2019 ~ The Land Game

Dragon Age: Origins - Ultimate Edition

Discover the groundbreaking RPG, winner of more than 50 awards including more than 30 'Game of the Year' awards!

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (videogame)

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is the title of a video game based on the film of the same name, but actually introducing a new storyline that takes place after the film.

Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams is a human soldier who served in the Systems Alliance as a Gunnery Chief in the 2nd Frontier Division on Eden Prime, and was later assigned to Commander Shepard's squad after the geth attack on Eden Prime. She is a potential romance partner for a male Shepard..

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order plays like a safe, conventional adventure with great lightsabers

Fallen Order nails the feeling of dangerous lightsaber combat, but its adventure didn't fully grab me in a hands-on preview.

Some kind of Dying Light/Left 4 Dead 2 crossover appears to be coming

t's been longer than you think since Left 4 Dead 2 came out, and if you don't believe me, chew on this: Ten years have passed since Coach, Nick, Rochelle, and Ellis first blazed their way across the Infected wasteland. That's right, a full-on decade—you didn't see that coming, did you? I can barely believe it myself.

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What Star Wars can learn from Warhammer

What Star Wars can learn from Warhammer There should be 40K Star Wars games. (Image credit: EA) We should be swimming in Sta...

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Nov 29, 2019

What Star Wars can learn from Warhammer

What Star Wars can learn from Warhammer

(Image credit: EA)
We should be swimming in Star Wars games. EA has released three in the six years it's had the license, to a mostly ambivalent reception. That's fewer than the number of films that have released since. EA's been cautious, but the issues are larger than one publisher. What Disney really needs to do is take a page out of Games Workshop's book and start throwing that license to anyone.  
A new Warhammer game is never far away. Across every platform, the grimdark and fantasy battlefields of Warhammer and Warhammer 40K have been recreated time and time again. Some of them stink worse than ork armour, but there have been so many flung against the wall that some of them have stuck—a lot of them, in fact. 
Games Workshop is not entirely laissez faire with the license, however, and there are plenty of constants. The tone is largely consistent, regardless of developer, and we're yet to see a Warhammer 40K dating sim—a source of much despair—but within the confines of the very well-defined universes, developers have conjured up a diverse set of games. 

(Image credit: Fatshark)
Even just within the strategy genre, there's very little repetition, aside from sequels. Relic's Dawn of War series and Creative Assembly's Total War: Warhammers have been two of the high points, both of which lean heavily on their respective tabletop games, but with dramatically different results. Developers have also found interesting ways to fit Warhammer around the genre, like Gladius, the 40K 4X game, which strips out diplomacy and surprisingly makes it work.
Beyond strategy, it's aped Left 4 Dead with Vermintide, let you play as a one-man-army in Space Marine, and both fantasy and 40K universes have been given the action-RPG treatment just recently. All of this has sprouted, predominantly, from two games, which increasingly seem to be dwarfed by their videogame adaptations. 
While EA has a lot of resources, sticking Star Wars with one publisher—excluding the Lego and mobile games—is never going to generate the unexpected or novel interpretations. There's a massive universe out there that could be used as the foundation for any kind of game, but the most exciting thing EA's done with it is let Respawn make another Jedi action romp with an Archie Andrews impersonator that, at times, feels vaguely like Dark Souls. I'm enjoying it, but I'll have forgotten it next year.

(Image credit: EA)
Games Workshop might appear to have an advantage in that it has plenty of tabletop games to adapt, giving us things like the mediocre Space Hulk and much better Battlefleet Gothic Armada, but so does Star Wars. Indeed, tabletop gaming is where Star Wars is thriving at the moment. There are RPGs, wargames, grand strategy games and, my personal favourite, Star Wars Armada. They're all published by Fantasy Flight Games, though the vast gulf between tabletop and videogame development means I'd be very wary of taking that as evidence that EA should be churning out just as many. What it is evidence of, however, is a hunger for Star Wars games that EA seems unable to sate.
One of Disney's big shake-ups when it snatched up Star Wars was the obliteration of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. It felt like an attempt to assert some control over its new property, but now it needs to ease up. I look at Nintendo letting Ubisoft make a Mario XCOM-like or signing off on Cadence of Hyrule, taking these venerable franchises and characters and plonking them in unlikely places, and wish EA and Disney could have taken similar chances.
This is a more recent development, too. 2011's Kinect Star Wars was rubbish, sure, but that Galactic Dance-off mode was still infinitely more appealing than another story about some Jedi going off to find themselves and maybe save the day. It's got nothing on Beat Saber, though, unofficially the best Star Wars game.

(Image credit: Beat Games)
Clearly I specifically want more Star Wars rhythm games, but more broadly I think the route to making Star Wars games compelling lies with indie developers, or at least smaller teams, that aren't under pressure to make a big open world or live service game. Not that either of those things automatically preclude a game from being good, but everyone aiming for the same thing is simply a bit dull. Respawn did actually avoid following those trends, thankfully, but Fallen Order remains fairly conservative all the same.
At the very least, a developer that didn't think an alien or, god forbid, another female protagonist would be too bold would be very welcome, and that ain't Respawn. As much as the thought of Disney adopting Games Workshop's model when it comes to the license, at least in regards to who it lets work on it, is an appealing one, even that is possibly too restrained. Star Wars is ancient now, practically a boomer, and could do with a lot more voices contributing to it and taking it in directions as weird as possible.
Tyler wrote that Jedi: Fallen Order feels like EA's last chance to prove it deserves Star Wars, and while it's been well-received, I can't help but feel like it's already too late. The new trilogy is almost over, and while the popularity of Star Wars will undoubtedly continue, EA's complete inability to take advantage of the resurgence of Star Wars excitement has already proved that it's a poor curator. It's time to let everyone else take a crack at it. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen until 2023, when the deal with EA expires. 
By Fraser Brown From pcgamer

Nov 21, 2019

Half-Life: Alyx is a full-length game set before Half-Life 2

Half-Life: Alyx is a full-length game set before Half-Life 2

By   From pcgamer

After teasing it earlier this week, Valve has now unveiled Half-Life: Alyx, a VR romp set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2, when Alyx and her dad, Eli Vance, form the resistance to defend the planet against the alien Combine forces.
Though a VR exclusive, Valve says it will otherwise be a full-featured and full-length Half-Life game with exploration, combat, puzzles, and a new story, even if it's not one that moves the stalled saga forward. According to Valve designer Greg Coomer, it's taken playtesters as long to finish Half-Life: Alyx as it does to complete Half-Life 2, though it could be longer depending on how much exploring and mucking around you do. Half-Life 2 takes around 15 hours to complete.
Gabe Newell says VR has "energized" Valve. "We’ve invested a lot of ourselves in the technology. But we're also game developers at heart, and to be devoting ourselves to a VR game this ambitious is just as exciting. For that to come in the form of Half-Life feels like the culmination of a lot things we care a lot about: truly great games, cutting edge technology, and open platforms."
Half-Life: Alyx is due out in March 2020, when it will be available on all PC-based VR headsets, not just Index. If you own an Index, however, you'll get it for free, along with bonus content including "alternate gun skins to embellish Alyx's arsenal," and Alyx-themed content for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The game will appear in your Steam library automatically at release, and you'll get it even if you only own the Index controllers, rather than the full VR kit. Everyone else will need to shell out $60. 
I've still not been seduced by VR yet, with my sole device, the Gear VR, stuck in a cupboard since I got rid of the compatible Samsung phone. Half-Life: Alyx may very well be the game to change that, however. It's not Half-Life 3, and it continues to boggle the mind that Valve still hasn't announced plans to continue a story that's been left hanging for more than a decade, but it's close. That we'll be playing as the most likable character in the franchise is good encouragement.
Half-Life: Alyx is listed on Steam, and more details are up at half-life.com. Check out some screenshots below. 


Nov 8, 2019

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has new maps and a new mode

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has new maps and a new mode


(Image credit: Future)
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has just been out for two weeks, and Infinity Ward is already rolling out new maps for its popular shooter. A new update, available now, adds two new maps, new playlists, and a new game mode. The patch also addresses a host of bugs and does some weapon rebalancing.
Krovnik Farmland has been added to the Ground War playlist, and Shoot House joins multiplayer. The new maps could hardly be more different: Krovnik Farmland is an appropriately expansive area, big enough to handle the scale of Ground War, while Shoot House is a tight, three-lane map designed to push players into close quarters fighting.
Players will also see Hardpoint added to the rotation. Shoot House 24/7 includes "a mixture of Team Deathmatch, Domination, Kill Confirmed, and Headquarters" modes, Infinity Ward says.
The patch also tweaks many of Modern Warfare's weapons, increasing hipfire spread for assault rifles, the MG34, M91, PKM, and the 725 Shotgun. In general, the changes seem geared toward making fewer weapons devastating at long and medium range, and to make shooting from the hip somewhat less reliably effective.
There are plenty of bugfixes as well, which you can read up on in the full patch notes.
Modern Warfare should see a pretty steady stream of new maps over the course of the year, if leaks are to be believed. One credible leak has suggested there are 38 total maps planned for the game.

Red Dead Redemption 2 trainer lets you play as an eagle, wolf, or any other model in the game

Red Dead Redemption 2 trainer lets you play as an eagle, wolf, or any other model in the game

Traveling Red Dead Redemption 2's expansive map on horseback is great, but wouldn't it be nice to have a bird's eye view of the world? Literally? A trainer for RDR2 singleplayer has arrived, and it lets you switch from Arthur's boring human body into an eagle, a wolf, and (with a bit of file editing), any other model in the game.
I tried it out—that's me above, soaring over the world as an eagle. Pretty cool!
A few warnings, and consider them stern ones!
First of all, only try this trainer in singleplayer—mods are not supported by Rockstar. In fact, when I restarted the Rockstar launcher after installing the trainer, it warned me I could be banned from Red Dead Online:
Back up your saves and game files before doing anything. Don't save the game while playing as a different model, and disable autosaves while using the trainer
And keep track of the files the trainer adds—you'll need to remove all of them before playing Red Dead Online. And you might get banned anyway, we don't really know. Also, I had two crashes to desktop while using this trainer, and I also got stuck under the map at one point. Trying to switch camera views also caused a freeze and then a crash.
If you understand the risks, here's how it works. You can find Lenny's Simple Trainer here. Download the files and install them in the game's root directory. When you start up Red Dead Redemption 2, you'll hear a few loud beeps, which indicate the trainer is installed. Once you launch into your singleplayer game, pressing F7 will turn you into an eagle, and F8 will turn you into a wolf.
If you want to turn into anything else, you can edit the mod's lst.ini file while the game is running, and add a different model to the F7 or F8 keys. Here's a list of the game's models. You can also use the trainer to teleport around the map using the F9, F10, and F11 keys, and editing the same ini file will let you input the coordinates those keys teleport you to.
And a final warning, don't change from an eagle into a wolf while you're airborne.

Teamfight Tactics update introduces a new elemental system

Teamfight Tactics update introduces a new elemental system

(Image credit: Riot Games)
Get ready to relearn Teamfight Tactics, because the auto-battler's latest update upends a lot of the established rules and introduces some new elements to the mix. It also marks the end of the beta period and the beginning of season two.
The new elements really are elements, too: In addition to having class and race affinities, Champions now are aligned with one or more elements. These are: 
  • Crystal (Skarner, Taric, and Ashe) 
  • Desert (Renekton, Sivir, Azir, Khazix)
  • Electric (Ornn, Volibear, Zed)
  • Glacial (Warwick, Volibear, Braum, Ezreal, Olaf)
  • Inferno (Zyra, Diana, Qiyana, Kindred, Annie, Brand)
  • Light (Nasus, Vayne, Jax, Aatrox, Soraka, Yorick)
  • Steel (Rek'Sai, Nocturne)
  • Mountain (Taliyah, Qiyana, Malphite)
  • Ocean (Vladimir, Thresh, Syndra, Qiyana, Nautilus, Nami)
  • Poison (Kog'Maw, Dr. Mundo, Twitch, Singed)
  • Shadow (Malzahar, Kindred, Veigar, Sion, Master Yi)
  • Wind (Yasuo, Qiyana, Janna)
  • Woodland (Maokai, Ivern, Neeko, LeBlanc)
Just as with classes, having multiple champions of the same element on the field will confer special bonuses and make your team more deadly in battle. You may notice a few new names in the above list, and that's because Teamfight Tactics has refreshed its roster of champions, removing some old standbys and introducing some newcomers. The board size has increased, going from three rows of seven hexes to four rows.
Patch 9.22 also decreases the number of each champion available in the pool, the idea being to make forced team compositions trickier to complete. Riot says it wants players to have to pay more attention to what their opponents are building, and look for synergies that aren't already taken.
Since all of this is very new, Riot has disabled ranked play until Patch 9.23 is ready to roll.
You can read the full patch notes here.
By Ian Boudreau From pcgamer

Five new Steam games you probably missed

(Image credit: Megagon Industries)
On an average day, about a dozen new games are released on Steam. And while we think that's a good thing, it can be understandably hard to keep up with. Potentially exciting gems are sure to be lost in the deluge of new things to play unless you sort through every single game that is released on Steam. So that’s exactly what we’ve done. If nothing catches your fancy this week, we've gathered the best PC games you can play right now and a running list of the new games of 2019

Lonely Mountains: Downhill

Steam page
Release: October 24
Developer: Megagon Industries
Price: $19.99 | £17.99 | AU$28.95
As the name suggests, Lonely Mountains: Downhill is about riding a bike through lonely mountains, specifically down those mountains, and never up them. Think of it as a pleasant marriage of Descenders and Trials, though its pleasant low-poly aesthetic does include some fairly graphic crash animations. Also, it's not circuit-based: the mountains can be navigated (downward) however you see fit. There are online leaderboards as well, and an array of different bikes, all of which handle differently.

stikir

Steam page
Release: October 23
Developer: Bilge Kaan
Price: $2.99 | £2.09 | AU$4.50
From the creator of Indecision comes Stikir, a short and abstract platformer with a colour palette that recalls the glorious EGA days (they were glorious, right?). "This game is about making this game," the Steam description reads, with an additional warning that the game "can be frustrating sometimes". It's not the kind of game that's super eager to sell itself, in other words, but Kaan's previous game was fascinating and charming so it's definitely worth checking this out.

MO: Astray

Steam page
Release: October 25
Developer: Archpray Inc
Price: $14.99 | £11.39 | AU$21.50
This week's mandatory pixel-art platformer is MO: Astray, and not only does it have especially ornate and beautiful art, but it also lets you use "sticking, ramming" and "parasitic takeover" to navigate the world. You're MO: basically a horrible steampunk version of Kirby, who must navigate a creepy laboratory and contend with all the aggressive creatures there. That said, the character movement looks more akin to Ori and the Blind Forest than anything Nintendo has ever made.

Lakeview Valley

Steam page
Release: October 23
Developer: Roope Tamminen
Price: $14.99 | £11.39 | AU$21.99
Lakeview Valley is a retro-styled, topdown 'Murder RPG'. Set in the nominal town, you play as a new home owner who arrives just as the place is embroiled in a murder mystery concerning a young girl. You can either help solve this crime, or you can... "succumb to your dark desires", which I can only assume means: indiscriminately kill other townsfolk. Obviously a dark game, and you'll be prepared for it if you've ever played Tamminen's 2013 browser predecessor Lakeview Cabin.

Injection π23 'No Name, No Number'

Steam page
Release: October 23
Developer: Abramelin Games
Price: $14.99 | £11.39 | AU$21.50
Injection π23 is a fascinating looking survival horror throwback, specifically targeting the PlayStation 2 era. Set in a "real" Spanish town, the Steam description doesn't help to set the scene (you're a character "who lives in seclusion with his dog" is the most cogent line), but it's the flagrantly unsubtle 1990s horror aesthetic that stands out here. Apparently it's a bit rough around the edges, but pretty much every survival horror game worth playing is.
These games were released between October 22 and 28 2019. Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info.