All posts by Mark Smith

I've been an avid gamer since I stumbled upon ZORK running in my local Radio Shack in 1980. Ten years later I was working for Sierra Online. Since then I've owned nearly every game system and most of the games to go with them. Not sure if 40 years of gaming qualifies me to write reviews, but I do it anyway.

Become a Racing Legend – A Thrilling Next-generation Motorsport Story From Codemasters Launching In 2022

Codemasters® and Electronic Arts Inc. today announced GRID™ Legends, a high-stakes driving experience that combines thrilling motorsport action, incredible race variety and an immersive story that puts the player at the heart of the action. Featuring the series’ renowned race handling, GRID Legends delivers exciting, unpredictable racing across traditional race tracks and city circuits. The game also boasts a race creator that will enable players to select mixed-class vehicles and battle across all circuits, including new city locations, London and Moscow. GRID Legends will be released in 2022 on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation®5, alongside PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

The legendary GRID World Series returns and, this year, players are front and centre in a fly-on-the-wall documentary that captures every moment on and off the track. Drivers encounter fierce personalities, internal team politics and the infamous Ravenwest Motorsport, which hopes to take a sixth World Championship. Developed using innovative virtual production, which brings players closer to the action, the underdog tale features an eclectic cast, including award-winning British actor Ncuti Gatwa.

GRID Legends delivers drama across every inch of the track. Unique driver personality AI creates unpredictable racing as cars jostle for a place on the podium. Compete on over 130 routes, including real-life tracks such as Brands Hatch and Indianapolis, to iconic GRID city circuits like San Francisco, Paris, and more. Race and upgrade over 100 vehicles from classic touring cars to big rigs, single-seaters, to stadium trucks. With the inclusion of the race creator, players can take their favourite mixed-class rides onto the track and battle it out online.

“GRID Legends combines everything our players love and adds more exhilarating race features, including our new epic story mode,” said Chris Smith, GRID Game Director at Codemasters. “We’re giving players more variety and choice, whether that’s creating their ultimate races using our race creator or bringing back the community-requested Drift mode. This is just the start of the journey, and we can’t wait to reveal more in the coming months.”

For the latest GRID news, go to the website and social channels on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Zombieland VR: Headshot Fever Coming to Steam July 29th

Zombieland VR: Headshot Fever, the award-winning arcade light-gun style shooter built for VR, is coming to Steam on July 29.   Since its release on Oculus Quest in March 2021, Zombieland VR: Headshot Fever has:

  • Been nominated for ‘VR Game of the Year’ at the 2021 VR Awards
  • Received over 340 Oculus Store ratings with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5
  • Reached the top ten Oculus sales charts
  • Been featured twice in the ‘Games We Love’ section on the Oculus Store
  • Won ‘Best Video / Audio’ in the VR category at the 2021 NYX Awards

Features

  • Built for VR – Bringing arcade light-gun action back from the dead, and into your home
  • Bullet Time – Two headshots in a row make the world slow, use it to your advantage
  • Leaderboards – Challenge your friends, beat their times, and climb the global leaderboards
  • Weapons – Unlock shotguns, revolvers, and SMGs to set better times
  • Upgrades – Improve your weapons with powerful upgrades and perks
  • Shooting Range – Increase your skills and train up before taking on the undead
  • The Zombieland Invitational – Take on the fastest, most dangerous zombie-killing racecourse ever devised

To promote the launch of Zombieland VR: Headshot Fever on Steam, there will be a launch day broadcast of the game on the Steam store page, with thousands of dollars worth of prizes to give away.

Truck Driver – Premium Edition to launch for PlayStation®5 and Xbox Series X|S on September 30

Truck Driver is set to launch as Truck Driver – Premium Edition on PlayStation® 5 and Xbox Series X|S on September 30 this year. This Premium Edition will contain revamped truck models and will utilize the graphics-processing capabilities of the next-gen consoles. All previous DLC are also included, such as the ‘Paint Jobs’ DLCs, the ‘Hidden Places & Damage System’ DLC, as well as the recently-announced ‘Heading North’ DLC.

In this Premium Edition, choose between resembling the pride of either the US, Germany, France or the UK with the ‘Paint Jobs’ DLCs. Additionally, a damage system is also included with the ‘Hidden Places & Damage System’ DLC, along with three hidden locations and five new AI vehicles. Lastly, included is also a brand-new map that features Nordic-inspired landscapes and a scenic country called Mangefjell. The trailers, trucks and cargos have also been remodeled to work with next-gen consoles.

About Truck Driver
Live your dream to the fullest as a Truck Driver with Truck Driver Premium Edition! After inheriting a truck from your father, now it’s time to make a name for yourself. Whether you want to build stronger relationships and earn the respect of the local community by completing jobs, explore diverse landscapes and interesting locations, or make your truck stand out by customizing it to your liking – the choice is all yours.

The Premium Edition includes:

  • Truck Driver base game
  • Paint Jobs DLCs
  • Hidden Places & Damage System DLC
  • Heading North map DLC
  • 10 new tracks added to the OST

Harvest Moon: One World Coming to Xbox One and Xbox Series X

Natsume Inc., a worldwide developer and publisher of family-oriented video games, today announced Harvest Moon: One World will be launching this August on Xbox One and Xbox Series X. The game is rated E for Everyone and will retail for $49.99 USD. In addition, all four DLC packs for the game will be available for purchase at launch, either individually, or in a bundle! The game can be pre-ordered today at GameStop.

A New Harvest Moon with Global Appeal! Take a trip around the world in the latest entry in the long-running Harvest Moon series! Players will ride camels across the deserts of Pastilla, venture deep into the snowy mountains of Salmiakki, and even visit a volcano near the cozy mountain town of Lebkuchen!

Can you imagine a world without cabbage, tomatoes, or even carrots? Believe it or not, that’s the world you’ll find yourself in at the beginning of Harvest Moon: One World, as the Harvest Goddess, the queen of crops herself, has vanished…

However, before the Harvest Goddess disappeared from this world, she imbued the tiny Harvest Wisps with the knowledge of various seeds, thus ensuring the various fruits and vegetables of the world would not be lost. Using the power given to these Harvest Wisps, you’ll unlock various seeds as you progress through the game! But the Harvest Wisps can be tricky to find, as they all appear at different times and places. You’ll need to use your noggin to make sure you seek out as many of them as you can!

  • Explore 5 unique and colorful areas: the sprawling grasslands of Calisson, the gorgeous beaches of Halo Halo, the searing desert heat of Pastilla, the cozy hills of Lebkuchen, and the snowy mountains of Salmiakki!
  • Play as a boy or a girl and woo one of 5 handsome bachelors and 5 beautiful bachelorettes, each with their own unique personality and backstory!
  • Raise and keep animals such as cows, sheep, goats, and even reindeer!
  • Use your Expando-Farm to easily travel from one area to another!

The farming fun continues in four DLC packs! The Interior Design & Tool Upgrade Pack, Far East Adventure Pack, Precious Pets Pack, and Mythical Wild Animals Pack are available for purchase at launch!

Interior Design & Tool Upgrade Pack

Live your best life! Customize the interior of your house with 5 fabulous designs! You will also be able to upgrade your hoe, watering can, hammer, axe, and fishing rod an additional level, making growing crops, fishing, and mining easier and faster! This pack includes an additional level for all of your tools and five Different Interior Design Sets: Farm, Castle, Steampunk, Spaceship, and Starlight!

Far East Adventure Pack

A whole new world! A new chapter, new characters, and even new crops await you in the Far East Adventure Pack! Unlock an entire island! Explore the exotic land of Wagashi! Woo the locals! Meet new animals! Play though an entire new chapter in the game as you explore exotic Wagashi! Woo a new bachelor and bachelorette: the stoic Shogen and the cheery Sana! Plant new crops like rice, chop down bamboo trees, and meet some amazing new animals!

Precious Pets Pack

Adorableness Overload! From Siamese cats to silver dapple horses, the Precious Pets Pack includes 12 unique animals that will love settling down on your farm!

Mythical Wild Animals Pack

Not just in fairy tales! Chocolate mint tigers and lava rabbits, oh my! Those are just two of the 10 fanciful wild animals you will unlock in the Mythical Wild Animals Pack!

To learn more about all DLC Packs, visit the Natsume blog.

Harvest Moon: One World is rated E for Everyone by the ESRB and is currently available for $49.99 USD on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4.

Hindsight 20/20: Wrath of the Raakshasa Launches 9 Sept. on PC and Consoles

Hindsight 20/20 – Wrath of the Raakshasa, the action-RPG with morality-based decisions from the BioWare, ArenaNet, and Sucker Punch veterans at Triple-I Games, takes players on an epic journey full of difficult decisions on PlayStation®5, PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Windows via Steam on Thursday, 9 September.

Young one-armed warrior Jehan stands between two wildly different worlds. Growing up in the kingdom of Champaner, he learned to abhor violence. He chose pacifism whenever possible, at worst using a stun baton in self-defense. That was before his father’s murder, before the virus started turning Champaner’s citizens into bloodthirsty Raakshasas. Now Jehan finds himself at the crossroads of fate itself, and his decisions will shape the future of the entire world.

Mold the future, one choice at a time. Uphold Champaner’s values with a stun rod in Merciful combat, or embrace the sweet finality of sharpened steel in Ruthless battle. Wield special abilities from throwing the sword like a boomerang to stunning entire crowds of enemies. Confront bosses reacting to Merciful and Ruthless combat differently, effectively creating two different encounters.

Jehan’s actions — combat, dialogue, even who he chooses to help and when — alter how passerbys perceive him throughout his journey. What may seem like the “right” path early on can have unexpected implications further down the road, leading to 10 different endings. Explore a gorgeous watercolor world blending magic and technology in a highly divergent story encouraging multiple playthroughs to see all of the different possibilities.

On PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, Hindsight 20/20 runs at 4K/60FPS with improved post-processing effects like light bloom and ambient occlusion. The PlayStation 5 version provides a more immersive experience via the DualShock’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers.

Hindsight was developed around our custom-built Experience Engine that grants players deeper choices and consequences,” said Hemanshu Chhabra, creative director at Triple-I Games. “We don’t want our dilemmas to be black and white, and we hope our game makes you carefully consider your actions when it releases in September.”

Hindsight 20/20 will be available in English on PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation®4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Windows via Steam on Thursday, 9 September.

To learn more, please visit Hindsight 20/20’s official site, Steam page, Twitter, Instagram, Discord channel, and Facebook page.

Survival Horror RPG, Chernobylite Creeps onto PS4, XB1 Sept. 7

Video game publishers All in! Games and Perp Games together with development studio, The Farm 51, are pleased to announce that Chernobylite, the highly anticipated sci-fi survival horror RPG, will be released for PlayStation 4 (Digital+Physical) and Xbox One (Digital) on September 7th, 2021.

Chernobylite will be available digitally on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One storefronts for $29.99 / €29.99 / £24.99. Fans eager to get their hands on a physical version of Chernobylite for PlayStation 4 will be able to purchase a copy from their local retailers on September 7 in North America, and on September 10 throughout Europe for an SRP of $34.99 / €34.99 / £29.99.

The physical retail edition of Chernobylite on PlayStation 4 will feature a physical map of the Exclusion Zone, digital postcards, a digital artbook ‘The Art of Chernobylite’, and more!

“With the PC launch right around the corner, we’re thrilled to reveal that we’ve locked in Chernobylite’s console release for this September,” said Piotr Żygadło, CEO at All in! Games. “Working on our first simultaneous physical release together with Perp Games has been a great experience so far and a huge milestone for All in! Games. We are confident that Chernobylite will be one of the most exciting indie games of 2021 and intend to continue to give it our full support.”

“It’s humbling to see how Chernobylite’s original concept, an interactive VR documentary, has become a full-blown video game, soon to be available across a variety of platforms,” said Wojciech Pazdur, Director of Development at The Farm 51. “We can’t wait for people to start exploring the hauntingly beautiful recreation of the real-world Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.”

About Chernobylite

Chernobylite is a science-fiction survival horror RPG, set in the hyper-realistic, 3D-scanned wasteland of Chernobyl’s Exclusion Zone. You’ll take on the role of Igor, a physicist and ex-employee of the Chernobyl Power Plant, returning to Pripyat to investigate the mysterious disappearance of his fiancee, 30 years prior. Compete with a hostile military presence and other stalkers, face supernatural creatures as well as a harsh and unforgiving environment in your search to uncover the truth. Get ready for a thrilling adventure of survival, conspiracy, horror, love, and obsession. Will you survive your fears?

  • Non-Linear Storytelling & Strategy –No playthrough is the same. The choices and story are in your hands. Choose wisely whether to trust your comrades or not, use resources for survival or research, and to face conflicts or avoid them. The future is up to you.
  • Stealth, Survival, & Combat –Survival in the Zone is not easy, and each day brings new challenges as your comrades die and supplies diminish. Avoid detection with stealth takedowns or engage in open-armed combat. Danger lurks around every corner.
  • Base Building & Crafting – Construct a base from which to plan your daily operations and excursions. Utilize workstations to craft gadgets, traps, and weapons, or modify existing equipment to your needs.
  • Resource & Team Management –Companions are key to your survival and the resolution of your journey. Each day requires careful planning and assignment of resources and tasks to your comrades.

For more information about Chernobylite, including full language support, visit the official Chernobylite WebsiteSteamTwitterFacebookSubreddit, and Discord server.

The Innsmouth Case Out Now on Xbox and PlayStation Consoles

Following the successful launches on PC and Nintendo Switch, publisher Assemble Entertainment, and developer Robot Pumpkin Games, are thrilled to announce that The Innsmouth Case is out today for Xbox and PlayStation consoles. This scary-comedy-text-adventure game set in the mysterious and foreboding Lovecraft universe is available from Microsoft Store and the PlayStation Store for £11.99 / €14.99 / $14.99.

The Innsmouth Case takes players on a truly harrowing, humorous, and fantastical journey where nothing is what it seems. It’s a game of cat-and-mouse with sinister forces in the tenebrous town of Innsmouth, a place packed to the gills with nameless horrors, and it’s your job to stay alert, stay safe, and solve the case of the missing girl.

To solve the enigmatic disappearance of little Tabitha Marsh, the most clever detective is not only wanted but desperately needed. Unfortunately, that particular detective is busy, so the case goes to you! Pack your belongings and prepare to head to the remote fishing village of Innsmouth, as The Innsmouth Case awaits!

Crack the Case and Save the Girl…It’s the Only Way to Survive Innsmouth!

Features of The Innsmouth Case include:

  • Become one with the Lovecraftian world around you, as each and every decision you make has a permanent effect on the ongoing story
  • The “interactive book” styled gameplay captivates with its perfect blend of offbeat humor and classic horror
  • Your fate is entirely in your hands; a total of 27 possible endings are to be discovered. Are you saving the day – or are your days in Innsmouth, and the world, numbered?
  • Explore 21st century Innsmouth, talk to more than 20 animated characters and solve the mystery of the disappearance of Tabitha Marsh

The Innsmouth Case is available now on Xbox and PlayStation £11.99 / €14.99 / $14.99 and is also available on Nintendo Switch, PC and Mac via Steam, iOS and Android mobile.

For the latest up-to-date news about The Innsmouth Case, follow Assemble Entertainment on Twitter, Instagram, “like” on Facebook, and join the official Assemble Discord server.

BUNDLES OF FUN: 25 YEARS OF CRASH

To celebrate the upcoming 25th anniversary of Crash Bandicooteverybody’s favorite marsupial is unleashing his CRASHiversary bundle today. With five full games in one amazing package, fans can spin, wump and jump their way through all three of the original Crash games in the fully remastered Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, as well as Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time, and Crash Team Racing Nitro Fueled.

Also available now is the Crash Bandicoot Quadrilogy bundle. Four full games of marsupial madness in one action-packed collection, including Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy and Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time. 

Can’t remember how Crash Bandicoot became such an icon? Check out this trailer:

The Crash Bandicoot CRASHiversary bundle and the Crash Bandicoot Quadriliogy bundle are available digitally on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Nintendo Switch, in select territories globally. For more information on the Crash Bandicoot franchiseplease visit www.crashbandicoot.com and follow @CrashBandicoot on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy

Spin, jump, wump and repeat as you take on the epic challenges and adventures through the three games that started it all, Crash Bandicoot™, Crash Bandicoot™ 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot™: Warped. Relive all your favorite Crash moments in their fully remastered graphical glory.

  • Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Crash fourward into a time shattered adventure with your favorite marsupials. Master new abilities with the four Quantum Masks. Play new level types including N. Verted Levels, Flashback Tapes and Alternate Timelines. Team up or compete with friends locally in Pass N. Play and Bandicoot Battle modes.

  • Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

It’s the authentic CTR experience plus a whole lot more, now fully remastered and revved up. Start your engines with the original game modes, characters and tracks. Race to glory with additional characters, karts, tracks and arenas from beyond CTR. Crash the competition with online play

VR arcade basketball game In da Hoop! Available Now on Steam

One month after a successful launch on Oculus Quest, Realcast‘s VR basketball game In da Hoop! is coming to Steam VR on July 21st, where it is priced at $14.99 / €14.99 / £10.99 and available for Valve Index, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift and Rift S. During the first week of launch the game will be sold at 30% off. A PSVR release is due to follow later this year. Brought to you by the creators of Just Dance, In da Hoop! uses unique motion-tracking technology with physical hand gestures to simulate the act of shooting hoops.

In da Hoop! lets you compete with your friends to rack up the highest score. Unlike real basketball, In da Hoop! lets you tweak a variety of variables for extra wacky spins on the popular sport. You can play a variety of hoop distances, positions, and movements. From Small Arcade Coin-up to Free throw Backboard. There is a Training mode with a 3-star achievement system including Tutorial levels. All levels have Combo rewards and unlocks to compete in Quick Play mode. Later on, special challenges will be added as Earthquake Basketball challenge, Treehouse Basketball shot, Bigball Basketball Shot, Upside-Down Basketball Shot, 2 Player Team Challenge, Ghost Mode, Basketball Bowling and 3 Strips Basketball Shot.

In da Hoop! features online leaderboards allowing you to compete with the global community. A post-launch update will add online multiplayer, allowing you to play directly with others from all over the world.

“We’re very pleased by the reception In da Hoop! received when it launched last month on the Oculus Quest store, so bringing it to a whole new audience of VR and basketball enthusiasts is a thrill,” said Realcast Creative Director, Diego Fernandez-Bravo. “In da Hoop! captures the sheer physicality of shooting hoops without the need for any basketball equipment. We’re excited for even more players to have a baller time with it!”