War of the Chosen's first mission plays out exactly the same as in the original XCOM 2, which caught me a little by surprise. After being treated to a brand new intro cinematic that partly rewrites how the Commander is rescued in the opening moments of XCOM 2, I was expecting something new, something flashy. But there I was, once again, leading four under equipped rookies into Operation Gatecrasher and wishing they'd brought a few more grenades.
After yesterday's unbelievable announcement that the Skaven will be the fourth playable race in Total War: Warhammer 2, I've got a bit of early gameplay to share from their campaign.
Okay, so we've all known this was going to happen since the initial launch trailer, but here's the official announcement at last. The Skaven are, indeed, the fourth playable race in Total War: Warhammer 2.
Ahead of the release of XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, Firaxis has released one of its most anticipated features as a free download: the photobooth. Okay, well, it was one of my most anticipated features anyway.
Mario Rabbids looks pretty good. We've played it a couple of times now and I think the humour lands well, especially where Rabbid Peach is involved, and there's some genuine depth to its tactical gameplay.
Remember the Mario Kart video that was doing the rounds for a while? The one where Luigi takes out Waluigi and then follows it up with a long, cold stare as he hurtles past in his kart? It's great, you should watch it. The Mario Rabbids team think so too, having named one of Luigi's abilities "Steely Stare" in honour of this defining moment for the gangly Mario brother.
Jake Solomon was starting to panic. For the second time in his career as a game designer he'd been given a shot at making the one game he'd always wanted to make: a true successor to X-COM: UFO Defense, the 1994 turn-based classic. But he was facing a problem, a really major one, in fact. Because again for the second time in his career, he couldn't make it fun to play.
UPDATE 18/7/17 3pm: Total War: Warhammer 2 pre-order customers will get the Norsca race as an expansion for the original TW: Warhammer.
XCOM 2's expansion is going to be bloody massive. We've talked about this already, following its announcement at E3, but that first trailer only scratched the surface of what Firaxis has been working on. They couldn't properly convey that many new systems in a two-minute video, it's jsut not feasible.
Blizzard has announced major investment in its Overwatch League, the official home of Overwatch esports, first announced at last year's Blizzcon.
Creative Assembly has announced plans for a new set of Total War games which focus on much smaller moments in history than its major titles.
After this month's news that Ashly Burch had turned down the opportunity to voice Chloe in Life is Strange: Before the Storm, due to the ongoing voice acting strike, it seemed like an interesting time to investiage the reality of being a voice actor.
Say what you will about Firaxis, the developer of XCOM and Civilization, it doesn't pull any punches when it comes to expansions. This studio has a fantastic history of using them to tackle big, fundamental issues with their games while adding boatloads of new stuff in the process.
Creative Assembly has published a video tour of Total War: Warhammer 2's massive campaign map, showing off two of the game's continents. Still no sign of the Skaven, sorry.
God of War (AKA Dad of War) is being described as a soft reboot for the series, as Kratos enters the world of Norse mythology for the first time alongside his son. The changes aren't just limited to the game's setting, however.
Last week I played a couple of battles in Total War: Warhammer 2, leading an army of Lizardmen to victory against a pair of High Elf mages that'd been meddling (surprise, surprise) with magical ruins beyond their comprehension. I had a great time with it and we'll be able to share that gameplay footage in a couple of weeks.
The next Overwatch map 'Horizon Lunar Colony' is set on the moon, the original home of Winston, the game's friendly gorilla scientist. What a great sentence that was to type.
Prey 2 could have been great. Having spoken to a whole bunch of developers that worked on the project before it was quietly put on ice in 2011, I'm convinced of this. We're going to get into some of what happened there in a piece we're publishing tomorrow, but in today's episode of Here's A Thing I want to tell you about the game we never got to play.
"How would Soldier: 76 dance?" asks Jeff Kaplan in today's developer update, celebrating a year since the release of Overwatch.
LawBreakers, the upcoming multiplayer shooter from Cliff Bleszinski's new studio Boss Key Productions, will be released simultaneously on PC and PlayStation 4.
With Darksiders 3 now being confirmed as an actual, real thing that's happening, we thought it'd be a good time for Johnny to give the original game a spin.
Last night's announcement that Destiny 2 on PC would be sold and played via Blizzard's online gaming platform raised a few eyebrows.
Overwatch now boasts more than 30 million players, all of whom want something very particular from Blizzard's highly-competitive, team-based shooter. Some may play a wide variety of heroes, switching between them multiple times per game, while others focus primarily on a single character (looking at you, Hanzo mains). Depending on their rank, playstyle and preferred game mode, players can experience a wildly different kind of game.
Steam is changing. Towards the end of last year Valve altered the way in which its digital marketplace recommended games to its users and well, the feedback was mixed.
Civilization Revolution 2 released in 2014, offering an even slimmer, stripped-back take on the Civ formula than its predecessor. It was reasonably well-received, but unlike that first game, it seemed content to play things safe. The difficult second revolution, I guess.
Blizzard has publicly revealed its Overwatch loot box probabilities as new Chinese regulations aimed at online gaming kicked in this month.
Dota 2 will soon feature a four-player, co-op campaign called Siltbreaker, with the first of two parts arriving later this month.
UPDATE 02/05/2017: Phoenix Point, the spiritual successor to the original X-COM, has now been successfully funded. It's taken just under seven days for the project to meet its initial target of $500,000, with a mix of crowdfunding from fans and investors.
After five years, Anita Sarkeesian and the Feminist Frequency team have published their final video in the Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series.
You'll have heard stories before now about great games almost facing cancellation during development, but this one's a little different. The original X-COM, it turns out, was actually, properly canned. Its publisher Microprose was taken over by a new, major shareholder and as part of that process, made the decision to scrap the project with immediate effect.