting for years. The game runs smooth now and the freezes that made me go crazy each time the experience stakes were high are gone or, in my case, have been replaced by some severe lag.
                I’ve been playing Path of Exile since its Closed Beta phase and GGG keeps surprising me each time with their devotion to make interesting content. The game is not devoid of problems and probably it will never be, but each new content update makes it so much better. I can’t even imagine what the developers have in store next, but I’m sure it’s going to be something worth trying.
The devs sure like to make everything look complicated!


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Monday, September 5, 2016

Battlefield 1 Open Beta Impressions!




                It's hard for me to watch a trailer that features the Seven Nation Army song and not to get at least a little bit hyped, it even happened for G.I. Joe Retaliation and we all know how that movie turned out. But somehow, this hype building song didn't do the job on the Battlefield 1 reveal trailer. Maybe because the game is advertised to be chronologically first and it seems disrespectful to the grandfather 1942 or maybe after Battlefield 4 I grew cold towards a series I used to love. Either way, the nice thing about EA DICE's increasingly pricy FPS games is that we have the opportunity to try them before buying through Open Beta Tests which might as well be called Multiplayer demos. So, I put my skepticism aside and gave Battlefield 1 a chance to see if and how the series has progressed.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Screenshot of the Week #92: Giddy-up!




                Battlefield 1 Open Beta Test kicked in this weekend and respecting the tradition I create for myself I jumped in to play it despite the fact that I’m not digging the new changes so much. What I found was a game that feels more like Battlefront in an inaccurate WW1 setting, rather than a Battlefield game that should have followed in the footsteps of the legendary Battlefield 1942. I’m not entirely sure how the current Battlefield players are seeing this change, but as an old school player of the series, I’m not so thrill with the result.
                Battlefield is leaning now towards fast paced running and gunning and as a trade off the series is losing part of its tactical values with each new release. I’ve always picked my mainstream online shooters following two factors: teamwork and strategic gameplay and the Battlefield games have always provided these (more or less) through the conquest mode, now not so much. I’m afraid the series is going through an identity crisis and it’s hard to predict how it will be like when it passes.
                On the bright side of things, the new setting is welcomed even if is more of a marketing scheme than anything else. It’s a little refreshing to get away from ACOG scopes and the customary M4 and fight with bayonets, inaccurate guns and technologically crippled vehicles. But the hit of this Open Beta has to be the cavalry class. Riding horses into battle feels great, charging enemies with the sword or trampling them to death adds a level of satisfaction that, for me, only skilled bolt action kills can match.
                There are a lot of gameplay adjustments and quite a few additions that make Battlefield 1 stand as a game of its own and not just a reskin, but I’ll let you discover those by playing the Beta or in my upcoming article.
The doesn't stand a chance!


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