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  4. Marvel Strike Force launched on iOS and Android two years ago, and while it has evolved in myriad ways since launch, every mode features similar gameplay where you take on A.I.-controlled teams. For the third year of FoxNext's licensed RPG, the studio is implementing player-versus-player combat through VS. Battle mode. I spoke with creative director Jason Bender and game director Jonathan Durr to learn more about this new feature, as well as what to expect in the coming year of Marvel Strike Force. No Man Can Win Every Battle Up to this point in the lifecycle of Marvel Strike Force, players have only had the option to take on A.I.-controlled opponents. While this has been a serviceable option so far, the A.I. in Marvel Strike Force always operates in patterned ways, simply choosing the most powerful attack available to the character at that time (with few exceptions), and often not focusing or coordinating on a single target. This A.I. predictability is by design. "There's a little bit of RNG going on in there, but the A.I. is intentionally simplistic because we don't want it to be frustrating," Bender says. "We wanted you to test your skills against the enemy team's composition. Also, when you play something repeatedly, you can master it, so we like a lot of our things to be static. Several of our modes you can play again and again and again, so you can crack that puzzle." As the third year of Marvel Strike Force kicks off, the team is adding VS. Battle, a new mode that allows you to challenge other players to real-time, synced PvP battles. Each player brings his or her own roster and engages in a draft to determine which five characters are making the walk to the battlefield. However, the draft is far from a straightforward pick-who-you-want experience. "We experimented with a lot of different drafting techniques, and we will likely develop a bunch of different kinds of drafting in the future because we found a bunch of fun ways to do it," Bender says. "We'll launch with a good, steady way to do it, and then we'll get into more interesting ones over time." In the first iteration of the drafting mechanics, each player gets two character bans. Once a character is banned by either player, they are off the board for both sides. After that, a serpentine draft takes place until both teams of five are full; if a character is chosen by one player, that character is off the board for the other. Then both players get a reject to exercise, meaning they can choose a character the other player picked to boot off the opposing team. Finally, each player gets one final draft pick to fill the hole left by the rejected character. FoxNext hopes this encourages players to experiment with their rosters and get creative with their team compositions. "You can't always build the same team, and you can't rely on having access to all of these characters," Bender says. "So sure, you might want Captain Marvel, but if I ban Captain Marvel, you're going to have to find an alternative for the structure you're building. And that introduces a whole bunch of new hybrid teams you haven't had to worry about before. What happens if you get two-thirds of the way through building Asgardians and then I knock out Hela? What kind of drafting strategies are resilient when it comes to the other person trying to spoil it for you? These are really fun things to learn, and it always changes." Once you're in a VS. Battle, combat works much in the way it does against A.I. opponents. However, this time, you have to account for a human player reacting to your moves and devising strategies to counter not only your team compositions, but your strategies as well. Combat operates on a 15-second timer for each move, with the A.I. taking over if a player drops until they're able to rejoin. When it launches, players will only be able to challenge their friends for low-stakes, fun matches with no direct rewards doled out, but FoxNext has grand ambitions for VS. Battle down the road. "We're toying with launching with some achievements, just to encourage people to try the feature out," Durr says. "We've got ideas on our side: doing rewards, doing leagues and tiers, and stuff like that; you could move through the ranks, battling people out. But you know, one of the things I'm also excited about doing, maybe much further down the road, would be events within the Alliance, where the Alliance has a tournament feature." While those ambitions for VS. Battle are aimed at further down the line, FoxNext has several near-term updates, additions, and tweaks it has been eyeing. Destiny Arrives All The Same While the player-versus-player feature is one users can look forward to with the next update, the most recent one begins a rollout nearly two years in the making. Thanos is finally becoming the supercharged villain he has been in the comics and movies. The Black Order, Thanos' disciples shown in Avengers: Infinity War, are joining the playable roster. When Thanos is teamed up with Proxima Midnight, Corvus Glaive, Cull Obsidian, and Ebony Maw, the Mad Titan becomes Infinity Gauntlet Thanos. This version of Thanos has all of the Infinity Stones in his possession and can blast enemies, flip ally debuffs and enemy buffs, and even rain a shattered planet onto his adversaries. FoxNext anticipates this new squad of villains will be the next strongest team in Marvel Strike Force. "I'm really excited that Thanos is going to finally get his Black Order," Bender says. "We've had the Black Order built for so long, but we haven't tuned them or tightened up their strategies. It's so great to finally see them come together, because while Thanos has been a rockstar in our game since the beginning, he's been overshadowed by newer characters. He's about to step up in a way that players asked for right from the beginning." It may seem strange to add characters that were so prominently featured in one of the biggest movies ever nearly two years after that movie hit theaters, but FoxNext says the design process for the Black Order is a special case and is not indicative of how long the character design and implementation process normally takes. "We did the concept art for these characters when Infinity War came out," Bender says. "They're getting a little more balance time and attention because this team is so cutting-edge powerful. We want to make sure we minimize power creep; this is a big concern for the balance team. We don't like it when there's too much power creep because it invalidates things we've invested in. If I've invested in a team, we don't want to see that investment become worthless, ideally ever – definitely as slowly as possible. So it was very, very difficult to make this team worth getting and dominant without blowing up power creep." While Bender and his team at FoxNext have made efforts to reduce power creep, it has happened and it has affected different characters in different ways. Always Forward Two characters that proved to be among the most coveted in the early days of the game were Black Widow and Night Nurse. Black Widow delivered massive bumps in speed to her allies, while Night Nurse was viewed as all but essential to raid effectively. While Black Widow has remained relevant, she is far from the best character in the game as she was considered two years ago, while Night Nurse has dropped off from relevancy substantially. "Black Widow has an ability that scales and that is always in fashion; you always want speed," Bender says. "Night Nurse's abilities are more numerical and have a certain amount of power built in, so she has not scaled over time to keep up. We don't want the top of the game to be static; you don't want Black Widow to be the best character forever. For a long time, in year one, we were worried that Black Widow would just never go away. So to some extent, power creep is good because it keeps the top of the game more interesting." Bender's acknowledgement that power creep can shuffle the deck a little spells out a silver lining of adding new characters that knock the existing ones down a notch, but he doesn't want those characters to possess lower value forever. "Black Widow is going to get more love because she's got a movie coming out, she's a badass, and we want to make sure that she becomes relevant again," he says. "Now that we have more of a rock-paper-scissors kind of action, and we have more specialized abilities in the game, it's not as difficult for us to bring her back up to strategic relevance because we're not risking stagnating the endgame. Night Nurse, we're going to need to find another opportunity to bring her back up. We always want characters who are at the bottom of the stack of power to be shuffled back up to the top over time. Night Nurse will have her day again. That was the joke about Ronan, right? 'Ronan will have his day!' Ronan was at the bottom of the stack for a long time, Ronan was up top, now he's kind of floating down again. We'll see that with Night Nurse too." As Bender mentioned, Black Widow is the eponymous star of the next theatrical release of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so the team wants to capitalize on that. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing most theatrical releases back, FoxNext finds itself in the situation of having to adjust its plans on the fly. While its team is working remote like most studios across the globe, it has also shuffled its plans in favor of experimenting with characters that might have come out in the more distant future. "A lot of the Marvel movies, as we know from what's going on in the world right now, have moved back a little bit," Bender says. "A lot of times we try to come out with a movie so that when you walk out of the theater or you're thinking about these characters, you get to play them. We like to be there for that. This year is a little funky that way, which is giving us the opportunity to consider some characters that we haven't gotten around to. I don't think I have any characters I can actually announce as a scoop for you, but I will say it's giving us a chance to pick up one-offs here and there, and add them to the schedule – characters that we couldn't build as part of a five-person squad. We can now do some solos, and that's going to be neat. We'll see some characters that we weren't planning on at the beginning of the year show up." While the entire globe faces uncertainty, FoxNext recently emerged from its own period of being unsure about the future, as Disney recently sold the studio to Scopely, effectively transitioning the team from an in-house Disney studio to a third-party partner. "We're really good at uncertainty now," Bender says. "If you've been with us from the beginning, you've seen us go from Kabam to Fox to Disney to Scopely. We are always in a state of transition practically. We try not to let that affect the game, and I think we're pretty good at that. What we really care about is what the players want, and we've been lucky that our partners have always understood that. So while it can be a bit thrilling internally, it doesn't affect how we run the game." While we don't know when exactly VS. Battle will be added to Marvel Strike Force, FoxNext says it will be a part of the next big update for the title. Marvel Strike Force is currently available for iOS and Android. To learn why I've spent a significant chunk of my time playing the title over the last to years, head here for an opinion piece from shortly after the game's launch. To see an updated list of all the playable heroes and villains in the game's massive roster, head here. View the full article
  5. Publisher: Fellow Traveller Games Developer: Jump Over The Age Release: April 3, 2020 Rating: Everyone Reviewed on: PC Also on: Switch, Mac Searching for answers is a fundamental part of our being and a core motivator for video games. It provides the impetus to push forward to hopefully achieve a satisfactory end. In Other Waters it is not that straightforward, however. The title’s exploration gameplay can lull, and the end of the story itself – while forming a resolute conclusion – dangles a more intriguing possibility than the one that is actually presented. The journey contains absorbing elements, but is ultimately unfulfilling. In Other Waters puts you in control of Ellery Vas, who is searching for her missing mentor in the waters of alien planet Gliese 677Cc. Exploration of the depths happens via your suit’s top-down HUD, which shows your panel of controls and the surrounding waters. Like sonar, a manually pinged signal highlights nodes that represent where you can travel, creatures, and samples you can collect with your suit. The HUD is easy to use, and its color changes nicely to convey the different moods of situations and the map’s areas. Moreover, the HUD’s topographical representation of the world’s features – including its life – is artful and appealing. Click here to watch embedded media Actually exploring Gliese 677Cc, which is the vast bulk of the title’s simple point-and-click gameplay, however, wears thin. You can only travel to specific nodes, which dulls the game’s attempt at fostering wondrous discovery on an alien world. Pointing and clicking on the screen is normal for the adventure genre, but since In Other Waters only contains a few puzzles (based on using samples you’ve gathered in specific ways), there’s not much actual gameplay breaking up the routine and rewarding your curiosity. The story, which expands into investigating the planet’s secrets, is adequate. Its mysteries keep things ticking along, but its actual conclusion errors by hinting at more exciting, unexplored possibilities than what it actually presents. Click image thumbnails to view larger version In Other Waters’ traditional puzzles and other gameplay hooks are scant. In comparison, its more expressed driving force – knowledge itself – is actually endearing. Almost every node you travel to features descriptive text that not only tells you what’s happening, but which paints a picture of the planet and its indomitable life. Exploration rewards you with an understanding of the symbiosis among the organisms and the jewel of knowledge. I dove into the information data banks to put the pieces together more than I have for other games, even if most of it wasn’t immediately applicable to a specific gameplay task. In Other Waters’ gameplay and story aren’t enough to fuel the exploration it demands, but its world building is commendable. Unfortunately, this makes it suited more towards amateur biologists and cartographers than those looking for a gripping adventure. Score: 6.25 Summary: In Other Waters succeeds more as an exercise in world building than as an exciting adventure game. Concept: Uncover the ancient secrets of new alien world Gliese 677Cc as you search for your missing colleague Graphics: The gameplay HUD is both effective in its simple-looking design as well as capable of representing the wonders of the world Sound: The chill soundtrack underplays rather than dominates the mood, which is the better choice Playability: Not being able to see your position on the larger map except for when you’re at a base can cause you to lose your bearings Entertainment: In Other Waters succeeds more as an exercise in world building than as an exciting adventure game Replay: Moderately Low Click to Purchase View the full article
  6. Dodge

    Post pic of your new stuff.

    Might be the best looking car in the game.
  7. Sinister

    Coronavirus, go get you some...

    Stay on topic folks. Discuss propaganda shows/docs in the entertainment section.
  8. RammsteinDUDE

    Post pic of your new stuff.

    @Lann This is one of the first cars I bought years back, I barely use it but it's still one of my favourites.
  9. Lann

    Post pic of your new stuff.

    One of the least useful cars, but one you can really enjoy ❤️. This is the same car with the exact same paint, but in different light (dawn, noon and night).
  10. LimeGreenLegend

    Coronavirus, go get you some...

    @Fido_le_muet (read the subtitles)
  11. CatManDoza

    The King of Comedy [RSC Film Club 15]

    I put effort in. Only picked up my phone once to pause it to get grapes
  12. LimeGreenLegend

    The King of Comedy [RSC Film Club 15]

    It's like you were actually paying attention 😉
  13. CatManDoza

    The King of Comedy [RSC Film Club 15]

    Wow, did I do a thing? An actual film review thing others agreed with?
  14. JuniorChubb

    The King of Comedy [RSC Film Club 15]

    Exactly what I thought too.
  15. LimeGreenLegend

    The King of Comedy [RSC Film Club 15]

    One of my favourite scenes too, and it's totally the kind of thing that he's probably imagined a thousand times that it well could have been him just acting it out.
  16. CatManDoza

    The King of Comedy [RSC Film Club 15]

    Well this review will pale in comparison to everyone else's as I'm not much of a word Smith. Enjoyed the film, a very good choice indeed. Loved the scenes he was acting out in his head, so much so that when he went to Jerry's House, I thought he was acting it out to himself. A solid 8 cat nips out of 10. Well picked @LimeGreenLegend
  17. LimeGreenLegend

    Coronavirus, go get you some...

    @Lann a moose once bit my sister...
  18. Lann

    Coronavirus, go get you some...

    It is actually saying just that... to avoid spreading it.
  19. Con

    Coronavirus, go get you some...

    I’m 60 miles from NYC. But some rich jerks from the wealthy town next to us has the highest number of cases in our county, so I’m starting to feel sandwiched.
  20. Con

    tiger king

    Yeah in the end the animal that didn’t ask to be created is the one that suffers and is why I’m can’t support it. which brings me to the next fear regarding Covid19....I’m still hoping it doesn’t become zootonic or we will see more animals being destroyed.
  21. Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios Developer: Ninja Theory Release: March 24, 2020 Reviewed on: Xbox One Also on: PC Bleeding Edge is a unique 4v4 competitive experience that shows a little flash in its third-person approach, but doesn’t deliver much of a punch in combat or enough variation in its match types and maps. Developer Ninja Theory draws clear inspiration from Blizzard’s Overwatch, delivering similar hero-focused play, with each teammate playing a critical role as a tank, support, or damage dealer. While some of the Overwatch nods are a little too obvious, like a hip, headphone-wearing healer who just happens to be from Rio De Janeiro, or a tank who can take off in a sprint to slam an opponent into a wall, Ninja Theory brings its own brand of creativity to the heroes. However, that style only goes so far, and the fun they generate flatlines after just a few hours. Launching out of a safe zone on hoverboards towards the enemy is a fun way to kick off a match, and the introductory clash that takes place gives a good read of the strategies being deployed by both sides. Your team’s healer could be targeted by a ninja named Daemon who can turn invisible to sneak onto your backline. His stealth threat will need to be countered or he'll create chaos for your healer all match long. If you are overly aggressive in your push, you may even be lured into a zone filled with turrets by the gun-wielding Gizmo, or the witch Maeve could subdue your tank in a magical cage for an easy team assault. The character abilities are well thought out, are nicely balanced in terms of cooldowns, and their strategies can be figured out quickly and used effectively. Ninja Theory did a nice job with the introductory 11 fighters; each approach combat in different ways, and they look amazing. One character has a snake for an arm, another rides around on a gas-filled balloon. Ninja Theory also makes sure that their unique looks are reflected in play and put to good use. Given the third-person viewpoint, melee strikes and combos are a big part of the experience, but so are medium-range attacks – you can’t snipe in these battles, you need to be relatively close to deal any damage. Since players are twitchy in movement, a handy lock-on system keeps you glued to your target, meaning if you are close, you’re going to hit them unless they time an evasive move or parry you – both of these abilities are handled well and feel great when executed properly. The melee attacks, as powerful as they look, don’t deliver that satisfying weight of contact, and all opponents have plenty of health, so you need to hack at or shoot at them a bunch. What usually happens, if you don’t have the help of other teammates, is your opponent runs away, and you chase them, and they run more, and you chase more, picking at them slowly or disengaging entirely. The slowness of the base movements and the massive amounts of open space to maneuver steal away the intensity of the one-on-one battles. Most of the kills I achieved weren't satisfying and were either oddly played out wars of attrition or getting a lucky last shot on a running foe. Click image thumbnails to view larger version At launch, Bleeding Edge offers two match types: Power Collection, the better of the two, sees teams collecting canisters that appear on the map and turning them in to zones for points, and Objective Control, where players capture and hold zones to score points. Power Collection has a nice risk/reward mechanic in that if you grab a canister, the opponent can kill you and take it. If you are sitting on nine canisters, you become a target and your teammates will hopefully try to protect you. While the maps deliver different hazards like moving trains, missile strikes, and electrical fences, there are only five at launch and the feeling of being in the same place again sinks in quickly. Click here to watch embedded media Longevity also isn’t found in the unlockable content for each fighter. Most of the skins are just color swaps, and the decals on the hoverboards can’t really be seen while playing. Additionally, the mods you earn for leveling up, while giving small bumps to abilities, are a lackluster reward overall. The best unlockables are taunts, which are humorous, yet you'll likely use them most in the pre-match lobby. Bleeding Edge has plenty of potential and I had fun with it in my first couple of hours, yet lost interest in it quickly, as the battles alone weren’t enough of an allure to keep going. Like most living competitive games, there’s a chance Ninja Theory could greatly enhance the experience over time. For the time being, however, it’s entertaining for a bit and then it fades fast. Score: 6.75 Summary: Ninja Theory's hero-based fighter has a lot going for it, but the thrills don't last long. Concept: A 4v4 online battler that is a little slow and light on content, yet can deliver intensity when teams are strategizing Graphics: The cartoonish fighter designs are excellently crafted and the worlds are filled with color and plenty of detail Sound: Much like Overwatch, the fighters call out their special attacks. The sounds tied to the abilities are quite good, and the announcer calling out capture point changes is helpful Playability: The fighter classes and abilities are nicely balanced, but most attacks just pick away at enemies and don’t make you feel that powerful Entertainment: Bleeding Edge is engaging for a few hours and then heavy repetition sinks in Replay: Moderate Click to Purchase View the full article
  22. Jjss924

    Coronavirus, go get you some...

    I think she changed from breeder to rescue at some point. She seems like a sociopath to me. Either way, it may be more humane to euthanize the cats rather than cage them. Ugly subject. On topic: do we have any members in NY? They're getting hammered.
  23. Click to watch embedded media With Resident Evil 3, Final Fantasy 7, and the rumor mill spinning about the return of the 3D Mario games, 2020 appears to be the year of classics taking the modern stage. The same goes for Infinity Ward's controversial, yet beloved, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 campaign. Join us as we examine how the classic tale of modern military might has aged with a new coat of paint. We'll be going live at 4:30 p.m. CT, so be sure to join us in the chat. If you can't get enough of our live shows, remember to subscribe on YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, Twitter, and Facebook to get notified when we go live each week! Thanks and enjoy the show! View the full article
  24. Mark Verstappen

    VANS Chat

    @Spinnaker1981 I forgot to invite you ingame last week. I invited everyone I saw online but you're not on my friendslist and thus didn't see. Sorry!! 😔
  25. COVID-19's impact on the game industry pushes another game date back, as InXile's Wasteland 3 has been pushed to August 28 (Be sure to check out an awesome feature on Wasteland 3 in the current issue of Game Informer!}. Studio head Brian Fargo issued a statement via Twitter, commenting that a shift to work-from-home procedures had impacted development. Wasteland 3 was previously expected to land on May 19 on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. We have an important update on Wasteland 3’s release date. pic.twitter.com/hiX1CygcUk — Wasteland ☢️ (@Wasteland) March 31, 2020 Delays due to a rapidly changing world are becoming commonplace, and I'm looking forward to sliding around an ice-cold Denver when Wasteland arrives. And hanging out with robo-Reagan, he's a cool president. View the full article
  26. Trashbags

    Nosferatu Loves Dorifuto

    I'm in will see about gts
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