Vampyr will add two new difficulty modes

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Focus Home Interactive announced an upcoming update for Vampyr, a dark gritty RPG set in World War I era London. Along with some tweaks to gameplay, it will add two new difficulty modes to add “replayability for existing players and more options for those who haven’t yet sunk their teeth into this dark adventure.”

There will be a ‘Story mode,’ that will significantly decrease the difficulty of Vampyr’s combat to let players enjoy the story-driven elements of the game. It will be a welcome addition as the game’s emphasis on story left combat somewhat lacking. The second feature will be a Hard mode, which on contrary will turn up the challenge of enemy encounters, and reduce the amount of XP awarded from combat. In theory, it will force players to make hard decisions of killing named NPCs and succumbing the world to darker forces.

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When I reviewed Vampyr, I found it to be engaging in many aspects, from character dialogue to exploration of London’s streets, and of course its decision moments whether I let a character live or die. The Story mode will be welcome, although a Hard mode wouldn’t particularly benefit the combat engine, which I found to be clunky. Maybe there are those who will dig the challenge in its Dark Souls-esque combat flow. Vampyr’s upcoming update will release sometime in August. In the meantime, the game is discounted at 25% over on Steam.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands Review

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Developer: Ubisoft Studios; Publisher: Ubisoft

Released: March 7th, 2017; Reviewed On: PC

Testing Hardware: Core i5-6500 3.2GHz, 16GB RAM, GeForce GTX 1070

 

From the start of its plot, Ghost Recon: Wildlands tells you “Do whatever it takes” and follows in that philosophy until the very end of its 45 hour runtime. Giving players complete freedom in approaching its objectives, this tactical sandbox shooter drops you into a representation of Bolivia with one overarching objective to work towards – destabilize the Santa Blanca cartel. The game is bad at plot exposition, but that isn’t really what you’re here for. Instead, you’re dropped into a massive sandbox filled with missions, and choose how to approach each objective in whichever way you prefer, co-op or single player. Ghost Recon Wildlands has a few strengths, but ultimately falls into a generic sandbox experience that does little to engage the player with either its world or story bits. Its main course relies on co-op play, where up to four friends can team up to mess around its sandbox and create thrilling personal experiences. By yourself, you just wouldn’t find as much fun in the game’s repetitive sandbox missions, which often feel like going through an extremely long to-do checklist. While it’s impressive in scope, Wildlands falls short on many gameplay aspects, and this isn’t quite the direction I’d want a Ghost Recon game to take in an open-world setting, although it can engage on gameplay level.

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Codemasters are working on a new F1 game for phones and tablets

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F1 Mobile Racing/Codemasters

The maker of authentic racing games F1, Grid and Dirt, Codemasters has recently revealed a work-in-progress F1 Mobile Racing with launch details, screenshots and a game trailer on the company’s blog. Following a soft launch of the game in Thailand and Philippines, games interested in F1 racing will be able to get their hands on the best racer in the genre when the game releases in Fall 2018.

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First Look – Command and Conquer: Rivals

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It’s hard to understand why EA can’t just kill its Command & Conquer series at this point, as any attempts to revive the classic spirit of the franchise died in the eyes of fans. The last successful entry in the franchise was Red Alert 3, which happened around a decade ago. Yet this year EA decided to bring back the name of this once venerable series, with a mobile spin-off that no one was really asking for. This is a first look at Command & Conquer: Rivals – a 1v1 strategy game now available on iOS and Android in a pre-alpha release.

Tested on: Razer Phone, Android 7.1

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Life is Strange arrives on Android devices

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Critically acclaimed adventure game Life is Strange finally arrives on Android devices, available through Google Play. Launched for PC and consoles back in 2015, the episodic title features emotion-gripping story and many high-stakes set-pieces woven in between character interaction and exploration. Its simple interactive gameplay model meant a mobile port might end up coming out at some point, which it did by landing on the iOS Appstore last year. Android users can now also enjoy the game on their phones and tablets, with all five episodes available upon release.

Life is Strange is available as a free download, giving players access to the full first episode. Consider it a demo of sorts, offering an opportunity to see how the game plays before subsequent episodes. The remaining four can be purchased either separately or as a season pass, at least based on the pricing model from the iOS Appstore. It would be foolish to change the pricing model, and Square Enix will probably stick to the one they’ve had for a while, including the Steam version, which also comes with the first episode available for free.

While Life is Strange is available to all Android users, it is gated to specific device requirements, but selection is vast. You need to have Android 6.0 and above, OpenGL 3.1, ARM 64 supported CPUs and 2 GB of RAM. System requirements aren’t very demanding by any means, and most modern phones with a price tag of $300 upwards will run Life is Strange with no problem. Square Enix also lists recommended devices for best playing experience, although if yours isn’t on the list it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the game. As long as device specs are high, Life is Strange will look stunning and play smoothly. Head over to the Google Play store to grab it and check out the release trailer below:

Vampyr Review

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Developer: Dontnod Entertainment; Publisher: Focus Home Interactive

Release Date: June 4th, 2018; Reviewed on: PC

Testing Specifications: Intel Core i5-6500, 16GB RAM, GeForce GTX1070

Available on: Steam

 

Striking a vast contrast with developer Dontnod’s other games, Vampyr is a dark and gritty adventure set in Victorian London. With a unique spin on player choice, the game presents an interesting dilemma for players in both story and game design aspects. Doctor Jonathan Reid is a renowned surgeon trying to help those in need, but at the same time happens to be a newborn vampire with a thirst for blood. Vampyr thus makes players question the nature of their actions. Will you try to heal everyone in one of its districts? Or will you let the city succumb to complete darkness? It is an interesting setup rarely presented in gaming, although execution of such vital choice is often lacking. Nonetheless, Vampyr is an engaging adventure game well worth playing for its intrigue, mysterious characters and exploration.

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Hungry Shark World goes big with a launch on consoles

 

Ubisoft’s mobile title Hungry Shark World is headed to Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch, unlocking July 17th on each of the major platform’s marketplaces. The critically acclaimed arcade game that earned 500 million downloads since its release will now be available for console players, who can indulge in playing as a deadly shark. The game will be optimized for controller support, and support enhanced graphics with scaling up to 4K displays.

In Hungry Shark World, you “start out as a small shark and work your way up the food chain,” consuming fish, small creatures and humans alike, with giant boss monsters to tackle in the later game. With over 20 sharks available, players will take on various missions to evolve their creature, take out objectives, and become the ultimate hunter of the sea. Feeding the hungry shark is the main objective, although players will get a small range of powers to play with to challenge “fearsome bosses, including goblin sharks, prehistoric predators and giant squids,” according to Ubisoft.

The launch happens tomorrow, July 17th, when Hungry Shark World will be available on all three major console systems. Although it’s too bad there doesn’t seem to be a release planned for Steam. To find out more, check out the game’s release trailer.