A Way Out
A Way Out is the next game written and directed by Josef Fares, one of the creative forces behind the excellent Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. For those who may have missed it, Brothers gave you control of two characters, both controlled simultaneously and independently via the analogue. As a result, it featured challenging, but rewarding platforming and puzzles, and a heartwarming story to boot.
Like Brothers, A Way Out leans in to the idea of telling the story of two characters and allowing you to experience them concurrently. This time, however, the two characters are prisoners trying to escape from jail and eventually live out their lives on the run. To successfully put their escape plan into action, both characters will need to work together to, for example, distract a guard while the other scopes out a route or acquires a tool that will aid them. Developer Hazelight Studios has said A Way Out will feature multiple characters to interact with, and the solutions to their problems aren't obviously prescribed. This encourages communication between the two players, who can be playing together on a couch or over the internet. From a gameplay standpoint, A Way Out is an intriguing prospect, but we're more interested in seeing its handling of storytelling.
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown
Super-realistic clouds. Intense dogfighting action. A melodramatic military soap-opera that only Metal Gear Solid could top. These are the things that make Ace Combat great. But if you've been a long-term fan of the series you'll likely agree that the most recent entries have been a let-down because of attempts to mimic Western-style military blockbuster games.
That's all set to change with Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, the first numbered entry for the series in 10 years. Using that number is a purposeful decision, too. The Project Aces team, led by Kazutoki Kono, are attempting to bring the series' original flavor back, refocusing on their hypothetical world where they can take more liberties with their stories of political intrigue and emotional character moments. That's backed by a long-term refinement of the game's accessible jet-fighting controls and intense combat scenarios to go with it. Here's hoping that the return of one of Namco's formerly beloved franchises sticks the landing well enough to reclaim its glory.
Bloodstained: Ritual Of The Night
Castlevania has changed a lot over the years, but there was a time when game after game followed a familiar formula to great results. The developer largely credited for the series' past greatness is Koji Igarashi, who is presently working on Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, a spiritual successor to Castlevania games of yore.
Early impressions of the game from events like E3 and Tokyo Game Show are positive. Igarashi's handiwork is on full display, meaning that you will explore 2D, gothic environments while fending off demonic enemies and gather new abilities to extend your reach and open new pathways.
It's the familiar "Metroidvania" formula, but the fact that it's coming from the person responsible for popularizing it in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (after Super Metroid laid the foundation) eases the concerns that Bloodstained is just a simple nostalgia trip. Igarashi has been out of the game for quite a while after leaving Konami, and our hope is that his return to 2D action games comes with improvements and innovations. The sub-genre has been approached by many developers in his absence, and we can't wait to see if Igarashi is able to rekindle his old flame in the light of the many great games his earlier works inspired.
Crackdown 3 was first announced at E3 2014 and planned for a 2016 release, but a delay pushed it back to November 2017. It was then hit with another delay following its bold showing at E3 2017, and now it's set to launch at an unspecified date in spring 2018.
Crackdown 3 is going to be one of the Xbox One's marquee exclusive games, featuring immense levels of environmental destruction in an open world--an evolution of the previous games in the series. However, there will be a difference in how this is handled between single-player and multiplayer. The mass destruction in multiplayer relies on server-based cloud technology which will provide the grand spectacle in online games. On the other hand, the single-player campaign will be more tame, akin to a Just Cause. This open-world action game focuses its narrative on taking down criminal syndicates similar to the original Crackdown.
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