Where will the God of War Sequel take Place?


God of War (2018) is a sensational game that is both deep in story and rich in gameplay. With over 190 various games of the year awards worldwide, there’s no doubt that it’s a phenomenal game. To have landed so many awards in a year that also saw Red Dead Redemption 2, Spider-Man, Forza Horizon 4, Monster Hunter: World, and Super Smash Bros Ultimate hit the shelves makes the game’s collection of accolades even more impressive.


So, as is often the case, fans are clamouring for more and seeking any sign that there’s a sequel on the way. Having made so much money and earned global critical acclaim, there’s no doubt that Santa Monica Studio will be getting to work on the next chapter in the soft-reboot of God of War. But as the protagonist, Kratos, made his way from Greek mythology in the first three instalments of the franchise to Norse mythology, many wonders if the next game will take place in another realm of mythology.



Will Kratos take Artreus to another realm?


During the God of War story, Kratos and his son Artreus learn that the peaceful Norse god of war Tyr had traveled to many distant lands to expand his knowledge. Later, the duo discovers Tyr’s panel, which boasts four symbols from different mythologies.

In the top left is the Eye of Ra from ancient Egyptian mythology. The top right is from Kratos’ heritage, ancient Greece, the Omega symbol. In the bottom right, the Celtic symbol of Triskele sits. In the bottom left, which is fleetingly shown, is the Hidari Mitsudomoe, from Japanese Shinto mythos.

The panel suggests a viable connection between these realms of mythology, as does Kratos’ presence in the Norse realm, which opens up a massive range of opportunities for future God of War games. In fact, director Cory Barlog said that they might explore the Egyptian era in the future, per Game Spot.

Then again, Sony Santa Monica may have already left us a hint as to where the next God of War will take place.

Sony Santa Monica say that Ragnarok is coming



As much fun as it would be to venture into a new realm as Kratos, he has unfinished business to attend to within the Norse realms.

In celebration of the epic game’s one-year anniversary, Sony Santa Monica gifted a free dynamic theme and a bunch of avatars to PlayStation 4 users. The theme itself depicts the iconic world serpent Jormungandr in the background with Kratos, Artreus, and Mimir in a rowboat on the Lake of Nine. It’s a fairly recognisable image from the game, but looking a little closer, fans think that they’ve uncovered a clue for the sequel.

Carved into the side of the rowboat are some Nordic runes which, translated roughly, say ‘Ragnarok is Coming,’ according to Games Radar. The conclusion of God of War could very well be what causes Ragnarok – the foretold apocalypse of the of humans and the gods in Norse mythology – to usher in, with a huge rumble between Kratos and the overruling gods of Norse mythology possibly proving to be what causes the cataclysmic event to occur. After all, Kratos has already killed Zeus in the Greek realm: why not take on Odin too?

Regardless of where the inevitable sequel takes place, fans will be buzzing for all of the leaks, hints, and reveals over the years to come in anticipation of another stunning God of War instalment.



Console games of the year 2018


Last year was a superb year for gaming for many different reasons. Not only were some truly tremendous titles released, but a brand new and immensely popular genre emerged from games based on Koushun Takami’s novel Battle Royale; a huge array of top-class single-player games stood tall when some ‘experts’ foresaw their end; and gamers continued to revolt against the tyranny of loot boxes.


Here, we’re going to be narrowing our focus to the three best console games – those released to the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, or Xbox One – released in 2018.


Honourable Mentions



Credit:
Monster Hunter

Credit: Monster Hunter


It was very tough to compile a top-three of the best console games of 2018, so it’s important to make a note of these other incredible creations.


Monster Hunter: World: Capcom’s big drive to create a game that would appeal to the Western audience was a smash-hit. The immersive and deep game features unique game mechanics, simply stunning graphics, and a completely customisable experience – from your choice of weapons and armour to deciding whether to slay or sedate the monsters.


Spider-Man: In a world devoid of superhero games, Insomniac’s Marvel creation proved that the audience is very hungry for more. Spider-Man was a record-breaking game for Sony, but the game’s appeal went well beyond its titular character: it delivers the full superhero experience in an open-world which features a storyline, many supervillains, boss battles, random criminal encounters, and customisation options.


Forza Horizon 4: Forza Horizon’s innovative take on the racing genre continues to shine through, this time taking its drivers to Great Britain. With all of the customisation and free roam aspects that it’s become well-known for, Forza Horizon 4 is quite possibly the best racing game ever made. In a year that the PS4 and Switch released many great exclusives, Forza Horizon 4 stood as the Xbox One’s only top-class console exclusive.


With the honourable mentions in the books, let’s take a look at the games which made a huge mark on 2018 and what we consider to be the very best releases of the year.


3. Red Dead Redemption 2



of the American south.

Credit: Rockstar Games


Release Date: 26 October 2018, Console: PlayStation 4, Xbox One


Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the most detailed and vast open-world experiences ever put to game. The developers, Rockstar, have left no stone unturned, from the need to clean your guns to animating every aspect of each horse.


The story is superb, not just engaging in Western-style shootout and bank jobs, and instead adding many different elements that the player must partake in to help restore the camp to its former glory. With grand character development through meaningful missions and less important tasks, players find that they’re not playing for themselves and are instead doing what’s best for the camp, such as behaving in most public places, contributing money to the camp, and going hunting.


The story aside, it’s clear that a huge amount of time went into creating the game’s vast open world, and the developers want each player to experience it all. The sheer grandeur of the game becomes most apparent when you find yourself without a horse and low on supplies in the wilderness, needing to walk all the way back to civilisation while refraining from carrying a perfect pelt due to it hindering your ability to fend off the many predators of the American south.


It’s a tremendous game, one that gives players a massive playground to be an outlaw as they see fit. Red Dead Redemption 2 went on to win Best Narrative, Best Performance, Best Audio Design, and Best Score/Music at The Game Awards 2018 as well as being a nominee for Game of the Year.


2. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate



Credit: Nintendo of Europe


Release Date: 7 December 2018, Console: Nintendo Switch


On the surface, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a deep fighting game; but just a peek under the lid will reveal that it is so much more than a brawler. Unlike other games in the genre, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate offers players a huge range of challenges which force them to think about how they play the game and which characters to use, leading to the discovery of brand new characters from gaming universes that they’ve never experienced.


In both the overall game and the adventure mode World of Light, players start with a quaint group of fighters from the massive total roster of 74 playable characters. From there, players must simply play the game to earn their chance at fighting, beating, and unlocking more characters for their own uses. One of the reasons why the game was so hotly-anticipated in 2018 is because of the series’ notorious cross-over rosters. In Ultimate, fans get to play as all 63 characters which appeared in the previous games as well as 11 new ones at launch, with more on the way, all of which boast multiple appearances.


Gameplay can take many different forms for those who are playing it single-player, with many others in local multiplayer, or online. There’s the vast story mode, massively customisable battles and tournaments, arcade modes, challenges, and much more as players are given free rein to battle and practice with new fighters as they see fit.


With so much to do, incredibly balanced fighting, gameplay that can be quickly and enjoyably picked up by any experience of gamer, and a vast collection of much-loved characters, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate transcends the genre but stands as one of the most enjoyable brawlers in existence. It went on to win Best Fighting Game at the Game Critics Awards. The previous game Super Smash Bros Melee became so popular among the fighting gamers that some eSports betting sites started to put out odds on the competitive matches.


 


1. God of War



Credit: Santa Monica Studio


Release Date: 20 April 2018, Console: PlayStation 4


God of War from Sony Interactive Entertainment Santa Monica Studio was the defining game of 2018, and perhaps of the decade so far. The God of War series has run since 2005, with its many renditions set in Greek mythology, appeasing fans with its hack-and-slash style of play. But with 2018’s God of War, the franchise made the brave move to pivot to the realms of Norse mythology and mix-up the gameplay, which resulted in it earning immense critical and player acclaim. Even though former God of War games were pretty big, this God of War had a new sense of appeal which drew in a massive audience, breaking sales records upon release.


Along with moving into Norse mythology, God of War 2018 differs from the rest of the series by featuring two lead characters. You’ll get to play as Kratos and indirectly as his son, Atreus, as the two make their way past mythological beasts to reach the top of the mountain spread the ashes of Atreus’ mother. Fans of the series get to see Kratos develop from the rage-filled god whose sole aim is to destroy everything in his path into a father-figure trying to teach his son the harsh truths of the world, while also keeping his past a secret.


The story differs greatly from the standard God of War model, which led to the developers changing the gameplay from hack-and-slash to featuring more tactical, but very satisfying combat system centred around Kratos’ new Leviathan Axe as well as super powered foot-and-fist fighting. The way that the player sees the game is also very different, with an over-the-shoulder free camera being used over the traditional cinematic view. It is also the first 3D triple-A game to take place within one shot, which goes a long way towards fully immersing you in the story and the action.


A truly momentous creation, God of War won Game of the Year and Best Game Direction at The Game Awards 2018, cementing the Norse-themed action-adventure game among the very best console games ever made.


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Sony PlayStation News Bits

How We Soar – review

by GamingBits on December 7, 2016

in Game Review Bits, Sony PlayStation News Bits, VR

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Flight, thoughts and human experiences of the heart are presented in the colorful VR abstraction of How We Soar. This PlayStation VR exclusive from Penny Black Studios puts players on the back of a phoenix, sent off to travel through worlds from air, land, sea, and even space–traversing the memories of our protagonist.

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How We Soar’s artistic direction looks amazing, in the vein of papercraft and popup book touches. Players harness the controller to guide a wonderfully crafted phoenix through floating landscapes. The player must direct the phoenix through a series of colored rings and then seek out and find colored orbs. Successfully flying through the rings and collecting orbs will release a phoenix, which will need to be chased down to ultimately unlock a memory – a narrative from the game’s storyline. A series of up to four different colored phoenix may need to be captured to complete a level.

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Flicking the PS4 controller will crack the harness of the phoenix to pick up some momentum. The in-game controller’s skin has feathers that serve as a recharge gauge to let you know when you can boost again. The screen is really clear from any HUD elements, so that really helps keep you in the VR moment.

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The music and voice acting are a wonderful compliment to the visuals. The soft and airy soundtrack takes you away on your flight. How We Soar is really a non-stress game and the music backs that up. There are no limitations on lives or no time limitations either. Just get absorbed in the magical surroundings and focus on steering the phoenix through the landscapes. It’s quite an experience to see the scale of a dragon atop a castle or popups colorfully unfolding into whale with your swoop of the phoenix. And you can really get a sense of the scale of your phoenix as you look side to side and practically feel the air rustling under its colorful ribboned wings.

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Only a few minor things were detractors in the VR and story experience. There are some VR games which, depending on the player experience, may cause nausea. How We Soar does a good job to avoid things like spinning or a disjointed head/body movement experience. The only minor moment that I experienced a bit of VR-motion sickness was during the phoenix chase sequences. Because of the phoenix’s abrupt turns and circling in attempts to dodge you, this is really the only point where some may experience a bit of queasiness. Other than that, the only other moment that felt abrupt was when I accidentally collided against an object during a narrative sequence. Whenever you collide against a large object in the game, you are sent to a respawn tube. I hit something during one of the game’s narrative reveals, which sent me to a respawn point, causing me to miss out a story dialogue sequence. After that, I learned it is best to but the brakes on the phoenix and just hover to enjoy the build-in of the story.

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How We Soar is really a unique VR experience where Penny Black Studios explores an immersive way for players to take in a narrative. The visuals look gorgeous (I love the in-game controller and would totally skin my PS4 controller like it!). Swooping near an object, like a stingray or a planet, and seeing it come to life with color is one of those rewarding experiences only to be had in VR. How We Soar also frames a feeling of what the experience of flight may be like for us land-dwellers–definitely a VR trip worth taking. PSVR players looking for something rightfully unique to the medium, look no further than How We Soar. Penny Black Studios has artfully crafted a memorable PSVR exclusive experience, with a heartfelt story. Two bits up for How We Soar, a VR game sensibly crafted that will transport you to the otherworldly VR landscape.

For more details on How We Soar, visit pennyblackstudios.com. Thanks to Penny Black Studios for making this review possible!

Happy

It’s about that time to wrap up another year of gaming – and tear up the gaming goodness! Whichever platform you get your gaming fix from, 2016 delivers many new options. Now is the time to grab some great video game system bundles, amazing breakout VR experiences, bleeding-eye graphic FPSes, and geek-out on gaming goodies. Keep it bookmarked here as game deals (hello, Black Friday!), last minute new game releases, special video game bundles and gaming goods will be updated in the weeks ahead.

Obviously this isn’t the end-all video game list – just a few biggies that are available now for your gaming appetite (ahem, if you can find the elusive NES 8-bit revival). Have any suggestions for the holiday gaming list? Send an email to alexis@gamingbits.com for possible inclusion in this GamingBits 2016 Holiday Video Game Gift Guide!

Make sure to follow @GamingBits on Twitter for the latest holiday video game and Black Friday deals as they happen during the week of November 21, 2016.

Select from the following video game lists:
Game & Geek Toys | Retro gaming
PlayStation 4 (PS4) | Xbox One | Wii U | 3DS | Virtual Reality (VR)

Game & Geek Toys

Geek
Geek Fuel
What’s in the box?!?! A gaming and sci-fi bundle of goodies! Geek Fuel is the ultimate inner-geek care package, which you can delight in giving (or receiving) all year long. Geek Fuel packs a meticulous box of themed goodies that include items such as t-shirts, mugs, pins, and even video game download codes – at least a $50 value in a box! See these pictures for an example of the awesome items packed into a month’s delivery box. It’s the surprise gift that gives all year long, one which any fan of sci-fi, fantasy, comics and/or gaming will surely love! Thanks to Geek Fuel for the samples pictured here and the heads up on the awesomeness.
Geek

More gaming toys and goods recommended:

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Nintendo Pokemon GO Plus
Bluetooth Bracelet
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Funko POP Games:
Pac-Man Action Figure

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PDP Donkey Kong Display

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Mega Bloks Destiny
Arcadia Jumpship Construction Set

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Portal 2 Sentry Turret –
Motion Activated Desk Defender

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Kirby’s Dream Land Nosechara

Retro gaming

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Nintendo Entertainment System:
NES Classic Edition

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Nintendo NES Controller

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Pac-Man Connect and Play

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Sega Genesis Classic Game
Console 2016

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Atari Flashback 7 Classic
Game Console

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Art of Atari


PlayStation 4 (PS4)

PS4 hardware:

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Sony PlayStation 4 Pro – 1TB

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PlayStation VR Launch Bundle

PS4 games:

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Battlefield 1

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Dishonored 2

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Doom

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Overwatch

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Ratchet & Clank

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Rise of the Tomb Raider:
20 Year Celebration

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim –
Special Edition

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Titanfall 2

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Tom Clancy’s The Division

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Uncharted 4

(For PlayStation VR (PSVR) games, check the VR category below).

Recommended upcoming PS4 games:

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Final Fantasy XV

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The Last Guardian

Xbox One

Xbox One hardware:

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Xbox One S 2TB Console –
Gears of War 4 Limited Edition Bundle

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Xbox One S 1TB Console –
Battlefield 1 Special Edition Bundle

Xbox One games:

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Battlefield 1

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Dishonored 2

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Doom

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Forza Horizon 3

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Gears of War 4

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Ori and the Blind Forest:
Definitive Edition

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Overwatch

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim –
Special Edition

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Titanfall 2

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Tom Clancy’s The Division

Recommended upcoming Xbox One games:

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Dead Rising 4

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Final Fantasy XV

Wii U

Wii U hardware:

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Nintendo Wii U 32GB
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Set

Wii U games:

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Paper Mario: Color Splash

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Pokken Tournament

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The Legend of Zelda:
Twilight Princess HD

Nintendo 3DS

3DS hardware:

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Nintendo New 3DS XL
Solgaleo Lunala Black Edition

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Nintendo 3DS Black Friday deal

3DS games:

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Azure Striker Gunvolt:
Striker Pack

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Kirby: Planet Robobot

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Pokémon Sun

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Pokémon Moon

Recommended upcoming 3DS games:

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Super Mario Maker

Virtual Reality (VR)

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HTC VIVE – Virtual Reality System

Some of today’s best VR gaming experiences are to be found on the HTC Vive. Room-scale motion tracking, included motion controllers and a headset with an external camera create an out-of-the-box virtual reality experience like no other today. Backed by a growing Steam game library and Viveport VR software, there is no shortage of what to virtually experience.

Steam Store VR recomendations:
– The Lab
– Job Simulator
– FATED: The SIlent Oath
– SoundStage
– Tilt Brush(and checkout ReVive for using Oculus Rift games with the HTC Vive.)

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PlayStation VR Launch Bundle

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Batman: Arkham VR – PlayStation 4

Livelock

Livelock
Official website: www.arcgames.com
Developer: Tuque Games
Publisher: Perfect World Entertainment
Release date: August 30, 2016
Available for PS4, Xbox One and PC
Reviewed on PC (Steam)

Following a cataclysmic event, corrupted AI machinery overuns Earth. Humanity is on lockdown. Three “Capital Intellects” (aka, robots with big guns) are awakened and released to the surface to reclaim humanity’s freedom in Livelock. Find the encryption keys to Eden, humanity’s sanctuary, with the guidance of Satcom in this sci-fi action top-down shooter.

Livelock’s story is very much inspired by elements of The Matrix. You may even catch a few references, like the kill speech of one of the Intellects, “Not like this.” The story unfolds throughout the gameplay and a few cartoon animated cutscenes in between. The animated cutscenes are a treat and look great, with no skimping on the audio and a killer soundtrack to boot. Livelock’s action takes place in the semi-destructive environments of war-torn New York, Tokyo and Moscow. Initial levels are not too long – all of which are linear. But boy, are they beefed-up with detail. Some levels are primarily boss battles while others may feel a bit more open for exploration and tearing walls down for some secret bonus discoveries. You’ll want to enjoy the sights. The attention to detail on the environments, animations, enemies and the player’s characters are incredible and run smooth and silky. You can feel the inspiration from Diablo games, but with a detailed sci-fi spin. Enjoy the lighting and detailed environments – there is lots of eye candy and visual effects to absorb. Livelock is a refreshing change – harkening to classic gameplay with 3d graphical goodness. Livelock truly is a beautifully detailed, chaotic world.

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Select from three different character types, which include Hex, Vanguard or Catalyst, each with their own class traits, weapon stock and visual customization types. Hex is a nimble marksman, Vanguard a brawler with big guns, and Catalyst is flanked by combat drones. You can upgrade and store up to five different Chassis types to stock up for different multiplayer experiences.

Whichever of the three chassis you choose, there is a big variety of weapons, class-based skills (Functions), and visual appearances (Firmware) to dominate with your Capital Intellect. Weapons include the infinite ammo primary type, a secondary type for a bigger punch, and a mow-down big-gun heavy duty launcher type. Each weapon stock is distinct to the Chassis you choose. Functions, which are class-based skills, allow for up to three loaded special skills. The Catalyst can drop down a Drone Gun with a shield for attack and defensive support and combine that with a Temporal Rift to suck enemies into a vortex magnet. Maybe finish the enemies off with a carpet-bombing Drone Storm. There are many functions and weapons to find and upgrade to take down corrupt robots by your preference. Finding Carbon-caches throughout levels will help in upgrading weapons. Enemies will attack in huge waves in some areas, where they present the biggest challenge to stay alive. From clusters of small and speedy types, to larger bosses flanked by heavy shielded bots, Livelock features an array of enemies to tear through, or tear you down. So stocking up on the most compatible weaponry to your gameplay style is essential – or teaming up with the right Capital Intellect online. Find yourself in a heap of scrap? Throwing down a drop pod easily continues the action.

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Livelock’s game options include the primary Campaign Mode or the how-long-can-you-last survivalist Open Protocol Mode. In Campaign Mode, you can select from four gameplay types: Public, Friends Only, Private and Offline. Online multiplayer will allow up to 3 Capital Intellects to battle it out together. The main Campaign Mode game is about under 10 hours, but Livelock offers three different difficulty modes for each level. Difficulty varies from Autonomous (Easy), Emergent (Normal) and Singular (Hard). Starting out at Emergent feels balanced enough for new players. A high score leaderboard is tracked for each level, so once you get your Intellect up to speed, you will want to revisit higher difficulties for more rewards (and leaderboard bragging rights!). There’s a time-completion bonus too, so you can always put your speed-running game skills to test. Completionists will want to revisit levels to discover secret areas and Audio Logs, which is easily doable from a level selection screen. Once you complete a level you can revisit it. Plus there are different kinds of visual gear you can find and unlock to customize your character’s Chassis. These include custom parts for your head, body and cape. There is a plenty to discover and to be rewarded with for players who like to dig deep. Getting to 100% completion for each Capital Intellect is a challenge and will take some time.

Livelock

Open Protocol gameplay mode tests your Captial Intellict’s power against endless waves of enemies. How long can you survive and topple the leaderboard? It’s a smaller combat arena that sends wave after wave of ever-challenging enemies. It’s just another way to enjoy a bit more gameplay from Livelock.

Livelock is a refreshing top-down action game with super sweet 360 degrees of action. The attention to detail, soundtrack, and most importantly the gameplay, is locked down for enjoyment. I really enjoyed Livelock. The sci-fi references, cartoon intermissions and soundtrack make Livelock feel like a classic rebooted with beefy graphics and slick animations. But it’s a new piece of action gaming that I highly recommend to gamers who want to enjoy something fun and different to what is out there today. Two bits up for Livelock! Go forth, Capital Intellect.

Livelock

Livelock official launch trailer:

****

Thanks to Perfect World Entertainment for providing GamingBits’ Livelock review access.
Ghostbusters

With the Ghostbusters film set to release on July 15, Activision has two ghost-busting filled games to bring the experience home, or on the road. For PS4, Xbox One and PC gamers the Ghostbusters game will be a third-person action RPG, supporting up to four local co-op players. The unique abilities of each character will make for some Gauntlet-like ghost hunts. This current-gen console and PC release of Ghostbusters will be available starting July 12 and takes place after the events of the new film.

In Ghostbusters: Slime City, for iOS and Android gamers, Ghostbuster gamers team up for “asynchronous co-op.” Watch for proton pack crafting, HQ upgrades, rewards, leaderboard challenges and more. Ghostbusters: Slime City is targeting a July release for mobile devices. 

PS4

Sony has released a feature-packed update for the PlayStation 4 today. Half a step-up to the big 4, PlayStation System Update 3.5 brings some great new (and old) abilities to your PS4. A stealth option is now available for gamers with the “Appear Offline” feature. Good for quiet, undisturbed, and secretive gameplay moments! Counter to that is the “Friend Online” option, where you can enable a notification when a friend appears online (with the exception they’ve gone stealth with the “Appear Offline” feature). Now that it may be harder to track you or your friend, you may want to take advantage of the new “Create Event” feature so you can schedule some gameplay with your buddy or gaming gang. Check for it under the “Events” tab.

Probably most exciting is the new “Remote Play” feature with computers. Once only reserved for a few games and on the PlayStation platform, the new Remote Play feature enables you to use your PS4 through a Mac or PC, using the PS4 DualShock 4 controller. You can download the free PS4 Remote Play app here: remoteplay.dl.playstation.net

Check it out, get social (or not) and go play some PlayStation 4 on your laptop now!

Source: blog.us.playstation.com