Video Gaming
Monthly Archives: October 2017

Top Ten Restaurants In Video Games

by IslandSouljah684

From traditional Japanese restaurants to a food stand built around a power generator in a post-apocalyptic baseball stadium, gaming is chock full of fantastic eateries we’d be hard-pressed to turn down in real life. Some offer benefits for the player like restored health and stat boosts, while others simply allow us to kick up our feet and take in the ambiance. These 10 restaurants take the cake and should be at the top of your must-visit lists.

10. Temjin Burgar (Overblood 2)
There’s nothing wrong with a simple menu, or at least that’s the motto of this frequented food shop. Offering only horse-meat burgers and high-priced bananas, Temjin stands as the best and only food source in Overblood 2’s cyberpunk civilization. The Santa mascot holding the restaurant’s sign initially drew us in, but we kept coming back for the lack of other options.

9. Cluckin’ Bell (Grand Theft Auto series)
Fast, cheap, and questionably produced, Cluckin’ Bell is a staple of the Grand Theft Auto dining experience. An unholy combination of Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell, the fast-food chain offers a quick and easy solution to low HP and an empty stomach. Sure, the cashiers will cuss you out with no provocation and the company has seen its fair share of controversy over the years, but you can’t say you’ve eaten in San Andreas until you’ve grabbed some chicken from the Bell.

8. Power Noodles (Fallout 4)
War never changes, and neither does the desire for a quality bowl of noodles. Nestled in the market area of Diamond City, this humble noodle stand is operated by Takahashi the Protectron, who vends freshly made noodles for 55 caps apiece. The shop is built around the city’s power generator, and the reactor’s glow offers a pleasant dining experience in the otherwise hostile Commonwealth wasteland.

7. Geletaria Bella (Hitman)
Even the most cold-hearted killer can’t resist a well-made cone of gelato. Found in Sapienza, the small shop sits along the city streets and draws a sizable crowd. With tropical flavors like mandarin on top of the traditional mainstays, would-be targets will live to die another day while you take in this slice of Italian culture.

6. Kashmir Restaurant (Bioshock series)
The epitome of luxury eating beneath the sea, the Kashmir is where all Rapture’s finest go to enjoy proper dining. With live music and extravagant parties, it provided the first glimpse of what Rapture could be for those of influence and status. Even after being ravaged during Rapture’s civil war, it still serves as one of the best places to scrounge up food and drink, whether you prefer waterlogged snack cakes or forgotten liquor. Be sure to avoid overstaying your welcome however; the city’s residents get temperamental with newcomers taking their reservations.

5. The Stray Sheep (Catherine)
Find yourself lost amid the trials and tribulations of life? Step away to grab a drink with some friends at the Stray Sheep. With a charismatic and well-spoken owner always willing to lend an ear, this bar is the perfect place to unwind and ponder life’s choices. Grab some food and drink, play the old-fashioned Rapunzel arcade game in the corner, or talk the night away with an enticing stranger. The choice is yours.

4. The Seven Cats Inn (The Witcher 3)
A hotbed of seedy characters, rumors, and fine drinks, the Seven Cats Inn is a crucial stop for those passing through Novigrad. Frequented by sellswords in search of work, the pub has no shortage of interesting patrons. Likewise, fans of cats will have fun trying to spot the eponymous seven felines. Should you ever find yourself in the area, be sure to put up your feet by the hearth, order a drink, and wait for the tug of your next adventure.

3. Milk Bar (The Legend of Zelda series)
Nothing takes the edge off a hard day of heroism like a tall, cool glass of milk. A recurring destination in the chosen one’s adventures through Hyrule, the Milk Bar offers a friendly space to drink a selection of imported specials like Chateau Romani. Sit back, unwind, and take in the fine bovine flavors; just be sure you don’t spend too long here and forget to finish saving the world.

2. Sushi Gin (Yakuza 0)
Authenticity is key to this restaurant’s success, with the chef going above and beyond to provide his customers true sushi cuisine. A family-run business, the owner comes from a prestigious line of skilled sushi chefs. Not only that, but he constantly seeks to improve his skills, enlisting the help of clients to bring him new and unusual ingredients. Fill your palette with everything from an ancient rock fish to a rare breed of lizard, all while relaxing in a cozy street-side location.

1. Mother of Pearl (Final Fantasy XV)
Located in the middle of the Galdin Quay resort and spa, this restaurant exemplifies a fine-dining experience. Offering top-of-the-line seafood with a stunning view of the surrounding ocean and rock formations, it’s easy to get lost in the beauty and extravagance of this port destination. At night, this is doubly so thanks to the glow of the pier lights which serve as a beacon in the darkness. The resort also provides massages, monster hunts, and fly fishing for after meal exercise, rounding out a perfect experience for the would-be adventurer.



Bethesda: “When It Comes To Nazis, You Can Put Us Down In The ‘Against’ Column”

by IslandSouljah684

Since its reveal at Bethesda’s 2017 E3 show, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus has attracted fair amount of attention and, even before it’s released, courted controversy. Despite being the latest iteration in 20 year-plus video game series about killing nazis, The New Colossus has received criticism for having a political left-wing bias, as noted by the responses to this Bethesda’s latest marketing push for the game, with the hashtag #NoMore Nazis.

Pete Hines, Vice President for Public Relations and Marketing at Bethesda, went on record with to spell out the publisher’s views on nazis (in case it wasn’t obvious). “Wolfenstein has been a decidedly anti-Nazi series since the first release more than 20 years ago, Hines says. “We aren’t going to shy away from what the game is about. We don’t feel it’s a reach for us to say Nazis are bad and un-American, and we’re not worried about being on the right side of history here.”

“In Wolfenstein’s case,” he goes on to say, “it’s pure coincidence that Nazis are marching in the streets of America this year. And it’s disturbing that the game can be considered a controversial political statement at all.”

You can read the full interview over at

For more on Wolfenstein, be sure to check out our rundown on the history of the series here.




Our Take
Depending on who you ask, The New Colossus has found itself either in one of easiest marketing campaigns in the history of video games or at the center of unfortunate controversy given the tragic events of Charlottesville and similar political rallies where men and women marched waving flags with swastikas. Either way, Hines is correct: the crux of Wolfenstein has always been about killing Nazis. For the game’s marketing not to lean into that, regardless of current events, is an absurd expectation.

Marvel Lego Super Heroes 2’s Season Pass Features Classic Characters

by IslandSouljah684

The latest Lego Marvel team up — Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 — doesn’t arrive to save the day until November 17, but a thread on NeoGAF revealed detail on the season pass.

The season pass will include six level packs — including Guardian of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Black Panther, Infinity War, Ant-man and the Wasp, Runaways, and Cloak and Dagger themed levels — and 4 character packs that will feature “Classic Guardians of the Galaxy,” Runaways, Agents of Atlas, Out of Time, and Champions characters. The thread also confirms that a number of other characters like Luke Cage, Ghost Rider, and everyone’s favorite hero Chipmunk Hunk will make their way into Lego Marvel Superheroes 2.


Source: NeoGAF

The Iron Banner Returns In Destiny 2

by IslandSouljah684

Make way for the Iron Banner! In a “This Week at Bungie” blog post on its website, Bungie announced that Lord Saladin and the Iron Banner arrive in Destiny 2 on October 10 2am PT. Players will be able to compete in a special Iron Banner playlist in the Crucible where they can earn Iron Banner tokens, complete daily and weekly milestones, and acquire some cool looking Iron Banner armor. The event lasts until October 17 2am PT.

Along with the Iron Banner’s return, Bungie also announced a higher difficulty Prestige Leviathan Raid and teased information about clan seasons at their upcoming TwitchCon panel on October 20.



Are These Real Agents Of Mayhem Jokes?

by IslandSouljah684

Agents of Mayhem is the latest game from Volition, the developer behind the Saint’s Row series, and much like its spiritual predecessor, it is chock full of awful, awful one-liners.

As a means of showing off some of these cringe-worthy sentences, we came up with a game to prompt the question from our contestants, “Is that really in the game?” To do this I gathered one-liners from the game, Leo Vader made up a handful of his own, and then we made Jeff Cork and Suriel Vazquez compete to see who could pick the real from the imposters.

For more on Agents of Mayhem, you can find my review right here.

For more manufactured competition in games that don’t actually have it, head here for our Tacoma Sports Challenge
Source: gameinformer

Funny To A Point – All I Want To Do Is Play Diablo III

by IslandSouljah684

Believe it or not, we at Game Informer struggle with the same problem that all gamers do: finding time to play games as much as we’d like to. Everyone thinks that being a games journalist means sitting around and playing games all day (at least that’s what every forced small-talk conversation about my job has led me to believe), but in reality we spend 90 percent of our time writing about games. I can say without a doubt that I played way more video games before I started working at G.I., just by virtue of not having a full-time job; turns out you can get a lot of screen time in when the only appointment in your daily planner is, “Save Hyrule in your underwear.”

Now when I get home from the office, life takes on the characteristics of a farming sim – i.e., trying to get as much done as humanly possible before the sun sets and I involuntarily pass out wherever I happen to be at that moment. Most of my evening activities involve boring chores like doing the laundry or mowing the lawn, but my video game to-do list is a bit more epic. As we speak, Morgan Yu is patiently sitting in some corner of her inkblot-alien-infested space station, waiting for me to hatch a daring escape plan. I’ve also got an intergalactic ranch full of slimes who are plorting themselves for their next meal. New heroes have entered the Overwatch arena, and a smattering of intriguing indie games are downloaded and primed to whisk me away on new adventures. And yet when I do get the chance to play video games, all I want to play is more Diablo.

This is only concept art, but an entirely accurate depiction of how cool Diablo III is nonetheless

I’m setting out with the goal of writing a shorter column this week, because the more time I spend writing about Diablo III, the less time I have to play it. That’s still not going to be easy, however, because I could wax poetic about this game for days on end. I wrote a loving ode to blowing sh– up in video games in one of last year’s Funnies To A Point*, but if there’s any modern game that deserves its own lavish praise, it’s Diablo III.

As a console gamer, I’ve had only a passing interest in the Diablo series over the years (“PC gamers have an endless dungeon crawler to be excited about? Hoo-ray for them…”), but all that changed when Joe dropped the last-gen port of Diablo III in my lap back in 2013 (sometimes we do get to play games at work all day). I was a bit wary of reviewing a game with such a long legacy on “the other” platform, not to mention the ear-popping depth of content Diablo offers. But Joe was looking for a newcomer’s perspective for the review, and I apparently looked like enough of a golly-gee country bumpkin to fit that bill (to be fair, we hadn’t hired Kyle yet).

I spent a few afternoons with Diablo III on PC to get acclimated to the game, as I knew the biggest question to address in the review was going to be whether Blizzard could pull off the transition to console and controller. The answer was evident before my female barbarian even equipped her first legendary bikini – not only was all the depth and complexity still intact, but having direct control over your character transformed the game from a glorified spreadsheet clicker to a real hack-and-slash action game. I wasted no time in calling the PS3/Xbox 360 version the best incarnation of the game, knowing full well the PC crowd would scoff at the claim. I stand by it (well, technically the PS4/Xbox One versions now, but whatevs) – and I also enjoyed watching the mental contortions PC players went through when Blizzard started implementing console decisions into the PC version (“Removing the real-money auction house totally breaks the economy! What? Blizzard is removing it from the PC version too, you say? We told you the auction house was a terrible idea!”).

Diablo III features some great CG clips that tell an entirely forgettable story

I didn’t continue playing Diablo III long after my initial review, but when I returned to it for the current-gen launches, I was amazed by how much had changed. Sure, the campaign still featured the same boilerplate, good-versus-evil story conveyed via conversations and audio diaries that you tap through as quickly as possible so you can get back to pulverizing endless hordes of enemies. But the new adventure mode and rifts provided compelling new avenues for hoarding precious loot (sadly, it took me another three or four story run-throughs before I realized you could jump straight into the new adventure mode – I still lament the time I wasted re-saving Diabloland** a half dozen times over).

Diablo III’s use of procedural generation also helps keep things fresh. Procedural generation gets a bad rap because other games have screwed it up, but thanks to its use in Diablo, randomized dungeons fork and sprawl out in unpredictable ways, loot drops with a tantalizingly infinite array of stats and effects, and enemies swarm in with different combinations of abilities (though they all still blow up the same, thankfully). Diablo III’s procedural generation provides just enough variation to keep the dungeon crawling from feeling repetitive, even though you are doing the same thing for hours on end. Each session feels new and old at the same time – kind of like Schrodinger’s Cat, only you’re left with a Smaug-like pile of treasure at the end of the night instead of a stupid undead cat in a box.

Diablo III’s steady stream of mindless-but-rewarding action is the perfect game to zone out to. Sometimes too perfect; all of my recent sessions have ended with me falling asleep while playing the game, only to wake up to an exploded character whose armor has been completely trashed. It’s an inglorious end for a hero, but from an emergent-story perspective I love the idea of a fearsome narcoleptic warrior who positively decimates his enemies, but is prone to falling asleep in the heat of battle from time to time.

Rest in peace, my barbaric beauty

That sense of amazement over how much Diablo III changes every time I revisit it has become a common, Memento-esque revelation over the years. My lengthiest hiatus just came to an end a few weeks ago, and the game I returned to has become utterly unintelligible. Getting back into the swing of a years-old build is hard enough as it is, without all the added layers of new crafting materials and transmogrifying mystics and that weird magic cube that changes all your gear if you can find it during the one random chapter in the game.

Jeff Cork is our resident Diablo III expert, and has done an admirable job catching me up to speed. Every morning we convene at the metaphorical watercooler*** so that I can report my daily progress and he can explain what the hell to do next – while hounding me to play co-op with him even though he goes to bed at 4:00 in the afternoon and I still stick to the vampiric gaming hours of my college years, even if I’m now unconscious for most of them.

Blizzard has added so much new stuff to the game that now I feel a little nostalgic when I recognize a familiar enemy. Oh look! It’s the weird goat-men! And the bloated corpses that spew eels when they die – my favorite type of exploding fatty in video games! Diablo III features so many twisted new monstrosities that my first night of playing again felt like I was jumping into H.R. Giger’s mind (minus all the phalluses). Every character build I’ve ever attempted has felt new and unique, but all delivered the same classic gameplay beats – the slow-and-steady incremental climb in gear and abilities; the otherworldly pleasure of chewing a path through a screen full of enemies like you’re slowly sinking into a hot tub; the mad rush when you spot a treasure goblin and forsake whatever is actually attacking you in order to pound that walking lootbag as hard and fast as possible. The only thing I don’t like about Diablo III is my inability to acquire a freaking pet, which Cork says are easy to find while doing bounties, though I suspect that might just be another ploy to get me to play with him.

With a name like “Bellybloat The Scarred,” exploding in a pile of eels is really your only job prospect

The impetus behind my latest return to Diablo was the recent launch of Seasons on consoles, and the new mode provides exactly what the game needed – another new excuse to keep playing! Each season you create new characters from scratch and speed-level them for exclusive treasure sets. I started this season with the newly released necromancer (best job title ever), and found myself once again delighted at all the new, game-breaking abilities at my disposal. Barbarians and demon hunters are cool and all, but they’re missing one key attribute: the ability to summon an undead army to fight for you until their corpses slump to the ground and then you explode their corpses which kills more enemies and then you explode their corpses too until you have an ever-powerful corpse-explosion-chain that tears through the entire dungeon leaving the halls glittering with sweet loot. Granted that’s a very specific attribute that seems unfairly catered to the necromancer, but who said Diabloland**** was fair?

Controlling your own massive skeleton army ain’t bad either

The truth is every character class in Diablo III has their own amazing abilities and combinations that make you feel infinitely powerful, despite the fact that you’re also somehow constantly improving. You can’t overstate how many great design decisions Blizzard has made – most of them post-launch, no less. When I first logged in last week, the opening scroll of the “What’s New” patch notes was as long as the average game’s EULA agreement – only I actually felt compelled to read it! Entire systems have been revamped, arbitrary limits have been expanded or done away with entirely, and a staggering amount of new content has been added. The option to select any combination of abilities (you were originally restricted by categories) remains the biggest game changer, and blows the doors wide open for creating unstoppable demigods. In fact, Blizzard’s best design decision has been not caring when they break the game – everything has become so extremely overpowered that you’re decimating crowds of enemies before your character’s level even reaches the double digits. Instead of trying to rein in the experience and keep everything balanced, Blizzard has just added a dozen or so different “Torment” difficulty levels, which in turn dole out more loot! Everybody wins from this fun-first approach – well, except the millions of doomed minions you’ll be effortlessly pounding into the ground.

When in doubt, add more Torments!

Ultimately, the biggest foe in Diablo III is the addiction it fosters. There’s always more rifts to run, more bosses to slay, more legendary armor sets and weapons to collect, and more pets to never find (seriously, where the hell are they?). I’m not convinced it’s a completely unintended irony on Blizzard’s part that in a game whose core narrative boils down to “Good versus Evil,” you transform into a walking tank of destruction that mindlessly slaughters every moving creature you happen upon in the pursuit of an endless pile of treasure. Who is the real diablo in that scenario? I’m sure there’s a thought-provoking opinion piece to be written on what Diablo says about capitalism – but I’m too damn busy enjoying the game to write it myself.

As a games journalist, I always try to remain objective when it comes to games and developers. But as a gamer, it’s hard not to love Blizzard – the studio has spent years expanding and improving upon Diablo III (admittedly in part because they screwed the pooch so bad at launch), and besides the two new character classes, all the additional content has been free. Diablo III was one of my favorite games last generation, and it’s one of my favorite games this generation as well – and probably still will be when we’re all frying our brains on Microsony’s Neuro-Play Network. Blizzard has gone above and beyond to make Diablo III a game that you can sink hundreds of hours into. The only thing missing are the actual hours to play it.*****

So much loot, so little time

Source: gameinformer

Everything But The ‘Boom’ – All About Call Of Duty: WWII’s Grenade Sounds

by IslandSouljah684

War creates a glorious cacophony in the Call of Duty games. While the chest-thudding sounds of artillery, pinging ricochets of small arms, and desperate barks from your comrades help contribute to an intense sense of urgency, I’ll argue that one sound rises above all others as the ultimate call to action: an incoming hand grenade skittering on the ground, rolling toward your position. You only have seconds to react – either by grabbing it and issuing a battlefield return-to-sender, or moving away from its inevitable blast. It’s a critically important sound. During our trip to Sledgehammer’s offices for our Call of Duty: World War II cover story, I tracked down the person responsible for it. It may not be as explosive as other aspects of the game, but I’m hoping you walk away with a little more appreciation for one of the series’ unsung MVPs.

For a long time, incoming grenades were signaled with a strange-but-effective audio cue that Sledgehammer’s audio director, Dave Swenson, calls the “tink tink tink.” It didn’t really sound like an object bouncing around in the world, but play enough, and your brain would quickly associate it with “DANGER!” Swenson says that particular sound had been around since the beginning of the series. Swenson and his team had been pushing for higher-quality sounds since co-developing Modern Warfare 3 with Infinity Ward, and that work included reexamining legacy effects. “We were like, ‘Nope. That’s gotta go.’

“When you work on a franchise like this, there’s something you can easily do, which is, ‘Hey we have a lot of cool recordings, let’s just use those again.’” Technology and audio philosophies change over time, however, and Swenson says that he wanted the audio to be more dynamic with Call of Duty: World War II. It’s a similar approach that the team took with Advanced Warfare, but the dramatic change in setting meant they’d have to begin fresh with this new project. “It’s a fun problem to have, because we get to go out and make all new recordings, which I really enjoy.”

Swenson and his team are recording everything from scratch for their latest game. They’re doing their best to avoid traditional Foley recording in favor of getting audio on location, too. While stomping around in trays of gravel in a studio may be convenient, Swenson says that the resulting audio doesn’t sound as natural. And that leads us to Call of Duty: World War II’s grenades.

If you guessed that they got the sounds by throwing grenades and recording the sounds they make, well, you’re not far off. “We threw those grenades a million times, Swenson says. “They were all just beat up and destroyed by the end of it.” Obviously, recording live grenades to the point where they’re beat up is a horribly dangerous thing to do – even for a team that volunteered to get hit with actual flash-bang grenades during the development of Advanced Warfare. Instead, they used meticulously accurate replicas.

“For this game, primarily you have the American grenades and the German grenades, which are entirely different in their makeup,” Swenson says. The American grenades they’re using in the game are the pineapple-style ones, which are probably what most of us think about when someone says the word “grenade.” The German counterparts are often called “potato mashers” thanks to their design, in which the explosive payload is attached to the end of a wooden stick.

Swenson showed me one of the German grenades in his small studio space. “These are exact replicas, they’re built exactly like the German grenades. This of course would be filled with the explosive, so what we did is took car Bondo and packed it in there to give it the right weight.” The mechanism to activate these grenades is functionally similar to pulling a pin in an American grenade, but it’s definitely different: Soldiers would first unscrew a threaded cap at the end of the stick opposite the explosive. Once that’s off, a string with a marble at the end of it could be fished out. “That was the fuse, and they would pull that and that would start the fuse, and then they would toss it,” Swenson says. “So you would get this wood post with the explosive on the end with this little pigtail marble flying through the air, and it would hit the ground.”

As you can imagine, that string with the marble at the end makes a different sound than an American grenade. “The sound that you might be used to, it’ll be different because they were different. On the American side, the grenades are a little bit more of what we were used to recording.”

Swenson says they have to record the sounds of grenades – both German and American – bouncing off several main surfaces: metal, wood, asphalt, dirt, gravel, grass, water, and carpet. Fortunately for him, there was a great location right by his house that allowed him to record several of those particular sounds while also getting in a little family bonding.

“I hadn’t seen my kids for a while so I took my boys with me and we went out just behind my house, and I wired them up with mics.” He shows me footage from the session, which he recorded on his phone. One of his young sons is holding a boom mic, and he tracks a grenade that his dad tosses from off camera like a pro. “We had this cool spot where we had this wood decking, grass, and then you’ll see over here, a thing of gravel and an asphalt road. All within 10 feet.”

Getting the right metal sound proved to be more of a challenge. Swenson thought he had it when he found a piece of metal over a culvert by his house, but it didn’t sound right for some reason. “I was walking back to my place and there was a manhole cover there,” he says. “It was like this really dense metal, and I tried it, and it was like, ‘Ah, that’s the sound we want!’ We had to have really good aim to get the grenade to land right on this manhole cover, but out of all the places we tried, that’s the metal hit I wanted. It’s just a matter of finding the right moments.”

Once the recording is finished, Swenson and his team clean up the recordings and make minor tweaks to ensure that they communicate the all-important “Grenade!” cue to players. “What we’re looking for is for the player is to go, ‘Oh, that’s the thing!’

“The grenades, we accentuate the bit of rattle, and it’s probably a bit more than they would actually have. We do that because we’re trying to make an identifiable sound that’s super unique, and you won’t hear it anywhere else in the game – except for that moment where you need to hear it. We want to cause that ‘Ungh!’ feeling for the player. When a grenade hits, we’ll duck the mix back and make sure it pops out of the mix so you hear that asset, because it’s important communication to the player.”

Look, I get it. Grenade-rolling sounds are not sexy. Even Swenson acted genuinely confused when I had to clarify that I wasn’t interested in talking about the grenades exploding, but the part before. With any luck, you’ll give that sound a little more thought the next time you hear a grenade bounce into your bunker. After it’s safe, of course.


We’ll have more exclusive reveals, videos, and information on Call of Duty: WWII throughout the month, so be sure to check out the coverage hub.


Source: gameinformer

Ubisoft Is Buying Back Four Million Of Its Own Shares In Takeover Defense

by IslandSouljah684

Ubisoft announced a share buyback program today that lets them buy their own shares in an attempt to defend against a hostile takeover by Vivendi.

The process is a little complicated, but essentially Ubisoft has told an investment services provider to purchase four million shares on Ubisoft’s behalf. The actual buyback can happen any time between now and the end of the year, but there is little any other entity can do to stop it. The Guillemot family that owns and operates Ubisoft has been fretting Vivendi’s creeping influence publicly for several years.

As of September, Vivendi had 25% voting rights in Ubisoft after successfully taking over Gameloft, another company owned by the Guillemot family. By French law, a company that reaches 30% voting rights must tender a public offer, so Vivendi was on the precipice of making a move to taking over Ubisoft.

After this buyback, the Guillemot family has made it more difficult for Vivendi take over Ubisoft. If Vivendi did reach 30% but were unable to complete a purchase, they would be forced down to below that threshold, buying the Guillemot family quite a bit more time. The buyback program being instituted now is likely thanks to major successes like Ghost Recon: Wildlands and For Honor, both of which have sold incredibly well this year.

It remains to be seen what Vivendi’s response is going to be, but it likely delays their plans for taking over Ubisoft before 2019.


Source: gameinformer

by IslandSouljah684

Mech Souls, and then some.


Billing itself as a “Hardcore Action RPG,” developer Deck 13 assimilates the difficult and labyrinthine style of games like Bloodborne and Dark Souls, and adds its own unique flavor to deliver a challenging and fun – though a bit disjointed – sci-fi survival adventure.

You’ll spend the lengthy campaign in an exo-suit exploring a series of locations that check all the trademark boxes of a near-future industrial zone. Some of these environments clearly adhere to the Big Industrial Facility Rulebook, in that all maintenance shafts must look alike, but the majority of each area has its own unique style and a creative layout for its circuitous pathways. The vibrant color palette provides an interesting contrast to the horror of the events taking place within, and despite a few late-game jitters both the areas and action looks great on PC and really good on PS4 or Xbox One.

The main story is a fairly predictable excuse for clomping from spot to spot. There are some cool moments early on that lay the groundwork some potentially interesting character development, but those are quickly forgotten as it wades through several classic science-fiction tropes. I was able to follow along in broad strokes: “This thing is gonna happen and it’s BAD,” “Here’s a solution to the bad thing, let’s go get it” – but specific details are hazy, especially towards the end. It’s not that I wasn’t paying attention, but a lot of it was either glossed over completely or presented as background noise. A character may be giving a pointed speech about the hubris of mankind, but I’m too busy trying to avoid being clubbed to death by cyborgs to let it fully sink in. It also doesn’t help that what truly interesting moments there are take upwards of 10 to 15 hours of exploration and grinding to reach – though the story does become significantly more intriguing (and convoluted) in the second half.

Details like this really help flesh out the world.

But, as excuses for lumbering around in an exo-suit go, it accomplishes what it sets out to by giving you a decent amount to do. In addition to a few side tasks for NPCs in each area, The Surge does a really good job of letting you discover information in the world around you. There are a bunch of detailed and well-acted audiologs and some great environmental storytelling as well. Anti-suicide warnings are posted on bridges in production areas while screens blast chipper PR nonsense about the “corporate family” nearby, or you’ll find a pair of bodies huddled close together in the back of a maintenance tunnel. Small design details like this really help flesh out the world, which makes it kind of strange that things get so confusing in the main story.

The Surge’s gameplay follows the now-familiar formula of letting you collect as much XP and scrap as you dare while battling various robots, zombified coworkers, and bosses before you cash it in and level up, but if you get killed you’ll lose whatever resources you had on you. Returning from Deck 13’s last game, Lords of the Fallen, are a multiplier mechanic that increases your earnings with each kill and resets if you deposit your scrap or die, and a post-resurrection countdown timer that eliminates your earnings if you take too long to retrieve them. They’re interesting inclusions that dramatically raise the stakes, heightening both the exhilaration of success and the maddening frustration of failing to recover large amounts of XP.

Where The Surge really excels, however, is in its combat encounters. The fights might not be the most brutally challenging I’ve ever played, but cutting through a group of enemies is still satisfying. Enemies aren’t particularly smart, which is fine for zombies and drones, but the lack of any self-preservation instinct feels especially out of place when tackling late-game human foes. Still, they all still require a deft hand to counter, dodge, and to generally avoid being murdered by. It’s a solid balance of strategic offense and defense and borderline-arcadey hack & slash action that, while campaign’s story lost the ability to motivate me five or 10 hours before I finished it, I found the combat itself enjoyable right up through the end.

Where The Surge really excels is in its combat encounters.

The most interesting part is the dismemberment system, which not only finishes off opponents in grisly cinematic fashion but also lets you harvest new gear for your exo-suit. Picking which body parts to attack in order to harvest new items adds a cool tactical dimension to fights: what parts do I need to build this item? Is it worth risking the huge pile of scrap I’m carrying to get them? The novelty of each animation may have worn off after a while, but seeing the cue for an execution pop up was consistently satisfying and, on occasion, provided a few much-needed seconds of respite during a stressful fight against multiple opponents.

When you do manage to hack off enough arms or bisect enough torsos to build yourself some shiny new gear, expect to spend a fair amount of time agonizing over which of your recycled outfits to don. Each piece of armor grants buffs against various types of damage (as well as boosting other stats), and since you take these pieces directly from your enemies, you’re able to analyze their strengths and weaknesses accordingly. Can’t get past that armored guy with the big hammer? Well, it looks like the helmet I tore off his buddy is weak against elemental damage, so why not light him on fire or knock him into that toxic waste over there? It’s a simple system, but it does a good job of encouraging you to constantly experiment with the different items in your inventory, especially when coupled with the multitude of bonus-granting implants I could install as I leveled up.

The weapon designs are similarly interesting, from a set of dual-wielded forklift arms repurposed as makeshift blades to a massive two-handed hydraulic press-turned-warhammer, but I didn’t see much use in switching between them. I found one that worked for me and my character build early on and upgraded it often, so it was always the most powerful thing in my inventory. Aside from a few finds at the very end, everything else was obsolete before I even picked it up. It was a shame, because while I’d definitely experiment with different weapons in New Game + – which so far seems to be an increase in enemy damage output with a few new beasties peppered in – but in my first playthrough it felt like using anything else was giving myself an unnecessary handicap.


The Surge makes good use of its detailed sci-fi setting and provides an engaging experience throughout the 30 to 40-hour campaign, mostly thanks to its widely customizable inventory and wickedly fun combat system. It may struggle to keep the action moving and tell a strong story amid the chaos of battle, and its weapon progression plateaued early, but it offers some interesting ideas and delivers a solid new take on a familiar genre.



The Surge

by IslandSouljah684

The Surge is a science fictionaction role-playing video game developed by Deck13 Interactive and published by Focus Home Interactive for Microsoft WindowsPlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It is considered a spiritual successor to Deck13 Interactive’s earlier action role-playing game Lords of the Fallen, with which it shares many gameplay features. Deck13 Interactive described the game as inspired by Rise of the Robots[2] and the Souls series.[3]

The Surge
The Surge box-art.jpeg
Developer(s) Deck13 Interactive
Publisher(s) Focus Home Interactive
Director(s) Jan Klose[1]
  • Johannes Bickle
  • Max Kübler
  • Attila Grőb
  • Richard Masa
Writer(s) Simon H. Mackenzie
Composer(s) Markus Schmidt
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
  • WW: 16 May 2017
Genre(s) Action role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player


The Surge is designed in the challenging role-playing game style of the Souls series of games. The gameplay involves players using an exoskeleton to battle enemies. The exoskeleton can be customized through the game using “modular upgrades”, according to the developer. The combat allows players to target different body parts of enemies, as well as utilize finishing moves often ending in dismemberment in bullet time fashion.


The game takes place in a dystopian future where mankind has exhausted the world’s resources, leading to strained social service and environmental diseases. According to the developers, the game paints a grim portrait of the future where the evolution of technology in relation to society and the environment has led to a decadent era for humanity.


Development of The Surge began in August 2015. The first concept art and pre-alpha gameplay footage was publicly shown in March 2016, in advance to German site PC Games Hardware. The game is powered by the FLEDGE engine, developed from scratch by Deck13 Interactive for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and features integration of Nvidia GameWorks.


Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic (PC) 72/100[4]
(PS4) 73/100[5]
(XONE) 74/100[6]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 6.5/10[7]
EGM 6.5/10[8]
Game Informer 7/10[9]
GameSpot 7/10[10]
IGN 7.9/10[11]
PC Gamer (US) 60/100[12]
Polygon 8/10[13]

The Surge received “mixed or average” reviews, according to review aggregatorMetacritic.[4][5][6]



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