Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Review

It’s been almost two years since I wrote my review of Square Enix’s MMO, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. I was a big fan of what they’d created, especially compared to the mess that was v1.0. I even wrote a column about the game for over a year. Since that initial release, numerous patches came out, bringing with them new instances, Hard mode dungeons and Hard/Extreme trials, side-story quest chains like the Hildibrand saga, and of course the continuation of FFXIV’s excellent main story questline. Fast forward to a month ago when FFXIV releases their first expansion, Heavensward. This expansion brought with it an expanded level cap of 60, three new jobs, new zones, new instances/trials, and the continuation of that epic main story. For the last month I’ve been put in hours upon hours into the world of Eorzea and now I’m finally ready to give my opinion.

A Weekend With The Weaponographist

The Weaponographist, a fast-paced hack-and-slash dungeon crawler, released earlier this summer to positive acclaim on Steam. With summer convention mania behind us, we spent the weekend diving deeper into the game to see whether or not demon hunter Doug McGrave could redeem himself.

Trion Brings Action-Fueled MMO Devilian to West

Devilian, an ARPG MMO currently released only in Thailand and South Korea, will be coming North America and Europe with Trion Worlds at the helm. We spoke with Producer Andrew Sipotz, Program Manager Victoria Voss and Trion CEO Scott Hartsman last week about the game and we took our first look at how it plays.

At character creation players will be able to choose between four classes: Evoker (battlefield control and projectile blasts), Shadowhunter (whip-wielder that can alternate between melee and ranged), Cannoneer (tactical), and the Berserker (dual-wielder, plate-wearer). During gameplay your character can shift into devilian form, which is a super-charged winged demon form that uses its own ability set, enhanced stats, unique equipment, and has its own progression. By slaying mobs you'll gain devil soul, which both contributes to leveling up your devilian form and grants more time to be shifted into the form.

Andrew: "In the game you play as a devilian who has been awoken from a long slumber after an ancient war between man and demon. The storyline progresses as you quest; there's story for the class that you play through and learn more about the background, what's going on with the world and has happened since you've been asleep, and what the new evil is up to."

E3 2015: Rocket League is Buckets of Fun

Cross. Platform. Play. I was ecstatic upon learning that Rocket League at this year's E3 had that capability, even with control differences of a mouse/keyboard and a PS4 controller. The sequel to Supersonic Acrobat Rocket-Powered Battlecars, the team at Psyonix sharpened their skills to deliver Rocket League, a tighter game with a much shorter name. In short, it's soccer (or football, depending where you're at) with cars. The goal: scoring a goal by hitting the ball with your car. There's no announcer screaming out an elongated "goal," and we doubt that there would be any national upsets over team bouts in your living room, so rest assured that when your car scores the winning goal over a heated match of epic proportions, you can sleep soundly at night. 

E3: Sword Coast Legends Dungeon Master Mode

Sword Coast Legends, the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons RPG based in the Forgotten Realms, has been turning heads with the list of promising features that developer n-Space has presented. Along with the promise of a massive storyline and challenging gameplay, the game will also support multiplayer as well as a Dungeon Master (DM) Mode. We got to sit in on a preview of the DM mode and participated in the resulting dungeon run last week at E3.

E3: Elite Dangerous Excellent on Xbox One

Externally, it seems as if the greatest accomplishment that the members of Frontier Developments surpassed with Elite: Dangerous was cramming an entire galaxy into the game. I've always dreamt of setting course to Sirius so I could see the origins of the human species, but I might just end up in a space battle instead of between two unknown races of advanced powers and weapons. That's one of the lures behind Elite: Dangerous. We never know what we'll end up with in plotting our way across the stars. This year's E3 was an exciting venture into the dark unknown at the Elite: Dangerous booth, and ZAM got to see the game flourish on the Xbox One.

Path of Exile: The Awakening Hands-On Preview

Two months ago Grinding Gear Games announced the upcoming major expansion to their online action RPG, Path of Exile. While the game has had two expansions since release in October 2013 (Sacrifice of the Vaal and Forsaken Masters), The Awakening is a significantly larger endeavor. New story act with new assets to match, new skills and items, the addition of gems and sockets to their passive skill tree, as well as changes to UI and game balance. Because of the scale of these changes compared to previous expansions, GGG has been running a Closed Beta for Awakening since late April.

ZAM was provided with a beta key for coverage, so over the last month I’ve been playing through the new content. After a few wipes and your typical beta crash bugs, I’ve finally cleared what’s available in Act IV and can give my impressions.

E3 2015: Strike Vector EX Coming to Console

If you know my play style, you're probably aware that I'm a huge proponent of the keyboard and mouse setup for some genres of games. Playing an FPS with two joysticks will probably lead me to throwing the joysticks across the room and searching for a better control setup. Well, believe it or not, the control style for Strike Vector EX is one I actually favor. Rather than feel like I was controlling a wild horse with lasers and rocket launchers as the PC version felt at times, running with sticks and triggers felt much more natural.

You might be familiar with the hover mode in the PC version—with the advent of the controller, hover mode is the state every ship is in when they're not firing boosters. However, ships can't simply stop on a dime entering hover mode: they "skid" mid-air to stop. As far as customization goes with the controller, controls can be customized but not entirely. In addition to the "controller mapping," dual-wielding weapons has been pulled from the game, so we'll no longer see plasma cannons with homing rockets.

E3 Hands-on: Torchlight Mobile

Torchlight Mobile, currently in development by Perfect World Entertainment, is expected to hit iOS and Android devices later this year. An ARPG featuring online play and its own vivid, unique art style, the game looks promising enough to snare in lovers of the genre.

We had the chance to go hands-on with an early build of the game at E3 and speak to Perfect World about it.

Armored Warfare - Early Access Preview

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I'll be honest: Vehicular warfare games have never really been my cup of tea. So it follows that I wasn't expecting to have that great of a time with it. Boy, was I wrong.

Armored Warfare feels like the combat systems from War Thunder and World of Tanks had a baby. I say that in the best possible way. World of Tanks is home to a slower playstyle due to how the reticle aim works, while on the other hand War Thunder has much faster pacing and target acquisition is much quicker. Armored Warfare hits the sweet-spot right in the middle. Tank movement feels nimble, yet there still is that "weight" you expect from operating a box of steel death. Swinging your turret around toward the enemy feels great. The pacing of the rotation feels balanced between arcade and simulation; not too fast, not too slow. On the most-basic level, Obsidian has found a great balance between fun-to-play and believable simulation.