Watch the Telltale’s Game of Thrones Episode 4 Launch Trailer


Telltale have announced that episode four of Game of Thrones: A Telltale Series will be released next week on the 26 May. Along with the announcement came a new trailer, shown below.

Episode Four: Sons of Winter will launch on May 26 for PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. The Xbox versions will be available May 27, and iOS and Android on May 28.

Star Wars Joining Disney Infinity 3.0


Disney Interactive have announced that Star Wars will join the Disney Infinity series bringing all your favourite characters into a sci-fi world. Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition will feature three play sets; Twilight of the Republic set during episodes I-III, Rise Against the Empire based on the original trilogy and one influenced by Star Wars: The Force Awakens which will be available at the end of the year.

Each of the Star Wars Play Sets offers distinct experiences with varied gameplay, environments and characters. The Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic Play Set takes place in the height of the Jedi’s powers where players will use the Force and Lightsabers in epic battles and master their combat skills alongside Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Darth Maul. The Star Wars: Rise Against the Empire Play Set will take players on galaxy spanning missions with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Chewbacca and Darth Vader, piloting X-wing fighters or the Millennium Falcon to fight stormtroopers, or exploring and partaking in land based missions on planets like Tatooine, Hoth, and Endor. Additionally fans will have the unique opportunity to play with all of the Star Wars characters in all of the Star Wars Play Sets.

Disney Infinity 3.0 will also include a Play Set based on Inside Out, a new Disney Pixar film, and there will be a new Marvel Play Set featuring characters from the latest Marvel film. More figures of fan favorite characters from across The Walt Disney Company, like Mickey and Minnie, Sam Flynn and Quorra from Tron: Legacy, Mulan and Olaf, among many others will be coming to Disney Infinity 3.0.

Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition will also introduce an all new 3D Toy Box Hub that will make it easier for players to choose from a wider selection of gameplay experiences including platform, racing, and farming simulation games. Two new multiplayer Toy Box Expansion Games will bring action-adventure gameplay in Toy Box Takeover and kart racing in Toy Box Speedway, where kids and families can play with popular Disney, Disney Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars characters together in a structured setting.

All figures and Power Discs from the 1.0 and 2.0 editions of Disney Infinity will be compatible with Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition in the enhanced Toy Box and for the first time Power Discs will be sold in labeled franchise specific packs of four. The Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition Starter Pack will be available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC this fall at a suggested retail price of US$64.99. Many of you probably have a ton of questions and there will be a Q&A session during a livestream on Disney’s Twitch channel this Friday at 11 AM PT with VP, Production John Vignocchi and Community Manager Allison Petrek.

OXCGN’s Ori and the Blind Forest Review


Imagine a forest where shining lights dance on the trees, where the ground and plants explode with all the colours of the rainbow. Now imagine a score, swaying in harmony with the environment, its delicate beauty accentuating the lush world, feel the anguish as it shifts and the darkness overcomes the light, what was once beautiful is now a blind withered forest.

These are the first images of Ori and the Blind Forest, a stunning platformer that has truly captured my heart. You play as a teeny, white creature named Ori who is sent to save the forest from the looming Owl whom is hell-bent on its destruction. You must save each tree that represents the elements – water, fire and air – and restore balance to this paradise before it’s too late.

Now the absolute first thing you notice about this game is how incredibly pretty it is. The art style is phenomenal; from the enemies you encounter to the powerful colour schemes employed for the different environments, each still could be hung in a gallery.

My jaw dropped when I began this game and there were many moments where I just had to stop and stare at all the things this game had to offer. It also has an immersive soundtrack that perfectly fit into every new area, action sequence and story moment; keeping me sucked in the entire time I played.

The music is so effective that even when I had stopped playing these tunes still swirled around in my mind, reminding me of the game. The score still rattled around in my head

Ori and the Blind Forest is incredible and not just in an artistic sense.

This is one of the strongest platformers I have ever played, offering an experience on par with Rayman Legends or Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze. It is challenging, at times feeling incredibly unfair, but the controls are so polished that you know every mistake is entirely your fault. The gameplay is split between helping Ori defeat new enemies by avoiding their projectile attacks and avoiding traps and other follies in the environment; one false move and Ori is dead!

The save system adds pressure to the game because there are no checkpoints. Instead you collect spirit to form “Soul Links” that let you save anywhere in the game. The effective use of this ability is crucial to success as there is always a new challenge lurking around the corner.

I  have one gripe with this system and it’s during the infuriating escape sequences. These fast paced sections must be completed in one run otherwise you must start again from the beginning and never in these areas does it let you produce a soul link, which would be fine if these rare sections weren’t so cheap.

This world and its areas are quite hard and Ori is a fragile creature, with very little health. It doesn’t take much to send Ori to its death especially since you may encounter new places that aren’t intended for your level, which I managed to do quite a bit. For a while I found this reddish area that had creatures shooting out lasers, green, rolling rhinos knocking me out at every turn and these reddish blobs shooting billions of projectiles at once. These were all intended for a much later date and I only found it because the entire game is set on one huge map.

This map evolves as you unlock new abilities exposing areas that hid in secret. It covers an enormous area that sadly has no fast-travel so you’ll have to manually make your way through areas all over again, which didn’t bother me too much since I got to see these amazing places again filled with sweet memories.

There are many moments of Ori and the Blind Forest that stick strongly in my mind, and despite its difficulty I want to play it all over again and explore every single section on the map.

This clever and gorgeous game is shaping up to be a strong contender for the best game of 2015.

TL;DR

Ori and the Blind Forest is a platformer set in a creative and bright world set on a huge map, begging for you to explore it. It can be incredibly difficult, but that is all part of the challenge and makes you want to improve skills. This game is stunning in every way and is the most enjoyable gaming experience I’ve had this year.

Pros:

  • Beautiful setting with a stunning art style
  • Challenging level design
  • Beautiful soundtrack

Cons:

  • Unfair escape sequences

9.5/10

This Xbox One digital copy was provided by Xbox Australia.

Far Cry 4: Valley of the Yetis DLC Coming in March


Ubisoft have announced that Far Cry 4’s DLC, Valley of the Yetis, will launch March 10 in US and March 11 in Europe.

A trailer was released showcasing the stunning, snowy mountains of Kyrat, a dark, mysterious cave and your newest enemy, the Yeti.

It’s the survival of the fittest in Valley of the Yetis. Take it on solo or bring a friend to help you weather the dangers on the snowy peaks. Discover the mystery behind the yetis as you fight to make your way off the mountain.

Valley of the Yetis can be purchased by itself or with the Season Pass. The Season Pass also includes The Syringe, the Hurk Deluxe Pack, Overrun and Escape from Durgesh Prison.

Far Cry 4 released last year on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

New Resident Evil Revelations 2 Trailer Released


With less than a week until release, Capcom have released a new trailer for Resident Evil Revelations 2 giving us a peek at what each episode entails.

Resident Evil Revelations 2 is a four-part episodic adventure that sees Claire Redfield returning to the horrors of her past. Claire works for Terra Save, the anti-bioterrorism organisation, alongside a new recruit, Moira Burton, daughter of Resident Evil’s infamous Barry Burton. Together they face a dark journey in an abandoned detention facility working together to survive.

Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 1 – Penal Colony releases February 24th in North America and February 26th worldwide on Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC. The other three episodes will be released each week.

The Evil Within’s DLC “The Assignment” Coming in March


The first DLC for The Evil Within dubbed “The Assignment” has been announced for a March release with a teaser trailer via the bethblog.

Not much has been given away other than the DLC’s title and a rather creepy voice calling out for “Leslie”, one of the supporting characters in the game.

The Evil Within released back in October last year for Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC.

Hands-on with Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin


You awaken in an unfamiliar clearing, the darkness surrounding you as you make your way toward the singular source of light – a large, bright crack in the sky. You reach a small hut, filled with cackling, elderly fire keepers who send you on your way with doubt in your heart, and after backstabbing, slicing and kicking your way through the ranks of fallen adventurers who hollowed out in this same, strange place you have found yourself, you reach the outside world. The kingdom of Drangleic.

This is an opening fans of 2014’s Dark Souls II will be familiar with, but it has never looked as good (on console) as it looks in Scholar of the First Sin, From Software’s ‘master quest’ version of Dark Souls II. The game boasts better graphics, different enemy placement, and a supposedly enhanced narrative through a new NPC – the titular Scholar, and while I didn’t run into the Scholar during my hour or so with the game last week, what I did see left me very exciting for this game – but all things considered, your level of excitement may vary. For me: I never played Dark Souls II, after spending dozens of hours struggling through the original, so this version seems like the perfect place for me to jump in. Conversely, if you’ve logged 200 hours into Dark Souls II already, I’m not sure the changes here will make the game feel brand new again.

Dark_Souls_II_-_Scholar_of_the_First_Sin_10_1422972487

Dark Souls II was mired in criticism upon release, with the game’s graphics seemingly having taken a huge hit between trailers and release, and a lighting system that was to give characters the choice of holding a torch, but forgoing a shield, in order to see in dark areas was all but scrapped, with most of these dark areas not providing enough contrast to pull people away from the safety of their shield. These problems seem all but solved in this version of the game, with the graphics impressing and the darkness unsettling me, making me wonder what was lurking in the room with me. Thanks to the different enemy placement, even long term players may be caught off guard by the enemy types that could end up surrounding them, and so perhaps that torch will finally get some use.

Being that I only had an hour with the game, I took on the two most early areas – Heide’s Tower of Flame, and the Forest of the Fallen Giants. I completed neither, mind you, but I saw some of the changes in these areas already. For example, as soon as you enter Heide’s Tower, you are greeted by a Heide Knight – which makes a lot more sense than where he was found before. The area was still peppered with large, rusted knights, but now the presence of the meditating swordsmen made you think twice about what you wanted to do. Would you rush forward, only killing the large knights? Or would you take on every enemy in order to get your hands on the very useful Heide equipment early on?Similarly, upon entering the Forest, I was greeted with a large, hulking ogre who prompted me to sneak around him. I wasn’t strong enough to fight this thing yet, and decided to push onward instead – it seems like killing this enemy may give you some reward, but I wasn’t game enough to try.

I died many, many times during my time with the game, but none of them felt unfair. I opened a trap chest which pelted me with arrows. I took on an early boss even earlier than I should have, and I forewent a shield in order to two-hand a giant, glowing blue blade and was killed by ranged enemies as a direct result of my choice. The ‘difficulty’ of the game hasn’t let up, and in many ways it actually feels as though it may be harder than the original version – I saw giant, menacing enemies in areas early enough that I didn’t expect them, and this caused me to make stupid mistakes. Rushing in to combat is rarely a viable strategy in the Souls series, and it cost me my life on more than one occasion.

I will note that during my time with the game I was never killed by a shoddy hitbox – each time I was hit, I was definitely meant to be hit. This may seem like a small improvement, but considering some of the insane invisible hitboxes that existed in the original version, that feature being remedied would go a long way to convince die hard fans to double dip.

Dark_Souls_II_-_Scholar_of_the_First_Sin_02_1422972480

Truthfully, I barely saw any of the game. I explored as much as I could, literally skipped over all cutscenes and dialogue to get me the most amount of gameplay, and saw the results of From’s attempt to polish this diamond in the rough of a game. The slow, steady and weighted combat of the series remains, yet new enemy placement forces new and wildly different strategies than before. New item placement allows for different builds to become viable earlier or later than previously, and a new NPC hopefully will provide some meager amount of closure to some of the game’s more confusing lore. Personally, I’m glad I waited on Dark Souls II. I’m getting a far better version of the title now than I would have at launch, and yet, much of the mystery of a first-time tour of Drangleic will be lost on me. I know the areas, enemies and general story beats of the game, but not religiously. Whatever slight changes have been made to lore or narrative won’t have much of an effect on me, but the change in enemy and item placement give me a completely different adventure to those who have already played.

Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin releases April 2nd, 2015 on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.

Rise of the Tomb Raider’s Gorgeous New Screenshots


Brand new, high resolution screenshots of Rise of the Tomb Raider have been released showing off the new environments and wildlife. Below you can see Lara adventuring in the snowy mountains that are both terrifying and stunning.

Rise of the Tomb Raider releases for Xbox One and Xbox 360 late 2015 and may release later for other platforms.