Flying Wild Hog has shown off Shadow Warrior 3, which features the return of Lo Wang in a bloody first person shooter akin to previous games, but it has other projects in the works. It's partnered with Focus Home Interactive for a new title that will be the studio's "most ambitious game to date." As of now, however, the name and release window are unknown.
With regards to the partnership, Focus Home Interactive COO John Bert stated that, "We at Focus have a directive to bring exciting and innovative games to the market, and with their upcoming title, we know Flying Wild Hog will reach the objectives we have on all of our projects, in terms of both quality and originality. We're enthusiastic to be working with this professional team, who are masters in the art of creating spectacular, action-packed games."
Flying Wild Hog CEO Michal Szustak added further that, "Focus Home Interactive is the perfect partner for Flying Wild Hog. We both share a love for creating unique, exciting worlds filled with crazy gameplay. We also deeply care for quality and creativity. Focus's team supports us not only with great trust for our vision, but also helps us to forge that vision into an outstanding game. We are sure that our partnership will bloom into an amazing experience for players around the world. Fans of original action games can expect quite a surprise!"
Focus Home Interactive has a reputation for publishing a diverse range of games. It published Deck13 Interactive's The Surge 2 and Spiders' GreedFall, the former being a sci-fi Souls-like while the latter is a third person action RPG. Future projects include the likes of Sumo Digital's Hood: Outlaws and Legends.
As for Shadow Warrior 3, it's being published by Devolver Digital and is currently slated to release in 2021 for PC. The level design is more linear than previous titles but features a lot more platforming as Lo Wang wall-runs, grapples and dashes his way through. Stay tuned for more details on it in the coming months.
We're still a solid month and some weeks away from the launch of the Xbox Series X/S and PS5. But there are plenty of big-name current-gen releases to look forward to in October. Horror games, role-playing games, sports titles and at least one big open world game are coming up so let's take a look at the month's 15 biggest releases.
Super Mario Bros. 35
This isn't Super Mario Battle Royale or Nintendo's answer to Fall Guys but it might just be the closest thing to competitive free for all Mario. For Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, that is. Super Mario Bros. 35 sees players platforming through your typical Super Mario Bros. stage, defeating enemies, gathering coins and whatnot.
The twist is that there 34 other players, visible on-screen, that are competing against you. Players can send obstacles into others' games, specifically targeting those with the most coins, the least time or completely at random. Coins can be used to purchase items and increase one's survival rate. The last player standing is the winner.
It's out on October 1st 2020 for Switch and looks cool. However, Super Mario Bros. 35 is only available to play until March 31st 2021. So if it ends up being amazing, savor each and every moment until it's inevitably gone.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time
We're finally at the stage where googling "Crash Bandicoot 4" doesn't automatically bring up Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex. If that's not progress, we don't know what is. As a direct sequel to the original trilogy, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is developed by Toys for Bob, the same team behind the excellent Spyro Reignited Trilogy.
Essentially, the space-time fabric has been torn asunder and it's up to Crash and Coco to find the Quantum Masks to set everything right. Along with playing through each level as either Bandicoot in the main story, players can also experience "alternate timeline" versions. These have Doctor Neo Cortex, Dingodile and an alternate version of Tawna being playable along with own unique enemy placements and traps in levels.
On top of this, there are Flashback levels that provide tougher challenges, N. Verted versions of the same with varying conditions, local competitive and co-op modes, and the option to play in Retro or Modern Mode, the latter providing infinite lives. Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is out on October 2nd for PS4 and Xbox One.
Star Wars: Squadrons
Ever since the days of Star Wars: X-Wing and TIE Fighter, we've yet to really see a space combat game capture that magic (at least in the same setting). With how well-received Starfighter Assault was in Star Wars Battlefront 2, a standalone title like Star Wars: Squadrons makes sense. Still, for $40, it's surprising to see a proper campaign – which takes place after Return of the Jedi and alternates between pilots in the New Republic and Empire – and no microtransactions.
Each side has four ship types to choose from with different components and weapons to customize them with. Multiplayer consists of 5v5 Dogfights and Fleet Battles to eliminate the opposing flagship. Operations, daily challenges and so on will keep things fresh post-launch.
Last year, EA somewhat redeemed its shoddy handling of the license with Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. We'll see if it can continue that with Star Wars: Squadrons out on October 2nd for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
Though it doesn't have the biggest budget of most racing sim franchises, the RIDE series is one of the few that's focused primarily on bikes. RIDE 4 aims to go even further with "hundreds" of different bikes to choose from, dozens of tracks, dynamic weather and full day/night cycles, and even a neural AI system that offers more realistic competition (at least in theory). The single-player experience offers a number of events to participate in, and there's a new Endurance mode to truly test one's mettle for longer races. RIDE 4 is out on October 8th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
A new FIFA game is coming up – please be excited. For a yearly sports franchise, that too one notorious for its RNG card packs, EA Sports is going out of its way to implement long-requested features in FIFA 21. Match simulation in Career Mode will allow for jumping in and out of matches more intuitively; loan to buy deals are now possible when making transfers; players can now be trained for other positions; and annoying FUT items like fitness and training consumables are gone.
Ultimate Team also supports co-op now, which carries its own modes and rewards; FUT Stadiums have way more customization; and there are also FUT Events for players to compete and collaborate in together. Even if the overall gameplay changes end up falling short, at least the major changes sound worthwhile. FIFA 21 releases on October 9th for PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One.
EA Sports has another title out in October with NHL 21. However, it seems to offer a lot of what fans expect, from Hockey Ultimate Team mode to familiar multiplayer modes like Threes Eliminator, Clubs and so on. World of Chel offers the ability to progress through seasonal ranks for each mode with Club Finals Championships available near the end.
There's also "Be a Pro", a more cinematic take on Career Mode where your custom-created player competes professionally en route to the NHL. Dialogue options abound, though given how the story-telling has been in recent EA Sports titles like Madden NFL 21, it's best to be skeptical. NHL 21 is out on October 16th and unlike its contemporaries, it's only planned for Xbox One and PS4.
Pikmin 3 Deluxe
Continuing the trend of bringing every major Wii U title over to the Switch, Nintendo is releasing Pikmin 3 Deluxe for the console on October 30th with improved visuals and new content. The original is a real-time strategy title with three new Captains to control and up to 100 Pikmin to command, offering co-op and competitive multiplayer modes in addition to the story. Pikmin 3 Deluxe features all of that along with options for lock-on targeting and hints, and increasing the difficulty for some added challenge.
All of the DLC stages from the original are here while new side-story missions focused on Olimar and Louie have been added. Pikmin 3 was pretty well-regarded back in the day so whether you're a new or experienced player, the Deluxe version might make it worth hopping back into.
Frictional's critically acclaimed psychological horror series finally returns with Amnesia: Rebirth. Touted as a brand new game, it focuses on Tasi Trianon who's trapped in the desert with a horrifying creature (or two) stalking her. There's a fair bit of exploration and puzzle-solving along with managing one's physical and mental well-being.
But Tasi will also have to contend with her "own hopes, fears, and bitter regrets" in order to survive. If previous games were any indication, then Amnesia: Rebirth should offer another terrifyingly compelling journey. It's out on October 20th for PS4 and PC.
Age of Empires 3: Definitive Edition
Fresh off its stellar run with Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, Tantalus Media and Forgotten Empires have turned their attention to remastering and enhancing Age of Empires 3. Along with a remastered soundtrack, the visuals have been upgraded to 4K Ultra HD. Judging by the previous game, you can also expect lots of nuanced improvements in terms of character models, textures, animations and environments (while still maintaining the overall look and feel of the original).
Age of Empires 3: Definitive Edition will also feature all of the previously released expansions, two new modes with Historical Battles and The Art of War Challenge Missions, and the Swedes and Inca as new civilizations. This is in addition to improved online multiplayer and mod support. It releases on October 15th for PC.
Combining first person platforming with combat and a one-hit mechanic that applies to both enemies and the player, Ghostrunner is a sleek looking title with some unique hooks. Set in the future, your goal is to reach the top of a tower and defeat the Keymaster. A variety of foes will attempt to stop you but there are also plenty of environmental hurdles to overcome.
To that end, players will run, jump, grapple, wall-run, dash and slash through foes to progress, and perhaps replay levels for better times. Ghostrunner arrives on October 27th for Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC.
World of Warcraft: Shadowlands
The Covenant system and Blizzard's unwillingness to change it based on alpha feedback is concerning but Shadowlands is still a big deal for many WoW players. It's the first time they'll be heading to Azeroth's realm of the dead; introduces the game's first level squish, making 60 the default level cap; and provides new ways to customize the core races. One can also look forward to exploring five huge zones, eight new dungeons, a new raid and Torghast, the Tower of the Damned, which provides a roguelike dungeon-crawling experience. And of course, there are four Covenants to join, each with its own campaign, gear and abilities that will add more depth to one's character.
Again, it's all very interesting but it remains to be seen if the system provides meaningful choices or hamstrings players who choose the "wrong" Covenant. WoW: Shadowlands is out on October 27th for PC so we'll find out soon enough.
Watch Dogs: Legion
A mysterious group called Zero Day has framed hacker collective DedSec for some bombings. As a result, the PMC Albion takes control of London and uses ctOS to trample on human rights. It's up to the player to recruit new operatives from the populace and effectively liberate the city.
From a gameplay perspective, pretty much any NPC is fair game for recruitment. Complete their respective missions and you can utilize their skills, whether it's a getaway driver with a unique vehicle, a hacker who's skilled in drones or a professional assassin. Throw in some co-op support, perma-death for characters (if you refuse to surrender, that is) and multiple approaches to missions, and you have quite the replay value.
Watch Dogs: Legion is out first for PC, PS4, Xbox One and Google Stadia on October 29th. Those on console and keen on features like ray-tracing may want to hold off for the next-gen versions which release on November 10th for Xbox Series X/S and November 12th for PS5.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope
The Curator's presentation of unfinished horror stories continues with The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope. The story sees a group of college students, along with their professor, trapped in Little Hope. Witch hunting was quite popular back in the late 1600s and it seems the group has some connection to the town.
Much like Man of Medan, different dialogue options can influence the fate of the cast, leading to multiple endings. One can also expect the return of co-op online play and Movie Night Mode which sees up to five players making story decisions. Despite numerous delays, The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope will finally release on October 30th for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 4
It's taken a while for English localization but Falcom's thunderous conclusion to the Erebonia Arc is nearly here. Following the previous game's conclusion, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 4 sees the new Class VII continuing forth and rallying support to save the world. Heroes from other arcs like Trails in the Sky and Trails of Zero/Azure will also be appearing to lend a hand, which makes for a fairly sizable roster, and there will likely be even more epic battles with Panzer Soldats and Knights than before. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 4 is out on October 27th for PS4.
It's no Dino Crisis but Second Extinction should provide some fast-paced shooting action as players either fight solo or with up to two others against hordes of mutant dinosaurs. Launching in early access with four heroes, 10 weapons with upgrades, six missions and several regions, Second Extinction also has a mechanic called the War Effort. This sees the threat level of different regions lowering if players successfully complete missions in them.
However, other regions will see their threat levels rise and this could result in an Emergence Event (which is much tougher than usual missions). Second Extinction will arrive on PC first with Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S versions expected later this year.
October may have barely started but Fall has already arrived in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Update 1.5 is out and adds the Halloween seasonal event along with the Pumpkin plant and several new DIY items for the same. Halloween is set to go live on October 31st, just like the real world.
The update also adds an interesting change to Yumemi, which allows to visit different dream worlds while sleeping. You now have the option to choose a place from your past visits. A particular history can also be registered as a favourite, making it easier to repeatedly visit.
Other features include hiding the hibaihin on Tanuki Shopping's catalog screen with the Y button, along with various adjustments and fixed bugs. Even more content will be coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons in the coming months, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner. Stay tuned in the meantime for more details.
— Isabelle (@animalcrossing) September 30, 2020
Super Mario is an institution in and of itself. Nintendo's Italian plumber and the franchise he stars in have become synonymous not only with the Japanese company, but with gaming as a whole. Mario transcends any single media, and the impact he's had on video games as a whole cannot be overstated.
This year is a special one for Super Mario, being the series' 35th anniversary and all, and Nintendo, it seems, are celebrating that milestone event with all the pomp and style that a gaming icon such as this deserves. Recently, Nintendo held a Direct presentation dedicated entirely to Mario, announcing everything from Super Mario 3D All Stars and Super Mario 3D World's long awaited Switch launch to Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit and the original Super Mario All Stars being added to Nintendo Switch Online.
Another announcement that caught the attention of many was the appropriately named Super Mario Bros. 35. The game is out in less than a week from now, and as we gear up for its launch, in this feature, we'll be going over everything you need to know about the game. Without further ado then, let's jump in.
In February 2019, Nintendo surprised one and all when they announced and released Tetris 99, a game that ingeniously combined the classic puzzle gameplay of Tetris with a battle royale framework, of all things. It sounded bizarre on paper, but it worked surprisingly well. In fact, it may very well be one of the best versions of Tetris we've seen in years. Now, Nintendo are teaming up with Tetris 99's developers Arika once again to deliver Super Mario Bros. 35, which is going to do something similar. And how exactly is that going to work? Well, if you've played Tetris 99, the central gameplay premise will be familiar to you.
Super Mario Bros. 35 is a battle royale platformer, and like Tetris 99, its name is rather descriptive, in that each match sees a total of 35 players battling against each other. Also similar to Tetris 99 is how that is actually shown on your Switch's screen. Your own gameplay takes centrestage, of course, while your competing players appear in small picture in picture images along the sides.
Your goal, as in any platformer, is to be the last man standing (or the last Mario standing, in this case). Every player plays through a stage whose design will be themed around the original Super Mario Bros. from 1985, and the player that survives the longest and is left as the last one standing wins that match. You'll be collecting coins, stomping on koopas and goombas and what have you, and racing against time as the clock counts down to zero, which is something all Mario fans will be very familiar with.
ATTACKING OTHER PLAYERS
But every battle royale has to have major competitive elements, right? If you're fighting to be the last man standing against 34 other players, you need to be able to do something to ensure that they fall before you do. And how exactly are you supposed to do that when you're so focused on getting through your own platforming stage? Well, similar to Tetris 99, Super Mario Bros. 35 employs some clever tricks.
Every enemy you kill in your own stage is essentially sent into some other player's stage. That's your primary means of attacking other players- the more enemies you kill, the more you bother and harass your competitors. And you will also have the means of choosing who you're attacking with the enemies that your knock out in your own stage.
In Super Mario Bros. 35, you will essentially have four choices for whom you want to attack: you can simply attack players at random, you can attack whichever player currently has the most amount of coins, you can attack the player that currently has the least amount of time, or you can attack the player that's attacking others the most.
But what's a good Super Mario game without power ups, right? Power ups, whether its something as simple as the classic fire flower, have been integral to the Super Mario experience for as long as the experience has been around. Super Mario Bros. 35 may not be a typical Mario game, but make no mistake- power ups are still going to be an important part of the gameplay.
All power ups will be purchased through currency during gameplay, and that currency will, of course, be the coins that you collect while you're running, jumping, and stomping your way through levels. Players will be able to spend coins to spin an "item roulette" that will grant you with a random power up item, which you can then use whenever you want.
What power ups will be included in the game isn't something that Nintendo have talked about yet, but given the fact that Super Mario Bros. 35 seems to be sticking closely to the original Super Mario Bros. in terms of everything from its look to its stages, it seems likely that you should only expect power ups from the first game. Combined with the ability to attack players, be attacked by other players, and having to contend with your own platforming stage though, the power ups should add a nice layer of strategy and variety to the proceedings.
LAUNCH AND AVAILABILITY
Super Mario Bros. 35 launches exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on October 1, but there's a few curious things to speak about as far as its release and availability are concerned. For starters, just like Tetris 99, the game will only be available to those who have a Nintendo Switch Online account. If you are a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber though, you get Super Mario Bros. 35 for free.
What's more interesting (and not exactly in a good way) is the game's availability beyond launch. You're only going to have half a year to play the game, which means you'll have to cram all of your gameplay time into that period. Why is that the case? Well, because Nintendo have made it clear that the game is only going to be playable up until March 31, 2021. And that doesn't mean you will only be able to get the game until that day- no, as soon as we get to April 1st, Super Mario Bros. 35 is more or less going to get nuked. No one will be able to play it.
This, of course, is what Nintendo are doing with Super Mario 3D All Stars as well. The remastered collection of mainline 3D Mario games is available right now, both digitally and physically, but will only be available up until March 31, 2021 (though unlike Super Mario Bros. 35, those who purchase the game will, of course, still be able to play it after that). It's a decision for which Nintendo have been receiving plenty of criticism (and rightly so), but for now, it doesn't seem like they're going to budge on it.
It's been a crazy generation for fighting games, especially towards the end. We've seen classic franchises revived, brand new titles enter the ring and long-awaited sequels to some of the bigger blockbusters. Opinions may differ on which is your favorite but let's get into the 15 best fighting games of this generation, starting with…
Granblue Fantasy Versus
Cygames' mobile RPG envisioned as a fighting game with side-scrolling hack and slash RPG battles, weapon grids and bosses? It's doable but Arc System Works took the idea and ran with it, using its incredible visual style and art direction for each character and environment. The combat has a decent amount of depth with Skybound Arts (which are executable using a single button, if necessary). The online play could be improved – as is always the case with these kinds of games – but Granblue Fantasy Versus is still a worthy title especially with updates and new fighters rolling in.
Console launch line ups tend to be on the forgettable side a lot of times with the key exception of 1 or 2 titles. It remains to be seen if the launch of these consoles will be any different to the annuals of time, but at the very least, Sony is bringing quite a diverse line up of first party titles to the PS5. One of those is Destruction AllStars, one of the three next gen only titles coming out on the system, and today we got a nice deep dive in the vehicle-based combat game.
The official PlayStation blog released a good deal of information on the game. It's arena based and can be played either solo or with teammates in multiplayer. As is obvious, the combat focuses around various vehicles as well as the drivers (you can see a list of those through here). Each hero vehicle has its own abilities such as the Sabre that deploys a blade along the length of the vehicle to slice opponents in half or something more defensive like The Undisputed that activates a huge shield that makes them temporarily indestructible.
The overall combat is mostly vehicle focused, being all about smashing and slamming into your opponents' cars in the arenas, with well placed hits being devastating. But your driver can actually do damage even after their ride is destroyed, by going to raised platforms to get items and lure those left on the battlefield into deadly traps.
Destruction AllStars will launch alongside the PlayStation 5 on November 12th. The game is also said to get free updates with new modes and features post-launch. A new trailer will also debut soon.
When you look at the first party line up for Sony's PS5 launch, there's quite a lot to take in. It's probably the most extensive first party launch line up ever, at least that I can remember, and has both new and returning faces. One of those is Sackboy from the LittleBigPlanet franchise that was a huge hit for Sony in the PS3 era. Now it's time for the sack to come on back with Sackboy: A Big Adventure this November, and it's time to get reintroduced.
The game will be developed by Sumo Digital, and today Sony released a trailer of one of the developers talking about the character as well as his origins. For the most part if you followed LittleBigPlanet, this will be familiar, but it has been an absent series for a good while, so it's a nice refresher. There's also bits and pieces of gameplay. You can check it out below.
We also got details on two Special Editions you can get via the official PlayStation blog. One is the Digital Deluxe Edition which includes a digital artbook, 4 costumes based on Sony first party titles, 4 emotes, 20 avatars and the original soundtrack. The physical Special Edition includes all of that with the artbook and soundtrack in physical form and an adorable Sackboy plush figure wearing a tiger head.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure will release at launch on November 12th for the PlayStation 5, and will also come to the PlayStation 4 on the same day. The Digital Deluxe Edition will be for both the PS5 and PS4, while the physical will be PS4-only, though the game is confirmed to have a free upgrade to the next gen version.
It was one of the first next generation titles we got a look at, and it seems like we never stopped getting looks at Godfall ever since that initial reveal. The main focus has been on the game's intense approach to combat, but there does seem to also be an epic story there as well. That story got highlighted with the reveal of the game's cinematic intro, called "The Fall".
You can see the full intro below. It's central conflict is between two warriors, one of which appears to be the, or at least one of the, antagonist(s), Macros. Once the two were close, maybe even brothers, but war drove them apart and accumulated in one final battle that Macros won in the pursuit of ultimate power. It's a nice cinematic and does well to prep for what looks to be a fun fantasy romp.
Godfall will launch on November 12th for PS5 and PC. The game will also get an expansion of some kind, as detailed in the Deluxe Edition listings, but as of now no details have been released.
Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales was one of the first games to be confirmed to be launching alongside Sony's PlayStation 5. It was later revealed to also be coming to the PS4, alongside a remaster of the first game. Since then, though, it feels like it's been a constant line of poor communication and less than amazing deals in regards to cross platform issues. Mainly, it was around the first title's remaster and it being eventually revealed that it would not allow a free upgrade for PS4 owners of the original or save transfers. This called into question Miles Morales, which it was confirmed would have a free upgrade option from PS4 to PS5 but not nothing said about save transfer. Well, thankfully, it's now been cleared up.
Developer Insomniac Games took to Twitter to answer a question about save transfers and confirmed that, yes, Miles Morales will allow save transfers from PS4 to PS5. That's one sigh of relief Spidey fans can breathe now.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales will release for both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 on November 12th. If you're curious about how much SSD space you'll need on the PS5 side, we got you covered.
Hi there, you will be able to transfer your save to PS5. We'll share details closer to launch
— Insomniac Games (@insomniacgames) September 29, 2020
Despite Destruction AllStars being one of Sony's first party launch titles for the PS5 this November, we haven't seen or heard much from the game since its initial reveal. It will see an interesting mix of vehicle combat and Fortnite-esque art and characters in a free for all. Like Fortnite, too, a lot goes into the characters, and we got a lot of details for those now via the official PlayStation blog.
The game will launch with 16 AllStars, which you can see below. It's quite a diverse cast of various characters, and they also have their own abilities. For instance, Lupita will drop trails of fire that causes burning damage to vehicle and KO characters, Boxtop will spawn parcels that buff teammates while causing explosive damage to enemies, or Ultimo Barricado who can become invincible to incoming attacks from both vehicles and characters. You'll have to mix and match and find which ones you like the best. AllStars are also said to have active rivalries which will unfold in cinematics, alongside cosmetics to really give your AllStar their own identity.
Speaking of which, it was also revealed that the game will have a Digital Deluxe Edition. It will include the full game, a legendary character and vehicle skin, a dance emote, 4 banners, 5 avatars and 10,000 AllStar Currency that can be used to purchase more customizations. You can see it detailed below. Both it and the regular edition of Destruction AllStars will launch alongside the PS5 on November 12th.