Gaming Bits: An apocalypse, in-game apartheid and free-to-play

Gaming Bits: An apocalypse, in-game apartheid and free-to-play

Let’s start out this edition of Gaming Bits with the news that I’m going to E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo) in Los Angeles in June. If there’s anything in particular you’d like me to cover — a game, developer, platform, new device, etc. — drop me a line and I’ll do what I can.

Stuck in the middle

Here’s the new story trailer for “Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse” by ATLUS, the latest installment in what’s generally been an excellent if kind of weird Japanese role-playing game.

This Nintendo 3DS title, rated M for mature, is slated for release this summer, with the price set at $49.99.

The forces of Heaven and Hell are at war, and Tokyo is the battleground, with humanity caught in the middle. The young protagonist dies in the first five minutes of the game, but is rewarded with a second chance to fight for humanity’s future.

Players who pre-order from GameStop/EB Games, Amazon or Best Buy get a bonus of DLC armor, with the look of it varying by the retailer.

To quote ATLUS, the game features:

Divine Intrigue - Choose between peace or anarchy while being a pawn in the gods’ chess game.

Combat Partners - Hunting demons is dangerous, so count on some backup! Alongside the standard three demons, players will be able to rely on one of seven partners to help win battles.

Oodles of Demons - Be on your guard because Tokyo is infested with a series record 450+ demons to fight, fuse, or recruit.

Revamped Demon Fusion - Demons will have affinities for certain skills, so players can better plan the outcome of fusions.

Classic SMT Combat - Prospective Hunters will exploit weaknesses, boost attributes, and unlock skill bonuses with the returning Press Turn and Smirking systems.”

Game or movie???

Square-Enix and Eidos-Montreal dropped a live-action trailer Friday for “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.”
It’s more a short movie, showcasing how the world’s view of cybernetic augmentation has shifted since the events of “Deus Ex: Human Revolution.”

Basically, everybody with augments was hacked temporarily and got violent, which resulted in millions of deaths and a societal breakdown and — ultimately — lead to “mechanical apartheid.”

The game, which will star the usual protagonist Adam Jensen, is coming Aug. 23 on PS4, Xbox One and PC. I didn’t spot a stand-in for Jensen anywhere in the trailer, but I wasn’t looking that hard.

If you want to see what actual gameplay will look like, here’s a trailer for that too — though you should ignore the defunct release date at the end of it.

Tanks, tanks, tanks

Blog Photo

“World of Tanks” — a free-to-play MMO involving battles between some sort of military vehicle — is holding its first large scale console event for Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PS4 on May 31. Participants in “Fight for the Motherland” will earn rewards after completing each operation in a series of chained operations, leading up to the “Motherland Tank,” following by a bonus operation.

There will also be “PvE skirmishes based on the battles of Prokhorovka and Caucasus,” two new maps, and a seven versus seven Tier VIII tournament.

I haven’t the words

“Space Run Galaxy,” a riff on tower defense for PC, releases in June.

The goal of gameplay is to defend your spaceship and its cargo as you travel the galaxy as a glorified delivery guy.

The backdrop is a persistent online universe spanning four solar systems and more than 50 zones to visit. Players can trade with each other and give each other quests.

Just watch the trailer.

Mobile roundup

— Classic JRPG “Romancing SaGa 2” has been released on iOS and Android. It’s $17.99 to download this game that used to be exclusive to Japan’s Super Famicom. Square Enix has updated the game, with revamped graphics, new character classes, new dungeons, a “New Game+” feature.

— There’s a new real-time strategy title for iOS, available for free: “Battleplans,” by En Masse Entertainment. The developer says that unlike other mobile RTS games like “Clash of Clans,” the focus in “Battleplans” is on tactical movement and positioning, not base building and resource grinding. An Android version should be released soon.

— A studio in Finland, Koukoi Games, has released its first effort: “Crashing Season, a non-stop arena runner where the player will crash into enemies using different animal characters, while using and upgrading little helpers and character-specific special abilities.” Available now on iOS and Android.


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