Closed Beta Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Closed Beta RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Darksburg Beta Impressions: Move Over Vermintide, There's A New Fantasy L4D Mon, 30 Dec 2019 13:16:26 -0500 Ty Arthur

The developers behind the quirky and inventive Evoland are gearing up to try out the fast paced cooperative zombie killing genre, and we got to jump into an early closed beta test of the impending Darksburg.

Granted, there are already several options already available in the 4 player co-op space dealing with hordes of enemies. While we are unlikely to get a new Left 4 Dead anytime soon (or ever), there's the zombie slayer GTFO, the tried and true skaven killing simulator Vermintide 2, and of course the upcoming D&D foray Dark Alliance.

Darksburg sits very solidly in that same genre, but with major twists on the viewpoint, graphical style, and character types. If you boil it down, this closed beta test feels a bit like if Diablo 3 had been a Left 4 Dead spin off instead of an ARPG.

Surviving The Zombie Apocalypse In A Fantasy Realm

       Yes, I am in love.

While trying to survive an outbreak of the undead in the city of Darksburg, four characters are available to choose from with varying abilities, and each of those options include new perks to add as you level up over time.

The current lineup includes a werewolf, head-bashing inkeeper, and crossbow-wielding rogue with a ferret companion. All play slightly differently, and all need to be utilized in tandem to keep the hordes at bay while completing tasks.

For me though, there's really only one character: the lovable battle nun Abigail. She's a sister of a holy order, but don't expect her to heal you. Mostly she beats things to death with a giant cross, and sometimes she shoots beams of holy fire to thin out the throngs of zombies.

In Beta we saw two question marks spots for additional characters, so its not clear yet if those are unlockables or will be available straight from the get go with the full launch version.

       Things can get hectic if you don't multitask

After picking your zombie hunter, the base gameplay is very much in the vein of Left 4 Dead, just in an isometric angle and set in a fantasy world. While wading through shambling groups of regular zombie enemies your foursome will come across specialty enemies that take single players out of the fight for limited times (sound familiar?).

There are occasional big bosses to deal with, and getting to the next area requires completing some task... which inevitably makes a bunch of noise that draws a big horde.

One of your unlucky crew will need to carry bulky items during these segments -- which means that player can't attack and must be defended while bringing wood piles to barricade the door, dragging hay bales to fuel a machine, and so on.

In traditional co-op style, you need to stay on top of reviving downed allies, and there are very limited bandages and healing salve to find and use during combat.

      I will deliver this hay bale if its the last damn thing I do! (It was).

The campaign consists of four main story style levels in and around the town, and much like the campaign levels in L4D or Vermintide they involve traveling through an enemy infested city, cutting through fields to find a safe zone, and so on.

If you want straight up zombie mayhem without the objectives, there's also a 20 wave horde mode called Survival. That one is a fun way to jump into quick action, but it definitely needs some tutorial prompts add in.

I never figured out what lighting the beacons (and the race to keep them lit) ever actually did in Survival mode. There's also a big twist here in that you can play as the zombies if you've got a full two teams of 8 players available.

The Bottom Line In Closed Beta

      Twas a valiant effort

While the gameplay is solid, there's a big question of longevity and the ability to build up a sizable player base surrounding Darksburg. That could be exacerbated by the art style, which -- rightly or wrongly -- will unfortunately put Darksburg in more of a niche space than a first person 3D title.

I played the closed beta during the Christmas and New Years time frame, and sadly never actually got enough people to show up in a lobby for a full non-AI team on the North American server. For this latest Shiro Games title to take off, hopefully it will switch to open Beta for a week or so and then launch in Early Access.

That later part will be critical to success, as there are some needed tweaks at this point of the Beta. Cache boxes strewn across the campaign landscapes for instance don't seem to ever have anything in them right now.

There's no question Darksburg is meant to be played with four to eight live players, so this won't be as much of an issue after launch, but the AI companions can be a little wonky. I saw one get stuck on a door / building edge and get annihilated by a single zombie while the rest of us where doing something else.

That being said, there's a fantastic art style and fun gameplay on display here, so this could be a hit if its marketed right and people are willing to jump over from GTFO or Vermintide 2.

Check Out The Latest Mortal Kombat 11 Trailer Before Closed Beta Starts Thu, 21 Mar 2019 13:52:49 -0400 QuintLyn

In less than a week, Mortal Kombat 11 will hit yet another milestone in its development process: closed beta.

The testing period will kick off in North America on Wednesday, March 27 at 8 a.m. PDT and run through Sunday, March 31 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Players who preordered the game on console at select retailers will be granted access to the closed beta.

Note that players wanting to participate in online multiplayer matches during the beta will need either an Xbox Live Gold membership or PlayStation Plus subscription to do so.

Since this will be a beta, not all of the game's characters will be available during the testing period; players will be limited to five choices: Baraka, Jade, Kabal, Scarlet, and Scorpion.

Modes will also be limited during the closed beta phase; players will have access to online multiplayer matches and the single-player mode, Towers of Time.

Testers will, however, be able to experience MK 11's new Custom Character Variation System, which offers players almost infinite customization of their characters using skins, gear, cinematics, taunts, and more.

On top of the closed beta announcement, NetherRealm Studios also dropped a teaser trailer for Kotal Kahn yesterday. 

An Osh-Tekk warrior and Emperor of the Outerworld, Kotal Kahn is responsible for having saved the empire years ago and taking the throne. Unfortunately, peace rarely lasts, so now Kotal Kahn is forced to deal with issues plaguing his empire from within and without. 

To deal with these issues, he summons the power of the sun to strengthen his abilities, much as he did in Mortal Kombat X.

Mortal Kombat 11 is set to release on April 23 for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. So far, 19 characters have been revealed for the fighter, and although fans petitioned, Shaggy is not currently one of them.

For more on Mortal Komabt 11 ahead of the closed beta, check out the story trailer here.

Power Rangers RPG Beta Now Available in Select Territories Wed, 28 Feb 2018 15:27:16 -0500 Erroll Maas

Developer Nexon has released a beta of their upcoming mobile game, Power Rangers RPG, based on Saban's long-running Power Rangers franchise, in some territories, including North America.

In Power Rangers RPG, players will command different ranger team combinations, pilot Megazords, complete daily missions and dimensional explorations, have ranger teams compete in 5 vs. 5 training battles in the dimensional arena, team up with other players to complete Alliance Raids, receive exclusive rewards, and more. 

The beta features Rangers from Power Rangers RPM, Wild Force, S.P.D., Mystic Force, Megaforce, Super Megaforce, and Operation Overdrive.

The Power Rangers RPG beta will be available until March 2, 2018, after which all data will be wiped to work on balancing and other improvements. It has been stated the the beta is closed to testers only, but anyone with an Android mobile device should be able to download and play it. A release date for the final version has not yet been announced. It is currently unknown if the game will also release on iOS devices.

2018 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Power Rangers franchise. To celebrate, Saban will host special touring live events; Boom! Studios will be releasing more of their multiple Power Rangers comic book series, including the upcoming "Shattered Grid" event; Power Rangers: The Ultimate Visual History book will be released; Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel will premiere, which will include guest stars from previous seasons and a 25th anniversary special; new Legacy series Power Rangers toys made exclusively by Bandai will be released; and special collectible commemorative pins will be available at conventions and expos.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more Power Rangers game news as it develops.

Sea of Thieves Chest of Sorrow Guide Thu, 25 Jan 2018 13:55:20 -0500 Ty Arthur

The closed beta for Xbox One/Windows 10 exclusive Sea Of Thieves sails onward as players discover more secrets across this long-awaited cooperative pirate sandbox experience.

What would a pirate simulator be without digging up chests of loot on forgotten islands? While there are plenty of your standard gold treasure chests (or even chests filled with grog!) a handful of extremely rare chest types are now being discovered by players.

One such ultra rare Sea Of Thieves chest is the appropriately named Chest Of Sorrow, which behaves much differently than your standard loot chest sold back at an outpost.

Finding the Chest of Sorrow

These are even more rare than legendary chests, so don't expect to find them often, but you can come across a Chest of Sorrow while digging up sandy areas on islands on a quest for gold, while exploring island caves, or sometimes by checking out shipwrecks while sailing.

Unlike your typical Sea Of Thieves treasure chest, the elusive Chest of Sorrow seems to be alive, but it isn't exactly happy about that fact. The chest will intermittently cry, which actually causes water to pour out of the sides.

Picking up Chest Sorrow in Sea of Thieves  Picking up a Chest Of Sorrow in Sea Of Thieves (special thanks to YouTuber JuJu BoJingles for the screenshot)

If you're on an island, that doesn't matter much, but that can be a big deal while transporting the chest in your ship. Have a bucket handy, because you can actually flood your ship (just as if it had a ruptured hull from combat) if the Chest of Sorrow cries long enough!

Remember that just like any other Sea Of Thieves treasure chest, you've got to manually carry it back to your ship using both hands (so you will be defenseless) and then sell it at an outpost for your gold reward. It can also be stolen by another pirate crew if they attack and board your ship -- or lost due to any of the other typical nautical hazards -- so defend it at all costs!

Keeping a Chest of Sorrow hidden somewhere safe on your ship isn't really an option like it is with a typical chest, since the crying will be audible and the leaking water is clearly visible.

 Clearing out a flooded hold as the Chest of Sorrow cries

Have you come across a Chest of Sorrow yet or found any other interesting uses for it besides turning it in for gold? Let us know in the comments section below!

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

Call of Duty: WW2 Beta Details Announced Tue, 15 Aug 2017 11:49:10 -0400 StraightEdge434

Sledgehammer Games has announced the first details about the upcoming Call of Duty: WW2 beta on its website. According to the official announcement, players have a lot that they can look forward to in this test run for the next entry in the CoD series. 

Here's the rundown of what's currently been revealed:

  • Maps: There will be three maps available to play on -- Ardennes, Gibraltar, and Pointe du Hoc.
  • War Mode: Operation Breakout. One team of players has to complete a series of objectives to earn the win, while the opposing team must stop them from doing so. 
  • Modes: Three classic modes will also be available -- Team Deathmatch, Hardpoint, and Domination.
  • Divisions: All five divisions will be available for players to try out during the beta -- Infantry, Expeditionary, Airborne, Armored, and Mountain Division. 
  • Player Progression: Just like in previous Call of Duty games, all players will start at level one and unlock extra equipment as they level up. 

However, Sledgehammer did also state that the following things will not be available in the beta:

  • Headquarters: This one of a kind social experience is currently being worked on and tested, so it will not be available. For those who don't know, it's a central hub/social area where players can interact with one another.
  • Loot and Supply Drops: The feature itself, as well as its contents, will be unavailable for the duration of the beta. 
  • eSports: Anything associated with ranked or competitive gameplay will not be in the game until its full launch in November.
  • Everything else that the full game will have like other maps, weapons, etc.


The closed beta will kick off for PlayStation 4 users on August 25, with a second beta for Xbox One coming September 1. To access either beta, you will need to pre-order CoD:WW2 for your console of choice. Alternatively, if you subscribe to Comcast's Xfinity internet service, you can request a free code by entering your account number.

Gwent Beta Impressions: A Unique CCG With Great Potential Wed, 17 May 2017 17:38:18 -0400 Sergey_3847

Gwent was first conceived in The Witcher books by Andrzej Sapkowski, but it was strongly augmented for The Witcher 3 mini-game. Later, the community literally begged CD Projekt Red to release a standalone CCG based on Gwent, and here it is, available for free to all those who managed to sign up for the closed beta.

Gwent is a very unique card game that requires a completely different approach than most CCGs available on the market today. The main win condition may sound really simple -- all you need to do is overpower your opponent with your units. But the way to get there is what makes Gwent a true challenge.

Let’s take a deeper look at the current state of this unusual but incredibly interesting card game!

Factions, Archetypes and the State of Meta

At the core of Gwent stand five factions: Northern Realms, Scoia'tael, Monsters, Skellige, and Nilfgaard. Each of these factions has its own leaders and passive abilities that support their corresponding decks. One thing that immediately stands out when you start playing Gwent is the sheer amount of various archetypes that exist in the current meta.

This kind of diversity creates solid competition, as you don’t really know what to expect from your opponents apart from the obvious Gold and Silver cards that are widely included in certain decks. Also, the addition of RNG-heavy cards causes the current state of Gwent to fluctuate, which brings it ever closer to its main competitor: Hearthstone.

But don’t take it wrong that the wrong way: Gwent is still far away from the RNG-fiesta that is Hearthstone, and it has always been. CD Projekt Red carefully monitors the events happening on the Gwent ladder, and while the game is still in the closed beta, the cards get nerfed on a regular basis.

For example, one of the strongest archetypes in Gwent has been Foltest Northern Realms, but due to recent changes, it’s not as good anymore, and its rival faction -- Skellige -- is currently at the forefront by taking solid wins against Henselt, Control Scoia'tael and Monsters decks.

But again, the situation may change as soon as the game enters open beta, which should start on May 24. This means that another batch of cards will get nerfed and the meta will once again change.

Unique Elements and Mechanics of Gwent

Although the state of the meta changes all the time, there are certain elements of Gwent that stay the same, and it is possible to use them to your advantage. One such mechanic is Spying, which gives your opponent a powerful unit, but in return, you get some sort of enhancement on your own board state.

This is something you don’t see in any other CCGs, and it is really cool to trick your opponent into thinking that you give them more power. Then, if you play the Calveit Nilfgaard deck, you can order your spies to move back to your side of the board and gain massive advantages in one turn.

Another cool mechanic is Weather Effects, which can be played either on your opponent’s side to neutralize their forces or on your side to buff your own units. One of the most powerful deck in Gwent is Dagon Monsters, which uses these weather effects to such an efficiency that it makes it a bit too powerful, to be honest.

You can also change the value of the cards with the help of the Henselt leader from the Northern Realms faction. It turns seven adjacent units into Gold units, and that immediately makes them immune to all sorts of effects, including weather effects. All of this truly makes Gwent an original card game with its own right.

Gwent is a Skill-to-Play game

Every card game needs players to buy and craft more cards, and Gwent is no exception. The current pool of cards is already pretty remarkable, and many new players may feel the urge to spend money to get the best cards as soon as possible.

But in reality, there really is no such need. In the case of Gwent, your credit card is not the best card, since it is a very skill-based game. If you play really well, then a well-made budget deck can get you far up the competitive ladder.

For example, a cheap Consume Monsters deck that utilizes Vran Warriors and Arachas Behemoths in the early game and Nekker Warriors in the late game. This deck has only one Gold unit -- Geralt -- and the deck performs exceptionally well. But as mentioned earlier, it still requires a skillful player to win match-ups.

On the other hand, if you like to play control variants, then prepare to spend some cash. These types of decks require tons of Gold and Silver cards, and at the same time, can be really hard to pilot.

Prepare for the Reset

Gwent is definitely headed toward a bright future, especially after its recent emergence on the eSports scene with the latest Challenger tournament that, surprisingly, has seen lots of professional Hearthstone players in it. Or maybe not surprisingly at all, since Hearthstone has gotten a bit stale lately.

Gwent, on the other hand, really offers something fresh and unusual, which attracts players who would like to see some real challenge, and not just a series of random outcomes. So, in case you didn’t manage to register for the closed beta, wait for a couple of weeks and start playing Gwent in open beta.

As of now, all registrations for the closed beta of Gwent have been terminated, so what does it mean for every one playing? Well, most likely, you can expect a complete reset of the servers, meaning that all the progress, including your card load will be fully deleted.

But don’t get upset, CD Projekt Red will give you all of your purchased kegs back, which will let you restore your collections to their original form. Here’s what you’ll get in more detail:

  • Every Card Keg you purchased -- we will return you the amount of Kegs you bought with real money.
  • Card Kegs for Player Levels -- starting from level 5, you get 2 Kegs every 5 levels.
  • Card Kegs for your rank -- 2 Kegs for each rank.
  • All end-season rewards.
  • All items granted as gifts from CD PROJEKT RED (like the gift premium Geralt card).


That's it for now. Make sure to check out our Gwent Beginner's Guide to get started in The Witcher CCG the right way. 

Have you had the chance to play Gwent? Will you sign up for the open beta? Express your opinion in the comments below.

Brawlhalla Comes to PlayStation 4 Beta Wed, 26 Apr 2017 15:20:56 -0400 Jerline Justo

Blue Mammoth Games announces that their 2D fighting platform game, Brawlhalla, comes to PS4 beta today.

The game was released on Steam about two years ago and is still free to play. Now, Blue Mammoth Games turns to PlayStation 4, where players can sign up for Brawlhalla's closed beta. By signing up, players will receive an exclusive avatar and free character.

In the game, players can choose a variety of characters with their set of weapons and skills and go head-to-head against other players. They can play either offline or online under different sets of matches--free for all, online ranked matches, single player. If players want to challenge themselves even further, they can also enter into tournaments during weekends to battle against expert players as well.

Matt Woomer, Creative Director of Blue Mammoth Games, shares on the PlayStation blog:

"We built Brawlhalla from the ground up to play great online, to be very easy to pick up and play, and to be free-to-play — not pay-to-win. Then we put in playable vikings, ninjas, aliens, pirates, cowboys, werewolves, knights, androids, superheroes and much more. So we think you’ll really like it."

On the post, he also shares that the full release of Brawlhalla will be coming this Summer. 

To learn more about the game, check out the trailer below. 

Stay tuned for more news on Brawlhalla at GameSkinny!

Pre-order the Chivalry Dev's New Game Mirage: Arcane Warfare and Get in the Beta Tue, 28 Mar 2017 06:41:09 -0400 Paige McGovern

Both pre-orders and the closed beta of Mirage: Arcane Warfare launched today on Steam.

Developed by Torn Banner Studios (the developers of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare), Mirage: Arcane Warfare is a multiplayer skill-based FPS. The game has both magic and melee combat to appeal to a wide player base. Its closed beta will be available until around May 23, the official release date.

The closed beta features:

  • All six character classes
  • Two tiers of interchangeable magical abilities
  • 5 game modes
  • 11 environments
  • No NDA (players can now broadcast gameplay)
  • An introduction to the mage Entropist

To get into the game now, Steam users can order The Standard Edition for only $29.99. This edition includes:

  • Instant closed beta access
  • Closed beta Friend Key (if pre-ordering)
  • Full version of Mirage: Arcane Warfare
  • "Bones of the Bygone" helmet pack

For an additional $10, players can upgrade to the Special Edition. The benefits include:

  • The Standard Edition
  • The original soundtrack
  • "Honor Masks" helmet pack
  • Welcome Random Drops package
  • HD Fan pack (Wallpapers, propaganda art, and a world map)
  • Chivalry: Medieval Warfare Complete Edition

Those who own the popular Chivalry: Medieval Warfare can receive 10% off. Conveniently, Chivalry can be downloaded for free on Steam for today only, so everyone can enjoy this discount.

Both the Standard and Special Editions are available for purchase now on the game's Steam page.

Watch the new trailer for the beta below:

GameMaker Studio 2 Closed Beta is Here for Mac Users Thu, 23 Mar 2017 13:26:06 -0400 Justin Michael

Yoyo Games put out a tweet yesterday that Mac-using game devs should take note of. Its popular game development program, GameMaker Studio 2, is now entering closed beta for Mac. 

The beta started up yesterday, March 22 -- but it is a closed beta, so you will have to jump through a few hoops to get your hands on the software. In order to qualify for the closed beta you must be a Mac user over the age of 18 and follow the directions below.

  • Send an email to with the subject line "Mac IDE Closed Beta"
  • In the email body, include the following information:
    • Full name
    • Country
    • Mac specifications (including OS version)

GMS2 went into its Windows beta on November 2, 2016. Since then, it's gone through a number of updates, patches, and fixes that are quickly making it a go-to engine for aspiring game developers -- especially those looking to make mobile games.

With a superior workflow over the GameMaker: Studio 1.4 engine, as well as a much more robust and intuitive user interface, GMS2 makes it even easier to get into developing games even if you have no prior programming experience. This is thanks to its logical Drag-and-Drop programming system.

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and hands-on impressions as the GameMaker Studio 2 beta gets going in full force!

GT Sport Closed Beta Announced Thu, 09 Mar 2017 12:46:00 -0500 Pierre Fouquet

Polyphony has recently announced the start of the "Phase 2" closed beta for Gran Turismo Sport. Beta testing for this version of the game is set to start on March 17.

The closed beta will show off a rotation of cars and tracks that players can pick from. And they will be swapped out daily -- so you'll need to check in often to test everything you can.

The closed beta will also show off the new "Driver Profile" matchmaking system. This system has two parts:

  • Sportsmanship Rating: Tracks how well-behaved players are on track.
  • Driver Rating: This tracks your lap times, and where you finish.

While the beta is limited to US PSN IDs to start, it will come to Europe later. In an official statement, Polyphony said this delay is due to the time difference:

"While we begin to roll out the beta, we have decided that the time differences across the U.S. are best matched to the development team in Tokyo."

This is "Phase 2" of the closed beta testing, and there will be future tests. If you sign up now, you may not get entry for this iteration of the beta -- but you should be able to get into a future phase of testing.

The servers for the closed beta will only be open at specific times of day, but these times have yet to be confirmed. Stay tuned for more updates as we learn more!

Mirage: Arcane Warfare Closed Beta Starts March 27 if You Pre-Order Thu, 02 Mar 2017 17:33:18 -0500 Justin Michael

Torn Banner Studios has announced that the long-awaited successor to its previous game, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, is ready to make its way to closed beta testing. After a year of alpha testing, the closed beta for Mirage: Arcane Warfare is scheduled for launch on March 27 -- granting anyone who pre-orders the game instant access to to the closed beta servers.

So, what can we expect from the closed beta? 

  • Over 10 different maps made available throughout the beta testing period, spanning multiple game modes such as Capture-the-Flag and Team Objective modes.
  • An automatic matchmaking system that pairs players based off of skill level to keep things balanced.
  • 6 playable character classes, each with their own unique styles, customizable ability sets, and a multitude of voiced emotes.
  • A special reveal of a new character -- the Entropist -- a mage who rides a flying carpet and wields a magical staff.

Mirage: Arcane Warfare pre-orders will open up through Steam on March 27, the same day that the closed beta starts. So make sure to follow the Steam page and add the game to your wishlist if you're interested in trying it out. 

Dueling Titans -- Gigantic Closed Beta Impressions Wed, 09 Nov 2016 02:00:02 -0500 Kris Cornelisse (Delfeir)

I first took notice of Gigantic following its initial announcement back in 2014. Sporting a stylised design that looked like the lovechild of Ratchet and Clank with Wind Waker, the game offered a combination of MOBA elements with third person shooting mechanics and promised to put a new spin on the genre.

This seemed quite promising and I followed the game’s development for a time, but beyond a few videos and appearances at conventions, the game didn’t surface for some time and I eventually got caught up in other things. All that changed when I found a PC key in my email for the closed beta weekend at the beginning of November.

Eager to finally play but not especially enthusiastic, I went in to play. I didn’t expect to find the absolute highlight of my week within the game, but find it I did. My love for Gigantic has reemerged tenfold.

Though there’s still more to come in the development cycle, the closed beta feels quite polished and the game is an absolute blast to play. The pacing of each game is smooth and feels enjoyable, and there’s rarely a break in the action. While there’s a little bit of strategy in how you move with your teammates and where you are on the map, it largely comes down to player skills as you rack up kills and control objectives.

But what is Gigantic? How does it play? Let me take you through the basics.

You have a base? We have a kaiju.

Most traditional MOBAs see teams competing with each other to destroy one another’s base, and while this is technically true of Gigantic, the means of doing so are completely different.

For starters, do you wonder why the game is called Gigantic? That happens to be the descriptor of your team’s guardian, which is either a giant gryphon or a massive dragon-like naga. Rather than be immobile and featureless base buildings, these giants take to the field to fight one another, and players use their characters to influence this battle.

In addition to the guardians, there are a handful of control points on each map that teams can control. In order to do so, they must channel in those specific areas in order to summon a creature to serve as that point. These creatures provide a number of effects to their team such as healing or enemy vision and will fight back if attacked, but defeating them and claiming the point for your team is key to getting ahead. You also have the option of customising what kind of creatures you can summon between games, which can alter their effects further.

Going back to your giant guardians, each one has an energy bar that is filled either through killing enemy players, defeating their creatures, or summoning your own. Once either side has reached full energy, the guardian becomes empowered and will launch an assault on its opponent, moving across the battlefield in order to do so. When the attack lands, it will pin down the enemy guardian for a brief period, during which they are vulnerable and players must do as much damage to them as they can. If they whittle the health bar away, that scores a wound on the guardian. Score three wounds and the game is over.

Prior to that point, the guardians cannot be harmed, but they will attack enemies that come too close, so they serve as a base to plan and move your attacks around while you work to control points. It makes the overall flow of the game feel much more dynamic and impactful, and watching the guardians fly across the battlefield to do battle is a sight to behold.

A challenger approaches

While the guardians may be the overall focal point of a round of Gigantic, it’s the much smaller player characters that are of immediate concern. There are currently sixteen different characters, each with their own style of play and kit. Game balance is still a work in progress but it seems fairly good at the moment, and my games featured a whole array of heroes that all seemed to make an impact.

Each hero has a fairly standard number of abilities and uses that won’t look too out of place to anybody who has played Battlerite. You have your primary attack, then a variety of cooldowns that all serve different functions depending on the character, all culminating with an ultimate ability that you generate energy for as you fight. There’s tanky melee characters, fast moving duelists, ranged snipers or mid-range shooters, support types, the usual array.

Where Gigantic differs from most is the talent system. There are no items, but you can level up to 10 as the game progresses, with each granting you a new skill point. Each skill can be improved twice, and each time it offers a choice from two options on how to upgrade it, so you can tweak your abilities to suit the given situation. In addition, you can also pick a talent that focuses on one of three styles to further adjust how you play.

It’s simple but robust, and doesn’t take you out of the action for long. At present it seems that players level up and gain these points really quickly, long before a game is even in the final stage, but this is apparently being worked on as the beta progresses.

All action, all the time

Keeping you in the action is very much Gigantic’s game plan, and strong suit. Since kills empower your guardian and creature windows of opportunity for you to strike, it is helpful to get into a fight and take out an enemy even if it’s not for control of an objective. You do get points for claiming points and summoning or defeating creatures though, so it’s best not to get too caught up in the action. Focusing fire with your teammates is very much the key to getting ahead.

The clashing of the guardians changes what would otherwise just be a continuous brawl into an interesting affair. There’s a big announcement when a guardian is fully empowered and on the move, with a countdown ticking down as it moves into position. Once it’s made your target vulnerable, there’s another countdown before the guardian breaks free, so you need to move fast and focus fire.

Of course, when defending against these vulnerabilities, the enemy team knows exactly how long they have and where you’re going to be. That makes it usually turn into an all out firefight, where you need to balance between eliminating threats or dumping your firepower into the guardian. If your teammates aren’t quick on the uptake, or if too many die before a vulnerability is opened, it can easily end in failure and prolong the match, though damage done towards each wound does persist.

There’s a few more elements of this back and forth struggle to keep things interesting. Firstly, there’s the respawn system. After you die, you’ll respawn about fifteen seconds later as you would in any MOBA. Rather than having scaling death timers as the game continues, however, teammates dying on top of you will actually reset your timer, meaning that staggering deaths can be seriously detrimental to your team. All the more reason to stay alive and stay in the fight, especially since you’ll all respawn at once... but this can create gaps for a clever team to make use of while their foes are behind.

Then, there’s the Clash. At either fifteen minutes into the game or when a guardian is reduced to one wound -- whichever comes first -- then the Clash begins as a sort of sudden death mode. The guardians move closer together into the battlefield and disable some of the creature points, meaning there’s a lot less room to work with and the action gets even more frantic.

Matches don’t tend to last more than twenty minutes in Gigantic, but there’s certainly a lot of action and very little downtime in each game. Even with the closed beta queue times, I felt like I was getting a hell of a lot more value for my time, which lead me to chaining multiple games in quick succession.

Less detailed, more stylised

Amidst all the gameplay, one of the things that most caught my attention in Gigantic was the graphical design. The general feel of the setting and the characters is best described as.. bouncy. A trait that I liken most to the Ratchet and Clank series.

There’s a very strong cel-shaded aesthetic as well, which overall makes the game stand out amongst its competitors, even if the overall detail might be seem lacking at first glance. It’s not as graphically detailed as Paragon, but it presents itself in such a way that it probably comes across stronger for it. Everything is bright and colourful, and even with simpler details it’s not hard to differentiate key points at a glance.

Couple this with some lovely music and reasonably good sound design that successfully informs players of each major shift in the game -- when the guardians are on the move, for example -- and you have a surprisingly gorgeous game that is sure to stand out in the crowd.

To further stand out, Gigantic currently features three different maps. Each is set in a completely different kind of terrain, giving you the choice of a rocky canyon, a snowy area filled with caves, or an overgrown ruin. Paths and placement of creature points is different in each, adding that little bit of extra variety to the game and keeping the visual effects from getting too stale.

Sounds good, so what’s to come?

The developers at Motiga have been very good about communicating with the players during the beta tests and throughout development, so feedback is constantly being brought in and acted upon.

"At present, the plan is still to hopefully have the open beta out before 2016 concludes, but there’s no official date set. There’s also no set date for the official release."

Gigantic will be Free to Play from launch on PC and Xbox One, with a few heroes available to all players and more to be unlocked via either in-game currency or microtransactions, similar to League of Legends.

Cosmetic skins will also be purchasable. In-game currency will be earned by just  playing the game, but also reaching certain milestones with characters. In addition, there’s a fortune card system that allows one daily draw from a pool of three options, with each card offering objectives to be completed for additional currency. This can range from winning a certain number of games to reaching a set number of kills or playing a certain character enough.

At the moment, there’s no official statement on how many characters and maps will be available at launch, but it's likely that development and additional content will be released well into the game's life.

I can tell you this much about Gigantic: as this closed beta concludes, I am already eagerly anticipating the next one and cannot wait to get my hands on the game some more. So far, the game is proving a welcome addition to the MOBA genre that will definitely has the potential to differentiate itself from its peers and stand out.

Closed beta signups for Gigantic are still open if you just can’t wait that long. Have you had a chance to play it yet, or do you want to? I’d love to hear about it.

Gwent Moves to Closed Beta Tuesday Sun, 23 Oct 2016 23:18:49 -0400 Glitchieetv

Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, is a card game originally created as a side mission in The Witcher, will be moving into closed beta Tuesday, October 25th. Starting at 7pm CEST CD Projekt Red will be sending out invites to those that signed up for the closed beta. If you signed up for the closed beta, you are all set. An email will be sent out explaining what to do for either the PC or Xbox One. There will be more than one wave of invites sent, so hold tight if you do not receive an invite right away.

Still unsure whether you want to join in on the beta? CD Projekt Red will be streaming Gwent: The Witcher Card Game live on their Twitch channel Monday, October 24th at 7pm CEST. Chatting with developers, opening card kegs and discussing deck building are all on the schedule for their cast. If you decide that you want to be a part of the closed beta, you can sign up after the closed beta begins. 

Once a popular mini-game in the hit RPG The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, Gwent is now standing on its own. Did you play Gwent in The Witcher 3? Are you planning on taking part in the closed beta? Let know in the comments below.

Everspace: Redefining the Roguelike Genre Mon, 08 Aug 2016 13:03:33 -0400 Justin Michael

I have played my fair share of space titles, with many hours poured into games like Eve Online, Freelancer, X3: Terran Conflict, and Elite: Dangerous to name a few but there is a new contender on the battlefield that’s looking to redefine the space shooter / roguelike genre and that is Everspace. Everspace is a new breed of space game brought to us by the newly formed Rockfish Games Studio but don’t be fooled, these guys are far from rookies. Formerly Fishlabs Entertainment, they are responsible for the popular Galaxy on Fire series which boasts over 30+ million mobile downloads.

After roughly 10 hours of gameplay, and a number of spectacular deaths here is my opinion about the game so far (which is still in its early beta build).

1. The graphics are breathtaking

Sometimes we are disappointed that the screenshots are not what we can expect from a game in terms of graphical quality, this in not one of those games. I am running the game on a Nvidia GTX 760 OC with the settings maxed out and the visuals are much more than I'd expect from an early beta build. The asteroid fields of some of the levels are very detailed, with chunks breaking off of mineable asteroids and beautiful particle effects from the various beam-based weapons. Even the level of detail to the varying degrees of damage to your ship has been meticulously thought out.

A Screenshot of damage taken in-game

2. Adapt and overcome with crafting on the fly

Gathering resources, aside from fulfilling that urge to collect everything that's not bolted down, is the cornerstone for a successful run as it allows you to craft upgrades and items that can tip situations in your favor. Items can be crafted by finding blueprints, which carry over from run to run. For example, a cloaking module could help you slip through an enemy-dense asteroid field undetected or you can craft more scanning probes on the fly, allowing you to scout the same field for valuable resources. A shield booster can help you survive a few more hits or an energy booster could give you that extra reserve to stay in the fight. It all comes down to having the right tools for the situation at hand.

3. Danger lurks around every asteroid

As if space itself wasn't inherently dangerous enough with the whole lack of oxygen, black holes, and treacherous asteroid fields, there are plenty of unsavory characters that want nothing more than to kill you and take your loot. We have your run of the mill pirate who shoots first and asks questions never, outlaws who live on the fringe of space, aliens who seem less than friendly, and drones that pursue with the cold calculation of a machine. If that wasn't enough, there are even creatures that live within the asteroid fields themselves, waiting for the opportune moment to strike out from their hiding place to defend their territory.

4. You will die, and you'll be okay with that

Similar to games like Rogue Legacy, when you die you go back to the hangar screen where you can spend your hard-earned credits from the previous run to upgrade your ship. Want to try to avoid zones that might be more combat heavy? Invest in upgrading your ship sensors. Feel like being a speed demon, put some points into tuning up your engines. Or maybe you just want to slug it out sector to sector, in that case, upgrade your weapons, shields, and hull armor. You can really customize the game to fit your play style and with the full release, you'll have access to 2 other ship types for even more customization.

At this point in the development, I am excited to see the direction that Everspace is going in. I look forward to keeping you updated on the progress as the game moves along in development and am excited to see what else Rockfish Games has in store for us. If my review wasn't enough for you, here's a clip of gameplay from my last broadcast on Be advised though that some of my language is NSFW, just a warning.

Albion Online makes the jump to closed beta, but only for those who can pay the piper Tue, 02 Aug 2016 04:45:10 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

Sandbox Interactive announced this week that they will be moving Albion Online into the "Final Beta". The game's servers have been wiped and the roughly 160K founding players will be starting over from scratch. Only founders will be allowed into the beta though, so bring your wallet if you want to play. 

Albion Online is an MMORPG that has more in common with Eve Online than World of Warcraft. The economy is entirely player driven, so if a player wants the best sword in the game she will need to find the best blacksmith in the world to buy it from. If a player wants to mine for ore and transport it across the lands, they are free to do so, but they will face off against player bandits and opposing guilds. 

Quite a few changes have been made to the game as a result of the alpha testing. They have added two huge new worlds to explore -- The Royal Islands, and The Outlands. Each of these areas will also have new biomes including swamps, mountains, and steppes. The developers have also added Artifact Items to help keep players competitive while they roam the lands seeking glory and riches.

Guild game play has been revamped as well including Guild Vs. Guild combat. They have also added a new "Crime and Reputation" system that should help to keep players honest. Reputation will play a huge part in how the world reacts to and treats the players, so those who decide to turn to a life of crime will suffer real consequences.

The beta went live on August 1st. Legendary Founders will have access immediately, while Epic Founders will have to wait a day. Veteran founders, the lowest of the founder tiers, will have access on August 3rd. The price of entry isn't cheap, with the Veteran Founder's pack coming in at $29.95 and the Legendary Founders pack a whopping $99.95. But if you would like to get in on the beta, check out the official website for all the juicy details. 

Mirage: Arcane Warfare Public Beta Sign Ups have Begun Thu, 16 Jun 2016 17:43:56 -0400 HaruOfTime

Mirage: Arcane Warfare is a multiplayer FPS combat game where players battle using magic and melee action. The public beta is planned to start this summer, and you can register for it now on the Mirage website. There will be certain requirements to participate, but those details have not been released yet. The game is being developed by Torn Banner Studios, the makers of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. 

According to the Mirage website, there will be six playable classes in the game, each with their own distinct play style:

Vypress – An elusive and agile assassin that uses her mobility and speed to cut foes down.
Alchemancer – Powerful mage that relies solely on the devastating power and capabilities of his magic.
Taurant– Hulking brute that excels at melee and uses his size and physical strength to dominate enemies upclose.
Tinker – Defensive trap specialist that uses her cunning and wit to defeat larger opponents.
Viglist– Stalwart defender that supports her teammates with her control over the battlefield and knockaround capabilities.
Entropist – Staff wielding hybrid that has a magic carpet and a mixture of offensive and support capabilities.

The game's magical fantasy world is influenced by ancient Persia and Arabia. Battle on desert sands, in bazaars, and palaces as you fight in a brutal civil war over the use of magic itself.

For more information about the game and to sign up for the upcoming beta test, check out the Mirage website.

Titanfall 2 Beta Sign Ups have Begun Tue, 14 Jun 2016 12:22:02 -0400 HaruOfTime

Respawn Entertainment is back with Titanfall 2featuring 6 new Titans, new Pilot abilities, and even a single player campaign mode. The game's release date is set for October 28, 2016 for the PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

But you don't have to wait that long to play a bit of the game.

Before the game's release, Titanfall 2 will have beta tests for the multiplayer aspect of the game. Players who sign up will have the chance to earn in-game rewards and other exclusive offers.

Titanfall 2 is a first-person shooter where the player is the Pilot to mechs called Titans. While the first game has a huge focus on multiplayer action, there were criticisms about the game feeling incomplete, especially due to a lack of a single player campaign.

Now with Titanfall 2, Respawn Entertainment is improving on these issues and gives the fans what they wanted.

Sign up for the beta at Titanfall website and standby for Titanfall 2. We'll get you more info as it comes along!

Revelation Online Flies into the West Thu, 09 Jun 2016 10:54:52 -0400 Bran Rahl

Later this fall, the Chinese MMO Revelation Online will start its Closed Beta for English, French, and Dutch players. While a Chinese MMO may not seem to be up your alley, it's been found to be very popular in China and by various people playing from the US and Europe.

In the mythical world of Nuanor, a setting resembling that of ancient China, players fight the forces of evil to become a legend. A pretty stereotypical plot for a MMO, but Revelation Online has a lot to offer players.

First thing players might notice is the ability to choose their own unique play style. Various MMO games these days have a distinct style of play; they either use the tab and click method, which is the more traditional, or more of an action style similar to that of Blade and Soul. With Revelation Online, the player doesn't have to worry about that -- players can choose from three unique control schemes.

But this isn't why the game is popular. Instead, its popularity arises from the unique flight mechanics used in Revelation Online. Unlike other games with flight, Revelation Online has no limitation to the usage of flight. There's no flight area restriction (unless, of course, the map hasn't been released yet), and no flight time limit. Later on, combat revolves around aerial battles as players either besiege a flying castle or dive underwater to attack a temple hidden beneath the sea.

Endless flight is great and all, but you can't really enjoy it if you have to keep seeing a loading screen. That is why, thankfully, the world of Revelation Online is a transition-less open-world. A player can fly all the way from one end of the map to the other in one seamless journey. It may take you a while, but there's plenty of beautiful environments to enjoy and mysteries to uncover along the way.

If you're interested, you might want to check out this review from Steparu, or check out Revelation Online's website where you can sign up for their CBT before it starts.

A First Look at Riders of Icarus Thu, 09 Jun 2016 05:09:29 -0400 HaruOfTime

Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the third and final closed beta session of Riders of Icarus. This closed beta session ran from June 2 to June 7. Now that it's over, the game will go into open beta on July 6.

As of this beta session, the NDA has been lifted, so here are some of my thoughts on Riders of Icarus. Please note that since the game is still in beta, this may not be representative of the game when fully released.

The Good

The game's tutorial is pretty badass. It starts off with your character breaking out of jail and flying off on the back of a pegasus into the sunset. Seriously, how cool does that sound?

The game is gorgeous. Its beautiful graphics are reminiscent of TERA. The tameable creatures are also wonderfully detailed.

Open world. The game's world and maps are massive. I found myself spending hours simply exploring and finding cool new creatures to tame.

Mounted combat. Ever hated it when your character got off their mount when getting attacked? Well, now you can fight back while on your mount. The player can fight on their mount using a crossbow or lance, even when flying in the air.

There's a lot of cool mounts. There's creatures from dragons, unicorns, phoenixes, and dinosaurs that the player can choose to tame. These mounts can also be transformed into a miniature pet version which will follow and fight with the player. Some of the mounts will require special items to tame, making them more desireable.

The Bad

The game starts off and progresses rather slowly. After the awesome tutorial sequence, the player goes though the starter area. They can only leave after reaching about level 10. The problem with this is that it can take a few hours just to reach this point, and the game doesn't get very interesting until past then.

All of the cooler mounts and content are way past the starter area. Mounted combat is also only introduced around level 15. So having to wait so long to get to that point can be frustrating.

While the game's world is massive and invites exploration, the player will find themselves being stuck in one small area of the game's huge world, just because it takes a long time to level up and get to the next area.

Combat feels clunky. I'm not a huge fan of the combat system. The attacks don't feel fluid and satisfying. It took me a while to understand that the "auto attack" command didn't combo attacks. And sometimes the game's targeting system wouldn't work, which kept me from attacking enemy that was standing in front of me.

However, I've only played the berserker class so far, so I'm not sure how combat feels for other classes. Apparently mage classes can cast spells while moving, which I think is an excellent feature.

The grind is real. I've always hated grinding in MMOs, and Riders of Icarus is no exception. Leveling up requires requires taking tons of quests at once, especially since killing mobs gives very little EXP. The quests will mostly consist of killing a certain amount of creatures, gathering items, and the occasional escort quest.

I often found myself getting bored of doing quests, and just exploring instead.


Riders of Icarus is a decent game that focuses more on the game's taming and mount system than combat.

Players who are interested in mounted combat and capturing and taming creatures like in Pokemon should definitely give the game a try when it goes into open beta.

If you want to learn more about it, check out the Riders of Icarus website.