Collapsed was just released for Playstation on March 13th, 2021. It was released for Nintendo Switch on August 27th, 2020 and it first came to PC on August 1st, 2019. Collapsed is a roguelike platformer where you can play as one of four Hunters and fight against hostile alien invaders. The game is the only major project from the indie developer Glaive Games. It was published by OverGamez, a Russian indie games producer. The gaming community appears to be split on their opinion of this game. While the game has received praise for the online co-op and the large skill tree, its also been criticized for its poor story-telling and repetitive gameplay. But there are definitely some features that might appeal to many gamers.
In Collapsed, our Solar System has been invaded by a massive force of varied aliens. The invaders intend to enslave all sentient life in the galaxy and it’s up to the player to repel the invasion. The rest of the story is told through messages that you can find throughout the procedurally generated levels. All four of the playable Hunters have their own set of abilities, skills, and weapons. As you play through the game, inevitably dying on your first couple of playthroughs, you’ll move through the game’s large skill tree and unlock new ways to strengthen your hunters. You can also craft over 100 different items to help you through your run. There are 9 uniquely styled locations in the game and the procedural generation will make it so that every playthrough is different. There are over 60 enemy types and 15 challenging bosses to battle at the end of a level.
Blast from the Past
Collapsed art-style is incredibly reminiscent to the flash games that were popular on the internet in the 2000’s. The way that the assets move and are drawn brings back plenty of memories from that time period. Whether you like this or not is a matter of personal preference. Ultimately, Collapsed is a roguelike game with potential. The online co-op is a neat feature that’s fairly uncommon among most notable roguelike games. However, priced at $14.99, there are plenty of other excellent roguelike games that Collapsed is directly competing with. If you’re a fan of roguelikes, you might really enjoy Collapsed. But is it as good as Binding of Isaac or Enter the Gungeon? Now, that’s a tall order.
Pacer was just released for Xbox on March 9th. The game had already been released on Playstation and PC. Pacer is an action packed anti-gravity racing game from R8 Games. Originally known as Formula Fusion and rebranded to Pacer in 2019, it’s the only game that R8 Games has released to the public. However, many of the developers at R8 have established themselves in the industry and worked on various major game franchises. This includes the Wipeout series, which PACER seems to have drawn much inspiration from. Like any good racing game, PACER lets the player customize their vehicle to their heart’s content. But where PACER really sets itself apart from most next-gen racing games would be the actual racing gameplay.
PACER takes place in the year 2075. Anti-gravity motorsports have developed into a world renowned competition between highly skilled pilots. But crashing is far from the greatest danger that the pilots face while they’re racing. Every craft can be customized in a variety of ways and they can be fitted with deadly weaponry. You could be dodging bullets and bombs the whole way to the finish line. In the single-player campaign mode, you’ll advance through 10 unique race teams around the world to win the PACER World Championship. But there are plenty of other game modes beyond the campaign.
Racing Around the Globe
Singleplayer and online multiplayer races have 8 individual game modes. One of these game modes, called “Storm”, is inspired by Battle Royales where you have to flee the ever encroaching storm as the battle races on. Plus, the game lets you race and battle on 14 different tracks that are located across the world. These numerous modes and tracks have kept people playing and kept people interested in the game. There are also plenty of other nice features that set the game apart. Every craft can be heavily customized to your preferences. So if you want to focus on the vehicle’s handling or speed, you can go for it. PACER also lets you create your own playlist from over 80+ songs in their library. This library includes tracks from many artists, including original songs from CoLD SToRAGE written exclusively for PACER. If you’re in the market for a new racing game with a twist, consider giving PACER a try.
Robotech: The Macross Saga HD Edition was released on the Nintendo Switch on March 4th. It’s a remaster of the original Game Boy Advance side-scrolling shoot em up game that came out in 2002. The game is based on the anime, Robotech, from the 1980s. The original game was developed by Lucky Chicken Games and published by TDK Mediactive, both of which are now defunct. The remake was released by the California-based indie developer Galaxy Pest Control, founded in 2010. Many of the people at GPC who worked on the remaster were also a part of the team that made the original Game Boy Advance version, so the game mostly stays true to its origins. The remaster mostly focuses on enhanced assets, models, and audio.
Blast from the Past
Robotech: The Macross Saga takes the player through the events of the first season of the Robotech anime. You play as one of the characters from the show while piloting a Veritech fighter. Veritech fighters are unique mech units that can transform into three different modes. You can switch between all three modes in the game. Fighter mode is like a military aircraft, Battloid mode is like a huge robot suit, and Guardian mode is like a mix between both. There are also special missions where you play as a Destroid. Destroids are essentially walking tanks that cause major damage to the enemy. The game features five playable characters from the show to start and you can unlock an additional five more characters by playing the game.
A Major Update
While most of the gameplay features remain the same, the game looks very different. The player and enemy models have all been enhanced to 3D. All the backgrounds have also been updated with higher resolutions. The developers also added enhanced lighting and various other effects. Beyond the graphics, the audio also received an update. The developers added soundtracks from the anime in hopes to connect players more with the story. Plus, you’ll be able to play local multiplayer on the Switch. You won’t need to use a link cable like back in the old gays with the Game Boy Advance. The game is only $9.99 USD on the Nintendo Switch store, so consider picking it up if you’re a fan of classic side-scrolling shoot em ups.
The PC Alpha version of Elite Dangerous: Odyssey is scheduled to arrive on March 29th. Odyssey is the newest DLC for the MMO space flight simulation game Elite Dangerous. Produced by the renowned British developers at Frontier Developments, Elite Dangerous is the fourth installment in the Elite video game series. Having started in 1984 with Elite, it’s one of the longest running video game franchises to date. Without ever having reached a deal with any publisher, Elite Dangerous was originally funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2012. After its original release on PC, the game has also been ported to Xbox One and PS4. Following its predecessors in pushing the bar for innovation in space flight games, Elite Dangerous: Odyssey has a wide variety of features that will likely keep players engaged for several hours.
Explore the Milky Way
Elite Dangerous boasts the extraordinary feature of allowing players to explore a 1:1 model of the Milky Way galaxy. Over 100,000 of the game’s star systems use real astronomical data. The game also features some fictional star systems from the past games in the series. Perhaps most impressively, approximately 400 billion star systems have been procedurally generated in the massive game world using scientific models. This essentially means that players will never run out of room to explore and the game can feel fresh to new and old players for many more years. While the game was designed to be played online, it also features an offline single player mode. The game starts you off in this vast open galaxy with a small spaceship and a bit of money. What you do and where you go from there is mostly up to you. There are numerous activities for you to partake in that will help you to accumulate more money and galactic influence.
The Next Chapter
Elite Dangerous already lets you play many different roles to make money. You can find work in mining, exploration, transportation, and trade. You can also go to the darker side of the galaxy and make money in bounty-hunting, piracy, or even assassination. Elite Dangerous: Odyssey lets players step out of their ships. Now, you can disembark and explore planets on foot. Many of the missions that were previously available will now be translated to missions that can be completed on foot. Whether you want to make money through combat or commerce, you’ll now be able to do this outside or your ship. You’ll also finally be able to meet other players up close instead of out in space. Elite Dangerous is available through the Xbox Games Pass, so subscribers should be sure to give it a try if you’re a fan of games in space. While there is a steep learning curve, this game is a favorite among many fans of the genre.
Star Wars Battlefront II (2017) was originally released on November 17th, 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It’s the sequel to the initial reboot of the Star Wars Battlefront series from 2015. Developed by DICE and published by EA, Star Wars Battlefront II has had one of the most dynamic and controversial lifetimes in video game history. Battlefront II (2017) took many of the features from Battlefront (2015) and expanded on how much farther the game could go. Deeply criticized for a variety of reasons at its launch, it’s received numerous free updates over the years that have kept many people playing to this day. The game has also just gained a fresh new wave of players since its addition to the lineup of games on EA Play. Regardless of how it was received by consumers at launch, it’s clearly generated a great deal of interest among shooter fans and Star Wars fans alike. So what went right and what went wrong with Star Wars BattleFront II?
13 Years to Build On
To appropriately judge Battlefront II (2017), let’s look at what came before it. The first Star Wars Battlefront game came out in 2004 for PC, PS2, and Xbox. It was developed by Pandemic Studios and published by LucasArts. It’s a Star Wars FPS game where you play as a common soldier in the Star Wars universe thrust into a team-battle. There are multiple classes, factions, and maps to choose from. Star Wars fans will love to play on their favorite planet with their favorite army. Shooter fans will love choosing their favorite play-styles and weapons, then jumping right into non-stop action. But the 2005 version of Battlefront II pushed the game to the next level. One of the reasons for the high level of discontent among fans at the 2017 release may have to do with the high bar set by the original Battlefront II.
An Ever-Expanding Galaxy
Incredibly, even the original Battlefront II still has a player base to this day. How can this be? What made the original Battlefront II shine? It starts with how much content the developers made available to the player. The original Battlefront II added a story mode where you could play as a clone/storm trooper that follows the events of the movies. Starting at the battle of Geonosis, you’ll eventually fight on the Death Star and deeper into the original trilogy. The original sequel also added various other game modes that added endless replayability to the game. The game featured space battles with numerous flyable ships. The game had hunts that pitted aliens versus the traditional armies. It added hero battles where iconic characters joined the fight. It even had a galactic conquest mode where all of the game’s planets were shown on a large map and you had to systematically conquer the galaxy, one battle at a time. The original Battlefront II was loaded with content that showed how much the developers cared about improving the game through its latest release. What about Battlefront II (2017)?
The Dark Side
Let’s start with the problems because that’s how the game’s lifecycle started. Hands down, Battlefront II’s progression system upon release was the most egregious sin committed by EA. This was among the most predatory tactics ever attempted to try to extract additional money from players who already payed full price for a game. Upon release, Battlefront II featured a progression system that required the player to use an in-game currency to unlock characters and purchase loot boxes. Opening the loot boxes had the potential to unlock new abilities for units or new cosmetics. What was so egregious about this? There was the moral argument that several national governments made across the globe, claiming this game was introducing gambling to children. But beyond that, the prices for every loot box and unlock were completely out of this world. To cherry pick, Darth Vader is arguably the flagship character in Star Wars. He’s the villain in the original trilogy who comes back to save the day and he’s the hero-turned-villain in the prequels. It took roughly 40-80 hours of dedicated playtime in multiplayer to unlock him! Or, you know, you could just buy the excruciatingly overpriced in-game currency and skip that. This presents the true tragedy of Battlefront II’s release. The game intentionally locked off so much of its content in the hopes that certain players would spend high amounts of money to buy them. Meanwhile, normal players would have to grind for countless hours to unlock anything. It wasn’t just the progression system that disappointed players about the game either. Battlefront II generated plenty of excitement because it would feature a story mode that was almost always marketed as an opportunity to play as a mysterious and elite storm trooper unit clad in black. However, it’s only about three or four missions in that you change sides and end up as rebel with your mask off for the rest of the story. Much like the multiplayer’s progression system, the singleplayer story mode wasn’t accurately portrayed before launch.
The Light Side
So what did EA do right? At the very least, they saw that consumers were extremely displeased with the state of the game at launch. Battlefront II has had numerous sizable updates, which have seriously changed the way that the game is played. Loot boxes were fixed and the cost to unlock certain characters has been decreased by as much as 75%. As the Star Wars universe has expanded and evolved over the years, the game has added several new characters, weapons, and cosmetics. No one ever complains about free content updates. It’s undeniable that the game is better today than it was at release. While it mostly received reviews around 6/10 by most games journalists, it now receives very positive reviews from recent players. Beyond all the changes that have been made to the game over the years, it wasn’t all bad at launch either. The graphics are fantastic and if you’ve ever wanted to play a Star Wars shooter that looks great, you can’t find a game better than this. Star Wars Battlefront II (2017) stands along Fallen Order as one of the most visually appealing Star Wars games. Gunplay is smooth and there are plenty of vehicles, weapons, maps, and characters for you to enjoy.
While EA definitely didn’t hit the nail on the head with Battlefront II, they did produce a game that can stand out on its own. There’s a good reason that so many people are still playing. It’s very fun to play with your friends and engross yourself in the world of Star Wars. It’s still worth playing. Combat is well-done and there are many different ways to have fun. But despite the fact that loot boxes have been fixed, the progression system will never truly be fixed for me. I would have much preferred a leveling system that would award you with specific unlockable content based on time played or successful gameplay. Even with all the flair of EA’s remake, I still prefer the original Battlefront II from 2005. For me, the memorable story, the superior space battles, and the unique galactic conquest mode keep the original Battllefront II at the top spot of the Battlefront series. The internet also has plenty of mods that you can use to add to the classic experience. Should a Battlefront III ever be released, I sincerely hope that they blend some of the great qualities from the original games into the next game in the series. Each game is available on various marketplaces and I encourage you to give them a try if you’re a fan of Star Wars and shooters.
Breathedge is a new space survival adventure game that was released for PC on Steam and the Epic Games store. After a run in Steam Early Access with overwhelming positive reviews, it was fully released on February 25th. While the balancing and pacing might not be for everyone, the game has received significant praise for its graphics, story, and humor. Breathedge is the first major product developed by RedRuins Softworks, but it’s published by HypeTrain Digital. HypeTrain is the Russian team behind numerous successful indie PC games, including Police Stories and Stoneshard.
A Man and His Chicken
The actual gameplay appears to take a certain level of inspiration from Subnautica. However, Breathedge uses its storytelling to find its own place and separate it from most survival adventure games. You play as a man who wants to carry his grandfather’s ashes to a galactic funeral. But you stumble across a much deeper story than what you appear to be walking (or flying) into. You’ll find out more about your grandfather’s legacy as you fight to survive against the harsh reality of space. As you continue through the game, you’ll be presented with more and more opportunities to craft items that will prove useful to you in the game. There’s plenty of danger in the expanse of space. You’ll need to manage your oxygen levels to make sure you don’t suffocate in the void. You’ll need to avoid hazardous areas to make sure you don’t freeze or burn. You’ll even need to avoid deadly robots.
A Trip Through Space
In Breathedge, you don’t just craft small items. You can also assemble multiple vehicles. You can ride in a space car, a small rocket, or even build a large space shuttle. By creating a large space station, you can effectively build your own home that can be personalized and decorated in your own way. You’ll even manage the base’s power and oxygen levels. So many of these features seem quite reminiscent to Subnautica and even the art style looks similar. If you want to make your own comparison, you can pick it up on Steam or the Epic Games store for $24.99.
Space Otter Charlie is coming to Steam, Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch on March 18th. It’s a brand new Zero-G Puzzle Platformer with an interesting team behind it. The game was developed by Wayward Distractions and it will be published by The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild. While the Seattle-based Quantum Astrophysicists Guild has only been publishing games for the past few years, the small team at Wayward Distractions have a long history of working on classic games during the glory days of PopCap. With a team that worked on classic franchises like Feeding Frenzy, Plants Vs Zombies, Bejeweled, and so many others, you can be sure that the developers have been around the block when it comes to designing a game.
Deep in Otter Space
You play as Charlie, an otter that’s leading the charge for animals who must escape from an inhospitable Earth. Inspired by other classic platformers such as Rayman and Mario, Space Otter Charlie will feel like classic platforming with a twist. He must navigate through over a dozen space-based levels where gravity will play a big role in the game’s puzzles and challenges. You’ll be jumping, floating, and rocketing throughout the game as you avoid traps and defeat enemies. The game also features numerous ways for you to become more powerful as you progress. You can craft new gear, unlock skills, and wear different space suits to fit different scenarios.
Beyond the singleplayer game, you can also play with up to 3 other friends in multiplayer. There are 2 game modes where you can either fight for food or fight in a deathmatch. Despite the relatively short list of levels, Space Otter Charlie features plenty of content for an indie 2D platformer. When you consider the unique gravity system, the series of upgrades, and the multiplayer modes, you can tell that the developers put real care into the game. There are even fun facts about otters that you can find hidden throughout the levels. If you’re a fan of side-scrolling platformers, consider giving Space Otter Charlie a try when it comes out on March 18th. It’s expected to be priced at $14.99.
Gravity Heroes was just released on Steam on February 19th, 2021. It will also be available for Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch in the near future. Gravity Heroes is a 2D platform-based shooter where players get to choose between 4 different characters. You can play solo or with up to 3 friends. The game features a story mode and a survival mode. Gravity Heroes is published by PQube Limited, the United Kingdom-based company behind numerous titles that have turned heads in the past few years.
The game takes place in the midst of a war between humans and the robotic-beings known as synthetics. The Gravity Heroes are a special task force that must fight back against the robotic menace. The player can choose between four different characters to control. The four Gravity Heroes are Abel, Magnus, Nala, and El Tostador. Abel is a jokester and technological know-it-all. Magnus is an old veteran that still has scars from his battles against the synthetics. Nala’s unequaled passion for understanding the truth behind this war make her a major danger to whoever stands in her way. El Tostador isn’t even human, he’s actually a synthetic with plenty of spirit and heart. Gravity Heroes wants the player to care about where the story is going in the campaign and they clearly use its characters to help connect the player to the story.
Flip the Gravity
Entering the ever-growing library of 2D platform-based shooters on Steam, Gravity Heroes had to differentiate itself somehow to stand out. The game does this by utilizing the “Gravity Shifter”. The player can change gravity’s direction and totally alter the course of combat. Pairing that feature with the game’s unique weapons and powerups can lead to a truly unique experience for the player. Gravity Heroes is priced at $9.99, but it’s 10% off on Steam until February 26th. Steam also offers a Free Demo, so you can give the game a try before you buy. If you want to give a brand new 2D platform-based shooter a try with your friends or even solo, consider looking into Gravity Heroes.
Derelict Void will be releasing on Steam on March 18. Its small and independent developer, Stirling Games, refers to it as a “galactic roguelike city-builder”. Derelict Void was started on Kickstarter, where it surpassed its fundraising goal. This is the team’s first game, so we’ll have to wait and see how it stands up to other base management/survival games. The team also intends to include a content creation tool in the game, adding to the potential value of the game.
The Unknown of the Void
In Derelict Void, you’ll be managing your ship’s crew as it travels through the endless void of space. You’ll need to consistently make strategic decisions in order to survive. A mysterious devastation has unfolded in the universe that you once knew and now you need to find a way to survive and extend the future of civilization. You must traverse the unending void of space to look for resources and other survivors. You’ll be taking risks and making key decisions that will play into your potential to get through each day.
A Future Community
While Derelict Void doesn’t really have a community, considering it’s not playable yet, the game will be heavily community-based once it’s released. Despite being singleplayer, the developers want to add a way for players to share their experience with others. Derelict Void will comes with an open content creation tool in the form of a website. There, every player will be able to contribute to the story and world of the game. Once your add your story there, any other player will be able to play your version of the void. It’s an interesting concept and we’ll have to wait and see what it ends up looking like after the game is released. If you’re interested in a base management game that takes place in the void of space, check out Derelict Void when it comes to Steam on March 18th.
On February 4th, CCP Games announced that EVE Online broke the Guinness world record for the most expensive video game battle in history. EVE Online is an enormous free-to-play MMORPG that is set in the expanse of space. The game features hundreds of different spaceships that players can own. The player can use this spaceship to go an endless adventure in a world that they share with a colossal community. While it originally launched for PC in 2003, the game has grown tremendously over the years. EVE Online has also had several free updates over the years that have added a great deal of content for the game’s players. CCP Games tries to make it clear that they are still very committed to the long-term player base of EVE Online, even after all this time.
A Community Across the Stars
There are tons of different ways to play EVE Online. Beyond being just an MMORPG with both PVP and PVE gameplay, it’s also an enormous sandbox game. You can be an explorer, a soldier, a miner, a trader, a pirate, and so much more. CCP Games does its best to create an opportunity for players to immerse themselves in a giant breathing world. There is also a vast and expansive lore in the game that you can embrace should you choose to invest yourself in it. While the game is free-to-play, there are various levels of priced starter packs to give a new player an edge. Dedicated players will also often purchase the premium subscription for the game, allowing for faster progression and unlocking more content.
EVE Online’s recent Guinness world record for the most expensive video game battle is the result of the Massacre of M2-XFE. Thousands of players logged into the game and participated in the battle that stretched on for hours. All in all, in the value of the in-game assets that players lost in the battle amounted to over $340,000 USD. Thousands of people had put years of their hard work and in-game progress on the line. The simple fact that EVE Online has created a world where people can do battle at such a massive scale is an incredible feat. Every player existing in the same massive world allows for incredible events to unfold that you’d never really see anywhere else. So if you’re a fan of MMOs, sandbox games, or space adventure games, then consider giving EVE Online a try.