Battalion 1944 Articles RSS Feed | Battalion 1944 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Square Enix E3 2019 Recap: FFVII Remake, Marvel's Avengers Just the Beginning Mon, 10 Jun 2019 23:08:44 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

E3 2019's running joke is that this presentation is really and truly for the gamers/players/consumers. But Square Enix's E3 2019 presentation might just have fulfilled that promise.

SE packed a ton of content into 90 minutes, from a much-needed update on Final Fantasy VII Remake to new games like Outriders, updates on smaller titles, and finally, Marvel's Avengers. Let's get started.

Final Fantasy VII Remake

Much to no one's surprise, the Square Enix E3 presentation began with Final Fantasy VII Remake, showing off a brief clip of the game's opening. Yoshinori Kitase, the game's producer, took the stage and thanked fans for their patience before describing how the title will delve much, much deeper into the characters and worlds — two Blu-Ray discs' worth of deep, in fact.

The first disc is all about Midgar, which has been expanded enough to be a standalone game on its own.

The game is also meant as a starting point for the world of FFVII, welcoming newcomers as well.

The game features a hybrid system with real-time action and strategic time-based attacks. Cloud can swing, attack, and block at the same time, but it isn't a  hack n' slash game. The ATB bar makes its return and fills up over time; the fill-up speed quickens when Cloud lands standard attacks. When it's full, Cloud enters tactical mode which lets him take advantage of powerful, special attacks like Cloud's breaker attack, in a way not dissimilar to Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

Cloud can also use ATB to cast spells depending on equipment and Materia he has on hand.

Barret's abilities are completely different, making more use of his gun-arm, but still relying on the core mechanic of the ATB system. Switching between party members is done with the press of a button, and while other party members continue to act on their own, the player can issue commands to other characters if their ATB bar is full.

As for Tifa? Kitase said players will be able to see her debut sometime soon, then proceeded to show off an extended version of the new FFVII Remake trailer with Tifa's debut.

Players have the option to choose abilities from shortcuts if they want a more action-based experience, or from a menu that lets players pause and take their time like they would in a traditional turn-based game.

Viewers got a chance to see combat in action with an extended look at the Scorpion Sentinel fight, which fulfilled SE's promise that the game isn't a straight button-masher; Cloud and Barret had to make use of coordinated attacks, find cover, and alternate between basic and special attacks on the fly in what looked like a cross between a fantastic RPG set piece fight and something out of an action movie.

Pre-orders are open now and, of course, there's a special edition with a lovely Sephiroth steelbook players can nab should they so desire.

Life is Strange 2

Next up was Life is Strange 2. The much-anticipated sequel follows the story of Daniel and his special powers, plus how he handles those powers once he must face his father's death. It's colorful. It's intense. It's available now, with a launch trailer focused on people's reactions to the rollercoaster of a story so far.

The game released in fall of last year.  

Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition

After a long wait, we also got to see more of Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition, coming this winter for PS4, Switch, Android, and iOS. It's looking lovely.

The Last Remnant Remastered 

The Last Remnant Remastered got a (very) short new trailer showing off its combat — and a surprise immediate launch for the Switch.

Dragon Quest Builders 2

As promised, Dragon Quest Builders 2 was shown off as well in a lengthy story trailer highlighting some snazzy cinematics and gameplay basics. It gave viewers a look at some of the many things they could look forward to creating, including massive temples, new resources,, recruited NPCs, and a ton of new environments. Oh, and the Builder can swim without dying this time, too.

Farming plays a significant role in DQ Builders 2, with players having the ability to grow a variety of crops they can use for ingredients. Vast farmlands are brought to you by the huge locations made available in the game as well.

Combat looks to be roughly the same this time around, though Malroth accompanies the player on his or her journey, lending a hand in tough fights. Should players desire to team up with others, that's possible in a seemingly expansive multiplayer mode that lets players work together to explore and build whatever they set their hearts on.

Those who want a taste of the action soon can sample a demo on the PlayStation Store and Nintendo eShop starting June 27.

Square Enix Collective and Circuit Superstars

Square Enix Collective, SE's indie publishing platform, took the stage next, with a sizzle reel of some of the group's more notable hits in recent years before giving a glimpse of what's coming in 2020 — Circuit Superstars, a motorsport game mixing classic arcade style with modern looks and features.

Battalion 1944

Battallion 1944 finally got some attention, too, with a new trailer showing off a plethora of modes, including a capture the flag mode, one-on-one, and plenty of competitive options.

Ranking up and dominating the leaderboards awards players with accomplishments and cosmetic rewards, along with the pleasure of outranking friends on the boards. After a long journey, the game is available now on Steam.


Kingdom Hearts III: ReMind

Kingdom Hearts III's new DLC, ReMind, also got a bit more time after its announcement a few days ago, showing off some of the basic plot, more Xehanort, and the fact that Organization XIII is still very much alive — er, however alive someone who never existed could be.

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers

Square Enix also took some time to give players a look at Final Fantasy XIV's third expansion, Shadowbringers, set for a July 2 launch. Shadowbringers is being presented as a brand-new game, with enough content and material to let it act as a standalone title, not just a simple expansion, offering many new mechanics, jobs, and races.

More importantly, Shadowbringers got its first launch trailer, detailing some of the overarching plot elements, teasing combat and locations players can expect to encounter, and showing off some of that sweet, sweet soundtrack.

Dying Light 2

Of course, no modern video game expo presentation is complete without zombies, which Square Enix provided in the form of a trailer for the first-person action-survival game Dying Light 2. It's not tremendously different from yesterday's Xbox presentation trailer, but for those who missed it, here it is.

Romancing SaGa 3 and SaGa: Scarlet Grace Ambitions

In a big surprise for classic RPG fans, SE also announced Romancing SaGa 3 will be coming West for the first time, with its branching storyline based on player choice that promises a new story every time.

On top of that, SaGa: Scarlet Grace Ambitions is also coming West, this one a 3D RPG emphasizing tactical combat and, of course, player choice. RS3 will be available on all modern platforms, even the Vita, while Scarlet Grace is coming to PS4, Switch, iOS, Android, and Steam.

Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

Final Fantasy Brave Exvius wasn't left out in the cold either. It's getting a sequel, War of the Visions: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. As was shown in its initial trailer, the sequel involves a multitude of countries, the warlike Leonis, Hourne the peaceful country, Fennes the Barbarian nation, Wezette with its icy tyrant, and the religious center Crystal Sanctum, all of which are at war with one another. It's only in development as of now, with no word on when fans can expect to see it.


Outriders, from the minds behind Gears of War, got a brief cinematic trailer giving an overview of some basic tenets. It's a gritty combat game with plenty of guns, robots, and orange.

For now, Outriders has a tentative summer 2020 release date for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The People Can Fly studio director promised more to come this winter, though.


That's a lot to show off, but there was yet more to reveal.

Fans finally got a good look at Tokyo RPG Factory's upcoming Oninaki, first announced in February. The trailer Boasted updated visuals and a substantial bit of world-building. Oninaki is all about reincarnation and how one's emotions and choices in life affect their rebirth and the spirits who watch over the world. Oh, and hitting things with swords a lot — it's about that too.

Oninaki launches August 22 in the West.

Final Fantasy VIII Remastered

Poor Final Fantasy VIII, lost and forgotten in all the remakes and remasters of recent years, at last got the attention it deserves, and just in time for its 20th anniversary to boot.

Granted, we only got a cinematic trailer and that lovely, dramatic soundtrack, but it's coming. Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is coming later this year, in fact, to Steam, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch.

Marvel's Avengers

Another long-awaited and hitherto under-wraps project got its time in the sun as well: Marvel's Avengers. It's a gorgeous homage to the franchise and everything Marvel, with intense fights playing out over San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge before transitioning to a dystopian world where the Avengers are cast as the villains.

Now they must fight back against their unknown foes and restore both their reputations and the world.

The dev team is planning regular content updates and an expansive online multiplayer component as well. All new regions and superheroes added to the game will be free for those who already own the game — no random loot boxes, no pay-to-win. It will launch on Stadia, Xbox One, PS4, and Steam, with PS4 players getting early access and some special benefits.

Marvel's Avengers will launch May 15, 2020.


Be sure to check out our other E3 2019 coverage below, and keep an ey eout for more hands-on previews and news in the coming days. 

Battalion 1944 Beta Impressions: A Standard WWII Multiplayer Shooter Experience Fri, 19 Jan 2018 18:32:32 -0500 Ty Arthur

We started following Battalion 1944 back in February 2016 with the game's Kickstarter campaign, which, of course, was a smashing success. Although we were a little premature on the release date, Battalion 1944 was named among our most anticipated FPS games of 2017

Fast forward more than a year, and it's incredibly satisfying to watch the World War II shooter finally nearing completion. A limited beta arrived this weekend (for those lucky enough to get a beta key), and now we finally get to dive in to the Second World War action -- and see what Bulkhead Interactive can do with this very familiar shooter setting.

Battalion 1944 Beta Impressions

Unfortunately, I couldn't ever get Arcade mode to connect to a server, which is where the classics like team death match, capture the flag, and domination reside. Curse the luck! (If we can get in, we'll update here accordingly). 

But based on the Twitter comments, it seems like that was a recurring theme for many beta players who were able to snag a key. Many 44 players could only try out the competitive ranked matches, featuring a team-based battle to 13 wins.

Battalion 1944 Ranked Matches

Once you enter a Battalion 1944 match, you've got your basics like selecting a loadout and choosing between a standard rifle, SMG, machine gun, shotgun, and sniper. The general consensus so far is that the shotgun is pretty insane, although, of course, you have to be fairly close to your enemy to be effective. There's also lots of wide open space and plenty of elevated areas where you can get gunned down before closing the distance to use that shotty -- which I suppose is pretty realistic to the WWII setting. 

The ranked map is bigger than I expected, with lots of nooks and crannies to discover and different paths by which to flank the enemy. Battalion's multiple routes mean that sometimes you'll engage the enemy nearly immediately (and popping smoke down the first hallway is essentially a requirement once the other team figures out where to set their sniper) and sometimes it takes a while for a big confrontation to boil up if everyone went different routes  at the onset.

 Sneaking up on two unsuspecting Allied soldiers from a side alley

Match Objectives in Battalion 1944's Multiplayer

Since there's not much in the way of a tutorial in the 44's beta, it wasn't until about 10 rounds into the match that our team discovered there's an objective beyond "kill everyone not on you team."

Apparently, the main objective of the map we were able to play was to plant bombs if you are the Allies or defuse them if you are the Axis. But honestly, in most matches, everyone will be dead before that happens anyway.

There is a legitimate win path to plant the bomb, then wait and snipe when the other players rush in to try to defuse it, but it's more likely the three members of your team will already be dead by that time.

Having played quite a few rounds and explored the layout thoroughly, it's clear a lot of thought went into the Battalion's map design. For instance, there's a counter to the bomb/sniper win combo tucked away just out of sight. In a building across the street with a single window, the opposing team can setup their own sniper ahead of time to take out anyone entering the church to plant the bomb in the first place.

Of course this might change once Battalion 1944 releases in just a few weeks -- and other maps will undoubtedly provide other avenues for strategic planning -- but it was nice to see the map set up this way.

 This back room of the church is a sniper's haven once the bomb is planted

Some Issues To Address With The Battalion 1944 Beta

Overall, Battalion 1944's game mechanics feel solid and in working order, but there are a few odd design choices that could be stripped out upon its February release.

After selecting the option to join a competitive ranked game and the matchmaking process finds a group, for some reason, you have to also then click Accept within a very limited time frame. If anyone isn't paying attention and doesn't click Accept in that time, the whole match gets booted and you have to start over. I'm not entirely sure what the point of this "feature" is, since obviously, you want to accept the match or you wouldn't have tried to join it in the first place.

As for actually playing Battalion 1944, I mostly felt like I deserved my kills or deaths, but in a few instances, the hit detection seemed a little off. One time that sticks out most was when -- at best -- I grazed an opponent's leg as he was running out the door, but he went down dead immediately anyway.

Another time, I had a machine gun and was actively filling a small area with lead -- one where I knew an opponent was about to pop out and had no cover. He came out, all my bullets somehow missed him, and he took me down with one shot despite not being able to see me as well as I could see him from my position. That one didn't make any sense.

Graphically, Battalion 1944 gets the look and feel of the era spot on most of the time. For the most part, those crashed trains, broken walls, and cover tanks look excellent, although some of the basic textures like metal floors are a little lackluster.

 That train looks phenomenal, but the metal walkway is pretty meh

The Bottom Line About Battalion 1944 -- So Far

As a closed beta, obviously, there's room for improvement, and it was disappointing not to be able to try out all the game modes. But on the whole, Battalion 1944 delivers on what it set out to achieve.

Matches have a lot in common with CS:GO and the game is sure to attract a dedicated following on launch. If you weren't able to get a beta key, Battalion 1944's early access release hits Steam on February 1.

While there's nothing revolutionary or radical here, Battalion's gameplay is satisfying and offers up pretty standard multiplayer shooter fare that will appeal to you if you've moved on from Rising Storm 2 already -- or just want to get back into WWII mode.

Battalion 1944 Gets Early Access and Beta Dates Thu, 11 Jan 2018 15:36:40 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Fans have waited patiently for Bulkhead Interactive and Square Enix Collective's authentic WWII shooter Battalion 1944, receiving bits and pieces of information about the game, along with some hands-on time during last year's Gamescom. But Bulkhead is rewarding that patience soon. Battalion 1944 is headed to early access February 1st, but Bulkhead is also running an exclusive beta for the game starting Friday, January 19th and running until the 21st, open to all Kickstarter and Humble Bundle backers. Other fans who didn't support the project's campaign can content themselves with the new trailer -- see above -- showcasing brand-new gameplay footage.

Battalion 1944 was inspired by what Bulkhead Interactive calls the golden shooters of old, where a player's skills mattered more than power-ups. Participants in the beta will get a taste of that old-school action before it enters early access, with the goal being to treat players to carefully focused map design and balanced weapons intended to create a tense, yet fair and fulfilling, WWII experience.

That experience is characterized by authenticity as well, according to Bulkhead Creative Director Howard Philpott, who says the team traveled to Normandy and made close study of the historical battles to combine competitive map design with historical credibility.

Non-backers won't have too long to wait to experience the game, though. Battalion 1944 is set to enter early access February 1st, bringing six modes with it that will be announced at a later date. The game is expected to retail at $14.99, lower than the lowest Kickstarter tier, and Bulkhead is offering crowdfunding backers unique skins and cosmetic loot as a "thank you."


Are you excited about this return to old-school shooter glory? Let us know in the comments!

Square Enix Collective Reveals Gamescom 2017 Lineup Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:37:46 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

The Square Enix Collective has announced its Gamescom 2017 lineup in a recent press release. Their showcase will include five indie games that are "full of contrasts" for a broad gaming experience. 

Below is a full list of all the games that will be featured on behalf of the Collective at this year's event.

Battalion 1944

Leading the lineup is Bulkhead Interactive's Battalion 1944, a multiplayer first person shooter game. The developers are seeking to recapture older styles of FPS gameplay, where skill and stats determined victory, as opposed to powerups and other add-ons. Square Enix London's  Director of Community and Indie Development, Phil Elliot, mentioned that this game has garnered quite a bit of attention and shows how popular both retro mechanics and World War II still are for gamers.

Forgotten Anne

Also featured is Throughout Games' anime adventure Forgotten Anne. Billed as a cinematic adventure with "light puzzle platforming elements", Forgotten Anne sees you take on the titular role of Anne as she tries to stamp out rebellion in the Forgotten Lands -- a place where forgotten things from socks to letters are refashioned into magical creatures called Forgotlings.

Oh My Godheads

On a lighter note is Titutitech's Oh My Godheads, a multiplayer game born out of love for classic franchises like Worms and Street Fighter. This title offers a variation of capture-the-flag where the flag happens to be a talking stone head.

Tokyo Dark

On the JRPG side of things, there's Cherrymochi's Tokyo Dark -- a title that combines psychological and anime horror. It also builds on the point-and-click visual novel style by adding various branching story paths that are uncovered based on your decisions as the main character, as you try to find your lost mentor in the darkness beneath Tokyo. 

Deadbeat Heroes

Finally comes Upstream Arcade's Deadbeat Heroes, another multiplayer title that's a 3D brawler. The goal in Deadbeat Heroes is to stop the new wave of 1970s super criminals from having their way with London -- only you play as civilians with no crime-fighting experience. You must borrow your powers from others, while "not getting shot, sliced, lasered, exploded, vaporized, eaten…"


All of these games are part of the Square Enix Collective -- a curated platform for indie games where developers pitch their ideas, get approved for funding, and publish through Square Enix. All the titles above, and many others, will be taking the stage at Gamescom later this month.

What do you think of the Square Enix Collective's lineup for Gamescom 2017? Let us know down in the comments!

EGX Rezzed 2017: Interview with Phil Elliott, Project Lead for the Square Enix Collective Fri, 28 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 ESpalding

Most people reading this will already be familiar with Square Enix, developers of the phenomenal Final Fantasy series and Kingdom Hearts but did you know that they also help indie developers? This is done through the Square Enix Collective initiative.

At this year's EGX Rezzed, the Collective were showcasing eight indie titles ranging from a Communist dystopian puzzle game to a capture-the-flag inspired couch multiplayer. There were also debuting the latest title by the same team that developed The Turing Test in a World Exclusive session.

During the event, I sat down with the creator and project lead of the Collective, Phil Elliott, to talk about what the Collective does and how it helps indie developers.

Forgotten Anne debuted at EGX 2016

ESpalding: Welcome, Phil. Many thanks for giving me the opportunity to talk to you. To start with, please could you explain the Square Enix Collective to our readers.

Phil Elliott: Collective is, essentially, a service provider for indie developers. We work with teams in a range of ways – building community (via pitches on the Collective website), we’ve helped support teams through crowdfunding in the past few years (raising over $1.2m in the process), and last year we started publishing games to help developers get the most from their releases.

It’s always with developer choice as priority – so there’s no ‘lock-in’ to have to work with us; and developers always retain full IP rights and ownership of their games. So our intention is to build relationships, help find and support new talent, understand the market better (and understand more fully the kinds of games that people want to play), and help to build sustainable business in what is a challenging and ‘noisy’ industry.

Screenshot from Goetia, first game released through Square Enix Collective 

ES: The Square Enix Collective isn't your normal indie publisher as you focus, predominantly focus on community. Why was it decided to go that route rather than just being an indie publisher?

PE: Well, as a business, Square Enix has been looking for ways to bring the community into what we do more and more. You may have seen the Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod for PC a few years ago; normally that kind of thing might not have been allowed to continue, but we saw so many people having fun with it, so we spent time to find a way to legitimise it, and support it.

Another example is the way that the Final Fantasy XV team were so keen to get feedback on the ongoing development of the game, to enable that community a voice, that they released a demo very early -- and then updated it based on feedback. I think that kind of approach was unprecedented.

So as a business... although inevitably it may not always seem like it... we’re constantly listening to what the community is saying, and that feedback does lead to change. Maybe not overnight, but Collective’s community focus is another part of that.

The Turing Test. Released through the Collective in 2016

ES: So, what criteria do you have for developers who want to get involved with the Collective?

PE: That really depends on what kind of support they’re looking for. If it’s the community and awareness building bit, we open submissions to the Collective website on the 20th of each month for a couple of days, and then promote one new pitch every week to the Square Enix community.

For publishing options, it’s very broad, but currently we’re looking for teams who need marketing and release support – although at other times of the year we will be able to support with some production funding too. Ultimately, we’re interested in cool games that show a glimpse of the developers’ talent, and has some element that’s better or different to games that are already out there. But there are no specific genre requirements.

Oh My Godheads is currently on Early Access

ES: At this year's Rezzed, Collective were showing 8 games plus Bulkhead Interactive's new game Battalion 1944 which is an increase from last year so does this mean that "the word is out" and the Collective is growing?

PE: I hope so! But I also think it’s partly down to our steady growth since we first launched the website in 2014. We were always very clear that we needed to experiment and find the best route before expanding to new areas – so we’re on track compared to where we planned to be initially.

We believe we have capacity to publish up to 10 games per year – but we also have to be flexible, so if a team needs more time, occasionally that will mean schedule changes. Originally we probably expected a couple more to be released in 2016, but the games will be all the better for the extra polish.

Of course, we still plan to evolve and grow based on feedback and results, and I expect us to keep learning the whole time.

Battalion 1944 debuted at Rezzed 2017

ES: Battalion 1944 had its first public showing at this year's Rezzed. How has been the reception been?

PE: Really great! It was a bit nerve-wracking ahead of the event, because the build is still in such an early state, but I can happily say we were blown away by the positive feedback from people who played the game. We’re really happy to be working with the Bulkhead Interactive team once more, and also in a genre that Square Enix isn’t known for -- we have so much planned for the game, and I can’t wait to see it all build out.

ES: So, what are the Collective's plan going forward between now and next years event?

PE: The key ambition for us in 2017 is to just do the best possible job on the games we’re releasing. That’s really what we’re focused on, so at this point I’m not anticipating another jump in the same way we saw in the past 12 months. I’m looking forward to signing new teams to the label, and if we’re back in 2018 with eight new games, that will be an exciting prospect for us!

ES: Well, I'm very much looking forward to seeing what comes next for you! Thank you for giving me a moment of your time and for giving our readers a little insight into what the Square Enix Collective does. I'm sure it has come as a surprise to those who thought that you are just a normal game publisher. We wish you all the best for the future!

For anyone who wants to go and check what games are currently looking for votes, you can head to the Square Enix Collective website and vote for the ones you like the look of.

EGX Rezzed 2017: World War 2 FPS Battalion 1944 Unveiled Sun, 09 Apr 2017 18:54:44 -0400 ESpalding

At any good gaming expo, you will more than likely get a world-exclusive or two, and EGX Rezzed 2017 was no exception. The Square Enix Collective was proud to unveil their latest sign, Battalion 1944. The World War 2 FPS has been developed by UK-based studio Bulkhead Interactive, previously known for making the first-person puzzler The Turing Test.

The team behind the game have been heavily inspired by series such as Medal of Honor and Call of Duty but are aiming to bring WW2 warfare to a modern audience. The game takes place in the thick of it all, with matches in such places as Carentan, where U.S. airforce troops engaged German infantry during the Normandy landings, or the siege of Bastogne, where American and German troops fought over an important strategic position in Belgium. All of the maps are based on actual events and locations from across the European theater of war.

The developers have built the game so that it totally relies on player skill. There is nothing to unlock and no abilities to level up, for example. Instead, everyone goes into it on a level playing field.  

There is currently no exact release date for Battalion 1944 but when it does arrive, it will be available on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. Take a look at the official announcement trailer at the top of this article, and let us know what you think about the game in the comments section below!

EGX Rezzed 2017: Day One - London Bound Mon, 03 Apr 2017 12:00:02 -0400 ESpalding

While a lot of the gaming community in the UK is familiar with the big EGX show held at the NEC in Birmingham, some may not know about the smaller, but just as important, EGX Rezzed event which is held at Tobacco Dock in the heart of London's Docklands. This younger sibling to the main show only showcases indie games and is fantastic for finding and experiencing the best indie titles the UK and Europe (and some from further afar) have to offer. This event started on March 30th until April 1st.

I attended the event for GameSkinny and I was not disappointed. Although this first day was largely taken up by interviews and meet and greets, there were some definite game highlights.

Victor Vran - Motörhead: Through the Ages

The mighty mechanical Snaggletooth

Some readers may already be familiar with Haemimont Games RPG Victor Vran, but what you might not be aware of is their collaboration with the legendary rock band Motörhead. The new game content was in development even before the band's frontman Lemmy Kilmister tragic death in 2015 after losing his battle with cancer.

The Motörhead: Through the Ages content focuses on artwork and music from the band as well as including a story revolving around Lemmy and the band iconic mascot the Snaggletooth. The new levels and content created around Motörhead's legacy is certainly hard-hitting and loud but will please any heavy metal fans.

Victor Vran

Victor Vran

For players who already have the original Victor Vran will not have to purchase the new DLC but once released this DLC will be available through the Overkill Edition and will be accessible through the game's Steam page.

The Town of Light

The Town of Light, doll, creepyWhy are creepy dolls synonymous with asylums?

In a day and age where the horror genre is pushing the boundaries, trying to find new ways to scare us and to make us jump or cringe, there are not many games out there that solely rely on atmosphere to put the chills up our backs. Italian developers LKA have produced the wonderfully chilling The Town of Light, a psychological story-driven adventure.

The game tells the story of a teenager called Reneé who is trying to piece together her past as she battles with symptoms of mental illness. The game sees her return to the Volterra Psychiatric Asylum where she grew up in Tuscany, Italy. There is no combat, no jump scares and no monsters in the game. All of the creepy atmospheric feelings come from the grim surroundings, real early 1900s medical illustrations and medical equipment and from excerpts of Reneé's memories.

The Town of Light

The Town of Light

My lasting memory of this game will always be that it is based on a real place and masses of research was done by the game's developers to truly bring the game to life. They visited the asylum in Tuscany and mapped the entire compound to get a realistic representation of the place in-game. The game is also littered with copies of real medical journals, paintings and newspaper articles from the time the asylum was in operation.

The Town of Light is currently available through Steam and is also available on Xbox One and PS4.

Battalion 1944

Battalion 1944Time to answer the call to arms!

Those headed to EGX Rezzed this year got the chance to play a World Exclusive which is being published by the Square Enix Collective. Battalion 1944 is being developed by Bulkhead Interactive, the studio responsible for the popular puzzler The Turing Test.

This brand new game is an "old school" multiplayer World War 2 FPS which has been inspired by the WW2 shooters from the past years and hopes to propel the genre to a new audience. At the event, gamers had the chance to go head to head in a 4vs4 deathmatch in one of the games urban maps. There is currently no definite release date but the game will be available on Steam, Xbox One and PS4.

Battalion 1944

Battalion 1944

So this first day may not have been filled with a lot actual gaming but the games that I did play, these highlights and others, really did set the bar for the weekend ahead. Make sure you check out my other articles to see what other gaming delights I found.

The 10 Most Anticipated FPS Games of 2017 Thu, 24 Nov 2016 06:00:01 -0500 Ty Arthur


Sadly, some of our most-anticipated games of 2016 were pushed back and haven't arrived yet, most notably Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, and the maybe free, maybe not Lawbreakers.


While the waiting is getting unbearable, that at least means more shooters are coming soon! 2017 is shaping up to have a slew of really well-rounded offerings, covering everything from desert warfare to jungle sniping to crazy Giger-esque horror landscapes and far-future sci-fi dystopias.


What's your most anticipated 2017 FPS game, and what did we miss that should have made the list? Let us know in the comments!


Call Of Duty 2017


OK, so honestly, this is less a highly-anticipated game as it just a big old question mark that everyone wants answered. What's coming down the pipe, and will it be changed drastically after the fan flop of Infinite Warfare?


Call into question my gaming cred all you want, but I'm going to let you in a little secret here: although the basic free for all multiplayer is a let-down, the single player campaign was great, and the ridiculous '80s themed zombie mode was a blast to play.


Yeah, yeah, it's super cool to hate on CoD, I know, so go ahead and burn that effigy of me and let's move on already.


Whatever the new iteration will be has been in active development for at least two years by Sledgehammer Games, based on Activision's rotating developer schedule. They previously worked on Modern Warfare 3 alongside Infinity Ward and then subsequently handled Advanced Warfare, so that might indicate a modern/futuristic bent, but that's not a given.


Rumors are circulating that Call Of Duty 2017 will be set in Vietnam -- but who knows if that's actually true, since prevailing wisdom around this time last year was that Infinite Warfare would be Ghosts 2. It's a good bet whatever arrives with probably be accused of copying Battlefield if it's an old-time shooter.


What do you want to see from the 2017 Call Of Duty iteration, or are you tired of the yearly FPS entries altogether?




You may recall this slide from last year's most anticipated FPS games article, but that's how the game industry goes -- some titles make it out and some get pushed back, delayed, re-tooled, etc.


Lawbreakers has changed quite a bit from what was originally seen in years past, apparently ditching the F2P model and now focusing on high-flying, gravity-defying combat at hyper speed. Anybody want to place bets on if this can dethrone the current crop of high-tier competitive shooters?



Quake Champions


After the Doom reboot, of course the next logical step was a return to Quake! There's no solid release date on this one, so it might not arrive by year end 2017. But we're holding out hope. 


As a huge fan of Quake and Unreal Tournament 2004's absurd, hyper-fast combat, Bethesda's upcoming iteration has some pretty big shoes to fill, and will hopefully come to dominate the multiplayer and eSports arenas.





Does it get more old-school than this? Strafe is looking to pay tribute to those classic '90s shooters before cutting edge 3D graphics were even a pixel in Pac-Man's eye.


The tongue is more than a little in-cheek here (just take a look at that totally tubular trailer below) as developer Pixel Titans comments that this is "the fastest, bloodiest, deadliest, most adjective-abusing, action-packed first-person shooter of 1996."



Get Even


I absolutely love how messed up and genre-bending this game looks already. It's an FPS with both occult elements and drones, and there looks to be more than a little bit of a horror vibe that could go a psychological direction.


Based on the trailers, there's a Condemned atmosphere, but maybe even taken to a further level on the weird side, along with hints of Deadly Premonition. There's also reportedly going to be Oculus Rift support, for a completely immersive experience.


Lacking a specific release date at the moment, Bandai Namco has announced "Spring 2017" as the target window.



Insurgency Sandstorm


Officially announced back in February, this FPS sees New World Interactive getting publisher support for release on PC and consoles.


Considering the original Insurgency started as a mod, this is a big step for the team and something for modders around the world to look up to as what could come from your hard work.


A competitive beta is expected to launch soon for this realistic desert warfare FPS that has anticipation through the roof. Stay tuned for full info to hopefully arrive soon.



Inner Chains


This very different entry is both an FPS and a horror title, so we're putting it on both lists of our most anticipated games of 2017.


Another crowd funded success story, Inner Chains managed to go from indie effort to publisher-backed after getting buzz during the Kickstarter, and is now coming to Steam and consoles, with an early 2017 release date expected.


The setting is a dying "biomechanical" world, where organic creatures meld with machinery to create something like a fiery nightmare hellscape melded with a Giger painting.





A sorta, kinda sequel to the 2006 game of the same name (or maybe a reboot? it's not entirely clear), Prey has been in development hell for a long time -- at one point even being outright cancelled.


Now resurrected and slated for a 2017 release, this sci-fi shooter is looking to be very dark and also pretty story-heavy, which is not typically the strong suit of the FPS genre.


Considering the folks behind Dishonored are now at the helm, I'm expecting big things from 2017's Prey, and can't wait to see more soon.



Battalion 1944


Covered in our look at exciting crowd funded projects last year, this WWII shooter made a whopping 300% of its goal and clearly has high expectations from its backer base.


If boots on the ground and none of the jetpack sci-fi nonsense is what you're after, this is the game you want to play next year. It gets back to the basics of what made those early Medal of Honor and CoD games so widely regarded in the first place, but with a more modern presentation.



Destiny 2


First and foremost this looming behemoth on the horizon has to be mentioned, which even detractors have to admit is going to be huge.


Overwatch might be devouring the lives of online players at the moment, but there's no question Destiny really redefined the online multiplayer experience in the current generation of consoles. Granted, Destiny takes a lot of flak in forums by hard talking keyboard warriors, but it's remained relevant since release and has a fairly non-toxic and cooperative player base.


There's no specific release date yet, but an official announcement must be coming very soon, as the game is expected out in 2017. Rumors are swirling that Destiny 2 will be on both console and PC, with some pretty radical changes to the formula forthcoming. What changes would you like to see, and what do you hope stays the same?



It's going to be hard to top 2016 on the FPS front, with major titles arriving from just about every franchise, including some seriously long-dead ones!


Doom made its triumphant (and ultra gory and fast paced) return after years of delays. Blizzard's Overwatch smashed the the FPS and MOBA genres together and continues to dominate. The ridiculously awesome katana and blazing guns combo of Shadow Warrior 2 showed us we didn't need to take anything too seriously. 


Of course there were the titanic dueling giants offering very different visions for FPS supremacy: gritty trench warfare hell with Battlefield 1 and futuristic space combat sim Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Sadly, Titanfall 2 fell between those battling behemoths and has been overlooked by the masses, but hopefully will still rally at the holiday season.


Some FPS entries weren't as well received, with Homefront: The Revolution getting more than its share of lumps at launch and an overall “meh” rating online (even though I personally quite enjoyed it and still play regularly).


Now that we've hit the end of the year, it's time to look forward at what's to come with our 10 most anticipated shooters of 2017. It might be hard to overcome what arrived in 2016, but developers are sure putting up a valiant effort covering everything from realistic, squad-based games to fast-paced arena shooters and even a few unexpected sci-fi and horror entries.

March Crowd Funding Report Wed, 30 Mar 2016 06:10:33 -0400 Ty Arthur

After a veritable flood of updates and interesting projects last month, we're currently in a much sparser time for crowd-funded video games.

Many of the more exciting or big-name projects have recently ended or are deep in development, although there's a few campaigns that you should definitely be taking note of before we move into the spring release cycle.

Perhaps of even more interest than what IS up for crowd funding this month is what noticeably ISN'T. After experiencing extreme success Kickstarting Pillars Of Eternity, for some reason Obsidian Entertainment hasn't gone that route with upcoming retro RPG, Tyranny.

On the one hand that's a good thing – if a company can make enough money with one campaign to not have to dip into the fan's money again, then clearly crowd funding isn't the handout system many claim it to be. On the other hand, some game fans want the ability to contribute at different tiers and get various perks not offered by just straight up buying a game on its release date. What do you think of the move, and would you contribute to a Tyranny campaign if one were started soon?

What Made The Cut And What Got The Boot

Unlike with our January roundup, where several promising projects were unable to secure funding, I'm pleased to report that all three campaigns we highlighted last month made their goals!

The adorable Knights And Bikes came in with 4,796 backers pledging £126,447, while Batallion 1944 made more than 300% of its goal, clocking in at 10,096 backers and £317,281 pledged. We'll be keeping a close eye on the development of those projects and will be updating you as noteworthy updates are released.

Meanwhile, the unique and intriguing A Place For The Unwilling only barely squeaked by with 918 backers pledging €22,329 – just enough to hit the original goal, but not enough to unlock any stretch goals (which may be good for the world, since the final stretch goal was to summon Cthulhu and annihilate humanity). We're still hoping for a good outcome on this one despite the smaller funding amount, as the concept looks like it could be a game changer.

Early Access Updates

Grim Dawn

Get It Here

Platform: PC

The big early access title to finally reach feature complete status is Grim Dawn, an action RPG with a huge world that meshes together a dark fantasy setting with a Lovecraftian apocalypse.

It's managed to overtake Darkest Dungeon as the black-hearted, unforgiving RPG I can't stop playing lately, and I highly recommend it if you still enjoy anything from Diablo 2 to Titan Quest. We've covered it extensively, so if you are thinking of jumping in, check out our Grim Dawn guides here.

After Reset

Get It Here

Platform: PC

I'll be honest – I thought this project had died, but apparently it's still going, as an update just went live on new features in the latest patch. I absolutely love the direction and art style, with the game taking a more serious approach to the post-apocalyptic formula, although frankly I'm hesitant to recommend anyone get on board at this point.

After Reset was originally Kickstarted way back in the summer of 2014, with the initial projected release date having passed by more than a year ago. It doesn't appear to be anywhere even close to release (based on the progress, I'd bet more than a year), but you can still get in on early access for the (rather absurd) full price of $49.99.

Reading through the latest negative reviews on Steam, this one is turning into a case study in how not to run a crowd funding and early access campaign, and I hope the developer can manage to turn that perception around and release a solid finished product.

New Crowd Funding Campaigns To Check Out

Inner Chains

Contribute to the campaign here

Platform: PC

A strong dichotomy is currently in effect in the horror genre: to make a game actually scary, you have to render the main character weaponless, otherwise you end up with what will essentially be an action FPS that just happens to have horror trappings. Enter Inner Chains, which might be the game to finally bridge the gap between those worlds.

That weapon the main character is shown wielding in the trailer clearly has a Geiger-esque combination of biological and mechanical, so the story could easily go either supernatural or simply science fiction. It looks like there will be a lot of details to learn about the game universe and what led to the current state of the world, and it's a good bet the full puzzle will be extremely dark and potentially sanity-blasting when it all comes together.

With eight days left, Inner Chains has already surpassed its funding goal, but there's stretch goals to unlock, like alternate endings and more creatures to interact with!

The only caveat I can find here is the overly ambitious release date schedule. The developer - Telapaths Tree - is projecting to have the game ready to deliver in June of 2016, a mere two months after the campaign ends. There's no way that's happening, so go into this one realizing there will be delays (of months or even possibly years) in that release date.

Tiny Graveyard

See the campaign here

Platform: PC, if released

This is a first for us, in that the campaign was unfortunately canceled before we got a chance to help promote it! This very-promising adventure/strategy game was set to strike a balance between dark themes that adults would be interested in and a kid-friendly approach. I like the combo on display, giving the feel of something cute like Costume Quest but in a fully 3D world.

Although 75 backers pledged more than $7,000, that sadly was far shy of the perhaps overly ambitious $80,000 goal. Developer 2ndSum Studios decided to cancel the campaign early rather than drag it out, but hopefully this one is able to secure funding some other way and continue on to see release some day.

Updates On Previously Funded Games


Get Updates On The Project Here

Platform: PC

Funded back in September of 2015, work continues steadily on this project as the developer's other game Necropolis is being wrapped up for a summer release.

It's going to be a long wait for fans of this table war game, with this latest PC adaptation not expected out until at some point in 2017. Harebrained Schemes has a track record of putting out quality games though, so its a good bet this one will drop in a stable, playable state within a reasonable time frame.

The developer has been holding Q&A sessions directly with fans, so if you want more info, keep an eye on their social media for upcoming dates. The latest update at Kickstarter was quite extensive, going into great detail about the new Argo class drop ship and how it will be used in the game. Expect this one to be much more in-depth than the recent Shadowrun reboots, with a more open world aspect to the tactical mech battle mayhem.

That's it for this month's look at what's happening in crowd funding and early access games. Let us know what you think of the campaigns we covered, and be sure to fill us in on any exciting projects we missed!

February crowd funding report: successes, failures, frustrating delays, and long-awaited releases Tue, 16 Feb 2016 01:03:30 -0500 Ty Arthur

For studios big and small, turning to the fans directly is fast becoming one of the go-to methods for raising the capital necessary to fund a game's development cycle.

Cutting out the publishers and going straight to the people with a passion for any given genre, there have been some incredibly satisfying games arriving digitally thanks to the crowd-funding phenomena. Each month, we'll be looking at both the most promising new video game funding campaigns, as well as checking in on previously funded games to see how development is coming along.

We've got a lot to cover this month, both in devastating failures and incredibly exciting successes, along with some updates on long-awaited games finally arriving in either full or early access versions.

An Update From Last Month

If you missed it, you can check out our report on the best of crowd funding from January here. Some of those games reached or exceeded their desired goals (and we can't wait to play them down the line!), while unfortunately others fell short or cut their losses and canceled the campaigns.

One of those promising campaigns we covered last month was scrapped early, with Hero's Song being pulled when it was clear the 2D project wouldn't get anywhere near its high goal of $800,000.

That's always a chance when dealing with limited time frames where the right fans might not hear the word immediately or have money at that particular point to contribute. There's still hope for Hero's Song though, as the game is in the process of securing funding from more traditional means. We'll keep you updated on how this one goes in the coming months.

The VR-focused horror title Ghost Theory has only 4 days left and is almost certainly going to fail to reach its goal. While that's disappointing, as VR horror games need a strong boost to get going and pick up momentum, Ghost Theory has made it onto Steam Greenlight, so we might still see it one day anyway.

Also likely to come up shy of the sought-after dollar amount, Consortium: The Tower is only a third of the way to its $309,000 goal. That's a bit of a surprise, considering the previous title in the series was successfully funded on Kickstarter. It's always possible Interdimensional Games will re-launch a new campaign down the line at a smaller amount.

But enough of the failures. How about the titles that convinced gamers to fork over their hard earned cash?

I'm very pleased to report that both the old school RPG Project Resurgence and the chemistry-based education game ChemCaper were both successfully funded. The Final Fantasy Tactics inspired Children of Zodiarcs didn't just hit its goal, but zoomed way, way past it with a serious vote of confidence from the backers.

Fans of Arckanum and Pillars Of Eternity will want to try this one

New Video Game Crowd Funding Campaigns

Knights And Bikes

Contribute to the campaign here

Platforms: PC / PS4

Bringing to mind the adorable style of Costume Quest but with a more serious slant on the story front, this indie title from Foamsword Games caused some buzz recently when it hit the Facebook trending bar.

The team has been involved with titles like Little Big Planet and Ratchet And Clank, so there's talent there involved with this type of game already, lending some credibility to the request for $142,000 via Kickstarter.

References to Earthbound and Secret Of Mana in the campaign pitch definitely piqued my interest immediately, especially with the same screen co-op option, which took me back to many a late Saturday night going through Secret Of Mana with friends as a kid.

Battalion 1944

Contribute to the campaign here

Platforms: PC, Xbox One, and PS4

With Call Of Duty heading into the future rather than the past in recent installments, it falls on other developers to give us more WWII shooters.

Focusing on the mode FPS fans tend stick to most frequently, Batallion 1944 is multiplayer-only and won't even bother with the single player campaign. While that's a definite entry in the “con” column for me, I know I'm in the minority there.

Visually, the style on display in the pre-alpha footage is very appealing, striking a nice balance between bright environments that catch the eye and more realistic elements that will appeal to fans of Squad. A serious eye to detail on real-world locations is also on display.

The focus here looks like it will land on close-quarters combat with a visceral feel, and clearly gamers want more WWII action in this vein, because Battalion 1944 is already over twice its funding goal.

A Place For The Unwilling

Contribute to the campaign here

Platforms: PC

Described as “Sunless Sea meets Majora's Mask in a living city,” this intriguing little title features a very interesting colored pencil art style that's well outside the norm. Between the concept and artistic flair, this is one we want to see funded -- but not overfunded, since the developers have promised to summon Cthulhu if they hit $150,000.

A constantly running time cycle that works against you brings to mind Don't Starve, and A Place For The Unwilling promises to bring out dark themes and a different approach than normal, turning an urban landscape into the basis of the gameplay.

This is a game set to be all about the immersion, throwing you into a fully fleshed out city and having you undertake seemingly mundane tasks while learning about your fellow citizens and uncovering the story. We have a feeling what's found beneath the surface will be worth the effort.

Newly Released Early Access Titles

Two highly-anticipated games  that spent extended periods of time in early access, are now landing.

Although early access is slightly different from straight crowd funding, the end result is similar, offering a trickle of money all the way through release rather than a bulk set amount at the beginning.

Darkest Dungeon

Get it here

Platforms: PC, with PS4 coming soon

Many of us at GameSkinny have been absolutely loving this infuriatingly hard 2D RPG masterpiece, and we've got a ton of guides up to help you navigate insanity, disease, and worse.

Focusing on one singular concept where style strongly meets substance, this Lovecraftian dark fantasy title shows how a strong idea and a supportive fanbase can overcome all odds and result in an excellent end product.

Feedback straight from the fans during the long early access process obviously paid off, as there's currently just under 11,000 positive reviews on Steam.

Layers of Fear

Get it here

Platforms: PC

After an extended time in early access, this horror offering officially drops tomorrow (February 16th), and you better believe we'll be covering this one extensively since Layers Of Fear was named one of our most anticipated horror games of the year.

While the reviews from major gaming publications have been mixed to middling, those involved with early access have clearly been pleased, with overwhelmingly positive reviews so far. If you've played, be sure to let us know how you think it stacks up against recent horror giants like Outlast or Soma!

Updates On Previously Funded Projects

Torment Tides Of Numenera

Get early access here

Platforms: PC

Combining both a traditional crowdfunding campaign and now an early access period for fans to beta test the game, Tides Of Numenera has a lot to prove as the successor to the mighty Planescape: Torment.

Some Kickstarter backers have been less than thrilled that people who are late to the party can now get in on the gameplay early through Steam, but as far as I'm concerned, the more testing that goes into this thing before the final release, the better.

What's most exciting here is the feedback that's been coming out. While obviously there's still much to be done in terms of optimization, most reports so far have spoken of excellent characters, story, and an iconic art style to match the original game. InXile might just pull this off and give us a worthy successor to Planescape: Torment after all.

While there's no official drop date yet (and we are way beyond the original estimated release period listed on Kickstarter), it's a foregone conclusion this crowd funded game will actually see release when its ready. Expect it to drop late 2016 / early 2017.

Mighty No. 9

Get updates on the project here

Platforms: PC / Xbox consoles / PS consoles / Wii U / Vita / 3DS

This MegaMan influenced title was recently delayed for a third time, and backers are starting to revolt. Unfortunately, that's a gamble you take with crowdfunding – you aren't guaranteed to get your game when promised, or even get it at all.

Crowdfunded games frequently don't arrive at their original estimated release (just see Torment above, which was projected for a December 2014 release in its Kickstarter campaign), and there's a clear lesson to be learned here by the developers.

When people are giving you money before your product is done, you need to properly manage expectations and provide realistic development times, two issues that are rapidly derailing Mighty No. 9. It's good that updates owning up to problems are coming, but it's entirely unclear when or if this game will finally see full release.

Shenmue 3

Get updates on the project here

Platforms: PC and PS4

This long-anticipated sequel in the Shenmue series is undoubtedly counted among the biggest crowd funding successes, making a jaw dropping $6 million from fans!

There haven't been a ton of updates, but the developer does usually drop at least one new post a month regarding new coverage and the progress of the game.

There's not much info to report at this point, as the game is expected to be in development all of both this and next year, slated for a release in December of 2017. Hopefully some more concrete info starts to leak soon, but at this point it seems the game is on track and has a realistic release date.


Get updates on the project here

Platforms: PC

Also named one of our most anticipated horror titles of the year, work continues on this game with some truly unique elements. The frequent developer updates are a very good sign of the project's health, and 11 minutes of new gameplay footage recently came online. There's no finalized release date, but all indicators are that the game should drop this year without any significant delays.

Check back next month for another look at the most promising crowd funding campaigns and updates on past successful campaigns!