What We Know: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

EA has the Star Wars license for 10 years, possibly longer if Disney likes what the publisher puts out, and so far, the Mickey Mouse is happy. The arrival of Respawn Entertainment’s take on the franchise is coming with a fresh single-player take, unlike the multiplayer-focused Battlefront. Before you spend any money on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, this is what you need to know.

Story and Timeline

Setting between Revenge of the Sith and New Hope, during the time Order 66 has been executed. You will play as a Padawan named Cal Kestis (played by Cameron Monaghan), who is being hunted down by a squad from the Empire called the Second Sister. Cal and friends must survive as they travel the galaxy.

Gameplay

You will get to travel to a variety of different planets. The worlds themselves will be fairly linear, but enough paths to allow for some limited exploration.

This action-adventure title will have a focus on combat, upgrades, and maneuverability. Swinging off of vines line Indiana Jones, climbing walls similar to Respawn’s FPS Titanfall, and swimming will be a few of the many ways you can traverse the terrain.

Combat will include using the force and your lightsaber. The lightsaber will develop with you. Enemies all have their own strengths and weaknesses, so you will need to analyze each situation as they arise. Fighting is meant to be both accessible and in-depth for players of all skill levels, but we will have to see what that means when the game releases.

Puzzles will be another component. While the developers have not entirely shown what these will look like, but you will need to do some thinking along with platforming. Luckily, along with gathering intel and completing other objectives, your droid BD-1 will aid you in every challenge you face.

Upgrades through the world and leveling up your three skill trees will give you more strength through the story. The abilities are divided between lightsaber, force, and survival.

Traveling around the galaxy requires a ship. Your ship will be your hub along with the landing zones on each planet. Here you can upgrade abilities, craft, and interact with people with you.

Saving will be at those locations along with specific points in a level. Saving at these areas outside of the landing area will respawn enemies.

Your droid will be able to help you scan things to learn about the world, along with hacking and healing. The healing items are limited but can be replenished at a save point.

Cosmetics to style things up will be available. You can give your cute little droid a makeover, and the same goes for the ship too.

Difficulty

Usually, putting a game on a harder difficulty means the enemies will be more accurate, have higher health, and do more damage. Well, it would be dorky to have a lightsaber that can’t one-hit kill someone. So, Respawn is adjusting the game in other ways to keep the same feel in the combat while offering a challenge for players wanting to test their skills.

The focus will be on enemy aggression, parry timing, and incoming damage across the three meters of difficulty.

Pre-Order Editions

Standard: Orange lightsaber blade color, Mygeeto campaign hilt (lightsaber customization), Umbaran campaign hilt (lightsaber customization) and Bee-D-1 skin, and Gold Squadron Stinger Mantis skin. This will cost the regular price for any game, $59.99.

Deluxe: Everything above along with a Crimson BD-1 skin, Crimson Stinger Mantis skin, digital art book, and a “Director’s Cut” video that takes you behind the scenes. This will cost $69.99.

PC Specs

Minimum:

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 / AMD FX-6100
  • CPU SPEED: Info
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7/8.1/10
  • VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 / AMD Radeon HD 7750
  • PIXEL SHADER: 5.0
  • VERTEX SHADER: 5.0
  • FREE DISK SPACE: 55 GB
  • DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 1024 MB

Recommended:

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K / AMD Ryzen 7 1700
  • CPU SPEED: Info
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7/8.1/10
  • VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 / AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
  • PIXEL SHADER: 5.1
  • VERTEX SHADER: 5.1
  • FREE DISK SPACE: 55 GB
  • DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 8192 MB

DLC

There are no plans for DLC.

Microtransactions

Respawn confirmed there will be no microtransactions of any kind. This came when the game got its first big announcement to the world, giving details of a strictly single-player focused Star Wars experience with no microtransactions. Yes, this is published by EA if you forgot.

Release

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order comes out on Nov. 15 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

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Image via EA

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What We Know: Borderlands 3

I have waited years for a new main entry to Borderlands, and now the third game arrives in a week. It seems like the other titles, but there is plenty that will evolve this franchise of looting and shooting. Time to hop on the hype train by going over every juicy detail we know about so far.

Vault Hunters

Moze the Gunner: A tech expert mixed with the Gunzerker. Her robot, named Iron Bear is her unique ability that will add another hero to the battlefield. Her skill tree consists of Demolition Woman, Shield of Retribution, and Bottomless Mags. She can be played in both defensive and aggressive styles.

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Amara the Siren: Like previous Sirens, your powers grant you superhero-esque powers to give you that edge in battle as she tosses enemies around in the air, at each other, and into the ground. This is a great support character that can hold her own in fights. Her skill tree consists of Brawl, Mystical Assault, and Fist of the Element.

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Zane the Operative: The stealth character who focuses on staying back to deal critical damage. His gadgets give him a far greater variety of playstyles than Zer0. His skill tree consists of Hitman, Double Agent, and Under Cover.

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FL4K the Beastmaster: A class that involved summoning robotic helpers similar to Moze’s Iron Bear to help in battle. His focus on his companions dealing elemental damage is identical to the Mechromancer’s focus on acidic, electric, and fire-based attacks. Fl4K’s skill tree surrounds Hunter, Master, and Stalker.

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NPCs

Many familiar faces return from Borderlands 2, and the Tales from the Borderlands like Zer0, a grown-up Tiny Tina, Marcus, Sir Hammerlock, Claptrap, Lilith, and many more will surely surprise anyone who has played previous titles.

Villains

Anyone who has played any Borderlands game knows there will be a diverse population of enemies to face against, but the central narrative circles around the Calypso twins as the game’s new Handsome Jack for players to face. Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford described Tyreen and Troy by saying, “the douchiest kind of live streamers of the future you can possibly imagine.”

Tyreen and Troy lead a faction called Children of the Vault, so you can start your theories based on that name.

GUNS

Besides unique classes, interesting enemies, and plenty of fun quests to complete, Borderlands is best known for its insane amount of guns. The developers at Gearbox state that there will be about a billion firearms for people to get their hands on from burger launcher RPGs, guns with legs, and various elemental damages like the new radiation.

Is the billion a lie? Well, this is how the team made so many:

Space Travel

Your base will be a spaceship in which you can travel to other planets. Sanctuary 3 as your hub, similar to Sanctuary in previous Borderlands 2. Pandora will still be present, but new worlds like Promethea will give a new breath of fresh air to the environments.

Friends will accompany you on your ship like Moxxi’s bar with slot machines, Sir Hammerlock’s room has walls to mount your kills, and Crazy Earl’s Black Market is available. Your own room will be open to decorate with guns.

True Vault Hunter Mode

The new game plus mode True Vault Hunter Mode lets players keep everything but restarting their story progress for more leveling up opportunities and plenty of better loot.

Mayhem Mode

The endgame comes from a new mode called Mayhem. Challenges get ramped up along with game rules flipping. Those changing mechanics have not been given detail to keep the surprise, but I am sure you all have your ideas popping up in your head.

Guardian Ranks

Badass Ranks from the second entry of the series returns as Guardian Ranks. A seemingly endless list of challenges to complete for points that can be redeemed for extra boosts to stats like less recoil, faster shield regeneration, and more health.

Multiplayer

Remember playing with randoms or friends who took that gun you really wanted? Well, loot in Borderlands 3 will be individualized, but an option for the shared loot style is still available if you want it.

Level scaling allows anyone to come into your game and not unbalance the difficulty for either you or them. Along with that, loot will scale for each individual, so nobody who is level 12 gets a pistol for level 45s. This can be turned off if you wish.

Social features make it easy for anyone playing on and off with friends. You can mail people items or sell gear to buy in your own game. You can even browse a friend’s inventory or skill tree to see how they are playing their vault hunter.

The popularized feature pinging which gained a lot of traction in the FPS genre from Apex Legends and Rainbow Six Siege comes to Borderlands. Now you can communicate easier to point out loot boxes or where to go for your friend with a bad sense of direction.

Cross-platform will not be a mechanic at launch, but Gearbox has stated that it is trying to make this a possibility at some point.

Microtransactions

Cosmetic microtransactions will be available. Also, DLC will come up in the future.

Streaming

Now users on Twitch for both the entertainers and fans can have a more intimate interaction when playing Borderlands 3. ECHOcast extension is a mechanic to view your favorite streamers character build to see their playstyle or mimic what they have done with their Vault Hunter. Along with that, the chat during a stream can influence the game by drinks from Moxxi’s bar for buffs, be chosen as a badass enemy with your username on display, and many more to help or torment streamers.

Pre-Order Bonuses and Special Editions

Standard: Just the game and gold weapon skins for $59.99.

Deluxe: Additional to the game you get gold weapon skins, Retro Cosmetic Pack (character skins, Echo Device skin, weapon skin), Neon Cosmetic Pack (character skins, Echo Device skin, weapon trinket), Gearbox Cosmetic Pack (weapon skin and trinket), Toy Box Weapon Pack (two toy gun, toy grenade mod, weapon trinket), and XP and loot boosts. This will cost $79.99.

Super Deluxe: Everything listed above including a season pass to the campaign DLCs and Butt Stallion weapon skin, trinket, and grenade mod. This edition will cost $99.99.

borderlands-3-edition-comparison.jpg

Diamond Loot Chest Collector’s Edition: A $249.99 edition that will have everything above plus a lot more. A replica to a diamond loot chest, 10 figurines of Borderlands 3 characters like the Calypso Twins and iconic faces that players love, a model ship of Sanctuary 3 you can build, four Vault Key keychains, cloth galaxy map, five prints of various characters, Borderlands 3 steelbook case.

borderlands-3-collectors-edition

New Claptrap?

The annoying robot friend Claptrap might sound a little different. Due to an alleged altercation between Pitchford and Claptrap voice actor and former Gearbox vice president of licensing and business development David Eddings, he will not return to play the iconic character. Jim Foronda who is best known for English versions of popular animes like Attack on Titan, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Dragon Ball Z will replace Eddings.

Eddings now works for the video game development department for the production company Rooster Teeth.

Release

Borderlands 3 will be out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Sept. 13. The PC release will be an Epic Games Store exclusive for a year. At some point next year you can play it on Google Stadia.

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Images via Gearbox

What We Know: Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

The survival genre has become oversaturated in recent years, but Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey brings a new meaning to living in the wild and utilizing your resources. Coming from the creator of Assassin’s Creed, Patrice Désilets’ new studio Panache Digital will deliver its first title that was announced back in 2015. The time has come to check out what we know about one of the most ambitious games of the year.

Story and Setting

Taking place 10 million years ago and spanning 8 million, you will explore Neogene Africa and try to live off of the land. As time progresses, you will evolve along with new abilities. It is an adventure of surviving and through the history of our planet.

The story is crafted from your choices and what you want to do in the world. An ending can mean many things, whether you are doing a speed run or trying to gain something that you did not do in your first playthrough.

Gameplay

All of the basics from needing food and water to crafting supplies like shelter or weapons will be the foundation of this experience. The big twist is you need to learn how to do all of this. You start off as a dumb ape that grows and learns how to make a fire or create tools.

You have a whole clan of apes, so to not risk death you can switch between characters. As you communicate and interact with other apes, this group will grow.

This will be a difficult task to live as breaking bones, eating unknown food, or predators can lead to your demise. Death awaits everywhere, and as you move through, new abilities will help ensure that you thrive in such a dangerous environment.

Désilets is the mastermind behind Assassin’s Creed, so you bet the open-world elements with its exploration will be reminiscent. This is most apparent as you can climb around your environment to get around Africa.

Unlocking new areas like the savannah will have many unique properties to it that need adjusting. Progressing will evolve not only your ape into something more human, but it will also change the world around you. Once this becomes available, you can start a new campaign in this biome.

Dangerous areas can cause panic for your ape. To avoid the hazy visuals and potential death, you must retreat into the light.

Three game modes will be available. The first called First Time Experience will give basic tasks as the primary way to play. Once you progress, you unlock Survival and Custom. Survival drops you anywhere, and you must survive alone while Custom gives freedom to go wherever you have discovered with as many clan members as you desire.

The Future

The developers hope to have a future for Ancestors. Future volumes will add to the history of humankind for more replayability. The scope for millions of years would be unrealistic, so potentially making more games or expansions can happen.

Release Date

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey comes out Aug. 27 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The game will have a $39.99 price tag.

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Image via Panache Digital

What We Know: Blair Witch

Microsoft has declined in its exclusive quality, but Blair Witch can turn things around for the studio on that front. The found-footage horror title looks horrifying with its Outlast styled gameplay with far trippier supernatural elements. Developed by Bloober Team are the minds behind Layers of Fear, so it is expected that things in the Blair Witch game will get bizarre, to say the least.

Story

Set two years after the original movie, Ellis, an ex-police officer, goes into the forest with his dog named Bullet, who certainly looks like one good boy, to find a missing boy named Peter Shannon. The rest is no surprise as haunting spirits come after Ellis that takes this mysterious case into a nightmarish experience.

Gameplay

Imagine if Outlast, Alan Wake, and Layers of Fear all blended together into a terrifying smoothie, that will be the gameplay of Blair Witch. That means this is a found-footage game that utilizes a flashlight as a weapon. Unlike Remedy Entertainment’s third-person action title, a gun will not be used against any creatures or spirits. The light will frighten away any enemies, so you run and hide Outlast style.

Choices will be essential to lead to various scenarios and possibly multiple endings. Not a lot is known about the gameplay, especially this aspect of how things will play out.

The doggo companion will help survey the area, but again, it is unclear what the dog can do entirely. Either way, giving some pets to a good boy will help cope with the overwhelming fear.

Release Date

Blair Witch arrives Aug. 30 on Xbox One and PC for $29.99.

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Image via Bloober Team

What We Know: Control

Remedy Entertainment has established a name for itself with trippy shooters like Alan Wake and Quantum Break. You bet that they are delivering that experience with new tricks in the upcoming project called Control.

Story

Jesse Faden has gone up in her position within the Federal Bureau of Control since her predecessor Trench has gone missing. She must investigate while facing plenty of weirdness in this world, supernatural threat called the Hiss, and figuring out the shady business of the FBC.

Gameplay

Your only weapon is an FBC issues pistol, except it has the ability to be upgraded to go beyond a basic semi-automatic handgun. Altering the gun into a crossbow to a magnum are just some of the possibilities.

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While this is a linear story, some roads open up for exploration and other activities. Side missions will become available if you look hard enough. Like any game that has some open environments, finding additional gear will certainly help in this hostel world.

Powers and abilities take the combat up a few notches. The most significant comes from throwing objects with telekinetic powers along with more will give you the edge that is needed.

Control is heavily focused on killing, but that is not the only thing to do. Puzzles will challenge and reward players when they are not shooting anything in their path. Platforming will also be included for an obstacle that does not get solved by a bullet in the head.

Art Style

The artistic direction is an important aspect here. Brutalism, the most metal name for an art style, that involves repetitive straight lines to make the architecture look clean and perpendicular. Not only will this make how buildings within the bureau, but even how the color scheme and character designs are created.

BureauOffice.0

Release Date

Control comes out Aug. 27 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC for $59.99.

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Image via Remedy Entertainment

 

 

What We Know: The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan

Supermassive Games had a knock out hit with its 2015 PlayStation exclusive, Until Dawn. Returning to the roots of making a horror game that is all about choices comes The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan, an anthology series that will have plenty more games under the Dark Pictures umbrella. The first chapter is coming, so prepare for a nightmarish experience.

What is it?

Each game released will be a relatively short experience full of choices similar to Until Dawn. The individual entries will have a different theme and tackle various tropes within the genre while maintaining the same mechanics. The chapters coming will all be developed by new teams to ensure a steady release.

Man of Medan takes place where five friends gather on a boat to have some fun. Suddenly, the party ended as an evil force hunts them down and they must survive.

Gameplay

Playing solo or with one other person will playout similarly to the British developer’s 2015 hit. As things happen in the story, you will switch between each protagonist. Dialogue and actions will be up to the player as they try to survive. Every decision leads to a consequence, both positive or deadly.

Release Plan

Each standalone within the anthology series will come every year. The plan is to release two titles per year.

Man of Medan will arrive Aug. 20 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Image via Supermassive Games

What We Know: Remnant: From the Ashes

The coop looter shooter Remnant: From the Ashes is on its way to the hands of gamers everywhere. Once I saw it at E3, I was blown away with its Left 4 Dead vibes mixed with gear-driven games like Borderlands. The wait is almost over, so let’s get you informed before spending your hard-earned money.

Story

An apocalyptic world where humanity has been almost entirely wiped out by nightmare-inducing monsters. It is up to you, and two others if you want, to survive, scavenge, and kill anything in your path.

Characters

Three classes can be chosen depending on your playstyle.

#1: Scrapper – Your tank option that gets close to the enemies for serious damage. With the Hot Shot, mod enemies can be ignited into flames.

#2: Hunter – Distance is the hunter’s best friend. A sniper based class who has a mod to let friends see through walls for upcoming enemies.

#3: Ex-Cultist – The general class that has universal power. For those of you who want to support and heal the team, then this is for you.

Upgrades

With the loot you find, a lot can be added to get you through this dangerous world. Trait Ranks goes up to put points into skill trees for new abilities.

Mods will go into a weapon’s slot to give it that edge during tough battles. Igniting enemies, better stats, and ricocheting bullets are only some of the many upgrades that can be found.

Building yourself up will be important as the game emphasizes its difficulty. Playing alone will be an even bigger challenge, so having one or two friends will be just as useful as powerful gear.

The World

Four dynamically generated areas can be explored for events, gear, and insanely difficult bosses. Earth, Corsus, Yaesha, and Rhom will all have plenty to look around with each playthrough being different for extra replayability.

Ward 13 will be the hub world for safety. You can interact with others and gather supplies.

Release

Coming Aug. 20 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

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