We’ve now seen 2 of the 3 new characters.
Publisher and developer Dotemu, and developers Lizardcube and Guard Crush Games announced Mr. X Nightmare, a new paid DLC for Streets of Rage 4 earlier in April. The DLC would come with 3 new characters, as well as a survival mode. The first character was Estel Aguirre, a cop who serves as one of the bosses in the original game.
Today, we learned the second character is Max Thunder, a long-requested Streets of Rage 2 alum and one of Streets of Rage 4‘s bosses. As players will remember, Max isn’t a bad guy in Streets of Rage 4; he’s just being mind-controlled, and players have to snap him out of it, so this addition makes sense. Max looks like he’s keeping some of his boss moves, but the heavy hitter is also getting some new ones, including a wall jump attack and a ground pound attack that calls down lightning. Max’s reveal trailer, which you can watch below, also shows off some of the new music coming in Mr. X Nightmare, which of course sounds fantastic.
In addition to Mr. X Nightmare, Streets of Rage 4 is also getting a free update that will include a New Mania+ difficulty as well as a much-needed training mode and several new colors for each character. Mr. X Nightmare will be coming to Streets of Rage 4 sometime in 2021. Streets of Rage 4 is now available on Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and PC.
E3 2021 Is All Virtual And Here’s How To Tune In
E3 is a massive event that is usually held annually but much like everything else in the world, it couldn’t escape the coronavirus health pandemic outbreak. 2020 was a pretty rough year as we all had to transition into working from home and staying away from others. This meant masking up and ensuring you’re keeping a safe distance from anyone else in hopes that you’re avoiding the potential from spreading this virus around. While E3 2020 didn’t happen, that did prompt several companies in starting their own online streams to showcase what they were working on.
Now that E3 2021 is confirmed to not have an in-person event, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a showcase to highlight the different games and projects in the works. E3 2021 will be virtual and it’s going to work out so that everyone can still tune in and watch the presentations much like how we did at home normally if you were unable to attend the expo in-person.
This will take place online through the official E3 2021 website which will act as a hub. From there you can click on different virtual booths to see video conferences and events that are being showcased. It’s a completely free experience that everyone can register for and experience together. Starting on Saturday, June 12, 2021, the E3 streams will kick off for players to sit in and watch through June 15, 2021.
While this is not the E3 experience some fans may have been hoping for, it’s at least something to continue celebrating video games and unveiling what’s to come in the future. Of course, it will be interesting to see if these different game companies opt to return to an actual in-person event for E3 as it did seemed to have started to lose some of its edge with more companies opting to provide their own streaming event rather than hosting a big in-person presentation show. I’m also imagining there was quite a bit of money saved that way as well, but only time will tell.
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21 Best AAA Video Games Releasing In 2021
We’re just getting started in 2021 and after the awful year that 2020 was thanks to the start of this worldwide pandemic we’re dealing with. With that said, having some new games to escape the reality we’re living in is pretty enticing. In this list, we’re going to highlight some of the best AAA video game titles that are coming out this year or we’re anticipating a release within the year. These games may get pushed back but for now here are some games we’ll worth looking into. There’s no particular order to this list, a lot of these games are not out yet so it’s tough to determine just how they’ll end up stacking up against each other. Instead, here’s just a great collection of awesome video games.
#21 Hitman 3
Hitman’s reboot series had its trilogy concluded with Hitman 3 where players once again stepped into the role of Agent 47 as he began his hunt against all the leaders of Providence. This is still very much a third-person stealth game where the goal is to eliminate targets by going around certain areas of a map without drawing attention. It’s all about knowing where the target is, the dangers that may pop up, how to disguise yourself, how to eliminate the target, and escaping the area without ever being noticed or suspected. This game came out early in January of this year so you can get it right now across both last and current generation platforms.
#20 Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
The Nintendo Wii U was a flop console. It didn’t get as many units out there in the market to make it worth supporting and there wasn’t much of a third-party support system in place. With that said, there were plenty of first-party titles that were released on the console that should have been picked up and enjoyed by the masses. One of those was Super Mario 3D World and thankfully this game was given another chance with the game being available for the Nintendo Switch.
With Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, players were given the original title all over again where players could go through the platform title with a few friends. Meanwhile, there is extra content here so even if you played this game when it originally came out, the addition of Bowser’s Fury offers a new chapter for players to go through that wasn’t originally available for the Nintendo Wii U. Fortunately, this is a game that’s currently out now for players to pick up and enjoy.
#19 Monster Hunter Rise
Another game that’s readily available for players to pick up and enjoy right now is the latest Monster Hunter title, Monster Hunter Rise. This game is available right now on the Nintendo Switch platform but PC players should have a copy available sometime in 2022. With that said, this game is just like what you would expect from a Monster Hunter game especially coming off of Monster Hunter World. There’s a ton of beasts to track down and defeat while keeping in mind the different gear you have equipped. The more monsters you take out the more precious gear you’ll have at your disposal. Meanwhile, this game does feature some vertically here which means having the ability to explore the in-game world in a new exciting way.
#18 Resident Evil Village
Resident Evil: Village is currently available right now so if your Resident Evil fan chances are you’ve been playing this new installment already. This game takes place a few years after the events of Resident Evil 7. Now if you didn’t play that game then you’re still in luck, the developers offered a recap of the main plot points that retells the storyline of Resident Evil 7 in a few minutes. Players once again take the role of Ethan who has his world once again destroyed after Chris Redfield shows up.
Seeking answers to what’s going on, Ethan is forced into exploring an old remote village where there’s plenty of monsters that pop up, puzzles to solve, and just like in Resident Evil 7, this is a first-person perspective survival horror game experience. Unfortunately, it’s not available on VR like the Resident Evil 7 installment was so if you were wanting a bit more immersion with the PSVR then you’re out of luck in that regard.
#17 Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart
Insomniac Games is working on a new installment to the Ratchet & Clank franchise. This game is called Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and will be released exclusively to the PlayStation 5 platform. In this title, players once again follow the iconic duo in a new third-person platformer which has players battling against the evil Doctor Nefarious. Armed with a new tool called the Rift Tether, players can quickly warp around different areas around the map which means crossing large gaps that would have normally been impossible to jump over. Likewise, portals are opening up giving players a new set of characters who will work together to stop the evil antagonist from potentially collapsing the different dimensions. Currently, this game is slated to release in June of 2021 so we don’t have much longer of a wait to endure before we’re able to get our hands on a copy.
#16 Mario Golf Super Rush
Mario is no stranger to different sports games and we’re slated to receive a new Mario Golf title for the Nintendo Switch. This title will once again follow Mario as he and his friends will join in a friendly game of golf. There are a few different modes to play but one of the game modes that make the title a bit more chaotic is Speed Golf. This will have players hitting their ball in real-time rather than waiting for turns to take place. Instead, it’s all about whacking the ball and racing to its location all while other competitors are trying to sink their golf ball in the hole first. Currently, the game is slated to hit the Nintendo Switch exclusively in June of this year.
#15 Tales of Arise
Tales of Arise is a new thrilling installment to the beloved Tales series. While this is a long-running video game series that’s been around now for quite a few years, there’s a chance that some new fans had likely joined in from the previous hit release for the series, Tales of Berseria. This new title will feature a standalone storyline with the gameplay following two characters one from the planet called Rena while the other was raised on Dahna. Rena is an advanced planet that had taken control of Dahna forcing its citizens to become slaves, providing more resources to Rena. We’re still left wondering how the two are joined together in a journey and what the end goal is for each character, but it looks like this action RPG title is still slated to release in September of this year.
Arkane Studios, the folks responsible for the Dishonored series, is developing Deathloop. This is an action-adventure game that puts players into the role of a master assassin named Colt stuck in a time loop. The only way to break the loop is to take out specific targets around this fictional island location. If players take too much time to eliminate their targets or if they are killed in the process, the loop starts back over again.
To make things even more challenging, there’s another highly skilled assassin on the island as well with only one target to take down and that’s Colt. It looks to be quite the tense and strategic FPS title for players to take on although this is a timed exclusive for the PlayStation 5. While Microsoft owns Arkane Studios now, they are honoring the exclusive deal so this year in September we’ll get the game on PC and PlayStation 5 with Deathloop likely making a debut on the Xbox Series X/S platform sometime within 2022.
#13 Ghostwire Tokyo
Ghostwire Tokyo is the next big video game installment from Tango Gameworks. If you’re not familiar with the name, Tango Gameworks is responsible for The Evil Within franchise and they have a pretty notable founder as well when it comes to horror games. This studio was founded by Shinji Mikami who created Resident Evil and Dino Crisis while working at Capcom. Here in this game it seems to be keeping up with a bit of the horror vibe but with more focus on action-adventure gameplay.
From what we know so far is that we’re taking the role of a protagonist that can wield supernatural powers. Suddenly, all of the Tokyo citizens have vanished with otherworldly spirits flooding the area. It looks to be a big battle to protect the city. There doesn’t seem to be too many survival-horror elements here but again like some of the other games on this list, we’re still waiting for more footage to come out. Currently, Ghostwire Tokyo is slated to hit the market in October of 2021.
#12 Battlefield 6
Battlefield is a big competitor to the Call of Duty franchise. It’s another FPS title that deals with different wars. However, unlike Call of Duty, Battlefield doesn’t receive an annual release date. So when a new installment is announced, plenty of players take notice and anticipate the game. We know that Battlefield 6 is in the works and that fans are quite excited to get their hands on a copy this year. However, the finer details of what this game is about have yet to be made public. This is something that’s planned to be unveiled next month, June of 2021. As a result, you’ll want to keep a close eye out for the reveal trailer to start offering the main setup of what to expect when this game hits the marketplace later this year.
#11 Dying Light 2
Dying Light was such a huge hit when it first hit the marketplace back in 2015. This came from the same development team behind Dead Island, Techland. However, the focus in Dying Light was the parkour traverse mechanics that allowed players to quickly zip around the world as they ran off from hostile enemies that proved to be too difficult to face. Now Dying Light 2 will be taking place nearly two decades after the events of the first game where we’re left in the role of a new protagonist named Aiden Caldwell.
Again parkour is a big component here and with a larger world to roam around in. We’re left in one of the last safe havens around the world but with so many people seeking refuge behind the walls protecting them from the harsh deadly zombie-like creatures, some factions directly oppose one another. As a result, there are going to be plenty of choices available for players that will alter not only the story but the actual environment as well. This game was announced back in 2018 and it went a good while before we had any new signs of life for Dying Light 2. It was earlier this year that the developers came out with a video confirming that things were still moving along and that we should expect to see Dying Light 2 hit the marketplace within this year. We might not have a specific release date yet, but at least the developers are striving to hit the market before the 2021 wraps.
#10 Far Cry 6
Far Cry 6 is slated to release in 2021. We only have one cinematic trailer for the game so no gameplay footage is currently out at the time of writing this description. With that said, we know that the title will be taking place on a fictional Caribbean island that is under a strict dictatorship. With the president firm on controlling the people by force and raising his son to have the same views, players will be stepping into the role of a rebel guerrilla soldier.
This will be one of the largest maps for the Far Cry franchise and it’s left plenty of fans wondering just what all we can expect to see within the in-game world. There’s bound to be several different types of side quests, locations to visit, areas to clear out, and a slew of vehicles to traverse this open world. For now, we’ll need to keep an eye out for any new announcements or trailers that indicate more about the premise, characters, and of course gameplay footage.
#9 God of War Sequel
God of War was a massive IP back during the PlayStation 2 era and it bleeds through onto the PlayStation 3. However, it was on the PlayStation 4 that Sony opted to bring out a soft reboot to the franchise. Rather than the furious god-killing character that had no intentions of helping anyone out that didn’t directly benefit his goals, we got a slightly softer side of Kratos. One that was moving on from his past and raising a son.
While that storyline and game was a mega-hit and a title that was a must-have for the PlayStation 4, it was also confirmed that a sequel is in the works. We haven’t seen anything really for this game quite yet, it looks like we’re dealing with Ragnarok so there should be plenty of battles to be had with Kratos but for now, we’ll have to wait and see just what to expect from this upcoming sequel along with when the game will hit the marketplace.
#8 Call of Duty 2021
Another year, another Call of Duty. We know that a game is in the works but that’s about it. Activision has this game coming out in late 2021 and is being developed by Sledgehammer Games. If you’re not familiar with the team, these are the folks behind Advanced Warfare and WWII, while also assisting other studios with the different line of Call of Duty titles. There’s been plenty of chatter online that this next game is going right back into the WWII setting, but nothing official has come out quite yet. Whatever this game is based on, it’s likely to make some kind of a change or alteration to the Call of Duty: Warzone battle royale title. For now, it’s just a waiting game to see just what Sledgehammer Games has in store for us.
#7 Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite, this game should have come out already, or at least that was the plans over at 343 Industries and Xbox Game Studios. Fans were itching to see this game in action after the developers only offered slight teases and cinematic trailers. Then during the summer of 2020, we finally got the big gameplay footage to reveal and the results were below par. Fans took to the internet outraged at how poorly the game looked and seemed to be in terms of its development process. It was slated for a release that year alongside the Xbox Series X/S so when it looked like the game was outdated for a next-generation release and didn’t have the big wow factor that I think most fans were waiting for, 343 Industries pumped the brakes from all the criticism.
The studio was quick to delay the game, it missed the launch for the Xbox Series X/S and now it’s slated for the end of this year. We haven’t seen the game since, but we’re hopeful that when we do, it’s going to be a massive change to turn things around for this installment. So far the game is based around Master Chief where the focus of saving humanity comes up again. This time the bad group of hostels we’re facing off against is the Banished, which are led by some Brute mercenaries. It does seem to be a game with large levels and semi-open-world designs. We’re waiting for new gameplay footage reveal to happen to see just what changes were made, but we can expect to see this game come out sometime in the later half of 2021.
#6 Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Zero Dawn was one of the breakout PlayStation 4 exclusive title hits as players embarked on a grand journey set in the distant future, long after mankind had fallen. It was a really neat concept with mankind resulting back into a more primitive state with little information of what caused mankind to fall, to begin with. Likewise, the fact that the world was dominated by large mechanical beasts that these in-game characters viewed as apex predators of the land, there were quite a few interesting locations to visit and battles to partake in. Overall, the first game followed Aloy, a young huntress who was banished from the tribe as a newborn baby.
Taken in by another outsider, Aloy grew up preparing for a chance to return into the tribe’s life, discovering where she came from and why the tribe banished her like a newborn, to begin with. It was a thrilling adventure game and a must-have on the PlayStation 4 along with PC now since Sony started to bring out their exclusives to the platform. With that said, a sequel is in the works with Horizon Forbidden West. We’re once again stepping into the role of Aloy as she embarks on a new big journey. A plague has taken over the world by force and is killing all living things. To save mankind, Aloy sets off on a journey of finding the source of this plague and destroying it. However, for her to reach the source, Aloy is forced into venturing into a new foreign territory that will have her coming face to face against new mechanical beasts and hostile tribes. Currently, this game doesn’t have a specific release date attached, but it’s slated for 2021.
#5 Shin Megami Tense: V
You know, while we’re in 2021 and we’re anticipating some big-name title games, there are quite a few titles out there right now which don’t have a whole lot of information with them. It’s a bit of a mystery for some games and one of those titles is Shin Megami Tensei V. Fortunately, this is a long-running video game franchise at this point since its first game came out in 1992, but a new installment is coming out and we’ve known about it since 2017.
This will likely fall in line with the past video game installments of being a turn-based JRPG where you’re battling against different enemies and using element-based attacks. Additionally, this is a game based around a new storyline, much like the other games in this list so we’re bound to have some newcomers jumping on board the franchise with this latest installment. It’s a mystery if this title is still slated for 2021, but for fans of this IP, we’re bound to be getting ready to jump onto this game as soon as it hits the market.
#4 Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Quarantine
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six is another franchise that’s been around for quite a while now and we’ve seen it transformed in a few different ways. One of the more popular games that keep players logging online long after the game hit the marketplace is Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege. This is a team-based tactical shooter where players are having to battle against each other in closed confinements all while having a slew of weapons and useful gadgets at their disposal. It’s very team-oriented and it’s grown to be one of the more popular competitive FPS titles out there. However, we have another game that is offering something a bit similar for players and that’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Quarantine. At least, that’s the name currently, there’s been rumors and speculation that maybe the name might get changed with all things considered here.
However, it’s a title where players are working in a PvE type of setting as the enemy is an alien parasite. This is still a tactical shooter, but now we’re dealing with a supernatural threat or possibly an otherworldly threat, we’re still waiting to get those finer details. Again, this is a title slated to hit the marketplace sometime this year or at the very least before April 2022. So there’s certainly some room here for this game to get knocked off the 2021 calendar year at this point, but we’ll have to keep our eyes out to see if Ubisoft makes any new official confirmation regarding this game’s release date.
#3 Back 4 Blood
The Left 4 Dead franchise is huge although there are only two games available and the sequel was released back in 2009. Despite that there is a fan base that is dedicated to this IP, offering support long after Valve with new content and modifications for the PC platform. While Valve owns the rights to Left 4 Dead, they are not the original creators behind this IP. It goes to Turtle Rock Studios who has since left the IP to Valve after being acquired by the company. There’s a story here when it comes to Left 4 Dead, Turtle Rock Studios, and Valve, but to make things brief, Turtle Rock Studios was able to split off again and continued as their development studio.
While Turtle Rock Studios didn’t get the rights back for Left 4 Dead, they are bringing out a spiritual successor with Back 4 Blood. It’s another team-based zombie survival FPS game where the developers are aiming for it to be bigger and better in every way. There are more types of zombies to fight off, larger levels, a deeper storyline, and likely a slew of new weapons to make use of as well. Currently, Back 4 Blood is slated to hit the marketplace in October of this year, unless things go sideways and we’re dealing with a new delay, we should get a chance in playing this game within 2021.
Microsoft is bringing Fable back out into the marketplace and off the ice. This IP has been dormant for years now but it looks like we are going to receive a reboot here soon exclusively under Microsoft’s platforms. It’s quite an interesting title being developed as well since this is coming from development studio Playground Games. If you’re not familiar with the name, these are the folks responsible for the line of Forza Horizon racing games, but it looks like they are getting a chance to work on this massive open-world RPG title.
We don’t know anything about the game yet outside of it being a reboot. There’s only been one trailer so far and it was cinematic so no gameplay was shown or any details regarding the premise. We’re itching to get this game and we’re hopeful it will come out in 2021. Still, this title isn’t marked down for 2021 yet and it could very well be a few years away before we receive it. We’re just throwing this one on here, much like Elden Ring, as a just-in-case kind of scenario. If by chance this game comes out, great we’d love for you to keep it on your radar. With that said, if it doesn’t, again, this is a game to keep on the radar as we’ll likely hear more about this title within the year if we don’t receive it.
#1 Elden Ring
FromSoftware, you all know the development studio by now. This company has been around for quite a few years now, but most recently it’s gained some worldwide attention for the makers of an iconic video game Souls series. Dark Souls, Demon’s Souls, Bloodborne, these games are incredibly popular as being dark, gloomy, and pretty unforgiving. The combat is not for the faint of heart here and it keeps players coming back for more to endure the grueling and punishing gameplay. There’s a new IP being developed over at the studio called Elden Ring.
We don’t have the fine details yet and while we don’t have any gameplay footage or premise, we do know one interesting little factoid. The development team has partnered up with George R.R. Martin, a legendary author who is behind the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Now if that doesn’t ring a bell, this is the novel series that HBO’s Game of Thrones was based on. With George R.R. Martin involved we can expect some pretty interesting lore likely attached with the different characters and settings.
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5 Best New Fishing Games To Play In 2021
Fishing is a sport and a hobby for so many people around the world. Whether you’re looking to spend a relaxing bit of time in a serene location or having some fun with a few friends, fishing is a pastime that quite a few people can get behind. However, there are certain areas and conditions that make fishing pretty limited. In this list, we’re going to highlight some of the best and more current fishing games to have come out over the past couple of years.
#5 Ultimate Fishing Simulator 2
A sequel to the already popular Ultimate Fishing Simulator is in the works and slated to release this year. It’s not an old title either with the first game since it only released back in 2017 but the developers were taking in the different feedback that fans gave to bring out a title that had the same feel as the original installment but with necessary adjustments, fans were hoping to see out of the original game. The game is based around realism with different areas coming in with unique breeds of fish that you could potentially catch. Each fish breed is different as well and like in real life you may find yourself having to cast a line in the open waters, near reeds, or fallen trees to catch the specific type of fish you’re after. Speaking of the locations, there’s a variety of areas to fish in both aiming to deliver a realistic warm environment or if you want to try your hand at ice fishing but never could make it out to a frozen lake then that’s another accessible environment location to take up within Ultimate Fishing Simulator 2.
Players will need to be a bit strategic with the fish AI system as they don’t just spawn in the water as you cast the line. Instead, you’ll need to know where to cast and reel in at. This should be a bit easier to manage thanks to the underwater camera gear system that players can toss in and find out where the fish may be located. We also can’t forget to mention that the developers are making two game modes here which will either allow new players that may not be as experienced in fishing a chance to enjoy this game along with a mode aimed for the experienced fisherman. Currently, the game is not out fully yet but there is a demo right now on Steam that you can try.
#4 Fisher Online
Fisher Online is an early access title on Steam and is made to be an MMO so you could meet up with friends and fish together. This is a title that throws players into Europe and Russia as you attempt to catch the different fish available. There are no rules or licenses here to mess with, instead, you’re after the hunt on your terms. This means gathering the necessary lures and bait to use as you cast your different types of lines into the water. Being an early access title there’s going to be plenty of fixes and tweaks made which in most cases the developers are actively watching the feedback to see just what the fans are wanting to see changed up. As a result, you may see more gear get added into the game, adjustments to the mechanics, and improvements visually.
With that said, this has been a pretty well-received game so far by the community. There’s a good range of fish both small and larges so it just comes down to knowing how to actively catch these fish in the wild. Now while this game is in early access, you will need to pay $14.99 on Steam to play it and you’ll find that most are starting to make this their go-to fishing game. Since it first came to the scene in 2019, it looks like the developers are doing a great job at keeping the title updated so we’re certainly interested in seeing just how this game holds up in the next few years.
#3 Fishing: North Atlantic
One of the more recent video games to have launched into the marketplace is Fishing: North Atlantic. This is a single-player experience where you’re going through a career as a fisherman in the North Atlantic, seeking valuable goods to scoop up from the depths below for a big profit. From there, it’s all about making the necessary upgrades to keep your business thriving. This could be anything from the fishing boats you take out into the open sea or the gear you’re physically using to catch these fish.
Rather than fishing casually, this is a business you’re attempting to keep afloat. It can mean taking risks as you brave the tough weather systems that come through while using the best equipment to ensure that you’re on the track of where the fish such as GPS and sonar. This might not be a game for everyone especially if you’re just after a fun casual fishing type of experience, but for those of you who need a bit more of a challenge to the gameplay experience then this is the game we’re suggesting you check into.
#2 Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour
As mentioned, fishing is more than just a hobby. This is a sport that requires a ton of knowledge and skill to successfully catch specific breeds of fish. Some athletes do this for a living and bring plenty of sponsorship deals along the way. With Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour, players are given the chance to work their way up the competition to become the best elite angler out there. If you love throwing out a line and competing with others to see just what you’re able to bring up then this might be the game for you.
The career mode here is about becoming an elite angler as you challenge anglers from all over the world. Here you’ll need to use your skills as a fisherman along with the necessary tools and gear to ensure that you’re able to compete against the best. If the career mode doesn’t cut it for you then there is an online PvP option where you can partake in different online tournaments or simply fish against specific friends online in your custom match setup. Those of you who want a competitive fishing game should not pass up the opportunity of playing Fishing Sim World: Pro Tour.
#1 Fishing Planet
Lastly, a game that has been around for a bit longer than the others but still a title well worth playing is Fishing Planet. This is a free-to-play game with in-game purchases for different sports packs to make use of. Here players are given a single-player or MMO experience of just going out into the wild and attempting to catch the different breeds of fish there are in the open waters. You can select the different gear you have whether it’s based on float tackles, lures, rods, reels, or any other tools that may be featured in the shop.
Here you’ll find multiple locations to visit, different types of boats, and a dynamic weather system that provides rain, fog, or just a calm sunny day. With all that said, you’ll need to take care of your gear as the physics in this game is pretty realistic. You might find a line will snap or a reel breaking if you’re not careful about how you’re handling the rod. Since this is a free-to-play game, it’s one that won’t set you back anything to give it a try today.
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Hood: Outlaws and Legends Review – Stealing with Style
Hood: Outlaws and Legends is a new multiplayer game from Sumo Newcastle and Focus Home Interactive that clearly wants to do something a little different with the genre of which it is a part. Thankfully, given the game’s steady sense of progression, a decent amount of flexibility, and just enough overall depth, Hood: Outlaws and Legends can easily turn a quick dry run into a lengthy, and delightfully engaging multi-hour session. At least that’s what has happened to me every time I fired it up so far. Each time I’ve played Hood: Outlaws and Legends, despite its concept not being the best elevator pitch, I’ve found myself drawn in more than I expected. Its ability to mix its many borrowed ideas with just enough of its own spice is probably its strongest quality and the main reason you’ll likely find yourself hooked as well if you enjoy “this sort of game”.
Saying “this sort of game” might be a bit misleading though, and that’s what brings me to my first point about Hood: Outlaws and Legends; It very much feels like its own thing much of the time. The special brew that Sumo Newcastle has concocted here is one that feels like a more structured single player stealth game than something you’d find in the multiplayer department, yet, it still manages to feel like the multiplayer aspect is entirely organic and necessary to the overall experience.
“The special brew that Sumo Newcastle has concocted here is one that feels like a more structured single player stealth game than something you’d find in the multiplayer department, yet, it still manages to feel like the multiplayer aspect is entirely organic and necessary to the overall experience.”
After a thankfully brief and useful training level goes over the basics with you, you’ll be taken to your hideout where you can change characters, weapons, clothing, and go over your personal objectives and challenges. Once you’re ready for the smoke, you can choose to enter a full match with 7 other players, or a one-sided training mission, which is basically the same thing but without an opposing team; just your band of merry men going up against the AI. I highly recommend trying at least a couple rounds of this before jumping into the main game, as understanding the different characters and having some familiarity with the games three main tasks is a must if you want to be very productive in the main experience.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll quickly realize Hood: Outlaws and Legends is mostly focused on achieving objectives with your ragtag team of merry men, while another team tries to do the same. Only one team of 4 can win though, so you’ll be facing off against AI guards and officers (AKA the “state”) while also throwing down with players on the other team of bandits as you inevitably come into conflict with them. The main tasks include pickpocketing a key from each map’s invincible bloodthirsty Sheriff, obtaining the treasure, and extracting said treasure by using one of the level’s available winches in a prolonged process of somebody working the crank while others (hopefully) defend the area. As with any multiplayer gameplay loop, it doesn’t always go as intended though.
Some teams will just decide to bum-rush the AI guards, which will eventually alert the sheriff, causing him to start marauding around after them, which makes him much harder to pickpocket and thus can turn the pace of the match on its head, but even then, there is still plenty of fun to be had. Sneaking around the outskirts of the commotion can yield dividends for a good team as it allows you to claim advantageous spawn points, find smoke bombs, and locate other points of interest before the rest. This can give you and your team an advantage well before any of the main objectives are even done. So, while nothing can prevent all matches from descending into chaos or guarantee that they’ll get back on track, Hood: Outlaws and Legends does a pretty good job of incentivizing you to play it as intended by rewarding those who are actually good at the game. Experience is also awarded for doing other peripheral tasks and completing your own individual challenges though, so there’s almost always something to work towards and be rewarded for, even if a match does fall into complete disarray.
“While nothing can prevent all matches from descending into chaos or guarantee that they’ll get back on track, Hood: Outlaws and Legends does a pretty good job of incentivizing you to play it as intended by rewarding those who are actually good at the game.”
The moment-to-moment gameplay is what matters most here though, and the good news is that Hood: Outlaws and Legends mostly nails it. Hood: Outlaws and Legends has 4 characters a launch. John the aggressive brute, Robin the sniper, Marianne the stealthy assassin, and Tooke the flail-wielding mystic. Robin’s arrows and Marianne’s mini-crossbow reward a good shot and incentivize keeping a healthy distance while Tooke’s flail and John’s hammer can make short work of unprepared opponents. With the added abilities of Tooke’s healing and highlighting of enemies, Marianne’s ability to go invisible predator-style and pull off a string of easy stealth kills, John’s berserk mode, and Robin’s exploding arrows, they all have great reasons to be selected, and nobody feels redundant or unnecessary. They all have their own gear items and perks that add to their appeal the more you play them, too.
Presentation is also surprisingly solid. I don’t know if I’m just used to multiplayer games being half broken at launch or if this is some sort of rare exception, but either way, Hood: Outlaws and Legends looks great. The medieval aesthetic fits the darker tone that they’re going for about as well as you would expect. Outside of a few lighting effects popping in at the beginning of a match, I didn’t come across much in the way of glitches, either. The graphics overall, I’d say, are about on par with what we’ve seen from upper-mid-tier games this past generation with characters and environments looking sharp, albeit a bit drab – but that seems to be a deliberate choice given the time period. You’ll occasionally notice some cool effects like twilight beams poking through the trees and down on characters and the environment, but nothing too crazy. The audio package isn’t anything super special either, but it does get the job done with the highlights being some tense music and short murmurings from fellow characters letting you know certain tasks are completed. It’s not a showcase for that new set of speakers, but the audio in Hood: Outlaws and Legends accomplishes what it needs to and fits the mood well.
That’s not to say I didn’t develop a few gripes with Hood: Outlaws and Legends along the way though. While the 4 available characters are varied enough that most playstyles will feel catered to, another one or two of them would have gone a long way. With teams being able to have every available character in each match, Hood: Outlaws and Legends misses an opportunity for way more interesting match-ups that the addition of a fifth character would inevitably create. The fact that there aren’t more choices than available slots make character selection less interesting than it would otherwise be. There’s basically nothing for you to consider other than perhaps wanting one of each on your team for the sake of balance. Despite the characters themselves being fun to play as they are, it always feels just shy of being enough.
“Hood: Outlaws and Legends looks great. The medieval aesthetic fits the darker tone that they’re going for about as well as you would expect. Outside of a few lighting effects popping in at the beginning of a match, I didn’t come across much in the way of glitches, either.”
Similarly, I also would have liked to have seen at least one more mode other than the standard 4v4. You could consider the training matches a way to mix things up a tad, but given that they don’t add to your experience points or yield any money for you, there is little reason to play them after your training wheels have come off. Despite me enjoying my time with the basic PvPvE mode, I couldn’t shake the feeling that one more mode would have gone a long way. I can understand why the developers probably don’t want to risk splitting the player base up too much, but one additional mode surely wouldn’t have hurt. Perhaps something that resembles the training missions by putting one team up against an aggressive AI army, or putting two teams up against each other deathmatch style without the AI, would have really rounded the game out better. Either that, or some more variation of the three basic tasks each match entails would have been nice. Even as a low-priced game, I’d like to see more meat on the bone here. Perhaps they will add more later, but as of now, it is a bit thin. Even for just 30 bucks.
Despite some of the elements of Hood: Outlaws and Legends feeling a tad on the shallow side, what is here works great for what it is. It manages to bring a welcome twist to the cooperative multiplayer formula by introducing stealth, AI opponents, and fun tasks into the mix. The fact that it’s a Robin Hood game might help it move some units in the short-term, but when all is said and done, it will be Hood: Outlaws and Legends’ well-crafted characters, polished gameplay, and surprisingly long list of goals to work toward that will actually define the experience for most. While I would have gladly welcomed more characters and modes for the asking price, what is here is executed well-enough that fans of stealth, unique multiplayer games, or anybody just looking for something a little different have plenty of reason to give it a shot.
This game was reviewed on the PlayStation 4.
Hood: Outlaws and Legends looks great, plays well, and offers an experience that is the epitome of “quality over quantity”.
Despite being well-executed, a bit more meat on the bone would have taken this game from great to amazing. As it is, it can feel a bit shallow at times.
Despite many nods to Hood: Outlaws and Legends’ source material, the densely-packed progression mechanics and fun gameplay are the star of the show here. It stops short of being a total showstopper, but comes far closer than you might expect.
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