January 19th, 2010
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Mass Effect 2 Platinum Hits by Electronic Arts
DescriptionThe second chapter in the Mass Effect trilogy takes you to the darkest reaches of space, where you must uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of humans across many worlds. Prepare yourself for a suicide mission to save mankind. Travel the galaxy to assemble a team of soldiers and combat specialists, and launch an all-out assault on the heart of enemy territory.
Games Workshop and developer Whitebox Interactive have announced Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus Arena, a new multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
Whitebox Interactive describes the game as a blend of the twin stick shooter and MOBA genres. Players will go into battles in teams of four, choosing "Veteran warriors" from the Space Marine, Ork, and Tay factions. Players will also be able to customize their characters with different wargrear and special abilities. Eldar, Dark Eldar, Chaos Space Marines and other factions you'll recognize from the original tabletop game or many of its video game adaptations will be added to Dark Nexus Arena in the future.
Whitebox Interactive says that it's been working on the game since 2012, even before it officially partnered with Games Workshop, which owns the right to Warhammer 40,000.
"We are thrilled to be working with Games Workshop to launch the first MOBA in the Warhammer 40,000 universe," CEO of Whitebox Interactive Jonathan Falkowski said. "We are hard-core MOBA players with a shared passion for the Warhammer 40,000 intellectual property here at Whitebox. Our aim is to deliver a highly-polished experience that a player of any skill level can step into and find success and enjoyment."
Warhammer 40,000: Dark Nexus is set to launch on PC in 2016.
This story contains spoilers about a secret character in the Boss Pack DLC for Hyrule Warriors.
The fourth and final DLC pack for Hyrule Warriors is almost here. In addition to adding Ganon as a playable character, there's another secret, unlockable character awaiting players.
With the DLC having been released in Japan this week, a YouTube video (below) has surfaced showing that the Boss Pack DLC includes a playable Cucco. That is, a giant version of the chickens from almost every Legend of Zelda game ever released is now playable, and it can not only use its beak to attack, it can also summon smaller Cuccos to attack.
Unlocking the Cucco requires you to achieve an A-rank of Ganon's third survival mission.
The Boss Pack is due out in North America on March 12 for $2.99. Alternatively, it's included in the previously released $20 bundle of all four DLC packs.
House of Cards protagonist Frank Underwood is a fan of video games, and his hobby doesn't take a backseat in the recently premiered third season.
Earlier in the series, Underwood--played by Kevin Spacey--expresses his delight in seeing a PlayStation Vita in a moment that felt a lot like paid product placement. Later, he's seen playing Call of Duty against other people. online (After Spacey starred in Advanced Warfare, there was some talk of having him play it on the show.)
Now, in the third season, he's spending time on an iPad playing the critically acclaimed Monument Valley. And lest you think the appearance was paid for, developer Ustwo has denied that is the case, stating on Twitter, "People have been asking, so we can confirm that MV appearing on House of Cards wasn't paid product placement, just a cool collaboration."
That isn't the extent of the video game talk in season three. As Polygon reports, a video game reviewer--the fictional Thomas Yates--is hired to write Underwood's biography during the course of the show, and the subject of his reviews come up.
Underwood notes that he "tend[s] to play shoot 'em ups" while shying away from indie games. However, Yates' review of Monument Valley prompts Underwood to give it a try, which is why we see him playing it--and it's why he wants Yates (whom he deems a good writer) to pen his biography. Underwood is also later exposed to The Stanley Parable, another game that doesn't fit in the shooter category.
Season three of House of Cards is available for streaming now through Netflix.
Not satisfied with the game it released last year, InXile Entertainment continues to deliver updates for its crowdfunded RPG, Wasteland 2. Now, the developer has announced that it's expanding upon its original plans for post-release support, part of which will come in the form of a visual "facelift" for the game.
Having recently released the sixth big patch for Wasteland 2, InXile has outlined some of its plans for what to do next. "Part of the newfound freedom we’ve gained from being an exclusively crowdfunded company is that it allows us to offer a high level of post-release support," wrote project lead Chris Keenan in a Kickstarter update. "While this is normal practice for an active multiplayer game, we believe that the ongoing improvements to the single-player experience in Wasteland 2 are worth the time and money. The game truly continues to be a passion project for the team here at InXile."
Keenan then went on to reveal that InXile's plans have changed--for the better. "If you've been keeping a close eye on things, you might have heard tell that we're looking at doing some more balancing and improvements of Wasteland 2 in the future," he said. "We have expanded our original plan and decided that this is going to be a part of something much larger for all our fans."
Not many details were offered, but InXile did reveal the game's codebase is being moved from Unity 4.5 to Unity 5. As far as players are concerned, the benefits of that include better tools being made available for modders, as well as new technology that will allow for improved graphics.
"Let's just say that the Orange County lifestyle might be getting to us as the game will be receiving a facelift," Keenan said. "Unity 5 offers physically based shading, which is already starting to look amazing in the scenes we've touched up.
"As well as visual improvements, we have quite a few quirky tricks up our sleeves. The character system is getting perked up and will include some new elements to modify gameplay. Of course, more details will be released in the future so stay tuned!"
Wasteland 2 was released last September on PC, Mac, and Linux. It's the sequel to the original Wasteland from 1988, meaning it took more than a quarter of a century for the classic game--it inspired the Fallout series--to get a proper follow-up.
Crowfall, a new massively multiplayer online game from the creators of Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, and Star Wars: The Old Republic, has hit its Kickstarter funding goal of $800,000 in just three days, developer ArtCraft has announced.
ArtCraft describes Crowfall as an MMO throne war simulator, in which players take on the role of kings, queens, mercenaries, and assassins in a feudal world, where players battle for territory by building castles and siege equipment.
ArtCraft told GameSpot that Crowfall's central conceit is that players will have persistent characters that embark on finite campaigns they can actually win. Once you win or lose, you can move on to a new campaign.
At the time of writing Crowfall has $882,779 from 8,942 backers and 25 more days to go until the end of the crowdfunding campaign.
"We are floored and humbled by the response from our community," ArtCraft president and executive producer Gordon Walton said. “We hoped that the vision behind Crowfall would help it find an audience, but we didn’t expect to exceed our target so quickly.”
Artist Arcade is where GameSpotters go to check out some of the amazing art created by the fans. The Artist Arcade is perfect for gamers to show off their paintings, drawings, sketches, cartoons, sculptures, and Cosplay.
In this edition of the Artist Arcade, we're featuring League of Legends, highlighting champions such as Sona, Teemo, and more!
Special thanks to the amazing GameSpotters and Deviant artists who contributed to this week's Artist Arcade:
5-ish, vesner, MishaRoute, Nyanfood, JenRos, happip, tsukimayalessandra, applepopcorn, nutoske, dpremonition, nutsuchan, b-oots, claparo-sans, madthaigy, and usagidzu.
Check out our last edition of the Artist Arcade featuring Minecraft.
The Xbox One's latest system update introduced the ability to capture screenshots and share them online. Though the PlayStation 4 shipped with this functionality through the DualShock 4's Share button, its own screenshots are actually of inferior quality to the Xbox One's, as both consoles approach the way they compress and share their respective images differently.
When I talk about compression, I'm referring to the way each console reduces the file size of the image to ready it for uploading by reducing the quality of the image itself. Depending on how much compression is used, the screenshot can turn out blurry, or with a number of ugly-looking compression artefacts, which means the image won't look as good as what's on screen when you take the screenshot.
Although the Xbox One takes higher quality screenshots than the PS4, there are still a number of steps for both consoles that you'll need to follow in order to get the highest quality image files onto your computer. Let's start with the Xbox One.
When you take a screenshot on the Xbox One by double-tapping the Xbox Home button on the controller, it saves the image to the hard disk. To share it, you need to open the Upload app. You're given a number of different locations you can upload the screenshot to, but only two of these will let you eventually save the image file itself: Twitter, and OneDrive.
Uploading to Twitter does, of course, require that you have a Twitter account. When you share the image, the Xbox One automatically writes a tweet that contains a link to the screenshot on your Xbox.com profile--it won't attach the image to the tweet itself. This is needlessly messy if sharing to Twitter was your ultimate goal, but the knock-on effect is that you can source a less-compressed image from that link than you could if it were attached to a tweet. Simply visit that link in the tweet, then right click on the image and open it in a new tab--your browser should download a PNG image file with little compression.
Why do you need to share to Twitter, rather than directly to your Activity Feed from the Upload app? A couple of reasons. Currently, there is no way to move a screenshot from the Xbox One's hard drive to a USB stick by using the Xbox One's interface itself. If you only share the image to your Activity Feed, it will be viewable when looking at Activity Feeds on the Xbox One, but screenshots do not currently appear in the Xbox.com Activity Feed view--which means there's no image for you to save. Sharing to Twitter is the only way to find a link to that image through Xbox.com.
As an alternative to sharing a screenshot to Twitter, you can share it to OneDrive. This is a simpler process, as your Xbox Live account should also sign in to OneDrive.live.com, where your screenshot will be in a folder under the Pictures link. Open the screenshot in full view, and then at the top of the screen press "Download" or "View Original" to save the higher-quality image to your hard drive. This saved image from OneDrive appears to use the same, minimal compression as the image saved through the Xbox.com Activity Feed.
Though the PS4 contains more sharing options for its screenshots than the Xbox One, all of them except one greatly compress the image before it is shared. The result is a screenshot that takes up only one quarter of the file size of an identical screenshot from the Xbox One, but it also uses four times the compression--and it shows.
PS4 screenshots can be shared to Twitter, but unlike the Xbox One these screenshots are embedded into the tweet itself. The result is an image that is not only smaller than the native resolution it was captured at, but also greatly compressed. Similar compression was encountered when sharing to Facebook, as well as when copying the screenshot to a USB stick using the PS4's storage management functions.
The only way to retrieve a less-compressed screenshot from a PS4 is by choosing the "message" option, attaching the screenshot, and sending it to a friend's PSN account. That friend then needs to download the PlayStation App on their phone, open the message with the screenshot attached, and then press "Save" to save the screenshot to their phone. After this, the phone needs to be plugged into a computer via its charging cable, so that the phone's memory card can be opened in a file browser and the screenshot file retrieved.
This image file features the least amount of compression when compared to every other way of sharing a PS4 screenshot. However, it's still more compressed than the screenshots that can be retrieved from the Xbox One.
That title goes to the Xbox One, hands down. Not only do its screenshots feature far less compression than those of the PS4, but the effort required to retrieve those less-compressed images is far less than the fiddly workaround required with the PlayStation mobile app. Check out this comparison: on the top is a screenshot from the opening of Call of Duty: Ghosts on Xbox One, saved via a Twitter link to the Xbox.com screenshot page. Below it is the same scene on PS4, saved via the PlayStation mobile app.Call of Duty: Ghosts on Xbox One. Right click and open in a new tab to view uncompressed.Call of Duty: Ghosts on PlayStation 4. Right click and open in a new tab to view uncompressed.
Regardless of the screenshot quality difference between platforms, it's surprising that both consoles compress their images to such a degree in the first place. File size is a key concern when sharing content online, and a smaller image results in less time spent staring at an upload screen. But every screenshot a player takes is also a testament to each console's graphical prowess, and if they are to be shared amongst platform fans and potential customers, then each platform holder would want those images to look the best they possibly can. Though Call of Duty: Ghosts only runs at 900p on the Xbox One, and at 1080p on the PS4, the Xbox One's superior screenshot function makes the make look technically superior on the platform, when it technically isn't.
Given Sony's over-reliance on image compression, and Microsoft's haphazard Twitter integration, it's clear that both parties are still coming to terms with how best to enable players to do the work of showing off their systems through social media for them.
Cryptic Studios will honor Leonard Nimoy with a permanent memorial in the massively multiplayer online game Star Trek Online, the developer has announced.
"I want to once again express my heartfelt condolences to the friends, family, and fans of Leonard Nimoy," Cryptic Studios Executive Producer Stephen Ricossa said in a post to the game's official forums. "Everyone at Cryptic Studios was saddened to hear of his passing and we want to make sure we never forget the cultural impact of the man or the character he played. To that end, the Star Trek Online team will implement a standing in-game memorial to Spock and Leonard Nimoy this Thursday March 5th with our regular weekly maintenance."
Star Trek Online players have already gathered to pay their respects to Nimoy independently yesterday, as you can see in the picture above.
Nimoy, who's best known for his role as Spock in the original Star Trek series in the 1960s, passed away yesterday.
Atlus recently revealed gameplay footage for Persona 5 and teased a host of new features and characters. Avid Persona fans within the GameSpot team sound off on what they'd like to see in the upcoming role-playing game from Atlus when it is released later this year.
In previous Persona games, the player's character was on the receiving end of many phone calls but was never the instigator. It would be nice to have the option to call other characters and invite them to hang out, in addition to seeking them out at school or in town. Being able to send text messages to build relationships with characters would be a great addition which could serve as a replacement for the fortune box mechanic employed in past games. Texting would fit naturally into Persona 5's modern day setting and was also used to great effect in Catherine, which was also developed by the Atlus Persona Team.Another day, another phone call.
While Persona 4 Golden did offer online multiplayer of sorts, the experience was limited to viewing other players' preset shoutbox messages and tapping the screen to restore a small percentage of health and mana to their party. This meant that the multiplayer mode could only be experienced while in a dungeon, and never directly with other players.
It would be nice to be able to have more direct influence on a friend's game in Persona 5--perhaps an addition of the option to send items, both of the cosmetic or useful variety. Even a more proactive approach to multiplayer would be welcome, such as the introduction of a multiplayer-only arena where players could team up to battle together to unlock in-game rewards.Setting up a rescue message is fun.
The storylines of Persona 3 and Persona 4 took place within the same universe, and characters from both games have crossed paths in the past. The former also includes a cameo from Vincent, the protagonist of Catherine. Seeing familiar characters crop up again in Persona 5 would be rewarding to fans who have invested time and effort into the series, even if they are just cameo appearances.Vincent, the main character in Catherine.
Persona 3 Portable, a remake of the original Persona 3, introduced the option of a playable female protagonist. Choosing to play as the female main character changed the dynamic of how characters treated the player in-game, and in some cases offered completely new characters to interact with. Key events of the story played out from a different perspective, giving reason to replay the game from a different perspective.Are you a boy or girl?
The sleepy country town in which Persona 4 took place was interesting during the day but almost barren at night. Since Persona 5 will be set in a bustling hub in Tokyo, night time will hopefully offer a livelier cityscape. Exploring a busy city at night would be much more interesting, and hopefully the diversity of what the real Tokyo has to offer when the sun goes down will translate into engaging in-game activities. Think karaoke, themed cafes, and game arcades.
- Zorine Te, @ztharli
The night life in Inaba isn't exactly wild.
Characters in previous games were multidimensional, with unique personalities and issues that made them more than just Persona users. Each character not only had the Persona craziness to deal with, but they had other, more normal problems to sift through. Family life, relationships among themselves, personal identity... The best parts of Persona are when the kids are dealing with the ordinary on their breaks from the extraordinary. Persona 5 would do well to preserve these ideas, with a cast battling the normal and not-normal worlds like in Persona 3 and 4. It makes the world richer and makes you care more deeply about the characters.
- Alexa Ray Correia, @AlexaRayC
This seems like an obvious one, but just like with Pokémon, the addition of new Personas with unique powers would definitely be a welcome addition to Persona 5. New abilities, such as water or psychic manipulation, would switch up the formula so it doesn’t become too repetitive for returning players. Other modifications to the gameplay, such as it not declaring “Game Over” if your character falls in battle, would also be most welcome.Jiraiya casts wind element skills.
Each dungeon in Persona is fully decked out to complement the troubled psyche of the character trapped inside it. While the game nails the aesthetic of each dungeon, they sometimes lack variety. Trawling through multiple levels of a dungeon that all look exactly the same becomes tiring after a while. Since Persona 5 is being made for the PlayStation 3 and 4, hopefully the added power of the consoles will lead to the dungeon levels becoming grander and more diverse.Not-so-secret laboratory.
While there’s been no word on a Vita version of Persona 5 yet, previous games in the series have always found a welcome home on Sony’s handhelds. The option to use Cross-Save would also be ideal for those who want the best of both worlds: Being able to indulge in the full widescreen splendour of Persona on TV, and then being able to take your game on the road.
- Lucy James, @lucyjamesgames
Generally, Oblitus succeeds, in spirit if not in presentation. The influence of Dark Souls doesn't beat you over the head as it did in last year's Lords of the Fallen; instead, it reveals itself in subtler ways, such as how the reason behind our masked hero's existence reveals itself chiefly through gameplay rather than storytelling. You see it when poor Parvus can't sustain more than a few blows before the words "You Have Died" fill the screen and reset your progress, or how darkness and shadows cover so much of Parvus' world. It's a beautiful world, and while Oblitus opts for an attractive hand-painted aesthetic that evokes a gritty reboot of Castle Crashers, it's possible to catch echoes of Blighttown and Darkroot Garden reverberating throughout its interiors and forested paths.Killing enemies wins Parvus back some health, but the benefit is so small that you'll barely notice the difference.
The nods to Souls carry over to the combat, with the key difference that this is a fast-paced game that better resembles Mega Man or more contemporary platformers like Outland. It's intuitive stuff, for the most part, and a quick prompt when the game first boots up bidding you to mirror the action keys for either a gamepad or keyboard serves as all the tutorial you need. There's a sense, though, that Ullmann tried too zealously to Souls-ify his game. Parvus can parry and block with his shield by activating the left bumper and trigger of a gamepad, for instance, but the option never feels anywhere as useful as his ability to roll through most adversaries, swatting them with his trusty wooden spear before rolling swiftly to the other side.
Small collision issues complicate the matter because it's not always clear if our little warrior can block an attack at a particular angle or even if his jabs will hit. Parvus is thus much more effective when fighting on the move, jumping Mario-style over lumbering bog monsters and lizard men rather than staring them down behind a shield or using the option to throw Parvus' spear across the map (and suffering a slight respawn delay for the privilege). Oblitus' very design tends to confirm this bias, as the combat upgrades Parvus picks up focus far more on options such as gaining invincibility while rolling and jumping higher than on employing our little hero's rickety shield.Be sure to explore, as ridiculously helpful powerups sometimes hide in the strangest places.
In less capable hands, such challenges might be overcome by simply memorizing where Oblitus' monsters enter and exit, and recalling precisely when to make various jumps. But this is Oblitus, a name that means “forgotten.” Ullmann's game escapes such predictability through the roguelike elements of its gameplay, which shakes up the locations and types of upgrades, health renewal boosts, and even a few of the enemies after each death to ensure that each playthrough differs from another. Even the map itself isn't entirely safe, as elements such as corridors and platforms sometimes subtly extend to make room for more foes. The upshot is that each of Parvus' forays into his strange world is fraught with an exciting urgency that's absent in 2D games relying on extra lives and self-sacrifice for the sake of experimentation. When you risk losing everything, Oblitus says, everything starts to count.
That's a lot of abuse to hurl at players, particularly when it also means that some playthroughs will inevitably be easier than others. However, Oblitus keeps it manageable with zones that feel just large enough to deliver a satisfying sense of exploration while remaining compact enough to keep replays worthwhile. (There's even an achievement for beating the game within 25 minutes.) Elsewhere, enemies’ deaths reward you with a near-imperceptible bit of replenished health. The handful of bosses, while massive enough to take up huge chunks of the screen, usually require simple (although sometimes not immediately obvious) strategies that assuage the pain of repetition in the case of almost certain failure. It's like the kid on the playground who's just mean enough to start scuffles with you but is never quite unbearable enough to drive you away. Indeed, my main complaint throughout had little to do with the moment-to-moment gameplay but rather with the way the world is filled with too many surfaces that look like they should be walkable but aren't.Boss fights aren't forgiving of slips, but most of them rely on manageable strategies.
Ullmann does his game a bit of a disservice by so vocally trumpeting the influence of Dark Souls; this is something different and attractively brutal, although its component elements are familiar enough to make it accessible to almost everyone. (And if the considerable appeal of Volgarr the Viking proves anything, it's that publisher Adult Swim has a soft spot for punishing platformers.)
But there's plenty of pleasure in this pain, and it reveals itself in not only the richly imagined bosses and enemies but also Josh Whelchel's haunting soundtrack, which fares just as well off the screen as it does when Parvus is busy stabbing creatures of the dark. If you're up for some pretty punishment, Oblitus provides an experience that you won't soon forget.
We know this not because some omniscient narrator fills us in on the world in Republique's opening in-engine scene but in the same way you get all your information in Republique, a way that few games offer: you observe. You explore. The truth about Hope's new surroundings is out there, on the walls, in the newspapers, in the voicemails scattered around the game. Either the future or we're at least in a place with the future's technology. A foreboding "headmaster" sees all, assuring an unseen populace that all is still right with the world. Except clearly it isn't since you're surrounded by guards, people are smacking our girl around, blathering on about manifestos, the dangers of information, and the poisonous influence of a dead rebel named Daniel Zager, who sets the tone at the game's outset during the developer logos even more succinctly and ominously with a single quote: "I used to be angry at my government because I thought they weren't listening. Now I'm angry because I know they are." We are in a world of lavish accommodations, a place that resembles Xavier's School for the Gifted more than any sort of prison, and yet all the other telltale signs of a stone-cold prison are inescapable and in full view.Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
And so begins Republique, with a sense of supreme disquiet and a constant, ongoing bewilderment. It's that bewilderment that drives the game onward and keeps you guessing episode after episode through a mystery that's all too reluctant to hand out easy answers.
The dystopian nightmare is a compelling veneer for a rather simple stealth game when it comes down to brass tacks, though. Once you break Hope out of her initial confinement cell, your task is simply to keep her out of the hands of the Prizrak, the private security stooges milling about, keeping Pre-Cals--that is, the children of Republique--in their place, locked up, and under control. You do this by hijacking the thousands of surveillance devices scattered around the place, Watch Dogs style, and guide Hope from hiding place to hiding place, just beyond the sight of the Prizrak, hacking every piece of electronic equipment you can find, occasionally managing to improve your door access in the process. Republique's lineage shows here. Developer Camouflaj has a few Metal Gear Solid veterans working under its roof, and that game's stealth pedigree shows in the patrol patterns, Hope's hiding spots, and the more advanced reactions when the Prizrak spot Hope and give chase. The difference is that Hope doesn't have Snake's arsenal--or anything much at all, really. Hope can pick up pepper spray, tasers, and a landmine that puts the Prizrak to sleep. She can even pickpocket them from the Prisrak if she's clever. But for every item Hope picks up to just barely fend off being caught, the Prizrak get taser-proof armor and nerve gas. It's in character for the game at least since Hope is definitely shown to be a naïve character who wouldn't know anything about the subtle arts of murder and persuasion. But it means often feeling like Hope is hideously outnumbered and outgunned.
I used to be angry at my government because I thought they weren't listening. Now I'm angry because I know they are.
Or at least it would if getting caught meant death or punishment or higher security. Instead, losing means being marched, hands up, to the nearest confinement cell (these are, essentially, the game's save rooms), waiting for the guard to leave so you can bust Hope out. For a place that seemingly wants Hope dead and has no problem putting the boots to anyone who disobeys, they seem to handle Hope the way you would a bratty four-year-old, and it works every time. It doesn't make the stealthing around any less fun, and arguably, the infinite retries are often a blessing, considering the amount of Metroid-ish backtracking that you already have to do, but it does mess with the game's immersion.
Indeed, breaking the hypnotic, curious spell that the game can cast when it’s doling out more of the mystery is its biggest problem. When jumping from camera to camera, you have the ability to read detailed files on each of the guards, which would be a nifty touch, one that pays off in spades in the third episode, if not for the fact that most of the guards' files have a giant "Kickstarter backer" stamp under their country's flag and often reference their gamer identities. Early on, you start getting additional assistance from another Prizrak guard who calls and offers advice and information in emojis and a Stephen Hawking voice. He's a strong character, whose role in the facility is pieced together bit by bit and who just so happens to have floppy disks referencing fellow indie developers scattered all around the place as collectables. The game certainly has supporters in high places who deserve tips of the hat, but placing those smirking nods so shortly after Hope sees her first dead body or after watching Republique's media branch destroy a man's reputation feels wholly out of place.The inquisition's here and it's here to stay.
It's only a stumbling block considering how great a job the game does of world-building for such extended periods. For most of Republique, our eyes and ears are just as innocent as Hope's, and every new room is ripe with opportunities to learn something new, to find a new piece of the puzzle of what we know about the Headmaster's plans and ambitions, the rampant, terrifying censorship and moralizing, the journalism-turned-propaganda-machine, the failed, or the hostile attempts by the Republique brass to engage the leaders of the free world. The stellar voice cast keeps us engaged from minute one, with every hackable device giving us brief, audio-only glimpses of the outside world and Republique's black-hat inner workings.
At the center of it all, literally and metaphorically, there's just Hope, a frightened girl who just wants to see the world outside Republique, and we can already tell that she is in for some hard times if she ever does. Episode 3 drops a few major bombs as to who and what Hope might be, and it's worrisome stuff that threatens to absolutely ruin a girl we're already forced to tread lightly with. One of the only moral choices in the game involves that very idea of how much of the world's worst lies on her shoulders. Where Republique's gameplay is satisfyingly simple, the plot driving it on is anything but.
The dystopian nightmare is a compelling veneer for a rather simple stealth game.
Needless to say, despite its mobile game roots, the world of Republique is meant to immerse, to beckon the your curiosity, and to involve you enough in the city-state's ins and outs to get Hope, our frightened girl, out of danger. The good news is that, in transitioning to PC, the game remains largely successful. All that remains is for the game's two remaining episodes to stick what is undoubtedly going to be a rough landing for everyone involved.