Subnautica: Below Zero is an Early Access game on Steam that’s been available for purchase since January 30th 2019. It will be coming to Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch in 2021. This is the second game in the Subnautica series. Subnautica is a mostly underwater sandbox game where you can harvest resources, build bases, and explore a strange alien planet. Below Zero takes place after the events of the original game on the same planet. But you’ll be faced with unique new challenges in Below Zero. There are new monsters that you’ll have to avoid. There’s a new set of mysteries for you to uncover. And as always, you still need to eat and drink to survive.
Under the Ice
Subnautica doesn’t have a direct storyline per se. Rather, you can receive radio signals that will beckon you in certain directions. When you reach the source of that signal, you might find something especially interesting there. Maybe you’ll find records of another fellow explorer’s journey to the planet. Or maybe you’ll find evidence that the aliens on this planet are more than meets the eye. As you uncover the planet’s secrets, you’ll be discovering more and more that the planet has to offer. You’ll be uncovering new alien species of fauna and flora that you can exploit for your own purposes. As you progress through the game, you’ll unlock new tools, base upgrades, and vehicles. These small victories keep you interested in exploring new areas and discovering more of what the planet has to offer.
Below Zero is still in Early Access so there’s still planned content that will be added to the game. For example, there will likely be more fleshing out of the story through more voice acted scenes. There are also still plenty of bugs that the development team will eventually patch out. They also intend to increase the performance and frame rate on all systems. We might also see even more vehicles, biomes, or other in-game items that could enhance the player’s experience. The original Subnautica was an Early Access game and that ended up playing a huge role in the quality of the game on its release date. Unknown Worlds Entertainment takes full advantage of the gaming community’s feedback to optimize their games and Subnautica: Below Zero will likely be no different.
The entire Far Cry series is on sale on Steam for 70% to 80% off. Published by Ubisoft, the Far Cry series has stood the test of time since the original release in 2008. Each game has a totally unique story and can be enjoyed completely individually. Ubisoft is expecting to release the next title in the franchise, Far Cry 6, sometime in late May 2021. But until then, we’ll just have to make do with what we have. Far Cry 5, released in 2018, was the most expansive entry in the series. It had the largest map, a well-crafted story mode with different endings, a co-op mode, plenty of weapons, a well-developed progression system, and plenty of other features to keep you entertained. Many players might even find some the most memorable parts of the game to be the cutscenes that play out between some of the action in the story. Like many other titles in the series, Far Cry 5 has a lot to offer.
Welcome to Eden’s Gate
Far Cry 5 is set in the formerly peaceful Hope County, Montana. The county has been taken over by an insane cult known as Eden’s Gate. They’re led by the charismatic and crazy cult leader Joseph Seed and his siblings. You’ll have to save the county from Eden’s Gate, one step at a time. The map is split up into regions that are controlled by each sibling. As you liberate each region from the cult, you’ll eventually be able to face that leader and take another step towards ending the deranged cult. Outside of the main story, there are also many side quests that you’ll participate in as you level up. The range of character can be quite bizarre, as Far Cry 5 utilizes humor a bit more than most of its predecessors. By the end of many side quests, you can gain a character as a companion that you can fight alongside for the rest of the game.
The Land of the Free
Purging Eden’s Gate from Montana won’t be easy. You’ll need to create a plan, assemble a team, gather weapons, and hone your skills to take the cult down. There are tons of different ways that you can go about fighting the cult. The game features many different types of guns, explosives, and vehicles. Beyond the usual cars, you can now fly planes and engage in a dogfight against other pilots. You can choose to focus on combat and go in to fights guns blazing. But you can also focus on stealth and try to assassinate your enemies quietly or from afar. The Far Cry games are AAA titles made by teams that put thousands of hours into its development. Pick this game up on sale if you want a fleshed out and massive game for a low price.
The Pope: Power & Sin is an indie game from Polish studio Forestlight Games that will be released in 2021. Playing as the Catholic Pope at the dawn of the Renaissance, the game presents the player with many influential choices. Currently, it appears that this game will likely be a novelty that a gamer would only buy if they really want to say that they’ve “been the Pope”. With sub-par graphics and confusing gameplay, it’s likely that most people will want to steer clear of this game. But, you might still be able to have fun if you play light-heartedly and find fun in some of the absurd situations that the Pope finds himself in.
Unholy Head of the Church
The Pope: Power & Sin is inspired by Pope Alexander VI, who served from 1492-1503. During this time in history, the Pope was involved in several scandals and corrupted the authenticity of the Church. As the Pope, you focus less on the Church and more on securing power, riches, and pleasure for yourself. You can unite the Italian peninsula and expand the Church’s reach. You can expand your wealth by raising taxes on the people. The methods through which you secure political allies can vary greatly. It’s up to the player if they want to use peace, bribery, threats, or even violence to motivate important political players. As the Pope, God will always be on your side no matter what decision you make.
Power vs. Morality
This game clearly intends for the player to look forward to manipulating the power of the Pope. If you think you’ll enjoy enacting out the corruption of the Church’s highest authority, then you might be able to extract some fun out of this game. However, you can tell that the game has a low budget by its graphics and animations. Don’t expect a historical RPG or political strategy game that will be on par with the greatest in the respective genres. All-in-all, this is a novelty game that takes place in a historical setting that is rarely visited by video games. If you want to experience the crazy situations that the Pope finds himself in, look out for this low-budget game in 2021.
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated is coming to Android and IOS on January 21st. The game was initially released for PC and major consoles in June and July of last year. This is actually a remake of the original Battle for Bikini Bottom, which was released in 2003. Updates from the original game include a multiplayer mode, cut content from the original, and updated graphics. This remake was published by THQ Nordic and developed by Purple Lamp Studios. Reviews for the game have been across the board, but the remake is sure to bring nostalgia to fans of the older SpongeBob games.
Are ya Ready Kids
Battle for Bikini Bottom is a 3D platformer. Most of the gameplay consists of collecting various items and destroying evil robots created by Plankton. You can play as SpongeBob, Patrick, and Sandy in these levels. Each one of these characters have their own abilities too. As the trio travels across Bikini Bottom, they encounter plenty of giant robot versions of classic SpongeBob characters. These giant robots make up many of the enemies in the game’s boss fights. There are also several other classic characters from the show that make an appearance in the game. You can also go to many of the show’s most iconic locations.
Aye Aye Captain
What’s changed from the 2003 version? Not much outside of higher-end visuals and modern resolutions. However, there is now an offline and online horde mode that lets you play with a friend. You can choose from a wider set of classic SpongeBob characters and fight against hordes of robots. You can play as Gary, Squidward, Mr. Krabs, Robot Plankton, and the singleplayer characters. This game is a family-friendly classic that tries to appeal to both the original audience and a younger generation of gamers. Retail price for PC is $29.99, but the mobile version will only be $9.99.
Flea is an indie game released by the one-man studio Lowtek Games on October 30th 2020. Alastair Low ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to create a platforming game that would support a physical NES release. The NES was originally released in 1983 by Nintendo and changed the gaming industry as a whole. Having been a huge fan of NES games when he was younger, Low wanted to create a new game that would run on his favorite old console. Alongside the Flea physical NES cartridges that have been produced, you can also buy physical discs for the SEGA Dreamcast or download the game on Steam. All in all, this is a very unconventional 2020 release with a fun backstory behind it.
Back to the Basics
Flea is a 2D retro platformer. It’s a relatively simple game where you play as Henry the Hyperactive Flea. Henry jumps around and navigates enemies that take the form of different types of bugs You also collect blood in order to complete the levels. There are a total of 80 levels with plenty of interesting characters in the game. Characters include the Fleadom Fighters, Humflea, Taiflea, and the Itchhiker to name a few. This game doesn’t bring much innovation to the table, but that’s the point. Flea attempts to entertain the player by bringing them a classic video game experience straight from the 80’s.
Like many of the games that appeared on the original NES, Flea can be very challenging. Although certain levels might be brutally difficult, there is enough fun to be had so that most fans of retro games will be able to get through to the end. Flea is $10 on Steam but it’s 50% off until January 5th at noon. If you’re a fan of retro platformers, then consider giving Flea a shot.
Transformers: Battlegrounds was released on October 23rd for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. It’s published by Outright Games, known for publishing family-friendly games across a range of titles from Ice Age to Adventure Time. Transformers: Battlegrounds is an XCOM-styled strategy game. The player controls a team of up to six autobots that include fan favorites like Optimus Prime and Bumblebee. In each fight, the player will battle decepticons in turn-based combat using coordinated strategy. The game also features an overarching story about the hunt for the allspark and the fate of the universe.
Autobots, Roll Out
Transformers: Battlegrounds features an original story with a familiar plot. Megatron is invading the Earth in his hunt for the allspark and the autobots need to stop them. The battles will take you to maps across the Earth and the transformer planet of Cybertron. On Earth, fights will unfold in desserts, forests, cities, and even Cybertron itself. Plus, each controllable autobot has a unique Ultimate ability to be unleashed when their Energon meter is full. After you complete the story mode, the game also features local multiplayer. You can team up with a friend and play in co-op mode against the decepticons. Or, you could go head-to-head in battle against each other.
Fights against the Decepticons
Transformers: Battlegrounds features 3 difficulty modes to facilitate fun for players of all ages. The digital deluxe version include four skin packs and Cube mode. Cube mode is a capture-the-flag styled battle where the autobots and decepticons fight for the control over the allspark. All-in-all, Transformers: Battlegrounds is straight-forward in what it provides to the audience. If you enjoy the XCOM series or are a fan of turn-based combat, then you might enjoy this game. It’s definitely unlike any other Transformers game released in the past.
Jump Force has recently revealed Yoruichi Shihouin, from Bleach, as the newest DLC character to be added. Originally released by Bandai Namco in February of 2019, Jump Force is a crazy idea for a video game. It takes almost 60 characters (with the DLC) across all the most popular Shonen Jump mangas and has them battle it out in a fighting game. The game also features a unique story story mode. You create your own character that can blend elements from your favorite characters across different series. This game can answer the age old question amongst anime fans. “Who would win, Goku or Naruto?”
This game somehow feels like it has a ton to offer, yet not enough. The best part of the game would have to be the extensive roster of playable characters. The game features characters from Naruto, Yu-Gi-Oh, Bleach, DragonBall Z, One Piece, My Hero Academia, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and multiple other franchises. Plus, Jump Force continues to add new characters to the roster through DLC to this day. This is possible because all these titles are published under the Shonen Jump name. Creating your own character can also be quite fun. When you consider that you can pull together apparel and abilities from different series at the same time, you can make some very entertaining and unique combinations. Jump Force does have a real issue though, and that’s what to do with this great roster.
To Go Even Further Beyond
While it’s fun to see each character perform their moves and occasionally transform into a more powerful form, this will get old without riveting gameplay or an entertaining narrative. Unfortunately, the story mode is bizarre and the plot is very hard to follow. It’s unlikely that the game’s story will deeply connect you to your own character. Beyond that, the actual fighting in the game tends to get old after playing for a while. Considering the $90 retail price of the deluxe edition, the game isn’t usually worth the price. The deluxe edition doesn’t even include the second character pack. However, the game is currently 75% off on Steam and is often included in steep sales on all platforms. This price is far more reasonable. For anime fans and fighting game lovers, Jump Force might be a great addition to your collection… if it’s on sale.
This long-awaited game out of CD Projekt Red finally arrived on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on December 10th. First announced all the way back in 2012 and delayed from the previously announced release date in November, this has been among the most highly anticipated video game releases of all time. The game sold over 8 million copies through digital pre-orders alone. This game features a wide array of game mechanics that inspired an incredible amount of hype for the game. All in the first person, Cyberpunk features drivable cars, gunplay, melee combat, stealth elements, expansive skill progression, choice over the story’s direction, character customization, and the list goes on. With so much to potentially accomplish, some of these mechanics might be hit or miss for certain gamers with high standards. But what most can agree with is that the rich and unique story is among the highest quality that you can find in a game.
Taking place in an alternate future, the setting for Cyberpunk 2077 is beautifully crafted. The graphics are among the highest quality that you can find on these systems today. You’ll need a high-end PC if you want to see the real potential of this game. You play as a named character named V, but the player has a great deal of control over who V really is. The player controls everything from what they look like to where they came from. The game starts with three paths that will influence the direction that your character takes in the story throughout the game. With Keanu Reeves casted as one of the main characters, the game’s focus is largely geared towards its storytelling. There are multiple endings that will be shown based on your decisions throughout the game. There are also various side quests that will directly influence your character and sometimes the city as a whole. Cd Projekt Red really wanted the player to feel like they control V’s destiny.
Wake up Samurai
Cyberpunk 2077 has so many gameplay features that it’s hard to compare it to other games. It wouldn’t be fair to expect driving to be at the quality of a racing game or for gunplay to be at the quality of an FPS game. Cyberpunk is really about giving the player the opportunity to choose how they want their character to go about completing the game’s quests. There are currently a wide range of bugs and issues that players have been running into, but these are very likely to be patched out in the near future. It’s possible that some of the specific mechanics might also be adjusted to improve the game even more. CD Projekt Red worked on Witcher 3 after its release and made very real improvements to the game. You can nearly guarantee that they will do the same for Cyberpunk.
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