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Kalimba: PC Release | Review

The divide between the prospects of the future and the relics of the past is smaller than ever. Games such as Smash, Shovel Knight, and Rogue Legacy use the building blocks of retro platformers to perpetuate the platforming, arcade-style gameplay many of us grew up with, and the level design of non-isometrics uses platforming influences to create interactive, vertical terrain like the Arkham series, Uncharted, and even some parts in Bloodborne.

Among the key elements of video game fundamentals we see a recurring theme of puzzles from simplistic to extreme. These can come in the form of mind-bending mazes, riddles, engineering problems, or just figuring out the lay of the land so you can traverse with ease.

Why do I bring these up? Well, Kalimba brings both platforming and quick thinking to another level, preserving the notion that platformers will continue to enlighten and enthrall gamers for a long time to come.

Kalimba is an arcade platformer that pits you against an enigmatic warlock and dangerous environments, each filled with challenges you must overcome, all while controlling two characters at the same time. It currently retails on Xbox One for $9.99 and will be releasing on Steam April 22nd (price not listed at this time).

You can find my first look here.

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As I said before, if you’re an Xbox One owner, this game has been around since December 17th and is available for you right now, and this probably plays a major factor in why I didn’t catch any of the hype or even notice the game until it came to PC. I’m really glad I did notice it, however.

Kalimba is vibrant and lively, instantly catapulting you into a world of polygons and totems where you play as a disembodied shaman who must inhabit totems in order to guide them around the world to track down an evil warlock.

The story is very compact, served to you in bite-sized loading screens and orchestrated cutscenes through the sardonic maw of a less-than-willing bear, curiously named “Hoebear the Metabear”. By my word is he meta. We’ll talk about that later though.

If you’re not encapsulated by the story, which doesn’t really come off as detrimental to enjoying the game, then I can at least find solace in knowing you won’t ignore the embellished set pieces, level design, and all around aesthetic of Kalimba.Screenshot5-e1407413822675

From the menu screen on, I found myself deeply enamored with the music, especially as I tumbled along the levels. It wasn’t long before I realized Kalimba was integrating some portions of the OST into the physical layout of the game. For instance, there are these tokens you can collect and at certain points the music will chime in beat when you collect them, much like Audiosurf in some sense, albeit constructed instead of generated.

Another thing that caught me off guard was how reactive the environment seemed to be. Clouds of energy, pools of fiendish ichor, and especially the narrator himself, were all made of flowing particles that both affected the player and were affected by the player. It reminded me of Dust‘s physics in the weirdest but most satisfyingly insignificant nostalgia attack I’ve had lately.

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Green cannot touch purple; you learn this very quickly.

All in all, the levels were tightly built, fitting together with immense care, almost as if the game developers really cared about their craft or something.

More along those lines, let’s get into gameplay. One thing you’ll learn about platformers and retro games is their adept ability to teach you new concepts without shoving exposition and button prompts in your face like a can of raid to an ant hill, and it’s this text-ridden solicitation that really kills games for me.

Kalimba does a great job of showing rather than telling, something most games seem to pass over. It uses a tried and true technique of giving me one option to choose from – jumping, for instance – and then gives me platforms with certain death below. The only logical solution is to jump from platform to platform, avoiding death, and reaping victory.

As a result of this, I feel like I’ve accomplished a task with little to no prompt, and instead of reading a wall of text or getting a three minute smack on the arse for failing, I can continue down my path to learn new skills for new challenges, or if I fail, I will be reset some metres back so I can try again.

The catch is you have two totems to control with only one set of controls. In other words, they mimic each other, and before long you begin thinking for two instead of simply worrying over one player character.

It sets everything up fluidly, something I have trouble with in a lot of by-the-books, triple-A drivel. My usual big-budgeters were regurgitating a laundry list of “stop here”, “go there”, “pick up a quest”, and “follow the map”. I really had no reason to care and no cause to be alarmed, but most certainly I had no drive to actually immerse myself within the worlds I was exploring.

Kalimba, as simplistic as it may be, makes me actually care about the ending, makes me want to replay, and instills within me a sense of accomplishment over beating new ProjectTotemScreenShotEarth3_SDCC-e1407413995342challenges. As casual as it may seem, Kalimba fits the right pieces together at the right time, taking the very basic elements of gaming to form an unique piece of artwork that stands vividly against a rather sordid backdrop, Steam’s Greenlight graveyard included.

All of that being said, I have a bone to pick with Freddy… I mean, the unfortunately named Hoebear the Metabear. In all honesty, I hate Hoebear with a passion. He instills in me a deep sense of primal rage that can only be relinquished through bloodshed, and here’s why:

Being named Metabear is the first indication that he is, in fact, really goddamn meta. He is the epitome of a fourth wall breaking narrator, and never in a good way. Don’t get me wrong, I love self-referential works. I love narrators who spark jokes or poke fun at the characters, especially on the levels of Magicka and Borderlands, where the fourth wall is merely a suggestion. I love characters who deal in both introspection and diegetically address the audience as if it were story time around the campfire.wLBjLFix

But Kalimba‘s attempt at acerbic narration headbutts directly with the implicit mood of the game itself. I was really interested in the story, expecting a few meta jokes from the eponymous bear, but when every other line was shrugged out like a droll stand-up routine at a high school talent show, I began to feel the weight of the story collapsing on itself, and instantly dreaded any interaction with Hoebear.

He pushed the limits just barely too far and fell off the edge. If the entire game was self-referential and admonished sincerity, then I could appreciate Hoebear in all his fruitless efforts, but if you’re going to try and enjoy this game for its humour, prepare for more groans and face palms than Bill Hicks at a pun convention.

7.6/10


Kalimba is developed by Press Play and published by Microsoft Game Studio. You can pick it up on Xbox One for $9.99 or Steam for (price not yet announced).

 

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GTA V: PC release opens to mixed opinions

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The Grand Theft Auto V PC port released yesterday in astounding 60fps and a resolution that scales to 4k; more detail here. Apparently 73% of the Steam reviewers are satisfied, basking in the wake of a glorious video editor, meticulous setting adjusters, and even customized radio, but the other 27% aren’t doing so hot.

Crashes, bugs, and the sub rosa utterance of a rushed port portend a disjointed reception of Rockstar’s newest endeavors.

Despite these minor setbacks, Rockstar seems hellbent on using their insane revenue to give fans on all systems the sporadic fever dream of a world with relaxed rules, ultra-violence, and of course, packing your garage with stolen vehicles.

What a time to be alive.

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Star Wars: Battlefront gameplay reveal coming April 17

Disney will be revealing a plethora of Star Wars content on Friday with 30+ hours of content pertaining to both the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the new EA developed Battlefront game.

EA has been teasing small glimpses of the third major installment in the Battlefront series.
EA has been teasing small glimpses of the third major installment in the Battlefront series.

While Starwars.com’s main focus will be on the even more highly anticipated return of the Star Wars movies with a panel including director J.J. Abrams and the movie’s producer Kathleen Kennedy. The first glimpse at the new Star Wars: Battlefront will also be showcased at 1:30 pm (EST) during the event Friday. Both a trailer and never-before-seen gameplay will be shown.

The return of the Battlefront series is being developed by DICE — the same makers of the recent Battlefield games, and many similarities between the two games is reasonably expected.

Star Wars Battlefront will release later this year (2015) during the holiday season on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. For those looking to get the first exclusive access the game will be available early on EA access through the Xbox One.

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Rockstar introduces “editor” for Grand Theft Auto V

After almost two years since its initial release on Xbox 360 and PS3, Rockstar is still adding features to Grand Theft Auto V, and as they gear up for the new PC release the developer looks to add a major new gameplay component — a video editor.

The Rockstar Editor will be available for both the single player and GTA Online and will give video makers extensive access to characters, pedestrians, and animals to utilize in the “Director Mode.” This sub-category of the editor can let players stage their own specific movie sequence with customizable video and audio options.

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Piece together your clips after you’ve finished shooting.

The entire process operates in a similar manner as iMovie or Adobe Premiere — but a bit more simplified. After recording your clips you can create “whatever you can dream up.” Whether that be full fledged movies, montages, or a short-story type film; players will have a wide array of options when using the editor with various filters, detailed image manipulation options, a great selection of camera angles, and quick jumps to any location on the map.

Even time of day, weather, and pedestrian/vehicle density will be controlled by the players to help create the ultimate video game movie making experience.

The feature will be immediately available as GTA V releases officially on PC April 14 for $59.99.

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Dark Souls II | Review

Dark Souls II

 

Dark Souls II(DkSII), the younger sibling to Dark Souls(DkS) in many respects, trying to be much more than its predecessor, but flowing in the veins of Soul-Vania, was probably the second game I had ever bought on release for Xbox 360. I garnered much respect and experienced much enjoyment for this next installment, and if you haven’t checked out Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, I strongly recommend you do. It’s the entire DLC package and base game, and serves as a fantastic gateway to the Souls series.

Dark Souls II is a fantasy action-RPG developed by From Software and produced my Bandai Namco. It’s renowned for being difficult, but often chided for following in the steps of cult classic Dark Souls.

It was my love for the first game that persuaded me into buying Dark Souls II, the yearning for more adventure as my banner. I wanted to stretch my legs in unfounded territory, to see the sights, and to bury my sword into the supple undead flesh of my adversaries.

I wasn’t disappointed…

 

Dark Souls II follows in the footsteps of those who came before, featuring the same fighting mechanics as Dark Souls with a few tweaked elements including different riposte animations, i-frames being reliant on your adaptability skill, different enemies with different strategies, and a storyline finding itself peering over the entrenched walls Dark Souls had spent much time establishing years previous.

I had spent several months on Dark Souls beforehand, battling my way through bosses time and time again, and only thought it fair that I hold Dark Souls II to its own standards, reflecting upon the fact that it was not directed by Miyazaki, but instead by entirely different faces.

When I first showed up in Drangleic – the next continent victimized undeath – I noticed right away that the lighting and textures were extremely vibrant and showed great variation, especially when it came to the expansive and undoubtedly attractive set pieces, much in the spirit of exploration and discovery.

There were mountains of ice, pits of fire and lakes of lava, giant bogs with mutated enemies, castles that rose above the clouds and towers that eclipsed the moon. It was in between the glorious reaches of Drangleic that I had found a new, temporary home.

Above all things, I was instantly enamored by Majula, the new Firelink Shrine in some respects, albeit bigger majulaas it felt like I was inside a village I must reconstruct. It was the central hub, where I could find oft reliant NPCs and a small host of aggravated enemies. A step to the side and I quickly found the correct path to go down. It was here that my journey began.

A few differences were noticeable right away. For one, I now had to level up through another NPC and when I died I lost a bit of max health. It came not as a shock, but as a creative and technical difference in how I would play, or so I thought. In the previous game one could not warp between bonfires to start out, and bosses in DkS seemed to be constructed in a way that wasn’t detrimental to the evolutionary curve of your character. I found that with every step I took in Drangleic, a moment of judgement was required to determine the dangers of my surroundings, and after one or two attempts, the answers came to fruition.

It was not nearly as difficult as my first time playing DkS, but I chalked that up to being somewhat experienced with the whole ordeal. This began to bear on me as I cleaved my way through several tons of steel in armour plating, and when my weapon began to degrade, only then I realized I had drawn a trump card in terms of destructive capabilities.

I had found my all-time weapon with which I was to fight every boss for the rest of the game. I enjoyed the fights for the most part, recognizing movesets and character similarities, learning quickly what it meant to be a victim rather than a victor.

The path to each boss was probably the most vile feature of this new crusade, and in the end the bosses proved no more than robots on stilts. It was fun, regardless, and when the challenge had been mounted I felt the chalice of victory’s cold metal if only for an instant.

It was as if I had returned to a place long forgotten, tried to make a difference, and when the game’s final credits rolled, it was as if this place would only exist in a distant dream or a squalid nightmare.

I connected to my character more than ever, the cohort of weapons and cosplay being magnanimous in stature, and broad in girth. I dressed up my fetid knight, tossing him into the bowels of destruction to face every challenge one on one, and I felt like a retired hero from Lordran who had sailed to Drangleic in a quest of mystery and want.gaming-dark-souls-2-screenshot-11

DkSII had proven to me that From Software could rehash their Souls games over and over again, pressing Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, until I paid them $60 for a piece of software. I wouldn’t question it, because I, like many others, fanboy over the prospects of our gracious overlords opening the food traps, even though it might be leftovers or the same shitty meatloaf.

But DkSII tried to be different, much in every way that it stayed the same. The sequel wasn’t inferior by far, it was a different game with tweaked rules, but I realized after my first 200+ hours that I bought these games not to punish myself, or because I was diehard, but because no matter what, I trust From Software to instill in me a spirit of adventure and to test my limits.

They gave me variation, and I will say that I’m hoping for a Dark Souls III either in factuality or spirituality. With Bloodborne being released two weeks ago, I can only see From Software on the horizon as the frontiersmen paving the way for a beautiful mix of survivalism and hardcore RPGs that seemed to have gone the way of the dodo.

8.7/10


Dark Souls II is currently available on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC for $19.99.

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Killing Floor 2: First Look

I got my hands on a Killing Floor 2 press kit the other day, prying it open with my shaking little fingers and an eight inch hunting knife. I was beyond excited considering my previous experience with Tripwire Interactive, following them since the inaugural release of Rising Storm.

Granted, I was a little late to the party, but the drinks had not yet run out, and the multiplayer communities surrounding TwI’s gun-god power trips are only going to grow from moon-sized to constellation.

For a little bit of history, I’d invested plenty of time into goring out enemies with all manner of weaponry and in all manner of cosplay. Rising Storm offered me solace as a battlefield

69 Hours it will stay

commander, ordering artillery strikes on faceless opponents and taking bets on how high a body could fly and how many pieces it would break into. Their realistic gunplay served as reminder that Starbucks shooters are not the only recipe to pit 32 strangers up against 32 other strangers and have the audacity to try and unite them under a flag.

Killing Floor was a pleasant surprise in the vein of zombie arcade, and when I picked up a Winchester for the first time, I suddenly realized an absolute potential that I had not previously known. The kickback and relative bounce of the zeds as I gave a nearby barn a JFK paintjob was on par with my executional orgasm. It was an arena that rivaled Left for Dead with simplicity, and Call of Duty for actually being fun.

So here I was, adjusting the settings for an absolute graphical overhaul to the first game. I could feel my blood boiling as I anticipated the hardcore, visceral action that awaited me.

Killing Floor
Killing Floor 2

There were four classes to choose from, three of which you can throw to the wolves for all I care. Berserker is the way to go, and if anyone tells you otherwise, hit them with your military-grade shovel and dig their grave, because if you’re not getting the mileage out of these new weapons, you’re not playing this game properly.

All things considered, the inter-class weapon-blending completely dissolves abstraction in the playing field. As a hammer-wielding extra from Mad Max, I found that using the entire array of shotguns and a puny medic pistol was more enjoyable than simply hacking around like a butcher trapped in a pig farm. The assault rifles were a little bit lackluster, but then again I wasn’t so much trying to aim as I was trying to express my freedom and liberty.

They gave us a pretty narrow selection to choose from in regards to characters, weapons, and maps, but the fun was just beginning. I customized a big, bruiser type character with a rippin’ hangover. He wielded mighty meat-mashing weapons that brought flashbacks to the elevator scene from The Shining. I felt like a disgruntled farmer at one point, shakily staring down the sights of my double-barrelled boomstick with one good eye, only to feel several pounds of recoil, missing the target entirely and having to painfully reload while mysterious spider bastards gave me hugs on all sides.

Speaking of hugs, the Clots still like to hold you in place, and if you didn’t bring your pepper spray, it’s going to be a hard time getting their shiny asses off your back. In KF2, however, they suddenly feel the need to capture your attention like a horny teenager at a club. I can’t count the number of times I was wetting my pants, saving thirteen shotgun rounds and a breakup letter for a charging Scrake, only to automatically turn and dump them into the poor, innocent skull of a nearby fleshling.

Let’s talk Fleshpounds. For those of you who played the first KF, you know the crushing horror that accompanies a red-tinged Fleshpound. For those of you who are new to the series, don’t be the one jerkwad who either has his back turned, or is the guy to not turn tits over toss when a blade-spinning giant comes to fist you into next week.

You see, red usually means good when you’re playing a game about brutally separating body parts with amatuer gunplay, but when a Fleshpound give you the “stop” signal, you should really reevaluate your life and buy the next plane ticket to Nope City.

All that jazz aside, let’s get into the more interesting stuff, shall we? Killing Floor wouldn’t be an apt name without tremendous amount of killing, now would it? “Friendly Knife” is what happens when you run behind a person in Battlefield and try to set the world land speed record for appendix removal. It would be a great game, don’t get me wrong, but KF2 has moved the bar up another rung for any game that promises to have death and mayhem.

Goddamn it’s satisfying to chop through an enemy, and I really mean that. You cut through them with the ease of a construction worker, grave digger, or weeaboo, and the only thing stopping you is reveling in the raining fountains of blood that shower down upon you. The nice thing about the new level design is showing back up to an area you previously fought in and recollecting the bloodbath that occurred because you are literally standing in a bath of blood.

I started playing in a winter arena, fighting in a courtyard with a saw gun reminiscent of Half-Life 2, and began to write down marketing solutions for selling red snow because there too damn much of the stuff! There were zed parts sliding off buildings and the only thing I could think to do was get out of Dodge before the EPA hit me with a fine for toxifying the North Pole.

Either way, the arenas in KF2 are much cleaner and much more nuanced than their predecessors. I didn’t get much of a chance to explore though because half the time I was still trying to pull my pants up and get my gun loaded before all hell broke loose. I remember the sky boxes and backgrounds for the winter brawl and the Parisian death battle were very elaborate and three-dimensional, adding character and depth, but I’m pretty sure they mostly serve to distract you while a Husk cooks eggs on your flaming skull.

The gun animations are great, feeding into a dastardly bullet time in which zombie shootout becomes the wild west, but my goodness do you need coordination. In the previous game you didn’t really have to worry about special zeds until later levels, and even then, by that time you had guns big enough to commit war crimes. It was hilarious when a lone Fleshpound would open a door and try to walk into a room with six survivors. No one wanted his aggro, so they steadied their trigger fingers for all of two seconds. Then, without any word, a hail of bullets from a makeshift firing squad would poke holes in that flesh-sacked blood bank until he tripped and fell over to where the Berserker could beat his lifeless body into several pieces, all before the rest of the zed army showed up.

Speaking of army, the final point in this First Look, I would just like to point out that mecha-Hitler is a go-to source of an evil villain with more vileness to spare than Care Bears gone rogue. Yes, if you haven’t seen TB fighting him, then I’ll just go ahead and point out that the final boss is a modified ex-Nazi because Horzine is THE MOST responsible company in the world, especially when making super weapons.

I will give them the benefit of the doubt though in saying they were halfway decent in making a gun-toting nerve gas machine that curses raw German in your ear until the cows come home, and just like cows, he’s great at herding you all into a small room where he can release poisonous chemicals that probably melt your skin off and turn your lungs inside out.

My advice on beating him?

 

 


 

 

Killing Floor 2 is developed by Tripwire Interactive and will be available April 21st, 2015 for early access, RP$29.99 on Steam for PC and Steam OS

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Titan Souls: First Look

If you haven’t checked out the Titan Souls demo from Devolver Digital, please do so before descending into the harrowing dungeon that is this first-look. Adventurers beware.

Titan Souls is veritable souls-like RPG, influenced heavily by elements of both genres. It’s an isometric, pixelated wonderland filled to the brim with… well… nothing, really. This is completely fine, contrary to how it sounds. Direction is implicit at this point in my gaming career, and piecing together a three-part puzzle is comparable to pointing and shooting.

I loaded up the game with no context as to where I was headed, what I was supposed to be doing, and within the first five minutes of playing, the challenges I had yet to mount were laid before me next to a simple and concise control scheme. The game recommends you use a gamepad, but the arbitrary mapping – which allows you to press three or so buttons for the same effect – makes me wonder if there is going to be any more features imbedded in what appears to be a glorified stress test.

The land of Titan Souls is a beautiful place with an astounding soundtrack to boot. I sat on the main menu for some time, rigging the settings, encapsulated by the transcendental aura provided by the OST,

and without a doubt I knew this would be an “enjoyable” experience. It’s an amalgam of my childhood and teenage years, sporting the layout and dungeon experience of A Link to the Past, the rolling and running from Dark Souls along with Skate‘s jedi-summoning tricks, and finally the boss-fest escapades provided by Shadow of the Colossus. That last part gets me though. I understand it’s a challenge to overcome, but trying to dodge a train without leaving the tracks is just making it easier for the coroners.

The thing about hard games is the learning curve. I loved Dark Souls’ “tutorial” in which several methods of attack could test your mettle, and in the end you reap the gains of knowledge. Rogue-lites galore teach you upon each death the methods of survival, and all hell breaks loose if you don’t save seventeen times before entering a cave or dungeon in party-based RPGs. Titan Souls keeps it nice and tidy with a direct route to whatever boss bent you over, and thirty seconds to remind yourself where the exit menu is. The desire to win is great, and even now I’m mulling over strategies, deciding whether or not this masochism simulator is going to get the best of me.

But it’s striking how inconsequential each attempt felt. Granted, you can’t chain dodge-rolls, you can’t rapid fire, and you feel like a little pipsqueak of a child taking down giant cubes of death, but regardless, my power is a product of repetition, of training and grinding. The first time you fight a boss it’s going to kill you,

“Kill” being a blanket term for the various ways you can be pounded into red mist.

no questions asked. There is an element of timing, meta-strategy, and a head-space which requires thirteen Redbulls and a pack of cigarettes to live inside. I looked around the map, taking a total of several minutes to explore every nook and cranny, disheartened when I realized the only plan of attack was throwing myself at the proverbial wall of spears until one day I broke through. There was only one character with their given strengths, and no one for miles to grind upon. It was death before rebirth, a purgatory in which this small girl (I assume) must fight titanic beings to obtain freedom.

I killed all three bosses, perhaps the easiest, considering they’re demo material, but spiritually these bosses seemed to have the same difficulty. It didn’t feel impactful, weighted, or even well-deserved to shoot the Death-Star cosplayer in his big, stupid eyeball, or liberate the brain from a glacier, and I was eerily surprised when I actually John-Wayned them without even holding my breath. It was a kill-or-be-killed mentality in that moment, but when both you and the boss have 1hp to spare, the game minimalizes my beast-slayer attitude and relegates it to a 3-D shooting gallery. I want to fight the long fight, devs.

Here’s my final consensus:

Gamers: Keep your eye on this. It’s games like this that bring nostalgia and life back to the cluttered table of triple-A and indie titles alike. It’s clean, well designed, and offers potentially infinite hours of gameplay. The producers have given us some wonderful titles, I hope this is no different.

Developers: If you’re reading this, understand these are qualms from an endeared heart. Narrow customization, world variation, and event states to prepare the character for each fight are detrimental to maintaining a prospective attitude, and if not that, give the boss fights a dimension akin to swordplay or dancing for that matter. Nothing feels better than trading blows with an enemy that outmatches you, only to fell them with a resolution of pure skill. On top of that, either more characters to choose from, or a local multiplayer option gives TS a greater chance for replayability and caters different play styles as well as built-in networking. In regards to the input graveyard, taking full advantage of the gamepad is much more than giving outs to a dead man, it’s giving diversified strategy rather than waiting for your opening and blindly firing. Buffs, boons, booze, and more can be attached to those infinitely pressable buttons; I know my hands could use the workout.

The game might change upon release, and if it does, then consider these words melted cheese. I’ll be getting it on release and offering a full-fledged review, but until then, I just hope I can piece my controller and dignity back together.

 


 

Titan Souls is developed by Acid Nerve and produced by Devolver Digital and will be releasing mid-April for PC(Apr 14th), PS4, PS Vita, Mac & Linux. RP$13.49 on Steam

 

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Killing Floor 2 releasing April 21 on Steam Early Access

The destructive zombie-filled chaos of Killing Floor 2 will be coming to PCs very soon. Tripwire Interactive has confirmed an April 21 release date for the Steam Early Access version of their first-person shooter.

The successor to the first Killing Floor shows major upgrades in graphics and gameplay quality. The same gory, dark style remains, but after a long five years (almost six!) the game has undergone massive improvements.

Along with greater customizability and improved weapon selection the mutant-riddled setting throughout an apocalyptic Europe proves to be even more enjoyable than the first game’s world.

The multiplayer focus of the game looks to be even greater with well-balanced classes as well as the new and returning guns that players can choose from. So far the known classes are Berserker, Commando, Support, and Field Medic.

For more information on Killing Floor’s updates check out the developer diaries and Tripwire Interactive’s official site.

Killing Floor will release fully on PC, Linux, and PS4 later this year. The game will retail at $30.

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The Floor is Lava: The video game? Hot Lava awaiting Steam Greenlight

A game spawning from the imaginations of millions of kids — Steam user Rambus is looking to bring a favorite childhood game — “The Floor is Lava” — to the fitting digital world as a 3D platformer called Hot Lava.

The game is currently open to voting through the Greenlight system on Steam.

Little is shown so far regarding the game’s progress, but the developer promises 50 levels across five different settings wherein players climb on top of couches, tables, and various furniture to avoid certain death on the floor below.

Players sprint and jump through the worlds scattered with tight ropes, platforms and traps to create a greater challenge as they attempt to “surf” the world by gaining speed and stringing together their progress through the level in one motion.

The game is awaiting to be Greenlit on Steam, but would release on PC, Mac, and Linux provided the project takes off.

Check out the trailer below for a look at the gameplay:

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The Witcher 3 adds… beard growth?

CD Projekt has incorporated incredible life-like graphics, realistic physics, and now… beard growth into the Witcher 3?

Yes, the main character, Geralt, of the Witcher 3 will now have even more realistic features with a beard that grows over time ranging from a variety of different “states” that determine its length.

CD Projekt is known for its attention to detail within its games, but this news shows just how detailed the developers intend to make their world.

Though the beard growth keeps a dynamic look of your character, CD Projekt Communications chief Michał Platkow-Gilewski explained to Eurogamer those who want a static look can download a free DLC.

“When you download the free Beard and Hairstyle DLC the growth of the beard will stop because we decided that when players want a predefined look, it would be weird to require from them to reapply it time after time.”

The Witcher 3 is due for a May 19th release on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

For more “exciting” news on virtual beard growth in video games follow Pixelpine on twitter.