Google Announces Stadia: What We Know (So Far)

The longest time gamers only had Nintendo, Xbox, PlayStation, and PC to choose from when deciding on what platform to play their games. Google has been talking about getting in the game, and now they have shown the world how they are doing so with Stadia. Here is a rundown of everything known as of now.

What is it? How does it work?

Unlike any of the previous choices for gamers, Stadia will be a less expensive option, allowing people to stream games quickly without having to buy expensive hardware without having to download the game. Yes, streaming a game instantly in 4K and 60 FPS. Eventually, Google wants the bar to be set even higher with players getting 8K resolution and over 120 frames. As long as the developer of the title allows it to be on Google’s service.

You do need a PC, but don’t worry about needing high-end specs to play. Google’s servers take care of all of that for players to enjoy their experience with a high framerate and beautiful graphics. Discussions about streaming games have been going on for years, and this is what it will look like.

When you have the service, you simply hop onto Google Chrome and open up the Stadia tab then select what you want to play. The game will load up in seconds and go full screen, then you are good to start shooting aliens or owning noobs on Fortnite.

What else can you play it on instead of a PC?

PC is not your only option with Stadia. Phones, laptops, and tablets can all be used for the gaming service. If you have Chromecast, then you can stream right from your TV.

Internet Requirements

A strong, stable internet connection is needed. Google requires that you have a streaming rate of 15Mbps, latency below 40ms, and data loss below 5%.

Controller or mouse and keyboard?

Both can be used. For a controller, Google created its own to go with Stadia. The Stadia gamepad will connect itself to Google’s cloud then you have control over what you are playing.

Playing on PC allows for any controller you prefer to use, but playing on Chromecast on your TV must use the Stadia gamepad.

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Games offered?

Nothing is revealed yet, but the demo did display Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey along with confirmation that exclusives will be developed for Stadia. Expect plenty of AAA and indie titles ranging from third party to first party developers.

Price? 

No price has been listed.

Release

TBA 2019

More information will be released in the summer. Most likely this sounds like E3 season when Google will provide more details.

What do you think of Stadia? Is it the future of gaming? Is Google going for another ambitious gimmick that turns into Google Glass or is this something substantial? Tell me all your thoughts in the comments.

Image via Google

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What We Know: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

The evil geniuses behind the infuriating Dark Souls trilogy and its gothic sibling Bloodborne, FromSoftware, are ready to unleash a Samurai inspired project in the same vein called Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Before you jump in to die thousands of times against epic bosses, I will try to dissect everything that needs to be known before playing, at least what has been identified due to FromSoftware being always cryptic when promoting any new title.

Story

Set in Japan’s Sengoku Era, a deceased warrior comes back for revenge after his death and the kidnapping of the Young Lord, a child he must protect. A story of revenge and seeking to complete the ultimate task of defending a child.

Knowing their previous work, expect an ambiguous narrative that will take a magnifying glass, tons of exploration, and plenty of reading to understand every detail.

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Gameplay

One distinct difference from previous games by FromSoftware is the mobility, and how death plays a role in gameplay, yes death will be a core mechanic like always from these developers.

First, mobility gives more freedom when traversing levels and defeating enemies. You are equipped with a grappling hook to get higher ground. Any restrictions on the mechanic are unknown as of now.

Death’s meaning is hard to decipher, but elements are known. A reviving mechanic allows the warrior to stand right back up after death for a limited amount of times. Resurrection gives an opportunity to kill the foe who took your life since they will leave your body thinking they are victorious. Once those limited revives are out, then you will respawn at the last checkpoint.

The protagonist’s left arm is a mechanical arm that offers itself as both an ax to break down shields or to transform into a shield. The perfect blend of an offensive and defensive tool that will surely be needed in this hostile landscape.

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The katana will be the only primary weapon, which loses a lot of the customization of playstyles, but the prosthetic will have plenty of tools and options to alter strategies, giving that freedom during gameplay.

Stealth allows for a new way to play for fans to master. Listening in on conversations will reveal plenty of hints about the world around you to help on the adventure. Sneaking around allows for a refreshing take on combat to assassinate unsuspecting foes.

The world opens itself up more than previous titles from the Japanese developer. Settlements to meet NPCs in and plenty of room for exploration to seek out new gear.

Progression

Progressing as a warrior differs greatly from the Souls series by focusing less on stats and more in a different direction to give more power to your style.

Defeating enemies drops gold and experience points. Once a skill point unlocks and find a specific item in the map, go to the Sculptor’s Idols, essentially a bonfire from Dark Souls, to upgrade.

Three skill trees lend themselves for new abilities. They are listed by the following: stealth, combat, and the prosthetic arm. Passive abilities and special “combat arts” moves come together with these skills to provide many different styles to tackle this Samurai based journey.

The point Miyazaki wants players to understand is that this is their adventure. People will discover upgrades along the way and figure out how they want to build their warrior as they slash through hostiles that get in their way.

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Multiplayer

Sekiro‘s family of brutally difficult games ease themselves up to allow other players to join for PvP or cooperative play. Here there will be no multiplayer in any form.

PC Specs

Minimum PC System Specs

OS: Windows 7 64-bit | Windows 8 64-bit | Windows 10 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 | AMD FX-6300
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 | AMD Radeon HD 7950
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 25 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX 11 Compatible

Recommended PC System Specs

OS: Windows 7 64-bit | Windows 8 64-bit | Windows 10 64-bit
Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K | AMD Ryzen 5 1400
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 | AMD Radeon RX 570
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 25 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX 11 Compatible

Release 

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice releases March 22 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Pre-order and support the blog* with any purchase through the links below:

Pre-order and support the blog: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – PlayStation 4

Pre-order and support the blog: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – Xbox One

*Any purchase through the links above will support the blog. Purchases don’t have to be what is advertised here.

Images via FromSoftware

Video via PlayStation

What We Know: Anthem

Bioware had their flop with the disastrous launch of Mass Effect: Andromeda but now the company goes all in on its latest project, Anthem.  A lot of hype and skepticism rides on this game’s shoulders, so before anyone spends their money, this is what needs to be known about this sci-fi adventure.

Gameplay

Besides the obsession with battle royal games, the other dominant genre that has risen are multiplayer “MMO-light” styled games like Destiny and The Division. A shared-world that can be played alone, with friends, or strangers, that focuses on significant loot findings, shooting giant monsters, completing quests, and completing other side activities like events.

A hub world called Fort Tarsis allows for players to accept missions and interact with both NPCs and other players in a safe zone away from all of the dangerous creatures.

Customization will ride in the front seat for Anthem. Everything about your character will have options to alter for your liking. Javelins, robotic suits similar to Iron Man, get piloted for traversal and combat. Each class has been designed to suit different play styles and strategies.

Combat will be solely PvE, battling against various creatures found in the world. As of launch, PvP will not be a feature. The main focus of the game is all about teamwork to complete raids and other activities.

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Javelin Classes

Ranger: Players wanting a smooth transition into this new experience might go with the Ranger. A balanced class that focuses on every aspect of a Javelin from far and close range combat to traversal.

Colossus: The tank of the group, meet the Colossus. A heavy duty exosuit that holds heavy weaponry and a shield to plow through enemies. Players who don’t mind slower movement and want to deal as much damage as possible will fall in love with this one.

Interceptor: Interceptor focuses on support, agility, and close combat. A faster-moving suit that will damage enemies while providing support and balance to the heavier classes.

Storm: A piece of gear that might be more susceptible to damage, but has a card up its sleeve. Elemental damage defines Storm, hence the name. Burning, electrifying, and other brutal ways to tear through enemies will leave this exosuit perfect for players looking for a challenge.

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Loot

Loot can make games like Anthem thrive or die an excruciating death. Thankfully the game appears to have systems in place to prepare for a user-friendly system. All gear earned maintains at your level, so no worry for getting a weapon that you have to carry around for 40 levels until you can use it. No matter what level the other three people in your party are at, they will not mess up your chance to get better equipment.

Another worry from plenty of games in the genre tends to stem from whether or not other players can steal loot, therefore everything is instanced.

The rarity of items ranges from common, uncommon, rare, epic, legendary, and masterwork.

Endgame

Similar to Destiny, completing the main story and hitting the level 30 cap does not mean the end of the game. Bioware plans to support Anthem for a decade, so they have plans for players in the endgame.

Not much has been announced, but typical activities such as dungeons (Strongholds) and contracts allow for challenging things to do once finishing the base game.

Microtransaction

While no loot boxes will be present, but cosmetic microtransactions will be available. Hard to know how the prices will look, but a $20 option was seen, but Bioware affirms players the prices will adjust at launch.

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Release

Anthem launches on Feb. 22 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC

Now that you know about Anthem, will you pick it up? Comment what you think of Bioware’s anticipated title. You can pre-order it and support the blog* below:

Pre-order and support the blog: Anthem – Xbox One

Pre-order and support the blog: Anthem – PlayStation 4

*Any purchase through these links above will support the blog. Click it, browse Amazon, buy something, and I will get some money out of it to financially help the site.

All images via Bioware

What We Know: Jump Force

If you love anime and fighting games, then look forward to next week when Jump Force comes in with its diverse superpowered roster of characters to be the perfect dream come true to hardcore fans of the genre.

What is it?

Jump Force is a celebration of anime and Weekly Shonen Jump, a manga magazine that is shy of 51 years old. To honor the magazine and beloved genre, players will have a chance to play a variety of characters from new and old manga series with a fighting game twist.

The opportunity will arrive for people to pit their favorite characters against one another. If you had an argument about who will win in a fight, now you can show to your friend who is the most powerful.

Release date and platforms

Jump Force will launch on Feb. 15 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Gameplay

Imagine Dragon Ball Fighter Z fusing together with Marvel vs. Capcom to make for an epic crossover battle. Three fighters on each side of the arena to fight it out to see who can make it on top.

Similar to later titles from Netherrealm Studios like the latest Mortal Kombat and Injustice 2, the stages will have interactable objects and transitions to vary up the map and gameplay.

The arenas will take set in real places like the famous Times Square in New York City and freezing cold mountains of the Alps. Like Dragon Ball Fighter Z, the action around these iconic locations will be set in 3D, so instead of a Mortal Combat style, players will have the ability to roam around for a rounded experience that gives more variety and strategy to combat.

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Image via Bandai Namco Entertainment

Roster

One Piece: Monkey D. Luffy, Sanji, Blackbeard, Roronoa Zoro, Sabo, and Boa Hancock.

My Hero Academia: Izuku Midoriya.

Naruto: Naruto Uzumaki and Sasuke Uchiha.

Yu Yu HakushoYusuke Urameshi and Younger Toguro.

Hunter x HunterGon Freecss, Killua Zoldyck, Kurapika, and Hisoka Morow.

Bleach Ichigo Kurosaki, Rukia Kuchiki, Sosuke Aizen, and Renji Abarai.

Saint SeiyaPegasus Seiya and Dragon Shiryu.

Yu-Gi-OhYugi Moto (With the Duel Monsters Dark Magician, Dark Magician Girl and Slifer the Sky Dragon).

Dragon BallGoku, Vegeta, Frieza, Piccolo, Cell, and Trunks.

Fist of the North StarKenshiro.

City HunterRyo Saeba.

Rurouni KenshinHimura Kenshin and Shishio Makoto.

Black CloverAsta.

Original creations for the game: Galena, Glover, Kane, and Navigator.

After a short time between its announcement last year at E3, it has raced to its launch date around the corner. Be sure to pre-order the game below:

Pre-order and support the blog: Jump Force – PlayStation 4

Pre-order and support the blog: Jump Force – Xbox One

Header image via Bandai Namco Entertainment

What We Know: Metro: Exodus

The third installment in the Metro series comes this month, so before you go buy the game, here is everything you need to know.

Story

Artyom’s next adventure takes place after the last entry, Metro: Last Light. The protagonist and his fellow survivors will travel East out of Moscow to find somewhere safer and to better their lives.

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Partial Open World

The series has always been linear with enough open areas to gather supplies and collectibles, but nothing too open, just what you expect from an FPS narrative-driven game.

The levels will open up enough for more exploration to find side quests while still telling the main story. A balance between the Metro level design that fans know while stretching the maps into something larger for a fresh experience to enhance the storytelling and gameplay.

The map will include plenty of diversity in its scenery. Claustrophobic tunnels stay as a series staple along with beautiful landscapes, and dilapidated cities will change up not only the surrounding aesthetic but make players think twice about their strategies when going into a new area.

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New Threats

Not a surprise, but new enemies will get introduced ranging from humans, animals, and the series iconic mutated monsters.

The new enemy factions include the Hanza faction, the Bandits, and the Fanatics. The Hanza will act as a primary threat now that the Fascists and Communists have taken each other out of the picture. The other two seem like typical bandit type groups who take and kill whoever they spot for resources. Knowing the series, a bigger story always is around the corner, especially for these advanced gangs.

Weapon System

While many of the features remain in the shadows as a surprise once players get their hands on Exodus, we do know a few things about the weapons.

Customization gets pushed to a significant aspect of the game. To survive Artyom needs to use his resources, so modifying weapons with other parts or types of ammunition will benefit when facing certain types of enemies.

Distribution

Controversy circles the game as it nears release due to a decision from Deep Silver and Koch Media to have the PC version exclusive to Epic Games’ store, taking away from Steam.

4A Games have made a statement that this decision was entirely on Deep Silver and Koch Media.

Distribution will continue as normal for PlayStation and Xbox users. Players on PC will have to buy through Epic, but anyone who pre-ordered through Steam keeps their order.

Release 

Metro: Exodus launches Feb. 15 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. You can catch my review right on my site, so keep an eye out for that.

Pre-order below and support the blog with any purchase via these links:

Pre-order and support the blog: Metro Exodus – PS4 [Digital Code]

Pre-order and support the blog: Metro Exodus – Xbox One [Digital Code]

Any purchases using the links above support the blog, even if it is not the game being linked.

All image via 4A Games/Deep Silver

What We Know: Resident Evil 2 Remake

Capcom cemented the survival horror genre with Resident Evil. While the series has seen its fair share of boulder punching duds that go from cheesy, but thrilling horror to becoming the Fast and Furious of horror video games, that does not take away from some of the hits like the second entry. Later this month both players of the original Resident Evil 2 and newcomers who missed out, like myself because I was too young, will get a chance to grab the remake that will modernize the iconic zombie title. Here is all that you need to know before spending the money on a new game.

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Image via Capcom

 

Is it a remake or remaster?

Original players might feel disheartened to find out about the many changes that will come with the remake. This will not be a remaster, but rebuilding from the ground up to comfort gamers and adapt to the modern gaming landscape.

Graphics have been beautifully enhanced because the old version might have looked gorgeous back in the day, it has not aged well. Credit goes to the same engine used from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard which gives a stunning facelift to Leon and all of the horrific flesh-eaters.

Plenty of gameplay mechanics will have alterations ranging from the layout of the world to the fixed camera positions changing to a typical third-person perspective. Not every detail has been listed on what will be different, but the primary goal from the developers is to maintain a balance of retooling RE2 for a modern audience and to satisfy loyal fans who dealt with nightmares and joy from the original release.

Separate campaigns

In the initial version, a different story was set for Leon and Claire. Instead of choosing which character from the beginning then playing as the other person after completing the chosen narrative, Leon and Claire will have their individual campaigns to play on their own.

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Image via Capcom

New gameplay mechanics

Knives will allow for an escape when grabbed by a zombie. The knife will stick in the walking corpse, so after killing the flesh-eater, pick the blade back up. Knives will break down over time, so keep an eye out for replacements.

Wooden boards can temporarily barricade windows and doors from imminent threats.

Puzzle solving has changed, like Ada’s segments. Her new tool allows discovering hidden mechanisms and secret paths as an easier task and the chance to survive to rise.

Crafting has become an essential aspect of Resident Evil, one of which will be gunpowder, allowing to create more ammunition.

Framerate and resolution for consoles

PC players rarely have to worry about balancing marvelous resolution and slick framerate, but Xbox One and PlayStation owners sometimes wonder how a game will look and run. An option for higher framerate and lower resolution will be available. Capcom made the game to run in 4K at 30 frames per second, but PS4 Pro and Xbox One X will go with toned down, while still beautiful, graphics to witness all of the gruesome violence engulfing Racoon City while playing at 60 frames per second.

Release date and platforms

Resident Evil 2 launches on Jan. 25 for PlayStation 4, PC and Xbox One

Want to play? Pre-order from the link below:

Buy: Resident Evil 2 – PlayStation 4

Buy: Resident Evil 2 – Xbox One

Header image via Capcom

What We Know: Kingdom Hearts 3

Over ten years in the making, Kingdom Hearts 3 will kick off 2019. While I will pass on the highly anticipated title, I know millions of people have been waiting for over a decade to get their hands on the epic Final Fantasy and Disney crossover adventure. For those fans, this is all that we know so far before the release of one of this new year’s biggest games.

Release date and platforms

Kingdom Hearts 3 will release on Jan. 25 in Japan then later on the 29 in North America. Gamers can play it on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Do you have to play the other titles?

Going into a sequel for a game can be risky. Newcomers might be too lost to enjoy the experience. In an interview, director Tetsuya Nomura has been, “thinking very precisely about how to make sure both those who have been with the series for a long time and those for whom this will be the first KH title will be able to follow along.”

Hopefully, newcomers interested in diving into this unique world can enjoy themselves without playing every other main and side title in the series.

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Image via Square Enix/Disney

Gameplay

The combat mixes a hack and slash style along with a party system seen in many RPGs. You can have up to five allies who will aid you in battle.

Abilities can be used to help traverse in the world for exploration. Parkour and roaming around will uncover plenty to see and experience when playing.

New additions to the gameplay will give a fresh feel to the latest entry. Under specific conditions during battle, attraction flow will be available, a new superpowered move that summons an iconic ride from one of Disney’s amusement parks to aid you in a fight. Keyblade transformation will have various changes for a unique look and attributes for the right situation. Various forms have been revealed like guard power, and second form, but the details have not been given to what these mean during gameplay.

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Image via Square Enix/Disney

Worlds

Plenty of worlds can be explored in Kingdom Hearts 3. Since the release of the second game in 2005, Disney has acquired a lot of companies and properties that will assist Square Enix in developing the world of this series. So far the following areas have been confirmed: Kingdom of Corona from Tangled, San Fransokyo from Big Hero 6, Olympus Coliseum from Hercules, Andy’s room from Toy Story, Monstropolis from Monsters Inc., Kingdom of Arendelle from Frozen, and Port Royal from Pirates of the Caribbean.

Despite a lot being hidden away until launch, plenty of information is out in the world about the upcoming entry into the Kingdom Hearts series. Only a few more weeks until gamers can get their hands on it. How do you feel about it? Are you excited? Comment your thoughts.

Buy: Kingdom Hearts III – PlayStation 4

Buy: Kingdom Hearts III – Xbox One

Header image via Square Enix/Disney