Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Resident Evil Revelations is set to get its official sequel in 2015. Yesterday, Capcom released the first episode's opening cinematic, offering a look into the game's story prior to its release.

The game's opening minutes reveal a new organization called Terra Save, dedicated to protecting citizens against bio terror. It also introduces us to Claire Redfield and Moira Burton at a cocktail party, just before the power goes out and a mysterious group of mercenaries swoops in, opening fire on anything that moves. The opening ends with Claire abducted by the unknown merc group.

The episodic Resident Evil Revelations 2 is set to hit PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC on February 17.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

As promised, Theatrhythm Dragon Quest has received a formal reveal and its first official trailer. What it does not have at the moment, however, is confirmation for a North American release.

The trailer below shows many of the same Theatrhythm principles that made the Theatrhythm Final Fantasy series such a pleasure for fans. The rhythm-based gameplay is intact, sprinkled in with gameplay from various Dragon Quest games.

However, while a March 26 release date was given for Japan, there is still no sign that it will hit North American shores. Given the Dragon Quest fanbase, though, an announcement is expected in the coming months.

In the meantime, enjoy the trailer and the music below.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Final Fantasy XV isn't the only new Final Fantasy game on the horizon. Square Enix also has the PSP remaster Final Fantasy Type-0 HD set to hit North American shores in 2015 and today saw the release of a new trailer.

The latest trailer shows a chunk of the game's combat, as well as the monstrous and mechanical opposition that will be in place. The plot is also illustrated in the trailer, albeit with Japanese dialogue and English subtitles. Siliconera also notes that a PlayStation 4 bundle is set to hit Japan alongside the game. A North American release for this has yet to be confirmed, but given the massive FF fanbase in Japan, this may be exclusive only to them.

The new Final Fantasy Type-0 HD trailer can be seen in its entirety below. The game is set to arrive on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on March 17.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

There's still little information on what Final Fantasy XV's story is. Four friends will sure drive around in a car, that much is known. Today, Square Enix is shedding a little more light on the game's story and how the combat will look.

The new Final Fantasy will look to retain many of the combat elements of the previous games in the series, but the narrative will offer an interesting blend of modern world political upheaval with a decidedly fantasy aesthetic. It's a world that will bring together magic and monsters, while also introducing modern architecture, military militias, and sleek convertibles. If nothing else, the visual is intriguing. Even if it doesn't necessarily fall in line with Steve's view on what it was all leading to, it does accomplish one feat. It certainly does inspire awe.

You can catch a glimpse at the story in the trailer below.

If you want a refresher on the original Tokyo Game Show trailer, you can also watch that below with 100% more English dialogue.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Christmas vacations have started for many people, so that means it's time to start diving into full-blown gaming marathons. In the case of our Shacknews Chatty community, it's time to get back into weekly Shackbattles. In this week's case, we

Warning: Some clips may contain NSFW language.


Chivalry: Medieval Warfare

It's back to Chivalry: Medieval Warfare for the weekly Shackbattle. And why not? Sometimes you have to mix up your guns and helicopters with sharp swords and pointy objects. So watch our Chatty community dismember one another while delivering well-timed quips and ramblings. And watch it through the eyes of Hemtroll, who is getting into the Christmas spirit with some of the game's new Christmas-themed outfits. Why yes, that is a candy cane shield, why do you ask?

Watch live video from Hemtroll on Twitch


Euro Truck Simulator 2

The Shacknews convoy is picking up its wheels and heading to its next destination with Hemtroll at the wheel. Watch as our Chatty truckers drive the snow-filled roads and make the trek to Glasgow. The weather outside is frightful and collisions are on, so don't expect this to be a completely smooth drive.

Catch the full ride here.


Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

Those that have been following this feature know that dael started his playthrough of the first Uncharted game a few weeks ago. Today, he continues his expedition, exploring dilapidated structures, while also racking up his body count.

The next part of his playthrough can be found here.


For more highlights and live streams, check out the full list of Shacknews Twitch channels.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Let's face it. The Halo: The Master Chief Collection launch could have gone a lot better. It was plagued by various online issues that threaten to put a bit of a damper on the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta that's set to run through January 18. Now that most of the online issues are being resolved, 343 Industries is talking compensation, as well as some additional content to go along with the four numbered Halo campaigns and their multiplayers.

According to Halo Waypoint, those that have played (or at least attempted to play) Halo: The Master Cheif Collection online since its launch will receive one month of Xbox Live Gold, an exclusive in-game nameplate, and an exclusive in-game avatar. Furthermore, these players will receive the Halo 3: ODST campaign at no extra charge, expanding the playable collection beyond Master Chief's story, as soon as 343 finishes remastering it for the compilation. A future update will also add the "Relic" map for Halo 2: Anniversary at no extra charge.

Only those that played Halo: TMCC between launch and December 19 are eligible for these compensation bonuses, meaning anyone that picks up the game for the first time after reading this are out of luck. 343 does plan to reveal pricing details for the Halo 3: ODST campaign at a later date. The studio also notes that this will be the campaign only and will not include the Firefight game mode.

While players continue to wait for these bonuses, 343 will offer an update next week that further fixes multiplayer issues, while also adding the Halo 4 co-op 'Spartan Ops' missions.

Shacknews - Shacknews Promotions

Developed exclusively for the Nvidia Shield Tablet, Half-Life 2: Episode One puts players back into Gordon Freeman's hazard suit as he rejoins his companion, Alyx Vance, and her pet robot, Dog, in a resistance against an occupying alien force called The Combine. Taking place immediately after the events of Half-Life, Gordon and his friends must face the consequences of what they've done.

Originally released for the PC in 2006, Half-Life 2: Episode One was to be the first in a planned trilogy, and it remains one of the most respected series in PC gaming. The port to the Nvidia Shield Tablet maintains a high level of graphic fidelity, advanced physics handling (as demonstrated when using the gravity gun), and fast-paced gameplay. Players have to move around quickly when fighting Combine forces, and solve environmental puzzles by picking up large objects and hurling them using the gravity gun. However, being such an advanced game, and to fully preserve the feel of Half-Life, you'll need an Nvidia Shield Controller to play.

The world of Half-Life is full of dangers, like alien creatures and machines, which is why you have a protective hazard suit on you at all times. It will protect you from damage until all its power is depleted. There are intermittent charging stations throughout the game, but it'll be up to you to avoid damage whenever possible. In the meantime, you're free to employ various weapons to fight against the Combine and other dangers that surround you. You can even use a supercharged gravity gun to snatch enemies up off the ground and throw them at their comrades. This open ended approach toward an action game is what helped earn Half-Life its reputation as a high-technology game.

Additionally, the game includes some excellent characters, that are expertly voiced, and brought to life with expressive facial animations. Even the giant robotic pet, Dog, is fantastically animated and easy to bond with. Beyond that, Dr. Gordon Freeman is an almost inspirational main character, despite how he never utters a single word. He is a scientist in a fancy suit that only offers a limited amount of protection, not a soldier or superhero. Players have to survive using their smarts to solve environmental puzzles, and pick up weapons as they move along.

All that can now be played on a small tablet, without compromising performance or visuals, thanks to the power of Tegra graphics technology. So, you can take the fight against the Combine anywhere you want to go, or hook the Shield Tablet up to an HDTV using an HDMI cable (purchased separately) for a big screen gaming experience. Either way, you'll have a chance to take on the alien menace and teach them that humanity isn't to be messed with.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

You'd almost expect for other online retailers to lay down while Steam is unleashing its juggernaut of a Winter Sale. You'd be wrong.

Steam may have its mammoth sale happening right now, but Amazon, GameStop, Green Man Gaming, and the Humble Store are not going to sit idly by and allow Valve to take the lion's share of sales without a fight. Find everything from just about every winter sale below.

Here's our selection of this weekend's PC deals:

Amazon

Bundle Stars

Pay $4.99 for S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl, Demonicon: The Dark Eye, Pixel Piracy, Year Walk, Alone in the Dark, Albedo: Eyes from Outer Space, Kraven Manor, FATE: The Cursed King, Loren The Amazon Princess, and Real Boxing.

Or pay $3.99 for Woodcutter Simulator 2013 Gold Edition, Agricultural Simulator: Historical Farming, Professional Farmer 2014 (w/2 DLC packs), Agricultural Simulator 2013, Skyscraper Simulator, Airport Simulator 2014, Towtruck Simulator 2015, Mining & Tunneling Simulator, and Warehouse and Logistics Simulator (w/Hell's Warehouse DLC). These activate on Steam.

Or pay $7.99 for the full F.E.A.R. collection with DLC packs. These activate on Steam.

Direct2Drive (formerly GameFly Digital)

GamersGate

GameStop

Get Games

GOG.com

  • The Book of Unwritten Tales - $2.99 (85% off)
  • Painkiller Black Edition - $1.99 (80% off)
  • Other games in GOG's Nordic In-N-Out sale, including Spellforce games and Red Faction games, can be found here.

Green Man Gaming

Enter the code WINTER-SALE20-GROGRE to get 20% off your purchase. Restrictions apply.

  • Green Man Gaming is kicking off its 12 Days of Festive Deals sale, with a new batch of games available each day. Check out today's deal here.
  • Green Man Gaming is also kicking off its 12 Days of Festive Indie Deals sale, with a new indie game available each day. Check out today's title here.

Humble Bundle

Pay what you want for Skara - The Blade Remains [Steam Early Access], Alpha Kimori Episode One, and Avadon 2: The Corruption. Pay more than the average $5.34 to get Consortium, Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom, and Deep Dungeons of Doom. Pay $10 or more to also get Halfway. Select soundtracks included. All games work on Steam and Steam keys are available with a $1 minimum.

Steam

As well as regular discounts, Steam has a couple of additional weekend deals.

Shacknews - Steven Wong

With Waterborne, the first major expansion for Tropico 5, the cast happens on a startling realization: island nations are surrounded by water! Waterborne frees players from the real estate limitations of staying on land by offering a set of unique structures designed to float on top of the beautiful blue ocean. These include floating apartments, restaurants, and even your own personal nuclear submarine... because what self-respecting dictator is complete without one?

Although the Tropico 5 expansion features two very large islands, it's still very worthwhile to spread out onto the water, mainly because there aren't any major obstacles like hills and boulders to get in the way of construction. There are nine buildings in total, and they all specialize in various tasks that could render older structures obsolete. For example, there's no reason to build a Wharf when a new Fishing Trawler pulls in plenty of food from a fishing deposit, without depleting it or causing too much pollution. Structures like the Smuggler's Dock and Oyster Farm are great for gaining additional revenue, while the Tidal Plant is a little more iffy, since it only provides a moderate amount of power and loses effectiveness if you construct more than one.

I was a little disappointed that many of the other structures like the Bathysphere, Glass Bottom Restaurant, and Floating Apartments are primarily designed to cater to rich Tropicans and tourists. I would have liked the option to have my oceanic restaurants appeal to everyday citizens. My greater disappointment is in how the expansion doesn't introduce any water-based resources. It simply makes further use of the ones that are already there. It would be interesting if you could start an underwater mining expedition or something.

Still, the new structures look great, and they provide a significant enough economic boost to make a difference in gameplay. This is especially true of the Smuggler's Dock, which brings in additional resources from established trade routes. It works well to supply industry and power plants, which are always burning up resources.

The Waterborne campaign tells an amusing story of chasing after a mythical black pearl, then almost ending the world in getting it. It's an amusing way to pass the time, although it has a tendency to meander a lot. Some of the missions are seriously difficult, like one where you have to pollute as much as possible so that you can properly contribute to global warming. In the meantime, your citizens are revolting against your anti-environmental policies. A different mission has you surviving against an enemy that periodically bombs and invades you, and that one feels like it goes on forever with no clear objective. The bombings often destroy buildings and cause fires, but the Disaster Relief Fund edict doesn't appear to do much to protect against it.

Although I wouldn't necessarily characterize Waterborne as a must-have expansion, it certainly has strong merits. The Smuggler's Docks and Fishing Trawlers alone make the expansion worthwhile. Plus, all that water is just wasted space without it, and a good leaders know how to exploit everything around them.

Shacknews - Steven Wong

Before stepping into Until Dawn, I'm treated to a quick quiz that asks me what I'm afraid of the most. Three multiple choice questions ask whether I'm more scared of needles or suffocation, blood and gore or creepy crawlies, and the dark or crowds. Sensing a trap, I picked suffocation, creepy crawlies, and crowds. Then starts the game demo, featuring a young blond girl named Samantha (voiced by Hayden Panettiere) taking a bath.

In Until Dawn, eight friends vacationing at a remote mountain cabin end up being trapped in a slasher horror film setting. There are multiple paths for the story to take. All eight friends could survive, or none of them, or any combination in between. In the demo, Sam's clothes are stolen while she's not looking, which forces her to walk around in nothing but a bath towel. She thinks it's some sort of prank at first, but things quickly escalate in the traditional horror movie fashion. Soon, she ends up in the lodge's basement, is shown a film of her friend being sawed in half, then one of her taking a bath moments ago, before behind greeted by a killer in a demented clown mask. From there, it's a chase through the lodge's basement areas.

The conceit is that the game has the same self awareness as movies like Scream or A Cabin in the Woods. Players know the horror movie rules, and the game knows that they know. Characters in Until Dawn are supposed to know how absurd their life threatening situation is too, but that aspect isn't demonstrated in this demo. Instead, I was treated to a sort of survival training course. Do I have the knowledge it takes to survive a horror movie like Saw or I Know What You Did Last Summer, with no weapons and dressed only in a towel?

This early demo is comprised almost entirely of quicktime events. At different times, players are given a short timer and must choose between two different actions, like running or hiding. I started by throwing a pitcher at the killer clown before making a run for it. Whenever I was presented with the option to hide, I always chose to do so (lest I try to run and trip on a tree branch, twisting my ankle). Until Dawn also relies heavily on the Dualshock 4's motion sensing controls. Shifting focus from one decision to another means tilting or turning the controller in the direction of the decision. For example, one of your first decisions is to either hide under a bed or leap over it, and tilting the controller up or down chooses between the two. It seems like the thumbsticks might work too, but I decided to stick with motion controls for the full experience.

Motion controls work fairly well for the most part, even if they do seem a little gimmicky. The one part I thought they worked best was when I had to quickly shift the controller to the right to slide some locks into place. Parts that didn't work so well for me were when I was hiding, and I had to keep the controller completely still to keep from being discovered. Although, from my perspective, I was keeping it as still as possible, I always ended up failing these sections. However, I could never tell if it was because I the controller detected some sort of movement that I wasn't aware of, or if the event just time out and the killer clown discovered me no matter what. So, the control sensitivity and feedback could use some adjustment, at least so that I don't have to leave the controller sitting on a table every time I need to hide. I might have survived the encounter if it weren't for the motion sensing mechanic. Instead, the clown threw a gas mask over my face as I was hiding in an elevator shaft.

I had the opportunity to run through the demo twice, so I made some different choices during the quiz, and did some more exploring the second time around. I tried out every door to look for a way out, or at least a change of clothes, and they were all locked. However, I did discover a few objects that clued me in to what's going on and who might be chasing me, including an answering machine message about a convict that was recently released from prison.

Changing the quiz decision impacts how things play out. I chose needles as my biggest fear the second time around, and this time, he chased me with a syringe instead of a gas mask, which is what he carried when I chose suffocation. I didn't make it far enough into the demo to see what the other two choices impacted.

As a person who grew up watching horror movies, I wouldn't necessarily say Until Dawn was scary to me, but the homage to movies was pretty clear. Judging from the demo, it doesn't necessarily have to be scary all the time. I found myself enjoying the quiet parts, where I walked around the lodge and looked around, just as much as the frantic decision making. Samantha's scenario is one aspect of the story, and I was told by a developer that each character will emphasize different styles. One character will have a heavier focus on exploration and figuring out what's going, while others (like Sam) are just trying to survive the next few minutes.

Altogether, I was quite impressed with the demo. The motion controls didn't completely click with me, but there is some great potential there, and it did add some fun interaction in some parts. The key thing for me was seeing if I could outsmart a slasher movie, the way characters in the Scream movies tried to, which is the kind of game that I could really get into.

Until Dawn is expected to release for the PlayStation 4 in 2015.

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