The Mountain View company released a video announcing the date and time of Google Stadia Connect, the conference where the main information on the streaming service presented last March will be unveiled.
Google is therefore about to reveal some of the most anticipated details, including the price of the service, the launch window, the games available and much more. The appointment to learn more about Stadia is therefore set at 7:00 pm on Thursday 6 June, anticipating the start of E3 2019 by a few days.
At a Tokyo event, Square Enix announced Dragon Quest Walk, a new augmented reality mobile title to the Pokémon GO (being developed by Colopl) that brings the iconic RPG to the real world.
The title will allow the player to activate quests and fight monsters in really existing locations, it will also be possible to unlock items to be used to personalize your home in the game. The houses will be shared online and those of other players can be visited.
Dragon Quest Walk will be available for the moment only in Japan on iOS and Android devices. The closed beta tests will start on June 11th.
Do you remember DooM? You should. After all, it came out 25 years ago and, in these days, half the Internet is celebrating the anniversary waiting for John Carmack, his now legendary programmer, to release Sigil, a package of additional levels written for the occasion. DooM was a sort of watershed for the world of video games, the title that more than any other contributed to revolutionizing the paradigms of shooters, moving the view from 2D to the first person (better than the predecessor Wolfenstein 3D) and introducing a whole series of innovations that we now take for granted, such as netplay. Like all the beginnings, however, DooM also had its ingenuity, first of all a simple and very linear game scheme, where it was necessary to do substantially two things: look for the exit of the level (and eventually the keys to open it) and reach it after “frying” everything that moves on the screen.
Carmack’s game gave birth to the FPS genre and inspired dozens, hundreds of games to follow. There is no first-person shooter that does not pay alien, in some way, to this brilliant precursor. However, as rightly happens with everything, even the FPS genre has evolved and refined over time, from the technical point of view and in terms of script complexity and gameplay, giving rise to a whole series of “branches” that go from the tactician to the eSport, from the mingling with the puzzles to the “ignorant shooter” of the old days, those in which it was enough to precisely shoot and carefully avoid enemy attacks to continue. Project Warlock stands halfway between the latter and a role play since we can make our protagonist evolve by spending all the experience we accumulate in increasing different abilities.
HOMAGE TO THE PAST, BUT NOT ONLY
Graphically speaking, Project Warlock can be considered the shooter equivalent of that point and click graphic adventures that, despite being programmed today, prefer to keep a pixel art graphic at unusual resolutions like 640 × 400 or even 320 × 200 points. Its author, 19-year-old Jakub Cislo, used the 3D Unity engine trying to reproduce the same behavior as the historic Doom Engine of iD Software, or its direct competitor BUILD of Apogee, engines that actually started with two-dimensional information to create the world of play.
19-YEAR-OLD JAKUB CISLO USED THE UNITY 3D ENGINE TRYING TO REPRODUCE THE SAME BEHAVIOR AS THE HISTORIC DOOM ENGINE OF ID SOFTWARE
Not only that, to make the tribute to the past more “realistic”, it also deliberately chose to use grainy textures, cubed characters, animations at the minimum wage of the frames, emphasizing as much as possible what we would later call aliasing. We must thus face monsters that always present themselves in the same place, always in the same way, always using the same attack strategies that, naturally, we must learn little by little to get out alive. And if all this “old stuff” was not enough to make the vintage maniac in us crying with nostalgia, among the graphics options there is one that allows you to use pixel shaders to add effects like the palette of Commodore 64 and the Spectrum (as well as a plethora of old 8-bit systems), or terrifying scanlines in motion, as seen only with the worst VHS video recorders.
WE SHOULD BE BORN!
Project Warlock is, therefore, a game of 2018 that pretends to be 1993. To face it we must recover all the ingenuity and all the patients we were endowed 25 years ago and, for the youngest, the challenge could be a compelling novelty.
THE MOST FASCINATING ASPECT OF THIS GAME IS THE AGE OF ITS DEVELOPER
But the most fascinating aspect of this game is precisely the age of its developer, significantly lower than that of the cornerstones from which it has drawn inspiration: it is decidedly obtuse to observe the analytical capacity with which Jakub Cislo has faced, studied, assimilated and synthesized, without having been able to walk the evolutionary path that led to their conception in the Nineties. It is a bit like a young 20-year-old director trying his hand in the remake of a 1919 film, trying to reproduce – with today’s machines and knowledge – the results of techniques and machinery that were used at that time. And the beauty is that this strange operation has had a resounding success: Project Warlock’s a frustrating but compelling game, old but new, “ignorant” but reasoned and, above all, cheap but fun!
To the face of all the historical evolution of shooters, without paying any attention to the softness of today and without a shred of plot or motivation behind it, Project Warlock takes us back to childhood like that with all its load of rambism, of ultraviolence, of festering splatter explosions, but adding a touch of modernity with the possibility of evolving one’s avatar. The operation is successful: the game is immediate and fun, damn challenging but able to provoke the famous “one more game and then enough” syndrome with which many of us, in the 1980s, became impoverished by hunting coins inside the coin op. It costs only 12 euros and nothing more, you want to leave it there!?
The closure of Telltale Games is leading to several negative consequences on the side of video games developed by the now-defunct Californian company, and not even Minecraft: Story Mode is exempt from the repercussions linked to the cessation of the activity of the studio. As reported on the official website of Minecraft, both seasons episodic adventure will be removed from circulation among a handful of days. Unlike what usually happens in these cases, however, not only will it no longer be possible to buy Minecraft: Story Mode on the digital stores of the different platforms, but it will no longer be possible to download the episodes already in your possession, making it impossible to enjoy a purchased product. In short, you will have until June 25 to download the Minecraft: Story Mode episodes, after which the game will disappear forever.
Through a statement published on the official Dota 2 blog, Valve has made it known that he is working on an official version of Dota Auto Chess. The popular mod of the MOBA present on Steam will then be transformed into a separate title with the blessing of the original developers of the mod, Drodo Studio. Valve explains that he got in touch with the modders and reached an agreement for the realization of the game: where Valve will directly develop the PC version of Dota Auto Chess, Drodo Studio work will continue on the mobile version currently available in China in beta with the approval and support of the Bellevue company.
I found myself in the Bandai Namco booth for the presentation of a “still unannounced” title to find out later that it was Tekken Mobile. Since I had the opportunity to put our hands on it, we thought it appropriate to investigate a little bit about what we saw at Gamescom.
I’m going to bomb the control system, which adds some new features to well-established elements in smartphone combat titles, such as Injustice. Tap on the right side of the screen constitutes a basic attack, while on the left a parade; with the swipe, instead, you move forward or backward. At the moment there is no jump because according to the developer it is difficult to implement and would require further study by the team. So far so normal, but to add elements of strategy we think of special cards, called “Waza”, which activate particular moves, usable for example to break the guard of a very defensive adversary or to throw it in the air so that it can then inflict some combos while it is still in flight, in the most classic of the juggle.
TEKKEN MOBILE TRIES TO ENRICH IN ITS OWN WAY THE SCENE OF FIGHTING GAMES ON SMARTPHONES
The use of rage art – also present here – and the choice of the aforementioned cards with which to deal with each clash (together with the timing necessary to use them) will have a great weight in the probability of success. To have more and more different techniques available, you can make in-game purchases or play the single campaign, where three characters of our choice will face different levels, where they will first have to eliminate low-league minions before challenging the bosses, embodied in classic wrestlers of the various Tekken. Once defeated, these will become part of the roster: in case we had already beaten them previously, they will instead provide us with more cards with special moves for that fighter.
LIVING FROM THE LIVE IS BETTER
As expected, in Tekken Mobile will not miss the PvP, present in different declinations. The traditional asynchronous mode will be characterized by a ghost that will reflect in all and all our fighting style: the developers have told us that they have developed an advanced algorithm, which will study every game and every move with such skill to be able to faithfully replicate the tactics which we use. The curiosity to verify the final result is so great, even if, as elaborate as the Artificial Intelligence will be, it will manage everything, I don’t think I will ever be able to consider myself really “beaten” by a friend who has defeated my ghost.
IN TEKKEN MOBILE THERE WILL BE PVP, PRESENT IN DIFFERENT DECLINATIONS
However, Bandai Namco has found a way out of this type of psychological block, introducing the most interesting mode of Tekken Mobile, namely the local heads-up, thanks to which it will be possible to face any friend with a smartphone nearby in real time. Everything to be verified remains the cross-play between mobile phones with different operating systems, which was not guaranteed for the official launch because it seems that technical solutions are needed that the team does not know exactly how long it will take before being put on the plate, but on which they also focus on launching Tekken Mobile in the world of exports.
At this time Tekken Mobile is available only in Canada and in a few other countries, where it is under soft launch. For the next few months we Europeans will only be able to show our interest by registering on the tekken-mobile.com website: if a sufficient number of people participate in the initiative, a new fighter will even be created who will become part of Tekken ‘s lore and will be used also in the future titles of the series.
In essence, Tekken Mobile seeks to enrich in its own way the scene of fighting games on smartphones, introducing some features such as Waza cards and rage art that require a tactical reading of the opponent so far absent in other titles. As the developer, I challenged pointed out to me, “fight titles, in the end, are a mental game. ” And immediately after he took it badly from my Paul, who notoriously does not like to go too much for the subtle ( he let you win on purpose … you know, right? NdKikko ).
The iOS version of Fortnite has been available for a few days (the Android version will follow in a few months), which substantially repeats the Epic game that has been popular on PCs and consoles for months, and following up from PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds as the most played game of this period. The client can be downloaded for free from the App Store, but only accounts that have received an invitation from Epic are allowed to access it (and that carries three additional invitations to turn to their friends with compatible Apple devices). The software house wants to emphasize, and after having tried it we can confirm it, that the mobile version of Fortniteit is not a sort of “loser cousin” of the game on consoles and PCs, but it is identical for gameplay, map, contents and even in step with weekly updates.
Fortnite on iOS only hosts the Battle Royale mode (and besides, it wouldn’t have made much sense to do otherwise); once the account is authorized within the application, your character is automatically imported, with progress and equipment already unlocked available and ready for use, as well as any currencies and in-game items .
The entire Fortnite experience on iOS is identical to that experienced on PCs and consoles, from the lobby to waiting for the bus, from the gliding flight on the game map to the actual battle.
From the aesthetic point of view, the typical cartoon and low-poly art direction have helped a de facto porting indistinguishable from the “larger” versions, where the greater power of the mobile device allows a better graphic detail. We have played a few games on an iPhone 7 Plus, with truly excellent results to be seen, combined with always excellent fluidity. To be taken into account, like any “important” gaming application, a certain kind of heating of the device and an important consumption of the battery.
If the gameplay is absolutely identical, in all respects, to the original game, the controls have been adapted to the touch screens and, with all the limitations of the case, they manage quite well (the basic “continuous pickaxe” has also been replicated ); the virtual sticks to control with the thumbs simulate those of the pad, you shoot with a “tap” on the screen, in the right part of the monitor there are – at your fingertips – the commands for jumping, crouch and aiming with weapons, while the lower part allows access to the inventory and switch to construction mode.
THE VIRTUAL CONTROLS ON THE TOUCH SCREEN WORK WELL, BUT THE PACE OF PLAY COMES OUT A LITTLE SLOWED ANYWAY
The general rhythm is affected by the limitations to the control system, which inevitably requires some time to get used to it, and in any case it does not guarantee the readiness and flow of a traditional pad, for example in the construction mode. Do not be surprised, in short, if you should attend – or live in person – battles that are a bit ridiculous and awkward. But there is an important addition, in the user interface of the mobile version, and it is the presence of visual indicators that indicate the direction and intensity of the steps and of the enemy fire.; on the one hand, such a choice probably derives from the fact that on the move it is more difficult to maintain concentration – or even silence – required by a battle royale; on the other hand, these on-screen “aids” tend to make players less cautious in the movement, and in general a little less tactical games (which, I repeat again, does not clash with mobile use).
With the arrival of the iOS version of the game, Fortnite supports cross-play between consoles (for now only PlayStation 4, Xbox One will be coming soon), PC and mobile devices, which still works quite roughly, is a social function limited to friends, and is still optional. In any case, also for this reason, we are reasonably sure that the support for the MFI pads will be added as soon as possible. Fortnite mobile is available for devices with iOS 11 (iPhone 6S / SE and later, iPad Mini 4, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad 2017), with the Android version coming in the coming months. For more information, log on to fortnite.com/mobile.