Gaming News

Sign-Up For Code Vein Network Test And Play The Souls-Like Game Before Launch

Bandai Namco has announced Code Vein will have a network test prior to launch, which will allow people to try out the game. An exact timeframe for the test hasn’t been revealed yet, but sign-ups are already live on Bandai Namco’s website.

Code Vein is releasing on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, but the network test for the game is only going live on consoles. As it’s a network test, the multiplayer features will be live, allowing you to play with a friend. The test only covers Chapter 1 of the game, which is Code Vein’s character creator, tutorial, and first area. Chapter 1 ends with a boss fight, the reveal of Code Vein’s first major NPC buddy, and the introduction of the game’s hub area.

If you want to know exactly what Chapter 1 entails, we played through it at a preview event. Our battles through the game’s opening area and first boss can be seen in the video embedded above. A Souls-like game, Code Vein takes inspiration–both mechanically and thematically–from both Dark Souls and Bloodborne. However, the game does differentiate itself with its Blood Codes. These encourage you to regularly respec your character’s stats and adapt your playstyle on the fly. Unfortunately, the game seems predisposed towards melee-focused builds. That said, you can specialize your character in the use of blood magic or rifles.

In Code Vein, you can equip one of eight different Blood Codes to boost your stats in different ways. Each Blood Code also allows you to equip up to eight different Gifts as well, most of which allow you to pull off a supernatural, vampiric-like ability. Specific Gifts and weapons can only be equipped with certain Blood Codes, creating many unique playstyles. The Fighter Blood Code specializes in slow but powerful melee combat, for example, while Prometheus transforms you into a fast rogue-like character who utilizes dodges and parries. Not all Blood Codes are tied to combat either. The Mercury Blood Code, for instance, is ideal for exploring the world, as it gives you balanced stats for journeying through any type of environment and extra stamina so you can quickly run everywhere.

After delaying Code Vein, Bandai Namco did not reveal a new release date for the game. Currently, Code Vein is scheduled to launch sometime in 2019.

from GameSpot – Game News

Loot Boxes May Become Illegal In US If New Bill Passes

US Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) announced he is introducing a bill that would potentially bar the sale of loot boxes in certain video games. If enacted, Hawley’s bill, called The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act, would ban loot boxes and “pay-to-win” microtransactions in titles targeted at or popular among minors, likening the business model to addiction.

“Social media and video games prey on user addiction, siphoning our kids’ attention from the real world and extracting profits from fostering compulsive habits,” Senator Hawley said in a statement. “No matter this business model’s advantages to the tech industry, one thing is clear: there is no excuse for exploiting children through such practices. When a game is designed for kids, game developers shouldn’t be allowed to monetize addiction. Game developers who knowingly exploit children should face legal consequences.”

Hawley cites the popular mobile title Candy Crush Saga as an example, as it allows players to purchase a $150 “Luscious Bundle” to make the game easier, though it is certainly far from the only title to offer these kinds of spending options. A large number of mobile games are designed to encourage microtransactions, and many of today’s most popular PC and console games, including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Rocket League, and Overwatch, give players the option to purchase loot boxes that contain a randomized assortment of cosmetic items.

Hawley’s bill will first need to pass the Senate and then the House of Representatives before potentially becoming a law, but this isn’t the first time US lawmakers have taken aim at the practice. Last February, Hawaii state representative Chris Lee put forward a bill seeking to limit the sale of video games with “gambling-like mechanisms” to people under the age of 21. Other countries have also undertaken investigations into whether or not loot boxes constituted gambling.

Follow Hawley’s announcement, the Entertainment Software Association released a statement in response to the proposed legislation. “Numerous countries, including Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, determined that loot boxes do not constitute gambling. We look forward to sharing with the senator the tools and information the industry already provides that keeps the control of in-game spending in parents’ hands. Parents already have the ability to limit or prohibit in-game purchases with easy to use parental controls.”

Loot boxes have been a point of controversy in the industry for many years. 2017’s Star Wars Battlefront II, for instance, garnered a lot of criticism and backlash for the way it initially incorporated microtransactions, effectively tying them to your progression. In response, publisher EA removed all loot boxes from the game just prior to launch, but that didn’t help stem the push for anti-loot box legislation.

from GameSpot – Game News

John Wick Game Confirmed, PC Edition Exclusive To Epic Games Store

Thomas Was Alone and Volume developer Mike Bithell has announced his studio Bithell Games’ next game, and it’s a “fast-paced, action-oriented” strategy game based on the John Wick movie series. John Wick Hex is coming to unspecified consoles as well as PC; it’ll be exclusive to the Epic Games Store on PC and Mac at launch.

John Wick Hex is described as “fight-choreographed chess brought to life as a video game.” The game, which was developed in cooperation with the minds behind the film series, aims to “captur[e] the series’ signature gun-fu style while expanding its story universe.”

Here is more from the game’s official description: “Players must choose every action and attack they make, while considering their immediate cost and consequences. Every move in John Wick Hex feels like a scene from the movies, and every fight contributes to your progress on the job and requires precise strategic thinking.”

Hex features an original story separate from the film series. As players progress they will unlock more weapons, as well as new suits for John Wick and more locations to explore. Regarding the gunplay, a press release mentions that players will need to strategically consider the weapon they use for the specific battle in front of them. Not only that, “ammo is finite and realistically simulated, so time your reloads and make the most of weapons you scavenge on the job,” the developers say.

Regarding the art style, Hex aims to offer a “unique graphic noir art design.” The game also features the voices of John Wick actors Ian McShane and Lance Reddick; more cast members will be announced later. It’s unclear if Keanu Reeves, who plays Wick in the movies, will be involved.

Check out the Hex announcement trailer embedded above to see the first gameplay and more. No release date was announced.

The announcement of Hex comes just days before the third John Wick movie, John Wick: Parabellum, comes to theatres on May 15. This is not the first John Wick game, as a VR game–John Wick Chronicles–was released last year. It also doesn’t mark the only expansion of the universe, as we know a John Wick TV series is in the works, with Reeves onboard as executive producer.

from GameSpot – Game News

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