Super Mario Run: The Kotaku Review

Super Mario Run: The Kotaku Review

If you were worried that Nintendo’s move into mobile gaming would change the quality of their games, Super Mario Run should be a relief. Auto-running and screen orientation aside, it’s a full-featured Mario game that just happens to run on your phone.

Note: A version of this article ran on 12/15/2016. I’ve spent several days playing since launch, and since my original impressions still stand, I’ve expanded this article into a review, adding discussion of the game’s merits and potential pitfalls observed over several days of post-launch play.

When Nintendo announced Super Mario Run, I expected an endless runner, a game where Mario runs from left to right through randomly-generated courses until he dies. That’s not what Super Mario Run is.

Error loading media: File could not be played

Super Mario Run is technically three connected games: World Tour, Toad Rally and Kingdom Builder.

World Tour is most like the Super Mario Bros. platforming games we’re familiar with. There are six different worlds, each consisting of three levels plus a boss level. Mario runs automatically from left to right. All the player has to do is jump.

Super Mario Run: The Kotaku Review

Were these standard mobile runner fair, the 90 second levels would be boring. But these are meticulously-crafted Mario worlds, filled with coins to collect, creatures vault over or jump off and obstacles to avoid. There are blocks that make Mario jump backwards, speed him across large gaps and even stop him in his tracks, allowing players to determine the best time to move forward.

Somehow Nintendo has managed to give this auto-running mobile game the same basic feel as a standard Super Mario Bros. game, that tactile precision that you just don’t find in other titles. Kotaku contributor/game developer Tim Rogers calls it “Sticky Friction.” I’m feeling it.

Completing World Tour stages awards coins, used to purchase decorations and buildings in the Kingdom Builder portion, as well as Toad tickets, used to challenge other players in Toad Rally.

Super Mario Run: The Kotaku Review

Toad Rally allows players to challenge friends and strangers to one-on-one races, the goal of which is to collect the most coins and earn the most color-coded Toad fans. The gameplay is basically the same, with a slightly different aim. In a clever twist, defeating enemies in either World Tour or Toad Rally eventually causes them to level up, which makes them drop more coins when defeated in the rally mode.

Those collected color-coded Toad fans and coins all come into play in Super Mario Run’s Kingdom Builder. Players use coins to buy decorations, buildings and accessories that can be placed in their own personal Mushroom Kingdom, while collecting colored Toad fans upgrades the kingdom’s castle and unlocks new items, including buildings that add new playable characters to the game.

Super Mario Run: The Kotaku Review

The three different modes come together to form a game that’s a far cry from the standard mobile fare I feared it would be. This is a Nintendo game through and through, and no matter how they might be handling other franchises, Mario always gets the star treatment. Check it out:

Super Mario Run is available now on iOS, with an Android version arriving later. A free download gives players access to the first three World Tour levels and a taste of expanded content, with a one-time $9.99 purchase required to unlock everything.

Six days after the launch of Super Mario Run I’m still having fun, albeit in small doses. The initial run through the paid version’s 24 World Tour stages was a fun couple of hours, and revisiting those 90-second levels in order to gather up all the special coins is a fine way to spend a bathroom break.

But the game’s two other modes, Toad Rally and the Kingdom Builder, are wearing thin. The idea is that players compete against their friends in Toad Rally in order to gather resources (color-coded Toad fans) to unlock new decorations for their kingdoms.

Aside from unlocking additional characters, there really isn’t much satisfaction to be had in kingdom decorating. Once the banality of placing Mario-themed items on my screen kicked in, Toad Rally, a mode with the primary function of unlocking new items to place, lost much of its charm as well. While some may enjoy the challenge of clambering up their friends leaderboard, I’m feeling very “What’s the point?”.

Since launch day I’ve spent as much time reading about how disappointing Super Mario Run is as I have playing it, and I’ve played quite a bit. Complaints about requiring an internet connection, large data downloads and the $9.99 in-app purchase required to unlock the full game are perfectly valid.

This is Nintendo’s first major in-house mobile game, and while the gameplay is quite enjoyable, the company could have done a better job navigating the gap between the two platforms. Mobile gamers have had years to get used to games requiring an internet connection, but it’s a major disappointment in the traditionally offline Mushroom Kingdom. If Nintendo released a playable demo of Super Mario Run on the eShop and sold a separate full version for $10, console gamers wouldn’t bat an eye, but on mobile it’s a substantial leap of faith.

With Miitomo being a social app and Pokémon GO a licensed Niantic creation, Super Mario Run is Nintendo’s first real foray into mobile gaming. They’ve fumbled the execution somewhat, but these first stumbling steps bring with them a game that’s worth playing.

Areal Is a Mobile MMORPG Featiures Licensed The King of Fighters Characters

Areal Is a Mobile MMORPG Featiures Licensed The King of Fighters Characters

Licensed by SNK, Hong Kong publisher Game Dreamer has released mobile MMORPG Areal in Asia for iOS and Android system. The game features iconic characters from SNK’s IPs such as The King of Fighters and Samurai Shodown. The game also invites famous voice actors/actresses of Naruto anime series to the develop the game.

Pet system is a core gameplay system in the game. Pets have stats which rank them in 4 tiers: S, A, B, C. Besides, pets have 3 fixed talent skills, which are unlocked as pets progress. Pets can also learn other special skills, and can equip whatever special skills that fit the combat style.

Areal Is a Mobile MMORPG Featiures Licensed The King of Fighters Characters Areal Is a Mobile MMORPG Featiures Licensed The King of Fighters Characters Areal Is a Mobile MMORPG Featiures Licensed The King of Fighters Characters Areal Is a Mobile MMORPG Featiures Licensed The King of Fighters Characters

Could we finally get a real Hearthstone competitor from Magic: The Gathering?

Could we finally get a real Hearthstone competitor from Magic: The Gathering?

Blizzard Entertainment’s digital card game Hearthstone has been an absurdly popular hit — to the tune of over 50 million players as of last April. While this player-friendly title has served as a perfect introduction to card games for many players (including myself), others who have been playing collectible card games for years have wondered: Why didn’t Magic: The Gathering ever get a truly great digital experience?

If publisher Wizards of the Coast is to be believed, that could finally change in the near future. Wizards of the Coast president Chris Cocks published a statement today, claiming that the company will be making “increased investments in our digital teams that will give us the capability and flexibility necessary to fully realize the enormous potential of our games.”

Going into further details, Cocks said Wizards of the Coast will be “reimagining digital versions of Magic and other Wizards games.” The company recently formed a new team known as Digital Game Studios that includes video game industry veterans from Valve, Warner Bros. Interactive, Activision, BioWare and more.

“They’re all thinking about how players might tap mana and prepare spells in the future,” Cocks said, adding, “and I can’t wait for you to see what they’re working on.”

Beyond digital versions of their existing games, Cocks said Wizards is working on taking the characters and worlds the company owns to other games and genres. He provided two examples: a Magic: The Gathering-themed massively multiplayer game, and a Dungeons & Dragons-themed augmented reality game.

“We want to play games like this too, so we hired David Schwartz, an industry veteran with 25 years of experience,” Cocks said. “He is building a publishing team to explore partnerships and collaborations that will bring Magic and D&D to unexpected settings, genres and platforms.”

Beyond new games and digital experiences, Cocks promised that the existing Wizards of the Coasts products will become “more efficient, connected and convenient.” It’s unclear what that means specifically, but he noted that the company has a revamped technology team working on “in-store and online interactions so you will have cohesive and connected experiences with our games.”

Chris Cocks is a relatively new name at Wizards of the Coast. He joined the company in April 2016, replacing previous president Greg Leeds who had been with Wizards of the Coast for eight years. Cocks was previously at Microsoft; both Wizards of the Coast and its parent company, Hasbro, have been increasingly boisterous about shifting properties to digital since Cocks joined.

Previous attempts by Wizards of the Coast to take Magic: The Gathering into a digital format include Magic Online — a “full” version of the game weighed down by a notoriously clunky client and difficult-to-parse user interface — and the Duels of the Planeswalkers series of spin-offs, which are more user-friendly and nicer to look at but generally considered a little shallow compared to what longtime Magic players are looking for.

While it’s still unclear what forms Wizards of the Coast’s new big push into digital will take, or when we’ll find out more details, we’ll continue reporting as soon as we know more.

Dragon Nest Mobile: Informative Guide & Tips on Leveling and Skill Points

Dragon Nest Mobile: Informative Guide & Tips on Leveling and Skill Points

Hey Guys, hope you all are having a great new beginning to 2017! So here’s a guide for Dragon Nest Mobile on how to efficiently use each the characters, quickly gather skill points and level up. As I had mentioned in my article before, Dragon Nest Mobile is quite an interesting game which can be played for hours together. For those of you who wish to know more about the game, click here for a comprehensive review about the game.

Dragon Nest Mobile has been designed in such a way that the method of collecting skill points is different for each character, this means that the time taken to level up and learn new skills will vary a little from character to character. The mobile version of Dragon Nest features the same characters that was present in the Pc version, the standard characters that are available as of now are: warrior, archer, sorceress, cleric.

Dragon Nest Mobile: Informative Guide & Tips on Leveling and Skill Points

Before dwelling deep into how we can use each character to gather skill points quickly and level up let me let you guys know the various methods in which skill points can be collected. There are several ways in which this can be done;

a) COMBAT
b) UPGRADATION
c) COMBINATON MOVES
d) COMPLETING QUESTS

Let us now take a quick look on how we can gather skill points from the above mentioned methods

1) COMBAT.

This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to upgrade your level by gathering points. This is where each character plays a role and carefully using the perfect character tailored for your ease assumes importance.

SHORT RANGE COMBAT (Cleric and the Warrior)

Both these characters are extremely powerful and deliver powerful blows to the enemy. The cleric is apt for beginners considering that the character provides the standard attacking features. The warrior on the other hand can also be used by beginners but creating efficient combo skills and moves might prove to be a bit of the challenge, but if this can be done then the warrior and the cleric can help players who enjoy close combat and plain on the offensive front. This in fact will help players gather a lot of skill points during the game.

Dragon Nest Mobile: Informative Guide & Tips on Leveling and Skill Points

The reason why these close combat characters help in collecting so many skill points is because of the fact that they can quickly attack several monsters at the same time. Consider the cleric, one of the special moves easily available is to take a 360 degree sweep ensuring that every monster present around is hit at the same time. While striking a single monster fetches enough skill points, being able to attack several of them at the same time will help in collecting combo points which will double or maybe even triple the chances of collecting these points.

Dragon Nest Mobile: Informative Guide & Tips on Leveling and Skill Points

If you are comfortable using these close combat characters then it will attribute to helping you collect more than 50 % of the required points in order to level up at any given point. One of the disadvantages of the close combat method is that it puts the player right between the crossfires of the enemy’s. This means that while attacking several monsters at the same time it will be harder to slip out and escape the attacking blows. One way around this is to use the quick slide move which is provided for every character, this will ensure that the player can swiftly move out of the attacker’s path. The key for this move is present adjacent to the attacking key on the right hand corner of the screen.

LONG DISTANCE COMBAT (Archer and Sorceress)

The main advantage of using these two characters is that one can attack from a safe distance without receiving any damage while at the same time ensuring that skill points can be collected.

Dragon Nest Mobile: Informative Guide & Tips on Leveling and Skill Points

It will come of great help if the Archer and wizard are improvised quickly with various combination moves because this will ensure faster attacking, helping the player collect points quickly. For those of you who have just started with the game it is not suggested that they start playing with the sorceress or wizard because compared to the close combat characters they do not collect skill points as quickly. This is primarily because when attacking from a longer distance several enemies cannot be targeted at the same time which means the players will not have a lot of opportunities to collect points from combination attacks.

Dragon Nest Mobile: Informative Guide & Tips on Leveling and Skill Points

However, there is a way to circumvent this. The archer and sorceress are excellent choices for multiplayer gaming. The wizard especially will play a pivotal role in this aspect. Considering the fact that her skill moves take a longer time to build up she can be used to provide effective assistance to the short range attacking players while engaging in multiplayer mode. This will help in creating combos which will in turn help you collect skill points.

One of the added benefits of using either the archer or the sorceress is that they will not be in close proximity to the enemy’s attacks. This can be used to the player’s advantage as they can engage in the offensive while not having to dodge any attacks constantly as they can quickly anticipate an attack and move away from that path.

UPGRADING CHARACTERS

Another quick way of collecting skill points is by upgrading your characters. Adding value to your character ensures that you can dwell more heavily into the game and play more efficiently and quickly thereby helping you to collect points faster. This is one of the most important things which need to be kept in mind as upgrading your character will help you in progressing through the game quickly and smoothly.

Some of the quests require a specific level for you to be qualified to play, in order to this the characters must be levelled up as quickly as possible else you will have to work your way through various tasks in order to get to the required level which can be quite tiring.

Dragon Nest Mobile: Informative Guide & Tips on Leveling and Skill Points

PURCHASING EQUIPMENT

Purchasing equipment’s for the purpose of developing the character that you’ve chosen is one way to collect more skill points. In addition to this, it also adds to the strength of your character, upgrading the weapon, adding more combat resistant armour etc. will also help you in tackling the different kinds of monsters that are present in the game. As you progress the game the difficulty only keeps increasing and therefore it is wise to purchase equipment and add it to the character.

COMPLETING QUESTS

This is one of the best ways to level up quickly in Dragon Nest Mobile. The quests usually follow the storyline of the game and can be quite interesting, therefore it won’t bore you either. Some of the quests require that you need to team up with other players, at this point you can use the characters who can attack from long distance in order to finish the quests quickly. This feat can be achieved by completing dungeon quests which require you to have a certain level of stamina. So bear in mind this fact before beginning a quest as if you don’t have the required stamina you will not be able to enter it.

COLLECTING GOLD

Some of the levelling up techniques that has been mentioned will require a considerable amount of gold. For example, purchasing equipment’s etc. will require gold. Now, there are several ways in which gold can be collected quickly.

The first one is by completing quests (Dungeon and tower). This is one of the quickest ways to collect a large amount of gold. On completion of a quest, gold is given to the player as a reward, however the amount of gold that is rewarded will depend on how you performed during the quest. When a quest is completed the player will be given stars, a player obtaining three stars will get a higher amount of gold than when compared to those who get a one star.

Another method of collecting gold is by upgrading your character. Whenever you upgrade your player and level up you will get coins, this can again be reinvested on the character as it ensures that you will gain more points and gold once the character levels up.

Follow these methods to quickly progress through the game and to collect skill points and level up.

Push To Arena 10 (4000+ Trophies) with Low-Tier Deck

I’ve always loved to play low-tier cards, because they are a mindgame. This deck is especially amazing in that regard as it uses some of the most unusual baits and pushes that seem much less threatening than they actually are. To give you an idea of how low-tier this deck is, according to StatsRoyale.com, the odds of you facing a deck without any of these cards in it is around 40%. That’s including Arrows and Minion Horde!

On to the guide. As always, feel free to skip around, leave snide remarks, and/or tell me how the deck works out for you.

The Deck:

Push To Arena 10 (4000+ Trophies) with Low-Tier Deck

Three Musketeers- These are the power card in your deck. They are mostly going to be used for defending, then split pushing. Almost always place then in the middle for the best counter-push. Add a small tank, and they can deal serious damage to a tower.
Giant Skeleton- The biggest tank in the deck. Every card in the deck pairs well with him. If he makes it to the tower, a clone spell will insure the tower’s death.
Minion Horde- A good complement to Three Musketeers. They bait Fireball for each other and stop even the largest of pushes in their tracks.
Dark Prince- The secondary tank and most reliable card, thanks to his shield. His biggest benefits are countering Barbarians and surrounding Skeleton Armies for both the Musketeers and Giant Skeleton.
Clone- An amazing complement to most pushes. Spell-proof on Dark Prince, and creates lots of damage on everything else.
Goblin Barrel- The Zap bait and a massive damage dealer of tanked for. Thrown often as a distraction and pairs wonderfully with Giant Skeleton.
Elixir Collector- Generally pretty safe in this deck with all of the Fireball bait. Beware of Miner, though, as this deck is not suited for stopping him. Allows for some bigger pushes before overtime.
Arrows- Little explanation needed. Don’t be afraid to take out Princess if the opponent isn’t using a spell bait deck.

The General Gameplan
You want to analyze your opponent’s deck and decide on how to play quickly. This deck plays very differently each round, so practice deciding how to play quickly.

If they tend to throw down token pushes (Hog Rider, Elite Barbarians) save Three Musketeers in hand for a quick stop to them. Push back and slowly chip down with small support to each side. Get Collectors down, but also don’t be afraid to sit at ten elixir when you know that they are about to attack. Make sure to slightly change the timing and positioning so that they don’t counter. Save Giant Skeleton as a surprise.

If they try for a slow build-up push, respond with distraction to the other lane (usually Goblin Barrel, and use tank and spank to pull off defending. Or, you can try to use a Giant Skeleton+Goblin Barrel push on the side that they are pushing. It will also kill many support troops. Another good response for less urgent attacks (Golem in the back, for example) is to waste their time on the other lane with Giant Skeleton and support (a threat they practically have to answer). This deck is high DPS, so you will win a three-crown rush.

If the opponent plays super defensively, build a large push on one side, and have something smal on the other. Slowly chip down the opposite lane and surprise them with different pushes every time (especially where they can out-cycle you).

Use lots of good defense, but when an opportunity arises, jump in headfirst and don’t look back. A small mistake on your opponent’s part can easily turn the battle in your favor.

Offensive Combos
Split Musketeer Supports

-Dark Prince on the two side is amazing. Some of the most common responses to the two Musketeers are Fireball, Skeleton Army, and Barbarians. His shield is anti- Fireball, his charge splash wrecks Skarmy, and with the help of Musketeers…

they can kill the Barbarians in four shots and go on to take a tower.

-Goblin Barrel can both tank for and be ranked for by the Musketeer. If the Barrel lands before the Musketeer crosses the bridge, the tower will take six shots to handle the Goblins while the Musketeer isfiring away. If it lands after she crosses, the Goblins can wreak havoc while the tower is stuck handling the Musketeer. Lots of damage either way.

-Giant Skeleton can only go in front after you have a Collector down. It isn’t advisable to do unless you are fairly certain that the opponent can’t counter it.

Giant Skeleton Pushes

-Paired with Goblin Barrel, the Giant Skeleton can easily take the second tower (which will surprise opponents expecting Three Musketeers in the middle). Imagine a Goblin Barrel headed for your second tower. It seems like something you can afford to let go without taking much damage until…

there is suddenly a Giant Skeleton in the center of your side. You have to stop the Goblins now, and by the time you do that, Giant Skeleton made it to the tower.

-Giant Skeleton with Dark Prince and Clone is deadly.

Make sure that the cloned Skeleton goes first if you aren’t sure what they have to defend with. He will drop a bomb for cover in case of air troops, Valkyrie, etc. The Princes push the Skeleton super fast to the tower, and any ground troop in their way will take a huge amount of damage from the two charging Dark Princes (instant Barbarian death). And the best part: The Princes both can survive a spell with their shields, so the opponent can’t take out the clone easily.

Miscellaneous

Dark Prince and Goblin Barrel makes for a great starting push. Drop the Barrel and instantly follow it with the Dark Prince centered on the bridge (just tap their tower for both placements). He will distract the tower with perfect timing. Even with Archers to take out the Barrel, this deals over 1000 damage, so it’s nice.

Ending Words
This deck has a ton of weird pushes and synergies that you can improvise as you go to play. It is heavy, so you need to be careful, but at the same time, you need to take advantage of any openings, since this deck can take a crown from even the slightest mistake. It got me to 4000 trophies with cards on average 0.125 levels below tournament standards. So far, I can honestly put it into my top three favorite decks to play. Good luck, and the real reason I built this deck: Have Fun!

Heavy Gear Assault- An in Depth Review

Heavy Gear Assault- An in Depth Review

Heavy Gear Assault entered into Steam early access. Developed by MekTek Studios and published by Stompy Bot productions, Heavy Gear assault seems to be a promising game. Here is an in depth review of the game if you guys are planning to purchase it.

INTRODUCTION AND PLOT
The Heavy Gear Series was introduced into the gaming regime quite a long time back. Since the introduction of the concept of the game it has expanded its fan base and garnered a lot of attention. Heavy gear assault is the latest game in the franchise. The game features you handling a humanoid robot in the distant planet of Terra Nova. As a pilot of the Gear you engage in duels and gather fame and money to rise to the top. Here’s a quick look at the trailer for Heavy Gear assault.

GAMEPLAY
Heavy Gear Assault is set in the distant planet of Terra Nova. The game features an open world with genuine graphics which are powered by the Unreal Engine 4. This ensures that the players can enjoy the game in high quality graphics and stunning environment. The developers of the game have not made the environment too complicated or too simple, they have rather done a remarkably good job of striking the perfect balance between the two ensuring that the players have enough space to go offensive and take cover for defence.

TUTORIAL
Unlike all other games, the tutorial in Heavy Gear Assault is optional and the players can either take it or skip and directly enter the game. For those of you who are new to the Heavy Gear franchise, it is recommended that they take the tutorial. The tutorial in Heavy Gear assault does not go into every aspect, this can come as quite a difficult task for those who are playing the game for the first time.

The tutorial guides you through the basics of the game. It walks you only through the controls and movements. The tutorial provides guides for both the keyboard and the gamepad. The disappointing part of this is that it does not teach you on how to use the primary and secondary weapons, how to equip weapons, how to use quick dodge movements etc. The new players will have to take some time to figure this out before entering the game.

Heavy Gear Assault- An in Depth Review

GEAR CUSTOMIZATION
Heavy Gear Assault provides the players to buy the pack that they desire. While purchasing the game pack the players will receive a set of gears and cash which can be used while playing. Now coming to the gears, the most common humanoid bots available in Heavy gear assault are the Jaegers and the Hunters. Both these gears come with a set number of features. The players can use the money that has been obtained from the starter pack to customize their gear. This will ensure that their gear stands out in style during combat.

Now the gears in Heavy Gear Assault can be customized to meet the player’s requirements. This involves a detailed weaponry system to intricate paint jobs. The gears can be equipped with a lot of primary and secondary weapons which can be used during combat. Regarding the paint job, the gears can be designed as per the wishes of the player, the game provides a plethora of options ranging from metallic to gloss paints for this purpose.

GEAR MOVEMENT
All Gears are equipped with a secondary movement system (SMS) in the form of wheels or threads. This feature allows the player to move faster and silently across different arenas. This provides the gear with a higher top speed at the cost of a lower acceleration. All the gears are equipped with jump jets which allow the gears to jump higher and further. The gear movement is fluid and flawless and is one of the most interesting features of the game.

Heavy Gear Assault- An in Depth Review

MULTIPLAYER GAMING
The online multiplayer gaming is hands down one of the best features of Heavy Gear Assault. The game can be played in different modes online, these include:
1) Annexation
2) Team Death Match
3) Brunesball

All these game modes are thoroughly enjoyable and there are plenty of exciting environments and weather conditions in which the game can be played. Players can browse the servers and join the game that they like. The game also comes with an option to show those servers which the player cannot join. While the server list is up the players can see the mode of the game, the region and the number of players who are involved. In addition to this, the game allows the player to create and host his own server, the server can be customized according to the player’s needs, he can select the arena, the number of players, the time for which the game is to played etc.

SYSTEM REQIREMENTS.
Unfortunately, the game requirements are extremely high. Considering the graphics and the gameplay the requirements are very high.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
Operating System: Windows 7
Processor: Intel Core I3 processor
Memory: 8 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 680+
Direct X: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Storage: 4 GB
RECOMMENDED REQSUIREMENT
Operating System: Windows 10
Processor: Intel I7
Memory: 16 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 970+
Direct x: Version 11
Network: Broadband internet connection
Storage: 4 GB

VERDICT
The game is quite entertaining in the given genre. If you are a die-hard fan of the Heavy Gear series then it is only apt that you go ahead and play it. However, the attached price tag for the game is quite expensive and stands as a barrier for certain people. After having an overall look of the game, it can be given a rating of 7.5/10.

The brutal combat of Conan Exiles

The brutal combat of Conan Exiles

An arsenal of weapons
Your first task will be to equip yourself. You start the game with nothing and must gather the resources you need to make simple weapons and clothes. If you are able to survive and prosper, you can advance and build crafting stations to make much more varied and powerful gear.

It is important to arm yourself with a wide variety of weapons. Using a sword and shield together offers both a good offense and defense. The shield is excellent for blocking incoming arrows and stopping blows from melee opponents. But beware, as both shields and weapons will not last forever and will break once they have received enough punishment.

There are many weapons which can be wielded one-handed, such as short spears, axes, clubs, daggers and a host of different swords. Every type of weapon has its own purpose and can give you a tactical advantage in combat. You can thrust with the short spear but also throw it – a great way to land a killing blow against a fleeing foe. Throwing axes can also be used for this purpose, but alongside daggers these are off-hand weapons taking the spot of the shield for extra offensive power.

The mighty two-handed weapons will give you even more options in dangerous fights. A pike gives extra reach which is great for keeping wildlife at bay. Massive war hammers or mauls are good against armor and allow you to stagger your opponents with powerful blows and can shove enemies away with a disruptive push.

Ranged weapons are always deadly, especially when fired from safe battlements or at fleeing prey. You can learn both bow and crossbow and use their bolts and arrows to pierce enemies or set alight barrels filled with explosive oil.

Not all weapons are meant for killing though. Equip yourself with a sturdy truncheon and you can knock NPCs unconscious before dragging them back to your camp to be broken on the wheel of pain. The thralls can be used to entertain (removing weakness brought on by corruption), to help you craft or be deployed as defensive guards.

In the heat of battle
It is not enough to have good weapons and armor, but you must also know how to use them and to fight with skill and determination.

Combat has a strong tactical element in Conan Exiles. Instead of flailing around, just attacking in rapid succession, it is instead wise to fight with measured swings or thrusts at opportune moments.

All main-hand and two-handed weapons have a quick light attack and a slower heavy attack. The trick is to know when to use which and what you stand to gain. Attempting a powerful heavy attack could leave you vulnerable for a short time, but it might be the blow which smashes your enemy’s shield, robbing him of a crucial defensive tool for the difficult fight ahead.

You can also dodge enemy swings, either to the sides or straight backwards. Knowing when to dodge, when to block and when to attack is a critical skill you need to learn.

Another important thing is learning which weapon to use against different foes. If you plan on charging into a camp of Darfari cannibals and hunt for thralls, it will be very useful to have a shield which can block their ranged weapons as you approach. Longer weapons like the pike can be effective when trying to keep your distance from the deadly jaws of a crocodile.

Improving your character as you level up gives you the chance to focus on many different attributes. Increasing might to cause more damage in melee, putting points into athleticism to improve your armor or building up your stamina so you are able to fight better in prolonged encounters are a few of the ways you can increase your chances in tough fights.

Combat in Conan Exiles is not only tactical, but true to the world of Conan it also extremely visceral and brutal. You can cut your enemies to pieces, hacking off their heads, arms, legs or even cleave their bodies in half as their blood stains the ground. Each killing blow has a chance to cause such a fatality, and which fatality you see depends on the body part hit.

Combat will be ruthless, fast and tactical. Whether you fight alone or together with your friends you will surely face defeat often. The true measure of an exile is how you deal with your defeats. If you learn from them and evolve you will only return stronger than before, ready to crush your enemies and see them driven before you.

Project Genom's World Will Be 10 Times Larger in Q1 2017

Project Genom’s World Will Be 10 Times Larger in Q1 2017

NeuroHazen’s upcoming sci-fi sandbox MMO Project Genom has made a bold statement: the game’s world will be 10 times larger than the current one in the first quarter of 2017. What’s more, dungeons and quests are going to be added.

If you are not familiar with the game, Project Genom is an Unreal Engine 4 sandbox MMORPG features non-target combat, free character development without class, vehicles, special combat mech suits, and player house, etc.

PS4's Nier: Automata Demo Is Out Now

PS4’s Nier: Automata Demo Is Out Now

Right on schedule, a demo for Nier: Automata is now available on the PlayStation Store.

Unlike the original Nier, this one is developed by Bayonetta and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance developer Platinum Games. As described in a press release earlier this month, “With an abandoned factory as the backdrop, the demo follows android 2B’s mission to destroy a massive enemy weapon that lies within.”

The PlayStation Store description for the demo expands on that a little further. “[J]oin androids 2B and 9S and their ferocious battle to reclaim a machine-driven dystopia overrun by powerful machine lifeforms,” it says. “Experience a glimpse of the action-packed and high-speed battles rendered in fluid 60 FPS, against hordes of enemies within a beautifully desolate open world. Nier: Automata is a fresh take on the action role-playing game genre that gracefully blends mesmerising action with a captivating story.”

Publisher Square Enix also today released a trailer showing off two crossover items that will be available in the game: Final Fantasy XV’s Engine Blade and Dragon’s Quest’s Cypress Stick. You can see those in the video below.

Automata launches for PS4 on March 7, with a PC release also coming at some point during 2017. You can read more about the various editions available here and our impressions of the game here.

Skyrim megamod Enderal getting own expansion

Skyrim megamod Enderal getting own expansion

SureAI’s huge Skyrim total conversion Enderal: The Shards of Order [official site], which builds a whole new game upon Bethesda’s foundations, is getting an expansion of its own in 2017. Enderal’s launch this year was dang impressive – “play this excellent mod,” said Cobbo – but a few bits were cut from the initial release. Now the game’s lead writer has picked those up off the cutting room floor and is polishing them up for Forgotten Stories with 10-20 hours of new quests and new quest lines, along with a few other nice odds and ends. Have a peek in the announcement trailer below.

The announcement says players will get to join the merchants guild for “an exceptional non-linear story that deals with intrigue and greed”, poke around the cult ruling the Undercity, and go on quests fleshing out the stories of several notable characters. A new secret ending is in too.

Forgotten Stories will also fiddle with the Enderal formula. Changes include “hidden talents, rebalanced and overhauled crafting skills, high-level crafting, and enchantment that makes investing in craftsmanship a lot more rewarding.”

Enderal: Forgotten Stories is due to launch some time in 2017. The expansion is mostly the work of Enderal lead writer Nicolas Samuel, though some other folks have chipped in. He stresses that this not being a full team project “does not mean that SureAI doesn’t exist anymore or is somehow compromised: It simply means that Forgotten Stories is more of a private side-project by me as Enderal’s writer.”

Enderal also made Joe’s list of his favourite mods of 2016.