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    One of the greatest shooters ever? To celebrate its 30th anniversary, we look back at the 1987 arcade classic, R-Type...

    Feature Ryan Lambie
    Dec 27, 2017

    This article comes from Den of Geek UK

    Does a video game have to be truly innovative to be a classic? Not, we’d argue, in the case of the side-scrolling shooter, R-Type. First released in Japanese arcades 30 years ago, the game was arguably an evolution rather than a revolution - but its influence lasted for years, and decades later, remains a genre-defining title.

    Long before R-Type, games like Defenderand Konami’s Scramble established the mechanics of the side-scrolling shooter. The player flies from left to right (or in both directions, in the case of Defender) shooting enemies, racking up points and avoiding hazards - either moving, like enemy bullets, or static, like dangerous bits of scenery.

    In 1985, Konami took the basic Scramble concept - by then four years old - and transformed it almost beyond recognition with Gradius. The addition of collectible items and a power-up system added depth and a modicum of strategy: is it better to spend your first few power-up items on speed-ups or missiles? Should you go for those handy drones (called Options), that follow your ship around and effectively double your firepower, or are you better off saving up for a shield? Is the laser a better weapon than the less powerful but more expansive double shot? Gradius was unusual at the time for the adaptability of its power-up system.

    Then there’s the sheer breadth of Gradius’s level design: winding passages give way to huge area bosses. The claustrophobic, volcanic regions of level one precede the more open second stage, where the screen scrolls up and down slightly as eerie-looking Maoi heads spit torus-shaped lasers at you.

    It’s worth prefacing talk of R-Type with a potted history of Gradius, because the former owes a considerable amount to the latter. Then again, it’s also worth noting how R-Type takes the advances offered up by Gradius and makes them its own - sure, it’s an evolution, but it’s a hugely impressive one.

    Like Gradius, R-Type offers a space opera backstory about alien invaders and a lone fighter pilot. So right at the beginning, the player blasts off in a cool-looking sci-fi ship (the R-9 rather than Gradius’ Vic Viper) and encounters a weaving, bobbing conga line of alien craft. Design differences aside, it all looks remarkably like the opening of Gradius. But then, like curtains opening on a huge stage production, R-Type reveals itself as something far bigger and more ambitious. A pair of incredibly weird, mechanical outcroppings provide a gateway into a seemingly vast alien landscape: successive waves of weird attack craft are followed by a screen-filling ring of lasers, which have to be destroyed from within.

    Then comes the game’s trademark moment: a colossal, grotesque end-of-level guardian inspired by Alienartist H.R. Giger. We’d seen area bosses before 1987, but nothing quite like this: a fully-animated monster with a whipping tail and moving jaws. Even its weak point has personality: a green parasite that emerges from the beast’s mid-section like Alien’s infamous chestburster. 

    Later levels offer similarly freakish delights: the second area’s giant, pulsating heart inhabited by a deadly snake. Level four’s weird mecha that detaches into four parts and moves around the screen. Of all R-Type’s stage design ideas, the third’s gigantic battleship - where the entire level is essentially one extended boss battle - was one of the most widely copied. G-Darius, Super Aleste, and Capcom’s UN Squadron (also known as Area 88) all contained similar, multi-screen bosses.

    The player’s ally in R-Types interstellar war is its unique weapons system. From the opening screen, regular shots from the R-9’s standard cannon can be followed up with bigger, screen-clearing gobs of energy by holding down the fire button: hold fire long enough to fill up the charge bar at the bottom, and a shimmering blast will take out all but the most well-armored enemies. Collecting the jewel-like power-ups from small, hopping drones improves the R-9 in captivating ways: the most eye-catching of the lot is the Force - a rotating sphere that, at first glance, looks as though it functions like the Option out of Gradius: it floats around in your ship’s orbit and fires whenever you fire. But this innocent-looking bit of tech has hidden depths: get into range, and the Force will attach to the front or back of your ship, alternately protecting you from surprise attacks coming in from the left of the screen or augmenting your existing firepower from the front.

    The Force is invulnerable to attack, so you can use it like a battering ram against smaller bullets and enemies, or, by pressing a second button, launch it directly at a wave of alien craft or a boss. While fighting the first level’s boss, for example, you can simply eject the Force directly into the green parasite at its centre - an action that will kill the beast almost as soon as it arrives. 

    With this single, ingenious twist on an existing idea, Irem came up with one of the most influential shooter mechanics of the late 80s. In a game where enemies attack in pre-defined yet relentless patterns from all angles, manipulating the Force is key to survival. The battleship on level three, for example, requires the player to repeatedly attach and detach the Force to the front or rear of the R-9 to repel attacks. Once all the ship’s weaponry is taken out, the best strategy is to then use the R-9 as a kind of remote drone by shepherding it into the battleship’s vulnerable engine bay.

    R-Typeremains a horribly tough game - it’s probably fair to say that most people who played it in the arcades never finished it - yet the weapon mechanics mean that its difficulty never feels entirely overwhelming. The Force, coupled with an imaginative side-order of multi-directional lasers and psychedelic loops of plasma, feels so satisfying and useful that, when you’re in the zone and the aliens are exploding left and right, you almost feel invincible. But then a stray bullet does the inevitable, all your weapons are gone, and you’re left alone and vulnerable again.

    After R-Type, every other shooter needed its own cunning defensee or attack mechanic. Some straight-up stole R-Type’s Force idea; others came up with variations on it, like Jaleco’s Saint Dragon, where the ship’s mechanical tail acted as a curling, defensive shield, or Toaplan’s Zero Wing, where enemy ships could be sucked in and used as makeshift projectiles. 

    Had R-Type remained an arcade-only game, it might have wound up as a cult item, oft quoted or borrowed from by other developers but relatively obscure outside shooter fan circles. Instead, R-Type became one of the most widely-ported action games of its day, and it says a great deal about how inspiring other artists and programmers found the game that most of the home versions capture much of its brilliance. A version for the ZX Spectrum was remarkably good, considering the limitations of the platform. The Sega Master System port, despite some flickering sprites, was something of a triumph. The version for Japan’s PC Engine console looked close to the arcade version at first glance, though its developers couldn’t fit the thing on one cartridge, and ended up putting it out as two separate releases - a move that would get a company pilloried by the online gaming community today.

    Even as R-Type’s fame spread in the late 80s and early 90s - you could even get a Game Boy version if you wanted to shoot things on the move - Irem struggled to replicate the original game’s brilliance, at least in its arcade releases. R-Type II was impressive but added little that was truly new. R-Type Leo oddly did away with the Force conceit altogether. One of Irem’s best post-R-Type arcade shooters wasn’t even a sequel: the nightmarish X-Multiplydoubled down on its predecessor’s bio-mechanical stylings, and introduced a cool ship that could defend itself with coiling, whip-like appendages.

    As Street Fighter II captured the early 90s zeitgeist, R-Type’s legacy continued on consoles. R-Type III: The Third Lightning was one of the best shooters on the Super Nintendo (and far more satisfying than the ludicrously unforgiving Super R-Type), while R-Type Delta provided a similarly impressive experience on the PlayStation. 

    For a variety of reasons, however, R-Type never quite enjoyed the lineage of Gradius, a series that spawned four mainline sequels and a bewildering number of spin-offs. This may partly have been due to the various behind-the-scenes changes at Irem through the 90s, or maybe because other, newer genres pushed the traditional space shooter ever further into niche territory. Whatever the reason, Irem closed the book on the series with R-Type Final for the PlayStation 2 in 2003. The production values, the vast array of ships, great music, and branching levels hinted at a new chapter. Instead, Irem were as good as their word: other than R-Type Tactics, a PSP-only strategy game released in 2007, the R-9 and its variants have remained in a hangar ever since.

    The traditional 2D shooter has in any case evolved far beyond the slow, methodical pace of R-Type. Since the mid-90s, the genre has descended ever further into a bullet hell niche, where elite players furtively weave this way and that through a storm of deadly plasma. This might make R-Type look somewhat quaint to a devotee of the adrenaline-drenched danmaku sub-genre. For this writer, though, R-Type has something that most modern, speedier shooters have misplaced: a sense of drama.

    R-Type’s pace and design don’t just pose a challenge - they create the illusion of an unfolding battle, where the stakes are rising all the time. Gradius came up with the idea of a shooter where the player wanted to keep throwing in coins to see what they might encounter next. R-Type takes this a step further, with each level introducing something bigger, more startling, and more difficult to kill than the last. After 1987, companies all over the world wanted to create their own R-Type. Few came remotely close to matching it.

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    Fanboys may weep...

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 27, 2017

    New reports out of China suggest that a Devil May Crymobile game is in the works. 

    As surprising as that is, it's even more surprising to learn that this mobile adaptation will actually attempt to replicate a fully-fledgedDevil May Cry game. Based on a translation by MMO Culture, these early reports indicate that this mobile title - tentatively referred to as Devil May Cry: Pinnacle of Combat - will utilize a Unity 3D engine to replicate Devil May Cry's quick and flashy real-time combat system. Furthermore, it will include online modes that allow players to participate in solo PvP and team battles. 

    Shockingly, this seemingly ambitious project is being developed by a relatively new studio known as Yunchang Game. There is no official word from the developers regarding their plans, but there are some leaked images of this project which supposedly originated from Yunchang. 

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    At present, it seems that Devil May Cry: Pinnacle of Combat is set to be released in China sometime in 2018. There's no word on the game's international release date or if it will even receive an international release. 

    It feels safe to say that most Devil May Cry fans weren't secretly hoping that the franchise would return in mobile form. It's been almost 10 years since we received a Capcom developed Devil May Cry game. 2013's DmC was developed by Ninja Theory. While many people saw that game as a stylish, well-made, and downright brilliant piece of action entertainment, some fans of the series viewed it as a radical departure from the franchise's form. 

    It'll be interesting, then, to see how those same fans react to this. Devil May Cry: Pinnacle of Combatlikely won't be a full Devil May Cry game, but we'll be happy if it can somehow find a way to translate the brilliant Devil May Cry style of combat to the mobile realm. 

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    Could a sequel reignite the hype around The Division?

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 27, 2017

    Nobody is ready to confirm that a sequel to The Division is in the works, but that hasn't stopped developer Massive Entertainment's Managing Director, David Polfeldt, from talking about what a potential sequel might deal with. 

    “I think it's a wonderful, wonderful brand that has so many potential stories in it. There are a lot of things that we didn't do in The Division 1 that are interesting to look at for that brand,” said Polfeldt in an interview with IGN. "I definitely think there's lots of space for continuation which is beyond just keeping The Division online. But...I can't talk about that too much right now.”

    While that sounds like a bit of a slip regarding a potential sequel, it's not too surprising to hear that Massive is working on more projects related to The Division. While the game's player base has reportedly shrunk considerably since the game's launch, The Division is reportedly still considered to be a massive success. As such, Polfeldt feels that the studio still has quite a bit to contribute to that experience. 

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    “I think of [supporting the game and players] as kind of a relationship," said Polfeldt. "As long as you go to another date with your gamers and you feel pretty excited about it, and they seem to be excited too, that's not when you stop dating."

    That oddly specific comparison aside, Polfeldt feels that The Division's best days really are ahead of it. 

    “The way we see it is that our first obligation is to make The Division awesome. That's not something that ended on launch day," said Polfeldt. "If it ever ends, who knows when, right?...I do think we are much closer today, especially after [Update] 1.8, to the game that we wanted to create, and also to the game that gamers were expecting at launch already."

    Sill, it would be shocking if we never got a fully-fledged sequel to The Division. As Bungie proved with Destiny 2, a game's player base will migrate to such a sequel if given the chance to do so. 

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    Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle's creative director had a handheld dream that we honestly share.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 27, 2017

    Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle's creative director, Davide Soliani, recently revealed on Twitter that he pitched a Game Boy Advance version of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker to Nintendo way back in 2003. 

    "Long time ago, I guess it was the 2003, me and Fabio Pagetti almost convinced our managing director to let us produce a demo for a GBA version of Wind Waker," said Soliani. "No luck that time, but it was running nicely. We were dreamers."

    Soliani even shared a piece of concept art that Pagetti created as part of the pitch. 

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    The idea of a Game Boy Advance version of The Wind Waker seems solid. Granted, it would have been difficult to port that game's large oceans to the handheld device, but the Wind Waker art style certainly lends itself well to the realm of pixel art. Actually, Capcom proved as much by borrowing Wind Waker's art style for the exceptional 2004 GBA title, The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap. It's entirely possible that Nintendo's rejection of the Wind Waker idea was partially based on their knowledge that Capcom already had a game in the works. 

    It all worked out for Soliani in the end, though. Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle turned out to be a fantastic use of the Mario universe and a pretty great little strategy title in its own right. Granted, X-Com fans will find the game's tile-based strategy system to be a bit light, but it's clear that Soliani has a genuine passion for Nintendo's properties.

    While we're on the subject, though, it would be great to receive a traditional Zelda game on the Nintendo Switch or 3DS in the near future. We loved Breath of the Wild as much as the next gamer, but there is nothing quite like a classic Zelda experience on the go. 

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    Star Wars has a long history of video game adaptations. Here are the 25 best video game adventures in galaxy far, far away!

    The Lists Chris Freiberg
    Dec 27, 2017

    There have been dozens of Star Wars games over the years, but just like the movies themselves, some are remembered much more fondly than others. For every Star Warsgame as beloved as The Empire Strikes Back, there’s a half-dozen that are as hated as much as The Phantom Menace or as divisive as The Last Jedi.

    Then there are those all-time classics, like Knights of the Old Republic, which some fans claim to be better than the entire film saga. It's a big claim, of course, but it's hard to beat a Star Wars experience in which you get to be the hero of the story and shape the galaxy as you see fit. Jedi Knight III: Jedi Academy even let you train as an apprentice and become the hero (or villain) you were always destined to be!

    So which games are strong in the Force? Here are Den of Geek's 25 favorite Star Wars games:

    25. Star Wars Episode I: Jedi Power Battles

    2000 | LucasArts | DC, PSX, GBA

    Jedi Power Battles delivers something that you’d think would be more common in Star Wars games: the simple joy of using a lightsaber to slash through hundreds of enemies with a partner by your side. It’s not the prettiest or deepest game, but it’s fun, and it does feature a solid selection of Prequel era Jedi. There are even quite a few unlockable characters and levels if you really get into the game. And while the Dreamcast version is easily the best, even the Game Boy Advance port isn’t too shabby.

    24. Star Wars: TIE Fighter

    1994 | Totally Games | PC

    Star Wars: TIE Fighter is the very definition of an oldie but a goodie. While its graphics show their age, the gameplay is timeless. Even though the battles take place in space, they feel more like World War II dogfights. Thankfully, this game is now readily available on Steam and other modern PC platforms.

    23. Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

    1996 | LucasArts | N64, PC

    Shadows of the Empire’s graphics haven’t aged very well, but that shouldn't make it feel any less epic. The beauty of having the game take place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi is that it lets you play out so many cool moments connected to those films, like the Battle of Hoth and the confrontation with Boba Fett. Admittedly, this one was kind of clunky to play when it first came out, but an HD remake could iron out the kinks.

    22. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

    2010 | LucasArts | PC, PS3, Wii, X360

    The first Force Unleashed was a fun but flawed game. Hopes were high for the sequel, but unfortunately it still faltered in many ways - primarily with a silly story about being a clone that lasts all of three hours. But The Force Unleashed II is still a beautiful game to behold, and there’s something extremely satisfying about tearing into stormtroopers with Force lightning and dual-wielded lightsabers. It’s just too bad we’ll never get to see how the planned sequel would have turned out.

    21. Star Wars: The Old Republic

    2011 | BioWare | PC

    The Old Republic is not Knights of the Old Republic III, and some gamers will never get over that. What it is, however, is an MMO that takes its story very seriously. The type of commitment required for an MMO isn’t for every gamer, but for those gamers who really want to feel like they’re living in a galaxy far, far away, there’s no better option. And it’s been free-to-play for years now, so there’s no reason to skip over it.

    20. Super Star Wars

    1992 | LucasArts | SNES

    Super Star Wars is a bit of an oddity compared to later Star Wars games. It tracks the plot of A New Hope pretty closely, but also takes some pretty big liberties, like adding levels where Luke fights giant scorpions and infiltrates a Jawa Sandcrawler. It’s a little odd, but keep in mind this is the era when even TV shows like Home Improvement had video game adaptations with out of place enemies. Super Star Wars and its two sequels at least hold up better than most other early ‘90s game adaptations.

    19. Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

    2011 | Traveller’s Tales | PS3, PC, Wii, X360

    Just like the movies themselves, sometimes Star Wars sequels can’t quite live up to the hype. Traveller’s Tales had already cranked out three awesome Lego Star Warsgames at this point, so you’d think they could do even more amazing things with a game based on the popular Clone Wars cartoon. And… they sort of did. It’s still fun replaying episodes and collecting thousands of studs, but the baffling inclusion of RTS elements brings this one down a few pegs.

    18. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

    2005 | LucasArts | PS2, Xbox

    Aside from the Lego games, there haven’t been too many video games that directly adapt the Star Wars films in recent years. Revenge of the Sithis extremely faithful to the movie and adds in a fairly deep combo system, as you play as either Anakin or Obi-wan. And if you play through the final mission as Anakin, you get an ending very different from the film.

    17. Pinball FX 3

    2017 | Zen Studios | PC, PS4, Switch, XBO, Wii U

    The latest version of Pinball FX contains more than a dozen tables featuring characters from all three Star Wars trilogies. And while the quality of each table varies slightly, it’s always fun to play through scenes from Episodes IV-VII (and Rogue One!), or go for the high score while listening to “The Imperial March” on the Darth Vader table.

    16. Star Wars: Dark Forces

    1996| LucasArts | PC, PSX

    DOOM and Quake are often seen as the pinnacles of first-person shooters in the ‘90s, but Dark Forces actually deserves a lot of credit for its innovations. This classic introduced jumping, free aiming, and multi-step puzzles, which have all become cornerstones of the genre. Thanks to that depth, it holds up better than a lot of other ‘90s PC shooters.

    15. Star Wars: Bounty Hunter

    2002 | LucasArts | GCN, PS2

    Sadly, it doesn’t look like we’ll ever get to play Star Wars 1313, the cancelled game about Boba Fett’s bounty hunting adventures in the less respectable areas of Coruscant. But we have Star Wars: Bounty Hunter at least, the story of his father/the guy he was cloned from and his own adventures during the Prequel era. It’s admittedly a little janky, and not terribly innovative, but there will always be something empowering about playing through a game as a Fett.

    14. Star Wars: Empire at War

    2006 | Petroglyph games | PC

    Admittedly, Empire at War isn’t as deep as Starcraft II, but Starcraft II doesn’t have X-wings, AT-ATs, or Darth Vader as units. This is an above average RTS game that finally lets you plot out victory for either the Galactic Empire or the Rebel Alliance. The RTS genre is such a perfect fit for Star Wars, it’s surprising that more games haven’t gone this route.

    13. Star Wars Rogue Squadron

    1998 | Factor 5 | N64, PC

    While several games let players pilot an X-Wing prior to Rogue Squadron, Factor 5’s masterpiece just made it piloting these starfighters more fun with its more arcadey controls and missions. And even today, the game looks and sounds phenomenal. Factor 5 pulled some real magic out of the aging N64 hardware to make a game that still holds up 20 years later. Just be warned though: the later missions are extremely challenging.

    12. Star Wars Battlefront

    2015 | EA DICE | PC, PS4, XBO

    A lot has been said about the game Battlefront isn’t. It’s true that it’s a little light on content, and it’s even missing features that were in its predecessors, released a decade earlier. But Battlefront is still a fun multiplayer shooter to jump into for a few minutes or hours, and it captures the feel of the movies better than any other Star Warsgame before it. It’s one of the best looking games of the current generation, and the inclusion of Rogue One content a year after release kept the experience fresh. Even if this revival isn't perfect, at least it avoided the microtransaction mess that plagued its sequel.

    11. Disney Infinity 3.0

    2015 | Avalance Software | PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, X360, XBO

    Toys and Star Wars go together like George Lucas and bad dialogue. Even if you find the gameplay in Disney Infinity 3.0 to be too kiddie or easy, it’s hard for any Star Warsfan to resist the dozens of plastic toys released alongside the game. Plus, it’s the only game to date where you can see Darth Vader interact with Spider-Man and Mickey Mouse.

    10. Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    2016 | TT Fusion | 3DS, PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, X360, XBO

    Despite dabbling in numerous other franchises over the years, the first three Lego Star Wars games are arguably still among the very best to come out of Traveller’s Tales. It’s no surprise then that the prolific developer did justice to the Lego version of The Force Awakens. This isn’t a revolutionary title, just a perfect (and often hilarious) take on the movie, with the added bonus of canon missions set after Return of the Jedi and playable characters spanning the entire saga.

    9. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

    2008 | LucasArts | PC, PS3, Wii, X360

    While it’s not a perfect game by any means, perhaps no other Star Wars game has better captured what it would be like to have the full powers of the Force at your disposal, whether that means engaging in extremely satisfying lightsaber and Force lightning combat, or taking down a Star Destroyer using only the ancient energy. And unlike its sequel, The Force Unleashed actually had a pretty great story that even tied into the Original Trilogy, at least until Disney bought out Lucasfilm and declared that it was no longer canon.

    8. Star Wars Episode I: Racer

    PC | LucasArts | DC, N64, PC

    Though The Phantom Menace is often considered the most disappointing Star Wars film, it actually resulted in some of the best games. Maybe it's because they didn’t follow the movie so closely? Racer took one of the best scenes from the movie, Anakin’s epic podrace victory, and turned it into a full-featured game heavily inspired by F-Zero and Wipeout. It’s a concept that was pretty much impossible to screw up and made for one of the very best Star Wars games.

    7. Star Wars: Republic Commando

    2005 | LucasArts | PC, XBOX

    Republic Commandotakes some big risks that end up paying off. It doesn’t feature any Jedi, and it shuns the action/adventure gameplay of most Star Warsgames for tactical first-person shooting, as you lead an elite group of Clone Troopers at the beginning of the Clone Wars. More than a decade later, there still aren't many FPS games as fun or as innovative as Republic Commando. If there’s any Star Warsgame begging for a proper sequel or HD remake, it’s this one.

    6. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II

    2004 | BioWare | PC, XBOX

    The storyline of Knights of the Old Republic II may not quite match its predecessor, but the tale of the Jedi Exile restoring his or her connection to the Force is still one of the most captivating in Star Wars. Plus, the characters that join your party, like Kreia and Hanharr the Wookiee bounty hunter, are arguably even better and more fleshed out than the first game's roster. And Darth Nihilus still stands out as one of the most badass Sith Lords to ever terrorize the galaxy. It’s too bad that LucasArts rushed Obsidian to finish the game in time for the holidays, because with a few more months of polish, this sequel might have topped this list.

    5. Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader

    2001 | Factor 5 | GCN

    No game has nailed the feel of what it would be like to pilot an X-wing quite like Rogue Leader. The graphics were mind-blowing when the game first came out in 2001 as a GameCube launch title, and they still look remarkable today. No X-wing game has quite capture the Death Star trench run as well as Rogue Leader, either. Unfortunately, the sequel failed to capitalize on Rogue Leader’s success, adding some ill-advised on-foot missions, and Factor 5 barely exists as a developer after the even more ill-advised Lair for PS3.

    4. Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast

    2002 | Raven Software | GCN, PC, XBOX

    The biggest issue most fans have with Disney’s acquisition of Star Wars is how many great stories were tossed aside without a  second thought in order to make way for the Sequel Trilogy. One of the biggest losses was Kyle Katarn, the Imperial officer-turned Jedi who starred in the very best Star Wars action game. A lot of Star Wars games let you wield a lightsaber and Force powers, but none have mastered the combo quite as well. And few games have had such freedom to explore the post-Return of the Jedi timeline as Jedi Outcast did. Players even got to spend some time with Luke Skywalker at his new Jedi temple on Yavin IV. Unfortunately, post-Disney, we’ll probably never see Katarn again.

    3. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga

    2007 | Traveller’s Tales | PC, PS3, Wii, X360

    Surprisingly, this is the only Star Wars game to date that lets you play through the first six movies in their entirety. Don’t let the Lego veneer fool you, this is a great game with fun and varied gameplay that’s fairly true to its source material (with a few hilarious deviations). And with a ridiculous 160 playable characters, it’s likely that you’ll find all of your favorites here no matter how obscure they are.

    2. Star Wars Battlefront II

    2005 | Pandemic Studios | PC, PS2, XBOX

    Few games have developed rabid and loyal fanbases like Battlefront II. Even after two graphically superior spiritual sequels, many fans argue that the campaign, Galactic Conquest, and the multiplayer maps are far superior to what EA is making now. Fire up this classic on the PC, and it’s hard to argue against this title's superiority. And as of October 2017, the previously shutdown online play for PC is back in full force with no signs of slowing down.

    1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

    2003 | BioWare | PC, XBOX

    Knights of the Old Republicaccomplished what virtually no other Star Wars game has: it created a story that’s even better than anything in the movies. The tale of your character’s growth as a Jedi and the story's big twist are still beloved today. No other Star Wars game has given you as much power over the fate of the galaxy either, allowing you to choose whether to save the Republic or rule it with an iron fist. Now if we could finally get all of the interested parties to agree to let BioWare make Knights of the Old Republic III

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    Dating, pushing boxes, and more from one of the strangest concepts in recent gaming history.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 27, 2017

    Catherine, an utterly bizarre puzzle-platformer released in 2011 by Atlus, is getting a somewhat surprising PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita remake. 

    Even though we've come to expect a strong level of weirdness from developer Atlus - this is the studio behind the Persona series - Catherine stands as one of their most bizarre creations. Gameplay-wise, Catherine asks players to navigate a series of complex levels referred to as "Nightmare Stages." These worlds are essentially giant staircases that must be manipulated in ways that allow the player to climb to their peaks. 

    While these puzzles make Catherine a mechanically challenging experience, they're not what makes the game famous. No, that honor is reserved for the game's characters and story. 

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    See, Catherine is actually a story within a story. It's portrayed through the lens of a fictional television show called Golden Playhouse that essentially serves as a kind of "original movie of the week" program. In this instance, the movie of the week follows a young man who is struggling to maintain his relationship with his girlfriend. He has what he thinks was a one-night stand relationship with a girl named Catherine, but it soon becomes something much more dangerous. 

    Catherine is a fascinating look at the complexities of relationships and the ways that we struggle to maintain them as we grow and our needs evolve. Oddly enough, the game's seemingly disconnected puzzle sequences do a great job of fleshing out the main character's motivations and general mindset. It's a truly unique piece of entertainment that must be experienced by those who like something different. 

    As for when you'll be able to experience the remake of this game, that's not yet clear. It seems like the game will be released sometime in 2018, but there is no official release date available at this time. 

    When the remake is released, it will reportedly feature new endings, new events, and even new mechanics that affect the way that you can move blocks. 

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    The oft-delayed Psychonauts sequel suffers another setback.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 27, 2017

    2005's Psychonauts may not have been a runaway commercial success, but it is regularly cited as one of the greatest examples of creative design in video game history. The game focuses on a camp of students who learn to use their psychic abilities to visit the minds of various people. Those minds are represented by some of the most obscure and creative levels ever designed by the great Tim Schafer. 

    Fans of Psychonauts have been clamoring for a sequel for years and helped turned Psychonauts 2's crowdfunding campaign into one of the most successful endeavors of its kind. The question now is whether or not this sequel can live up to the almost mythological precedent that its predecessor set. 

    Here's everything we know about Psychonauts 2

    Psychonauts 2 Release Date

    Psychonauts 2 has been delayed until 2019. 

    "Now we are in full swing, we know a lot more about the size and scope of the game we are going to make, how long it will take us to make it, and the amount of time we need to make it be great," reads an update on the game's Fig page. "From those projections we know, that Psychonauts 2 will not be shipping in 2018, like we originally estimated when we published the Fig campaign two years ago."

    There is no word on the game's updated release date at this time. 

    Psychonauts 2 Trailer

    In a statement on Starbreeze Studio's website, the publisher states that they have invested $8 million into Psychonauts 2and will continue to collect 60% of the sequels revenue after their initial investment has been recouped. 

    "Many of us gamers who’ve grown up during 70’s and 80’s have at some point come across the great games from Double Fine and Tim Schafer," said Starbreeze CEO Bo Andersson-Klint. "Games like Grim Fandango, Day of the TentacleFull Throttle, and Brütal Legend are all in the list of personal all time favorites for many of us. We’re very proud to be able to add this prominent collaboration to our Publishing business."

    Tim Schafer shared his thoughts on the matter, as well as some new Psychonauts 2 development footage, through a new developer diary. 

    “Starbreeze is the perfect partner for Double Fine and our backers on Psychonauts 2," said Schafer. "Their expertise in not just developing and publishing games, but supporting them after launch will be a great benefit for players of the game.”

    It's not unusual for the developers of a crowdfunded game to team up with a publisher after the game achieved its funding goal as the first wave of crowdfunding is usually done to attract investors. Of course, given how good the game looks in the latest update, we'd be happy if Double Fine signed a publishing deal with Satan so long as it gets Psychonauts 2 on shelves faster. 

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    Gather your party and prepare for battle.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 27, 2017

    In a post on the Capcom Unity blog, the studio revealed that Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition will feature a team versus mode. 

    Team versus mode allows players to assemble teams of up to five fighters who will engage in either elimination or "best of" matches. Elimination allows the winning fighter to stay in the fray until they are eliminated and no fighters remain. Best of matches are just a series of single bouts. 

    Each option will be accompanied by a series of options that allow players to control everything from player's health pools to time limits and character order. 

    Capcom also announced that six new DLC characters will arrive in 2018, just in time for Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, an update for the 2016 fighting game sequel. The confirmed characters are Sakura, Blanka, Falke, Cody, G, and Sagat. 

    Here's a trailer showing off Sakura, who will arrive on Jan. 16: 

    There's also a new cinematic opening introducing the latest additions to the roster:

    You'll be able to buy each character individualy or you can just purchase the season 3 character pass and get them all for the price of one.

    Arcade Edition will also feature over 200 arcade endings. The extent of this feature is detailed in this new blog post, but the gist of it is that this Arcade Edition will feature story paths from multiple Street Fighter games (Street Fighter, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter III, Street Fighter IV, and Street Fighter V). As such, players will only be able to choose fighters who were in the original Street Fighter titles each story path adheres to. As each of those characters will get to enjoy a unique ending to every story path...well, you can understand why there are so many of them. 

    Furthermore, players will have the opportunity to complete a variety of gameplay challenges that unlock new art and custom character titles. There will also be bonus stages included with every story path. 

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    Alongside the new arcade mode, this new edition of the game adds several special edition nicities (including a gallery of illustrations and slightly improved user interface) as well as some more substantial additions. The addition that will probably have the biggest impact on the game is the reported inclusion of extra character v-triggers. Based on the information in the listing, each character will now have two v-triggers. Those moves are on full display in this new trailer that showcases how devastating they are. 

    With the release of that preview, Capcom has also teased some holiday costumes set to release soon for the base game. Along with some Christmas-themed costumes, this DLC will add some classic outfits to the game that will allow you to dress some of Street Fighter's veteran combatants in their original duds. There's also mention of an Extra Battle mode which will allow players to "complete timed challenges to obtain exclusive costumes through 2018."

    This new edition of the game will be free for all current Street Fighter V players and will release on January 16, 2018. When it does release, it is expected to ship with cross-play support for PS4 and PC players. 

    This sounds like an improvement over vanilla Street Fighter V, but it remains to be seen whether or not the riled Street Fighter fanbase will welcome this update with open arms give that some stiff competition in the fighting genre that is on shelves and in the works. 

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    It turns out those Dark Souls rumors may have been premature...

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 18, 2017

    Bandai Namco is making two new games for the Nintendo Switch. 

    The first is a port of the surprisingly well-done Pac-Man Championship Edition 2. This reimagined take on the Pac-Man formula - or, more accurately, the sequel to that reimagination - was first released for PlayStation 4, Windows, and Xbox One in 2016. That edition of the game featured advanced mazes that utilized a new rule which allowed players to touch ghosts and not instantly die. Instead, three touches trigger them to enter an angry state. This game also utilized jump pads which would allow players to launch themselves from one point of the map to another. 

    This Switch addition of the game will still contain all of the features of the original editions, but it will also feature a local co-op mode - yay! - and some special co-op abilities. It is set to release on February 22, 2018. 

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    The other Switch title is an adaptation of the My Hero Academia manga and anime. Bandai Namco hasn't released any details regarding this project - except for a vague 2018 release date - but the news that a game based on this series is in the works. In case you don't follow the series, My Hero Academia is about a boy born without superpowers in a world full of superheroes. He is gifted powers by two superheroes and begins to receive training at a prestigious superhero academy. 

    This adaptation of the series will most likely be some kind of RPG or action/adventure game, but we probably won't know for sure until this game is actually released sometime next year for Switch, Xbox One, PS4, and PC. 

    If you hear some cries of disappointments regarding this announcement, that's likely because there were rumors that Bandai Namco was working on a remastered edition of Dark Souls for the Nintendo Switch. While it's still possible that such a thing could happen, it doesn't seem that particular release is on the studio's radar at this time. 

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    Atari's Space Invaders turns 45 in 2018, and there are quite a few other gaming anniversaries, too!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Dec 28, 2017

    A year after Pong invaded homes all over America, there were already clear signs that the video game industry was here to stay. In 1973, another major pillar of gaming was released, one you might remember fondly from the arcade: Atari's Space Invaders, one of the first shooting games ever made. The game tasks you with taking down waves of aliens before they can destroy your city. It's not the fast-paced bullet hell you've come to expect nowadays, but Space Invaders is an important precursor to all of the different shooting games we enjoy today. In 2018, Space Invaders turns 45. 

    Mario Bros., Star Fox, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Call of Duty, StarCraft, and Doomare only a few of the other classic titles that are celebrating milestone anniversaries this year. Below, you can find a complete list of the big video game anniversaries of 2018. 

    Put a party hat on, pull out all of your old consoles, and, if you've been playing video games for a few decades, crack open a beer. Here are the gaming anniversaries of 2018:


    30th Anniversary

    January 1988 - Super Contra is released by Konami.

    20th Anniversary

    January 21, 1998 - Resident Evil 2 is released by Capcom.

    January 28, 1998 - Final Fantasy Tactics is released by Square in North America.

    January 29, 1998 - Panzer Dragoon Saga is released by Sega.

    15th Anniversary

    January 25, 2003 - Devil May Cry 2 is released by Capcom.

    10th Anniversary

    January 22, 2008 - No More Heroes is released by Nintendo.

    January 31, 2008 - Super Smash Bros. Brawl is released by Nintendo.

    January 31, 2008 - Devil May Cry 4 is released by Capcom.

    5th Anniversary

    January 15, 2013 - DmC: Devil May Cry is released by Capcom.


    30th Anniversary

    February 10, 1988 - Dragon Quest III is released by Enix.

    25th Anniversary

    February 1993 - Star Wars: X-Wingis released by LucasArts.

    February 21, 1993 - Star Fox is released by Nintendo.

    20th Anniversary

    February 11, 1998 - Xenogears is released by Squaresoft.

    February 24, 1998 - Gex: Enter the Gecko is released by Midway.

    February 28, 1998 - Star Wars: Rebellion is released by LucasArts.

    15th Anniversary

    February 14, 2003 - Nintendo releases the Game Boy Advance SP.

    February 14, 2003 - Final Fantasy Tactics Advance is released by Square.

    February 15, 2003 - Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner is released by Konami.

    February 24, 2003 - Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb is released by LucasArts.

    10th Anniversary

    February 4, 2008 - Sins of a Solar Empire is released by Stardock.

    February 12, 2008 - Lost Odyssey is released by Microsoft.

    5th Anniversary

    February 5, 2013 - Dead Space 3 is released by Electronic Arts.

    February 19, 2013 - Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is released by Konami.


    45th Anniversary

    March 19, 1973 - Konami enters video game industry.

    25h Anniversary

    March 26, 1993 - Kirby’s Adventure is released by Nintendo.

    20th Anniversary

    March 10, 1998 - Yoshi’s Story is released by Nintendo in North America.

    March 29, 1998 - Parasite Eve is released by Square.

    March 31, 1998 - StarCraft is released by Blizzard.

    15th Anniversary

    March 9, 2003 - Sonic Advance 2 is released by Sega.

    March 11, 2003 - Mega Man & Bass is released by Capcom.

    March 13, 2003 - Final Fantasy X-2 is released by Square Enix.

    March 19, 2003 - Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire are released by Nintendo.

    March 24, 2003 - The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is released by Nintendo.

    10th Anniversary

    March 24, 2008 - Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII is released by Square Enix.

    5th Anniversary

    March 19, 2013 - Gears of War: Judgmentis released by Microsoft.

    March 20, 2013 - Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is released by Nintendo.

    March 26, 2013 - BioShock Infinite is released by 2K Games.


    25th Anniversary

    April 1, 1993 - The 7th Guest is released by Virgin Interactive Entertainment.

    April 3, 1993 - Mortal Kombat II is released by Midway.

    10th Anniversary

    April 10, 2008 - Mario Kart Wii is released by Nintendo.

    April 29, 2008 - Grand Theft Auto IV is released by Rockstar Games.

    5th Anniversary

    April 9, 2013 - Guacamelee! is released by DrinkBox Studios.


    20th Anniversary

    May 12, 1998 - Gran Turismo is released by Sony.

    May 22, 1998 - Unreal is released by GT Interactive.

    15th Anniversary

    May 2, 2003 - Mega Man Zero 2 is released by Capcom.

    May 6, 2003 - Castlevania: Aria of Sorrowis released by Konami.

    May 23, 2003 - Silent Hill 3 is released by Konami.

    May 27, 2003 - Brute Force is released by Microsoft.


    40th Anniversary

    June 1978 - Space Invaders is released by Taito.

    35th Anniversary

    June 1, 1983 - Mario Bros. is released by Nintendo.

    June 16, 1983 - Microsoft releases the MSX console.

    June 23, 1983 - Dragon’s Lairis released by Cinematronics.

    30th Anniversary

    June 1988 - Metal Gear arrives to North America for the NES.

    June 1, 1988 - John Madden Football is released by Electronic Arts.

    25th Anniversary

    June 6, 1993 - The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is released by Nintendo.

    June 25, 1993 - Day of the Tentacle is released by LucasArts.

    20th Anniversary

    June 11, 1998 - X-Men vs. Street Fighter is released by Capcom.

    June 29, 1998 - Banjo-Kazooie is released by Nintendo.

    15th Anniversary

    June 26, 2003 - Star Wars Galaxies is released by LucasArts.

    June 26, 2003 - Viewtiful Joe is released by Capcom.

    10th Anniversary

    June 12, 2008 - Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is released by Konami.

    5th Anniversary

    June 5, 2013 - State of Decay is released by Microsoft.

    June 14, 2013 - The Last of Us is released by Sony.


    45th Anniversary

    July 16, 1973 - Atari releases its second game, Space Race.

    40th Anniversary

    July 22, 1978 - SNK enters the video game industry.

    July 25, 1978 - Koei enters the video game industry.

    35th Anniversary

    July 1983 - Bomberman is released by Hudson Soft.

    July 15, 1983 - Nintendo releases the Famicom console.

    July 15, 1983 - Sega releases the SG-1000 console.

    30th Anniversary

    July 1988 - Nintendo releases the first issue of Nintendo Power magazine.

    July 20, 1988 - Bionic Commando is remade by Capcom for home consoles.

    15th Anniversary

    July 1, 2003 - Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is released by Blizzard.

    July 15, 2003 - Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is released by LucasArts.

    July 17, 2003 - Mega Man X7 is released by Capcom.

    July 28, 2003 - Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour is released by Nintendo.


    30th Anniversary

    August 1988 - Altered Beast is released by Sega.

    25th Anniversary

    August 1993 - Daytona USA is released by Sega.

    August 6, 1993 - Secret of Mana is released by Square.

    20th Anniversary

    August 21, 1998 - Tom Clancy’s Rainbox Six is released by Red Storm Entertainment.

    August 31, 1998 - Mega Man Legends is released by Capcom.

    10th Anniversary

    August 6, 2008 - Braid is released by Number None.


    25th Anniversary

    September 6, 1993 - Master of Orion is released by MicroProse.

    September 23, 1993 - Sonic CD is released by Sega.

    September 24, 1993 - Myst is released by Broderbund.

    20th Anniversary

    September 1998 - Dance Dance Revolution is released by Konami.

    September 9, 1998 - Spyro the Dragon is released by Sony.

    September 28, 1998 - Pokemon Red and Blue are released in North America by Nintendo.

    September 30, 1998 - Fallout 2 is released by Interplay.

    15th Anniversary

    September 12, 2003 - Valve launches Steam.

    September 17, 2003 - Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy is released by LucasArts.

    10th Anniversary

    September 16, 2008 - Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is released by LucasArts.

    September 22, 2008 - Mega Man 9 is released by Capcom.

    5th Anniversary

    September 4, 2013 - Outlast is released by Red Barrels.

    September 10, 2013 - Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is released by Frictional Games.

    September 17, 2013 - Grand Theft Auto V is released by Rockstar Games.


    40th Anniversary

    October 1978 - Namco releases its first arcade game, Gee Bee.

    30th Anniversary

    October 1988 - Ninja Gaiden is released by Tecmo.

    October 9, 1988 - The North American version of Super Mario Bros. 2 (originally Doki Doki Panic in Japan) is released by Nintendo.

    October 23, 1988 - Super Mario Bros. 3is released in Japan by Nintendo.

    October 29, 1988 - Sega releases the Genesis home console.

    25th Anniversary

    October 1993 - Virtua Fighteris released by Sega.

    October 7, 1993 - Ridge Racer is released by Namco.

    20th Anniversary

    October 20, 1998 - Metal Gear Solid is released by Konami.

    October 21, 1998 - Turok 2: Seeds of Evilis released by Acclaim Entertainment.

    October 21, 1998 - Nintendo releases the Game Boy Color handheld console.

    October 30, 1998 - Grim Fandango is released by LucasArts.

    15th Anniversary

    October 14, 2003 - Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne is released by Rockstar Games.

    October 21, 2003 - Castlevania: Lament of Innocence is released by Konami.

    October 21, 2003 - Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge is released by Microsoft.

    October 28, 2003 - Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time is released by Ubisoft.

    October 29, 2003 - Call of Duty is released by Activision.

    10th Anniversary

    October 13, 2008 - Dead Space is released by Electronic Arts.

    October 21, 2008 - Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is released by Konami.

    October 21, 2008 - Far Cry 2 is released by Ubisoft.

    October 21, 2008 - Fable II is released by Microsoft.

    October 27, 2008 - LittleBigPlanet is released by Sony.

    October 28, 2008 - Fallout 3 is released by Bethesda.

    5th Anniversary

    October 12, 2013 - Pokemon X and Y are released by Nintendo.

    October 14, 2013 - The Wolf Among Us is released by Telltale Games.

    October 25, 2013 - Batman: Arkham Originsis released by WB.

    October 29, 2013 - Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is released by Ubisoft.

    October 29, 2013 - Battlefield 4 is released by Electronic Arts.


    30th Anniversary

    November 1988 - Splatterhouse is released by Namco.

    25th Anniversary

    November 1993 - Sam & Max Hit the Road is released by LucasArts.

    November 5, 1993 - Mega Man 6 is released by Capcom.

    November 11, 1993 - Disney’s Aladdin is released by Virgin Interactive Entertainment.

    November 15, 1993 - ClayFighter is released by Interplay Productions.

    November 23, 1993 - Atari releases the Jaguar home console.

    20th Anniversary

    November 19, 1998 - Half-Life is released by Valve.

    November 20, 1998 - Tomb Raider III is released by Eidos Interactive.

    November 21, 1998 - The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is released by Nintendo.

    November 27, 1998 - Sega releases the Dreamcast home console.

    November 30, 1998 - Thief: The Dark Project is released by Eidos Interactive.

    15th Anniversary

    November 7, 2003 - Mario Kart: Double Dash is released by Nintendo.

    November 11, 2003 - Beyond Good & Evil is released by Ubisoft.

    November 11, 2003 - Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando is released by Sony.

    November 17, 2003 - Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga is released by Nintendo.

    November 27, 2003 - Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly is released by Tecmo.

    10th Anniversary

    November 10, 2008 - Gears of War 2 is released by Microsoft.

    November 17, 2008 - Left 4 Dead is released by Valve.

    5th Anniversary

    November 12, 2013 - XCOM: Enemy Within is released by 2K Games.

    November 15, 2013 - Sony releases the PlayStation 4 home console.

    November 21, 2013 - Super Mario 3D World is released by Nintendo.

    November 22, 2013 - The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is released by Nintendo.

    November 22, 2013 - Microsoft releases the Xbox One home console.


    30th Anniversary

    December 1, 1988 - Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is released by Nintendo in North America.

    December 17, 1988 - Final Fantasy II is released by Square.

    December 24, 1988 - Mega Man 2 is released by Capcom.

    25th Anniversary

    December 10 - Doom is released by id Software.

    December 17 - Mega Man X is released by Capcom.

    20th Anniversary

    December 1998 - Rockstar Games is founded.

    December 3, 1998 - Star Wars: Rogue Squadron is released by LucasArts.

    December 21, 1998 - Baldur’s Gate is released by Interplay.

    December 23, 1998 - Sonic Adventure is released by Sega.

    15th Anniversary

    December 2, 2003 - Deus Ex: Invisible War is released by Eidos Interactive.

    10th Anniversary

    December 18, 2008 - Dissidia Final Fantasy is released by Square Enix.


    45th Anniversary

    1973 - Taito enters the video game industry.

    40th Anniversary

    1978 - Konami releases its first arcade game, Block Game.

    1978 - Magnavox Odyssey 2 is released.

    35th Anniversary

    1983 - The Video Game Crash of 1983 in North America.

    1983 - Spy Hunter is released by Midway.

    1983 - Punch-Out!! is released by Nintendo.

    30th Anniversary

    1988 - Phantasy Star is released by Sega in North America.

    25th Anniversary

    1993 - NBA Jam is released by Midway.

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    Everything we know about World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth, including latest news, release date, trailers, and more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Dec 29, 2017

    The next World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth, takes the game back to its roots a bit by focusing on the battle between the Horde and the Alliance. Each side will be able to explore three new zones. The Horde will have access to the islands of Zandalar while the Aliiance will be able to traverse the island of Kul Tiras. These new areas will reportedly contain "allied races" which players will be able to recruit and eventually play as. 

    Perhaps the most exciting addition this expansion brings to the table is the inclusion of a new islands system that adds an almost rogue-like element to the game. Basically, players will be able to build parties of three and explore these island areas. The catch here is that these areas change slightly every time that you visit them. You'll also be able to access new areas called Waterfronts that support 20 player fights over locations that are reportedly of strategic importance to both the Horde and the Alliance. 

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    Battle for Azeroth also includes a new legendary neck piece called the Heart of Azeroth. This neck piece will allow players to unlock new abilites that are directly tied to their armor. This system sounds very similar to the one that Blizzard implemented in Legion that allowed players to build upon existing weapons via in-game artifacts. 

    Finally, Battle for Azeroth will raise the current level cap to 120 and will include a feature that allows players to buy a boost up to level 110 should they wish to do so. 

    Here's everything else we know about the expansion:

    World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Trailer

    Blizzard has revealed the next expansion for World of Warcraft. Here is the debut cinematic trailer for Battle for Azeroth:

    While that trailer lives up to Blizzard's legacy of creating cinematics worthy of the big screen, it unfortunately doesn't tell us much about the game itself. Fortuantely, Blizzard has released another preview for the expansion that elaborates on its features a bit more:

    World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Release Date

    Unfortunately, Blizzard isn't quite ready to reveal a release date for the Battle of Azeroth expansion. Based on previous release trends, most people expect this expansion to be available sometime during the summer of 2018. However, we will have an official release date for you as soon as that information becomes available. 

    World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth PvP

    The World of Warcraft team hopes to emphasize the game's player vs. player elements once more by changing the way that PvP works. 

    Game director Ion Hazzikostas told Kotaku that the team plans on turning every one of the game's servers into PvP servers. However, everyone will need to opt-in to PvP combat if they wish to participate in battle. The catch is that players will only be able to turn PvP on or off inside of major cities. Out in the wild, you'll live with the decision you've made. 

    “Doing this gives us a foundation upon which to build,” said Hazzikostas. “I think in the past when we talked about ideas for PVP content in the world, we often ran into the question of ‘Well, what does this mean for people on PVE servers?’ Are there just millions of people who don’t get to experience this content at all, even if they want to?”

    Hazzikostas also admitted that the WoW team has fallen behind somewhat in terms of expanding the game's PvP battles. While he admits you can't make those battles perfectly balanced, he states that the team is hoping to implement some kind of level-scaling system that might help battles feel a little fairer. 

    Hazzikostas previously noted that Battle for Azeroth will incorporate elements of the Warcraft RTS games. Specifically, the expansion's Waterfront battles will play out like a WoW take on the classic strategy titles. 

    “In searching for inspiration for how that might unfold, classic RTS roots felt like the perfect place to turn,” said Hazzikostas. He later explained that your first job will be to get your team's base fully-functional which will require you to gather resources such as "lumber or gold" to upgrade town halls. You'll also need to clear supply lines of foes in order to allow "peons to do their thing."

    The next phase of battle requires teams of players to decide how existing resources will be spent on the battles ahead. This includes the building of certain weapons and other combat resources. Finally, you will actually do battles against other teams with the resources you have accumulated. 

    We're curious if the resource gathering elements will grow tedious over time and how deep the base building is, but this certainly sounds like a significant addition to the game that wonderfully touches upon Warcraft's oft-forgotten RTS roots. 

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    Everything you need to know about Lost Sphear, including latest news, release date, trailers, and more!

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 29, 2017

    Square Enix's has announced the development of Lost Sphear, a follow-up to their 2016 cult classic I Am Setsuna.

    I Am Setsuna developer Tokyo RPG Factory will be handling the development of Lost Sphear, but Square Enix issued a statement regarding the design direction of Lost Sphear in which they describe the title as an adventure that begins "in a remote town where a young boy, Kanata, awakens from a devastating dream to find his hometown disappearing." As this is a JRPG, you'll need to form a party in order to defeat the evil that has plagued this land. 

    If this all sounds a bit familiar to you even if you never played I Am Setsuna, that's because this series emphasizes classic JRPG conventions. Setsuna's biggest inspiration was the JRPG classic Chrono Trigger and the Tokyo RPG factory title continued many of the elements that made that JRPG one of the greatest games of all-time. Lost Sphear will likely follow suit.

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Lost Sphear Release Date

    Lost Sphear is scheduled to release on January 23, 2018 for PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

    Lost Sphear Trailer

    Learn more about the game's story with this trailer:

    Check out a gameplay trailer:

    Here's the first trailer for the game:

    Lost Sphear will continue the good work of I Am Setsuna by carrying over the game's Chrono Trigger-esque battle system, story structure, and character design. However, it will expand on the good work that I Am Setsuna set forth by incorporating an expanded ATB battle system that will allow characters to swap places mid-battle in order to utilize new attack techniques. 

    The official announcement for Lost Sphear also hints at the game's "seamless environments" but it's not entirely clear at this time if Tokyo RPG Factor is aiming for more of an open-world system. However, Square Enix has stated that the studio intends to incorporate more diverse locations in order to address one of Setsuna's biggest criticisms. 

    Lost Sphear Story

    According to a new teaser site (translated here by Gematsu), Lost Sphear's plot will revolve around the idea that the game's world is formed by individual memories. If a person loses these memories, it affects the world. However, a boy named Kanata discovers that he has the power to alter the world by recovering and shaping memories. It seems that many of the game's quests will require you to recover these memories. 

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    Everything we know about Darksiders 3, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 29, 2017

    Darksiders 3  will cast players into the role of a mage named Fury who uses a whip and magical abilities to fight various forms of evil. Fury is a member of the franchise's Four Horsemen and is described as "unpredictable and enigmatic." The first two Darksiders games featured two other members of the mythical Four Horsemen (War and Death), so this character description does seem to fit the design of the series. 

    The sequel is an "open-ended, living, free-form game" that will require players to use Fury's skills in order to defeat the seven deadly sins. The product description and various screenshots also make note of the game's retention of the franchise's signature art style. 

    The history of the Darksiders franchise has always been fascinating from a development perspective. It was originally conceived by THQ as a hack-and-slash action/adventure title with gothic horror elements. The second game expanded upon many of the elements the first title established but mostly served to give players more of the same. 

    Both Darksiders games received a good deal of acclaim from those who played them but were always seen as fundamentally flawed experiences that exhibited more potential than they realized. When THQ shut down, Darksiders was still seen as one of their most valuable former properties.

    With the franchise now in the hands of THQ Nordic, it will be interesting to see if they are able to fully realize the potential of the game's formula. 

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Darksiders 3 Release Date

    Darksiders 3 is being developed by Gunfire Games and will be released for PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One. The game will arrive sometime in 2018.

    Darksiders 3 Trailer

    Darksiders 3 is officially coming! Here's the first trailer for the game:

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    Everything you need to know about MLB: The Show 18, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Dec 29, 2017

    The 2017 World Series came to a close with the Houston Astros winning their first title in the franchise's history, but that doesn't mean baseball has to be over. Sony Interactive Entertainment has already announced next year's edition of MLB: The Show, which features New York Yankee Aaron Judge on its cover. 

    Here's everything else we know about MLB: The Show 18...

    MLB: The Show 18 Release Date

    MLB: The Show 18 will arrive on March 27, 2018. The game is coming exclusively to the PlayStation 4. Additionally, those who pre-order the game at GameStop or the PlayStation Store will get to play the game a few days early, starting on March 23.

    MLB: The Show 18 Trailer

    Here's the debut trailer for MLB: The Show 18. It introduces the New York Yankees' Aaron Judge as this year's cover athlete. Check it out:

    MLB: The Show 18 Pre-order Bonus

    There are a few bonuses for those who pre-order the game either at GameStop or the PlayStation store. Here's what you can get:


    Early Access starting March 23, 2018
    10 Standard Packs
    1 Legend Card
    5,000 Stubs
    Instant Reward | Aaron Judge for MLB The Show 17


    Early Access starting March 23, 2018
    10 Standard Packs
    Additional 5 Standard Packs
    1 Legend Card

    Other Retailers

    10 Standard Packs
    1 Legend Card

    MLB: The Show 18 Editions

    There are several different editions to choose from for MLB: The Show 18 on top of the Standard Edition:

    MVP Edition: $69.99 (Approximately $135 value)

    Full Game
    Limited Edition MVP Edition Steel Book (available only with physical copy

    In-Game DLC items include:
    Mission Starter for a Gold Player
    5,000 Stubs
    1 Sponsor Pack
    1 Classic Stadium
    10 Standard Packs
    30 MLB PS4 Themes

    Digital Deluxe Edition: $99.99 (Approximately $200 Value)

    Full Game
    Mission Starter for a Diamond Player
    Mission Starter for a Gold Player
    Digital Deluxe Lead Off Pack
    11,000 Stubs
    1 Sponsor Pack
    1 Classic Stadium
    20 Standard Packs
    30 MLB PS4 Themes

    All Rise Edition: $99.99(Approximately $205 Value)

    Approximately $205 value
    Full Game
    Exclusive New Era All Rise Edition 9FIFTY® Hat
    Limited Edition MVP Edition Steel Book
    In-Game DLC items include:
    Digital Diamond Dynasty New Era All Rise Edition 9FIFTY® Hat for use in game
    Diamond Mission Starter for a Diamond player
    Gold Mission Starter for a Gold player
    11,000 Stubs
    1 Sponsor Pack
    10 Standard Packs
    1 Classic Stadium
    30 MLB PS4 Themes (one for each MLB team)

    MLB: The Show 18 Cover

    The 2018 edition of MLB: The Show features Aaron Judge from the New York Yankees on the cover. Check it out below:

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    Everything we know about Skull and Bones, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 29, 2017

    Were you one of many gamers who played Assassin's Creed: Black Flag's ship sections and thought, "Why doesn't Ubisoft just turn this into a game?" Well, it appears that Ubisoft heard that very valid question. 

    Skull and Bones can't exactly be described as a continuation of Black Flag. While the two share many pirate aspects (we'll never tire of hearing our crew sing a shanty) Skull and Bones seems to place a far greater emphasis on multiplayer gameplay.

    The game will allow you to assemble an online crew and participate in 5 v 5 battles with rival pirates in ship-to-ship combat sections. While sinking the enemy is certainly a plus, the true goal here seems to be to collect as much sweet, sweet loot as you can while also vanquishing your foes. It's not entirely clear at this time whether or not you and other players will be able to assume multiple roles on the ship or how that system of role management will work, but it does appear that much of the action will take place on the open waters. 

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Skull and Bones Release Date

    Skull and Bones is expected to release sometime in the fall of 2018 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. 

    Skull and Bones Trailer

    Here is the first trailer for Skull and Bones:

    And here's a gameplay trailer:

    This interview video posted by Ubisoft also hints at the game's RPG mechanics and the way that you'll be able to upgrade your ship and crew as you gain gold and infamy. 

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    This ambitious sequel may just realize the potential of the original racing title.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 29, 2017

    When Ubisoft announced that they were going to release a sequel to the 2014 online racing title The Crew, the reaction was...tepid. The Crew was an interesting game, but it was also a highly flawed experience that didn't really take advantage of its most intriguing concepts. 

    So how will the studio fix The Crew's biggest flaws? Well, if the first trailer for the game is any indication, then they apparently plan to do it by just reinventing the game's wheel. 

    At this early stage, it appears that the biggest addition to The Crew's world are boats, bikes, and planes. The Crew 2 will allow you to hop behind the wheel of a far greater variety of vehicles while you explore the game's vast open-world setting (which appears to largely take place in America). While the transition from vehicle type to vehicle type is presented fairly smoothly in the gameplay trailer, we're guessing that these races will be separated into various missions during the game itself. That being said, there's always the possibility for a sort of "Triathlon" experience that allows you to use multiple vehicle types in a single race. 

    Here's everything we know:

    The Crew 2 Release Date

    The Crew 2 is coming in 2018. The game will arrive for PS4, XBO, and PC. 

    The Crew 2 Trailer

    Here's the debut trailer:

    That cinematic trailer for the game's premise hints at The Crew 2's expanded scope, but if you really want to appreciate just how much more this game has to offer, you have to check out the first gameplay trailer for The Crew 2

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    Everything we know about Middle-earth: Shadow of War's upcoming DLC expansion packs!

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 29, 2017

    Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has released information on Middle-Earth: Shadow of War's upcoming DLC schedule. 

    First up are the free DLC releases. These will be available to everyone that owns the game regardless of whether they purchased the season pass. They include: 

    Endless Siege (November 21st): This release adds something of a horde mode to the base game. Endless Siege forces you to see how long you can defend your fortress against endless waves of Sauron's army. 

    Rebellion (November 21st): The Ologs and Uruks descend upon the Bright Lord, and it's your job to stop them in this new mission. 

    Enhanced Photo Mode (November 21st): You'll be able to access a wide array of new filters, effects, frames, and textures courtesy of this enhanced photo mode. 

    Online Fight Pits (December 5th): This fascinating new online mode pits you against another player's top orc follower in gladiatorial combat. The winner will be rewarded with upgrades and items.

    Brutal Difficulty (December 12th): Brutal Difficulty gives you access to a new, even more challenging difficulty mode. It seems that making it through this new mode will require you to forgo the last chances made available to you in lesser difficulties. 

    Meanwhile, the DLC season pass for Shadow of War will give you access to four full expansion releases. The first expansion is called Slaughter Tribe Nemesis and focuses on the previously seen Slaughter tribe of orcs. This expansion sees that tribe invade Mordor. As part of that invasion, players will be treated to new missions, new Epic and Legendary orcs to collect, new showdowns, and enhanced Nemesis System Interactions. You'll also be able to hunt legendary Slaughter Tribe orcs for Legendary gear. This expansion is set to release on November 21, 2017.  

    Next up is the Outlaw Tribe Nemesisexpansion. This expansion is similar to the previous one as it focuses on a group known as the Outlaw tribe that rise and rebel within Mordor. It too will allow players to hunt down new orcs and acquire new gear, but the outlaw nature of this new tribe means that players will have a hard time actually winning any members over. That's going to make the assault on the Outlaw's fortress that much more challenging. Of course, the rewards for overtaking it promises to be quite good. This expansion will be released on December 12, 2017. 

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    After those releases, players will be treated to story expansions starting with the Blade of Galadriel add-on. This expansion allows players to play as Eltariel, an assassin tasked with taking out the leading members of the Nazgûl. This expansion will take advantage of Eltariel's unique abilities - notably her dual-blades - and will include the usual suite of new gear and skills. This expansion will also expand upon the current Nemesis system with the introduction of special orcs. Blade of Galadriel will be released in February of 2018. 

    Finally, there is the Desolation of Mordor expansion. This story DLC will allow you to assume control of Baranor, the Captain of Minas Ithil. Baranor has been tasked with leading a small army of man against the orcs. Along the way, Baranor will be able to unite with forces from various other races and will even be able to expand his army with mercenaries. It even promises to offer a rogue-like campaign mode with a permadeath system. This final expansion will launch in May of 2018. 

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    Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine right here!

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    Everything we know about Star Citizen, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 29, 2017

    Star Citizen could very well be the space simulator to end all space simulators - if it ever actually comes out. The game has been in development at Cloud Imperium Games, founded by Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts, since it was successfuly crowdfunded in 2012. Boasting an enormous massive multiplayer universe, elements of space trading, first-person shooter combat, Star Citizen is one of the most ambitious video games ever put into development. 

    Several delays and an engine change later, the game is still in early Alpha state with no solid release date. Still, we've seen plenty of the game through trailers and gameplay videos.

    Here's the latest from Star Citizen:

    Star Citizen News

    Two new trailers have arrived for Star Citizen's single-player campaign, titled "Squadron 42." This first one features a new look at Mark Hamill in the game:

    And here's over an hour of gameplay:

    Star Citizen Release Date

    While Star Citizen's roughly playable builds regularly receive some kind of update, there's no word on when the game will be released. It's quite possible that Star Citizen's development team will release an Early Access model for the game that will continuously be updated for the foreseeable future. In any case, we'll be sure to update you as information regarding the game's fully-playable builds becomes available.

    Star Citizen Trailer

    During the CitizenCon 2947 livestream broadcast, Star Citizen designer Chris Roberts took the stage to present a new video that shows off the massive size of the game's worlds. 

    The footage specifically focuses on the ArcCorp planet which has been shown before, but never quite like this. Roberts described the planet's vast cityscape as "Blade Runner esque," which certainly does help capture the spirit suggested by the city's spewing flame towers and jam-packed structures. Impressively, Roberts also suggests that everything in the city can be interacted with by the player in some way. There aren't any instances of painted features designed to make the cities look larger than they are. 

    Roberts described that particular planet as being similar to Star Wars' Coruscant, but also showcased another planet that seems to have been decimated at one point or at least hasn't been fully terraformed as of yet. 

    The team certainly seems to be aiming for a shocking amount of variety in regards to the design of every major planet. That isn't to say that there won't be largely barren planets, but rather that they hope to make each new planet feel like a discovery. 

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    Thanks to this gameplay video update on Star Citizen's development, we do know that the game's first-person combat is coming along nicely. 

    The purpose of this video, besides showing off the kind of stunning visuals millions and millions of crowdfunded dollars will buy you, is to showcase the progress that Star Citizen's Vision Stabilization engine has made. In short, this improved engine allows for developer Cloud Imperium Games to implement tighter and less visually jarring first-person combat. Previously, some of the game's early users had reported that the character motions dictated by these mechanics were far too loose and had a tendency to generate a floaty sensation. 

    Currently on version 3.0, the most recent build of Star Citizen arguably stole the show at Gamescom with this nearly 52-minute long gameplay video that takes on the daunting task of trying to explain the almost incomprehensible scale of the game. 

    Not to beat the No Man's Sky horse to death, but one of the most impressive things about this demo in comparison to other titles in this genre is how substantial the universe feels. While certain elements of the experience don't feel nearly as important as the presenter hopes they might come across as ("The elevators in this game really move! *clap,clap,clap*), Star Citizen's developers seems to understand that pretty environments and theoretically infinite content will not get you far if there is not a solid core of gameplay at the center of it all. Watching the demo players navigate a character to a new planet, accept a mission, and carry it out isn't mind-blowing on paper. But, in the context of the full scope of this creation, it does show that there's a promising traditional game at the heart of the title. 

    We still eagerly await the day that all questions about Star Citizen will be answered by the retail release of the game itself, but, until then, it's nice to know that it's still capable of wowing people. 

    Star Citizen Update

    For just $50 (a.k.a., the price of a game that actually exists) you can now buy your own little piece of land in the Star Citizen universe. 

    The latest Star Citizen update includes the ability to purchase a 4km square parcel of United Empire of Earth controlled land. Said land can either be on a moon, planet, or asteroid. 

    Once you've purchased a few space acres to call your own, you can use the area for a variety of purposes. The Star Citizen team has suggested that you can use it for things like setting up your own space store or building some kind of space home. 

    The developers also want to assure...well, we almost used the word "players" there, but that would require a game that can actually be played outside of some tech demos. Instead, we'll say that they've assured investors that there will be enough space land for everyone. 

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    Everything we know about Zone of the Enders: Anubis Mars, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 29, 2017

    Konami has announced they are releasing a remake of the 2003 cult classic mech title Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner called Zone of the Enders: Anubis Mars.

    This new version of 2nd Runner appears to be a full-fledged remake of the game and not a simple HD upgrade. In a press release, Konami noted that “All visual and aural elements have been remastered for native 4K resolution” and that “the new game retains the unique and beautiful visuals of the original title, but boasts textures in updated 4K while using surround sound techniques to offer layered and immersive audio effects."

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    Konami also stated that this version of the game is based on the PS3 HD version of 2nd Runner, but we imagine that developer Cygames - who has been tasked with constructing this remake - will fix that versions' visual and audio bugs.

    The really big news is that the PS4 version of 2nd Runner will feature VR support. At this time, there’s been no word on whether or not the full game will be playable in VR, but the teaser trailer for the title does briefly show off some VR action that hints at a very playable - and quite striking - reimagining of the title. We’re interested to see more of the game’s VR mode in action.

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Zone of the Enders: Anubis Mars Release Date

    While we know that Anubis Mars will receive a PS4 release in Japan sometime in the spring of 2018, there’s been no confirmation that the game will receive a worldwide release at that time. Furthermore, Famitsu is reporting that Anubis Mars will also be released for PC. However, Konami has not confirmed their intentions to release a PC port at this time.

    Zone of the Enders Anubis Mars Trailer

    Here's the first trailer:

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    Everything we know about Left Alive, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 29, 2017

    Square Enix is working on a new mech shooter called Left Alive, which shares certain elements with the Front Mission universe. In an interview with Weekly Famitsu, producer Shinji Hashimoto stated that "We wanted to make a Front Mission with a new lineup. We started this new title to see Front Mission in a slightly different perspective."

    In that same article, Square Enix members noted that Left Alive takes place in the year 2127. That means it occurs sometime between the events of Front Mission 5 and Front Mission Evolved. Additionally, the studio said that Left Alive will feature three playable characters that players will bounce between at certain points in the game's story and that the mechs from Front Mission - called Wanzers - will be featured throughout the game.

    Still, it doesn't sound like Left Alive is going to be a classic Front Mission experience. The developers noted that it's more of a third-person shooter that allows individual players to dictate a style of gameplay - as well as the direction of the story - through tactical choices. If anything, the game seems takes more gameplay cues from recent survival titles than it does from the original Front Mission games. 

    However, the biggest news regarding Left Alive is the team that Square Enix has assembled to work on the project. Metal Gear Solid series artist Yoji Shinkawa has signed on as Left Alive's character designer and has already contributed some comfortably familiar characters as part of the game's promotional materials. Meanwhile, Toshifumi Nabeshima (Armored CoreChromehounds) has been brought on to direct. It's also been noted that some members of the Front Mission development team have been brought in to work on this new project.

    For those keeping count at home, that means that Square Enix has brought in ringers from studios like Konami and From Software to work on this already compelling title.

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Left Alive Release Date

    Left Alive is expected to be released sometime in 2018 for Windows PC and PlayStation 4.


    Left Alive Trailer

    This latest trailer for Left Alive is largely a cinematic preview, but the ending shots contain just the briefest hint of what the gameplay might look like. 

    Left Aliveis billed as a survival action shooter that seems to feature some kind of mech-based combat based on a previous teaser Square released a few months back.

    Here's the debut trailer:

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    Left Alive Screenshots 

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