jurassic world evolution

Jurassic World Evolution Review

Posted by | PC, PlayStation 4, Reviews, Xbox One | No Comments

Available On: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Fifteen years ago I fell in love with Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis. It was the original dinosaur park sim that let me prove that breeding dinosaurs for consumer entertainment is a totally valid business strategy.

Now from the makers of Planet Coaster comes Jurassic World Evolution. Like the current era of Jurassic World films it’s not quite as good as the original. But Evolution does feature all the joy and danger of breeding and housing dinosaurs for entertainment that makes the concept so richly compelling.

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Gears 5

E3 2018 Was All About the Leading Ladies

Posted by | Feature, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One | No Comments

Four years ago at E3 2014, Ubisoft blundered into a PR nightmare by weakly defending why both Assassin’s Creed Unity and Far Cry 4 lacked playable women characters in their multiplayer modes – they would require too much time and resources to animate.

Female representation in big, blockbuster games has been sporadic at best. Yes we can point to the same franchises like Metroid and Tomb Raider over and over again, but that just proves the point even more.

But there is good news. In recent years diversity and inclusion has become a major focus for many game developers and publishers. The fruits of those labors are beginning to show. We could call it the Overwatch or Wonder Woman Effect, or just a sign of many game companies hoping to avoid stagnation and seek out progressive voices and audiences.

At E3 2018 we were impressed with the number of women characters, both old and new, showcasing AAA games. In case you missed it, let’s run through the new era of leading ladies from E3 2018.

Battlefield V

Technically Battlefield V was announced ahead of E3. The reveal trailer featured a female soldier who had the best lines and most badass moments. EA even went so far as to feature a female soldier on their cover art.

At EA Play 2018 they teased a single player campaign that also starred a woman fighter’s story of revenge and survival during World War II.

Battlefield V is a great example of the struggles a big studio and franchise can face for daring to include diversity in their games. That reveal trailer currently has more dislikes than likes, with both numbering in the hundreds of thousands. It’s sparked numerous outrages and debates about the game’s historical authenticity versus political virtue-signaling.

It’s endlessly disappointing that including diverse characters has become a political, hot-button issue, and the main reason why many big game companies steer clear. For what it’s worth, EA and DICE have committed to inclusion in their games.

Gears 5

I confess I’m not familiar with the Gears of War franchise beyond playing the first game nearly a decade ago. Kait Diaz was apparently a major player in 2016’s Gears of War 4, but in Gears 5 she takes center stage as the primary playable character.

The trailer, shown at the Xbox E3 2018 conference, featured both a cinematic cutscene with Kait, Marcus, and the rest of the team, as well as gameplay starring the young heroine.

Sea of Solitude

Sea of Solitude isn’t a AAA game, but it is being published through EA’s EA Originals brand. An announcement trailer was shown during the EA Play conference, revealing the personal story of loneliness and depression from game designer Cornelia Geppert.

Geppert was one of the few women game designers to take the stage at any of the press conferences. The game stars Kay, a young woman whose emotional issues have transformed her into a literal monster. She has to save both herself and her fellow monsters amidst a ruined, flooded world.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

One of the biggest female-led series has been riding high in the last few years thanks to a successful reboot by Crystal Dynamics. The third game in the rebooted Tomb Raider series, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, features an even darker, more brutal story as Lara must prevent a Mayan apocalypse, which she herself helped set into motion.

In the gameplay trailer we see Lara go full-on Predator, stealthy hunting foes with bow and blade in a new outfit that proves high-stakes action-adventure makes for a solid work-out regiment.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood

One of the most surprising announcements from the Bethesda E3 2018 conference was a spin-off co-op sequel to Wolfenstein II. Wolfenstein: Youngblood is set in 1980s Paris, far after the events of Woflenstein II.

The bad news is that the alt-history Nazis are apparently still in control (in France at least). The good news is that BJ’s grown twin daughters are ready to fight the good fight.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

With BioWare making Anthem, the torch of romancing NPCs in a gender inclusive universe has apparently fallen to Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series. Newly announced Assassin’s Creed Odyssey looks absolutely gorgeous, taking place in Ancient Greece and featuring the same great series improvements found in last year’s Origins.

But the real talked about feature is choosing to play the entire game as either male character Alexios or female character Kassandra. Both are fully voiced and remain the stars of their stories. And yes, apparently you can romance multiple characters no matter whom you choose to play as.

Beyond Good & Evil 2

The original 2003 Beyond Good & Evil is still one of the most mentioned games when talking about female-led games. That’s pretty sad, yet Beyond Good & Evil has also become a cult favorite. Beyond Good & Evil 2 has been in development hell forever, eventually turning into this big AAA prequel starring a new female character as the leader of her own motley space crew.

The prequel has astonishingly great animated cinematics, but we also got our first look at some pre-alpha gameplay, which lets you fly to different planets and explore in third-person action-adventure. It looks incredibly ambitious. Unfortunately we still don’t have a release date.

Control

As revealed at the PlayStation E3 press conference, Control is a brand new game by Remedy, developers of Quantum Break and Alan Wake. Jesse assumes the role of Director of the Bureau of Control, giving her supernatural powers and a fancy shifting gun.

We don’t know much more about it, but it definitely looks a lot like Quantum Break.

The Last of Us Part II

The Last of Us Part II may be the single most anticipated sequel of the year, though we still don’t have a firm release date. The new trailer showed off the most memorable scene from all of E3, an older teenage Ellie passionately kissing her new love, Dina. Not only is it a sweet moment, it’s also incredibly well animated. How far we’ve come in four years!

The gameplay portion showcased the familiar brutality of The Last of Us, confirming that Ellie is the main protagonist in the sequel, and that human enemies are just as harrowing as the Clickers.

Playing mostly as Joel shepherding Ellie in the original 2013 game while switching to Ellie for the sequel is a great metaphor for the progress gaming has made over the years. Gaming is for everyone, and it’s nice to see women get more seats at the grown-ups’ table.

e3 2018

Pixelkin’s E3 2018 Complete Coverage

Posted by | Mobile, News, PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One | One Comment

Electronic Arts

command & conquer

EA Play 2018: Command & Conquer: Rivals is an RTS Mobile Game

How the mighty have fallen. Command & Conquer, once one of the biggest names in PC strategy games, has been rebooted as a mobile PvP game. Command & Conquer: Rivals…Read More

 

sea of solitude

EA Play 2018: Sea of Solitude is the Latest EA Originals Indie

During EA Play 2018, we were introduced to German indie studio Jo-Mei, who is working with EA under their EA Originals label. Jo-Mei’s Creative Director, Cornelia Geppert, introduced her studio’s…Read More

 

anthem

EA Play 2018: BioWare Action-RPG Anthem Arriving Early Next Year

During the EA Play 2018 Press Conference, Electronic Arts and BioWare announced an official release date for their upcoming Destiny-like cooperative action game Anthem. Unfortunately it’s not coming this year….Read More

 

unravel two

EA Play 2018: Get Double the Yarny in Unravel Two, Out Today

It’s become tradition in every E3 for one company to announce a new game, only to immediately follow up with the game’s release. This year the honor goes to Unravel…Read More

 

Xbox

devil may cry 5

Xbox E3 2018: Capcom Reveals Devil May Cry 5

Over-the-top action series Devil May Cry hasn’t had a main entry in a decade. Series director Hideaka Itsuno proudly took the stage during the Xbox E3 2018 conference to announce…Read More

 

microsoft

Xbox E3 2018: Microsoft Acquires Five Big-Name Studios

It’s always fun to see new game trailers, but perhaps one of the biggest pieces of news to come out of Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2018 press conference was the acquisition…Read More

 

Gears 5

Xbox E3 2018: Microsoft Announces Gears 5, Gears Pop!, and Gears Tactics

Rod Fergusson, head of The Coalition, took the stage during the Xbox E3 2018 press conference to reveal three new games in the Gears of War franchise. All three games…Read More

 

halo infinite

Xbox E3 2018: Watch the World Premiere Trailer for Halo Infinite

Kicking off the Xbox E3 2018 press conference was the big reveal of Halo Infinite, the latest game in one of Microsoft’s most popular franchises, developed by in-house studio 343…Read More

 

Bethesda

elder scrolls vi

Bethesda E3 2018: Teases for Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI

Bethesda Game Studios isn’t normally a company to tease out games early. They enjoy waiting until a game is out that year before they even announce it, as evidenced recently…Read More

 

elder scrolls: blades

Bethesda E3 2018: Elder Scrolls: Blades is a Free Mobile Game

The next game in The Elder Scrolls series is probably not the one you were hoping for, but it does look nice. During the Bethesda E3 2018 press conference they…Read More

 

fallout 76

Bethesda E3 2018: Fallout 76 has Online Multiplayer, Coming Nov.

The highlight of Bethesda’s E3 2018 press conference was Fallout 76. Thanks to a big leak leading up to E3, the game had already been announced. But now we know…Read More

 

Square Enix

kingdom hearts iii

Kingdom Hearts III launching January 29, New Frozen Trailer

A bit ahead of E3 2018 at the Kingdom Hearts Orchestra World Tour, Square Enix revealed the official release date for Kingdom Hearts III: January 29, 2019. It’s coming to…Read More

 

Ubisoft

beyond good & evil 2

Ubisoft E3 2018: Incredible New Trailer for Beyond Good & Evil 2

One of Ubisoft’s biggest trailers during last year’s E3 show was the first cinematic trailer for action-adventure-RPG Beyond Good & Evil 2. The highly anticipated prequel made another big splash…Read More

 

Assassin's Creed Odyssey

Ubisoft E3 2018: Play as Alexios or Kassandra in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

For the first time in the series, players will be able to choose to play as either a male or female character right from the start of Assassins’s Creed Odyssey….Read More

 

Starlink: battle for atlas

Ubisoft E3 2018: Fox McCloud Joins Starlink: Battle for Atlas

During the Ubisoft E3 2018 press conference, Ubisoft showed off more footage of their unique spaceship-based toys-to-life game, Starlink: Battle for Atlas. But the biggest announcement was the inclusion of…Read More

 

PlayStation

death stranding

PlayStation E3 2018: Death Stranding Is Still Super Weird

Hideo Kojima’s post-Konami, post-Metal Gear Solid project Death Stranding remains as enigmatic as ever, despite seeing a bit of gameplay during the PlayStation E3 2018 press conference. This new fourth…Read More

 

kingdom hearts iii

PlayStation E3 2018: The Pirates of the Caribbean Join Kingdom Hearts III

We went years without so much as a peep about Kingdom Hearts III. Now that the release date is in sight (January 29), Square Enix is unleashing a barrage of…Read More

 

the last of us part ii

PlayStation E3 2018: Don’t Miss The Kiss from The Last of Us Part II

We already knew about The Last of Us Part II thanks to last E3’s trailer and the PlayStation Experience announcement from 2016. At this year’s PlayStation E3 2018 conference, we…Read More

 

marvel's spider-man

PlayStation E3 2018: Marvel’s Spider-Man Reveals All the Villains

During the PlayStation E3 2018 conference a lengthy gameplay demo was shown for Marvel’s Spider-Man, developed by Insomniac Games. The demo centered around an explosive prison breakout, featuring many of…Read More

 

Nintendo

nintendo direct e3 2018

Nintendo Direct E3 2018: All the News and Trailers

As always, Nintendo eschewed a live press conference in favor of their pre-recorded Nintendo Direct videos. Obviously the Nintendo Switch remains the primary focus. As expected, Super Smash Bros. was…Read More