As the first of 3 game announcements leading up to E3, THQ Nordic announced SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated.
After announcing the 3 game reveals for this week, THQ Nordic‘s first title is a remastered SpongeBob game from 2003. The original sits at a 71 on Metacritic for the PS2 version but was a surprise for many. A new take on the Darksiders series and a revival of the Destroy All Humans! franchise were expected after rumors earlier in the week.
There are still 2 games to come so those may titles may still be on the table. After a surprise like this though, it’s anyone’s guess what THQ Nordic has planned. Expect the next game announcements from the publisher’s Twitter on Thursday and Friday.
It’s no secret that when a game company acquires a license to make games based on a movie franchise, the devs will do anything to make some extra dough before the next film is released. Take Electronic Arts and the 007 franchise, for instance. A year after Everything or Nothing took to the shelves, the next film in the Bond franchise was still training at the MI6 HQ, so EA decided to take what they had built in the 2004 action game and do a little refining. But instead of writing an original story, they pulled a slick trick and chose to turn the clock all the way back to the 1960s. So how does James Bond 007: From Russia with Love fare at going from 60s cinema to third-person shooting? Let’s hop into our trusty Aston Martins and find out.
Strike, double, Turkey (The country)
The story follows that of the second James Bond film, although there are some tweaks due to legal/licensing reasons. The famous MI6 agent is attending a party as part of one of his usual assignments. While Bond is ordering his usual shaken-not-stirred martini, an evil organization called OCTOPUS crashes the party and abducts Elizabeth Stark, daughter of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. After the obligatory rescue mission, Bond learns that OCTOPUS is looking to steal an encoding device called the Lektor. Armed with the usual arsenal of cars and gadgets, it’s up to good ol’ 007 to be the true sharpshooter he is and return the Lektor in one piece.
As I mentioned, From Russia with Love is a refinement of the excellent Everything or Nothing. It still relies on cover-and-shoot gameplay, but makes some adjustments to the controls and adds new moves. You have a new ability called Bond Focus, which allows you to shoot even the smallest targets, like walkie-talkies. Melee attacks have now turned into quick-time events, initiated whenever you run towards an enemy. Your range of weapons, gadgets, outfits, and vehicles all reflect the 1960s era of the James Bond franchise, the first two of which can be upgraded by spending experience points.
Love is in the air
From Russia with Love is packed with enthralling missions, and not a single level disappoints in the graphics department. Being a 2005 sixth-gen game, there can occasionally be slowdown because of things like multiple explosions, but the graphics engine is still full of well-produced lighting and textures. Also joining you on your journey is a truckload of satisfactory audio. The soundtrack has a laundry list of fitting melodies, and you will constantly hear above-average voice-acting from popular names like Sean Connery, Natasha Bedingfield, and Maria Menounos.
If you want to bring your friends along for 1960s-era deathmatches, From Russia with Love will grant your wish. You get a hefty number of characters and maps, and there are two other game types other than your standard match. Sabotage is a contest to see who is the best at detonating and disarming bombs, and Dogfight is a match type where you’re constantly airborne via jetpack.
I believe in a thing called love
If you haven’t figured it out by now, I believe EA did a wonderful job taking gamers back to the beginning decade of the James Bond franchise. Going into this game expecting GoldenEye will fill you with disappointment, but you should be able to enjoy From Russia with Love if you like third-person action games of any kind. Put that martini on the coaster and get to sharpshooting!
It’s that time again- new Pokemon Direct, new information about Pokemon Sword and Shield! There are some big things coming, come find out! You can watch the full Direct here.
The Galar Region is where the games take place. It is a vast region filled with wild areas for you to explore in-between cities. Professor Magnolia will be your guide through the region, and her research is in the Dynamax phenomenon, but more on that in a minute. Leon is the current champion of the region, and he earned his reputation as the best battler. His younger brother, Hop, is your rival because (surprise) you both start your journeys on the same day.
The region looks beautiful in the wild areas, and the cities are also nothing to shake a stick at. The gyms are built like sporting arenas. The battles are coliseum style, and broadcasted throughout the region as they are the most popular form of entertainment.
These wild areas are where you will find most of the new Pokemon you will encounter and capture. Corviknight, a flying Pokemon who acts as a taxi service between cities (and to me looks like a stealth fighter, which is pretty cool), is one that you will encounter outside of the wild areas, along with others working alongside humans in cities. Third person camera is enabled while you’re in these areas, which allows you to look around and scout out for the Pokemon you really want.
Now for the Dynamax phenomenon- the new mechanic for these games. Dynamax allows your Pokemon to grow gigantic, and increases the power of their moves, but only once per battle for 3 turns. The gyms are specially designed to handle these kinds of Pokemon, and the crowd loves it when they battle.
In the wild areas, you can encounter Dynamax Pokemon and battle them with other players in raid-style battles called Max Raids. These Pokemon have special moves that make them formidable opponents while Dynamaxed. In addition, only one member of the battle team can Dynamax their own Pokemon, so make sure you collaborate to get the best outcome. Once they’re weak enough, you can capture them using giant Pokeballs that you have to throw with both hands. Some Pokemon can only be caught in the wild after being caught in these Raid battles, so keep your eyes open.
The legendary Pokemon were revealed at the very end of the Direct. Sword’s legendary is a wolf who holds a sword in its mouth called Zasian. Shield’s is a lion that has a shield for its mane called Zamasenta. They both look pretty cool to me, but I’m partial to the wolf.
Pokemon Sword and Shield release worldwide on November 15, 2019. There is a special double pack that includes both games available today for pre-order.
A retail leak from yesterday hints at Watch Dogs Legion being announced soon.
TheNerdMag spotted the leak on Amazon’s UK site which is still here (as of the time of writing). Previous rumors hinted at a London setting and this new possible leak indicates the same. The description is a little odd, as one sentence declares “Every individual you meet in the open world, has a full set of animations, voice over, character traits and visuals that are generated & guided by gameplay systems”.
This doesn’t lend much to its credibility but it’s hard to ignore the Amazon listing. Part of the leak also suggests you can play as any character in the game. The description on the listing points out how London is one of the most surveilled cities in the world. It’s likely one of the reasons Ubisoft (possibly) chose this location.
Whatever the truth, we’re likely to find out more at E3 this year. Ubisoft’s conference is less than a week away so we don’t have long to wait.
According to a teaser released by Netflix, Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo will soon be adapting the world’s greatest card game into a Netflix original series. Joined by the ranks of writers Henry Gilroy (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) and Jose Molina (The Tick), the duo will partner with Bardel Entertainment (Rick and Morty, The Dragon Prince) as an animation studio dedicated to bringing the twenty-six-year history of the game to life.
As a property for storytelling, Magic: The Gathering is rife with potential. Spanning history all the way back to the early days of nerd-dom and stretching into the present day, the product has featured characters and stories on dozens of planes and across thousands of years, with recent story revolving around the conflict between Nicol Bolas and the Gatewatch in the events of War of the Spark. Previous delves into the universe have included novels, comics, and crossover products with other franchises, such as Dungeons and Dragons, but this endeavor seems markedly different.
Until now, Magic story has been rich and complex, but always based around the card game and intended for its players. It seems that with a Netflix series, Wizards will break from that tradition, perhaps bolstered by the breakout success of their fifth edition D&D products, arguably the most successful explosion in a gaming sector in recent history. If Wizards can get non-magic-players to watch their new show, they could be looking at a repeat of the massive sales that resulted from the unexpected popularity of that edition.
While Wizards remains in controversy across the internet for their reputed employment practices, one thing remains certain – they create products that everyone seems to love. For many, Magic or D&D was a first foray into the world of gaming culture. Should things continue on their current course, that may be true for an even greater segment of the market. By hiring big guns in the animated entertainment industry, and a pair of rock-star directors, Wizards is making a bold statement: they’re here to stay in the public consciousness, and not as a niche product any longer.
In honor of their 3 year anniversary, Dead By Daylight has new DLC and is coming to the Nintendo Switch soon.
Ghostface from the horror franchise Scream is coming to Dead By Daylight next month. It will be launching on June 18th for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The “Ghostface” pack will be a bundle of the new killer, three new perks, and two new items. The new items will be the monochrome mania body and silvery steel tactical knife weapon, clearly inspired by the Scream films.
Also announced, Dead By Daylight developer Behaviour Interactive confirmed that the Switch port of Dead by Daylight will be launching on September 24. When it hits Nintendo’s platform, the game will come with nine killers, ten survivors, and three cosmetic packs. Pre-orders should be going live on the eShop in the next few days.
Bungie tweeted yesterday that it will reveal more about the future of Destiny 2 on June 6.
The reveal is 2 days after the start of Destiny 2’s Season of Opulence. This is the last season for the current pass released for the game. Following Bungie’s split with Activision, it’s going to be interesting to see what the developer has in mind.
For now all we can do is speculate, but with next gen just around the corner it will be interesting how Destiny and Bungie will adapt.